Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 1/7: 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 will publish as a series over the coming weeks. al-Shinqitee started his explanation of this passage by discussing the first two ayaat, as follows:

قوله تعالى : قد أفلح المؤمنون الذين هم في صلاتهم خاشعون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآيات التي ابتدأ بها أول هذه السورة علامات المؤمنين المفلحين فقال قد أفلح المؤمنون [ 23 \ 1 ] أي : فازوا وظفروا بخير الدنيا والآخرة . وفلاح المؤمنين مذكور ذكرا كثيرا في القرآن ; كقوله وبشر المؤمنين بأن لهم من الله فضلا كبيرا [ 33 \ 47 ]  ـ

Allah’s statement:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ

Indeed the believers have succeeded * Those who are characterized by khushoo’ in their salaah [23:1-2]

In these ayaat which begin this surah, Allah mentioned the signs of the successful believers, for He said:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

Indeed the believers have succeeded

meaning: they have succeeded and achieved good in both this life and in the hereafter. And the success of the believers mentioned here is mentioned frequently throughout the Qur’an, such as Allah’s 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] Continue reading

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A Clarification on the Annulment of One’s Deeds: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentions in the beginning of his tafsir of surah al-Maa’idah:

قوله تعالى : ومن يكفر بالإيمان فقد حبط عمله وهو في الآخرة من الخاسرين ، ظاهر هذه الآية الكريمة أن المرتد يحبط جميع عمله بردته من غير شرط زائد ، ولكنه أشار في موضع آخر إلى أن ذلك فيما إذا مات على الكفر ، وهو قوله : ومن يرتدد منكم عن دينه فيمت وهو كافر [ 2 \ 217 ] . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَمَن يَكْفُرْ‌ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِ‌ينَ

And whoever denies al-eemaan – his work has become worthless, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. [5:5]

What is apparent from this noble ayah is that the apostate will have all of his deeds made null and void by his apostasy, without there being any additional condition in play. However, Allah indicates elsewhere that this is in regards to if he dies in a state of disbelief, and that is His statement: Continue reading

Questions and Answers on Tawbah from Ibn Taymiyah

As it comes in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyah:

وسئل رحمه الله عن قوله : { ما أصر من استغفر وإن عاد في اليوم والليلة سبعين مرة } . ـ

And he – may Allah have mercy on him – was asked about the statement of the Prophet, “Nothing persists for the one who makes istighfaar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) even if he returns (to the sin) seventy times in a day and a night.”

هل المراد ذكر الاستغفار باللفظ ؟ أو أنه إذا استغفر ينوي بالقلب أن لا يعود إلى الذنب ؟ وهل إذا تاب من الذنب وعزم بالقلب أن لا يعود إليه وأقام مدة ثم وقع فيه أفيكون ذلك الذنب القديم يضاف إلى الثاني ؟ أو يكون مغفورا بالتوبة المتقدمة ؟ وهل التائب من شرب الخمر ولبس الحرير يشربه في الآخرة ؟ ويلبس الحرير في الآخرة ؟ والتوبة النصوح ما شرطها ؟ . ـ

Is the intended meaning of al-istighfaar mentioning its wording? Or is that when one seeks forgiveness while intending in his heart not to return to that sin?

And if one repents from a sin and resolves in his heart not to return to it and is established on this for a period of them but then it does occur, then is that previous sin added to that later one, or is it forgiven by way of the previous tawbah?

And will the one who repented from drinking alcohol and wearing silk drink it in the hereafter and wear silk in the hereafter?

And sincere tawbah – what are its conditions?

So he responded: Continue reading

The night of the middle of Sha’baan: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his discussion of the merits of the month of Sha’baan, writes the following concerning the magnification that some give to the night of the 15th of Sha’baan and performing extra special acts of worship therein:

وفي فضل ليلة نصف شعبان أحاديث أخر متعددة ، وقد اختلف فيها ، فضعّفها الأكثرون ، وصحّح ابن حبان بعضها وخرّجه في صحيحه

There are many hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the middle of Sha’baan, and there has been differing about them. The majority [of the muhaddithoon] have graded them as weak, but Ibn Hibbaan authenticated some of them and reported them in his Saheeh collection.

ومن أمثلها حديث عائشة ، قالت : فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةً فَخَرَجْتُ فَإِذَا هُوَ بِالْبَقِيعِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَكُنْتِ تَخَافِينَ أَنْ يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكِ وَرَسُولُهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّكَ أَتَيْتَ بَعْضَ نِسَائِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَنْزِلُ لَيْلَةَ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَيَغْفِرُ لأَكْثَرَ مِنْ عَدَدِ شَعْرِ غَنَمِ كَلْبٍ . خرّجه الإمام أحمد والترمذي وابن ماجه ، وذكر الترمذي عن البخاري أنه ضعّفه.

An example of those is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, where she said, “I could not find the Messenger of Allah one night. So I left and found him at Al-Baqi. He said: ‘Did you fear that you had been wronged by Allah and His Messenger?’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I thought that you had gone to one of your wives.’ So he said: ‘Indeed Allah – The Mighty and Sublime – descends to the lowest Heavens during the night of the middle of Sha’baan, to grant forgiveness to more than the number of hairs on the sheep of (Banu) Kalb.'” It was recorded by Imam Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, and ibn Maajah, and al-Tirmidhi mentioned that al-Bukhari had graded it as weak. Continue reading

“Allah has distributed people’s actions just as he has distributed their sustenance”

Imam al-Dhahabi mentions in great biographical encyclopedia of the salaf, Siyaar ‘Alaam al-Nubala‘, when discussing Imam Maalik ibn Anas:

إن عبد الله العمري العابد كتب إلى مالك يحضه على الانفراد والعمل فكتب إليه مالك: إن الله قسم الأعمال كما قسم الأرزاق فرب رجل فتح له في الصلاة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الصدقة ولم يفتح له في الصوم وآخر فتح له في الجهاد.
فنشر العلم من أفضل أعمال البر وقد رضيت بما فتح لي فيه وما أظن ما أنا فيه بدون ما أنت فيه وأرجو أن يكون كلانا على خير وبر.

Abdullah al-‘Umari the ‘aabid (devoted worshiper) once wrote to Maalik urging him to focus his efforts solely on performing acts of worship [i.e. that he ought to cut back on his efforts in teaching and spreading knowledge in order to focus more on ‘ibaadah]. So Maalik wrote back to him:

“Indeed Allah has distributed people’s actions (talents) just as He has distributed their sustenance. So perhaps He made salaat easy for someone whereas He did not make fasting easy for him. And for another He made giving sadaqah easy for them, and did not make fasting easy for them. And for another he made jihaad easy for them.
Thus spreading knowledge is one of the most virtuous righteous actions, and I am pleased with what Allah has made easy for me. And I do not think that what I am doing is of lesser value than what you are doing, and I hope that both of us are upon good and righteousness.”

[Siyaar ‘Alaam al-Nubala8/114]

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim on Patience