Tawbah for the Various Categories of Sins: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Imam Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi mentioned the following issue in part of his well-known book of tafsir:

الخامسة : الذنوب التي يتاب منها إما كفر أو غيره ، فتوبة الكافر إيمانه مع ندمه على ما سلف من كفره ، وليس مجرد الإيمان نفس توبة ، وغير الكفر إما حق لله تعالى ، وإما حق لغيره ، [ ص: 203 ] فحق الله تعالى يكفي في التوبة منه الترك ; غير أن منها ما لم يكتف الشرع فيها بمجرد الترك بل أضاف إلى ذلك في بعضها قضاء كالصلاة والصوم ، ومنها ما أضاف إليها كفارة كالحنث في الأيمان والظهار وغير ذلك ، وأما حقوق الآدميين فلا بد من إيصالها إلى مستحقيها ، فإن لم يوجدوا تصدق عنهم ، ومن لم يجد السبيل لخروج ما عليه لإعسار فعفو الله مأمول ، وفضله مبذول ; فكم ضمن من التبعات وبدل من السيئات بالحسنات . وستأتي زيادة بيان لهذا المعنى . ـ

Point 5: Sins from which one can repent fall into the categories of outright kufr (disbelief) or lesser sins.

The repentance of a disbelieving person involves him having eemaan while regretting the disbelief that he had previously committed, as merely having eemaan is not the same as repenting.

As for those sins which are less than kufr, these are either related to the rights of Allah, or the rights of others. Continue reading

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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

Hajj is During Well-Known Months: Tafsir al-Sa’di

While discussing some of the rulings related to Hajj in surah al-Baqarah, Allah informs us that:

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّـهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

Hajj is during well-known months. So whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein, there is no rafath and no fusooq and no jidal during Hajj. And whatever you do of good good – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is taqwa. So have taqwa, O you of understanding. [2:197]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di explained this ayah in his tafsir by writing:

يخبر تعالى أن { الْحَجَّ } واقع في { أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ } عند المخاطبين, مشهورات, بحيث لا تحتاج إلى تخصيص، كما احتاج الصيام إلى تعيين شهره, وكما بين تعالى أوقات الصلوات الخمس. وأما الحج فقد كان من ملة إبراهيم, التي لم تزل مستمرة في ذريته معروفة بينهم. والمراد بالأشهر المعلومات عند جمهور العلماء: شوال, وذو القعدة, وعشر من ذي الحجة, فهي التي يقع فيها الإحرام بالحج غالبا.ـ

Allah informs us that

الْحَجَّ

Hajj …

takes place during

أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ

… well-known months

i.e. well-known to those to whom this revelation was originally addressed. Well-known such that there was no need to specify it as had been the case which explicitly naming the month of fasting or how Allah had clarified the times of the five daily prayers. But the Hajj had been part of the religion of Ibrahim which had continued to be practiced among his descendants and was known to them. According to the majority of scholars, the intended meaning of the well-known months is Shawwaal, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, and Dhu’l-Hijjah because these are the months in which people enter in a state of ihram for Hajj for the most part.

ـ { فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ } أي: أحرم به, لأن الشروع فيه يصيره فرضا, ولو كان نفلا. واستدل بهذه الآية الشافعي ومن تابعه, على أنه لا يجوز الإحرام بالحج قبل أشهره، قلت لو قيل: إن فيها دلالة لقول الجمهور, بصحة الإحرام [بالحج] قبل أشهره لكان قريبا، فإن قوله: { فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ } دليل على أن الفرض قد يقع في الأشهر المذكورة وقد لا يقع فيها, وإلا لم يقيده. ـ

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ

So whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein … Continue reading

Were the Commands to Pardon and Excuse Abrogated?: Tafsir al-Tabari

In surah al-Ma’aarij, one of the Makki surahs, Allah commands His Prophet by saying:

فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا

So exercise beautiful patience [70:5]

The great mufassir Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote the following in regards to this ayah:

وقوله : ( فاصبر صبرا جميلا ) يقول تعالى ذكره : ( فاصبر صبرا جميلا ) يعني : صبرا لا جزع فيه . يقول له : اصبر على أذى هؤلاء المشركين لك ، ولا يثنيك ما تلقى منهم من المكروه عن تبليغ ما أمرك ربك أن تبلغهم من الرسالة . ـ

Allah’ statement:

فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا

So exercise beautiful patience [70:5]

meaning: steadfastness free of any impatience. Allah is saying to the Prophet: Be steadfast in the face of the harm that these mushrikoon do towards you and do not let the unpleasant things you encounter from them dissuade you from conveying the message that your Lord has commanded you to convey.

وكان ابن زيد يقول في ذلك ما حدثني به يونس ، قال : أخبرنا ابن وهب ، قال : قال ابن زيد ، في قوله : ( فاصبر صبرا جميلا ) قال : هذا حين كان يأمره بالعفو عنهم لا يكافئهم ، فلما أمر بالجهاد والغلظة عليهم أمر بالشدة والقتل حتى يتركوا ، ونسخ هذا ، وهذا الذي قاله ابن زيد أنه كان أمر بالعفو بهذه الآية ثم نسخ ذلك ، قول لا وجه له ، لأنه لا دلالة على صحة ما قال من بعض الأوجه التي تصح منها الدعاوى ، وليس في أمر الله نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم في الصبر الجميل على أذى المشركين ما يوجب أن يكون ذلك أمرا منه له به في بعض الأحوال; بل كان ذلك أمرا من الله له به في كل الأحوال ، لأنه لم يزل صلى الله عليه وسلم من لدن بعثه الله إلى أن اخترمه في أذى منهم ، وهو في كل ذلك صابر على ما يلقى منهم من أذى قبل أن يأذن الله له بحربهم ، وبعد إذنه له بذلك . ـ

But ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd used to say something about this ayah which Yunus narrated to me. Yunus said that ibn Wahab told him that ibn Zayd commented on this ayah by saying: Continue reading

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

The Effects of Parents’ Actions on their Children: Ibn Rajab

In his famous collection of forty hadeeth, Imam al-Nawawi mentions the long hadeeth of ibn ‘Abbaas which begins with the Prophet saying:

يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ

Oh boy, I am going to teach you some words: Preserve [the limits of] Allah, He will preserve you …

Commenting on this in his explanation of al-Nawawi’s Arba’een, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned some of the different ways that Allah may preserve His servants, including preserving his offspring upon righteousness and protecting them from harm:

وقد يحفظ الله العبد بصلاحه بعد موته في ذريته كما قيل في قوله تعالى : وكان أبوهما صالحا [ الكهف : 82 ] : أنهما حفظا بصلاح أبيهما . قال سعيد بن المسيب لابنه : لأزيدن في صلاتي من أجلك ، رجاء أن أحفظ فيك ، ثم تلا هذه الآية وكان أبوهما صالحا

Due to one’s righteousness, Allah may even preserve a slave after his death as it relates to his offspring, as it is said concerning Allah’s statement:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

meaning, they were protected due to the righteousness of their father.

Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said to his son, “I increase in my [optional] salah for your sake, in hopes that you will be preserved as a result” and he then recited the ayah:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam 1/468]

See also: Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial: Tafsir al-Tabari

Responding to Allah’s Blessings with Indifference: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says the following in part of surah Luqman:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ الْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِنِعْمَتِ اللَّـهِ لِيُرِيَكُم مِّنْ آيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ * وَإِذَا غَشِيَهُم مَّوْجٌ كَالظُّلَلِ دَعَوُا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ ۚ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُورٍ

Do you not see that ships sail through the sea by the favor of Allah that He may show you of His signs? Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful. * And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate to Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, then some of them are muqtasid. And none reject Our signs except every treacherous and ungrateful one. [31-31-32]

The salaf and the scholars differed over how to interpret the word muqtasid in this context. al-Haafidh ibn Kathir offered the following discussion of this issue:

قال : ( فلما نجاهم إلى البر فمنهم مقتصد ) قال مجاهد : أي كافر . كأنه فسر المقتصد هاهنا بالجاحد ، كما قال تعالى : ( فلما نجاهم إلى البر إذا هم يشركون ) [ العنكبوت : 65 ] . ـ

Allah says:

فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ

But when He delivers them to the land, then some of them are muqtasid

Mujahid said, “meaning disbelievers”.

It is as if he was interpreting the word al-muqtasid in this instance in the sense of one who denies Allah’s sole right to be worshipped, as Allah said:

فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

But when He delivers them to the land, then they associate others with Him in worship [29:65] Continue reading

Why do the Qiraa’aat Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

Makki ibn Abi Taalib, one of the great scholars of the Qur’anic sciences among the earlier generations, posed the following question and answer in his book al-Ibaanah dealing with some foundational issues around the qiraa’aat, or multiple recitations of the Qur’an. What follows is one chapter from this work:

باب: “سبب اختلاف القراءة فيما يحتمله خط المصحف” ـ
Chapter: The Reason Why the Qiraa’aat Differ Within the Bounds of the Text of the Official ‘Uthmani Mushaf

فإن سأل سائل فقال: ما السبب الذي أوجب أن تختلف القراءة، فيما يحتمله خط المصحف، فقرءوا بألفاظ مختلفة في السمع والمعنى واحد. نحو: جُذوة وجِذوة، وجَذوة. وقرءوا بألفاظ مختلفة في السمع وفي المعنى نحو: يُسَيِّركم، ويَنْشُرُكم. وكل ذلك لا يخالف الخط في رأي العين؟ ـ

If someone were to ask: What is it that causes the qiraa’aat to differ within the bounds the text of the official ‘Uthmani mushaf?

The reciters may recite variant wordings in how they are pronounced while the meaning is one, such as

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جُذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a judwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of Hamzah and Khalaf]

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جِذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a jidwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of Naafi’, ibn Kathir, Abu ‘Amr, and ibn ‘Aamir]

لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ أَوْ جَذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ

… perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a jadwah … [28:29 according to the qiraa’ah of ‘Aasim]

And sometimes they recite variant wordings in terms of both their pronunciation and meanings, such as:

هُوَ الَّذِي يُسَيِّرُكُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ

It is He Who enables you to travel through the land and the sea … [10:22]

هُوَ الَّذِي يُنْشِرُكُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ

It is He who disperses you throughout the land and the sea … [10:22 according to the qiraa’ah of ibn ‘Aamir]

And all the while none of these are in conflict with the text of the official ‘Uthmani mushaf in terms of its appearance (i.e. the form of the words without dots of tashkeel). Continue reading

The Duty of the Scholars to Prohibit and Warn Against Evil: al-Shawkaani & al-Sa’di

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 rabbis and religious scholars forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been making. [5:63]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani comments on this in his tafsir by writing:

 ثم وبخ علماءهم في تركهم لنهيهم فقال : لبئس ما كانوا يصنعون وهذا فيه زيادة على قوله : ( لبئس ما كانوا يعملون ) ؛ لأن العمل لا يبلغ درجة الصنع حتى يتدرب فيه صاحبه ، ولهذا تقول العرب : سيف صنيع إذا جود عامله عمله ، فالصنع هو العمل الجيد لا مطلق العمل  ـ

So Allah rebukes their scholars for neglecting their duty to forbid their people from sins.

Then Allah says:

لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ

How wretched is what they have been yasna’oon [making]

and this is something more emphatic than if He had said

لبئس ما كان يعملون

How wretched is what they have been y’amaloon [doing]

because mere “doing” does not reach the level of “making” until the person involved has received a sufficient level of training and expertise. This is why in the Arabic language, one says

سيف صنيع

sanee’ [finely-crafted] sword

when its maker has embellished his work. So the word sana’ [making] is well-done work; it cannot be used to describe just any work.

فوبخ سبحانه الخاصة ، وهم العلماء التاركون للأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر بما هو أغلظ وأشد من توبيخ فاعل المعاصي

So Allah is reprimanding one group in particular – that is, the scholars who have abandoned their duty to command the good and forbid evil. And here Allah is reprimanding them in a harsher and more severe manner than the reprimand given to one who commits acts of disobedience himself. Continue reading