Archive for the ‘Qur’an and Its Tafsir’ Category

Allah commanded Yahya bin Zakariya to implement five commands – Tafsir Ibn Kathir

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment


Imam Ahmad narrated that Al-Harith Al-Ash`ari said that the Prophet of Allah said,

(Allah commanded Yahya bin Zakariya to implement five commands and to order the Children of Israel to implement them, but Yahya was slow in carrying out these commands. `Isa said to Yahya, `You were ordered to implement five commands and to order the Children of Israel to implement them. So either order, or I will do it.’ Yahya said, ‘My brother! I fear that if you do it before me, I will be punished or the earth will be shaken under my feet.’ Hence, Yahya bin Zakariya called the Children of Israel to Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), until they filled the Masjid. He sat o­n the balcony, thanked Allah and praised him and then said, `Allah ordered me to implement five commandments and that I should order you to adhere to them.


1. The first is that you worship Allah alone and not associate any with Him. 

The example of this command is the example of a man who bought a servant from his money with paper or gold. The servant started to work for the master, but was paying the profits to another person. Who among you would like his servant to do that Allah created you and sustains you. Therefore, worship Him alone and do not associate anything with Him


2. I also command you to pray, for Allah directs His Face towards His servant’s face, as long as the servant does not turn away. So when you pray, do not turn your heads to and fro.


3. I also command you to fast.

The example of it is the example of a man in a group of men and he has some musk wrapped in a piece of cloth, and consequently, all of the group smells the scent of the wrapped musk. Verily, the odor of the mouth of a fasting person is better before Allah than the scent of musk.


4. I also command you to give charity.

The example of this is the example of a man who was captured by the enemy. They tied his hands to his neck and brought him forth to cut off his neck. He said to them, ‘Can I pay a ransom for myself’ He kept ransoming himself with small and large amounts until he liberated himself.


5. I also command you to always remember Allah.

The example of this deed is that of a man who the enemy is tirelessly pursuing. He takes refuge in a fortified fort. When the servant remembers Allah, he will be resorting to the best refuge from Satan.)


Al-Harith then narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

(And I order you with five commandments that Allah has ordered me.

  1. Stick to the Jama`ah (community of the faithful),
  2. listen and obey (your leaders) and
  3. perform Hijrah (migration) and
  4. Jihad for the sake of Allah.
  5. Whoever abandons the Jama`ah, even the distance of a hand span, will have removed the tie of Islam from his neck, unless he returns. Whoever uses the slogans of Jahiliyah (the pre-Islamic period of ignorance) he will be among those kneeling in Jahannam (Hellfire).)


They said, “O Messenger of Allah! Even if he prays and fasts” He said, (Even if he prays, fasts and claims to be Muslim. So call the Muslims with their names that Allah has called them: `The Muslims, the believing servants of Allah.’)


This is a Hasan Hadith, and it contains the statement, “Allah has created and sustains you, so worship Him and do not associate anything with Him in worship.” This statement is relevant in the Ayat (2:21-22) we are discussing here and supports singling Allah in worship, without partners.


[Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. 1]


Was the Quran contrived from previous scriptures?

November 2, 2014 Leave a comment


1- Had the Qur’an been contrived from previously revealed scriptures, Muhammad’s [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] adversaries would not have ignored the matter and remained silent. They would undoubtedly have seized the opportunity to accuse him to that effect. All their allegations were unfounded and lacked proof. The Qur’an itself has already mentioned these allegations and their refutations.


2- The Qur’an includes many laws, rulings, instructions, and commands which did not exist in the previous scriptures. Furthermore, the Qur’an contains narratives with detailed accounts of previous generations in addition to prophecies which were fulfilled. An example of this was the final outcome of the conflict between the Romans and the Persians, the events of which were unknown to Muhammad, his people, or the followers of Judaism and Christianity.


3- The Qur’an urged people to acquire knowledge and to respect the human mind and intellect. Accordingly, based on Islam’s new teachings and rulings, the Muslims were able, in a very short time, to establish a civilization which replaced the preceding civilizations and flourished for many centuries. Had the Qur’an been compiled from the previous divine religions, why then did these religions not include the aforementioned precepts and teachings and did not play the same role as Islam?



4- The Qur’an is a Book whose style is consistent and eloquent. Had it been compiled from other scriptures it would have been incoherent, contradictory, and inconsistent due to the alleged various sources.

“…Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.” [4/82]


Moreover, the Qur’an always addresses one’s sense and reasoning and does not include fables or myths. It relies upon evidence and facts and demands the same of its adversaries:

“Produce your proof, if you are truthful”. [2/11 and 27/64]

This approach is considered a completely new approach and does not exist in any previous scripture.



5- It is evident that Islam completely rejected the evil beliefs of paganism, its way of life, and its brutal traditions and replaced them with true faith and a life of virtue. Where then is the Pagan culture that Islam has been falsely accused of adopting from Pre-Islamic Paganism?


Quran Teacher Should Not Seek a Worldly Objective When Teaching Quran

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment


The teacher must not make his intentions [to teach] for the purpose of attaining some worldly objective, such as wealth, leadership, influence, rising above his peers, gaining people’s praise, or drawing their attention to himself. One does not dishonor his teaching of [the Quran ] by hoping to obtain some favor-by way of an [influential] student who recites to him-whether the favor is in the form of property or some service, however small, or even a gift that he would not have received had it not been for [his] student reciting to him.


Allah, Most High says,

Whoever seeks the harvest of the Hereafter, We shall increase his harvest; and whoever seeks the harvest of this world, We shall give him of it here, but in the Hereafter he will have no portion

(Quran, 42:20);

Whoever desires the immediate [gains of this world], We hasten what We will to whomever We will

(Quran, 1 7:18).


Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) stated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“Whoever learns knowledge by which one [customarily] seeks the pleasure of Allah Most High but learns it in order to obtain one of this world’s riches, he will not find the scent of Paradise on the Day of Judgment.”

[Abu Dawud (3664), Ibn Majah (252), Ahmad (2:338 ), al-Hakim (1:85 ), Ibn Hibban (89).]


Anas, Hudhayfa, and Ka’b ibn Malik (radiAllahu anhum ajmaeen) stated that the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alaihi wasallam]  said,

“Whoever seeks knowledge so that he can contest fools, vie with the scholars, or attract attention toward himself occupies his seat in the Fire.”

[Tirmidhi (26 5 2, 265 3 ), Ibn Majah ( 247), Darimi (388).]


[Etiquette with the Quran by Imam an-Nawawi, page- 38]


Studying the Quran as a Source of Culture and Knowledge

August 7, 2014 Leave a comment


The Quran contains a great deal of information about the prophets who appeared before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) as well as the different peoples who were destroyed because of their refusal to obey Allah’s laws.

If someone wanted to learn about such people as a matter of culture and learning, one can find this needed information in the Quran. Obviously, the historical information stated in the Quran is not meant to teach the Muslims history but is meant for much more than that, as shall be noted below. As Murad advised,

Do not read it merely for intellectual pursuit and pleasure; even though you must apply your intellect to the full to the task of understanding the Quran. So many people spend a lifetime in studying the language, style, history, geography, law and ethics of the Quran, and yet their lives remain untouched by its message. The Quran frequently refers to people who have knowledge but do not derive benefit from it.

[Khurram Murad, Way to the Quran (Leicester, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1 985), p. 28.]



In fact, in the history of Islam, many people got distracted by delving into this aspect of the Quran in great detail. They attempted to discover all of the details that they could about the people that Allah talks about in the Quran. That is why one can find in some of the books of Quranic commentary discussions of the following issues: the type of tree from which Adam ate, the type of wood Noah used to build his ark, the names and types of birds that Abraham killed and were brought back to life, the names of the Companions of the Cave as well as the name of their dog, the price for which Joseph was sold, the name of the ruler who debated with Abraham and numerous other details that Allah has left unmentioned in the Quran.

[Ibn Katheer, Tafseer al-Quran al-Adheem, p . 14]




None of that type of information was necessary as everything that the Muslims need for guidance is contained in the Quran. Unfortunately, many did not grasp this point and turned to unauthentic sources to discover the history of the prophets and people mentioned in the Quran. Regrettably, much of the unauthentic information they uncovered found its way into many of the commentaries on the Quran.



Included in this category of people could be those who read the Quran simply for its linguistic and artistic beauty. They tum to the Quran to read pure and beautiful Arabic and to study the prose of the Arabic language. Or, perhaps, they study the Quran as a type of art. Their Quranic study does not go beyond that; therefore, they miss the true purpose of the Quran.


[How to approach and understand the Quran by Jamal al Din Zarabozo, page 88-89]

Luqman and his master; who was Luqman?

June 8, 2013 Leave a comment


The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions:

  1. was he a Prophet or
  2. just a righteous servant of Allah without the Prophethood.



The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet.


Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbas,

“Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter.



Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said,

“I said to Jabir bin Abdullah: `What did you hear about Luqman?’

He said: `He was short with a flat nose, and came from Nubia.”’



Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that

“Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld Prophethood from him.”


Al-Awza`i said,

“Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him:

“Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.”


Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said:

“Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it.


(His master) said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart.


Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and (his master) said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it.


(His master) said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart.


His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!’


Luqman said,

`There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.”’


Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid,

“Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.”


[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Luqman under verse 12]


The Keepers of Hell: Mighty and Stern

May 19, 2013 Leave a comment


Standing over Hell are MIGHTY and STERN angels who never disobey Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala Who has created them. They do whatever He commands them, as Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala says:

“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are [appointed] angels stern [and] severe, who flinch not [from executing] the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do [precisely what] they are commanded.” (66:6)


Their number is nineteen as Allaah says:

“Soon I will cast him into Hellfire. And what will explain to you what Hellfire is? Naught does it permit to endure, and naught does it leave alone! Darkening and changing the colour of man! Over it are nineteen [angels as guardians and keepers of Hell]” (74:26-30)


This number was a challenge to the kuffaar who thought that they would easily overcome such a small number, but they did not realise that one of these angels has the strength to confront the whole of mankind on his own.


For this reason, Allaah said in the next aayah:

“And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their numbers [19] only as a trial for the disbelievers..” (74:31)


Ibn Rajab said,

“What is known and well-established among the earlier and later generations (as-Salaf wal-Khalaf) is that the trial came about when the number of angels was mentioned and the kuffaar thought that it was possible to kill them.


They thought that they would be able to fight and resist them. They did not know that humankind in its entireity would not be able to resist even ONE of them.”

(at-Takhweef min an-Naar, p.174)



These angels are the ones whom Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’ala called the guardians of Hell:

“Those in the Fire will say to the keepers [angels] of Hell: “Call upon your Rabb to lighten for us the torment for a day!” (40:49)

[al-Jannah wa an-Naar, pg 6]

Related Links:

• Did you know Hell can Speak and See?

• The Evil Deeds that Lead One to Hell by Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah)

• The Huge Size of the People of Hell

• The Disbelievers Among the Jinn Will Be In Hell


Precious advice to the People of Qur’aan

May 2, 2013 Leave a comment


How beautiful is the advice of Imam al-Aajri in his book Akhlaq Ahl al-Qur’aan – and this is a book which the one memorising Qur’aan can never abandon reading or studying. This book contains lengthy advice which I have taken a portion from. He (the author) says,

“The first thing that he (the student of Qur’an) must do is utilise the taqwa of Allah in secrecy and in openness by developing wara’ (piety) in his eating and drinking, in his sense of dress and in his home, with insight of his era and the fasaad (sins and evil) of his people so that he is cautious against them with regards to his Deen. He is highly devoted over his state of affairs and deeply concerned with correcting what has become corrupt in his matters.


He guards his tongue and yet is distinguished by his speech.

And from the advice is also the following:

“If he studies the Qur’aan then he does so with complete understanding and intellect. What concerns him is fully comprehending that which Allah has made mandatory on him to follow  and adhere to, and desisting from what He `azza wa jall has forbid him from.


His concern is not ‘when will I finish the Qur’aan?’ But rather his deep concern is:

‘when will I be fully content with Allah and independent of other than Him?’


‘When will I be from the Muttaqeen?

When will I be from the Muhsineen?

When will I be from the Mutawakkileen (relying only on Allah)?

When will I be from the Khashi’een (humbled to Allah)?

When will I be from the Sabireen (patient)?

When will I be from the Sadiqeen (truthful)?

When will I be from the Kha’ifeen (fearful)?

When will I be from the Raajeen (hopeful)?

When will I become ascetic in this world?

When will I yearn for the Hereafter?

When will I repent from sins?

When will I recognise the successive blessings of Allah?

When will I thank Him for it?

When will I deeply understand the public address from Allah (i.e. this Qur’aan)?

When will I sincerely comprehend what I’m reciting?

When will I overcome my soul’s desires?

When will I strive for Allah with a true striving?

When will I guard my tongue?

When will I lower my gaze?

When will I protect my chastity and when will I have hayaa’ (modesty/shyness) of Allah with a true and honest hayaa’?

[Akhlaq Ahl al-Qur’an (pg. 79)]



Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh (rahimahullah) is also reported to say,

“It is not for the carrier of Qur’aan to have a need of anyone from the creation but it should be such that the creation has a need of him.


The carrier of Qur’aan is the carrier of the Flag of Islam, it does not befit him that he should indulge in nonsense speech with those who do so, nor should he be so forgetful with those who forget nor should he waste time in play with those who waste time in play.”

[Reported by al-Aajuri (37) and Abu Nu’aym (8/92)]



Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (radhiallahu `anhu) gathered all those who had recited (memorised) Qur’aan – and they numbered near to three hundred –he then began to exalt the Qur’aan, saying:

“Indeed this Qur’aan is enough of a store and reserve for you, and yet it is enough of a burden over you.



So follow the Qur’aan and do not make the Qur’aan follow you.


Surely whoever follows the Qur’aan, it leads him to the gardens of Paradise and whoever makes the Qur’aan follow him, it drives him by the neck and hurls him into the Fire.”

[Al-Darimi (3328) and al-Aajuri in Fadha’il al-Qur’an (pg. 3)]


[Taken from: al-asbab al-mueena alal Hifdh, pg- 28-29]


See Also: Memorisation of Qur’an is from the special characteristics of this Ummah

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