50:33, 50:37

The Turning of The Hearts

Allah سُبْحَانَ وَ تَعَالَىٰ says in The Qur’an:

مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ

“Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance].”

(Surah Qaf, 50:33)

and;

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

“Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.”

(Surah Qaf, 50:37)

Background on Surah Qaf:

By scholarly consensus, Surah Qaf is the first of the Mufassal (short Surahs) of The Qur’an. These Surah’s are called Mufassal because they have many breaks in them. The proof of Surah Qaf being the beginning of the Mufassal surahs can be found in the hadith narrated by Aws ibn Hudhayfah, رضى الله عنه, who said;

I asked the companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ how they divided the Qur’an. They said, Three and five and seven and nine and eleven and thirteen, and Hizb al-Mufassal [This refers to the number of soorahs in each hizb or portion of Qur’an. Thus the first hizb contains the first three soorahs, the second contains the next five soorahs, and so on. Hizb al-Mufassal is the last portion of the Qur’an, from Soorat Qaf until the end].

(Narrated by Abu Dawood (1396) and Ibn Maajah (1345); its isnaad was classed as hasan by Ibn Katheer in Fadaa’il al-Qur’aan (83) and as da ‘eef (weak) by al-Albaani in Da‘eef Abi Dawood.)

This Surah is believed to have been revealed in or around the fourth year of The Prophet’s ﷺ mission. The Prophet ﷺ, is said to have recited Surah Qaf every Jummah for nearly two years. This led to many companions, رضى الله عنه , memorizing Suratul Qaf as narrated by the daughter of Al-Harith bin An-Nu`man:

“I only memorized Surah Qaf from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it in every Friday Khutbah. Our oven and the oven of the Messenger was one and the same.”

(Abu Dawud)

The analysis of the the two above-mentioned ayah from Surah Qaf would be incomplete without understanding the context in which they were revealed. For this reason, we shall look at the main points of the Surah and highlight lessons to be gained, by Allah’s permission.

A Look at سُو رَتُُ ق

Allah عزوجل starts off this beautiful Surah by with the one the mysterious words that He alone knows, then swearing by His words (The Qur’an);

ق ۚ وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ

“Qaf. [These letters (Qaf, etc.) are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings].

By the Glorious Qur’an.”

(Surah Qaf, 50:1)

Many theorists have given effort to examining the mysteries of some of the letter symbols that precede Surah’s in The Qur’an. Some of those Surah’s are:

﴿ صٓ‌ۚ ﴾ (Sad.) (38:1)
﴿ نٓ‌ۚ ﴾ (Nun. ) (68:1)
﴿ الٓمٓ ﴾ (Alif Lam Mim.) (2:1),
﴿ حمٓ ﴾ (Ha Mim.) (40:1), and
﴿ طسٓ‌ۚ ﴾ (Ta Sin) (28:1)

Too much theory about Allah’s سُبْحَانَ وَ تَعَالَىٰ use of these words and their meanings can easily lead to misguidance and thus it should be avoided. We will never be able to comprehend Allah’s complete Wisdom as He is our creator and we are His creation. For those who desire to be believers, it is better to say as Allah عزوجل has said in His Book;

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

“It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad ﷺ) the Book (this Qur’an). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkam (commandments), Al-Fara’id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudud (legal laws for the punishment of theives, adulterers)]; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.” And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabari).

(Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:7)

We should leave these debates about the unseen and say; “Allahu Alim” , that is, “Allah knows best” as Allah سُبْحَانَ وَ تَعَالَىٰ has said;

قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوا ۖ لَهُ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ ۚ مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا

“Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! The have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule.”

(Surah Kahf, 18:26)

There is none save Allah, who speaks the absolute Truth and knows the fine details of everything, who can testify (with absolute certainty) about all matters. So Allah عزوجل swears by His Book, The Qur’an. This swearing of Allah عزوجل by The Qur’an is His affirming the Truth of His book to which includes its warnings, promises, events, etc. He is re-affirming His legislated conduct for Himself toward His slaves, and the conduct of His slaves towards Him. Thus the believer should take Allah’s swearing as a warning and glad tidings and take much care in reciting and pondering the following verses.

In the next ayat, Allah goes on to explain to the state of the unbelieving folk of Mecca and their spiritual, mental, and emotional state. Instead, of pondering over the truth of the message, they were stuck pondering over the truth of the messenger! Allah عزوجل says;

بَلْ عَجِبُوا أَن جَاءَهُم مُّنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَٰذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ

“Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner (Muhammad ﷺ) from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: “This is a strange thing!”

(Surah Qaf, 50:2)

What a sad state the disbelievers are in that they cannot separate God from Mankind. May Allah عزوجل guide those who believe to soundness in Tawheed. Ameen.

The one who believes in Allah عزوجل should know, without a doubt, that The Day of Judgement is real and near. This is one fact that disbelievers have no real concept of, therefore they theorize and deny the rising up [of mankind] for judgement, and the fact that we will all be held account for what we have done in this life.

Their ignorance leads them to becoming oblivious to the the signs of Resurrection around us all. Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an;

وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً مُّبَارَكًا فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ

وَالنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَاتٍ لَّهَا طَلْعٌ نَّضِيدٌ

رِّزْقًا لِّلْعِبَادِ ۖ وَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ الْخُرُوجُ

“And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain (every kind of harvests) that are reaped. And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters. A provision for (Allah’s) slaves. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the resurrection (of the dead).”

(Surah Qaf, 50:7-11)

These are like the ayah;

وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًا تَذْرُوهُ الرِّيَاحُ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّقْتَدِرًا

“And put forward to them the example of the life of this world: it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, (and becomes fresh and green). But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything.”

(Surah Kahf, 18:45)

In these verses and in their reality, (that is what we witness in our day to day lives), we can see and feel the Subtleness of Allah, عزوجل. He feeds both the believers and disbelievers alike. Even in the provision that He sends down there is a reminder for those who take heed about the Resurrection.

Those who deny the signs of Allah عزوجل yet all the while benefiting from His signs are ungrateful, arrogant, stubborn, and wicked. Allah عزوجل says;

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا وَنَسِيَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ ۚ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ۖ وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَىٰ فَلَن يَهْتَدُوا إِذًا أَبَدًا

“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences,verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand (the Qur’an), and in their ears, deafness. And if you (O Muhammad ﷺ) call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.”

(Surah Kahf, 18:57)

The above-mentioned ayah from Surah Kahf gives the essence of the message of Surah Qaf; that the disbelievers who deny Allah’s signs are under a veil of heedlessness due to their disbelief and other sins which they are committing. Consequently, they will never believe unless Allah عزوجل Wills.

Allah عزوجل says in the last ayah of Surah Qaf;

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ

“We know best what they say. And you (O Muhammad ﷺ) are not the one to force them (to Belief). But warn by the Qur’an him who fears My Threat.”

(Surah Qaf, 50:45)

Here, Allah عزوجل is reminding The Prophet ﷺ of His duty to warn. Herein, lies an important point- the life of a true believer should be heavily involved in dawah (the propogation of Islam). The believer should be constant in seeking knowledge and guidance from his or her Lord so that they may be able to spread the knowledge to mankind. Allah عزوجل has legislated this so that the truth may prevail over falsehood as Allah عزوجل says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا أَنصَارَ اللَّهِ كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّينَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ ۖ فَآمَنَت طَّائِفَةٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَكَفَرَت طَّائِفَةٌ ۖ فَأَيَّدْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّهِمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا ظَاهِرِينَ

“O you who believe! Be you helpers (in the Cause) of Allah as said Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), to the Hawariyyun (the disciples): “Who are my helpers (in the Cause) of Allah?” The Hawariyyun (the disciples) said: “We are Allah’s helpers” (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!). Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the victorious (the uppermost).

(Surah As Saff, 61:14)

Victory for the believer happens in this life and the next as Allah عزوجل said;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ تِجَارَةٍ تُنجِيكُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

يَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَيُدْخِلْكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

وَأُخْرَىٰ تُحِبُّونَهَا ۖ نَصْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَفَتْحٌ قَرِيبٌ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“O you who believe! Shall I guide you a trade that will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ﷺ), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives: that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in ‘Adn (Eden) Paradise; that is indeed the great success. And also (He will give you) another (blessing) which you love, – help from Allah (against your enemies) and a near victory. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad ﷺ) to the believers.”

(Surah As-Saff, 61:10-13)

Hasan Al-Basri,رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ, once said;

Sell this life for the next and you will win both of them. Sell the next life for this and you will loose both of them. [Al-Hilyah 2/143]

In aiding Allah’s religion, we must remember that we do not have the power to change any circumstance or any person without the Will of Allah. When reminding Allah’s creation we must refrain from compulsion. It is only Allahعزوجل who knows how His Message will hit the heart of the one who hears it and when (if ever) they will heed to His call. We ask Allah to keep us rightly guided and grant us actions that are pleasing to Him. Ameen.

The Heart of the Believer

Surah Qaf contains two references to the heart or قلب “qalb” as Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an;

مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ

“Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance].”

(Surah Qaf, 50:33)

and;

إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

“Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful.”

(Surah Qaf, 50:37)

Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir about these ayahs:

Jahannam and Paradise and their Dwellers

Allah states that He will say to Jahannam on the Day of Resurrection, “Have you had your fill” Allah the Most Honored has promised Hell that it will have its fill from the Jinns and mankind. He, the Exalted and Most Honored, will decide who will be thrown into the Fire and she will keep saying, “Are there any more,” or, `Are there any more whom You will provide me with’ This is the apparent meaning of this Ayah which is supported by several Hadiths. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
« لَا تَزَالُ جَهَنَّمُ يُلْقَى فِيهَا وَتَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ مَزِيدٍ؟ حَتْى يَضَعَ رَبُّ الْعِزَّةِ قَدَمَهُ فِيهَا، فَيَنْزَوِي بَعْضُهَا إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَتَقُولُ: قَطْ قَطْ وَعِزَّتِكَ وَكَرَمِكَ. وَلَا يَزَالُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَضْلٌ حَتْى يُنْشِىءَ اللهُ لَهَا خَلْقًا آخَرَ فَيُسْكِنَهُمُ اللهُ تَعَالَى فِي فُضُولِ الْجَنَّة »

(The people will be thrown into Jahannam and it will say, `Are there any more’ Until the Mighty Lord puts His Foot over it and its corners will be collected together and it will say, “Enough, enough by Your grace and compassion!’ There will be sufficient empty space in Paradise until Allah creates another creation and He, the Exalted, makes them dwell in the empty parts of Paradise.)” Muslim also collected this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,
« يُقَالُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأْتِ؟ وَتَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ مَزِيدٍ؟ فَيَضَعُ الرَّبُّ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى قَدَمَهُ عَلَيْهَا فَتَقُولُ: قَطْ قَط »

(Jahannam will be asked, “Are you full” and it will say, “Are there any more” Until the Lord, the Blessed and Most Honored, puts His Foot over it and it will say: “Enough! Enough!”) Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
« تَحَاجَّتِ الْجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ فَقَالَتِ النَّارُ: أُوثِرْتُ بِالْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ وَالْمُتَجَبِّرِينَ. وَقَالَتِ الْجَنَّةُ: مَالِي لَا يَدْخُلُنِي إِلَّا ضُعَفَاءُ النَّاسِ وَسَقَطُهُمْ. قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلْجَنَّةِ: أَنْتِ رَحْمَتِي أَرْحَمُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِي . وَقَالَ لِلنَّارِ: إِنَّمَا أَنْتِ عَذَابِي أُعَذِّبُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِي وَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْكُمَا مِلْؤُهَا، فَأَمَّا النَّارُ فَلَا تَمْتَلِىءُ حَتْى يَضَعَ رِجْلَهُ فِيهَا فَتَقُولُ: قَطْ قَطْ، فَهُنَالِكَ تَمْتَلِىءُ وَيَنْزَوِي بَعْضُهَا إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ أَحَدًا، وَأَمَّا الْجَنَّةُ فَإِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُنْشِىءُ لَهَا خَلْقًا آخَر »

(Paradise and the Fire quarreled. The Fire said, “I have been favored with the arrogant people and tyrants.” Paradise said, “What is wrong with me that only the poor and humble people enter me” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said to Paradise, “You are My mercy, with which I grant mercy to those whom I will among My servants.” He said to Hell, “You are My punishment which I inflict upon whom I wish from My servants, and I shall fill both of you.” As for Hellfire, it will not have its fill until Allah puts His Foot over it and she will say, “Enough! Enough!” She will become full and its sides will come close to each other. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored shall not be unjust to any one of His creatures. As for Paradise, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored will create another creation to fill it.) Allah the Exalted said,
﴿ وَأُزۡلِفَتِ ٱلۡجَنَّةُ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ غَيۡرَ بَعِيدٍ ﴾

(And Paradise will be Uzlifat to those who had Taqwa, not far off.) meaning, Paradise will be brought close and near to the pious, according to Qatadah, Abu Malik and As-Suddi,
﴿ غَيۡرَ بَعِيدٍ ﴾

(not far off), and this will occur on the Day of Resurrection, which is not far off. Surely that Day will come to pass and all that is bound to come, is near,
﴿ هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ ﴾

(This is what you were promised — (it is) for those returning) who go back to Allah in sincere repentance intending not to repeat sin,
﴿ حَفِيظٍ۬ ﴾

(Hafiz), who preserve their covenant with Allah and do not break or betray it,
﴿ مَّنۡ خَشِىَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ ﴾

(Who feared Ar-Rahman unseen) who feared Allah in secret when only Allah the Exalted and Most Honored could see him. The Prophet said,
« وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللهَ تَعَالَى خَالِيًا، فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاه »

(And a man who remembered Allah the Exalted while alone, and his eyes became tearful.) Allah said,
﴿ وَجَآءَ بِقَلۡبٍ۬ مُّنِيبٍ ﴾

(and brought a heart turned in repentance. ) meaning, he will meet Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, on the Day of Resurrection with a heart turned in repentance to Him and absolutely free (of Shirk) and humbled to Him,
﴿ ٱدۡخُلُوهَا ﴾

(Enter you therein), meaning Paradise,
﴿ بِسَلَـٰمٍ۬‌ۖ ﴾

(in peace and security), they will earn security from the torment of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, and the angels of Allah will greet them with the Salam, according to the explanation of Qatadah. The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored:
﴿ ذَٲلِكَ يَوۡمُ ٱلۡخُلُودِ ﴾

(– this is a Day of eternal life!), meaning, they will reside in Paradise forever and will never die, neither be transferred from it nor wish to be transferred from it. The statement of Allah the All-Mighty,
﴿ لَهُم مَّا يَشَآءُونَ فِيہَا ﴾

(There they will have all that they desire), means, whatever delights they wish and desire, they will find it brought before them. Allah’s statement,
﴿ وَلَدَيۡنَا مَزِيدٌ۬ ﴾

(and We have more.) is similar to His other statement,
﴿ لِّلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ وَزِيَادَةٌ۬‌ۖ ﴾

(For those who have done good is the best and even more. )(10:26) In the Sahih, Muslim recorded that Suhayb bin Sinan Ar-Rumi said that `more’ refers to looking at the Most Honorable Face of Allah.
﴿ وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَڪۡنَا قَبۡلَهُم مِّن قَرۡنٍ هُمۡ أَشَدُّ مِنۡہُم بَطۡشً۬ا فَنَقَّبُواْ فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ هَلۡ مِن مَّحِيصٍ • إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَذِڪۡرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ ۥ قَلۡبٌ أَوۡ أَلۡقَى ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ۬ • وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ۬ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ۬ • فَٱصۡبِرۡ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ قَبۡلَ طُلُوعِ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَقَبۡلَ ٱلۡغُرُوبِ • وَمِنَ ٱلَّيۡلِ فَسَبِّحۡهُ وَأَدۡبَـٰرَ ٱلسُّجُودِ ﴾

and;

Allah the Exalted asks, `how many We have destroyed before these denying disbelievers’
﴿ مِّن قَرۡنٍ هُمۡ أَشَدُّ مِنۡہُم بَطۡشً۬ا ﴾

(a generation who were stronger in power than they.) they were more numerous, mightier than they and who constructed on the earth and built on it more than they. The statement of Allah the Exalted,
﴿ فَنَقَّبُواْ فِى ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ هَلۡ مِن مَّحِيصٍ ﴾

(And they went about the land! Could they find any place of refuge) Ibn `Abbas commented, “They left the traces throughout the land,” Qatadah said, “They traveled throughout the land seeking provisions through trade and business, more than you have.” Allah’s statement,
﴿ هَلۡ مِن مَّحِيصٍ ﴾

(Could they find any place of refuge) means, `could they find a shelter from Allah’s decision and appointed destiny Have what they collected benefited them or averted Allah’s torment when it came to them on account of their denial of the Messengers Likewise, you will never be able to avert, avoid, or find refuge or shelter (from His torment).’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
﴿ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَذِكۡرَىٰ ﴾

(Verily, therein is indeed a reminder) and a lesson,
﴿ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ ۥ قَلۡبٌ ﴾

(for him who has a heart) meaning, a sound understanding with which he comprehends, or, a good mind, according to Mujahid,
﴿ أَوۡ أَلۡقَى ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ۬ ﴾

(or gives ear while he is heedful.) meaning, he hears the speech, comprehends and understands it in his mind and grasps its indications with his intellect. Mujahid said that,
﴿ أَوۡ أَلۡقَى ٱلسَّمۡعَ ﴾

(or gives ear), means, he does not talk to himself but listens with an attentive heart. Ad-Dahhak commented, “The Arabs would say that someone has given ear when he hears with his ears, while his heart is present and not absent.” Ath-Thawri and several others said similarly. 

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

From these two ayahs we can see that the heart must meet certain conditions before it can gain benefit in this life and the next. Success in the next life is appearing before Allahعزوجل with a heart that has been turned over and over in sorrow for its sins. This success apexes at one seeing Allah’s Face. May Allah, عزوجل, grant us with that satisfying pleasure, Ameen. Success in this life starts and ends with our hearts testifying to the truth of the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed) and dying upon that truth. May Allah عزوجل, grant us Tawfeeq in those matters. Ameen.

The “Qalb” قلب

When Allah عزوجل mentions the “heart” in these ayah he uses قلب or “qalb”. Qalb is the proper name for the heart and means; something that turns easily and frequently.

Ungratefulness, hastiness, stinginess, pride, passions, lusts, greed, etc. are all inclinations of the soul that must be constantly overcome. Allah عزوجل tells us in The Qur’an;

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ ۚ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

“Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with women) .”

(Surah An-Nisa, 4:28)

and;

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ

“Verily, man is ungrateful to his Lord.”

(Surah Al-Adiyat, 100:6)

Concerning Allah’s statement,
﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لِرَبِّهِۦ لَكَنُودٌ۬ ﴾

(Verily, man is ungrateful (Kanud) to his Lord.) This is the subject what is being sworn about, and it means that he (man) is ungrateful for the favors of His Lord and he rejects them. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Abu Al-Jawza’, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Ad-Duha, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Qays, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Ibn Zayd all said, “Al-Kanud means ungrateful.” Al-Hasan said, “Al-Kanud is the one who counts the calamities (that befall him) and he forgets Allah’s favors.”

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

The deficiencies that mankind has within their nature can only be cured by first submitting Allah, gaining knowledge, and acting upon that knowledge which we receive. The Qur’an is a shifah (healing) for the hearts, and although it turns, we can trust that with true repentance, Allah is there to turn our hearts towards His religion.

It must be understood that true repentance requires firmness in the heart and action, that is, the action of leaving off the sin that caused one to repent in the first place.

Allah, The Exalted says;

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

“Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon (i.e. afterwards); it is they whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All Wise. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.”

(Surah An-Nisa, 4:17-18)

Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As,رضى الله عنه, reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: 0 Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience.

(Sahih Muslim 2655)

It is only one who listens with his heart, that is, his feelings and emotions, who may take heed to the call. There are amongst mankind those who pretend to listen in order to argue. This isn’t listening at all. They are simply preparing a response due to their hearts already being closed to what is being said. Then there are some who bring their hearts, their true feelings, doubts, and apprehensions. They are allowing the truth to touch their hearts. It is these whom may take heed to the warning. For those who are charged with delivering the message it is important to remember that we are not overseers. Nor is it our job to try to determine in what state a persons heart may be in or if they will receive the message. Our duty is only to warn and we must leave the rest to Allah.

It is out of The Mercy and Kindness of Allah عزوجل that He gives us a slight privy into the hearts of mankind as He says;

أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ ۚ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ ۖ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا

“Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle- nay, they are even farther astray from the Path (i.e. even worse than cattle).

(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:44)

During the time of The Prophet, ﷺ, there we hypocrites who tried to assassinate Him and he was given their names. Beyond that, there is no evidence that he knew the other hypocrites amongst himself and the believers. However, Allah عزوجل informed the Prophet ﷺ, that they existed when He said;

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ

فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ

“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day” while in fact they believe not. They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not! In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:8-10)

Once again, out of His immense Mercy, Allah informs us about the states of mankind (here, the hypocrite), and even tells us about the condition of the heart. We should take from this that it is only Allah, All Knower of everything, who can inform us about these matters. We, bearers of The Qur’an and givers of dawah must always remember that, Allah knows and we no very little. Even when we see some qualities that may place a person in a category of disbelief or hypocrisy in the Qur’an we must remember the nature of the Qalb. It is between the two fingers of Allah,عزوجل, and He turns it when and as He wills. Our duty is only to warn.

Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent us to Huraqat, a tribe of Juhainah. We attacked that tribe early in the morning and defeated them, (then) a man from the Ansar and I caught hold of a man (of the defeated tribe). When we overcame him, he said: ‘La ilaha illallah (There is no true god except Allah).’ At that moment, the Ansari spared him, but I attacked him with my spear and killed him. By the time we went back to Al-Madinah, news had already reached Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He said to me, “O Usamah, did you kill him after he professed La ilaha illallah (There is no true god except Allah)?” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! He professed it only to save his life.” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) repeated, “Did you kill him after he had professed La ilaha illallah?”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim] .

Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Did you kill him in spite of his professing La ilaha illallah?” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! He said out of fear of our arms.” He (ﷺ) said, “Why did you not cut his heart open to find out whether he had done so sincerely or not?” He continued repeating it until I wished that I had embraced Islam only that day.

May Allah increase us in knowledge. Ameen yaa Rabbi.

Published by Umm Nadia Taliah Muhammad

Striving to be a faithful servant of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ. Mother of six. Forever a student, In shaa Allah- in the areas of Qur'an, Sunnah, and Islamic Herbal Herbal Medicine.

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