O You Who Have Believed, Look After Your Own Souls: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says in surah al-Maa’idah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّـهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who have believed, look after your own souls. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do. [5:105]

In his famous book of tafsir, al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote the following:

يقول تعالى آمرا عباده المؤمنين أن يصلحوا أنفسهم ويفعلوا الخير بجهدهم وطاقتهم ، ومخبرا لهم أنه من أصلح أمره لا يضره فساد من فسد من الناس ، سواء كان قريبا منه أو بعيدا . ـ

Allah is commanding His believing slaves to rectify themselves and do the good that is within their ability and capacity, and He is also informing them that whoever rectifies his own matters will not be harmed by the corruption of the corrupted people regardless of whether they are near or far from him.

قال العوفي ، عن ابن عباس عند تفسير هذه الآية : يقول تعالى : إذا ما العبد أطاعني فيما أمرته به من الحلال والحرام فلا يضره من ضل بعده ، إذا عمل بما أمرته به . وكذا روى الوالبي عنه . وهكذا قال مقاتل بن حيان . ـ

al-‘Awfi reported that ibn ‘Abbaas was explaining this ayah and said:

Allah is saying that so long as a slave obeys Me regarding the permissible and prohibited matters that I have commanded him then no one else’s misguidance will harm him after that so long as he fulfills what I have commanded him to do.

al-Waalibi also reported this from ibn ‘Abbaas, and Muqatil ibn Hayyaan said something similar as well.

[…]

وليس في الآية مستدل على ترك الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر ، إذا كان فعل ذلك ممكنا . ـ

But this ayah does not contain any support for not enjoining good or forbidding evil, so long as it is possible to do so.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 3/213]

See also: “O you who have believed, look after your own souls”: Tafsir al-Sa’di & al-Shinqitee

See also: Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di

One thought on “O You Who Have Believed, Look After Your Own Souls: Tafsir ibn Kathir

  1. Pingback: “O you who have believed, look after your own souls”: Tafsir al-Sa’di & al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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