اَرَءَیۡتَ الَّذِیۡ یَنْہٰی ۙ﴿۹﴾

What is your opinion – regarding him who forbids –

Tafsir al-Baghawi                                                        تفسیر البغوی                            

وَقَالَ مُقَاتِلٌ: نَزَلَتْ فِي أَبِي جَهْلٍ، نَهَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ

Sayyiduna Muqatil – may Allah be pleased with him – said:  It was revealed regarding abu jahl, he stopped the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – from Salah.

Tafsir al-Baghawi (Ma’aalim al-Tanzeel) of Muhiyy al-Sunnah Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Husain ibn Mas’ood al-Baghwi al-Shafe’I t D. 510 A.H.

Tafsir al-Kabeer                                                                                                 التفسیر الکبیر                        

رُوِيَ عَنْ أَبِي جَهْلٍ لَعَنَهُ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: هَلْ يُعَفِّرُ مُحَمَّدٌ وَجْهَهُ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ قَالُوا: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: فَوَالَّذِي يُحْلَفُ بِهِ لَئِنْ رَأَيْتُهُ لَأَطَأَنَّ عُنُقَهُ، ثُمَّ أَنَّهُ رَأَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الصَّلَاةِ فَنَكَصَ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ، فَقَالُوا له: مالك يَا أَبَا الْحَكَمِ فَقَالَ: إِنَّ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ لخندقا من نار وهو لا شَدِيدًا.

It is reported about abu jahl – may Allah’s curse be upon him – that he said:  Does Muhammad (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) smear his face in sand in front of you? (i.e. Sajdah of Salah)  When he was responded in affirmation, he took an oath and said, “If I see him I will definitely tramp his neck.”  When he saw the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – in Salah he turned back on his heels.  People asked him, “What happened to you, O father of wisdom?”  He replied, “Indeed there is a dreadful trench of fire between me and him.”

وَعَنِ الْحَسَنِ أَنَّ أُمَيَّةَ بْنَ خَلَفٍ كَانَ يَنْهَى سَلْمَانَ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ.

Sayyiduna Hasan reported:  Umayyah ibn Khalaf used to stop Sayyiduna Salman – may Allah be pleased with him – from Salah.

أَنَّهُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ قَالَ: اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الْإِسْلَامِ إِمَّا بِأَبِي جَهْلِ بْنِ هِشَامٍ أَوْ بِعُمَرَ

فَكَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى قَالَ لَهُ: كُنْتَ تَظُنُّ أَنَّهُ يَعِزُّ بِهِ الْإِسْلَامُ، أَمِثْلُهُ يَعِزُّ بِهِ الْإِسْلَامُ، وَهُوَ يَنْهَى عَبْدًا إِذَا صَلَّى

The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – had supplicated:  O Allah, grant Islam dominance either through abu jahl or through ‘Umar.

It is as if this was the way of Allah Almighty teaching his beloved, it is as if He said to him, “You were under the impression that Islam will gain dominance through him.  Can a person like abu jahl help in the dominance of Islam whereas he stops the servant from Salah?!”

أَنَّ يَهُودِيًّا مِنْ فُصَحَاءِ الْيَهُودِ جَاءَ إِلَى عُمَرَ فِي أَيَّامِ خِلَافَتِهِ فَقَالَ: أَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ أَخْلَاقِ رَسُولِكُمْ، فَقَالَ عُمَرُ: اطْلُبْهُ مِنْ بِلَالٍ فَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي. ثُمَّ إِنَّ بِلَالًا دَلَّهُ عَلَى فَاطِمَةَ ثُمَّ فَاطِمَةُ دَلَّتْهُ عَلَى عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، فَلَمَّا سَأَلَ عَلِيًّا عَنْهُ قَالَ: صِفْ لِي مَتَاعَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى أَصِفَ لَكَ أَخْلَاقَهُ، فَقَالَ الرَّجُلُ: هَذَا لَا يَتَيَسَّرُ لِي، فَقَالَ عَلِيٌّ:

عَجَزْتَ عَنْ وَصْفِ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا وَقَدْ شَهِدَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قِلَّتِهِ حَيْثُ قَالَ: قُلْ مَتاعُ الدُّنْيا قَلِيلٌ [النِّسَاءِ: 77] فَكَيْفَ أَصِفُ أَخْلَاقَ النَّبِيِّ وَقَدْ شَهِدَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بِأَنَّهُ عَظِيمٌ حَيْثُ قَالَ: وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ [الْقَلَمِ: 4] فَكَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى قَالَ: يَنْهَى أَشَدَّ الْخَلْقِ عُبُودِيَّةً عَنِ الْعُبُودِيَّةِ وَذَلِكَ عَيْنُ الْجَهْلِ وَالْحُمْقِ

A jew amongst the eloquent people of jewish community came to Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – during his Caliphate and said, “Tell me about the character of your Prophet.”  Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – said to him, “Ask Bilal about it, for he is more learned than me.”  Then Sayyiduna Bilal – may Allah be pleased with him – referred him to Sayyidah Fatimah – may Allah be pleased with her – and she sent him to Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.  When he asked Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him, he replied, “Tell me the worth of the world before I tell you about his character?”  He said, “It is not easy for me to assess that.”  Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – then said to him, “You felt overwhelmed to describe the worth of the world to me while Allah Almighty has testified on its worth and stated:

قُلْ مَتٰعُ الدُّنْیَا قَلِیۡلٌ

Say you, ‘the enjoyment of the world is little.

(Al-Nisa 4, Verse 77)

Then how can I describe the character of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – while Allah has testified that it is indeed great, and stated:

وَ اِنَّکَ لَعَلٰی خُلُقٍ عَظِیۡمٍ ﴿۴﴾

  And undoubtedly, you possess excellent manners.

(Al-Qalam 68, Verse 4)

So it is as if Allah Almighty is saying (referring to the verse):  He is stopping the most devoted person among the mankind from worship, which is the very definition of ignorance and stupidity.

أَنَّ هَذَا تَخْوِيفٌ لِكُلِّ مَنْ نَهَى عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ

رُوِيَ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ أَنَّهُ رَأَى فِي الْمُصَلَّى أَقْوَامًا يُصَلُّونَ قَبْلَ صَلَاةِ الْعِيدِ، فَقَالَ: مَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ، فَقِيلَ لَهُ:

أَلَا تَنْهَاهُمْ فَقَالَ: أَخْشَى أَنْ أَدْخُلَ تَحْتَ قَوْلِهِ: أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهى عَبْداً إِذا صَلَّى فَلَمْ يُصَرِّحْ بِالنَّهْيِ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ

It is also to warn anyone who may try to stop someone from Salah.

It is reported that Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – saw a nation performing Salah prior to Eid Salah.  (The narrator) says, “I have never seen the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – ever do that.” Then it was told to him, “Why don’t you stop them?”  (the narrator) He replied, “I fear that I may fall under the verse:

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهى عَبْداً إِذا صَلَّى

What is your opinion – regarding him who forbids – A bondman when he offers the prayer?

(Al-‘Alaq 96, Verse 9-10)

He did not openly stop them from Salah.

Tafsir al-Kabeer (Mafateeh al-Ghaib) of Imam Fakhruddin Muhammad ibn Umar al-Raazi al-Shafe’i t D. 606 A.H.

Tafsir al-Jalalain                                                                                                                        تفسیر الجلالین                                                

{أرأيت الذى ينهى عَبْداً إِذَا صلى} أي أرأيت أبا جهل ينهى محمدا عن الصلاة

Have you seen (in all three instances him, i.e. abu jahl, who forbids a servant, i.e. Sayyiduna Muhammad – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – from Salah?

Tafsir al-Jalalain of Imam Jalaaluddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli al-Shafe’i t D. 864 A.H. and Imam Jalaaluddin Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Suyooti al-Shafe’i t D. 911 A.H.

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