Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Baqarah:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ۖ قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ ۖ وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

And they ask you about orphans. Say, “Improvement for them is best. And if you mix your affairs with theirs – they are your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty. Truly, Allah is All-Might, All-Wise. [2:220]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following commentary of this ayah in his famous tafsir:

لما نزل قوله تعالى: { إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَى ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا } شق ذلك على المسلمين, وعزلوا طعامهم عن طعام اليتامى, خوفا على أنفسهم من تناولها, ولو في هذه الحالة التي جرت العادة بالمشاركة فيها, وسألوا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن ذلك، فأخبرهم تعالى أن المقصود, إصلاح أموال اليتامى, بحفظها وصيانتها والاتجار فيها ، وأن خلطتهم إياهم في طعام أو غيره جائز على وجه لا يضر باليتامى, لأنهم إخوانكم, ومن شأن الأخ مخالطة أخيه, والمرجع في ذلك إلى النية والعمل، فمن علم الله من نيته أنه مصلح لليتيم, وليس له طمع في ماله, فلو دخل عليه شيء من غير قصد لم يكن عليه بأس، ومن علم الله من نيته, أن قصده بالمخالطة, التوصل إلى أكلها وتناولها, فذلك الذي حرج وأثم, و ” الوسائل لها أحكام المقاصد ” . ـ

When Allah revealed His statement:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارً‌ا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرً‌ا

Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze. [4:10]

that was cumbersome for the Muslims, and they would separate their food from the food of the orphans, fearing for themselves lest they consume it even though it had been their custom to share their food collectively. So they asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about that, and Allah informed them that the objective was the well-being of the orphans’ wealth by protecting and safeguarding it and conducting transactions with it, and that mixing with them in regards to food and other than that is permissible so long as it does not cause harm to the orphans, because they are your brothers and the affairs of a brother are mixed with his brother. And it ultimately comes back to one’s intention and actions, so for whomever Allah knows that his intention was the well-being of the orphans and that he did not have covetousness towards his property, then even if he entered into something [of the orphan’s wealth] which he did not intend, there is no blame upon him. But whomever Allah knows that his intention was to achieve consumption and attainment of the orphan’s wealth through mixing the orphan’s property with his own, then that is the one who has done wrong and sinned. For “the means towards something take the same ruling as the objective”.

وفي هذه الآية, دليل على جواز أنواع المخالطات, في المآكل والمشارب, والعقود وغيرها, وهذه الرخصة لطف من الله [تعالى] وإحسان, وتوسعة على المؤمنين . ـ

And in this ayah there is a proof for the permissibility of the different types of mixing (property) in regards to food, drink, contracts, etc. And this is a concession, a kindness from Allah, an act of magnanimity and generosity towards the believers.

وإلا فـ { لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ } أي: شق عليكم بعدم الرخصة بذلك, فحرجتم. وشق عليكم وأثمتم، { إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ } أي: له القوة الكاملة, والقهر لكل شيء، ولكنه مع ذلك { حَكِيمٌ } لا يفعل إلا ما هو مقتضى حكمته الكاملة وعنايته التامة, فعزته لا تنافي حكمته، فلا يقال: إنه ما شاء فعل, وافق الحكمة أو خالفها، بل يقال: إن أفعاله وكذلك أحكامه, تابعة لحكمته, فلا يخلق شيئا عبثا, بل لا بد له من حكمة, عرفناها, أم لم نعرفها وكذلك لم يشرع لعباده شيئا مجردا عن الحكمة، فلا يأمر إلا بما فيه مصلحة خالصة, أو راجحة, ولا ينهى إلا عما فيه مفسدة خالصة أو راجحة, لتمام حكمته ورحمته. ـ

And if otherwise, then:

لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ

And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty

 – meaning: made it burdensome for all of you through the absence of a concession for that, so that would have importuned them and been a burden on you all and they would have sinned.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ

Truly, Allah is All-Mighty

– meaning: to Him belongs the complete power and overwhelming force over everything. However along with that He is

حَكِيمٌ

All-Wise

He does not do anything except that which is in-keeping with His perfect wisdom and His complete consideration. So His might does not negate His wisdom, so one does not say, ‘Indeed, whatever He wishes He does, whether it coincides with His wisdom or departs from it’; rather one says, ‘Indeed, His actions – and likewise His rulings – are subject to His wisdom.” For He does not create anything without purpose; rather, it must be that it has a reason, whether we know it or not. Likewise, He does not legislate anything for His slaves devoid of a reason, so He does not command anything except that which contains pure or predominant rectification, and He does not forbid anything except that which contains pure or overwhelming corruption, due to the complete perfection of His wisdom and mercy.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 98-99]

To read al-Sa’di’s tafsir of the next ayah [2:221], see:

The Mushirkoon invite to the fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness

See also: Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “There is no good in much of their private conversation, except…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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2 thoughts on “Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: The Mushirkoon invite to the fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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