The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In his tafsir of surah al-Qasas, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following explanation regarding the story of Qarun (28:76-82):

ـ [‏76ـ82‏]‏ ‏{‏ إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى فَبَغَى عَلَيْهِمْ‏ }‏ إلى آخر القصة . يخبر تعالى عن حالة قارون وما ‏[‏فعل‏}‏ وفُعِلَ به ونُصِحَ ووُعِظَ، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى‏}‏ أي‏:‏ من بني إسرائيل، الذين فُضِّلوا على العالمين، وفاقوهم في زمانهم، وامتن اللّه عليهم بما امتن به، فكانت حالهم مناسبة للاستقامة، ولكن قارون هذا، بغى على قومه وطغى، بما أوتيه من الأموال العظيمة المطغية ‏{‏وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ كنوز الأموال شيئا كثيرا، ‏{‏مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ ‏[‏أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ‏}‏ والعصبة‏}‏، من العشرة إلى التسعة إلى السبعة، ونحو ذلك‏.‏ أي‏:‏ حتى أن مفاتح خزائن أمواله لتثقل الجماعة القوية عن حملها، هذه المفاتيح، فما ظنك بالخزائن‏؟‏ ‏{‏إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ‏}‏ ناصحين له محذرين له عن الطغيان‏:‏ ‏{‏لَا تَفْرَحْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا تفرح بهذه الدنيا العظيمة، وتفتخر بها، وتلهيك عن الآخرة، فإن اللّه لا يحب الفرحين بها، المنكبين على محبتها‏.‏ ـ

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى فَبَغَى عَلَيْهِمْ‏

Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses, but he tyrannized them… (28:76)

until the end of the story [28:82]. Allah informs us of the condition of Qarun, what he did, what was done to him, and what he was advised and admonished with. So He said:

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمِ مُوسَى‏

Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses (28:76)

– meaning: from Banu Israa’eel, those who had been favored over all creation, and they surpassed others in their time, and Allah blessed with what He blessed them with. So it was befitting that their condition would be uprightness, however this Qarun tyrannized his people and wronged them with what he had been given of great tyrannical wealth.

وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ

And We gave him of treasures… (28:76)

– i.e.: treasures meaning a great amount of wealth

مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ

…whose keys would burden a band of strong men (28:76)

and al-‘usbah (a band) is anywhere from ten to nine to seven [of something in number], or the likes of that. Meaning: It was to the extent that the keys to the treasures to the wealth weighed heavily on the group of strong men carrying them. These were (only) the keys, so then what do you think about the treasures?!

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ

thereupon his people said to him… (28:76)

offering him sincere advice and warning him of this transgression

لَا تَفْرَ‌حْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِ‌حِينَ

…”Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.” (28:76)

– meaning: do not revel in this magnificent worldly life or boast over it or let it distract you from the hereafter, for indeed Allah does not love those who exult in it nor those who are devoted to its love. Continue reading

Seek the Hereafter, and do not forget your share of the dunya: Tafsir al-Baghawi

In surah al-Qasas, Allah says:

وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّـهُ الدَّارَ‌ الْآخِرَ‌ةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّـهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And do not seek corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters. [28:77]

Imam al-Baghawi, in his book of tafsir, wrote:

 ـ ( وابتغ فيما آتاك الله الدار الآخرة ) اطلب فيما أعطاك الله من الأموال والنعمة والجنة وهو أن تقوم بشكر الله فيما أنعم عليك وتنفقه في رضا الله تعالى  . ـ

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter” – seek, through that which Allah has bestowed on you of wealth, blessings, and Jannah – and that is done through skukr (gratitude) to Allah concerning that with which He has blessed you and that you spend in the pleasure of Allah the Exalted.

 ـ ( ولا تنس نصيبك من الدنيا ) قال مجاهد ، وابن زيد : لا تترك أن تعمل في الدنيا للآخرة حتى تنجو من العذاب ، لأن حقيقة نصيب الإنسان من الدنيا أن يعمل للآخرة . وقال السدي : بالصدقة وصلة الرحم . وقال علي : لا تنس صحتك وقوتك وشبابك وغناك أن تطلب بها الآخرة . أخبرنا عبد الواحد المليحي ، أخبرنا أبو الحسن أحمد بن محمد بن شاذان ، أخبرنا أبو يزيد حاتم بن محبوب الشامي ، أخبرنا حسين المروزي ، أخبرنا عبد الله بن المبارك ، أخبرنا جعفر بن برقان ، عن زياد بن الجراح ، عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لرجل : وهو يعظه : ” اغتنم خمسا قبل خمس : شبابك قبل هرمك ، وصحتك قبل سقمك ، وغناك قبل فقرك ، وفراغك قبل شغلك ، وحياتك قبل موتك ” الحديث مرسل . قال الحسن : أمره أن يقدم الفضل ويمسك ما يغنيه ، قال منصور بن زاذان في قوله : ” ولا تنس نصيبك من الدنيا ” ، قال : قوتك وقوت أهلك

And do not forget your share of the world.” Mujaahid and ibn Zaid said, “Do not leave off working in the this life for the Hereafter until you are saved from the punishment. For the reality of man’s share of the world is that he works for the Hereafter.” And al-Suddi said, “With saqadah and connecting the familial relations.” And ‘Ali said, ” Do not forget your health, strength, youth, or wealth, so that you can use them to seek the Hereafter.” And ‘Amr ibn Maymoon al-Awdi said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said while he was giving admonition, “Seize five things before five things: 1) your youth before your old age, 2) your health before your sickness, 3) your wealth before your poverty, 4) your free-time before being busy, and 5) your life before your death.” And this hadeeth is mursal (i.e. missing a link somewhere in its chain of narration). And al-Hasan said, “He commanded him to prioritize the blessings and take hold of that which would benefit him.” Mansoor ibn Zaadhaan said about His statement, “Do not forget your share of the world” – “[meaning] your strength and the strength of your family.”

 ـ ( وأحسن كما أحسن الله إليك ) [ أي : أحسن بطاعة الله ] كما أحسن الله إليك بنعمته . وقيل : أحسن إلى الناس كما أحسن الله إليك ( ولا تبغ الفساد في الأرض ) من عصى الله فقد طلب الفساد في الأرض ( إن الله لا يحب المفسدين ) ـ

And do good as Allah has done good to you” – meaning: do good through obedience to Allah just as Allah has done good for you by His blessings. And it is said: Do good to the people just as Allah has done good to you. “And do not seek corruption in the land” – whoever disobeys Allah, then he has sought corruption in the land. “Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 6/221-222]

See also: The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di

If they do not respond to you, then know that they only follow their desires

Allah says in surah al-Qasas:

فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ‌ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. [28:50]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, writes:

وفي قوله‏:‏ ‏{‏فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ‏}‏ دليل على أن كل من لم يستجب للرسول، وذهب إلى قول مخالف لقول الرسول، فإنه لم يذهب إلى هدى، وإنما ذهب إلى هوى‏.‏

And in His statement, “But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their desires” there is proof that every one who does not respond to the Messenger, and goes with a speech which contradicts the speech of the Messenger, then certainly he has not gone with guidance, and certainly he has only gone with desire.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]