The Quran exonerated prophets from the descriptions of them in the Torah and Bible. Allah told us in the Quran that prophets were good people, and they never willfully committed sins. The Quran also told us that prophets were not poets, thus, Muhammad (saw) was not a poet (36:70, see Tafsir Ibn Kathir)(See 26:224-227 also). Nevertheless, we aren’t arguing that Muslims can’t be poets, however, we are arguing that Muhammad (Saw) and all other prophets and messengers were not poets, it is not befitting of them. Furthermore, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad began writing poetry in his very first book, the Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya vol. 1-2, and continued to do so throughout this career. In fact, MGA and his team concocted many arabic poems that Ahmadi’s memorize and recite at meetings and ijtema’s (qaseedah). Ahmadi’s recite MGA’s poetry proudly (urdu nazams), however, they forget that MGA considered himself to be the perfect reflection of Muhammad (saw)(second coming of Muhammad (Saw)), however, not in the case of poetry, this is very ironic. IN fact, in 1892, MGA and his team of writers wrote their famous “Qasidah”, which is long arabic poem that al Ahmadi’s are encouraged to memorize.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir on 26:224–227
Refutation of the Claim that the Prophet was a Poet
(As for the poets, the astray ones follow them.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means: “The disbelievers follow the misguided among mankind and the Jinn.” This was also the view of Mujahid, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and others. `Ikrimah said, “Two poets would ridicule one another in verse, with one group of people supporting one and another group supporting the other. Hence Allah revealed the Ayah,
(As for the poets, the erring ones follow them.)
(See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means: “They indulge in every kind of nonsense.” Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “They engage in every kind of verbal art.” This was also the view of Mujahid and others.
(And that they say what they do not do.) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that at the time of the Messenger of Allah , two men, one from among the Ansar and one from another tribe, were ridiculing one another in verse, and each one of them was supported by a group of his own people, who were the foolish ones, and Allah said:
(As for the poets, the erring ones follow them. See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry And that they say what they do not do.) What is meant here is that the Messenger, to whom this Qur’an was revealed, was not a soothsayer or a poet, because his situation was quite obviously different to theirs, as Allah says:
(And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.) (36:69),
(That this is verily, the word of an honored Messenger. It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of all that exists.) (69:40-43)
The Exception of the Poets of Islam
(Except those who believe and do righteous deeds,) Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from Yazid bin `Abdullah bin Qusayt, that Abu Al-Hasan Salim Al-Barrad, the freed servant of Tamim Ad-Dari said: “When the Ayah —
(As for the poets, the erring ones follow them.) was revealed, Hassan bin Thabit, `Abdullah bin Rawahah and Ka`b bin Malik came to the Messenger of Allah , weeping, and said: “Allah knew when He revealed this Ayah that we are poets. The Prophet recited to them the Ayah,
(Except those who believe and do righteous deeds,) and said:
((This means) you.)
(and remember Allah much). He said:
((This means) you.)
(and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. ) He said:
((This means) you.) This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir from the narration of Ibn Ishaq. But this Surah was revealed in Makkah, so how could the reason for its revelation be the poets of the Ansar This is something worth thinking about. The reports that have been narrated about this are all Mursal and cannot be relied on. And Allah knows best. But this exception could include the poets of the Ansar and others. It even includes those poets of the Jahiliyyah who indulged in condemning Islam and its followers, then repented and turned to Allah, and gave up what they used to do and started to do righteous deeds and remember Allah much, to make up for the bad things that they had previously said, for good deeds wipe out bad deeds. So they praised Islam and its followers in order to make up for their insults, as (the poet) `Abdullah bin Az-Zab`ari said when he became Muslim: “O Messenger of Allah, indeed my tongue will try to make up for things it said when I was bad — When I went along with the Shaytan during the years of misguidance, and whoever inclines towards his way is in a state of loss.” Similarly, Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith bin `Abd Al-Muttalib was one of the most hostile people towards the Prophet, even though he was his cousin, and he was the one who used to mock him the most. But when he became Muslim, there was no one more beloved to him than the Messenger of Allah . He began to praise the Messenger of Allah where he had mocked him, and take him as a close friend where he had regarded him as an enemy.
(and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged.) Ibn `Abbas said, “They responded in kind to the disbelievers who used to ridicule the believers in verse.” This was also the view of Mujahid, Qatadah and several others. It was also recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said to Hassan:
(Ridicule them in verse.) Or he said:
(Ridicule them in verse, and Jibril is with you.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka`b bin Malik said to the Prophet, “Allah has revealed what He revealed about the poets. The Messenger of Allah said:
(The believer wages Jihad with his sword and with his tongue, By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it is as if you are attacking them with arrows.)
(And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.) This is like the Ayah,
(The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers) (40: 52). According to the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah said:
(Beware of wrongdoing, for wrongdoing will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.) Qatadah bin Di`amah said concerning the Ayah —
(And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.) this refers to the poets and others. This is the end of the Tafsir Surat Ash-Shu`ara’. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
36:70 via Tafsir Ibn Kathir
(69. And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.) (70. That he or it may give warning to him who is living, and that Word may be justified against the disbelievers.)
Allah does not teach His Messenger Poetry
(And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him.) Allah tells us that He has not taught His Prophet Muhammad poetry.
(nor is it suitable for him.) means, he did not know how to compose it, he did not like it and he had no natural inclination towards it. It was narrated that he never memorized a stanza of poetry with the correct meter or rhyme — he would transpose words or memorize it incompletely. In Ad-Dala’il, Al-Bayhaqi recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Al-`Abbas bin Mirdas As-Sulami, may Allah be pleased with him:
(You are the one who said: “Do you distribute my booty and the booty of the servants between Al-Aqra` and `Uyainah.”) He said, “It is `Uyainah and Al-Aqra`.” He said:
(It is all the same.) i.e., it means the same thing. And Allah knows best. This is because Allah taught him the Qur’an, which
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it; sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.) (41:42). This is not poetry, as some of the ignorant disbelievers of the Quraysh claimed; neither is it sorcery, a fabrication or a magic spell, as the misguided and ignorant people variously suggested. The Prophet was naturally disinclined to compose verse, and was forbidden to do so by Divine Law.
(This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.) means, it is clear and self-explanatory to the one who ponders and comprehends its meanings, Allah says:
(That he or it may give warning to him who is living,) meaning, so that this plain Qur’an might warn every living person on the face of the earth. This is like the Ayat:
(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach) (6:19).
(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place) (11:17). Those who will benefit from his warning will be those whose hearts are alive and who have enlightened insight, as Qatadah said, “Alive of heart and alive of insight.” Ad-Dahhak said, “This means wise.”
(and that Word may be justified against the disbelievers.) means, it is a mercy to the believers and evidence against the disbelievers.
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