In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 26-27 [Part 2]
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy upon his soul) interprets these ayaat in the following manner: “Say,” it means “Say, O Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while praising your Lord, thanking Him, relying in all matters upon Him and trusting in Him.
“O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty,” meaning all power is Yours. “You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will,” meaning, You are the Giver, You are the Taker. It is Your will that occurs and whatever You do not will, does not occur. This ayah encourages thanking Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for the favors He granted His Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Ummah. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala transferred the prophethood from the Children of Israel to the Arab – Qurayshi, Makkan, unlettered Prophet (ﷺ), the Final and Last of all prophets and the Messenger of Allah to all mankind and Jinn.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala endowed the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with the best of qualities from the prophets before him. Allah also granted him extra qualities that no other prophet or messenger before him was endowed with, such as granting him more knowledge of Allah and His Law, knowledge of the more of the matters of the past and the future, such as what will occur in the Hereafter. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allowed Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah to reach the eastern and western parts of the world and gave dominance to his religion and Law over all other religions and laws. This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Say, ‘O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty.’” It means, You decide what You will concerning Your creation and You do what You will.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refutes those who thought that they could decide for Him. How did they think they could decide for Allah? The Qur’an gives an example in these words:
وَقَالُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنُ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ
“And they said, ‘Why was this Qur’an not sent down upon a great man from [one of] the two cities [Makkah and Taif]?’” [az-Zukhruf 43:31]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refuted them by saying,
أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَتَ رَبِّكَ ۚ
“Do they distribute the mercy of your Lord?” [az-Zukhruf 43:32]
It is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Who decides for His creation whatever He wills, without resistance or hindrance from anyone. He has the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proof in all of this. He gives the prophethood to whom He wills, as He said in Surah Al-Anaam, “Allah is most knowing of where He places His message,” (6:124). In Surah Al-Isra, He said, “Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others,” (17:21).
“You make the night enter into the day, and You make the day enter into the night,” meaning You take from the length of one of them and add it to the shortness of the other, so that they become equal and take from the length of one of them and add it to the other so that they are not equal. This occurs throughout the seasons of the year, spring, summer, fall and winter.
“And You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living,” meaning You bring out the seed from the plant and the plant from the seed; the date from its seed and the date’s seed from the date. Ibn Katheer explains that this could also mean bringing the faithful from the disbeliever (for example Prophet Ibraheem from a disbelieving father) and the disbelieving from the faithful (for example, the son of Prophet Nuh and Prophet Nuh). Many reverts have non-believing parents and many Muslim parents, unfortunately, lose their children to atheism or apostasy. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us, our families and our loved ones from this trial, ameen.
It shows that Allah’s perfect power exercises absolute control over all things. He can make a Muslim out of disbeliever or a scholar out of an ignorant person – if He wills. If He wills, He can let a believer turn into a disbeliever or a rustic into a scholar.
“You give provision to whom You will without an account,” meaning You give whomever You will innumerable amounts of wealth while depriving others of it, out of wisdom and justice.
The Special Merit of this Ayah:
If someone has a debt as huge as the Mountain of Uhud then a person who recites these ayaat with sincerity, his debt will be settled.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Muadh radhiAllahu ‘anhu, “Should I not teach you a supplication when, when used to implore Allah, Allah shall pay your debt, even if it be as huge as Mount Uhud?” He then mentioned,
[Photo from the book: Du’a Kijeye, Al-Huda Publishers]
Transliteration: Allahumma Maalik al-mulki tu’til-mulka man tasha’ u wa tanzi’ul mulka mimman tasha’, wa tu’izzu man tasha’ u wa tudhilu man tasha’, bi yadika al-khayr, innaka ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer, Rahmaan-id-dunya wa’l-aakhirah wa raheemahuma, tu’teeyahuma man tasha’ wa tamna’ minhuma man tasha’, irhamni rahmatan taghnini biha ‘an rahmati man siwaak.
“O Allah, Sovereign of all, You give dominion to whomsoever You will and You take dominion away from whomsoever You will, You exalt whomsoever You will and You bring low whomsoever You will. In Your hand is all goodness and You are able to do all things. Most Merciful and Most compassionate in this world and in the Hereafter, You give them to whomsoever You will and withhold them from whomsoever You will. Bestow mercy upon Me in such a manner that I have no need of the mercy of anyone but You.” [Tabarani]
-We learn that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam always saw ease in difficulty. The Companions are getting ready for a battle and he is strengthening their will by telling them about their future victories.
-We learn that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has the keys to all the treasures. No one controls our futures except Him. No matter what people plot against us, Allah’s plan for us will always be superior. Prophet Ibraheem’s people tried to kill him by throwing him in the fire, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protected him. He didn’t only save him but raised his status so much that we, who have never seen him, pray for him each time we send Durood on Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Prophet Da’woud ‘alayhi salaam was an ordinary person – a shepherd, and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala raised his status and granted him and his son, kingdom.
Don’t worry about people’s plots against you, work on your relationship with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
-We only see material gifts as a mean of honor or blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. However, true honor with Allah is not in things but in knowledge, understanding of the religion, an opportunity to work in His cause, izzah [respect] in the eyes of people. How does Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala debase people? By leaving them deluded in their blessings, for example, Pharaoh; keeping them away from gaining knowledge of Deen (because they didn’t have a desire to seek it); filling their hearts with arrogance and disbelief and by bringing them humiliation.
-We also learn that nothing in this world is permanent. Days of glory and days of humiliation are not eternal. A person can be honored today and humiliated tomorrow. As day and night change, our stories change every day. Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for khair. Neither become hopeless nor arrogant.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 26-27
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]