Tafseer Surah Yasin Ibnu Kathir (4): The Story of the Dwellers of the Town and Their Messengers, a Lesson that Those Who belied Their Messengers were destroyed

Tafseer Ibnu Kathir Surah Yasin (4)

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Allah says, `O Muhammad, tell your people who disbelieve in you,’
﴿مَّثَلاً أَصْحَـبَ
القَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ﴾

(a similitude; the Dwellers of the Town, when there came Messengers to them.)
In the reports that he transmitted from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin
Munabbih – Ibn Ishaq reported that it was the city of Antioch, in which there
was a king called Antiochus the son of Antiochus the son of Antiochus, who used
to worship idols. Allah sent to him three Messengers, whose names were Sadiq,
Saduq and Shalum, and he disbelieved in them. It was also narrated from Buraydah
bin Al-Husayb, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri that it was Antioch. Some of the
Imams were not sure that it was Antioch, as we shall see below after telling the
rest of the story, if Allah wills.
﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ
إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا﴾

(When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both;) means, they
hastened to disbelieve in them.
﴿فَعَزَّزْنَا
بِثَالِثٍ﴾

(so We reinforced them with a third,) means, `We supported and strengthened
them with a third Messenger. ‘ Ibn Jurayj narrated from Wahb bin Sulayman, from
Shu`ayb Al-Jaba’i, “The names of the first two Messengers were Sham`un and
Yuhanna, and the name of the third was Bulus, and the city was Antioch
(Antakiyah).
﴿فَقَالُواْ﴾

(and they said) means, to the people of that city,
﴿إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ
مُّرْسَلُونَ﴾

(Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.) meaning, `from your Lord
Who created you and Who commands you to worship Him Alone with no partners or
associates.’ This was the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah. Qatadah bin Di`amah claimed
that they were messengers of the Messiah, peace be upon him, sent to the people
of Antioch.
﴿قَالُواْ مَآ
أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

(They said: “You are only human beings like ourselves…”) means, `so how
could you receive revelation when you are human beings and we are human beings,
so why do we not receive revelation like you If you are Messengers, you should
be angels.’ This is like what many of the nations said who disbelieved, as Allah
has told us in the Ayah:
﴿ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُ
كَانَت تَّأْتِيهِمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالُواْ أَبَشَرٌ
يَهْدُونَنَا﴾

(That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but
they said: “Shall mere men guide us”) (64: 6) meaning that they were amazed by
that and they denied it. And Allah says:
﴿قَالُواْ إِنْ
أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ
يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(They said: “You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us
away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority.”)
(14:10). And Allah tells us that they said:
﴿وَلَئِنْ أَطَعْتُمْ
بَشَراً مِّثْلَكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

(“If you were to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily, you indeed
would be losers.”) (23:34). And Allah says:
﴿وَمَا مَنَعَ
النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ
اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴾

(And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them,
except that they said: “Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger”) (17:94).
These people said:
﴿قَالُواْ مَآ
أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنَزلَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ
أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ – قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ
لَمُرْسَلُونَ ﴾

(You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Gracious has revealed
nothing. You are only telling lies.” The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that
we have been sent as Messengers to you.”) This means that the three Messengers
answered them saying: “Allah knows that we are His Messengers to you. If we were
lying, He would have taken the utmost vengeance against us, but He will cause us
to prevail and will make us victorious against you, and you will come to know
whose will be the happy end in the Hereafter.” This is like the Ayah:
﴿قُلْ كَفَى
بِاللَّهِ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ شَهِيداً يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ
وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ بِالْبَـطِلِ وَكَفَرُواْ بِاللَّهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ
هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

(Say: “Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you. He knows what is
in the heavens and on earth.” And those who believe in falsehood, and
disbelieve in Allah, it is they who are the losers.) (29:52)
﴿وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ
إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴾

(And our duty is only to convey plainly.) means, `all we have to do is to
convey to you the Message with which we have been sent; if you obey, then
happiness will be yours in this world and the Hereafter, and if you do not
respond, you will soon know the consequences of that.’ And Allah knows best.
﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّا
تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ
مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

﴿قَالُواْ طَـئِرُكُم
مَّعَكُمْ أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴾

(18. They (people) said: “For us, we see an evil omen from you; if you cease
not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.”)
(19. They (Messengers) said: “Your evil omens be with you! Because you are
admonished Nay, but you are a people mischievous.”) Then the people of the city
said to them,
﴿إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا
بِكُمْ﴾

(For us, we see an evil omen from you;) meaning, `we do not see in your faces
any sign of good for our lives.’ Qatadah said, “They were saying, `if something
bad befalls us, it will be because of you.”’ Mujahid said, “They were saying:
People like you never enter a town, but its people are punished.”
﴿لَئِن لَّمْ
تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ﴾

(if you cease not, we will surely stone you,) Qatadah said, “By throwing
stones at you.”
﴿وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ
مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾

(and a painful torment will touch you from us.) means, a severe punishment.
Their Messengers said to them:
﴿طَـئِرُكُم
مَّعَكُمْ﴾

(Your evil omens be with you!) meaning, `they are thrown back at you.’ This
is like the Ayah where Allah describes the people of Fir`awn:
﴿فَإِذَا جَآءَتْهُمُ
الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُواْ
بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ أَلاَ إِنَّمَا طَائِرُهُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(But whenever good came to them, they said: “Ours is this.” And if evil
afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those
with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allah) (7:131). And the
people of Salih said:
﴿اطَّيَّرْنَا بِكَ
وَبِمَن مَّعَكَ قَالَ طَائِرُكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(“We augur ill omen from you and those with you.” He said: “Your ill omen is
with Allah.”) (27:47) And Allah said:
﴿وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ
حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ
يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ فَمَا لِهَـؤُلاءِ
الْقَوْمِ لاَ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثاً﴾

(And if some good reaches them, they say, “This is from Allah,” but if some
evil befalls them, they say, “This is from you.” Say: “All things are from
Allah,” so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any
word) (4:78)
﴿أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم
بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ﴾

((Do you call it ”evil omen”) because you are admonished Nay, but you are a
people mischievous.) means, `because of us, because we admonished you and told
you to worship Allah Alone and with all sincerity, and in return you said what
you said and threatened us. Nay, but you are a mischievous people.’ Qatadah
said, “This means, `Because we reminded you about Allah, you saw an evil omen in
us. Nay, but you are a mischievous people’. ”
﴿وَجَآءَ مِنْ
أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَى قَالَ يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ –
اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً وَهُمْ مُّهْتَدُونَ – وَمَا لِىَ لاَ
أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ – أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ
ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ
شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونَ – إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ – إِنِّى
ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(20. And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town. He
said, “O my people! Obey the Messengers.”) (21. “Obey those who ask no wages of
you, and who are rightly guided.”) (22. “And why should I not worship Him Who
has created me and to Whom you shall be returned.”) (23. “Shall I take besides
Him gods If the Most Gracious intends me any harm, their intercession will be of
no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me.”) (24. “Then verily, I should
be in plain error.”) (25. “Verily, I have believed in your Lord, so listen to
me!”) Quoting what reached him from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin
Munabbih — Ibn Ishaq reported that, “The people of the city resolved to kill
their Messengers, then a man came running to them from the farthest part of the
town, i.e., to help them against his people. They said, his name was Habib, and
he used to work with ropes. He was a sickly man who suffered from leprosy, and
he was very charitable, giving half of his earnings in charity, and his Fitrah
(natural inclination) was sound.” Shabib bin Bishr said, narrating from
`Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the name of the
man mentioned in Ya Sin was Habib An-Najjar, and he was killed by his people.
﴿قَالَ يقَوْمِ
اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ﴾

(He said: “O my people! Obey the Messengers.”) — he urged his people to
follow the Messengers who had come to them.
﴿اتَّبِعُواْ مَن
لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً﴾

(Obey those who ask no wages of you,) means, `for the Message which they
convey to you, and they are rightly-guided in what they are calling you to, the
worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate.’
﴿وَمَا لِىَ لاَ
أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى﴾

(And why should I not worship Him Who has created me) means, `and what is
there to stop me from sincerely worshipping the One Who has created me, and
worshipping Him Alone, with no partner or associate’
﴿وَإِلَيْهِ
تُرْجَعُونَ﴾

(and to Whom you shall be returned.) means, `on the Day of Resurrection, when
He will requite you for your deeds: if they are good then you will be rewarded
and if they are evil then you will be punished.’
﴿أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن
دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً﴾

(Shall I take besides Him gods) This is a rhetorical question intended to
rebuke and chastise.
﴿إِن يُرِدْنِ
الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ
يُنقِذُونَ﴾

(If the Most Gracious intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no
use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me.) means, `these gods whom you
worship instead of Him possess no power whatsoever, if Allah wills me some
harm,’

﴿فَلاَ كَـشِفَ لَهُ
إِلاَّ هُوَ﴾

(none can remove it but He) (6:17). `These idols can neither cause any harm
nor bring any benefit, and they cannot save me from the predicament I am in.’
﴿إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى
ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴾

(Then verily, I should be in plain error.) means, `if I were to take them as
gods instead of Allah.’
﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ
بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(Verily, I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!) Ibn Ishaq said,
quoting from what had reached him from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with
him, Ka`b and Wahb, “He said to his people:
﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ
بِرَبِّكُمْ﴾

(`Verily, I have believed in your Lord) in Whom you have disbelieved,
﴿فَاسْمَعُونِ﴾

(so listen to me!)’ means, listen to what I say.” Or it may be that he was
addressing the Messengers when he said:
﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ
بِرَبِّكُمْ﴾

(Verily, I have believed in your Lord,) meaning, `Who has sent you,’
﴿فَاسْمَعُونِ﴾

(so listen to me!) meaning, `bear witness to that before Him.’ This was
narrated by Ibn Jarir, who said, “And others said that this was addressed to the
Messengers, and he said to them: `Listen to what I say and bear witness to what
I say before my Lord, that I have believed in your Lord and have followed you.’
This interpretation is more apparent, and Allah knows best. Ibn Ishaq said,
quoting from what had reached him from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with
him, Ka`b and Wahb, `When he said that, they turned on him as one, and killed
him at once, and he had no one to protect him from that.”’ Qatadah said, “They
started to stone him while he was saying, `O Allah, guide my people for they do
not know, and they kept stoning him until he died a violent death, and he was
still praying for them.’ May Allah have mercy on him.”
﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ
الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ – بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى
وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ – وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ
مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ – إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً
وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(26. It was said: “Enter Paradise.” He said: “Would that my people knew.”)
(27. “That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!”)
(28. And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor
was it needful for Us to send (such a thing).) (29. It was but one Sayhah and
lo! they (all) were still.) Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from some of his
companions from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that they stamped on
him until his intestines came out of his back passage. Allah said to him:
﴿ادْخُلِ
الْجَنَّةَ﴾

(“Enter Paradise.”) so he entered it with all its bountiful provision, when
Allah had taken away from him all the sickness, grief and exhaustion of this
world. Mujahid said, “It was said to Habib An-Najjar, `Enter Paradise.’ This was
his right, for he had been killed. When he saw the reward,
﴿قَالَ يلَيْتَ
قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

(He said: “Would that my people knew…”).” Qatadah said, “You will never
find a believer but he is sincere and is never insincere. When he saw with his
own eyes how Allah had honored him, he said:
﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ
الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ – بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى
وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(He said: “Would that my people knew that my Lord has forgiven me, and made
me of the honored ones!”) He wished that his people could know about what he
was seeing with his own eyes of the honor of Allah.” Ibn `Abbas said, “He was
sincere towards his people during his lifetime by saying,
﴿يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ
الْمُرْسَلِينَ﴾

(O my people! Obey the Messengers), and after his death by saying:
﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ
الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ – بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى
وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(Would that my people knew that my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me
of the honored ones!) This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Sufyan Ath-Thawri
narrated from `Asim Al-Ahwal from Abu Mijlaz:
﴿بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى
رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!) “Because of
my faith in my Lord and my belief in the Messengers.” He meant that if they
could see the great reward and everlasting blessings that he had attained, this
would lead them to follow the Messengers. May Allah have mercy on him and be
pleased with him, for he was so keen that his people should be guided.
﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا
عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor
was it needful for Us to send.) Allah tells us that He took revenge on his
people after they had killed him because He, may He be blessed and exalted, was
angry with them, for they had disbelieved in His Messengers and killed His close
friend. Allah tells us that He did not send an army of angels, nor did He need
to send them, to destroy these people; the matter was simpler than that. This
was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, according to the reports of Ibn Ishaq from some of
his companions concerning the Ayah:
﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا
عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor
was it needful for Us to send.) He said: “`We did not seek to outnumber them,
for the matter was simpler than that.”
﴿إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ
صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still.) He said, “So Allah
destroyed that tyrant king, and destroyed the people of Antioch, and they
disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving no trace behind. It was said
that the words
﴿وَمَا كُنَّا
مُنزِلِينَ﴾

(nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing).) mean, `We did not send
the angels against the nations when We destroyed them; all We did was to send
the punishment to destroy them.’ It was said that the words:
﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا
عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ﴾

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven,) mean,
another Message to them. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. Qatadah said,
“Allah did not rebuke his people after they killed him,
﴿إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ
صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still).” Ibn Jarir said, “The
former view is more correct, because the Message does not need to be brought by
an army.” The scholars of Tafsir said, “Allah sent Jibril, peace be upon him,
to them, and he seized the pillars at the gate of their city, then he hurled one
Sayhah upon them and lo! they (all) were still, to the last man among them, and
no soul was left in any body.” We have already referred to the reports from
many of the Salaf that this city was Antioch, and that these three Messengers
were messengers sent from the Messiah `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, as
Qatadah and others stated. This is not mentioned by any of the later scholars of
Tafsir besides him, and this issue must be examined from a number of angles.
(The first) is that if we take this story at face value, it indicates that these
men were Messengers from Allah, may He be glorified, not from the Messiah, peace
be upon him, as Allah says:
﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ
إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُواْ إِنَّآ
إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ ﴾

(When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both; so We reinforced
them with a third, and they said: “Verily, we have been sent to you as
Messengers.”) up to:
﴿قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا
يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ – وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ
الْمُبِينُ ﴾

(“Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you. And our duty is
only to convey plainly (the Message).”) If they had been from among the
Disciples, they would have said something to indicate that they had come from
the Messiah, peace be upon him. And Allah knows best. Moreover, if they had been
messengers sent by the Messiah, why would the people have said to them,
 
﴿إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ
بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

(“You are only human beings like ourselves”) (The second) is that the people
of Antioch did believe in the messengers sent by the Messiah to them. Antioch
was the first city to believe in the Messiah, and it is one of the four cities
in which there are Christian patriarchs. These cities are: Jerusalem, because it
is the city of the Messiah; Antioch, because it was the first city where all of
the people believed in the Messiah; Alexandria, because it was in that city that
they agreed to reform the hierarchy of patriarchs, metropolitans (archbishops),
bishops, priests, deacons and monks; and Rome, because it is the city of the
Emperor Constantine who supported and helped to establish their religion. When
he adopted Constantinople as his city, the Patriarch of Rome moved there, as has
been mentioned by several historian, such as Sa`id bin Batriq and others, both
People of the Book and Muslims. If we accept that, then the people of Antioch
were the first to believe, but Allah tells us that the people of this town
rejected His Messengers and that He destroyed them with one Sayhah and lo! they
(all) were still. And Allah knows best. (The third) is that the story of Antioch
and the Disciples of the Messiah happened after the Tawrah had been revealed.
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, and others among the Salaf
stated that after revealing the Tawrah, Allah, may He be blessed and exalted,
did not destroy an entire nation by sending a punishment upon them. Rather, He
commanded the believers to fight the idolators. They mentioned this when
discussing the Ayah:
﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا
مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِ مَآ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الاٍّولَى﴾

(And indeed We gave Musa — after We had destroyed the generations of old —
the Scripture) (28:43). This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur’an is a
city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf. Or, if we
wish to keep the same name, it is possible that it is another Antioch, not the
one which is well-known, for it is not known that it (the famous Antioch) was
destroyed, either during Christian times or before. And Allah knows best.
﴿يحَسْرَةً عَلَى
الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ –
أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّنَ الْقُرُونِ أَنَّهُمْ
إِلَيْهِمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ – وَإِن كُلٌّ لَّمَّا جَمِيعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ

(30. Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to
mock at him.) (31. Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed
before them Verily, they will not return to them.) (32. And surely, all —
everyone of them will be brought before Us.)
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