The Sahabah and Tabi’oon known for their Tafsir: al-Suyooti

In his famous work detailing the sciences of the Qur’an, sheikh Jalaal al-Deen al-Suyooti included a section on the different generations of mufassiroon (Qur’anic exegetes). What follows is a condensed and streamlined presentation of the first part of this chapter, as prepared by sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool:

طبقة الصحابة
The Level of the Sahabah

اشتهر بالتفسير من الصحابة عشرة : الخلفاء الأربعة ، وابن مسعود ، وابن عباس ، وأبي بن كعب ، وزيد بن ثابت ، وأبو موسى الأشعري ، وعبد الله بن الزبير . ـ

Those who are well known among the sahabah for tafsir are ten: the four Khulafaa’ [Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib], ibn Mas’ood, ibn ‘Abbas, Ubay ibn Ka’b, Zayd ibn Thaabit, Abu Moosaa al-Ash’ari, and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr.

أما الخلفاء ؛ فأكثر من روي عنه منهم : على بن أبي طالب ، والرواية عن الثلاثة نزرة جداً ، وكان السبب في ذلك تقدم وفاتهم ، كما أن ذلك هو السبب في قلة رواية أبي بكر رضي الله عنه للحديث ، ولا أحفظ عن أبي بكر رضي الله عنه في التفسير إلا آثاراً قليلة جداً ، لا تكاد تجاوز العشرة ، وأما على ؛ فروي عنه الكثير . ـ

As for the Khulafaa’, then the one from whom the most is transmitted is ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, while what is transmitted from the other three is very little. The reason for that is because those three died earlier, just as that is the reason why there is little in the way of hadeeth narrated from Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), nor was much preserved from Abu Bakr in the way tafsir except for a very few statements which hardly even amount to ten in total. But as for ‘Ali, then a great deal was transmitted from him. Continue reading

al-Qaḍaaʼ and al-Qadr: al-Raghib al-Isfahani

Al-Rāghib al-Isfahāni (d. 502 AH) wrote the following in his famous dictionary of the Qur’an in part of his discussion on the Arabic root for Qaaaʼ [ق ض ى]:

والقضاء من الله تعالى أخَصُّ من القدر , لأنه الفَصلُ بين التقدير , فالقدر هو التقدير والقضاء هو الفصل والقطع ، وقد ذكر بعض العلماء أن القدر بمنزلة المعد للكيل والقضاء بمنزلة الكيل ، وهذا كما قال أبو عبيدة لعمر رضي الله عنهما لما أراد الفرار من الطاعون بالشام : أتفر من القضاء؟! قال : أفر من قضاء الله إلى قدر الله . تنبيهًا أن القدر ما لم يكون قضاء فمرجوٌّ أن يدفعه الله فإذا قضى فلا مدفع له. ويشهد بذلك قوله : وَكَانَ أَمْرً‌ا مَّقْضِيًّا وقوله : كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا و قوله : وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ أي فُصِلَ تنبيهاً ‌أنه صار بحيث لا يمكن تلافيه

The Qaaaʼ of Allah is more specific than the Qadr, because it is the execution which fulfills the decree. So al-Qadr is the decree and al-Qaaaʼ is the execution and fulfillment. And it has been mentioned by some of the scholars that al-Qadr is the station of destining the measure while al-Qaaaʼ is the station of the measure (itself, i.e. its actualization). Continue reading

Questions and Answers on Tawbah from Ibn Taymiyah

As it comes in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyah:

وسئل رحمه الله عن قوله : { ما أصر من استغفر وإن عاد في اليوم والليلة سبعين مرة } . ـ

And he – may Allah have mercy on him – was asked about the statement of the Prophet, “Nothing persists for the one who makes istighfaar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) even if he returns (to the sin) seventy times in a day and a night.”

هل المراد ذكر الاستغفار باللفظ ؟ أو أنه إذا استغفر ينوي بالقلب أن لا يعود إلى الذنب ؟ وهل إذا تاب من الذنب وعزم بالقلب أن لا يعود إليه وأقام مدة ثم وقع فيه أفيكون ذلك الذنب القديم يضاف إلى الثاني ؟ أو يكون مغفورا بالتوبة المتقدمة ؟ وهل التائب من شرب الخمر ولبس الحرير يشربه في الآخرة ؟ ويلبس الحرير في الآخرة ؟ والتوبة النصوح ما شرطها ؟ . ـ

Is the intended meaning of al-istighfaar mentioning its wording? Or is that when one seeks forgiveness while intending in his heart not to return to that sin?

And if one repents from a sin and resolves in his heart not to return to it and is established on this for a period of them but then it does occur, then is that previous sin added to that later one, or is it forgiven by way of the previous tawbah?

And will the one who repented from drinking alcohol and wearing silk drink it in the hereafter and wear silk in the hereafter?

And sincere tawbah – what are its conditions?

So he responded: Continue reading

Two things for which there are no concessions

Following the great victory for the Muslims at the Battle of al-Qaadisiyyah, Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab wrote a letter to his commander Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas wherein he said:

أما بعد فإن الله جل وعلا أنزل في كل شيء رخصة في بعد الحالات إلا في أمريم : العدل في السيرة والذكر. فأما الذكر فلا رخصة فيه في حال ، ولم يرض منه إلا كثير . وأما العدل فلا رخصة فيه في قريب ولا بعيد ، ولا في شدة ولا في رجاء. والعدل – وإن رئي لينًا – فهو أقوى وأطفأ للجور ، وأقمع للباطل من الجور

“To proceed: Verily Allah has provided concessions for everything in certain circumstances, except for two things: Justice and Dhikr. As for dhikr (remembrance of Allah), there is no concession under any circumstances and Allah is not pleased with anything except a great deal of it. And as for justice; there is no concession in it, neither at times of hardship nor ease. And justice – even if it appears soft – it is stronger than injustice and is more able to suppress falsehood than injustice.”

[Taareekh al-Tabari 4/410]

See also: “If there had been a concession for anyone in leaving off dhikr…”

See also: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Everything has two ends and a middle

Those who tasted evil may love good all the more: Ibn Taymiyah

In part of his long discussion of the du’a of Dhu’l-Noon (Prophet Yunus), Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah wrote the following points concerning the relative merits of those born into Islam and those who enter into it later in life:

وما يظنه بعض الناس أنه من ولد على الإسلام فلم يكفر قط أفضل ممن كان كافرا فأسلم ليس بصواب ; بل الاعتبار بالعاقبة وأيهما كان أتقى لله في عاقبته كان أفضل . فإنه من المعلوم أن السابقين الأولين من المهاجرين والأنصار الذين آمنوا بالله ورسوله بعد كفرهم هم أفضل ممن ولد على الإسلام من أولادهم وغير أولادهم ; بل من عرف الشر وذاقه ثم عرف الخير وذاقه [ ص: 301 ] فقد تكون معرفته بالخير ومحبته له ومعرفته بالشر وبغضه له أكمل ممن لم يعرف الخير والشر ويذقهما كما ذاقهما ; بل من لم يعرف إلا الخير فقد يأتيه الشر فلا يعرف أنه شر فإما أن يقع فيه وإما أن لا ينكره كما أنكره الذي عرفه . ـ

What some people think that the one born upon Islam and does not commit kufr ever is better than the one who was a kaafir and then becomes a Muslim – this is not correct. Rather, the criteria is in the outcome, and the one who has more taqwa of Allah in his final end – he is better. That is because it is known that the forerunners from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar who believed in Allah and His messenger after they had disbelieved are better than those who were born upon Islam and their children and other than their children. Rather, the one who knew evil and tasted it and then knew the good and tasted it, then his recognition of the good and his love for it and his recognition of evil and his hatred of it is more complete than the one who does not know good and evil and has not tasted it as he has tasted it. Rather, the one who does not know anything other than good, perhaps evil will come to him and he will not recognize that it is evil, and he may either fall into it or he may not reject it as the one who knew it would reject it. Continue reading

Abu Bakr’s and Umar’s visit to Umm Ayman: Sharh al-Nawawi

In his chapter on the virtues on the sahaabah, imam Muslim mentions the following narration concerning the virtues of Umm Ayman:

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ رضى الله عنه بَعْدَ وَفَاةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِعُمَرَ انْطَلِقْ بِنَا إِلَى أُمِّ أَيْمَنَ نَزُورُهَا كَمَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَزُورُهَا ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا انْتَهَيْنَا إِلَيْهَا بَكَتْ فَقَالاَ لَهَا مَا يُبْكِيكِ مَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِرَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ مَا أَبْكِي أَنْ لاَ أَكُونَ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِرَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَكِنْ أَبْكِي أَنَّ الْوَحْىَ قَدِ انْقَطَعَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ‏.‏ فَهَيَّجَتْهُمَا عَلَى الْبُكَاءِ فَجَعَلاَ يَبْكِيَانِ مَعَهَا

Anas reported that after the death of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar, “Let us visit Umm Aiman as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to visit her.” When we came to her, she was weeping. They (Abu Bakr and Umar) said to her, “What makes you weep? What is with Allah is better for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).” She said, “I weep not because I do not know of the fact that what is with Allah is better for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), but I weep because the revelation which came from the Heaven has ceased to come. This moved both of them to tears and they began to weep along with her.

[Saheeh Muslim #2454]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim mentions the following points of benefit concerning the permissible and recommended activities which are derived from this hadeeth:

قوله : ( قال أبو بكر بعد وفاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعمر رضي الله عنه : انطلق بنا إلى أم أيمن نزورها ، كما كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يزورها ) فيه زيارة الصالحين وفضلها ، وزيارة الصالح لمن هو دونه ، وزيارة الإنسان لمن كان صديقه يزوره ، ولأهل ود صديقه ، وزيارة جماعة من الرجال للمرأة الصالحة ، وسماع كلامها ، واستصحاب العالم والكبير صاحبا له في الزيارة ، والعيادة ، ونحوهما . والبكاء حزنا على فراق الصالحين والأصحاب ، وإن كانوا قد انتقلوا إلى أفضل مما كانوا عليه . والله أعلم .

His statement, “Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar, ‘Let us visit Umm Aiman as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) used to visit her.‘” This includes (the permission and/or recommendation of):

-visiting the righteous people and the virtue of that;
-the righteous person visiting those who are less (righteous) than him;
-people visiting those who their friends used to visit and (visiting) the dearly beloved people of their friend;
-a group of men visiting a righteous woman and listening to her speech;
-for the scholar or elder to bring along a companion with him in his visits, habitual activities, etc;
-weeping out of sadness over the loss of righteous people and companions [whether by death or separation], even if they have moved on to a better condition than that which they were previously in.

And Allah knows best.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Saheeh Muslim #2454]

“Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and ihtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands Ramadan [i.e. in optional night prayers] with eemaan and iḥtisaab, his previous sins will be forgiven.

[Saheeh Muslim #759]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his commentary on this hadeeth, wrote:

قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ( من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا ) معنى ( إيمانا ) تصديقا بأنه حق مقتصد فضيلته ، ومعنى ( احتسابا ) أن يريد الله تعالى وحده لا يقصد رؤية الناس ، ولا غير ذلك مما يخالف الإخلاص . ) .

His (ﷺ) statement, “Whoever stands Ramadan with eemaan and iḥtisaab”. ‘With eemaan‘ means believing that it is true and intending its blessings, and ‘with iḥtisaab‘ means that one desires Allah the Exalted alone and does not intend being seen by the people nor anything else which contradicts ikhlaaṣ (sincerity). Continue reading

“And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

Allah commands His slaves in surah al-Hashr:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّ‌سُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا

“And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain.” [59:7]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his book of tafsir, mentions this ayah and writes:

وقال ابن جريج‏:‏ ما آتاكم من طاعتي فافعلوه، وما نهاكم عنه من معصيتي فاجتنبوه‏.‏ الماوردي‏:‏ وقيل إنه محمول على العموم في جميع أوامره ونواهيه؛ لا يأمر إلا بصلاح ولا ينهى إلا عن فساد‏.‏ قلت‏:‏ هذا هو معنى القول الذي قبله‏.‏ فهي ثلاثة أقوال‏.‏

Ibn Juraij said, “Whatever he gives you of obedience, then do it, and whatever he forbids you of disobedience, then avoid it.” al-Maawardi said, “And it is said that this statement is applied generally to all of his [the Messenger’s] commands and prohibitions. He does not command anything except what brings good and he does not prohibit anything except for what is corrupt.” I [Imam al-Qurtubi] say, “What has preceded is the meaning of this statement, and there are three statements [about this which will follow].”

 قال المهدوي‏:‏ قوله تعالى‏{‏وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوة وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا‏}‏ هذا يوجب أن كل ما أمر به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر من الله تعالى‏.‏ والآية وإن كانت في الغنائم فجميع أوامره صلى الله عليه وسلم ونواهيه دخل فيها‏.‏ وقال الحكم بن عمير – وكانت له صحبة – قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏إن هذا القرآن صعب مستصعب عسير على من تركه يسير على من اتبعه وطلبه‏.‏ وحديثي صعب مستصعب وهو الحكم فمن استمسك بحديثي وحفظه نجا مع القرآن‏.‏ ومن تهاون بالقرآن وحديثي خسر الدنيا والآخرة‏.‏ وأمرتم أن تأخذوا بقولي وتكتنفوا أمري وتتبعوا سنتي فمن رضي بقولي فقد رضي بالقرآن ومن استهزأ بقولي فقد استهزأ بالقرآن قال الله تعالى‏{‏وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوة وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا‏}‏‏)‏

Al-Mahdoui said, “Allah’s statement, ‘And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain,‘ this necessitates that everything that the Prophet (ﷺ) commanded is a command from Allah the Exalted. And the ayah, even though it is about the spoils of war, applies to all commands of the Prophet (ﷺ) and his prohibitions.”… Continue reading

A Clarification on Kissing the Black Stone

Imam al-Bukhari, in his Saheeh, brings the following narration in the chapter on Hajj:

عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّهُ جَاءَ إِلَى الْحَجَرِ الأَسْوَدِ فَقَبَّلَهُ، فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ حَجَرٌ لاَ تَضُرُّ وَلاَ تَنْفَعُ، وَلَوْلاَ أَنِّي رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُقَبِّلُكَ مَا قَبَّلْتُكَ

`Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. And had I not seen Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kissing you I would not have kissed you.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #1597]

al-Haafidh ibn Hajar, in his famous commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, writes the following in his explanation:

قوله : ( لا تضر ولا تنفع ) أي إلا بإذن الله ، وقد روى الحاكم من حديث أبي سعيد أن عمر لما قال هذا قال له علي بن أبي طالب : إنه يضر وينفع ، وذكر أن الله لما أخذ المواثيق على ولد آدم كتب ذلك في رق ، وألقمه الحجر ، قال : وقد سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : يؤتى يوم القيامة بالحجر الأسود وله لسان ذلق يشهد لمن استلمه بالتوحيد ، وفي إسناده أبو هارون العبدي وهو ضعيف جدا ،

His statement, “You can neither harm nor benefit” – meaning, except by the permission of Allah.

And al-Haakim has narrated a hadeeth from Abu Sa’eed that when ‘Umar said this, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to him,

“Verily it does harm and benefit,” and he mentioned that when Allah took the covenants from the children of Adam (i.e. mankind), He wrote that out of compassion, so the Stone is fed bit by bit by them (i.e. their sins). He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, ‘On the Day of Resurrection, the Black Stone will be brought with an eloquent tongue, bearing witness for those who touched it while having al-Tawheed.'”

But in the isnaad there is Abu Haaroon al-‘Abdi, and he is da’eef jaddan (i.e. very weak).

وقد روى النسائي من وجه آخر ما يشعر بأن عمر رفع قوله ذلك إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، أخرجه من طريق طاوس ، عن ابن عباس قال : رأيت عمر قبل الحجر ثلاثا ، ثم قال : إنك حجر لا تضر ولا تنفع ، ولولا أني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قبلك ما قبلتك . ثم قال : ” رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فعل مثل ذلك ” .

And al-Nasaa’i has narrated it by another route by which it is known that the statement of ‘Umar is taken from the Prophet (ﷺ). It comes by way of Taawoos, that ibn ‘Abbaas said,

I saw Umar bin Al-Khattab doing that, then he said: You are just a stone that can neither cause harm or bring benefit; were it not that I saw the Messenger of Allah kissing you I would not have kissed you.’ Then Umar said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah doing that.'” [al-Nasaa’i #2938, Saheeh]

قال الطبري : إنما قال ذلك عمر لأن الناس كانوا حديثي عهد بعبادة الأصنام ، فخشي عمر أن يظن الجهال أن استلام الحجر من باب تعظيم بعض الأحجار كما كانت العرب تفعل في الجاهلية ، فأراد عمر أن يعلم الناس أن استلامه اتباع لفعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، لا لأن الحجر ينفع ويضر بذاته كما كانت الجاهلية تعتقده في الأوثان ،

al-Tabari said: ‘Umar only said that because the people had recently come from the era of worshiping idols, so ‘Umar feared that the ignorant ones that his touching the Stone fell under into the magnification of certain stones as the Arabs had done in the era of al-Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). So ‘Umar wanted to teach the people that touching the Stone is following the actions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), not because the Black Stone can bring benefit or harm in and of itself as it had been believed about idols during al-Jaahiliyyah. 

وقال المهلب : حديث عمر هذا يرد على من قال : إن الحجر يمين الله في الأرض يصافح بها عباده ، ومعاذ الله أن يكون لله جارحة ، وإنما شرع تقبيله اختيارا ليعلم بالمشاهدة طاعة من يطيع ، وذلك شبيه بقصة إبليس حيث أمر بالسجود لآدم .

And al-Muhallib said: the hadeeth of ‘Umar is a refutation of those who say, ‘Verily the Stone is the right hand of Allah on the earth and ‘shaking hands with it’ [i.e. touching it] is ‘ibaadah,” and refuge is sought with Allah from that. And kissing it was only legislated as a choice in order that the obedience of those who obey may be known and witnessed, and that resembles the story of Iblees when he was commanded to prostrate to Adam.

وقال الخطابي : معنى أنه يمين الله في الأرض أن من صافحه في الأرض كان له عند الله عهد ، وجرت العادة بأن العهد يعقده الملك بالمصافحة لمن يريد موالاته والاختصاص به ، فخاطبهم بما يعهدونه .

And al-Khattaabi said: it means that it is the right hand of Allah on the earth, that whoever touches (lit. ‘shakes hands with’) it on the earth, then there is a pact for him with Allah. And traditionally, a pact was made with a ruler by shaking hands for the one who desires his patronage, and doing that exclusively with him, so they agreed to the pact they had made.

وقال المحب الطبري : معناه أن كل ملك إذا قدم عليه الوافد قبل يمينه ، فلما كان الحاج أول ما يقدم يسن له تقبيله نزل منزلة يمين الملك ، ولله المثل الأعلى

And al-Muhibb al-Tabari said: its meaning is that whenever a guest comes before any ruler, he kisses his hand. So when the pilgrim comes, it is more befitting for him to kiss what has been sent down in place of the hand of the ruler, and Allah is above such comparisons.

 وفي قول عمر هذا التسليم للشارع في أمور الدين ، وحسن الاتباع فيما لم يكشف عن معانيها ، وهو قاعدة عظيمة في اتباع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما يفعله ولو لم يعلم الحكمة فيه ، وفيه دفع ما وقع لبعض الجهال من أن في الحجر الأسود خاصة ترجع إلى ذاته ، وفيه بيان السنن بالقول والفعل ، وأن الإمام إذا خشي على أحد من فعله فساد اعتقاد أن يبادر إلى بيان الأمر ويوضح ذلك ، وسيأتي بقية الكلام على التقبيل والاستلام بعد تسعة أبواب . .

And in the statement of ‘Umar is submission to the source of Divine Legislation in the affairs of the deen, and beautiful following (al-ittiba’) in those things which did not disclose their meanings. And this is a great foundational point in following the Prophet (ﷺ) in what he does, even if one does not know the wisdom underlying it.

And in this is a refutation of some of the ignorant ones who claim that the Black Stone has a nature  of its own. And in this is a clarification that the sunnah is by both speech and action (i.e. on the part of ‘Umar), and that if the imam fears that one of his actions would corrupt the beliefs, that he would take the steps to explain the affair and clarify that. And the rest of the statements concerning kissing and touching the Black Stone will come after nine chapters.

قال شيخنا في ” شرح الترمذي ” : فيه كراهة تقبيل ما لم يرد الشرع بتقبيله ، وأما قول الشافعي : ومهما قبل من البيت فحسن ، فلم يرد به الاستحباب ، لأن المباح من جملة الحسن عند الأصوليين

And our sheikh said in Sharh al-Tirmidhi : In this is the dislike of kissing that which the sharee’ah does not prescribe to kiss. And as for the statement of al-Shaafi’: and whomever one kisses from his household, then that is fine, rather it is recommended, because it is value-neutral (mubaah) from good things with those who study usool al-Fiqh.

  تكميل  : اعترض بعض الملحدين على الحديث الماضي ، فقال : كيف سودته خطايا المشركين ، ولم تبيضه طاعات أهل التوحيد ؟ وأجيب بما قال ابن قتيبة : لو شاء الله لكان ذلك ، وإنما أجرى الله العادة بأن السواد يصبغ ، ولا ينصبغ على العكس من البياض . وقال المحب الطبري : في بقائه أسود عبرة لمن له بصيرة ، فإن الخطايا إذا أثرت في الحجر الصلد فتأثيرها في القلب أشد . قال : وروي عن ابن عباس : إنما غيره بالسواد لئلا ينظر أهل الدنيا إلى زينة الجنة ، فإن ثبت ، فهذا هو الجواب . قلت : أخرجه الحميدي في فضائل مكة بإسناد ضعيف ، والله أعلم .

A supplement: some of the heretics have objected to the previous hadeeth [which states that the Black Stone was blackened by the sins of the sons of Adam], they say, “How can the sins of the mushrikoon blacken it, while the obedience of the people of al-Tawheed do not whiten it?” And Ibn Qutaybah responded to this by saying, “If Allah has wished for that, then it would be so, But Allah has caused it to be the case that black usually changes other colors and its not changed itself, which is the opposite to what happens with white.”

And al-Muhibb al-Tabari said, “In its remaining black is a lesson for those who have insight, for verily if the sins are able to leave a mark on a hard rock, then its marks marks on the heart are more severe.”

He said: narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: It was only changed to black in order that the people of this world might look forward to the beauty of al-Jannah. And if this is true, then this is the answer. I [Ibn Hajar] say: this has come from al-Humaidi concerning the virtues of Mecca through a weak isnaad. And Allah knows best.

[Fath al-Baari #1520]

And Imam al-Nawawi, after mentioning some of the various fiqhi positions on the issues, commented on the same hadeeth by writing:

 وأما قول عمر – رضي الله عنه – : ( لقد علمت أنك حجر وإني لأعلم أنك حجر وأنك لا تضر ولا تنفع ) فأراد به بيان الحث على الاقتداء برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في تقبيله ، ونبه على أنه لولا الاقتداء به لما فعله ، وإنما قال : وإنك لا تضر ولا تنفع ؛ لئلا يغتر بعض قريبي العهد بالإسلام الذين كانوا ألفوا عبادة الأحجار وتعظيمها ورجاء نفعها ، وخوف الضرر بالتقصير في تعظيمها ، وكان العهد قريبا بذلك ، فخاف عمر – رضي الله عنه – أن يراه بعضهم يقبله ، ويعتني به ، فيشتبه عليه فبين أنه لا يضر ولا ينفع بذاته ، وإن كان امتثال ما شرع فيه ينفع بالجزاء والثواب فمعناه أنه لا قدرة له على نفع ولا ضر ، وأنه حجر مخلوق كباقي المخلوقات التي لا تضر ولا تنفع وأشاع عمر هذا في الموسم ؛ ليشهد في البلدان ، ويحفظه عنه أهل الموسم المختلفو الأوطان . والله أعلم .

And as for the statement of ‘Umar (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu), “I knew that you are only a stone and verily I know that you are a stone and that you are not able to harm nor benefit anyone“, then the intention by that is to clarify the eagerness to emulate the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) in kissing it, and to point out that he would not have emulated that if the Prophet (ﷺ) had not done it. And he said, “And verily you cannot harm not benefit” lest it mislead some of those who were new to Islam who were used to worshiping and magnifying stones, hoping for their benefit and fearing harm in falling short in their magnification. And is was still close to that era, so ‘Umar feared that some of them would see him kissing it, and they would be concerned about it and imitate him in it (i.e. without the correct intention), so he clarified that the stone is not able to harm nor benefit anyone in and of itself. And if one complies with what has been divinely legislated concerning it, then he it will benefit him with rewards, so the meaning is that is does not have any power over benefit or harm, and that it is a created stone like the rest of the created things which can neither harm nor benefit anyone, and ‘Umar propogated this message during the Hajj season, in order that it would be known throughout the lands, and so the people of the season would protect the various lands from that (shirk). And Allah knows best.

[Al-Minhaaj bi Sharh Saheeh Muslim #1270]

See also: The Black Stone was blackened by the sins of the children of Adam

See also: Two Qur’anic proofs that Ismaa’eel is the sacrificed son: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

‘Umar and valuing human resources over material resources

al-Haakim collects in his book of hadeeth, al-Mustadrak ‘alaa Saheehayn:

حدثنا أبو بكر بن إسحاق أنا بشر بن موسى ثنا عبد الله بن يزيد المقري ثنا حيوة بن شريح أخبرني أبو صخر أن زيد بن أسلم حدثه عن أبيه عن عمر رضي الله عنه أنه قال لأصحابه تمنوا فقال بعضهم أتمنى لو أن هذه الدار مملوءة ذهبا أنفقه في سبيل الله وأتصدق وقال رجل أتمنى لو أنها مملوءة زبرجدا وجوهرا فأنفقه في سبيل الله وأتصدق ثم قال عمر تمنوا فقالوا ما ندري يا أمير المؤمنين فقال عمر أتمنى لو أنها مملوءة رجالا مثل أبي عبيدة بن الجراح ومعاذ بن جبل وسالم مولى أبي حذيفة وحذيفة بن اليمان.

‘Umar said to his companions, “Make a wish”. So one of them said, “I wish that this house would be filled with gold so that I could spend it in the path of Allah and give in charity.” And another man said, “I wish that it would be filled with precious stones so that I could spend it in the path of Allah and give in charity.”

Then ‘Umar [again] said, “Make a wish”. So they said, “We don’t know, O Commander of the Believers.”

So ‘Umar said, “I wish that this (house) would be filled with men the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Saalim the mawla of Abu Hudhaifah, and Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan.”

[al-Mustadrak ‘alaa Saheehayn #5005, 3/252; Ismaa’eel al-Asbahaani also recorded the same wording through a different chain in his book, Siyaar al-Salaf al-Saaliheen 2/650; Ibn Sa’d (3/220), Abu Na’eem (Hilyah 1/102), and Ibn Abi al-Dunya (1/89) recorded similar incidents in which ‘Umar only mentioned Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah]

Imam al-Bukhari records a similar hadeeth in his book of history, al-Taareekh al-Awsat, with the following addition:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْمَدِينِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ الْمَخْزُومِيُّ، حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ دِينَارٍ، حَدَّثَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، وَزَيْدِ بْنِ أَسْلَمَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: قَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، يَوْمًا، ” تَمَنَّوْا ! ” فَجَعَلُوا يَتَمَنَّوْنُ، فقَالُوا: تَمَنَّ أَنْتَ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، قَالَ: ” أَتَمَنَّى أَنْ يَكُونَ مِثْلُ هَذِهِ الدَّارِ رِجَالا مِثْلَ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ الْجَرَّاحِ ”
فَقَالَ: مَا تَمَنَّيْنَا بَعْدَ هَذَا قَالَ عُمَرُ: لَكِنِّي أَتَمَنَّى أَنْ يَكُونَ مِلْءُ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ رِجَالا، مِثْلَ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ الْجَرَّاحِ، وَمُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، وَحُذَيْفَةَ بْنِ الْيَمَانِ، فَأَسْتَعْمِلَهُمْ فِي طَاعَةِ اللَّهِ.
قَالَ: ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ إِلَى حُذَيْفَةَ قَالَ: انْظُرْ مَا يَصْنَعُ قَالَ: فَلَمَّا أَتَاهُ قَسَمَهُ ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ إِلَى مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ فَقَسَمَهُ، ثُمَّ بَعَثَ بِمَالٍ يَعْنِي إِلَى أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ قَالَ: انْظُرْ مَا يَصْنَعُ، فَقَالَ عُمَرُ: قَدْ قُلْتُ لَكُمْ أَوْ كَمَا قَالَ.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said on day, “Make a wish,” so they made wishes. Then they said, “Now you make a wish, O Commander of the Believers.” He said, “I wish to have a house like this (full) of men the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah.”

So they said, “That is what we would have wished for after this [i.e. after wishing to gold and fine stones to spend in the cause of Allah].”

‘Umar replied, “No, rather I wish that the wealth of this house would be men, the likes of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, and Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan, so that I could employ them in obedient service to Allah.”

So ‘Umar sent some money to Hudhaifah and said [to his messenger], “Look to see what he does with it.” So when it reached him, he distributed it [in charity]. Then he sent some money to Mu’adh bin Jabal, and he also distributed it [in charity]. Then he sent some money to Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah and said [to his messenger], “Look to see what he does with it.” [And he also distributed it in charity]. So ‘Umar said to his companions, “Is it as I told you, or as you said?”

[al-Taareekh al-Awsat 173]