Ten Important Commandments from the End of Surah al-An’aam: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-An’aam, Allah provides a number of important commands in His statement:

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُم مِّنْ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ۖ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ * وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۖ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۖ وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰ ۖ وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّـهِ أَوْفُوا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ * وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited for you. That you not associate anything with Him. And to parents, good treatment. And do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and for them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you in order that you may understand.

And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except according to its capacity. And when you speak, be just, even if concerning a near relative. And fulfill the covenant of Allah. This has He instructed you that you may remember.

And this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow other ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous. [6:151-153]

Commenting on this in his well-known tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

قول تعالى لنبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم: قل لهؤلاء الذين حرموا ما أحل الله. تعالوا أتل ما حرم ربكم عليكم تحريما عاما شاملا لكل أحد، محتويا على سائر المحرمات، من المآكل والمشارب والأقوال والأفعال. ألا تشركوا به شيئا أي: لا قليلا ولا كثيرا. ـ

Allah is saying to His Prophet (ﷺ):

قُلْ

Say: …

to these people who consider what Allah has made permissible to be impermissible

تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ

… Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you

with a broad prohibition which encompasses and applies to all, inclusive of all the prohibitions not explicitly mentioned in it, whether they be foods, drinks, statements or actions.

أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

that you not associate anything with Him

meaning: nothing at all, neither big or small.

وحقيقة الشرك بالله: أن يعبد المخلوق كما يعبد الله، أو يعظم كما يعظم الله، أو يصرف له نوع من خصائص الربوبية والإلهية، وإذا ترك العبد الشرك كله صار موحدا، مخلصا لله في جميع أحواله، فهذا حق الله على عباده، أن يعبدوه ولا يشركوا به شيئا. ـ

And the reality of associating others in worship with Allah is that one worships some created being as he worships Allah, or that he magnifies and exalts it as he magnifies and exalts Allah, or that he attributes some form of Allah’s exclusive qualities of Lordship or Worship towards someone or something else. So if a slave abandons this shirk completely then he becomes one who singles out Allah in lordship and divinity, sincerely directing His worship to Allah in all circumstances. This is Allah’s right over His slaves, that they would worship Him and not associate anything at all with Him.

ثم بدأ بآكد الحقوق بعد حقه فقال: وبالوالدين إحسانا من الأقوال الكريمة الحسنة، والأفعال الجميلة المستحسنة، فكل قول وفعل يحصل به منفعة للوالدين أو سرور لهما، فإن ذلك من الإحسان، وإذا وجد الإحسان انتفى العقوق. ـ

Following that, Allah begins with the most stressed of rights after His own rights by saying:

وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

And to parents, good treatment

in both good and kind words as well as beautiful endearing actions. Every word or action which brings about benefit for or pleasure to one’s parents falls under “good treatment”. And so long as good treatment is present, their is no room for being undutiful.

ولا تقتلوا أولادكم من ذكور وإناث من إملاق أي: بسبب الفقر وضيقكم من رزقهم، كما كان ذلك موجودا في الجاهلية القاسية الظالمة، وإذا كانوا منهيين عن قتلهم في هذه الحال، وهم أولادهم، فنهيهم عن قتلهم لغير موجب، أو قتل أولاد غيرهم، من باب أولى وأحرى. ـ

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُم

and do not kill your children …

regardless of whether they are male or female

مِّنْ إِمْلَاقٍ

 … out of poverty

meaning: due to poverty and your financial constraints, as had been a practice during the harsh and unjust era of Pre-Islamic Ignorance. And so if they were prohibited from killing them in this circumstance even though they were their own children, then they were also prohibited from killing them without any cause or killing someone else’s children – as these things are even more befitting of prohibition.

نحن نرزقكم وإياهم أي: قد تكفلنا برزق الجميع، فلستم الذين ترزقون أولادكم، بل ولا أنفسكم، فليس عليكم منهم ضيق. ـ

نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ

 We will provide for you and for them

meaning: We have placed the responsibility of providing for all of you on Our self, so it is not you who is providing for your children. In fact, you are not even providing for yourself. So they are not placing a financial burden on you.

ولا تقربوا الفواحش وهي:الذنوب العظام المستفحشة، ما ظهر منها وما بطن أي: لا تقربوا الظاهر منها والخفي، أو المتعلق منها بالظاهر، والمتعلق بالقلب والباطن. ـ

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ

And do not approach immoralities …

which are the egregious and obscene sins

مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ

… what is apparent of them and what is concealed

meaning: Do not approach those which done openly or those which are done privately. Or, it could mean: those which are related to one’s outward behavior and those which are related to one’s heart and inner aspects.

والنهي عن قربان الفواحش أبلغ من النهي عن مجرد فعلها، فإنه يتناول النهي عن مقدماتها ووسائلها الموصلة إليها. ـ

And this prohibition against even coming closer to immoralities is more emphatic than a prohibition against merely engaging in them. For this is effectively a prohibition against all the things which precede them, lead to them, and conduct one towards them.

ولا تقتلوا النفس التي حرم الله وهي: النفس المسلمة، من ذكر وأنثى، صغير وكبير، بر وفاجر، والكافرة التي قد عصمت بالعهد والميثاق. إلا بالحق كالزاني المحصن، والنفس بالنفس، والتارك لدينه المفارق للجماعة. ـ

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ

and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden …

and those are the Muslim souls, whether male or female, young or old, pious or impious. And also the disbelievers who are protected under a treaty or compact.

إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

… except by [legal] right

such as the married person who commits adultery, a person who has killed another, or the one who has left his religion and separated from the religious community.

ذلكم المذكور وصاكم به لعلكم تعقلون عن الله وصيته، ثم تحفظونها، ثم تراعونها وتقومون بها. ودلت الآية على أنه بحسب عقل العبد يكون قيامه بما أمر الله به. ـ

ذَٰلِكُمْ

This …

i.e. these aforementioned things

وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

… has He instructed you in order that you may understand

that you may understand these instructions from Allah, and that you may commit them to memory, and that you may then heed them and establish them.

And this ayah indicates that one’s establishment of what Allah has commanded is according to his understanding and intellect.

ولا تقربوا مال اليتيم بأكل، أو معاوضة على وجه المحاباة لأنفسكم، أو أخذ من غير سبب. إلا بالتي هي أحسن أي: إلا بالحال التي تصلح بها أموالهم، وينتفعون بها. فدل هذا على أنه لا يجوز قربانها، والتصرف بها على وجه يضر اليتامى، أو على وجه لا مضرة فيه ولا مصلحة، حتى يبلغ اليتيم أشده أي: حتى يبلغ ويرشد، ويعرف التصرف، فإذا بلغ أشده، أعطي حينئذ ماله، وتصرف فيه على نظره. ـ

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ

And do not approach the orphan’s property …

by usurping it, exchanging part of it for a like part but in a way that favors you over them, or taking it without cause.

إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

… except in a way that is best …

meaning: except in a way that helps and benefits their wealth. So this shows that it is not permissible to approach it and use it in a way that harms the orphan, or in a way that neither harms nor benefits him.

حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ

… until he reaches maturity

i.e. the orphan. Meaning: until he reaches the age of physical maturity and mental discernment and knows how to appropriately use his wealth. So when he reaches maturity, then turn over his wealth to him and he can use it how he sees fit.

وفي هذا دلالة على أن اليتيم -قبل بلوغ الأشد- محجور عليه، وأن وليه يتصرف في ماله بالأحظ، وأن هذا الحجر ينتهي ببلوغ الأشد. ـ

And this contains an indication that prior to his attaining maturity, the orphan is placed under a legal guardian and that his legal guardian can manage his wealth as he sees fit. And it also shows that this legal guardianship comes to an end when the orphan comes of age.

وأوفوا الكيل والميزان بالقسط أي: بالعدل والوفاء التام، فإذا اجتهدتم في ذلك، ف لا نكلف نفسا إلا وسعها أي: بقدر ما تسعه، ولا تضيق عنه. فمن حرص على الإيفاء في الكيل والوزن، ثم حصل منه تقصير لم يفرط فيه ولم يعلمه، فإن الله غفور رحيم. ـ

وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ

And give full measure and weight in justice

meaning: in fairness and with a complete measure. So if you strive to do so, then

لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

We do not charge any soul except according to its capacity

meaning: according to what you are able to do, not to make things difficult for you. So whoever is keen on giving full measure and weight but falls short of that in a minor way while not knowing that he has fallen short, then Allah is pardoning and forgiving.

وبهذه الآية ونحوها استدل الأصوليون، بأن الله لا يكلف أحدا ما لا يطيق، وعلى أن من اتقى الله فيما أمر، وفعل ما يمكنه من ذلك، فلا حرج عليه فيما سوى ذلك. ـ

The scholars of Usool use this ayah and others like it to prove that Allah does not charge anyone with more than he can bear, and also that whoever exercises taqwa of Allah in what He has commanded and carries out those commands to extent of his ability, then there is no blame on him for what he cannot do.

وإذا قلتم قولا تحكمون به بين الناس، وتفصلون بينهم الخطاب، وتتكلمون به على المقالات والأحوال فاعدلوا في قولكم، بمراعاة الصدق في من تحبون ومن تكرهون، والإنصاف، وعدم كتمان ما يلزم بيانه، فإن الميل على من تكره بالكلام فيه أو في مقالته من الظلم المحرم. ـ

وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ

And when you speak …

i.e. when you speak a word which will be used to adjudicate between people, or give testimony to resolve a dispute, or discuss some statements made or some current events

فَاعْدِلُوا

… be just

in your statement, deferring to the truth both regarding those whom you love and those whom you hate, and being fair, and not concealing what you are obliged to disclose. For giving biased statements against one whom you dislike is a form of injustice which is prohibited.

بل إذا تكلم العالم على مقالات أهل البدع، فالواجب عليه أن يعطي كل ذي حق حقه، وأن يبين ما فيها من الحق والباطل، ويعتبر قربها من الحق وبعدها منه. وذكر الفقهاء أن القاضي يجب عليه العدل بين الخصمين، في لحظه ولفظه. ـ

In fact, when a scholars speaks about the statements and positions People of Bid’ah (religious innovation), it is mandatory for him to give every owner of rights his due rights and to clarify what they got right and what they got wrong. He must give due regard to where they are near to the truth and where they are far from it.

And the scholars of Fiqh have mentioned that it is mandatory for a judge to be just with both disputing parties, both in words and his body-language.

وبعهد الله أوفوا وهذا يشمل العهد الذي عاهده عليه العباد من القيام بحقوقه والوفاء بها، ومن العهد الذي يقع التعاقد به بين الخلق. فالجميع يجب الوفاء به، ويحرم نقضه والإخلال به. ـ

وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّـهِ أَوْفُوا

And fulfill the covenant of Allah

This includes both the covenant which Allah took from His slaves that they would establish and fulfill His rights, as well as the covenants which are made between people by His Name. Both of these types of covenants must be fulfilled, and it is impermissible to violate or breach them.

ذلكم الأحكام المذكورة وصاكم به لعلكم تذكرون ما بينه لكم من الأحكام، وتقومون بوصية الله لكم حق القيام، وتعرفون ما فيها، من الحكم والأحكام. ـ

ذَٰلِكُمْ

This …

i.e. these legal rulings mentioned above

وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

… has He instructed you that you may remember.

that you may remember the legal rulings which He has made clear to you, that you may carry out Allah’s instructions to you in the manner which they ought to be carried out, and that you may know the rulings and wisdoms that they contain.

ولما بين كثيرا من الأوامر الكبار، والشرائع المهمة، أشار إليها وإلى ما هو أعم منها فقال: وأن هذا صراطي مستقيما أي: هذه الأحكام وما أشبهها، مما بينه الله في كتابه، ووضحه لعباده، صراط الله الموصل إليه، وإلى دار كرامته، المعتدل السهل المختصر. ـ

So after having made many of the major commandments and important legislations clear, Allah then points to these and to something even more general by saying:

وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا

And this is My path, which is straight

meaning: these legal rulings and those like them which Allah has explained in His Book and and made clear to His slaves are the Path of Allah which leads to Him and to the Abode of His Goodness. It is straight and even, easy and direct.

فاتبعوه لتنالوا الفوز والفلاح، وتدركوا الآمال والأفراح. ولا تتبعوا السبل أي: الطرق المخالفة لهذا الطريق فتفرق بكم عن سبيله أي: تضلكم عنه وتفرقكم يمينا وشمالا فإذا ضللتم عن الصراط المستقيم، فليس ثم إلا طرق توصل إلى الجحيم. ـ

فَاتَّبِعُوهُ

So follow it

in order that you may attain success and that you may reach your hopes and joy.

وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ

and do not follow other ways

meaning: paths which differ from this path

فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ

for you would be separated from His way

meaning: you would be misled away from it and diverge to the right or to the left. Then once you are misled from the Straight Path, then there is nothing after that except for various other paths leading to the Hellfire.

ذلكم وصاكم به لعلكم تتقون فإنكم إذا قمتم بما بينه الله لكم علما وعملا صرتم من المتقين، وعباد الله المفلحين، ووحد الصراط وأضافه إليه لأنه سبيل واحد موصل إليه، والله هو المعين للسالكين على سلوكه. ـ

ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

his has He instructed you that you may have taqwa

For if you fulfill what Allah has explained to you – both in terms of knowledge and action – you will become one of those who has taqwa and one of Allah’s successful slaves.

And Allah made the Path singular here, and He also attributed it to Himself. This is because the way which leads to Him is singular, and because Allah is the One who aids the traveler in traveling upon this path.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 313-314]

See also: Follow Allah’s Path, and Do Not Follow Other Paths: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Tafsir of Surah al-Fatihah: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Ten Important Commandments from the End of Surah al-An’aam: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Follow Allah’s Path, and Do Not Follow Others Paths: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Straight Path Leads to Allah: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Makki and Madani Surahs in Chronological Order: al-Suyooti | 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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.