Who are the people that are mentioned as people from those of old and those of later times in the 13 and 14th verses of the chapter al-Waqia?
Submitted by on Mon, 31/05/2010 - 13:06
Dear Brother / Sister,
In the verses “ A number of people from those of old And a few from those of later times. ", the people who are pioneers in belief and virtue are mentioned.
The 10-16th verses of the chapter al-Waqia:
10. And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter).
11. These will be those Nearest to Allah:
12. In Gardens of Bliss:
13.14 A number of people from those of old - And a few from those of later times.
15. (They will be) on Thrones encrusted (with gold and precious stones).
16. Reclining on them facing each other.
Hadiths regarding the issue:
Jabir b. Abdillah (may Allah be pleased with him) says:
When the chapter al-Waqia was sent down and when the verse: " A number of people from those of old And a few from those of later times " was recited, Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was sorry and asked:
«O Messenger of Allah! A number of people from those of old And a few from those of later times, is that right?» After a while, the 39 and 40th verses of the same chapter: " A (goodly) number from those of old― And a (goodly) number from those of later times." were sent down, explaining the previous verses in the form of glad tidings. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) called Hazrat Umar and said:
«O Umar! Come and hear the verses that Allah has sent down!» and he stated the following after reciting the 39 and 40th verses that had just been sent down:
«Know it well that all of the believers that passed away beginning from Adam to me form a big group and my ummah forms a big group, too. We will not be able to form one-third of our group until we receive help from two significant groups of camel herdsmen who witness by saying “La ilaha illa'llahu wahdahu la sharika lah” (There is no god except Allah alone; he has no partners)» (Hafiz Ibn Asakir, from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him)
«My Ummah is like rain, it is not known whether the first part of it is better or the last part.» (Tirmidhi/adab: 91)
«A group of my followers will remain predominant till Allah's Order (the Hour) comes upon them while they are still predominant.» (Bukhari/ i'tisam : 10- Muslim/Iman : 247, imarah: 170, 173- Abu Dawud/ fitan: 1- Tirmidhi/ fitan : 27, 51- Ibn Majah, Muqaddima: 1, Ahmad: 5/34, 269, 279.)
«I swear by Allah who has my soul in his hand that your group will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment; they will be like the darkness of the night and they will cover the whole ground due to their multitude. Then, the angels will say:
«Those who came with Muhammad (pbuh) are more than those who came with other prophets.» (Tabarani, from Abu Malik)
The Group that will be formed from the True believers of Ummahs:
« A number of people from those of old And a few from those of later times.»
The Quran divides the people who have belief and deserve to form a group into two:
’A number of people from those of old’ are the prophets that passed. ‘A few from those of later times’ are the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the scholars from his ummah. The real scholars of this ummah have a degree that is close to the degree of the prophets of the Sons of Israel.
The interpretation above belongs to Fakhruddin ar-Razi. Another interpretation is as follows:
’A number of people from those of old’ are «muhajir» and «ansar» that embraced Islam first. ‘A few from those of later times’ are the believers that embraced Islam but did not emigrate and stayed in their hometowns.
Or, as it is stated in the hadith reported from a single channel, the 39 and 40th verses of the same chapter explain it.
There is another interpretation, which is stated below:
’A number of people from those of old’ are the Companions of the Prophet. ‘A few from those of later times’ are the Tabi’in, who met the Companions of the Prophet and believed in Islam. Allah knows the best. (Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, Anadolu Yayınları: 12/5990)
Or, what is mentioned in those verses is the ummah of the Messenger of Allah; the first of those are the Companions of the Prophet. They are the Muslims that believed in the guidance brought by our Prophet (pbuh) despite all of the adverse conditions of the first period full of troubles and supported the Prophet although they were threatened and suffered all kinds of oppression and torture.
It is natural that most of them are from the Companions and few of them are from the Muslims that came later.
Or, it is natural that those who supported Noah (pbuh) when the whole community rejected him, those who were together with Moses (pbuh), those who were together with Abraham (pbuh), Saleh (pbuh), Lot (pbuh), those who supported prophets, who sacrificed themselves for prophets, who were killed due to their support to prophets, who did not mind torture belong to that first group.
The first people, first believers, first Muslims believed in very difficult conditions; therefore, they belong to the first group and the generations that followed belong to the second group mentioned as a few. At first, the first group will come; then, in the periods when it is easy to become Muslims, Muslims that think of nothing but being a Muslim will come. (See Basairu’l Qur’an)
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