A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Imam al-Sa’di

In surah Aali ‘Imran, Allah devotes some eighty-odd ayaat to addressing the Christians, disproving their ways, and calling them to the truth. In part of this section He says:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَ‌ابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ * الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّكَ فَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْمُمْتَرِ‌ينَ

Indeed, the example of  ‘Eesaa (Jesus) to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. * The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. [3:59-60]

Commenting on this in his famous book tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يخبر تعالى محتجا على النصارى الزاعمين بعيسى عليه السلام ما ليس له بحق، بغير برهان ولا شبهة، بل بزعمهم أنه ليس له والد استحق بذلك أن يكون ابن الله أو شريكا لله في الربوبية، وهذا ليس بشبهة فضلا أن يكون حجة، لأن خلقه كذلك من آيات الله الدالة على تفرد الله بالخلق والتدبير وأن جميع الأسباب طوع مشيئته وتبع لإرادته، فهو على نقيض قولهم أدل، وعلى أن أحدا لا يستحق المشاركة لله بوجه من الوجوه أولى، ـ

Allah informs us by way of objecting to the Christians who make claims – with neither conclusive proofs nor (even) substantial doubts – about ‘Eesaa (‘alaihi al-salaam) which contain no truth. Rather, according to their assertion, because of the fact that he does not have a father, then this requires that he is the son of Allah or a partner with Allah in terms of lordship. But this is not a substantial doubt – much less a conclusive proof – because his being created in that way is one of the demonstrative signs of Allah’s exclusive role in creation and administration and that all of the causative factors are subject to His will and submissive to His wishes. So this is fully exposing the deficiency of their claim and proving that no one is deserving of partnership with Allah in any way at all. Continue reading

The Three Legislated ‘Eids for the Believers: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the virtue of the Day of ‘Arafah and the Day of Sacrifice (the 9th and 10th days of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, respectively), Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote the following:

في الصحيحين عن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أن رجلا من اليهود له: يا أمير المؤمنين آية في كتابكم لو علينا معشر اليهود نزلت لا تخذنا اليهود نزلت لا تخذنا ذلك اليوم عيدا فقال: أي آية: قال: {الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْأِسْلامَ دِيناً} [المائدة: 3] فقال عمر: إني لأعلم اليوم الذي نزلت فيه والمكان الذي نزلت فيه: نزلت ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قائم بعرفة يوم الجمعة وخرج الترمذي عن ابن عباس نحوه وقال فيه: نزلت في يوم عيد من يوم جمعة ويوم عرفة. ـ

It comes in the Saheehayn on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that a man from the Jews said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an ayah in your book that if it were to have been revealed to we Jewish people, then the Jews would have taken that day as an ‘Eid.” So he said, “Which ayah is that?” He replied:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَ‌ضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion [5:3]

So ‘Umar said, “Indeed, I know the day on which it was revealed and the place in which it was revealed: it was revealed while the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was standing at ‘Arafah on the day of Jumu’ah.”

The likes of this was narrated by al-Tirmidhi on the authority of ibn ‘Abbaas and he said about it, “It was revealed during a day of ‘Eid – the day of Jumu’ah and the day of ‘Arafah.”

والعيد هو موسم الفرح والسرور وأفراح المؤمنين وسرورهم في الدنيا إنما هو بمولاهم إذا فازوا بإكمال طاعته وحازوا ثواب أعمالهم بوثوقهم بوعده لهم عليها بفضله ومغفرته كما قال تعالى: {قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ} [يونس: 58] قال بعض العارفين: ما فرح أحد بغير الله إلا بغفلته عن الله فالغافل يفرح بلهوه وهواه والعاقل يفرح بمولاه وأنشد سمنون في هذا المعنى: ـ

And the ‘Eid is a time of joy and happiness, and the joys and happinesses of the believers in this worldly life are only in their Lord when they achieve the completion of obedience to Him and attain the rewards of their deeds with their being certain of His promise of those rewards to them due to His bounty and forgiveness. This is as He has said:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” [10:58]

And one of the cognizant ones said, “What joy does one have in other than Allah except out of his own heedlessness of Allah?” For the heedless one rejoices in his idle amusements and desires while the intelligent one rejoices in his Lord. Continue reading

Khutbah regarding Hajj: Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was one of several on the subject of the Hajj found in a collection of more than 400 sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة أولى في الحجّ

First Khutbah on the subject of the Hajj

الحمد لله الذي فرض الحج لبيته الحرام ، وجعل قصده مُكفِّراً للذنوب والآثام ، ولم يرض لمن أكمله وقام بحقوقه جزاء إلا الفوز برضوانه في دار السلام . ـ

All praise is due to Allah, the One who has ordained Hajj (pilgrimage) to His sacred house, and He made its purpose an expiation of sins and wrong-doings, and He is not pleased with anyone who completes it and fulfills its rights except that He would reward him with the attainment of His pleasure in the abode of peace.

أحمده أن جعل هذا البيت مثابة للناس وأمنا ، وجعل أفئدة من الناس تهوي إليه محبة وشوقا ، فهم يترددون إليه ويزدادون لهفا عليه وتوقا ، فقلوبهم على الدوام تحنّ إليه ، وعاجزهم يتأسّف لانقطاعه عن الوصول إليه . ـ

I praise Him for making this House a place of refuge and safety for mankind. He made the hearts of mankind to incline towards it with love and and desire, so they frequently return to it and increase in longing and yearning for it. So their hearts are always pining for it, and those of them who are unable grieve at being cut off from finding a way to it. Continue reading

Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following clarifying explanation in his tafsir of surah al-Saffaat:

قوله تعالى : وقال إني ذاهب إلى ربي سيهدين رب هب لي من الصالحين فبشرناه بغلام حليم ، إلى قوله تعالى : وفديناه بذبح عظيم . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَقَالَ إِنِّي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّي سَيَهْدِينِ * رَ‌بِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ * فَبَشَّرْ‌نَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

And [then] he said, “Indeed, I will go to [where I am ordered by] my Lord; He will guide me. * My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” * So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.

Until His saying:

وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice [37:99-107]

اعلم أولا : أن العلماء اختلفوا في هذا الغلام الذي أمر إبراهيم في المنام بذبحه ، ومعلوم أن رؤيا الأنبياء وحي ، ثم لما باشر عمل ذبحه امتثالا للأمر ، فداه الله بذبح عظيم ، هل هو إسماعيل أو إسحاق ؟ وقد وعدنا في سورة ” الحجر ” ، بأنا نوضح ذلك بالقرآن في سورة ” الصافات ” ، وهذا وقت إنجاز الوعد . ـ

Firstly, know that the scholars have differed regarding this boy whom Ibrahim was commanded in his sleep to sacrifice, and it is well known that the dreams of the prophets are wahyi (Divine revelation). Then when he was proceeding to do the act of his sacrifice in compliance with the command, Allah ransomed him with a great sacrifice – so was this Ismaa’eel or Ishaaq? And we had promised in [the tafsir of] surah al-Hijr that we would clarify this issue by means of the Qur’an in surah al-Saffaat, and now this is the time to fulfill that promise.

اعلم ، وفقني الله وإياك ، أن القرآن العظيم قد دل في موضعين ، على أن الذبيح هو إسماعيل لا إسحاق . أحدهما في ” الصافات ” ، والثاني في ” هود ” . ـ

Know – may Allah grant me success, and you – that the Magnificent Qur’an has demonstrated in two places that the sacrificed one is Ismaa’eel and not Ishaaq. One of these places is in surah al-Saffaat, and the second is in surah Hood. Continue reading

The Du’a of Ibrahim for Mecca and his Descendants: Tafsir al-Sa’di

After the Prophet Moosaa, there is no prophet who is mentioned more frequently in the Qur’an than Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaam). In surah Ibrahim, Allah informs us of one of the events in his life [see surah Ibrahim 14:35-41]. Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his famous book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on these ayaat:

‏ ‏{‏وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ‏{‏و‏}‏ اذكر إبراهيم عليه الصلاة والسلام في هذه الحالة الجميلة، إذ قَال‏:‏ ‏{‏رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الحرم ‏{‏آمِنًا‏}‏ فاستجاب الله دعاءه شرعا وقدرا، فحرمه الله في الشرع ويسر من أسباب حرمته قدرا ما هو معلوم، حتى إنه لم يرده ظالم بسوء إلا قصمه الله كما فعل بأصحاب الفيل وغيرهم‏.‏ ـ

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا

And when Ibrahim said, ‘My Lord, make this land secure

– meaning: “And” mention Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) in this beautiful situation, when he said:

رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ ‏آمِنًا‏

‘My Lord, make this land” -meaning the Haram – “secure”

so Allah answered his du’a both with His divine legislation and with His divine decree. For Allah sanctified it in the divine legislation, and (also) facilitated the means of its inviolability in terms of divine decree from what is well-known, to the extent that it would not repel an oppressor with harm except that Allah would crush them just as He did with the Companions of the Elephant and others.

ولما دعا له بالأمن دعا له ولبنيه بالأمن فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ اجعلني وإياهم جانبًا بعيدًا عن عبادتها والإلمام بها، ثم ذكر الموجب لخوفه عليه وعلى بنيه بكثرة من افتتن وابتلي بعبادتها فقال‏:‏

And when Ibrahim supplicated to Allah for security, he supplicated for security for his himself and for offspring, for he said:

وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ

and turn me and my sons away from worshiping idols

– meaning: make for me and for them a great distance from their worship and familiarity with them. He then mentioned the reason for his fear he felt regarding himself and his children for the abundance of trials and tribulations of their worship, so he said, Continue reading

“When he reached the setting place of the sun…” : Tafsir ibn Kathir, al-Shinqitee & al-Qurtubi

Allah mentions the story of Dhu’l-Qarnain in surah al-Kahf and brings the following ayah therein:

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِ‌بَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُ‌بُ فِي عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ

Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a murky spring. [18:86]

al-Haafidh Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel Ibn Kathir (d. 774 AH) commented on this ayah by writing:

وقوله : ( وجدها تغرب في عين حمئة ) أي : رأى الشمس في منظره تغرب في البحر المحيط ، وهذا شأن كل من انتهى إلى ساحله ، يراها كأنها تغرب فيه ، وهي لا تفارق الفلك الرابع الذي هي مثبتة فيه لا تفارقه

His statement “and he found it setting in a murky spring” meaning, he saw the sun from his viewpoint setting in the expansive ocean. This is something which everyone who goes to the coast can see; it looks as if the sun is setting into it [the ocean] but it never leaves its path in which it is fixed.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 5/192]

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee (d. 1393 AH) quoted this statement from ibn Kathir in his own tafsir on this ayah and then went on to explain: Continue reading

“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah concludes surah al-‘Ankaboot with the following ayah:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. [29:69]

Commenting on this ayah in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following beneficial words for the student of knowledge:

ـ { وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا } وهم الذين هاجروا في سبيل اللّه، وجاهدوا أعداءهم، وبذلوا مجهودهم في اتباع مرضاته، { لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا } أي: الطرق الموصلة إلينا، وذلك لأنهم محسنون. ـ

And those who strive for Us” – and they are those who migrated in the path of Allah and struggled against their enemies and expended their efforts in following His pleasure – “We will surely guide them to Our ways” – meaning, the paths which lead to Us, and that is because they are the good-doers.

ـ { وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ } بالعون والنصر والهداية. دل هذا على أن أحرى الناس بموافقة الصواب أهل الجهاد، وعلى أن من أحسن فيما أمر به أعانه اللّه ويسر له أسباب الهداية، وعلى أن من جد واجتهد في طلب العلم الشرعي، فإنه يحصل له من الهداية والمعونة على تحصيل مطلوبه أمور إلهية، خارجة عن مدرك اجتهاده، وتيسر له أمر العلم، فإن طلب العلم الشرعي من الجهاد في سبيل اللّه، بل هو أحد نَوْعَي الجهاد، الذي لا يقوم به إلا خواص الخلق، وهو الجهاد بالقول واللسان، للكفار والمنافقين، والجهاد على تعليم أمور الدين، وعلى رد نزاع المخالفين للحق، ولو كانوا من المسلمين. ـ

And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” by means of aid, support and guidance. This demonstrates that the most likely of people to coincide with what is correct are the people of striving. Continue reading

Complaining about Allah vs. Complaining to Allah: ibn al-Qayyim

In his famous book of assorted benefits, al-Fawaa’id, Ibn al-Qayyim mentions the following issue:

فَائِدَة الْجَاهِل يشكو الله إِلَى النَّاس وَهَذَا غَايَة الْجَهْل بالمشكو والمشكو إِلَيْهِ فَإِنَّهُ لَو عرف ربه لما شكاه وَلَو عرف النَّاس لما شكا إِلَيْهِم

A point of benefit: The ignorant one complains about Allah to the people, and this is the height of ignorance when is comes to complaining about something and complaining to someone. For if he had known his Lord, then he would not have complained about Him, and if he had known the people, then he would not have complained to them.

وَرَأى بعض السّلف رجلا يشكو إِلَى رجل فاقته وضرورته فَقَالَ يَا هَذَا وَالله مَا زِدْت على أَن شَكَوْت من يَرْحَمك وَفِي ذَلِك قيل : ـ

One of the salaf saw a man who was complaining to another man about his poverty and dire need, so he said, “O you! By Allah, the only thing you’ve done is to complain to someone who does not take pity on you for that.” And it is said:

إذا شَكَوْت إِلَى ابْن آدم إِنَّمَا … تَشْكُو الرَّحِيم إِلَى الَّذِي لَا يرحم

When you complain to a son of Adam
You are only complaining about the Most Merciful One to someone who does not show mercy Continue reading