20 - Ta-Ha

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 20.1

Al-Jalalayn

Tā hā: God knows best what He means by these [letters].

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(Ta. Ha. We have not revealed unto thee (Muhammad) this Qur'an that thou shouldst be distressed) [20:1-2]. Muqatil said: "Abu Jahl and al-Nadr ibn al-Harith said to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace: 'You have become distressed because of leaving our religion'. They said this because they saw him immersed in worship for long times and striving hard. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse". Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu'l-Shaykh al-Hafiz> Abu Yahya> al-'Askari> Abu Malik> Juwaybir> al-Dahhak who said: "When the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, he and his Companions stood up to pray. The unbelievers of Quraysh said: 'This Qur'an was only revealed to Muhammad to make him distressed'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Ta. Ha), He says: O man (We have not revealed unto thee (Muhammad) this Qur'an that thou shouldst be distressed)".

Ibn Al Kathir

The Qur'an is a Reminder and a Revelation from Allah

We have already discussed the separated letters at the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, so there is no need to repeat its discussion here. Allah says,

مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) Juwaybir reported that Ad-Dahhak said, "When Allah sent the Qur'an down to His Messenger, he and his Companions adh- ered to it. Thus, the idolators of the Quraysh said, `This Qur'an was only reve- aled to Muhammad to cause him distress.' Therefore, Allah revealed,

طه - مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى - إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى

(Ta Ha. We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress, but only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah).) The matter is not like the people of falsehood claim. Rather, whomever Allah gives knowledge to, it is because Allah wants him to have an abundance of good. This like what is confirmed in the Two Sahihs on the authority of Ibn Mas`ud, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ يُرِدِ اللهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّين»

(Whomever Allah wants good for, then He gives him the understanding of the religion. ) Mujahid commented on Allah's statement,

مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) "This is like His statement,

مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُواْ

(So recite as much of the Qur'an as may be easy (for you).) 73:20For, the people used to hang ropes at their chests (to hang on to when tired) in the prayer.'' Qatadah said,

مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) "No, by Allah, He did not make it a thing of distress. Rather, He made it a mercy, a light and a guide to Paradise.'' Allah said,

إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى

(But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah).) Allah revealed His Book and sent His Messenger as a mercy for His servants, so that the person who reflects may be reminded. Thus, a man will benefit from what he hears of the Book of Allah, it is a remembrance in which Allah revealed what He permits and prohibits. His saying,

تَنزِيلاً مِّمَّنْ خَلَق الاٌّرْضَ وَالسَّمَـوَتِ الْعُلَى

(A Revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens. ) means, `This Qur'an, which has come to you, O Muhammad, is a revelation from your Lord. He is the Lord of everything and its King. He is Most Able to do whatever He wills. He created the earth with its low depths and dense regions. He created the lofty heavens with their high altitudes and subtleties.' It has been reported in a Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi and others graded as authentic, that the density of each sky of the heavens is the distance of five hundred years travel and the distance between it and the next heaven is also five hundred years. Concerning Allah's statement,

الرَّحْمَـنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى

(The Most Gracious Istawa the Throne.) A discussion concerning this has already preceded in Surat Al-A`raf, so there is no need to repeat it here. The safest path to take in understanding this, is the way of the Salaf (predecessors). Their way was to accept that which has been reported concerning this from the Book and the Sunnah without describing it, reinterpreting it, resembling it to creation, rejecting it, or comparing it to attributes of the creatures. Concerning Allah's statement,

لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِي الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى

(To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil.) This means all of this is owned by Him and in His grasp. It is all under His control, will, intent and judgement. He created all of this, He owns it and He is the God of all of it. There is no true God other than He and no Lord other than He. Concerning Allah's statement,

وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى

(and all that is under the soil.) Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "This means that which is beneath the seventh earth.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى

(And if you speak aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) This means that He Who revealed this Qur'an, has also created the high heavens and the earth and He knows that which is secret and what is even more hidden. As Allah says,

قُلْ أَنزَلَهُ الَّذِى يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً

(Say: "It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') 25:6`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى

(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) "The secret is what the son of Adam hides within himself, and

وَأَخْفَى

(that which is yet more hidden. ) is the deeds of the son of Adam, which are hidden before he does them. Allah knows all of that. His knowledge encompasses that which has passed and that which is in the future and it is one, complete knowledge. In this regard, all of the creatures are as one soul to Him. That is the meaning of His statement,

مَّا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ إِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ

(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as a single person.) 31:28Concerning Allah's statement,

اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنَى

(Allah! There is no God but Him! To Him belongs the Best Names.) This means, `He Who revealed this Qur'an to you (O Muhammad), He is Allah, there is no God except Him. He is the Owner of the Best Names and the most lofty attributes.'

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

This verse makes plain the meaning of the previous one. The object of the Revelation of the Qur'an is riot to make the Holy Prophet do something impossible and to put him to unnecessary distress by demanding from him to imbue the hearts of the obdurate people with Faith, but to admonish those people who have fear of Allah. Therefore the Holy Prophet should not waste his efforts on those people who have no fear of God left in them, and who do not bother at all about what is Truth and what is falsehood.

That is, "After creating the universe, He is ruling over it and conducting all the affairs of its management."

That 'is, "You need not complain to Allah in a loud voice against the persecution from which you and your companions are suffering and the mischievous machinations your enemies are devising to defeat you for Allah is fully aware of all those things, and He hears even the complaints you cherish in your hearts."

That is, "He possesses all the excellent attributes and characteristics."

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said upon the explanation of Allah's saying: (Ta. Ha. We have not revealed unto thee (Muhammad) this Qur'an that thou shouldst be distressed) We have not revealed the Qur'an to you that you should toil. This verse was revealed when the Prophet (pbuh) used to stand in prayer at night vigil until his feet swelled up, and so Allah alleviated this for him through this verse. He said: Taha, which in the dialect of Mecca means: O man, i.e. O Muhammad, We have not sent Gabriel with the Qur'an for you to toil.