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وَقُلِ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَداً وَلَم يَكُنْ لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي ٱلْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ ٱلذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيراً
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-Al-Isrâ’ ( الإسراء )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

And say: ‘Praise be to God, Who has neither taken a son, nor has He any partner in sovereignty, in divineness, nor has He [taken] any ally, to assist Him, out of, because of [any], weakness’, that is to say, He would never become weak and thus need an assistant. And magnify Him with magnifications [worthy of Him], extol Him with a perfect extolling above that He should have taken a son or a partner, and [above] any weakness and [above] all that does not befit Him. The arrangement whereby ‘praise’ is [invoked] together with this [statement] is meant to indicate that He is the One worthy of all praise, because of the perfection of His Essence and the fact that He alones possesses those attributes of His. Imam Ahmad [b. Hanbal] relates in his Musnad [by way of a report] from Mu‘ādh al-Juhanī [who heard it] from the Messenger of God (s), who used to say, ‘The “glory” verse [in the Qur’ān] is: Praise be to God, Who has neither taken a son, nor has He any partner in sovereignty … to the end [of the above-mentioned sūra, 17:111]’, and God, exalted be He, knows best.
The author of this [commentary] says, ‘This [last commentary] constitutes the end of my complement to the commentary on the Noble Qur’ān composed by the inquisitive scholar, the shaykh, Imam Jalāl al-Dīn al-Mahallī al-Shāfi‘ī, may God be pleased with him. I have expended every effort in it and reflected throughout it exhaustively, [especially] in those precious things that I have deemed, God willing, to be profitable. I composed it [this commentary] in the same length of time appointed for the one spoken to by God [sc. Moses] and I have made it a means to attaining the Gardens of Bliss. It [this commentary] actually draws on the work which it complements, relying and depending on it for [an understanding of] those allegorical verses. May God have mercy on one who examines it with impartiality, chances upon an error and informs me of it. As I have said:
“I praise God, my Lord, for He guided me in what I have expressed despite my incapacity and weakness; for who [other than God] is there to avert me from error and who is there to accept from me even a single letter”.
In fact, it never occurred to me to embark upon such [a task], knowing that I was incapable of delving into such issues. Perhaps God will make it of ample profit [to others] and through it open sealed hearts, blinded eyes and deaf ears. I have the impression that I am before those [sort of readers] who would prefer works of prolixity, refraining from [referring to] this complementary work, rejecting it outright, tending to obvious obstinacy [regarding it], without addressing its intricacies with any understanding: And whoever is blind in this world shall be blind in the Hereafter [Q. 17:72]. May God thereby provide us with a [way of] guidance to the path of truth, with success, an awareness of the subtle intricacies of His words and with an ascertainment. May He thereby also make us with those to whom God has been gracious from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the righteous — and excellent companions are they! [Q. 4:69]. He [Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī] completed the composition of this [work] on Sunday, 10th of Shawwāl, in the year 870 (AH) [1465 AD], having commenced it on the first Wednesday of Ramadān of the same year. He completed the fair copy [of this work] on Wednesday, 6th of Safar in the year 871 (AH) [1466 AD], and God knows best. Shaykh Shams al-Dīn Muhammad b. Abī Bakr al-Khatīb al-Tūkhī said: my friend the erudite shaykh Kamāl al-Dīn al-Mahallī, brother of the above-mentioned shaykh of ours, shaykh Jalāl al-Dīn al-Mahallī, may God have mercy on both of them, that he saw his brother, the above-mentioned shaykh Jalāl al-Dīn, in his dream: before him stood our friend the inquiring erudite scholar shaykh Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī, compiler of this complement. He [Mahallī] had this complement in his hand and, perusing it, he was saying to its above-mentioned compiler [Suyūtī], ‘Which of the two is better, my composition or yours?’. He [Suyūtī] said, ‘Mine’. He [Mahallī] then said, ‘But look at this …’, and he showed him parts of it, politely pointing out to him his objections thereto. Each time he [Mahallī] brought something up, the compiler of this complement [Suyūtī] would respond to him, while shaykh [Mahallī] would smile and laugh. Our shaykh, the imam, the erudite scholar Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān b. Abī Bakr al-Suyūtī, compiler of this complement said: What I believe, and what I am absolutely certain of, is that the part composed by shaykh Jalāl al-Dīn al-Mahallī, may God have mercy on him, in his section [of the commentary] is actually better than mine by far. How [could it be otherwise], when most of what I have written here draws on his work and relies on it? I have no doubt about this. As regards what was seen in the above-mentioned dream, then perhaps it is the case that the shaykh meant to point out those few places in which I disagreed with what he had written on account of some little comment [that I had made therein]. But these [instances] are very few and I do not think that they add up to more than ten such instances. Among these is where shaykh [al-Mahallī] comments in sūrat Sād: ‘The Spirit is a delicate organism (jism latīf) that gives life to a human being by permeating it’. I followed this [opinion] at first, but then I remembered the restriction [made by God] while [working on the commentary] at sūrat al-Hijr; and so I erased it because of where God says, And they will question you concerning the Spirit. Say, ‘The Spirit is of the command of my Lord. And of knowledge you have not been given except a little […]’ [to the end of] the verse [Q. 15:85]. For, it is explicit, or almost explicit, in stating that the [true nature of the] Spirit is of God’s knowledge [only], exalted be He — we do not know it. Thus, it is better that we should refrain from trying to define it. For this reason also, shaykh Tāj al-Dīn b. al-Subkī says in [his work] Jam‘ al-jawāmi‘ (The compendium of compendiums’): ‘As for the spirit, Muhammad (s) never spoke about it and we should [also] therefore refrain [from speaking about it].’ Another [instance] is where the shaykh says in [his commentary to] sūrat al-Hajj [Q. 22:17], ‘The Sabaeans (al-sābi’ūn) are a Jewish sect’. I mention this in [my commentary to] sūrat al-Baqara [Q. 2:62], where I added the following [gloss] ‘or [they are] a Christian [sect]’, in order to point out a variant opinion, generally acknowledged, particularly by our colleagues, the [Shāfi‘ī] jurists, and [also acknowledged] by the Minhāj (‘The Method […]’), where it is stated that the Samaritans opposed the Jews and the Sabaeans [opposed] the Christians [respectively] over the fundamentals of their religion. In his [Mahallī’s] Sharh (‘Commentary’), al-Shāfi‘ī, may God be pleased with him, is reported to have said that the Sabaeans were a Christian sect. At this moment, I cannot recall a third instance [of Mahallī’s objections]. Perhaps these are the sort of examples which the Shaykh, may God have mercy on him, was pointing out [in the dream]. And God knows best what is correct, and to Him is the return and the [final] resort.



Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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