Wednesday, 6 May,

Not Delaying Repentance: A Way to Overcome Devil’s Deception

Posted in (03) Tafsīr Sūraħ `Al 'Imrān tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:49 am by Ibn Abi Ukhti

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

How many times do we tell ourselves that we will repent later and not now? How many times we hear people saying, “I am young, let me enjoy. I will repent when I will be old!” Are we waiting for death to strike us unawares when we have not repented? Till how long will we allow Shayṭān to deceive us? Allāh سبحانه و تعالى gives us the answer for this question by describing the people of Taqwa for whom Paradise is the reward,

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

And those who, when they have committed Fahishah  or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.[1]

Anas bin Mālik رضي الله عنه said, “I was told that when this Ayah, was revealed, Iblīs cried.”[2]

Mujāhid رحمه الله said, “These are two sins; Fāḥishah is one sin and their Dhulm upon themselves is another sin.”[3]

This ayah confirms with the ḥadīth when Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.”[4] Asking for forgiveness sincerely is in itself a good deed that leads others.

Reason of Revelation:

Imām Al Wāhidī رحمه الله mentions the reason of revelation of this ayah, “Aṭa’ reported that Ibn ‘Abbās رضي الله عنهما said: “This was revealed about Nabhān, the seller of dates. A beautiful woman came to buy dates from him. He hugged and kissed her but then he regretted his action. He went to Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم and mentioned what he did. This verse was then revealed”. And he said, according to the narration of al-Kalbī: “Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم tied two men, one from the Helpers and one from Thaqīf, with the bond of brotherhood and they were inseparable. Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم went out one day to one of his military expeditions and the man from Thaqīf accompanied him, leaving his wife and business under the care of the Helper who used to look after the family of the man from Thaqīf. One day he saw the wife of his friend who had just finished having a bath, with her hair spread, and he fell for her. He entered in on her without asking permission and leaned to kiss her but she put her hand on her face such that he kissed the outside of her hand. But then he regretted what he had done, felt the shame of his action and retreated. Upon his retreat, his friend’s wife exclaimed: ‘Glory be to Allāh! You have betrayed your trust, disobeyed your Lord and failed to get what you desired!’ Regretting his action, the man went wandering in the mountains, to repent to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى, from his action. When the man from Thaqīf returned to his family, she informed him of what had happened. He went out looking for his friend until somebody told him where to find him. He found him in prostration, saying: ‘My Lord, my sin! My sin! I have betrayed my brother!’ His friend said: ‘O so-and-so come let us go to Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم and ask him about your sin, haply Allāh سبحانه و تعالى will ease your situation and relent on you’. And so he went back with him until they reached Madīnah one day, at the time of ‘Asr prayer and Jibrīl عليه السلام brought down the news of the acceptance of his repentance. Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم recited to him (And those who, when they do an evil thing) up to His saying (a bountiful reward for workers!). When he finished ‘Umar [ibn al-Khattab] رضي الله عنه asked: “O Rasūl Allāh! This applies specifically to him or is it to all people?’ Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه و سلم said: ‘No, it applies to all.’”[5]

The Tafsīr:


وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً

الَّذِينَ refers to the Muttaqīn in the ayah 132

Imām Al Ṭabarī رحمه الله comments on this verse, “The meaning of Fāḥishah is the ugly action that takes one out of what Allāh (SWT has made permissible. And the roots of the Faḥsh (pl. Fāḥishah) is the unpleasantness and the exceeding of limits (set by Allāh سبحانه و تعالى) and amounts in everything

As-Suddi رحمه الله said that the Fāḥishah in this ayah adultery/fornication

Imām Al Māwardī رحمه الله writes in his book of tafsīr, “As for Fāḥishah, then there are two statements regarding it:

1)      Major disobedience (i.e. major sins)

2)      Usury and this is the saying of Jābir رحمه الله[6]

أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ

Ibrāhīm رحمه الله said, “Dhulm is from Fāḥishah and Fāḥishah is from Dhulm.

Imām ash-Shawkānī رحمه الله writes in his tafsīr, “By committing sins.”[7]

Imām Al Māwardī رحمه الله explains the meaning, “The intended meaning is minor disobedience (i.e. minor sin).”[8]

ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ

Al Kalbī رحمه الله says, “They contemplate about it within themselves that they would be asked by Allāh سبحانه و تعالى about it.”[9]

Muqātil رحمه الله said, “They remember Allāh سبحانه و تعالى with tongue at the committing of sins.”[10]

Imām Al Qurṭubī رحمه الله comments on this by saying, “Meaning (they remember) with fear from His punishment and shyness from Him.”[11]

Imām Al Māwardī رحمه الله mentions two points regarding this phrase,”

1)      They remember Allāh سبحانه و تعالى in their heart and do not forget Him. They choose to remember Him in repentance and forgiveness.”

2)      They remember Allāh سبحانه و تعالى with the words, “O’ Allāh, forgive our sins!” For Allāh سبحانه و تعالى has made easy upon this Ummah what He made difficult upon Banī Isra’īl. When one of them committed a sin, he found the following morning, written on his door step, what he should do to expiate his sin, ‘cut off your nose’, ‘cut off your ear’, ‘do this or do that and ask for forgiveness.’ And this is the saying of Ibn Mas’ūd and ‘Aṭa bin Abi Rabāḥ رضي الله عنهما.

The meaning of the phrase فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ is clear so I will not go into its tafsīr


وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Al Ḥāfidh Ibn Kathīr comments, “For they repent from their error, return to Allāh سبحانه و تعالى before death, do not insist on error, and if they err again, they repent from it.”[12]

Mujāhid and `Abdullāh bin ‘Ubayd bin ‘Umayr رحمهما الله commented, “Whoever repents, then Allah will forgive him.”[13]

Imām Al Māwardī رحمه الله says,“ Sinning in secret and leaving it with seeking forgiveness from it as as-Suddī said.”[14]

May Allāh سبحانه و تعالى make us Muttaqīn. Allāhumma Amīn



[1] Surat `Al ‘Imrān, 3:135

[2] Tafsīr Al Qur’ān Al Karīm  (Ibn Kathīr)

[3] Jāmi‘ Al Bayān Fī Tafsīr Al Qur’ān (Aabarī)

[4] Sunan at-Tirmidhī, ḥadīth is Ḥasan Ṣaḥiḥ

[5] Asbāb al-Nuzūl Al Wāhidī (Al Wāhidī)

[6] Al Nakat wal ‘Uyūn (Al Māwardī)

[7] Fat Al Qadīr(ash-Shawkānī)

[8] Al Nakat wal ‘Uyūn (Al Māwardī)

[9] Jāmi‘ Al Aḥkām Al Qur’ān (Al Qurṭubī)

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Tafsīr Al Qur’ān Al Karīm  (Ibn Kathīr)

[13] Ibid

[14] Al Nakat wal ‘Uyūn (Al Māwardī)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: