The Ayah of the Reciters: Tafsir al-Tabari

Allah says in surah Faatir:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّـهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ * لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

“Those who recite the Book of Allah and establish the prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them both secretly and publicly can hope for a profit that will never perish * that He will give them their rewards in full and increase them out of His bounty. He is certainly forgiving and appreciative.” [35:29-30]

Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari included the following narration under his tafsir of this ayah:

يقول – تعالى ذكره – : إن الذين يقرءون كتاب الله الذي أنزله على محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ( وأقاموا الصلاة ) يقول : وأدوا الصلاة المفروضة لمواقيتها بحدودها ، وقال : وأقاموا الصلاة بمعنى : ويقيموا الصلاة . ـ

Allah is saying: Those who recite the Book of Allah which He revealed to Muhammad

وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ

… and establish the prayers

He is saying: and who perform the obligatory prayers in their proper times within the proper limits.

وقوله ( وأنفقوا مما رزقناهم سرا وعلانية ) يقول : وتصدقوا بما أعطيناهم من الأموال سرا في خفاء وعلانية جهارا ، وإنما معنى ذلك أنهم يؤدون الزكاة المفروضة ، ويتطوعون أيضا بالصدقة منه بعد أداء الفرض الواجب عليهم فيه . ـ

وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً

… and spend out of what We have provided for them both secretly and publicly …

He is saying: they spend some of the wealth that We have given them in charity, both secretly in private and openly in public. And the meaning here is that they pay the obligatory zakah and also give optional charity after having paid what was binding and required of them.

وقوله ( يرجون تجارة لن تبور ) يقول – تعالى ذكره – : يرجون بفعلهم ذلك تجارة لن تبور : لن تكسد ولن تهلك ، من قولهم : بارت السوق إذا كسدت وبار الطعام . وقوله ( تجارة ) جواب لأول الكلام . ـ

يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

… can hope for a profit that will never perish …

Allah is saying: By doing these deeds, they can hope for a profit that will never perish, i.e. that will never go bad and never go away.

The Arabs would say “the market baarat” when an item is not attracting any buyers or “the food baar” when it spoils.

وقوله ( ليوفيهم أجورهم ) يقول : ويوفيهم الله على فعلهم ذلك ثواب أعمالهم التي عملوها في الدنيا ( ويزيدهم من فضله ) يقول : وكي يزيدهم على الوفاء من فضله ما هو له أهل ، وكان مطرف بن عبد الله يقول : هذه آية القراء . ـ

لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ

… that He will give them their rewards in full …

He is saying: Allah will repay them with the full measure merited for the deeds which they did during their lives

وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ

… and increase them out of His bounty.

He is saying: and He will go beyond simply repaying them by giving out of His bounty, which is entirely His to give.

Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah used to say, “This is the ayah of the reciters!”

ـ [ ص: 464 ] حدثنا محمد بن بشار قال : ثنا عمرو بن عاصم قال : ثنا معتمر عن أبيه ، عن قتادة قال : كان مطرف إذا مر بهذه الآية ( إن الذين يتلون كتاب الله ) يقول : هذه آية القراء . ـ

… Qatadah said: whenever Mutarrif would come across this ayah, he would say, “This is the ayah of the reciters!”

حدثنا ابن المثنى قال : ثنا محمد بن جعفر قال : ثنا شعبة ، عن يزيد ، عن مطرف بن عبد الله أنه قال في هذه الآية ( إن الذين يتلون كتاب الله ) إلى آخر الآية قال : هذه آية القراء . ـ

… Yazeed said that Muttarif ibn ‘Abdullah used to say about this ayah, “This is the ayah of the reciters!”

حدثنا بشر قال : ثنا يزيد قال : ثنا سعيد ، عن قتادة قال : كان مطرف بن عبد الله يقول : هذه آية القراء ( ليوفيهم أجورهم ويزيدهم من فضله ) . ـ

… Qatadah said: Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah used to say, “This is the ayah of the reciters!”

لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ

“that He will give them their rewards in full and increase them out of His bounty.”

وقوله ( إنه غفور شكور ) يقول : إن الله غفور لذنوب هؤلاء القوم الذين هذه صفتهم شكور لحسناتهم . ـ

إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

 He is certainly forgiving and appreciative.

He is saying: Allah is forgiving of the sins of these people who have these qualities and appreciative of their good deeds.

كما حدثنا بشر قال : ثنا يزيد قال : ثنا سعيد ، عن قتادة ( إنه غفور شكور ) إنه غفور لذنوبهم ، شكور لحسناتهم . ـ

This is similar to what Qatadah said:

إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

 He is certainly forgiving and appreciative.

He is certainly forgiving of their sins, appreciative of their good deeds.

[Tafsir al-Tabari 20/464-265 with some minor abridgement in translation]

See also: The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

One thought on “The Ayah of the Reciters: Tafsir al-Tabari

  1. Pingback: The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

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