The most beautiful ayah of the Qur’an

Imam al-Qurtubi narrates the following incident in his tafsir:

It is related that the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them all, were once reminding each other of the Qur’an.

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, radiyallahu ‘anhu, said, “I recited the Qur’an from its beginning to its end and I did not see any ayah more beautiful and full of hope than His Saying, exalted be He:

قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَىٰ شَاكِلَتِهِ

Say, ‘Each acts according to his disposition.’

(al-Isra’: 84)

For indeed, the slave is disposed towards nothing but disobedience [‘isyaan]; and the Lord is disposed towards nothing but forgiveness [ghufraan].

‘Umar, radiyallahu ‘anhu, said, “I recited the Qur’an from its beginning to its end and I did not see any ayah more beautiful and full of hope than His Saying, exalted be He:

بِسْمِ اللَّه الرَّحْمَن الرَّحِيم . حم . تَنْزِيل الْكِتَاب مِنْ اللَّه الْعَزِيز الْعَلِيم . غَافِر الذَّنْب وَقَابِل التَّوْب شَدِيد الْعِقَاب ذِي الطَّوْل

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. Haa Meem. The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Almighty, the All-Knowing. The Forgiver of sins, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in retribution, the Possessor of abundance.”

(al-Mu’min: 1 – 3)

He mentioned the forgiving of sins before the acceptance of repentance; in this there is a sign [ishaarah] for the believers.

‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, radiyallahu ‘anhu, said, “I recited the Qur’an from its beginning to its end and I did not see any ayah more beautiful and full of hope than His Saying, exalted be He:

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُور الرَّحِيم

“Inform my slaves that I, I am the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”

(al-Hijr: 49)

‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, radiyallahu ‘anhu, said, “I recited the Qur’an from its beginning to its end and I did not see any ayah more beautiful and full of hope than His Saying, exalted be He:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسهمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَة اللَّه إِنَّ اللَّه يَغْفِر الذُّنُوب جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُور الرَّحِيم

“Say, ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the Mercy of Allah; indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’”
(al-Zumar: 53)

I (al-Qurtubi) say: “I recited the Qur’an from its beginning to its end and I did not see any ayah more beautiful and full of hope than His Saying, exalted be He:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانهمْ بِظُلْمٍ أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ الْأَمْن وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ

“Those who believe and do not mix their faith with wrongdoing, they are the ones who are safe and it is they are guided.”

(al-An’am: 82)

Source: al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an

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