Surah Fath Ayat 27-29 (end)

{27. Indeed Allah shall fulfill the true vision which He showed to His Messenger in very truth. Certainly, you shall enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram, if Allah wills, secure, (some) having your heads shaved, and (some having your hair cut short, having no fear. He knew what you knew not, and He granted besides that a near victory.

28. He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it superior to all religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.}

Allah has indeed fulfilled the True Vision which He showed to His Prophet

In a dream, the Messenger of Allah saw himself entering Makkah and performing Tawaf around the House. He told his Companions about this dream when he was still in Al-Madinah. When they went to Makkah in the year of Al-Hudaybiyyah, none of them doubted that the Prophet’s vision would come true that year. When the treaty of peace was conducted and they had to return to Al-Madinah that year, being allowed to return to Makkah the next year, some of the Companions disliked what happened. Umar bin Al-Khattab asked about this, saying, “Haven’t you told us that we will go to the House and perform Tawaf around it?” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Yes. Have I told you that you will go to it this year?”

Umar said, “No.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Then you will go to it and perform Tawaf around it.” 

Umar received the same answer from Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, letter for letter. (Fath Al-Bari 5:390) This is why Allah the Exalted and Most honoured said, “Indeed Allah shall fulfill the true vision which He showed to His Messenger in very truth. Certainly, you shall enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram, if Allah wills,” and He willed that this matter shall certainly occur, “secure,” means, ‘upon your entering,’ “(some) having your heads shaved, and (some) having your hair cut short,” and some of them indeed had their head hair shaved, while some of them had their head hair shortened. The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“O Allah! Be merciful to those who have their head shaved.”

The people said, “O Allah’s Messenger! And (invoke Allah for) those who get their hair cut short.” He said,

“O Allah! Be merciful to those who have their head shaved.”

The people said, “O Allah’s Messenger! And those who get their hair cut short.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“O Allah! Be merciful to those who have their head shaved.”

The people said, “O Allah’s Messenger! And those who get their hair cut short.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said (the third or the fourth time),

“And to those who get their hair cut short.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:656)

Allah said, “having no fear”, indicating that they will be safe and will have no fear when they enter Makkah. This occurred in the Umrah performed the following year, on the seventh year of Hijrah during the month of Dhul-Qadah.

When the Messenger left from Al-Hudaybiyyah, during the month of Dhul-Qadah (the sixth year of Hijrah), he went back to Al-Madinah. He remained in Al-Madinah during the months of Dhul-Hijjah and Al-Muharram. In Safar, he marched forth to Khaybar, and Allah opened that city for him, partly by force and partly by its people surrendering to him. Khaybar was a wealthy province that had abundant date trees and vegetation. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, hired the (defeated) Jews of Khaybar to attend to a part of its green fields and divided the province among those who attended Al-Hudaybiyyah with him. No one else except those Companions took part in attacking Khaybar, except Jafar bin Abi Talib, who came back with his companions from Ethiopia. Abu Musa Al-Ashari and his people also attended that battle. None of them were absent except Abu Dujanah Simak bin Kharashah, according to Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 22: 259) This fact is well recorded in (the Books of) history. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then returned to Al-Madinah.

When the month of Dhul-Qadah came, the seventh year of Hijrah, the Prophet went to Makkah for Umrah accompanied by those who were with him at Al-Hudaybiyyah. He resumed Ihram from Dhul-Hulayfah and took the sacrificial animals with him. It was said that the sacrificial animals were sixty. The Prophet and his Companions started reciting the Talbiyah aloud. When they came close to Marr Az-Zahran, he sent Muhammad bin Maslamah before him with the horses and weapons. When the idolators saw this advance regiment, they were overwhelmed with fear. They thought that the Messenger of Allah would attack them and that he had betrayed the treaty that he conducted with them, which stipulated cessation of hostilities for ten years. The idolators went quickly to Makkah to inform its people. When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, made camp in the area of Marr Az-Zahran, where he was close enough to see the idols that were erected all around the Haram, he sent the weaponry, arrows, arrow cases and spears, to the valley of Yajaj. He next went on his way towards Makkah with the swords resting in their sheaths, just as he agreed to in the peace treaty. While the Prophet was still on the way to Makkah, the Quraysh sent Mikraz bin Hafs who said, “O Muhammad! We never knew you to be one who betrays his promises.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Why do you say that?”

Mikraz said, “You are headed towards us with the weaponry, the arrows and the spears.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“I did not do that, I sent all that to the valley of Yajaj.”

Mikraz said, “This is the way we knew you to be, trustworthy and keeping to your promises.” The leaders of the disbelievers left Makkah so that they would not have to look at the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, out of rage and anger. As for the rest of the people of Makkah, men, women and children, they sat on the pathways and house roofs watching the Messenger of Allah and his Companions. The Messenger entered Makkah with his Companions while reciting the Talbiyah. The Prophet sent the sacrificial animals to Dhu Tuwa while riding his camel, Al-Qaswa, the same camel he was riding on the day of Hudaybiyyah. Abdullah bin Rawahah, from Al-Ansar, was holding the bridle of the Prophet’s camel and repeating this poem,

“In the Name of He, other than Whose religion there is no true religion, In the Name of He, Whom Muhammad is His Messenger, O children of the disbelievers, stay out of his way, For today, we shall impose on you the fulfillment of its interpretation, Just as we fought with you to accept its revelation, Severe fighting that removes the heads from where they rest, And overwhelms the companion from attending to his companion, Ar-Rahman has sent down in His revelation, In pages that are being recited before His Messenger, That the best death is that which occurs in His cause, So, O Lord, I believe in its statements.”

This story is collected from various narrations.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said, “When Allah’s Messenger and his Companions came to Makkah, the fever of Yathrib (Al-Madinah) had weakened and bothered them. The idolators circulated the news that a group of people were coming to them and that they had been weakened and bothered by the fever of Yathrib (Al-Madinah). The idolators sat in the area close to Al-Hijr. Allah conveyed to His Prophet what the idolators said, so he ordered his Companions to do Ramal in the first three rounds, so that the idolaters witness their strength. The Companions did Ramal the first three rounds. He also ordered them to walk normally between the two corners, for from there the idolators would not be able to see them. The Prophet did not order them to do Ramal in all the rounds of Tawaf out of pity for them. The idolators commented, ‘Are these the people whom you claimed were weakened by the fever. They are stronger than so-and-so!”’ (Ahmad 1: 294) The Two Sahihs also recorded this Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 7:581, Muslim 2:923)

In another narration, “Allah’s Messenger and his Companions came (to Makkah) on the morning of the fourth day of Dhul-Qadah. The idolators circulated the news that a group of people was coming to them, who had been weakened by the fever of Yathrib (Al-Madinah). So, the Prophet ordered his Companions to do Ramal in the first three rounds of Tawaf. The Prophet did not order them to do Ramal in all the rounds of Tawaf out of pity for them.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:548)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “In the year when the Prophet came as stipulated by the peace treaty, he said, ‘Perform Ramal.’ So that the idolators may witness their strength. At that time, the idolators were watching from the area of Quayqian.” [The small hill towards the Hijr] (Fath Al-Bari 7:581) Ibn Abbas said, “Allah’s Messenger performed Tawaf of the Kabah and the Sa’y [walking at fast pace] at As-Safa and Al-Marwah to show his strength to the idolators.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:581)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger set out for Umrah, but the Quraysh idolators prevented him from reaching the Kabah. So, he slaughtered his sacrifice, got his head shaved at Al-Hudaybiyyah, agreed to a formal pact with them that he would perform Umrah the following year, would not carry weapons against them, except swords and would not stay in Makkah, except for the period they allowed. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, performed the Umrah in the following year and entered Makkah according to the treaty. And when he stayed for three days, the idolators ordered him to depart, and he departed.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:571)

Allah’s statement, “He knew what you knew not, and He granted besides that a near victory.” means, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored knew the benefit and goodness of turning you away from Makkah and preventing you from entering it in the year of Al-Hudaybiyyah, He knew that which you had no knowledge of, “and He granted besides that” before entering Makkah as you were promised in the vision that the Prophet saw, He granted a close victory, i.e. the treaty of peace that you conducted between you and your idolator enemies.

The Good News that Muslims will conquer the Known World, and ultimately the Entire World

Allah the Exalted and Most Honoured said, while delivering the glad tidings to the believers that the Messenger will triumph over his enemies and the rest of the people of the earth, “He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth,” with beneficial knowledge and righteous good deeds. Indeed, the Islamic Shariah has two factors, knowledge and deeds. The true religious knowledge is by definition true, and the accepted Islamic acts are by definition accepted. Therefore, the news and creed that this religion conveys are true and its commandments are just, “that He may make it superior to all religions.” all the religions of the people of the earth, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, whether having certain ideologies or being atheists or idolators. “And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.” that Muhammad is His Messenger and that He will grant him victory. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has the best knowledge.

{29. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing falling down prostrate, seeking reward from Allah and acceptance. The mark of them is on their faces from the traces of prostration. This is their description in the Tawrah. But their description in the Injil is like a seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers, that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward.}

Qualities of the Faithful Believers and Their Refinement

Allah declares that without doubt, Muhammad is truly His Messenger, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” and this quality includes every beautiful description. Allah praises the Companions of the Messenger , may Allah be pleased with them all, “And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, merciful among themselves.” just as He, the Exalted and Most Honored, said in another Ayah, “Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers.”(5:54) This is the description of the believers; harsh with the disbelievers, merciful and kind to the believers, angry without smiling before the disbelievers, smiling and beaming with pleasure before his believing brother. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah, “O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you.” (9:123) The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The parable of the believers in their kindness and mercy for each other, is that of the body: when one of its organs falls ill, the rest of the body responds with fever and sleeplessness.” (Muslim 4:1999)

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also said,

“A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.”

Then he clasped his hands with his fingers interlaced. (Fath Al-Bari 5:119) Both of these Hadiths were collected in the Sahih.

Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “You see them bowing and falling down prostrate, seeking reward from Allah and acceptance.”

Allah describes the believers as active in performing righteous deeds and in praying, which is the best action there is, all the while being sincere to Allah the Exalted and Most Honored in the prayer, awaiting His generous reward alone. Allah’s best reward is Paradise that contains His bounties and favors, abundant provisions, as well as, earning His good pleasure that is greater than the former reward. Allah said, “But the greatest bliss is the acceptance by Allah” (9: 72) The statement of Allah the Exalted next, “The mark of them is on their faces from the traces of prostration.” refers to graceful appearance, according to Ibn Abbas as reported from him by Ali bin Abi Talhah. (At-Tabari 22:263) Mujahid and several others explained: “It means, humbleness and reverence.” (At-Tbari 22:263) Some said, “The righteous good deed brings light to the heart, brightness to the face, ampleness in provisions, and love in people’s hearts.” The Leader of the faithful, Uthman bin Affan said, “Everyone who hides a secret, then Allah the Exalted will either show on his face what he’s done or by the words that accidentally slip from his mouth.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, good conduct, graceful appearance and moderation are one part out of twenty-five parts of prophethood.” (Ahmad 1:296)

Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith. (Abu Dawud 5: 136) Therefore, since the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, had sincere intentions and righteous good deeds, all those who looked at them liked their appearance and conduct. Imam Malik said, “I was told that when the Christians saw the Companions, who conquered Ash-Sham, they commented, ‘These people are, by Allah, better than the Disciples (of Isa) according to what has been conveyed to us.”’ They indeed said the truth, for this Ummah was mentioned in an honorable way in previously revealed Scriptures. The best and most honored members of this Ummah are the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, praised them in previous Books and Revelations, and this is why He said here, “This is their description in the Tawrah”, then said, “But their description in the Injil is like a seed which sends forth its shoot (Shatah,)” its shoot or branch, “then makes it strong,” able to stand on its own, “and becomes thick”, youthful and long, “and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers,” Such is the parable that describes the Companions of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. They gave the Messenger aid, support and victory, just as the shoot hardens the plant, “that He may enrage the disbelievers with them.” Relying on this Ayah, Imam Malik stated that the Rawafid [a category of Shi’ites] are disbelievers because they hate the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Malik said, “The Companions enrage them, and according to this Ayah, he who is enraged by the Companions is a disbeliever.” Several scholars agreed with Malik’s opinion, may Allah be pleased with them. There are numerous Hadiths mentioning the virtues of the Companions and prohibiting the criticism on their mistakes. It is sufficient that Allah the Exalted has praised them and declared that He is pleased with them. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds, forgiveness” for their sins, “and a mighty reward.” a generous reward and honorable provisions. Certainly, Allah’s promise is true and shall come to pass and will never be broken or changed. Surely, all those who follow the guidance of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, will be similar to them. However, the Companions have the better virtue, the obvious lead and the perfection in character, on account of which none among this Ummah will be able to attain their level. May Allah be pleased with them and make them pleased. May He place them in the gardens of Al-Firdaws, and make it their abode, and He indeed has done all of that. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Do not abuse my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If one of you spends the amount of Uhud in gold, that amount will never reach the level of one of them spending a Mudd [small dry measurement] half of it.” (Muslim 4:1967)

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Fath.

All praise and thanks is due to Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abdriged) Vol 9 Pages 170-182

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Surah Al Fath Ayat 18-26

{18. Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave the pledge to you under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.

19. And abundant spoils that they will capture. And Allah is Ever All-Mighty, All-Wise.}

Good News to the Participants of the Ridwan Pledge of Allah’s Pleasure and earning Spoils of War

Allah declares that He is pleased with the believers who gave the pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree. We mentioned the number of these believers as being one thousand and four hundred and that the tree was a Samurah tree, located in the area of Hudaybiyyah. Al-Bukhari narrated from Tariq that Abdur-Rahman said, “I went on Hajj and passed by people praying and asked, ‘What is this Masjid?’ They said, ‘This is the tree where the Messenger of Allah took the pledge of Ar-Ridwan.’ So, I went to Said bin Al-Musayyib and told him. Said said, ‘My father told me that he was among those who gave their pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree. My father said: The following year, when we went out, we forgot its place and could not agree which tree it was.’ Said said, ‘The Companions of Muhammad forgot where the tree was, but you know where it is. Therefore, you have better knowledge than them!” (Fath Al-Bari 7:512)

Allah said, “He knew what was in their hearts,” meaning, of truthfulness, trustworthiness, obedience and adherence, “and He sent down As-Sakinah”, calmness and tranquillity, “upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.” in reference to the goodness that Allah the Exalted and Most Honored caused to happened to the Companions on account of the peace treaty between them and their disbelieving enemies. Ever after that, the Companions gained abundant, general and continuous benefits and accomplishments, leading to the conquest of Khaybar and Makkah and then the various surrounding provinces and areas. They earned tremendous glory, triumphs and an elevated and honorable status in this life and in the Hereafter, just as Allah the Exalted said, “And abundant spoils that they will capture. And Allah is Ever All-Mighty, All-Wise.”

{20. Allah has promised you abundant spoils that you will capture, and He has hastened for you this, and He has restrained the hands of men from you, that it may be a sign for the believers, and that He may guide you to the straight path.

21. And other (victories) which are not yet within your power; indeed Allah encompasses them. And Allah is Ever Able to do all things.

22. And if those who disbelieve fight against you, they certainly would have turned their backs; then they would have found neither a protector nor a helper.

23. That has been the way of Allah already with those who passed away before. And you will not find any change in the way of Allah.

24. And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them. And Allah sees what you do.}

Good News of abundant Spoils of War

Mujahid said that Allah’s statement, “Allah has promised you abundant spoils that you will capture,” refers to the spoils that Muslims earned up until this time, while, “and He has hastened for you this,” means, the conquest of Khaybar. (At-Tabari 22:230) Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, “and He has hastened for you this,” means, “The peace treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah.” (At-Tabari 22:230) Allah said, “and He has restrained the hands of men from you,” meaning, ‘no harm that your enemies had planned against you, both fighting and warfare, touched you. Allah also restrained the hands of men, whom you left behind close to your families and children, from harming them,’ “that it may be a sign for the believers,” with which they take heed and understand. Verily, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored shall help and protect the believers against all enemies, even though the believers are few in number. By doing so, the believers will come to know that Allah is truly the Knower of the consequences of all matters and that the best decisions are those which He prefers for His believing servants, even though these decisions might look unfavorable outwardly, “It may be that you dislike a thing that is good for you” (2:216). Allah said, “and that He may guide you to the straight path” on account of your obeying His commands and adhering by His orders by following the path of His Messenger ,

Good News of continuous Muslim Victories until the Day of Resurrection

The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored, “And other (victories) which are not yet within your power; indeed Allah encompasses them. And Allah is Ever Able to do all things.” Meaning, there are other war spoils and victories to come which are not within your grasp now. However, Allah will make them within your reach and indeed He compasses all these victories for your benefit. Surely, Allah the Exalted provides provisions and sustenance for His servants who have Taqwa, from resources they could never imagine.

Scholars of Tafsir differ over the reference to other war spoils mentioned here. Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that it refers to the conquest of Khaybar. (At-Tabari 22:233) This meaning is sound according to the Ayah, “and He has hastened for you this.” which refers to the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah. This is view of Ad-Dahhak, Muhammad bin Ishaq and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. (At-Tabari 22:233-234) Qatadah said that this part of the Ayah refers to the conquest of Makkah, and this opinion was preferred by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 22:234) Ibn Abi Layla and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it refers to victories over the Persians and the Romans, (At-Tabari 22:233) while Mujahid said that it refers to every victory and all spoils of war, until the Day of Resurrection. (At-Tabari 22:233) Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, “And other (victories) which are not yet within your power; indeed Allah compasses them.”, “They are the victories that are continuing until this day.” (At-Tabari 22:233)

Had Makkah’s Disbelievers fought at Al-Hudaybiyyah, They would have retreated in Defeat

Allah said, “And if those who disbelieve fight against you, they certainly would have turned their backs; then they would have found neither a protector nor a helper.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored delivers the glad tidings to His believing servants that had the idolators fought them, Allah would have given victory to His Messenger and His faithful servants. Then, the army of the disbelievers would have been defeated and would have deserted the battlefield and fled. They would not have found any helper or supporter, because they were fighting Allah, His Messenger and His Faithful Party. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “That has been the way of Allah already with those who passed away before. And you will not find any change in the way of Allah.” means this is the way Allah deals with His creation. Whenever faith and disbelief meet at any distinguishing juncture, Allah gives victory to faith over disbelief, raises high truth and destroys falsehood. For instance, Allah the Exalted helped His loyal faithful supporters during the battle of Badr and they defeated His idolator enemies, even though the Muslims were few in num- ber and lightly armed, while the idolators were large in number and heavily armed. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them. And Allah is Ever the All-Seer of what you do.” Allah the Exalted reminds His faithful servants of His favor when He restrained the hands of the idolators, and thereby, no harm touched the Muslims from the idolators. Allah restrained the hands of the believers and they did not fight the idolaters near Al-Masjid Al-Haram. Rather, Allah saved both parties from battle and brought forth a peace treaty that produced good results for the believers, in addition to, earning them the good end in this life and the Hereafter. We stated a Hadith from Salamah bin Al-Akwa in which he narrated that when the Muslims brought forth those seventy idolator prisoners, they tied and paraded them before the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who looked at them and said, “Release them, so that they earn the burden of starting hostilities and its infamy.” Thereafter, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored sent down this Ayah about that incident, “And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them…” Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “On the day of Hudaybiyyah, eighty armed men from Makkah went down the valley coming from Mount At-Tanim to ambush the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Messenger invoked Allah against them, and they were taken prisoners.” Affan added, “The Messenger pardoned them, and this Ayah was later on revealed, “And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.” (Ahmad 3:122) Muslim, Abu Dawud in his Sunan and At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i, in the Tafsir section of their Sunan, collected this Hadith. (Muslim 3:1442)

{25. They are those who disbelieved and hindered you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram and detained the sacrificial animals, from reaching their place of sacrifice. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills – if they had been apart, We verily, would have punished with painful torment those of them who disbelieved.

26. When those who disbelieve had put in their hearts pride and haughtiness – the pride and haughtiness of the time of ignorance, – then Allah sent down His calmness and tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers, and made them stick to the word of Taqwa; and they were well entitled to it and worthy of it. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything.}

Some of the Benefits gained from the Treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah

Allah the Exalted states that the Arab idolators from Quraysh and their allies who extended help to them against His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “They are those who disbelieved”, they are indeed the disbelievers, “and hindered you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram” ‘even though you are its people and more worthy of being responsible for it,’ “and detained the sacrificial animals, from reaching their place of sacrifice.” they prevented, because of transgression and stubbornness, the sacrificial animals from being reached to the place where they would be slaughtered. There were seventy sacrificial camels designated for sacrifice, as we will mention, Allah willing. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “Had there not been believing men and believing women” ‘living among the Makkans hiding their faith for fearing for their safety from the pagans. Otherwise, We would have given you authority over the Makkans and you would have killed them to the brink of extermination. However, there were some faithful believers, men and women, living among them, about whom you had no knowledge of being believers and you might try to kill them.’ Allah’s statement, “whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you” an evil and erroneous act, “without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills” that Allah might delay the punishment of the pagans of Makkah to save the believers who lived among them, and so that many of the idolators might embrace Islam. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “if they had been apart”, if the disbelievers and the believers who were living among them had been apart, “We verily, would have punished with painful torment those of them who disbelieved”  ‘We would have given you dominance over the disbelievers and you would have inflicted tremendous slaughter on them.’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “When those who disbelieve had put in their hearts pride and haughtiness — the pride and haughtiness of the time of ignorance,” when they refused to write (in the treaty document), ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,’ and, ‘These are the terms agreed on by Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger,’ “then Allah sent down His calmness and tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and made them stick to the word of Taqwa” the word of Taqwa refers to sincerity, according to Mujahid. (At-Tabari 22:255) Ata’ bin Abi Rabah commented, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, alone without partners. All the dominion belongs to Him and all praise is due to Him. He is Ever Able to do everything.” (At-Tabari 22:256) Yunus bin Bukayr said that Ibn Ishaq narrated from Az-Zuhri, from Urwah, from Al-Miswar, commenting on, “and made them stick to the word of Taqwa” “La ilaha illallah, alone without partners.”

The Hadiths that tell the Story of Al-Hudaybiyyah and the Peace Treaty that followed

Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy with him, recorded in his Sahih in ‘Book of Conditions’ that Al-Miswar bin Makhramah and Marwan bin Al-Hakam, both narrated attesting to the truthfulness of the other, Allah’s Messenger set out at the time of Al-Hudaybiyyah with several hundred of his Companions. When he reached Dhul-Hulayfah, he had the sacrificial animals garlanded and marked and resumed the state of Ihram for Umrah. He then sent several men from the tribe of Khuzaah to gather news for him and then he proceeded. When he arrived at a village called Al-Ashtat, his advance regiment came back and said, ‘The Quraysh have gathered their forces against you, including Al-Ahabish tribes. They are intent on fighting you, stopping you, and preventing you.’ The Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Give me your opinion, O people! Do you think we should attack the families and offspring of those who seek to prevent us from reaching the House?”

in another narration, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Do you think we should attack the families of those who helped the Quraysh? If they come to defend against us, then Allah would have diminished the idolator forces. Or we leave them to grieve!”

In another narration, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“If they remain where they have gathered, they do so in grief, fatigued and depressed. If they save their families, it would be a neck that Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has cut off. Or, should we head towards the House and if anyone prevents us from reaching it we would fight them.”

Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “O, Allah’s Messenger! You only intended to visit the House, not to kill anyone or start a war. Therefore, head towards the House and whoever stands in our way, then we will fight him.” In another narration, Abu Bakr said, “Allah and His Messenger know that we only came to perform Umrah not to fight anyone. However, anyone who tries to prevent us from reaching the House, we will fight him.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Go forth then.” In another narration, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Go forth, in the Name of Allah, the Exalted.”

When they proceeded for a distance, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Khalid bin Al-Walid is leading the cavalry of Quraysh forming the front of the army, so take the path on the right.”

By Allah, Khalid did not perceive the arrival of the Muslims until the dust arising from the march of the Muslim army reached him, then he turned back hurriedly to inform the Quraysh. The Prophet went on advancing until he reached the Thaniyyah (i. e., a mountainous way) through which he could reach them. The she-camel of the Prophet sat down. The people tried their best to cause her to rise, but it was in vain. So, they said, ‘Al-Qaswa’ has become stubborn! Al-Qaswa’ has become stubborn!’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Al-Qaswa’ has not become stubborn, for stubbornness is not her habit, but she was stopped by Him Who stopped the elephant.”

Then he said,

“By the Name of Him in Whose Hands is my soul, if they ask me anything which will respect the ordinances of Allah, the Exalted, I will grant it to them.”

The Prophet then rebuked the she-camel and she got up. The Prophet changed his direction, until he dismounted at the farthest end of Al-Hudaybiyyah. There was a pit containing a little water which the people used in small amounts, and after a short time the people exhausted all its water and complained of thirst to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Prophet took an arrow out of his quiver and ordered them to put the arrow in the pit. By Allah, the water started flowing and continued sprouting until all the people quenched their thirst and returned satisfied. While they were still in that state, Budayl bin Warqa Al-Khuzai came with some people from his tribe, Khuzaah. They were the advisers of Allah’s Messenger who would keep no secret from him and were from the people of Tihamah. Budayl said, I left (the tribes of) Kab bin Luay and Amir bin Lu’ay residing at the abundant water of Al-Hudaybiyyah. They had milk camels with them, intending to wage war against you and prevent you from visiting the Kabah.’ Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“We have not come to fight anyone, but to perform Umrah. No doubt, war has weakened Quraysh and they have suffered great losses. So if they wish, I will conclude a truce with them, during which they should refrain from interfering between me and others. If I have victory over those infidels, Quraysh will have the option to embrace Islam as the other people do, if they wish. They will at least get strong enough to fight. But if they do not accept the truce, by Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I will fight with them defending my cause until I get killed, but (I am sure) Allah will definitely make His cause victorious.”

Budayl said, ‘I will inform them of what you have said.’ So, he set off until he reached Quraysh and said, ‘We have come from that man whom we heard saying something which we will disclose to you, if you should like.’ Some of the fools among the Quraysh shouted that they were not in need of this information, but the wiser among them said, ‘Relate what you heard him saying.’ Budayl said, ‘I heard him saying such and such,’ relating what the Prophet had told him. ‘Urwah bin Masud stood up and said, ‘O people! Aren’t you the sons’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He added, `Am I not the father’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Do you mistrust me’ They said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Don’t you know that I invited the people of ‘Ukaz for your help, and when they refused I brought my relatives and children and those who obeyed me’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Well, this man has offered you a reasonable proposal, it is better for you to accept it and allow me to meet him.’ They said, ‘You may meet him.’ So, he went to the Prophet and started talking to him. The Prophet said the same to him as he had to Budayl bin Warqa. Then Urwah said, ‘O Muhammad! Won’t you feel any qualms by exterminating your relations? Have you ever heard of anyone among the Arabs annihilating his relatives before you On the other hand, if the reverse should happen, by Allah, I do not see dignified people here, but people from various tribes who would run away leaving you alone.’ Hearing that, Abu Bakr verbally abused him and said, ‘Go suck Al-Lat’s womb! Are you saying we would run and leave the Prophet alone’ Urwah said, ‘Who is that man’ They said, ‘He is Abu Bakr.’ Urwah said to Abu Bakr, ‘By Him in Whose Hands my life is, were it not for the favor which you did to me and which I did not compensate, I would rebuke you.’ Urwah kept on talking to the Prophet and seizing the Prophet’s beard as he was talking, while Al-Mughirah bin Shubah was standing near the head of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, holding a sword and wearing a helmet. Whenever Urwah stretched his hand towards the beard of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, Al-Mughirah would hit his hand with the handle of the sword and say, ‘Remove your hand from the beard of Allah’s Messenger.’ Urwah raised his head and asked, ‘Who is that?’ The people said, ‘He is Al-Mughirah bin Shubah.’ Urwah said, ‘O treacherous (one)! Am I not doing my best to prevent evil consequences of your treachery?’ Before embracing Islam, Al-Mughirah was in the company of some people. He killed them, took their property and came (to Al-Madinah) to embrace Islam. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to him,

“As regards to your Islam, I accept it, but as for the property I do not take anything of it.”

Urwah then started looking at the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. By Allah, whenever Allah’s Messenger spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them, who would rub it on his face and skin. If he ordered them, they would carry his orders immediately, if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water, and when they spoke to him, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect. Urwah returned to his people and said, ‘O people! By Allah, I have been to the kings and to Caesar, Khosrau and An-Najashi. Yet, by Allah! I have never seen any of them respected by his courtiers, as much as, Muhammad is respected by his companions. By Allah, if he spat, the spittle would fall into the hand of one of them and he would rub it on his face and skin. If he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately, if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water, and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect. No doubt, he has presented to you a good reasonable offer, so please accept it.’ A man from the tribe of Bani Kinanah said, ‘Allow me to go to him,’ and they allowed him. When he approached the Prophet and his Companions, Allah’s Messenger said,

“He is so-and-so who belongs to the tribe that respects the sacrificial camels. So, bring the sacrificial camels before him.”

So, the sacrificial camels were brought before him and the people received him while they were reciting Talbiyah. When he saw that scene, he said, ‘Glorified is Allah! It is not fair to prevent these people from visiting the Kabah.’ When he returned to his people, he said, ‘I saw the sacrificial camels garlanded and marked. I do not think it is advisable to prevent them from visiting the Kabah.’ Another person called Mikraz bin Hafs stood up and sought their permission to go to Muhammad , and they allowed him, too. When he approached the Muslims, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Here is Mikraz and he is a vicious man.”

Mikraz started talking to the Prophet and as he was talking, Suhayl bin Amr came.” Mamar said that Ayyub said to him that Ikrimah said, “When Suhayl bin Amr came, the Prophet said,

“Now the matter has become easy for you.”

Mamar said that Az-Zuhri narrated, “When Suhayl bin Amr came, he said to the Prophet , ‘Please conclude a peace treaty with us.’ So, the Prophet called Ali bin Abi Talib and said to him,

“Write: In the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim.”

Suhayl bin Amr said, ‘As for Ar-Rahman, by Allah, I do not know what it means. So write: By Your Name, O Allah, as you used to write previously.’ The Muslims said, ‘By Allah, we will not write except: By the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“Write: “In Your Name O Allah.”

Then he dictated,

“This is a peace treaty, which Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger has concluded.”

Suhayl said, ‘By Allah, if we knew that you are Allah’s Messenger, we would not prevent you from visiting the Kabah, and would not fight with you. So, write: Muhammad bin Abdullah.’ The Prophet said to him,

“By Allah! I am the Messenger of Allah even if your people do not believe me. Write: “Muhammad bin Abdullah.”

Az-Zuhri continued, “The Prophet accepted all those things, since he had already said that he would accept everything they would demand if it respects the ordinance of Allah, the Exalted.” The Hadith continues, “The Prophet said to Suhayl,

“On the condition that you allow us to visit the House so that we may perform Tawaf around it.”

Suhayl said, ‘By Allah, we will not, so as not to give the Arabs a chance to say that we have yielded to your pressure, but we will allow you next year.’ So, the Prophet had that written. Then Suhayl said, ‘We also stipulate that you should return to us whoever comes to you from us, even if he embraced your religion.’ The Muslims protested, ‘Glorified be Allah! How can a person be returned to the idolators after he has become a Muslim’ While they were in this state Abu Jandal bin Suhayl bin Amr came from the valley of Makkah staggering with his chains and fell down among the Muslims. Suhayl said, ‘O Muhammad! This is the very first term with which we make peace with you, that is, you shall return Abu Jandal to me.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“The peace treaty has not been written yet.”

Suhayl said, ‘Then by Allah, I will never conduct peace with you.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Release him to me,”

and Suhayl responded, ‘I will never allow you to keep him.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Yes, do.”

He said, ‘I will not.’ Mikraz said, ‘We allow you (to keep him).’ Abu Jandal said, ‘O, Muslims! Will I be returned to the idolators although I have come as a Muslim Don’t you see how much I have suffered’ Abu Jandal had been tortured severely for the cause of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. Umar bin Al-Khattab said, ‘I went to the Prophet and said: Aren’t you truly the Messenger of Allah?’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Yes, indeed.”

I said, ‘Isn’t our cause just and the cause of the enemy unjust’ He said,

“Yes.”

I said, ‘Then why should we be humble in our religion’ He said,

“I am Allah’s Messenger and I do not disobey Him, and He will make me victorious.”

I said, ‘Didn’t you tell us that we would go to the Ka`bah and perform Tawaf around it’ He said,

“Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Kabah this year.”

I said, ‘No.’ He said,

“So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it.”

Umar further said, ‘I went to Abu Bakr and said: O Abu Bakr! Isn’t he truly Allah’s Prophet’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Is not our cause just and the cause of our enemy unjust’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then why should we be humble in our religion’ He said, ‘O you man! Indeed, he is Allah’s Messenger and he does not disobey his Lord, and He will make him victorious. Adhere to him for, by Allah, he is on the right path.’ I said, ‘Was he not telling us that we would go to the Kabah and perform Tawaf around it’ He said, ‘Yes, but did he tell you that you would go to the Kabah this year’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You will go to the Kabah and perform Tawaf around it.’ Az-Zuhri said, “Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘I performed many good deeds as expiation for the improper questions I asked them.’ ” “When the writing of the peace treaty was concluded, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to his Companions,

“Get up and slaughter your sacrifices and have your heads shaved.”

By Allah none of them got up, and the Prophet repeated his order thrice. When none of them got up, he left them and went to Umm Salamah and told her of the people’s attitudes towards him. Umm Salamah said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody until you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, went out and did not talk to anyone until he did what she suggested, slaughtered the sacrifice and shaved his head. Seeing that, the Companions got up, slaughtered their sacrifices, and started shaving the heads of one another. There was so much of a rush – and sadness – that there was a danger of killing each other. Then some believing women came and Allah the Exalted and most Honored revealed the following Ayat, “O you who believe! When believing women come to you” (60:10), until, “Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives.” Umar then divorced two of his wives, who were disbelievers. Later on Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan married one of them, and Safwan bin Umayyah married the other. When the Prophet returned to Al-Madinah, Abu Basir, a new Muslim convert from the Quraysh, came to him. The disbelievers sent two men in pursuit who said to the Prophet , ‘Abide by the promise you gave us.’ So, the Prophet handed him over to them. They took him out (of Al-Madinah) until they reached Dhul-Hulayfah where they dismounted to eat some dates they had with them. Abu Basir said to one of them, ‘By Allah, O, so-and-so, I see you have a fine sword.’ The other drew it out (of its sheath) and said, ‘Yes, by Allah, it is very fine and I have tried it many times.’ Abu Basir said, ‘Let me have a look at it.’ When the other gave the sword to Abu Basir, he struck him with it until he died. His companion ran away until he reached Al-Madinah, entering the Masjid running. When Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saw him he said,

“This man appears to have been frightened.”

When he reached the Prophet he said, ‘My companion has been murdered, by Allah, and I would have been murdered too.’ Abu Basir came and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, by Allah! Allah has made you fulfill your obligations by returning me to them, but Allah the Exalted has saved me from them.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Woe to his mother! What an excellent war kindler he would be, if he only have supporters.”

When Abu Basir heard this from the Prophet, he understood that he would return him to the idolators again, so he set off until he reached the seashore. Abu Jandal bin Suhayl also got himself released from the disbelievers and joined Abu Basir. Thereafter, whenever a man from Quraysh embraced Islam he would follow Abu Basir until they formed a strong group. By Allah, whenever they heard about a caravan of the Quraysh heading towards Ash-Sham (Greater Syria), they stopped it, attacked and killed the disbelievers and took their properties. The people of Quraysh sent a message to the Prophet requesting him for the sake of Allah and kith and kin to send for (Abu Basir and his companions) promising that whoever among them came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would be secure. So, the Prophet sent for them and Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed the following Ayat, “And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah”, until, “the pride and haughtiness of the time of ignorance,” Their pride and haughtiness was that they did not confess that Muhammad was the Prophet of Allah, refused to write, ‘In the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim,’ and prevented Muslims from visiting the Kabah.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:388) This is the narration Al-Bukhari collected in the Book of Tafsir, (Fath Al-Bari 5:451) Umrat Al-Hudaybiyyah, Hajj, and so forth.(Fath Al-Bari 5:518)  Allah is the Only One sought for help, all reliance is on Him alone and there is no might or strength except from Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise.

Al-Bukhari narrated in the Book of Tafsir that Habib bin Abi Thabit said that he went to Abu Wa’il asking him about something and he said, “We were at Siffin, when a man said, ‘Do you not see those who call to Allah’s Book’ Ali bin Abi Talib said, ‘Yes.’ Sahl bin Hunayf said, ‘Do not feel certain in the reliability of your own opinions! On the day of Hudaybiyyah, the day the treaty of peace was signed between the Prophet and idolators, had we found a chance to fight, we would have done so.’ Umar came (to the Prophet) and said, ‘Are we not on the true cause and theirs is the false cause Are not our killed in Paradise and theirs in the Fire’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Umar said, ‘Why then should we be humble with regards to the cause of our religion Why should we go back before Allah decides in the matter between us (between Muslims and the idolators.)’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“O son of Al-Khattab! I am Allah’s Messenger and He will never abandon me.”

Umar left while feeling angry and soon went to Abu Bakr and said,’O Abu Bakr! Are we not on the true cause and they are on falsehood?’ Abu Bakr said, ‘O son of Al-Khattab! He is Allah’s Messenger and Allah will never abandon him.’ Surat Al-Fath was later revealed.”’ Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in several other parts of his Sahih, and so did Muslim and An-Nasa’i using various chains of narration from Abu Wa’il, Sufyan bin Salamah, from Sahl bin Hunayf. Some of these narrations read, “O people! Accuse sheer opinion (of being imperfect)! On the day Abu Jandal came, I saw myself willing to reject the command of Allah’s Messenger , had I had the chance.” In yet another narration, “Surat Al-Fath was revealed and the Messenger of Allah called Umar bin Al-Khattab and recited it to him.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:451)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, “Quraysh resorted to peace with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Suhayl bin Amr was among the idolators then. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to Ali,

“Write: “In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

Suhayl said, ‘We do not know the meaning of: In the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. However, write what we do know: In Your Name, O Allah!’ The Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Write: “From Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger,”

and Suhayl said, ‘If we knew that you are Allah’s Messenger, we would have followed you. However, write your name and the name of your father.’ The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Write: “From Muhammad son of Abdullah.”

They set the terms with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that, ‘If anyone comes from your side to us, we will not send him back to you. If anyone from among us came to you, you send him back to us.’ Ali said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Should I write this,’ and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Yes. Surely, those who revert from our side and go to them, then may Allah cast them away.” (Ahmad 3:268)

Muslim also collected this Hadith.” (Muslim 3:1411) Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said, “When Al-Haruriyyah rebelled, they set a separate camp for their group. I said to them, ‘On the day of Al-Hudaybiyyah, the Messenger of Allah agreed to conduct peace with the idolators. He said to Ali,

“Write, O Ali: “These are the terms agreed to by Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger.”

The idolators said, ‘If we knew that you are Allah’s Messenger, we would not have fought you.’ Allah’s Messenger said,

“O Ali! Erase it. O Allah! You know that I am Your Messenger. O Ali! Erase it and write instead: “These are the peace terms agreed to by Muhammad bin Abdullah.”

By Allah, Allah’s Messenger is better than Ali, and the Messenger erased his title. However, erasing his title did not mean that he was erased from being a Prophet. Have I given you sufficient proof in this.’ They said, Yes.”’ (Ahmad 1:342) Abu Dawud also collected a similar narration. (Abu Dawud 3:317)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said, “On the day of Hudaybiyyah, the Messenger of Allah slaughtered seventy sacrificial camels, including a camel that belonged to Abu Jahl. When the camel was prevented from coming to the House, she cried just as she would cry when seeing her offspring.” (Ahmad 1:314)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 148-170 

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Surah Al-Fath Ayat 1-17

Surah Al-Fath

(The Victory)

Chapter 48

Which was revealed in Al-Madinah

The Merit of Surah Al-Fath 

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah bin Mughaffal, who said that Allah’s Messenger recited Surah Al-Fath on the (day) of the conquest of Makkah, riding on his she-camel. He recited it in a vibrating and pleasant tone. Muawiyah (a subnarrator) added: “Were I not afraid that the people would crowd around me, I would surely try to imitate and produce his recitation.” Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith through Shubah.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

{1. Verily, We have given you a manifest victory.

2. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future, and complete His favor on you, and guide you on the straight path,

3. And that Allah may help you with strong help.}

The Reason behind revealing Surat Al-Fath

This honorable Surah was revealed after the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, returned from the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, during the month of Dhul-Qadah, in the sixth year of Hijrah. This is when the idolators prevented him from reaching Al-Masjid Al-Haram to perform the Umrah he intended. They stopped the Prophet from reaching Makkah at that time, but then were prone to peace negotiations. A peace treaty was conducted stipulating that the Messenger would return this year and then come back for Umrah the following year. The Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, agreed. However, some of the Companions disliked these terms, including Umar bin Al-Khattab, as we will mention in detail, Allah willing, while explaining this Surah. After the Prophet slaughtered his sacrificial animals in the area where he was stopped and headed back to Al-Madinah, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this Surah about what occurred between him and the idolators. Allah declared the Al-Hudaybiyyah peace treaty a manifest victory, because of the benefits peace would carry and the good results that did originate from it. Abdullah bin Masud and other Companions said, “You consider the conquering of Makkah to be Al-Fath (the victory), while to us, Al-Fath is the treaty conducted at Al-Hudaybiyyah.” Jabir (bin Abdullah) said, “We only considered Al-Fath to be the day of Hudaybiyyah!” (At-Tabari 22:201) Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ (bin Azib) said, “You consider Al-Fath to be the conquest of Makkah, which was indeed a victory. However, we consider Al-Fath to be the pledge of Ar-Ridwan on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah. Then, we were fourteen hundred with the Messenger of Allah. Al-Hudaybiyyah had a well, whose water we consumed, not leaving a drop of water in it. When the news of what happened reached the Messenger of Allah , he came towards us and sat on the edge of the well. Then he asked to be brought a bucket of water and used it for ablution. He next rinsed his mouth, invoked Allah and poured that water into the well. Soon after, that well provided us, as well as our animals, with sufficient water, in whatever amount of water we wished.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:505)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “We were with the Messenger of Allah on a trip, and I asked him about a matter three times, but he did not answer me. So I said to myself, ‘May your mother lose you, O son of Al-Khattab! You were stubborn in repeating your question three times to the Messenger of Allah; each time he did not respond to you.’ So I mounted my animal, my camel, and went ahead for fear that a part of the Qur’an might be revealed in my case. Suddenly, I heard a caller calling, ‘O Umar!’ So, I went to the Messenger while fearing that part of the Qur’an was revealed about me. The Prophet said,

“Last night, a Surah was revealed to me that is dearer to me than this life and all that it contains: “Verily, We have given you a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future.” (Ahmad 1:31)

Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith from several chains of narration through Malik, may Allah grant him His mercy. (Fath Al Bari 8:675, Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 9:167, An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:461) Ali bin Al-Madini commented, “This is a good chain of narration consisting of the scholars of Al-Madinah.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “This Ayah was revealed to the Prophet, “That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future,” on his return from Al-Hudaybiyyah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Tonight, an Ayah, that is dearer to me than all that the earth carries, was revealed to me.”

The Prophet recited the Ayah to them. They said, ‘Congratulations, O Allah’s Messenger! Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has stated what He will do with you. So what will He do with us’ These Ayat were revealed to the Prophet , ”That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow…”, until, “…a supreme success.” (Ahmad 3:197) This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.  (Fath Al-Bari 7:516, Muslim 3:1413) Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Mughirah bin Shubah said, “The Prophet used to pray until both his feet were swollen. He was asked, ‘Has not Allah forgiven you all your sins of the past and of future’ He said, “Should I not be a thankful servant?” (Ahmad 4:55) The two collectors of the Sahihs collected this Hadith, as well as, the rest of the Group, except Abu Dawud. (Al-Bukhari no.4836, Muslim 2819, At-Tirmidhi 412, An-Nasai 3:219 and Ibn Majah 1419)

Allah’s statement, “Verily, We have given you a manifest victory.” means, clear and apparent victory. This Ayah is about the treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah, which resulted in great goodness, including people embracing Islam in large crowds and having the chance to meet each other openly. During that time, the believers preached to the idolators and thus beneficial knowledge and faith spread all around. Allah’s statement, “That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future,” contains one of the special virtues of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and no one else shares this honour with him. There is not an authentic Hadith that states that any person other than the Messenger earned forgiveness for all of his sins of the past and future on account of performing good deeds. This, indeed, is a great honor for the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who fulfilled the requirements of Allah’s obedience, righteousness and straightness at a level never surpassed by a human being in past generations, nor will it ever be surpassed in the generations to come. Muhammad is the perfect human being and the leader and chief of all mankind in this life and the Hereafter. And since he was, and will always be, the most obedient of Allah’s creation to Him and the most honoring of Allah’s commands and prohibitions, he said when his she- camel insisted on kneeling down, “He Who stopped the elephant, has stopped her too.” The Prophet then declared, “By the Name of Him in Whose Hand my soul is, this day, if they ask me anything which will respect the ordinances of Allah, I will grant it to them.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:388) And when the Messenger obeyed Allah and accepted the peace offer from the Quraysh, Allah the Exalted said to him, “Verily, We have given you a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future, and complete His favor on you,” in this life and the Hereafter, “and guide you on the straight path,” with the glorious legislation and the straight religion that He ordains on you, “And that Allah may help you with strong help.” due to your obedience of the orders of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored; Allah will elevate your status and give you victory above your enemies. An authentic Hadith states, “No servant pardons but Allah grants him honour, and none humbles himself for Allah except that Allah the exalted and sublime raises him (in rank).” (Muslim 4:2001) Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “You will never punish someone who disobeyed Allah with you better than obeying Allah the Exalted and Most Honored with him.”

{4. He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah into the hearts of the believers, that they may grow more in faith along with their faith. And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

5. That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow to abide therein forever, and He may expiate from them their sins; and that is with Allah supreme success,

6. And that He may punish the hypocrites men and women, and also the idolators men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah, for them is a disgraceful torment. And the anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them and prepared Hell for them and worst indeed is that destination.

7. And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.}

Allah sent down the Sakinah into the Hearts of the Believers

Allah the Exalted said, “He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah”, meaning, tranquility. Qatadah commented, “Grace into the hearts of the believers”, that is, the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah. The companions were they, who accepted the call of Allah and His Messenger and obeyed the decisions of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. When their hearts felt content with acceptance and were at peace, Allah increased their faith, joining it to the faith they already had. Al-Bukhari, and other Imams, relied on this Ayah as proof that faith increases and decreases in the hearts. Allah the Exalted said next that had He willed, He would have inflicted defeat on the disbelievers, Allah says; “And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth” and had He willed to send only one angel to them, that angel would have brought destruction to all what they had. However, Allah the Exalted willed Jihad and fighting to be established for, and by, the believers for great wisdom, clear reasons and unequivocal evidences that He had in all this. This is why Allah the Great said next, “and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow to abide therein forever,” We mentioned the Hadith that Anas narrated in which the Companions said, “Congratulations, O Allah’s Messenger! This good news is for you, so what good news do we have” Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah, “That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow to abide therein forever,” (Fath Al-Bari 7:516) meaning they will remain in Paradise forever, “and He may expiate from them their sins” Allah will not punish them for their errors and mistakes. Rather, He will forgive, absolve and pardon them and cover the errors, grant mercy and appreciate, “and that is with Allah supreme success.” Allah the Exalted said in a similar Ayah, “And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful.” (3:185) Allah said, “And that He may punish the hypocrites, men and women, and also the idolators, men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah,” who question the wisdom in Allah’s decisions and think that the Messenger and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, might be killed and exterminated. This is why Allah the Exalted said, “for them is a disgraceful torment. And the anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them” He has cast them away from His mercy, “and prepared Hell for them – and worst indeed is that destination.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored asserted His ability to take revenge from the enemies of Islam and all disbelievers and hypocrites, “And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.” 

{8. Verily, We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner.

9. In order that you (O mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger and that you Tuazziruh and Tuwaqqiruh, and Tusabbihuh Bukrah and Asila.

10. Verily, those who give pledge to you, they are giving pledge to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm; and whosoever fulfills what he has the covenants he makes with Allah, He will bestow on him a great reward.}

Qualities of the Messenger of Allah

Allah the Exalted says to His Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Verily, We have sent you as a witness,” of the creation, “as a bearer of glad tidings,” to the believers, “and as a warner.” to the disbelievers. We explained these meanings in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Ahzab. Allah said, “In order that you may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that you Tuazziruh” or you honour him, according to Abdullah bin Abbas and several others, (At-Tabari 22:207) “and Tuwaqqiruh”, where Tawqir means, respect, honor and high regard, “and that you Tusabbihuh”, glorify Allah’s praises, “Bukrah and Asila”, the early and late part of the day.

The Pledge of Ar-Ridwan

Allah the Exalted and Most Honoured honours, regards and praises His Messenger by saying, “Verily, those who give pledge to you, they are giving pledge to Allah.” Allah the Exalted and Most High said in another Ayah, “He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah.” (4:80) Allah said, next, “The Hand of Allah is over their hands.” meaning, He is with them, hearing their statements and witnessing their stand, having full knowledge of them inwardly and outwardly. Therefore, Allah the Exalted was indeed taking the pledge from them through His Messenger , “Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for which theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill and are killed. It is a promise in truth, binding on Him in the Tawrah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah Then rejoice in the bargain you have concluded. That is the supreme success.” (9:111) Allah said, “…and whosoever fulfills what the covenants he makes with Allah, He will bestow on him a great reward.” a generous reward. The pledge mentioned here is the pledge of Ar-Ridwan which was pledged under a tree, a Samurah, in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah. The number of the Companions who gave their pledge to Allah’s Messenger at that time was either 1,300, 1,400 or 1,500. However, 1,400 is the better choice.

Hadiths about the Pledge at Al-Hudaybiyyah

Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “We numbered one thousand and four hundred on the day of Hudaybiyyah.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:451) Muslim also collected this Hadith. (Muslim 3:1484)

The Two Sahihs recorded that Jabir said; “We numbered one thousand and four hundred at that time. The Messenger placed his hand in the water and it started gushing forth from between his fingers until everyone had quenched their thirst.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:505 and Muslim 3:1484) This is a short form of the story. Another narration of it mentioned that the Companions became thirsty on the day of Al-Hudaybiyyah and the Messenger of Allah gave them an arrow from his quiver. They took the arrow, placed it in the well of Al-Hudaybiyyah and the water gushed out until they all satisfied their thirst. Jabir was asked how many of them there were on that day and he said, “We were one thousand and four hundred. And had we been a hundred thousand, that water would still have been sufficient to satisfy us all.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:504) In another narration collected in the Two Sahihs, Jabir bin Abdullah said that they were one thousand and five hundred at the time. (Fath Al-Bari 7:507 and Muslim 3:1484)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Said bin Al-Musayyib was asked by Qatadah, “How many were present for the pledge of Ar-Ridwan” Said said, “One thousand and five hundred.” Qatadah posed, “Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with them both, said that they were one thousand and four hundred.” Said said, “He forgot. He told me that they were one thousand and five hundred.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:507) However, Al-Bayhaqi commented, “This narration testifies that Jabir used to state that they were one thousand and five hundred, but later on remembered the true number and said that they were one thousand and four hundred.” (Dalail An-Nubuwwah 4:97)

The Reason behind conducting the Pledge of Ar-Ridwan

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said in his book on Sirah: “The Messenger of Allah beckoned Umar bin Al-Khattab in order to send him to Makkah, so that he could inform the chiefs of Quraysh of the Prophet’s intent (to perform Umrah at Makkah). Umar said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I fear the Quraysh for my being. There are no longer any chiefs from the tribe of Bani Adi bin Kab remaining in Makkah who would protect me, in addition, the Quraysh know my enmity and harshness against them. However, I could tell you about a man who is mightier than I in Makkah: Uthman bin Affan. We should send him to Abu Sufyan and the chiefs of the Quraysh informing them that you did not come to fight them, but to visit this House and to honor its holiness.’ Uthman left to Makkah. He met Aban bin Said bin Al-As upon entering Makkah or just before that. As a result, Aban took Uthman with him and extended his protection to him so he could deliver the message of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Uthman indeed went to Abu Sufyan and the chiefs of Quraysh and imparted the Prophet’s message that he was sent with. When Uthman finished delivering the Prophet’s message to them they said to him, ‘If you wish, you can perform Tawaf around the House.’ Uthman replied, ‘I would not do that before the Messenger of Allah gets the chance to perform Tawaf around it.’ So the Quraysh kept Uthman waiting in Makkah. However, the Messenger of Allah and the Muslims were told that Uthman had been killed.” Ibn Ishaq continued, “I was told by Abdullah bin Abu Bakr that when news of Uthman’s death was conveyed to him, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“We will not leave until we fight the people.’ [Ibn Hisham 3:329-330. This part of the narration is not authentic but its general meaning is found in the upcoming references]

Ibn Ishaq continued, “The Messenger of Allah called the Muslims to give a pledge of allegiance, resulting in the pledge of Ar-Ridwan being conducted under the tree. Later, people used to say that the Messenger of Allah took the pledge from them to die. However, Jabir bin Abdullah said, ‘The Messenger of Allah did not ask us to give a pledge to die (or be victorious), but that we would not run away (from battle).’ [See the references for Muslim that follow] The Muslims gave their pledge and none among them held back from giving it, except Al-Jadd bin Qays from the tribe of Bani Salamah. Jabir used to say afterwards, ‘By Allah, it is as if I am looking at him now next to the shoulder of his camel taking refuge behind it, so that the people did not see him.’ Soon afterwards, news came to the Messenger of Allah that the story of Uthman’s death was not true.” (Ibn Hisham 3:329-330)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Nafi said, “People said that Abdullah bin Umar embraced Islam before Umar, but this is not true. What happened is that on the Day of Hudaybiyyah, Umar sent Abdullah to bring his horse that he kept with a man from Al-Ansar, so he could use it to fight. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was then taking the pledge from the Muslims under the tree while Umar was unaware. So, Abdullah conducted his pledge and fetched the horse and brought it to Umar, who was wearing his armor in preparation for battle. Abdullah told Umar that the Messenger of Allah was accepting the pledge under the tree. Umar proceeded with Abdullah and gave his pledge to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This is why some people thought that Abdullah bin Umar embraced Islam before Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:521)

Al-Bukhari also recorded Ibn Umar saying that, the people who were with the Messenger of Allah scattered under the shade of trees. Suddenly, the people gathered around the Prophet and Umar said, “O Abdullah! Investigate why the people are gathering around Allah’s Messenger.” Ibn Umar found the people giving their pledge. He gave his pledge, then went back and told Umar, who also went and gave his pledge. (Fath Al-Bari 7:521) In a Hadith collected by Muslim, (Muslim 3:1483) Jabir bin Abdullah said, “On the day of Al-Hudaybiyyah, we were one thousand and four hundred. We gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet while Umar was holding the Prophet’s hand under the tree, which was a Samurah (a kind of thorny tree). We gave the pledge to him not to run away (from battle). We did not give the pledge to die.”

Muslim recorded that Maqil bin Yasar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “On the day of the Tree, while the Prophet was taking the pledge from the people, I was holding a branch of that tree away from his head. We were fourteen hundred. We did not give him our pledge to die, but gave the pledge not to run from battle.” (Muslim 3:1485)

However, Al-Bukhari recorded that Salamah bin Al-Akwa, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I gave the pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree.” Yazid asked him, “O Abu Maslamah, to what did you pledge at that time” Salamah said, “To die!” (Fath Al-Bari 6:136) Al-Bukhari also collected a Hadith from Salamah bin Al-Akwa that he said, “I gave my pledge to the Messenger of Allah on the day of Hudaybiyyah. I stood to the side and the Messenger said,

“Why not give the pledge, O Salamah?”

and I said, ‘I did.’ He said,

“Come and give pledge.”

I went close to him and gave him my pledge. Salamah was asked, “What was the pledge that you gave then, O Salamah?” Salamah said, “To die.” (Fath Al-Bari 12:211) Muslim collected this Hadith (Muslim 3:1486) as well, while Al-Bukhari collected from Abbad bin Tamim that the pledge they gave was to die. (Fath Al-Bari 6:136)

Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Salamah bin Al-Akwa, may Allah be pleased with him said, “We went to Al-Hudaybiyyah with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and we numbered fourteen hundred at that time. We reached the well and found around fifty sheep drinking from it, but its water was barely sufficient for them. The Messenger of Allah sat on its rim, invoked Allah and spat in the well and its water gushed out. We made our animals drink from it and also drank from it. Next, the Messenger of Allah called the people to give the pledge when he was under the tree, and I was among the first to give the pledge to him. The remaining people then started giving the pledge. When about half the people have given the pledge, the Messenger said to me,

“Give me the pledge, O Salamah!”

I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I have already pledged my pledge in the first group of people.’ He said,

“Do it again.”

So I pledged my pledge again. He also saw that I was not wearing any armor and gave me some. He went on accepting the pledge from the people. When they were about to finish, he said,

“Will you not give me your pledge, O Salamah!”

I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I have given you the pledge in the beginning and the middle. ‘ He said,

“Do it again,”

I gave him my pledge for a third time. The Messenger of Allah asked me,

“Where is the armour that I gave you O Salamah?”

I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Amir met me and I found that he did not have a shield, so I gave it to him.’ The Messenger of Allah laughed and said to me,

“You are just like the man of old times who said, ‘O Allah! Give me a dear person who is dearer to me than myself!”

Then the idolators of Makkah sent a delegation asking for a peace treaty, and we agreed to make peace. I used to work for Talhah bin Ubaydullah, may Allah be pleased with him, by providing water for his horse. For taking care of it, Talhah gave me a portion of his food. I had left my family and wealth and migrated to Allah and His Messenger (so I was poor). After the people of Makkah and us conducted peace and were freely mingling with each other, I went by a tree, removed its thorny branches and rested under its shade. Four of the idolators of Makkah stood close to me and started mentioning the Messenger of Allah in an improper way and I hated being close to them. So, I moved under the shade of another tree. They hanged their weapons and rested under it. Meanwhile, a caller shouted these words from the bottom of the valley, ‘O Emigrants! Ibn Zunaym was killed,’ so I held my sword and went after the four idolators. They were asleep, so I took possession of their weapons and held them in my hand, saying, ‘By He Who has honored the face of Muhammad, if any one of you raises his head, I will strike that which holds his eyes!’ I brought them to the Messenger of Allah, while my uncle Amir brought another man, an idolator, whose name was Mikraz, and I and my uncle brought the men to the Messenger of Allah. The number of captured idolators swelled to seventy. The Messenger of Allah looked at them and said,

“Let them go, for theirs will be the initiation of hostilities and its burden.”

The Messenger of Allah forgave them and Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, “And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.” (48:24) (Dalail An-Nubuwwah4:138) Muslim collected a narration that is the same or similar. (Muslim 1807)

The Two Sahihs recorded that Said bin Al-Musayyib said, “My father was among those who gave the pledge to the Messenger of Allah under the tree. He said, ‘In the following year, we went for Hajj and we could not find the tree.’ Therefore, if you know where that tree is, then you have more knowledge!” (Fath Al-Bari 7:512, Muslim 3:1485)

Abu Bakr Al-Humaydi recorded that Jabir said, “When the Messenger of Allah called the people to the pledge, we found a man from our tribe whose name is Al-Jadd bin Qays, hiding under the shoulder of his camel.” (Musnad Al-Humaydi 2:537) Muslim collected this Hadith. (Muslim 3:1483) Al-Humaydi also recorded that Amr said that he heard Jabir say, “On the day of Hudaybiyyah, we were one thousand and four hundred and the Messenger of Allah said to us,

“Today, you are the best people on the earth.”

Jabir went on saying, “If I still had my sight, I would have shown you the tree.” (Musnad Al-Humaydi 2:514, Muslim 4811) Sufyan commented that the Companions later on differed over the location of the tree of Al-Hudaybiyyah; the Two Sahihs collected this statement from him. (Fath Al-Bari 7:507, Muslim 3:1484) Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“None among those who gave the pledge under the tree shall enter Hellfire.” (Ahmad 3:350)

Abdullah bin Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“He who ascends Thaniyyah (i.e. a mountainous pass), the Thaniyyah of Al-Murar, will have as much of his sins relieved for him as the sins that were relieved from the Children of Israel.”

The first to ascend that hill were the horsemen of (the Ansar tribe of) Banu Al-Khazraj, then the Muslims followed suit. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“All of you will be forgiven, except the owner of the red camel.”

We said to him, “Come, let the Messenger of Allah invoke Allah to forgive you,” but he said, “By Allah! Finding my lost camel is dearer to me than having your companion invoke Allah to forgive me.” That man was only looking for his lost camel. Muslim collected this Hadith from Ubaydullah (from Jabir). (Muslim 4:2144)

Muslim also recorded that Abu Az-Zubayr heard Jabir say, “Umm Mubashshir told me that she heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, while he was with Hafsah,

“Allah willing, none of the Companions of the tree, who gave the pledge under it, will ever enter Hellfire.”

She said, ‘No, O Allah’s Messenger.’ The Prophet rebuked her but Hafsah said, “There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell)” (19:71) but the Prophet responded,

“Allah the Exalted said next, “Then We shall save those who had Taqwa and We shall leave the wrongdoers therein on their knees.” (19:71) (Muslim 4:1942)

Muslim also narrated that Jabir said, “A slave of Hatib bin Abi Balta’ah came to the Messenger complaining against Hatib and saying, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Hatib shall surely enter Hell.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied,

“You lie, he shall never enter the Fire; he participated in Badr and Al-Hudaybiyyah.” (Muslim 4:1942)

This is why Allah the Exalted said while praising these Companions, “Verily, those who give pledge to you, they are giving pledge to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm; and whosoever fulfils whatever covenant he has made with Allah, he will bestow on him a great reward.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honoured said in another Ayah, “Indeed, Allah has pleased with he believers when they gave the pledge to you under the tree, he knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down tranquillity upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory.” (48:18)

{11. Those of the bedouins who lagged behind will say to you: “Our possessions and our families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: “Who then has any power at all (to intervene) on your behalf with Allah, if He intends you hurt or intends you benefit Nay, but Allah is Aware of what you do.

12. Nay, but you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families, and that was made fair seeming in your hearts, and you did think an evil thought and you became a Bura.”

13. And whosoever does not believe in Allah and His Messenger, then verily, We have prepared for the disbelievers a blazing Fire.

14. And to Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

The Fabricated Excuse offered by Those Who lagged behind and did not participate in Al-Hudaybiyyah

Allah informs His Messenger of the excuses that the bedouins who lagged behind would offer him, those bedouins who preferred to remain in their homes and possessions and did not join the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. They offered an excuse for lagging behind, as that of being busy – in their homes and with their wealth! They asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to invoke Allah to forgive them, not because they had faith in the Prophet and his invocation, but to show off and pretend. This is why Allah the Exalted said about them, “They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: “Who then has any power at all (to intervene) on your behalf with Allah, if He intends you hurt or intends you benefit” Allah says, none can resist what Allah has decided in your case, all praise and honor belong to Him. Allah is the Knower of your secrets and what your hearts conceal, even if you pretend and choose to be hypocritical with us. This is why Allah the Exalted said, “Nay, but Allah is Ever All-Aware of what you do.” then He said, “Nay, but you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families,” ‘for your lagging behind was not an excusable act or just a sin. Rather, your lagging behind was because of hypocrisy and because you thought that the Muslims would be killed to the extent of extermination, their lives would be extinguished and none of them will ever come back,’ “and you did think an evil thought and you became a people Bur” going for destruction, according to Abdullah bin Abbas, Mujahid and several others. (At-Tabari 22:214) Qatadah explained Bur to mean, corrupt (At-Tabari 22:214) and some said that it is a word used in the Arabic dialect of the area of Oman. Allah the Exalted then said, “And whosoever does not believe in Allah and His Messenger,” Allah states here that whoever does not purify his actions outwardly and inwardly for Allah’s sake, then Allah the Exalted will punish him in the Blazing Fire, even if he pretends to show people that he follows the faith, contradicting his true creed. Allah the Exalted then states that He is the Only Authority, King and Owner Who has full control over the residents of the heavens and earth, “He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.” with those who repent, return and submit to Him with humiliation.

{15. Those who lagged behind will say, when you set forth to take the spoils, “Allow us to follow you.” They want to change Allah’s Words. Say: “You shall not follow us; thus Allah has said beforehand.” Then they will say: “Nay, you envy us.” Nay, but they understand not except a little.}

Allah characterizes the bedouins who lagged behind the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, during the Umrah of Hudaybiyyah, saying that when the Prophet and his Companions later went on to conquer Khaybar, the bedouins asked them to take them along. They were hoping to collect war booty, having been absent when it was time to fight the enemy and enduring with patience therein. Allah the Exalted ordered His Messenger to refuse to give them permission to accompany him, being a punishment that is similar to their error. Allah has promised those who were present at Al-Hudaybiyyah to earn Khaybar’s war spoils alone, not shared in that with the bedouins who lagged behind. Therefore, the legislation that Allah gave in this regard was joined to the destiny that He decided, occurring just as He decided. Allah’s statement, “They want to change Allah’s Words”, which refers to the promise that Allah gave those who were present at Al-Hudaybiyyah, according to the explanation reported from Mujahid, Qatadah, Juwaybir and which Ibn Jarir preferred. (At-Tabari 22:215) Allah said, “Say: “You shall not follow us; thus Allah has said beforehand.” ‘when He promised the participants of Al-Hudaybiyyah before you asked to join them,’ “Then they will say: “Nay, you envy us.” ‘you do not want us to share the war spoils with you,’ “Nay, but they under- stand not except a little.” the truth is nothing close to what they claimed, but they understand not.

{16. Say to the bedouins who lagged behind: “You shall be called to fight against a people given to great warfare, then you shall fight them, or they shall surrender. Then if you obey, Allah will give you a fair reward; but if you turn away as you did turn away before, He will punish you with a painful torment.”

17. No blame or sin is there upon the blind, nor is there sin upon the lame, nor is there sin upon the sick. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and whosoever turns back, He will punish him with a painful torment.}

Allah conveys the News that there will be Many Cases of Jihad, and that Jihad distinguishes the Ranks of the Believers and exposes the Hypocrite

Scholars of Tafsir differ over who the people mentioned here are. They are people experienced at warfare who will be called to fight. There are many opinions, first, they are the tribe of Hawazin, as Shubah narrated from Abu Bishr from Said bin Jubayr, or Ikrimah, or both of them. (At-Tabari 22:220) Hushaym narrated this explanation from Abu Bishr, from both Said bin Jubayr and Ikrimah. (At-Tabari 22:220) Qatadah, as narrated from him in one version, held the same view. (At-Tabari 22:220) The second view is that these people are the tribe of Thaqif, according to Ad-Dahhak. The third view is that they are Banu Hanifah, according to Juwaybir and Az-Zuhri, as Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from him. (At-Tabari 22:220) Similar was narrated from Said bin Jubayr and Ikrimah. (At-Tabari 22:220) The fourth opinion is that they are the Persians, according to Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported that from Abdullah bin Abbas. This is also the view of Ata’, Mujahid, and Ikrimah. (At-Tabari 22:219, Al-Qurtubi 16:272) Kab Al-Ahbar said that they are the Romans, (At-Tabari 22:221) while Ibn Abi Layla, Ata, Al-Hasan and Qatadah — in a different narration from him, said that they are the Persians and Romans. (At-Tabari 22:219) Mujahid also said that they are the idolators. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 22:219) In another narration Mujahid said, “They are men given to great warfare,” and did not specify any particular people. This last explanation is the view preferred by Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Jarir.

Allah’s statement, “Then you shall fight them, or they shall surrender.” means, ‘you are called to fight them in Jihad, through constant warfare, until you become victorious over them or they surrender. Or, they will embrace your religion without a fight, but with their full consent.’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said next, “Then if you obey,” ‘if you accept the call to Jihad and prepare for it and fulfill your duty in this regard,’ “Allah will give you a fair reward; but if you turn away as you turned away before,” ‘on the day of Al-Hudaybiyyah, when you were called to Jihad, yet lagged behind,’ “He will punish you with a painful torment.”

Acceptable Reasons for not joining Jihad

Allah then mentions the legal reasons that allow one to be excused from joining the Jihad, such as blindness and being lame, and various illnesses that strike one and are remedied in few days. When one is ill, he is allowed to remain behind and will have a valid excuse to do so, until his illness ends. Allah the Exalted and Most honoured then said, while ordaining joining the Jihad and obeying Allah and His Messenger, “And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and whosoever turns back,” from joining the Jihad and busies himself in his livelihood, “He will punish him with a painful torment.” in this life with humiliation and in the Hereafter with the Fire. Allah the Exalted has the best knowledge.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 122-148

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Surah Muhammad Ayat 20-38 (end)

{20. Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah sent down (for us)?” But now that a decisive Surah is sent down mentioning fighting, you can see those in whose hearts is disease (of hypocrisy) looking at you with the look of one who is about to faint for fear of death. But it was better for them.

21.Obedience and good words. And when the matter is resolved, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.

22. So would you perhaps, if you turned away, spread corruption on earth, and sever your ties of kinship?

23. Such are the ones whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their vision.}

The Situation of the True Believer and the Sick-Hearted when the Command for Jihad was revealed

Allah mentions that the believers were hoping that Jihad would be legislated. But when Allah ordained it, many of the people turned back, as Allah says, “Have you not seen those who were told: “Restrain your hands (from fighting), establish the Salah, and give Zakah.” But then when fighting was ordained for them, you find a party of them fearing the people as they fear Allah or more. They said: “Our Lord! Why have You decreed fighting upon us? If only You have postponed us for a short period.” Say: “The enjoyment of this world is little. The Hereafter is far better for him who had Taqwa of (Allah), and you will not be dealt with unjustly, even as much as a thin thread (inside a date’s pit).” (4:77) Similarly, Allah says here, “Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah sent down (for us)?” means, a Surah containing an order to fight. Then He says, “But now that a decisive Surah is sent down mentioning fighting, you can see those in whose hearts is disease looking at you with the look of one who is about to faint for fear of death.” meaning, due to their fear, terror, and cowardice concerning meeting the enemies. Allah then encourages them by saying, “But it was better for them, obedience and good words.” which means that it would have been better for them to listen and obey in that present situation. “When the matter (of fighting) is resolved.” which means when the situation becomes serious and the time of fighting truly arrives. “if they had been true to Allah,” meaning, by making their intentions sincerely for Him. “it would have been better for them” Allah then says, “So would you perhaps, if you turned away” meaning, from Jihad and you withdrew from it. “spread corruption on earth, and sever your ties of kinship” which means, would you then go back to your old practices of the time of ignorance: shedding blood and severing kinship ties Allah then says, “Such are the ones whom Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their vision.” This involves a general prohibition of spreading corruption on earth, and a specific prohibition of severing the ties of kinship. In fact, Allah has commanded the people to establish righteousness on earth, as well as to join the ties of kinship by treating the relatives well in speech, actions, and spending wealth in charity. Many authentic and sound Hadiths have been reported through numerous routes of transmission from Allah’s Messenger in this regard. Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

 “Allah created the creation, and when He finished from His creation the Rahm (womb) got up, and Allah said (to it). “Stop! What do you want? It said; “At this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kinship.)” Allah said: “Would you be pleased that I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relation with you. It said: ‘Yes, ‘O my Lord.’ Allah said (to it), ‘That is for you.” And then Abu Huraira recited the Verse: “Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship.” (47.22) (Bukhari 7502)

Muslim also recorded it. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“No sin deserves that Allah hasten its punishment in the worldly life, in addition to what He reserves in the Hereafter for those who commit it, more than injustice and severance of the ties of kinship.” (Ahmad 5:38)

This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Sahih.” Imam Ahmad recorded from Thawban, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“Whoever likes for his life to be extended, and his provision increased, let him connect his ties of kinship.” (Ahmad 5:279)

Ahmad was alone in recording this narration, but it has a supporting narration in the Sahih.

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, the womb is attached to the Throne. And connecting its ties does not mean dealing evenly (with the kinsfolk), but it rather means that if one’s kinsfolk sever the ties, he connects them.” (Fath Al-Bari 10:437)

This Hadith was also recorded by Al-Bukhari. Ahmad also recorded from Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“The womb will be placed on the Day of Resurrection, curved like a spinning wheel, speaking with an eloquent fluent tongue, calling to severing whoever had severed it, and joining whoever had joined it.” (Ahmad 2:189)

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“The merciful ones will be granted mercy from the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those on earth – the One above the heavens will then have mercy on you. And Ar-Rahim (the womb) is from Ar-Rahman, so whoever joins it, it joins him; and whoever severs it, it severs him.” (Ahmad 2:160)

Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi both recorded this Hadith and it has been reported with continuous chains of transmission. At-Trimidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” (Abu Dawud 5:231) There are numerous other Hadiths in this regard.

{24. Will they not then reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts?

25. Verily, those who have turned back as disbelievers after guidance had become clear to them – Shaytan has enticed them and filled them with false hopes.

26. That is because they said to those who hate what Allah has sent down: “We will obey you in part of the matter.” And Allah knows their secrets.

27. Then how (will it be) when the angels will take their souls at death, striking their faces and their backs

28. That is because they followed that which angered Allah and hated what earns His pleasure, so He rendered their deeds worthless.}

The Command to reflect upon the Qur’an

Commanding the people to reflect and ponder upon the Qur’an, and prohibiting them from turning away from it, Allah says, “Will they not then reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts?” means, there indeed are locks upon some hearts, firmly closing them so that none of its meanings can reach them. Ibn Jarir recorded from Hisham bin Urwah, from his father, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger once recited this Ayah, “Will they not then reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts?” and a young man from Yemen said, “Indeed, there are locks upon them – until Allah opens them totally or slightly.” After that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, always liked that young man, and kept that to himself until he became in charge, upon which he utilized him (as a consultant). (At-Tabari 22:180)

Condemning Apostasy

Allah then says, “Verily, those who have turned back” meaning, they departed from the faith and returned to disbelief. “…after guidance had become clear to them – Shaytan has enticed them” meaning he adorned and beautified that (apostasy) for them. “and filled them with false hopes.” meaning, he tempted them, and deceived them. “That is because they said to those who hate what Allah sent down: “We will obey your in part of the matter.’‘ means, they plotted secretly with them and gave them evil advice — as is the common practice of the hypocrites who declare the opposite of what they conceal. Because of this, Allah says, “And Allah knows their secrets.” whatever they hide and conceal, Allah is well-acquainted with it and He knows it. This is similar to His saying, “…And Allah records all that they plot by night.” (4:81) Allah then says, “How (will it be) when the angels will take their souls at death, striking their faces and their backs?” That is, how their situation will be when the angels come to take their lives, and their souls cling to their bodies, causing the angels to extract them by force, harshness, and beating. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “If you could but see when the angels take away the lives of the disbelievers, striking their faces and their backs.” (8:50) And His saying, “If you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels extend their hands” (6:93). meaning, to beat them. “(saying): “Deliver your souls! This day you will be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth, and because you used to arrogantly reject His signs.” (6:93) Because of the above, Allah says, “That is because they pursued what angered Allah and disliked what earns His pleasure, so He rendered their deeds worthless.”

{29. Or do those in whose hearts is a disease, think that Allah will not expose their ill-wills

30. Had We so willed, We could have shown them clearly to you, so that you would know them by their marks; but you will know them by the tone of their speech! And Allah knows (all) your deeds.

31. And We will surely, try you until We know those who strive among you and the patient, and We will put to a test all your affairs.}

Exposing the Hidden Secret of the Hypocrites

Allah says, “Or do those in whose hearts is disease think that Allah would never expose their ill-wills” meaning, do the hypocrites think that Allah will not expose their affair to His believing servant Yes indeed, He will expose their affair and manifest it so that those with insight will be able to understand it. In that regard, Allah revealed Surah Bara’ah (or At-Tawbah), in which He clarified the hypocrites’ scandals, and pinpointed their practices that are indicative of their hypocrisy. Because of that, this Surah (Surah Bara’ah) is also called “The Exposer”. Adghan is the plural of Dighn, which means what the souls harbor of envy and hatred toward Islam and its people who support it. Allah then says, “Had We so willed, We could have shown them clearly to you, so that you would know them by their marks.” Allah is telling His Messenger , “Had We willed, O Muhammad, We would have shown you the specific individuals who are hypocrites, so that you would plainly know them.” However, Allah did not do that in regard to all of the hypocrites. He conceals His creation, lets their affairs run according to apparent purity, and leaves the inner secrets to the One Who is well aware of them. Allah then adds, “But you will know them by the tone of their speech!” which means, ‘you will know them by their speech that reveals their intentions.’ A person declares his association through the context and meaning of his words – as the Commander of the faithful Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Never would one conceal a secret but Allah will expose it by the look on his face and the uncontrolled words of his tongue.” Allah then says, “And We will surely try you” meaning, ‘We will surely test you with commands and prohibitions.’ “until We know those who strive among you and the patient, and We will put to a test all your affairs.” There is absolutely no doubt that Allah’s knowledge precedes the occurrence of all events. In this Ayah, “until We know” means ‘until We know of its occurrence.’ This is why Ibn Abbas said in regard to this and similar texts, “Except so that We may know, means, so that We may see.”

{32. Verily, those who disbelieve, and hinder from the path of Allah, and oppose the Messenger, after the guidance has been clearly shown to them, they will not harm Allah in the least, but He will make their deeds fruitless,

33. O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and invalidate not your deeds.

34. Verily, those who disbelieved and obstructed others from the path of Allah and then died as disbelievers – never will Allah not forgive them.

35. So do not lose heart and beg for peace while you are superior. Allah is with you and He will never deprive you of (the reward of) your deeds.}

Nullifying the Disbelievers’ Deeds and the Command to chase Them

Allah then informs about those who disbelieve, obstruct others from the path of Allah, oppose the Messenger and contend with him, and revert from the faith after guidance has become clear to them. He indicates that those people can never harm Allah in the least, and rather they only harm themselves and become losers on the Day of Resurrection. He will nullify their deeds. Allah will not reward them even the weight of a mosquito (i.e., the smallest thing) for any good that they did before their apostasy, but would instead totally invalidate and destroy it. Their apostasy wipes away their good deeds entirely, just as the good deeds would normally wipe away the evil deeds. Imam Ahmad Ibn Nasr Al-Marwazi reported in Kitab As-Salah (The Book of Prayer) that Abu Al-Aliyah said, “The Prophet’s Companions used to think that no sin would harm a person who says ‘La ilaha illallah,’ just as no good deed would benefit a person who joins partners with Allah. So Allah revealed, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.” This made them fear that some sins could nullify their deeds.” (As-Salah by Al-Marwazi 2:645)

It has also been reported from Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “We, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger , used to think that good deeds would all be accepted, until Allah revealed, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.” So we asked each other: ‘What is it that can nullify our deeds?’ So we said, ‘The major sins, great offenses that require admission into the Fire and immoral sins.’ But then Allah revealed, “Verily, Allah does not forgive joining partners with Him in worship, but He forgives except that to whom He wills.” (4:48) After this was revealed, we ceased saying that. We thereafter continued to fear for those who committed great sins and immoral sins and to have hope for those who did not.” (As-Salah by Al-Marwazi 2:646)

Then, Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger , which would result in their happiness in this worldly life and the Hereafter. He also prohibits them from apostasy, because that would result in the nullification of their deeds. Thus He says, “and do not invalidate your deeds.” meaning, by apostasy. Thus, Allah says after this, “Verily, those who disbelieved and obstructed others from the path of Allah and then died as disbelievers — never will Allah forgive them.” This is similar to His saying, “Verily, Allah does not forgive joining partners with Him in worship, but He forgives except that to whom He wills.” (4:48) Allah then addresses His believing servants by saying, “So do not lose heart” meaning, do not be weak concerning the enemies. “and beg for peace” meaning, compromise, peace, and ending the fighting between you and the disbelievers while you are in a position of power, both in great numbers and preparations. Thus, Allah says, “So do not lose heart and beg for peace while you are superior.” meaning, in the condition of your superiority over your enemy. If, on the other hand, the disbelievers are considered more powerful and numerous than the Muslims, then the Imam (general commander) may decide to hold a treaty if he judges that it entails a benefit for the Muslims. This is like what Allah’s Messenger did when the disbelievers obstructed him from entering Makkah and offered him treaty in which all fighting would stop between them for ten years. Consequently, he agreed to that. Allah then says: “And Allah is with you” This contains the good news of victory and triumph over the enemies. “and He will never deprive you of (the reward of) your deeds.” meaning, Allah will never invalidate your deeds, nullify them, or deprive you of them, but rather He will give you your rewards complete, without any reduction.” And Allah knows best.

{36. This worldly life is only amusement and diversion. And if you believe and have Taqwa of Allah, He will grant you your rewards, and will not ask from you (to sacrifice all of) your possessions.

37. If He would demand of you all of it and urge you, you would withhold. And He will expose your (secret) ill-wills.

38. Here you are now invited to spend in Allah’s cause; but among you are those who withhold (stingily). And whoever acts stingily is but stingy toward himself. For Allah is indeed free of needs, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with other people; then they will not be like you.}

Showing the Triviality of the Worldly Life and encouraging Spending

Expressing the insignificance and worthlessness of the worldly life, Allah says, “This worldly life is only amusement and diversion.” which means that such is its outcome, except for that which is done for the sake of Allah. Because of this, Allah says, “And if you believe and have Taqwa of Allah, He will grant you your rewards, and will not ask from you (to sacrifice all of) your possessions.” meaning, He is in no need of you, and asks you for nothing. He only ordained giving charity from your wealth so that you would help your needy brothers. The benefit of that would then come back to you, as well as the rewards. Allah then says, “If He would demand of you all of it and urge you, you would withhold.” meaning, if He pressures you much, you would become stingy. “And He will expose your (secret) ill-wills.” Qatadah said, “Allah knows that extracting wealth (i.e., money from people) brings about ill-wills.” (Abdur Razaq 3:224) Indeed, Qatadah has said the truth, because money is dear to the people, and they do not spend it except in things that are dearer to them than it. Allah then says, “Here you are now invited to spend in Allah’s cause; but among you are those who withhold (stingily).” meaning, they refuse to spend. Allah continues, “And whoever acts stingily is but stingy toward himself.” meaning, he only reduces his own rewards, and the bad outcome of that will come back to him. “For Allah is indeed Al-Ghani” Allah is in need of nothing else, whereas everything is ever in need of Him. Thus, Allah says, “while you are the needy.” meaning, specifically of Him. The description of Allah as Al-Ghani (in no need) is a necessary description of Allah; on the other hand, the description of the creation as Faqr (needy) is a necessary description for them that they cannot avoid. Allah then says, “And if you turn away,” which means, if you turn away from obeying Him and adhering to His Laws. “He will replace you with other people; then they will not be like you.” meaning, rather, they will be people who will listen to Him and obey His commands.

This concludes the Tafsir of Surah Muhammad.

And Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 106-121

 

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Surah Muhammad Ayat 1-19

Surah Muhammad

Chapter 47

Which was revealed in Al-Madinah

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

{1. Those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, He will render their deeds vain.

2. But those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and believe in that which is sent down to Muhammad — for it is the truth from their Lord — He expiates from them their sins and amends their Bal.

3. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth for mankind their parables.}

 

The Reward of the Disbelievers and the Believers

Allah says, “Those who disbelieve” meaning, in the Ayat of Allah. “and hinder (men)” Others. “from the path of Allah, He will render their deeds vain.” meaning, He renders their deeds vain and futile, and He denies them any rewards or blessings for them. This is similar to His saying, “And We will approach what they have done of deeds and make them as dispersed dust.” (25:23) Allah then says, “And those who believe and do righteous good deeds,” Which means that their hearts and souls have believed, and their limbs and their hidden and apparent acts have complied with Allah’s Law. “And believe in that which has been sent down to Muhammad” Adding this statement to the previous one is a method of adding a specific meaning to a general one. This provides proof that after Muhammad’s advent, believing in him is a required condition for the true faith. Allah then says, “For it is the truth from their Lord.” which is a beautifully placed parenthetical clause. Thus, Allah says “He expiates from them their sins and amends their Bal.” Ibn Abbas, said, “This means their matter.” Mujahid said, “This means their affair.” Qatadah and Ibn Zayd both said, “Their condition.” And all of these are similar in meaning. It has been mentioned (from the Prophet ) in the Hadith of the responding to one who sneezes,

“May Allah guide you and rectify your (Bal) affairs.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:11)

Then Allah says, “That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood,” meaning, ‘We only invalidate the deeds of the disbelievers and overlook the sins of the righteous, and amend their affairs, because those who disbelieve follow false- hood.’ Meaning, they choose falsehood over the truth. “while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth for the people their parables.” Thus He makes the consequence of their actions clear to them, and He shows them where they will end in their next life — and Allah knows best.

{4. So, when you meet those who disbelieve (in battle), smite (their) necks until you have fully defeated them, then tighten their bonds. Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burden. Thus, and had Allah so willed, He could have taken vengeance against them;–but (He lets you struggle) so as to test with one another. But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.

5. He will guide them and amend their condition.

6. And admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them.

7. O you who believe! If you support (in the cause of) Allah, He will support you, and make your foothold firm.

8. But as for those who disbelieve, misery awaits them, and (Allah) will make their deeds vain.

9. That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down; so He has made their deeds fruitless.}

 

The Command to strike the Enemies’ Necks, tighten Their Bonds, and then free Them either by an Act of Grace or for a Ransom

Guiding the believers to what they should employ in their fights against the idolators, Allah says, “So, when you meet those who disbelieve (in battle), smite their necks” which means, ‘when you fight against them, cut them down totally with your swords.’ “until you have fully defeated them,” meaning, ‘you have killed and utterly destroyed them.’ “tighten their bonds.” ‘This is referring to the prisoners of war whom you have captured. Later on, after the war ends and the conflict has ceased, you have a choice in regard to the captives: You may either act graciously toward them by setting them free without charge, or free them for a ransom that you require from them.’ It appears that this Ayah was revealed after the battle of Badr. At that time, Allah reproached the believers for sparing many of the enemy’s soldiers, and holding too many captives in order to take ransom from them. So He said then: “It is not for a Prophet to have captives of war until he had made a great slaughter (among the enemies) in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. Allah is Mighty and Wise. Were it not for a prior decree from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.” (8:67-68) Allah’s saying, “…until the war lays down its burden.” Mujahid said: “Until Isa bin Maryam (peace be upon him) descends.” (At-Tabari 22:157) It seems as if he derived this opinion from the Prophet’s saying,

“There will always be a group of my Ummah victorious upon the truth, until the last of them fight against Ad-Dajjal.” (Abu Dawud 3:11)

Imam Ahmad recorded from Jubayr bin Nufayr who reported from Salamah bin Nufayl that he went to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon them, and said, “I have let my horse go, and thrown down my weapon, for the war has ended. There is no more fighting.” Then the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said to him,

“Now the time of fighting has come. There will always be a group of my Ummah dominant over others. Allah will turn the hearts of some people away (from the truth), so they (that group) will fight against them, and Allah will bestow on them (war spoils) from them (the enemies) — until Allah’s command comes to pass while they are in that state. Verily, the center of the believers’ abode is Ash-Sham. And goodness is tied around the horses’ foreheads till the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad 4:104)

An-Nasa’i also recorded this narration. (An-Nasai 6:214)

Allah then says, “Thus, and had Allah so willed, He could have taken vengeance against them” which means that had He so willed, He could have taken immediate vengeance against the disbelievers with a chastisement or exemplary punishment directly from Him. “but (He lets you struggle) so as to test with one another.” meaning, He has ordered Jihad and fighting against the enemies in order to try you and test your affairs. Allah also expresses His wisdom by the legislation of Jihad in the following two Surahs, Al Iman and At-Tawbah, in which He says, “Or did you think that you would enter the Paradise before Allah had made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?” (3:142) “Fight them; Allah will then punish them by your hands, disgrace them, grant you victory over them, satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury of their (the believers’) hearts. Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; Allah is Knowing and Wise.” ( 9:14-15)

Merit of the Martyrs

Since it is customary during wars that many of the believers die, Allah says: “But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.” which means that He would not let their good deeds go to waste, but would rather multiply and increase them. Some of them will continue being rewarded for their good deeds for the entire length of their stay in Al-Barzakh. This has been mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad on the authority of Kathir bin Murrah, who reported from Qays Al-Judhami, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“As the first drop of his blood gushes forth, a martyr is granted six merits: all of his sins are forgiven, he is shown his place in Paradise, he is married to wide-eyed Huris, he is secured from the great fear (on Judgement Day) and the torment of the grave, and he is adorned with the adornments of Iman.”

Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. (Ahmad 4:200) Abu Ad-Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“A martyr is allowed to intercede for seventy members of his household.”

This was recorded by Abu Dawud, (Abu Dawud 2522) and there are numerous other Hadiths mentioning the merits of the martyrs.

As for Allah’s saying, “He will guide them” meaning, He will guide them to Jannah. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous good deeds, their Lord will guide them because of their Faith: beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure.” (10:9) Allah says, “and amend their condition.” meaning, their situation and affairs. “And (He will) admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them.” It means that He has acquainted them with Paradise and guided them to it. Mujahid said: “The people of Paradise will be guided to their houses and dwellings and whatever sections Allah has ordained for them in it. They will not make mistakes in this, nor will they ask anyone for directions to their dwellings — as if they had dwelt in it from the time they were first created.” (At-Tabari 22:160)

Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Said Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“After the believers securely pass the Fire (on the Day of Judgement), they will be held back upon a bridge between Paradise and the Fire. There, they will have any acts of injustice that they committed against one another in the life of this world rectified. After they are completely purified and cleansed (from injustice), they will be admitted into Paradise. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, each one of them will find his way to his dwelling in Paradise better than he found his way to his dwelling in the worldly life.” (Al-Bukhari 6535)

Support Allah’s Cause, He will then support You

Allah then says: “O you who believe! If you support (the cause of) Allah, He will support you and make your foothold firm.” This is similar to His saying, “Indeed, Allah will surely support those who support Him (His cause).” (22:40) That is because the reward is comparable to the type of deed that is performed. Thus, Allah says here, “and make your foothold firm.” Allah then says, “But as for those who disbelieve – misery awaits them” This misery is the opposite of making firm the footholds of the believers who support the cause of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon them. It has been confirmed in a Hadith that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“Misery awaits the servant of the Dinar; misery awaits the servant of the Dirham; misery awaits the servant of velvet. Misery awaits him, and degeneracy; and if he is pricked by a thorn, may he not find anyone to pull it for him.” (Fath Al Bari 6:95 and Ibn Majah 2:1386)

This means may Allah not cure him. Then Allah says, “and (Allah) will make their deeds vain.” meaning, He will nullify them and make them fruitless. Thus, Allah says, “That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down” which means that they did not want or like what Allah revealed. “so He made their deeds fruitless”

{10. Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what happened in the end to those before them? Allah destroyed them completely, and a similar (awaits) the disbelievers.

11. That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, whereas the disbelievers have no protector.

12. Certainly Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise); while those who disbelieve enjoy their life and eat as cattle eat; but the Fire will be their abode.

13. And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out We have destroyed, with none to help them!}

 

Admonition and Fire for the Disbelievers; Paradise for Those Who have Taqwa

Allah says, “Have they not traveled” meaning, those who associate partners with Allah and deny His Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon them. “through the land and seen what happened in the end to those before them Allah destroyed them completely,” which means that Allah punished them because of their denial and disbelief, and saved the believers from among them. That is why He says, “and a similar (end awaits) the disbelievers.” Then Allah says, “That is because Allah is the Protector of all those who believe, whereas the disbelievers have no protector.” After the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb, the commander of the idolators at that time, inquired about the Prophet , Abu Bakr, and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. When he heard no response, he announced: “Verily, those three have died!” Umar then responded to him: “You lie, O enemy of Allah! Allah has indeed saved those who will displease you. Indeed, those whom you mentioned are all alive!” Abu Sufyan then said: “Well, today makes up for (the defeat on) the day of Badr, and the war has its ups and downs. And indeed, you are going to find mutilation (in the bodies of your dead) that I did not command, nor did I prohibit.” Then he turned around chanting: “Glory to Hubal (their greatest idol), Glory to Hubal.” Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“Aren’t you going to respond to him?”

The Companions said: “What should we say, O Messenger of Allah?” He said:

“Say: “Allah is Most High and Most Glorious.”

Then Abu Sufyan said: “We have Al-Uzza (their second idol), and you have no Uzza. (honor).” Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“Aren’t you all going to respond to him?”

They said: “What should we say, O Messenger of Allah?” He said:

“Say: “Allah is our Protector, and you have no protector.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:188)

Allah then says, “Verily, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds into Gardens through which rivers flow.” meaning, on the Day of Resurrection. “Whereas those who disbelieve enjoy their life and eat as cattle eat.” Which means that the disbelievers enjoy their worldly life and eat in it like animals, munching and gnawing (with greed). They have no concern other than that. Thus, it has been confirmed in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“A believer eats with one intestine, and a disbeliever eats with seven intestines.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:446)

Then Allah says, “but the Fire will be their abode.” meaning, on the Day of their Reckoning. Allah then says, “And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out” meaning, Makkah. “We have destroyed, with none to help them!” This is a great threat and severe warning to the people of Makkah because they rejected Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon them, who was the chief of the Messengers and the last of the Prophets. If Allah had destroyed the previous nations because of their denial of their Messengers, what then would those (people of Makkah) expect that Allah would do to them in the worldly life and the Hereafter And if the torment were to be lifted off some of them in this life by the blessing of the presence of the Messenger, the Prophet of Mercy, the torment will be stored for them in their next life, as Allah says, “Their torment will be doubled! They could not bear to hear (the preaching), and they used not to see (the truth).” (11:20) Concerning Allah’s saying, “than Your town that has driven you out” This means, ‘its people who have driven you (Muhammad) out from amongst them (the people of Makkah).’ Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that when Allah’s Messenger left Makkah (at the time of Hijrah – migration), and he reached the cave and hid inside it, he looked back toward Makkah and said,

“You are the most beloved to Allah among Allah’s lands, and you are also the most beloved to me among Allah’s lands. Were it not that the idolators have driven me out from you, I would never have left you.”

Ibn Abbas then said, “The worst of enemies is he who transgresses against Allah in His own sacred place, who kills a person who is not trying to kill him, or who kills because of Jahiliyyah vengeance. Allah then revealed to His Prophet , “And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out have We destroyed, with none to help them!” (At-Tabari 22:165)

{14. Can then he, who stands on clear evidence from his Lord, be like those for whom their evil deeds are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts

15. The description of Paradise which is promised to those who have Taqwa, (is that) in it are rivers of water that are not Asin, rivers of milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of refined honey; and therein for them are all kinds of fruits, and forgiveness from their Lord. Can this be likened to those who abide eternally in the Fire and are given to drink boiling water that severs their intestines?}

The Worshipper of the Truth and the Worshipper of Lust are not Equal

Allah says: “Can then he, who stands on clear evidence from his Lord…” This means a person who is upon clear vision and certainty concerning Allah’s commands and His religion, because of the guidance and knowledge that Allah has revealed in His Book, and because of the pure nature upon which Allah has created him. “(Can he) be likened to those for whom their evil deeds are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts?” which means that they cannot be equal. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “Can he who knows that what has been revealed unto you from your Lord is the truth be like him who is blind?” (13:19) And, “Not equal are the people of the Fire and the people of Paradise. The People of Paradise will be the successful ones.” (59:20)

Description of Paradise and Its Rivers

Allah then says: “The description of Paradise which is promised for those who have Taqwa…” Ikrimah said, “The description of Paradise” “This means its description.” “In it are rivers of water that are not Asin” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah all said, “It does not change.” (At-Tabari 22:166) Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, and Ata’ Al-Khurasani all said, “It is not foul-smelling.” The Arabs say Asin if its (water) scent changes. (At-Tabari 22:167) “rivers of milk, the taste of which never changes,” which means that the milk is of utmost whiteness, sweetness, and richness. It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet “Their milk did not come out of the udders of cattle.” “rivers of wine delightful to those who drink it,” which means that the wine does not have a bad taste or foul smell like that of the worldly life. Rather, it is good in its appearance, taste, smell, and effect, as Allah says, “it (the wine) has no bad effects, nor does it cause intoxication.” (37:47) and, “From which (the wine) they will have no headache, nor will they be intoxicated.” (56:19) “white, delicious to the drinkers.” (37:46) It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him,

“Their wine was not pressed under men’s feet.”

“and rivers of refined honey” which means that the honey is of utmost purity and pleasant color, taste, and smell. It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet , “Their honey did not come out of the bellies of bees.”

Imam Ahmad recorded from Hakim bin Muawiyah who narrated from his father that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, there is in Paradise a lake of milk, a lake of water, a lake of honey, and a lake of wine. The rivers then gush out of them.” (Ahmad 5:5)

At-Tirmidhi reported this narration in his section of the Description of Paradise, and he said, “Hasan Sahih. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:287) In the Sahih, it is recorded that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, said,

“When you ask Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdaws, because it is the central and highest part of the Paradise, and from it gush the rivers of the Paradise and above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:14)

Allah says, “…and therein for them are all kinds of fruits, …” This similar to His saying, “They will call in it for every kind of fruit in peace and security.” (44:55) And His saying, “In them will be every kind of fruits in pairs.” (55:52) Allah says “…and forgiveness from their Lord.” meaning, in addition to all of the above. Allah says, “Can this be likened to those who abide eternally in the Fire?” meaning, ‘can those that We have described their position in the Paradise be like those who will abide eternally in the Fire’ They are not equal, and nor are those who will be in the high ranks (in the Paradise) and those who will be in the lowest depths (Hell). “and are given to drink boiling water” meaning, extremely hot; so hot that it is unbearable. “that severs their intestines” meaning, that will cut their insides – both bowels and intestines. We seek refuge in Allah from that.

{16. And among them are some who listen to you till when they go out from you, they say to those who have received knowledge: “What is it that he has said just now?” Such are men whose hearts Allah has sealed because they followed their lusts.

17. And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa.

18. Do they then await except that the Hour should come upon them suddenly? But already there have come (some of) its portents; and when it (actually) is on them, how can they benefit then by their reminder

19. So know that La ilaha illallah and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest.}

 

The Description of the Situation of the Hypocrites and the Command to maintain Tawhid and seek Forgiveness

Allah describes the hypocrites’ stupidity and limited understanding. They used to sit before Allah’s Messenger and listen to his words without understanding anything. Then when they left from his presence, “they say to those who have received knowledge” from the Companions “What is it that he has said just now?” meaning, at this moment. They did not understand what he said, nor did they care about it. Allah says, “Such are the men whose hearts Allah has sealed because they followed their lusts.” which means that they had neither sound understanding nor correct intentions. Allah then says, “And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance” which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it. “and bestows on them their Taqwa.” meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance. Allah then says, “Do they then await except that the Hour should come upon them suddenly?” meaning, while they are unaware of it. “But already there have come (some of) its portents” meaning, the signs of its approach. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “This is a warner of the warners of old. The approaching Day has drawn near.” (53:56-57) And His saying, “The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has split.” (54:1) And His saying, “The command of Allah is coming, so do not be impatient for it.” (16:1) And His saying, “The people’s Day of Reckoning has approached while they turn away in heedlessness.” (21:1) Thus, the Messenger’s advent is one of the signs of the Hour, because he is the Finality of the Messengers. With him, Allah has completed the religion and established the evidence against all people in a way that was never done by a previous Prophet. Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, has most clearly informed about the signs and indications of the Hour, as we have discussed elsewhere. Al-Bukhari recorded from Sahl bin Sad, may Allah be pleased with him, that he saw Allah’s Messenger bring his index and middle fingers together while he said,

“I have been sent before the Hour as these two (fingers).” (Fath Al-Bari 8:560)

Allah continues, “and when it (actually) is on them, how can they benefit then by their reminder” meaning, how would remembering benefit the disbelievers when the Hour comes upon them This is similar to Allah’s saying, “On that Day will the human being remember, but what would that remembrance avail him then” (89:23) And His saying, “They will say (in the Hereafter): “Now we believe in it!” But how could they claim belief from such a far place” (34:52) Allah then says, “So know that La ilaha illallah” This is a declaration that there is no true God except Allah. It is not something that is easy for him to command the people to have knowledge of. That is why Allah connected it with, “and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and women.” In the Sahih, it is recorded that Allah’s Messenger used to say,

“O Allah, forgive my sin, my ignorance, my immoderation in my affairs, and all that You know better about my (faults) than myself. O Allah, forgive for me my joking, my seriousness, my unintended error, and my deliberate (mistakes) – and I have done of all that.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:200)

It is also reported in the Sahih that he used to say at the end of the prayer,

“O Allah, forgive for me what I have previously done, what I may commit in future, what I have committed secretly, what I have committed openly, what I have done excessively, and all sins that You know better than me. You are my God. There is no (true) God except You.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:473)

It is also recorded in the Sahih that he used to say,

“O people! Repent to your Lord! Verily, I ask Allah for forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times every day.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:104)

Allah then says, “And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest.” means, He knows how you behave during the day, and where you settle at night. This is similar to His saying, “It is He Who takes your souls by night and knows all that you do by day.” (6:60) And He says, “And there is no moving creature on earth but its provision is up to Allah, and He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (before birth and after death) — all is in a clear register.” (11:6)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 84-106

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Surah Al-Ahqaf Ayat 21-35 (end)

{21. And remember the brother of Ad, when he warned his people in Al-Ahqaf. And surely, warners had already passed on before him and after him (saying): “Worship none but Allah; truly, I fear for you the torment of a mighty Day.”

22. They said: “Have you come to delude us from our gods? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!”

23. He said: “The knowledge (of that) is only with Allah. And I convey to you that wherewith I have been sent, but I see that you are a people given to ignorance!”

24. Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud approaching their valleys, they said: “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” Nay, but it is that which you were asking to be hastened – a wind wherein is a painful torment!

25. Destroying everything by the command of its Lord! So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings! Thus do We recompense the criminal people!}

The Story of Ad

Allah says, consoling His Prophet in regard to the rejection of those who opposed him among his people, “And remember the brother of Ad,” This refers to Hud, peace be upon in him. Allah sent him to the first people of Ad who inhabited Al-Ahqaf. Ahqaf is plural of Haqf. According to Ibn Zayd, it means a sand dune (At-Tabari 22:125) ; and according to Ikrimah, it means a mountain or a cave. Qatadah said: “We were informed that Ad was a tribe in Yemen. They dwelt among sand (hills), and overlooked the sea in a land called Ash-Shihr.” (At-Tabari 22:124)

Under the chapter, “He Who supplicates should first mention Himself,” Ibn Majah recorded that Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said: “May Allah have mercy on us and the Brother of Ad.” Allah then says, “And surely, warners had already passed on before him and after him.” meaning, Allah had sent Messengers and warners to the towns surrounding the land of Ad. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “And We made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded them.” (2:66) And it is also similar to Allah’s saying, “But if they turn away, then say: “I have warned you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt that struck Ad and Thamud. (That occurred) when the Messengers had come to them from before them and after them (saying): “Worship none but Allah.” (41:13-14)

Allah then says, “truly, I fear for you the torment of a mighty Day.” meaning, Hud said this to them (his people), and they responded to him saying, “Have you come to delude us from our gods?” meaning, to prevent us. “from our gods” “Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!” They sought to hasten Allah’s torment and punishment, believing that it will not happen. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “Those who do not believe in it (the Last Hour) seek to hasten it” (42:18). Hud’s response was, “He said: “The knowledge (of that) is only with Allah.” which means, Allah knows best about you. If you deserve the punishment to be hastened, He will do that to you. As for me, my duty is to deliver my message to you.’ “But I see that you are a people given to ignorance!” which means, ‘you have no comprehension or understanding.’ Allah then says, “Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud approaching their valleys,” meaning, when they saw the punishment coming towards them, they thought it to be clouds full of rain. That made them happy and joyful, because they had a drought and needed rain.

Allah then said, “Nay, but it is that which you were asking to be hastened – a wind wherein is a painful torment!” meaning, this is the torment that you called for saying, “Bring to us what you promise us if you should be of the truthful.” “Destroying every thing” meaning, destroying every part of their land that could normally be destroyed. “by the command of its Lord!” meaning, it had Allah’s permission to do that. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “It spared nothing that it reached, but blew it into broken spreads of rotten ruins.” (51:42) meaning, like something dilapidated (or decrepit). Because of this, Allah says, “So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings!” means, all of them were destroyed, and none of them were spared. Allah then says: “Thus do We recompense the criminal people!” which means that this is Our judgement regarding those who reject Our Messengers and disobey Our commands.

Imam Ahmad recorded from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said, “I never saw Allah’s Messenger fully laughing so that I would see his uvula. He would only smile.” She added that when Allah’s Messenger saw clouds or wind, that would reflect on his face (as discomfort). She asked him: “O Allah’s Messenger! When the people see clouds, they become happy, hoping that they bring them rain. But I notice that when you see them, displeasure appears on your face.” Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, replied,

“O A’ishah! What would guarantee to me that they do not bring punishment? Some nations had been punished with wind. On seeing the punishment approaching them, a nation once said: “This is a cloud bringing us rain.” (Ahmad 6:66)

This is also recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Imam Ahmad recorded that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that when Allah’s Messenger saw clouds on any of the horizons, he would leave whatever he was doing — even if he was in prayer — and say: “O Allah! I seek refuge with you from any harm that it (the cloud) contains.” If Allah removed those clouds, the Prophet would praise Allah, and if rain fell, he would say: “O Allah! Make it pouring and beneficent.” (Ahmad 6:190) Muslim also recorded in his Sahih from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that when the wind blew, Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, would say,

“O Allah! I ask You of its good, the good that it contains, and the good with which it has been sent. And I seek refuge in You from its evil, the evil that it contains, and the evil with which it has been sent.”

She added that if the sky became cloudy, his color would change; he would exit, enter, come, and go. When it rained, his anxiety would be relieved. When A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, noticed that, she asked him about it and he said: “O A’ishah! It could be like what the people of Ad said, “Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud approaching their valleys, they said: “This is a cloud bringing us rain!” (Muslim 2:616) We have previously mentioned the story of the destruction of the people of Ad in both Surat Al-Araf and Surah Hud. Thus, there is no need to repeat it here; and verily Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude.

{26. And indeed We had firmly established them with that wherewith We have not established you! We also gave them hearing, vision, and hearts. But their hearing, vision, and hearts availed them nothing since they used to deny the Ayat of Allah, and they were completely encircled by that which they used to ridicule!

27. And indeed We have destroyed towns round about you, and We have shown (them) the signs in various ways so that they might return.

28. As for those whom they had taken for gods besides Allah, as the means of approach to Him, why then did they not aid them? Nay, but they vanished completely from them. And that was their falsehood, and what they were fabricating.}

Allah says, ‘We have granted the earlier nations wealth and offspring in the worldly life. That which We granted them, we did not give you anything similar or close to it.’ Furthermore, “We also gave them hearing, vision, and hearts. But their hearing, vision, and hearts availed them nothing when they used to deny Allah’s signs, and they were completely encircled by that which they used to ridicule!” meaning, they were encircled by the torment and exemplary punishment that they denied and whose occurrence they doubted. This means, you listeners must beware of being like them lest a punishment similar to theirs strikes you in this life and the Hereafter. Allah then says, “And indeed We have destroyed towns round about you,” This is addressed to the people of Makkah. Allah destroyed the nations who disbelieved in the Messengers who lived around Makkah, such as Ad who were at Al-Ahqaf in Hadramawt near Yemen, Thamud whose dwellings were between Makkah and Ash-Sham (Greater Syria), Saba’ who were in Yemen, the people of Madyan who were on the route and passage to Ghazzah (Western Palestine), and the people of Lut who dwelt by the lake (the Dead Sea) which they used to pass by (on the way to Jordan) as well. Allah then says, “and We have shown (them) the signs in various ways” meaning, ‘We explained and clarified them.’ “so that perhaps they might return. As for those whom they had taken for gods besides Allah, as the means of approach to Him, why then did they not aid them” meaning, did they help them when they were in the greatest need for them “but they vanished completely from them.” Rather, they completely left them alone when they needed them the most. “And that was their falsehood,” meaning, their lie. “and what they were fabricating.” which means that they fabricated lies by taking them as gods, and they lost and failed in their worship of them and their reliance upon them – and Allah knows best.

{29. And (remember) when We sent toward you a group of the Jinn, to listen to the Qur’an. When they attended it, they said: “Listen quietly!” And when it was concluded, they returned to their people, as warners.

30. They said: “O our people! Verily, we have heard a Book sent down after Musa, confirming what came before it, it guides to the truth and to the straight path.”

31. “O our people! Respond to Allah’s Caller, and believe in him. He (Allah) will forgive you some of your sins, and protect you from a painful torment.”

32. “And whosoever does not respond to Allah’s Caller, he cannot escape on earth, and he will not have besides Allah any protectors. Those are in manifest error.”}

The Story of the Jinns listening to the Qur’an

Imam Ahmad recorded from Az-Zubayr that he commented on the Ayah; “And (remember) when We sent towards you a group of the Jinn, to listen to the Qur’an.” “They were at a place called Nakhlah [a valley between Makkah and Ta’if] while Allah’s Messenger was performing the Isha’ prayer, and “they crowded on top of each other to hear him.” (72:19) Sufyan said, “They stood on top of each other like piled wool.” (Ahmad 1:167) Ahmad was alone in recording this. Imam Ahmad and the famous Imam, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi in his book Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, both recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Allah’s Messenger never recited Qur’an to the Jinns, nor did he see them. Allah’s Messenger was heading with a group of his Companions towards the Ukaz market. At that time, the devils had been prevented from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens, and they were being attacked by burning flames (whenever they tried to listen). When the devils went back to their people, they asked them what happened to them, and they answered, ‘We have been prevented from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens, and burning flames now attack us.’ Their people told them, ‘You have only been prevented from eavesdropping on the information of the heavens because of something (major) that has happened. So go all over the earth, east and west, and see what is it that has obstructed you from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens.’ Thus they traveled all over the earth, east and west, seeking that which had obstructed them from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens. A group of them went towards Tihamah, [a village about seventy-two miles towards the west of Al-Madinah] and found Allah’s Messenger while he was at a place called Nakhlah along the way to the Ukaz market. He was leading his Companions in the Fajr prayer. When the Jinns heard the recitation of the Qur’an, they stopped to listen to it, and then they said: ‘By Allah! This is what has prevented you from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens.’ Then they returned to their people and told them: ‘Our people! We certainly have heard an amazing recitation (the Qur’an), it guides to the right path. So we have believed in it, and we will join none in worship with our Lord.’ So Allah revealed to His Prophet , “Say: It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinns have listened (to the Qur’an).” (72:19) Thus, what was revealed to him was only the saying of the Jinns.” Al-Bukhari recorded a similar narration, and Muslim recorded it (as it is here). At-Tirmidhi also recorded it, as did An-Nasa’i in his Tafsir. (Bukhari 773)

Abdullah bin Masud reported that the Jinns came down upon the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, while he was reciting the Qur’an at a place called Nakhlah. When they heard him, “They said: “Listen quietly.” meaning, hush! They were nine in number, and one of them was called Zawba’ah. So Allah revealed, “And when We sent toward you a group of Jinns, to listen to the Qur’an. When they attended it, they said: “Listen quietly!” And when it was concluded, they returned to their people as warners.” until His saying: “manifest error.” (Al-Hakim 2:456) Thus, this report along with the above one by Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, indicate that Allah’s Messenger was not aware of the presence of the Jinns at that time. They only listened to his recitation and went back to their people. Later on, they came to him in groups, one party after another, and one group after another. As for Allah’s saying, “they returned to their people as warners.” It means that they went back to their people and warned them about what they heard from Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. This is similar to Allah’s saying, “…that they may obtain understanding in religion and warn their people when they return to them, so that they might be cautious (of evil).” (9:122) This Ayah has been used as evidence that the Jinns have warners from among themselves, but no Messengers. There is no doubt that Allah did not send Messengers from among the Jinns, because He says,“And We did not send before you as Messengers any but men, to whom We revealed from among the people of cities.” (12:109) And Allah says, “And We never sent before you any of the Messengers but verily they ate food and walked in the markets.” (25:20) And He says about Ibrahim Al-Khalil, upon him be peace, “…And We placed in his descendants prophethood and Scripture.” (29:27) Thus, every Prophet whom Allah sent after Ibrahim was from his offspring and progeny. As for Allah’s saying in Surat Al-Anam, “O company of Jinns and human beings! Did there not come to you Messengers from among you?” (6:130) It only applies to the two kinds collectively, but specifically pertains to just one of them, which is the human. This is like Allah’s saying, “From both of them (salty and fresh waters) emerge pearl and Marjan.” (55:22) Although He said “both of them” this applies to only one of the two types of water “the salty water”. Allah then explains how the Jinns warned their people. He says, “They said: “O our people! Verily, we have heard a Book sent down after Musa…” They did not mention Isa, peace be upon him, because the Injil that was revealed to him contained admonitions and exhortations, but very few permissions or prohibitions. Thus, it was in reality like a complement to the legislation of the Tawrah, the Tawrah being the reference. That is why they said, “Sent down after Musa.” This is also the way that Waraqah bin Nawfal spoke when the Prophet told him about his first meeting with Jibril, An-Namus, peace be upon him. He said: “Very good, very good! This is (the angel) that used to come to Musa. I wish that I was still a young man (to support you).”

“Confirming what came before it,” meaning, the Scriptures that were revealed before it to the previous Prophets. They then said, “it guides to the truth” means in belief and information. “and to the straight path.” which means, in deeds. For verily, the Qur’an contains two things: information and commandments. Its information is true, and its commandments are all just, as Allah says, “And the Word of Your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice.” (6:115) Allah says, “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth.” (9:122) The guidance is the beneficent knowledge, and the religion of truth means the righteous good deeds. Thus, the Jinns said, “it guides to the truth” in matters of belief, “and to the straight path.” meaning, in regard to actions. “O our people! Respond to Allah’s Caller,” This is proof that Muhammad has been sent to both the human beings and the Jinns. Thus, Allah says, “Respond to Allah’s Caller and believe in him.” Then Allah says, “He will then forgive you some of your sins,” Some scholars say that “some” here is auxiliary, but this is questionable since it is rarely used to strengthen an affirmative meaning. Others say that it means partial forgiveness. “and protect you from a painful torment.” meaning, He will protect you from His painful punishment. Then Allah informs that they said, “And whosoever does not respond to Allah’s Caller, he cannot escape on earth,” meaning, Allah’s power encompasses him and surrounds him. “and he will not have besides Allah any protectors.” meaning, no one can protect him against Allah. “Those are in manifest error.” This is a threat and warning. Thus, those Jinns called their people with encouragement and warning. Because of this, many of the Jinns took heed and came to Allah’s Messenger in successive delegations; and verily, Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude, and Allah knows best.

{33. Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is Able to give life to the dead? Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.

34. And on the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said to them): “Is this not the truth?” They will say: “Yes, by our Lord!” He will say: “Then taste the torment, because you used to disbelieve!”

35.Therefore be patient as did those of determination among the Messengers and be in no hurry for them. On the Day when they will see what they are promised, it will be as though they had not remained (in the world) except an hour in a day. (This is) a clear Message. But will any be destroyed except the defiantly rebellious people}

Commanding the Prophet to persevere

Allah then commands His Messenger to observe patience with those who rejected him among his people. He says, “Therefore be patient as did those of determination among the Messengers.” meaning, as they were patient with their people’s rejection of them. “Those of determination” among the Messengers are Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and the last of all of the Prophets, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Allah has specifically mentioned their names in two Ayat: Surat Al-Ahzab (33:7) and Surat Ash-Shura (42:13). “and be in no hurry for them.” which means, ‘do not rush the punishment for them.’ This is similar to Allah’s saying: “And leave Me alone to deal with the rejectors, those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while.” (73:11) “So allow time for the disbelievers, and leave them for a while.” (86:17) Then Allah says: “On the Day when they will see that which they are promised, it will be as though they had not remained (in the world) except an hour in a day.” Which is similar to Allah’s saying, “On the Day they see it (the Hour), it will be as though they had not remained (in the world) except for a day’s afternoon or its morning.” (79:46) and as He says, “And on the Day when He shall gather them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed but an hour of a day. They will recognize each other.” (10:45) Then Allah says, “A clear message.” meaning, this Qur’an provides a clear concept. “But will any be destroyed except the defiantly rebellious people” Which means that Allah does not destroy anyone except those who choose the way of destruction. It is part of Allah’s justice that He does not punish anyone except those who deserve the punishment – and Allah knows best.

This concludes the explanation of Surat Al-Ahqaf.

And all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

Both success and protection from faults are by His help.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged (Vol 9) Pages 66-83

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Surah Al-Ahqaf Ayat 1-20

Surah Al-Ahqaf

(The Wind-Curved Sandhills) 

Chapter 46

Which was revealed in Makkah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

{1. Ha Mim.

2. The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise.

3. We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except with truth, and for a specified term. But those who disbelieve, turn away from that whereof they are warned.

4. Say: “Think you about all that you invoke besides Allah? Show me what have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in (the creation of) the heavens? Bring me a scripture prior to this or some trace of knowledge, if you are truthful!”

5. And who is more astray than those who invoke besides Allah others who will not answer them until the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their invocations to them?

6. And when mankind are gathered, they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worship.}

The Qur’an is a Revelation from Allah and the Universe is His True Creation

Allah informs that He has revealed the Book to His servant and Messenger Muhammad — may Allah’s blessings be upon him until the Day of Judgement. Allah then describes Himself as being of unimaginable glory, possessing ultimate wisdom in His statements and actions. Allah then says, “We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except in truth,” meaning, not in idle play and falsehood. “and for a specified term.” meaning, for a fixed and specified duration that will not increase or decrease. Allah continues, “But those who disbelieve, turn away from that of which they are warned.” Meaning, the disbelievers are distracted from what is intended for them. Allah has indeed revealed to them a Book and sent to them a Messenger. Yet, they obstinately turn away from all of that. Therefore, they will soon realize the consequence of their behavior.

Refuting the Idolators

Allah then says, “Say” meaning, to these idolators who worship others besides Allah. “Think you about all that you invoke besides Allah Show me what they have created of the earth” (46:4) meaning, ‘show me the place that they have independently created from the earth.’ “Or have they a share in the heavens” which means that they are not partners in anything in the heavens, nor on earth. They do not own even the thin membrane covering a date’s pit. The dominion and control only belong to Allah, Exalted is He. ‘How then would you worship others or join them as partners with Him Who guided you to that Who called you to that Did He command you to do it, or is it something that you suggested yourselves’ Thus, He says, “Bring me a scripture prior to this” meaning, ‘bring a book from among the Books of Allah that have been revealed to the Prophets, that commands you to worship these idols.’ “or some trace of knowledge,” meaning, ‘some clear evidence justifying this way you have chosen.’ “if you are truthful!” meaning, ‘you have absolutely no evidence for that — neither textual (from revelation) nor rational.’ For this reason, some recited it; “or something inherited from knowledge” (At-Tabari 22:94) meaning, ‘or true knowledge that you have inherited from anyone before you.’ This is similar to Mujahid’s statement when he said, “or some trace of knowledge.” “Or anyone who has inherited any knowledge.” Allah then says, “And who is more astray than those who invokes besides Allah others who will not answer them until the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their invocations to them” meaning, no one is more misguided than those who invoke idols instead of Allah, asking them for things that they cannot give — until the Day of Judgment. They (the idols) are unaware of what he asks, they can neither hear, see, or act. This is because they are inanimate, senseless stones. Allah then says, “And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worship.” This is similar to Allah’s saying: “They have taken gods beside Allah, that they might give them dignity. No! They will deny their worship of them, and will be opponents to them.” (19:81, 82) meaning, they will betray them when they need them the most. (Ibrahim) Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, said: “You have taken only idols besides Allah! The love between you is only in the life of this world. On the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helpers.” (29:25)

{7. And when Our Clear Ayat are recited to them, the disbelievers say of the truth when it reaches them: “This is plain magic!”

8. Or say they: “He has fabricated it.” Say: “If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it! Sufficient is He as a witness between me and you! And He is the Oft–Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”

9.Say: “I am not a new thing among the Messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.”}

Refuting Claims of the Idolators about the Qur’an and the Messenger

Concerning the disbelief and rebellion of the idolators, Allah says that when the clear Ayat of Allah are recited to them they say; “This is plain magic!” meaning, simple magic. In this statement of theirs, they have lied, invented a falsehood, went astray and disbelieved. “Or they say: “He has fabricated it.”  They are referring to Muhammad . Allah responds saying, “Say: “If I have fabricated it, you have no power to support me against Allah…” which means, ‘if I lie against Allah and falsely claim that He sent me when He actually had not, then He would punish me with a severe punishment. No one on the earth — you or anyone else — would then be able to protect me from Him.’ It is similar to Allah’s saying, “Say: “None can protect me from Allah, nor would I find a refuge except in Him. (My duty) is only to convey from Allah and (deliver) His Messages. ” (72:22-23) Allah says, “And if he made up a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by the right hand. Then we would have cut off his life artery. And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him.” (69:44-47) Thus, Allah says here, “Say: “If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it (i.e. this Qur’an)! Sufficient is He as a witness between me and you!…” This is a severe threat, intimidation and warning for them. Allah then says, “And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” This is an encouragement for them to repent and turn to Allah. It means, ‘despite all of this, if you turn back and repent, Allah will accept your repentance, pardon you, forgive you, and have mercy upon on.’ This is similar to Allah’s saying in Surat Al-Furqan, “And they say: “(This Book is) legends of the ancients that he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.” Say: “It has been sent down by the One Who knows every secret within the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (25:5-6) Allah then says, “Say: “I am not a new thing among the Messengers…” which means, ‘I am not the first Messenger who ever came to the world. Rather, Messengers came before me. Therefore, I am not an unprecedented incident that should cause you all to reject me and doubt my being sent to you. Indeed, Allah has sent before me all of the Prophets to various nations.’

Allah then says, “nor do I know what will be done with me or with you.” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that he said, “It (this Ayah) was followed in revelation by, “That Allah may forgive for you your sins of the past and future”. (At-Tabari 22:99) Similarly, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah all said that this Ayah was abrogated by the Ayah; “That Allah may forgive for you your sins of the past and future”. They said that when the latter Ayah was revealed, one of the Muslims said to Allah’s Messenger , “Allah has declared what He will do for you. But what will He do for us” Then Allah revealed; “That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow”. (At-Tabari 22:99,100) This is what they said. That which has been confirmed in the Sahih is that the believers said, “May you enjoy that, O Allah’s Messenger! But what do we get?” So Allah revealed this Ayah. (Fath Al-Bari 7:516)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Kharijah bin Zayd bin Thabit, reported that Umm Al-Ala’ – a woman from the Ansar who had given her pledge of loyalty to Allah’s Messenger – said,

“When the Ansar drew lots regarding taking in the Muhajirun to dwell with them, our lot was to have Uthman bin Mazun. Later, Uthman fell sick in our house, so we nursed him until he died, and we wrapped him in his garments (for burial). Allah’s Messenger then came in, and I said, ‘O Abu As-Sa’ib! May Allah have mercy on you. I bear witness that Allah has indeed honored you.’

Allah’s Messenger asked,

“How do you know that Allah has honoured him?”

I said, ‘I do not know — may my father and mother both be ransomed for you!’ Allah’s Messenger then said,

“As for him, certainty (death) has reached him from his Lord, and I surely wish well for him. But by Allah, even though I am Allah’s Messenger, I do not know what will happen to me (after death).”

I then said, ‘Never will I claim a person to be pious after this.’ This incident caused me some distress, and I went to sleep thereafter. I saw in my dream that Uthman owned a running water spring. I went to Allah’s Messenger and told him about that. Allah’s Messenger said,

“That was his (good) deeds.” (Ahmad 6:436)

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith but Muslim did not. In one of the narrations, Allah’s Messenger said,

“Even though I am Allah’s Messenger, I do not know what will happen to him.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:137)

This and similar texts indicate that it is not allowed to declare that a specific person will enter Jannah except for those who were distinctly indicated by Allah or his Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Examples of those are the Ten [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, Sad bin Abi Waqqas, Said bin Zayd, and Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah], Ibn Sallam, Al-Ghumaysa’ [Better known as Umm Sulaym, may Allah be pleased with her, the mother of Anas bin Malik], Bilal, Suraqah, Abdullah bin Amr bin Haram (Jabir’s father), the Seventy Recitors (of Qur’an) who were assassinated near the Well of Maunah, Zayd bin Harithah, Jafar, Ibn Rawahah, and other similar individuals, may Allah be pleased with them.

Allah then says, “I only follow that which is revealed to me,” which means, ‘I only follow what Allah has revealed to me of the revelation.’ “and I am but a plain warner.” meaning, ‘my warnings are obvious to every person with sound intellect and reason.’ And Allah knows best.

{10. Say: “Tell me! If it was from Allah and you disbelieved it, (at the same time), a witness from among the Children of Israel has testified to something similar and believed while you rejected (the truth)!” Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

11. And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: “Had it been a good thing, they (the poor believers) would not have preceded us to it!” And when they have not been guided by it, they say: “This is ancient falsehood!”

12. And before this was the Scripture of Musa as a guide and a mercy. And this is a Book confirming in the Arabic tongue, to warn those who do wrong, and as glad tidings for the doers of good.

13. Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is (only) Allah,” and thereafter stand firm, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

14. Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding therein (forever) – a reward for what they used to do.}

The Qur’an is Allah’s True Speech and the Position of the Disbelievers and the Muslims towards it

Allah says, “Say” meaning, ‘O Muhammad to these idolators who disbelieve in the Qur’an.’ “Tell me! If it was” meaning, this Qur’an. “from Allah, and you disbelieved in it” meaning, `what do you think that Allah will do to you if this Book that I have come to you with is actually revealed to me from Him in order that I convey it to you, and yet you disbelieve in it and deny it “(at the same time), a witness from among the Children of Israel has testified to something similar” meaning, ‘the previous Scriptures that were revealed to the Prophets before me all testify to its truthfulness and authenticity. They have prophecied, well in advance, about things similar to that which this Qur’an informs of.’ Concerning Allah’s statement, “and believed” ‘this person who testified to its truthfulness from the Children of Israel, due to his realization that it was the truth.’ “while you rejected (the truth)!” ‘whereas you have arrogantly refused to follow it.’ Masruq said: “That witness believed in his Prophet and Book, while you disbelieved in your Prophet and Book.” (At-Tabari 22:103-104) “Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” The witness here refers to any witness in general. It includes Abdullah bin Salam [The Jewish scholar who accepted Islam] and other from them as well. For indeed, this Ayah was revealed in Makkah before Abdullah bin Salam had accepted Islam. This is similar to the statement of Allah, “And when it is recited to them, they say: “We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed, even before it we have been Muslims.” (28:53) It is also similar to Allah’s saying, “Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, and they say: “Exalted is our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.” (17:107-108) It has been narrated from Sad, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “I have not heard Allah’s Messenger say about anyone walking on the surface of the earth that he is of the people of Jannah – except for Abdullah bin Salam. Concerning him the following Ayah was revealed, “(at the same time), a witness from among the Children of Israel has testified to something similar” This has been recorded in the Two Sahihs and An-Nasa’i. (At-Tabari 22:104) Similarly, Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Yusuf bin Abdullah bin Salam, Hilal bin Yasaf, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri, Malik bin Anas and Ibn Zayd all said that this refers to Abdullah bin Salam. (At-Tabari 22:104-105)

Allah then says, “And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: “Had it been good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!” which means that those who disbelieve say of those who believe in the Qur’an: “Had it (the Qur’an) been any good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!” By that, they meant Bilal, Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab, may Allah be pleased with them, and others like them of the weak, the male servants, and female servants. The pagans said this only because they thought that they held a high status with Allah, and that He took special care of them. By that, they made a great and obvious error, as Allah says: “Thus have We tried some of them with others, that they might say: “Is it these whom Allah has favoured from among us?” (6:53) meaning, they wonder how could those weaklings be the ones who were guided from among them. Thus, Allah says, “Had it been good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!” Contrary to this is the position of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah: They say about any act or saying that has not been reported from the Companions: “It is an innovation. If there was any good in it, they would have preceded us in doing it, because they have not left off any of the good characteristics except that they hurried to perform them.” Allah continues, “And when they have not been guided by it,” meaning, the Qur’an. “they say: “This is an ancient falsehood!” meaning, an old lie. They mean by this that the Qur’an has been quoted and taken from the ancient people, thereby belittling the Qur’an and its followers. This is clear arrogance, as Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, said:

“(Arrogance is) rejecting the truth and belittling the people.” (Muslim 1:93) 

Allah then says, “And before this was the Scripture of Musa” and it was the Tawrah. “as a guide and mercy. And this is a Book” meaning, the Qur’an. “confirming” meaning, that which came before it of the previous Books. “in the Arabic tongue,” means that it is eloquent and clear. “to warn those who do wrong, and as glad tidings for the doers of good.” meaning, it contains a warning to the dis- believers and glad tidings for the belie- vers. Allah then says: “Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is (only) Allah,” and thereafter stand firm,” The explanation of this has been discussed earlier in Surat As-Sajdah. [See 41:30] Allah then says, “on them shall be no fear,” meaning, con- cening their future. “nor shall they grieve.” meaning, over what they have left behind. Allah continues, “Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding therein (forever) – a reward for what they used to do.” meaning, the deeds are a cause for their attaining the mercy and their being engulfed by it – and Allah knows best.

{15. And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she delivers him with hardship. And (the period of) his gestation and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my offspring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.”

16. They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise. That is a promise of truth that they had been promised.}

Allah’s Advice about the Parents

After mentioning that one must confess His Oneness, worship Him with sincerity, and remain upright in obeying Him, Allah follows that by giving instructions regarding the parents. These appear together in many places of the Qur’an, such as Allah’s saying, “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents.” (17:23) Allah says, “Be grateful to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (31:14) There are many other Ayat like this as well. Here Allah says, “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.” (46:15) meaning, ‘We have commanded him to treat them well and show compassion towards them. Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Sad bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, that his mother said to him: “Hasn’t Allah commanded that you obey your parents? Then I will not eat any food or drink any drink until you disbelieve in Allah.” Thus she stubbornly abstained from eating and drinking, until they had to open her mouth with a stick. Then this Ayah was revealed, “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.” (Musnad At-Tayalisi: 28) This was also recorded by Muslim and the Sunan compilers, except for Ibn Majah. (Muslim 4:1878)

Allah continues, “His mother bears him with hardship.” which means that the mother suffers hardship because of her child, such as fatigue, sickness, vomiting, heaviness, distress, and other forms of hardship that the pregnant women suffer. “And she delivers him with hardship.” meaning, she also delivers him with hardship, suffering the pains of labor and their severity. “And (the period of) his gestation and weaning is thirty months,” Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, used this Ayah along with the following two Ayat to prove that the minimum period of pregnancy (gestation) is six months: “And his weaning is in two years.” (31:14) and “The mothers suckle their children two complete years – for those who desire to complete the term of suckling.” (2:233) This is a strong and valid conclusion, and it was approved by Uthman and a number of the Companions.

Ibn Abi Hatim related from his father that Farwah bin Abi Al-Maghra’ told them that Ali bin Mushir narrated to them from Dawud bin Abi Hind, who narrated from Ikrimah that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When a woman delivers after nine months, the baby will only need twenty-one months of suckling. When she delivers after seven months, the baby will need twenty-three months of suckling. When she delivers after six months, the baby will need two full years of suckling, because Allah says, “and his gestation and weaning is thirty months, till when he attains full strength.” (Al-Bayhaqi 7:332) meaning, he becomes strong, youthful, and attains full ability. “and reaches forty years,” meaning, his complete intellect, understanding, and patience reach the level of maturity. It has also been said that usually one will not change his ways once he reaches the age of forty. “He says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability” meaning, ‘inspire me.’ “that I may be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You,” meaning, in the future. “and make my offspring good.” meaning, my offspring and descendants. “Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.” This contains an instruction for anyone who reaches forty years of age to renew his repentance and turn to Allah with strong resolution. Allah then says, “Those are the ones from whom We shall accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise.” meaning, those to whom applies the above description – those who repent to Allah, turn back to Him, and rectify their shortcomings through repentance and seeking forgiveness – those are the ones from whom We will accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. Many of their errors will be forgiven and Allah will accept from them a modest amount of deeds. “among the dwellers of Paradise.” which means that they will be among the dwellers of Paradise. That is Allah’s ruling concerning them, as He has promised for those who repent and turn to Him. Thus, He says, “That is the promise of truth that they had been promised.”

{17. But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised up when generations before me have passed?” While they invoke Allah for help: “Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true.” But he says: “This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.”

18. They are those against whom the Word (of torment) has justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away. Verily, they are ever the losers.

19. And for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did, so that He might fully recompense for their deeds. And they will not be wronged.

20. On the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said): “You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein. Today, you will be recompensed with the torment of extreme humiliation, because you were arrogant upon the earth without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allah’s command.}

Mention of the Undutiful Children and Their End

In the previous Ayat, Allah mentions the dutiful offspring who supplicate for their parents and treat them with kindness. He describes the success and salvation He has prepared for them. Here He connects to that discussion the situation of the wretched offspring who are undutiful toward their parents. Allah says, “But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you! …” As for the saying “Uff” in this Ayah, it is a general description applying to anyone who says it to his parents. Some people claim that it was revealed about Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr. But this claim is weak and rejected, because Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr embraced Islam after this was revealed. His adherence to Islam was excellent, and he was among the best of his contemporaries. Al-Bukhari recorded from Yusuf bin Mahak that Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) was governor of Hijaz (Western Arabia), appointed by Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. He (Marwan) delivered a speech in which he mentioned Yazid bin Muawiyah and urged the people to give a pledge of allegiance after his father. Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said something to him in response to that, upon which Marwan commanded his men: “Arrest him!” But he entered Aishah’s house, and they were not able to capture him. Marwan then said: “This is the one about whom Allah revealed: “But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised – when generations before me have passed”’ From behind the curtain, Aishah responded: “Allah did not reveal any Qur’an in our regard (i.e. the children of Abu Bakr), except for the declaration of my innocence.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:439)

In another report recorded by An-Nasa’i, Muhammad bin Ziyad reported that when Muawiyah was soliciting people to pledge allegiance to his son, and Marwan declared: “This follows the tradition of Abu Bakr and Umar.” On hearing this, Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said: “Rather, this is the tradition of Heraclius and Caesar.” Marwan responded: “This is the one about whom Allah revealed, “But he who says to his parents: “Uff to you!” When that was conveyed to A’ishah, she said: “Marwan is lying! By Allah, that was not revealed about him. If I wish to name the person meant by it, I could. On the other hand, Allah’s Messenger placed a curse on Marwan’s father (Al- Hakam bin Abi Al-‘As) when Marwan was still in his loins, so Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) is an outcome of Allah’s curse.” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:458) As for Allah’s statement: “Do you promise me that I will be raised?” meaning, resurrected. “when generations before me have passed” meaning, generations of people have already passed away, and none of them has ever returned to tell “what happened to them” “While they invoke Allah for help” meaning, they ask Allah to guide him, and they say to their son, “Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true.” But he says: “This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.” Allah then says, “They are those against whom the Word (of torment) has justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away.Verily, they are ever the losers.” This indicates that all such people will be among their likes and their peers among the disbelievers, who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Allah’s saying, “Those are” after He said, “But he who says” confirms what we have mentioned above that the latter is a general description of a type of people including all those who fall under that description. Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said, “This applies to the disbelieving, sinful person who is undutiful to his parents and who denies resurrection.” (At-Tabari 22:118) Allah then says, “And for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did,” meaning that there will be degrees of punishment for each of them according to what they did. “so that He might fully recompense them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.” which means Allah will not be unjust to them even in the amount of a speck of dust or less. Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said: “The levels of the Fire descend, and those of Paradise ascend.” (At-Tabari 22:119) Allah then says, “On the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said): “You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein…” which means that this will be said to them by way of blame and reprimand. The Commander of the faithful, Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, gave up many of the joys of food and drink and refrained from them while saying, “I am afraid of being like those whom Allah has reproached and condemned by saying, “You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein.” Abu Mijlaz said: “Some people will lose good deeds that they had in the worldly life, and they will be told, “You received your good things in the life of the world.” Then Allah says, “Today, you will be recompensed with the torment of extreme humiliation, because you were arrogant upon the earth without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allah’s command.” which indicates that their punishment will be of a type comparable to their deeds. They enjoyed themselves, were arrogant in their denial of the truth, and were involved in sinning and disobedience. Thus, Allah punishes them with extreme humiliation, disgrace, severe pains, continued sorrow, and positions in the terrible depths of Hell – may Allah protect us from all of that.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 42-66

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