Surah Ali-Imran Part 1

The Tafsir of Surah Ali-Imran (The Family of Imran)

Surah Ali-Imran was revealed in Al-Madinah, as evident by the fact that the first eighty-three Ayat in it relate to the delegation from Najran that arrived in Al-Madinah on the ninth year of Hijrah (632 CE). We will elaborate on this subject when we explain the Ayah about the Mubahalah [3:61] in this Surah, Allah willing. We should also state that we mentioned the virtues of Surah Ali Imran along with the virtues of Surat Al-Baqarah in the beginning of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah.

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

1. Alif-Lam-Mim.

2. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.

3. It is He Who has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Tawrah and the Injil,

4. Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind. And He sent down the criterion. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, for them there is a severe torment; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.}

We mentioned the Hadith in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kursi [2:255] that mentions that Allah’s Greatest Name is contained in these two Ayat,

“Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists” and,

“Alif-Lam-Mim. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.”

We also explained the Tafsir of, “Alif-Lam-Mim” in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah, and the meaning of, “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Hayyul-Qayyum” in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kursi. Allah’s statement, “It is He Who has sent down the Book to you with truth,” means, revealed the Qur’an to you, O Muhammad, in truth, meaning there is no doubt or suspicion that it is revealed from Allah. Verily, Allah revealed the Qur’an with His knowledge, and the angels testify to this fact, Allah is sufficient as a Witness. Allah’s statement, “Confirming what came before it” means, from the previous divinely revealed Books, sent to the servants and Prophets of Allah. These Books testify to the truth of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an also testifies to the truth these Books contained, including the news and glad tidings of Muhammad’s prophethood, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an.

Allah said, “And He sent down the Tawrah” to Musa (Musa) son of Imran, “And the Injil”, to Isa, son of Mary, “Aforetime” meaning, before the Qur’an was revealed, “As a guidance to mankind” in their time. “And He sent down the criterion” which is the distinction between misguidance, falsehood and deviation on one hand, and guidance, truth and piety on the other hand. This is because of the indications, signs, plain evidences and clear proofs that it contains, and because of its explanations, clarifications, etc.

Allah’s statement, “Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah” means they denied, refused and unjustly rejected them, “For them there is a severe torment” on the Day of Resurrection, “And Allah is All-Mighty” meaning, His grandeur is invincible and His sovereignty is infinite, “All-Able of Retribution” from those who reject His Ayat and defy His honorable Messengers and great Prophets.

{5. Truly, nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heaven.

6. He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty, the All-Wise.}

Allah states that He has perfect knowledge in the heavens and earth and that nothing in them is hidden from His watch. “He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills” meaning, He creates you in the wombs as He wills, whether male or female, handsome or otherwise, happy or miserable.“La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Almighty, the All-Wise” meaning, He is the Creator and thus is the only deity worthy of worship, without partners, and His is the perfect might, wisdom and decision. This Ayah refers to the fact that Isa, son of Mary, is a created servant, just as Allah created the rest of mankind. Allah created Isa in the womb (of his mother) and shaped him as He willed. Therefore, how could Isa be divine, as the Christians, may Allah’s curses descend on them, claim Isa was created in the womb and his creation changed from stage to stage, just as Allah said,

“He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three veils of darkness.” (39:6).

 

{7. It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow (only) that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah, and seeking its Ta’wil, but none knows its Ta’wil except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; all of it is from our Lord.” And none receive admonition except men of understanding.

8. (They say): “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”

9. “Our Lord! Verily, it is You Who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt. Verily, Allah never breaks His Promise.”}

The Mutashabihat and Muhkamat Ayat

Allah states that in the Qur’an, there are Ayat that are Muhkamat, entirely clear and plain, and these are the foundations of the Book which are plain for everyone. And there are Ayat in the Qur’an that are Mutashabihat not entirely clear for many, or some people. So those who refer to the Muhkam Ayat to understand the Mutashabih Ayat, will have acquired the correct guidance, and vice versa. This is why Allah said, “They are the foundations of the Book”, meaning, they are the basis of the Qur’an, and should be referred to for clarification, when warranted, “And others not entirely clear” as they have several meanings, some that agree with the Muhkam and some that carry other literal indications, although these meaning might not be desired.

The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented.

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar commented on, “In it are verses that are entirely clear” as “Containing proof of the Lord, immunity for the servants and a refutation of opponents and of falsehood. They cannot be changed or altered from what they were meant for.” He also said, “As for the unclear Ayat, they can (but must not) be altered and changed, and this is a test from Allah to the servants, just as He tested them with the allowed and prohibited things. So these Ayat must not be altered to imply a false meaning or be distorted from the truth.”

Therefore, Allah said, “So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation” meaning, those who are misguided and deviate from truth to falsehood, “they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof” meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people. This is why Allah said, “seeking Al-Fitnah” meaning, they seek to misguide their following by pretending to prove their innovation by relying on the Qur’an – the Mutashabih of it – but, this is proof against and not for them. For instance, Christians might claim that Isa is divine because the Qur’an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah’s statements,

“He [Isa] was not more than a servant. We granted Our favour to him.” (43:59), and,

“Verily, the likeness of Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” and he was.” (3:59).

There are other Ayat that clearly assert that Isa, peace be upon him, is but one of Allah’s creatures and that he is the servant and Messenger of Allah, among other Messengers. Allah’s statement, “And seeking for its Ta’wil” to alter them as they desire. Imam Ahmad recorded that A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah recited,

“It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear”, until “When you see those who argue in it (using the Mutashabihat), then they are those whom Allah meant. Therefore, beware of them.” (Ahmad 6:48)

Al-Bukhari recorded a similar Hadith in the Tafsir of this Ayah (3:7), as did Muslim in the book of Qadar (the Divine Will) in his Sahih, and Abu Dawud in the Sunnah section of his Sunan, from A’ishah; “The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah,

“It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear” until, “Men of understanding” and he said, “And none receive admonition except men of understanding.” He then said,

“When you see those who follow what is not so clear of the Qur’an, then they are those whom Allah described, so beware of them.” (Fath-Al-Bari 8:57)

Only Allah Knows the True Ta’wil (Interpretation) of the Mutashabihat

Allah said, “But none knows its Ta’wil except Allah” Similarly, as preceded in what has been reported from Ibn Abbas, “Tafsir is of four types: Tafsir that the Arabs know in their language; Tafsir that no one is excused of being ignorant of; Tafsir that the scholars know; and Tafsir that only Allah knows.” (At-Tabari 1:75) The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, supplicated for the benefit of Ibn Abbas,

“O Allah! Bestow on him knowledge in the religion and teach him the Ta’wil (interpretation)” (Fath-Al-Bari 1:205)

Ta’wil has two meanings in the Qur’an, the true reality of things, and what they will turn out to be. For instance, Allah said,

“And he said: “O my father! This is the Ta’wil of my dream aforetime!” (12:100), and,

“Await they just for it’s Ta’wil On the Day (Day of Resurrection) it’s Ta’wil is finally fulfillled.” (7:53)

refers to the true reality of Resurrection that they were told about. If this is the meaning desired in the Ayah above (3:7), then pausing after reciting Allah’s Name is warranted, because only Allah knows the true reality of things. In this case, Allah’s statement, “And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge” is connected to His statement, “say: “We believe in it” If the word Ta’wil means the second meaning, that is, explaining and describing, such as what Allah said, “(They said): “Inform us of the Ta’wil of this” meaning its explanation, then pausing after reciting, “And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge” is warranted. This is because the scholars have general knowledge in, and understand what they were addressed with, even though they do not have knowledge of the true reality of things. Therefore, Allah’s statement, “say: “We believe in it’‘ describes the conduct of the scholars. Similarly, Allah said,

“And your Lord comes, and the angels, in rows.” (89:22) means, your Lord will come, and the angels will come in rows.

Allah’s statement that the knowledgeable people proclaim, “We believe in it” means, they believe in the Mutashabih, “all of it is from our Lord” meaning, both the Muhkam and the Mutashabih are true and authentic, and each one of them testifies to the truth of the other. This is because they both are from Allah and nothing that comes from Allah is ever met by contradiction or discrepancy. Allah said,

“Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many a contradiction.” (4:82).

Allah said in his Ayah (3:7), “And none receive admonition except men of understanding” meaning, those who have good minds and sound comprehension, understand, contemplate and comprehend the meaning in the correct manner. Further, Ibn Al-Mundhir recorded in his Tafsir that Nafi bin Yazid said, “Those firmly grounded in knowledge are those who are modest for Allah’s sake, humbly seek His pleasure, and do not exaggerate regarding those above them, or belittle those below them.”

Allah said that they supplicate to their Lord, “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us” meaning, “Do not deviate our hearts from the guidance after You allowed them to acquire it. Do not make us like those who have wickedness in their hearts, those who follow the Mutashabih in the Qur’an. Rather, make us remain firmly on Your straight path and true religion.” “And grant us from Ladunka” meaning, from You, “Mercy” with which You make our hearts firm, and increase in our Faith and certainty, “Truly, You are the Bestower”

 

Ibn  Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded that Umm Salamah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to supplicate,

“O You Who changes the hearts, make my heart firm on Your religion.”

He then recited,

“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:84)

The Ayah continues, “Our Lord! Verily, it is You Who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt” meaning, they say in their supplication: O our Lord! You will gather Your creation on the Day of Return, judge between them and decide over what they disputed about. Thereafter, You will reward or punish each according to the deeds they did in this life.

 

{10. Verily, those who disbelieve, neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them whatsoever against Allah; and it is they who will be fuel of the Fire.

11. Like the behavior of the people of Firawn and those before them; they belied Our Ayat. So Allah punished them for their sins. And Allah is severe in punishment.}

 

On the Day of Resurrection, No Wealth or Offspring Shall Avail

Allah states that the disbelievers shall be fuel for the Fire,

“The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (i.e. painful torment in Hell-fire).” (40:52).

Further, what they were granted in this life of wealth and offspring shall not avail them with Allah, or save them from His punishment and severe torment. Similarly, Allah said,

“So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah’s plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers.” (9:55), and,

“Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.” (3:196, 197).

Allah said in this Ayah (3:10), “Verily, those who disbelieve” meaning, disbelieved in Allah’s Ayat, denied His Messengers, defied His Books and did not benefit from His revelation to His Prophets, “Neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them whatsoever against Allah; and it is they who will be fuel of the Fire.” meaning, they will be the wood with which the Fire is kindled and fed. Similarly, Allah said,

“Certainly you (disbelievers) and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell!” ( 21:98).

Allah said next, “Like the Da’b of the people of Firawn.” Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means, “Like the behavior of the people of Firawn.” (At-Tabari 6:224) This is the same Tafsir of Ikrimah, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, and others. Other scholars said that the Ayah means, “Like the practice, conduct, likeness of the people of Firawn.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:92) These meanings are all plausible, for the Da’b means practice, behavior, tradition and habit. The Ayah indicates that the disbelievers will not benefit from their wealth or offspring. Rather, they will perish and be punished. This is the same end the people of Firawn and the previous nations met, those who rejected the Messengers, the Ayat, and proofs of Allah that they were sent with.

”And Allah is severe in punishment” meaning, His punishment is severe and His torment is painful. None can escape Allah’s grasp, nor does anything escape His knowledge. Allah does what He wills and prevails over all things, it is He to Whom everything is humbled and there is no deity worthy of worship, nor any Lord except Him.

 

{12. Say to those who disbelieve: “You will be defeated and gathered together to Hell, and worst indeed is that place of rest.”

13. There has already been a sign for you in the two armies that met. One was fighting in the cause of Allah, and as for the other, in disbelief. They saw them with their own eyes twice their number. And Allah supports with His aid whom He wills. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.}

 

Threatening the Jews With Defeat and Encouraging Them to Learn a Lesson From the Battle of Badr

Allah commanded the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to proclaim to the disbelievers, ”You will be defeated’‘ in this life, ”And gathered together” on the Day of Resurrection, ”to Hell, and worst indeed is that place of rest” Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar recorded that Asim bin Umar bin Qatadah said that when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, gained victory in the battle of Badr and went back to Al-Madinah, he gathered the Jewsin the marketplace of Bani Qaynuqa.

Therefore, Allah said, “There has already been a sign for you” meaning, O Jews, who said what you said! You have an Ayah, meaning proof, that Allah will make His religion prevail, award victory to His Messenger, make His Word apparent and His religion the highest. “In the two armies” meaning, two camps, “that met” in combat “in Badr”, “One was fighting in the Cause of Allah” the Muslims, “And as for the other, in disbelief” meaning, the idolators of Quraysh at Badr. Allah’s statement, “They saw them with their own eyes twice their number” means, the idolators thought that the Muslims were twice as many as they were, for Allah made this illusion a factor in the victory that Islam had over them.

It was said that the meaning of Allah’s statement, “They saw them with their own eyes twice their number” is that the Muslims saw twice as many idolators as they were, yet Allah gave them victory over the disbelievers. Abdullah bin Masud said, “When we looked at the disbelievers’ forces, we found that they were twice as many as we were. When we looked at them again, we thought they did not have one man more than we had. So Allah’s statement,

”And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes.” (8:44).

When the two camps saw each other, the Muslims thought that the idolators were twice as many as they were, so that they would trust in Allah and seek His help. The idolators thought that the believers were twice as many as they were, so that they would feel fear, horror, fright and despair. When the two camps stood in lines and met in battle, Allah made each camp look smaller in the eyes of the other camp, so that they would be encouraged to fight each other,

“so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained.” (8:42)

meaning, so that the truth and falsehood are distinguishable, and thus the word of faith prevails over disbelief and deviation, so that the believers prevail and the disbelievers are humiliated. In a similar statement, Allah said;

”And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force” (3:123).

In this Ayah (3:13) Allah said, “And Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand” meaning, this should be an example for those who have intelligence and sound comprehension. They should contemplate about Allah’s wisdom, decisions and decree, that He gives victory to His believing servants in this life and on the Day the witnesses stand up to testify.

{14. Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, Qanatir Al- Muqantarah of gold and silver, branded beautiful horses (Musawwamah), cattle and fertile land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return with Him.

15. Say: “Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For those who have Taqwa there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives). And Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the servants.”}

 

The True Value of This Earthly Life

Allah mentions the delights that He put in this life for people, such as women and children, and He started with women, because the test with them is more tempting. For instance, the Sahih recorded that the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”I did not leave behind me a test more tempting to men than women.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:41)

When one enjoys women for the purpose of having children and preserving his chastity, then he is encouraged to do so. There are many Hadiths that encourage getting married, such as,

”Verily, the best members of this Ummah are those who have the most wives. ” (Fath Al-Bari 9:15)

He also said,

”This life is a delight, and the best of its delight is a righteous wife.” (Muslim 2:1090)

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said in another Hadith,

 ”I was made to like women and perfume, and the comfort of my eye is the prayer.” (An-Nasai 5:280)

A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Nothing was more beloved to the Messenger of Allah than women, except horses,” and in another narration, “…than horses except women.” (An-Nasai 6:217)

The desire to have children is sometimes for the purpose of pride and boasting, and as such, is a temptation. When the purpose for having children is to reproduce and increase the Ummah of Muhammad with those who worship Allah alone without partners, then it is encouraged and praised. A Hadith states,

”Marry the Wadud (kind) and Walud (fertile) woman, for I will compare your numbers to the rest of the nations on the Day of Resurrection.” (Abu Dawud, An-Nasai and Ibn Hibban 6:134)

The desire of wealth sometimes results out of arrogance, and the desire to dominate the weak and control the poor, and this conduct is prohibited. Sometimes, the want for more money is for the purpose of spending it on acts of worship, being kind to the family, the relatives, and spending on various acts of righteousness and obedience; this behavior is praised and encouraged in the religion.

Scholars of Tafsir have conflicting opinions about the amount of the Qintar, all of which indicate that the Qintar is a large amount of money, as Ad-Dahhak and other scholars said. Abu Hurayrah said “The Qintar is twelve thousand Uwqiyah, each Uwqiyah is better than what is between the heavens and earth.” This was recorded by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 6:244)

The desire to have horses can be one of three types. Sometimes, owners of horses collect them to be used in the cause of Allah, and when warranted, they use their horses in battle. This type of owner shall be rewarded for this good action. Another type collects horses to boast, and out of enmity to the people of Islam, and this type earns a burden for his behavior. Another type collects horses to fulfill their needs and to collect their offspring, and they do not forget Allah’s right due on their horses. This is why in this case, these horses provide a shield of sufficiency for their owner, as evident by a Hadith that we will mention, Allah willing, when we explain Allah’s statement,

”And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war.” (8:60).

As for the Musawwamah horses, Ibn Abbas said that they are the branded, beautiful horses. (At-Tabari 6:252) This is the same explanation of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Abdur-Rahman bin Abdullah bin Abza, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Abu Sinan and others. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:123-125) Makhul said the Musawwamah refers to the horse with a white spotted faced, and the horse with white feet. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:127) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Every Arabian horse is allowed to have two supplications every dawn, and the horse supplicates, ‘O Allah! You made me subservient to the son of Adam. Therefore, make me among the dearest of his wealth and household to him, or, …make me the dearest of his household and wealth to him.” (Ahmad 5:170)

Allah’s statement, “Cattle” means, camels, cows and sheep. “And fertile land” meaning, the land that is used to farm and grow plants. Allah then said, “This is the pleasure of the present world’s life” meaning, these are the delights of this life and its short lived joys, “But Allah has the excellent return with Him” meaning, the best destination and reward.

The Reward of the Those Who Have Taqwa is Better Than All Joys of This World

This is why Allah said, “Say: “Shall I inform you of things far better than those?” This Ayah means, “Say, O Muhammad, to the people, ‘Should I tell you about what is better than the delights and joys of this life that will soon perish?”’ Allah informed them of what is better when He said, “For those who have Taqwa there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow” meaning, rivers run throughout it. These rivers carry various types of drinks: honey, milk, wine and water such that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no heart has ever imagined, “Therein (is their) eternal (home)” meaning, they shall remain in it forever and ever and will not want to be removed from it. “And Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives)” meaning, from filth, dirt, harm, menstruation, post birth bleeding, and other things that affect women in this world. “And Allah will be pleased with them” meaning, Allah’s pleasure will descend on them and He shall never be angry with them after that. This is why Allah said in in Surah Baraah,

“But the pleasure of Allah is greater” (9:72),

meaning, greater than the eternal delight that He has granted them. Allah then said, “And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) servants” and, He gives each provisions according to what they deserve.

{16. Those who say: “Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire.”

17. (They are) the patient, the true believers, and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah. Those who spend [in good] and those who pray and beg Allah’s pardon in the last hours of the night.}

The Supplication and Description of Al-Muttaqin

Allah describes the Muttaqin, His pious servants, whom He promised tremendous rewards, “Those who say: “Our Lord! We have indeed believed” in You, Your Book and Your Messenger, “so forgive us our sins” because of our faith in You and in what You legislated for us. Therefore, forgive us our errors and shortcomings, with Your bounty and mercy, ”and save us from the punishment of the Fire.” Allah then said, ”(They are) those who are patient” while performing acts of obedience and abandoning the prohibitions, ”those who are true” concerning their proclamation of faith, by performing the difficult deeds, ”and obedient” meaning, they submit and obey Allah, ”those who spend” from their wealth on all the acts of obedience they were commanded, being kind to kith and kin, helping the needy, and comforting the destitute, ”and those who pray and beg Allah’s pardon in the last hours of the night” and this testifies to the virtue of seeking Allah’s forgiveness in the latter part of the night. It was reported that when Yaqub said to his children,

”I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you”  (12:98)

he waited until the latter part of the night to say his supplication.

Furthermore, the Two Sahihs, the Musnad and Sunan collections recorded through several Companions that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Every night, when the last third of it remains, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends to the lowest heaven saying, “Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Fath Al-Bari 11:133)

The Two Sahihs recorded that A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah performed Witr during the first part, the middle and latter parts of the night. Then, later (in his life), he would perform it (only) during the latter part.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:654) Abdullah bin Umar used to pray during the night and would ask, “O Nafi! Is it the latter part of the night yet’?’ and if Nafi said, “Yes,” Ibn Umar would start supplicating to Allah and seeking His forgiveness until dawn. This Hadith was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim. (2:145)

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