“And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Throughout surah Maryam, Allah presents a number of portraits of some of those whom He has honored with revelation. On Ismaa’eel, the son of Ibrahim, Allah says the following:

وَاذْكُرْ‌ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَ‌سُولًا نَّبِيًّا  وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ‌ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَ‌بِّهِ مَرْ‌ضِيًّا

And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakaah, and he was pleasing to his Lord. [19:54-55]

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following in explanation of these ayaat:

أي‏:‏ واذكر في القرآن الكريم، هذا النبي العظيم، الذي خرج منه الشعب العربي، أفضل الشعوب وأجلها، الذي منهم سيد ولد آدم‏.‏

Meaning: and mention this great messenger in the Noble Qur’an, out of whom came the Arab people, the best people and era, from amongst whom is the sayyid (master) of the offspring of Adam [i.e. the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)].

‏{‏إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا يعد وعدا إلا وفى به‏.‏ وهذا شامل للوعد الذي يعقده مع الله أو مع العباد، ولهذا لما وعد من نفسه الصبر على ذبح أبيه ‏[‏له‏}‏ وقال‏:‏ ‏{‏سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ‏}‏ وفى بذلك ومكن أباه من الذبح، الذي هو أكبر مصيبة تصيب الإنسان، ثم وصفه بالرسالة والنبوة، التي ‏[‏هي‏}‏ أكبر منن الله على عبده، وأهلها من الطبقة العليا من الخلق‏.‏

Indeed, he was true to his promise” – meaning: he did not make a promise except that he fulfilled it. And this is inclusive of the promises which he joined into with Allah, or with the slaves (of Allah), and hence when he made the promise of himself to have sabr (patience, steadfastness, moral fortitude) in the face of his father’s [intention of] slaughtering him, and he said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, among the steadfast” [37:102]. And in that and allowing his father to carry out [his intention for] the slaughter, is the greatest of calamitous tests which has tested man. Then He describes him with risaalah (messengership) and nubuwwah (prophethood), which are the greatest bounties of Allah upon his slaves, and those who possess it are among the highest rank of the creation.

‏{‏وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ كان مقيما لأمر الله على أهله، فيأمرهم بالصلاة المتضمنة للإخلاص للمعبود، وبالزكاة المتضمنة للإحسان إلى العبيد، فكمل نفسه، وكمل غيره، وخصوصا أخص الناس عنده وهم أهله، لأنهم أحق بدعوته من غيرهم‏.‏ ‏{‏وَكَانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا‏}‏ وذلك بسبب امتثاله لمراضي ربه واجتهاده فيما يرضيه، ارتضاه الله وجعله من خواص عباده وأوليائه المقربين، فرضي الله عنه، ورضي ‏[‏هو‏}‏ عن ربه‏.‏

And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakaah” – meaning: he was established the command of Allah upon his people. So he commanded them with the salaah which includes ikhlaas (sincerity) to the One who is worshiped, and with zakaah which includes ihsaan (excellent behavior) to the slaves (of Allah), so it perfects oneself, and it perfects others. And the specifically those with him are specified, and they are his people, because they have more right to his da’wah than others.

And he was pleasing to his Lord”  and that is because of his adherence to the pleasure of his Lord and striving in what is pleasing to Him. Allah was pleased with him and made him among those of His distinguished slaves and His close awliyaa’, so Allah was pleased with him and he was pleased with his Lord.

  [Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Definition of Sabr: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Du’a of Ibrahim for Mecca and his Descendants: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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9 thoughts on ““And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

    • Wa iyyaakum, fajazaak Allaahu khairan for the encouragement. I was very happy to find your blog and all the beneficial words of the scholars there gathered there. May Allaah put barakah on your efforts

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