“Work, O family of Dawood, in gratitude”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah Saba’, Allaah سبحانه وتعالى recounts some of the great blessings and favors which he conferred upon His prophet Dawood (عليه السلام) and his family. After describing the amazing blessings upon this family, Allaah then commands:

اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرً‌ا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ‌

“Work, O family of Dawood, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful.

[Surah Saba’ 34:13]

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir writes the following in exegesis on this statement, saying:

فلما ذكر منته عليهم‏,‏ أمرهم بشكرها فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُدَ‏}‏ وهم داود‏,‏ وأولاده‏,‏ وأهله‏,‏ لأن المنة على الجميع‏,‏ وكثير من هذه المصالح عائد لكلهم‏.‏ ‏{‏شُكْرًا‏}‏ للّه على ما أعطاهم‏,‏ ومقابلة لما أولاهم‏.‏ ‏{‏وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ‏}‏ فأكثرهم‏,‏ لم يشكروا اللّه تعالى على ما أولاهم من نعمه‏,‏ ودفع عنهم من النقم‏.‏

So when Allaah mentioned the blessings upon them, He commanded them with shukr (gratitude) for them, saying, “Work, O family of Dawood” – and they are Dawood and his children and his women, because the blessings were upon all of them, and many of these benefits had their effects on all of them. “In gratitude” to Allaah the Exalted who granted them, and as a return for His protective care over them. “And few of My servants are grateful” so most of them are not grateful to Allah the Exalted for His conferring of His blessings upon them, or for His protecting them from harms.

والشكر‏:‏ اعتراف القلب بمنة اللّه تعالى‏,‏ وتلقيها افتقارا إليها‏,‏ وصرفها في طاعة اللّه تعالى‏,‏ وصونها عن صرفها في المعصية‏.‏

And al-Shukr (gratitude) is: the heart’s recognition of the blessings of Allaah, realizing one’s desperate need of them, and using them in the obedience of Allaah, and restraining one’s self from using them in disobedience. Continue reading

The fast is not perfected until one abandons the forbidden actions: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

al-Haafidh Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in a discussion on the month of Ramadan, wrote the following clarifying comments about the one who abstains from food and drink but not from immoral behavior. He wrote:

واعلم أنّه لا يتمّ التقرّب إلي الله تعالى بترك هذه الشهوات المباحة في غير حالة الصيام إلا بعد التقرّب إليه بترك ما حرّمه الله في كل حال ؛ من الكذب والظلم والعدوان على الناس في دمائهم وأموالهم وأعراضهم ـ ولهذا قال النبي ﷺ : (من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به ، فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه ) خرّجه البخاري . وفي حديث آخر : ( ليس الصيام من الطعام والشراب ، إنما الصيام من اللغو والرفث ). قال الحافظ أبو موسى المديني : هو على شرط مسلم .

And know that seeking nearness to Allah the Exalted is not completed by leaving off these desires [for food, drink, marital relations] which are permissible outside of the fast until after one seeks nearness to Him by leaving off those things which Allah has forbidden in all circumstances. This includes lying, injustice and enmity towards the people concerning their blood, wealth and honor. And the Prophet (ﷺ) said about this, “Whoever does not abandon false speech and action, then Allah has no need for him to leave off his food and drink,” and this was recorded by al-Bukhari. And in another hadeeth, “The fast is not from food and drink; the fast is only from idle and obscene speech.” Al-Haafidh Abu Moosaa al-Madeeni said, “This is [saheeh] according to the conditions of Muslim.”

قال بعض السلف : أهون الصيام ترك الشراب والطعام . وقال جابر : إذا صمتَ فليصم سمعُك وبصرُك ولسانُك عن الكذب والمحارم ، ودع أذى الجار ، ليكن عليك وقارٌ سكينةٌ يوم صومك ، ولا تجعل يوم صومك ويوم فطرك سواءً .

Some of the Salaf said, “The easiest fast is leaving off drink and food.” And Jaabir said, “When you fast, then let your hearing and your vision and your tongue fast from lying and the forbidden things, and leave off harming your neighbor, so that there may be an air of sakeenah (peace, tranquility) about you on the day that you fast. And do not make your day of fasting and your day of not fasting the same.” Continue reading

“Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and ihtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands Ramadan [i.e. in optional night prayers] with eemaan and iḥtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven.

[Saheeh Muslim #759]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on this hadeeth, wrote:

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ( من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا ) معنى ( إيمانا ) تصديقا بأنه حق مقتصد فضيلته ، ومعنى ( احتسابا ) أن يريد الله تعالى وحده لا يقصد رؤية الناس ، ولا غير ذلك مما يخالف الإخلاص . ) .

His (ﷺ) statement, “Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and iḥtisaab”. ‘With eemaan‘ means believing that it is true and intending its blessings, and ‘with iḥtisaab‘ means that one desires Allah the Exalted alone and does not intend being seen by the people nor anything else which contradicts ikhlaaṣ (sincerity). Continue reading