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

Allah says in surah al-Baqarah:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَ‌اتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ‌ الصَّابِرِ‌ينَ * الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَ‌اجِعُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ وَرَ‌حْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. [2:155-157]
Commenting on these ayaat, Imam al-Sa’di writes in his Tafsir:
أخبر تعالى أنه لا بد أن يبتلي عباده بالمحن‏,‏ ليتبين الصادق من الكاذب‏,‏ والجازع من الصابر‏,‏ وهذه سنته تعالى في عباده؛ لأن السراء لو استمرت لأهل الإيمان‏,‏ ولم يحصل معها محنة‏,‏ لحصل الاختلاط الذي هو فساد‏,‏ وحكمة الله تقتضي تمييز أهل الخير من أهل الشر‏.‏ هذه فائدة المحن‏,‏ لا إزالة ما مع المؤمنين من الإيمان‏,‏ ولا ردهم عن دينهم‏,‏ فما كان الله ليضيع إيمان المؤمنين، فأخبر في هذه الآية أنه سيبتلي عباده ‏{‏بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ‏}‏ من الأعداء ‏{‏وَالْجُوعِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بشيء يسير منهما؛ لأنه لو ابتلاهم بالخوف كله‏,‏ أو الجوع‏,‏ لهلكوا‏,‏ والمحن تمحص لا تهلك‏.‏
Allah is informing us that His slaves are going to be tested with hardships in order to clearly distinguish the truthful one from the denier, and the impatient one from the steadfastly patient one. And this in His established way concerning His slaves; for if it were to continually be joyful for the people of al-eemaan and no hardships were to befall them, then mixing which is corruption would occur. So it is from the wisdom of Allah that it must be so in order to differentiate the people of good from the people of evil. This is a benefit of hardships, not the elimination of the eemaan which the believers have nor to turn them away from their deen, for Allah does not cause the eemaan of the believers to be wasted. So He informed us in this ayah that He is going to test His slaves “with something of fear” of enemies, “and hunger” – meaning of something which will happen of both of these thing, for if He were to test them with all of fear or all of hunger then they would be destroyed. And hardships are for the purpose of purifying tests, not for destruction.
‏{‏وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ‏}‏ وهذا يشمل جميع النقص المعتري للأموال من جوائح سماوية‏,‏ وغرق‏,‏ وضياع‏,‏ وأخذ الظلمة للأموال من الملوك الظلمة‏,‏ وقطاع الطريق وغير ذلك‏.‏
And a loss of wealth” and this includes all of the depriving losses of wealth including the epic calamities, waste, the unjust seizure of wealth by unjust rulers, the cutting off of trade-routes, or otherwise.
 ـ {‏وَالْأَنْفُسِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ذهاب الأحباب من الأولاد‏,‏ والأقارب‏,‏ والأصحاب‏,‏ ومن أنواع الأمراض في بدن العبد‏,‏ أو بدن من يحبه، ‏{‏وَالثَّمَرَاتِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الحبوب‏,‏ وثمار النخيل‏,‏ والأشجار كلها‏,‏ والخضر ببرد‏,‏ أو برد‏,‏ أو حرق‏,‏ أو آفة سماوية‏,‏ من جراد ونحوه‏.‏
And yourselves” – meaning: the passing of loved one from your children and close relatives and friends, due to different types of bodily sicknesses in the slave or those whom he loves. “And fruits” – meaning: grains, the fruits of date-palms, all types of trees, cool greens, due to cold, or fire, or epic plagues, or locusts and the likes.
فهذه الأمور‏ لا بد أن تقع‏‏ لأن العليم الخبير‏ أخبر بها‏,‏ فوقعت كما أخبر، فإذا وقعت انقسم الناس قسمين‏:‏ جازعين وصابرين، فالجازع‏,‏ حصلت له المصيبتان‏,‏ فوات المحبوب‏,‏ وهو وجود هذه المصيبة، وفوات ما هو أعظم منها‏,‏ وهو الأجر بامتثال أمر الله بالصبر، ففاز بالخسارة والحرمان‏,‏ ونقص ما معه من الإيمان، وفاته الصبر والرضا والشكران‏,‏ وحصل ‏[‏له‏]‏ السخط الدال على شدة النقصان‏.‏
So these issues are bound to occur because al-‘Aleem al-Khabeer (the All-Knowing, Most intimately-acquainted) informed us of them, so they will occur just as He has informed us. Then when they occur, the people will be divided into two groups: the impatient ones and the steadfastly patient ones. So the impatient ones will face two trials: the loss of loved-ones – and this is one of these trials – and the loss of what is greater than that to them, which is the reward of conforming to the commands of Allah will al-sabr, so they will achieve loss, deprivation and decreases of what they have of al-eemaan with them, and fail to enact al-sabr, contentment and gratitude. And whatever occurs to them of discontentment is indicative of the severity of their losing out.
وأما من وفقه الله للصبر عند وجود هذه المصائب‏,‏ فحبس نفسه عن التسخط‏,‏ قولا وفعلا‏,‏ واحتسب أجرها عند الله‏,‏ وعلم أن ما يدركه من الأجر بصبره أعظم من المصيبة التي حصلت له‏,‏ بل المصيبة تكون نعمة في حقه‏,‏ لأنها صارت طريقا لحصول ما هو خير له وأنفع منها‏,‏ فقد امتثل أمر الله‏,‏ وفاز بالثواب، فلهذا قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بشرهم بأنهم يوفون أجرهم بغير حساب‏.‏
And as for the one whom Allah enables him to have al-sabr with whatever takes places of these trials, then he restrains himself from discontentment – in both speech and action – and he wholeheartedly anticipates the reward for that from Allah. He knows that whatever he achieves of reward due to his sabr is greater than the trial which happened to him – rather, that the trial was in fact a blessing for him since it became a road to what what good and beneficial for him. So he complied with the command of Allah, and succeeded in terms of reward, so for this reason Allah said, “and give glad tidings to the steadfastly patient ones” – meaning: give them glad tidings because they will be paid their reward in full without accounting.
فالصابرين‏,‏ هم الذين فازوا بالبشارة العظيمة‏,‏ والمنحة الجسيمة، ثم وصفهم بقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ‏}‏ وهي كل ما يؤلم القلب أو البدن أو كليهما مما تقدم ذكره‏.‏
So the saabiroon, they are those who succeeded with a great glad tiding and an immense blessing. Then He described them with His statement, “those who, when they are afflicted with a calamity” and that is everything which pains the heart, body or both of these – as had been previously mentioned.
 ـ {‏قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ مملوكون لله‏,‏ مدبرون تحت أمره وتصريفه‏,‏ فليس لنا من أنفسنا وأموالنا شيء، فإذا ابتلانا بشيء منها‏,‏ فقد تصرف أرحم الراحمين‏,‏ بمماليكه وأموالهم‏,‏ فلا اعتراض عليه، بل من كمال عبودية العبد‏,‏ علمه‏,‏ بأن وقوع البلية من المالك الحكيم‏,‏ الذي أرحم بعبده من نفسه، فيوجب له ذلك‏,‏ الرضا عن الله‏,‏ والشكر له على تدبيره‏,‏ لما هو خير لعبده‏,‏ وإن لم يشعر بذلك، ومع أننا مملوكون لله‏,‏ فإنا إليه راجعون يوم المعاد‏,‏ فمجاز كل عامل بعمله، فإن صبرنا واحتسبنا وجدنا أجرنا موفورا عنده، وإن جزعنا وسخطنا‏,‏ لم يكن حظنا إلا السخط وفوات الأجر، فكون العبد لله‏,‏ وراجع إليه‏,‏ من أقوى أسباب الصبر‏.‏
They say, ‘Indeed to Allah we belong” – meaning, they are owned by Allah, directed under His command and disposal, so there is nothing belonging to us, neither of ourselves or our wealth. So when we are tested with something from that, then we should turn to the Most Merciful of the ones who show mercy, by virtue of His ownership. So do not turn away from Him – rather it is from the perfection and completeness of slave’s servitude to do that [i.e. to turn to Him], for verily the occurrence of this trial is from al-Maalik al-Hakeem [the Owner, the All-Wise], Who is most merciful to His slaves from His self. So it is necessary that one is pleased with Allah and grateful to Him for His controlling of events. For it [i.e. whatever has occurred] is good for His slave, even if he does not realize it – and all the while we are owned by Allah. So “to Him shall we return” on the day of return. Then every doer of deeds will be recompensed for his deeds. So if we exercise sabr and ihtisaab (expectation of reward), we will find our reward to be abundant with Him. But if we were impatient and discontent, we will not receive any good except for discontent and the absence of reward. So be a slave to Allah, and return to Him – that is one of the strongest sources of al-sabr.
‏{‏أُولَئِكَ‏}‏ الموصوفون بالصبر المذكور ‏{‏عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ثناء وتنويه بحالهم ‏{‏وَرَحْمَةٌ‏}‏ عظيمة، ومن رحمته إياهم‏,‏ أن وفقهم للصبر الذي ينالون به كمال الأجر، ‏{‏وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ‏}‏ الذين عرفوا الحق‏,‏ وهو في هذا الموضع‏,‏ علمهم بأنهم لله‏,‏ وأنهم إليه راجعون‏,‏ وعملوا به وهو هنا صبرهم لله‏.‏
Those” who are characterized with the aforementioned al-Sabrare the ones upon whom are salawaat from their Lord” – meaning, commendation for their status, “and His mercy” – i.e. great mercy. And from His mercy towards them is that He enables them to have the sabr by which they achieve the completeness of reward. “And it is those who are the [rightly] guided” – those who recognize the truth, and here that is referring to their knowledge that they belong to Allah and to Him shall they return, and act accordingly, and that there is their sabr to Allah.
ودلت هذه الآية‏‏ على أن من لم يصبر‏,‏ فله ضد ما لهم‏,‏ فحصل له الذم من الله‏,‏ والعقوبة‏,‏ والضلال والخسار، فما أعظم الفرق بين الفريقين وما أقل تعب الصابرين‏,‏ وأعظم عناء الجازعين . ـ
And this ayah demonstrates that whoever does not exercise al-sabr, then for him is the opposite of what is for them [i.e. the opposite of the above-mentioned blessings]. So he receives  dispraise from Allah, and punishment, misguidance and loss. So there is nothing greater than the chasm between these two groups, nor smaller than fatigue of the patient one, nor greater than the toil of the impatient one.
فقد اشتملت هاتان الآيتان على توطين النفوس على المصائب قبل وقوعها‏,‏ لتخف وتسهل‏,‏ إذا وقعت، وبيان ما تقابل به‏,‏ إذا وقعت‏,‏ وهو الصبر، وبيان ما يعين على الصبر‏,‏ وما للصابر من الأجر، ويعلم حال غير الصابر‏,‏ بضد حال الصابر‏.‏ وأن هذا الابتلاء والامتحان‏,‏ سنة الله التي قد خلت‏,‏ ولن تجد لسنة الله تبديلا، وبيان أنواع المصائب‏.‏
Included in these two ayaat is [a means of] preparing one’s self for calamities before their occurrence, in order to lighten them and make them easier when they do occur. And [also included] is a clarification of what to meet them with when they occur – and that is al-sabr. And [also included] is a clarification of what assists in having sabr, and what the patient ones will receive of reward. And it is known that the condition of those who are not saabiroon is opposite of the condition of the saabiroon. And [also included] is that these trials and tests are the sunnah of Allah which He has already established, and you will never find any change in the sunnah of Allah. And [also included] is a clarification of the different types of calamities.
[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 71-72]
Advertisements

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

  1. Pingback: When I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allah four times | Tulayhah

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

  3. Pingback: You will surely hear much abuse: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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

  5. Pingback: Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi | Tulayhah

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

  7. Pingback: Two Types of Determination: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s