The Quran

Commentaries for 21.41

Al Anbiya (The prophets) - الأنبياء

21.41 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Messengers before thee, indeed, were mocked) the messengers who came before you, O Muhammad, were mocked by their people just as your people are mocking you, (but that whereat they mocked) the chastisement they mocked; it is also said that this means: they were chastised because of their mockery, (surrounded) was decreed and came down upon (those who scoffed at them) those who mocked the prophets.
21.41 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And verily messengers before you were derided — herein is a statement to comfort the Prophet (s) — but those who mocked them were encircled by, it was sent down [against them], that which they used to deride, namely, chastisement — likewise it shall befall those who have derided you.
21.41-43 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Lessons to be learned from Those Who mocked the Messengers in the Past
Allah says consoling His Messenger for the pain and insult caused by the mockery and disbelief of the idolators,
وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ
(Indeed (many) Messengers were mocked before you, but the scoffers were surrounded by what they used to mock.) meaning, the punishment which they thought would never come to pass. This is like the Ayah:
وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُواْ عَلَى مَا كُذِّبُواْ وَأُوذُواْ حَتَّى أَتَـهُمْ نَصْرُنَا وَلاَ مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـتِ اللَّهِ وَلَقدْ جَآءَكَ مِن نَّبَإِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
(Verily, Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt; till Our help reached them, and none can alter the Words of Allah. Surely, there has reached you the information (news) about the Messengers (before you)) 6:34. Then Allah menitons His favor for His creatures; He protects them by night and by day, taking care of them and watching over them with His Eye that never sleeps.
قُلْ مَن يَكْلَؤُكُم بِالَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ مِنَ الرَّحْمَـنِ
(Say: "Who can guard and protect you in the night or in the day from the Most Gracious'') means, other than the Most Gracious Himself
بَلْ هُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ رَبِّهِمْ مُّعْرِضُونَ
(Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord.) means, they do not recognize the blessings and favor of Allah towards them; they turn away from His signs and blessings.
أَمْ لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ تَمْنَعُهُمْ مِّن دُونِنَا
(Or have they gods who can guard them from Us) This is a rhetorical question aimed at denouncing and rebuking. The meaning is, do they have any gods who can protect them and take care of them other than Us It is not as they imagine or as they claim. Allah says:
لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
(They have no power to help themselves,) these gods on whom they rely instead of Allah cannot even help themselves.
وَلاَ هُمْ مِّنَّا يُصْحَبُونَ
(nor can they be protected from Us.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas,"Nor can they be guarded from Us.''
21.37-41 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is not the literal translation of the Text; its purport according to the Arabic usage is: "Man is a hasty and impatient creature by his very nature." The same thing has been stated in XVII:11: "Man is very hasty and impatient."
From the succeeding sentences it is obvious that "Signs" here stands for the things that have been mentioned therein-the "threat" of the scourge of Allah, Resurrection and Hell. They made fun of these, as if to say: "This man threatens us with the scourge of Allah and the torment of the Day of Resurrection if we deny him and that we shall become fuel of Hell; but nothing of the sort has befallen us. We are as strong as ever and nothing seems to be happening".