Assorted Qur’an Benefits #41

The following brief benefits were originally published on our social media channels during February and March of 2020:

♦ “That is the Book …”

Allah begins surah al-Baqarah by saying:

الم * ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ

Which could be translated literally as:

Alif Lam Meem * That is the Book about which there is no doubt … [2:1-2]

In part of his commentary on the second ayah, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir wrote:

 وابن جريج : أن ذلك بمعنى هذا ، والعرب تقارض بين هذين الاسمين من أسماء الإشارة فيستعملون كلا منهما مكان الآخر ، وهذا معروف في كلامهم . ـ

Ibn Jurayj said: The word “that” is carrying the meaning of “this”. The Arabs interchange these two demonstrative pronouns and use each of them in place of the other, as is well-known in their way of speaking.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 1/163]


♦ Single Revelation vs Ongoing Revelation

Allah describes Himself in the beginning of surah Aal ‘Imran by saying:

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ

He has sent down the Book to you in truth, affirming what came before it, and He sent down the Tawrah and the Injeel [3:3]

Those able to read Arabic will notice that the verb of “to send down” is repeated twice in the ayah but in two different forms. Imam al-Baghawi comments on this subtle difference in his tafsir by writing:

إنما قال : وأنزل التوراة والإنجيل لأن التوراة والإنجيل أنزلا جملة واحدة ، وقال في القرآن ” نزل ” لأنه نزل مفصلا والتنزيل للتكثير

Allah only says, “And He sent down the Tawrah and the Injeel” because the Tawrah and Injeel were each revealed in a single revelation, but regarding the Qur’an He said nazzalah [implying repetition] because He sent it down in pieces and there were many revelations.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 2/6]


♦ Love for One’s Own Desires

In one of his letters, ibn Taymiyah mentioned the following encounter:

قيل لسفيان بن عيينة: ما بال أهل الأهواء لهم محبة شديدة لأهوائهم؟ فقال: أنسيت قوله -تعالى {وأشربوا في قلوبهم العجل بكفرهم}. أو نحو هذا من الكلام . ـ

Someone said to Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, “What is it with the people of desires that they have such strong love for their own views?” Sufyan replied, “Have you forgotten what Allah said:

وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِمْ

Their hearts soaked up (the love of) the calf due to their disbelief. [2:93]?

or something similar to this.

[al-‘Ubudiyyah 1/20]


♦ How to Repent

Ibn ‘Atiyyah included the following in part of his tafsir discussing the repentance of Adam mentioned in surah al-Baqarah:

 وسئل بعض سلف المسلمين عما ينبغي أن يقوله المذنب فقال: يقول ما قال أبواه: ربنا ظلمنا أنفسنا وما قال موسى : رب إني ظلمت نفسي فاغفر لي . وما قال يونس : لا إله إلا أنت سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين . ـ

One of the early Muslims was asked about what a sinner should say, so he answered:

He should say what his father [Adam] said:

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا

Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves! [7:23]

and what Moosaa said:

رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي

Lord I have certainly wronged myself, so forgive me! [28:16]

and what Yunus said:

لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

There is no deity worthy of worship but You! Exalted are You! I have certainly been one of the wrongdoers! [21:87]

[al-Muharrar al-Wajeez 1/189]


♦ The Nearer Punishment

Allah says in surah al-Sajdah:

وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُم مِّنَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَدْنَىٰ دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And we will surely let them taste the nearer punishment short of the greater punishment that perhaps they will repent. [32:21]

In part of his commentary on this ayah, al-haafidh ibn Kathir wrote:

قال ابن عباس : يعني بالعذاب الأدنى مصائب الدنيا وأسقامها وآفاتها ، وما يحل بأهلها مما يبتلي الله به عباده ليتوبوا إليه . وروي مثله عن أبي بن كعب ، وأبي العالية ، والحسن ، وإبراهيم النخعي ، والضحاك ، وعلقمة ، وعطية ، ومجاهد ، وقتادة ، وعبد الكريم الجزري ، وخصيف . ـ

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: What is meant by the “nearer punishment” is the troubles, illnesses and diseases of this worldly life and whatever Allah has unleashed upon the inhabitants of this world to test His slaves so that they might turn to Him in repentance.

Similar statements have been relayed from Ubay ibn Ka’b, Abu’l-‘Aliyah, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibrahim al-Nakha’i, al-Dhahhaak, ‘Alqamah, ‘Atiyyah, Mujahid, Qatadah, ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Jazari, and Khaseef.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 6/372]


♦ The Consequences of Sins

The great scholar ibn al-Qayyim once wrote the following words of wisdom:

الصبر عن الشهوة أسهل من الصبر على ما تُوجِبُه الشهوة، فإنها إمَّا إن تُوجِب أَلَمًا وعُقوبةً، وإمَّا أن تقطع لَذَّةً أكملَ منها، وإمَّا أن تُضيع وقتًا، وإمَّا أن تُذهِب مالًا، وإمَّا أن تَضَع قَدْرًا وَجَاهًا، وإمَّا أن تَسلُب نِعمةً، وإمَّا أن تَجلِب هَمًّا وغَمًّا وحُزنًا وخَوفًا، وإما أن تُنسِي عِلمًا، وإما أن تُشمِت عَدوًّا وتُحزِن وَلِيًّا.ـ

Patiently warding off one’s temptations is easier than bearing with the consequences of those desires, for those consequences will be either:

-pain and punishment, or
-being deprived of a greater enjoyment than the one you had, or
-wasting one’s time, or
-squandering one’s wealth, or
-exhausting one’s strength, or
-being deprived of some other blessing, or
-bringing about grief, anxiety and woe, or
-forgetting some knowledge you had had, or
-pleasing your enemies, or
-saddening your friends.

[al-Fawa’id pg. 139]


♦ Tranquility

While discussing matters related to the battle of Tabook in surah al-Tawbah, Allah mentions the Hijrah of the Prophet and the instance of the Prophet and Abu Bakr hiding in the cave by saying:

فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّـهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَنَا ۖ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ

Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him … [9:40]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di included the following points of benefit regarding the phrase “and Allah send down tranquility upon them” in his tafsir where he wrote:

 وفيها فضيلة السكينة، وأنها من تمام نعمة الله على العبد في أوقات الشدائد والمخاوف التي تطيش بها الأفئدة، وأنها تكون على حسب معرفة العبد بربه، وثقته بوعده الصادق، وبحسب إيمانه وشجاعته. ـ

This ayah shows the virtue of tranquility and that it is one of Allah’s great blessings on a servant during times of difficulties and stresses which make the hearts lose their composure.

This ayah also indicates that a person’s tranquility is proportionate to his knowledge of his Lord and his confidence in the truthful promise of His Lord. It is also proportionate to one’s eemaan and courage.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 337]


Learn more about these and other mufassiroon (those who explained the Qur’an) with our Mufassir Profiles

See here to read more assorted Qur’an benefits

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