And Tell the Believing Women Not to Show off Their Adornment, Except for What is Apparent: ibn Taymiyah

Allah commands the believing women in surah al-Nur by saying:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except for that which is apparent [24:31]

The phrase “except for that which is apparent” has been explained in a number of ways by the salaf. The great scholar Abu’l-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different positions in his tafsir where he wrote:

قوله تعالى: ولا يبدين زينتهن أي: لا يظهرنها لغير محرم . وزينتهن على ضربين، خفية كالسوارين والقرطين والدملج والقلائد ونحو ذلك، وظاهرة وهي المشار إليها بقوله: إلا ما ظهر منها وفيه سبعة أقوال . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent [24:31]

meaning, to not display these things to non-mahrams. And there are two types of women’s adornment, or zeenah. There is the hidden zeenah such as ankle bracelets, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and so on, and then there is the apparent zeenah, which is what is being referred to in Allah’s statement here, and there are seven different opinions as to what this means:

أحدهما: أنها الثياب، رواه أبو الأحوص عن ابن مسعود; وفي لفظ آخر قال: هو الرداء . والثاني: أنها الكف والخاتم والوجه . والثالث: الكحل والخاتم، رواهما سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس . والرابع: القلبان، وهما السواران والخاتم والكحل، قاله المسور بن مخرمة . والخامس: الكحل والخاتم والخضاب، قاله مجاهد . والسادس: الخاتم والسوار، قاله الحسن . والسابع: الوجه والكفان، قاله الضحاك . ـ

1. Her clothing. Abu al-Ahwas transmitted this explanation from ibn Mas’ood, and in another narration he said that it meant her outer shawl covering.

2. Her hands, ring and face.

3. Her kohol [eye-liner] and ring. Sa’eed ibn Jubayr transmitted both explanations 2 and 3 from ibn ‘Abbaas. Continue reading

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The Prohibition of Music in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Near the beginning of surah Luqman, Allah says what can be literally translated as:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

And among the people are those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from the path of Allah without knowledge and who take it as a mockery. For these ones, there is a humiliating punishment [31:6]

In part of his commentary on this ayah, the great mufassir imam Muhammad al-Qurtubi explained this ayah according to the understanding of the salaf by writing:

و ( لهو الحديث ) : الغناء ; في قول ابن مسعود وابن عباس وغيرهما . النحاس : وهو ممنوع بالكتاب والسنة ; والتقدير : من يشتري ذا لهو أو ذات لهو ; مثل : واسأل القرية . أو يكون التقدير : لما كان إنما اشتراها يشتريها ويبالغ في ثمنها كأنه اشتراها للهو . ـ

The phrase:

لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ

“idle talk”

means music. This is according to the statements of ibn Mas’ood, ibn ‘Abbaas, and others.

al-Nahhaas said: Music is prohibited according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

قلت : هذه إحدى الآيات الثلاث التي استدل بها العلماء على كراهة الغناء والمنع منه . والآية الثانية قوله تعالى : وأنتم سامدون . قال ابن عباس : هو الغناء بالحميرية ; اسمدي لنا ; أي غني لنا . ـ

I [Imam al-Qurtubi] say: This is one of three ayaat in the Qur’an which the scholars use as evidence for the position that music is something hated and prohibited. The second ayah is Allah’s statement: Continue reading

Those who do not witness al-Zoor: Tafsir al-Tabari

In surah al-Furqaan, Allah devotes a number of ayaat to describing the characteristics of the ‘ibaad al-Rahman (the slaves of the Most Merciful). Among these descriptions is His statement:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

And they are those who do not witness al-zoor, and if they pass by some ill talk, they pass by it with dignity. [25:72]

al-Haafidh ibn Kathir clarified the meaning of “those who do not witness” briefly in his tafsir by writing:

 والأظهر من السياق أن المراد : لا يشهدون الزور ، أي : لا يحضرونه; ولهذا قال : ( وإذا مروا باللغو مروا كراما ) أي : لا يحضرون الزور ، وإذا اتفق مرورهم به مروا ، ولم يتدنسوا منه بشيء ; ولهذا قال : ( مروا كراما ) . ـ

From the context, it appears that the intended meaning of “they do not witness al-zoor” is that they are not present for it or in attendance when it is happening. In line with this, Allah said:

وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

and if they pass by some ill talk, they pass by it with dignity.

meaning: they are not in attendance when al-zoor occurs, and if they do happen to pass by it, then they do not let it sully them in the least. In this vein, Allah said:

مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

they pass by it with dignity.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 6/132]

There were a number of different interpretations of the meaning of al-zoor among the salaf. Sheikh ibn al-Jawzi summarizes these different opinions as follows: 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

“Do not Follow that of which you have no Knowledge”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Israa – also sometimes referred to as surah Bani Israa’eel -, Allah commands:

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Certainly the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those you will be questioned. [17:36]

The scholars of tafsir have differed regarding the meaning of this command. Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different opinions in his book of tafsir by writing:

وللمفسرين في المراد به أربعة أقوال : ـ
أحدها: لا ترم أحدا بما ليس لك به علم، رواه العوفي عن ابن عباس .ـ
والثاني: لا تقل: رأيت، ولم تر، ولا سمعت، ولم تسمع، رواه عثمان بن عطاء، عن أبيه، عن ابن عباس، وبه قال قتادة .ـ
والثالث: لا تشرك بالله شيئا، رواه عطاء أيضا عن ابن عباس .ـ
والرابع: لا تشهد بالزور، قاله محمد بن الحنفية .ـ

There were four different opinions among the mufassiroon as to the intended meaning of this phrase:

1) Do not levy accusations of which you do not have knowledge against anyone. al-‘Awfi transmitted this from ibn ‘Abbaas.

2) Do not say, “I saw such-and-such” when you did not see it, nor say “I heard such-and-such” when you did not hear it. ‘Uthman ibn ‘Ataa’ transmitted this from his father from ibn ‘Abbaas, and Qataadah also mentioned this.

3) Do not associate any partners with Allah. ‘Ataa also narrated this from ibn ‘Abbaas.

4) Do not bear false witness. And this is what Muhammad ibn Haneefiyyah said.

[Zad al-Maseer 5/36]

Imam ibn Jarir al-Tabari also mentioned these different positions in his own tafsir along with their chains of narration. He then concluded with the following reconciliation of those opinions by writing: Continue reading

And We gave Ibrahim good in this life: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In the end of surah al-Nahl, Allah describes Ibrahim with a number of attributes, including:

وَآتَيْنَاهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً

And We gave him good in this worldly life [16:122]

The scholars of tafsir have offered a number of different opinions to as what this is referring to. Ibn al-Jawzi summarized these opinions in his tafsir by writing:

قوله تعالى : ” وآتيناه في الدنيا حسنة ” فيها ستة أقوال : أحدها : أنها الذكر الحسن ، قاله ابن عباس . والثاني : النبوة ، قاله الحسن . والثالث : لسان صدق ، قاله مجاهد . والرابع : اجتماع الملل على ولايته ، فكلهم يتولونه ويرضونه ، قاله قتادة . والخامس : أنها الصلاة عليه مقرونة بالصلاة على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قاله مقاتل بن حيان . والسادس : الأولاد الأبرار على الكبر ، حكاه الثعلبي . ـ

There are six different opinions regarding Allah’s statement, “And We gave him good in this worldly life“.

1) That this means a good mention, and this was the opinion of ibn ‘Abbaas.

2) Prophethood, which was the opinion of al-Hasan.

3) Truthful speech, which was the opinion of Mujaahid. Continue reading

Prophets with multiple names and the meaning of “Israa’eel”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Imam al-Qurtubi wrote the following under his tafsir of surah al-Baqarah (2:40):

وإسرائيل هو يعقوب بن إسحاق بن إبراهيم عليهم السلام قال أبو الفرج الجوزي ، وليس في الأنبياء من له اسمان غيره إلا نبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فإن له أسماء كثيرة ذكره في كتاب ” فهوم الآثار ” له . ـ

“Israa’eel” is Ya’qub ibn Ishaaq ibn Ibrahim (‘alaihim al-salaam), as Abu’l-Faraj al-Jawzi said. [And he also said:] “And other than him, there are no prophets which have two names other than our prophet, Muhammad (ﷺ)”, for indeed he had many names which he mentioned in the book “Fuhoom al-Aathaar“.

قلت : وقد قيل في المسيح إنه اسم علم لعيسى عليه السلام غير مشتق وقد سماه الله روحا وكلمة ، وكانوا يسمونه أبيل الأبيلين ذكره الجوهري في الصحاح . ـ

I [Imam al-Qurtubi] say: It has been said that al-Maseeh (the Messiah) is a proper name for ‘Eesaa (Jesus) (‘alaihi al-salaam) which is not derived. And Allah has named him as “Rooh” and “Kalimah“. And al-Jawhari mentioned in “al-Sihhaah” that Abeel (Abel) was named “Abeeleen”.

وذكر البيهقي في ” دلائل النبوة ” عن الخليل بن أحمد : خمسة من الأنبياء ذوو اسمين محمد وأحمد نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم وعيسى والمسيح وإسرائيل ويعقوب ويونس وذو النون وإلياس وذو الكفل صلى الله عليهم وسلم . ـ

And al-Bayhaqi mention in “Dalaa’il al-Nubuwwah” on the authority of al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad, “Out of the Prophets, there are five who possess two names: Muhammad and Ahmad – our prophet (ﷺ); ‘Eesaa and al-Maseeh; Israa’eel and Ya’qub; Yunus and Dhu’l-Noon; and Ilyaas and Dhu’l-Kifl.” Continue reading

The supplication is granted so long as one does not show impatience: Ibn Hajr

In Saheeh al-Bukhari, it narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience by saying, “I supplicated but my request has not been granted.”

[al-Bukhari #6340]

Commenting on this in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani wrote:

قوله : يستجاب لأحدكم ما لم يعجل أي يجاب دعاؤه وقد تقدم بيان ذلك في التفسير في قوله – تعالى – الذين استجابوا لله . ـ

His statement, “The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience” – meaning his supplication is answered, and the explanation of that has already come in the tafsir of Allah’s statement, “Those [believers] who responded to Allah” [3:172].

قوله : يقول دعوت فلم يستجب لي في رواية غير أبي ذر ” فيقول ” بزيادة فاء واللام منصوبة قال ابن بطال : المعنى أنه يسأم فيترك الدعاء فيكون كالمان بدعائه أو أنه أتى من الدعاء ما يستحق به الإجابة فيصير كالمبخل للرب الكريم الذي لا تعجزه الإجابة ولا ينقصه العطاء

His statement, “by saying ‘I supplicated but my request has not been granted’“. … And ibn Battaal said: the meaning is that he became tired and so he abandoned supplicating as if he were expending himself by making his supplication, or he (only) brings supplications which are guaranteed a response so then he becomes like a penny-pincher with His Lord, the Generous One, Who does not show impatience in responding nor does He decrease what He gives.

وقد وقع في رواية أبي إدريس الخولاني عن أبي هريرة عند مسلم والترمذي لا يزال يستجاب للعبد ما لم يدع بإثم أو قطيعة رحم وما لم يستعجل . قيل وما الاستعجال ؟ قال يقول قد دعوت وقد دعوت فلم أر يستجاب لي فيستحسر عند ذلك ويدع الدعاء ومعنى قوله يستحسر وهو بمهملات ينقطع

And it has come in the narration of Abu Idrees al-Khawlaani from Abu Hurayrah in Muslim and al-Tirmidhi:

“The supplication of the servant is granted so long as he does not supplicate for sin or for severing the ties of kinship, or he does not become impatient.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, what does ‘so long as he does not grow impatient’ mean?” He said, “That he should say, ‘I supplicated and I supplicated but I did not see a response,’ and then he becomes frustrated and abandons supplication.

وفي هذا الحديث أدب من آداب الدعاء وهو أنه يلازم الطلب ولا ييأس من الإجابة لما في ذلك من الانقياد والاستسلام وإظهار الافتقار حتى قال بعض السلف : لأنا أشد خشية أن أحرم الدعاء من أن أحرم الإجابة وكأنه أشار إلى حديث ابن عمر رفعه من فتح له منكم باب الدعاء فتحت له أبواب الرحمة الحديث أخرجه الترمذي بسند لين وصححه الحاكم فوهم قال الداودي : يخشى على من خالف وقال : قد دعوت فلم يستجب لي أن يحرم الإجابة وما قام مقامها من الادخار والتكفير انتهى

And this hadeeth contains one of the etiquettes of supplication, which is that one should persist in seeking and should not despair of a response, for in that there is compliance and submission and demonstrating one’s neediness to the extent that some of the salaf said, “Indeed I am more fearful that I might be deprived of supplication than that I might be deprived of responses to supplication.” And it is as if this is referring to the hadeeth of ibn ‘Umar from the Prophet:

For whomsoever of you the door of supplication is opened, the doors of mercy have been opened for him.

The hadeeth is reported by al-Tirmidhi with a good chain of narration which al-Haakim graded as saheeh. And al-Daawoodi mused, “It is feared for the one goes against this and says, ‘I have supplicated but my request has not been granted’ – it is feared that he will be deprived of a response as well as what goes in its place such as storing-up [good for the hereafter] or expiation of sins.” End quote.

وقد قدمت في أول كتاب الدعاء الأحاديث الدالة على أن دعوة المؤمن لا ترد وأنها إما أن تعجل له الإجابة وإما أن تدفع عنه من السوء مثلها وإما أن يدخر له في الآخرة خير مما سأل

And multiple ahaadeeth have already come in the beginning of the chapter of supplication demonstrating that the supplication of the believer is not rejected, and that it is either that the response is delayed for him, or that it repels some evil the like thereof from him, or something better than what he asked for is stored up for him in the hereafter.

فأشار الداودي إلى ذلك وإلى ذلك أشار ابن الجوزي بقوله اعلم أن دعاء المؤمن لا يرد غير أنه قد يكون الأولى له تأخير الإجابة أو يعوض بما هو أولى له عاجلا أو آجلا فينبغي للمؤمن أن لا يترك الطلب من ربه فإنه متعبد بالدعاء كما هو متعبد بالتسليم والتفويض

And al-Daawoodi indicated that, as did ibn al-Jawzi by his statement, “Know that the supplication of the believer is not rejected – either it is better for him to delay the response, or he will be compensated with that which is better for him, whether in this life or the next. So it is becoming of the believer that he should not abandon seeking of his Lord, for verily he is engaging in worship by means of supplication just as he is engaged in worship by means of submission and entrusting his affair to Allah.

ومن جملة آداب الدعاء تحري الأوقات الفاضلة كالسجود وعند الأذان ومنها تقديم الوضوء ، والصلاة واستقبال القبلة ورفع اليدين وتقديم التوبة والاعتراف بالذنب ، والإخلاص وافتتاحه بالحمد والثناء والصلاة على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – والسؤال بالأسماء الحسنى وأدلة ذلك ذكرت في هذا الكتاب

And from the overall etiquettes of supplication is:

-To seek out the preferred times, such as during al-sujood or at the time of the adhaan.

-And from the etiquettes is preceding it with wudhoo’,

-and during al-salaah

-and while facing the qiblah

-and while raising one’s hands

-and preceding it with al-tawbah and recognition of one’s sins

-and having ikhlaas

-and opening with praise and extolling [of Allah] and sending salaah on the Prophet (ﷺ)

-and asking by the beautiful names of Allah

And the evidence for these things in mentioned [elsewhere] is this book.

وقال الكرماني ما ملخصه الذي يتصور في الإجابة وعدمها أربع صور الأولى عدم العجلة وعدم القول المذكور الثانية وجودهما الثالثة والرابعة عدم أحدهما ووجود الآخر فدل الخبر على أن الإجابة تختص بالصورة الأولى دون ثلاث قال ودل الحديث على أن مطلق قوله – تعالى – أجيب دعوة الداع إذا دعان مقيد بما دل عليه الحديث . ـ

And al-Kermani presented four cases related to the acceptance or rejection of supplication that I will summarize:

1) The absence of impatience and the absence of the aforementioned statement.

2) [Conversely] the presence of these two things.

3) and 4) the presence of one of these two things and the absence of the other.

So this narration demonstrates that a response is specific to the first case to the exclusion of the other three.

response to supplications - al-kermani

And he also said, “This hadeeth demonstrates that the general nature of Allah’s statement, “I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me” [2:186] is restricted by what this hadeeth indicates.

قلت وقد أول الحديث المشار إليه قبل على أن المراد بالإجابة ما هو أعم من تحصيل المطلوب بعينه أو ما يقوم مقامه ويزيد عليه والله أعلم

I [ibn Hajr] say, “And the initial hadeeth mentioned refers to the fact that the intended meaning of a response [to supplication] is more general than just attaining what is sought in and of itself or what takes it place, and it is more than that – and Allah knows best.”

[Fath al-Baari #9479]

See also: Avoid the sins which prevent forgiveness and the acceptance of du’a: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi

See also: “When My slaves ask you about Me, Indeed I am near”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Allah’s Name al-Mujeeb al-Qareeb – Sheikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq

Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi

Imam ibn al-Jawzi wrote the following encouraging words for the one who finds themselves awaiting the response to their du’a:

إذا وقعت في محنة يصعب الخلاص منها ، فليس لك إلّا الدعاء واللجأ إلى الله بعد أن تقدم التوبة من الذنوب.

If a trials afflicts you from which it is difficult to be free, then there is nothing else for you to do except to supplicate and seek refuge with Allah after having preceded this with tawbah for your sins.

فإن الزلل يوجب العقوبة فإذا زال الزلل بالتوبة من الذنوب ارتفع السبب .

For verily sins require punishment, so if the sins disappear due to tawbah from the sins, then the reason (for the punishment) has been lifted.

فإذ تبت ودعوت ولم تر للإجابة أثراً فتفقد أمرك ، فربما كانت التوبة ما صحت فصححها ثم أدع ولا تمل من الدعاء

Then if you have repented and supplicate but you do not see any trace of response, then investigate your affair, for perhaps the tawbah was not sound, so correct it and then supplicate, and do not tire of supplication. Continue reading

The story of ‘Aṭāʼ ibn Yasār and the bedouin woman

Ibn al-Jawzi, in his famous work iffah al-afwah, mentions the following story about the taabi’ ‘Aṭāʼ ibn Yasār. ‘Abdur-Rahmān bin Zayd bin Aslam narrated:

 وعن عبد الرحمن بن زيد بن اسلم قال خرج عطاء بن يسار وسليمان بن يسار حاجين من المدينة ومعهما أصحاب لهم حتى إذا كانوا بالأبواء نزلوا منزلا فانطلق سليمان وأصحابه لبعض حاجتهم وبقي عطاء بن يسار قائما في المنزل يصلي  قال فدخلت عليه إمرأة من الأعراب جميلة فلما رآها عطاء ظن أن لها حاجة فأوجز في صلاته ثم قال ألك حاجة قالت نعم قال ماهي قالت قم فأصب مني فإني قد ودقت ولابعل لي فقال إليك عني لاتحرقيني ونفسك بالنار

‘Aṭāʼ and (his brother) Sulayman bin Yasār went to run an errand outside al-Madinah along with some companions of theirs. When they reached the outskirts of the city, they stopped at a house to rest. Sulayman and his companions went to see to some of their needs, and ‘Atāʼ stayed in the house alone, praying. Suddenly, a beautiful bedouin woman entered upon him, so when ‘Aṭāʼ saw her, he assumed that she needed something from him, so he sped up his prayer a little and then asked her, “Is there something you need?” She answered, “Yes.” He said, “And what is that?” She replied, “Come and have your share of me, for I am filled with desire and I am without a spouse.” So, he said to her, “Get away from me, and do not cause me to burn in the Fire along with you!” Continue reading