The Story of Surah 'Abasa

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Utsman Nuri Tufbas wrote, in “The Prophet Muhammad Mustafa the Elect (s.a.w.)”, “Just to recount an incident, while communicating Islam to a few notables of Quraysh, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum (r.a.), a blind Companion who had previously entered the fold of Islam, came up to the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.), insisting him teach him some of the truths Revealed by the Almighty.  Preoccupied, at the time, with trying to convince the prominent figures of Quraysh, however, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took little notice of him, even frowning a little upon Sayyidina ibn Maktum’s (r.a.) insistent attitude to learn, for which he was subject to the following rebuke of Allah (s.w.t.):

سُوۡرَةُ عَبَسَ
أَمَّا مَنِ ٱسۡتَغۡنَىٰ (٥) فَأَنتَ لَهُ ۥ تَصَدَّىٰ (٦) وَمَا عَلَيۡكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّىٰ (٧) وَأَمَّا مَن جَآءَكَ يَسۡعَىٰ (٨) وَهُوَ يَخۡشَىٰ (٩) فَأَنتَ عَنۡهُ تَلَهَّىٰ (١٠) كَلَّآ إِنَّہَا تَذۡكِرَةٌ۬ (١١) فَمَن شَآءَ ذَكَرَهُ ۥ (١٢)

As to one who regards himself as self-sufficient, to him dost thou attend; though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding).  But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly, and with fear (in his heart), of him wast thou unmindful.  By no means (should it be so)!  For it is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore, let who will, keep it in remembrance. (Surah ‘Abasa:5-12)

In times subsequent to the above Revelation, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) would, at every given opportunity, seek to compliment Sayyidina ibn Maktum (r.a.) with kind words.  Upon seeing him, he would sometimes comment, ‘Greetings, ibn Maktum, on behalf of whom, my Lord Rebuked me!’”  This last portion is found in Imam ‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi’s (r.a.) Asbab an-Nuzul.


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