Introduction: Allah SWT in this ayah appeals to the intellect, understanding and deductive capabilities of the human mind. He shows evidence of the types of punishments sent as calamities by the All Powerful, both  in the past as well as in the time of our Prophet and some are illustrated in the present times.  He (SWT) refers to these calamities as examples of  punishment of a nation of people that were disobedient to Him (SWT), and  ignored the  warnings of His(SWT) messengers.Hurricane from Tariq’s files He gives examples of two major categories of calamities, those without (in nature) and those within (the human society) he reminds us that these calamities from Allah.

6:65 Say: “He hath power to send calamities on you, from above and below, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, giving you a taste of mutual vengeance – each from the other.” See how We explain the signs by various (symbols); that they may understand.

Qul huwa alqadiru AAala an yabAAatha AAalaykum AAathaban min fawqikum aw min tahti arjulikum aw yalbisakum shiyaAAan wayutheeqa baAAdakum basa baAAdin onthur kayfa nusarrifu alayati laAAallahum yafqahoona

قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَى أَن يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ

شِيَعاً وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُم بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ (6:65)

Allah mentions two types of calamities:

1. Calamities from above and below (from the sky and earth)Examples are of Human civilizations destroyed by the wind (Ad), by thunder (Thamud), by earthquake (Qaroon), and nowadays hurricanes, tsunami, volcano, drought, landslides, salinity etc. Death Valley

2. Calamities from within (inside human society) oppression of people above you (your parents, bosses, rulers, etc) or those who are under you (your children, your subordinates etc)Allah can mix you up in the form of divided groups, with bad feelings about each other, or give you the taste of one groups vengeance on the other.

In this ayah Allah is providing fiqh (daleel and understanding with proof and reasons, increasing the depth of understanding) to enhance the understanding of where are these calamities coming from and who has power over them.

Allah is bringing these reasons so that people can change their behavior and actions, so as to prevent the calamity of infighting.

The second type of calamity i.e. the calamity of groups or sects fighting with each other and wreaking vengeance over each other is more insidious and can make life a model of hell on earth.Since it is insidious and sneaks into society gradually, as a muslim we are alerted and warned about it in this ayah.

These examples illustrate the supremacy of Allah, and He enhances our understanding of His power by using examples that our finite intellect can understand and thus He (SWT) prompts us to change our mode of behavior.

The ayah while reminding us of the supremacy of Allah is also a sober reminder that these calamities sent to us as a group of people, and which touch us enmasse from above, below and within are a punishment from Him. (Tafseer from Farhat Hashmi and The Retreat)

My take on this: Allah SWT is appealing to our intellect, He gives us both historical examples: the ruins of Ad, Thamud and Qaroon are in front of us, the infighting amongst the muslims sects and groups are in front of us…Are we to look at these as happenstances or as punishment being meted out to the disobedient abd.

If the infighting is not a major scale in my area does that mean that the punishment is not for me?

The Punishment is not always geographically pure as the muslim Ummah is widespread. In my humble view when a punishment in the form of infighting comes within a group, it is both from the sins of commission i.e. the infighting as well as the sins of omission i.e. not modeling our behavior on our Prophet PBUH to prevent such behavior that leads to this calamity.

The appeal is to our intellect and understanding: would we accept Him as our true Almighty and refrain from, stay away and avoid all that He forbids, and quit giving priority to the created over the Creator? (A form of shirk)

I am reminded why this is the Surah of Tawheed!

It is emotionally exhausting to review this ayah as it takes me on a roller coaster of events and outcomes, and yet as It unfolds, the reasons for conflict in the world at this time fall in place.

Despite the sobering message, on competion of the review, I feel energized to do my part however small and insignificant it may be in this huge world, and make up for my past ignorance of this ayah and surah as a whole. Perhaps I am one of the missing pieces in the global picture of Tawheed. Are you?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his infinite gentleness and mercy to mankind made a dua for protection from the calamities of Allah over His Ummah. (1400 plus years ago he was looking out for us):

At the Masjid e Ijaba (8 miles from Jannat al Baqi) he prayed two rakat and made three duas two were accepted and one was turned away:

They are as follows and I paraphrase:

1. Don’t send a calamity that would bury my Ummah in the ground (Azaab from below) (this dua was accepted)

2. Don’t allow a ruler that would be an enemy of our deen to exterminate our deen. (Azaab from above) (This dua was accepted)

3. Don’t let my Ummah fight with each other (Azaab within) (turned away). (end tafseer).

My take on this: people are responsible for their own actions and they have to make the concerted effort to demonstrate that they are able and desirous to recognize the truth, accept it and subjugate their ego to fulfill the rights of the other, based on the truth and their obedience to Allah.

We have to respect each other’s superficial differences.We need to enhance the good in oneself and others and discourage the bad in us and cover or provide satar (hide) the bad in a fellow muslim.. Only then can the fitna of dissent and dislike be prevented from spreading.

Some people misunderstand this and think it is disallowed for muslims to organize and have groups. I think here by groups is meant groups where arrogance is the basis of the niyyah and the intent is exclusion rather than inclusion of muslims, and the purpose is agrandizement of one group over an other rather than the agrandizement of Allah SWT and His absolute power.

Tafseer: This is a severe test. Thus we need to stay away from those acts that enhance division within the muslims. Most fights between people are due to their ego raising its head or the nafs. If one ignores, hides or does not acknowledge the truth in all humility, the nafs strengthens. The stronger the nafs the more it hardens the heart and the further one gets from true tawhid.

My comment: one amazing aspect of this tafseer is something that FH says in the end and that is that Iblis was a very pious creature, he never failed in his ibadah of Allah, and yet when his nafs was challenged to bow in front of a creature that he considered inferior, he refused….. even Allah!It is scary to think how often our anaa or nafs has interfered in our interpersonal relationships and how powerful and blinding the nafs can be, if allowed to run rampant

(How to control and discipline the nafs so that it is always in obedience to Allah is beautifully explained in the soothing voice of Sheikh Mokhtar Magroubi)

Dua: O Allah save me from the evil of my nafs.
Supplication:اللّهُـمَّ عالِـمَ الغَـيْبِ وَالشّـهادَةِ فاطِـرَ السّماواتِ وَالأرْضِ رَبَّ كـلِّ شَـيءٍ وَمَليـكَه، أَشْهَـدُ أَنْ لا إِلـهَ إِلاّ أَنْت، أَعـوذُ بِكَ مِن شَـرِّ نَفْسـي وَمِن شَـرِّ الشَّيْـطانِ وَشِـرْكِه، وَأَنْ أَقْتَـرِفَ عَلـى نَفْسـي سُوءاً أَوْ أَجُـرَّهُ إِلـى مُسْـلِم .

“Allaahumma ‘aalimal-ghaybi wash-shahaadah, faatiras-samaawaati wal-’ard, rabba kulli shay’iw-wa maleekah, ash-hadu allaa-ilaaha illaa ant, a‘oodhu bika min sharri nafsee wa min sharrish-shaytaani wa shirkih, wa’an aqtarifa ‘alaa nafsee soo’aa, aw ajorrahu ilaa muslim.”

“Ô Allah, Knower of the world of the unseen, and the world manifest, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Lord and sovereign of all things, I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I take refuge in You from the evil of my own nafs and from the evil and shirk of the shaytaan, and from committing wrong against my nafs or bringing such upon another Muslim.”

Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Say, if you have entered upon the morning or have entered upon the evening…Say it when you enter upon the morning, and when you enter upon the evening, and when you have taken to your place of sleep.”


Are you one of the missing pieces of the global picture of tawheed?


  1. Assalam alaikum Brothers and Sisters.

    Br. Asqfish can you please suggest me few sites where i can find all the hadiths and Al-Quraan in Roman English along with the meanings.

    May ALLAH guide us and protect us from evil. Ameen..


  2. SubhanAllah, nafil fasts get a special, reward from Allah.
    The first picture is an approaching hurricane and the second is the death valley, where nothing grows:(
    jazzaikallah hu Khairan, your comments are so helpful!


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