36.13 وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَثَلا أَصْحَابَ الْقَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَاءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ
إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا
بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ مُرْسَلُونَ36.14
(13) WA- IDRIB LA-HUM MATHALAN AS.HAAB AL- QARYAH ‘IDH JAA’A -HAA AL- MURSALON
And tell them by way of a story of the Companions of the City. To whom there came apostles.
(14) ‘IDH ARSALNAA ‘ILAY -HIM ITHNAIN FA- KATHABO -HUMAA FA-‘AZAZNAA BI- THAALITHEEN FA- QAALO ‘INNA ‘ILAY -KUM MURSALON
At first We sent to them two Rasools, but when they rejected both We strengthened them with a third and they all said: “Surely we have been sent to you as Rasools.” [a Rasool (or Rasul) is a messenger from Allah (swt)]
Allah sends his messengers of truth by ones and by twos and where the opposition is great and He considers it necessary, he supports them with others. Their mission is divine, but they do not claim to be more than men. And this is used by the unjust and the ungodly, by those who lack Taqwa as a reproach. In other words they say “you are but men.” But it should commend them to men for mankind is enriched by having the message of Allah (SWT) delivered by human messengers. But because it exposes evil people they rail against it and deny it and wallow in their selfishness. And often it is the poor and the destitute that understand the message and accept it and are willing to work for it. The rest accomplish their own destruction.
قَالُوا مَا أَنْتُمْ إِلا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُنَا وَمَا أَنْزَلَ
الرَّحْمَنُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلا تَكْذِبُونَ36.15
(15) QAALO MAA ‘ANTUM ‘ILLAA BASHARUN MITHLOONAA WA- MANZALA AR- RAHMAAN MIN SHAYEEIN ‘ANTUM ‘ILLAA TAKTHIBOON
They (the people of the city) said: “You are only men like us; and Allah Most Merciful sends no sort of revelation: You do nothing but lie.”
Not only did they deny these messengers, again by noting that they were “only” men but they actually denied that Allah (SWT) sends messengers at all. And they convict themselves further by using “Allah, most merciful” in a sarcastic and ironic way. Showing their contempt and disbelief.
36.16 قَالُوا رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ
(16) QAALO RABBNAA YA’LAMU ‘INNA ‘ILAYKUM LA- MURSALOON
They (those sent) said: “Our Rabb knows that we have indeed been sent as Rasools to you
But these messengers are true to their faith in Allah (SWT) and they warn the people with this. They warn them that Allah (SWT) has indeed sent them and to deny them is to deny the authority of Allah (SWT) which they do at their peril. Just as we do in our own lives.
36.17 وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلا الْبَلاغُ الْمُبِينُ
(17) WA- MAA ‘ALAY -NAA ‘ILLA AL- BALAAGHU AL- MUBEN
“And Our duty is only to proclaim the clear Message.”
And now they tell the purpose of their mission, to deliver a clear message to those who are ignorant. To explain to them where they have gone wrong and how to go right. Do we not get these clear messages from Allah (SWT) in our lives and in our deen? It is up to us to accept them and incorporate them in our lives. No one else, not even a messenger can do that for us. The messenger can only deliver the message.
قَالُوا إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِنْ لَمْ تَنْتَهُوا لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ
وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ36.18
(18) QAALO ‘INNA TATAYARNAA BIKUM LA- ‘IN LAM TANTAHO LA- NARJUMAN-AKUM WA- LA- YAMASAN-AKUM MIN -NAA ‘ADHAAB ‘ALEM
The (people) said: “for us We see an evil omen from you: if you don’t stop we will surely stone you and a grievous punishment indeed will be inflicted on you by us.”
So now here we see the people continue to deny the message of Allah and the messengers. Even to the point of threatening them with stoning.
36.19 قَالُوا طَائِرُكُمْ مَعَكُمْ أَئِنْ ذُكِّرْتُمْ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُسْرِفُونَ
(19) QAALO TA’IRKUM MA’A -KUM ‘A-‘IN THUKIRTUM BAL ‘ANTUM QAWM MUS-RIFOON
They (the messengers) said: “Your evil omens are with yourselves: You deem ye this an evil omen if ye are admonished? You are a people transgressing all bounds!”
Our evil omens are within ourselves. The voice of our nafs, the voice of the shayeteen within us, prodding us to disobey Allah’s will and to do what we please. We transgress when we do not listen and have Taqwa for Allah (SWT) and keep him and his message and his messengers close to us in our hearts. Remember that Muhammad (SAW) has said that when we forget Allah (SWT) our hearts harden and we grow ever further.
We see in this story a parable for our own lives. For that is the purpose of Allah (SWT) putting it here in Sura Ya Sin. It is a reminder to us to listen to the righteous messengers. When we deny them, when we only see our wishes and if the message goes against our wishes then we say it is evil. Or we say we do not believe it. When in reality our disbelief comes from inside ourselves. After all we are only human and our desires are put here to test us. Remember we are tested both with abundance and with lack. So when we deny what we know to be true because it may relieve us of some of that abundance, from some of the freedom we know that it is also a test. Are we holding on to what we have so strongly that we cannot open our heart to Allah (SWT) the one who made us and the one who will call us back> Inna allahi wa inna allahi rajayun.
We are here on this earth for a short time. It is up to us what we do with that time. Allah’s mercy is on us every second of our lives if we only know. And how can we know if we are not looking and listening? And even if we are looking and listening how can we know if our hearts are not softened by remembrance of Allah (SWT)? If our hearts worship money and possessions is there room for Allah (SWT)?
I am not talking about leaving all the world behind, Allah does not want that for us either. But rather not to replace him in our hearts with the worldly things. We say we live in the world but not of the world, that we live with our heads in the clouds but with our feet on the ground.
We pray for Allah’s mercy and compassion and assistance in following the straight path in our lives. Ameen
Wa allahu alim.