Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verse 75
75. " Say: 'Whoever goes astray, the Beneficent (Allah) will prolong his span of life until, when they see what they were promised, whether it be the chastisement (in this world), or the Hour (of Doom), then they will know who is worse in position and weaker in hosts'.”
The Arabic terms /madd/ and /'imdad/ are used with the same sense, but, as Raqib says, the term /'imdad/ is usually used for some praiseworthy and pleasing actions, and the term /madd/ is usually used for some disagreeable and indecent deeds.
Allah respites all those who choose a vice and go astray. This respite is for the sake that they may repent, or some righteous offspring from them come into being. But some misguided people misuse this respite and commit some more vice by which they increase their own punishment. However, Allah respites them and prolongs their lifetime.
The structure of this sentence in Arabic in imperative form denotes to the certainty of the performance of the affair. The sentence has been stated in an imperative form in order that there remains no pretext for the misguided one, since he has been given a length of lifetime during which he might think of a way. The imperative verb may be taken in the sense of invocation in which he has asked Allah to give him a respite,
or He may let him live in the world as long as he desires, because his lifetime is of no avail for him. The verse says:
" Say: 'Whoever goes astray, the Beneficent (Allah) will prolong his span of life …"
Allah will prolong the life of such people in order that they see with their own eyes what they have been promised. His promise may either be the chastisement of this world: that the Muslims overcome them and, by killing them or capturing them, punish them, or that they be involved with the chastisements of Hereafter. At that time, they will realize that they have considered wrongly, i.e. their position is worse and their troop is weaker than that they thought, and they used to say that they would have a higher position and a better assembly. The verse continues saying:
" …until, when they see what they were promised, whether it be the chastisement (in this world), or the Hour (of Doom), then they will know who is worse in position and weaker in hosts'."
Abu-Basir narrates a tradition upon the phrase: "…until when they see what they were promised, …" from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said: "It is the promise of the advent of Hadrat Gha'im (a.s.), and 'worse in position' means that on the day of the raise of Gha'im it will be known who in an indecent and weak position is."(1)
1- At-Tafsir-ul-Burhan, vol. 3, p. 20; Tafsir-us-Safi, vol.3 p. 291; Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 431
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Maryam" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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