Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 29-31

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. A glimpse of the hellfire: surrounded by fire, walls and canopy of smoke. “How bad is this place where they will find rest!”
  2. A glimpse of paradise: bracelets of gold, green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, raised thrones. “How excellent is this place where they will find rest!”

A glimpse of the fire of hell

Say, “The truth is from your Rabb”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How bad a resting place! (29)

الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ- the Truth is from your Rabb: The Qur’an is the haqq, the Messenger is the haqq, and everything sent from Allah is the haqq–Your Rabb only sends the haqq so:

فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن- “Let him who will believe”. Whoever chooses emaan, let him believe, وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ “and let him who will, reject it”. This is not an encouragement to disbelieve, rather it is a serious threat. Whoever chooses disbelief (kufr), let them disbelieve because:

إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا-“for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose smoke and flames, like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in”. The people of hell-fire will be surrounded by four walls on each side. The walls of hell-fire, the smoke and fumes, will completely surround them and encompass them. The fire will be their bed, their clothes, their canopy. They will not be able to escape from there.

وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا- and if they seek help, يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ – they will be relieved with muhl.

Muhl has several meanings:

  • Ibn Abbaas radi Allahu anhu states muhl refers to the black thick murky liquid that settles at the bottom of oil.
  • Imaam Raaghib states that muhl is molten metal.
  • Mujaahid states that muhl refers to puss and blood.

When they seek help they will be given the likes of molten metal, of puss and blood, of black murky oil that will: يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ – scald their faces. يَشْوِي is from sheen-wow-ya, this word is used to describe the roasting of meat and boiling of water. Such water will boil, grill, burn and roast their faces. When the water is drawn close to their faces, the faces will be burn completely–just coming close to the water will burn their faces. The punishment continues, they will be made to drink this water that will cut up and split their intestines.

بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا -How dreadful the drink and how bad the resting place!

مُرْتَفَقًا- ra-fa-qaaf: irtifaaq is to spread one elbow’s sideways and rest one’s cheek on the elbow. This is a sign of resting, calm and ease. Murtafaq refers to a resting place, where a person lives and finds peace–where they rest their face on. The usage of this word is like a mockery: how bad is this place where they will find rest!

This punishment is indeed the worst, and we seek Allah’s refuge from ever entering it.

On the other hand, those who accept the haqq:

A glimpse of paradise

As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed. (30)

This ayah tells us, emaan and amal saalih (righteous deeds) is ahsan ‘amal: the best of deeds. What are the conditions of amal saalih? Sincerity for Allah and conformity to the sunnah of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on! (31)

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah radi Allahu anhu, who said that the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: Allah said: I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen and no ear has heard, not has it occurred to human heart. Abu Hurayrah radi Allahu anhu said, then recite if you wish: And no soul knows what joy for them (the inhabitants of Paradise) has been kept hidden (32:17). (Bukhari)

There are somethings in Jannah that we cannot even comprehend, because we’ve never heard, seen or even thought of them. At the same time, there are other things that Allah has prepared for the believers in Jannah that resemble what we have in the Dunya, such as this ayah.

The believers will be in جَنَّاتُ – gardens, not just one Jannah, but many.

عَدْنٍ- has two meanings:

  1. Proper name of Jannah: Eden in English.
  2. It come from the meaning of eternity and permanence. The believers will be in Jannah forever and whatever is in Jannah will be there for them forever.

What will these gardens contain?

تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الْأَنْهَارُ- beneath them rivers will flow. The rivers of milk, water, wine and honey, flowing underneath their palaces and rooms.

And:

يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ- they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold. Allah did not say they will be given jewelry to wear, but rather they will be adorned and decorated: someone will place this jewelry on them, showing their honor and status.

And they will wear clothes that are: خُضْرًا مِّن سُندُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ, green of sundus and istabaraq. Green is a color of comforting and refreshing color that also brings beauty. We are naturally comforted by the sight of green trees and gardens, and so the dwellers of Jannah will be clothed in this beautiful color and it will bring pleasure and comfort to their eyes. They will be dressed in Sundus is fine and thin silk, and istabraq is heavy, rich and thick silk (brocade).

They will be: مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا, reclining and resting, laying back and relaxing upon raised chairs, thrones and couches in Jannah. They strove in this world for the sake of Allah, they worked hard and did righteous deeds, so in Jannah they will be chilling, comfort upon comfort.

How good, how excellent a resting place.  This reward is indeed the best, and we ask Allah to make us among those who receive it.

We are trying to make this world a Jannah, but we will never attain comfort in this world because this world is imperfect. Comfort and perfection is only in Jannah. This is one of the tactics of Shaytan that he makes us forget what we are striving for. The dwellers of Jannah lived in this world and they were focused on the hereafter. Remind yourself with this ayah: Jannah is not free, it is for those who do ahsan ‘amal so work now in the dunya, and relax later in Jannah.

WAllahu alam – And Allah knows best.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

2 thoughts on “Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 29-31

  1. Pingback: Amazing recitation of the Qur’an by a young child! | IslamLecture

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