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

“O our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people”: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah recounts part of the story of Moosaa in surah Yunus in which Moosaa addresses his people by saying:

وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَا قَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّـهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوا إِن كُنتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ * فَقَالُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ * وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحْمَتِكَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

And Moosaa said, “O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then place your trust in Him, if you are Muslims.” * So they said, “In Allah do we place our trust. O our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people * And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people.” [10:84-86]

There have been a number of different interpretations of the supplication, “do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people.” Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different opinions transmitted from the salaf regarding the meaning of this supplication as follows:

وفي قوله : ” لا تجعلنا فتنة ” ثلاثة أقوال : ـ

There are three different opinions regarding Allah’s statement:

لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً

do not make us a trial

أحدها : لا تهلكنا بعذاب على أيدي قوم فرعون ، ولا بعذاب من قبلك ، فيقول قوم فرعون : لو كانوا على حق ما عذبوا ولا سلطنا عليهم . ـ

○ First: Do not destroy us with afflictions at the hands of the people of Fir’awn, nor by a punishment coming from You. For the people of Fir’awn said, “If they were upon the truth, then they would not have been subjected to suffering nor would we have been given power over them.”

والثاني : لا تسلطهم علينا فيفتنونا والقولان مرويان عن مجاهد . ـ

○ Second: Do not place them in power over us, in which case they would subject us to a trial. And both the first and second opinions have been relayed from Mujaahid. Continue reading

Belief in the Messengers in brief: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In part of his tafsir of surah al-Baqarah (2:253), sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di listed a summary of some of the salient points regarding the prophets and messengers:

فائدة: كما يجب على المكلف معرفته بربه، فيجب عليه معرفته برسله، ما يجب لهم ويمتنع عليهم ويجوز في حقهم، ويؤخذ جميع ذلك مما وصفهم الله به في آيات متعددة. ـ

A point of benefit: Just as knowledge of one’s Lord is obligatory upon every legally-responsible adult, likewise knowledge of His messengers is also obligatory upon him – what is obligated towards them, what is prohibited regarding them and what is permitted concerning them. And all of that is taken from what Allah has described them with in numerous ayaat.

منها: أنهم رجال لا نساء، من أهل القرى لا من أهل البوادي، وأنهم مصطفون مختارون، جمع الله لهم من الصفات الحميدة ما به الاصطفاء والاختيار، وأنهم سالمون من كل ما يقدح في رسالتهم من كذب وخيانة وكتمان وعيوب مزرية، وأنهم لا يقرون على خطأ فيما يتعلق بالرسالة والتكليف، وأن الله تعالى خصهم بوحيه . ـ

And among these descriptions are:

-They there are men and not women[1], from the inhabitants of townships and not from the people of the wilderness[2].

– And they were chosen[3] and selected[4]; Allah combined in them praiseworthy traits which He chose and selected[5]. Continue reading

Three Saving Matters and Three Destructive Matters: Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah is taken from a collection of the Friday sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

الحمد لله الواحد الأحد ، الفرد الصمد ، الذي لم يلد ولم يولد ، ولم يكن له كفوا أحد ، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له في ملكه وسلطانه ، ولا مثل له في أسمائه وصفاته ، وبره وإحسانه ، وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله ، المؤيد ببرهانه ، اللهم صل وسلم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه وأتباعه وأعوانه . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah, the One, the First, the Singular, the Independent – He who neither begets nor is begotten, and there is none like unto Him.

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners in His ownership and rule. And there is none like Him in terms of His Names and Attributes or His benevolence and excellence.

And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, who was aided by His miraculous proofs. O Allah, grant Your peace and blessings upon Muhammad and upon his family, companions, followers and supporters.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ، اتقوا الله تعالى ، واسلكوا سبيل السلامة والنجاة ، واحذروا سبل العطب والأمور المهلكات ، فقد قال صلى الله عليه وسلم : « ثلاث منجيات وثلاث مهلكات ، فأما المنجيات : فتقوى الله في السر والعلانية ، والقول بالحق في الرضا والسخط ، والقصد في الغنى والفقر ، وأما المهلكات : فهوى متبع ، وشح مطاع ، وإعجاب المرء بنفسه ، وهي أشدهن » . ـ

To proceed: O people, have taqwa of Allah, and travel the path of safety and salvation, and beware of the routes of loss and the destructive matters. For the Prophet said:

There are three saving matters, and three destructive matters. As for the saving matters, they are 1) having taqwa of Allah in both public and private, 2) speaking the truth whether being pleased or displeased, and 3) being moderate regardless of wealth or poverty. As for the destructive matters, they are 1) desires which are followed, 2) miserliness which is obeyed, and 3) a person’s amazement with himself, and that is the gravest of them.

[Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’b al-Eemaan (#6865) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah]

 فيا له من كلام جامع لمسالك الخيرات ، محذر عن موانع الهلكات . أما تقوى الله في السر والعلانية ، فهي ملاك الأمور ، وبها حصول الخيرات واندفاع الشرور ، فهي مراقبة الله على الدوام ، والعلم بقرب الملك العلام ، فيستحي من ربه أن يراه حيث نهاه ، أو يفقده في كل ما يقرب إلى رضاه . ـ

Oh, how valuable is this comprehensive statement for traveling the path of goodness, cautioning against those destructive impediments! Continue reading

Transgressing the Limits of Allah: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In the beginning of surah al-Nisaa’, Allah discusses the rules of inheritance at length. Immediately following this, He says:

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ * وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارً‌ا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

These are the limits of Allah, and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow, to abide therein, and that will be the great success. * And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment. [4:13-14]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following:

أي: تلك التفاصيل التي ذكرها في المواريث حدود الله التي يجب الوقوف معها وعدم مجاوزتها، ولا القصور عنها، وفي ذلك دليل على أن الوصية للوارث منسوخة بتقديره تعالى أنصباء الوارثين. ـ

Meaning: These details of the inheritance which He mentioned are the limits of Allah, at which He has obligated halting, the absence of transgressing them and not falling short of them. And in this there is a proof that making a bequest to an inheritor [i.e. writing a will in which one of your legally-designated inheritors would receive more than their amount according to the sharee’ah] is abrogated due to Allah’s designation of the shares due to the various inheritors.

ثم قوله تعالى: { تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ } فالوصية للوارث بزيادة على حقه يدخل في هذا التعدي، مع قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لا وصية لوارث” ثم ذكر طاعة الله ورسوله ومعصيتهما عموما ليدخل في العموم لزوم حدوده في الفرائض أو ترك ذلك فقال: { وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ } بامتثال أمرهما الذي أعظمه طاعتهما في التوحيد، ثم الأوامر على اختلاف درجاتها واجتناب نهيهما الذي أعظمُه الشرك بالله، ثم المعاصي على اختلاف طبقاتها { يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا } . ـ

Then Allah said, Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 7/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and published as a series. For a guide to the different sections, please click here. Sheikh al-Shinqitee concluded his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon with this seventh and final section as follows:

قوله تعالى : أولئك هم الوارثون الذين يرثون الفردوس هم فيها خالدون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن المؤمنين المتصفين بالصفات ، التي قدمنا هم الوارثون ، وحذف مفعول اسم الفاعل الذي هو الوارثون ; لدلالة قوله : الذين يرثون الفردوس [ 23 \ 11 ] عليه . والفردوس : أعلى الجنة ، وأوسطها ، ومنه تفجر أنهار الجنة ، وفوقه عرش الرحمن – جل وعلا . ـ

Allah’s statement:

أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِ‌ثُونَ * الَّذِينَ يَرِ‌ثُونَ الْفِرْ‌دَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

These are indeed the inheritors * those who shall inherit the al-Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever [23:10-11]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that the believers who are characterized by the aforementioned qualities are the inheritors. And the object of the subject – which is “the inheritors” – is left unspecified [in the first of these two verses] due to the fact that it is indicated in His statement:

الَّذِينَ يَرِ‌ثُونَ الْفِرْ‌دَوْسَ

those who shall inherit the al-Firdaws

And al-Firdaws is the highest part of al-Jannah and its most central part. The rivers of al-Jannah spring from it, and the Throne of al-Rahman is above it. Continue reading