Monthly Archives: August 2011

Pearls from Tafsir al-Mazhari from Surah al-Nur


Tafsirs of the Quran are many, time to read them  however is limited.  Two of my favourites are the Tafsir al-Mazhari of Qadi Thanaullah and Mahasin al-Tawil of Shaykh Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi.   Opening the Tafsir al-Mazhari every so often at a random page usually yeilds interesting points of commentary which make me regret not being able to spend more time with this work.  Looking through the former tafsir I was reading the commentary of these verses:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guides unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaks to mankind in parables, for Allah is Knower of all things.

Qadi Thanaullah in his detailed discussion of this verse – in the course of citing a number of different commentaries- said the following (6/525 onwards):

Al-Baghawi said:  The people of knowledge have differed over the meaning of this similitude.  Some of them said this similitude is of the light of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Ibn Abbas said to Kab al-Ahbar, “Tell me about His (Most High’s) words ‘The similitude of His light is as a niche’.  Kab replied that this likeness was struck by Allah of His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  The niche (Mishkat) is his chest, the lamp is his heart and the glass in it is Prophethood.  The light and matter of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) would almost become manifest to people, even if he did not articulate that he was a Prophet, just as the oil would glow even if it was not touched by light.  Light upon light.

How wonderful is that which Kab said…

Then Qadi Thanaullah after detailing some of the Prophetic miracles returned back to this interpretation of this verse and said the following:

Salim related from Ibn Umar regarding this verse:  The niche is the inner self of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), the glass is his heart and the lamp is the light which Allah placed in him.

‘Neither East nor West’ meaning neither Christian nor Jewish.

‘Lit from a blessed tree’ meaning Ibrahim (Upon whom be peace).

‘Light upon light’ the light of Ibrahim upon the light of the heart of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Muhammad bin Kab al-Qurazi said:  The niche is Ibrahim, the glass is Ismail and the lamp is Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Allah named him a lamp (Misbah) just as he named him ‘Siraj al-Munir‘.  Lit from a blessed tree which is Ibrahim (Upon him be peace).  He was named blessed (mubarak) because the majority of the Prophets are from him.

‘Neither Eastern nor Western’ meaning Ibrahim was neither Jewish nor Christian, but rather was a an upright (Hanif) Muslim…

‘Whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it’  The excellent qualities of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) would almost become apparent to people before he was given revelation.

‘Light upon light’  A prophet from the offspring of a Prophet, the light of Muhammad upon the light of Ibrahim (Blessings and peace be upon them both).

Use Of The Term ‘Khuda’


Those readers from an Indo-Pak background will be familiar with the use of the term ‘Khuda’ for the name of Allah (Most High) in everyday speech.  I was recently reading something regarding its being permissible to use this name, as its original meaning in Persian does not contradict with Muslim beliefs.  None other than the great Imam al-Razi in his Tafsir al-Kabir (1/170) had the following to say about the origin of this word,

Their statement in Persian “Khudayi” means that He is necessarily existent (wajib al-wujud) due to His essence.  This is because or statement “Khudayi” is a compound word made up of two Persian words.  One of them is “Khud” which means: the essence of something, its person and its reality. 

The second is “Ayi” whose meaning is: He came.

Thus our saying “Khudayi” means that He came by Himself, which is an indication to that He is existent by Himself and due to His essence, not due to another.  Based on this the understanding of the term “Khudayi” is that He is existent by His essence.

Taken from Qamus al-Fiqh (1/421) of Mawlana Rehmani.

40 Hadith for Students of the Sawlatiyyah by Shaykh al-Lahji


Alhumdulillah, throught the tawfiq of Allah Most High we have been able to reprint the Arabic original and translation of the 40 hadith compiled by Shaykh Abdullah Saeed al-Lahji. It appears that he authored this text for the students of the Madrassa al-Sawlatiyyah in Makkah, a school where he taught for 23 years.

Shaykh al-Lahji is well known in scholarly circles for his wonderful work entitled Wasail al-Wusul which is a 4 volume commentary on the Prophetic Shamail text written by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani.  It is due to the popularity of this work in scholarly circles and the high esteem in which the author is held that we decided to translate these 40 hadith.  Added to this the fact these 40 hadith were compiled by the author for his students gave us added impetus to make this work available to others.

This work was obtained in Makkah recently from a student of Shaykh al-Lahji who works in a perfume shop close to the Haram al-Makki. The means by which we located him is perhaps deserving of another blog post detailing how this occurred.

Keeping in mind that this 40 hadith collection is not as well known as other works in this genre, we decided to append a brief Arabic commentary to each of the hadith in the footnotes, mainly to assist teachers and Arabic students studying and teaching this work.

We hope to be able to study and complete these 40 hadith in a small circle in Ramadan (inshAllah) and if there is interest perhaps release the work for others to benefit from as well.

Note:  The above image is that of the cover of the 40 hadith we have just printed.