Saturday, 17 April 2010

So, verily, with every hardship, there is ease. (Inshirah 94: 5-6)

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
So, verily, with every hardship, there is ease:

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Verily, with every hardship there is ease.

[Surah Inshirah 94: 5-6]

The ال issue you mentioned can be explained in one of two ways I know of:

1) al-Jurjani said that if you say,

إن مع الفارس سيفاً، إن مع الفارس سيفاً
(Indeed, the horseman has a sword, indeed the horseman has a sword)

then it means that there has to be one horseman who has two swords. So it means there is only one hardship, but two different eases. This is also the opinion held by al-Farraa’ regarding the meaning of this verse. Tha‘lab also mentioned that if the Arabs mentioned a definite noun and repeated it, then it is for emphasis and it is the same noun, but if they mentioned an indefinite noun and repeated it then they are two separate objects.

2) The repetition of the verse was for the sake of emphasis, and this is common in the Arabic language, such as when Allaah repeated the phrase in Surah Mutaffifeen: وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لّلْمُكَذّبِينَ which was for the sake of emphasizing the meaning in the souls and hearts of the reader.

Some of the scholars conjectured on what the ease refers to – some said it was the conquests that happened in the days of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the Khulafaa’, others said it was the ease of this life and the Hereafter (as in the reference to Ihdaa al-Husnayan [Tawba 9:52]). So if it is a definite ease that is intended, the question is why is it mentioned indefinitely, without the definite marker ٱلْ ?

The answer is (Allah knows best) for aggrandizement, and it is as though Allaah is saying, With the hardships you have gone through, O Muhammad, [which is in reference to the Mushriks of Makkah taunting him (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the believers about their poverty and facing torture/hardships until he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came to believe that they were not embracing Islam due to the poverty of the Muslims and their contempt] will come a great, copious, abundant amount of ease, so do not despair of My mercy.”

The other beautiful point with regards the language is the use of إِنّ مّع (‘indeed with’) instead of, for example, إِنَّ بَعد (‘indeed, after’) because the word مع is used to indicate that something accompanies something else, so how can it be said that ease accompanies hardship when they are two completely opposite things? It was mentioned in this way (wallaahu a3lam) as though Allaah is being merciful to them by telling them that before they know it, the ease will come to them, as though they will feel it is such a short time that it is happening right then, at the exact same time as the hardship, to increase their strength and hope.

The "ف" [ fa ] is just a conjunction used to indicate continuation (‘due to what has been said then do such and such.’) The "ف" used in this manner can carry the same meaning as ثُمَّ but the difference is that the "ف" is after a shorter period of time.

With hardship there is ease, SO [really soon] there is (another) ease with that hardship.

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