People Lie Against Themselves
In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is addressing the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam, He says,
انظُرْ كَيْفَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ
Look! How they lie against themselves! But the (lie) which they invented will disappear from them.
The event has not really happened but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Unzur [انظُرْ] look”. This suggests that the event is so definite that it seems as if you can see it happening right before your eyes. Look at their false excuses, their denial from committing shirk.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says that look how these people have lied against their own selves, as evident by the words `ala anfusihim [عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ] . Whenever a person lies, it’s a hujja i.e. an argument against his own self. The curse of their lie is going to fall on no one but their own selves.
We learnt in Ayah 22 that the length of the Day of Judgment will be 50,000 years. On that Day people will be questioned collectively as well as individually. And there will be several instances where questions will be asked. During this time, people will keep changing their statements in order escape the punishment of Hellfire. For example, at one point they will deny committing shirk. At other they will say, “The deities that we worshiped we can’t find them today.” It is similar to dunya, when we are trying to get out of a certain situation we use one excuse after another only to save our necks.
In Surah al-Ghaffir Ayaat 73 and 74, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
ثُمَّ قِيلَ لَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تُشْرِكُونَ – مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ قَـالُواْ ضَـلُّواْ عَنَّا بَل لَّمْ نَكُنْ نَّدْعُواْ مِن قَبْلُ شَيْئاً كَذَلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الْكَـفِرِينَ
Then it will be said to them: “Where are (all) those whom you used to join in worship as partners besides Allah?” They will say, “They have vanished from us: Nay, we did not invoke (worship) anything before.” Thus Allah leads astray the disbelievers.
– In a hadeeth we learn that on the Day of Judgment, the feet of son of Adam (aalyhi salaam) will not move until he has answered five questions. Among those five questions is one pertaining to our time. If we delve on it deeper and ask ourselves, “What is it that I did this past week, past month or past year that can save me on the Day of Resurrection? Where did I spend my youth and most of my time? What activities and what thoughts kept me busy?”
– We should not think that these ayaat are about the mushrikeen. It is not only for them but “us”. What are we going to say on the Day of Judgment? Well, I read the Qur’an at least however I lacked amal?
O Allah, You gave me a life of 25 or 65 years, but I have nothing remarkable to show You today. Our deeds are short but the test of that Day is great! We should seriously ponder over these questions.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala not raise us from among the losers, aameen.
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