Tafseer Maryam Day 15 Ayat 41-46

  • this passage is segue between first part and third part of the surah
  • first part addresses ahlul kitab
  • third part addresses the mushrikoon on Makkah
  • it begins with story of Ibrahim a.s. because of the universality of reverence of Ibrahim a.s.
  • that same consistency of message of the prophet is in here
  • nearly half dozen prophets will be mentioned
  • Muhammad saw has not brought something which is contrary to the message that preceded him (saw)
  • Ibrahim a.s. has many different incidents in his life mentioned in Quran in detail
  • this particular passage focuses on the very difficult relationship he had with his father
  • a messenger of Allah, whose father not only disbelieves, he is very aggressive in his disbelief and threatens his son
  • he is concerned for his father and he wants to guide his father to the truth

Ayat 41

Sahih International

And mention in the Book [the story of] Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet.

  • Prophet saw had that very same dynamics with the people of Makkah
  • he preached to his family members and he met with opposition, threats and violence

wazhkur fil kitaabi Ibraheem :

  • mention to people the story of Ibrahim a.s. because there are lessons in this
  • how many sahabah had same situation where their families were torturing them to leave their Islam
  • from Uthman r.a. to Mus’ab Ibn Umayr, so it wasn’t just the sahabah in the ‘lower class’ who were suffering persecution
  • even the elite were tortured at the hands of their families
  • this is a reminder for everyone

innahu kaana siddeeqan nabiyya :

  • siddeeq – someone who never told a lie
  • in surah Anbiyaa, someone could misunderstand that Ibrahim a.s. told what we call a white lie
  • but Allah is saying no, he never told a lie
  • siddeeq – someone who follows, accepts, no questions asked
  • that was quality of Abu Bakr
  • Nabiyyan :
  • nabiy = prophet
  • from linguistic, lexical root, Nabi comes from 2 possible roots
  1. naba”un – news, news that is very important, and extremely relevant
  • nabi is someone who carries news that is important and relevant
  • Muhammad saw is a nabi
  • the word nabi itself refutes and answers a lot of unfortunate ideas that even Muslims in mainstream community today has; that sunnah or life of Prophet saw is outdated and doesn’t apply to us anymore

Ayat 42

Sahih International

[Mention] when he said to his father, “O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all?

  • izh = remember, it happened in the past, co ponder upon it
  • qaala li abiihi :
  • discussion :
  • there were certain taabi’oon who held this position and opinion :-
  • father of Ibrahim
  • vast majority of scholars of the mufasiroon are of opinion that Aazar (mentioned in Surah An’aam) was in fact biological father of Ibrahim a.s.
  • small minority amongst mufasiroon and taabi’oon (students of sahabah – their opinions hold a certain amount of credence we can’t ignore) are of opinion that Aazar was Ibrahim’s uncle.
  • It would happen in olden times that a child would be raised by his uncle, due to necessary situation
  • like Muhammad saw was raised by his uncle Abu Talib due to necessity
  • Ali r.a. was raised in household of Prophet saw even though they were cousins
  • it was more like uncle and nephew relationship than peer cousins
  • Abi Talib was too old, so other family members would step in to give that tarbiyyah to that young chid
  • this is very common
  • in classical Arabic, the word Ab would commonly be used for ‘uncle’ as well
  • they quote hadith which says where Prophet saw says “I am the best from the best” (I”m not just the cream of the crop but the cream of the cream of the crop) “ANd I never stop transfering from the back of the spine of good righteous pure men to the wombs of righteous pure women” (my lineage going back are from very very good people)
  • so mufasiroon felt obligated to make this understanding that Aazar must have been uncle and not biological father of Ibrahim a.s.
  • however, overwhelming majority of mufassiroon didn’t have problems understanding that Aazar is Ibrahim’s father
  • even though hadith is clear and true, we know that many times things said like this not meant to be taken literally
  • it is understood also that not everyone of the lineage is very very good, but that the vast majority of the people are good
  • when you’re talking about majority it’s as if you’re talking about all of them ->it’s an established principle in linguistic and even in fiqh that it’s in figurative meaning
  • Prophet saw spoke in Majaaz (figuratively)
  • many times Prophet saw would use numbers to explain
  • 999 000 of every 1,000 people will go to hell – doesn’t mean literally, but it means that a lot of people will be in the category of going to hellfire
  • muhadithoon even says that hadith that says that Prophet saw says “I seek forgiveness from Allah > 70 times a day” and another narration says 100 times a day[2 authentic narrations]
  • narration of virtue praying salah in congregation. One narration says 25 times reward, another says 27 times
  • what is understood is that the person’s reward will be multiplied many many times
  • so, that hadith of prophet saw can be reconciled with Aazar being Ibrahim’s father
  • Allah knows best
  • with all due respect to the difference of opinion, we’ll go with the opinion that this is the father of Ibrahim a.s.
  • we have a prophet whose father doesn’t believe and is an aggressive mushrik
  • he’s threatening his son that if he doesn’t stop this nonsense, he will suffer consequences
  • like how Abu Lahab, the Prophet’s saw uncle, would harass Prophet saw, would walk behind Prophet saw with stones in his hands, and throw it at him and say to people, “hey this is my crazy nephew”
  • how frustrating that is
  • similar situation with reverts with aggressive hostile parents who have not reverted yet
  • majority of mainstream Muslim community is a relevant scneario
  • many times we see younger people may be more inclined to the deen more than their parents
  • that starts to create a conflict because now the parents are uncomfortable with the situation and the child feels the necessity to inform the parents of what he’s learned and wants to share , parents not comfortable taking advice and counsel from one whose diapers they changed
  • “they are in a position to tell ME what’s right and wrong?”!
  • it’s a difficult situation to maneuver and reconcile

yaa abati

  • ya – the way you call out to someone
  • abatii – the original form of this word is Abi, but the ya which means ‘my’ has been replaced with a ta
  • an established thing in classical Arabic that saying abati is a very soft enduring tone -> my dear father
  • like a child when speaking to their dad says daddy
  • some of scholars of language point out that why ya replaced with a long ta (not feminine ta), whenever you hear ta at end of word, your mind goes towards feminine, so it borrows from that connotation that affection, kindness, generosity, soft gentle feminine type tone to it
  • he begins in a very loving respectful tone
  • Quran speaks concisely
  • he starts by expressing love, kindness and admiration to his father
  • too many times, in situations like these, it begins with child pointing out that parents do something wrong and he has to explain it to his parents
  • because those conversations are difficult they need to begin with love, respect, admiration
  • “You know how I love you, respect you, Dad.”
  • lima – in Arabic, to pose a question
  • lima ta’budu – why do you dedicate yourself
  • ma laa yasma’u wa laa yubsiru wa laa yughnii anka shay”a  – something that can’t hear, can’t see and benefit you in any way
  • when you hear this you think of it being rhetorical question
  • mufassiroon says it’s not
  • he’s sincerely asking him
  • “Dad, I really want to understand, why do you worship this idol?”
  • allowing father to respond, turn this into a dialogue
  • he doesn’t start by preaching but posing a questions to allow his father to talk
  • maintaining roles that he is the son and his father is the father
  • even though he is a prophet and messenger of Allah, if anyone is in right to do that, Ibrahim a.s. has the right to do that
  • he’s extending that respect to the father
  • even how he constructs his argument is very interesting

maa laa yasma’u – why do you worship that which doesn’t listen and doesn’t see

  • first he starts by presenting practical points to think about (doesn’t listen, doesn’t see), not long philosophical arguments
  • basic discourse
  • not like when you come home and you ready to drop down with some long hadeeth
  • that’s not how you start
  • if you begin “In Usul al fiqh it says….” you will get response “You go to your room and clean it up and put your usul fiqh in the drawer where it belongs, keep it to yourself.”
  • what Ibrahim a.s. is saying is like saying “Dad, you taught me common sense, tp be practical, so why are you worshipping something that doesn’t listen and doesn’t see?”
  • and then he goes on

wa la yughni anka shay”an :- it doesn’t take care of any of your needs, it doesn’t benefit you in any way

  • now he goes to something a bit more thoughtful
  • he began very practical and develops and progress the conversation
  • you have to give the ability for the conversation to evolve
  • you can’t drop the hammer from the very beginning
  • ‘doesn’t listen’ – mushrik worship idols understanding that the idols listen to them
  • they would call out to the idols
  • practicality of the conversation is the key here
  • when Ibrahim a.s. is pointing out flaw, he’s not pointing out the flaw in his father but in the idol
  • he starts by criticizing the idols
  • “Think about it dad, why don’t you explain it to me, I always listen to you. Please explain it to me.”

Ayat 43

Sahih International

O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you, so follow me; I will guide you to an even path.

  • this is the same conversation but he’s saying ya abati again
  • so he’s reiterating, re emphasizing the love and respect he has for his father
  • it’s like in middle of conversation, he goes again, “Dad, you know how much I love and respect you.”
  • scenarios where young people are in same situation, and Sheikh tells them to be respectful, and so the conversation starts okay but then sky rockets from there and from there on it goes downhill
  • but Ibrahim a.s. maintains composure and goes right back to same basis
  • he poses question to father and father doesn’t reply/engage and Ibrahim a.s. doesn’t lose cool
  • he doesn’t go “See, it’s so hard to talk to you! You don’t accept the truth!”

Inni qad jaa ani – most definitely I most definitely it has come to me

  • jaa a – a heavy word for ‘coming’
  • inni – emphasis – 1st degree of emphasis
  • qad – emphasis – 2nd degree of emphasis
  • so jaa a – 3rd degree of emphasis (a very powerful strong verb)
  • min – of tab’eedh – to show portion of part of something -> just a little bit of knowledge
  • he doesn’t just say ‘knoweldge has come to me” but he says “a little bit of knowledge has come to me” – that’s 4 level of emphasis
  • that 4th degree of emphasis is showing how much pain he feels, he’s crying to his father,
  • “Dad I’m only saying this to you because it pains me. It breaks my heart.”
  • This is how Prophet saw talks to Abu Talib, maintains loving tone
  • so much so that when Prophet saw heard Abi Talib was dying, he rushed to his death bed and held his hand and said “Uncle please, say it, just say it once, I know you want to say it, please, just say it.”
  • Abu Jahl was there and start screaming loudly, “Abi Talib, don’t leave the religion of your forefathers!!”
  • Abu Talib was a very old man and couldn’t hear what prophet saw was saying
  • Prophet saw put his mouth to ear of Abi Talib and whispered in his ear
  • “Uncle just please, just whisper it to my ear, these people don’t have to hear it, I’ll be your witness on the Day od Judgment.”
  • Finally Abi Talib says “I can’t do it, I love you but I can’t do it.”
  • Prophet saw was devastated, but the point is to show that he maintained that loving tone throughout till the end
  • Ibrahim a.s. here not trying to tell his father that he had a lot of knowledge
  • and he even said that he has been given this knowledge, “just a little bit of an understanding” to maintain that humility and to not threaten and emotionally hurt the father
  • he doesn’t say “I have the knowledge” but he says “It was given to me”
  • those are very real human sentiments
  • we can sit here and preach that parents shouldn’t be like that, they should have understanding, they should realize so what if Allah gives child more knowledge, they should be objective
  • easier said than done
  • then he goes on to say :

ma lam ya”tika – it is such knowledge that has not come to you

  • “Father, if what i say sounds so new and out of the box, so difficult to accept,  it’s okay because this is divinely revealed and it hasn’t been revealed to you. It’s natural that you feel apprehensive. I understand that it is uncomfortable for you, and strange to acccept. I sympathize, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to give it some thought, Dad.”
  • look at level of consideration, humility that he offers his father

fattabi’nii – So please, just do what I’m asking you to do, follow my sincere advice to you

  • at this point Ibrahim has brought conversation where he can say this
  • he’s not once but twice stated the love and admiration and respect he has for his father

ahdika – I show you

  • why I”m asking you to do this is not to prove myself superior to you, but I’m only doing this so I can show you …

siraata sawiyya – the very balanced straight path

  • sawiy – something that is very well put together, well proportioned, even has element of something being attractive
  • “I only want to show you to a way of life that is very attractive. If you would listen to me for just a second I promise you you would like what you see.”
  • He makes his motives clear

Ayat 44

Sahih International

O my father, do not worship Satan. Indeed Satan has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient.

ya abati – my dear dear father

  • imagine if someone talks to us like that
  • for the 3rd time he’s saying “Dad, you know how much I love you, respect you.”
  • we would feel like that is excessive
  • but Ibrahim a.s. doesn’t shy away
  • because father is not responding positively
  • we see something interesting:- the natural human emotion
  • he started off by criticizing idols “You’re a smart guy dad, those idols are bad.”
  • then he goes on “Dad, I’m not speaking on my own behalf, Allah is giving me this”
  • he shows understanding “I know this sounds strange but trust me , it’s better for everyone involved”
  • but when you still don’t get a response, it’s human to feel a little frustrated, you get to a point where the conversation has to become a bit more direct
  • “Dad, you know I love and respect you. Don’t worship shaytaan.”
  • Dad was not a satan worshipper, he was an idol worshipper
  • Ibrahim as. was using such deep thought
  • he’s equating the idols with shaytaan
  • Dad understands there are bad and evil forces
  • so Ibrahim a.s. are equating those idols to those evil forces
  • he trying to appeal to the reason and sensibility, decency of the father
  • but the conversation has become more direct
  1.  emotionally you’re going to get a little flustered, that will natural show
  2. conversation demand that it becomes more direct, because he was trying ti take a  round about approach but it’s not working
  • he’s not criticizing the dad but he’s criticizing shaytaan

inna shaytaana kaana lirahmaana ‘asiyyan

  • “Why you don’t want to do that Dad, because you wouldn’t want to be in same boat as Shaytaan, he’s so disobedient to Ar Rahmaan”
  • ‘asiyyan – constantly, very very disobedient
  • this is that permanent adjective
  • he refers to Allah as Ar Rahmaan – the excessively merciful
  • he’s explaining how shaytaan is bad and he slips in a little bit of Ar Rahmaan
  • “wouldn’t you want to be with the one who is so abundantly merciful?”

Ayat 45

Sahih International

O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful so you would be to Satan a companion [in Hellfire].”

  • for the 4th time, “Dad, I love you, I am worried about you”
  • Innee – most definitely I  – emphasis
  • comes from the heart
  • in English we don’t always add words for emphasis, but we have that pleading tone in our voice and that pleading look on our faces

Akhaafu – I’m afraid

  • look at the expression of his fears, frustration, concern
  • “I’m worried Dad.”antafsirriyah – what he’s worried about

yamassaka – it will lightly touch you

  • mass – in Arabic it means to lightly touch something

azhaabun – punishment

  • he leaves it common, not THE punishment
  • when you use common form, it present a lighter form of something
  • light punishment

mina rahmaan – from the one who is excessively merciful

  • a unique combination
  • we’re talking about punishment alongside with the attribute of Allah which invokes the excessive nature of His mercy
  • Ibrahim not trying to ‘drop the hammer’ here
  • “I let you know, it’s all on you. If you don’t listen, then DOJ!” – this is not what he’s doing
  • you shouldn’t talk to someone like that in the street
  • this is his dad
  • methodology of dawah Sheikh learned from his teacher :- whenever you preach to someone always do it with love in yuro heart, you want good for them, don’t do it out of animosity, hatred, just to establish the hujjah. Because when you do dawah with khayr, it spreads khayr. But when you give dawah to people with bad feelings towards them, more bad spreads from that.”
  • “Dad, I’m worried that even some little bit of punishment will touch you from Ar Rahmaan.”

fatakoona lishayaatani waliyya – then you would become a close associate with shaytaan

  • “I don’t want that for you, Dad, and I know you don’t want that, Please listen, Dad”
  • you can feel the tone of Ibrahim a.s. how much pain he has, how distraught he is over his father’s situation
  • but at same time look at response of his father
  • this is what makes it such a test and trial for Ibrahim a.s.
  • when we talk about trial of Ibrahim a.s. we overlook this
  • this might be one of the greatest trial in his life

Ayat 46

Sahih International

[His father] said, “Have you no desire for my gods, O Abraham? If you do not desist, I will surely stone you, so avoid me a prolonged time.”

  • raghba – a very versatile word, the meaning depends on preposition that is attached to it
  • raghba fi shay – to desire something
  • raghba ‘ani shay – to be averse to something, dislike something
  • here, ‘an
  • “are you saying you are averse, disgusted, want nothing to do with my gods, ya Ibrahim?!”
  • he doesn’t say bunayya, Ibrahim says Abati
  • Luqman says Bunayya
  • Yaqoub says to Yusuf Bunayya
  • Ibrahim says to Ismail later on, bunayya
  • his father says Ya Ibrahim -> Ibrahim, are yuo telling me you don’t like my gods?! Is that what it all boils down to?!”
  • la in lam tan tahi – if you don’t stop this nonsense…
  • he threatens him

la arjumannaka –

  • word here is arjumu
  • lam in beginning is for emphasis – most deifnitely
  • then you have noon with shaddah , that doubles the emphasis
  • arjumu from rajam – I will stone you, literally stone you to death, kill you with my own bare hands
  • he says it with two levels of emphasis too

wahjurni maliyya

  • Leave me ! Get out of my face! I disown you! I want nothing to do with you!
  • hijrah comes from same word – to leave something behind
  • he’s not just angry and saying “we’ll talk about this again tomorrow”

maliyyan – a very long time

  • basically it means “Leave for ever! You’re dead to me!”
  • imagine how devastating that is to plead, crying, exhaust yourself in front of your father, pouring your heart out, and then to have this father do that
  • for a father to say something like that to his son
  • how would someone respond in that situation? “Oh yeah?! You’re dead to me too!”
  • but look at how Ibrahim a.s. responds

Ayat 47

Sahih International

[Abraham] said, “Peace will be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me.

Qala salamun alaikhe said peace be upon you

  • can be taken literally as a salam
  • “You want me to leave  I will respect your wishes, we can’t reconcile this issue, I will go away..”
  • or it can mean literally “Dad I have no ill will, bad feelings towards you, I only want good for you, salamun alaik

saastaghfirlaka rabbi – fine you won’t listen to me, I will go to Allah and ask Allah for your forgiveness

  • saastaghfirulaka – in present/future tense form – I will continue to ask Allah for your forgiveness

Innahu kaana bi hafiyyan – He is someone who always takes care of me

  • he does leave on this tone just a little bit
  • “Dad, you’re kicking me out, disowning me, but Allah he has never kicked me out, never disown me, and He will continue to take care of me. You should think about that Dad, just like he takes care of me, he takes care of you too. “
  • stop here because there are 2 issues
  • saying salaam :- entire discussion mentioned in classical tafaseer, this is a prophet saying salam to his father who is a mushrik
  • he’s telling his father he will pray to Allah for forgiveness when his father is a mushrik

Link to video series on MM


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