Qiraa’aat and their Conditions for Acceptance: Sheikh Muqbil

Sheikh Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waad’iee was asked the following question regarding the different qiraa’aat, or recitations of the Qur’an:

نص السؤال: هل القراءات السبع أو العشر متواترة ؟

Question: Have the seven qiraa’aat or the ten qiraa’aat come to us through mutawaatir transmission (i.e. through a large number of independent routes of transmission)?

نص الإجابة: القرآن متواتر ، وأغلب القراءات متواترة ، أما بعض الأحرف فقد ذكر الشوكاني رحمه الله تعالى عند تفسير قول الله عز وجل : ” وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامِ ۚ” [ النساء : 1 ] هي بالمصحف ” وَالْأَرْحَامَ ” ذكر أن هذا الحرف لا ينبغي أن يقال أنه متواتر لكن يقال : هو ثابت عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – . ـ

Response: The Qur’an has reached us through mutawaatir transmission, and most of the qiraa’aat have reached us through mutawaatir transmission.

As for some of the individual letters, al-Shakwaani mentioned a variant reading in his explanation of the first ayah of surah al-Nisaa’:

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامِ ۚ ـ

And have taqwa of Allah, through whom and through the ties of kinship you ask one another for your mutual rights

with the word “ties of kinship” there taking the genitive case, while in the mushaf it comes as:

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ ـ

And have taqwa of Allah, through whom you ask one another for your mutual rights, and have taqwa of the ties of kinship (i.e. do not break them)

where the word “ties of kinship” takes the accusative case.

So al-Shawkaani mentioned that is is not proper to refer to this particular variant letter change as having reached us through mutawaatir transmission, although one may say that it is authentically attributed to the Prophet (ﷺ). Continue reading

The Means and Objectives of Calling to Allah: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his small work of miscellaneous benefits derived from the Qur’an, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following valuable point:

الداعي إلى الله وإلى دينه له طريق ووسيلة إلى مقصوده ، وله مقصودان . فطريقة الدعوة : بالحق إلى الحق للحق فإذا اجتمعت هذه الثلاثة ، بأن كان يدعو بالحق أي بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة ، والمجادلة بالتي هي أحسن ، وكان يدعو إلى الحق – وهو سبيل الله تعالى وصراطه الموصل لسالكه إلى كرامته – وكان دعوته للحق ، أي : مخلصا لله تعالى ، قاصدا بذلك وجه الله ؛ حصل له أحد المقصودين لا محالة ، وهو : ثواب الداعين إلى الله ، وأجر ورثة الرسل بحسب ما قام به من ذلك ، وأما المقصود الآخر ، وهو حصول هداية الخلق وسلوكهم لسبيل الله الذي دعاهم إليه ؛ فهذا قد يحصل وقد لا يحصل ، فليجتهد الداعي في تكميل الدعوة كما تقدم ، وليستبشر بحصول الأجر والثواب ، وإذا لم يحصل المقصود الثاني – وهو هداية الخلق – أو حصل منهم معارضة أو أذية له بالقول أو بالفعل ؛ فليصبر ويحتسب ، ولا يوجب له ذلك ترك ما ينفعه ، وهو القيام بالدعوة علة وجه الكمال ، ولا يضق صدره بذلك ؛ فتضعف تفسه ، وتحضره الحسرات ، بل يقوم بجدٍ واجتهاد ، ولو حصل ما حصل من معارضة العباد . ـ

There are certain ways and means for the one who calls to Allah and to His religion to achieve his goals, and his goals are twofold.

The methodology of calling to Allah is: with what is right, to what is right, and for what is right. So he calls with what is right – meaning with wisdom, good exhortations, and arguing with what is best -, and he is calling to what is right – which is Allah’s way and straight path which leads those who traverse it unto His ultimate goodness -, and he is calling for what is right, meaning that he is sincere to Allah and doing so while seeking the sake of Allah.

So if these three matters are all in place together, then he will definitely achieve one of his two objectives, the first of which is the reward which is given to those who call to Allah. And that reward is the inheritance of the Messengers, according to the level at which he fulfilled that role. Continue reading

The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his explanation of his primer on the fundamentals of Tafsir, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen raised and answered the following question:

مسألة : هل يجب على أهل العلم أن يبينوا للناس معنى القرآن سواء سألوهم أم لا؟ ـ

An issue: Is it obligatory for the People of Knowledge to clarify the meanings of the Qur’an to the people regardless of whether the people ask them for that or not?

نقول : نعم ، يجب إذا سأله الناس بلسان الحال ، أو بلسان المقال ، فمثلا : إذا سمع الإنسانُ أن الناس يفسرون بعض الآيات على غير ما أراده الله ، فالواجب عليه أن يبين المعنى الذي أراده الله ؛ لأن العوام أحيانا يفسرون الآيات بغير ما أراده الله ، بل أحيانا يصنعون آيات من عندهم ـ تجده مثلا يقول : صدق الله العظيم ، وجعلنا لكل شيئ سببا ، وهذا ليس موجودا في القرآن ، لكن هم يعلمون أن الأشياء بأسبابها ، فالمهم أنه إذا رأى الإنسان أنه لا بد أن يبين معنى القرآن بلسان الحال ، أو بلسان المقال ، وجب عليه البيان ، وينبغي أن يجعل للعامة مجلسا لتفسير القرآن . ـ

We say: Yes it is obligatory when the people ask you for that, whether that be by their situation or by literally asking you. For instance, if a person were to hear the people explaining some ayaat with something other than what Allah intended by them, then it is a must for him for clarify the meaning that Allah actually intended. Because the lay people sometimes explain certain ayaat with something other than what Allah intended – in fact they sometimes invent ayaat, for instance you find people saying, “SadaqAllahu’l-‘Atheem” or they say “We have made a means for every thing”, but this phrase is nowhere to be found in the Qur’an even though we know that things do have their means and causes. Continue reading

The Quraish’s Demand for a Sign: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentioned the following in part of his tafsir of surah al-Ra’d:

قوله تعالى : ويقول الذين كفروا لولا أنزل عليه آية من ربه . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِ

And those who disbelieved say, “Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?” [13:7]

In this noble ayah, Allah explained that the disbelievers demand that the Prophet bring a sign sent to him from his Lord. And He made this meaning clear in numerous other places, such as His statement:

فَلْيَأْتِنَا بِآيَةٍ كَمَا أُرْ‌سِلَ الْأَوَّلُونَ

(The disbelievers said) “So let him bring us a sign just as those who were sent previously.” [21:5]

as well as other ayaat. And He also explained elsewhere that the Magnificent Qur’an contains that which precludes the need of any further signs, as He explained in His statement: Continue reading

The Proper Place of Asbaab al-Nuzool in Understanding the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di included the following point on asbaab al-nuzool (the reasons for revelation) in his short book of miscellaneous Qur’anic benefits:

الإتيان باللفظ العام في قوله : { وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ } [ النور 22 ] مع أنه نزلت في شأن أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه ، حين تألى أن لا ينفق على مسطح حين شايع أهل الإفك ، مما يحقق أن القرآن العظيم نزل هداية عامة ، وأنه يتناول : من لم ينزل عليهم من الأمة ، ومن نزلت وهم موجودون ، ومن كان له سبب بنزولها وغيره ، وهكذا يقال في جميع الآيات التي نزلت في قضايا جزئية خاصة ولفظها يتناول القضايا الكلية العامة  ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

And let not those of virtue and wealth among you swear not to give to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah. Let them pardon and overlook. Wouldn’t you like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [24:22]

This ayah contains language of a general nature despite having been revealed concerning the incident of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq when he swore not to spend any more money on [his cousin] Mistah after Mistah had sided with the people who slandered Aa’ishah.

So this is one of the things that confirms that the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for all people, and that it deals with all of the following categories of people: the people of this ummah who were not directly connected to its revelation, those who were connected to its revelation by being present when it was occurring, those who were directly involved in the causes behind certain parts of it revealed, and others as well. And this can be said of all the ayaat which were revealed in connection with a particular and specific circumstance but whose wording conveys a general and universal application. Continue reading

The Understanding of the Disbelievers is Limited to this Life: Imam al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee authored a valuable work entitled Dafa’ Eehaam al-Idhtiraab ‘an Ayaat al-Kitaab to respond to and dispel any supposed conflicts, mistakes and contradictions in the Qur’anic text. What follows is one excerpt taken from his coverage of surah al-Baqarah:

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ. ـ

Allah’s statement:

أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

… Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? [2:170]

هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْكَرِيمَةُ تَدُلُّ بِظَاهِرِهَا عَلَى أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ لَا عُقُولَ لَهُمْ أَصْلًا، لِأَنَّ قَوْلَهُ: «شَيْئًا» نَكِرَةٌ فِي سِيَاقِ النَّفْيِ، فَهِيَ تَدُلُّ عَلَى الْعُمُومِ . ـ

According to its outward appearance, this noble ayah indicates that the disbelievers do not possess any understanding at all, because His statement, “nothing” is indefinite in the context of negation, and this indicates a general applicability.

وَقَدْ جَاءَتْ آيَاتٌ أُخَرُ تَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ لَهُمْ عُقُولٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا كَقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ [29 38] . ـ

But there are other ayaat which indicate that the disbelievers possess understanding and that they use it to understand this worldly life, such as His statement:

Continue reading

Sabab al-Nuzool – its Definition and Wordings: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool mentioned the following in part of his explanation of Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah’s primer of the fundamentals of al-Tafsir:

ما تعريف سبب النزول ؟ سبب النزول هو الحادثة التي تقع في زمن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم أو السؤال الذي يسأل عنه الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فينزل القرآن متحدثاً عنها أو مجيباً عن السؤال. تعريف آخر مختصر : أن سبب النزول هو : ما نزل بصدده قرآن من حدث أو سؤال. ـ

What is the definition of sabab al-nuzool? Sabab al-nuzool [lit. “a reason for revelation”] is an event which occurred during the time of the Messenger (ﷺ) or a question which was posed to the Messenger (ﷺ) and then a portion of the Qur’an was revealed regarding that event or in response to the question.

Another more succinct definition is that sabab al-nuzool is: an event or question regarding which a portion of the Qur’an was revealed.

والعلماء – رحمهم الله – نبهوا أن تعبير السلف عن سبب النزول له صيغتان : الأولى : صيغة صريحة في التعبير عن سبب النزول . الثانية : صيغة غير صريحة . ـ

The scholars – may Allah have mercy on them – have informed us that the wordings which the salaf used to discuss the sabab al-nuzool came in two forms. Continue reading

In Response to the View that the Hell-fire will Come to an End: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz, the former Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was asked the following question:

 ما هو تفسير قوله تعالى -أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم-: مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ [هود:107]، في قوله تعالى في سورة هود: فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ *  خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ ، والآية التي بعدها ؟ ـ

What is the explanation of Allah’s statement (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed shaytaan):

مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ

as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will.

in His statement in surah Hud:

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ * خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ

As for those who are wretched, they will be in the Fire, sighing in a high and low tone. * They shall be abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. Indeed, your Lord is an effecter of what He intends. [11:106-107]

as well as in the following ayah?

Sheikh bin Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) responded:

اختلف كلام أهل التفسير في هذا الاستثناء، وأحسن ما قيل في ذلك: أن الاستثناء يراد به ما يقع حال القيامة في موقف القيامة، وما يقع في حال القبور، كل هذا مستثنى، إن المؤمنين والكافرين كلهم لهم نصيبهم، المؤمنون لهم نصيبهم من نعيم الله في قبورهم وفي موقفهم يوم القيامة، وما يحصل لهم من التسهيل واللطف. والكافرون لهم نصيبهم من العذاب في المقابر وفي موقفهم أمام الله يوم القيامة. أما بعد دخول النار فليس فيها استثناء يعني مخلدون أبد الآباد وهم الكفار، وأهل الجنة مخلدون في دار النعيم أبد الآباد لا يضعنون منها ولا يموتون، ولا تخرب بلادهم، وهكذا الكفرة مخلدون في نار جهنم عند أهل السنة والجماعة مخلدون فيها أبد الآباد، لا تخرب ولا يخرجون، منها كما قال الله -سبحانه- وتعالى في أهل النار: يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ[المائدة: 37] وقال -سبحانه-: كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ[البقرة: 167]، وقال في أهل الجنة: خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا[النساء: 57]، فأهل الجنة دائماً في نعيمهم وفي سرورهم وفي حبرتهم لا يضعنون ولا تخرب بلادهم: إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي مَقَامٍ أَمِينٍ * فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ * يَلْبَسُونَ مِن سُندُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ * كَذَلِكَ وَزَوَّجْنَاهُم بِحُورٍ عِينٍ * يَدْعُونَ فِيهَا بِكُلِّ فَاكِهَةٍ آمِنِينَ * لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا الْمَوْتَ إِلَّا الْمَوْتَةَ الْأُولَى وَوَقَاهُمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ * فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ[الدخان: 51-57] وقال -سبحانه-: إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ * ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ آمِنِينَ * وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ * لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ[الحجر: 45-48] . ـ

 The scholars of Tafsir have held different positions regarding this exception, but the best of what has been said is this: that what is intended by this exception is what takes places of the events of Day of Resurrection on the plain of Resurrection and what takes place in the grave – these are these things which make up the exception. Continue reading