Category Archives: Tafsir

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Islam: What’s in a Name? (A Quranic Study)

Category : Thematic

By Sohaib Saeed

It is a common practice of Muslim scholars writing on some field of knowledge to define its basic terms; when it comes to Arabic words, this involves looking at their root meanings as well as their usage. This practice is certainly useful when seeking to understand Islam as a faith and way of life, as there are many things to learn from the very fact that it is so named. Generally speaking, when naming something new, or a new addition to the family, we choose a name that reflects the appropriate and desired meanings.

In this article, we shall explore five significant features of the name Islam, making special reference to how the Qur’an speaks of Islam and being Muslim. We shall note that the word reflects the concept of peace, that it is a name used right from the start, that it was specially chosen by the Creator, that it reflects an action and way of life, and that it has a universal meaning and appeal.

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Divine Intervention for a Jew

Category : Tafsir

From the writings of the former Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Shaykh Muhammad Sayyid al-Tantawi (may Allah have mercy upon him), author of Al-Tafseer al-Waseet:

It happened in the Prophetic Era that a man named Ta’mah ibn Abreeq stole a shield from one of his neighbours called Qatadah ibn Nu’man, then stashed it at the home of a Jewish man called Zayd ibn as-Sameen.

Qatadah asked Ta’mah about the shield, and he denied any knowledge of it; so Qatadah started to search for it until he found it with the aforementioned Jew. When asked about it, he blamed Ta’mah.

Hence the case was taken before the Prophet (peace be upon him), who summoned Ta’mah and asked him, “Did you steal this shield and place it with Zayd ibn as-Sameen?” He denied it, so the Prophet asked Zayd: “Do you have any witnesses to support your claim that Ta’mah planted it on you?” He said that he did not. Meanwhile, the relatives of Ta’mah came and argued on his behalf.

In the midst of this confusion, the Qur’anic revelation came to clarify the truth from falsehood, and to establish justice in the face of impending injustice.

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