﴿40﴾ فَكُلاًّ أَخَذْنَا بِذَنْبِهِ فَمِنْهُم مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِباً وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الاَرْضَ وَمِنْهُم مَنْ أَغْرَقْنَا وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَكِن كَانُوا اَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
40. “ So each (one of them) We seized (in punishment) for his sin; and of them, against some We sent a violent tornado (with showers of stones), some were caught by a mighty Blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up, and some We drowned; and it was not Allah to do injustice to them, but they unto their own selves did injustice.”
We must not become proud when Allah gives us respite, since the end of sin is retribution, and it is easy for Allah to punish us with kinds of punishments. Therefore, in this verse He says:
Indeed, since there were mentioned four groups in the previous two verses whose punishments were not mentioned there, (the people of ‘Ād, the people of Thamūd, Korah, Pharaoh, and Hāmān), in the above verse their chastisements are stated sequentially, as follows:
(with showers of stones), …”
The Qur’ānic word /hāsib/ means: ‘a violent wind bringing with it a shower of stones’. The Arabic word /hasban/ means ‘pebbles’.
The objective of mentioning this group is ‘the people of ‘Ād’ that, according to suras Ath-Thāriyāt, Al-Hāqqah, and Qamar, a violent and harsh wind came over them for seven nights and eight days. It ruined their houses and threw their corpses here and there like the leaves of the trees in fall. The verse continues:
We have said that the heavenly blast is the result of thunderbolts which are usually accompanied with earthquake at the center of its occurrence, and this was the chastisement which came down upon the people of Thamūd, and some other peoples, as Sura Hūd, No. 11, verse 67 says about the people of Thamūd: “And the (mighty) Blast overtook those who were unjust, so they became motionless corpses in their abodes.” And in Sura Al-Qasas, No. 28, verse 81 the Qur’ān says: “And We caused the earth to swallow up him …” This was the punishment which Korah, the rich, proud and arrogant person from the Children of Israel received; and, finally, Allah drowned some others of them. The verse says:
We know that this meaning points to Pharaoh, Hāmān, and their followers which has been mentioned in different Suras of the Qur’ān.
However, keeping this statement in mind, the above four chastisements are sequentially for the four evil groups whose deviation, stray, and sins were referred to in previous two verses without mentioning their punishments.
For an emphasis upon this fact that they got the result of their own deeds and reaped the product of the seed of which
 Sura Al-Hāqqah, No. 69, verses 5 to 7
they themselves had scattered, at the end of the verse, the Qur’ān says:
unto their own selves did injustice.”
Yes, the punishments in this world and the next world are some reactions and embodiments of man’s deeds when they close all the doors of improvement and return to the truth to them.
Allah is more just than He does the slightest injustice and transgression to any person.
Like many other verses of the Qur’ān, this verse clearly strengthens the principle of freedom of will in man, and makes this fact fully clear that making decision everywhere and for everything belongs to man himself, and Allah has created him free, and wanted him to be free. Therefore, the belief of the followers of the school of fatalism, who also exist among Muslims, is made futile by this strong logic of the Qur’ān.
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