The Appropriate Places for Gentleness and for Harshness: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di made the following beneficial clarification in part of his thematic tafsir:

فائدة: من الحكمة استعمال اللين في معاشرة المؤمنين، وفي مقام الدعوة للكافرين، كما قال تعالى: { فَبِمَا رَ‌حْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ }  [ آل عمران: 159 ]. وقال: { فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ‌ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ }  [ طه: 44 ]  . فأمر باللين في هذه المواضع، وذكر ما يترتب عليه من المصالح . ـ

A point of benefit: It is part of hikmah (wisdom) to employ gentleness in interactions with the believers and in situations of giving da’wah to the disbelievers, just as Allah said:

فَبِمَا رَ‌حْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ

And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you [3:159]

And He said:

فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ‌ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ

And speak to him [i.e. Fir’awn] gently, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah. [20:44]

So He commanded having gentleness in these places, and He mentioned some of the benefits that follow from that.

 كما أن من الحكمة استعمال الغلظة في موضعها. قال تعالى: { يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ‌ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ } [ التحريم: 9 ] ؛ لأن المقام هنا مقام لا تفيد فيه الدعوة، بل قد تعين فيه القتال ، فالغلظة فيه من تمام القتال . ـ

And likewise it is part of hikmah for employ harshness in its proper place. Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ‌ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ

O Prophet, strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh with them [9:73 and 66:9]

This is because this circumstance here is a circumstance in which da’wah does not benefit; rather what is specifically called for here is fighting, so harshness in this case is part of the completeness of fighting.

وقد جمع الله بين الأمرين في قوله في وصف خواص الأمة: { أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ‌ رُ‌حَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ } [ الفتح: 29 ]. ـ

And Allah has combined these two affairs in His statement regarding the defining characteristics of this ummah:

أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ‌ رُ‌حَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ

They are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves [48:29]

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 428-429]

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

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

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

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

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

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5 thoughts on “The Appropriate Places for Gentleness and for Harshness: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The supplications of four prophets for or against their people: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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

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

  5. Pingback: The Means and Objectives of Calling to Allah: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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