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:

وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ

And the shaytaan had made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from the path, and they were endowed with perception. [29:38]

وَالْجَوَابُ أَنَّهُمْ يَعْقِلُونَ أُمُورَ الدُّنْيَا دُونَ أُمُورِ الْآخِرَةِ، كَمَا بَيَّنَهُ تَعَالَى بِقَوْلِهِ: وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ [30 6 – 7] . ـ

And the resolution [of this apparent conflict] is that they understand the affairs of this worldly life while not understanding the affairs of the hereafter. This is just as Allah clarified in His statement:

وَعْدَ اللَّهِ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ * يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

It is the promise of Allah. Allah does not fail in His promise, but most of the people do not know. * They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but of the Hereafter, they are unaware. [30:6-7]

[Dafa’ Eehaam al-Idhtiraab ‘an Ayaat al-Kitaab pg. 27]

Click here to read more translations from this same book addressing supposed contradictions in the Qur’an.

See also: “We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance”

See also: The Respective Means of Destruction: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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One thought on “The Understanding of the Disbelievers is Limited to this Life: Imam al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: “We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance” | Tulayhah

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