کَلَّاۤ اِنَّ کِتٰبَ الْاَبْرَارِ لَفِیۡ عِلِّیِّیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۸﴾

  Yes, certainly, the record of the virtuous is in the highest palace ‘Illiyyin’.


 وَ مَاۤ اَدْرٰىکَ مَا عِلِّیُّوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۹﴾

  And what do you know, what Illiyyin is? 


 کِتٰبٌ مَّرْقُوۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۲۰﴾

  That record is a writing sealed.


 یَّشْہَدُہُ الْمُقَرَّبُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۱﴾

  The chosen ones see to it.


 اِنَّ الْاَبْرَارَ لَفِیۡ نَعِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۲﴾

  Undoubtedly, the virtuous are in bliss.


 عَلَی الْاَرَآئِکِ یَنۡظُرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۳﴾

  They look at thrones.


تَعْرِفُ فِیۡ وُجُوۡہِہِمْ نَضْرَۃَ النَّعِیۡمِ ﴿ۚ۲۴﴾

  You recognize the freshness of bliss in their faces.


 یُسْقَوْنَ مِنۡ رَّحِیۡقٍ مَّخْتُوۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾

  They shall be made to drink pure wine, which is already sealed.


 خِتٰمُہٗ مِسْکٌ ؕ وَ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ فَلْیَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنٰفِسُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۶﴾

  The seal is on Musk, and for this let the aspirers aspire.


 وَ مِزَاجُہٗ مِنۡ تَسْنِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾

  And its mixture is with the water of Tasnim.


 عَیۡنًا یَّشْرَبُ بِہَا الْمُقَرَّبُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۸﴾

  A spring of which the chosen ones drink.

Tafsir al-Baghawi                                                     تفسیر البغوی                            

عَنِ الْبَرَاءِ مَرْفُوعًا: إِنَّ عِلِّيِّينَ فِي السَّمَاءِ السَّابِعَةِ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ

Sayyiduna Bara’ – may Allah be pleased with him – reported that the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated:  Indeed Illiyyin is situated in the seventh heaven under the ‘Arsh.

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-Qurtubi                                                                                                                                                                                      تفسیر القرطبی                                                    

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: إِنَّ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ لَيَنْظُرُونَ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ مِنْ كَذَا، فَإِذَا أَشْرَفَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ عِلِّيِّينَ أَشْرَقَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِضِيَاءِ وَجْهِهِ، فَيَقُولُونَ: مَا هَذَا النُّورُ فَيُقَالُ أَشْرَفَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ عِلِّيِّينَ الْأَبْرَارِ أَهْلِ الطَّاعَةِ وَالصِّدْقِ

وَفِي خَبَرٍ آخَرَ: إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ لَيَرَوْنَ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ كَمَا يُرَى الْكَوْكَبُ الدُّرِّيُّ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ

يَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ عِلِّيِّينَ اسْمُ الْمَوْضِعِ الْمُرْتَفِعِ.

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated:  Indeed the people of Illiyin will see the Paradise from a certain distance.  The Paradise will be illuminated with the light of one of their faces.  The residents of Paradise will then ask, “What is this light?”  It will be said to them, “One of the people of Illiyin, who are the people of truth and obedience, has casted a glance (over Paradise).”

In another Hadeeth it is mentioned:  Indeed the residents of Paradise will see the people of Illiyyin like the bright stars are seen on the horizon.

This proves that indeed Illiyyin is an elevated station.

كِتابٌ مَرْقُومٌ أَيْ كِتَابُ الْأَبْرَارِ

رُوِيَ: أَنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَصْعَدُ بِعَمَلِ الْعَبْدِ، فَيَسْتَقْبِلُونَهُ  فَإِذَا انْتَهَوْا بِهِ إِلَى مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنْ سُلْطَانِهِ أَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ: إِنَّكُمُ الْحَفَظَةُ عَلَى عَبْدِي، وَأَنَا الرَّقِيبُ عَلَى مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ، وَإِنَّهُ أَخْلَصَ لِي عَمَلَهُ، فَاجْعَلُوهُ فِي عِلِّيِّينَ، فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُ، وَإِنَّهَا لَتَصْعَدُ بِعَمَلِ الْعَبْدِ، فَيَتْرُكُونَهُ فَإِذَا انْتَهَوْا بِهِ إِلَى مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ: أَنْتُمُ الْحَفَظَةُ عَلَى عَبْدِي وَأَنَا الرَّقِيبُ عَلَى مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ، وَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يخلص لي عمله، فاجعلوه في سجين.

That record i.e. the record of the pious, is a sealed writing.

It is narrated that the angels are welcomed when they ascend with the deeds of a servant.  When they reach a point to where Allah Almighty has ordained, He sends them the revelation, “You are the guards over My servants while I am aware of what is in his heart.  He has been sincere in his actions he has performed, so take him to the Illiyyin, for I have forgiven him.”   The angels will ascend with the deeds of a servant.  When they reach a point to where Allah Almighty has ordained, He sends them the revelation, “You are the guards over My servants while I am aware of what is in his heart.  He has been sincere in his actions he has performed, so take him to the Sijjin.” 

يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ أَيْ يَشْهَدُ عَمَلَ الْأَبْرَارِ مُقَرَّبُو كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ.

قَالَ وَهْبٌ وَابْنُ إِسْحَاقَ: الْمُقَرَّبُونَ هُنَا إِسْرَافِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، فَإِذَا عَمِلَ الْمُؤْمِنُ عَمَلَ الْبِرِّ، صَعِدَتِ الملائكة بالصحيفة وله نور يتلألأ في السموات كَنُورِ الشَّمْسِ فِي الْأَرْضِ، حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهَا إِلَى إِسْرَافِيلَ، فَيَخْتِمُ عَلَيْهَا وَيَكْتُبُ فَهُوَ قَوْلُهُ: يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ أي يشهد كتابتهم.

The chosen ones see to it i.e. the close angels of every heaven will bear witness on the actions of the pious.

Sayyiduna Wahb and Ibn Ishaq – may Allah be pleased with them – said: “The chosen angel” here refers to Sayyiduna Israfeel – peace be upon him.  When a believer does something good, the angels ascend with the book of deeds bearing a light that illuminates the heaven, like the light of the sun on the earth, until they deliver it to Sayyiduna Israfeel – peace be upon him.  He will then stamp on it and write.  This is the meaning of this verse.

عَلَى الْأَرائِكِ يَنْظُرُونَ

وَعَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: (يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَى أَعْدَائِهِمْ فِي النَّارِ)

They look at thrones.

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – is reported to have said:  They will be looking at their enemies in hell.

وَمِزاجُهُ مِنْ تَسْنِيمٍ وَهُوَ أَشْرَفُ شَرَابٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ.

رُوِيَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ: تَسْنِيمٌ عَيْنٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ

And its mixture is with the water of Tasnim, which is the best drink of Paradise.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have said:  Tasnim is a spring in Paradise from which the chosen ones will drink.

Tafsir Qurtubi (Al-Jame’ Li Ahkaam al-Quran) Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi t D. 671 A.H.

Tafsir al-Jalalain                                                                                                                        تفسیر الجلالین                                                

{كَلَّا} حَقًّا {إِنَّ كِتَاب الْأَبْرَار} أَيْ كِتَاب أَعْمَال الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الصَّادِقِينَ فِي إِيمَانهمْ {لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ} قِيلَ هُوَ كِتَاب جَامِع لِأَعْمَالِ الْخَيْر مِنْ الْمَلَائِكَة وَمُؤْمِنِي الثَّقَلَيْنِ

 وَقِيلَ هُوَ مَكَان فِي السَّمَاء السَّابِعَة تَحْت الْعَرْش

Nay!, verily, the record of the pious, that is, the record of the deeds of the believers who were sincere in their faith, is in ‘Illiyyin — this is said to be the book containing all the good deeds of the angels and the believers from among the two heavy ones [sc. mankind and jinn];

It is also said to be a place below the Throne in the seventh heaven.

{وَمَا أَدْرَاك} أَعْلَمَك {مَا عِلِّيُّونَ} مَا كِتَاب عليين

And what will tell you, [what will] inform you, what ‘Illiyyun is? i.e. what the book of ‘Illiyyin is?

{كِتَاب مَرْقُوم} مَخْتُوم

[It is] a sealed book,

{يَشْهَدهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ} مِنْ الْمَلَائِكَة

Witnessed by those brought close, from among the angels.

{إِنَّ الْأَبْرَار لَفِي نَعِيم} جَنَّة

Assuredly the pious will be amid bliss, [in] Paradise.

{عَلَى الْأَرَائِك} السُّرَر فِي الْحِجَال {يَنْظُرُونَ} مَا أُعْطُوا مِنْ النَّعِيم

Upon couches, [upon] beds beneath canopies, gazing, at the bliss which they have been given.

{تَعْرِف فِي وُجُوههمْ نَضْرَة النَّعِيم} بَهْجَة التَّنَعُّم وحسنه

You will perceive in their faces the radiancy of bliss, the splendour and beauty of blissfulness,

{يُسْقَوْنَ مِنْ رَحِيق} خَمْر خَالِصَة مِنْ الدَّنَس {مَخْتُوم} عَلَى إِنَائِهَا لَا يَفُكّ خَتْمه غَيْرهمْ

As they are given to drink a nectar, a wine free of any impurities, that is sealed, in its vessel, none other than them breaking its seal,

{خِتَامه مِسْك} أَيْ آخِر شُرْبه تَفُوح مِنْهُ رَائِحَة الْمِسْك {وَفِي ذَلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسْ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ} فَلْيَرْغَبُوا بِالْمُبَادَرَةِ إِلَى طَاعَة اللَّه

Whose seal is musk, that is, whose final sip is followed by an emanating scent of musk — so for such [bliss] let the viers vie, let them wish themselves to the obedience of Allah

{وَمِزَاجه} أَيْ مَا يُمْزَج بِهِ {مِنْ تَسْنِيم} فسر بقوله

And whose mixture i.e. that with which it is mixed, is of Tasnim, which is explained by His [following] words:

{عَيْنًايَشْرَب بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ} مِنْهَا

A spring from which those close ones will drink.

Tafsir al-Jalalain of Imam Jalaaluddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli al-Shafe’i t D. 864 A.H. and Imam Jalaaluddin Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Suyooti al-Shafe’i t D. 911 A.H.

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