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THE EXPLANATION } In his books, An-Nukat and Al-^Uyun, al-Mawardiyy said: Allah adjured by the breaking of daylight from

the eastern horizon. Allah adjured by the same thing in Surah al-Takwir }. What is meant by al-fajr ) here is the general kind, that is, the daybreak of every day and not one day in particular. } This is a second abjuration. It was said what is most probably meant is the last nights of Ramadan because they contain the one night (the Night of al-Qadr) which is better than one-thousand (1,000) months. Ibn ^Abbas however, said they are the ten (10) days of al-Adha (which are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah), due to hadith Jabir in the Sahihs of Ibn Hibban and Abu ^Awanah: << >> This means: <<There are no more better days to Allah than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.>> } Al-Hakim narrated in his Mustadrak from the route of ^Imran Ibn Husayn that the Prophet was asked about ash-shaf^ ) and al-watr ) and the Prophet answered: <<>> This means: <<They are the prayers among which there are even cycles )and odd cycles >> ) Hamzah, al-Kisa'iyy, and Khalaf recited wal-witr ) with a kasrah on the waw which is the recitation of Quraysh, Tamim, and Asad. Reciting with a fathah is the recitation of the people of Hijaz. 4. }

Qatadah said that ^Abdur-Razzaq narrated: When the night passes, that is, begins and ends. What is meant is not a specific night, rather nights in general. Ibn Kathir and Ya^qub recited yasri ) with a ya' whether or not continuing the recitation. Nafi^ and Abu ^Amr concurred when continuing the recitation. Ibn ^Amir, ^Asim, Hamzah and Al-Kisai'yy recited without a ya' whether or not continuing the recitation. }

^Abdur-Razzaq narrated from Qatadah that lidhi hijr ) means the mindful person and hal fi dhalika qasamun ) is an interrogative used for confirmation. Therefore, the meaning is: The person who is mindful would know that the things by which Allah adjured contain wonders and evidences that the Creator is different from the creation and that Allah is the Owner of everything. Those things are worthy to adjure by, for they show that they have a Creator. }

It means have you not learned, O Muhammad, about what your Lord has done to ^Ad? The offspring of ^Ad are meant here, and they are the first tribe of ^Ad, whom Allah destroyed. Mentioning the example of ^Ad is a threat and a warning to the people of Quraysh because the people of the first ^Ad were much stronger than the blasphemers of Quraysh, yet they were destroyed for their blasphemy. Ibn Mas^ud and Ibn Ya^mar recited bi^adi-'Irama ) with a kasrah on the dal and without tanwin. }

Al-Bukhariyy said that Mujahid said irama dhatil-^imad ) means the ancient ^Ad and al-^imad ) means they were not city dwellers Qatadah said: They were people living in tents. The ancient means the first ^Ad. The Hafidh Ibn Hajar said: The most authentic of all sayings is that Iram is the name of the tribe of the people of Iram, the son of Sam, the son of Nuh. ^Ad are the sons of ^Ad, the son of ^Aws, the son of Iram. ^Ad was linked here to Iram to distinguish it from the second ^Ad. Earlier, in the interpretation of Surah al-Ahqaf, it was shown that ^Ad was actually two (2) tribes and this is supported by the saying of Allah in

Surah an-Najm, 50 first ^Ad.] }

} which means: [He destroyed the

It was mentioned earlier what Allah said about them that they said, Who is more powerful then ourselves? This was because no tribe was created before them with similar height and strength. Abu Al-Mutawakkil, Abu Al-Jawza' and Abu ^Imran recited (takhluq and mithlaha). ^Amr Ibn Dinar recited (nakhluq and mithlaha). }

Thamud are the people of Prophet Salih. They were named after their grandfather, Thamud, the son of ^Abir the son of Iram the son of Sam the son of Nuh. The meaning of jabus-sakhra ) is 'they dug out and sculptured the rock to make their homes.' They are the same people meant by the saying of Allah in Surah al-A^raf 77 & 78:
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78) }

These ayahs mean: [They slaughtered the camel and disobeyed the order of their Lord and they said O Salih, bring about the torture you have promised us if you were truthful ) So they were destroyed the morning after, in their own land--their hearts ruptured inside their chests (78).] The story of the camel to which Allah gave an honorable status by annexing it to Himself and making it a sign is in the saying of Allah in Surah ash-Shu^ara, 155:
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Al-Qurtubiyy said: When it was the camels day to drink she would drink all of their water in the beginning of the day. At the end of the day, she would give them milk. When it was their day to drink, they used the water for themselves, their livestock, and their land. They were not allowed to drink from the water on her day and she was not allowed to drink from the water on their day. What is meant by al-wad ) in the ayah is the Valley of al-Qura, a valley between al-Madinah and ash-Sham. In the ancient times, this valley

used to be the dwelling place of the people of ^Ad and Thamud and therein Allah destroyed them. }

Pharaoh used to tie the hands and feet of whomever he was torturing to four (4) stakes. ^Abdullah Ibn Mas^ud said: Pharaoh staked his wife like that, and then put an enormous rock on her back until she died. This was narrated by al-Hakim. The name of Pharaohs wife was Asiyah bint Muzahim. Al-Bukhariyy (in his Sahih) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: << <<

This means: <<Many men have become perfect but among the women none have become perfect except Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam Bint ^Imran. Moreover, the merit of ^Aishah compared to the women is like the merit of the meat broth compared to the rest of the food.>> }

This is in reference to the people of ^Ad and Thamud who transgressed and rebelled. They disbelieved in the prophets of Allah and harmed them. }

That is, they committed much injustice and harm--blaspheming and killing, among other transgressions. }

It is a simile meaning the extreme torture befell them As-sabb )is pouring the torture on them and it reflects continuity As-sawt )is the whip and it reflects the pain Hence, the meaning is that they were tortured a continuous and painful torture. Allah mentioned as-

sawt (the whip), because to the Arabs at that time, it symbolized the extreme pain. }

In the Chapter of Interpretation of his Sahih, al-Bukhariyy said labilmirsad ) means all shall return to Allah for judgment The Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in his book, Al-Fath: Al-mirsad ) has the structure of mifa^l of the term al-rasad )which means the place of monitoring Applying this term to Allah must be with the proper meaning that befits Allah Hence, the ayah means, as ^Abdur-Razzaq related that al-Hasan said: [Allah is watchful over the deeds of the sons of Adam.] Not one of their deeds escapes Allah, and indeed Allah shall present those accountable with their deeds and reward and/or punish them accordingly. This ayah refutes those who say tawil ) inferring a suitable meaning from a mutashabih ayah--is prohibited. Applying their methodology of using only the literal meaning would make Allah bound inside boundaries in the place of monitoring. By consensus, uttering such a meaning is blasphemy. Therefore, this ayah, by consensus, is subject to inference (tawil). Thus, the correct meaning ascribed to the ayah is what al-Hasan said (as mentioned above). Moreover, the Prophet supplicated to Allah to make Ibn ^Abbas knowledgeable about tawil when he said << yb detaler saw ti sa << at-Tabaraniyy and others. The only people who prohibit tawil are the mujassimah who liken Allah to His creations. It is enough to refute them to mention that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal made tawil for the saying of Allah } Ayah #22 of Surah al-Fajr and inferred the meaning from it that the reward of Allah comes The Hafidh al-Bayhaqiyy narrated this hadith and Ibn Kathir in his book, Al-Bidayyah Wan-Nihayyah established the hadith as sahih and concurred with al-Bayhaqiyy. .This shows that he claim of the mujassimah that they follow Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is false and a mere fabrication and is a pretense to spread their blasphemy and misguidance. Imam Ahmad is clear of such people. The famous Hanbaliyy faqih and jurisprudent, Ibn al-Jawziyy, authored his book Daf^ Shubah at-Tashbih to extinguish the harm of the mujassimah that started to spread at his time. Abu Nu^aym narrated about ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib that he said:

This means: The one who claims that our God is bound by limits is definitely ignorant about the Creator Who is worshipped Imam Abu Ja^far at-Tahawiyy, who died in the year 321AH, mentioned in his authored work on the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah walJama^ah, Al-^Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah, - -

This means: Allah is clear from limits, ends, sides, organs, instruments; unlike the entire creations the six ) directions do not contain him There is no doubt that the Muslims hold the unanimous agreement that Allah is clear from attributes of the creations such as direction and place, just as was mentioned by the astute Imam Abu Mansur alBaghdadiyy in his book, Al-Farqu Baynal Firaq. What elucidates this meaning more is the saying of Allah in Surah ash-Shura, 11:
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This ayah means: [Absolutely nothing is like Allah in any way.] Likewise it is shown in the hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, narrated by al-Bukhariyy (in his Sahih), Ibn al-Jarud, and al-Bayhaqiyy (in Al-Asma Was-Sifat):
>> <<

This means: <<Allah existed eternally and there was nothing else existing.>> Hence everything other than Allah, whether place or other than place, is a creation. That is, the creations come into being after they were not existent. Allah existed without a beginning before creating any of the creations. Just as the sound mind acknowledges that Allah existed without a place before creating a place, the sound mind acknowledges that Allah exists without a place after creating the places, because Allah does not need anything. In the book Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, the following edict is mentioned: This means: The one who confirms that Allah is in a place is a blasphemer The one who worships something that dwells in a place (or in all places) is worshipping other than Allah. The one who associates

partners with Allah is definitely not a believing Muslim. Imam al-Ghazaliyy said: ) This means: Worship is only valid after one holds a correct belief about the worshipped

The saying of Allah faammal-innsan ) refers to the blasphemer. Idha mabtalahu rabbuhu ) means if his Lord subjects him to a test Faakramahu wa na^^amahu ) means and endowed upon him [money prestige and other bestowments.] Fayaqulu rabbi akraman ) means he will say Allah favored me [by the money and prestige He has given me ] The blasphemer, out of extreme snobbism and arrogance, would think that he has a high status with Allah. Whereas, the truth of the matter is what the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

This means: <<If to Allah this world had the value of a mosquitos wing He would not have given the blasphemer a sip of water.>> (Narrated by atTirmidhiyy and Ibn Majah.) }

The saying of Allah waamma idha mabtalahu ) means if Allah subjects the blasphemer to a test Faqadara ^alayhi rizqahu ) means and strained his livelihood by impoverishing him and constricting his sustenance Abu Ja^far al-Madaniyy and Ibn ^Amir adDimashqiyy recited faqadara ) with a shaddah on the dal (faqaddara) and the meaning is the same to strain and constrain however the latter form expresses an exaggeration in the meaning. Fayaqulu rabbi ahanan ) means the blasphemer shall say Allah humiliated me by impoverishing me The one who does not believe in the Resurrection thinks that a lavish livelihood indicates a high status and having a constricted livelihood is degrading. This is so because of his ill and short vision. The believer knows that a constricted livelihood could lead one to

be happy in this life and the Hereafter. The Imam of the Muslims and the head of the Shafi^iyy scholars of his time, Imam Abu Ishaq ash-Shiraziyy at one point was so poor that he did not have his basic needs of food and clothing. When visitors would come to him, he would not stand up all the way to greet them, so that none of his unlawful nakedness would be exposed. Abu al-^Atahiyah said a verse of poetry:

This verse means: If this life preserves ones Religion for him then what he misses of this world shall not harm him Acquiring lavishly worldly things might lead the enemies among waylayers and others to harm you. Living lavishly also might mislead one to overindulge in his desires and love for this world. This conforms to the saying of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, narrated by al-Hakim with whom adh-Dhahabiyy concurred and established as sahih:

This hadith means: <<The sweetness of this world is the bitterness of the Hereafter and the bitterness of this world is the sweetness of the Hereafter.>> Al-Bukhariyy narrated in his Sahih the saying of the Prophet:

This means: <<The one for whom Allah willed goodness, He inflicts with worldly calamities.>> }

The term kalla ) reflects scolding and warning the blasphemers. The meaning is that the high status is not measured by richness, and degradation is not measured by poverty. Rather, the highness in status is for one to be guided to perform the obedience, and the degradation is for one to be guided to commit sins. Bal la tukrimunalyatim ) means the blasphemers do not treat the orphan kindly although they are rich It was said the meaning is: 'They do not give the orphan his due right in the inheritance.' The yatim ( ) orphan) is the young child whose father died. If both his parents are dead, he is called

latim )If only his mother is dead, he is called ^ajiyy mentioned in Al-Misbah. }

). This is

It means you do not encourage one another to feed the poor person. }

Al-Layth Ibn Nasr al-Khurasaniyy, the student of al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad said that al-lammu ) means the throngs of people and at-turath ) means the inheritance The meaning of the ayah is that they used to deprive the women and children from their due inheritance--instead taking it for themselves. }

You have an extreme love of money--whether it comes from a lawful or an unlawful source, with attitudes of al-hirs ) ash-shuh )and al-bukhl ) You are stingy in spending it in good ways, and spend only on your own desires. Your hearts are so attached to gathering and collecting money in a dispraised manner. You take pride in your wealth, and use it as a reason to look down on others; this meaning is referred to in Arabic by al-hirs ) In Al-Misbah Al-Munir al-bukhl ) or stinginess means holding back from spending the obligatory spending Examples are being stingy in paying the Zakah to those who deserve it and in satisfying the needs of the needy Muslims. Ash-shuh )is the extreme case of al-bukhl. The people of Basrah recited ayas 17 to 20 with a ya' (Yukrimuna, Yahadduna, ya'kuluna, yuhibbuna) and the rest recited with a ta'. }

The saying of Allah kalla ) includes denouncing the blasphemers and promising them torture for exceeding the acceptable bounds of the religion.

The saying of Allah ) means: 'When the earth quakes time after another until every building on it is demolished.' }

Concerning the saying of Allah ) Ibn Kathir said in his book, Al-Bidayah Wan-Nihayah around the year 241 AH: Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated from al-Hakim from Abu ^Amr Ibn as-Sammak from Hanbal that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal made tawil, i.e., ascribed to the saying of Allah ) the meaning that the reward of Allah comes Al-Bayhaqiyy said this chain of narration does not warrant any objection to it and Ibn Kathir agreed with him. It is not a secret that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is one of the most reputable scholars of the salaf. In his Tafsir, al-Qurtubiyy said under this ayah: "The saying of Allah ) Means when the matter that Allah predestined and ordered comes " AlHasan al-Basriyy, who is a renowned follower of the companions (tabi^iyy) reported that. This is a form of eliminating the mudaf ) i e that which is annexed to it. This means eliminating the meaning the matter Allah predestined and ordered from comes Al-Qurtubiyy later said:

This statement means: Allah, the Exalted, is not attributed with transferring from one place to another. How can transfer and movement be attributed to Him when He exists without a place and is clear of time, and periods and intervals do not lapse on Him? The Hafidh Ibn al-Jawziyy (a Hanbaliyy scholar) in his Tafsir, Zad Al-Masir, when talking about the saying of Allah in Surah al-Baqarah, ayah 210, } said Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said, what is meant is the advent of the matter which Allah created with His Power and the matter that Allah ordered.' Allah elucidated that meaning in Surah an-Nahl, Ayah 33: }

This ayah means: [Until the matter that Allah ordered comes ] Ibn al-Jawziyy denounced those who said that the maji ) (coming) is the coming of the Self of Allah and the nuzul ) descent) is that of the Self of Allah. In his famous book, Daf^ Shubah At-Tashbih, he showed that Imam Ahmad is clear of such sayings. In summary, it is not permissible for one to believe that Allah is attributed with motion and transfer. Rather, we attribute to Allah that which Allah attributed to Himself, in a befitting manner, clearing Allah from resembling or being like any of the creations. The truth is what alBayhaqiyy said in his book, Al-Asma Was-Sifat: Allah, the Exalted, has no place. Then al-Bayhaqiyy said: Movement, immobility, and being established are properties of bodies. Allah does not have a partner. He is not divisible. He does not need any of the creation. Absolutely nothing is like Him by any way. This meaning is clear in what Allah said in Surah anNahl, Ayah 26: } This ayah does not mean that Allah came to the pillars of their buildings by moving Himself. Rather, it means that Allah created the destruction of their buildings. In conclusion, the one who says the salaf did not make tawil is refuted by what is confirmed about Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (whom such people falsely claim to follow). Tawil, or inferring proper meanings from the Quran, was confirmed about others among the elites of the Companions and the salaf such as Ibn ^Abbas who made tawil to the saying of Allah in Surah adh-Dhariyat, 47:
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He said it means that Allah built the heavens strongly Ibn ^Abbas also made tawil to the saying of Allah in Surah al-Qalam, ayah 42:
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He ascribed to it the meaning that on the day when severe hardship and distress shall be manifested The reason for elaborating here the permissibility of making tawil for the mutashabih[1] ayahs, is out of necessity to refute the followers of Ibn Taymiyah al-Harraniyy who claimed that the one who does not explain the mutashabih ayahs by their literal meanings is a blasphemer. By their claim, they judge the Muslims at large as blasphemers. Indeed, they are

the ones who deserve to be judged as blasphemers for including in their judgment as blasphemers the companions and others among the astute Muslim scholars who came after them and about whom it is confirmed that they practiced tawil (such as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others.) Praise be to Allah for making us follow the school of Ahlus-Sunnah. The second part of Ayah 22 ) means 'the angels of every sky shall descend and stand in ranks after ranks staring at the humans and jinn.' }

The meaning of this ayah is explained by the hadith narrated by Muslim in his Sahih from the route of ^Abdullah Ibn Mas^ud that the Messenger of Allah said:

This means: <<On that Day, a part of Hell will be brought, having seventy thousand (70,000) steering instruments, and with every steering instrument, seventy thousand (70,000) angels driving it.>> Hence the meaning is not that the angels will bring all of Hellfire, but rather only a part of it. They will bring it close to the people, so they see it. The God-fearing believers will not be frightened, but the blasphemers will almost die from fear when they see it. On the day when part of Hellfire is brought closer, the blasphemer shall remember his sins and what he was negligent of among the matters of the religion. The last part of the ayah ) is an interrogative negating that the recollection of the blasphemer on that day will benefit him. }

The blasphemer would say If only I had done good deeds in the life that was doomed to end in preparation for my life which does not end

On that day no one shall inflict as chastisement similar to what Allah will chastise.

Al-Kisa'iyy, Ya^qub and Al-Mufaddil recited yu adhabu ) with a fathah on the dhal. Recited as such the meaning would be, ' on that day no one shall be inflicted with a chastisement similar to the chastisement with which the blasphemer will be inflicted.' The rest recited with a kasrah. }

And no one shall shackle up and bond another as Allah will do to the blasphemers. }

Imam al-Bukhariyy said that al-mutmainnah ) means the soul that believes about the reward It was said that al-mutmainnah means the safe that is the one who believes in and accepts the decree of Allah }

Al-Hasan said it means return to the reward of your Lord, accepting the reward, and accepted by Allah. } It means enter among the righteous of the slaves of Allah. And enter Paradise with the highly accepted worshipers of Allah. At-Tabaraniyy and al-Hakim narrated from the route of Sa^id Ibn Jubayr that he said: Ibn ^Abbas died in at-Taif and I attended his funeral. A kind of bird we have never before seen the likes of came and entered his coffin. We watched it, and it never came out. When he was buried ayahs 27-30, Surah al-Fajr were heard being recited next to his grave. No one there knew who was reciting them. Adh-Dhahabiyy said that this story is mutawatir and that they believed the white bird was Ibn ^Abbass knowledge.

[1] The ayas of the Qur'an that linguistically bear more than one meaning are known as mutashabih ayas. However, religiously, the scholars ascribe only the linguistic meanings that are befitting to Allah and do not contradict the ayas of the Qur'an that are muhkam (have one meaning only).