What Allah has told us in His Book is sufficient: Ibn Kathir

The tafsir of ibn Kathir has been widely praised for it’s upright methodology and adherence to authentic statements in explaining the Speech of Allah. In the midst of discussing some of the ayaat at the beginning of surah al-Isra, specifically those that mention the Banu Israa’eel‘s defeat in previous times by an unidentified enemy, Ibn Kathir begins by presenting the differing views of the mufassiroon on this enemy’s identity, and then he makes the following point:

وقد وردت في هذا آثار كثيرة إسرائيلية لم أر تطويل الكتاب بذكرها؛ لأن منها ما هو موضوع، من وضع بعض زنادقتهم، ومنها ما قد يحتمل أن يكون صحيحًا، ونحن في غُنْيَة عنها، ولله الحمد. وفيما قص الله تعالى علينا في كتابه غنية عما سواه من بقية الكتب قبله، ولم يحوجنا الله ولا رسوله إليهم. وقد أخبر الله تعالى أنهم لما بغوا وطغوا سلط الله عليهم عدوهم، فاستباح بَيْضَتَهم، وسلك خلال بيوتهم وأذلهم وقهرهم، جزاء وفاقًا، وما ربك بظلام للعبيد؛ فإنهم كانوا قد تمردوا وقتلوا خلقا من الأنبياء والعلماء.

Many reports from Jewish sources were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and it is possible that some of them are accurate, but we have no need of them, alhamdulillaah. What Allah the Exalted has told us in His Book  is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. And neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them. Allah informed us that when they [the Banu Israa’eel] committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them, to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes, and to humiliate them and subject; a befitting punishment. And your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants, for they had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars.

  [Tafsir ibn Kathir 5/47]

See also: The two blindnessess and deafnesses of Banu Israa’eel: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The condition of the Europeans at the end of time

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Two qualities which Allah loves: Sharh al-Nawawi

In Saheeh Muslim, Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Prophet said to al-Ashajj ‘Abd al-Qais that:

إِنَّ فِيكَ خَصْلَتَيْنِ يُحِبُّهُمَا اللَّهُ الْحِلْمُ وَالأَنَاةُ

“Indeed there are two traits in you that Allah loves: Forbearance, and deliberateness.”
[Muslim #17]
Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on this hadeeth, writes:
وأما الحلم فهو العقل ، وأما الأناة فهي التثبيت [أو التثبت] وترك العجلة وهي مقصورة

As for ilm (forbearance), then it is ‘aql (intellect). And as for anaah (deliberateness), then it is proceeding with care and exactness and abandoning haste, and that is reigning oneself in. Continue reading

“And remember when We took a convenant from the Children of Israa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions in surah al-Baqarah:

‏وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِنْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ‏‏

And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israa’eel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah, and behave well towards parents, and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak good to mankind and establish the salaah and give zakah.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. [2:83]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his well-known book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on this ayah:

وهذه الشرائع من أصول الدين‏,‏ التي أمر الله بها في كل شريعة‏,‏ لاشتمالها على المصالح العامة‏,‏ في كل زمان ومكان‏,‏ فلا يدخلها نسخ‏,‏ كأصل الدين، ولهذا أمرنا بها في قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شيئًا‏}‏ إلى آخر الآية‏.‏

And these are the Divine Laws from the foundation of the deen which Allah has ordained in every Divine Legislation (i.e. these commandments were unwaveringly present in the teachings of all of Allah’s prophets and messengers), due to their encompassing of widespread benefits in every time and place. So like the fundamentals of the religion, none of them are subject to abrogation, and so we have also been commanded with them in His statement:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. [4:36] Continue reading

The gratitude of a slave is better than the blessings of this world: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote the following in part of his great work Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam, a detailed a thorough commentary on Imam al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth:

وقال أبو بكر بن عبدالله ما قال عبد قط الحمد لله مرة إلا وجبت عليه نعمة بقوله الحمد لله فما جزى تلك النعمة جزاءها أن يقول الحمد لله فجاءت نعمة أخرى فلا تنفد نعماء الله

Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah said, “A slave never says al-Hamdulillaah one time except that he must receive a blessing for his saying al-hamdulillaah.” So what is the proper response to that blessing? Its response is to say al-hamdulillaah, and so there will come another blessing, and so the blessings of Allah never cease.

وقد روى ابن ماجه من حديث أنس رضي الله عنه مرفوعًا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أنعم الله على عبد نعمة فقال الحمد لله إلا كان الذي أعطى أفضل مما أخذ وروينا نحوه من حديث شهر بن حوشب عن أسماء بنت يزيد مرفوعًا أيضًا وروي هذا عن الحسن البصري من قوله

And Ibn Maajah has narrated the marfoo’ hadeeth of Anas (raadi Allaahu ‘anhu), “Allah never bestows a blessing upon a slave and he then the slave says ‘al-hamdulillaah‘ except that Allah gives him something better than that which he takes.” And we have also narrated the likes of that from the marfoo’ hadeeth of Shahr ibn Hawshab from Asmaa’ bint Yazeed. And this is narrated from Hasan al-Basri from his own statement. Continue reading

The great reward for restraining ones anger

Sahl ibn Mu’adh narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ كَظَمَ غَيْظًا وَهُوَ يَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ يُنَفِّذَهُ دَعَاهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَى رُءُوسِ الْخَلاَئِقِ حَتَّى يُخَيِّرَهُ فِي أَىِّ الْحُورِ شَاءَ

“Whoever suppresses his rage while he is able to unleash it, Allah will call him before the heads of creation on the Day of Judgement, so that he can inform Him of which of the ḥoor he would like.”
[Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi #2021, Hasan]
 
Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his commentary on Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote:
 
 قوله : ( من كظم غيظا ) أي اجترع غضبا كامنا فيه ، قال في النهاية كظم الغيظ تجرعه واحتمال سببه والصبر عليه انتهى ( وهو يستطيع أن ينفذه ) بتشديد الفاء أي يمضيه ، وفي حديث أبي هريرة عند ابن أبي الدنيا : وهو يقدر على إنفاذه فيجوز تخفيف الفاء والجملة حالية وجواب الشرط ( دعاه الله يوم القيامة على رءوس الخلائق ) أي شهره بين الناس وأثنى عليه وتباهى به ويقال في حقه هذا الذي صدرت منه هذه الخصلة العظيمة  . ـ
 
His statement, “Whoever suppresses his rage” – meaning he swallows his anger, making it dormant inside him. He [ibn al-Atheer] said in al-Nihaayah that suppressing ones rage is to swallow it and to bear it by means of exercising sabr over it – end quote. “While he is able to unleash it” – meaning to do it. And in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah collected by ibn Abi’l-Dunya, “And he is capable of enacting it“. So this is a conditional statement, and the for the one who fulfills the condition – “Allah will call him before the heads of creation” – meaning he will be given notoriety among the people and commended for that and boasted about. And it is said that this is his right due to what he did of this great quality [of restraining his anger].
 
 ـ ( حتى يخيره ) أي يجعله مخيرا ( في أي الحور شاء ) أي في أخذ أيهن شاء ، وهو كناية عن إدخاله الجنة المنيعة ، وإيصاله الدرجة الرفيعة ، قال الطيبي : وإنما حمد الكظم لأنه قهر للنفس الأمارة بالسوء ، ولذلك مدحهم الله تعالى بقوله : والكاظمين الغيظ والعافين عن الناس ومن نهى النفس عن هواه فإن الجنة مأواه والحور العين جزاه ، قال القاري : وهذا الثناء الجميل والجزاء الجزيل إذا ترتب على مجرد كظم الغيظ فكيف إذا انضم العفو إليه أو زاد بالإحسان عليه
 
So that he can inform Him” – meaning so that he can make a decision – “as to which of the ḥoor he would like” – meaning as to which one he would like to take, and this is a metaphor for his entering into al-Jannah securely, and attaining an elevated status. al-Tayyibi said: and He only praised suppressing [ones rage] because it is [demonstrative of] an overwhelming power over ones nafs which commands him with evil. And for that reason Allah the Exalted praised them with his statement, “and those who restrain anger and who pardon the people [- and Allah loves the doers of good] ” [3:134]. And whoever forbids the nafs from its desires, then verily al-Jannah is his abode and the ḥoor al-‘ayn is his reward. And al-Qaari said, “And this beautiful commendation and ample reward is the result of merely suppressing one’s rage, so then what about when one joins that with pardoning [the offender] or adds to that iḥsaan towards him?”
 
قوله : ( هذا حديث حسن غريب ) ، وأخرجه أحمد في مسنده وأبو داود وابن ماجه
 
And his [al-Tirmidhi’s] statement, “This hadeeth is hasan ghareeb” – it was also recorded by Aḥmad in his musnad, and by Abu Dawood and ibn Maajah.
 
[Tuḥfat al-Aḥwadhi #2021]

“Are they equal, those who know and those who know not?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah say in His Book in surah al-Zumar:

 ‏‏أَمْ مَنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ‏

Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know?” Only people of understanding will pay heed. [39:9]

The ‘allaamah ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his famous book of tafsir, wrote the following:

هذه مقابلة بين العامل بطاعة اللّه وغيره، وبين العالم والجاهل، وأن هذا من الأمور التي تقرر في العقول تباينها، وعلم علما يقينا تفاوتها، فليس المعرض عن طاعة ربه، المتبع لهواه، كمن هو قانت أي‏:‏ مطيع للّه بأفضل العبادات وهي الصلاة، وأفضل الأوقات وهو أوقات الليل، فوصفه بكثرة العمل وأفضله، ثم وصفه بالخوف والرجاء، وذكر أن متعلق الخوف عذاب الآخرة، على ما سلف من الذنوب، وأن متعلق الرجاء، رحمة اللّه، فوصفه بالعمل الظاهر والباطن‏.‏

This is a comparison between the one who performs acts of obedience to Allah and other than him, and between the who with knowledge and the ignorant one. And this is one of the things which is intended to highlight the differences for the [possessor of] intellect, and cause one to know the distinction with certain knowledge. So the one who displays obedience to his Lord is not like the one who follows his own capricious desires. (Rather) he is Qaanit (devoutly obedient), meaning – obedient to Allah with the most virtuous of ibaadah, which is al-salaah, in the most virtuous of times, which is the night time. So Allah describes him with an abundance of deeds and their virtue, then He describes him with fear and hope, and He mentioned that which is related to fear of the punishment of the hereafter for what has already occurred of sins, and what is related to hope of the Mercy of Allah. So He characterized him with both apparent and concealed deeds. Continue reading

A Runaway Slave

Allah mentions some aspects of the story of His slave and prophet Yunus in surah al-Saffaat when He says:

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ * إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ

And indeed, Yunus was among the messengers.[Mention] when he ran away [ar. abaqa] to the laden ship. [37:139-140]

Imam al-Shawkaani, in his book of tafsir mentions the following point on benefit concerning the choice of words employed here:

 قال المفسرون: وكان يونس قد وعد قومه العذاب، فلما تأخر عنهم العذاب خرج عنهم، وقصد البحر، وركب السفينة، فكان بذهابه إلى البحر كالفار من مولاه، فوصف بالإباق، وهو معنى قوله: {إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الفلك المشحون} وأصل الإباق: الهرب من السيد، لكن لما كان هربه من قومه بغير إذن ربه وصف به.

The mufassiroon say: Yunus has promised his people of a punishment, then when the punishment was delayed, he left them, and he arrived at the ocean and boarded a ship. So by going to the ocean he was like a fugitive fleeing from his master, so he was described as a runaway slave [ar. al-ibaaq, taken from the same root as the verb abaqa under discussion here]. And that is the meaning of His statement, “when he ran away [abaqa] to the laden ship“. And the origin of al-ibaaq is to escape or flee from one’s master, however here he was fleeing from his people without the permission of his Lord, so he was described with this.

وقال المبرد: تأويل أبق بباعد، أي: ذهب إليه، ومن ذلك قولهم: عبد آبق.

And al-Mubarrid said, abaqa (to flee) is interpreted as creating a separation between two things – meaning to go away. And thus the phrase, ‘a runaway slave’ (‘abdun aabiqoon)

[Fath al-Qadeer pg. 1250]

Imam al-Qurtubi also mentions this point briefly in his tafsir when he wrote:

قوله تعالى: { إذ أبق} قال المبرد : أصل أبق تباعد؛ ومنه غلام آبق. وقال غيره : إنما قيل ليونس أبق؛ لأنه خرج بغير أمر الله عز وجل مستترا من الناس.

Allah’s statement, “when he ran away“. al-Mubarrid said, the root meaning of ‘abaqa‘ (to run away) is to separate or to go away, and from this is the phrase runaway servant boy (ghulaamun aabiqoon). And others said: the word abaqa is only said of Yunus (i.e. this word does not occur anywhere else in the Qur’an), because he took leave (of his people) without the command of Allah – the Mighty and Majestic -, while he was hiding from the people.

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an 15/110]

See also: “Remind them of the Days of Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkaani

See also: “I entrust my affair to Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkaani

The prohibition of imitating the opposite gender: Imam al-Mubaarakfoori

Ibn ‘Abbaas reports that:

لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمُتَشَبِّهَاتِ بِالرِّجَالِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْمُتَشَبِّهِينَ بِالنِّسَاءِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ

The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.

[al-Tirmidhi #2784, saheeh]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote about this hadeeth:

قوله : ( لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهات بالرجال من النساء والمتشبهين بالنساء من الرجال )  قال الطبري : المعنى لا يجوز للرجال التشبه بالنساء في اللباس والزينة التي تختص بالنساء ولا العكس .  .

Concerning his statement, “The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women“, al-Tabari said: The meaning is that it is not permissible for the man to imitate the woman in clothing or adornment (i.e. make-up, jewelry, etc) which are specific to women, nor vice-versa.

قال الحافظ : وكذا في الكلام والمشي ، فأما هيئة اللباس فتختلف باختلاف عادة كل بلد فرب قوم لا يفترق زي نسائهم من رجالهم في اللبس ، لكن يمتاز النساء بالاحتجاب والاستتار ، وأما ذم التشبه بالكلام والمشي فمختص بمن تعمد ذلك ، وأما من كان ذلك من أصل خلقته فإنما يؤمر بتكلف تركه والإدمان على ذلك بالتدريج ، فإن لم يفعل وتمادى دخله الذم ، ولا سيما إن بدا منه ما يدل على الرضا به ، وأخذ هذا واضح من لفظ المتشبهين ، وأما إطلاق من أطلق كالنووي أن المخنث الخلقي لا يتجه عليه اللوم ، فمحمول على ما إذا لم يقدر على ترك التثني والتكسر في المشي والكلام بعد تعاطيه المعالجة لترك ذلك ، وإلا متى كان ترك ذلك ممكنا ولو بالتدريج . فتركه بغير عذر لحقه اللوم

And al-Haafidh [ibn Hajr] said: And likewise concerning their speech and gait (i.e. how they walk). And as for the clothing, then it differs depending on the customs of each country, so perhaps there are a people who do not differ in the dress of their women from their men. However, the women are characterized by veiling and covering. But as for the condemnation of imitating them in speech and gait, then that is specific for the one who does that intentionally. But as for the one from whom those external traits come naturally, then he is commanded to constrain that and abandon it and (to abandon) his addictions to that gradually. But if he does not do that and (instead) continues, then he enters into blame, especially if it appeared that he was content/enjoying that, and in this he is clearly taking up the word ‘imitate’.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2784]

Seek the Hereafter, and do not forget your share of the dunya: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In surah al-Qasas, Allah says:

وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّـهُ الدَّارَ‌ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّـهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And do not seek corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters. [28:77]

Imam al-Baghawi, in his book of tafsir, wrote:

 ـ ( وابتغ فيما آتاك الله الدار الآخرة ) اطلب فيما أعطاك الله من الأموال والنعمة والجنة وهو أن تقوم بشكر الله فيما أنعم عليك وتنفقه في رضا الله تعالى  . ـ

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter” – seek, through that which Allah has bestowed on you of wealth, blessings, and Jannah – and that is done through skukr (gratitude) to Allah concerning that with which He has blessed you and that you spend in the pleasure of Allah the Exalted.

 ـ ( ولا تنس نصيبك من الدنيا ) قال مجاهد ، وابن زيد : لا تترك أن تعمل في الدنيا للآخرة حتى تنجو من العذاب ، لأن حقيقة نصيب الإنسان من الدنيا أن يعمل للآخرة . وقال السدي : بالصدقة وصلة الرحم . وقال علي : لا تنس صحتك وقوتك وشبابك وغناك أن تطلب بها الآخرة . أخبرنا عبد الواحد المليحي ، أخبرنا أبو الحسن أحمد بن محمد بن شاذان ، أخبرنا أبو يزيد حاتم بن محبوب الشامي ، أخبرنا حسين المروزي ، أخبرنا عبد الله بن المبارك ، أخبرنا جعفر بن برقان ، عن زياد بن الجراح ، عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لرجل : وهو يعظه : ” اغتنم خمسا قبل خمس : شبابك قبل هرمك ، وصحتك قبل سقمك ، وغناك قبل فقرك ، وفراغك قبل شغلك ، وحياتك قبل موتك ” الحديث مرسل . قال الحسن : أمره أن يقدم الفضل ويمسك ما يغنيه ، قال منصور بن زاذان في قوله : ” ولا تنس نصيبك من الدنيا ” ، قال : قوتك وقوت أهلك

And do not forget your share of the world.” Mujaahid and ibn Zaid said, “Do not leave off working in the this life for the Hereafter until you are saved from the punishment. For the reality of man’s share of the world is that he works for the Hereafter.” And al-Suddi said, “With saqadah and connecting the familial relations.” And ‘Ali said, ” Do not forget your health, strength, youth, or wealth, so that you can use them to seek the Hereafter.” And ‘Amr ibn Maymoon al-Awdi said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said while he was giving admonition, “Seize five things before five things: 1) your youth before your old age, 2) your health before your sickness, 3) your wealth before your poverty, 4) your free-time before being busy, and 5) your life before your death.” And this hadeeth is mursal (i.e. missing a link somewhere in its chain of narration). And al-Hasan said, “He commanded him to prioritize the blessings and take hold of that which would benefit him.” Mansoor ibn Zaadhaan said about His statement, “Do not forget your share of the world” – “[meaning] your strength and the strength of your family.”

 ـ ( وأحسن كما أحسن الله إليك ) [ أي : أحسن بطاعة الله ] كما أحسن الله إليك بنعمته . وقيل : أحسن إلى الناس كما أحسن الله إليك ( ولا تبغ الفساد في الأرض ) من عصى الله فقد طلب الفساد في الأرض ( إن الله لا يحب المفسدين ) ـ

And do good as Allah has done good to you” – meaning: do good through obedience to Allah just as Allah has done good for you by His blessings. And it is said: Do good to the people just as Allah has done good to you. “And do not seek corruption in the land” – whoever disobeys Allah, then he has sought corruption in the land. “Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 6/221-222]

See also: The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di

From the benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab begins his discussion of the activities and virtues of the month of Shawwaal by mentioning the famous ḥadeeth from Abu Ayyoob that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ, ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ اَلدَّهْرِ

Whoever fasts Ramaḍan and then follows it up with six days of Shawwaal, then it is as if he fasted the entire year.

[Saheeh Muslim #1164]

After a discussion of the ḥadeeth‘s chain of narration, the different views concerning it and the fiqh positions surrounding it, Ibn Rajab mentions the following points of great benefit about fasting six days of Shawwaal following the completion of Ramaḍan. He writes:

 وفي معاودة الصيام بعد رمضان فوائد عديدة: ـ

And in the resumption of fasting after Ramaḍan there are numerous benefits:

 منها : أن صيام ستة أيام من شوال بعد رمضان يستكمل بها أجر صيام الدهر كله ، كما سبق . ـ

From them: That fasting six days of Shawwaal after Ramaḍan completes the reward of fasting all of the time , as has been previously mentioned.

 منها : أن صيام شوال وشعبان كصلاة السنن الرواتب قبل الصلاة المفروضة وبعدها ، فيكمل بذلك ما حصل في الفرض من خلل ونقص . فإنّ الفرائض تكمل بالنوافل يوم القيامة ، كما ورد ذلك عن النبي ﷺ من وجوه متعددة . وأكثر الناس في صيامه للفرض نقص وخلل ، فيحتاج إلى ما يجبره ويكمله من الأعمال ؛ ولهذا نهي النبي ﷺ أن يقول الرجل : صمت رمضان كله ، أو قمت كله . قال الصحابي : فلا أدري ، أكره التزكية أم لابد من غفلة . وكان عمر بن عبد العزيز رحمه الله يقول : من لم يجد ما يتصدق به فليصم . يعني من لم يجد ما يخرجه صدقة للفطر في آخر رمضان فليصم بعد الفطر ؛ فإن الصيام يقوم مقام الإطعام في التكفير للسيئات ، كما يقوم مقامه في كفارات الأيمان وغيرها من الكفارات ، مثل كفارة القتل ، والوطء في رمضان ، والظِّهار . ـ

From them: That fasting in Shawwaal and Sha’baan is like the sunan al-rawaatib [regularly observed optional] prayers before and after the obligatory prayers. So these complete what occurred of defects and deficiencies in the obligatory prayers. For verily the obligatory matters are perfected and completed by the optional matters on the Day of Resurrection, as has been narrated from the Prophet (ﷺ) via numerous paths. And the majority of mankind has defects and deficiencies in their obligatory fasts, so they are in need of the actions which will patch them up and complete them. And for this reason the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade for any person to say, ‘I have fasted Ramadan completely,’ or ‘I have stood [in the night prayer] completely.’ Al-Sahaabi said, “I do not know whether this was in censure of self-praise or that one should be cautious of heedlessness.” And ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (rahimahullaah) said, “Whoever does not find anything to give in charity, then let him fast,” – meaning whoever does not find anything to bring forth as ṣadaqat al-fitr at the end of Ramaḍan, then he should fast after the [‘eidal-fitr. For indeed fasting takes the place of feeding [others] in terms of expiating one’s sins, just as it takes the place for expiating a [broken] oath and other such things of expiations – similarly the expiation of murder, sexual intercourse during [the fast of] Ramaḍan, and thihaar divorces. Continue reading