Surah Al-Fajr: Verse 15

Tafsir of Verse 15, Surah Al-Fajr

فَأَمَّا ٱلْإِنسَٰنُ إِذَا مَا ٱبْتَلَىٰهُ رَبُّهُۥ فَأَكْرَمَهُۥ وَنَعَّمَهُۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّىٓ أَكْرَمَنِ

English Translation

And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has honored me."

English Transliteration

Faamma alinsanu itha ma ibtalahu rabbuhu faakramahu wanaAAAAamahu fayaqoolu rabbee akramani

Tafsir of Verse 15

As for man, whenever his Lord tries him, and honours him, and blesses him, then he says, 'My Lord has honoured me.'

Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honour and gifts, then saith he, (puffed up), "My Lord hath honoured me."

Wealth and Poverty are no Signs of One's Acceptance or Rejection

فَأَمَّا الْإِنسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ ۔ وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ (As for man, when his Lord tests him, and thus gives him honour and bounties, he says, "My Lord has honoured me. But when he tests him, and thus straitens his provision for him, he says, "My Lord has disgraced me...89:15-16). The word 'man' here primarily refers to an 'unbelieving man' who may form any thought about Allah as he feels like, but in its general sense, the word may include a Muslim as well who has the same thought as an unbeliever. When Allah gives abundant wealth and good health to such people, the devil puts into their head two false ideas. First, they succumb to their baser instincts; they become haughty and arrogant; and they think that the wealth and health is the result of their superior intellect, personal capability, efforts and achievement. Secondly, they think that they are enjoying a favourable status with Allah. If they did not enjoy the favourable position with Him, they would not have been granted such an abundance of wealth. By the same token, if Allah curtails their sustenance i.e. they suffer some degree of poverty, they regard it as a curse from Allah, and complain that He is humiliating or dishonouring them, while they deserved honour and respect. The unbelievers and idolaters do hold such thoughts and ideas, as the Qur'an has pointed out on many occasions, but it is regrettable that many Muslims nowadays fall into similar ideas. Allah refutes man's belief by the expression کَلَّا Kalla 'No/never!' The matter is not as he claims. Wealth does not indicate acceptance of a man by Allah, nor does poverty indicate rejection. [ For indeed Allah gives wealth to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love. Likewise, He withholds sustenance /wealth from those whom He loves and those whom He does not love.] Often the matter is quite the contrary. Fir'aun (the Pharaoh) claimed godhead and lordship, yet he never suffered from any headache. Some of Prophets (علیہم السلام) were sliced, by enemies, into two pieces with a saw. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said that the poor refugees will enter Paradise forty years before the wealthy muhajirs (Immigrants). [ Imam Muslim رحمۃ علیہ has transmitted it from ` Abdullah Ibn Umar ؓ - Mazhari ]. In another narration, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said that whomever Allah loves, He keeps him away from the worldly luxuries as people keep away their sickly patients from water. [ Ahmad and Tirmidhi transmitted it on the authority of Qatadah Ibn Nu` man Mazhari ].

Wealth and Poverty are both a Test and Honor or Disgrace for the Servant

Allah refutes man in his belief that if Allah gives Him abundant provisions to test him with it, it is out of His honor for him. But this is not the case, rather it is a trial and a test, as Allah says,

أَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّمَا نُمِدُّهُمْ بِهِ مِن مَّالٍ وَبَنِينَ - نُسَارِعُ لَهُمْ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ بَل لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ

(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We enlarge them. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) (23:55-56) Likewise, from another angle, if Allah tests him and tries him by curtailing his sustenance, he believes that is because Allah is humiliating him. As Allah says,


(But no!) meaning, the matter is not as he claims, neither in this nor in that. For indeed Allah gives wealth to those whom He loves as well as those whom He does not love. Likewise, He withholds sustenance from those whom He loves and those whom He does not love. The point is that Allah should be obeyed in either circumstance. If one is wealthy, he should thank Allah for that, and if he is poor, he should exercise patience.

From the Evil that the Servant does regarding Wealth

Allah said,

بَل لاَّ تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ-

(But you treat not the orphans with kindness and generosity!) This contains the command to honor him (the orphan). Abu Dawud recorded from Sahl bin Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أَنَا وَكَافِلُ الْيَتِيمِ كَهَاتَيْنِ فِي الْجَنَّة»

(The guardian of the orphan and I will be like these two in Paradise.) And he put his two fingers together - the middle finger and the index finger.

وَلاَ تَحَاضُّونَ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ-

(And urge not one another on the feeding of the Miskin!) meaning, they do not command that the poor and the needy be treated with kindness, nor do they encourage each other to do so.

وَتَأْكُلُونَ التُّرَاثَ

(And you devour the Turath) meaning, the inheritance.

أَكْلاً لَّمّاً

(devouring with greed.) meaning, however they can get it, whether lawful or forbidden.

وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبّاً جَمّاً

(And you love wealth with love Jamma.) meaning, in abundance. This increases some of them in their wickedness.

Verse 15 - Surah Al-Fajr: (فأما الإنسان إذا ما ابتلاه ربه فأكرمه ونعمه فيقول ربي أكرمن...)