The Forbidden Foods in Surah al-Nahl: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says towards the end of surah al-Nahl:

فَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَ‌زَقَكُمُ اللَّـهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاشْكُرُ‌وا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ * إِنَّمَا حَرَّ‌مَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ‌ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ‌ اللَّـهِ بِهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ‌ غَيْرَ‌ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ * وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَـٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَـٰذَا حَرَ‌امٌ لِّتَفْتَرُ‌وا عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُ‌ونَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ * مَتَاعٌ قَلِيلٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ * وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُوا حَرَّ‌مْنَا مَا قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship. * He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced, without desire nor trangression – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. * And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed. * A brief enjoyment, and they will have a painful punishment. * And to those who are Jews We have prohibited that which We related to you before. And We did not wrong them [thereby], but they were wronging themselves. [16:114-118]

Commenting on these ayaat in his book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يأمر تعالى عباده بأكل ما رزقهم الله من الحيوانات والحبوب والثمار وغيرها. { حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا } أي: حالة كونها متصفة بهذين الوصفين بحيث لا تكون مما حرم الله أو أثرا عن غصب ونحوه. فتمتعوا بما خلق الله لكم من غير إسراف ولا تَعَدٍّ. { وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ } بالاعتراف بها بالقلب والثناء على الله بها وصرفها في طاعة الله. { إِنْ كُنْتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ } أي إن كنتم مخلصين له العبادة، فلا تشكروا إلا إياه، ولا تنسوا المنعم. ـ

Allah is commanding His slaves to eat of the animals, produce, and other things which He has provided for them.

حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا

Lawful and good

meaning: in a state characterized by these two attributes, such that they do not fall under what Allah has forbidden nor were obtained by forced coercion or other similar methods. So they enjoy what Allah has created for them without wastefulness or infringing on the rights of others.

وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ

And be grateful for the blessings of Allah

by recognizing them with one’s heart, praising Allah for them, and using them for obedience to Allah.

إِنْ كُنْتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

If it is He Whom you worship.

meaning: if you are really sincerely devoted to Him in worship, then do not thank anyone other than Him and do not forget the Granter of blessings.

 ـ { إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ } الأشياء المضرة تنزيها لكم، وذلك: كـ { الْمَيْتَةَ } ويدخل في ذلك كل ما كان موته على غير ذكاة مشروعة، ويستثنى من ذلك ميتة الجراد والسمك. ـ

إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ

He has only forbidden to you

the things which are harmful, in order to keep you safe from them, and these are the likes of

Continue reading

Supposed Contradictions between the Qur’an and Hadeeth: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following important clarification was written by Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool:

كيف نفسر وجود الاختلاف والتعارض بين الحديث والقرآن العظيم، والله تبارك وتعالى يقول: ﴿أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً﴾ (النساء:82)؟ ـ

How do we explain the presence of discrepancies and contradictions between the hadeeth and the Qur’an while Allah says:

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

والجواب: وقوع الاختلاف والتعارض بين الأحاديث والقرآن العظيم، يرجع لأسباب: ـ

Response: The presence of discrepancy and contradictions between various ahaadeeth and the Qur’an comes from a handful of reasons:

السبب الأول: الجهل بالمعنى المراد، من الآية والحديث؛ ـ

The first reason: Ignorance of the intended meaning of an ayah or hadeeth.

مثال ذلك حديث الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لن يدخل أحد الجنة بعمله”، مع قوله تعالى: ﴿وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ } (الأعراف:43)، وقوله: ﴿الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾ (النحل:32)، وقوله: ﴿وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الزخرف:72)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الطور:19)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (المرسلات:43). ـ

An example of that is the hadeeth of the Messenger (ﷺ), “No one of you will ever enter al-Jannah because of his deeds,” along with Allah’s statement:

وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [7:43]

and His statement: Continue reading

Did Fir’awn claim divinity, or worship other gods?: al-Shawkaani, al-Qurtubi, & al-Baghawi

In surah al-A’raaf, Allah says:

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَآلِهَتَكَ ۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ

The chiefs of Fir’awn’s people said: “Will you leave Moosaa and his people to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon you and your gods?” He said: “We will kill their sons, and let live their women, and we have indeed irresistible power over them.” [7:127]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani briefly mentioned a question that arises from a careful reading of this ayah in his tafsir where he wrote:

واختلف المفسرون في معنى وآلهتك لكون فرعون كان يدعي الربوبية كما في قوله: ما علمت لكم من إله غيري، وقوله: أنا ربكم فقيل: معنى وآلهتك: وطاعتك، وقيل: معناه: وعبادتك، ويؤيده قراءة علي وابن عباس، والضحاك “وإلهتك” وفي حرف أبي “أتذر موسى وقومه ليفسدوا في الأرض وقد تركوك أن يعبدوك” وقيل: إنه كان يعبد بقرة، وقيل: كان يعبد النجوم، وقيل: كان له أصنام يعبدها قومه تقربا إليه فنسبت إليه ولهذا قال: أنا ربكم الأعلى. قاله الزجاج، وقيل: كان يعبد الشمس . ـ

The scholars of tafsir have differed regarding the meaning of “your gods” due to the fact that Fir’awn used to claim lordship for himself, such as in his statement:

مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرِي

I know of no other god for you besides me [28:38]

as well as his saying:

أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ

I am your lord… [79:24]

Some said the meaning of “aalihatak” [lit. “your gods”] is: obedience to you. And others said its meaning is: worship of you. This understanding is supported by a variant recitation (qiraa’ah) transmitted from ‘Ali, ibn ‘Abbaas and al-Dhahhaak:

وَإِلَهَتَكَ

wa ilaahatak

… and your divinity …

as well as what comes in the variant dialect (harf) recitation of Ubay:

 أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَقَدْ تَرَكُوكَ أَنْ يَعْبُدُوكَ

… Will you leave Moosaa and his people to spread mischief in the land while they have abandoned you and worshiping you? … Continue reading

A Relationship between Surah al-Ma’oon and Surah al-Kawthar: al-Zarkashi

In his famous handbook of the sciences of the Qur’an, sheikh Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi – a student of the famous mufassir al-haafidh ibn Kathir – mentioned the following point:

وَمِنْ لَطَائِفِ سُورَةِ الْكَوْثَرِ أَنَّهَا كَالْمُقَابِلَةِ لِلَّتِي قَبْلَهَا لِأَنَّ السَّابِقَةَ قَدْ وَصَفَ اللَّهُ فِيهَا الْمُنَافِقَ بِأُمُورٍ أَرْبَعَةٍ الْبُخْلِ وَتَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ وَالرِّيَاءِ فِيهَا وَمَنْعِ الزَّكَاةِ فَذَكَرَ هُنَا فِي مُقَابَلَةِ البخل {إنا أعطيناك الْكَوْثَرِ} أَيِ الْكَثِيرَ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ تَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ {فَصَلِّ} أَيْ دُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ الرِّيَاءِ {لِرَبِّكَ} أَيْ لِرِضَاهُ لَا لِلنَّاسِ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ مَنْعِ الْمَاعُونِ {وَانْحَرْ} وَأَرَادَ بِهِ التَّصَدُّقَ بِلَحْمِ الْأَضَاحِيِّ فَاعْتَبَرَ هَذِهِ الْمُنَاسَبَةَ الْعَجِيبَةَ

One of the subtle points of surah al-Kawthar [108] is that it is like a counterpart to the surah that preceded it [i.e. surah al-Ma’oon – 107]. For in the previous surah, Allah had characterized the munaafiq [hypocrite] with four qualities:

1) stinginess,

2) abandoning the prayer,

3) performing the prayer only to be seen by others, and

4) withholding the zakah.

○ But then in this surah, as a counterpart to stinginess He mentioned:

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

Indeed, We have granted you al-Kawthar [108:1]

meaning: an abundance.

○ And as a counterpart to abandoning the prayer, He said:

فَصَلِّ

so turn in prayer …

meaning: always be consistent in it.

○ And as a counterpart to the desire to be seen by people, He said:

لِرَبِّكَ

… to your Lord …

meaning: for His pleasure, not for the sake of people.

○ And as a counterpart to withholding neighborly acts of kindness, He said:

وَانْحَرْ

… and sacrifice. [108:2]

and what is intended here is the charitable distribution of the sacrificial ‘Eid al-Adhaa meat.

So the parallels and the relationship between these two surahs is something amazing.

[al-Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an 1/39]

See also: A Benefit of General Language in Surah al-Duhaa: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Four things for you and Three things against you

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Whoever desires this world, We will repay them fully therein: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah Hud:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they will not be deprived therein. * Those are the ones for whom there is nothing for them in the Hereafter except the Fire. Lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. [11:15-16]

In his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يقول تعالى: { مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا } أي: كل إرادته مقصورة على الحياة الدنيا، وعلى زينتها من النساء والبنين، والقناطير المقنطرة، من الذهب، والفضة، والخيل المسومة، والأنعام والحرث. قد صرف رغبته وسعيه وعمله في هذه الأشياء، ولم يجعل لدار القرار من إرادته شيئا، فهذا لا يكون إلا كافرا، لأنه لو كان مؤمنا، لكان ما معه من الإيمان يمنعه أن تكون جميع إرادته للدار الدنيا، بل نفس إيمانه وما تيسر له من الأعمال أثر من آثار إرادته الدار الآخرة. ـ

Allah said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments…

meaning: that all of such a person’s wants are limited to the life of this world and its adornments such as women, children, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land [c.f. 3:14]. He has directed his desires, efforts and exertions towards these things, while he does not have any desire at all for the enduring life of the Hereafter. This situation is only the case for a disbeliever, because if he were a believer then he would have some eemaan in him that would prevent all of his desires from being turned to the life of this world. Rather, the very presence of eemaan in him and the good deeds which that enables him to do is a consequence of his desire for the life of the Hereafter. Continue reading

Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his primer of the science of Qur’anic interpretation (al-Tafsir), sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen dedicated one chapter to discussing suspected contradictions in the Qur’an:

موهم التعارض في القرآن
Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an

التعارض في القرآن أن تتقابل آيتان، بحيث يمنع مدلول إحداهما مدلول الأخرى، مثل أن تكون إحداهما مثبته لشئ والأخرى نافية فيه.ـ

A contradiction in the Qur’an would be that two verses are placed side by side with what one indicates being opposed by what the other indicates. For example, one of them would affirm something while the other would negate it.

ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما خبري، لأنه يلزم كون إحداهما كذبا، وهو مستحيل في أخبار الله تعالى، قال الله تعالى: (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً) (النساء: الآية 87) (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلاً) (النساء: الآية 122)) ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما حكمي؛ لأن الأخيرة منهما ناسخة للأولى قال الله تعالى (مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا) (البقرة: الآية 106) وإذا ثبت النسخ كان حكم الأولى غير قائم ولا معارض للأخيرة. ـ

But it is not possible for there to be any contradiction between the information that two different verses present because this would entail that one of the two verses contains false information, which is impossible when it comes to the information that Allah has provided. Allah has said:

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً

And who is more truthful in statement than Allah? [4:87]

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ قِيلًا

And who is more truthful in speech than Allah? [4:122]

Nor is it possible for there to be any contradiction between the rulings that two different verses present because the latter of the two would abrogate the earlier. Allah said: Continue reading

Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage and divorce. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the tenth and final section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

فصل في آيات في الإيلاء والظهار واللعان

Chapter regarding the ayaat of al-Eelaa’, al-Thihaar, and al-Li’aan

ـ {لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: 226 – 227] وقال: {قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا} [المجادلة: 1] الآيات. وقال في اللعان: {وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ} [النور: 6] الآيات . ـ

لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

For those who swear not to have sexual relations with their wives is a waiting time of four months, but if they return [to normal relations] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. * And if they decide on divorce – then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. [2:226-227]

And He said:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا … ـ

Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband … [58:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [58:1-4]. And regarding Li’aan He said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ

And those who accuse their wives … [24:6]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [24:6-9]

من جملة الأحكام المنتشرة المتعلقة بالزوجة أنه قد يؤلي منها أو يظاهر منها، والفرق بين الإيلاء والظهار أن الإيلاء هو الحلف بالله على ترك وطء زوجته أبدا، أو مدة طويلة تزيد على أربعة أشهر إذا كان قادرا على الوطء، فإذا فعل ذلك وحلف هذا الحلف فلا يخلو: إما أن تطالبه الزوجة بحقها من الوطء أو لا تطالبه، فإن لم تطالبه ترك وشأنه، فإن وطئ في هذه المدة فقد حنث، وعليه كفارة يمين، وإلا فلا كفارة عليه . ـ

Among the various rulings related to the wife is what to do if one declares eelaa’ or thihaar in relation to her. And the difference between al-eelaa’ and al-thihaar is that al-eelaa’ is swearing by Allah to leave off intercourse with one’s wife forever or for a long period in excess of four months while one is still physically capable of having intercourse. So if one does that and swears to that, then one of two things will occur: either his wife seeks her right to intercourse from him, or she does not seek that from him. So if she does not seek that from him, then his affair is left alone. But if he does have intercourse with her during this time, then he has perjured his oath and he must perform an expiation for the oath. But if he does not break his own, then he does not need to perform any expiation. Continue reading

Sabr is only from Allah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah says towards the end of surah al-Nahl:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ ۚ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُ‌ونَ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. [16:127]

Briefly commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

قوله تعالى : واصبر وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] . ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – مأمور بالصبر ، وأنه لا يمتثل ذلك الأمر بالصبر إلا بإعانة الله وتوفيقه ; لقوله : وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] ،  ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah

In this noble ayah Allah mentioned that the Prophet (ﷺ) was commanded to have al-sabr [steadfast patience], and that he could not comply with the command to exercise sabr without Allah’s aid and granting of success. This is according to His statement: Continue reading