No calamity occurs except that it is written in the Book of Decrees: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs His servants of something amazing in surah al-Hadeed when He says:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَ‌أَهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ يَسِيرٌ‌  لِّكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَ‌حُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ‌  الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُ‌ونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ ۗ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in a book before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful – Those who are stingy and enjoin upon people stinginess. And whoever turns away – then indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” [57:22-24]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following commentary on these ayaat:

يقول تعالى مخبرا عن عموم قضائه وقدره‏:‏ ‏{‏مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُم‏}‏ وهذا شامل لعموم المصائب التي تصيب الخلق، من خير وشر، فكلها قد كتبت في اللوح المحفوظ، صغيرها وكبيرها،

Allah the Exalted provides information about the total encompassing nature of His divine decree and pre-ordainment, “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves” and this is comprehensive of the encompassing nature of the calamities which afflict creation, whether of good or evil, that all of them are written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooth (The Preserved Tablet), both miniscule and great matters.

وهذا أمر عظيم لا تحيط به العقول، بل تذهل عنده أفئدة أولي الألباب، ولكنه على الله يسير،

And this is a great affair which cannot be completely grasped by the intellect. Rather it amazes the minds of the people of understanding, however for Allah this is easy.

وأخبر الله عباده بذلك لأجل أن تتقرر هذه القاعدة عندهم، ويبنوا عليها ما أصابهم من الخير والشر، فلا يأسوا ويحزنوا على ما فاتهم، مما طمحت له أنفسهم وتشوفوا إليه، لعلمهم أن ذلك مكتوب في اللوح المحفوظ، لا بد من نفوذه ووقوعه، فلا سبيل إلى دفعه، ولا يفرحوا بما آتاهم الله فرح بطر وأشر، لعلمهم أنهم ما أدركوه بحولهم وقوتهم، وإنما أدركوه بفضل الله ومنه، فيشتغلوا بشكر من أولى النعم ودفع النقم، ولهذا قال‏:‏

And Allah informs His slaves of this in order that this fundamental principal may be confirmed in them, and that it may be built upon that foundation that whatever afflicts them of good or evil, that they would not despair or grieve over what has happened, from what they sought of it for themselves and for which they eagerly desired, in order to teach them  that that was written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooth, and that it must occur, for there is no way to avert it. And in order that they would not rejoice at what Allah has given them with an arrogant and evil rejoicing, in order to teach them that they do not accurately perceive their condition or power, but that they only posses it by the blessing of Allah and from Him, so they should occupy themselves gratitude for His granting them blessings and averting harm, and concerning this He said:

‏{‏وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ متكبر فظ غليظ، معجب بنفسه، فخور بنعم الله، ينسبها إلى نفسه، وتطغيه وتلهيه، كما قال تبارك وتعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلْنَاهُ نِعْمَةً مِنَّا قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ بل هي فتنة‏}‏

And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful” – meaning: prideful, rude and coarse, amazed with his own self, boastful of the blessings of Allah and attributing them to himself, exceeding the bounds and deluded, as Allah says, “then when We bestow upon him a favor from Us, he says, ‘I have only been given it because of my knowledge.’ Rather, it is a fitnah.” [39:49]

‏{‏الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ يجمعون بين الأمرين الذميمين، اللذين كل منهما كاف في الشر البخل‏:‏ وهو منع الحقوق الواجبة، ويأمرون الناس بذلك، فلم يكفهم بخلهم، حتى أمروا الناس بذلك، وحثوهم على هذا الخلق الذميم، بقولهم وفعلهم، وهذا من إعراضهم عن طاعة ربهم وتوليهم عنها،

Those who are stingy and enjoin upon people stinginess” – meaning: the bring together two blameworthy matters, both of which suffice for evil. Stinginess is preventing the obligatory rights, and enjoining mankind to that. And it is not enough for them to be stingy themselves, such that the enjoin mankind to that also, and induce them towards that blameworthy characteristic, both by their speech and their actions. And this is from their reluctance of the obedience of their Lord and their turning away from it.

‏{‏وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ‏}‏ عن طاعة الله فلا يضر إلا نفسه، ولن يضر الله شيئا،

And whoever turns away” from the obedience of Allah, then he does not harm anyone but his own self, and he will never harm Allah in the least.

‏{‏فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ‏}‏ الذي غناه من لوازم ذاته، الذي له ملك السماوات والأرض، وهو الذي أغنى عباده وأقناهم، الحميد الذي له كل اسم حسن، ووصف كامل، وفعل جميل، يستحق أن يحمد عليه ويثنى ويعظم‏.‏

then indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy” whose freedom from need is an inseparable part and parcel of His Being, to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, He who is free of need or want from His slaves. The Praisworthy to whom belongs every beautiful name, perfect attribute, beautiful action, deserving of praise, commendation and exaltation.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman p. 992-993]

See also: Whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart in times of trials: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: “Indeed to Allah we belong, and indeed to Him we will return”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Do not say, ‘If only…'”: Imam al-Sa’di

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

See also: You will surely be tested: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: A Refutation of Blaming Sins on Qadr: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on “No calamity occurs except that it is written in the Book of Decrees: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart in times of trials: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: You will surely be tested: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “Do not say, ‘If only…’”: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: A Refutation of Blaming Sins on Qadr: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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