tafsir

How the Salaf studied the Quran

Abdullāh b. Masʿūd – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

When a man amongst us learned ten verses [of the Quran], he would not move on [to the next verses] until he had understood their meanings and how to act by them.

Al-Ṭabarī, Al-Tafsīr 1:80. Shaykh Aḥmad Shākir graded its chain of transmission ṣaḥīḥ.

Abū ‘Abd Al-Raḥmān Al-Sulamī said:

Those who used to teach us the Quran (the Companions) told us that they used to learn the Quran from the Prophet – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him; when they had learnt ten verses they would not move on until they put into practice what was in them. So we learnt knowledge and deeds (implementation) together.

Ibid. Shaykh Aḥmad Shākir graded its chain of transmission ṣaḥīḥ also.

Wasted Devotion

It is reported that a group of heretics (People of Bid’ah) and their devout worship was mentioned to ʿAbd Al-Raḥmān b. Mahdī. He said, “Allāh only accepts what conforms to what has been commanded and what is in the Sunnah.” Then he recited, And a monasticism which they (Christians) innovated, We did not ordain it upon them [Al-Ḥadīd: 27]. He went on to say, “So Allāh did not accept this from them and reprimanded them for it.” He then said, “Stick to the way and the Sunnah.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyah Al-Awliyā` Vol.4 p44.

The Sunnah is Wisdom

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`ān) and Al-Ḥikmah (wisdom) and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [Al-Baqarah 2:129]

And remember (O members of the Prophet’s family) that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of Allāh and Al­-Ḥikmah. [Al-Ahzab 33:34]

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him said, “Al-Kitāb is the Qur`ān, and Al-Ḥikmah is the Sunnah.”

It is also reported that Qatādah – Allāh have mercy on him said, “And [he will] teach them The Book and Al-Ḥikmah, i.e. the Sunnah.”

Al-Lālakā`ī, Sharḥ Usūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamā’ah Vol.1 p86, 87; Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā Vol.1 p98; and Al-Ṭabarī in his Tafsīr.

Shaykh Al-Islām Ibn Taymīyah said (Majmū’ Al-Fatāwā Vol.3 p366), “A number of the Salaf said that Al-Ḥikmah refers to the Sunnah, because that which was recited in the houses of [the Prophet’s] wives – Allāh be pleased with them – apart from the Qur`ān was his Sunnah – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him.”

True Repentance

O Believers! Repent to Allāh truly and sincerely [Al-Taḥrīm (66): 8]

In explanation of this verse, Al-Ṭabarī reports the following narrations in his Tafsīr:

He reports that ʿUmar b. Al-Khattāb – Allāh be pleased with him – was asked about true repentance. He replied, “It is that a man repents from an evil deed, and never does it again.” He also reports that ʿUmar said, “It is that you repent from the sin and never do it again, or never intend to do it again.”

Similarly, he reports from ʿAbdullāh (Ibn ‘Abbās) – Allāh be pleased with him – that he said, “A person repents, and then never goes back to the sin.”, and “It means that a person never returns to the sin from which he repented.”

Mujāhid is quoted as saying, “They seek Allāh’s forgiveness and then never go back to sin.”

Qatādah is quoted as saying, “It is the true and sincere repentance.”

Al-Ṭabarī, Tafsīr Al-Ṭabarī, in the commentary on Sūrah Al-Taḥrīm.

Moderates who become Extremists

O People of Scripture! Do not be extreme in your religion! [Al-Mâ`idah (5): 77]

It is reported from Qatâdah – Allâh have mercy on him – that he said, commenting on this verse, “Meaning: do not innovate in religion and do not sit with a religious innovator (mubtadi’).”

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol.1 p394.