Surah Muzammil In Arabic
يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ﴿1﴾ قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿2﴾ نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انْقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ﴿3﴾ أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿4﴾ إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا ﴿5﴾ إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا ﴿6﴾ إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا ﴿7﴾ وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا ﴿8﴾ رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا ﴿9﴾ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا ﴿10﴾ وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا ﴿11﴾ إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنْكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا ﴿12﴾ وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿13﴾ يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَهِيلًا ﴿14﴾ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا ﴿15﴾ فَعَصَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا ﴿16﴾ فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا ﴿17﴾ السَّمَاءُ مُنْفَطِرٌ بِهِ ۚ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا ﴿18﴾ إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا ﴿19﴾ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِنْ ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَنْ لَنْ تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ عَلِمَ أَنْ سَيَكُونُ مِنْكُمْ مَرْضَىٰ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿20﴾
Transliteration In English
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
- Ya aiyuhal muzzammil
- Qumil laila illaa qaleelaa
- Nisfahooo awinqus minhu qaleelaa
- Aw zid ‘alaihi wa rattilil Qur’aana tarteela
- Innaa sanulqee ‘alaika qawlan saqeelaa
- Inn naashi’atal laili hiya ashadddu wat anw wa aqwamu qeelaa
- Inna laka fin nahaari sabhan taweelaa
- Wazkuris ma rabbika wa tabattal ilaihi tabteelaa
- Rabbul mashriqi wal maghriibi laaa ilaaha illaa Huwa fattakhizhu wakeelaa
- Wasbir ‘alaa maa yaqoo loona wahjurhum hajran jameelaa
- Wa zarnee walmukaz zibeena ulin na’mati wa mahhilhum qaleelaa
- Inna ladainaaa ankaalanw wa jaheemaa
- Wa ta’aaman zaa ghussa tinw wa’azaaban aleemaa
- Yawma tarjuful ardu waljibaalu wa kaanatil jibaalu kaseebam maheelaa
- Innaa arsalnaaa ilaikum rasoolan shaahidan ‘aleykum kamaaa arsalnaaa ilaa Fir’awna rasoolaa
- Fa’asaa Fir’awnur Rasoola fa akhaznaahu akhzanw wabeelaa
- Fakaifa tattaqoona in kafartum yawmany yaj’alul wildaana sheeba
- Assamaaa’u munfatirum bih; kaana wa’duhoo maf’oola
- Inna haazihee tazkiratun fa man shaaa’at takhaza ilaa Rabbihee sabeelaa
- Inna Rabbaka ya’lamu annaka taqoomu adnaa min sulusa yil laili wa nisfahoo wa sulusahoo wa taaa’ifatum minal lazeena ma’ak; wal laahu yuqaddirul laila wanna haar; ‘alima al lan tuhsoohu fataaba ‘alaikum faqra’oo maa tayassara minal quraan; ‘alima an sa yakoonu minkum mardaa wa aakharoona yadriboona fil ardi yabtaghoona min fadlil laahi wa aakharoona yuqaatiloona fee sabeelil laahi faqra’oo ma tayassara minhu wa aqeemus salaata wa aatuz zakaata wa aqridul laaha qardan hasanaa; wa maa tuqadimoo li anfusikum min khairin tajidoohu ‘indal laahi huwa khayranw wa a’zama ajraa; wastaghfirul laahaa innal laaha ghafoorur raheem.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
- you, wrapped up in clothes,
- stand at night (for prayer) except a little__
- __half of it, or make it a little less,
- or make it a little more; and recite the Qur‘an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and measured tone) .
- We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse.
- Truly, rising by night (for prayer of tahajjud ) is the most effective way to subdue (one‘s base self) and to make speech more upright.
- Surely, in daytime, you have a lengthy work to do.
- And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion.
- He is the Lord of the East and the West; there is no god but He; so take Him for (your) Guardian.
- And bear patiently what they (the opponents) say, and part with them in a beautiful manner.
- And leave Me alone (to deal) with the deniers, the people of luxury, and give them respite for a while.
- Surely with Us are fetters and flaming fire,
- and food that chokes, and a painful punishment
- on the Day when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a slipping heap of sand.
- ( O people,) We have sent to you a messenger, as a witness over you, just as We sent a messenger to Fir’awn (Pharaoh) .
- Then, Fir’awn disobeyed the messenger; so We seized him with a severe seizure.
- So, if you disbelieve, how will you save yourself from a day that will turn the small boys into grey-headed old men,
- whereby the sky will burst apart. His promise has to be fulfilled.
- Indeed, this is a reminder; so let anyone who so wishes, adopt a way to his Lord.
- Your Lord knows that you stand (in prayer) for nearly two thirds of the night, and (at times) for half of it, and (at times) for one third of it, and (so do) a group of those who are with you. And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you ( O Muslims,) cannot do it in regular way; therefore He turned to you in mercy. Now, recite as much of the Qur‘an as is easy (for you) . He knows that some of you may be sick, and others traveling in the land, seeking the grace of Allah, and yet others fighting in Allah‘s way. Therefore, recite as much of it as is easy. And establish Salah, and pay Zakah, and advance to Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you will send ahead for your own-selves, you will find it with Allah much better in condition, and much greater in reward. And seek forgiveness from Allah. Indeed Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.
يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ‘0 you wrapped up in clothes [ 73:1] ‘. The word muzzammil literally means ‘one wrapped up in clothes’ and its near-synonym ‘muddaththir’ comes in the next Surah. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is addressed in this verse with reference to a particular style of wrapping himself in his clothes. The first event of this kind occurred when the Holy Prophet received first revelation in the cave of Hira’. Being his first experience, he felt it very hard, and was caught by a shivery cold, and once he reached home, he asked his blessed wife Khadijah (رض) to wrap him in a blanket which she did. A detailed account of this event is reported by Bukhari in the very first chapter of his book. Then the revelation stopped for some time. Speaking of this temporary break in the revelation [ termed as fatrat-ul-wahy ], Sayyidna Jabir (رض) reports that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said in his narrative:
“Whilst I was walking along, I heard a voice from heaven and I raised up my eyes. Lo! The Angel that had appeared to me in Hira was sitting on a chair between heaven and earth, and I was struck with awe on account of him and returned home and said, Wrap me up, wrap me up [ zammiluni, zammiluni ]. Then Allah revealed the first five verses of Surah Al-Muddththir (chapter 74).” [ Bukhari and Muslim ]
According to this narrative, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is affectionately addressed as ‘0 you, enveloped in a mantle,’ whereas in this Surah he is addressed as ‘0 you wrapped up in clothes’. Both forms of address are used affectionately and endearingly to console him. The latter title of address ‘muzzammil’ as it appears in this Surah could probably be connected to another incident (referred to in the footnote) but it, nonetheless, shows deep love and affection for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . [ Ruh-ul-Ma` ani ]. Having addressed him with this special title, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is told in the following verses that praying to Allah in the stillness of night [ salat-ut-tahajjud ] will prepare him for the heavy task entrusted to him. Some details of the night-prayer have also been set out.
Injunctions Pertaining to salat-ut-Tahajjud and its Abrogation
Reading into the titles muzzammil and muddaththir a consensus of scholarly opinion assigns the revelation of this Surah to the earliest period when the five daily prayers had not become obligatory. They were prescribed on the night of Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) Ascent to heavens. [ mi` raj ].
Imam Baghawl (رح) ، says, on the basis of Ahadith reported by Sayyidah ` A’ishah Siddigah (رض) and others, that ‘night-prayer’ was compulsory for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the entire Muslim community until the five prayers were not prescribed.
This verse not only prescribes the night-prayer but it also prescribes to stand up in prayer from at least one quarter of the night, because the verse under comment basically commanded to stand up all night to pray except a little portion of it.
Imam Baghawi (رح) says, on the basis of narration of Ahadith, that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the noble Companions (رض) in compliance with this command, spent the major portion of the night in tahajjud, so much so that their feet would swell and this exertion caused hardship and difficulty to them. This situation continued for a year. After that, towards the end of the Surah, the following injunction was revealed:
فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ
‘…Therefore, recite as much of it as is easy_[ 73:20] ‘
It repealed the obligation of staying up for a long time, and granted them concession and permission to stay up for prayer as much as they could easily manage. This is transmitted by Abu Dawud and Nasa’i on the authority of Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) ، Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) says that when the five prescribed prayers became obligatory on the night of mi` raj, the obligatory nature of tahajjud was abrogated. It was, however, retained as sunnah, because the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) performed it most regularly. Most of the blessed Companions (رض) were regular with their tahajjud as well. [ Mazhari ] Let us now analyze the wordings of the verses.
قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ‘stand at night (for prayer) except a little_[ 73:2] ‘. The word al-lail with the definite article ‘al’ connotes ‘the entire night’, signifying that he should stay up the whole night for prayer except a little portion of it. As the word ‘little’ is indefinite, the verse further clarifies:
نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ‘half of it, or make it a little less, [ 3] or أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ make it a little more [ 73:4] ‘. This is explicative of the exception ‘except a little’. A question may be raised here that ‘a little’ cannot be ‘half. The answer is that the earlier portion of the night is spent in the prayer at maghrib and ` isha’. ‘Half then refers to the half of the rest of the night. Its total in relation to the whole night amounts to ‘a little’. The verse permits to reduce it a little less than half and it also permits to add to it a little more than half. Thus it was compulsory to stay up at least for a little over one fourth of a night for prayer.
وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ‘…and recite the Qur’an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and measured tone). [ 73:4] ‘. The word tartil , according to Imam Raghib as explicated in al-Mufradat, originally means ‘to put together and arrange well the component parts of a word and speech and make it distinct’. The purport of the verse is to say that the Qur’an must not be recited in haste, but in a leisurely manner, distinctly, deliberately and in well-measured tone. At the same time, it is necessary to reflect on its meaning and message. [ Mazhari ]. The clause wa rattil is grammatically conjoined to qumil lail and signifies what is required to be done in tahajjud prayer. Although it comprises many components like tasbih, ruku ‘ (bowing), sujud (prostration) and so on, the verse indicates that the basic component of prayer is recitation of the Qur’an. The authentic Traditions bear testimony to the fact that the tahajjud prayer of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to be prolonged very much. The noble Companions and their pupils followed the same pattern.
The verse under comment clarifies that the recitation of the Qur’an is required to be with tartil [ distinct recitation in well-measured tone ]. The Holy Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم recitation fulfilled the requirements of tartil. Some people inquired from Sayyidah ‘Umm Salamah (رض) about the Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) recitation of Qur’an in night-prayers. She emulated his recitation in which every single letter was clear and distinct. [ Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasal – as quoted by Mazhari ].
Tartil includes slow rhythmic recitation and beautification of the voice while reciting. Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “Allah does not listen to any recitation as much as he listens to the recitation of a Prophet who recites with a beautiful voice.” [ Mazhari ].
Sayyidna ` Alqamah (رض) saw a person reciting with a beautiful voice and he exclaimed:
لقد رتّل القراٰن فداه أبي وأمي
“He has recited the Qur’an with tartil: May my parents be sacrificed to him!” [ Quriubi ].
In short, tartil basically signifies that the letters and the words must be pronounced clearly and distinctly that will help understanding the Qur’an, and paying due care to its meaning. Hasan al-Basri (رح) reports that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) passed by a person who was reciting a verse of the Qur’an and weeping. He said to the people, ‘Have you heard of the command of Allah’ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ‘…and recite the Qur’an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and measured tone). [ 73:4] ‘? This is tartil which this person is doing. [ Qurtubi ]
إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا (‘We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse… 73:5) ‘ The word thagil means ‘heavy’ and the phrase ‘weighty discourse’ refers to the Qur’an, because the Qur’anic teachings of lawful and unlawful are permanently binding and carrying them out is the weightiest task for human nature, except those for whom Allah makes it easier. According to oft-quoted Ahadith, whenever a revelation descended upon the Holy Prophet t, he went into a trance and felt a peculiar sensation, so that even on an extremely cold day drops of sweat fell from his forehead, and he felt his body has become heavier. The Qur’anic revelation being ‘a weighty discourse’, his paroxysm was due to this sensation. If the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) received revelation while he was on his riding animal, it would begin to move the bottom of its neck intensely. [ Bukhari and others ].
The verse under comment prescribes tahajjud prayer on man, so that he may become accustomed to the difficulty of waking at night. This is a struggle against excess sleep and comfort of the carnal self. This exercise will make it easier to abide by the injunctions contained in the ‘weighty discourse’, that is, the Holy Qur’an.
إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ (‘Truly, rising by night [ for prayer of tahajjud ] is the most effective way to subdue (one’s self) and to make speech more upright…. 73:6). The word nashi’ah, on the grammatical measure of ` afiyah, is an infinitive noun which signifies ‘to rise by night for prayer’. Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) said that nashi’at-ul-lail means ‘to rise by night for night-prayer after sleeping’. According to this definition, nashi’at-ul-lail refers to tahajjud prayer. Furthermore, the word tahajjud itself, literally, means ‘to sleep at night and then wake up to perform the prayer’. Ibn Kaisan (رح) has said that prayer at the later part of the night is called nashi’at-ul-lail. Ibn Zaid (رح) says that performing prayer at any part of the night is nashi’at-ul-lail. Hasan al-Basri (رح) says that any prayer after the ` Isha’ prayer is nashi’at-ul-lail. Ibn Abi Mulaikah (رض) says that he asked Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas and Ibn Zubair u about the meaning of nashi’at-ul-lail, they replied as follows: الّیل کلّھا ناشٔۃ (The entire night is nashi’ah.” – Mazhari)
There is no conflict in these interpretations. The point is that the terms nashi’ah of the night and qiyam of the night are general, and may refer to any hour of night. Thus the two terms apply equally to
performing night-prayer in any part of the night, especially the one performed after ` Isha’ prayer as explained by Sayyidna Hasan al-Basri (رح) . However, the constant practice of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، that of the overwhelming majority of the Companions and their pupils, and that of the righteous predecessors of the ‘Ummah was that they performed this prayer in the later part of the night after waking from sleep, and therefore it is more virtuous, more meritorious and attracts more blessings. Performing any nafl [ voluntary ] prayer after ` Isha’ prayer fulfills the sunnah requirement of nashi’ah of the night and qiyam of the night.
هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا (…is the most effective way to subdue (one’s self) and to make speech more upright… 73:6). The word wat’an, with the letter waw carrying fath [=a ], is an infinitive which means ‘to subdue’ or ‘to suppress’. Given this meaning, the sense is that this time of night helps one to suppress his evil desires and keep them under, control. This meaning is adopted by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (رح) and the translation of the text is based on this interpretation. In another qira’ah (version), however, the word is pronounced ‘wita’an’. It is an infinitive that means ‘to conform’. On another occasion in the Qur’an, we come across the following verse wherein a verb derived from this root is contained. The word in that verse is used in the same sense, thus:
لِّيُوَاطِئُوا عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ
‘…so that they may conform (only) to the number of what Allah has sanctified – [ 9:37] ‘
Leading authorities on Tafsir, like Ibn Zaid and Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، have interpreted the word in the same sense here. Ibn Zaid (رض) said that getting up in the night for prayer is the most effective means of making the heart, eye, ear and tongue to mutually correspond and conform. Ibn ` Abbas (رض) said that the phrase means that during this time there is the closest degree of conformity and harmony between the ear and the heart. This is because there is no noise at the time of night when most people are asleep and one will not be disturbed as one is during the daytime. At night time when the tongue recites the Qur’an, the ears will be conducive to listening to the recitation with due concentration, and the heart will be conducive to understanding and considering its meaning and message.
وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا (And to make speech more upright – 73:6) The word aqwam means ‘more upright’. The verse signifies that the recitation of the Qur’an is more upright and concentrated, because during the night there are no noises and commotion to distract the heart or the mind.
In sum, the purport of the verse is to put forward the wisdom underlying the injunction of the ‘night-prayer’ for the common people. The preceding verse put forward its wisdom for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) : إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا
‘We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse.[ 73:5] ‘.
The ‘weighty discourse’ was concerned specifically with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as it was revealed to him. But for common people, Night-Prayer has two characteristics: [ 1] bringing harmony between the heart and the tongue; and [ 2] peace of mind – making it easier to recite the Qur’an.
إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا (Surely, in daytime, you have a lengthy work to do… 73:7). The word sabhun, literally means, ‘to flow, walk or move about’ from which we also get the sense ‘of swimming in the water’ because when a swimmer swims in the water, he moves about in it freely without any obstruction. Here the word signifies ‘long chain of engagements in the day’ which refers to multifarious duties to be performed with alacrity, such as educating the people, preaching to them, reforming humanity, performing domestic chores, discharging social responsibilities and moving about to many other tasks and obligations.
The current verse explicates the third point of wisdom as to why night-prayer was enjoined. This relates both to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the general body of the Muslim community. During the day the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as well as other people have a long chain of engagements for which they disperse and move about as explained in the foregoing paragraph. As a result, it is difficult for them to concentrate on their worshipping activity. The night should be reserved for this purpose. A person should sleep according to his need and perform his night-prayer as well.
A Special Note
Jurists have said that the verse under comment confirms that scholars
وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا
(And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion… 73:8). The word tabattul, literally, means ‘to cut off oneself from entire creation to focus attention solely on the Creator to detach oneself from worldly things and devote oneself exclusively and sincerely to the service of Allah’ The sentence: وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ (And remember the name of your Lord…73:8) is grammatically conjoined to the sentence: 1 (Stand at night [ for prayer ]…. 73:2) which enjoins upon the Holy Prophet to perform the night-prayer, and incidentally his attention is drawn in the following verse to special devotional activities in the course of the day: اِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيْلًا
‘Surely, in daytime, you have a lengthy work to do. [ 73:7] ‘ But the verse 8 enjoins a devotional activity (remembering Allah) that can be performed at any time of day or night. In fact, it can be performed at all times and under all circumstances. Since it is inconceivable that the Holy Prophet would never remember Allah, the purport of enjoining Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) is to emphasise ‘ keeping to it consistently’ in the sense that there should be no laxity in it. [ MazharI ]. This is possible only if ‘remembering Allah’ is taken in its widest possible sense to include ‘Reciting His name with tongue’, ‘Remembrance by heart’ and also ‘keeping one’s body engaged in complying with the commands of Allah’. A narration of Sayyidah ` A’ishah Siddiqah reports the following: كان يذكر الله على كل حين
“The Holy Prophet used to remember Allah at all times.”
This Hadith is correct in terms of the wider concept of ‘rememberance of Allah’ just explained above. Obviously, the Holy Prophet did not make dhikr by his tongue when answering the call of nature as Ahadith distinctly confirm this, but Dhikr by heart is possible at all times. There are, however, two types of Dhikr by heart: [ 1] It may be done through ‘imagined words’; [ 2] by reflecting and pondering on the Divine attributes of perfection. [ Shaikh Thanawi ].
The next injunction in this verse is: تَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا
..and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion. [ 73:8] ‘.
In other words, the Holy Prophet is to detach himself from worldly things and devote himself exclusively and sincerely to Allah. The general import of the verse imparts the injunction that when worshipping Allah, no partners should be associated with Him and the total worship and devotion should be solely for Him. In all his actions and movements, he should single out Allah for reliance. He should not take any creature as possessing the power of benefit and harm or as possessing the power of granting wishes and solving problems. Sayyidna Ibn Zaid , said that tabattul signifies ‘to abandon the world and what is in it and focus attention on what is with Allah’. [ Mazhari ]. The tabattul which this verse enjoins is completely different from the concept and practice of monasticism which the Qur’an denounces elsewhere, thus:
‘…As for monasticism, it was invented by them [ 57:271’ and a Hadith denounces it thus:
لا رهبانية في الإسلام
“There is no monasticism in Islam.”
Rahbaniyyah or ‘monasticism’, in the technical language of Shari` ah, signifies ‘to abandon the world and sever all ties which involves the giving up of all pleasures and all lawful and pure things, believing that doing so is ‘worship’ and thinking that without avoiding them one would not be able to attain the good pleasure of Allah. It also means to sever human relationships in such a manner that human rights are not taken care of or they are violated. This verse enjoins a different type of tabattul or severance of relationship. It means that one’s relationship with human beings should not overpower his relationship with Allah – whether in terms of belief or in terms of practice. Such a detachment is not contradictory to any business relations, or social contracts and transactions, like marriage and family ties. In fact, they can be combined. Tabattul, in this sense, is the characteristic of all Prophets especially that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Their lives bear ample testimony to this type of tabattul which the pious elders alternatively term as Ikhlas (sincerity). [ Mazhari ]
An Important Note
In the matter of ‘Allah’s Remembrance’ and ‘detachment from the world’, the venerable Sufis, whether belonging to the earlier generation or later generation, have always been forward. They said that there are only two steps with which they are exerting their effort to cover the distance and conquer the path day and night. The first step is to detach themselves from the creation and the second step is to reach Allah [ i.e. Their destination ]. The two steps are inseparable, in that where one is operational the other must operate; and if one does not operate, the other will not operate either. The two steps have been stated as two conjoined sentences, thus: وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا ‘And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion. [ 73:81’.
In this context, dhikr Allah refers to constant Remembrance of Allah where there should be no failing, and at no time there should be forgetfulness. This maqam ‘station’ in Sufi terminology is referred to as wusul ila-Allah ‘reaching out to Allah. The first statement states the second step and the second statement states the first step. Thus the statements state the order in reverse probably because in practice tabattul, in the sense given above, is prior to wusul ila-Allah which is achieved after the operation of the former. The main object of a salik (the spiritual traveller) is to achieve the second step, therefore the naturally occurring order has been changed and remembrance of Allah has been mentioned first. This also is meant to show the importance and virtue of remembrance of Allah. How well Shaikh Sa` di (رح) تعالیٰ has versified the two steps:
- Worldly relationship is a barrier and brings no (eternal) benefit.
- When you abandon these relations, you will be the one who reaches out to Allah.
Remembrance of Allah through Repetition of His Personal Name
The verse under comment whilst enjoining dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah) has referred to it as ‘remembrance of the name of Allah by saying: And remember the name of your Lord – وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ [ 73:8] ‘ and not’d remember your Lord’.
This indicates that the repetition of Allah’s personal name ‘Allah, Allah’ is also desired and required form of dhikr and worship. [ Mazhari ]. Some scholars say that such repetition of His personal name is an ‘innovation’ (bid’ah), but this opinion is not correct. And Allah knows best!
رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيْلًا (He is the Lord of the East and the West; there is no god but He; so take Him for [ your ] Guardian…73:9). The word wakil, lexicologically, refers to a ‘person who has been given a task to do’. ‘To take Allah as guardian’ means that all matters and affairs should be entrusted to Allah. Technically, this is called tawakkul ‘trust’.
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is given several injunctions in this Surah. This is the fifth injunction. Imam Ya` qub Karkhi says that from the beginning of the Surah up to this verse there is reference to the maqamat suluk ‘journeying or a methodical travelling along the spiritual path through the various states and stations under the direction of a spiritual master or adept’. The references are as follows: [ 1] solitude at night to worship Allah; [ 2] preoccupation with Qur’an; [ 3] constant Remembrance of Allah; [ 4] severance of relationship with “everything-other-than-Allah, and [ 5] total trust in Allah. Preceding the last injunction about trust,
Allah’s attribute is given, thus: رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ ‘He is the Lord of the East and the West__[ 73:9] ‘. In other words, Allah is the Cherisher and Sustainer of the entire universe. He is responsible to fulfill the needs of all from the beginning to the end. He alone can assist in all matters. Just as He has been singled out for worship, so should He be singled out for reliance, and full trust must be put in Him. Anyone who trusts and relies on Allah will never be deprived of his needs as the Qur’an puts it:
‘…And whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him. _[ 65:3] ‘
The Correct Concept of Tawakkul [ Trust ]
Trust in Allah does not imply for anyone to avoid the apparent means of acquiring livelihood, or giving up the normal ways of saving oneself from any affliction. The ways and means that Allah has created for a particular purpose should not be abandoned while placing total trust in Allah. On the contrary, in order to achieve our purpose it is necessary for us to utilize the God-given power and causes at our disposal to the fullest extent, but we should not repose blind faith in material causes and means. But having adopted actions of choice, the result should then be left with Allah whose will is the Ultimate Cause of everything.
The Holy Prophet himself has explained tawakkul in this way. Imam Baghawi, in his Sharh-us-Sunnah, and Baihagi, in his Shu` ab-ul-‘Iman, have cited the following Hadith:
إن نفسا لن تموت حتی تستکمل رزقها، ألا فاتقوالله، وأجملوا فی الطلب.
“Jibra’il (عليه السلام) has inspired me with the thought that no person will ever die until he receives, in full, his sustenance that Allah has decreed for him. Therefore, fear Allah and be moderate in your search.”
In other words, we should not be over-absorbed in quest for our needs so deeply that the attention of the heart is totally focused on the material causes and means. Instead, after adopting the ways and means to fulfill our needs, we should repose our total trust in and reliance upon Allah in the sense that without His will, no cause can bring any effect.
Tirmidhi transmits a Hadith on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari that the Holy Prophet said: “Zuhd (Renunciation of the world) does not mean to turn lawful things into unlawful or squander the wealth Allah has given you. Renunciation of the world means to have more faith in the things that are in Allah’s hands than what are in your hands.” [ Mazhari ]
وَاصْبِرْ عَلٰي مَا يَقُوْلُوْنَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيْلًا
(And bear patiently what they say, and part with them in a beautiful manner…73:10). According to Imam Karkhi (رح) تعالیٰ ، this is the sixth injunction given to the Holy Prophet that he should bear with patience and fortitude the jibes, opposition and persecution of his enemies. Perfect patience is the supreme station of suluk (methodical travelling along the spiritual path). Spiritual reformers expend their entire strength, energy and life in reforming the deviant people. In return, they have to hear vile language, they are persecuted and wronged in many different ways. In return, they exercise sabr (patience) in a beautiful manner. In other words, they do not even entertain the thought of revenge. This is the supreme station, which in Sufi terminology, is attained only after fana’ kamil: ‘complete negation of selfish desires’.
وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيْلًا and part with them in a beautiful manner…73:10). The word hajr, literally, denotes ‘to give up something in a state of grief, anger and temper’. The verse means that rejecters of Truth utter words that hurt. He should not take revenge, but maintain no relations with them either. At the time of severing relations, it is natural for man to utter words of complaint and disgust. Therefore, Allah’s Messenger is told to cut off relations with the rejecters of Truth, but he must maintain his dignity and integrity. Hence, the verse contains the grammatically restricted cognate accusative, hajran jamilan, ‘in a beautiful manner’. The high status and the exalted standard of character require that the Holy Prophet should restrain himself from making any abusive remarks at the deniers of Truth.
Some scholars of Tafsir say that the injunction of this verse is repealed by verses of jihad which were revealed later on. But a careful analysis indicates that the injunction is not repealed. The above verses enjoin patience and steadfastness in the face of what the enemies say and cutting off from them courteously. This is not in conflict with verses that deal with reproof, punishment and armed struggle that were revealed subsequently. The injunction of this verse is applicable at all times and under all circumstances, whereas jihad is reproof and punishment, and is a specific injunction to be applied under specific conditions.
Islamic jihad and armed struggle is not a matter of taking revenge or expression of anger, which could be in conflict with patience and fortitude or courteous severance. It is purely acting on the Divine command as is patience and courteous severance under general circumstances. Up to this point the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was commanded to be steadfast and to abstain from revenge. The next verse, reprimands the deniers of Truth that instead of being grateful to Allah for “ease and plenty” provided for them, they reject the Divine Message:
وَذَرْنِيْ وَالْمُكَذِّبِيْنَ اُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيْلًا (And leave Me [ to deal ] with the deniers, the people of luxury, and give them respite for a while….73:11). The ‘deniers’ are referred to as ‘the people of luxury’. The word na` mah’, the first letter [ n ] bearing lath [=a ], signifies ‘ease and plenty; abundance of wealth and children’. This indicates that people who live a life of ease, plenty and luxury can only be the ones who deny the Hereafter. These things do often fall to the lot of the believers, but they do not intoxicate them. Therefore, even when they live a life of luxury, their hearts are never, at any time, empty of the thought of the Hereafter. Only the deniers of the Hereafter will live a life of luxury that is neglectful of the Hereafter.
اِنَّ لَدَيْنَآ اَنْكَالًا وَّجَحِــيْمًا (Surely with Us are fetters and flaming fire, and food that chokes, and a painful punishment…73:12-13). The terrible punishment of the Hereafter is described in these verses. First, there is the mention of ankal which is the plural of nakal. It denotes ‘fetter, chain, shackle’. Then, there is the mention of ‘flaming fire’. Then, verse [ 13] describes the ‘choking food’ the inmates of Hell will be given to eat.
The word ghussah literally denotes ‘a thing by which one is choked’. For example, a morsel may block the throat in such a way as it can neither be swallowed nor can it be brought up. The inmates of Hell will be given Bari` and zaqqum (thorny fruits) to eat. These fruits fit the description.
Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) said: “In it will be thorns of fire that will choke.” [ God save us!].
The verse says in conclusion: وَّعَذَابًا اَلِـــيْمًا (…and a painful punishment… 73:13).
Having described specific forms of punishment, this description is general – indicating that there will be many more horrible and terrible forms of punishment which man cannot even imagine. [ 0 Allah, save us from all forms of punishment!]
The Righteous Elders’ Fear of the Hereafter
Imam Alhmad, Ibn Abi Dawud, Ibn ` Adiyy and Baihaqi record a narration that a person heard this verse and fell fainted. One day Hasan al-Basri (رح) تعالیٰ was fasting. When the food was brought to him at the time of iftar (ending the fast), this verse occurred in his mind and he could not eat. As a result, he sent it away. The following day he was fasting again. The same thing happened in the evening and he sent the food away. On the third day the same thing happened. So, his sons went to Thabit Bunani, Yazid Dabb, and Yahya Al-Bakka’ and recounted the story. All three personalities went to Hasan and insisted on his eating something. At their insistence, the latter ate a little. [ Ruh-u1-Ma’ ani ]
يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْاَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيْبًا مَّهِيْلًا (on the Day when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a slipping heap of sand. [ 14] We have sent to you a messenger, as a witness over you, just as We sent a messenger to Fir’aun (the Pharaoh). [ 15] Then, Fir’aun disobeyed the messenger; so We seized him with a severe seizure. [ 16] So, if you disbelieve, how will you save yourself from a day that will turn the small boys into grey-headed old men…17).
These verses describe the horrors and terrors of the Day of Resurrection. Verse [ 14] describes that the punishment will take place on the Day when the earth and mountains will shake and the mountains will be reduced to a heap of dust or shifting dunes. Thereafter, reference is made to the story of Musa (عليه السلام) and Fir’aun in order to threaten the pagans of Makkah. Allah sent a Messenger, Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، to bear witness against the pagans of Makkah just as He sent a Messenger, Musa (عليه السلام) to Fir’aun. But Fir’aun disobeyed Musa (عليه السلام) and Allah seized him with terrible severity right in this world. Likewise, if the pagans of Makkah persist stubbornly in their pagan conduct, they too can be seized similarly with terrible severity in this very world. Towards the conclusion, the verse says that if no torment is inflicted in this world, no one can escape the horrors and terrors and length of the Day of Resurrection that will turn the children grey. This could be a metaphor for the most calamitous happenings which bring about disastrous changes. But some scholars say that this is a description of reality, in that the Day of Resurrection will be so long that a little child will grow old. [ Qurtubi and Ruh ].
The Obligatory Nature of TahaudPrayer Abrogated
At the beginning of the Surah, the command ‘stand at night (for prayer) ‘ prescribed the night-prayer for Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as well as for the general body of Muslims. It was also obligatory for the prayer to be long, but they had a choice in its length. They had to pray for half the night or one-third of the night or two-thirds of the night. A group of noble Companions in the performance of this duty mostly followed the ` azimah (preferred original rule of law). As a result, they spent almost two-thirds of the night in prayer. They performed this prayer every night. During the day they would invite people to Islam and preach and attend to their personal needs. Most of the Companions were either labourers or businessmen.
The Messenger’s as well as the Companions’ feet would swell on account of the long prayers. Waking at night was extremely difficult, and Allah was fully aware of the entire set-up, but it was pre-decreed in His knowledge that the difficulty is temporary and a passing phase. The purpose of this exercise is riyaclah ‘ascetic discipline’ of the Holy Prophet and his Companions. In the initial stages, they were in a condition of disequilibrium. Therefore, they were required to exert themselves in spiritual struggle and ascetic discipline, thus:
اِنَّا سَنُلْقِيْ عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَـقِيْلًا ‘We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse. [ 73:5] ‘. The Holy Prophet was going to be handed over the service of the Qur’an which is much more difficult than this ascetic discipline. According to the Pre-eternal knowledge of Allah, when the ascetic discipline was completed and with His grace perfect balance was attained, asceticism was replaced by moderation. As a result, the obligatory nature of night-prayer was repealed. According to Ibn ` Abbas, the above verses merely cancelled the obligatory nature of night-prayer, but the basic tahajjud prayer remained intact as obligatory, When the five daily prayers were prescribed on the night of mi`’ raj, the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer too was cancelled. And Allah knows best!
Apparently, this obligation was cancelled for Allah’s Messenger as well as for the entire ‘Ummah. However, it is still a supererogatory and laudable deed in the sight of Allah. Furthermore, there is no time or recitation constraint. Every person may perform the prayer according to his own ability in the time available to him and recite the Qur’an as much of it as is easy for him.
The Concept of Abrogation in Shari’ah
Legislating laws and abrogating them to proclaim new ones in their place is a routine practice in human governments and institutions. However, abrogation occurs sometimes in a piece of human legislation because the legislators did not fully comprehend the situation at the time of formulating a certain law, and are forced to amend it when they realize that the situation has changed and the law is no longer applicable in the new circumstances. At other times, a law might be proclaimed in the government gazette in keeping with the prevailing circumstances, but the legislators might not have foreseen that the circumstances might change. When that happens, the old law will have to be repealed and a new one J will have to be legislated and promulgated. It is inconceivable that these two forms of repeal will ever apply to Divine injunctions. F A third situation is that when the legislator formulates a law, he e foresees that in time to come conditions will change, as a result the law .it will no longer apply in toto in the changed condition. So, when the conditions alter, as the legislator had foreseen, he legislates a new law and makes it public as he had forethought.
This is the only form of Y abrogation that can take place, and has been taking place in Divine e injunctions. It has always been the case that a certain piece of Divine law c was intended, from the very beginning, to remain in force for a limited ie time, but Divine Wisdom chose not to disclose this time limit from the people. Because of the general wordings of the legislation, the general 1Q community of people thought it was an immutable law whereas Allah had is pre-decreed it as a temporary law for a limited period of time. When its of temporary period was over, the law was with withdrawn. People took this y’ as the abrogation of law whereas in reality it merely defined the time oe period. In other words, at that time it is made publicly known to the vs people that the law was not an immutable one, but promulgated for a limited period of time. Thus the period is now over and the law is no ell longer applicable.
There are many verses of the Qur’n that have been repealed, and or the commoners find it difficult to grasp the wisdom underlying the repeal,
Holy Prophet. The word nafilah literally denotes ‘additional’, meaning ‘additional obligation’. But according to the overwhelming majority, the correct view is that the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer has been abrogated for Allah’s Messenger, as well as the general body of Muslims. However, it still remains an act of supererogation for all. The above verse contains the phrase X5, 1 Ali nafilatan lak ‘an additional prayer for you’. The word nafilah is used in its technical sense of nafl ‘supererogatory’. If tahajjud is a nafl prayer for all, then it is not clear why addressing the Holy Prophet the verse adds lak ‘for you’ as if it is a distinctively voluntary act for the Holy Prophet. Please see Ma` ariful Qur’an, Vol. 5/pp533-543 for fuller explanation, especially pp536-537 for whether tahajjud is a mere nafl (voluntary) or sunnah mu’akkadah (the emphasised practice of the Holy Prophet)
The verse that abrogates the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer starts from – اِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ ‘Your Lord knows _[ 73:20] ‘ and ends at فَاقْرَءُوْا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۙ ‘…Now, recite as much of the Qur’an as is easy (for you) [ 73:20] ‘ This verse was revealed one year or eight months after the initial verses of this Surah. Thus the obligatory nature of night-prayer was abrogated after a year. Musnad of Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawad, Ibn Majah and Nasa’I record a narration of Sayyidah ` A’ishah who stated that at the commencement of this Surah, Allah had prescribed the night-prayer. The Messenger of Allah and the blessed Companions constantly and consistently carried out the obligation for a year. Allah held back the last part of the Surah in the sky for twelve months. It was revealed after a year which abrogated the obligatory status of night-prayer and made concession – reducing its status to supererogation. [ Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani ]
عَلِمَ اَنْ لَّنْ تُحْصُوْهُ (…He knows that you cannot do it regularly…73:20). The word ihsa’ literally denotes ‘to count’. Some commentators interpret this verse as follows: Allah had not fixed the exact time for night-prayer. They were given the option of choosing time between one-third of the night to two thirds of it. But when the Companions were preoccupied with the prayer, it was difficult for them to calculate whether they had stayed up half the night, or one-third of the night, or two-thirds of the night, because in those days there were no watches or clocks to measure the time. Even if there were, it was not in keeping with their conditions of involvement in prayers to look at the time repeatedly. They would be absorbed in their prayers, so as to be oblivious to their environment. This is the significance of the phrase lan tuhsuhu. Other scholars say that the word ihsa’ connotes the act of counting’, signifying that Allah knows that you will not be able to keep count of the constant prayers during the lengthy hours and hours of sleep. The word ihsa’ is also used in this sense, as is used in a Hadith in connection with the beautiful names of Allah, thus:
من أحصاها دخل الجنة.
“He who keeps count of them will enter Paradise” meaning, to act fully according to the attributes and qualities of Allah, as indicated in His beautiful names. For fuller explanation, please see Ma` ariful Qur’an, Vol. 5/pp272-273 under the following verse: وَاِنْ تَعُدُّوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ لَا تُحْصُوْهَا
‘…And if you count the bounties of Allah, you cannot count them all. [ 14:34] ‘
فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ (…therefore He turned to you in mercy…73:20). The word taubah originally means ‘to turn’. Repentance for sins is also called taubah in Arabic, because the sinner turns away from his past sins and crimes. In this context, the word simply means ‘to turn’, that is, Allah took back the obligatory nature of the injunction of night-prayer. Then He says: فَاقْرَءُوْا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْاٰنِ ۭ (…Now, recite as much of the Qur’an as is easy … 73:20). That is, recite in tahajjud prayer which is no longer obligatory. It is supererogatory enjoying the status of sunnah or mustahab. No particular number of verses has been fixed for recitation of the Holy Qur’an in tahajjud prayer. So a worshipper may recite as much of it as is easy for him. This verse answers many legal questions that are available in books of jurisprudence.
وَاَقِيْمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَاَقْرِضُوا اللّٰهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۭ (And establish salah, and pay zakah, and advance to Allah a goodly loan….73:20). According to majority of the commentators, salah in this context refers to the five prescribed prayers that were made obligatory on the Night of Ascent (Mi` raj). This indicates that the night-prayer was obligatory for a year. In the meantime, the nocturnal journey took place, and the five daily prayers were prescribed. After that, the above verses were revealed and the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer was abrogated. Towards the conclusion of the Surah, where it speaks of establishment of prayer, it refers to the five prescribed prayers. [ Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi and Al-Bahr-ul-Muhit ].
وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ (…and pay zakah….73:20). Zakah refers to the prescribed zakah. However, it is popularly understood that zakah was prescribed two years after migration to Madinah whereas this verse is Makki and, as was said earlier, a consensus of scholarly opinion assigns the revelation of this Surah to the earliest period of the call. In response, some commentators express the view that this particular verse was revealed in Madinah. Ibn Kathir, however, says that zakah was prescribed in the earliest days of Islam, although its details, like exemption limit and the rate, were fixed in the second year of migration at Madinah. Even if the verse is treated as Makki, there should be no problem in taking the word zakah in its technical sense of prescribed zakah as Iruh-ul- Ma` ani explains in detail. Its full analysis will be found in this author’s booklet entitled ‘Nizam-e-Zakat’.
وَاَقْرِضُوا اللّٰهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۭ (…and advance to Allah a goodly loan….73:20). In other words, spend in the way of Allah as charitable donations. This would be as if one is advancing a loan to Allah who will multiply it many times and reward him most abundantly. This indicates Divine favour and grace towards him, and it also describes that Allah is the richest of all. The loan will not be lost, but will be richly returned. The command for Zakah has already been mentioned previously, therefore advancing a loan to Allah refers, according to most scholars, to other voluntary charitable donations in the cause of Allah as, for instance, spending on friends and relatives or utilizing for entertainment of guests or investing in the service of scholars and righteous people. Some scholars point out that besides the prescribed Zakah, there are other financial obligations imposed on man, such as maintenance of parents, wife and children. Thus the command to pay zakah in verse 20 covers the injunction of paying out the prescribed Zakah, while other financial obligations are covered by the words: ‘…advance to Allah a goodly loan [ 20] ‘.
وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوْا لِاَنْفُسِكُمْ مِّنْ خَيْرٍ (…whatever good you will send ahead for your own selves [ 73:20]. In other words, if man does good in his lifetime, it is better for him than advising someone else to do the good deed at the time of his death. This advice for doing good on behalf of the deceased includes financial worship and voluntary charitable donations. It also includes prescribed prayers, fasts and other prescribed worship or duties that were missed out or neglected, it is better to pay out the fidyah and/or kaffarah with one’s own hands while he is living and be absolved of the responsibility rather than expecting the heirs to discharge it. They may do it or they may neglect to do it.
The Messenger of Allah once asked the blessed Companions: “Which of you holds his wealth to be dearer to himself than the wealth of his heirs?” They replied: “0 Allah’s Messenger, there is not a single one of us who does not hold his wealth to be dearer to himself than the wealth of his heir.” Allah’s Messenger then said: “Consider carefully what you are saying.” They submitted: “This is indeed our considered opinion. We do not know any better.” He then said: “The wealth of one of you is only that which he sends forth, and the wealth of his heir is that which he leaves behind.” [ Ibn Kathir from Abu Ya` la a1-Mawsili and said al-Bukhari transmitted it, reporting from Hafs Ibn Ghiyath and so on ].
[From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]
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