[2] Excerpts From Tafseer of Surah An-Nahl – Referred to As Surah An-Ni’am By Some of The Scholars [Aayaat 3-9]


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Allaah [The Exalted] said:

خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ تَعَـٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ

خَلَقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬

وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمَ خَلَقَهَا‌ۗ لَڪُمۡ فِيهَا دِفۡءٌ۬ وَمَنَـٰفِعُ وَمِنۡهَا تَأۡڪُلُونَ

وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ وَحِينَ تَسۡرَحُونَ

وَتَحۡمِلُ أَثۡقَالَڪُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ۬ لَّمۡ تَكُونُواْ بَـٰلِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ ٱلۡأَنفُسِ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمۡ لَرَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

وَٱلۡخَيۡلَ وَٱلۡبِغَالَ وَٱلۡحَمِيرَ لِتَرۡڪَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً۬‌ۚ وَيَخۡلُقُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ قَصۡدُ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَمِنۡهَا جَآٮِٕرٌ۬‌ۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ لَهَدَٮٰڪُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ

He has created the heavens and the earth in truth. High be He Exalted above all they associate as partners with Him. He has created the human being from Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge), then behold, this same (human being) becomes an open opponent. And the cattle, He has created them for you; in them there is warmth and numerous benefits, and of them you eat. And wherein is beauty for you, when you bring them home in the evening, and as you lead them forth to pasture in the morning. And they carry your loads to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves. Truly, your Lord is full of Kindness, Most Merciful. And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment. And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge. And upon Allaah is the responsibility to explain the Straight Path (i.e. Islamic Monotheism for mankind i.e. to show them legal and illegal, good and evil things, etc. so, whosoever accepts the guidance, it will be for his own benefit and whosoever goes astray, it will be for his own destruction), but there are ways that turn aside (such as Paganism, distorted Judaism and Christianity after the departure of Musa and Eesaa etc.). And had He willed, He would have guided you all (mankind). [Surah An-Nahl. Aayaat 3-9]

This Surah is called Surah An-Ni’am [the Surah of blessings], because in the beginning Allaah mentions the original sources of blessings and their foundations, and at the end of it He mentions the things that complement and perfect them.

Allaah informs us that He created the heavens and the earth in truth, so that people may know – by way of clear proofs – the greatness of the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and that which He possesses of Perfect Attributes; and so that they know that He created both of them as a dwelling place for His slaves who worship Him based on that which He has commanded of beliefs and acts of worship, which He sent down through the speech of His Messengers. And due to this, He frees Himself from that which the polytheists ascribe to Him, saying: [تَعَـٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ  – High be He Exalted above all they associate as partners with him] – Meaning, He is far above and greater – [i.e. and free is He from all likeness, co-equals, deficiencies, faults and weaknesses, and He alone is described with all attributes of perfection] – than the partners they associate with Him, because indeed He is the Only True Deity besides whom none else should be worshipped, loved and shown humility.

After mentioning the creation of the heavens and the earth, He then mentioned that which is in both of them, and He started by mentioning the noblest and that is the human being. He said: [خَلَقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬   – He has created the human being from Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge)]- Meaning, He did not cease organising and looking after its affair, alternating it from one state to another higher state of development and growth, until it became a complete human being – with perfect external and internal limbs [i.e. mental and physical faculties].

Thereafter, He granted the human being abundant blessings, but when the human being reached this complete physical and mental state, he becomes boastful and self-amazed, [فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬  – then behold, this same (human being) becomes an open opponent]- Meaning, either argues against his Lord, disbelieves [and shows ingratitude], argues against the Messengers of his Lord, belies the Aayaat [signs, proofs, revelations] of his Lord and forgets how he started as a created being; and that which Allaah has granted him of blessings, he utilises it to commit acts of disobedience; or this may mean that Allaah created this offspring of Aadam [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] from a drop of semen and did not cease alternating him from one state to another until he becomes a complete sane person with intellect; with the ability to think, argue and engage in discussion; therefore the servant should thank his Lord Who brought him to this stage in which he had no ability to acquire anything from them.

وَٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمَ خَلَقَهَا‌ۗ لَڪُمۡ فِيهَا دِفۡءٌ۬ وَمَنَـٰفِعُ وَمِنۡهَا تَأۡڪُلُونَ

وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ وَحِينَ تَسۡرَحُونَ

وَتَحۡمِلُ أَثۡقَالَڪُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ۬ لَّمۡ تَكُونُواْ بَـٰلِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ ٱلۡأَنفُسِ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمۡ لَرَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

[And the cattle, He has created them for you; in them there is warmth (warm clothing), and numerous benefits, and of them you eat. And wherein is beauty for you, when you bring them home in the evening, and as you lead them forth to pasture in the morning. And they carry your loads to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves. Truly, your Lord is full of Kindness, Most Merciful] – Meaning: Allaah created them for you – for your benefit and wellbeing. And from its great benefits is that you have warmth from them by making clothing, beddings and tents from their wool, hirsute, their hairs and skins; and you have other benefits in them and eat from their [meat]. [وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ وَحِينَ تَسۡرَحُونَ – And wherein is beauty for you, when you bring them home in the evening, and as you lead them forth to pasture in the morning] – Meaning, at the time when they are going to take a rest in the evening and when they are being taken out to graze. This is because the cattle do not [enjoy] any of that beauty [seen from them], but rather indeed you are the ones who enjoy their beauty, just as you beautify yourselves with your clothing, children and wealth, and you adore that.  [وَتَحۡمِلُ أَثۡقَالَڪُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ۬ لَّمۡ تَكُونُواْ بَـٰلِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ ٱلۡأَنفُسِ‌ۚ ۬ – And they carry your loads to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves. Truly, your Lord is full of Kindness, Most Merciful]- Meaning, you ride on some of them and others carry what you desire of heavy loads to faraway lands and regions. [إِنَّ رَبَّكُمۡ لَرَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ – Truly, your Lord is full of Kindness, Most Merciful]- Meaning, He subjugated to you that which you need and cannot do without.

[وَٱلۡخَيۡلَ وَٱلۡبِغَالَ وَٱلۡحَمِيرَ لِتَرۡڪَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً۬‌ۚ – (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment] – Meaning, sometimes you utilise them for riding and at other times for beauty and beautification. [وَيَخۡلُقُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ –  And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge]- Meaning, the things utilised by the people as means of transportation on land, at sea and in the air, and that which they utilise for their benefit and wellbeing after the revelation of the Qur’aan, because indeed Allaah did not mention them specifically; rather He [The Exalted] – in His Book – did not mention except what His servants knew at the time or its similarity. As for if he mentioned that which had no similarity at the time, then they would neither have known it nor understood what is intended by it; therefore he mentioned the basis [or the foundation of an affair] which included the things they knew and the things they did not know, just as Allaah mentioned the bliss in paradise and named the things we know and have seen their similarity, such as date palm trees, grapes and pomegranates, and then He mentioned in general the things whose similarity is unknown to us, as He stated in another Aayah: [فِيہِمَا مِن كُلِّ فَـٰكِهَةٍ۬ زَوۡجَانِ   – In them (both) will be every kind of fruit in pairs]. Likewise, in this Aayah [i.e. An-Nahl Aayah 8], Allaah mentioned the transportation we know, such as horses, mules, donkeys, camels and ships, and mentioned in general the others, saying: [وَيَخۡلُقُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ –  And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge].

After mentioning the tangible path and that He created for the servants that which they utilise for journeys, such as camels and other them, He then mentioned the religious path that leads to His [Pleasure]; so He said: [وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ قَصۡدُ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَمِنۡهَا جَآٮِٕرٌ۬‌ۚ – And upon Allah is the responsibility to explain the Straight Path (i.e. Islamic Monotheism for mankind i.e. to show them legal and illegal, good and evil things, etc. so, whosoever accepts the guidance, it will be for his own benefit and whosoever goes astray, it will be for his own destruction), but there are ways that turn aside (such as Paganism, distorted Judaism and Christianity after the departure of Musa and Eesaa etc.)] – Meaning, the straight path, and that is the only direct and genuine path that leads to the [pleasure] of Allaah. As for the path that turn aside in creed and deeds, it is everything that opposes the straight path, because it severs a person from the path of Allaah and leads to the destination of misery; therefore those who are rightly guided traverse the straight path by the permission of their Lord, and the deviated ones deviate from it.

[وَلَوۡ شَآءَ لَهَدَٮٰڪُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ – And had He willed, He would have guided you all (mankind)]- Meaning, but He guided some out of His kindness and Grace, and did not guide others based on His Perfect Wisdom and Justice. [Ref 1] This happens based on Allaah’s Perfect Wisdom and Just Decree, as recompense for one’s wickedness. [Ref 2] Such a person was not forced to go astray, rather he made a choice, even though his choice is under the Will of Allaah. We do not know what was in the hearts of those who deviated, but we know – with absolute certainty – that Allaah passes Just Judgments and He does not commit injustice against anything; rather it is the people who wrong themselves. [Ref 3]

Az-Zujaaj [rahimahullaah] said, “It is Allaah who will clarify the straight path and call to it with Hujaj [i.e. clear and overwhelming proofs that defeats all the obstinate and stubborn ones] and Burhaan [i.e. proofs that clarify and distinguish between truth and falsehood in everything]; “But there are ways that turn aside”; Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said, “They are the different types of desires [i.e. evil desires]”. Ibnul Mubaarak [rahimahullaah] said, “They are the (evil) desires and the innovations in religion”. [Ref 4]

To be continued InShaaAllaah


Ref 1: Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased

Ref 2: Tafseer As-Sadi. Surah Israa. Aayah 5. Slightly paraphrased

Ref 3: Sharh Al-Arba’een pages 55-56- 1st edition 1428 (2007)-by Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh

Ref 4: Zaadul Maseer’ by Imaam Ibnul Jawzi. Slightly paraphrased

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