A Veil Between the Disbelievers and the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Israa’, Allah addresses the Prophet Muhammad by saying:

وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا * وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ۚ وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ وَلَّوْا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا * نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَىٰ إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُورًا * انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا

And when you recite the Qur’an, We place a concealing barrier between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter. * And We have placed a covering over their hearts so that they do not understand it, and deafness in their ears. And when you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an, they turn away in aversion. * We are most knowing of what they listen to when they listen to you, and We are most knowing that when they discuss privately, then the wrongdoers say, “You are only following a bewitched man.” * Look at the comparisons they strike of you. So they are misguided, and they are not able to find a way. [17:45-48]

In his valuable commentary on the Qur’an, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following on these ayaat:

ـ(45 ) يخبر تعالى عن عقوبته للمكذبين بالحق الذين ردوه وأعرضوا عنه أنه يحول بينهم وبين الإيمان، فقال:ـ وإذا قرأت القرآن الذي فيه الوعظ والتذكير والهدى والإيمان والخير والعلم الكثير؛ جعلنا بينك وبين الذين لا يؤمنون بالآخرة حجابا مستورا يسترهم عن فهمه حقيقة وعن التحقق بحقائقه والانقياد إلى ما يدعو إليه من الخير. ـ

Allah is informing us of His punishment for those who deny the truth, those who reject it and turn away from it. He is informing us that He will come between them and eemaan, for He said:

وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ

And when you recite the Qur’an …

that Qur’an which contains abundant admonitions, reminders, guidance, eemaan, goodness, and knowledge

جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا 

… We place a concealing barrier between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter.

which shields them from understanding its truth, from grasping its true nature, and from complying with the good that it calls to.

ـ (46 وجعلنا على قلوبهم أكنة أي: أغطية وأغشية لا يفقهون معها القرآن بل يسمعونه سماعا تقوم به عليهم الحجة، وفي آذانهم وقرا أي: صمما عن سماعه، وإذا ذكرت ربك في القرآن وحده داعيا لتوحيده ناهيا عن الشرك به؛ ولوا على أدبارهم نفورا من شدة بغضهم له ومحبتهم لما هم عليه من الباطل، كما قال تعالى: وإذا ذكر الله وحده اشمأزت قلوب الذين لا يؤمنون بالآخرة وإذا ذكر الذين من دونه إذا هم يستبشرون

وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً

And We placed a cover over their hearts

i.e. We placed coverings and coatings over it, such that the Qur’an could not be understand while these coverings were in place. Instead, they were only able to hear it with a hearing that establishes a proof against them.

وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا

and there is deafness in their ears

meaning: deafness from hearing it.

وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ

And when you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an …

calling to single Him out in worship and forbidding against associating partners in worship alongside Him

وَلَّوْا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا

… they turn away in aversion

out of the intensity of their distaste for Him and their love for the falsehood that they are on. This is like what Allah said:

وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّـهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

And when Allah is mentioned alone, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion, but when those other than Him are mentioned, immediately they rejoice. [39:45]

ـ (47 نحن أعلم بما يستمعون به أي: إنما منعناهم من الانتفاع عند سماع القرآن لأننا نعلم أن مقاصدهم سيئة؛ يريدون أن يعثروا على أقل شيء ليقدحوا به، وليس استماعهم لأجل الاسترشاد وقبول الحق، وإنما هم معتمدون على عدم اتباعه، ومن كان بهذه الحالة لم يفده الاستماع شيئا، ولهذا قال: إذ يستمعون إليك وإذ هم نجوى أي: متناجين إذ يقول الظالمون في مناجاتهم: إن تتبعون إلا رجلا مسحورا فإذا كانت هذه مناجاتهم الظالمة فيما بينهم، وقد بنوها على أنه مسحور؛ فهم جازمون أنهم غير معتبرين لما قال، وأنه يهذي لا يدري ما يقول. ـ

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ

We are most knowing of what they listen to …

meaning: The reason why We prevent them from benefiting when they hear the Qur’an is because We know that their intentions and designs are evil; they only want to search out any little thing with which to malign it. They listen to it not to be guided by it or accept the truth. They are firmly determined to not follow it. So whoever is like this, then he will not gain anything from listening to it. That is why Allah said:

إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَىٰ

… when they listen to you. And We are most knowing that when they discuss privately …

meaning: when they confer among themselves in private

إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ 

… then the wrongdoers say …

in their private discussions

 إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُورًا

… “you all are only following a bewitched man.”

so when they hold these evil private discussions among themselves, then these evil discussions are based on the presumption that the Prophet is bewitched. So they take it as their unquestioned starting point that they will not even consider what he is saying, but that he is just babbling and does not even what he is saying.

ـ (48 ) قال تعالى: انظر متعجبا كيف ضربوا لك الأمثال التي هي [ ص: 924 ] أضل الأمثال وأبعدها عن الصواب فضلوا في ذلك أو فصارت سببا لضلالهم؛ لأنهم بنوا عليها أمرهم، والمبني على فاسد أفسد منه. ـ

Allah said:

انظُرْ

Look …

i.e. in amazement

كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ

… at the comparisons they strike of you.

comparisons which are the so misguided and far off from the truth

فَضَلُّوا

So they have gone astray …

in that action of theirs. Or, it means that that became the reason for their misguidance, for they based all their thinking on that premise, and whatever is built on a base of corruption will only be more faulty than its foundation.

فلا يستطيعون سبيلا أي: لا يهتدون أي اهتداء ، فنصيبهم الضلال المحض والظلم الصرف. ـ

فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا

… and so they are not able to find a way

meaning: they are not guided in any way. Their lot in life in utter misguidance and complete wrong-doing.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 533-534]

See also: Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: The Qur’an is a healing and mercy for the believers, but a source of loss for the wrong-doers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Advertisements

One thought on “A Veil Between the Disbelievers and the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: The Qur’an is a healing and mercy for the believers, but a source of loss for the wrong-doers: Tafsir al-Sa’di | 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.