I will mislead them all, except Your chosen servants: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah informs us in surah al-Hijr of the story of Iblees, and that after Allah had granted his request for a period of respite, Iblees said:

قَالَ رَ‌بِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَلَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ * إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

[Iblees] said, “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all * Except, among them, Your chosen servants.” [15:39-40]

Commenting on the latter ayah in his book of tafsir, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

ذكر تعالى في هذه الآية الكريمة أن الشيطان لما أوعد بأنه سيضل أكثر بني آدم ، استثنى من ذلك عباد الله المخلصين ، معترفا بأنه لا قدرة له على إضلالهم ، ونظيره قوله في ص أيضا قال فبعزتك لأغوينهم أجمعين إلا عبادك منهم المخلصين [ 38 \ 82 – 83 ] وعباد الله المخلصون هم المرادون بالاستثناء في قوله في بني إسرائيل لأحتنكن ذريته إلا قليلا [ 17 \ 62 ] وقوله في سبأ ولقد صدق عليهم إبليس ظنه فاتبعوه إلا فريقا من المؤمنين [ 34 \ 20 ] وهم الذين احترز منهم بقوله ولا تجد أكثرهم شاكرين [ 7 \ 17 ] . ـ

In this noble ayah Allah mentioned that when the shaytaan threatened that he would misguide most of the children of Adam he made an exception therein for the chosen servants of Allah, recognizing that he had no ability to misguide them. And the counterpart of that is his statement in surah Saad; he also said:

فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ * إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

By Your might, I will surely mislead them all * Except, among them, Your chosen servants [38:82-83]

And the chosen servants of Allah are the ones intended by the exception which comes in his statement in surah Banu Israa’eel:

لَأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّ‌يَّتَهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

I will surely destroy his [i.e. Adam’s] descendants, except for a few [17:62]

as well as in His statement in surah Saba’:

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلَّا فَرِ‌يقًا مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And Iblees had already confirmed through them his assumption, so they followed him, except for a party of believers [34:20]*

and they are those among them who are on their guard, according to his statement:

وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَ‌هُمْ شَاكِرِ‌ينَ

and You will not find most of them grateful [7:17]

وبين تعالى في مواضع أخر أن الشيطان لا سلطان له على أولئك المخلصين كقوله إن عبادي ليس لك عليهم سلطان الآية [ 15 \ 42 ] وقوله : إنه ليس له سلطان على الذين آمنوا وعلى ربهم يتوكلون إنما سلطانه على الذين يتولونه [ 16 \ 99 – 100 ] وقوله وما كان له عليهم من سلطان إلا لنعلم من يؤمن بالآخرة ممن هو منها في شك الآية [ 34 \ 21 ] . وقوله : وما كان لي عليكم من سلطان إلا أن دعوتكم فاستجبتم لي [ 14 \ 22 ] . ـ

And Allah explained elsewhere that the shaytaan does not have any authority over these chosen ones, such as His statement:

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators [15:42]

And His statement:

إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ * إِنَّمَا سُلْطَانُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ

Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord * His power is only over those who obey and follow him … [16:99-100]

And His statement:

وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالْآخِرَ‌ةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِي شَكٍّ

And he had no authority over them, except that We might test him, who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt about it [34:21]

And His statement:

وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي

I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me [14:22]

وقوله : المخلصين [ 15 \ 40 ] قرأه ابن عامر وابن كثير وأبو عمرو بكسر اللام اسم فاعل ، وقرأه نافع والكوفيون بفتح اللام بصيغة اسم المفعول . ـ

And His statement:

الْمُخْلَصِينَ

chosen ones

Ibn ‘Aamir, ibn Kathir and Abu ‘Amr recited it with a kasra on the letter laam, making it an active participle [meaning “sincere ones”], while Naafi’ and the people of Kufa recited it with a fath on the letter laam, with it taking the form of a passive participle [meaning “chosen ones“].

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/278]

*Translator’s Note: Imam al-Shinqitee wrote a further clarification of the meaning of this ayah [34:20] and the wording “And Iblees had already confirmed through them his assumption” elsewhere in his tafsir by saying:

قوله تعالى : ولا تجد أكثرهم شاكرين ، هذا الذي ذكر إبليس أنه سيوقع بني آدم فيه قاله ظنا منه أنهم سيطيعونه فيما يدعوهم إليه حتى يهلكهم ، وقد بين تعالى في سورة ” سبأ ” أن ظنه هذا صدق فيهم بقوله : ولقد صدق عليهم إبليس ظنه فاتبعوه الآية [ \ 20 ] ، كما تقدمت الإشارة إليه . ـ

And Allah’s statement:

وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَ‌هُمْ شَاكِرِ‌ينَ

and You will not find most of them grateful [7:17]

This is what Iblees said would happen with the children of Adam in relation to him. This statement of his is his assumption that they would obey him in what he called them to until they were destroyed, and Allah clarified in surah Saba’ that this assumption of his was confirmed in them, according to His statement:

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلَّا فَرِ‌يقًا مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And Iblees had already confirmed through them his assumption, so they followed him, except for a party of believers [34:20]

as has already been indicated.

[Adwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/12]

See also: Shaytaan’s address to the disbelievers at the end of time: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

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3 thoughts on “I will mislead them all, except Your chosen servants: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: “And whoever becomes dim-sighted to the remembrance of al-Rahman…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Respective Means of Destruction: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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