The Quran

Commentaries for 17.20

Bani Israil (The Israelites) - الإسراء

17.20 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Each do We supply) provision, (both these) the obedient people (and those) and the disobedient people, (from the bounty of thy Lord) from the provision of your Lord. (And the bounty of thy Lord) and the provision of your Lord (can never be walled up) withheld from either the obedient or sinful person.
17.20 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Each, of the two parties, We supply, We give, [to] these and [to] those (hā’ūlā’ wa-hā’ūlā’ is a substitute [for kullan, ‘each’) from (min is semantically connected to numiddu, ‘We supply’) from your Lord’s bounty, in this world. And your Lord’s bounty, therein, is not confined, [it is not] forbidden to anyone.
17.20 Kashani - Kashani
Each We supply [to] these and [to] those, in other words, We supply all of the seekers of this world and the seekers of the Hereafter from Our bounty, and it is not [supplied] simply because of their desires or striving [for it]. Rather their desire and striving are indicators and tokens of the bounty which We have determined for them. And your Lord's bounty is not restricted, prohibited to anyone, neither to the obedient folk nor to the disobedient ones.
17.20-21 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
كَلاَّ
On each meaning, on each of the two groups, those who desire this world and those who desire the Hereafter, We bestow what they want
مِنْ عَطَآءِ رَبِّكَ
(from the bounties of your Lord.) means, He is the One Who is in control of all things, and He is never unjust. He gives to each what he deserves, whether it is eternal happiness or doom. His decree is unstoppable, no one can withhold what He gives or change what He wants. Allah says:
وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا
(And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.) meaning, no one can withhold or prevent them. Qatadah said,
وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا
(And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.) "(It means) they can never decrease''.
وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا
(And the Bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden) Al-Hasan and others said, "(It means) they can never be prevented.'' Then Allah says:
انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
(See how We prefer one above another,) meaning in this world, so that some are rich and some are poor, and others are in between; some are beautiful, some are ugly and others are in between; some die young while others live to a great age, and some die in between.
وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً
(and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.) means, the differences between them in the Hereafter will be greater than the differences between them in this world. Some of them will be in varying levels of Hell, in chains and fetters, while others will be in the lofty degrees of Paradise, with its blessings and delights. The people of Hell will vary in their positions and levels, just as the people of Paradise will. In Paradise there are one hundred levels, and the distance between one level and another is like the distance between heaven and earth. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:
«إِنَّ أَهْلَ الدَّرَجَاتِ الْعُلَى لَيَرَوْنَ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاء»
(The people of the highest levels (of Paradise) will see the people of `Illiyin as if they are looking at distant stars on the horizon.) Allah says:
وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً
(and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.)
17.18-21 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Arabic word Ajilah literally means something which can be had immediately, but the Qur'an employs it as a term for "This World" which yields its advantages and results in this worldly life. Its antonym is Akhirat (Hereafter) which will yield its advantages and results after death in the life of the Next World.
The person who does not believe in the life of the Hereafter deserves Hell, because he strives only for the successes and good things of this world and his endeavors are confined to material objects. Consequently, such a person becomes a mere worshiper of this world and adopts wrong conduct, for he has no sense of personal responsibility and accountability to God and ultimately deserves the torment of Hell.
"His endeavors will be appreciated": he will be rewarded for the efforts he had made for success in the Hereafter.
Allah gives the provisions of this world both to those who strive for this world and to those who strive for the Hereafter, but it is the gift of Allah alone and not of anyone else. It does not lie in the power of the worshipers of the world to deprive the seekers after the Hereafter of these provisions: nor have the seekers after the Hereafter any power to withhold these provisions from the worshipers of the world.
This is to show that the seekers after the Hereafter have been exalted over the worshipers of the world even in this worldly life. However, this exaltation is not in regard to the good things of this world -rich food and dress, palatial dwellings, limousines, helicopters and other grand things, but it is from another point of view. They enjoy that true honor, love and good-will which is denied to the tyrants and the rich people in spite of the fact that they may be indigent. This is because whatever the seekers after the Hereafter get in this world, it is earned in righteous and honest ways, while the worshipers of the world amass wealth by employing dishonest and cruel ways. Then the former spend what they get with prudence and righteousness. They fulfill the obligations they owe to others. They spend their money in the Way of Allah and to please Allah on the needy.and the indigent. In contrast to them, the worshipers of this world spend their money in.the enjoyment of luxuries, wicked works, corruption and spreading other evil things. This makes the former models of God-worship and purity in every respect and distinguishes them so clearly, from the worshipers of the world that they shine in exaltation over the latter. These things clearly indicate that in the next world the grades of the seekers after the Hereafter will be far greater and their superiority far higher than those of the worshipers of the world.