The Quran

Commentaries for 21.89

Al Anbiya (The prophets) - الأنبياء

21.89 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And Zachariah) and mention, O Muhammad, Zachariah, (when he cried unto) when he prayed to (his Lord: My Lord! Leave me not childless) alone without any helper, (though Thou art the best of inheritors) though You are the best of helpers.
21.89 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
And Zachariah, when he supplicated his Lord, “My Lord, leave me not solitary.”
In the tasting of the recognizers and the allusion of the realizers, the meaning is “Leave me not empty of Your protection from sin or turning away from Your remembrance or occupying myself with anything but You.”
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “God has no use for treasuries and no need for anything. Whatever He has, He has it for the servants. Tomorrow He will give the treasury of mercy to the disobedient and the treasury of bounty to the helpless so that they may discharge what is rightfully due to Him from His treasuries, for the servants cannot discharge His rightful due with what they have of their own. When a sultan gives his daughter to a beggar, the beggar does not have a dower worthy of the sultan's daughter. From his own treasury the sultan sends the dower to the beggar so that the beggar may give the dower to the princess from his treasury.”
When the servant obeys Him, he does so with His success-giving and protection from sin. He discharges what is rightfully due to Him with His confirmation and bestowal of strength. Then through His bounty He praises the servant for the excellence of his obedience and through His generosity He approves of him. What He shows to the world's folk is this:
21.89 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And, mention, Zachariah (Zakariyyā, is substituted by [the following, idh nādā rabbahu …]) when he cried out to his Lord, saying: ‘My Lord, do not leave me without an heir, without a son to inherit from me, and You are the best of inheritors’, the One that endures after all of your creation has perished.
21.89-90 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Zakariyya and Yahya
Allah tells us of His servant Zakariyya, who asked Allah to grant him a son who would be a Prophet after him. The story has already been given in detail at the beginning of Surah Maryam and also in Surah `Imran. Here an abbreviated version is given.
إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ
(when he cried to his Lord) means, in secret, hiding it from his people.
رَبِّ لاَ تَذَرْنِى فَرْداً
(O My Lord! Leave me not single,) means, with no child and no heir to stand among the people after me.
وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْوَرِثِينَ
(though You are the Best of the inheritors.) This is a supplication and form of praise befitting the topic. Allah says:
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ يَحْيَى وَأَصْلَحْنَا لَهُ زَوْجَهُ
(So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him Yahya, and cured his wife for him.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "She was barren and never had a child, then she gave birth.''
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ يُسَارِعُونَ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ
(Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds,) means, acts of worship and acts of obedience towards Allah.
وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَباً وَرَهَباً
(and they used to call on Us with hope and fear,) Ath-Thawri said, "Hoping for that (reward) which is with Us and fearing that (punishment) which is with Us.''
وَكَانُواْ لَنَا خـشِعِينَ
(and they were Khashi`in before Us.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means, sincerely believing in that which was revealed by Allah. Mujahid said: "Truly believing.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah said: "Fearing.'' Abu Sinan said: "Khushu` means the fear which should never leave our hearts.'' It was also reported from Mujahid that the Khashi`in are those who are humble.'' Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, "The Khashi`in are those who humble themselves before Allah.'' All of these suggestions are close in meaning.
21.89-90 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
"Made his wife fit": "We cured his wife of sterility." As "Thou alone art the best Inheritor", I shall have no grief even if Thou dost not give the any child. (For further details, please see III:37-41 and XIX: 2-14 and the E.N.'s thereof).
It will be worth while to reiterate the reasons why the stories of the Prophets have been cited in this surah.
(1) The story of Prophet Zacharias has been cited to impress on the minds that all the Prophets were human beings and servants of Allah and had no tinge of Godhead in them. They had no power to bestow children upon others because they themselves had to pray to Allah for children for themselves.
(2) The story of Prophet Jonah has been cited to show that even a great Prophet like him did not go unnoticed when he committed an error in regard to Allah's Message. But when he repented, Allah, by His grace, delivered him alive from the belly of the fish.
(3) The mention of Prophet Job has been made to show that even Prophets were put to hard trials and afflictions and even they had to beg Allah to restore them to health, not to speak of curing others of diseases.
Along with these, the other important thing which is meant to be impressed is that all the Prophets believed in the doctrine of Tauhid. That is why they begged and prayed to One Allah alone to fulfill their needs and requirements. Though they met with trials, Allah helped them and granted their prayers in supernatural and miraculous ways.