Surah Al-Isra Ayat 78-85

{78. Perform the Salah from midday till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed. 

79. And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.}

The Command to offer the Prayers at their Appointed Times

Allah says, commanding His Messenger to offer the prescribed prayers at the appointed times:“Perform the Salat from midday.” Hushaym narrated from Mughirah from Ash-Shabi from Ibn Abbas: “Midday means when the sun is at its zenith.” (At-Tabari 17:514) This was also reported by Nafi from Ibn Umar, (At-Tabari 17:515) and by Malik in his Tafsir from Az-Zuhri from Ibn Umar. (At-Tabari 17:515) This was the opinion of Abu Barzah Al-Aslami and Mujahid, and of Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Jafar Al-Baqir and Qatadah. (At-Tabari 17:515,516)

It is also understood to [generally] refer to the times of the five prayers. Allah said; “from midday till the darkness of the night” meaning darkness, or it was said, sunset. This was understood to mean Zuhr Asr, Maghrib and Isha“and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn.” meaning Salat Al-Fajr. The details of the timings of the prayers were reported in the Mutawatir Sunnah from the words and deeds of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and this is what the people of Islam have followed until the present day, passing it down from generation to generation, century after century, as we have stated in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah.

The Meeting of the Angels at the Times of Fajr and Asr Prayers

“Verily the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.” Ibn Masud reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said concerning this Ayah : “and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.”

“It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.” (At-Tabari 17:520)

Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The prayer offered in congregation is twenty-five degrees better than the prayer offered individually, and the angels of the night and the angels of the day meet at Salat Al-Fajr.”

Abu Hurayrah said: Recite, if you wish: “and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:251) 

Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn Masud and Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, concerning the Ayah: “and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.”

“It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.” (Ahmad 2:474)

This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, “It is Hasan Sahih.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:569) According to the version recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The angels of the night and the angels of the day come amongst you in successive groups (in shifts). They meet at the Morning prayer (Fajr) and at the Mid-afternoon prayer (‘Asr). Those who stayed among you at ascend, and their Lord asks them, although He knows best about you, “How did you leave My servants?” They say, “We came to them when they were praying and we left them when they were praying.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:41) 

Abdullah bin Masud said, “The two guards meet at Salat Al-Fajr, and one group ascends while the other stays where it is.” (At-Tabari 17:521) These were the comments of Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Mujahid, Qatadah and others on the Tafsir of this Ayah. (At-Tabari 17:521)

The Command to Pray Tahajjud 

“And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you.” Here Allah commands him (the Prophet ) to offer further prayers at night after the prescribed prayers. It was reported in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked which prayer is best after the prescribed prayers, he said,

“The Night prayer” (Muslim 2:281)

Allah commanded His Messenger to pray the Night prayer after offering the prescribed prayers, and the term Tahajjud refers to prayer that is offered after sleeping. This was the view of Alqamah, Al-Aswad, Ibrahim An-Nakhai and others. (At-Tabari 17:524) It is also well-known from the Arabic language itself. A number of Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to pray Tahajjud after he had slept. These include reports from Ibn Abbas, (Fath Al-Bari 8:83) A’ishah (Fath Al-Bari 3:39) and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. This has been discussed in detail in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “This is what comes after Isha’, or it could mean what comes after sleeping.” (At-Tabari 17:524) ”an additional prayer (Nawafil)” means the Night prayer has been made an extra prayer specifically for the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, because all his previous and future sins had been forgiven. But for other members of his Ummah, offering optional prayers may expiate for whatever sins they may commit. This was the view of Mujahid, (At-Tabari 17:525) and it was reported in Al-Musnad from Abu Umamah Al-Bahili. (Ahmad 5:255) “It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.” meaning, ‘do that which you are commanded to do, and We will raise you to a station of praise and glory (Maqam Mahmud) on the Day of Resurrection, where all of creation will praise you,’ as will their Creator, may He be glorified and exalted. Ibn Jarir said, “Most of the commentators said, ‘This is the position to which Muhammad will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, to intercede for the people so that their Lord will relieve them of some of the hardships they are facing on that Day.” (At-Tabari 17:526)

It was reported that Hudhayfah said, “Mankind will be gathered in one arena, where they will all hear the call and will all be seen. They will be standing barefoot and naked as they were created, and no person shall speak except by the leave of Allah. He will call out, ‘O Muhammad,’ and he will respond, “At your service, all goodness is in Your Hands and evil is not to be attributed to You. The one who is guided is the one whom You guide. Your servant is before You, from You, and to You and there is no salvation or refuge from You except with You. May You be blessed and exalted, Glory be to You, Lord of the House (the Kabah).” This is the position of praise and honor (Maqam Mahmud) which was mentioned by Allah.” (At-Tabari 17:526)

Ibn Abbas said, “The position of praise and honor is the position of intercession.” (At-Tabari 17:527) Ibn Abi Najih reported something similar from Mujahid, and this was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri. (At-Tabari 17:527)

Qatadah said, “He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be the first one to intercede.” (At-Tabari 17:528) So the scholars consider this the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred in the Ayah: “It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.”

I, Ibn Kathir, say: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, will have honors in the Day of Resurrection in which no one else will have a share, honors which will not be matched by anyone else. He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened and he will come forth riding to the gathering place. He will have a banner under which Adam and anyone else will gather, and he will have the Hawd (Lake) to which no one else will have more access than he. He will have the right of the Grand Intercession with Allah when He comes to judge between His creation. This will be after the people ask Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then Isa to intercede, and each of them will say, “I am not able for that.” Then they will come to Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and he will say,

“I can do that, I can do that.”

We will mention this in more detail shortly, If Allah wills. Part of that will be that he will intercede for some people who had been commanded to be taken to Hell, and they will be brought back. He is the first Prophet whose Ummah will be judged, and the first to take them across the Bridge over the Fire, and the first to intercede in Paradise, as was reported in Sahih Muslim. (Muslim 1:182)

In the Hadith about the Trumpet, it says that none of the believers will enter Paradise except through his intercession. He will be the first to enter Paradise, and his Ummah will be the first nation to enter. He will intercede for the status to be raised for people whose deeds could not get them there. He is the one who will reach Al-Wasilah, which is the highest position in Paradise, which befits no one but him. When Allah gives permission for intercession on behalf of sinners, the angels, Prophets and believers will intercede, and he will intercede for people whose number is known only to Allah. No one will intercede like him and no one will match him in intercession. (At-Tabarani in At-Tiwal no.36) This has been explained in comprehensive detail at the end of the Book of Sirah, in the chapter on the specific qualities. Praise be to Allah. Now with the help of Allah we will mention the Hadiths that were reported concerning Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Umar said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the people will be humbled to their knees, each nation following its Prophet and saying, ‘O so-and-so, intercede,’ ‘O so-and-so, intercede,’ until the power of intercession is given to Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, and that will be the day when Allah raises him to a position of praise and glory. (Fath Al-Bari 8:251)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The sun will come close until the sweat reaches halfway up one’s ears. When the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and he will say, “I am not the one to do that.” Then they will ask Musa, and he will say likewise, then they will ask Muhammad, and he will intercede for the people and will go and take hold of the handle of the gate of Paradise, and that will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory.” (At-Tabari 17:529)

Al-Bukhari also recorded it in the Book of Zakah, where he added:

“That will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory, and all the people will praise him.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:396)

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Abdullah said, “Then Allah will give permission for intercession, and Ar-Ruh Al-Quddus, Jibril, will stand up, then Ibrahim, the close Friend of Allah will stand up, then Isa or Musa will stand up – Abu Az-Zara said, ‘I do not know which of them, ‘ – then your Prophet will stand up and will intercede, and no one after him will intercede as much as he does. This is the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred: “It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.” (Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi 51)

The Hadith of Abu Hurayrah

Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “Some meat was brought to the Messenger of Allah, and he lifted up the arm, which he used to like, and took one cite, and then said:

“I will be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know why it will be so Allah will gather the first and the last in one place, and they will hear a voice calling out, and they will all be seen. The sun will come close until their anguish and distress becomes unbearable, and some will say to others, “Do you not see how much you are suffering? Why do you not find someone to intercede for you with your Lord?” And some of the people will say to others, “How about Adam?” So they will go to Adam and say, “O Adam, you are the father of mankind, Allah created you with His Hand and breathed into you of His spirit, and commanded the angels to prostrate to you. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?” Adam will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. He forbade me to approach the Tree and I disobeyed Him. Myself, myself, myself [i.e., I am only concerned about myself]. Go to someone else. Go to Nuh.”

So they will go to Nuh and say, “O Nuh, you are the first of the Messengers sent to the people of earth, and Allah called you a grateful servant. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?” Nuh will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. There is a prayer that I prayed against my people. Myself, myself, myself [i.e., I am only concerned about myself]. Go to someone else. Go to Ibrahim. ”

So they will go to Ibrahim and say, “O Ibrahim, you are the Prophet of Allah and His close Friend among the people of earth. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is” Ibrahim will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.” And he mentioned some untruths he had told. “Myself, myself, myself [i.e., I am only concerned about myself]. Go to someone else. Go to Musa.”

So they will go to Musa and say, “O Musa, you are the Messenger of Allah, Allah chose you above others by selecting you to convey His Message and by speaking to you directly. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?” Musa will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. I killed a soul whom I had not been commanded to kill. Myself, myself, myself [i.e., I am only concerned about myself]. Go to someone else. Go to Isa.”

So they will go to Isa and say, ‘O Isa, you are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam and a spirit created by Him. You spoke to the people as an infant in the cradle. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?” Isa will say, “My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.” And he will not mention any sin. “Myself, myself, myself [i.e., I am only concerned about myself]. Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.”

So they will go to Muhammad and will say, “O Muhammad, you are the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the Prophets, Allah forgave all your past and future sins. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?” I will stand up and come before the Throne, and will fall prostrating to my Lord, may He be glorified and exalted. Then Allah will inspire me to speak and I will speak beautiful words of praise such as no one has ever been inspired with before. It will be said, “O Muhammad, raise your head and ask, it will be granted to you. Intercede, and your intercession will be heard.” So I will raise my head and say, “My Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord.” It will be said, “O Muhammad, admit those who will not be brought to account from among your Ummah through the right-hand gate of Paradise. Then the rest of your Ummah will share the other gates with the rest of the people.” Then he said, “By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the distance between two of the gateposts of Paradise is like the distance between Makkah and Hajar, or between Makkah and Busra.” (Ahmad 2:435)

It was also reported in the Two Sahihs. (Al-Bukhari 4712, Muslim 894)

{80. And say: “My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good. And grant me from You a helping authority,” 

81. And say: “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely, falsehood is ever bound to vanish.”}

The Command to Emigrate

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said: “The Prophet was in Makkah, then he was commanded to emigrate, and Allah revealed the words: “And say: “My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good. And grant me from You a helping authority.” (Ahmad 1:223) At-Tirmidhi said, “This is Hasan Sahih.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:574)

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on this Ayah, “When the disbelievers of Makkah conspired to kill the Messenger of Allah, or expel him or imprison him, Allah wanted him to fight the people of Makkah, and commanded him to go to Al-Madinah. What Allah said was: “And say: “My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good…” (At-Tabari 17:533)  “And say: “My Lord! Let my entry be good…” means, my entry to Al-Madinah.“and (likewise) my exit be good” means, my exit from Makkah. (Ahmad 1:223) This was also the view of Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. (At-Tabari 17:534)

“And grant me from You a helping authority.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri explained this Ayah; “His Lord promised to take away the kingdom and glory of Persia and give it to him, and the kingdom and glory of Byzantium and give it to him.” (At-Tabari 17:536)

Qatadah said, “The Prophet of Allah knew that that he could not achieve this without authority or power, so he asked for authority to help him support the Book of Allah, the Laws of Allah, the obligations of Allah and to establish the religion of Allah. Authority is a mercy from Allah which He places among His servants, otherwise some of them would attack others, and the strong would consume the weak.” “And grant me from You a helping authority.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri explained this Ayah; “His Lord promised to take away the kingdom and glory of Persia and give it to him, and the kingdom and glory of Byzantium and give it to him.” (At-Tabari 17:536) Alongside the truth, he also needed power and authority in order to suppress those who opposed and resisted him, hence Allah said: “Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs” until His saying, “And We brought forth iron” (57:25)

A Threat to the Disbelievers of the Quraysh

“And say: “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished…” This is a threat and a warning to the disbelievers of the Quraysh, for there has come to them from Allah the truth of which there can be no doubt and which they have no power to resist. This is what Allah has sent to them of the Qur’an, faith and beneficial knowledge. Their falsehood has perished or vanished and been destroyed, it cannot remain or stand firm in the face of the truth.

“Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears.” Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Masud said: The Prophet entered Makkah (at the Conquest), and around the House (the Kabah) were three hundred and sixty idols. He started to strike them with a stick in his hand, saying, “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish.” (17:81) “Truth has come, and falsehood can neither create anything nor resurrect (anything).” (Fath Al-Bari 8:252) (34:49)

{82. And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a cure and a mercy to the believers, and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.}

The Qur’an is a Cure and a Mercy

Allah tells us that His Book, which He has revealed to His Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the Qur’an to which falsehood cannot come, from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise, is a cure and a mercy for the believers, meaning that it takes away whatever is in their hearts of doubt, hypocrisy, Shirk, confusion and inclination towards falsehood. The Qur’an cures all of that. It is also a mercy through which one attains faith and wisdom and seeks goodness. This is only for those who believe in it and accept it as truthful, it is a cure and a mercy only for such people. As for the disbeliever who is wronging himself by his disbelief, when he hears the Qur’an, it only makes him further from the truth and increases him in his disbelief. The problem lies with the disbeliever himself, not with the Qur’an, as Allah says: “Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand).” (41:44) “And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers.” (9:124-125) And there are many other similar Ayat. “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a cure and a mercy to the believers,” Qatadah said, “When the believer hears it, he benefits from it and memorizes it and understands it.” “and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.” They do not benefit from it or memorize it or understand it, for Allah has made this Qur’an a cure and a mercy for the believers.

{83. And when We bestow Our grace on man, he turns away and becomes arrogant. And when evil touches him, he is in great despair. 

84. Say: “Each one does according to Shakilatihi, and your Lord knows best of him whose path is right.”}

Turning Away from Allah at Times of Ease and Despairing at Times of Calamity

Allah tells us about the weakness that is inherent in man, except for those whom He protects at both times of ease and calamity. If Allah blesses a man with wealth, good health, ease, provision and help, and he gets what he wants, he turns away from the obedience and worship of Allah, and becomes arrogant. Mujahid said, “(It means) he goes away from Us.” (At-Tabari 17:539)  I say, this is like the Ayah: “But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him!” (10:12) and; “But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away.” When man is stricken with evil, which means disasters, accidents and calamities, “he is in great despair.”, meaning that he thinks he will never have anything good again. As Allah says, “And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us, and remove it from him, verily, He is despairing, ungrateful. But if We let him taste good after evil has touched him, he is sure to say: “Ills have departed from me.” Surely, he is exultant, and boastful. Except those who show patience and do righteous good deeds: those, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.” (11:9-11) “Say: “Each one does according to Shakilatihi…”

Ibn Abbas said, “According to his inclinations.” (At-Tabari 17:541) Mujahid said, “According to his inclinations and his nature.” (At-Tabari 17:541) Qatadah said, “According to his intentions.” (At-Tabari 17:541) Ibn Zayd said, “According to his religion.” (At-Tabari 17:541) All these suggestions are close in meaning. This Ayah – and Allah knows best – is a threat and a warning to the idolators, like the Ayah: “And say to those who do not believe: “Act according to your ability and way” (11:121) So Allah says: “Say: “Each one does according to Shakilatihi, and your Lord knows best of him whose path is right.” meaning either us or you. Everyone will be rewarded in accordance with his deeds, for nothing whatsoever is hidden from Allah.

{85. And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit). Say: “The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.”}

The Ruh (Spirit) 

Al-Bukhari recorded in his Tafsir of this Ayah that Abdullah bin Masud said, “While I was walking with the Prophet on a farm, and he was resting on a palm-leaf stalk, some Jews passed by. Some of them said to the others, ‘Ask him about the Ruh.’ Some of them said, ‘What urges you to ask him about that?’ Others said, ‘Do not ask him, lest he gives you a reply which you do not like.’ But they said, ‘Ask him.’ So they asked him about the Ruh. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, kept quiet and did not give them an answer, and I knew that he was receiving revelation, so I stayed where I was. When the revelation was complete, the Prophet said:

“And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit). Say: “The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord…”

This context would seem to imply that this Ayah was revealed in Al-Madinah, and that it was revealed when the Jews asked him this question in Al-Madinah, although the entire Surah was revealed in Makkah. This may be answered with the suggestion that this Ayah may have been revealed to him in Al-Madinah a second time, after having previously been revealed in Makkah, or that he was divinely inspired to respond to their question with a previously-revealed Ayah, namely the Ayah in question. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ikrimah said, “The People of the Book asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ruh, and Allah revealed: “And they ask you concerning the Ruh…” They said, ‘You claim that we have only a little knowledge, but we have been given the Tawrah, which is the Hikmah, “and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” (2:269)

Then the Ayah “And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply),” (31:27) was revealed. He said, “Whatever knowledge you have been given, if Allah saves you from the Fire thereby, then it is great and good, but in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, it is very little.” (At-Tabari 17:542) “And they ask you concerning the Ruh.” Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This was when the Jews said to the Prophet , ‘Tell us about the Ruh and how the Ruh will be punished that is in the body – for the Ruh is something about which only Allah knows, and there was no revelation concerning it.’ He did not answer them at all, then Jibril came to him and said: “Say: “The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” So the Prophet told them about that, and they said, ‘Who told you this?’ He said, “Jibril brought it to me from Allah.” They said, ‘By Allah, no one has told you that except our enemy [i.e., Jibril].’ Then Allah revealed: “Say: “Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur’an) down to your heart by Allah’s permission, confirming what came before it.)” (2:97) (At-Tabari 17:543)

The Ruh and the Nafs

As-Suhayili mentioned the dispute among the scholars over whether the Ruh is the same as the Nafs, or something different. He stated that it is light and soft, like air, flowing through the body like water through the veins of a tree. He states that the Ruh which the angel breathes into the fetus is the Nafs, provided that it joins the body and acquires certain qualities because of it, whether good or bad. So then it is either a soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction (89:27) or inclined to evil (12:53), just as water is the life of the tree, then by mixing with it, it produces something else, so that if it mixes with grapes and the grapes are then squeezed, it becomes juice or wine. Then it is no longer called water, except in a metaphorical sense. Thus we should understand the connection between Nafs and Ruh; the Ruh is not called Nafs except when it joins the body and is affected by it. So in conclusion we may say: the Ruh is the origin and essence, and the Nafs consists of the Ruh and its connection to the body. So they are the same in one sense but not in another. This is a good explanation, and Allah knows best. (Ar-Rawd Al-Anf 2:62) I say: people speak about the essence of the Ruh and its rulings, and many books have been written on this topic. One of the best of those who spoke of this was Al-Hafiz Ibn Mandah in a book which we have heard about the Ruh.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 6 Pages 59-79

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