Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 36 and 37

No Amount of Ransom will Help on the Day of Judgment

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala describes the painful torment and punishment that He has prepared for His disbelieving enemies for the Day of Resurrection. He says,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.”

If a disbeliever brought the earth’s fill of gold, and twice as much as that amount on the Day of Judgment to ransom himself from Allah’s torment that has surrounded him, and he is certain that he will suffer from it, it will not be accepted of him. Rather, there is no escaping the torment, and he will not be able to evade or save himself from it. Hence Allah’s statement,

وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“And theirs would be a painful torment.” meaning, hurtful.


– We learn that if a person has not done anything for himself in the dunya then in the hereafter, nothing will help. No amount of gold or wealth can rescue him from the hellfire. Tawbah is only for the one who is alive. Tawbah is not going to be accepted after death.

– Success is getting into Jannah and being saved from the hellfire. If a person does not perform the actions that please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then he should be prepared to receive His wrath.

[We seek Allah’s refuge from the hellfire and His mercy to help enter Jannah, aameen.]

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 37

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then says in ayah 37,

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ

“They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom, and theirs will be a lasting torment.”

In Surah al-Hajj Ayah 22, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

كُلَّمَآ أَرَادُواْ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا مِنْ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيهَا

“Every time they seek to get away therefrom, in anguish, they will be driven back therein.” Therefore, they will still long to leave the torment because of the severity and the pain it causes. They will have no way of escaping it. The more the flames lift them to the upper part of Hell, the more the angels of punishment will strike them with iron bars and they will fall down to its depths,

وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ

“And theirs will be a lasting torment.” This means an eternal and everlasting punishment from which they will never be able to depart from or avoid.

Anas bin Malik radhiAllahu anhu said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ:يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَضْجَعَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: شَرَّ مَضْجَعٍ، فَيُقَالُ: هَلْ تَفْتَدِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا؟ قَالَ: فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ يَارَبِّ فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، قَدْ سَأَلْتُكَ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذلِكَ فَلَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَيُؤْمَرُ بِهِ إِلَى النَّار

“A man from the people of the Fire will be brought forth and will be asked, `O son of Adam! How did you find your dwelling?’ He will say, `The worst dwelling.’ He will be told, `Would you ransom yourself with the earth’s fill of gold?’ He will say, `Yes, O Lord!’ Allah will say to him, `You have lied. I asked you for what is less than that and you did not do it,’ and he will be ordered to the Fire.” Muslim and An-Nasa’i recorded it.


– These ayaat contain stern warning for the believers as well as the disbelievers. Why believers? It is because the believers “believe” that Qur’an is the Book of Allah, yet don’t honor it as they should. For many months and years, the Book rests on the shelf without us bothering to open it and understand the message inside it. When someone informs us of a Qur’an class or lecture we say, “Oh it’s so far away! Who will go there?” We have so many excuses. When we finally pick it up we read as if we are doing a favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala [a’uthoobillah]. The Quran was sent for our guidance not to rest on the shelf or be taken as a burden.

Those who study Qur’an think going to the Qur’an class is enough. On the Day of Judgment we too will be questioned, “What did you with the knowledge that you possessed? You knew what the Qur’an says then why didn’t you give da’wah? Why didn’t you rise up and inform people?”

Instead of laughing at those who are deviated from the path or struggling with their emaan, rise up and work as friends of Allah. Rise and spread the knowledge of Qur’an because on the Day of Judgment we will be as much responsible as those who don’t believe in the Qur’an.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala save us from the hellfire, teach us to honor His Book and spend most of our time in His worship and work, aameen.


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