How the Prophet Lived with His Wives: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In the midst of legal rulings related to marriage in surah al-Nisaa’, Allah commands the believing to treat their wives well by saying:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and live with them honorably … [4:19]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote a brief but beautiful commentary on this phrase in his tafsir:

وَقَوْلُهُ : ( وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ) أَيْ : طَيِّبُوا أَقْوَالَكُمْ لَهُنَّ ، وَحَسِّنُوا أَفْعَالَكُمْ وَهَيْئَاتِكُمْ بِحَسَبِ قُدْرَتِكُمْ ، كَمَا تُحِبُّ ذَلِكَ مِنْهَا ، فَافْعَلْ أَنْتَ بِهَا مِثْلَهُ ، كَمَا قَالَ تَعَالَى : ( وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ) [ الْبَقَرَةِ : 228 ] وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ ، وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي ” وَكَانَ مِنْ أَخْلَاقِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ جَمِيلُ الْعِشْرَةِ دَائِمُ الْبِشْرِ ، يُدَاعِبُ أَهْلَهُ ، وَيَتَلَطَّفُ بِهِمْ ، ويُوسِعُهُمْ نَفَقَتَهُ ، وَيُضَاحِكُ نِسَاءَهُ ، حَتَّى إِنَّهُ كَانَ يُسَابِقُ عَائِشَةَ أُمَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَتَوَدَّدُ إِلَيْهَا بِذَلِكَ . قَالَتْ : سَابَقَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَبَقْتُهُ ، وَذَلِكَ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَحْمِلَ اللَّحْمَ ، ثُمَّ سَابَقْتُهُ بَعْدَ مَا حَمَلْتُ اللَّحْمَ فَسَبَقَنِي ، فَقَالَ : ” هَذِهِ بِتِلْكَ ” وَيَجْتَمِعُ نِسَاؤُهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ فِي بَيْتِ الَّتِي يَبِيتُ عِنْدَهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَيَأْكُلُ مَعَهُنَّ الْعَشَاءَ فِي بَعْضِ الْأَحْيَانِ ، ثُمَّ تَنْصَرِفُ كُلُّ وَاحِدَةٍ إِلَى مَنْزِلِهَا . وَكَانَ يَنَامُ مَعَ الْمَرْأَةِ مِنْ نِسَائِهِ فِي شِعَارٍ وَاحِدٍ ، يَضَعُ عَنْ كَتِفَيْهِ الرِّدَاءَ وَيَنَامُ بِالْإِزَارِ ، وَكَانَ إِذَا صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ يَدْخُلُ مَنْزِلَهُ يَسْمُرُ مَعَ أَهْلِهِ قَلِيلًا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَنَامَ ، يُؤَانِسُهُمْ بِذَلِكَ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَقَدْ قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى : ( لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ ) [ الْأَحْزَابِ : 21 ] . وَأَحْكَامُ عِشْرَةِ النِّسَاءِ وَمَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِتَفْصِيلِ ذَلِكَ مَوْضِعُهُ كِتَابُ ” الْأَحْكَامِ ” ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and live with them honorably …

that is: beautify your speech, actions and manners towards them to the best of your ability. Just as you would like for them to do that towards you, then do that towards them. This is as Allah said:

وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and women have rights over their husbands similar to the rights their husbands have over them … [2:228]

and Allah’s Messenger said: Continue reading

The Muttaqoon do not Persist in Sin: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In part of surah Aal ‘Imraan, Allah describes the muttaqoon with the following characteristic:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّـهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

And they are those who, when they commit an immoral act or wrong themselves, they remember Allah and so ask for forgiveness of their sins. And who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what they were doing while they know. [3:135]

The famous mufassir al-haafidh ibn Kathir explained the final phrase of this ayah by writing:

وقوله : ( وهم يعلمون ) قال مجاهد وعبد الله بن عبيد بن عمير : ( وهم يعلمون ) أن من تاب تاب الله عليه . وهذا كقوله تعالى : ( ألم يعلموا أن الله هو يقبل التوبة عن عباده ) [ التوبة : 104 ] وكقوله ( ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما ) [ النساء : 110 ] ونظائر هذا كثيرة جدا

Regarding Allah’s statement

وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

… while they know

Mujaahid and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umayr explained this by saying, “While they know that whoever turns in repentance, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness.”

And this is like Allah’s statements: Continue reading

A Parable of What the Disbelievers Spend in This Life: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah presents the following parable in surah Aal ‘Imran:

مَثَلُ مَا يُنفِقُونَ فِي هَـٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَثَلِ رِيحٍ فِيهَا صِرٌّ أَصَابَتْ حَرْثَ قَوْمٍ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فَأَهْلَكَتْهُ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَلَـٰكِنْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

The example of what they spend in this worldly life is like that of a wind containing frost which strikes the harvest of a people who have wronged themselves and destroys it. And Allah has not wronged them, but they wrong themselves. [3:117]

Ibn al-Qayyim remarked on this ayah by writing:

هذا مثل ضربه الله تعالى لمن أتفق ماله في غير طاعته ومرضاته . ـ

Allah struck this parable about those who spend their wealth in other things besides obedience to Allah and seeking His pleasure.

[A’laam al-Mawqi’een 1/173]

Imam al-Qurtubi wrote:

ومعنى الآية : مثل نفقة الكافرين في بطلانها وذهابها وعدم منفعتها كمثل زرع أصابه ريح باردة أو نار فأحرقته وأهلكته ، فلم ينتفع أصحابه بشيء بعدما كانوا يرجون فائدته ونفعه . وما ظلمهم الله بذلك ولكن أنفسهم يظلمون بالكفر والمعصية ومنع حق الله تعالى . ـ

The message of this ayah is that the futility, waste and lack of benefit of the disbelievers’ spending is like a cultivated field which is struck with a frigid wind – or a fire – which scorches and destroys it, leaving its owners unable to benefit from it in any way after they had hoped to receive some fruits and benefit from it. And they did not wrong Allah with their spending; rather it was themselves that they wronged with the disbelief, sins and refusing to give Allah His due rights.

[Tafsir al-Qurtubi 4/169] Continue reading

Those Who Do Evil Out of Ignorance and Then Repent Soon Afterwards: Tafsir al-Baghawi

Allah says in surah al-Nisaa’:

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّـهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا * وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

The only repentance in Allah’s sight is for those who do evil out of ignorance and then repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise. * And there is no repentance for those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says, “Now I repent;” nor for those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment. [4:17-18]

In his famous book of tafsir, Imam al-Baghawi commented on this by writing:

قوله تعالى : ( إنما التوبة على الله ) قال الحسن : يعني التوبة التي يقبلها ، فيكون على بمعنى عند ، وقيل : من الله ، ( للذين يعملون السوء بجهالة ) قال قتادة : أجمع أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على أن كل ما عصي به الله فهو جهالة عمدا كان أو لم يكن ، وكل من عصى الله فهو جاهل . وقال مجاهد : المراد من الآية : العمد ، قال الكلبي : لم يجهل أنه ذنب لكنه جهل عقوبته ، وقيل : معنى الجهالة : اختيارهم اللذة الفانية على اللذة الباقية . ـ

Allah’s statement:

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّـهِ

The only repentance in Allah’s sight …

al-Hasan said, “i.e. the repentance that He accepts. So the word ‘alaa here is used with the meaning of ‘inda.” And others have said that the word ‘alaa is used with the meaning of min.

لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ

… is for those who do evil out of ignorance …

Qatadah said, “The Companions of Allah’s Messenger were all in agreement that anything done in disobedience to Allah is ignorance regardless of whether it is done intentionally or not, and that everyone who disobeys Allah is ignorant.” Continue reading

Merits of Surah al-Nisaa’: Tafsir ibn Kathir

A number of the books of tafsir begin their explanations of each surah with a section on the virtues of that particular surah. However, most of these sections are largely made up of fabricated or weak narrations. The famous mufassir, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir, strove to avoid much inauthentic material in his tafsir or to follow up such material with notes as to its status and veracity. So when he did begin his explanation of surah al-Nisaa’ by mentioning some of its merits, he approached things in a different manner by bringing statements from some of the scholars of the Sahabah about this surah:

 وقال الحاكم في مستدركه : حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حدثنا أبو البختري عبد الله بن محمد بن شاكر ، حدثنا محمد بن بشر العبدي ، حدثنا مسعر بن كدام ، عن معن بن عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله بن مسعود عن أبيه ، عن عبد الله بن مسعود ، رضي الله عنه ، قال : إن في سورة النساء لخمس آيات ما يسرني أن لي بها الدنيا وما فيها : ( إن الله لا يظلم مثقال ذرة ) الآية ، و ( إن تجتنبوا كبائر ما تنهون عنه ) الآية ، و ( إن الله لا يغفر أن يشرك به ويغفر ما دون ذلك لمن يشاء ) و ( ولو أنهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك ) الآية ، و ( ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما ) ثم قال : هذا إسناد صحيح إن كان عبد الرحمن سمع من أبيه ، فقد اختلف في ذلك . ـ

○ al-Haakim said in his book al-Mustadrak: … that the grandson of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood narrated from his father who narrated from his father, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: In surah al-Nisaa’ there are five ayaat which are more pleasing to me than the entire world and all that is in it.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ ۖ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Surely, Allah does not do an atom’s worth of injustice. But if you have some good, He multiplies it and give a great reward from Himself [4:40]

إِن تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيمًا

If you avoid the major sins from which you are forbidden, We will expiate your minor sins from you and enter you into a noble entrance. [4:31]

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray. [4:116]

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّـهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّـهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful. [4:64]

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّـهَ يَجِدِ اللَّـهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [4:110]

And then al-Haakim said: This chain of narration is sound, so long as the grandson heard it from his father, and there is some differing as to whether he did or not. Continue reading

Taking the Means to Allah’s Forgiveness: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Nisaa’, Allah informs us of the following:

 إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا * وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ وَلَا الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

The forgiveness on Allah’s part is only for those who do wrong in ignorance and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. * But forgiveness is not for those who do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I repent now,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment. [4:17-18]

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

توبة الله على عباده نوعان: توفيق منه للتوبة، وقبول لها بعد وجودها من العبد، فأخبر هنا -أن التوبة المستحقة على الله حق أحقه على نفسه، كرما منه وجودا، لمن عمل السوء أي: المعاصي { بِجَهَالَةٍ } أي: جهالة منه بعاقبتها وإيجابها لسخط الله وعقابه، وجهل منه بنظر الله ومراقبته له، وجهل منه بما تئول إليه من نقص الإيمان أو إعدامه، فكل عاص لله، فهو جاهل بهذا الاعتبار وإن كان عالما بالتحريم. بل العلم بالتحريم شرط لكونها معصية معاقبا عليها . ـ

Allah’s turning towards His slaves in forgiveness fall into two categories:

  1. Granting them the accord to make repentance, and
  2. Accepting their repentance from them after they have made it.

And here, Allah is informing us that the forgiveness which is incumbent upon Allah is a duty which He has enjoined upon Himself as a form of generosity and munificence from Him to whomever commits an evil deed – meaning an act of disobedience –

بِجَهَالَةٍ

in ignorance

meaning: while being ignorant of the displeasure and punishment of Allah that it entails and necessitates, and while being ignorant of Allah’s watchfulness over him, and while being ignorant of the decrease or obliteration of eemaan which it causes. Every one who disobeys Allah is ignorant of these considerations, even if he knows of the prohibition. In fact, knowledge of the prohibited nature of an act is a condition that must be in place for that act of disobedience to result in punishment.

Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.3 – Prohibited Relationships: 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 third section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

ـ {  وَلَا تَنكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ } [ النساء: 22 ]. ثم عدد المحرمات إلى أن قال: {وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ } [ النساء: 24 ]. ـ

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ

And marry not women whom your fathers married [4:22]

Allah then proceeded to list the muharramaat (unlawful marital relationships) until He said:

وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكُمْ

All others are lawful for you [4:24]

قد استوفى الباري المحرمات في النكاح في هذه الآيات في النسب والرضاع والمصاهرة . ـ

In these ayaat, the Creator has grouped the unlawful marital relationships into categories of: those according to lineage, those according to wet-nursing, and those according to preexisting marital ties.

أما المحرمات بالمصاهرة فإن تزوج الرجل امرأة ترتب على هذا الزواج أربعة أحكام: ـ

As for the unlawful marital relationships due to preexisting marital ties, then for a man to marry a women, this marriage brings about four rulings: Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.2 – Rights of Wives: 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 second section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

ـ {  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِ‌ثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْ‌هًا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَعَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ ۚ فَإِن كَرِ‌هْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّـهُ فِيهِ خَيْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا  } إلى قوله: {  مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا }  [ النساء: 19 – 21 ].ـ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِ‌ثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْ‌هًا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَعَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ ۚ فَإِن كَرِ‌هْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّـهُ فِيهِ خَيْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا * وَإِنْ أَرَ‌دتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَارً‌ا فَلَا تَأْخُذُوا مِنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا * وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَىٰ بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا 

O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. * But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a a great amount of gold as a dowry, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin? * And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant? [4:19-21]

كان أهل الجاهلية إذا مات أحدهم ورثت زوجته عنه كما يورث ماله، فرأى قريبه كأخيه وابن عمه أنه أحق بها من نفسها، ويحجرها عن غيره، فإن رضي بها تزوجها على غير صداق، أو على صداق يحبه هو دونها، وإن لم يرض بزواجها عضلها ومنعها من الأزواج إلا بعوض من الزوج أو منها . ـ

It used to be the case for the people of pre-Islamic ignorance that when one of them would die his wife would be inherited just as his wealth would be inherited, so one of his close relatives – for instance his brother or paternal cousin – would consider himself to have more of a right to her than even she had of herself and so he would prevent her from going to anyone else. So if he was pleased with her, then he would wed her without giving her any dowry or with a dowry which pleased him but not her. However if he didn’t wish to marry her then he would make things difficult for her and prevent her from marriage unless he was provided with some compensation from the suitor or from her herself.

Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.1 – Conditions for Marriage: Imam al-Sa’di

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

قال الله تعالى: { وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُ‌بَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿٣﴾ وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۚ فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِ‌يئًا } [ النساء: 3 و 4 ]. ـ

Allah says:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُ‌بَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿٣﴾ وَآتُوا النِّسَاءَ صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۚ فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِ‌يئًا

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. * And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease. [4:3-4]

لمّا منّ الباري على عباده بالنكاح قدرا وأباحه شرعا، بل أحبه ورضيه وحث عليه؛ لما يترتب عليه من المصالح الكثيرة، رتب عليه أحكاما كثيرة وحقوقا متنوعة تدور كلها على الصلاح وإصلاح أحوال الزوجين، ودفع الضرر والفساد، وهي من محاسن الشريعة، والشريعة كلها محاسن، وجلب للمصالح، ودرء للمفاسد . ـ

Since the Creator blessed His slaves with marriage as a decree, and made it permitted in terms of the divine legislation – rather, He loves it, is pleased with it and encourages it due to the many benefits which result from it – therefore, He arranged many rulings and various rights which all revolve around the rectification of and setting the affairs of the married couple in order as well as repelling harm and corruption. And this is one of the good qualities of the sharee’ah – and the entire sharee’ah is composed of good qualities and for the purpose of the bringing about benefit and repelling harmful matters.

يقول تعالى هنا: { وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا}  أي: تقوموا بحق النساء اليتامى اللاتي تحت حجوركم وولايتكم لعدم محبتكم إياهن فاعدلوا إلى غيرهن . ـ

Allah said here:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا

And if you fear that you will not deal justly… [4:3]

– meaning: that you will not be able to establish the rights of the orphan girls under your care and authority due to an absence of love for them, then find others to be just to. Continue reading

“Not for you is the decision…” : Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah Aali ‘Imran, Allah addresses His messenger by saying:

لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ‌ شَيْءٌ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ أَوْ يُعَذِّبَهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ * وَلِلَّـهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ يَغْفِرُ‌ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

Not for you is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to them or He punishes them; for verily they are the wrongdoers. * And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [3:128-129]

Commenting on these two ayaat in his famous book of tafsir, Imam al-Sa’di wrote:

لما جرى يوم “أحد” ما جرى، وجرى على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مصائب، رفع الله بها درجته، فشج رأسه وكسرت رباعيته، قال “كيف يفلح قوم شجوا نبيهم” وجعل يدعو على رؤساء من المشركين مثل أبي سفيان بن حرب، وصفوان بن أمية وسهيل بن عمرو، والحارث بن هشام

When what happened on the Day of Uhud transpired and the happenings which afflicted the Prophet (ﷺ), Allah raised his level by that, for his skull had been fractured and his eye-teeth broken. The Prophet said, “How can a people who distress their prophet succeed?!” and he supplicated against the leaders of the mushrikoon such as Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Saywan ibn Umayyah, Suhail ibn ‘Amr, and al-Haarith ibn Hishaam.

أنزل الله تعالى على رسوله نهيا له عن الدعاء عليهم باللعنة والطرد عن رحمة الله { ليس لك من الأمر شيء } إنما عليك البلاغ وإرشاد الخلق والحرص على مصالحهم، وإنما الأمر لله تعالى هو الذي يدبر الأمور، ويهدي من يشاء ويضل من يشاء، فلا تدع عليهم بل أمرهم راجع إلى ربهم، إن اقتضت حكمته ورحمته أن يتوب عليهم ويمن عليهم بالإسلام فعل، وإن اقتضت حكمته إبقاءهم على كفرهم وعدم هدايتهم، فإنهم هم الذين ظلموا أنفسهم وضروها وتسببوا بذلك، فعل، وقد تاب الله على هؤلاء المعينين وغيرهم، فهداهم للإسلام رضي الله عنهم

Allah revealed a prohibition to His messenger against supplicating against them with curses and supplicating for them to be excluded from the mercy of Allah:

لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ‌ شَيْءٌ

Not for you is the decision… [3:128]

the only thing incumbent upon you is conveying the message, directing the creation to the truth and being eager for their rectification, but the affair is only for Allah – He is the One who manages the affairs, and He guides whom He wills and misguides whom He wills. So do not supplicate against them; in reality their affair returns back to their Lord. If His wisdom and mercy entails that He would turn to them in forgiveness and bless them with Islam, then He will do so. But if His wisdom entails causing them to remain in their disbelief and the absence of their being guided – for indeed they are the ones who have wronged themselves and harmed themselves and caused that themselves – (if that is the case) then He will do that. And Allah did in fact turn in repentance to these specific people and to others as well, for He guided them to Islam – may Allah be pleased with them. Continue reading