How the Prophet Would Recite the Qur’an

Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa Aal Nasr, one of the salafi scholars of recent times who specialized in the qiraa’aat and Qur’anic sciences, compiled this beneficial discussion of how the Prophet would recite the Qur’an. Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa was also a long-term student of sheikh al-Albani and limited himself to only using authentic hadith narrations throughout this chapter:

صفة قراءة النبي للقرآن الكريم
How the Prophet Would Recite the Qur’an

قال ابن القيم في [ زاد المعاد (١/٣٣٧) ] : وكان صلى الله عليه وسلم يقطع قراءته ، ويقف عند كل آية فيقول : ( الحمد لله رب العالمين ، ويقف ، الرحمن الرحيم ، ويقف : مالك يوم الدين ) وذكر الزهري أن قراءة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كانت آية آية ، وهذا هو الأفضل ، الوقوف على رءوس الآيات وإن تعلقت بما بعدها .  ـ

وذهب بعض القراء إلى تتبع الأغراض والمقاصد ، والوقوف عند انتهائها ، واتباع هدي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وسنته أولى . وممن ذكر ذلك البيهقي في “شعب الإيمان” وغيره ، ورجح الوقوف على رءوس الآي وإن تعلقت بما بعدها . أ.هـــ.

Ibn al-Qayyim wrote in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/338):

The Prophet used to pause while reciting, stopping at every ayah. So he would say

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

and then pause

الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

and pause

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

al-Zuhri mentioned that the recitation of Allah’s Messenger went one ayah at a time, and this is what is best – pausing before the beginning of each new ayah, even if the meaning of the preceding ayah is linked to it. Continue reading

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The Difference Between Usool al-Tafsir and ‘Uloom al-Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, and answered the following question regarding the difference between Usool al-Tafsir (the principles of Qur’anic explanation) and ‘Uloom al-Qur’an (the fields of Qur’anic study):

سؤال : كيف نفرق بين أصول التفسير وعلوم القرآن؟ أو بتعبير آخر كيف أعرف أن هذا المبحث يندرج ضمن علوم القرآن أم أصول التفسير، وهل التفريق بين علوم القران وأصول التفسير عرف عند الأولين أم المتأخرين؟ ـ

Question: How do we distinguish between Usool al-Tafsir and ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, or whatever other terminology may be used? How can be know whether a study falls under the field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an or Usool al-Tafsir? And was this distinction between ‘Uloom al-Qur’an and Usool al-Tafsir known to the earlier generations of scholars, or only to the later generations?

الجواب : (أصول التفسير ) اسم من أسماء علوم القرآن عند بعضهم توسعاً. والحقيقة أن أصول التفسير من علوم القرآن ، إذ هي قواعد التفسير ، ومنها جملة مندرجة في النوع الموسوم بقواعد يحتاج إليها المفسر. ونوع حروف وكلمات يحتاج إلى معرفتها. هذا غير قواعد تفسير تؤخذ من أنواع أخرى من أنواع علوم القرآن. ـ

Response: Usool al-Tafsir is one of several names that some people use to refer to ‘Uloom al-Qur’an generally. But in fact, Usool al-Tafsir is just a part of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, in which case it refers to the principles of Tafsir. In ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, there are a number of topics which fall under the category of principles which the mufassir needs to know. Then, there is another category involving the particles and words which he must be familiar with which are not the principles of tafsir and are instead taken from other areas within the larger field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an. Continue reading

The Meanings of Kufr, Thulm, and Fisq: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Maa’idah, Allah repeats a similar phrase three times:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the kaafiroon (disbelievers) [5:44]

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the thaalimoon (wrong-doers) [5:45]

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient ones) [5:47]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee devoted extensive space in his book of tafsir to discussing these and the surrounding ayaat in detail. In the last part of his discussion he condensed some of his main points, which we have translated below:

قوله تعالى : ومن لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فأولئك هم الفاسقون قد قدمنا أن هذه الآية في النصارى ، والتي قبلها في اليهود ، والتي قبل تلك في المسلمين ، كما يقتضيه ظاهر القرآن . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient ones) [5:47]

we have already mentioned that this ayah is referring to the Christians, the one before it is referring to the Jews, and the one before that is referring to the Muslims, as follows from the outward meanings of the ayaat. Continue reading

“Allah commanded me to recite to you”: Sharh al-Nawawi

It is reported in both al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Qatadah that Anas ibn Malik said:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لأُبَىٍّ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ عَلَيْكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ آللَّهُ سَمَّانِي لَكَ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُ سَمَّاكَ لِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَعَلَ أُبَىٌّ يَبْكِي ‏.‏

The Prophet said to Ubay, “Allah has commanded me to recite to you.” Ubay said, “Did Allah mention me by name to you?” The Prophet replied, “Allah mentioned you by name to me.” Anas said: That caused Ubay to cry.

[Muslim #799]

And in the narration of al-Bukhari, there is an addition to the end of the hadith from one of the subnarrators:

قَالَ قَتَادَةُ فَأُنْبِئْتُ أَنَّهُ قَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ ‏{‏لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ‏}

Qatadah said: I was told that the Prophet recited surah al-Bayyinah (97) to him.

[al-Bukhari #4960]

In his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, Imam Abu Zakariyyah Yahya al-Nawawi mentioned the following commentary on this hadith:

وفي الحديث فوائد كثيرة . منها : استحباب قراءة القرآن على الحذاق فيه وأهل العلم به والفضل ، وإن كان القارئ أفضل من المقروء عليه ، ومنها : المنقبة الشريفة لأبي بقراءة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – عليه ، ولا يعلم أحد من الناس شاركه في هذا ، ومنها : منقبة أخرى له بذكر الله تعالى له ، ونصه عليه في هذه المنزلة الرفيعة ، ومنها : البكاء للسرور والفرح مما يبشر الإنسان به ويعطاه من معالي الأمور . ـ

There are a number of benefits to be found in this hadith.

One benefit is the encouragement to recite the Qur’an to someone who is skilled in it, a person of knowledge and virtue. That is the case even if the one reciting is more virtuous than the one to whom he is reciting. Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #8

The following is a collection of benefits originally posted on our Facebook page in June, July, and August of 2015:

♦ Allah does not guide a wrong-doing people

Allah recounts the story of Ibrahim’s debate with the ruler who claimed to give and take life in surah al-Baqarah (2:258). Commenting on part of this, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di provided the useful clarification of a commonly recurring meaning in the Qur’an:

قال تعالى: { والله لا يهدي القوم الظالمين } بل يبقيهم على كفرهم وضلالهم، وهم الذين اختاروا لأنفسهم ذلك، وإلا فلو كان قصدهم الحق والهداية لهداهم إليه ويسر لهم أسباب الوصول إليه

Allah’s statement:

وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

And Allah does not guide a wrong-doing people [2:258]

rather, He causes them to remain upon their disbelief and misguidance, and they are the ones who choose that for themselves. But otherwise, if their intent were the truth and guidance, then He would guide them to it and facilitate the causes of reaching that for them.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 113]


♦ An Etiquette of Supplication

Allah says in surah Fussilat:

وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الإِنْسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ شَرُّ فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِضٍ

And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself. But when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication. [41:51]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, ibn Kathir wrote: Continue reading

The Story of Saalih as explained by Mujahid and Qatadah

In addition to co-authoring Tafsir al-Jalalayn, sheikh Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti also has another book of tafsir to his name, entitled al-Durr al-Manthoor fee Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor. As one might suspect from the title, al-Durr al-Manthoor was dedicated to presenting the explanations of the Qur’an transmitted from the Prophet himself, his companions, and those who followed their way in the early generations.

What follows is an excerpt from his explanation of the story of the Prophet Saalih and his people as it comes in surah al-Nahl [27:45-53]. al-Suyooti collected a number of the statements from the two leading mufassiroon of the tabi’oon, Mujahid ibn Jabr and Qatadah ibn Di’amah, found in the previous books of narration-based tafsir and arranged them to present an explanation of the passage as a whole from each of these great figures.

As mentioned in a previous post, the early generations would often only explain those parts of an ayah which were not immediately clear to their audience. As such, the reader may find it helpful to have a mushaf and/or translation nearby to follow along with the entire passage:

قوله تعالى : ولقد أرسلنا إلى ثمود الآيات . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ

And We sent to Thamud … [27:45]

until the end of this passage [27:45-53].

أخرج الفريابي ، وابن أبي شيبة ، وعبد بن حميد ، وابن جرير ، وابن المنذر ، وابن أبي حاتم ، عن مجاهد في قوله : فإذا هم فريقان يختصمون قال : مؤمن وكافر؛ قولهم : صالح مرسل من ربه . وقولهم : ليس بمرسل . وفي قوله : لم تستعجلون بالسيئة قال : العذاب . قبل الحسنة قال : الرحمة . وفي قوله : قالوا اطيرنا بك قال : تشاءمنا . وفي قوله : وكان في المدينة تسعة رهط قال : من قوم صالح . وفي قوله : تقاسموا بالله قال : تحالفوا على هلاكه، فلم يصلوا إليه حتى هلكوا وقومهم أجمعين . ـ

al-Firyaabi, ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd ibn Humayd, ibn Jarir [al-Tabari], ibn al-Mundhir, and ibn Abi Haatim reported the following from Mujahid:

فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

… and at once they were two parties conflicting.[27:45]

meaning: believers and disbelievers. The first group said, “Saalih is sent from his Lord,” while the other group said, “He was not sent.” Continue reading

Did the Prophet make Tafsir of the Qur’an as it was Being Revealed?: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

At the end of a lecture entitled, “The Themes of the Different Surahs and the Effects of that on Understanding Tafsir“, sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh was asked the following question:

هل نزل القرآن وفسّره الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم. ـ

Question: Did the Messenger (ﷺ) explain the Qur’an as it was being revealed?

النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يفسر القرآن كله، وإنما فسر آيات قليلة، لما؟ لأنّ التفسير يتبع الحاجة، يُفسر بمعنى يبين المعاني، لمن لا يفهم المعاني، والقرآن نزل بلسان عربي مبين، فقهته العرب فهمت الآي، فهمته الصحابة، إلا في بعض الآيات لم تفهم ففسرها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فالمنقول من تفسيره عليه الصلاة والسلام قليل، تفسير الصحابة أكثر من تفسير النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، لما؟ لأنّ الصحابة نقلوا للتابعين، والتابعون أقلّ علما بالقرآن من الصحابة لا من جهة اللغة، ولا من جهة أسباب النزول، ولا من جهة معرفة علوم القرآن، والعلوم المختلفة التي دار عليها القرآن، ولا من جهة السيرة، والتاريخ وأحوال العرب والجاهلية، إلى آخره، ففسروا القرآن أكثر، تفسيرهم أكثر، التابعون تفسيرهم لمن بعدهم أكثر من تفسير الصحابة لشدة الحاجة، هكذا إلى زمن التأليف والتصنيف كثرت التفاسير رغبة في أن يفهم الناس القرآن ويقبلوا عليه. ـ

Response: The Prophet (ﷺ) did not explain the entire Qur’an; he only explained a limited number of ayaat. Why? That is because making tafsir arises from a need to explain the meanings to those who do not understand them. But the Qur’an was revealed in the clear Arabic language, so the Arabs understood it, they understood its ayaat. The Sahabah understood it except in the cases of some ayaat which they did not understand, and so then the Prophet (ﷺ) would explain it. Continue reading

A Discussion of the People of Jannah: Tafsir al-Qurtubi & Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Tur, Allah describes the situation of the believers in Jannah by saying:

وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ * قَالُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا قَبْلُ فِي أَهْلِنَا مُشْفِقِينَ * فَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْنَا وَوَقَانَا عَذَابَ السَّمُومِ * إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلُ نَدْعُوهُ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْبَرُّ الرَّحِيمُ

And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other. * They will say, “Indeed, we were previously among our people, fearful. * So Allah conferred favor upon us and protected us from the punishment of al-samoom. * Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is al-Barr, al-Raheem.” [52:25-28]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Qurtubi wrote:

قوله تعالى : وأقبل بعضهم على بعض يتساءلون قال ابن عباس : إذا بعثوا من قبورهم سأل بعضهم بعضا . وقيل : في الجنة يتساءلون أي يتذاكرون ما كانوا فيه في الدنيا من التعب والخوف من العاقبة ، ويحمدون الله تعالى على زوال الخوف عنهم . وقيل : يقول بعضهم لبعض بم صرت في هذه المنزلة الرفيعة ؟ قالوا إنا كنا قبل في أهلنا مشفقين أي قال كل مسئول منهم لسائله : إنا كنا قبل أي في الدنيا خائفين وجلين من عذاب الله . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ

And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other

ibn ‘Abbaas said: when they are raised from their graves they will ask one another.

But others explained it to mean that they will ask one another in Jannah, meaning they will discuss the hard work and fear of the ultimate outcomes that they had during the worldly life and they will praise Allah for removing that fear from them.

Still others said: They will say to one another, “How did you get to this elevated station?” They will say, Continue reading

The First Innovation: Tafsir ibn Kathir

The famous scholar al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir was especially well-known for his skills in the fields of hadeeth, tafsir, and history, with his honorific title of “al-haafidh” indicating his high status in the first of these fields and his two most famous works being in the latter areas. In the following brief excerpt from his tafsir of surah Aal ‘Imran, ibn Kathir combines all three of these knowledge areas:

وقال الإمام أحمد : حدثنا أبو كامل ، حدثنا حماد ، عن أبي غالب قال : سمعت أبا أمامة يحدث ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في قوله : ( فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه ) قال : ” هم الخوارج ” ، وفي قوله : ( يوم تبيض وجوه وتسود وجوه ) . [ آل عمران : 106 ] قال : ” هم الخوارج ” . وقد رواه ابن مردويه من غير وجه ، عن أبي غالب ، عن أبي أمامة مرفوعا ، فذكره . ـ

Imam Ahmad said: Abu Kaamil told me that Hammaad told him that Abu Ghaalib said: I heard Abu ‘Umamah say that the Prophet (ﷺ) spoke about Allah’s statement:

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ

But as for those in whose hearts is deviation, then they follow those parts of the Qur’an which are ambiguous [3:7]

by saying, “They are the Khawaarij.” And also regarding Allah’s statement:

يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ

On the Day when some faces will become white and some faces will become black [3:106]

he said, “they [i.e. the latter group] are the Khawaarij“.

And ibn Mardawayh also transmitted this from more than one route from Abu Umamah by way of Abu Ghaalib as a narration attributed to the Prophet (ﷺ). Continue reading