Two Kinds of People and How to Deal with Them: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah issues the following command in surah al-A’raaf:

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ

Take what is given freely, command the good, and turn away from the ignorant. [7:199]

In part of his tafsir of this ayah, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir mentioned:

وقال بعض العلماء : الناس رجلان : فرجل محسن ، فخذ ما عفا لك من إحسانه ، ولا تكلفه فوق طاقته ولا ما يحرجه . وإما مسيء ، فمره بالمعروف ، فإن تمادى على ضلاله ، واستعصى عليك ، واستمر في جهله ، فأعرض عنه ، فلعل ذلك أن يرد كيده ، كما قال تعالى : ( ادفع بالتي هي أحسن السيئة نحن أعلم بما يصفون وقل رب أعوذ بك من همزات الشياطين وأعوذ بك رب أن يحضرون ) [ المؤمنون : 96 – 98 ]ـ

One of the scholars said:

There are two kinds of people: 1) The first is a good person. Accept the good behavior that he freely shows to you and don’t charge him with anything above his ability or make things difficult for him.

As for 2) the bad person, then enjoin him to do good, but if he continues in his misguided ways and is unresponsive to your attempts, instead persisting in his ignorant behavior, then turn away from him. Perhaps that will foil his schemes, as Allah said: Continue reading

Punishment of the Grave as Mentioned in the Qur’an: Ibn al-Qayyim

Some people promote doubts about the punishment of the grave – ‘adhab al-qabr – by arguing that it is not mentioned in the Qur’an. Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, addressed this doubt while drawing on the writing of past scholar Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah:

سؤال : هل ذكر عذاب القبر في القرآن الكريم؟ ـ

Question: Is the punishment of the grave mentioned in the Qur’an?

الجواب : نعم ذكر عذاب القبر في القرآن الكريم، بالإشارة إليه بما لا يستقيم المعنى إلا بأنه مقصود، وذكر بدلالة الالتزام ؛ ـ

Response: Yes, the punishment of the grave is mentioned in the Qur’an. This is done through indirect mentions where it is the only plausible meaning, as well by the logical implications of the Qur’an.

أمّا دلالة الالتزام فإن الله أوجب تصديق الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما أخبر، وطاعته فيما أمر. واجتناب ما نهى عنه وزجر، وقد أخبرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعذاب القبر، وحذرنا منه، وأمرنا بالاستعاذة منه، والأحاديث بهذا المعنى متواترة تواتراً معنوياً، تكذيبها تكذيب لأمر قطعي يقيني، وعدم تصديق ذلك واتباعه تكذيب لدلالة اللزوم التي دل عليها القرآن.ـ

As for the logical implications, Allah has commanded us to affirm what the Prophet has told us and to obey him in what he has commanded us. He has also commanded us to avoid what the Prophet has forbidden and warned against. And the Prophet has informed us of the punishment of the grave and warned us of it, as well as commanding us to seek refuge from it. The hadith narrations conveying these messages are massively numerous, undeniably affirming these meanings. To deny them is to deny a matter that is certain beyond doubt. Refusing to affirm and follow these narrations effectively means denying the logical implications of the Qur’an. Continue reading

They Have Not Appraised Allah with His True Value: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Zumar, Allah instructs His prophet:

قُلْ أَفَغَيْرَ‌ اللَّـهِ تَأْمُرُ‌ونِّي أَعْبُدُ أَيُّهَا الْجَاهِلُونَ * وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَ‌كْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِ‌ينَ * بَلِ اللَّـهَ فَاعْبُدْ وَكُن مِّنَ الشَّاكِرِ‌ينَ * وَمَا قَدَرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِ‌هِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضُ جَمِيعًا قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِ‌كُونَ

Say, “Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?” * And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate anything with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.” * Rather, worship only Allah and be among the grateful. * They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal, while the earth entirely will be within His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him. [39:64-67]

Commenting on these ayaat in his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

ـ { قُلْ } يا أيها الرسول لهؤلاء الجاهلين، الذين دعوك إلى عبادة غير اللّه: { أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ تَأْمُرُونِّي أَعْبُدُ أَيُّهَا الْجَاهِلُونَ } أي: هذا الأمر صدر من جهلكم، وإلا فلو كان لكم علم بأن اللّه تعالى الكامل من جميع الوجوه، مسدي جميع النعم، هو المستحق للعبادة، دون من كان ناقصا من كل وجه، لا ينفع ولا يضر، لم تأمروني بذلك. وذلك لأن الشرك باللّه محبط للأعمال، مفسد للأحوال . ـ

قُلْ

Say: …

O Messenger, to these ignorant ones who call you to the worship of others than Allah

أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ تَأْمُرُونِّي أَعْبُدُ أَيُّهَا الْجَاهِلُونَ

…. Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?

meaning: this command issues forth from your ignorance, and otherwise it would not occur. For if you only knew how perfect and complete Allah is from every angle, and that He is provider of all blessings, and that He is the One deserving of worship to the exclusion of those who are deficient in every way, for they do not bring benefit nor do they cause harm – if you only knew these things, then you would not tell me to that! And that is because committing shirk with Allah invalidates one’s deeds and ruins one’s condition. Continue reading

Whoever Does an Ant’s Weight of Good Will See It: Tafsir ibn Kathir

While describing the events of the Day of Judgement in surah al-Zalzalah, Allah completes the surah by informing us:

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an ant’s weight of good will see it * and whoever does an ant’s weight of evil will see it [99:7-8]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir included the following explanations from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, one of the tabi’oon and a student of ibn ‘Abbaas, in his commentary on this ayah:

وقال ابن أبي حاتم : حدثنا أبو زرعة ، حدثنا يحيى بن عبد الله بن بكير ، حدثني ابن لهيعة ، حدثني عطاء بن دينار ، عن سعيد بن جبير في قوله تعالى : ( فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة خيرا يره ومن يعمل مثقال ذرة شرا يره ) وذلك لما نزلت هذه الآية : ( ويطعمون الطعام على حبه مسكينا ويتيما وأسيرا ) [ الإنسان : 8 ] ، كان المسلمون يرون أنهم لا يؤجرون على الشيء القليل الذي أعطوه ، فيجيء المسكين إلى أبوابهم فيستقلون أن يعطوه التمرة والكسرة والجوزة ونحو ذلك ، فيردونه ويقولون : ما هذا بشيء . إنما نؤجر على ما نعطي ونحن نحبه . وكان آخرون يرون أنهم لا يلامون على الذنب اليسير : الكذبة والنظرة والغيبة وأشباه ذلك ، يقولون : إنما وعد الله النار على الكبائر . فرغبهم في القليل من الخير أن يعملوه ، فإنه يوشك أن يكثر ، وحذرهم اليسير من الشر ، فإنه يوشك أن يكثر ، فنزلت : ( فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة ) يعني : وزن أصغر النمل ( خيرا يره ) يعني : في كتابه ، ويسره ذلك . قال : يكتب لكل بر وفاجر بكل سيئة سيئة واحدة . وبكل حسنة عشر حسنات ، فإذا كان يوم القيامة ضاعف الله حسنات المؤمنين أيضا ، بكل واحدة عشر ، ويمحو عنه بكل حسنة عشر سيئات ، فمن زادت حسناته على سيئاته مثقال ذرة دخل الجنة . ـ

Ibn Abi Haatim reported that … Sa’eed ibn Jubayr commented on the ayah

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an ant’s weight of good will see it * and whoever does an ant’s weight of evil will see it [99:7-8]

by saying:

It happened that when the ayah

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

And they give food despite their love for it to the poor, the orphans and the prisoners of war [76:8]

was revealed, the Muslims thought that they would not be rewarded for small amounts of charity. So a poor person would come to their doors and they felt that to give him a date or a scrap of food or a nut or the likes was something insignificant so they would send him away, saying, “That is nothing, we will only be rewarded if we give away something that we love.” Continue reading

The Meaning of “Beneath it Rivers Flow”: Tafsir ibn Kathir & al-Baghawi

One of the frequently repeated descriptions of Jannah in the Qur’an is Allah’s statement:

جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ

Which is often translated as “Gardens beneath which rivers will flow” or something similar.

In this first instance of this phrase in the mushaf, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir explains it by writing:

قال تعالى : ( وبشر الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات أن لهم جنات تجري من تحتها الأنهار ) فوصفها بأنها تجري من تحتها الأنهار ، كما وصف النار بأن وقودها الناس والحجارة ، ومعنى ( تجري من تحتها الأنهار ) أي : من تحت أشجارها وغرفها ، وقد جاء في الحديث : أن أنهارها تجري من غير أخدود ، وجاء في الكوثر أن حافتيه قباب اللؤلؤ المجوف ، ولا منافاة بينهما ، وطينها المسك الأذفر ، وحصباؤها اللؤلؤ والجوهر ، نسأل الله من فضله [ وكرمه ] إنه هو البر الرحيم . ـ

Allah says:

وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ

And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. [2:25]

So He has described Jannah as having rivers flowing underneath it, mirroring how He described the Hellfire as having men and stones for its fuel. And the meaning of

تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ

… beneath which rivers flow. Continue reading

Do not extend your eyes towards the enjoyment of this world: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of assorted miscellaneous benefits from the Qur’an, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

قوله تعالى : [ وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَ‌ةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ ۚ وَرِ‌زْقُ رَ‌بِّكَ خَيْرٌ‌ وَأَبْقَىٰ ] <طه 131> تضمنت التزهيد في الدنيا ، وأن غضارتها وحسنها الذي متع به المترفين ليس لكرامتهم عليه ، وإنما ذلك للابتلاء والاختبار ؛ لينظر أيهم أحسن عملا ، وأيهم أكمل عقلا ، فإن العاقل هو الذي يؤثر النفيس الباقي على الدني الفاني ، ولهذا قال : [ وَرِ‌زْقُ رَ‌بِّكَ ] أي الذي أعده للطائعين الذين لم يذهبوا مع أهل الإتراف في إترافهم ، ولم يغرهم رونق الدنيا وبهجتها الزائلة ، بل نظروا إلى باطن ذلك ، حين نظر الجهال إلى ظاهرها ، وعرفوا المقصود ، ومقدار التفاوت ، ودرجات الأمور فرزق الله لهؤلاء خير وأبقى ، أي أكمل في صنف من أصناف الكمال ، وهو مع ذلك باق لا يزول . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَ‌ةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ ۚ وَرِ‌زْقُ رَ‌بِّكَ خَيْرٌ‌ وَأَبْقَىٰ

And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given as enjoyment to some categories of them, it being the splendor this worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring. [20:131]

This ayah highlights being detached regarding this worldly life, and that the luxuries and beautiful things which the affluent ones have been endowed with are not actually a form of honor for them; it is only a trial and a test in order that Allah may see which of them is  best in deeds and which of them is most complete in intellect. For the intelligent one is he who gives priority to the precious things which will last over the lesser things which will pass. That is why He said:

وَرِ‌زْقُ رَ‌بِّكَ

And the provision of your Lord …

– i.e. the provision which He has promised to the obedient ones; those who do no partake in self-indulgence with the indulgent people and who are not deceived by the glamour of this worldly life and its passing pleasures. Rather, they look at the deeper essence of things – while the ignorant ones look at its outward appearances – and they recognize purposes and value of things and how to arrange their priorities. So Allah provides such people with what is Continue reading

Responding to Doubts About the End of the Hellfire: Imam al-Shinqitee

The great mufassir sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee devoted one of his books, Daf’u Eehaam, entirely to addressing supposed contradictions in the Qur’an. In part of his chapter on surah al-An’aam, Imam al-Shinqitee discussed the apparent contradiction between certain ayaat that could be understood to indicate an end to the punishment of the Hellfire and the many other ayaat which indicate the opposite. The general outline of his discussion proceeded as such:

    1. Presenting the apparent contradiction
    2. Response
      1. Specific response regarding the ayah in surah al-An’aam
      2. General response to the claims that the Hellfire or its inhabitants will come to an end
        1. Five Possible scenarios
          1. Scenario #1 that the Hellfire will come to an end, and response
          2. Scenario #2 that the inhabitants of the Hellfire will die, and response
          3. Scenario #3 that the inhabitants of the Hellfire will be removed from it, and response
          4. Scenario #4 that the punishment of the Hellfire will be decreased, and response
          5. Claim that Allah may choose to not enact His threats of punishment, and response
          6. Scenario #5 that the Hellfire and its punishment will continue forever
          7. Claim that eternal punishment for one lifetime of sins in unfair, and response

For the sake of clarity and reference, we have inserted section headings into the text in brackets.

What follows is the complete text of sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee’s discussion:

[Presenting the apparent contradiction]

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ الْآيَةَ

Allah’s statement:

قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّـهُ

He will say, “The Fire is your residence, wherein you will abide eternally, except for what Allah wills.” [6:128]

هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْكَرِيمَةُ يُفْهَمُ مِنْهَا كَوْنُ عَذَابِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ غَيْرَ بَاقٍ بَقَاءً لَا انْقِطَاعَ لَهُ أَبَدًا وَنَظِيرُهَا قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ [11 106 – 107] ، وَقَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا [78 23] . ـ

Some have understood from this ayah that the punishment of the people of the Hellfire will not continue eternally without any end. Another ayah to this is Allah’s statement:

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ * خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ

As for those who were wretched, they will be in the Fire. For them therein is exhaling and inhaling. * Abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. [11:106-107]

as well as: Continue reading

I Swear by the Installments of the Qur’an: Tafsir of ibn ‘Abbaas

Allah swears in surah al-Waaqi’ah by saying:

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ * وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ * إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ * فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ

So I swear by the mawaqi’ah al-nujoom * and that is certainly a strong oath – if you only knew – * that this is certainly a noble recitation * in a well-guarded book. [56:75-78]

In his brief commentary, Ibn al-Jawzi summarizes the different explanations of the term mawaqi’ah al-nujoom as follows:

وفي “النجوم” قولان . أحدهما: نجوم السماء، قاله الأكثرون . فعلى هذا في مواقعها ثلاثة أقوال . أحدها: انكدارها وانتثارها يوم القيامة، قاله الحسن . والثاني: منازلها، قاله عطاء، وقتادة . والثالث: مغيبها في المغرب، قاله أبو عبيدة . والثاني: أنها نجوم القرآن، رواه ابن جبير عن ابن عباس . فعلى هذا سميت نجوما لنزولها متفرقة، ومواقعها: نزولها . ـ

There are two interpretations of the word nujoom:

1. The stars of the sky, which was the position of the majority of the salaf. If the stars are what is being referred to by nujoom, then there are three different interpretations of the word mawaqi’ah:

a. The extinguishing and dispersal of the stars of the Day of Resurrection. This was the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basr.

b. Their places in the sky, as ‘Ataa’ and Qatadah said.

c. The places where the stars set on the horizon, as Abu ‘Ubaydah said.

2. That nujoom is referring to the installments of the Qur’an, as ibn Jubayr transmitted from ibn ‘Abbaas. According to this explanation, the word nujoom is used because it was sent down in many different installments, and the word mawaqi’ah in this context refers to the act of sending it down.

[Zad al-Maseer 8/151]

Most if not all English translators of the Qur’an have translated ayah 56:75 as some variant of the first explanation that ibn al-Jawzi mentioned, such as “the falling of the stars”, “the positions of the stars”, or “the setting places of the stars”. However, some of the mufassiroon such as ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas, the most important mufassir of the salaf, favored the second opinion.

al-Qurtubi mentions some of the statements of ibn ‘Abbaas in his tafsir of this ayah: Continue reading

The Meaning of Taghoot: Sheikh al-Fawzan

The following question was posed to sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan:

نص السؤال : ما معنى الطاغوت‏؟‏ وهل كل طاغوت كافر‏؟ ـ

Question: What is the meaning of “Taghoot“, and is every taghoot a disbeliever?

‏نص الإجابة : الطاغوت في اللغة مشتق من الطغيان وهو مجاوزة الحد ومجاوزة الحق إلى الباطل ومجاوزة الإيمان إلى الكفر وما أشبه ذلك والطواغيت كثيرون وكل طاغوت فهو كافر بلا شك‏‏  ـ

Response: Linguistically, the word “al-taghoot” comes from “al-tughyaan” which is overstepping the limits, crossing over from truth into falsehood, stepping out of eemaan into disbelief, and so on. There are many taghoots, and every taghoot is a disbeliever. There is no doubt about this.

والطواغيت كثيرون ولكن رءوسهم خمسة كما ذكر ذلك العلامة ابن القيم وغيره‏‏ الأول‏‏ إبليس – لعنة الله – فإنه رأس الطواغيت وهو الذي يدعو إلى الضلال والكفر والإلحاد ويدعو إلى النار فهو رأس الطواغيت‏‏

There are many taghoots but five of them are the main ones, as has been stated by the great scholar ibn al-Qayyim and others.

The first is Iblees, may Allah curse him. He is the head of all the taghoots, and he is the one who calls to misguidance, disbelief, and atheism, and to the hellfire. So he is the head of the taghoots.

والثاني‏‏ من عبد من دون الله وهو راضٍ بذلك فإن من رضي أن يعبده الناس من دون الله فإنه يكون طاغوتًا كما قال تعالى‏‏ ‏( ‏وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ وَعَبَدَ الطَّاغُوتَ ) ‏[‏المائدة : 60‏]‏ فالذي يعبد من دون الله وهو راضٍ بذلك طاغوت أما إذا لم يرض بذلك فليس كذلك‏‏

The second is anyone who is worshiped besides Allah while being pleased with that worship, for whoever is pleased with people worshiping him alongside Allah is a taghoot. This is as Allah said Continue reading

Explanation of Ayah al-Kursi: Imam al-Sa’di

In addition to his famous complete tafsir of the entire Qur’an, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di also authored a more condensed and thematic work of tafsir entitled Taysir al-Lateef al-Mannaan. Rather than going through the Qur’an ayah by ayah, in this work he selected certain ayaat which could serve to discuss important topics. Although this work is much shorted than his complete tafsir, the ayaat that al-Sa’di does explain are often discussed in greater detail. What follows is the sheikh’s explanation of Ayah al-Kursi from this work:

ـ {اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ} [البقرة: 255] ـ

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

Allah – none has the right be worshiped except Him, al-Hayy al-Qayyoom. Neither tiredness nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is ahead of them and what is behind them, and they grasp nothing of His knowledge except what He wills. His foot-stool extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding them. And He is al-‘Alee al-‘Atheem. [2:255]

أخبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن هذه الآية أعظم آيات القرآن على الإطلاق، وأنها تحفظ قارئها من الشياطين والشرور كلها، لما احتوت عليه من معاني التوحيد والعظمة، وسعة صفات الكمال لله تعالى . ـ

The Prophet informed us that this ayah is absolutely the greatest ayah in the Qur’an and that it protects one who recites it from the shaytaans and all evils. That is due to the messages of al-tawheed, greatness and the great and perfect attributes of Allah that it contains.

فأخبر أنه الله الذي له جميع معاني الألوهية، وأنه لا يستحق الألوهية غيره، فألوهية غيره وعبادة غيره باطلة ضارة في الحال والمآل؛ وعبادته وحده لا شريك له هي الحق الموصلة إلى كل كمال؛ وأنه الحي كامل الحياة . ـ

Allah informs us that He is Allah, the One who possesses all the meanings of divinity and that there are no others who deserve to be deified besides Him. Any deification or worship of others is groundless and harmful both in the short term and in the long run. Worshiping Him alone without any partners is the truth which leads to every type of completeness, and He is al-Hayy – the One with the Utmost Complete Aliveness.

 فمن كمال حياته أنه السميع البصير القدير، المحيط علمه بكل شيء، الكامل من كل وجه ، ف {الْحَيُّ} [البقرة: 255] يتضمن جميع الصفات الذاتية، و {الْقَيُّومُ} [البقرة: 255] الذي قام بنفسه، واستغنى عن جميع المخلوقات، وقام بها فأوجدها وأبقاها، وأمدها بكل ما تحتاج إليه في بقائها . ـ

One part of His Utmost Aliveness is that He is the al-Samee’ – the One who hears -, al-Baseer – the One who sees -, al-Qadeer – the Omnipotent One. His knowledge encompasses everything and He is perfect in every way. So

الْحَيُّ

al-Hayy

encompasses all of the attributes of Allah’s being. Continue reading