Sunday, 28 October 2012

Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Madani ash-Shafi'i (d.1780CE)

Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Madani ash-Shafi'i


The following is a translation from the book Ashadd al-jihad:

Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Madani ash-Shafi'i (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), [who passed away in Medina in 1194 A.H. (1780),] was questioned about Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi.(d.1792CE) 

He said, “This man is leading the ignoramuses of the present age to a heretical path.

He is extinguishing Allahu ta'ala's light. But Allahu ta'ala will not let His light be extinguished in spite of the opposition of polytheists, and He will enlighten everywhere with the light of the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat."

The [collection of the] questions and his answers at the end of Muhammad ibn Sulaiman's fatwas are as follows:


Oh great 'ulama', the stars who lead to the path of the Best of Creatures (the Prophet)! I ask you: Is a person to be permitted to disseminate his ideas if he says that this umma has wholly dissented from the essence of Islam and from the path of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam), just by measuring with his short sight and narrow mind the knowledge he has gathered from various religious books, and if he says that he is mujtahid and, therefore, is able to derive knowledge on Islam from Allah's Word and Rasulullah's hadiths, although he does not have any of the qualifications stated as necessary by the 'ulama' of Islam for being a mujtahid?

Should he not give up this claim of his and follow the 'ulama' of Islam? 

He says that he is an imam, that it is necessary for every Muslim to follow him and that his madhhab is necessary. He forces Muslims to accept his madhhab. He says that those who do not obey him are unbelievers, that they should be killed and that their possessions should be confiscated. Does this man tell the truth? Or, is he wrong?

Even if a person fulfilled all the requirements necessary for making ijtihad and founded a madhhab, would it be jaiz for him to force everyone to adopt this madhhab?

Is it necessary to adopt a certain madhhab? Or, is everyone free to choose any madhhab he like?

Does a Muslim go out of Islam if he visits the grave of a Sahabi or a pious servant of Allahu ta'ala, vows something for him, cuts an animal near a grave, prays making a mediator of a dead person, takes some soil from such a grave to receive blessings or asks help from Rasulullah or a Sahabi to get redeemed from danger?

Is it permitted to kill such a Muslim even though he says, 'I do not worship the dead person and do not believe that he has the power to do anything. I make an intercessor, mediator, of that person with Allahu ta'ala to make me attain my wish, because, I believe that he is a beloved servant of Allahu ta'ala.' Does a person go out of Islam if he swears by something [or somebody] other than Allah?

 It should be well understood that knowledge is to be learned from a master. Those who learn knowledge, one's religion, from books by themselves make many mistakes. Their mistakes are more than their correct conclusions. There is no one who can employ ijtihad today. Al-Imam ar-Rafii, al-Imam an-Nawawi and Fakhr ad-din ar-Razi said, 'The 'ulama' have come to a unanimous conclusion that there is no one left capable of employing ijtihad today.'

 No alim argued with al-Imam as-Suyuti, who was like an ocean in every science and a profound alim, when he declared that he was a relative (nisbee) mujtahid, that is, a mujtahid belonging to a formerly established madhhab, though he did not say that he was an absolute (mutlaq) mujtahid or that he had his own madhhab. He wrote more than five hundred books. Every book of his shows that he was at a very high level in the sciences of tafsir and hadith and in every branch of Islamic knowledge. Is it apt to believe similar words of those who are very far from the high level of an alim such as al-Imam as-Suyuti while he was not accepted as a relative mujtahid? 

They should not even be listened to. And if one of them goes so far as to say that the books by the 'ulama' of Islam were wrong, we shall doubt his reason and faith. 

Because, we may ask: From whom has he acquired his knowledge? 
Since he has seen neither Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) nor any Sahabi, he should have learned by reading the books by the 'ulama' of Islam if he knows anything. If he says that the books of those 'ulama' are distorted, then how has he himself found the right path?

He should explain this point to us! The imams of the four madhhabs and the great 'ulama' who came up in these madhhabs derived all their knowledge from ayats and hadiths. From which source has he acquired his knowledge which disagrees with theirs? It is obvious that he has not attained the degree of employing ijtihad. The thing this man should do when he encounters a hadith ash-Sharif which he cannot comprehend is to search for the interpretations of that hadith ash-Sharif by mujtahids. He should adopt the interpretation he likes. 

Al-Imam an-Nawawi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), a profound alim, wrote in his book Rawda that his was the way to be followed. Only those profound 'ulama' who had attained the degree of ijtihad could comprehend ayats and hadiths. Non-mujtahids are not permitted to attempt to understand ayats and hadiths. So, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab had better return to the right path and give up his heresies.

"As for his calling Muslims 'unbelievers,' a hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'If a person calls a Muslim an "unbeliever," one of the two becomes an unbeliever. If the accused is a Muslim, the one who accuses becomes an unbeliever.'

Al-Imam ar-Rafii (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), with reference to Tuhfa, wrote in his book Ash-sharh al-kabir, 'The one who calls a Muslim a disbeliever but is unable to explain it away becomes a disbeliever himself, for he will have called Islam disbelief.' 

Al-Imam an-Nawawi, too, wrote the same in his book Rawda. Abu Ishaq al-Isfaraini, al-Halimi, an-Nasr Al-Muqaddasi, al-Ghazali, Ibn Daqiqi 'l-Id and many other 'ulama' said that he becomes a disbeliever whether he is able to explain it away or not.

"As to his permitting killing Muslims and confiscating their properties, a hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'I have been commanded to fight against disbelievers until they say La ilaha illa'llah.' This hadith ash-Sharif shows that it is not permissible to kill Muslims. This hadith ash-Sharif was said in the light of the sixth ayat al-karima of Surat at-Tawba which declares, 'Free them who make tawba and perform salat and give zakat.' The twelfth ayat al-karima of Surat at-Tawba declares, 'They are your brothers in Islam.' It is declared, 'We judge according to the appearance we see. Allahu ta'ala knows the secret,' [That author opposes this hadith sharif too, and says, "We do not care about the words. We look for the intentions and meanings," on the 146th page of his book. There are many such statements, incompatible with ayats and hadiths, in his book.] in a hadith ash-Sharif. Another hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'I am not ordered to dissect the hearts of men and see their secrets.' Hadrat Usama killed a man who had been heard to have said, 'La ilaha illa'llah'; when Usama claimed that the man had not had iman in his heart, Rasulullah declared, 'Did you dissect his heart?'

"It is not permissible for a mujtahid to compel people to accept his madhhab. If he is a Qadi at the court, he may give a ruling according to his ijtihad and may order that his decree be executed.

"As for making nadhr for awliya', the Shafi'i 'ulama' explained this subject in detail. It is noted in the book Hiba with reference to the book Tuhfa: 'If someone makes a vow for a dead wali with the intention that the goods he vowed be for the wali, this nadhr is not sahih. If he vows without this intention his nadhr is sahih, and the goods vowed are to be given to the servants of the wali's tomb, the students and teachers of the madrasa near the tomb and to the poor who live near the tomb. If the people who are used to receiving the vowed goods assemble near the tomb, and if it is a custom of that country that the goods vowed should be given to them, the goods are given to them. If there is no such custom, then the nadhr is invalid. This is reported from as-Samlawi and ar-Ramli, too. Everyone knows that no one amongst those who make nadhr for a dead wali would ever think the goods vowed should be given to the dead wali. Because, everyone knows that the dead do not take or use anything and that the goods are to be given to the poor or to the people who serve at the tomb. This is why it is an 'ibada. In fact, according to the Shafi'i madhhab it is notpermissible to vow to do mubah, makruh or haram things. The 'ibadas and sunnas which are neither fard nor wajib can be vowed as nadhr.'

"Some 'ulama' said 'permissible' and some said 'not permissible' for kissing and rubbing one's face on graves. Those who said 'not permissible' said that it was makruh. Nobody said it was haram.

"As declared in the hadiths quoted at the beginning of our book, to have recourse to prophets and pious Muslims, that is, to put them as intermediaries, or to entreat Allahu ta'ala through them is permissible. There are many hadiths which show that it is permissible to have tawassul (recommendation of oneself to Allahu ta'ala) through pious deeds. It is certainly permissible to have recourse to the mediation of pious men while it is permissible to make so of good deeds.

"As to swearing by some being other than Allahu ta'ala, it is disbelief only if that being is highly esteemed and attributed as a partner to Allahu ta'ala. The hadith ash-Sharif, 'He who swears by someone other than Allah become a disbeliever,' which was related by Hakim and Imam Ahmad and quoted in al-Munawi's book, explains this fact. But al-Imam an-Nawawi, depending on the majority of the 'ulama', wrote that it was makruh and added that the ijma' of Muslims was a document.

"The 114th ayat al-karima of Surat an-Nisa' declares, 'We put into Hell in the hereafter together with unbelievers the person who, after tawhid and guidance have been taught to him, dissents from the right path of Rasulullah and departs from the believers in belief and deeds.' It is understood from this ayat karima also that it is necessary for every believer to follow the path of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. It should not be forgotten that the wolf will devour the lamb out of the flock. Likewise, he who remains outside Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat will go to Hell."

After the above passage, Hadrat Dawud ibn Sulaiman goes on:

"This is the end of our short quotation from the profound scholar Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al-Madani's long fatwa on this subject. This will be sufficient for those whom Allahu ta'ala has decreed guidance. Muhammad ibn Sulaiman died in 1195 A.H. (1780). The heretic Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab was born in the Najd desert in 1111 A.H. (1699) and died in 1206 (1792). Muhammad ibn Sulaiman unmasked the ignorance of this man and refuted his opinions and claim that he employed ijtihad. He proved and disseminated in Muslim countries the fact that Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab had not learned anything or received faid from any scholar of Islam and that he had fallen into heresy on account of calling Muslims polytheists.

"Hanafi scholar Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-'Azim al-Makki [(rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) d. 1052 A.H. (1643)] listed and confuted the heretical statements of Ibn Hazm Muhammad 'Ali [az-Zahiri, d. 456 A.H. (1064)] in his book Al-qawl as-Sadid. Ibn Hazm ordered everybody to employ ijtihad and said that it was haram to follow other people. He presents the 58th ayat al-karima of Surat an-Nisa', 'If you cannot agree on a matter, do it the way Allahu ta'ala and His Prophet said,' as a support for these words of his. 'Abd al-'Azim said in answer: 'Thanks to Allahu ta'ala, we are not outside the state of following the great Islamic scholar al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa. We are honored by following that exalted imam and his great students and the profound 'ulama' who poured light into the world such as Shams al-aimma and other real 'ulama' who came throughout a millennium (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala).'

"Ibn Hazm was an AndalusianHe was in the Zahiriyya madhhab, which was founded by Dawud al-Isfhani [az-Zahiri, d. Baghdad, 270 A.H. (883)], whose madhhab was forgotten in a short time. Ibn al-Ahad, az-Zahabi and Ibn Ahmad ibn Khallikan [d. Damascus, 681 A.H. (1281)] said, 'Even those who greeted Ibn Hazm hated him. They disliked his ideas. They all agreed that he was a heretic. They could not speak good of him. They warned the sultans to beware of him. They told Muslims to keep away from him.' Ibn al-'Arif said, 'Ibn Hazm's tongue and al-Hajjaj's sword did the same thing.' 

Ibn Hazm had many wicked, heretical ideas incompatible with the Hadith. 

Al-Hajjaj [Al Hajjaj az-zalim as-Saqafi, who died in 95 A.H. (714), was the Governor of Medina and Iraq during the caliphate of Abd al-Malik and his son Walid.] killed one hundred and twenty thousand innocent people without any reason. And Ibn Hazm's tongue led astray hundreds of thousands of Muslims who came after the 'good time' defined in the Hadith ash-Sharif. He died in 456 A.H. (1064).

"May Allahu ta'ala protect all my Muslim brothers against heretical and corrupt paths!
May He bestow upon us the belief and deeds compatible with the correct ijtihads of the 'ulama' of the four madhhabs! 
May He assemble us as the followers of their madhhabs beside the prophets, Siddiqs, martyrs and the pious on the Day of Judgement! Amin."

[Dawud ibn Sulaiman, Ashadd al-jihad, written in 1293 A.H., published in Bombay, 1305 A.H. Arabic reprint and Turkish version in 1390 (1970).]

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tafsir of Ayat-ul-Kursi

A Gift to The World

Tafsir of Ayat-ul-Kursi

The title given to Surah al-Baqarah's 255th ayah by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is “Ayat al Kursi” which would mean:

 “The verse (sign) of (Allah)’s DominionLiterally Kursi means the “Footstool” but literal meaning cannot apply here therefore metaphorical meaning has to be taken into account as this magnificent verse explains Allah’s Existence, Sovereignty, Power, Knowledge rather the Dominion of Allah azza Wajjal.

Here we have divided the explanation of this verse into three sections for easy understanding

A) Translation of Ayat al Kursi
B) Fadhail (virtues) of Ayat al Kursi according to hadith and also its benefits
C) Finally Step by step explanation of this ayah
 The Greatest Ayah of Al- Qur'an

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

Translation of verse:   Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.. [The Glorious Qur'an 2:255]

The part which says “His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth” has been underlined above because many translators translate Kursi as throne (Yusuf Ali, Marmaduke Pickthal, Arberry and others) whereas others translate it as “Knowledge (shakir) and some as Power (Muhammad Asad) while some left it as Kursi (Imam Ahmed Reza Khan Fadhil Baraili and others).

So what Kursi actually means when it is referred to Allah, will be clarified in the lateral part of the article

Fadhail (Virtues) of Ayat al Kursi and it’s benefits

Hadith # 1

Ubayy b. Ka'b said: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: 

O Abu' al-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah and His Apostle (may peace be upon him) know best. He again said: Abu'l-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah, there is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal. Thereupon he struck me on my breast and said: May knowledge be pleasant for you, O Abu'l-Mundhir!

Reference: Book 004, Number 1768: (Sahih Muslim)

This proves Ayat al Kursi to be most virtuous/greatest verse of Quran al Kareem. 

Recite it after every prayer!

Hadith # 2

It has come in other hadiths 

عن أبي أمامة ، قال: قال رسول الله:من قرأ آية الكرسي في دبر كل صلاة مكتوبة، لم يمنعه من دخول الجنة إلا أن يموت

Translation: Abi Amama (ra) narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever recites Ayat al Kursi after every Prayer then nothing can stop him from entering Paradise except for death (i.e. he will for sure enter paradise after death) [Sunnan Nasai’i al Kubra, (6/30), At-Tabrani in his Al-Kabeer (8/114), Ibn Sunni in Amal al Yawm wal Layla (Page. 43), Imam al-Haythami in Majma az-Zawaid (10/106) where he declared the chain as “HASAN (FAIR)” and others]

Hadith # 3

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah 's Apostle ordered me to guard the Zakat revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to me and started stealing of the foodstuff. I caught him and said, "I will take you to Allah's Apostle!" Then Abu Huraira described the whole narration and said: That person said (to me), "Please don't take me to Allah's Apostle and I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you. When you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, (2:255) for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn." (When the Prophet heard the story) he said (to me), "He (who came to you at night) told you the truth although he is a liar; and it was Satan."
Reference: Volume 6, Book 61, Number 530: (Sahih Bukhari)

Protection against evil Jinns

وأخرج النسائي وأبو يعلى وابن حبان وأبو الشيخ في العظمة والطبراني والحاكم وصححه وأبو نعيم والبيهقي معا في الدلائل عن أبي بن كعب: أنه كان له جرن فيه تمر فكان يتعاهده فوجده ينقص، فحرسه ذات ليلة فإذا هو بدابة شبه الغلام المحتلم، قال: فسلمت فرد السلام فقلت: ما أنت ! جني أم أنسي؟ قال: جني. قلت: ناولني يدك. فناولني فإذا يداه يدا كلب وشعره شعر كلب، فقلت: هكذا خلق الجن قال: لقد علمت الجن أن ما فيهم من هو أشد مني. قلت: ما حملك على ما صنعت قال: بلغني أنك رجل تحب الصدقة فأحببنا أن نصيب من طعامك. فقال له أبي: فما الذي يجيرنا منكم قال
هذه الآية، آية الكرسي التي في سورة البقرة، من قالها حين يمسي أجير منا حتى يصبح، ومن قالها حين يصبح أجير منا حتى يمسي. فلما أصبح أتى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فأخبره، فقال: صدق الخبيث

Translation: Imam Nasai’i, Abu Ya’la, Ibn Hibban, Abu Shaykh in his Al-Azmah, Tabarani, Hakim who declared it Sahih, Abu Nua’ym and Baihaqi in his Dalail narrate from Ubay ibn Ka’b that he used to have a field of dates and he used to guard it but as time passed by he kept less watch over it. One night he planned to guard it, but he saw an (animal) in shape of a young boy. Ubay Ibn Ka’b offered him greetings and he replied back. Ibn Ka’b asked him whether he was a human or Jinn? He replied: He was Jinn! Ubayy asked him to show his hand, Ubayy saw that his hand was like that of a dog and it had hair on it like dog does. Ubayy asked: Are Jinns created in this fashion? He replied: Some Jinns are even more stranger than me. Ubayy asked: Who compelled you to do this (i.e. steal from my field) he replied: I have heard that you love to give Sadaqa so I thought of taking (stealing) something from you. Ubayy asked: What is it that can protect us from you? The Jinn replied: “Ayat al Kursi” which is in Surah al-Baqarah, whosoever recites it in the evening will be safe from our Sharr till the morning, and whosoever recites it in the morning he will be safe from us till evening. On next morning Ibn Ka’b went to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and told him about this, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: The “Khabeeth told the truth” [Imam Jalal ud-din Suyuti in Tafsir Dur ul Munthur, Volume No.2, Page No. 5]

It benefits us, our children and our houses

 وأخرج المحاملي في فوائده عن ابن مسعود قال: قال رجل: يا رسول الله علمني شيئا ينفعني الله به. قال «اقرأ آية الكرسي فإنه يحفظك وذريتك ويحفظ دارك، حتى الدويرات حول دارك 

Translation: Imam al-Mahamli (rah) narrates in his “Fawaid” from Ibn Masud (ra): A man said: O Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) teach me something through which Allah will benefit me. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Recite Ayat al Kursi, Allah will protect you, your children, also protect your house rather even the houses which are near to yours [Imam Jalal ud-din Suyuti in Dur ul Munthur, (2/6)]

Step by Step explanation:

Now Insha Allah we will try to explain Ayat al Kursi in light of many important Tafsir Books such as Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Baghawi, Tafsir al Khazin, Tafsir Dur ul Munthur, Tafsir al-Mazhari and others!

{ ٱللَّهُ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ٱلْحَيُّ ٱلْقَيُّومُ }
Translation: Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal.

Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) explains : 

ٱللَّهُ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ } إخبار بأنه المتفرد بالإلهية لجميع الخلائق { ٱلْحَىُّ ٱلْقَيُّومُ } أي: الحي في نفسه الذي لا يموت أبداً، القيم لغيره. وكان عمر يقرأ: القيام، فجميع الموجودات مفتقرة إليه، وهو غني عنها، ولا قوام لها بدون أمره،

(There is no god but He): It is a statement that He (Allah) is the “ONE AND ONLY” Lord of all creations.

(The Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal) means: He (Allah) is self-existing (i.e. nothing created him) and that He is ever living who can never die. Qayyum is that (attribute) of Allah through which others exist. He is richest of all and nothing can exist without his order and will. 

{ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ }
Translation: No slumber can seize Him nor sleep.

Explanation by Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) 

أي لا يعتريه نقص ولا غفلة ولا ذهول عن خلقه، بل هو قائم على كل نفس بما كسبت، شهيد على كل شيء، لا يغيب عنه شيء، ولا يخفى عليه خافية،
عن ابن عباس، أن بني إسرائيل قالوا: ياموسى، هل ينام ربك ؟ قال: اتقوا الله، فناداه ربه عز وجل ياموسى، سألوك هل ينام ربك، فخذ زجاجتين في يديك، فقم الليلة، ففعل موسى، فلما ذهب من الليل ثلث نعس، فوقع لركبتيه، ثم انتعش فضبطهما، حتى إذا كان آخر الليل نعس، فسقطت الزجاجتان فانكسرتا، فقال: ياموسى، لو كنت أنام لسقطت السماوات والأرض فهلكت كما هلكت الزجاجتان في يديك. فأنزل الله عز وجل على نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلّم آية الكرسي

Translation: (No slumber can seize Him nor sleep) means:
Allah could never be negligent, unaware, nor can He err in regards to his creation. Rather He is completely controlling by being aware of what every soul earns. His comprehension upon everything is perfect and nothing can be hidden from His knowledge and there could be no secret kept from him….
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates: Once Bani Israel questioned Musa (a.s) whether his Lord ever sleeps? Musa (a.s) replied: FEAR HIM! What kind of question is that? Allah called Musa (a.s) and said: Hold 2 bottles in your hands and keep on standing whole night. He followed Allah’s order and did exactly that, but when half of the night went passed he started to slumber and bowed down on his knees, but then he quickly awoke, however in the last part of night he had a deep slumber and both bottles fell from his hands and “GOT BROKEN” Then Allah azza Wajjal said: O Musa! If I sleep then the heavens and the worlds would break into pieces just like these bottles. So Allah revealed this ayah to his Prophet (Muhammad - Peace be upon him) 

[Note: Imam Ibn Kathir also narrated another Israeli report in which Musa (a.s) was shown to have asked this question from Allah i.e. whether He sleeps or not, but Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) rejected that report because Prophets cannot ask about such a basic thing, so he finally showed the above report as proof that it was actually the Bani Israel who asked such a thing]

Dominion, Sultanate and Power of Allah

{ لَّهُ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَـٰوَاتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلأَرْضِ }
Translation: His are all things in the heavens and on earth. 

Explanation in light of Imam Ibn Katheer (rah):

إخبار بأن الجميع عبيده وفي ملكه، وتحت قهره وسلطانه، كقوله {إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱڊرْضِ إِڋ ءَاتِى ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ عَبْدًا * لَّقَدْ أَحْصَــٰهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّا * وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ فَرْدًا}

Translation: All the servants (including heavens and the worlds) come under His “DOMINION” they also come under his “POWER AND SULTANATE” just like Allah said: Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant. He does take an account of them (all), and hath numbered them (all) exactly. And everyone of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgment.[Quran 19:93-95]

{ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ }
Translation: Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?

Explanation in Tafsir al Khazin:

{ من ذا الذي يشفع عنده إلاّ بإذنه } أي بأمره وهذا استفهام إنكاري والمعنى لا يشفع عنده أحد إلاّ بأمره وإرادته، وذاك لأن المشركين زعموا أن الأصنام تشفع لهم فأخبر أنه لا شفاعة لأحد عنده إلاّ ما استثناه بقوله { إلاّ بإذنه } يريد بذلك شفاعة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وشفاعة بعض الأنبياء والملائكة وشفاعة المؤمنين بعضهم لبعض 

Translation: (Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?) It refers to an order and the way of this question is in the form of "Istifahm al-Inkari". This means that nobody can intercede in his presence except by his permission and will. The Mushrikeen used to think that their idols would intercede on their behalf, this is why Allah has explained that no intercession will work in his court except which he permits. Whereas (Except which he permits) refers to Intercession of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), intercession of some prophets, angels and intercession of some Momineen which they will do for some others [Tafsir al Khazin, under 2:255]

{يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْۖ}

Translation: He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them.

 Explanation by Imam Ibn Kathir:

{يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْۖ} دليل على إحاطة علمه بجميع الكائنات، ماضيها وحاضرها ومستقبلها، كقوله إخباراً عن الملائكة {وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِڑ بِأَمْرِ رَبِّكَۖ لَهُۥ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا وَمَا خَلْفَنَا وَمَا بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَۚ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا} .

[He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them], this is proof of Allah’s knowledge to be encompassing all creations and worlds. The knowledge of past, present and future are included in this, just like Allah said regarding Angels: "We descend not but by command of thy Lord: to Him belongeth what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between: and thy Lord never doth forget (19:64)

{ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَآءَ }
Translation: Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth.

Explanation by Imam al-Khazin:

ولا يحيطون بشيء من علمه} يقال: أحاط بالشيء إذا علمه وهو أن يعلم وجوده وجنسه وقدره وحقيقته, فإذا علمه ووقف عليه وجمعه في قلبه فقد أحاط به والمراد بالعلم المعلوم والمعنى أن أحداً لا يحيط بمعلومات الله تعالى: {إلاّ بما شاء} يعني أن يطلعهم عليه وهم من الأنبياء والرسل ليكون ما يطلعهم عليه من علم غيبه دليلاً على نبوتهم كما قال تعالى: {فلا يظهر على غيبه أحداً إلاّ من ارتضى من رسول}

Translation: (Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth) refers to “Total comprehension” for example when someone gets knowledge of something’s existence, it's nature, quantity, “(DEEP) REALITY” and he embeds this completely in his heart then it is called “total comprehension” this would mean that none can have “total comprehension” over Allah’s knowledge.(Except whom he permits) refers to those things which Allah wants to reveal to his Prophets and Messengers, so that Allah grants them “FROM HIS KNOWLEDGE OF UNSEEN” which become proofs over their Prophethood. Just like Allah said: He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries,Except a messenger whom He has chosen… (72:26-27) [Tafsir al Khazin under 2:255]

What does Kursi mean ?

{وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضَ }

This part means: His “Kursi” extends over the heavens and the earth . As this verse mentions the word “Kursi” hence it has to be explained with caution so that it is clear that Allah’s dominion is understood without any comparison to creation.

Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) has narrated from Ibn Abbas (ra) that Kursi refers to “KNOWLEDGE” he has also narrated a Mawquf hadith from same Ibn Abbas (ra) that Kursi refers to footstool [Note: The Salafi published Tafsir Ibn Kathir has done serious forgeries in their version of Tafsir, even over here they completely removed the hadith in which Kursi is called as “KNOWLEDGE” they did this so that people can only consider Kursi as a footstool]

1. Kursi: It has been authentically reported that the Kursi is the resting place of the Feet of the Beneficent, and it is the largest of all created things after the 'Arsh (Throne).)

Imam al Baghawi (rah) writes:

وروى سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال: أراد بالكرسي علمه وهو قول مجاهد، ومنه قيل لصحيفة العلم كراسه، وقيل: كرسيه ملكه وسلطانه،

Translation: Sa’eed bin Jubayr (rah) narrates from Ibn Abbas (ra) that Kursi refers to“KNOWLEDGE” Mujahid (rah) said: The copies of knowledge (i.e. books) is called Kurasa, It is also said that Kursi refers to “DOMINION AND SULTANATE” [Tafsir al Baghawi, under 2:255]


It also states in Tafsir al Baghawi that Hasan Basri (rah) interpreted Kursi as “THRONE” and this is the translation taken by many translators.

{ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا }

 Explanation in Tafsir al Mazhari :

(And He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them) means that Allah has no burden in preserving and managing whatever is in Heavens, worlds, Kursi and those who are inside kursi (i.e. all dominion of Allah) all this does not cause any tiredness to Allah [Tafsir al Mazhari, Volume No.2, Page No. 20]

{وَهُوَ ٱلْعَلِىُّ ٱلْعَظِيمُ}

Explanation in light of Imam Ibn Kathir:

{وَهُوَ ٱلْعَلِىُّ ٱلْعَظِيمُ} كقوله: {وَهُوَ ٱلْعَلِىُّ ٱلْكَبِيرُ} وهذه الآيات وما في معناها من الأحاديث الصحاح الأجود فيها طريقة السلف الصالح، أمروها كما جاءت من غير تكييف ولا تشبيه.

(He is the Most High, the Supreme) It is just like Allah said: …the Great, the High Exalted (13:9). Imam Ibn Kathir says: This Ayah and other such ayahs, plus the Sahih hadiths in which Allah’s Sifaat are to be taken as the righteous early Muslims (salaf) have taken them i.e. “LET THEM PASS AS THEY HAVE COME” without saying how they are meant and without making a comparison with (other creations) [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 2:255]


By Aamir Ibrahim


(Edited by ADHM)