Category Archives: Tafseer

Prioritising the Heart 💛

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Qur’an Reforms Hearts

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Scholars identify a hardened heart as “root” of all punishments, and its basis in found in Al-Baqarah 74:

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder…”

Qaswat al-qalb (hardening of the heart) is a topic many scholars have addressed throughout history because of its pivitol status and the profound impact it has on one’s life in determining success or failure. It is directly linked to receiving guidance and self-reformation.

And in the moving words of Malik ibn Dinar (d.127H) who said, “What is there that strikes the slave (of Allah) greater than hardening of the heart, for the wrath of Allah is upon a nation from whose hearts mercy and compassion is removed.”

Al-‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, in response to a question regarding causes of apathy and feeling weakness in one’s Deen. And how preservation of the heart and moving away from incessant disputation is key:

‏ترى العامي خيرا في عقيدته وإخلاصه من كثير من طلاب العلم الذين ليس لهم هم إلا الأخذ والرد والقيل والقال هذاالذي يضيع العبد ويسلب قلبه عن الله

“…and (thus) you will see that the layperson is better in his ‘aqeedah and ikhlas than many of the students of knowledge, whose only concern is to criticise and refute and (indulge in) qeela wa qaal – causing the slave to become lost and his heart taken away from Allah.” [1]

Thus, taking special care of the heart ensures it remains soft and absorbant; readily accepting admonishment and guidance. Al-Allamah al-Sa’di رحمه الله said:

صلاح القلب بكمال الإنابة إلى الله وقوة التوكل عليه، وتمام الإخلاص له، ومحبة الخير لكافة الخلق، وفساده ونقصه بضدِّ ذلك

“Rectifying the heart fully (and perfectly) confers itself to Allah, and wholly renders sincerity to Him. (Such a heart) loves goodness for all of the creation, and opposes corruption and deficiency.” [2]

Ibn Uthaymeen also said:

إن قسوة القلب لها دواء وهو الإكثار من قراءة القرآن، دليل ذلك قول الله عز وجل: ﴿لَوْ أَنْزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعاً مُتَصَدِّعاً مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ﴾ [الحشر:21] والجبل كما نعلم حجارة صماء لو نزل القرآن عليها لخشع وتصدع، كذلك القلب إذا ورد عليه القرآن وقرأ الإنسان بتفكر وتمعن فلا بد أن يؤثر في قلبه

“The hardening of the heart has a cure, and it is the recitation of the Qur’an. The evidence for this is in the Words of Allah Almighty, ‘If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah…’ [Al Hashr, 21] And the mountain as we know is (made of) deaf stones, yet if the Qur’an was revealed upon them would render them humbled and asunder apart. Similar to that is how the the heart should respond when the person reads the Qur’an with contemplation and ponderance, it must affect the heart.” [3]

Ibn Uthaymeen also warned those to take note said regarding this remedy:

‏إذا رأيت قلبك لا يتأثر بالقرآن فاتهم نفسك لأن الله أخبر أن هذا القرآن لو نزل على جبل لتصدع، وقلبك يتلى عليه القرآن ولا يتأثر

“If you see your heart is not affected by the Qur’an then indict yourself, for Allah informed us that if this Qur’an descended on a mountain, it would cleave it (asunder). And yet your heart recites the Qur’an and is not affected.” [4]

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May Allah grant us hearts that are quick to return back to Him in repentence, and reform upon reminders and admonishments. Ameen.

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References:

[1] Al-Bab al-Maftooh, 232 (Audio @ http://bit.ly/2l4kqeM)
[2] Majmu’ al-Fawa’id wa Iqtinas al-Awabid
[3] See: http://binothaimeen.net/content/1661
[4] Majmu’ Fatawa wa Rasa’il, 8/278


Rising Above Ranks

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

The Qur’an is Al-Adheem, Al-Kareem, Al-Majeed. It is Shifa’ and a source of immeasurable contentment. We often approach it with awe and a sense of huge responsibility towards it; wishing to read it to completion speedily and as often as we can. Such was also the case among some of our righteous predecessors.

‏كان أبو العباس بن عطاء يختم القرآن كثيرا إلا أنه جعل له ختمة يستنبط منها معاني القرآن فبقي بضع عشرة سنة، فمات قبل أن يختمها

Abu’l-Abbas bin Ata’ [d. 309H] used to complete (recitation of) the Qur’an often, but then Allah made him read the whole Qur’an with (the privilege of understanding and deducing) the meanings of the Qur’an. He remained at it for ten years, and he died before he could finish and conclude it.❞  [Hilyat al-Awliya’, 10/302]

The general folk often suffice with reading the Qur’an for purpose of barakah (blessing) alone. Yet it is those who have a loftier intent of seeking its guidance, wanting to understand its meanings to apply in their lives and get closer to the One who Revealed it – who are truly privileged and rise above the ranks of the ordinary.

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah (d.198H) said:

إنما آيات القرآن خزائن فإذا دخلْتَ خزانةً فاجتهد أن لا تخرج منها حتى تعرف ما فيها

Indeed Ayât of the Qur’an are treasures, so when you enter upon the treasure strive (to ensure) you do not leave them until you know what is in them.

Allah’s Love is achieved through capturing His Words with purpose of applying their objectives in our lives. Ibn Rajab said in ‘Majmu’ al-Rasa’il, 4/87:

أعظم ما تحصل به محبة الله من النوافل: تلاوة القرآن، وخصوصا مع التدبر

“(From the) greatest means in attaining the love of Allah is through voluntary reading the Qur’an, with particular focus on contemplation and (paying) deep attention to what its message is instructing.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said in his, ‘Al-Fawa’id, “If you want to take advantage of the Qur’an, then have an acute focus when reading and listening with your heart. You will find it like someone who is being spoken to by Allah for it is the Word of Allah spoken to you through His Messenger.”

Having tadabbur of the Qur’an must contain the  objective to take advantage and follows what it contains, for the purpose of reading and reflecting upon it means to practice and hold on to what it implies. Ibn Katheer mentioned in his commentary  on Ayah that Al-Hasan al-Basri said:

والله ما تدبره بحفظ حروفه وإضاعة حدوده، حتى إن أحدهم ليقول: قرأت القرآن كله ما يرى له القرآن في خلق ولا عمل

“By Allah! Tadabbur of the Qur’an does not mean to (just read and) memorise the letters or to waste (and ignore its legal rulings and) its boundaries. I’ve even heard someone say, ‘I have read the Qur’an entirely’, but its effects do not appear in his manners and morals, nor in their deeds’.”

Shaykh Abd Al-Rahman Habanakah asserted that the purpose of tadabbur is not merely the luxury of knowing, or for a proud (shallow) achievement of having knowledge – or a reason to express the meaning for the sake of boasting. Rather the aim of contemplation and understanding is to remind and extract lessons for practical implementation. Such lessons will not tangibly benefit except the ‘ulul albaab’ (i.e. people with intellects and cognitive minds).

In framing a closer relationship with the Qur’an, Dr Muhammad al-Rabee’ah mentioned some practical steps:

‏من أعظم الطرق للتخلق بالقرآن
أن تقرأه فتستخلص منه القواعد والأخلاق والسنن الثابتة وتمارسها في حياتك وتعاملاتك مع الناس

One of the greatest ways to develop (and establish) the Qur’an (in your lives) is to read it and infer (from it) rules of akhlaq (etiquette) and the sunan (i.e. the pathways) it establishes, and exercise them in your life and in the way you deal with people.”

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Whoever makes tadabbur of the Qur’an in order to gain instructions (and guidance) from him, the way of truth will become clear to him.” And indeed this is the end goal for us all, to be guided by Allah and to seek His Pleasure in all that we do.

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May Allah ﷻ‎ make Al-Qur’an the delight of our hearts, the light of our chests, the remover of anxiety and the pacifier of grief. Ameen.

 


Burdensome?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Burdensome?

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Allah ﷻ Said in Suratul Furqan:

وقال الرسول يارب إن قومي اتخذوا هذا القرآن مهجورًا

“And the Messenger will say: “O my Rabb! Verily, my people made hijrah from this Qur’an”

 

Commenting on this Ayah, Ibn al-Qayyim said:

إن من أنواع هجر القرآن هجر تدبره وتفهمه ومعرفة ما أراد المتكلم به منه

“(From the) types of hijrah of the Qur’an is abandoning reflecting upon it and understanding it, and (gaining) knowledge about what is intended by the speech from it.”

Ibn Katheer elaborated on the above Ayah in his tafseer:

“…and not pondering its meanings and trying to understand it is the same as forsaking it, and not acting upon it and following its commandments and heeding its prohibitions is the same as forsaking it, and turning away from it in favor of poetry or other words or songs or idle talk or some other way is the same as forsaking it.”

Making hijrah from the Qur’an also reflects hypocrisy for it is seen as inconvenient and burdensome by some to even read it. So it is abandoned, ignored and obviously no positive personal changes are realised. Abi al-Juza’ rahimahullah said:

نقل الحجارة، أهون على المنافق من قراءة القرآن

“Moving (large) stones is less (of a burden) upon the hypocrite than reading the Qur’an”

It is the sincere engagement with the Qur’an that keeps the hearts alive and prevents hypocrisy from entering and settling; even a consistent reading of it helps. Dr. ‘Umar al-Muqbil said words of reflection:

الورد اليومي من القرآن -وإن قلّ- هو بمثابة الوقود للقلب.. فكيف يسير القلب سيرا حثيثا إذا ضعف وقوده؟

“Your daily recitation of the Qur’an is like fuel to the heart… so how do you expect the heart to keep going when the fuel is running low?”

Our personal strength of connection to the Book of Allah is measured by the depth of impact it has on our psyche. And it begins with an intrinsic drive to go beyond simple reading, and towards understanding and contemplation with practical purpose. Ibn Taymiyyah said that tadabbur is one of the ways to achieve this:

من تدبّر القرآن طالبًا الْهُدَى، تبيّن له طريق الحق

“Whoever reflects upon the Qur’an, is (like a) a seeker of guidance, treading a way to the truth.”

It is related in the Tafseer of Ibn Abi Hatim that a man came to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه and asked him for advise. He replied:

إذا سمعت الله يقول: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ؛ فأصغ لها سمعك ؛ فإنه خير تؤمر به، أو شر تنهى عنه

“When you hear Allah Say (in the Qur’an): ‘O you who have believed’, concentrate your hearing towards it – for it contains goodness that is ordered, or evil that is forbidden…”

This type of concern primarily shows an inherent need to develop and sculpt our self beings to become inseparable from the noble Ayaat. The Prophet ﷺ was the walking Qur’an, and it was his guiding companion providing the source of his comfort. And so it should be ours too. He ﷺ would often say in latter part of his du’a:

أن تجعلَ القرآنَ ربيعَ قلبِي، ونورَ صدرِي، وجلاءَ حزني، وذَهابَ همِّي وغمِّي

“…make the Qur’an joy of my heart, and the light of my breast, and the clearing of my sadness and the removal of my state of worry (and anxiety)…”

For the As-hab of Rasool ﷺ, the Qur’an was not something abstract or distant from their every day reality – or bound in paper and locked away. They lived and breathed it, thereby shaping their lives, those of their communities and indeed conquering the world by its divine rights.

We seek Allah’s succour from His Words and seek His Aid in remaining firm upon the Straight Path.


Worth the Wait

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحـمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آلـه وصحبه ومن والاه

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The Qur’an is perfect Speech of Allah sent down to mankind. There is not a single word or letter without significance or a purpose. Even the letter و (waw) that is translated as ‘and’. Let us consider the following two Ayaat:

وسيق الذين كفروا إلى جهنم زمرا حتى إذا جاءوها فتحت أبوابها

“And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened.” [Az-Zumar, 71]

وسيق الذين اتقوا ربهم إلى الجنة زمرا حتى إذا جاءوها وفتحت أبوابها

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord, will be led to Paradise in groups, till when they reach it, and its gates will be opened.” [Az-Zumar 73]

Allaamah Al-Sa’di said, “Concerning the disbelievers who will be driven to the gates of Hell, Allah will Call out, ‘open the gates of Hell’, without using the letter (waw /و / and). As for those who feared Allah will be led to Paradise, and Allah will call out, ‘and open the doors of Paradise’.”

Al-Sa’di continued, “This shows that the people of Hell, when they are driven to Hell and arrive at its gates, the gates of Hell will instantly open in front of them without any delay. The lesson here is that the wide open gates of Hell will give them a glimpse into the severity of the Fire in front of their faces, and how hard the Punishment of Allah will be.

“As for Paradise, it’s a place of high nobilty and not anyone can simply enter and claim it. Only those who strived and worked hard for it will be led to Paradise. Therefore its destined occupants will (need to wait a little longer) for the most glorious intercession. The gates of Paradise will not immediately be opened for them. They will have to seek intercession of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, until he implores his Lord to accept his intercession and open the gates…” [see ‘Tafseer al-Sa’di, Surat Az-Zumar, 71-75]

This wait at the gates of Paradise is further detailed in the hadeeth found in Saheeh Muslim where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is the first to open the gates of Paradise, “I will go to the door of Paradise and will be asked by the gate-keeper, ‘who are you?’ I will reply, ‘I am Muhammad’, then the keeper will say, ‘I was ordered not to open the gate for anyone else before you.’”

Those who are righteous and worked hard for the akhirah, will pass through the mighty gates of Paradise and enter the place of high nobility. While the disbelievers will enter into a place of abject punishment and humiliation.

May Allah grant us the intercession of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and make us from the people of Paradise. Ameen.


To your Rabb turn your hopes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحـمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آلـه وصحبه ومن والاه
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Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said to His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم:

فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ

“So when you have finished (with whatever you are occupied with), devote yourself (to Allah’s Worship).”

وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب

“And to your Rabb turn (all your) hopes and desires.” [Ash-Sharh, 7-8]

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The intimate and strong bond the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم shared with Allah سبحانه و تعالى and his ever constant awareness of Him is not unknown. And here we find Allah is asking him صلى الله عليه وسلم to devote himself completely to Allah in worship and turn all his attention and hopes to Him. These Ayaat were revealed in Makkah at a time when the Muslims were in dire situation and being persecuted.

فَارْغَب  comes from the root ‘ra’ ‘gha’ ‘ba’ and it denotes a desire (to return) or being inclined towards something, thus he صلى الله عليه وسلم is being asked to focus his heart completely in turning towards Allah when in Salah. This state of being is not easy except when one’s heart is emptied of all other distractions – ‘fa’ ‘ra’ ‘gha’ on the other hand, means to empty something until nothing remains in it (e.g. a glass of water when turned upside-down until its content is emptied). This meaning is also found in Al-Qasas, 10 where Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said of Musa’s mother:

وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰ فَارِغًا
“And the heart of the mother of Musa became empty…”

The heart of Musa’s mother was filled with great pain, anxiety and stress after she cast him into the river. But Allah سبحانه و تعالى put her at ease and emptied her heart from all those distractions and worries and reassured her.  He Said in the same Ayah: “…She was very near to disclosing (that the child was her son), had We not strengthened her heart (with Faith), so that she might remain as one of the believers.”

Similarly Allah سبحانه و تعالى is telling us when we proceed to Him in our salah, we should make our hearts completely empty of all else of worldly concerns and distractions, and turn our intention and hope and desire to Him alone. These Ayaat subtly express a cause and effect: that nothing distracts a person except that its solution lies in the Hands of the One towards whom he is standing in front of in Salah. Therefore one’s focus should be on the source and the means that alleviates the cause of the distraction. It is also said there was a sorrow, anxiety and constant worry in the heart of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, and it was his concern for the well-being of his Ummah and his desire for the guidance of mankind. Thus Allah سبحانه وتعالى is reassuring him that he need not worry as He will see to it that his hopes are realised and desires contented. At-Tabari brings the following narration while commenting on Ayah 8:

وإلى ربك يا محمد فاجعل رغبتك ، دون من سواه من خلقه ، إذ كان هؤلاء المشركون من قومك قد جعلوا رغبتهم في حاجاتهم إلى الآلهة والأنداد

“And to your Rabb O Muhammad bring (and make) your desire (and) not anyone else from his creation. It was these mushrikeen from your people who have made their desires and needs (by calling upon) their gods and peers.”

Ibn Qayyim said in his ‘Rawdatil Muhabi’een’ (405):

وأما الرغبة في الله، وإرادةُ وجهه، والشوقُ إلى لقائه، فهي رأس مال العبد، وملاكُ أمره، وقوامُ حياته الطيبة، وأصلُ سعادته وفلاحه ونعيمه، وقرةُ عينه، ولذلك خلق، وبه أُمِرَ، وبذلك أرسلت الرسل، وأنزلت الكتب، ولا صلاح للقلب ولا نعيم إلا بأن تكون رغبته إلى الله عز وجل وحده، فيكون هو وحده مرغوبه ومطلوبه ومراده، كما قال الله تعالى:
{فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانْصَبْ وَإِلَى رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ}

Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه stated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

يقول الله سبحانه يا ابن آدم تفرغ لعبادتي أملأ صدرك غنى وأسد فقرك وإن لم تفعل ملأت صدرك شغلا ولم أسد فقرك
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“Allah, the Glorified Said, “O son of Adam, empty (and free) yourself (from all distractions) for My worship, and I will fill your chest with riches (i.e. needlessness) and remove poverty from you; otherwise, I will preoccupy you with poverty (and need).”
[Tirmidhi, 2466 (who classed it as hasan ghareeb); Ibn Majah, 3331; Musnad Ahmad, 16/284 – graded as saheeh by Ibn Muflih, Ahmad Shakir and al-Albani -(see ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1914 and ‘Silsilat as-Saheehah’, 1359)]

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And thus through this attentive heart and devotion directed at Him, Allah سبحانه و تعالى is assuring him صلى الله عليه وسلم, that victory will indeed be for the believers and theirs will be the world’s riches. For us, these Commands form a blueprint for our own conduct in salah:

1. We should perform salah in such a manner that our hearts are totally emptied of worldly distractions, worries and stress and turned solely towards the One who is the remover of all our troubles.

2. While there is a large section of the Ummah that doesn’t even perform salah, there is also another section that simply has no desire to beautify their conduct and perfect their salah. Rather they bang their hands and heads on the ground and focus on freeing themselves from this obligation in record time! With no regards as to in front of Whom they are standing, Allahul Musta’an.

See also: Deficiency in Salah, and how to avoid it

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And guidance and tawfeeq is from Allah alone.


“O you who have believed…”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

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In ninety places in the Qur’an, Allah سبحانه و تعالى begins the Ayah with:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا
“O you who have believed…”

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Regarding its emphatic significance (and our attitude towards it), a man came to ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه and asked him for advise. He replied:

إذا سمعت الله يقول: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ؛ فأصغ لها سمعك ؛ فإنه خير تؤمر به، أو شر تنهى عنه

“When you hear Allah Say: ‘O you who have believed’, concentrate your hearing towards it – for it contains goodness that is ordered (to be performed), or evil that is forbidden (and must be avoided).” [Ibn Abi Hatim (as related by Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer)]

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Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri gathered all instances of this phrase in his superb book entitled ‘Nida’at Ar-Rahman li ahl al-Imaan‘ (Call of Ar-Rahman to His believing slaves) and provided an concise explanation for each one. In its introduction, he explains that the Order of Allah in these Ayaat contain critical details that teach the believers what will benefit them and what will cause them harm. This is something that should be known by every Muslim in order to attain happiness in this world and success in the Hereafter. It covers issues surrounding aqeedah, ibadah, akhlaq, mu’amalaat, law and so on.

Allah is the Source of Guidance.


Abu Bakr…A Qur’anic Analysis

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

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There are too many narrations to enumerate in reference to Abu Bakr’s virtues and merits. This article is a simple 2-point analysis about the one whom the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is reported to have said:

ما طلعت الشمس ولا غربت على أحد بعد النبيين والمرسلين خير من أبي بكر وعمر

“There is no one better, after the Prophets and Messengers upon whom the sun rises over and sets than Abu Bakr and Umar.”

[Ibn Hanbal, ‘Fada’il Sahabah’, 110; Ibn Hibban, ‘At-Thiqat’, 363; Khateeb, ‘Jaami al-Akhlaq’, 1716; Tareekh Dimishq, 11802 and others]

And about the one whom Umar رضي الله عنه said:

لو وزن إيمان أبي بكر بإيمان هذه الأمة لرجح به

“If the emaan (faith) of Abu Bakr is weighed against the emaan of the ummah, it would outweigh (the latter).” [Tareekh Dimishq, 11606; Tareekh Islam ad-Dhahabi, 2916]

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1. “ALLAH IS WITH US“:

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Said about Musa and Haroon عليهم السلام, after they were ordered to go to Fir’awn to admonish and guide him:

قَالَ لَا تَخَافَا ۖ إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ

“(Allaah) Said: Fear not, verily I am with you (both), Hearing and Seeing.”  [TaHa, 46 (see also 68)]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى used similar phrases when describing the situation of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه during their time in the cave on their hijrah to Madinah. Abu Bakr was afraid the pagan Quraish might discover them and feared that some harm might touch the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم:

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ

“If you help him (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) not (it does not matter), for Allaah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of the two; when they were in the cave…”

When the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم saw his (Abu Bakr’s) grief increasing, he strengthened his heart with the news:

إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا

“…he (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to his companion (Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه): “Grieve not, verily Allaah is with us.” [At-Tawbah, 40]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم kept reassuring Abu Bakr and strengthening his resolve, saying:

يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ، مَا ظَنُكَ بِاثْنَينِ اللهُ ثَالِثُهُمَا

“O Abu Bakr! What do you think about two, with Allaah as their third?” [Saheeh Muslim, 2381]

Thus Allaah “being with someone” assures them of His Support, Help, Victory and Protection. This is why Allaah then continued in the same Ayah:

فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا

“And Allaah sent down His Sakeenah upon him, and strengthened him with forces that you saw not…”

Sakeenah comes from sukoon and denotes (dignified) calmness, quietness (of night), tranquillity, inner-peace etc. It was accorded to the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم – but some say it refers to Abu Bakr in order to eradicate his grief and reassure him.

Shaykh Salih Maghamisi demonstrates how the pronoun in the Ayah “Allaah sent down His Sakeenah upon him” is indeed speaking of Abu Bakr.

Thus we summarise: The words used in reference to Musa and Haroon :

تَخَافَا – (fear not)
إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا – (I am with you)

Words used in reference to Abu Bakr:

تَحْزَنْ – (grieve not)
إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا – (verily Allaah is with us)

Both of these terms have appeared together in various context in seventeen Ayaat of Qur’an, for example:

وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“…and on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

Reflecting the state in the Hereafter of those upon whom Allaah will have His Mercy. Grief is usually a characteristic of fear and the distinct differences between the two terms are inter-related to the mental and/or physical state (of harm) they both induce in a person.

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2. HE IS SIDDEEQ:

Abu Bakr never hesitated in his acceptance of the message of Islam and supported the Deen and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم with his life and wealth. There was nothing that could sway his resolve from the truth; and after the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم returned to Makkah from the Isra’ and Mi’raaj, the Quraysh leaders tried to mock him at the impossibility of making such a journey in the span of one night. They went to Abu Bakr, and in an attempt to question his faith and ridicule the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, they said to him: “Do you know what your companion (i.e. the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) is saying? He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night.” Abu Bakr immediately replied: “If he said that, then he is truthful (it is the truth).”

And for this reason, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم titled Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (the [one who is himself] truthful one).  Sidq is a very powerful word in the Arabic language and denotes numerous meanings – these include: Utmost honesty (in speech and action); integrity where others also bear witness to one’s truthfulness; standing firm in the face of falsehood; not exaggerating nor diminishing facts etc.  In Al-Ahzab:8, Allaah Said that He Himself will ask the “truthful about their truth…”, while linking the opposite of truthfulness to “a painful torment”. It is interesting to read how the mufasireen explain this Ayah.

The word صِّدِّيقُ (Siddeeq) itself appears in the Qur’an a number of times, and the significance of this term becomes clear when we understand with whom it has been associated with. It has been used to describe Idrees, Ibraheem, Yusuf, (inc. صِدِّيقَ for Maryam) عليهم السلام – For example:

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا

“And mention in the Book (the Qur’an) Ibraheem. Verily he was siddeeqan (and) a Prophet.” [Maryam, 56]

It is something that reflects the most loftiest of noble attributes, without which even the anbiya’ would not have been selected nor provided with missions, roles and responsibilities to fulfil.

These two specific aspects of Abu Bakr are from some of the reasons why the Ahlus Sunnah hold it integral to their creed that he رضي الله عنهما is the best of mankind after the Prophets and Messengers of Allaah; and indeed the best of all people from the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم

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For more on the virtues of Abu Bakr, see section of Ibn Jawzi’s ‘Manaqib as-Sideeq