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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Tafsir Surat al-Fatihah 3: Ramadan 2014 Nightly Reminders ~ Dr. Yasir Qa...

Tafsir Surat al-Fatihah 2: Ramadan 2014 Nightly Reminders ~ Dr. Yasir Qa...




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http://www.slideshare.net/ZafferKhan1/tafseer-20of20surah20alfatiha2020ashshanqeetee140405231026phpapp01

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http://sunnahonline.com/library/the-majestic-quran/455-tasfir-of-chapter-001-surah-al-fatihah-the-opening


The Ruling of Isti'adhah (Seeking Refuge)

Allah says:
"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing." [Al-Qur'an 7:199-200]
"Repel evil by means of what is best. We are best Acquainted with the things that they utter. And say, 'My Lord! I seek refuge with you from the whisperings of the devils and I seek refuge with you my Lord lest they come near me.' " [Al-Qur'an23:96-98]

which is better then indeed the one, between whom and you there was enmity, [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted [this quality] except those who are patient and none is granted it save one who possesses a great portion [of high moral character]. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing." [Al-Qur'an 41:34-46]
These verses command the servant of Allah to seek refuge with Him from the accursed Shaytan due to the severe enmity he displays towards mankind and displayed towards their father, Adam. Allah says:
"O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he removed your parents out of Paradise." [Al-Qur'an 7:27]
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:
"Servants of Allah! Contemplate on the removal of your father, Adam from Paradise, the home of security and his descent to the home of disgrace and abasement. The reason for this was none other than the accursed Shaytan. Your Master has prohibited you from obeying him and ordered you to disobey him. Indeed in his obedience lies the Displeasure of Ar-Rahman and disobeying him necessitates residing in Paradise and the descent of Pleasure.
"Allah, Glorified and Exalted, said, 'Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality.' [Al-Baqarah (2): 268]
"So whosoever obeys him, he forsakes him and diverts him from the guidance and opens in his heart the doors to misguidance and ignominy."16
Allah further explains to us the extreme enmity of Shaytan with His words:
"Indeed Shaytan is an open enemy to you so take him as an enemy. He invites his followers only that they may become the denizens of the blazing Fire." [Al-Qur'an 35:6]
"Will you then take him and his offspring as friends and protectors besides Him while they are open enemies to you? Wretched it is as an exchange for the wrong-doers." [Al-Qur'an 18:50]
Indeed Shaytan took an oath saying:
"By Your Might! I will surely misguide them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them." [Al-Qur'an 38:82-83]
It is for this reason that we have been encouraged to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. With regards to reciting theQur'an, Allah says:
"When you wish to read [lit: have read] the Qur'an then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. Indeed he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord. His power is only over those who follow him and join partners with Him." [Al-Qur'an 16:99-100]
A group of the reciters and scholars, from amongst them Hamza, Ibn Sirin, Ibrahim an-Nakha'i and Dawud adh-Dhahiri, were of the opinion that one seeks refuge after the completion of recitation, taking to the literal sense of this verse. They also stated that the reason for doing so would be to repress self-astonishment at the completion of an action of worship.
A second opinion voiced is that one seeks refuge before and after ones recitation. However the famous, well-known opinion, which is the opinion of the majority is that one seeks refuge before recitation in order to safeguard oneself from the whisperings of Shaytan. This groups understood the meaning of the verse to be, "when you wish to read the Qur'an … " in the same sense as the verse:
"When you intend to stand for prayer [lit: have stood for prayer], then wash your faces and forearms … " [Al-Qur'an 5:6]
Abu Dawud reports from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that:
"When the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) stood at night [for prayer, he would commence the prayer] by saying the takbir and then saying, 'Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika, wa tabarrakasmuka, wa ta'ala jadduka, wa la ilaha ghayruk.' (You are glorified O Allah and praised! Your Name is Blessed; Your Majesty is Exalted and none has the right to be worshipped save You.) Then he would say, 'La ilaha illallah' (There is none worthy of worship save You) three times, then he would say, 'Allahu Akbar' three times and then he would say, 'Audhu billahi As-Sami' Al-Alim min Ash-Shaytan ar-Rajim – min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafthihi.' (I take refuge with Allah, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing from the accursed Shaytan: from his madness, arrogance and poetry.)"17
Abu Dawud reports from Nafi' ibn Jubayr from his father who said:
"I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying when he entered into prayer, 'Allahu Akbar Kabira' (Allah is the Greatest, very great) three times, 'Alhamdulillahi Kathira' (Praise and thanks be to Allah, again and again) three times and'Subhanallahi Bukratan wa Asila' (Glorified is Allah, morning and evening) three times. Then he said, 'Allahumma inni a'udhubika mina Ash-Shaytan, min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathi.' (O Allah! I take refuge with You from Shaytan – from his madness, arrogance and poetry.)"18
The majority of scholars are of the opinion of that isti'adha is recommended and not obligatory. However it is reported from 'Ata ibn Abi Rabah that it is obligatory to say it within the prayer and outside the prayer when one desires to recite the Book of Allah. Ar-Razi stated that the proof for this opinion was that the verse, "seek protection with Allah" is mentioned in the imperative, that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) persisted in uttering it throughout his life and that it serves as a protective barrier from Shaytan – therefore if an obligation can only be fulfilled by a particular means then that means also becomes an obligation.
Isti'adha is for the recitation in prayer – this being the opinion of Abu Hanifah and Muhammad. As such it is to be said before one starts reciting Al-FatihahShaykh Mashur Hasan Salman said:
"It is clear that isti'adha is legislated in every rak'ah [of prayer]. This due to the generality of His saying, 'When you wish to read the Qur'an then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.'
"This is the most correct opinion of the Shafi'i school and declared to be the strongest opinion by Ibn Hazm."19

"I TAKE REFUGE ... "

Al-Hafidh Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, explained the meaning of a'udhu (I take refuge) in a beautiful way. He said:
"Know that the verb 'adha and its derivatives carry the meaning of being careful and wary, guarding and fortifying, being rescued and victorious. Its essential meaning is to flee from that which you fear will harm you to that which will safeguard you from it. This is why the one you seek refuge with is named m'adh and malja' (the source of refuge and recourse).
"In the hadith there occurs, 'When the daughter of Al-Jawn entered upon the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) [after their marriage] he moved his hand [to touch her] and she said, 'I take refuge with Allah from you.' He said, 'Indeed you have sought refuge with the Ma'adh, return and rejoin your family.'20
"Therefore the meaning of a'udhu is: I take refuge, guard myself and take precaution. There are two opinions concerning the basis of this verb. The first is that it is derived from the meaning of as-satar, covering or protection, and the second is that it is derived from the meaning of luzum al-mujawara, firmly adhering to that which adjoins it.
"As for the first opinion then the Arabs used to say with regards to a house that is in the shade of a tree - 'uwwadha. Therefore when this house did 'adha with this tree by being built under its shade the Arabs named it 'uwwadh. The same applies to the one who takes refuge for he seeks protection and cover from his enemy with the one he seeks refuge with.
"As for the second opinion then the Arabs used to say regarding flesh that was stuck to a bone and could not be removed,'uwwadha, because of its refusal to be dislodged from the bone. The same applies to the one taking refuge for he sticks firmly to the one he is seeking refuge with and refuses to be distanced.
"Both of these opinions are correct for seeking refuge includes both. The one taking refuge seeks protection with the one he is seeking refuge with and sticks firmly to him. His heart attaches itself to him and holds firm just as the child sticks close to its father when threatened by an enemy. Thsame applies to the one taking refuge for he flees from his enemy who desires his destruction to his Lord, throwing himself between His Hands, holding firmly to Him, sticking close to Him and resorting to Him.
"Now, know that the reality of seeking refuge that is established in the heart of the believer surpasses and is beyond these descriptions, for these serve only as examples and representations. As for that which is established in the heart in its taking refuge, holding fast to and its throwing itself before its Lord, its need of Him and its submission and humility before Him, then all of this is beyond description.
"In a similar vein, love of Him and fear of Him can only be described in a deficient way for they cannot truly be understood except through experiencing them. This is similar to the case of one trying to describe the pleasure of sexual intercourse to one who is impotent and feels no sexual urges. No matter how much you describe it and how many examples you give, never will he truly understand it. However if you were to describe it to one who does have these urges and has had intercourse then he will understand your descriptions completely.
"If it is asked: When one is commanded to take refuge with Allah why does the form of the command carry a sin and ta'? For example in His saying:
'Seek protection (fasta'idh) with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan.' [Al-Qur'an (16):98]
"Yet one says, 'I take refuge (a'udhu)' and 'I took refuge (ta'awwadhtu)' without including the sin and ta'?
"The reply is: the sin and ta' are grammatically used to denote a person's seeking something. Therefore when one says, 'asta'idhuwith Allah' he is saying, 'I seek refuge with Him.' When he says, 'astaghfirullah' he is saying, 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah.'
"Hence when the person says, 'I take refuge (a'udhu) with Allah' he is actually implementing and realising what he seeks because he sought refuge and protection with Allah. There is a clear difference between actually taking refuge and seeking refuge. Therefore when the one who is seeking refuge is actually recoursing to Allah and holding firmly to Him then he says the verb that denotes this rather than saying the verb that denotes that he only seeks this.
"The opposite is true for the saying, 'astaghfirullah' (I seek the forgiveness of Allah) for in this case the person is asking Allah to forgive him. Therefore when he says, 'astaghfirullah' he is implementing what he desires because the meaning of this statement is, 'I ask Allah that He forgive me.'
"This then is the best way of seeking refuge and it was for this reason that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say, 'I take refuge with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan' and, 'I take refuge with Allah's perfect words' and, 'I take refuge with the Might and Power of Allah' saying, 'a'udhu' rather than 'asta'idhu.'
"Indeed this is what Allah taught him to say with His words:
'Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Daybreak.' [Al-Qur'an 113:1]
'Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Mankind.' [Al-Qur'an 114:1]
"Employing the word 'a'udhu' rather than 'ast'idhu.' "21
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:
"Know that the one who is taking refuge with Allah, the Great from the accursed Shaytan has clung to the firm Rope of Allah. I take refuge with Allah from all sins and actions of transgression! I take refuge with Allah from misguidance and treachery! I take refuge with Allah from the Displeasure of Ar-Rahman!
"O My brother! Know that when the servant clings to the rope of the created king he is saved from the evil of the oppressors. Therefore it far more befitting and appropriate for the one who takes refuge with the Lord of the Universe from the accursed enemy, Shaytan, that he be saved."22
There are a number of texts showing us the virtue of isti'adha:
1. Bukhari reports from Sulayman ibn Sarad (may Allah be pleased with him) that:
"Two men abused each other in the presence of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) while we were sitting with him. One of the two abused the other while in a state of rage, his face red. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'I know a statement that if he were to say, what he is experiencing would leave him. If only he were to say, 'I take refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.''"23
2. Ahmad reports from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"O Abu Dharr! Take refuge with Allah from the satans from amongst men and jinn." I said, "Are their satans amongst men?" He replied, "Yes." 24
3. Abu Dawud reports from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"If anyone seeks refuge with [you] for the sake of Allah then grant him refuge. If any asks of you for the sake of Allah then grant his request." 25

SHAYTAN

It is said that the word Shaytan is derived from shatana which means to be distanced, and indeed Shaytan is far removed from any good whatsoever. It is also said that the name is derived from shata, which means to burn because he is made from fire. Others said that both meanings are correct. However, the first meaning is most correct and is proven by the language.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgDBlpnx5hc

Tafsir Surat al-Fatihah 1: Ramadan 2014 Nightly Reminders ~ Dr. Yasir Qa...





source:


http://sunnahonline.com/library/the-majestic-quran/455-tasfir-of-chapter-001-surah-al-fatihah-the-opening

http://sunnahonline.com/library/the-majestic-quran/455-tasfir-of-chapter-001-surah-al-fatihah-the-opening



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Introduction

This commentary is a compilation gathered from a number of commentaries written. These being:
  1. Tafsir At-Tabari
  2. Tafsir Al-Qurtubi (Jami' lil Ahkam al-Qur'an)
  3. Tafsir Ibn Kathir
  4. Tafsir Ash-Shawkani (Fath al-Qadir)
  5. Tafsir As-Sa'di (Taysir al-Karim ar-Rahman)
  6. Tafsir Ash-Shanqiti (Adwa ul-Bayan fi Idah al-Qur'an bi'l-Qur'an)
In compiling this article I have endeavored to adhere to the following methodology:
  1. Where all or the majority of the above commentators agreed on a particular point, I just mentioned the point and did not mention from whom I took the point.
  2. Where all or the majority of the above commentators agreed on a point, but some mentioned additional information related to it, again I just merely quoted the information without mentioning which book it was taken from.
  3. Where the commentators differed, I tried to avoid mentioning the issue altogether unless absolutely necessary in which case I either mentioned all of the different opinions, or the name of the commentator from whom I took the opinion.
  4. Where I mentioned a commentary that only a minority of the above mentioned, but did not contradict anything that the rest mentioned I ascribed this opinion back to its proponent.
  5. I have quoted from a number of books external to the above six, especially the works of Ibn al-Qayyim, in every such case I have fully referenced the quotes.
  6. Most of the tafsir books do not provide authenticating or disparaging remarks concerning the ahadith they quote. I have endeavoured to provide comments to each hadith quoted mainly drawing from the various works of Al-Albani.
I ask Allah that He count this effort amongst the scales of my good works and forgive me for any errors contained therein.

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Its Name

It is named Al-Fatihah, the Opening - because it opens the Book and by it the recitation in prayer commences.
It is also named Umm al-Qur'anthe Mother of the Qur'an, and Umm al-Kitabthe Mother of the Book, according to the opinion of the majority. This was mentioned by Anas, however Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin disliked this appellation reasoning that this was the most fitting description for the Preserved Tablet. Al-Hasan also said that the unequivocal verses of the Qur'an comprised the Mother of the Book. However, it is established in Sahih At-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "[The chapter commencing with] 'All praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Universe' is the Mother of the Qur'an, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Qur'an." (i.e. Umm al-Qur'anUmm al-KitabSab'ul-Mathani and Al-Qur'an al-Adhim)
At-Tirmidhi declared the hadith to be sahih. Al-Bukhari said in the beginning of the Book of Tafsir in his Sahih:
"It is named Umm al-Qur'an because it is the first chapter written in the Qur'anic texts and the recitation in prayer commences with it." 1
Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said that it was named so because the meaning of the entire Qur'an is summarised therein. The Arabs named anything that concisely summarises something or comprises the most important part of something Umm, or Mother.
For similar reasons it is also named Al-Qur'an al-Adhim, the Great Qur'an.
It is also named Sab'ul-Mathani, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses, because they are frequently recited and indeed recited in every rak'ah of the prayer.
It is also named Al-Hamd, the Praise because it contains mention of hamd just as Al-Baqarah is named so because it contains mention of the cow. Some scholars also gave the reasoning that Al-Hamd constitutes the heart of Al-Fatihah.2
It is also named As-Salah, the Prayer due to his (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying while reporting from his Lord:
"I have divided the prayer between Myself and my servant equally. Therefore when the servant says, 'all praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the universe,' Allah says, 'My servant has praised Me.' ... " 3
It is named the Prayer because its recitation is a condition for the validity of the prayer.
It is also named Ash-Shifa', the Cure, due to what Ad-Darimi reports from Abu Sa'id (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam):
"The Opening of the Book is a cure to every poison." 4
It is also named Ar-Ruqya, the Spiritual Cure due to the hadith of Abu Sa'id (may Allah be pleased with him) reported in Sahih Al-Bukharithat after he had recited it to cure a person who had been bitten by a scorpion, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to him:
"And what made you to know that it was a ruqya?" 5
Ash-Sha'bi reports from Ibn Abbas that he named it Asas al-Qur'an, the Foundation of the Qur'an, and that he said, "The foundation ofAl-Fatihah is, 'with the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.'"
Sufyan bin Uyaynah named it Al-Waqiyah, the Protector.
Yahya ibn Abu Kathir named it Al-Kafiyah, the Sufficient, because it suffices from everything other than it but anything else does not suffice it, as occurs in the mursal hadith:
"The Mother of the Book suffices for other than it but nothing else suffices it." 6
It is also named Surat as-Salah, the Chapter of the Prayer, and Al-Kanz, the Treasure, as mentioned by Az-Zamakshari in Kashshaf.



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Its Revelation


Its Revelation

It was revealed in Makkah as stated by Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Abu'l-Aliyah.
It is also postulated that it was revealed in Madinah as stated by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, 'Ata ibn Yasar and Az-Zuhri. It is also said that it was revealed on two separate occasions – once in Makkah and once in Madinah. However the first opinion is the most likely due to His saying:
"We have sent to you the Seven Oft Repeated Verses." [Al-Qur'an 15:87]
This verse was revealed in Makkah by agreement of the exegetes.
Abu'l-Layth as-Samarqandi relates that half of it was revealed in Makkah and the remaining half in Madinah as quoted from him by Al-Qurtubi but this is an extremely strange position.
It is said that this chapter was the first thing revealed of the Qur'an as mentioned in the hadith reported by Al-Bayhaqi in 'Dala'il an-Nubuwwa'. Al-Baqilani quoted this as one of three opinions. It is also said that the first revelation comprised the verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir but the correct opinion is that the first revelation consisted of the beginning verses of Surah Al-'Alaq.

Its Composition

It consists of seven verses and there is no difference concerning this. 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd said that it consists of eight verses and Husayn al-Ju'afi said that it consists of six verses but both of these opinions are irregular and rejected.
They have differed concerning the statement 'with the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent,the Most Merciful.' The majority of the reciters of Kufa postulate that it comprises an independent verse of Al-Fatihah and this is also the opinion of a group of the Sahabah,Tabi'in and a large group of the later scholars. However the reciters and jurists of Madinah regard it to be part of a verse, and not an independent verse, or not a verse at all.
Those who postulate that it is not a verse of Al-Fatihah state that the seventh verse commences with the words, "not the path of those who have earned [Your] Anger ... "
They said, "Al-Fatihah consists of twenty-five words and one hundred and thirteen letters."

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The Virtues of Surah Al-Fatihah

There are a number of ahadith explaining to us the great virtue of this chapter:
1. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, said, 'I have divided the prayer between Myself and my servant equally and My servant shall be granted what he asked for.' Therefore when the servant says, 'all praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the universe', Allah says, 'My servant has praised Me.' When he says,'the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,'Allah says, 'My servant has extolled Me.' When he says, 'Master of the Day of Judgement,' Allah says, 'My servant has glorified Me.' When he says, 'You Alone we worship and Your aid Alone do we seek,' Allah says, 'this is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he requested.' When he says, 'guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have favoured, not of those who have incurred [Your] wrath, neither of those who have gone astray,' Allah says, 'this is for My servant and My servant shall have what he asked for.' " 7
2. At-Tirmidhi reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"[The chapter commencing with],"all praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Universe"is the Mother of the Qur'an, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Qur'an." 8
3. Ahmad reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
"The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named Ubayy ibn Ka'b while he was praying in the Mosque saying, 'O Ubayy!' Ubayy turned his head towards him but did not reply. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named him again saying, 'O Ubayy!' So Ubayy shortened his prayer and turned towards the Prophet and said, "As-salamu alaykum O Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) replied, 'Wa alaykum as-salam. What prevented you from replying to me when I named you?' Ubayy said, 'O Messenger of Allah I was praying!' He said, 'Does Allah not say:
'Respond to Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.' [Al-Qur'an 8:24]?'
"Ubayy replied, 'Yes O Messenger of Allah! I will not do this again.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) asked,'Would you like me to teach you a Surah the likes of which is not to be found in the TawrahInjilZabur or the [rest of the] Qur'an?' He said, 'Yes O Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'I hope that I will not leave this door until you know it.'
"Ubayy said, 'Then he took hold of my hand and talked to me while I slowed down fearing that we may reach the door before he finished talking. When we did reach it I asked him, 'What is the Surah you promised me, O Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'What is the Surah you recite in prayer?' So I recited the Mother of the Qur'an upon which he said, 'By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, Allah has not revealed the likes of it in the Tawrah, Injil, Zabur or the [rest of the] Qur'an. It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses.' " 9
4. Ahmad reports from Abu Sa'ad ibn Al-Mu'alla (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
"The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named me while I was praying in the Mosque but I did not respond until I had completed the prayer. I went to him and he asked, 'What prevented you from coming to me [earlier]?' I replied, 'I was praying O Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Does Allah not say:
'Respond to Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.' [Al-Qur'an 8:24]?'
"He then said, 'I will teach a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur'an before you leave the Mosque.' Then he grasped hold of my hand and when he intended to leave [the Mosque], I asked him, 'Did you not say that you would teach me a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur'an?' He replied, 'Yes. It is [the Surah commencing with], 'All praise and thanks are due to Allah.' It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses and the Great Qur'an that has been given to me.' " 10
5. Muslim reports from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
"While the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with Jibril he heard a creaking sound above him. Jibril looked up and said, 'This is [the sound of] a gate that has been opened in heaven today and has never been previously opened.' Then an Angel descended through it and came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and said, 'Rejoice in the good news of two lights that have been given to you such as no prophet before you has been given. [They are] Surah Al-Fatihah and the concluding [two] verses of Surah Al-Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings they contain.' " 11
This hadith has led some scholars to suggest that Jibril did not convey the revelation of Surah Al-Fatihah and the last two verses of Al-Baqarah, rather it was the Angel mentioned in this hadith. However the correct opinion is that Jibril did indeed convey the revelation of these verses as he was enjoined by Allah to convey the entire Qur'an to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). The Angel that descended as mentioned in this hadith descended only to convey the reward of these verses.

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The Ruling of Reciting Al-Fatihah in Prayer

The opinion of the majority of the scholars, amongst them Malik, Ash-Shafi'i and Ahmad, is that it is obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah in the prayer and that the prayer is not valid without it. Their opinion is based upon many proofs; from amongst them the sayings of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam):
"There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book." 12
"Whosoever performs a prayer in which he does not recite the Mother of the Book then it is deficient, it is deficient, it is deficient, it is incomplete." 13
"The prayer is not valid in which the Mother of the Qur'an is not recited." 14
However according to Abu Hanifah, those of his companions who agreed with him, Al-Awza'i and Ath-Thawri, it is not obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah, rather any portion of the Qur'an would be sufficient. They based this upon the saying of Allah:
"And recite what is easy [for you] from the Qur'an." [Al-Qur'an 73:20]
And the saying of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to the man who prayed badly:
"When you stand for pray, say the takbeer and then recite what is easy for you from the Qur'an." 15
On top of this, according to Ash-Shafi'i and a group of the People of Knowledge it is obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah in every rak'ah of the prayer. However, another group were of the opinion that it is sufficient to recite it in the majority of the raka'at and yet another group, from amongst them Al-Hasan and the majority of the scholars of Basrah, were of the opinion that it is sufficient just to recite it in onerak'ah. This latter group took to the literal sense of the hadith:
"There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book."
In the case where one is a follower in a congregational prayer then the scholars fell into three opinions with regards to the follower's reciting Al-Fatihah:
  1. It is obligatory upon him to recite it in all prayers.
  2. It is upon him not to recite it in all prayers.
  3. He should recite it in those prayers in which the recitation is silent, but not in those prayers in which the recitation is loud.
The point here is not to discuss which is the strongest opinion but to show that Al-Fatihah has specific rulings to it that are not shared by any other chapter of the Qur'anAllah knows best.


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The Ruling of Isti'adhah (Seeking Refuge)

Allah says:
"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing." [Al-Qur'an 7:199-200]
"Repel evil by means of what is best. We are best Acquainted with the things that they utter. And say, 'My Lord! I seek refuge with you from the whisperings of the devils and I seek refuge with you my Lord lest they come near me.' " [Al-Qur'an23:96-98]
"Repel [evil] with that which is better then indeed the one, between whom and you there was enmity, [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted [this quality] except those who are patient and none is granted it save one who possesses a great portion [of high moral character]. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing." [Al-Qur'an 41:34-46]
These verses command the servant of Allah to seek refuge with Him from the accursed Shaytan due to the severe enmity he displays towards mankind and displayed towards their father, Adam. Allah says:
"O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he removed your parents out of Paradise." [Al-Qur'an 7:27]
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:
"Servants of Allah! Contemplate on the removal of your father, Adam from Paradise, the home of security and his descent to the home of disgrace and abasement. The reason for this was none other than the accursed Shaytan. Your Master has prohibited you from obeying him and ordered you to disobey him. Indeed in his obedience lies the Displeasure of Ar-Rahman and disobeying him necessitates residing in Paradise and the descent of Pleasure.
"Allah, Glorified and Exalted, said, 'Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality.' [Al-Baqarah (2): 268]
"So whosoever obeys him, he forsakes him and diverts him from the guidance and opens in his heart the doors to misguidance and ignominy."16
Allah further explains to us the extreme enmity of Shaytan with His words:
"Indeed Shaytan is an open enemy to you so take him as an enemy. He invites his followers only that they may become the denizens of the blazing Fire." [Al-Qur'an 35:6]
"Will you then take him and his offspring as friends and protectors besides Him while they are open enemies to you? Wretched it is as an exchange for the wrong-doers." [Al-Qur'an 18:50]
Indeed Shaytan took an oath saying:
"By Your Might! I will surely misguide them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them." [Al-Qur'an 38:82-83]
It is for this reason that we have been encouraged to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. With regards to reciting theQur'an, Allah says:
"When you wish to read [lit: have read] the Qur'an then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. Indeed he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord. His power is only over those who follow him and join partners with Him." [Al-Qur'an 16:99-100]
A group of the reciters and scholars, from amongst them Hamza, Ibn Sirin, Ibrahim an-Nakha'i and Dawud adh-Dhahiri, were of the opinion that one seeks refuge after the completion of recitation, taking to the literal sense of this verse. They also stated that the reason for doing so would be to repress self-astonishment at the completion of an action of worship.
A second opinion voiced is that one seeks refuge before and after ones recitation. However the famous, well-known opinion, which is the opinion of the majority is that one seeks refuge before recitation in order to safeguard oneself from the whisperings of Shaytan. This groups understood the meaning of the verse to be, "when you wish to read the Qur'an … " in the same sense as the verse:
"When you intend to stand for prayer [lit: have stood for prayer], then wash your faces and forearms … " [Al-Qur'an 5:6]
Abu Dawud reports from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that:
"When the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) stood at night [for prayer, he would commence the prayer] by saying the takbir and then saying, 'Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika, wa tabarrakasmuka, wa ta'ala jadduka, wa la ilaha ghayruk.' (You are glorified O Allah and praised! Your Name is Blessed; Your Majesty is Exalted and none has the right to be worshipped save You.) Then he would say, 'La ilaha illallah' (There is none worthy of worship save You) three times, then he would say, 'Allahu Akbar' three times and then he would say, 'Audhu billahi As-Sami' Al-Alim min Ash-Shaytan ar-Rajim – min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafthihi.' (I take refuge with Allah, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing from the accursed Shaytan: from his madness, arrogance and poetry.)"17
Abu Dawud reports from Nafi' ibn Jubayr from his father who said:
"I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying when he entered into prayer, 'Allahu Akbar Kabira' (Allah is the Greatest, very great) three times, 'Alhamdulillahi Kathira' (Praise and thanks be to Allah, again and again) three times and'Subhanallahi Bukratan wa Asila' (Glorified is Allah, morning and evening) three times. Then he said, 'Allahumma inni a'udhubika mina Ash-Shaytan, min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathi.' (O Allah! I take refuge with You from Shaytan – from his madness, arrogance and poetry.)"18
The majority of scholars are of the opinion of that isti'adha is recommended and not obligatory. However it is reported from 'Ata ibn Abi Rabah that it is obligatory to say it within the prayer and outside the prayer when one desires to recite the Book of Allah. Ar-Razi stated that the proof for this opinion was that the verse, "seek protection with Allah" is mentioned in the imperative, that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) persisted in uttering it throughout his life and that it serves as a protective barrier from Shaytan – therefore if an obligation can only be fulfilled by a particular means then that means also becomes an obligation.
Isti'adha is for the recitation in prayer – this being the opinion of Abu Hanifah and Muhammad. As such it is to be said before one starts reciting Al-FatihahShaykh Mashur Hasan Salman said:
"It is clear that isti'adha is legislated in every rak'ah [of prayer]. This due to the generality of His saying, 'When you wish to read the Qur'an then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.'
"This is the most correct opinion of the Shafi'i school and declared to be the strongest opinion by Ibn Hazm."19

"I TAKE REFUGE ... "

Al-Hafidh Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, explained the meaning of a'udhu (I take refuge) in a beautiful way. He said:
"Know that the verb 'adha and its derivatives carry the meaning of being careful and wary, guarding and fortifying, being rescued and victorious. Its essential meaning is to flee from that which you fear will harm you to that which will safeguard you from it. This is why the one you seek refuge with is named m'adh and malja' (the source of refuge and recourse).
"In the hadith there occurs, 'When the daughter of Al-Jawn entered upon the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) [after their marriage] he moved his hand [to touch her] and she said, 'I take refuge with Allah from you.' He said, 'Indeed you have sought refuge with the Ma'adh, return and rejoin your family.'20
"Therefore the meaning of a'udhu is: I take refuge, guard myself and take precaution. There are two opinions concerning the basis of this verb. The first is that it is derived from the meaning of as-satar, covering or protection, and the second is that it is derived from the meaning of luzum al-mujawara, firmly adhering to that which adjoins it.
"As for the first opinion then the Arabs used to say with regards to a house that is in the shade of a tree - 'uwwadha. Therefore when this house did 'adha with this tree by being built under its shade the Arabs named it 'uwwadh. The same applies to the one who takes refuge for he seeks protection and cover from his enemy with the one he seeks refuge with.
"As for the second opinion then the Arabs used to say regarding flesh that was stuck to a bone and could not be removed,'uwwadha, because of its refusal to be dislodged from the bone. The same applies to the one taking refuge for he sticks firmly to the one he is seeking refuge with and refuses to be distanced.
"Both of these opinions are correct for seeking refuge includes both. The one taking refuge seeks protection with the one he is seeking refuge with and sticks firmly to him. His heart attaches itself to him and holds firm just as the child sticks close to its father when threatened by an enemy. Thsame applies to the one taking refuge for he flees from his enemy who desires his destruction to his Lord, throwing himself between His Hands, holding firmly to Him, sticking close to Him and resorting to Him.
"Now, know that the reality of seeking refuge that is established in the heart of the believer surpasses and is beyond these descriptions, for these serve only as examples and representations. As for that which is established in the heart in its taking refuge, holding fast to and its throwing itself before its Lord, its need of Him and its submission and humility before Him, then all of this is beyond description.
"In a similar vein, love of Him and fear of Him can only be described in a deficient way for they cannot truly be understood except through experiencing them. This is similar to the case of one trying to describe the pleasure of sexual intercourse to one who is impotent and feels no sexual urges. No matter how much you describe it and how many examples you give, never will he truly understand it. However if you were to describe it to one who does have these urges and has had intercourse then he will understand your descriptions completely.
"If it is asked: When one is commanded to take refuge with Allah why does the form of the command carry a sin and ta'? For example in His saying:
'Seek protection (fasta'idh) with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan.' [Al-Qur'an (16):98]
"Yet one says, 'I take refuge (a'udhu)' and 'I took refuge (ta'awwadhtu)' without including the sin and ta'?
"The reply is: the sin and ta' are grammatically used to denote a person's seeking something. Therefore when one says, 'asta'idhuwith Allah' he is saying, 'I seek refuge with Him.' When he says, 'astaghfirullah' he is saying, 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah.'
"Hence when the person says, 'I take refuge (a'udhu) with Allah' he is actually implementing and realising what he seeks because he sought refuge and protection with Allah. There is a clear difference between actually taking refuge and seeking refuge. Therefore when the one who is seeking refuge is actually recoursing to Allah and holding firmly to Him then he says the verb that denotes this rather than saying the verb that denotes that he only seeks this.
"The opposite is true for the saying, 'astaghfirullah' (I seek the forgiveness of Allah) for in this case the person is asking Allah to forgive him. Therefore when he says, 'astaghfirullah' he is implementing what he desires because the meaning of this statement is, 'I ask Allah that He forgive me.'
"This then is the best way of seeking refuge and it was for this reason that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say, 'I take refuge with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan' and, 'I take refuge with Allah's perfect words' and, 'I take refuge with the Might and Power of Allah' saying, 'a'udhu' rather than 'asta'idhu.'
"Indeed this is what Allah taught him to say with His words:
'Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Daybreak.' [Al-Qur'an 113:1]
'Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Mankind.' [Al-Qur'an 114:1]
"Employing the word 'a'udhu' rather than 'ast'idhu.' "21
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:
"Know that the one who is taking refuge with Allah, the Great from the accursed Shaytan has clung to the firm Rope of Allah. I take refuge with Allah from all sins and actions of transgression! I take refuge with Allah from misguidance and treachery! I take refuge with Allah from the Displeasure of Ar-Rahman!
"O My brother! Know that when the servant clings to the rope of the created king he is saved from the evil of the oppressors. Therefore it far more befitting and appropriate for the one who takes refuge with the Lord of the Universe from the accursed enemy, Shaytan, that he be saved."22
There are a number of texts showing us the virtue of isti'adha:
1. Bukhari reports from Sulayman ibn Sarad (may Allah be pleased with him) that:
"Two men abused each other in the presence of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) while we were sitting with him. One of the two abused the other while in a state of rage, his face red. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'I know a statement that if he were to say, what he is experiencing would leave him. If only he were to say, 'I take refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.''"23
2. Ahmad reports from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"O Abu Dharr! Take refuge with Allah from the satans from amongst men and jinn." I said, "Are their satans amongst men?" He replied, "Yes." 24
3. Abu Dawud reports from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"If anyone seeks refuge with [you] for the sake of Allah then grant him refuge. If any asks of you for the sake of Allah then grant his request." 25

SHAYTAN

It is said that the word Shaytan is derived from shatana which means to be distanced, and indeed Shaytan is far removed from any good whatsoever. It is also said that the name is derived from shata, which means to burn because he is made from fire. Others said that both meanings are correct. However, the first meaning is most correct and is proven by the language.




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