Salawat’us-Sharifah

In the Holy Quran, Allah, glory unto Him, vows by the Prophet’s life. Mentioning his great name next to His Own, the Almighty has required belief in his prophethood, as a precondition of being a worthy servant. Allah took offense in others raising their voices in the presence of His Beloved , cautioning against calling out his name like any other. What’s more, the Almighty has stated that He and the angels send their numerous blessings, salawat’us-sharifah, to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), ordering his ummah amply do the same.

In accordance with the ayah:

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O Believers! Send your blessings on him and salute him with all respect,” (al-Ahzab, 56) sending salawat’us-sharifah to that Great Being is a duty for all Believers, laid down by Allah, glory unto Him.

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Narrating the following is Ubayy ibn Kab (RadiAllahu Anhu):

“A third of the night had passed when the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) awoke from his sleep and said:

‘Remember Allah, people, remember Allah! Blown will be the first horn that will rattle the ground. Then will follow the second. Death will arrive with all its intensity; death will arrive with all its intensity…’

‘I send lots of salawat’us-sharifah, Messenger of Allah’,said I. ‘How often should I do it?’

‘As much as you wish’ he (Peace and blessings be upon him) replied.

‘Would it be right if I spared a quarter of my prayer for it?’ I again inquired.

‘Spare as much from it as you wish’, he advised. ‘But it will be better for you if you spared more.’

‘Then I will spare half ’, I proposed.

‘As you wish…But better if you spared more’, said he.

‘How about I spared two-thirds then?’

‘As you wish… But better if you spared more’.

‘How would it be then if I send salawat’us-sharifah in the entire time I spare for prayer?’ I then asked.

‘If you do’, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘then Allah will rid you of all your troubles and forgive your sins.’” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamat, 23/2457)

Devotees of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), therefore, embrace the salawat’us-sharifah as a continuous chant, for they are means of increasing the love of the Prophet in a Believer’s heart. Appropriately following the Blessed Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and making the most of the quintessential example he has provided doubtless comes through a grasp of the reality of the Quran and Sunnah, which in turn is possible only by virtue of drawing closer to the exemplary morals of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and delving into the depths of his heart.

No mortal has succeeded in describing his (peace and blessings be upon him) essential attribute; his towering morals and disposition has eluded comprehension. The wise, those spiritual sultans, even the great Jibril (Alaihi Salaam), have all accepted being on his path as the greatest honor, begging by his door as the most indefinable bliss.

On another note, according to the manners of prayer advised by Islam, all prayers begin and end with thanking Allah, glory unto Him, and sending blessings to the Blessed Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). There is an established conviction that Allah, glory unto Him, never turns down a salawat’us-sharifah, which, in essence, is a prayer and plea to the Almighty; the precise reason as to why prayers are adorned with it, both in the start and in the end. That is to say, squeezing in personal prayers amid two, whose acceptances are highly expected, is to ensure their acceptance as well.

“A prayer is left hanging between the earth and the skies,” states Omar  “and is not raised to Allah until blessings are sent to the Messenger of Allah .” (Tirmidhi, Witr, 21/486)

Therefore do not forget sending your blessings and peace to him (peace and blessings be upon him)…for you too stand in need of his intercession in the darkest of hours!

Peace & Blessings

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Tawakkul and Submission

Tawakkul means to rely upon another, to appoint a trustee and to put one’s trust in that trustee.

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One of the beautiful names of Allah is ‘Al-Wakeel’. This name has the meanings of ‘the one who takes care of matters which have been referred to Him, (in a most suitable way), and the One who takes care of affairs in the best way, the One who is relied upon, and the One who controls and who rules over everything’.

It is a must that the sole Source to be relied upon in all matters is the immortal, everlasting Absolute One of Power. It would be meaningless to trust somebody who is in fact the opposite.

􏰀Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:

‘Put your trust in the Living who does not die and glorify Him with praise’ (Al-Furqan, 25:58)

Allah Most High desires that we, His servants, rely upon Him only. He says in the Qur’an:

‘So let the believers put their trust in Allah’. (Ibrahim, 14:11) ‘Whoever puts his trust in Allah – He will be enough for him’ (al-Talaq, 65:3)

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The Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings) has said:

“If you were able to rely on Allah properly, you would be pro- vided for just like birds who leave their nests hungry and return full” (Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 33/2344; Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 14).

When it comes to submission, this has the meaning of acquiescence and acceptance of whatever events befall one without objection and thus arriving at peace. Submission is an act of the heart, and it is to be free of any doubts that arise in matters that have come from Allah. It is to be free of carnal desires that are contrary to divine commands, desires that are not compatible with sincerity, and the curse of resisting divine decree and Islamic law. It is stated in a verse from the Qur’an:

‘No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them, and then find no resistance within themselves to what you decide and submit themselves completely.’ (An-Nisa, 4:65)

The word ‘teslimiyet’ or submission has the same root as the word ‘islam’. This is why to truly live Islam and to be a true servant of Allah is only possible through submission. This is because Allah (exalted and glorified be He) is not pleased when His servant yields to any other than Him.

Submission is an act of obedience based on love. It was through the blessings of this obedience and submission that nothing – not his life, his property or his son- could hinder the Prophet Ibrahîm (Abraham) (upon whom be peace) from the path of his exalted Lord. Thus his act of worship, of which the pilgrimage is the best symbol for his reliance and submission to his Lord, will continue until the end of time. The tongue of Ibrahîm was an interpreter of what was in his heart and he would constantly pray:

‘I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds.’ (Al-Baqara, 2:131)

The aim of tasawwuf, which takes love as its foundation and which is the essence of Islam, is the establishment of feelings of submission and contentedness with Allah by allowing the servant to live under divine guidance and move closer to Allah with every breath. The effects and deceits of the soul that arise from the thousand and one worries, anxieties and pains that are rife in this fleeting world, will only begin to abate as a result of contentment and submission to Allah. How beautifully Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi puts it:

Rely upon Allah
Submit and find peace
Be content with all His affairs
And let us see what Allah has in store; For whatever it is, it will be for the best


Scenes of Virtue

Once a Bedouin came to the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings) and asked him:

“O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie my camel and then trust in Allah or should I trust in Allah without tying my camel?”

 

The Prophet  replied:

“Tie your camel first, and then trust in Allah”. (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60/2517)

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According to reports by Ummu Seleme (May Allah be pleased with her), whenever the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace and blessings) would leave the house he would always make sure to turn his face to the heavens and say the following prayer:

“In the name of Allah! I put my trust in Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in You that I should stray or be led astray, that I should slip, or be made to slip, that I should oppress or that I be oppressed, and that I should show ignorance or be subject to others ignorance” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 102-3/5094; Tirmidhi, Deavat 35).


 -An Excerpt from the book, “Civilizations of Virtues-II”

Perfect Qualities of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him)

Extracted from the Sealed Nectar (ar-Raheek al-Makhtum), biography/seerah of the beloved Messenger of Allah.

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The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, had both perfection of features and perfection of manners. The impression of them on people can be deduced by the bliss that overwhelmed their hearts and filled them with dignity.

Men’s respect, devotion and esteem of Allah’s Messenger were unique and matchless. No other man in the whole world has been so honoured and beloved.

Those who knew him well were fascinated and enchanted by him. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of saving a nail of his from hurt or injury.

Being privileged by lots of excellences that no one else had been endowed with, his Companions found that he was peerless and so they loved him.

Here we list a brief summary of the versions about his beauty and perfection. To encompass all is, admittedly, beyond our power.

His Physical Appearance

Describing Allah’s Messenger who passed by her tent on his journey of emigration, Umm Ma’bad Al-Khuza’iyah, may Allah be pleased with her, said to her husband: “He was innocently bright and had a broad face. His manners were fine. Neither was his belly bulging out nor was his head deprived of hair. He had black attractive eyes finely arched by continuous eyebrows. His hair was glossy and black, inclined to curl, he wore it long. His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large, well formed and set on a slender neck. His expression was reflective and thoughtful, composed and inspiring.
The stranger was fascinated from the distance, but the closer he was the more respect he observed. His expression was very sweet and distinct. His speech was well set and free from the use of superfluous words, as if it were a chain of beads. His stature was neither too high nor too small to look odd. He was a twig amongst the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surrounded by his Companions. Whenever he uttered something, the listeners would listen to him with attention and whenever he issued any command, they competed with each other in carrying it out. He was a master and a commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehoods and lies.” 1

‘Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, described him: “Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was neither excessively tall nor extremely short. He was of medium height among his friends. His hair not too curly nor was it too straight. It was both curly and wavy combined. His cheeks were not fleshy, chin was not small and forehead was not narrow. His face was fairly round. His mouth was white. He had black, large eyes, with long eyelashes. His limbs and shoulder joints were rather big. He had a fine line of little hair extending from his chest down to his navel, but the rest of his body was almost hairless. He had thick palms and thick fingers and toes.

While walking, he lifted his feet off the ground as if he had been walking on a slope. When he turned, he turned completely. The Seal of Prophethood was between his shoulders. He is the Last of Prophets, the most generous and the bravest of all. His speech was the most reliable. He was the keenest and the most attentive to people’s trust, and was very careful to pay people’s due in full. The Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was the most gentle and the most polite companion, seeing him unexpectedly you would fear him and revere him. He who had acquaintance with him would like him. He who describes him says: ‘I have never seen such a person neither before nor after seeing him.’” 2

Jabir bin Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, had abroad face with reddish (wide) eyes and lean heels.3

Abu At-Tufail, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “He was white and good-looking. He was neither fat nor thin; neither tall nor short.”

Zadul-Ma’ad 2/45.
Ibn Hisham 1/401, Jami At-Tirmidhi 4/303.
Sahih Al-Muslim 2/258.

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Ka’b bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “When he was pleased, his face would shine with so bright a light that you would believe it was a piece of the moon.’ 4

Once he was with ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, the features of his face twinkledwhile sweating; she recited a verse by Abu Kabir Al-Hudhali:
“If you watch his face, you will see it twinkling like the lightning of an approaching rain.” 5

Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, would say this verse upon seeing him:
“He is faithful, chosen (by Allah), and calls for forgiveness.
He shines like a moonlit night while it is far from dark.” 6

‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, used to recite a verse by Zuhair describing Haram bin Sinan:
“Were you other than a human being, you would be a lighted moon on a moonlit night,”
Then he would add: “Thus was Allah’s Messenger.” 7

When he got angry, his face would turn so red that you would think it were as if pomegranate has been squeezed on both his cheeks. 8

Jabir bin Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “His legs were gentle, delicate and in conformity. His laughter was no more than smiling. Looking at him will make you say ‘He is black-eyed’, though he is not so.” 9

Sahih al-Bukhari 1/502
Rahmatul-lil-Alamin 2/72.
Khulasatus-Siyar p. 20.
ibid.
Mishkatul-Masabih 1/22.
Jami’ At-Tirmidhi 4/306.

Ibn Al-‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “His two front teeth were separated so whenever he spoke, it was as if light came through them.”

His neck was as pure and silvery as a neck of doll. His eyelashes were long and his beard was thick. His forehead was broad; separate eyebrows finely joined together. His nose was high-tipped. His cheeks were plain. He had a fine line of hair running down to his navel. He had hair neither on his abdomen nor on his chest except some on his arms and shoulders. His chest was broad and flatted. He had long forearms with expansive palms. His legs were plain, straight, and stretched. His other limbs were also large. The two hollows of his soles hardly touch the ground. He used to walk with ease slightly leaning forward. 10

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I have never touched silk or a silky garment softer than the palm of the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him; nor have I smelt a perfume or any scent nicer than his.” In another version; “I have never smelt ambergris, nor musk, nor any other thing sweeter than the scent and the smell of Allah’s Messenger.”

Abu Juhaifah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I took his hand and put it on my face and I found that it was colder than ice and better scented than the perfume of musk.” 11

Jabir bin Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, who was a little child then, said; “When he wiped my cheek, I felt it was cold and scented as if it had been taken out of a shop of a perfume workshop.” 12

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said; “His sweat was pearl-like.”

Umm Sulaim, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “His sweat smelt nicer than the nicest perfume.”

Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said; “Whenever Allah’s Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him,passed by a road, and after him some other person used the same road, he would quite easily find out by the fragrance of his scent that the Prophet had passed through it.”

10 Khulasatus-Siyar p. 19, 20.
11 Sahih al-Bukhari 1/503.
12 Sahih Muslim 2/256.

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An inclination to love.

The unique and final goal of life is a love through which our souls can find peaceful settlement is Allah the Almighty, who breathed from His soul into ours. Every kind of ephemeral love that is directed to a mistaken object wanders in blind alleys. If our love does not reach Allah, it ends in nothing but exhaustion for the soul.

Our nature and welfare require us to make the love of Allah the center of our lives. Therefore all other transitory loves should build a ladder for us toward divine love. This is a primordial goal of the creation of humanity.

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The shortest way to reach divine love is through the love of the Prophet ﷺ􏰂, the beloved Messenger of Allah. This goal can be achieved by following him in every aspect of life. Our response to him is required by a basic principle of love: a lover must love everything that the beloved loves. Such staunch commitment to Allah’s preferences is the bedrock of loving Allah.

Love of the Prophet ﷺ􏰂 reveals itself through peacefulness in worship, courtesy in personal relations, politeness in morality, ten- derness of heart, radiance of face, spirituality in conversation, and depth of perspective. The only fountain from which all these beauties may be drawn is Prophet Muhammadﷺ.

Indeed, our hearts can fully benefit from the heart of the Prophet 􏰂ﷺ only when we become moths turning around his light. Mawlânâ Jalaluddin Rumi (Alaihi Rahma) gives us several examples of how divine love disseminates into the universe. These examples allow us to measure our love of the Prophetﷺ:

Innumerable moths jump into fire for the sake of love. They flutter in flame and burn, saying in the language of their state, “You become like me!” ….

The candle flames and weeps. It submits itself to the fire and suffers gravely. It gives out light while dissolving in tears. The candle says: “It is useless to spend gold and silver wildly in order to bring yourself profit. If you want spiritual profit, burn and melt like me!”

The Prophet 􏰂ﷺ whom we love dearly wept again and again, repeating “My community, my community!” His love and compas- sion for his community were incomparably stronger than those of a loving and affectionate mother for her children. He was anxious about what his community would be facing on the Day of Judgment, and he suffered much to save his people. He said, “In the way of Allah I was subjected to much suffering that no one had faced before.” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah 34/2472).

The Prophet 􏰂ﷺ said to the Companions: “Be careful! I am a protection for you on earth while I am alive, and I will continue in my grave. I will keep praying for you to Allah the Almighty, saying ‘My community, my community!’ until the last trump of doom.” (Ali al-Muttaqi, al-Kanz al-Ummah, vol. 14, p. 414).

For the sake of our eternal life, we should truly love the Prophet 􏰂ﷺ more than we love ourselves, since he told us, “A believer will be together with the one he loves.” (Bukhari, Adab 96). All Muslims should show loyalty to the Prophet’s community because of his love for it.. That loyalty is an indicator of how much we love him.

-An Excerpt from the book “Such a mercy he is”

The nullifiers of fast

We will discuss the acts nullifying the fast under two categories:

  • Actions that require both Kaffara and Qada.
  • Fast-breaking actions that require Fasting as Qada only.

1. Actions that require both Kaffara and Qada.

It is a sin to break our fast or not fast without an excuse during the month of Ramadan. When we are fasting, if we break the fast knowingly, we must seek forgiveness of Allah due to this sin. As a penalty, we must fast for two months (kaffara) and one additional day to make up the broken fast.

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2. Fast-breaking actions that require Fasting as Qada only.

Our fast can also be broken accidentally or due to an excuse. In this case, we only fast for those days that we have missed.

Some of the fast-breaking actions that require only qada (without kaffara) include:

Some of the fast-breaking actions that require only qada (without kaffara) include:

1. Eating or drinking does not break the fast if is done through forgetfulness. However, one should immediately stop ea- ting or drinking upon remembering. In this case, the fast is not nullified. That person washes his mouth and continues to fast. Fast breaks if anything goes down one’s throat after remembering that one was fasting. If he does not stop eating or drinking upon remembrance, the fast is nullified and he has to make qada instead.


ACTIONS THAT DO NOT NULLIFY THE FAST

Our beloved Prophet ﷺ says:

“Whosoever eats and drinks while fasting due to forgetfulness, he should complete his fast. That is because Allah made him eat or drink.”

(Bukhari, Sawm, 26)

1. In tooth extraction, the spray-on morphine does not break the fast, but the injection of morphine does break the fast.  2. To taste a food without swallowing it is an objectionable act (makruh).

1. In tooth extraction, the spray-on morphine does not break the fast, but the injection of morphine does break the fast.
2. To taste a food without swallowing it is an objectionable act (makruh).

– Excerpt from the book,”My beautiful Religion: According to the Hanafi School” 

The Exemplar beyond Compare: Prophet Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ

The fascinating system that is the universe, owes its existence to the Light of Muhammad ﷺ. Flows of Divine Power perceivable throughout the universe and numerous patterns of beauty to be seen in full view are simply reminders, glimpses of that Light. As alluded to in the below excerpt from a hadith, the only reason the heartfelt repentance of Adam (عليه السلام) was accepted was because the dust from which he was created had a grain of the dust of the Prophet ﷺ:

“‘Lord…I ask Your forgiveness for the sake of Muhammad!’ pleaded Adam (عليه السلام) after realizing his error for committing the blunder that led to his expulsion from Paradise.

Then Allah, glory unto Him, asked:

How do you know Muhammad when I have not yet created him?’

‘When You created me,’ said Adam (عليه السلام) ‘and breathed into me from Your Spirit, I looked up and saw the words La ilaha ill’Allah Muhammadun Rasulullah inscribed above the pillars of the Throne. I knew there and then that You would only mention the most beloved of all creation next to Your Name.’

Thereupon Allah, glory unto Him, declared:

‘You have spoken the truth, Adam! Surely, he is the most beloved for Me of all creation! So implore me for his sake; and since you have, I hereby forgive you. Had Muhammad not been, you would not have been created!’(1)

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Submitting the name of Muhammad ﷺ as a means, a wasilah in his repentance, Adam (عليه السلام) was able to receive Divine Amnesty. The Muhammedan Light then proceeded forth, becoming temporarily embodied in Ibrahim (عليه السلام), whereby the fire of Nimrod was tamed to coolness and pleasance; and as a pearl enclosed in the wrapping that was of Ismail (عليه السلام), it induced the sending of a ram as sacrifice from the Heavens.

As can be seen, even prophets made the most of Divine Mercy through his name. There were even those like Musa (عليه السلام) who yearned to become simply a number among his ummah, just to reap the blessings of his adherence, as illustrated in a hadith narrated by Qatadah ibn Numan (May Allah be pleased with him):

“Musa (عليه السلام) once prayed:

‘My Lord…On the Tablets (2) You have given me, I see there is mentioned a virtuous nation brought forth from among man- kind, enjoining good and forbidding evil. Let them, oh Lord, be my nation!’

‘They are Ahmad’s nation!’ replied Allah, glory unto Him.

‘Lord…I see made mention in the Tablets a nation last to appear on Earth yet poised to enter Paradise first. Let them be mine!’ then pleaded Musa (عليه السلام).

‘They are Ahmad’s’, the Almighty responded once more.

‘The Tablets mention a nation who recite their Scriptures by heart, from memory, whereas those before needed their written Scriptures in front of them to read and would not remember a letter of it once their Scriptures had vanished. You have without a doubt given this nation, my Lord, a power to memorize and protect, of a kind You have not given any nation before. So let them be mine!’

‘They are Ahmad’s’, declared the Almighty once again.

‘My Lord,’ continued Musa (عليه السلام). ‘Mentioned there is a nation, who believe both what has been revealed to them and before them, who persevere against all kinds of deviance and the one-eyed impostor Dajjal. Please, let them be mine!’

‘But they are Ahmad’s’, stated Allah, glory unto Him.

‘The Tablets refer to a nation, my Lord, who are given a reward just for intending to do a good deed, even if they do not carry through with it, and if they do, are rewarded ten to seven hundred times in return. I beg to You to make them mine!’

‘They are Ahmad’s nation’, Allah declared.

Thereupon Musa (عليه السلام) put the Tablets he had been holding aside, and pleaded:

‘Then my Lord, make me member of Ahmad’s nation!’” (3)

Thus each ring of the chain of prophets, each a flame of guidance in their own right, were auspicious harbingers of the coming of Muhammad Mustafa (عليه السلام), sent as mercy to the entire realm of being.

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And At long last, in the year 571, on the Monday morning of the 12th of Rabiulawwal, the anxiously anticipated Light arrived at the world of manifestation to honor the entire extent of space and time, from the bountiful marriage of Abdullah and Aminah (May Allah be pleased with them).

Had the Blessed Prophet ﷺ, the epitome of all virtues, not made his honorable arrival to the world, mankind would have been left struggling in the throes of oppression and brutality until the end of time, leaving the weak captive at the hands of the strong. The pendulum would have swung in the favor of evil, at the expense of balance. Earth would have been a haven for oppressors and tyrants, a sentiment elegantly reverberated in the poem:

Messenger, had you not have come,
Roses would not have bloomed,
Nightingales would not have sung,
To Adam, the names would have forever remained unknown And left without meaning, Being would have been left to mourn…

Mawlana Rumi قدسسره, that great voice of Truth, propounds the degree of gratitude we ought to feel for the Noble Prophet ﷺ, who for a life time endured the most unthinkable of hard- ships to shatter the idols and overthrow oppression:

“You, who today enjoys being a Muslim; know that had it not been for the supreme effort of our one and only Ahmad ﷺ, and his resolve in smashing the idols, you too would have been an idolater like your forefathers.”

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References:

(1) Hakim, al-Mustadrak ala’s-Sahîhayn, Beirut 1990, II, 672/4228.

(2) Pages of the Torah.

(3) Tabarî, Jâmiu’l-bayân an tawîli âyi’l-Qur’ân, Beirut 1995, IX, 87-88; Ibn Kathîr, Tafsîru’l-Qur’âni’l-Azîm, I-IV, Beirut 1988, II, 259, (in the commentary of A‘râf, 154).

-An Excerpt from the book “The Exemplar beyond Compare”