Marriage in the Qur’an pt.5 – Marital Discord: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the fifth section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

 ـ {وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا إِنْ يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا} [النساء: 35] .ـ

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِ‌يدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّـهُ بَيْنَهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرً‌ا

And if you fear dissension between the two, then send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Intimately-Acquainted [4:35]

هذه حالة أخرى غير الحالة السابقة التي يمكن للزوج معالجتها، وهذه إذا استطار الشر بين الزوجين، وبلغت الحال إلى الخصام وعدم الالتئام، ولم ينفع في ذلك وعظ ولا كلام {فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا} [النساء: 35] عدلين عاقلين يعرفان الجمع والتفريق، ويفهمان الأمور كما ينبغي، فإن الحكم لا بد أن يتصف بهذه الأوصاف، فيبحثان في الأسباب التي أدت بهما إلى هذه الحال، ويسألان كلا منهما ما ينقم على صاحبه، ويزيلان ما يقدران عليه من المعتبة بترغيب الناقم على الآخر بالإغضاء عن الهفوات واحتمال الزلات، وإرشاد الآخر إلى الوعد بالرجوع، وإرشاد كل منهما إلى الرضى والنزول عن بعض حقه، فكم حصل بهذا الطريق من المصالح شيء كثير، وإن أمكنهما إلزام المتعصب على الباطل منهما بالحق فَعَلَا . ـ

This situation is something distinct from the previous one which the husband was able to address and resolve himself. What is being discussed here is when ill-will between the spouses is rising at every turn and the situation has reached a state of quarreling and the lack any cooperation, a situation in which neither admonishment nor talking is bringing about any benefit.

فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا

then send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people [4:35]

i.e. – two fair, just, and intelligent people who know what factors bring people together and what factors cause separation, and who understand things as they ought to be. For the ruling is that the arbitrators ought to be characterized by these features. Continue reading

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Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Baqarah, Allah instructs the believers with the following command:

‏‏يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقُولُوا رَاعِنَا وَقُولُوا انْظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“O you who believe! Do not say, ‘attend to us,’ but say, ‘bear with us,’ and listen. And the unbelievers will have a painful punishment.” [2:104]

In his book of tafsir, Imam al-Sa’di has mentioned the following points of benefit concerning this ayah:

كان المسلمون يقولون حين خطابهم للرسول عند تعلمهم أمر الدين‏:‏ ‏{‏رَاعِنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ راع أحوالنا‏,‏ فيقصدون بها معنى صحيحا، وكان اليهود يريدون بها معنى فاسدا‏,‏ فانتهزوا الفرصة‏,‏ فصاروا يخاطبون الرسول بذلك‏,‏ ويقصدون المعنى الفاسد، فنهى الله المؤمنين عن هذه الكلمة‏,‏ سدا لهذا الباب، ففيه النهي عن الجائز‏,‏ إذا كان وسيلة إلى محرم، وفيه الأدب‏,‏ واستعمال الألفاظ‏,‏ التي لا تحتمل إلا الحسن‏,‏ وعدم الفحش‏,‏ وترك الألفاظ القبيحة‏,‏ أو التي فيها نوع تشويش أو احتمال لأمر غير لائق، فأمرهم بلفظة لا تحتمل إلا الحسن فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَقُولُوا انْظُرْنَا‏}‏ فإنها كافية يحصل بها المقصود من غير محذور،

During their addresses to the Messenger while he was teaching them the matters of the deen, the Muslims used to say, “attend to us”, meaning take care and bear in mind our situation, so they intended a good and honest meaning by this. But the Jews intended a wicked meaning by this*, so they seized the opportunity and they began to address the Messenger with that, intending thereby a wicked meaning. So Allah prohibited the believers from this phrase, thereby closing off this avenue. So in this is the prohibition of something permissible when it is a gateway to what is forbidden. And in this is a point of etiquette, in using wordings which only convey good (meanings) and the opposite of vulgar (meanings), and abandoning despicable wordings or those which have some kind of muddled or deranged meaning, or those which convey something inappropriate. So He commanded them with wordings which only convey good (meanings), so He said, “but say ‘bear with us’“, for verily that is sufficient in conveying the intended meaning without any problem.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 54]

Translator’s note: This is further explained elsewhere by Allah’s statement in surah al-Nisaa’:

مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُوا يُحَرِّ‌فُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ‌ مُسْمَعٍ وَرَ‌اعِنَا لَيًّا بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْنًا فِي الدِّينِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانظُرْ‌نَا لَكَانَ خَيْرً‌ا لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ بِكُفْرِ‌هِمْ فَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, ‘We hear and disobey’ and ‘Hear but be not heard’ and ‘Raa’ina,’ twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], ‘We hear and obey’ and ‘Wait for us [to understand],’ it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.” [4:46]

For more on how the Prophet dealt with the distortions of the Jews, see also: Overlooking the foolishness of those upon falsehood: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

The Sharee’ah of Moosaa and the Sharee’ah of Muhammad

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his explanation of Imam al-Nawawi’s Arba’een:

وأما الصبر فإنه ضياء والضياء هو النور الذي يحصل فيه نوع حرارة وإحراق كضياء الشمس بخلاف القمر فإنه نور محض فيه إشراق بغير إحراق قال الله عز وجل ‏{‏هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاء وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا‏}‏ يونس

As for Sabr (steadfastness), it is a radiant light (dhiya’), which is the light which carries in it some type of heat and burning like the radiant light of the sun, as opposed to the moon, because it [the moon] is pure light in which there is illumination without any burning. Allah says, “It is He who appointed to sun to give radiance, and the moon to give light” [10:5].

ومن هنا وصف الله شريعة موسى بأنها ضياء كما قال ‏{‏وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ الْفُرْقَانَ وَضِيَاء وَذِكْرًا لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ‏}‏ الأنبياء وإن كان قد ذكر أن في التوراة نورا كما قال ‏{‏إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ‏}‏ لكن الغالب على شريعتهم الضياء لما فيها من الآصار والأغلال والأثقال

It is from this point of view that Allah describes the sharee’ah of Moosaa as being a radiant light, as He says, “We gave to Moosaa and Haaroon the Criterion and a shining light and a reminder for the muttaqoon” [21:48], even if He also mentions that there is light (noor) in the Tawrah, as He says, “We sent down the Tawrah containing guidance and light” [5:44], however what is the predominant element in their sharee’ah is a radiant light because of the heaviness and burdensome commands, difficult tasks and fatiguing works, and the weighty burdens in it.

ووصف شريعة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بأنها نور لما فيها من الحنيفية السمحة قال الله تعالى ‏{‏قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ‏}‏ المائدة

And He describes the sharee’ah of Muhammad (ﷺ) as being a light because of the the liberally generous haneefiyyah that is in it. He says, Exalted is He, “A light has come to you from Allah and a clear Book” [5:15]

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam 2/24-25 (ch. 23)]

For linguistic insights from Ibn Rajab, please see: The meaning of al-Ma’roof and al-Munkar: Ibn Rajab

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

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

See also: The Qur’an, the Tawrah and the Injeel: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: We Revealed the Qur’an as a Muhaymin over the previous scriptures: Tafsir ibn Kathir