Al-Anaam · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayah 2

What is it that Makes Man Doubt the Coming of the Last Hour?

After talking about the creation of the heavens and the earth, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds mankind about its own creation. He says,

هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن طِينٍ

He it is Who has created you from clay…

The word “tineen” [طِين] is from the root letters ta-ya-noon. While the root letters mean fig it must be noted that an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on context. Over here “tineen” means clay.

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about the creation of Prophet Adam aalyhi salaam who was created from clay. He is the one from whom mankind originated, multiplied in numbers and spread about, east and west.

Abu Musa Al-Ashari radhiAllahu anhu said that he heard from the Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam that Prophet Adam was created from a particular blend of clay which contained essential ingredients of the entire earth. This is the reason mankind has different colors, shapes, morals and habits. Some are black, white and olive-skinned. Some have good nature while others are evil and corrupt. [Mazhari, from a narration of Ibn Adiyy with good authority]

After talking about man’s origin, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about his end,

ثُمَّ قَضَى أَجَلاً وَأَجَلٌ مُّسمًّى عِندَهُ

…then has decreed a stated term. And there is with Him another determined term…

The word “qada” [قَضَى] means “a final judgment concerning something which must be carried out”. It is from the same word that the word “Qadhi” – a judge has been derived.

The word “ajalan” [أَجَلاً] is from the root letters hamza-jeem-lam, and it means “a fixed term”.

Here, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is talking about two terms or two types of ends. One is man’s personal end i.e. his death while the other is the combined end of everything on this earth i.e. the Qiyamah. We know that everyone is here for a fixed term. No person can live a minute beyond his decided term neither can he arrive in this world before the time as decided by Allah. Man is unaware of his term but he knows one day he has to return to his Lord.

Similarly, our emaan [faith] is incomplete if we do not believe in the Last Day. We know for sure that Day will come one day but we do not know when that day will come.

The word “indahu” [عِندَهُ] at the end refers to “with Him”, meaning no one but Allah knows about this term. In Surah al-Araf ayah 187, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَـهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي لاَ يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَآ إِلاَّ هُوَ

They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): “When will be its appointed time?” Say: “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He…”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah of Surah al-Anaam in the following words,

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ تَمْتَرُونَ

Yet you doubt.

The word “tamtaroon” [تَمْتَرُون] is from the root letters meem-ya-ra which means “to dispute, to contend or to doubt”.

Now after reminding the mankind that Allah is the One Who created the heavens and the earth, and He is the One Who created mankind too Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala admonishes mankind for doubting the coming of the Last Hour.

Why is it that people doubt the Last Hour? Isn’t Allah Who originated mankind from clay capable of taking away their souls and bringing them back to life? It is not difficult for Him, for He was the One Who created everything in the first place.

LESSONS:

– A person should never forget that he was created from dust. He should remember his reality and stay humble. This is from where we came and in it is where we will go.

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the only One Who ordains the time of death. People cannot die on their own. We all have read or heard such incidents where someone had a severe accident yet he did not die. He survived the accident despite minimal chances. Similarly, when a person dies we shouldn’t blame it on the negligence of the doctors or say if such and such had not happened this person would have been alive today. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has fixed the term of everyone’s life. No person can live beyond this time. We shouldn’t say, “He died too young,” or “he died too old”. We should stay content with the Will of Allah.

– There are people who are fond of speculating the time of Qiyamah [the Day of Resurrection]. They keep telling others of the signs of the end times. They take interest in telling people how many years away the Last Hour is. The Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said in a hadeeth that a person’s death is Qiyamah for him; whoever dies his Qiyamah has arrived. Therefore, instead of busying ourselves with speculating the time of Qiyamah we should worry and prepare for the questioning at the time of death and the Hereafter.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help us live our lives as true Muslims, die with the Kalimah on our tongues, and ease the accountability in the hereafter for us, aameen.

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