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 athThawrī 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 ashShākirīn

[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

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