Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir

A number of the books of tafsir begin their explanations of each surah with a section on the virtues of that particular surah. However, most of these sections are largely made up of fabricated or weak narrations. The famous mufassir, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir, strove to avoid much inauthentic material in his tafsir or to follow up such material with notes as to its status and veracity. So when he did begin his explanation of surah al-Nisaa’ by mentioning some of its merits, he approached things in a different manner by bringing statements from some of the scholars of the Sahabah about this surah:

 وقال الحاكم في مستدركه : حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حدثنا أبو البختري عبد الله بن محمد بن شاكر ، حدثنا محمد بن بشر العبدي ، حدثنا مسعر بن كدام ، عن معن بن عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله بن مسعود عن أبيه ، عن عبد الله بن مسعود ، رضي الله عنه ، قال : إن في سورة النساء لخمس آيات ما يسرني أن لي بها الدنيا وما فيها : ( إن الله لا يظلم مثقال ذرة ) الآية ، و ( إن تجتنبوا كبائر ما تنهون عنه ) الآية ، و ( إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء ) و ( ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك ) الآية ، و ( ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما ) ثم قال : هذا إسناد صحيح إن كان عبد الرحمن سمع من أبيه ، فقد اختلف في ذلك . ـ

○ al-Haakim said in his book al-Mustadrak: … that the grandson of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood narrated from his father who narrated from his father, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: In surah al-Nisaa’ there are five ayaat which are more pleasing to me than the entire world and all that is in it.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ ۖ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Surely, Allah does not do an atom’s worth of injustice. But if you have some good, He multiplies it and give a great reward from Himself [4:40]

إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا

If you avoid the major sins from which you are forbidden, We will expiate your minor sins from you and enter you into a noble entrance. [4:31]

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray. [4:116]

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّـهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّـهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful. [4:64]

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّـهَ يَجِدِ اللَّـهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4:110]

And then al-Haakim said: This chain of narration is sound, so long as the grandson heard it from his father, and there is some differing as to whether he did or not.

وقال عبد الرزاق : أخبرنا معمر ، عن رجل ، عن ابن مسعود قال في خمس آيات من النساء : لهن أحب إلي من الدنيا جميعا : ( إن تجتنبوا كبائر ما تنهون عنه نكفر عنكم سيئاتكم ) وقوله : ( وإن تك حسنة يضاعفها ) وقوله : ( إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء ) وقوله : ( ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما ) وقوله : ( والذين آمنوا بالله ورسله ولم يفرقوا بين أحد منهم أولئك سوف يؤتيهم أجورهم وكان الله غفورا رحيما ) رواه ابن جرير : ثم روى من طريق صالح المري ، عن قتادة ، عن ابن عباس قال : ثمان آيات نزلت في سورة النساء هي خير لهذه الأمة مما طلعت عليه الشمس وغربت ، أولاهن : ( يريد الله ليبين لكم ويهديكم سنن الذين من قبلكم ويتوب عليكم والله عليم حكيم ) والثانية : ( والله يريد أن يتوب عليكم ويريد الذين يتبعون الشهوات أن تميلوا ميلا عظيما ) والثالثة : ( يريد الله أن يخفف عنكم وخلق الإنسان ضعيفا ) .  ثم ذكر قول ابن مسعود سواء ، يعني في الخمسة . الباقية .  ـ

○ ‘Abd al-Razzaaq recorded that … ibn Mas’ood said: There are five ayaat in surah al-Nisaa’ which are more beloved to me than the entire world.

إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا

If you avoid the major sins from which you are forbidden, We will expiate your minor sins from you… [4:31]

وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا 

… But if you have some good, He multiplies it … [4:40]

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills… [4:116]

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّـهَ يَجِدِ اللَّـهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4:110]

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ أُولَـٰئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

But they who believe in Allah and His messengers and do not discriminate between any of them – to those He is going to give their rewards. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4:152]

○ Ibn Jarir [al-Tabari] also mentioned this, and then he added a narration from a sound path on the authority of Qataadah that ibn ‘Abbaas said: There are eight ayaat which were revealed in surah al-Nisaa’ which are better for this ummah than all that which the sun touches. The first is:

يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise. [4:26]

and the second is:

وَاللَّـهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَاتِ أَن تَمِيلُوا مَيْلًا عَظِيمًا

Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path. [4:27]

and the third is:

يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ ۚ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak [4:28]

and then he mentioned the same as what ibn Mas’ood had said, meaning the five remaining ayaat.

وروى الحاكم من طريق أبي نعيم ، عن سفيان بن عيينة ، عن عبيد الله بن أبي يزيد ، عن ابن أبي مليكة ; سمعت ابن عباس يقول : سلوني عن سورة النساء ، فإني قرأت القرآن وأنا صغير . ثم قال : هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ، ولم يخرجاه . ـ

○ And al-Haakim also recorded from the rout of Abu Nu’aym … that ibn Abi Mulaykah heard ibn ‘Abbaas say, “Ask me about surah al-Nisaa’, for I have been reciting the Qur’an since I was young.” al-Haakim then said: this hadeeth is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim, though they did not record it.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 3/206]

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

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

See also: Inauthentic Narrations regarding the Virtues of Certain Surahs: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: The Virtues of Surah al-Ikhlaas: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Differing Levels of Merits for Certain Surahs and Ayaat: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir

  1. Pingback: Inauthentic Narrations regarding the Virtues of Certain Surahs: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Virtues of Surah al-Ikhlaas: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Differing Levels of Merits for Certain Surahs and Ayaat: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s