Monday, May 12, 2008

Surah Al-Ghaashiyah (88) / The Overwhelming

Surah Al Ghashiyah: The Overwhelming
Surah number of Al Qur'an: 88
Verses: 1-26
Revealed: in Makkah

Reciting Surat Al-A`la and Al-Ghaashiyah in the Friday Prayer

It has already been mentioned on the authority of An-Nu`man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah used to recite Surat Al-A`la (87) and Al-Ghaashiyah in the `Id and Friday prayers. Imam Malik recorded that Ad-Dahhak bin Qays asked An-Nu`man bin Bashir, "What else did the Messenger of Allah recite on Friday along with Surat Al-Jumu`ah'' An-Nu`man replied, "Al-Ghashiyah (88).'' This narration has been recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i, Muslim and Ibn Majah.

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

  • Verses 1-7: The Day of Judgement and what will happen to the People of the Fire during it Al-Ghaashiyah is one of the names of the Day of Judgement.

    1. هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَـشِيَةِ
    Has there come to you the report of Al-Ghaashiyah (the overwhelming).
    This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd. It has been called this because it will overwhelm the people and overcome them.

    2. وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَـشِعَةٌ
    Some faces that Day will be Khashi`ah meaning, humiliated.
    This was said by Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said, "They will be humble but this action will be of no benefit to them.''

    3. عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ
    Working [hard] and exhausted.
    It meansthey did many deeds and became weary in their performance, yet they will be cast into a blazing Fire on the Day of Judgement.

    4. تَصْلَى نَاراً حَامِيَةً
    They will enter into Fire, Hamiyah.
    It means hot fire with intense heat.

    5. تُسْقَى مِنْ عَيْنٍ ءَانِيَةٍ
    They will be given to drink from a boiling (Aniyah) spring.
    Its heat has reached its maximum limit and boiling point.

    6. لَّيْسَ لَهُمْ طَعَامٌ إِلاَّ مِن ضَرِيعٍ
    For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant.
    Al-Bukhari related that Mujahid said, "Ad-Dari` is a plant that is called Ash-Shibriq. The people of the Hijaz call it Ad-Dari` when it dries, and it is poisonous.''

    7. لاَّ يُسْمِنُ وَلاَ يُغْنِى مِن جُوعٍ
    Which neither nourishes nor avails against hunger. This means that the intent in eating it will not be achieved, and nothing harmful will be repelled by it.

  • Verses 8-16: The Condition of the People of Paradise on the Day of Judgement

    After mentioning the situation of the wretched people, Allah changes the discussion to mention those who will be happy. He says,
    8. وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاعِمَةٌ
    Other faces, that on the Day of Judgement, will show pleasure.
    It means pleasure will be noticeable in them (those faces). This will only occur due to their striving.

    9. لِّسَعْيِهَا رَاضِيَةٌ
    With their effort they are satisfid.
    They will be pleased with their deeds.

    10. فِى جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ
    In an elevated Paradise.
    It means elevated and brilliant, secure in their dwellings.

    11. لاَّ تَسْمَعُ فِيهَا لَـغِيَةً
    Wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech.
    It means they will not hear in the Paradise that they will be in, any foolish word.
    This is as Allah says, لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً إِلاَّ سَلَـماً
    (They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only Salam.) (19:62) Allah also says,
    لاَّ لَغْوٌ فِيهَا وَلاَ تَأْثِيمٌ
    (Free from any Laghw, and free from sin.) (52:23) and He says,
    لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً وَلاَ تَأْثِيماً - إِلاَّ قِيلاً سَلَـماً سَلَـماً
    (No Laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: "Salam! Salam!'' ) (56:25-26) .

    12. فِيهَا عَيْنٌ جَارِيَةٌ
    Within it is a flowing spring.
    It means flowing freely. This is mentioned with the intent of emphasizing affirmation. It is not intended to mean that there is only one spring. So here it refers to springs collectively. Thus, the meaning is that in it (Paradise) are flowing springs. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
    «أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ تَفَجَّرُ مِنْ تَحْتِ تِلَالِ أَوْ مِنْ تَحْتِ جِبَالِ الْمِسْك»
    (The rivers of Paradise spring forth from beneath hills -- or mountains -- of musk.)

    13. فِيهَا سُرُرٌ مَّرْفُوعَةٌ
    Within it are couches raised high.
    It means lofty, delightful, numerous couches, with elevated ceilings. Upon which will be seated wide-eyed, beautiful maidens. They have mentioned that whenever the friend of Allah wishes to sit on these lofty thrones, they (the thrones) will lower themselves for him.

    14. وَأَكْوَابٌ مَّوْضُوعَةٌ
    And cups put in place.
    It means drinking containers that are prepared and presented for whoever among their masters (i.e., the people of Paradise) wants them.

    15. وَنَمَارِقُ مَصْفُوفَةٌ
    And cushions lined up.
    Ibn `Abbas said, "An-Namariq are pillows.''

    16. وَزَرَابِيُّ مَبْثُوثَةٌ
    And carpets spread around (Mabthuthah).
    Ibn `Abbas said, "Az-Zarabi are carpets.''
    Here the word Mabthuthah means placed here and there for whoever would like to sit upon them.

  • Verses 17-20: The Exhortation to look at the Creation of the Camel, the Heaven, the Mountains and the Earth

    Allah commands His servants to look at His creations that prove His power and greatness.

    17. أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الإِبِلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ
    Then do they not look at the camels, how they are created?
    Indeed it is an amazing creation, and the way it has been fashioned is strange. For it is extremely powerful and strong, yet gentle, carrying heavy loads. It allows itself to be guided by a weak rider. It is eaten, benefit is derived from its hair, and its milk is drunk. They are reminded of this because the most common domestic animal of the Arabs was the camel. Shurayh Al-Qadi used to say, "Come out with us so that we may look at the camels and how they were created, and at the sky and how it has been raised.'' Meaning, how Allah raised it in such magnificence above the ground. This is as Allah says,
    [أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُواْ إِلَى السَّمَآءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَـهَا وَزَيَّنَّـهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ ]
    (Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how we have made it and adorned it and there are no rifts on it) (50:6).

    18. وَإِلَى السَّمَآءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ
    And at the sky, how it is raised?

    19. وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ
    And at the mountains, how they are erected?
    It means how they have been erected. For indeed they are firmly affixed so that the earth does not sway with its dwellers. And He made them with the benefits and minerals they contain.

    20. وَإِلَى الاٌّرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ
    And at the earth, how it is spread out?
    It means how it has been spread out, extended and made smooth. Thus, He directs the bedouin to consider what he himself witnesses. His camel that he rides upon, the sky that is above his head, the mountain that faces him, and the earth that is under him, all of this is proof of the power of the Creator and Maker of these things. These things should lead him to see that He is the Lord, the Most Great, the Creator, the Owner, and the Controller of everything. Therefore, He is the God other than Whom none deserves to be worshipped.

    The Story of Dimam bin Tha`labah

    These are the things Dimam swore by after questioning the Messenger of Allah . This can be seen in what Imam Ahmad recorded from Thabit, who reported that Anas said, "We were prohibited from asking the Messenger of Allah anything. Thus, it used to amaze us when an intelligent man from the people of the desert (bedouin Arabs) would come and ask him about something while we were listening. So a man from the people of the desert came and said, `O Muhammad! Verily, your messenger has come to us and he claims that you claim that Allah sent you.' He (the Prophet) said,
    He told the truth.
    The man said, Who created the heaven؟ He (the Prophet ) replied,
    «الله» , Allah.
    The man said, Who created the earth؟ He (the Prophet ) replied,
    «الله» ,Allah.
    The man said, `Who erected these mountains and placed in them whatever is in them' He (the Prophet ) replied, ا,(Allah). Then the man said, `By the One Who created the heaven, the earth, and erected these mountains, did Allah send you' He (the Prophet ) said,
    «نَعَم» Yes.
    The man then said, `Your messenger claims that we are obligated to pray five prayers during our day and night.' He (the Prophet ) said,
    He told the truth. The man then said, `By He Who has sent you, did Allah command you with this' He (the Prophet ) replied,
    «نَعَم» Yes.
    The man then said, `Your messenger also claims that we are obligated to give charity from our wealth.' He (the Prophet ) said,
    He told the truth.
    Then the man said, `By He Who has sent you, did Allah command you with this' He (the Prophet ) replied,
    «نَعَم» Yes.
    The man then said, `Your messenger claims that we are obligated to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House (the Ka`bah), for whoever is able to find a way there.' He (the Prophet ) said,
    He told the truth.
    Then the man turned away to leave while saying, `By He Who has sent you with the truth, I will not add anything to these things and I will not decrease anything from them.' The Prophet then said,
    «إِنْ صَدَقَ لَيَدْخُلَنَّ الْجَنَّة»
    If he has spoken truthfully, he will certainly enter Paradise.
    This Hadith was recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

  • Verses 21-26: The Messenger is only charged with delivering the Message

    21. فَذَكِّرْ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُذَكِّرٌ
    So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only one who reminds.

    22. لَّسْتَ عَلَيْهِم بِمُسَيْطِرٍ
    You are not a controller, Musaytir, over them.
    It means "O Muhammad! Remind the people with what you have been sent with to them.''
    فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ
    Your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning.) (13:40)

  • Verses 23-26: The Threat for Whoever turns away from the Truth

    23. إِلاَّ مَن تَوَلَّى وَكَفَرَ
    However, he who turns away and disbelieves.
    It means he turns away from acting upon its pillars, and he disbelieves in the truth with his heart and his tongue. This is similar to Allah's statement,
    فَلاَ صَدَّقَ وَلاَ صَلَّى - وَلَـكِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى
    (So he neither believed nor prayed! But on the contrary, he belied and turn away!) (75:31-32) Thus, Allah says,

    24. فَيْعَذِّبُهُ اللَّهُ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّكْبَرَ
    Then Allah will punish him with the greatest punishment.

    25. إِنَّ إِلَيْنَآ إِيَابَهُمْ
    Indeed, to Us is their return.
    It means their place of return and their resort.

    26. ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا حِسَابَهُمْ
    Then indeed, upon Us is their account.
    It means `We will reckon their deeds for them and requite them for those deeds.'
    If they did good, they will receive good, and if they did evil, they will receive evil.
    This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Ghaashiyah.


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