The Quran

Commentaries for 3.106

Al Imran (The family of Imran) - آل عمران

3.106 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(On the day (some) faces will be whitened and (some) faces will be blackened; and as for those whose faces have been blackened it will be said unto them) the angels in-charge of hell will say to them: (Disbelieved ye) in Allah (after your (profession of) belief?) in Allah. (Then taste the punishment for that ye disbelieved) in Allah.
3.106 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
The day when some faces are blackened, and some faces whitened, that is, the Day of Resurrection. As for those whose faces are blackened, these being the disbelievers, who are thrown into the Fire and to whom it is said in rebuke: ‘Did you disbelieve after you had believed, on the day the covenant was made? Then taste the chastisement for what you disbelieved!’
3.106 Kashani - Kashani
The day when some faces are blackened, and some faces whitened: the whitening of the face is a reflection of the illumination of the countenance of the heart by the light of the Truth by virtue of its [the heart's] orientation toward it and its turning away from the lower egocentric darkened aspect. That can only come about as a result of affirming the Oneness [of God] and remaining upright upon it by the illumination of the soul, in addition, with the light of the heart, so that the totality becomes illumined by the light of God. [As for] its blackening, that is [the result of] the darkness of the countenance of the heart when it pursues the soul that seeks its shares [of this world] and turns away from the luminous aspect of the truth, the consequence of its [the heart's] befriending of the soul and the following after desires in order to actualise pleasures, all of which ensues from following the divided satanic paths. As for those whose faces are blackened, it is said to them: 'Did you disbelieve after you had believedḍ, that is, have you veiled yourselves from the light of the Truth by the dark attributes of the soul and have taken up abodes in these darknesses after you had been guided and illumined by the light of preparedness and the purity of primordial nature and the guidance of the intellectḍ Then taste, the chastisement of privation for veiling yourselves from the Truth.
3.104-109 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Command to Establish the Invitation to Allah
Allah said,
وَلْتَكُن مِّنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ
(Let there arise out of you a group of people)
that calls to righteousness, enjoins all that is good and forbids evil in the manner Allah commanded,
وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
(And it is they who are the successful.)
Ad-Dahhak said, "They are a special group of the Companions and a special group of those after them, that is those who perform Jihad and the scholars.''
The objective of this Ayah is that there should be a segment of this Muslim Ummah fulfilling this task, even though it is also an obligation on every member of this Ummah, each according to his ability. Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِع فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَان»
(Whoever among you witnesses an evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. If he is unable, then let him change it with his heart, and this is the weakest faith.) In another narration, The Prophet said,
«وَلَيْسَ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْإِيمَانِ حَبَّةُ خَرْدَل»
(There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said that the Prophet said,
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِه، لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ، أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ، ثُمَّ لتَدْعُنَّــهُ فَلَا يَسْتَجِيبَ لَكُم»
(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah shall send down a punishment from Him to you. Then, you will supplicate to Him, but He will not accept your supplication.)
At-Tirmidhi also collected this Hadith and said, "Hasan''. There are many other Hadiths and Ayat on this subject, which will be explained later.
The Prohibition of Division
Allah said,
وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاخْتَلَفُواْ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَـتُ
(And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them) 3:105.
In this Ayah, Allah forbids this Ummah from imitating the division and discord of the nations that came before them. These nations also abandoned enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, although they had proof of its necessity.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu `Amir `Abdullah bin Luhay said, "We performed Hajj with Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. When we arrived at Makkah, he stood up after praying Zuhr and said, `The Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابَيْنِ افْتَرَقُوا فِي دِينِهِمْ عَلى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً، وَإِنَّ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةَ سَتَفْتَرِقُ عَلى ثَلَاثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً يَعْنِي الْأَهْوَاءَ كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلَّا وَاحِدَةً وَهِيَ الْجَمَاعَةُ وَإِنَّهُ سَيَخْرُجُ فِي أُمَّتِي أَقْوَامٌ تَجَارَى بِهِمْ تِلْكَ الْأَهْوَاءُ كَمَا يَتَجَارَى الْكَلَبُ بِصَاحِبِه، لَا يَبْقَى مِنْهُ عِرْقٌ وَلَا مَفْصِلٌ إِلَّا دَخَلَه»
(The People of the Two Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects. This Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one, that is, the Jama`ah. Some of my Ummah will be guided by desire, like one who is infected by rabies; no vein or joint will be saved from these desires.)
Mu`awiyah said next: By Allah, O Arabs! If you do not adhere to what came to you from your Prophet then other people are even more prone not to adhere to it. '' Similar was recorded by Abu Dawud from Ahmad bin Hanbal and Muhammad bin Yahya.
The Benefits of Brotherly Ties and Unity and the Consequence of Division on the Day of the Gatherin
Allah said next,
يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ
(On the Day when some faces will become white and some faces will become black;) 3:106 on the Day of Resurrection. This is when the faces of followers of the Sunnah and the Jama`ah will radiate with whiteness, and the faces of followers of Bid`ah (innovation) and division will be darkened, as has been reported from Ibn `Abbas. Allah said,
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْوَدَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ أَكْفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَـنِكُمْ
(As for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): "Did you reject faith after accepting it")
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "They are the hypocrites.''
فَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ
(Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting faith,) and this description befits every disbeliever.
وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ابْيَضَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فَفِى رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ
(And for those whose faces will become white, they will be in Allah's mercy (Paradise), therein they shall dwell forever.) in Paradise, where they will reside for eternity and shall never desire to be removed. Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Ghalib said, "Abu Umamah saw heads (of the Khawarij sect) hanging on the streets of Damascus. He commented, `The Dogs of the Fire and the worst dead people under the cover of the sky. The best dead men are those whom these have killed.' He then recited,
يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ
(On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black;) until the end of the Ayah. I said to Abu Umamah, `Did you hear this from the Messenger of Allah' He said, `If I only heard it from the Messenger of Allah once, twice, thrice, four times, or seven times, I would not have narrated it to you.' '' At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.'' Ibn Majah and Ahmad recorded similarly.
Allah said,
تِلْكَ آيَـتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ
(These are the Ayat of Allah. We recite them to you) meaning, `These are the verses of Allah, His proofs and signs that We reveal to you, O Muhammad,'
(in truth) making known the true reality of this world and the Hereafter.
وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْماً لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ
(and Allah wills no injustice to the `Alamin. ) for He never treats them with injustice. Rather, He is the Just Ruler Who is able to do everything and has knowledge of everything. Therefore, He does not need to treat any of His creatures with injustice, and this is why He said next,
وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(and to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the Earth.),
they are all His servants and His property,
وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الأُمُورُ
(And all matters go back to Allah,) for His is the decision concerning the affairs of this life and the Hereafter, and His is the Supreme Authority in this life and the Hereafter.
3.104-109 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This refers to those communities which received the Guidance and clear teachings from the Messengers of Allah but after some time discarded the basic principles of the Guidance and divided themselves into different sects on the basis of irrelevant and minor side-issues and were involved in useless and meaningless squabbles. They became so engrossed in these things that they totally forgot the mission which Allah had entrusted to them and lost interest even in the basic principles on which, in fact, depends the real success of humanity.
As Allah, does not will to be unjust to the people of the world, He is showing them Guidance and warning them before-hand of those things of which they shall have ultimately to render an account. Thus, those who follow the crooked ways even after this and do not return to the Right Way are doing injustice to themselves
3.106-107 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
The day when some faces are blackened and some faces whitened. As for those whose faces are blackened “did you disbelieve after you had believedḍ Then taste the chastisement for what you disbelieved!” But for those whose faces are whitened they shall be in God's mercy abiding therein. The faces of the lords of pretensions daʿāwā will be blackened while the faces of the companions of meanings maʿānī will be whitened. The faces of the people of unveilings kushūfāt will be whitened through illumination. The faces of the companions of the veil ḥijāb will be blackened with shame covered with dust taʿlūhā ghabara and overcast with gloom wa-tarhaquhā qatara. It is said that whoever's heart is white today his face will be white in the future and the one who is the opposite his situation will be the reverse. It is said that whoever turns away from created beings before His auspicious occurrences sawāniḥ his face will become white with the spirit of having committed his affairs [to God] rūḥ al-tafwīḌ. Whoever's heart is attached to what is other [than God] with wants and needs ḥawāÌij his heart will become black [and] his face [will be] in the dust of covetousness. As for those whose faces have become white they will be in intimacy and ease rawḥ. As for those whose faces have become blackened they will [experience] tribulations and lamentation nawḥ.
3.106 Tustari - Al-Tustari
On the Day when some faces are whitened…This means, the faces of the believers will become white through the light of their faith; …and some faces are blackened…, namely, the [faces] of the disbelievers, due to the darkness of their disbelief.He was asked about His words, Abasement and wretchedness were cast upon them [2:61]. He replied:The purpose of these bodies is in the ‘deposits’ (waḍāʾiʿ) that God has placed within them, by which He puts His creatures to the test. Among [these deposits] is one from which the obedient(ṭāʾiʿūn) should draw admonitory lessons, namely, disbelief (kufr). [On the other hand], there are those which are proof against the heedless (ghāfilūn), namely, gnosis (maʿrifa) and affirmation (taṣdīq) through speech and actions, just as He has said, And He appointed darknessesand light [6:1]. The inner meaning of this verse is that light is knowledge (ʿilm) and darkness is ignorance (jahl), in accordance with His words, And he whom God has not granted any light has no light [24:40], that is, the heart [of such a person] has not [the light] by which to perceive faith in God. The light of faith is one of the greatest blessings (minan) of God, Mighty and Majestic is He, and tokens of His generosity (karāmāt). The second [blessing] is the ‘good word’ which is referred to in His words, Exalted is He, Come now to a word that is agreed upon between us and you [3:64]. The third [great blessing] is obedience (iṭāʿa) that the bodily members carry out purely for God’s sake, as when the prayers are maintained and obligatory alms (zakāt) are paid [in a spirit of] satisfaction (qunūʿ) and contentment (riḍā). Thus, [in this latter verse] He summoned them to the best speech, and the most excellent actions. If it had not been for faith in God and the Qurʾān, which is the knowledge of God, and which contains a call [for people] to affirm His lordship and to serve Him in fear, then the prophets, upon whom be blessings and peace, would not have known who among the people had responded to them.His words: