“If We had decreed upon them, ‘kill yourselves’…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Nisaa’, Allah addresses the believers by saying:

وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُ‌جُوا مِن دِيَارِ‌كُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُوا مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْرً‌ا لَّهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا * وَإِذًا لَّآتَيْنَاهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّا أَجْرً‌ا عَظِيمًا * وَلَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ صِرَ‌اطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا

And if We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been good for them and a firm position. * And then We would have given them a great reward from Us. * And We would have guided them to a Straight Path. [4:66-68]

In his famous book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following commentary on these ayaat:

يخبر تعالى أنه لو كتب على عباده الأوامر الشاقة على النفوس من قتل النفوس والخروج من الديار لم يفعله إلا القليل منهم والنادر، فليحمدوا ربهم وليشكروه على تيسير ما أمرهم به من الأوامر التي تسهل على كل أحد، ولا يشق فعلها . ـ

Allah informs them that had He decreed commands for His slaves which were difficult for their souls, such as killing themselves or leaving their homes, then none of them would not have done that except for a few rare individuals. So they should praise their Lord and be grateful to Him for making those things which He has commanded them to do easy for every single individual to carry out and which do not bring about difficulty in their performance.

وفي هذا إشارة إلى أنه ينبغي أن يلحظ العبد ضد ما هو فيه من المكروهات، لتخف عليه العبادات، ويزداد حمدًا وشكرًا لربه. ـ

This indicates that the slave should think about the bad circumstances that he could be in, for this would lighten the acts of worship for him and increase him in praise and gratitude to his Lord. Continue reading

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Sabr is only from Allah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah says towards the end of surah al-Nahl:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ ۚ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُ‌ونَ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. [16:127]

Briefly commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

قوله تعالى : واصبر وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] . ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – مأمور بالصبر ، وأنه لا يمتثل ذلك الأمر بالصبر إلا بإعانة الله وتوفيقه ; لقوله : وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] ،  ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah

In this noble ayah Allah mentioned that the Prophet (ﷺ) was commanded to have al-sabr [steadfast patience], and that he could not comply with the command to exercise sabr without Allah’s aid and granting of success. This is according to His statement: Continue reading

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 Story of Ayyub: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di devoted a sizable portion to compiling the various ayaat around different prophets into summarized narratives, as well as mentioning select benefits derived from these ayaat. What follows in his brief treatment of the story of the prophet Ayyub (Job):

قصة أيوب عليه الصلاة السلام

The Story of Ayyub (peace and blessing be upon him)

قصة أيوب عليه الصلاة السلام كان أيوب من أنبياء بني إسرائيل، ومن الأصفياء الكرام، وقد ذكره الله في كتابه، وأثنى عليه بالخصال الحميدة عموما، وبالصبر على البلاء خصوصا؛ فإن الله تعالى ابتلاه بولده وأهله وماله، ثم بجسده، فأصابه من البلاء ما لم يصب أحدا من الخلق، فصبر لأمر الله ولم يزل منيبا لله. ـ

The Story of Ayyub (peace and blessing be upon him): Ayyub was one of the prophets of Banu Israa’eel, and he was one of their most exceptional and honorable ones. Allah mentioned him in His Book and commended him for his praiseworthy characteristics in general, and for his steadfast patience in the face of trials in particular. For Allah subjected him to trials dealing with his children and his family and his wealth, and then with his own body. So Allah afflicted him with trials the likes of which none amongst the creation had previously been afflicted with. But he exercised steadfast patience upon the command of Allah and he did not cease turning back to Allah.

ولما تطاول به المرض العظيم، ونسيه الصاحب والحميم نادى ربه: {أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ} [الأنبياء: 83] فقيل له: {ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ} [ص: 42] فركض، فنبعت بركضته عين ماء بارد، فقيل له: اشرب منها واغتسل، ففعل ذلك، فأذهب الله ما في باطنه وظاهره من البلاء، ثم أعاد الله له أهله وماله، وأعطاه من النعم والخيرات شيئا كثيرا، وصار بهذا الصبر قدوة للصابرين، وسلوة للمبتلين، وعبرة للمعتبرين . ـ

And when his grave illness continued on at length and his companions and close friends forgot him, he called out to his Lord:

 أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ‌ وَأَنتَ أَرْ‌حَمُ الرَّ‌احِمِينَ

Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful ones! [21:83]

So it was said to him: Continue reading

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way: Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was taken from a collection of the Friday sermons written and delivered by sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في استقبال رمضان بما يُناسبه

Khutbah on Welcoming Ramadan in the Proper Way

الحمد لله الذي جعل مواسم الخيرات نُزُلاً لعباده الأبرار ـ وهيّأ لهم فيها من أصناف نعمه وفُنون كرمه كل خير غزير مدرار ، وجعلها تتكرّر كل عام ليوالي على عباده الفضل ويحُطَّ عنهم الذنوب والأوزار . ـ

All praise is due to Allah, the One who made the seasons of goodness as way-stations for His righteous slaves, and who amply prepared various forms of blessings, hospitality and every sort of good for them therein. He made these seasons such that they are repeated every year, so that bounty might be bestowed upon His slaves and they might be protected from sins and the burdens thereof.

أحمده أن جعل الليل والنهار خلفة لمن أراد التيقّظ والشكر والادّكار ، وأشكره أن جعل شهر رمضان أفضل المواسم الكريمة التي تضاعف فيها الأعمال وتربح بضائع التجار . ـ

I praise Him for making the the night and day in succession for whoever wants to be vigilant, grateful and mindful. And I thank Him for making the month of Ramadan the most virtuous of the noble seasons in which deeds are multiplied and workers make a profit on their goods.

وأشهد أن لا إله الله وحده لا شريك له العزيز الغفار . وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله النبي المختار . اللهم صل عل محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه البررة الأطهار . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partners; the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger; the chosen prophet. O Allah, bestow peace and blessings upon Muhammad, and upon his family and righteous purified companions.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتقوا الله تعالى : { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ } [الحشر 18-19] . ـ

To proceed: O People, Exercise taqwa of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ‌ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌ‌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ * وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّـهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and have taqwa of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. * And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient. [59:18-19]

واعلموا أنه قد أظلّكم شهر عظيم ، وموسم مبارك كريم ، جعل الله صيامه أحد أركان الاسلام ، وندب إلى قيامه فمن أكملها إيماناً واحتساباً تمّ له دينه واستقم . ـ

Know that a great month and a blessed and noble season is almost upon you! Allah made its fasting one of the pillars of Islam and made its night prayers an encouraged action. So whoever perfects them with eemaan and the expectation of reward, then he has completed his deen and made it upright. Continue reading

The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

Sheikh Falaah ibn Ismaa’eel al-Mundakar, one of the Salafi shuyookh of Kuwait and a professor of ‘Aqeedah at Kuwait University, authored a book entitled “The Essential Beliefs Regarding Love: the Love of Allah – a Theological Study”. He devoted one of its chapters to the Qur’an ayaat regarding loving Allah. In the first section of that chapter, he discussed some of the ayaat specifically dealing with love and the characteristics of the slaves who truly love Allah. What follows in the second section of that chapter, which deals with the qualities that Allah loves:

هذا وقد جاءت آيات كثيرة في كتاب الله تبين الصفات والأعمال التي يحبها الله تعالى ، وهي ترشد أهل الايمان إلى التحلي بها ، والتزامها في حياتهم لينالوا محبة الله تعالى التي هي أعظم غاية يسعى العبد في الحصول عليها في حياته في الدنيا . ـ

There are a number of ayaat in the Qur’an which explain the attributes and actions which Allah loves, and which guide the people of eemaan to adorn themselves with these things and to hold fast to them throughout their lives so that they may attain Allah’s love, which is the greatest goal which a slave can strive to attain in the life of this world.

فقد أخبر سبحانه وتعالى أنه يحب المحسنين فقال تعالى : {وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ} [آل عمران 134] وقال تعالى : {وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ} [البقرة 195] ففي هاتين الآيتين دعوة للصادقين المؤمنين أن يحسنوا إلى عباد الله إحساناً مادياً من مدّ يد المساعدة والعون ، وإحساناً معنويّاً في الأخلاق والمعاملات . ـ

○ And Allah has informed us that He loves the muhsinoon (doers of good), for He said:

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

… and those who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the muhsinoon [3:134]

And He said:

وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good [2:195]

So these two ayaat contain a call to the sincere believer for him to do good to the slaves of Allah in a literal sense by helping and assisting them, and in a figurative sense in terms of good manners and  conduct towards them.

كما أخبر سبحانه وتعالى في آيات كثيرة ، أنه يحب المتقين وقد أمر الناس بالتقوى وأوصاهم بها في آيات أخرى كثيرة من كتابه العزيز فقال تعالى : {بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ } [آل عمران 76]  ؛ وذلك لأن التقوى هي جماع كل خير ؛ فهي وسيلة لكل خير عاجل وآجل ، وهي حصن حصين وحرز منيع من كل شر وضرر ؛ ولذلك فقد أوصى الله تبارك وتعالى بها الأولين والآخرين بقوله : {وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ} [النساء 131] . ـ

○ Likewise, Allah has informed us in many ayaat that He loves the muttaqoon and He has commanded mankind to have taqwa and has enjoined it upon them in many other ayaat in His Mighty Book. For He said: Continue reading

Those who wish to hasten to affairs before their proper times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Nisaa’:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوا أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً ۚ وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ ۗ قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا

Have you not seen those who were told, “Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah”? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, “Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time.” Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who exercises taqwa. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed].” [4:77]

In part of his commentary on this ayah in his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

كان المسلمون -إذ كانوا بمكة- مأمورين بالصلاة والزكاة أي: مواساة الفقراء، لا الزكاة المعروفة ذات النصب والشروط، فإنها لم تفرض إلا بالمدينة، ولم يؤمروا بجهاد الأعداء لعدة فوائد:ـ

When the Muslims were still in Mecca, they were commanded to perform the salaah and the zakah – meaning charity to the poor, not the commonly understand meaning of zakah with its specific allocations and conditions, for that was not obligated until they were in al-Madinah – and they were not commanded to perform jihaad against enemies for a number of beneficial reasons:

 منها: أن من حكمة الباري تعالى أن يشرع لعباده الشرائع على وجه لا يشق عليهم؛ ويبدأ بالأهم فالأهم، والأسهل فالأسهل. ـ

Among these reasons was the it was from the wisdom of the Originator that He legislated the divinely legislated laws for His slaves in a manner that would not cause undue harm to them, and He began with the most important thing and then the next most important thing, and with the easiest thing and then the next easiest. Continue reading

The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In his tafsir of surah al-Qasas, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following explanation regarding the story of Qarun (28:76-82):

ـ [‏76ـ82‏]‏ ‏{‏ إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى فَبَغَى عَلَيْهِمْ‏ }‏ إلى آخر القصة . يخبر تعالى عن حالة قارون وما ‏[‏فعل‏}‏ وفُعِلَ به ونُصِحَ ووُعِظَ، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى‏}‏ أي‏:‏ من بني إسرائيل، الذين فُضِّلوا على العالمين، وفاقوهم في زمانهم، وامتن اللّه عليهم بما امتن به، فكانت حالهم مناسبة للاستقامة، ولكن قارون هذا، بغى على قومه وطغى، بما أوتيه من الأموال العظيمة المطغية ‏{‏وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ كنوز الأموال شيئا كثيرا، ‏{‏مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ ‏[‏أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ‏}‏ والعصبة‏}‏، من العشرة إلى التسعة إلى السبعة، ونحو ذلك‏.‏ أي‏:‏ حتى أن مفاتح خزائن أمواله لتثقل الجماعة القوية عن حملها، هذه المفاتيح، فما ظنك بالخزائن‏؟‏ ‏{‏إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ‏}‏ ناصحين له محذرين له عن الطغيان‏:‏ ‏{‏لَا تَفْرَحْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا تفرح بهذه الدنيا العظيمة، وتفتخر بها، وتلهيك عن الآخرة، فإن اللّه لا يحب الفرحين بها، المنكبين على محبتها‏.‏ ـ

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى فَبَغَى عَلَيْهِمْ‏

Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses, but he tyrannized them… (28:76)

until the end of the story [28:82]. Allah informs us of the condition of Qarun, what he did, what was done to him, and what he was advised and admonished with. So He said:

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى‏

Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses (28:76)

– meaning: from Banu Israa’eel, those who had been favored over all creation, and they surpassed others in their time, and Allah blessed with what He blessed them with. So it was befitting that their condition would be uprightness, however this Qarun tyrannized his people and wronged them with what he had been given of great tyrannical wealth.

وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ

And We gave him of treasures… (28:76)

– i.e.: treasures meaning a great amount of wealth

مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ

…whose keys would burden a band of strong men (28:76)

and al-‘usbah (a band) is anywhere from ten to nine to seven [of something in number], or the likes of that. Meaning: It was to the extent that the keys to the treasures to the wealth weighed heavily on the group of strong men carrying them. These were (only) the keys, so then what do you think about the treasures?!

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ

thereupon his people said to him… (28:76)

offering him sincere advice and warning him of this transgression

لَا تَفْرَ‌حْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِ‌حِينَ

…”Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.” (28:76)

– meaning: do not revel in this magnificent worldly life or boast over it or let it distract you from the hereafter, for indeed Allah does not love those who exult in it nor those who are devoted to its love. Continue reading

Why Allah began listing the prophets with Nuh: Tafsir al-Baghawi

Allah said in surah al-Nisaa’:

إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَىٰ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُ‌ونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورً‌ا

Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Nuh and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Ibrahim, Ismaa’eel, Ishaaq, Ya’qub, al-Asbaat, ‘Eesaa, Ayyub, Yunus, Haaroon, and Sulaiman, and to Dawud We gave the Zabur. [4:163]

In part of his commentary on this ayah, Imam al-Baghawi made the following point:

وأنزل : ( إنا أوحينا إليك كما أوحينا إلى نوح والنبيين من بعده ) فذكر عدة من الرسل الذين أوحى إليهم ، وبدأ بذكر نوح عليه السلام لأنه كان أبا البشر مثل آدم عليه السلام ، قال الله تعالى : ” وجعلنا ذريته هم الباقين ” ( الصافات – 77 ) ولأنه أول نبي من أنبياء الشريعة ، وأول نذير على الشرك ، وأول من عذبت أمته لردهم دعوته ، وأهلك أهل الأرض بدعائه وكان أطول الأنبياء [ ص: 311 ] عمرا وجعلت معجزته في نفسه ، لأنه عمر ألف سنة فلم تسقط له سن ولم تشب له شعرة ولم تنتقص له قوة ، ولم يصبر نبي على أذى قومه ما صبر هو على طول عمره . ـ

Allah revealed:

إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ

Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Nuh and the prophets after him… [4:163]

So He mentioned a number of the messenger to whom He gave divine revelation and He began by mentioning Nuh (‘alaih al-salaam) because he was a father to mankind, similar to Adam (‘alaih al-salaam). Allah said [regarding Nuh]: Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di

In the 103rd chapter of the Qur’an, Allah says:

وَالْعَصْرِ‌ * إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ‌ * إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

By time, * Indeed, mankind is in loss, * Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [103:1-3]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following commentary on this surah in his well-known book of tafsir:

أقسم تعالى بالعصر، الذي هو الليل والنهار، محل أفعال العباد وأعمالهم . ـ

Allah swears by al-‘Asr [time], which is the night and the day; the location of the slaves’ actions and deeds.

أن كل إنسان خاسر، والخاسر ضد الرابح. والخسار مراتب متعددة متفاوتة: قد يكون خسارًا مطلقًا، كحال من خسر الدنيا والآخرة، وفاته النعيم، واستحق الجحيم ، وقد يكون خاسرًا من بعض الوجوه دون بعض .  ولهذا عمم الله الخسار لكل إنسان، إلا من اتصف بأربع صفات: ـ

He swears that every person is in a state of loss, and being in a state of loss is the opposite of being successful. Those in a state of loss fall into many different levels of loss. It could be that one is in a state of absolute loss, such as the condition of the one who loses both this worldly life and the hereafter and who misses out on the delight of paradise and who deserves the hell-fire. Or, it could be that one is in a state of loss in some ways but not in others.

And so, for this reason, Allah extended the label of being in a state of loss to every single person, except for those who are characterized by these four attributes: Continue reading