Surahs Recited on Friday and Their Themes: Ibn al-Qayyim

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim included a long section listing the merits of Friday in his wonderful and expansive biography of the Prophet. What follows is one of those points which discusses how the surahs that the Prophet recited on Fridays as well as the sermons that he gave fit with that day and its themes:

 الثالثة والثلاثون : إنه يوم اجتماع الناس وتذكيرهم بالمبدأ والمعاد ، وقد شرع الله سبحانه وتعالى لكل أمة في الأسبوع يوما يتفرغون فيه للعبادة ويجتمعون فيه لتذكر المبدأ والمعاد ، والثواب والعقاب ، ويتذكرون به اجتماعهم يوم الجمع الأكبر قياما بين يدي رب العالمين ، وكان أحق الأيام بهذا الغرض المطلوب اليوم الذي يجمع الله فيه الخلائق ، وذلك يوم الجمعة ، فادخره الله لهذه الأمة لفضلها وشرفها ، فشرع اجتماعهم في هذا اليوم لطاعته ، وقدر اجتماعهم فيه مع الأمم لنيل كرامته ، فهو يوم الاجتماع شرعا في الدنيا ، وقدرا في الآخرة ، وفي مقدار انتصافه وقت الخطبة والصلاة يكون أهل الجنة في منازلهم ، وأهل النار في منازلهم ، كما ثبت عن ابن مسعود من غير وجه أنه قال : ( لا ينتصف النهار يوم القيامة حتى يقيل أهل الجنة في منازلهم وأهل النار في منازلهم وقرأ : ( أصحاب الجنة يومئذ خير مستقرا وأحسن مقيلا ) ) [ الفرقان : 24 ] وقرأ : ( ثم إن مقيلهم لإلى الجحيم ) ، وكذلك هي في قراءته . ـ

Point 33: That Friday is the day on which the people come together and are reminded of their origins and their ultimate return to Allah. Allah had legislated a day of the week for each ummah to dedicate to worship and to gather together to remember their origins, their ultimate return to Allah, and the reward and punishment. Through this, they are reminded of their gathering together on the greatest day of gathering together when they will be standing in front of Lord of all creation. And the most fitting day for this purpose is the day on which Allah will gather the created beings all together, which is the day of Jumu’ah.

Allah saved this day for this ummah due to its merits and virtue and so He legislated that the people should gather together on it for the purpose of obeying Him. Furthermore, He also decreed that it would be a Friday that they, as well as the other nations, will be gathered up to receive His grace [i.e. that the Day of Judgement will be on a Friday]. So it is a day of legislated gathering in the life of this world as well as the day of divinely-decreed gathering in the next life.

And by the midpoint of that Day in the hereafter – equivalent to the time of the khutbah and prayer during the worldly life – the people of Jannah will be in their final places and the people of the Hellfire will be in their final places. This is as has been authentically transmitted from ibn Mas’ood via multiple routes of transmission, who said, “It will not reach the midpoint of the day of the Day of Judgement before the people of Jannah take their mid-day nap in their ultimate dwelling places and the people of the Hellfire are in their final dwelling places” and then he recited: Continue reading

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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

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

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

These are the Hudood of Allah: Sheikh al-Fawzan

Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan mentioned the following point of benefit in the midst of explaining the Mufassal surahs:

قال (وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ) أي : محرماته ، فتطلق حدود الله على منهياته ، وتطلق على مباحاته . فإذا كانت الحدود المحرمات فإن الله قال : (تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا) فلا تقرب . وإذا كانت الحدود من المباحات فإنها لا تتعدى ، قال : (تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّـهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ) ، لا تتعد الحلال إلى الحرام . والمراد هنا إخراج المطلقة عن بيتها من غير مبرر شرعي . ثم بين الله جريمة من يتعدى حدود الله ، فقال : (وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ) حيث عرضها لعقاب الله . ـ

Allah said:

وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ

… These are the hudood of Allah … [65:1]

meaning the things which He has forbidden.

This term, the hudood of Allah – the “limits of Allah” – is sometimes used to refer to the things which He has prohibited and other times is used to refer to things which are permissible.

When it is referring to those forbidden hudood, then Allah says:

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا

These are the hudood of Allah so do not approach them [2:187]

so do not even get close to them.

When it is referring to those permissible hudood, then these limits should not be crossed. Allah said: Continue reading

The Link Between Seeking Forgiveness and Receiving Aid: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

One of the many sciences of the Qur’an is the study of its munasabat, meaning the links and connections between one ayah and the next, or one passage of ayaat and the next, or between one surah and the next, or between the beginning or a surah and its conclusion, and so on. In a short work devoted to this topic, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool mentioned the following benefit related to surah al-Nasr:

سورة النصر : أولها ذكر النصر والفتح قال تبارك وتعالى : (إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّـهِ وَالْفَتْحُ) وآخرها ذكر التوبة والاستغفار ، قال تبارك وتعالى : ( فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا) ، والتوبة والاستغفار هي طريق النصر والفتح ، قال تبارك وتعالى : (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّـهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ) {محمد 7}ـ

Surah al-Nasr

In its beginning Allah mentioned aid and victory, saying:

إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّـهِ وَالْفَتْحُ

When the aid and victory of Allah has come … [110:1]

And in its end Allah mentioned repentance and seeking forgiveness, saying:

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا

Then make exaltation with the praise of your Lord and ask Him for forgiveness. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance. [110:3]

And making repentance and seeking forgiveness is the route that leads to aid and victory. Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّـهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and make your feet firm [47:7]

[‘Ilm al-Munasabat fee al-Suwar w’al-Ayaat pg. 193]

Continue reading

Ibn al-Qayyim’s Model for Contemplating the Qur’an

One of the many written works of ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah is his Risalah al-Tabookiyyah which centers Allah’s command at the beginning of surah al-Ma’idah for the believers to help one another in al-birr and al-taqwa [5:3]. After describing many aspects of this ayah and its implications, ibn al-Qayyim then wrote:

ورأس الأمر وعموده في ذلك إنما هو دوام التفكر وتدبر آيات الله حيث تستولي على الفكر وتشغل القلب فإذا صارت معاني القرآن مكان الخواطر من قلبه وجلس على كرسيه، وصار له التصرف، وصار هو الأمير المطاع أمره، فحينئذ يستقيم له سيره ويتضح له الطريق وتراه ساكنا وهو يباري الريح {وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ} . ـ

At the head of all of this and its very foundation is for one to always contemplate and reflect on the ayaat of the Qur’an, so much so that it overpowers one’s other thoughts and becomes the central concern of one’s heart. When the messages of the Qur’an take the place that mere passing thoughts previously held in his heart and begin to rule over it, being what turns his heart and the ruler that it obeys, then his journey becomes smooth and his course becomes clear. So even if it appeared that he was standing still he is in fact moving forward towards Allah fast as the wind.

وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ

And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. It is the work of Allah, who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do. [27:88]

فان قلت: إنك قد أشرت إلى مقام عظيم فافتح لي بابه، واكشف لي حجابه، وكيف تدبر القرآن وتفهمه والإشراف على عجائبه وكنوزه؟ وهذه تفاسير الأئمة بأيدينا، فهل في البيان غير ما ذكروه؟ ـ

Now if you were to say, “You have just described a great station, so open up its door for me and remove its veil for me – how does one contemplate and understand the the Qur’an grasp its amazements and great treasures? We have the explanations of the great scholars of tafsir with us, is there anything else to understand the Qur’an beyond what they have already done?”

[See also: Narration-based Tafsir before Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh]

قلت: سأضرب لك أمثالاً تحتذي عليها وتجعلها إماماً لك في هذا المقصد، قال الله تعالى: {هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا سَلاماً قَالَ سَلامٌ قَوْمٌ مُنْكَرُونَ فَرَاغَ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ فَجَاءَ بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ، فَقَرَّبَهُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَالَ أَلا تَأْكُلُونَ فَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً قَالُوا لا تَخَفْ وَبَشَّرُوهُ بِغُلامٍ عَلِيمٍ فَأَقْبَلَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ فِي صَرَّةٍ فَصَكَّتْ وَجْهَهَا وَقَالَتْ عَجُوزٌ عَقِيمٌ قَالُوا كَذَلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ} . ـ

My response would be: Let me give you some things that you can take as an example and a model to follow for this goal.

Allah says: Continue reading

Taking Ayaat out of Context: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Towards the beginning of surah Aal ‘Imran Allah says:

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

It is He who revealed the Scripture to you. In it there are muhkam (clear) verses which are the foundation of the Book and others which are mutashabih (ambiguous). As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the ambiguous parts of it, seeking fitnah and seeking distortion. But none knows its interpretation except Allah and those whose are firmly-grounded in knowledge. They say, “We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.” And none will be reminded except for those of understanding. [3:7]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinahdelivered the following important words while discussing this ayah in the midst of his explanation of the book Kashf al-Shubuhat:

ـ [وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ] أي الراسخون في العلم يعلمون معناه. وطريقة الراسخين في العلم تجاه المتشابه أنهم يؤمنون به أنه من عند لله، ويردونه إلى المحكَم، على خلاف طريقة أهل الزيغ. ـ

وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

… and those firmly grounded in knowledge [3:7]

meaning: those who are firmly grounded in knowledge also know its meaning. And the approach that those who are firmly grounded in knowledge take with respect to the mutashabih (ambiguous) verses is that they believe in them as being from Allah and they refer these verses back to the muhkam (clear and unambiguous) verses. This is in contrast to how the deviated people approach these verses.

قال : [وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا] [كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا] كله حق، وكله من لله، وليس في القرآن تناقض ولا اضطراب، [وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا ] ولا يستقيم الأمر للإنسان في هذا الباب إلا إذا كان على هذا النهج ؛ يرَُد المتشابه من آيِّ القرآن إلى المحكَم. أما إذا كان بمعزل عن آيات القرآم ودلالاته ، ويجتزئ من النصوص أشياء يشبه بها على الناس فهذه طريقة أهل الزيغ، مثل طريقة الجهمية الذين يقولون لله في كل مكان، يقرأون مستدلين على قولهم “إن لله في كل مكان”، بقوله تعالى: وهو معكم أين ما كنتم [الحديد: ٤]. وابن القيم رحمه لله يقول: ـ
يا قومنا ولله إنا لقولنا ألفاً تدلُّ عليه ؛ بل ألفان

Allah said:

وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا

And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.” [3:7]

All of it is from our Lord” – all of it is the truth and all of it is from Allah. There is no contradiction or disorder in the Qur’an.

وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

Had it been from anyone other than Allah they would have found much contradiction within it. [4:82] Continue reading

The Qur’anic Methods of Calling People to Tawheed: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

In one of Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan‘s written works in the field of ‘aqeedah, the sheikh devoted a section to listing a number of methods that Allah uses throughout the Qur’an to invite people to worship Him alone. He mentions a total of eleven different methods, providing examples for each type:

أساليب القرآن في الدعوة إلى توحيد الإلهية
The Methods Used in the Qur’an to Call People to the Sole Worship of Allah

لما كان توحيد الربوبية قد أقر به الناس بموجب فطرهم ونظرهم في الكون، وكان الإقرار به وحده لا يكفي للإيمان بالله ولا ينجي صاحبه من العذاب، ركزت دعوات الرسل على توحيد الإلهية، خصوصا دعوة خاتم الرسل نبينا محمد عليه وعليهم أفضل السلام، فكان يطالب الناس بقول‏:‏ لا إله إلا الله، المتضمنة لعبادة الله، وترك عبادة ما سواه، فكانوا ينفرون منه ويقولون‏:‏ ‏{‏أَجَعَلَ الْآلِهَةَ إِلَهًا وَاحِدًا إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ‏}‏ ‏.‏ ـ

Since al-Tawheed al-Rububiyyah – Allah’s exclusive role as Lord of all creation – is something which people accept, as is necessitated by their innate disposition towards it and their observation of this universe, and because the mere acceptance of it is not equivalent to eemaan in Allah nor does it alone save anyone from eternal punishment, then the calls of the messengers were centered around and concentrated on al-Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah – Allah’s exclusive right to be worshiped by His created beings. This was all the more emphasized in the call of the seal of the messengers, our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), for he sought for the people to profess Laa ilaaha illallaah – there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah -, a phrase that entails worshiping Allah and leaving off the worship of anything besides Him. But the people were averse to this, saying

‏أَجَعَلَ الْآلِهَةَ إِلَهًا وَاحِدًا إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ‏

Has he made the gods all into one God? Indeed, this is something astounding! [38:5]

وحاولوا مع الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يترك هذه الدعوة ويخلي بينهم وبين عبادة الأصنام، وبذلوا في ذلك معه كل الوسائل؛ بالترغيب تارة وبالترهيب تارة، وهو عليه الصلاة والسلام يقول‏:‏ ‏”‏والله، لو وضعوا الشمس بيميني، والقمر بشمالي، على أن أترك هذا الأمر؛ لا أتركه حتى يظهره الله أو أهلك دونه‏”‏‏.‏ ـ

The people made every effort to make the Messenger give up this call and leave them to worship their idols. They took every means at their disposal to reach this end, sometimes offering enticements and other times with threats and intimidation. But the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I swear by Allah, if they were to place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on the condition that I abandon this cause, I would not leave it until Allah grants it victory or I perish therein.”

وكانت آيات الله تتنزل عليه بالدعوة إلى هذا التوحيد، والرد على شبهات المشركين، وإقامة البراهين على بطلان ما هم عليه‏.‏ ـ

Allah’s verses would be sent to him in order to call the people of al-Tawheed, to rebut the doubts of the mushrikoon, and to firmly establish proofs of the futility and falsehood of what they were following.

وقد تنوعت أساليب القرآن في الدعوة إلى توحيد الإلهية، وها نحن نذكر جملة منها؛ فمن ذلك‏:‏ ـ

The Qur’an uses a variety of methods to call people to al-Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah – Allah’s exclusive right to be worshiped – and here we will mention a number of them. These methods include:

Continue reading

The Arrangement of the First Five Surahs of the Qur’an: al-Suyooti

In part of his discussion the munasabat – the connections between ayaat and surahs – in his famous handbook on the Qur’anic sciences, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti included the following passage. It mentions the links between the first five surahs of the Qur’an as well as some of the main themes found in each:

ـ [ ص: 226 ] قال بعض الأئمة : وسورة الفاتحة تضمنت الإقرار بالربوبية والالتجاء إليه في دين الإسلام ، والصيانة عن دين اليهودية والنصرانية . ـ

○ Some scholars have said: Surah al-Fatihah is comprised of 1) affirming Allah’s lordship, 2) seeking refuge with Him in the religion of Islam, and 3) protection against the Jewish and Christian religions.*

وسورة البقرة : تضمنت قواعد الدين . ـ

Surah al-Baqarah is comprised of the foundations of this religion.

وآل عمران : مكملة لمقصودها ، فالبقرة بمنزلة إقامة الدليل على الحكم وآل عمران بمنزلة الجواب عن شبهات الخصوم ، ولهذا ورد فيها ذكر المتشابه لما تمسك به النصارى ، وأوجب الحج في آل عمران ، وأما في البقرة فذكر أنه مشروع وأمر بإتمامه بعد الشروع فيه . ـ

○ Aal ‘Imran is the completion of al-Baqarah‘s aim. al-Baqarah was like the a presentation of the evidence for a ruling while Aal ‘Imran is like a response to the doubts brought up by a contentious listener. It is for this reason that Aal ‘Imran mentioned many doubtful matters that the Christians cling to. Also, the Hajj was made mandatory in Aal ‘Imran [c.f. 3:97] while in al-Baqarah it was only mentioned as being legislated. So He commanded them to perform it in a complete way after they had embarked upon it. Continue reading