يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.
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(O Messenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief…) [5:41-47]. AbuBakr Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hiri informed us by dictation> Abu Muhammad, the chamberlain of Ibn Ahmadal-Tusi> Muhammad ibn Hammad al-Abiwardi> Abu Mu'awiyah> al-A'mash> 'Abd Allah ibn Murrah> al-Bara'ibn 'Azib who said: “One day, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, passed by aJewish man who had just been flogged and had his face darkened with coal. He summoned the Jews andasked them: 'Is this what your Scripture decrees as punishment for the adulterer?' 'Yes!' they replied. Hethen summoned one of their doctors and asked him: 'I implore you by Allah who has sent the Torah toMoses, is this what your Scripture decrees as punishment for the adulterer'. He said: 'No! And if you had notimplored me by Allah, I would not tell you. Our Scripture rules that the punishment of the adulterer isstoning. But it became widespread among our notables. Initially, when one of the notables committedadultery, we left him unpunished while we applied stoning on the communality in cases of adultery. Then wedecided to look for a punishment that was applied on both the notables and communality of people. And sowe agreed on darkening the face with coal and flogging to replace stoning'. The Messenger of Allah, Allahbless him and give him peace, said: 'O Allah! I am the first to reapply your command after they hadsuspended it'. And he ordered that the Jewish man be stoned. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (OMessenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief) up to His words (Ifthis be given unto you, receive it…), they said: 'Go to Muhammad; if he directs you to flog the adulterer anddarken his face with coal and apply flogging, then follow him. But do not follow him if he directs you toapply stoning on him'. Up to His words (Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such aredisbelievers) [5:44]. He said: 'This relates to the Jews'. Up to His words (Whoso judgeth not by that whichAllah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers) [5:45]. He said: 'This relates to the Christians'. Up to His words(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers) [5:47]. He said: 'This relates toall disbelievers'. Narrated by Muslim from Yahya ibn Yahya from Abu Mu'awiyah”. Abu 'Abd Allah ibn AbiIshaq informed us> Abu'l-Haytham Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ghawth al-Kindi> Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allahibn Sulayman al-Hadrami> Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah> Abu Mu'awiyah> al-A'mash> 'Abd Allah ibn Murrah>al-Bara' ibn 'Azib who related that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, stoned a Jewish manand a Jewish woman and said afterwards: “(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such aredisbelievers) [5:44], (Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers) [5:45],(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers) [5:47]. All these three verseswere revealed about the disbelievers”. This was narrated by Muslim from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah.
يَـَأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَـهِدُواْ فِى سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
(35. O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and seek the Wasilah to Him, and strive hard in His cause, so that you may be successful.)
(36. Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.)
(37. They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom; and theirs will be a lasting torment.)
Allah commands His faithful servants to fear Him in Taqwa, which if mentioned along with acts of obedience, it means to refrain from the prohibitions and the prohibited matters. Allah said next,
وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ
(seek the Wasilah to Him.) Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Talhah said that `Ata' said that Ibn `Abbas said that Wasilah means `the means of approach'. Mujahid, Abu Wa'il, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others gave the same meaning for Wasilah. Qatadah said that the Ayah means, "Seek the means of approach to Him by obeying Him and performing the acts that please Him.''
أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ
(Those whom they call upon seek a means of access to their Lord (Allah).) 17:57 Wasilah is a means of approach to achieve something, and it is also used to refer to the highest grade in Paradise, and it is the grade of the Messenger of Allah , his residence and the nearest grade in Paradise to Allah's Throne. Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ النِّدَاءَ: اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ، وَالصَّلَاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ، آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ،إِلَّا حَلَّتْ لَهُ الشَّفَاعَةُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»
(Whoever, after hearing to the Adhan says, "O Allah! Lord of this perfect call and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Grant Muhammad the Wasilah and superiority and send him on the Day of Judgment to the praiseworthy station which You have promised him," then intercession from me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection.) Muslim recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As said that he heard the Prophet saying,
«إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ الْمُؤَذِّنَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ، ثُمَّ صَلُّوا عَلَيَّ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ صَلَاةً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرًا، ثُمَّ سَلُوا لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ، فَإِنَّهَا مَنْزِلَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَا تَنْبَغِي إِلَّا لِعَبْدٍ مِنْ عِبَادِ اللهِ، وَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَنَا هُوَ، فَمَنْ سَأَلَ لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ حَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّفَاعَة»
(When you hear the Mu'adhdhin, repeat what he says, and then ask for Salah (blessing, mercy from Allah) for me. Verily, whoever asks for Salah for me, then Allah will grant ten Salah to him. Then, ask for the Wasilah for me, for it is a grade in Paradise that only one servant of Allah deserves, and I hope that I am that servant. Verily, whoever asks (Allah) for Wasilah for me, he will earn the right of my intercession.) Allah said,
وَجَـهِدُواْ فِى سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
(and strive hard in His cause as much as you can. So that you may be successful.) After Allah commanded Muslims to avoid the prohibitions and to work towards obedience, He commanded them to fight against their enemies, the disbelievers and idolators who have deviated from the straight path and abandoned the correct religion. Allah encouraged the believers by reminding them of the unending success and great happiness that He prepared for them for the Day of Resurrection, which will never change or decrease for those who join Jihad in His cause. They will remain in the lofty rooms of Paradise that are safe and beautiful. Those who live in these dwellings will always be comfortable and will never be miserable, living, never dying, and their clothes will never grow thin, nor will their youth ever end.
Allah then describes the painful torment and punishment that He has prepared for His disbelieving enemies for the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
(Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.) So if a disbeliever brought the earth's fill of gold, and twice as much as that amount on the Day of Judgment to ransom himself from Allah's torment that has surrounded him, and he is certain that he will suffer from it, it will not be accepted of him. Rather, there is no escaping the torment, and he will not be able to evade or save himself from it. Hence Allah's statement,
وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
(And theirs would be a painful torment.) meaning, hurtful,
يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
(They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom, and theirs will be a lasting torment.) In another Ayah, Allah said,
كُلَّمَآ أَرَادُواْ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا مِنْ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيهَا
(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, in anguish, they will be driven back therein.) Therefore, they will still long to leave the torment because of the severity and the pain it causes. They will have no way of escaping it. The more the flames lift them to the upper part of Hell, the more the angels of punishment will strike them with iron bars and they will fall down to its depths,
وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
(And theirs will be a lasting torment.) meaning, eternal and everlasting, and they will never be able to depart from it or avoid it. Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ:يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَضْجَعَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: شَرَّ مَضْجَعٍ، فَيُقَالُ: هَلْ تَفْتَدِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا؟ قَالَ: فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ يَارَبِّ فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، قَدْ سَأَلْتُكَ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذلِكَ فَلَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَيُؤْمَرُ بِهِ إِلَى النَّار»
(A man from the people of the Fire will be brought forth and will be asked, `O son of Adam! How did you find your dwelling' He will say, `The worst dwelling.' He will be told, `Would you ransom yourself with the earth's fill of gold' He will say, `Yes, O Lord!' Allah will say to him, `You have lied. I asked you for what is less than that and you did not do it,' and he will be ordered to the Fire.) Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded it.