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The Call to the Believers in the Clear Qur'an

The Call to the Believers in the Clear Qur'an

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Author:

Shayikh Ahmad Fatu'llah Jami

ISBN:

188221619-9

# of Pages:

968

Type:

Paperback

Publisher:

Al-Baz Publishing, Inc.

The Call to the Believers in the Clear Qur'an
(Nida' al-Mu'minin fi 'l-Qur'an al-Mubin) -

by Shaikh Ahmad Fathu'llah Jami, the Shaikh of the Shadhili Order (Tariqa), the native of Mush [in Eastern Turkey], the Khalidi by descent, the Shafi'i by school of Islamic Law, the resident of Marash.   He is the successor (Khalifa) of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir 'Isa al-Halabi.

The Call to the Believers consists of eight-nine discourses, each one being an exegesis (tafsir) on one of the eighty-nine Qur'anic verses (atat) in which the believers are addressed as: "O you who believe..."

The Shaikh says of this work: "I give thanks to the Master (Glorious and Exalted is He) for making this work easy for me.  Whenever I read the Qur'an, the sound of the Call from my Lord would penetrate my heart, with His saying (Exalted is He):  O you who truly believe! [ya ayyuha 'ladhina amanu] I would pause at each verse containing a Call, and contemplate what Allah meant this Call to signify for me.  It occurred to my heart that I should collect them and write them down, but I did not decide to act on the feeling until I was moved to do so by Allah's enabling grace."

In the clear and Glorious Qur'an, eighty-nine verses [ayat] bear the explicit address: "O you who believe [ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu]." The author provides a thorough and enlightening commentary for each and every one of these. This is the first book in the "Living Shaikh Series."

===

 
Excerpt


In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

Author's Introduction

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds! Blessing and peace be upon the Best of His creatures, and upon his family and all his Companions!

Glory be to You, O Allah! We have no knowledge except that which You have taught us. You are indeed the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

I praise Him for the constant flow of His gracious favour, with oft-repeated praise, for He has illumined the hearts of His devoted servants with the light of His clear Book. He has made the Qur'an a remedy for what the breasts contain, and a guidance and a mercy for the true believers. In Him I put my trust, consigning my business to Him and seeking His protection. I testify that there is no god but Allah, Alone without partner, with a testimony that leaves the heart of the testifier tranquil and enlightened.

I also testify that our master Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger, whom He has endowed, from His grace, with glory and dignity and honour. Blessing and peace be upon the Seal of the Prophets, the most noble of the Messengers, our master, Muhammad the Trustworthy (Allah bless him and give him peace), by means of whom He has opened hearts that were hard, and has brought people out of the darkness into the light. I also invoke blessing and peace upon the good and pure members of his family, upon his Companions, those righteous guides, and upon all who follow them in active goodness, until the Day of Judgement.

Zaid ibn Arqam (may Allah be well pleased with him) is reported as having said: "Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) stood up to address us one day, at a watering place called Khamma', between Mecca and Medina. He gave praise to Allah and extolled Him. He pronounced an exhortation and a reminder, then he went on to say:

"'O you people, I am only a mortal human being. The Messenger of my Lord will soon come to me, so I shall respond. I am leaving you with two heavy loads: One of them is the Book of Allah, the contents of which are guidance and light, so take the Book of Allah and hold it with a firm grip.'

"He stressed the importance of the Book of Allah, and aroused our interest in it, then he said:

"'And the people of my household. I urge you to remember Allah, where the people of my household are concerned. I urge you to remember Allah, where the people of my household are concerned. I urge you to remember Allah, where the people of my household are concerned.'"

According to Abu Huraira (may Allah be well pleased with him), the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

"I have left you with two things, and so long as you hold fast to them both, you will never go astray. [They are] the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)."

The greatest of all the sciences, and the noblest of them all, is the science of Qur'anic exegesis [tafsir]. Since the Qur'an comprises all kinds of knowledge, and since it addresses all classes of society in every age, no universally appropriate commentary on it can be produced from the understanding of a single individual. It is necessary for the commentator to be free from fanatical attachment to his particular method and school of thought. His own understanding is peculiar to himself, and it is not for him to ask others to adopt it, unless it is accepted by the majority [of the religious scholars]. Research should likewise be conducted objectively.

It is therefore essential to have meticulous scholars, who inspire general confidence and the trust of the majority, and who are conscientiously committed to the welfare of the Muhammadan Community. They will thus be in a position to clarify the enigma of consensus [ijma'], which can serve as a basis for legal rules and statutes, but only if it is truly credible, and properly established by sound exercise of judgement. They will not agree on what is false, for they are the trustees of the Community.

As reported by Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him and his father), Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:

"If someone speaks about the Qur'an without knowledge, let him occupy his seat in the Fire of Hell."

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq [the Champion of Truth] (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about Allah's saying (Exalted is He):

And fruits and grasses.
wa fakihatan wa abba. (80:31)

He replied: "What heaven would shade me, and what earth would carry me, if I spoke about Allah's Book without knowledge?"

That is why I have not written anything without first reading what the traditional commentators [mufassirun] have written, in the principal books of commentary. I have combined this with scrupulous research, to the extent of my capacity and ability, in order to establish the authenticity of the sayings quoted, and to select the most acceptable of them. I have limited my own rôle to quotation and selection, except that I have added a few relevant comments of my own at the end of each of the Calls, for the benefit of the believers.

I give thanks to the Master (Glorious and Exalted is He) for making this work easy for me. Whenever I read the Qur'an, the sound of the Call from my Lord would penetrate my heart, with His saying (Exalted is He):

O you who truly believe!
ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu.

-in which I would find the special quality of the address to the believer, filled with providential care. I would also find His address to the ennobled Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):

O Prophet!
ya ayyuha 'n-Nabiyyu.

-as in His saying (Exalted is He):

O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness
ya ayyuha 'n-Nabiyyu inna arsalna-ka shahidan
and a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
wa mubashshiran wa nadhira. (33:45)

-and I would find His address to the people at large, in His saying (Exalted is He):

O humankind, We have created you male and female,
ya ayyuha 'n-nasu inna khalaqna-kum min dhakarin wa untha
and have made you nations and tribes
wa ja'alna-kum shu'uban wa qaba'ila
so that you may know one another.
li-ta'arafu.
Surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah
inna akrama-kum 'inda 'llahi
is the one of you who is most truly devout.
atqa-kum. (49:13)

I would pause at each verse containing a Call, and contemplate what Allah meant this Call to signify for me. It occurred to my heart that I should collect them and write them down, but I did not decide to act on that feeling, until I was moved to do so by Allah's enabling grace. That came about through a conversation between me and my Shaikh, Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir 'Isa (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him). We discussed the subject of the Call in the Qur'an, and the commandment or prohibition it conveyed, in the course of one of his visits to us in Mar'ash. Then, some time later, I went to visit him in 'Amman, Jordan, and he said (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him): "You must write, compile, and translate into Turkish, for the benefit of the believers!"

After I came home from that journey, I wrote these Calls with the help of Allah (Exalted is He). The religious scholars of Mar'ash kept asking me what title I would give to the collection, so I replied: "I have been instructed to write the Calls, to compile them and translate them, but not to give them a title."

During his last visit to us (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him), some twenty-five days before his demise, I told him about that, so he said (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him): "Entitle it: 'The Call to the Believers, and how it conveys commandment, prohibition and information.'" I suggested to him: "Let us name it: 'The Call to the Believers in the Clear Qur'an,'" and, praise be to Allah, he agreed.

Allah has graciously enabled me to compile these Calls, of which there are eighty-nine in the noble Qur'an. I have arranged them in the order in which they occur in the noble Suras, beginning with the Sura of the Cow [al-Baqara], and concluding with the Sura of the Forbidding [at-Tahrim].

I have worked for the sole purpose of obtaining His good pleasure, hoping that He will accept my work as dedicated purely to His noble countenance, and that He will preserve it as a treasure for me on the Day of Judgement. I beseech Allah to let the believers derive benefit from it, and that those who read it may offer a righteous supplication on my behalf, which will be to my advantage on the Day of Return. May Allah bless our master Muhammad, his family and his Companions, and may He grant them peace in abundance.

Written by the poor beggar in need of his Lord,

Ahmad Fathu'llah Jami

8th Rajab A.H. 1417
19th November 1996 C.E.

* * * * *

The Twenty-sixth Call

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
Bismi'llahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Rahim.

O you who believe, believe in Allah and His Messenger
ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu aminu bi'llahi wa Rasuli-hi
and the Book which He has sent down to His Messenger
wa 'l-Kitabi 'lladhi nazzala 'ala Rasuli-hi
and the Book which He sent down in former times.
wa 'l-Kitabi 'lladhi anzala min qabl:
Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels
wa man yakfur bi'llahi wa mala'ikati-hi
and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day,
wa Kutubi-hi wa Rusuli-hi wa 'l-Yawmi 'l-Akhiri
he has wandered far sstray.
fa-qad dalla dalalan ba'ida.
(4:136)

Allah (Exalted is He) is commanding His believing servants to embrace all the basic principles of belief, and its branches, its pillars and its supports. This is not just a matter of acquiring the gist, but rather of perfecting the perfect, confirming it, establishing it and adhering to it constantly. As the believer says in every ritual prayer:

Guide us in the straight path.
ihdina 's-sirata 'l-mustaqim. (1:5)

In other words: "Enlighten us in it, increase us in guidance, and set us firmly upon it." He has therefore commanded them to believe in Him and His Messenger, as He has said (Exalted is He):

O you who believe,
ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu
believe in Allah and His Messenger.
aminu bi'llahi wa Rasuli-hi.

With regard to the connection between this Qur'anic verse and what was revealed before it, there are two possibilities to consider:

1. It is connected with His saying:

Be staunch upholders of justice.
kunu qawwamina bi'l-qisti. (4:135)

That is because the human being will not be an upholder of justice, unless his footing is firmly rooted in belief in the things mentioned in this Qur'anic verse.

2. After having expounded the many rules contained within this Sura, Allah (Exalted is He) followed them with the verse commanding belief. The traditional commentators have discussed it from several points of view, which may be summed up in two opinions:

o The first opinion is that His saying (Exalted is He):

O you who believe
ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu

-refers to the Muslims. On the basis of this opinion, the detailed interpretation of the verse gives rise to the following points:

1. The expression:

O you who believe
ya ayyuha 'lladhina amanu

-is intended to convey: "Believe, persist in belief, and be firmly committed to it," and the import of it signifies: "O you who have believed in the past, and who believe in the present, you must also believe in the future." This is similar to His saying [to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)]:

So know that there is no god but Allah.
fa-''lam anna-hu la ilaha illa 'llahu. (47:19)

-even though he was well aware of that.

2. "O you who believe by way of convention [taqlid], you must believe by way of personal verification [tahqiq]."

3. "O you who believe with the knowledge of certainty ['ilm al-yaqin], you must believe with the eye of certainty ['ain al-yaqin]."

4. "O you who believe, with the the eye of certainty, in Allah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers, you must believe, with the truth of certainty [haqq al-yaqin], that the essence of the Might of Allah is beyond the reach of your minds. You must likewise believe that the conditions of the angels, the secrets of the Books, and the attributes of the Messengers are beyond the logic of our minds."

5. It is related that a group of Jewish rabbis once came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said: "O Messenger of Allah, we believe in you, and in your Book, and in Moses, and in the Torah and in Ezra ['Uzair]. We do not believe in any of the other Books and Messengers." He responded to this by saying (Allah bless him and give him peace):

"You must rather believe in Allah, and in His Messengers, and in Muhammad, and in his Book, the Qur'an, and in every Book that was before it."

The rabbis said: "We shall not do so!" The Qur'anic verse was thereupon revealed, and all of them believed.

oThe second opinion is that those addressed by His saying:

[O you who] believe
[ya ayyuha 'lladhina] amanu

-are not the Muslims. On the basis of this opinion, the detailed interpretation of the verse gives rise to the following points:

1. The summons is addressed to the Jews and the Christians, and the implicit meaning is: "O you who believe in Moses and the Torah, and Jesus and the Gospel, you must believe in Muhammad and the Qur'an!"

2. The summons is addressed to the hypocrites, and the implict meaning is: "O you who believe with the tongue, you must believe with the heart!" This interpretation is supported by His saying (Exalted is He):

Of such as say with their mouths: "We believe,"
mina 'lladhina qalu amanna bi-afwahi-him
but their hearts do not believe.
wa lam tu'min qulubu-hum. (5:41)

3. The summons is addressed to those who believe at the start of the day, but disbelieve at the end of it. The implicit meaning is: "O you who believe at the start of the day, you must also believe at the end of it!"

4. The summons is addressed to the idol-worshippers [mushrikin], and the implicit meaning is: "O you who believe in al-Lat and al-'Uzza, you must believe in Allah."

Most of the scholars have preferred the first opinion, because the term mu'min [believer], without qualification, cannot apply to any but the Muslims.

* * *

and the Book which He has sent down to His Messenger
wa 'l-Kitabi 'lladhi nazzala 'ala Rasuli-hi

-means the Qur'an, while:

and the Book which He sent down in former times.
wa 'l-Kitabi 'lladhi anzala min qabl:

-is a collective expression, referring to all the previous Books. In the case of the Qur'an, He has used the verb nazzala, which indicates that He sent it down in separate instalments, in connection with developing situations, according to the needs of His servants in their worldly and spiritual lives. As for the previous Books, each of them was revealed as a single unit, so He has used the verb anzala in His saying (Exalted is He):

and the Book which He sent down in former times.
wa 'l-Kitabi 'lladhi anzala min qabl:

Then He has gone on to say (Exalted is He):

Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels
wa man yakfur bi'llahi wa mala'ikati-hi
and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day,
wa Kutubi-hi wa Rusuli-hi wa 'l-Yawmi 'l-Akhiri
he has wandered far sstray.
fa-qad dalla dalalan ba'ida.

In other words: "He has deviated from the path of right guidance, and has gone as far as could be from the right direction, meaning the straight path."

In this Qur'anic verse, as you must know, Allah (Exalted is He) has commanded belief in four things: (1) in Allah; (2) in His Messenger; (3) in the Book which He has sent down to His Messenger, and (4) the Book which He sent down in former times.

He has also mentioned five categories of disbelief [kufr]: (1) disbelief in Allah; (2) disbelief in His angels; (3) disbelief in His Books; (4) disbelief in His Messengers, and (5) disbelief in the Last Day.

The Qur'anic verse gives rise to several questions, including the following:

1. Question: Why, in listing the degrees of belief, has He mentioned the Messenger before the Book, and then reversed this order in the degrees of disbelief?

Answer: Because, at the stage of the descent of the knowledge of the Creator to His creatures, the Book came before the Messenger, but then, at the stage of ascent from creatures to the Creator, the Messenger takes precedence over the Book.

2. Question: Why, in listing the degrees of belief, has He mentioned three things: belief in Allah, in the Messenger and in the Books, whereas, in listing the degrees of disbelief, He has mentioned five things: disbelief in Allah, in the angels, in the Books, in the Messengers and in the Last Day?

Answer: As for belief in Allah, in the Messengers and in the Books, when that belief comes about, it inevitably entails belief in the angels and the Last Day. Let us suppose that someone claims to believe in Allah, in the Messengers and the Books, but then he denies the existence of the angels and rejects the idea of the Last Day, maintaining that the Qur'anic verses concerning the angels and the Last Day are open to interpretation. If this supposition proves to be a fact, the only possible conclusion is that the denier of the angels and of the Resurrection is a disbeliever in Allah.

As for the common folk, their degree of belief is referred to in the saying of the Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him):

"You must believe in Allah, His angels, His books and His Messengers, and in the resurrection after death, the Garden of Paradise, the Fire of Hell, and destiny, both the good of it and the bad of it."


This is second-hand faith [iman ghaibi].

As for the élite, their degree of belief is that of faith based on first-hand experience [iman 'iyani]. That is because, when Allah makes Himself manifest to His servant, through one of His attributes, all parts of that servant's being become humbly submissive to Him. He now believes entirely, from direct experience, after his heart had believed indirectly, while his lower self disbelieved in what his heart believed in. The lower self had been isolated from the fragrance of the perfumes of the Unseen, but then, when the Lord of Truth made Himself manifest to the mountain, He reduced it to dust. The lower self fell prostrate, and then, when it recovered, it said: "I have repented to You, for now I am one of the believers."

As for the élite of the élite, their degree of belief is also that of faith based on first-hand experience [iman 'iyani]. In their case, that comes about after the removal of the veils of egoism [ananiyya], by the impact of the manifestation of Divine Majesty [Jalal]. As soon as He has made one of them extinct to himself through the attribute of Majesty, He grants him permanent survival through the attribute of Divine Beauty [Jamal]. No ain [where] remains for him, and he remains forever in the 'ain [eye; essence; source]. Since this is a faith derived from vision of the source [iman 'aini], it is the real faith [iman haqiqi]. May Allah grant it to us, and to all of you!

The servant attains to this singularity and detachment by means of remembrance [dhikr] and the affirmation of Oneness [tawhid]. In his final advice to 'Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told him:

"O 'Ali, you must safeguard the affirmation of Oneness, for that is my capital. You must be diligent in work, for that is my profession. You must perform the ritual prayer [salat], for that is the comfort of my eye. You must remember the Truth, for that is the succour of my heart. You must put knowledge into active practice. That is my legacy."

The follow meanings are implicit in the Qur'anic verse:

"O you who believe on the strength of rational proof, you must believe on the strength of clarification, until you come to believe on the strength of disclosure and the experience of direct vision."

"O you who believe by accepting the truth, you must believe by realizing that your salvation depends on His grace, not on your belief."

"O you who believe at the present moment, you must believe by persevering in belief until the final outcome."

These are my own comments:

There are three degrees of faith [iman]:

1. Uncritically conventional faith [al-iman at-taqlidi].
2. Faith based on rational evidence and proofs [al-iman bi'l-istidlal wa 'l-barahin].
3. Faith based on experience, direct perception, and factors transcending these [al-iman adh-dhawqi wa 'sh-shuhudi wa ma fawqa-huma].

o As for uncritically conventional faith, it is not acceptable, according to some of the mujtahidin [those who exercise independent judgment], except in the case of a person who is simply a muqallid [uncritical follower of convention] by nature. It includes academic faith [iman 'ilmi], where someone takes lessons from a teacher, and does some reading, so that he acquires knowledge of the faith. This is second-hand faith [iman ghaibi].

o As for faith based on rational evidence and proofs, it is the faith of the theologians [mutakallimin], so it is lacking in strength by comparison with the faith of those who are superior to them. That explains the saying: "You must have the faith of old women!" It was ash-Shadhili (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) who said: "We know our Lord directly, without requiring evidence."

o As for faith based on experience, direct perception, and factors transcending these, it develops by stages, until it reaches the level of the faith of the champions of truth [iman as-siddiqin]. As we are told in the Prophetic tradition [hadith]:

"You must worship Allah as if you could see him, for, even if you do not see him, He surely sees you!"

That is to say: "Even if you are not among the people of experience and direct perception, and do not behold your Lord (Glorious and Exalted is He) with the eye of your heart, you must at least understand and be fully convinced that He sees you."

In respect of certainty [yaqin], there are three degrees of faith:

1. The knowledge of certainty ['ilm al-yaqin], as mentioned in His saying (Exalted is He):

No indeed; if you did but know
kalla law ta'lamuna
with the knowledge of certainty,
'ilma 'l-yaqin:
you will surely see Hellfire.
la-tarawunna 'l-jahim. (102:5,6)

2. The eye of certainty ['ain al-yaqin], as mentioned in His saying (Exalted is He):

Again, you will surely see it with the eye of certainty.
thumma la-tarawunna-ha 'aina 'l-yaqin. (102:7)

3. The truth of certainty [haqq al-yaqin], as mentioned in His saying (Exalted is He):

This is indeed the truth of certainty.
inna hadha la-huwa haqqu 'l-yaqin. (56:95)

o As for the faith of the knowledge of certainty, it is possible for it to be invaded by doubts and atheism [zandaqa]. This is second-hand faith, the faith of the common people.

o As for the faith of the eye of certainty, it is impossible for it to be invaded by doubts or anything contrary to faith. This is the faith of the élite.

o As for the faith of the truth of certainty, it is the faith of the champions of truth, and above the level of the champions of truth, at the level of Prophethood [Nubuwwa].

The human being is veiled by the heedlessness that arises from this world, the lower self, his fellow creatures and the devil. If the veil between the servant and his Creator is removed, the servant will see Reality. If the servant persists in overcoming the obstacles, faith will grow strong, heedlessness will be dispelled, and Reality will shine forth, to become the governor of his heart. That condition will stay with him, until it becomes a spiritual station for him. His heart will then be on intimate terms with his Master, and no impediments will keep him from Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He).

As you are surely aware, most people are in a state of heedlessness, because they attach importance to themselves, forget their own faults, do not hesitate to oppose Allah and His Messenger (blessing and peace be upon him), and proceed in accordance with their self-centred desires. Allah guides aright whomever He will, and if Allah causes someone to go astray, you will never find a way for him to reach felicity and right guidance.

It is incumbent on us, O believers, to act in accordance with faith, and not to be among those who hear what is said, but do not follow the best of it. To meet the demands of faith, the servant must prefer his life in the Hereafter to his life in this world. He must refrain entirely from disobeying Allah. He must practise worshipful obedience to the best of his ability, over and above the divinely prescribed obligatory duties, for those he must perform in their entirety.

O Allah, guide us towards those who will guide us towards You, and acquaint us with those who will acquaint us with You, through Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful. Peace be upon the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds. There is no might nor any power, except with Allah, the All-High, the Almighty. May Allah bless our master Muhammad, his family and his Companions, and may He grant them peace.

* * * * *

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