Transgressing the Limits of Allah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In the beginning of surah al-Nisaa’, Allah discusses the rules of inheritance at length. Immediately following this, He says:

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ * وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارً‌ا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

These are the limits of Allah, and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow, to abide therein, and that will be the great success. * And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment. [4:13-14]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following:

أي: تلك التفاصيل التي ذكرها في المواريث حدود الله التي يجب الوقوف معها وعدم مجاوزتها، ولا القصور عنها، وفي ذلك دليل على أن الوصية للوارث منسوخة بتقديره تعالى أنصباء الوارثين. ـ

Meaning: These details of the inheritance which He mentioned are the limits of Allah, at which He has obligated halting, the absence of transgressing them and not falling short of them. And in this there is a proof that making a bequest to an inheritor [i.e. writing a will in which one of your legally-designated inheritors would receive more than their amount according to the sharee’ah] is abrogated due to Allah’s designation of the shares due to the various inheritors.

ثم قوله تعالى: { تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ } فالوصية للوارث بزيادة على حقه يدخل في هذا التعدي، مع قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لا وصية لوارث” ثم ذكر طاعة الله ورسوله ومعصيتهما عموما ليدخل في العموم لزوم حدوده في الفرائض أو ترك ذلك فقال: { وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ } بامتثال أمرهما الذي أعظمه طاعتهما في التوحيد، ثم الأوامر على اختلاف درجاتها واجتناب نهيهما الذي أعظمُه الشرك بالله، ثم المعاصي على اختلاف طبقاتها { يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا } . ـ

Then Allah said,

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ

these are the limits of Allah

for a bequest to an inheritor over and above that person’s due share of inheritance enters into this category of crossing of the limits, not to mention the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ), “there is no bequest to an inheritor”. Then, Allah mentioned obedience and disobedience to Allah and His Messenger in general, which includes adhering to or abandoning Allah’s limits in respects to inheritance therein. So He said:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ

And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger…

by conforming to their commands – the greatest form of obedience to them being al-tawheed and then the remaining commands according to their different levels -, and by avoiding their prohibitions – the greatest of which being committing shirk with Allah and then the various forms of disobedience according to their different levels.

يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا

…will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow, to abide therein

فمن أدى الأوامر واجتنب النواهي فلا بد له من دخول الجنة والنجاة من النار. { وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ } الذي حصل به النجاة من سخطه وعذابه، والفوز بثوابه ورضوانه بالنعيم المقيم الذي لا يصفه الواصفون. ـ

So whoever fulfills the commands and avoids the prohibitions, then certainly entrance into al-Jannah and salvation from the Hell-fire will be his.

وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

And that will be the great success

by which he attains salvation from Allah’s displeasure and punishment, and attains the success of Allah’s reward and pleasure in the form of everlasting comfort which no description can accurately capture.

ـ { وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ } ويدخل في اسم المعصية الكفر فما دونه من المعاصي، فلا يكون فيها شبهة للخوارج القائلين بكفر أهل المعاصي فإن الله تعالى رتب دخول الجنة على طاعته وطاعة رسوله. ورتب دخول النار على معصيته ومعصية رسوله، فمن أطاعه طاعة تامة دخل الجنة بلا عذاب. ومن عصى الله ورسوله معصية تامة يدخل فيها الشرك فما دونه، دخل النار وخلد فيها، ومن اجتمع فيه معصية وطاعة، كان فيه من موجب الثواب والعقاب بحسب ما فيه من الطاعة والمعصية. وقد دلت النصوص المتواترة على أن الموحدين الذين معهم طاعة التوحيد، غير مخلدين في النار، فما معهم من التوحيد مانع لهم من الخلود فيها. ـ

وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment

And al-kufr is included in the word “disobedience”, as well as whatever is less than that of the various forms of disobedience. Therefore, this ayah does not contain any support for the spurious belief of the Khawaarij who label those who commit acts of disobedience as disbelievers. For Allah made entrance into al-Jannah as a result of obedience to Him and obedience to His Messenger, and He made entrance into the Hell-fire as a result of disobeying Him and disobeying His Messenger.

So whoever obeys Him with complete obedience will enter into al-Jannah without punishment, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger with complete disobedience – which includes al-shirk as well as what is less than that – will enter into the Hell-fire and remains there forever.

And whoever combines acts of disobedience and acts of obedience, there in that case there are things which necessitate both reward and punishment according to what was present of obedience and disobedience. And the mutawaatir texts have definitively shown that those monotheists who have the act of obedience of al-tawheed do not remain eternally in the Hell-fire, for what they have of al-tawheed is a preventative force in their favor against remaining eternally in the Hell-fire.

 [Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 182-183]

See also: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Levels of the Believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: Imam al-Sa’di

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One thought on “Transgressing the Limits of Allah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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