Suratul Ahzab (verse 42 continued and verse 43)

There are many more benefits and virtues for the dhikr of Allah. In short, the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah is very beneficial, highly rewarding and extremely important for every believer. Each Muslim must make it his/her duty to be engaged in Allah’s remembrance abundantly, as Allah has ordered. This is not a difficult task since the dhikr of Allah is done with the tongue, and a person can be engaged in it while walking, sitting, reclining, driving etc. Whatever be the state of a person, he can surely find the time to call Allah’s glorious name on his tongue.

In the above verse, mention was made that one must glorify Allah in the morning and evening. While explaining this verse, some scholars have mentioned that both these times were mentioned since these are two virtuous times of the day when the morning and evening angels descend. (Safwatut Tafseer vol.12 pg. 64)

Some scholars have mentioned that the mentioning of these times actually indicate to ‘all times’. (Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 486). Others have stated that these timings (morning and evening) indicate to the emphasis placed on performing the Fajr and Isha Salaah [as mentioned by Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A)] OR (performing) the Fajr and Asr Salaah [as stated by Qatada (A.R)]. (Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 486)   


The gist of these explanations (as mentioned by the commentators) is that the believers are exhorted to engage themselves in all forms of worship and acts of obedience to Allah. Whether it is the act of performing Salaah or praising and glorifying Allah (with the tongue), they are all different forms of Allah’s dhikr which must be done. By mentioning the morning and evening, an indication was made to the performance of all Salaah at all its different timings, since the daily five times Salaah will either fall in the morning period or the afternoon (evening period).

This indication to the performance of Salaah given in the verse, ‘And glorify Him morning and evening’ is to show that the performance of Salaah is more virtuous than other forms of Allah’s dhikr. (Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 486)

Sura Al Ahzab continues in verse 43 and states:

43. He it is Who sends Salat (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive you), that He may bring you out from darkness into light. And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.

In this verse Allah reminds the believers that He will confer His mercy and blessings on them, such that they would be guided from the darkness unto light. Likewise, the angels would also pray for them.

The commentators have linked this verse to the previous verses, ‘O you who believe! Remember Allah in abundance and glorify Him morning and evening’, meaning that when you have become used to dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah) in abundance, and have become regular in recounting the perfections of Allah morning and evening, Allah will honour you and respect you by bestowing His blessings and by the angels supplicating for you. (Ma’ariful Quran vol.7 pg. 182)

The verse uses the word ‘yu salli’ or ‘Salaah’ to mean the conveying of blessings and mercy. This word can have different meanings in context to who it becomes applicable to. Hafiz Ibn Katheer (A.R) mentions, ‘Allah’s Salaah means that He praises His servant before the angels, as is recorded by Imam Bukhari (A.R). Others have stated that Allah’s Salaah means mercy’. Hafiz Ibn Katheer also mentions, ‘Salaah from the angels means their supplication and seeking forgiveness for the people’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.7 pg. 710)

Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) has stated that Salaah from Allah is mercy; from the angels it is prayer for forgiveness and from the believing men and jinns it is supplication. The word Salaah carries all three meanings. (Ruhul Ma’ani; Anwarul Bayaan vol.4 pg. 174)

It should be noted that since the angels do not have any volition on their own, they are unable to bless or forgive except with the permission of Allah. Therefore, in this verse as well as others when it is mentioned concerning the Salaah of the angels, the meaning would be a prayer for forgiveness, blessings and mercy to Allah on behalf of the believers.

Allah continues in the verse by saying, ‘so that He may remove you from a multitude of darkness’. This means that through the blessings of Allah and the prayer of forgiveness from the angels, Allah will bring the believers out from all sort of darkness into light.

Allah’s mercy abounds the believers in both worlds. In this world, it saves them from the darkness of kufr (disbelief), shirk (ascribing partners unto Allah), and Bid’ah (innovations), while also providing for their material needs. Then in the Hereafter, Allah’s mercy will secure for them eternal peace and tranquillity. (Anwarul Bayaan vol.4 pg. 175)

Hafiz Ibn Katheer mentions that He (Allah) brings you forth from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance into the light of true faith. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.7 pg. 711). Imam Tabari mentions in his tafseer that it means ‘Allah will take them out from the darkness of disobedience and sinning to the light of obedience’. (Tafseer At Tabari)

Other commentators have mentioned that it means, taking them out from Jahaalah (not recognizing Allah) to His Ma’rifah (recognizing the greatness of Allah) since Jahaalah is the best similitude for darkness and Ma’rifah is the best similitude for light. (Tafseer At Tabari)

Ibn Zaid says it means taking them out from misguidance to guidance. Muqaatil says it means taking them out from kufr to Imaan. Al Mawardi says it means taking them from the fire to Jannah (Paradise).

At the end of the verse Allah says, ‘And He is ever Most Merciful to the believers’. That is, He has been merciful to the believers in the world by means of guiding them to all that is right, and in the hereafter Allah’s mercy would also be extended towards them by saving them from the fire and entry into paradise, all because of his kindness and love for them.

Hafiz Ibn Katheer takes out a hadith from the compilation of Imam Ahmad, to demonstrate the love and mercy of Allah to the believers. He has recorded that Anas (R.A) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A) and a group of his companions passed by a young child on the road. When his mother saw the people, she feared that her child may be crushed by the crowd, so she rushed forward crying, ‘My son, My son!’ She ran and picked him up, and the people said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, she would never throw her child in the fire’. The Prophet (S.A) said, ‘No, and Allah will not throw His beloved in the fire’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

A similar narration has been mentioned by Imam Bukhari from Hazrat Umar Ibn Al Khattab (R.A). He says that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) saw a woman among the prisoners of war picking up her child, clasping the child to her breast and nursing him. The Messenger of Allah (S.A) asked, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child into the fire even though she is (physically) able to do so?’ They said, ‘No!’ The Messenger of Allah (S.A) said, ‘By Allah, Allah is more merciful towards His servants than this woman is to her child’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)