Tafseer Surah Yasin Ibnu Kathir (17): Allah does not teach His Messenger Poetry

Tafsir Ibnu Kathir Surah Yasin (17)

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﴿وَمَا عَلَّمْنَـهُ
الشِّعْرَ وَمَا يَنبَغِى لَهُ﴾

(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.
﴿وَمَا يَنبَغِى

(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:
«أَنْتَ الْقَائِلُ:
أَتَجْعَلُ نَهْبِي وَنَهْبَ الْعُبَيدِ بَيْنَ الْأَقْرَعِ وَعُيَيْنَة»

(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
﴿لاَّ يَأْتِيهِ
الْبَـطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ
حَمِيدٍ ﴾

(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.
﴿إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ
ذِكْرٌ وَقُرْءَانٌ مُّبِينٌ﴾

(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
﴿لِّيُنذِرَ مَن
كَانَ حَيّاً﴾

(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:
﴿لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ
وَمَن بَلَغَ﴾

(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach) (6:19).
﴿وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ
مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ﴾

(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.”
﴿وَيَحِقَّ الْقَوْلُ
عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ﴾

(and that Word may be justified against the disbelievers.) means, it is a
mercy to the believers and evidence against the disbelievers.
﴿أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ
أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِينَآ أَنْعـماً فَهُمْ لَهَا
مَـلِكُونَ – وَذَلَّلْنَـهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ
– وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مَنَـفِعُ وَمَشَـرِبُ أَفَلاَ يَشْكُرُونَ ﴾

(71. Do they not see that We have created for them of what Our Hands have
fashioned, the cattle, so that they are their owners.) (72. And We have subdued
them unto them so that some of them they have for riding and some they eat.)
(73. And they have (other) benefits from them, and (they get to) drink. Will
they not then be grateful)