The Qur’an is the Rope of Allah

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book, in surah Aali Imran:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّ‌قُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُ‌وا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَ‌ةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ‌ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. [3:103]

Imam ibn Kathir, while discussing the meaning of ‘the rope of Allah’ in his famous book of tafsir, after first discussing the interpretation that it refers to a covenant with Allah, then brings the following explanation:

وقيل: {بِحَبْلٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ} يعني: القرآن، كما في حديث الحارث الأعور، عن علِيّ مرفوعا في صفة القرآن: «هُوَ حَبْلُ اللهِ الْمتِينُ، وَصِرَاطُهُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ».

And it is said, “the rope of Allah” means the Qur’an, just as in the marfoo’ hadeeth ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib from al-Haarith al-‘Aawar concerning the characteristics of the Qur’an, “It is the firm rope of Allah, and His siraat al-mustaqeem (straight path).

وقد وَرَدَ في ذلك حديث خاص بهذا المعنى، فقال الإمام الحافظ أبو جعفر الطبري: حدثنا سعيد بن يحيى الأموي، حدثنا أسباط بن محمد، عن عبد الملك بن أبي سليمان العَرْزَمي، عن عطية عن أبي سعيد قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «كِتَابُ اللهِ، هو حَبْلُ اللهِ الْمَمْدُودُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ إلَى الأرْضِ».

So it has been stated in that hadeeth what specifically conveys this meaning, so al-Imam al-Haafidh Abu Ja’far al-Tabari said: Sa’eed ibn Yahya al-Umawi narrated that Asbaat ibn Muhammad narrated from Abd al-Malik ibn Abi Sulayman al-‘Arzami, from ‘Atiyyah, from Abu Sa’eed who said that the Messenger of Allah said, “The Book of Allah is the Rope of Allah extended from the heaven to the earth.

وروى ابن مَرْدُويَه من طريق إبراهيم بن مسلم الهَجَريّ، عن أبي الأحْوَص، عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ هو حَبْلُ اللهِ الْمتِينُ، وهو النور المبين وهُوَ الشِّفَاءُ النَّافِعُ، عِصْمةٌ لِمَنْ تَمَسَّكَ بِهِ، ونَجَاةٌ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ».
وُروي من حديث حذيفة وزيد بن أرقم نحو ذلك.

And Ibn Mardawaih narrated from the route of Ibrahim ibn Muslim al-Hajari, from Abul-Ahwas, from Abdullah (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu): The Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Verily the Qur’an is the firm rope of Allah, and it is the clear nur (light) and it is the beneficial medicine, protection for whoever holds fast to it, and salvation for whoever follows it.” The likes of that has been narrated in a hadeeth of Hudhaifah and Zaid ibn Arqam.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 2/89]

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