61 - As Saff (The ranks)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 61.1

Al-Jalalayn

All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifies God, that is to say, [everything] proclaims His transcendence (the lām [of li’Llāhi] is extra, and mā has been used instead of min in order to indicate the predominance [of non-rational creatures]) and He is the Mighty, in His kingdom, the Wise, in His actions.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth Allah, and He is the Mighty, the Wise) [61:1-4]. Muhammad ibn Ja"far informed us> Muhammad ibn "Abd Allah ibn Zakariyya> Muhammad ibn "Abd al-Rahman al-Daghuli> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Muhammad ibn Kathir al-San"ani> al-Awza"i> Yahya ibn Abi Kathir> Abu Salamah> "Abd Allah ibn Salam who said: "We sat " a group of Companions of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace " and reminded each other. We said: "If only we knew the most beloved works to Allah, glorified and exalted is He, for we would then perform them". Allah, exalted is He, therefore, revealed (Lo! Allah loveth them who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure) [61:4] up to the end of the Surah. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, read it to us". (O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not?) [61:2-4]. The commentators of the Qur"an said: "Some Muslims used to say: "If we knew the most beloved works to Allah, exalted is He, we would spend our wealth and persons in their sake". And so Allah, exalted is He, directed them to the most beloved works to Him, saying (Lo! Allah loveth them who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure") But when Muslims were tested at the Battle of Uhud, they retreated, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not?)".

Ibn Al Kathir

Chastising Those Who say what They do not do

We mentioned in many a places before the meaning of Allah's statement,

سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

(Whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth glorifies Allah. And He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Therefore, we do not need to repeat its meaning here. Allah's statement,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لاَ تَفْعَلُونَ

(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do) This refutes those who neglect to fulfill their promises. This honorable Ayah supports the view that several scholars of the Salaf held, that it is necessary to fulfill the promise, regardless of whether the promise includes some type of wealth for the person receiving the promise or otherwise. They also argue from the Sunnah, with the Hadith recorded in the Two Sahihs in which Allah's Messenger said,

«آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثٌ: إِذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإِذَا اؤْتُمِنَ خَان»

(There are three signs for a hypocrite: when he promises, he breaks his promise; when speaks, he lies; and when he is entrusted, he betrays.) And in another Hadith in the Sahih,

«أَرْبَعٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ كَانَ مُنَافِقًا خَالِصًا،وَمَنْ كَانَتْ فِيهِ وَاحِدَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ كَانَتْ فِيهِ خَصْلَةٌ مِنْ نِفَاقٍ حَتْى يَدَعَهَا»

(There are four characteristics which if one has all of them, he is the pure hypocrite, and if anyone has any of them, he has a characteristic of hypocrisy, until he abandons it.) So he mentioned breaking the promise among these four characteristics. We mentioned the meaning of these two Hadiths in the beginning of the explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari, and to Allah is the praise and the thanks. Therefore Allah implied this meaning, when He continued His admonishment by saying,

كَبُرَ مَقْتاً عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا لاَ تَفْعَلُونَ

(Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.) Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amir bin Rabi`ah said, "Allah's Messenger came to us while I was a young boy, and I went out to play. My mother said, `O `Abdullah! Come, I want to give you something.' Allah's Messenger said to her,

«وَمَا أَرَدْتِ أَنْ تُعْطِيَهُ؟»

(What did you want to give him) She said, `Dates.' He said,

«أَمَا إِنَّكِ لَوْ لَمْ تَفْعَلِي كُتِبَتْ عَلَيْكِ كَذْبَة»

(If you had not given them to him, it would have been written as a lie in your record.)'' Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "The faithful believers said, `If we only knew the dearest good actions to Allah, we would perform them.' Thus, Allah told them about the dearest actions to Him,saying,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِهِ صَفّاً

(Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows) Allah stated what He likes, and they were tested on the day of Uhud. However, they retreated and fled, leaving the Prophet behind. It was about their case that Allah revealed this Ayah:

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لاَ تَفْعَلُونَ

(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do) Allah says here, `The dearest of you to Me, is he who fights in My cause.''' Some said that it was revealed about the gravity of fighting in battle, when one says that he fought and endured the battle, even though he did not do so. Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that this Ayah was sent down to admonish some people who used to say that they killed, fought, stabbed, and did such and such during battle, even though they did not do any of it. Sa`id bin Jubayr said about Allah's statement,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِهِ صَفّاً

(Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows (ranks)) "Before Allah's Messenger began the battle against the enemy, he liked to line up his forces in rows; in this Surah, Allah teaches the believers to do the same.'' He also said that Allah's statement,

كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَـنٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ

(as if they were a solid structure.) means, its parts are firmly connected to each other; in rows for battle. Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "Firmly connected to each other.'' Ibn `Abbas commented on the meaning of the Ayah,

كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَـنٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ

(as if they were a solid structure.) by saying, "They are like a firm structure that does not move, because its parts are cemented to each other.''

Kashf Al-Asrar

Everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, and He is the Exalted, the Wise.

He who desires to make his glorification of Him limpid should make his heart limpid without the traces of his soul, and he who desires his life in the Garden to be limpid should make his religion limpid without the filth of caprice.

The world's folk are two groups: The life of one group is with the Real's gentleness and bounty, and their ease is the glorification and remembrance of the Real. The life of the other group is a mark of the Real's justice, and their ease is found in the shares of the soul. Those who are the folk of gentleness and bounty have a heart that is limpid, an aspiration that is high, and a breast that is empty for the divine remembrance. Their tongue is given over to bearing witness, their heart turned over to recognition, their spirit mixed with love, their secret core fled to God, and their own attributes disowned. It has been said that every attribute of selfhood is an attachment, every attach- ment a color, and every color a disgrace in the road of men.

He who painted a thousand worlds with color-

why would He buy my color and yours, O bankrupt man!

The glorification and remembrance of this group come from the pure quarry and reach the pure Lord, accepted and approved by God, as He says: "To Him ascend the goodly words, and He uplifts the wholesome deed" [35:10].

As for those who are the mark of the Real's justice and who live through the shares of the soul, their breast is tainted with appetite, their heart is the quarry of trouble, and their inwardness is dif- ferent from their outwardness. Their names are written in the register of the hypocrites. Their acts are different from their words, just as the Lord of the Worlds says:

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

This is a brief introduction to this discourse. For its explanation, see E.N.'s 1,2 of Surah Al-Hadid. The discourse has been opened with this introduction so that before hearing or reading what is going to follow, one may well understand that Allah is free from and far above this that the functioning of His Godhead should depend on someone s faith and another one's help and sacrifices. If He exhorts the believers to adopt sincerity in Faith and urges them to exert their utmost for the success and victory of the Truth, that is for the sake of their own good; otherwise the will of Allah is accomplished by His own power and by His own design, whether somebody makes no effort at all towards its implementation, and whether the whole world joins together to frustrate and resist it stubbornly.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth Allah): '(All that is in the heavens) of created beings (and all that is in the earth) of creatures and living beings (glorifieth Allah) prays to Allah; and it is also said this means: remembers Allah, (and He is the Mighty) in retribution against those who disbelieve in Him, (the Wise) in His command and decree, and He has decreed that none should be worshipped beside Him.