Firs God sent two Messengers to a habitation. The people did not listen to their message. Then, God sent a third Prophet to them. The people said that since Messengers were human beings, they could not be Messengers. These people held the view that Allah does not send down any Revelation at all for the guidance of man. He is only concerned with the affairs of the heavens. He has left the affairs and problems of men to be resolved by man himself. The Messengers said that their only duty was to convey the Message. Then it was up to them to accept or not. The Messengers were not made responsible to make them accept forcibly. If people did not accept that message, those prophets would not be seized. Then, people themselves would be answerable for their crimes. The people considered that the Messengers were an evil omen for them. Their gods had become angry with them on account of what Messengers had been saying against them. Then whatever calamity was befalling them was only because of the Messengers. The Messengers replied that no one was an evil omen for another. Every man's augury was hanging around his own neck. They said that If a person died as evil, it was because of himself. And if he saw a good, it was also because of himself. People in fact wanted to avoid the good and they liked the deviation from the straight path. Therefore, the people were making those pretences on account of their superstitious whims.
meantime a man came running from the remote part of the city, and he asked the
people to follow the Messengers.
Those Messengers were not asking any reward from the people. He said whatever those Messengers were
saying was perfectly reasonable and their own character also was pure, He concluded that there was no reason
why those Messengers should not be listened to. He said that to worship the Creator was the demand of
both reason and nature. It would
be highly unreasonable that one should worship those who had not created him. One should not deny to be the servant of Him Who has created
him. He warned that all people have
to die and return to that God adoption of Whose service those people object
to. He inquired what goodness could
they expect by turning away from Him.
Those people were neither such favorites of God that even if he
committed grave crimes He would forgive him on their recommendation, nor were
they so powerful that they should be able to rescue him if God might please to
punish him. The Lord in Whom he
had believed was not merely his Lord but their Lord too. He had committed no error by believing
in Him, but those people, in fact, were certainly committing an error by not
believing in Him. They killed the
man. Immediately following his
martyrdom, the man was given the good news of
In their arrogance and pride of power and their strong antagonism towards the true faith, they thought that they would annihilate the three Prophets and their followers. But contrary to their plot, they were themselves annihilated by only one stroke of Divine punishment. They were annihilated so completely that no a trace of them was left behind. No one in the world even remembers them today. Their civilization as well as their race has become extinct.
Abul A'la, The Meaning of the Quran, Islamic Publications Ltd,
EN36:10 It is not necessary to know the name of the habitation and the messengers. The object is to warn the Quraish, as if to say: "You are following the same path of stubbornness, prejudice and denial of the truth as head been followed by the people of that habitation, and are preparing yourselves to meet the same doom as met by them.
We sent to them two Messengers and they denied both. Then We sent a third one to strengthen them, and they all said, “We have been sent to you as Messengers.” 36:14
EN36:11 In other words, what they wanted to say was this: "since you are human beings, you cannot be the messengers of God." The same was the view of the disbelievers of Makkah. They also said: "Muhammad cannot be a Messenger because he is a man."
EN36:12 This is another notion of ignorance in which the disbelievers of Makkah were involved. In it are the so called rationalists of today and in it have been involved the deniers of the Revelation and Prophethood of every age since the earliest times. These people have held the view that Allah does not send down any Revelation at all for the guidance of man. He is only concerned with the affairs of the heavens: He has left the affairs and problems of man to be resolved by man himself.
The Messengers said, “Our Lord knows that we have indeed been sent as Messengers to you 36:16
EN36:13 That is, "Our only duty is to convey to you the Message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible to make you accept it forcibly; and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief; you will yourselves be answerable for your crimes."
EN36:14 What they meant was this: "You are an evil omen for us. Our gods have become angry with us on account of what you have been saying against them. Now whatever calamity is befalling us is only because of you."
The Messengers replied, “Your evil omen is with your own selves.EN36:15 Do you say this because you have been admonished? The fact is that you are a people who have transgressed all limits.EN36:16 36:19
EN36:15 That is, "No one is an evil omen for another. Every man's augury is hanging around his own neck. If a person sees an evil, it is because of his own self; and if he sees a good, it is also because of his own self.
EN36:16 That is, "You in fact want to avoid the good and you like the deviation instead of the guidance. Therefore, instead of determining the truth and falsehood by means of an argument, you are making these pretences on account of your superstitious whims."
In the meantime a man came running from the remote part of the city, and he said, “O my people, follow the Messengers: 36:20
EN36:17 That servant of God, in this one sentence, put together all the arguments required for determining the genuineness of Prophethood, which can be determined by two things: First, his word and deed; second, his being selfless. What the person meant to say was this: "First, whatever these people are saying is perfectly reasonable, and their own character also is pure; second no one can prove that they are calling the people to this faith on account of a selfish motive. Therefore, there is no reason why they should not be listened to."
EN36:18 This sentence has two parts. The first part is a master piece of reasoning, the second of the wisdom of preaching. In the first part he says: "To worship the Creator is the demand of both reason and nature; it would be highly unreasonable that one should worship those who have not created him and should not deny to be the servant of Him Who has created him." In the second part he warns his people to the effect: "All of you ultimately have to die and return to that God adoption of Whose service you object to. Therefore, you should consider for yourselves as to what goodness you could expect by turning away from Him.
EN36:19 That is, They are neither such favorites of God that even if I commit grave crimes He will forgive me on their recommendation, nor are they so powerful that they should be able to rescue me if God may please to punish me."
EN36:21 This sentence again contains a subtle point of the wisdom of preaching. Saying this the man made the people realize: "The Lord in Whom I have believed is not merely his Lord but your Lord, too. I have committed no error by believing in Him, but you, in fact, are certainly committing an error by not believing in Him."
EN36:22 That is, "Immediately following his martyrdom, the man was given
the good news of
EN36:23 This is
a specimen of the high morality of the believer. He had no ill-will or feeling of vengeance in his heart
against the people who had just then killed him so that he could invoke Allah
against them. Instead, he was
still wishing them well. After
death the only wish that he cherished was : "Would that my people could
know the good end that I have met, and could learn a lesson from my death, if
not from my life, and adopt the righteous way." The noble person did not wish Hell for his murderers but
wished that they should believe and become worthy of
After him we did not send any army against his people from heaven nor was it needful for Us to send one. 36:28
EN36:24 These words contain a subtle satire. In their arrogance and pride of power and their strong antagonism towards the true faith, they thought they would annihilate the three Prophets and their followers, but contrary to their plot, they were themselves annihilated by only one stroke of the Divine punishment.
Alas for the servants! There came no Messenger to them but they scoffed at him. 36:30
EN36:25 That is, they were annihilated so completely that not a trace of them was left behind them. No one in the world even remembers them today. Their civilization as well as their race has become extinct.
One day they will be presented before Us! 36:32