“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.

فقراء في إمدادهم بالأقوات والأرزاق والنعم الظاهرة والباطنة، فلولا فضله وإحسانه وتيسيره الأمور، لما حصل ‏[‏لهم‏]‏ من الرزق والنعم شيء‏.‏

They are in need of Him for providing their competencies and provisions and blessings, both those apparent and hidden. For if He had not favored them and blessed them and made their affairs easy for them, they there would not have been any provision or blessings for them.

فقراء في صرف النقم عنهم، ودفع المكاره، وإزالة الكروب والشدائد‏.‏ فلولا دفعه عنهم، وتفريجه لكرباتهم، وإزالته لعسرهم، لاستمرت عليهم المكاره والشدائد‏.‏

They are in need of Him for averting violence from them, and repel hardships, and removing anguish and adversity. For if He had not repelled these from them, or ameliorated their hardships, or removed their difficulties, then they would have continued in anguish and adversity.

فقراء إليه في تربيتهم بأنواع التربية، وأجناس التدبير‏.‏

They are in need of Him for their tarbiyyah (cultivation) in every sense, and for all kinds of direction.

فقراء إليه، في تألههم له، وحبهم له، وتعبدهم، وإخلاص العبادة له تعالى، فلو لم يوفقهم لذلك، لهلكوا، وفسدت أرواحهم، وقلوبهم وأحوالهم‏.‏

They are in need of Him in, in their glorification of Him, and their love of Him, and their sincere worship of Him, for if He does not grant them these things, then they will perish, and their lives, hearts and conditions will be corrupted.

فقراء إليه، في تعليمهم ما لا يعلمون، وعملهم بما يصلحهم، فلولا تعليمه، لم يتعلموا، ولولا توفيقه، لم يصلحوا‏.‏

They are in need of Him to teach them what they do not know, and to act according to it so that it would better them, for if He does not teach them, they will not learn, and if He does grant them success, they will not be rectified.

فهم فقراء بالذات إليه، بكل معنى، وبكل اعتبار، سواء شعروا ببعض أنواع الفقر أم لم يشعروا، ولكن الموفق منهم، الذي لا يزال يشاهد فقره في كل حال من أمور دينه ودنياه، ويتضرع له، ويسأله أن لا يكله إلى نفسه طرفة عين، وأن يعينه على جميع أموره، ويستصحب هذا المعنى في كل وقت، فهذا أحرى بالإعانة التامة من ربه وإلهه، الذي هو أرحم به من الوالدة بولدها‏.‏

So they are in dire need of Him, in every meaning and sense of the word, whether they realized some of their need or not. But the successful one is the one who sees his poverty and need of His Lord in all situations in matters of both his deen and his dunya, and he cries out to Him and asks Him not to give him over to chance, and to aid him in all matters, and he takes this meaning at all times, then this is more deserving of the complete aid from his Lord and God, who is more merciful than a mother to her child.

(‏وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ‏)‏ أي‏:‏ الذي له الغنى التام من جميع الوجوه، فلا يحتاج إلى ما يحتاج إليه خلقه، ولا يفتقر إلى شيء مما يفتقر إليه الخلق، وذلك لكمال صفاته، وكونها كلها، صفات كمال، ونعوت وجلال‏.‏

And Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy” – meaning: He who is perfectly free of need in all aspects, so He has no need of what His creation needs, and He is not in need of anything which His creation needs, and that is from the perfection of His attributes and His entire Being, perfect attributes and the beautiful qualities.

ومن غناه تعالى، أن أغنى الخلق في الدنيا والآخرة، الحميد في ذاته، وأسمائه، لأنها حسنى، وأوصافه، لكونها عليا، وأفعاله لأنها فضل وإحسان وعدل وحكمة ورحمة، وفي أوامره ونواهيه، فهو الحميد على ما فيه، وعلى ما منه، وهو الحميد في غناه ‏[‏الغني في حمده‏]‏‏.‏

And from the Self-Sufficiency of Allah is that He is free of any need of His creation in terms of both the dunya and the aakhira, and Praiseworthy in His Self and in His names, for they are beautiful. And His attributes, for they are lofty. And His actions, for they are excellent, good, just, wise and merciful. And in His commands and prohibitions, for He is praiseworthy for what is in Him, and praiseworthy for what is from Him, and He is praiseworthy in His self-sufficiency.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: The perfection of Allah’s generosity and goodness towards His slaves: Ibn Rajab

See also: The Names of Allah: al-Ghanī – explanation of Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: “And We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose!” : Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

  1. Bismillaah, very nice, barakAllaaho fikom! Indeed we are in need of Allaah. Without him we are nothing. Even if we would fall into severe arrogance and fall into kufr, we are still in need of Him, even though we deny it. SubhanAllaah, without Allaah we are indeed nothing. May Allaah be among those that remembers Him, obey Him, and worship Him in every aspect of our lives.

  2. Pingback: The Messiah was only a Messenger and his mother was a ṣiddīqah: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The perfection of Allah’s generosity and goodness towards His slaves: Ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Names of Allah: al-Ghanī – explanation of Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: The two types of ‘with-ness’ of Allah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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