You are reading a tafsir for the group of verses 46:17 to 46:20

Mention of the Undutiful Children and Their End

In the previous Ayat, Allah mentions the dutiful offspring who supplicate for their parents and treat them with kindness. He describes the success and salvation He has prepared for them. Here He connects to that discussion the situation of the wretched offspring who are undutiful toward their parents. Allah says,

وَالَّذِى قَالَ لِوَلِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَآ

(But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you! ...") As for the saying "Uff" in this Ayah, it is a general description applying to anyone who says it to his parents. Some people claim that it was revealed about `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr. But this claim is weak and rejected, because `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr embraced Islam after this was revealed. His adherence to Islam was excellent, and he was among the best of his contemporaries. Al-Bukhari recorded from Yusuf bin Mahak that Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) was governor of Hijaz (Western Arabia), appointed by Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. He (Marwan) delivered a speech in which he mentioned Yazid bin Mu`awiyah and urged the people to give a pledge of allegiance after his father. `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said something to him in response to that, upon which Marwan commanded his men: "Arrest him!" But he entered `Aishah's house, and they were not able to capture him. Marwan then said: "This is the one about whom Allah revealed:

وَالَّذِى قَالَ لِوَلِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَآ أَتَعِدَانِنِى أَنْ أُخْرَجَ وَقَدْ خَلَتِ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِى

(But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised -- when generations before me have passed")" From behind the curtain, `Aishah responded: "Allah did not reveal any Qur'an in our regard (i.e. the children of Abu Bakr), except for the declaration of my innocence." In another report recorded by An-Nasa'i, Muhammad bin Ziyad reported that when Mu`awiyah was soliciting people to pledge allegiance to his son, and Marwan declared: "This follows the tradition of Abu Bakr and `Umar." On hearing this, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said: "Rather, this is the tradition of Heraclius and Caesar." Marwan responded: "This is the one about whom Allah revealed,

وَالَّذِى قَالَ لِوَلِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَآ

(But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you!")" When that was conveyed to `A'ishah, she said: "Marwan is lying! By Allah, that was not revealed about him. If I wish to name the person meant by it, I could. On the other hand, Allah's Messenger placed a curse on Marwan's father (Al- Hakam bin Abi Al-`As when Marwan was still in his loins, so Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) is an outcome of Allah's curse." As for Allah's statement:

أَتَعِدَانِنِى أَنْ أُخْرَجَ

(Do you promise me that I will be raised) meaning, resurrected.

وَقَدْ خَلَتِ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِى

(when generations before me have passed) meaning, generations of people have already passed away, and none of them has ever returned to tell (what happened to them)

وَهُمَا يَسْتَغِيثَانِ اللَّهَ

(While they invoke Allah for help) meaning, they ask Allah to guide him, and they say to their son,

وَيْلَكَ ءَامِنْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَيَقُولُ مَا هَـذَآ إِلاَّ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ

("Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true." But he says: "This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.") Allah then says,

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِى أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ خَـسِرِينَ

(They are those against whom the Word (of torment) has justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away.Verily, they are ever the losers.) This indicates that all such people will be among their likes and their peers among the disbelievers, who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Allah's saying,


(Those are) after He said,

وَالَّذِى قَالَ

(But he who says ) confirms what we have mentioned above that the latter is a general description of a type of people including all those who fall under that description. Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said, "This applies to the disbelieving, sinful person who is undutiful to his parents and who denies resurrection." Allah then says,

وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَـتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُواْ

(And for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did,) meaning that there will be degrees of punishment for each of them according to what they did.

وَلِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ

(so that He might fully recompense them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.) which means Allah will not be unjust to them even in the amount of a speck of dust or less. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said: "The levels of the Fire descend, and those of Paradise ascend." Allah then says,

وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَـتِكُمْ فِى حَيَـتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهَا

(On the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said): "You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein...") which means that this will be said to them by way of blame and reprimand. The Commander of the faithful, `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, gave up many of the joys of food and drink and refrained from them while saying, "I am afraid of being like those whom Allah has reproached and condemned by saying,

أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَـتِكُمْ فِى حَيَـتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهَا

(You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein)." Abu Mijlaz said: "Some people will lose good deeds that they had in the worldly life, and they will be told,

أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَـتِكُمْ فِى حَيَـتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا

(You received your good things in the life of the world)." Then Allah says,

فَالْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَفْسُقُونَ

(Today, you will be recompensed with the torment of extreme humiliation, because you were arrogant upon the earth without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allah's command.) which indicates that their punishment will be of a type comparable to their deeds. They enjoyed themselves, were arrogant in their denial of the truth, and were involved in sinning and disobedience. Thus, Allah punishes them with extreme humiliation, disgrace, severe pains, continued sorrow, and positions in the terrible depths of Hell -- may Allah protect us from all of that.