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Ramadaan Special – 1428 – #1

This world is a place of trials and tests…
Why does Allaah mention this fact to us, then follow it by the names “al-Azeez” and “al-Ghafoor”…?

Below is an excerpt fromPractical Lessons from the Month of Fasting(1)

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•. 

 

al-Mulk

 

Allaah made life in this world as a place of trial and testing as to which of His servants are best in deeds. He said

 

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً

 

which means, Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in action. [Soorah al-Mulk (67):2]

 

and then said

 

وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

 

which means, And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving. [Soorah al-Mulk (67):2]

 

This clarifies that these tested individuals include ones who excel in their deeds and will be rewarded due to what is entailed by Allaah’s name al-Ghafoor (the Oft-Forgiving). Similarly included are those who act wrongly and will deserve punishment due to what is entailed by His name al-Azeez (the Almighty). That is like His saying

 

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمُ

 

which means, Declare to My servants, that I am truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment. [Soorah al-Hijr (15):49,50]

 

 

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(1) Taken from a translation based on a lecture delivered Shawwaal 16, 1390 A.H. by Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin ibn Hamad al-Abbaad. The original lecture was published in the Journal of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, Issue #10. The complete translation will be posted on Thikraa soon, in shaa’ Allaah.

 

 

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لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

 

Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. (1) You are our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

(Al-Baqarah 2:286)

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•. 

 

Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen – rahimahullaah – says in his tafseer of Soorat al-Baqarah: (2)

 

ومنها: أنه ينبغي للإنسان سؤال الله العفو؛ لأن الإنسان لا يخلو من تقصير في المأمورات؛ فيسأل الله العفو عن تقصيره؛ لقوله تعالى: { واعف عنا }؛ وسؤالُ الله المغفرة من ذنوبه التي فعلها؛ لقوله تعالى: { واغفر لنا }؛ لأن الإنسان إن لم يُغفر له تراكمت عليه الذنوب، ورانت على قلبه، وربما توبقه، وتهلكه.

 

And from them (the points of benefit derived from this aayah): (Is) That one must ask Allaah for ‘Afw, for he is not free from shortcomings in those things which have been commanded; so he asks Allaah for ‘Afw from his shortcomings in accordance with His saying “واعف عنّا”. And asking Allaah for Maghfirah from his (the person’s) sins which he has committed is in accordance with His saying “واغفر لنا”, because a person – if he is not forgiven – (his) sins will pile up upon him, be a Raan (3) upon his heart, and perhaps destroy him.

 

ومن فوائد الآية: أنه ينبغي للإنسان أن يسأل الله أن يرحمه في مستقبل أمره؛ فيعفو عما مضى، ويغفر؛ ويرحم في المستقبل؛ لقوله تعالى: { وارحمنا }؛ وبه نعرف اختلاف هذه الكلمات الثلاث: طلب العفو عن التفريط في الطاعات؛ والاستغفار عن فعل المحرمات؛ والرحمة فيما يستقبله الإنسان من زمنه – أن الله يرحمه، ويوفقه لما فيه مصلحته.

 

And from the benefits of the aayah: (Is) That one must ask Allaah to have Rahmah on him in his future affairs; so He will ‘ya’foo’ and ‘yaghfir’ what has passed, and have Rahmah on him in what’s to come, in accordance with His saying “وارحمنا”. Through this, we learn the difference between the three words:

 

Asking for ‘Afw for shortcomings in acts of obedience, ‘Istighfaar (i.e. seeking Maghrifah) from committing acts of disobedience (4), and (asking for) Rahmah in that which lies ahead for one in his future – that Allaah has Rahmah on him and grants him success to (following) that which will be beneficial/have good in it for him.

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.

 

Ibn Katheer – rahimahullaah – says in his tafseer of Soorat al-Baqarah: (5)

 

وقوله: ( وَاعْفُ عَنَّا ) أي: فيما بيننا وبينك مما تعلمه من تقصيرنا وزللنا، ( وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ) أي: فيما بيننا وبين عبادك، فلا تظهرهم على مساوينا وأعمالنا القبيحة، ( وَارْحَمْنَا ) أي: فيما يُسْتَقبل، فلا توقعنا بتوفيقك في ذنب آخر، ولهذا قالوا: إن المذنب محتاج إلى ثلاثة أشياء: أن يعفو الله عنه فيما بينه وبينه، وأن يستره عن عباده فلا يفضحه به بينهم، وأن يعصمه فلا يوقعه في نظيره.

 

And His saying “واعف عنا” meaning: in that which is between us and You, which You know (about) from our shortcomings and faults/slips; “واغفر لنا” meaning: in that which is between us and Your servants, such that You do not make apparent to them our faults/vices and abominable deeds; “وارحمنا” meaning: in that which will come in the future, so do not let us fall – with Your tawfeeq (i.e. You granting us success) – in another sin. This is why it has been said: “Surely the sinner is in need of three things: that Allaah forgives him for that (the sin he committed) which is between him and Him (i.e. the sinner and Allaah), that He conceals the sin from His servants and not expose him through it (the sin) among them, and that He protects him so he doesn’t fall in its equivalent (i.e. further sin/error).”

 

 

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(1) The words ‘Afw, Maghfirah, and Rahmah have been translated in the aayah (The Noble Qur’aan translation) to mean Pardon, Forgiveness, and Mercy – respectively. In Arabic, the meaning of the words is as follows:

Afw: pardon/forgiveness, but also erasing/wiping out
Maghfirah: pardon/forgiveness but also concealing/hiding
Rahmah: mercy

 

(2) Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah). Tafseer Soorat al-Baqarah, Part #3 – Aayah 286 – Points of Benefit #16 and 17.

 

(3) Raan:  a covering of sins and evil deeds, as mentioned in Soorat Al-Mutaffifin, verse 14.

 

(4) Note: it’s not always the case that ‘Afw relates to shortcomings in acts of obedience while Maghfirah relates to acts of disobedience. There’s a rule in Arabic that says that some words “if they unite, they separate (in meaning); and if they separate, they unite (in meaning).” [An example often given by scholars consists of the words Islaam and Eemaan: they include eachother when mentioned separately and they exclude eachother and become more specific when mentioned together, wallaahu ‘Alam.] Therefore, if the words ‘Afw and Maghfirah occur together, though they mean the same thing (i.e. pardon/forgiveness), they will be “distinguished” and separated from each other in meaning (by one being more specific to one thing than the other word etc.); however, if they separate and occur in different aayaat/locations, they could be used to mean the same thing (i.e. forgiveness) be it for shortcomings in good deeds or for doing bad deeds.  Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen – rahimahullah – says in the tafseer of aayah 218 of Soorat al-Baqarah:

قوله تعالى: { والله غفور رحيم }؛ قد يقول قائل: ما محل ذكر اسم الله «الغفور» هنا مع أن هؤلاء قاموا بأعمال صالحة؟ الجواب أن القائم بالأعمال الصالحة قد يحصل منه شيء من التفريط، والتقصير؛ ولذلك شرع للمصلي أن يستغفر الله ثلاثاً بعد السلام؛

(Concerning) His (ta’aalaa’s) saying: (والله غفور رحيم); one might say: what is the reason behind mentioning the name of Allaah (الغفور) here even though those [meaning people mentioned in the verse] have done good deeds? The answer is that one who does good deeds might have some carelessness/negligence or shortcomings; this is why one it has been legislated for one who performs his salaah to say ‘Istighfaar 3 times after salaam. [End of Shaikh’s words]

Here, Maghfirah is used to refer to shortcomings in doing good deeds.  And Allaah knows best.

 

(4) Tafseer Ibn Katheer. One will notice how the “erasing” meaning of ‘Afw and “concealing” meaning of Maghrifah play a role in this tafseer.

 

 

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من قرأ الآيتين من آخر سورة البقرة في ليلة كفتاه

 

“Whoever recites the last two verses from Soorat al-Baqarah [2:285-6] at night, they will suffice him (1).” (2)

 

 Easy task and great reward, subhaanallaah!

 

What will they suffice YOU from?  Read reference #1.

 

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(1) Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: The correct (opinion is that) they will suffice (protect) him from the evil of that which will cause him harm. [al-Waabil as-Sayyib, p. 205]

An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said regarding the meaning of ‘they will suffice him’: “It has been said to mean: they will suffice him from Qiyaam al-Layl (night prayer) [*refer to EN below], protect him from the Shaytaan, protect him from the aafaat (diseases), and it’s possible (that it means) from all of them.” [Saheeh Muslim with Explanation of an-Nawawee]

The author of Fath al-Haqq al-Mubeen said: “(Sh. Abdul-Azeez Ibn Baaz -rahimahullaah- said:) and the meaning – and Allaah knows best – is that it suffices (protect) him from every harm.” [Fath al-Haqq al-Mubeen, p. 51, quoted from a treatise regarding the ruling of magic and sorcery]

 

(2) The hadeeth is Muttafaqun ‘alayhi (i.e. agreed upon by Bukhaaree and Muslim) and has been narrated by Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu anhu).  In Bukhaaree, it can be found in Kitaab al-Maghaazee (12) #4008, and Kitaab Fadaa’il al-Qur’aan #5009.  In Muslim, it can be found in Kitaab Salaatul Musaafireen (43) #807 and 808.

 

*EN – Clarification: The word ‘suffice’ in ‘suffice him from Qiyaam al-Layl’ doesn’t imply ‘protection’ like it does when mentioned with the Shaytaan/diseases/harm etc. Here, suffice means that it gives him reward that would ‘suffice’. Al-Manaawee mentioned in Faydh al-Qadeer “…they will suffice him from Qiyaam in that night whilst reciting the whole Qur’aan…” “…or suffice him, because of the reward he gains as a result of reciting them, from seeking anything else.” This of course should NOT be an encouragement to recite the two verses and abandon Qiyaam al-Layl! Why?

Point of Benefit: There are things that have a reward similar to other actions, but they cannot be used as a replacement for them. An example of that: The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever says Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer one hundred times in a day will have (a reward) equivalent to freeing ten slaves, one hundred hasanaat (good deeds) will be recorded for him and one hundred sayi’aat (bad deeds) will be erased from him, and he will be protected from the Shaytaan for that day until evening comes. No one can do anything better than what he has done except one who does more than that. Whoever says Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdihi (Glory and praise be to Allaah) one hundred times in a day, his sins will be erased even if they were like the foam of the sea.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Just because the reward for saying the above statement is equivalent to “freeing ten slaves” doesn’t mean that saying it will suffice one from freeing an actual slave as a kaffaarah (expiation) for killing a believing soul by mistake or for having relation with one’s spouse during fasting hours in Ramadaan. Wallaahu A’lam.

 

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 وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And if an evil whisper from the Shaytaan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allaah.
Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

(Fussilat 41:36)

 

  

 

Allah When should we seek refuge in Allaah from the Shaytaan?

The Shaytaan is a hidden enemy of yours whom you cannot repel by yourself.  Thus, every time he whispers to you, seek refuge in the One who can repel him – and that One is Allaah ‘azza wa jall.

 

Allah How do you know if the Shaytaan is whispering to you?
Since the Shaytaan is “intangible”, we know (him) by way of that which he casts in our heart:

1. to commit a sin…
2. to leave off a command (of Allaah)…(*)

 

Allah  How do the two names of Allaah ta’aalaa “The All-Hearer, the All-Knower” fit in with the aayah?

All-Hearer: hears you seeking refuge in Him from the shaytaan.
All-Knower: knows exactly how to repel the Shaytaan and keep him away from you.

 

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Ref: Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen’s (rahimahullaah) Tape #6 (Side B) on Tafseer Soorat Fussilat.

(*) EN:  We mistakenly think that only “sins” are evil whispers…but also delaying and leaving off good whether it’s fardh or mustahabb (obligatory or highly recommended) etc. is also an evil whisper!

 

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