The Qualities of those who Hasten towards Good: Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

The following khutbah was published in a collection of more than 400 sermons of sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في صفة السابقين إلى الخيرات
Khutbah on the Qualities of those who Hasten towards Good

الحمد لله الذي منّ على من شاء من عباده بفعل الخيرات وترك المنكرات . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah who blesses whichever of His slaves He wills by enabling them to carry out good deeds and abstain from evil acts.

وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له كامل الأسماء والصفات . وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله أشرف المخلوقات . اللهم صلّ وسلّم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه والتابعين لهم في الأقوال والأفعال والإعتقادات . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah alone, with no partners. It is He whose names and attributes are completely perfect. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, the most noble of all created beings.

O Allah, bestow your blessings and salutations upon Muhammad, upon his family, upon his companions, and also upon those who follow them in their statements, actions and beliefs.

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتّقوا الله بتصديق خبره وامتثال أمره واجتناب نهيه ، فقد وصف الله الأخيار من خلقه بهذه الصفات ، قال تعالى : {إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّهِمْ لَا يُشْرِكُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ } [ المؤمنون 57 – 61 ] . ـ

To proceed: O people! Exercise taqwa of Allah by believing in what He has informed you, by complying with what He has commanded you, and by avoiding what He has forbidden for you. For Allah has described the best of His created beings with these attributes. He said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّهِمْ لَا يُشْرِكُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ

Those who are apprehensive from fear of their Lord * And who believe in the signs of their Lord * And who do not associate anything with their Lord * And who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord – * These are the ones who hasten to good deeds, and they are the forerunners to them. [23:57-61] Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 7/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and published as a series. For a guide to the different sections, please click here. Sheikh al-Shinqitee concluded his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon with this seventh and final section as follows:

قوله تعالى : أولئك هم الوارثون الذين يرثون الفردوس هم فيها خالدون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن المؤمنين المتصفين بالصفات ، التي قدمنا هم الوارثون ، وحذف مفعول اسم الفاعل الذي هو الوارثون ; لدلالة قوله : الذين يرثون الفردوس [ 23 \ 11 ] عليه . والفردوس : أعلى الجنة ، وأوسطها ، ومنه تفجر أنهار الجنة ، وفوقه عرش الرحمن – جل وعلا . ـ

Allah’s statement:

أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِ‌ثُونَ * الَّذِينَ يَرِ‌ثُونَ الْفِرْ‌دَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

These are indeed the inheritors * those who shall inherit the al-Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever [23:10-11]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that the believers who are characterized by the aforementioned qualities are the inheritors. And the object of the subject – which is “the inheritors” – is left unspecified [in the first of these two verses] due to the fact that it is indicated in His statement:

الَّذِينَ يَرِ‌ثُونَ الْفِرْ‌دَوْسَ

those who shall inherit the al-Firdaws

And al-Firdaws is the highest part of al-Jannah and its most central part. The rivers of al-Jannah spring from it, and the Throne of al-Rahman is above it. Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 6/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and are in the midst of publishing as a series. For a guide to the different sections, please click here. Sheikh al-Shinqitee continued with the sixth section of his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon as follows:

قوله تعالى : والذين هم على صلواتهم يحافظون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن من صفات المؤمنين المفلحين الوارثين الفردوس : أنهم يحافظون على صلواتهم والمحافظة عليها تشمل إتمام أركانها ، وشروطها ، وسننها ، وفعلها في أوقاتها في الجماعات في المساجد ، ولأجل أن ذلك من أسباب نيل الفردوس أمر تعالى بالمحافظة عليها في قوله تعالى : حافظوا على الصلوات والصلاة الوسطى الآية [ 2 \ 238 ] ، وقال تعالى في سورة المعارج والذين هم على صلاتهم يحافظون [ 70 \ 34 ] وقال فيها أيضا إلا المصلين الذين هم على صلاتهم دائمون [ 70 \ 22 – 23 ] . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ

And those who carefully maintain their prayers – [23:9]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that one of the qualities of the successful believers who will inherit al-Firdaws is that they carefully maintain their prayers, and carefully maintaining the prayers includes perfecting their pillars, their conditions, their recommended acts, and performing them in their proper times along with the congregation in the masjid.

And since this is one of the causal factors for attaining al-Firdaws, Allah commanded them to be carefully maintained in His statement: Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 5/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and are in the midst of publishing as a series. For a guide to the different sections, click here. Sheikh al-Shinqitee continued with the fifth section of his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon as follows:

قوله تعالى : والذين هم لأماناتهم وعهدهم راعون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن من صفات المؤمنين المفلحين الوارثين الفردوس : أنهم راعون لأماناتهم وعهدهم ، أي : محافظون على الأمانات ، والعهود ، ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَ‌اعُونَ

and those who, in respect to their trusts and their covenants, are keepers [23:8]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that one of the qualities of the successful believers who will inherit al-Firdaws is that they are keepers of their trusts and covenants – meaning: they are protective over their amaanaat (trusts) and ‘uhood (covenants).

والأمانة تشمل : كل ما استودعك الله ، وأمرك بحفظه ، فيدخل فيها حفظ جوارحك من كل ما لا يرضي الله ، وحفظ ما ائتمنت عليه من حقوق الناس ، ـ

And the word al-amaanah (trust) encompasses everything which Allah has entrusted to you and commanded you to preserve and protect. So this includes safeguarding your limbs from anything that is not pleasing to Allah, and safeguarding the whatever rights of the people have been entrusted to you. Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 4/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and are in the midst of publishing it as a series. For a guide to the different sections, click here. Sheikh al-Shinqitee continued with the fourth section of his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon as follows:

قوله تعالى : والذين هم لفروجهم حافظون إلا على أزواجهم أو ما ملكت أيمانهم فإنهم غير ملومين فمن ابتغى وراء ذلك فأولئك هم العادون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآيات الكريمة : أن من صفات المؤمنين المفلحين الذين يرثون الفردوس ويخلدون فيها حفظهم لفروجهم أي : من اللواط والزنى ، ونحو ذلك ، وبين أن [ ص: 309 ] حفظهم فروجهم ، لا يلزمهم عن نسائهم الذين ملكوا الاستمتاع بهن بعقد الزواج أو بملك اليمين ، والمراد به التمتع بالسراري ، وبين أن من لم يحفظ فرجه عن زوجه أو سريته لا لوم عليه ، وأن من ابتغى تمتعا بفرجه ، وراء ذلك غير الأزواج والمملوكات فهو من العادين أي : المعتدين المتعدين حدود الله ، المجاوزين ما أحله الله إلى ما حرمه . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُ‌وجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ * إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ‌ مَلُومِينَ * فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ

And those who guard their private parts * Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed – * But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. [23:5-7]

In these noble ayaat, Allah mentioned that one of the qualities of the successful believers who will inherit al-Firdaws and remain in it forever is that they guard their private parts – meaning from homosexual intercourse, from adultery/fornication, and so on.

And He clarified that their guarding their of private parts does not entail them avoiding their women whom they have right to enjoy, either through the bonds of marriage or by what their right hand possesses – the intended meaning of which is enjoyment of the female slaves. Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 3/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and are in the midst of publishing it as a series. For a guide to the different sections, click here. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee continued his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon as follows:

قوله تعالى : والذين هم للزكاة فاعلون ، في المراد بالزكاة هنا وجهان من التفسير معروفان عند أهل العلم : أحدهما : أن المراد بها زكاة الأموال ، وعزاه ابن كثير للأكثرين . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ

and those who carry out the zakaah [23:4]

There are two well-known opinions among the People of Knowledge regarding the intended meaning of the word “al-zakaah” here.

The first of them is that what is intended here is the zakaah of one’s wealth, and ibn Kathir attributed this opinion to the majority.

الثاني : أن المراد بالزكاة هنا : زكاة النفس أي : تطهيرها من الشرك ، والمعاصي بالإيمان بالله ، وطاعته وطاعة رسله عليهم الصلاة والسلام ، وعلى هذا فالمراد بالزكاة كالمراد بها في قوله قد أفلح من زكاها وقد خاب من دساها [ 91 \ 9 – 10 ] وقوله قد أفلح من تزكى الآية [ 87 \ 14 ] ، وقوله ولولا فضل الله عليكم ورحمته ما زكا منكم من أحد أبدا [ 24 \ 21 ] وقوله خيرا منه زكاة الآية [ 18 \ 81 ] وقوله وويل للمشركين الذين لا يؤتون الزكاة [ 41 \ 6 – 7 ] على أحد التفسيرين ، وقد يستدل لهذا القول الأخير بثلاث قرائن : ـ

The second is that the intended meaning of zakaah in this instance is the zakaah of one’s self – i.e. purifying one’s self from al-shirk and disobedience by having eemaan in Allah, obeying Him, and obeying His Messenger (ﷺ). So according to this position, the intended meaning of zakaah is like it’s intended meaning in Allah’s statement:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا * وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا

He has succeeded who purifies it * And indeed he fails who corrupts his own self [91:9-10]

And His statement: Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 2/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and will publish as a series over the coming weeks. To read section one, click here. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee continued his tafsir of the opening of surah al-Mumi’noon as follows:

قوله تعالى : والذين هم عن اللغو معرضون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن من صفات المؤمنين المفلحين إعراضهم عن اللغو ، وأصل اللغو ما لا فائدة فيه من الأقوال والأفعال ، فيدخل فيه اللعب واللهو والهزل ، وما توجب المروءة تركه . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِ‌ضُونَ

And those who turn away from al-Laghw [23:3]

In this noble ayah, Allah mentioned that one of the characteristics of the successful believers is turning away from al-Laghw. And the root meaning of al-Laghw is that which contains no benefit – whether it be speech or actions. So this includes idle play, distractions, and idle joking, and whatever chivalry requires one to do without.

وقال ابن كثير عن اللغو معرضون [ 23 \ 3 ] أي : عن الباطل ، وهو يشمل [ ص: 307 ] الشرك كما قال بعضهم ، والمعاصي كما قاله آخرون ، وما لا فائدة فيه من الأقوال والأفعال اهـ منه . ـ

And ibn Kathir said: Continue reading

Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 1/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah begins surah al-Mu’minoon with 11 ayaat describing the qualities of the successful believers and their ultimate reward. Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee broke his tafsir of these ayaat into seven sections, which we have translated and will publish as a series over the coming weeks. al-Shinqitee started his explanation of this passage by discussing the first two ayaat, as follows:

قوله تعالى : قد أفلح المؤمنون الذين هم في صلاتهم خاشعون ، ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآيات التي ابتدأ بها أول هذه السورة علامات المؤمنين المفلحين فقال قد أفلح المؤمنون [ 23 \ 1 ] أي : فازوا وظفروا بخير الدنيا والآخرة . وفلاح المؤمنين مذكور ذكرا كثيرا في القرآن ; كقوله وبشر المؤمنين بأن لهم من الله فضلا كبيرا [ 33 \ 47 ]  ـ

Allah’s statement:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ

Indeed the believers have succeeded * Those who are characterized by khushoo’ in their salaah [23:1-2]

In these ayaat which begin this surah, Allah mentioned the signs of the successful believers, for He said:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

Indeed the believers have succeeded

meaning: they have succeeded and achieved good in both this life and in the hereafter. And the success of the believers mentioned here is mentioned frequently throughout the Qur’an, such as Allah’s statement:

وَبَشِّرِ‌ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرً‌ا

And give good tidings to the believers that they will have a great bounty from Allah. [33:47] Continue reading

“If the Truth had followed their desires…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah mentions the following ayah in surah al-Mu’minoon:

وَلَوِ اتَّبَعَ الْحَقُّ أَهْواءَهُمْ لَفَسَدَتِ السَّماواتُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ بَلْ أَتَيْناهُمْ بِذِكْرِهِمْ فَهُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِهِمْ مُعْرِضُونَ

But if the Truth had followed their inclinations, the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them would have been ruined. Rather, We have brought them their dhikr, but they are turning away from the dhikr. [23:71]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, writes the following commentary on this ayah:

قوله تعالى: {وَلَوِ اتَّبَعَ الْحَقُّ} {الْحَقُّ} هنا هو الله سبحانه وتعالى، قاله الأكثرون، منهم مجاهد وابن جريج وأبو صالح وغيرهم. وتقديره في العربية: ولو اتبع صاحب الحق، قاله النحاس. وقد قيل: هو مجاز، أي لو وافق الحق أهواءهم، فجعل موافقته اتباعا مجازا، أي لو كانوا يكفرون بالرسل ويعصون الله عز وجل ثم لا يعاقبون ولا يجازون على ذلك إما عجزا وإما جهلا لفسدت السموات والأرض

Allah said, “But if the Truth had followed their inclinations“: “the Truth” here refers to Allah – High and Exalted is He. The majority [of the mufassiroon] said this; among them were Mujaahid, ibn Jurayj, Abu Saaleh and others. And its implication in the Arabic language is: and if the possessor of the truth had followed (their inclinations), according to al-Nahhaas. And it has been said that it is a figure of speech, meaning if the truth had been in accordance with their desires… – so its ‘accordance’ is figuratively made to be ‘following’, meaning: if (things were in accordance with their desires and) they were disbelieving in the messengers and disobeying Allah – the Mighty and Majestic -, then they would not have been punished nor recompensed for that, neither for their deficiencies nor on account of their ignorance such that the heavens and the earth would be corrupted. Continue reading