Qur'an / Surat al-Baqara / Tafsir

Tafsir of Surat al-Baqara Verse 37…using taghlib

A Tafsir of surat al-Baqara Verse 37

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The noble shaykh `Ata’ Ibn Khalil (may Allah protect him) comments on verse 37 of surat al-Baqara:

“…and after that, Allah inspired words (kalimat)[1] to Adam which he uttered for repentance (al-tawba).[2] He said them and turned towards Allah for forgiveness. The indications of the verse are that the words Allah inspired Adam with as well as his repentance were both immediately after he was sent down to earth. Allah says {and then Adam received certain words form his Lord and so his Lord pardoned him} using the letter “ف” that denotes immediate consequence (al-ta`qib). And [Adam’s] repentance includes Hawwa’s as well according to Arab usage known as taghlib[3] where the masculine form includes the feminine…”[4]

s.z.c.

[1] Referring to beneficial words such as supplications and formal petitionary prayers received either through revelation or through general inspiration. Others say it refers to words of regret, remorse and shame. Yet others say it refers to the name of our Prophet etched on the leg of the divine Throne (`arsh) through which Adam received succour. See al-Qurtubi, al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 1:324:

وٱختلف أهل التأويل في الكلمات؛ فقال ٱبن عباس والحسن وسعيد بن جبير والضحاك ومجاهد هي قوله:رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْخَاسِرِينَ .الأعراف: 23. وعن مجاهد أيضاً: سبحانك اللَّهُمَّ لا إلٰه إلاّ أنت ربّي ظلمتُ نفسي فاغفر لي إنك أنت الغفور الرحيم. وقالت طائفة: رأى مكتوباً على ساق العرش «محمد رسول الله» فتشفّع بذلك، فهي الكلمات. وقالت طائفة: المراد بالكلمات البكاء والحياء والدعاء. وقيل: الندم والاستغفار والحزن. قال ٱبن عطية: وهذا يقتضي أن آدم عليه السلام لم يقل شيئاً إلا الاستغفار المعهود. وسئل بعض السلف عما ينبغي أن يقوله المذنب؛ فقال: يقول ما قاله أبواه: { رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا } الآية

[2] The word “التوبة” in origin means to return to something but religiously means to turn back to the complete and correct worship of Allah. al-Qurtubi, al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 1:324

وتاب العبد: رجع إلى طاعة ربه. وعبد تواب: كثير الرجوع إلى الطاعة. وأصل التوبة الرجوع؛ يقال: تاب وثاب وآب وأناب: رجع

[3] The shaykh explains “taghlib” (التغليب) as follows:

هناك أسلوب عند العرب اسمه أسلوب “التغليب”، أي أن يكون الخطاب بصيغة المذكر وتدخل فيه صيغة المؤنث بالتغليب، كقوله سبحانه ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا﴾ فتدخل فيه المؤمنات

There is a style among Arabs that is called ‘al-taghlib’ and it is where a speech comes in the masculine form but includes the feminine form as well as in Allah’s saying: {O you who believe!} which includes female believers […]

وكما ترى فإن لفظ المذكر أو الرجل ينطبق بأسلوب التغليب على لفظ المؤنث أو المرأة في الحالة العامة.

As you can see, in general the masculine form or the word ‘men’ – through taghlib – applies also to the feminine form and to the word ‘woman’.

لكن أسلوب “التغليب” هذا لا يُعمل به إذا عُطِّل بنص:

However, taghlib is invalidated when there exists a legal text (nass) [indicating otherwise]:

فمثلاً قوله تعالى: ﴿كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَكُمْ﴾ فالخطاب هنا بصيغة المذكر، ولكن لا يستعمل التغليب هنا فلا يقال إن هذا يشمل النساء بأسلوب التغليب بلفظ “كتب عليكن القتال”، لأن هذا معطل بنصوص أخرى تجعل الجهاد فرضاً على الرجال، فقد أخرج ابن ماجه عَنْ حَبِيبِ بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ بِنْتِ طَلْحَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أم المؤمنين رضي الله عنها، قَالَتْ: قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ جِهَادٌ؟ قَالَ: «نَعَمْ، عَلَيْهِنَّ جِهَادٌ، لَا قِتَالَ فِيهِ: الْحَجُّ وَالْعُمْرَةُ». أي أن الجهاد بمعناه القتالي ليس فرضاً على المرأة.

As an example, Allah (Most High) says: {Fighting has been enjoined on you while it is something you dislike – Q. 2:216]}. The speech here is in a masculine form, but taghlib is not used here; so it cannot be said that this address also includes women through taghlib with the wording ‘Fighting has been prescribed for you women’ because this is invalidated by other texts that establish jihad as an obligation for men only. It was related by Ibn Majah from Habib b. Abi `Amra, from `A’isha bint Talha, from `A’isha the mother of the believers (ra), who said: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, do women have to engage in jihad?’ He replied: “Yes, but jihad in which there is no fighting: Hajj and `Umra;” i.e. that jihad in the sense of fighting is not an obligation upon women.

ومثلاً: قوله تعالى: ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾، أي أنه يحرم على الرجل الاستمرار في البيع وقت الأذان إلى الجمعة، وهنا لا يعمل أسلوب التغليب أي لا يحرم على المرأة البيع وقت الأذان، لأن الجمعة ليست فرضاً على النساء لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلمفيما أخرجه الحاكم في المستدرك على الصحيحين عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، قَالَ: «الْجُمُعَةُ حَقٌّ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ إِلَّا أَرْبَعَةٌ: عَبْدٌ مَمْلُوكٌ، أَوِ امْرَأَةٌ، أَوْ صَبِيٌّ، أَوْ مَرِيضٌ»، وقال الحاكم: هَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحٌ عَلَى شَرْطِ الشَّيْخَيْنِ، ووافقه الذهبي.

And another example is His saying: {O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you only knew [Q. 62:9]}, i.e. it is prohibited for men to continue their trade on Friday at the call to prayer (adhan). Here, the taghlib does not apply, i.e. it is not prohibited for women to continue their trade during the adhan time because the Friday Prayer is not obligatory upon women based on his (saw) saying reported by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak `ala’l-Sahihayn from Abu Musa from the Prophet (saw) who said: “The Friday congregational Prayer is a duty (wajib) upon every Muslim except for four: a slave, a woman, the child and the sick”. al-Hakim said: This hadith is rigorously authenticated (sahih) according to the conditions of the two shaykhs and al-Dhahabi agreed…” See “Women in the Hadith of ‘Seven will be under the Shade of Allah’” at http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/arabic/index.php/HTAmeer/QAsingle/3493/.

[4] See `Ata Ibn Khalil, al-Taysir fi Usul al-Tafsir, pp.71:72

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