Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin
"We asked, `Who among us should go to the Messenger and ask
him about the dearest actions to Allah' None among us volunteered. The
Messenger sent a man to us and that man gathered us and recited this
Surah, Surah As-Saff, in its entirety.'''
(The Battle Array)
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the
This refutes those who neglect to
fulfill their promises.
This honorable Ayah supports the view that several
scholars of the Salaf held, that it is necessary to fulfill the promise,
regardless of whether the promise includes some type of wealth for the
person receiving the promise or otherwise.
They also argue from the
Sunnah, with the Hadith recorded in the Two Sahihs in which Allah's
O you who believe! Why
do you say that which you do not do
Allah says here, `The dearest of you
to Me, is he who fights in My cause.'''
Some said that it was revealed
about the gravity of fighting in battle, when one says that he fought and
endured the battle, even though he did not do so.
Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak
said that this Ayah was sent down to admonish some people who used to say
that they killed, fought, stabbed, and did such and such during battle,
even though they did not do any of it.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said about Allah's
اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا (Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows (ranks)),
"Before Allah's Messenger
began the battle against the enemy, he liked to line up his forces in
rows; in this Surah, Allah teaches the believers to do the same.''
He also said that Allah's
... كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ
as if they were a solid
means, its parts are firmly connected to each other; in rows
Muqatil bin Hayyan said,
"Firmly connected to each
Ibn `Abbas commented on
the meaning of the Ayah, كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ
مَّرْصُوصٌ (as if they were a solid
structure). by saying,
"They are like a firm
structure that does not move, because its parts are cemented to each
Why do you annoy me while you know certainly that I am the
Messenger of Allah to you?
meaning, `why do you
annoy me even though you know my truth regarding the Message that I brought
you' This brings consolation for Allah's Messenger for what the disbelievers
among his people and others did to him. And it orders him to be patient.
So, when they turned
away, Allah turned their hearts away,
means, when the Jews
turned away from following the guidance, even though they knew it, Allah
turned their hearts away from the guidance. Instead, Allah placed doubts,
suspicion and failure in their hearts, just as He said,
And whoever contradicts
and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to
him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the
path he has chosen, and enter him in Hell, what an evil destination it is!
`Isa, son of
Maryam, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you,
confirming the Tawrah before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to
come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.''
conveyed the glad tidings of my coming, and my coming confirms the truth
of the Tawrah. I convey the glad tidings of the Prophet who will come
after me. He is the unlettered, Makkan, Arab Prophet and Messenger,
`Isa, peace be upon him, is the last and final Messenger from
among the Children of Israel. He remained among the Children of Israel for
a while, conveying the good news of the coming of
Muhammad, whose name is
also Ahmad, the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger. After
there will be no Prophethood or Messengers.
How admirable the Hadith is
that Al-Bukhari collected in his Sahih from Jubayr bin Mut`im, who said,
I am the (result of the)
invocation made to Allah from my father Ibrahim and the good news `Isa
delivered. When my mother was pregnant with me, she had a dream in which
she saw a light emanating from her that radiated the palaces of Basra in
This Hadith has a good chain of narration that is supported by
other similar narrations.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-`Irbad bin Sariyah
said, "The Messenger of Allah said,
I was written with Allah
as the Last and Final of the Prophet, even when Adam was still clay. I
will tell of the first good news announcing my advent, the (result of the)
invocation to Allah made from my father Ibrahim, the good news `Isa
conveyed, and the dream that my mother saw. The mothers of all Prophets
see similar dreams.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah
"I said, `O Allah's
Messenger! What was the first good news of your coming?'
The (result of the)
invocation to Allah made from my father Ibrahim and the good news `Isa
conveyed. My mother saw a light emanating from her that filled the palaces
of Ash-Sham in a dream.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud
the Messenger of Allah sent eighty men, including Abdullah bin
Masud, Jafar bin Abi Talib, Abdullah bin Urfutah, Uthman bin Mazun,
Abu Musa, and others, to An-Najashi.
The Quraysh sent Amr bin
Al-`As and Umarah bin Al-Walid with a gift for An-Najashi. When they, Amr and `Umarah,
came to An-Najashi, they prostrated before him and stood to his right and
left. Amr and Umarah said,
"Some of our cousins migrated to your land;
they have abandoned us and our religion.''
An-Najashi said, "Where are
They said, "They are in your land, so send for them,'' so An-Najashi
summoned the Muslims.
Jafar said to the Muslims, "I will be your speaker
today.'' So, the Muslims followed Jafar and when he entered on the king
he did not prostrate after greeting him.
They said to Jafar, "Why do you
not prostrate before the king'?'
Jafar said, "We only prostrate for Allah,
the Exalted and Most Honored.''
They said, "Why?''
"Allah has sent a
Messenger to us from Him, who ordered us not to prostrate to anyone except
Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. He also ordered to perform prayer and
Amr bin Al-`As said, "They contradict your
creed about `Isa, son of Maryam.''
The king asked, "What do you say about
`Isa and his mother Maryam?''
"We only say what Allah
said about him, that he is Allah's Word, a soul created by Allah and sent
down to the honorable virgin who was not touched by a man nor bearing
An-Najashi lifted a straw of wood and said,
"O Ethiopians, monks
and priests! By Allah, what they say about `Isa is no more than what we
say about him, not even a difference that equals this straw. You are
welcomed among us, and greetings to him who sent you. I bear witness that
he is Allah's Messenger whom we read about in the
Injil. He is the Prophet
who `Isa, son of Maryam, foretold the good news about his advent. Live
wherever you wish. By Allah, had I not been entrusted with the
responsibilities of kingship, I would have gone to him, so that I could be
honored by carrying his slippers and his water for ablution.''
ordered that the gifts of the idolators be returned to them.
Mas`ud soon returned and later on participated in the battle of
said that when the Prophet received the news that An-Najashi died, he
invoked Allah to forgive him.
They intend to put out
the Light of Allah with their mouths.
indicating that the
disbelievers will try to contradict the truth with falsehood. Their
attempts are similar to one's attempt to extinguish the sun with his
mouth, which is impossible. Likewise is the case of their attempt to
We mentioned a Hadith
from Abdullah bin Salam in that the Companions wanted to ask the Prophet
of Allah about the best actions with Allah the Exalted and Most Honored,
so they could practice them. Allah the Exalted sent down this Surah,
including this Ayah,
meaning, `if you fulfill what I commanded you and guided you to,
then I will forgive your sins and admit you into the Gardens of Paradise.
In them, you will have exalted residences and high positions.'
Verily, Allah will help
those who help His (cause). Truly, Allah is All Strong, All-Wise. (22:40)
وَفَتْحٌ قَرِيبٌ (and a near victory),
means, it will come sooner, and this is the increased favor that is earned
in this life and continues, becoming the delight of the Hereafter. It is
for those who obey Allah and His Messenger and support Allah and His
Be you helpers (in
the cause) of Allah as said `Isa, son of Maryam, to the
Hawariyyin (the disciples):
Allah the Exalted orders
His faithful servants to be Allah's supporters at all times, in all their
statements and actions, sacrificing their selves and wealth. Allah orders
them to accept His and His Messenger's call, just as the disciples said to
Prophet `Isa when he said,
... مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ
Who are my helpers (in
the cause) of Allah?
meaning, `who will
support me in conveying the Message of Allah, the Exalted and Most
reference to the followers of `Isa, peace be upon him,
... نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ
We are Allah's helpers.
meaning, `we will support you with regards to the Message you have been
sent with and will help you convey it.'
Whereby, `Isa sent the
disciples to the various areas of Ash-Sham to call the Greeks and the
Israelites to Islam.
Similarly, during the
days of Hajj, Allah's Messenger used to ask,
Who will support me in
conveying the Message of my Lord Verily, the Quraysh have prevented me
from conveying the Message of my Lord.
Allah the Exalted and Most Honored
raised Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj to support the Prophet. They were the
residents of Al-Madinah who gave the pledge to him and supported him,
vowing to protect him from mankind and the Jinns if he migrated to them.
When he migrated to them with his Companions, they fulfilled their vow to
Allah. This is the reason why Allah and His Messenger called them, Al-Ansar, the Supporters. The name became synonymous with them. May Allah
be pleased with them and please them, as well.
Group of the Children of Israel believed in `Isa and a Group of Them
Then a group of the
Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved.
When `Isa, peace be
on him, conveyed the Message of his Lord to his people and the disciples
supported him, a group from the Children of Israel believed. They accepted
the guidance that `Isa brought to them, while another group, was led
astray. This group rejected what `Isa brought them, denied his Prophethood
and invented terrible lies about him and his mother. They are the Jews,
may Allah curse them until the Day of Judgement.
Another group exaggerated
over `Isa, until they elevated him to more than the level of Prophethood
that Allah gave him. They divided into sects and factions, some saying
that `Isa was the son of Allah, while others said that he was one in a
trinity, and this is why they invoke the father, the son and the holy
ghost! Some of them said that `Isa was Allah, as we mentioned in the Tafsir of
So, We gave power to
those who believed against their enemies,
that is, `We gave them victory
over the group of Christians which defied them,'
and they became the
`over the disbelieving group, when We sent
Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir At-Tabari reported that Ibn Abbas
"When Allah decided to raise `Isa to heaven, `Isa went to his
companions while drops of water were dripping from his head. At that time,
there were twelve men at the house. `Isa said to them,
`Some of you will
disbelieve in me twelve times after having believed in me.'
He then asked,
`Who among you volunteers
that he be made to resemble me and be killed instead of me; he will be
with me in my place (in Paradise).'
One of the
youngest men present volunteered, but `Isa commanded him to sit down. `Isa
repeated his statement and the young man again stood up and volunteered,
and `Isa again told him to sit down. `Isa repeated the same statement and
the young man volunteered. This time, `Isa said,
`Then it will be you.'
The appearance of `Isa was cast upon that young man, while `Isa, peace be
on him, was raised to heaven through an opening in the roof of the house.
The Jews came looking for `Isa and arrested the one that appeared as him,
killing him by crucifixion.
Some of them disbelieved in `Isa twelve times,
after they had believed in him. They divided into three groups.
Al-Ya`qubiyyah (the Jacobites), said,
`Allah remained with us as much as
He willed and then ascended to heaven.'
Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (the
`Allah's son remained with us as much as Allah willed
and He then raised him up to heaven.'
A third group said,
`Allah's servant and
Messenger remained with us as much as Allah willed and then Allah raised
him up to Him.'
The last group was the
The two disbelieving
groups collaborated against the Muslim group and annihilated it. Islam
remained unjustly concealed until Allah sent Muhammad,
So, We gave power to
those who believed against their enemies, and they became the victorious
through the victory that Muhammad gained over the religion
of the disbelievers, which brought the dominance of their religion.''
is the wording in his book for the Tafsir of this honorable Ayah.
Similarly, An-Nasa'i collected this statement of Ibn `Abbas in his Sunan.
Therefore, the Ummah of Muhammad will always be prevalent on the truth
until Allah's command (the Final Hour) commences, while they are on this
path. The last group of them will fight against Ad-Dajjal along with `Isa,
peace be on him, according to Hadiths in the authentic collections.
is the end of the Tafsir of Surah As-Saff. All praise and thanks are due