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,

‏{‏رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ضلوا بسببها، ‏{‏فَمَنْ تَبِعَنِي‏}‏ على ما جئت به من التوحيد والإخلاص لله رب العالمين ‏{‏فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي‏}‏ لتمام الموافقة ومن أحب قوما وتبعهم التحق بهم‏.‏

رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ‏

My Lord, indeed they have led astray many among the people

– meaning: misled because of them,

‏فَمَنْ تَبِعَنِي

So whoever follows me

in what I came with of al-Tawheed and al-Ikhlaas to Allaah, the Lord of all creation –

‏فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي

then he is of me

in full agreement. And whoever loves a people and follows them, then he is joined to them.

‏{‏وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ‏}‏ وهذا من شفقة الخليل عليه الصلاة والسلام حيث دعا للعاصين بالمغفرة والرحمة من الله والله تبارك وتعالى أرحم منه بعباده لا يعذب إلا من تمرد عليه‏.‏

وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

And whoever disobeys me – indeed, You are Oft-Forgiving and Merciful

– and this is from the intercession of al-Khaleel (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) when he supplicated for forgiveness and the mercy of Allah for the disobedient ones. And Allah – the Blessed and Exalted – is the most merciful to His slaves, only punishing those who rebel against Him.

‏{‏رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ‏}‏ وذلك أنه أتى ب ـ ‏”‏هاجر‏”‏ أم إسماعيل وبابنها إسماعيل عليه الصلاة والسلام وهو في الرضاع، من الشام حتى وضعهما في مكة وهي ـ إذ ذاك ـ ليس فيها سكن، ولا داع ولا مجيب، فلما وضعهما دعا ربه بهذا الدعاء فقال ـ متضرعا متوكلا على ربه‏:‏ ‏{‏رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا كل ذريتي لأن إسحاق في الشام وباقي بنيه كذلك وإنما أسكن في مكة إسماعيل وذريته، وقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لأن أرض مكة لا تصلح للزراعة‏.‏

‏رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ

O our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House

– and that is that he went with Haajar, the mother of Ismaa’eel, and her son Ismaa’eel (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) while he was still breastfeeding from al-Shaam and placed them both in Mecca – and at that time there were no dwellings there – with neither a host nor a well. So when he placed them there, he supplicated to his Lord with this du’a – beseeching and placing his reliance upon his Lord – saying,

‏رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي

O our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants

– meaning: not all of my descendants, because Ishaaq was in al-Shaam as were the rest of his sons as well, and only Ismaa’eel and his descendants lived in Mecca. And his statement,

بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ

in an uncultivated valley

– meaning, because the land of Mecca is not conducive to agricultural cultivation.

ـ {‏رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاة‏}‏ أي‏:‏ اجعلهم موحدين مقيمين الصلاة لأن إقامة الصلاة من أخص وأفضل العبادات الدينية فمن أقامها كان مقيما لدينه، ‏{‏فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ تحبهم وتحب الموضع الذي هم ساكنون فيه‏.‏

رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاة‏

O our Lord, that they may establish prayer

– meaning: make them monotheists who establish the prayer, because the establishment of the prayer is from the most specific and most virtuous of religious worship, so from its establishment is the establishment of the (entire) religion.

‏فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ‏

So make hearts among the people incline toward them

– meaning to love them and to love the location in which they have been placed.

فأجاب الله دعاءه فأخرج من ذرية إسماعيل محمدًا ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ حتى دعا ذريته إلى الدين الإسلامي وإلى ملة أبيهم إبراهيم فاستجابوا له وصاروا مقيمي الصلاة‏.‏

So Allah answered his du’a and brought forth Muhammad (ﷺ) from the descendants of Ismaa’eel, who called his descendants to the religion of Islam and to the religion of their father Ibrahim, so he they responded to him and became those who establish the prayer.

وافترض الله حج هذا البيت الذي أسكن به ذرية إبراهيم وجعل فيه سرًا عجيبًا جاذبا للقلوب، فهي تحجه ولا تقضي منه وطرا على الدوام، بل كلما أكثر العبد التردد إليه ازداد شوقه وعظم ولعه وتوقه، وهذا سر إضافته تعالى إلى نفسه المقدسة‏.‏

And Allah mandated pilgrimage to this House near which the descendants of Ibrahim resided, and placed an amazing pleasure therein which is compelling to the hearts. For one makes pilgrimage to it but he is not permanently satisfied with this in regards to his wishes; rather, however much the slave increases his frequency of returning to it, that will proportionately increase and intensify his passion and yearning for it. And this is the underlying reason for Allah’s attributing it to His sanctified Self.

‏{‏وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ‏}‏ فأجاب الله دعاءه، فصار يجبي إليه ثمرات كل شيء، فإنك ترى مكة المشرفة كل وقت والثمار فيها متوفرة والأرزاق تتوالى إليها من كل جانب‏.‏

‏وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

And provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful

so Allah responded to his supplication, thus He gathered all sorts of fruits to them, for verily you can see that Mecca is honored with the availability of fruits at all times, and the provisions are turning towards it from all directions.

‏{‏رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ مَا نُخْفِي وَمَا نُعْلِنُ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أنت أعلم بنا منا، فنسألك من تدبيرك وتربيتك لنا أن تيسر لنا من الأمور التي نعلمها والتي لا نعلمها ما هو مقتضى علمك ورحمتك، ‏{‏وَمَا يَخْفَى عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ‏}‏ ومن ذلك هذا الدعاء الذي لم يقصد به الخليل إلا الخير وكثرة الشكر لله رب العالمين‏.‏

‏رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ مَا نُخْفِي وَمَا نُعْلِنُ

O our Lord, indeed You know what we conceal and what we declare

– meaning: You are the more knowledgeable of us than we are of our own selves, so we ask You for Your providence and nurturing for us, that You would facilitate for us the affairs of which we know and those which we do not know, in a way that is befitting of Your knowledge and mercy.

‏وَمَا يَخْفَى عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ

And nothing is hidden from Allah on the earth or in the heaven

and from this it is understood that this du’a was not intended by al-Khaleel as anything but good and abundant gratitude to Allah, the Lord of all creation. 

‏{‏الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ‏}‏ فهبتهم من أكبر النعم، وكونهم على الكبر في حال الإياس من الأولاد نعمة أخرى، وكونهم أنبياء صالحين أجل وأفضل، ‏{‏إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لقريب الإجابة ممن دعاه وقد دعوته فلم يخيب رجائي، ثم دعا لنفسه ولذريته، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ * رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحساب‏}‏ فاستجاب الله له في ذلك كله إلا أن دعاءه لأبيه إنما كان عن موعدة وعده إياه، فلما تبين له أنه عدو لله تبرأ منه‏.‏

‏الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ

Praise to Allah, who has granted to me in old age Ismaa’eel and Ishaaq

for granting them is one of the greatest blessings, and its occurring during such old age that the time for bearing children had passed is another blessing, and that they were righteous prophets is a great bounty.

‏إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication

– meaning: the response is near for the one who supplicates to Him, so his supplications were not disappointed. Then he supplicated for himself and his offspring, saying,

‏رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ * رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحساب‏

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established

so Allah responded to him in all of that, except for his supplication for his father. It was only something that he had promised to him before [see Qur’an 19:47], however when it became clear to him that his father was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 494-495]

See also: The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

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

See also: Purifying the Ka’bah: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: “And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

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

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  2. Pingback: “And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Khutbah regarding Hajj: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: And We gave Ibrahim good in this life: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  7. Pingback: Purifying the Ka’bah: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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