إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ
Hasan al basri rahimahullah said, regarding this ayah:
“contemplate the mercy of Allah; they killed His fellows though He calls them to repentence and forgiveness.”
This ayah as we know, is referring to the story of ashaab ul ukhdood, those who persecuted the believers and made a fire to throw them into it alive. Can we really think of something that is more evil than that? It is hard to get something worse than that, its really on the top level: extreme evil what they were doing to innocent people. and what was their motivation? hatred of their deen, because they were Muslims (that is made totally clear in a previous ayah: wa maa naqamoo minhum ilaa an yu2minoo billaah il 3azeez il hameed – they only hate them because they believe in Allah)
So first in the surah we get the explanation about what they have done to the believers, how they set the fire, and they are fully concious of all they are doing, of all the evil they commited, but then Allah says:
thumma lam yatooboo
then after that they did not turn back in repetence, they didn’t do tawbah for it.
okay when we read this normally its probably just without thinking too deeply: they did this, they didn’t repent for it, they go to jahannam.. that’s it.
but this point if you reflect about Allah’s saying “thumma lam yatooboo” its like subhanallah, after what they did, the door of repentence could have actually been open for them. they had that option. Allah did not cut them off from the possibilty of forgiveness, they could have done tawbah.
even after that extreme evil, they could have done tawbah. Look at the mercy of Allah, look at how forgiving Allah is; that this option was even available to them, that the possibilty of tawbah could have even been considered or mentioned for such a people.
How can anyone of us then think that we could do something and its too bad for us to turn back to Allah with repentence. The chance of repentence is even mentioned for these people, so we can never dispair of Allah’s mercy sincere tawbah can change the result of something. The way that this is mentioned in the ayah, it goes thumma lam yatooboo fa lahum jahannama…
so their being in Jahannam is a result of what? directly its a result of the fact that they did not repent. “fa” is a particle of cause and effect.
they did not repent – fa – they are in jahannam.. it shows a clear cause and effect there.
From just those few small words in the ayah if we reflect on them we can actually learn so much, & get so much out of it subhanallah.