The Virtues of Surah al-Ikhlaas: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars as well as Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawaa of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was asked the following question:

 نص السؤال : ما صحة هذا الحديث‏:‏ ‏«من قرأ‏:‏ ‏{‏قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ‏}‏ في ليلة ألف مرة فقد شرى نفسه من الله‏» ؟‏

Question: What is the veracity of the hadeeth, “whoever recites surah al-Ikhlaas (102) one thousand times within the course of a night, then he has purchased himself from Allah”?

نص الإجابة : أما سورة‏:‏ ‏{ ‏قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ‏ }‏ فهي سورة عظيمة أخبر النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – في أحاديث صحيحة” أنها تعادل ثلث القرآن‏” ،، وذلك لما تتضمنه من أوصاف الله سبحانه وتعالى ونعوت جلاله، فهي سورة خالصة في التوحيد، ولهذا تسمى سورة الإخلاص، وكان النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ” يقرأها مع المعوذتين عند النوم” ‏‏، وكان يحث على قراءتها ‏لما فيها من الفضل العظيم، وأنها تعدل ثلث القرآن‏.‏  ـ

Response: As for surah al-Ikhlaas, it is a tremendous surah about which the Prophet (ﷺ) informed us in a number of authentic reports that “it is equal to one third of the Qur’an”, and that is due to the descriptions and attributes of Allah that it contains. For it is a surah which is entirely devoted to the subject of tawheed, and this is why it is named “surah al-Ikhlaas“. And the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “recite it along with the surah al-Falaq (113) and surah al-Nas (114) before sleeping”. This encouragement to recite it is due to the great virtue it holds and that it is equal to one third of the Qur’an. Continue reading

Whoever Denies One Messenger has Denied Them All: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentioned the following point of great benefit in part of his tafsir of surah al-Qamar:

من كذب رسولا واحدا فقد كذب جميع المرسلين ، ومن كذب نذيرا واحدا فقد كذب جميع النذر ، لأن أصل دعوة جميع الرسل واحدة ، وهي مضمون لا إله إلا الله كما أوضحه تعالى بقوله : ولقد بعثنا في كل أمة رسولا أن اعبدوا الله واجتنبوا الطاغوت [ 16 \ 36 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول إلا نوحي إليه أنه لا إله إلا أنا فاعبدون [ 21 \ 25 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول إلا نوحي إليه أنه لا إله إلا أنا فاعبدون [ 43 \ 45 ] . ـ

Whoever denies one single messenger has denied all of the messengers, and whoever denies one warner has denied all of the warners. This is because the basis of all the messengers’ call was one and the same, which was the substance of Laa ilaaha illAllaah – there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allah. This is as Allah has made clear in His statement:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّ‌سُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah and avoid all that is worshiped besides Allah [16:36]

And His statement:

وَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّ‌سُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” [21:25]

And His statement: Continue reading

Six Categories of Wrong-Doings: Sheikh al-Raajihi

In surah al-A’raaf, Allah mentioned:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّـهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” [7:33]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Raajihi mentioned the following points of benefit regarding this ayah by saying:

قال بعض العلماء على آية :   قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَنْ تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ . الآية عطف بعضها على بعض ، وإن كان المعطوف داخلا في المعطوف عليه ، فبعضها داخل في بعض ، إذ الإثم والبغي والشرك داخل في الفواحش وعمومها ؛ لأن مظالم العباد بعضهم مع بعض والاعتداء عليهم يكون في ستة أشياء في البدن وفي النسب وفي الدين وفي العرض وفي العقل وفي المال ، فالاعتداء على الإنسان يكون :  في البدن .  وفي النسب .  وفي الدين .  وفي العرض . – وفي العقل .  ـ

Regarding the ayah:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّـهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” [7:33]

some of the scholars have said that this ayah has some overlap in its categories with some overlapping others and that some categories in this listing could fall under other categories, and so some of them are included in others. For sin, oppression, and al-shirk all fall under the category of immoralities and its general encompassing nature. This is all because the wrong-doings and transgressions which human beings perpetrate against one another occur in relation to six things: physical well-being, lineage, religion, honor, intellect, or wealth. So the transgressions against people can be distilled down to: Continue reading

Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir

A number of the books of tafsir begin their explanations of each surah with a section on the virtues of that particular surah. However, most of these sections are largely made up of fabricated or weak narrations. The famous mufassir, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir, strove to avoid much inauthentic material in his tafsir or to follow up such material with notes as to its status and veracity. So when he did begin his explanation of surah al-Nisaa’ by mentioning some of its merits, he approached things in a different manner by bringing statements from some of the scholars of the Sahabah about this surah:

 وقال الحاكم في مستدركه : حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حدثنا أبو البختري عبد الله بن محمد بن شاكر ، حدثنا محمد بن بشر العبدي ، حدثنا مسعر بن كدام ، عن معن بن عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله بن مسعود عن أبيه ، عن عبد الله بن مسعود ، رضي الله عنه ، قال : إن في سورة النساء لخمس آيات ما يسرني أن لي بها الدنيا وما فيها : ( إن الله لا يظلم مثقال ذرة ) الآية ، و ( إن تجتنبوا كبائر ما تنهون عنه ) الآية ، و ( إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء ) و ( ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك ) الآية ، و ( ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما ) ثم قال : هذا إسناد صحيح إن كان عبد الرحمن سمع من أبيه ، فقد اختلف في ذلك . ـ

○ al-Haakim said in his book al-Mustadrak: … that the grandson of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood narrated from his father who narrated from his father, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: In surah al-Nisaa’ there are five ayaat which are more pleasing to me than the entire world and all that is in it.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ ۖ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Surely, Allah does not do an atom’s worth of injustice. But if you have some good, He multiplies it and give a great reward from Himself [4:40]

إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا

If you avoid the major sins from which you are forbidden, We will expiate your minor sins from you and enter you into a noble entrance. [4:31]

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray. [4:116]

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّـهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّـهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful. [4:64]

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّـهَ يَجِدِ اللَّـهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4:110]

And then al-Haakim said: This chain of narration is sound, so long as the grandson heard it from his father, and there is some differing as to whether he did or not. Continue reading

Regularly Reciting Specific Surahs: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawaa of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah) received the following question:

س : أنا شاب ملتزم بقراءة سورتي الواقعة والحديد بعد أن قرأت أحاديث تذكر أن لهما فضلاً عظيمًا، فالأولى تقي وتدفع الفقر، والثانية تجلب صلاة وسلام الملائكة على قارئها، فهل علي حرج في هذا الالتزام؟ ـ

Question: I am a young person who regularly recites surah al-Waaqi’ah and surah al-Hadeed ever since I read some ahaadeeth mentioning their great virtues, that the former protects against and fends off poverty while the latter brings about the supplications of the angels upon the one who recites it. Am I doing anything wrong in regularly reciting these?

ج : قراءة القرآن مشروعة كل وقت، وتخصيص سورة معينة يلتزم الإنسان قراءتها كل ليلة يتوقف على هذا الدليل، فإن وُجد دليل صحيح ينص على قراءتها شرع ذلك، كما في آية الكرسي وسورة الإخلاص والمعوذتين دبر كل صلاة وعند النوم، وتكرار الإخلاص والمعوذتين ثلاث مرات بعد صلاة المغرب والفجر وعند النوم. ـ

Response: Reciting the Qur’an is something that is legislated at all times, but singling out any particular surah as one that a person should routinely recite every night is something that requires a textual evidence for doing so. So if an authentic textual proof indicating that reciting in this manner is found, then that is something legislated – as is the case with reciting ayah al-Kursisurah al-Ikhlaas, and surahs 113 and 114 after every prayer and before sleeping, or reciting surah al-Ikhlaas and surahs 113 and 114 three times after salah al-Maghrib, salah al-Fajr, and before sleeping. Continue reading

“If it had been good, they would not have preceded us to it”: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says in surah al-Ahqaaf:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَوْ كَانَ خَيْرًا مَّا سَبَقُونَا إِلَيْهِ ۚ وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُوا بِهِ فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَا إِفْكٌ قَدِيمٌ

And those who disbelieve say of those who believe, “If it had been good, they would not have preceded us to it.” And when they are not guided by it, they will say, “This is an ancient falsehood.” [46:11]

In his famous commentary on the Qur’an, Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote the following words regarding this ayah:

وقوله تعالى : ( وقال الذين كفروا للذين آمنوا لو كان خيرا ما سبقونا إليه ) أي : قالوا عن المؤمنين بالقرآن : لو كان القرآن خيرا ما سبقنا هؤلاء إليه . يعنون بلالا وعمارا وصهيبا وخبابا وأشباههم وأقرانهم من المستضعفين والعبيد والإماء ، وما ذاك إلا لأنهم عند أنفسهم يعتقدون أن لهم عند الله وجاهة وله بهم عناية . وقد غلطوا في ذلك غلطا فاحشا ، وأخطئوا خطأ بينا ، كما قال تعالى : ( وكذلك فتنا بعضهم ببعض ليقولوا أهؤلاء من الله عليهم من بيننا ) [ الأنعام : 53 ] أي : يتعجبون : كيف اهتدى هؤلاء دوننا ; ولهذا قالوا : ( لو كان خيرا ما سبقونا إليه ) وأما أهل السنة والجماعة فيقولون في كل فعل وقول لم يثبت عن الصحابة : هو بدعة ; لأنه لو كان خيرا لسبقونا إليه ؛ لأنهم [ ص: 279 ] لم يتركوا خصلة من خصال الخير إلا وقد بادروا إليها . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَوْ كَانَ خَيْرًا مَّا سَبَقُونَا إِلَيْهِ

And those who disbelieve say of those who believe, “If it had been good, they would not have preceded us to it.”

meaning: they remark regarding those who are believers in the Qur’an, “if the Qur’an were any good, then these people would not have beaten us to it.” And they were referring to Bilal, ‘Ammaar, Suhaib, Khubaab and other such weak ones and slaves. And they only did this because they held themselves to have a certain standing and importance with Allah, however they were severely mistaken and in clear error regarding this assessment. This is like what Allah said: Continue reading

Narration-based Tafsir before Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

In a lecture entitled, “How to Read the Books of the People of Knowledge”, sheikh Saaleh Aal al-Sheikh mentioned the following important points related to studying tafsir (explanation of the Qur’an):

وكتب التفسير كما هو معلوم منقسمة إلى مدرستين: مدرسة التفسير بالأثر. ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي، ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي أيضا لها عدة أقسام منها ما هو من ثوابت الرأي المحمود، يعني الاجتهاد والاستنباط، المقبول، الذي له أُسُسه، المقبولة شرعا، ومنها ما فسر القرآن برأي مجرد يعني بغير حجة، إما في الاعتقاد أو في غيره. ـ

As is well-known, the books of tafsir are divided into two schools:

  • The narration-based school of tafsir, and
  • The opinion-based school of tafsir

And the opinion-based school of tafsir also has a number of sub-categories. One of them is that of praise-worthy opinions, meaning the acceptable processes of reasoning and derivation based on the texts, whose basis according to the sharee’ah is that it is accepted. Another one of its categories is that which interprets the Qur’an by mere opinion alone, meaning without any evidence or proofs. This could be in terms of beliefs or in other areas.

فكتب التفسير إذًا على قسمين كتب التفسير بالأثر وكتب التفسير بالرأي، كتب التفسير بالأثر، نعني بها الكتب التي تمحظت في نقل الآثار، فيأتي في التفسير هذه فسرها ابن عباس كذا وهو قول ابن عباس ومجاهد وسعيد بن جبير مثلا، وابن مسعود وعلقمة إلى آخر ذلك، به قال فلان وفلان وفلان يعني نقل أقوال السلف في التفسير تسمى التفسير بالمأثور ـ

So then, the books of tafsir are divided into two categories: the books of narration-based tafsir and the books of opinion-based tafsir. And by the books of narration-based tafsir, I mean those books which focus on transmitting the statements of the early generations. So it would come in the tafsir as “ibn ‘Abbaas explained this to mean such-and-such” or “this was the position of ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr”, for example, or “of ibn Mas’ood and ‘Alqamah,” and so on. “This was what so-and-so and so-and-so said.” Meaning: transmitting the statements of the salaf in the field of tafsir, which is called “Narration-based Tafsir“. Continue reading

Khutbah at the Beginning of Shawwaal: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di authored the following khutbah for the beginning of the month of Shawwaal, immediately following the month of Ramadan:

الخطبة الأولى لشوال
Khutbah at the Beginning of Shawwaal

الحمد لله الذي افتتح أشهر الحج بشهر شوال ، وجعله متجرا لنيل الفضائل والإفضال ، فسبحانه من إله عظيم متفرد بصفات الكمال والجلال ، عالم بالسرائر والبواطن وجميع الأحوال . ـ

Allah praise is due to Allah, the One who has opened the months of the Hajj with the month of Shawwaal and has made it a marketplace to obtain virtue and goodness. So exalted is He, the Magnificent deity beyond compare in His perfect and sublime characteristics, the One who knows the secret matters, the concealed affairs, and all things.

نحمده على فضله وكرمه ، ونشكره على أياديه ونعمه ـ

We praise Him for His bounty and generosity, and we thank Him for His blessings and favors.

ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له الكبير المتعال ، شهادة تنفي الشرك وتنافي الضلال ، نرجو أن يختم بها حياتنا ويؤَمّننا بها من المخاوف والأهوال . ـ

We testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners, the Great and Most Exalted. This is a testimony that negates al-shirk and opposes misguidance. We hope to conclude our lives with this testimony, and it gives us peace in the face of fear and fright. Continue reading

The Arrangement of the Final Chapters of the Qur’an: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah mentioned the following benefits in one of his writings:

السور القصار في أواخر المصحف متناسبة . فسورة ( اقرأ هي أول ما نزل من القرآن ; ولهذا افتتحت بالأمر بالقراءة وختمت بالأمر بالسجود ووسطت بالصلاة التي أفضل أقوالها وأولها بعد التحريم هو القراءة وأفضل أفعالها وآخرها قبل التحليل هو السجود … ـ

The shorter surahs at the end of the mushaf have a certain logic and reasoning to their organization and arrangement. Surah Iqraa’ [96] was the first part of the Qur’an to be revealed, and so it opens with the command to recite and closes with the command to make sujood. And in its middle is the prayer, whose best spoken part and the first of them after the initial takbeer is the recitation of the Qur’an, and whose best physical parts and the last of them before its conclusion is the sujood. …

فلما أمر في هذه السورة بالقراءة ذكر في التي تليها نزول القرآن ليلة القدر وذكر فيها تنزل الملائكة والروح وفي ( المعارج عروج الملائكة والروح وفي ( النبأ قيام الملائكة والروح . فذكر الصعود والنزول والقيام ثم [ ص: 478 ] في التي تليها تلاوته على المنذرين حيث قال : { يتلو صحفا مطهرة } { فيها كتب قيمة } . فهذه السور الثلاث منتظمة للقرآن أمرا به وذكرا لنزوله ولتلاوة الرسول له على المنذرين . ـ

So after Allah commands the recitation of the Qur’an in this surah, in the following surah [97 – surah al-Qadr] He mentions the sending down of the Qur’an on Laylah al-Qadr. And in that surah He also mentioned the descending of the angels and the Rooh. Continue reading

Supplicating upon Completion of the Qur’an: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked the following question during the program Fataawaa Noor ‘alaa al-Darb:

السؤال : سؤال يشكل على كثير من الإخوة المستمعين الكرام، السؤال يا فضيلة الشيخ: هو عن دعاء الختمة في أخر ليلة من رمضان، هل هو وارد عن الرسول الكريم أو عن السلف الصالح رضوان الله عليهم؟

Question: This is a question which has confused many of our respected brothers who are listening. The question, honorable sheikh, is about du’aa [supplication] upon completing the Qur’an on the last night of Ramadan – is this something which is textually transmitted from the Messenger or from the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them?

الجواب الشيخ : الختمة التي يدعى بها في آخر رمضان ليس لها أصل في سنة الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولا عن خلفائه الراشدين، ولا عن أحد من الصحابة، فلا أعلم إلى ساعتي هذه أنه ورد عنهم أنهم كانوا يدعون مثل هذا  الدعاء في الصلاة. ـ

Response: The supplicating which people do at the end of Ramadan is not something which has any basis in the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ), nor was it practiced by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’, nor by any of the Sahabah, and until now I don’t know of any textual evidence transmitted regarding them having practiced something like this supplication during the prayer.

نعم. ورد عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه أنه كان إذا ختم القرآن جمع أهله فدعا، وهذا في غير الصلاة وليس كل مشروع، وليس كل شيء مشروع خارج الصلاة يكون مشروعاً فيها؛ لأن الصلاة محددة في أفعالها محددة في أذكارها ـ

Yes, it has been transmitted from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to gather his family members together and make supplication upon having completed the Qur’an. But this was not in the prayer, and what is legislated outside of the prayer isn’t necessarily legislated inside the prayer. For the prayer is something with well-defined guidelines regarding its specific actions and utterances. Continue reading