A Warning For Those Who Desire to be Seen: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah says in surah Faatir:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّـهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا 

إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ

وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۖ وَمَكْرُ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ

Whoever desires ‘izzah, then to Allah belongs all the ‘izzah

Good speech ascends to Allah and righteous action raises it

And those who plot evil will have a severe punishment, and the plots of such people will perish [Faatir 35:10]

We have already translated several articles on this ayah. See here for a brief explanation of the entire ayah from sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, here for an explanation of the first section from sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee, and here for an explanation of the second section from the statements of the sahabah and the tabi’oon. What follows is an explanation of the last section from al-haafidh ibn Kathir:

وقوله : ( والذين يمكرون السيئات ) : قال مجاهد ، وسعيد بن جبير ، وشهر بن حوشب : هم المراءون بأعمالهم ، يعني : يمكرون بالناس ، يوهمون أنهم في طاعة الله ، وهم بغضاء إلى الله [ ص: 538 ] عز وجل ، يراءون بأعمالهم ، ( ولا يذكرون الله إلا قليلا ) [ النساء : 142 ] . وقال عبد الرحمن بن زيد بن أسلم : هم المشركون . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ

And those who plot evil …

Mujahid, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr and Shahr ibn Hawshab explained this by saying, “These are the people who like for their deeds to be seen by others,” meaning: they deceive people; the people are tricked into thinking that these pretenders are working in obedience to Allah when in fact they harbor resentment towards Allah and only want for their actions to be seen by others

وَلَا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّـهَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

and they do not remember Allah except for only a little [al-Nisaa’ 4:142]

However ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam explained this ayah to be referring to the mushrikoon. Continue reading

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Beware of Opposing the Prophet’s Command: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Near the end of surah al-Nur, Allah says:

لَّا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّ‌سُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ‌ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِ‌هِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Do not make the calling of the Messenger among yourselves like the call of one of you to another. Already Allah knows those of you who slip away, concealed by others. So let those who oppose the Prophet’s command beware, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment. [24:63]

In his famous book of tafsir, Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote the following regarding this ayah:

قال الضحاك ، عن ابن عباس : كانوا يقولون : يا محمد ، يا أبا القاسم ، فنهاهم الله عز وجل ، عن ذلك ، إعظاما لنبيه ، صلوات الله وسلامه عليه قال : فقالوا : يا رسول الله ، يا نبي الله . وهكذا قال مجاهد ، وسعيد بن جبير . ـ

al-Dhahhaak reported from ibn ‘Abbas: People used to say, “O Muhammad! O Abu’l-Qaasim!”, so Allah forbade them from doing that out of reverence for His prophet (ﷺ). He told them to instead say, “O Messenger of Allah! O Prophet of Allah!”.

Mujaahid and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr reported something similar.

وقال قتادة : أمر الله أن يهاب نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأن يبجل وأن يعظم وأن يسود . [ ص: 89 ] ـ

Qataadah said: Allah commanded the people to have respect for His prophet (ﷺ), and that they should honor, revere and hold him as a leader.

وقال مقاتل [ بن حيان ] في قوله : ( لا تجعلوا دعاء الرسول بينكم كدعاء بعضكم بعضا ) يقول : لا تسموه إذا دعوتموه : يا محمد ، ولا تقولوا : يا بن عبد الله ، ولكن شرفوه فقولوا : يا نبي الله ، يا رسول الله . ـ

Regarding Allah’s statement:

لَّا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّ‌سُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا

Do not make the calling of the Messenger among yourselves like the call of one of you to another

Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan said: Do not address him by name when you call him, such as saying, “O Muhammad!”, and do not say, “O ibn ‘Abdullah!”; rather, hold him in high regard and say, “O Prophet of Allah! O Messenger of Allah!” Continue reading

“And do not be like those who say, ‘We have heard,’ while they do not hear”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

In surah al-Anfal, Allah commands the believers by saying:

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ

And do not be like those who say, “We have heard,” while they do not hear. [8:21]

Commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Qurtubi wrote:

قوله تعالى : ولا تكونوا كالذين قالوا سمعنا أي كاليهود أو المنافقين أو المشركين . وهو من سماع الأذن . وهم لا يسمعون أي لا يتدبرون ما سمعوا ، ولا يفكرون فيه ، فهم بمنزلة من لم يسمع وأعرض عن الحق . نهى المؤمنين أن يكونوا مثلهم . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا

And do not be like those who say, “We have heard…” [8:21]

such as the Jews, the Munaafiqoon [hypocrites], and the Mushrikoon [polytheists]. And this is referring to the literal hearing of one’s ears. They are those who do not hear – meaning: they do not consider or reflect on what they have heard. So these ones are just like those who did not hear (at all) and who turn away from the truth. Allah prohibited the believer from being like them.

Continue reading

A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz, the former grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was asked:

 يقولون أن تعدد القراءات في القرآن معناه اختلاف في القرآن حيث يؤدي إلى معان ثانية، مثل آية الإسراء وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا عند يلقاه منشورا. ـ

Some say that the plurality of the qiraa’aat (recitations) for the Qur’an – that their meanings differ in the Qur’an such that it results in a second meaning, such as the ayah of surah al-Israa’:

وَنُخْرِ‌جُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورً‌ا

and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. [17:13]

as it relates to “which he will encounter spread open.”

So Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz replied:

 ثبت عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن القرآن نزل من عند الله على سبعة أحرف أي لغات من لغات العرب ولهجاتها تيسيرا لتلاوته عليهم، ورحمة من الله بهم، ونقل ذلك نقلا متواترا، وصدق ذلك واقع القرآن، وما وجد فيه من القراءات فهي كلها تنزيل من حكيم حميد. ـ

It is confirmed on the authority of the Prophet (ﷺ) that the Qur’an was revealed from Allah in seven ahraf – i.e. seven tongues from the Arab tongues and their dialects – in order to facilitate its recitation for them and as a mercy from Allah towards them. This has been transmitted through a mutawaatir (mutually well-attested) transmission, and the reality of the Qur’an attests to that. And what one finds among the different qiraa’aat is that all of them are revelation from al-Hakeem al-Hameed (The Wise, the Praise-Worthy, i.e. Allah).

ليس تعددها من تحريف أو تبديل ولا لبس في معانيها ولا تناقض في مقاصدها ولا اضطراب، بل بعضها يصدق بعضا ويبين مغزاه، وقد تتنوع معاني بعض القراءات فيفيد كل منها حكما يحقق مقصدا من مقاصد الشرع، ومصلحة من مصالح العباد، مع اتساق معانيها وائتلاف مراسيها، وانتظامها في وحدة تشريع محكمة كاملة لا تعارض بينها ولا تضارب فيها. ـ

The plurality of qiraa’aat is not due to distortion or substitution or concealing their meanings nor is it a deficiency in their messages, nor are there contradictions. Rather, they affirm one another and clarify the meaning. The meanings of some of the qiraa’aat may be varied, so each one of them provides a ruling which realizes an objective from among the divinely legislated objectives and a benefit from among the beneficial matters to the slaves. All this while at the same time their meanings are in harmony, their firmly established principles are in agreement and their ordering is according to a single precise and perfect divine legislation. There is no contradiction among them nor is there conflict between them.

فمن ذلك ما ورد من القراءات في الآية التي ذكرها السائل وهي قوله تعالى: وَكُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا ، فقد قرئ وَنُخْرِجُ بضم النون وكسر الراء، وقرئ يَلْقَاهُ بفتح الياء والقاف مخففة، والمعنى: ونحن نخرج للإنسان يوم القيامة كتابا هو صحيفة عمله، يصل إليه حال كونه مفتوحا فيأخذه بيمينه إن كان سعيدا أو بشماله إن كان شقيا، وقرئ يُلَقَّاه مَنْشُورًا بضم الياء وتشديد القاف. والمعنى: ونحن نخرج للإنسان يوم القيامة كتابا – هو صحيفة عمله – يعطى الإنسان ذلك الكتاب حال كونه مفتوحا، فمعنى كل من القراءتين يتفق في النهاية مع الآخر، فإن من يلقى إليه الكتاب فقد وصل إليه، ومن وصل إليه الكتاب فقد ألقى إليه. ـ

And an example of that is what is reported of the qiraa’aat of the ayah which the questioner mentioned which is Allah’s statement: Continue reading

“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah concludes surah al-‘Ankaboot with the following ayah:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. [29:69]

Commenting on this ayah in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following beneficial words for the student of knowledge:

ـ { وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا } وهم الذين هاجروا في سبيل اللّه، وجاهدوا أعداءهم، وبذلوا مجهودهم في اتباع مرضاته، { لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا } أي: الطرق الموصلة إلينا، وذلك لأنهم محسنون. ـ

And those who strive for Us” – and they are those who migrated in the path of Allah and struggled against their enemies and expended their efforts in following His pleasure – “We will surely guide them to Our ways” – meaning, the paths which lead to Us, and that is because they are the good-doers.

ـ { وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ } بالعون والنصر والهداية. دل هذا على أن أحرى الناس بموافقة الصواب أهل الجهاد، وعلى أن من أحسن فيما أمر به أعانه اللّه ويسر له أسباب الهداية، وعلى أن من جد واجتهد في طلب العلم الشرعي، فإنه يحصل له من الهداية والمعونة على تحصيل مطلوبه أمور إلهية، خارجة عن مدرك اجتهاده، وتيسر له أمر العلم، فإن طلب العلم الشرعي من الجهاد في سبيل اللّه، بل هو أحد نَوْعَي الجهاد، الذي لا يقوم به إلا خواص الخلق، وهو الجهاد بالقول واللسان، للكفار والمنافقين، والجهاد على تعليم أمور الدين، وعلى رد نزاع المخالفين للحق، ولو كانوا من المسلمين. ـ

And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” by means of aid, support and guidance. This demonstrates that the most likely of people to coincide with what is correct are the people of striving. Continue reading

Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

In his famous work of seerah, Imam ibn al-Qayyim addressed the issue of the relative merits of slow recitation with contemplation and a large amount of reading with quick recitation without contemplation. He wrote:

وقد اختلف الناس في الأفضل من الترتيل وقلة القراءة ، أو السرعة مع كثرة القراءة : أيهما أفضل؟ على قولين . ـ

The people have differed concerning which is better; reading a small amount with tarteel (slow, measured and deliberate recitation), or reciting a large amount quickly – which of the two is more virtuous? On this subject there are two opinions: Continue reading

Postponing a deed with the intention to perform it: Imam al-Nawawi

Abu Hurayrah narrates in Saheeh Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَغْزُ وَلَمْ يُحَدِّثْ بِهِ نَفْسَهُ مَاتَ عَلَى شُعْبَةٍ مِنْ نِفَاقٍ

Whoever died but did not fight in the way of Allah and without saying to his soul that he intends to do so, dies upon one of the branches of hypocrisy.

قَالَ ابْنُ سَهْمٍ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ فَنُرَى أَنَّ ذَلِكَ كَانَ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم

Ibn Sahm said that ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak said, “So we consider that this was the case during the era of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).

[Saheeh Muslim #1910]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, mentions the following about this hadeeth:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( من مات ، ولم يغز ولم يحدث به نفسه مات على شعبة من نفاق ، قال عبد الله بن المبارك : فنرى أن ذلك كان على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ) قوله : ( نرى ) بضم النون ، أي : نظن ، وهذا الذي قاله ابن المبارك محتمل ،  .

His statement (ﷺ), “Whoever died but did not fight in the way of Allah and without saying to his soul that he intends to do so, dies upon one of the branches of hypocrisy.‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak said, “So we consider that this was the case during the era of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).“. His [i.e. ibn al-Mubaarak] statement, “we consider” – meaning: ‘we think’, and this is that which ibn al-Mubaarak said was likely.

وقد قال غيره : إنه عام ، والمراد أن من فعل هذا فقد أشبه المنافقين المتخلفين عن الجهاد في هذا الوصف ، فإن ترك الجهاد أحد شعب النفاق .

But others have said: Verily this is general, and the intended meaning is that whoever does this, then he resembles the munaafiqoon who were averse to jihaad in this characteristic of his. For verily abandoning jihaad is one of the branches of nifaaq.

وفي هذا الحديث : أن من نوى فعل عبادة فمات قبل فعلها لا يتوجه عليه من الذم ما يتوجه على من مات ولم ينوها

And from this hadeeth is that whoever intends to perform an act of ‘ibaadah but then dies before performing it, then nothing of disgrace is due to him which is due to the one who dies without ever intending to do that.

وقد اختلف أصحابنا فيمن تمكن من الصلاة في أول وقتها فأخرها بنية أن يفعلها في أثنائه فمات قبل فعلها ، أو أخر الحج بعد التمكن إلى سنة أخرى فمات قبل فعله هل يأثم أم لا ؟ والأصح عندهم أنه يأثم في الحج دون الصلاة ؛ لأن مدة الصلاة قريبة ، فلا تنسب إلى تفريط بالتأخير ، بخلاف الحج ، وقيل : يأثم فيهما ، وقيل : لا يأثم فيهما ، وقيل يأثم في الحج الشيخ دون الشاب . والله أعلم

And there has been disagreement among our companions [i.e. in the Shaafi’i madhhab] concerning the one who is able to make [the obligatory] salaah in the early part of its time but postpones it with the intention to do it in the latter part of its time, and then dies before performing it, or concerning the one who postpones the Hajj – after he is able to do it – until another year, and then dies before performing it – are they committing a sin, or not? And the most correct position with them [i.e. in the Shaafi’i madhhab] is that he is sinning concerning the Hajj but not concerning the salaah, because the period for the salaah is close at hand, so delaying it is not attributed to negligence, in contrast to the Hajj. And it is said: he is sinning in both cases. And it is said: he is not sinning in either case. And it is said: The old man in sinning in the case of [postponing] the Hajj, but this is not the case for the young person. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim #1910]

“Wavering between them, belonging neither to these nor to those”: Imams al-Qurtubi and al-Sa’di on 4:143

Allah, Exalted is He, describes the munaafiqun (hypocrites) in surah al-Nisa’ as follows:

مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ لَا إِلَىٰ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ وَلَا إِلَىٰ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ ۚ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّـهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا

“Wavering between them, belonging neither to these [the believers] nor to those [the disbelievers]. And he whom Allah sends astray, you will never find for him a way” [Al-Nisa’ 4:143]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes:

 قال ابن جني: أي المهتز القلق الذي لا يثبت ولا يتمهل. فهؤلاء المنافقون مترددون بين المؤمنين والمشركين، لا مخلصين الايمان ولا مصرحين بالكفر.

Ibn Junai said: meaning an anxious wavering which neither subsides nor lessens. And these are the munaafiqun (hypocrites, imposters), characterized by their wavering and uncertainty between the believers and the muskrikoon. They are neither sincere in their eemaan nor open in their kufr.

وفي صحيح مسلم من حديث ابن عمر عن النبي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مثل المنافق كمثل الشاة العائرة بين الغنمين تعير إلى هذه مرة وإلى هذه أخرى» وفي رواية: «تكر» بدل: «تعير».

And in Saheeh Muslim there is the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a sheep which roams aimlessly between two flocks. She goes to one at one time and to the other at another time.” [Muslim #7220]

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an]

And Imam al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, writes:

(‏وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا)‏ أي‏:‏ لن تجد طريقا لهدايته ولا وسيلة لترك غوايته، لأنه انغلق عنه باب الرحمة، وصار بدله كل نقمة‏.

And he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way” -meaning, you will never find a path for his guidance, or a means for him to abandon his misguidance. That is because the door of mercy has been closed for him, and in its place is every curse.

فهذه الأوصاف المذمومة تدل بتنبيهها على أن المؤمنين متصفون بضدها، من الصدق ظاهرا وباطنا، والإخلاص، وأنهم لا يجهل ما عندهم، ونشاطهم في صلاتهم وعباداتهم، وكثرة ذكرهم لله تعالى‏.‏ وأنهم قد هداهم الله ووفقهم للصراط المستقيم‏.‏ ‏

And (the mentioning of) these blameworthy traits serves as an admonition and exhortation towards their opposites. And from that is truthfulness both openly and secretly, sincerity, and that they are not ignorant of their own qualities, and their efforts in their salaah and their ‘ibaadah, and their making a great deal of dhikr of Allah. And they are those whom Allah has guided and directed to the siraat al-mustaqim.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

See also: “And do not be like those who say, ‘We have heard,’ while they do not hear”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi