The Fiqh of Oaths – Imam al-Sa’di

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book of thematic tafsir to the subject of oaths, in which he first brought these ayaat and then explained them and their related issues as follows:

فصل في الأيمان ونحوها
Chapter on Oaths and related matters

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّ‌مُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ * وَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَ‌زَقَكُمُ اللَّـهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ الَّذِي أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ * لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ ۖ فَكَفَّارَ‌تُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَ‌ةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِ‌يرُ‌ رَ‌قَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّارَ‌ةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ

O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors. * And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] halaal (lawful) and tayyib (good). And have taqwa of Allah, in whom you are believers. * Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] – then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But protect your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful. [5:87-89]

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Those who tasted evil may love good all the more: Ibn Taymiyah

In part of his long discussion of the du’a of Dhu’l-Noon (Prophet Yunus), Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah wrote the following points concerning the relative merits of those born into Islam and those who enter into it later in life:

وما يظنه بعض الناس أنه من ولد على الإسلام فلم يكفر قط أفضل ممن كان كافرا فأسلم ليس بصواب ; بل الاعتبار بالعاقبة وأيهما كان أتقى لله في عاقبته كان أفضل . فإنه من المعلوم أن السابقين الأولين من المهاجرين والأنصار الذين آمنوا بالله ورسوله بعد كفرهم هم أفضل ممن ولد على الإسلام من أولادهم وغير أولادهم ; بل من عرف الشر وذاقه ثم عرف الخير وذاقه [ ص: 301 ] فقد تكون معرفته بالخير ومحبته له ومعرفته بالشر وبغضه له أكمل ممن لم يعرف الخير والشر ويذقهما كما ذاقهما ; بل من لم يعرف إلا الخير فقد يأتيه الشر فلا يعرف أنه شر فإما أن يقع فيه وإما أن لا ينكره كما أنكره الذي عرفه . ـ

What some people think that the one born upon Islam and does not commit kufr ever is better than the one who was a kaafir and then becomes a Muslim – this is not correct. Rather, the criteria is in the outcome, and the one who has more taqwa of Allah in his final end – he is better. That is because it is known that the forerunners from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar who believed in Allah and His messenger after they had disbelieved are better than those who were born upon Islam and their children and other than their children. Rather, the one who knew evil and tasted it and then knew the good and tasted it, then his recognition of the good and his love for it and his recognition of evil and his hatred of it is more complete than the one who does not know good and evil and has not tasted it as he has tasted it. Rather, the one who does not know anything other than good, perhaps evil will come to him and he will not recognize that it is evil, and he may either fall into it or he may not reject it as the one who knew it would reject it. Continue reading

The two blindnesses and deafnesses of Banu Israa’eel: Imam al-Shinqitee

Allah describes the Ahl al-Kitaab in surah al-Maa’idah by saying:

وَحَسِبُوا أَلَّا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ فَعَمُوا وَصَمُّوا ثُمَّ تَابَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ عَمُوا وَصَمُّوا كَثِيرٌ‌ مِّنْهُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بَصِيرٌ‌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ

“And they thought there would be no [resulting] punishment, so they became blind and deaf. Then Allah turned to them in forgiveness; then [again] many of them became blind and deaf. And Allah is Seeing of what they do.”

[al-Qur’an 5:71]

The mufassiroon brought forth different explanations for the significance of the sequence of events in this ayah and what specifically is being referenced here. Imam al-Shinqitee insightfully indicated that this is further explained by the ayaat at the beginning of surah al-Israa’. He wrote: Continue reading

Every one of you is a shepherd – Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records the hadeeth of the Prophet in his Saheeh:

أَلاَ كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالأَمِيرُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ بَعْلِهَا وَوَلَدِهِ وَهِيَ مَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُ أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

Beware – every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable in regards to his flock. The leader is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned concerning his subjects . A man is a shepherd over the members of his family and shall be questioned concerning them. A woman is a shepherd over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned concerning them. A slave is a shepherd over the property of his master and shall be questioned concerning it. Beware, every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust.

[Muslim #1829]

Imam al-Nawawi writes in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim:
قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( كلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته ) قال العلماء : الراعي هو الحافظ المؤتمن الملتزم صلاح ما قام عليه ، وما هو تحت نظره ، ففيه أن كل من كان تحت نظره شيء فهو مطالب بالعدل فيه ، والقيام بمصالحه في دينه ودنياه ومتعلقاته . ـ
“The Prophet’s statement, ‘All of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible for your flocks’ – the scholars say: The shepherd is the entrusted guardian who is committed to the rectitude of whatever he is in charge of and whatever is under his watch. So therefore whoever is under his watch at all, then it deserves justice from him and the establishment of benefits in terms of its deen and dunya and what is related to that.”
[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #1829]

See also: Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 5/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

The story of ‘Eesaa, his mother, Zakariyyah and Yahya – Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di collected the details of the story of the prophet ‘Eesaa (Jesus), his mother Maryam (Mary), his uncle Zakariyyah (Zechariah) and his cousin Yahya (John) together along with a number of benefits from their stories together in one chapter, as follows:

 قصة عيسى وأمه ، وزكريا ويحيى عليهم السلام

The story of ‘Eesaa and his mother, and Zakariyyah and Yahya (‘alaihim al-salaam)

كانت زوجة عمران – وهو من أكابر بني إسرائيل ورؤسائهم وذوي المقامات العالية عندهم – نذرت حين ظهر حملها أن تحرر ما في بطنها لبيت المقدس، يكون خادما لبيت الله، مُعَدًّا لعبادة الله، ظنا أن الذي في بطنها ذكر، فلما وضعتها قالت معتذرة إلى الله شاكية إليه الحال : [ رَ‌بِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنثَىٰ وَاللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ‌ كَالْأُنثَىٰ ]  أي أن الذكر الذي له القوة والقدرة على ما يراد منه من القيام بخدمة بيت المقدس

There was the wife of ‘Imran – who was one of the esteemed people and leaders of Banu Israa’eel (Children of Israel) and he held a high position in their eyes – Continue reading

“Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other- except for the muttaqoon”

Allah informs us about one of the features of the Day of Recompense in surah al-Zukhruf when He says:

لْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ

Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other – except for the muttaqoon

[al-Qur’an 43:67]

In his tafsir of this ayah, Imam al-Baghawi brings a statement from ‘Ali (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu) concerning this ayah where he said: Continue reading

The disbelievers are not sent as keepers over the believers: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In surah al-Mutaffifeen, Allah gives a word of caution and comfort to His slaves when He says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَ‌مُوا كَانُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يَضْحَكُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾ وَإِذَا مَرُّ‌وا بِهِمْ يَتَغَامَزُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾ وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ ﴿٣١﴾ وَإِذَا رَ‌أَوْهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ لَضَالُّونَ ﴿٣٢﴾ وَمَا أُرْ‌سِلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَافِظِينَ ﴿٣٣﴾ ـ

Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. And when they passed by them, they would exchange derisive glances. And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting. And when they saw them, they would say, “Indeed, those are truly misguided.” But they had not been sent as keepers over them. [83:29-33]

Imam ibn Kathir, in his famous book of tafsir, writes:

يخبر تعالى عن المجرمين أنهم كانوا في الدار الدنيا يضحكون من المؤمنين، أي: يستهزئون بهم ويحتقرونهم وإذا مروا بالمؤمنين يتغامزون عليهم، أي: محتقرين لهم، {وَإِذَا انْقَلَبُوا إِلَى أَهْلِهِمُ انْقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ} أي: إذا انقلب، أي: رجع هؤلاء المجرمون إلى منازلهم، انقلبوا إليها فاكهين، أي: مهما طلبوا وجدوا، ومع هذا ما شكروا نعمة الله عليهم، بل اشتغلوا بالقوم المؤمنين يحتقرونهم ويحسدونهم، {وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّ هَؤُلاءِ لَضَالُّون} أي: لكونهم على غير دينهم، قال الله تعالى: {وَمَا أُرْسِلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَافِظِين} أي: وما بُعث هؤلاء المجرمون حافظين على هؤلاء المؤمنين ما يصدر من أعمالهم وأقوالهم، ولا كلفوا بهم؟ فلم اشتغلوا بهم وجعلوهم نصب أعينهم، كما قال تعالى: {قَالَ اخْسَئُوا فِيهَا وَلا تُكَلِّمُونِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِنْ عِبَادِي يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ فَاتَّخَذْتُمُوهُمْ سِخْرِيًّا حَتَّى أَنْسَوْكُمْ ذِكْرِي وَكُنْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ تَضْحَكُونَ إِنِّي جَزَيْتُهُمُ الْيَوْمَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ} [المؤمنون: 108- 111]. ـ

Allah informs us that the criminals are laughing at the believers in this life, meaning: they are mocking them and insulting them whenever they pass by the believers, and exchanging derisive glances, meaning reviling them. “And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting” – meaning: when they returned – meaning when these criminals returned to their dwelling places, the would return to them jesting – meaning regardless of what they found. Continue reading

“A donation is not to be compared to a bribe”: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in part of a longer discussion on repentance, wrote the following insightful words on a great difference between our father Adam (‘alaihis salaam) and the Shaytaan.

سبحان من إذا لطف بعبده في المحن قلبها منحاً, وإذا خذل عبداً لم ينفعه كثرة اجتهاده, وعاد عليه وبالا. لُقِّنَ آدم حجَّتَه وأُلقي إليه ما تُتَقبَّلُ به توبته : ( فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ).

Exalted is He who, if He is kind to His slave in tribulation He bestows a blessing upon his heart, and if He abandons a slave, then no large amount of effort will be of benefit to him, and this effort will turn upon him [i.e. he will be punished for his misguided efforts]. Adam was inspired with his plea and received what would lead to the acceptance of his tawbah (repentance), “Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance.” [2:37]

وطرد إبليس بعد طول خدمته فصار عمله هباء منثورا (قَالَ فَاخْرُ‌جْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَ‌جِيمٌ  وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ). إذا وضع عدله على عبد لم تبق له حسنة, وإذا بسط فضله على عبد لم تبق له سيئة

يُعْطِي وَيَمْنَعُ من يشاء كما يَشَا     وهِباتُهُ لَيْسَتْ تُقارِنُها الرُّشا

And Iblees was expelled (from Jannah) after he prolonged his dispute, so his deeds all came to nothing, “[Allah] said, ‘Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.” [14:34-35]. When Allah executes His justice on a slave, then no good remains for him, and when He extends His favor to a slave, then no sins remain for him.  

Allah gives and withholds to whom He wills, as He wills
And a donation is not to be compared to a bribe

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 123]

See also: “All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab

See also: Allah created His creation in darkness: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

The supplications of four prophets for or against their people: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah informs us in surah Ibrahim about the statement of His Khaleel Ibrahim:

فَمَن تَبِعَنِي فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي ۖ وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

[Ibrahim said] “So whoever follows me – then he is of me; and whoever disobeys me – indeed, You are al-Ghafoor al-Raheem (Forgiving and Merciful).”

[al-Qur’an 14:36]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Shinqitee wrote:

بين تعالى في هذه الآية الكريمة أن نبيه إبراهيم قال : إن من تبعه فإنه منه ، وأنه رد أمر من لم يتبعه إلى مشيئة الله تعالى ، إن شاء الله غفر له ; لأنه هو الغفور الرحيم ، ـ

Allah clarified (some issues) about His prophet Ibrahim in this noble ayah – He said: Continue reading