Bringing you out from the Darknessess into the Light: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following in his tafsir of surah al-Hadeed:

قوله تعالى : هو الذي ينزل على عبده آيات بينات ليخرجكم من الظلمات إلى النور . ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة أنه هو الذي ينزل على عبده محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – آيات بينات ، أي واضحات . وهي هذا القرآن العظيم ؛ ليخرج الناس بهذا القرآن العظيم المعبر عنه بالآيات البينات ، من الظلمات : أي من ظلمات الكفر والمعاصي إلى نور التوحيد والهدى ، وهذا المعنى الذي تضمنته هذه الآية الكريمة جاء مبينا في قوله تعالى في الطلاق : فاتقوا الله ياأولي الألباب الذين آمنوا قد أنزل الله إليكم ذكرا رسولا يتلو عليكم آيات الله مبينات ليخرج الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات من الظلمات إلى النور الآيتان [ 65 \ 10 – 11 ] ، وآية الطلاق هذه بينت أن آية الحديد من العام المخصوص ، وأنه لا يخرج بهذا القرآن العظيم من الظلمات إلى النور إلا من وفقهم الله للإيمان والعمل الصالح ، فقوله في الحديد : ليخرجكم من الظلمات [ 57 \ 9 ] ، أي بشرط الإيمان والعمل الصالح بدليل قوله : ليخرج الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات من الظلمات الآية [ 65 \ 11 ] . ـ

Allah’s statement:

هُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لِّيُخْرِ‌جَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ‌

 It is He who sends down clear signs upon His Servant that He may bring you out from the darknesses into the light [57:9]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentions that it is He who sends down ayaat bayinaat – meaning “clear signs” – upon His slave Muhammad (ﷺ), and that is referring to the Qur’an. This is done so that – by means of this tremendous Qur’an which eloquently conveys the clear signs – the people might be taken out of darkness, i.e the darknesses of disbelief and disobedience, into the noor of al-tawheed and guidance.

And this meaning indicated by this noble ayah has also come clear as day in Allah’s statement in surah al-Talaaq: Continue reading

Eemaan is Belief, Statements, and Actions: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah begins surah al-Baqarah with the following words:

الم * ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ * الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ … ـ

Alif Lam Meem * This is the Book about which there is no doubt. A guidance for the muttaqoon * those who believe in the Unseen … [2:1-3]

In many of the books of tafsir, explanation of terms or important topics will usually be placed at the first mention of that thing in the mushaf unless there is some motivating reason to delay it. Here, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir took the first instance of a derivative of the word al-eemaan to define and discuss it:

قال أبو جعفر الرازي ، عن العلاء بن المسيب بن رافع ، عن أبي إسحاق ، عن أبي الأحوص ، عن عبد الله ، قال : الإيمان التصديق . وقال علي بن أبي طلحة وغيره ، عن ابن عباس ، ( يؤمنون ) يصدقون . وقال معمر عن الزهري : الإيمان العمل . وقال أبو جعفر الرازي ، عن الربيع بن أنس : ( يؤمنون ) يخشون . ـ

Abu Ja’far al-Razi reported that … ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said, “al-Eemaan is belief”.

And ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah and others transmitted that ibn ‘Abbaas said, “yu’minoon means: they believed”.

Mu’mar said that al-Zuhri said, “al-Eemaan is action.”

And Abu Ja’far al-Razi recorded that al-Rabee’ ibn Anas said, “yu’minoon means: they feared”.

قال ابن جرير وغيره : والأولى أن يكونوا موصوفين بالإيمان بالغيب قولا واعتقادا وعملا قال : وقد تدخل الخشية لله في معنى الإيمان ، الذي هو تصديق القول بالعمل ، والإيمان كلمة جامعة للإقرار بالله وكتبه ورسله ، وتصديق الإقرار بالفعل . قلت : أما الإيمان في اللغة فيطلق على التصديق المحض ، وقد يستعمل في القرآن ، والمراد به ذلك ، كما قال تعالى : ( يؤمن بالله ويؤمن للمؤمنين ) [ التوبة : 61 ] ، وكما قال إخوة يوسف لأبيهم : ( وما أنت بمؤمن لنا ولو كنا صادقين ) [ يوسف : 17 ] ، وكذلك إذا استعمل مقرونا مع الأعمال ؛ كقوله : ( إلا الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات ) [ الانشقاق : 25 ، والتين : 6 ] ، فأما إذا استعمل مطلقا فالإيمان الشرعي المطلوب لا يكون إلا اعتقادا وقولا وعملا . ـ

Ibn Jarir [al-Tabari] and others said, “The most proper understanding is that these people are characterized by having eemaan in the Unseen, manifested in their statements, their beliefs, and their actions.” And he also said, “Fear of Allah could also be included in the meaning of al-eemaan, as it is an affirmation of one’s statement through his actions. al-Eemaan is a comprehensive term for an affirmative belief in Allah, His Books, and His Messengers, as well as actualizing that affirmation through one’s actions.” Continue reading

Allah Knows what the Chests Contain: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In the beginning of surah al-Maa’idah, Allah addresses the believers by saying:

وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمِيثَاقَهُ الَّذِي وَاثَقَكُم بِهِ إِذْ قُلْتُمْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

And remember the favor of Allah upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, “We hear and we obey”; and have taqwa of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the All-Knower of what is within the chests. [5:7]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following in his commentary of this ayah:

يأمر تعالى عباده بذكر نعمه الدينية والدنيوية، بقلوبهم وألسنتهم. فإن في استدامة ذكرها داعيا لشكر الله تعالى ومحبته، وامتلاء القلب من إحسانه. ـ

Allah commands His slaves to remember His blessings – both those related to the deen and those related to this worldly life – with their hearts and with their tongues, for being continuously in remembrance of them leads one to be grateful to Allah and to love Him and to have a heart filled with His goodness.

وفيه زوال للعجب من النفس بالنعم الدينية، وزيادة لفضل الله وإحسانه. و { مِيثَاقَهُْ} أي: واذكروا ميثاقه { الَّذِي وَاثَقَكُمْ بِهِ ْ} أي: عهده الذي أخذه عليكم. ـ

This would also lead to a removal of self-amazement at the blessings of this worldly life, and an increase of the bounties of goodness of Allah.

And Continue reading

The Virtue of this Ummah over the Previous Nations: Imam al-Shinqitee

The following discussion is an excerpt from a class of the famous mufassir, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee. The class was delivered in his home to a group of his students. It was recorded, and subsequently transcribed and published in a collection of similar lessons and recorded events. This particular excerpt occurred during a lesson in which sheikh al-Shinqitee was explaining part of surah al-Baqarah, during his discussion of the ayah:

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ اذْكُرُ‌وا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

O Banu Israa’eel, remember My favor that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over all creation [2:47]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee explained:

وقوله هنا {فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ} ؛ أي : على عالمي زمانكم الذي أنتم فيه ، فلا ينافي أن هذه الأمة التي هي أمة محمد ﷺ أفضل منهم ، كما نصّ الله على ذلك بقوله : {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ} الآية [آل عمران 110] ، وفي حديث معاوية بن حيدة القشيري عن النبي ﷺ : أَنْتُمْ تُوفُونَ سَبْعِينَ أُمَّةً أَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا وَأَكْرَمُهَا عَلَى اللَّهِ . ـ

Allah’s statement here:

 فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

 I preferred you over all creation [2:47]

meaning: over all creation of the time in which they were living, so this does not conflict with the fact that this ummah – which is the ummah of Muhammad (ﷺ) – is the best of nations, as Allah informed us in His statement:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ‌ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِ‌جَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best nation brought forth for mankind … [3:110]

…until the end of the ayah. And in the hadeeth of Mu’aawiyah ibn Haidah al-Qushairi that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You succeeded seventy nations and you are the best of them and the most noble of them in the sight of Allah”. Continue reading

Whoever Denies One Messenger has Denied Them All: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentioned the following point of great benefit in part of his tafsir of surah al-Qamar:

من كذب رسولا واحدا فقد كذب جميع المرسلين ، ومن كذب نذيرا واحدا فقد كذب جميع النذر ، لأن أصل دعوة جميع الرسل واحدة ، وهي مضمون لا إله إلا الله كما أوضحه تعالى بقوله : ولقد بعثنا في كل أمة رسولا أن اعبدوا الله واجتنبوا الطاغوت [ 16 \ 36 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول إلا نوحي إليه أنه لا إله إلا أنا فاعبدون [ 21 \ 25 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول إلا نوحي إليه أنه لا إله إلا أنا فاعبدون [ 43 \ 45 ] . ـ

Whoever denies one single messenger has denied all of the messengers, and whoever denies one warner has denied all of the warners. This is because the basis of all the messengers’ call was one and the same, which was the substance of Laa ilaaha illAllaah – there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allah. This is as Allah has made clear in His statement:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّ‌سُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah and avoid all that is worshiped besides Allah [16:36]

And His statement:

وَمَا أَرْ‌سَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّ‌سُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ

And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” [21:25]

And His statement: Continue reading

Whoever desires this world, We will repay them fully therein: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah Hud:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they will not be deprived therein. * Those are the ones for whom there is nothing for them in the Hereafter except the Fire. Lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. [11:15-16]

In his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يقول تعالى: { مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا } أي: كل إرادته مقصورة على الحياة الدنيا، وعلى زينتها من النساء والبنين، والقناطير المقنطرة، من الذهب، والفضة، والخيل المسومة، والأنعام والحرث. قد صرف رغبته وسعيه وعمله في هذه الأشياء، ولم يجعل لدار القرار من إرادته شيئا، فهذا لا يكون إلا كافرا، لأنه لو كان مؤمنا، لكان ما معه من الإيمان يمنعه أن تكون جميع إرادته للدار الدنيا، بل نفس إيمانه وما تيسر له من الأعمال أثر من آثار إرادته الدار الآخرة. ـ

Allah said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments…

meaning: that all of such a person’s wants are limited to the life of this world and its adornments such as women, children, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land [c.f. 3:14]. He has directed his desires, efforts and exertions towards these things, while he does not have any desire at all for the enduring life of the Hereafter. This situation is only the case for a disbeliever, because if he were a believer then he would have some eemaan in him that would prevent all of his desires from being turned to the life of this world. Rather, the very presence of eemaan in him and the good deeds which that enables him to do is a consequence of his desire for the life of the Hereafter. Continue reading

“If you support Allah, He will support you”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentions the following in his tafsir of surah Muhammad:

قوله تعالى : يا أيها الذين آمنوا إن تنصروا الله ينصركم ويثبت أقدامكم . ذكر الله – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة أن المؤمنين ، إن نصروا ربهم ، نصرهم على أعدائهم ، وثبت أقدامهم ، أي عصمهم من الفرار والهزيمة . ـ

Allah’s statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّـهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant your feet firmly. [47:7]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that if the believers support their Lord, then He will support them against their enemies and make their feet firm – meaning He will protect them from fleeing or defeat.

وقد أوضح هذا المعنى في آيات كثيرة ، وبين في بعضها صفات الذين وعدهم بهذا النصر كقوله تعالى : ولينصرن الله من ينصره إن الله لقوي عزيز [ 22 \ 40 ] ، ثم بين صفات الموعودين بهذا النصر في قوله تعالى بعده : الذين إن مكناهم في الأرض أقاموا الصلاة وآتوا الزكاة وأمروا بالمعروف ونهوا عن المنكر ولله عاقبة الأمور [ 22 \ 41 ] ، وكقوله تعالى : وكان حقا علينا نصر المؤمنين [ 30 \ 47 ] ، وقوله تعالى : إنا لننصر رسلنا والذين آمنوا في الحياة الدنيا [ 40 \ 51 ] ، وقوله تعالى : ولقد سبقت كلمتنا لعبادنا المرسلين إنهم لهم المنصورون وإن جندنا لهم الغالبون [ 37 \ 171 – 173 ] ، إلى غير ذلك من الآيات . ـ

Allah has made this meaning clear and listed some of the characteristics of those to whom He has promised this support in a number of other ayaat, such as in His statement:

وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّـهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. [22:40]

He then clarified the attributes of those whom He had promised this aid to in His very next statement: Continue reading

The Qualities of those who Hasten towards Good: Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was published in a collection of more than 400 sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في صفة السابقين إلى الخيرات
Khutbah on the Qualities of those who Hasten towards Good

الحمد لله الذي منّ على من شاء من عباده بفعل الخيرات وترك المنكرات . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah who blesses whichever of His slaves He wills by enabling them to carry out good deeds and abstain from evil acts.

وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له كامل الأسماء والصفات . وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله أشرف المخلوقات . اللهم صلّ وسلّم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه والتابعين لهم في الأقوال والأفعال والإعتقادات . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah alone, with no partners. It is He whose names and attributes are completely perfect. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, the most noble of all created beings.

O Allah, bestow your blessings and salutations upon Muhammad, upon his family, upon his companions, and also upon those who follow them in their statements, actions and beliefs.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتّقوا الله بتصديق خبره وامتثال أمره واجتناب نهيه ، فقد وصف الله الأخيار من خلقه بهذه الصفات ، قال تعالى : {إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّهِمْ لَا يُشْرِكُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ } [ المؤمنون 57 – 61 ] . ـ

To proceed: O people! Exercise taqwa of Allah by believing in what He has informed you, by complying with what He has commanded you, and by avoiding what He has forbidden for you. For Allah has described the best of His created beings with these attributes. He said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّهِمْ لَا يُشْرِكُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ

Those who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord * And who believe in the signs of their Lord * And who do not associate anything with their Lord * And who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord – * These are the ones who hasten to good deeds, and they are the forerunners to them. [23:57-61] Continue reading

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

Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his explanation of the famous Kitaab al-Tawheed of Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

أصل التوحيد وروحه: إخلاص المحبة لله وحده وهي أصل التأله والتعبد له، بل هي حقيقة العبادة، ولا يتم التوحيد حتى تكمل محبة العبد لربه، وتسبق محبته جميع المحاب وتغلبها، ويكون لها الحكم عليها بحيث تكون سائر محاب العبد تبعا لهذه المحبة التي بها سعادة العبد وفلاحه. ـ

The foundation of tawheed and its very essence is this: sincere love for Allah alone, and this is the foundation of deifying Him and worshiping Him; rather it is the reality of worship and tawheed is not completed until the slave’s love for his Lord is perfected and it supersedes and prevails over one’s love for all other beloved things, and that that love becomes the measuring scale over them to the extent that all of the slave’s other inclinations follow in accord with this love. It is through this that the slave attains ultimate joy and success.

ومن تفريعها وتكميلها الحب في الله، فيحب العبد ما يحبه الله من الأعمال والأشخاص، ويبغض ما يبغضه الله من الأشخاص والأعمال، ويوالي أولياءه ويعادي أعداءه، وبذلك يكمل إيمان العبد وتوحيده. ـ

And part of its branches and completeness is love for the sake of Allah. So the slave loves those actions and personalities which Allah loves, and he hates the persons and actions which Allah hates, and he aligns himself with Allah’s allies and shows enmity to Allah’s enemies. Through this is the slave’s eemaan and tawheed perfected. Continue reading