We did not reveal the Qur’an to you to cause you distress: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his explanation of Riyaadh al-Saliheen, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen mentioned:

وقوله عز وجل: (مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى) يعني ما أنزل الله على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم هذا القرآن لينال الشقاء به، ولكن لينال السعادة والخير والفلاح في الدنيا والآخرة، كما قال الله سبحانه تعالى في هذه السورة نفسها (قَالَ اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدىً فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلا يَضِلُّ وَلا يَشْقَى وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكاً وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَى وَقَدْ كُنْتُ بَصِيراً قَالَ كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَى وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي مَنْ أَسْرَفَ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِآياتِ رَبِّهِ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَشَدُّ وَأَبْقَى) (طه: 123، 127) ، (مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى) ولكن لتسعد في الدنيا والآخرة؛ ولهذا لما كانت الأمة الإسلامية أمة القرآن تتمسك به وتهتدي بهديه، صارت لها الكرامة والعزة والرفعة على جميع الأمم، ففتحوا مشارق الأرض ومغاربها، ولما تخلفت عن العمل بهذا القرآن تخلف عنها من العزة والنصر والكرامة بقدر ما تخلفت به من العمل بهذا القرآن. ـ

Allah’s statement:

مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى

We did not reveal this Qur’an to you to cause you distress [20:2]

meaning: Allah did not reveal this Qur’an to the Prophet so that he would experience sorrow because of it. On the contrary, it was revealed to him in order for him to obtain joy, good, and success in both this life and the next. This is just as Allah says in the very same surah:

قَالَ اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدىً فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلا يَضِلُّ وَلا يَشْقَى * وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكاً وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَى قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَى وَقَدْ كُنْتُ بَصِيراً قَالَ كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَى وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي مَنْ أَسْرَفَ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِآياتِ رَبِّهِ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَشَدُّ وَأَبْقَى

Allah said, “Descend from Paradise – all of you, being enemies to one another. And if guidance from Me comes to you, then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray nor feel misery. * And whoever turns away from My remembrance, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” * He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind when I was seeing?” * Allah will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you be forgotten this Day.” * And thus do We recompense he who transgressed and did not believe in the signs of his Lord. And the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe and more enduring. [20:123-127] Continue reading

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And Tell the Believing Women Not to Show off Their Adornment, Except for What is Apparent: ibn Taymiyah

Allah commands the believing women in surah al-Nur by saying:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except for that which is apparent [24:31]

The phrase “except for that which is apparent” has been explained in a number of ways by the salaf. The great scholar Abu’l-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different positions in his tafsir where he wrote:

قوله تعالى: ولا يبدين زينتهن أي: لا يظهرنها لغير محرم . وزينتهن على ضربين، خفية كالسوارين والقرطين والدملج والقلائد ونحو ذلك، وظاهرة وهي المشار إليها بقوله: إلا ما ظهر منها وفيه سبعة أقوال . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent [24:31]

meaning, to not display these things to non-mahrams. And there are two types of women’s adornment, or zeenah. There is the hidden zeenah such as ankle bracelets, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and so on, and then there is the apparent zeenah, which is what is being referred to in Allah’s statement here, and there are seven different opinions as to what this means:

أحدهما: أنها الثياب، رواه أبو الأحوص عن ابن مسعود; وفي لفظ آخر قال: هو الرداء . والثاني: أنها الكف والخاتم والوجه . والثالث: الكحل والخاتم، رواهما سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس . والرابع: القلبان، وهما السواران والخاتم والكحل، قاله المسور بن مخرمة . والخامس: الكحل والخاتم والخضاب، قاله مجاهد . والسادس: الخاتم والسوار، قاله الحسن . والسابع: الوجه والكفان، قاله الضحاك . ـ

1. Her clothing. Abu al-Ahwas transmitted this explanation from ibn Mas’ood, and in another narration he said that it meant her outer shawl covering.

2. Her hands, ring and face.

3. Her kohol [eye-liner] and ring. Sa’eed ibn Jubayr transmitted both explanations 2 and 3 from ibn ‘Abbaas. Continue reading

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

In his famous collection of forty hadeeth, Imam al-Nawawi mentions the long hadeeth of ibn ‘Abbaas which begins with the Prophet saying:

يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ

Oh boy, I am going to teach you some words: Preserve [the limits of] Allah, He will preserve you …

Commenting on this in his explanation of al-Nawawi’s Arba’een, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned some of the different ways that Allah may preserve His servants, including preserving his offspring upon righteousness and protecting them from harm:

وقد يحفظ الله العبد بصلاحه بعد موته في ذريته كما قيل في قوله تعالى : وكان أبوهما صالحا [ الكهف : 82 ] : أنهما حفظا بصلاح أبيهما . قال سعيد بن المسيب لابنه : لأزيدن في صلاتي من أجلك ، رجاء أن أحفظ فيك ، ثم تلا هذه الآية وكان أبوهما صالحا

Due to one’s righteousness, Allah may even preserve a slave after his death as it relates to his offspring, as it is said concerning Allah’s statement:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

meaning, they were protected due to the righteousness of their father.

Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said to his son, “I increase in my [optional] salah for your sake, in hopes that you will be preserved as a result” and he then recited the ayah:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam 1/468]

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

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

Responding to Allah’s Blessings with Indifference: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says the following in part of surah Luqman:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ الْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِنِعْمَتِ اللَّـهِ لِيُرِيَكُم مِّنْ آيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ * وَإِذَا غَشِيَهُم مَّوْجٌ كَالظُّلَلِ دَعَوُا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ ۚ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُورٍ

Do you not see that ships sail through the sea by the favor of Allah that He may show you of His signs? Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful. * And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate to Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, then some of them are muqtasid. And none reject Our signs except every treacherous and ungrateful one. [31-31-32]

The salaf and the scholars differed over how to interpret the word muqtasid in this context. al-Haafidh ibn Kathir offered the following discussion of this issue:

قال : ( فلما نجاهم إلى البر فمنهم مقتصد ) قال مجاهد : أي كافر . كأنه فسر المقتصد هاهنا بالجاحد ، كما قال تعالى : ( فلما نجاهم إلى البر إذا هم يشركون ) [ العنكبوت : 65 ] . ـ

Allah says:

فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ

But when He delivers them to the land, then some of them are muqtasid

Mujahid said, “meaning disbelievers”.

It is as if he was interpreting the word al-muqtasid in this instance in the sense of one who denies Allah’s sole right to be worshipped, as Allah said:

فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

But when He delivers them to the land, then they associate others with Him in worship [29:65] Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #19

What follows is a collection of various benefits originally posted on our Facebook page during April, May, June and July of 2017:

♦ O Turner of the Hearts …

In his tafsir of surah Aal ‘Imraan, al-haafidh ibn Kathir mentioned the following narration:

قال ابن أبي حاتم : حدثنا عمرو بن عبد الله الأودي – وقال ابن جرير : حدثنا أبو كريب – قالا جميعا : حدثنا وكيع ، عن عبد الحميد بن بهرام ، عن شهر بن حوشب ، عن أم سلمة ، رضي الله عنها ، أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقول : ” يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك ” ثم قرأ : ( ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد إذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة إنك أنت الوهاب )

Ibn Abi Haatim recorded … that Umm Salamah said that the Prophet said, “O Turner of hearts, make my heart steady upon Your religion” and then he recited:

 رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Our Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower. [3:8]

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 2/14]


♦ Fasting Combines All Types of Patience

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen made the following remarks:

الصيام صبر على طاعة الله، وصبر عن محارم الله، وصبر على أقدار الله المؤلمة من الجوع والعطش وضعف البدن والنفس؛ فقد اجتمعت فيه أنواع الصبر الثلاثة، وتحقق أن يكون الصائم من الصابرين، وقد قال الله تعالى: {إنما يوفى الصابرون أجرهم بغير حساب} [الزمر:10].ـ

Fasting is exercising patience in the obedience of Allah, and it is also exercising patience against the prohibitions of Allah, and it is also exercising patience in the face of those painful things – such as hurt, thirst, weakness of body and soul – which Allah has ordained.

So all three types of sabr – steadfast patience – are combined in fasting, and so the fasting person becomes one of the sabiroon. And Allah has said:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning. [39:10]

[Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Rasaa’il al-‘Uthaymeen 20/200]


♦ Allah Responds to the Supplication of the Distressed Continue reading

Why do the Qiraa’aat Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

Makki ibn Abi Taalib, one of the great scholars of the Qur’anic sciences among the earlier generations, posed the following question and answer in his book al-Ibaanah dealing with some foundational issues around the qiraa’aat, or multiple recitations of the Qur’an. What follows is one chapter from this work:

باب: “سبب اختلاف القراءة فيما يحتمله خط المصحف” ـ
Chapter: The Reason Why the Qiraa’aat Differ Within the Bounds of the Text of the Official ‘Uthmani Mushaf

فإن سأل سائل فقال: ما السبب الذي أوجب أن تختلف القراءة، فيما يحتمله خط المصحف، فقرءوا بألفاظ مختلفة في السمع والمعنى واحد. نحو: جُذوة وجِذوة، وجَذوة. وقرءوا بألفاظ مختلفة في السمع وفي المعنى نحو: يُسَيِّركم، ويَنْشُرُكم. وكل ذلك لا يخالف الخط في رأي العين؟ ـ

If someone were to ask: What is it that causes the qiraa’aat to differ within the bounds the text of the official ‘Uthmani mushaf?

The reciters may recite variant wordings in how they are pronounced while the meaning is one, such as

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جُذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a judwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of Hamzah and Khalaf]

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جِذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a jidwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of Naafi’, ibn Kathir, Abu ‘Amr, and ibn ‘Aamir]

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جَذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a jadwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of ‘Aasim]

And sometimes they recite variant wordings in terms of both their pronunciation and meanings, such as:

هُوَ الَّذِي يُسَيِّرُكُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ

It is He Who enables you to travel through the land and the sea … [10:22]

هُوَ الَّذِي يُنْشِرُكُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ

It is He who disperses you throughout the land and the sea … [10:22 according to the qiraa’ah of ibn ‘Aamir]

And all the while none of these are in conflict with the text of the official ‘Uthmani mushaf in terms of its appearance (i.e. the form of the words without dots of tashkeel). Continue reading

The Duty of the Scholars to Prohibit and Warn Against Evil: al-Shawkaani & al-Sa’di

In part of surah al-Maa’idah Allah criticizes a number of characteristics of the Jews, and then says:

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

Why don’t the rabbis and religious scholars forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been making. [5:63]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani comments on this in his tafsir by writing:

 ثم وبخ علماءهم في تركهم لنهيهم فقال : لبئس ما كانوا يصنعون وهذا فيه زيادة على قوله : ( لبئس ما كانوا يعملون ) ؛ لأن العمل لا يبلغ درجة الصنع حتى يتدرب فيه صاحبه ، ولهذا تقول العرب : سيف صنيع إذا جود عامله عمله ، فالصنع هو العمل الجيد لا مطلق العمل  ـ

So Allah rebukes their scholars for neglecting their duty to forbid their people from sins.

Then Allah says:

لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

How wretched is what they have been yasna’oon [making]

and this is something more emphatic than if He had said

لبئس ما كان يعملون

How wretched is what they have been y’amaloon [doing]

because mere “doing” does not reach the level of “making” until the person involved has received a sufficient level of training and expertise. This is why in the Arabic language, one says

سيف صنيع

sanee’ [finely-crafted] sword

when its maker has embellished his work. So the word sana’ [making] is well-done work; it cannot be used to describe just any work.

فوبخ سبحانه الخاصة ، وهم العلماء التاركون للأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر بما هو أغلظ وأشد من توبيخ فاعل المعاصي

So Allah is reprimanding one group in particular – that is, the scholars who have abandoned their duty to command the good and forbid evil. And here Allah is reprimanding them in a harsher and more severe manner than the reprimand given to one who commits acts of disobedience himself. Continue reading

Did You Know? … about the Books of Tafsir: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, posted the following series of “did you know…?” questions related to the books of tafsir on his Facebook page:

هل تعلم أن تفسير ابن جرير الطبري وتفسير ابن كثير يعتبران من الكتب الجامعة بين الرواية والدراية يعني بالمنقول والمعقول . فلا يعدا من كتب التفسير بالمأثور الا تجوزا بحسب الغالب عليهما. ـ

○ Did you know that Tafsir ibn Jarir al-Tabari and Tafsir ibn Kathir are both classified as those books which combine the perspectives of both narrations and expert scholarship – i.e. both transmitted material and intellect-based analysis? So they are only counted among the books of narration-based tafsir due to that being their predominant content.

هل تعلم أن كتب التفسير بالمأثور هي الكتب التي يقتصر دور المفسر فيها على مجرد ايراد الروايات كتفسير عبدالرزاق وابن أبي حاتم . ـ

○ Did you know that the books of narration-based tafsir are those books whose authors limit themselves to only transmitting the narrated statements? These are books such as Tafsir ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and Tafsir ibn Abi Haatim.

هل تعلم أن كتب التفسير بالمأثور اهتمت فقط بتفسير القرآن بالروايات عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعن الصحابة والتابعين. فلم تورد ما يتعلق بتفسير القرآن بالقرآن الا ما جاء ضمنا في الروايات المشار إليها. ـ

○ Did you know that the narration-based books of tafsir are limited in their scope only to the explanations of the Qur’an that come with a chain of narration from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), or from the Companions, or from the Taabi’oon? So they do not mention what is connected to the explanation of the Qur’an by the Qur’an unless it comes as part of a narration which includes that.

هل تعلم أن كلمة أهل العلم متفقة أن أعظم كتب التفسير واصحها كتاب ابن جرير الطبري . ـ
ويكاد يكون تفسير ابن كثير ملخصا له. ـ
واحسن منه في التلخيص كتاب البغوي في التفسير. ـ
ولا اعرف كتابا يسامت تفسير البغوي في اختصاره وسلامته من البدعة وجمعه لكلام السلف. ـ

○ Did you know that the scholars are unanimous in their stance that the greatest and most sound book of tafsir is the Tafsir of ibn Jarir al-Tabari? Continue reading

An Example of Reconciling Multiple Reports on the Reasons for Revelation: al-Suyooti

In many of the books of tafsir, a single ayah might come with several different narrations about its sabab al-nuzool – “the reason for revelation” – or the event or question that led to this ayah being revealed. To many readers, this can be confusing. In the midst of a larger discussion about how to approach and deal with these different reports, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti provides the following example of how to use the science of hadith grading to determine which reports can be relied upon.

وإن ذكر واحد سببا وآخر سببا غيره ، فإن كان إسناد أحدهما صحيحا دون الآخر فالصحيح المعتمد … ـ

If one person mentions one reason for revelation and another person mentions a different reason for revelation, if the chain of narration for one of these reports is authentic while the other is not, then the one with the authentic chain is taken to be the reason for revelation. …

ومن أمثلته – أيضا : – ما أخرجه ابن جرير وابن أبي حاتم ، من طريق علي بن أبي طلحة ، عن ابن عباس أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لما هاجر إلى المدينة ، أمره الله أن يستقبل بيت المقدس ففرحت اليهود ، فاستقبله بضعة عشر شهرا – وكان يحب قبلة إبراهيم – فكان يدعو الله وينظر إلى السماء ، فأنزل الله : فولوا وجوهكم شطره [ البقرة : 150 ] فارتاب من ذلك اليهود ، وقالوا ( ما ولاهم عن قبلتهم التي كانوا عليها ) ! فأنزل الله : قل لله المشرق والمغرب [ البقرة : 115 ] وقال : فأينما تولوا فثم وجه الله . [ البقرة : 115 ] ـ

… Another example of this is

(1) what ibn Jarir and ibn Abi Hatim reported through the route of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah from ibn ‘Abbaas that

when Allah’s Messenger migrated to al-Madinah Allah commanded him to face Jerusalem, which was something that pleased the Jews. So he prayed facing Jerusalem for somewhere between ten and twenty months – although he used to love the qiblah of Ibrahim – while he was asking Allah and looking towards the sky. So then Allah revealed

فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ

so turn your face towards it [2:150]

This raised some misgivings among the Jews, who said, “What caused them to turn away from the qiblah that they used to follow?” So then Allah revealed

وَلِلَّـهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ

And to Allah belongs the east and the west. [2:115]

and He said Continue reading