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Alarming the Idolators with News of the Day when the Sky will bring forth a visible Smoke Print E-mail
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

Alarming the Idolators with News of the Day when the Sky will bring forth a visible Smoke

Allah says, these idolaters are playing about in doubt, i.e., the certain truth has come to them, but they doubt it and do not believe in it. Then Allah says, warning and threatening them:

[فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ]
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) It was narrated that Masruq said, "We entered the Masjid -- i.e., the Masjid of Kufah at the gates of Kindah -- and a man was reciting to his companions,

[يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ]
(the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) He asked them; `Do you know what that is' That is the smoke that will come on the Day of Resurrection. It will take away the hearing and sight of the hypocrites, but for the believers it will be like having a cold.''' He said, "We came to Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, and told him about that. He was lying down, and he sat up with a start and said, `Allah said to your Prophet

[قُلْ مَآ أَسْـَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَآ أَنَآ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ ]
(Say: "No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the pretenders.'') (38:86). And it is part of knowledge that when a man does not know something, he should say, `Allah knows best.' I will tell you a Hadith about that. When the Quraysh did not respond to Islam and they grew stubborn, the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them that they would have years like the years (of drought and famine) of Yusuf. They became so exhausted and hungry that they ate bones and dead meat. They looked at the sky, but they saw nothing but smoke.''' According to another report: "A man would look at the sky and he would see nothing between him and the sky except a smoky haze, because of his exhaustion.''

[فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ - يَغْشَى النَّاسَ هَـذَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ]
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this is a painful torment) A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to send rain to Mudar, for they are dying. So the Prophet prayed for rain for them, and they got rain. Then the Ayah was revealed:

[إِنَّا كَاشِفُواْ الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلاً إِنَّكُمْ عَآئِدُونَ ]
(Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.) Ibn Mas`ud said, "Do you think that the torment will be removed for them on the Day of Resurrection When they were granted ease, they reverted to their former state. Then Allah revealed:

[يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَى إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ ]
(On the Day when We shall strike you with the Great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.)'' He said, "This means the day of Badr.'' Ibn Mas`ud said, "Five things have come to pass: the smoke, the (defeat of the) Romans, the (splitting of the) moon, the Batshah, and the torment.'' This Hadith was narrated in the Two Sahihs. It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, and by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i in their (Books of) Tafsir, and by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim with a number of chains of narration. A number of the Salaf, such as Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi concurred with Ibn Mas`ud's interpretation of this Ayah and his view that the smoke already happened. This was also the view of Ibn Jarir. According to the Hadith of Abu Sarihah, Hudhayfah bin Asid Al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah looked out upon us from a room while we were discussing the Hour. He said:

Alarming the Idolators with News of the Day when the Sky will bring forth a visible Smoke

Allah says, these idolaters are playing about in doubt, i.e., the certain truth has come to them, but they doubt it and do not believe in it. Then Allah says, warning and threatening them:

[فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ]
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) It was narrated that Masruq said, "We entered the Masjid -- i.e., the Masjid of Kufah at the gates of Kindah -- and a man was reciting to his companions,

[يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ]
(the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) He asked them; `Do you know what that is' That is the smoke that will come on the Day of Resurrection. It will take away the hearing and sight of the hypocrites, but for the believers it will be like having a cold.''' He said, "We came to Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, and told him about that. He was lying down, and he sat up with a start and said, `Allah said to your Prophet

[قُلْ مَآ أَسْـَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَآ أَنَآ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ ]
(Say: "No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the pretenders.'') (38:86). And it is part of knowledge that when a man does not know something, he should say, `Allah knows best.' I will tell you a Hadith about that. When the Quraysh did not respond to Islam and they grew stubborn, the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them that they would have years like the years (of drought and famine) of Yusuf. They became so exhausted and hungry that they ate bones and dead meat. They looked at the sky, but they saw nothing but smoke.''' According to another report: "A man would look at the sky and he would see nothing between him and the sky except a smoky haze, because of his exhaustion.''

[فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِى السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ - يَغْشَى النَّاسَ هَـذَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ]
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this is a painful torment) A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to send rain to Mudar, for they are dying. So the Prophet prayed for rain for them, and they got rain. Then the Ayah was revealed:

[إِنَّا كَاشِفُواْ الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلاً إِنَّكُمْ عَآئِدُونَ ]
(Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.) Ibn Mas`ud said, "Do you think that the torment will be removed for them on the Day of Resurrection When they were granted ease, they reverted to their former state. Then Allah revealed:

[يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَى إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ ]
(On the Day when We shall strike you with the Great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.)'' He said, "This means the day of Badr.'' Ibn Mas`ud said, "Five things have come to pass: the smoke, the (defeat of the) Romans, the (splitting of the) moon, the Batshah, and the torment.'' This Hadith was narrated in the Two Sahihs. It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, and by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i in their (Books of) Tafsir, and by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim with a number of chains of narration. A number of the Salaf, such as Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi concurred with Ibn Mas`ud's interpretation of this Ayah and his view that the smoke already happened. This was also the view of Ibn Jarir. According to the Hadith of Abu Sarihah, Hudhayfah bin Asid Al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah looked out upon us from a room while we were discussing the Hour. He said:

 
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