Tafseer Ayat al Ahkaam
The Tafseer of Legal Verses of the Quran (Tafseer Ayaat al-Ahkaam)
Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo (www.jamaalzarabozo.com)
The ways in which Allah presents ahkaam (laws) in the Quran.
The causes for differences in the tafseer of Ahkaam.
The major works of Tafseer of ahkaam.
Discussions of verses of ahkaam and their tafseer.
Time: Mondays, 6:30 - 7:30 PM PDT (on March 12, it will be 6:20 - 7:15)
Winter 2012: January 9 - March 12 2012
2012-01-09 Class Notes
Tafseer of ayat that have legal ramifications. In the past quarter we discussed different types of tafseer and diff approaches to tafseer. We discussed tafseer based on reports, tafseer based on ijtihaad that is according to the correct methodology, tafseer based on ijtihaad of heretical groups that is not sound.
In this quarter we will discuss tafseer of specific verses of the Quran, ayat that are known as Ayaat al Ahkaam. These are verses that are related to legal issues.
Important Tafseer Works
If you look at Tabari’s tafseer or ibn Katheer’s tafseer, they are very comprehensive. And when it comes to verses about divorce or some other legal issues, they discuss it, but they try to restrict their discussion to what is related to the verse. They don’t try to go beyond that.
Abu Hayaan blames those people who take one word from the verse and write a lot about it that is not related. Qurtubi is very important tafseer, it has been translated in English, it is known as Compendium of all of the Ahkaam of the Quran.
In begininng of Surah Baqarah, Allah swt describes those people who establish the salaat. Qurtubi discusses the different ahkaam of salaat, how to pray, when to pray etc, topics which are conventionally part of Fiqh which spans upto 40 pages. The others scholars like Abu Hayaan will say this is not the place for this Fiqh discussion.
So the purpose of these different types of tafseer is to derive as much they can from these ahkaam verses.
Quran and Tauheed:
If you think about Quran as a whole and all the verses of Quran and what does the Quran entail,
Quran entails a lot of general categories. One scholar, ibn al Arabi says verses of the Quran are of three types:
1) Verses related to Tauheed,
2) Verses related to Tadhkeer or remembrance or admonition,
3) Verses related to al Ahkaam or the legal rulings.
His book is called Ahkaam al Quran is just based on this last aspect.
Another way of looking at all of the verses of the Quran, just as Shatabi does. He says all of the Quran is about tauheed. Because tauheed is basically comprised of two, (
1. Tauheed al Ilmi i.e. knowledge or consequences or ramifications) one is what you have to believe about Allah swt and the
2. Tauheed al Amali i.e. tauheed of action or implementation) other is what you have to do in relation to that belief in Allah swt.
Quran is either telling you how to believe and then how to act upon it. How to act upon it is one of the main branches. Allah swt has given us guidance on how to act upon it.
This is a great blessing from Allah swt that he has given us this ahkaam. As human we can see when we have democracy, the law keeps changing according to what is required by people, this is blessing form Allah that He showed us the way on how we are suppose to lead our life.
Thus in this type of tafseer there is positive and negative aspect to it. The positive is that we have to know this law and the negative part, this aspect of tawheed as taken a great portion of our Ulemas part. Now a days we emphasize the outward act but not the inward aspect. We teach our children to pray but we do not teach them how we should be in our prayers, sometimes the parents themselves do not know about it.
In reality number of tafseer like is number goes up to hundreds. but if we search the ayat of Imaan or Aqeedah there is only couple of tafseers. Thus the positive is that we have to know this Ahkaam but the negative aspect is something else has take a hit due to this.
As a result of this our Islam is out of balance, we do actions but we do not know what it entails. If some calamity strikes we dont know how to deal with it, and then we end up going to court (shaikh is refering to divorce court over here). So inward acts (i.e. Tazkiyyah is important).
How many verses in Quran is related to verses of Ahkaam?
It depends upon how you divide the legal verses. Ulema also have given some estimates. Ibn Qayim says 150, siddique hasan khan says 500, it is also been said but no.of other scholars who said 500. Ibn Al-Arabi said that Aurah Baqarah it self has 1000’s of such verses.
Deriving rulings from verses that are Qisaas or stories about the prophets
If you look at the story of Musa, Yusuf in the Quran which are known as Qasas. Can you derive laws from the verses that are Qasas? Especially to those Ulema who say shariah of older generation is to be followed unless there is evidence to show. For these ulemas what kind of laws can be derived from stores especially Yusuf.
Can we use this story to derive ruling about permissibility to work under a Kaafir?
Thus we can derive the laws from this. (Edit: We discussed in the Fiqh of Islamic finance about paying reward for recovery of stolen goods from Surah Yusuf) Thus these kind of stories can be used to derive some kind of law for those who believe shariah of older generation is to be followed unless there is evidence to show. Thus it gives the result of numbers which are huge like 1000’s in Baqarah.
These books (refering to tafseer of ayat al ahkaam) we are talking about where the verses are selected which are related to Ahkaam. These are verses which are directly related to Ahkaam not the derivation from stories. Exception to this is Qurtubi’s tafseer which covers every verse and thus it is tafseer al Ahkam Plus. A part of the this is been translated and the sad part of this is that in the introduction it says that they have dropped all the fiqh discussion which is sad as this is why Qurtubi has written his tafsseer.
Every group has their own tafseer of Ayath ul Ahkaam, like sunnis, sufis, mu’tazilas.
Direction or Goals of this course:
In this course we will discuss the following inshAllah.
1. History of why these books developed. And part of the reason why they developed, it was because of the way Allah swt gives us law in the Quran.
2. Then we will discuss why some of these books differ, what are the causes or sources.
3. Then we will discuss the major works in this category
4. Then we will take some verses and we will do tafseer based on this kind of verse.
There is no recommendation text for this class as there is no text in English. There are some books which is covered in Uloom al Quran where they cover a page or two on this topic like Yasir Qadhi, Ahmad Von Denffer and Bilal Philips.
On the question of Tafseer related to Tazkiyyah:
There is no tafseer or any collection who have taken the verse related to Imaan and tazkiyyah in one place and have tafseer on this. The one with Al-Baynooni has some elements of Tazkiyyah discussed in there but it is not comprehensive enough to be called a work of Tafseer.
If we say Aqeedah and Iman, is this same thing or is there any difference in this ?
The reason why Sheikh asked this question is that, if you want to books on Aqeedah it is easy and if you want to find books in Imaan it is much more different. Aqeedah is like creed i.e. what you are supposed to believe in. There are many standard book that ulema written on this like, Fiqh al Akhbar which is attributed to Abu Hanifah and Aqeedah At-Tahwiyaah.
Imaan is kind of spiritual faith that is in your heart, and if you want to find books in imaan like how to increase imaan, this kind will be much harder to find. Sh. Jamaal mentions that, unfortunately there is a void in Islamic history regarding books which are dealing with the ways of increasing imaan and purification.
Imaan is much more difficult to put finger on, as some aspect of Imaan is ghaib where we cannot just describe them on our own but there are some tasks related to Imaan which can be written like how to increase your Imaan and when does the Imaan decrease and so forth.
The word Aqeedah is not found anywhere in Quran and Sunnah, term we can find in Quran and Sunnah is Imaan. The ultimate goal of Aqeedah is have strong Imaan.
The explanation of verses of legal implication like verses touching about Fiqh Ibaadatah, Marriage, Divorce, Jihaad. You find good number of such verses.
When did the tafseer of such verses began ?
In the time of Prophet (Saws) this verses are supposed to be expalined, some of them was clear in and itself. The process started during the time of Prophet (Saw) and continued to Sahaba and Tabieen. As time passed there was more and more need for works of tafseer.
Why is this the case, that there is requirement for tafseer which was not present during the time of Sahabah ?
1. New circumstance -Because life become more complicated, from the of Quran until now we are facing many different things which was not faced then, there are guidance for us in Quran, but to understand that from Quran we need some knowledge on this. Thus it takes more effort and deeper understanding to explain to us. Especially w.r.t. to laws we need to have better understanding.
2. In the time of Sahabah, it is mostly sahabah, since they are living at the time of Prophet (Saws) and it is in their language and as the time passed there are less people who are specialized in the field and thus they have to write the book to make people to understand. Thus understanding was established during the time of Prophet (Saw) but the science of this is developed later.
In the 3rd century this is when tafseer al ayath al ahkaam was started, where large number of such tafseers were written. We have tafseer of Ali bin Juhar (d 244); tafseer of Ayath Al-Akhaam by Abu Jafar At-Tahawi. He is well know to many people becasue he wrote small treaties of Aqeedah knows as Aqeedah At-Tahawi, but he also wrote the tafseer of Ayath al-Ahkaam which is been published now. We have a need to know verses of Ahkaam in Quran, that is one of the reason for such tafseer but that it not only reason. By this time Muslims have broken into different madhabs in fiqh and madhahs are getting entrenched and At-Tahawi is good example of how madhabs are entrenched. At-Tahawi came from Shafi family and his uncle insulted At-Tahawi basically saying that you will amount to nothing. Thus At-Tahawi changed his madhab from Shafi to Hanafi. He demonstrates that his uncle was wrong and he turned to became one of the greatest Hanafi Fuqaha. This is reflected in this tafseers as well. Thus such books are written to demonstrates that their madhabs is better and more correct than other Madhabs. That is one of the other reason why this tafseer developed. Thus this is not the good things as the intention behind writing the tafseer to demonstrate that their madhab is better than other. One of the aspects of this tafseer is purely on madhab basis.
One of the unique things in At-Tahawi work on Ayath al Ahkaam is, unlike other books on this topic which go according to the verses of Quran, the Tahawis is based on Fiqh topics thus in that way it is unique.
We should not be surprised that the madhab of fiqh that the person who is writing the tafseer has effected the tafseer similar to what has been discussed early that the belief the person had as effected in their tafseer.
This is key mistake from benefiting and learning from Quran. We want to go to Quran for guidance but not to go to Quran in pre-assumption that this is what Quran is suppose to say because of your fiqh and if there is some contradiction then you come up with strange solution compromising your fiqh belief. Where as the approach should be to get the guidance and if there is any contradiction, then change your opinion to what Quran guides you.
Next week we will start with how Allah (swt) presents the Ahkaam and why it has been presented in such way inshAllah
2012-01-16 Class Notes
Discussion of Ahkaam or Laws of the Quran
Before discussing some of the important tafseer in this field, we will discuss about the importance of Ahkaam, i.e. what are we supposed to do in the life of this world to please Allah (swt).
We mentioned last time that all of the Quran is about tawheed. If we want to to break it down specifically, one of the aspect of tawheed is to know that path that we are suppose to follow which is according to guidance of Tawheed, like in Surah Al-Fatiha. There is a way that is the way of life, there are laws and practices in this life that are pleasing to Allah (swt). Thus, these laws Allah laid down to us as human being so that we can lead our life in best way, according to our Fitrah and live in the way which is pleasing to Allah.
One thing which is clear is that Quran is not like an ordinary book of law (in the sense of book of laws), in the sense that, if you look at Quran it is not going to tell you the laws in the way the law book would tell you or the book of fiqh would tell you. Quran is giving the law but it is much more than that.
Quran inspires us to follow the laws
Quran gives us more than laws, it inspires us to follow the laws. Quran has comes to us to inspire us spiritually and what is needed to follow the law, knowing the law is one thing and intention to follow the law is something different.
This [Qur'an] is a clear statement to [all] the people and a guidance and instruction for those conscious of Allah.
This Quran is miracle in the way that it effects the human being, it guides human being. So when you return to the book of Allah and we speak about Ahkam in the Quran, we have to realize that these laws are not laid us in the manner which is laid in law book, what does this mean is that when we turn to Quran, part of the our goal when we turn to Quran is to know this Ahkam from Allah.
Doing these we have to know the ways in which Allah has given us this command which will give us the role of mufassirren and tafseer about this Ayat-ul-Ahkam. Once we understand the way then we will understand why we need tafseer of ahkam and what is the role of mufassireen.
First Category: Details of the laws are found in the Sunnah, Quran gives laws in mujmal form
For example, one of the thing we see a lot in the Quran is to give us laws in non-detailed way i.e. mujmal. The details will be found in the Sunnah. In Quran Allah orders to perform salat and give salat but there is no explanation in the Quran regarding the details of Salath. Even though Allah has ordered to perform salat is many places but he left the explanation to be given to us through sunnah. Similarly the case is with Hajj (ilayi sabeela) again when to make Hajj is not given to us in Quran.
In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.
It is same with the law of retribution (Qisas) details is found in Sunnah.
O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.
Cutting the hand of thief (sariqu), details to us is given by Sunnah of Prophet (saws), we dont cut the hand of thief who stole a pen.
[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
What is the role of the mufassir when performing tafseer of ayat al ahkaam?
Thus if we were to buy a book on tafseer Ayath-ul-Ahkam, what should be the role of mufassir while dealing with these kind of tafseer? How should the mufasseer explain this ayat?
The most important source for the tafseer is the sunnah of the Prophet saws, he should bring the hadith of how to pray, fast etc. But in reality, some of the books in this field will not deal with these verses because this is kind of too general, but they deal with verses which are very specific. Some of most extensive like Qurtubi’s work do deal with this, but many of the book are looking into more specific kind of verses.
Second Category: Allah (SWT) in some places gives us details of the ahkaam.
For example, the laws of inheritance. You will find all of the laws of inheritance in the Quran and not in the Sunnah, such as in Surah al Baqarah.
Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah . Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused]. [This is] an ordinance from Allah , and Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.
The laws of talaaq are another example, where you find a large number of the laws in the Quran. There is a Surah known as Surah al Talaq which touches upon them.
These laws are detailed in indication. So most of the tafseers discuss these types of ayaat.
What should the mufassir do with verses which discuss these types of verses in detail?
Let us discuss the tafseer of Surah At-Talaq verse 2 as an example.
And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah .
This is detailed law that Allah (swt) has given to us. There are number of things that are pretty clear that need to be asked. One of thing mufassireen do is, many time these verses has linguistic nuances to it which many of non Arabs are not aware of it. First thing what everyone would do is to analyse the linguistic aspect of the verse.
Any law that you write, you will need explanation, this is true even for contemporary laws.
So what are some clear questions that need to be asked about this verse? These are the questions a Mufassir should address:
1. The length of the term,
2. What is the meaning of two righteous people as witnesses? Do members of your family meet the requirements?
3. What is the meaning of “minkum” which is used in the verse, does it mean family, does it mean community, does it mean Muslims?
4. Details of the manner in which they separate, what does it mean by “maroof” terms?
5. Is this true for every iddah of divorce? It is not for every occasion of divorce, if you divorce her the third time, there is no iddah to take her back.
6. What about pregnant woman?
7. Do the witnesses have to be male or female?
So even a detailed law that Allah (swt) mentioned in the Quran, there are still a number of issues that need to be explained. This is what is explained by the majority of the musfassir in tafseer ayath-ul-Ahkaam. They analyze them in detail and how they are to be applied.
There is path to pleasing to Allah thus To understand these verses, is to know the path that is pleasing to Allah swt.
Third Category: We also see another way where Allah (swt) gives guidance and ahkaam. In some places, Allah swt gives us some general principle or maxim and does not give us the details of the law. And neither are those details found in the Sunnah.
For example, Allah swt says, (wa shawirhum fil amr)
So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].
Consult with them in their matters. THis is the concept of Shura. Where are the details of shura?
This is a command from Allah swt, it is imperative. Are the details in the sunnah of the prophet saws? He did shura, but do we have hadith in which he explained the principle of shura?
There are somethings in the shariah that Allah swt has left them both in the Quran and sunnah, without their details. He gives us general guidance. The main reason that is the case according to our ulema, is that these kinds of aspects of shariah is meant to be be flexible and change with time and place.
In the time of Umar ibn khattab, it was fairly restricted. He consulted with that small body. If you extrapolate it to modern times, Or if you have laws about medicine or technology. Now we have specialists other than during the time of the Prophet (saws). Should this affect our concept of shura.
Umar used to consult the certain people who are considered as Ahl-ul-shura and he used to consult them for any issue. Should that be the case now?
The role of the mufasser is to explain this concept and speak about how it can be explained and applied in his (mufasser’s) time.
There are a lot of these kind general principles in the Quran. They are legal principles, they have ramifications. They are left general principle because at different times they have to be applied according to their times.
The question of (wa la taziru waziarathn)
This is very important legal principle. Often times the people are punished in mass, Islam came and removed that kind of thinking. If individual commits sin and then you cannot punish the community for that. This general principle comes from Quran and it is the role of mufassir to expalin the evidence related to the principle and then deal with how to deal with the principle at their time.
THe idea of dealing with haraj:
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
What is ease and what is hardship is going to change over time, and thus to deal with is one of the roles of tafsir.
Fourth Category: One of the other aspect, Allah does not give us all of the Ahkam in one place, for example Hajj in Baqarah, Al-Imran, Maidah and Al-Hajj. Talaq is mentioned in Baqarah, Al-Talaq and Nisa. One of the role of the tafseer to being all this verses in one place and discuss about it. Jihad, Nikaah is another example where you can find in many places in Quran and thus it is the role of mufassir, that he should have entire picture about the principle.
Fifth Category: Allah gives us the sign of causation for the Ahkam.
With respect to Ahlusunnah, that Allah (swt) is the cause of all laws and creation.
There are groups in our history who argued there are no causes for any kind of law. Ahul sunnah, we say that there are reason for commands which are laid down by Allah. One of the proof, Allah has laid down the principle for some reason, Allah shows us the sign that there is reason for this sometime it is directly. For example, Allah gives us the description, by this we understand whty las has come. Allah gave us the law that Mushrikeen should no longer approach Bait-Allah. Why mushrikeen should not approach the house of Allah ?
There is not a verse in the Quran which says they should not approach Kabah because they are this and this, but there is verse which describe about Mushrikeen and because of this they should not approach Qabah. Allah says
(Innamal Mushirkeenn Najas fa la yaqrabu)
This Najasah is spritiual impurity. Allah has given description and based on this we can understand that because of this following laws as taken place.
In some places Allah shows us what is benefit and possible harm of specific aspect and from them we understand the reason why this law is laid down
And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.
Here Allah is given us the reason why this prohibtiion, this prohibition about the harm which is going to come.
Allah speaks about Khamr, Gambling and also Idols and describes that they are
First allah says this is action from Shatyan, and Allah followed this by letting us know what is the wisdom behind this.
Sixth Category: Many times Allah uses a particle, harf, which is one or 2 or 3 letter which is sign of causation. Allah will give this as sign of causation to show the wisdom. When Allah told Musa and Harun to firaun (Fa qoola lahu qawlan)
اذْهَبَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ
“Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed.” [20:43]
فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ
“And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [ Allah ]." 20:44
Speak to him Soft so that he may be reminded. So the word Lalla is here the cause and effect indicator.
In the books of Mufassireen in these kinds of verse, what is should they are going to concentrate in these kind of verse ?
Mufassireen’s role is to explain how this one thing mentioned before the law leads to the law.
From the verse of alcohol, it is clear that Allah (SWT) does not want us to have those thing that keep us away from Salah.
What are those thing now a days as oppose to 1500 yrs ago they are different. For example, craze about soccer which cause hatred among Muslims. Same thing is cricket, here cricket become important than Muslims.
What about these days? Clearly Muslims don’t gamble these days, but there are things that keep us from Salaah.
There are other things which leads to the same goal i.e. to keep away from salah, and thus mufassir has to address these act which keeps us away from the salah.
Other verse, which deals with speak with kind words, Mufassir has to address if there are any exception for the verse, is there any occasion when he as to impolite.
Seventh Category: Allah ties in Ahkam with the Aqeedah, beliefs in Allah and beliefs in Last day.
When you go through all these verse, none of these are void of remembrance of Allah
2:221-242, you will find in these there are 12 specific laws dealing with marraige, divorce and maintenance. In these verse eevry ruling is tied to aspect of beleifs i.e. Aqeedah.
First ruling is aspect of Marriage.
أُولَٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
“Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember.”
Then Allah speaks about sexual relationship when women in menses. Then Allah mentions Allah loves those who are tawwabin and muta-tahhireen.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
“Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.”
Allah in the next verse
“And give good tidings to the believers”
Allah in 2:224
وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لِّأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“And do not make [your oath by] Allah an excuse against being righteous and fearing Allah and making peace among people. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”
In the next verse Allah ends,
وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ
“And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.”
تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
You see at the end of all of these passages, which are filled with legal verses, there are words that are tied to aqeedah.
2012-01-23 Class Notes
We have been speaking about the different ways that Allah swt deals with Ahkaam or legal aspects in the Quran. The book of Allah swt is a book about a path, about what they should do and not do, but it is not a legal document. As a consequence, our ulema have to go through the book and derive the laws. Quran is stylistic and is meant to reach the heart and soul of the human being unlike a legal document. The way in which Allah swt ties in the Ahkaam with belief, with taqwa. When you read these laws and see them tied to belief and taqwa, it tells you that you should obey these laws because of belief and taqwa. In your heart you have to believe in Allah swt, have taqwa of him in order to obey the laws. The end result is that we just don’t get the laws, but the internal drive to obey the laws. Just seeing and knowing the laws is not sufficient for us to abide by the laws. Human nature is when they see the laws, they try to circumvent them and that is not what Allah swt wants from us.
In Surah Baqarah, even though Allah swt is telling us about marriage and inheritance and divorce, he ties it with mercy of Allah swt. This helps us to truly apply these laws and they become a way of life, a way of life that you believe in, and a way of life that you want to follow.
In Surah Baqarah verse 241, Allah swt says, for divorced women is a suitable gift which is a duty on the muttaqeen
وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ
And for divorced women is a provision according to what is acceptable - a duty upon the righteous.
Allah swt states a law, but the way he states it that it is a duty for the one who has taqwa. When we make taqleed, when the fiqh schools got so entrenched, what happened was the people stopped reading the Quran for the laws or rulings. When you get laws from fiqh books, the spirit is lost. So Muslims who get the laws from the fiqh books, they are missing the spirit of the law.
One of the duties of the mufasseer is to highlight this fact, when he mentions the law. Some books don’t mention it.
Allah swt is giving the laws as his ayat or signs, in order for us to understand. This is something special in the Quran and it is different from any other law book. It is even the different from the sunnah, or it is distinguishing the Quran from the sunnah. One of the advantages of studying the Ahkaam is that you study the laws in the light of what Allah swt describes.
Question: Is it better to study fiqh through tafseers rather than specialized fiqh books?
Answer: It is important to study both the fiqh books and the Quran in order to understand the spirit of the law. That is why there are so many books on Ahkaam and the hadith of the Prophet related to Ahkaam. One of them is collection by ibn Hajr called “Bulooghu-ul-Maram” Attaining the goal in light of the hadith about the Ahkaam. This is collection of Hadith of Ahkam. There is no material in English which is translated from Arabic related to Ayath-ul-Ahkaam. There is also “Umdathul Ahkam”, also grand father of Ibn Taymiyyah has a book, later there is commentory writen by As-Shawkaani on this called “Nail-al-Awthar....al Akhbar”.
Another important aspect we should be aware of is the way in which Allah swt commanding us to do some deed and also forbidden something deeds for us. In Quran, it speaks to us and it doesn’t give us the list of things which are prohibited, but it speaks to us through parables, just the way Allah tells us to do sometime makes us feel to do something good.
Allah swt uses a (makhdoom) passive voice for ordering commands
For example, in obligating deeds, Allah (swt) has spoken in many different ways. So tafseer al ahkam should help us see whether the hukm is obligation or recommendation.
Allah (swt) sometimes explicitly orders something [Surah Nahl:90]
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
In this verse, Allah is speaking to us but he did not say He is ordering, but Allah just gave order to do it, the effect is different, in both cases it says this is something we must do , and this is stringer way to say.
In other places, it is said that something is (makhdoom) or prescribed to us or written, this is passive construct, Allah (swt) is avoiding directly ordering us.
Surah 4:103: إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا
Surah 2:183 (Siyaam)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -
This is like telling even before we came into existence this was prescribed to us and this is way to attain taqwa.
Allah swt uses ‘Ala or preposition to order commands
In other places Allah uses preposition ‘Ala. This means we this is what we have to do.
Surah 3: 97(Hijju)
وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا
Surah 2:233 (Mawludu lahu)
وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ
Allah swt uses advise to describe some laws
In the verses laying down some of the laws of inheritance, Allah (swt) uses the word, when you think about it, it something amazing the way he addreses. Allah says “Allah is advising you”
يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلَادِكُمْ
Allah swt uses imperative to describe some laws
Other place there is impretaive (Hafizu) to describe laws.
حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ
Allah swt tells us what is best for us in describing some laws
Allah simply tells us that action is good or best for us. Allah himself is strongly recommended us, this means in the eys of Fuqaha this is obligation
Allah swt encourages us to perform some action with a reward attached with the action
Allah is encouraging us to do the deed, unlike in the law where it says only deals with laws and it doesnt talk about good things to do. But in Islam Allah has addressed this.
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً
How does Allah swt describe prohibitions?
With respect to prohibition similar kind of stylistic way of addressing is found. This is missed in translation. It is the job of the mufasseer when he describes the prohibitions of Allah swt.
Surah Mumtahina verse 9
إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion - [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
Allah swt sometimes uses the word hurrima to describe prohibition
Allah sometimes simply says it is not permissible for you
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْهًا ۖ
In order to show how improper an action or attitude is, Allah swt uses a very simple expression, he uses the word “not becoming” (wa maa kaana) to describe a prohibition.
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ
The meaning of wa maa kaana negates something,
it is not proper for mushrikeen to be maintaining the house of Allah swt.
مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُوا مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ شَاهِدِينَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِم بِالْكُفْر
Many times a negative imperative or Laa is used.
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۚ وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْئُولًا
Negating something as righteousness
2: (laysa al-birr)
لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِر
Associating the action with the threat when describing a prohibition.
وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيم
Sometimes Allah swt describes an action as sharr or evil, one thing You have to think who is describing it. Allah (swt) himself describing this has Sharr.
وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۖ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَّهُمْ
Sometime Allah describes the action as kufr, or fisq and Allah describes the doer of the action as kafiroon, fasiqoon.
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Even Allah (swt) shows the action are permissiblity
الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۖ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ
Allah denies the hardship or sin this means action is permissible.
وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ
Another common expression is usage of term “Junaa7”
لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُوا إِذَا مَا اتَّقَوا
Denying “Harj” also means permissibility. Harj is also hardship.
You have to be familiar with the Arabic language and the manner in which Allah swt is describing it. Sometimes he uses a soft way and yet it is obligatory. This means one who turns to these verses has to have some background in order to understand them. That is the reason why we need a mufassir who understands this nuance and can explain it to us.
Prohibition of Alcohol was revealed in stages
Another aspect which is very important for mufassir while discussion the Ayat-ul-Ahkam, the fact the Quran is not revealed all at one time, similarly the laws are not revealed all at one time. Some laws went though some stages. The classic case is the prohibition of Alcohol, where all Ulema agree that it has come in stages.
The first verse to be revealed on the prohibition of alcohol was surah Nahl verse 67. The indication is very subtle.
وَمِن ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالْأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who reason.
Allah swt is describing what we can get from the date palm trees and grapes. He is describing the produce in two different ways. He is saying he is blesses us with this tree and from the tree we take one is strong drink. From the context it says this is strong drink is not good for us. This is not Prohibition but Allah is alluding to that this is not good.
This is the first verse where there is kind of reference to Alcohol.
Secondly, the verse 2:219
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا
They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.
Is this verse prohibiting Alcohol?
Probably at the time it was revealed, they would not understand this as a prohibition, but now we can understand as the prohibition, if something which is harmful is prohibition.
Third verse is
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ
This one is considered closer to prohibtion, since we have 5 times a days.
Finally there is prohibition of alcohol in Surah Maidah verse 90 -92
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ ۖ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُوا ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا عَلَىٰ رَسُولِنَا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
Translation: O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.
Translation: Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?
Translation: And obey Allah and obey the Messenger and beware. And if you turn away - then know that upon Our Messenger is only [the responsibility for] clear notification.
When you are giving the tafseers of the verses, you have to explain the wisdom behind them.
For example, 4:43, someone might read this as say Alcohol is not prohibited, thus it is role of mufassir to clear this.
Prohibition of Riba
Much more controversial is the prohibition of Ar-Riba. Did the prohibition of riba come in stages or not? The strongest opinion is that it did not come in stages and the prohibition was given at once.
First verse about riba was surah Nisa verse 161
Where Jews considered this as permissible.
وَأَخْذِهِمُ الرِّبَا وَقَدْ نُهُوا عَنْهُ وَأَكْلِهِمْ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ ۚ
Second verse Rum:39
وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن رِّبًا لِّيَرْبُوَ فِي أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَلَا يَرْبُو عِندَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن زَكَاةٍ تُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُضْعِفُونَ
And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah . But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah - those are the multipliers.
The next verse, which was revealed.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُّضَاعَفَةً ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.
It is said that this is not prohibition of Riba, but it is prohibition of the fact that at time of the payment of debt the amount owed was doubles (according to Shaykh, this is a weak opinion mostly coming from contemporary Muslim economists only and classical scholars do not give this opinion). This is weak argument w.r.t to the verses of Riba.
Last set of verses which was revealed w.r.t Riba.
2:275-280 (only relevant portion of the verses are here)
وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا
يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ ۗ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيْسَرَةٍ ۚ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
Book of tafseer of Ayathul ahkam is good place to discuss if prohibition of riba is gradual or not. The one who says that this is gradual are contemporary, and most of the classical scholars don’t have this opinion.
Allah (swt) left these verses to be explained by mufassir regarding the Ahkaam of Ayath.
2012-01-30 Class Notes
What are the causes of difference of opinion about ayat al ahkaam?
Differences based on usool al fiqh or legal principles
Scholars interpret verses differently and have differences of opinion. These can be traced back to the different methodologies and principles of usool al fiqh or legal thinking. And you might end up with difference of opinions. This belongs to the topic of usool al fiqh.
Differences based on madhab of the mufassir
Here we are more concerned about the personal opinions of the scholars that can result in different opinions regarding ayat al ahkaam. What madhab does the mufassir belong to will have a great deal of influence. Sometimes the aqeedah madhab will affect not only aqeedah verses but also verses related to fiqh. Shaikh is still trying to collect good examples about this type of differences.
Differences based on time and place of the mufassir
One of the aspects of the tafseer is for Mufassir is to relate the Quran to the time and place of where he or she is living. The situation changes with time and place and in Usul-al-Fiqh it is understood that Fatwa can be changed (due to changes in time and place). Keep in mind these changes are only on those points where ijtihad is involved or the customs of the place had to be taken into account. The definitive Ahkam of Quran and Sunnah do not change at all with time and place.
For example, Urf can be different in different places as far as right of a wife are concerned. In certain places, all it can mean that wife gets housing which is just a bedroom in a bigger house with the in-Laws. However, in certain places it means a separate residence from the in-Laws. So when Quran says to deal with them with “Maruf” then such Urf considerations have to be taken just like the example already given.
This does not mean that they understand the verses differently, but the applications might change. Shaikh is looking for good examples from the books of tafseer and if he finds them, we will discuss them next time.
Q: (from a student)
A: For a practice to be acceptable, it cannot contradict any of the rules of shariah. If there is a society that has a custom that woman does not get any rights of housing and maintenance, then it must be abandoned. Another example is that in Hindu society, a bridegroom receives mahar instead of the bride. This is against the text of the shariah
Another example of a practice defined by urf is safar
Definition of travel is defined by each of the madhab according to distance. Ibn Taymiyyah says what qualifies as travel for shortening the prayers and breaking the fast, is based on urf and lughah
Quran Surah Baqarah 2:185
وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ
“whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days”
This ‘ala safar , definition of this, according to IT, there is no atrong or authentic hadith which gives out the number, what we have is based on ijthihaad of the scholars, travel today is not same as the travel in the past, now it is much easier compare to the past.
Bias of Madhab getting involved in the Tafseer Ayat al Ahkaam:
What is found most common in the book of Ayat al ahkaam is the trace of inclination to the madhabs. If you trace the history of tafseer during the time of Sahabah or tabieen, when they go tot the verse in the Quran they wanted to interpret the verse seeking the haqq, however as the madhab became entrenched and idea of taqleed insisting on following a particular madhabs and idea of strictness of madhab regardless of following Quran and Sunnah thus you see this influence in the tafseer which is obvious.
If some one who follows the madhabs and then does an interpretation of Quran, We will not be surprised if the understanding of the verse is according to his madhab. Which is leads to drawing the conclusion which is supports the madhabs this may be seems to be correct for him and need not realise that his madhab has influnced this.
Examples of those scholars Madhab bias in Ayat al Ahkam:
For example, Al-Jassas, An-Nasafi, Abu Saud al-aloosi, Al-Zamakshari were hanafis in their fiqh, thus in the tafseer most of time you will find that concludling hanafi view is correct
You have Ar-razi, Al-Baidawi and As-suyti who are shafi scholars and the when they come to tafseer you can see the inclination.
Then you have ibn al Arabi, al Qurtubi, ibn Ashoor and these are Malikis and in their tafseer they prefer Maliki.
Then there are other unique cases where someone goes to an extreme, for example, Al-Kadhimi in the introduction to tafsser who is s shia, he concludes that rest of the people are lost who come up with ta2weel and strange interpretation and he says only one who comes with right conclusion are the imams. This clear shows that he is extreme in his following of his shia belief. There can be other examples of extreme.
There is another author whose name al-Kiya ar-Rasi who has a book called ahkam-ul-Quran, he is following the Shafii madhab, in the introduction he says shafi madhab is wisest one and strongest one. and he says “Since I came to conclusion I wanted to explain the ahkam of Quran how shafi understood”.
If the introduction will be of that nature, you don’t expect that the discussion will be fair balanced since that is not their goal. Al aloosi makes it clear that in the introduction that an individual should defend and support his madhab and he should provide all the proof to prove this.
Ibn al-Arabi who is maliki in body of work he quotes Imam Shafi, and he says that shafi is not a great scholar in comparision to Imam Maliki, Thus this is not pleasing to see as you are dealing with Quran and not any other book. Thus if your intention is not clear, then this is disrespectful for the book of Allah (swt). This is sad to see because of madhab the attitude towards quran and sunnah is very sad.
A person’s bias shows up when he performs the tafseer. he compares and contrasts his madhab with other’s madhab.
Examples of Madhab bias in Ayat al Ahkaam
We will dscuss a few examples to highlight how a person madhab can influence his tafseer.
#1; Ayat al Ahkaam related to lawful wives for Muslims
In Surah al Maida verse 5 Allah swt descibes category of women who are lawful.
الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۖ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ ۖ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you,...
The vast majority of the scholars, even among ahlu-sunnah, say that this verse is clear indication that it is permissible to marry women from Ahl-al-kitaab. The Shia does not believe in it. They base their view based on the verse in the Quran.
They say ahl-al-kitaab is subset of kufaar and this verse is supersedes the verse about lawful wives in Surah Maida.
In Surah Baqarah 2: 221 Allah swt describes which category of women are better for marraige:
وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ ۚ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ ۗ وَلَا تُنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا ۚ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ
And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.
Are Ahl-kitaab mushrikeen? Don’t they commit shirk?
Answer: One verse is aam and the other verse is Khaas, the situation here, mushrikeen in general meaning should include ahl-kitaab and thus ahl-kitaab is subset of the general set and sometime they have special ahkamm.
One of the shia scholar who says that the verse in Baqarah over rules the verse in maida i.e. abrogation. Since one is the bigger set. At the beginiing of the surah maida he quotes Ali (ra) part of quran abrogates other parts and among the last revealed is surah maida and none of this surah is been abrogated. This is inconsistency and what they do to go around it, If you go back to surah maida,
وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ
“Chaste from among the believers and chaste from ahl-kitaab”
What they say chaste women from believers are those women are Muslims and born in Islam and the next one is those women who converted to Islam, thus they say what Allah is saying that it is permissible to marry a women who is converted to Islam.
Since they have quote from Ali thus they cannot say its abrogation, so they force the quran to be consistent according to your view thus they enforce this interpretation.
By the time surah maidah was revealed, weren’t Sahabah marrying who were embracing Islam and they were doing to from the beginning of the Quran. Thus the interpretation is not in sync with what Quran says, muhsanaath is not same as muslimaath and muminaath.
#2: Ayat al Ahkaam related to inheritance rights of orphans
Another example from Surah 4:2 where Allah swt describes when orphans should receive their inheritance.
وَآتُوا الْيَتَامَىٰ أَمْوَالَهُم ۖ وَلَا تَتَبَدَّلُوا الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ ۖ وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَىٰ أَمْوَالِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا
And give to the orphans their properties and do not substitute the defective [of your own] for the good [of theirs]. And do not consume their properties into your own. Indeed, that is ever a great sin.
When should the orphans given their money ?
Few verses later in verse 6 is the explanation.
وَابْتَلُوا الْيَتَامَىٰ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغُوا النِّكَاحَ فَإِنْ آنَسْتُم مِّنْهُمْ رُشْدًا فَادْفَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَلَا تَأْكُلُوهَا إِسْرَافًا وَبِدَارًا أَن يَكْبَرُوا
And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgement, release their property to them. And do not consume it excessively and quickly, [anticipating] that they will grow up.
This verse in Quran, does it seem to be clear about when should the orphans given the wealth ? Giving the orphans the wealth, is it conditional that they should be in the state of sound judgement ?
Yes, it doesn’t matter what age he is in. As long as you don’t find them capable to be sound judgement, you don’t have to give.
Vast majority of scholars says there is no age limitation on when an orphan should receive their inheritance, but in Hanafi madhab once they reach 25 years of age regardless of if they are in sound judgement or not, they have to be given their wealth.
Abu Bakr Ar-Razi Al-Jassas in his commentary (tafser ayath-ul-ahkaam), he is following Hanafi madhab, the way he is going to make his madhab work with respect to the later verse is, he says the second verse 4:6, he says they apply both the verse together, verse 6 is applied when they are less than 25 yrs old and verse 2 is to be applied absolutely after 25 yrs. Most scholars will judge one verse i.e. verse 2 in the light of the other i.e. verse 6. He says it is opposite. He does not present any evidence for number 25.
This is one of the cases, where you don’t want to ascribe that he is being biased but when you look at such interpretation it looks like they are allowing the madhabs opinion to determine how the verse to be interpreted, which means doing things which is not sanctioned by the text.
#3: Ayat al Ahkaam related to the rights of divorced women
Another example is also from Al-Jassas. In Surah Baqarah 2:232 Allah swt describes the rights of divorced women.
وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term, do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis. That is instructed to whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is better for you and purer, and Allah knows and you know not.
In this particular case, where Allah (swt) says do not prevent divorced women from marrying their previous husbands.
فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنّ
This verse is problematic from the Hanafi perspective, especially when you bring in the asbaab an-nuzool, there is narration is saheeh al-bukhari which says
The sister of Ma'qil bin Yasar was married to a man and then that man divorced her and remained away from her till her period of the 'Iddah expired. Then he demanded for her hand in marriage, but Ma'qil got angry out of pride and haughtiness and said, "He kept away from her when he could still retain her, and now he demands her hand again?" So Ma'qil disagreed to remarry her to him. Then Allah revealed: 'When you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands.' (2.232) So the Prophet sent for Ma'qil and recited to him (Allah's order) and consequently Ma'qil gave up his pride and haughtiness and yielded to Allah's order.
“This verse was revealed with respect to Ma2kaql bin Yassar and what his sister had done, she intended to marry her divorced husband.” And when this verse was revealed he let his sister marry her previous husband.
Hanafis do not believe that women is in need of a wali, al-Jassas interpretes this verse, he says that the hadith is weak. He says this is from hasan al basri and there is broken chain. There are very few direct ahadith which he got from sahabah, in particular Bukhari.... He is not using “an” here but he clearly says that “hadathna Makal ibn Yassar”. This is a sign of strong transmission. He (Jassas) says that there is unknown narrator.
2012-02-06 Class Notes
We are studying why there are differences of opinions regarding the tafseer ayat al ahkaam.
Importance of studying the Book of Allah (swt) in details (as much as possible) is an act of Worship
Not all of the differences can be attributed to the mufasseer, it could also be due to the nature of the verses themselves.
Going to the book of Allah (swt) and finding out the ahkam from the Quran is an act of Worship (Ibadah). It is true that it sometimes leads to the differences. Allah (swt) does not require us to be perfect, the most important aspect is for us to have proper intentions. If you have the proper intentions, you will get rewarded for your effort, irrespective of whether you find the correct result, and you will get more rewards for finding the correct result.
We will discuss some of the reasons why mufassireen come to different conclusions. We will simply highlight without trying to determine which is the correct conclusion. We will highlight some of the causes, which should be sufficient for us to understand.
Keep in mind that Quran does not give law as A and B and C and D etc... If Allah (swt) did that then we could not figure out whether for example, hacking a website is allowed or not. So to solve the problems that we face today, requires the Quran to be a document so that qualified scholars can perform Ijtihad.
The examples that we will discuss today will be tricky, if they were not tricky or difficult, then we would not be studying them at all.
Reason #1 for differences of opinion about Ayat al Ahkaam are due to Haqeeqi (Literal) versus Majaazi (Figurative) meanings of words
Words have a literal meaning and then they could have a figurative meaning. For example in English: can you call someone donkey or jackass, how are you using these words, in literal terms or figurative terms? You are using it in a figurative sense.
Usually when the words are used, the default case is that the word is being used in the literal meaning, unless there is evidence to show that it is not the literal but figurative meaning.
However sometime there is difference of opinion on what was the haqeeqi meaning and what was the majazi meaning. The classic case of that in Arabic language has to do with the word “Nikaah” (na ka ha). The word Nikaah meaning is marriage and we think it is haqeeqi meaning. According to Arabic scholars it can mean marriage or actual sexual act. There is a verse is Quran in which the scholars differ in the meaning of the verse because of this difference of opinion about “Na ka Ha.”
Surah An-Nur verse 3
الزَّانِي لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.
Khan and Hilali translation (here)
The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc.) And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism).
According to Ibn Abbas, Mujathid, Ibn zaid and Conclusion if Tabari and Ibn Atiya and Al-Jassas Abu Hayyan, they are of the opinion that the “Na Ka Ha” here means to have sexual act. This is like show the filth of the act that no one would have relation with Az-Zani except the one who is similar to them i..e either you yourself is Zani or mushrika. Thus it does not have to do with the ruling but it has to express the weight of the law. In an essence it is saying that only filth person will have relation with such kind of person. Thus the emphasis is much stronger. The actual conculsion is that you need to stay away from marrying the mushrika or zani.
Reason #2 for differences of opinion of Ayat Al Ahkaam are due to different meanings of particles or harf
Other example has to do with different particles or harf. For example, there are 12 different usages for the word “MIN” in the Arabic language and you find 8 or 9 of them definitely in the Quran. Typical translation for the word MIN is FROM in English.
One of the verse where the word “MIN” (Arabic particle min) has effect on the conclusion is 5:6
Example 2: 5:6
وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ ٍ
Sahih International: But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. (MINHU: This means you have something from it)
Pickhtall: And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. (MINHU: This means you have something from it)
Khan and Hilali: But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. (MINHU: This is ibtida al-Ghaya where this is starting from it as it does not say from it)
There is huge difference in the last two translations, this is due to word “مِّنْهُ”. One of the meanings of by using MIN is, to take from something, the idea there is that, you go to some cleanse soil and you put your hands in it and take some of the soil to wipe and to make tayammum. There has to be something on your hand. This is understanding of Shafi’i, Imam Ahmed. Abu Yusufy, Zamakasahri, Al-Bagawi. Can you go to rock which is clean and put your hands on it and your hands come off clean and you make tayammum ?
According to Hanafi and Malik, the meaning of MIN here is MIN of ibtida al ghayah (beginning of the limit), i.e. you go to the soil and from there you start the process of tayammamum. Tayammum is not a process of cleaning and it cannot be compared to washing. When you go and touch dust, are you removing dirt?
Tayammum is an act of ibadah whose meaning we cannot rationalize. They are saying we should go to any part of soil and touch it to start the process of tayammum.
You can touch soil that does not have any loose soil on it. You can go to a rock which is completely dry and you can touch it and from that starting point, you have started tayammum. This is Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik’s opinion.
Those who say that you have to take something from the soil, this is closer to the haqeeqi meaning and not the majaazi meaning of min.
Ibn Al Arabi in his book, Tafseer Ayat-ul-Ahkaam from the Maliki school, he support this opinion. He says what “minhu” means it is obligatory to strike your hands on the soil, even if nothing is coming out of it, this is how you start the process of tayammum.
Hanafis have two split opinions, one of Abu Hanifa and that of his student Abu Yusuf. And it is related to the meaning of min hu.
Some more explantion: Two opinions
Minhu = “From it”, where HU points to soil. In this we have to take some soil in the hand. We cannot touch the rock in this case.
minhu = “Starting with it”, we can touch something which there is no soil on it. Thus in this case you can touch the rock. This allow for more possibility i.e. it includes everything what is considered as earth.
In the English translations you will see “some of it” and others say “with it” which highlights the different usages of the word min.
Many different usages of the particle Ba
Another example on particle Ba. This letter Ba has 14 different meaning/usages and at least 13 of these usages are in the Quran. One of the classic cases is 5:6
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.
It does not say wipe your head but it introduces “bi in the verse. What is the effect of this “bi” is where scholars differ.
Redundant “b” or particle ba
One opinion which is opinion of many scholars as well including Ibn Al-Arabi, Qurtubi, Ibn Katheer, Abu Hayyan is that the “b” is redundant or zaa’idah -- it doesn’t have any signifiicance. But the most likely meaning of the “bi” here is to wipe part of your head. To say it is zaa’idah goes against the default case. So those that say it means to wipe part of the head include: Shafi’i, Tabari, Baghawi. Any part of the head is acceptable. This difference of opinion goes back to the particle.
Reason #3 for differences of opinion regarding ayat al ahkaam is due to general (aam???) or specific (khaas???) meaning of a verse
Sometimes you find a verse in the Quran and it is stated in a very general sense, but scholars when they look at it, they conclude that generality is not what is meant in the verse.
Surah Baqarah 2:241
وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ
And for divorced women is a provision according to what is acceptable - a duty upon the righteous.
The most apparent meaning is that, any divorced women has some kind of access to provision and this is duty upon the righteous. Is this the case ?
The question is وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ, which means every divorced women no matter what situation she is divorced, in particular it doesn’t matter if this women is divorced before consummation or after consummation of marriage. It doesn’t matter if certain dowry has been agreed to or not. She is entitled to some kind of provision i.e. مَتَاعٌ
This is an opinion of number of scholars among Mufassireen like Tabari, Shanqeeti, Baghawi, Zamakhshari and others.
Some scholars say it doesn’t mean every divorced women, if the women already had a signed Mahr and divorced before consummation then she gets half of the mahr and there is no مَتَاعٌ here. This is made clear in the other verse in Quran where she gets half of the mahr.
There are others who emphasis the other part of verse like Imam Malik, where first part says it applies to all divorced women and he emphasis on the last part and says according to this, it is not wajib but mustahabb. The fact that Allah stresses that “this is what mutaaqeen has do to”, which means these are good things to do for the mutaaqeen and not obligatory.
There are 6 different views on this verse and all goes back to how general this verse is, what is the degree of generality in this verse.
2012-02-13 Class Notes
Last time we were studying some of the causes that might lead to differences of opinion in books of tafseer ayat al ahkaam. We will study some more examples. And then we will discuss the various books that were written on tafseer ayat al ahkaam.
Surah Nisa verse 23
حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الْأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الْأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللَّاتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَائِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّاتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم مِّن نِّسَائِكُمُ اللَّاتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُوا دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَائِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَابِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُوا بَيْنَ الْأُخْتَيْنِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives' mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives unto whom you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And [also prohibited are] the wives of your sons who are from your [own] loins, and that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
This is the verse that delineates the categories of women that a man is not allowed to marry. This verse is Ijamaaj i.e. There are details that are needed which are missing and there are some unconstrained aspects of the verses.
With respect to your step daughters, it first mentions mother-in-law and then mentions step daughters with a conditional statement, which is “if you have consummated your marriage.
The question is, this conditional statement, does this refer back to step daughter or both i.e. step daughters and mother-in-law. For example, You married a women she has mother and daughter as well, After you marry her and consummate then both are forbidden to marry which is agreed by everyone. If you did not consummate the marriage there is no sin upon you, does this refer to just step daughter or to mother-in-law as well ? There is no doubt that it refers to step daughter, but only doubt is about a statement before it. If you make a conditional statement does this refer to both or to the last one. A number of Sahaba were of the opinion that ti goes back to both, however majority of sahabah including Umar, Ibn Masud and virtually all scholars afterwards is of the opinion that it goes back to step daughter, they distinguish between mother in law and step daughter. The gave the logical reason which was given. There is also grammatical reason that was given why these women are treated differently. So the question here is that if there is conditional statement does this refer to the previous one or for both ?
The verse also talks about “mothers who breast feed you” this is Mutlaq, which means unconstrained, any women who breast feed you. Some scholars does not put any condition on breast feeding, even if it for once, this is enough to establish that kind of relationship because it just says “the one who breast feed you”. This is also been narrated by number of sahabah Umar, Ali, Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar. And majority of scholars say this is not unconditional, they put some conditions. They say on how many times feeding has to be done, some say it is 5. How do we reach to his number 5, where the verse doesn’t refer to this ? There are hadith related to this, which prophet (Saw) just one or 2 sucklings does not create this kind of relationship and there is hadith from Ayesha (ra) which explicitly says it has to be 5 time.
Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: "When the Qur’an was first revealed, the number of breast-feedings that would make a child a relative (mahram) was ten, then this was abrogated and replaced with the number of five which is well-known." (Reported by Muslim, no. 1452)
It is sunnah of prophet (saw) is to restrict the unconditional statement and explain what are the necessary criteria. It is possible that some of the sahabah are not aware of this condition. It is not surprising that Ayesha (RA) was aware of it. Those scholars who knew the hadith and accepted the hadith they applied this hadith for example in Shafi and Hanabali madhab, while malikis and Hanafis live it unconditionally. The explanation from them Quran doesn’t give any condition and if they exist they have to find in some other place, and other scholars say that it is unconditional so we have to live it like that.
This shows that you might come to conclusion which differs from others even if your intention is pure when you approach the Quran. And some of those differences might be due to their fiqh leanings.
Collection of the Tafseer of Ahkam ul Quran:
We will now discuss the various works that exist for tafseer ayat al ahkaam of the Quran.
#1 Imam Shafiee’s collection
The first person to have attributed with such tafseer is Imam As-Shafi (d 204). This book the Shaafi, which Shafi scholars claim that Imam Shafi worte did not come down to us. This book if he had written he might have kept to himself.
#2 Al Bayhaqi’s collection
Couple of generations later one of his followers Al-Bayhaqi, who was shafi scholar, he was very devoted to Imam Shafi quran, he wrote a book called Ahkam al-Quran from Imam Shafiee. But when you look at it, this turns out to be his own book. Imam Shaafi passed on lot of information by Shaafi, thus this in a sense it is by Shafi but it wasn’t put together in that fashion by Shafi but by Al-Baihaqi.
#3 Ali Hijr as Saadi’s collection
After this there is Hadith scholars Ali Hijr as Saadi al Morozi (d 244), this work is lost and not reached us.
#4 Al Azdee’s collection
Similarly there is by Al-Azdee (d 288) also called Ahkam ul Quran and even that is not passed to us.
#5 Al Kumi’s collection
There is one from Al-kumi (d 305) , Hanafi scholar who was imam of Hanafi at that time. Even this is not reached to us.
#6 Al Tahawi’s collection
Earliest work we have at least the good portion of it, which is published is Ahkam-ul-Quran from al-Tahawi. Al-Tahawi is a very important person with full name Abu Jafar Ahmed al Tahawi born 239 H. He was born in a very religious family and his parents use to attend the lectures of imam Shafi. First he started learning from his father and then he learned hadith from his mother’s brother (Tahawi’s uncle) named Ismail al-Muzni. Ismail al-Muzni is one of the most important student of Imam Shafi, who complied a work mukhtasar i.e. abridgment of Imam Shafi fiqh.
Tahawi’s change of madhab from Shafiee to Hanafi
Al-Tahawi was on his way to become Shafi scholars. He promised to study to any scholar who came to his part of Egypt. So if you look at his list of teacher they came from all of the parts of world, it includes An-Nasai and Abu Zar3a. Eventually he became scholar of hadith,fiqh and Quran. Those who narrated hadith from his is Al-Tabarani and Ibn Adi. He did not restrict himself just for Shafi but also attended hanafi lectures. He said about himself, first I used to write hadith from al-Muzni and followed the views of the Shafi and after that Ahmad Imran who was appointed as Judge of Egypt. I accompanied him and followed his opinion. At this time he was moving towards Hanafi. His uncle did not like it and rebuked him which led to the split, so Tahawi left shafi madhav and became Hanafi and later he wrote book mukthasar which is equal to his uncle’s book in Shafi fiqh. Thus he became leading hanafi scholar at his time. He is respected for his knowledge by all of this scholar. Ibn Katheer called him most reliable and one of the greatest scholar of hadith. Shaikh says you have to read his work to experience its beauty.
Aqeedah al Tahawiah
Al Dahabi said that he is great scholar of hadith and fiqh, whoever learns from this imam realizes that he is a great scholar of fiqh and hadith. He wrote number of books for Hanafi school, and he is most famous for the small book on the Aqeedah (a treatise on Aqeedah). This is the famous book known as Aqeedah al Tahawiah, the original title being either bayan aqeedah ahlu sunnah wal jamah or ….....
Description of the tafseer ayat al ahkaam by Tahawi
One of the interesting thing about this work it is standard work for hanafis, Ashari and Salafis. Although they give different interpretation. The majority of commentaries in the past is from Ashari and Maturidis.
His work is published recently in couple of volumes, although it is not entire work but it is similar to other works where he deals in depth like other work of his.
This book is arranged according to fiqh topics. The first book is “Fiqh of Tahara” and the first chapter is of Allah statement about prayer. Second chapter is about Wudu. Third and Fourth chapter is to explain about other verses related to Tahara.
Once you start reading his explanation, he goes into details about different Qiraat and he discusses asbab al-nuzool, and he will highlight is there any other verse which explain this verse, and then he will go to refer any hadith, then he will quote the statement of sahabah and then he will quote statement tabieen and then he will start making conclusion putting all this evidences together. For all this reports he has isnaad from him back to the source.
Seven page introduction lays out his approach and shows us how to approach tafseer of the Quran
In the beginning of the book he has a 7 page introduction, which is quality work for both principle usul at tafseer and usul al fiqh. Where he explains his approach. He starts saying that I have aranged the verse in the fiqh topics.He then says that i give precedence to the Dhahir meaning of the verse over the batin meaning and then he argues for it for about a page and a half and he also says why he takes Aam rather then khass and how this intereact with each other.and spends 2 pages on that. He then discusses theabout abrogation and how important it is to know the asbab an nuzool. Then he speaks about importance of Qiraat and he explains the importance of sunnah and khulfa rashideen and how important is the language of Arabic language. This introduction shows us that how well advanced his thoughts were. People tried to claim that there was no usool al fiqh before Imam Shafi, which is not right where as the science did exist before it is been laid out. Same thing is true with Tahawis work where the science did exist and there are evidence to point to this, by the time of tahawi it became fixed. Formalism of science comes much later, but the practice of the principles exist even before they have been standardized and written down.
Example of tafseer from Tahawi
He is going to take the verse of 5:6 and he is going to break it into 4 sections and he is going to take about 20 pages to cover this.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.
First point he discusses is about wudu. He asks these questions, do you have to make wudu for each prayer, is wudu obligatory for every prayer? The majority opinion is that you don’t have to make wudu for each prayer.
Tahawi presents reports, for example he gives his chains back to Ali ibn Taalib, where Ali used to make wudu for each salat and he used to recite the ayat َ اغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ He gives complete Isnaad. Then he talks about those who say you don’t have to make wudu and he gives their evidence. He starts presenting the reports for the argument, at least 17 reports. He is also adding quite a bit. This is the nature of this work. One of the good things about this work is it is important source work for statement of the sahaba and tabieen and also for the hadith as it is been presented in complete chain.. This is been published in Turkey.
Even though we do not have his complete work, what is available is an excellent resource for anybody who wants to study tafseer ayat al ahkaam. Shaikh highly recommends this work.
2012-02-20 Class Notes
Different books that are dedicated to the topic of tafseer ayat al ahkaam. We will study some books and what are some of their good points.
Abu Bakr Ahmad Al Razi Al Jassas
We will start discussing Ahkam ul Quran by Abu Bakr Ahmad Al Razi Al Jassas. He is sometimes referred to as Al Jassas or just ar Razi which could be applied to any body who comes from town of Razi. Al Jassas was in Baghdad in year 305 Hijri. There was quite a bit of animosity between Shias and Sunnis during his time. Even within the Sunnis the Madhabs are also being formalized, and there was animosity between Shafis and Hanafis.
Teachers of Al Jassas
He started studying with Hanafi scholar, Abu Hasan al Qarhi. Abu Hasan al Qarhi, who is one of the early specialist in Usul al Fiqh. He is also known for his Zuhd, and he passed on that quality to Al Jassas. Under Qarhi’s advice, Al Jassas goes to Nisabur to study hadith under Al haakim Naisaburi (famouse for Al Mustadrak). While Al-Jassas was in Naisabur, his Sh. died in 340H. Then the Ashashi became the teacher and Ashashi died 4 years later and Al Jassas returns to Baghdad to take the seat of .........
He took hadith from Tabarani, Haakim and he was the imam of leading hanafi school and he was considered Mujtahid in the Hanafi School. He was offered the position of Qadhi of ... He never was imprisoned. He died in 370H.
Works by Al Jassas
He has number of important books in Hanafi fiqh, e.g. Sharh Mukhtasar al Qarhi (from his teacher), Sharah Asma ul Husna (attributes and names of Allah), a book on Tahawi’s work of difference of opinion on Ikhtalaf al Fuqaha and Al Jassas abridged this work. The ahkam ul Quran is also very important book of tafsir and very important book for Hanafi school.
Al Jassas’ position in Hanafi Madhab
Hanafi consider him Mujtahid and head of their school, and Hanafi School divide their scholars between, Salaf, Khalaf, and al Mutakhiroon. Salaf are Abu Hanifa and his students, Khalaf are later scholars (the category al Jassas belongs to) and Al Mutakhiroon are not considered very high in esteem in Hanafi school.
Many scholars praised his knowledge. Ad Dhahabi praises him and calls him the great Imam, the great scholar, the mufti, the mujtahid, the scholar of Iraq, the hanafi, and one who wrote many books. Another scholar called him the Imam of Razi and Imam of Hanafi. Somebody else called him the head of the Hanafi madhab at that time.
Aqeedah of Al Jassas
With respect to his Aqeedah, which is major thing used against him, is that he was greatly influenced by Mutazilte (on issue of seeing Allah (swt) etc....). There are books called the tabaqaat which ranks the scholars. In tabaqaat al Mu’tazilah, Al Jassas is included as a Mutazila, but you have ot be careful, because they include many people who might not be mutazilah such as Abu Bakr, Omar, Ali and Uthman are also included (so the books are not objective enough to trust them). There is no question about his leanings in the matter of aqeedah.
The introduction to his ahkaam al quaran discusses usool al fiqh, since they are the rules that you need to derive fiqh rulings from ayaat al ahkaam. But for some reason, this introduction has not been published in any of the published works. It has been published three times and it is not included in it, but it has been published finally as a separate book.
He covers the entire Quran and arranged according to the mushaf. He mentions the ahkaam along with the verses but it is sometimes difficult to see the relationship. He does not discuss all fo the verse.
He gives lot of emphasis to the language of the Quran, he discusses Naskh/Mansookh (abrogated) text. When you read through his tafseer it is hard to see the re
Surah Yusuf verse 26 mentions the incident between Yusuf and the wife of the Aziz.
قَالَ هِيَ رَاوَدَتْنِي عَن نَّفْسِي ۚ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
[Joseph] said, "It was she who sought to seduce me." And a witness from her family testified. "If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has told the truth, and he is of the liars.
One of her people says that if is ripped from the front then he is guilty and vice versa. And he takes this verse and applies it to a lost child or lost property and they can make claims on it based on mole or something in the property. So it is difficult to see how he got there.
He presents the difference of opinion among scholars. For example he discusses the question of whether it is important to fast for Aitiqaaf. He discusses various opinions. But in general he is more than slightly mutasib (prejudiced) for the Hanafi madhab. There are number of cases when he puts down the other schools. But if you can get beyond that, you can see he presents the view of other schools and then always refutes their opinion.
He presents a lot of hadith and he is the founder of .... The way he takes hadith and presents it, the scholars of hadith would not be happy with it. He sometimes takes hadith that are clearly weak or he should know that they are clearly weak in order to bolster his madhab or opinion. You have to be careful of the hadith that he uses and the way he critiques the hadith since it is based on his prejudice to Hanafi madhab. Other scholars use his work and sometimes they have to refute his work.
One of the published edition of the book is in 4 volumes. You can see how Hanafis approach the quran and derive their rulings. We have Tahawi’s work which is also from Hanafi madhab but it is not complete. The main work for Hanafis is Al Jassas.
It is not published in English. There is a PhD thesis on his work, he quotes it but does not translate it. Shaikh would not be surprised if there is a Urdu translation.
There is a Maliki tafseer of ayat al ahkaam by Balaghi but that is not published. We will not discuss it. It exists only in manuscript format.
Ahkaam al Quran by Imam Shafi collected and arranged by Imam Bayhaqi. Abu Baqr al Bayhaqi was born in 384 H in village close to Naysabour in northern Iran and it stretches into Turkmenistan. He travelled throughout the Muslim world to study Hadith. He returned to Naysabour where he was a teacher and writer.
All of Shafi scholars owe debt to Imam Shafii except Al Bayhaqi to whom Imam Shafii owes a great amount of debt, since he did a lot of work on his behalf. Bayhaqi went to the works of the students of Imam Shafii and collected what Imam Shafii had to say about the verses of the quran, and theat is the reason for the name of his book.
He was also a student of Imam al...... He is most famous for Sunan al Kubra, it si the largest collection of sunnah. He has another work called .... it has reports that go through Imam shafii. He has a book on aqeedah called .... He has another book called .... evidences fo the prophethood.
He died 458 Hijri. His book on tafseer ayat al ahkaam has been published into two volumes. You don’t want to read the introduction is written by somebody who is mutasib (prejudiced) for the Hanafi madhab and it is not the most complementary.
His book is arranged just like Tahawi’s book. He takes each verse and quote what Imam Shafii says, sometimes he abridges what he says, sometimes he will comment on Imam Shafii’s comments. He distinguishes between Imam Shafiie’s old madhab and new madhab. It is famous that Imam Shafii, when he went to Egypt, he changed some of his opinions. He does not present opinion of other scholars. You won’t find sharp comments against other madhabs like in other works.
After this book comes another book on Ahkaam al Quran by Keya al Haraasi. He is also known as at-Tabari (since his is from Tabaristan). He was born in 450 Hijri. He is originally from Khurasan and then went ot Naysabur and studied under Imam al Haramian (al Juwaini). Went to Iran and finally settle in Baghdad.
He was a Shafii scholar. He has a work on usool al fiqh and a critique on it. There are certain unique opinions to every scholar, and they are quoted in books called Mufradat al Imaam. He has a critique of Mufradat of Imam Ahmad. Dhahabi says that al hirasi was not just in his cirtique.
He covers the quran in the order to the mushaf and only covers the verses that have a fiqh rulings. He is the shafii answer to Jassas. He says shafii scholar is the best and praises it excessively. This affects his tafseer and since he came after Jassas it is mostly an attack on Jassas, he focuses on it.
Even though it is a four volume book it is not that much information. It is due to large font it is 4 volumes. He derives rulings that are not obvious. For example in the verse when Ibrahim and his son are asked to purify the house of Allah for those who make tawaaf and those who make sujuud.
وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ
And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]."
He says that this verse indicates that tawaaf is better for those who are outsiders and salaat and sujud are better for the residents of makkah. He also says that you have to be purified. And that you can pray inside the Kaabah.
Many times he will go into detail to describe differences of opinion and show that Shafii opinion is better.
The next work is Ahkaam al Quran by Abu Baqr ibn Al-Arabi. He was a qadhi in Andalus, he was born in 468 H. He got his primary teaching in Andalus and then in in Egypt and Syria. He had a number of teachers. He returned to Andulus and he taught for some time. He was appointed the main judge of isabeeniyah or isabeeliyah??? He was a popular qadhi who became famous for standing up for justice and speaking the truth.. His students include Qadhi Iyaad. He lived until the time of Murabitoon who were the rulers of spain and the muhaiddon took control of Andalus and they imprisoned many of the scholars and taken to Africa.
Al Arabi was released from the prision and died on his way to Morocco. He is famous for his commentary on sunah al tirmidhi and Muwatta of Imam Malik. He has a book on the Names of allah. He has 40 books and they are excellent books.
2012-02-27 Class Notes
We are in the middle of discussing a book Ahkam ul Quran by ibn al Arabi who died near Fez in 543H. He divided his study of the Quran into 3 sections (which he mentions in his introduction which is today published separately). His first part is all about Tauheed (Aqeedah), in part 2 he discusses Naskh/Mansookh and in part 3 he discusses Verses of the Ahkam. For some reasons not known, the Part1 is missing. The Part 2 the manuscript copies are available. He also has a book on Usul al Fiqh plus another book on tafseer. He also wrote commentary on Muwatta of Imam Malik. Another 100 page book is a good one to refute the Shia on the issue of the status of Sahabah. The book is titled Al Awasim min al Qawasim (العواصم من القواصم).
So in the part 3 he goes through the verses in their order. He was Maliki, however in his tafseer he is overall a very just and balanced (and does not act bigoted). However, on some portions he is very bigoted and puts down the other scholars,
Examples of Ibn Al Arabi’s tafseer
An example of ibn Al Arabi’s approach can be seen in his tafseer of verse 2:187
وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
(2:187) And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah , so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.
Shafiee say can itiqaaf can be for half a day or portion of the night. Malikis says that it has to be a full day since they put the condition of fasting for performing itiqaak
Ibn al Arabi says that this is very weak opinion and there is no strong basis for that. So here he is refuting the Maliki view and is supporting the Shafi.
Another example is Surah Maida (5:6) that speaks about wudu and wiping over the head. In this discussion of this verse, he discusses 27 points for wiping over the head. He says that the minimum requirement of wiping the head, there are 11 different opinions among the scholars and he discusses each one of the opinion and he says that each one has evidence from Quran and Sunnah, but he shows which one has the strongest opinion.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves.
Then you see the very opposite view, when discussing surah nisa verse 4 which talks about multiple wives, it says that if you cannot be just then you should only have one wife. Imam Shafiee says that this means that it will keep you from having more children, the specific word used in the Quran. But ibn al Arabi says that this is strange from Imam Shafiee and says that some say that Imam Shafiee was an expert in Arabic language, but whatever they say about him. Imam Malik is more than him.
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا
And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].
Characteristics of ibn Al Arabi’s tafseer
#1:Ibn Al Arabi relies on use of Arabic language
#2: He has strong dislike for israeliyaat
#3: He is very harsh against use of weak hadith as well. He said once to the students not to busy themselves with the hadith which is not sound. Compared to Jassas the quality of his hadith is quite good.
#4: He derives and touches upon some points that reader will not generally think about.
For example when disucssin surah Kahf, he uses the verse of sending somebody to get food from the market is evidence for an agency.
قَالُوا رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ فَابْعَثُوا أَحَدَكُم بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَٰذِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ فَلْيَنظُرْ أَيُّهَا أَزْكَىٰ طَعَامًا فَلْيَأْتِكُم بِرِزْقٍ مِّنْهُ وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ وَلَا يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًا
They said, "Your Lord is most knowing of how long you remained. So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the city and let him look to which is the best of food and bring you provision from it and let him be cautious. And let no one be aware of you.
#5: He will bring a number of different views as well as their evidences. He brings all different opinions and analyzing their opinions and stating what is the strongest opinion. Majority of the time he agrees with Maliki view, this by itself is not evidence of his bias. As a whole in general he is very fair and tries to come to a conclusion.
#6: He pays a lot of attention to usool al fiqh in his work.
#7: He pays close attention to asbaab al nazaool and he distinguishes about what is sound in those reports and what is not sound.
#8: He is also very good in Qiraat and differnet reading of the verses.
#9: He also takes time to refute different heretical groups, in particular the qadriyah, the shia, the philosophers and the extreme sufis.
Al Awasim min al Kawasim????? العواصم من القواصم
Verse which speaks about Abu Bakr and the prophet during hijrah (9:40), and where the prophet said do not worry or fret. The shia say this shows that Abu Bakr imaan was weak and they jump to many conclusions about it. Ibn Al Arabic takes time to refute them even in tafseer al ahkaam.
إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا ۖ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ ۗ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
If you do not aid the Prophet - Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, "Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us." And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah - that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
His work is very beneficial to all of the scholars who came after him. It became a standard reference, it is published and it is easily available. Many people benefited from it.
Ahkam ul Quran by Abul Munim al Faras
The next work is in chronological order, another scholar from Andulus (these scholars from Andulus did a lot of work on Tafseer), is called Ahkam ul Quran. The scholar is Abul Munim al Faras (born 545 H), which might indicate that he might be from Persia (Fars), however he is an Arab. He was a pretty good scholar in many fields. It is a complete work (Maliki Madhab).
Al Jamiah li ahkaam al Quran by Abu Abdullah Mohammed ... Al Ansar ... Al Khandalusi Al Qurtubi
This is a compendium of the ahkam verses of the Quran and in short this book is knownn as Al Ahkaam by Al Qurtubi. Even though his name says that he was from Qurtuba (Cordoba) but his ancestors were from the Ansar.
He died in 671 Hijri, His father was killed in 627 Hijri, who was a farmer in one of the fights that took place.... He talks about his father when discussing who is Shaheed. His father was taken as a prisoner and killed. He asked a shaikh and his father said that he should not be treated as a shaheed, and he asked another shaikh and he said the same.
If I had read the book …. then i would have known to bury my father as a shaheed and would not have washed him. He left Andulus in year 633 H and left for Alexandria (in Egypt) and there he spent remainder of his life there and died and buried there. He died in 671. H. We dont know exactly when he was born.
He has books other than his tafseer. He has a book on the explanation of the name of Allah swt Al Sharh al asma il husnah. It is one of the nicest views on this topic. It is a small book and Shaikh likes it very much. He does not have Ashari views that his other works do have. Some of his translated works are loosely based on the work by this scholar, e.g Tadhkira li Umur il Akhirah to discuss the hereafter and it is in 2 volumes in Arabic with nice Tahqeeq (research).
He also wrote a book on zuhud and qanat which talks about not seeking this dunya and being satisfied by what Allah swt has given us.
One of the reasons why his books are so good, you find out that he has no students except his son, which implies that he was not involved in any institution, he was by himself and was able to spend much of his time on his writing. and this is the reason for the excellence of his writing.
He was famous for his ibaadah and secluding himself just for writing. Similar to nowadays what we call plagiarism, in those times everybody did sharh of al Bukhari, and then somebody adds a sentence here and there. You find the earlier works and the later works are copies without attribution. But Al Qurtubi’s works are more original compared to many scholars of his time.
We are most concerned Jami al Ahkam ul Quran. This book is actually full fledge Tafseer of the entire Quran and it is roughly 24 volumes (taller and smaller font is 20 volumes). However, he concentrates and gives a lot of details on the ayat al ahkam ul Quran. He has an excellent introduction to the Quran (see for example the email attachements sent for the class). There portion of the introduction is given for the student to take a look at.
Strength of the tafseer of Qurtubi
In his introduction, he talks about his dedication of time and effort to learning the book of Allah swt, Arabic language, the Qiraat and refutation of heretics. He says that he ascribes every quote to the author, and he says that others are quoting without attributing the quotes. And he also ascribes hadith to their sources. He says that you find so many hadith in tafseer and fiqh without proper attributions. He tried to avoid many of the stories that the mufasseerin and israeliyyat quoted except what was absolutely necessary. For every verse he tried to include asbaab al nazool. If the verse is related to ahkaam he will go into detailed meaning. His work is filled with aspects of arabic language, arabic poetry, qiraat, and takes time to refute when necessary the mutazilah, the qadriyaah, the shia and the extreme sufis.
His methodology is also very clear, he uses verses that are related to one another. He also insists on using hadith of the prophet, so it is an important source of hadith related to the verses.
When it comes to israeliayat, he tried to avoid them but quite a few slipped in, and shaikh says that some could have been left out competely.
With respect to his fiqh, we see that despite the fact he is Maliki background, he is not prejudiced at all.
Examples from Al Qurtubi’s tafseer
Surah Baqarah 2:43
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].
The 16th point under this verse he discusses whether youth is allowed to lead the Salat. Imam Malik was against it, but Qurtubi studies it and concludes that it is allowed.
فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِي
But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
This verse talks about being compelled to eat what is not halal. Scholars say that you are travelling for haraam purposes (like going to Las Vegas for gambling), then is it allowed for you to make use of this exemption. He discusses many scholars and among those who do not allow it is Imam Malik. Qurtubi quotes ibn Al Arabi says that the one who says that it is allowed for them to take this exemption is wrong. Qurtubi is very polite, he does not become agitated when discussing, he says that the correct opinion is the opposite because for a person to allow himself to die is a greater sin than taking advantage of this exemption, and he quotes a verse about prohibition of killing the nafs except when it is rightful, so this is another example he is going against Imam Malik.
In another example he defends Imam Shafiee from attacks by followers of Imam Malik on a number of occasions. And he says some of them have gone too far.
Qurtubi allows israeliyyat to creep into his understanding of Aqeedah, for example hand of Allah is Gift of Allah and his power, his Face is His Existence. Malikis in Andulus are also asharis, otherwise his tafseer is the most respected tafseer.
One scholar says that Qurtubi’s tafseer is much better than Zamakshari’s tafseer or Baghawi’s tafseer. We will continue this topic next time.
2012-03-05 Class Notes
We continue today we Qurtubi. It is one of the standards work in Tafseer (even after Qurtubi, ibn Katheer relied upon it). We have some handouts in *.pdf format on the English translation of Qurtubi.
Comments on the English translation of Qurtubi:
There is one volume of English translation, but they cut out all of the fiqh discussion that Qurtubi included, so the discussion of ayat al ahkaam has been deleted. Most of the grammatical discussions and philological are removed. The different narrations of hadith have been removed, and also the various citations of Arabic poetry. (So basically they removed a lot of material from the original Arabic).
Commentary on Surah Fatiha by Qurtubi
The section that discusses salat is less than three pages, in the Arabic edition just that part of one verse is 18 pages long. He discusses all sorts of aspects related to salat. He discusses 20 different issues related to salah. Some of the points that were taken out include the following: In order to begin salat, what must be said? Majority of scholars say it has to be takbeer. While discussing establishing prayer, he shows how to begin the prayers and how to end the prayers, whether it is waajib to make salaam or not.
In order to publish it, they have made it just a book on tafseer, as opposed to discussion of ayat al ahkaam.
Commentary on verse related to fasting by Qurtubi.
Related to what we have, even with all the abridgements, the English translation is beneficial and shaikh Jamaal recommends us reading and getting this book. The Quran is based on the Warsh version of the Quran. So those who read Hafs may be little perplexed with the translation in English.
Aisha Bewley did tafseer of Jalalain and it also based on warsh reading, so if you get this book then you have the entire Quran in warsh reading.
In response to a question .....
A: Arabs love Arabic, there are so many PhDs in Arabic studies and Arabic poetry when there are so many other topics of importance.
Q: How does Qurtubi use Arabic poetry?
A: He does not use it to compare and contrast Arabic to show the style of Quran is much superior. Rather they are using it to highlight the aspects of Arabic language. Shaikh recommends us to get books which are written to refute Taha Hussain if you want to see the superiority of Quranic Arabic over the Arabic poetry and the issues related to the 16 Bihar of the Classical Arabic Poetry. One work by Dahabi is “Shayr-ul-Jahiliyyah” which basically is the refutation of Taha Hussain. The work in English is mostly pro-Taha Hussain. So one has to study this topic in Arabic only.
A: One of the main differences between Warsh and Hafs, is that in the language of the Quraysh, they did not pronounce hamza, they would say labas instead of laba’s. And you will see a few differences such as .....
Other works on ayat al ahkaam
There are a number of other books on ayat al ahkaam and we will mention them briefly. Other sects such as Shia also have their own works on ayat al ahkaam.
As Sameen Al Halabi
Al Qawl al Wajeez by As Sameen al Halabi (from Halab in Syria) d 756H:
The author is from Alleppo Syria, and he died in 756 Hijir, he was a shafiee scholar, he spent most of his time on tafeer. Teachers included Abu Hayan. He has a separate tafseer called tafseer al hayan, it was a very large work in manuscript form, it is now lost.
The title gives an indication that it is a brief statement, however this is deceptive and it is quite detailed and comprehensive. He mentions that the only work from Shafee Madhab is by Al Qiya al Hirassi. Even though he says that in the beginning, he goes to present other school’s views, he is very polite in his speech. It is still in manuscript format but it will probably be published. The problem is that his handwriting is very bad. Ibn Taymiyyah is also known for his bad handwriting. One of the person who read this book, he said that his book will not be published. However the book is excellent, unless they can find another edition from one of his students which are more legible.
He has another book titled, Al dar al masun fi ulum al kitab al maknoon which is one of the recommended work to study the style and balagha of the Quran.
Halabi was a grammarian above anything else, even though he showed his expertise in shafiee madhab. He was known for his knowledge about the balagah. This book was one of the best books on the linguistic style and grammar of Quran. It is very unique work in that sense, it is a 11 volume book. Shaikh highly recommends this book for anyone who is interested in grammar.
Halabi complained that there were not many shafiee works and then after his time there came two scholars who were shafiee.
Al-Moazai d 820 H:
He died in year 820 H, he is originally from Yemen, he was a scholar of usool al fiqh. His greatest claim to fame was during his time in Yemen, the works of Sufi ibn Arabi (not the same as ibn Al Arabi) started to have influence in Yemen, and he refuted those works in Yemen. This was not popular with the government and he had a debate with them and he defeated them. Later this refutation took a form of a book. His book on ayat al ahkaam, was a topic of PhD thesis in jamaah... and it has not yet been published. Al Moazai is Shafiee scholar and it only covers only selected verses of the Quran.
Al Shantaqi (Shafi Scholar) d 890H:
He is also shafiee who died in 890 H and he is from Shiraz area, which was mostly Shia, he compiled his work at the request of the local king or sultan of shiraz.
Jalal ad Din al Suyooti:
The title of the book by Suyooti is Al Ikhleel fil Istinbath al Tanzeel. He is also one of the two Jalalayn.
Suyooti died in 849 Hijri, his father died when he was very young in Cairo, he was taken care by his uncles. One of his uncle was a leading hanafi scholar of his time. He memorized many texts at a young age, he travelled in search of knowledge to sham, yemen, hind. He was a prolific writer, he wrote over 500 books. Students describe that in one day he used to finish three containers (qararees) of paper in one day. When he turned 40, he dedicated himself to ibaadah, and cut himself from dunya and the people of the dunya, he stopped teaching and stopped giving fatwas. And he remained in that state until he died.
Suyooti has 16 books just related to Quran, Some of his work:
Al daul al mansoor li tafseer mathoor: It just contains the hadith of the prophet, he presents each verse and then brings the releveant hadith. It is an important book to discuss the hadith, since Suyooti does not comment on the hadith.
Al-Itqan fi Ulum al Quran: He also has a book on uloom al quran, it is a standard book on that topic. Half of it is published in English, translation is incomplete and it is disappointing and it does not have any footnotes for the English readers.
The tafseer related to ayat al ahkam is called Al Ikhleel fil Istinbath al Tanzeel
It is only .. pages long, it is concise but it is excellent. Shaikh is not a fan of Suyooti. A lot of his works are reproductions of other people’s works without any original work.
Siddique Hasan Khan al Kazwili
He was student of Shaukani, he was emir of Bhopal in India. He married the princess of Bhopal. He died in 1800 and lived to see the conflict with the British in India. He wrote a book on Hijrah and Jihaad and it was relevant for that times. His book on ayat al ahkaam was published in two volumes.
Mohammed Ali al-Sabooni:
Most Islamic universities have text books for courses related to ayat al ahkaam. Mohammed al Sabooni wrote on of the text books, he was from Syria and he had taught at Umm ul Quraa university for a while and has been criticized for holding the Ashari beliefs. He ran into trouble with Scholars in Saudi Arabia and even though many of his works have been critiquied but Sh. Jamaal has not seen any one critique his tafseer book.
Shaikh mentioned other authors who have written textbooks on this topic ..... They are not madhab based, and they try to analyze the verses, they bring different points of views and they are independent and you feel it more. Even though earlier scholars were not biased, but it was still written from a point of viiew of madhab.
Manan al Qatan has written a number of books and he has a book on ayat al ahkaam. Shaikh has not seen this book, but based on other works, he expects it to be good.
2012-03-12 Class Notes
This is the last class for this quarter. Shaikh has taken a verse and a portion of a verse to highlight how scholars handle the tafseer of ayat al ahkaam. The examples he chose are used by many scholars in their works.
Example of Ayat al Ahkaam - Surat Nur verse 30 and 31
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.
قل للمؤمنين يغضوا من أبصارهم ويحفظوا فروجهم ذلك أزكى لهم إن الله خبير بما يصنعون
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
وقل للمؤمنات يغضضن من أبصارهن ويحفظن فروجهن ولا يبدين زينتهن إلا ما ظهر منها وليضربن بخمرهن على جيوبهن ولا يبدين زينتهن إلا لبعولتهن أو آبائهن أو آباء بعولتهن أو أبنائهن أو أبناء بعولتهن أو إخوانهن أو بني إخوانهن أو بني أخواتهن أو نسائهن أو ما ملكت أيمانهن أو التابعين غير أولي الإربة من الرجال أو الطفل الذين لم يظهروا على عورات النساء ولا يضربن بأرجلهن ليعلم ما يخفين من زينتهن وتوبوا إلى الله جميعا أيه المؤمنون لعلكم تفلحون
“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision”, what does reduce mean here as used by the Sahih International translation of verse 30?
We will discuss the verse in chronological order of the scholars that we have discussed so far. It is not surprising and acceptable to find same information on many tafseers, but there are some tafseer which gives some information which is unique. That is why to study different tafseer is important. By doing this you can try to compare this with other general books of tafseer. Since the tafseer of Ahkam is specialized thus you accept this tafseer to go in depth in comparison with other general tafseer books. Many of the earlier books much more succinct as compare to later books, many of the earlier books were written for their fellow scholars. While some of the later books were classroom type of works and they broadened the scope of their work.
Tafseer of the above verses by Al-Jassas
Al Jassas begins by chapter heading, and the heading he uses is “whether it is obligatory for someone to lower the gaze and avoid looking at what is haram”. The first point he mentions, actually the verse doesn’t tell you what you have lower the gaze for. It doesn’t tell what you are not suppose to look at ? It is understand clearly that not to look at the things which are haram for you to look at. This portion is left out because it is sufficiently excepted that listener will know about it.
Then he quotes some hadith, where Prophet (saws) told Ali “do not follow up one look with a second look, verily first one is for you and second one is not for you”. He quotes another hadith in which Prophet (Saw) said: Son of the Adam for you is the first look, but be aware of the second look. He then quotes of hadith of Jarir in which Jarir asks prophet (saw) about unexpected look and Jarir explain that prophet (saws) ordered him to turn his look away.
Then he explain what Prophet (Saw) meant by first look is for you, this is true if that was not your intention. If you were intended to look then first look and second look are actually equal.
In beginning of lower gaze for women, this has the same meaning as the ordered to the man. the expression used both the verse is same, He quotes Abu al-‘Aliya, every verse says it protect private part, this is to stay away from zina, except for the verse in surah nur, which means to concealing the private part as suppose to committing Zina, Al-jassas comments on this statement of Abu-Al-Aliya and says this is a particularization (takhsees) without any evidence, and the apparent meaning is that you should avoid from everything related to private parts like look, zina and others.
Then he says abu al-aliya might have thought something else since the verse is talking about lowering the gaze but there is not evidence for the same. He says, touching the private parts is much more harmful than looking. Then he says, if it is not allowed the people to see them then it is obvious that is it not allowed to see any thing beyond it. He says that it is (mafhoom al ....) argument apriori...
Then he goes on discussion about what kind of look is permissible, he emphasis the fact that, the verse has min, one of the meaning of min is “some or part of”. He is explaining what is meant by some of the vision which is halal or permissible. Then with respect to looking at women when it is permitted to look at women, for example for the purpose of marriage. He then says looking at women should not be for the purpose of desire and this will lead to greater harm.
Tafseer of the above verse by Bayhaqi
Tafseer al-Ahkam by Shafiee which is actually Bayhaqi compilation, this verse is not found in that book.
Tafseer of the above verse by Al Kiya al Hirasi
The next book, Ahkam-ul-Quran by Al-kiya al-Hirasi which is also a Shafiee work. Al-Hirasi, He is also Tabari, that is form Tabaristan.
Al Hirasi also points the same thing that Allah does not say what to not look at it and then he asks the question that this question is directed to believers, does this mean that the other people (in an Islamic state) are responsible for this action since this is directed towards believers? He then says even though the apparent meaning is just believers, but it is for everyone because what is haram does not change based on circumstance, thus lower gazing will not change in any circumstance. He says even if it is not private part it is not allowed to look unless there is sound reason to look at. This is end of his comment on this. Since his book is only 1 volume, while Al Jassas has five volumes on tafseer ayat al ahkam.
Tafseer of the above verse by Al Arabi
Next comes Ibn Al-Arabi who is Maliki he is from Andalus and he died in Morocco. Al Arabi after quoting the first verse says there are four issues about vision:
Issue #1: First thing he starts with “Yauddu”, he says this means “to discontinue an act”. Then he quotes some poetry to support what he says.
Issue #2: Second issue we say that Allah is talking about vision “min aabsarihi” min means some vision is permissible, but yahfuzu does not have min which means that it is absolute.
Ulema have three points on why there is difference of this in Ayat with respect to the usage of “min”:
Usage of “min” #1. You are lower you gaze you are permissible to look at what is halal, that is why min is used.
Usage of “min” #2. There are some nadhr i.e. look that are not haram. That is the first and the second look. (Sh. guesses that something is missing because of the hadith which says second is not permissible). He says whoever goes beyond that it is haraam. But with respect to the private parts there is nothing of that nature. When looking at awrah, sometimes the looking at awrah is permissible between husband and spouse.
The he quotes abul-aliya and he also says comments on his statement and he says this is general and covers everything.
Then he comments of “dhalika azak lakum”, he says avoding this action, lower gaze, this remove the sins and increase obedience of Allah, then he quites that Ahadith of first look is permissible and second is not.
He goes and talks about, even the permissible look sometime it is better not to look at, like the beautification of this dunya and he quotes Taha:131 Like today’s advertisement and media which entices you so you don’t have to look at it.
And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.
He quotes Israiliyat, and says there was person who was standing and praying and he was looking at women and when he was going for prostration and that eye hit a wood and popped out, and he says that is better. He then says Sufis elate this story A women walking on street and man follows her and when she finally reaches her house, she ask why she is following her. He said her eyes are beatufiul then she strikes her eyes of.
In general in the Quran, Allah (swt) addresses the males by which He (swt) is also addressing since in the Arabic language if the group consists of both men and women then the Masculine addressing is used. However, here we see that there is special emphasis for women separately. So here it is emphasising that both men and women have to lower the gaze and protect their private parts.
Then he says both man and women have to lower their gaze because looking at what is not halal is called as zina and he quotes the hadith of prophet (saw):
حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو هِشَامٍ الْمَخْزُومِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا سُهَيْلُ بْنُ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " كُتِبَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَى مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لاَ مَحَالَةَ فَالْعَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ وَالأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا الاِسْتِمَاعُ وَاللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الْكَلاَمُ وَالْيَدُ زِنَاهَا الْبَطْشُ وَالرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الْخُطَا وَالْقَلْبُ يَهْوَى وَيَتَمَنَّى وَيُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الْفَرْجُ وَيُكَذِّبُهُ " .
... Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying. Allah fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in. There would be no escape from it. The adultery of the eye is the lustful look and the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk) and the adultery of the tongue is licentious speech and the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace) and the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery and the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect. ...
Then he says it is not allowed for men and women to look at each other and the goal between them is same. He then narrates the hadith the umm salam was with Ayesh or .. Ibn Umm Makthum came ot visit prophet and Prophet told her wear hijab in front of him and he then said “isnt he blind” Prophet (Saw) “are you too blind” (search sunnah.com)
He then says someone say fatiman bint Qais she was leaving the house of umm sharik, the umm sharik is visited by many of my companions and go insted.. and have in the blind man umm makthum.... (search sunnah.com).
أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الْحَمِيدِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مَخْلَدٌ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَاصِمٍ، أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتَ قَيْسٍ، أَخْبَرَتْهُ وَكَانَتْ، عِنْدَ رَجُلٍ مِنْ بَنِي مَخْزُومٍ أَنَّهُ طَلَّقَهَا ثَلاَثًا وَخَرَجَ إِلَى بَعْضِ الْمَغَازِي وَأَمَرَ وَكِيلَهُ أَنْ يُعْطِيَهَا بَعْضَ النَّفَقَةِ فَتَقَالَّتْهَا فَانْطَلَقَتْ إِلَى بَعْضِ نِسَاءِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَدَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهِيَ عِنْدَهَا فَقَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَذِهِ فَاطِمَةُ بِنْتُ قَيْسٍ طَلَّقَهَا فُلاَنٌ فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهَا بِبَعْضِ النَّفَقَةِ فَرَدَّتْهَا وَزَعَمَ أَنَّهُ شَىْءٌ تَطَوَّلَ بِهِ . قَالَ " صَدَقَ " . قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم " فَانْتَقِلِي إِلَى أُمِّ كُلْثُومٍ فَاعْتَدِّي عِنْدَهَا " . ثُمَّ قَالَ " إِنَّ أُمَّ كُلْثُومٍ امْرَأَةٌ يَكْثُرُ عُوَّادُهَا فَانْتَقِلِي إِلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْمَى " . فَانْتَقَلَتْ إِلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ فَاعْتَدَّتْ عِنْدَهُ حَتَّى انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتُهَا ثُمَّ خَطَبَهَا أَبُو الْجَهْمِ وَمُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَجَاءَتْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَسْتَأْمِرُهُ فِيهِمَا فَقَالَ " أَمَّا أَبُو الْجَهْمِ فَرَجُلٌ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكِ قَسْقَاسَتَهُ لِلْعَصَا وَأَمَّا مُعَاوِيَةُ فَرَجُلٌ أَمْلَقُ مِنَ ...
... 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Asim narrated that Fatimah bint Qais -who was married to a man of Banu Makhzum- told him that he divorced her three times. He went out on a military campaign and told his representative to give her some provision. She thought it was too little, so she went to one of the wives of the Prophet, and the Messenger of Allah came in while she was with her. She said: "O Messenger of Allah, this is Fatimah bint Qais who has been divorced by so-and-so. He sent her some provision but she rejected it. He said that it was something he did not have to do (a favor)." He said: "He is telling the truth." The Prophet said: "Go to Umm Kulthum and observe your 'Iddah in her house." Then he said: "Umm Kulthum is a woman who has a lot of visitors. Go to 'Abdullah bin Umm Maktum for he is blind." So she went to 'Abdullah and observed her 'Iddah in his house, until her 'Iddah was over. Then Abu Al-Jahm and Mu'awiyah bin Abi Sufyan proposed to her. So she came to the Messenger of Allah to consult him about them. He said: "As for Abu Al-Jahm, he is a man the waving of whose stick I fear for you. And as for Mu'awiyah he is a man who does not have any money." So she married Usamah bin Zaid after that. ...
He says that someone might say these 2 hadith are contradictory, he says that point here to move from Umm sharik to Umm ibn makthum as there are many people who visit, and this is special case. Al-Qurtabi has different opinion on these narration.
Tafseer of the above verse by Al Qurtubi
Those scholars who came later got to build on what Al Jassas and Al Arabi did. For example Al Qurtubi, who came later and build on the tafseer of this verse.
Al Qurtubi also says the same thing about why Allah does not say what not to look, he then quotes the story from Saheeh Al-Bukhari where some one asks Hasan Al-basri, non-Muslim uncover their heads and they uncover their heads. Hasan al-basri sa... kyahuddu bi absaraihim (saearch sunnah.com) [could not find this hadith in limited time....]
Then he discusses the min here and he says this is Zaida. In other interpration he goes little bit iinto Aarbic about min.
Then he disuccses that lookhas effect in his heart thus he has to avoid. For eample he quotes the hadith
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, "Beware! Avoid sitting on he roads (ways)." The people said, "There is no way out of it as these are our sitting places where we have talks." The Prophet said, "If you must sit there, then observe the rights of the way." They asked, "What are the rights of the way?" He said, "They are the lowering of your gazes (on seeing what is illegal to look at), refraining from harming people, returning greetings, advocating good and forbidding evil." ...
حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذُ بْنُ فَضَالَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عُمَرَ، حَفْصُ بْنُ مَيْسَرَةَ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ أَسْلَمَ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْجُلُوسَ عَلَى الطُّرُقَاتِ ". فَقَالُوا مَا لَنَا بُدٌّ، إِنَّمَا هِيَ مَجَالِسُنَا نَتَحَدَّثُ فِيهَا. قَالَ " فَإِذَا أَبَيْتُمْ إِلاَّ الْمَجَالِسَ فَأَعْطُوا الطَّرِيقَ حَقَّهَا " قَالُوا وَمَا حَقُّ الطَّرِيقِ قَالَ " غَضُّ الْبَصَرِ، وَكَفُّ الأَذَى، وَرَدُّ السَّلاَمِ، وَأَمْرٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، وَنَهْىٌ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ".
Then he follows this with the hadith of first look and second look.
Then he goes on talking about public bath and puts some condition if you must go to public bath.
On the second portion he talks about the fact that look is arrow of Iblees then we have to be extremely careful about it.
He discusses women and man looking at each other. He says the first hadith of wives is that this hadith is stricter only to th wives of Prophet (saws).
As you keep going in other tafseer, you will see one or two points in addition, but much of the case you will find in the older books.
You will see many similar points discussed in Tafseer ibn Katheer and other tafseers, however the advantage of tafseer ayat al ahkaam is that you will discussion of only the verses of ahkaam and they come in handy when you want to study those verses in detail.