The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

In surah al-Noor, in the midst of the ayaat revealed regarding the slander of the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr, Allah said:

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 and swear not to give [aid] 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]

In part of his commentary of the ayaat regarding the slander, Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following beneficial discussion related to this ayah:

 السادسة والعشرون : قال بعض العلماء : هذه أرجى آية في كتاب الله تعالى ، من حيث لطف الله بالقذفة العصاة بهذا اللفظ . وقيل . أرجى آية في كتاب الله – عز وجل – قوله تعالى : وبشر المؤمنين بأن لهم من الله فضلا كبيرا . وقد قال تعالى في آية أخرى : والذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات في روضات الجنات لهم ما يشاءون عند ربهم ذلك هو الفضل الكبير ؛ فشرح الفضل الكبير في هذه الآية ، وبشر به المؤمنين في تلك . ومن آيات الرجاء قوله تعالى : قل يا عبادي الذين أسرفوا على أنفسهم . وقوله تعالى : الله لطيف بعباده . وقال بعضهم : أرجى آية في كتاب الله – عز وجل – : ولسوف يعطيك ربك فترضى ؛ وذلك أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لا يرضى ببقاء أحد من أمته في النار . ـ

Point #16: Some of the scholars have said: This is the most hope-inspiring ayah in the entire Qur’an, from the angle of Allah’s kindness towards disobedient slanderous ones found in this phrase.

Others have said: The most hope-inspiring in the Qur’an is His statement:

وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرًا

And give good tidings to the believers that they will have a great bounty from Allah. [33:47]

And in another ayah, Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي رَوْضَاتِ الْجَنَّاتِ ۖ لَهُم مَّا يَشَاءُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

And those who have believed and done righteous deeds will be in lush regions of the gardens having whatever they will in the presence of their Lord. That is what is the great bounty. [44:22]

So Allah explained the meaning of the “great bounty” in this second ayah and gave the believers the glad tidings of it in the first.

And another one of the hope-inspiring ayaat is Allah’s statement:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [39:53]

And another one is His statement:

اللَّـهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ

Allah is kind to His slaves [42:19]

And others said: The most hope-inspiring ayah in the Qur’an is:

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And your Lord is going to give you [O Muhammad], and you will be satisfied. [93:5]

and that is because Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) will not be pleased with any person from his ummah remaining in the Hell-fire.

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an 12/193]

Among the other benefits that al-Qurtubi mentioned during his discussion of this ayah were these points:

 الثانية والعشرون : في هذه الآية دليل على أن القذف وإن كان كبيرا لا يحبط الأعمال ؛ لأن الله تعالى وصف مسطحا بعد قوله بالهجرة والإيمان ؛ وكذلك سائر الكبائر ؛ ولا يحبط الأعمال غير الشرك بالله ، قال الله تعالى : لئن أشركت ليحبطن عملك . ـ

Point #12: This ayah contains a proof that although slander is a major sin, it does not invalidate one’s deeds, for Allah described Mistah [Abu Bakr’s cousin, who joined in the slander against ‘Aa’ishah] with eemaan and having made hijrah even after he made those slanderous statement. And this is the case with all the rest of the major sins; nothing other than associating partners with Allah invalidates one’s deeds. Allah said:

لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ

if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless [39:65]

 الخامسة والعشرين : قوله تعالى : ألا تحبون أن يغفر الله لكم تمثيل وحجة أي كما تحبون عفو الله عن ذنوبكم فكذلك اغفروا لمن دونكم ؛ وينظر إلى هذا المعنى قوله – عليه السلام – : من لا يرحم لا يرحم . ـ

Point #15: Allah’s statement:

أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ

Wouldn’t you love for Allah to forgive you? [24:22]

This is a strong illustration, the meaning being: just as you would love to have Allah’s pardon for your sins, likewise you should forgive those beneath you. And you can see this same meaning in the Prophet’s statement, “Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an 12/192-193]

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

See also: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

See also: Those who come to Allah with a Pure Heart: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir

8 thoughts on “The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

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