The Rewards of Obedience, and the Different Categories of People in Respects to that: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah says in surah al-Maa’idah:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَ‌اةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِم مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْ‌جُلِهِم ۚ مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ مِّنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ

And if only they upheld [the law of] the Tawrah, the Injeel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are a moderate community, but many of them – evil is that which they do. [5:66]

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

قوله تعالى : ولو أنهم أقاموا التوراة والإنجيل وما أنزل إليهم من ربهم لأكلوا من فوقهم ومن تحت أرجلهم ، ذكر تعالى في هذه الآية الكريمة أن أهل الكتاب لو أطاعوا الله ، وأقاموا كتابهم باتباعه ، والعمل بما فيه ، ليسر الله لهم الأرزاق ، وأرسل عليهم المطر ، وأخرج لهم ثمرات الأرض . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَ‌اةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِم مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْ‌جُلِهِم

And if only they upheld [the law of] the Tawrah, the Injeel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet.

In this noble ayah He mentioned that if only the Ahl al-Kitaab were to obey Allah and uphold their scripture by following it and acting according to what is in it, then Allah would facilitate provision for them, send rain upon them, and bring forth the produce of the earth for them.

وبين في مواضع أخر أن ذلك ليس خاصا بهم ، كقوله عن نوح وقومه فقلت استغفروا ربكم إنه كان غفارا يرسل السماء عليكم مدرارا ويمددكم بأموال وبنين ويجعل لكم جنات ويجعل لكم أنهارا [ 71 \ 11 ] ، وقوله عن هود وقومه : ويا قوم استغفروا ربكم ثم توبوا إليه يرسل السماء عليكم مدرارا ويزدكم قوة إلى قوتكم الآية [ 11 \ 52 ] ، وقوله عن نبينا – عليه الصلاة والسلام – وقومه وأن استغفروا ربكم ثم توبوا إليه يمتعكم متاعا حسنا إلى أجل مسمى [ 11 \ 3 ] ، وقوله تعالى : من عمل صالحا من ذكر أو أنثى وهو مؤمن فلنحيينه حياة طيبة الآية [ 16 \ 97 ] . على أحد الأقوال وقوله : ولو أن أهل القرى آمنوا واتقوا لفتحنا عليهم بركات من السماء والأرض الآية [ 7 \ 96 ] ، وقوله : ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا ويرزقه من حيث لا يحتسب [ 65 \ 2 ، 3 ] ، وقوله : وأمر أهلك بالصلاة واصطبر عليها لا نسألك رزقا نحن نرزقك والعاقبة للتقوى [ 20 \ 132 ] ،  ـ

And elsewhere He clarified that that is not exclusive to them, such as His statement concerning Nooh and his people:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارً‌ا * يُرْ‌سِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَ‌ارً‌ا * وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارً‌ا

And [Nooh] said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. * He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers * And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” [71:10-11]

And His statement concerning Hood and his people:

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُرْ‌سِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَ‌ارً‌ا وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوْا مُجْرِ‌مِينَ

“And O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. And do not turn away, [being] criminals.” [11:52]

And His statement concerning our Prophet (ﷺ) and his people:

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى

And [saying], “Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term‌” [11:3]

And His statement:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ‌ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَ‌هُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. [16:97]

And His statement:

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَ‌ىٰ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَ‌كَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَـٰكِن كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

And if only the people of the cities had believed and had taqwa of Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning. [7:96]

And His statement:

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَ‌جًا * وَيَرْ‌زُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ

And whoever has taqwa Allah, He will make a way out for him * and provide for him from where he does not expect. [65:2-3]

And His statement:

وَأْمُرْ‌ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ‌ عَلَيْهَا ۖ لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِ‌زْقًا ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْ‌زُقُكَ ۗ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ

And enjoin al-salaah upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] al-taqwa. [20:132]

ومفهوم الآية أن معصية الله تعالى ، سبب لنقيض ما [ ص: 417 ] يستجلب بطاعته ، وقد أشار تعالى إلى ذلك بقوله : ظهر الفساد في البر والبحر بما كسبت أيدي الناس الآية [ 30 \ 41 ] ، ونحوها من الآيات . ـ

And what is understood from this ayah is that disobedience to Allah is a cause for the opposite of what is brought about through obedience to Him. And He indicates that by His statement:

ظَهَرَ‌ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ‌ وَالْبَحْرِ‌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌جِعُونَ

Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]. [30:41]

and by the likes of these ayaat.

قوله تعالى : منهم أمة مقتصدة وكثير منهم ساء ما يعملون ، ذكر تعالى في هذه الآية الكريمة ، أن أهل الكتاب قسمان : طائفة منهم مقتصدة في عملها ، وكثير منهم سيئ العمل ـ

And His statement:

مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ‌ مِّنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ

Among them are a moderate community, but many of them – evil is that which they do. [5:66]

In this noble ayah He mentioned that the Ahl al-Kitaab are composed of two categories: A group of them are moderate concerning this deeds, and most of them are evil in their actions. 

 ، وقسم هذه الأمة إلى ثلاثة أقسام في قوله : فمنهم ظالم لنفسه ومنهم مقتصد ومنهم سابق بالخيرات بإذن الله ذلك هو الفضل الكبير [ 35 \ 32 ] ، ووعد الجميع بالجنة بقوله : جنات عدن يدخلونها يحلون فيها من أساور من ذهب ولؤلؤا ولباسهم فيها حرير [ 35 \ 33 ] . ـ

And He divided this ummah into three categories in His statement:

فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَ‌اتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ‌

And among them is he who wrongs himself, and among them is he who is moderate, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by permission of Allah. That [inheritance] is what is the great bounty. [35:32]

And He promised al-Jannah to all of them with His statement:

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ‌ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤًا ۖ وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِ‌يرٌ‌

[For them are] gardens of perpetual residence which they will enter. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments therein will be silk. [35:33]

وذكر القسم الرابع : وهو الكفار منها بقوله : والذين كفروا لهم نار جهنم لا يقضى عليهم فيموتوا الآية [ 35 \ 36 ] . ـ

And He mentioned a fourth category, and they are the disbelievers among them according to His statement:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا لَهُمْ نَارُ‌ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يُقْضَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا وَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي كُلَّ كَفُورٍ‌

And for those who disbelieve will be the fire of Hell. [Death] is not decreed for them so they may die, nor will its torment be lightened for them. Thus do we recompense every ungrateful one. [35:36]

وأظهر الأقوال في المقتصد ، والسابق ، والظالم ، أن المقتصد هو من امتثل الأمر ، واجتنب النهي ، ولم يزد على ذلك ، وأن السابق بالخيرات هو من فعل ذلك ، وزاد بالتقرب إلى الله بالنوافل ، والتورع عن بعض الجائزات ، خوفا من أن يكون سببا لغيره ، وأن الظالم هو المذكور في قوله : خلطوا عملا صالحا وآخر سيئا عسى الله أن يتوب عليهم الآية [ 9 \ 102 ] ، والعلم عند الله تعالى . ـ

And the most apparent of the statements regarding the moderate one, the forerunner and the one who does wrong is that the moderate one is he who complies with the commands and avoids the prohibitions and does not go beyond that. And that the forerunner in good deeds is he who does that, and adds seeking nearness to Allah by means of the voluntary deeds and abstaining from some of the permissible things out of fear that they would be a cause for something else. And that the one who does wrong is he who is mentioned in His statement:

خَلَطُوا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ‌ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

They had mixed a righteous deed with another that was bad. Perhaps Allah will turn to them in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [9:102]

And the knowledge is with Allah.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 1/417-418]

See also: The Levels of the Believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Two Types of those who Believe in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “If you support Allah, He will support you”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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