Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Allah (s.w.t.) Speaks the Truth
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is by Shaykh ‘Ali Juma’ah. It is recommended in shari’ah to say, “Swadaqallah al-A’azhim,” or “Allah the Greatest has Told the Truth,” after finishing a Qur'anic recitation. This is based on the words of Allah (s.w.t.):
Say: “Allah Speaketh the Truth ...” (Surah Ali ‘Imran:95)
In this verse, Allah (s.w.t.) Legislates an Unrestricted Command. It is established in the science of legal theory, uswul al-fiqh, that an Unrestricted Command encompasses all times, places, people and conditions. There is nothing wrong if this verse was revealed in response to the Jews, regarding what they falsely attributed to the Torah. This is because it is likewise established that the important thing is the general purport of the words and not their contextual specificity.
Muslims, past and present, have abided by the practice of saying, “Swadaqallah al-A’azhim,” after ending a Qur'anic recitation and no one criticised it at any time. Rather, scholars deemed it from among the etiquette of Qur'anic recitation. In his Qur’an exegesis, Imam al-Qurthubi (r.a.) said, “The erudite, at-Tirmidzi mentioned that saying ‘Swadaqallah al-A’azhim’ is from among the etiquette of Qur’anic recitation. He said, ‘Part of the sanctity ascribed to the Qur’an is to testify, after finishing the recitation, to the truth of the Words of Allah and to bear witness that His Messenger (s.a.w.) has conveyed His Message by saying, ‘God the Greatest has Spoken the Truth and His noble Messenger has conveyed it.’
A Muslim is to confirm this by saying, 'O Lord, You have Spoken the Truth and we bear witness that You have Conveyed the Message to Your messengers. O Lord, Make us among the truthful witnesses and followers of justice.’ And then he is to supplicate Allah for whatever he wishes.’”
In his book, al-Ihya’, Imam al-Ghazali (r.a.) enumerated the etiquette of reciting the Qur’an and said, “The 8th etiquette: start reciting the Qur’an by saying, ‘I seek Refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, the All Knowing from the accursed Satan. My Lord, I seek Refuge in You from the incitements of the devils, and I seek Refuge in You, my Lord, lest they be present with me.’ Then he is to recite the chapters of an-Naas and al-Fatihah. After finishing his recitation, the reader is to say, ‘Allah Almighty has Spoken the Truth and His Messenger has conveyed His Message. O Lord, Grant us the benefit of the Qur’an and Bless it. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and I ask Him, the Ever living, the Self existing, For forgiveness.’”
Saying, “Swadaqallah al-A’azhim,” is a sunnah that the predecessors and successors from among the Muslims have abided by for generations without any repudiation. In fact, denying the validity of this practice is considered a bid’ah, innovation in religion, because those who object to it deny the permissibility of uttering it after reciting the Qur`an, although it is permissible to utter it at any time. Therefore, prohibiting it at certain times is considered restricting what Allah (s.w.t.) and His Messenger (s.a.w.) have left open. Moreover, it is more appropriate to say it after Qur`anic recitation to fulfill the Commands of Allah (s.w.t.). This is because taswdiq, attesting, a matter can only be after hearing it. Although there is no known non-Prophetic tradition mentioned on this, scholars also recommended making taswdiq when hearing the words, “Prayer is better that sleep,” “as-Swalatu khayrun min an-nawm,” of the call for fajr prayer, after which one is to say, “You have spoken the truth.” Moreover, the Command to say, “Swadaqallah al-A’azhim,” was mentioned in a hadits that was reported by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in Shu’ab al-Iman. Although it is a weak hadits, it can be followed to encourage righteous acts.