Benefits of Fasting: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di began his book al-Riyaadh al-Naathirah with a series of chapters succinctly describing some of the benefits accrued from each of the five pillars of Islam. What follows is his brief chapter of the benefits of fasting:

فصل الرابع في فوائد الصوم

Chapter Four: On the Benefits of Fasting

قال تعالى : {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} [البقرة 183] . ـ

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who have believed, Fasting has been decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you in order that you might exercise al-taqwa [2:183]

فذكر تعالى للصوم هذه الفائدة العظمى المحتوية على فوائد كثيرة ، وهى قوله : {لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} . ـ

So Allah mentioned this tremendous benefit which encompasses many other benefits, which is His statement:

لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

in order that you might exercise al-taqwa [2:183]

أى ليكون الصيام وسيلة لكم إلى حصول التقوى ، ولتكونوا بالصيام من المتقين . وذلك أن التقوى اسم جامع لكل ما يحبه الله ويرضاه من فعل المحبوبات لله ورسوله ، وترك ما يكرهه الله ورسوله . ـ

Meaning: so that the fasting might be a means for you to achieve al-taqwa, and that by means of the fasting you might become among those whose defining characteristic is having al-taqwa. And al-taqwa is a comprehensive term for everything which Allah loves and is pleased with out of the deeds which are beloved to Allah and His Messenger, as well as abandoning what Allah and His Messenger hate. Continue reading

Notes on Perfecting One’s Deeds and their Acceptance: ibn Rajab

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali made the following beneficial points in one of his smaller monographic work:

وكان السلف يوصون بإتقان العمل وتحسينه دون مجرد الإكثار منه ، فإن العمل القليل مع التحسين والإتقان أفضل من الكثير مع عدم الإتقان ، قال بعض السلف : < إن الرجلين ليقومان في الصفّ بين الصلاتيهما كما بين السماء والارض ، كم بين من تصعد صلاته لها نور وبرهان كبرهان الشمس ، وتقول : حفظك الله كما حفظتني ، وبين من تلفّ صلاته كما يلفّ الثوب الخلق ويضرب بها وجه صاحبها ، وتقول : ضيعك الله كما ضيعتني > . ـ

The salaf used to advise one another to perfect their deeds and to beautify them rather than merely performing an abundance of them. For surely a small amount of deeds performed excellently and perfected is more virtuous than a large amount done without excellent performance. One of the salaf said:

Two men might stand to pray in the same row while the difference between their two prayers is as great as the distance between the heavens and the earth, such that one’s prayer will raise him up in honor with light and a proof like the sun for him and it will say, “Allah will preserve you just as you preserved me.” And such that the other’s prayer will envelope him just as a garment envelopes the body and strike him on the face and say, “Allah will neglect you just as you neglected me.”

ولهذا قال ابن عباس وغيره : < صلاة ركعتين في تفكر خير من قيام ليلة والقلب ساه > . ـ

And in this regard, ibn ‘Abbaas and others said, “Two raka’a of prayer with deep thought is better than standing the entire night in prayer with an inattentive heart.” 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

“If you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a Furqan”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

In surah al-Anfal, Allah addresses His believing servants by saying:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْ‌قَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ‌ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

O you who have believed, if you have taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a furqan [criterion] and will remove from you your misdeeds and forgive you. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty. [8:29]

Commenting on this ayah in his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following:

قال ابن عباس ، والسدي ، ومجاهد ، وعكرمة ، والضحاك ، وقتادة ، ومقاتل بن حيان ، وغير واحد : فرقانا : مخرجا ، زاد مجاهد : في الدنيا والآخرة ، وفي رواية عن ابن عباس : فرقانا : نجاة ، وفي رواية عنه : نصرا . وقال محمد بن إسحاق : فرقانا أي : فصلا بين الحق والباطل ، قاله ابن كثير . ـ

Ibn ‘Abbaas, al-Suddi, Mujaahid, ‘Ikrimah, al-Dhahhaak, Qataadah, Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan, and others all said: Furqan means, “a way out”. And Mujaahid added to this “in this worldly life and in the hereafter.”

And in what was narrated from ibn ‘Abbaas: Furqan means, “salvation”. And in another narration from him, “aid”.

And Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said: Furqan, meaning a means of distinguishing between the truth and falsehood.

All of the above is what ibn Kathir said [see Tafsir ibn Kathir 4/43-44].

قال مقيده عفا الله عنه : قول الجماعة المذكورة : إن المراد بالفرقان : المخرج يشهد له قوله تعالى : ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا الآية [ 65 \ 2 ] ، والقول بأنه النجاة أو النصر ، راجع في المعنى إلى هذا ; لأن من جعل الله له مخرجا أنجاه ونصره ، لكن الذي يدل القرآن واللغة على صحته في تفسير الآية المذكورة هو قول ابن إسحاق ; لأن الفرقان مصدر زيدت فيه الألف والنون ، وأريد به الوصف أي الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، وذلك هو معناه في قوله : تبارك الذي نزل الفرقان [ 25 \ 1 ] ، أي الكتاب الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، وقوله : وأنزل الفرقان [ 3 \ 4 ] ، وقوله : وإذ آتينا موسى الكتاب والفرقان [ 2 \ 53 ] ، وقوله : ولقد آتينا موسى وهارون الفرقان [ 21 \ 48 ] ، ويدل على أن المراد بالفرقان هنا : العلم الفارق بين الحق والباطل ، قوله تعالى في الحديد : ياأيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله وآمنوا برسوله يؤتكم كفلين من رحمته ويجعل لكم نورا تمشون به ويغفر لكم الآية [ 57 \ 28 ] . ـ

And the following is my speech: Continue reading

The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

Sheikh Falaah ibn Ismaa’eel al-Mundakar, one of the Salafi shuyookh of Kuwait and a professor of ‘Aqeedah at Kuwait University, authored a book entitled “The Essential Beliefs Regarding Love: the Love of Allah – a Theological Study”. He devoted one of its chapters to the Qur’an ayaat regarding loving Allah. In the first section of that chapter, he discussed some of the ayaat specifically dealing with love and the characteristics of the slaves who truly love Allah. What follows in the second section of that chapter, which deals with the qualities that Allah loves:

هذا وقد جاءت آيات كثيرة في كتاب الله تبين الصفات والأعمال التي يحبها الله تعالى ، وهي ترشد أهل الايمان إلى التحلي بها ، والتزامها في حياتهم لينالوا محبة الله تعالى التي هي أعظم غاية يسعى العبد في الحصول عليها في حياته في الدنيا . ـ

There are a number of ayaat in the Qur’an which explain the attributes and actions which Allah loves, and which guide the people of eemaan to adorn themselves with these things and to hold fast to them throughout their lives so that they may attain Allah’s love, which is the greatest goal which a slave can strive to attain in the life of this world.

فقد أخبر سبحانه وتعالى أنه يحب المحسنين فقال تعالى : {وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ} [آل عمران 134] وقال تعالى : {وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ} [البقرة 195] ففي هاتين الآيتين دعوة للصادقين المؤمنين أن يحسنوا إلى عباد الله إحساناً مادياً من مدّ يد المساعدة والعون ، وإحساناً معنويّاً في الأخلاق والمعاملات . ـ

○ And Allah has informed us that He loves the muhsinoon (doers of good), for He said:

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

… and those who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the muhsinoon [3:134]

And He said:

وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good [2:195]

So these two ayaat contain a call to the sincere believer for him to do good to the slaves of Allah in a literal sense by helping and assisting them, and in a figurative sense in terms of good manners and  conduct towards them.

كما أخبر سبحانه وتعالى في آيات كثيرة ، أنه يحب المتقين وقد أمر الناس بالتقوى وأوصاهم بها في آيات أخرى كثيرة من كتابه العزيز فقال تعالى : {بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ } [آل عمران 76]  ؛ وذلك لأن التقوى هي جماع كل خير ؛ فهي وسيلة لكل خير عاجل وآجل ، وهي حصن حصين وحرز منيع من كل شر وضرر ؛ ولذلك فقد أوصى الله تبارك وتعالى بها الأولين والآخرين بقوله : {وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ} [النساء 131] . ـ

○ Likewise, Allah has informed us in many ayaat that He loves the muttaqoon and He has commanded mankind to have taqwa and has enjoined it upon them in many other ayaat in His Mighty Book. For He said: Continue reading

Those who wish to hasten to affairs before their proper times: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Nisaa’:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوا أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً ۚ وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ ۗ قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا

Have you not seen those who were told, “Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah”? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, “Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time.” Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who exercises taqwa. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed].” [4:77]

In part of his commentary on this ayah in his well-known book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

كان المسلمون -إذ كانوا بمكة- مأمورين بالصلاة والزكاة أي: مواساة الفقراء، لا الزكاة المعروفة ذات النصب والشروط، فإنها لم تفرض إلا بالمدينة، ولم يؤمروا بجهاد الأعداء لعدة فوائد:ـ

When the Muslims were still in Mecca, they were commanded to perform the salaah and the zakah – meaning charity to the poor, not the commonly understand meaning of zakah with its specific allocations and conditions, for that was not obligated until they were in al-Madinah – and they were not commanded to perform jihaad against enemies for a number of beneficial reasons:

 منها: أن من حكمة الباري تعالى أن يشرع لعباده الشرائع على وجه لا يشق عليهم؛ ويبدأ بالأهم فالأهم، والأسهل فالأسهل. ـ

Among these reasons was the it was from the wisdom of the Originator that He legislated the divinely legislated laws for His slaves in a manner that would not cause undue harm to them, and He began with the most important thing and then the next most important thing, and with the easiest thing and then the next easiest. Continue reading

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

Khutbah at the Close of the Year: Imam al-Sa’di

In a collection of more than 400 of his sermons, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following khutbah related to the end of the (Hijri calendar) year, the passing of time and the believer’s response to these phenomena.

خطبة في ختام العام

Khutbah at the Close of the Year

الحمد لله منشئ الأيام والشهور ، ومفني الأعوام والدهور ، وميسر الميسور ومقدر المقدور ، يعلم خائنة الأعين وما تخفي الصدور . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah, the Creator of the days and months and the One who causes the years and time to pass away, the One who facilitates what is made easy and who apportions out what is decreed to happen. He knows the betrayals of the eyes and what the hearts conceal.

وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله الغفور الشكور . وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله أفضل آمر وأجل مأمور . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah; the Forgiving, the Appreciative. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; the best of those who command and the loftiest of those who were commanded.

اللهم صل وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه وضاعف اللهم لهم الأجور . ـ

O Allah, grant Your praise, blessings and salutations to our prophet, Muhammad, and to his family and his companions, and O Allah multiply the rewards for them!

أما بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتقوا الله تعالى حق تقواه ، وتوبوا إليه وأطيعوه تدركوا رضاه . ـ

To proceed: O people, have taqwa of Allah as He deserves to be feared, repent to Him and obey Him that you might attain His pleasure!

عباد الله : تصرمت الأعوام عاما بعد عام ، وأنتم في غفلتكم ساهون نيام ، أما تشاهدون مواقع المنايا ؟ وحلول الآفات والرزايا ! وكيف فاز وأفلح المتقون ؟ وكيف خاب وخسر المبطلون والمفرطون ؟ ـ

Slaves of Allah! The years are being cut off one after the other while you in your heedlessness are neglectful as if sleeping! Haven’t you witnessed the decreed events, or the oncoming of vices and harms? How the muttaqoon have succeeded and prospered? Or how the wasteful ones and those upon falsehood regretted and lost? Continue reading

The Fundamentals of the Prohibited Deeds – Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

From a collection of more than 400 sermons of Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di:

خطبة في قوله تعالى : < قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّ‌مَ رَ‌بِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ‌ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ …> ـ

Khutbah on Allah’s statement, “Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed…'”

الحمد لله الذي أمر عباده بكل ما فيه خير لهم وصلاح ، ونهاهم عن جميع المضار والأعمال القباح . ـ

All praise belongs to Allah who commanded His slaves with everything in which there is good and rectitude for them, and prohibited them from all harms and despicable actions.

أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له الكريم الفتّاح . ـ

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone with no partners, the Noble, the Giver of victory.

أشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله الذي نهى عن كل خبيث وأذن في كل طيب وأباح . ـ

And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger who prohibited every abhorrent thing and permitted every good and allowable thing.

اللهم صلّ وسلّم على محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أولي الرشد والتقى والنجاح . ـ

O Allah! Bestow Your peace and blessings upon Muhammad and upon his family and his companions, the preeminent ones in terms of guidance, reverence of Allah and ultimate salvation.

أمّا بعد : أيها الناس ؛ اتّقوا الله بترك مساخطه ومناهيه ، والقيام بفرائضه ومراضية ، فقد جمع لكم أصول ما حرّم عليكم في آية واحدة ، وهي قولة تعالى : < قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّ‌مَ رَ‌بِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ‌ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ‌ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِ‌كُوا بِاللَّـهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ> [الأعراف 33] . ـ

To proceed: O Mankind! Have taqwa of Allah by abandoning what angers Him and his prohibitions, and by enacting what He has obligated and what pleases Him. And He has gathered the fundamentals of what He has made forbidden for you in a single ayah, which is His statement, Continue reading

“Beautified for people is the love of what they desire”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

In the early part of surah Aaali ‘Imran, Allah says:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ‌ الْمُقَنطَرَ‌ةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْ‌ثِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَاللَّـهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ * قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيْرٍ‌ مِّن ذَٰلِكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَ‌بِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَ‌ةٌ وَرِ‌ضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ بَصِيرٌ‌ بِالْعِبَادِ * الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَ‌بَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ‌ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ‌ * الصَّابِرِ‌ينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِ‌ينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return. * Say, “Shall I inform you of [something] better than that? For those who fear Allah will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from Allah. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants – * Those who say, “Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire,”  *  The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.  [3:‌14-17]

Commenting on this group of ayaat, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يخبر تعالى أنه زين للناس حب الشهوات الدنيوية، وخص هذه الأمور المذكورة لأنها أعظم شهوات الدنيا وغيرها تبع لها، قال تعالى { إنا جعلنا ما على الأرض زينة لها } فلما زينت لهم هذه المذكورات بما فيها من الدواعي المثيرات، تعلقت بها نفوسهم ومالت إليها قلوبهم، ـ

Allah informs us that He has beautified the love of worldly desires for mankind, and He specified these aforementioned items because they are the greatest of worldly desires and because other things follow from them. Allah said:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْ‌ضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا

Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it [18:7]

So when theses aforementioned things were beautified for them due to what they contain of arousing appeal to which their souls are attached and to which their very hearts incline.

Continue reading