I have been Commanded to Worship the Lord of this City: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah concludes surah al-Naml with the following ayaat:

إِنَّمَا أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ رَبَّ هَـٰذِهِ الْبَلْدَةِ الَّذِي حَرَّمَهَا وَلَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ * وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ * وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ سَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَتَعْرِفُونَهَا ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

I have only been commanded to worship the Lord of this city, who made it sacred, and to whom belongs all things. And I am commanded to be one of the Muslims. * And that I recite the Qur’an. Then whoever is guided is only guided for the good of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then say, “I am only one of warners.” * And say, “All praise is due to Allah. He will show you His signs and you will recognize them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.” [27:91-93]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di commented on these ayaat by writing:

أي: قل لهم يا محمد إنما أمرت أن أعبد رب هذه البلدة أي: مكة المكرمة، التي حرمها وأنعم على أهلها، فيجب أن يقابلوا ذلك بالشكر والقبول وله كل شيء من العلويات والسفليات أتى به لئلا يتوهم اختصاص ربوبيته بالبيت وحده، وأمرت لأن أكون من المسلمين أي: أبادر إلى الإسلام، وقد فعل صلى الله عليه وسلم، فإنه أول هذه الأمة إسلاما وأعظمها استسلاما. ـ

Meaning: O Muhammad, say to them:

إِنَّمَا أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ رَبَّ هَـٰذِهِ الْبَلْدَةِ

I have only been commanded to worship the Lord of this city

i.e. Mecca, which Allah has sanctified, blessing it and its people. So one must respond to that with gratitude and acceptance. And Allah is the owner of all things, from the heights of His creation to its lowest parts. He mentioned this lest anyone wrongly assume that His lordship was restricted to only one place.

And I am commanded

أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

to be one of the Muslims

meaning: to devote himself to Islam, and that is exactly what he did (ﷺ), for he was the first one of this ummah to embrace Islam, and he was the foremost of them in submission.

ـ (و) أمرت أيضا ” أن أتلو ” عليكم القرآن لتهتدوا به وتقتدوا وتعلموا ألفاظه ومعانيه، فهذا الذي علي وقد أديته، فمن اهتدى فإنما يهتدي لنفسه نفعه يعود عليه، وثمرته عائدة إليه ومن ضل فقل إنما أنا من المنذرين وليس بيدي من الهداية شيء. ـ

And I have also been commanded

أَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ

to recite the Qur’an

to you, in order that you would be guided by it, comply with its commands and learn both its wordings and its meanings. This was what I was charged with, and I have fulfilled it. So whoever is guided, then he is guided for his own good and he reaps the benefits and the fruits of that.

وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

And whoever goes astray, then say, “I am only one of warners.”

I do not have any power to grant guidance.

وقل الحمد لله الذي له الحمد في الأولى والآخرة ومن جميع الخلق ، خصوصا أهل الاختصاص والصفوة من عباده، فإن الذي وقع والذي ينبغي أن يقع منهم من الحمد والثناء على ربهم أعظم مما يقع من غيرهم؛ لرفعة درجاتهم وكمال قربهم منه، وكثرة خيراته عليهم. ـ

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ

And say, “All praise is due to Allah …”

He is the one deserving of praise both in the beginning and at the conclusion of things from all of the created beings, and especially from those created beings who have been granted special characteristics and qualities out of His slaves. For the thanks and praise of their Lord that they have already done and that they ought to do going forward is greater and weightier than that of others due to their elevated status, their greater closeness to Him, and the abundance of good that He has bestowed on them.

سيريكم آياته فتعرفونها معرفة تدلكم على الحق والباطل، فلا بد أن يريكم من آياته ما تستنيرون به في الظلمات ليهلك من هلك عن بينة ويحيا من حي عن بينة ، وما ربك بغافل عما تعملون بل قد علم ما أنتم عليه من الأعمال والأحوال، وعلم مقدار جزاء تلك الأعمال، وسيحكم بينكم حكما تحمدونه عليه، ولا يكون لكم حجة بوجه من الوجوه عليه. ـ

سَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَتَعْرِفُونَهَا

“… He will show you His signs and you will recognize them …”

recognition which will direct them to know truth from falsehood, for of course He will show them some of His signs through which they can find light in the midst of the compounded darknesses

لِّيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ

so that those who will be destroyed will be destroyed after receiving clear evidence and those who live will live after receiving clear evidence [8:42]

وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“… And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.”

On the contrary, He most certainly knows the actions which you practice and the conditions which you inhabit, and He knows the proper amount of recompense to give for those actions. He will judge between you with a ruling for which you will praise Him, and you will not have any kind of proof to bring against Him at all.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 716]

See also: “For that He created them”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Advertisements

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.