Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(This is the Scripture), i.e. this is the Book that Muhammad (pbuh) is reciting to you; (whereof there is no doubt). There is no doubt that it has come from Me; if you believe in it, I shall guide you, but if you do not believe in it, I will torment you. It is also said that (This is the Scripture) refers to the Guarded Tablet. It is also said that this means: This is the Book that I promised to reveal to you on the Day of the Covenant (yawm al-mithaq). It is also said (this is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt) means there is no doubt that the description and traits of Muhammad are found in the Torah and Gospel. (A guidance unto those who ward off (evil)), means that the Qur'an is an exposition for those who ward off disbelief, associating partners with Allah and indecencies. It is also said that it means: it is a favour to the believers; or that it means it is a mercy unto those who ward off evil from among the community of Muhammad (pbuh).
This is the writing in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the godwary.
It has been said that This is the writing is an allusion to what God has written against Himself for MuḤammad's community: “Surely My mercy takes precedence over My wrath.” God does that in His words, “Your Lord has written mercy against Himself” [6:54]. It has also been said that it is an allusion to the faith and recognition that God has written upon the hearts of the believers. Thus He says, “He wrote faith in their hearts” [58:22].
In this verse, it is as if God is saying, “My servant, I have written the imprint of faith in your heart, I have mixed in the perfume of friendship, I have decorated paradise for you, I have adorned
your heart with the light of recognition, I have lit up the candle of union with Me, I have stamped the seal of love on your heart, and I have written the inscription of passion in your awareness.”
“He wrote faith in their hearts: I wrote in the Tablet, but I wrote only your description. I wrote in your hearts, but I wrote only My description. I wrote your description in the Tablet, and I showed it to Gabriel. I wrote My description in your heart-how could I have shown it to an enemy? In the Tablet I wrote your loyalty and disloyalty; in your heart I wrote laudation and recognition. What I wrote about you has not changed. How could what I wrote about Myself change? Moses carved out a stone from the mountain, and, when I wrote the Torah therein, the stone turned into emerald. The recognizer's heart was made of harsh stone-when I wrote My name therein, it turned into a notebook of exaltedness.”
A guidance for the godwary. In another place, He said, “It is a guidance and a healing for those who have faith” [41:44]. He is saying that this Qur'an is guidance for the godwary, healing for the faithful, the cause of familiarity, assistance for clarity, a key for the ears, a mirror for the eyes, a lamp for hearts, a healing for pain, a light for the eyes of the familiar, springtime for the spirits of the friends, admonition for the fearful, mercy for the faithful.
It is a Qur'an whose eternity's rising place is the brilliance of the Divinity, a book whose coming down was made easy by the Lordhood, a writing whose guardian and protector is the exaltedness of Unity by virtue of jealousy. It is found in the house of the decree and guarded inside the curtain of the Real's guarding. God says, “Surely it is We who have sent down the Remembrance, and surely it is We who are its guards” [15:9].
Since you know that the Qur'an is guidance for the godwary, you should establish the lineage of godwariness so that it may take you inside the curtain of its protection. God says, “Surely the noblest of you with God is the most godwary” [49:13]. Tomorrow at the resurrection, every lineage will be broken except the lineage of godwariness. Everyone sheltered by godwariness today will be the neighbor of the Patron tomorrow. Thus it has been reported, “The people will be mustered on the Day of Resurrection. Then God will say to them, 'It is a long time that you have been speaking and I have been silent. Today you be silent and I will speak. Surely I took away your lineages but you refused all but your own lineages. I said, 'Surely the most noble of you with God is the most godwary,' but you refused and said, 'So-and-so, son of so-and-so.' So I took away your lineages and put in place My lineage. Today I will take away My lineage and put in place your lineages. The Folk of the Gathering will come to know who are the possessors of nobility and where are the godwary.”
ʿUmar KhaṬṬāb said to Kaʿb al-AḤbār, “Speak to me about godwariness.”
He said, “O ʿUmar, have you ever passed through a field of thorns?” He said that he had. He said, “What did you do? How did you go into that field of thorns?”
ʿUmar said, “I set forth briskly, I kept my clothing close to me, and I avoided the thorns.” He said, “ʿUmar, that is godwariness.”
Concerning it a poet said,
Let go of sins, the great and the small, for that is godwariness. Be like a walker in a thorn bed, cautious with what he sees.
Do not look down on the small-a mountain is made of pebbles.
Then He begins with the attribute and adornment of the godwary. He says,
That, meaning, this, Book, which Muhammad (s) recites, in it there is no doubt, no uncertainty, that it is from God (the negation [lĀ rayba fĪhi] is the predicate of dhĀlika; the use of the demonstrative here is intended to glorify [the Book]). A guidance (hudĀ is a second predicate, meaning that it [the Book] ‘guides’), for the God-fearing, namely, those that tend towards piety by adhering to commands and avoiding things prohibited, thereby guarding themselves from the Fire;
Alif lām mīm. That Book: these three letters constitute an allusion to the entirety of existence qua totality, because alif alludes to the essence of the one who is the first of existence, as has been mentioned; lām [alludes] to the active intellect, called Gabriel, who is the middle of existence receiving emanation from the principle [of existence] and overflowing upon the end [of existence]; mīm [alludes] to Muḥammad who is the last of existence with whom the cycle [of existence] comes full circle and [its last] is joined to its first, which is why he [Muḥammad] is the seal. He said, 'Verily time has come full circle back to its form on the day when God created the heavens and the earth'. According to one of the [pious] predecessors, 'The lām is made up of two alifs', in other words, analogous to the Essence together with its attribute of knowledge, which together constitute two of the three divine realms we have alluded to. It is thus one of God's Names, for each Name is made up of the Essence together with some [particular] attribute. As for mīm, this is an allusion to the Essence together with all of the attributes and the acts that have been veiled therein in the Muḥammadan form, which is God's Greatest Name, so that none knows this [Name] except the one who knows it. Do you not know how mīm, which is the form of the Essence, is veiled by Itḍ Mīm has a yāÌ and the yāÌ has an alif. The mysterious aspect of the letters of the alphabet is that there is no letter that does not contain an alif. This [explanation] is similar to the statement that the meaning [of these letters] constitutes an oath by God, the Knowing, the Wise. For Gabriel is the locus of manifestation of knowledge and is thus His Name the Knowing, while Muḥammad is the locus of manifestation of wisdom and is thus His Name the Wise. From this becomes manifest the meaning of the statement, 'In every one of His Names there are an infinite number of names. In the realm of wisdom, which is the realm of cause and effect, knowledge is not complete and is not perfected unless it is combined with the act whereupon it becomes a wisdom.
Therefore submission [to God] (islām) does not result simply by saying 'there is no god except God', unless it is combined with 'Muḥammad is the Messenger of God'. The meaning of this verse then is: alif lām mīm, that promised Book, in other words, the form of the all-comprehensive totality [of existence], suggested by the book of number mysticism (jafr), that subsumes everything promised to be with the Mahdī at the end of time. Only he will be able to read it as it really is. The [book of] number mysticism is the Tablet of Decree (lawḥ al-qaḍāÌ), which is the universal intellect (ʿaql al-kull), while the all-comprehensive is the Tablet of Determination (lawḥ al-qadar), which is the universal soul (nafs al-kull). The meaning then of the book of number mysticism and the all-comprehensive [totality] that contain everything that has been and that will be is like your saying sūrat al-Baqara and sūrat al-Naml.
[That Book] in it there is no doubt, upon verification of its truth. The implied sense of this statement is: by the Truth that is the totality qua totality because it is the clarification of that book whose coming the tongues of prophets and their scriptures have promised, as Jesus, peace be upon him, said: 'We bring you the revelation. But as for the interpretation, the Mahdī will bring it at the end of time'. The apodosis of the oath is omitted because it is indicated by that book, just as it is omitted in several instances in the QurÌān such as by the sun [Q. 91:1] and by those that wrest violently [Q. 79:1] and others. In other words [there is no doubt that] We shall indeed reveal that book promised in the Torah and the Gospel and it will be with Muḥammad, omitted because it is indicated by His words that Book. In other words, 'that Book made known in the preceding knowledge promised in the Torah and the Gospel is the truth such that there can be no doubt concerning it'.
A guidance for those who guard themselves, that is, guidance in itself for those who guard against depravities and the veils that prevent acceptance of the truth in it. Know that people in terms of [their status at] the end will be of seven kinds, for they are either fortunate or wretched. God says, some of them will be wretched, and [some] fortunate [Q.
[Q. 11:105]. The wretched ones will be 'those of the left [hand]', while the fortunate ones will either be 'those of the right [hand]' or 'those foremost, the ones brought near' [cf. Q. 56:8-11]. God says, and you will be three kinds…[to the end of] the verse [Q. 56:7]. As for those of the left [hand], they will either be the banished ones 'for whom the Word has proved true', and these are the people of the darkness and the universal veil that has been sealed upon their hearts from pre-eternity, as God says: and We have indeed urged unto Hell many of the jinn and mankind…[to the end of] the verse [Q. 7:179]. In the ḥadīth of the Lord: 'These I have created for the Fire and I am not concerned for them'. As for the hypocrites who had been prepared originally, receptive of illumination in accordance with [their] innate disposition (fiṭra) and the [first] creation [cf. Q. 56:62]; but their hearts have been veiled by the engulfing [cf. 83:14] that has been acquired by [their] acquisition of vices and the committing of acts of disobedience and the pursuit of bestial and predatorial acts, as well as [their] engaging in devilish plots, such that these corrupt miens and dark traits have become deep-rooted in their souls and have piled up upon their inner-hearts so that they are full of doubt, perplexed, wandering lost, their works have failed [cf. Q. 2:217] and their heads hang low [cf. Q. 32:12]. They will suffer a more severe chastisement and their state will be worse than the former group because of the incompatibility between the grip of their [original] preparedness and their [subsequent corrupted] state; both of these groups are the people of this world. As for those of the right [hand], they are either: the people of bounty and reward who have believed and performed righteous deeds for the sake of [attaining] Paradise, hoping for it and satisfied with it, and who 'find all that they did present' [cf. Q. 18:49] commensurate with their varying degrees [of merit]: all shall have degrees [of requital] according to what they have done [Q. 6:132]. Among these [last] are the people of mercy who remain upon the security of their souls and the purity of their hearts, who will take up their degrees of Paradise in accordance with their [individual] preparedness through the bounty of their Lord, not on account of their perfections as legacy of their works.
Or they [those of the right hand] are the people of pardon, who have 'mixed a righteous deed with another that was bad' [cf. Q. 9:102], and these [people] are [also] divided into two groups:
1) those who are immediately pardoned on account of the strength of their belief and that their bad deeds are not deeply rooted, because they did not engage in them often, and as a consequence of their repentance of these [deeds]: for such God will replace their evil deeds with good deeds [Q. 25:70];
2) those who will be chastised for a time commensurate with the extent to which acts of disobedience have become entrenched in them, until they are rid of the filth that they have earned and are saved, being the people of [God's] justice and requital: and those among these who have transgressed shall also be smitten by the evils of what they have earned [Q. 39:51]. But the [divine] mercy shall overtake them.
All three [of these groups] are the people of the Hereafter. As for the foremost (sābiqūn), they are either the lovers (muḥibbūn) or the beloved (maḥbūbūn). The loving are those who have struggled in the way of God a struggle worthy of Him [cf. Q. 22:78] and have turned penitently to Him a turning worthy of Him and whom He then guides to His ways. The beloved are the people of [His] pre-eternal providence whom He has elected and guided to a straight path. Both types are the people of God. The QurÌān thus is not a guide for the first group from among the wretched because of their refraining from receiving guidance on account of their non-preparedness; nor [is it a guide] for the second group because of the disappearance of their preparedness, and their transfiguration (maskh) and their total obliteration (ṭams) in their corrupt beliefs. These then are the people who will abide in the Fire, except what God wills. It [the QurÌān] thus remains a guide for the other five [groups] subsumed by 'the God-fearing'.
The beloved needs the guidance of the Book after his [initial] attraction (jadhb) and his arrival at the wayfaring to God on account of His saying to His beloved [Muḥammad]: Thus [it is] that We may strengthen your inner-heart with it [Q.
[Q. 25:32]; and His saying [to him]: And all that We relate to you of the accounts of the messengers that with which We might strengthen your inner-heart [Q. 11:120].
The lover, however, needs this [guidance] before the arrival and the attraction and afterwards in order to wayfare to God and in God. Therefore, the 'God-fearing' [mentioned] in this instance are the ones who are prepared, those who have remained upon their original innate disposition and have avoided the [heart-]engulfing idolatry and doubt because of the purity of their hearts and the integrity of their souls and the endurance of their primordial light, and have thus not broken God's covenant. Such fear of God (taqwā) precedes faith (īmān) but [also] contains other stages that come after it, as will be mentioned, if God wills.
The Book, is the Qur'an, and Rayb means doubt. As-Suddi said that Abu Malik and Abu Salih narrated from Ibn `Abbas, and Murrah Al-Hamadani narrated from Ibn Mas`ud and several other Companions of the Messenger of Allah that,
لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ
(In which there is no Rayb), means about which there is no doubt. Abu Ad-Darda', Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Malik, Nafi` `Ata', Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Isma`il bin Abi Khalid said similarly. In addition, Ibn Abi Hatim said, "I do not know of any disagreement over this explanation.'' The meaning of this is that the Book, the Qur'an, is without a doubt revealed from Allah. Similarly, Allah said in Surat As- Sajdah,
(Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur'an) is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand)) (41:44), and,
(And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism and act on it), and it increases the Zalimin (wrongdoers) in nothing but loss) (17:82).
This is a sample of the numerous Ayat indicating that the believers, in particular, benefit from the Qur'an. That is because the Qur'an is itself a form of guidance, but the guidance in it is only granted to the righteous, just as Allah said,
(O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i. e. the Qur'an, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences) which is in your breasts, ـ a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers) (10:57).
Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud and other Companions of the Messenger of Allah said,
(guidance for the Muttaqin (the pious and righteous persons), means, a light for those who have Taqwa.
The Meaning of Al-Muttaqin
Ibn `Abbas said about,
(guidance for the Muttaqin) that it means, "They are the believers who avoid Shirk with Allah and who work in His obedience.'' Ibn `Abbas also said that Al-Muttaqin means, "Those who fear Allah's punishment, which would result if they abandoned the true guidance that they recognize and know. They also hope in Allah's mercy by believing in what He revealed.'' Further, Qatadah said that,
(Al-Muttaqin), are those whom Allah has described in His statement;
(Who believe in the Ghayb and perform the Salah) (2:3), and the following Ayat. Ibn Jarir stated that the Ayah (2:2) includes all of these meanings that the scholars have mentioned, and this is the correct view. Also, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrated that `Atiyah As-Sa`di said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(And as for Thamud, We showed and made clear to them the path of truth (Islamic Monotheism) through Our Messenger (i.e. showed them the way of success), but they preferred blindness to guidance) (41:17).
testifying to this meaning.
Also, Allah said,
(And shown him the two ways (good and evil).) (90:10)
This is the view of the scholars who said that the two ways refer to the paths of righteousness and evil, which is also the correct explanation. And Allah knows best.
Meaning of Taqwa
The root meaning of Taqwa is to avoid what one dislikes. It was reported that `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked Ubayy bin Ka`b about Taqwa. Ubayy said, "Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it'' `Umar said, "Yes.'' Ubayy said, "What did you do then'' He said, "I rolled up my sleeves and struggled.'' Ubayy said, "That is Taqwa.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Letters of the Arabic alphabet like Alif, Lam, Mim, called the mugatta'at, which are pre-fixed to a number of the Surahs of the Qur'an, were in common use in the Arabic literature of the period when the Qur'an was. revealed. The poets and rhetoricians made use of this style, and instances of this can even be found in the pre-Islamic prose and poetry which has survived. As their significance was appreciated by all concerned, none objected to or questioned their use, because it was no enigma to them. Even the bitterest opponents of the Qur'an, who never missed an opportunity, did not raise any objection against their use. But as their use was abandoned with the passage of time" it became difficult for the commentators to determine their exact meaning and significance. An ordinary reader, however, need not worry about their meanings because they make no difference as tar as the Guidance of the Qur'an is concerned.
Its simple meaning is: "No doubt, this is the Book of Allah", but it may also imply that this is the Book which contains nothing doubtful. It is not like the common books on metaphysics and religion which are based on mere speculation and guess-work. Therefore even their authors cannot be free from doubts concerning their own theories, in spite of their assertion that they are convinced of them. In contrast to them, this Book is based on the Truth: its Author is He Who possesses full knowledge of the Reality. Therefore, there is indeed no room for doubt about its contents.
That is, though there is nothing but guidance in this Book, there are a few pre-requisites for benefiting from it. The first pre-requisite is that one should be inclined to avoid vice, and should seek and practise virtue. But there is no guidance in the Qur'an for the people who do not bother to consider whether what they are doing is right or wrong, who follow the ways of the world or their own whims and lusts or move aimlessly in the ways of life.
The second condition for obtaining guidance from the Qur'an is that one must believe in the "unseen" -- those realities which cannot be perceived by the senses and which do not come within human experience and observation, e.g. the essence and attributes of Allah, Angels, Revelation, Heaven, Hell, etc. These things must be taken on trust from the experts (Prophets) just as we do in many cases in the physical world. Therefore, only such a person, who believes in the "unseen", can benefit from the Guidance of the Qur'an. As for the one who believes only in those things which can be seen, tasted and smelt, or can be measured and weighed, cannot get any guidance from this Book.
The third condition to benefit from the Qur'an is that one should be willing and ready to put into practice the teachings of the Qur'an. As the Salat ( Prayer) is the first and foremost obligatory duty enjoined by the Qur'an, it is the practical proof and permanent test of the sincerity of one's Faith. Therefore, after a person's profession of Islam, the moment he hears the call to the Prayer (which sounds regularly five times a day from every mosque in the Muslim world), he should join the congregation for the Salat, because this determines whether he is sincere in his profession or not. If he does not attend to the call and join the congregation, it is an indication that he is not sincere in his profession. It must also be noted that "iqama-tus-Salat¦(the establishment of Prayer is the comprehensive term. It means that Salat should be performed in congregation and that permanent arrangements should be made for it in every habitation; otherwise Salat will not be considered to have been established, even if every inhabitant of a place offers the Salat individually.
The fourth condition to benefit from the Qur' an is that one should be willing to part with one's money according to the instructions of the Book in order to render the rights of Allah and Man and should make monetary sacrifices for the cause of Islam which he has accepted.
The fifth condition is that one should believe in the truth of all those Books which Allah sent down by Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be His peace and blessings) and the Prophets before him at different times in different countries. Those who do not believe in any kind of guidance from Allah, cannot at all benefit from the guidance of the Qur'an. Likewise those who profess to believe in the necessity of guidance from Allah but do not turn to Revelation and the Prophets for it, or who dub their' own theories as "divine light", cannot obtain any guidance from it. Moreover, guidance is also denied to those who believe only in that revealed Book or Books in which their forefathers believed and reject all other guidance received from the same Source. Apart from all such people, the Qur'an guides only those who believe that they stand in need of Divine Guidance as well as admit that it does not come to every man individually but reaches humanity only through the Prophets and revealed Books.Then those who want guidance should not be slaves to any racial or national prejudices but should be seekers after truth and should submit to it wherever and in whatever form they find it.
This is the sixth and last condition. "Hereafter" is a comprehensive word which applies to the collection of many beliefs, which are as follows: (a) Man has not been created irresponsible in the world but he is answerable to Allah for all his deeds here. (b) The present world order is not everlasting, but has to come to an end at a time only known to Allah. (c) After the present order has been brought to an end, Allah will create a new world, when He will bring back to life all human beings, born from the beginning of creation till Resurrection, simultaneously and will call them to account for their deeds, and then will reward them justly accordingly to what they had done in the world. (d) Those, who will be judged as good by Allah, will go to Paradise, and those who will be judged as bad will be cast into Hell. (e) The criterion of success or failure is not the prosperity or adversity of this worldly life, but successful in actual fact will be he who comes out successful in Allah's final judgement, and failure he who is a failure there. Those who do not believe in the life-after-death with the above implications, cannot benefit from the Qur'an because the one who entertains' even the slightest doubt about these; not to speak of rejecting them, can never follow the way of life which the Qur'an prescribes.
That Book in it there is no doubt It is said that that Book means “this Book.” It is said that [that Book] is an allusion to that which preceded its revelation in the [divine] speech. It is said [that it means] “that Book whose revelation I promised to you on the Day of the Covenant.” In it there is no doubt for this is the time of its revelation. It is said “that Book within which I prescribed mercy on Myself for your community-there is no uncertainty [regarding that] for it has been verified by what I have said.” It is said that “[that Book is] the Book that is My predetermination sābiq ḥukmī and My eternal decree qadīm qaḌāÌī because in it there is no doubt regarding those for whom I have ruled happiness or those whom I have sealed with wretchedness.” It is said that [it means] “My determination ḥukm is what I have said: without doubt My mercy precedes My wrath.” It is said that [it is] an allusion to the faith knowledge love and goodness that is written in the hearts of His friends. Surely the Book of the lovers is something cherished by the lovers especially when deprived of meeting. In the Book of the lovers [they find] their consolation and intimacy their healing and refreshment. With respect to this they recite: Your writing is all around me it does not leave my bed. There is healing in it for that which I conceal. They also recite: The book brought what is most cooling to our eyes a healing for hearts; thereby the utmost limits of desires are granted. People divided happiness into portions among themselves. The most fortunate of them was I. A guidance for the God-fearing That is [it is] an explanation and proof a light and a highway for those whom the Real سبحانه وتعالى has protected from the darknesses of ignorance and given insight with the lights of the intellect and selected for the realities of connecting waṣl. For the friends awliyāÌ this Book is a healing shifāÌ and for the enemies aʿdāÌ [it is] blindness and affliction balāÌ. The one who is God-fearing muttaqin is one who fears ittaqā looking to his own fear of God taqwā; he does not rely on it nor does he consider that he can be saved except through the grace of his Protector.
…In it there is no doubt (rayb)…This means that there is no uncertainty (shakk) in it. A guidance for those who are mindful of God (muttaqūn) — that is, an explanation (bayān) for those who are mindful of God. The mindful of God are those who have freed themselves from the claim of possessing any power or strength except in God, Exalted is He, and who have resorted to taking refuge [in Him] and depending solely on His power and strength in every situation. So God has assisted them and provided for them whence they had no reckoning, and made for them a source of relief and release from the trials to which He has subjected them.Sahl [further] said:God’s power (ḥawl) and strength (quwwa) are [manifest in] His act, His act is according to His knowledge, and His knowledge is among the attributes belonging to His essence. The power and strength of the servant are but a temporary claim which lasts only until the last hour. The last hour is in the possession of God alone, Exalted is He.
(Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Scripture) [2:1-2]. Abu ‘Uthman al-Thaqafi al-Za‘farani informed us> Abu ‘Amr ibn Matar> Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn al-Layth> Abu Hudhayfah> Shibl>Ibn Abi Najih> Mujahid who said: “Four verses from the beginning of this Surah were revealed about the believers, and two verses after these four were revealed about the disbelievers and thirteen verses after these last two were revealed about the hypocrites”.