And Tell the Believing Women Not to Show off Their Adornment, Except for What is Apparent: ibn Taymiyah

Allah commands the believing women in surah al-Nur by saying:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except for that which is apparent [24:31]

The phrase “except for that which is apparent” has been explained in a number of ways by the salaf. The great scholar Abu’l-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different positions in his tafsir where he wrote:

قوله تعالى: ولا يبدين زينتهن أي: لا يظهرنها لغير محرم . وزينتهن على ضربين، خفية كالسوارين والقرطين والدملج والقلائد ونحو ذلك، وظاهرة وهي المشار إليها بقوله: إلا ما ظهر منها وفيه سبعة أقوال . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا

… and tell the believing women not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent [24:31]

meaning, to not display these things to non-mahrams. And there are two types of women’s adornment, or zeenah. There is the hidden zeenah such as ankle bracelets, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and so on, and then there is the apparent zeenah, which is what is being referred to in Allah’s statement here, and there are seven different opinions as to what this means:

أحدهما: أنها الثياب، رواه أبو الأحوص عن ابن مسعود; وفي لفظ آخر قال: هو الرداء . والثاني: أنها الكف والخاتم والوجه . والثالث: الكحل والخاتم، رواهما سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس . والرابع: القلبان، وهما السواران والخاتم والكحل، قاله المسور بن مخرمة . والخامس: الكحل والخاتم والخضاب، قاله مجاهد . والسادس: الخاتم والسوار، قاله الحسن . والسابع: الوجه والكفان، قاله الضحاك . ـ

1. Her clothing. Abu al-Ahwas transmitted this explanation from ibn Mas’ood, and in another narration he said that it meant her outer shawl covering.

2. Her hands, ring and face.

3. Her kohol [eye-liner] and ring. Sa’eed ibn Jubayr transmitted both explanations 2 and 3 from ibn ‘Abbaas. Continue reading

The Prophet is Closer to the Believers than Their Own Selves: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah informs us of the following in the beginning of surah al-Ahzab:

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers [33:6]

Imam al-Qurtubi opens his discussion of this ayah by writing:

قوله تعالى : النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم هذه الآية أزال الله تعالى بها أحكاما كانت في صدر الإسلام ; منها : أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان لا يصلي على ميت عليه دين ، فلما فتح الله عليه الفتوح قال : أنا أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم ; فمن توفي وعليه دين فعلي قضاؤه ، ومن ترك مالا فلورثته أخرجه الصحيحان . وفيهما أيضا فأيكم ترك دينا أو ضياعا فأنا مولاه . قال ابن العربي : فانقلبت الآن الحال بالذنوب ، فإن تركوا مالا ضويق العصبة فيه ، وإن تركوا ضياعا أسلموا إليه ; فهذا تفسير الولاية المذكورة في هذه الآية بتفسير النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وتنبيهه ; ولا عطر بعد عروس . قال ابن عطية : وقال بعض العلماء العارفين : هو أولى بهم من أنفسهم ; لأن أنفسهم تدعوهم إلى الهلاك ، وهو يدعوهم إلى النجاة . قال ابن عطية : ويؤيد هذا قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام : أنا آخذ بحجزكم عن النار وأنتم تقتحمون فيها تقحم الفراش . ـ

Allah’s statement:

النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves …

Allah eliminated some rulings that had been in place at the beginning of Islam with this ayah. One of those earlier rulings was that the Prophet used to not offer the funeral prayer for someone who died while still owing a debt.

… But then when Allah gave the Prophet some victories on his expeditions he said, “I am closer to the believers than their own selves. So whoever dies while still owing a debt, then the debt is on me and I will pay it. And whoever leaves any wealth, then that is for his inheritors.”

al-Bukhari and Muslim both reported this hadith, as well as the hadith:

Any one of you who dies and leaves behind a debt or a needy dependent, then I am his close one.

Ibn al-‘Arabi said, “Due to sins, the situation today is the complete opposite. If someone leaves behind wealth, then his people come after it, but if he leaves a needy dependent behind they wash their hands of him.”

So the explanation of the “closeness” mentioned in this ayah is the explanation that the Prophet gave and alerted us to, and there is nothing that can come later to surpass this. That being said, ibn ‘Atiyyah mentioned the following: Continue reading

Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 2: 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 and divorce. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the ninth section overall – and the second on divorce – : 12345678 – 9 – 10

وقال تعالى: {يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا} [الأحزاب: 49] ـ

And Allah said:

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا

O you who believe! When you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not any ‘iddah to count concerning them for you. Then provide for them, and release them in a handsome manner. [33:49]

ففي هذه الآية أن المفارقة في الحياة بطلاق ونحوه ليس لزوجها عليها عدة إذا لم يدخل أو يخل بها، بل بمجرد ما يطلقها لها التزوج في الحال. ـ

So this ayah contains the fact that separation while both are alive due to divorce and the likes of that does not require any ‘iddah (waiting period) for the wife if the husband has not had intercourse with her or been alone with her in seclusion. Rather, from the very moment of her being divorced she is able to marry (another person) in that scenario.

وفي هذا أن العدة تثبت بالدخول، وكذلك الخلوة، كما ثبت عن الخلفاء الراشدين، ومفهوم الآية أن الفراق بالموت تعتد له الزوجة المعقود عليها ولو قبل الدخول . ـ

And this ayah also contains the fact that the ‘iddah is confirmed in the case of intercourse, and likewise in the case of seclusion, as has been authenticated by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’. And the implication of this ayah is that in the case of separation by death, the wife who is engaged in a marriage contract must complete the ‘iddah for her husband even if the death took place prior to intercourse. Continue reading

The command to extol the Prophet, and the punishment for harming him or the believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah mentions the following in surah al-Ahzaab:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا * إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ‌ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا

Verily Allah and His angels offer salaah on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send salaah on him , and offer greeting of peace in submission. * Verily, those who trouble Allah and His Messenger, Allah curses them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and prepares for them a humiliating torment. * And those who harm the believing men and believing women undeservedly, they indeed carry a slander and plain sin. [33:56-58]

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

وهذا فيه تنبيه على كمال رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم، ورفعة درجته، وعلو منزلته عند اللّه وعند خلقه، ورفع ذكره. و { إِنَّ اللَّهَ } تعالى {وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ } عليه، أي: يثني اللّه عليه بين الملائكة، وفي الملأ الأعلى، لمحبته تعالى له، وتثني عليه الملائكة المقربون، ويدعون له ويتضرعون. ـ

And this is a notification of the excellence of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and the elevation of his rank and the highness of his status in the sight of Allah and in the sight of the creation, and an elevation of his mention. And “verily Allah” the High “and His angels offer salaah” on him – meaning: Allah extols him among the angels and in the highest of gatherings due to His great love for him. And the close angels extol him and supplicate and beseech (Allah) on his behalf.[1] Continue reading

Five Descriptions of the Prophet in Surah al-Ahzaab

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book in surah al-Ahzaab:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْ‌سَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرً‌ا وَنَذِيرً‌ا * وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَ‌اجًا مُّنِيرً‌ا * وَبَشِّرِ‌ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرً‌ا * وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ وَكِيلًا

O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. And give good tidings to the believers that they will have from Allah a great bounty. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites but do not harm them, and rely upon Allah. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. [33:45-48]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of  tafsir,  writes about these ayaat by saying:

هذه الأشياء، التي وصف الله بها رسوله محمدًا ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ هي المقصود من رسالته، وزبدتها وأصولها، التي اختص بها، وهي خمسة أشياء‏:‏ أحدها‏:‏ كونه ‏{‏شَاهِدًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ شاهدًا على أمته بما عملوه، من خير وشر، كما قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا‏}‏ ‏{‏فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا‏}‏ فهو ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ شاهد عدل مقبول‏.‏

These things with which Allah described His messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) are the objectives of his being sent as a messenger, its apex and foundation, for which it was specifically designated, and they are five things [i.e. objectives]: To be “a witness” – meaning a witness over his ummah in what they do, whether good or evil, as Allah said, “that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you” [2:143], “So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?” [4:41]. So he (ﷺ) is a just and acceptable witness. Continue reading

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

In His Book, in surah al-Ahzaab, Allah directs His believing slaves with the following ayaat:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ ذِكْرً‌ا كَثِيرً‌ا * وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَ‌ةً وَأَصِيلًا * هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِ‌جَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ‌ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَ‌حِيمًا * تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَامٌ ۚ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرً‌ا كَرِ‌يمًا

O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance (41) And exalt Him morning and afternoon. (42) It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And He is Merciful to the believers. (43) Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, “Peace.” And He has prepared for them a noble reward. (44)

Imam ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following about these ayaat:

يأمر تعالى المؤمنين، بذكره ذكرا كثيرًا، من تهليل، وتحميد، وتسبيح، وتكبير وغير ذلك، من كل قول فيه قربة إلى اللّه، وأقل ذلك، أن يلازم الإنسان، أوراد الصباح، والمساء، وأدبار الصلوات الخمس، وعند العوارض والأسباب‏.‏

Allah the Exalted commanded the believers to remember Him with much remembrance —with (the utterance) of Tahleel (لا إله إلا الله); Tahmeed (الحمد لله); Tasbeeh (سبحان الله); Takbeer (الله أكبر) and other than that; and with every speech in which there is drawing close to Allah. And at the bare minimum that a person is constant in performing the supplications of the morning and the evening, after the five obligatory prayers, and at times when one is faced with obstacles and situations. Continue reading

The outcomes of Taqwa and truthful speech: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah سبحانه وتعالى commands those who believe in His Book with the following:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا  يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

O you who believe! Have taqwa of Allah, and speak the truth. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. [33:70-71]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, explains these ayaat as follows:

يأمر تعالى المؤمنين بتقواه، في جميع أحوالهم، في السر والعلانية، ويخص منها، ويندب للقول السديد، وهو القول الموافق للصواب، أو المقارب له، عند تعذر اليقين، من قراءة، وذكر، وأمر بمعروف، ونهي عن منكر، وتعلم علم وتعليمه، والحرص على إصابة الصواب، في المسائل العلمية، وسلوك كل طريق يوصل لذلك، وكل وسيلة تعين عليه‏.‏

The Most Exalted commands the believers with taqwa in all conditions they may be in, both privately and openly, and He specified that. And He charged them with truthful speech, and this is speech which concurs with what is right – or close to it when you cannot be certain – in reciting, mentioning, commanding good and forbidding evil, learning knowledge and teaching it. And to be keen to reach the truth in matters of knowledge, and traversing every path which leads to that, and every means which assists in that (goal).

ومن القول السديد، لين الكلام ولطفه، في مخاطبة الأنام، والقول المتضمن للنصح والإشارة، بما هو الأصلح‏.‏

And from truthful speech is gentle speech and kindness in addressing the creation, and speech which includes sincere advice and counsel, by which one is set aright. Continue reading