Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe) in Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an! (Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance!) repent of your sins truly and sincerely from the bottom of your hearts. This means feeling regret in one's heart, asking forgiveness with one's tongue and stop engaging in the particular sin one is repenting of with one's body and conscience, intending never to return to it (It may be) “may be” from Allah denotes a necessity (that your Lord will remit from you your evil deeds) forgive your sins through repentance (and bring you) in the Hereafter (into Gardens beneath which) beneath their trees and habitations (rivers flow) rivers of wine, water, honey and milk flow, (on the day) which is the Day of Judgement (when Allah will not abase the Prophet) as He abases the disbelievers; He says: He will not torment the Prophet (pbuh) (and those who believe with him) and will not torment those who believe in him, such as Abu Bakr and his believing brothers. (Their light will run) will shine (before them) on the Bridge over the Fire (and on their right hands: they will say) when the light of the hypocrites is put out: (Our Lord! Perfect our light for us) on the Bridge over hell, (and forgive us) our sins! (Lo! Thou art Able to do all things) of completing our light and forgiving us.
O you who have faith, repent to God with true repentance.
“O believers, familiars, and friends, all of you repent! Come back to My threshold! Turn to Me! Though you have done what comes from you, I will do what comes from Me! Nobody accepts the defective except here. Come back! No threshold forgives sins but here. Seek shelter in Me! Come from the unkindly to the Lovingly Kind! Come from the pain of despair to hope! I have no fear of forgiving sins, come back! I am not ashamed to accept the defective, return!”
Read the equivalent of this verse in “Be penitent toward your Lord” [39:54]. The station of penitence is higher than the station of repentance. Penitence is the servant's return to his Lord with heart and aspiration, and repentance is the servant's return from disobedience to obedience.
What is penitence? Coming from the valley of hypocrisy on the feet of truthfulness to the valley of tranquility, coming from the valley of innovation on the feet of surrender to the valley of the Sunnah, coming from the valley of dispersion on the feet of disentanglement to the valley of togetherness, coming from the valley of making claims on the feet of poverty to the valley of solitariness, coming from the valley of intelligence on the feet of indigence to the Real.
What is repentance? An obeyed interceder, tender trustee, and generous deputy effaces the imprint of sin and at his intercession the Real pardons the sinful servant. He cleanses and makes pure the servant's ledger of disobedience and makes the repentant man equal to a man without sin. This is why MuṣṬafā said, “He who repents of sin is like him who has no sin.”
He also said, “Surely God is happier at His servant's repentance than a thirsty man who comes upon a spring, a man who has lost his camel and finds it, and a barren woman who gives birth.” He is saying, “The Real is more quickly pleased by the repentance of the repenters than by any other act of obedience. Know that His approval of the repentance of the sinner is like the happiness of a thirsty man in the middle of a dry, waterless desert who suddenly comes across pure water. Or it is like that of a traveler who has lost his goods and mount in the middle of a perilous desert and then, after despairing, he suddenly comes across his mount and his goods.
Or it is like that of an old, barren woman, hopelessly wishing for a child, who is given the good news of a child of beautiful conduct and lovely form.” In the whole world, there is no happiness that reaches the level of these three, yet next to the Real's approval of the repenter's repentance these three count as nothing and naught.
The decree of eternity has gone forth that if someone should be disobedient in a tavern for seventy years but then one day he makes an ablution in pain, puts on the clothing of loyalty, comes in shame to the mosque, makes the intention in bewilderment, raises his hands in remorse, says “God is greater” in dread, and enters into the presence of prayer and whispered secrets, that prayer will not yet be finished when a call will come forth from the Majestic Compeller to the folk of the Dominion, “O My appointees in these heavens! Today put aside all your acts of worship and stop the chanting of your glorification and hallowing. Burn the incense of asking forgiveness for this returned servant of Mine, for he has come to My threshold. Put the water that came with selfexertion from his eyes full of pain into the storehouse of mercy so that tomorrow in the courtyards of the resurrection I may send Riẓwān to take his hand and show him around the resurrection calling out, 'This is God's freedman.' This is the one given freedom by the Lord and forgiveness by the Real, for in his sinfulness he had the brand of MuḤammad on his tongue and the brand of My love in his heart.”
It has been said that tomorrow on the Day of Resurrection a servant will be given his book in his hand. He will see his tainted deeds and hang down his head, a tremendous grief sitting on him. The Real will gaze upon him with mercy and say, “O helpless man, fallen short in your days! Lift up your head, for today is the day of peace and the time of scattering mercy.” In shame before the Real the servant will keep his head hung down. Then the Exalted Lord will say in His generosity, “By My exaltedness, lift up your head and gaze upon My majesty! Even though in the world you did not do what I commanded, today at the time of your misery and helplessness I will do what you want.
'Say: “Each acts according to his own manner”' [17:84]. Everyone does what is worthy of him, and that is what comes forth from him. You are without loyalty because I created you that way. What is worthy of Me is all loyalty and generosity, for that is My attribute.”
Then the cup of the wine of holiness will be placed in his hand and he will drink it down all at once. Shouting out like the enraptured he will come forth in the plain of the resurrection, the tongue of his state saying,
“I was at ease with my sins once I saw that pardon is the result of sin.”
Since Your pardon shuts down the road of my offenses, from now on I will hold on to disobedience.
This is why the Lord of the Worlds says, “Those-God shall change their ugly deeds into beautiful deeds, and God is forgiving, ever-merciful” [25:70].
O you who believe! Repent to God with sincere repentance (read nasūhan or nusūhan), a truthful [repentance], so that one does not return to [committing] that sin again, nor have the desire to return to it. It may be that your Lord (‘asā: [an expression denoting] ‘a hope’ that will be realised) will absolve you of your misdeeds and admit you into gardens, orchards, underneath which rivers flow, on the day when God will not let down, by admitting into the Fire, the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will be running before them, in front of them, and, it will be, on their right. They will say (yaqūlūna: this denotes the beginning of a new [syntactically independent] sentence), ‘Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, towards Paradise — whereas the hypocrites, their light will be extinguished — and forgive us, Our Lord. Assuredly You have power over all things’.
Teaching One's Family the Religion and Good Behavior
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas;
قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً
(Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)) He said, "Work in the obedience of Allah, avoid disobedience of Allah and order your families to remember Allah, then Allah will save you from the Fire.'' Mujahid also commented on:
قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً
(Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)) saying, "Have Taqwa of Allah and order your family to have Taqwa of Him.'' Qatadah said, "He commands obedience to Allah, to not disobey Allah, he orders his family to obey His orders and helps them to act upon His orders. When one sees disobedience, he stops them and forbids them from doing it.'' Similar was said by Ad-Dahhak and Muqatil; "It is an obligation for the Muslim to teach his near family members, and his male and female slaves what Allah has made obligatory for them and what Allah has forbidden for them.'' There is a Hadith that confirms the meaning of this Ayah. Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ar-Rabi` bin Sabrah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Order the children to pray when they reach the age of seven and when they reach the age of ten, discipline them for (not performing) it.) This is the narration that Abu Dawud collected; At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''
Fuel for Hell and a Description of its Angels
وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ
(whose fuel is men and stones,) indicating that the Children of Adam will be fuel for the Fire that will feed it,
(and stones) in reference to the idols that were worshipped, just as Allah said in another Ayah,
(Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell!) (21:98) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Mujahid, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir and As-Suddi said that these are sulfur stones that are more putrid than rotten corpses, according to Mujahid. Allah's statement,
عَلَيْهَا مَلَـئِكَةٌ غِلاَظٌ شِدَادٌ
(over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe,) means, their nature of behavior is stern, because the mercy has been taken out of their hearts for those who disbelieve in Allah,
(severe) meaning, their structure is powerful, strong and frightening,
(who disobey not the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.) meaning, whatever Allah commands them, they rush to obey Him, without delay for even a twinkling of an eye. They are able to fulfill the command; they are called Az-Zabaniyah, meaning, the keepers and guards of Hell, may Allah give us shelter from them.
No Excuse will be accepted from the Disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection
(O you who disbelieve! Make no excuses this Day! You are being requited only for what you used to do.) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, the disbeliever will be told, "Do not offer any excuse this Day, because it will not be accepted from you; you will only be recompensed for what you used to do. Today, you will receive the punishment for your actions.''
(O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance!) meaning, a true, firm repentance that erases the evil sins that preceded it and mend the shortcoming of the repenting person, encouraging and directing him to quit the evil that he used to do. Allah said,
(They will say:"Our Lord! Keep perfect our light for us and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things.'') Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and Al-Hasan Al-Basri and other said, "This is the statement that the believers will say on the Day of Resurrection, when they witness the light of the hypocrites being extinguished.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that a man from the tribe of Banu Kinanah said, "I prayed behind the Messenger of Allah during the year of the Conquest (of Makkah), and heard him say,
«اللْهُمَّ لَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»
(O Allah! Please, do not disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection.)''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Literally, "taubat an-nasuh-an "may either mean that one should offer such true repentance as may have no tinge of pretense and hypocrisy in it, or that one should wish one's own self well and repenting of sin should save oneself from the evil end, or that one should so adorn and improve one's life after repentance as to become a cause of admonition for others, and seeing his example others also may reform themselves accordingly. These are the meanings of taubat an-nasuh which- are indicated by its literal sense. As for its religious meaning, its explanation is found in the Hadith which Ibn Abi, Hatim has related on the authority of Zirr bin Hubaish. He says: "When I asked Hadrat Ubayy bin Ka'b the meaning of taubat an-nasuh, he said that he had asked the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) the same question, and he had replied: 'It implies that when you happen to commit an error, you should feel penitent for it, then should implore Allah for forgiveness remorsefully, and then should refrain from committing the same error again." This same meaning has been reported from hadrat 'Umar. Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud and Hadrat 'Abdullah bin `Abbas also, and in a tradition Hadrat 'Umar has defined taubat an-nasuh, thus: “After offering repentance one should not even think of committing the sin, not to speak of repeating it." (Ibn Jarir) Hadrat 'Ali once heard a desert Arab chanting the words of repentance and forgiveness quickly and mechanically and remarked: “This is the repentance of the liars.” The man asked: “What is true repentance?” Hadrat 'Ali replied: “It should be accompanied by six things:
(1) You should feel penitent for the wrong you have done: (2) you should carry out the duties that you have ignored; t3) restore the rights that you have usurped; (4) ask forgiveness of him whom you have wronged; (S) make a resolve not to repeat the sin again; and (6) consume yourself in obedience to Allah as you have so far been consuming it in wrongdoing, and cause it to taste the bitterness of obedience as you have so far been causing it to enjoy the sweet taste of disobedience and sin. “ (Al-Kashshaf)
In connection with repentance there are some other points also which should be well understood: (1) That repentance, in fact, is to show remorse for an act of disobedience only because it is a disobedience of Allah; otherwise to make a resolve to refrain from a sin because it is harmful for health, for instance, or it is likely to cause defamation or financial loss, is no repentance; (2) that man should offer repentance as soon as he realizes that he has committed disobedience of Allah and should compensate for it without delay in whatever form possible and should not defer it in any way; (3) that violating one's repentance again and making a jest of repentance and repeating the sin again and again of which one has repented, is a proof of the falsity of one's repentance, for the essence of repentance, is penitence, and breaking one's repentance repeatedly is a sign that it has not been motivated by penitence; (4) that if the person who has repented sincerely and resolved not to repeat the sin again, happens to repeat it once again because of human weakness, it will not revive his past sin: however, he should offer a fresh repentance for the latter sin sod should resolve more firmly that he would not commit the sin in future; (5) that it is not necessary to renew one's repentance again every time one remembers the disobedience committed in the past, but if one's self derives pleasure from the remembrance of the past, sinful life, one should offer repentance again and again until the remembrance of the sins causes remorse instead of pleasure and enjoyment. For the person who has actually repented of disobedience because of fear of God cannot derive pleasure from the thought chat he has been disobeying God. His deriving pleasure from it is a sign that fear of God has not taken root in his heart.
The words of the verse deserve deep consideration. It has not been said chat if you repeat, you will surely be forgiven and will certainly be admitted to Paradise, but that: "If you offer true repentance, it may well be that Allah will treat you kindly." It means that it is not incumbent upon Allah to accept the repentance of the sinner and to grant him Paradise instead of subjecting him to punishment but it will be His kindness and compassion that He may forgive well as reward His servant. One should have hope of His forgiveness, but one should not commit a sin with the confidence that one will achieve forgiveness by repentance.
That is, “He will not allow the reward of their good deeds to go to waste. He will not let the disbelievers and the hypocrites taunt the believers that they had gained nothing n spite of their worship. Humiliation will be the fate of the rebels and the disobedient and not of the faithful and obedient.”
When this verse is read along with w. 12-13 of Surah AI-Hadid, it becomes clear that the running on of the light before the believers will take place when they will be proceeding towards Paradise from the Plain of Resurrection. There it will be pitch dark all around and those who will have been condemned to Hell, will be groping; about in it; the light will only be with the believers by which they will be traveling on their way. On this critical occasion, hearing the wailings and groanings of those groping in the dark the believers will be feeling terror stricken. In view of their past errors and short-comings they will be afraid lest they too should be deprived of their light and made to grope about like those-wretched people. Therefore, they will pray: "O our Lord, forgive us our sins and let our light remain with us until we reach Paradise." Ibn Jarir has cited Hadrat Abdullah bin 'Abbas as explaining the meaning of Rabbana-atimim lava nurana thus They will implore Allah Almighty that their light be allowed to remain with thetas and kept from going out until they have crossed the bridge across Hell." The commentary given by Hadrat Hasan Basri, Mujahid and Dahhak also is almost the same. Ibn Kathir has cited their this saying: ¦When the believers see that the hypocrites have been deprived of the light, they will pray to Allah for the perfection of their light." (For further explanation, see E.N. 17 of Surah Al Hadid).
O you who believe! Turn to God in sincere repentance…He said:Sincere repentance (tawba naṣūḥ) means that a person does not return [to sin], for he has become one of the company of lovers (aḥibba), and the lover does not embark upon anything which the Beloved dislikes.And he said:The mark of the one who is [truly] repentant (tāʾib) is that there is not a place on earth, nor a place under the sky, where he is not solely attached to the Throne and to the Owner of the Throne till the time when he leaves this world. In these times, I do not know of anyone not requiring repentance, for the Angel of Death will not visit any one of us without his saying [to the angel], ‘Just allow me to do such-and-such a thing. Just let me do so-and-so. Let me breathe for just an hour more.’ Then he said:As for the one who is sincerely repentant (tāʾib mukhliṣ), even though it might be for only an hour, or even for one breath before his death, it will be said [to him], ‘How quickly you have come forth with true [sincere repentance] (ṣaḥīḥan)! [Accordingly] we have come to you in the manner that you have come.’His words:
…on a day when God will not let the Prophet down…He said:He will not let him down concerning his nation, and will not refuse his intercession. Indeed God, Exalted is He, addressed the Prophet through inspiration saying, ‘If you so wish I can place the affairs of your nation (amr ummatik) in your charge.’ He replied, ‘O my Lord, You are better for them than me.’ So God, Exalted is He, said, ‘Then I will not let you down concerning them.’ His words, Mighty and Majestic is He:
…They will say, ‘Our Lord! Perfect our light for us…’He said:The state of utter neediness (iftiqār) does not leave the believers, either in this life or the next. When they are in Paradise they are in greater need for Him even though they are in the abode of honour, security and richness, because of their yearning for the encounter (liqāʾ) with Him. They say: ‘Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and grant us an encounter with You.’ This is because He is the Illuminator of [all] lights (munawwir al-anwār), and He is the Goal of every seeker.His words, Exalted is He: