“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in His Book in surah al-‘Ankaboot:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ أَكْبَرُ‌ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and establish the prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [29:45]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, wrote:

يأمر تعالى بتلاوة وحيه وتنزيله، وهو هذا الكتاب العظيم، ومعنى تلاوته اتباعه، بامتثال ما يأمر به، واجتناب ما ينهى عنه، والاهتداء بهداه، وتصديق أخباره، وتدبر معانيه، وتلاوة ألفاظه، فصار تلاوة لفظه جزء المعنى وبعضه، وإذا كان هذا معنى تلاوة الكتاب، علم أن إقامة الدين كله، داخلة في تلاوة الكتاب‏.‏ فيكون قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ)‏ من باب عطف الخاص على العام، لفضل الصلاة وشرفها، وآثارها الجميلة، وهي ‏(‏إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ‏)‏

Allah commands the recitation of His revelation, and that is this Great Book [the Qur’an]. And the meaning of reciting it is adhering to it, complying with what it commands, avoiding what it prohibits, being guided by its guidance, affirming its contents, pondering over its meanings, as well as reciting its words. So reciting its word is just one part of this meaning. So then if this is the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”, then one should know that the establishment and enactment on the entire deen falls within the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”.

So then His statement, “and establish the prayer” – is an example of mentioning something specific alongside something general. And this is due to the virtue and honor of the prayer, as well as its wonderful effects, which is that “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing“.

والفحشاء‏:‏ كل ما استعظم واستفحش من المعاصي التي تشتهيها النفوس‏.‏

And immorality (fahshah) is every excessive and indecent act of disobedience which the lower self desires.

والمنكر‏:‏ كل معصية تنكرها العقول والفطر‏.‏

And wrongdoing (munkar) is every act of disobedience which the (functioning) intellect and natural inclination (fitrah) would prevent.

ووجه كون الصلاة تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، أن العبد المقيم لها، المتمم لأركانها وشروطها وخشوعها، يستنير قلبه، ويتطهر فؤاده، ويزداد إيمانه، وتقوى رغبته في الخير، وتقل أو تعدم رغبته في الشر، فبالضرورة، مداومتها والمحافظة عليها على هذا الوجه، تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، فهذا من أعظم مقاصدها وثمراتها‏.‏ وثَمَّ في الصلاة مقصود أعظم من هذا وأكبر، وهو ما اشتملت عليه من ذكر اللّه، بالقلب واللسان والبدن‏.‏ فإن اللّه تعالى، إنما خلق الخلق لعبادته، وأفضل عبادة تقع منهم الصلاة، وفيها من عبوديات الجوارح كلها، ما ليس في غيرها، ولهذا قال‏:‏ (وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ‏)‏

And the way that the prayer prevents one from immorality and wrongdoing is that he slave who establishes it – the one who fulfills its pillars and conditions and establishes it with khushoo’ – then it illuminates and purifies his heart, and increases his eemaan, and increases his taqwa and his desire to do good, as well as decreasing or even eliminating his desire to do evil. And it necessarily follows that it also increases his persistence and regularity of these good qualities -which prohibit him from immorality and wrongdoing- and this is one of the greatest objectives and fruits of the prayer.

But there is an even greater objectives of the prayer, which is what it involves of the remembrance of Allah, with the heart, tongue and body. For Allah only created the creation for the purpose of His worship, and the best form of worship is the prayer, for therein all the limbs are engaged in worship, and this is not found in other forms of worship, and on this subject He said, “and the remembrance of Allah is greater“.

ويحتمل أنه لما أمر بالصلاة ومدحها، أخبر أن ذكره تعالى خارج الصلاة أكبر من الصلاة، كما هو قول جمهور المفسرين، لكن الأول أولى، لأن الصلاة أفضل من الذكر خارجها، ولأنها – كما تقدم – بنفسها من أكبر الذكر‏.‏

But this ayah could also be interpreted to mean that when Allah commanded the performance of the prayer and lauded it, He also informed us that the remembrance of Him outside of the prayer is greater than the prayer itself, as is the position of the majority of the mufassiroon. However, what I mentioned first is more correct, because the prayer is more virtuous than remembrance outside of the prayer. And that is because, as we have mentioned elsewhere, the prayer itself is one of the greatest forms of remembrance.

‏(‏وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ)‏ من خير وشر، فيجازيكم على ذلك أكمل الجزاء وأوفاه‏.‏

And Allah knows that which you do” of good and evil. And He will reward you for that with the most complete fulfillment and recompense.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahmanp. 632]

For more on the importance and benefits of al-salaah, see also: The first deed to be reckoned

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: The outcomes of Taqwa and truthful speech: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

See also: Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Du’a or Dhikr after the Salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

Advertisements

12 thoughts on ““Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: The first deed to be reckoned | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The outcomes of Taqwa and truthful speech: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: “And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Du’a or dhikr after the salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  7. Pingback: Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 1/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  9. Pingback: Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 6/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  10. Pingback: The Virtue of Memorizing the Qur’an: Sheikh Muqbil | Tulayhah

  11. Pingback: Ibn Kathir on Zakah and Tazkiyyah al-Nafs | Tulayhah

  12. Pingback: What to Recite in the Prayers: Sheikh bin Baaz | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s