Did Fir’awn claim divinity, or worship other gods?: al-Shawkaani, al-Qurtubi, & al-Baghawi

In surah al-A’raaf, Allah says:

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَآلِهَتَكَ ۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ

The chiefs of Fir’awn’s people said: “Will you leave Moosaa and his people to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon you and your gods?” He said: “We will kill their sons, and let live their women, and we have indeed irresistible power over them.” [7:127]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani briefly mentioned a question that arises from a careful reading of this ayah in his tafsir where he wrote:

واختلف المفسرون في معنى وآلهتك لكون فرعون كان يدعي الربوبية كما في قوله: ما علمت لكم من إله غيري، وقوله: أنا ربكم فقيل: معنى وآلهتك: وطاعتك، وقيل: معناه: وعبادتك، ويؤيده قراءة علي وابن عباس، والضحاك “وإلهتك” وفي حرف أبي “أتذر موسى وقومه ليفسدوا في الأرض وقد تركوك أن يعبدوك” وقيل: إنه كان يعبد بقرة، وقيل: كان يعبد النجوم، وقيل: كان له أصنام يعبدها قومه تقربا إليه فنسبت إليه ولهذا قال: أنا ربكم الأعلى. قاله الزجاج، وقيل: كان يعبد الشمس . ـ

The scholars of tafsir have differed regarding the meaning of “your gods” due to the fact that Fir’awn used to claim lordship for himself, such as in his statement:

مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرِي

I know of no other god for you besides me [28:38]

as well as his saying:

أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ

I am your lord… [79:24]

Some said the meaning of “aalihatak” [lit. “your gods”] is: obedience to you. And others said its meaning is: worship of you. This understanding is supported by a variant recitation (qiraa’ah) transmitted from ‘Ali, ibn ‘Abbaas and al-Dhahhaak:


wa ilaahatak

… and your divinity …

as well as what comes in the variant dialect (harf) recitation of Ubay:

 أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَقَدْ تَرَكُوكَ أَنْ يَعْبُدُوكَ

… Will you leave Moosaa and his people to spread mischief in the land while they have abandoned you and worshiping you? … 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

A Clarification regarding the Questioning on the Day of Judgement: Imam al-Shinqitee

In his book dedicated to clarifying difficult passages of the Qur’an and removing doubts concerning them, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following in his section on surah al-A’araaf:

قال تعالى : < فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْ‌سِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ > الاية . ـ

Allah said:

فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْ‌سِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ

Then We will surely question those to whom [a message] was sent, and We will surely question the messengers. [7:6]

هذه الآية الكريمة تدل على أن الله يسأل جميع الناس يوم القيامة . ونظيرها قولة تعالى : < وَرَ‌بِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ * عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ > ، وقوله : < وَقِفُوهُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُم مَّسْئُولُونَ > ، وقوله : < وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ > . ـ

This noble ayah indicates that Allah will question all of mankind on Yawm al-Qiyaamah. And its parallel is Allah’s statement:

فَوَرَ‌بِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ * عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

So by your Lord, We will surely question them all * About what they used to do. [15:92-93]

And His statement:

وَقِفُوهُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُم مَّسْئُولُونَ

And stop them; indeed, they are to be questioned. [37:24]

And His statement:

وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ

And [mention] the Day He will call them and say, “What did you answer the messengers?” [28:65]

وقد جاءت في آيات أخر تدل على خلاف ذلك  ، كقوله : <  فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لَّا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذَنبِهِ إِنسٌ وَلَا جَانٌّ > ، وكقوله : < وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِ‌مُونَ > . ـ

And it has come in other ayaat that which indicates the contrary to that, such as His statement:

فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لَّا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذَنبِهِ إِنسٌ وَلَا جَانٌّ

Then on that Day none will be asked about his sin among men or jinn. [55:39]

And such as His statement:

وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِ‌مُونَ

But the criminals, about their sins, will not be asked. [28:78]

والجواب عن هذا من ثلاثة أوجة : ـ

The answer to this comes from three angles: Continue reading

The Fundamentals of the Prohibited Deeds – Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

From a collection of more than 400 sermons of Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في قوله تعالى : < قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّ‌مَ رَ‌بِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ‌ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ …> ـ

Khutbah on Allah’s statement, “Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed…'”

الحمد لله الذي أمر عباده بكل ما فيه خير لهم وصلاح ، ونهاهم عن جميع المضار والأعمال القباح . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah who commanded His slaves with everything in which there is good and rectitude for them, and prohibited them from all harms and despicable actions.

أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له الكريم الفتّاح . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no partners, the Noble, the Giver of victory.

أشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله الذي نهى عن كل خبيث وأذن في كل طيب وأباح . ـ

And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger who prohibited every abhorrent thing and permitted every good and allowable thing.

اللهم صلّ وسلّم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أولي الرشد والتقى والنجاح . ـ

O Allah! Bestow Your peace and blessings upon Muhammad and upon his family and his companions, the preeminent ones in terms of guidance, reverence of Allah and ultimate salvation.

أمّا بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتّقوا الله بترك مساخطه ومناهيه ، والقيام بفرائضه ومراضية ، فقد جمع لكم أصول ما حرّم عليكم في آية واحدة ، وهي قولة تعالى : < 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> [الأعراف 33] . ـ

To proceed: O Mankind! Have taqwa of Allah by abandoning what angers Him and his prohibitions, and by enacting what He has obligated and what pleases Him. And He has gathered the fundamentals of what He has made forbidden for you in a single ayah, which is His statement, Continue reading

Understanding the Ayaat al-Sifaat: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In his tafsir of surah al-‘Aaraaf, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee brings the following clarification on how to properly understand the ayaat al-sifaat – or the verses of the Qur’an which discuss the attributes and descriptions of Allah. Imam al-Shinqitee begins his explanation of this important matter of ‘aqeedah (creed) by writing:

قوله تعالى : ثم استوى على العرش يغشي الليل النهار الآية . ـ

Allah’s statement:

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْ‌شِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ‌

and He then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day… [7:54]

هذه الآية الكريمة وأمثالها من آيات الصفات كقوله : يد الله فوق أيديهم [ 48 \ 10 ] ونحو ذلك ; أشكلت على كثير من الناس إشكالا ضل بسببه خلق لا يحصى كثرة ، فصار قوم إلى التعطيل وقوم إلى التشبيه ، سبحانه وتعالى علوا كبيرا عن ذلك كله والله جل وعلا أوضح هذا غاية الإيضاح ، ولم يترك فيه أي لبس ولا إشكال ، وحاصل تحرير ذلك أنه جل وعلا بين أن الحق في آيات الصفات متركب من أمرين : ـ

This noble ayah and those like it from among the ayaat of attributes (sifaat), such as His statement:

يَدُ اللَّـهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ

The hand of Allah is over their hands [48:10]

and the likes of that – these are a difficult ambiguity for many people, thereby misguiding so many of the creation that their great numbers cannot be enumerated. So some people therefore went to committing al-Ta’teel [rejection of Allah’s attributes] and some people went to committing al-Tashbeeh [likening Allah with His creation] – exalted and elevated is He by a great height above all of that. But Allah clarified this with the utmost clarification, and He did not leave any confusion or ambiguity. And the attainment of being freed from that (ambiguity) is that He has clarified that the truth regarding the ayaat of attributes is composed to two issues: Continue reading

The Blessings of al-Shaam as mentioned in the Qur’an: ibn Taymiyah

As it comes in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah:

وقال شيخ الإسلام رحمه الله قد أخبر الله بأنه بارك في أرض الشام في آيات : منها قوله : { وأورثنا القوم الذين كانوا يستضعفون مشارق الأرض ومغاربها التي باركنا فيها } . ـ

Sheikh al-Islaam – may Allah have mercy on him – said: Allah has informed us that He has bestowed blessing on the land of al-Shaam* in multiple ayaat. Among them is His statement:

وَأَوْرَ‌ثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِ‌قَ الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَغَارِ‌بَهَا الَّتِي بَارَ‌كْنَا فِيهَا

And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. [7:137]

ومنها قوله : { ونجيناه ولوطا إلى الأرض التي باركنا فيها للعالمين } . ـ

And among them is His statement:

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْ‌ضِ الَّتِي بَارَ‌كْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And We delivered him and Loot to the land which We had blessed for the all creation. [21:71]

ومنها قوله : { تجري بأمره إلى الأرض التي باركنا فيها وكنا بكل شيء عالمين } . ـ

And among them is His statement: Continue reading

Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

Allah says towards the end of surah al-A’araaf:

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ‌ بِالْعُرْ‌فِ وَأَعْرِ‌ضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ * وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower. [7:199-200]
Commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Shinqitee wrote:
بين في هذه الآية الكريمة ما ينبغي أن يعامل به الجهلة من شياطين الإنس والجن . فبين أن شيطان الإنس يعامل باللين ، وأخذ العفو ، والإعراض عن جهله وإساءته . وأن شيطان الجن لا منجى منه إلا بالاستعاذة بالله منه ، قال في الأول : خذ العفو وأمر بالعرف وأعرض عن الجاهلين [ 7 \ 199 ] ، وقال في الثاني : وإما ينزغنك من الشيطان نزغ فاستعذ بالله إنه سميع عليم [ 7 \ 200 ] ، وبين هذا الذي ذكرنا في موضعين آخرين . ـ
In this noble ayah, Allah clarified how one should act concerning the ignorance of the shayaateen of mankind and the jinn. So He clarified that the shaytaan of mankind should be treated with gentleness, pardoning and turning away from his ignorance and abuse. And as for the shaytaan of the jinn, there is no safety from him except in seeking refuge with Allah from him. Continue reading

The Story of the Town by the Sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-A’araaf, Allah recounts the story of the people of the sea-side village who broke the Sabbath:

وَاسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْ‌يَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَ‌ةَ الْبَحْرِ‌ إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّ‌عًا وَيَوْمَ لَا يَسْبِتُونَ ۙ لَا تَأْتِيهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ * وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِّنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا ۙ اللَّـهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۖ قَالُوا مَعْذِرَ‌ةً إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ * فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُ‌وا بِهِ أَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ * فَلَمَّا عَتَوْا عَن مَّا نُهُوا عَنْهُ قُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَ‌دَةً خَاسِئِينَ * وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَ‌بُّكَ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَن يَسُومُهُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ ۗ إِنَّ رَ‌بَّكَ لَسَرِ‌يعُ الْعِقَابِ ۖ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

And ask them about the town that was by the sea – when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath – when their fish came to them openly on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient. And when a community among them said, “Why do you advise [or warn] a people whom Allah is [about] to destroy or to punish with a severe punishment?” they [the advisors] said, “To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps that they may fear Him.” And when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We saved those who had forbidden evil and seized those who wronged with a wretched punishment, because they were defiantly disobeying. So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.” And [mention] when your Lord declared that He would surely [continue to] send upon them until the Day of Resurrection those who would afflict them with the worst torment. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful. [al-Qur’an 7:163-167]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his great book of tafsir, wrote the following on these ayaat:

{‏وَاسْأَلْهُمْ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ اسأل بني إسرائيل ‏{‏عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ على ساحله في حال تعديهم وعقاب اللّه إياهم‏.‏

And ask them” – meaning, ask the Children of Israa’eel – “about the town that was by the sea” – meaning on its banks, which found itself in the circumstance of harm and the punishment of Allah upon them.

Continue reading

“But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except for those in loss”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions in His Book, in surah al-A’araaf:

‏‏وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ * أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ * أَوَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ * أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ‏

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied, so We seized them for what they were earning. Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play? Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except for those in loss.” [7:96-99]

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes about these ayaat by saying:

لما ذكر تعالى أن المكذبين للرسل يبتلون بالضراء موعظة وإنذارا، وبالسراء استدراجًا ومكرًا، ذكر أن أهل القرى، لو آمنوا بقلوبهم إيمانا صادقًا صدقته الأعمال، واستعملوا تقوى اللّه تعالى ظاهرًا وباطنا بترك جميع ما حرم اللّه، لفتح عليهم بركات السماء والأرض، فأرسل السماء عليهم مدرارًا، وأنبت لهم من الأرض ما به يعيشون وتعيش بهائمهم، في أخصب عيش وأغزر رزق، من غير عناء ولا تعب، ولا كد ولا نصب،

Allah mentioned that the deniers of the messengers were tested with hardships as an admonition and warning, and [they were tested] with ease as form of cunning and luring them into destruction. He mentioned that about the people of the cities, that if they has believed with true affirming eemaan in their hearts, their actions would have confirmed that, and they would have displayed taqwa of Allah the Exalted both openly and in secret by abandoning all those things which Allah has forbidden. Then [if they had believed] He would have unleashed the blessings of the sky and the earth upon them, so that the sky would send rain upon them, and it would spring from the earth that whereby they could live, living in the most fertile land with the most prolific of provisions, without trouble or fatigue.

ولكنهم لم يؤمنوا ويتقوا ‏{‏فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ‏}‏ بالعقوبات والبلايا ونزع البركات، وكثرة الآفات، وهي بعض جزاء أعمالهم، وإلا فلو آخذهم بجميع ما كسبوا، ما ترك عليها من دابة‏.‏ ‏{‏ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ‏}‏

However they did not believe or exercise taqwa, “so We seized them for what they were earning” with punishments and trials and removal of blessings, and many plagues, and that is part of the recompense of their deeds, for if We were to seize them for all of that which they had earned (of punishment), then We would not have left even an animal for them (to subsist upon). “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].” [30:41]

‏{‏أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى‏}‏ أي‏:‏ المكذبة، بقرينة السياق ‏{‏أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ عذابنا الشديد ‏{‏بَيَاتًا وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ في غفلتهم، وغرتهم وراحتهم‏.‏

Then, did the people of the cities feel secure” – meaning, the deniers, in their expectations – “from Our punishment coming to them” – meaning, Our severe punishment – “while they were asleep?” – meaning, in their heedlessness, inattentiveness and comfort.

‏{‏أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أي شيء يؤمنهم من ذلك، وهم قد فعلوا أسبابه، وارتكبوا من الجرائم العظيمة، ما يوجب بعضه الهلاك‏؟‏‏!‏

Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play?” – meaning, which thing would make them feel safe from that, while they are enacting the causes [of destruction], and while they are committing great crimes, some of which will necessitate destruction!

‏{‏أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ‏}‏ حيث يستدرجهم من حيث لا يعلمون، ويملي لهم، إن كيده متين، ‏{‏فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ‏}‏ فإن من أمن من عذاب اللّه، فهو لم يصدق بالجزاء على الأعمال، ولا آمن بالرسل حقيقة الإيمان‏.‏

Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah?” while it it luring them into destruction from places which they do not know, and guiding them. Verily His plan is firmly established. But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except for those in loss”  for verily whoever feels secure from the plan of Allah, then he does not believe in the recompense for one’s deeds, nor does he have true eemaan in the messengers.

وهذه الآية الكريمة فيها من التخويف البليغ، على أن العبد لا ينبغي له أن يكون آمنا على ما معه من الإيمان‏.‏

This noble ayah contains an eloquent intimidation, that the slave should not have a feeling of security due to what he possesses of eemaan.

بل لا يزال خائفا وجلا أن يبتلى ببلية تسلب ما معه من الإيمان، وأن لا يزال داعيا بقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏}‏ وأن يعمل ويسعى، في كل سبب يخلصه من الشر، عند وقوع الفتن، فإن العبد ـ ولو بلغت به الحال ما بلغت ـ فليس على يقين من السلامة‏.‏

Rather, he should remain fearful and clear that he may be tested with a trial which would deprive him of what he possesses of eemaan, and that he should continue supplicating with his statement, “O Changer of the Hearts! Make my heart steadfast upon Your Religion“* and that he works and strives towards everything which would purify him from evil, so when the fitan (pl. of fitnah, calamities) occur, then the slave – even in the midst of whatever circumstances which has reached him – is not upon certainty as to his safety [i.e. even after taking all the appropriate ways and means, the believers knows that he is still not secure from whatever Allah has decreed].

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

* This du’a of the Prophet is recorded by al-Tirmidhi in his collection of ahaadeeth, #2140 (hasan), as well as elsewhere in his collection. Ibn Maajah also recorded it.

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ

Yaa Muqallibal-Quloob, Thabbit Qalbi ‘Alaa Deenik

O Changer of the Hearts! Make my heart steadfast upon Your Religion

And even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah says in His Book in surah al-A’araaf:

سَأَصْرِ‌فُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُ‌ونَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ بِغَيْرِ‌ الْحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا كُلَّ آيَةٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَا وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا سَبِيلَ الرُّ‌شْدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ

I shall turn away from My ayaat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the ayaat, they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see the way of error, they will adopt that way. That is because they have rejected Our ayaat and were heedless of them. [7:146]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, writes:

قوله تعالى‏{‏سأصرف عن آياتي الذين يتكبرون في الأرض بغير الحق‏}‏ قال قتادة‏:‏ سأمنعهم فهم كتابي‏.‏ وقاله سفيان بن عيينة‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ سأصرفهم عن الإيمان بها‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ سأصرفهم عن نفعها؛ وذلك مجازاة على تكبرهم‏.‏ نظيره‏{‏فلما زاغوا أزاغ الله قلوبهم‏}[‏الصف‏:‏ 5‏]‏‏.‏ والآيات على هذا المعجزات أو الكتب المنزلة‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ خلق السماوات والأرض‏.‏ أي أصرفهم عن الاعتبار بها‏.‏ ‏{‏يتكبرون‏}‏ يرون أنهم أفضل الخلق‏.‏ وهذا ظن باطل؛ فلهذا قال‏{‏بغير الحق‏}‏ فلا يتبعون نبيا ولا يصغون إليه لتكبرهم‏.‏

Regarding Allah’s statement:

سَأَصْرِ‌فُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُ‌ونَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ بِغَيْرِ‌ الْحَقِّ

I shall turn away from My ayaat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right

Qataadah said [it means], “I will prohibit them from understanding My Book,” and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah also said that. And it is said, “I will turn away belief in it from them.” And it is said, “I will turn away its benefit from them.” And that is the recompense for their prideful arrogance. This is paralleled in surah al-Saff:

فَلَمَّا زَاغُوا أَزَاغَ اللَّـهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

And when they deviated, Allah caused their hearts to deviate [61:5]

According to these interpretations, the word ayaat takes the meaning of miracles or revealed books. But it is also said that ayaat is referring to the creation of the heavens and the earth – meaning that He will turn them away from considering them. Continue reading