Thursday, 25 August 2011

Repetition and word order in the Qur’aan And commentary on the phrase “And fear a Day (of Judgement) when a person shall not avail another”


In Soorat al-Baqarah we see that Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the ‘Aalameen [mankind and jinn (of your time period, in the past)].

 And fear a Day (of Judgement) when a person shall not avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor will they be helped

[al-Baqarah 2:47-48] 

Then later on He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the ‘Aalameen [mankind and jinn (of your time period, in the past)].

And fear the Day (of Judgement) when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped”

[al-Baqarah 2:122-123] 

and we see that the words intercession (shafaa’ah) and compensation (‘adl) are reversed, even thought both passages are speaking of the Children of Israel.

Praise be to Allaah.


The answer to this question includes a number
of points: 

1 – The Tafseer (commentary) on the verse
(interpretation of the meaning): 

 And fear a Day (of Judgement) when a person shall not avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken
from him nor will they be helped

[al-Baqarah 2:48] 

and the similar verse (interpretation of the

“And fear the Day (of Judgement) when no
person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped”

[al-Baqarah 2:123] 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said (1/256): 

Because Allaah reminds them of His blessing
first – i.e., in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed
upon you, and fulfil (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) so that I fulfil (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me), and fear none but
Me” [al-Baqarah 2:40] – He then followed that with a warning of His wrath on the Day of Resurrection, and said: “And
fear a Day” meaning, fear the Day of Resurrection, “when a person shall not avail another” meaning, no person will be able to help
another, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And no bearer of burdens shall bear
another’s burden”

[Faatir 35:18] 

“Every man that Day will have enough to
make him careless of others”

[‘Abasa 80:37] 

“O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by
keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father”

[Luqmaan 31:33] 

This is a most eloquent statement that
neither father nor son will be able to do anything for the other. 

The phrase “nor will intercession be
accepted from him” means, from the kaafirs, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So no intercession of intercessors will
be of any use to them”

[al-Muddaththir 74:48] 

The phrase “nor will compensation be taken
from him” means, no ransom will be accepted from him, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, those who disbelieved, and died
while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them even if they offered it as a ransom”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:91] 

“Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had
all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be
accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment”

[al-Maa'idah 5:36] 

“So this Day no ransom shall be taken from
you (hypocrites), nor of those who disbelieved (in the Oneness of Allaah Islamic Monotheism). Your abode is the Fire. That is your
mawla (friend — proper place), and worst indeed is that destination”

[al-Hadeed 57:15] 

So Allaah tells us that if they did not
believe in His Messenger and follow him and the message with which he was sent, and they persisted in their kufr until they meet Allaah on the Day
of Resurrection in that state, then the blood ties of a relative or the intercession of a person of status will not benefit them, nor will any
ransom be accepted from them, even if it were an earthful of gold. 

And the words “nor will they be helped”
mean that on that Day no one will take pity on them and try to help them and save them from the punishment of Allaah, and as stated above, Allaah
will not accept any ransom or intercession on the behalf of those who disbelieved in Him. No one will be able to save them from His punishment and
no one will be able to offer them protection, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector (i.e. if Allaah saves anyone, none can punish or harm him; and if Allaah punishes
or harms anyone, none can save him)

[al-Mu’minoon 23:88] 

“So on that Day none will punish as He
will punish.

And none will bind (the wicked,
disbelievers and polytheists) as He will bind”

[al-Fajr 89:26] 

Ibn Jareer al-Tabari said: The interpretation
of the phrase “nor will they be helped” is that on that day no helper will help them, just as no intercessor will intercede for them, and
no compensation or ransom will be accepted from them. On that Day favouritism will be invalid and bribes and there will be no room for
intercession. There will be no mutual help or cooperation among people, and judgement will belong only to the Compeller, the Most Just, with whom
intercessors and helpers will be to no avail. Evil deeds with be recompensed likewise and good deeds will be multiplied. This is like what Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning): 

�But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned.

What is the matter with you? Why do you not help one another (as you used to do in the world)?

Nay, but that Day they shall surrender

[al-Saaffaat 37:24-26] 

end quote (from Ibn Katheer) 

Thus we know that the intercession which is
stated here to be of no avail is the intercession of the kaafirs, or intercession for the kaafirs. 

2 – Repetition in the Qur’aan occurs
frequently, and that is for many great reasons, some of which we know, but many of which are hidden from us. For example: 

Every phrase that is repeated may have a different meaning in each context, depending on what is
mentioned before it. So that cannot be regarded as repetition.  

For example, Allaah says in Soorat
al-Mursalaat (interpretation of the meaning):  “Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)!”
and repeats it ten times, because Allaah tells various stories (in this soorah), and follows each story with this phrase, as if commenting on each
story with the words, “Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)!” Each story is
different from the others, so this warning is repeated for those who deny it. 

Allaah does not vary the wording except when the meaning is different. This is only for a reason that
is known to Him, and some of His creation may come to know of it, as He enables them to understand His Book [?}, or He may conceal it from them,
and He is the All-Wise, All-Knowing. 

Repetition of phrases may serve to emphasize the meaning and highlight the importance of what is
being said. The more often it is repeated, the more important it is. 

For more information see Qawaa’id
al-Tafseer, 2/702 

3 – Are there certain principles or rules
with regard to the order in which things are mentioned in the Qur’aan? 

It may be said – but Allaah knows best – that
word order in the Qur’aan, and indeed in the Arabic language, is not based on a particular principle. Sometimes the thing that is mentioned first
is that which happens first, and sometimes the thing that is mentioned first is the noblest, and sometimes it is difficult to give a reason. Based
on this, we must be cautious about speaking on this topic. So we may explain that for which there seems to be a clear reason, without looking for
far-fetched explanations, and with regard to cases where the reason is not clear, we refer them to the One Who knows best about them, for speaking
about Allaah without knowledge is one of the gravest prohibitions, as is obvious, and it is not permissible to interpret the words of Allaah in
ways that cannot apply. 

But it should be noted that when the Arabs
mention things that come under the same category and mention them one after the other with the conjunction wa (“and”), this implies that
there is no succession or order, so they usually do not mention one thing before another unless they care more for one of them because it is more
noble, to be respected or important. 

Qawaa’id al-Tafseer
by Dr Khaalid al-Sabt, 1/380 

4 – The reason why these verses are repeated,
and the reason for the word order here in particular, is that this repetition is a reminder to the Children of Israel, and is repeated for

Moreover in the first passage, Allaah reminds
them of their duties in return for the favour that was previously bestowed upon them, which is what is mentioned in the preceding and following
verses. In the second passage He reminds them of His favour by which they were preferred over the ‘Alaameen (mankind and jinn) because of their
belief in the Prophet of their time, so that they might attain this virtue again by believing in the Prophet of Islam, the final Prophet Muhammad
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so that they might be among the virtuous and escape, by means of their faith, the horrors and
fear of the Day of Resurrection, just as those who followed Moosa (peace be upon him) and believed in him were saved from those terrors. 

Rooh al-Ma’aani
by al-Aloosi, 1/373 

With regard to the reason why compensation is
mentioned before intercession in the second verse, and after it in the second, some of the scholars have researched this matter and mentioned two

It is a stylistic device aimed at creating variety in the text and avoid dullness of style. 

As well as that, there is another subtle benefit which is: That in the first verse Allaah states that
intercession will not be accepted, and in the second verse He states that the ransom will not be accepted, so that it is made clear that neither
will be accepted. Because stating that intercession will not be accepted does not imply that the ransom will not accepted, it is mentioned in the
first verse after intercession so that no one will imagine that if intercession is not accepted, the ransom may be accepted. And when He states in
the second verse that the ransom will not be accepted, this does not imply that the kaafirs will not benefit from intercession, so that is
followed by the statement that intercession will be to no avail, so that no one will imagine that if the ransom is not accepted, intercession may
be to some avail. So from the two verses we understand that neither intercession nor ransom will be accepted, because the ways in which people
seek redemption and salvation from what they fear varies. Sometimes they offer a ransom first and if it is not accepted they offer intercession,
and sometimes they start with intercession and if that is not accepted they turn to the ransom. 

Adapted from al-Tahreer wa’l-Tanweer
by Ibn ‘Aashoor, 1/698. 

These subtle matters which we have mentioned
are only ideas that are the result of the efforts of some of the scholars who have studied these verses. So the reasons that they have mentioned
may be correct or not. The style of  the Qur’aan is undoubtedly the most eloquent, whether these ideas are correct or not. What really matters is
to accept the wording of these verses which states that that on the Day of Resurrection no one, relative or stranger, will be able to help him,
and he will look to his right and he will not see anything but that which he has sent forth, and he will look to his left and he will not see
anything but that which he has sent forth, and he will look in front of him and will not see anything but the Fire. So he has to protect himself
from the Fire by doing righteous deeds, even if that is giving charity with half a date, as was narrated in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth
of ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim (may Allaah be pleased with him), as narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6058; Muslim 1688. 

Intercession cannot benefit anyone except by
Allaah’s Leave, and Allaah will never give any of the kaafirs permission to intercede or be interceded for regarding being brought forth from

So people should put their trust in their
Lord and none else, and ask Him to grant them the intercession of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

And Allaah knows best.


Meaning of the aayah “His is the highest description”


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth”

[al-Room 30:27]

Does mathal [translated here as “description”] mean likeness?

Praise be to Allaah. 

Praise be to Allaah and blessings and peace be upon the
Messenger of Allaah.

The phrase “al-mathal al-‘alaa (translated here as
‘the highest description’)” means the highest description in all aspects.
For Allaah has the attribute of absolute perfection in all senses, as He
says (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the

[al-Shoora 42:11] 

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the) One.

Allaah-us-Samad [Allaah — the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom
all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

He begets not, nor was He begotten.

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4]

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

The meaning of Verse 173, Al Baqarah


My question is with reference to Verse #173 of Sura #2. What is the implication of
the words, " wamaa uhilla bihi lighairillah", therein? Do these words prohibit me
from accepting or eating any food article (not necessarily of animals slaughtered in
names other than of Allah) which are offered here in India, after Fatehakhani done in
the names of saintly persons like Abdul Qadar Jeelani?

The meaning of the Quranic Verse: "Forbidden to you (for food) are: ..., and that on which has
been invoked the name of other than Allah,..." (Al-Baqarah, or the heifer, V173)

Praise be to Allah,

Ibn Kathir (May Allah have mercy on him) said in explanation of the above Verse:

"..that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah,..." means slaughtered animals
on which has been invoked a name other than the name of Allah; such as an idol, an antagonist,
an arrow of divination and the like for which Arabs of pre-Islamic periods slaughtered animals.

In explanation of Verse 3 of Surat al-Ma’ida, or the table, Ibn Kathir said: "The Verse: "..., and
that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah,..." means that eating of animal
food on which, upon slaughtering a name other than Allah is invoked is forbidden because Allah,
the Exalted, prescribed that His Great Name be invoked upon slaughtering any of His creatures. It
is the unanimous opinion that one is forbidden to select to invoke a name of an idol of any
creature upon slaughtering an animal.

In explanation of the Verse "... that which is sacrificed on stone (altars)...", Mujahid and Ibn
Jurayj said: Those were stones (altars) put around the Ka’bah. Ibn Jurayj said: There were 360
stones (altars) at which pre-Islamic Arabs used to slaughter animal ... They would grill meat and
put it on these stones.. Allah forbade such act and disallowed eating of such meat even if the
name of Allah is invoked on it. Slaughtering of animal at stones (altars) is part of polytheism,
which is prohibited by Allah and His Messenger. Comparison should be made to the foregoing to
decide the rule for slaughtering of animals on which is invoked other than the name of Allah.

All slaughtered animals on which a name other than the name of Allah; such is the name of a
prophet, a holy man, an idol, the devil, or an item of worship such as the cross and the like may
not be eaten.



How could Yoosuf have “inclined towards” the wife of al-‘Azeez when he was chaste?


What is the tafseer of this verse in Soorat Yoosuf (interpretation of the meaning):  

“And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to her desire”

[Yoosuf 12:24]? 

If Yoosuf (peace be upon him) was chaste and refused to answer the call of the wife of al-‘Azeez, how could he have inclined towards her desires (i.e., how could that have entered his mind)?.

Praise be to Allaah.


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined
to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord”

[Yoosuf 12:24] 

Her desire was to commit
sin, but as for Yoosuf (peace be upon him), if he had not see the evidence
of his Lord, he would have inclined to her desire – because of human nature
– but he did not, because of the evidence mentioned. 

Because he hadseen seen the evidence of his Lord, he did not
incline to her desire. 

Abu Haatim said: I used to recite ghareeb al-Qur’aan
to Abu ‘Ubaydah, and when I reached the verse (interpretation of the
meaning): “And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to
her desire” [Yoosuf 12:24], Abu ‘Ubayd said: This is to be understood as
meaning that he saw the proof of his Lord, and so he did not incline to her

Al-Qurtubi, al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 9/165. 

Al-Shanqeeti said in Adwa’ al-Bayaan (3/58): 

This may be answered from two angles: 

1 – That what is meant by saying “Yoosuf would have inclined
to her desire” is that a thought crossed his mind, but the influence of
taqwa (piety) deflected that thought. One of them said: this is the natural
inclination and the instinctive desire that is restrained by taqwa. There is
no sin in that because this is something that is instilled in man and is not
under his control. It says in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to divide his time equally among his
wives and treat them fairly, then he would say: “O Allaah, this is how I
divide that over which I have control, so do not take me to task for that
which is beyond my control” – meaning the inclination of the heart. [Abu
Dawood, al-Sunan, hadeeth no. 2134. 

This is like the fasting
person’s inclination towards cold water and food, while at the same time his
taqwa prevents him from drinking or eating whilst he is fasting. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Whoever thinks of an evil action but does not do it, one hasanah will
be recorded for him.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, no.
6491; Muslim, no. 207] 

2 – Yoosuf (peace be upon him) did not think of doing
anything at all, because he was prevented  from doing so because of the
proof of his Lord. This view which was favoured by Abu Hasaan and others is
more correct according to the rules of the Arabic language. 

Then he started to quote the evidence to support the view he
favoured. Based on the above, the meaning of the verse – and Allaah knows
best – is that if Yoosuf (peace be upon him) had not seen the proof of his
Lord, he would have inclined towards her desire, but because he had seen the
proof of his Lord he did not incline towards her desire and did not think of
it at all. Similarly, just thinking of something without doing it is not
regarded as a sin. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings and
peace upon his noble Prophet.


The meaning of the Basmalah, and the ruling on staring with it when one reads Qur’aan


What is the meaning of the Basmalah [the Arabic words Bismillaah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem (In the name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)]? 

And what is meant by the words “Iqra’ bismi Rabbika” (Read (or recite) in the name of your Lord – [al-‘Alaq 96:1 – interpretation of the meaning])?

Praise be to Allaah.


When one says “Bismillaah” when starting to do anything, what
that means is, “I start this action accompanied by the name of Allaah or
seeking help through the name of Allaah, seeking blessing thereby. Allaah is
God, the beloved and worshipped, to Whom hearts turn in love, veneration and
obedience (worship). He is al-Rahmaan (the Most Gracious) Whose attribute is
vast mercy; and al-Raheem (the Most Merciful) Who causes that mercy to reach
His creation. 

It was said that what this means is: I start this action by
mentioning the name of Allaah. Ibn Jareer (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said: “Allaaah, may He be exalted and His name sanctified, taught His
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) proper
manners by teaching him to mention His most beautiful names before all his
actions. He commanded him to mention these attributes before starting to do
anything, and made what He taught him a way for all people to follow before
starting anything, words to be written at the beginning of their letters and
books. The apparent meaning of these words indicates exactly what is meant
by them, and it does not need to be spelled out.” 

There is something omitted in the phrase “Bismillaah” when it
said before starting to do something, which may be “I begin my action in the
name of Allaah,” such as saying, “In the name of Allaah I read”, “In the
name of Allaah I write”, “In the name of Allaah I ride”, and so on. Or, “My
starting is in the name of Allaah”, “My riding is in the name of Allaah”,
“My reading is in the name of Allaah”, and so on.  It may be that blessing
comes by saying the name of Allaah first, and that also conveys the meaning
of starting only in the name of Allaah and not in the name of anyone else. 

The name of Allaah is the greatest name and is so well known
as to need no explanation; this is a name that belongs exclusively to the
Creator and no one else. The correct view is that it is derived from the
root aliha. He is God (ilaah) which means that He is worshipped and is

Al-Rahmaan is one of the names of Allaah that belong
exclusively to Him. It means the One Who possesses vast mercy, because this
form (fa’laan) is indicative of fullness and abundance. It is the most
exclusive name of Allaah after His name Allaah, just as mercy is His most
exclusive attribute. Hence this name (al-Rahmaan) often appears after the
name Allaah, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): Invoke Allaah or invoke the Most
Gracious [al-Rahmaan] (Allaah)” [al-Isra’ 17:110] 

Al-Raheem is also one of
the names of Allaah, and means the One Who causes His mercy to reach those
whom He wills among His slaves.  

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“Al-Rahmaan refers to an attribute that is connected to Allaah and is part
of His Essence, and al-Raheem refers to a connection with the one to whom
mercy is shown. The former is adjectival (referring to what He is) and the
latter is verbal (referring to what He does). The former indicates that
mercy is His attribute, and the latter indicates that He bestows His mercy
upon His creation. If you want to understand this then ponder the meaning of
these verses (interpretation of the meanings): 

“And He is Ever Most Merciful (Raheem) to the
believers”[al-Ahzaab 33:43]  

“Certainly, He is unto them full of kindness, Most
Merciful (Raheem)” [al-Tawbah 9:117] 

The word al-Rahmaan is
never used in this context. So we know that the word Rahmaan means the One
Whose attribute is mercy (rahmah), and al-Raheem is the One Who bestows His

(Badaa’i’ al-Fawaa’id, 1/24). 


The ruling on saying the Basmalah before reading Qur’aan
depends on the situation: 

1 – If it is at the beginning of a soorah – apart from Soorat
Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah) – then the majority of imams have stated that “it is
mustahabb to recite the Basmalah at the beginning of each soorah, in prayer
or otherwise. This should be done as a regular practice, and some of them
considered that a reading of the whole Qur’aan is incomplete if the Basmalah
was not recited at the beginning of every soorah apart from Baraa’ah
(al-Tawbah).” When Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about
reciting it at the beginning of every soorah, he said, “Do not neglect it.” 

2 – If one is starting in the middle of a soorah – which is
the case asked about in the question – then the majority of scholars and
Qur’aan readers say that there is no reason why one should not start with
it. It was said to Imam Ahmad, after he had said that it should not be
omitted at the beginning of the soorah, “What if a person starts reading
partway through a soorah?” He said, “There is nothing wrong [with saying the
Basmalah].” Al-‘Abaadi narrated that al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on
him) regarded it as mustahabb (to say the Basmalah, when starting to recite)
partway through a soorah. 

The Qur’aan readers said: It is certain that one should say
the Basmalah if the aayah which will be read after saying it contains a
pronoun that refers to Allaah, such as the verses (interpretation of the

“To Him (Alone) is referred the knowledge of the Hour”

[Fussilat 41:47] 

it is He Who produces gardens”[al-An’aam 6:141] 

because otherwise, if one recites these verses after seeking
refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, the pronoun may appear to refer to the
Shaytaan which would convey an abhorrent meaning. 

3 – Reciting the Basmalah at the beginning of Soorat Baraa’ah
(al-Tawbah); there is hardly any dispute among the scholars that doing this
is makrooh (disliked). 

Saalih said concerning some issues that he narrated from his
father Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him): “I asked him about Soorat
al-Anfaal and Soorat al-Tawbah, whether it is permissible for a man to
separate them by saying Bismillaah il-Rahmaan il-Raheem. My father said:
‘With regard to the Qur’aan, reference should be made to what the companions
of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
were agreed on; nothing should be added to or taken away from that.’”  

4 – Reciting it partway through Soorat al-Baraa’ah
(al-Tawbah). The Qur’aan readers differed concerning that, as was narrated
by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami in al-Fataawa al-Fiqhiyyah (1/52), and he
said: “Among the leading Qur’aan readers, al-Sakhaawi said that there is no
dispute that it is Sunnah to start with the Basmalah when one starts reading
partway through this soorah [al-Tawbah], as he differentiated between
starting at the beginning and starting in the middle, but his explanation
was facile and was refuted by al-Ja’bari from among the Qur’aan readers.
This is more likely (i.e., the view that it is makrooh is more likely to be
correct), because the reason why the Basmalah should not be recited at the
beginning (of al-Tawbah) is that it came with the sword (i.e., the command
to fight the kuffaar) and it exposes the hypocrites and their foul deeds in
a manner that is not unlike any other soorah, and this theme is repeated
throughout Soorat al-Tawbah. Therefore it is not prescribed to recite the
Basmalah even if one starts reciting partway through this soorah, just as it
is not prescribed at the beginning, for the reasons we have established.” 

See al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah by Ibn Muflih, 2/325;
al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 13/253; al-Fataawa al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kubra,


With regard to the meaning of the words,
“Iqra’ bismi Rabbika” (Read (or recite) in the name of your Lord – [al-‘Alaq
96:1 – interpretation of the meaning]), Imam Ibn Jareer (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said: “The interpretation of the words ‘Iqra’ bismi Rabbika’
is that they were addressed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him), in other words, Read, O Muhammad, by mentioning the name of
your Lord (Who created).” And Allaah knows best.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Can humans see the angels and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when they are awake?


We held a march in the capital to support the Palestinian and Iraqi people against the Israeli and American occupations. After the march ended, I heard some of the brothers and sisters saying that they had seen Jibreel coming down from the sky, and they had seen the Prophet Muhammad (S) and many of the angels accompanying them and supporting this march. Could these visions be real, and are we obliged to believe them? Otherwise we may think badly of our Muslim brothers. As for me, I cannot believe it knowing that the people of Badr and the companions and the ten who were promised Paradise did not see the angels with their own eyes, and they did not see Jibreel. Can we say that this was just their imagination, i.e., they imagined that they saw something and it became something that they believed they had really seen with their eyes?.

Praise be to Allaah.


We have explained the ruling on demonstrations in the answer
to question no. 11469; please read.


The blessings and salaams upon the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) should not be reduced to a single letter or
abbreviation. Whoever can write such a lengthy question is not incapable of
writing (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in full. We have
explained the ruling on writing these abbreviations in the answer to
question no. 47976; please read. 


The angels have been created from light, as was narrated by
Muslim (2996), and no one can claim to have seen them in their true form
unless he is a Prophet whose words are to be believed. As for those who see
them in human form, this is possible for both the common folk and the elite.
There are many such reports in the saheeh Sunnah, whether that happened
among this ummah or among the nations who came before. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
who was blessed with deep wisdom and understanding of religion, could not
bear to see Jibreel (peace be upon him) in his true form with which Allaah
created him, so how can these people bear it – even if we assume that they
saw him at all? 

Shaykh ‘Umar al-Ashqar said: 

Because the angels have
subtle bodies of light, people cannot see them, especially since Allaah has
not given our eyes the ability to see them. No one in this ummah has seen
the angels in their true form except the Messenger (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him). He saw Jibreel twice in the form with which Allaah
created him. The texts indicate that humans can see angels if the angels
appear in human form. 

‘Aalam al-Malaa’ikah al-Abraar,
p. 11.

{Translator’s note: this book by ‘Umar al-Ashqar is available
in English under the title The World of the Noble Angels, published
by International Islamic Publishing House (IIPH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia} 

He also said, in the context of affirming the humanity of the
Messengers and refuting those who said that they were angels: 

It is difficult to see the angels. When the kuffaar demanded
to see the angels, and expected that the Messengers who were sent to them
should be angels, they did not understand the nature of the angels and they
did not know the difficulty and hardship that they might encounter as a
result of seeing them. 

Contacting the angels and seeing them is not something easy.
Although the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was
the best of mankind and was physically and spiritually strong to a great
degree, when he saw Jibreel in his true form, he was stricken with immense
fear and fled back to his house with his heart trembling. He (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) suffered great hardship when the Revelation
came to him, hence Allaah said, refuting them (interpretation of the

“On the Day they will see the angels
no glad tidings will there be for the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers,
polytheists, sinners) that day”

[al-Furqaan 25:22]  

That is because the
kuffaar only see the angels at the time of death or when the Divine
punishment descends, so when they are able to see angels, that is the day of
their doom. 

It was essential that human Messengers be sent, so that they
would be able to address mankind, and so that mankind would be able to learn
from them and understand. If Allaah had sent messengers from among the
angels to them, that would not have been possible.  

“And nothing prevented men from believing when the
guidance came to them, except that they said: ‘Has Allaah sent a man as
(His) Messenger?’

95. Say: ‘If there were on the earth, angels walking about
in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the
heaven an angel as a Messenger’”

[al-Isra’ 17:94, 95] 

But those who live on the earth are human, and the mercy and
wisdom of Allaah dictated that their Messengers should be of their own

“Indeed, Allaah conferred a great favour on the believers
when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:164] 

Since humans cannot easily see the angels and learn from
them, this means that if Allaah had wanted to send an angel as a messenger
to mankind, He would have had to make him a man: 

“And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have
made him a man, and We would have certainly confused them in which they are
already confused (i.e. the Message of Prophet Muhammad)”

[al-An’aam 6:9] 

They would have been
confused because of his appearing in human form, and they would not have
been able to verify that he was an angel. As that is the case, there would
have been no point in sending angels as messengers in this manner, rather
sending angels as messengers in this manner would not have achieved the
intended aim, because an angel-messenger would not be able to feel what
humans feel, and share their emotions and reactions, even if he appeared in
their form. 

Al-Rusul wa’l-Risaalaat, 72, 73.

{Translator’s note: This book by ‘Umar al-Ashqar is available
in English under the title The Messengers and the Messages, published
by International Islamic Publishing House (IIPH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia} 


With regard to seeing the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) when one is awake, this is akin to Sufi myths, and
there is no basis for that in sharee’ah or in real life. Tremendous events
befell the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) after the death of the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and they were in
the greatest need of seeing him among them, so why did he not appear to
them, and why did they not see him when he was the dearest of people to them
and they were the dearest of people to him? 

With regard to some of them quoting the hadeeth that is
narrated in al-Saheehayn from the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) – that he said, “Whoever sees me in a dream will see
me when he is awake” – as evidence that it is possible to see the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when one is awake, there is
nothing in this hadeeth to support what they say. Rather it is glad tidings
to the one who sees him in a dream, that he will see him in Paradise. It
does not mean that he will see him when he is awake in this world. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Some of the righteous
erred and claimed that it is possible to see him with one’s own eyes. 

Fath al-Baari, 12/384. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, concerning the
meaning of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him), “he will see me when he is awake”, there are a number of opinions
concerning this. 

1 – That what is meant is
the people of his own time, i.e., that whoever saw him in a dream and had
not migrated, Allaah would enable him to migrate and to see him with his own
eyes when he was awake.

2 – That he would see the confirmation of that dream whilst
awake in the Hereafter, because all of his ummah will see him in the

3 – That he will see him in a specific sense in the
Hereafter, by being close to him and attaining his intercession, and so on. 

Sharh Muslim, 15/26 

What al-Nawawi mentioned in the first opinion is not
contradicted by the opinion of al-Haafiz ibn Hajar that it is not possible
to see him, because al-Nawawi stated that what was meant was the people of
his own time, and what al-Haafiz was objecting to was those who claim to
have seen him in a real sense after he (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) died. 

Abu’l-‘Abbaas al-Qurtubi said, refuting those who said that
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could be seen
when one is awake: 

This idea (that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) may be seen when one is awake) may easily be refuted by
common sense, because it implies that no one can see him except in the form
in which he died, and that two people may see him at the same time in two
different places, and that he may come to life sometimes and emerge from his
grave and walk about in the marketplaces and converse with the people. That
implies that his body is not in his grave and there is nothing left in his
grave, so the grave is visited and salaam is said to one who is not there,
because he may be seen by night and by day in his real form outside his

Quoted by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari,

Moreover, if it were true
that someone could see the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) when he is awake, then he would be one of his companions and there
would be Sahabaah until the Day of Resurrection. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar
al-‘Asqallaani stated that Ibn Abi Jamrah narrated from some of the Sufis
that they saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
in a dream, then they saw him after that when they were awake, and they
asked him about some things which they were worried about, and he told them
how to deal with them, and they followed his advice and achieved the desired
results. Then al-Haafiz commented on that by saying: This is very odd. If we
interpret it as it appears to be, then these people would be Sahaabah, and
there could be Sahaabah until the Day of Resurrection. But this may be
refuted by the fact that many people see him when they are asleep but no one
says that that they saw him when they were awake, so there is an

Fath al-Baari, 12/385


The scholars of the Standing Committee said, refuting the
beliefs of al-Tijaani: 

There is no proven report
from the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or from the rest of the Sahaabah (may Allaah
be pleased with them), who are the best of mankind after the Prophets, that
any of them claimed to have seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) when he was awake. It is well known, and no Muslim has
any excuse for not knowing, that the religion was completed during the
lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and
that Allaah perfected this ummah’s religion for it and completed His Favour
upon it before the death of His Messenger (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him). Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you,
completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your

[al-Maa’idah 5:3] 

So there can be no doubt
that what Ahmad al-Tijaani claims, that he saw the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was awake, and learned the Tijani
tareeqah from him orally when he was awake, and that he told him what wird
to recite to remember Allaah (dhikr) and send blessings upon His Messenger,
is false and is evident misguidance. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,
2/325, 326 

They also said: 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) died after having conveyed the Message in full and after Allaah
had perfected His religion through him and established proof against His
creation through him. His companions (may Allaah be pleased with them)
offered the funeral prayer for him and buried him where he died, in the room
of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). After him came the
Rightly-Guided Caliphs, during whose time events occurred which they dealt
with on the basis of their own reasoning (ijtihad), and they did not refer
concerning any of them to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him). Whoever claims after that to have seen the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was awake, living
and speaking to him, or to have heard anything from him before the Day of
Resurrection, his claim is false, because it goes against the texts, the
narrated reports and the laws of Allaah that govern His creation. There is
nothing in this hadeeth to suggest that he will be seen when one is awake in
this world, because it could be interpreted as meaning, “he will see me in
the Hereafter,” or it may mean, “he will see the interpretation of his
dream”, because this dream is true according to what is stated in other
reports, namely that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “… he has indeed seen me.” The believer may truly see the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his dream in the form in
which he appeared when he was alive. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,
1/486, 487. 

To sum up: 

It is not permissible for
anyone – after the Prophets – to claim to have see the angels, for they have
bodies of light which Allaah has not enabled humans to see, unless the
angels appear in human form. 

It is not permissible for anyone to claim to have seen the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was awake.
Perhaps these illusions came from some of those who do not have any Islamic
knowledge or maturity, so they imagine things that are not there. 

And Allaah knows best.


Discussion with a Christian about the Crucifixion


Why is it so difficult for the Muslims to believe that Christ was crucified to erase our sins? Why do they reject the idea of the Crucifixion altogether?.

Praise be to Allaah.


There is nothing strange about the Muslims rejecting this
idea, because the Qur’aan in which they believe and accept what it tells
them definitively states that that did not happen, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“And because of their
saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary),
the Messenger of Allaah,’ — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but
it appeared so to them the resemblance of ‘Eesa (Jesus) was put over another
man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of
doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but
conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of
Maryam (Mary)]”

[al-Nisa’ 4:157] 

Rather the problem rests with the Christians for whom the
doctrine of the crucifixion and redemption has become a central issue, so
much so that the cross is the symbol of their religion. 

It is strange that they differ concerning the form of this
cross which indicates their confusion about this fabrication. 

There are differences between their Gospels and their
historians regarding everything that has to do with the story of the

They differ concerning the timing of the Last Supper, which
according to them was one of the events in the lead-up to the crucifixion.
They differ concerning the traitor who led (the Romans) to Christ – did that
happen at least one day before the Last Supper, as narrated by Luke, or
during it, after Christ gave him the piece of bread, as narrated by John? 

Was Christ the one who carried his cross, as John says, as
was customary with one who was going to be crucified, according to
Nottingham, or was it Simon of Cyrene, as the other three Gospels state?

 They say that two thieves were crucified alongside Christ,
one on his right and one on his left, so what was the attitude of these two
towards the Messiah who was being crucified, as they claim? 

Did the thieves scorn him for being crucified, and say that
his Lord had abandoned him and left him to his enemies? Or did only one of
them scorn him, and did the other rebuke the one who scorned him?  

At what hour did this crucifixion take place – was it in the
third hour, as Mark says, or in the sixth as John says? 

What happened after the so-called crucifixion?  

Mark says that the veil of the Temple was torn from top to
bottom. Matthew adds that the earth shook and rocks crumbled, and many of
the saints rose from their graves and entered the holy city, appearing to
many. Luke says that the sun turned dark, and the veil of the Temple was
torn in the middle, and when the centurion saw what had happened, he
glorified God and said, “Truly this man was righteous.” 

But John does not know anything about all that! 

These are not the only weak elements and indications of
falseness in the story of the crucifixion, as narrated in the gospels.
Rather the one who studies the details of the gospel narratives of this
story will, with the least effort, notice the great differences in the
details of this story, which are such that it is impossible to believe it
all or even any part of it! 

How desperate are the failed attempts to fill this gap and
conceal the faults of this distorted book. Allaah indeed spoke the truth
when He said in His Book which He has preserved (interpretation of the

“Do they not then
consider the Qur’aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allaah, they
would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”

[al-Nisa’ 4:82] 

Apart from the fact that
the gospel accounts are not sound, and their authors themselves admit that
they were not revealed to the Messiah in this form, nor were they even
written during his lifetime, none of the witnesses were present at the
events to which they testify, as Mark says:  

“Then everyone deserted him and fled.”

Mark 14:50 – New International Version (NIV) 

Because these events were not witnessed by anyone who
narrated them, there is a great deal of room for imagination and poetic

We will complete our discussion of the fable of the
crucifixion of Christ (peace be upon him) by looking at what the Gospels say
about the Messiah’s prediction that he would be saved from death: 

On one occasion the Pharisees and chief priests sent the
guards to arrest him and he said to them: 

“I am with you for only a
short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but
you will not find me, and where I am, you cannot come.”

John 7:33-34 – NIV 

Elsewhere he says: 

“Once more Jesus said to them, ‘I am going away, and you
will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot

This made the Jews ask, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that why
he says, “Where I go, you cannot come”?’

But he continued, ‘You
are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not
believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.’

‘Who are you?’ they asked.

‘Just what I have been claiming all along,’ Jesus replied.
‘I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and
what I have heard from him I tell the world.’

They did not understand that he was telling them about his

So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on
my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone,
for I always do what pleases him.’”

John 8:21-29 – NIV 

Then at the end he tells them again: 

“For I tell you, you will
not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the

Matthew 23:39 – NIV, also Luke 13:35 

The Messiah, as these
texts and others show, was certain that God would never hand him over to his
enemies, and would never forsake him. 

“But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be
scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not
alone, for my Father is with me.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have
peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
the world.”

John 16:32-33  

Because of that the
passers by, and indeed everyone who attended the so-called crucifixion,
mocked the Messiah, as the writer of this Gospel says (although that could
not have been true): 

“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their

and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and
build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are
the Son of God!’

In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law
and the elders mocked him.

‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can't save himself!
He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will
believe in him.

He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him,
for he said, “I am the Son of God.”’

In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him
also heaped insults on him.”

Matthew 27:39-44 – NIV  

But it seems that Jesus’ certainty that God was with him
began to waver, according to the distorted Gospel narrative, (although that
could not have been true): 

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called
Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him,
and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow
to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the
ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from
me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.

He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for
this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.’

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, …

So he left them and went away once more and prayed the
third time, saying the
same thing.

Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are
you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man
is betrayed into the hands of sinners’”

Matthew 26:36-45 – NIV 

Luke describes the scene and says: 

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his
sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When he rose from prayer
and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.

‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so
that you will not fall into temptation.’”

Luke 22:44-46 – NIV 

Because of this mockery of the message of Christ – according
to their claims – and because Christ thought that God was with him and would
never forsake him, then it follows that the writer who fabricated this
dramatic scene would end it with a vision of the despair of the Messiah and
his feelings of being abandoned by God – exalted be Allaah far above what
the wrongdoers say. The fabricator says: 

“From the sixth hour
until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’--which means, "My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me?"

Matthew 27:38-47 – NIV

See also Mark 15:34 

If we understand what this story means when subjected to
criticism, the same will apply to the doctrine of redemption and sacrifice
that is based on it. 

With regard to the Christian doctrine of salvation, see also
question no. 6 

And Allaah is the Source of strength and the guide to the
Straight Path, and there is no Lord but He.


Ibraaheem (peace be upon him)


Could you give us some information about the Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be upon him)? 

Praise be to

Allaah sent His Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be
upon him) and ordained among his offspring Prophethood and the Book
(cf. al-‘Ankaboot 29:27). 

“And mention in the Book (the Qur’aan) Ibraaheem (Abraham).
Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet [Maryam 19:41 – interpretation
of the meaning] 

Allaah guided Ibraaheem and honoured him with virtues
and praiseworthy characteristics: 

“Verily, Ibraaheem (Abraham) was
an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation,
obedient to Allaah, Haneef (i.e. to worship none but Allaah), and he
was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters,
disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and those who joined partners
with Allaah).

(He was) thankful for His (Allaah’s) Favours. He (Allaah)
chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a Straight Path
(Islamic Monotheism — neither Judaism nor Christianity).

And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter
he shall be of the righteous”[al-Nahl 16:120-122 – interpretation of
the meaning] 

Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) was the father
of the Prophets; no Prophet was sent after him but he was from among
his descendents. He had two sons whom Allaah chose to be Prophets. They
were Ismaa’eel the grandfather of the Arabs, from among whose descendents
Allaah sent the Prophet Muhammad SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him), and Ishaaq whom Allaah blessed with a Prophet called Ya’qoob,
who was also known as Israa’eel, after whom Bani Israa’eel (the Children
of Israel) and their Prophets were called. 

The Qur’aan refers to the fact that Ibraaheem
was the father of the Prophets, when it says concerning Ibraaheem (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And We bestowed upon him Ishaaq
(Isaac) and Ya‘qoob (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him,
We guided Nooh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawood (David),
Sulaymaan (Solomon), Ayyoob (Job), Yoosuf (Joseph), Moosa (Moses), and
Haaroon (Aaron). Thus do We reward Al-Muhsinoon (the good-doers).

And Zakariyya (Zachariya), and Yahya (John) and ‘Eesa
(Jesus) and Ilyaas (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous.

And Isma‘eel (Ishmael) and Al-Yasaa‘ (Elisha), and
Yoonus (Jonah) and Loot (Lot), and each one of them We preferred above
the ‘Aalameen [mankind and jinn (of their times)]”[al-An’aam 6:84-86] 

Ibraaheem called his people in Mesopotamia to worship
Allaah alone and to stop worshipping the idols which could neither bring
benefit nor cause harm. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And (remember) Ibraaheem (Abraham)
when he said to his people: ‘Worship Allaah (Alone), and fear Him: that
is better for you if you did but know.

You worship besides Allaah only idols, and you only
invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allaah have
no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allaah (Alone),
and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you
will be brought back’”[al-‘Ankaboot 29:16-17]  

Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) wanted to free
his people from idol-worship and rid them of myths and legends. He asked
his people about these idols, as Allaah tells us (interpretation of
the meaning): 

“And recite to them the story of
Ibraaheem (Abraham).

When he said to his father and his people: ‘What do
you worship?’

They said: ‘We worship idols, and to them we are ever

He said: ‘Do they hear you, when you call on (them)?

Or do they benefit you or do they harm (you)?’

They said: ‘(Nay) but we found our fathers doing so’”[al-Shu’araa’

Then he explained to them that they should
not mindlessly follow others like dumb animals and clarified for them
the ultimate reality which is that they should worship Allaah alone,
in Whose hand is the dominion of all things: 

“He said: ‘Do you observe that which
you have been worshipping

You and your ancient fathers?

Verily, they are enemies to me, save the Lord of the
‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists),

Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me.

And it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink.

And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me.

And Who will cause me to die, and then will bring
me to life (again).

And Who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the
Day of Recompense (the Day of Resurrection)’”[al-Shu’araa’ 26:75-82] 

The father of Ibraaheem was one of the idol-worshippers.
He used to carve them and sell them. His father’s kufr troubled Ibraaheem,
so he singled him out for advice and said to him: 

“O my father! Why do you worship
that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?

O my father! Verily, there has come to me of the knowledge
that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the
Straight Path”[Maryam 19:42-43 – interpretation of the meaning]  

But his father did not respond to him, rather
he threatened to stone him and forsake him. He said: 

“Do you reject my gods, O Ibraaheem (Abraham)? If
you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely
(before I punish you)”[Maryam 19:46 – interpretation of the meaning] 

So Ibraaheem had no choice but to leave him,
and he said to him:

 “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness
of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Ever Most Gracious[Maryam
19:47 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Ibraaheem continued to ask for forgiveness
for his father and to ask his Lord to guide him, but when it became
clear to him that he (his father) was an enemy of Allaah, he disavowed
him and stopped asking for forgiveness for him. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And Ibraaheem’s (Abraham) invoking (of Allaah) for
his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he [Ibraaheem
(Abraham)] had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to
him that he (his father) is an enemy of Allaah, he dissociated himself
from him. Verily, Ibraaheem was Awwah (one who invokes Allaah with humility,
glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing[al-Tawbah 9:114] 

When the people of Ibraaheem persisted in
worshipping idols, Ibraaheem wanted to prove to them in practical terms
that these idols could not cause harm or bring benefit, after his preaching
and teaching had had no effect on his people: 

“Then he cast a glance at the stars,

And he said: ‘Verily, I am sick (with plague). [He
did this trick to remain in their temple of idols to destroy them and
not to accompany them to the pagan feast)].’

So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear
of the disease).

Then he turned to their aalihah (gods) and said: ‘Will
you not eat (of the offering before you)?

What is the matter with you that you speak not?’

Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his)
right hand”

[al-Saaffaaat :88:93] 

Ibraaheem broke all the idols except the biggest
one, which he left so that they could ask it who had done this: 

“So he broke them to pieces, (all)
except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:58 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they came back from the festival for
which they had gone out, they saw the broken idols and they accused
Ibraaheem (of breaking them). He said to them: 

“Nay, this one, the biggest of them
(idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:63 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Because they knew that these idols could not
speak – for they were inanimate objects – they said to Ibraaheem: 

“Indeed you [Ibraaheem (Abraham)]
know well that these (idols) speak not!”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:65 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they admitted that these idols could
do nothing, Ibraaheem said to them:

 “Do you then worship besides Allaah,
things that can neither profit you, nor harm you?

Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides
Allaah! Have you then no sense?”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:67 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they had exhausted all lines of argument,
they resorted to the use of force and said: 

“Burn him and help your aalihah
(gods), if you will be doing”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:68 – interpretation of the meaning] 

They gathered a lot of wood and started a
fire which had great sparks and flames, then they threw Ibraaheem (peace
be upon him) into that fire. He said, “Hasbi Allaah wa ni’am al-wakeel
(Allaah is sufficient for me and He is the best Disposer of affairs).”
So Allaah saved him from it and made it coolness and safety for him,
and foiled the plot of his enemies: 

“We (Allaah) said: ‘O fire! Be you
coolness and safety for Ibraaheem (Abraham)!’

And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the
worst losers”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:69-70 – interpretation of the meaning]

 After saving Ibraaheem from the fire,
Allaah commanded him to leave Mesopotamia and migrate to the Holy Land
in Palestine. He married his cousin (the daughter of his paternal uncle)
– Saarah – and set out with her and his brother’s son Loot for Syria,
as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And We rescued him and Loot (Lot) to the land which
We have blessed for the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:71] 

Then great hardship befell the land of Syria,
so Ibraaheem moved to Egypt with his wife, then he came back to Palestine,
bringing his wife and a slave woman of hers called Haajar. Ibraaheem
longed to have children, but his wife was barren and had grown old.
When she saw how much her husband longed to have a child, she gave her
slave woman, Haajar, to him. So he married her and was blessed with
his son Ismaa’eel from her: 

“’My Lord! Grant me (offspring)
from the righteous.’

So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy”

[al-Saaffaat 37:100-101 – interpretation of the meaning] 

After Haajar gave birth to Ismaa’eel, Saarah
began to feel jealous, so she asked Ibraaheem to send them away from
her. Allaah revealed to Ibraaheem that he should take Haajar and the
infant Ismaa’eel and take them to Makkah. So he took them and left Haajar
and her child Ismaa’eel in an bleak, isolated place in which there was
no water, then he left them and went back to Palestine. Haajar said
to him, “For whom are you leaving us in this forsaken valley?” But Ibraaheem
went and left her, and she said, “Has Allaah commanded you to do this?”
He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then Allaah will not cause us to be lost.” 

Ibraaheem submitted to the command of his
Lord and patiently bore the separation from his wife and child. Then
he turned towards where they were at the Sacred House and prayed for
them in the following words (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell
in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah)
in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah).
So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allaah)
provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks”[Ibraaheem 14:37] 

Haajar stayed in Makkah, eating the food and
drinking the water that Ibraaheem had left for her and her son. When
that ran out, she and her son became thirsty. She looked for water,
and climbed the hill of al-Safaa but she did not see anything. Then
she climbed the hill of al-Marwah but she did not see anything. She
did that seven times, then she turned towards Ismaa’eel and saw water
gushing from beneath his feet. She rejoiced and drank some, and gave
some to her son to drink. Then a tribe – Jurham – came to Haajar and
asked her permission to settle by the water. She gave them permission
and they settled beside her. When Ismaa’eel grew up, he married one
of their women and learned Arabic from them. 

During this period, Ibraaheem used to visit
his son from time to time. On one of these visits, Ibraaheem saw in
a dream that Allaah was commanding him to sacrifice his son Ismaa’eel.
The dreams of the Prophets are true, so Ibraaheem resolved to obey the
command of Allaah, even though he was old and Ismaa’eel was his only
son. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So We gave him the glad tidings
of a forbearing boy.

And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with
him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering
you (offering you in sacrifice to Allaah). So look what you think!’
He said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, In sha’ Allaah
(if Allaah wills), you shall find me of As-Saabiroon (the patient).’

Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to
the Will of Allaah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or
on the side of his forehead for slaughtering);

We called out to him: ‘O Ibraaheem!

You have fulfilled the dream!’ Verily, thus do We
reward the Muhsinoon (good-doers).

Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a

[al-Saffaat 37:101-107] 

Then Allaah gave him the glad tidings of another
son, who was Ishaaq, and then Ibraaheem returned to Palestine: 

“And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac)
a Prophet from the righteous[al-Saaffaat 37:112 – interpretation
of the meaning] 

Ishaaq was born to him from his wife Saarah: 

“And his wife was standing (there),
and she laughed [either, because the messengers did not eat their food
or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Loot (Lot)].
But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac), and after Ishaaq, of
Ya‘qoob (Jacob)”

[Hood 11:71 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then Ibraaheem stayed in Palestine for a while,
then he returned to Makkah for an important reason. Allaah had commanded
him to build in Makkah the first House to be built for the worship of
Allaah. So Ibraaheem undertook this task of construction, and his son
Ismaa’eel was lifting up the stones to him. When the walls grew higher,
Ibraaheem stood on a rock, and this is the Station of Ibraaheem (Maqaam
Ibraaheem) which is to be found in the vicinity of the Ka’bah. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham)
and (his son) Ismee‘eel (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the
House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah), (saying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service)
from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower’”

[al-Baqarah 2:127] 

Allaah commanded Ibraaheem and Ismaa’eel to
cleanse the House of idols and other impurities so that it would be
pure for those who would circumambulate it and stand and bow and prostrate
(in prayer). When Ibraaheem built the House, Allaah commanded him to
call mankind to perform the Hajj, as He says (interpretation of the

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj
(pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel,
they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to
perform Hajj)”

[al-Hajj 22:27] 

Then Ibraaheem offered this great supplication
for Makkah and for those who live in it: 

“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham)
said, ‘My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide
its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last
Day.’ He (Allaah) answered: ‘As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave
him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment
of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!’”

[al-Baqarah 2:126 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then he prayed for himself and his descendents,

“Our Lord! Accept (this service)
from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our
offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manaasik (all
the ceremonies of pilgrimage — Hajj and ‘Umrah), and accept our repentance.
Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful”[al-Baqarah
2:127-128 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then he prayed for the people of the sanctuary,
that Allaah would send to them a Messenger from amongst them, who would
call them to worship Allaah Alone. He said: 

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger
of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them
in the Book (this Qur’aan) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic
laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily,
You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”

[al-Baqarah 1:129 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Allaah responded to the prayer of His Prophet
Ibraaheem. He made Makkah a place of security, He blessed its people
with fruits and sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves, who
was the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
All praise and thanks be to Allaah. 

After Ibraaheem, Prophethood remained with
the Children of Israel for a long time, until Allaah sent Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
from among the descendents of Ismaa’eel as a Messenger to all of mankind,
and commanded him as He said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to
you all as the Messenger of Allaah…’”[al-A’raaf 7:158] 

Allaah commanded Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
to follow the religion of Ibraaheem, as He said (interpretation of the

“Then, We have sent the Revelation to you (O Muhammad
saying): ‘Follow the religion of Ibraaheem (Abraham) Haneef (Islamic
Monotheism — to worship none but Allaah) and he was not of the Mushrikoon
(polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers)”[al-Nahl 16:123] 

Ibraaheem’s advice to his children was to
adhere to the religion of Islam and follow its commands until they died.
Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And this (submission to Allaah, Islam) was enjoined
by Ibraaheem (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya‘qoob (Jacob) (saying),
‘O my sons! Allaah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die
not except in the Faith of Islam (as Muslims — Islamic Monotheism)’”
[al-Baqarah 2:132] 

O Allaah, send blessings upon Ibraaheem and
upon the family of Ibraaheem, for You are Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. 

Other Prophets who were alive at the time of Ibraaheem
(peace be upon him) were Loot, Ismaa’eel, Ishaaq, and Ya’qoob. Then
came Yoosuf, then Shu’ayb, then Ayyoob, then Dhu’l-Kifl. Then Allaah
sent Moosa and Haaroon (peace be upon them and may the best of blessings
and peace be upon all the Prophets).