47 - Muhammad

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 47.19


Know, then, that there is no god except God, that is to say, adhere, O Muhammad (s), to knowledge of this [fact] that will benefit you at the Resurrection, and ask forgiveness for your sin — this was said to him, despite his infallibility (‘isma), so that his community might emulate him [in this respect]. Indeed he did do this. The Prophet (s) said, ‘Verily I do ask God for forgiveness a hundred times every day’ — and for the believing men and believing women — herein is an honouring for them, by having their Prophet enjoined to ask forgiveness for them. And God knows your going to and fro, your bustle during the day in pursuit of your business, and your place of rest, when you retire to where you sleep at night. In other words, He has knowledge of all your states, nothing of which can be hidden from Him, so be mindful of Him — the address [in this verse] is meant for believers as well as others.


…And ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and women…He said:That is, ‘Seek forgiveness for the desire (himma) of the natural self (nafs al-ṭabʿ).’ The Prophet said, ‘There is not one among us who has not had the desire [to do something] and then transgressed.’This means that a [person’s] lower self (nafs) intended something, overwhelming the heart (ʿalā’l-qalb), for the immediate [gratification of its share of] lusts (ʿājil al-shahawāt), but then thatperson turned away from that [intent] and sought forgiveness from God, just as the Prophet said: ‘Truly, my heart becomes clouded, and truly I ask forgiveness from God, Exalted is He, seventy times every day.’ His words:

Ibn Al Kathir

The Description of the Situation of the Hypocrites and the Command to maintain Tawhid and seek Forgiveness

Allah describes the hypocrites' stupidity and limited understanding. They used to sit before Allah's Messenger and listen to his words without understanding anything. Then when they left from his presence,

قَالُواْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ

(they say to those who have received knowledge) from the Companions

مَاذَا قَالَ ءَانِفاً

("What is it that he has said just now'') meaning, at this moment. They did not understand what he said, nor did they care about it. Allah says,

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَاتَّبَعُواْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ

(Such are the men whose hearts Allah has sealed because they followed their lusts.) which means that they had neither sound understanding nor correct intentions. Allah then says,

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْاْ زَادَهُمْ هُدًى

(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.

وَءَاتَـهُمْ تَقُوَاهُمْ

(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance. Allah then says,

فَهَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ السَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ بَغْتَةً

(Do they then await except that the Hour should come upon them suddenly) meaning, while they are unaware of it.

فَقَدْ جَآءَ أَشْرَاطُهَا

(But already there have come (some of) its portents;) meaning, the signs of its approach. This is similar to Allah's saying,

هَـذَا نَذِيرٌ مِّنَ النُّذُرِ الاٍّوْلَى - أَزِفَتِ الاٌّزِفَةُ

(This is a warner of the warners of old. The approaching Day has drawn near.) (53:56-57) And His saying,

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ

(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has split.) (54:1) And His saying,

أَتَى أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ

(The command of Allah is coming, so do not be impatient for it.) (16:1) And His saying,

اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَـبُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ

(The people's Day of Reckoning has approached while they turn away in heedlessness.) (21:1) Thus, the Messenger's advent is one of the signs of the Hour, because he is the Finality of the Messengers. With him, Allah has completed the religion and established the evidence against all people in a way that was never done by a previous Prophet. Allah's Messenger has most clearly informed about the signs and indications of the Hour, as we have discussed elsewhere. Al-Bukhari recorded from Sahl bin Sa`d, may Allah be pleased with him, that he saw Allah's Messenger bring his index and middle fingers together while he said,

«بُعِثْتُ أَنَا وَالسَّاعَةَ كَهَاتَيْن»

(I have been sent before the Hour as these two (fingers).) Allah continues,

فَأَنَّى لَهُمْ إِذَا جَآءَتْهُمْ ذِكْرَاهُمْ

(and when it (actually) is on them, how can they benefit then by their reminder) meaning, how would remembering benefit the disbelievers when the Hour comes upon them This is similar to Allah's saying,

يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَذَكَّرُ الإِنسَـنُ وَأَنَّى لَهُ الذِّكْرَى

(On that Day will the human being remember, but what would that remembrance avail him then) (89:23) And His saying,

وَقَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَأَنَّى لَهُمُ التَّنَاوُشُ مِن مَّكَانِ بَعِيدٍ

(They will say (in the Hereafter): "Now we believe in it!'' But how could they claim belief from such a far place) (34:52) Allah then says,

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلأاللَّهِ

(So know that La ilaha illallah) This is a declaration that there is no true God except Allah. It is not something that is easy for him to command the people to have knowledge of. That is why Allah connected it with,

وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ

(and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and women.) In the Sahih, it is recorded that Allah's Messenger used to say,

«اللْهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي خَطِيئَتِي وَجَهْلِي وَإِسْرَافِي فِي أَمْرِي وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي، اللْهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي هَزْلِي وَجِدِّي، وَخَطَئِي وَعَمْدِي، وَكُلُّ ذلِكَ عِنْدِي»

(O Allah, forgive my sin, my ignorance, my immoderation in my affairs, and all that You know better about my (faults) than myself. O Allah, forgive for me my joking, my seriousness, my unintended error, and my deliberate (mistakes) -- and I have done of all that.) It is also reported in the Sahih that he used to say at the end of the prayer,

«اللْهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ، وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ، وَمَا أَسْرَفْتُ، وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي، أَنْتَ إِلهِي لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْت»

(O Allah, forgive for me what I have previously done, what I may commit in future, what I have committed secretly, what I have committed openly, what I have done excessively, and all sins that You know better than me. You are my God. There is no (true) God except You.) It is also recorded in the Sahih that he used to say,

«يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ تُوبُوا إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ، فَإِنِّي أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ فِي الْيَوْمِ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّة»

(O people! Repent to your Lord! Verily, I ask Allah for forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times every day.) Allah then says,

وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ

(And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest.) means, He knows how you behave during the day, and where you settle at night. This is similar to His saying,

وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَتَوَفَّـكُم بِالَّيْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُم بِالنَّهَارِ

(It is He Who takes your souls by night and knows all that you do by day.)(6:60) And He says,

وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِى كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

(And there is no moving creature on earth but its provision is up to Allah, and He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (before birth and after death) -- all is in a clear register.) (11:6)

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

One of the morals taught to man by Islam is also this: However hard and sincerely may man be trying to serve and worship Iris Lord and fighting and struggling in the cause of His Religion, he should never be involved in the misunderstanding that he has done and accomplished whatever he was required to do. Rather, on the contrary, he should have the feeling that he has not been able to do full justice to what was expected of him by his Lord and Master. Therefore, he should confess his errors constantly and pray to Allah saying 'Lord, forgive me for whatever fault and error I may have committed in Your service." 'this is indeed the essence of Allah's Command: 'O Prophet. ask forgiveness for your fault..'' 'This does lint mean that God forbid. the Holy Prophet had actually committed an error willfully, but its correct meaning is that it did not even behoove the servant who was the greatest worshiper of his Lord that Ire should harbor even a tinge of the pride of accomplishment in his heart, but Iris true position also was that in spite of all his great :end glorious services he should continue confessing his shortcomings before Iris Lord. It was under this state of the mind that the Holy Prophet often implored his Lord for forgiveness. According to Abu Da'ud and Nasa'i, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said: "I implore Allah for forgiveness one hundred rimes every day.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(So know) O Muhammad (that there is no God save Allah) there is none that harms or benefits, gives or withholds, raises or abases except Allah; and it is also said that this means: and know there is nothing that has the merit of “there is no deity save Allah”, (and ask forgiveness for thy sin) O Muhammad, when he beat up Zayd Ibn al-Samin, the Jew (and for believing men and believing women) and seek forgiveness for the sins of the believing men and believing women. (Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil) your goings and comings as well as your works in the life of the world (and your place of rest) and He knows your destination and abode in the Hereafter.