“We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance”

In surah Fussilaat, Allah briefly mentions some details of the story of the people of Thamud when He says:

وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّوا الْعَمَىٰ عَلَى الْهُدَىٰ فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ * وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ

And as for Thamud, We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance, so the thunderbolt of humiliating punishment seized them for what they used to earn. And We saved those who believed and used to fear Allah. [41:17-18]

Commenting of this, Imam al-Sa’di writes:

وأما ثمود وهم القبيلة المعروفة الذين سكنوا الحجر وحواليه، الذين أرسل اللّه إليهم صالحًا عليه السلام، يدعوهم إلى توحيد ربهم، وينهاهم عن الشرك وآتاهم اللّه الناقة، آية عظيمة، لها شرب ولهم شرب يوم معلوم، يشربون لبنها يومًا ويشربون من الماء يومًا، وليسوا ينفقون عليها، بل تأكل من أرض اللّه،

And as for the Thamud, they were a well-known tribe which resided in al-ijr and thereabouts, to whom Allah sent aalih (‘alaihis salaam). He called them to taweed of their Lord and forbade them from shirk. And Allah gave them the camel as an amazing ayah (sign, miracle). For it was drinking and for them was drinking on known days (i.e. alternating days of access to the water sources for the camel and the people of Thamud). They drank from its milk one day and they drank from the water another day, and they did not spend on it (i.e. its provision). Rather it ate from the land of Allah. Continue reading

We preserved these limbs in our youth, so Allah preserved them for us in old age

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said in part of his famous hadeeth to ibn ‘Abbaas:

احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك

“Preserve the limits of Allaah and He will preserve you…”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, while explaining this hadeeth, mentions an amazing story about the famous judge and Shaafi’ jurist, Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari:

و كان أبو الطيب الطبري قد جاوز المائة سنة وهو ممتع بعقله وقوته ، فوثب يوما من سفينة كان فيها إلى الارض وثبة شديدة. فعوتب على ذلك ، فقال : هذه جوارح حفظناها عن المعاصي في الضغر ، فحفظها الله علينا في الكبر

Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari exceeded the age of 100 yet his intellect remained very much intact, as did his strength. One day he leapt off a large ship he was on onto the ground. When reprimanded for this, he said, “We preserved these limbs from disobedience in our youth, so Allaah preserved them for us in our old age.”

[Majmoo’ al-Rasaa’il ibn Rajab 3/100]

And Ibn Kathir mentions the same story with the wording: Continue reading

“When supper is brought and the prayer begins, one should first take food”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records in his Saheeh from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إِذَا حَضَرَ الْعَشَاءُ وَأُقِيمَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَابْدَءُوا بِالْعَشَاءِ

“When the supper is brought and the prayer begins, one should first take food.”

[Saheeh Muslim #557]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, wrote the following:

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : إذا حضر العشاء وأقيمت الصلاة فابدءوا بالعشاء ، وفي رواية : إذا قرب العشاء وحضرت الصلاة فابدءوا به قبل أن تصلوا صلاة المغرب ولا تعجلوا عن عشائكم وفي رواية : إذا وضع عشاء أحدكم وأقيمت الصلاة فابدءوا بالعشاء ولا يعجلن حتى يفرغ منه ، وفي رواية : لا صلاة بحضرة طعام ، ولا وهو يدافعه الأخبثان  .

His statement (ﷺ), “When the supper is brought and the prayer begins, one, should first take food“, and in another narration, “When the supper is brought before you, and it is also the time to say prayer, first take food before praying salaat al-Maghrib and do not rush your dinner.” And in another narration, “When the supper is served to any one of you and the prayer also begins, then first take supper, and do not hasten (to the salaah) until you have finished it.” And in another narration, “There is no prayer can be when the food is present, or when he is prompted by the call of nature.

في هذه الأحاديث كراهة الصلاة بحضرة الطعام الذي يريد أكله ، لما فيه من اشتغال القلب به ، وذهاب كمال الخشوع ، وكراهتها مع مدافعة الأخبثين وهما : البول والغائط ،

In these ahaadeeth is the dislike of prayer while there is food which one would like to eat present, for therein is something which would thereby distract the heart and which would diminish the completeness of khushoo’ (concentration during the prayer). (And also in these ahaadeeth) is the dislike of prayer while one is prompted by the call of the two uncleanlinesses, which are urination and defection. Continue reading

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

Allah commands His slaves in surah al-Hashr:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّ‌سُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا

“And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain.” [59:7]

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

وقال ابن جريج‏:‏ ما آتاكم من طاعتي فافعلوه، وما نهاكم عنه من معصيتي فاجتنبوه‏.‏ الماوردي‏:‏ وقيل إنه محمول على العموم في جميع أوامره ونواهيه؛ لا يأمر إلا بصلاح ولا ينهى إلا عن فساد‏.‏ قلت‏:‏ هذا هو معنى القول الذي قبله‏.‏ فهي ثلاثة أقوال‏.‏

Ibn Juraij said, “Whatever he gives you of obedience, then do it, and whatever he forbids you of disobedience, then avoid it.” al-Maawardi said, “And it is said that this statement is applied generally to all of his [the Messenger’s] commands and prohibitions. He does not command anything except what brings good and he does not prohibit anything except for what is corrupt.” I [Imam al-Qurtubi] say, “What has preceded is the meaning of this statement, and there are three statements [about this which will follow].”

 قال المهدوي‏:‏ قوله تعالى‏{‏وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوة وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا‏}‏ هذا يوجب أن كل ما أمر به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر من الله تعالى‏.‏ والآية وإن كانت في الغنائم فجميع أوامره صلى الله عليه وسلم ونواهيه دخل فيها‏.‏ وقال الحكم بن عمير – وكانت له صحبة – قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏إن هذا القرآن صعب مستصعب عسير على من تركه يسير على من اتبعه وطلبه‏.‏ وحديثي صعب مستصعب وهو الحكم فمن استمسك بحديثي وحفظه نجا مع القرآن‏.‏ ومن تهاون بالقرآن وحديثي خسر الدنيا والآخرة‏.‏ وأمرتم أن تأخذوا بقولي وتكتنفوا أمري وتتبعوا سنتي فمن رضي بقولي فقد رضي بالقرآن ومن استهزأ بقولي فقد استهزأ بالقرآن قال الله تعالى‏{‏وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوة وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا‏}‏‏)‏

Al-Mahdoui said, “Allah’s statement, ‘And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain,‘ this necessitates that everything that the Prophet (ﷺ) commanded is a command from Allah the Exalted. And the ayah, even though it is about the spoils of war, applies to all commands of the Prophet (ﷺ) and his prohibitions.”… Continue reading

The story of Banu Shaibaan

Following the death of his uncle and protector Abu Taalib, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his followers in Mecca were left especially vulnerable to the persecution of the Quraish. It was during this time that the Prophet (ﷺ) sought out the protection of other Arab tribes to give a safe haven for the religion of Allah. Prior to reaching an agreement with the Aws and Khazraj tribes of Yathrib (later to become al-Madeenah), the Prophet (ﷺ) sought to solicit this aid from other tribes during the Hajj season.

Imam ibn Kathir, in his monumental work of history al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah, collected the following story from Abu Na’eem and narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib about one such meeting between the Prophet (ﷺ) and the tribe of Banu Shaibaan:

قال‏:‏ لما أمر الله رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يعرض نفسه على قبائل العرب، خرج وأنا معه، وأبو بكر إلى منى حتى دفعنا إلى مجلس من مجالس العرب، فتقدم أبو بكر رضي الله عنه فسلم، وكان أبو بكر مقدماً في كل خير، وكان رجلاً نسابة‏….‏

‘Ali said: When Allah ordered His Prophet (ﷺ) to present himself to the Arab tribes, he left (to go speak to one of them) and I went with him, as did Abu Bakr, until we reached Mina and we came to one of the gathering of the Arabs [i.e. one of the camp sites of an Arab tribe]. So Abu Bakr went ahead of us and greeted them, and Abu Bakr was the foremost in all sorts of goodness, and he was a man who was well-versed in genealogy. …

قال‏:‏ ثم انتهينا إلى مجلس عليه السكينة والوقار، وإذا مشايخ لهم أقدار وهيئات، فتقدم أبو بكر فسلم – قال علي‏:‏ وكان أبو بكر مقدماً في كل خير – فقال لهم أبو بكر‏:‏ ممن القوم‏؟‏

Then we went to another gathering over which there was a sense of calmness and dignity. When the leaders of their affairs came Abu Bakr wet on ahead to greet them – and Abu Bakr was the foremost in all forms of goodness – and Abu Bakr said to them, “Who are these people?”

قالوا‏:‏ من بني شيبان بن ثعلبة‏.‏

They said, “The tribe of Bani Shaibaan ibn Tha’labah.” Continue reading

“Have Taqwa of Allah, O Hafsah”: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

Anas ibn Maalik narrated the following:

قَالَ بَلَغَ صَفِيَّةَ أَنَّ حَفْصَةَ، قَالَتْ بِنْتُ يَهُودِيٍّ ‏.‏ فَبَكَتْ فَدَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهِيَ تَبْكِي فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا يُبْكِيكِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ قَالَتْ لِي حَفْصَةُ إِنِّي بِنْتُ يَهُودِيٍّ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّكِ لاَبْنَةُ نَبِيٍّ وَإِنَّ عَمَّكِ لَنَبِيٌّ وَإِنَّكِ لَتَحْتَ نَبِيٍّ فَفِيمَ تَفْخَرُ عَلَيْكِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اتَّقِي اللَّهَ يَا حَفْصَةُ ‏” ـ

It reached Safiyyah that Hafsah said, ‘The daughter of a Jew’ so she wept. Then the Prophet entered upon her while she was crying, so he said, ‘What makes you cry?’ She said, ‘Hafsah said to me that I am the daughter of a Jew.’ So the Prophet said, ‘And you are the daughter of a Prophet, and your uncle is a Prophet, and you are married to a Prophet, so what is she boasting to you about?’ Then he said: ‘Have taqwa of Allah, O Hafsah!’

[Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi #3894]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote:

قوله … ( أن حفصة قالت ) أي : في حق صفية ( بنت يهودي ) أي : نظرا إلى أبيها ( قالت ) أي : صفية ( قالت لي حفصة ) أي : في حقي ” وإنك لابنة نبي ” أي : هارون بن عمران -عليه السلام- ” وإن عمك لنبي ” أي : موسى بن عمران -عليه السلام- ” إنك لتحت نبي ” أي : الآن ” ففيم تفخر عليك ” بفتح الخاء أي : في أي شيء تفخر حفصة عليك ”  .

His statement, “that Hafsah said” – meaning, saying the truth about SafiyyahThe daughter of a Jew” – meaning due to her father. “She said” – meaning SafiyyahHafsah said to me” – meaning saying the truth about me. “And you are the daughter of a Prophet” – meaning Haaroon ibn ‘Imran (‘alaihis salaam) – “and your uncle is a Prophet” – meaning Moosaa bin ‘Imran (‘alaihis salaam) – “and you are married to a Prophet” – meaning, currentlyso what is she boasting to you about?” – meaning, about which thing is Hafsah exalting herself over you?

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“O mankind, you are in need of Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in His Book:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَ‌اءُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

“O mankind, you are in need of Allah, and Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” [35:15]

Imam al-Sa’di writes about this in his tafsir, saying:

يخاطب تعالى جميع الناس، ويخبرهم بحالهم ووصفهم، وأنهم فقراء إلى اللّه من جميع الوجوه‏:‏

Allah addresses all of mankind, and informs them of their condition and characteristics, and that they are in need of Allah in all aspects:

فقراء في إيجادهم، فلولا إيجاده إياهم، لم يوجدوا‏.‏

They are in need of Him for their creation, for if He did not create them, they would not have been created.

فقراء في إعدادهم بالقوى والأعضاء والجوارح، التي لولا إعداده إياهم ‏[‏بها‏]‏، لما استعدوا لأي عمل كان‏.‏

They are in need of Him for the providing their power and bodies and limbs, for without this provision for them, they would not have been able to do anything. Continue reading

The Mahdi will be from the offspring of al-Hasan: Ibn al-Qayyim

Ibn al-Qayyim, in his book al-Manaar al-Muneef, while collecting the different views of the Mahdi, brings this as the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah:

أنه رجل من أهل البيت النبي ﷺ ، من ولد الحسن بن علي ، يخرج في آخر الزمان ، وقد امتلأت الارض جوزا وظلما ، فيملؤها قسطا و عدلا ، وأكثر الأحاديث على هذا تدل.

He is a man from the ahl al-bait (household) of the Prophet (ﷺ), from the children of al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, who will come at the end of time. And the earth will have been filled with injustice, so he will fill it with justice, and most of the ahaadeeth show this.

في كونه من ولد الحسن سِرٌّ لطيف ، وهو أن الحسن رضي الله تعالى عنه ترك الخلافة الله ، فجعل الله من ولده من يقوم بالخلافة الحق المتضمنة للعدل الذي يملأ الأرض ، وهذه سنة الله في عباده : أنه من ترك لأجله شيئا أعطاه الله ، أو أعطى ذريته أفضل منه ، وهذا بخلاف الحسين رضي الله عنه ، فإنه حرص عليها ، وقاتل عليها فلم يظفر بها ، والله أعلم

In his being from the offspring of al-Hasan is a subtle wisdom, and that is that al-Hasan (raadi Allaahu ta’aala ‘anhu) abdicated the khilaafah, so Allah then made someone from his progeny to establish the khilaafah in truth to establish the justice which would fill the earth. And this is the sunnah of Allah with His slaves: that whoever gives up something for His sake, then Allah gives him – or He gives to his progeny – something better than it. And this is in contrast to al-Husain (raadi Allaahu ‘anhu), for verily he was keen on attaining the khilaafah, and he fought for it, and he did not achieve it, and Allah knows best. Continue reading

“That is your rescue from the hell-fire”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records in his Saheeh that Abu Moosaa reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ دَفَعَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ يَهُودِيًّا أَوْ نَصْرَانِيًّا فَيَقُولُ هَذَا فَكَاكُكَ مِنَ النَّارِ

“On the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.”

[Saheeh Muslim #2767]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes the following concerning this hadeeth:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إذا كان يوم القيامة دفع الله تعالى إلى كل مسلم يهوديا أو نصرانيا فيقول هذا فكاكك من النار ) وفي رواية : ( لا يموت رجل مسلم إلا أدخل الله مكانه النار يهوديا أو نصرانيا ) وفي رواية ( يجيء يوم القيامة ناس من المسلمين بذنوب أمثال الجبال فيغفرها الله لهم ويضعها على اليهود والنصارى ) . .

His statement (ﷺ), “On the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire“, and in another narration, “No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire” [Muslim #2767b], and in another narration, “There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins the likeness of a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians” [Muslim #2767d].

( الفكاك ) بفتح الفاء وكسرها الفتح أفصح وأشهر ، وهو : الخلاص والفداء . ومعنى هذا الحديث ما جاء في حديث أبي هريرة لكل أحد منزل في الجنة ومنزل في النار فالمؤمن إذا دخل الجنة خلفه الكافر في النار لاستحقاقه ذلك بكفره .

Your rescue” is deliverance and ransom. And the meaning of this hadeeth is what has come in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah “There is no one among you who does not have two abodes: An abode in Paradise and an abode in Hell” [1]. So when the believer enters al-Jannah, then the kaafir takes his place in the hell-fire, deserving it by virtue of his kufr (disbelief). Continue reading

We revealed to you as We revealed to those before you: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah, in surah al-Nisaa’, provides His slaves with some information about His revelations and messengers when He says:

‏‏إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَى وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُدَ زَبُورًا * وَرُسُلًا قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَرُسُلًا لَمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ وَكَلَّمَ اللَّهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيمًا * رُسُلًا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا

Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Nuh and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Ibrahim, Ismaa’eel, Ishaaq, Ya’qoob, the Descendants, ‘Eesaa, Ayyub, Yunus, Haaroon, and Sulayman, and to Dawood We gave the Zaboor. And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, – and to Moosaa Allah spoke directly. Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. And Allah is Ever Powerful, All­ Wise. [4:163-165]

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

يخبر تعالى أنه أوحى إلى عبده ورسوله من الشرع العظيم والأخبار الصادقة ما أوحى إلى هؤلاء الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام وفي هذا عدة فوائد‏:‏

Allah informs His slaves that He has given Divine inspiration to His slave and messenger concerning the great legislation and information which is confirmed by what was divinely revealed to these prophets (‘alaihim al-salaatu w’al-salaam), and in this there are many benefits:

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