The Deeds of the Disbelievers: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee brought the following explanation of a parable in his tafsir of surah Ibrahim:

قوله تعالى : مثل الذين كفروا بربهم أعمالهم كرماد اشتدت به الريح في يوم عاصف الآية . ـ

Allah’s statement:

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا بِرَ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَ‌مَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّ‌يحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ ۖ لَّا يَقْدِرُ‌ونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلَالُ الْبَعِيدُ

The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord: their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they have no power over that which they have earned. That is what is extreme error. [14:18]

ضرب الله تعالى لأعمال الكفار مثلا في هذه الآية الكريمة برماد اشتدت به الرياح في يوم عاصف ، أي شديد الريح ، فإن تلك الريح الشديدة العاصفة تطير ذلك الرماد ولم تبق له أثرا ، فكذلك أعمال الكفار كصلات الأرحام ، وقرى الضيف ، والتنفيس عن المكروب ، وبر الوالدين ، ونحو ذلك يبطلها الكفر ويذهبها ، كما تطير تلك الريح ذلك الرماد . ـ

In this noble ayah Allah strikes a comparison between the deeds of the disbelievers and ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day, i.e. a severe wind. For indeed that severe stormy wind causes those ashes to fly and does not leave any trace of them. So likewise and the deeds of the disbelievers, such as maintaining the ties of kinship, hospitality towards guests, aiding the one in distress, being dutiful to one’s parents, and the likes of that are all invalidated and done away with by kufr (disbelief), just as that wind causes those ashes to fly away.

وضرب أمثالا أخر في آيات أخر لأعمال الكفار بهذا المعنى ، كقوله : والذين كفروا أعمالهم كسراب بقيعة يحسبه الظمآن ماء حتى إذا جاءه لم يجده شيئا [ 24 \ 39 ] ، وقوله : مثل ما ينفقون في هذه الحياة الدنيا كمثل ريح فيها صر أصابت حرث قوم ظلموا [ ص: 246 ] أنفسهم فأهلكته الآية [ 3 \ 117 ] ، وقوله : ياأيها الذين آمنوا لا تبطلوا صدقاتكم بالمن والأذى كالذي ينفق ماله رئاء الناس ولا يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فمثله كمثل صفوان عليه تراب فأصابه وابل فتركه صلدا لا يقدرون على شيء مما كسبوا والله لا يهدي القوم الكافرين [ 2 \ 264 ] ، وقوله : وقدمنا إلى ما عملوا من عمل فجعلناه هباء منثورا [ 25 \ 23 ] ، إلى غير ذلك من الآيات . ـ

And Allah struck other comparisons of this meaning for the deeds of the disbelievers in other ayaat, such as His statement:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَ‌ابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاءً حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا 

But those who disbelieved – their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing [24:39]

And His statement:

مَثَلُ مَا يُنفِقُونَ فِي هَـٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَثَلِ رِ‌يحٍ فِيهَا صِرٌّ‌ أَصَابَتْ حَرْ‌ثَ قَوْمٍ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فَأَهْلَكَتْهُ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَلَـٰكِنْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

The example of what they spend in this worldly life is like that of a wind containing frost which strikes the harvest of a people who have wronged themselves and destroys it. And Allah has not wronged them, but they wrong themselves. [3:117]

And His statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِ‌ئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَ‌ابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَ‌كَهُ صَلْدًا ۖ لَّا يَقْدِرُ‌ونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِّمَّا كَسَبُوا ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ

O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. [2:264]

And His statement:

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَّنثُورً‌ا

And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed. [25:23]

As well as in other ayaat.

[Adwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/246]

Continue reading from the same passage with The Purpose of Parables in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Click here to explore more Parables of the Qur’an

See also: “And who is more unjust than…”: Imam al-Shinqitee

4 thoughts on “The Deeds of the Disbelievers: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: Does the Qur’an use metaphorical language? – Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: A Parable of Two Slaves: Ibn al-Qayyim | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Allah’s Comparison of the Dunya and Water: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Purpose of Parables in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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