Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Righteous, Guided and Correct Intepretation of the Quran


This ayah (sacred verse of the Holy Quran); 
"Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Soorah al-Baqarah: 62)
is in reference to those (among the Jews, Christians and Sabians, who died as believers and were righteous before the Advent of our Prophet Muhammad, before Prophet Muhammad was sent as a Messenger of Allah, not for the Jews, Christians and Sabians of today, those who reject Islam as in the verse:

"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." (Soorah aal-'Imraan: 3:85) 


Questioner: 
In the Tafseer Lesson last Monday, you mentioned about the importance of not letting one's heart to be exposed to doubts or confusion which can harm one's faith or iman.
I need to ask you, to clear this doubt or confusion: How do we reconcile between these 2 verses of the Holy Quran;
  1. "Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Soorah al-Baqarah: 62) which gives the idea that the righteous Christians, among others, will gain good rewards from Allaah and they are equal to Muslims as long as they have the same characteristics as mentioned in this verse. 
  2. "Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "God is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: "O Children of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord." Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with God, then God has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode . And for the Zholimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "God is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." But there is no ilaah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah (God -God). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them. Will they not repent to God and ask His Forgiveness? For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Soorah al-Maa-idah: 72-74) on the other hand clearly states that they are considered as Disbelievers and will be barred from entering Paradise. 
Please clarify this. Baarakallaahufeekum.

Answer: 
Bismillaah. Walhamdulillaah, was solaatu wassalaam 'alaa Nabiyillaah wa 'alaa aalihi wa sohaabatihi wa man waalaah.
Amma ba'd.

All praises be to Allaah. It is very delighting to know how concern a Muslim is in protecting and safeguarding his belief. May this clarification be beneficial to us all, with the Help, Mercy and Guidance from Allaah. Ameen.

In the lesson, Imam Ibn Katheer explained about this verse (in the explanation of Soorah al-Faatihah):
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad sollallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) the Book (this Qur’aan). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkaam (commandments), Al-Faraa’id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudood (laws for the punishment of thieves, adulterers)]; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allaah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.” And none receive admonition except men of understanding” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:7] 
We then read this text: [Verily, no innovator in the religion could ever rely on any authentic evidence in the Qur'an that testifies to his innovation. The Qur'an came to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and guidance and misguidance. The Qur'an does not contain any discrepancies or contradictions, because it is a revelation from the Most Wise, Worthy of all praise]
Before that he said about the Innovators and Deviants: [They rely on some unclear Ayat avoiding what is clear and contradicts their desires. Theirs, is the method of the people who follow their lust, desire and wickedness. An authentic Hadith narrated, "When you see those who follow what is not so clear in it (the Qur'an), then they are those whom Allah has mentioned (refer to 3:7). Hence, avoid them."]
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (2/6): 
Allaah tells us that in the Qur’aan there are verses which are entirely clear, which are the foundation of the Book, i.e., they are clear in meaning, with no confusion for anyone; and there are other verses which are not entirely clear as to what they mean for many or some people. The one who refers that which is unclear to him to that which is clear, and uses the clear verses to understand what is not clear to him, will be guided. But the one who does the opposite will be misguided. Hence Allaah says: “It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad sollallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam the Book (this Qur’aan). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book” i.e., they are the root to which reference should be made in the event of confusion; “and others not entirely clear” i.e., they could be interpreted in accordance with those that are entirely clear or they could be interpreted in some other way, based on the wording and the way they are written, not according to the meaning. 
So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation”, i.e., misguidance, and ignoring the truth in favour of falsehood, “they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof” i.e., they interpret that which is not entirely clear in such a way that allows them to distort it to suit their corrupt aims, because the wording could be interpreted in the way they want. But in the case of the verses which are entirely clear, they have no chance of doing that, so that is clear proof against them. Hence Allaah says: “seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials)” i.e., to misguide their followers and give them the impression that they are using evidence from the Qur’aan to support their bid’ah (innovation). This is evidence against them, not for them. 
[End quote] 

ash-Shaikh al-Albaaniy when he was asked about this aayah (no: 1) in a question and answer session, said: 

"Allaah mentions amongst them the Sabians. When the word Sabian is mentioned, what quickly comes to mind is a reference to those who worship the stars. However, in reality, this term applies to all people that fall into Shirk after having been from among the adherents of Tawheed. So the Sabians were once proponents of pure Monotheism, but then they were subjected to polytheism and worshipping of stars. So the ones mentioned in this verse refer to the believers amongst them, the adherents of Tawheed. Before the Message of Islaam came, these people were like the Jews and Christians, whom were also mentioned in the same list as the Sabians. So this refers to those among them that were practicing their Religion at their time. They were from among the believers of whom:
“There is no fear upon them nor do they worry.” However, after Allaah sent Muhammad with the Religion of Islaam, the Message of Islaam was conveyed to these three types of people – the Jews, the Christians and the Sabians. And so nothing else but Islaam was accepted from them. Therefore, Allaah’s statement:
“Whoever seeks other than Islaam as a Religion” refers to after Islaam was conveyed to him upon the tongue of the Messenger and after theMessage of Islaam was passed on to him. So at that point, nothing other than Islaam was acceptable."
[End quote] see: How are we obligated to interprete the Noble Quran

Ibn Katheer in his commentary or Tafseer of this aayah (al-Baqarah: 62) cited the narration from Ibn 'Abbaas:

"(the aayah) {Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day} that Allah revealed the following Aayah afterwards,
{And whoever seeks religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers} (aal-'Imraan: 3:85).  
This statement by Ibn `Abbas indicates that Allah does not accept any deed or work from anyone, unless it conforms to the Law of Muhammad that is, after Allah sent Muhammad. Before that, every person who followed the guidance of his own Prophet was on the correct path, following the correct guidance and was saved. [end quote] 


عزا الإمام السيوطي رحمه الله في كتابه (لباب النقول في أسباب النزول) سببَ نزول قوله تعالى "إن الذين آمنوا والذين هادوا والنصارى والصابئين من آمن بالله واليوم الآخر وعمل صالحاً فلهم أجرهم عند ربهم ولا خوف عليهم ولا هم يحزنون", إلى أن سلمان الفارسي رضي الله عنه قصَّ على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عند وفادته عليه قصة أصحاب الدير, قال سلمان: فذكرت من صلاتهم وعبادتهم, قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: "هم في النار". قال سلمان: فأظلمتْ عليَّ الأرض, فنزل قوله تعالى "إن الذين آمنوا والذين هادوا, إلخ الآية", قال سلمان: فكأنما كشف عني جبل. ومثله ما رواه أبو الحسن الواحدي في كتابه (أسباب النزول): عن إمام المفسرين: السدي رحمه الله أنه قال: نزلتْ هذه الآية في أصحاب سلمان الفارسي, إذ أنه لما وفد على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم, جعل يخبره عن عبادتهم واجتهادهم, فكان مما قاله: "كانوا يصلون ويصومون, ويؤمنون بك، ويشهدون أنك تُبعث نبيا. فلما فرغ سلمان من ثنائه عليهم, قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم (يا سلمان هم من أهل النار, فأنزل الله: إن الذين آمنوا والذين هادوا, وتلا إلى قوله: ولا هم يحزنون 

From this excerpt, as cited by Imam as-Suyoothi and Imam al-Waahidi also mentioned it in his monumental work "Asbaab an-Nuzool" with the narration from as-Suddiy, is the clarification of the background information or reason in relation to the revelation of this aayah. 
In brief, the famous Companion@Sahabi Salmaan al-Faarisi@the Persian told the Prophet of how pious, righteous and diligent were his teachers among the Christians who guided him until he met the Prophet, and he asked the Prophet whether all their good deeds will benefit them. The Prophet replied saying that They are dwellers of Hell. Then this aayah was revealed.

In conclusion, this aayah in Surah al-Baqarah verse 62  should not be abused by anyone, especially a Muslim, to give the wrong idea that the Christians, the Jews and other disbelievers who reject the Message of Prophet Muhammad, will still gain good rewards from Allaah and they are equal to Muslims as long as they have the same characteristics as mentioned in this verse. This act of manipulating the texts of the Holy Quran is blasphemy and it is from the characteristics of the innovators like the Khawarij group and others. The crooked deviated path. Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad taught us this guideline to identify a follower of desire: 

"When you see those who follow what is not so clear in it (the Qur'an), then they are those whom Allah has mentioned (refer to 3:7). Hence, avoid them."
as Imam Ibn Katheer said: "They are the Khawaarij@Kharijites and those who are similar to them from among the people of desires." 
Those who would "pick and choose" verses to suit their desires or the desires of the people they wish to please. 
Unlike the True Followers of as-Sunnah, the Original Actual Islam taught by Prophet Muhammad,  they follow the Straight Path of the Prophet and the Companions and they follow both muhkamaat and mutashaabihaat, reconcile the unclear verses with the clear ones by means of the inherited knowledge from the Prophet and Companions, as we have elaborated.
Wallaahu a'lam.  
            


 
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