Below is a short compilation of a few gems from various surahs in the Qur'an from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen's (rahimahullah) tafseer collection.
Facing Each Other on Thrones
“And We shall remove from their chests any deep feeling of bitterness (that they may have). (So they will be like) brethren facing each other on thrones.” (15:47)
Mutaqabileen, means they will be facing one another. This shows the vastness of the area because if it was a small space, the people would not be able to sit facing each other. Jannah is as wide as the heavens and the earth – and can any of us imagine the vastness of the sky above us? So how about the size of the seven heavens one on top of the other?! And who can comprehend this except for Allāh azza wa jal! So from this āyah, we learn that the believers will be facing one another because their place in Jannah is very vast. They will have the best manners because it is not proper that one should face one's back to another. They will all be of good manners having pure hearts; and from this āyah, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) discouraged facing one's back to another.
The Honor in the name 'Abd
“All the praises and thanks be to Allāh, Who has sent down to His slave the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness.” (18:1)
Allāh calls the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) 'abd, a slave, attributing worship to him because he (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is the best worshiper of Allāh. Allāh calls the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) 'abd in three instances:
- During the revelation of the Qur'an, such as in this āyah from suratul Kahf.
- When Allāh defends him (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), He says:
“And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to Our slave, then produce a Surah of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allāh, if you are truthful.” (2:23)
- Regarding the Night Journey (Al-Israa'), He says:
“Glorified (and Exalted) be He Who took His slave for a journey by night from Al-masjid-al-Haram to Al-masjid-al-Aqsa , the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our proofs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (17:1)
During the most honorable positions of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta'āla) describes that he is a slave – and how good is this description that a person is a slave to Allāh – so much so that even a poet in love describes:
Do not call me except by, “O her slave”! For it is the most honorable of my names.
The Hearing of Allāh
“Verily! Allāh is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (49:1)
The hearing that our Rabb describes is divided into two types: the hearing of awareness and the hearing of response.
As for the first type of hearing, it means that Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta'āla) hears every voice said secretly or openly. He ta'ala said to His Prophet:
“Indeed Allāh has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allāh. And Allāh hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allāh is All-Hearer, All-Seer.” (58:1)
A'ishah (radi Allahu anha) said regarding the revelation of this āyah, “All praise be to Allāh, Who hears all voices. “The woman who disputed” came to the Prophet and argued with him while I was in another part of the room, unable to hear what she said.”
Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta'āla) mentions in this āyah that He heard the conversation between this woman and the Messenger of Allāh (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) – this is the hearing of awareness. Furthermore this hearing of awareness is of three types:
- Firstly, to declare that Allāh surrounds and is aware of everything, as mentioned in the first āyah above from Surah Mujadilah.
- Secondly, to admonish and threaten, as Allāh says:
'Indeed, Allāh has heard the statement of those who say: “Truly, Allāh is poor and we are rich!” We shall record what they have said and their killing of the Prophets unjustly, and We shall say: “Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire).”' (3:181)
Allāh says, “We shall record what they have said” after their attribution of deficiency to Allāh. Then He says, “and their killings of the Prophets unjustly,” this shows that attributing deficiency to Allāh is greater than killing the prophets.
- Thirdly, for assistance and support. Allāh says to Musa (alayhi salaam) and Harun (alayhi salaam):
“Verily I am with you both, hearing and seeing.” (20:46)
The goal of the hearing mentioned here is for support, as if Allāh is saying: “I Hear you, I will Assist you and I Hear what you both say and what is said to you both.”
As for the second type of hearing, the hearing of response, it means that Allāh answers the one who calls upon Him, as Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) said:
“Verily! My Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations.” (14:39) Allāh is Mujeeb al-du‘ā’ (the One who responds to the supplication).
We also see this used in prayer, سمع الله لمن حمده, Allāh heard the one who praised him, meaning He responded to the one who praised Him and He rewarded him. This does not mean that Allāh only hears, because Allāh hears the one who praises Him and the one who does not praise Him, but it means here that Allāh answers the one who praises Him with reward and this hearing is the kind that points to the hearing of response.
Hakeem before 'Aleem
After the Angels give the glad tidings to Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) and Sarah (alayha salaam) of their son and she expresses her shock and amazement, the angels say to her:
They said, “Thus has said your Lord; indeed, He is the Wise, the Knowing.” (51:30)
Here the Name of Allāh 'Al-Hakeem', The Most Wise, comes before 'Al-'Aleem', The All- Knowing, because hikmah (wisdom) precedes 'ilm (knowledge) in this situation. Hikmah here is for two things:
- the delaying of a child for her – Allāh did not delay a child for her until she reached this old age without wisdom.
- giving her a child after she gave up hope in having children and she thought she was barren.
So here we see two wisdoms - hikmah in what has already happened and hikmah in what is to come.
Al-'Aleem comes before Al-Hakeem in most of the ayat in the Qur'an that connect these two Blessed Names, but in this āyah, the situation of Sarah necessitates that Al-Hakeem precedes Al-'Aleem.
Seeing with the Heart
“The (Prophet's) heart lied not in what he saw.” (53:11)
The fu'aad is the heart, and this means that the what the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) saw with his eyes during the night journey and ascension, he also saw with certainty in his heart. It could be that the eye sees something but the heart does not confirm it, and it could be the that heart sees something that the eye does not confirm. As for what the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) saw during the night of Mi'raaj, it is the truth – in both his sight and in his insight, and that is why Allāh ta'ala says: “The heart lied not in what he saw.” (53:11)
The Perfection of the Messenger's Character
“The sight turned not aside, nor it transgressed beyond the limit.” (53:17)
This āyah is referring to the sight of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) during the ascension to the heavens, and the scholars say ”zaagha” means turning to the left and right. As for “wa ma taghaa“; this means he did look past what was in front of him.
The Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) had the best of manners in this high standing; he did not turn his eyes to the left or right, and he did not look to what was not permitted for him to look at and this is from the perfection of the character of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
Normally, you will find people looking around to their right and to their left when they enter a place that is strange to them, especially if this place is a great change from what they are used, such as in this regard (i.e., ascension into the heavens). A person will not be able to keep themselves from looking around to see what is happening but because of the perfection of the Prophet's (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) character, manners, his calmness and self-control, he did not turn aside or transgress the limits.