The Sahabah on Obeying the Muslim Ruler: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In part of his tafsir of surah al-Nur, al-Haafidh Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir mentioned the following statements of the great mufassir from among the Taabi’oon, Qataadah:

وقال قتادة في هذه الآية : ( أن يقولوا سمعنا وأطعنا ) ذكر لنا أن عبادة بن الصامت – وكان عقبيا بدريا ، أحد نقباء الأنصار – أنه لما حضره الموت قال لابن أخيه جنادة بن أبي أمية : ألا أنبئك بماذا عليك وماذا لك؟ قال : بلى . قال : فإن عليك السمع والطاعة ، في عسرك ويسرك ، ومنشطك ومكرهك ، وأثرة عليك . وعليك أن تقيم لسانك بالعدل ، وألا تنازع الأمر أهله ، إلا أن يأمروك بمعصية الله بواحا ، فما أمرت به من شيء يخالف كتاب الله ، فاتبع كتاب الله . ـ

Regarding the ayah:

إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَرَ‌سُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۚ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger, to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the successful ones. [24:51]

Qataadah said:

It was mentioned to us that when ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit – and he was one of the Sahabah who was present for the Pledge of al-‘Aqabah and at the Battle of Badr, and was one of the leaders of the Ansar – was on his deathbed, he said to his nephew Junaadah ibn Abi Umayyah, “Shall I not inform you of what is incumbent upon you?” “Of course!”, his nephew replied.

He said, “Indeed, listening and obeying is mandatory upon you, whether it is regarding something easy for you or difficult, whether in good times or bad, even if the leader were to show favoritism towards certain people over others. And it is incumbent upon you limit your tongue to speaking with justice, and that you do not dispute with those in authority regarding their commands – unless they command you to perform a clear act of disobedience to Allah. Then, if they command you to do anything which conflicts with the Book of Allah, follow the Book of Allah.” Continue reading

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Marriage in the Qur’an pt.4 – The Husband’s Roles and Responsibilities: 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 fourth section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

وقوله: {الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنْفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا} [النساء: 34] .ـ

Allah’s statement:

الرِّ‌جَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّـهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ۚ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُ‌وهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِ‌بُوهُنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرً‌ا

Men are the leaders and maintainers of women due to what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence, by the grace of Allah’s protection. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. [4:34]

هذا خبر وأمر، أي: الرجال قوامون على النساء في أمور الدين والدنيا، يلزمونهن بحقوق الله، والمحافظة على فرائضه، ويكفونهن عن جميع المعاصي والمفاسد، وبتقويمهن بالأخلاق الجميلة والآداب الطيبة، وقوامون أيضا عليهن بواجباتهن من النفقة والكسوة والمسكن وتوابع ذلك . ـ

This is both informational and a command – meaning: men are the leaders and maintainers of women in the matters of the deen and the dunya, enjoining rights of Allah upon them as well as safeguarding His obligations, and averting them from all forms of disobedience and corruption, and caring for them while having beautiful character and good manners. And they are also the leaders and maintainers of them by virtue of the obligation of spending on them and providing clothing, lodging and so on. Continue reading

The Means and Objectives of Calling to Allah: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his small work of miscellaneous benefits derived from the Qur’an, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following valuable point:

الداعي إلى الله وإلى دينه له طريق ووسيلة إلى مقصوده ، وله مقصودان . فطريقة الدعوة : بالحق إلى الحق للحق فإذا اجتمعت هذه الثلاثة ، بأن كان يدعو بالحق أي بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة ، والمجادلة بالتي هي أحسن ، وكان يدعو إلى الحق – وهو سبيل الله تعالى وصراطه الموصل لسالكه إلى كرامته – وكان دعوته للحق ، أي : مخلصا لله تعالى ، قاصدا بذلك وجه الله ؛ حصل له أحد المقصودين لا محالة ، وهو : ثواب الداعين إلى الله ، وأجر ورثة الرسل بحسب ما قام به من ذلك ، وأما المقصود الآخر ، وهو حصول هداية الخلق وسلوكهم لسبيل الله الذي دعاهم إليه ؛ فهذا قد يحصل وقد لا يحصل ، فليجتهد الداعي في تكميل الدعوة كما تقدم ، وليستبشر بحصول الأجر والثواب ، وإذا لم يحصل المقصود الثاني – وهو هداية الخلق – أو حصل منهم معارضة أو أذية له بالقول أو بالفعل ؛ فليصبر ويحتسب ، ولا يوجب له ذلك ترك ما ينفعه ، وهو القيام بالدعوة علة وجه الكمال ، ولا يضق صدره بذلك ؛ فتضعف تفسه ، وتحضره الحسرات ، بل يقوم بجدٍ واجتهاد ، ولو حصل ما حصل من معارضة العباد . ـ

There are certain ways and means for the one who calls to Allah and to His religion to achieve his goals, and his goals are twofold.

The methodology of calling to Allah is: with what is right, to what is right, and for what is right. So he calls with what is right – meaning with wisdom, good exhortations, and arguing with what is best -, and he is calling to what is right – which is Allah’s way and straight path which leads those who traverse it unto His ultimate goodness -, and he is calling for what is right, meaning that he is sincere to Allah and doing so while seeking the sake of Allah.

So if these three matters are all in place together, then he will definitely achieve one of his two objectives, the first of which is the reward which is given to those who call to Allah. And that reward is the inheritance of the Messengers, according to the level at which he fulfilled that role. Continue reading

The Consequences of Not Forbidding Wrongdoing: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah describes those among the Jews who disbelieved and received Allah’s curse in surah al-Maa’idah by saying:

كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

They used not to forbid one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing. [5:79]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following points of benefit related to this ayah in the midst of his tafsir of the surrounding passage:

ـ { كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَنْ مُنْكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ } أي: كانوا يفعلون المنكر، ولا ينهى بعضهم بعضا، فيشترك بذلك المباشر، وغيره الذي سكت عن النهي عن المنكر مع قدرته على ذلك. ـ

كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَنْ مُنْكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ

They used not to forbid one another from wrongdoing that they did

meaning: They used to commit wrongdoing but they did not forbid one another from doing that, and thus they were partnered in doing that – both the one who actually did the wrongdoing and the others who remained silent and withheld from forbidding the wrongdoing despite having the ability to do so.

وذلك يدل على تهاونهم بأمر الله، وأن معصيته خفيفة عليهم، فلو كان لديهم تعظيم لربهم لغاروا لمحارمه، ولغضبوا لغضبه، وإنما كان السكوت عن المنكر -مع القدرة- موجبا للعقوبة، لما فيه من المفاسد العظيمة: ـ

This indicates their indifference towards Allah’s commandments and that disobeying Allah was something that they took lightly. For if they had a sense of the greatness of their Lord, they would have been protective of His forbidden limits and they would have been angered by what angers Him. But remaining silent about wrongdoing – despite having the ability – necessitates punishment due to what it entails of serious negative consequences: Continue reading

Why Speaking about Allah without Knowledge is more serious than Shrik: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Allah says in surah al-A’raaf:

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّـهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed -, and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” [7:33]

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen mentioned the following point of benefit during part of his discussion of this ayah in his primer on the sciences of tafsir:

مسألة : وهل هذه الآية من باب الترقي ، أو من باب ذكر الأعلى فالأعلى ؟ ـ

An issue: Is this ayah one of those whose ordering ascends from least to greatest in its listing, or is it one of those that starts with the highest matter and then moves down to the next highest?

الجواب : الأول ، يعني : أن أشد شيء أن يقول على الله ما لا يعلم . ـ

Answer: It is the first category, meaning that the most grave thing is to speak about Allah without knowledge.

فإن قال قائل : كيف يكون هذه أشد من الشرك ؟ ـ

But then someone might ask: How is that a worse offense than al-shirk? Continue reading

Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah Maryam, Allah recounts part of the story of Ibrahim and his calling his father and his people to al-Tawheed while he was still a youth. Commenting on part of this story, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following:

قوله تعالى : قال أراغب أنت عن آلهتي ياإبراهيم لئن لم تنته لأرجمنك واهجرني مليا قال سلام عليك سأستغفر لك ربي إنه كان بي حفيا

Allah’s statement:

قَالَ أَرَ‌اغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ آلِهَتِي يَا إِبْرَ‌اهِيمُ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لَأَرْ‌جُمَنَّكَ ۖ وَاهْجُرْ‌نِي مَلِيًّا * قَالَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكَ ۖ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ‌ لَكَ رَ‌بِّي ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِي حَفِيًّا

[His father] said, “Have you no desire for my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist, I will surely stone you, so avoid me for a prolonged time.” * [Ibrahim] said, “Peace be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me. [19:46-47]

بين الله جل وعلا في هاتين الآيتين الكريمتين : أن إبراهيم لما نصح أباه النصيحة المذكورة مع ما فيها من الرفق واللين ، وإيضاح الحق والتحذير من عبادة ما لا يسمع ولا يبصر ، ومن عذاب الله تعالى وولاية الشيطان – خاطبه هذا الخطاب العنيف ، وسماه باسمه ولم يقل له ” يا بني ” في مقابلة قوله له ” يا أبت ” وأنكر عليه أنه راغب عن عبادة الأوثان ، أي : معرض عنها لا يريدها ; لأنه لا يعبد إلا الله وحده جل وعلا ، وهدده بأنه إن لم ينته عما يقوله له ليرجمنه ) قيل بالحجارة وقيل باللسان شتما ( والأول أظهر ، ثم أمره بهجره مليا أي : زمانا طويلا . ـ

In these two noble ayaat Allah clarified that when Ibrahim advised his father with the aforementioned sincere advice [19:42-45] along with what it contained of gentleness and softness, as well as making the truth clear and warning against the worship of those things which can neither hear nor see, and against the punishment of Allah and the alliance of the shaytaan – then his father addressed him with a forceful address and called him by his name rather than saying “O my dear son” to him in response to Ibrahim’s saying “O my dear father” to him, and he rebuked him for his being averse to the worship of idols – meaning, turning away from them and not desiring them since Ibrahim did not worship anything except Allah alone. And his father threatened him that if he did not desist from what he was saying, then he would certainly assault him – it is said with stoning and it is said with abusive speech, and the first opinion is what is apparent. Then his father ordered him to leave him malee’an – meaning a long period of time.

ثم بين أن إبراهيم قابل أيضا جوابه العنيف بغاية الرفق واللين في قوله : قال سلام عليك سأستغفر لك ربي الآية [ 19 \ 47 ] ، وخطاب إبراهيم لأبيه الجاهل بقوله : سلام عليك قد بين جل وعلا أنه خطاب عباده المؤمنين للجهال إذا خاطبوهم ، كما قال تعالى : وعباد الرحمن الذين يمشون على الأرض هونا وإذا خاطبهم الجاهلون قالوا سلاما [ 25 \ 63 ] ، وقال تعالى : وإذا سمعوا اللغو أعرضوا عنه وقالوا لنا أعمالنا ولكم أعمالكم سلام عليكم لا نبتغي الجاهلين [ 28 \ 55 ] ، ـ

Then Allah also clarified that Ibrahim responded to his father’s forceful answer with the utmost of gentleness and softness in his own statement:

قَالَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكَ ۖ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ‌ لَكَ رَ‌بِّي ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِي حَفِيًّا

[Ibrahim] said, “Peace be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me. [19:47]

And Ibrahim responded to his ignorant father with his own statement of, “peace be upon you” – Allah has clarified that that is the speech of the his believing slaves to the ignorant ones when the address them, just as He said: Continue reading

Exerting Oneself and Galvanizing Others – the Best of Conditions: Imam al-Sa’di

In surah al-Nisaa’, Allah commands the Prophet – and by extension his ummah – with the words:

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفْسَكَ ۚ وَحَرِّ‌ضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلًا

So fight in the Cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And galvanize the believers; perhaps Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. And Allah is stronger in might and sterner in punishment [4:84]

Commenting on this ayah in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

هذه الحالة أفضل أحوال العبد، أن يجتهد في نفسه على امتثال أمر الله من الجهاد وغيره، ويحرض غيره عليه، وقد يعدم في العبد الأمران أو أحدهما فلهذا قال لرسوله: { فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفْسَكَ } أي: ليس لك قدرة على غير نفسك، فلن تكلف بفعل غيرك. ـ

This condition is the best of conditions of the slave – that he exerts himself to comply with the command of Allah in the form of jihaad and in other forms than that, and he also incites others to do the same. But if perhaps the slave is found wanting in one of these areas or both of them, then for this reason Allah said to His messenger, “So fight in the Cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself” – meaning, you do not have power over anyone other than your own self, so you will never be charged with the actions of anyone else. Continue reading

Two of the Wisdoms for Revealing the Qur’an to the Prophet: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote in his tafsir of surah al-Nahl:

قوله تعالى : وأنزلنا إليك الذكر لتبين للناس ما نزل إليهم ولعلهم يتفكرون ، المراد بالذكر في هذه الآية : القرآن ; كقوله : إنا نحن نزلنا الذكر وإنا له لحافظون [ 15 \ 9 ] . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ‌ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ

And We revealed to you (O Muhammad) the dhikr that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. [16:44]

The intended meaning of al-dhikr in this ayah is the Qur’an, just as in His statement:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ‌ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian. [9:15]

وقد ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية حكمتين من حكم إنزال القرآن على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ـ

And in this ayah Allah mentioned two wisdoms from among the wisdoms of revealing the Qur’an to His prophet (ﷺ): Continue reading

Two things for which there are no concessions

Following the great victory for the Muslims at the Battle of al-Qaadisiyyah, Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab wrote a letter to his commander Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas wherein he said:

أما بعد فإن الله جل وعلا أنزل في كل شيء رخصة في بعد الحالات إلا في أمريم : العدل في السيرة والذكر. فأما الذكر فلا رخصة فيه في حال ، ولم يرض منه إلا كثير . وأما العدل فلا رخصة فيه في قريب ولا بعيد ، ولا في شدة ولا في رجاء. والعدل – وإن رئي لينًا – فهو أقوى وأطفأ للجور ، وأقمع للباطل من الجور

“To proceed: Verily Allah has provided concessions for everything in certain circumstances, except for two things: Justice and Dhikr. As for dhikr (remembrance of Allah), there is no concession under any circumstances and Allah is not pleased with anything except a great deal of it. And as for justice; there is no concession in it, neither at times of hardship nor ease. And justice – even if it appears soft – it is stronger than injustice and is more able to suppress falsehood than injustice.”

[Taareekh al-Tabari 4/410]

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Everything has two ends and a middle

Referring issues back to their experts – Imam al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Nisaa’:

وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ‌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَ‌دُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّ‌سُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ‌ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَ‌حْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, in order that the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And were it not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed Shaytaan, except for a few. [4:83]

Commenting on this in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

هذا تأديب من الله لعباده عن فعلهم هذا غير اللائق. وأنه ينبغي لهم إذا جاءهم أمر من الأمور المهمة والمصالح العامة ما يتعلق بالأمن وسرور المؤمنين، أو بالخوف الذي فيه مصيبة عليهم أن يتثبتوا ولا يستعجلوا بإشاعة ذلك الخبر، بل يردونه إلى الرسول وإلى أولي الأمر منهم، أهلِ الرأي: والعلم والنصح والعقل والرزانة، الذين يعرفون الأمور ويعرفون المصالح وضدها. ـ

This is a chastisement from Allah to His slaves for their committing an act which was inappropriate.[1] And when an issue comes to them from among the issues of importance and public well-being related to (public) safety and the secrets of the believers or concerning fear of a crisis for them, in order that they may be fortified and not take part in spreading that news it is befitting for them that they should refer it back to the Messenger and to those in authority among them – the experts: those of ‘ilm, sincerity, intelligence and poise, those who know the issues and know the pros and cons. Continue reading