He frowned [80:1]

Qur’an:

“He frowned and turned away because the blind man came to him. How should you know, perhaps he wants to purify himself or to reflect, so that the reminder will benefit him. Whoever acts as if he had no need of anyone, to him you are devoted, and you do not care that he does not want to purify himself. But whoever comes to you in haste and is God-fearing, you pay no attention to him. Nay, it is a remembrance. Whosoever then will, let him remember. (It is) written on sheets held in honour, Lifted up and kept pure, In the hands of scribes who are noble and pious. Condemned to death be the man, How ungrateful he is!” [Abasa 80:1-17]

عبس وتولى أن جاءه الأعمى وما يدريك لعله يزكى أو يذكر فتنفعه الذكرى أما من استغنى فأنت له تصدى وما عليك ألا يزكى وأما من جاءك يسعى وهو يخشى فأنت عنه تلهى كلا إنها تذكرة فمن شاء ذكره في صحف مكرمة مرفوعة مطهرة بأيدي سفرة كرام بررة قتل الإنسان ما أكفره

Sunnah:

Fadl Ibn Hasan reported that Imam As-Sadiq (a.) said: “It was revealed about a man among the sons of Umayyah (Uthman) who was in the presence of the Prophet (s.). When Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum came and he saw him, he detested him and gathered himself. He frowned and turned his face away from him. Therefore, God spoke about this event and rejected his behaviour.” Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) said: “When Prophet Muhammad (s.) saw Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum, he would say: “Greetings, greetings! No, by God, never does God rebuke me because of my behaviour towards you.” He used to deal with him in such kindness that he had to ask the Prophet (s.) to put a stop to his action.” [Majma’-ul-Bayan by Abu Ali At-Tabarsi, Volume 10 page 266]

عن فضل بن حسن عن الإمام الصادق عليه السلام قال: انها نزلت في رجل من بني أمية (عثمان) كان عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فجاء ابن أم مكتوم فلما رآه تقذر منه وجمع نفسه وعبس وأعرض بوجهه عنه فحكى الله سبحانه ذلك وأنكره عليه. وروي عن الصادق عليه السلام أنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله إذا رأى عبد الله بن أم مكتوم قال: مرحبا مرحبا، لا والله لا يعاتبني الله فيك أبدا، وكان يصنع به من اللطف حتى كان يكف عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله مما يفعل به

Abu Al-Hasan Al-Qummi writes: “It was revealed because of Uthman and Ibn Umm Maktum. Ibn Umm Maktum was the prayer caller of the Prophet (s.) and blind. He came to the Prophet (s.) while his companions and Uthman were with him and the Prophet (s.) introduced him to him, but he frowned and turned away from him. Therefore God sent down: “He frowned and turned away.” Meaning Uthman: “Because the blind man came to him. How should you know, perhaps he wants to purify himself?” To be pure and clean: “Or to reflect.” He says: “The Messenger (s.) makes him reflect.” Then Uthman is addressed and therefore He says: “Whoever acts as if he is not dependent on anyone, To him you devote yourself.” He says: “When a wealthy person comes to you, you devote yourself to him and give him credit.” And: “You do not care that he does not want to purify himself.” It means: “You do not care whether he is purified or not, as long as he is wealthy.” And: “But whoever comes to you in haste.” Meant is Ibn Umm Maktum: “And while he is God-fearing, To him you pay no attention.” Meaning: ” You are careless and do not turn to him.” [Tafsir Al-Qummi, Volume 2 page 404 – 405]

قال أبو الحسن القمي: نزلت في عثكن (عثمان) وابن أم مكتوم وكان ابن أم مكتوم مؤذنا لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وكان أعمى، وجاء إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وعنده أصحابه وعثكن عنده، فقدمه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عليه فعبس وجهه وتولى عنه فأنزل الله عبس وتولى يعني عثكن ان جاءه الأعمى وما يدريك لعله يزكى أي يكون طاهرا أزكى أو يذكر قال يذكره رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم خاطب عثكن فقال: أما من استغنى فأنت له تصدى قال أنت إذا جاءك غني تتصدى له وترفعه وما عليك ألا يزكى أي لا تبالي زكيا كان أو غير زكي إذا كان غنيا وأما من جاءك يسعى يعنى ابن أم مكتوم وهو يخشى فأنت عنه تلهى أي تلهو ولا تلتفت إليه

Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “Externally, the verse is not an evidence that it is addressed to Prophet Muhammad (s.) and there is nothing in it, that proves him as the person who is being addressed. Rather, it is a general statement, that does not clarify the person being addressed and the evidence in it suggests that someone other than the Prophet (s.) is meant, for that one is described with the frown (80:1) and this is not one of the characteristics of the Prophet (s.) in the Qur’an.” [Bihar-ul-Anwar of Al-Majlisi, Volume 17 page 78]

قال الشريف المرتضى: أما ظاهر الآية فغير دال على توجهها إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله، ولا فيها ما يدل على أنها خطاب له، بل هي خبر محض لم يصرح بالمخبر عنه، وفيها ما يدل عند التأمل على أن المعني بها غير النبي صلى الله عليه وآله، لأنه وصفه بالعبوس، وليس هذا من صفات النبي صلى الله عليه وآله في قرآن

Abu Ja’far At-Tusi writes: “There is disagreement as to whom God has described by this. Many explainers and commentators say: “The Prophet Muhammad (s.) is meant by this and this happened when there were with the Messenger (s.) a group of the noblemen of his people and their chiefs, who departed from him and with whom he had already congregated. Thereupon Ibn Umm Maktum came to accept Islam, but the Messenger (s.) turned away in disgust that the people might detest his coming. Therefore, God put him under a reprimand due to his behaviour.” And it is said: “Ibn Umm Maktum was a Muslim and addressed the Prophet (s.) without knowing that he was engaged in conversation with a group, so he said:”O Messenger of God!” And this is to be rejected, for God assigned such significant attributes for the Prophet (s.). So how should He describe him with the frown and scowl, while He attributes to him: “And you possess great traits of character.” (68:4) And He says: “Had you been rude and hard-hearted, they would have run away from all around you.” (3:159) How does he turn away from the one who presents himself to him? And the Exalted One described him with His word: “And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord morning and evening seeking His face.” (6:52) It was part of the way of life of the Prophet (s.) and his good behaviour and what God distinguished him with in noble manners and good company, so that it was said: “He never extended his hand to anyone except that he withdrew his hand from the hand of the other only when the other withdrew his hand from his hand.” So how does someone with such qualities make his face frown at someone who is suffering from blindness and comes to Islam out of desire? The Prophets (a.) are free from such behaviour and what lies under it, to the validation of accepting their words and observing towards their call and behaviour like this is not allowed to the Prophets (s.), due to their encompassed way of life and clarification of their special nature. One group says: “This verse was sent down because of a man among the sons of Umayyah (Uthman),who used to stay in the presence of the Prophet (s). When Ibn Umm Maktum came, he avoided him and gathered himself and frowned and turned his face away from him. Therefore, God spoke about this event and rejected him out of rebuke.” His word: “How shall you know?” (80:3) Is a speech, to be delivered by the Prophet (s.) and his esteem: “Say, O Muhammad: “How shall you know, perhaps he wants to purify himself?” [At-Tibyan, vol. 10 page 268 – 269]

قال شيخ الإسلام محمد بن الحسن الطوسي رضي الله عنه: واختلفوا فيمن وصفه الله تعالى بذلك، فقال كثير من المفسرين وأهل الحشو: إن المراد به النبي صلى الله عليه وآله قالوا وذلك أن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله كان معه جماعة من أشراف قومه ورؤسائهم قد خلا بهم فاقبل ابن أم مكتوم ليسلم فأعرض النبي صلى الله عليه وآله عنه كراهية أن تكره القوم إقباله عليه فعاتبه الله على ذلك. وقيل: إن ابن أم مكتوم كان مسلما، وإنما كان يخاطب النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وهو لا يعلم أن رسول الله مشغول بكلام قوم، فيقول يا رسول الله. وهذا فاسد، لان النبي صلى الله عليه وآله قد أجل الله قدره عن هذه الصفات، وكيف يصفه بالعبوس والتقطيب، وقد وصفه بأنه على خلق عظيم وقال ولو كنت فظا غليظ القلب لا نفضوا من حولك وكيف يعرض عمن تقدم وصفه مع قوله تعالى ولا تطرد الذين يدعون ربهم بالغداة والعشي يريدون وجهه ومن عرف النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وحسن أخلاقه وما خصه الله تعالى به من مكارم الأخلاق وحسن الصحبة حتى قيل إنه لم يكن يصافح أحدا قط فينزع يده من يده، حتى يكون ذلك الذي ينزع يده من يده. فمن هذه صفته كيف يقطب في وجه أعمى جاء يطلب الاسلام، على أن الأنبياء عليهم السلام منزهون عن مثل هذه الأخلاق وعما هو دونها لما في ذلك من التنفير عن قبول قولهم والاصغاء إلى دعائهم، ولا يجوز مثل هذا على الأنبياء من عرف مقدارهم وتبين نعتهم. وقال قوم: إن هذه الآيات نزلت في رجل من بني أمية (عثمان) كان واقفا مع النبي صلى الله عليه وآله، فلما اقبل ابن أم مكتوم تنفر منه، وجمع نفسه وعبس في وجهه وأعرض بوجهه عنه فحكى الله تعالى ذلك وانكره معاتبة على ذلك وقوله وما يدريك خطاب للنبي صلى الله عليه وآله وتقديره قل يا محمد وما يدريك لعله يزكى

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