“O My slaves! I have forbidden injustice on Myself”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his commentary on al-Arba’een al-Nawawi:

فقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما يرويه عن ربه يا عبادي إني حرمت الظلم على نفسي يعني أنه منع نفسه من الظلم لعباده كما قال عز وجل

His saying (ﷺ) in that which is related from his Lord, “O My slaves! I have forbidden injustice on Myself,” means the He prevents and restrains Himself from being unjust to His slaves, as He says:

‏‏وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلاَّمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ‏‏ ق وقال

“And I do not wrong My slaves,” [50:29] And He said:

‏‏وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْمًا لِّلْعَالَمِينَ‏ آل عمران وقال

“Allah does not want any injustice for any creature.” [3:108] And He said:

 ‏‏وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْمًا لِّلْعِبَادِ‏‏ غافر وقال

“Allah does not want injustice for His slaves.” [40:31] And He said:

 ‏‏وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلاَّمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ‏‏ فصلت وقال

“And your Lord does not wrong His slaves.” [41:46] And He said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا‏‏ يونس وقال

“Allah does not wrong people in any way.” [10:44] And He said:

 إن الله لا يظلم مثقال ذرة النساء وقال

“Verily Allah does not wrong anyone by so much as the smallest speck.” [4:40] And He said:

ومن يعمل من الصالحات وهو مؤمن فلا يخاف ظلما ولا هضما طه

“And whoever does righteous good deeds and he is a believer, then he should not fear injustice or any belittlement.” [40:109]

والهضم أن ينقص من جزاء حسناته والظلم أن يعاقب بذنوب غيره ومثل هذا كثير في القرآن

And hadm (belittlement) is that he should be short-changed in the recompense for his good deeds, and thulm (wrong, injustice) is that he should be punished for someone else’s wrong actions. And the likes of these are many in the Qur’an.

وهو مما يدل على أن الله قادر على الظلم ولكن لا يفعله فضلًا منه وجودا وكرما وإحسانا إلى عباده

It is one of the things that shows that Allah is able to be unjust, but that He does not do so out of His bounty, liberality, noble generosity, and goodness towards His slaves.

وقد فسر كثير من العلماء الظلم بأنه وضع الأشياء في غير مواضعها وأما من فسره بالتصرف في ملك الغير بغير إذنه وقد نقل نحوه عن إياس بن معاوية وغيره فإنهم يقولون إن الظلم مستحيل عليه وغيره متصور في حقه لأن كل ما يفعله فهو تصرف في ملكه

Many of the people of knowledge have explained thulm as putting things in other than their correct places. As for those who explain it as transacting with someones else’s property without his permission – and that is transmitted from Iyaas ibn Mu’aawiyah and others – they say, “Injustice is impossible for Him and other than Him is imaginary with respect to Him since everything that He does is transacting with His own property.”

[Jaami’a al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam 2/34-35 (ch. 24)]

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And even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah says in His Book in surah al-A’araaf:

سَأَصْرِ‌فُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُ‌ونَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ بِغَيْرِ‌ الْحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا كُلَّ آيَةٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَا وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا سَبِيلَ الرُّ‌شْدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ

I shall turn away from My ayaat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the ayaat, they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see the way of error, they will adopt that way. That is because they have rejected Our ayaat and were heedless of them. [7:146]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, writes:

قوله تعالى‏{‏سأصرف عن آياتي الذين يتكبرون في الأرض بغير الحق‏}‏ قال قتادة‏:‏ سأمنعهم فهم كتابي‏.‏ وقاله سفيان بن عيينة‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ سأصرفهم عن الإيمان بها‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ سأصرفهم عن نفعها؛ وذلك مجازاة على تكبرهم‏.‏ نظيره‏{‏فلما زاغوا أزاغ الله قلوبهم‏}[‏الصف‏:‏ 5‏]‏‏.‏ والآيات على هذا المعجزات أو الكتب المنزلة‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ خلق السماوات والأرض‏.‏ أي أصرفهم عن الاعتبار بها‏.‏ ‏{‏يتكبرون‏}‏ يرون أنهم أفضل الخلق‏.‏ وهذا ظن باطل؛ فلهذا قال‏{‏بغير الحق‏}‏ فلا يتبعون نبيا ولا يصغون إليه لتكبرهم‏.‏

Regarding Allah’s statement:

سَأَصْرِ‌فُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُ‌ونَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ بِغَيْرِ‌ الْحَقِّ

I shall turn away from My ayaat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right

Qataadah said [it means], “I will prohibit them from understanding My Book,” and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah also said that. And it is said, “I will turn away belief in it from them.” And it is said, “I will turn away its benefit from them.” And that is the recompense for their prideful arrogance. This is paralleled in surah al-Saff:

فَلَمَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّـهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

And when they deviated, Allah caused their hearts to deviate [61:5]

According to these interpretations, the word ayaat takes the meaning of miracles or revealed books. But it is also said that ayaat is referring to the creation of the heavens and the earth – meaning that He will turn them away from considering them. Continue reading

“So ask Allaah to revive the faith in your hearts”

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said:

إن الإيمان ليخلق في جوف أحدكم كما يخلق الثوب الخلق فاسألوا الله أن يجدد الإيمان في قلوبكم

“Indeed Eemaan is worn out inside one of you just like a thawb (garment) is worn out, so ask Allah to revive Eemaan in your hearts.”

[Recorded by Ibn Haakim in his Mustadrak; Declared Sahih by Sheikh al-Albaani, see Sahih al-Jaami’ #1590]

“Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah commands the believers in His Book when He says:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّـهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِم مَّرْ‌جِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.” [6:108]

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

قوله تعالى‏{‏ولا تسبوا الذين يدعون من دون الله‏}‏ نهي‏.‏ {‏فيسبوا الله‏}‏ جواب النهي‏.‏ فنهى سبحانه لمؤمنين أن يسبوا أوثانهم؛ لأنه علم إذا سبوها نفر الكفار وازدادوا كفرا‏.‏ قال ابن عباس‏:‏ قالت كفار قريش لأبي طالب إما أن تنهى محمدا وأصحابه عن سب آلهتنا والغض منها وإما أن إلهه ونهجوه؛ فنزلت الآية‏.‏

His statement, “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah” – a prohibition. “Lest they insult Allah” – the condition for the prohibition. So Allah (Exalted is He) prohibited the believers from insulting their idols, because He knows that insulting them will drive the kuffaar away in aversion and increase them in kufr. Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “The kuffaar of Quraish said to Abu Taalib, ‘why don’t you prohibit Muhammad and his companions from insulting our gods and belittling them, and we will assume a similar attitude towards his god.” So the ayah was revealed. Continue reading

The best of the Taabi’een: Uwais al-Qarni

Imam Muslim narrates in his saheeh from Asair ibn Jabal that:

أن أهل الكوفة وفدوا إلى عمر وفيهم رجل ممن كان يسخر بأويس فقال عمر هل هاهنا أحد من القرنيين فجاء ذلك الرجل فقال عمر إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد قال إن رجلا يأتيكم من اليمن يقال له أويس لا يدع باليمن غير أم له قد كان به بياض فدعا الله فأذهبه عنه إلا موضع الدينار أو الدرهم فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم

A delegation from Koofah came to ‘Umar. Among them was one who used to make fun of Uwais. ‘Umar inquired, “Is there anyone among you who is from Qaran?” So this man stepped forward. Then ‘Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘A man will come to you from Yemen named Uwais. He will have left in the Yemen only his mother. He was suffering from leucoderma [a skin condition involving loss of pigmentation in certain areas] and prayed to Allah to be cured of it. So he was cured except for a space of the size of a dinar or a dirham. Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him.”‘

Imam Muslim also records another narration from a different chain in the same chapter:

عن عمر بن الخطاب قال إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس وله والدة وكان به بياض فمروه فليستغفر لكم

‘Umar said: “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘The best of the Taabi’een [the generation after the sahaabah] is a man called Uwais, he will have a mother and he will be suffering from leucoderma. Go to him and ask him to pray for forgiveness for you”.

[Saheeh Muslim #2542]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم ) وفي الرواية الأخرى ( قال لعمر : فإن استطعت أن يستغفر لك فافعل ) هذه منقبة ظاهرة لأويس رضي الله عنه . وفيه استحباب طلب الدعاء والاستغفار من أهل الصلاح ، وإن كان الطالب أفضل منهم .

His statement (ﷺ), “Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him” and in another narration, “He said to ‘Umar, ‘And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you’” – this is a clear virtue of Uwais (radiAllaahu ‘anhu). And in this there is the recommendation to seek the du’a and istighfaar from righteous people, even if the seeker is better than them.

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس إلى آخره ) هذا صريح في أنه خير التابعين ، وقد يقال : قد قال أحمد بن حنبل وغيره : أفضل التابعين سعيد بن المسيب ، والجواب أن مرادهم أن سعيدا أفضل في العلوم الشرعية كالتفسير والحديث والفقه ونحوها ، لا في الخير عند الله تعالى . وفي هذه اللفظة معجزة ظاهرة أيضا .

His statement (ﷺ), “The best of the Taabi’een is a man called Uwais…” – this is clear statement that he is the best of the taabi’een. And it has been said, “Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others have said, ‘The most virtuous of the taabi’een is Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib'” and the response to that is that Sa’eed was the most virtuous in the sciences of sharee’ah such as tafsir and hadeeth and fiqh and so on, not the best in the estimation of Allah, exalted is He. And in this wording there is a clear miracle also.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim 16/94-95]

We have made for every prophet an enemy: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs us in surah al-An’aam:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُ‌فَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُ‌ورً‌ا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَ‌بُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْ‌هُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُ‌ونَ    وَلِتَصْغَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَلِيَرْ‌ضَوْهُ وَلِيَقْتَرِ‌فُوا مَا هُم مُّقْتَرِ‌فُونَ

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. (And this is in order) that the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter may incline to such (deceit), and that they may remain pleased with it, and that they may commit what they are committing. [6:112-113]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote about these ayaat by saying:

يقول تعالى ـ مسليا لرسوله محمد ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ وكما جعلنا لك أعداء يردون دعوتك، ويحاربونك، ويحسدونك، فهذه سنتنا، أن نجعل لكل نبي نرسله إلى الخلق أعداء، من شياطين الإنس والجن، يقومون بضد ما جاءت به الرسل‏.‏

Allah the Exalted says – consoling His Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) – that just as We made enemies for you who rebel against your da’wah, and fight you, and envy you, so this is Our sunnah (established way), that We made an enemy for every prophet  who we sent to the creation, from the shayaateen of humankind or jinn, who establishes the opposite of what the messenger was sent with.

‏{‏يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ يزين بعضهم لبعض الأمر الذي يدعون إليه من الباطل، ويزخرفون له العبارات حتى يجعلوه في أحسن صورة، ليغتر به السفهاء، وينقاد له الأغبياء، الذين لا يفهمون الحقائق، ولا يفقهون المعاني، بل تعجبهم الألفاظ المزخرفة، والعبارات المموهة، فيعتقدون الحق باطلا والباطل حقا، ولهذا قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلِتَصْغَى إِلَيْهِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ولتميل إلى ذلك الكلام المزخرف ‏{‏أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ‏}‏ لأن عدم إيمانهم باليوم الآخر وعدم عقولهم النافعة، يحملهم على ذلك، ‏{‏وَلِيَرْضَوْهُ‏}‏ بعد أن يصغوا إليه، فيصغون إليه أولا، فإذا مالوا إليه ورأوا تلك العبارات المستحسنة، رضوه، وزين في قلوبهم، وصار عقيدة راسخة، وصفة لازمة، ثم ينتج من ذلك، أن يقترفوا من الأعمال والأقوال ما هم مقترفون، أي‏:‏ يأتون من الكذب بالقول والفعل، ما هو من لوازم تلك العقائد القبيحة، فهذه حال المغترين بشياطين الإنس والجن، المستجيبين لدعوتهم،  ـ

Inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion” – meaning some of them made the false things to which they were calling attractive and appealing to others, and they embellish it with slogans until they form it into a beautiful image, which deceives the foolish ones, and compels the ignorant ones who do not understand the reality of things, nor do the understand [its] meaning, rather they are [merely] amazed by the ornate wordings and misleading slogans, so they believe the truth is false and that falsehood is true. And this is as He said, “And so that they incline towards it” – meaning, to incline towards that decorated speech – “the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter” because they have no belief in the Last Day and they have no beneficial form of intellect, and along with that, “and that they may remain pleased with it” after they incline towards it, so they inclined towards it first, and when they inclined towards it and they saw that the embellished slogans and phrases pleased them, and it is beautified in their hearts, and became a firm belief (in them). This is a recipe for crisis which then occurs, that they would commit whatever actions and statements they would commit – meaning that they come with false words and actions which are fueled by those reprehensible beliefs, and this is the result of the deception of the human and jinn shayaateen, and those who respond to their call.

وأما أهل الإيمان بالآخرة، وأولو العقول الوافية والألباب الرزينة، فإنهم لا يغترون بتلك العبارات، ولا تخلبهم تلك التمويهات، بل همتهم مصروفة إلى معرفة الحقائق، فينظرون إلى المعاني التي يدعو إليها الدعاة، فإن كانت حقا قبلوها، وانقادوا لها، ولو كسيت عبارات ردية، وألفاظا غير وافية، وإن كانت باطلا ردوها على من قالها، كائنا من كان، ولو ألبست من العبارات المستحسنة، ما هو أرق من الحرير‏.‏

But as for the people who have eemaan in the hereafter, those who have adequate intellects and sober minds, then they are certainly not deceived by those slogans and phrases, nor are they beguiled by the misleading, hidden messages. Rather, they place their utmost import and effort on knowing the reality of things, and looking into the meanings of the things to which their proponents call. So if it is true at its core, and [the shayaateen from mankind and jinn] criticize it, even if it covered with decrepit slogans and faulty wording [they would still believe in it], and if it is false, them they return it [in rejection] to its source, whoever that may be, even if it it clothed with pleasing slogans which are finer than silk.

ومن حكمة الله تعالى، في جعله للأنبياء أعداء، وللباطل أنصارا قائمين بالدعوة إليه، أن يحصل لعباده الابتلاء والامتحان، ليتميز الصادق من الكاذب، والعاقل من الجاهل، والبصير من الأعمى‏.‏

And from the wisdom of Allah the Exalted is that He made enemies for the prophets and supporters of falsehood who establish the call to that, so that there would be trials and tests for His slaves, in order to distinguish the truthful from the liar, and the intelligent from the ignorant, and seeing from the blind.

ومن حكمته أن في ذلك بيانا للحق، وتوضيحا له، فإن الحق يستنير ويتضح إذا قام الباطل يصارعه ويقاومه‏.‏ فإنه ـ حينئذ ـ يتبين من أدلة الحق، وشواهده الدالة على صدقه وحقيقته، ومن فساد الباطل وبطلانه، ما هو من أكبر المطالب، التي يتنافس فيها المتنافسون‏.‏

And from His wisdom is that in that [the presence of an opposition] there is a clarification of the truth, and a clear demonstration of it, for certainly the truth will be illuminated and clarified when falsehood stands to [try and] beat it and resist it. For certainly this manifests the evidence of the truth, and the evidence is supported by its truthfulness and accuracy, [and it also manifestly demonstrates] the depravity of falsehood and its falsity. So which one is greater, when the two contestants face off?

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

For Imam al-Sa’di’s explanation of the ayaat immediately preceding these, see: They would not believe unless Allah should will: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: You will surely hear much abuse: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim on the Wisdom and Benefits of the Creation of the Shayaateen

See also: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

Imam al-Nawawi on Hope and Fear

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

قَالَ رَجُلٌ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ حَسَنَةً قَطُّ لأَهْلِهِ إِذَا مَاتَ فَحَرِّقُوهُ ثُمَّ اذْرُوا نِصْفَهُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَنِصْفَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَوَاللَّهِ لَئِنْ قَدَرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ لَيُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذَابًا لاَ يُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ فَلَمَّا مَاتَ الرَّجُلُ فَعَلُوا مَا أَمَرَهُمْ فَأَمَرَ اللَّهُ الْبَرَّ فَجَمَعَ مَا فِيهِ وَأَمَرَ الْبَحْرَ فَجَمَعَ مَا فِيهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِمَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا قَالَ مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ يَا رَبِّ وَأَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ ‏.‏ فَغَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ

A person who had never done any good deed asked the members of his family to burn his dead body when he would die and to scatter half of its ashes over the land and half in the ocean. By Allah, if Allah finds him in His grip, He would torment him with a torment with which He did not afflict anyone among the people of the world. So when the person died, it was done to him as he had commanded (his family) to do. Allah commanded the land to collect (the ashes scattered on it) and He commanded the ocean and that collected (ashes) contained in it. Allah questioned him why he had done. that He said, “My Lord, it is out of reverential fear (khashyah) of You that I have done it, and You are the most knowledgeable, so Allah forgave him.”

[Saheeh Muslim #6637]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, writes about this hadeeth:

  اِخْتَلَفَ الْعُلَمَاء فِي تَأْوِيل هَذَا الْحَدِيث، فَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: لَا يَصِحّ حَمْل هَذَا عَلَى أَنَّهُ أَرَادَ نَفْيَ قُدْرَة اللَّه، فَإِنَّ الشَّاكّ فِي قُدْرَة اللَّه تَعَالَى كَافِر، وَقَدْ قَالَ فِي آخِر الْحَدِيث: إِنَّهُ إِنَّمَا فَعَلَ هَذَا مِنْ خَشْيَة اللَّه تَعَالَى، وَالْكَافِر لَا يَخْشَى اللَّه تَعَالَى، وَلَا يُغْفَر لَهُ، قَالَ هَؤُلَاءِ: فَيَكُون لَهُ تَأْوِيلَانِ أَحَدهمَا أَنَّ مَعْنَاهُ: لَئِنْ قَدَّرَ عَلَيَّ الْعَذَاب، أَيْ: قَضَاهُ، يُقَال مِنْهُ قَدَرَ بِالتَّخْفِيفِ، وَقَدَّرَ بِالتَّشْدِيدِ بِمَعْنًى وَاحِد.

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars about the interpretation of this hadeeth. One group says: this is not correct because he meant to deny the power of Allah, and the one who doubts the power of Allah is definitely a kaafir. And he has said in another hadeeth that he is only doing this out of the reverential fear (khashyah) of Allah, and the kaafir does not have reverential fear of Allah, and he is not forgiven for that. They say this, and that is one of the interpretations of its meaning: that if He has power to punish – meaning to decree that – then it follows that He has power to be light (in punishment), and power to be severe, and that is one meaning.

وَالثَّانِي: إِنْ قَدَرَ هُنَا بِمَعْنَى ضَيَّقَ عَلَيَّ قَالَ اللَّه تَعَالَى: {فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقه} وَهُوَ أَحَد الْأَقْوَال فِي قَوْله تَعَالَى: {فَظَنَّ أَنْ لَنْ نَقْدِر عَلَيْهِ} وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: اللَّفْظ عَلَى ظَاهِره، وَلَكِنْ قَالَهُ هَذَا الرَّجُل وَهُوَ غَيْر ضَابِط لِكَلَامِهِ، وَلَا قَاصِد لِحَقِيقَةِ مَعْنَاهُ، وَمُعْتَقِد لَهَا، بَلْ قَالَهُ فِي حَالَة غَلَبَ عَلَيْهِ فيها الدَّهْش وَالْخَوْف وَشِدَّة الْجَزَع، بِحَيْثُ ذَهَبَ تَيَقُّظه وَتَدَبُّر مَا يَقُولهُ، فَصَارَ فِي مَعْنَى الْغَافِل وَالنَّاسِي، وَهَذِهِ الْحَالَة لَا يُؤَاخَذ فيها، وَهُوَ نَحْو قَوْل الْقَائِل الْآخَر الَّذِي غَلَبَ عَلَيْهِ الْفَرَح حِين وَجَدَ رَاحِلَته: أَنْتَ عَبْدِي وَأَنَا رَبّك، فَلَمْ يَكْفُر بِذَلِكَ الدَّهْش وَالْغَلَبَة وَالسَّهْو.

And the second: that power here means He straitens his situation, as Allah said, “So He restricts his provision” [89:16], and this is one of His statements, “so he thought that We would not straiten him” [21:87]. And one group says: the wording should be taken at face value, however he said that this said is not to be trusted in his speech, and not direct in the truthfulness of his sayings and believing them [to be true], rather his statement about his condition was dominated by his anxiety and fear and the severity of alarm, to the extent that his statement was incited and driven by that, so he became heedless and forgetful in meaning, and this condition of his would not justify being seized in punishment, and it is similar to the previous statement [in Saheeh Muslim] in which the speaker was overcome with joy when he found his mount and said, “You [O Allah] are my slave and I am your Lord!” so he never disbelieved by that astonishment and overwhelming [moment of] forgetfulness.

وَقَدْ جَاءَ فِي هَذَا الْحَدِيث فِي غَيْر مُسْلِم: «فَلَعَلِّي أَضِلّ اللَّه» أَيْ: أَغِيب عَنْهُ، وَهَذَا يَدُلّ عَلَى أَنَّ قَوْله: «لَئِنْ قَدَرَ اللَّه» عَلَى ظَاهِره، وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: هَذَا مِنْ مَجَاز كَلَام الْعَرَب، وَبَدِيع اِسْتِعْمَالهَا، يُسَمُّونَهُ مَزْج الشَّكّ بِالْيَقِينِ كَقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: {وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لِعَلَى هُدًى} فَصُورَته صُورَة شَكّ وَالْمُرَاد بِهِ الْيَقِين.

And it has been narrated in this hadeeth in collection other than Saheeh Muslim, “so that I may mislead Allah” – meaning: I will be hidden from Him, and this shows that his statement “if Allah finds him in His grip” should be taken at face value, and one group says: this is from the figures of speech of the Arabs, which the Bedouins use, which is called blending doubt with certainty such as Allah’s statement, “And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance” [34:24], so that the image portrayed is of doubt but the meaning of it is certainty.

وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: هَذَا الرَّجُل جَهِلَ صِفَة مِنْ صِفَات اللَّه تَعَالَى، وَقَدْ اِخْتَلَفَ الْعُلَمَاء فِي تَكْفِير جَاهِل الصِّفَة، قَالَ الْقَاضِي: وَمِمَّنْ كَفَّرَهُ بِذَلِكَ اِبْن جَرِير الطَّبَرِيُّ، وَقَالَهُ أَبُو الْحَسَن الْأَشْعَرِيّ، أَوَّلًا، وَقَالَ آخَرُونَ: لَا يَكْفُر بِجَهْلِ الصِّفَة، وَلَا يَخْرُج بِهِ عَنْ اِسْم الْإِيمَان بِخِلَافِ جَحْدهَا، وَإِلَيْهِ رَجَعَ أَبُو الْحَسَن الْأَشْعَرِيّ، وَعَلَيْهِ اِسْتَقَرَّ قَوْله؛ لِأَنَّهُ لَمْ يَعْتَقِد ذَلِكَ اِعْتِقَادًا يَقْطَع بِصَوَابِهِ، وَيَرَاهُ دِينًا وَشَرْعًا، وَإِنَّمَا يَكْفُر مَنْ اِعْتَقَدَ أَنَّ مَقَالَته حَقٌّ، قَالَ هَؤُلَاءِ: وَلَوْ سُئِلَ النَّاس عَنْ الصِّفَات لَوُجِدَ الْعَالِم بِهَا قَلِيلًا،

And one group says: this is a man who is ignorant of the attributes of Allah the Exalted, and there is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning takfeer of the one who is ignorant of the attributes. Al-Qaadhi said: and from those who declare takfeer for that is ibn Jareer al-Tabari, and Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari first. And others said: Ignorance of the attributes is nor disbelieving, nor does it exit one from the pale of eemaan despite their denial, and Abu’l-Hassan al-Ash’ari returned to this and settled upon this position…

وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: كَانَ هَذَا الرَّجُل فِي زَمَن فَتْرَة حِين يَنْفَع مُجَرَّد التَّوْحِيد، وَلَا تَكْلِيف قَبْل وُرُود الشَّرْع عَلَى الْمَذْهَب الصَّحِيح لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: {وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَث رَسُولًا}

And one group says: this man lived during a time between prophets when mere tawheed was beneficial, and  before the advent of the Divine legislation there was no commission to be upon a correct and well-defined path as Allah said, “And never would We punish until We sent a messenger” [17:15].

وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَة: يَجُوز أَنَّهُ كَانَ فِي زَمَن شَرْعهمْ فيه جَوَاز الْعَفْو عَنْ الْكَافِر، بِخِلَافِ شَرْعنَا، وَذَلِكَ مِنْ مُجَوَّزَات الْعُقُول عِنْد أَهْل السُّنَّة، وَإِنَّمَا مَنَعْنَاهُ فِي شَرْعنَا بِالشَّرْعِ، وَهُوَ قَوْله تَعَالَى: {إِنَّ اللَّه لَا يَغْفِر أَنْ يُشْرَك بِهِ} وَغَيْر ذَلِكَ مِنْ الْأَدِلَّة، وَاَللَّه أَعْلَم

And one group says: it may have occurred during a time when it was permissible in their sharee’ah to pardon a kaafir, in contrast to our sharee’ah, and that a theoretical possibility among Ahl al-Sunnah, and it is only prevented in our sharee’ah by Divine legislation, and there is that statement of Allah that Exalted that, “Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him” [4:48] and other than that according to the evidence, and Allah knows best.

وَقِيلَ: إِنَّمَا وَصَّى بِذَلِكَ تَحْقِيرًا لِنَفْسِهِ، وَعُقُوبَة لَهَا لِعِصْيَانِهَا، وَإِسْرَافهَا، رَجَاء أَنْ يَرْحَمهُ اللَّه تَعَالَى.

And it is said, it was only an admonition for his self-contempt, and a [self-inflicted] punishment for his disobedience and wastefulness [of his life by not doing any good], hoping that Allah the Exalted would be merciful to him.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Saheeh Muslim #4949]

Imam Muslim then narrated another riwaayah of the hadeeth with the addition:

قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ وَحَدَّثَنِي حُمَيْدٌ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ دَخَلَتِ امْرَأَةٌ النَّارَ فِي هِرَّةٍ رَبَطَتْهَا فَلاَ هِيَ أَطْعَمَتْهَا وَلاَ هِيَ أَرْسَلَتْهَا تَأْكُلُ مِنْ خَشَاشِ الأَرْضِ حَتَّى مَاتَتْ هَزْلاً ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ ذَلِكَ لِئَلاَّ يَتَّكِلَ رَجُلٌ وَلاَ يَيْأَسَ رَجُلٌ ‏.‏

Al-Zuhri said, Humaid told me, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “a woman was thrown into Hell-Fire because of a cat whom she had tied and did not provide it with food. Nor did she set it free to catch insects of the earth until it died inch by inch.” Al-Zuhri said: (These two ahaadeeth) show that a person should neither feel confident, nor should he despair and lose hope.

Imam al-Nawawi continues his commentary by writing:

قَوْله: (إِنَّ اِبْن شِهَاب ذَكَرَ هَذَا الْحَدِيث)، ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ حَدِيث الْمَرْأَة الَّتِي دَخَلَتْ النَّار، وَعُذِّبَتْ بِسَبَبِ هِرَّة حَبَسَتْهَا حَتَّى مَاتَتْ جُوعًا، ثُمَّ قَالَ اِبْن شِهَاب: لِئَلَّا يَتَّكِل رَجُل، وَلَا يَيْأَس رَجُل. مَعْنَاهُ: أَنَّ اِبْن شِهَاب لَمَّا ذَكَرَ الْحَدِيث الْأَوَّل خَافَ أَنَّ سَامِعه يَتَّكِل عَلَى مَا فيه مِنْ سَعَة الرَّحْمَة، وَعِظَم الرَّجَاء، فَضَمَّ إِلَيْهِ حَدِيث الْهِرَّة الَّذِي فيه مِنْ التَّخْوِيف ضِدّ ذَلِكَ، لِيَجْتَمِع الْخَوْف وَالرَّجَاء، وَهَذَا مَعْنَى قَوْله: لِئَلَّا يَتَّكِل وَلَا يَيْأَس،.

His statement, “Ibn Shihaab [al-Zuhri] mentioned this hadeeth“, then he mentioned the hadeeth of the woman who entered the hell fire and was punished because of a cat which she had tied up until it died of hunger, then ibn Shihaab said, “(These two ahaadeeth) show that a person should neither feel confident, nor should he despair and lose hope.” Meaning that when ibn Shihaab mentioned the first hadeeth (above), he was afraid that those who heard it would put his trust and reliance on what had been mentioned about the expansiveness of Allah’s mercy, and over-estimate hope. So he contrasted that with the hadeeth of the cat in which there is fear to oppose that, thereby bringing together fear and hope, and this is the meaning of his statement, “that a person should neither feel confident, nor should he despair and lose hope“.

وَهَكَذَا مُعْظَم آيَات الْقُرْآن الْعَزِيز، يَجْتَمِع فيها الْخَوْف وَالرَّجَاء، وَكَذَا قَالَ الْعُلَمَاء: يُسْتَحَبّ لِلْوَاعِظِ أَنْ يَجْمَع فِي مَوْعِظَته بَيْن الْخَوْف وَالرَّجَاء؛ لِئَلَّا يَقْنَط أَحَد، وَلَا يَتَّكِل، قَالُوا: وَلْيَكُنْ التَّخْوِيف أَكْثَر؛ لِأَنَّ النُّفُوس إِلَيْهِ أَحْوَج؛ لِمَيْلِهَا إِلَى الرَّجَاء وَالرَّاحَة وَالِاتِّكَال، وَإِهْمَال بَعْض الْأَعْمَال

And most of the verses of the Mighty Qur’an are like this, combining fear and hope, and thus the scholars say, “it is recommended for the preacher to combine both fear and hope in his speeches, lest one despairs, or becomes overconfident.” They said, “And that there should be more [emphasis] on fear [than hope], because the souls are in greater need of that, since they are inclined towards hope, comfort and reliance, and neglect some of the deeds.”

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Saheeh Muslim #4951]

Be wise about where you choose to place your seminal fluid

‘Umar narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

‏ تَخَيَّرُوا لِنُطَفِكُمْ، فَانْكِحُوا الْأَكْفَاءَ، وَأَنْكِحُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ‏

“Be wise about where you choose to place your seminal fluid, and marry compatible women, and propose marriage to them.”

Sheikh al-Albaani records this in his Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (#1067). After narrating it, he writes

  فالحديث بمجموع هذه المتابعات والطرق ، وحديث عمر رضي الله عنه صحيح بلا ريب . ولكن يجب أن يعلم أن الكفاءة إنما هي في الدين والخلق فقط

So the hadith has many chains and paths, and the hadith of ‘Umar (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) is saheeh without doubt. But it must be known that ‘compatibility’ is only in terms of the deen and manners.

Al-Haakim also records the same wording with two different chain of narrators from ‘Aaishah in his Mustadrak (#2734 and #2735). The first chain is taken from Sunan ibn Maajah (#1986), and it is da’eef. Al-Haakim then gives a different isnaad for #2735 and writes:

هَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحُ الْإِسْنَادِ، وَلَمْ يُخْرِجَاهُ

This hadith has a saheeh isnaad, and neither Bukhaari nor Muslim reported it.

The author of Sharh Sunan ibn Maajah writes about this hadith:

قوله  (تَخَيَّرُوا لِنُطَفِكُمْ) أي تخيروا من النساء ذوات الدين والصلاح وذوات النسب الشريف لئلا تكون المرأة من الأولاد الزنا فإن هذه الرذيلة تتعدي إلى أولادها قال الله تعالى (الزَّانِي لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِ‌كَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِ‌كٌ) وإنما أمر بطلب الكفؤ للمجانسة وعدم لحق العار وقوله (وأنكحوا إليهم) من باب الأفعال أي زوجوا مولياتكم من البنات والأخوات أيضاً بالكفاء

His statement, “Be wise about where you choose to place your seminal fluid” meaning be wise about choosing women with deen and righteousness, and with noble lineage, lest there are women from amongst the children of zina for these are the most lowly of offspring. Allah says, “The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.” [24:3] And the thing which is sought is harmonious compatibility, and not just the bare rights, and his statement, “and propose marriage to them” refers to actions, meaning marry their ladies from their daughters and sisters also based upon compatibility.

 قال السندي :قَوْله ( تَخَيَّرُوا لِنُطَفِكُمْ ) أَيْ اُطْلُبُوا لَهَا مَا هُوَ خَيْر الْمُنَاكِح وَأَزْكَاهَا وَأَبْعَدهَا مِنْ الْخُبْث وَالْفُجُور ( وَأَنْكِحُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ) أَيْ اُخْطُبُوا إِلَيْهِمْ بَنَاتهمْ يَدُلّ عَلَى اِعْتِبَارهمْ الْكَفَاءَة وَلَا يَدُلّ عَلَى أَنَّهَا تُعْتَبَر فِي أَيّ شَيْء, فَلَا يُخَالِف هَذَا الْحَدِيث الْحَدِيث السَّابِق الدَّال عَلَى اِعْتِبَاره بِالدِّينِ  .

Al-Sindi said: His statement “Be wise about where you choose to place your seminal fluid” – meaning seek for it the best women and the most pure of them, and those who are the most removed from sin and transgression. “And propose marriage to them” – meaning propose to them for their daughters, and this indicates that one should consider  compatibility, but it does not indicate that they should consider every last thing. So this hadeeth does not contradict the previous hadith which indicates the importance of the deen.

[Sharh Sunan ibn Maajah]

Eemaan has two halves: Sabr and Shukr

Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his explanation of Imam al-Nawawi’s collection of 40 ahaadith:

وجاء من رواية يزيد الرقاشي عن أنس مرفوعًا الإيمان نصفان نصف في الصبر ونصف في الشكر فلما كان الإيمان يشمل فعل الواجبات وترك المحرمات ولا ينال ذلك كله إلا بالصبر كان الصبر نصف الإيمان

It comes in the narration of Yazeed al-Raqaashi from Anas as a marfoo’ hadeeth,Eemaan has two halves: a half that is comprised of sabr (steadfastness) and a half that is comprised of shukr (gratitude).” Since eemaan is made up of the performance of the obligations and the renunciation of the forbidden matters, none of which can be obtained without sabr, then sabr is half of eemaan.

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam, 2/11 (ch. 23)]

See also: “Remind them of the Days of Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkaani

The Condition of the Europeans at the End of Times

Imam ibn Kathir, in his book al-Nihayah fī’l-Fitani wa’l-Malaahim, which details some of the events which will occur at the end of times, mentions that the Romans [i.e. Europeans] will be the most numerous people when the Day of Resurrection comes. He writes:

بعض خصال الروم الحسنة

Some good qualities of the Romans [i.e. Europeans]

وقد روى مسلم من حديث الليث بن سعد، حدثني موسى بن علي، عن أبيه قال: قال المستورد القرشي عند عمرو بن العاص سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” تقوم الساعة والروم أكثرُ الناس فقال له عمرو: أبْصِرْ ما تقولُ: قال أقُولُ ما سمعتُ من رسوٍل الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. قال: لئنْ قلتَ ذَاك فإن فِيهِمْ لخِصالاً أرْبعاً: إنَّهم لأحكمُ الناس عند فتنةٍ، وأسرعُهم إفَاقَة بعد مصية، وأوشكهم كرةً بعد فَرةٍ ، وخيرُهم لمِسْكين ويتيم وضعيف، وخامسة حسنة جميلة وأمنعهم من ظُلم الملوك ” .

Imam Muslim has narrated the hadeeth that Mustawrid al-Quraishi said to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “The Last Hour would come when the Romans [i.e. Europeans] form a majority amongst people.” So ‘Amr said to him, “Watch what you’re saying!”. He said, “I said what I heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). (‘Amr) said, “If you say that, then verily there are four qualities in them (which would be conducive to that): Verily they are the most able to cope with tribulation; the quickest to recover after a calamity; the quickest to attack after having retreated; the best of people as far as treating the poor, weak and orphans is concerned; and fifth, they are the best in not allowing themselves to be oppressed by their kings (or rulers).” [Muslim #7461]

تقوم الساعة والروم أكثر الناس

The Hour will be established when the Romans [i.e. Europeans] form a majority amongst the people.

ثم قال مسلم: حدثني حرملة بن يحيى، حدثنا عبد الله بن وهب، حدثني أبو شريح أن عبد الكريم بن الحارث حدثه أن المستورد القرشي قال: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” تقوم الساعة والروم أكثر الناس قال: فبلغ ذلك عمرو بن العاص فقال: ما هذه الأحاديثُ التي يُذْكَرُ عنك أنك تقُولها عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ فقال له المستورد: قلت الذي سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال عمرو: ” إنْ قلتَ ذاكَ إنَّهم لأحكمُ الناس عند فتنةٍ ، وأجْبرُ الناس عند مصيبة، وخيرُ الناس لمساكينِهم وضعفائِهم ” .

Then Muslim said: al-Mustawrid al-Quraishi said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, ‘The Hour will be established when the Romans [i.e. Europeans] form a majority amongst the people.'” He said, “So this reached ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas who said, “What is this speech which is mentioned about you that you said it is the speech of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)?” So al-Mustawrid said to him, “I said what I heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).” So ‘Amr said, “If you say that, then verily they [the Romans, i.e. Europeans] are the most level-headed in times of tribulation, and the most able to recover from a trial, and the best of people to their poor and their weak ones.” [Muslim #7462]

وهذا يدل على أن الروم يسلمون في آخر الزمان، ولعل فتح القسطنطينية يكون على يدي طائفة منهم كما نطق به الحديث المتقدم أنه يغزوها سبعون ألفاً من بني إسحاق، والروم من سلالة العيص بن إسحاق بن إبراهيم الخليل، فمنهم أولاد عم بني إسرائيل وهو يعقوب بن إسحاق، فالروم يكونون في آخر الزمان خيراً من بني إسرائيل، فإن الدجال يتبعه سبُعون ألفاً من يهود أصبهان فهم أنصار الدجال، وهؤلاء أعني الروم قد مدحوا في هذا الحديث فلعلهم يسلمون على يدي المسيح ابن مريم والله أعلم.

This indicates that the Romans (i.e. Europeans) will embrace Islam at the end of times, and perhaps a group of them will be the ones who will conquer ‘Constantinople’, for in the previous hadeeth it is mentioned that 70,000 from the children of Ishaaq (Isaac) will attack it. And the Romans are from the descendants of Al-ʿAys (Esau) ibn Ishaaq ibn Ibrahim Al-Khaleel; some of them are descendants from the uncle of the Children of Israel – Yaʾqoob (Jacob) ibn Ishaaq. So at the end of times, the Romans will be better than the Children of Israel (from the past). The Dajjaal (the False Messiah) will be followed by 70,000 Jews from Asbahaan [currently Iran], so they are the helpers of the Dajjaal. The Romans, on the other hand, are praised in this hadeeth. Perhaps, therefore, they will accept Islam at the hands of Al-Maseeh ibn Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary); and Allah knows best.

[al-Nihayah fī’l-Fitani wa’l-Malaahim 1/30]

See also: What Allah has told us in His Book is sufficient: Tafsir ibn Kathir