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Sura 6
Aya 128
وَيَومَ يَحشُرُهُم جَميعًا يا مَعشَرَ الجِنِّ قَدِ استَكثَرتُم مِنَ الإِنسِ ۖ وَقالَ أَولِياؤُهُم مِنَ الإِنسِ رَبَّنَا استَمتَعَ بَعضُنا بِبَعضٍ وَبَلَغنا أَجَلَنَا الَّذي أَجَّلتَ لَنا ۚ قالَ النّارُ مَثواكُم خالِدينَ فيها إِلّا ما شاءَ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكيمٌ عَليمٌ

Muhammad Asad

AND ON THE DAY when He shall gather them [all] together, [He will say:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings! A great many [other] human beings have you ensnared!"1 And those of the humans who were close to them2 will say: "O our Sustainer! We did enjoy one another's fellowship [in life]; but [now that] we have reached the end of our term -the term which Thou hast laid down for us - [we see the error of our ways]!" [But] He will say: "The fire shall be your abode, therein to abide - unless God wills it otherwise."3 Verily, thy Sustainer is wise, all-knowing.
  • According to most of the commentators, the invisible beings (al-jinn) referred to here are the "evil forces" (shayatin) among them, such as are spoken of in verse 112 of this surah. It is generally assumed that these very beings or forces are addressed here; but the primary meaning of the term ma'shar appearing in this context warrants, in my opinion, a different conclusion. It is true that this term is often used to denote a group or community or genus of sentient beings which have certain characteristics in common: a conventional - and undoubtedly justifiable - use based on the verb 'asharahu, "he consorted [or "was on intimate terms"] with him" or "lived in close communion with him". But it is precisely this verbal origin of the term ma'shar which gives us a clue as to what is really meant here. Since, in its primary significance, a person's ma'shar denotes those who are on intimate terms or in close communion with him (cf. Lisan al-'Arab: "A man's ma'shar is his family"), we may well assume that it has a similar significance in the above Qur'anic phrase. Thus, to my mind, the allocution yd ma'shar al-jinn does not denote, "O you community of [evil] invisible beings" but, rather, "O you who are [or "have lived"] in close communion with [evil] invisible beings": in other words, it is addressed to the misguided human beings - who have been seduced by "glittering half-truths meant to delude the mind" (verse 112). This interpretation is reinforced by the words, "Have there not come unto you apostles from among yourselves", occurring in verse 130 below: for the Qur'an speaks always only of apostles who belonged to the human race, and never of apostles from among the jinn. (As regards the wide significance of this latter term, see Appendix III.)
  • Le., close to the evil invisible beings. It is to be remembered that the primary meaning of wali (of which awliya' is the plural) is "one who is close [to another]".
  • I.e., unless He graces them with His mercy (see verse 12 of this surah, and the corresponding note). Some of the great Muslim theologians conclude from the above and from the similar phrase occurring in 11:107 (as well as from several well-authenticated sayings of the Prophet) that - contrary to the bliss of paradise, which will be of unlimited duration - the suffering of the sinners in the life to come will be limited by God's mercy. (See in this connection the hadith quoted in note 10 on 40:12.)