“If you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a Furqan”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Anfal, Allah addresses His believing servants by saying:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْ‌قَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ‌ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

O you who have believed, if you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a furqan [criterion] and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty. [8:29]

Commenting on this ayah in his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following:

قال ابن عباس ، والسدي ، ومجاهد ، وعكرمة ، والضحاك ، وقتادة ، ومقاتل بن حيان ، وغير واحد : فرقانا : مخرجا ، زاد مجاهد : في الدنيا والآخرة ، وفي رواية عن ابن عباس : فرقانا : نجاة ، وفي رواية عنه : نصرا . وقال محمد بن إسحاق : فرقانا أي : فصلا بين الحق والباطل ، قاله ابن كثير . ـ

Ibn ‘Abbaas, al-Suddi, Mujaahid, ‘Ikrimah, al-Dhahhaak, Qataadah, Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan, and others all said: Furqan means, “a way out”. And Mujaahid added to this “in this worldly life and in the hereafter.”

And in what was narrated from ibn ‘Abbaas: Furqan means, “salvation”. And in another narration from him, “aid”.

And Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said: Furqan, meaning a means of distinguishing between the truth and falsehood.

All of the above is what ibn Kathir said [see Tafsir ibn Kathir 4/43-44].

قال مقيده عفا الله عنه : قول الجماعة المذكورة : إن المراد بالفرقان : المخرج يشهد له قوله تعالى : ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا الآية [ 65 \ 2 ] ، والقول بأنه النجاة أو النصر ، راجع في المعنى إلى هذا ; لأن من جعل الله له مخرجا أنجاه ونصره ، لكن الذي يدل القرآن واللغة على صحته في تفسير الآية المذكورة هو قول ابن إسحاق ; لأن الفرقان مصدر زيدت فيه الألف والنون ، وأريد به الوصف أي الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، وذلك هو معناه في قوله : تبارك الذي نزل الفرقان [ 25 \ 1 ] ، أي الكتاب الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، وقوله : وأنزل الفرقان [ 3 \ 4 ] ، وقوله : وإذ آتينا موسى الكتاب والفرقان [ 2 \ 53 ] ، وقوله : ولقد آتينا موسى وهارون الفرقان [ 21 \ 48 ] ، ويدل على أن المراد بالفرقان هنا : العلم الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، قوله تعالى في الحديد : ياأيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وآمنوا برسوله يؤتكم كفلين من رحمته ويجعل لكم نورا تمشون به ويغفر لكم الآية [ 57 \ 28 ] . ـ

And the following is my speech:

The aforementioned statement of the majority – that the intended meaning of al-Furqan is a “a way out” – is supported by Allah’s statement:

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَ‌جًا

And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out [65:2]

And the position that al-Furqan means “salvation” or “aid” ultimately goes back to this first meaning, because whomever Allah has provided with a way out, then He has saved him and aided him.

That being said, what both the Qur’an and the Arabic language indicate to be correct in terms of the explanation of this ayah is the statement of ibn Ishaaq. That is because the word al-Furqan is linguistically the masdar (verbal noun) form with the addition of the letters alif and noon, which linguistically communicates the meaning of an attribute – i.e. that which separates the truth from falsehood. And that meaning is the meaning found in Allah’s statement:

تَبَارَ‌كَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْ‌قَانَ 

Blessed is He who sent down the Furqan (criterion)… [25:1]

meaning: a Scripture which separates the truth from falsehood. And also His statement:

وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْ‌قَانَ

And He sent down the Furqan… [3:4]

And His statement:

وَإِذْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَالْفُرْ‌قَانَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And [recall] when We gave Moosaa the Scripture and Furqan that perhaps you would be guided [2:53]

And His statement:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ وَهَارُ‌ونَ الْفُرْ‌قَانَ

And We had already given Moosaa and Haroon the Furqan [21:48]

And these ayaat demonstrate that the intended meaning of al-Furqan in this instance is: knowledge which separates the truth from falsehood.

And also His statement in surah al-Hadeed:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَآمِنُوا بِرَ‌سُولِهِ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّ‌حْمَتِهِ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُورً‌ا تَمْشُونَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [57:28]

لأن قوله هنا : ويجعل لكم نورا تمشون به ، يعني : علما وهدى تفرقون به بين الحق والباطل ، ويدل على أن المراد بالنور هنا الهدى ، ومعرفة الحق قوله تعالى فيمن كان [ ص: 53 ] كافرا فهداه الله : أومن كان ميتا فأحييناه وجعلنا له نورا يمشي به في الناس الآية [ 6 \ 122 ] ، فجعل النور المذكور في الحديد : هو معنى الفرقان المذكور في الأنفال كما ترى ، وتكفير السيئات ، والغفران المرتب على تقوى الله في آية الأنفال ، كذلك جاء مرتبا أيضا عليها في آية الحديد ، وهو بيان واضح كما ترى . ـ

This statement also supports this explanation because here, Allah’s statement “and He will make for you a light by which you will walk” refers to knowledge and guidance by which you will distinguish the truth from falsehood.

And the fact that the intended meaning of “a light” here is “guidance and knowledge of the truth” is indicated by Allah’s statement in respect to one who had been a disbeliever and then Allah guided him:

أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورً‌ا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِ‌جٍ مِّنْهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِ‌ينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing. [6:122]

So, as you can see, Allah made the meaning of “the light” mentioned in surah al-Hadeed the same as the meaning of the Furqan mentioned in surah al-Anfal. And in the ayah of surah al-Anfal forgiveness and the expiation of sins are predicated upon having taqwa of Allah, just as they are in the ayah of surah al-Hadeed as well. And this is a clear demonstration of their correspondence, as you can see.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/53-54]

Translator’s note: After mentioning the different opinions quoted here by imam al-Shinqitee, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir continued his discussion of this ayah in his own tafsir as follows:

 وهذا التفسير من ابن إسحاق أعم مما تقدم وقد يستلزم ذلك كله ؛ فإن من اتقى الله بفعل أوامره وترك زواجره ، وفق لمعرفة الحق من الباطل ، فكان ذلك سبب نصره ونجاته ومخرجه من أمور الدنيا ، وسعادته يوم القيامة ، وتكفير ذنوبه – وهو محوها – وغفرها : سترها عن الناس – سببا لنيل ثواب الله الجزيل ، كما قال تعالى : ( يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وآمنوا برسوله يؤتكم كفلين من رحمته ويجعل لكم نورا تمشون به ويغفر لكم والله غفور رحيم ) [ الحديد : 28 ] . ـ

This explanation from ibn Ishaaq is more general than those explanations which preceded it, and his explanation entails all of those other explanations. For whoever exercises taqwa of Allah by enacting His commandments and avoiding His limits, then he is granted the accord to recognize the truth from falsehood, and that itself is a cause for his being aided, for being saved, for being granted a way out of the affairs of this worldly life, and his happiness on the Day of Judgement.

And the expiation of his sins – meaning, their erasure – and the forgiveness of his sins – meaning, their being concealed from the people – are two causes for attaining great rewards from Allah, just as Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَآمِنُوا بِرَ‌سُولِهِ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّ‌حْمَتِهِ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُورً‌ا تَمْشُونَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [57:28]

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 4/44]

For a further explanation of this ayah from sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, see also: 4 of the rewards of al-Taqwa: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Bringing you out from darknesses unto the light: Tafsir al-Shinqitee [forthcoming, inshaAllaah]

4 thoughts on ““If you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a Furqan”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: 4 of the rewards of al-Taqwa: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 2: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “Whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray nor suffer”: Tafsir of Sheikh bin Baaz | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Follow Allah’s Path, and Do Not Follow Others Paths: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

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