Four things for you and Three things against you

Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following statement of the taabi’ and scholar of al-Shaam Makḥool[1] (d. 112 or 133AH) in his tafsir of surah al-Nisaa’ (4:147):

وقال مكحول: أربع من كن فيه كن له، وثلاث من كن فيه كن عليه، فالأربع اللاتي له: فالشكر والايمان والدعاء والاستغفار، قال الله تعالى: {ما يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ} وقال الله تعالى: {وَما كانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنْتَ فِيهِمْ وَما كانَ اللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ} وقال تعالى: {قُلْ ما يَعْبَؤُا بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلا دُعاؤُكُمْ}. .ـ

There are four things that whoever has them has them in his favor, and there are three things that whoever has them has them against him.

The four things which are in his favor are: 1) gratitude, 2) eemaan, 3) supplication and 4) seeking forgiveness.

Allah said (1 & 2):

 مَا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ

Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him? [4:147].

And Allah said (4):

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنْتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness [8:33].

And He said (3):

قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ

Say, “What would my Lord care for you if not for your supplication?” [25:77].

وأما الثلاث اللاتي عليه: فالمكر والبغي والنكث، قال الله تعالى: {فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّما يَنْكُثُ عَلى نَفْسِهِو}. قال تعالى: {وَلا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ} وقال تعالى: {إِنَّما بَغْيُكُمْ عَلى أَنْفُسِكُمْ}

And the three things which are against him are: 1) plotting, 2) injustice, and 3) breaking of oaths.

Allah said (3):

 فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ

So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. [48:10]

And Allah said (1):

وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ

But the evil plot encompasses only those who make it. [35:43]

And Allah said (2):

 إِنَّمَا بَغْيُكُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ

your injustice is only against yourselves [10:23]

 [Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an 5/365-366]

[1] Translator’s note: Makḥool was a scholar of al-Shaam (Greater Syria) during the time of the tabi’een. He was known as Abu ‘Abdullaah, and some say he was called Abu Ayyub, and others say he was called Abu Muslim al-Dimishqi al-Faqeeh. He was a non-Arab. He narrated directly from at least three sahaabah: Waathilah ibn al-Asqa’, Anas ibn Maalik and Abu Hind. He died in the year 112 or 113 after the Hijrah. [See Siyar ‘Alaam al-Nubala’ (5/156-161)]

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: The Fiqh of Oaths: Tafsir al-Sa’di

3 thoughts on “Four things for you and Three things against you

  1. Pingback: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…” | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: A Relationship between Surah al-Ma’oon and Surah al-Kawthar: al-Zarkashi | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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