Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Surah Muzammil

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1.

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ

O you wrapped up!

2.

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.

3.

نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انْقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا

Half of it or less than that, a little.

4.

أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا

Or a little more. And Rattil the Qur'an Tartil.

5.

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا

Verily, We shall send down to you a Word Thaqil.

6.

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا

Verily, rising (Nashi'ah) at night is better for understanding and more suitable for speech (recitation).

7.

إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا

Verily, for you in the day is lengthy Sabh.

8.

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا

And remember the Name of your Lord and (Tabattil) devote yourself to Him with complete devotion.

9.

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا

Lord of the east and the west; La ilaha illa Huwa, so take Him as a trustee.

Next 10-18   

The Command to stand at Night (in Prayer)

Allah commands His Messenger to cease being wrapped up, and this means to be covered during the night. He commands him to get up and stand in prayer to His Lord. This is as Allah says,

تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفاً وَطَمَعاً وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them. (32:16)

Thus, the Prophet did as Allah ordered him, by standing for prayer at night. This was obligatory upon him alone, as Allah said,

وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا

And in some parts of the night offer the Salah with it (the Qur'an), as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud. (17:79)

Here Allah explains how much prayer he should perform. Allah says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ﴿١ 

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿٢ 

O you wrapped up! Stand all night, except a little.

Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi all said, يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ  (O you wrapped up!)

"This means, O you who are asleep.''

Qatadah said,

"The one who is wrapped up in his garments.''

Concerning Allah's statement,

نِصْفَهُ ...  

Half of it,

means, instead of the whole night.

... أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ﴿٣﴾ أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ ...   

A little less than that, or a little more.

meaning, `We have commanded you to stand in prayer for half of the night, either a little more than it or a little less. There is no hardship on you concerning that (slight increase or decrease).

 The Way of reciting the Qur'an

Concerning Allah's statement,

... وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿٤﴾

And Rattil the Qur'an Tartil.

meaning, recite it slowly, for that will help in understanding the Qur'an and contemplating it. This is how the Prophet used to recite.

A'ishah said,

"He (the Prophet) used to recite the chapter slowly, so much so that it would be longer than chapters that were actually longer than it.''

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded from Anas that he was asked about the recitation of the Messenger of Allah , so he replied,

"He used to elongate the letters.''

Then he (Anas) recited,

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (1:1)

and he elongated "In the Name of Allah,''

and he elongated "The Most Gracious,''

and he elongated "The Most Merciful.''

Ibn Jurayj reported from Ibn Abi Mulaykah, who narrated from Umm Salamah that she was asked about the recitation of the Messenger of Allah , so she said,

"He used to pause in his recitation, verse by verse.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ - الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ - مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is Allah's, the Lord of all that exists. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense. (1:1-4)

This was recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi.

We have already mentioned the Hadiths which prove the recommendation of slow rhythmic recitation and beautification of the voice while reciting at the beginning of this Tafsir. For example, the Hadith which states,

زَيِّنُوا الْقُرْآنَ بِأَصْوَاتِكُم

Beautify the Qur'an with your voices.

and the Hadith,

لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يَتَغَنَّ بِالْقُرْآن

He is not of us who does not chant nicely with the recitation of the Qur'an.

and the Hadith,

لَقَدْ أُوتِيَ هَذَا مِزْمَارًا مِنْ مَزَامِيرِ آلِ دَاوُد

Verily, he has been given this windpipe from the windpipes of the family of Dawud. Referring to Abu Musa.

Abu Musa replied,

"If I knew that you had been listening to my recitation, I would have truly beautified it for you.''

It has been narrated from Ibn Mas`ud that he said,

"Do not scatter the (recitation of) Qur'an out like the scattering of sand, and do not rush through it like the hasty recitation of poetry. Stop at its amazing parts and make your heart move with it. None of you should let his concern be to reach the end of the chapter.''

This has been recorded by Al-Baghawi.

Al-Bukhari recorded from Abi Wa'il that he said,

"A man came to Ibn Mas`ud and said, `I read the Mufassal chapters (from Qaf to An-Nas) last night in one unit of prayer.'

Ibn Mas`ud said,

`This is rushing like the haste of reciting poetry.'

 The Magnificence of the Qur'an

Allah then said,

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا ﴿٥ 

Verily, We shall send down to you a Word Thaqil.

Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said, "The actions with it.''

It has also been said that it means it will be heavy at the time of its revelation due to its magnificence. This is similar to what Zayd bin Thabit said. He said,

"The Messenger of Allah received some revelation while his thigh was on top of my thigh, and my thigh was almost crushed due to it.''

Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr that he said,

"I asked the Prophet, `O Messenger of Allah! Do you feel anything when revelation comes (to you)'

The Messenger of Allah replied,

أَسْمَعُ صَلَاصِلَ ثُمَّ أَسْكُتُ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ، فَمَا مِنْ مَرَّةٍ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ إِلَّا ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّ نَفْسِي تُقْبَض

I hear a ringing and then I remain quiet when that occurs. There has not been a single time that revelation has come to me except that I thought that my soul was about to be taken (death).

Ahmad was alone in narrating this.

In the beginning of Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded from `A'ishah that Al-Harith bin Hisham asked the Messenger of Allah, "How does the revelation come to you''

The Prophet replied,

أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِي فِي مِثْلِ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ، فَيُفْصَمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ عَنْهُ مَا قَالَ،

وَأَحْيَانًا يَتَمَثَّلُ لِي الْمَلَكُ رَجُلًا فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُول

Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, and it is most severe upon me. Then this state passes away from me after I have grasped what is inspired.

Sometimes the angel comes to me in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.

`A'ishah added,

"Verily, I saw him receiving revelation and I noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead on a very cold day as the revelation ended.''

This is the wording recorded by Al-Bukhari.

Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah that she said,

"If the Messenger of Allah received any revelation while he was on his riding animal, it would begin moving its Jiran intensely.''

The Jiran is the bottom of the neck.

Ibn Jarir chose the interpretation that it (the revelation) is heavy in both ways simultaneously. This is as `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said,

"Just as it is heavy in this world, it will also be heavy on the Day of Judgement in the Scales.''

 The Virtue of standing at Night for Prayer

Allah says,

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْءًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا ﴿٦ 

Verily, rising (Nashi'ah) at night is better for understanding and more suitable for speech (recitation).

`Umar, Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Zubayr, all said,

"The entire night is Nashi'ah.''

Mujahid and others said the same.

It is said "Nasha'a'' when a person stands at night to pray.

In one narration from Mujahid he said, "(It is) after `Isha' (prayer).''

This was also said by Abu Mijlaz, Qatadah, Salim, Abu Hazim and Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir.

The point is that Nashi'ah of the night refers to its hours and its times, every hour of it is called Nashi'ah, so it refers to the periods of time. The purpose of this is that standing at night (for prayer) is better for training the heart and the tongue, and more conducive to recitation. Thus, Allah says, هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْءًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا  is better for understanding and more suitable for speech (recitation).

meaning, more comprehensive for the matter of performing the recitation and better for understanding it than in the recitation of the day. This is because the daytime is the time for people to disperse and move about, to raise voices and be lively.

Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawsili said,

"Ibrahim bin Sa`id Al-Jawhari told us that Abu Usamah told us that Al-A`mash informed us that Anas bin Malik recited this Ayah as:

هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْءًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا  Verily, rising at night is better for understanding and more correct for the speech.

So a man said to him, `We recite it;

وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا  more suitable for speech.

So Anas said to him,

`Most correct (Aswab), most suitable (Aqwam), the best for preparation (Ahya') and similar words are all the same (in meaning).'''

Thus, Allah continues saying,

إِنَّ لَكَ فِي اَلنَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا ﴿٧ 

Verily, for you in the day is lengthy Sabh.

Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah and "Ata' bin Abi Muslim, all said,

"Leisure time and sleep.''

Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Sufyan Ath-Thawri, all said,

"A long amount of leisure time.''

Qatadah said, "Leisure, aspirations and activities.''

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said concerning the statement, إِنَّ لَكَ فِي اَلنَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا  (Verily, for you in the day is lengthy Sabh).

"This means for your needs. Therefore, leave the night open for your religious devotion. Allah said this when the (voluntary) night prayer was obligatory. Then, Allah blessed His servants, lightened the matter and removed its obligation.''

Then he recited,

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا Stand (to pray) all night, except a little, to the end of the Ayah,

then he recited,

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَى مِن ثُلُثَىِ الَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ Verily, your Lord knows that you do stand less than two- thirds of the night, or half of it.  until he reached, مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُواْ So recite of it what is easy. (73:20)

and Allah says,

وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا 

And Tahajjud in some parts of the night (also offer the Salah with it), as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud. (17:79)

In fact, this is as true as what he (Abdur-Rahman) said. The proof for this view is what Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad, that

Sa`id bin Hisham divorced his wife and then traveled to Al-Madinah in order to sell some property he had with her. He intended to use its money to buy an animal and a weapon and then go for Jihad against the Romans and fight until he got success or died.

In the process of this he met a group of his (tribe) people and disclosed to them his intention.

They informed him that that in the time of the Messenger of Allah a group of six men from his people had intended in a similar way, upon which he (the prophet) said,

أَلَيْسَ لَكُمْ فِيَّ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ؟

Is there not for you all an excellent example in me?

So he forbade them from that and made them testify that they would take their wives back.

After hearing this Hadith, Sa`id bin Hisham changed his mind and referred back with his wife.

Then he (Sa`id) returned to us and informed us that he went to Ibn `Abbas and asked him about the Witr (prayer).

Ibn `Abbas said, "Shall I not inform you of the person who is the most knowledgeable person on the earth about the Witr prayer of the Messenger of Allah ''

He said, "Yes.''

Ibn `Abbas then said, "Go to `A'ishah and ask her, then return to me and inform me of what she tells you.''

He said, "Then I went to Hakim bin Aflah and requested him to go with me to her. But he said, `I do not want to be near her. Verily, I forbade her from saying anything concerning these two parties (the parties of `Ali and Mu`awiyah), but she refused and continued being involved with them (in their conflict).' So I adjured him by Allah, so he came with me and we entered upon her (in her house).''

So she said, "Is this the Hakim that I know''

He (Hakim) said, "Yes.''

Then she said, "Who is this that is with you''

He said, "Sa`id bin Hisham.''

She said, "Who is Hisham''

He said, "He is Ibn `Amir.''

She then asked Allah to have mercy upon him (`Amir). Then she said, "Yes, `Amir was a true man.''

Then I (Sa`id) said, "O Mother of the believers! Inform me about the character of the Messenger of Allah.''

She replied, "Have you not read the Qur'an?''

I said, "Of course.''

Then she said,

"Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Qur'an.''

I was about to stand and leave, but then I remembered to ask about the night prayer of the Messenger of Allah. I said, "O Mother of the believers! Inform me about the night prayer of the Messenger of Allah.''

She said, "Have you not read the Surah, يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ (O you wrapped up).

I said, "Of course.''

She then said,

"Verily, Allah made standing at night (for prayer) obligatory at the beginning of this Surah. So the Messenger of Allah and his Companions stood for an entire year during the night (in prayer) until their feet swelled. Allah held back the revelation of the end of this Surah for twelve months. Then, Allah revealed the lightening of this burden at the end of this Surah. Then, the standing for night prayer became voluntary after it used to be obligatory.''

I was about to leave when I remembered to ask her about the Witr prayer of the Messenger of Allah. So I said, "O Mother of the believers! Inform me about the Witr prayer of the Messenger of Allah.''

She said,

"We used to prepare his Siwak (tooth stick) for him and his ablution water, and Allah would awaken him whenever He wished to awaken him during the night.

Then, he would clean his teeth with the Siwak and perform ablution.

Then, he would pray eight (Rak`ahs) units of prayer and he would not sit during them except at the end of the eighth one. At this point he would sit and remember his Lord the Most High, and supplicate to Him.

Afterwards he would stand without saying the greeting of peace (Taslim). He would then pray a ninth unit of prayer and then sit. He would remember Allah Alone and then supplicate to Him (during this sitting). Then, he would say the greetings of peace (to conclude the prayer) making it audible to us.

Then, he would pray two more units of prayer after this salutation of peace, while he would be sitting. So these are eleven units of prayer, O my son.

Then, when he became older and heavier, he would perform Witr prayer with seven units of prayer, and then he would pray two extra units of prayer after them while sitting after the salutation of peace. So these are nine units of prayer, O my son.

Whenever the Messenger of Allah used to pray a particular prayer, he liked to remain consistent in its performance. If he would ever be preoccupied from performing the night prayer by oversleeping, pain or illness, he would pray twelve units of supererogatory prayer during the day.

I do not know of Allah's Prophet ever reciting the entire Qur'an in one night before morning nor did he fast an entire month other than the month of Ramadan.''

So I went to Ibn `Abbas and told him what she had said.

Ibn `Abbas then said,

"She has spoken truthfully and if I had went to her house I would have remained until she spoke directly to me and I could see her lips moving.''

This is how Imam Ahmad recorded this narration in its entirety.

Muslim also recorded similarly in his Sahih.

Ibn Jarir recorded from Abu Abdur-Rahman that he said,

"When the Ayah يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ  O you wrapped. (73:1) was revealed, the people stood in night prayer for an entire year until their feet and shins swelled. This continued until Allah revealed, مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُوا So recite of it what is easy. (73:20).

Then the people relaxed.''

Al-Hasan Al-Basri and As-Suddi both said the same.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning Allah's statement,

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا

Stand (to pray) all night, except a little. Half of it or less than that, a little. (73:2,3)

"This became difficult on the believers. Then Allah lightened the matter for them and had mercy on them when He revealed after this,

أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَى وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَآخَرُونَِ

He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty. until Allah says, مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُوا So, recite you of the Qur'an as much as may be easy for you. (73:20)

So Allah made the matter easy - and unto Him is due all praise - and he did not make matters difficult.''

Then Allah says,

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا ﴿٨ 

And remember the Name of your Lord and (Tabattal) devote yourself to Him with complete devotion.

meaning, make much remembrance (Dhikr) of Him, devote yourself to Him and spend your time worshipping Him when you have completed your occupations and what you need from the affairs of your worldly matters. This is as Allah says,

فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ 

So when you have finished (your occupation), devote yourself for Allah's worship. (94:7)

meaning, when you have completed your tasks and occupations, then busy yourself in His obedience and His worship so that you will have free time for leisure.

The meaning of this was said by Ibn Zayd, or close to its meaning.

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Abu Salih, `Atiyah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi, all said, وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا And (Tabattal) devote yourself to Him with complete devotion.

"This means, make your worship solely for Him alone.''

Al-Hasan said, "Strive and devote yourself to Him.''

Ibn Jarir said,

"A devout worshipper is called Mutabattil. An example of this is the reported Hadith that he (the Prophet ) forbade At-Tabattul, which means total devotion to worship while avoiding getting married.''

Allah said,

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا ﴿٩ 

Lord of the east and the west; La ilaha illa Huwa. So take Him a trustee.

meaning, He is the Owner and Controller of affairs in the eastern regions and the western regions. He is the One except whom there is no deity worthy of worship. Just as you single Him out for worship, you should also single Him out for reliance. Therefore, take Him as a guardian and trustee.

This is as Allah says in another Ayah,

فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ

So worship Him and rely upon him. (11:123)

It is also similar to His statement,

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help. (1:5)

The Ayat with this meaning are numerous. They contain the command to make worship and acts of obedience exclusively for Allah, and to rely solely upon Him.

 

10.

Previous 1-9

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا 

And be patient with what they say, and keep away from them in a good way.

11.

وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا

And leave Me alone to deal with the deniers, those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little.

12.

إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنْكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا

Verily, with Us are Ankal, and Jahim.

13.

وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

And a food that chokes, and a painful torment.

14.

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَهِيلًا

On the Day when the earth and the mountains will (Tarjufu) shake, and the mountains will be a heap of sand poured out.

15.

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا

Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger to be a witness over you, as We did send a Messenger to Fir`awn.

16.

فَعَصَى فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا

But Fir`awn disobeyed the Messenger; so We seized him with a severe punishment.

17.

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا

Then how can you protect yourselves from the punishment, if you disbelieve, on a Day that will make the children gray-headed?

18.

السَّمَاءُ مُنْفَطِرٌ بِهِ ۚ

Whereon the heaven will be cleft asunder

كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا

His promise is certainly to be accomplished.

 

Next 19-20   

 The Command to be Patient with the Harms of the Disbelievers and a Discussion of what They will receive because of it

Allah says,

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا ﴿١٠ 

And be patient with what they say, and keep away from them in a good.

Allah commands His Messenger to be patient with what the foolish who reject him among his people say.

Allah also commands him to keep away from them in a nice way. This means in a way that is not blameworthy.

Then Allah says to him, as a threat and a warning to his people - and He (Allah) is the Most Great, Whose anger nothing can stand before,

وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ ...  

And leave Me alone to deal with the deniers, those who are in possession of good things of life.

meaning, `leave Me to deal with the rich rejectors, who own great wealth.'

For verily, they are more able to obey than others besides them, and they are requested to give the rights (to people) because they have what others do not have.

... وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا ﴿١١﴾

And give them respite for a little.

meaning, for a little while.

This is as Allah says,

نُمَتِّعُهُمْ قَلِيلاً ثُمَّ نَضْطَرُّهُمْ إِلَى عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ

We let them enjoy for a little, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment. (31:24)

Thus, Allah says,

إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنكَالًا ...  

Verily, with Us are Ankal, and these are fetters.

Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Tawus, Muhammad bin Ka`b, `Abdullah bin Buraydah, Abu `Imran Al-Jawni, Abu Mijlaz, Ad-Dahhak, Hammad bin Abi Sulayman, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ibn Al-Mubarak, Ath-Thawri and others have all said this.

... وَجَحِيمًا ﴿١٢﴾  

and Jahim, (This is a blazing fire).

وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ ...  

And a food that chokes,

Ibn `Abbas said,

"This means it will get stuck in the throat and it will not enter or come out.''

... وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿١٣﴾

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ ...  

and a painful torment. On the Day when the earth and the mountains will (Tarjuf) shake,

meaning, they will quake.

... وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَّهِيلًا ﴿١٤﴾

And the mountains will be a heap of sand poured out.

meaning, they will become like hills of sand after they had been firm rocks. Then they will be utterly destroyed and nothing will remain of them. This will occur until the entire earth becomes a flat land and no curvature will be seen in it. Thus, there will be no valleys and no hills. This means that no part of it will be low or elevated.

 Your Messenger is like the Messenger to Fir`awn, and You know what happened to Fir`awn

Then addresses the disbelievers of the Quraysh, and along with them the rest of mankind,

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ ...  

Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger to be a witness over you,

meaning, witnessing your deeds.

... كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا ﴿١٥﴾

فَعَصَى فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا ﴿١٦ 

as We did send a Messenger to Fir`awn. But Fir`awn disobeyed the Messenger; so We seized him with a severe punishment.

أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا  severe punishment,

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi, and Ath-Thawri said:

this means severe.

This means, `you should beware of denying this Messenger, lest you be afflicted by that which befell Fir`awn. Allah seized him with the seizing of One Mighty and Powerful.'

This is as Allah says,

فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الاٌّخِرَةِ وَالاٍّوْلَى

So Allah seized him with punishment for his last and first transgression. (79:25)

`Therefore, you will be even more deserving of destruction and ruin if you deny your Messenger, because your Messenger is more noble and a greater than Prophet Musa, the son of `Imran.'

This has been reported from Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid.

 The Threat of the Day of Judgement

Allah says,

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا  ﴿١٧ 

Then how can you protect yourselves from the punishment, if you disbelieved, on a Day that will make the children gray-headed?

Ibn Jarir quoted in the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud:

"How can you, O people, fear a Day that makes the children grey-headed, if you disbelieve in Allah and do not testify to Him''

So the first interpretation would mean,

- `how can you attain safety for yourselves from the Day of this great horror if you disbelieve'

It could imply the meaning,

- `how can you all attain piety if you disbelieve in the Day of Judgement and reject it.'

Both of these meanings are good. However, the first interpretation is closer to the truth. And Allah knows best.

The meaning of Allah's statement,

... يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا

On a Day that will make the children gray-headed, is that this will happen due to the severity of its horrors, its earth- quakes and its disturbing confusion. This is when Allah will say to Adam,

"Send a group to the Fire.''

Adam will say, "How many''

Allah will then reply, "From every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine to the Fire, and one to Paradise.''

Then Allah says,

السَّمَاء مُنفَطِرٌ بِهِ ...  

Whereon the heaven will be cleft asunder.

Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said,

"This means, because of it (the Day of Judgement), due to its severity and its horror.''

Then Allah says,

... كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا ﴿١٨﴾

His promise is certainly to be accomplished.

meaning, the promise of this Day will be fulfilled.

This means it will occur and there is no way around it, and it will come to pass and there is no avoiding it.

 

19.

Previous 10-18

إِنَّ هَذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ

Verily, this is an admonition,

فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا

therefore whosoever wills, let him take a path to His Lord!

20.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَى مِنْ ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ

Verily, your Lord knows that you do stand a little less than two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and also a party of those with you.

وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ

And Allah measures the night and the day.

عَلِمَ أَنْ لَنْ تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ

He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night, so He has turned to you.

فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ

So, recite you of the Qur'an as much as may be easy for you.

عَلِمَ أَنْ سَيَكُونُ مِنْكُمْ مَرْضَى ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ ۙ

He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty,

وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ

yet others fighting in Allah's cause.

فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ

So recite as much of the Qur'an as may be easy,

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ

and perform Salah and give Zakah, and lend to Allah a handsome loan.

وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ

And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.

وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ 

And seek forgiveness of Allah. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.

 

 This is a Surah that Men of Sound Understanding receive Admonition from

Allah says,

إِنَّ هَذِهِ ...  

Verily, this

meaning, this Surah.

... تَذْكِرَةٌ ...

an admonition,

meaning, men of understanding receive admonition from it.

Thus, Allah says,

... فَمَن شَاء اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا ﴿١٩﴾  

therefore whosoever wills, let him take a path to His Lord.

meaning, from those whom Allah wills that they be guided.

This is similar to the stipulation that Allah mentions in another Surah,

وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً 

But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Al-Wise. (76:30)

 Abrogation of the Obligation to offer the Night Prayer and a Mention of its Valid Excuses

Then Allah says,

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَى مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ...  

Verily, your Lord knows that you do stand a little less than two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and also a party of those with you.

meaning, sometimes like this and sometimes like that, and all of these are done unintentionally. However, you all are not able to be consistent with the night prayer Allah has commanded you, because it is difficult for you.

Thus, Allah says,

... وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ...

And Allah measures the night and the day.

meaning, sometimes the night and day are equal, and sometimes one of them will be longer or shorter than the other.

عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ ...

He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night,

meaning, the obligation which He prescribed for you.

... مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ عَلِمَ ...

So, recite you of the Qur'an as much as may be easy.

meaning, without specification of any set time.

This means, stand and pray during the night as much as is easy (for you). Allah uses the term recitation (Qira'ah) to mean prayer (Salah).

This is as Allah says in Surah Subhan (Al-Isra'),

وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاتِكَ

And offer your Salah neither aloud, (17:110)

meaning, your recitation.

وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا

Nor in low voice. (17:110)

Then Allah says,

... أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَى وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ...

He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty, yet others fighting in Allah's cause.

meaning, He knows that there will be people of this nation who will have excuses for not praying the (voluntary) night prayer. They are those who are ill and therefore they are not able to perform it, and those who are traveling in the land seeking the bounty of Allah in business and trade, and others who will be busy with that which is more important to them. An example of this is going on expeditions to fight in the way of Allah.

This Ayah, rather, this entire Surah was revealed in Makkah even though fighting was not legislated until after it was revealed. Thus, it is among the greatest of the signs of Prophethood, because it informs about unseen matters of the future.

Thus, Allah says,

... فَاقْرَؤُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ...

So recite as much of the Qur'an as may be easy,

meaning, stand and pray at night whatever is easy for you to do of it.

Allah said;

 ... وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ...

and perform Salah and give Zakah,

meaning, establish your obligatory prayers and pay your obligatory Zakah.

This is a proof for those who say that Zakah was made obligatory in Makkah, but the various amounts of Nisab and how much was to be given was clarified in Al-Madinah. And Allah knows best.

Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others from the Salaf have said,

"Verily, this Ayah abrogated the standing for prayer at night that Allah previously made obligatory for the Muslims.''

It has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said to a man,

خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ فِي الْيَوْمِ وَاللَّيْلَة

Five obligatory prayers during a day and a night (are obligatory).

The man said, "Is there anything other than this (of prayer) that is obligatory upon me''

The Messenger of Allah replied,

لَا، إِلَّا أَنْ تَطَوَّع

No, except what you may do voluntarily.

 The Command to give Charity and do Good Deeds

Allah says,

... وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا...

and lend to Allah a handsome loan.

meaning, from charitable donations. For verily, Allah will reward for this the best and most abundant of rewards.

This is as Allah says,

مَّن ذَا الَّذِى يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً

Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? (2:245)

Then Allah says,

 ... وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ...

And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.

meaning, for all that you send before yourselves, you will get it (back) and it will be better than what you kept for yourselves in the worldly life.

Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawsili reported from Al-Harith bin Suwayd, from `Abdullah that Messenger of Allah said,

أَيُّكُمْ مَالُهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ مَالِ وَارِثِهِ؟

Which of you hold his wealth to be more beloved to him than the wealth of his heir?

They said, "O Messenger of Allah! There is not a single one of us who does not hold his wealth to be more beloved to him than the wealth of his heir.''

The Messenger of Allah then said,

اعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُون

Know what you are saying!

They replied, "What do we know other than this, O Messenger of Allah''

He then said,

إِنَّمَا مَالُ أَحَدِكُمْ مَا قَدَّمَ، وَمَالُ وَارِثِهِ مَا أَخَّر

The wealth of one of you is only that which he sends forth, and the wealth of his heir is that which he leaves behind.

Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith.

Then Allah says,

 ... وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٢٠﴾

And seek forgiveness of Allah. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.

meaning, remember Him and seek forgiveness from Him often for all of your matters. For verily, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful to whoever seeks His forgiveness.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Muzzammil, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

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