ثُمَّ لَتُسْـَٔلُنَّ یَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِیۡمِ

Then, on that day, you will surely be questioned regarding the favours.

Tafsir al-Tabari                                                         تفسیر الطبری                                

ثُمَّ لَيَسْأَلَنَّكُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ الَّذِي كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا: مَاذَا عَمِلْتُمْ فِيهِ، مِنْ أَيْنَ وَصَلْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ

Then Allah Almighty surely question you regarding the favours which you enjoyed in the world; as to what you did with it and where you earned it from etc.

عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، فِي قَوْلِهِ: {ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ} [التكاثر: 8] قَالَ: الْأَمْنُ وَالصِّحَّةُ

Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have commented on the verse:  i.e. about safety and health.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، فِي قَوْلِهِ: {ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ} [التكاثر: 8] قَالَ: النَّعِيمُ: صِحَّةُ الْأَبْدَانِ وَالْأَسْمَاعِ وَالْأَبْصَارِ، قَالَ: يَسْأَلُ اللَّهُ الْعِبَادَ فِيمَ اسْتَعْمَلُوهَا، وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِذَلِكَ مِنْهُمْ، وَهُوَ قَوْلُهُ: {إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا}

Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – is reported to have commented on the verse:  “The favours” refers to the healthy body, hearing and vision.  He also said that Allah Almighty will question the servants about how they made use of them while He knows better than them about it, as in His following statement:

إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

indeed the ear and the eye and the heart – each of these will be questioned.

(Bani Israel 17, Verse 36)

عَنْ عَمَّارِ بْنِ أَبِي عَمَّارٍ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، يَقُولُ: «أَتَانَا النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرُ رَضِي اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا فَأَطْعَمْنَاهُمْ رُطَبًا، وَسَقَيْنَاهُمْ مَاءً، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ هَذَا مِنَ النَّعِيمِ الَّذِي تُسْأَلُونَ عَنْهُ

Sayyiduna ‘Ammar ibn Abi ‘Ammar – may Allah be pleased with him – reported:  I heard Sayyiduna Jabir – may Allah be pleased with him – say:  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – visited us with Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them, so we served them dates and water.  The Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – said, “This is amongst the favours you will questioned about.”

ثنا الضَّحَّاكُ بْنُ عَزْرَبٍ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، يَقُولُ: قَالَ: رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:  إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُسْأَلُ عَنْهُ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنَ النَّعِيمِ أَنْ يُقَالَ لَهُ: أَلَمْ نُصِحَّ لَكَ جِسْمَكَ، وَتَرْوِ مِنَ الْمَاءِ الْبَارِدِ

Sayyiduna Dhahhak ibn ‘Azrab – may Allah be pleased with him – narrated the Hadeeth. He said that he heard Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him – say:  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – stated, “The first thing amongst the favours a servant will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment is that he will be asked, “Did We not bless you with a  healthy body and cold water?!”

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:  النَّعِيمُ الْمَسْئُولُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: كِسْرَةُ تُقَوِّيهِ، وَمَاءٌ يَرْوِيهِ، وَثَوْبٌ يُوَارِيهِ

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated:  Al-Na’eem is everything one will be accountable for on the Day of Judgment; be it the morsel of food that gives one strength, the water that quenches one’s thirst or the garment that covers one.

عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، فِي قَوْلِ اللَّهِ: {ثُمَّ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ} [التكاثر: 8] قَالَ: عَنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مِنْ لَذَّةِ الدُّنْيَا

Sayyiduna Mujahid – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have commented on the verse:  (Al-Na’eem) refers to the desirable effects of the world.

عَنْ قَتَادَةَ:  {لَتُسْأَلُنَّ  يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ} [التكاثر: 8] قَالَ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ سَائِلٌ كُلَّ ذِي نِعْمَةٍ فِيمَا أَنْعَمَ عَلَيْهِ

Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have commented on the verse:  Indeed Allah Almighty will hold one accountable for all the blessings He had bestowed upon him.

وَكَانَ الْحَسَنُ وَقَتَادَةُ يَقُولَانِ:  ثَلَاثٌ لَا يُسْأَلُ عَنْهُنَّ ابْنُ آدَمَ، وَمَا خَلَاهُنَّ فِيهِ الْمَسْأَلَةُ وَالْحِسَابُ، إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ: كِسْوَةٌ يُوَارِي بِهَا سَوْءَتَهُ، وَكِسْرَةٌ يَشُدُّ بِهَا صُلْبَهُ، وَبَيْتٌ يُظِلُّهُ

Sayyiduna Hasan and Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with them – said:  The children of Sayyiduna Adam – peace be upon him – will not be held accountable for three things but will account for everything else besides them, with the exception of what Allah Almighty wills.  They are:

وَالصَّوَابُ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ فِي ذَلِكَ: أَنْ يُقَالَ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَخْبَرَ أَنَّهُ سَائِلٌ هَؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمَ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ، وَلَمْ يُخَصِّصْ فِي خَبَرِهِ أَنَّهُ سَائِلُهُمْ عَنْ نَوْعٍ مِنَ النَّعِيمِ دُونَ نَوْعٍ، بَلْ عَمَّ بِالْخَبَرِ فِي ذَلِكَ عَنِ الْجَمِيعِ، فَهُوَ سَائِلُهُمْ كَمَا قَالَ عَنْ جَمِيعِ النَّعِيمِ، لَا عَنْ بَعْضٍ دُونَ بَعْضٍ

The correct opinion in this regard would be that as Allah Almighty has stated that He will question this nation regarding the favours but He did not specify it in His statement as to what sort of favours He will hold them accountable for but rather kept it general about everything.  Therefore He will question regarding all favours without making an exception for some regarding some.

Tafsir Al-Tabari (Tafsir Ibn Jareer / Jame’ al-Bayaan fi Taweel al-Quraan) of Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabri t D. 310 A.H.

Tafsir al-Baghawi                                                     تفسیر البغوی                            

قَالَ مُقَاتِلٌ: يَعْنِي كُفَّارَ مَكَّةَ، كَانُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا فِي الْخَيْرِ وَالنِّعْمَةِ، فَيُسْأَلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَنْ شُكْرِ مَا كَانُوا فِيهِ، وَلَمْ يَشْكُرُوا رَبَّ النَّعِيمِ حَيْثُ عَبَدُوا غَيْرَهُ، ثُمَّ يُعَذَّبُونَ عَلَى تَرْكِ الشُّكْرِ، هَذَا قَوْلُ الْحَسَنِ.

Sayyiduna Muqatil – may Allah be pleased with him – said:  It means the infidels of Makkah who enjoyed worldly favours will be held accountable for their gratitude of what was bestowed upon them but they failed to show they were ungrateful for the favours of Allah hence they chose to worshipped others over Him.  They will then be punished for being ungrateful.  This is the statement of Sayyiduna Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him.

Tafsir al-Baghawi (Ma’aalim al-Tanzeel) of Muhiyy al-Sunnah Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Husain ibn Mas’ood al-Baghwi al-Shafe’I t D. 510 A.H.

Tafsir al-Kabeer                                                                                                             التفسیر الکبیر                        

أَنَّ الَّذِي يُسْأَلُ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ مَنْ هُوَ فِيهِ قَوْلَانِ:

There are two views regarding the one who will be questioned about the favours that one had enjoyed:

أَحَدُهُمَا: وَهُوَ الْأَظْهَرُ أَنَّهُمُ الْكُفَّارُ

 قَالَ الْحَسَنُ: لَا يُسْأَلُ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ إِلَّا أَهْلُ النَّارِ

وَيَدُلُّ عَلَيْهِ وَجْهَانِ:

الْأَوَّلُ: مَا رُوِيَ أَنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ قَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ: أَرَأَيْتَ أَكْلَةً أَكَلْتُهَا مَعَكَ فِي بَيْتِ أَبِي الْهَيْثَمِ بْنِ التَّيِّهَانِ مِنْ خُبْزِ شَعِيرٍ وَلَحْمٍ وَبُسْرٍ وَمَاءٍ عَذْبٍ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ النَّعِيمِ الَّذِي نُسْأَلُ عَنْهُ فَقَالَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ: إِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ لِلْكُفَّارِ، ثُمَّ قَرَأَ: وَهَلْ نُجازِي إِلَّا الْكَفُورَ [سَبَأٍ: 17]

وَالثَّانِي: وَهُوَ أَنَّ ظَاهِرَ الْآيَةِ يَدُلُّ عَلَى مَا ذَكَرْنَاهُ، وذلك لأن الكفار ألهاكم التَّكَاثُرُ بِالدُّنْيَا وَالتَّفَاخُرُ بِلَذَّاتِهَا عَنْ طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى وَالِاشْتِغَالِ بِشُكْرِهِ، فَاللَّهُ تَعَالَى يَسْأَلُهُمْ عَنْهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يُظْهِرَ لَهُمْ أَنَّ الَّذِي ظَنُّوهُ سَبَبًا لِسَعَادَتِهِمْ هُوَ كَانَ مِنْ أَعْظَمِ أَسْبَابِ الشَّقَاءِ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ.

  1. It is quite clear that they were the infidels.

Sayyiduna Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him – said:  None besides the residents of hell will be questioned regarding the favours.

Two factors prove this theory:

  1. The narration of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr – may Allah be pleased with him, that when this verse was revealed, he asked, “O the Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him, “Do you see the food which I consumed with you at the house of Al-Haitham ibn al-Tayyehan; the bread of barley, the meat, the dates and the sweet water, to be amongst the favours we will be questioned about?”  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – replied, “It is explicitly for the infidels.”  And then recited:

وَهَلْ نُجازِي إِلَّا الْكَفُورَ

“And whom do We punish, except the ungrateful?”

(Sura Saba 34: Verse 17)

  • The verse is quite clear as we mentioned because it was the infidels who hoarded wealth in the world and boasted about it which kept them negligent of Allah’s obedience and gratitude towards Him.  Therefore, Allah Almighty will hold them accountable for them on the Day of Judgment until it becomes obvious to them that what they had considered to be a means of fortune will prove be the greatest form of misery for them in the hereafter.

وَالْقَوْلُ الثَّانِي: أَنَّهُ عَامٌّ فِي حَقِّ الْمُؤْمِنِ وَالْكَافِرِ وَاحْتَجُّوا بِأَحَادِيثَ

رَوَى أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «أَوَّلُ مَا يُسْأَلُ عَنْهُ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ: أَلَمْ نُصَحِّحْ لَكَ جِسْمَكَ وَنَرْوِكَ من المار الْبَارِدِ»

وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْأَوْلَى أَنْ يُقَالَ: السُّؤَالُ يَعُمُّ الْمُؤْمِنَ وَالْكَافِرَ، لَكِنَّ سُؤَالَ الْكَافِرِ تَوْبِيخٌ لِأَنَّهُ تَرَكَ الشُّكْرَ، وَسُؤَالُ الْمُؤْمِنِ سُؤَالُ تَشْرِيفٍ لِأَنَّهُ شَكَرَ وَأَطَاعَ.

  • It is commonly applicable to both the believers and the non-believers.  They presented the following Ahadeeth as supporting argument:

Know that the preferred view is that although the questioning will be commonly applicable to both the believers and the non-believers but the questioning of the infidels will be reprehensive due to their ungratefulness while the questioning of the believers will be to honour them due to their gratitude and obedience.

عَنْ جَابِرٍ الْجُعْفِيِّ قَالَ: دَخَلْتُ عَلَى الْبَاقِرِ فَقَالَ: مَا تَقُولُ أرباب التأويل في قوله: ثُمَّ لَتُسْئَلُنَّ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَنِ النَّعِيمِ فَقُلْتُ: يَقُولُونَ الظِّلُّ وَالْمَاءُ الْبَارِدُ فَقَالَ: لَوْ أَنَّكَ أَدْخَلْتَ بَيْتَكَ أَحَدًا وَأَقْعَدْتَهُ فِي ظِلٍّ وَأَسْقَيْتَهُ مَاءً بَارِدًا أَتَمُنُّ عَلَيْهِ فَقُلْتُ: لَا، قَالَ: فَاللَّهُ أَكْرَمُ مِنْ أَنْ يُطْعِمَ عَبْدَهُ وَيَسْقِيَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْأَلُهُ عَنْهُ، فَقُلْتُ: مَا تَأْوِيلُهُ قَالَ: النَّعِيمُ هُوَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ بِهِ عَلَى هَذَا الْعَالَمِ فَاسْتَنْقَذَهُمْ بِهِ مِنَ الضَّلَالَةِ، أَمَا سَمِعْتَ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا [آلِ عِمْرَانَ: 164] الْآيَةَ

Sayyiduna Ja’far al-Jo’fi said:  I visited Imam Baqir – may Allah be pleased with him – and asked, “What do the scholars of Tafseer say regarding Allah’s statement ‘on that day, you will surely be questioned regarding the favours.’?”  And then I said, “They say that (the question will be regarding the shelter and cold water.”  He the replied, “If you invited someone to your house and sat him down under the shelter and served him cold water, would you be doing him a favour?”  I replied, “No.”  He then said, “Then Allah Almighty far Greater than to provide His servant with food and water and then question about it.”  I asked, “What would be its explanation?”  He replied, “(Al-Na’eem) The favour is the Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him.  Allah Almighty favoured this universe and recued them from misguidance through him.  Have you not heard the statement of the Almighty?

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا

 Allah has indeed bestowed a great favour upon the Muslims, in that He sent to them a Noble Messenger (Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him).”

(Sura Aale Imraan : Verse 164)

رُوِيَ عَنْهُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «لَا تَزُولُ قَدَمَا الْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يُسْأَلَ عَنْ أَرْبَعٍ: عَنْ عُمُرِهِ فِيمَ أَفْنَاهُ، وَعَنْ شَبَابِهِ فِيمَ أَبْلَاهُ، وَعَنْ مَالِهِ مِنْ أَيْنَ اكْتَسَبَهُ وَفِيمَ أَنْفَقَهُ، وَعَنْ عِلْمِهِ مَاذَا عَمِلَ بِهِ

فَكُلُّ النَّعِيمِ مِنَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى دَاخِلٌ فِيمَا ذَكَرَهُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ.

The beloved Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – is reported to have stated:  The feet of a servant will not disappear on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about four things:

  1. His life; in what he spent it
  2. His youth, how it was eaten away
  3. His wealth, where he earned it from and what he spent it on
  4. His knowledge, what he acted upon.

Every favour of Allah is included in what the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has described.

Tafsir al-Kabeer (Mafateeh al-Ghaib) of Imam Fakhruddin Muhammad ibn Umar al-Raazi al-Shafe’i t D. 606 A.H.

Tafsir Rooh al-Bayaan                                                                                              تفسیر روح البیان                                                

واليه أشار رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما أكل هو وأصحابه تمرا وشربوا ماء فقال الحمد لله الذي أطعمنا وسقانا

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – indicated towards it whenever he and his companions – may Allah be pleased with them – ate a date and drank water, they said, “All praises are due to Allah who fed us and quenched our thirst.”

وقال ابن كعب النعيم ذات محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم إذ هو الرحمة والنعمة بالآيتين وهما قوله تعالى يعرفون نعمة الله ثم ينكرونها وقوله تعالى وما أرسلناك الا رحمة للعالمين.

Sayyiduna Ibn Ka’b – may Allah be pleased with him – said:  (Al-Na’eem) The favour is the personality of Prophet Muhammad – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him, for he is the mercy and favour in the following two verses:

 يَعْرِفُونَ نِعْمَتَ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنكِرُونَهَا

  They recognise the favour of Allah and then deny it.

(Sura An-Nahl : Verse 83)

 وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَٰكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةًۭ لِّلْعَٰلَمِينَ

  And We did not send you (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) except as a mercy for the entire world. (Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him – is the Prophet towards all mankind.)

(Sura Al-Anbiyaa : Verse 107)

Tafsir Rooh al-Bayaan of Imam Isma’eel Haqqi ibn Mustafa al-Istanbuli Hanafi t D. 1127 A.H.

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