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

‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ غُرَفًا تُرَى ظُهُورُهَا مِنْ بُطُونِهَا وَبُطُونُهَا مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَامَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ فَقَالَ لِمَنْ هِيَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ لِمَنْ أَطَابَ الْكَلاَمَ وَأَطْعَمَ الطَّعَامَ وَأَدَامَ الصِّيَامَ وَصَلَّى لِلَّهِ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ

“Verily, in Paradise there are chambers, whose outside can be seen from their inside, and their inside can be seen from their outside.” A Bedouin stood and said : ‘Who are they for, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “For those who speak well, feed (others), fast regularly, and perform salaah  during the night while the people sleep.” [al-Tirmidhi #2112, Hasan]

Sheikh Mubarakfoori, in his explanation of the hadith in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, writes:

قوله : ( إن في الجنة غرفا ) جمع غرفة ، أي علالي في غاية من اللطافة ونهاية من الصفاء والنظافة  .

Allah’s statement, “Verily, in Paradise there are chambers” – meaning great comforts including all sorts of amenities, and serenity and cleanliness.

( لمن أطاب الكلام ) وروي ألان ، وروي : ألين كأجود على الأصل ، وروي : لين بتشديد الياء ، والمعنى لمن له خلق حسن مع الأنام قال تعالى : وإذا خاطبهم الجاهلون قالوا سلاما فيكون من عباد الرحمن الذين يمشون على الأرض هونا ، الموصوفين بقوله : أولئك يجزون الغرفة بما صبروا ،

For those who speak well” – it is said, ‘the most gentle’, and it is said, ‘The most mild-mannered, like one who is good by nature.’ And it is said, ‘gentle manners’ [see al-Qur’an 20:44]. And the meaning refers to those who have excellent manners with the creation, and Allah says, “and when the ignorant address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness” and they are “the slaves of the al-Rahman who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness” [25:63]. And this is explained by Allah’s statement, “Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured” [25:75].

( وأطعم الطعام ) للعيال والفقراء والأضياف ونحو ذلك

Feed (others) with food” – one’s dependents, the poor, guests, and so on.

( وأدام الصيام ) أي أكثر منه بعد الفريضة بحيث تابع بعضها بعضا ولا يقطعها رأسا ، قاله ابن الملك ، وقيل أقله أن يصوم من كل شهر ثلاثة أيام ، وفيه وفيما قبله إشارة إلى قوله تعالى : والذين إذا أنفقوا لم يسرفوا ولم يقتروا وكان بين ذلك قواما مع أن قوله تعالى : بما صبروا صريح في الدلالة على الصوم

Fast regularly” – meaning to do a lot of fasting in addition to the obligatory fasts, such that one follows another and they are not cut off [i.e., they are consistent and regular throughout the year]. That is what ibn Maalik said. And it is said, ‘at least to fast three days of every month’, and in this and what preceded is reference to the statement of Allah, “and those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes)” [25:67]. Along with this is Allah’s statement, “for what they patiently endured” [25:75] which is a clear support for the position that the previous verse refers to fasting.

( وصلى بالليل ) لله ( والناس ) أي غالبهم ( نيام ) جمع نائم أو غافلون عنه ; لأنه عبادة لا رياء يشوب عمله ولا شهود غير الله ، إشارة إلى قوله تعالى : والذين يبيتون لربهم سجدا وقياما المنبئ وصفهم بذلك عن أنهم في غاية من الإخلاص لله

And perform salaah in the night” – to Allah – “while the people” – meaning the majority of them – “are sleeping” – or while they are heedless. This is because ‘ibaadah is not riyaa’ (showing off to be seen by others) which tarnishes ones deeds, nor is it done to be witnessed by other than Allah. This is a reference to Allah’s statement, “And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing” [25:64]. This verse describes them with that; that their sincerity to Allah is very great.

قوله : ( هذا حديث غريب ) وأخرجه أحمد وابن حبان في صحيحه والبيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن أبي مالك الأشعري .

And al-Tirmidhi’s statement, “This hadith is ghareeb [i.e. at one point is the chain there is only one narrator]”. It is also reported by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, and by al-Bayhaqi in his book Sha’ab al-Eemaan from Abu Maalik al-‘Ashari.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi]

See also: When the Prophet arrived in al-Madinah

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“Reconciliation is better”: Imam al-Qurtubi’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-Qurtubi in his tafsir writes:

    قوله تعالى‏{‏والصلح خير‏}‏ لفظ عام مطلق يقتضي أن الصلح الحقيقي الذي تسكن إليه النفوس ويزول به الخلاف خير على الإطلاق‏.‏ ويدخل في هذا المعنى جميع ما يقع عليه الصلح بين الرجل وامرأته في مال أو وطء أو غير ذلك‏.‏ ‏}‏خير ‏}‏أي خير من الفرقة؛ فإن التمادي على الخلاف والشحناء والمباغضة هي قواعد الشر، وقال عليه السلام في البغضة‏:‏ ‏(‏إنها الحالقة ‏)‏ يعني حالقة الدين لا حالقة الشعر‏.‏

Allah’s statement, “and reconciliation is better” is a general statement which instructs towards real reconciliation – which is that you are at peace with it in your souls and removing the dispute – this is better than divorce. And included in this meaning is a gathering of all that comes with the reconciliation between man and wife, such as finances, sexual relations and other than that. “Better” means better than separation; for certainly persistence upon disputing, enmity and hatred is a basis of evil. And the Messenger said about hatred, “verily, it is haaliqah” – meaning it cuts the deen, (not hair, as the word is more commonly used to signify).

Imam al-Qurtubi went on to write in his tafsir:

‏قوله تعالى‏{‏وأحضرت الأنفس الشح ‏}‏إخبار بأن الشح في كل أحد‏.‏ وأن الإنسان لا بد أن يشح بحكم خلقته وجبلته حتى يحمل صاحبه على بعض ما يكره؛ يقال‏:‏ شح يشح ‏(‏بكسر الشين ‏)‏

Allah’s statement, “And human inner-selves are swayed by shuhh (miserliness)” there is in information that shuh is found in everyone. And that mankind in necessarily miserly by virtue of of nature and disposition, to the extent that it causes him to do some of what he hates.

قال ابن جبير‏:‏ هو شح المرأة بالنفقة من زوجها وبقسمه لها أيامها‏.‏ وقال ابن زيد‏:‏ الشح هنا منه ومنها‏.‏ وقال ابن عطية‏:‏ وهذا أحسن؛ فإن الغالب على المرأة الشح بنصيبها من زوجها، والغالب على الزوج الشح بنصيبه من الشابة‏.‏ والشح الضبط على المعتقدات والإرادة وفي الهمم والأموال ونحو ذلك، فما أفرط منه على الدين فهو محمود، وما أفرط منه في غيره ففيه بعض المذمة، وهو الذي قال الله فيه‏{‏ومن يوق شح نفسه فأولئك هم المفلحون‏}‏التغابن‏:‏16‏]‏‏.

And Ibn Jareer [at-Tabari] said, “this is miserliness of the woman for the maintenance from her husband and for the division of his days [i.e. between his different wives].” And Ibn Zaid said, “miserliness here is applies to both the husband and the wife.” And Ibn ‘Atiyyah said – and this is the best of what has been said – “Certainly the majority of women are covetous/miserly over their share from their husband, and the majority of husbands are covetous/miserly of their share from their young wives. And miserliness exerts a certain hold over one’s convictions and will, as well as in motivations, and in financial matters and so on. And whatever is spent excessively on the deen, then that is praiseworthy, and whatever is spent lavishly of other than that, then there is some blameworthiness in that, and that is what Allah said, “And whoever is protected from the covetousness of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.” [64:16].

وما صار إلى حيز منع الحقوق الشرعية أو التي تقتضيها المروءة فهو البخل وهي رذيلة‏.‏ وإذا آل البخل إلى هذه الأخلاق المذمومة والشيم اللئيمة لم يبق معه خير مرجو ولا صلاح مأمول‏.‏

And from the things which have devolved into preventing the attainment of rights guaranteed in the sharee’a and or what is obligated by chivalry, then that is stinginess and that is contemptible. And if the stingy people reach this level of blameworthy manners and ignoble characteristics, then a good return is no longer an option, nor is reconciliation hoped for.

قوله تعالى‏ (‏وإن تحسنوا وتتقوا ‏) ‏شرط ‏(‏فإن الله كان بما تعملون خبيرا ‏) ‏جوابه‏.‏ وهذا خطاب للأزواج من حيث إن للزوج أن يشح ولا يحسن؛ أي إن تحسنوا وتتقوا في عشرة النساء بإقامتكم عليهن مع كراهيتكم لصحبتهن واتقاء ظلمهن فهو أفضل لكم‏.‏

The statement of Allah, “But if you do good and have taqwa”, – the condition – “then verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do” – its outcome. And this speech is directed towards the husbands regarding if they are miserly to their wives and do not treat them well. The meaning is, ‘if you do good and have taqwa in your companionship with your women, in your responsibilities and authority over them, while bearing with their disliked qualities, and exercising taqwa which prevents you from being unjust to them, then that is the most virtuous and best thing for you.”

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an]

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

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

“Indeed the patient will be given their reward without measure”

Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in His Book:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَ‌بَّكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَـٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۗ وَأَرْ‌ضُ اللَّـهِ وَاسِعَةٌ ۗ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُ‌ونَ أَجْرَ‌هُم بِغَيْرِ‌ حِسَابٍ

Say, “O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without measure.” [39:10]

Imam al-Qurtubi writes in his tafsir:

‏ و‏ (‏الصابرون‏) ‏هنا الصائمون؛ دليله قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام مخبرا عن الله عز وجل‏:‏ ‏(‏الصوم لي وأنا أجزي به) ‏قال أهل العلم‏:‏ كل أجر يكال كيلا ويوزن وزنا إلا الصوم فإنه يحثى حثوا ويغرف غرفا؛ وحكي عن علي رضي الله عنه‏.‏ وقال مالك بن أنس في قوله‏ (‏إنما يوفى الصابرون أجرهم بغير حساب) ‏قال‏:‏ هو الصبر على فجائع الدنيا وأحزانها‏.‏ ولا شك أن كل من سلم فيما أصابه، وترك ما نهي عنه، فلا مقدار لأجرهم‏.‏

And “the patient (al-saabiroon)” means here “the ones who fast (al-saa’imoon)”. The proof for that is the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ) that Allah said, “the fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it” [Al-Bukhari].

The scholars said, “Every reward will be measured and weighed out, except (the reward for) al-sawm, which will be poured out and piled up”, as has come from ‘Ali ibn abi Taalib (May Allah be pleased with him).

And Maalik ibn Anas said about Allah’s statement, “Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without measure“;

“It is sabr with the afflictions and distresses of this life. And there is no doubt that everyone who has submitted (in Islam) while he suffers afflictions, and abandoned what has been prohibited for him, then there is no calculation of his reward.”

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an 15/240]

See also: “Is the reward for good anything other than good?”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: You will surely be tested: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way: Imam al-Sa’di

The ‘Ibaadah of the Messenger was consistent like an enduring heavy rain

The Mother of the Believers ‘Aaisha bint Abi Bakr was asked:

هل كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يختص من الأيام شيئا

“Did the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) single out certain days for things (i.e. acts of worship)?

‘Aaisha replied:

لا كان عمله ديمة وأيكم يطيق ما كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يطيق

“No, His deeds were ‘deema’ (constant, consistent). And who among you can consistently practice what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) consistently practiced?

And in the wording of the hadith from Sahih Muslim, she said:

لاَ ‏.‏ كَانَ عَمَلُهُ دِيمَةً وَأَيُّكُمْ يَسْتَطِيعُ مَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَسْتَطِيعُ

“No, His deeds were ‘deema‘ (constant, consistent). And who among you is capable of doing what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was capable of doing.

[Sahih al Bukhari #1987]

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani wrote in his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath al-Bari:

قوله : ( ديمة ) بكسر أوله وسكون التحتانية أي : دائمة ، قال أهل اللغة : الديمة مطر يدوم أياما ، ثم أطلقت على كل شيء يستمر .

“The statement ‘deema’ (constant, consistent) means ‘daa-ima’ (permanent/lasting). The scholars of language said: ‘al-deema’ is rain that continues for many days. It is unleashed on everything and it persists.”

And this is as the Prophet (ﷺ) famously said:

وَأَنَّ أَحَبَّ الأَعْمَالِ أَدْوَمُهَا إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَإِنْ قَلَّ

“The most beloved deeds to Allah are the most constant/consistent/regular [1], even if they are few”

[Al-Bukhari #6464]

[1] ‘adwamuha’ is the superlative form of ‘deema’

See also: “For every period of zeal and enthusiasm there is a slackening off”: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

“Do not let yourselves be ‘wishy-washy’!”

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman narrated that the Messenger of Allâh (ṣallallâhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

لَا تَكُونُوا إِمَّعَةً، تَقُولُونَ: إِنْ أَحْسَنَ النَّاسُ، أَحْسَنَّا، وَإِنْ ظَلَمُوا، ظَلَمْنَا، وَلَكِنْ وَطِّنُــوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ، إِنْ أَحْسَنَ النَّاسُ أَنْ تُحْسِنُوا، وَإِنْ أَسَاءُوا فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا

“Do not let yourselves be wishy-washy [1], saying, ‘If the people are good, then we will be good, but if they are unjust, then we will be unjust.’ Rather, make up your our minds; if the people are good then you are also good, but if they are evil, then you do not behave unjustly.”

[1] “Immaʿah” (إِمَّعَة), meaning: of weak character; ‘yes-men’; the one who has no opinion, so he follows everyone’s opinion.

[Al-Tirmidhi, #2007, who said the isnad was ‘Ḥasan Gharīb’. Others such as al-Mundhiri and al-Munaawi have also graded the isnad as saheeh, hasan or jayyid. Others have declared it to be a mawquf statement of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, such as Ibn Abd al-Barr  in his book, Jāmiʾ Bayān Al-ʿIlm wa Faḍlihi, and Sheikh al-Albaani in his book Da’eef al-Tirmidhi. However there is no dispute that the meaning of the hadith is saheeh.]

Sheikh Mubarakfoori, in his commentary on Sunan al-Tirmidhi, writes:

قوله : ( لا تكونوا إمعة ) بكسر الهمزة وتشديد الميم والهاء للمبالغة وهمزته أصلية ولا يستعمل ذلك في النساء فلا يقال امرأة إمعة كذا في النهاية ، وقال صاحب الفائق : هو الذي يتابع كل ناعق ويقول لكل أحد أنا معك لأنه لا رأي له يرجع إليه ، ومعناه : المقلد الذي يجعل دينه تابعا لدين غيره بلا رؤية ولا تحصيل برهان انتهى كلامه ، قال القاري بعد نقل هذا الكلام عن الفائق ما لفظه : وفيه إشعار بالنهي عن التقليد المجرد حتى في الأخلاق فضلا عن الاعتقادات والعبادات ، وفي القاموس : الإمع كهلع وهلعة ويفتحان ؛ الرجل يتابع كل واحد على رأيه لا يثبت على شيء ، ومتبع الناس إلى الطعام من غير أن يدعى والمحقب الناس دينه والمتردد في غير صنعة ، ومن يقول أنا مع الناس ولا يقال امرأة إمعة ، أو قد يقال وتأمع واستأمع صار إمعة ، وقيل : هو الرجل الذي يكون لضعف رأيه مع كل واحد ، والمراد هنا من يكون مع ما يوافق هواه ويلائم إرب نفسه وما يتمناه ، وقيل المراد هنا الذي يقول أنا مع الناس كما يكونون معي إن خيرا فخير وإن شرا فشر .

The statement, “Don’t let yourselves be wishy-washy” – It is said, “(this means) he who follows every crowd and says to each one of them, ‘I am with you’, because he doesn’t have an opinion of his own.” And the meaning of that is: a blind follower who makes his deen to follow the deen of others without seeing or having proof. Al-Qaaree said, after he extended the explanation to encompass meanings beyond the wording of the hadeeth,and in this is a sign about the prohibition of mere taqleed (blind following), even concerning good manners, in addition to the issues of ‘aqeedah (creed) and ‘ibaadah (worship).

وفي القاموس : الإمع كهلع وهلعة ويفتحان ؛ الرجل يتابع كل واحد على رأيه لا يثبت على شيء ، … وقيل : هو الرجل الذي يكون لضعف رأيه مع كل واحد ، والمراد هنا من يكون مع ما يوافق هواه ويلائم إرب نفسه وما يتمناه ، وقيل المراد هنا الذي يقول أنا مع الناس كما يكونون معي إن خيرا فخير وإن شرا فشر

And linguistically, “imma’‘ (‘wishy-washy’) is impatience, restlessness and being indiscriminate; the one who follows everyone on mere opinion and is not firm upon anything…. And it is said that it is the man who is weak in his opinion with everyone, and the meaning here is the he is with what agrees with his desires and what suits his nafs and his wishes. And it is said that the meaning here refers to those who say, ‘I am with the people to the extent that they are with me; if they are good then I am good, and if they are evil then I am evil.’

قال القاري : وهذا المعنى هو المتعين كما يدل عليه قوله تقولون إن أحسن الناس أي إلينا أو إلى غيرنا أحسنا أي جزاء أو تبعا لهم ( وإن ظلموا ) أي ظلمونا أو ظلموا غيرنا فكذلك نحن ( ظلمنا ) على وفق أعمالهم

Al-Qaaree said, “And this refers to the two whims, as is demonstrated by his statement (ﷺ), ‘if the people are good‘ -meaning good to us or to others – ‘then we will be good‘ – meaning to repay or reciprocate to them. ‘But if they are unjust‘ – meaning they are unjust to us or to others, then like that- ‘we will be unjust’ – and match their actions.

قال الطيبي قوله تقولون إلخ بيان وتفسير للإمعة ; لأن معنى قوله إن أحسن الناس وإن ظلموا إنا نقلد الناس في إحسانهم وظلمهم ونقتفي أثرهم .

Al-Tayybi said, “His statement (ﷺ), ‘they say ‘If the people are good, then we will be good, but if they are unjust, then we will be unjust’’ is a clarification and explanation of al-imma’ah; because the meaning of his statement, ‘if the people are good‘ and ‘if they are unjust‘ is that we blindly follow the people in goodness and injustice and follow in their footsteps.”

( ولكن وطنوا أنفسكم إن أحسن الناس أن تحسنوا إلخ ) قال في القاموس : توطين النفس تمهيدها وتوطنها تمهدها انتهى 

Rather, make up your our minds ; if the people are good then you are also good, but if they are evil, then you do not behave unjustly“. Linguistically ‘to make make up one’s mind’ is the preparation of one’s self, and resolve, and conviction, from beginning to end.

قال الطيبي‏:‏ إن تحسنوا متعلق بقوله وطنوا، وجواب الشرط محذوف يدل عليه إن تحسنوا، والتقدير وطنوا أنفسكم على الإحسان إن أحسن الناس فأحسنوا وإن أساؤوا فلا تظلموا لأن عدم الظلم إحسان‏.‏

Al-Tayybi said, “The conditional clause ‘if you are good’ is omitted from the hadeeth, but it is related to his statement (ﷺ), ‘resolve (your own minds)’. And the implication is: make up your our minds upon ihsaan; if the people are good then you are also good, but if they are evil, then you do not behave unjustly – because the absence of injustice is ihsaan.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, #2015]

Recite the Book with its true recitation

Allah, the Exalted, says in His Book:

‏الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ أُولَئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recitation. They are the ones who believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it – it is they who are the losers.” [2:121]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes:

يخبر تعالى أن الذين آتاهم الكتاب‏,‏ ومنَّ عليهم به منة مطلقة‏,‏ أنهم (‏يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ يتبعونه حق اتباعه‏,‏ والتلاوة‏:‏ الاتباع، فيحلون حلاله‏,‏ ويحرمون حرامه‏,‏ ويعملون بمحكمه‏,‏ ويؤمنون بمتشابهه، وهؤلاء هم السعداء من أهل الكتاب‏,‏ الذين عرفوا نعمة الله وشكروها‏,‏ وآمنوا بكل الرسل‏,‏ ولم يفرقوا بين أحد منهم‏.‏ فهؤلاء‏,‏ هم المؤمنون حقا‏,‏ لا من قال منهم‏:‏ ‏(‏نؤمن بما أنزل علينا ويكفرون بما وراءه‏)‏

Allah, the Exalted, informs us that those who were given the Book, and it was a generous gift which which bestowed on them, that they, “They recite it with its true recital” – meaning they follow it with true adherence. And tilaawah (recitation) means adherence (to the revelation from Allah), and regarding the halaal as halaal, and regarding the haraam as haraamand to act according to its rulings, and to believe in its mutashaabihat [see Qur’an 3:7]. And these are the happy ones from ahl al-Kitaab; those who recognize the blessings of Allah and are grateful for them, and believe in every messenger, and they never make any distinction between them. And these are the true believers, not like those who say, “‘We believe [only] in what was revealed to us.’ And they disbelieve in what came after it“[2:91]

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman, p. 65]

And Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes:

قوله تعالى: (الَّذِينَ آتَيْناهُمُ الْكِتابَ) قال قتادة: هم أصحاب النبي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، والكتاب على هذا التأويل القرآن.

Allah said, “Those to whom We have given the Book“. Qataada said, “they are the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ)”, and the book, according to this interpretation, is the Qur’an.

وقال ابن زيد: هم من أسلم من بني إسرائيل. والكتاب على هذا التأويل: التوراة، والآية تعم.

And Ibn Zaid said, “They are those from the Children of Israel who entered into Islam.” And the book, according to this interpretation, is the tawrah (Torah), and its signs…

واختلف في معنى: (يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاوَتِهِ) فقيل: يتبعونه حق اتباعه، باتباع الامر والنهي، فيحللون حلاله، ويحرمون حرامه، ويعملون بما تضمنه، قاله عكرمة. قال عكرمة: أما سمعت قول الله تعالى: (وَالْقَمَرِ إِذا تَلاها) أي أتبعها، وهو معنى قول ابن عباس وابن مسعود رضي الله عنهما

And there is a difference of opinion about the meaning of “they recite it with its true recitation“. So it is said, “they follow it with true adherence, following its commands and prohibitions, so that they consider halaal what it decrees halaal, and they consider haraam what it considers as haraam, and they act according to what it contains.” ‘Ikrimah said this. ‘Ikrimah said, “Have you not heard the statement of Allah the Exalted, ‘And by the moon when it talaaha’- meaning when it follows it [91:2].” And this meaning was also conveyed by Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood (May Allah be pleased with both of them).

وروى نصر بن عيسى عن مالك عن نافع عن ابن عمر عن النبي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ في قوله تعالى: {يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاوَتِهِ} قال: يتبعونه حق اتباعه. في إسناده غير واحد من المجهولين فيما ذكر الخطيب أبو بكر أحمد، إلا أن معناه صحيح.

And it is related from ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said about the ayahthey recite it with its true recitation“- “they follow it with a true adherence.” The isnad has some weakness, but the meaning is meaning is sahih.

وقال أبو موسى الأشعري: من يتبع القرآن يهبط به على رياض الجنة. وعن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه: هم الذين إذا مروا بآية رحمة سألوها من الله، وإذا مروا بآية عذاب استعاذوا منها. وقد روي هذا المعنى عن النبي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: كان إذا مر بآية رحمة سأل، وإذا مر بآية عذاب تعوذ.

And Abu Moosa al-‘Ashari said, “Whoever follows the Qur’an, then he descends with it on the gardens of Paradise.” And ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “They are those who, when they come across an ayah speaking of Rahmah (mercy), they ask Allah for that, and when the come across an ayah of punishment, they seek refuge from that. And this meaning has been narrated about the Prophet (ﷺ) that “when he came across an ayah of Rahmah, he asked, and when he came across an ayah of punishment, he sought refuge.” [al-Nasa’i #1009, Sahih]

وقال الحسن: هم الذين يعملون بمحكمه، ويؤمنون بمتشابهه، ويكلون ما أشكل عليهم إلى عالمه

And Hasan al-Basri said, “They are those who act according to its rulings, and believe in its mutashaabihat [see Qur’an 3:7], and they refer back to those who know about that which confuses them.”

وقيل: يقرءونه حق قراءته . قلت: وهذا فيه بعد، إلا أن يكون المعنى يرتلون ألفاظه، ويفهمون معانيه، فإن بفهم المعاني يكون الاتباع لمن وفق

And it is said that it means, “read with a true reading”. I (Imam al-Qurtubi) say, “this meaning has already preceded, except for the implication therein to carefully recite with proper pronunciation and enunciation, and to understand its meanings. And if this is the intended meaning, the it is in agreement with (the previously provided meaning of) adherence.

[Jaami’ al-Ahkam al-Qur’an 3/91-92]

See also: Tafsir al-Sa’di on the objective of revealing the Qur’an and its benefits

See also: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: Ibn Kathir

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

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Which is more virtuous – memorizing the Qur’an, or seeking ‘ilm? : Ibn Taymiyah

See also: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz

“Hijrah is to abandon indecent behavior”

Imam Ahmad narrates in his musnad from al-Farazdaq ibn Hibban that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said:

جاء رجل من قومكما أعرابي جاف جريء فقال يا رسول الله أين الهجرة إليك حيثما كنت أم إلى أرض معلومة أم لقوم خاصة أم إذا مت انقطعت قال فسكت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ساعة ثم قال أين السائل عن الهجرة قال ها أنا ذا يا رسول الله قال إذا أقمت الصلاة وآتيت الزكاة فأنت مهاجر وإن مت بالحضرمي (قال يعني أرضا باليمامة

A man from your tribe came to the Prophet (ﷺ), a coarse, impolite bedouin, and he said: “O Messenger of Allah, where does migration to you consist in going?  Is it to you wherever you are, or to a specific place, or to a particular people, or does it cease when you die?”

The Prophet stayed silent a long time.  Then he said: “Where is the man who asked about migration?”  The bedouin said: “Here I am, O Messenger of Allah.”  The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “When you establish the prayer and pay the zakah, you are a muhaajir (emigrant), even if you die in Hadrami [a place in Yemen; i.e. very far away from me and the main body of the Muslims].”

And in another narration:

 الهجرة أن تهجر الفواحش ما ظهر منها وما بطن وتقيم الصلاة وتؤتي الزكاة فأنت مهاجر

“Hijrah is to abandon indecent behavior – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and to establish the salaah and pay the zakah: that is what makes you a muhaajir.”

[Majmu’ al-Zawaa’id #9288-9289, Hasan]

And this is similar to what Allah has said in His Book:

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 indecent behavior – 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]

And Abu Huraira narrates that:

أَتَى نَفَرٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَادِيَةِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالُوا : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، إِنَّ أَهْلَ قُرَانَا زَعَمُوا أَنَّهُ لا يَنْفَعُ عَمَلٌ دُونَ الْهِجْرَةِ وَالْجِهَادِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” حَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَأَحْسَنْتُمْ عِبَادَةَ اللَّهِ فَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ ” .

A man from the desert-dwellers came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Some of the people of the Qur’an claim that deeds do not bring any benefit without hijrah and jihaad in the path of Allah.” So the Messenger of Allah said, “Wherever you may be, perfect your worship of Allah – then receive the glad tidings of Paradise.

[al-Saheehah #3146, Al-Albaani graded it as hasan]

See also: The best migration is migrating from what your Lord – ‘Azza wa Jal – hates/dislikes

“O Allah! Grant us certainty which shall make the afflictions of the world easy for us”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم would rarely stand up from a gathering until he had made the following du’a for his companions:

اللَّهُمَّ اقْسِمْ لَنَا مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ مَا يَحُولُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مَعَاصِيكَ وَمِنْ طَاعَتِكَ مَا تُبَلِّغُنَا بِهِ جَنَّتَكَ وَمِنَ الْيَقِينِ مَا تُهَوِّنُ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا مُصِيبَاتِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتِّعْنَا بِأَسْمَاعِنَا وَأَبْصَارِنَا وَقُوَّتِنَا مَا أَحْيَيْتَنَا وَاجْعَلْهُ الْوَارِثَ مِنَّا وَاجْعَلْ ثَأْرَنَا عَلَى مَنْ ظَلَمَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى مَنْ عَادَانَا وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ مُصِيبَتَنَا فِي دِينِنَا وَلاَ تَجْعَلِ الدُّنْيَا أَكْبَرَ هَمِّنَا وَلاَ مَبْلَغَ عِلْمِنَا وَلاَ تُسَلِّطْ عَلَيْنَا مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُنَا

“O Allah, apportion for us, reverential fear of You, that shall come between us and disobedience of You; and of obedience to You, which shall cause us to obtain Your Paradise; and of certainty, which shall make the afflictions of the world easy for us; and enjoyment of our hearing, and our seeing, and our strength as long as You keep us alive; and make it the inheritor of us. And let our vengeance be upon those who have wronged us; and aid us against those who show enmity towards us; and do not make our affliction in our religion; and do not make this world our greatest concern, nor the limit of our knowledge; and do not give power over us to those who will not have mercy on us.”

[al-Tirmidhi #3502, Saheeh]

Sheikh al-Mubarakfoori, in his commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi, writes:

 ‏ “‏أللهم أقسم لنا‏”‏ أي إجعل لنا ‏”‏من خشيتك‏”‏ أي من خوفك ‏”‏ما‏”‏ أي قسماً ونصيباً ‏”‏يحول‏”‏ من حال يحول حيلولة أي يحجب ويمنع ‏”‏بيننا وبين معاصيك‏”‏ لأن القلب إذا امتلأ من الخوف أحجمت الأعضاء عن المعاصي

The statement “O Allah, apportion for us” -meaning make for us – “reverential fear of You” meaning fear of you “which” meaning a section and a portion “shall prevent” a condition which prevents absolutely, or shelters and prohibits “between us and disobedience of You” because when the heart is filled with fear, then it refrains from disobedience.

‏”‏ومن طاعتك‏”‏ أي بإعطاء القدرة عليها والتوفيق لها ‏”‏ما تبلغنا‏”‏ بالتشديد أي توصلنا أنت ‏”‏به جنتك‏”‏ أي مع شمولنا برحمتك وليست الطاعة وحدها مبلغة

“And of obedience to You” – meaning granting one the ability to be obedient and granting success in actualizing that obedience – “which shall cause us to obtain” – meaning to reach You –“Your Paradise” meaning to include us in Your mercy, and obedience alone is not sufficient [to achieve entry into Paradise]

‏”‏ومن اليقين‏”‏ أي اليقين بك وبأن لا مرد لقضائك وبأنه لا يصيبنا إلا ما كتبته علينا وبأن ما قدرته لا يخلو عن حكمة ومصلحة مع ما فيه من مزيد المثوبة ‏”‏ما تهون به‏”‏ أي تسهل أنت بذلك اليقين ‏”‏مصيبات الدنيا‏”‏ فإن من علم يقيناً أن مصيبات الدنيا مثوبات الأخرى لا يغتم بما أصابه ولا يحزن بما نابه

“And of certainty” meaning certainty of You, and that there is no turning back of Your decree, and that we are not afflicted except with that You have written for us, and that Your decree is not devoid of wisdom and benefit, along with the accompanying increase in rewards [i.e. the reward for deeds with Allah is commiserate with their difficulty] “which shall make easy for us” – meaning to facilitate that certainty for you – “the afflictions of the world” for verily a part of certain knowledge (‘ilm al-yaqeen) is that the afflictions of this worldly life are (causes for) rewards in the hereafter, so one is not distressed by what afflicts him or worried by what happens.

‏”‏ومتعنا‏”‏ من التمتيع أي اجعلنا متمتعين ومنتفعين ‏”‏بأسماعنا وأبصارنا وقوتنا‏”‏ أي بأن نستعملها في طاعتك‏.‏ قال ابن الملك التمتع بالسمع والبصر إبقاؤهما صحيحين إلى الموت ‏”‏ما أحييتنا‏”‏ أي مدة حياتنا‏.‏ وإنما خص السمع والبصر بالتمتيع من الحواس لأن الدلائل الموصلة إلى معرفة الله وتوحيده إنما تحصل من طريقهما‏.‏ لأن البراهين إنما تكون مأخوذة من الاَيات وذلك بطريق السمع أو من الاَيات المنصوبة في الأفاق والأنفس فذلك بطريق البصر، فسأل التمتيع بهما حذراً من الانخراط في سلك الذين ختم الله على قلوبهم وعلى سمعهم وعلى أبصارهم غشاوة، ولما حصلت المعرفة بالأولين يترتب عليها العبادة فسأل القوة ليتمكن بها من عبادة ربه قاله الطيبي‏.‏ والمراد بالقوة قوة سائر الأعضاء والحواس أو جميعها فيكون تعميماً بعد تخصيص

“And make enjoyable for us” of pleasure, meaning make it enjoyable and beneficial for us “our hearing, and our seeing, and our strength” meaning to use these things in obedience to You. Ibn al-Malik said ‘enjoyment of hearing and seeing is to keep them correct [i.e. using them in obedience and not in disobedience] until death. “as long as You keep us alive” meaning for the duration of our lives. For hearing and vision are only singled out from amongst the senses as pleasures because they are effective guides for the recognition of Allah and tawheed; indeed this is achieved through these means. Because proofs are only perceived to be signs by the route of hearing, or the greats signs on the horizon or in the souls which are perceived by vision. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم asked that these would be a source of enjoyment as a warning against engaging in activities which would cause Allah to put a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and cover their vision. And because being recognized as an ally of Allah is dependent upon worship, he asked for strength so that they would be able to worship Allah, as al-Taybi said. And the meaning of strength is strength of the the rest of the limbs and the senses, or all of them, and this is a generalization after a specification.

‏”‏واجعله‏”‏ أي المذكور من الأسماع والأبصار والقوة ‏”‏الوارث‏”‏ أي الباقي ‏”‏منا‏”‏ أي بأن يبقى إلى الموت‏.‏ قال في اللمعات‏:‏ الضمير في قوله اجعله للمصدر الذي هو الجعل أي اجعل الجعل وعلى هذا الوارث مفعول أول ومنا مفعول ثان أي اجعل الوارث من نسلنا لا كلالة خارجة منا والكلالة قرابة ليست من جهة الولادة، وهذا الوجه قد ذكره بعض النحاة في قولهم إن المفعول المطلق قد يضمر ولكن لا يتبادر إلى الفهم من اللفظ ولا ينساق الذهن إليه كما لا يخفى، والثاني أن الضمير فيه للتمتع الذي هو مدلول متعناً والمعنى اجعل تمتعنا بها باقياً مأثوراً فيمن بعدنا لأن وارث المرء لا يكون إلا الذي يبقى بعده فالمفعول الثاني الوارث وهو المعنى يشبه سؤال خليل الرحمن على نبينا وعليه الصلاة والسلام “‏واجعل لي لسان صدق في الاَخرين‏”‏ وقيل معنى وراثته دوامه إلى يوم الحاجة إليه يعني يوم القيامة، والأول أوجه لأن الوارث إنما يكون باقياً في الدنيا والثالث أن الضمير للأسماع والأبصار والقوى بتأويل المذكور، ومثل هذا شائع في العبارات لا كثير تكلف فيها وإنما التكلف فيما قيل إن الضمير راجع إلى أحد المذكورات، ويدل على ذلك على وجود الحكم في الباقي لأن كل شيئين تقاربا في معنييهما فإن الدلالة على أحدهما دلالة على الاَخر، والمعنى بوراثتها لزومها إلى موته لأن الوارث من يلزم إلى موته انتهى

And make it” – meaning what is mentioned about the hearing and sight and strength – “the inheritor“- meaning the thing that endures “of us” meaning that it lasts until death. [Al-Mubarakfoori enters into a series of grammatical points which will be omitted from this English translation] ‘The inheritor‘ resembles the meaning of the request of our prophet, Ibrahim Khalil al-Rahman (‘alaihis salaam) when he said, “And grant me a reputation of honor among later generations” [26:84]. And it is said that his legacy is his enduring notoriety until the Day of Resurrection.

‏(‏واجعل ثأرنا‏)‏ بالهمز بعد المثلثة المفتوحة أي إدراك ثأرنا ‏”‏على من ظلمنا‏”‏ أي مقصوراً عليه ولا تجعلنا ممن تعدى في طلب ثأره فأخذ به غير الجاني كما كان معهوداً في الجاهلية، فنرجع ظالمين بعد أن كنا مظلومين، وأصل الثأر الحقد والغضب يقال ثأرت القتيل وبالقتيل أي قتلت قاتله ‏

And let our vengeance” meaning to achieve vengeance “be upon those who have wronged us” meaning limited to them, and do not make us from those who go to extremes in seeking vengeance, to the extent that they would seize even those who were not guilty, as was the custom in the times of Jaahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Ignorance). So we recompense the wrong-doers [i.e. the perpetrators alone and not others] after we have been wronged. And the the foundation of vengeance is hatred and anger; it is said that vengeance killed the killer [i.e. a grudge destroys it’s holder]

“‏ولا تجعل مصيبتنا في ديننا‏”‏ أي لا تصبنا بما ينقص ديننا من اعتقاد السوء وأكل الحرام والفترة في العبادة وغيرها

“And do not make our affliction in our religion” meaning do not afflict us with the encroachment of bad beliefs in our religion, or eating of forbidden substances, or to weaken in our worship, etc.

‏”‏ولا تجعل الدنيا أكبر همنا‏”‏ أي لا تجعل طلب المال والجاه أكبر قصدنا أو حزننا بل اجعل أكبر قصدنا أو حزننا مصروفاً في عمل الاَخرة، وفيه أن قليلاً من الهم فيما لا بد منه في أمر المعاش مرخص فيه بل مستحب بل واجب ‏

“And do not make this world our greatest concern” meaning do not make the pursuit of wealth and prestige our greatest objective or cause of distress; rather, make our greatest objective and cause of distress expending ourselves in doing the deeds of the next life. But there must be some concern for the affairs of this life; that is permitted, rather it is desirable, rather it is obligatory.

“‏ولا مبلغ علمنا‏”‏ أي غاية علمنا أي لا تجعلنا حيث لا نعلم ولا نتفكر إلا في أمور الدنيا‏.‏ بل اجعلنا متفكرين في أحوال الاَخرة متفحصين من العلوم التي تتعلق بالله تعالى وبالدار الاَخرة، والمبلغ الغاية التي يبلغه الماشي والمحاسب فيقف عنده ‏

“Nor the limit of our knowledge” meaning to put an upper limit on our knowledge, meaning do not make us such that we neither know nor reflect except concerning the affairs of this life. Rather, make us those who give deep thought to the affairs of the hereafter, seeking out the knowledge concerning Allah and the abode of the hereafter.

“‏ولا تسلط علينا من لا يرحمنا‏”‏ أي لا تجعلنا مغلوبين للكفار والظلمة أو لا تجعل الظالمين علينا حاكمين فإن الظالم لا يرحم الرعية‏.‏

“And do not give power over us to those who will not have mercy on us” meaning do not let us be overcome by Kuffaar and injustice, or do not make the unjust ones rulers over us, for certainly the wrong-doers do not have mercy to those for whom they are responsible.

قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏هذا حديث حسن غريب‏)‏ وأخرجه النسائي والحاكم وقال صحيح على شرط البخاري‏.‏

And Imam al-Tirmidhi’s statement that “this hadith is hasan gharib” and it is also related in al-Nasaa’i and al-Haakim, and al-Haakim said ‘it is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhari’.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, #3637]

“It will not be in accordance with you desires”

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , says in His Book:

لَّيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلَا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ ۗ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرً‌ا  وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ مِن ذَكَرٍ‌ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرً‌ا

“It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah. And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, these will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them.” [4:123-124]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes:

أي‏:‏ (لَيْسَ‏) الأمر والنجاة والتزكية (بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلَا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ) والأماني‏:‏ أحاديث النفس المجردة عن العمل، المقترن بها دعوى مجردة لو عورضت بمثلها لكانت من جنسها‏.‏ وهذا عامّ في كل أمر، فكيف بأمر الإيمان والسعادة الأبدية‏؟‏‏!‏

It is not“- referring to salvation and purification – “in accordance with your desires, not those of the People of the Book“. And ‘desires’ are the mere personal opinions about deeds, and connected to that is the mere claim that if one simply proclaims it, then that is their condition. This applies to all affairs [i.e. that merely desiring something does not make it so], so then how much more applicable is it to the affairs of emaan and eternal happiness?!

فإن أماني أهل الكتاب قد أخبر الله بها أنهم قالوا‏:‏ (لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَ‌ىٰ تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ)‏ وغيرهم ممن ليس ينتسب لكتاب ولا رسول من باب أولى وأحرى‏.‏

For verily Allah has informed us of the desire of the People of the Book when they said, “‘None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.’ These are their own desires.“[2:111], and other such desires which neither come from a Divine book or messenger.

وكذلك أدخل الله في ذلك من ينتسب إلى الإسلام لكمال العدل والإنصاف، فإن مجرد الانتساب إلى أي دين كان، لا يفيد شيئًا إن لم يأت الإنسان ببرهان على صحة دعواه، فالأعمال تصدق الدعوى أو تكذبها ولهذا قال تعالى‏:‏(مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ)‏ وهذا شامل لجميع العاملين، لأن السوء شامل لأي ذنب كان

And thus Allah mentioned therein what is befitting of al-Islam of perfect justice and equity. For mere ascription to a religion does not bring any benefit unless and until a person comes with proof of the validity of that claim, such as deeds with affirm that claim, or negate it. And this is as Allah said, “whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof“, and this is comprehensive and applicable to all doers of deeds, because ‘evil’ includes any sin.

من صغائر الذنوب وكبائرها، وشامل أيضًا لكل جزاء قليل أو كثير، دنيوي أو أخروي‏.‏

And this applies to both minor and major sins, and it also applies to the recompense, whether small or large, in this life or in the next.

والناس في هذا المقام درجات لا يعلمها إلا الله، فمستقل ومستكثر، فمن كان عمله كله سوءا وذلك لا يكون إلا كافرا‏.‏ فإذا مات من دون توبة جوزي بالخلود في العذاب الأليم‏.‏

And people are at different levels, and only Allah knows their placement, whether individually or collectively. So whoever’s deeds are entirely evil, then they are none other than a disbeliever. And if they die without making tawbah (repentance), then their reward will be an eternity of severe punishment.

ومن كان عمله صالحا، وهو مستقيم في غالب أحواله، وإنما يصدر منه بعض الأحيان بعض الذنوب الصغار فما يصيبه من الهم والغم والأذى و ‏[‏بعض‏]‏

  And whoever performs righteous deeds, and was consistent upon that in most cases, and he only committed minor sins sometimes when he was tried with worry or distress or affliction, etc.

الآلام في بدنه أو قلبه أو حبيبه أو ماله ونحو ذلك ـ فإنها مكفرات للذنوب، وهي مما يجزى به على عمله، قيضها الله لطفا بعباده، وبين هذين الحالين مراتب كثيرة‏.‏

Pains in his body, heart, loved one, wealth, etc – these are things which expiate sins. And this is from the reward of his deeds. For Allah has ordained kindness towards his servants. And between these two affairs [i.e. the one who performs only sins and the only who performs righteous deeds], there are many degrees and levels.

وهذا الجزاء على عمل السوء العام مخصوص في غير التائبين، فإن التائب من الذنب كمن لا ذنب له، كما دلت على ذلك النصوص‏.‏

And the general recompense for evil deeds is designated for those who do not repent. For verily the one who repents from a sin is like the one who did not sin, as is indicated by the texts.

وقوله‏:‏ (وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرً‌ا)‏ لإزالة بعض ما لعله يتوهم أن من استحق المجازاة على عمله قد يكون له ولي أو ناصر أو شافع يدفع عنه ما استحقه، فأخبر تعالى بانتفاء ذلك، فليس له ولي يحصل له المطلوب، ولا نصير يدفع عنه المرهوب، إلا ربه ومليكه‏.‏

And the statement, “and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah” is meant to remove some of their mistaken ideas that those who deserve the punishment for their deeds are their wali or helper of intercessor who has paid for what they themselves deserved. But Allah informs us of the opposite of that, that there is no wali for them who does what they seek, or helper for who pays for his terrible deeds, except for their Lord and Master.

{‏وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ‏}‏ دخل في ذلك سائر الأعمال القلبية والبدنية، ودخل أيضًا كل عامل من إنس أو جن، صغير أو كبير، ذكر أو أنثى‏.‏ ولهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ‏}‏ وهذا شرط لجميع الأعمال، لا تكون صالحة ولا تقبل ولا يترتب عليها الثواب ولا يندفع بها العقاب إلا بالإيمان‏.‏

And whoever does righteous good deeds” included in that are all other deeds of the heart and body, and also included therein is every doer of deeds from both mankind and jinn, small and great, male and female. And this is as He said “male or female, and is a believer,” and this a condition for all deeds; they are neither righteous nor accepted nor entailing reward nor preventing punishment, except with emaan.

فالأعمال بدون الإيمان كأغصان شجرة قطع أصلها وكبناء بني على موج الماء، فالإيمان هو الأصل والأساس والقاعدة التي يبنى عليه كل شيء، وهذا القيد ينبغي التفطن له في كل عمل أطلق، فإنه مقيد به‏.‏

For deeds without emaan are like the branch of a tree cut from its origin, or like a building which was built on the ocean waves, for emaan is the origin and foundation and cornerstone upon which everything is built, and this stipulation should be a reminder that for every action which is enacted, this stipulation applies.

‏(‏فَأُولَئِكَ)‏ أي‏:‏ الذين جمعوا بين الإيمان والعمل الصالح ‏(‏يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ)‏ المشتملة على ما تشتهي الأنفس وتلذ الأعين (‏وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرًا‏)‏ أي‏:‏ لا قليلا ولا كثيرًا مما عملوه من الخير، بل يجدونه كاملًا موفرًا، مضاعفًا أضعافًا كثيرة‏.‏

these” – meaning those who join emaan and righteous good deeds – “will enter Paradise” containing therein what the inner self desires and what is pleasing to the eyes “and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them“- meaning there will be neither a small injustice nor a large one regarding the reward for their good deeds, rather they will find the reward of everything to be complete and abounding, multiplied many times over.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman, p. 205-206]

“In that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate”

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , says in His Book

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ‌ وَهُدًى وَرَ‌حْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ  قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ وَبِرَ‌حْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَ‌حُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the chests and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” [10:57-58]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes,

يقول تعالى – مرغباً للخلق في الإقبال على هذا الكتاب الكريم , بذكر أوصافه الحسنة الضرورية للعباد فقال (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّكُمْ) أي : تعظكم , وتنذركم عن الاعمال الموجبة والآجل , لمن اهتدى به , فالهدى أجل الوسائل , والرحمة أكمال المقاصد والرغائب , و لكن لا يهتدي به ,ولا يكون رحمة إلا في حق المؤمنين.

Allah said – encouraging the creation in drawing near to al-Qur’an al-Kareem, by mentioning its good qualities and the servant’s great need for it- he said, “O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord.” Meaning: to stress the importance and to incite man towards necessary deeds and the future. Whoever is guided by it, then the guidance has done its task, and the mercy has fulfilled its objectives. But if one is not guided by it, then only the true believer will receive mercy.

وإذا حصل الهدى وحلت الرحمة الناشئة عنه , حصلت السعادة والفلاح ,والربح والنجاح , و الفرح والسرور .

And if there is guidance and the mercy which comes with that, there is happiness and success, profit and salvation, and delight and joy.

ولذلك أمر تعالى بالفرح بذلك فقال (قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ) الذي هو القرآن , الذي هو أعظم نعمة و منة , وفضل تفضل الله به على عباده (وَبِرَ‌حْمَتِهِ) الدين والإيمان , وعبادة الله ومحيته ومعرفته . (فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَ‌حُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ) من متاع الدنيا والذاتها.

Therefore Allah commanded us to delight in that [i.e. that Allah has revealed Guidance to us] and He said, “Say, ‘In the bounty of Allah’” which is the Qur’an, and it is the greatest blessings and grace, and a great bounty with which Allah has favored his servants. “and in His mercy” meaning the deen and emaan, and the worship of Allah, and love and recognition of Him. “in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate” from the pleasures of this world.

فنعمة الدين المتصلة بسعادة الدارين , لا نسبة بينهما و بين جميع ما في الدنيا , مما هو مضمحل زائل عن قريب .

So the blessing of the deen is related to happiness in the two realms (the here and the hereafter). There is no comparison between the hereafter and all of what this worldly life contains, and it is quickly disappearing.

وإنما أمر الله تعالى بالفرح بفضله ورحمته , لأن ذلك مما يوجب انبساط النفس ونشاطها وشكرها لله تعالى , وقوتها , وشدة الرغبة في العلم والإيمان الداعي للاازدياد منهما , وهذا فرح محمود , بخلاف الفرح بشهواث الدنيا والذانها , أو فرح بالباطل , فإن هذا مذموم كما قال تعالى عن قوم قارون له (لَا تَفْرَحْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ).

But Allah has commanded us to delight in his bounty and mercy, because that is something which necessitates joy and enthusiasm and gratefulness to Allah, and inner fortitude, and a strong desire for ‘ilm and emaan which calls for increasing in them. And this delight is praiseworthy, as opposed to the delight of worldly caprice, of the delights of falsehood, for those are blameworthy as Allah has said that the people of Musa said to Qaruun, “Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.” [28:76]

و كما قال تعالى في الذين فرحوا بما عندهم من الباطل والمناقض لما جاءت به الرسل (فَلَمَّا جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَرِحُوا بِمَا عِنْدَهُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ).

And this is as Allah has said concerning those who rejoice in what they have of falsehood and and contradiction when the Messengers came to them, “And when their messengers came to them with clear proofs, they [merely] rejoiced in what they had of knowledge.” [40:83]

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman, p. 366-367]

See also: Two types of despairing of Allah’s Mercy: Imam al-Sa’di