Interpretation of verse [42:23]
Fatwa No: 340567

  • Fatwa Date:22-3-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 24, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum, Shaykh. I read an interpretation of verse 23 of Surah Ash-Shurah on the Internet. There are different explanations of this verse. Some commentators say that it refers to the relatives of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and some commentators do not do so. Which interpretation is authentic and more appropriate?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Allah says (what means): {It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say [O Muhammad:] "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.} [Quran 42:23]

The early interpreters of the Quran differed in opinion about the interpretation of this verse; Imaam Ibn Jareer At-Tabari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated their views as follows:

“The first view is that the meaning of the saying of Allah (which means): {[but] only good will through kinship} is: but that you be kind to me because of my family relation to you, and you keep ties of kinship that exist between me and you.

The second view is that the meaning of this is: Say to those who follow you among the believers: I do not ask you for any reward for what I brought to you except being kind to my relatives.

The third view is that the meaning of this is: I do not ask you people for any reward for what I brought to you, except that you love Allah and get closer to Him by performing good deeds and acts of obedience.

The fourth view is that the meaning of this is: except that you keep ties with your kinship.” 

Then Ibn Jareer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The most likely correct opinion and the more apparent in meaning is the opinion of those who said: Say: I do not ask you for a reward, O people of Quraysh, but only that you be kind to me because of my kinship relations with you and keep ties of kinship between me and you.

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him favored this view as well in his Tafseer (exegesis), as he said, “The correct view is to interpret the verse according to the interpretation of the most prominent interpreter of the Quran of this nation, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him as reported from him by Al-Bukhaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.” 

The narration which Ibn Katheer is referring to is what Al-Bukhaari reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas, that he was asked about the saying of Allah (what means): {[but] only good will through kinship}, so Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr said, “To be kind to the family/household of Muhammad.Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “You have jumped to a hasty conclusion. There was no clan among Quraysh to whom the Prophet did not have some ties of kinship. It means: but that you uphold the ties of kinship that exist between me and you.”  

Allah knows best.

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