Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 196-203: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twentieth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 196-203. This passage focuses on Hajj and sincerity in worship. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۖ وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ ۚ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۚ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ ۗ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Complete the Hajj and ‘Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then offer what sacrificial animals can be easily attained. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place. Then whoever of you is sick or has an injury on his head, then his ransom is fasting or charity or sacrifice. Then when you are safe, whoever performs ‘Umrah followed by Hajj, then he should offer what sacrificial animal can be easily attained. But whoever cannot find one, then he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven once he goes back. That is a full ten days. That is for anyone whose family does not live around al-Masjid al-Haram. And have taqwa of Allah, and know that Allah is severe in punishment. [2:196]

وأدُّوا الحج والعمرة تامَّيْنِ، خالصين لوجه الله تعالى. فإن منعكم عن الذهاب لإتمامهما بعد الإحرام بهما مانع كالعدو والمرض، فالواجب عليكم ذَبْحُ ما تيسر لكم من الإبل أو البقر أو الغنم تقربًا إلى الله تعالى؛ لكي تَخْرُجوا من إحرامكم بحلق شعر الرأس أو تقصيره، ولا تحلقوا رؤوسكم إذا كنتم محصرين حتى ينحر المحصر هديه في الموضع الذي حُصر فيه ثم يحل من إحرامه، كما نحر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الحديبية ثم حلق رأسه، وغير المحصر لا ينحر الهدي إلا في الحرم، الذي هو محله في يوم العيد، اليوم العاشر وما بعده من أيام التشريق. فمن كان منكم مريضًا، أو به أذى من رأسه يحتاج معه إلى الحلق- وهو مُحْرِم- حَلَق، وعليه فدية: بأن يصوم ثلاثة أيام، أو يتصدق على ستة مساكين لكل مسكين نصف صاع من طعام، أو يذبح شاة لفقراء الحرم. فإذا كنتم في أمن وصحَّة: فمن استمتع بالعمرة إلى الحج وذلك باستباحة ما حُرِّم عليه بسبب الإحرام بعد انتهاء عمرته، فعليه ذبح ما تيسر من الهدي، فمن لم يجد هَدْيًا يذبحه فعليه صيام ثلاثة أيام في أشهر الحج، وسبعة إذا فرغتم من أعمال الحج ورجعتم إلى أهليكم، تلك عشرة كاملة لا بد من صيامها. ذلك الهَدْيُ وما ترتب عليه من الصيام لمن لم يكن أهله من ساكني أرض الحرم، وخافوا الله تعالى وحافظوا على امتثال أوامره واجتناب نواهيه، واعلموا أن الله شديد العقاب لمن خالف أمره، وارتكب ما عنه زجر. ـ

196. Perform Hajj and ‘Umrah in times of safety sincerely for the sake of Allah. If you are prevented from completing either of these rituals by some factor such as an enemy or illness after entering the state of ihram for them, then you must sacrifice whatever animal such as a camel, cow, or sheep is easy for you to attain as an act of drawing close to Allah. This is so that you may exit from your state of ihram by shaving or cutting the hair on your head. But do not shave your heads when you have been detained until the detained person has sacrificed his sacrificial animal in the place where he has been detained; then he can exit his state of ihram. This is just as the Prophet made his sacrifice at al-Hudaybiyyah and then shaved his head. But those who are not prevented from completing the Hajj or ‘Umrah can only sacrifice their sacrificial animal in the Haram, which is the place for sacrifice on the day of ‘Eid, the tenth day, and the following days of Tashreeq. Then if any of you are sick or has an injury on his head which would require him to shave his head while in a state of ihram, then he should shave it and he will have to pay a ransom: fasting for three days, or giving charity to six poor people with each of them receiving half a sa’a of food, or sacrificing a sheep to give to the poor people of the Haram. But if you are in a state of security and health, then whoever would like to perform a tamatta’u ‘Umrah leading up to Hajj, and that involves being able to partake of the things that had been forbidden because of his state of ihram after completing his ‘Umrah, then he must sacrifice whatever kind of sacrificial animal is easy for him. But whoever cannot find a sacrificial animal to sacrifice, then he must fast three days during the months of Hajj and seven more days after completing the Hajj rituals and returning to his people. That is a full ten days that he must fast. That sacrificial animal and the fasting related to it are for those whose families are not residents of the Haram area. And fear Allah and be consistent in fulfilling His commands and avoiding His prohibitions, and know that Allah is severe in punishing those who go against His command and commit acts which they have been forbidden from doing.

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What Should I Do When I Finish a Complete Reading of the Qur’an?: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Junayd

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Junayd, one of the contemporary salafi scholars in Saudi Arabia, wrote the following during Ramadan 1442 AH.

ماذا أفعل عندما أختم تلاوة القرآن كاملًا. ـ
What Should I Do When I Finish a Complete Reading of the Qur’an?

ـ▪️أولًا – إذا ختم العبد قراءة القرآن كاملًا في شهر رمضان أو غيره مِن الشهور: فإنه يُستحَب له أنْ يَجمع ولده – ذكورًا وإناثًا – وأهل بيته، ومَن شاء، ومَن أحب، ثم يدعو الله بما تيسِّر، ويُؤمنون على دعائه. لِما صحَّ عن أنس – رضي الله عنه -: (( أنه كان إذا ختم القرآن جمَع ولده وأهل بيته فدعا لهم )). أخرجه: سعيد بن منصور، والدارمي، وابن أبي شيبة، وأبو عُبيد، وغيرهم. وصححه: النووي، وابن حجر العسقلاني، والألباني. وصحَّ نحوه أيضًا عن: جمْعٍ مِن التابعين تلامذة أصحاب النبي ﷺ. ونصَّ على الاستحباب أيضًا: أعداد مِن فقهاء الحنفية، والمالكية، والشافعية، والحنابلة، وغيرهم. ومَن لم يتيسر له جمْع ولده وأهل بيته عند الدعاء بعد ختم القرآن: فإنَّه يدعو لوحده بما أحب مِن دعاء لنفسه، وأهله، ومَن شاء. ـ

First: When a person finishes a complete reading of the Qur’an either during the month of Ramadan or in any other month, then it is encouraged for him to gather his children – both male and female – and the members of his household and whoever he wishes or loves and then to supplicate to Allah with whatever is easy for him to do while they say “ameen” to his supplications.

This is based on the following authentic reports regarding Anas, that

When he used to complete the Qur’an, he would gather his children and the members of his household and supplicate for them.

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The Story of Yunus: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di detailed a number of the stories of the Prophets along with mentioning various benefits derived from each of them. He would compile the details as they appeared in various places in the Qur’an to provide a straight-forward narrative of each story, and then list some extracted benefits from the story. What follows is his brief explanation of the story of the Prophet Yunus:

قصة يونس صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو من أنبياء بني إسرائيل العظام، بعثه الله إلى أهل نينوى – من أرض الموصل – فدعاهم إلى الله تعالى فأبوا عليه، ثم كرر عليهم الدعوة فأبوا، فوعدهم العذاب وخرج من بين أظهرهم، ولم يصبر الصبر الذي ينبغي، ولكنه أَبَقَ مغاضبا لهم، وهم لما ذهب نبيهم ألقي في قلوبهم التوبة إلى الله والإنابة بعدما شاهدوا مقدمات العذاب، فكشف الله عنهم العذاب. ـ

This is the story of Yunus (ﷺ), who was one of the great prophets of the Banu Israa’eel. Allah sent him to the people of Nineveh – in the area of Mosul [Iraq] – and he called them to Allah but they refused his call. He then repeated his call to them but they refused, so he promised them an impending punishment and left from their midst, and he did not exercise the steadfast patience which he ought to have exercised. On the contrary, he fled from them while in a state of anger. But after their prophet had left them, repentance and returning to Allah were placed in their hearts after witnessing an approaching punishment, and so Allah removed the punishment from them.

والظاهر أن يونس علم انكشاف العذاب عنهم، واستمر في ذهابه عنهم، ولهذا قال تعالى: {وَذَا النُّونِ إِذْ ذَهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا} [الأنبياء: 87] وقال تعالى: {إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ} [الصافات: 140] ـ

It appears that Yunus knew that the punishment would be lifted from them but still decided to leave them. This is according to Allah’s statement:

وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا

And mention Dhu’l-noon, when he went off in anger… [21:87]

as well as His statement: Continue reading

Two Causes for Our Deficiencies: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following point in a collection of miscellaneous benefits:

والنقص إنما يصيب العبد من أحد أمرين : إما من عدم عزمه على الرشد ، الذي هو الخير ، وإما من عدم ثباته واستمراره على عزمه ؛ ولهذا كان دعاء النبي ﷺ { اللهم إني أسألك الثبات في الأمر ، والعزيمة على الرشد } من أنفع أدعية وأجمعها للخيرات ، فمن أعانه الله على نية الرشد والعزيمة عليها والثبات والاستمرار ؛ فقد حصل له أكبر أسباب السعادة ، والناس في هذا المقام درجات بحسب قيامهم بهذين الأمرين . ـ

A slave only experiences deficiencies in himself due to two issues:

○ It is either due to the lack of resolve to follow the right path, i.e. the path of goodness,

○ or it is due to the lack of firmness and persistence in that resolve.

So in light of this, the Prophet’s supplication

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الثَّبَاتَ فِي الأَمْرِ وَالْعَزِيمَةِ عَلَى الرُّشْدِ

O Allah, I ask you for firmness in the religion, and for the resolve to follow the right path Continue reading

‘Ibad al-Rahman Part 3 – Fear of the Hellfire: ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr, one of the contemporary scholars of al-Madinah, wrote a small booklet on the qualities of the ‘Ibad al-Rahman – servants of the Most Merciful – mentioned in the end of Surah al-Furqan. We have translated this booklet in a series of posts. This section discusses the third quality listed:

الصفة الثالثة : خوفهم وإشفاقهم من عذاب النَّار
Third Quality: Their Great Fear of the Punishment of the Hellfire

قال عز وجل : [وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ] ـ

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا * إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

And those who say, “Our Lord, avert the punishment of Hell away from us. Indeed, Its torment is an inseparable, permanent punishment. * How evil it is as an abode and as a place to dwell. [25:65-66]

فعباد الرحمن مع إحسانهم بالعمل والتعبد لله ، قد خافوا ووجلوا من عذاب الله وسخطه وهذه حال المؤمنين الكمل؛ كما قال الله : [ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ ] أي: يقدِّمون ما يقدِّمونه من عباداتٍ وطاعاتٍ وقلوبهم خائفةٌ أن ترد عليهم أعمالهم، فيصيبهم بعد ذلك عذابٌ من الله . ـ

Despite the goodness that they have in their actions and seeking to draw closer to Allah, the ‘ibad al-Rahman – the slave of the Most Merciful – feel great fear and apprehension about Allah’s punishment and displeasure. This is the way of the complete believer. It is just as Allah has said: Continue reading

Asking for ‘Aafiyah: Tafsir al-Baghawi, al-Qurtubi, & al-Aloosi

In surah Yusuf, Allah informs us that when Yusuf was being tested by the wife of his master and the women of Egypt, he supplicated to his Lord by saying:

قَالَ رَ‌بِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِ‌فْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ

He said, “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant.” [12:33]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam Abu Muhammad al-Baghawi mentioned:

وقيل : لو لم يقل : السجن أحب إلي لم يبتل بالسجن ، والأولى بالمرء أن يسأل الله العافية .ـ

Some say: if only he had not said

السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ

prison is more to my liking

then he would not have been tested with prison. And the most appropriate thing for a person to ask Allah for is ‘aafiyah – the absence of any ailment or troubles.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 4/240]

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Qurtubi also commented on this phrase by saying:

ـ ” أحب إلي ” أي أسهل علي وأهون من الوقوع في المعصية ; لا أن دخول السجن مما يحب على التحقيق . وحكي أن يوسف – عليه السلام – لما قال : السجن أحب إلي أوحى الله إليه ” يا يوسف ! أنت حبست نفسك حيث قلت السجن أحب إلي ، ولو قلت العافية أحب إلي لعوفيت ” . ـ

Allah’s statement

 أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ

… more to my liking …

i.e. that it easier and less weighty on me than to fall into sins, not that going to prison is something that he would want otherwise. Continue reading

Supplication in Ramadan: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In part of his explanation of surah al-Qadr, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir mentioned the following:

والمستحب الإكثار من الدعاء في جميع الأوقات ، وفي شهر رمضان أكثر ، وفي العشر الأخير منه ، ثم في أوتاره أكثر . والمستحب أن يكثر من هذا الدعاء : ” اللهم ، إنك عفو تحب العفو ، فاعف عني ” ; لما رواه الإمام أحمد : حدثنا يزيد – هو ابن هارون – ، حدثنا الجريري – وهو سعيد بن إياس – ، عن عبد الله بن بريدة ، أن عائشة قالت : يا رسول الله ، إن وافقت ليلة القدر فما أدعو ؟ قال : ” قولي : اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو ، فاعف عني ” .ـ

It is encouraged to engage in an abundance of supplication during all times, and to increase beyond that during the month of Ramadan, and then to increase therein during its last ten days, and then to increase even further in the odd-numbered ones.

And it is encouraged to be prolific in making the following supplication:

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allaahumma innaka ‘Afuwwun

tuhibbu’l-‘afwa

f’afu ‘anee

O Allah, Indeed You are Pardoning and love pardoning, so pardon me! Continue reading

Supplicating upon Completion of the Qur’an: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked the following question during the program Fataawaa Noor ‘alaa al-Darb:

السؤال : سؤال يشكل على كثير من الإخوة المستمعين الكرام، السؤال يا فضيلة الشيخ: هو عن دعاء الختمة في أخر ليلة من رمضان، هل هو وارد عن الرسول الكريم أو عن السلف الصالح رضوان الله عليهم؟

Question: This is a question which has confused many of our respected brothers who are listening. The question, honorable sheikh, is about du’aa [supplication] upon completing the Qur’an on the last night of Ramadan – is this something which is textually transmitted from the Messenger or from the Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them?

الجواب الشيخ : الختمة التي يدعى بها في آخر رمضان ليس لها أصل في سنة الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولا عن خلفائه الراشدين، ولا عن أحد من الصحابة، فلا أعلم إلى ساعتي هذه أنه ورد عنهم أنهم كانوا يدعون مثل هذا  الدعاء في الصلاة. ـ

Response: The supplicating which people do at the end of Ramadan is not something which has any basis in the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ), nor was it practiced by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’, nor by any of the Sahabah, and until now I don’t know of any textual evidence transmitted regarding them having practiced something like this supplication during the prayer.

نعم. ورد عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه أنه كان إذا ختم القرآن جمع أهله فدعا، وهذا في غير الصلاة وليس كل مشروع، وليس كل شيء مشروع خارج الصلاة يكون مشروعاً فيها؛ لأن الصلاة محددة في أفعالها محددة في أذكارها ـ

Yes, it has been transmitted from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to gather his family members together and make supplication upon having completed the Qur’an. But this was not in the prayer, and what is legislated outside of the prayer isn’t necessarily legislated inside the prayer. For the prayer is something with well-defined guidelines regarding its specific actions and utterances. Continue reading

The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah devotes a series of ayaat in surah al-Baqarah [2:183-187] to the rulings of fasting. However, in the middle of these ayaat, He mentions the well-known ayah:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad) about Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the call of the supplicant when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir shed some light on the relationship of this ayah to the surrounding ayaat of fasting by writing:

وفي ذكره تعالى هذه الآية الباعثة على الدعاء ، متخللة بين أحكام الصيام ، إرشاد إلى الاجتهاد في الدعاء عند إكمال العدة ، بل وعند كل فطر . ـ

So Allah’s mention of this ayah encouraging supplication in midst of the rulings of fasting contains a directive to exert oneself in supplication when the entire period of fasting is completed – as well as of course at the breaking of every fast.

 كما رواه الإمام أبو داود الطيالسي في مسنده : حدثنا أبو محمد المليكي ، عن عمرو هو ابن شعيب بن محمد بن عبد الله بن عمرو ، عن أبيه ، عن جده عبد الله بن عمرو ، قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ” للصائم عند إفطاره دعوة مستجابة ” . فكان عبد الله بن عمرو إذ أفطر دعا أهله ، وولده ودعا . ـ

This is just as Imam Abu Dawud al-Tayaalisi recorded in his musnad … that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say, “At the time of breaking the fast, the fasting person has a supplication which is accepted.” And so when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr used to break his fast, he would call the members of his household and supplicate. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 2: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following in the second part of his discussion on fasting. Although the connection between fasting and the ayah being explained in this section is not immediately apparent, one can note that this ayah falls in the midst of a broader discussion of the rulings of fasting in surah al-Baqarah, with sheikh al-Sa’di having explained the ayaat preceding this one in part one of his discussion, and moving on the explaining the ayaat after it in part three. In this section he wrote:

ـ {وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ} [البقرة: 186] ـ

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

هذا سؤال وجواب، أي: إذا سألك العباد عن ربهم، وبأي طريق يدركون منه مطالبهم، فأجبهم بهذا الجواب الذي يأخذ بمجامع القلوب، ويوجب أن يعلق العبد بربه بكل مطلوب ديني ودنيوي، فأخبرهم أن الله قريب من الداعين، ليس على بابه حجاب ولا بواب، ولا دونه مانع في أي وقت وأي حال، فإذا أتى العبد بالسبب والوسيلة، وهو الدعاء لله المقرون بالاستجابة له بالإيمان به والانقياد لطاعته، فليبشر بالإجابة في دعاء الطلب والمسألة، وبالثواب والأجر والرشد إذا دعا دعاء العبادة . ـ

This is a question and answer – i.e., when the slaves ask about their Lord and by which means their requests can reach Him, then answer them with this reply which appeals to their hearts and which obliges the slaves to attach themselves to their Lord for their every need – both religious and worldly. For this response informs them that Allah is near to those who call; there is no veil or guard at His door, nor is there any thing else keeping one from calling upon Him at any time or in any circumstance. Continue reading