al-Thann in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following linguistic point in his book of thematic tafsir:

فائدة: الظن ورد في القرآن على وجهين: وجه محمود، ووجه مذموم . ـ

A point of benefit: al-Thann (thought/suspicion/assumption) is mentioned in the Qur’an in two ways; from a praiseworthy angle and from a blameworthy angle.

أما المحمود: ففي كل مقام مدح وجزاء بالخير والثواب، فإنه بمعنى العلم واليقين مثل قوله تعالى: { الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَ‌بِّهِمْ } [ البقرة: 46 ] أي: يتيقنون لذلك، ومثل قوله: { إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ } [ الحاقة: 20 ]. ـ

As for the praiseworthy angle, then in every situation of commendation, recompense for good, and reward it takes on the meaning of ‘ilm (knowledge) and yaqeen (certainty), such as Allah’s statement:

الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَ‌بِّهِمْ

Those who yathunnoon [lit. think] that they will meet their Lord [2:46]

– meaning: they are certain of that. And similarly His statement:

إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ

Indeed, thanantu [lit. I thought] that I would be meeting my account. [69:20]

وأما المذموم: ففي أغلب الآيات الواردة في الظن مثل: { إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ ۖ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا }  [ النجم : 28 ] ، { وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ } [ البقرة: 78 ]. وهو كثير، فهذا وما أشبهه فيمن قدم الظنون الكاذبة على الأخبار الصادقة؛ لأن الظن في الأصل يحتمل الصدق والكذب، ولكنه إذا ناقض الصدق قطعنا بكذبه. ـ

And as for the blameworthy angle, then in most of the ayaat the mention of al-thann is the likes of:

إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ ۖ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا

They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all. [53:28]

وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

…but they are only assuming [2:78]

And this is frequent. So this and whatever resembles it is in regards to those who gave priority to false assumptions and thoughts over truthful information, because al-thann at its root can carry the meaning both of truthfulness and falsity; however when it it contradicting the truth then we can definitely assert its falsity.

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 445-446]

See also: “Do not Follow that of which you have no Knowledge”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Two Types of Rejoicing in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Guidance elevates and misguidance debases: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “al-Thann in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Two Types of Rejoicing in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Do not Follow that of which you have no Knowledge”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “O you who believe, avoid much suspicion…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | 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