Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 4)

From: http://ah-sp.com/2011/08/25/concise-principles-in-tafseer-and-the-science-of-the-quraan-part-4/

 

Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (4)

Bismillah was salaatu was salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillah

2. It may also occur that one verse may have more than one known authentic sababun nuzool (reason for revelation)

An example of this is that which has occurred concerning the reason for the revelation of the statement of Allah:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

Concerning the reason for its revelation there has occurred the following hadeeth:

Upon the authority of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) who said:

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) used to consume a drink (made) of honey in the house of zainab bint Jahsh (May Allah be pleased with her) then he would spend time with her. So Hafsah and I agreed that if he came to anyone of us (after being with her) that we would say ‘Have you eaten ‘Maghaafeer’ (the gum of a particular tree, that is sweet to taste but is has a foul smell and is also known to be intoxicating)?’ For indeed I smell upon you the fragrance of Maghaafeer. So he responded no! but I did drink honey with Zainab. I have now sworn (By Allah I will not return to it) so do not inform anyone about this”

(Agreed upon by both Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ (4912) an Imaam Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’ (1474))

The scholars mention that the messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) did so due to his dislike of foul smells, particularly one that resembled an intoxicant.

There has also occurred another authentic narration concerning the reason for revelation of the verse that mentions:

Upon the authority of Anas ibn Maalik who mentioned that the messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) used to have a bondswoman that he would have relations with (a reference to Maariyah the mother of the son of the messenger of Allah Ibraaheem). Aisha and hafsa did not cease addressing him concerning her until he made her haram upon himself so Allah revealed:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

(Sunan An Nasaa’ie 7/71,72)

And in the narration of Umar about the occurrence he states:

“The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi was Salam) said to Hafsa “Do not inform anyone but indeed the mother of Ibraahim is haram upon me” so she (Hafsah) said to him “will you make haram (upon yourself) what Allah has made permissible?” he said “By Allah I will not approach her” thereonafter he did not appraoch her, so she (Hafsah) informed Aisha then Allah revealed: “Allah has already ordained for you (O men) the dissolution of your oaths (i.e the permissibility of doing so if one see that which is better, with the condition that one carries out the expiation for breaking the oath)…”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 2)

Another example of this is that which has occurs concerning the reason for revelation of the verse:

“For those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. He testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth testimony should be invoking the curse of Allah upon himself if he be of those who tell a lie (against her). But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he is telling a lie and the fifth (testimony) should be that the wrath of Allah be upon her is he (her husband) speaks the truth.”

(Suratun Nur Vs 6-10)

It occurs in a hadeeth collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his saheeh (3735) from the hadeeth of sahl ibn s’ad who said:

“Indeed ‘Uwaimir (Ibn Abi Abyadh al ‘Ajlaani) approached Aasim ibn Adi and said: “What would you say about a man that finds a man with his wife, does he kill him and thus be killed (for his murder) or what does he do? Ask the messenger of Allah about this on my behalf. So Aasim went to the messenger and he said oh messenger of Allah (and mentioned the issue) but the messenger disliked the issue. So Uwaimir asked him (Aasim) about it and he responded by saying “indeed the messenger of Allah disliked the Issue and dispraised it” so he said “Inded I shall not settle until I ask the messenger of Allah about that (myself)” so he approached the messenger and said “O messenger of Allah! Someone finds a man with his wife, (i.e. having relations) does he kill the man and then be killed (for his murder) or what should he do. So the messenger said “Indeed Allah has revealed (verses from the) Qur’aan concerning you and your wife..” We see here how the knowledge of the Asbaabun nuzool helps to repel common misconceptions, from them the misconception that stoning is an Islamic punishment prescribed for women only, and then the likes of this verse is quoted. We understand that the verse was revealed in relation to a specific occurrence and does not indicate in any way that concentration with Islamic punishments is upon women alone.

Yet another narration indicates that the verse was revealed concerning a different incident.

Upon the authority of ibn ‘Abaas who said that Hilaal ibn Umayah accused his wife of committing adultery with Shareek ibn Sahmaa So the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

” (Establish the) evidence otherwise your back will be punished (i.e you will be flogged for falsely accusing a chaste woman) so he said “Oh messenger of Allah! if one of us sees a man on top of his wife in the middle of the act does he still have to establish the proof?! So the messenger continued to say: “(establish the) proof or your back will be punished” so Umayah said: “By he who sent you with the truth, I am being truthful and Allah will reveal that which frees my back from punishment. Then Jibreel descended and revealed upon him:

“For those who accuse their wives..” to the end of the hadeeth

(Collected by Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ Hadeeth 4747)

This again establishes the point that one ayah may have more than one reason for revelation

Wallahu a’lam

 

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