“Chains Shall Be On Their Necks; They Shall Be Dragged Into…” Quran 40:71-72

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Background

These verses were revealed in Makkah:

“According to Ibn ‘Abbas and Jabir bin Zaid, this Surah was sent down consecutively after Surah Az-Zumar, and its present position in the order of the Surahs in the Quran is the same as its chronological order.” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an – Online Source)

On Surah Zumar:

“In verse 10 (wa ardullah-i-wasi atun: and Allah’s earth is vast) there is abundant evidence that this Surah was sent down before the migration to Habash. Some traditions provide the explanation that this verse was sent down in respect of Hadrat Ja’far bin Abi Talib and his companions when they made up their mind to emigrate to Habash.(Ruh al-Maani, volume 22, page 226).” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an – Online source)

Analysing Verses

“When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged Into boiling water, then in the fire shall they be burned.” Quran 40:71-72

The above verse speaks about the punishment of those sinners who went against God’s command or denied him.

Some misguided individuals have used the above verse claiming that the verses allow Muslims to burn non-believers, this is simply not true. The verse speaks of the realities of the sinners in the hereafter. It has nothing to do with things on earth. Even classical to contemporary exegesis on the Quran state the fact – that the verse speaks about the after-life.

Commentaries

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

“…(When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains.) means, the chains will be attached to the iron collars, and the keepers of Hell will drag them along on their faces, sometimes to the boiling water, and sometimes to the Fire. … (This is the Hell which the criminals denied. They will go between it and the fierce boiling water!) (55:43-44). After describing how they will eat Zaqqum (a bitter tree of Hell) and drink Hamim (boiling water)…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir on Surah 69 – 76 – Online source)

Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

“when (idh has the meaning of idha) [with] fetters around their necks and chains (wa’l-salasilu, a supplement to al-aghlalu, ‘fetters’, so that the meaning is that these [chains] are also around their necks; or it [al-salasilu, ‘chains’] is the subject, the predicate of which has been omitted, in other words [the meaning being]: around their feet [will be these chains] — or [alternatively] its predicate is [the following, yushabuna]), they are dragged, in other words, they are dragged away by these [chains]. into the boiling water, that is, [into] Hell, then in the Fire they are set aflame.
(Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 40:72 – Online source)

Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas:

“…(But they will come to know) on the Day of Judgement what will be done to them. This is a threat to them, (When carcans are about their necks and chains) tied up with the satans. (They are dragged) in the Fire…” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas on Surah 40:70-71 – online Source)

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