The Parable of a Believer and a Disbeliever

 I take refuge with Allaah from the accursed devil.  

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ 

  Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.  

 Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

May the Peace and Blessing of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The Parable of a Believer and a Disbeliever.

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَىْءٍ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

(75. Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal (By no means). All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.)

Surah 16 An Nahl Verse 75

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “This is the example which Allah gives of the disbeliever and the believer.” This was also the view of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir. The servant who has no power over anything is like the disbeliever, and the one who is given good provisions and spends of them secretly and openly is like the believer. Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said: “This is an example given of the idol and the True God – can they be the same” Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish. Allah says:

(All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.)

وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً رَّجُلَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَبْكَمُ لاَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَىْءٍ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَى مَوْلاهُ أَيْنَمَا يُوَجِّههُّ لاَ يَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى هُوَ وَمَن يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَهُوَ عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

(76. And Allah gives an example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he directs him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice, and is himself on the straight path)

Surah 16 An Nahl Verse 76

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Mujahid said, “This also refers to idols and the True God, may He be exalted.” Meaning that the idol is dumb and cannot speak or say anything, good or otherwise. It cannot do anything at all, no words, no action, it is dependent and is a burden on its master.

(whichever way he directs him,) meaning, wherever he sends him

(he brings no good.) meaning, he does not succeed in what he wants.

(Is such a man equal) meaning, a man who has these attributes

(to one who commands justice) meaning fairness, one whose words are true and whose deeds are righteous.

(and is himself on the straight path) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “This is also an example of the disbeliever and the believer”, as in the previous Ayah.

وَلِلَّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَآ أَمْرُ السَّاعَةِ إِلاَّ كَلَمْحِ الْبَصَرِ أَوْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

(77. And to Allah belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly, Allah is able to do all things.)

وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَـتِكُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْسَّمْعَ وَالاٌّبْصَـرَ وَالأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

(78. And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts, that you might give thanks.)

أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى الطَّيْرِ مُسَخَّرَتٍ فِى جَوِّ السَّمَآءِ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

(79. Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky None holds them up but Allah. Verily, in this are clear signs for people who believe.)

Surah 16 An Nahl Verse 77-79

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah tells us of the perfection of His knowledge and ability to do all things, by telling us that He alone knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. No one knows anything about such things except for what Allah informs about as He wills. His complete power, which no one can oppose or resist, means that when He wants a thing, He only has to say to it “Be!” and it is, as Allah says:

(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.) (54:50) meaning, whatever He wills happens in blinking. Thus Allah says here:

(And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.) Elsewhere, Allah says:

(The processes of creating you all and resurrecting you all are but like that of (the creation and resurrection of) a single person.) (31:28)

Then Allah mentions His blessings to His servants in that He brought them from their mothers’ wombs not knowing a thing, then He gives them hearing to recognize voices, sight to see visible things and hearts – meaning reason – whose seat, according to the correct view, is the heart, although it was also said that its seat is the brain. With his reason, a person can distinguish between what is harmful and what is beneficial. These abilities and senses develop gradually in man. The more he grows, the more his hearing, vision and reason increase, until they reach their peak. Allah has created these faculties in man to enable him to worship his Lord, so he uses all these organs, abilities and strengths to obey his Master. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:

(Allah says: “Whoever takes My friend as an enemy, has declared war on Me. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything better than his doing that which I have enjoined upon him, and My servant keeps drawing near to Me by doing Nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for anything, I would give it to him, if he were to call on Me, I would respond, if he were to seek Me for refuge I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of My believing servant, because he hates death and I hate to upset him, but it is inevitable.”) The meaning of the Hadith is that when a person is sincere in his obedience towards Allah, all his deeds are done for the sake of Allah, so he only hears for the sake of Allah, he only sees for the sake of Allah – meaning he only listens to or looks at what has been allowed by Allah. He does not strike or walk except in obedience to Allah, seeking Allah’s help in all of these things. Thus in some versions of the Hadith, narrated outside the Sahih, after the phrase “his foot with which he walks”, there is added:

(So through Me he hears, through Me he sees, through Me he strikes and through Me he walks.) Thus Allah says:

(And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks.) Elsewhere, He says:

(Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts. Little thanks you give. Say: “It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered (in the Hereafter).”) (67:23-24)

Then Allah tells His servants to look at the birds held (flying) in the sky, between heaven and earth, and how He has caused them to fly with their wings in the sky. They are held up only by Him, it is He Who gave them the strength to do that, subjecting the air to carry them and support them. As Allah says in Surat Al-Mulk:

(Do they not see the birds above them, spreading their wings out and folding them in None holds them up except the Most Gracious (Allah). Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.) (67:19) And here Allah says:

(Verily, in this are clear signs for people who believe.)

وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّن بُيُوتِكُمْ سَكَنًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّن جُلُودِ الاٌّنْعَـمِ بُيُوتًا تَسْتَخِفُّونَهَا يَوْمَ ظَعْنِكُمْ وَيَوْمَ إِقَـمَتِكُمْ وَمِنْ أَصْوَافِهَا وَأَوْبَارِهَا وَأَشْعَارِهَآ أَثَـثاً وَمَتَـعاً إِلَى حِينٍ

(80. And Allah had made your homes a place of rest for you, and made dwellings for you out of the hides of the cattle which you find so light when you travel and when you camp; and furnishings and articles of convenience out of their wool, fur, and hair – comfort for a while.)

وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّمَّا خَلَقَ ظِلَـلاً وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الْجِبَالِ أَكْنَـناً وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ سَرَابِيلَ تَقِيكُمُ الْحَرَّ وَسَرَبِيلَ تَقِيكُم بَأْسَكُمْ كَذَلِكَ يُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْلِمُونَ

(81. And Allah has made shade for you out of that which He has created, and He has made places of refuge in the mountains for you, and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your violence. Thus does He perfect His favor for you, that you may submit yourselves to His will.)

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ

 (82. Then, if they turn away, your duty (O Muhammad) is only to convey (the Message) in a clear way.)

يَعْرِفُونَ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنكِرُونَهَا وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ

(83. They recognize the grace of Allah, yet they deny it (by worshipping others besides Allah) and most of them are disbelievers.)

Surah 16 An Nahl Verse 80-83

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah mentions His great blessings for His servant in that He has given them homes to dwell in and protect themselves with, in which they find all kinds of benefits. He has also given them homes from the hides of cattle, i.e., leather, which are light and easy to carry on journeys and can be erected wherever they stop, whether they are traveling or are settled. Thus Allah says:

(which you find so light when you travel and when you camp;)

(out of their wool, fur and hair) refers to sheep, camels and goats respectively.

(furnishings) meaning what you take from them, i.e., wealth. It was also said that it means articles of convenience, or clothing. The correct view is more general in meaning than this; it means that you make carpets, clothing and other things from their wool, hair etc., which you use as wealth and for trade. Ibn `Abbas said: `Al-Athath means articles of convenience and comfort.” This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah. The phrase,

(for a while) means, until the appointed time.

(And Allah has made shade for you out of that which He has created,) Qatadah said: “This means trees.”

(and He has made places of refuge in the mountains for you,) meaning fortresses and strongholds.

(and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat,) meaning clothing of cotton, linen and wool.

(and coats of mail to protect you from your violence.) such as shields made of layers of sheet iron, coats of mail and so on.

(Thus does He perfect His favor for you,) meaning, thus He gives you what you need to go about your business, so that this will help you to worship and obey Him. 

(that you may submit yourselves to His will). This is interpreted by the majority to mean submitting to Allah or becoming Muslim.

(Then, if they turn away,) meaning, after this declaration and reminder, do not worry about them.

(your duty (O Muhammad) is only to convey (the Message) in a clear way), and you have delivered the Message to them.

(They recognize the grace of Allah, yet they deny it) meaning they know that Allah is the One Who grants these blessings to them, and that He is Bountiful towards them, but they still deny this by worshipping others besides Him and thinking that their help and provisions come from others besides Him.

(and most of them are disbelievers.)

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