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Nations and Tribes – Tafseer as-Sa’adi

O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqûn (pious – see). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

Surat-Al Hujuraat, Ayah 13


Tafseer as-Saa’di:

Allah the Most High informs us that He created the Children of Aadam from one origin and one species, and all of them from male and female. And they all stem from Aadam and Hawa. However, Allah the Most High disseminated from them many men and women and divided them and made them into nations and tribes, meaning: tribes small and large, and that is so that they may know one another.

For verily, had they been independent, every one among them to themselves, they would not have attained that mutual acquaintance that was the result of mutual assistance, cooperation, heredity, and establishing the rights of those near of kin. However Allah made them into nations and tribes to obtain these matters and other than them which depended on mutually being acquainted with one another and joining lineage, however honoring (them) with piety (at-Taqwaa).

So the most honorable of them with Allah is the one who has at-Taqwaa, and most of them from them who obey and abstain from sins. Not the majority of them from kinship and tribes, nor the most honorable of them in lineage. However Allah the Most High is the All-Knowing and All-Aware.

He knows those among them who establish at-Taqwaa outwardly and inwardly, and among them are those who establish that outwardly but not inwardly. So both are recompensed with what they are entitled.

And in this ayah is a proof that acquaintance of lineage is a legislative request, because Allah made them into nations and tribes for this reason.

Translated by: Abu Mohamed Abd Kareem Hagedorn

Revisions made by: Abu Sulaymaan Muhammad ‘Abdul Azim Ibn Baker

Source of translation: Tafseer Sa’dee, page 946.

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