Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di divided his chapter on fasting into three parts, using the ayaat of fasting in surah al-Baqarah (2:183-187) as his structure. Click here to read the first section of that chapter, and here for the second section. What follows is the third and final section, discussing the last of these ayaat pertaining to fasting:

ـ {أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ} [البقرة: 187] إلى قوله: {كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 187] ـ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّ‌فَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَ‌بُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ‌ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are in isolation in the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous. [2:187]

كان أول ما فرض الصيام منع المسلمون من الأكل والشرب في الليل إذا ناموا، فحصلت المشقة لكثير منهم، فخفف الله ذلك، وأباح في ليالي الصيام كلها الأكل والشرب والجماع، سواء نام أو لم ينم؛ لكونهم يختانون أنفسهم بترك بعض ما أمروا به لو بقي الأمر على ما كان أولا، فتاب الله عليكم بأن وسع لكم أمرا لولا توسعته لكان داعيا إلى الإثم والإقدام على المعاصي . ـ

In the first stage of the obligatory fasting, the Muslims were prohibited from eating and drinking at night after they had slept, which resulted in a great deal of difficulty for them. So Allah eased the situation for them and permitted eating, drinking and sexual intercourse for them during the entire nights of the fast, regardless of whether they had already slept or not. For they would have betrayed themselves by abandoning part of what they had been commanded to do if the situation had continued in that manner as it was in the first stage of fasting. So Allah turned to them in forgiveness by easing the situation for them. And had it not been for that easing of the situation, then they would have been tempted unto sin and emboldened unto disobedience.

ـ {وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ} ما سلف من التخون. ـ

وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ

and He pardoned you

i.e. for what had previously occurred of their betrayal.

ـ {فَالْآنَ} [البقرة: 187] بعد هذه الرخصة والسعة من الله {بَاشِرُوهُنَّ} [البقرة: 187] وطئا وقبلة ولمسا . ـ

فَالْآنَ

So now …

after this concession and allowance from Allah

بَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ

… have relations with them …

conjugal relations, kissing, intimacy, etc.

ـ {وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ} [البقرة: 187] أي: اقصدوا في مباشرتكم لزوجاتكم التقرب إلى الله بذلك، واقصدوا أيضا حصول الذرية وإعفاف الفرج وحصول جميع مقاصد النكاح . ـ

وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ

… and seek that which Allah has decreed for you

meaning: intend to draw closer to Allah by means of your spousal relations, and also intend the production of offspring, the moral goodness and control of your sexual organs, and the attainment of all the various purposes of marriage.

 وابتغوا أيضا ليلة القدر، فإياكم أن تشتغلوا بهذه اللذة وتوابعها وتضيعوا ليلة القدر، وهي مما كتبه الله لهذه الأمة، وفيها من الخير العظيم ما يعد تفويته من أعظم الخسران، فاللذة مدركة، وليلة القدر إذا فاتت لم تدرك، ولم يعوض عنها شيء. ـ

And also, seek Laylah al-Qadr, and beware of preoccupying yourselves with these sexual appetites and the ensuing activities such that you miss Laylah al-Qadr, which is one of the things which Allah has decreed for this ummah. And Laylah al-Qadr contains such tremendous good that whoever misses it would be considered to be in a state of extreme loss, for sexual desires can be fulfilled at other times, but if one misses Laylah al-Qadr then he cannot make it up nor is there anything to compensate him for that.

ـ {وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ} [البقرة: 187] هذا غاية جواز الأكل والشرب والجماع في ليالي الصيام؛ وفيه أن هذه الثلاثة إذا وقعت وصاحبها شاك في طلوع الفجر فلا حرج عليه . ـ

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَ‌بُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ‌

And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread

This is the scope of the permission for eating, drinking and sexual intercourse during the nights of fasting. And in this is the fact that if any of these three things occurs while one is uncertain as to whether the time for fajr has entered or not, then he is not blameworthy.

ودليل على استحباب السحور، وأنه يستحب تأخيره أخذا من معنى رخصة الله وتسهيله على العباد . ـ

This ayah contains a proof for the recommended nature of the suhoor [pre-dawn meal], and also that it is encouraged to delay it, which is extracted from the general meaning of Allah’s concession and easing of matters for His slaves.

ودليل على أنه يجوز أن يدركه الفجر وهو جنب من الجماع قبل أن يغتسل؛ لأن من لازم إباحة الجماع إلى طلوع الفجر أن يدركه الفجر وهو جنب، ولازم الحق حق . ـ

And this ayah also contains a proof that it is permissible to reach the fajr time while still being in a state of major ritual impurity resulting from sexual intercourse without having taking a ghusl. This is because entering into the fajr time while being in a state of major ritual impurity goes hand-in-hand with the permissibility of sexual intercourse up until the entry of the fajr time, and whatever is inextricably linked to a right is a right.

ثم إذا طلع الفجر أتموا الصيام، أي: أمسكوا عن المفطرات إلى الليل، وهو غروب الشمس. ولما كانت إباحة الوطء في ليالي الصيام ليست إباحة عامة لكل أحد، استثنى تعالى المعتكف بقوله: ـ

Then, once the fajr time comes in, see your fast to its conclusion – meaning refrain from any of the factors which invalidate the fast until the night time, which is the setting of the sun.

And while sexual intercourse is allowed during the nights of fasting, this permission does not apply generally to all people; Allah has excluded those making ‘itikaaf from this allowance with His statement:

ـ {وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ} [البقرة: 187] أي: وأنتم متصفون بذلك؛ ودلت الآية على مشروعية الاعتكاف؛ وهو لزوم المساجد لطاعة الله، وأن الاعتكاف لا يصح إلا بمسجد . ـ

وَلَا تُبَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ

And do not have relations with them as long as you are in isolation in the mosques

meaning: while you are characterized by that description. And this ayah indicates the legislated manner of the ‘itikaaf, which is to remain in the mosque for the purpose of obedience to Allah, and it also indicates that ‘itikaaf is not correct unless it is performed in a mosque.

ويستفاد من تعريف المساجد بالألف واللام أنها المساجد التي يعرفها المسلمون، وأنها التي تقام فيها الصلوات الخمس. ـ

And the fact that “mosques” here is referred to as a proper noun is used to indicate that these are the mosques which are recognized by the Muslims, those in which they establish the five daily prayers.

وفيه أن الوطء من مفسدات الاعتكاف . ـ

And this ayah also indicates that sexual intercourse is one of the things which invalidates one’s ‘itikaaf.

تلك المذكورات، وهي تحريم الأكل والشرب والجماع ونحوها من مفطرات الصيام، وتحريم الوطء على المعتكف، ونحو ذلك من المحرمات التي حدها لعباده، ونهاهم عنها . ـ

These things which have been mentioned of the factors which invalidate one’s fast – such as the prohibition of eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, etc., and the prohibition of sexual intercourse for the one making ‘itikaaf, and other such things which are forbidden – these are Allah’s limits for His slaves and what He has prohibited them from.

ـ {فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا} [البقرة: 187] أي: لا تفعلوها، ولا تحوموا حولها، وتفعلوا وسائلها، والعبد مأمور بترك المحرمات، والبعد عنها بترك كل وسيلة تدعو إليها. ـ

فَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهَا

so do not approach them

meaning: do not commit them, and do not spend time in their vicinity, such that you might take means towards committing them. The slaves have been commanded to abandon the forbidden things and to distance themselves from them by leaving off every pathway which tempts them to commit those things.

وأما الأوامر فيقول الله فيها: { تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا} [البقرة: 229] فينهى عن مجاوزتها . ـ

But as for the commandments, then regarding these Allah said:

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا

These are the limits of Allah, so do not overstep them [2:229]

So He forbade them from exceeding them.

ـ {كَذَٰلِكَ} كذلك البيان السابق والتوضيح التام من الله لعباده: {يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 187] فإن العلم الصحيح سبب للتقوى؛ لأنهم إذا بان لهم الحق اتبعوه، وإذا بان لهم الباطل اجتنبوه، ومن علم الحق فتركه والباطل فاتبعه كان أعظم لجرمه وأشد لإثمه. ـ

كَذَٰلِكَ

Thus…

Thus the preceding explanation and complete clarification from Allah to His slaves

يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

…does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous

For indeed correct knowledge is a cause of al-taqwa, for if the truth is made clear to them then they follow it and if falsehood is made clear to them then they are averse to it. But whoever knows the truth and abandons it and knows falsehood but then follows it, then this is the most grievous of crimes and the most severe of sins.

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg 152-154]

See also: The Chapter on Fasting – part 1: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Chapter on Fasting – part 2: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Two Joys for the Fasting Person: Imam al-Sa’di

For more material related to Ramadan, click here.

For more excerpts from the thematic tafsir of al-Sa’di, click here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di

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

  2. Pingback: The date Laylatu’l-Qadr being unknown – “Perhaps that is better for you”: Ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.