Tafseer

“Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah when he has been called to Islam?”

The following is based on a translation of Dr Fadhel al Samarrai’s Tafseer of Surah Saff. We can see today how the enemies of Islam fabricate lies against Islam in order to prevent people from following the truth. The foreign policy of a future Caliphate is to carry Islam to the world through daw’ah and jihad. The objective of offensive jihad is not to kill people, but rather to make Allah’s word the highest in the land it liberates by removing the physical obstacles to people seeing the truth of Islam.

وَمَن أَظلَمُ مِمَّنِ افتَرىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ الكَذِبَ وَهُوَ يُدعىٰ إِلَى الإِسلامِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لا يَهدِي القَومَ الظّالِمينَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah when he has been called to Islam? Allah does not guide wrongdoing people.

(Surah Saff, verse 7)

In other words, there is no one more unjust than the one who invents lies about Allah while he is being called to Islam, the True Deen of Allah. The disbelievers said that Muhammad ﷺ was not the intended good news and he is a lying magician, even though they know he is truthful and that he ﷺ brought the Deen of truth. Therefore, they oppressed themselves and others with this.

The disbelievers are oppressing themselves because they prevent themselves from accepting guidance and they will have a life of ruin in the hereafter. They are oppressing others because they prevent others from entering the Deen of Allah. Therefore, they will bear their burdens and the burdens of their followers because they oppressed the Messenger ﷺ by attributing lies to him.

It came in Tahreer wa Tanweer about his saying:  وَمَن أَظلَمُ مِمَّنِ افتَرىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ الكَذِبَWho could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah’: They were only the most oppressed people because they oppressed the Messenger ﷺ by attributing to him that which is not in in him, because they said: he is a magician. They oppressed themselves when they did not follow it for success… and they oppressed the people by conveying lies and they oppressed them by hiding news which the Torah had brought.

Allah says: وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُWho could do greater wrong’ so questioning (istifham) was used and Allah did not say ‘and no one is more unjust than the one fabricates’ or something to this effect. This is because He (swt) wants the listener to participate in reaching the answer himself which is to establish that there is no one more unjust than the one who fabricates lies against Allah, so the person will say there is no one more unjust than him.

Allah says: وَاللَّهُ لا يَهدِي القَومَ الظّالِمينَ ‘And Allah does not guide wrongdoing people’. So He (swt) ended the verse by negating guidance because He (swt) said: وَهُوَ يُدعىٰ إِلَى الإِسلامِwhen he has been called to Islam’ i.e. invited to guidance so negation of guidance was appropriate. This is similar to what Allah said about the companions of Musa (as) وَاللَّهُ لا يَهدِي القَومَ الفاسِقينَAllah does not guide people who are deviators’, because they deviated from the path of truth i.e. they inclined away from it so they were misguided. They were described with transgression (fisq) because of the negation of guidance from them.

You may ask two questions here:

Firstly, why did Allah not emphasise the negation of misguidance here just as it was emphasised in other places. He (swt) said in Sura Al-An’aam:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا لِّيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah thus leading people astray without any knowledge? Allah does not guide the people of the wrongdoers.

(Al-An’aam, 6:144)

So the negation of guidance was emphasised withإِنَّ  where He (swt) said:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Allah does not guide the people of the wrongdoers.

(Al-An’aam, 6:144)

Secondly, another question is that Allah said at the end of this verse وَاللَّهُ لا يَهدِي القَومَ الظّالِمينَ ‘And Allah does not guide wrongdoing people’, whereas the endings of similar verses are without this ending. He (swt) said in Sura Al-An’aam:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۗ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs? The wrongdoers are certainly not successful.

(Al-An’aam, 6:21)

So this verse ends with the negation of success for the wrongdoers.

Allah says in another place:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs? Evildoers are certainly not successful.

(Yunus, 6:17)

So He (swt) named them criminals or evildoers and not wrongdoers.

In another place Allah named them disbelievers, so He said:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُ ۚ أَلَيْسَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَثْوًى لِّلْكَافِرِينَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not shelter in Hell for the kafirun?

(Ankabut, 29:68)

Sometimes Allah does not follow up with anything and it suffices by His saying:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?

(Al-Kahf, 18:15)

So what is the reason for this?

The answer is that every expression is only according to what the context and the position requires. When the speech requires emphasis then it is emphasised, and if emphasis is not required then it is not emphasised.

When Allah describes them with some description then this description is according to the context.

Here is a further explanation:

Allah says:  وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah’ and He said in Al An’aam:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا لِّيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah thus leading people astray without any knowledge? Allah does not guide the people of the wrongdoers.

(Al-An’aam, 6:144)

So Allah empahsised the negation of guidance with the particle إِنَّ  because the verse increased the description with لِّيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ‘thus leading people astray without any knowledge’. Therefore, the negation of guidance required emphasis for those people who misguide people without knowledge.

In addition to this, He (swt) made الْكَذِبَ definite in the verse of Al Saff and made it indefinite in the verse of Al An’aam. So Allah said in Al-Saff:  وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ  ‘Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah’, and in Al-An’aam: فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًاWho could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah’. It is known that الْكَذِبَ is definite and كَذِبًا is indefinite. So when the fabrication is for a specific matter, it will be definite and if the fabrication is general and not for a specific thing then it will be made indefinite.

The lie and fabrication in the verse of Al-Saff was made definite because it relates to the description of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his being the glad tiding, so Allah says وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ. In Al-An’aam الْكَذِبَ was made indefinite because they fabricated lies in many matters and all sorts of violations against Allah, and the verse did not restrict their fabrication to one specific issue. Therefore the negation of guidance required emphasis.

Sometimes Allah describes them as not having success, according to what the context requires. For example His saying:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمُ ۘ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۗ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

Those We have given the Book recognise it as they recognise their own children. As for those who have lost their own selves, they have no iman. Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs? The wrongdoers are certainly not successful.

(Al-An’aam, 6:20-21)

When He (swt) said: الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْAs for those who have lost their own selves’ it is connected to His saying: إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَThe wrongdoers are certainly not successful’.

Therefore Allah negated success for them, because they lost the most valuable thing, which is themselves, so from where will success come to them? Indeed the one who will lose money, it is still possible that success may come from another direction. Whereas the one who lost himself, then how will success come to them and from where will success come while his soul was not taken into account, because he has lost it.  Due to this the speech was emphasised with إِنَّ  and it came with dameer al sha’n (pronoun of prominence) to indicate the greatness of the loss and absence of success, so Allah said: إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَThe wrongdoers are certainly not successful’.

This loss may also mean increase in their loss, punishment and failure so Allah cursed the wrongdoers:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَقُولُ الْأَشْهَادُ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا عَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ ۚ أَلَا لَعْنَةُ اللَّـهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ

Who could do greater wrong than those who invent lies against Allah? Such people will be arrayed before their Lord and the witnesses will say, ‘Those are the ones who lied against their Lord.’ Yes indeed! Allah’s curse is on the wrongdoers, those who bar access to the way of Allah desiring to make it crooked and reject the Next World.

(Hud, 11:18-19)

Therefore these people exceeded others in their description in evil, so Allah mentioned about them:

  1. They lied about Allah
  2. They prevented others from the path of Allah
  3. They made it seem deviant
  4. They rejected the hereafter and were disbelievers

They therefore deserve the curse and increased punishment and they were the losers just as Allah says in the verses after this:

أُولَـٰئِكَ لَمْ يَكُونُوا مُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ يُضَاعَفُ لَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ ۚ مَا كَانُوا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ السَّمْعَ وَمَا كَانُوا يُبْصِرُونَ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ هُمُ الْأَخْسَرُونَ

They were not able to thwart Allah on earth, and had no protectors besides Allah. The punishment will be doubled for them. They were unable to hear and could not see. Those are the people who have lost their own selves. What they invented has abandoned them.  Without question they will be the greatest losers in the Next World.

(Hud, 11:20-22)

As for describing them as criminals and disbelievers or other than that, then this is according to the context of the discussion.

Allah says:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs? Evildoers are certainly not successful.

(Yunus, 10:17)

So they were described as criminals or evildoers, because of what was mentioned in the previous verse.

لَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا ۙ وَجَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَمَا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْقَوْمَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong. Their Messengers brought them the Clear Signs, but they were never going to have iman. That is how We repay evildoers.

(Yunus, 10-13)

After Allah mentioned that He destroyed them because of their oppression and described them with criminality, He said:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs? Evildoers are certainly not successful.

(Yunus, 10:17)

In another verse:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُ ۚ أَلَيْسَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَثْوًى لِّلْكَافِرِينَ

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not shelter in Hell for the kafirun?

(Ankabut, 29:68)

they were described with disbelief and that is because of what preceded this verse:

أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَةِ اللَّـهِ يَكْفُرُونَ

So why do they believe in falsehood and reject the blessing of Allah?

(Ankabut, 29:67)

This is because they believed in falsehood and they disbelieved in the favour of Allah which is the true Deen. Therefore it was suitable that they are described with disbelief, so Allah said:

أَلَيْسَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَثْوًى لِّلْكَافِرِينَ

Is there not shelter in Hell for the kafirun?

(Al-Ankabut, 29:68)

As for nothing following i.e. no ending, then that is also because of the requirement of the situation and context.

He (swt) said:

هَـٰؤُلَاءِ قَوْمُنَا اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً ۖ لَّوْلَا يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِسُلْطَانٍ بَيِّنٍ ۖ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا

These people of ours have taken gods apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?

(Al-Kahf, 18:15)

The speakers here are the youth, the companions of the cave who did not know if Allah will soon guide their people or not, because that knowledge is with Allah. Due to this they did not add any further description in their saying: فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا ‘Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah’.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in: Tafseer