Marriage in the Qur’an pt.3 – Prohibited Relationships: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the third section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

ـ {  وَلَا تَنكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ } [ النساء: 22 ]. ثم عدد المحرمات إلى أن قال: {وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ } [ النساء: 24 ]. ـ

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ

And marry not women whom your fathers married [4:22]

Allah then proceeded to list the muharramaat (unlawful marital relationships) until He said:

وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ

All others are lawful for you [4:24]

قد استوفى الباري المحرمات في النكاح في هذه الآيات في النسب والرضاع والمصاهرة . ـ

In these ayaat, the Creator has grouped the unlawful marital relationships into categories of: those according to lineage, those according to wet-nursing, and those according to preexisting marital ties.

أما المحرمات بالمصاهرة فإن تزوج الرجل امرأة ترتب على هذا الزواج أربعة أحكام: ـ

As for the unlawful marital relationships due to preexisting marital ties, then for a man to marry a women, this marriage brings about four rulings: Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.2 – Rights of Wives: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the second section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

ـ {  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِ‌ثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْ‌هًا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَعَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ ۚ فَإِن كَرِ‌هْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّـهُ فِيهِ خَيْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا  } إلى قوله: {  مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا }  [ النساء: 19 – 21 ].ـ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِ‌ثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْ‌هًا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَعَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ ۚ فَإِن كَرِ‌هْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّـهُ فِيهِ خَيْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا * وَإِنْ أَرَ‌دتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَارً‌ا فَلَا تَأْخُذُوا مِنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا * وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَىٰ بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا 

O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. * But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a a great amount of gold as a dowry, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin? * And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant? [4:19-21]

كان أهل الجاهلية إذا مات أحدهم ورثت زوجته عنه كما يورث ماله، فرأى قريبه كأخيه وابن عمه أنه أحق بها من نفسها، ويحجرها عن غيره، فإن رضي بها تزوجها على غير صداق، أو على صداق يحبه هو دونها، وإن لم يرض بزواجها عضلها ومنعها من الأزواج إلا بعوض من الزوج أو منها . ـ

It used to be the case for the people of pre-Islamic ignorance that when one of them would die his wife would be inherited just as his wealth would be inherited, so one of his close relatives – for instance his brother or paternal cousin – would consider himself to have more of a right to her than even she had of herself and so he would prevent her from going to anyone else. So if he was pleased with her, then he would wed her without giving her any dowry or with a dowry which pleased him but not her. However if he didn’t wish to marry her then he would make things difficult for her and prevent her from marriage unless he was provided with some compensation from the suitor or from her herself.

Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.1 – Conditions for Marriage: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the first section, please click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

قال الله تعالى: { وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُ‌بَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿٣﴾ وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۚ فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِ‌يئًا } [ النساء: 3 و 4 ]. ـ

Allah says:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُ‌بَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿٣﴾ وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۚ فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِ‌يئًا

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. * And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease. [4:3-4]

لمّا منّ الباري على عباده بالنكاح قدرا وأباحه شرعا، بل أحبه ورضيه وحث عليه؛ لما يترتب عليه من المصالح الكثيرة، رتب عليه أحكاما كثيرة وحقوقا متنوعة تدور كلها على الصلاح وإصلاح أحوال الزوجين، ودفع الضرر والفساد، وهي من محاسن الشريعة، والشريعة كلها محاسن، وجلب للمصالح، ودرء للمفاسد . ـ

Since the Creator blessed His slaves with marriage as a decree, and made it permitted in terms of the divine legislation – rather, He loves it, is pleased with it and encourages it due to the many benefits which result from it – therefore, He arranged many rulings and various rights which all revolve around the rectification of and setting the affairs of the married couple in order as well as repelling harm and corruption. And this is one of the good qualities of the sharee’ah – and the entire sharee’ah is composed of good qualities and for the purpose of the bringing about benefit and repelling harmful matters.

يقول تعالى هنا: { وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا}  أي: تقوموا بحق النساء اليتامى اللاتي تحت حجوركم وولايتكم لعدم محبتكم إياهن فاعدلوا إلى غيرهن . ـ

Allah said here:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا

And if you fear that you will not deal justly… [4:3]

– meaning: that you will not be able to establish the rights of the orphan girls under your care and authority due to an absence of love for them, then find others to be just to. Continue reading

The Multiplication of Rewards and its Causes: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following benefit in his book of thematic tafsir:

فائدة: ورد في القرآن آيات كثيرة فيها مضاعفة الحسنة بعشر أمثالها، وورد أيضا آيات أُخر فيها مضاعفة أكثر من ذلك، فما وجه ذلك ؟ ـ

A point of benefit: In the Qur’an, there are many ayaat which mention the multiplication of good deeds by ten, and there are also other ayaat which mention the multiplication by more than that, so what is the explanation of that?

فيقال: أما مضاعفة الحسنة بعشر أمثالها فلا بد منها في كل عمل صالح كما قال تعالى: { مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ‌ أَمْثَالِهَا }  [ الأنعام: 160 ]. ـ

One can respond: As for the multiplication of good deeds by ten, then this must happen for every righteous good deed, just as Allah said:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ‌ أَمْثَالِهَا

Whoever comes with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [6:160]

وأما مضاعفة العمل أكثر من ذلك فله أسباب، إما متعلقة بنفس العامل، أو بالعمل ومزيته أو نتائجه وثمراته أو بزمانه أو مكانه. ـ

But as for the multiplication of deeds by more than that, then there are certain causes for that – either something related to the doer himself, or related to the deed being done and its merit, or the outcome of the deeds and its fruits, or to its time or place.

فمن أعظم أسباب مضاعفة العمل إذا حقق العبد في عمله الإخلاص للمعبود، والمتابعة للرسول، فمضاعفة الأعمال تبع لما يقوم بقلب العامل من قوة الإخلاص وقوة الإيمان. ـ

So one of the greatest causes of the multiplication of deeds is when the slave actualizes both al-ikhlaas (sincerity) to the Object of worship as well as following the example of the Messenger. So the multiplication of deeds follows from and corresponds to the strength of his ikhlaas and the strength of his eemaan that is enacted in the heart of doer. Continue reading

The Story of Ayyub: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di devoted a sizable portion to compiling the various ayaat around different prophets into summarized narratives, as well as mentioning select benefits derived from these ayaat. What follows in his brief treatment of the story of the prophet Ayyub (Job):

قصة أيوب عليه الصلاة السلام

The Story of Ayyub (peace and blessing be upon him)

قصة أيوب عليه الصلاة السلام كان أيوب من أنبياء بني إسرائيل، ومن الأصفياء الكرام، وقد ذكره الله في كتابه، وأثنى عليه بالخصال الحميدة عموما، وبالصبر على البلاء خصوصا؛ فإن الله تعالى ابتلاه بولده وأهله وماله، ثم بجسده، فأصابه من البلاء ما لم يصب أحدا من الخلق، فصبر لأمر الله ولم يزل منيبا لله. ـ

The Story of Ayyub (peace and blessing be upon him): Ayyub was one of the prophets of Banu Israa’eel, and he was one of their most exceptional and honorable ones. Allah mentioned him in His Book and commended him for his praiseworthy characteristics in general, and for his steadfast patience in the face of trials in particular. For Allah subjected him to trials dealing with his children and his family and his wealth, and then with his own body. So Allah afflicted him with trials the likes of which none amongst the creation had previously been afflicted with. But he exercised steadfast patience upon the command of Allah and he did not cease turning back to Allah.

ولما تطاول به المرض العظيم، ونسيه الصاحب والحميم نادى ربه: {أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ} [الأنبياء: 83] فقيل له: {ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ} [ص: 42] فركض، فنبعت بركضته عين ماء بارد، فقيل له: اشرب منها واغتسل، ففعل ذلك، فأذهب الله ما في باطنه وظاهره من البلاء، ثم أعاد الله له أهله وماله، وأعطاه من النعم والخيرات شيئا كثيرا، وصار بهذا الصبر قدوة للصابرين، وسلوة للمبتلين، وعبرة للمعتبرين . ـ

And when his grave illness continued on at length and his companions and close friends forgot him, he called out to his Lord:

 أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ‌ وَأَنتَ أَرْ‌حَمُ الرَّ‌احِمِينَ

Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful ones! [21:83]

So it was said to him: Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di divided his chapter on fasting into three parts, using the ayaat of fasting in surah al-Baqarah (2:183-187) as his structure. Click here to read the first section of that chapter, and here for the second section. What follows is the third and final section, discussing the last of these ayaat pertaining to fasting:

ـ {أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ} [البقرة: 187] إلى قوله: {كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 187] ـ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّ‌فَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَ‌بُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ‌ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are in isolation in the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous. [2:187]

كان أول ما فرض الصيام منع المسلمون من الأكل والشرب في الليل إذا ناموا، فحصلت المشقة لكثير منهم، فخفف الله ذلك، وأباح في ليالي الصيام كلها الأكل والشرب والجماع، سواء نام أو لم ينم؛ لكونهم يختانون أنفسهم بترك بعض ما أمروا به لو بقي الأمر على ما كان أولا، فتاب الله عليكم بأن وسع لكم أمرا لولا توسعته لكان داعيا إلى الإثم والإقدام على المعاصي . ـ

In the first stage of the obligatory fasting, the Muslims were prohibited from eating and drinking at night after they had slept, which resulted in a great deal of difficulty for them. So Allah eased the situation for them and permitted eating, drinking and sexual intercourse for them during the entire nights of the fast, regardless of whether they had already slept or not. For they would have betrayed themselves by abandoning part of what they had been commanded to do if the situation had continued in that manner as it was in the first stage of fasting. So Allah turned to them in forgiveness by easing the situation for them. And had it not been for that easing of the situation, then they would have been tempted unto sin and emboldened unto disobedience. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 2: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following in the second part of his discussion on fasting. Although the connection between fasting and the ayah being explained in this section is not immediately apparent, one can note that this ayah falls in the midst of a broader discussion of the rulings of fasting in surah al-Baqarah, with sheikh al-Sa’di having explained the ayaat preceding this one in part one of his discussion, and moving on the explaining the ayaat after it in part three. In this section he wrote:

ـ {وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ} [البقرة: 186] ـ

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

هذا سؤال وجواب، أي: إذا سألك العباد عن ربهم، وبأي طريق يدركون منه مطالبهم، فأجبهم بهذا الجواب الذي يأخذ بمجامع القلوب، ويوجب أن يعلق العبد بربه بكل مطلوب ديني ودنيوي، فأخبرهم أن الله قريب من الداعين، ليس على بابه حجاب ولا بواب، ولا دونه مانع في أي وقت وأي حال، فإذا أتى العبد بالسبب والوسيلة، وهو الدعاء لله المقرون بالاستجابة له بالإيمان به والانقياد لطاعته، فليبشر بالإجابة في دعاء الطلب والمسألة، وبالثواب والأجر والرشد إذا دعا دعاء العبادة . ـ

This is a question and answer – i.e., when the slaves ask about their Lord and by which means their requests can reach Him, then answer them with this reply which appeals to their hearts and which obliges the slaves to attach themselves to their Lord for their every need – both religious and worldly. For this response informs them that Allah is near to those who call; there is no veil or guard at His door, nor is there any thing else keeping one from calling upon Him at any time or in any circumstance. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 1: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di devoted a series of chapters to the acts of worship and interactions, as they are described throughout the Qur’an. These chapters would take representative ayaat discussing these acts and explain them in a holistic manner, including their benefits, underlying rationale, and fiqh. Imam al-Sa’di wrote the following section as the first part of his discussion on fasting:

فصل في الصيام وتوابعه
Chapter on Fasting and Related Matters

قال الله تعالى: {يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 183] إلى قوله: {وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ} [البقرة: 185] ـ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِ‌يضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ‌ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرً‌ا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ‌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ * شَهْرُ‌ رَ‌مَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْ‌آنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْ‌قَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ‌ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِ‌يضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ‌ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ ۗ يُرِ‌يدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ‌ وَلَا يُرِ‌يدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ‌ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may exercise al-taqwa* [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. * The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [2:183-185]

يخبر تعالى بمنته على عباده المؤمنين بفرضه عليهم الصيام كما فرضه على الأمم السابقة، لأنه من الشرائع الكبار التي هي مصلحة للخلق في كل زمان، وفي هذا حث للأمة أن ينافسوا الأمم في المسارعة إليه وتكميله، وبيان عموم مصلحته، وثمراته التي لا تستغني عنها جميع الأمم . ـ

Allah informs us of His blessing upon His believing slaves by mandating the fast upon them, just as He mandated it upon the previous nations, for it is one of the major legislated matters which is a source of rectification for the creation in every era. And this contains an incitement for this nation to compete with the previous nations in hastening to do this action and to enact it completely. And it also contains a clarification of the expansiveness of its rectifying effects, and of its benefits which no nation can do without.

ثم ذكر حكمته بقوله: {لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 183] فإن الصيام من أكبر أسباب التقوى؛ لأن فيه امتثال أمر الله واجتناب نهيه. فالصيام هو الطريق الأعظم للوصول إلى هذه الغاية التي فيها سعادة العبد في دينه ودنياه وآخرته، فالصائم يتقرب إلى الله بترك المشتهيات؛ تقديما لمحبة ربه على محبة نفسه، ولهذا اختصه الله من بين الأعمال حيث أضافه إلى نفسه في الحديث الصحيح، وهو من أعظم أصول التقوى، فإن الإسلام والإيمان لا يتم بدونه. ـ

Then, Allah mentioned the underlying wisdom behind it with His statement:

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Two Types of Rejoicing in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di mentions the following point of benefit in his thematic tafsir:

فائدة: الفرح ورد في القرآن محمودا مأمورا به في مثل قوله: { قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ وَبِرَ‌حْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَ‌حُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ } [يونس: 58]. فهذا فرح بالعلم والعمل بالقرآن والإسلام، وكذلك قوله: { فَرِ‌حِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ } [آل عمران: 170] فهذا فرح بثواب الله. ـ

A point of benefit: al-Farh (rejoicing/exultation) is mentioned is the Qur’an in a praise-worthy and commanded sense in the likes of Allah’s statement:

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّـهِ وَبِرَ‌حْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَ‌حُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”  [10:58]

That is joy due to knowledge and deeds in accordance with the Qur’an and Islam. And similarly His statement:

فَرِ‌حِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty [3:170]

And that is joy due to the rewards of Allah.

وورد منهيا عنه مذموما مثل الفرح بالباطل وبالرياسات والدنيا المشغلة عن الدين في مثل قوله تعالى: { إِنَّهُ لَفَرِ‌حٌ فَخُورٌ‌ } [ هود: 10 ]. وقوله عن قارون: { قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ لَا تَفْرَ‌حْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِ‌حِينَ } [ القصص: 76 ]. وما أشبه ذلك، فصار الفرح تبعا لما تعلق به؛ إن تعلق بالخير وثمراته فهو محمود، وإلا فهو مذموم. ـ

And al-Farh is (also) mentioned in a prohibited and blameworthy sense, such as rejoicing in falsehood and in rulerships and the worldly life which distracts one from the deen, such as in the likes of His statement: Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-Fatihah: Imam al-Sa’di

In the beginning of his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di provided the following brief but highly beneficial explanation of surah al-Fatihah. This explanation is slightly more detailed than his previous explanation of surah al-Fatihah in his well-known complete work of tafsir, Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman:

ـ {بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ – الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ – الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ – مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ – إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ} [الفاتحة: 1 – 7] ـ

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ الرَّ‌حِيمِ * الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَ‌بِّ الْعَالَمِينَ * الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ الرَّ‌حِيمِ * مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ * إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ * اهْدِنَا الصِّرَ‌اطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ * صِرَ‌اطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ‌ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. * [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds – * The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, * Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. * It is You we worship and You we ask for help. * Guide us to the straight path – * The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. [1:1-7]

أي: أبتدئ بكل اسم لله تعالى، لأن لفظ ” اسم ” مفرد مضاف، فيعم جميع أسماء الله الحسنى؛ فيكون العبد مستعينا بربه، وبكل اسم من أسمائه على ما يناسبه من المطالب، وأجل ما يستعان به على عبادة الله؛ وأجل ذلك الاستعانة على قراءة كلام الله، وتفهم معانيه، والاهتداء بهديه. ـ

Meaning: I begin with every name of Allah the Exalted, because the word “name” occurs in the singular and attached state, and it therefore includes all of Allah’s beautiful names. So the slave seeks the aid of his Lord with every one of His names according to what is appropriate for his goals, and the most lofty of things to seek His aid in is the worship of Allah. And the most lofty form of that is to seek His aid in reading the Words of Allah, understanding their meanings and being guided by their guidance.

ـ (الله) هو المألوه المستحق لإفراده بالمحبة والخوف والرجاء وأنواع العبادة كلها، لما اتصف به من صفات الكمال، وهي التي تدعو الخلق إلى عبادته والتأله له. ـ

Allah” – He is the One who is revered, the One deserving to be singled out exclusively with love, fear, hope and all varieties of acts of worship due to what He is characterized with of perfect attributes, and these are what call the creation to worship and revere Him.

ـ {الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ} [الفاتحة: 1] اسمان دالان على أنه تعالى ذو الرحمة الواسعة العظيمة التي وسعت كل شيء، وعمت كل مخلوق، وكتب الرحمة الكاملة للمتقين المتبعين لأنبيائه ورسله؛ فهؤلاء لهم الرحمة المطلقة المتصلة بالسعادة الأبدية، ومن عداهم محروم من هذه الرحمة الكاملة، لأنه الذي دفع هذه الرحمة وأباها بتكذيبه للخبر، وتوليه عن الأمر، فلا يلومن إلا نفسه. ـ

al-Rahman al-Raheem” – These two names show that He possesses the attribute of vast and tremendous Mercy which extends unto everything and encompasses every created being. And He decreed complete mercy for the muttaqoon – those who follow the His prophets and messengers. So for those ones, there is unrestricted mercy which leads them to everlasting joy, and whoever opposes them is deprived of this complete mercy because they are the ones who repel this mercy and refuse it by their denial of the message and their turning away from the command, so they only have themselves to blame. Continue reading