Marriage in the Qur’an pt.7 – Justice Between Wives: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the seventh section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

{وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِنْ تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا} [النساء: 129] .ـ

وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِنْ تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] thus leaving another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah – then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. [4:129]

يخبر تعالى أنه ليس في قدرة الأزواج العدل التام بين زوجاتهم، فإن العدل التام يقتضي أن يكون الداعي والحب على السواء، والميل القلبي على السواء، ويقتضي مع ذلك الإيمان الصادق، والرغبة في مكارم الأخلاق للعمل بمقتضى ذلك، وهذا متعذر غير ممكن، فلذلك عذر الله الأزواج، وعفا عنهم عما لا يقدرون عليه، ولكنه أمرهم بالعدل الممكن فقال: {فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ} [النساء: 129] أي: لا تميلوا إلى إحداهن عن الأخرى ميلا كثيرا، بحيث لا تؤدون حقوقهن الواجبة، بل افعلوا مستطاعكم من العدل، فالنفقة والكسوة والقسم في المبيت والفراش ونحو ذلك مقدور، فعليكم العدل فيها بينهن، بخلاف الحب والوطء وتوابع ذلك، فالعبد لا يملك نفسه فعذره الله . ـ

Allah informs us that it is not within the power of a husband to be completely equal between his wives, for completely equal treatment would require his desire of and love towards each of his wives to be the same and that his heart’s inclination towards each is the same. And in addition to that, it would require true eemaan and an aspiration to have noble manners in order for him to behave with what completely equal treatment of his wives would entail. And that is something that is not feasible, nor is it possible. Therefore, Allah has excused and pardoned the husbands for what they are not able to do. However, He did command them with a type of equal treatment which is possible, for He said:

فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ

So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging [4:129]

meaning: do not incline towards one of them over another in a significant way, such that you would not give them their obligatory rights. Rather, you should be as just and equal as you are able. This applies to spending, clothing, housing, the division of one’s nights among them, and so on. This is something you can do. It is incumbent upon you to be fair and equal with each one of your wives regarding these things. This is in contrast to the issues of love, intercourse, and related matters, for the slave does not have complete control over his own self, and so Allah has excused him. Continue reading

“O our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people”: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah recounts part of the story of Moosaa in surah Yunus in which Moosaa addresses his people by saying:

وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَا قَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّـهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوا إِن كُنتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ * فَقَالُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ * وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحْمَتِكَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

And Moosaa said, “O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then place your trust in Him, if you are Muslims.” * So they said, “In Allah do we place our trust. O our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people * And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people.” [10:84-86]

There have been a number of different interpretations of the supplication, “do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people.” Ibn al-Jawzi summarized the different opinions transmitted from the salaf regarding the meaning of this supplication as follows:

وفي قوله : ” لا تجعلنا فتنة ” ثلاثة أقوال : ـ

There are three different opinions regarding Allah’s statement:

لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً

do not make us a trial

أحدها : لا تهلكنا بعذاب على أيدي قوم فرعون ، ولا بعذاب من قبلك ، فيقول قوم فرعون : لو كانوا على حق ما عذبوا ولا سلطنا عليهم . ـ

○ First: Do not destroy us with afflictions at the hands of the people of Fir’awn, nor by a punishment coming from You. For the people of Fir’awn said, “If they were upon the truth, then they would not have been subjected to suffering nor would we have been given power over them.”

والثاني : لا تسلطهم علينا فيفتنونا والقولان مرويان عن مجاهد . ـ

○ Second: Do not place them in power over us, in which case they would subject us to a trial. And both the first and second opinions have been relayed from Mujaahid. Continue reading

The Multiplication of Rewards and its Causes: Imam al-Sa’di

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di mentioned the following benefit in his book of thematic tafsir:

فائدة: ورد في القرآن آيات كثيرة فيها مضاعفة الحسنة بعشر أمثالها، وورد أيضا آيات أُخر فيها مضاعفة أكثر من ذلك، فما وجه ذلك ؟ ـ

A point of benefit: In the Qur’an, there are many ayaat which mention the multiplication of good deeds by ten, and there are also other ayaat which mention the multiplication by more than that, so what is the explanation of that?

فيقال: أما مضاعفة الحسنة بعشر أمثالها فلا بد منها في كل عمل صالح كما قال تعالى: { مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ‌ أَمْثَالِهَا }  [ الأنعام: 160 ]. ـ

One can respond: As for the multiplication of good deeds by ten, then this must happen for every righteous good deed, just as Allah said:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ‌ أَمْثَالِهَا

Whoever comes with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [6:160]

وأما مضاعفة العمل أكثر من ذلك فله أسباب، إما متعلقة بنفس العامل، أو بالعمل ومزيته أو نتائجه وثمراته أو بزمانه أو مكانه. ـ

But as for the multiplication of deeds by more than that, then there are certain causes for that – either something related to the doer himself, or related to the deed being done and its merit, or the outcome of the deeds and its fruits, or to its time or place.

فمن أعظم أسباب مضاعفة العمل إذا حقق العبد في عمله الإخلاص للمعبود، والمتابعة للرسول، فمضاعفة الأعمال تبع لما يقوم بقلب العامل من قوة الإخلاص وقوة الإيمان. ـ

So one of the greatest causes of the multiplication of deeds is when the slave actualizes both al-ikhlaas (sincerity) to the Object of worship as well as following the example of the Messenger. So the multiplication of deeds follows from and corresponds to the strength of his ikhlaas and the strength of his eemaan that is enacted in the heart of doer. 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

The Du’a of Ibrahim for Mecca and his Descendants: Tafsir al-Sa’di

After the Prophet Moosaa, there is no prophet who is mentioned more frequently in the Qur’an than Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaam). In surah Ibrahim, Allah informs us of one of the events in his life [see surah Ibrahim 14:35-41]. Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di, in his famous book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on these ayaat:

‏ ‏{‏وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ‏{‏و‏}‏ اذكر إبراهيم عليه الصلاة والسلام في هذه الحالة الجميلة، إذ قَال‏:‏ ‏{‏رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الحرم ‏{‏آمِنًا‏}‏ فاستجاب الله دعاءه شرعا وقدرا، فحرمه الله في الشرع ويسر من أسباب حرمته قدرا ما هو معلوم، حتى إنه لم يرده ظالم بسوء إلا قصمه الله كما فعل بأصحاب الفيل وغيرهم‏.‏ ـ

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا

And when Ibrahim said, ‘My Lord, make this land secure

– meaning: “And” mention Ibrahim (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) in this beautiful situation, when he said:

رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ ‏آمِنًا‏

‘My Lord, make this land” -meaning the Haram – “secure”

so Allah answered his du’a both with His divine legislation and with His divine decree. For Allah sanctified it in the divine legislation, and (also) facilitated the means of its inviolability in terms of divine decree from what is well-known, to the extent that it would not repel an oppressor with harm except that Allah would crush them just as He did with the Companions of the Elephant and others.

ولما دعا له بالأمن دعا له ولبنيه بالأمن فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ اجعلني وإياهم جانبًا بعيدًا عن عبادتها والإلمام بها، ثم ذكر الموجب لخوفه عليه وعلى بنيه بكثرة من افتتن وابتلي بعبادتها فقال‏:‏

And when Ibrahim supplicated to Allah for security, he supplicated for security for his himself and for offspring, for he said:

وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ

and turn me and my sons away from worshiping idols

– meaning: make for me and for them a great distance from their worship and familiarity with them. He then mentioned the reason for his fear he felt regarding himself and his children for the abundance of trials and tribulations of their worship, so he said, Continue reading

“And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

In his Saheeh, in the book of heart-softening narrations [baab al-Riqaaq], Imam al-Bukhari entitled one of his chapters:

باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه قال الربيع بن خثيم من كل ما ضاق على الناس

The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’ And al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said, ‘[He is sufficient for him] concerning everything which constricts a man.’

This chapter was comprised of the single hadeeth in which ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ هُمْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Seventy thousand people from my ummah will enter into al-Jannah without question, and they are those who do not practice al-ruqya, nor do they consult omens and they place their tawakkal upon Allah [alone].

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6107]

Commenting on this, ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani writes:

قوله باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه استعمل لفظ الآية ترجمة لتضمنها الترغيب في التوكل وكأنه أشار إلى تقييد ما أطلق في حديث الباب قبله وأن كلا من الاستغناء والتصبر والتعفف إذا كان مقرونا بالتوكل على الله فهو الذي ينفع وينجع

His statement, “The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’” – he is using the wording of the ayah [65:3] because it contains an exhortation for al-tawakkal. And it is as if he is indicating a specification of what he had generalized in the hadeeth of the previous chapter*, and that being independent/content from asking for the help of others, and sabr and abstaining are all connected to placing one’s al-tawakkal on Allah, for He is the one who benefits you and has a real effect [on your well-being].

Continue reading

When I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allah four times

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali reports that some of the salaf used to say:

قال بعض السلف : إني لأصاب  بالمصيبة فأحمد الله عليها أربع مرات : أحمد الله إذ لم تكن أعظم مما هي ، وأحمد الله إذ رزقني الصبر عليها ، وأحمده إذ وفقني الاسترجاع ، وأحمده إذ لم يجعلها في ديني

When I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allah four times: I praise Allah for it not being worse than it is, I praise Allah that He provided me with the ability to bear it patiently, and I praise Him for granting me the accord to say, ‘Verily to Allah do we belong and to Him do we return’, and I praise Him for not making the tribulation in my religion.

[Majmoo’ al-Rasaa’il Ibn Rajab vol. 3 p. 155]

See also: “Indeed to Allah we belong, and to Him we will return”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Whoever believes in Allah, He will guide his heart in times of trial: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Five Descriptions of the Prophet in Surah al-Ahzaab

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in His Book in surah al-Ahzaab:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْ‌سَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرً‌ا وَنَذِيرً‌ا * وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَ‌اجًا مُّنِيرً‌ا * وَبَشِّرِ‌ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرً‌ا * وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ وَكِيلًا

O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. And give good tidings to the believers that they will have from Allah a great bounty. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites but do not harm them, and rely upon Allah. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. [33:45-48]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of  tafsir,  writes about these ayaat by saying:

هذه الأشياء، التي وصف الله بها رسوله محمدًا ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ هي المقصود من رسالته، وزبدتها وأصولها، التي اختص بها، وهي خمسة أشياء‏:‏ أحدها‏:‏ كونه ‏{‏شَاهِدًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ شاهدًا على أمته بما عملوه، من خير وشر، كما قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا‏}‏ ‏{‏فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا‏}‏ فهو ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ شاهد عدل مقبول‏.‏

These things with which Allah described His messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) are the objectives of his being sent as a messenger, its apex and foundation, for which it was specifically designated, and they are five things [i.e. objectives]: To be “a witness” – meaning a witness over his ummah in what they do, whether good or evil, as Allah said, “that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you” [2:143], “So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?” [4:41]. So he (ﷺ) is a just and acceptable witness. Continue reading

Never say, “Verily I will do that tomorrow”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah commands His messenger and by extension all Muslims until the end of time with the following command in surah al-Kahf:

وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَٰلِكَ غَدًا  إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَاذْكُر‌ رَّ‌بَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَ‌بِّي لِأَقْرَ‌بَ مِنْ هَـٰذَا رَ‌شَدًا

“And never say of anything, ‘Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,’ Except [when adding], ‘If Allah wills.’ And remember your Lord when you forget, and say, ‘Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.'” [18:23-24]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote the following commentary on these ayaat:

هذا النهي كغيره، وإن كان لسبب خاص وموجها للرسول صل الله عليه وسلم، فإن الخطاب عام للمكلفين، فنهى الله أن يقول العبد في الأمور المستقبلة، ‏{‏إني فاعل ذلك‏}‏ من دون أن يقرنه بمشيئة الله، وذلك لما فيه من المحذور، وهو‏:‏ الكلام على الغيب المستقبل، الذي لا يدري، هل يفعله أم لا‏؟‏ وهل تكون أم لا‏؟‏

This is a prohibition like other prohibitions, albeit for a specific reason and directed to the Messenger (ﷺ), however the address is general to all those who are legally capable. For Allah prohibits that the slave should say about future affairs, “Indeed I will do that tomorrow” without pairing that with the (mention of) will of Allah. And that is because one should beware of what that entails, and that is: speaking about the unknown future events, which one does not know – will he do them or not? Will they occur or not? Continue reading

Whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart in times of trials: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah says in surah al-Taghaabun:

مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

No calamity strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things. [64:10]

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

قوله تعالى : ما أصاب من مصيبة إلا بإذن الله أي بإرادته وقضائه . وقال الفراء : يريد إلا بأمر الله . وقيل : إلا بعلم الله . وقيل : سبب نزولها أن الكفار قالوا : لو كان ما عليه المسلمون حقا لصانهم الله عن المصائب في الدنيا ; فبين الله تعالى أن ما أصاب من مصيبة في نفس أو مال أو قول أو فعل ، يقتضي هما أو يوجب عقابا عاجلا أو آجلا فبعلم الله وقضائه .

His statement, “No calamity strikes except by permission of Allah” – meaning by His will and decree. Al-Firaa’ said: meaning, ‘except by the command of Allah’. And it is said: ‘except by Allah’s knowledge’. And it is said: the reason for the revelation of this ayah is that the kuffaar said, ‘If they Muslims were really upon the truth, then Allah would safeguard them from calamities this dunya‘, so Allah clarified that whatever calamity occurs – whether corporeally or financially, in speech or in deed, whether it is a cause of grief or something which was necessary of punishment in this life or the hereafter – then it is according to the knowledge of Allah and His decree.

قوله تعالى : ومن يؤمن بالله أي يصدق ويعلم أنه لا يصيبه مصيبة إلا بإذن الله .

His statement, “And whoever believes in Allah” – meaning, he affirms and knows that he is not afflicted with a calamity except by the permission of Allah. Continue reading