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Tafsir at-Tabari
  Tafsir of Surah An`aam (6) Verse 102
Author: Ibn Jarir at-Tabari
Source: Tafsir at-Tabari
Article ID : TFS030003  [21850]  
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There is no doubt, so they maintain, that Allaah's words: 'the vision (of men) reaches Him not' are meant in a special sense, and that those who trust in Allaah will reach him with their vision on the day of resurrection. Only we do not know which of the four special meanings (which have been mentioned) is intended in the verse (under discussion). As an argument for the truth of the assertion that Allaah will be seen in the hereafter they cite reasons corresponding to those mentioned above.(Still) other exegetes maintain that the verse is meant in the general sense and that no-one's vision will reach Allaah in this world or in the hereafter. Rather Allaah will create a sixth sense for his companions on the day of resurrection, which will be different from their five senses. With this they will see Allaah. As a basis for this view, they cite the following: Allaah has excluded (the possibility) that the vision of men should reach him except that in this or one other verse an indication is given that this is meant in a special sense. The same Allaah has, so they say, proclaimed in another verse that on the day of resurrection there will be faces which will look upon him.

Now, so they continue, since the proclamations of Allaah do not annul each other reciprocally and cannot contradict each other, then the meanings of both proclamations are correct just as revelation brought them down. (Also) they present an argument based on reason (aql) in that they say: If it is possible for us to see him in the hereafter with our vision, then, under the assumption that (at that time) this (same vision) will be increased, we must also be able to see him in the world, although the power of sight weak. For all of the senses were created for the (purpose of) 'reaching’ (idrak) specific-sense objects (ma’an, sing. ma’na). Even if it is weak, in spite of its weakness it reaches what it is intended to reach according to its specific purpose-that is, as long as it does not cease to exist. They say (further): Were it ascribed to the vision that it reaches its creator and sees him in a certain situation and time, it must (also) reach and see him in this world, although it would reach him only weakly.

They continue: Accordingly, if there were nothing of that kind for our vision in this world, there could be nothing of that kind in the hereafter, because (our vision) is created as it is in this world so that it can reach only what is to be reached in this world. Thus, this is now the case, they say, and Allaah has proclaimed that in the hereafter there will be faces which look upon him, (although) one knows that they will see him with another sense than the sense of sight, since what Allaah proclaims can be nothing other than true.(At-Tabari concludes:) What is correct concerning this, in our opinion, is what the accounts of the Prophet often bear witness to, namely that he said: 'You will see your Lord on the day of resurrection, as one sees the moon on a full-moon night and the sun when it is not obscured by a cloud.' Thus, the believers will see him, while the unbelievers will be veiled from him on that day, for Allaah says:

'No, indeed! Upon that day they shall be veiled from their Lord, then they shall roast in hell!' (Sura 83:15/l6)

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