The Respective Means of Destruction: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah mentions some of the previous nations who were destroyed in surah al-‘Ankaboot with his words:

وَعَادًا وَثَمُودَ وَقَد تَّبَيَّنَ لَكُم مِّن مَّسَاكِنِهِمْ ۖ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِ‌ينَ * وَقَارُ‌ونَ وَفِرْ‌عَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ ۖ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَاسْتَكْبَرُ‌وا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا كَانُوا سَابِقِينَ * فَكُلًّا أَخَذْنَا بِذَنبِهِ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِبًا وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَغْرَ‌قْنَا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّـهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

And [We destroyed] ‘Aad and Thamood, and it has become clear to you from their [ruined] dwellings. And Shaytaan had made pleasing to them their deeds and averted them from the path, and they were endowed with perception.* And [We destroyed] Qaaroon and Fir’awn and Haamaan. And Moosaa had already come to them with clear evidences, and they were arrogant in the land, but they were not outrunners [of Our punishment]. * So each We seized for his sin; and among them were those upon whom We sent a Haasiban, and among them were those who were seized by the blast [from the sky], and among them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow, and among them were those whom We drowned. And Allah would not have wronged them, but it was they who were wronging themselves. [29:38-40]

Commenting on this briefly in his book of tafsir, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

وقد أشار جل وعلا في هذه الآيات الكريمة إلى إهلاك عاد ، وثمود ، وقارون ، وفرعون ، وهامان ، ثم صرح بأنه أخذ كلا منهم بذنبه ، ثم فصل على سبيل ما يسمى في البديع باللف والنشر المرتب أسباب إهلاكهم ، فقال : فمنهم من أرسلنا عليه حاصبا ، [ ص: 160 ] وهي : الريح ، يعني : عادا ، بدليل قوله : وأما عاد فأهلكوا بريح صرصر عاتية [ 69 \ 6 ] ، وقوله : وفي عاد إذ أرسلنا عليهم الريح العقيم [ 51 \ 41 ] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات . وقوله تعالى : ومنهم من أخذته الصيحة ، يعني : ثمود ، بدليل قوله تعالى فيهم : وأخذ الذين ظلموا الصيحة فأصبحوا في ديارهم جاثمين كأن لم يغنوا فيها ألا إن ثمود كفروا ربهم ألا بعدا لثمود [ 11 \ 67 – 68 ] . وقوله : ومنهم من خسفنا به الأرض ، يعني : قارون ، بدليل قوله تعالى فيه : فخسفنا به وبداره الأرض الآية [ 28 \ 81 ] . وقوله تعالى : ومنهم من أغرقنا ، يعني : فرعون وهامان ، بدليل قوله تعالى : ثم أغرقنا الآخرين [ 37 \ 82 ] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات . ـ

In these noble ayaat, Allah has pointed to the destruction of ‘Aad, Thamood, Qaaroon, Fir’awn, and Haamaan, then He clarified that each of them were seized in destruction due to their respective sins, then He detailed the destructions in a manner which, according to the science of rhetoric, is called al-laff wa’l-nashr [literally “coiling and unfurling” – bringing several items together in brief and then expanding on each of them respectively later] order of arranging the means of their respective destructions. So He said:

فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِبًا

and among them were some on whom We sent Haasiban [29:40]

and that is a strong wind – referring to ‘Aad, according to His statement:

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِ‌يحٍ صَرْ‌صَرٍ‌ عَاتِيَةٍ

And as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind [69:6]

and His statement:

Continue reading

“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah concludes surah al-‘Ankaboot with the following ayah:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. [29:69]

Commenting on this ayah in his famous book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following beneficial words for the student of knowledge:

ـ { وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا } وهم الذين هاجروا في سبيل اللّه، وجاهدوا أعداءهم، وبذلوا مجهودهم في اتباع مرضاته، { لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا } أي: الطرق الموصلة إلينا، وذلك لأنهم محسنون. ـ

And those who strive for Us” – and they are those who migrated in the path of Allah and struggled against their enemies and expended their efforts in following His pleasure – “We will surely guide them to Our ways” – meaning, the paths which lead to Us, and that is because they are the good-doers.

ـ { وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ } بالعون والنصر والهداية. دل هذا على أن أحرى الناس بموافقة الصواب أهل الجهاد، وعلى أن من أحسن فيما أمر به أعانه اللّه ويسر له أسباب الهداية، وعلى أن من جد واجتهد في طلب العلم الشرعي، فإنه يحصل له من الهداية والمعونة على تحصيل مطلوبه أمور إلهية، خارجة عن مدرك اجتهاده، وتيسر له أمر العلم، فإن طلب العلم الشرعي من الجهاد في سبيل اللّه، بل هو أحد نَوْعَي الجهاد، الذي لا يقوم به إلا خواص الخلق، وهو الجهاد بالقول واللسان، للكفار والمنافقين، والجهاد على تعليم أمور الدين، وعلى رد نزاع المخالفين للحق، ولو كانوا من المسلمين. ـ

And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” by means of aid, support and guidance. This demonstrates that the most likely of people to coincide with what is correct are the people of striving. Continue reading

Two types of despairing of Allah’s Mercy: Imam al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Ankaboot:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ وَلِقَائِهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ يَئِسُوا مِن رَّ‌حْمَتِي وَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“And the ones who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and the meeting with Him – those have despaired of My mercy, and they will have a painful punishment.”

[al-Qur’an 29:23]

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

قال تعالى: { أُولَئِكَ يَئِسُوا مِنْ رَحْمَتِي } أي: فلذلك لم يعلموا سببا واحدا يحصلون به الرحمة، وإلا لو طمعوا في رحمته، لعملوا لذلك أعمالا، والإياس من رحمة اللّه من أعظم المحاذير، وهو نوعان: إياس الكفار منها، وتركهم جميع سبب يقربهم منها، وإياس العصاة، بسبب كثرة جناياتهم أوحشتهم، فملكت قلوبهم، فأحدث لها الإياس

Allah said, ‘those have despaired of My mercy‘ – meaning, because of that they did not work towards even one single thing which would bring about mercy. Otherwise, if they had hoped for His mercy then they would have done those actions. And despairing of the Mercy of Allah is one of the greatest prohibitions, and it is composed of two categories:

1) the despair of kufr, and leaving off all of the means by which one could seek nearness (to Allah), and,

2) the despair of disobedience, due to a great number of estranging offenses, so they take rule over their hearts and therefore cause despair.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 738]

See also: “I complain of my grief and sorrow only to Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

“Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, says in His Book in surah al-‘Ankaboot:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ أَكْبَرُ‌ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and establish the prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [29:45]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his tafsir, wrote:

يأمر تعالى بتلاوة وحيه وتنزيله، وهو هذا الكتاب العظيم، ومعنى تلاوته اتباعه، بامتثال ما يأمر به، واجتناب ما ينهى عنه، والاهتداء بهداه، وتصديق أخباره، وتدبر معانيه، وتلاوة ألفاظه، فصار تلاوة لفظه جزء المعنى وبعضه، وإذا كان هذا معنى تلاوة الكتاب، علم أن إقامة الدين كله، داخلة في تلاوة الكتاب‏.‏ فيكون قوله‏:‏ ‏(‏وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ)‏ من باب عطف الخاص على العام، لفضل الصلاة وشرفها، وآثارها الجميلة، وهي ‏(‏إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ‏)‏

Allah commands the recitation of His revelation, and that is this Great Book [the Qur’an]. And the meaning of reciting it is adhering to it, complying with what it commands, avoiding what it prohibits, being guided by its guidance, affirming its contents, pondering over its meanings, as well as reciting its words. So reciting its word is just one part of this meaning. So then if this is the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”, then one should know that the establishment and enactment on the entire deen falls within the meaning of “reciting the Qur’an”.

So then His statement, “and establish the prayer” – is an example of mentioning something specific alongside something general. And this is due to the virtue and honor of the prayer, as well as its wonderful effects, which is that “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing“.

والفحشاء‏:‏ كل ما استعظم واستفحش من المعاصي التي تشتهيها النفوس‏.‏

And immorality (fahshah) is every excessive and indecent act of disobedience which the lower self desires.

والمنكر‏:‏ كل معصية تنكرها العقول والفطر‏.‏

And wrongdoing (munkar) is every act of disobedience which the (functioning) intellect and natural inclination (fitrah) would prevent.

ووجه كون الصلاة تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، أن العبد المقيم لها، المتمم لأركانها وشروطها وخشوعها، يستنير قلبه، ويتطهر فؤاده، ويزداد إيمانه، وتقوى رغبته في الخير، وتقل أو تعدم رغبته في الشر، فبالضرورة، مداومتها والمحافظة عليها على هذا الوجه، تنهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر، فهذا من أعظم مقاصدها وثمراتها‏.‏ وثَمَّ في الصلاة مقصود أعظم من هذا وأكبر، وهو ما اشتملت عليه من ذكر اللّه، بالقلب واللسان والبدن‏.‏ فإن اللّه تعالى، إنما خلق الخلق لعبادته، وأفضل عبادة تقع منهم الصلاة، وفيها من عبوديات الجوارح كلها، ما ليس في غيرها، ولهذا قال‏:‏ (وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ‏)‏

And the way that the prayer prevents one from immorality and wrongdoing is that he slave who establishes it – the one who fulfills its pillars and conditions and establishes it with khushoo’ – then it illuminates and purifies his heart, and increases his eemaan, and increases his taqwa and his desire to do good, as well as decreasing or even eliminating his desire to do evil. And it necessarily follows that it also increases his persistence and regularity of these good qualities -which prohibit him from immorality and wrongdoing- and this is one of the greatest objectives and fruits of the prayer.

But there is an even greater objectives of the prayer, which is what it involves of the remembrance of Allah, with the heart, tongue and body. For Allah only created the creation for the purpose of His worship, and the best form of worship is the prayer, for therein all the limbs are engaged in worship, and this is not found in other forms of worship, and on this subject He said, “and the remembrance of Allah is greater“.

ويحتمل أنه لما أمر بالصلاة ومدحها، أخبر أن ذكره تعالى خارج الصلاة أكبر من الصلاة، كما هو قول جمهور المفسرين، لكن الأول أولى، لأن الصلاة أفضل من الذكر خارجها، ولأنها – كما تقدم – بنفسها من أكبر الذكر‏.‏

But this ayah could also be interpreted to mean that when Allah commanded the performance of the prayer and lauded it, He also informed us that the remembrance of Him outside of the prayer is greater than the prayer itself, as is the position of the majority of the mufassiroon. However, what I mentioned first is more correct, because the prayer is more virtuous than remembrance outside of the prayer. And that is because, as we have mentioned elsewhere, the prayer itself is one of the greatest forms of remembrance.

‏(‏وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ)‏ من خير وشر، فيجازيكم على ذلك أكمل الجزاء وأوفاه‏.‏

And Allah knows that which you do” of good and evil. And He will reward you for that with the most complete fulfillment and recompense.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahmanp. 632]

For more on the importance and benefits of al-salaah, see also: The first deed to be reckoned

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

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

See also: “Indeed the patient will be given their reward without measure”

See also: Performing the Prayers in their Proper Times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Du’a or Dhikr after the Salaah?: Ibn Taymiyah

Those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Follow our way, and we will carry your sins.”

Allah says in His Book:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبِعُوا سَبِيلَنَا وَلْنَحْمِلْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَمَا هُم بِحَامِلِينَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ  وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالًا مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ ۖ وَلَيُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُ‌ونَ

And those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Follow our way, and we will carry your sins.” But they will not carry anything of their sins. Indeed, they are liars. But they will surely carry their burdens and burdens along with their burdens, and they will surely be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about what they used to fabricate. [29:12-13]

Imam al-Sa’di writes about these ayaat in his tafsir when he says:

 يخبر تعالى عن افتراء الكفار ودعوتهم للمؤمنين إلى دينهم، وفي ضمن ذلك، تحذير المؤمنين من الاغترار بهم والوقوع في مكرهم، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبِعُوا سَبِيلَنَا‏}‏ فاتركوا دينكم أو بعضه واتبعونا في ديننا، فإننا نضمن لكم الأمر ‏{‏وَلْنَحْمِلْ خَطَايَاكُمْ‏}‏ وهذا الأمر ليس بأيديهم، فلهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَمَا هُمْ بِحَامِلِينَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ‏}‏ لا قليل ولا كثير‏.‏ فهذا التحمل، ولو رضي به صاحبه، فإنه لا يفيد شيئا، فإن الحق للّه، واللّه تعالى لم يمكن العبد من التصرف في حقه إلا بأمره وحكمه، وحكمه ‏{‏أن لَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى‏}‏

Allah informs [us] about the fabrication of the kuffaar and their inviting the believers to their religion, and included therein is a warning for the believers against being deceived by them and falling into their plots, so He said, “And those who disbelieve say to those who believe, ‘Follow our way‘” – so leave your religion or part of it and follow us in our religion, and we certainly guarantee this affair for you “‘and we will carry your sins‘” but this affair is not in their hands, for He said concerning this, “But they will not carry anything of their sins” neither few nor many. And this assumption of burdens, though pleasing to those involved, certainly it does not benefit [them] in the least, for the truth is with Allah, and Allah the Exalted never allows the slave to discharge his due except by His command and rulings, and He ruled “That no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another“.

ولما كان قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَمَا هُمْ بِحَامِلِينَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ‏}‏ قد يتوهم منه أيضا، أن الكفار الداعين إلى كفرهم ـ ونحوهم ممن دعا إلى باطله ـ ليس عليهم إلا ذنبهم الذي ارتكبوه، دون الذنب الذي فعله غيرهم، ولو كانوا متسببين فيه، قال‏:‏ ‏[‏مخبرا عن هذا الوهم‏}‏

But as for His statement, “But they will not carry anything of their sins” they may be pleased with that also, that the kuffaar call to their kufr – and the likes of them who invite to its falsehood – but it is not incumbent upon them except for their own sins which they committed, not the sin which he did without them, even though they they were the cause of it.

‏{‏وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أثقال ذنوبهم التي عملوها ‏{‏وَأَثْقَالًا مَعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ‏}‏ وهي الذنوب التي بسببهم ومن جرائهم، فالذنب الذي فعله التابع ‏[‏لكل من التابع‏}‏، والمتبوع حصته منه، هذا لأنه فعله وباشره، والمتبوع ‏[‏لأنه‏}‏ تسبب في فعله ودعا إليه، كما أن الحسنة إذا فعلها التابع له أجرها بالمباشرة، وللداعي أجره بالتسبب‏.‏ ‏{‏وَلَيُسْأَلُنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ‏}‏ من الشر وتزيينه، ‏[‏وقولهم‏}‏ ‏{‏وَلْنَحْمِلْ خَطَايَاكُمْ‏}‏

But they will surely carry their burdens” – meaning the burdens of their own sins which they committed – “and burdens along with their burdens” and these are the sins which they caused. So the sins which were committed following (them), then the one who was imitated will have his share therefrom, and this is because he did it and encouraged it, and the one who was imitated was what caused him to do it and called to it, just as with good (deeds) when one does it following (the example of another), then the imitated one gets that reward directly, and for the caller is its reward since he was the cause. “And they will surely be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about what they used to fabricate” of evil and adornments, and their statement “and we will carry your sins“.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman p. 736]