Wednesday, 29 July,

You will Recognise in their Faces the Brightness of Delight

Posted in (76) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al-Insān tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:08 am by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

Allāh سبحانه و تعالى tells us about the people of Jannaħ, that delight would be apparent from their faces,

تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ

“You will recognise in their faces the brightness of delight.” [83:24]

Imām al-Māwardī رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr, An-Nakat wal-cUyūn, regarding the meaning of nacīm or delight as mentioned in the translation,

“First: It is the freshness and comfort, said Ibn Shajaraħ رحمه الله

Second: It is the whiteness, said aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk رحمه الله

Third: It is a spring in Paradise from which they will perform wuḍū’ and wash themselves which will bring upon them the brightness of delight, said cAlī رحمه الله.”

So the people of Paradise will be happy and their delight would be evident from their brightened faces. And this will be because they prepared and worked for the Paradise and earned it by Allāh سبحانه و تعالى being merciful to them.

May Allāh سبحانه و تعالى make us amongst these people. Amīn

Tuesday, 16 June,

Seeking the help of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى in Ṣabr & Ṣalāħ

Posted in (02) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al Baqaraħ, Articles in English tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:46 pm by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

Allāh سبحانه و تعالى says,

وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ ﴿٤٥﴾ الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿٤٦﴾

“And seek help in patience and Aṣ-Ṣalāħ and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashicīn. (45) (They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return. (46)[1]

وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ

Al-Ḥāfidh Ibn Kathīr رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr,

“Allāh سبحانه و تعالى commanded His servants to use patience and prayer to acquire the good of this life and the Hereafter. Muqātil bin Ḥayyān رحمه الله said that this āyaħ means, ‘Utilize patience and the obligatory prayer in seeking the Hereafter.’ As for patience (here), they say that it means fasting. There are similar texts reported from Mujāhid رحمه الله.  Imām Al-Qurṭubī رحمه الله and other scholars commented, “This is why Ramaḍān is called the month of patience,” as is mentioned in the Ḥadīth literature. It was also said that “patience” in the āyaħ means, refraining from evil, and this is why “patience” was mentioned along with practicing acts of worship, especially and foremost, the prayer. Also, Ibn Abi Ḥātim رحمه الله narrated that cUmar bin Al-Khaṭṭāb رضي الله عنه said, “There are two types of patience: good patience when the disaster strikes and a better patience while avoiding the prohibitions of Allah.” Ibn Abi Ḥātim رحمه الله said that Imām Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī رحمه الله was reported to have said similarly.”[2]

Imām al-Qurṭubī رحمه الله writes,

“The Exalted has commanded patience upon obedience and against its contrary in His Book and said, ‘Be patient!’ It was said that so-and-so was patient against sin and if he was patient against sin, then he was enduring upon the obedience. This is the most correct from what was said.”[3]

Al-Ḥāfidh Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله writes,

“Patience in worshipping Allāh سبحانه و تعالى and carrying out His instructions means that you perform the prescribed acts of worship regularly and do so sincerely and with knowledge. Worship that is not performed regularly is of no value. Even if worship is performed regularly, there are two dangers. Firstly, we risk losing our sincerity, if the motive for performing prayers is not to please Allāh سبحانه و تعالى and draw closer to Him. So to protect our worship we must make sure that we are sincere. Secondly, we must be sure never to deviate from the way of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, so we have to ensure that our worship is done according to the Sunnaħ.”[4]

And under the title of ‘Patience in abstaining from wrong action,’ he رحمه الله writes,

“This type of patience can be achieved through the fear of the punishment which follows the wrong action, or through a feeling of ḥayā’ (shyness or shame) before Allāh سبحانه و تعالىfor using His blessings in committing wrong actions. That feeling of ḥayā’ before Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم can be strengthened through learning more about Allāh سبحانه و تعالى and knowing more about His names and attributes. Ḥayā’ is a characteristic of people who are noble and possess good qualities, so the person who refrains from wrong action because of ḥayā’ is better than the one who abstains because of fear. Ḥayā’ indicates that a person is mindful of Allāhسبحانه و تعالى and His might. The person whose deterrent is the fear of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has his thoughts focused on the punishment. The fearful person’s main concern is himself and how to save himself from the punishment, whereas the “shy” person’s main concern is Allāh سبحانه و تعالى and His Glory. Both have attained the status of īmān, but the “shy” person has attained iḥsān, a higher status of īmān, in which he conducts himself as if he can see Allāh سبحانه و تعالى , and so his heart is filled with ḥayā’.

The reason why it is so important for a believer to abstain from wrong action is because he must protect his īmān, as wrong action decreases īmān or extinguishes it. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

‘When the adulterer commits adultery he is not a believer, and when the winebibber drinks alcohol he is not a believer and when the thief steals he is not a believer.’

The believer should abstain from many permitted actions in case they may lead to that which is forbidden.”[5]

Personal Comments:

When a person is afflicted by any calamity, he must exercise ṣabr. And it is the only thing one can do as he has no power of what ever happening. But, when a person is blessed by Allāh سبحانه و تعالى, he must also exercise ṣabr at that time. And this type of ṣabr is better than the one mentioned earlier as it truly shows the servitude to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى.  This is the ṣabr of shukr. And shukr can be shown in to ways:

a)      By being steadfast and patient on the obedience of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى

b)      By being enduring against the disobedience of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى

This must also be done during times of difficulty as they are times of testing and a means by which Allāh سبحانه و تعالى forgives His servants. And, of course, we can not achieve any of this except if Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has mercy upon us.

وَالصَّلَاةِ

CAbd Allāh bin CAbbās رضي الله عنهما was confronted with the news of his brother, Quthām رضي الله عنه, whilst he was travelling and he said,

We are Allāh’s and to Him we return.’ Then he turned aside from the road, dismounted, and prayed two units of prayer, in which he extended the period of sitting. Then he stood up and walked to his mount, and said, ‘And seek help in patience and Aṣ-Ṣalāħ and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashicīn.’ [6]

Abul cĀliyaħ رحمه الله said,

“(Allāh سبحانه و تعالى) means: Seek help from patience and prayer in trying to please Allāh سبحانه و تعالى, and know that these part of obedience to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى.”[7]

Ibn Jurayj رحمه الله said,

“‘Seek help in patience and prayer…’ these are helps towards Allāh سبحانه و تعالى’s mercy.”[8]

Ibn Zayd رحمه الله said,

“The polytheists said, ‘By Allāh, Muḥammad, you summon us to something arduous!’ He said, ‘To prayer and faith in Allāh سبحانه و تعالى.’”[9]

Ḥudhayfaħ رضي الله عنه said,

“If the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was afflicted with some (difficult) situation, he would seek protection in Ṣalāħ.” [10]

Personal Comments:

As we see the ḥadīth that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used to find comfort and peace in Ṣalāħ unlike us who feel agitated whilst offering two,  short units.

Question: Why did Allāh سبحانه و تعالى command us to seek help in Ṣalāħ in times of difficulty?

Answer: We were commanded to do so because if a believer stands up to pray, with correct intention following the Sunnaħ, then he will, no doubt (Allāh سبحانه و تعالى Willing of course) feel serene and calm during the prayer. He will forget all his difficulties and problems when he knows that his Lord will protect and give him the answer to his situation as Allāh سبحانه و تعالى says,  “And whosoever fears Allāh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).[11]

وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ

Imām al-Māwardī رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr three points regarding this āyaħ,

First: meaning: that, verily Aṣ-Ṣalāħ is indeed heavy except upon the believers

Second: meaning Aṣ-Ṣabr and Aṣ-Ṣalāħ and the euphemism is relating to Aṣ-Ṣalāħ because it is the closest one to be referred to.

Third: that indeed the answer to the call of Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is difficult except for Al-Khashicīn.

And Al-Khushūc with Allāh سبحانه و تعالى is humility and similar to it is submission. And it was said, ‘Verily the submissiveness is in the body and humility is in voice and sight.’”[12]

Qatādaħ رحمه الله says,

“Al-Khushūc is in the heart and that is the fear (khawf) and lowering of the gaze in the Ṣalāħ.”[13]

Az-Zajjāj رحمه الله says,

“The Khāshīc (the one who has Khushūc)is the one upon whom the signs of humility and Khushūc can be seen.”[14]

Sufyān ath-Thawrī رحمه الله said,

“I asked al-Acmash regarding Al- Khushūc and he said, ‘O’ Thawrī, you want to be the leader of the people and you do not know what Al- Khushūc is? I asked Ibrāhīm an-Nakhacī regarding Al- Khushūc and he said, ‘O’ Acmash, you want to be the leader of the people and you do not know what Al- Khushūc is? Al- Khushūc is not to eat foods of low quality nor wear rough clothes nor is it that you lower the head. Rather, Al- Khushūc is that you see nobility and lowliness (in humility) in the truth alike. And fear Allāh سبحانه و تعالى in all the obligations He has obliged upon you.’”[15]

cAlī bin Abī Ṭālib رضي الله عنه said,

“Al- Khushūc is in the heart, that you soften your hands (when shaking) for a Muslim man and not turning in prayer.”[16]

Imām al-Qurṭubī رحمه الله then says in his own words,

“This the praiseworthy khushūc, because if the fear dwells in the heart, the outer khushūc is necessitated and you see him down to earth, well mannered and humbled. And the predecessors (Salaf aṣ-Ṣāliḥ) used to strive in hiding what became apparent from that. And as for the vilified (khushūc), is the posing , crying and the lowering of the head like the ignorant people do to be seen with eyes of righteousness and dignity and that is the deception from the shayṭān and enticement (to evil) by the inner self of the human.”[17]

It is known that when cUmar رضي الله عنه used to speak, he was clearly heard, when he used to walk, he used to walk fast and when he used to strike, it would be painful. But, even then he was a true ascetic and fearful of Allāh.

Mujāhid رحمه الله said,

“Verily the khashicīn are true believers.”[18]

Personal Comments:

1)      Submissiveness in the body is to surrender one’s limbs in the obedience to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى and staying away from His disobedience.

2)      Humility is found deeply rooted in the heart which makes a person submit his body and soul to his Creator. It makes him have concentration in his worship,  have good Akhlāq and Ādāb whilst dealing with others and treat oneself properly. It makes him lower his voice and sight in ḥayā’ to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى in private and public. It is because of Khushūc that a person achieves the level of Imān and Iḥsān.

3)      Khushūc is found in the heart and not in outward appearance of limbs. The real Khushūc is which shows the signs of humility. Merely, crying or lowering one’s head doesn’t necessitate a person having Khushūc. Similarly, shabby clothes and eating poor food is also not always a sign of humility.

4)      Khushūc does not mean a person becomes lazy or unmanly rather it is as we have read about cUmar رضي الله عنه and even the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم use to be man when walking, it would seem that he was descending from a high place, when he would speak, words would could be counted on fingers,  his blessed glance would be on the ground rather than up and he was a perfect man.

الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ

Abul cĀliyaħ رحمه الله said,

“Ẓann here means certainty.”[19]

Mujāhid رحمه الله said,

“Every ẓann in the Qur’ān means certainty…”[20]

أَنَّهُم مُّلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ

Imām Aṭ-Ṭabarī رحمه الله writes,

“Allāh سبحانه و تعالى stated that prayer is arduous except for those who have this attribute, because whoever is not certain of the life to come and does not believe in the Return and in reward and punishment, finds prayer a hardship and vain effort, for he does not anticipate that by performing it he will see any benefit or repel any harm. Anyone who has this attribute is apt to find the prayer arduous, and he will find its performance a burden and a load, but it will seem light to those who believe in the truth of meeting with Allāh سبحانه و تعالى, who hope for His abundant reward for it, who fear His painful punishment for neglecting it, since they hope that by performing it they will attain, in the life t come, what Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has promised those who perform it, and are on their guard against what He has threatened for those who neglect it.” [21]

وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

Abul cĀliyaħ رحمه الله said,

“They are certain that they will return to Him on the Day of the Resurrection.”[22]

Second opinion: Others said that it means that they will return to Him when they die[23]

Imām Aṭ-Ṭabarī رحمه الله concludes by siding with the opinion of Abul cĀliyaħ رحمه الله and mentions that this opinion is more likely to be correct because of the preceding ayaħ, “How do you disbelieve in Allāh,  seeing you were dead… then unto Him are you returned?”

Personal Comments:

Having Khushūc also means that one is in remembrance of the after life and knows that a Day will come when he will stand before his Lord.  And this feeling makes his prayer much easier upon him unlike the hypocrites who stand up for prayer with laziness, trying to show off their prayer.

And indeed, Allāh سبحانه و تعالى knows best.


[1]Sūraħ al-Baqaraħ, 2:45-6

[2] Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-Karīm

[3] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[4] cUddaħ aṣ-Ṣābirīn wa Dhakhīraħ ash-Shākirīn

[5] Ibid

[6] Jāmic al-Bayān Fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] cUmdaħ at-Tafsīr [Ṣaḥīḥ]

[11] Sūraħ aṭ-Ṭalāq, 65:2

[12] An-Nakat wal-cUyūn

[13] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid

[16]Ibid

[17] Ibid

[18] Ibid

[19] Jāmic al-Bayān Fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān

[20] Ibid

[21] Ibid

[22] Ibid

[23] Ibid

Sunday, 14 June,

Were Harūt and Marūt Angels or Kings?

Posted in (02) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al Baqaraħ, Articles in English, Sciences of Qira'āħ (Qur'ānic Recitations) tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:51 pm by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

Allāh سبحانه و تعالى tells us,

وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَارِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ

“They followed what the Shayāṭīn (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaymān (Solomon). Sulaymān did not disbelieve, but the Shayāṭīn (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Hārūt and Mārūt, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allāh’s Leave…”[1]

The word Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has used to mention about the Hārūt and Mārūt is الْمَلَكَيْنِ. The root of this word is مَلَكَ which means an Angel.  But, Imām al-Baghawī رحمه الله mentions in his tafsīr that cAbdullāh bin cAbbās رضي الله عنهما, Al-Ḥasan رحمه الله and Imām Fakhrud-Dīn ar-Rāzī رحمه الله mentions that aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk رحمه الله used to recite the word as الْمَلِكَيْنِ [2]whose root is مَلِكَ with a kasraħ on lām rather than fatḥaħ.  This fact is also mentioned in Tafsīr al-Kashshāf by Imām az-Zamakhsharī

One might wonder, the Qur’ān is in different recitations? The answer to this question is yes, it has reached to us in ten different but authentic Qiracāħ. Before we study the variant recitation of the verse, lets give a brief introduction to the different Qiracāħ of the Qur’ān.

A Qiracāħ is, for the most part, a method of pronunciation used in the recitations of the Qur’ān. These methods are different from the seven forms or modes (ḥurūf) in which the Qur’ān was revealed. The seven modes were reduced to one, that of Quraysh, during the era of Caliph cUthmān رضي الله عنه when he ordered that the Qur’ān be copied in the Qurayshī dialect and distributed among the Islāmic centers of the time. Hence, only the Qurayshī mode remains today and all of the methods of recitation are based on this mode. The various methods have all been traced back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم through a number of the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما who were most noted for their Qur’ānic recitations. That is, these Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما recited the Qur’ān to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم or in his presence and received his approval. Among them were the following: Ubayy ibn Kacb, cAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Zayd ibn Thābit, Ibn Mascūd, Abū ad-Dardā’, and Abū Mūsa al-Ashcarī رضي الله عنهما. Many of the other Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما learned from these masters. cAbdullāh Ibn cAbbās رضي الله عنهما, the master commentator of the Qur’ān among the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما, learned from both Ubayy and Zayd رضي الله عنهما. [3]

Among the next generation of Muslims, referred to as the Tabicūn there arose many scholars who learned the various methods of recitation from the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما and taught them to others. Centers of Qur’ānic recitation developed in Madīnaħ, Makkaħ, Kūfaħ, Baṣraħ, and ash-Shām (Greater Syria), leading to the evolution of Qur’ānic recitation into an independent science.[4] By the mid eighth century CE, there existed a large number of outstanding scholars, all of whom were considered specialists in the field of recitation. Most of their methods of recitation were authenticated by chains of reliable narrators, ending with the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Those methods on each level of their chain were called Mutawātir and were considered to be the most accurate. Those methods in which the number of narrators were few or one on any level of the chain were referred to as Shādh.

However, some of the scholars of the following period began the practice of designating a set number of individual scholars from the previous period as being the most noteworthy and accurate reciters. By the middle of the tenth century CE (6th century AH), it became a popular convention to limit the number of best reciters to seven, since this number coincided with the number of ḥurūf in which the Qur’ān was revealed.

Similarly, during this period the number of schools of Islāmic law (Madhhab) were reduced to the famous four after a period in which there were many. The first to limit the number of authentic reciters to seven was the cIrāqī scholar, Abū Bakr ibn Mujāhid رحمه الله (d. 936 CE), and those who wrote books on Qiracāħ after him followed suit.[5] This limitation is not an accurate representation of the classical scholars of Qur’ānic recitation. There were many others who were as good as the seven and a number who were greater than them. In fact, the classification of scholars was really a classification of how well their methods of recitation were preserved. Hence, the famous seven were those early scholars from different generations whose methods of recitation had the most chains of narrators with many narrations on each level of the chain. However, there were other classical scholars whose methods of recitation were just as authentically (Mutawātir) recorded as the famous seven. A list of the ten scholars of Qur’ānic recitation whose methods were best preserved is as follows:

1. Abū cAmr ibn al-cAlā (d. 771 CE/154 AH) of Baṣraħ

2. Ibn Kathīr (d. 738 CE/119 AH) was among the students of the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما of Makkaħ.

3. Nāfic (d. 786 CE/169 AH) was originally from Iṣfahān, and his recitation, as transmitted by Warsh (d. 812 CE/196 AH), was of Madīnaħ.

4. Ibn cĀmir (d. 737 CE/118 AH) was the chief judge (Qāḍī) of Damascus during the reign of al-Walīd ibn cAbdul Mālik, who, along with the other Umayyad caliphs, made that city his capital.

5. cĀṣim (d. 746 CE/128 AH) of Kūfaħ was the narrator of the dominant recitation in current use. His narration, as transmitted by Ḥafṣ, is the most common method of narration used in the Muslim world today with the exception of Africa.

6. Ḥamzaħ (d. 773 CE/156 AH) of Kūfaħ.

7. Al-Kisā’ī (d. 805 CE/189 AH) of Kūfaħ was one of the foremost grammarians. He played a major role in the formulation of Arabic grammar rules.

8.  Abū Jacfar (d. 750 CE/132 AH) of Madīnaħ.

9. Yacqūb (d. 820 CE/204 AH) of Baṣraħ.

10. Khalaf (d. 844 CE/229 AH) of Baghdād رحمهم الله

At the same time that scholars of ḥadīth laid down conditions to determine the authenticity of statements or actions attributed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, scholars of Qur’ānic recitation also formulated conditions to facilitate critical analysis of the existing recitations. For any given recitation to be accepted as authentic (Ṣaḥīḥ), it had to fulfill three conditions. If any of the conditions were missing, such a recitation was classified as Shādh (unusual). The first condition was that the recitation have an authentic chain of narration; that is, that the chain of narrators had to be unbroken, that the narrators were known to be righteous, and that they were known to possess good memories. It was also required that the recitation be conveyed by a large number of narrators on each level of the chain of narration below the level of the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما (the condition of Tawātur). Narrations which had authentic chains but lacked the condition of Tawātur were accepted as explanations (Tafsīr) of Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما, but were not considered as methods of reciting the Qur’ān. As for narrations which did not even have an authentic chain of narration, they were classified “bāṭil” (false) and rejected totally.

The second condition was that the recitations’ variations match known Arabic grammatical constructions. Unusual constructions were verified by their existence in passages of pre-Islamic prose or poetry.

The third condition required the recitation to coincide with the script of one of the copies of Qur’ān distributed during the era of Caliph cUthmān رضي الله عنه. Hence, differences which result from dot placement (e.g. taclamūn and yaclamūn) are considered acceptable, provided the other conditions are met. If no support for an unusual condition could be found, the recitation of that construction would be classified Shādh. [6]

This classification did not mean that all aspects of the recitation were considered Shādh; in fact, none of the accepted ten methods are totally free from some Shādh constructions. Shādh narrations of this type also serve as explanations for the authentic narrations, as they are obviously statements of the Ṣaḥābaħ رضي الله عنهما.

Now back to the issue of variant recitation.  The answer to this question is that it is an odd recitation that has was rejected by Imām Aṭ-Ṭabarī رحمه الله although it was transmitted in authentic chain from cAbdullāh bin cAbbās رضي الله عنهما. This recitation is both Shadhaħ and Mashhuraħ at the same time as it is a recitation that that is according to Arabic language and match the writings of the cUthmānī script written words that comes in authentic chain but did not reach level of Tawātur.  And, it is not one of the ten famous Qiracāħ that are known famously. This ayaħ’s tafsīr been disputed by the scholars of the past so it is not possible to say which of the tafsīrs is stronger. And indeed, Allāh سبحانه و تعالى knows best.


[1] Sūraħ al-Baqaraħ, 2:102

[2] Mcālim at-Tanzīl

[3] Al-Itqān

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

The Benefit of Doubt

Posted in (49) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al-Ḥujurāt tagged , , , , , at 3:27 pm by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

If one studies Suraħ al-Ḥujurāt, one will find that is Suraħ is filled with laws dealing with social issues. And in this very chapter of the Qur’ān, Allāh سبحانه و تعالى tells us how to deal with our fellow Muslims.  The saying of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى,

ياَ أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

“O you who believe! If a fāsiq comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done”[1]

In this ayaħ, Allāh سبحانه و تعالى tells us to make sure if the news or narration we hear from any fāsiq is true or authentic before accepting or basing our opinion on it.

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Kathīr رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr,

“Allāh the Exalted ordered investigating the news that sinners and the wicked bring, to make sure of its authenticity. Otherwise, if the sinner’s word is taken for granted and a decision is based on it, regardless of whether the information is true or not, the authorities will be taking the lead of the sinners. Allāh the Exalted and Most Honoured forbade taking the path of the corrupted and sinners. This is why groups of the scholars of Ḥadīth refuse to accept narrations from narrators whose reliability is unknown, for they might be from among the wicked people, in reality”[2]

Imām Al-Māwardī رحمه الله writes,

“In this ayaħ is the proof that the report of one individual is acceptable if he is trustworthy.”[3]

Imām Al-Qurṭubī رحمه الله writes,

“…And whosever’s fisq is grounded (and proven) then his statement is rejected completely for reporting is a trust and the indication of fisq nullifies it.”[4]

We, the Muslims, are afflicted with the disease of accepting whatever is presented to us with any verification what so ever whether is be a Muslim or a non-Muslim source.  A prime example of this would be the onslaught of the media against Islām. They are trying their best to portray Islām in the worst way possible.  Even in Muslim countries, the liberals and secularists ‘Muslims’ try to put down those who follow or even attempt to follow the Sunnaħ of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. The non-Muslims accuse the groups of Muslims as ‘terrorists’ and when Muslims are told this, they hear and believe in instantly without trying to find the source of the news. And we learn from this ayaħ, that this is completely forbidden for a fāsiq, then what about a non-Muslim?

Not knowing the source of information and then accusing a fellow Muslim brother/sister of something can lead to slandering which is even worse than backbiting  as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the following ḥadīth,

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said

“Do you know what is meant by backbiting?” They said, “Allāh and His Messenger know best.” He said, “To say something about your brother which he dislikes.” One asked, “Even if what I say is true about my brother?” He replied, “If such defects you say are true about him, then you have backbitten him, and if he doesn’t have what you say, then you have committed slander against him.” [5]

And we see that Allāh سبحانه و تعالى tells us in ayaħ number 12,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting) . And fear Allāh. Verily, Allāh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful”.[6]

If one looks at this verse with an eye of a grammarian, he will find that the word  اجْتَنِبُوا starts with an alif known as ‘facl amr’ which means a commanding action and that means that avoiding the much suspicion is an obligation upon us as Muslims.

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Kathīr رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr,

“Allāh the Exalted forbids His faithful servants from being suspicious, which includes having doubts and suspicions about the conduct of one’s family, relatives and other people in general. Therefore, Muslims are to avoid suspicion without foundation. The Leader of the faithful cUmar bin Al-Khaṭṭāb said, “Never think ill of the word that comes out of your believing brother’s mouth, as long as you can find a good excuse for it.”

It is reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; do not spy on one another; do not look for other’s faults; do not be jealous of one another; do not envy one another; do not hate one another; and do not desert (shun) one another. And O Allāh’s servants! Be brothers.”[7]

cAbdullāh bin cAbbās says,

“Allāh has forbidden a believer to have bad suspicions about believers.”[8]

Al-Ḥasan رحمه الله says,

“We were in a time in which having suspicion of people was forbidden, but today; you act, remain silent and be suspicious of people however you will.”[9]

So being suspicious of your brothers and sisters doing acts, in general, against the teaching Islām is not allowed at all.  As cUmar رضي الله عنه said, we should try to give our brothers and sisters good excuses when we see them doing wrong.  For example, we see a brother talking to a ghayr maḥram. Normally the people would start having ill thoughts about that brother thinking maybe she is his girlfriend or such stuff. But, he being our brother deserves that we only think good of him. Instead having doubts about his Islāmic personality, we should give the benefit of doubt that maybe he is seeking assistance from the lady or maybe the girl is his own sister.

But, we find that some Muslims are ready to accept whatever they hear from the non-Muslim sources who accuse our brothers and sisters of ‘terrorism’ and all other such nonsense.  Moreover, we see that the accused Muslims get insulted and mocked by their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters sometimes just to please the non-Muslims and at times due to their ignorance of the teachings of Islām. In Islām we know that a person is innocent until proven guilty as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Were people to be given according to their claims, some would claim the wealth and blood of others. But the burden of proof is upon the claimant and the taking of an oath is upon the one who denies (the allegation).”[10]

But the enemies of Islām think that a Muslim is guilty even when proven innocent. The reality is, we should be careful with whatever we utter as we are going to be accountable for everything we utter on the Day of Judgement.

If we let suspicion to creep in our hearts, then this gives a solid foundation to have more illnesses in our hearts such as finding faults in one another, being envious of one another, hating others and so on.

Brotherhood:

The saying of Allāh سبحانه و تعالى,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allāh, that you may receive mercy.”[11]

This ayaħ is a general ayaħ, which means it does not specify that there comes a situation or a time when a believer does not remain another believer’s brother. Whether or not he practises his religion properly or he goes and carries out heinous crimes, a believer is a believer’s brother.

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ

Imām aṭ-Ṭabarī رحمه الله explains in his tafsīr,

“(Brothers) in religion.”[12]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim, he is not unjust with him nor does he forsake him.”[13]

Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-cAsqalānī رحمه الله writes in his book of sharḥ,

“‘The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim’ this is the brotherhood of Islām. For all the unity that is between the two people, takes the name of brotherhood.  ‘He is not unjust with him’ this report is of the meaning of a command for the oppression of a Muslim to another Muslim is forbidden. ‘Nor does he forsake him that he does not leave him with someone who is harmful or something that is harmful to him.”[14]

Imām al-Qurṭubī رحمه الله writes as an explanation of the verse,

“That is (brotherhood) in religion and sanctity, not in lineage. It was said regarding this, that the brotherhood in religion is stronger than the brotherhood in lineage for the brotherhood in lineage is disrupted due to the difference in religion whist the brotherhood in religion is not broken off due to the difference in lineage.” [15]

Part of injustice is having bad suspicion about your brother and it is one of the ingredients of the destruction of brotherhood as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; and do not undercut one another in business transactions; and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allāh. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here – and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour.”[16]

From this ḥadīth we understand that holding a Muslim on contempt is also forbidden according to the Sharicaħ of Prophet Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. We should deal with our Muslim brothers and sisters with a clean heart and having no ill feeling having for them. This way one achieves two benefits:

1)      Having good relations with one another

2)      Possibility of committing injustice lessens as the heart is devoid of evil

فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

This ayaħ was revealed in connection to the ayaħ preceding it but it can also be used for general purposes.

Imām al- Qurṭubī رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr,

“Abū cUbaydaħ said, ‘Reconcile between all the brothers.’”[17]

Then he goes on and says,

“In this verse and the one before, is evidence that the ones tyrannise (like khawārij) do not cease to carry the name of Imān because Allāh, the Exalted, named them brothers of believers in spite of the fact that they are wrong doers.  Al-Ḥārith al-Acūr said that cAlī bin Abī Ṭālib was asked and he was exemplary in fighting the people of tyranny (khawārij or hypocrites) from the people of the Jamal and Ṣiffīn, ‘Are they polytheists?’ He said, ‘No, the one who do shirk have fled.’ Then it was asked, ‘Are they hypocrites?’ He said, ‘No, for the hypocrites do not remember Allāh except little.’ Then it was said to him, ‘Then what is their condition?’ He said, ‘They are our brothers who have transgressed against us.’”[18]

I have personally read statements of kufr against the brothers and sisters who are accused by the west of murdering many innocent people. The situation of cAlī رضي الله عنه was worse and still he considered them as his brothers.

In conclusion, we should try our best to refrain from all sorts of evils we could indulge in when dealing with our brothers and sisters. Not judging them, nor being suspicious of them nor speaking ill of them would solve many of the current problems this Ummaħ is facing. And indeed, Allāh سبحانه و تعالى knows best.

I ask Allāh سبحانه و تعالى to accept this work and give benefit to whoever reads it and save them from misguidance. Āmīn


[1] Suraħ al-Ḥujurāt, 49:06ħ

[2] Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-Karīm

[3] An-Nakat wal-‘Uyūn & Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān (similar statement mentioned)

[4] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[5] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Sunan At-Tirmidhī

[6] Suraħ al-Ḥujurāt, 49:12

[7] Mu’ṭa Imām Mālik

[8] Jāmic al-Bayān Fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān

[9] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[10] Sunan al-Bayhaqi

[11] Suraħ al-Ḥujurāt, 49:10

[12] Jāmic al-Bayān Fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān

[13] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim  ħ

[14] Fatḥ al-Bārī Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

[15] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[16] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[17] Jāmic li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān

[18] Ibid

Sunday, 24 May,

Are you from amongst the Heedless ones?

Posted in (07) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al A'rāf tagged , , , , at 9:04 pm by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

Allah سبحانه و تعالى says in Surat Al A’raaf,

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

“And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.”[1]

Out of His fairness, Allah سبحانه و تعالى describes to us the heedless people so we can take guidance and leave the wrong path we are upon currently towards Siraat Al Mustaqeem.

Al Hasan, Al Suddi, Mujahid & ‘Abdullah bin al-‘Abbas رضي الله عنهم said regarding the word ذَرَأْنَا that it means “We Created.”[2] We is used for Allah سبحانه و تعالى as in a royal ‘We’ not a plural ‘We’

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ

Al Haafidh Ibn Kathir رحمه الله wrote in his tafsir explaining this phrase,

“We made a share in the Fire.”

كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ

He then continues,

“We prepared them for it by their performance of the deeds of its people. When Allah سبحانه و تعالى intended to create the creation, He knew what their work will be before they existed. He wrote all this in a Book, kept with Him, fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth. As Imam Muslim رحمه الله has recorded a hadith Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم saying, “Verily, Allah decided the destination and due measurement of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth, and His Throne was over the water.” [3]

لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا

Then Allah سبحانه و تعالى describes the people from amongst the Jinn and Humans he has created for Jahannam starting off by mention their condition of their hearts as Rasul Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said as a part of a longer hadith,

“…Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.”[4]

Al Haafidh Ibn Hajr Al ‘Asqalaani رحمه الله said,

“The heart has been singled out for this because it is the leader of the body, and through the purification of the leader the subjects become purified, and with his corruption, they become corrupted.”[5]

As for the Tafsir of the ayah, Imam Al Tabari رحمه الله says,

“These people are those who are created for Jahannam from His creation; who do not ponder with it (i.e. the heart) the ayaat of Allah سبحانه و تعالى nor contemplate the proofs of His Oneness nor do they think over the arguments proving His Messengers عليهم صلاة و السلام. However, they do know the Oneness of their Lord سبحانه و تعالى and they are acquainted with the reality of Prophet Hood of the Prophets عليهم صلاة و السلام. Thus, our Lord سبحانه و تعالى has described them with not understanding with it (i.e. heart) because of their turning away from the Truth and forsaking of their pondering over truthfulness of success and extent of thanklessness.”[6]

Imam Al Qurtubi رحمه الله said,

“Because they don’t benefit from it (what is revealed) and they do not contemplate upon the rewards nor fear the punishments.”[7]

Mujahid bin Jabr رحمه الله said,

“They don’t understand with it (i.e. heart) the affairs of hereafter.”[8]

Imam Al Baghawi رحمه الله writes,

“They don’t realise good and guidance.”[9]

This phrase of the ayah talks about those people who have no interest in gaining the knowledge of the Deen because when they are told to remember Allah سبحانه و تعالى and learn about His Oneness and study the Messengers عليهم صلاة و السلام, they refuse to do so and prefer to remain ignorant. Thus, when they are reminded of the signs pointing to the Oneness of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, they refuse to know them even though they believe in them. And since they have no knowledge, they lack the fear of Jahannam and love of Jannah.

Then Allah سبحانه و تعالى continues,

وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا

It is noted from the Tafasir that this section of the ayah has similar meaning to the previous one but in addition the scholars write that they (the people mentioned in this ayah) do not see the Truth. [10]

وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا

Imams Al Tabari , Al Baghawi & Al Shawkani رحمهم الله say regarding this verse,

“The Book of Allah, rather than thinking and contemplating about them, they turn away from them.” [11]

Imam Al Qurtubi رحمه الله writes regarding the verse,

“Admonish.”

Even though these people hear the ayaat of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, they do not contemplate and think over it rather they turn away from them.

أُولَـٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

Mujahid رحمه الله said regarding this,

“(After mentioning the other characteristics) then he made their mention like the cattle then made them even worse than cattle and then finally mentioned that they are the heedless ones.”[12]

Imam Al Qurtubi رحمه الله says,

“Because they are not guided towards the rewards thus they are like cattle whose intention is to just eat and drink. But they (the people) are more misguided since the cattle can at least understand its benefit and harm and obeys its owner but they are even opposite of that. They forsake contemplation (of ayaat of Allah سبحانه و تعالى) and turn away from Paradise and Hell.”[13]

The benefit of the people lie in learning the ‘Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama‘ah and fundamentals of Islam, but there are some heedless people who do not understand this importance of this and thus are more misguided that cattle who at least comprehend their benefit and loss whereas these people do not. Allah سبحانه و تعالى has named the Qur’an as Al Furqan which means a criterion that distinguishes between the Truth and falsehood. If this criterion is not recited and studied, then it is a great possibility one would fall into actions that are forbidden in the Shari‘ah of Rasul Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم as one of the poets said,

عَرَفْتُ شَرْ لَا لِشَرْ **** لَكِنْ تُلَا فِيْهِ

وَ مَنْ لَا يَعْرِفُ شَرْ**** جَدِيْر أَنْ يَقَعَ فِيْهِ

“I learned evil not to indulge in it,
rather to abstain from it,
and whoever does not know what evil is,
it is likely that he will fall into it.”

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى make us amongst those who benefit greatly from this ayah. Ameen

And Allah سبحانه و تعالى knows best.


[1] Surat Al A’raaf, ayah 179

[2] Tafsir Al Tabari

[3] Tafsir Ibn Kathir

[4] Sahih Al Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

[5] Diseases of the Hearts and its Cure’ compiler’s foreword

[6] Tafsir Al Tabari

[7] Tafsir Al Qurtubi

[8] Fath Al Qadeer

[9] Tafsir Al Baghawi

[10] Tafasir Al Tabari, Al Qurtubi, Al Fayruzabadi, Fath Al Qadeer

[11] Tafasir Al Tabari, Tafsir Al Baghawi & Fath Al Qadeer [the last 2 Imams write , “The Book of Allah,” or its like not the rest]

[12] Tafsir Al Tabari

[13] Tafsir Al Qurtubi

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