Whoever wills, let him believe; and whoever wills, let him disbelieve – Tafsir al-Sa’di & Tafsir al-Shinqeeti

Allah says in surah al-Kahf:

وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ‌ ۚ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارً‌ا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَ‌ادِقُهَا ۚ وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ ۚ بِئْسَ الشَّرَ‌ابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْ‌تَفَقًا

And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place. [18:29]

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di commented on this ayah by writing:

 أي: قل للناس يا محمد: هو الحق من ربكم أي: قد تبين الهدى من الضلال، والرشد من الغي، وصفات أهل السعادة، وصفات أهل الشقاوة، وذلك بما بينه الله على لسان رسوله، فإذا بان واتضح، ولم يبق فيه شبهة. ـ

It means: Say to the people, O Muhammad: this is the truth from your Lord. Meaning: Guidance has been clearly distinguished from misguidance, as well as direction from misdirection, as well as the characteristics of the people of ultimate joy and the characteristics of the people of ultimate sorrow. That is what has been clarified by Allah on the tongue of His messenger. So when something has been clarified and has become clear, then no doubt remains concerning it.

ـ { فَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِنْ وَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ } أي: لم يبق إلا سلوك أحد الطريقين، بحسب توفيق العبد، وعدم توفيقه، وقد أعطاه الله مشيئة بها يقدر على الإيمان والكفر، والخير والشر، فمن آمن فقد وفق للصواب، ومن كفر فقد قامت عليه الحجة، وليس بمكره على الإيمان، كما قال تعالى { لا إكراه في الدين قد تبين الرشد من الغي } وليس في قوله: { فمن شاء فليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر } الإذن في كلا الأمرين، وإنما ذلك تهديد ووعيد لمن اختار الكفر بعد البيان التام، كما ليس فيها ترك قتال الكافرين. ثم ذكر تعالى مآل الفريقين … ـ

فَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِنْ وَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ

So whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve

meaning: so nothing remains except to traverse one of these two paths, according to the success of the slave or the lack thereof. And Allah has given free-will concerning this for one to decide between al-eemaan and al-kufr, good and evil. So however believes, then he has successfully coincided with what is correct. And whoever disbelieves, then he has established a proof against himself. And there is no forcing or compulsion of al-eemaan, just as Allah said,

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. [2:256]

And His statement,

فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ‌

so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve

does not entail permissibility of either of the two choices; it is only an intimidation and threat to whoever would choose al-kufr after a complete elucidation, just as there is not an abandonment of fighting the disbelievers in this ayah. Then Allah mentioned the outcome of the two groups…

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 552-553]

And in his book of tafsir, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee also wrote:

 وهذا الذي ذكره تعالى في هذه الآية الكريمة ذكره أيضا في مواضع أخر ، كقوله في سورة ” البقرة ” : الحق من ربك فلا تكونن من الممترين [ 2 \ 147 ] ، وقولـه في ” آل عمران ” : الحق من ربك فلا تكن من الممترين [ 3 \ 60 ] ، إلى غير ذلك من الآيات . ـ

And that which Allah mentioned in this noble ayah is also what He mentioned in many other places, such as His statement in surah al-Baqarah:

الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

The truth is from your Lord, so never be among the doubters [2:147]

and His statement in surah Aali ‘Imran:

الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters [3:60]

as well as elsewhere.

قوله تعالى : فمن شاء فليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر ، ظاهر هذه الآية الكريمة بحسب الوضع اللغوي التخيير بين الكفر والإيمان ولكن المراد من الآية الكريمة ليس هو التخيير ، وإنما المراد بها التهديد والتخويف . والتهديد بمثل هذه الصيغة التي ظاهرها التخيير أسلوب من أساليب اللغة العربية ، ـ

His statement:

فَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِنْ وَمَنْ شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ

So whoever wills – let him believer, and whoever wills – let him disbelieve

what is apparent is to take this noble ayah according to the linguistic context as offering a free choice (of preference) between al-kufr and al-eemaan, however the intended meaning of this noble ayah is not the offering of a free choice; the intended meaning of it is only that of impending threat and intimidation. And impending threat with this type of wording which outwardly appears as an offering of a free choice is one of the stylistic forms of the Arabic language.

والدليل من القرآن العظيم على أن المراد في الآية التهديد والتخويف أنه أتبع ذلك بقوله : إنا أعتدنا للظالمين نارا أحاط بهم سرادقها وإن يستغيثوا يغاثوا بماء كالمهل يشوي الوجوه بئس الشراب وساءت مرتفقا ، وهذا أصرح دليل على أن المراد التهديد والتخويف ، إذ لو كان التخيير على بابه لما توعد فاعل أحد الطرفين المخير بينهما بهذا العذاب الأليم ، وهذا واضح كما ترى .ـ

And the evidence from the Magnificent Qur’an that the intended meaning of this ayah is one of threat and intimidation is that He followed it up with His statement:

إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارً‌ا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَ‌ادِقُهَا ۚ وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ ۚ بِئْسَ الشَّرَ‌ابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْ‌تَفَقًا

Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.

And this is the most clear proof that the intended meaning is one of threat and intimidation, for if it were the offering of a free choice (of preference), then He would not have promised the chooser of one of these two optional paths with this painful punishment. And this is clear, as you can see.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 3/267]

 See also: The Sabr of Choice and Sabr of Necessity: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “Consult your heart”: Clarification from Ibn Rajab

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

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Whoever wills, let him believe; and whoever wills, let him disbelieve – Tafsir al-Sa’di & Tafsir al-Shinqeeti

  1. Pingback: “Consult your heart”: Clarification from Ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab | 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