The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah devotes a series of ayaat in surah al-Baqarah [2:183-187] to the rulings of fasting. However, in the middle of these ayaat, He mentions the well-known ayah:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad) about Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the call of the supplicant when he calls Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir shed some light on the relationship of this ayah to the surrounding ayaat of fasting by writing:

وفي ذكره تعالى هذه الآية الباعثة على الدعاء ، متخللة بين أحكام الصيام ، إرشاد إلى الاجتهاد في الدعاء عند إكمال العدة ، بل وعند كل فطر . ـ

So Allah’s mention of this ayah encouraging supplication in midst of the rulings of fasting contains a directive to exert oneself in supplication when the entire period of fasting is completed – as well as of course at the breaking of every fast.

 كما رواه الإمام أبو داود الطيالسي في مسنده : حدثنا أبو محمد المليكي ، عن عمرو هو ابن شعيب بن محمد بن عبد الله بن عمرو ، عن أبيه ، عن جده عبد الله بن عمرو ، قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ” للصائم عند إفطاره دعوة مستجابة ” . فكان عبد الله بن عمرو إذ أفطر دعا أهله ، وولده ودعا . ـ

This is just as Imam Abu Dawud al-Tayaalisi recorded in his musnad … that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say, “At the time of breaking the fast, the fasting person has a supplication which is accepted.” And so when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr used to break his fast, he would call the members of his household and supplicate. Continue reading

Three Proofs for the Resurrection of the Dead: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee included the following discussion in part of his tafsir of surah al-Baqarah:

قوله تعالى : ( ياأيها الناس اعبدوا ربكم الذي خلقكم والذين من قبلكم لعلكم تتقون ، الذي جعل لكم الأرض فراشا والسماء بناء وأنزل من السماء ماء فأخرج به من الثمرات رزقا لكم ) ـ

Allah’s statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ

O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous – * He who made for you the earth as a bed and the sky as a ceiling and We sent down rain from the sky and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you … [2:21-22]

أشار في هذه الآية إلى ثلاثة براهين من براهين البعث بعد الموت ، وبينها مفصلة في آيات أخر : الأول : خلق الناس أولا المشار إليه بقوله ( ياأيها الناس اعبدوا ربكم الذي خلقكم والذين من قبلكم ) ; لأن الإيجاد الأول أعظم برهان على الإيجاد الثاني ، وقد أوضح ذلك في آيات كثيرة كقوله : ( وهو الذي يبدأ الخلق ثم يعيده ) الآية [ 30 \ 27 ] ، وقوله : ( كما بدأنا أول خلق نعيده ) [ 21 \ 104 ] ، وكقوله : ( فسيقولون من يعيدنا قل الذي فطركم أول مرة ) [ 36 \ 79 ] ، وقوله : ( قل يحييها الذي أنشأها أول مرة ) ، وقوله : ( أفعيينا بالخلق الأول بل هم في لبس ) الآية [ 50 \ 15 ] ، وكقوله : ( ياأيها الناس إن كنتم في ريب من البعث فإنا خلقناكم من تراب ) [ 22 \ 5 ] ، وكقوله : ( ولقد علمتم النشأة الأولى ) الآية [ 56 \ 62 ] . ـ

This ayah points to three proofs for the resurrection of the dead, and that topic is clarified elsewhere in more detail.

The first proof: The initial creation of mankind points to this, as He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ

O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you

For the initial act of bringing them into existence is the greatest proof of their being brought back into existence a second time. Allah made this point clear in a number of different ayaat, such as His statement:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ

It is He who initiated the creation and then He will repeat it [30:27]

until the end of the ayah. And His statement: Continue reading

Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an: 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 tenth and final section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

فصل في آيات في الإيلاء والظهار واللعان

Chapter regarding the ayaat of al-Eelaa’, al-Thihaar, and al-Li’aan

ـ {لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: 226 – 227] وقال: {قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا} [المجادلة: 1] الآيات. وقال في اللعان: {وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ} [النور: 6] الآيات . ـ

لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

For those who swear not to have sexual relations with their wives is a waiting time of four months, but if they return [to normal relations] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. * And if they decide on divorce – then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. [2:226-227]

And He said:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا … ـ

Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband … [58:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [58:1-4]. And regarding Li’aan He said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ

And those who accuse their wives … [24:6]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [24:6-9]

من جملة الأحكام المنتشرة المتعلقة بالزوجة أنه قد يؤلي منها أو يظاهر منها، والفرق بين الإيلاء والظهار أن الإيلاء هو الحلف بالله على ترك وطء زوجته أبدا، أو مدة طويلة تزيد على أربعة أشهر إذا كان قادرا على الوطء، فإذا فعل ذلك وحلف هذا الحلف فلا يخلو: إما أن تطالبه الزوجة بحقها من الوطء أو لا تطالبه، فإن لم تطالبه ترك وشأنه، فإن وطئ في هذه المدة فقد حنث، وعليه كفارة يمين، وإلا فلا كفارة عليه . ـ

Among the various rulings related to the wife is what to do if one declares eelaa’ or thihaar in relation to her. And the difference between al-eelaa’ and al-thihaar is that al-eelaa’ is swearing by Allah to leave off intercourse with one’s wife forever or for a long period in excess of four months while one is still physically capable of having intercourse. So if one does that and swears to that, then one of two things will occur: either his wife seeks her right to intercourse from him, or she does not seek that from him. So if she does not seek that from him, then his affair is left alone. But if he does have intercourse with her during this time, then he has perjured his oath and he must perform an expiation for the oath. But if he does not break his own, then he does not need to perform any expiation. 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

Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 1: 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 eighth section overall – and the first on divorce – : 12345678 – 9 – 10

 قال الله تعالى في أحكام الطلاق والعدد: {الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ} إلى قوله : {وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: ٢٢٩-٢٣١] ، وقال : {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ} [الطلاق ١] الآيات . ـ

Regarding the rulings of divorce and ‘idad (plural of ‘iddah – waiting periods), Allah said:

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ

The divorce is twice… [2:229]

Until His statement:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

… and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything [2:231]

And He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ

O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them at their ‘iddah … [65:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat.

ذكر الله أحكام الفراق كما ذكر أحكام النكاح والدخول فيه، تقدم أنه تعالى حث الزوج على الصبر على زوجته ما دام متمكنا من الصبر، وفي هذا ذكر الله أنه إذا كان لا بد له من الطلاق، فعليه أن يطلق زوجته لعدتها، أي: لتستقبل عدتها، وذلك أن يطلقها مرة واحدة في طهر لم يجامعها فيه، أو يطلقها وهي حامل قد تبين حملها، أو وهي آيسة أو صغيرة؛ لأنها في هذه الأحوال كلها تبتدئ بالعدة البينة الواضحة، فمن طلقها أكثر من واحدة، أو وهي حائض أو نفساء، أو في طهر قد وطئ فيه ولم يتبين حملها فإنه آثم متعد لحدود الله، وإذا طلقها هذا الطلاق المشروع فله أن يراجعها ما دامت في العدة كما قال تعالى: {وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا} [البقرة: 228] وسواء رضيت أو كرهت. ـ

Allah has mentioned the rulings of separation just as he mentioned the rulings of marriage and entering into married. And we have already mentioned how He encourages the husband to be patient with his wife for as long as he is able to do so. But on this note, Allah has mentioned that when he must resort to divorce, then he should divorce his wife at her ‘iddah – meaning: when she enters her ‘iddah – and that is that he divorces her one time while she is in a state of purity [i.e. not during her menses] during which they have not yet had intercourse, or that he divorces her while she is pregnant and her pregnancy has become clear, or while she is beyond the age of menses or being too young for menses because all of these circumstances are initiated by a clear and apparent ‘iddah. Continue reading

The Understanding of the Disbelievers is Limited to this Life: Imam al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee authored a valuable work entitled Dafa’ Eehaam al-Idhtiraab ‘an Ayaat al-Kitaab to respond to and dispel any supposed conflicts, mistakes and contradictions in the Qur’anic text. What follows is one excerpt taken from his coverage of surah al-Baqarah:

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ. ـ

Allah’s statement:

أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

… Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? [2:170]

هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْكَرِيمَةُ تَدُلُّ بِظَاهِرِهَا عَلَى أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ لَا عُقُولَ لَهُمْ أَصْلًا، لِأَنَّ قَوْلَهُ: «شَيْئًا» نَكِرَةٌ فِي سِيَاقِ النَّفْيِ، فَهِيَ تَدُلُّ عَلَى الْعُمُومِ . ـ

According to its outward appearance, this noble ayah indicates that the disbelievers do not possess any understanding at all, because His statement, “nothing” is indefinite in the context of negation, and this indicates a general applicability.

وَقَدْ جَاءَتْ آيَاتٌ أُخَرُ تَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ لَهُمْ عُقُولٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا كَقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ [29 38] . ـ

But there are other ayaat which indicate that the disbelievers possess understanding and that they use it to understand this worldly life, such as His statement:

Continue reading

Belief in the Messengers in brief: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In part of his tafsir of surah al-Baqarah (2:253), sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di listed a summary of some of the salient points regarding the prophets and messengers:

فائدة: كما يجب على المكلف معرفته بربه، فيجب عليه معرفته برسله، ما يجب لهم ويمتنع عليهم ويجوز في حقهم، ويؤخذ جميع ذلك مما وصفهم الله به في آيات متعددة. ـ

A point of benefit: Just as knowledge of one’s Lord is obligatory upon every legally-responsible adult, likewise knowledge of His messengers is also obligatory upon him – what is obligated towards them, what is prohibited regarding them and what is permitted concerning them. And all of that is taken from what Allah has described them with in numerous ayaat.

منها: أنهم رجال لا نساء، من أهل القرى لا من أهل البوادي، وأنهم مصطفون مختارون، جمع الله لهم من الصفات الحميدة ما به الاصطفاء والاختيار، وأنهم سالمون من كل ما يقدح في رسالتهم من كذب وخيانة وكتمان وعيوب مزرية، وأنهم لا يقرون على خطأ فيما يتعلق بالرسالة والتكليف، وأن الله تعالى خصهم بوحيه . ـ

And among these descriptions are:

-They there are men and not women[1], from the inhabitants of townships and not from the people of the wilderness[2].

– And they were chosen[3] and selected[4]; Allah combined in them praiseworthy traits which He chose and selected[5]. Continue reading

Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Baqarah:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ۖ قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ ۖ وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

And they ask you about orphans. Say, “Improvement for them is best. And if you mix your affairs with theirs – they are your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty. Truly, Allah is All-Might, All-Wise. [2:220]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following commentary of this ayah in his famous tafsir:

لما نزل قوله تعالى: { إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَى ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا } شق ذلك على المسلمين, وعزلوا طعامهم عن طعام اليتامى, خوفا على أنفسهم من تناولها, ولو في هذه الحالة التي جرت العادة بالمشاركة فيها, وسألوا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن ذلك، فأخبرهم تعالى أن المقصود, إصلاح أموال اليتامى, بحفظها وصيانتها والاتجار فيها ، وأن خلطتهم إياهم في طعام أو غيره جائز على وجه لا يضر باليتامى, لأنهم إخوانكم, ومن شأن الأخ مخالطة أخيه, والمرجع في ذلك إلى النية والعمل، فمن علم الله من نيته أنه مصلح لليتيم, وليس له طمع في ماله, فلو دخل عليه شيء من غير قصد لم يكن عليه بأس، ومن علم الله من نيته, أن قصده بالمخالطة, التوصل إلى أكلها وتناولها, فذلك الذي حرج وأثم, و ” الوسائل لها أحكام المقاصد ” . ـ

When Allah revealed His statement:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارً‌ا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرً‌ا

Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze. [4:10]

that was cumbersome for the Muslims, and they would separate their food from the food of the orphans, fearing for themselves lest they consume it even though it had been their custom to share their food collectively. So they asked the Prophet (ﷺ) about that, and Allah informed them that the objective was the well-being of the orphans’ wealth by protecting and safeguarding it and conducting transactions with it, and that mixing with them in regards to food and other than that is permissible so long as it does not cause harm to the orphans, because they are your brothers and the affairs of a brother are mixed with his brother. And it ultimately comes back to one’s intention and actions, so for whomever Allah knows that his intention was the well-being of the orphans and that he did not have covetousness towards his property, then even if he entered into something [of the orphan’s wealth] which he did not intend, there is no blame upon him. But whomever Allah knows that his intention was to achieve consumption and attainment of the orphan’s wealth through mixing the orphan’s property with his own, then that is the one who has done wrong and sinned. For “the means towards something take the same ruling as the objective”. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting in the Qur’an – part 3: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di divided his chapter on fasting into three parts, using the ayaat of fasting in surah al-Baqarah (2:183-187) as his structure. Click here to read the first section of that chapter, and here for the second section. What follows is the third and final section, discussing the last of these ayaat pertaining to fasting:

ـ {أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ} [البقرة: 187] إلى قوله: {كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة: 187] ـ

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّ‌فَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَ‌بُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ‌ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُ‌وهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَ‌بُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are in isolation in the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous. [2:187]

كان أول ما فرض الصيام منع المسلمون من الأكل والشرب في الليل إذا ناموا، فحصلت المشقة لكثير منهم، فخفف الله ذلك، وأباح في ليالي الصيام كلها الأكل والشرب والجماع، سواء نام أو لم ينم؛ لكونهم يختانون أنفسهم بترك بعض ما أمروا به لو بقي الأمر على ما كان أولا، فتاب الله عليكم بأن وسع لكم أمرا لولا توسعته لكان داعيا إلى الإثم والإقدام على المعاصي . ـ

In the first stage of the obligatory fasting, the Muslims were prohibited from eating and drinking at night after they had slept, which resulted in a great deal of difficulty for them. So Allah eased the situation for them and permitted eating, drinking and sexual intercourse for them during the entire nights of the fast, regardless of whether they had already slept or not. For they would have betrayed themselves by abandoning part of what they had been commanded to do if the situation had continued in that manner as it was in the first stage of fasting. So Allah turned to them in forgiveness by easing the situation for them. And had it not been for that easing of the situation, then they would have been tempted unto sin and emboldened unto disobedience. Continue reading

Chapter on Fasting 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 wrote the following in the second part of his discussion on fasting. Although the connection between fasting and the ayah being explained in this section is not immediately apparent, one can note that this ayah falls in the midst of a broader discussion of the rulings of fasting in surah al-Baqarah, with sheikh al-Sa’di having explained the ayaat preceding this one in part one of his discussion, and moving on the explaining the ayaat after it in part three. In this section he wrote:

ـ {وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ} [البقرة: 186] ـ

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِ‌يبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْ‌شُدُونَ

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. [2:186]

هذا سؤال وجواب، أي: إذا سألك العباد عن ربهم، وبأي طريق يدركون منه مطالبهم، فأجبهم بهذا الجواب الذي يأخذ بمجامع القلوب، ويوجب أن يعلق العبد بربه بكل مطلوب ديني ودنيوي، فأخبرهم أن الله قريب من الداعين، ليس على بابه حجاب ولا بواب، ولا دونه مانع في أي وقت وأي حال، فإذا أتى العبد بالسبب والوسيلة، وهو الدعاء لله المقرون بالاستجابة له بالإيمان به والانقياد لطاعته، فليبشر بالإجابة في دعاء الطلب والمسألة، وبالثواب والأجر والرشد إذا دعا دعاء العبادة . ـ

This is a question and answer – i.e., when the slaves ask about their Lord and by which means their requests can reach Him, then answer them with this reply which appeals to their hearts and which obliges the slaves to attach themselves to their Lord for their every need – both religious and worldly. For this response informs them that Allah is near to those who call; there is no veil or guard at His door, nor is there any thing else keeping one from calling upon Him at any time or in any circumstance. Continue reading