Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial: Tafsir al-Tabari

Allah informs the believers in surah al-Anfal:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

And know that your wealth and your children are but a trial, and that Allah has with Him a tremendous reward [8:28]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote:

قال أبو جعفر : يقول تعالى ذكره للمؤمنين : واعلموا ، أيها المؤمنون ، أنما أموالكم التي خولكموها الله ، وأولادكم التي وهبها الله لكم ، اختبار وبلاء ، أعطاكموها ليختبركم بها ويبتليكم ، لينظر كيف أنتم عاملون من أداء حق الله عليكم فيها ، والانتهاء إلى أمره ونهيه فيها . ” وأن الله عنده أجر عظيم ” ، يقول : واعلموا أن الله عنده خير وثواب عظيم ، على طاعتكم إياه فيما أمركم ونهاكم ، في أموالكم وأولادكم التي اختبركم بها في الدنيا . وأطيعوا الله فيما كلفكم فيها ، تنالوا به الجزيل من ثوابه في معادكم . ـ

I say: Allah is telling the believers, “Know, O you believers, that the wealth which Allah has granted you and the offspring which Allah has given you are a test and a trial that has been given to you in order to test and try you by means of them. So look to how you behave when it comes to fulfilling Allah’s rights over you in relation to these things, and set your limits at what Allah has commanded and forbidden you regarding these things.”

وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

… and that Allah has with Him a tremendous reward

Allah is saying, “And know that Allah has with Him tremendous good to be given as reward for obedience to Him in what He has commanded and forbidden regarding the wealth and offspring which have been used to test you in this worldly life. So obey Allah with what He has entrusted to you. Through doing so you will receive a great reward in the hereafter.

ـ 15934 – حدثني الحارث قال ، حدثنا عبد العزيز قال ، حدثنا المسعودي ، [ ص: 487 ] عن القاسم ، عن عبد الرحمن ، عن ابن مسعود ، في قوله : ” إنما أموالكم وأولادكم فتنة ” ، قال : ما منكم من أحد إلا وهو مشتمل على فتنة ، فمن استعاذ منكم فليستعذ بالله من مضلات الفتن . ـ

… ibn Mas’ood said about Allah’s statement:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ

And know that your wealth and your children are but a trial

“There is not one of you who is not involved in some trial, so whoever wants to seek refuge, let him seek refuge in Allah from the misguidance of trials.”

ـ 15935 – حدثني يونس قال ، أخبرنا ابن وهب قال ، قال ابن زيد ، في قوله : ” واعلموا أنما أموالكم وأولادكم فتنة ” ، قال : ” فتنة ” ، الاختبار ، اختبارهم . وقرأ : ( ونبلوكم بالشر والخير فتنة وإلينا ترجعون ) [ سورة الأنبياء : 35 ] . ـ

ibn Zayd said about this statement:

The “trial” here is a test, meaning their test

and he recited:

وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً ۖ وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

And We shall test you with evil and with good as a trial. And to Us shall you return. [21:35]

[Tafsir al-Tabari 13/486-487]

See also: Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Effects of Parents’ Actions on their Children: Ibn Rajab

See also: The Meanings of the Word Fitnah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Four categories of parentage and four categories of offspring: Tafsir ibn Kathir

2 thoughts on “Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial: Tafsir al-Tabari

  1. Pingback: The Meanings of the Word Fitnah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Effects of Parents’ Actions on their Children: Ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

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