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

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُ‌ونَ الْقُرْ‌آنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ‌ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرً‌ا

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

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

يأمر تعالى بتدبر كتابه، وهو التأمل في معانيه، وتحديق الفكر فيه، وفي مبادئه وعواقبه، ولوازم، ذلك فإن تدبر كتاب الله مفتاح للعلوم والمعارف، وبه يستنتج كل خير وتستخرج منه جميع العلوم، وبه يزداد الإيمان في القلب وترسخ شجرته‏.‏ فإنه يعرِّف بالرب المعبود، وما له من صفات الكمال‏;‏ وما ينزه عنه من سمات النقص، ويعرِّف الطريق الموصلة إليه وصفة أهلها، وما لهم عند القدوم عليه، ويعرِّف العدو الذي هو العدو على الحقيقة، والطريق الموصلة إلى العذاب، وصفة أهلها، وما لهم عند وجود أسباب العقاب‏.‏

Allah the Exalted commands contemplation of His Book, meaning reflection and attentive thought concerning it. And [reflecting over] both it’s fundamental principles and its ultimate conclusions, and its underlying attributes, for in contemplation of the Book of Allah are the keys of knowledge and understanding, and from it is derived every good and extracted all knowledge. And it increases one in eemaan in the heart and fortifies his position. For verily it makes one aware of the Lord who ought to be worshiped, and of His perfect attributes, and He does not suffer from a shortage of names, and it makes one aware of the the path which is conducive to Him and the qualities of the people of that path, and what [reward] is incumbent for them. And it makes one aware of the enemies which are the enemies of the truth, and the path which is conducive to punishment, and the qualities of its people, and what are the causes of punishment for them.

وكلما ازداد العبد تأملا فيه ازداد علما وعملا وبصيرة، لذلك أمر الله بذلك وحث عليه وأخبر أنه ‏[‏هو‏]‏ المقصود بإنزال القرآن، كما قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ‏}‏ وقال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا‏}‏

And along with the slave’s increasing in reflection over it [the Qur’an] comes an increase in ‘ilm (knowledge) and (good) deeds and insight, and that is why Allah commands that and encourages it and He informs us that that is the objective of revealing the Qur’an, and He the Exalted said, “A blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [38:29] and He the Exalted said, “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [47:24].

ومن فوائد التدبر لكتاب الله‏:‏ أنه بذلك يصل العبد إلى درجة اليقين والعلم بأنه كلام الله، لأنه يراه يصدق بعضه بعضًا، ويوافق بعضه بعضًا‏.‏ فترى الحكم والقصة والإخبارات تعاد في القرآن في عدة مواضع، كلها متوافقة متصادقة، لا ينقض بعضها بعضًا، فبذلك يعلم كمال القرآن وأنه من عند من أحاط علمه بجميع الأمور، فلذلك قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كثيرًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ فلما كان من عند الله لم يكن فيه اختلاف أصلًا‏.‏

And from the benefits of contemplating the Book of Allah is that through that the slave reaches a level of yaqeen (certainty) and ‘ilm that it is the Speech of Allah, that he sees that one part affirms another, and that one part concurs with another. So you see the wisdom and stories and information which are repeated in the Qur’an in many places – all of them in agreement and mutual affirmation, no part contradicting another part. And by that he knows the completeness and perfection of the Qur’an and that it is from One who has knowledge of all things. And concerning this Allah the Exalted said, “If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction” – meaning, so since it is from Allah there is no contradiction in the first place.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: We have sent him in order that you may believe: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

See also: Recite the Book with its true recitation

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

See also: Appropriate Miracles for Each People and Era: Ibn Kathir

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

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11 thoughts on “Tafsir al-Sa’di on the objective of revealing the Qur’an and its benefits

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