Saturday, 16 May,

Want to be amongst the Sabiqoon?

Posted in (56) Tafsīr Sūraħ Al-Waqi'aħ tagged , , , , , , at 12:42 pm by Ibn al-Kashmiri

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

الحمد الله

Everyone knows the ayah in which Allah سبحانه وتعالى talks about the Sabiqoon by heart but not many people know what exactly the word Sabiq (pl. Sabiqoon) means. Most people understand from the English translations it to mean as the one who is foremost in doing good deeds but in reality there’s more to it if one goes through the Tafasir (sing. Tafsir) of the ‘ulamaa of the past.

As soon as we think about the Sabiqoon, we are reminded of Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen Abu Bakr AlSiddiq رضي الله عنه’s life and how he was always the leader in doing good deeds amongst the Sahabah رضي الله عنهم. Thus I decided to do some in depth study of the word Sabiq by looking through 3 different Tafasir.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ

And those foremost will be foremost (in Paradise).”[1]

There is a difference of opinion on the meaning of this ayah.

Abu Sawda رحمه الله said,

“They are the first ones who go to the Masjid, and they hurry in doing acts in the path of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.” [2]

Muhammad bin Ka`b AlQuradhi (student of Ubayy bin Ka’b رضي الله عنه in Makkah) and Abu Hazrah Ya`qub bin Mujahid رحمهما اللهsaid regarding this ayah that in this ayah

Allah سبحانه وتعالى was speaking about the Prophets عليهم السلام.[3]

Whilst As-Suddi رحمه اللهsaid that ,

وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ

“And march forth in the way to forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth.” [4]

Therefore, those who rush to obey Allah in this life and are foremost in performing acts of righteousness will be among the foremost believers honored in the Hereafter. [6]

“they are the residents of the utmost highs (Ahl Al-`Illiyyin, in Paradise). The meaning of foremost is that they were foremost in performing the acts of righteousness just as Allah سبحانه وتعالى commanded them,


سَابِقُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

“Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord, and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth.” [5]

AlHasan AlBasri and Qatadah رحمهما الله have said,

“They are the ones who were the first in Iman from amongst every ummah.”  [7]

Muhammad ibn Sirin رحمه الله said,

“They are the ones who prayed towards the Qiblatayn (both Qiblahs i.e. Masjid AlAqsa and Ka’bah) his proof being the saying of Allah سبحانه وتعالى,

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنْ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَار

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun and the Ansar”[8]

Mujahid bin Jabr رحمه الله and others have said,

“They are the foremost in going for Jihad and first of the people of those who go to the Salah.”[9]

‘Ali رضي الله عنه has said,

“They are the foremost to the five prayers.”[10]

Sa’id bin Jubayr رحمه الله (student of ‘AbduLlah bin ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه in Madinah) commented on this ayah,

“(Hurrying) towards repentance and deeds of righteousness. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَة مِنْ رَبّكُمْ

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun” [11]

Then quoted the ayah,

أُولَئِكَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَات وَهُمْ لَهَا سَابِقُونَ

“It is these who race for the good deeds, and they are foremost in them” [12]

Tarjuman Al Qur`an, ‘AbduLlah bin ‘Abbas رضي الله عنهماsaid,

” They are the four from them was the first amongst the ummah of Musa عليه سلام who was Hizqeel from the family of Pharaoh. The first amongst the ummah of ‘Isa عليه سلام who was Habeeb AlNajjar (the carpenter), the man from Antioch and the two foremost amongst the ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar رضي الله عنهما. “Narrated AlMawardi رحمه الله [13]

Shumayt bin ‘Ajlaan  رحمه الله said,

“People are of three types, as for the person who gets up to do good in a youthful age, until Allah سبحانه وتعالى takes him away from this world then he is the one who precede others (Sabiq)…” [14]

It was also said,

“They are the ones who precede others in everything of righteousness. [15]

In conclusion, even though there are different meanings given by different ‘ulamaa’ of the Salaf we should not be confused as to which is the right meaning rather we should try to implement all of the meanings on ourselves which are possible. Because there are certain meanings such as those people of Salaf who said that in the afore mentioned ayah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى was talking about Prophets عليهم سلام or the Sahabah رضي الله عنهم and indeed Allah سبحانه وتعالى knows best.

[1] Qur’an AlKareem {56:10}

[2] Tafsir AlTabari

[3] Ibid

[4] Qur`an AlKareem {3:133}

[5] Qur`an AlKareem {57:21} , Ibid

[6] Tafsir Ibn Kathir

[7] Tafsir AlQurtubi

[8] Qur`an AlKareem {9:100}, Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Qur`an AlKareem {3:133}

[12] Qur`an AlKareem {23:61}, Ibid

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid