People Neither Benefit From Qur’an Themselves Nor Allow Others
This ayah, according to early commentators Dahhak, Qatadah and Muhammad ibn Hanafiyah, was revealed about the common disbelievers of Makkah who prevented people from listening to the Qur’an and following it – and saw to it that they themselves stayed away from it.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَإِن يُهْلِكُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him, and (by doing so) they destroy none but themselves, yet they perceive (it) not.
They don’t let others go to the Prophet sallAllahu `aalyhi wa sallam and don’t go themselves to him either. They don’t even realize this act is only harming themselves and not the Prophet sallAllahu `aalyhi wa sallam.
The word yahawna [يَنْهَوْنَ] is from the root letters noon-ha-ya, and it means “to prevent, forbid, prohibit or make one to stop”.
The mushrikeen discourage people from following the truth, believing in Muhammad sallAllahu `aalyhi wa sallam and obeying the Qu’ran. They thus combine both evil acts, for they neither benefit themselves, nor let others benefit from the Prophet. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas radhiAllahu `anhu said that the ayah,
وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ
“And they prevent others from him,” means, they hinder people from believing in Muhammad sallAllahu `aalyhi wa sallam. Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said, “The disbelievers of Quraysh used to refrain from meeting Muhammad and they discouraged people from coming to him.” Similar was reported from Qatadah, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak and several others.
Some scholars have said this ayah was revealed about the mushrikeen who used to forbid others from harming the Prophet sallAllahu `aalyhi wa sallam such as his uncle Abu Talib. He was a mushrik yet he stood by his nephew stopping people from causing him any pain.
When a person is not going forward in Deen and doesn’t let others go as well, he is the one who is suffering. When a person stops others from goodness he is harming himself.
For example, you want to give sadaqah but someone stops you stating that save it for yourself. Now you change your mind and don’t give the money in sadaqah. The person didn’t do good himself and didn’t allow others either.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayah 26