Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 2-3

Bismillah.

It is straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers, who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward. (2)

The first ayah negates any fault, and this second ayah confirms what the Qur’an really is…Qayyiman, one completely straight. Qayyiman is from qaaf wow meem or qaum, and this means to stand. Remember this definition: Qayyiman is one that IS straight and LEADS to that which is straight.

The Qur’an is Qayyiman in 3 ways:

  • It is Mustaqeem: One that is straight.
  • It is Mu’tadil: One that is balanced.
  • It stands firm for the benefit of people. Its commands are a source of benefit.

Why is the Qur’an Qayyiman? <<لِيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِنْ لَدُنْهُ>>, so as to warn of a severe punishment from near Him. يُنْذِرَ, yunthira is from noon thaal ra, nathr and this means to warn. Nathr is to give news that arouses fear, and has an effect on the person. So when one hears a warning, they should become fearful and seek to change.
The warning is of: <<بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا>>, ba’san shadeedan, a severe punishment. Ba’san is from ba hamza seen and it literally means violence, difficulty and also power/might. Shadeedan is from sheen daal daal and it means something that is severe. This ba’san shadeedan is referring to the Hellfire, which is severely harsh and violent to those who enter it. There are so many in this world who do not know of the Qur’an, and this is a reminder for the believers to spread the message of the Qur’an and to be fearful themselves of the punishment of Hellfire.

One of the ways the Qur’an is qayyiman is because its mu’tadil (balanced). We can see this when Allah [SWT] says, <<وَيُبَشِّرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا>> and to give glad tidings to the believers, those who work righteous deeds that for them is a good reward.

This ayah is an example of how the Qur’an is balanced; Allah [SWT] mentions both the punishment and the reward. The word for glad tidings is يُبَشِّرَ, from ba sheen ra which literally means skin. However, when used for good news it means to give news that makes one happy and this happiness is evident on their skin, like smiling, getting goosebumps or glowing skin. Do you feel that way when Allah [SWT] mentions something good for the believers?

This Qur’an gives this feelings to: Al-Mu’mineen, the believers, those with emaan in their heart and it is affirmed by their actions. These believers, <<يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ>>, they work righteous deeds, and these deeds comply with the two conditions: sincerity and conformity (with the Sunnah). Allah [SWT] says, <<أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا>>, indeed only for them is good reward. These believers receive a good reward because they did the work.

The word for reward is أَجْرًا ajar, and this means a payment or payback, a wage that someone gets in return for the work they have done. Ajar is what the person deserves. They deserve this reward that is حَسَنًا hasana, one good and one that is best. What is this reward? Jannah, the best payment. They did good so they receive good in return.

Abiding therein forever. (3)

Allah [SWT] continues, the believers will be: مَاكِثِينَ maakitheena, ones dwelling, abiding. This is from meem kaaf thaa and it means to remain somewhere for a long period of time. فِيهِ feehi, in it, they will be in their ajaran hasanan, أَبَدًا, forever.

Allah [SWT] could have said, maakitheena feehi, and it would have meant that the believers would be in Jannah for a long time, rather, Allah [SWT] adds abada to add even more emphasis: the believers will remain in their ajaran hasana (Paradise) for eternity.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

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