Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tafseer: The Parable of Evil Deeds Nullifying Good Deeds


بـسـم الله والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول الله، وبـعـد

Allaah تعالى says:

﴿أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ لَهُ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَتِ وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ وَلَهُ ذُرِّيَّةٌ ضُعَفَآءُ فَأَصَابَهَآ إِعْصَارٌ فِيهِ نَارٌ فَاحْتَرَقَتْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَـتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴾

{Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, while he is stricken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a whirlwind with fire therein, so that it is burnt. Thus does Allaah make clear His Ayat to you that you may give thought.} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 266]



It was narrated from Thawbaan رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “I certainly know people of my nation who will come on the Day of Resurrection with good deeds like the mountains of Tihaamah, but Allaah will make them like scattered dust.” Thawbaan said: “O Messenger of Allaah, describe them to us and tell us more, so that we will not become of them unknowingly.” He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “They are your brothers and from your race, worshiping at night as you do, but they will be people who, when they are alone, transgress the sacred limits of Allaah.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah (4245) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله said in his Tafseer:

Al-Bukhaaree recorded that Ibn `Abbaas رضي الله عنهما and `Ubayd bin `Umayr رضي الله عنه said that `Umar bin Al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه asked the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah: “According to your opinion, about whom was this Ayah revealed:

﴿أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ﴾

{Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines...}.”

They said: “Allaah knows best.” `Umar became angry and said: “Say we know or we do not know.” Ibn `Abbaas said: “O Leader of the Faithful! I have an opinion about it.” `Umar said: “O my Nephew! Say your opinion and do not belittle yourself.” Ibn `Abbaas said: “This is an example set for a deed.” `Umar said: “What type of deed” Ibn `Abbas said: “For deeds.” `Umar said: “This is an example for a wealthy man who works in Allaah's pleasure and then Allaah sends Shaytan to him, and he works in disobedience, till all his good deeds are lost.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (4538)]

This Hadeeth suffices as an explanation for the Ayah, for it explains the example it sets by a person who does good first and then follows it with evil, Allaah save us from this end. So, this man annulled his previous good works with his latter evil works. When he desperately needed the deeds of the former type, there were none.

This is why Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ وَلَهُ ذُرِّيَّةٌ ضُعَفَآءُ فَأَصَابَهَآ إِعْصَارٌ﴾

{while he is striken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a whirlwind} with heavy wind,

﴿فِيهِ نَارٌ فَاحْتَرَقَتْ﴾

{with fire therein, so that it is burnt} meaning, its fruits were burnt and its trees were destroyed. Therefore, what will his condition be like?

Ibn Abi Haatim recorded that Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbaas said: “Allaah has set a good parable, and all His parables are good. He تعالى said:

﴿أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ لَهُ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَتِ﴾

{Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein.} But he lost it all in his old age,

﴿وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ﴾

{while he is stricken with old age} while his offspring and children are weak just before the end of his life. Then a lightning storm came and destroyed his garden. Then he did not have the strength to grow another garden, nor did his offspring offer enough help. This is the condition of the disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection when he returns to Allaah, for he will not have any good deeds to provide an excuse - or refuge - for him, just as the man in the parable had no strength to replant the garden. The disbeliever will not find anything to resort to for help, just as the offspring of the man in the parable did not provide him with help. So he will be deprived of his reward when he most needs it, just as the man in the parable was deprived of Allaah’s garden when he most needed it, when he became old and his offspring weak.”

In his Mustadrak, Al-Haakim recorded that the Messenger of Allaah used to say in his supplication,

«اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ أَوْسَعَ رِزْقِكَ عَلَيَ عِنْدَ كِبَرِ سِنِّي وَانْقِضَاءِ عُمُرِي»

{O Allaah! Make Your biggest provision for me when I am old in age and at the time my life ends.} [graded as “Dha`eef jiddan” (very weak) by Shaikh al-Albaanee in al-Dha`eefah (1385)]

This is why Allaah تعالى said:

﴿كَذلِكَ يُبيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَـتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ﴾

{Thus Allaah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought} meaning, so that people comprehend and understand the parables and their intended implications. Similarly, Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَتِلْكَ الاٌّمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَآ إِلاَّ الْعَـلِمُونَ ﴾

{And these similitudes We put forward for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allaah and His signs)} [Surah al-`Ankaboot (29):43]
--end of quote

A similitude in real life:
video

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