Tafseer Gems from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen


Below is a short compilation of a few gems from various surahs in the Qur’an from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen’s (rahimahullahtafseer collection.

Facing Each Other on Thrones

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ

“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 Allah azza wa jal!  So from this ayah, 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 ayah, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) discouraged facing one’s back to another.

The Honor in the name ‘Abd

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَابَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجًا

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His slave the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness.” (18:1)

Allah 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 Allah. Allah calls the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) ‘abd in three instances:

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  • During the revelation of the Qur’an, such as in this ayah from suratul Kahf.
  • When Allah defends him (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), He says:
وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

“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 Allah, if you are truthful.” (2:23)

  • Regarding the Night Journey (Al-Israa’), He says:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

“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), Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) describes that he is a slave – and how good is this description that a person is a slave to Allah – so much so that even a poet in love describes:

لا تدعني إلا بيا عبدها       فإنه أشرف أسمائي

Do not call me except by, “O her slave”!            For it is the most honorable of my names.

The Hearing of Allah

إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Verily! Allah 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 Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) hears every voice said secretly or openly. He ta’ala said to His Prophet:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا ۚإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.” (58:1)

A’ishah (radi Allahu anha) said regarding the revelation of this ayah, “All praise be to Allah, 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.”

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) mentions in this ayah that He heard the conversation between this woman and the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) – this is the hearing of awareness. Furthermore this hearing of awareness is of three types:

  • Firstly, to declare that Allah surrounds and is aware of everything, as mentioned in the first ayah above from Surah Mujadilah.
  • Secondly, to admonish and threaten, as Allah says:
لَّقَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاءُ ۘ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَالُوا وَقَتْلَهُمُ الْأَنبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَنَقُولُ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ

‘Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of those who say: “Truly, Allah 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)

Allah says, “We shall record what they have said” after their attribution of deficiency to Allah. Then He says, “and their killings of the Prophets unjustly,” this shows that attributing deficiency to Allah is greater than killing the prophets.

  • Thirdly, for assistance and support. Allah says to Musa (alayhi salaam) and Harun (alayhi salaam):
إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ

“Verily I am with you both, hearing and seeing.” (20:46)

The goal of the hearing mentioned here is for support, as if Allah 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 Allah answers the one who calls upon Him, as Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) said:

إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

“Verily! My Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations.” (14:39) Allah is Mujeeb al-Du’aa (the One who responds to the supplication).

We also see this used in prayer, سمع الله لمن حمده, Allah heard the one who praised him, meaning He responded to the one who praised Him and He rewarded him. This does not mean that Allah only hears, because Allah hears the one who praises Him and the one who does not praise Him, but it means here that Allah 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:

قَالُوا كَذَ‌ٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ

They said, “Thus has said your Lord; indeed, He is the Wise, the Knowing.” (51:30)

Here the Name of Allah ‘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 – Allah 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 ayah, the situation of Sarah necessitates that Al-Hakeem precedes Al-‘Aleem.

Seeing with the Heart

مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ

“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 Allah ta’ala says: “The heart lied not in what he saw.” (53:11)

The Perfection of the Messenger’s Character

مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ

“The sight turned not aside, nor it transgressed beyond the limit.” (53:17)

This ayah 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.

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29 responses to “Tafseer Gems from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen”

  1. Arif Kabir says:

    JazaakumAllahu Khayran for sharing this!

    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).

    SubhanAllah, that’s so amazing! May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) help us to also perfect our character.

  2. Abez says:

    “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)

    Really looking forward to that, InshaAllah.

  3. Hafsa says:

    SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah! This is so beautiful! Jazakallahukhair!

  4. abu Abdullah says:

    subahan Allah, how perfect Allaah is and his speech.
    @author, jazak Allah al firdous.

  5. Faraz Omar says:

    Jazaak Allahu khair. may Allah accept this from u. may Allah protect u and increase ur ilm and amal and make ur deeds for His sake alone.

    Can u link to the Arabic source? Is it from his audio collection ?

    • abu Abdullah says:


    • Amatullah says:

      Jazaak Allahu khayran brother Faraz for the duaa, Ameen and the same for you.

      It’s actually from his tafseer that is in book form (6 volume collection). I don’t think it’s available online. InshaAllah I will look for it though.

      • Abd- Allah says:

        You can find the tafsir for some of the surahs on the shaykh’s website, but they don’t have the entire tafsir there.

        Also here are some of the shaykh’s works translated into other languages.

        Jazakum Allah khayr sister for sharing these beneficial tafsir notes.

  6. Aboo Khalida says:

    Jazaakallaahu Khairan Katheeraa. Amazing piece of information. Please do provide with more such gems or give us the link. This really increases our Eemaan by lightyears. Mashaa Allaaah. May Allaah bless you with the best in this world & the Hereafter and help you increase in Amal & Ilm and He may accept them .

    May Allaah have Mercy on the Shaikh’s soul.

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by MuslimMatters: Tafseer Gems from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen: A short compilation of a few gems from various surahs in the Qur’an from S… http://bit.ly/c6ptkO

  8. ummfatima says:


    Subahanallah.Jazakallahu khairaa to all of you who make Allah`s speech easy to understand.Aameen to all the duas above.

    Are fuaad and baseera connected in these ayahs?Does baseera means looking thru eyes as well as thru heart?


    • Amatullah says:

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah Umm Fatima,

      wa iyyaki alhamdulillah barak Allahu feeki.

      MashaAllah that is a wonderful question; if fu’aad and baseerah relate.

      InshaAllah I’m going to look it up and get back to you :) However, fu’aad means a heart that is filled with an emotion. In the ayah from surah Najm, Allah uses fu’aad to show that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam saw everything in the best manner; with the eyes and with the heart.

  9. TabaarakAllah! Keep them coming, bi’idhnillah!

  10. Abdul-Qadir says:


    JazakAllah for the post, Shaikh ‘Uthaymeen was the man. I do not understand what you wrote for the Hakeem before Aleem part. I understand that the wisdom is for two things, but I did not read a clear reason for why Hakeem came before Aleem. I do understand the fact that certain names are used for different verses for specific reasons. If possible, please clarify.

    • Amatullah says:

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah,

      When Allah azza wa jal mentions His Names in the Qur’an, like Ghafoour Raheem, Ghaniyyul Hameed etc, there is a wisdom behind one coming before the other as well as a wisdom for why those two Names were chosen.

      The shaykh said that the Name of Allah Al-Hakeem precedes Al-Aleem because of the Hikmah behind her situation. Allah is Al-Hakeem because He gave her a child at that old age and He is Al-Hakeem because He knew why it was better to delay it. This is why Al-Hakeem comes first, because although Allah is Al-Aleem of their situation, His Hikmah behind their qadr is greater in this situation.

      Another example in the Qur’an is in Surah Saba ayah 2, Allah says that He is Raheemul Ghafoor. It is the only time in the Qur’an where the order of the two Names is this way, usually we read He is: Ghafoorur-Raheem. You can read br Nouman’s explanation of this here: http://www.tayyibaat.com/2008/10/06/session-one-mercy-and-forgiveness/

      InshaAllah I hope you can understand it better now. The most important point we take from this is that there is a wisdom behind the order of Allah’s Names.

  11. Amatullah says:

    jazaakum Allahu khayran for the kind words and duaas.

    If the readers are interested, inshaAllah I can continue posting gems from his tafseer.

  12. Mariam E says:

    Asalamu Alikum,

    A wonderful post , mashaAllah tabarakaAllah! Yes, please do continue, Jazaki Allah khair.

  13. […] and that is why Allah ta’ala says: “The heart lied not in what he saw.” (Surah Najm 53:11) Tafseer Gems from Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen | MuslimMatters.org __________________ Islamic-Life.com Bringing Dawah back..to life! […]

  14. […] why Allah ta’ala says: “The heart lied not in what he saw.” (Surah Najm 53:11) http://muslimmatters.org/2010/03/31/…ibn-uthaymeen/ __________________ Islamic-Life.com Bringing Dawah back..to life! […]

  15. AR Aqeedah says:

    Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    this is one of the first times i have been exposed to the Shaykh in Tafseer. I know that he was top notch in ‘Aqeedah as our almaghrib instructor have taught us in the ‘aqeedah classes. I also hear that he was well-versed in Fiqh. To accomplish all that today, it is really amazing.

    the highlight in my life was reading Shaykh ibn ‘Uthaymeen’s article on “Innovation in light of the perfection of the Shari’ah.” I have never been blown away by anything as i was blown away by that piece.

    May Allah preserve his knowledge for years and years to come. Ameen.


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  17. Me says:

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    Jazaki Allahu khairan sister. Very beautiful mashaAllah.

    I would also recommend reading or listening to the Shaykh’s explanation of Riyadh-ul-Saliheen. He gets into everything; aqeedah, tafseer, fiqh, and so on.

    May Allah have mercy on him. ameen.

    • Amatullah says:

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah,

      Ameen, wa iyyak/i.

      SubhanAllah so true about Riyadus-Saaliheen, I have the book set and mashaAllah it is beyond amazing. This is what I really love about the shaykh’s work (rahimahullah), he connects and discusses all of the sciences of Islam in such a way that is easy to understand for all Muslims.

  18. Osman says:

    Jazakalah. Excellent article.

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