حَتّٰی زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ

Until you confronted the graves.

Tafsir al-Tabari                                                         تفسیر الطبری                                

حَتَّى صِرْتُمْ إِلَى الْمَقَابِرِ فَدُفِنْتُمْ فِيهَا؛ وَفِي هَذَا دَلِيلٌ عَلَى صِحَّةِ الْقَوْلِ بِعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، لِأَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ، أَخْبَرَ عَنْ هَؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ أَلْهَاهُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ، أَنَّهُمْ سَيَعْلَمُونَ مَا يَلْقَوْنَ إِذَا هُمْ زَارُوا الْقُبُورَ وَعِيدًا مِنْهُ لَهُمْ وَتَهَدُّدًا.

i.e. until you turn to the graves and be buried in it.  It proves the belief about punishment in the grave.  Hence Allah Almighty has mentioned it and warned the people who hoarded wealth, that they will soon know what is coming for them when they will see the graves.  It is a sign of warning for them from Allah.

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، قَالَ:  كُنَّا نَشُكُّ فِي عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، حَتَّى نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الْآيَةُ: {أَلْهَاكُمُ التَّكَاثُرُ} [التكاثر: 1] إِلَى: {كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ} [التكاثر: 3] فِي عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ

Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have said:  We were doubtful about punishment in the grave until this verse was revealed (Verse 1, 2 and 3) regarding punishment of the grave.

Tafsir Al-Tabari (Tafsir Ibn Jareer / Jame’ al-Bayaan fi Taweel al-Quraan) of Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabri t D. 310 A.H.

Tafsir al-Matureedi                                         تفسیر الماتریدی                                

صرتم إلى المقابر بعد الموت؛ فحينئذ تذكرون حق اللَّه – تعالى – ثم لا ينفعكم

i.e. until you turn to the graves after death, only then you will realize the truth of Allah Almighty, but then it will be of no benefit to you.

Tafsir al-Matureedi (Taweel Ahl al-Sunnah) of Imam Abu Mansoor Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Matureedi t D. 333 A.H.

Tafsir al-Qurtubi                                                                                                                                                                                      تفسیر القرطبی                                                    

أَيْ حَتَّى أَتَاكُمُ الْمَوْتُ، فَصِرْتُمْ فِي الْمَقَابِرِ زُوَّارًا، تَرْجِعُونَ مِنْهَا كَرُجُوعِ الزَّائِرِ إِلَى مَنْزِلِهِ مِنْ جَنَّةٍ أَوْ نَارٍ.

i.e. until the death approaches you, and then you will turn to the graves as visitors, returning to it like a visitor returns to its destination; the paradise or hell.

لَمْ يَأْتِ فِي التَّنْزِيلِ ذِكْرُ الْمَقَابِرِ إِلَّا فِي هَذِهِ السُّورَةِ. وَزِيَارَتُهَا مِنْ أَعْظَمِ الدَّوَاءِ لِلْقَلْبِ الْقَاسِي، لِأَنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُ الْمَوْتَ وَالْآخِرَةَ. وَذَلِكَ يَحْمِلُ عَلَى قِصَرِ الْأَمَلِ، وَالزُّهْدِ فِي الدُّنْيَا، وَتَرْكِ الرَّغْبَةِ فِيهَا.

The graves are exceptionally mentioned in this Surah throughout of the entire Quran.  Visiting graves is one of the most effective remedies for the cruel heart, for it reminds one of death and the hereafter.  It motivates one to have less expectations, to attain piety in the world and diminish worldly desires.

قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: (كُنْتُ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ زِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ، فَزُورُوا الْقُبُورَ، فَإِنَّهَا تُزَهِّدُ فِي الدُّنْيَا، وَتُذَكِّرُ الْآخِرَةَ)

رَوَاهُ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ

 أَخْرَجَهُ ابْنُ مَاجَهْ.

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – has stated:  I had stopped you from visiting graves but now, you must visit graves, for it cuts you off from the world and reminds you of the hereafter.

Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ood – may Allah be pleased with him – narrated it.

(Ibn Majah)

 وَفِي صَحِيحِ مُسْلِمٍ مِنْ حَدِيثِ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ: (فَإِنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُ الْمَوْتَ).

And (the wording of) Sahih Muslim, in the Hadeeth narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him: For it reminds of death.

 وَفِي التِّرْمِذِيِّ عَنْ بُرَيْدَةَ: (فَإِنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُ الْآخِرَةَ).

 قَالَ: هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ.

Imam Tirmidhi mentioned the Hadeeth narrated by Sayyiduna Buraidah – may Allah be pleased with them (With the following words):  For it reminds of the hereafter.

He said, “This Hadeeth is Hasan Sahih.”

وَفِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَعَنَ زَوَّارَاتِ الْقُبُورِ.

قَالَ: وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ وَحَسَّانَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ.

 قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى: وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ.

And in this regard, there is the Hadeeth narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with them:  Indeed Allah’s Messenger – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – cursed the women who visit graves.

He said, “In this matter, there are narrations of Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas and Hassan ibn Thabit – may Allah be pleased with them.”

Imam Abu ‘Isa (Tirmidhi) said, “This Hadeeth is Hasan Sahih.”

 وَقَدْ رَأَى بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ أَنَّ هَذَا كَانَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُرَخِّصَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي زِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ، فَلَمَّا رَخَّصَ دَخَلَ فِي رُخْصَتِهِ الرِّجَالُ وَالنِّسَاءُ.

Some men of knowledge have opined that this ruling was passed before the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – allowed visitation to the graves, so when he allowed it, both men and women were included in its permissibility.

 وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: إِنَّمَا كَرِهَ زِيَارَةَ الْقُبُورِ لِلنِّسَاءِ لِقِلَّةِ صَبْرِهِنَّ، وَكَثْرَةِ جَزَعِهِنَّ.

Some of them said, “It is disliked for women to visit graves due to their lack of endurance and excessive weeping.”

 قُلْتُ: زِيَارَةُ الْقُبُورِ لِلرِّجَالِ مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ عِنْدَ الْعُلَمَاءِ، مُخْتَلَفٌ فِيهِ لِلنِّسَاءِ. أَمَّا الشَّوَابُّ فَحَرَامٌ عَلَيْهِنَّ الْخُرُوجُ، وَأَمَّا الْقَوَاعِدُ فَمُبَاحٌ لَهُنَّ ذَلِكَ. وَجَائِزٌ لِجَمِيعِهِنَّ. ذَلِكَ إِذَا انْفَرَدْنَ بِالْخُرُوجِ عَنِ الرِّجَالِ، وَلَا يُخْتَلَفُ فِي هَذَا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ. وَعَلَى هَذَا الْمَعْنَى يَكُونُ قَوْلُهُ: (زُورُوا الْقُبُورَ) عَامًّا. وَأَمَّا مَوْضِعٌ أَوْ وَقْتٌ يُخْشَى فِيهِ الْفِتْنَةُ مِنِ اجْتِمَاعِ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ، فَلَا يَحِلُّ وَلَا يجوز.

I say:  Men’s visitation to the graves is proven by the consensus of ‘Ulama but there is difference of opinion as far as the women are concerned.  Young women are forbidden from leaving their house to visit graves but for the elderly women, it is permissible.  It is permissible for women of all ages provided that they have privacy from men while visiting graves, and Allah-willing, this should not be an issue of dispute.  As this theory suggests that the statement of the Holy Prophet “You must visit graves.” as a general rule.  And whenever there is fear of mischief of intermingling of sexes, then it will not be lawful or permissible.

قَالَ الْعُلَمَاءُ: يَنْبَغِي لِمَنْ أَرَادَ عِلَاجَ قَلْبِهِ وَانْقِيَادِهِ بِسَلَاسِلِ الْقَهْرِ إِلَى طَاعَةِ رَبِّهِ، أَنْ يُكْثِرَ مِنْ ذِكْرِ هَاذِمِ اللَّذَّاتِ، وَمُفَرِّقِ الْجَمَاعَاتِ، وَمُوتِمِ الْبَنِينَ وَالْبَنَاتِ، وَيُوَاظِبُ عَلَى مُشَاهَدَةِ الْمُحْتَضَرِينَ، وَزِيَارَةِ قُبُورِ أَمْوَاتِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

The scholars have said, “One who seeks treatment for his heart and break free from the chain of tyranny and lean forward to the obedience of his Lord then he must often remember the only thing which breaks the illusion of pleasure and causes separation to groups and leaves the sons and daughters orphans.  One must constantly visit people between their life and death i.e. time of death’s agony, and visit the graves of Muslims.”

Tafsir Qurtubi (Al-Jame’ Li Ahkaam al-Quran) Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi t D. 671 A.H.

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