“To Allah is the final destination”: Imam al-Sa’di’s tafsir of 35:18

Allah informs us in His Book:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ وَإِن تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَىٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْ‌بَىٰ ۗ إِنَّمَا تُنذِرُ‌ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَ‌بَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ ۚ وَمَن تَزَكَّىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَتَزَكَّىٰ لِنَفْسِهِ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّـهِ الْمَصِيرُ

And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer. And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul. And to Allah is the [final] destination. [35:18]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir of this ayah, writes:

 ما ذكره بعده في قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى‏)‏ أي‏:‏ في يوم القيامة كل أحد يجازى بعمله، ولا يحمل أحد ذنب أحد‏.‏ ‏(‏وَإِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ نفس مثقلة بالخطايا والذنوب، تستغيث بمن يحمل عنها بعض أوزارها ‏(‏لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى‏)‏ فإنه لا يحمل عن قريب، فليست حال الآخرة بمنزلة حال الدنيا، يساعد الحميم حميمه، والصديق صديقه، بل يوم القيامة، يتمنى العبد أن يكون له حق على أحد، ولو على والديه وأقاربه‏.‏

What is mentioned previously of His statement, “and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another” – meaning on the Day of Resurrection every one will be rewarded for his deeds, and no one will the sins of another. “And if a heavily laden soul calls” – meaning a soul heavily burdened with mistakes and sins, and he calls to another to carry part of his load for him – “nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative” – for verily one cannot carry for his close one. For the situation of the aakhira is not equivalent to the situation of the dunya, where close friends help one another and comrades help one another. No, rather of the Day of Resurrection the slave will hope that he has a right upon another, but he does not even have a right upon his parents or near relatives.

‏(‏إِنَّمَا تُنْذِرُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَيْبِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ هؤلاء الذين يقبلون النذارة وينتفعون بها، أهل الخشية للّه بالغيب، أي‏:‏ الذين يخشونه في حال السر والعلانية، والمشهد والمغيب، وأهل إقامة الصلاة، بحدودها وشروطها وأركانها وواجباتها وخشوعها، لأن الخشية للّه تستدعي من العبد العمل بما يخشى من تضييعه العقاب، والهرب مما يخشى من ارتكابه العذاب، والصلاة تدعو إلى الخير، وتنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر‏.‏

You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer” – meaning these are the ones who accept the warning and benefit from it, the people who have reverential fear ( khashyah ) of Allah unseen – meaning those who have reverential fear of Him in situations both secret and open, witnessed and concealed. And the people who establish the salaat within its times and conditions and pillars and preconditions, and with khushoo’ due to it, for reverential fear of Allah calls the slave the action, including having khashyah against his being neglectful of punishment, and fleeing from what he fears will bring about punishment, and al-salaat calls to goodness, and prohibits one from immorality and evil.

‏(‏وَمَنْ تَزَكَّى فَإِنَّمَا يَتَزَكَّى لِنَفْسِهِ)‏ أي‏:‏ ومن زكى نفسه بالتنقِّي من العيوب، كالرياء والكبر، والكذب والغش، والمكر والخداع والنفاق، ونحو ذلك من الأخلاق الرذيلة، وتحلَّى بالأخلاق الجميلة، من الصدق، والإخلاص، والتواضع، ولين الجانب، والنصح للعباد، وسلامة الصدر من الحقد والحسد وغيرهما من مساوئ الأخلاق، فإن تزكيته يعود نفعها إليه، ويصل مقصودها إليه، ليس يضيع من عمله شيء‏.‏

And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul” – meaning: and whoever purifies his own soul with a cleansing of defect, such as al-riyaa’ (showing off) and arrogance, lying and cheating, plotting, deception and hypocrisy, and other such lowly characteristics, and effects beautify characteristics such as truthfulness, ikhlaas, humility, gentleness, being sincere in advising others, and protecting his heart from hatred and envy and other evil characteristics, then his tazkiyyah (purification) returns to benefit himself, and he has reached his objectives thereby, without any decrease from (the reward) of his efforts.

‏(‏وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ‏)‏ فيجازي الخلائق على ما أسلفوه، ويحاسبهم على ما قدموه وعملوه، ولا يغادر صغيرة ولا كبيرة إلا أحصاها‏.‏

And to Allah is the [final] destination” and He will reward His creations according to what they had done, and reckon them according to what they had sent form and performed. He leaves neither small nor big deeds except that He enumerates them.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

The Qur’an is a healing and mercy for the believers, but a source of loss of the wrong-doers: Imam al-Sa’di’s tafsir of 17:82-84

Allah informs us in His Book:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْ‌آنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَ‌حْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارً‌ا  وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَ‌ضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ ۖ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ‌ كَانَ يَئُوسًا  قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَىٰ شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَ‌بُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَىٰ سَبِيلًا

“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss. And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing.  Say, ‘Each one works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.'” [17:82-84]

Imam al-Sa’di writes about this in his tafsir:

وقوله‏:‏  ‏(وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا‏)  فالقرآن مشتمل على الشفاء والرحمة، وليس ذلك لكل أحد، وإنما ذلك للمؤمنين به، المصدقين بآياته، العاملين به، وأما الظالمون بعدم التصديق به أو عدم العمل به، فلا تزيدهم آياته إلا خسارًا، إذ به تقوم عليهم الحجة، فالشفاء الذي تضمنه القرآن عام لشفاء القلوب، من الشبه، والجهالة، والآراء الفاسدة، والانحراف السيئ، والقصود السيئة

Allah’s statement, “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” So the Qur’an is comprised of healing and mercy, but this is not for everyone. It is only for those who believe in it, and affirm its signs and act according to it. But for the wrong-doers who do not affirm it or act according to it, then it’s signs only increase them in loss. Then it is established as a hujjah (proof)  against them. So the shifa’ (healing) which the Qur’an guarantees is a general healing of the hearts from doubts, and ignorance, and corrupt opinions, and evil distortions, and bad ends.

فإنه مشتمل على العلم اليقيني، الذي تزول به كل شبهة وجهالة، والوعظ والتذكير، الذي يزول به كل شهوة تخالف أمر الله، ولشفاء الأبدان من آلامها وأسقامها‏.‏

And it is comprised of certain knowledge (‘ilm al-yaqeen) which removes every doubt and ignorance, and of preaching and remembrance which removes every desire contrary to the command of Allah, and of physical healing against pain and sickness.

وأما الرحمة، فإن ما فيه من الأسباب والوسائل التي يحث عليها، متى فعلها العبد فاز بالرحمة والسعادة الأبدية، والثواب العاجل والآجل‏.‏

And as for the mercy, then surely in the Qur’an is the means and way which urges us towards that. When the slave takes those means he has attained mercy and eternal happiness, and a reward in this life and the next.

 (‏وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَى بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ كَانَ يَئُوسًا‏)‏ هذه طبيعة الإنسان من حيث هو، إلا من هداه الله، فإن الإنسان ـ عند إنعام الله عليه ـ يفرح بالنعم ويبطر بها، ويعرض وينأى بجانبه عن ربه، فلا يشكره ولا يذكره‏.‏

And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing.” This is human nature wherever he is, except for he whom Allah has guided. For verily mankind – when Allah bestows a blessing on him – rejoices at the blessing and is wanton with it, and shows a distance from his Lord, so he neither thanks Him nor remembers Him.

‏(‏وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ)‏ كالمرض ونحوه ‏(‏كَانَ يَئُوسًا‏)‏ من الخير قد قطع ربه رجاءه، وظن أن ما هو فيه دائم أبدًا‏.‏

And when evil touches him” – such as sickness, etc. – “he is ever despairing” of goodness and he has cut off hope in his Lord, and he thinks that this situation that he is in will never end.

وأما من هداه الله فإنه ـ عند النعم ـ يخضع لربه، ويشكر نعمته، وعند الضراء يتضرع، ويرجو من الله عافيته، وإزالة ما يقع فيه، وبذلك يخف عليه البلاء‏.‏

But as for the one whom Allah has guided, then he – when Allah blesses him – humbles himself to his Lord, and is grateful for the blessing. And when he is struck by harm, he puts his hope in Allah for alleviation and removal of whatever has struck him, and that He will put a stop to this trial.

(‏قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَى سَبِيلًا‏) أي‏:‏ (‏قُلْ كُلٌّ‏)‏ من الناس (‏يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ على ما يليق به من الأحوال، إن كان من الصفوة الأبرار، لم يشاكلهم إلا عملهم لرب العالمين‏.‏ ومن كان من غيرهم من المخذولين، لم يناسبهم إلا العمل للمخلوقين، ولم يوافقهم إلا ما وافق أغراضهم‏.‏

Say, ‘Each one works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.’” “Say, ‘each one” – of mankind- “works according to his manner” – meaning of what befits him of his condition. If he has the essence of righteousness, then his manner is none other than working for the Lord of all creation. And if he has an essence other than that, then he is one of those who will be met with disappointment, and nothing befits him except the actions of those who will meet with disappointment, and he only serves his own interests.

‏(‏فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَى سَبِيلًا)‏ فيعلم من يصلح للهداية، فيهديه ومن لا يصلح لها فيخذله ولا يهديه‏.‏

But your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way” – He knows whom is fit for guidance, so He guides him, and He knows who is not fit for guidance, so He forsakes him and does not guide him.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman, p. 465]

See also: The Two Types of those who Believe in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

“Wavering between them, belonging neither to these nor to those”: Imams al-Qurtubi and al-Sa’di on 4:143

Allah, Exalted is He, describes the munaafiqun (hypocrites) in surah al-Nisa’ as follows:

مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ لَا إِلَىٰ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ وَلَا إِلَىٰ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ ۚ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّـهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا

“Wavering between them, belonging neither to these [the believers] nor to those [the disbelievers]. And he whom Allah sends astray, you will never find for him a way” [Al-Nisa’ 4:143]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes:

 قال ابن جني: أي المهتز القلق الذي لا يثبت ولا يتمهل. فهؤلاء المنافقون مترددون بين المؤمنين والمشركين، لا مخلصين الايمان ولا مصرحين بالكفر.

Ibn Junai said: meaning an anxious wavering which neither subsides nor lessens. And these are the munaafiqun (hypocrites, imposters), characterized by their wavering and uncertainty between the believers and the muskrikoon. They are neither sincere in their eemaan nor open in their kufr.

وفي صحيح مسلم من حديث ابن عمر عن النبي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مثل المنافق كمثل الشاة العائرة بين الغنمين تعير إلى هذه مرة وإلى هذه أخرى» وفي رواية: «تكر» بدل: «تعير».

And in Saheeh Muslim there is the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a sheep which roams aimlessly between two flocks. She goes to one at one time and to the other at another time.” [Muslim #7220]

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an]

And Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes:

(‏وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا)‏ أي‏:‏ لن تجد طريقا لهدايته ولا وسيلة لترك غوايته، لأنه انغلق عنه باب الرحمة، وصار بدله كل نقمة‏.

And he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way” -meaning, you will never find a path for his guidance, or a means for him to abandon his misguidance. That is because the door of mercy has been closed for him, and in its place is every curse.

فهذه الأوصاف المذمومة تدل بتنبيهها على أن المؤمنين متصفون بضدها، من الصدق ظاهرا وباطنا، والإخلاص، وأنهم لا يجهل ما عندهم، ونشاطهم في صلاتهم وعباداتهم، وكثرة ذكرهم لله تعالى‏.‏ وأنهم قد هداهم الله ووفقهم للصراط المستقيم‏.‏ ‏

And (the mentioning of) these blameworthy traits serves as an admonition and exhortation towards their opposites. And from that is truthfulness both openly and secretly, sincerity, and that they are not ignorant of their own qualities, and their efforts in their salaah and their ‘ibaadah, and their making a great deal of dhikr of Allah. And they are those whom Allah has guided and directed to the siraat al-mustaqim.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: “And do not be like those who say, ‘We have heard,’ while they do not hear”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

When Allah loves a household…

The Mother of the Believers ‘Aaisha bint Abi Bakr narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إذا أراد الله – عز وجل – بأهل بيت خيراً أدخل عليهم الرفق

“When Allah – ‘azza wa jal – wants good for a household, He causes them adopt rifq (gentleness/kindness/leniency) in their dealings with one another.”

(Musnad Imaam Ahmad 6/71, and in Saheeh al-Jaami’a #303)
And in another narration:

إن الله إذا أحب أهل بيت أدخل عليهم الرفق

“When Allah loves a household, he causes them to adopt rifq in their dealings with one another.”

(Ibn Abi al-Dunya, and in Saheeh al-Jaamia’ #1704)

And in another narration:

يا عائشة ارفقي , فإن الله إذا أراد بأهل بيت خيرا دلهم على باب الرفق

“O ‘Aaishah, Be gentle! For verily when Allah wants good for a household He guides them to the door of rifq.”

[al-Silsilah al-Saheehah 2/523]

And in another narration:

ما أعطي أهل بيت الرفق إلا نفعهم ولا منعوه إلا ضرهم

“I do not give a household rifq except that it benefits them, and I do not prevent them from it except that it harms them.”

[al-Silsilah al-Saheehah #942]

And in another narration:

 إن الله عز وجل ليعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على الخرق , وإذا أحب الله عبدا أعطاه الرفق , ما من أهل بيت يحرمون الرفق إلا حرموا الخير

“Verily Allah – ‘azza wa jal – rewards for rifq what He does not reward for transgression, and when Allah loves a slave He gives him al-rifq, and a household is not prevented from rifq except that they are prevented from good.”

[Saheeh al-Targheeb #2666]

When the Prophet (ﷺ) arrived in al-Madinah

‘Abdullah ibn Salaam narrates that:

قَالَ لَمَّا قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ انْجَفَلَ النَّاسُ إِلَيْهِ وَقِيلَ قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَجِئْتُ فِي النَّاسِ لأَنْظُرَ إِلَيْهِ فَلَمَّا اسْتَبَنْتُ وَجْهَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَرَفْتُ أَنَّ وَجْهَهُ لَيْسَ بِوَجْهِ كَذَّابٍ وَكَانَ أَوَّلَ شَيْءٍ تَكَلَّمَ بِهِ أَنْ قَالَ ‏ “‏ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَفْشُوا السَّلاَمَ وَأَطْعِمُوا الطَّعَامَ وَصَلُّوا وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ تَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلاَمٍ ‏”

When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) arrived – meaning in al-Madinah – the people came out to meet him. It was said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had arrived, so I went among the people to get a look at him. When I gazed upon the face of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), I knew that this face was not the face of a liar. The first thing that he spoke about what was what he said, “O People! Spread the salaam, feed (others), and perform salaat while the people are sleeping; you will enter Paradise with salaam.”

[al-Tirmidhi #2485, Sahih. And ibn Maajah also collected it (#1334). Al-Haakim graded it as sahih according to the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim (3/13, and 4/160), and al-Dhabahi agreed.]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori wrote in explanation of this hadith:

–  ‏(‏عن عبد الله بن سلام‏)‏ بالتخفيف الإسرائيل هو أبو يوسف حليف بني الخزرج قيل كان اسمه الحسين فسماه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عبد الله مشهور مات بالمدينة سنة ثلاث وأربعين …

‏(‏يا أيها الناس‏)‏ خطاب العام بكلمات جامعة للمعاملة مع الخلق والحق ‏(‏أفشوا السلام‏)‏ أي أظهروه وأكثروه على من تعرفونه وعلى من لا تعرفونه ‏(‏وأطعموا الطعام‏)‏ أي لنحو المساكين والأيتام ‏(‏وصلوا‏)‏ أي بالليل ‏(‏والناس نيام‏)‏ لأنه وقت الغفلة فلأرباب الحضور مزيد المثوبة أو لبعده عن الرياء والسمعة ‏(‏تدخلوا الجنة بسلام‏)‏ أي من الله أو من ملائكته من مكروه أو تعب ومشقة‏.‏

‘Abdullah ibn Salaam narrates” -one of the Children of Israa’eel- and he is Abu Yusuf, the ally of the Banu Khazraj. It is said that his name was Husain, so the Messenger of Allah called him ‘Abdullah. It is well known that he died in al-Madinah in the year 43 after the Hijrah…

O People!” – this is a general speech with comprehensive words for the people, delivered with elegance and truth. “Spread the Salaam” – meaning announce it openly and increase in doing so towards both those whom you recognize and those whom you do not recognize. “And feed (others)” – such as the poor people and the orphans. “And pray” – meaning at night – “while the people are sleeping” – because that is a time of heedlessness, so there is an increased reward for those who have mastered this habit, or those who seek to distance themselves from al-riyaa’ (showing-off) and gaining a reputation. “You will enter Paradise with salaam” – meaning (safety and protection) from Allah or from the angels against any harm or fatigue or discomfort.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2534]

See also: Speak well, feed others, fast regularly and pray while the people are sleeping

“Reconciliation is better”: Imam al-Sa’di’s tafsir of 4:128

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , says in His Book

وَإِنِ امْرَ‌أَةٌ خَافَتْ مِن بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَ‌اضًا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَن يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا ۚ وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ‌ ۗ وَأُحْضِرَ‌تِ الْأَنفُسُ الشُّحَّ ۚ وَإِن تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرً‌ا

“And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no sin on them both if they make make terms of settlement between them; and reconciliation is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by shuhh (miserliness, covetousness, greediness). But if you do good and have taqwa, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [4:128]

Imam al-Sa’di writes in his tafsir:

أي‏:‏ إذا خافت المرأة نشوز زوجها أي‏:‏ ترفعه عنها وعدم رغبته فيها وإعراضه عنها، فالأحسن في هذه الحالة أن يصلحا بينهما صلحا بأن تسمح المرأة عن بعض حقوقها اللازمة لزوجها على وجه تبقى مع زوجها، إما أن ترضى بأقل من الواجب لها من النفقة أو الكسوة أو المسكن، أو القسم بأن تسقط حقها منه، أو تهب يومها وليلتها لزوجها أو لضرتها‏.‏

When a wife fears cruelty from here husband – meaning he elevates himself in respect to her, and has no desire towards her and is shunning or avoiding her – then the best thing in this situation is for them to come to a mutual understanding by which the wife remits some of her necessary rights to her husband in order to remain with her husband; either to be satisfied with less than what is incumbent for her of provision or clothes or housing, or decide which of her rights to drop from his responsibility, or to give her night and day to her husband or to her co-wife. [such as when the Mother of the Believers Sawdah bint Zama’ feared that the Prophet wanted to divorce her, so she proposed to the Prophet that he remain married to her and her day could be given to ‘Aaishah, and he accepted that.]

فإذا اتفقا على هذه الحالة فلا جناح ولا بأس عليهما فيها، لا عليها ولا على الزوج، فيجوز حينئذ لزوجها البقاء معها على هذه الحال، وهي خير من الفرقة، ولهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ‏}‏

And if the two of them agree on such a situation, then there is no sin or harm upon them for that, neither for her nor for the husband, for this is permitted for her husband to remain with her in this situation. And this better than separation. And this what He said, “and reconciliation is better“.

ويؤخذ من عموم هذا اللفظ والمعنى أن الصلح بين مَن بينهما حق أو منازعة في جميع الأشياء أنه خير من استقصاء كل منهما على كل حقه، لما فيها من الإصلاح وبقاء الألفة والاتصاف بصفة السماح‏.‏

And from the general nature of this wording [i.e., “and reconciliation is better“] we can derive the meaning that reaching a settlement for two people between whom there is a dispute or a right in question, that in all things this is better than investigating and inquiring into each of them about every right. Because in that there is rectification and maintaining harmony and a peaceful settlement or compromise.

وهو جائز في جميع الأشياء إلا إذا أحلّ حراما أو حرّم حلالا، فإنه لا يكون صلحا وإنما يكون جورا‏.‏

And this is permitted in all things, except if it involves considering the haraam to be halaal or considering the halaal to be haraam. For certainly there is no rectification in that; that is nothing but deviation.

واعلم أن كل حكم من الأحكام لا يتم ولا يكمل إلا بوجود مقتضيه وانتفاء موانعه، فمن ذلك هذا الحكم الكبير الذي هو الصلح، فذكر تعالى المقتضي لذلك ونبه على أنه خير، والخير كل عاقل يطلبه ويرغب فيه، فإن كان ـ مع ذلك ـ قد أمر الله به وحثّ عليه ازداد المؤمن طلبا له ورغبة فيه‏.‏

And know that no ruling is completed or perfected except with the presence of its prerequisites and the absence of its contradictions. And from that there is a great ruling which is reconciliation. So Allah mentions the necessity for that and informed us that it is good – and every person of sound intellect seeks and desires the good. So – along with that – Allah has commanded it and urged the believer to increase in seeking it and desiring it.

وذكر المانع بقوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحّ‏) أي‏:‏ جبلت النفوس على الشح، وهو‏:‏ عدم الرغبة في بذل ما على الإنسان، والحرص على الحق الذي له، فالنفوس مجبولة على ذلك طبعا، أي‏:‏ فينبغي لكم أن تحرصوا على قلع هذا الخُلُق الدنيء من نفوسكم، وتستبدلوا به ضده وهو السماحة، وهو بذل الحق الذي عليك؛ والاقتناع ببعض الحق الذي لك‏.‏

And He mentioned an obstacle with His saying, “And human inner-selves are swayed by shuhh (miserliness, covetousness, greediness)” – meaning that the innate nature of the inner-selves is towards shuhh, and that is unwillingness to give generously to people, and keenness for to claim your rights from others. And that is the inherent nature of the inner-selves – so you should be keen to uproot this vile characteristic from your selves, and replace it with its opposite, and that is al-samaaha (easy-going nature, tolerance, leniency, generosity), and that is generously giving the rights which are incumbent on you, and satisfaction with (even only) some of of the rights which are yours.

فمتى وفق الإنسان لهذا الخُلُق الحسن سهل حينئذ عليه الصلح بينه وبين خصمه ومعامله، وتسهلت الطريق للوصول إلى المطلوب‏.‏ بخلاف من لم يجتهد في إزالة الشح من نفسه، فإنه يعسر عليه الصلح والموافقة، لأنه لا يرضيه إلا جميع ماله، ولا يرضى أن يؤدي ما عليه، فإن كان خصمه مثله اشتد الأمر‏.‏

And when the person achieves this good character, this makes reconciliation easy between him and his disputant, and it will ease the path to attaining his goals. This is in contrast to he who does not strive to remove shuhh from himself, for certainly shuhh makes reconciliation and reaching an agreement difficult, because he will be pleased except if he gets all the money, and he will not be satisfied to do that himself, so then what if his opponent is similar to him in being firm on the matter?!

ثم قال‏:‏ ‏(‏وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا‏)‏ أي‏:‏ تحسنوا في عبادة الخالق بأن يعبد العبد ربه كأنه يراه فإن لم يكن يراه فإنه يراه، وتحسنوا إلى المخلوقين بجميع طرق الإحسان، من نفع بمال، أو علم، أو جاه، أو غير ذلك‏.‏ ‏{‏وَتَتَّقُوا‏}‏ الله بفعل جميع المأمورات، وترك جميع المحظورات‏.‏ أو تحسنوا بفعل المأمور، وتتقوا بترك المحظور ‏{‏فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا‏}‏ قد أحاط به علما وخبرا، بظاهره وباطنه، فيحفظه لكم، ويجازيكم عليه أتم الجزاء‏.‏

Then Allah said, “But if you do good and have taqwa” – meaning that you do good in you worship of the Creator such that the slave worships his Lord as if he can see Him, and if he can’t see Him, then (the slave remembers that) He sees him. And to treat the creation well via every route of good, whether that be benefiting them financially or with knowledge or prestige or otherwise. “And have taqwa of Allah by performing all of the commands, and abandoning all of the prohibitions. Or, “do good” by performing the commands, and “have taqwa” by abandoning the prohibitions. “For verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do” – His knowledge and insight have encompassed what you do, both what is done openly and what is done secretly, and He is keeping a preserved record of your deeds for you, and He recompenses you for them with the most perfect reward.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

Please see “Reconciliation is Better”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 4:128 for more beneficial points to be draw from this important ayah, baarak Allaahu feekum

See also: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.6 – Settlement: Imam al-Sa’di

Praising one for good

Usaamah ibn Zaid narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ صُنِعَ إِلَيْهِ مَعْرُوفٌ فَقَالَ لِفَاعِلِهِ جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا فَقَدْ أَبْلَغَ فِي الثَّنَاءِ

“Whoever some good was done to him, and he says, ‘ jazaak Allaahu khairan (May Allah reward you with goodness)’ then he has done the most that he can do of commendation.”

[al-Tirmidhi #2035, hasan]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori wrote in explanation of this hadith:

 ـ (‏جزاك الله خيراً‏)‏ أي خير الجزاء أو أعطاك خيراً من خيري الدنيا والاَخرة ‏(‏فقد أبلغ في الثناء‏)‏ أي بالغ في أداء شكره وذلك أنه اعترف بالتقصير وأنه ممن عجز عن جزائه وثنائه ففوض جزاءه إلى الله ليجزيه الجزاء الأوفى‏.‏ قال بعضهم‏:‏ إذا قصرت يداك بالمكافأة، فليطل لسانك بالشكر والدعاء‏.‏

Jazaak Allaahu khairan (May Allah reward you with goodness)” – meaning a good reward, or to give you khair in the dunya and the aakhira. “Then he has done the most that he can do of commendation” – meaning he has accomplished the manifestation of his gratitude, and that is that he realizes his inability, and that he is incapable to reward and praise his benefactor sufficiently, so he entrusts his benefactor’s reward to Allah to recompense him with a reward and full repayment. And some have said, “when you are unable with your hands to make an adequate remuneration, then keep your tongue moist with gratitude and du’a.”

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2035]

“The one who eats and is grateful is like the status of the one who fasts and is patient.”

Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

الطَّاعِمُ الشَّاكِرُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الصَّائِمِ الصَّابِرِ

“The one who eats and is grateful is like the status of the one who fasts and is patient.”

[al-Tirmidhi #2486, Hasan. And Ibn Khuzaimah declared it sahih in his collection (#1898), as did Ibn Hibban (#952) and al-Haakim (4/136). And al-Dhahabi agreed with that. It is also recorded in Ibn Maajah #1764, hasan. And Al-Albaani declared it sahih in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah 2/258]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori wrote in explanation of this hadith:

قوله : ( الطاعم الشاكر ) أي لله تعالى بمنزلة الصائم الصابر لأن الطعم فعل والصوم كف ، فالطاعم بطعمه يأتي ربه بالشكر والصائم بكفه عن الطعم يأتيه بالصبر . قال القاري : أقل شكره أن يسمي إذا أكل ويحمد إذا فرغ وأقل صبره أن يحبس نفسه عن مفسدات الصوم . قال المظهر : هذا تشبيه في أصل استحقاق كل واحد منهما الأجر لا في المقدار ، وهذا كما يقال زيد كعمرو ومعناه زيد يشبه عمرا في بعض الخصال ولا يلزم المماثلة في جميعها فلا يلزم المماثلة في الأجر أيضا ، انتهى .

His statement, “The one who eats and is grateful” – meaning Allah the Exalted makes his status like that of the fasting person who is patient because eating is action and and fasting is abstention. So the one who eats food comes to His Lord with gratitude and the one who fasts and abstains from food comes to Him with sabr (patience). Al-Qaari said, “his gratitude is such that he at least praises Allah [saying al-hamdulillaah] when he eats and when he finishes, and his sabr is such that he at least restrains himself from those things which invalidate the fast.” Al-Mathhar said, “This is similar in nature to the entitlement which every person has to the reward without measure [i.e. for fasting, see this hadith].” And this is like when one says, “Zaid is like ‘Amr”, and the meaning is the Zaid resembles ‘Amr in some characteristics and is nor necessarily similar in all of them, so these two are not necessarily equivalent in reward either.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi]

The Tawakkal and Understaning of Ya’qub (‘alaihis salaam)

Allah says in His Book when He is informing us about Ya’qub‘s advice to his sons upon sending them back to Egypt, and his efforts to take precautions for their well-being and safety:

وَقَالَ يَا بَنِيَّ لَا تَدْخُلُوا مِن بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُوا مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّ‌قَةٍ ۖ وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنكُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّـهِ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ

And [Ya’qub (Jacob)] said: “O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allah at all. Verily! The decision rests only with Allah. In him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him.” [12:67]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes about this ayah, starting from ,”and I cannot avail you against Allah at all…”:

‏(‏وَ)‏ إلا فـ ‏(‏مَا أُغْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ‏)‏ فالمقدر لا بد أن يكون، ‏(‏إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ القضاء قضاؤه، والأمر أمره، فما قضاه وحكم به لا بد أن يقع، (‏عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ اعتمدت على الله، لا على ما وصيتكم به من السبب، (‏وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ)‏ فإن بالتوكل يحصل كل مطلوب، ويندفع كل مرهوب‏.‏

Allah says “and” – instead of ‘so’ – I cannot avail you against Allah at all”  for what is decreed must occur. “Verily! The decision rests only with Allah” – meaning the preordination is His preordination, and the command is His command, so His preordainment and ruling must happen. “In him, I put my trust” – meaning, I rely and depend upon Allah, and not upon what I sincerely advise you of the means to achieve your objective. “And let all those that trust, put their trust in Him” for with tawakkal, one achieves every objective, and drives away every fear.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

Imam al-Baghawi said about this ayah:

ثم قال: (وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ) معناه: إن كان الله قضى فيكم قضاء فيصيبكم مجتمعين كنتم أو متفرقين، فإن المقدور كائن والحذر لا ينفع من القدر، (إِنِ الْحُكْمُ) ما الحكم، (إِلا لِلَّهِ) هذا تفويض يعقوب أموره إلى الله، (عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ) اعتمدت، (وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ).

Then Allah said, “and I cannot avail you against Allah at all“. The meaning of this is: If Allah preordained for you a preordainment, then you will be afflicted with it whether you are all together or separated, for the decree must occur and caution cannot benefit one against the Divine Decree.Verily! The decision” – what Allah has ruled – “rests only with Allah” – this is Ya’qub‘s entrusting and consignment of his affairs to Allah (al-tafweedh). “In him, I put my trust” – meaning rely and depend upon – “and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him“.

[Ma’alim al-Tanzil (Tafsir al-Baghawi)]

Allah continues the story of Ya’qub and his sons in the next ayah, saying:

وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَ‌هُمْ أَبُوهُم مَّا كَانَ يُغْنِي عَنْهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ مِن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا حَاجَةً فِي نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا ۚ وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لِّمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ‌ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“And when they entered from where their father had ordered them, it did not avail them against Allah at all except [it was] a need within the soul of Ya’qub, which he satisfied. And indeed, he was a possessor of knowledge because of what We had taught him, but most of the people do not know.” [12:68]

Imam al-Baghawi writes:

 ـ (مَا كَانَ يُغْنِي) يدفع (عَنْهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ) صَدَق اللهُ تعالى يعقوبَ فيما قال، (إِلا حَاجَةً) مراداً، (فِي نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا) أشفق عليهم إشفاق الآباء على أبنائهم وجرى الأمر عليه، (وَإِنَّهُ) يعني: يعقوب عليه السلام، (لَذُو عِلْمٍ) يعني: كان يعمل ما يعمل عن علم لا عن جهل، (لِمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ) أي: لتعليمنا إياه. وقيل: إنه لعامل بما علم.
قال سفيان: من لا يعمل بما يعلم لا يكون عالما. وقيل: وإنه لذو حفظ لما علَّمناه. ـ
ـ (وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ) ما يعلم يعقوب لأنهم لم يسلكوا طريق إصابة العلم. وقال ابن عباس: لا يعلم المشركون ما ألهم الله أولياءه.

It did not avail them” – meaning it did not profit them – “against Allah at all” – and Allah spoke truthfully when He said about Ya’qub – “except a need” – an intention – “within the sould of Ya’qub, which he satisfied” – a concern for them which is the care and compassion of a father for his sons and that was his state. “And indeed he” – meaning Ya’qub (‘alaihis salaam) – “was a possessor of knowledge” – meaning he did what he did based on knowledge and not based on ignorance – “because of what We had taught him” – meaning, because of our teaching which was specific to him. And it is said, “because he acted according to knowledge.”

And Sufyan [al-Thawri] said, “He who does not act according to what he knows is not an ‘aalim.” And it is said, “Because he preserved what We had taught him.”

But most of the people do not know” what Ya’qub knew because they did not traverse the trials of the path of knowledge. And Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “the muskrikoon do not know what Allah has inspired to his awliya’

[Ma’alim al-Tanzil (Tafsir al-Baghawi) 4/259-260]

And Imam al-Shawkani wrote about this:

(وَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُم) أي: من الأبواب المتفرقة ولم يجتمعوا داخلين من باب واحد. وجواب لما (مَّا كَانَ يُغْنِى عَنْهُمْ) ذلك الدخول (مِنَ الله) أي: من جهته (مِن شَئ) من الأشياء مما قدّره الله عليهم لأن الحذر لا يدفع القدر، والاستثناء بقوله: (إِلاَّ حَاجَةً فِى نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا) منقطع، والمعنى: ولكن حاجة كانت في نفس يعقوب، وهي شفقته عليهم، ومحبته لسلامتهم، قضاها يعقوب، أي: أظهرها لهم، ووصاهم بها غير معتقد أن للتدبير الذي دبره لهم تأثيراً في دفع ما قضاه الله عليهم. وقيل: إنه خطر ببال يعقوب أن الملك إذا رآهم مجتمعين مع ما يظهر فيهم من كمال الخلقة، وسيما الشجاعة أوقع بهم حسداً وحقداً أو خوفاً منهم، فأمرهم بالتفرّق لهذه العلة.

And when they entered from where their father had ordered them” – meaning through different gates and not to enter all together through one gate. And the outcome of that was “it did not avail them” – entering in that way – “against Allah” – meaning against His authority – “at all” of anything against what Allah had decreed for them, for caution does not repel qadr. And the exception is His statement, “except a need within the soul of Ya’qub, which he satisfied” – meaning that although the need was in the soul of Ya’cub, and he was concerned for them, and loved for them to remain safe, Ya’qub did that, meaning that he expressed that to them, and advised them with that without believing that the measures which he took for them would result in repelling what Allah had preordained for them. And it is said, “the risk in the mind of Ya’cub was that if the king saw them all together with what they exhibited of exquisite appearances, especially in valor, then he would be afflicted with envy and hatred or fear of them, so he ordered them to separate for this reason.”

And Imam al-Shawkani went on to write:

 (وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لّمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ) أي: وإن يعقوب لصاحب علم لأجل تعليم الله إياه بما أوحاه الله من أن الحذر لا يدفع القدر، وأن ما قضاه الله سبحانه فهو كائن لا محالة. (ولكن أَكْثَرَ الناس لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ) بذلك كما ينبغي. وقيل: لا يعلمون أن الحذر مندوب إليه، وإن كان لا يغني من القدر شيئاً، والسياق يدفعه. وقيل: المراد بأكثر الناس المشركون.

And indeed, he was a possessor of knowledge because of what We had taught him” – meaning that Ya’qub was a possessor of knowledge due to the teaching which Allah had specifically given him from what Allah had inspired to him that caution does not repel qadr, and that whatever Allah the Exalted has preordained will happen without any doubt.But most of the people do not know” that to the extent that they should. And it is said, “they do not know that caution is regrettable for them, and that it cannot avail one anything against Allah’s decree (qadr), nor repel it.” And it is said that “it means that most of the people are polytheists”.

[Fath al-Qadeer]

For more on the merits of Ya’qub (alaihis salaam), see also:

I will seek forgiveness for you from my Lord: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

“I complain of my grief and sorrow only to Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: “And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

See also: The supplication is granted so long as one does not show impatience: Ibn Hajr

See also: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

Seek Forgiveness and Repent; He will give you a good enjoyment and abounding grace

Allah says in His Book:

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ ۖ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ‌

“And seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him. He will let you enjoy a good enjoyment for a specified term and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.” [11:3]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes about this ayah:

قوله تعالى‏ (‏وأن استغفروا ربكم‏)‏ عطف على الأول‏.‏ ‏(‏ثم توبوا إليه)‏ أي ارجعوا إليه بالطاعة والعبادة‏.‏ قال الفراء(‏ثم‏)‏ هنا بمعنى الواو؛ أي وتوبوا إليه؛ لأن الاستغفار هو التوبة، والتوبة هي الاستغفار‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ استغفروه من سالف ذنوبكم، وتوبوا إليه من المستأنف متى وقعت منكم‏.‏ قال بعض الصلحاء‏:‏ الاستغفار بلا إقلاع توبة الكذابين‏.‏ وقد تقدم هذا المعنى في (‏آل عمران)‏ مستوفى‏.‏ وفي (‏البقرة)‏ عند قوله‏ (‏ولا تتخذوا آيات الله هزوا‏) ‏البقرة‏:‏ 231‏]‏‏ وقيل‏:‏ إنما قدم ذكر الاستغفار لأن المغفرة هي الغرض المطلوب، والتوبة هي السبب إليها؛ فالمغفرة أول في المطلوب وآخر في السبب‏.‏ ويحتمل أن يكون المعنى استغفروه من الصغائر، وتوبوا إليه من الكبائر‏.‏.

The statement of Allah, “And seek forgiveness of your Lord” – this is a continuation of the previous verses. “Then repent to Him” – meaning to return to Him in obedience and worship. Al-Fira’ said, “then” here takes the meaning of ‘and’, because al-istighfar (seeking forgiveness) is tawbah (turning in repentance) and tawbah is al-istighfar. And it is said, “seek His forgiveness for the (minor) sins which have occurred, and repent to Him when you fall back into committing some of those (minor) sins.” And some of the righteous people said, “istighfar without the abandonment of sins is the tawbah of the liars.” And that meaning has already been mentioned in surah Aal Imran, and in surah al-Baqarah with Allah’s statement,”And do not take the verses of Allah in jest” [2:231]. And it is said, “The mention of making istighfar came first in this instance because forgiveness is the desired objective, and tawbah is the means to obtain that. So forgiveness is firstly the objective and ultimately the means (for obtaining one’s goals).” And this carries the meaning that istighfar is done for the minor sins, and tawbah is done for the major sins. Continue reading