Al Ihsaan – Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-`Uthaymeen
Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam
© 1997 al-Hidaayah

Al-Ihsaan is the opposite of behaving badly, and it means that a person strives to do what is good and to repel harmful things. So he strives to benefit the servants of Allaah through his wealth, position, knowledge and his person. So as for the case of doing good with ones wealth, then he spends and gives in charity, and pays the zakaat, and the best of the types of doing good through wealth is the zakaat since it is one of the pillars of Islaam, and one of its great foundations. A person’s Islaam will not be complete without it. It is the charity most loved by Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and that is followed by that which it is obligatory upon a person to spend upon his wife, mother, father, children, brothers, children of his brothers, sisters, paternal uncles, paternal aunts, maternal aunts, and so on. Then by charity given to the poor and to the rest of those deserving of charity – such as students of knowledge for example.

As for the case of doing good by means of ones position, then it is that people are found in different levels. Some of them have status with someone in authority and so strive to benefit the people by means of his position. So if a man comes to him and requests that he should intercede for him with the one in authority then he does so, either to repel some harm from him or to attain some good for him, As for doing good by means of his knowledge, then it is that he strives to pass on his knowledge to Allaah’s servants, in open and private gatherings and assemblies. Even if people sit socially, to drink coffee, then it pertains to good and fine behaviour that he should teach the people. Even if you are in a public gathering it is from what is good that you teach the people. However wisdom is to be used in this matter. So you should not weary the people making it a habit that every single time you sit in a gathering you admonish and address the people, since the Prophet used to give them admonition now and then, and not too frequently. This is because the souls become weary and bored. When they become bored they become languid and weak and may even come to dislike what is good merely because of the frequency with which the per son stands and addresses them.

As for seeking to benefit the people with ones person, then the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “… that you help a man to mount and ride his riding beast, or you lift up his luggage on to it for him, is a charity” [Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. Transl. 4/90-94/no. 161) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/483-484/ no. 2204)]. So you help this man to carry his luggage, or you guide him to the correct road to take and so on, all of this pertains to ihsaan. So this is with regard to striving to do good to the servants of Allaah.

As for ihsaan in the worship of Allaah, then it is that you worship Allaah as if you were seeing Him, as the Prophet ( said. So worship done in this way, that a person worships his Lord as if he were actually seeing Him is worship that is accompanied by yearning and seeking. So a person will find that his soul encourages him upon worship done in this way, since he is yearning for the one he loves. Therefore he worships Him as if he were seeing Him, and he directs his heart to Him and turns to Him and seeks to draw near to Him, He the One free of all imperfections and the Most High.

“Then even though you do not see Him, then He certainly sees you.” This part shows worship done whilst fleeing and fearing, and is therefore the second level of ihsaan. So if you do not worship Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, as if you are seeing Him and seeking Him and your soul is encouraging you towards Him, then worship Him keeping in mind that He sees you. So you will then worship Him as one who fears Him and seeks to flee from His retribution and punishment.

This level is held by those having knowledge of these affairs to be lower than the first level. Worship of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, is, as Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimahullaah, said: ‘Worship of the Most Merciful is utmost love of Him, along with the worshippers submission and humility, they are its two pillars.’ So worship is built upon these two matters: utmost love, and utmost humility and submission. Love causes one to desire and seek, and humility causes one to fear and flee. This is ihsaan in the worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. If a person worships Allaah in this manner, then he will become one who is pure and sincere in his worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. He will not desire with his worship that he is seen by the people, or heard of, nor will he desire their praise. It will be the same to him whether the people notice him or do not notice him.

He will worship with ihsaan in every condition. Indeed part of the completion of purity and sincerity of worship (al-ikhlaas) is that a person should seek not to be seen by the people when he worships, and that his worship should be a secret between him and his Lord. That is unless there is some benefit for the Muslims or for Islaam in his performing it openly, for example if he is a person who is followed and taken as an example and he wishes to manifest his worship to the people so that they should take it as an example to follow; or that he manifests his worship so that his companions, friends and associates should follow his example, then this is good. This benefit which he takes account of may be more excellent and greater than the benefit of keeping it hidden. Therefore, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has praised those who spend of their wealth in charity secretly and openly. So whenever performing it secretly is better and more beneficial for the heart, and causes one to be more humble and submissive, and to turn to Allaah more attentively, then they give in secret. But when performing it openly produces benefit for Islaam, due to manifestation of its prescribed practices, and will mean that the people follow this persons example, then they do this openly. The Believer looks to what is most appropriate. So whatever is most appropriate and most beneficial in worship, then it will be what is most complete and most excellent.

 

Ruling about life and property insurance : Ibn Baz

 Question:

What is the ruling on Insurance, wether it be life insurance or property insurance?

Answer:

Insuring one’s life and property is forbidden; it is not permissible due to the fact that Al-Gharar (Uncertainty, Risk or Speculation) and usury are involved therein. And Allah – the Almighty the All-Powerful – has forbidden all types of dealings that involver usury and dealings in which there is Al-Gharar (Uncertainty, Risk or Speculation), as a mercy for the (muslim) community and a protection for them for what is harmful to them. Allah – Most Glorified, Most High says:

“where as Allah has permitted trading and forbidden riba” (usury). Al-Baqarah 2:275

And it has been authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he forbade selling AL-Gharar. And Allah is the granter of success.

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah, volume 5 / page 19

Words of Advice regarding Da’wah – Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz

The following is taken from the Book ‘Words of Advice Regarding Da’wah’ from Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz, compiled by Ziyaad ibn Muhammad as-Sa’doon


…The youth in any nation are the backbone which form the element of movement and vitality in society. They have the energy to bring about effective results…Usually a nation is never revived except due to the awareness and continuous enthusiasm of the youth. However, over-enthusiasm of the youth must be guided through the wisdom of the old. The youth must contemplate and look into the experiences of the old, they shouldn’t leave one for the other, but rather must preserve both of these qualities…

The leaders and the scholars should exert efforts to enlighten and direct the population of Muslims and combat the efforts of the enemies of Islaam, by retaliating with their own efforts…The Muslim Ummah is an Ummah that has been entrusted with this religion and has the responsibility of conveying it. If we are careful to arm our boys and girls in Islamic societies, with knowledge, understanding and comprehension of Islamic Jurisprudence and accustom them to apply these things from a small age, then we will not fear, by the permission of Allaah, the Most High, as long as they continue holding onto the deen of Allaah, glorifying it, following its laws, and fighting that which contradicts it. And indeed their enemies will fear them…There are many verses in the Qur’aan which convey this message. The most important factor for us in fighting against the efforts of our enemies is raising and preparing a generation that knows the reality of Islaam. This can be achieved through guidance, taking care of the house and family, the method of educating them, the media and improvement of the society…In addition to this is the role of steering and guiding which needs to be taken by the Muslim leadership, persevering in beneficial work and continually reminding the people that which will benefit them and make the belief within them grow and flourish…

We have read and heard in the news much about our Muslim brothers in communities where the majority of the population is non-Muslim. They are under authorities which impose restrictions on them, in practicing their religion and establishing their rites of worship, in order to distance them from their religion through compulsion and in other ways. We ask Allaah to firmly establish these Muslim minorities, and indeed all the Muslims upon Islaam and keep them safe from the plots of the enemies.

There is no doubt that they are in a seriously vulnerable situation. Because of this situation, these Islamic minorities need all the help, co-operation and assistance, from the political sphere and this is specially from the Islamic governments from the Arab world as well as others that have special concern for Islaam. They have relations with these nations through sending delegates, dispatching messages and urging their embassies to act, or any other similar methods that will help their brothers in these regions. This will raise the morale of the minorities and make the (oppressing) nations realize that these minorities have brothers from the same faith, who are concerned about their situation and who follow their news. If Allaah, the Most High wills, the injustice and oppression will then be lifted from the Muslims when these oppressing nations and others begin to realize that behind the minority of Muslims is a nation which feels their pain and is interested in their affairs. As a result they will give into their requests and will raise their hand from oppressing them, especially when the majority of these nations need Islamic countries for their economic and other affairs.

There is no doubt that the minority of Muslims everywhere are in urgent need of moral support and material help and resources to build mosques and schools that will help them in their Islamic work…So therefore it is obligatory upon every Muslim to help in accordance to his ability…

Finally I advise my Muslim brothers and sisters in Islaam, to have taqwa (fear) of Allaah in all matters and to be firmly established on His deen. They should fear Him wherever they are and be heedful of Him. They should take account of themselves, and be careful not to leave what Allaah has made obligatory upon them, nor to commit a sin.

I advise them to co-operate upon Birr and Taqwa and to be sincere to each other and advise each other with truth and patience wherever they are. I also advise them to gain a deep and good understanding of the deen and attend circles of knowledge and question the scholars…

I ask Allaah to make those in charge of the Muslims and their leaders, upright and honest and to guide everyone to the straight path. I ask Him to make their leaders and their aides successful, and all their people to rule by the Islamic laws and rulings. And to be ruled by them, to be firmly established upon them, and to advise each other upon them, and to beware of and forbid that which contradicts them…

Praise be to Allaah, the Most High, and peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and his Companions.


The following is taken from ‘Al-Ibaanah’ magazine (Vol 1, No.2, pp.7-8), being a translation of Ad-Da’wah Ilallaah wa Akhlaaqud-Du’aat (pp.37-43) by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz:


So it is obligatory upon the da’ee (caller) to have ikhlaas (sincerity and purity of intentions and actions) for Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – neither desiring to show-off, nor desiring reputation, nor desiring the praises and the accolades of the people. Rather, the da’ee should only call to Allaah, seeking the Face of Allaah…and this is the most important etiquette and the greatest quality…

…call the people to Allaah upon ‘ilm (knowledge), and not ignorance…so beware of calling to Allaah based upon ignorance, and beware of speaking without due knowledge. Indeed, ignorance destroys, it does not build; and it causes corruption, not reformation and correction…

From the akhlaaq that it is necessary to have – O da’ee – is to be mild and forbearing in your da’wah, and being gentle and patient in it, as were all the Messengers ‘alayhimus-salaatu was-salaam. Beware of being hasty, harsh and strict in your da’wah, rather be patient, mild and gentle…

Do not turn the people away from the Deen due to your harshness, ignorance, or other such behavior. On the contrary, be mild, forbearing and patient; and be soft and pleasant in speech, so your words may have an effect upon the heart of your brother, or that it may have an effect upon the one you are addressing the call to. Then the people will better appreciate your call and invitation. So undue strictness causes people to become distant, not close; and it causes separation, not unity. Therefore, it is a must to be gentle, as the Messenger ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam said:

Indeed gentleness does not enter into anything except it beautifies it, nor is it removed from anything except that it disfigures it.” [Muslim 12/212].

And he ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam also said:

 “Whosoever is prevented from gentleness, is actually prevented from all good and excellence.” [Muslim 16/145].

From the necessary – or rather obligatory – etiquettes and qualities that a da’ee must possess is acting in accordance to what he is calling to, and being a righteous example of what is being called to. He should not call to do something and then not do it himself, nor call to leave something, whilst engaging in it himself. This is the condition of the losers – we seek Allaah’s refuge in this!

…the daa’ee should have an excellent character and praiseworthy conduct, being patient and inviting to patience. The daa’ee should be sincere in his da’wah and strive in spreading goodness to the people and keeping them away from falsehood. At the same time the daa’ee should supplicate for the guidance of others, saying: “O Allaah! Guide him, and grant him the ability to accept the truth.” So from the excellent manners of the da’ee is supplicating, guiding and being patient with the harms that come with this da’wah.

When the Prophet ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam was informed that the tribe of Daws had become disobedient he said: “O Allaah! Guide Daws and bring them.” [Bukhaaree 6/105]. So the daa’ee should…not despair, nor feel hopeless, nor say anything except good. He should not be harsh and strict, nor should he say a word which may cause aversion to the truth. However, if anyone commits aggression and oppression, then a different treatment is to be afforded to such people…if possible such a person should be imprisoned, or something similar to that – depending upon the nature of his opposition to the da’wah. However, as long as he causes no harm, then it is upon you to be patient and self-evaluating and to debate with him in ways that are best. If any personal harm was caused by such a person, then such harm should be borne with patience – as did the Messengers and those who followed them in goodness and righteousness, patiently bear such harms.

I ask Allaah to grant us all the well-being and the ability to convey this da’wah in a wise manner, that He corrects our hearts and our actions, and that He grants to us the understanding of the Deen and firmness upon it – making us of those who are guided and guiding others, righteous and teaching others righteousness. Indeed He is the Most Majestic, the Supreme, the Most Generous.

Two Episodes of Jewish Mischief : Imam Ibn Kathir

Two Episodes of Jewish Mischief [From Tafsir Soorah al-`Isra]
Imam Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 5
© Darussalam 2000

Surah 17. Al-Isra’ (4-8)

4. And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture:

“Indeed you would do mischief in the land twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!”

5. So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. 6. Then We gave you a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower.

7. (And We said): “If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.” Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces and to enter the Masjid as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands.

8. It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins). We shall return (to Our punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers.

It was mentioned in the Tawrah that the Jews would spread Mischief twice

Allah tells us that He made a declaration to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, meaning that He had already told them in the Book which He revealed to them, that they would cause mischief on the earth twice, and would become tyrants and extremely arrogant, meaning they would become shameless oppressors of people, Allah says:

And We made known this decree to him, that the root of those (sinners) was to be cut off in the early morning. (15:66),

meaning, We already told him about that and informed him of it.

The First Episode of Mischief caused by the Jews, and their Punishment for it

So, when the promise came for the first of the two, meaning the first of the two episodes of mischief.

We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare.

means, ‘We unleashed soldiers against you from among Our creatures who were given to terrible warfare,’ i.e., they had great strength and weapons and power. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes, meaning they took possession of your land and invaded the very innermost parts of your homes, going between and through your houses, coming and going freely with no fear of anyone. This was the promise (completely) fulfilled.

The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders. Many Isra`iliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah. What Allah has told us in His Book (the Qur’an) is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them. Allah told His Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam that when (the Jews) committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars. Ibn Jarir recorded that Yahya bin Satd said: “I heard Sa’id bin Al-Musayyib saying: ‘Nebuchadnezzar conquered Ash-Sham (Greater Syria, including Palestine), destroying Jerusalem and killing them, then he came to Damascus and found blood boiling in a censer. He asked them:

What is this blood? They said: We found our forefathers doing this. Because of that blood, he killed seventy thousand of the believers and others, then the blood stoppedboiling.”[At-Tabari 17:369.]

This report is Sahih from Said bin Al-Musayyib, and this event is well-known, as he (Nebuchadnezzar) killed their nobles and scholars, and did not leave alive anyone who knew the Tawrah by heart. He took many prisoners from the sons of the Prophets and others, and did many other things that would take too long to mention here. If we had found anything that was correct or close enough, we could have written it and reported it here. And Allah knows best.

Then Allah says:

(And We said): “If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.”

As Allah says elsewhere:

Whosoever does a righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself. [45:15]

The Second Episode of Mischief

Then Allah says:

Then, when the second promise came to pass, meaning, the second episode of mischief, when your enemies came again,

(We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces, meaning, to humiliate you and subdue you,

and to enter the Masjid, meaning, Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).

as they had entered it before, when they entered the very innermost parts of your homes.

and to destroy wrecking and inflicting ruin upon it.

all that fell in their hands, everything they could get their hands on.

with utter destruction. It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you , meaning that He may rid you of them.

but if you return (to sins). We shall return (to Our punishment),  meaning, if you return to causing mischief,

We shall return means We will once again punish you in this world, along with the punishment and torment We save for you in the Hereafter.’

And We have made Hell a prison [Hasir] for the disbelievers, meaning, a place of permanent detention, a prison which cannot be avoided or escaped. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Hasiir here means a jail.” [At-Tabari 17:390] Mujahid said, “They will be detained in it.” [At-Tabari 17:390] Others said likewise. Al-Hasan said, “Hasir means a bed of Fire.” [At-Tabari 17:390] Qatadah said: “The Children of Israel returned to aggression, so Allah sent this group against them, Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam and his companions, who made them pay the Jizyah, [a tax levied from People of the Book (Jews and Christians) who are under the protection of a Muslim government] with willing submission, and feeling themselves subdued.” [At-Tabari 17:389]

The Story of the Jews Who sought a King to be appointed over Them : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer

(2.246. Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s way.” He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)” But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.)

Mujahid said that the Prophet (mentioned in the Ayah 2:246 above) is Shamwil (Samuel). Wahb bin Munabbih said: The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Moses. They then innovated in the religion and some of them even worshipped the idols. Yet, there were always Prophets sent among them who would command them to work righteous deeds, refrain from doing evil and who would rule them according to the commands of the Torah. When they (Israelites) committed the evil that they committed, Allah caused their enemies to overwhelm them, and many fatalities fell among them as a consequence. Their enemies also captured a great number of them, and took over large areas of their land. Earlier, anyone who would fight the Israelites would lose, because they had the Torah and the Tabut, which they inherited generation after generation ever since the time of Moses, who spoke to Allah directly. Yet, the Israelites kept indulging in misguidance until some king took the Tabut from them during a battle. That king also took possession of the Torah, and only a few of the Israelites who memorized it remained. The prophethood halted among their various tribes and only a pregnant woman remained of the offspring of Lavi (Levi), in whom the prophethood still appeared. Her husband had been killed, so the Israelites kept her in a house so that Allah may give her a boy, who would be their Prophet. The woman also kept invoking Allah to grant her a boy. Allah heard her pleas and gave her a boy whom she called `Shamwil’ meaning `Allah has heard my pleas.’ Some people said that the boy’s name was Sham`un (Simeon), which also has a similar meaning.

As that boy grew, Allah raised him to be a righteous person. When he reached the age of prophethood, Allah revealed to him and commanded him to call (his people) to Him and to His Tawhid (Oneness). Shamwil called the Children of Israel (to Allah) and they asked him to appoint a king over them so that they could fight their enemies under his command. The kingship had also ended among them. Their Prophet said to them, “What if Allah appoints a king over you, would you fulfill your vow to fight under his command”

(They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children”) meaning, `After our land had been confiscated and our children had been taken from us’ Allah said:

(But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers) meaning, only a few of them kept their promise, but the majority abandoned Jihad and Allah has full knowledge of them.

(247. And their Prophet said to them, “Indeed Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.” They said, “How can he be a king over us when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth.” He said: “Verily, Allah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”)

When the Israelites asked their Prophet to appoint a king over them, he appointed Talut (Saul), who was then a soldier. But, Talut was not a descendant of the house of kings among them, which was exclusively in the offspring of Yahudha (Judah). This is why they said:

(How can he be a king over us) meaning, how can he be the king for us,

(when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth) They said that Talut was also poor and did not have the wealth that justifies him being king. Some people stated that Talut used to bring water to the people, while others stated that his profession was dyeing skins. The Jews, thus, disputed with their Prophet while they were supposed to obey him and to say good words to him.

Their Prophet answered them:

(Verily, Allah has chosen him above you) meaning, `Allah chose Talut from amongst you while having better knowledge about him.’ Their Prophet stated, “I did not choose Talut to be your king on my own. Rather, Allah has commanded that upon your request.” Further:

(…and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature.) meaning, `Talut is more knowledgeable and honorable than you, and stronger and more patient during combat, and has more knowledge of warfare. In short, he has more knowledge and is stronger than you are. The king should have sufficient knowledge, be fair looking and should have a strong soul and body.’ He then said:

(And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills.) meaning, Allah Alone is the Supreme Authority Who does what He wills and no one can ask Him about His actions, while they will be asked (about their actions by Him). This is because Allah has perfect knowledge, wisdom and kindness with His creation. Allah said:

(And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.) meaning, His favor is encompassing and He grants His mercy to whom He wills. He also knows those who deserve to be kings and those who do not deserve it.

(248. And their Prophet said to them: “Verily! The sign of His kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut, wherein is Sakinah (peace and reassurance) from your Lord and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, carried by the angels. Verily, in this is a sign for you if you are indeed believers.)

Their Prophet then proclaimed, “The sign of the blessings of Talut’s kingship over you is that Allah will give you back the Tabut (wooden box) that has been taken from you.” Allah said:

(wherein is Sakinah from your Lord) meaning, peace (or grace) and reassurance. `Abdur-Razzaq stated that Qatadah said:

(wherein is Sakinah) means grace. In addition, Ar-Rabi` said that Sakinah means mercy. This is also the meaning given by Ibn `Abbas, as Al-`Awfi narrated.

Allah then said:

(…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind,)

Ibn Jarir related that Ibn `Abbas said about this Ayah:

(…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, ) Meaning, Moses’ staff and the remnants of the Tablets. This is the same Tafsir of Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Ikrimah, who added, “And also the Torah.” `Abdur-Razzaq said that he asked Ath-Thawri about the meaning of,

(…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind,)

Ath-Thawri said, “Some said that it contained a pot of manna and the remnants of the Tablets, while some others said that it contained (Moses’) staff and two shoes (and refer to 20:12).”

Allah then said:

(…carried by the angels.)

Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn `Abbas said, “The angels came down while carrying the Tabut between the sky and the earth, until they placed it before Talut while the people were watching.” As-Suddi said, “The Tabut was brought to Talut’s house, so the people believed in the prophethood of Sham`un (Simeon) and obeyed Talut”

The Prophet then said:

(Verily, in this is a sign for you) testifying to my truth in what I was sent with, my prophethood, and my command to you to obey Talut,

(if you are indeed believers. ) in Allah and the Hereafter.”

(249. Then when Talut set out with the army, he said: “Verily, Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me; and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand.” Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.” But those who knew with certainty that they were going to meet Allah, said: “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).)

Allah states that Talut, the king of the Children of Israel, marched forth with his soldiers and the Israelites who obeyed him. His army was of eighty thousand then, according to As-Suddi, but Allah knows best. Talut said:

(Verily, Allah will try you) meaning, He will test you with a river, which flowed between Jordan and Palestine, i.e. , the Shari`ah river, according to Ibn `Abbas and others. He continued,

(So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me;) meaning, shall not accompany me today,

(and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand.) meaning, there is no harm in this case. Allah then said:

(Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them.)

Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn `Abbas commented, “Whoever took some of it (the river’s water) in the hollow of his hand, quenched his thirst; as for those who drank freely from it, their thirst was not quenched.”

Ibn Jarir reported that Al-Bara’ bin `Azib said, “We used to say that the Companions of Muhammad who accompanied him on the battle of Badr were more than three hundred and ten, just as many as the soldiers who crossed the river with Talut. Only those who believed crossed the river with him.” Al-Bukhari also reported this.

This is why Allah said:

(So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.”)

This Ayah indicates that the Israelites (who remained with Saul) thought that they were few in the face of their enemy who were many then. So, their knowledgeable scholars strengthened their resolve by stating that Allah’s promise is true and that triumph comes from Allah Alone, not from the large numbers or the adequacy of the supplies. They said to them:

(“How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).)

(250. And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, and set firm our feet and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.”) (251. So they routed them by Allah’s leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom ﴿after the death of Talut and Samuel﴾ and Al-Hikmah (prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of bounty to the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).) (252. These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad ) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah.)

When the faithful party, who were few under the command of Talut, faced their enemy, who were many under the command of Jalut,

(they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience…”) meaning, send down patience on us from You.

(and set firm our feet) meaning, against the enemy and save us from running away and from feebleness,

(and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.)

Allah said:

(So they routed them by Allah’s leave) meaning, they defeated and overwhelmed them by Allah’s aid and support. Then,

(and Dawud killed Jalut)

Israelite accounts claimed that (Prophet) David killed Goliath with a slingshot that he had, which he launched at Goliath causing his death.

Talut promised that whoever killed Jalut, would marry his daughter and would share his kingship and authority. He kept his promise. Later, the kingship was transferred to Prophet Dawud in addition to being granted Prophethood by Allah. So, Allah said:

(…and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom) that Talut had and,

(and Al-Hikmah) that comes with the prophethood, meaning, after Shamwil. ﴿Allah then said:﴾

(and taught him of that which He willed.) meaning, what He willed of the knowledge that He bestowed on (Prophet) Dawud.

Next, Allah said:

(And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief.)

This Ayah indicates that if it were not for the fact that Allah checks one set of people with another, such as when Talut and the bravery of Dawud helped the Children of Israel (against Goliath), then people would have perished. Similarly, Allah said:

(For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and Masjids, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much, would surely, have been pulled down.) (22:40)

Allah then said:

(But Allah is full of bounty to the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists)) meaning, by His mercy and favor He fixes some of them by some others. Surely, Allah has the wisdom, the supreme authority and the clear proof against His creation in all of His actions and statements.

Allah said:

(These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad ) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah).)

This Ayah states, `These Ayat (verses) of Allah that We have narrated for you in truth conform to the exact manner that these stories have occurred and to the truth that still remain in the (Divine) Books that the scholars of the Children of Israel have and know. Allah said: O Muhammad,

(you are)

(one of the Messengers (of Allah)) emphatically stating the truth of his prophet hood

Israel is Prophet Ya`qub (Jacob) : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer from SuratAl BaqaraIsrael is Prophet Ya`qub, for Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas said, “A group of Jews came to the Prophet and he said to them,(Do you know that Israel is Jacob) They said, “Yes, by Allah.” He said,

(O Allah! Be witness.)”

At-Tabari recorded that `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas said that `Israel’ means, `the servant of Allah.’

The Questions that the Jews Asked Our Prophet and Enmity of Jews towards Jibril

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Dar-us-salam), Surah Ale-Imran , after the verses 93 to 95

(93. All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Isra’il made unlawful for himself before the Tawrah was revealed. Say: “Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful. ”) (94. Then after that, whosoever shall invent a lie against Allah, then it is these that are the wrongdoers.) (95. Say:”Allah has spoken the truth; follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (monotheist), and he was not of the Mushrikin (idolators).”)

The Questions that the Jews Asked Our Prophet

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “A group of Jews came to Allah’s Prophet and said, `Talk to us about some things we will ask you and which only a Prophet would know.’ He said, `Ask me about whatever you wish. However, give your pledge to Allah, similar to the pledge that Ya`qub took from his children, that if I tell you something and you recognize its truth, you will follow me in Islam.’ They said, `Agreed.’ The Prophet said, `Ask me about whatever you wish.’

They said, `Tell us about four matters:

1. What kinds of food did Isra’il prohibit for himself

2. What about the sexual discharge of the woman and the man, and what role does each play in producing male or female offspring

3. Tell us about the condition of the unlettered Prophet during sleep,

4. And who is his Wali (supporter) among the angels’

The Prophet took their covenant that they will follow him if he answers these questions, and they agreed.

He said, `I ask you by He Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that Isra’il once became very ill When his illness was prolonged, he vowed to Allah that if He cures His illness, he would prohibit the best types of drink and food for himself. Was not the best food to him camel meat and the best drink camel milk’ They said, `Yes, by Allah.’ The Messenger said, `O Allah, be Witness against them.’

The Prophet then said, `I ask you by Allah, other than Whom there is no deity (worthy of worship), Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that man’s discharge is thick and white and woman’s is yellow and thin If any of these fluids becomes dominant, the offspring will take its sex and resemblance by Allah’s leave. Hence, if the man’s is more than the woman’s, the child will be male, by Allah’s leave. If the woman’s discharge is more than the man’s, then the child will be female, by Allah’s leave.’ They said, `Yes.’ He said, `O Allah, be Witness against them.’

He then said, `I ask you by He Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that the eyes of this unlettered Prophet sleep, but his heart does not sleep’ They said, `Yes, by Allah!’ He said, `O Allah, be Witness.’

They said, `Tell us now about your Wali among the angels, for this is when we either follow or shun you.’ He said, `My Wali (who brings down the revelation from Allah) is Jibril, and Allah never sent a Prophet, but Jibril is his Wali.’ They said, `We then shun you. Had you a Wali other than Jibril, we would have followed you.’ On that, Allah, the Exalted revealed,

(Say: “Whoever is an enemy to Jibril…”) ﴿2:97﴾.”

Allah’s statement,

(before the Tawrah was revealed) ﴿3:93﴾, means, Isra’il forbade that for himself before the Tawrah was revealed. There are two objectives behind revealing this segment of the Ayah. First, he forbade himself the most delightful things for Allah’s sake. This practice was allowed during his period of Law, and is, thus, suitable that it is mentioned after Allah’s statement,

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love) ﴿3: 92﴾.

What we are allowed in our Law is to spend in Allah’s obedience from what we like and covet ﴿but not to prohibit what Allah has allowed﴾. Allah said in other Ayat;

(And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it,) ﴿2:177﴾, and;

(And they give food, in spite of their love for it,) ﴿76:8﴾.

The second reason is that after Allah refuted the false Christian beliefs and allegations about `Isa and his mother. Allah started refuting the Jews here, may Allah curse them, by stating that the abrogation of the Law, that they denied occurs, already occurred in their Law. For instance, Allah has stated in their Book, the Tawrah, that when Nuh departed from the ark, Allah allowed him to eat the meat of all types of animals. Afterwards, Isra’il forbade the meat and milk of camels for himself, and his children imitated this practice after him. The Tawrah later on prohibited this type of food, and added several more types of prohibitions. Allah allowed Adam to marry his daughters to his sons, and this practice was later forbidden. The Law of Ibrahim allowed the man to take female servants as companions along with his wife, as Ibrahim did when he took Hajar, while he was married to Sarah. Later on, the Tawrah prohibited this practice. It was previously allowed to take two sisters as wives at the same time, as Ya`qub married two sisters at the same time. Later on, this practice was prohibited in the Tawrah. All these examples are in the Tawrah and constitute a Naskh (abrogation) of the Law. Therefore, let the Jews consider what Allah legislated for `Isa and if such legislation falls under the category of abrogation or not. Why do they not then follow `Isa in this regard Rather, the Jews defied and rebelled against `Isa and against the correct religion that Allah sent Muhammad with.

This is why Allah said,

(All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Isra’il made unlawful for himself before the Tawrah was revealed) ﴿3:93﴾ meaning, before the Tawrah was revealed, all types of foods were allowed, except what Isra’il prohibited for himself. Allah then said,

(Say: “Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful.”),

for the Tawrah affirms what we are stating here. Allah said next,

(Then after that, whosoever shall invent a lie against Allah, then these it is that are the wrongdoers.) ﴿3:94﴾, in reference to those who lie about Allah and claim that He made the Sabbath and the Tawrah eternal. They are those who claim that Allah did not send another Prophet calling to Allah with the proofs and evidences, although evidence indicates that abrogation, as we have described, occurred before in the Tawrah,

(then these it is that are the wrongdoers.)

Allah then said,

(Say, “Allah has spoken the truth;”) ﴿3:95﴾ meaning, O Muhammad, say that Allah has said the truth in what He conveyed and legislated in the Qur’an,

(follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif, and he was not of the idolators.”) ﴿3:95﴾.

Therefore, follow the religion of Ibrahim that Allah legislated in the Qur’an. Indeed, this is the truth, there is no doubt in it, and the perfect way, and no Prophet has brought a more complete, clear, plain and perfect way than he did. Allah said in other Ayat,

(Say: “Truly, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not of the idolators.”) ﴿6:161﴾

and,

(Then, We have sent the revelation to you (saying): “Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not of the idolaters.) ﴿16:123﴾.

The Jews are the Enemies of Jibril

(Al Baqara 2.97). Say (O Muhammad ): “Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (Gabriel) (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 (i.e. the Tawrah and the Injil) and guidance and glad tidings for the believers).

(98. “Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, Jibril and Mika’il, then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.”)

The Jews are the Enemies of Jibril

Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir At-Tabari said, “The scholars of Tafsir agree that this Ayah (2: 97-98) was revealed in response to the Jews who claimed that Jibril (Gabriel) is an enemy of the Jews and that Mika’il (Michael) is their friend.” Al-Bukhari said, “Allah said,

(Whoever is an enemy of Jibril (let him die in his fury)). `Ikrimah said, “Jibr, Mik and Israf all mean, worshipper, while il means, Allah”. Anas bin Malik said, “When `Abdullah bin Salam heard of the arrival of the Prophet in Al-Madinah, he was working on his land. He came to the Prophet and said, `I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a Prophet. What will be the first portent of the Hour What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle’ Allah’s Messenger said, (Jibril has just told me the answers.) `Abdullah said, `He (i.e. Jibril), among all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.’ Allah’s Messenger recited the Ayah,

(Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (Gabriel) (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur’an) down to your heart). Allah’s Messenger then said, (The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be the caudate lobe of the liver of fish. As for the child resembling his parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and his discharge is first, the child will resemble the father. If the woman has a discharge first, the child will resemble her side of the family.) On that `Abdullah bin Salam said, `I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and you are the Messenger of Allah.’ `Abdullah bin Salam further said, `O Allah’s Messenger! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they will tell a lie about me.’ The Jews came to Allah’s Messenger , and `Abdullah went inside the house. Allah’s Messenger asked (the Jews), (`What kind of man is `Abdullah bin Salam’) They replied, `He is the best among us, the son of the best among us, our master and the son of our master.’ Allah’s Messenger said, (What do you think if he would embrace Islam) The Jews said, `May Allah save him from it.’ Then `Abdullah bin Salam came out in front of them saying, `I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ Thereupon they said, `He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest among us.’ And they continued talking badly about him. Ibn Salam said, `This is what I feared, O Messenger of Allah!.”’ Only Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith from Anas using another chain of narration.

Some people say that `il’ means worshipper while whatever word that is added to it becomes Allah’s Name, because `il’ is a constant in such conjunction. This is similar to the names `Abdullah, `Abdur-Rahman, `Abdul-Malik, `Abdul-Quddus, `Abdus-Salam, `Abdul-Kafi, `Abdul-Jalil, and so forth. Hence, `Abd’ is constant in these compound names, while the remainder differs from name to name. This is the same case with Jibril, Mika’il, `Azra’il, Israfil, and so forth. Allah knows best.

Choosing Some Angels to believe in over Others is Disbelief like choosing Some Prophets over Others

Allah said,

(Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (Gabriel) (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur’an) down to your heart by Allah’s permission,) meaning, whoever becomes an enemy of Jibril, let him know that he is Ruh Al-Qudus who brought down the Glorious Dhikr (Qur’an) to your heart from Allah by His leave. Hence, he is a messenger from Allah. Whoever takes a messenger as an enemy, will have taken all the messengers as enemies. Further, whoever believes in one messenger, is required to believe in all of the messengers. Whoever rejects one messenger, he has rejected all of the messengers. Similarly, Allah said,

(Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, “We believe in some but reject others.”) (4:150)

Allah decreed that they are disbelievers, because they believe in some Prophets and reject others. This is the same with those who take Jibril as an enemy, because Jibril did not choose missions on his own, but by the command of his Lord,

(And we (angels) descend not except by the command of your Lord) (19: 64), and,

(And truly, this (the Qur’an) is a revelation from the Lord of all that exists. Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad ) that you may be (one) of the warners) (26:192-194).

Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Allah said, `Whoever takes a friend of Mine as an enemy, will have started a war with Me.)

Therefore, Allah became angry with those who took Jibril as an enemy. Allah said,

(Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (Gabriel) (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) meaning, the previous Books,

(and guidance and glad tidings for the believers) meaning, as guidance to their hearts and bringer of the good news of Paradise, which is exclusively for the believers. Similarly, Allah said,

(Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing.”) (41:44), and,

(And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe) (17:82).

Allah then said,

(Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, Jibril and Mika’il (Michael), then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.)

Allah stated that whoever takes Him, His angels and messengers as enemies, then…Allah’s messengers include angels and men, for Allah said,

(Allah chooses Messengers from angels and from men) (22:75). Allah said,

(Jibril (Gabriel) and Mika’il (Michael)). Allah mentioned Jibril and Mika’il specifically – although they are included among the angels who were messengers – only because this Ayah was meant to support Jibril the emissary between Allah and His Prophets. Allah also mentioned Mika’il here, because the Jews claimed that Jibril was their enemy and Mika’il was their friend. Allah informed them that whoever is an enemy of either of them, then he is also an enemy of the other as well as Allah. We should state here that Mika’il sometimes descended to some of Allah’s Prophets, although to a lesser extent than Jibril, because this was primarily Jibril’s task, and Israfil is entrusted with the job of blowing the Trumpet for the commencement of Resurrection on the Day of Judgment. It is recorded in the Sahih that whenever the Messenger of Allah would wake up at night, he would supplicate,

(O Allah, Lord of Jibril, Mika’il and Israfil, Creator of the heavens and earth and Knower of the seen and the unseen! You judge between Your servants regarding what they differ in, so direct me to the truth which they differ on, by Your leave. Verily, You guide whom You will to the straight path.)

Allah’s statement,

(then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers) informed the disbelievers that whoever takes a friend of Allah as an enemy, then he has taken Allah as an enemy, and whoever treats Allah as an enemy, then he shall be Allah’s enemy. Indeed, whoever is an enemy of Allah then he will lose in this life and the Hereafter, as stated earlier;

(Whoever takes a friend of Mine as an enemy, I shall wage war on him.)

The Jews hope They will only remain in the Fire for a Few Days : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer from SuratAl Baqara

(2.80. And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.” Say (O Muhammad to them): “Have you taken a covenant from Allah, so that Allah will not break His covenant Or is it that you say of Allah what you know not”)

Allah mentioned the claim of the Jews, that the Fire will only touch them for a few days, and then they will be saved from it. Allah refuted this claim by saying,

(Say (O Muhammad to them): “Have you taken a covenant from Allah’). Hence, the Ayah proclaims, `if you had a promise from Allah for that, then Allah will never break His promise. However, such promise never existed. Rather, what you say, about Allah, you have no knowledge of and you thus utter a lie about Him.’ Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,

(And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.”). “The Jews said, `The Fire will only touch us for forty days.”’ Others added that this was the period during which the Jews worshipped the calf.

Also, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah reported Abu Hurayrah saying,

(When Khaybar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophet as a gift (by the Jews). The Messenger of Allah ordered, `Assemble before me all the Jews who were here.’ The Jews were summoned and the Prophet said (to them), `Who is your father’ They replied, `So-and-so.’ He said, `You have lied; your father is so-and-so.’ They said, `You have uttered the truth.’ He said, `Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something’ They replied, `Yes, O Abul-Qasim; and if we should tell a lie, you will know our lie as you have about our fathers.’ On that he asked, `Who are the people of the (Hell) Fire’ They said, `We shall remain in the (Hell) Fire for a short period, and after that you will replace us in it.’ The Prophet said, `May you be cursed and humiliated in it! By Allah, we shall never replace you in it.’ Then he asked, `Will you tell me the truth if I ask you a question’ They said, `Yes, O Abul-Qasim.’ He asked, `Have you poisoned this sheep’ They said, `Yes.’ He asked, `What made you do so’ They said, `We wanted to know if you were a liar, in which case we would get rid of you, and if you were a Prophet then the poison would not harm you.’) Imam Ahmad, Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i recorded similarly.

The Jews Alter and Change the Law, Such As Stoning the Adulterer : Tafseer ibn katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer : Al-Ma’idah surah 5

(They change the words from their places:) by altering their meanings and knowingly distorting them after they comprehended them,

(they say, “If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!”) It was reported that this part of the Ayah was revealed about some Jews who committed murder and who said to each other, “Let us ask Muhammad to judge between us, and if he decides that we pay the Diyah, accept his judgement. If he decides on capital punishment, do not accept his judgement.” The correct opinion is that this Ayah was revealed about the two Jews who committed adultery. The Jews changed the law they had in their Book from Allah on the matter of punishment for adultery, from stoning to death, to a hundred flogs and making the offenders ride a donkey facing the back of the donkey. When this incident of adultery occurred after the Hijrah, they said to each other, “Let us go to Muhammad and seek his judgement. If he gives a ruling of flogging, then implement his decision and make it a proof for you with Allah. This way, one of Allah’s Prophets will have upheld this ruling amongst you. But if he decides that the punishment should be stoning to death, then do not accept his decision.” There are several Hadiths mentioning this story. Malik reported that Nafi` said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “The Jews came to Allah’s Messenger and mentioned that a man and a woman from them committed adultery. Allah’s Messenger said to them,

(What do find of the ruling about stoning in the Tawrah) They said, `We only find that they should be exposed and flogged.’ `Abdullah bin Salam said, `You lie. The Tawrah mentions stoning, so bring the Tawrah.’ They brought the Tawrah and opened it but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand and recited what is before and after that verse. `Abdullah bin Salam said to him, `Remove your hand,’ and he removed it, thus uncovering the verse about stoning. So they said, He (`Abdullah bin Salam) has said the truth, O Muhammad! It is the verse about stoning.’ The Messenger of Allah decided that the adulterers be stoned to death and his command was carried out. I saw that man shading the woman from the stones with his body.” Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected this Hadith and this is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari. In another narration by Al-Bukhari, the Prophet said to the Jews,

(What would you do in this case) They said, “We would humiliate and expose them.” The Prophet recited,

(Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful.) So they brought a man who was blind in one eye and who was respected among them and said to him, “Read (from the Tawrah).” So he read until he reached a certain verse and then covered it with his hand. He was told, “Remove your hand,” and it was the verse about stoning. So that man said, “O Muhammad! This is the verse about stoning, and we had hid its knowledge among us.” So the Messenger ordered that the two adulterers be stoned, and they were stoned. Muslim recorded that a Jewish man and a Jewish woman were brought before Allah’s Messenger because they committed adultery. The Messenger of Allah went to the Jews and asked them,

(What is the ruling that you find in the Tawrah for adultery) hThey said, “We expose them, carry them (on donkeys) backwards and parade them in public.” The Prophet recited;

(Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful.) So they brought the Tawrah and read from it until the reader reached the verse about stoning. Then he placed his hand on that verse and read what was before and after it. `Abdullah bin Salam, who was with the Messenger of Allah , said, “Order him to remove his hand,” and he removed his hand and under it was the verse about stoning. So the Messenger of Allah commanded that the adulterers be stoned, and they were stoned. `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “I was among those who stoned them and I saw the man shading the woman from the stones with his body.” Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, `O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said,

(Bring the Tawrah to me.) He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying,

(I trust you and He Who revealed it to you.) He then said,

(Bring me your most knowledgeable person.) So he was brought a young man… ” and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi`. These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling. What made them go to the Prophet for judgement in this matter was their lusts and desires, hoping that the Prophet would agree with their opinion, not that they believed in the correctness of his judgment. This is why they said,

(If you are given this,) referring to flogging, then take it,

(but if you are not given this, then beware!) and do not accept or implement it. Allah said next,

(And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Fitnah, you can do nothing for him against Allah. Those are the ones whose hearts Allah does not want to purify; for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment. They (like to) listen to falsehood, to devour Suht) `Suht’ refers to bribes, as Ibn Mas`ud and others stated. The Ayah states that if one is like this, how can Allah cleanse his heart and accept his supplication Allah said to His Prophet ,

(So if they come to you…) so that you judge between them,

(either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least.) meaning, there is no harm if you do not judge between them. This is because when they came to you to judge between them, they did not seek to follow the truth, but only what conformed to their lusts. We should mention here that Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, and several others said that this part of the Ayah was abrogated by Allah’s statement,

(And so judge among them by what Allah has revealed.)

(And if you judge, judge with justice between them.) and with fairness, even if the Jews were unjust and outcasts from the path of fairness,

(Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.)

Refuting the People of the Book’s Claim that they are Allah’s Children : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Allah then refutes the Christians’ and Jews’ false claims and lies,

(And the Jews and the Christians say, “We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.”) They claim: “We are the followers of Allah’s Prophets, who are His children, whom He takes care of. He also loves us.” The People of the Book claim in their Book that Allah said to His servant Isra’il, “You are my firstborn.” But they explained this statement in an improper manner and altered its meaning. Some of the People of the Book who later became Muslims refuted this false statement saying, “This statement only indicates honor and respect, as is common in their speech at that time.” The Christians claim that `Isa said to them, “I will go back to my father and your father,” meaning, my Lord and your Lord. It is a fact that the Christians did not claim that they too are Allah’s sons as they claimed about `Isa. Rather this statement by `Isa only meant to indicate a closeness with Allah. This is why when they said that they are Allah’s children and loved ones, Allah refuted their claim,

(Say, “Why then does He punish you for your sins”) meaning, if you were truly as you claim, Allah’s children and loved ones, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims

(Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,) Allah states: you are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and Allah is the Lord of all His creation,

(He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills.) Allah does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgement, and He is swift in reckoning.

(And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them;) Therefore, everything is Allah’s property and under His power and control,

(and to Him is the return.) In the end, the return will be to Allah and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment.

Allah censures the Jews and Christians for their dispute with Muslims over Ibrahim Al-Khalil : Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Source : Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged)
Ale Imraan Verses 3.65 and 3.67 © Darussalam 2000

(65. O people of the Scripture! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim, while the Tawrah and the Injil were not revealed till after him Have you then no sense) (66. Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.) (67. Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa and he was not of the Mushrikin ) (68. Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who have believed. And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.)

Allah censures the Jews and Christians for their dispute with Muslims over Ibrahim Al-Khalil and the claim each group made that he was one of them. Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Christians of Najran and Jewish rabbis gathered before the Messenger of Allah and disputed in front of him. The rabbis said, `Ibrahim was certainly Jewish.’ The Christians said, `Certainly, Ibrahim was Christian.’ So Allah sent down,

(O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim,) meaning, `How is it that you, Jews, claim that Ibrahim was Jew, although he lived before Allah sent down the Tawrah to Musa How is it that you, Christians, claim that Ibrahim was Christian, although Christianity came after his time” This is why Allah said,

(Have you then no sense)

Allah then said,

(Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge)

This Ayah criticizes those who argue and dispute without knowledge, just as the Jews and Christians did concerning Ibrahim. Had they disputed about their religions, which they had knowledge of, and about the Law that was legislated for them until Muhammad was sent, it would have been better for them. Rather, they disputed about what they had no knowledge of, so Allah criticized them for this behavior. Allah commanded them to refer what they have no knowledge of to He Who knows the seen and unseen matters and Who knows the true reality of all things. This is why Allah said,

(It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.)

Allah said,

(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa), shunning Shirk and living in Iman,

(and he was not of the Mushrikin.)

This Ayah is similar to the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah,

(And they say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided…”) 2:135

Allah said next,

(Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who have believed. And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.)

This Ayah means, “The people who have the most right to be followers of Ibrahim are those who followed his religion and this Prophet, Muhammad , and his Companions from the Muhajirin, Ansar and those who followed their lead.” Sa`id bin Mansur recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Every Prophet had a Wali (supporter, best friend) from among the Prophets. My Wali among them is my father Ibrahim, the Khalil (intimate friend) of my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored)

The Prophet then recited,

(Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him…)

Allah’s statement,

(And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.) means, Allah is the Protector of all those who believe in His Messengers.

The Evil Accusation the Jews Uttered Against Maryam & Their Claim that They Killed Isa : Tafseer ibn Katheer

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) – Al-Nisa surah 4 © Darussalam 2000

Allah said,

(And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam a grave false charge.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas stated that the Jews accused Maryam of fornication.This is also the saying of As-Suddi, Juwaybir, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others. This meaning is also apparent in the Ayah, as the Jews accused Maryam and her son of grave accusations: They accused her of fornication and claimed that `Isa was an illegitimate son. Some of them even claimed that she was menstruating while fornicating. May Allah’s continued curse be upon them until the Day of Resurrection. The Jews also said,

(“We killed Al-Masih, `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,”) meaning, we killed the person who claimed to be the Messenger of Allah. The Jews only uttered these words in jest and mockery, just as the polytheists said,

(O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur’an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah’s curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah’s leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah’s leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and bellied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah’s Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king’s subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king’s deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, “Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise” A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, “Well then, you will be that man.” Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep. Allah said,

(And (remember) when Allah said: “O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.”) When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur’an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said,

(but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them,) referring to the person whom the Jews thought was `Isa. This is why Allah said afterwards,

(and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.) referring to the Jews who claimed to kill `Isa and the ignorant Christians who believed them. Indeed they are all in confusion, misguidance and bewilderment. This is why Allah said,

(For surely; they killed him not.) meaning they are not sure that `Isa was the one whom they killed. Rather, they are in doubt and confusion over this matter.

(But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful,) meaning, He is the Almighty, and He is never weak, nor will those who seek refuge in Him ever be subjected to disgrace,

(All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah’s is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.’ He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house.

When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa’s followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.’ Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.’ Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.’ The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad .” This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa’i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise.

The Evil of the Jews : Evil Secret Councils and Evil Greetings : Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer . From 58 Surah Al Mujadlah

Ibn Abi Najih reported from Mujahid,

(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden,) He said, “The Jews.” Similar was said by Muqatil bin Hayyan, who added, “The Prophet had a peace treaty with the Jews. When one of the Prophet’s Companions would pass by a gathering of Jews, they would speak among themselves in secret, prompting the believer to think that they were plotting to kill or harm him. When the believer saw this, he feared for his safety and changed the route he was taking. The Prophet advised them to abandon their evil secret talks, but they did not listen and kept on holding the Najwa. Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah in their case,

(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden).” Allah’s statement,

(and conspired together for sin and wrongdoing and disobedience to the Messenger.) means, they used to talk to each other,

(for sin) which involves themselves,

(and wrongdoing) which effects others. They speak about disobedience and defying of the Messenger , with persistence and recommending each other to follow their way,

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A’ishah said, “Some Jews came to the Prophet and greeted him by saying, `As-Sam `Alayka, O Abul-Qasim.’ So I said to them, `wa `Alaykum As-Sam (the same death be upon you).’ The Prophet said,

(O `A’ishah, Allah does not like rudeness and foul speech.) I said, `Didn’t you hear them say, `As-Sam Alayka’ He said,

(Didn’t you hear me answering them back by saying, `Wa `Alaykum (And the same upon you)’) Allah the Exalted then sent down this Ayah,

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,)” The narration collected in the Sahih states that `A’ishah said, “And be upon you the death, disgrace and curse.” The Messenger of Allah said to her,

(Allah accepts our supplication against them, but not theirs against us.) Ibn Jarir recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “A Jew passed by Allah’s Messenger , who was sitting with his Companions, he greeted them and they greeted him back. Allah’s Messenger then said to his Companions,

(Do you know what he just said) They said, `He said: As-Salam, O Allah’s Messenger.’ The Prophet said,

(Rather he said, Sam `Alaykum.) meaning, `may you disgrace your religion.’ Allah’s Messenger then said,

(Bring him back,) and when he was brought back, the Prophet asked him,

(Did you say: Sam `Alaykum) He said, `Yes.’ The Prophet then said,

(When the people of the Book greet you, say, `Wa `Alaykum.’)” meaning, `and the same on you too.’ The basis for the Hadith of Anas is in the Sahih and similar to this Hadith of `A’ishah is in the Sahih. Allah said,

(and say within themselves:”Why should Allah punish us not for what we say”) means, the Jews say these words, changing the meaning of the Islamic greeting, into an abusive statement, and then say, `Had he been a Prophet, Allah would have punished us for what we said. Allah knows what we conceal. Therefore, if Muhammad were a Prophet, Allah would have sent His punishment on us sooner, in this life.’ Allah the Exalted replied,

(Hell will be sufficient for them;) ell should be sufficient for them in the Hereafter,

(they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Jews used to say, “Sam `Alayka,” to Allah’s Messenger . They would say then within themselves, “Why does Allah not punish us for what we say” This Ayah was later revealed,

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not, and say within themselves: “Why should Allah punish us not for what we say” Hell will be sufficient for them; they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Its chain of narration is Hasan, but they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not collect it.

Manners of the Najwa, (Secret Counsel)

Allah the Exalted teaches His believing servants to avoid the ways of the disbelievers and hypocrites,

(O you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrongdoing, and disobedience to the Messenger,) meaning, do not hold evil secret counsels like the ignorant disbelieving People of the Scriptures and their allies among the hypocrites, who imitate their ways,

(but do it for Al-Birr and Taqwa; and have Taqwa of Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered.) and He will then inform you of all your deeds and statements; He has counted and recorded them and will justly hold you accountable for them. Allah the Exalted said,

(An-Najwa are only from the Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits. And in Allah let the believers put their trust.) Allah states that secret talks, where the believers feel anxious, are

(only from Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) meaning, that those who hold such counsels do so because of the lures of the devil,

(in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) The devil seeks to bother the believers, even though his plots will not harm the believers, except if Allah wills it. Those who are the subject of evil Najwa, should seek refuge in Allah and put his trust in Him, for none of it will harm them, Allah willing. The Sunnah also forbids the Najwa so that no Muslim is bothered by it. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, because that would cause him to be worried.) This Hadith is collected in the Two Sahihs using a chain of narration that contained Al-A`mash. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that Allah’s Messenger said,

(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, except with his permission, because that would cause him to be worried.) Muslim collected this Hadith.

Expulsion of Jewish Tribe Bani An-Nadir from Mandina : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer. From Surah A Hashr

The End that Bani An-Nadir suffered

Allah said,

(He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the People of the Scripture) referring to the Jewish tribe of Bani An-Nadir, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Az-Zuhri and several others. When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, he made a peace treaty with the Jews stipulating that he would not fight them and they would not fight him. They soon betrayed the treaty that they made with Allah’s Messenger . Therefore, Allah sent His torment down on them; it can never be averted, and His appointed destiny touched them; it can never be resisted.

The Prophet forced them to evacuate and abandon their fortified forts that Muslims did not think they would ever control. The Jews thought that their fortifications will save them from Allah’s torment, but they did not help them against Allah in the least. Then, that which they did not expect came to them from Allah, and Allah’s Messenger forced them to leave Al-Madinah. Some of them went to Adhri`at in the area of Ash-Sham, which is the area of the grand Gathering and Resurrection, while others went to Khaybar. The Prophet allowed them to evacuate their forts and take whatever their camels could carry. They destroyed the property that they could not carry. This is why Allah the Exalted said, (they demolished their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers Then take admonition, O you with eyes.) meaning, “Contemplate the end of those who defied Allah’s command, contradicted His Messenger and denied His Book. See how Allah’s humiliating torment struck them in this life, as well as, the painful torment that Allah has reserved for them in the Hereafter.”

Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik said that one of the Prophet’s Companions said, “The Quraysh idolators wrote to `Abdullah bin Ubayy and those who were still worshipping idols among the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj. The Messenger of Allah was in Al-Madinah at the time, before the battle of Badr occurred. They wrote: `You have given refuge to our citizen. We swear by Allah, you should fight him, or we will expel you or gather all our forces, until we kill your soldiers and take your women captive.’ When the news of this threat reached `Abdullah bin Ubayy and the idolators of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, they prepared to fight the Prophet . The news of this reached the Prophet and he went to them saying,

(The threat of the Quraysh has caused you extreme anxiety! The Quraysh cannot cause you more harm than what you will cause yourselves by your actions. Do you want to fight your children and brethren) When they heard these words from the Prophet , they dis- persed and the news of what happened reached the Quraysh idolators. After the battle of Badr, the Quraysh idolators wrote to the Jews of Al-Madinah, `You have armor and forts! You should fight our citizen or we will do such and such to you, and nothing will prevent us from acquiring your women.’The news of this letter also reached the Prophet and Bani An-Nadir intended to betray their treaty. Bani An-Nadir sent a message to the Prophet asking him to come with thirty of his Companions to meet thirty of their rabbis half way, from either side. They said that the rabbis would listen to the Prophet and if they believe in him, the rest of Bani An-Nadir would believe. They intended to kill the Messenger , and Allah informed His Messenger of this plot before they could harm him. The next day, the Prophet gathered his forces and laid siege to their area, saying to them,

(By Allah ! You will not be safe until and unless you renew your peace treaty with me.) They refused to do so, and the Prophet fought them the rest of that day. The next morning, the Prophet laid siege to the tribe of Bani Qurayzah and left Bani An-Nadir alone that day. The Prophet ordered Bani Qurayzah to sign a new treaty of peace, and they accepted. The Prophet left Bani Qurayzah and went back to Bani An-Nadir with his forces and fought them until they agreed to surrender in return for safe passage out of Al-Madinah. Bani An-Nadir evacuated Al-Madinah and took with them all whatever their camels could carry from their furniture, including even the wood and the doors to their houses. The date trees of Bani An-Nadir were granted to the Messenger by Allah when He said,

(And what Allah gave as booty to His Messenger from them — for this you made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry) that is, what you earned without a fight. The Prophet divided most of their trees between the emigrants and gave to only two men who were poor from Al-Ansar. He did not give the Ansar any of it, except for these two men. The Prophet kept a part of the war booty for himself and that part of charity of the Prophet was transferred to the administration of his daughter’s children, i.e., children of Fatimah.” However, let us summarize the battle of Bani An-Nadir here. From Allah alone we seek help.

The Reason behind the Battle of Bani An-Nadir

After the seventy Companions whom the Prophet sent to teach the Qur’an were killed at the area of Bi’r Ma`unah, excluding `Amr bin Umayyah Ad-Damri, who killed two men from the tribe of Bani `Amir on his way back to Al-Madinah. He did not know that these two men had a promise of safe passage from Allah’s Messenger . When he went back to Al-Madinah, he told the Prophet what happened and the Prophet said,

(You have killed two men, I shall pay the blood money for them.) Bani An-Nadir and Bani `Amir were allies and had treaties. The Prophet asked Bani An-Nadir to help pay the blood money for the two dead men. The area of Bani An-Nadir was in a suburb of Al-Madinah, a few miles to the east. In his book of Sirah, Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said; “Then the Messenger of Allah went to Bani An-Nadir to ask them for financial help to pay the blood money of the two men from Bani `Amir, who were killed by `Amr bin Umayyah Ad-Damri. They had a promise of safe passage from the Prophet according to the (subnarrator) Yazid bin Ruman. Bani An-Nadir and Bani `Amir had a treaty and were allies.

When Allah’s Messenger went to Bani An-Nadir asking them for help to pay the blood money for the two men, they said, `Yes, O Abu Al-Qasim! We will help you, since you asked us for help.’ Yet, when they met each other in secret, they said, `You will not find a better chance with this man than this,’ while the Messenger of Allah was sitting next to a wall of one of their houses. They said, `Who will ascend this wall and drop a stone on this man and rid us of his trouble’ `Amr bin Jihash bin Ka`b volunteered and ascended the wall of the house to drop a stone on the Messenger .

The Messenger of Allah was sitting with several of his Companions, such as Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Ali. The news of this plot was conveyed to the Prophet from heaven, and he stood up and went back to Al-Madinah. When the Companions thought that the Messenger was absent for a long time, they went to see where he was and saw a man coming from Al-Madinah. They asked him, and he said that he saw the Prophet enter Al-Madinah. The Messenger’s Companions went to him, and he told them the news of the betraying plot that the Jews planned against him. He ordered them to prepare for war and to march forth to Bani An-Nadir.

The Prophet gathered his forces and marched to the area of Bani An-Nadir, who had taken refuge in their fortified forts. The Messenger ordered their date trees be cut down and burned. The Jews heralded at the Prophet, `O Muhammad! You used to forbid mischief in the earth and blame those who did it. Why is it that you had the date trees cut down and burned’ Meanwhile, `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, Wadi`ah, Malik bin Abi Qawqal, Suwayd, Da`is and several other men who all belonged to the tribe of Al-Khazraj bin Bani `Awf, sent a message to Bani An-Nadir saying, `Be firm and strong. We will never abandon you. If you are fought against, we will fight along with you and if you are forced to leave Al-Madinah, we will accompany you.’ The Jews waited for this claim of support, but the hypocrites did not deliver. Allah cast terror in the hearts of the Jews. They asked the Messenger to allow them safe passage out of Al-Madinah and to spare their lives. In return, they would only take what their camels could carry, except for weapons. The Prophet agreed.

The Jews collected all the wealth their camels could transport. One of the Jews would demolish his own house around its door, so that he could carry the door on the back of his camel. Bani An-Nadir moved to Khaybar, and some of them went to Ash-Sham. They left all that remained behind for the Messenger of Allah , who had control over how it was to be divided.

The Prophet divided it between the emigrants and none of Al-Ansar got a share, except for Sahl bin Hunayf and Abu Dujanah Simak bin Kharashah. They said that they were poor and the Messenger of Allah gave them their share. Only two men from Bani An-Nadir embraced Islam, Yamin bin Umayr bin Ka`b bin `Amr bin Jihash and Abu Sa`d bin Wahb and they saved their wealth due to their acceptance of Islam.” Ibn Ishaq continued, “Some of the offspring of Yamin narrated to me that the Messenger of Allah said to Yamin,

(Have you not heard what your cousin plotted to do against me) Yamin bin `Umayr promised someone a reward if he killed his cousin `Amr bin Jihash, and someone killed him, according to their claim” Ibn Ishaq then said, “All of Surat Al-Hashr was revealed about Bani An-Nadir. ” A similar story was recorded by Yunus bin Bukayr from Ibn Ishaq. Allah’s statement,

(He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the People of the Scripture) refers to Bani An-Nadir,

(from their homes at the first gathering.) Allah said,

(You did not think that they would get out.) i.e., within the few days you laid siege against them. The Companions had surrounded their forts for only six days, and their forts were fortified and formidable. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

(And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah reached them from a place where they expected it not.) meaning, there came to them from Allah what they did not expect or anticipate. Allah said in another Ayah,

(Those before them indeed plotted, but Allah struck at the foundation of their building, and then the roof fell down upon them, from above them, and the torment overtook them from directions they did not perceive.)(16:26) Allah said,

(and He cast terror into their hearts) means, Allah cast fear, terror and fright in their hearts, and why would that not happen to them He who was given victory, by Allah frightening his enemies the distance of a month, laid siege to them. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the Prophet. As in Ibn Ishaq’s explanation — which preceded;

(that they demolished their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers.) the Jews brought down what they wanted to transport from their roofs and doors, so that they could carry them on camels. Similar was said by `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. Allah’s statement,

(And had it not been that Allah had decreed exile for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world;) meaning, if it was not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that they would evacuate Al-Madinah, leaving behind their homes and wealth, He would have sent another type of punishment upon them, such as being killed and captured. This was said by Az-Zuhri. `Urwah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said that Allah decreed that the Jews would be punished in the life of this world and face the torment of the fire of Hell He prepared for them in the Hereafter. Allah said,

(and in the Hereafter theirs shall be the torment of the Fire.) meaning, it is a matter ordained that they will surely face,

(That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger.) means, Allah prepared this specific punishment and sent His Messenger and his Companions against them, because they defied Allah and His Messenger and denied the good news that Allah sent forth in the Books of previous Messengers regarding the coming of Muhammad . The Jews knew these facts about Muhammad just as they knew their own children. Allah said,

(And whosoever opposes Allah, then verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.)

The Prophet Cut down the Date Trees of the Jews by the Leave of Allah

Allah said,

(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.) Linah is an especially good type of date tree. Abu `Ubaydah said that Linah is a different kind of dates than `Ajwah and Barni. Several others said that Linah refers to every type of date fruits, except for the `Ajwah (ripen dates), while Ibn Jarir said that it refers to all kinds of date trees. Ibn Jarir quoted Mujahid saying that it also includes the Buwayrah type. When the Messenger of Allah laid siege to Bani An-Nadir, to humiliate them and bring fear and terror to their hearts, he ordered their date trees to be cut down. Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Yazid bin Ruman, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “Bani An-Nadir sent a message to the Messenger , saying that he used to outlaw mischief in the earth, so why did he order that their trees be cut down Allah sent down this honorable Ayah stating that whatever Linah was felled or left intact by the Muslims, has been done by His permission, will, leave and pleasure to humiliate and disgrace the enemy and degrade them.” Mujahid said, “Some of the emigrants discouraged others from chopping down the date trees of Jews, saying that they were war spoils for Muslims. The Qur’an approved of the actions of those who discouraged and those who approved of cutting these trees, stating that those who cut them or did not, did so only by Allah’s leave.” There is also a Hadith narrated from the Prophet with this meaning. An-Nasa’i recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah’s statement,

(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.) “They forced them to come down from their forts and were ordered to cut their trees cut down. So the Muslims hesitated, and some of them said, `We cut down some and left some. We must ask Allah’s Messenger if we will earn a reward for what we cut and if we will be burdened for what we left intact.’ Allah sent down this Ayah, t

(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah).” Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah ordered that the date trees of Bani An-Nadir be cut down and burned. The Two Sahihs collected a similar narration. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said,”Bani An-Nadir and Bani Qurayzah fought (against the Prophet ), and the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Qurayzah to remain in their area until later, when the Prophet fought against Qurayzah. Their men were executed and their women, children and wealth were confiscated and divided among Muslims. Some of them, however, were saved because they returned to the Prophet’s side, who granted them asylum, and they embraced Islam. All of the Jews of Al-Madinah, Bani Qaynuqa`, the tribe of `Abdullah bin Salam, Bani Harithah and the rest of the Jewish tribes in Al-Madinah were exiled.” The Two Sahihs also recorded from Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah burned down the date trees of Bani An-Nadir and had them cut down the date palms of Al-Buwayrah. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this Ayah,

(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.)” Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that the battle of Bani An-Nadir occurred after the battles of Uhud and Bi’r Ma`unah.

The Jews had Knowledge that the (Muslim) Qiblah would later be changed : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Imam Al-Bukhari reported that Al-Bara’ bin `Azib narrated: “Allah’s Messenger offered his prayers facing Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka`bah (at Makkah). The first prayer which he offered (facing the Ka`bah) was the `Asr (Afternoon) prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him, went out and passed by some people in a mosque who were in the bowing position (in Ruku`) during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He addressed them saying, `By Allah, I bear witness that I have offered prayer with the Prophet facing Makkah (Ka`bah).’ Hearing that, those people immediately changed their direction towards the House (Ka`bah) while still as they were (i.e., in the same bowing position). Some Muslims who offered prayer towards the previous Qiblah (Jerusalem) before it was changed towards the House (the Ka`bah in Makkah) had died or had been martyred, and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers towards Jerusalem). Allah then revealed:

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., the prayers of those Muslims were valid)) (2:143).”

Al-Bukhari collected this narration, while Muslim collected it using another chain of narrators. Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Al-Bara’ narrated: Allah’s Messenger used to offer prayers towards Bayt Al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem), but would keep looking at the sky awaiting Allah’s command (to change the Qiblah). Then Allah revealed:

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah).) (2:144)

A man from among the Muslims then said, “We wish we could know about those among us who died before the Qiblah was changed (i.e., towards Makkah) and also about our own prayers, that we had performed towards Bayt Al-Maqdis.” Allah then revealed:

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost.) (2:143)

The fools among the people, meaning the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), said, “What made them change the former Qiblah that they used to face” Allah then revealed:

(The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say…)

until the end of the Ayah.

`Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said: When Allah’s Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). The Jews were delighted then. Allah’s Messenger faced Jerusalem for over ten months. However, he liked (to offer prayer in the direction of) Prophet Ibrahim’s Qiblah (the Ka`bah in Makkah) and used to supplicate to Allah and kept looking up to the sky (awaiting Allah’s command in this regard). Allah then revealed:

(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.) meaning, its direction. The Jews did not like this change and said, “What made them change the Qiblah that they used to face (meaning Jerusalem)” Allah revealed:

(Say (O Muhammad ): “To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.”)

There are several other Ahadith on this subject. In summary, Allah’s Messenger was commanded to face Bayt Al-Maqdis (during the prayer) and he used to offer prayer towards it in Makkah between the two corners (of Ka`bah), so that the Ka`bah would be between him and Bayt Al-Maqdis8. When the Prophet migrated to Al-Madinah, this practice was no longer possible; then Allah commanded him to offer prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, as Ibn Abbas and the majority of the scholars have stated.

Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that the news (of the change of Qiblah) was conveyed to some of the Ansar while they were performing the `Asr (Afternoon) prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, upon hearing that, they immediately changed their direction and faced the Ka`bah.

It is reported in the Sahihayn (Al-Bukhari Muslim) that Ibn `Umar narrated: While the people were in Quba’ (Mosque) performing the Fajr (Dawn) prayer, a man came and said, “A (part of the) Qur’an was revealed tonight to Allah’s Messenger and he was commanded to face the Ka`bah. Therefore, face the Ka`bah. They were facing Ash-Sham, so they turned towards the Ka`bah.

These Hadiths prove that the Nasikh (a Text that abrogates a previous Text) only applies after one acquires knowledge of it, even if the Nasikh had already been revealed and announced. This is why the Companions mentioned above were not commanded to repeat the previous `Asr, Maghrib and `Isha’ prayers (although they had prayed them towards Jerusalem after Allah had changed the Qiblah). Allah knows best.

When the change of Qiblah (to Ka`bah in Makkah) occurred, those inflicted with hypocrisy and mistrust, and the disbelieving Jews, both were led astray from the right guidance and fell into confusion. They said:

(What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah to which they used to face in prayer.)

They asked, “What is the matter with these people (Muslims) who one time face this direction (Jerusalem), and then face that direction (Makkah)” Allah answered their questions when He stated:

(Say (O Muhammad ): “To Allah belong both, east and the west.) meaning, the command, the decision and the authority are for Allah Alone. Hence:

(…so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne).) (2:115),

and:

( It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is the one who believes in Allah.) (2:177) This statement means, the best act is to adhere to Allah’s commands. Hence, wherever He commands us to face, we should face. Also, since obedience requires implementing Allah’s commands, if He commands us every day to face different places, we are His servants and under His disposal, and we face whatever He orders us to face. Certainly, Allah’s care and kindness towards His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , and certainly, his Ummah (Muslim nation) is profoundly great. Allah has guided them to the Qiblah of (Prophet) Ibrahim — Allah’s Khalil (intimate friend). He has commanded them to face the Ka`bah, the most honorable house (of worship) on the face of the earth, which was built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil in the Name of Allah, the One without a partner. This is why Allah said afterwards:

(Say (O Muhammad ): “To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.”)

Imam Ahmad reported that `A’ishah (the Prophet’s wife) said that Allah’s Messenger said about the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians):

(They do not envy us for a matter more than they envy us for Jumu`ah (Friday) to which Allah has guided us and from which they were led astray; for the (true) Qiblah to which Allah has directed us and from which they were led astray; and for our saying `Amin’ behind the Imam (leader of the prayer).)

The Jews had Knowledge that the (Muslim) Qiblah would later be changed

Allah stated that:

(Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord.)

This Ayah means: The Jews, who did not like that you change your Qiblah from Bayt Al-Maqdis, already knew that Allah will command you (O Muhammad) to face the Ka`bah. The Jews read in their Books their Prophets’ description of Allah’s Messenger and his Ummah, and that Allah has endowed and honored him with the complete and honorable legislation. Yet, the People of the Book deny these facts because of their envy, disbelief and rebellion. This is why Allah threatened them when He said:

(And Allah is not unaware of what they do.)

(145. And even if you were to bring to the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction), nor are you going to follow their Qiblah. And they will not follow each other’s Qiblah. Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the wrongdoers.)

Why was changing the Qiblah mentioned thrice

This is a third command from Allah to face Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) from every part of the world (during prayer). It was said that Allah mentioned this ruling again here because it is connected to whatever is before and whatever is after it. Hence, Allah first said:

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you) (2:144), until:

(Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.) (2:144)

Allah mentioned in these Ayat His fulfillment of the Prophet’s wish and ordered him to face the Qiblah that he liked and is pleased with. In the second command, Allah said:

(And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masid Al-Haram that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.)

Therefore, Allah states here that changing the Qiblah is also the truth from Him, thus upgrading the subject more than in the first Ayah, in which Allah agreed to what His Prophet had wished for. Thus Allah states that this is also the truth from Him that He likes and is pleased with. In the third command, Allah refutes the Jewish assertion that the Prophet faced their Qiblah, as they knew in their Books that the Prophet will later on be commanded to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim, the Ka`bah. The Arab disbelievers had no more argument concerning the Prophet’s Qiblah after Allah commanded the Prophet to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim, which is more respected and honored, rather than the Qiblah of the Jews. The Arabs used to honor the Ka`bah and liked the fact that the Messenger was commanded to face it.

The First Abrogation in the Qur’an was about the Qiblah

`Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas narrated: The first abrogated part in the Qur’an was about the Qiblah. When Allah’s Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, the majority of its people were Jews, and Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis. The Jews were delighted then. Allah’s Messenger faced it for ten and some months, but he liked to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim (Ka`bah in Makkah). He used to supplicate to Allah and look up to the sky (awaiting Allah’s command). Allah then revealed:

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven), until,

(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.)

The Jews did not like this ruling and said:

(“What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah (prayer direction) to which they used to face in prayer.” Say (O Muhammad), “To Allah belong both, east and the west.”) (2:142)

Allah said:

(. ..so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah) (2:115),

and:

(And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger).) (2:143)

The Wisdom behind abrogating the Previous Qiblah

Allah said:

(…so that men may have no argument against you)

Therefore, the People of the Book knew from the description of the Muslim Ummah that they would be ordered to face the Ka`bah. If the Muslims did not fit this description, the Jews would have used this fact against the Muslims. If the Muslims had remained on the Qiblah of Bayt Al-Maqdis, which was also the Qiblah of the Jews, this fact could have been used as the basis of argument by the Jews against other people.

Allah’s Statement:

(…except those of them that are wrongdoers,) indicates the Mushrikin (polytheists) of Quraysh. The reasoning of these unjust persons was the unsound statement: “This man (Muhammad) claims that he follows the religion of Ibrahim! Hence, if his facing Bayt Al-Maqdis was a part of the religion of Ibrahim, why did he change it” The answer to this question is that Allah has chosen His Prophet to face Bayt Al-Maqdis first for certain wisdom, and he obeyed Allah regarding this command. Then, Allah changed the Qiblah to the Qiblah of Ibrahim, which is the Ka`bah, and he also obeyed Allah in this command. He, obeys Allah in all cases and never engages in the defiance of Allah even for an instant, and his Ummah imitates him in this.

Allah said:

(. ..so fear them not, but fear Me!) meaning: `Do not fear the doubts that the unjust, stubborn persons raise and fear Me Alone.’ Indeed, Allah Alone deserves to be feared.

Allah said:

(…so that I may complete My blessings on you.)

This Ayah relates to Allah’s statement:

(…so that men may have no argument against you), meaning: I will perfect My bounty on you by legislating for you to face the Ka`bah, so that the (Islamic) Shari`ah (law) is complete in every respect. Allah said:

(…that you may be guided.), meaning: `To be directed and guided to what the nations have been led astray from, We have guided you to it and preferred you with it.’ This is why this Ummah is the best and most honored nation ever.

The Jews breach the Sanctity of the Sabbath : Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) – Al Baqarah surah 2 © Darussalam 2000

The Prescription of the Sabbath for the Jews

There is no doubt that for every nation, Allah prescribed one day of the week for people to gather to worship Him. For this Ummah He prescribed Friday, because it is the sixth day, on which Allah completed and perfected His creation. On this day He gathered and completed His blessings for His servants. It was said that Allah prescribed this day for the Children of Israel through His Prophet Musa, but they changed it and chose Saturday because it was the day on which the Creator did not create anything, as He had completed His creation on Friday. Allah made observance of the Sabbath obligatory for them in the laws of the Tawrah (Torah), telling them to keep the Sabbath. At the same time, He told them to follow Muhammad when he was sent, and took their promises and covenant to that effect. Hence Allah says:

(The Sabbath was only prescribed for those who differed concerning it,) Mujahid said: “They observed the Sabbath (Saturday) and ignored Friday.” Then they continued to observe Saturday until Allah sent `Isa bin Maryam. It was said that he told them to change it to Sunday, and it was also said that he did not forsake the laws of the Tawrah except for a few rulings which were abrogated, and he continued to observe the Sabbath until he was taken up (into heaven). Afterwards, the Christians at the time of Constantine were the ones who changed it to Sunday in order to be different from the Jews, and they started to pray towards the east instead of facing the Dome (i.e., Jerusalem). And Allah knows best. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah heard the Messenger of Allah say:

(We are the last, but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection, even though they were given the Book before us. This is the day that Allah obligated upon them, but they differed concerning it. Allah guided us to this day, and the people observe their days after us, the Jews on the following day and the Christians on the day after that.) This version was recorded by Al-Bukhari. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah and Hudhayfah said that the Messenger of Allah said:

(Allah let the people who came before us stray from Friday, so the Jews had Saturday and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allah brought us and guided us to Friday. So now there are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, thus they will follow us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of the people of this world, but will be the first on the Day of Resurrection, and will be the first to be judged, before all of creation.) It was reported by Muslim.

The Jews breach the Sanctity of the Sabbath

(2.65. And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.”) (66. So We made this punishment an example for those in front of it and those behind it, and a lesson for Al-Muttaqin (the pious.)

Allah said,

(And indeed you knew). This Ayah means, O Jews! Remember that Allah sent His torment on the village that disobeyed Him and broke their pledge and their covenant to observe the sanctity of the Sabbath. They began using deceitful means to avoid honoring the Sabbath by placing nets, ropes and artificial pools of water for the purpose of fishing before the Sabbath. When the fish came in abundance on Saturday as usual, they were caught in the ropes and nets for the rest of Saturday. During the night, the Jews collected the fish after the Sabbath ended.

When they did that, Allah changed them from humans into monkeys, the animals having the form closest to humans. Their evil deeds and deceit appeared lawful on the surface, but they were in reality wicked. This is why their punishment was compatible with their crime. This story is explained in detail in Surat Al-A`raf, where Allah said (7:163),

(And ask them (O Muhammad ) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel (disobey Allah).)(7:163)

In his Tafsir, Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

(We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected”) means, “Allah changed their bodies into those of monkeys and swines. The young people turned into monkeys while the old people turned into swine.” Shayban An-Nahwi reported that Qatadah commented on,

(We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected”), “These people were turned into howling monkeys with tails, after being men and women.”

The Monkeys and Swine that exist now are not the Descendants of Those that were transformed

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “Those who violated the sanctity of the Sabbath were turned into monkeys, then they perished without offspring.” Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, “Allah turned them into monkeys because of their sins. They only lived on the earth for three days, for no transformed person ever lives more than three days. They did not eat, drink or have offspring. Allah transformed their shapes into monkeys, and He does what He wills, with whom He wills and He changes the shape of whomever He wills. On the other hand, Allah created the monkeys, swines and the rest of the creation in the six days (of creation) that He mentioned in His Book.”

Allah’s statement,

(So We made this punishment an example) means, Allah made the people of this village, who violated the sanctity of the Sabbath,

(an example) via the way they were punished. Similarly, Allah said about Pharaoh,

(So Allah, seized him with punishing example for his last and first transgression) (79:25). nAllah’s statement,

(for those in front of it and those behind it) meaning, for the other villages. Ibn `Abbas commented, “Meaning, `We made this village an example for the villages around it by the manner in which We punished its people.”’ Similarly, Allah said,

(And indeed We have destroyed towns (populations) round about you, and We have (repeatedly) shown (them) the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in various ways that they might return (to the truth and believe in the Oneness of Allah ـ Islamic Monotheism)).(46:27)

Therefore, Allah made them an example for those who lived during their time as well as a reminder for those to come, by preserving their story. This is why Allah said,

(and a lesson for Al-Muttaqin (the pious)), meaning, a reminder. This Ayah means, “The torment and punishment that this village suffered was a result of indulging in Allah’s prohibitions and their deceit. Hence, those who have Taqwa should be aware of their evil behavior, so that what occurred to this village does not befall them as well.” Also, Imam Abu `Abdullah bin Battah reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Do not commit what the Jews committed, breaching what Allah has forbidden, by resorting to the lowest types of deceit.)

This Hadith has a good (Jayid) chain of narration. Allah knows best.

Authentic Hadeeths mentioning the virtues of Zamzam water? Ibn Baz

Question:Are there any authentic Hadeeths that mention the virtues of Zamzam water?Answer:

There are Hadeeths which indicate that Zamzam water is noble and blessed. In a Hadeeth confirmed in the Sahih, the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said about Zamzam water:

“Indeed it is blessed, and that like food, it fills.” (Muslim no. 2473)

And in Abu Dawud’s narration, there is this addition:

“And a cure for illness.” (Abu Dawud At-Tiyalsi 2nd Volume no. 61)

So this Hadeeth proves its virtues, that it is a filling food, a cure for illness, and that it is blessed.

The Sunnah is to drink it as the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) drank it, but it is also permissible to make ablution with it, to use it to purify yourself after you have relieved yourself, and if necessary, to take a shower using it when you are Junub (impure).

It is confirmed that on one occasion, water poured forth from between the Prophet’s fingers, and then people took what they needed from that water, using it to drink, to make ablution, to wash their clothes, or to purify themselves after relieving themselves.

Zamzam water may not be the same as the water that poured forth from between the Prophet’s fingers, but it is also not more blessed, for each has its place as pure water. If it is permissible to use the water that miraculously poured forth from between the Prophet’s fingers for all the purposes mentioned above, then it is also permissible in the case of Zamzam.

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 195-196, DARUSSALAM

How to wear the upper garment known as Rida’ for Ihram : Ibn Baz

Fatwa by Shaykh Ibn Baz Fatawa Islamiyah , Darussalam, Vol 4, Page 127

Q. Is it better for the Muhrim to cover the two shoulders or to uncover one of them during the Ihram?

A. The sunnah for the Muhrim is that he places the Rida’ (upper garment) over both of his shoulders and put its ends on his chest. This is the Sunnah and it is what the Prophet (Sallalahu Alahi wa Sallam) did.

So, if the person wants to perform the Tawaf of Arrival (Tawaful-Qudum) , he does Al-Idhtiba’. This is by him placing the center of his Rida’ under his right armpit and its edges over his left shoulder. Thus he uncovers his right shoulder. This is specifically for the Tawaf of Arrival, meaning when the person first arrives in Makkah for Hajj or ‘Umrah.

Then when he completes the Tawaf, he adjusts the Rida’ and places it over both of his shoulders, and he prays two Rak’ahs of Tawaf.

The person who always keeps one shoulder uncovered, this is opposed to the Sunnah, and so is uncovering both of the shoulders. The Sunnah is only to cover both of them with the Rida’ while the person is in Ihram. If the person takes off the Rida’ and does not cover his shoulders while he is sitting or eating or talking with his brothers, there is no harm in that.

However, the Sunnah is that when the person wears the Rida’, it should be over his two shoulders and its ends should be on his chest.

Developing Humility in Prayer – Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

You should know – may Allah have mercy upon you – that when the slave [of Allah] leaves his house to go to the mosque, that he is going to face Allah, the Irresistible, the One, the Omnipotent, the Exalted in Might, the Oft-forgiving, in the knowledge that nothing is hidden from Allah, wherever it might be, and that nothing is hidden from Allah and that even something as small as a mustard seed is not concealed from Him, nor even something smaller, nor larger – in the seven earths or the seven heavens, in the seven seas or the lofty mountains, fixed and firm. And  verily, the mosque to which he comes is one of the Houses of Allah. He desires only Allah and he sets out to one of Allah’s Houses, which:

In houses (mosques), which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honored), in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings, Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue), nor from performing As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). [Qur’an 24:36-37, Muhsin Khan Translation]

So when anyone from amongst you sets out from his house (for the mosque) he should say quietly to himself words of remembrance [of Allah] – words unconnected with the affairs and business of this world. He should set out calmly, somberly, for this is what the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, ordered us to do; he should set out with (his heart full of) longing and desire [for Allah’s pleasure] and fear and apprehension [of Allah’s anger] and with humility and meekness towards Allah. For the more humble, the more meek, the more submissive he is to Allah, the more virtuous and righteous does he become in Salah and the greater becomes his reward, and the more noble and nearer to Allah becomes the worshipper. But should he be filled with pride, Allah will destroy him and will reject his deeds, for the deeds of the proud are never accepted.

It has been narrated in a hadith concerning Prophet Ibrahim, `alaihis salam, Allah’s Khalil, that he spent the night in worship and remembrance of Allah, and in the morning, he was pleased with the night’s worship and he said: “How Good is the Rabb (Lord), and how good is the slave, Ibrahim (`alaihis salam).” On the following day, finding none to share his food with him – and he loved to share his food – he took his food outside to the road and sat, waiting for any passerby to eat with him. then two angels descended from the heavens and approached him.So he invited them to eat with him and they accepted. Then Ibrahim `alaihis salam suggested that they approach a nearby garden which contained a fresh water spring. They agreed to this and approached the garden, only to find that the spring had run underground, so there was no water. This was a severe blow to Ibrahim, `alaihis salam, and he was  embarrassed by what he had said (because there was no spring in evidence) and so the angels said to him: “Ask your Rabb to return the spring.” He did so, but the spring did not appear, and this was a great blow to him and so he said to the angels: “You ask Allah.” So one of them asked Him, and behold! The water returned, then the other supplicated Allah and the water flowed near to them. Then they informed him that his being impressed by his own standing in prayer the previous night had caused his supplication to be rejected.

So beware – may Allah have mercy on you – of pride, for no deed will be accepted if it is accompanied by pride. Be humble in your Salah. Should any of you stand in Salah before his Rabb, he should know Allah, in his heart by the great blessings which He bestows upon him and the abundant favour which He grants him, for Allah has honoured him with great goodness, but he has saddled himself with sins. Therefore it is incumbent upon him to be excessive in his humility and meekness towards Allah.

It is reported from Abu ad-Darda that he said, “That may face be covered in dust for my Rabb (is most loved by me), – for that is the best kind of worship for Allah.” So let none of you fear the dust, nor find it distasteful to make sujud in it, for there is no doubt that every one of you comes from it (i.e. mankind was created from dust). Nor should any of you fear an excess of it, for verily, it is by this means that one attempts to attain freedom from slavery and salvation from the Hellfire – a fire before which the fixed lofty mountains which were placed as pegs (holding the earth) could not stand, nor the seven strong heavens, built one above another, which are placed as a well graded canopy over us, nor the earth, which was placed as a dwelling for us, nor the seven seas, of which none knows their depths or their size except the One Who created them. Then what about us, with our feeble bodies, our delicate bones, our flimsy skin? We seek refuge with Allah from the Fire!

So should any of you stand in Salah – may Allah have mercy on you – then let him be as if he sees Allah before him, for though he may not see Allah, verily, Allah sees him. It is narrated in a hadith that Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, advised a man, saying:

“Fear Allah as though you see Him, for verily, though you may not see Him, He sees you.” [Something similar to this wording is quoted in the hadith in which the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam spoke to Jibril, `alaihis salam, informing him about the meaning of ihsan, as reported by Bukhari and Muslim.]

This then, is the advice of the Prophet, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, to the slave in all his affairs, so what about when he performs Salah, when he stands before Allah, in a particular place, a sacred place, desiring Allah and turning his face towards Him? Does not his standing, his situation in Salah merit the same ihsan as all his affairs? It says in a hadith:

“Verily, the slave, when he starts his Salah, should turn his face to Allah, and he should not turn it away from Him until he leaves or turns to right and left.” [That is, when he makes taslim at the end of the prayer.] (Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa’i).

It is also narrated in a hadith:

Verily, the slave, as long as he is in Salah, possesses three qualities: Blessings are showered upon his head from the heavens above, the angels sit around him, from his feet to the heavens and a caller says: ‘If the slave knew the One Who hears his whispered utterances, he would never leave his Salah.'” [This narration was mentioned by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Mirwazi in Kitab as-Salah from the hadith of Al-Hasan Al-Basri in a mursal form (an incomplete chain of narrations, in which no Companion is mentioned).

Allah showers His Mercy upon the worshipper who approaches prayer  in a state of humility and meekness towards Allah, in fear and supplicating Him with desire (for His Pleasure), and in hope (of His Mercy), making Salah to his Rabb, his most important consideration, dedicating his whispered utterances to Him and his standing erect in worship and his ruku` and his sujud, poring out his heart and his feelings and struggling to perfect his acts of worship, for he knows not whether he will perform another prayer after it, or whether he will be overtaken (by death) before he can perform Salah again. He stands before his Rabb, earnestly, with deep feelings, hoping for its acceptance and fearing its rejection, for verily, its acceptance is a cause for joy, while its rejection is a cause for misery and wretchedness. Nothing could be more important to you – O my brother – in this Salah, or indeed in any of your actions [i.e. that Allah should accept them]. What is more deserving of your distress and misery, your fear – indeed your terror – you know not whether your Salah will find favour with Allah at all, nor whether any of your good deeds will be accepted.

Do you know if your sins will be forgiven at all? After all this, you have no assurance that you will be spared from it (i.e. the punishment of the Hellfire). So who is more deserving of your tears and sadness [than Allah] – that He may accept from you (your deeds)? In addition to this, you know not whether or not you will awaken in the morning, nor if you will still be here in the evening – will you be given the good news of Paradise, or the bad news of the Hellfire? I only desire to warn you – O my brother – of this terrible danger. It is not fitting that you should be happy because of your family, your wealth or your children. It is a most amazing thing that you should continue to be unmindful, chasing after vain desires, wasting your time in disregard of this most important matter, for you are being driven at a fierce pace (towards death) day and night, hour by hour, like the blink of an eye. You should expect – O my brother – that your time may come at any moment and do not be unmindful of this great danger which may visit you. Most assuredly, you must (eventually) taste death.

Your time may come in the morning or in the evening. You will be separated from all that you possessed – either (to be rewarded with) Paradise or (to be punished in) the Hellfire. Descriptions and stories of them (have become) superfluous. Have you not heard – O my brother the words of the pious slave: “I am amazed concerning the Hellfire – how does the one who could flee from it sleep? And I am amazed concerning the Jannah – how does the one who desires it sleep? For by Allah! If you neither desire Paradise, nor fear the Hellfire, then you are destroyed and grievous will be your sorrow, interminable your sadness and without limit your tears; you will be amongst the wretched, the punished ones. So if you claim that you are amongst those who seek refuge from the Fire and desire Paradise, then strive for that which you seek and do not be misled by your worldly desires.”

Posted from the Book – Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s Treatise on Prayer (Salah)
Translated by Sameh Strauch

This treaties, by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was written several hundred years ago to the inhabitants of a town where the Imam stayed for a period of time. It contains a full and clear description of the prayer and includes detailed observations of the mistakes, which Imam Ahmad observed during his time in that town. It was and remains an invaluable work for all Muslims, detailing as it does many common errors made during prayers, some of which are serious enough to invalidate the act of worship. The book includes several explanatory notes by the translator, Sameh Strauch.

The Connection of the Soul to the Body : Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751H)
Source : Kitaabur-Rooh (p. 44)

The soul (ar-rooh) is connected to the body in five different ways, to which different rules apply.

[1] Its connection to the body as a fetus in his mother’s womb.

[2] Its connection to the body after a person is born.

[3] Its connection to the body when a person is asleep, when the soul is connected in one way and separated from it in another way.

[4] Its connection to the body in al-Barzakh (the period between a person’s death and the Day of Resurrection), when it has departed from the body and separated from it, but is not separated completely in such a way that there is no connection at all. We have mentioned at the beginning of this reply that there are ahaadeeth and reports which indicate that the soul is returned to the body when somebody sends the greeting of salaam to a deceased person. This returning is of a special nature which does not mean that the life is restored to the body before the Day of Resurrection.

[5] Its connection to the body on the Day when bodies will be resurrected. This is the most perfect type of connection to the body, and has no comparison to the previous types, because after that the body will never die, sleep or have anything wrong with it.

When a person is asleep, his soul is in his body and he is alive, although his being alive is not the same as that of a person who is awake, for sleep is comparable to death. Similarly, when a dead person’s soul is returned to his body (when the greeting is sent upon him), he is in a state between one who is alive and one who is dead, whose soul is not restored to his body. This is like the case of a sleeping person who is in a state between life and death. We hope that this will dispel a lot of your confusion.

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