Whoever desires this world, We will repay them fully therein: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah Hud:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ * أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they will not be deprived therein. * Those are the ones for whom there is nothing for them in the Hereafter except the Fire. Lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. [11:15-16]

In his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يقول تعالى: { مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا } أي: كل إرادته مقصورة على الحياة الدنيا، وعلى زينتها من النساء والبنين، والقناطير المقنطرة، من الذهب، والفضة، والخيل المسومة، والأنعام والحرث. قد صرف رغبته وسعيه وعمله في هذه الأشياء، ولم يجعل لدار القرار من إرادته شيئا، فهذا لا يكون إلا كافرا، لأنه لو كان مؤمنا، لكان ما معه من الإيمان يمنعه أن تكون جميع إرادته للدار الدنيا، بل نفس إيمانه وما تيسر له من الأعمال أثر من آثار إرادته الدار الآخرة. ـ

Allah said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا

Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments…

meaning: that all of such a person’s wants are limited to the life of this world and its adornments such as women, children, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land [c.f. 3:14]. He has directed his desires, efforts and exertions towards these things, while he does not have any desire at all for the enduring life of the Hereafter. This situation is only the case for a disbeliever, because if he were a believer then he would have some eemaan in him that would prevent all of his desires from being turned to the life of this world. Rather, the very presence of eemaan in him and the good deeds which that enables him to do is a consequence of his desire for the life of the Hereafter. Continue reading

The Means and Objectives of Calling to Allah: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his small work of miscellaneous benefits derived from the Qur’an, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following valuable point:

الداعي إلى الله وإلى دينه له طريق ووسيلة إلى مقصوده ، وله مقصودان . فطريقة الدعوة : بالحق إلى الحق للحق فإذا اجتمعت هذه الثلاثة ، بأن كان يدعو بالحق أي بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة ، والمجادلة بالتي هي أحسن ، وكان يدعو إلى الحق – وهو سبيل الله تعالى وصراطه الموصل لسالكه إلى كرامته – وكان دعوته للحق ، أي : مخلصا لله تعالى ، قاصدا بذلك وجه الله ؛ حصل له أحد المقصودين لا محالة ، وهو : ثواب الداعين إلى الله ، وأجر ورثة الرسل بحسب ما قام به من ذلك ، وأما المقصود الآخر ، وهو حصول هداية الخلق وسلوكهم لسبيل الله الذي دعاهم إليه ؛ فهذا قد يحصل وقد لا يحصل ، فليجتهد الداعي في تكميل الدعوة كما تقدم ، وليستبشر بحصول الأجر والثواب ، وإذا لم يحصل المقصود الثاني – وهو هداية الخلق – أو حصل منهم معارضة أو أذية له بالقول أو بالفعل ؛ فليصبر ويحتسب ، ولا يوجب له ذلك ترك ما ينفعه ، وهو القيام بالدعوة علة وجه الكمال ، ولا يضق صدره بذلك ؛ فتضعف تفسه ، وتحضره الحسرات ، بل يقوم بجدٍ واجتهاد ، ولو حصل ما حصل من معارضة العباد . ـ

There are certain ways and means for the one who calls to Allah and to His religion to achieve his goals, and his goals are twofold.

The methodology of calling to Allah is: with what is right, to what is right, and for what is right. So he calls with what is right – meaning with wisdom, good exhortations, and arguing with what is best -, and he is calling to what is right – which is Allah’s way and straight path which leads those who traverse it unto His ultimate goodness -, and he is calling for what is right, meaning that he is sincere to Allah and doing so while seeking the sake of Allah.

So if these three matters are all in place together, then he will definitely achieve one of his two objectives, the first of which is the reward which is given to those who call to Allah. And that reward is the inheritance of the Messengers, according to the level at which he fulfilled that role. Continue reading

In Response to the View that the Hell-fire will Come to an End: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz, the former Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was asked the following question:

 ما هو تفسير قوله تعالى -أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم-: مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ [هود:107]، في قوله تعالى في سورة هود: فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ *  خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ ، والآية التي بعدها ؟ ـ

What is the explanation of Allah’s statement (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed shaytaan):

مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ

as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will.

in His statement in surah Hud:

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُوا فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ * خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ رَبُّكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ

As for those who are wretched, they will be in the Fire, sighing in a high and low tone. * They shall be abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. Indeed, your Lord is an effecter of what He intends. [11:106-107]

as well as in the following ayah?

Sheikh bin Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) responded:

اختلف كلام أهل التفسير في هذا الاستثناء، وأحسن ما قيل في ذلك: أن الاستثناء يراد به ما يقع حال القيامة في موقف القيامة، وما يقع في حال القبور، كل هذا مستثنى، إن المؤمنين والكافرين كلهم لهم نصيبهم، المؤمنون لهم نصيبهم من نعيم الله في قبورهم وفي موقفهم يوم القيامة، وما يحصل لهم من التسهيل واللطف. والكافرون لهم نصيبهم من العذاب في المقابر وفي موقفهم أمام الله يوم القيامة. أما بعد دخول النار فليس فيها استثناء يعني مخلدون أبد الآباد وهم الكفار، وأهل الجنة مخلدون في دار النعيم أبد الآباد لا يضعنون منها ولا يموتون، ولا تخرب بلادهم، وهكذا الكفرة مخلدون في نار جهنم عند أهل السنة والجماعة مخلدون فيها أبد الآباد، لا تخرب ولا يخرجون، منها كما قال الله -سبحانه- وتعالى في أهل النار: يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ[المائدة: 37] وقال -سبحانه-: كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ[البقرة: 167]، وقال في أهل الجنة: خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا[النساء: 57]، فأهل الجنة دائماً في نعيمهم وفي سرورهم وفي حبرتهم لا يضعنون ولا تخرب بلادهم: إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي مَقَامٍ أَمِينٍ * فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ * يَلْبَسُونَ مِن سُندُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ * كَذَلِكَ وَزَوَّجْنَاهُم بِحُورٍ عِينٍ * يَدْعُونَ فِيهَا بِكُلِّ فَاكِهَةٍ آمِنِينَ * لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا الْمَوْتَ إِلَّا الْمَوْتَةَ الْأُولَى وَوَقَاهُمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ * فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ[الدخان: 51-57] وقال -سبحانه-: إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ * ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ آمِنِينَ * وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ * لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ[الحجر: 45-48] . ـ

 The scholars of Tafsir have held different positions regarding this exception, but the best of what has been said is this: that what is intended by this exception is what takes places of the events of Day of Resurrection on the plain of Resurrection and what takes place in the grave – these are these things which make up the exception. Continue reading

“And for that He created them…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah says in His Book in surah Hud:

وَمَا كَانَ رَ‌بُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَ‌ىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ * وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَ‌بُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ۖ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ * إِلَّا مَن رَّ‌حِمَ رَ‌بُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ ۗ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَ‌بِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers. And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.” [11:117-119]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, wrote about these ayaat:

قوله تعالى‏{‏وما كان ربك ليهلك القرى‏}‏ أي أهل القرى‏.‏ ‏}‏بظلم‏}‏ أي بشرك وكفر‏.‏ ‏}‏وأهلها مصلحون‏}‏ أي فيما بينهم في تعاطي الحقوق؛ أي لم يكن ليهلكهم بالكفر وحده حتى ينضاف إليه الفساد، كما أهلك قوم شعيب ببخس المكيال والميزان، وقوم لوط باللواط؛ ودل هذا على أن المعاصي أقرب إلى عذاب الاستئصال في الدنيا من الشرك، وإن كان عذاب الشرك في الآخرة أصعب‏.‏

And Allah’s statement, “And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities” – meaning the people of the cities – “unjustly” – meaning for their shirk and kufr – “while their people were reformers” – meaning that amongst them were those gave each other their rights. Meaning that He would did not destroy them for kufr alone until they add corruption to that, such as the people of Shu’aib when they undervalued the weight and measure [in their financial transactions], or the people of Lut for their sodomy. And this shows that disobedience is more conducive to an eradicating punishment in the dunya than al-shirk, even though the punishment of al-shirk is more severe in the aakhirah Continue reading

The story of Nuh and his son

Allah, سبحانه وتعالى , informs us of the stories of His prophets and righteous slaves throughout His Book, and makes mention of the story of Nuh (Noah) (عليه السلام) in surah Hud, from the 36th ayah until the 49th ayah. Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman writes in explanation of this passage:

وقوله‏:‏ ‏{‏وَأُوحِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلَّا مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد قسوا، ‏{‏فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ فلا تحزن، ولا تبال بهم‏,‏ وبأفعالهم، فإن الله قد مقتهم، وأحق عليهم عذابه الذي لا يرد‏.‏

And Allah’s statement, “And it was revealed to Nuh that, ‘No one will believe from your people except those who have already believed‘” – meaning their hearts have hardened – “so do not be distressed by what they have been doing” – meaning, do not be saddened, and do not heed them or their actions, for verily Allah has detested them, and they are most deserving of the His punishment which cannot be turned back.

‏{‏وَاصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ بحفظنا، ومرأى منا‏,‏ وعلى مرضاتنا، ‏{‏وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ لا تراجعني في إهلاكهم، ‏{‏إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ قد حق عليهم القول، ونفذ فيهم القدر‏.‏

And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration” – meaning under Our protection, and in Our sight, and according to Our pleasure. “And do not address Me concerning those who have wronged” – meaning: do come to me (asking) about their destruction. “Indeed, they are [to be] drowned” – meaning: Our word has been justified against them, and Our decree for them accomplished. Continue reading

Seek Forgiveness and Repent; He will give you a good enjoyment and abounding grace

Allah says in His Book:

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ ۖ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ‌

“And seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him. He will let you enjoy a good enjoyment for a specified term and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.” [11:3]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes about this ayah:

قوله تعالى‏ (‏وأن استغفروا ربكم‏)‏ عطف على الأول‏.‏ ‏(‏ثم توبوا إليه)‏ أي ارجعوا إليه بالطاعة والعبادة‏.‏ قال الفراء(‏ثم‏)‏ هنا بمعنى الواو؛ أي وتوبوا إليه؛ لأن الاستغفار هو التوبة، والتوبة هي الاستغفار‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ استغفروه من سالف ذنوبكم، وتوبوا إليه من المستأنف متى وقعت منكم‏.‏ قال بعض الصلحاء‏:‏ الاستغفار بلا إقلاع توبة الكذابين‏.‏ وقد تقدم هذا المعنى في (‏آل عمران)‏ مستوفى‏.‏ وفي (‏البقرة)‏ عند قوله‏ (‏ولا تتخذوا آيات الله هزوا‏) ‏البقرة‏:‏ 231‏]‏‏ وقيل‏:‏ إنما قدم ذكر الاستغفار لأن المغفرة هي الغرض المطلوب، والتوبة هي السبب إليها؛ فالمغفرة أول في المطلوب وآخر في السبب‏.‏ ويحتمل أن يكون المعنى استغفروه من الصغائر، وتوبوا إليه من الكبائر‏.‏.

The statement of Allah, “And seek forgiveness of your Lord” – this is a continuation of the previous verses. “Then repent to Him” – meaning to return to Him in obedience and worship. Al-Fira’ said, “then” here takes the meaning of ‘and’, because al-istighfar (seeking forgiveness) is tawbah (turning in repentance) and tawbah is al-istighfar. And it is said, “seek His forgiveness for the (minor) sins which have occurred, and repent to Him when you fall back into committing some of those (minor) sins.” And some of the righteous people said, “istighfar without the abandonment of sins is the tawbah of the liars.” And that meaning has already been mentioned in surah Aal Imran, and in surah al-Baqarah with Allah’s statement,”And do not take the verses of Allah in jest” [2:231]. And it is said, “The mention of making istighfar came first in this instance because forgiveness is the desired objective, and tawbah is the means to obtain that. So forgiveness is firstly the objective and ultimately the means (for obtaining one’s goals).” And this carries the meaning that istighfar is done for the minor sins, and tawbah is done for the major sins. Continue reading