Name Change

After speaking with the Publisher, ILF Publishing, it has been decided that we should change our blog name. The reason is that people have been writing to us asking questions and making comments about the book, which they should be doing with the Publisher. It seems that some confusion might have arisen from our use of the name Islamic Literary Foundation. Islamic Literary Foundation is not run by us but is owned by ILF Publishing, Inc. and it is they who are the publishers of the Tafsir as well as other future books. We have worked with them, and enjoyed our experience immensely, and were granted permission to upload some parts of the works here.  However, any requests concerning the books should be made to the publisher on their website: www.ilfpress.com and not to us.

Thanks for the understanding, and we hope you enjoy the Tafsir. Please visit their website to see what other books they are working on.

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Title: Tafsir as-Sa’di

ISBN: 978-0-985803-30-8

Cover: Hardcover

Size: 7 x 10

Page Count: 664 pgs

Price: $45.99

Surahs covered: 6

Juz covered: 8 1/2

Just got an update on how to order the book. An order can be placed with the distributor by sending an email to books4135@gmail.com.  Please write your name and address in the email.

That is all the info we have currently.  For more information please visit www.ilfpress.com.

First we would like to apologize for not updating the blog regularly.  However, we do have a good reason. We were extremely busy with some really good projects, which, insh’Allah when they come out, you will really enjoy.

Really didn’t take into consideration the amount of work that has piled up and also the amount of time needed to actual keep up to date with the blog.  Therefore, you will notice periods of down-time with the blog where new things are not getting posted.  But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that we are just sitting around, instead we are working on getting more good works to you.  So we ask that you patiently bear with us.

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Hadith 40:

By way of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that Allah’s Messenger (S) said, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him. If he must [say something], then let him say, ‘Allahumma, aheenee maa kaanatil hayaatu khairan lee, wa tawaffanee  idhaa kaanatil wafaatu khairan lee.’ (Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me.)” Agreed upon.


In this hadith, the Prophet (S) forbids a person from wishing for death due to a difficulty that has affected him. An individual may be afflicted by a difficulty which proves to be heavy for him and so he becomes tired of it and starts to wish for death, saying: “Lord, cause me to die.” It is the same whether he physically utters it or says it in his heart. The Prophet (S) forbade this by saying, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him,” because there may be good in it for him. Whenever you are afflicted by harm, then you should say: “Allah, cause me to be steadfast during it,” so that Allah will help you be patient, and this will be good for you.

However, when you desire death, you are not aware that this would be bad for you as it would not cause you to rest, because not every death will bring with it rest, as a poet once said: One who died is not at rest; because death is only for the life. It may be that a person dies only to face punishment and torment in the grave, we seek Allah’s refuge from this; if he had remained alive, he would have become remorseful, repented, and returned to Allah, and this would be a cause of good for him. So when an affliction affects you, do not wish for death.

If the Prophet (S) forbade a person from desiring death, because of an affliction that affected him, then what can be said about the one who commits suicide because of a calamity; this is found among some foolish people, who, when suffering from a prolonged calamity, hang, stab, poison, etc, themselves. These people only move from one affliction to another that is even more severe, because the one commits suicide will be punished in the same manner that he committed suicide in the fire of Hell, where he will remain for eternity, as related by the Prophet (S). So if he commits suicide by the use of iron—such as a dagger, a knife, a nail, or anything else—then he will be in the Hell [continuously] stabbing himself with that piece of iron that he used to commit suicide with. If he commits suicide with poison, he will continue consuming it in Hell. If he committed suicide by throwing himself off of high place, then that place will be erected for him in the Hell, and he will throw himself repeatedly from it eternally.

Since the Prophet (S) forbade a person from wishing for death, because of an affliction that he is suffering from, then [the forbiddance] is even move severe for committing suicide, being hasty with Allah’s [decree] concerning his soul. We ask Allah for security [from this]. It was the practice of the Messenger (S) that whenever he forbade a thing which had a legal substitute, he would mention [that substitute], which is also the style of the Qur’an. Allah, the Glorious, says, “Believers, do not say [to the Prophet] raa‘inaa (be careful and listen to us), but say unzurnaa (make us understand).” (2:104) So when Allah prohibited the use of the word raa‘inaa, He directed [the believers] to a legal word by saying, “but say unzurnaa.” (2:104) Also, when some good dates were brought to the Messenger (S) he was astonished and asked, “Are all the dates of Khaibar similar to these?” They replied, “Messenger of Allah, no, by Allah. We purchase a sa‘ of these with two sa‘s (of another type) and two sa‘s with three.” He said, “Do not do that, instead sell the inferior dates for dirhams and then use the dirhams to buy the superior dates,” meaning the good dates. Having forbidden him from one practice, he related to them its legal substitute. Here [in the hadith being discussed] he said, “One of you should not wish for death because of a difficulty that has affected him. If he must [say something], then let him say, ‘Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me,” through which he opened a door for you which is secure. Since wishing for death is an indication of a person’s displeasure and impatience with Allah’s decree; however with the supplication, “Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me,” a person entrusts his affair to Allah; since he is unaware of the unseen, so he entrusts his affair to its Knower, the Mighty and Sublime [Allah].

A person wishing for death is hastiness in desiring that Allah ends his life, as that may prevent him from many good things; it may prevent him from seeking repentance and an increase in righteous deeds. That is why it was reported in a hadith, “There is no one who dies but he shall regret. If he was a doer of good, he shall regret that he did not do more, and if he is doer of evil, he shall regret that he did not stop.” Meaning that he will seek a reprimand for his sins and ask to be reprimanded, i.e., to be excused.

If someone were to ask: How is that one can say, “Allah, give me life as long as life is good for me, and cause me to die when death is good for me?” We answer: This is because [only] Allah, the Glorious, knows what will occur [in the future] of which a person is unaware, as Allah says, “Say, ‘No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah,’” (27:65) and “No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die.” (31:34) So you are unaware of whether life or death is better for you. This is why whenever someone supplicates for a person to have a long life he should restrict it by saying, “May Allah grant you a long life in obedience to Him,” so that the duration of his life is lived in goodness.

If someone was to say: Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imraan, was reported to have wished for death when she said, “Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight.” (19:23). How is it that she fell into doing that which is prohibited? Then answering that we give [is the following]:

  • First: We must know that when it comes to the Law of the previous nations, if our Law mentions something that is contrary to theirs, then their law cannot be used as proof because our Law abrogated all that of the former religions.
  • Second: Maryam did not desire death, but she wished that she had died before this fitnah (trial) [that she was afflicted with] even if she had lived a thousand years. What is important is that she wished to die without any fitnah. An example of this is the statement of Yoosuf, “You are my protector in the world and the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.” (12:101) What is meant here is not that he asked Allah to cause him to die, rather asked Him to cause him die as one who has submitted (Muslim), and there is nothing wrong with this. It is similar to you saying, “Allah, make me die on Islam, faith, tawheed (monotheism), and ikhlaas (sincerity), or cause me to do what You are pleased with me,” and so forth.

It is necessary to understand the difference between a person who wishes for death because of difficult circumstances that afflicted him, and a person who wishes to die in a specific state that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, is pleased with. The first type is prohibited by the Messenger (S), while the second type is permissible.

The Prophet (S) only prohibited a wish for death borne from an afflicted calamity, because the one who does so is not patient, and it is required that the person be patient with an affliction and to anticipate the reward from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. The afflicted calamity—whether it is anxiety, grief, illness, or any other calamity—is expiation for your sins; so if you anticipate the reward, then it will be a cause of raising you in rank.

Whatever affliction, illness, or anything similar affects a person it is never infinite, rather it will end and there is no doubt in this. When it does end, and you have earned a good merit by anticipating the reward from Allah and an expiation of your sins, then it turns into goodness for you. This is affirmed from the Prophet (S) when he said, “The case of the believer is amazing. All his affairs are good, and that is not for anyone but the believer. If something happens to him that makes him happy, he is grateful, so that is good for him. If something happens to him that harms him, then he is patient, so that is good for him.” So in all circumstance there is goodness for the believer, whether in times of calamity or in times of prosperity.

129. You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives, even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them leaving the other suspended [between divorce and marriage]. If you do all that is right and fear Allah, then Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah here informs that husbands will never be able to do perfect justice between their wives. It is not within their power or capacity to perform perfect justice, because for the observance of equitability it is essential that they have equal feelings of love, affection, and fondness for all their wives and then act according to the demands of these feelings. Since this is impossible and impractical, and is not within the capability of a human being, so Allah has forgiven it and has prohibited them from trying to perform what is not within their power. Thus, Allah decrees, so do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other suspended, that is, do not have too much affection toward one to the extent of not discharge the rights of the other wives, which is essential upon you. Rather, observe balance and equitability as far as is within your power. Therefore, [equitably] provide the basic necessities, such as living allowance, clothing, housing, and sleeping with them, etc. which are matters that are mandatory on you. On the contrary, it is not possible to be equitable and to do justice with all your wives in matters of love and coitus.

Hence, when a husband stops discharging those rights of a wife that are obligatory on him, then she becomes similar to a suspended woman who does not have a husband from whom she can derive comfort and discharge of her matrimonial rights, nor is she like the wife who has a husband to take care of her rights. If you do all that is right, that is, being judicious and controlling your evil self and compelling it to discharge the rights due to your wife―as well as other matters that are pending between you and others or be a mediator between them to solve their disputes. This indicates that every possible effort should be made and every step taken to attain peace. Fear Allah, that is, be fearful of Allah while obeying His commandments and refraining from His prohibitions, and observe steadfastness as much as is within your capacity. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful; indeed Allah will forgive all the sins you have committed and will overlook your mistakes; just as you treated your wives with kindness and affection, so will Allah treat you with benefaction and kindness.

I would like to apologize for the delay in posting material.  Did some traveling and was also busy with some works that I think you all will find very interesting and enlightening.  Insh’Allah I will once again start posting so please check often.



Chapter: Purifying the private parts and the etiquettes of answering the call of nature.

If one enters the bathroom he enters with the left leg first and says,

“In the Name of Allah (bismillah), Oh Allah, indeed, I seek refuge with You from the unclean and the filth.”[1]

When he exits, [he exits] with his right and says,

“You forgive (ghufraanak). All praise to Allah, Who kept from me the harmful and pardoned me from the harm.”[2]

When sitting down, he should lean on his left leg and raise his right leg; shield himself with a wall or something similar and stay away from open spaces. It is not permissible to relieve oneself on the roadways, the streets, place where people sit, underneath fruit bearing trees, or anyplace that can cause people harm. He should not face toward the Qiblah nor place his backside towards it while relieving himself. He (s) said,

“When you go to relieve yourselves, do not face towards the Qiblah, nor turn your backs towards it, whether you are urinating or defecating; rather face towards the east or the west.”[3]

After relieving himself, if he wipes with three stones or something similar, or cleaned the area and purified himself with water, then that is enough. It is sufficient to restrict to one of them only. He should not wipe himself with dung, manure, animal droppings, or bones. The Prophet (s) prevented us from using such things, therefore it is forbidden.

It is sufficient to wash the impurities of the body and the clothing, [such as] stains and something similar until the contaminated area vanishes. This is because the legislation does not stipulate the number of washing for removing the impurity, except for the impurity of a dog. [For the impurity of a dog] it is stipluated that the washing of the contaminated area occur seven times, with one of them being with dirt or dust.

The impure things are: natural [menstrual] blood, urine, and blood. One is pardon for the blood that flows continuously, as this is an exception. For example the blood that is shed from an edible animal, without staying in the meat or the veins, is pure. From the impure is the urine and feces of every animal whose consumption is forbidden, thus every carnivorous animal is impure. Also, the dead [are impure], except the blood of the dead and any dead person who not longer retains any fluids in him. Fish, shrimp, crayfish, locust, grasshoppers are pure. Allah say,  

“Forbidden for you are dead animals and blood.” (Al Ma’idah: 3)

The Messenger of Allah said,

“The believer is pure alive or dead.”[4]

He (s) also said,

“Permissible for you are the two dead and the two bloods; as for the two dead they are fish and locust; as for the two bloods they are the liver and spleen.”[5]

As for the feces and urine of animals whose consumption is permissible, it is clean. As for semen it is clean because the Prophet would clean off the sticky semen and scratch off the dried semen left on his clothing with his finger. Regarding the urine of a male toddler, who cannot consume solid foods, it is enough to sprinkle water on the [affected] area as he (s) said,

“Wash the urine of an infant girl and sprinkle water on the urine of an infant boy.”[6]

When the impure area decrease, it becomes clean and if the color or smell stays there is no harm. Likewise, the Prophet said to Khawlah bint Yasaar regarding menstruation blood,

“Water is sufficient for you and there is no harm in the [remaining] stain.”


[1] Related from ‘Anas. Bukhārī: 142, 5963; Muslim: 375.

[2] His (s) saying, “ghufraanak” is authentically reported and what comes after is not.  Ghufraanak is reported by Abū Dāwūd: 30; al-Tirmidhī: 7; ibn Mājah: 300; Aḥmad: 6/155.

[3] Muslim: 264, Bukhārī: 144

[4] Al-Haakim in Mustadrak no. 1422. Saheeh without the statement “alive or dead”

[5] Ibn Mājah: 3314, and Ahmad: 2/97; it is sahīh.

[6] Abū Dāwūd: 376, al-Nisā’i: 305, ibn Mājah: 526, ibn Khuzaymah: 283, al-Ṭabārī: 22/384, al-Ḥākim: 589, and al-Bayhaqī: 2/415.

Hadith 29

By way of Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid bin Haarithah, the mawlaa (freed slave) of Allah’s Messenger, his beloved friend, son of his beloved friend, may Allah be pleased with them both, who related, “The daughter of the Prophet (S) sent a message to him [saying], ‘The time has arrived for [the death of] my son, so come to us.’ So he sent a message conveying the salutations and saying, ‘What Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].’ So she sent a message to him beseeching him to come to her. So he set off, and with him was Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, Mu‘aadh b. Jabal, Ubayy b. Ka‘b, Zaid b. Thaabit, and some other men, may Allah be pleased with them. The child was brought to the Allah’s Messenger and he sat him in his lap; his [the child’s] breathing was sporadic (taqaqa), so his [the Prophet’s] eyes flowed [with tears]. Sa‘d asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what is this?’ He replied, ‘This is mercy which Allah, the Exalted, places in the hearts of His servants.’” In one narration, “In the hearts of whomever among His servants He wills; and Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate.’” [Agreed upon].

The meaning of taqaqa is departing and troubled.


Explanation of Hadith

The author, may Allah have mercy with him, [records the narration] related by Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid b. Haarithah, may Allah be pleased with both of them; Zaid b. Haarithah was the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger; he had [initially] been a slave who was gifted to the Prophet by [his first wife] Khadeejah; he freed him and so he became his mawlaa (freed slave). He was nicknamed Hibbu Rasul Allah meaning: Beloved One of Allah’s Messenger. His son [Usaamah] was also nicknamed Hibbu. So, Usaamah was his beloved and son of his beloved, may Allah be pleased with both of them.

He [Usaamah] relates that one of the daughters of the Messenger (S) sent a herald to him informing him that the time, meaning the time of death, had arrived for her son, and she wanted the Prophet (S) to be in attendance. The herald informed the Messenger of Allah (S) to which he (S) said, “Whatever Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].”

So the Prophet (S) ordered the man whom his daughter had sent, to command his daughter, the mother of this dying son, with these statements:

He said, be patient, that is, anticipate the reward from Allah for your patience. There are some who are patient but do not expect reward from Allah: patient in staying away from disobedience and is not angry [with the decree], but they do not hope for Allah’s reward; resulting, in huge loss of reward. However if he is patient and anticipates Allah’s reward – meaning, he wants Allah to reward him for his patience and to grant him recompense – then this is called al-ihtisaab (anticipating the reward from Allah).

So be patient with this affliction and anticipate from Allah the reward for that. His statement, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, is tremendous indeed. Since all things belong to Allah, if He removes a thing from you, then it was His possession, and if He bestows on you a thing, then it was His possession. How then can you be angry when He takes from you something that [already] belongs to Him?

Therefore if Allah takes from you a thing that you adore, then you should say: this is Allah’s; He takes what He wills and gives what He wills.

This is why the Sunnah teaches that when a person is afflicted with a suffering, then he should say, “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return,” meaning, we are Allah’s property and He does with us as He wills. Likewise, when He takes away a thing that we adore, then it was His: what He takes is His, and what He gives is His.  So whatever He gives to you, you are not its owner, rather it belongs to Allah, and so you are unable to use what He gives you except in accordance with what He has permitted. This proves that whatever is in our possession was bestowed on us by Allah; ours ownership of it is lacking, and we do not have absolute control over its disposal; so if a person wants to have absolute control on the spending of his wealth in a way not allowed by the Law, we tell him to cease because it is not possible to do so; that wealth belongs to Allah, as He says, “Give them something out of the wealth of Allah.” (24:33) This wealth belongs to Allah, so do not spend it in a manner other than what you have been permitted. This is why he said, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, so if what Allah takes is His, then why should we be concerned? How can we be angry with the Owner taking back what belongs to Him. This is contrary to reason and to what has been revealed.

 He said, everything with Him has a stated term, meaning, everything has been apportioned by Allah. Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an, “Everything with Him is in due proportion.” (13:8) [Meaning,] apportioned in its time, place, essence, attributes, and all that relates to it for a stated term, meaning, it is specified. So when you are certain of this – what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, and, everything with Him has a stated term – then you will be satisfied. The last part, [everything with Him has a stated term,] means that a person cannot alter the stated term, neither advancing it nor delaying it, as Allah says,  For every nation there is a term appointed; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it a moment.” (10:49)

 So when something has been predetermined, unable to be advanced or delayed, then there is no benefit in being worried or annoyed concerning it, because even if you are [affected], you can never alter what was been ordained.

The envoy related to the Prophet’s daughter what he was commanded to say, but she sent a message back to him requesting him to come. The Prophet (S) stood up, along with a group of his companions, to go to her. [When he arrived] the boy was given to him while he was gasping: his breath was disturbed, going up and down. The Messenger (S) wept, his eyes shedding tears. Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, who was with him and was the Chief of the Khazraj, said, what is this? He thought the Messenger (S) was weeping out of worry. The Prophet (S) replied, This is mercy, that is, I weep out of mercy for the child and not in dissatisfaction with what has been ordained.

Afterwards, he (S) said, Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate. In this lives evidence for the permissibility to cry of mercy for the one afflicted.

So when you see a person suffering an affliction mentally or physically, and you weep out of mercy for him, it is proof that Allah, the Exalted, has placed mercy in your heart, and when Allah places mercy in a person’s heart, then he is counted among the compassionate upon whom Allah will have mercy. We ask Allah to bestow His mercy upon us.

In this narration is evidence for the obligation of patience, as the Messenger (S) said, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].


It is also indicative of a better way of offering condolence, better than the saying, “May Allah increase your reward, make good your condolence, and forgive your deceased.” Some scholars recommended this phrase, however the one expressed by the Messenger (S), what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward] is better, because when the afflicted hears it, he becomes pleased.

To offer condolences, in reality, is not to celebrate, as some ignorant masses wrongly believe it to be a celebration: setting up chairs, lighting candles, readers, and varieties of food present on such occasion. Rather, condolence is meant to bring solace and to strengthen the afflicted, so that he endures patiently. Thus, if a person shows no concern for an affliction: for example if his cousin dies and he shows no concern for it, then there is no need to show any condolences to him. That is why the scholars have said, “It is from the Sunnah to offer condolences to the afflicted,” and they did not say that it is Sunnah to give condolences to the relatives; it is possible that a relative may not grieve from the death of a relative, while a non-relative may grieve, owning to the strength of the friendship, for example, that existed between the two of them.

Thus, condolences are only offered to the afflicted and not the relatives. However, today it is the opposite, unfortunately, the tables have turned: condolences have become the standard for the relatives, to the extent that even if he is pleased with the death of his relative, beating a drum [in happiness], he is offered condolences.

 [An example is:] a person is poor and many problems exist between him and his cousin, the cousin then dies and leaves behind millions of dirhams. [Now,] would he be happy that his cousin died or would he feel like a great calamity has befallen him? In most cases he would be happy, saying, “Praise Allah, who saved me from his problems and caused me to inherit his wealth.” Condolences are not offered to this person; if we were to say anything to him, then it would be congratulations.

It is important for us to know that condolences are meant to strengthen the patience and sense of stability of the one who is afflicted with the distress, so the best and most appropriate words should be chosen that convey it, and there can be no better way of offering condolence than what was said by our Prophet (S). Allah is the granter of success.


Qur’anic Verse

255. Allah, there is no diety but Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His Permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they will never encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His Kursee extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. He is the Most High, the Most Great.

 Qur’anic Exegesis

This noble verse is amongst the greatest and most revered of all the verses of the Qur’ān; it narrates the greatest of Allah’s attributes along with other various important issues. Many hadīths persuade and encourage us to recite this noble verse in the morning and the evening, at bedtime, and after every obligatory salaah. Allah says about Himself, there is no diety but Him, hence, every worship and servitude must be for Him, alone, because He is the Most Virtuous and Revered, and showers His blessings on all and sundry. Being one of Allah’s creation and His servants it is our rightful duty that we consistently show Him our gratefulness by obeying His commandments and refraining from His forbiddences. Since all things are transient, except for Allah who is Eternal, so all worship [toward others] is incorrect except for the worship of Allah. Only Allah is the Creator so only He is Perfect, while all other things are mere creation, imperfect and ever dependent on Him; so a creation can never be worthy of being worshipped. The Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all that exists, within these two sacred names of Allah: al-Hayy and al-Qayyoom, there is an indication of all His other attributes, may it be through similitude, connotation or necessity.

Al-Ha’ee refers to the Entity Who is the most Eternal and has the Most Perfect life, and refers to Allah’s personal attributes such as listening, seeing, knowing, having authority, etc. Al-Qayyum refers to the Entity Who is Ever Existing and others exist because of Him. This includes all authoritative attributes of Allah that indicate Him doing whatever He likes. Ascending, descending, speech, judgment, creation, giving sustenance, giving death, giving life and other such innumerable actions and deeds are all proofs of Allah’s attribute of al-Qayyum. Some researchers say that this is the greaty words which, when recited, ensures that no supplication will be rejected.

Another indication of Allah’s Eternity and Self-Existence is that neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. He is the Master and all others are His slaves. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Discreet, while all others are mere creation, needy, and indiscreet. No one in the entire universe, on the earth and in the heavens, has any control over his own matters or that of others, except Allah. Thus Allah says, who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission, that is, no one can intercede for another, as authority of intercession is only with Allah. When Allah desires to shower His kindness on someone, He allows that revered servant to intercede on his behalf; and this would indeed be an increase to the reverence of the intercessor. No one will be able to intercede on his own on behalf of another, until Allah grants him permission to do so.

Afterwards, Allah says, He knows what is before them and what is behind them, that is, He knows regarding all their past and future matters, and knows the details of all their obvious and hidden, past, present, and future deeds. Man has no authority on, or knowledge of, his own matters until and unless Allah notifies him regarding them; for this reason Allah declares, they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except what He wills. His Khursee extends over the heavens and the earth. This is an indication of the perfection of His grandeur and the vastness of His domain. When even His Khursee (footstool) is so huge that it is bigger than the earth and the skies, although they, despite being so huge, are not the biggest of Allah’s creations and there are others far bigger than them, such as the ‘Arsh (throne) and other things that only Allah has knowledge of; since it is impossible for our limited comprehensions to imagine them, then how can it be possible to comprehend and understand the grand persona of their Creator, Allah, who gave them life and placed in them His innumerable wisdom and secrets. He, Who solely holds [in place] the earth, the skies, and the universes so that they do not leave their designated places, and Who never feels fatigued in doing so. Hence, Allah says, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, that is, it is not the least difficult for Him to care for all His creation. He is with respect to His persona, the Most High, enthroned on the Mighty Throne.

All His creation is under His dominion, because He is on the highest place. He is on the highest position of esteem, because all His attributes are the most perfect, and the Most Great. Lords, rulers, and kings of this world are nothing compared to Allah’s stature, because He is the Mightiest and Greatest of all Lords. This noble verse contains all the three forms of tawheed: Tawheed al-Uloohiyah, Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah, and Tawheed al-Asma wa’l-Sifaat. This noble verse also contains the description of the vastness of Allah’s dominion, of the unfathomed depth of His knowledge, of the enormity of His unlimited kingdom, of His utmost authority, His unrivalled prominence, His distinct eminence, and His unequalled Singularity. Hence, this noble verse is the most comprehensive and complete description of Allah’s names, virtues, traits, and attributes.

Qur’anic Verses

67. When Moosa said to his people, “Allah commands you to slaughter a cow.” They said, “Do you make fun of us?” He said, “I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant.” 68. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is!” He said, “Allah[1] says, ‘It is a cow neither old nor young, but between the two conditions’, so do what you are commanded.” 69. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make plain to us its color.” He said, “Allah says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its color, pleasing to the beholders.’” 70. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, to us all cows are alike. If Allah wills, we will be guided.” 71. He said, “Allah says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no blemish.’” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” So they slaughtered it though they almost did not. 72. Then when you killed a man and fell into dispute, Allah brought forth that which you were concealing. 73. So We said, “Strike him [the dead man] with a piece of [the cow].” Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His signs so that you may understand. 74. Yet after this, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even harder; for there are stones from which rivers gush forth, and there are some which split open and water flows from them, and there are some which fall down in fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Qur’anic Exegesis 

So remember the events which occurred between Moosa and yourselves, when you murdered a man and started arguing with each other about the murderer; accusing each other of it, until you carried this dispute to such extremes that if Allah had not intervened you would have gotten involved in a major conflict.

Prophet Moosa, to find the murderer, ordered you to sacrifice a cow. You were obliged to obey him immediately and to not raise any objections, instead what occurred is that you began objecting and said, “Do you make fun of us?” Allah’s Prophet replied, “I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant,” because only an ignorant person will say such useless things and make a mockery of others. A wise person knows that making a mockery of someone from his own people is the worst defect in wisdom and faith. Although he may really have some superiority over others, but such superiority demands that he should thank Allah for it and be kind and humble to others.

When Prophet Moosa said this, they realized its truth and said, call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, meaning, ask Allah to relate to you how that cow should be–what is her age, etc? He said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither old nor young, Moosa replied that Allah says that the cow is not an aged one, neither old nor young, but between the two conditions.’” So instead of getting into unnecessary arguing, do what you have been ordered to do. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make plain to us its color.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its color, that is, it should be of a pure golden color pleasing to the beholders,’” whoever sees her admires her because of her beauty.

They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, to us all cows are alike, we do not know what cow you speak off and if Allah wills, we will be guided.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil, that is, she has not been used to plough farmland, nor water the fields, she has never been used to draw water from a well, sound, she should be free of all imperfections and must never have been used for labor and having no blemish.’” so aside from the color that has been previously described, she should not have any mark of any other color.

They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” Now you have clearly defined how the cow should be. It was from their ignorance to say this, because Prophet Moosa had initially described the truth. If they would have presented any cow, the desired objective would have been achieved, but since they adopted the way of unnecessary argument, hence Allah too put them to hardship. Additionally, if they would not have said the words if Allah wills they never would have found the required cow.

So they slaughtered it, that is, they slew the cow which had the described attributes though they almost did not, because of their rowdiness and unnecessary questioning, it never really seemed that they would sacrifice the cow.

When they did sacrifice the cow, Allah said to them to touch the murdered person with one of its [the cows] pieces. This might have meant any piece or a particular piece and there is no use trying to establish which one. Thus, when they touched one of cow’s pieces to the murdered person, Allah brought him back to life. Hence, Allah revealed what they had been trying to hide and informed them of the murderer. Bringing the murdered person back to life in front of their eyes was an absolute proof that Allah will give life to the dead. So that you may understand, that is, so you may use your intellect and refrain from what Allah has forbidden for you.

Yet after this, your hearts were hardened and no amount of admonition would be effective on you because your hearts became too hardened after this event. Yet after this, that is, after Allah granted you His greatest bounties and showed you His biggest signs. It was not sensible after such a showing that your hearts became hardened, because what you had witnessed [should have been] enough to make your hearts submissive and obedient to Allah.

Afterwards, Allah defines the characteristics of a hardened heart by saying, became as stones, that is, their hearts have become harder than stone, which is more resilient than iron. When steel or lead is heated in a fire it melts, but stone never melts even [when placed] in fire. Or even harder, that is, hardness of their hearts is not less than that of stone. Here or (او) is not in the meaning of rather (بل).

Accordingly, Allah gives superiority to the stone over their hearts and says, for there are stones, from which rivers gush forth, and there are some which split open and water flows from them, and there are some which fall down in fear of Allah–because water streams out from some stones, some split open and from them water seeps out, and some stones fall down in fear of Allah–so, due to these attributes even stones are far better than your hearts. Then Allah warns them of the dire consequences by saying, and Allah is aware of what you do, that is, He is aware of all that you do; He is aware of all your deeds, big or small, recording them and will soon reimburse you for them appropriately.

It must be remembered that the majority of Qur’anic exegeses have filled their commentaries with detailed Israelite stories. They comment on the Qur’an from the context of Israelite events and explain the Qur’an in the light of those events. For their argument they quote the hadeeth of the Prophet, “Narrate from the Children of Israel, there is no harm [in this].”[2]

My opinion regarding this is that even if there is no wrong in quoting Israelite event, it gives an impression that such events can be described outside of the Qur’anic context. It is not right to present these events separately from the Qur’an and make them part of a Qur’anic commentary until they have been proven by an authentic saying from the Prophet. This is because of a dictum from Prophet Muhammad, “You should neither believe nor disbelieve the People of the Book.”[3]

When we know that these tales are not fully authenticated and we also know that it is the requirement of our faith to keep full belief in the Qur’an, its words and meanings, so it is not appropriate in any way to absolutely consider these unauthentic tales or narrations as the real meaning of the Qur’an, as there is a strong possibility that these tales are mostly fictitious or untrue. No one should be in any doubt about this and we have already suffered a great deal by violating this principle. Allah is the best Conciliator.

[1] The pronoun He is used in the original text.  Since it is used to refer to Allah in this verse, the name Allah has been used for ease of reading.

[2] Abi Daawood: no. 3662

[3] Bukhaaree: no. 4485.