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:

منها‏:‏ أن محمدًا ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ليس ببدع من الرسل، بل أرسل الله قبله من المرسلين العدد الكثير والجم الغفير فاستغراب رسالته لا وجه له إلا الجهل والعناد‏.‏

And from them: that Muhammad (ﷺ) was not a novelty or aberration among the messengers. Rather, Allah sent a vast many number of messengers before him, so to consider his message strange is not befitting, except for the ignorant and obstinate ones.

ومنها‏:‏ أنه أوحى إليه كما أوحى إليهم من الأصول والعدل الذي اتفقوا عليه، وأن بعضهم يصدق بعضًا ويوافق بعضهم بعضًا‏.‏

And from them: That He divinely inspired him just as He divinely inspired them in terms of form and equity among them, and that they affirm one another and agree with one another.

ومنها‏:‏ أنه من جنس هؤلاء الرسل، فليعتبره المعتبر بإخوانه المرسلين، فدعوته دعوتهم؛ وأخلاقهم متفقة؛ ومصدرهم واحد؛ وغايتهم واحدة، فلم يقرنه بالمجهولين؛ ولا بالكذابين ولا بالملوك الظالمين‏.‏

And from them: that he is from the same category of those messengers. So let those who want to to examine him consider him in light of his brother messengers: his call is their call, their characteristics were in agreement, their source is one, and their goal is one. However the ignorant ones do not make this association, nor do the deniers or the oppressive rulers.

ومنها‏:‏ أن في ذكر هؤلاء الرسل وتعدادهم من التنويه بهم، والثناء الصادق عليهم، وشرح أحوالهم مما يزداد به المؤمن إيمانا بهم ومحبة لهم، واقتداء بهديهم، واستنانا بسنتهم ومعرفة بحقوقهم، ويكون ذلك مصداقا لقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏سَلَامٌ عَلَى نُــوحٍ فـي الْعَالَمِيـنَ‏}‏ ‏{‏سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ‏}‏ ‏{‏سَلَامٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ‏}‏ ‏{‏سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ }‏‏.‏

And from them: that is the mention of these messengers and enumerating them as part of bringing them to mind, and a true commendation of them, and explaining their situations, which would increase the believer in their belief in them and love for them, and in following the example of their guidance, and enacting their sunnahs, and knowing their rights. And that is affirmed by His statement, “And peace be upon Nuh among all creation” [37:79], “Peace be upon Ibrahim” [37:109], “Peace be upon Moosaa and Haaroon” [37:120], “Peace be upon Ilyaas, thus do We reward the good-doers” [37:130-131].

فكل محسن له من الثناء الحسن بين الأنام بحسب إحسانه‏.‏ والرسل ـ خصوصًا هؤلاء المسمون ـ في المرتبة العليا من الإحسان‏.‏

For every good-doer (Muhsin) there is good praise among mankind according to his excellence. And the Messengers –  especially those mentioned – are in the highest rankest of excellence.

ولما ذكر اشتراكهم بوحيه ذكر تخصيص بعضهم، فذكر أنه آتى داود الزبور، وهو الكتاب المعروف المزبور الذي خص الله به داود عليه السلام لفضله وشرفه، وأنه كلم موسى تكليما، أي‏:‏ مشافهة منه إليه لا بواسطة حتى اشتهر بهذا عند العالمين فيقال‏:‏ ‏”‏موسى كليم الرحمن‏”‏‏.‏

And when He mentioned their involvement in the revelation, He specifically mentioned some of them, so He mentioned that He gave Dawood the Zaboor, which is the well-know Divinely revealed book which Allah particularized to Dawood (‘alaihis salaam) in order to favor and honor him. And that He spoke directly to Moosaa, meaning: verbally from Allah to Moosaa without an intermediary, such that he became known among all creation as ‘Moosaa Kaleem al-Rahman“.

وذكر أن الرسل منهم من قصه الله على رسوله، ومنهم من لم يقصصه عليه، وهذا يدل على كثرتهم وأن الله أرسلهم مبشرين لمن أطاع الله واتبعهم، بالسعادة الدنيوية والأخروية، ومنذرين من عصى الله وخالفهم بشقاوة الدارين، لئلا يكون للناس على الله حجة بعد الرسل فيقولوا‏:‏ ‏{‏مَا جَاءَنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلَا نَذِيرٍ فَقَدْ جَاءَكُم بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ‏}‏

And He mentioned concerning the messenger that there were those whom Allah had mentioned their stories to His messenger, and those whom He had not narrated their stories to him. And this shows that there were many messengers who Allah send as bearers of glad tidings to those who obey Allah and follow the messengers, glad tidings of joy in this dunya and in the aakhirah, and warners to those who disobey Allah and oppose the messengers, warning against sorrow in the two abodes, lest mankind should have a hujjah against Allah after the messengers, saying “There came not to us any bringer of good tidings or a warner.’ But there has come to you a bringer of good tidings and a warner.” [5:19]

فلم يبق للخَلْق على الله حجة لإرساله الرسل تترى يبينون لهم أمر دينهم، ومراضي ربهم ومساخطه وطرق الجنة وطرق النار، فمن كفر منهم بعد ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه‏.‏

So there remains no hujjah for the creation against Allah due to His sending the messengers in succession to clarify the religious matters to them, and what is pleasing to their Lord and what is displeasing to him, and the path to Jannah and the path to the hell-fire. So whoever disbelieves in them after that, then he has no one to blame except himself.

وهذا من كمال عزته تعالى وحكمته أن أرسل إليهم الرسل وأنزل عليهم الكتب، وذلك أيضًا من فضله وإحسانه، حيث كان الناس مضطرين إلى الأنبياء أعظم ضرورة تقدر فأزال هذا الاضطرار، فله الحمد وله الشكر‏.‏ ونسأله كما ابتدأ علينا نعمته بإرسالهم، أن يتمها بالتوفيق لسلوك طريقهم، إنه جواد كريم‏.‏

And this is from the complete perfection of His Power and Wisdom that He sent messenger to them and that He revealed books to them. And that is also from His grace and kindness, such that mankind was compelled towards the prophets by the greatest of needs, and this dire need still remains, so to Allah belongs the praise and gratitude. And we ask Him that just as He initiated His blessing upon us with sending the messengers, that he would complete it with success in traversing their path, for verily He is Generous and Kind.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman p. 234]

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

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