Rulings Related to the Mosques in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Nur:

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّـهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ * رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ ۙ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ * لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

In houses which Allah has allowed to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him in them in the morning and the evenings * Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will turn about – * That Allah may reward them according to the best of what they did and increase them from His bounty. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account. [24:36-38]

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

أي: يتعبد لله في بيوت عظيمة فاضلة، هي أحب البقاع إليه، وهي المساجد. أذن الله أي: أمر ووصى أن ترفع ويذكر فيها اسمه هذان مجموع أحكام المساجد، فيدخل في رفعها: بناؤها وكنسها وتنظيفها من النجاسة والأذى، وصونها من المجانين والصبيان الذين لا يتحرزون عن النجاسة، وعن الكافر، وأن تصان عن اللغو فيها، ورفع الأصوات بغير ذكر الله . ـ

Meaning: to draw near to Allah in these great, virtuous houses which are the most beloved places to Him, i.e. the mosques.

أَذِنَ اللَّـهُ

Allah has allowed …

meaning: He has commanded and enjoined that

أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ

… to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein

These two things encompass all the rulings related to the mosques. For raising the mosques includes: building them, sweeping them and cleaning out any forms of impurity or harm, protecting them against young children and the mentally ill who are not attentive against physical impurities, and against the disbelievers. And it involves preventing certain things from occurring in them such as idle speech and raising one’s voices for some other purpose than the remembrance of Allah.

ويذكر فيها اسمه يدخل في ذلك الصلاة كلها، فرضها ونفلها، وقراءة القرآن، والتسبيح، والتهليل، وغيره من أنواع الذكر، وتعلم العلم وتعليمه، والمذاكرة فيها، والاعتكاف، وغير ذلك من العبادات التي تفعل في المساجد . ـ

وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ

… and that His name be mentioned therein

this includes all of the prayers – whether obligatory or optional -, the recitation of the Qur’an, making tasbeeh, tahleel, and other forms of dhikr, teaching and learning knowledge of the religion, memorization and review, performing i’tikaaf and any other forms of worship which are performed in the mosques.

ولهذا كانت عمارة المساجد على قسمين: عمارة بنيان وصيانة لها، وعمارة بذكر اسم الله من الصلاة وغيرها، وهذا أشرف القسمين، ولهذا شرعت الصلوات الخمس والجمعة في المساجد، وجوبا عند أكثر العلماء واستحبابا عند آخرين. ـ

In line with this, maintaining the mosques can be divided into two categories of maintenance.

  1. Maintaining them by building and preserving them, and
  2. Maintaining them by mentioning Allah’s name, both in the prayer and outside of it.

And the second category is the nobler of the two. It is for this reason that the five daily prayers and the Jumu’ah prayer in the mosques have been legislated – acts which most of the scholars hold to be obligatory, with the others viewing it as highly recommended.

ثم مدح تعالى عمارها بالعبادة فقال: يسبح له إخلاصا بالغدو أول النهار والآصال آخره . رجال خص هذين الوقتين لشرفهما ولتيسر السير فيهما إلى الله وسهولته، ويدخل في ذلك التسبيح في الصلاة وغيرها، ولهذا شرعت أذكار الصباح والمساء وأورادهما عند الصباح والمساء. أي: يسبح فيها لله رجال، وأي رجال؟! ليسوا ممن يؤثر على ربه دنيا ذات لذات، ولا تجارة ومكاسب مشغلة عنه، لا تلهيهم تجارة وهذا يشمل كل تكسب يقصد به العوض، فيكون قوله: ولا بيع من باب عطف الخاص على العام؛ لكثرة الاشتغال بالبيع على غيره، فهؤلاء الرجال – وإن اتجروا وباعوا واشتروا – فإن ذلك لا محذور فيه، لكنه لا تلهيهم تلك بأن يقدموها ويؤثروها على ذكر الله وإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة بل جعلوا طاعة الله وعبادته غاية مرادهم، ونهاية مقصدهم، فما حال بينهم وبينها رفضوه. ـ

Then Allah proceeds to extol this second category of maintaining the mosques with worship by saying:

يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ

exalting Him …

sincerely

  بِالْغُدُوِّ

… in the morning …

the first part of the day

 وَالْآصَالِ

… and the evenings

and the last part of the daylight hours.

Allah specified these two times due to their distinction and due to the ease with which people can travel towards Allah during these times. This includes the tasbeeh during the prayer as well as at other times. It was for these reasons that the morning and evening supplications and remembrances have been legislated at these times.

رِجَالٌ

Men …

i.e. men exalt Allah during in the mosques. But which men? Not those who prefer this worldly life and its pleasures over their Lord, nor those who let business and transactions distract them away from Him.

لَّا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ

… whom commerce does not distract them …

this encompasses any earning which one hopes to get from an exchange. And Allah’s statement:

وَلَا بَيْعٌ

… nor does selling …

this phrase serves to mention something more specifically after having mentioned it in a general way. This addition was made due to the preoccupation given to selling above other types of transactions.

So these men, even though they do engage in business dealings and buying and selling, that does not negatively affect them. Instead, they do not let those things distract them into giving them priority and preference over the remembrance of Allah, establishing the prayer or paying the zakah. On the contrary, the make obedience to Allah and worshiping Him their primary aim and objective and their ultimate purpose. So whenever anything comes between them and that goal, they turn away from it.

ولما كان ترك الدنيا شديدا على أكثر النفوس، وحب المكاسب بأنواع التجارات محبوبا لها، ويشق عليها تركه في الغالب، وتتكلف من تقديم حق الله على ذلك، ذكر ما يدعوها إلى ذلك – ترغيبا وترهيبا – فقال: يخافون يوما تتقلب فيه القلوب والأبصار من شدة هوله وإزعاجه للقلوب والأبدان، فلذلك خافوا ذلك اليوم، فسهل عليهم العمل، وترك ما يشغل عنه. (37) ليجزيهم الله أحسن ما عملوا والمراد بـ أحسن ما عملوا : أعمالهم الحسنة الصالحة؛ لأنها أحسن ما عملوا؛ لأنهم يعملون المباحات وغيرها، فالثواب لا يكون إلا على العمل الحسن، كقوله تعالى: ليكفر الله عنهم أسوأ الذي عملوا ويجزيهم أجرهم بأحسن الذي كانوا يعملون ويزيدهم من فضله زيادة كثيرة عن الجزاء المقابل لأعمالهم، والله يرزق من يشاء بغير حساب بل يعطيه من الأجر ما لا يبلغه عمله، بل ولا تبلغه أمنيته، ويعطيه من الأجر بلا عد ولا كيل، وهذا كناية عن كثرته جدا. ـ

But because leaving off this worldly life is difficult for most people. and because the love of earnings that come from the various different kinds of business endeavors are dear to them, and because you are charged with giving precedence to Allah’s rights before any of that, Allah mentioned some things which will motivate one to do that – both through means of encouragement and inciting fear. For Allah said:

يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ

They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will turn about …

out of fright and due to the unease of their hearts and bodies. So because of this, they fear that Day. And as a result of that, performing good deeds and leaving off whatever distracts them from good works will become easier for them.

لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا

That Allah may reward them according to the best of what they did …

and the intended meaning of “the best of what they did” is their righteous good deeds, for these were the best of what they used to do since they also performed actions which neither incurred reward or punishment, as well as lesser deeds than those, but reward is only earned through good deeds. This is like Allah’s statement:

لِيُكَفِّرَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ أَسْوَأَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا وَيَجْزِيَهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ الَّذِي كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

That Allah may remove from them the worst of what they did and reward them their due for the best of what they used to do. [39:35]

 وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ

… and increase them from His bounty.

“an increase” is to go beyond merely repaying them in equal measure for their deeds.

وَاللَّـهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.

In fact, Allah gives out rewards which are greater than what the actions merited, nay, even more than what one could hope to receive. And Allah gives without counting it out or measuring. All this to say, the rewards are great indeed.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 665-666]

See also: Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

One thought on “Rulings Related to the Mosques in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Prayer is the Root of Every Good: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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