Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayat 37-41

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Out of pride and arrogance, “have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you as a man?”
  2. Saying ma sha Allah is how a righteous person expresses his/her joy at receiving a blessing.
  3. Proper way of naseeha: Advise, don’t scold. Return the conversation to Allah. Be positive, polite and firm.

The Story of Two Men Continues

His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, ‘have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you (as) a man? (37)

The other man now begins to speak, he rebukes the man with the two gardens: HOW can you deny Allah–the One who gave you these gardens?

Specifically, this man mentions to him the proof of creation. Why? It is a sign of our resurrection. Every day we see plants growing out of the ground, and just as we see these plants grow, it reminds us that man will be resurrected from their graves as these plants. Allah ta’ala describes the disbelievers as having eyes that they do not see with, while the believer is the one who sees a sign in a seemingly simple creation of a plant–all of this is a proof for the coming of the Day of Judgment.

He continues,

“But (as for me) He is Allah, My Lord, and none shall I associate with my Lord.” (38)

He is indirectly telling his companion that Allah is my Rabb, I worship Him, and so should you.

Saying Ma Sha Allah

Then he advises,

“Why didst thou not, as thou wentest into thy garden, say: ‘(Allah)’s will (be done)! There is no power but with Allah.’ If thou dost see me less than thee in wealth and sons,” (39)

He advised his companion to say “Ma sha Allah, la quwwata  ila billah,” pointing to the fact that these blessings were from Allah and not from his own self.

Our lesson?  When we receive a blessing, instead of stating things like “wow!”, say Ma sha Allah, what Allah has willed, because Allah gave us the ability and He is the One who granted it for us. One of the Salaf said, “Whoever is delighted with something in his circumstances or his wealth or his children, let him say, `Ma sha Allah, la quwwata ila billah, That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!” Furthermore, the scholars state that saying Ma sha Allah protect the blessing from the evil eye (hasad).

The Proper Naseeha

We also learn from the (naseeha) advice of this righteous man, in ayah 37: يُحَاوِرُهُ, they were conversing. He did not scold him, or yell at him rather he told him indirectly about the worship of Allah as well as attributing good to Allah ta’ala. He explained to him in the form of a question, so that the other man would think about his situation.  How do we advise others?

Contrast this with how the first man spoke to him: boasting and belittling the man. However this righteous man, with the qualities of a da’ee, returns the conversation to Allah ta’ala and His worship.

“It may be that my Lord will give me something better than you garden, and that He will send on you garden thunderbolts (by way of reckoning) from heaven, making it (but) slippery sand!- (40)

We learn another attribute of this righteous man: he was a positive thinker. He states, “Perhaps Allah will me something better than your garden.” He was not jealous of the man nor did he pity himself, but rather he relied upon Allah to grant him better in this life and the next.

He then mentions to his companion, “and that He will send a calamity on you garden (by way of reckoning) from heaven, making it (but) slippery sand!”, meaning Allah will send a calamity from the sky due to your ungratefulness.  زَلَقًا means the turning of feet on stone, so his gardens that were so lush, so green would become barren like a stone. Another meaning of this can be that it will turn into quick sand so that nothing could grow on it.

“Or the water of the garden will run off underground so that you will never be able to find it.” (41)

The man advises that his garden will not be replenished, that even if the man wanted to bring his land back, he would not be able too because it would be completely destroyed due to his ungratefulness and disbelief. This is a polite but firm warning of the punishment of Allah, which is an essential element of complete naseeha.

InshaAllah the story of the two men will be completed next week.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

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