The Meanings of Kufr, Thulm, and Fisq: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Maa’idah, Allah repeats a similar phrase three times:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the kaafiroon (disbelievers) [5:44]

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the thaalimoon (wrong-doers) [5:45]

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient ones) [5:47]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee devoted extensive space in his book of tafsir to discussing these and the surrounding ayaat in detail. In the last part of his discussion he condensed some of his main points, which we have translated below:

قوله تعالى : ومن لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فأولئك هم الفاسقون قد قدمنا أن هذه الآية في النصارى ، والتي قبلها في اليهود ، والتي قبل تلك في المسلمين ، كما يقتضيه ظاهر القرآن . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient ones) [5:47]

we have already mentioned that this ayah is referring to the Christians, the one before it is referring to the Jews, and the one before that is referring to the Muslims, as follows from the outward meanings of the ayaat. Continue reading

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The Most Hope-Inspiring Ayah in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

In surah al-Noor, in the midst of the ayaat revealed regarding the slander of the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr, Allah said:

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

And let not those of virtue and wealth among you and swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah. Let them pardon and overlook. Wouldn’t you like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [24:22]

In part of his commentary of the ayaat regarding the slander, Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following beneficial discussion related to this ayah:

 السادسة والعشرون : قال بعض العلماء : هذه أرجى آية في كتاب الله تعالى ، من حيث لطف الله بالقذفة العصاة بهذا اللفظ . وقيل . أرجى آية في كتاب الله – عز وجل – قوله تعالى : وبشر المؤمنين بأن لهم من الله فضلا كبيرا . وقد قال تعالى في آية أخرى : والذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات في روضات الجنات لهم ما يشاءون عند ربهم ذلك هو الفضل الكبير ؛ فشرح الفضل الكبير في هذه الآية ، وبشر به المؤمنين في تلك . ومن آيات الرجاء قوله تعالى : قل يا عبادي الذين أسرفوا على أنفسهم . وقوله تعالى : الله لطيف بعباده . وقال بعضهم : أرجى آية في كتاب الله – عز وجل – : ولسوف يعطيك ربك فترضى ؛ وذلك أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لا يرضى ببقاء أحد من أمته في النار . ـ

Point #16: Some of the scholars have said: This is the most hope-inspiring ayah in the entire Qur’an, from the angle of Allah’s kindness towards disobedient slanderous ones found in this phrase.

Others have said: The most hope-inspiring in the Qur’an is His statement:

وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرًا

And give good tidings to the believers that they will have a great bounty from Allah. [33:47]

And in another ayah, Allah said: Continue reading

Two disbelieving women and two believing women: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah concludes surah al-Tahreem with the following ayaat where He says:

‏ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا اِمْرَأَةَ نُوحٍ وَامْرَأَةَ لُوطٍ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَيْنِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَقِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِينَ * وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اِمْرَأَةَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنْ فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ * وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِنْ رُوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ

Allah presents an example of those who disbelieved: the wife of Nuh and the wife of Loot. They were under two of Our righteous servants but betrayed them, so those prophets did not avail them from Allah at all, and it was said, “Enter the Fire with those who enter.” And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Fir’awn, when she said, “My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Fir’awn and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.” And [the example of] Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her Our Ruh, and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord, and His Scriptures, and she was of the devoutly obedient. [66:10-12]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes the following commentary:

هذان المثلان اللذان ضربهما الله للمؤمنين والكافرين، ليبين لهم أن اتصال الكافر بالمؤمن وقربه منه لا يفيده شيئًا، وأن اتصال المؤمن بالكافر لا يضره شيئًا مع قيامه بالواجب عليه‏.‏

These are two examples which Allah has struck of the believers and the disbelievers in order to clarify to them that a connection of a kaafir to a mu’min and his closeness to him does not benefit the kaafir at all, and that the connection of a mu’min to a kaafir does not harm the mu’min at all, so long as he establishes his duties to him [i.e. giving him his due rights, not being unjust to him, etc.]

Continue reading

Overlooking the foolishness of those upon falsehood: Sharh al-Nawawi

In Saheeh Muslim, ‘Aa’isha reported that:

أُنَاسٌ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ فَقَالُوا السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ . قَالَ ” وَعَلَيْكُمْ ” . قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ قُلْتُ بَلْ عَلَيْكُمُ السَّامُ وَالذَّامُ . فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” يَا عَائِشَةُ لاَ تَكُونِي فَاحِشَةً ” . فَقَالَتْ مَا سَمِعْتَ مَا قَالُوا فَقَالَ ” أَوَلَيْسَ قَدْ رَدَدْتُ عَلَيْهِمُ الَّذِي قَالُوا قُلْتُ وَعَلَيْكُمْ

Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and they said, “O Abu’l-Qasim, as-Saam-u-‘Alaikum (lit. may death be upon you)’, whereupon he replied, ‘Wa ‘Alaikum‘.

A’isha reported: In response to these words of theirs, I said [to the Jews], “Rather, let there be death upon you and disgrace also!” So The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “O ‘Aa’isha, do not be foul.” She said, “Didn’t you hear what they said?” Thereupon he said, “And didn’t I return to them what they said when I said, ‘Wa ‘Alaikum‘?”.

[Muslim #2165]

Imam al-Nawawi, in part of his commentary on this incident, wrote:

وفي هذا الحديث استحباب تغافل أهل الفضل عن سفه المبطلين إذا لم تترتب عليه مفسدة . قال الشافعي رحمه الله : الْكَيِّسُ الْعَاقِلُ هُوَ الْفَطِنُ الْمُتَغَافِلُ

“And in this hadeeth is the preference for the people of good to overlook the foolishness of those upon falsehood, so long as it does not lead to evil consequences. And Imam al-Shaafi’ said, ‘The shrewd intelligent one is the clever one who displays outer disregard towards insult and injury’.”

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #2165]

See also: The Jews used to hope for the supplication of the Prophet

See also: Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Just Refrain

The Mother of the Believers ‘Aa’ishah bint Abi Bakr said,

أَقِلُّوا الذُّنُوبَ، فَإِنَّكُمْ لَنْ تَلْقَوُا اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِشَيْءٍ خَيْرٍ لَكُمْ مِنْ قِلَّةِ الذُّنُوبِ، فَمَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يَسْبِقَ الدَّائِبَ الْمُجْتَهِدَ، فَلْيَكُفَّ نَفْسَهُ عَنْ كَثْرَةِ الذُّنُوبِ

Lessen your sins, for most definitely you will never meet Allah with anything better for you than having few sins. So whoever wants to surpass those who exert themselves in ‘ibaadah habitually, then let him stop himself from committing numerous sins.

[Sifaat al-Safwah of Imam Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi 1/319; also mentioned by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in al-Zuhd, and Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubaarak in al-Zuhd wa al-Raqaa’iq]