“To Him ascends good speech, and righteous works raise it”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Faatir:

مَن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّـهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْ‌فَعُهُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُ‌ونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۖ وَمَكْرُ‌ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ‌

“Whoever desires honor – then to Allah belongs all honor. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous works raises it. But those who plot evil deeds will have a severe punishment, and the plotting of those – it will perish.” [35:10]

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following in explanation:

أي‏:‏ يا من يريد العزة، اطلبها ممن هي بيده، فإن العزة بيد اللّه، ولا تنال إلا بطاعته، وقد ذكرها بقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ‏}‏ من قراءة وتسبيح وتحميد وتهليل وكل كلام حسن طيب، فيرفع إلى اللّه ويعرض عليه ويثني اللّه على صاحبه بين الملأ الأعلى ‏{‏وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ‏}‏ من أعمال القلوب وأعمال الجوارح ‏{‏يَرْفَعُهُ‏}‏ اللّه تعالى إليه أيضا، كالكلم الطيب‏.‏

Meaning: O those who want honor! Seek it from He who holds it in His Hand, for verily honor is in the Hand of Allah. And you will not win it except through His obedience. And He has mentioned that in His statement, “To Him ascends good speech” such as recitation (of the Qur’an), saying SubhanAllaahAlhamdulillaah, La ilaaha illallaah, and good excellent word. So it is raised to Allah and presented to Him, and Allah commends its owner before the heavenly assembly. “And righteous works” from the deeds of the heart and the deeds of the limbs “raises it” to Allah the Exalted also, like the good word.

وقيل‏:‏ والعمل الصالح يرفع الكلم الطيب، فيكون رفع الكلم الطيب بحسب أعمال العبد الصالحة، فهي التي ترفع كلمه الطيب، فإذا لم يكن له عمل صالح، لم يرفع له قول إلى اللّه تعالى، فهذه الأعمال التي ترفع إلى اللّه تعالى، ويرفع اللّه صاحبها ويعزه‏.‏

And it is said: the righteous deed elevates the good word. So the good word is raised according to the deeds of the righteous slave, and it is that which raises his good speech. So if he does not have righteous deeds, then his speech is not raised to Allah the Exalted, for it is good deeds which raise it to Allah the Exalted, and Allah elevates their owner and honors him.

وأما السيئات فإنها بالعكس، يريد صاحبها الرفعة بها، ويمكر ويكيد ويعود ذلك عليه، ولا يزداد إلا إهانة ونزولا، ولهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏والعمل الصالح يرفعه وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ‏}‏ يهانون فيه غاية الإهانة‏.‏ ‏{‏وَمَكْرُ أُولَئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ يهلك ويضمحل، ولا يفيدهم شيئا، لأنه مكر بالباطل، لأجل الباطل‏.‏

And as for the sins, then verily they are the opposite. Their owner wants elevation by them, and he plots and plans and that returns upon him [i.e. he will be punished for that]. And he will not be increased except in dishonor and degradation, and He said about this, “and righteous works raises it. But those who plot evil deeds will have a severe punishment” – humiliated with an extreme humiliation in that – “and the plotting of those – it will perish” – meaning: destroyed and eradicated, and it does not benefit them at all, because it is a futile plan for a futile purpose.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: “Whoever desires ‘Izzah …”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: “Good speech ascends to Allah and righteous action raises it”: Narration-based Tafsir

See also: A Warning For Those Who Desire to be Seen: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Click here to read more explanations of surah al-Faatir

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3 thoughts on ““To Him ascends good speech, and righteous works raise it”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: “Whoever desires ‘Izzah …”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Good speech ascends to Allah and righteous action raises it”: Narration-based Tafsir | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: A Warning For Those Who Desire to be Seen: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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