If you disagree, refer it back to Allah and His Messenger: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following in part of his famous book of tafsir:

قوله تعالى : فإن تنازعتم في شيء فردوه إلى الله الآية أمر الله في هذه الآية الكريمة بأن كل شيء تنازع فيه الناس من أصول الدين ، وفروعه أن يرد التنازع في ذلك إلى كتاب الله ، وسنة نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم ; لأنه تعالى قال : من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع الله [ 4 \ 80 ] ، وأوضح هذا المأمور به هنا بقوله : وما اختلفتم فيه من شيء فحكمه إلى الله [ 42 \ 10 ] ، ويفهم من هذه الآية الكريمة أنه لا يجوز التحاكم إلى غير كتاب الله ، وسنة نبيه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وقد أوضح تعالى هذا المفهوم موبخا للمتحاكمين إلى غير كتاب الله ، وسنة نبيه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – مبينا أن الشيطان أضلهم ضلالا بعيدا عن الحق بقوله : ألم تر إلى الذين يزعمون أنهم آمنوا بما أنزل إليك وما أنزل من قبلك يريدون أن يتحاكموا إلى الطاغوت وقد أمروا أن يكفروا به ويريد الشيطان أن يضلهم ضلالا بعيدا [ 4 \ 60 ] ، وأشار إلى أنه لا يؤمن أحد حتى يكفر بالطاغوت بقوله : فمن يكفر بالطاغوت ويؤمن بالله فقد استمسك بالعروة الوثقى [ 2 \ 256 ] . ـ

Allah’s statement:

فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ

And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. [4:59]

In this noble ayah, Allah is commanding us that anything about which the people disagree – whether it be in the foundations of the religion or its secondary matters – should be referred back to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ﷺ). That is because Allah said:

مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّـهَ

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah [4:80]

And what is being commanded here is made all the more clear by Allah’s statement:

وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ

And in whatsoever you differ, the decision regarding it is with Allah [42:10]

And the implication of this noble ayah [i.e. 4:59] is that it is not permissible to adjudicate disputes by anything other than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ﷺ). Allah has made this implied understanding explicit with a reprimand of those who seek rulings from outside of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (ﷺ), making it clear that the Shaytaan has misguided them far afield from the truth. This comes in His statement:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُوا إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُوا أَن يَكْفُرُوا بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to al-Taghoot, while they were commanded to reject it; and the Shaytaan wishes to lead them far astray. [4:60]

And Allah indicated that no one truly has eemaan until they disbelieve in al-Taghoot. This comes in His statement:

فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ

So he who disbelieves in al-Taghoot and has eemaan in Allah has certainly grasped the most trustworthy handhold [2:256]

[ ص: 245 ] ومفهوم الشرط أن من لم يكفر بالطاغوت لم يستمسك بالعروة الوثقى وهو كذلك ، ومن لم يستمسك بالعروة الوثقى فهو بمعزل عن الإيمان ; لأن الإيمان بالله هو العروة الوثقى ، والإيمان بالطاغوت يستحيل اجتماعه مع الإيمان بالله ; لأن الكفر بالطاغوت شرط في الإيمان بالله أو ركن منه ، كما هو صريح قوله : فمن يكفر بالطاغوت الآية [ 2 \ 256 ] . ـ

The implied condition here is that whoever does not disbelieve in al-Taghoot has not actually grasped the trustworthy handhold – and that is a correct understanding. Whoever does not grab hold of the trustworthy handhold has separated himself from al-eemaan, for having al-eemaan in Allah is the trustworthy handhold. It is not possible to have both eemaan in al-Taghoot and eemaan in Allah simultaneously. This is because disbelieving in al-Taghoot is a necessary prerequisite for – or a pillar of – having eemaan in Allah. This is as comes clearly in Allah’s statement:

فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ

So whoever disbelieves in al-Taghoot … [2:256]

تنبيه : استدل منكرو القياس بهذه الآية الكريمة ، أعني قوله تعالى : فإن تنازعتم في شيء فردوه إلى الله الآية ، على بطلان القياس قالوا : لأنه تعالى أوجب الرد إلى خصوص الكتاب والسنة دون القياس ، وأجاب الجمهور بأنه لا دليل لهم في الآية ; لأن إلحاق غير المنصوص بالمنصوص لوجود معنى النص فيه لا يخرج عن الرد إلى الكتاب والسنة  ـ

An important point: Those who deny the validity of qiyaas (analogical reasoning) use this noble ayah to support their claim – i.e. the ayah:

فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ

And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. [4:59]

they use this ayah to support their claim that qiyaas is invalid and say: that is because Allah obligated us to refer back specifically to the Qur’an and the Sunnah without mentioning qiyaas. However, the majority of scholars have responded by saying that this ayah does not serve as a valid evidence for that position of theirs.That is because making a comparison between something that is explicitly mentioned in the texts and something that isn’t due to some shared meaning between them does not fall outside the realm of referring issues back to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

بل قال بعضهم : الآية متضمنة لجميع الأدلة الشرعية ، فالمراد بإطاعة الله العمل بالكتاب ، وبإطاعة الرسول العمل بالسنة ، وبالرد إليهما القياس ; لأن رد المختلف فيه غير المعلوم من النص إلى المنصوص عليه ، إنما يكون بالتمثيل والبناء عليه ، وليس القياس شيئا وراء ذلك .وقد علم من قوله تعالى : فإن تنازعتم أنه عند عدم النزاع يعمل بالمتفق عليه ، وهو الإجماع قاله الألوسي في ” تفسيره ” . ـ

In fact, one of the scholars even said:

This ayah includes all the kinds of evidence accepted in the Sharee’ah, for the meaning of “obedience to Allah” is acting in accordance with the Qur’an, and the meaning of “obedience to the Messenger” is acting in accordance with the Sunnah, and “referring back to them” is qiyaas. For referring an issue which is differed over and not clearly known from a textual source back to something which is mentioned in a text is simply arriving at a ruling by means of comparison and building off the original textual ruling, and qiyaas is nothing other than this. And from Allah’s statement:

فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ

And if you disagree …

it is known that when there is no disagreement, one must act according to what is agreed upon, which is al-ijmaa’.

This was what al-Aloosi said in his tafsir.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 1/245-146. See also Tafsir al-Aloosi 5/67-68]

See also: “If a Faasiq comes to you with news, verify it…”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee and al-Sa’di

See also: The Three Categories of Tawheed according to the Qur’an: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: Imam al-Sa’di

One thought on “If you disagree, refer it back to Allah and His Messenger: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: “Ask the Ahl al-Dhikr if You Don’t Know”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

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