Tafsir Surat ash-Shams

Tafsir Surat ash-Shams

Tafsir Surat ash-Shams

Part 1

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

 

 

Audhu billah min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem Bismillah ir-rahman ir-raheem

 

In this session we will begin the tafsir of Surat ash-Shams, the 91st Surah, revealed to the Prophet (s) in Makkat il-Mukarrama. وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا(1) وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا(2) وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا(3) وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا(4) وَالسَّمَاء وَمَا بَنَاهَا(5) وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا(6) وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا “Wash-shamsi wa duhaha. Wal-qamari idha talaaha, wan-nahaari idha jallaaha, wal-layli idha yaghshaaha, was-sama’i wa maa banaaha, wal-ardi wa maa tahaaha, wa nafsin wa maa sawwaaha.” Allah Almighty is swearing an oath by which He intends to show the greatness of His creation. “By the sun and His glorious splendor, and by the moon as she follows him, by the day as it shows up the sun’s glory, by the night as it conceals it; by the firmament and its wonderful structure. By the earth and its wide expanse. By the soul and the one who proportioned it and fashioned it.”

 

Allah’s endless timeless Words

Those five short sentences are what we are able to understand from these verses. Yet you must realize that no one can understand Allah’s Words. However much scholars are able to interpret Allah’s Word, its meanings never end. If all the trees were pens and all the oceans ink, the knowledge contained in the Qur’an would never end. Every word of the Holy Qur’an carries not one meaning, but in fact an infinite number of meanings. Allah’s Words never end. In Surat al-Kahf Allah swt says قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَاداً لِّكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَداً “qul law kaana al-bahru midaadan li-kalimaati rabbi.” La nafid al-bahru qabl an tanfadu kalimaatu rabbee wa law ji’na bi-mithlihi maddada.” – “Say: ‘If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.’” [18:109] That is tremendous. That is beyond the mind. Ponder on it a bit. “If all the trees were pens…” Canada alone produces millions of cubic tons of timber. What about Africa? What about Indonesia and Malaysia? Not millions, billions of tons. In these countries it is always raining so trees are constantly growing. You cut them and make them into pens. How many pens can you make? You cannot count them. You might make ten trillion pens. Then take all the oceans and make them ink. Think about that only. Think about a pen – how many drops of ink does it contain? There might be 50 to 100 drops in it. How many pages will it write – it might be you can write 500 or 1000 pages before that ink finishes. What about the oceans. How many drops do they contain? If all that water was ink and all the trees were pens, Allah’s swt Words would never end. Allah swt is speaking here about the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an is kalaamullah. The mushaf consists of about 500 pages. Where is that knowledge that Allah swt mentioned? Al-bahru Midaadan means a continuous ocean of ink following the Words of Allah swt in order to write them. And the verse continues: “sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.’” [18:109] Allah swt said though it is being added upon yet again, even so the ocean will be exhausted before Allah’s Words will end. It reaches a limit, because it is created. The Holy Qur’an is not makhluq, created, it is qadeemiyyun, Ancient, timeless. Therefore it cannot be created. That verse tells us there is no way to write that knowledge even if you were to bring the another ocean to help. It would be brought for writing Allah’s Words and still Allah’s Words would never end.

 

Verse 1

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