The Arrangement of the Final Chapters of the Qur’an: Ibn Taymiyah

Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah mentioned the following benefits in one of his writings:

السور القصار في أواخر المصحف متناسبة . فسورة ( اقرأ هي أول ما نزل من القرآن ; ولهذا افتتحت بالأمر بالقراءة وختمت بالأمر بالسجود ووسطت بالصلاة التي أفضل أقوالها وأولها بعد التحريم هو القراءة وأفضل أفعالها وآخرها قبل التحليل هو السجود … ـ

The shorter surahs at the end of the mushaf have a certain logic and reasoning to their organization and arrangement. Surah Iqraa’ [96] was the first part of the Qur’an to be revealed, and so it opens with the command to recite and closes with the command to make sujood. And in its middle is the prayer, whose best spoken part and the first of them after the initial takbeer is the recitation of the Qur’an, and whose best physical parts and the last of them before its conclusion is the sujood. …

فلما أمر في هذه السورة بالقراءة ذكر في التي تليها نزول القرآن ليلة القدر وذكر فيها تنزل الملائكة والروح وفي ( المعارج عروج الملائكة والروح وفي ( النبأ قيام الملائكة والروح . فذكر الصعود والنزول والقيام ثم [ ص: 478 ] في التي تليها تلاوته على المنذرين حيث قال : { يتلو صحفا مطهرة } { فيها كتب قيمة } . فهذه السور الثلاث منتظمة للقرآن أمرا به وذكرا لنزوله ولتلاوة الرسول له على المنذرين . ـ

So after Allah commands the recitation of the Qur’an in this surah, in the following surah [97 – surah al-Qadr] He mentions the sending down of the Qur’an on Laylah al-Qadr. And in that surah He also mentioned the descending of the angels and the Rooh. Continue reading

The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

The term Laylah al-Qadr has been translated into English in a number of different ways, leading to some potential confusion as to the correct and intended  meaning of the word “qadr” in this phrase. In part of his explanation of surah al-Qadr, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen brought the following clarification of this issue:

وقوله تعالى: {في ليلة القدر} من العلماء من قال: القدر هو الشرف كما يقال (فلان ذو قدر عظيم، أو ذو قدر كبير) أي ذو شرف كبير، ومن العلماء من قال: المراد بالقدر التقدير، لأنه يقدر فيها ما يكون في السنة لقول الله تعالى: {إنا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة إنا كنا منذرين. فيها يفرق كل أمر حكيم} [الدخان: 3، 4] . أي يفصل ويبين. ـ

Regarding Allah’s statement:

فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

… during Laylah al-Qadr [97:1]

There are some scholars who say that al-qadr means “honor”, just as one might say, “So-and-so has tremendous qadr” or “has considerable qadr” – meaning: considerable honor. Continue reading

A Relationship between Surah al-Ma’oon and Surah al-Kawthar: al-Zarkashi

In his famous handbook of the sciences of the Qur’an, sheikh Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi – a student of the famous mufassir al-haafidh ibn Kathir – mentioned the following point:

وَمِنْ لَطَائِفِ سُورَةِ الْكَوْثَرِ أَنَّهَا كَالْمُقَابِلَةِ لِلَّتِي قَبْلَهَا لِأَنَّ السَّابِقَةَ قَدْ وَصَفَ اللَّهُ فِيهَا الْمُنَافِقَ بِأُمُورٍ أَرْبَعَةٍ الْبُخْلِ وَتَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ وَالرِّيَاءِ فِيهَا وَمَنْعِ الزَّكَاةِ فَذَكَرَ هُنَا فِي مُقَابَلَةِ البخل {إنا أعطيناك الْكَوْثَرِ} أَيِ الْكَثِيرَ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ تَرْكِ الصَّلَاةِ {فَصَلِّ} أَيْ دُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ الرِّيَاءِ {لِرَبِّكَ} أَيْ لِرِضَاهُ لَا لِلنَّاسِ وَفِي مُقَابَلَةِ مَنْعِ الْمَاعُونِ {وَانْحَرْ} وَأَرَادَ بِهِ التَّصَدُّقَ بِلَحْمِ الْأَضَاحِيِّ فَاعْتَبَرَ هَذِهِ الْمُنَاسَبَةَ الْعَجِيبَةَ

One of the subtle points of surah al-Kawthar [108] is that it is like a counterpart to the surah that preceded it [i.e. surah al-Ma’oon – 107]. For in the previous surah, Allah had characterized the munaafiq [hypocrite] with four qualities:

1) stinginess,

2) abandoning the prayer,

3) performing the prayer only to be seen by others, and

4) withholding the zakah.

○ But then in this surah, as a counterpart to stinginess He mentioned:

إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ

Indeed, We have granted you al-Kawthar [108:1]

meaning: an abundance.

○ And as a counterpart to abandoning the prayer, He said:

فَصَلِّ

so turn in prayer …

meaning: always be consistent in it.

○ And as a counterpart to the desire to be seen by people, He said:

لِرَبِّكَ

… to your Lord …

meaning: for His pleasure, not for the sake of people.

○ And as a counterpart to withholding neighborly acts of kindness, He said:

وَانْحَرْ

… and sacrifice. [108:2]

and what is intended here is the charitable distribution of the sacrificial ‘Eid al-Adhaa meat.

So the parallels and the relationship between these two surahs is something amazing.

[al-Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an 1/39]

See also: A Benefit of General Language in Surah al-Duhaa: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Four things for you and Three things against you

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an: 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 and divorce. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the tenth and final section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

فصل في آيات في الإيلاء والظهار واللعان

Chapter regarding the ayaat of al-Eelaa’, al-Thihaar, and al-Li’aan

ـ {لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: 226 – 227] وقال: {قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا} [المجادلة: 1] الآيات. وقال في اللعان: {وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ} [النور: 6] الآيات . ـ

لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

For those who swear not to have sexual relations with their wives is a waiting time of four months, but if they return [to normal relations] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. * And if they decide on divorce – then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. [2:226-227]

And He said:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا … ـ

Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband … [58:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [58:1-4]. And regarding Li’aan He said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ

And those who accuse their wives … [24:6]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [24:6-9]

من جملة الأحكام المنتشرة المتعلقة بالزوجة أنه قد يؤلي منها أو يظاهر منها، والفرق بين الإيلاء والظهار أن الإيلاء هو الحلف بالله على ترك وطء زوجته أبدا، أو مدة طويلة تزيد على أربعة أشهر إذا كان قادرا على الوطء، فإذا فعل ذلك وحلف هذا الحلف فلا يخلو: إما أن تطالبه الزوجة بحقها من الوطء أو لا تطالبه، فإن لم تطالبه ترك وشأنه، فإن وطئ في هذه المدة فقد حنث، وعليه كفارة يمين، وإلا فلا كفارة عليه . ـ

Among the various rulings related to the wife is what to do if one declares eelaa’ or thihaar in relation to her. And the difference between al-eelaa’ and al-thihaar is that al-eelaa’ is swearing by Allah to leave off intercourse with one’s wife forever or for a long period in excess of four months while one is still physically capable of having intercourse. So if one does that and swears to that, then one of two things will occur: either his wife seeks her right to intercourse from him, or she does not seek that from him. So if she does not seek that from him, then his affair is left alone. But if he does have intercourse with her during this time, then he has perjured his oath and he must perform an expiation for the oath. But if he does not break his own, then he does not need to perform any expiation. Continue reading

Divorce 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 dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage and divorce. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the eighth section overall – and the first on divorce – : 12345678 – 9 – 10

 قال الله تعالى في أحكام الطلاق والعدد: {الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ} إلى قوله : {وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: ٢٢٩-٢٣١] ، وقال : {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ} [الطلاق ١] الآيات . ـ

Regarding the rulings of divorce and ‘idad (plural of ‘iddah – waiting periods), Allah said:

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ

The divorce is twice… [2:229]

Until His statement:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

… and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything [2:231]

And He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ

O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them at their ‘iddah … [65:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat.

ذكر الله أحكام الفراق كما ذكر أحكام النكاح والدخول فيه، تقدم أنه تعالى حث الزوج على الصبر على زوجته ما دام متمكنا من الصبر، وفي هذا ذكر الله أنه إذا كان لا بد له من الطلاق، فعليه أن يطلق زوجته لعدتها، أي: لتستقبل عدتها، وذلك أن يطلقها مرة واحدة في طهر لم يجامعها فيه، أو يطلقها وهي حامل قد تبين حملها، أو وهي آيسة أو صغيرة؛ لأنها في هذه الأحوال كلها تبتدئ بالعدة البينة الواضحة، فمن طلقها أكثر من واحدة، أو وهي حائض أو نفساء، أو في طهر قد وطئ فيه ولم يتبين حملها فإنه آثم متعد لحدود الله، وإذا طلقها هذا الطلاق المشروع فله أن يراجعها ما دامت في العدة كما قال تعالى: {وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا} [البقرة: 228] وسواء رضيت أو كرهت. ـ

Allah has mentioned the rulings of separation just as he mentioned the rulings of marriage and entering into married. And we have already mentioned how He encourages the husband to be patient with his wife for as long as he is able to do so. But on this note, Allah has mentioned that when he must resort to divorce, then he should divorce his wife at her ‘iddah – meaning: when she enters her ‘iddah – and that is that he divorces her one time while she is in a state of purity [i.e. not during her menses] during which they have not yet had intercourse, or that he divorces her while she is pregnant and her pregnancy has become clear, or while she is beyond the age of menses or being too young for menses because all of these circumstances are initiated by a clear and apparent ‘iddah. Continue reading

Be More Concerned about the Actions of the Heart than the Actions of the Limbs: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his tafsir of surah al-Taariq, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen wrote:

وقوله تعالى : [يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ] ، أي : تختبر  السرائر ، وهي القلوب ، فإن الحساب يوم القيامة على ما في القلوب ، والحساب في الدنيا على ما في الجوارح ، ولهذا عامل النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – المنافقون معاملة المسلمين حيث كان يُسنأذن في قتلهم فيقول : { لا يتحدث الناس أنّ محمد يقتل أصحابه } فكان لا يقتلهم ، وهو يعلم أن فلانا منافق ، و فلانا منافق ، لكن العمل في الدنيا على الظاهر ويوم القيامة على الباطن [يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ] أي : تختبر ، وهذا كقوله تعالى : [ أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ * وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ ]  <العاديات 9، 10>  ـ

Allah’s statement [describing the Day of Resurrection]:

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

The Day when the secrets will be tested [86:9]

meaning, when when the secrets will be put through a testing, and “the secrets” is referring to the hearts. For the reckoning and judgement of the Day of Resurrection will be according to what is in one’s heart, while the reckoning and judgement in this worldly life is according to what is outwardly manifested. It was because of this that the Prophet treated the munaafiqoon (hypocrites) as Muslims when he was petitioned for permission to kill them and responded by saying, “Let the people not say that Muhammad kills his companions”, and so they were not killed even though he knew that such-and-such person was a munaafiq and that so-and-so was a munaafiq. Deeds are taken according to what is apparent in this worldly life, while deeds will be taken according to their inner dimensions on the Day of Resurrection. Continue reading

A Benefit of General Language in Surah al-Duhaa: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his explanation of his own book of Usool al-Tafsir, sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen mentioned the following point of benefit:

وقد يقال : إنه حذف المفعول من أجل العموم ؛ لأنه أحياناً يُحذف المفعول لإفادة التعميم ، واقرؤوا قول الله تعالى : { أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ * وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ * وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ } [الضحى 6-8] ، يقول بعض المفسرين في هذه الآيات الثلاث : إنه حذف المفعول من أجل تناسب الآيات ، أي : رؤوسها ، وأن الأصل : <ألم يجدك يتيما فآواك ، ووجدك ضالاً فهدك ، ووجدك عائلاً فأغناك> ، ولكم الصواب أنه حذف المفعول لإفادة العموم ، فالرسول – عليه الصلاة والسلام – آواه اللع وآىى به ، فكان (ﷺ) ملجا لأمته يلجؤون إليه ، هاجروا من بلادهم إلى المدينة ؛ ليكونوا حول رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – ، {وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا} فهداك وهدى بك أيضاً / كما قرر ذلك النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – للأنصار حين قال لهم : كنتم ضلالا فهداكم الله بي . {وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ} أي : أغناك وأغنى بك ، كما قال الرسول (ﷺ) للأنصار حين قال لهم : كنتم عالة فأغناكم الله بي . ـ

One might say that omitting the ism al-maf’ool [direct object] from a sentence is done because the meaning is general [i.e. the action is not limited in its effects to a single direct object], because sometimes the ism al-maf’ool is not mentioned in a sentence to convey a meaning of generality. Consider Allah’s statement:

أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ * وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ * وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ

Did He not find you an orphan and granted refuge? * And He found you lost and guided * And He found you poor and made self-sufficient [93:6-8]

Some of the mufassiroon say that the omission of the ism al-maf’ool in these three ayaat is done so that the ayaat will match – i.e. match the first ayah [in terms of parallel structure]. According to this, the base meaning would be: Continue reading

Whoever does an atom’s weight of good or evil shall see it: Imam al-Shinqitee

In his short work dedicated to dispelling misconceptions and misunderstandings that some may have regarding apparent contradictions in the Qur’an, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following comments regarding surah al-Zalzalah:

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ. ـ

Allah’s statement:

فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, * And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. [99:7-8]

هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْكَرِيمَةُ تَقْتَضِي أَنَّ كُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ كَافِرًا كَانَ أَوْ مُسْلِمًا يُجَازَى بِالْقَلِيلِ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ. ـ

This noble ayah entails that every person – whether he be disbeliever or a Muslim – will be recompensed for (even) a small amount of good or evil.

وَقَدْ جَاءَتْ آيَاتٌ أُخَرُ تَدُلُّ عَلَى خِلَافِ هَذَا الْعُمُومِ : ـ

But other ayaat have come which indicate something contrary to this generality:

أَمَّا مَا فَعَلَهُ الْكَافِرُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ، فَالْآيَاتُ تُصَرِّحُ بِإِحْبَاطِهِ، كَقَوْلِهِ: أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ [11 \ 16] ، وَقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا [25 \ 23] ، وَكَقَوْلِهِ: أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ الْآيَةَ [14 \ 18] وَقَوْلِهِ: أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ الْآيَةَ [24 \ 39] إِلَى غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْآيَاتِ. ـ

As for what the disbeliever does of good deeds, then there are a number of ayaat which make their futility clear, such as His statement:

أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Those are the ones for whom there is not in the Hereafter but the Fire. And lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. [11:16]

And His statement: Continue reading

Benefits from the opening of Surah al-Layl: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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

فائدة: قوله تعالى: {  فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ * وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ * فَسَنُيَسِّرُ‌هُ لِلْيُسْرَ‌ىٰ } [ الليل: الآيات 5 – 7 ]. جمعت السعادة وجميع الأسباب التي تنال بها السعادة، وهي ثلاثة أشياء: فعل المأمور، واجتناب المحظور، وتصديق خبر الله ورسوله، فهذه الثلاثة يدخل فيها الدين كله، وذلك أن قوله: ( أَعْطَى ) أي: جميع ما أمر به من قول وعمل ونية، ( وَاتَّقَى ): جميع ما نهي عنه من كفر وفسوق وعصيان. ـ

A point of benefit: Allah’s statement:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ * وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ * فَسَنُيَسِّرُ‌هُ لِلْيُسْرَ‌ىٰ

As for he who gives and exercises taqwa * And believes in the best [reward], * We will ease him toward ease. [92:5-7]

This statement gathers ultimate joy and all of the causes which lead to ultimate joy, and these are three things: 1) performing the commands, 2) avoiding the unlawful things, and 3) affirming the information of Allah and His messenger. So the entire deen is included in these three things, and that is His statement:

أَعْطَىٰ

he who gives…” – meaning all of what you have been commanded of speech, actions and intentions,

وَاتَّقَىٰ

… and exercises taqwa” regarding all of what you have been prohibited for you of kufr, sin and disobedience. Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di

In the 103rd chapter of the Qur’an, Allah says:

وَالْعَصْرِ‌ * إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ‌ * إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

By time, * Indeed, mankind is in loss, * Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [103:1-3]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following commentary on this surah in his well-known book of tafsir:

أقسم تعالى بالعصر، الذي هو الليل والنهار، محل أفعال العباد وأعمالهم . ـ

Allah swears by al-‘Asr [time], which is the night and the day; the location of the slaves’ actions and deeds.

أن كل إنسان خاسر، والخاسر ضد الرابح. والخسار مراتب متعددة متفاوتة: قد يكون خسارًا مطلقًا، كحال من خسر الدنيا والآخرة، وفاته النعيم، واستحق الجحيم ، وقد يكون خاسرًا من بعض الوجوه دون بعض .  ولهذا عمم الله الخسار لكل إنسان، إلا من اتصف بأربع صفات: ـ

He swears that every person is in a state of loss, and being in a state of loss is the opposite of being successful. Those in a state of loss fall into many different levels of loss. It could be that one is in a state of absolute loss, such as the condition of the one who loses both this worldly life and the hereafter and who misses out on the delight of paradise and who deserves the hell-fire. Or, it could be that one is in a state of loss in some ways but not in others.

And so, for this reason, Allah extended the label of being in a state of loss to every single person, except for those who are characterized by these four attributes: Continue reading