Al-Anaam · Juz 8 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 164 – 165

The Command to Sincerely Trust in Allah

The Mushrikeen would constantly ask the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to touch their gods. They would say, “Don’t worship them but also don’t say anything bad about them.”

In this Ayah Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is commanding the Prophet to say,


The Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam says should I take someone/thing else as my god when Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has created everything. It is He Who protects and saves me and governs all of my affairs. I only trust in Him and go back to Him because He is the Lord of everything, Owner of all things and His is the creation and the decision. This Ayah commands sincerely trusting Allah, while the Ayah before it commands sincerely worshipping Allah alone without partners. These two meanings are often mentioned together in the Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands His servants to proclaim,

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

“You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and every thing).” [Surah al-Fatihah:5]

In Surah Hud Ayah 123 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said,

فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ

“So worship Him and put your trust in Him,”


قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا

“Say: ‘He is the Most Gracious (Allah), in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.’” [Surah al-Mulk:29]

Then it was said, “And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself…” thus emphasizing Allah’s reckoning, decision and justice that will occur on the Day of Resurrection. The souls will only be recompensed for their deeds, good for good and evil for evil. No person shall carry the burden of another person, a fact that indicates Allah’s perfect justice.

Scholars of tafseer commented, “No person will be wronged by carrying the evil deeds of another person, nor will his own good deeds be curtailed or decreased.” In Surah an-Naba Ayaat 38 – 39 Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said,

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ – إِلاَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْيَمِينِ

“Every person is a pledge for what he has earned. Except those on the right.”

Meaning, every person will be tied to his evil deeds. But, for those on the right — the believers — the blessing of their good works will benefit their offspring and relatives, as well.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said in Surah at-Tur Ayah 21,“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything,” meaning, We shall elevate their offspring to their high grades in Paradise, even though the deeds of the offspring were less righteous, since they shared faith with them in its general form. He did not decrease the grades of these righteous believers so that those (their offspring and relatives) who have lesser grades, can share the same grades as them. Rather Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala elevated the lesser believers to the grades of their parents by the blessing of their parents’ good works, by His favor and bounty.

Then it was said that the disbelievers will return to their Lord therefore they should work for the Hereafter. Both the believers and disbelievers will be gathered to Allah and He will inform everyone of their deeds and about the matters that people used to dispute about in the life of this world.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Surah by reminding entire mankind that He has assigned everyone various grades. Some are above others while some below others. This has been done so that people can be tried by one another. He says,


He made us dwell on the earth generation after generation, century after century and offspring after forefathers. He has made us different from each other with regards to provision, conduct, qualities, evilness, shapes, color of skin, and so forth, and He has the perfect wisdom in all this. In Surah Zukhruf Ayah 32, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said, “It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work.”

In Surah Isra Ayah 21 it was said,

See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.”

Why was this division done? So that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala could test us in what He has granted us, for Allah tries the rich concerning his wealth and will ask him about how he appreciated it. He also tries the poor concerning his poverty and will ask him about his patience with it.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends this by saying, Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” This is both discouragement and encouragement, by reminding the believers that Allah is swift in reckoning and punishment with those who disobey Him and defy His Messengers. And then He gives them hope that He is Ghafoor and Raheem for those who take Him as protector and follow His Messengers in the news and commandments they conveyed.

Qur’an often mentions encouragement and discouragement together. When He mentions the Paradise and describes its content, this is His way of calling His servants to Him with encouragement, making them eager for what He has with Him. When He mentions the Fire and its torment and punishment, as well as, the Day of Resurrection and its horrors, it is His way of discouraging His servants from committing the wrong that they do. Sometimes Allah mentions both so that each person is affected by it according to his or her qualities.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مَا عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الْعُقُوبَةِ مَا طَمِعَ بِجَنَّتِهِ أَحَدٌ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْكَافِرُ مَااِعنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ مَا قَنَطَ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، خَلَقَ اللهُ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ فَوَضَعَ وَاحِدَةً بَيْنَ خَلْقِهِ يَتَرَاحَمُونَ بِهَا وَعِنْدَ اللهِ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُون

“If the believer knew Allah’s punishment, no one will hope in entering His Paradise. And if the disbeliever knew Allah’s mercy, no one will feel hopeless of acquiring Paradise. Allah created a hundred kinds of mercy. He sent down one of them to His creation, and they are merciful to each other on that account. With Allah, there remains ninety-nine kinds of mercy.” [Saheeh Muslim, At-Tirmidhi]


– In these Ayaat [from 161 – 165] we learn about submitting to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala even if no one around us is doing what we have been commanded to do.

The Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “My prayers, my sacrifice, my life and death is for Allah,” and what our lives dedicated to? Earning the dunya? So much of effort is being spent on buying the best outfit, best food, best house, best car, best degree but what am I giving to Allah? How are my prayers? What kind of slaughter animal do I bring for Eid-ul-Adha? How much money do I spend in Allah’s way and how much do I spend in eating out, mall trips, and vacations? How much do I strive for learning Allah’s Deen and spreading it? Are my prayers and striving in Deen really for Allah or to be known among people? People are busy learning new recipes, earning degrees that wouldn’t help them much, spending time in tasks that won’t matter all. So much effort is being spent but for what? Everybody is busy wasting their youth, their time and money on what? In going ‘against’ the commands of Allah?

If you’re the only one who recognizes the reality of this life, learn from the life of Rasoolullah. Instead of following cultural practices go ahead and set the trend of giving priority to Allah, His Commands and His Book.

– We cannot spend our life pleasing someone other than Allah. Did they create us? Do they provide us food, shelter and comfort? Why am I running after this dunya? Did this dunya create me? No.

– Whatever a person acquires he is answerable for it. The money he inherited or earns how did he inherit or earn it? Where did he spend it? How much was the portion of Allah in it? If Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala blessed someone with education and special skills and talents, where did they use those blessings? Each person has to stand before Allah and give hisaab for what he acquired. Blessings and deprivations are both a test to ascertain our reaction towards them.

– In dunya there are never-ending arguments about who is on Sirat Mustaqeem. Only on the Judgment Day we will find out the truth. Right now our goal should be pleasing Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and following that which He has informed us through His Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam.

– On the Judgment Day all realities will come clear. This tells us that we are not here forever. The time that we have been allotted should be spent for Allah’s sake.

– Everyone is being tested by what they have been given. For the rich, poor people are a test meaning what will be his attitude towards them. Will he be arrogant or will he be a humble servant of Allah? For the poor, rich people are a test whether he will complain to Allah for being given less or will he remain patient. Bear your tests for Allah.

– If today you have power, authority and wealth don’t be fooled by it. You are not here forever. It can be taken away. And then you will be questioned about your deeds.

We ask Allah that He makes us among those who obey what He has commanded, avoid what He has prohibited, and believe in Him as He has informed. Certainly, He is Near, hears and answers the supplication, and He is the Most Kind, Generous and Bestowing.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al-Anaam Ayaat 164 – 165

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