Al-Anaam · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 35 and 36

Remaining Patient in Testing Times

When a person denies us once, we don’t mind but when we are constantly denied or rejected not just by one person but several people we think maybe we are not the right person for this job.

Addressing the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,


If their aversion is hard on you, then if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground  a ladder to the sky, so that you may bring them a sign [then do so].

The word kabura [كَبُرَ] is from the root letters kaf-ba-ra and it means “difficult”. Meaning if their denial or aversion has become intolerable for you, and you cannot be patient for the help of Allah to come then you should seek an underground tunnel or a ladder to the sky so that you could bring them a sign. If you can bring them a miracle and are impatient then go ahead and do so.

Why did the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam had such a strong desire to make people accept Islam? It was certainly not for his own fame but rather so because a large number of people could be saved from the torment of the Hellfire.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is reminding him to wait, and that the matters are not his hands. For example, the people that rejected Islam in the earlier days later fought for Islam and turned out to be great ambassadors of Islam.


And had Allah willed, He could have gathered them together upon true guidance, so be not you one of the ignorant.

Explaining this part of the Ayah `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas radhiAllahu `anhu said, “The Messenger of Allah was eager that all people believe and be guided to follow him. Allah told him that only those whose happiness Allah has written in the first Dhikr will believe.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends this ayah by reminding the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to not act as an ignorant person. For he knows that they are not going to believe immediately, he knows that he has to be patient for the help of Allah to come, and he cannot show them every miracle that they demand. Don’t be impatient have some sabr.

Ayah 36
A Heart that is Alive Responds to the Call

After telling the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to remain patient Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentions the reason for people’s indifference or opposition.

He says,


It is only those who listen, that will respond, but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned.

Those people that listen in such a way to take heed are the only ones who are going to respond. They are the one who hear the speech, comprehend and understand it. Others are dead in their hearts, they don’t listen. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala likened them to dead corpses as a way of mocking and belittling them as He said in another ayah,

Untitled“That it may give warning to him who is living, and that the Word may be justified against the disbelievers.” [Qur’an, 36:70]

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends this ayah by saying, He will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned (for their recompense).


– When someone is opposing or denying you, don’t be impatient or hasty for something against them. For example, when someone hurts us or is not giving us our right we mindlessly make du’a against them such as, “I wish they die. I wish they lose such and such thing. I wish that person gets out of my life.”

– We must remember that some things are beyond our control, we want them to happen now but Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is delaying them for the right moment. When we don’t do sabr we are acting like an ignorant person. He is a person who doesn’t know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is al-Hakeem [the All-Wise] and Al-Aleem [the All-Knowing]. An impatient person doesn’t realize that this life is a test. He doesn’t know sabr will bring him reward. There is no benefit in being impatient. He fights with other people, affects his relationships and at the end of the day he is left with nothing.

– Some people say doing sabr or being patient doesn’t change the situation. However, what most people don’t realize is that their doing sabr protects them from doing that which can destruct them in the Hereafter. Doing sabr brings them reward. If something is beyond your ability why waste your time being angry or impatient. Avail that opportunity to get some reward.

– If Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala wishes He can show any miracle that people demand but that’s not what He desires. Faith has to come from within. We want people to change immediately or overnight and become frustrated and agitated when they don’t change. This is the time when we should be patient. As Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in Surah al-Ahqaf Ayah 35, “So be patient, [O Muhammad], as were those of determination among the messengers and do not be impatient for them.” 

– A person who is not patient is jahil [ignorant]. Every person knows that they should remain patient when being tested but when they are actual struck by a calamity and they become apprehensive it indicates actually they know nothing. They have the knowledge but they are acting like a jahil [ignorant].

– When the person doesn’t act upon knowledge at the right time, it’s like he doesn’t know anything or else it would have been displayed through his actions.

– In ayah 36, we learn we need to keep our hearts alive by doing more acts of righteousness and seeking repentance do wipe out the black spots that appear due to sins and eventually kill the heart. A heart that is healthy is more receptive to good advice and guidance.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 35 and 36

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