Conditions for the Acceptance of Deeds: Tafsir ibn Kathir

The famous mufassir al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir mentioned the following point in the midst of his explanation of surah al-Furqaan:

وقوله تعالى : ( وقدمنا إلى ما عملوا من عمل فجعلناه هباء منثورا ) ، وهذا يوم القيامة ، حين يحاسب الله العباد على ما عملوه من خير وشر ، فأخبر أنه لا يتحصل لهؤلاء المشركين من الأعمال – التي ظنوا أنها منجاة لهم – شيء; وذلك لأنها فقدت الشرط الشرعي ، إما الإخلاص فيها ، وإما المتابعة لشرع الله . فكل عمل لا يكون خالصا وعلى الشريعة المرضية ، فهو باطل . فأعمال الكفار لا تخلو من واحد من هذين ، وقد تجمعهما معا ، فتكون أبعد من القبول حينئذ; ولهذا قال تعالى : ( وقدمنا إلى ما عملوا من عمل فجعلناه هباء منثورا ) . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَّنثُورًا

And when We come to the deeds they have done, then We shall make them into dust particles, scattered. [25:23]

This is on the Day of Judgement when Allah will take His slaves to account for the good and the bad which they used to do. So here He is informing us that these mushrikoon will not obtain any benefit at all from these deeds of theirs which they thought were going to be a source of good and protection for them. Continue reading

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Those who do not witness al-Zoor: Tafsir al-Tabari

In surah al-Furqaan, Allah devotes a number of ayaat to describing the characteristics of the ‘ibaad al-Rahman (the slaves of the Most Merciful). Among these descriptions is His statement:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

And they are those who do not witness al-zoor, and if they pass by some ill talk, they pass by it with dignity. [25:72]

al-Haafidh ibn Kathir clarified the meaning of “those who do not witness” briefly in his tafsir by writing:

 والأظهر من السياق أن المراد : لا يشهدون الزور ، أي : لا يحضرونه; ولهذا قال : ( وإذا مروا باللغو مروا كراما ) أي : لا يحضرون الزور ، وإذا اتفق مرورهم به مروا ، ولم يتدنسوا منه بشيء ; ولهذا قال : ( مروا كراما ) . ـ

From the context, it appears that the intended meaning of “they do not witness al-zoor” is that they are not present for it or in attendance when it is happening. In line with this, Allah said:

وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

and if they pass by some ill talk, they pass by it with dignity.

meaning: they are not in attendance when al-zoor occurs, and if they do happen to pass by it, then they do not let it sully them in the least. In this vein, Allah said:

مَرُّوا كِرَامًا

they pass by it with dignity.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 6/132]

There were a number of different interpretations of the meaning of al-zoor among the salaf. Sheikh ibn al-Jawzi summarizes these different opinions as follows: Continue reading

The Reckoning for the Believers will End in the Middle of the Day: Imam al-Shinqitee

In his book dedicated to responding to supposed contradictions or problematic passages of the Qur’an, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee brought the following section in his treatment of surah al-Furqaan:

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا. هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ الْكَرِيمَةُ تَدُلُّ عَلَى انْقِضَاءِ الْحِسَابِ فِي نِصْفِ نَهَارٍ، لِأَنَّ الْمَقِيلَ لِلْقَيْلُولَةِ أَوْ مَكَانِهَا، وَهِيَ الِاسْتِرَاحَةُ نِصْفَ النَّهَارِ فِي الْحَرِّ . ـ

Allah’s statement:

أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا

The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of resting-places [25:24]

This noble ayah shows that the conclusion of the reckoning [on the Day of Judgement] will be in the middle of the day, because al-maqeel (resting-place) refers to a qaylulah or the place where one takes a qaylulah. And a qaylulah is period of rest in the middle of the day during the hottest part of the day.

وَمِمَّنْ قَالَ بِانْقِضَاءِ الْحِسَابِ فِي نِصْفِ نَهَارٍ: ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ وَابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ وَعِكْرِمَةُ وَابْنُ جُبَيْرٍ لِدَلَالَةِ هَذِهِ الْآيَةِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، كَمَا نَقَلَهُ عَنْهُمُ ابْنُ كَثِيرٍ وَغَيْرُهُ . ـ

And among those who said that the conclusion of the reckoning will be in the middle of the day were ibn ‘Abbaas, ibn Mas’ood, ‘Ikrimah, and ibn Jubayr based on the evidence of this ayah in support of that position. This is as ibn Kathir and others transmitted that from them[1].

وَفِي تَفْسِيرِ الْجَلَالَيْنَ مَا نَصُّهُ: وَأُخِذَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ انْقِضَاءُ الْحِسَابِ فِي نِصْفِ نَهَارٍ، كَمَا وَرَدَ فِي حَدِيثٍ، انْتَهَى مِنْهُ، مَعَ أَنَّهُ تَعَالَى ذَكَرَ أَنَّ مِقْدَارَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ خَمْسُونَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ [70 \ 4] . ـ

And in Tafsir al-Jalalayn is the text, “And it is derived from this that the conclusion of the reckoning will be in the middle of the day, as is mentioned in a hadeeth[2],” end quote. All of this while also bearing in mind that Allah mentioned that the length of the Day of Judgement will be fifty thousand years in His statement:

فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

… during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years [70:4]

وَالظَّاهِرُ فِي الْجَوَابِ: أَنْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَطُولُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ وَيَقْصُرُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَيُشِيرُ لِهَذَا قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى بَعْدَ هَذَا بِقَلِيلٍ: الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَكَانَ يَوْمًا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ عَسِيرًا [25 \ 26] فَتَخْصِيصُهُ عُسْرَ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ بِالْكَافِرِينَ يَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَيْسُوا كَذَلِكَ، وَقَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: فَذَلِكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوْمٌ عَسِيرٌ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ غَيْرُ يَسِيرٍ [74 \ 9 – 10] ، يَدُلُّ بِمَفْهُومِهِ أَيْضًا عَلَى أَنَّهُ يَسِيرٌ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ عَسِيرٍ. كَمَا دَلَّ عَلَيْهِ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: مُهْطِعِينَ إِلَى الدَّاع يَقُولُ الْكَافِرُونَ هَذَا يَوْمٌ عَسِرٌ [54 \ 8] ـ

And what is apparent in terms of a resolution is: that the Day of Judgement is lengthy for the disbelievers and shortened for the believers, and this is indicated by Allah’s statement which comes shortly after the initial one [in surah al-Furqaan]: Continue reading