What is the wisdom of abrogating a command before it can be acted on?: Imam al-Shinqitee

In a session of tafsir delivered at his home which was recorded by his son and subsequently transribed, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee discussed the following question:

هل يجوز النسخ قبل التمكن من الفعل أو لا يجوز ؟ والجماهير من العلماء على أنه جائز وواقع ، ومن أمثلته نسخ خمس وأربعين صلاة ليلية الإسراء بعد أن فرضت خسمسين ، ونُسخ منها خمس وأربعين بينما أُقرت خمساً ، ومن أمثلته قوله جل وعلا في قصة ذبح إبراهيم لولده : <  وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ > [الصفات 108] ؛ لأنه أمره أن يذبح ولده ، ونسخ هذا الأمر قبل التمكن من الفعل ، والتحقيق أن هذا جائز وواقع ، ولا شك أن فيه سؤالاً معروفاً وهو أن يقول طالب العلم : إذا كان الحكم يشرع ويُنسخ قبل العمل فما الحكمة في تشريعه الأول إذا كان ينسخ قبل العمل به ؟  ـ

Is the abrogation of a command before it is able to be carried out possible or impossible? The majority of the scholars hold the position that it is possible and that it actually happens, and one of the examples of this is the abrogation of forty-five prayers on the night of the Night Journey after fifty had been made obligatory and forty-five of them were abrogated, leaving only five remaining. And another example of this is Allah’s statement regarding the story of Ibrahim’s sacrificing his son:

وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice [37:107]

For Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, but He abrogated this command before Ibrahim was able to enact it. So the conclusion is that this is both possible and it occurs. And undoubtedly there is a well-known question regarding this, which is that the student of knowledge asks, “If a ruling is legislated and then abrogated before being acted upon, then what is the reasoning in its being legislated in the first place if it is abrogated prior to being carried out?” Continue reading

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Two Qur’anic Proofs that Ismaa’eel is the Sacrificed Son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following clarifying explanation in his tafsir of surah al-Saffaat:

قوله تعالى : وقال إني ذاهب إلى ربي سيهدين رب هب لي من الصالحين فبشرناه بغلام حليم ، إلى قوله تعالى : وفديناه بذبح عظيم . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَقَالَ إِنِّي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّي سَيَهْدِينِ * رَ‌بِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ * فَبَشَّرْ‌نَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

And then Ibrahim said, “Indeed, I will go to [where I am ordered by] my Lord; He will guide me. * My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” * So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.

until His saying:

وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice [37:99-107]

اعلم أولا : أن العلماء اختلفوا في هذا الغلام الذي أمر إبراهيم في المنام بذبحه ، ومعلوم أن رؤيا الأنبياء وحي ، ثم لما باشر عمل ذبحه امتثالا للأمر ، فداه الله بذبح عظيم ، هل هو إسماعيل أو إسحاق ؟ وقد وعدنا في سورة ” الحجر ” ، بأنا نوضح ذلك بالقرآن في سورة ” الصافات ” ، وهذا وقت إنجاز الوعد . ـ

Firstly, know that the scholars have differed regarding this boy that Ibrahim was commanded in his sleep to sacrifice, and it is well known that the dreams of the prophets are wahyi (Divine revelation). Then when he was proceeding to do the act of his sacrifice in compliance with the command, Allah ransomed him with a great sacrifice – so was this Ismaa’eel or Ishaaq? And we had promised in the tafsir of surah al-Hijr that we would clarify this issue by means of the Qur’an in surah al-Saffaat, so now is the time to fulfill that promise.

اعلم ، وفقني الله وإياك ، أن القرآن العظيم قد دل في موضعين ، على أن الذبيح هو إسماعيل لا إسحاق . أحدهما في ” الصافات ” ، والثاني في ” هود ” . ـ

You should know – may Allah grant me and you success – that the Magnificent Qur’an has demonstrated in two places that the sacrificed one is Ismaa’eel and not Ishaaq. One of these places is in surah al-Saffaat, and the other is in surah Hood. Continue reading

The Du’a of Ibrahim for Mecca and his Descendants: Tafsir al-Sa’di

After the Prophet Moosaa, there is no prophet who is mentioned more frequently in the Qur’an than Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaam). In surah Ibrahim, Allah informs us of one of the events in his life [see surah Ibrahim 14:35-41]. Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his famous book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on these ayaat:

‏ ‏{‏وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ‏{‏و‏}‏ اذكر إبراهيم عليه الصلاة والسلام في هذه الحالة الجميلة، إذ قَال‏:‏ ‏{‏رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الحرم ‏{‏آمِنًا‏}‏ فاستجاب الله دعاءه شرعا وقدرا، فحرمه الله في الشرع ويسر من أسباب حرمته قدرا ما هو معلوم، حتى إنه لم يرده ظالم بسوء إلا قصمه الله كما فعل بأصحاب الفيل وغيرهم‏.‏ ـ

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا

And when Ibrahim said, ‘My Lord, make this land secure

– meaning: “And” mention Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) in this beautiful situation, when he said:

رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ ‏آمِنًا‏

‘My Lord, make this land” -meaning the Haram – “secure”

so Allah answered his du’a both with His divine legislation and with His divine decree. For Allah sanctified it in the divine legislation, and (also) facilitated the means of its inviolability in terms of divine decree from what is well-known, to the extent that it would not repel an oppressor with harm except that Allah would crush them just as He did with the Companions of the Elephant and others.

ولما دعا له بالأمن دعا له ولبنيه بالأمن فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ اجعلني وإياهم جانبًا بعيدًا عن عبادتها والإلمام بها، ثم ذكر الموجب لخوفه عليه وعلى بنيه بكثرة من افتتن وابتلي بعبادتها فقال‏:‏

And when Ibrahim supplicated to Allah for security, he supplicated for security for his himself and for offspring, for he said:

وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ

and turn me and my sons away from worshiping idols

– meaning: make for me and for them a great distance from their worship and familiarity with them. He then mentioned the reason for his fear he felt regarding himself and his children for the abundance of trials and tribulations of their worship, so he said, Continue reading

The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

In his discussion of the month of Rabee’ al-Awwaal, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali discussed some of the virtues of the Prophet and his prophet-hood. During this discussion he mentioned some of the proofs foretelling Muhammad’s prophet-hood, and began by writing:

 الدليل الأول : دعوة أبيه إبراهيم عليه السلام ، و أشار بذلك إلى ما قص الله في كتابه عن إبراهيم و إسماعيل لأنهما قالا عند بناء البيت الذي بمكة : { ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم * ربنا و اجعلنا مسلمين لك و من ذريتنا أمة مسلمة لك و أرنا مناسكنا و تب علينا إنك أنت التواب الرحيم * ربنا و ابعث فيهم رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياتك و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و يزكيهم إنك أنت العزيز الحكيم } ـ

The first proof: The supplication of his forefather Ibrahim (‘alaihi al-salaam), and that points to what Allah narrated in His Book about Ibrahim and Ismaa’eel that when they were building the House in Mecca they said,

Continue reading

The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

After mentioning the story of Ibrahim being thrown into the fire by his people, and his subsequent migration with Loot, Allah says in surah al-Anbiyaa’:

وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ * وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِ‌نَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَ‌اتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And We gave him Ishaaq and Ya’qoob in addition, and all [of them] We made righteous. And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. [al-Qur’an 21:72-73]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his great book of tafsir, writes about these ayaat by saying:

{‏وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ‏}‏ حين اعتزل قومه ‏{‏إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ‏}‏ ابن إسحاق ‏{‏نَافِلَةً‏}‏ بعدما كبر، وكانت زوجته عاقرا، فبشرته الملائكة بإسحاق، ‏{‏وَمِنْ وَرَاءِ إِسْحَاقَ يَعْقُوبَ‏}‏ ويعقوب، هو إسرائيل، الذي كانت منه الأمة العظيمة، وإسماعيل بن إبراهيم، الذي كانت منه الأمة الفاضلة العربية، ومن ذريته، سيد الأولين والآخرين‏.‏ ‏{‏وَكُلَا‏}‏ من إبراهيم وإسحاق ويعقوب ‏{‏جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قائمين بحقوقه، وحقوق عباده، ومن صلاحهم، أنه جعلهم أئمة يهدون بأمره، وهذا من أكبر نعم الله على عبده أن يكون إماما يهتدي به المهتدون، ويمشي خلفه السالكون، وذلك لما صبروا، وكانوا بآيات الله يوقنون‏.‏

And We gave Him” when withdrew from his people “Ishaaq and Ya’qoob” the son of Ishaaq. “In addition” – i.e. after he had become old and his wife was barren, then the angels gave him glad tidings of Ishaaq “and after Ishaaq, Ya’qoob” [11:71]. And Ya’qoob is Israa’eel, from whom there was a great ummah. And there was also Ismaa’eel ibn Ibrahim, from whom there was a blessed Arab ummah, and from whose offspring was the sayyid of the first and the last.

And all of them” – Ibrahim and Ishaaq and Ya’qoobWe made righteous” – meaning: establishing and fulfilling His rights and the rights of His slaves. And because of their righteousness, He made them leaders guiding by His command. This is one of the greatest blessings of Allah upon a slave of His, that he would be a leader by whom the guided ones are guided, and the traversers of the path would follow in his footsteps. And that is because they exercised sabr and had yaqeen in the ayaat of Allah. Continue reading

“The jealous woman is not to be taken to task for what she does”: Ibn Hajar

In Saheeh al-Bukhari, Anas ibn Maalik narrates the following event:

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عِنْدَ بَعْضِ نِسَائِهِ فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِحْدَى أُمَّهَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِصَحْفَةٍ فِيهَا طَعَامٌ، فَضَرَبَتِ الَّتِي النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي بَيْتِهَا يَدَ الْخَادِمِ فَسَقَطَتِ الصَّحْفَةُ فَانْفَلَقَتْ، فَجَمَعَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِلَقَ الصَّحْفَةِ، ثُمَّ جَعَلَ يَجْمَعُ فِيهَا الطَّعَامَ الَّذِي كَانَ فِي الصَّحْفَةِ وَيَقُولُ ‏ “‏ غَارَتْ أُمُّكُمْ ‏”‏، ثُمَّ حَبَسَ الْخَادِمَ حَتَّى أُتِيَ بِصَحْفَةٍ مِنْ عِنْدِ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا، فَدَفَعَ الصَّحْفَةَ الصَّحِيحَةَ إِلَى الَّتِي كُسِرَتْ صَحْفَتُهَا، وَأَمْسَكَ الْمَكْسُورَةَ فِي بَيْتِ الَّتِي كَسَرَتْ فِيه.‏

While the Prophet (ﷺ) was in the house of one of his wives, one of the mothers of the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet (ﷺ) was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet (ﷺ) gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother (i.e. my wife) felt jealous.” Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the sound dish to the wife whose dish had been broken and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.

[al-Bukhari #5225]

In his expansive commentary of Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-Haafidh ibn Hajar writes the following in his explanation of this hadeeth:

قوله ( غارت أمكم ) الخطاب لمن حضر ، والمراد بالأم هي التي كسرت الصحفة وهي من أمهات المؤمنين كما تقدم بيانه

His statement, “Your mother felt jealous” is an address to whomever was present, and the intended meaning of ‘mother’ is she who broke the dish, and she is one of the Mothers of the Believers [i.e. one of the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ)] as had been explained previously.

وأغرب الداودي فقال : المراد بقوله ” أمكم ” سارة ، وكأن معنى الكلام عنده لا تتعجبوا مما وقع من هذه من الغيرة فقد غارت قبل ذلك أمكم حتى أخرج إبراهيم ولده إسماعيل وهو طفل مع أمه إلى واد غير ذي زرع ، وهذا وإن كان له بعض توجيه لكن المراد خلافه وأن المراد كاسرة الصحفة وعلى هذا حمله جميع من شرح هذا الحديث

And al-Dawoodi departs from this previous explanation when he says: the intended meaning of his statement, “you mother” is Sara [the wife of Ibrahim]. And it is as if the meaning of this speech, according to him, is to not be amazed by what has occurred of jealousy [here in this gathering], for your mother [i.e. Sara] had experienced jealously long before this, to the extent that Ibrahim sent his son Ismaa’eel, while he was still an infant, along with his mother [i.e. Haajar] out to a valley in which did not contain any vegetation. But even if this is part of the implication, however the (most apparent) intended meaning differs from that and definitely the intended meaning is that it refers to the one who broke the dish, and this meaning is what most of those who have explained this hadeeth have conveyed.

Continue reading

“And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Throughout surah Maryam, Allah presents a number of portraits of some of those whom He has honored with revelation. On Ismaa’eel, the son of Ibrahim, Allah says the following:

وَاذْكُرْ‌ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَ‌سُولًا نَّبِيًّا  وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ‌ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَ‌بِّهِ مَرْ‌ضِيًّا

And mention in the Book, Ismaa’eel. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakaah, and he was pleasing to his Lord. [19:54-55]

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following in explanation of these ayaat:

أي‏:‏ واذكر في القرآن الكريم، هذا النبي العظيم، الذي خرج منه الشعب العربي، أفضل الشعوب وأجلها، الذي منهم سيد ولد آدم‏.‏

Meaning: and mention this great messenger in the Noble Qur’an, out of whom came the Arab people, the best people and era, from amongst whom is the sayyid (master) of the offspring of Adam [i.e. the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)].

‏{‏إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا يعد وعدا إلا وفى به‏.‏ وهذا شامل للوعد الذي يعقده مع الله أو مع العباد، ولهذا لما وعد من نفسه الصبر على ذبح أبيه ‏[‏له‏}‏ وقال‏:‏ ‏{‏سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ‏}‏ وفى بذلك ومكن أباه من الذبح، الذي هو أكبر مصيبة تصيب الإنسان، ثم وصفه بالرسالة والنبوة، التي ‏[‏هي‏}‏ أكبر منن الله على عبده، وأهلها من الطبقة العليا من الخلق‏.‏

Indeed, he was true to his promise” – meaning: he did not make a promise except that he fulfilled it. And this is inclusive of the promises which he joined into with Allah, or with the slaves (of Allah), and hence when he made the promise of himself to have sabr (patience, steadfastness, moral fortitude) in the face of his father’s [intention of] slaughtering him, and he said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, among the steadfast” [37:102]. And in that and allowing his father to carry out [his intention for] the slaughter, is the greatest of calamitous tests which has tested man. Then He describes him with risaalah (messengership) and nubuwwah (prophethood), which are the greatest bounties of Allah upon his slaves, and those who possess it are among the highest rank of the creation.

‏{‏وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ كان مقيما لأمر الله على أهله، فيأمرهم بالصلاة المتضمنة للإخلاص للمعبود، وبالزكاة المتضمنة للإحسان إلى العبيد، فكمل نفسه، وكمل غيره، وخصوصا أخص الناس عنده وهم أهله، لأنهم أحق بدعوته من غيرهم‏.‏ ‏{‏وَكَانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا‏}‏ وذلك بسبب امتثاله لمراضي ربه واجتهاده فيما يرضيه، ارتضاه الله وجعله من خواص عباده وأوليائه المقربين، فرضي الله عنه، ورضي ‏[‏هو‏}‏ عن ربه‏.‏

And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and zakaah” – meaning: he was established the command of Allah upon his people. So he commanded them with the salaah which includes ikhlaas (sincerity) to the One who is worshiped, and with zakaah which includes ihsaan (excellent behavior) to the slaves (of Allah), so it perfects oneself, and it perfects others. And the specifically those with him are specified, and they are his people, because they have more right to his da’wah than others.

And he was pleasing to his Lord”  and that is because of his adherence to the pleasure of his Lord and striving in what is pleasing to Him. Allah was pleased with him and made him among those of His distinguished slaves and His close awliyaa’, so Allah was pleased with him and he was pleased with his Lord.

  [Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Definition of Sabr: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Du’a of Ibrahim for Mecca and his Descendants: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The great blessing of being a guiding leader: Tafsir al-Sa’di

The definition of Sabr: Imam al-Sa’di

Allah provides the most excellent examples for His slaves to imitate in His Book. Among them, He mentions the following specifically in surah al-Anbiyaa’ when He says:

وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِدْرِ‌يسَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّابِرِ‌ينَ  وَأَدْخَلْنَاهُمْ فِي رَ‌حْمَتِنَا ۖ إِنَّهُم مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“And [mention] Ismaa’eel and Idrees and Dhu’l-Kifl; all of whom were from the saabireen. And We admitted them into Our mercy. Indeed, they were of the righteous.” [21:85-86]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, offers the followin points of benefit from these ayaat:

أي‏:‏ واذكر عبادنا المصطفين، وأنبياءنا المرسلين بأحسن الذكر، وأثن عليهم أبلغ الثناء، إسماعيل بن إبراهيم، وإدريس، وذا الكفل، نبيين من أنبياء بني إسرائيل ‏{‏كُلٌّ‏}‏ من هؤلاء المذكورين ‏{‏مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ‏}‏ والصبر‏:‏ هو حبس النفس ومنعها، مما تميل بطبعها إليه، وهذا يشمل أنواع الصبر الثلاثة‏:‏ الصبر على طاعة الله والصبر عن معصية الله، والصبر على أقدار الله المؤلمة، فلا يستحق العبد اسم الصبر التام، حتى يوفي هذه الثلاثة حقها‏.‏

Meaning: And mention Our chosen slaves and Our sent prophets with the best of remembrance, and praise them with the most eloquent commendation; Ismaa’eel bin Ibrahim, and Idrees, and Dhu’l-Kifl – Prophets from the prophets of Bani Israa’eel, “all” from those who are mentioned “from the saabireen“. And al-Sabr: it is withholding the nafs and prohibiting it from that towards which it is inclined by its natural inclinations. And this includes three types of sabr: Continue reading