The Themes of Surah Qaaf and When to Recite it: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In the beginning of his explanation of surah Qaaf, after discussing how the Sahabah used to divide their reading of the Qur’an, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir mentioned a number of narrations about when the Prophet used to recite surah Qaaf and its major themes:

قال الإمام أحمد : حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن مهدي ، حدثنا مالك ، عن ضمرة بن سعيد ، عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله ; أن عمر بن الخطاب سأل أبا واقد الليثي : ما كان رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يقرأ في العيد ؟ قال : بقاف ، واقتربت . ـ

Imam Ahmad relayed … that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked Abu Waaqid al-Laythi, “What did Allah’s Messenger used to recite for the ‘Eid?” He replied, “Qaaf (50) and Iqtarabat [i.e. surah al-Qamar (54)].”

ورواه مسلم وأهل السنن الأربعة ، من حديث مالك ، به . وفي رواية لمسلم عن فليح عن ضمرة ، عن عبيد الله ، عن أبي واقد قال : سألني عمر ، فذكره . ـ

Muslim and the authors of the four Sunan relayed a hadith from Maalik to this effect. And in the narration of Muslim … on the authority of Abu Waaqid, who said, “‘Umar asked me…” and then he mentioned the rest of the hadith.

حديث آخر : وقال أحمد : حدثنا يعقوب ، حدثنا أبي ، عن ابن إسحاق ، حدثني عبد الله بن محمد بن أبي بكر بن عمرو بن حزم ، عن يحيى بن عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن بن سعد بن زرارة ، عن أم هشام بنت حارثة قالت : لقد كان تنورنا وتنور النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – واحدا سنتين ، أو سنة وبعض سنة ، وما أخذت ( ق والقرآن المجيد ) إلا على لسان رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يقرؤها كل يوم جمعة على المنبر إذا خطب الناس . ـ

رواه مسلم [ أيضا ] من حديث ابن إسحاق ، به . ـ

In another hadith, Ahmad relayed … that Umm Hishaam ibn Haarithah said:

For a year or a year and a half our oven and the Prophet’s oven was one and the same, and I didn’t memorize surah Qaaf from anyone other than Prophet; he used to recite it every Friday from the minbar when he would give the khutbah.

And Muslim also relayed this in the hadith of ibn Ishaaq.

وقال أبو داود : حدثنا محمد بن بشار ، حدثنا محمد بن جعفر ، حدثنا شعبة ، عن خبيب ، عن عبد الله بن محمد بن معن ، عن ابنة الحارث بن النعمان قالت : ما حفظت ” ق ” إلا من في رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يخطب بها كل جمعة . قالت : وكان تنورنا وتنور رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – واحدا . ـ

وكذا رواه مسلم والنسائي وابن ماجه ، من حديث شعبة ، به . ـ

Abu Dawud relayed … that the daughter of al-Haarith ibn al-Nu’maan said:

I memorized surah Qaaf exclusively from the Messenger of Allah himself. He would address the people with it every Jumu’ah. Our oven and the oven of the Prophet used to be one and the same.

And Muslim, al-Nasaa’i, and ibn Maajah also mentioned this in the hadith of Shu’bah.

والقصد أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يقرأ بهذه السورة في المجامع الكبار ، كالعيد والجمع ، لاشتمالها على ابتداء الخلق والبعث والنشور ، والمعاد والقيام ، والحساب ، والجنة والنار ، والثواب والعقاب ، والترغيب والترهيب . ـ

And the reason why Allah’s Messenger used to recite this surah in important gatherings such as the ‘Eid and al-Jumu’ah is because its contents include:

  • the beginning of creation
  • the resurrection of the dead
  • their ultimate gathering in the hereafter
  • their return to their Lord and standing before Him
  • the accounting for their deeds
  • Jannah and the Hellfire
  • reward and punishment
  • encouragement towards good, and
  • discouragement against evil.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 7/393]

In his commentary of Saheeh Muslim, Imam al-Nawawi wrote the following regarding one of the hadith narrations above:

قال العلماء سبب اختيار ( ق ) أنها مشتملة على البعث والموت والمواعظ الشديدة والزواجر الأكيدة وفيه : دليل للقراءة في الخطبة كما سبق وفيه استحباب قراءة ( ق ) أو بعضها في كل خطبة . ـ

The scholars have said that the reason why the Prophet chose surah Qaaf is because its contents include mention of the resurrection of the dead and of death itself, as well as strong exhortations and powerful warnings.

This hadith also contains a proof for reciting the Qur’an during the khutbah, as we have previously shown.

It also shows that reciting surah Qaaf or at least part of it in every khutbah is something encouraged.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Saheeh Muslim #872]

See also: Regularly Reciting Specific Surahs: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

See also: What to Recite in the Prayers: Sheikh bin Baaz

See also: The Wisdom in Reciting Surah al-‘Aalaa and al-Ghaashiyah in the Friday Prayer: Sheikh al-Fawzan

See also: Surahs Recited on Friday and Their Themes: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: The Themes and Contents of Surah Maryam: ibn Taymiyah

See also: Overview of Surah al-Insaan: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: An Overview of Surah al-Dhariyat (51): Ibn Taymiyah

8 thoughts on “The Themes of Surah Qaaf and When to Recite it: Tafsir ibn Kathir

  1. Pingback: How the Sahabah Used to Divide the Qur’an: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Overview of Surah al-Insaan: Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Themes and Contents of Surah Maryam: ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: A Discussion of the People of Jannah: Tafsir al-Qurtubi & Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: An Overview of Surah al-Dhariyat (51): Ibn Taymiyah | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: The Wisdom in Reciting Surah al-‘Aalaa and al-Ghaashiyah in the Friday Prayer: Sheikh al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  7. Pingback: What to Recite in the Prayers: Sheikh bin Baaz | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: Surahs Recited on Friday and Their Themes: Ibn al-Qayyim | Tulayhah

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