Some Background on the Field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

In the introduction to his explanation of Manthoomah al-Zamzami – an introduction to the Qur’anic sciences in poem form -, sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr included the following remarks which include important background information regarding the field of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an:

التأليف في علوم القرآن يندر أن تجد متنا يناسب شرحه في دورة مثلا كما يوجد في العلوم الأخرى، العلوم الأخرى ألف فيها للمبتدئين، كتب كثيرة للمبتدئين؛ في الفقه، في العقائد، في الحديث، في كذا..، كتب كثيرة تناسب المبتدئين، كتب ألفت للمتوسطين، كتب ألفت للمنتهين. ـ

When it comes to the field of the Qur’anic sciences it is rare to find a primer suitable to be explained in a conference setting like the primers that you can find for other fields. In other sciences there are works that have been written for the beginning level, many books suitable for beginners. This is the case in fiqh, in ‘aqeedah, in hadeeth, and so on. There are plenty of books suitable for beginners, books written for intermediate students, and books written for advanced students.

تعال يا أخي إلى علوم القرآن، ما الذي يناسب المبتدئين من هذه العلوم؟ نجد في الدورات عناية بمقدمة شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية مقدمة التفسير ، شيخ الإسلام رحمه الله إمام من أئمة المسلمين، يكفي أن هذا الكتاب لشيخ الإسلام، لكن هل هو على طريقة المتون التي تعنى بالحدود والأمثلة والتعاريف وضبط الفن وضبط أنواع الفن كالعلوم الأخرى؟ يعني: هل نجد متنا في علوم القرآن مثل ما نجد النخبة مثلا ، أو الكتب التي ألفت للتدرج في تلقي العقيدة الصحيحة؟ ما نجد، يعني على سبيل الاستقلال للعلماء الذين يؤلفون على الجادة لطلاب العلم ما تجد إلا ما ندر. ـ

Let’s look, my brother, at the Qur’anic sciences – what would be a suitable work in this field for the beginning student? We find conferences generally giving attention to the Muqaddimah al-Tafsir of Sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, the sheikh of Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) and one of the leading figures of the Muslims. It is enough to know that this book was written by this Sheikh al-Islam, but is this work written in the typical mold of a primer that focuses on delimiting the subject, providing examples, giving definitions, precisely defining the field and the various sub-fields within it as we find in the primers of other sciences? In other words, do we find source texts for the Qur’anic sciences like al-Nukhbah al-Fikr, for example or like the books written to help the student gradually progress in acquiring the correct ‘aqeedah? We do not find these, meaning not as their own independent works written by the scholars as part of a progression of knowledge for students of knowledge. Except for the rare exception, we do not find such works. Continue reading

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How the Sahabah Memorized the Qur’an: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr received and responded to the following question:

يقول: هل تطبيق طريقة الصَّحابة -رضوان الله عليهم- في حفظ القرآن بأن نحفظ عشر آيات ولا نتجاوزها إلا بعد فهمها ومعرفة تفسيرها جائزٌ لنا؟ وما رأيُكُم فيمن يقول إنَّ هذا بدعة؟ ـ

Question: Is it really possible for us to put the Sahabah’s method of Qur’an memorization into practice – that we would memorize ten ayaat and not go beyond that until we had understood them and come to know their explanation? And what is your opinion about somebody who says that this is an innovation?

إذا كان هذا بدعة فما السُّنَّة؟! إذا كان صنيع الصَّحابة بدعة فمن يقوم بالسُّنَّة بعدهم؟ على كلِّ حال هذه وسائل للتَّحصيل كلٌّ يفعل ما يُناسبُهُ وكل ما كان العمل أقرب إلى عمل الصَّحابة وفهم الصَّحابة كان إلى الصَّواب أقرب وهذه طريقة، طريقة الصَّحابة

Response: If that is an innovation then what is the sunnah?! If the practice of the Sahabah is an innovation then who was it that established and enacted the sunnah after them? In any case, every person should use whichever methods suit him to achieve his objective, but the closer his method is to practice and understanding of the Sahabah and the closer it is to being correct, and this method was the method of the Sahabah.

لو أنَّ شخصاً ممَّن لديه الحافظة القويَّة وقال عشر آيات أحفظُها في خمس دقائق فماذا أفعل في بقيَّة الوقت؟ نقول: أمامك عمل في بقيَّة الوقت هي ليست مُجرَّد حفظ إنَّما هو فهم ومُراجعة لأقوال أهل العلم وتعلُّم هذه الآيات العشر من جميع الوُجُوه والعمل بهذه الآيات العشر، لا شك أنَّ من يعمل هذا في كل يوم يحفظ عشر آيات ويراجع عليها التَّفاسير ويعمل بمُقتضاها فيها مشغلة وفيها ما يقطعُ الوقت،

A person with a good memory might say, “I can memorize ten ayaat in five minutes, so then what should I do with the rest of my time?” We would respond by saying: You have work awaiting you in the rest of your time. It is not just memorization that you should focus on; rather there is understanding it, examining the statements of the scholars, learning all aspects of these ten ayaat, and acting in accordance with these ten ayaat. If a person were to do this every day, to memorize ten ayaat, look through their various explanations, and put them into practice, there is no doubt that he would remain busy and perhaps even run out of time. Continue reading

How the Prophet Explained the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following short discussion on how the Prophet (ﷺ) used to explain the Qur’an:

تعلم معني القرآن العظيم ومعاني السنة النبوية للعمل بذلك في عبادة الله وطاعته، هو الغاية التي يسعى إليها كل مسلم! والعمل بهذه المعاني هو حاصل من كل مسلم بالفعل وبالقوة. ـ

Learning the meanings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to act in accordance with them in worship and obedience to Allah is the goal that every Muslim should work towards! Acting upon these meanings is what is required of every Muslim in his actions and efforts.

ولم يوكل الله بيان معاني القرآن العظيم إلا للرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم؛ قال تعالى: ({وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ } [النحل: 44]. فالرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم مامات إلا وقد بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة، ومن ذلك بيان معاني القرآن الكريم؛ فالرسول فسر القرآن العظيم ، وبين معانيه؛ وذلك على وجوه ؛ ـ

Allah did not entrust anyone except for the Messenger (ﷺ) with explaining the meanings of the Qur’an. He said:

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

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

And the Messenger (ﷺ) did not pass away until after he had conveyed the message and fulfilled his duty, and one part of that duty was clarifying the meanings of the Qur’an.

So the Messenger explained the Qur’an and clarified its meanings, and this was done in a number of ways: Continue reading

Contemplating the Qur’an: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdillah bin Baaz, the former mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, once mentioned the following words on the subject of contemplating the Qur’an:

 التدبر مشروع كما بينه الله عز وجل، وهو المقصود، المقصود من التلاوة التدبر والتعقل والفهم ثم العمل، قال عز وجل: كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ فهو أنزل للتدبر قال تعالى: أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا فالمشروع للمؤمن عند التلاوة وهكذا المؤمنة التدبر والتعقل والتفهم، فمعناه تعقل الآية، يتدبرها يتعقلها ما هو المراد؟ يعني يتعقل ويتفهم ما هو المراد من قوله: وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ من قوله: حافظوا على الصلوات والصلاة الوسطى من قوله: فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ من قوله: وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ وغير ذلك  ـ

Contemplating the Qur’an is a legislated action as Allah has made clear, and it is what is actually desired. The objective of reciting the Qur’an is to contemplate, to engage with it and understand it, and then to act according to it. Allah said:

 كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ

A blessed Book which We have revealed to you that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. [38:29]

 So He revealed it for it to be contemplated. And He said:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts? [47:24]

So what is legislated for the believer when he is reciting the Qur’an – and this is true for both males and females alike – is to contemplate it, to engage with it, and to understand it. The meaning of this is to engage with the ayah, reflect on it and engage with it – what is the intended meaning? Meaning, engage with the text and understand what is the intended meaning of Allah’s statement:

وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ

and establish the prayer and pay the zakah

What is the intended meaning of His statement:

حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّـهِ قَانِتِينَ

guard the prayers, and especially the middle prayer, stand devoutly obedient before Allah [2:238]

What is the intended meaning of His statement:

فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ

So have taqwa of Allah as much as you are able [64:16]

And what is the intended meaning of His statement:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy. [24:56]

and so on.

يعني يتدبر المعنى ما هو المعنى، يتفهم حتى يعمل به، وحتى يوصي الناس به، فالمؤمن إذا تدبر يتحفظ ولو بالكتابة، يتحفظ ما ظهر له حتى يعمل به، حتى ينصح إخوانه بذلك إذا كان عنده علم وفهم، يعمل بذلك ويوصي إخوانه بذلك، وأهل بيته، هكذا ينبغي للمؤمن أن تكون عنده عناية إذا قرأ القرآن يتعقل ويتدبر حتى يستفيد، وحتى يعمل. جزاكم الله خيراً ـ

In other words, one should reflect on the meaning – what is the meaning? – and comprehend it such that he acts upon it and such that he encourages others to do so as well. For when the believer contemplates the Qur’an, he takes it to heart even if he has not memorized it by heart. He carefully attends to what he understood from it such that he acts upon it and such that he advises his brothers to do so as well if he has some knowledge and understanding. He acts according to what he learned and also encourages his brothers to do so, as well as the members of his household. This is what the believer ought to do, that when he is reciting the Qur’an he should give importance to engaging with what he is reading and contemplating it such that he can get something out of it and such that he can act according to it. May Allah reward you all with good.

[Taken from the sheikh’s website here.]

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

See also: Understanding the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: How to Contemplate the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim’s Model for Contemplating the Qur’an

See also: The Virtue of Memorizing the Qur’an: Sheikh Muqbil

See also: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Etiquette of Reciting and Listening to the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Reciting the Qur’an in English?: Sheikh bin Baaz

Regarding New Explanations of the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

One of the valuable works of sheikh Muhammad Bazmool is entitled “Misleading Phrases”, in which the sheikh clarifies a series of wordings which are either frequently misused, misunderstood, or simply incorrect. What follows is an excerpt from that work:

ومن هذه العبارات الموهمة: قول بعضهم: “القرآن العظيم له تفسير في كل زمان بما يناسبه”. ـ

And another one of these misleading phrases is what some people say, that “There is an appropriate explanation of the Qur’an for each era.”

إطلاق هذه الكلمة لا يجوز، فإن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم هو أعلم الخلق بكلام الله ومعانيه، وما مات إلا وقد فسر القرآن جميعه، وأخذ عنه هذا التفسير صحابته رضوان الله عليهم، وعنهم التابعون، فمن فسر القرآن بتفسير يخرج عن تفسير الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم وصحابته، خرج عن الصراط المستقيم في تفسير القرآن العظيم، وشاق الله ورسوله، (وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيراً)(النساء:115). ـ

Taken on its own, this statement is not acceptable. For the Messenger (ﷺ) was the most knowledgeable member of the creation regarding the speech of Allah and its meanings, and he did not die until after he had already explained the entire Qur’an. And his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) took this explanation from him, and the Taabi’oon took it from them. So whoever explains the Qur’an with an explanation which departs from the tafsir of the Messenger (ﷺ) and his Sahabah, then he has departed from the Straight Path in relation to the tafsir of the Qur’an, and he has opposed Allah and His messenger: Continue reading

Narration-based Tafsir before Opinion-based Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

In a lecture entitled, “How to Read the Books of the People of Knowledge”, sheikh Saaleh Aal al-Sheikh mentioned the following important points related to studying tafsir (explanation of the Qur’an):

وكتب التفسير كما هو معلوم منقسمة إلى مدرستين: مدرسة التفسير بالأثر. ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي، ومدرسة التفسير بالرأي أيضا لها عدة أقسام منها ما هو من ثوابت الرأي المحمود، يعني الاجتهاد والاستنباط، المقبول، الذي له أُسُسه، المقبولة شرعا، ومنها ما فسر القرآن برأي مجرد يعني بغير حجة، إما في الاعتقاد أو في غيره. ـ

As is well-known, the books of tafsir are divided into two schools:

  • The narration-based school of tafsir, and
  • The opinion-based school of tafsir

And the opinion-based school of tafsir also has a number of sub-categories. One of them is that of praise-worthy opinions, meaning the acceptable processes of reasoning and derivation based on the texts, whose basis according to the sharee’ah is that it is accepted. Another one of its categories is that which interprets the Qur’an by mere opinion alone, meaning without any evidence or proofs. This could be in terms of beliefs or in other areas.

فكتب التفسير إذًا على قسمين كتب التفسير بالأثر وكتب التفسير بالرأي، كتب التفسير بالأثر، نعني بها الكتب التي تمحظت في نقل الآثار، فيأتي في التفسير هذه فسرها ابن عباس كذا وهو قول ابن عباس ومجاهد وسعيد بن جبير مثلا، وابن مسعود وعلقمة إلى آخر ذلك، به قال فلان وفلان وفلان يعني نقل أقوال السلف في التفسير تسمى التفسير بالمأثور ـ

So then, the books of tafsir are divided into two categories: the books of narration-based tafsir and the books of opinion-based tafsir. And by the books of narration-based tafsir, I mean those books which focus on transmitting the statements of the early generations. So it would come in the tafsir as “ibn ‘Abbaas explained this to mean such-and-such” or “this was the position of ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr”, for example, or “of ibn Mas’ood and ‘Alqamah,” and so on. “This was what so-and-so and so-and-so said.” Meaning: transmitting the statements of the salaf in the field of tafsir, which is called “Narration-based Tafsir“. Continue reading

“The Best of You are Those Who Learn the Qur’an and Teach it”: Sheikh al-Albani

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami narrated from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ

The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.

[al-Bukhari and elsewhere.]

In his collection of authentic ahaadeeth, sheikh Muhammad Naasir al-Deen al-Albani made the following brief comments on this hadeeth:

وفي هذا الحديث : إشارة إلى تعلم القرآن , وأن خير المعلمين هو معلم القرآن , وأن خير ما تعلم المرء هو تعلم القرآن , فياليت طلاب العلم يعلمون ذلك فإن فيه النفع العظيم , وإنه مما عمت به البلوى في زماننا هذا أنك تجد كثيرا من الدعاة أو المبتدئين في طلب العلم يتصدر للدعوة والفتيا والإجابة على أسئلة الناس وهو لا يحسن قراءة الفاتحة بالمخارج الصحيحة لكل حرف فتراه ينطق السين صادا والطاء تاء والذال زايا والثاء سينا , ويقع في اللحن الجلي فضلا عن اللحن الخفي , والمفروض -بداهة – أن يحسن قراءة القرآن عن حفظه , لكي يحسن استخراج الآيات والإستدلال بها في مواعظه ودروسه ودعوته. ـ

This hadeeth contains direction to learn the Qur’an, and that the best of teachers is the teacher of the Qur’an, and also that the best thing a person can learn is learning the Qur’an. How I wish that the students of knowledge would know this, for this is a tremendous benefit. For there is a terrible condition that has become widespread in this age of ours that you find many of the du’aat and beginning students of knowledge who put themselves forward for da’wah, giving fataawaa and responding to people’s questions when they have not yet become proficient in reciting surah al-Fatihah with the correct pronunciation and articulation of each letter. So sometimes he might pronounce the letter seen as ṣaad, or ṭa as ta, or dhal as zay, or thaa as seen, and they commit gross errors in pronunciation, not to mention less obvious ones. But what is obligatory – obviously – is to become proficient in reciting the Qur’an from memory, such that one is proficient in articulating the ayaat and utilizing them in one’s admonitions, lessons, and da’wah. Continue reading

Learning the Qur’an – Both Wordings and Meanings: ibn Taymiyah

In part of a longer discussion about the qiraa’aat, sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah wrote:

فإن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تلقوا عنه ما أمره الله بتبليغه إليهم من القرآن لفظه ومعناه جميعا كما قال أبو عبد الرحمن السلمي – وهو الذي روى عن عثمان رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : ” { خيركم من تعلم القرآن وعلمه } ” كما رواه البخاري في صحيحه وكان يقرئ القرآن أربعين سنة . قال – حدثنا الذين كانوا يقرئوننا عثمان بن عفان وعبد الله بن مسعود وغيرهما : أنهم كانوا إذا تعلموا من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عشر آيات لم يجاوزوها حتى [ ص: 403 ] يتعلموا ما فيها من العلم والعمل . قالوا : فتعلمنا القرآن والعلم والعمل جميعا .ـ

The Companions received the Qur’an – both its wordings and its meanings – from the Messenger (ﷺ) as Allah had commanded Him to convey it to them. This is just as Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami described it, and he was the one who relayed from ‘Uthman that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it“, as has been recorded by al-Bukhari in his Saheeh along with the comment that Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami had been a teacher of the Qur’an for forty years.

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami also said, “Those under whom we learned the Qur’an – ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood, and others – told us that whenever they had learned ten ayaat from the Prophet (ﷺ), they used to not move forward past that until they learned the knowledge which those ayaat contained and actions which they entailed. They said, ‘We learned the Qur’an along with knowledge and deeds all together.'” Continue reading

Gathering in the Houses of Allah to Recite and Study the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Abu Hurayrah narrates that Allah’s Messenger once said, in part of a longer hadith, that:

وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ، وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ؛ إلَّا نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ السَّكِينَةُ، وَغَشِيَتْهُمْ الرَّحْمَةُ، وَ حَفَّتهُمُ المَلاَئِكَة، وَذَكَرَهُمْ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ

No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah descends upon them, and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them in the midst of those who are with Him.

[Sahih Muslim #2699]

In his explanation of Imam al-Nawawi’s forty ahaadeeth, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan provides the following commentary on this part of the hadith:

هذا فيه أن طلب العلم ينبغي أن يكون في المساجد ؛ لأنها بيوت الله ، ومأوى الملائكة ، وفيها السكينة والرحمة ، فينبغي أن يكون طلب العلم في المساجد ، لا في المخيمات ولا في الاستراحات – ولا مانع أن يكون هناك مجلس علمي ، أو هناك مدرسة يدرس فيها العلم ، لكن المسجد أفضل ، مهما أمكن أن تكون الدراسة في المسجد فذلك أفضل ، وإذا كان هناك مجلس علمي منضبط فلا بأس ، لكنه أقل أفضلية من المسجد ، (وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ ) يعني : المساجد (يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ) يقرؤونه ويتعلمون قراءته على وجه الصحيح ويحفظونه ؛ لأنه هو أصل العلم ، (وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ) يفهمون معانيه ، وليس المقصود الحفظ فقط وأنك تحفظ القرآن وتتقنه بالقراءات العشر ، لا ، هذا وسيلة وليس هو المقصود ، والمطلوب أنك تتفهم وتفقه معانيه وتعمل به : أولا : تقرؤه  ثانيا : تفهمه   ثالثا : تعمل به . والعمل بالقرآن هو المطلوب ، ولكن حفظه وتجويده وتفهم معانيه وتفسيره على الوجه الصحيح ، هذه وسائل العمل بالقرآن الكريم . ـ

This hadith includes the fact that seeking knowledge ought to take place in the masaajid, for they are the houses of Allah and the place which the angels frequent, and they contain tranquility and mercy. So seeking knowledge ought to be done in the masaajid, not in tents or hotels [as is sometimes done for conferences]. But there is nothing to prevent there being schools of other gathering places for knowledge in which religious knowledge is studied; however the masjid is better; if it is possible to have the lessons in the masjid then that is better. If there is some place established for systematic religious study, then this is not a problem, however this is less virtuous than if it were to take place in the masjid. Continue reading

Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

In part of his primer of the science of Qur’anic interpretation (al-Tafsir), sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen dedicated one chapter to discussing suspected contradictions in the Qur’an:

موهم التعارض في القرآن
Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an

التعارض في القرآن أن تتقابل آيتان، بحيث يمنع مدلول إحداهما مدلول الأخرى، مثل أن تكون إحداهما مثبته لشئ والأخرى نافية فيه.ـ

A contradiction in the Qur’an would be that two verses are placed side by side with what one indicates being opposed by what the other indicates. For example, one of them would affirm something while the other would negate it.

ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما خبري، لأنه يلزم كون إحداهما كذبا، وهو مستحيل في أخبار الله تعالى، قال الله تعالى: (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً) (النساء: الآية 87) (وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلاً) (النساء: الآية 122)) ولا يمكن أن يقع التعارض بين آيتين مدلولهما حكمي؛ لأن الأخيرة منهما ناسخة للأولى قال الله تعالى (مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا) (البقرة: الآية 106) وإذا ثبت النسخ كان حكم الأولى غير قائم ولا معارض للأخيرة. ـ

But it is not possible for there to be any contradiction between the information that two different verses present because this would entail that one of the two verses contains false information, which is impossible when it comes to the information that Allah has provided. Allah has said:

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً

And who is more truthful in statement than Allah? [4:87]

وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ قِيلًا

And who is more truthful in speech than Allah? [4:122]

Nor is it possible for there to be any contradiction between the rulings that two different verses present because the latter of the two would abrogate the earlier. Allah said: Continue reading