In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Quran: Chapter 26, ‘Ha Meem’, Sura: 46 ‘Al- Ahqaf’ ‘The Curved Sand-hills’, Verse: 17- 18
Verse 17: But he who says to his parents: “Fie upon you both! Do you hold out the promise to me that I shall be raised up (again) when generations before me have passed away (without rising)?” While they (father and mother) invoke Allah for help (and rebuke their son): “Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true.” But he says: “This is nothing but the tales of the ancient.”
Verse 18: They are those against whom the Word (of torment) is justified among the previous generations of jinn and mankind that have passed away. Verily, they are ever the losers.
Difficult words: Fie: it is used to express disapproval of, or annoyance or disgust with, somebody. Rebuke: scold, reprimand. Woe: misery, pain, despair, torment, suffering.
Explanation by Ibne Kathir: [The respected Imam, Abu Al-Fida’, `Imad Ad-Din Isma il bin ‘Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi– born in Busra 701 H– died in Damascus in 774 H// b. 1301 Christian Era– d. 1373CE. http://www.dar-us-salam.com/authors/hafiz-ibn-kathir.htm ]
Mention of the Undutiful Children and Their End:
In the previous Ayat, Allah mentions the dutiful offspring who supplicate for their parents and treat them with kindness. He describes the success and salvation He has prepared for them. Here He connects to that discussion the situation of the wretched offspring who are undutiful toward their parents.
وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا …
But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you! …”
As for the saying “Uff” in this Ayah, it is a general description applying to anyone who says it to his parents. Some people claim that it was revealed about Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr. But this claim is weak and rejected, because Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr embraced Islam after this was revealed. His adherence to Islam was excellent, and he was among the best of his contemporaries.
Al-Bukhari [Full name Imâm Abû `Abdullâh Muhammad ibn Ismâ`îl al-Bukhârî (b. 194 H Bukhara present day Uzbekistan– d. 256 H Kharteng / 809 CE– 869 CE) http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_bukhari.htm]
recorded from Yusuf bin Mahak that; Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) was governor of Hijaz (Western Arabia), appointed by Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. He (Marwan) delivered a speech in which he mentioned Yazid bin Mu`awiyah and urged the people to give a pledge of allegiance after his father. Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said something to him in response to that, upon which Marwan commanded his men: “Arrest him!” But he entered Aishah’s house, and they were not able to capture him. Marwan then said: “This is the one about whom Allah revealed:
وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا أَتَعِدَانِنِي أَنْ أُخْرَجَ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِي …
But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised — when generations before me have passed?”
From behind the curtain, Aishah responded: “Allah did not reveal any Qur’an in our regard (i.e. the children of Abu Bakr), except for the declaration of my innocence.”
In another report recorded by An-Nasa’i, Muhammad bin Ziyad reported that; when Mu`awiyah was soliciting people to pledge allegiance to his son, and Marwan declared: “This follows the tradition of Abu Bakr and `Umar.”
On hearing this, Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said: “Rather, this is the tradition of Heraclius and Caesar.”
Marwan responded: “This is the one about whom Allah revealed, وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا (But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you!”)”
When that was conveyed to A’ishah, she said: “Marwan is lying! By Allah, that was not revealed about him. If I wish to name the person meant by it, I could. On the other hand, Allah’s Messenger placed a curse on Marwan’s father (Al- Hakam bin Abi Al-`As when Marwan was still in his loins, so Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) is an outcome of Allah’s curse.”
As for Allah’s statement:
… أَتَعِدَانِنِي أَنْ أُخْرَجَ …
Do you promise me that I will be raised? meaning, resurrected.
… وَقَدْ خَلَتْ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِي …
when generations before me have passed, meaning, generations of people have already passed away, and none of them has ever returned to tell (what happened to them).
… وَهُمَا يَسْتَغِيثَانِ اللَّهَ …
While they invoke Allah for help, meaning, they ask Allah to guide him, and they say to their son,
… وَيْلَكَ آمِنْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقّ ٌ فَيَقُولُ مَا هَذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٧﴾
“Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true.” But he says: “This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.” Allah then says,
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا خَاسِرِينَ ﴿١٨﴾
They are those against whom the Word (of torment) has justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away. Verily, they are ever the losers.
This indicates that all such people will be among their likes and their peers among the disbelievers, who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.
Allah’s saying,أُوْلَئِكَ (Those are) after He said, وَالَّذِى قَالَ (But he who says) confirms what we have mentioned above that the latter is a general description of a type of people including all those who fall under that description.
Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said, “This applies to the disbelieving, sinful person who is undutiful to his parents and who denies resurrection.”
Notes by samia2010: In the verses 17 and 18 we are told about the bad type of off-springs who are very rude and unkind to their parents. Parents are faithful and good Muslims, and they want their offspring to be faithful and good Muslims as well. But these rude, unkind and thankless types of offspring use bad language for their parents and say “Fie upon you both”. This bad language must not be used for any one and never ever for one’s own parents. Parents of these bad types of offspring are extremely sad and disturbed. Their offspring do not believe in resurrection. They are not the true faithful. They do not believe that they are answerable for their actions to any one, not even to Allah the All-Knower, for whatever they do in this world. Parents feel helpless in front of their own offspring. They invoke Allah for help. They are hurt, because of their hurt Allah says these types of offspring will bear the Big Torment. The torment of unbearable burning of whole body by Unending Fire. For many Big Sins the punishment starts in this world and continues in the Here After. To be un-dutiful and unkind towards parents is also one of those sins for which the punishment starts from this world and continues in the Here After. They are the Big Losers.
Thanks for being with me. All of us whose parents are alive, may Allah make us good, kind and dutiful towards our parents. Aameen. Allah Hafiz.