Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Parable of Bal’am ibn Ba’ura

9th of Jumada ath-Thaani

Suuratul A’araaf Verses 175 and 176

وَٱتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فَٱنسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ فَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلْغَاوِينَ ﴿١٧٥﴾ وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَـٰهُ بِهَا وَلَـٰكِنَّهُۥٓ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُ ۚ فَمَثَلُهُۥ كَمَثَلِ ٱلْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث ۚ ذَّٰلِكَ مَثَلُ ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا ۚ فَٱقْصُصِ ٱلْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿١٧٦

***

175. And recite (O Muhammad ) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat , but he threw them away, so Shaitan (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray.

176. And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Ayat. So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.

~~~

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 4, Page 207

Allah said next,

﴿فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث﴾

“So his parable is the parable of a dog: if you drive him away, he pants, or if you leave him alone, he (still) pants.”

Scholars of Tafsir have conflicting opinions regarding the meaning of this Ayah. Some scholars said that it refers to the end of Bal`am’s tongue which flickered out of his mouth, as in the story narrated from Ibn Ishaq (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 4, Page 204). Therefore, his example is the example of the dog, its tongue pants regardless of whether it is driven away or not.

It was also said that the meaning here is a parable of this man — and his like — concerning their misguidance, persisting the wrong path and not being able to benefit from faith or comprehend what they are being called to. So his example is that of a dog which pants whether it was driven away or left alone. The person described here does not benefit from the advice or the call to faith, just as if the advice and call never occurred. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾

“It is the same to them (disbelievers) whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe.” (Q2:6)

It was also said that the meaning here, is that the heart of the disbeliever, the hypocrite and the wicked is weak and devoid of guidance. Therefore, it keeps faltering.

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The Parable of ‘Isa!!!

4th of Jumada ath-Thaani

Suuratul Al-Imraan Verse 59

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ ٱللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُۥ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿٥٩

***

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

~~~

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 2, Page 175

Allaah said,

﴿إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

“Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah”

Regarding Allaah’s ability, since He created him without a father,

﴿كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ﴾

“is the likeness of Adam,”

For Allaah created Adam without a father or a mother. Rather,

﴿خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ﴾

“He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” and he was.”

Therefore, He Who created Adam without a father or a mother is able to create `Isa, as well, without a father. If the claim is made that `Isa is Allaah’s son because he was created without a father, then the same claim befits Adam even more. However, since such a claim regarding Adam is obviously false, then making the same claim about `Isa is even more false.

Furthermore, by mentioning these facts, Allaah emphasizes His ability, by creating Adam without a male or female, Hawa’ from a male without a female, and `Isa from a mother without a father, compared to His creating the rest of creation from male and female. This is why Allaah said in Surah Maryam,

﴿وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ﴾

“And We made him a sign for mankind” (19: 21)

Allaah said in this Ayah,

﴿الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُنْ مِّن الْمُمْتَرِينَ ﴾

“(This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.”

Meaning, this is the only true story about `Isa, and what is beyond truth save falsehood.

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The Parables of Charity!

3rd of Jumada ath-Thaani

Suuratul Baqarah Verse 261 and 265

***

مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَٰلَهُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِى كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٍ مِّا۟ئَةُ حَبَّةٍ ۗ وَٱللَّـهُ يُضَـٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۗ وَٱللَّـهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٦١

وَمَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَٰلَهُمُ ٱبْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ ٱللَّـهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍۭ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَـَٔاتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِن لَّمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ ۗ وَٱللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ﴿٢٦٥

***

261. The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

265. And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s Pleasure while they in their ownselves are sure and certain that Allah will reward them (for their spending in His Cause), is the likeness of a garden on a height; heavy rain falls on it and it doubles its yield of harvest. And if it does not receive heavy rain, light rain suffices it. And Allah is All-Seer of (knows well) what you do.

~~~

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 2, Page 44.

This is a parable that Allah made of the multiplication of rewards for those who spend in His cause, seeking His pleasure. Allah multiplies the good deed ten to seven hundred times. Allah said,

﴿مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾

“The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah…”

The parable in the Ayah is more impressive on the heart than merely mentioning the number seven hundred. This Ayah indicates that Allah `grows’ the good deeds for its doers, just as He grows the plant for whoever sows it in fertile land. The Sunnah also mentions that the deeds are multiplied up to seven hundred folds. Allah’s statement,

﴿وَاللَّهُ يُضَـعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ﴾

“Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills”

Is according to the person’s sincerity in his deeds.

﴿وَاللَّهُ وَسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ﴾

“And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower”

Meaning, His Favor is so wide that it encompasses much more than His creation, and He has full knowledge in whoever deserves it, or does not deserve it. All the praise and thanks are due to Allah.

Allah’s statement,

﴿كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ﴾

“is that of a garden on a Rabwah”

Means, the example of a garden on `a height above the ground’, as the majority of scholars have stated.

The Ayah indicates that the garden on the Rabwah is always fertile, for if heavy rain does not fall on it, light rain will suffice for it. Such is the case regarding the believer’s good deeds, for they never become barren. Rather, Allah accepts the believer’s righteous deeds and increases them, each according to his deeds. This is why Allah said next,

﴿وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ﴾

“And Allah is All-Seer of what you do”

Meaning, none of His servants’ deeds ever escapes His perfect watch.

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The Parable of Hypocrisy

1st of Jumada ath -Thaanii

Suuratul Baqarah Verse 19

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أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَـٰتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَـٰبِعَهُمْ فِىٓ ءَاذَانِهِم مِّنَ ٱلصَّوَٰعِقِ حَذَرَ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۚ وَٱللَّـهُ مُحِيطٌۢ بِٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ ﴿١٩

***

19. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allah will gather them all together).

~~~

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 1, Page 142

This is another parable which Allah gave about the hypocrites who sometimes know the truth and doubt it at other times. When they suffer from doubt, confusion and disbelief, their hearts are,

﴿كَصَيِّبٍ﴾

“Like a Sayyib”,

Meaning, “The rain”, as Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, and several other Companions have confirmed. The most accepted opinion is that it means the rain that comes down during,

﴿ظُلُمَـتِ﴾

“darkness”,

Meaning, here, the doubts, disbelief and hypocrisy.

﴿وَرَعْدٌ﴾

“thunder”

That shocks the hearts with fear. The hypocrites are usually full of fear and anxiety, just as Allah described them elsewhere,

﴿الْبَرْقَ﴾

“The lightning”,

Is in reference to the light of faith that is sometimes felt in the hearts of the hypocrites,

﴿يَجْعَلُونَ أَصْـبِعَهُمْ فِى ءَاذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكـفِرِينَ﴾

“They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers”,

Meaning, their cautiousness does not benefit them because they are bound by Allah’s all-encompassing will and decision. Allah then said,

﴿يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَـرَهُمْ﴾

“The lightning almost snatches away their sight”

Meaning, because the lightning is strong itself, and because their comprehension is weak and does not allow them to embrace the faith.

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Profound Parables II

Jumada ath-Thaani, 1432

~~~

Indeed, all praise and thanks are due to Allaah. We praise Him; seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek protection from Him from the evils of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomever Allaah guides, no one can misguide him, and whomever He sends astray, there is no other guide for him. I testify that nothing has any right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, having no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger-may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his family, companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment. To proceed:

Assalaam alaykum wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuuh.

This post is titled Profound Parables II but this is not a part two of the previous month’s theme but rather a second attempt at doing justice to the theme. Last two months have been different, filled with activity but gratifying, Alhamdulillaah. Joined an online course and its been hectic re-planning my life around the life sessions and recordings. But I’ve missed my readings of Noble Quran and pouring over Tafsir Ibn Kathir, seeking an insight to the meaning of the words of the Quran. Another reason why I’ve been eager to resume my posts is the saying of the Rasul, may Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him:

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “The best loved deeds to Allah are the ones that are continuous even if they are not very many.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

So inshaAllaah, I’m back, better (I hope) and hopefully I’ll be conveying some pearls from the courses in my future posts! I pray Allaah grants us beneficial knowledge, forgives our sins, makes us steadfast upon good and makes us of those who turn often to Him in repentance, Aamin.

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The Parable of Truth

13th of Jumada al -Uulaa

Suuratul Ra’d Verse 17

 أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌۢ بِقَدَرِهَا فَٱحْتَمَلَ ٱلسَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَّابِيًا ۚ وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيْهِ فِى ٱلنَّارِ ٱبْتِغَآءَ حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَـٰعٍ زَبَدٌ مِّثْلُهُۥ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلْحَقَّ وَٱلْبَـٰطِلَ ۚ فَأَمَّا ٱلزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَآءً ۖ وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ ٱلنَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۚكَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلْأَمْثَالَ ﴿١٧

17. He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface, and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood . Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.

~~~

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 5, Page 259

This honorable Ayah contains two parables which affirm that truth remains and increases, while falsehood diminishes and perishes. Allah said,

﴿أَنزَلَ مِنَ الْسَّمَآءِ مَآءً﴾

“He sends down water from the sky”,

﴿فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا﴾

“and the valleys flow according to their measure”,

each valley taking its share according to its capacity, for some valleys are wider and can retain more water than others which are small and thus retain smaller measures of water. This Ayah indicates that hearts differ, for some of them can retain substantial knowledge while others cannot entertain knowledge, but rather are bothered by knowledge,

﴿فَاحْتَمَلَ السَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَّابِيًا﴾

“but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface”

of the water that ran down the valleys; this is the first parable. Allah said next,

﴿وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيْهِ فِى النَّارِ ابْتِغَآءَ حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَـعٍ﴾

“and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils…”

This is the second parable, whereas gold and silver ore is heated with fire to make adornments with it, and iron and copper ore are heated to make pots and the like with it. Foam also rises to the surface of these ores, just as in the case with water,

﴿كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْحَقَّ وَالْبَـطِلَ﴾

“thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood.”

when they both exist, falsehood does not remain, just as foam does not remain with the water or the gold and silver ores which are heated in fire. Rather, foam dissipates and vanishes,

﴿فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَآءً﴾

“Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks,”

for it carries no benefit and dissipates and scatters on the banks of the valley. The foam also sticks to trees or is dissipated by wind, just as the case with the scum that rises on the surface of gold, silver, iron and copper ores; it all goes away and never returns. However, water, gold and silver remain and are used to man’s benefit. This is why Allah said next,

﴿وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِى الاٌّرْضِ كَذلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الاٌّمْثَالَ﴾

“while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.”

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

﴿وَتِلْكَ الاٌّمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَآ إِلاَّ الْعَـلِمُونَ ﴾

“And these similitudes We put forward for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge”. (29:43)

Some of the Salaf (rightly guided ancestors) said, “When I would read a parable in the Qur’an that I could not comprehend, I would cry for myself because Allah the Exalted says,

﴿وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَآ إِلاَّ الْعَـلِمُونَ﴾

“But none will understand them except those who have knowledge.” (29:43)

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The Parable of Foundations

11th of Jumada al-Uulaa

Suuratul Tawbah Verse 109

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ ٱللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَٰنٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَٱنْهَارَ بِهِۦ فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَٱللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ ﴿١٠٩

109. Is it then he, who laid the foundation of his building on piety to Allah and His Good Pleasure, better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the Fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the Zalimun.

***

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 4 Page 518

Allah the Exalted says that the Masjid that has been built on the basis of Taqwa of Allah and His pleasure is not the same as a Masjid that was been built based on causing harm, disbelief and causing division among the believers, and as an outpost for those who warred against Allah and His Messenger . The latter built their Masjid on the edge of a steep hole,

﴿فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ﴾

“into the fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the wrongdoers.”

Allah does not bring aright the works of those who commit mischief. Jabir bin `Abdullah said, “I saw the Masjid that was built to cause harm with smoke rising up from it, during the time of the Messenger of Allah .”

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