Assorted Qur’an Benefits #16

What follows is a collection of various benefits originally posted on our Facebook page during the months of September and October of 2016:

♦ Sharing in Punishment

Allah informs us about the punishment of the disbelievers in surah al-Zukhruf when He says:

 وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ

And it will not benefit you on that day when you have done wrong that you are sharing in the punishment [43:39]

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen commented on this by writing:

وهذا يدل على أن اشتراك الناس في العذاب يخفف عليهم ، لكن في يوم القيامة لا ينفع هؤلاء اشتراكهم في العذاب

This indicates that sharing in punishment usually makes the punishment seem lighter for the people experiencing it, however on the Day of Resurrection this shared experience of punishment of theirs will not benefit them.

[Sharh Usool fee al-Tafsir pg. 343]


♦ Those Whom Allah Will Allow to Speak

In surah al-Naba’a, Allah describes the Day of Judgement by saying:

 يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

The Day that Ar-Ruh and the angels will stand forth in rows, none shall speak except him whom the al-Rahman has allowed, and who spoke what is right. [78:38]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani commented on this ayah in his tafsir by writing: Continue reading

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What the Salaf Meant by “Abrogation”: Ibn al-Qayyim

In the midst of a discussion urging people not to be hasty or eager to issue legal rulings, ibn al-Qayyim mentioned the following narration about naskh – frequently translated as “abrogation” – and then added some valuable commentary afterwards:

وقال ابن وهب : حدثنا أشهل بن حاتم عن عبد الله بن عون عن ابن سيرين قال : قال حذيفة : إنما يفتي الناس أحد ثلاثة : من يعلم ما نسخ من القرآن ، أو أمير لا يجد بدا ، أو أحمق متكلف ، قال : فربما قال ابن سيرين : فلست بواحد من هذين ، ولا أحب أن أكون الثالث ـ

… ibn Sireen said: Hudhayfah said,

The only ones who issue legal rulings to the people are one of the following three types: 1) someone who knows which parts of the Qur’an have been subject to naskh, 2) a ruler who cannot find any alternative, or 3) an imbecile who fancies himself as being qualified.

The sub-narrator said: I think ibn Sireen said, “I am neither one of the first two, and I would not like to be the third.”

قلت : مراده ومراد عامة السلف بالناسخ والمنسوخ رفع الحكم بجملته تارة وهو اصطلاح المتأخرين ، ورفع دلالة العام والمطلق والظاهر وغيرها تارة ، إما بتخصيص أو تقييد أو حمل مطلق على مقيد وتفسيره وتبيينه حتى إنهم يسمون الاستثناء والشرط والصفة نسخا لتضمن ذلك رفع دلالة الظاهر وبيان المراد ، فالنسخ عندهم وفي لسانهم هو بيان المراد بغير ذلك اللفظ ، بل بأمر خارج عنه ، ومن تأمل كلامهم رأى من ذلك فيه ما لا يحصى ، وزال عنه به إشكالات أوجبها حمل كلامهم على الاصطلاح الحادث المتأخر . ـ Continue reading

The Makki and Madani Surahs in Chronological Order: al-Suyooti

In part of his celebrated manual of the Qur’anic sciences, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti dedicated one part of his chapter on the Makki and Madani revelation to presenting several narrations from the salaf listing which surahs are Makki or Madani and the chronological order of their revelation. As you will see, we have organized some of these narrations into charts in an effort to better present this information:

وقد ورد عن ابن عباس وغيره عد المكي والمدني . وأنا أسوق ما وقع لي من ذلك ، ثم أعقبه بتحرير ما اختلف فيه . ـ

Some material has been transmitted from ibn ‘Abbaas and others listing the Makki and Madani surahs. I will start with what I have come across on this topic and then follow that up with some comments where differences occurred[1].

قال ابن سعد في الطبقات : أنبأنا الواقدي ، حدثني قدامة بن موسى ، عن أبي سلمة الحضرمي ، سمعت ابن عباس قال : سألت أبي بن كعب عما نزل من القرآن بالمدينة ؟ فقال : نزل بها سبع وعشرون سورة ، وسائرها بمكة . ـ

Ibn Sa’d mentioned in his al-Tabaqaat: … that Abu Salamah al-Hadhrami said: I heard ibn ‘Abbaas say: I asked Ubay ibn Ka’b about which surahs of the Qur’an were sent down in al-Madinah. He said, “Twenty-nine surahs were revealed there, and the rest were revealed in Mecca.”

وقال أبو جعفر النحاس في كتابه ” الناسخ والمنسوخ ” : حدثني يموت بن المزرع ، حدثنا أبو حاتم سهل بن محمد السجستاني ، أنبأنا أبو عبيدة معمر بن المثنى ، حدثنا يونس بن حبيب : سمعت أبا عمرو بن العلاء يقول : سألت مجاهدا عن تلخيص آي القرآن ، المدني من المكي ، فقال : سألت ابن عباس ، عن ذلك فقال : ـ [ ص: 57 ] سورة الأنعام : نزلت بمكة جملة واحدة ، فهي مكية إلا ثلاث آيات منها نزلن بالمدينة : قل تعالوا أتل [ 151 – 153 ] إلى تمام الآيات الثلاث ، وما تقدم من السور مدنيات . ـ ونزلت بمكة سورة الأعراف ويونس وهود ويوسف والرعد وإبراهيم والحجر والنحل . سوى ثلاث آيات من آخرها فإنهن نزلن بين مكة والمدينة ، في منصرفه من أحد . وسورة بني إسرائيل والكهف ومريم وطه والأنبياء والحج ، سوى ثلاث آيات هذان خصمان [ 19 – 21 ] إلى تمام الآيات الثلاث ، فإنهن نزلن بالمدينة . ـ وسورة المؤمنون والفرقان وسورة الشعراء ، سوى خمس آيات من آخرها نزلن بالمدينة : والشعراء يتبعهم الغاوون [ 224 ] إلى آخرها . ـ وسورة النمل والقصص والعنكبوت والروم ولقمان ، سوى ثلاث آيات منها نزلن بالمدينة : ولو أنما في الأرض من شجرة أقلام [ 27 – 29 ] إلى تمام الآيات . ـ وسورة السجدة ، سوى ثلاث آيات أفمن كان مؤمنا كمن كان فاسقا [ 18 – 20 ] إلى تمام الآيات الثلاث . ـ وسورة سبأ وفاطر ويس والصافات وص والزمر ، سوى ثلاث آيات نزلن بالمدينة في وحشي قاتل حمزة ياعبادي الذين أسرفوا [ 53 ] إلى تمام الثلاث آيات . ـ والحواميم السبع وق والذاريات والطور والنجم والقمر والرحمن والواقعة والصف والتغابن إلا آيات من آخرها نزلن بالمدينة . ـ والملك ون والحاقة وسأل وسورة نوح والجن والمزمل إلا آيتين إن ربك يعلم أنك تقوم [ 20 ] . ـ والمدثر إلى آخر القرآن إلا إذا زلزلت و إذا جاء نصر الله و قل هو الله أحد و قل أعوذ برب الفلق و قل أعوذ برب الناس فإنهن مدنيات . ـ ونزل بالمدينة سورة الأنفال وبراءة والنور والأحزاب وسورة محمد والفتح والحجرات والحديد وما بعدها إلى التحريم . ـ

In his book al-Naasikh wa’l-Mansookh, Abu Ja’far al-Nahhaas said: … that Abu ‘Amr ibn al-‘Alaa’[2] said: I asked Mujahid to give me a general outline of the Qur’an – which parts were Madani and which parts were Makki, so he replied: I asked ibn ‘Abbaas about that and he said:

○ Surah al-An’aam (06) was revealed all at once. It is Makki except for three ayaat which were revealed in al-Madinah:

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ

Say: Come, I will recite … [6:151-153]

until the end of those three ayaat.

○ And the surahs which came before al-An’aam were madani surahs[3].

○ Surah al-A’raaf (07), Yunus (10), Hud (11), Yusuf (12), al-Ra’d (13), Ibrahim (14), al-Hijr (15), and al-Nahl (16) were all revealed in Mecca, except for the last three ayaat of surah al-Nahl [16:126-128] which were revealed between Mecca and al-Madinah as the Prophet was departing from the Battle of al-Uhud. Continue reading

How the Sahabah Memorized the Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr received and responded to the following question:

يقول: هل تطبيق طريقة الصَّحابة -رضوان الله عليهم- في حفظ القرآن بأن نحفظ عشر آيات ولا نتجاوزها إلا بعد فهمها ومعرفة تفسيرها جائزٌ لنا؟ وما رأيُكُم فيمن يقول إنَّ هذا بدعة؟ ـ

Question: Is it really possible for us to put the Sahabah’s method of Qur’an memorization into practice – that we would memorize ten ayaat and not go beyond that until we had understood them and come to know their explanation? And what is your opinion about somebody who says that this is an innovation?

إذا كان هذا بدعة فما السُّنَّة؟! إذا كان صنيع الصَّحابة بدعة فمن يقوم بالسُّنَّة بعدهم؟ على كلِّ حال هذه وسائل للتَّحصيل كلٌّ يفعل ما يُناسبُهُ وكل ما كان العمل أقرب إلى عمل الصَّحابة وفهم الصَّحابة كان إلى الصَّواب أقرب وهذه طريقة، طريقة الصَّحابة

Response: If that is an innovation then what is the sunnah?! If the practice of the Sahabah is an innovation then who was it that established and enacted the sunnah after them? In any case, every person should use whichever methods suit him to achieve his objective, but the closer his method is to practice and understanding of the Sahabah and the closer it is to being correct, and this method was the method of the Sahabah.

لو أنَّ شخصاً ممَّن لديه الحافظة القويَّة وقال عشر آيات أحفظُها في خمس دقائق فماذا أفعل في بقيَّة الوقت؟ نقول: أمامك عمل في بقيَّة الوقت هي ليست مُجرَّد حفظ إنَّما هو فهم ومُراجعة لأقوال أهل العلم وتعلُّم هذه الآيات العشر من جميع الوُجُوه والعمل بهذه الآيات العشر، لا شك أنَّ من يعمل هذا في كل يوم يحفظ عشر آيات ويراجع عليها التَّفاسير ويعمل بمُقتضاها فيها مشغلة وفيها ما يقطعُ الوقت،

A person with a good memory might say, “I can memorize ten ayaat in five minutes, so then what should I do with the rest of my time?” We would respond by saying: You have work awaiting you in the rest of your time. It is not just memorization that you should focus on; rather there is understanding it, examining the statements of the scholars, learning all aspects of these ten ayaat, and acting in accordance with these ten ayaat. If a person were to do this every day, to memorize ten ayaat, look through their various explanations, and put them into practice, there is no doubt that he would remain busy and perhaps even run out of time. Continue reading

Why Study the Sayings of the Salaf?: Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following beneficial note:

ما فائدة الآثار الواردة عن السلف وعندنا القرآن والسنة ؟ ـ
What is the Benefit of the Transmitted Saying of the Salaf when We Already Have the Qur’an and the Sunnah?

ـ ◇سؤال : ما فائدة الآثار الواردة عن السلف وعندنا القرآن والسنة ؟ ـ

Question: What is the benefit of the transmitted sayings of the salaf when we already have the Qur’an and the Sunnah?

ـ ◇الجواب : الآثار الواردة على السلف على أنواع؛ ـ

Response: There are a number of different types of the transmitted sayings of the salaf:

ـ #النوع_الأول : آثار موقوفة أو مقطوعة ولها حكم الرفع، يعني يأتي قول صحابي أو أثر عن تابعي له حكم الحديث المرفوع، فهذا حكمه حكم الحديث المروي. وجملة كثيرة من الأحاديث النبوية نقلت على هذه الصورة. فالاهتمام بالآثار فيه حفظ جملة كثيرة قد تكون ثلث أو ربع أو خمس الأحاديث فيها، والله اعلم. ـ

1) Mawqoof or Maqtoo’ narrations that take a Marfoo’ ruling – meaning that there is the saying of a Companion or the saying of a Tabi’ee which takes the ruling of a Marfoo’ hadith, so it is treated in the same way as a saying attributed to the Prophet. In fact, a large number of Prophetic hadith narrations have been conveyed in this manner. So by giving attention and importance to these sayings we preserve a large body of hadith narrations, maybe even as big as a third or a fourth or a fifth of them, and Allah knows best. Continue reading

Different Categories of Tafsir from the Companions: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh mentioned the following points in one of his lectures on the fundamentals of Qur’anic explanation:

 ــ 9 – أنواع تفاسير الصحابة
Part 9: Different Categories of Tafsir from the Companions

الصحابة في تفاسيرهم على أنحاء : الناحية الأولى : أن يُجْمِعُوا على تفسير ، فإذا أجمعوا على تفسير لم يَحِلَّ لأحد ممن بعدهم أن يخالفهم في التفسير ، لِمَ ؟ ـ

The Qur’anic explanations of the Companions come in a few different ways.

The first way: that they were united in one explanation. So if they were unanimous in one explanation, then it is not permissible for anyone who came after them to put forth a different explanation that conflicts with or contradicts that one. Why is that?

لأنه لا يمكن أن يُحْجَبُ الصواب في التفسير عن الصحابة – رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين – ثم يدركه من بعدهم ، لأن العلم بالقرآن لابد أن يكون موجودًا في كل طبقة من طبقات الأمة ، فإذا أجمع الصحابة – رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين – على تفسير آية ، ثم حدث خلاف بعد ذلك في زمن التابعين أو بعد ذلك ، فنعلم أنه خلاف بعد انعقاد الإجماع ، ومعنى هذا الخلاف أن هذا القول إذا قلنا بصوابه فإنه يعني أن الصحابة – رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين – لم يعرفوا هذا القول ، ومعنى ذلك أن جملة الصحابة – رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين -لم يدركوا التفسير الصحيح لهذه الآية . ـ

That is because it is not possible that the correct explanation was hidden from the Companions but then someone who came after them was able to apprehend it, for knowledge of the Qur’an must be present in every generation of this Ummah. So if the Companions were in agreement about the explanation of an ayah, but then some differing as to the correct understanding of that ayah occurred later during the time of the Taabi’oon or after that, then know that this is a conflicting position after unanimous agreement had already been established. If we were to say that the more recently introduced position which conflicts with the earlier consensus was accurate, then that would mean that the Companions did not know this position. And that would mean that none of the Companions were able to grasp the correct explanation of this ayah. Continue reading

The Story of Saalih as explained by Mujahid and Qatadah

In addition to co-authoring Tafsir al-Jalalayn, sheikh Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti also has another book of tafsir to his name, entitled al-Durr al-Manthoor fee Tafsir bi’l-Ma’thoor. As one might suspect from the title, al-Durr al-Manthoor was dedicated to presenting the explanations of the Qur’an transmitted from the Prophet himself, his companions, and those who followed their way in the early generations.

What follows is an excerpt from his explanation of the story of the Prophet Saalih and his people as it comes in surah al-Nahl [27:45-53]. al-Suyooti collected a number of the statements from the two leading mufassiroon of the tabi’oon, Mujahid ibn Jabr and Qatadah ibn Di’amah, found in the previous books of narration-based tafsir and arranged them to present an explanation of the passage as a whole from each of these great figures.

As mentioned in a previous post, the early generations would often only explain those parts of an ayah which were not immediately clear to their audience. As such, the reader may find it helpful to have a mushaf and/or translation nearby to follow along with the entire passage:

قوله تعالى : ولقد أرسلنا إلى ثمود الآيات . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ

And We sent to Thamud … [27:45]

until the end of this passage [27:45-53].

أخرج الفريابي ، وابن أبي شيبة ، وعبد بن حميد ، وابن جرير ، وابن المنذر ، وابن أبي حاتم ، عن مجاهد في قوله : فإذا هم فريقان يختصمون قال : مؤمن وكافر؛ قولهم : صالح مرسل من ربه . وقولهم : ليس بمرسل . وفي قوله : لم تستعجلون بالسيئة قال : العذاب . قبل الحسنة قال : الرحمة . وفي قوله : قالوا اطيرنا بك قال : تشاءمنا . وفي قوله : وكان في المدينة تسعة رهط قال : من قوم صالح . وفي قوله : تقاسموا بالله قال : تحالفوا على هلاكه، فلم يصلوا إليه حتى هلكوا وقومهم أجمعين . ـ

al-Firyaabi, ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd ibn Humayd, ibn Jarir [al-Tabari], ibn al-Mundhir, and ibn Abi Haatim reported the following from Mujahid:

فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

… and at once they were two parties conflicting.[27:45]

meaning: believers and disbelievers. The first group said, “Saalih is sent from his Lord,” while the other group said, “He was not sent.” Continue reading

A Frightening Ayah for the Leaders and Scholars: Tafsir al-Tabari

In part of surah al-Maa’idah Allah criticizes a number of characteristics of the Jews, and then says:

لَوْلَا يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الْإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

Why don’t the rabbaaniyoon and ahbar forbid them from saying ithm and devouring suht? How wretched is what they have done! [5:63]

In his explanation of this ayah, the great mufassir Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote:

قال أبو جعفر : يقول تعالى ذكره : هلا ينهى هؤلاء الذين يسارعون في الإثم والعدوان وأكل الرشى في الحكم ، من اليهود من بني إسرائيل ، ربانيوهم وهم أئمتهم المؤمنون ، وساستهم العلماء بسياستهم ، وأحبارهم وهم علماؤهم وقوادهم “عن قولهم الإثم ” يعني : عن قول الكذب والزور ، وذلك أنهم كانوا يحكمون فيهم بغير حكم الله ، ويكتبون كتبا بأيديهم ثم يقولون : “هذا من حكم الله ، وهذا من كتبه” . يقول الله : ( فويل لهم مما كتبت أيديهم وويل لهم مما يكسبون ) [ سورة البقرة : 79 ] . ـ

I, Abu Ja’far, say: Allah is saying: Why don’t they prohibit these people who rush to commit sin and oppression and those in authority who take bribes? Why those Jews from the Children of Israa’eel do this? The rabbaaniyoon are their commanders, their political leaders and those experts in political matters, and the ahbar are their religious scholars and moral role models. Why don’t they prevent those from saying ‘ithm, meaning: saying lies and deceptive things. That is because the rulings that these leaders made for their people were not according to Allah’s rulings; they wrote scriptures with their own hands and then said, “This is a ruling from Allah, this is part of His Book.” Allah says:

فَوَيْلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ

Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby. [2:79]

وأما قوله : ” وأكلهم السحت ” ، فإنه يعني به الرشوة التي كانوا يأخذونها على حكمهم بغير كتاب الله لمن حكموا له به . ـ

As for Allah’s statement:

وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ

and eating suht

Then this is referring to bribes which these rulers used to take for issuing judgements and rulings contrary to Allah’s Book. Continue reading

Five Distinguishing Features of the Tafsir of the Companions: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

In one section of a lecture entitled, “Introduction to the Fundamentals of al-Tafsir“, sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh mentioned the following points:

ـ 8 – ما تميزت به تفاسير الصحابة ـ
8. What Distinguishes the Companions’ Explanations of the Qur’an?

تميزت تفاسير الصحابة بأمور منها : ـ

There are a number of things which set the Companions’ explanations of the Qur’an apart from that of others. These include:

ـ 1- أنها تفاسير من عَلِمُوا القرآن ، وعَلِمُوا السُّنَّة لأنهم شهدوا التنــزيل ، ويعلمون سنة النبي وهديه – عليه الصلاة والسلام -. ـ

1. Theirs were explanations from those who knew the Qur’an and knew the Sunnah, for they have been witness to the revelation and has learned the Sunnah and guidance of the Prophet (ﷺ).

ـ 2- الميزة الثانية : أنها تفاسير من شاهد التنــزيل وعلم أسباب النــزول ، وقد قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية في معرض كلام له ، ” العلم بالسبب يورث العلم بالمسبَّب ” ([37]) يعني إذا عَلِمْتَ سبب الشيءِ عَرَفْتَ المعنى ، عرفت توجيه الكلام ، عرفت المراد منه ، فعلمهم بأسباب النــزول ومشاهدتهم لأسباب النــزول يحعل تفاسيرهم في الغاية ، لأنهم شاهدوا وعلموا فلن يفسروا القرآن بشيء يخالف أسباب النــزول ، أو يخالف سنة النبي – عليه الصلاة والسلام – . ـ

2. The second distinguishing feature is that their explanations were explanations coming from those who had witnessed the revelation and knew the circumstantial reasons for the revelation (asbaab al-nuzool). In the midst of discussing this topic, sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah said, “Knowledge of the circumstantial reason behind the revelation produces knowledge of the underlying reason for the revelation,” meaning that if you learn the causal factors behind something that you will realize the meanings, know who is being addressed, and understand what is meant behind it all. So knowledge of the circumstantial reasons for revelation and having been witnesses to these reasons places their explanations in a high station. For they witnessed the revelation and had knowledge of it, so they would never explain the any part of the Qur’an with something that contradicted the reasons for why it was revealed or with anything that contradicted the Prophet’s Sunnah (ﷺ). Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #2

What follows are a collection of assorted benefits originally posted on our social media page in June, July and August of 2014:

♦ It is part of Allah’s kindness that He warns His slaves of Himself

Allah mentions in surah Aali ‘Imran:

 وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

And Allah warns you about Himself. And Allah is kind to His slaves. [al-Qur’an 3:38]

Imam ibn Kathir writes about this ayah:

[قال الحسن البصري : من رأفته بهم حذرهم نفسه . وقال غيره : أي رحيم بخلقه ، يحب لهم أن يستقيموا على صراطه المستقيم ودينه القويم ، وأن يتبعوا رسوله الكريم .]

al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Part of His kindness to them is that He warns them of Himself.” And others said: it means that He is Merciful to His creation. He loves for them to be firmly established on the Straight Path and Upright Deen, and for them to follow His noble Messenger. “

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 2/32]


♦ The Meaning of al-Dhikr

Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said:

الذكر طاعة الله ، فمن لم يطعه لم يذكره وإن أكثر التسبيح والتهليل وقراءة القرآن

al-Dhikr is obeying Allah, so whoever does not obey Him has not made dhikr of Him, even if he engages in an abundance of tasbeeh*, tahleel* and recitation of the Qur’an.

[Jaam’i li-Ahkam al-Qur’an 2/161]

*Translator’s note: ‘Tasbeeh’ refers to saying, “subhanAllaah”, and ‘Tahleel’ refers to saying, “laa ilaaha illallah.”


♦ The Muttaqoon Continue reading