Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Alama Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir

Surah Al Ma'ida

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,Most Merciful

The Virtues of Surah Al-Ma'idah; When It was Revealed

At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said, "The last Surahs to be revealed were Surah Al-Ma'idah and Surah Al-Fath.'' (Surah 48)

At-Tirmidhi commented, "This Hadith is Hasan Gharib.''

and it was also reported that Ibn Abbas said that the last Surah to be revealed was, إِذَا جَاء نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ  (When there comes the help of Allah and the Conquest). (Surah 110)

Al-Hakim collected a narration similar to that of At-Tirmidhi in his Mustadrak, and he said, "It is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sheikhs and they did not record it.''

Al-Hakim narrated that Jubayr bin Nufayr said,

"I performed Hajj once and visited Aishah and she said to me, `O Jubayr! Do you read (or memorize) Al-Ma'idah?'

I answered `Yes.'

She said, `It was the last Surah to be revealed. Therefore, whatever permissible matters you find in it, then consider (treat) them permissible. And whatever impermissible matters you find in it, then consider (treat) them impermissible.'''

Al-Hakim said, "It is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sheikhs and they did not record it.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi related that Muawiyah bin Salih added this statement in the last Hadith,

I (Jubayr) also asked Aishah about the Messenger of Allah's conduct and she answered by saying, "The Qur'an.''

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ

O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.

أُحِلَّتْ لَكُمْ بَهِيمَةُ الاٌّنْعَامِ إِلاَّ مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ مُحِلِّى الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ

Lawful to you (for food) are all the beasts of cattle except that which will be announced to you (herein), game (also) being unlawful when you assume Ihram.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ

Verily, Allah commands that which He wills.

2

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تُحِلُّواْ شَعَآئِرَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَلاَ الْهَدْىَ وَلاَ الْقَلَـئِدَ وَلا ءَامِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَناً

O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month, nor of the Hady brought for sacrifice, nor the garlands, nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord.

وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَـدُواْ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُواْ

But when you finish the Ihram, then hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression.

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa, but do not help one another in sin and transgression.

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ آلْعِقَابِ

And have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment.

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ ...

O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that;

a man came to Abdullah bin Mas`ud and said to him, "Advise me.''

He said, "When you hear Allah's statement, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ (O you who believe!) then pay full attention, for it is a righteous matter that He is ordaining or an evil thing that He is forbidding.''

Khaythamah said, "Everything in the Qur'an that reads, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ  (O you who believe), reads in the Tawrah, `O you who are in need.'''

Allah said, أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ  (Fulfill (your) obligations). Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and others said that; `obligations' here means treaties.

Ibn Jarir mentioned that there is a consensus for this view.

Ibn Jarir also said that; it means treaties, such as the alliances that they used to conduct.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ  (O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations),

"Refers to the covenants, meaning, what Allah permitted, prohibited, ordained and set limits for in the Qur'an. Therefore, do not commit treachery or break the covenants. Allah emphasized this command when He said,

وَالَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ اللّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ

And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell). (13:25)"

Ad-Dahhak said that, أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ (Fulfill your obligations), "Refers to what Allah has permitted and what He has prohibited. Allah has taken the covenant from those who proclaim their faith in the Prophet and the Book to fulfill the obligations that He has ordered for them in the permissible and the impermissible.''

Explaining the Lawful and the Unlawful Beasts

Allah said,

... أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الأَنْعَامِ ...

Lawful to you (for food) are all the beasts of cattle,

camels, cows and sheep, as Al-Hasan, Qatadah and several others stated.

Ibn Jarir said that this Tafsir conforms to the meaning of (`beasts of cattle') that the Arabs had. We should mention that Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas and others relied on this Ayah as evidence to allow eating the meat of the fetus if it is found dead in the belly of its slaughtered mother.

There is a Hadith to the same effect collected in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah and narrated by Abu Sa`id who said,

"We asked, `O Messenger of Allah! When we slaughter a camel, cow or sheep, we sometimes find a fetus in its belly, should we discard it or eat its meat?'

He said,

كُلُوهُ إِنْ شِئْتُمْ فَإِنَّ ذَكَاتَهُ ذَكَاةُ أُمِّه

Eat it if you want, because its slaughter was fulfilled when its mother was slaughtered.''

At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''

Abu Dawud recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

ذَكَاةُ الْجَنِينِ ذَكَاةُ أُمِّه

Proper slaughter of the fetus is fulfilled with the slaughter of its mother.

Only Abu Dawud collected this narration.

Allah's statement,

... إِلاَّ مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ ...

except that which will be announced to you (herein),

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that it refers to, "The flesh of dead animals, blood and the meat of swine.''

Qatadah said, "The meat of dead animals and animals slaughtered without Allah's Name being pronounced at the time of slaughtering.''

It appears, and Allah knows best, that the Ayah refers to Allah's other statement,

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ

Forbidden to you (for food) are:

· Al-Maytah (the dead animals),

· blood,

· the flesh of swine, and

· what has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, and

· that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and

· that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal. (5:3),

for although the animals mentioned in this Ayah are types of permissible cattle (except for swine), they become impermissible under the circumstances that the Ayah (5:3) specifies.

This is why Allah said afterwards, إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ  (Unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death), (5:3) and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone altars)) as the latter type is not permissible, because it can no longer be slaughtered properly.

Hence, Allah's statement, أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الأَنْعَامِ إِلاَّ مَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ  (Lawful to you are all the beasts of cattle except that which will be announced to you), means, except the specific circumstances that prohibit some of these which will be announced to you.

Allah said,

... غَيْرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ...

game (also) being unlawful when you assume Ihram.

Some scholars said that; the general meaning of `cattle' includes domesticated cattle, such as camels, cows and sheep, and wild cattle, such as gazelle, wild cattle and wild donkeys.

Allah made the exceptions mentioned above (dead animals blood, flesh of swine etc.), and prohibited hunting wild beasts while in the state of Ihram.

It was also reported that the meaning here is, "We have allowed for you all types of cattle in all circumstances, except what We excluded herewith for the one hunting game while in the state of Ihram.''

Allah said,

فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, and not transgressing, then, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (16:115)

This Ayah means, "We allowed eating the meat of dead animals, when one is forced by necessity, under the condition that one is not transgressing the limits or overstepping them.''

Here, Allah states, "Just as We allowed the meat of cattle in all conditions and circumstances, then do not hunt game when in the state of Ihram, for this is the decision of Allah, Who is the Most Wise in all that He commands and forbids.''

So Allah said;

... إِنَّ اللّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ ﴿١﴾

Verily, Allah commands that which He wills.

The Necessity of Observing the Sanctity of the Sacred Area and the Sacred Months

Allah continues,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُحِلُّواْ شَعَآئِرَ اللّهِ ...

O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of Sha'a'ir Allah (the symbols of Allah),

Ibn Abbas said, "Sha`a'ir Allah means the rituals of Hajj.''

Mujahid said, "As-Safa and Al-Marwah, and the sacrificial animal are the symbols of Allah.''

It was also stated that; Sha`a'ir Allah is what He prohibited. Therefore, it means, do not violate what Allah prohibited.

Allah said afterwards,

... وَلاَ الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ ...

nor of the Sacred Month,

for you are required to respect and honor the Sacred Month and to refrain from what Allah forbade during it, such as fighting. This also lays emphasis on avoiding sins during that time.

As Allah said;

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ

They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Month. Say, "Fighting therein is a great (transgression).'' (2:217)

and,

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا

(Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year). (9:36)

Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Abu Bakrah said that the Messenger of Allah said during the Farewell Hajj,

إِنَّ الزَّمَانَ قَدِ اسْتَدَارَ كَهَيْئَتِهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ اللهُ السَّمَواتِ وَالْأَرْضَ السَّنَةُ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا، مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ، ثَلَاثٌ مُتَوَالِيَاتٌ: ذُو الْقَعْدَةِ وَذُو الْحِجَّةِ وَالْمُحَرَّمُ، وَرَجَبُ مُضَرَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ جُمَادَى وَشَعْبَان

The division of time has returned as it was when Allah created the Heavens and the earth. The year is twelve months, four of which are sacred: Three are in succession, (they are:) Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada (Ath-Thaniyah) and Sha'ban.)

This Hadith testifies to the continued sanctity of these months until the end of time.

Taking the Hady to the Sacred House of Allah, Al-Ka`bah

Allah's statement,

... وَلاَ الْهَدْيَ وَلاَ الْقَلآئِدَ ...

nor of the Hady brought for sacrifice, nor the garlands,

means, do not abandon the practice of bringing the Hady (sacrificial animals) to the Sacred House, as this ritual is a form of honoring the symbols of Allah.

Do not abandon the practice of garlanding these animals on their necks, so that they are distinguished from other cattle. This way, it will be known that these animals are intended to be offered as Hady at the Ka`bah, and thus those who might intend some harm to them would refrain from doing so. Those who see the Hady might be encouraged to imitate this ritual, and indeed, he who calls to a type of guidance, will earn rewards equal to the rewards of those who follow his lead, without decrease in their own rewards.

When the Messenger of Allah intended to perform Hajj, he spent the night at Dhul-Hulayfah, which is also called Wadi Al-Aqiq. In the morning, the Prophet made rounds with his wives, who were nine at that time, performed Ghusl (bath), applied some perfume and performed a two Rak`ah prayer. He then garlanded the Hady and announced aloud his intention to perform Hajj and Umrah. The Prophet's Hady at the time consisted of plenty of camels, more than sixty, and they were among the best animals, the healthiest and most physically acceptable, just as Allah's statement proclaims,

ذلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَـئِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ

Thus it is, and whosoever honors the symbols of Allah, then it is truly, from the piety of the hearts. (22:32)

Muqatil bin Hayyan said that Allah's statement, وَلاَ الْقَلآئِدَ  (nor the garlands) means, "Do not breach their sanctity.''

During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to garland themselves with animal hair and pelts when they left their areas in months other than the Sacred Months. The idolators of the Sacred House Area used to garland themselves with the tree-stems of the Sacred Area, so that they were granted safe passage.''

This statement was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim, who also recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"There are two Ayat in this Surah (Al-Ma'idah) that were abrogated, the Ayah about the garlands (5:2), and فَإِن جَآؤُوكَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ  (So if they come to you (O Muhammad), either judge between them, or turn away from them).'' (5:42)

The Necessity of Preserving the Sanctity and Safety of those who Intend to Travel to the Sacred House

Allah said,

... وَلا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا ...

nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord.

The Ayah commands: Do not fight people who are heading towards the Sacred House of Allah, which if anyone enters it, he must be granted safe refuge. Likewise, those who are heading towards the Sacred House seeking the bounty and good pleasure of Allah, must not be stopped, prevented, or frightened away from entering the Sacred House.

Mujahid, Ata, Abu Al-Aliyah, Mutarrif bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Ubayd bin Umayr, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Qatadah and several others said that, يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ  (seeking the bounty of their Lord), refers to trading.

A similar discussion preceded concerning the Ayah;

لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading). (2:198)

Allah said; وَرِضْوَانًا  (and pleasure). Ibn Abbas said that the word `pleasure' in the Ayah refers to, "seeking Allah's pleasure by their Hajj.''

Ikrimah, As-Suddi and Ibn Jarir mentioned that; this Ayah was revealed concerning Al-Hutam bin Hind Al-Bakri, who had raided the cattle belonging to the people of Al-Madinah. The following year, he wanted to perform Umrah to the House of Allah and some of the Companions wanted to attack him on his way to the House. Allah revealed, وَلا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا  (nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord).

Hunting Game is Permissible After Ihram Ends

Allah said,

... وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُواْ ...

But when you finish the Ihram, then hunt,

When you end your Ihram, it is permitted for you to hunt game, which was prohibited for you during Ihram.

Although this Ayah contains a command that takes effect after the end of a state of prohibition (during Ihram in this case), the Ayah, in fact, brings back the ruling that was previously in effect. If the previous ruling was an obligation, the new command will uphold that obligation, and such is the case with recommended and permissible matters. There are many Ayat that deny that the ruling in such cases is always an obligation. Such is also the case against those who say that it is always merely allowed. What we mentioned here is the correct opinion that employs the available evidence, and Allah knows best.

Justice is Always Necessary

Allah said,

... وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُواْ ...

and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part).

The meaning of this Ayah is apparent, as it commands: Let not the hatred for some people, who prevented you from reaching the Sacred House in the year of Hudaybiyyah, make you transgress Allah's Law and commit injustice against them in retaliation. Rather, rule as Allah has commanded you, being just with every one. We will explain a similar Ayah later on,

وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, (5:8)

which commands: do not be driven by your hatred for some people into abandoning justice, for justice is ordained for everyone, in all situations.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Zayd bin Aslam said,

"The Messenger of Allah and his Companions were in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah when the idolators prevented them from visiting the House, and that was especially hard on them. Later on, some idolators passed by them from the east intending to perform Umrah. So the Companions of the Prophet said, `Let us prevent those (from Umrah) just as their fellow idolators prevented us.' Thereafter, Allah sent down this Ayah.''

Ibn Abbas and others said that; "Shana'an'' refers to enmity and hate.

Allah said next,

... وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ...

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa; but do not help one another in sin and transgression.

Allah commands His believing servants to help one another perform righteous, good deeds, which is the meaning of `Al-Birr', and to avoid sins, which is the meaning of `At-Taqwa'.

Allah forbids His servants from helping one another in sin, `Ithm' and committing the prohibitions.

Ibn Jarir said that, "Ithm means abandoning what Allah has ordained, while transgression means overstepping the limits that Allah set in your religion, along with overstepping what Allah has ordered concerning yourselves and others.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,

انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أَوْ مَظْلُومًا

Support your brother whether he was unjust or the victim of injustice.

He was asked, "O Messenger of Allah! We know about helping him when he suffers injustice, so what about helping him when he commits injustice?''

He said,

تَحْجُزُهُ وَتَمْنَعُهُ مِنَ الظُّلْمِ فَذَاكَ نَصْرُه

Prevent and stop him from committing injustice, and this represents giving support to him.

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith through Hushaym.

Ahmad recorded that one of the Companions of the Prophet narrated the Hadith,

الْمُؤْمِنُ الَّذِي يُخَالِطُ النَّاسَ وَيَصْبِرُ عَلَى أَذَاهُمْ أَعْظَمُ أَجْرًا مِنَ الَّذِي لَا يُخَالِطُ النَّاسَ وَلَا يَصْبِرُ عَلى أَذَاهُم

The believer who mingles with people and is patient with their annoyance, earns more reward than the believer who does not mingle with people and does not observe patience with their annoyance.

Muslim recorded a Hadith that states,

مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الْأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يَنْقُصُ ذلِكَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا،

وَمَنْ دَعَا إِلَى ضَلَالَةٍ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ مِثْلُ آثَامِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، لَا يَنْقُصُ ذلِكَ مِنْ آثَامِهِمْ شَيْئًا

He who calls to a guidance, will earn a reward similar to the rewards of those who accept his call, until the Day of Resurrection, without decreasing their rewards.

Whoever calls to a heresy, will carry a burden similar to the burdens of those who accept his call, until the Day of Resurrection, without decreasing their own burdens.

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ﴿٢﴾

And have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment.

3

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَآ أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَنْ تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالاٌّزْلاَمِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ

Forbidden to you (for food) are:

· Al-Maytah (the dead animals),

· blood,

· the flesh of swine,

· and that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah,

· and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone altars).

· (Forbidden) also is to make decisions with Al-Azlam (arrows) (all) that is Fisq (disobedience and sin).

الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ

This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me.

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الأِسْلاَمَ دِيناً

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.

فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِى مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above mentioned animals), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The Animals that are Unlawful to Eat

Allah says;

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ ...  

Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytah (the dead animals), blood,

Allah informs His servants that He forbids consuming the mentioned types of foods, such as the Maytah, which is the animal that dies before being properly slaughtered or hunted. Allah forbids this type of food due to the harm it causes, because of the blood that becomes clogged in the veins of the dead animal. Therefore, the Maytah is harmful, religiously and physically, and this is why Allah has prohibited it.

The only exception to this ruling is fish, for fish is allowed, even when dead, by slaughtering or otherwise.

Malik in his Muwatta, also Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah in their Sunan, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban in their Sahihs, all recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked about seawater.

He said,

هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه

Its water is pure and its dead are permissible.

The same ruling applies to locusts, as proven in a Hadith that we will mention later.

Allah's statement,

... وَالْدَّمُ ...

blood...,

This refers to flowing blood, according to Ibn Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr, and it is similar to Allah's other statement, دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا (Blood poured forth...). (6:145)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas was asked about the spleen and he said, "Eat it.''

They said, "It is blood.''

He said, "You are only prohibited blood that was poured forth.''

Abu Abdullah, Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafii recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أُحِلَّ لَنَا مَيْتَتَانِ وَدَمَانِ،

· فَأَمَّا الْمَيْتَتَانِ فَالسَّمَكُ وَالْجَرَادُ،

· وَأَمَّا الدَّمَانِ فَالْكَبِدُ وَالِّطَحال

We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood.

· As for the two dead animals, they are fish and locust.

· As for the two bloods, they are liver and spleen.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi also recorded this Hadith through Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, who is a weak narrator.

Allah's statement,

... وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ ...

the flesh of swine...

includes domesticated and wild swine, and also refers to the whole animal, including its fat, for this is what the Arabs mean by Lahm or `flesh'.

Muslim recorded that Buraydah bin Al-Husayb Al-Aslami said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ لَعِبَ بِالنَّرْدَشِيرِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا صَبَغَ يَدَهُ فِي لَحْمِ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَدَمِه

He who plays Nardshir (a game with dice that involves gambling) is just like the one who puts his hand in the flesh and blood of swine.

If this is the case with merely touching the flesh and blood of swine, so what about eating and feeding on it! This Hadith is a proof that Lahm means the entire body of the animal, including its fat.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ بَيْعَ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيرِ وَالْأَصْنَام

Allah made the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols illegal.

The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What about the fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lanterns?''

He said,

لَا، هُوَ حَرَام

No, it is illegal.

In the Sahih of Al-Bukhari, Abu Sufyan narrated that he said to Heraclius, Emperor of Rome, "He (Muhammad) prohibited us from eating dead animals and blood.''

Allah said,

... وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ ...

And that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah.

Therefore, the animals on which a name other than Allah was mentioned upon slaughtering it, is impermissible, because Allah made it necessary to mention His Glorious Name upon slaughtering the animals, which He created. Whoever does not do so, mentioning other than Allah's Name, such as the name of an idol, a false deity or a monument, when slaughtering, he makes this meat unlawful, according to the consensus.

Allah's statement,

... وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ ...

and that which has been killed by strangling...,

either intentionally or by mistake, such as when an animal moves while restrained and dies by strangulation because of its struggling, this animal is also unlawful to eat.

... وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ ...

or by a violent blow...,

This refers to the animal that is hit with a heavy object until it dies.

Ibn Abbas and several others said; it is the animal that is hit with a staff until it dies.

Qatadah said, "The people of Jahiliyyah used to strike the animal with sticks and when it died, they would eat it.''

It is recorded in the Sahih that `Adi bin Hatim said,

"I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! I use the Mi`rad for hunting and catch game with it.' He replied,

إِذَا رَمَيْتَ بِالْمِعْرَاضِ فَخَزَق فَكُلْهُ، وَإِنْ أصَابَ بَعَرْضِهِ فَإنَّمَا هُوَ وَقِيذٌ فَلَا تَأْكُلْه

If the game is hit by its sharp edge, eat it. But, if it is hit by its broad side, do not eat it, for it has been beaten to death.

Therefore, the Prophet made a distinction between killing the animal with the sharp edge of an arrow or a hunting stick, and rendered it lawful, and what is killed by the broad side of an object, and rendered it unlawful because it was beaten to death.

There is a consensus among the scholars of Fiqh on this subject.

.. وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ ...

or by a headlong fall,

the animal that falls headlong from a high place and dies as a result, it is also prohibited.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that; an animal that dies by a headlong fall, "Is that which falls from a mountain.''

Qatadah said that; it is the animal that falls in a well.

As-Suddi said that; it is the animal that falls from a mountain or in a well.

... وَالنَّطِيحَةُ ...

or by the goring of horns,

the animal that dies by being gorged by another animal, it is also prohibited, even if the horn opens a flesh wound and it bleeds to death from its neck.

Allah's statement,

... وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ ...

and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal,

refers to the animal that was attacked by a lion, leopard, tiger, wolf or dog, then the wild beast eats a part of it and it dies because of that. This type is also prohibited, even if the animal bled to death from its neck. There is also a consensus on this ruling.

During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to eat the sheep, camel, or cow that were partly eaten by a wild animal. Allah prohibited this practice for the believers.

Allah's statement,

... إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ ...

unless you are able to slaughter it,

before it dies, due to the causes mentioned above. This part of the Ayah is connected to,

وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ

and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ  (unless you are able to slaughter it),

"Unless you are able to slaughter the animal in the cases mentioned in the Ayah while it is still alive, then eat it, for it was properly slaughtered.''

Similar was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and As-Suddi.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "If you are able to slaughter the animal that has been hit by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the gorging of horns while it still moves a foot or a leg, then eat from its meat.''

Similar was reported from Tawus, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ubayd bin Umayr, Ad-Dahhak and several others, that; if the animal that is being slaughtered still moves, thus demonstrating that it is still alive while slaughtering, then it is lawful.

The Two Sahihs recorded that Rafi` bin Khadij said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! We fear that we may meet our enemy tomorrow and we have no knives, could we slaughter the animals with reeds?'

The Prophet said,

مَا أَنْهَرَ الدَّمَ، وَذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ، فَكُلُوهُ، لَيْسَ السِّنَّ وَالظُّفُرَ، وَسَأُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْ ذلِكَ: أَمَّا السِّنُّ فَعَظْمٌ، وَأَمَّا الظُّفُرُ فَمُدَى الْحَبَشَة

You can use what makes blood flow and you can eat what is slaughtered with the Name of Allah. But do not use teeth or claws (in slaughtering). I will tell you why, as for teeth, they are bones, and claws are used by Ethiopians for slaughtering.''

Allah said next,

... وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ ...

and that which is sacrificed on An-Nusub.

Nusub were stone altars that were erected around the Ka`bah, as Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj stated.

Ibn Jurayj said,

"There were three hundred and sixty Nusub (around the Ka`bah) that the Arabs used to slaughter in front of, during the time of Jahiliyyah. They used to sprinkle the animals that came to the Ka`bah with the blood of slaughtered animals, whose meat they cut to pieces and placed on the altars.''

Allah forbade this practice for the believers. He also forbade them from eating the meat of animals that were slaughtered in the vicinity of the Nusub, even if Allah's Name was mentioned on these animals when they were slaughtered, because it is a type of Shirk that Allah and His Messenger have forbidden.

The Prohibition of Using Al-Azlam for Decision Making

Allah said,

... وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ ...

(Forbidden) also is to make decisions with Al-Azlam,

The Ayah commands, "O believers! You are forbidden to use Al-Azlam (arrows) for decision making,'' which was a practice of the Arabs during the time of Jahiliyyah.

They would use three arrows, one with the word `Do' written on it, another that says `Do not', while the third does not say anything. Some of them would write on the first arrow, `My Lord commanded me,' and, `My Lord forbade me,' on the second arrow and they would not write anything on the third arrow. If the blank arrow was picked, the person would keep trying until the arrow that says do or do not was picked, and the person would implement the command that he picked.

Ibn Abbas said that; the Azlam were arrows that they used to seek decisions through.

Muhammad bin Ishaq and others said that;

the major idol of the tribe of Quraysh was Hubal, which was erected on the tip of a well inside the Ka`bah, where gifts were presented and where the treasure of the Ka`bah was kept. There, they also had seven arrows that they would use to seek a decision concerning matters of dispute. Whatever the chosen arrow would tell them, they would abide by it!

Al-Bukhari recorded that; when the Prophet entered Al-Ka`bah (after Makkah was conquered), he found pictures of Ibrahim and Ismail in it holding the Azlam in their hands. The Prophet commented,

قَاتَلَهُمُ اللهُ لَقَدْ عَلِمُوا أَنَّهُمَا لَمْ يَسْتَقْسِمَا بِهَا أَبَدًا

May Allah fight them (the idolaters)! They know that they never used the Azlam to make decisions.

Mujahid commented on Allah's statement, وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ  ((Forbidden) also is to make decisions with Al-Azlam), "These were arrows that the Arabs used, and dice that the Persians and Romans used in gambling.''

This statement by Mujahid, that these arrows were used in gambling, is doubtful unless we say that they used the arrows for gambling sometimes and for decisions other times, and Allah knows best.

We should also state that Allah mentioned Azlam and gambling in His statement before the end of the Surah (5:90-91),

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ

O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful. Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain!

In this Ayah, Allah said,

...وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ  ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ ...

(Forbidden) also is to make decisions with Al-Azlam, (all) that is Fisq.

meaning, all these practices constitute disobedience, sin, misguidance, ignorance and, above all, Shirk. Allah has commanded the believers to seek decisions from Him when they want to do something, by first worshipping Him and then asking Him for the best decision concerning the matter they seek.

Imam Ahmad, Al-Bukhari and the collectors of Sunan recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said, "The Prophet used to teach us how to make Istikharah (asking Allah to guide one to the right action), in all matters, as he taught us the Surahs of the Qur'an. He said,

إِذَا هَمَّ أَحَدُكُمْ بِالْأَمْرِ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ مِنْ غَيْرِ الْفَرِيضَةِ، ثُمَّ لْيَقُلْ:

If anyone of you thinks of doing any matter, he should offer a two Rak'ah prayer, other than the compulsory, and say (after the prayer)

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ، وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ،

`O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, from Your ability and I ask for Your great bounty, for You are capable and I am not, You know and I do not, and You know the Unseen.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمُرَ ويسميه باسمه خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَمَعَاشِي وعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي أَوْ قَالَ: عَاجِلِ أَمْرِي وَآجِلِهِ فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي، وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي، ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ،

O Allah! If You know that this matter (and one should mention the matter or deed here) is good for my religion, my livelihood and the Hereafter (or he said, `for my present and later needs') then ordain it for me, make it easy for me to have, and then bless it for me.

اللَّهُمَّ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي، فَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ، وَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي، وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ، ثُمَّ رَضِّنِي بِه

O Allah! And if You know that this is harmful to me in my religion and livelihood and for the Hereafter then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain whatever is good for me, and make me satisfied with it.'

This is the wording collected by Ahmad, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib.''

Shaytan and the Disbelievers Do Not Hope that Muslims Will Ever Follow Them

Allah said,

... الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن دِينِكُمْ ...

This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion;

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means, "They gave up hope that Muslims would revert to their religion.''

This is similar to the saying of Ata bin Abi Rabah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

This meaning is supported by a Hadith recorded in the Sahih that states,

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ يَئِسَ أَنْ يَعْبُدَهُ الْمُصَلُّونَ فِي جَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِ، وَلكِنْ بِالتَّحْرِيشِ بَيْنَهُم

Verily, Shaytan has given up hope that those who pray in the Arabian Peninsula, will worship him. But he will still stir trouble among them.

It is also possible that; the Ayah negates the possibility that the disbelievers and Shaytan will ever be like Muslims, since Muslims have various qualities that contradict Shirk and its people. This is why Allah commanded His believing servants to observe patience, to be steadfast in defying and contradicting the disbelievers, and to fear none but Allah.

Allah said,

... فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ ...

So fear them not, but fear Me.

meaning, `do not fear them when you contradict them. Rather, fear Me and I will give you victory over them, I will eradicate them, and make you prevail over them, I will please your hearts and raise you above them in this life and the Hereafter.'

Islam Has Been Perfected For Muslims

Allah said,

... الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا ...

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.

This, indeed, is the biggest favor from Allah to this Ummah, for He has completed their religion for them, and they, thus, do not need any other religion or any other Prophet except Muhammad. This is why Allah made Muhammad the Final Prophet and sent him to all humans and Jinn. Therefore, the permissible is what he allows, the impermissible is what he prohibits, the Law is what he legislates and everything that he conveys is true and authentic and does not contain lies or contradictions.

Allah said; وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلاً   (And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice), (6:115) meaning, it is true in what it conveys and just in what it commands and forbids. When Allah completed the religion for Muslims, His favor became complete for them as well.

Allah said,

... الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا ...

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.

meaning, accept Islam for yourselves, for it is the religion that Allah likes and which He chose for you, and it is that with which He sent the best of the honorable Messengers and the most glorious of His Books.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Harun bin Antarah said that his father said,

"When the Ayah, الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ  (This day, I have perfected your religion for you...) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj (the Day of Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) Umar cried.

The Prophet said, `What makes you cry?'

He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect, but it is bound to deteriorate.'

The Prophet said, صَدَقْت (You have said the truth).''

What supports the meaning of this Hadith is the authentic Hadith,

إِنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا، وَسَيَعُودُ غَرِيبًا، فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاء

Islam was strange in its beginning and will return strange once more. Therefore, Tuba for the strangers.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Tariq bin Shihab said,

"A Jewish man said to Umar bin Al-Khattab, `O Leader of the Believers! There is a verse in your Book, which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.'

Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, `Which is that verse!'

The Jew replied, الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي  (This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you...).

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith through Al-Hasan bin As-Sabbah from Jafar bin `Awn. Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith.

In the narration collected by Al-Bukhari in the book of Tafsir, through Tariq, he said,

"The Jews said to Umar, `By Allah! There is a verse that is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.'

Umar said, `By Allah! I know when and where this verse was revealed and where the Messenger of Allah was at that time. It was the day of Arafah, and I was at Arafah, by Allah.''

Sufyan (one of the narrators) doubted if Friday was mentioned in this narration. Sufyan's confusion was either because he was unsure if his teacher included this statement in the Hadith or not. Otherwise, if it was because he doubted that the particular day during the Farewell Hajj was a Friday, it would be a mistake that could not and should not have come from someone like Sufyan Ath-Thawri.

The fact that it was a Friday, is agreed on by the scholars of Sirah and Fiqh. There are numerous Hadiths that support this fact that are definitely authentic and of the Mutawatir type. This Hadith was also reported from Umar through various chains of narration.

Permitting the Dead Animals in Conditions of Necessity

Allah said,

... فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٣﴾

But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above mentioned animals), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Therefore, when one is forced to take any of the impermissible things that Allah mentioned to meet a necessity, he is allowed and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful with him. Allah is well aware of His servant's needs during dire straits, and He will forgive and pardon His servant in this case.

In the Musnad and the Sahih of Ibn Hibban, it is recorded that Ibn Umar said that Messenger of Allah said,

إنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ تُؤْتَى رُخْصَتُهُ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ تُؤْتَى مَعْصِيَتُه

Allah likes that His Rukhsah (allowance) be used, just as He dislikes that disobedience to Him is committed.

We should mention here that it is not necessary for one to wait three days before eating the meat of dead animals, as many unlettered Muslims mistakenly think. Rather, one can eat such meat when the dire need arises.

Imam Ahmad recorded that;

Abu Waqid Al-Laythi said that the Companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah! We live in a land where famine often strikes us. Therefore, when are we allowed to eat the meat of dead animals?''

The Prophet replied,

إِذَا لَمْ تَصْطَبِحُوا، وَلَمْ تَغْتَبِقُوا،وَلَمْ تَخْتَفِئُوا بَقْلًا فَشَأْنُكُمْ بِهَا

When you neither find food for lunch and dinner nor have any produce to eat, then eat from it.

Only Imam Ahmad collected this narration and its chain meets the criteria of the Two Sahihs.

Allah said, غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ  (with no inclination to sin), meaning, one does not incline to commit what Allah has prohibited. Allah has allowed one when necessity arises to eat from what He otherwise prohibits, under the condition that his heart does not incline to eat what Allah prohibited.

Allah said in Surah Al-Baqarah,

فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (2:173)

Some scholars used this Ayah as evidence that those who travel for the purpose of committing an act of disobedience are not allowed to use any of the legal concessions of travel, because these concessions are not earned through sin, and Allah knows best.

4

 يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَآ أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ

They ask you what is lawful for them.

قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَـتُ

Say: "Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat (the good things).

وَمَا عَلَّمْتُمْ مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ

And those Jawarih (beasts and birds of prey) which you have trained as hounds, training and teaching them (to catch) in the manner as directed to you by Allah;

فَكُلُواْ مِمَّآ أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُواْ اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ

so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it, and have Taqwa of Allah.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

Verily, Allah is swift in reckoning.''

Clarifying the Lawful

In the previous Ayah Allah mentioned the prohibited types of food, the impure and unclean things, harmful for those who eat them, either to their bodies, religion or both, except out of necessity, وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ  (while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity), (6:119) after that, Allah said,

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ... 

They ask you what is lawful for them. Say, "Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat...''

In Surah Al-A`raf Allah describes Muhammad allowing the good things and prohibiting the filthy things.

Muqatil said, "At-Tayyibat includes everything Muslims are allowed and the various types of legally earned provision.''

Az-Zuhri was once asked about drinking urine for medicinal purposes and he said that it is not a type of Tayyibat.

Ibn Abi Hatim also narrated this statement.

Using Jawarih to Hunt Game is Permissible Allah said,

... وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ ...

And those Jawarih (beasts and birds of prey) which you have trained as hounds...

That is, lawful for you are the animals slaughtered in Allah's Name, and the good things for sustenance. (The game you catch) with the Jawarih are also lawful for you. This refers to trained dogs and falcons, as is the opinion of the majority of the Companions, their followers, and the Imams.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that, وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ  (And those Jawarih (beasts and birds of prey) which you have trained as hounds...), refers to trained hunting dogs, falcons and all types of birds and beasts that are trained to hunt, including dogs, wild cats, falcons, and so forth.

Ibn Abi Hatim collected this and said, "Similar was reported from Khaythamah, Tawus, Mujahid, Makhul and Yahya bin Abi Kathir.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Umar said, "You are permitted the animal that the trained birds, such as falcons, hunt for you if you catch it (before it eats from it). Otherwise, do not eat from it.''

I say, the majority of scholars say that hunting with trained birds is just like hunting with trained dogs, because bird's of prey catch the game with their claws, just like dogs. Therefore, there is no difference between the two.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Adi bin Hatim said that; he asked the Messenger of Allah about the game that the falcon hunts and the Messenger said,

مَا أَمْسَكَ عَلَيْكَ فَكُل

Whatever it catches for you, eat from it.

These carnivores that are trained to catch game are called Jawarih in Arabic, a word that is derived from Jarh, meaning, what one earns. The Arabs would say, "So-and-so has Jaraha something good for his family,'' meaning, he has earned them something good. The Arabs would say, "So-and-so does not have a Jarih for him,'' meaning, a caretaker.

Allah also said, وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُم بِالنَّهَارِ (And He knows what you have done during the day...), (6:60), meaning, the good or evil you have earned or committed.

Allah's statement, مُكَلِّبِينَ  (trained as hounds), those Jawarih that have been trained to hunt as hounds with their claws or talons. Therefore, if the game is killed by the weight of its blow, not with its claws, then we are not allowed to eat from the game.

Allah said,

... تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللّهُ ...

training them in the manner as directed to you by Allah,

as when the beast is sent, it goes after the game, and when it catches it, it keeps it until its owner arrives and does not catch it to eat it itself.

This is why Allah said here,

... فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُواْ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ ...

so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it,

When the beast is trained, and it catches the game for its owner who mentioned Allah's Name when he sent the beast after the game, then this game is allowed according to the consensus of scholars, even if it was killed.

There are Hadiths in the Sunnah that support this statement.

The Two Sahihs recorded that `Adi bin Hatim said, "I said, `O Allah's Messenger! I send hunting dogs and mention Allah's Name.'

He replied,

إِذَا أَرْسَلْتَ كَلْبَكَ الْمُعَلَّمَ وَذَكَرْتَ اسْمَ اللهِ فَكُلْ مَا أَمْسَكَ عَلَيْك

If, with mentioning Allah's Name, you let loose your tamed dog after a game and it catches it, you may eat what it catches.

I said, `Even if it kills the game?'

He replied,

وَإِنْ قَتَلْنَ، مَا لَمْ يَشْرَكْهَا كَلْبٌ لَيْسَ مِنْهَا، فَإِنَّكَ إِنَّمَا سَمَّيْتَ عَلى كَلْبِكَ وَلَمْ تُسَمِّ عَلى غَيْرِه

Even if it kills the game, unless another dog joins the hunt, for you mentioned Allah's Name when sending your dog, but not the other dog.

I said, `I also use the Mi`rad and catch game with it.'

He replied,

إِذَا رَمَيْتَ بِالْمِعْرَاضِ فَخَزقَ فَكُلْهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ بِعَرْضٍ فَإِنَّهُ وَقِيذٌ فَلَا تَأْكُلْه

If the game is hit by its sharp edge, eat it, but if it is hit by its broad side, do not eat it, for it has been beaten to death.

In another narration, the Prophet said,

وَإِذَا أَرْسَلْتَ كَلْبَكَ فَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللهِ، فَإِنْ أَمْسَكَ عَلَيْكَ، فَأَدْرَكْتَهُ حَيًّا فَاذْبَحُهُ، وَإِنْ أَدْرَكْتَهُ قَدْ قَتَلَ وَلَمْ يَأْكُلْ مِنْهُ فَكُلْهُ، فَإِنَّ أَخْذَ الْكَلْبِ ذَكَاتُه

If you send your hunting dog, then mention Allah's Name and whatever it catches for you and you find alive, slaughter it. If you catch the game dead and the dog did not eat from it, then eat from it, for the dog has caused its slaughter to be fulfilled.

In yet another narration of two Sahihs, the Prophet said,

فَإِنْ أَكَلَ فَلَا تَأْكُلْ، فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَمْسَكَ عَلى نَفْسِه

If the dog eats from the game, do not eat from it for I fear that it has caught it as prey for itself.

Mention Allah's Name Upon Sending the Predators to Catch the Game

Allah said,

... فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُواْ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ ...

so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it,

meaning, upon sending it.

The Prophet said to `Adi bin Hatim,

إِذَا أَرَسَلْتَ كَلْبَكَ الْمُعَلَّمَ، وَذَكَرْتَ اسْمَ اللهِ، فَكُلْ مَا أَمْسَكَ عَلَيْك

When you send your trained dog and mention Allah's Name, eat from what it catches for you.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Thalabah related that the Prophet said,

إِذَا أَرْسَلْتَ كَلْبَكَ فَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللهِ، وَإِذَا رَمَيْتَ بِسَهْمِكَ فَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ الله

If you send your hunting dog, mention Allah's Name over it. If you shoot an arrow, mention Allah's Name over it.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented, وَاذْكُرُواْ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ  (but pronounce the Name of Allah over it), "When you send a beast of prey, say, `In the Name of Allah!' If you forget, then there is no harm.''

It was also reported that this Ayah commands mentioning Allah's Name upon eating. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah taught his stepson Umar bin Abu Salamah saying,

سَمِّ اللهَ وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيك

Mention Allah's Name, eat with your right hand and eat from the part of the plate that is in front of you.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said,

"They asked, `O Allah's Messenger! Some people, - recently converted from disbelief - bring us some meats that we do not know if Allah's Name was mentioned over or not.'

He replied,

سَمُّوا اللهَ أَنْتُمْ وَكُلُوا

Mention Allah's Name on it and eat from it.''

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ ﴿٤﴾

and have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is swift in reckoning.''

5

 الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَـتُ

Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat.

وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ

The food of the People of the Scripture is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them.

وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ

(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time when you have given them their due, desiring chastity, not illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends (or lovers).

وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَـنِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

And whosoever rejects faith, then fruitless is his work; and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.

Permitting the Slaughtered Animals of the People of the Book

After Allah mentioned the filthy things that He prohibited for His believing servants and the good things that He allowed for them, He said next,

الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ...  

Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat.

Allah then mentioned the ruling concerning the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians,

... وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ ...

The food of the People of the Scripture is lawful to you...,

Ibn Abbas, Abu Umamah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Ata', Al-Hasan, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated, meaning, their slaughtered animals.

This ruling, that the slaughtered animals of the People of the Book are permissible for Muslims, is agreed on by the scholars, because the People of the Book believe that slaughtering for other than Allah is prohibited. They mention Allah's Name upon slaughtering their animals, even though they have deviant beliefs about Allah that do not befit His majesty.

It is recorded in the Sahih that Abdullah bin Mughaffal said, "While we were attacking the fort of Khyber, a person threw a leather bag containing fat, and I ran to take it and said, `I will not give anyone anything from this container today.' But when I turned I saw the Prophet (standing behind) while smiling.''

The scholars rely on this Hadith as evidence that we are allowed to eat what we need of foods from the booty before it is divided.

The scholars of the Hanafi, the Shafii and the Hanbali Madhhabs rely on this Hadith to allow eating parts of the slaughtered animals of the Jews that they prohibit for themselves, such as the fat. They used this Hadith as evidence against the scholars of the Maliki Madhhab who disagreed with this ruling.

A better proof is the Hadith recorded in the Sahih that;

the people of Khyber gave the Prophet a gift of a roasted leg of sheep, which they poisoned. The Prophet used to like eating the leg of the sheep and he took a bite from it, but it told the Prophet that it was poisoned, so he discarded that bite. The bite that the Prophet took effected the palate of his mouth, while Bishr bin Al-Bara bin Ma`rur died from eating from that sheep.

The Prophet had the Jewish woman, Zaynab, who poisoned the sheep, killed. Therefore, the Prophet and his Companions wanted to eat from that sheep and did not ask the Jews if they removed what the Jews believed was prohibited for them, such as its fat.

Allah's statement,

... وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلُّ لَّهُمْ ...

and your food is lawful to them.

means, you are allowed to feed them from your slaughtered animals.

Therefore, this part of the Ayah is not to inform the People of the Scriptures that they are allowed to eat our food -- unless we consider it information for us about the ruling that they have -- i.e., that they are allowed all types of foods over which Allah's Name was mentioned, whether slaughtered according to their religion or otherwise.

The first explanation is more plausible. So it means: you are allowed to feed them from your slaughtered animals just as you are allowed to eat from theirs, as equal compensation and fair treatment.

The Prophet gave his robe to Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, who was wrapped with it when he died. They say that he did that because Abdullah had given his robe to Al-Abbas when Al-Abbas came to Al-Madinah.

As for the Hadith,

لَا تَصْحَبْ إِلَّا مُؤْمِنًا، وَلَا يَأْكُلْ طَعَامَكَ إِلَّا تَقِي

Do not befriend but a believer, nor should other than a Taqi (pious person) eat your food.

This is to encourage such behavior, and Allah knows best.

The Permission to Marry Chaste Women From the People of the Scriptures

Allah said,

... وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ...

(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers.

The Ayah states: you are allowed to marry free, chaste believing women.

This Ayah is talking about women who do not commit fornication, as evident by the word `chaste'. Allah said in another Ayah,

مُحْصَنَـت غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ

Desiring chastity not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as boyfriends (lovers). (4:25)

Abdullah Ibn Umar used to advise against marrying Christian women saying, "I do not know of a worse case of Shirk than her saying that `Isa is her lord, while Allah said, وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ  (And do not marry idolatresses till they believe).'' (2:221)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ghifari said that Ibn Abbas said that; when this Ayah was revealed, وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ  (And do not marry idolatresses till they believe), the people did not marry the pagan women. When the following Ayah was revealed,

... وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ ...

(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time) they married women from the People of the Book.''

Some of the Companions married Christian women and did not see any problem in this, relying on the honorable Ayah, وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ  ((Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time), therefore, they made this Ayah an exception to the Ayah in Surah Al-Baqarah, وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَّ (And do not marry the idolatresses till they believe), considering the latter Ayah to include the People of the Book in its general meaning. Otherwise, there is no contradiction here, since the People of the Book were mentioned alone when mentioning the rest of the idolators. Allah said,

لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ

Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture and the idolators, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. (98:1)

and,

وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ وَالأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ

And say to those who were given the Scripture and to those who are illiterates: "Do you (also) submit yourselves!'' If they do, they are rightly guided. (3:20)

Allah said next,

... إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ ...

When you have given them their due,

This refers to the Mahr, so just as these women are chaste and honorable, then give them their Mahr with a good heart.

We should mention here that Jabir bin Abdullah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Ibrahim An-Nakhai and Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that;

when a man marries a woman and she commits illegal sexual intercourse before the marriage is consummated, the marriage is annulled. In this case, she gives back the Mahr that he paid her.

Allah said,

... مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ ...

Desiring chastity, not illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends (or lovers).

And just as women must be chaste and avoid illegal sexual activity, such is the case with men, who must also be chaste and honorable. Therefore, Allah said, غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ  (...not illegal sexual intercourse) as adulterous people do, those who do not avoid sin, nor reject adultery with whomever offers it to them.

وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ  (nor taking them as girl-friends (or lovers), meaning those who have mistresses and girlfriends who commit illegal sexual intercourse with them, as we mentioned in the explanation of Surah An-Nisa'.

... وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿٥﴾

And whosoever rejects faith, then fruitless is his work; and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.

6

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلوةِ

O you who believe! When you stand (intend) to offer the Salah (the prayer),

فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ

then wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.

وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُباً فَاطَّهَّرُواْ

If you are in a state of Janaba, purify yourselves (bathe your whole body).

وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِّنْهُ

But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from the Gha'it (toilet) or you have touched women and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands.

مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor to you that you may be thankful.

The Order to Perform Wudu

Allah said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ...  

O you who believe!

... إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ ...

When you stand for (intend to offer) the Salah,

Allah commanded performing Wudu for the prayer. This is a command of obligation in the case of impurity, and in the case of purity, it is merely a recommendation.

It was said that in the beginning of Islam, Muslims had to perform Wudu for every prayer, but later on, this ruling was abrogated.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said,

"The Prophet used to perform Wudu before every prayer. On the Day of Victory, he performed Wudu and wiped on his Khuffs and prayed the five prayers with one Wudu.

Umar said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You did something new that you never did before.'

The Prophet said,

إني عمدا فعلته يا عمر

`I did that intentionally O Umar!'''

Muslim and the collectors of the Sunan also recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Fadl bin Al-Mubashshir said,

"I saw Jabir bin Abdullah perform several prayers with only one Wudu. When he would answer the call of nature, he performed Wudu and wiped the top of his Khuffs with his wet hand. I said, `O Abu Abdullah! Do you do this according to your own opinion?'

He said, `Rather, I saw the Prophet do the same thing. So, I do what I saw the Messenger of Allah doing.'''

Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.

Ahmad recorded that;

Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Umar was asked; "Did you see Abdullah bin Umar perform Wudu for every prayer, whether he was in a state of purity or not,''

So he replied, "Asma bint Zayd bin Al-Khattab told him that Abdullah bin Hanzalah bin Abi `Amir Al-Ghasil told her that the Messenger of Allah was earlier commanded to perform Wudu for every prayer, whether he needed it or not. When that became hard on him, he was commanded to use Siwak for every prayer, and to perform Wudu when Hadath (impurity) occurs. Abdullah (Ibn Umar) thought that he was able to do that (perform Wudu for every prayer) and he kept doing that until he died.''

Abu Dawud also collected this narration.

This practice by Ibn Umar demonstrates that it is encouraged, not obligatory, to perform Wudu for every prayer, and this is also the opinion of the majority of scholars.

Abu Dawud recorded that;

Abdullah bin Abbas said that when the Messenger of Allah once left the area where he answered the call of nature, he was brought something to eat. They said, "Should we bring you your water for Wudu?''

He said,

إنَّمَا أُمِرْتُ بِالْوُضُوءِ إِذَا قُمْتُ إِلَى الصَّلَاة

I was commanded to perform Wudu when I stand up for prayer.

At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith and At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''

Muslim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"We were with the Prophet when he went to answer the call of nature and when he came back, he was brought some food. He was asked, `O Messenger of Allah! Do you want to perform Wudu?''

He said,

لِمَ ؟  أَأُصَلِي فَأَتَوَضَّأ

`Why? Am I about to pray so that I have to make Wudu.'''

The Intention and Mentioning Allah's Name for Wudu

Allah said;

... فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ ...

then wash your faces...,

The obligation for the intention before Wudu is proven by this Ayah; إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ  (When you stand (intend) to offer the Salah then wash your faces...). This is because it is just like the Arabs saying; "When you see the leader, then stand.'' Meaning stand for him.

And the Two Sahihs recorded the Hadith,

الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّــيَّاتِ وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِىءٍ مَانَوَى

Actions are judged by their intentions, and each person will earn what he intended.

It is also recommended before washing the face that one mentions Allah's Name for the Wudu.

A Hadith that was narrated by several Companions states that the Prophet said,

لَا وُضْوءَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللهِ عَلَيْه

There is no Wudu for he who does not mention Allah's Name over it.

It is also recommended that one washes his hands before he puts his hands in the vessel of water, especially after one wakes up from sleep, for the Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا اسْتَيْقَظَ أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ نَوْمِهِ فَلَا يُدْخِلْ يَدَهُ فِي الْإِنَاءِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَغْسِلَهَا ثَلَاثًا، فَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَا يَدْرِي أَيْنَ بَاتَتْ يَدُه

If one of you wakes up from his sleep, let him not put his hand in the pot until he washes it thrice, for one of you does not know where his hand spent the night.

The face according to the scholars of Fiqh starts where the hair line on the head starts, regardless of one's lack or abundance of hair, until the end of the cheeks and chin, and from ear to ear.

Passing the Fingers through the Beard While Performing Wudu

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Wa'il said,

"I saw Uthman when he was performing Wudu... When he washed his face, he passed his fingers through his beard three times. He said, `I saw the Messenger of Allah do what you saw me doing.'''

At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said "Hasan Sahih.'' while Al-Bukhari graded it Hasan.

How to Perform Wudu

Imam Ahmad recorded that;

Ibn Abbas once performed Wudu and took a handful of water and rinsed his mouth and nose with it. He took another handful of water and joined both hands and washed his face. He took another handful of water and washed his right hand, and another handful and washed his left hand with it. He next wiped his head. Next, he took a handful of water and sprinkled it on his right foot and washed it and took another handful of water and washed his left foot. When he finished, he said, "This is how I saw the Messenger of Allah (performing Wudu).''

Al-Bukhari also recorded it.

Allah said,

... وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ ...

and your hands (forearms) up to (Ila) the elbows...,

meaning, including the elbows.

Allah said in another Ayah (using Ila)

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا

And devour not their substance to (Ila) your substance (by adding or including it in your property). Surely, this is a great sin. (4:2)

It is recommended that those who perform Wudu should wash a part of the upper arm with the elbow.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

نَّ أُمَّتِي يُدْعَوْنَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ آثَارِ الْوُضُوءِ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يُطِيلَ غُرَّتَهُ فَلْيَفْعَل

On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah will be called "those with the radiant appendages'' because of the traces of Wudu. Therefore, whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "I heard my intimate friend (the Messenger) saying,

تَبْلُغُ الْحِلْيَةُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَيْثُ يَبْلُغُ الْوَضُوء

The radiance of the believer reaches the areas that the water of (his) Wudu reaches.''

Allah said next,

... وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ ...

Rub your heads.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that;

Malik bin `Amr bin Yahya Al-Mazini said that his father said that a man said to Abdullah bin Zayd bin Asim, the grandfather of `Amr bin Yahya and one of the Companions of the Messenger, "Can you show me how the Messenger of Allah used to perform Wudu?'''

Abdullah bin Zayd said, "Yes.''

He then asked for a pot of water. He poured from it on his hands and washed them twice, then he rinsed his mouth and washed his nose (with water) thrice (by putting water in it and blowing it out). He washed his face thrice and after that he washed his forearms up to the elbows twice. He then passed his wet hands over his head from its front to its back and vice versa, beginning from the front and taking them to the back of his head up to the nape of the neck and then brought them to the front again from where he had started. He next washed his feet.

A similar description of the Wudu of the Messenger of Allah was performed by Ali in the Hadith by Abdu Khayr.

Abu Dawud recorded that; Mu`awiyah and Al-Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib narrated similar descriptions of the Wudu of the Messenger of Allah.

These Hadiths indicate that it is necessary to wipe the entire head.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Humran bin Aban said,

"I saw Uthman bin Affan performing Wudu, and he poured water over his hands and washed them thrice, and then rinsed his mouth and washed his nose (by putting water in it, and then blowing it out). Then he washed his face thrice, and then his right forearm up to the elbows thrice, and washed the left forearm thrice. Then he passed his wet hands over his head, then he washed his right foot thrice, and next his left foot thrice. After that Uthman said, `I saw the Prophet performing Wudu like this, and said,

مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ نَحْوَ وُضُوئِي هَذَا، ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ لَا يُحَدِّثُ فِيهِمَا نَفْسَهُ، غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه

If anyone performs Wudu like that of mine and offers a two-Rak`ah prayer during which he does not think of anything else, then his past sins will be forgiven.'''

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded this Hadith in the Two Sahihs.

In his Sunan, Abu Dawud also recorded it from Uthman, under the description of Wudu, and in it, that he wiped his head one time.

The Necessity of Washing the Feet

Allah said,

... وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ ...

and your feet up to ankles.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas stated that; the Ayah refers to washing (the feet).

Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Urwah, Ata, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ibrahim, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Az-Zuhri and Ibrahim At-Taymi said similarly.

This clearly indicates the necessity of washing the feet, just as the Salaf have said, and not only wiping over the top of the bare foot.

The Hadiths that Indicate the Necessity of Washing the Feet

We mentioned the Hadiths by the two Leaders of the Faithful, Uthman and Ali, and also by Ibn Abbas, Mu`awiyah, Abdullah bin Zayd bin Asim and Al-Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib, that the Messenger of Allah washed his feet for Wudu, either once, twice or thrice.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abdullah bin `Amr said,

"The Messenger of Allah was once late during a trip we were taking, and he caught up with us when the time remaining for the Asr prayer was short. We were still performing Wudu (in a rush) and we were wiping our feet. He shouted at the top of his voice,

أَسْبِغُوا الْوُضُوءَ وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ مِنَ النَّار

Perform Wudu thoroughly. Save your heels from the Fire.''

The same narration was also collected in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah.

Muslim recorded that Aishah said that the Prophet said,

أَسْبِغُوا الْوُضُوءَ وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ مِنَ النَّار

Perform Wudu thoroughly. Save your heels from the Fire.

Abdullah bin Al-Harith bin Jaz said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ وَبُطُونِ الْأَقْدَامِ مِنَ النَّار

Save your heels and the bottom of the feet from the Fire.

It was recorded by Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Hakim, and this chain is Sahih.

Muslim recorded that Umar bin Al-Khattab said that;

a man once performed Wudu and left a dry spot the size of a fingernail on his foot. The Prophet saw that and he said to him,

ارْجِعْ فَأَحْسِنْ وُضُوءَك

Go back and perform proper Wudu.

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi also recorded that;

Anas bin Malik said that a man came to the Prophet, after he performed Wudu' and left a dry spot the size of a fingernail on his foot. The Messenger of Allah said to him,

ارْجِعْ فَأَحْسِنْ وُضُوءَك

Go back and perform proper Wudu.

Imam Ahmad recorded that some of the wives of the Prophet said that; the Prophet saw a man praying, but noticed a dry spot on his foot, the size of a Dirham. The Messenger of Allah ordered that man to perform Wudu again.

This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud from Baqiyyah, who added in his narration, "And (the Prophet ordered him) to repeat the prayer.''

This Hadith has a strong, reasonably good chain of narrators.

Allah knows best.

In the Hadith that Humran narrated, Uthman washed between his fingers when he was describing the Wudu of the Prophet.

The collectors of the Sunan recorded that Laqit bin Sabrah said,

"I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Wudu.'

The Messenger replied,

أَسْبِغِ الْوُضُوءَ، وَخَلِّلْ بَيْنَ الْأَصَابِعِ، وَبَالِغْ فِي الِاسْتِنْشَاقِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ صَائِمًا

Perform Wudu thoroughly, wash between the fingers and exaggerate in rinsing your nose, unless you are fasting.''

Wiping Over the Khuffs is an Established Sunnah

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Aws bin Abi Aws said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah perform Wudu and wipe over his Khuffs. He then stood up for prayer.''

Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith by Aws bin Abi Aws, who said in this narration, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, after he answered the call of nature, perform Wudu and wipe over his Khuffs and feet.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir bin Abdullah Al-Bajali said, "I embraced Islam after Surah Al-Ma'idah was revealed and I saw the Messenger of Allah wipe over his Khuffs after I became Muslim.''

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Hammam said,

"Jarir answered the call of nature and then performed Wudu and wiped over his Khuffs.

He was asked, `Do you do this?'

He said, `Yes. I saw the Messenger of Allah, after he answered the call of nature, perform Wudu and wipe on his Khuffs.'''

Al-Amash commented that Ibrahim said, "They liked this Hadith because Jarir embraced Islam after Surah Al-Ma'idah was revealed.''

This is the wording collected by Muslim.

The subject of the Messenger of Allah wiping over his Khuffs, instead of washing the feet, if he had worn his Khuffs while having Wudu, reaches the Mutawatir grade of narration, and they describe this practice by his words and actions.

Allah said,

... وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ ...

If you are in a state of Janaba, purify yourselves (bathe your whole body).

Performing Tayammum with Clean earth When There is no Water and When One is Ill

Allah said,

... وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مَّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ ...

But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you come from the Gha'it (toilet), or you have touched women and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands.

We discussed all of this in Surah An-Nisa', and thus we do not need to repeat it here.

We also mentioned the reason behind revealing this Ayah. Yet, Al-Bukhari mentioned an honorable Hadith here specifically about the Tafsir of this noble Ayah.

He recorded that Aishah said,

"Upon returning to Al-Madinah, a necklace of mine was broken (and lost) in Al-Bayda' area. Allah's Messenger stayed there and went to sleep with his head on my lap.

Abu Bakr (Aishah's father) came and hit me on my flank with his hand saying, `You have detained the people because of a necklace!' So I wished I were dead because (I could not move) the Messenger was sleeping on my lap and because of the pain Abu Bakr caused me.

Allah's Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ  (O you who believe! When you stand (intend) to offer As-Salah (the prayer), then wash your faces) until the end of the Ayah.

Usayd bin Al-Hudayr said, `O the family of Abu Bakr! Allah has blessed the people because of you. Therefore, you are only a blessing for the people.''

Allah said,

... مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ ...

Allah does not want to place you in difficulty,

This is why He made things easy and lenient for you. This is why He allowed you to use Tayammum when you are ill and when you do not find water, to make things comfortable for you and as mercy for you. Allah made Tayammum in place of Wudu, and Allah made it the same as ablution with water for the one who it is legitimate for, except for certain things, as we mentioned before. For example; Tayammum only involves one strike with the hand on the sand and wiping the face and hands.

Allah said,

... وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٦﴾

but He wants to purify you, and to complete His favor on you that you may be thankful.

for His bounties on you, such as His easy, kind, merciful, comfortable and lenient legislation.

Supplicating to Allah after Wudu

The Sunnah encourages supplicating to Allah after Wudu and states that those who do so are among those who seek to purify themselves, as the Ayah above states.

Imam Ahmad, Muslim and the collectors of Sunan narrated that Uqbah bin `Amir said,

"We were on watch, guarding camels, and when my turn to guard came, I took the camels back at night. I found that the Messenger of Allah was giving a speech to the people. I heard these words from that speech:

مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُحْسِنُ وُضُوءهُ، ثُمَّ يَقُومُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ مُقْبلًا عَلَيْهِمَا بِقَلْبِهِ وَوَجْهِهِ، إِلَّا وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّة

Any Muslim who performs Wudu properly, then stands up and prays a two Rak`ah prayer with full attention in his heart and face, will earn Paradise.

I said, `What a good statement this is!'

A person who was close by said, `The statement he said before it is even better.' When I looked, I found that it was Umar, who said, `I saw that you just came.

The Prophet said,

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُبْلِغُ أَوْفَيُسْبِغُ الْوُضُوءَ، يَقُولُ: أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، إِلَّا فُتِحَتْ لَهُ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ الثَّمَانِيَةِ، يَدْخُلُ مِنْ أَيِّهَا شَاء

When any of you performs Wudu properly and says, `I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger', the eight doors of Paradise will be opened for him so that he can enter from any door he wishes.''

This is the wording collected by Muslim.

The Virtue of Wudu

Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا تَوَضَّأَ الْعَبْدُ الْمُسْلِمُ أَوِ الْمُؤْمِنُ فَغَسَلَ وَجْهَهُ، خَرَجَ مِنْ وَجْهِهِ، كُلُّ خَطِيئَةٍ نَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا بِعَيْنَيْهِ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، فَإِذَا غَسَلَ يَدَيهِ خَرَجَ مِنْ يَدَيْهِ كُلُّ خَطِيئَةٍ بَطَشَتْهَا يَدَاهُ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، فَإِذَا غَسَلَ رِجْلَيْهِ خَرَجَتْ كُلُّ خَطِيئةٍ مَشَتْهَا رِجْلَاهُ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ نَقِيًّا مِنَ الذُّنُوب

When the Muslim or the believing servant performs Wudu and washes his face, every sin that he looked at with his eyes will depart from his face with the water, or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every sin that his hands committed will depart from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet, every sin to which his feet took him will depart with the water, or with the last drop of water. Until, he ends up sinless.

Muslim also recorded it.

Muslim recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ashari said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الطُّهُور شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ، وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ تَمْلَأُ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ،

وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ، وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ، وَالصدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ، وَالقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ، كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو، فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا

Purity is half of faith and Al-Hamdu Lillah (all the thanks are due to Allah) fills the Mizan (the Scale). And Subhan Allah and Allahu Akbar (all praise is due to Allah, and Allah is the Most Great) fills what is between the heaven and earth.

As-Sawm (the fast) is a Junnah (a shield), Sabr (patience) is a light, Sadaqah (charity) is evidence (of faith) and the Qur'an is proof for, or against you.

Every person goes out in the morning and ends up selling himself, he either frees his soul or destroys it.

Muslim recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا يَقْبَلُ اللهُ صَدَقَةً مِنْ غُلُولٍ، وَلَا صَلَاةً بِغَيْرِ طُهُور

Allah does not accept charity from one who commits Ghulul, or prayer without purity.

7

 وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمِيثَـقَهُ الَّذِى وَاثَقَكُم بِهِ إِذْ قُلْتُمْ سَمِعْنَا

And remember Allah's favor to you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said: "We hear and we obey.''

وَأَطَعْنَا وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

And have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Knower of that which is in the breasts.

8

 يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ للَّهِ شُهَدَآءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice.

اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

Be just, that is nearer to Taqwa;

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

and have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.

9

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

Allah has promised those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them there is forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).

10

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَحِيمِ

And they who disbelieve and deny Our Ayat are those who will be the dwellers of the Hell-fire.

11

 يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَن يَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ

O you who believe! Remember the favor of Allah unto you when some people desired (made a plan) to stretch out their hands against you, but (Allah) held back their hands from you. So have Taqwa of Allah.

وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

And in Allah let the believers put their trust.

Reminding the Believers of the Bounty of the Message and Islam

Allah reminds His believing servants of His bounty by legislating this glorious religion and sending them this honorable Messenger. He also reminds them of the covenant and pledges that He took from them to follow the Messenger, support and aid him, implement his Law and convey it on his behalf, while accepting it themselves.

Allah said,

وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمِيثَاقَهُ الَّذِي وَاثَقَكُم بِهِ إِذْ قُلْتُمْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ...  

And remember Allah's favor upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, "We hear and we obey."

This is the pledge that they used to give to the Messenger of Allah when they embraced Islam. They used to say, "We gave our pledge of obedience to the Messenger of Allah to hear and obey, in times when we are active and otherwise, even if we were passed on for rights, and not to dispute leadership with its rightful people.''

Allah also said,

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِرَبِّكُمْ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَاقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And what is the matter with you that you believe not in Allah! While the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord; and He has indeed taken your covenant, if you are real believers. (57:8)

It was also said that this Ayah (5:7) reminds the Jews of the pledges and promises Allah took from them to follow Muhammad and adhere to his Law, as Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas stated.

Allah then said,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ ...

And have Taqwa of Allah.

in all times and situations.

Allah says that He knows the secrets and thoughts that the hearts conceal,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ ﴿٧﴾

Verily, Allah is All-Knower of the secrets of (your) breasts.

The Necessity of Observing Justice

Allah said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ لِلّهِ ...  

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah...

meaning, in truth for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of people or for fame,

... شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ ...

as just witnesses,

observing justice and not transgression.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that An-Nu`man bin Bashir said,

"My father gave me a gift, but Amrah bint Rawahah, my mother, said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah's Messenger as a witness to it. So, my father went to Allah's Messenger to ask him to be a witness to his giving me the gift. Allah's Messenger asked,

أكل ولدك نحلت مثله ؟

`Have you given the like of it to everyone of your offspring?'

He replied in the negative.

Allah's Messenger said,

اتَّقُوا اللهَ وَاعْدِلُوا فِي أَوْلَادِكُم

Have Taqwa of Allah and treat your children equally.

And said;

إِنِّي لَا أَشْهَدُ عَلى جَوْر

I shall not be witness to injustice.

My father then returned and took back his gift.''

Allah said;

... وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ ...

and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice.

The Ayah commands: Do not be carried away by your hatred for some people to avoid observing justice with them. Rather, be just with every one, whether a friend or an enemy.

This is why Allah said,

... اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى ...

Be just: that is nearer to Taqwa,

this is better than if you abandon justice in this case. Although Allah said that observing justice is `nearer to Taqwa', there is not any other course of action to take, therefore `nearer' here means `is'.

Allah said in another Ayah,

أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا

The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairer of places for repose. (25:24)

Some of the female Companions said to Umar, "You are more rough and crude than the Messenger of Allah,'' meaning, you are rough, not that the Prophet is rough at all.

Allah said next,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٨﴾

and have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is Well Acquainted with what you do.

and consequently, He will reward or punish you according to your actions, whether good or evil.

Hence Allah's statement afterwards,

وَعَدَ اللّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ ...  

Allah has promised those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them there is forgiveness (for their sins),

... وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ  ﴿٩﴾

and a great reward.

which is Paradise, that is part of Allah's mercy for His servants.

They will not earn Paradise on account of their good actions, but rather on account of His mercy and favor, even though they will qualify to earn this mercy on account of their good actions. Allah has made these actions the cause and path that lead to His mercy, favor, pardon and acceptance. Therefore, all this is from Allah Alone and all thanks are due to Him.

Allah said next,

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿١٠﴾  

And they who disbelieve and deny our Ayat are those who will be the dwellers of the Hell-fire.

This only demonstrates Allah's perfect justice, wisdom and judgment, He is never wrong, for He is the Most Wise, Most Just and Most Able.

Among Allah's Favors is that He Prevented the Disbelievers from Fighting the Muslims

Allah said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَن يَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ ...

O you who believe! Remember the favor of Allah unto you when some people desired (made a plan) to stretch out their hands against you, but (Allah) withheld their hands from you.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Jabir said,

"The Prophet once stayed at an area and the people spread out seeking shade under various trees. The Prophet hung his weapon on a tree, and a Bedouin man came and took possession of the Prophet's weapon and held it aloft. He came towards the Prophet and said, `Who can protect you from me?'

He replied, `Allah, the Exalted, Most Honored.'

The Bedouin man repeated his question twice or thrice, each time the Prophet answering him by saying, `Allah.'

The Bedouin man then lowered the sword, and the Prophet called his Companions and told them what had happened while the Bedouin was sitting next to him, for the Prophet did not punish him.'

Ma`mar said that Qatadah used to mention that some Arabs wanted to have the Prophet killed, so they sent that Bedouin. Qatadah would then mention this Ayah, اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَن يَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ  (Remember the favor of Allah unto you when some people desired (made a plan) to stretch out their hands against you...).

The story of this Bedouin man, whose name is Ghawrath bin Al-Harith, is mentioned in the Sahih.

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, Mujahid and Ikrimah said that;

this Ayah was revealed about Bani An-Nadir, who plotted to drop a stone on the head of the Messenger when he came to them for help to pay the blood money of two persons whom Muslims killed. The Jews left the execution of this plot to `Amr bin Jihash bin Ka`b and ordered him to throw a stone on the Prophet from above, when he came to them and sat under the wall. Allah told His Prophet about their plot, and he went back to Al-Madinah and his Companions followed him later on. Allah sent down this Ayah concerning this matter.

Allah's statement,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ ...

So have Taqwa of Allah.

... وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١١﴾

And in Allah let the believers put their trust.

and those who do so, then Allah shall suffice for them and shall protect them from the evil plots of the people. Thereafter, Allah commanded His Messenger to expel Bani An-Nadir, and he laid siege to their area and forced them to evacuate Al-Madinah.

12

 وَلَقَدْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَـقَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ وَبَعَثْنَا مِنهُمُ اثْنَىْ عَشَرَ نَقِيباً

Indeed, Allah took the covenant from the Children of Israel (Jews), and We appointed twelve leaders among them.

وَقَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّى مَعَكُمْ لَئِنْ أَقَمْتُمُ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتَيْتُمْ الزَّكَوةَ وَءَامَنتُمْ بِرُسُلِى وَعَزَّرْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَقْرَضْتُمُ اللَّهَ قَرْضاً حَسَناً لأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَـتِكُمْ وَلأدْخِلَنَّكُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ

And Allah said: "I am with you if you perform the Salah and give the Zakah and believe in My Messengers; honor and assist them, and lend to Allah a good loan, verily, I will remit your sins and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise).

فَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِ

But if any of you after this, disbelieved, he has indeed gone astray from the straight way.''

14

 فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِم مِّيثَـقَهُمْ لَعنَّـهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا قُلُوبَهُمْ قَاسِيَةً

So, because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard.

يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَضِعِهِ وَنَسُواْ حَظَّا مِّمَّا ذُكِرُواْ بِهِ

They changed the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.

وَلاَ تَزَالُ تَطَّلِعُ عَلَى خَآئِنَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنْهُمُ

And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them.

فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاصْفَحْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allah loves the doers of good.

14

وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَـرَى أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَهُمْ فَنَسُواْ حَظّاً مِّمَّا ذُكِرُواْ بِهِ

And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.

فَأَغْرَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَسَوْفَ يُنَبِّئُهُمُ اللَّهُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ

So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection; and Allah will inform them of what they used to do.

Cursing the People of the Book for Breaking the Covenant

Allah commanded His believing servants to fulfill the promises and pledges that He took from them and which they gave His servant and Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Allah also commanded them to stand for the truth and give correct testimony. He also reminded them of the obvious and subtle favors of the truth and guidance that He granted them.

Next, Allah informed them of the pledges and promises that He took from the People of the Book, who were before them, the Jews and Christians. When they broke these promises and covenants, Allah cursed them as a consequence and expelled them from His grace and mercy. He also sealed their hearts from receiving guidance and the religion of truth, beneficial knowledge and righteous actions.

Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ وَبَعَثْنَا مِنهُمُ اثْنَيْ عَشَرَ نَقِيبًا ...  

Indeed Allah took the covenant from the Children of Israel and We appointed twelve leaders among them.

These twelve people were leaders who gave the pledge to Allah to listen and obey Allah, His Messenger and His Book on behalf of their tribes.

Muhammad bin Ishaq and Ibn Abbas said that; this occurred when Musa went to fight the mighty enemy (in Palestine), and Allah commanded him to choose a leader from every tribe.

Likewise, when the Messenger of Allah took the pledge from the Ansar in the Aqabah area, there were twelve leaders from the Ansar.

There were three men from the tribe of Aws:

· Usayd bin Al-Hudayr,

· Sa`d bin Khaythamah and

· Rifa`ah bin Abdul-Mundhir, or Abu Al-Haytham bin At-Tayhan.

There were nine people from the tribe of Khazraj:

· Abu Umamah Asad bin Zurarah,

· Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi,

· Abdullah bin Rawahah,

· Rafi` bin Malik bin Al-Ajlan,

· Al-Bara bin Ma`rur,

· Ubadah bin As-Samit,

· Sa`d bin Ubadah,

· Abdullah bin `Amr bin Haram and

· Al-Mundhir bin Umar bin Khunays.

Ka`b bin Malik mentioned these men in his poem, as recorded by Ibn Ishaq. On that night, these men were the leaders or representatives of their tribes by the command of the Prophet. They gave the pledge and promise of allegiance and obedience to the Prophet on behalf of their people.

Allah said,

... وَقَالَ اللّهُ إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ ...

And Allah said, "I am with you...,

with My protection, support and aid,

... لَئِنْ أَقَمْتُمُ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَيْتُمُ الزَّكَاةَ وَآمَنتُم بِرُسُلِي ...

if you perform the Salah and give the Zakah and believe in My Messengers;

concerning what they bring you of the revelation,

... وَعَزَّرْتُمُوهُمْ ...

honor and assist them...,

and support them on the truth,

... وَأَقْرَضْتُمُ اللّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ...

and lend to Allah a good loan...,

by spending in His cause, seeking to please Him.

... لَّأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ...

verily, I will remit your sins.

and errors, I will erase them, cover them, and will not punish you for them,

... وَلأُدْخِلَنَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ ...

and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise).

thus, protecting you from what you fear and granting you what you seek.

Breaking the Covenant

Allah said,

... فَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ ﴿١٢﴾

But if any of you after this, disbelieved, he has indeed gone astray from the straight way.

Therefore, those who break this covenant, even though they pledged and vowed to keep it, yet, they broke it and denied it ever existed, they have avoided the clear path and deviated from the path of guidance to the path of misguidance.

Allah then mentioned the punishment that befell those who broke His covenant and the pledge they gave Him,

فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِم مِّيثَاقَهُمْ لَعنَّاهُمْ ...  

So because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them...,

Allah states, because of their breaking the promise that We took from them, We cursed them, deviated them away from the truth, and expelled them from guidance,

... وَجَعَلْنَا قُلُوبَهُمْ قَاسِيَةً ...

and made their hearts grow hard...,

and they do not heed any word of advice that they hear, because of the hardness of their hearts.

... يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ ...

They change the words from their (right) places...,

Since their comprehension became corrupt, they behaved treacherously with Allah's Ayat, altering His Book from its apparent meanings which He sent down, and distorting its indications.

They attributed to Allah what He did not say, and we seek refuge with Allah from such behavior.

... وَنَسُواْ حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ ...

and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them.

by not implementing it and by ignoring it.

Allah said next,

... وَلاَ تَزَالُ تَطَّلِعُ عَلَىَ خَآئِنَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ  إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنْهُمُ ...

And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them.

such as their plots and treachery against you, O Muhammad, and your Companions.

Mujahid said that; this Ayah refers to their plot to kill the Messenger of Allah.

... فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاصْفَحْ ...

But forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds).

This, indeed, is the ultimate victory and triumph.

Some of the Salaf said, "You would never treat those who disobey Allah with you better than obeying Allah with them.''

This way, their hearts will gather around the truth and Allah might lead them to the right guidance.

This is why Allah said,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٣﴾

Verily, Allah loves the doers of good.

Therefore, forgive those who err against you.

Qatadah said that; this Ayah was abrogated with Allah's statement,

قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day. (9:29)

The Christians Also Broke their Covenant with Allah and the Repercussion of this Behavior

Allah said,

وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَهُمْ ...  

And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant,

Meaning: `From those who call themselves Christians and followers of `Isa, son of Maryam, while in fact they are not as they claim. We took from them the covenant and pledges that they would follow the Prophet, aid him, honor him and follow his footsteps.' And that they would believe in every Prophet whom Allah sends to the people of the earth. They imitated the Jews and broke the promises and the pledges.

This is why Allah said,

... فَنَسُواْ حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَأَغْرَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ...

but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection;

Meaning: `We planted enmity and hatred between them, and they will remain like this until the Day of Resurrection.'

Indeed, the numerous Christian sects have always been enemies and adversaries of each other, accusing each other of heresy and cursing each other. Each sect among them excommunicates the other sects and does not allow them entrance to their places of worship.

The Monarchist sect accuses the Jacobite sect of heresy, and such is the case with the Nestorians and the Arians. Each sect among them will continue to accuse the other of disbelief and heresy in this life and on the Day when the Witnesses will come forth.

Allah then said,

... وَسَوْفَ يُنَبِّئُهُمُ اللّهُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ ﴿١٤﴾

and Allah will inform them of what they used to do.

warning and threatening the Christians because of their lies against Allah and His Messenger and their false claims about Allah, hallowed be He above what they say about Him. The Christians attribute a companion and a son to Allah, while He is the One and Only, the All-Sufficient, Who neither begets nor was He begotten, and there is none like unto Him.

15

 يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ

O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over much.

قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَـبٌ مُّبِينٌ

Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light and a plain Book.

16

 يَهْدِى بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلَـمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُمْ مِّنِ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His permission unto light and guides them to a straight path.

Explaining the Truth Through the Messenger and the Qur'an

Allah states that He sent His Messenger Muhammad with the guidance and the religion of truth to all the people of the earth, the Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered.

Allah also states that He sent Muhammad with clear evidences and the distinction between truth and falsehood.

Allah said,

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ ...

O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over much.

So the Prophet explained where they altered, distorted, changed and lied about Allah. He also ignored much of what they changed, since it would not bring about any benefit if it was explained.

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"He who disbelieves in stoning (the adulterer to death) will have inadvertently disbelieved in the Qur'an, for Allah said, يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ  (O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture) and stoning was among the things that they used to hide.''

Al-Hakim said, "Its chain is Sahih, and they did not record it.''

Allah next mentions the Glorious Qur'an that He sent down to His honorable Prophet,

...  قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٥﴾

يَهْدِي بِهِ اللّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ ...  

Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light and a plain Book. Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His pleasure to ways of peace.

meaning, ways of safety and righteousness,

... وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنِ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿١٦﴾

and He brings them out of darkness by His permission unto light and guides them to a straight path.

He thus saves them from destruction and explains to them the best, most clear path. Therefore, He protects them from what they fear, and brings about the best of what they long for, all the while ridding them of misguidance and directing them to the best, most righteous state of being.

17

 لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَآلُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ

Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.

قُلْ فَمَن يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً إِنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً

Say: "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, his mother, and all those who are on the earth together!''

وَللَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills.

وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

And Allah is able to do all things.

18

 وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَـرَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ

And the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.''

قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم

Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins!''

بَلْ أَنتُمْ بَشَرٌ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ

Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created, He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills.

وَللَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the return (of all).

The Polytheism and Disbelief of the Christians

Allah says;

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَآلُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ...  

Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam.

Allah states that the Christians are disbelievers because of their claim that `Isa, son of Maryam, one of Allah's servants and creatures, is Allah. Allah is holier than what they attribute to Him.

Allah then reminds them of His perfect ability over everything and that everything is under His complete control and power,

... قُلْ فَمَن يَمْلِكُ مِنَ اللّهِ شَيْئًا إِنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُهْلِكَ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ وَمَن فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ...

Say: "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, his mother, and all those who are on the earth together."

Therefore, if Allah wills to do that, who would be able to stop Him or prevent Him from doing it.

Allah then said,

...  وَلِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء ...

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills.

All things in existence are Allah's property and creation and He is able to do everything. He is never asked about what He does with His power, domain, justice and greatness so this refutes the Christian creed, may Allah's continued curses be upon them until the Day of Resurrection.

... وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ  ﴿١٧﴾

And Allah is able to do all things.

Refuting the People of the Book's Claim that they are Allah's Children

Allah then refutes the Christians' and Jews' false claims and lies,

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاء اللّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ ...  

And the Jews and the Christians say, "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones."

They claim: "We are the followers of Allah's Prophets, who are His children, whom He takes care of. He also loves us.''

The People of the Book claim in their Book that Allah said to His servant Israil, "You are my firstborn.''

But they explained this statement in an improper manner and altered its meaning. Some of the People of the Book who later became Muslims refuted this false statement saying, "This statement only indicates honor and respect, as is common in their speech at that time.''

The Christians claim that `Isa said to them, "I will go back to my father and your father,'' meaning, my Lord and your Lord.

It is a fact that the Christians did not claim that they too are Allah's sons as they claimed about `Isa. Rather this statement by `Isa only meant to indicate closeness with Allah.

This is why when they said that they are Allah's children and loved ones, Allah refuted their claim,

... قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم ...

Say, "Why then does He punish you for your sins!"

meaning, if you were truly as you claim, Allah's children and loved ones, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims!

... بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ ...

Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,

Allah states: you are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and Allah is the Lord of all His creation.

... يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاء ...

He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills.

Allah does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning.

... وَلِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ...

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them;

Therefore, everything is Allah's property and under His power and control.

... وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿١٨﴾

and to Him is the return.

In the end, the return will be to Allah and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment.

19

 يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ عَلَى فَتْرَةٍ مَّنَ الرُّسُلِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَآءَنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ

O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers, lest you say: "There came to us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.''

فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is able to do all things.

Allah says;

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ عَلَى فَتْرَةٍ مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ ...  

O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers,

Allah is addressing the People of the Book -- the Jews and the Christians, saying that He has sent His Messenger Muhammad to them, the Final Prophet, after whom there will be no Prophet or Messenger. Rather, He is the Final Messenger who came after a long time passed between him and `Isa, son of Maryam peace be upon them.

There is a difference of opinion about the length of time between `Isa and Muhammad.

Abu Uthman An-Nahdi and Qatadah were reported to have said that; this period was six hundred years.

Al-Bukhari also recorded this opinion from Salman Al-Farisi.

Qatadah said that; this period was five hundred and sixty years,

Ma`mar said; that it is five hundred and forty years.

Some said that this period is six hundred and twenty years.

There is no contradiction here if we consider the fact that those who said that this period was six hundred years were talking about solar years, while the second refers to lunar years, since there is a difference of about three years between every one hundred lunar and solar years. As in Allah's statement, وَلَبِثُوا فِي كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلَاثَ مِائَةٍ سِنِينَ وَازْدَادُوا تِسْعًا  (And they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, adding nine.) (18:25) meaning, nine more lunar years to substitute for the difference between lunar and solar years, thus agreeing with the three hundred years that the People of the Book knew about.

We should assert again that the time period we mentioned here was between `Isa, the last Prophet to the Children of Israel, and Muhammad, the Last Prophet and Messenger among the children of Adam.

In the Sahih collected by Al-Bukhari, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِابْنِ مَرْيَمَ لَأَنَا، لَيْسَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ نَبِيI, among all people, have the most right to the son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between Him and I.

I, among all people, have the most right to the son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between Him and I.

This Hadith refutes the opinion of Al-Qudai and others, that there was a Prophet after `Isa called Khalid bin Sinan.

Allah sent Muhammad after a period of time during which there was no Prophet, clear path, or unchanged religions. Idol worshipping, fire worshipping and cross worshipping flourished during this time. Therefore, the bounty of sending Muhammad was the perfect bounty at a time when he was needed the most.

Evil had filled the earth by then, and tyranny and ignorance had touched all the servants, except a few of those who remained loyal to the true teachings of previous Prophets, such as some Jewish rabbis, Christian priests and Sabian monks.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Iyad bin Himar Al-Mujashi said that the Prophet gave a speech one day and said,

وَإِنَّ رَبِّي أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أُعَلِّمَكُمْ مَا جَهِلْتُمْ مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي فِي يَوْمِي هَذَا،

My Lord has commanded me to teach you what you have no knowledge of and of which He taught me this day,

كُلُّ مَالٍ نَحَلْتُهُ عِبَادِي حَلَالٌ،

`All the wealth that I gave to My servants is permissible.

وَإِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ كُلَّهُمْ، وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ أَتَتْهُمْ فَأَضَلَّتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ، وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُمْ، وَأَمَرَتْهُمْ أَنْ يُشْرِكُوا بِي مَا لَمْ أُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا،

I created all My servants Hunafa (monotheists). But, the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibited for them what I allowed and commanded them to associate others with Me (in worship), which I gave no permission for.'

ثُمَّ إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ نَظَرَ إِلى أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ فَمقَتَهُمْ عَرَبَهُمْ وعَجَمَهُمْ، إِلَّا بَقَايَا مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ،

Then Allah looked at the people of the earth and disliked them all, the Arabs and non-Arabs among them, except a few from among the Children of Israel.

وقَالَ: إِنَّمَا بَعَثْتُكَ لِأَبْتَلِيَكَ وَأَبْتَلِيَ بِكَ،

Allah said (to me), `I only sent you to test you and to test with you.

وَأَنْزَلْتُ عَلَيْكَ كِتَابًا لَا يَغْسِلُهُ الْمَاءُ،تَقْرَأُهُ نَائِمًا وَيَقْظَانَ،

I sent to you a Book that cannot be washed by water (it is eternal), and you will read it while asleep and while awake.'

ثُمَّ إِنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أُحَرِّقَ قُرَيْشًا فَقُلْتُ: يَارَبِّ إِذَنْ يَثْلَغُوا رَأْسِي، فَيَدَعُوهُ خُبْزَةً،

Allah has also Commanded me to burn (destroy) Quraysh. So I said, `O Lord! They will smash my head and leave it like a piece of bread.'

فَقَالَ: اسْتَخْرِجْهُمْ كَمَا اسْتَخْرَجُوكَ، واغْزُهُمْ نُغْزِكَ،

He said, `I will drive them out as they drove you out, and when you invade them We will help you.

وَأَنْفِقْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَسَنُنْفِقَ عَلَيْكَ، وَابْعَثْ جَيْشًا نَبْعَثْ خَمْسًا أَمْثَالَهُ،

Spend on them (your companions) and We will spend on you, send an army and We will send five armies like it (in its support).

وَقَاتِلْ بِمَنْ أَطَاعَكَ مَنْ عَصَاكَ،

Fight with those who obey you, against those who disobey you.

وَأَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ ثَلَاثَةٌ:

And the inhabitants of Paradise are three:

· ذوُ سُلْطانٍ مُقْسِطٌ مُوَفَّقٌ مُتَصَدِّقٌ،

· وَرَجُلٌ رَحِيمٌ رَقِيقُ الْقَلْبِ بِكُلِّ ذِي قُرْبَى وَمُسْلِمٍ،

· وَرَجُلٌ عَفِيفٌ فَقِيرٌ ذُو عِيَالٍ (مُتَصَدِّقٌ).

· a just, prosperous, and charitable ruler;

· A merciful man who has a kind heart toward every relative and every Muslim;

· a forgiving, poor man with dependants (who is charitable).

وَأَهْلُ النَّارِ خَمْسَةٌ:

And the inhabitants of the Fire are five:

· الضَّعِيفُ الَّذي لَا دِينَ لَهُ،

· وَالَّذِين هُمْ فِيكُمْ تَبَعٌ أَوْ تَبَعًا شَكَّ يَحْيى لَا يَبْتَغُون أَهْلًا وَلَا مَالًا،

· وَالْخَائِنُ الَّذِي لَا يَخْفَى لَهُ طَمَعٌ وَإِنْ دَقَّ إِلَّا خَانَهُ،

· وَرَجُلٌ لَا يُصْبِحُ وَلَا يُمْسِي إِلَّا وَهُوَ يُخَادِعُكَ عَنْ أَهْلِكَ وَمَالِكَ

· وَذَكَرَ الْبَخِيلَ أَوِ الْكَذَّابَ وَالشِّنْظِيرَ: الفَاحِش

· the weak one with no religion;

· those who follow after you not for family reasons nor wealth;

· and the treacherous who does not hide his treachery, acting treacherous in even the most insignificant matters;

· and a person who comes every morning and every evening, is cheating your family or your wealth.'

· And he mentioned the stingy, or the liar, and the foulmouthed person.''

Therefore, the Hadith states that Allah looked at the people of the earth and disliked them all, both the Arabs and non-Arabs among them, except a few among the Children of Israel, or a few among the People of the Book as Muslim recorded. The religion was distorted and changed for the people of the earth until Allah sent Muhammad , and Allah, thus, guided the creatures and took them away from the darkness to the light and placed them on a clear path and a glorious Law.

Allah said,

... أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَاءنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ ...

lest you say, "There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner."

meaning, so that you, who changed the true religion, do not make it an excuse and say, "No Messenger came to us bringing glad tidings and warning against evil.''

... فَقَدْ جَاءكُم بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ ...

But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner.

There has come to you a bringer of good news and a warner, Muhammad.

... وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٩﴾

And Allah is able to do all things.

Ibn Jarir said this part of the Ayah means, "I am able to punish those who disobey Me and to reward those who obey Me.''

20

 وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ

And (remember) when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Remember the favor of Allah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Al-`Alamin).''

21

 يَاقَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الاٌّرْضَ المُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِى كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَـسِرِينَ

"O my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back; for then you will be returned as losers.''

22

قَالُوا يَامُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْماً جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّى يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَخِلُونَ

They said: "O Musa! In it are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter.''

23

قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَـلِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His grace said: "Assault them through the gate; for when you are in, victory will be yours. And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.''

24

قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ

They said: "O Musa! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.''

25

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ

He (Musa) said: "O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so Ifruq us from the rebellious people!''

26

 قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ

 (Allah) said: "Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land.

فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ

So do not grieve for the rebellious people.''

Musa Reminds His People of Allah's Favors on Them; The Jews Refuse to Enter the Holy Land

Allah states that His servant, Messenger, to whom He spoke directly, Musa, the son of Imran, reminded his people that among the favors Allah granted them, is that He will give them all of the good of this life and the Hereafter, if they remain on the righteous and straight path.

Allah said,

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنبِيَاء ...  

And (remember) when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Remember the favor of Allah to you, when He made Prophets among you,

for whenever a Prophet died, another rose among them, from the time of their father Ibrahim and thereafter.

There were many Prophets among the Children of Israel calling to Allah and warning against His torment, until `Isa was sent as the final Prophet from the Children of Israel. Allah then sent down the revelation to the Final Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, from the offspring of Ismail, the son of Ibrahim, peace be upon them. Muhammad is the most honorable Prophet of all times.

Allah said next,

... وَجَعَلَكُم مُّلُوكًا ...

made you kings,

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn Abbas commented: "Having a servant, a wife and a house.''

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn Abbas said, "A wife and a servant,

... وَآتَاكُم مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾

and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Alamin),

means, during their time.''

Al-Hakim said, "Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sahihs, but they did not collect it.''

Qatadah said, "They were the first people to take servants.''

A Hadith states,

مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ مُعَافًى فِي جَسَدِهِ، آمِنًا فِي سِرْبِهِ، عِنْدَهُ قُوتُ يَوْمِهِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا بِحَذَافِيرِهَا

He among you who wakes up while healthy in body, safe in his family and having the provision for that very day, is as if the world and all that was in it were collected for him.

Allah's statement, وَآتَاكُم مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ  (and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Al-`Alamin)). means, during your time, as we stated.

The Children of Israel were the most honorable among the people of their time, compared to the Greek, Copts and the rest of mankind.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ وَرَزَقْنَـهُمْ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَفَضَّلْنَـهُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمينَ

And indeed We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture, and the understanding of the Scripture and its laws, and the Prophethood; and provided them with good things, and preferred them above the nations (Al-`Alamin). (45:16)

Allah said,

لَّهُمْ قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى اجْعَلْ لَّنَآ إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ ءَالِهَةٌ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ

إِنَّ هَـؤُلاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَـطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

قَالَ أَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْغِيكُمْ إِلَـهًا وَهُوَ فَضَّلَكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ

They said: "O Musa! Make for us a god as they have gods.'' He said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people.'' (Musa added:) "Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in (idol worship).'' And all that they are doing is in vain. He said: "Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah, while He has given you superiority over the nations.'' (7:138-140)

Therefore, they were the best among the people of their time. The Muslim Ummah is more respected and honored before Allah, and has a more perfect legislative code and system of life, it has the most honorable Prophet, the larger kingdom, more provisions, wealth and children, a larger domain and more lasting glory than the Children of Israel. Allah said,

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَاء عَلَى النَّاسِ

Thus We have made you, a just (the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind. (2:143)

We mentioned the Mutawatir Hadiths about the honor of this Ummah and its status and honor with Allah, when we explained Allah's statement in Surah Al-Imran, كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ  (You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind...). (3:110)

Allah next says;

يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الأَرْضَ المُقَدَّسَةَ ...  

"O my people! Enter the Holy Land,

Allah states that Musa encouraged the Children of Israel to perform Jihad and enter Jerusalem, which was under their control during the time of their father Yaqub. Yaqub and his children later moved with his children and household to Egypt during the time of Prophet Yusuf. His offspring remained in Egypt until their exodus with Musa. They found a mighty, strong people in Jerusalem who had previously taken it over. Musa, Allah's Messenger, ordered the Children of Israel to enter Jerusalem and fight their enemy, and he promised them victory and triumph over the mighty people if they did so. They declined, rebelled and defied his order and were punished for forty years by being lost, wandering in the land uncertain of where they should go. This was their punishment for defying Allah's command.

Allah said that Musa ordered them to enter the Holy Land,

... الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ ...

which Allah has assigned to you

meaning, which Allah has promised to you by the words of your father Israil, that it is the inheritance of those among you who believe.

... وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِكُمْ ...

and turn not back

in flight from Jihad.

... فَتَنقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ ﴿٢١﴾

قَالُوا يَا مُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْمًا جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّىَ يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَاخِلُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾  

". ..for then you will be returned as losers.''

They said, "O Musa! In it are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter."

Their excuse was this, in this very town you commanded us to enter and fight its people, there is a mighty, strong, vicious people who have tremendous physique and physical ability. We are unable to stand against these people or fight them. Therefore, they said, we are incapable of entering this city as long as they are still in it, but if they leave it, we will enter it. Otherwise, we cannot stand against them.

The Speeches of Yuwsha` (Joshua) and Kalib (Caleb)

Allah said,

قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ...  

Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His grace said...,

When the Children of Israel declined to obey Allah and follow His Messenger Musa, two righteous men among them, on whom Allah had bestowed a great bounty and who were afraid of Allah and His punishment, encouraged them to go forward.

It was also said that the Ayah reads in a way that means that these men were respected and honored by their people. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Atiyah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several other Salaf and latter scholars stated that;

These two men were Yuwsha`, the son of Nun, and Kalib, the son of Yufna.

These two men said to their people,

... ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَالِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٣﴾

"Assault them through the gate, for when you are in, victory will be yours. And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed."

Therefore, they said, if you rely on and trust in Allah, follow His command and obey His Messenger, then Allah will give you victory over your enemies and will give you triumph and dominance over them. Thus, you will conquer the city that Allah has promised you.

This advice did not benefit them in the least,

قَالُواْ يَا مُوسَى إِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا أَبَدًا مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾  

They said, "O Musa! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here."

This is how they declined to join Jihad, defied their Messenger, and refused to fight their enemy.

The Righteous Response of the Companions During the Battle of Badr

Compare this to the better response the Companions gave to the Messenger of Allah during the battle of Badr, when he asked for their advice about fighting the Quraysh army that came to protect the caravan led by Abu Sufyan. When the Muslim army missed the caravan and the Quraysh army, between nine hundred and one thousand strong, helmeted and drawing closer, Abu Bakr stood up and said something good. Several more Muhajirin also spoke, all the while the Messenger of Allah saying,

أشيروا علي أيها المسلمون

Advise me, O Muslims!

inquiring of what the Ansar, the majority then, had to say.

Sa`d bin Mu`adh said,

"It looks like you mean us, O Messenger of Allah! By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you seek to cross this sea and went in it, we will follow you and none among us will remain behind. We would not hate for you to lead us to meet our enemy tomorrow. We are patient in war, vicious in battle. May Allah allow you to witness from our efforts what comforts your eyes. Therefore, march forward with the blessing of Allah.''

The Messenger of Allah was pleased with the words of Sa`d and was encouraged to march on.

Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded that Anas said that; when the Messenger of Allah went to Badr, he asked the Muslims for their opinion, and Umar gave his.

The Prophet again asked the Muslims for their opinion and the Ansar said, "O Ansar! It is you whom the Prophet wants to hear.''

They said, "We will never say as the Children of Israel said to Musa, فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ  (So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here).

By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you took the camels to Bark Al-Ghimad (near Makkah) we shall follow you.''

Imam Ahmad, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban also recorded this Hadith.

In the Book of Al-Maghazi and At-Tafsir, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"On the day of Badr, Al-Miqdad said, `O Messenger of Allah! We will never say to you what the Children of Israel said to Musa, فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ  (So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here).

Rather, march on and we will be with you.'

The Messenger of Allah was satisfied after hearing this statement.''

Musa Supplicates to Allah Against the Jews

Musa said,

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِي وَأَخِي فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿٢٥﴾  

"O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the rebellious people!"

When the Children of Israel refused to fight, Musa became very angry with them and supplicated to Allah against them, رَبِّ إِنِّي لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِي وَأَخِي  (O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother'), meaning, only I and my brother Harun among them will obey, implement Allah's command and accept the call, فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ  (So Ifruq us from the rebellious people!).

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, "Meaning, judge between us and them.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported similarly from him.

Ad-Dahhak said that the Ayah means, "Judge and decide between us and them.''

Other scholars said that the Ayah means, "Separate between us and them.''

Forbidding the Jews from Entering the Holy Land for Forty Year

Allah said,

قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ ...  

Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land.

When Musa supplicated against the Jews for refusing to fight in Jihad, Allah forbade them from entering the land for forty years. They wandered about lost in the land of At-Tih, unable to find their way out.

During this time, tremendous miracles occurred, such as the clouds that shaded them and the manna and quails Allah sent down for them. Allah brought forth water springs from solid rock, and the other miracles that He aided Musa bin Imran with.

During this time, the Tawrah was revealed and the Law was established for the Children of Israel and the Tabernacle of the Covenant was erected.

Conquering Jerusalem

Allah's statement, أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً  (for forty years), defines, يَتِيهُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ  (in distraction they will wander through the land).

When these years ended, Yuwsha bin Nun led those who remained among them and the second generation, and laid siege to Jerusalem, conquering it on a Friday afternoon. When the sun was about to set and Yuwsha feared that the Sabbath would begin, he said (to the sun), "You are commanded and I am commanded, as well. O Allah! Make it stop setting for me.''

Allah made the sun stop setting until Yuwsha bin Nun conquered Jerusalem.

Next, Allah commanded Yuwsha to order the Children of Israel to enter Jerusalem from its gate while bowing and saying Hittah, meaning, `remove our sins.' Yet, they changed what they were commanded and entered it while dragging themselves on their behinds and saying, `Habbah (a seed) in Sha`rah (a hair).''

We mentioned all of this in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas commented, قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ  (Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land).

"They wandered in the land for forty years, during which Musa and Harun died, as well as everyone above forty years of age. When the forty years ended, Yuwsha son of Nun assumed their leadership and later conquered Jerusalem.

When Yuwsha was reminded that the day was Friday and the sun was about to set, while they were still attacking Jerusalem, he feared that the Sabbath might begin. Therefore, he said to the sun, `I am commanded and you are commanded.'

Allah made the sun stop setting and the Jews conquered Jerusalem and found wealth unseen before. They wanted to let the fire consume the booty, but the fire would not do that. Yuwsha said, `Some of you have committed theft from the booty.' So he summoned the twelve leaders of the twelve tribes and took the pledge from them. Then, the hand of one of them became stuck to the hand of Yuwsha and Yuwsha said, `You committed the theft, so bring it forth.' So, that man brought a cow's head made of gold with two eyes made of precious stones and a set of teeth made of pearls. When Yuwsha added it to the booty, the fire consumed it, as they were prohibited to keep the booty.''

There is evidence supporting all of this in the Sahih.

Allah Comforts Musa

Comforting Musa, Allah said

... فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿٢٦﴾

So do not grieve for the rebellious people.

Allah said: Do not feel sorrow or sadness over My judgment against them, for they deserve such judgment. This story chastises the Jews, exposes their defiance of Allah and His Messenger, and their refusal to obey the order for Jihad. They were weak and could not bear the thought of fighting their enemy, being patient, and enduring this way.

This occurred although they had the Messenger of Allah and the one whom He spoke to among them, the best of Allah's creation that time. Their Prophet promised them triumph and victory against their enemies.

They also witnessed the torment and punishment of drowning with which Allah punished their enemy Fir`awn and his soldiers, so that their eyes were pleased and comforted. All this did not happen too long ago, yet they refused to perform Jihad against people who had less than a tenth of the power and strength than the people of Egypt had. Therefore, the evil works of the Jews were exposed to everyone, and the exposure was such an enormous one that the night, or the tail, can never cover its tracks.

They were also blinded by their ignorance and transgression. Thus, they became hated by Allah, and they became His enemies. Yet, they claim that they are Allah's children and His loved ones! May Allah curse their faces that were transformed to the shape of swine and apes, and may Allah's curse accompany them to the raging Fire. May Allah make them abide in the Fire for eternity, and He did; all thanks are due to Him.

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 وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ ابْنَىْ ءْادَمَ بِالْحَقِّ إِذْ قَرَّبَا قُرْبَـناً فَتُقُبِّلَ مِن أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمْ يُتَقَبَّلْ

And recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam in truth; when each offered a sacrifice, it was accepted from the one but not from the other.

مِنَ الاٌّخَرِ قَالَ لاّقْتُلَنَّكَ

The latter said to the former: "I will surely, kill you.''

قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

The former said: "Verily, Allah accepts only from those who have Taqwa.

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  لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَىَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِى مَآ أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِىَ إِلَيْكَ لاًّقْتُلَكَ إِنِّى أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

"If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of all that exists.''

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إِنِّى أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوءَ بِإِثْمِى وَإِثْمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنْ أَصْحَـبِ النَّارِ وَذَلِكَ جَزَآءُ الظَّـلِمِينَ

"Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the wrongdoers.''

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فَطَوَّعَتْ لَهُ نَفْسُهُ قَتْلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

So the soul of the other encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers.

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 فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ غُرَاباً يَبْحَثُ فِى الاٌّرْضِ لِيُرِيَهُ كَيْفَ يُوَارِى سَوْءَةَ أَخِيهِ

Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother.

قَالَ يَـوَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءَةَ أَخِى فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّـدِمِينَ

He said: "Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!'' Then he became one of those who regretted.

The Story of Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain)

Allah describes the evil end and consequence of transgression, envy and injustice in the story of the two sons of Adam, Habil and Qabil.

One of them fought against the other and killed him out of envy and transgression, because of the bounty that Allah gave his brother and because the sacrifice that he sincerely offered to Allah was accepted. The murdered brother earned forgiveness for his sins and was admitted into Paradise, while the murderer failed and earned a losing deal in both the lives.

Allah said,

وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ ابْنَيْ آدَمَ بِالْحَقِّ ...  

And recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam in truth;

meaning, tell these envious, unjust people, the brothers of swine and apes from the Jews and their likes among mankind, the story of the two sons of Adam, Habil and Qabil, as many scholars among the Salaf and later generations said.

Allah's statement, بِالْحَقِّ  (in truth), means, clearly and without ambiguity, alteration, confusion, change, addition or deletion.

Allah said in other Ayat,

إِنَّ هَـذَا لَهُوَ الْقَصَصُ الْحَقُّ

Verily, this is the true narrative (about the story of Isa). (3:62)

نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُم بِالْحَقِّ

We narrate unto you their story with truth. (18:13)

and,

ذَلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ  قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ ...  

Such is Isa, son of Maryam. (It is) a statement of truth. (19:24)

... إِذْ قَرَّبَا قُرْبَانًا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِن أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمْ يُتَقَبَّلْ مِنَ الآخَرِ قَالَ لَأَقْتُلَنَّكَ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢٧﴾

when each offered a sacrifice, it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: "I will surely, kill you.'' The former said: "Verily, Allah accepts only from those who have Taqwa.

Several scholars among the Salaf and the later generations said that Allah allowed Adam to marry his daughters to his sons because of the necessity of such action.

They also said that in every pregnancy, Adam was given a twin, a male and a female, and he used to give the female of one twin, to the male of the other twin, in marriage.

Habil's sister was not beautiful while Qabil's sister was beautiful, resulting in Qabil wanting her for himself, instead of his brother. Adam refused unless they both offer a sacrifice, and he whose sacrifice was accepted, would marry Qabil's sister.

Habil's sacrifice was accepted, while Qabil's sacrifice was rejected, and thus what Allah told us about them occurred.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said -- that during the time of Adam -- "The woman was not allowed in marriage for her male twin, but Adam was commanded to marry her to any of her other brothers. In each pregnancy, Adam was given a twin, a male and a female. A beautiful daughter was once born for Adam and another one that was not beautiful. So the twin brother of the ugly daughter said, `Marry your sister to me and I will marry my sister to you.'

He said, `No, for I have more right to my sister.'

So they both offered a sacrifice. The sacrifice of the one who offered the sheep was accepted while the sacrifice of the other (the twin brother of the beautiful daughter), which consisted of some produce, was not accepted. So the latter killed his brother.''

This story has a better than good chain of narration.

The statement,

... إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

Verily, Allah accepts only from those who have Taqwa.

who fear Allah in their actions.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "If I become certain that Allah has accepted even one prayer from me, it will be better for me than this life and all that in it. This is because Allah says, إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ  (Verily, Allah accepts only from the those who have Taqwa).

The statement,

لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لَأَقْتُلَكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٢٨﴾  

"If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of all that exists."

Qabil's brother, the pious man whose sacrifice was accepted because of his piety, said to his brother, who threatened to kill him without justification, لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لَأَقْتُلَكَ (If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you), I will not commit the same evil act that you threaten to commit, so that I will not earn the same sin as you, إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ (for I fear Allah; the Lord of the all that exists), and, as a result, I will not commit the error that you threaten to commit. Rather, I will observe patience and endurance.

Abdullah bin `Amr said, "By Allah! Habil was the stronger of the two men. But, fear of Allah restricted his hand.''

The Prophet said in a Hadith recorded in the Two Sahihs,

إِذَا تَوَاجَهَ الْمُسْلِمَانِ بِسَيْفَيهِمَا فَالْقَاتِلُ وَالْمَقْتُولُ فِي النَّار

When two Muslims fight (meet) each other with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hellfire.

They said, "O Allah's Messenger! It is all right for the murderer, but what about the victim?''

Allah's Messenger replied,

إِنَّه كَانَ حَرِيصًا عَلى قَتْلِ صَاحِبِه

He surely had the intention to kill his comrade.

Imam Ahmad recorded that, at the beginning of the calamity that Uthman suffered from, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said,

"I bear witness that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّهَا سَتَكُونُ فِتْنَةٌ القَاعِدُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْقَائِمِ، وَالْقَائِمُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْمَاشِي، وَالْمَاشِي خَيْرٌ مِنَ السَّاعِي

There will be a Fitnah, and he who sits idle during it is better than he who stands up, and he who stands up in it is better than he who walks, and he who walks is better than he who is walking at a fast pace.

When he was asked, `What if someone enters my home and stretched his hand to kill me?'

He said,

كُنْ كَابْنِ آدَم

Be just like (the pious) son of Adam.''

At-Tirmidhi also recorded it this way, and said, "This Hadith is Hasan, and similar is reported on this subject from Abu Hurayrah, Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, Abu Bakr, Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Waqid and Abu Musa.''

The Qur'an continues,

إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوءَ بِإِثْمِي وَإِثْمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾  

"Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the wrongdoers."

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and Qatadah said that, إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوءَ بِإِثْمِي وَإِثْمِكَ  ("Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours..."), means, the sin of murdering me, in addition to your previous sins. Ibn Jarir recorded this.

Allah's statement,

فَطَوَّعَتْ لَهُ نَفْسُهُ قَتْلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿٣٠﴾  

So the soul of the other encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers.

means, his conscience encouraged him to kill his brother by making it seem like a sensible thing to do, so he killed him, even after his brother admonished him.

Ibn Jarir said, "When he wanted to kill his brother, he started to twist his neck. So Shaytan took an animal and placed its head on a rock, then he took another rock, then he took another rock, and smashed its head with it until he killed it while the son of Adam was looking. So he did the same thing to his brother.''

Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this.

Abdullah bin Wahb said that Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that his father said,

"Qabil held Habil by the head to kill him, so Habil laid down for him and Qabil started twisting Habil's head, not knowing how to kill him. Shaytan came to Qabil and said, `Do you want to kill him?'

He said, `Yes.'

Shaytan said, `Take that stone and throw it on his head.'

So Qabil took the stone and threw it at his brother's head and smashed his head.

Shaytan then went to Hawwa in a hurry and said to her, `O Hawwa! Qabil killed Habil.'

She asked him, `Woe to you! What does `kill' mean?'

He said, `He will no longer eat, drink or move.'

She said, `And that is death.'

He said, `Yes it is.'

So she started to weep until Adam came to her while she was weeping and said, `What is the matter with you?'

She did not answer him.

He asked her two more times, but she did not answer him. So he said, `You and your daughters will inherit the practice of weeping, while I and my sons are free of it.'''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it.

Allah's statement, فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ  (And became one of the losers), in this life and the Hereafter, and which loss is worse than this.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تُقْتَلُ نَفْسٌ ظُلْمًا إِلَّا كَانَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ الْأَوَّلِ كِفْلٌ مِنْ دَمِهَا،لِأَنَّهُ كَانَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْل

Any soul that is unjustly killed, then the first son of Adam will carry a burden of its shedding, for he was the first to practice the crime of murder.

The Group, with the exception of Abu Dawud, also recorded this Hadith.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr used to say, "The son of Adam, who killed his brother, will be the most miserable among men. There is no blood shed on earth since he killed his brother, until the Day of Resurrection, but he will carry a burden from it, for he was the first person to establish murder.''

Allah said,

فَبَعَثَ اللّهُ غُرَابًا يَبْحَثُ فِي الأَرْضِ لِيُرِيَهُ كَيْفَ يُوَارِي سَوْءةَ أَخِيهِ قَالَ يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّادِمِينَ ﴿٣١﴾  

Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said, "Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!'' Then he became one of those who regretted.

As-Suddi said that the Companions said, "When his brother died, Qabil left him on the bare ground and did not know how to bury him. Allah sent two crows, which fought with each other until one of them killed the other. So it dug a hole and threw sand over the dead corpse (which it placed in the hole). When Qabil saw that, he said, يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي  ("Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!'').

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"A crow came to the dead corpse of another crow and threw sand over it, until it hid it in the ground. He who killed his brother said, يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي  (Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!).''

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on the statement, فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّادِمِينَ  (Then he became one of those who regretted). "Allah made him feel sorrow after the loss that he earned.''

The Swift Punishment for Transgression and Cutting the Relations of the Womb

A Hadith states that the Prophet said,

مَا مِنْ ذَنْبٍ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ يُعَجِّلَ اللهُ عُقُوبَتَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعَ مَا يَدَّخِرُ لِصَاحِبهِ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْبَغْيِ وَقَطِيعَةِ الرَّحِم

There is no sin that is more worthy of Allah hastening its punishment in this life, in addition to what He has in store for its offender in the Hereafter, more than transgression and cutting the relations of the womb.

The act of Qabil included both of these.

We are Allah's and to Him is our return.

32

 مِنْ أَجْلِ ذلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْساً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً

Because of that, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind,

وَمَنْ أَحْيَـهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً

and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالّبَيِّنَـتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذلِكَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with Al-Bayyinat, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!

33

 إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَـفٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ

The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified, or their hands and their feet be cut off on opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.

ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْىٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.

34

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah says,

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ ...  

Because of that,

Allah says, because the son of Adam killed his brother in transgression and aggression,

... كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ...

We ordained for the Children of Israel...,

meaning, We legislated for them and informed them,

... أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ...

that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

The Ayah states, whoever kills a soul without justification -- such as in retaliation for murder or for causing mischief on earth -- will be as if he has killed all mankind, because there is no difference between one life and another.

وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا (and if anyone saved a life...), by preventing its blood from being shed and believing in its sanctity, then all people will have been saved from him, so,أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا  (it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind).

Al-Amash and others said that Abu Salih said that Abu Hurayrah said,

"I entered on Uthman when he was under siege in his house and said, `I came to give you my support. Now, it is good to fight (defending you) O Leader of the Faithful!'

He said, `O Abu Hurayrah! Does it please you that you kill all people, including me?'

I said, `No.'

He said, `If you kill one man, it is as if you killed all people. Therefore, go back with my permission for you to leave. May you receive your reward and be saved from burden.'

So I went back and did not fight.'''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "It is as Allah has stated,

...مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ...

if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

Saving life in this case occurs by not killing a soul that Allah has forbidden.

So this is the meaning of saving the life of all mankind, for whoever forbids killing a soul without justification, the lives of all people will be saved from him.''

Similar was said by Mujahid;

وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا  (And if anyone saved a life...), means, he refrains from killing a soul.

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that Allah's statement, فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا  (it would be as if he killed all mankind...) means, "Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden killing, is just like he who kills all mankind.''

Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.''

In addition, Ibn Jurayj said that Al-A`raj said that Mujahid commented on the Ayah, فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا  (it would be as if he killed all mankind),

"He who kills a believing soul intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode, He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people, his punishment will still be the same.''

Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said that the Ayah, وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا  (and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind) means,

"He who does not kill anyone, then the lives of people are safe from him.''

Warning Those who Commit Mischief

Allah said,

... وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ...

And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with Al-Bayyinat,

meaning, clear evidences, signs and proofs.

... ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾

even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!

This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them.

The Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayzah, An-Nadir and Qaynuqa, used to fight along with either Khazraj or Aws, when war would erupt between them during the time of Jahiliyyah. When these wars would end, the Jews would ransom those who were captured and pay the blood money for those who were killed. Allah criticized them for this practice in Surah Al-Baqarah,

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَكُمْ لاَ تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَآءِكُمْ وَلاَ تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ مِّن دِيَـرِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاَءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَـرِهِمْ تَظَـهَرُونَ علَيْهِم بِالإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَنِ وَإِن يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَـرَى تُفَـدُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَـبِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَآءُ مَن يَفْعَلُ ذلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْىٌ فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الّعَذَابِ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

And (remember) when We took your covenant (saying): Shed not your (people's) blood, nor turn out your own people from their dwellings. Then, (this) you ratified and (to this) you bear witness.

After this, it is you who kill one another and drive out a party of your own from their homes, assist (their enemies) against them, in sin and transgression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their expulsion was forbidden to you. Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (2:84-85)

The Punishment of those Who Cause Mischief in the Land

Allah said next,

إِنَّمَا جَزَاء الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلافٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الأَرْضِ ...

The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.

`Wage war' mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ikrimah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that the Ayat, إِنَّمَا جَزَاء الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ  (The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger) until,  أَنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ  (Allah is Of-Forgiving, Most Merciful),

"Were revealed about the idolators. Therefore, the Ayah decrees that, whoever among them repents before you apprehend them, then you have no right to punish them. This Ayah does not save a Muslim from punishment if he kills, causes mischief in the land or wages war against Allah and His Messenger and then joins rank with the disbelievers, before the Muslims are able to catch him. He will still be liable for punishment for the crimes he committed.''

Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i recorded that Ikrimah said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, إِنَّمَا جَزَاء الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا  (The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land...), "Was revealed concerning the idolators, those among them who repent before being apprehended, they will still be liable for punishment for the crimes they committed.''

The correct opinion is that this Ayah is general in meaning and includes the idolators and all others who commit the types of crimes the Ayah mentioned.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Qilabah Abdullah bin Zayd Al-Jarmi, said that Anas bin Malik said,

"Eight people of the Ukl tribe came to the Messenger of Allah and gave him their pledge to follow Islam. Al-Madinah's climate did not suit them and they became sick and complained to Allah's Messenger. So he said,

أَلَا تَخْرُجُونَ مَعَ رَاعِينَا فِي إِبِلِهِ، فَتُصِيبُوا مِنْ أَبْوَالِهَا وَأَلْبَانِهَا

Go with our shepherd to be treated by the milk and urine of his camels.

So they went as directed, and after they drank from the camels' milk and urine, they became healthy, and they killed the shepherd and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured. He then ordered that their hands and feet be cut off (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron. Next, they were put in the sun until they died.''

This is the wording of Muslim.

In another narration for this Hadith, it was mentioned that these people were from the tribes of Ukl or Uraynah.

Another narration reported that these people were put in the Harrah area (of Al-Madinah), and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.

Allah said,

...أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلافٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الأَرْضِ...

they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said about this Ayah, "He who takes up arms in Muslim land and spreads fear in the fairways and is captured, the Muslim Leader has the choice to either have him killed, crucified or cut off his hands and feet.''

Similar was said by Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, Ata, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibrahim An-Nakhai and Ad-Dahhak, as Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir recorded.

This view is supported by the fact that the word Aw (or), indicates a choice. As Allah said,

فَجَزَآءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنْكُمْ هَدْياً بَـلِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَـكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذلِكَ صِيَاماً

The penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka`bah, of an eatable animal equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you; or, for expiation, he should feed the poor, or its equivalent in fasting. (5:95)

Allah said,

فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ

And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a ransom of either fasting or giving charity or offering a sacrifice. (2:196)

and,

فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَـكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ

...for its expiation feed ten of the poor, on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them, or free a slave. (5:89)

All of these Ayat offer a choice, just as the Ayah above.

As for Allah's statement, أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الأَرْضِ  (or be exiled from the land).

Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Az-Zuhri, Al-Layth bin Sa`d and Malik bin Anas that, it means, he is actively pursued until he is captured, and thus receives his prescribed punishment, or otherwise he escapes from the land of Islam.

Some said that; the Ayah means these people are expelled to another land, or to another state by the Muslims authorities.

Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, Al-Hasan, Az-Zuhri, Ad-Dahhak and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that; he is expelled, but not outside of the land of Islam, while others said that he is to be imprisoned.

Allah's statement,

... ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٣٣﴾

That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.

means, the punishment We prescribed, killing these aggressors, crucifying them, cutting off their hands and feet on opposite sides, or expelling them from the land is a disgrace for them among mankind in this life, along with the tremendous torment Allah has prepared for them in the Hereafter.

This view supports the opinion that these Ayat were revealed about the idolators. As for Muslims, in his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said,

"The Messenger of Allah took the same pledge from us that he also took from women: That we do not associate anything with Allah in worship, we do not steal, commit adultery, or kill our children, and that we do not spread falsehood about each other.

He said that he who keeps this pledge, then his reward will be with Allah. He who falls into shortcomings and was punished, then this will be his expiation. And those whose errors were covered by Allah, then their matter is for Allah: If He wills, He will punish them and If He wills, He will pardon them.''

Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَعُوقِبَ بِهِ، فَاللهُ أَعْدَلُ مِنْ أَنْ يُثَنِّيَ عُقُوبَتَهُ عَلى عَبْدِهِ، وَمَنْ أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فِي الدُّنْيَا فَسَتَرهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَعَفَا عَنْهُ، فَاللهُ أَكْرَمُ مِنْ أَنْ يَعُودَ عَلَيْهِ فِي شَيْءٍ قَدْ عَفَا عَنْه

He who sins in this life and was punished for it, then Allah is far more just than to combine two punishments on His servant. He who commits an error in this life and Allah hides this error and pardons him, then Allah is far more generous than to punish the servant for something that He has already pardoned.

Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmidhi who said, "Hasan Gharib.''

Al-Hafiz Ad-Daraqutni was asked about this Hadith, and he said that it was related to the Prophet in some narrations, and it was related to the Companions in others, and that this narration from the Prophet is Sahih.

Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement, ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا  (That is their disgrace in this world), "Meaning, shame, humiliation, punishment, contempt and torment in this life, before the Hereafter, وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ  (and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter), if they do not repent from these errors until death overcomes them. In this case, they will be stricken by the punishment that We prescribed for them in this life and the torment that We prepared for them therein, عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ  (a great torment) in the Fire of Jahannam.''

The Punishment of those who Wage War Against Allah and His Messenger is Annulled if They Repent Before their Apprehension

Allah said,

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾  

Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

This Ayah is clear in its indication that it applies to the idolators.

As for the Muslims who commit this crime and repent before they are apprehended, the punishment of killing, crucifixion and cutting the limbs will be waved. The practice of the Companions in this regard is that all of the punishments prescribed in this case will be waved, as is apparent from the wording of the Ayah.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said,

"Harithah bin Badr At-Tamimi was living in Al-Basra, and he committed the crime of mischief in the land. So he talked to some men from Quraysh, such as Al-Hasan bin Ali, Ibn Abbas and Abdullah bin Jafar, and they talked to Ali about him so that he would grant him safety, but Ali refused.

So Harithah went to Sa`id bin Qays Al-Hamadani who kept him in his house and went to Ali, saying, `O Leader of the Faithful! What about those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and cause mischief in the land?' So he recited the Ayah until he reached, إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ  (Except for those who (having fled away and them) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power).

So Ali wrote a document that granted safety, and Sa`id bin Qays said, `This is for Harithah bin Badr.'''

Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith.

Ibn Jarir recorded that `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said,

"A man from Murad came to Abu Musa, while he was the governor of Al-Kufah during the reign of Uthman, and said to him after he offered the obligatory prayer, `O Abu Musa! I seek your help. I am so-and-so from Murad and I waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land. I repented before you had any authority over me.'

Abu Musa proclaimed, `This is so-and-so, who had waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land, and he repented before we had authority over him. Therefore, anyone who meets him, should deal with him in a better way. If he is saying the truth, then this is the path of those who say the truth. If he is saying a lie, his sins will destroy him. So the man remained idle for as long as Allah willed, but he later rose against the leaders, and Allah punished him for his sins and he was killed.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Musa bin Ishaq Al-Madani said that;

Ali Al-Asadi waged war, blocked the roads, shed blood and plundered wealth. The leaders and the people alike, sought to capture him, but they could not do that until he came after he repented, after he heard a man reciting the Ayah,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (39:53)

So he said to that man, "O servant of Allah! Recite it again.''

So he recited it again, and Ali put down his sword and went to Al-Madinah in repentance, arriving during the night. He washed up and went to the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah and prayed the dawn prayer. He sat next to Abu Hurayrah amidst his companions. In the morning, the people recognized him and went after him. He said, "You have no way against me. I came in repentance before you had any authority over me.''

Abu Hurayrah said, "He has said the truth,'' and he held his hand and went to Marwan bin Al-Hakam, who was the governor of Al-Madinah during the reign of Muawiyah.

Abu Hurayrah said, "This is Ali and he came in repentance and you do not have a way against him, nor can you have him killed.''

So Ali was absolved of punishment and remained on his repentance and went to the sea to perform Jihad in Allah's cause.

The Muslims met the Romans in battle, and the Muslims brought the ship Ali was in to one of the Roman ships, and Ali crossed to that ship and the Romans escaped from him to the other side of the ship, and the ship capsized and they all drowned.''

35

 يَـَأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَـهِدُواْ فِى سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and seek the Wasilah to Him, and strive hard in His cause, so that you may be successful.

36

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.

37

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ

5:37 They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom; and theirs will be a lasting torment.

Commanding Taqwa, Wasilah, and Jihad

Allah commands;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ ...  

O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah,

Allah commands His faithful servants to fear Him in Taqwa, which if mentioned along with acts of obedience, it means to refrain from the prohibitions and the prohibited matters.

Allah said next,

... وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ ...

and seek the Wasilah to Him.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Talhah said that Ata said that Ibn Abbas said that; Wasilah means `the means of approach'.

Mujahid, Abu Wa'il, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others gave the same meaning for Wasilah.

Qatadah said that the Ayah means, "Seek the means of approach to Him by obeying Him and performing the acts that please Him.''

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ

Those whom they call upon seek a means of access to their Lord (Allah). (17:57)

Wasilah is a means of approach to achieve something, and it is also used to refer to the highest grade in Paradise, and it is the grade of the Messenger of Allah, his residence and the nearest grade in Paradise to Allah's Throne.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ النِّدَاءَ:

Whoever, after hearing to the Adhan says,

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ، وَالصَّلَاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ، آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ،

"O Allah! Lord of this perfect call and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Grant Muhammad the Wasilah and superiority and send him (on the Day of Judgment) to the praiseworthy station which You have promised him,"

إِلَّا حَلَّتْ لَهُ الشَّفَاعَةُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

then intercession from me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection.

Muslim recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As said that he heard the Prophet saying,

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ الْمُؤَذِّنَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ، ثُمَّ صَلُّوا عَلَيَّ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ صَلَاةً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرًا، ثُمَّ سَلُوا لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ، فَإِنَّهَا مَنْزِلَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَا تَنْبَغِي إِلَّا لِعَبْدٍ مِنْ عِبَادِ اللهِ، وَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَنَا هُوَ، فَمَنْ سَأَلَ لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ حَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّفَاعَة

When you hear the Mu'adhdhin, repeat what he says, and then ask for Salah (blessing, mercy from Allah) for me. Verily, whoever asks for Salah for me, then Allah will grant ten Salah to him. Then, ask for the Wasilah for me, for it is a grade in Paradise that only one servant of Allah deserves, and I hope that I am that servant. Verily, whoever asks (Allah) for Wasilah for me, he will earn the right of my intercession.

Allah said,

... وَجَاهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾

and strive hard in His cause as much as you can. So that you may be successful.

After Allah commanded Muslims to avoid the prohibitions and to work towards obedience, He commanded them to fight against their enemies, the disbelievers and idolators who have deviated from the straight path and abandoned the correct religion. Allah encouraged the believers by reminding them of the unending success and great happiness that He prepared for them for the Day of Resurrection, which will never change or decrease for those who join Jihad in His cause. They will remain in the lofty rooms of Paradise that are safe and beautiful. Those who live in these dwellings will always be comfortable and will never be miserable, living, never dying, and their clothes will never grow thin, nor will their youth ever end.

No Amount of Ransom Shall Be Accepted from the Disbelievers on the Day of the Judgment and They Will Remain in the Fire

Allah then describes the painful torment and punishment that He has prepared for His disbelieving enemies for the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٣٦﴾  

Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them. And theirs would be a painful torment.

So if a disbeliever brought the earth's fill of gold, and twice as much as that amount on the Day of Judgment to ransom himself from Allah's torment that has surrounded him, and he is certain that he will suffer from it, it will not be accepted of him. Rather, there is no escaping the torment, and he will not be able to evade or save himself from it.

Hence Allah's statement, وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ  (And theirs would be a painful torment), meaning, hurtful,

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنْهَا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ ﴿٣٧﴾  

They will long to get out of the Fire, but never will they get out therefrom, and theirs will be a lasting torment.

In another Ayah, Allah said,

كُلَّمَا أَرَادُوا أَن يَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا مِنْ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُوا فِيهَا

Every time they seek to get away therefrom, in anguish, they will be driven back therein. (22:22)

Therefore, they will still long to leave the torment because of the severity and the pain it causes. They will have no way of escaping it. The more the flames lift them to the upper part of Hell, the more the angels of punishment will strike them with iron bars and they will fall down to its depths,

... وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ

And theirs will be a lasting torment.

meaning, eternal and everlasting, and they will never be able to depart from it or avoid it.

Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,

يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ : يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَضْجَعَكَ؟

A man from the people of the Fire will be brought forth and will be asked, `O son of Adam! How did you find your dwelling!'

فَيَقُولُ: شَرَّ مَضْجَع ٍ،

He will say, `The worst dwelling.'

فَيُقَالُ: هَلْ تَفْتَدِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا ؟

He will be told, `Would you ransom yourself with the earth's fill of gold!'

فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ يَارَبِّ

He will say, `Yes, O Lord!'

فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، قَدْ سَأَلْتُكَ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذلِكَ فَلَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَيُؤْمَرُ بِهِ إِلَى النَّار

Allah will say to him, `You have lied. I asked you for what is less than that and you did not do it,' and he will be ordered to the Fire.

Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded it.

38

 وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا جَزَآءً بِمَا كَسَبَا نَكَـلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ

And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off their hands as a recompense for that which both committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah.

وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.

39

 فَمَن تَابَ مِن بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ

But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds, then verily, Allah will pardon him.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

40

أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

Know you not that to Allah (Alone) belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth!

يُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

He punishes whom He wills and He forgives whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.

The Necessity of Cutting off the Hand of the Thief

Allah says;

وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا ...  

And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off their hands,

Allah commands and decrees that the hand of the thief, male or female be cut off.

During the time of Jahiliyyah, this was also the punishment for the thief, and Islam upheld this punishment.

In Islam, there are several conditions that must be met before this punishment is carried out, as we will come to know, Allah willing.

There are other rulings that Islam upheld after modifying these rulings, such as that of blood money for example.

When Does Cutting the Hand of the Thief Become Necessary

In is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَعَنَ اللهُ السَّارِقَ يَسْرِقُ الْبَيْضَةَ فَتُقْطَعُ يَدُهُ، وَيَسْرِقُ الْحَبْلَ فَتُقْطَعُ يَدُه

May Allah curse the thief who steals an egg and as a result his hand is cut off, and who steals rope and as a result his hand is cut off.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

تُقْطَعُ يَدُ السَّارِقِ فِي رُبْعِ دِينَارٍ فَصَاعِدًا

The hand of the thief shall be cut off if he steals a quarter of a Dinar or more.

Muslim recorded that Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تُقْطَعُ يَدُ السَّارقِ إِلَّا فِي رُبْعِ دِينارٍ فَصَاعِدًا

The hand of the thief shall only be cut off if he steals a quarter of a Dinar or more.

This Hadith is the basis of the matter since it specifies (that the least amount of theft that deserves cutting the hand) is a quarter of a Dinar. So this Hadith fixes the value. And saying that it is three Dirhams is not a contradiction. This is because the Dinar in question was equal to twelve Dirhams, so three Dirhams equaled a fourth of a Dinar. So in this way it is possible to harmonize these two views.

This opinion was reported from Umar bin Al-Khattab, Uthman bin Affan, Ali bin Abi Talib - may Allah be pleased with them - and it is the view of Umar bin Abdul-Aziz, Al-Layth bin Sa`d, Al-Awza`i, and Ash-Shafii and his companions.

This is also the view of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ishaq bin Rahwayh in one of the narrations from him, as well as Abu Thawr, and Dawud bin Ali Az-Zahari, may Allah have mercy upon them.

As for Imam Abu Hanifah and his students Abu Yusuf, Muhammad and Zufar, along with Sufyan Ath-Thawri, they said that; the least amount of theft that deserves cutting off the hand is ten Dirhams, whereas a Dinar was twelve Dirhams at that time.

The first ruling is the correct one, that the least amount of theft is one forth of a Dinar or more.

This meager amount was set as the limit for cutting the hand, so that the people would refrain from theft, and this is a wise decision to those who have sound comprehension.

Hence Allah's statement,

... جَزَاء بِمَا كَسَبَا نَكَالاً مِّنَ اللّهِ ...

as a recompense for that which both committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah.

This is the prescribed punishment for the evil action they committed, by stealing the property of other people with their hands. Therefore, it is fitting that the tool they used to steal the people's wealth be cut off as punishment from Allah for their error.

... وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ...

And Allah is All-Powerful, (in His torment),

... حَكِيمٌ ﴿٣٨﴾

All-Wise.

in His commands, what he forbids, what He legislates and what He decrees.

Repentance of the Thief is Acceptable

Allah said next,

فَمَن تَابَ مِن بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٣٩﴾  

But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds, then verily, Allah will pardon him. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Therefore, whoever repents and goes back to Allah after he commits theft, then Allah will forgive him.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said that;

a woman committed theft during the time of the Messenger of Allah and those from whom she stole brought her and said, "O Allah's Messenger! This woman stole from us.''

Her people said, "We ransom her.''

The Messenger of Allah said,

اقْطَعُوا يَدَهَا

Cut off her hand.

They said, "We ransom her with five hundred Dinars.''

The Prophet said,

قْطَعُوا يَدَهَا

Cut off her hand.

Her right hand was cut off and the woman asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Is there a chance for me to repent?''

He said,

نَعَمْ أَنْتِ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ خَطِيئَتِكِ كَيَوْمَ وَلَدَتْكِ أُمُّك

Yes. This day, you are free from your sin just as the day your mother gave birth to you.

Allah sent down the verse in Surah Al-Ma'idah,

فَمَن تَابَ مِن بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah), then verily, Allah will pardon him. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

This woman was from the tribe of Makhzum. Her story was narrated in the Two Sahihs from Az-Zuhri from Urwah from Aishah.

The incident caused concern for the Quraysh after she committed the theft during the time of the battle of the Conquest (of Makkah). They said, "Who can talk to Allah's Messenger about her matter.''

They then said, "Who dares speak to him about such matters other than Usamah bin Zayd, his loved one.''

When the woman was brought to the Messenger of Allah, Usamah bin Zayd talked to him about her and the face of the Messenger changed color (because of anger) and he said,

أَتَشْفَعُ فِي حَدَ مِنْ حُدُودِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ؟

Do you intercede in a punishment prescribed by Allah?

Usamah said to him, "Ask Allah to forgive me, O Allah's Messenger!''

During that night, the Messenger of Allah stood up and gave a speech and praised Allah as He deserves to be praised. He then said,

أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمُ الشَّرِيفُ تَرَكُوهُ، وَإِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمُ الضَّعِيفُ أَقَامُوا عَلَيْهِ الْحَدَّ،

Those who were before you were destroyed because when an honorable person among them would steal, they would leave him. But, when a weak man among them stole, they implemented the prescribed punishment against him.

وَإِنِّي وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتَ مُحَمَّدٍ سَرَقَتْ لَقَطَعْتُ يَدَهَا

By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! If Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad stole, I will have her hand cut off.

The Prophet commanded that the hand of the woman who stole be cut off, and it was cut off.

Aishah said, `Her repentance was sincere afterwards, and she got married and she used to come to me so that I convey her needs to the Messenger of Allah.''

This is the wording that Muslim collected, and in another narration by Muslim, Aishah said, "She was a woman from Makhzum who used to borrow things and deny that she took them. So the Prophet ordered that her hand be cut off.''

Allah then said,

أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ ....  

Know you not that to Allah (Alone) belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth!

He owns everything and decides what He wills for it and no one can resist His judgment.

... يُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاء وَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٤٠﴾

He punishes whom He wills and He forgives whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.

41

 يأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لاَ يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِى الْكُفْرِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ ءامَنَّا بِأَفْوهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ

O Messenger! Let not those who hurry to fall into disbelief grieve you, of such who say, "We believe'' with their mouths but their hearts have no faith.

وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هِادُواْ سَمَّـعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّـعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ ءاخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ

And of the Jews are men who listen much and eagerly to lies, listening to others who have not come to you.

يُحَرّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوضِعِهِ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ

They change the words from their places; they say, "If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!''

وَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً

And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Fitnah, you can do nothing for him against Allah.

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يُطَهّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ لَهُمْ فِى الدُّنْيَا خِزْىٌ وَلَهُمْ فِى الاْخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Those are the ones whose hearts Allah does not want to purify; for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment.

42

 سَمَّـعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّـلُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ فَإِن جَآءوكَ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ

They (like to) listen to falsehood, to devour Suht. So if they come to you, either judge between them, or turn away from them.

وَإِن تُعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ فَلَن يَضُرُّوكَ شَيْئاً

If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least.

وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِالْقِسْطِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.

43

وَكَيْفَ يُحَكّمُونَكَ وَعِندَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ وَمَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

But how do they come to you for a decision while they have the Tawrah, in which is the decision of Allah; yet even after that they turn away. For they are not believers.

44

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ

Verily, We did send down the Tawrah, therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged for the Jews.

وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالاْحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَآء

And the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar, for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto.

فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِـئَايَـتِى ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً

Therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My verses for a miserable price.

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.

Do Not Feel Sad Because of the Behavior of the Jews and Hypocrites

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لاَ يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ ...  

O Messenger! Let not those who hurry to fall into disbelief grieve you,

These honorable Ayat were revealed about those who rush into disbelief, deviating from the obedience of Allah, His Messenger, preferring their opinions and lusts to what Allah has legislated.

... مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ آمَنَّا بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ ...

of such who say, "We believe'' with their mouths but their hearts have no faith.

These people pretend to be faithful with their words, but their hearts are empty from faith, and they are the hypocrites.

... وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هِادُواْ ...

And of the Jews...,

the enemies of Islam and its people, they and the hypocrites all.

... سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ ...

listen much and eagerly to lies...,

and they accept and react to it positively.

... سَمَّاعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ ...

listening to others who have not come to you,

meaning, they listen to some people who do not attend your meetings, O Muhammad.

Or, the Ayah might mean, they listen to what you say and convey it to your enemies who do not attend your audience.

The Jews Alter and Change the Law, Such As Stoning the Adulterer

Allah says;

... يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِ ...

They change the words from their places:

by altering their meanings and knowingly distorting them after they comprehended them.

... يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ ...

they say, "If you are given this, take it, but if you are not given this, then beware!"

It was reported that; this part of the Ayah was revealed about some Jews who committed murder and who said to each other, "Let us ask Muhammad to judge between us, and if he decides that we pay the Diyah, accept his judgment. If he decides on capital punishment, do not accept his judgment.''

The correct opinion is that; this Ayah was revealed about the two Jews who committed adultery. The Jews changed the law they had in their Book from Allah on the matter of punishment for adultery, from stoning to death, to a hundred flogs and making the offenders ride a donkey facing the back of the donkey.

When this incident of adultery occurred after the Hijrah, they said to each other, "Let us go to Muhammad and seek his judgment. If he gives a ruling of flogging, then implement his decision and make it a proof for you with Allah. This way, one of Allah's Prophets will have upheld this ruling amongst you. But if he decides that the punishment should be stoning to death, then do not accept his decision.''

There are several Hadiths mentioning this story.

Malik reported that Nafi said that Abdullah bin Umar said,

"The Jews came to Allah's Messenger and mentioned that a man and a woman from them committed adultery. Allah's Messenger said to them,

مَا تَجِدُونَ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ فِي شَأْنِ الرَّجْم ِ؟

What do find of the ruling about stoning in the Tawrah?

They said, `We only find that they should be exposed and flogged.'

Abdullah bin Salam said, `You lie. The Tawrah mentions stoning, so bring the Tawrah.'

They brought the Tawrah and opened it but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand and recited what is before and after that verse.

Abdullah bin Salam said to him, `Remove your hand,' and he removed it, thus uncovering the verse about stoning. So they said, He (Abdullah bin Salam) has said the truth, O Muhammad! It is the verse about stoning.'

The Messenger of Allah decided that the adulterers be stoned to death and his command was carried out.

I saw that man shading the woman from the stones with his body.''

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected this Hadith and this is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

In another narration by Al-Bukhari, the Prophet said to the Jews,

مَا تَصْنَعُون بِهِمَا ؟

What would you do in this case?

They said, "We would humiliate and expose them.''

The Prophet recited,

قُلْ فَأْتُواْ بِالتَّوْرَاةِ فَاتْلُوهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful. (3:93)

So they brought a man who was blind in one eye and who was respected among them and said to him, "Read (from the Tawrah).''

So he read until he reached a certain verse and then covered it with his hand. He was told, "Remove your hand,'' and it was the verse about stoning.

So that man said, "O Muhammad! This is the verse about stoning, and we had hid its knowledge among us.''

So the Messenger ordered that the two adulterers be stoned, and they were stoned.

Muslim recorded that;

a Jewish man and a Jewish woman were brought before Allah's Messenger because they committed adultery. The Messenger of Allah went to the Jews and asked them,

مَا تَجِدُونَ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ عَلى مَنْ زَنَى ؟

What is the ruling that you find in the Tawrah for adultery?

They said, "We expose them, carry them (on donkeys) backwards and parade them in public.''

The Prophet recited;

قُلْ فَأْتُواْ بِالتَّوْرَاةِ فَاتْلُوهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful. (3:93)

So they brought the Tawrah and read from it until the reader reached the verse about stoning. Then he placed his hand on that verse and read what was before and after it.

Abdullah bin Salam, who was with the Messenger of Allah, said, "Order him to remove his hand,'' and he removed his hand and under it was the verse about stoning.

So the Messenger of Allah commanded that the adulterers be stoned, and they were stoned.

Abdullah bin Umar said, "I was among those who stoned them and I saw the man shading the woman from the stones with his body.''

Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn Umar said,

"Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, `O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.'

They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said,

ائْتُونِي بِالتَّوْرَاة

Bring the Tawrah to me.

He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying,

آمَنْتُ بِكِ وَبِمَنْ أَنْزَلَك

I trust you and He Who revealed it to you.

He then said,

ائْتُونِي بِأَعْلَمِكُم

Bring me your most knowledgeable person.

So he was brought a young man... ''

and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi.

These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling.

What made them go to the Prophet for judgment in this matter was their lusts and desires, hoping that the Prophet would agree with their opinion, not that they believed in the correctness of his judgment. This is why they said, إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـذَا  (If you are given this), referring to flogging, then take it, وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُواْ  (but if you are not given this, then beware!) and do not accept or implement it.

Allah said next,

... وَمَن يُرِدِ اللّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللّهِ شَيْئًا أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ اللّهُ أَن يُطَهِّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٤١﴾

سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّالُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ ...  

And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Fitnah, you can do nothing for him against Allah. Those are the ones whose hearts Allah does not want to purify; for them there is a disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a great torment. They (like to) listen to falsehood, to devour Suht.

Ibn Mas`ud and others stated that; `Suht' refers to bribes.

The Ayah states that if one is like this, how can Allah cleanse his heart and accept his supplication.

Allah said to His Prophet,

... فَإِن جَآؤُوكَ ...

So if they come to you...,

so that you judge between them,

... فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَإِن تُعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ فَلَن يَضُرُّوكَ شَيْئًا ...

either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least.

meaning, there is no harm if you do not judge between them. This is because when they came to you to judge between them, they did not seek to follow the truth, but only what conformed to their lusts.

We should mention here that Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam, Ata Al-Khurasani, and several others said that;

this part of the Ayah was abrogated by Allah's statement,

وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللّهُ

And so judge among them by what Allah has revealed. (5:49)

... وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ ...

And if you judge, judge with justice between them.

and with fairness, even if the Jews were unjust and outcasts from the path of fairness,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ ﴿٤٢﴾

Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.

Chastising the Jews for Their Evil Lusts and Desires, While Praising the Tawrah

Allah then chastises the Jews for their false ideas and deviant desires to abandon what they believe is true in their Book, and which they claim is their eternal Law that they are always commanded to adhere to. Yet, they do not adhere to the Tawrah, but they prefer other laws over it, although they believe that these other laws are not correct and do not apply to them.

Allah said,

وَكَيْفَ يُحَكِّمُونَكَ وَعِندَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَمَا أُوْلَـئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٤٣﴾

But how do they come to you for decision while they have the Tawrah, in which is the decision of Allah; yet even after that they turn away. For they are not believers.

Allah next praises the Tawrah that He sent down to His servant and Messenger Musa, son of Imran,

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ ...  

Verily, We did send down the Tawrah (to Musa), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged the Jews.

and these Prophets did not deviate from the law of the Tawrah, change or alter it,

...  وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ ...

And (also) the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar...,

wherein Rabbaniyyun refers to the worshippers who are learned and religious,

and Ahbar refers to the scholars,

... بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَابِ اللّهِ ...

for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book,

meaning, they were entrusted with the Book of Allah, and they were commanded to adhere to it and not hide any part of.

... وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاء فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿٤٤﴾

and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.

There are two ways to explain this Ayah and we will mention the later.

Another Reason Behind Revealing these Honorable Ayat

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"Allah sent down the Ayat, وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ  (And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers), فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ (Such are the unjust), (5:45) and, فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ (Such are the rebellious), (5:47) about two groups among the Jews.

During the time of Jahiliyyah, one of them had defeated the other. As a result, they made a treaty that they would pay blood money totaling fifty Wasaq (of gold) (each Wasaq approx. 3 kg) for every dead person from the defeated group killed by the victors, and a hundred Wasaq for every dead person the defeated group killed from the victors.

This treaty remained in effect until the Prophet came to Al-Madinah and both of these groups became subservient under the Prophet. Yet, when the mighty group once suffered a casualty at the hands of the weaker group, the mighty group sent a delegation demanding the hundred Wasaq. The weaker group said, `How can two groups who have the same religion, one ancestral lineage and a common land, have a Diyah that for some of them is half of that of the others We only agreed to this because you oppressed us and because we feared you. Now that Muhammad has come, we will not give you what you asked.'

So war was almost rekindled between them, but they agreed to seek Muhammad's judgment in their dispute. The mighty group among them said (among themselves), `By Allah! Muhammad will never give you double the Diyah that you pay to them compared to what they pay to you. They have said the truth anyway, for they only gave us this amount because we oppressed and overpowered them. Therefore, send someone to Muhammad who will sense what his judgment will be. If he agrees to give you what you demand, accept his judgment, and if he does not give you what you seek, do not refer to him for judgment.'

So they sent some hypocrites to the Messenger of Allah to try and find out the Messenger's judgment. When they came to the Messenger, Allah informed him of their matter and of their plot. Allah sent down, يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لاَ يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ  (O Messenger! Let not those who hurry to fall into disbelief grieve you), (5:41) until, الْفَاسِقُونَ (Such are the rebellious). (5:47)

By Allah! It is because of their problem that Allah sent down these verses and it is they whom Allah meant.''

Abu Dawud collected a similar narration for this Hadith.

Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;

the Ayah in Surah Al-Ma'idah, فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ (either judge between them, or turn away from them...) until, الْمُقْسِطِينَ  (Those who act justly), (5:42) was revealed concerning the problem of blood money between Bani An-Nadir and Bani Qurayzah.

The dead of Bani An-Nadir were being honored more and they received the full amount of Diyah, while Qurayzah received half the Diyah for their dead. So they referred to the Messenger of Allah for judgment and Allah sent down these verses about them.

The Messenger of Allah compelled them to adhere to the true judgment in this matter and made the Diyah the same for both groups and Allah knows best about that matter.''

Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith from Abu Ishaq. Al-Awfi and Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that these Ayat were revealed about the two Jews who committed adultery, and we mentioned the Hadiths about this story before.

It appears that both of these were the reasons behind revealing these Ayat, and Allah knows best.

This is why Allah said afterwards, وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ  (And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye) until the end of the Ayah, (5:45) which strengthens the opinion that the story of the Diyah was behind revealing the Ayat as we explained above.

Allah knows best.

Allah said,

... وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.

Al-Bara' bin Azib, Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman, Ibn Abbas, Abu Mijlaz, Abu Raja' Al-Utaridi, Ikrimah, Ubaydullah bin Abdullah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others said that;

this Ayah was revealed about the People of the Book.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri added that; this Ayah also applies to us.

Abdur-Razzaq said that Ath-Thawri said that Mansur said that Ibrahim said that; these Ayat, "Were revealed about the Children of Israel, and Allah accepted them for this Ummah.''

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement.

Ali bin Abi Talhah also stated that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ  (And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers),

"Whoever rejects what Allah has revealed, will have committed Kufr, and whoever accepts what Allah has revealed, but did not rule by it, is a Zalim (unjust) and a Fasiq (rebellious) and a sinner.''

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement.

Abdur-Razzaq said, "Ma`mar narrated to us that Tawus said that Ibn Abbas was asked about Allah's statement, وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم (And whosoever does not judge...). He said, `It is an act of Kufr.'

Ibn Tawus added, `It is not like those who disbelieve in Allah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers.'

Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Jurayj said that Ata said, `There is Kufr and Kufr less than Kufr, Zulm and Zulm less than Zulm, Fisq and Fisq less than Fisq.'''

Waki` said that Sa`id Al-Makki said that Tawus said that, وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ  (And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers),

"This is not the Kufr that annuls one's religion.''

45

 وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَآ

And We ordained therein for them

أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالاٌّنْفَ بِالاٌّنْفِ وَالاٍّذُنَ بِالاٍّذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ

· "Life for life,

· eye for eye,

· nose for nose,

· ear for ear,

· tooth for tooth,

· and wounds equal for equal. "

فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ

But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّـلِمُونَ

And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the unjust.

Allah says;

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالأَنفَ بِالأَنفِ وَالأُذُنَ بِالأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ  ...

And We ordained therein for them

· "Life for life,

· eye for eye,

· nose for nose,

· ear for ear,

· tooth for tooth,

· and wounds equal for equal."

But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.

This Ayah also chastises and criticizes the Jews because in the Tawrah, they have the law of a life for a life. Yet, they defied this ruling by transgression and rebellion. They used to apply this ruling when a person from Bani An-Nadir was killed by a Qurayzah person, but this was not the case when the opposite occurred. Rather, they would revert to Diyah in this case.

They also defied the ruling in the Tawrah to stone the adulterer and instead came up with their own form of punishment, flogging, humiliation and parading them in public. This is why Allah said in the previous Ayah, وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ  (And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers), because they rejected Allah's command with full intention and with transgression and rebellion.

In this Ayah, Allah said, فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ  (such are the unjust), because they did not exact the oppressed his due rights from the oppressor in a matter which Allah ordered that all be treated equally and fairly. Instead, they defied that command, committed injustice and transgressed against each other.

A Man is Killed for a Woman Whom He Kills

Imam Abu Nasr bin As-Sabbagh stated in his book, Ash-Shamil, that the scholars agree that this Ayah (5:45) should be implemented, and the Imams agree that the man is killed for a woman whom he kills, according to the general indications of this Ayah.

A Hadith that An-Nasa'i recorded states that the Messenger of Allah had this statement written in the book that he gave `Amr bin Hazm,

أَنَّ الرَّجُلَ يُقْتَلُ بِالْمَرْأَة

The man is killed for the woman (whom he kills).

In another Hadith, the Messenger said,

الْمُسْلِمُونَ تَتَكَافَأُ دِمَاؤُهُم

Muslims are equal regarding the sanctity of their blood.

This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

What further supports what Ibn As-Sabbagh said is the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said,

"Ar-Rabi (his aunt) broke the tooth of a girl, and the relatives of Ar-Rabi requested the girl's relatives to forgive (the offender), but they refused.

So, they went to the Prophet who ordered them to bring about retaliation.

Anas bin An-Nadr, her brother, asked, `O Allah's Messenger! Will the tooth of Ar-Rabi be broken?'

The Messenger of Allah said, `O Anas! The Book of Allah prescribes retaliation.'

Anas said, `No, by Him Who has sent you with the Truth, her tooth will not be broken.'

Later the relatives of the girl agreed to forgive Ar-Rabi and forfeit their right to retaliation.

The Messenger of Allah said,

إن من عباد الله من لو أقسم على الله لأبره

There are some of Allah's servants who, if they take an oath by Allah, Allah fulfils them.''

It was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Retaliation for Wounds

Allah said,

... وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ ...

and wounds equal for equal.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "Life for life, an eye for an eye, a nose, if cut off, for a nose, a tooth broken for a tooth and wounds equal for wound.''

The free Muslims, men and women, are equal in this matter. And their slaves, male and female, are equal in this matter. And this ruling is the same regarding intentional murder and lesser offenses, as Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded.

An Important Ruling

The retaliation for wounds should not be implemented until the wounds of the victim heal. If retaliation occurs before the wound heals, and then the wound becomes aggravated, the victim will have no additional rights in this case.

The proof for this ruling is what Imam Ahmad narrated from `Amr bin Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather that;

a man once stabbed another man in his leg using a horn. The victim came to the Prophet asking for retaliation, and the Prophet said,

حَتَّى تَبْرَأ

Not until you heal.

The man again came to the Prophet and asked for equality in retaliation and the Prophet allowed him that.

Later on, that man said, "O Messenger of Allah! I limp now.''

The Messenger said,

قَدْ نَهَيْتُكَ فَعَصَيْتَنِي، فَأَبْعَدكَ اللهُ وَبَطَلَ عَرَجُك

I had asked you to wait, but you disobeyed me. Therefore, Allah cast you away and your limp has no compensation.

Afterwards, the Messenger of Allah forbade that the wound be retaliated for until the wound of the victim heals. If the victim is allowed to retaliate for his wound caused by the aggressor and the aggressor dies as a result, there is no compensation in this case, according to the majority of the Companions and their followers.

The Pardon is Expiation for Such Offenses

Allah said,

... فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ ...

But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented that فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ  (But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity) means; "If one pardons by way of charity, it will result in expiation for the aggressor and reward for the victim.''

Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Ata bin As-Sa'ib said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said, "He who pardons the retaliation by way of charity, it will be an expiation for the aggressor and a reward for the victim with Allah.''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.

Jabir bin Abdullah said that Allah's statement, فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ (But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation), "For the victim.''

This is also the opinion of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibrahim An-Nakhai and Abu Ishaq Al-Hamdani.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يُجْرَحُ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ جَرَاحَةً فَيَتَصَدَّقُ بِهَا، إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ عَنْهُ مِثْلَ مَا تَصَدَّقَ بِه

Any man who suffers a wound on his body and forfeits his right of retaliation as way of charity, then Allah will pardon him that which is similar to what he forfeited.

An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith.

Allah's statement,

... وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿٤٥﴾

And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the unjust.

Earlier we mentioned the statements of Ata and Tawus that there is Kufr and lesser Kufr, injustice and lesser injustice and Fisq and lesser Fisq.

46

 وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَى ءاثَـرِهِم بِعَيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَوْرَاةِ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُ الإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ وَمُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

And in their footsteps, We sent `Isa, son of Maryam, confirming the Tawrah that had come before him, and We gave him the Injil, in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Tawrah that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for those who have Taqwa.

47

 وَلْيَحْكُمْ أَهْلُ الإِنجِيلِ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ

Let the people of the Injil judge by what Allah has revealed therein.

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَـسِقُونَ

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the rebellious.

Allah Mentions `Isa and Praises the Injil

Allah said,

وَقَفَّيْنَا ...  

and We sent...,

meaning, We sent.

... عَلَى آثَارِهِم ...

in their footsteps,

meaning the Prophets of the Children of Israel.

... بِعَيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ ...

`Isa, son of Maryam, confirming the Tawrah that had come before him,

meaning, he believed in it and ruled by it.

... وَآتَيْنَاهُ الإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ ...

and We gave him the Injil, in which was guidance and light,

a guidance that directs to the truth and a light that removes the doubts and solves disputes,

... وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ ...

and confirmation of the Tawrah that had come before it,

meaning, he adhered to the Tawrah, except for the few instances that clarified the truth where the Children of Israel differed.

Allah states in another Ayah that `Isa said to the Children of Israel,

وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ

...and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you. (3:50)

So the scholars say that the Injil abrogated some of the rulings of the Tawrah.

Allah's statement,

... وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾

a guidance and an admonition for those who have Taqwa.

means, We made the Injil guidance and an admonition that prohibits committing sins and errors, for those who have Taqwa of Allah and fear His warning and torment.

Allah said next,

وَلْيَحْكُمْ أَهْلُ الإِنجِيلِ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فِيهِ ...  

Let the people of the Injil judge by what Allah has revealed therein.

meaning, so that He judges the people of the Injil by it in their time.

Or, the Ayah means, so that they believe in all that is in it and adhere to all its commands, including the good news about the coming of Muhammad and the command to believe in and follow him when he is sent.

Allah said in other Ayat,

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ حَتَّىَ تُقِيمُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

Say "O People of the Scripture! You have nothing (guidance) until you act according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has been sent down to you from your Lord.'' (5:68)

and,

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ... الْمُفْلِحُونَ  

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Tawrah... until, الْمُفْلِحُونَ  ...successful. (7:157)

Here, Allah said,

... وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ ﴿٤٧﴾

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the rebellious.

meaning, the rebellious and disobedient of Allah who prefer falsehood and abandon truth.

We mentioned before that this Ayah was revealed about the Christians, and this is evident from the context of the Ayah.

48

 وَأَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَمُهَيْمِناً عَلَيْهِ

And We have sent down to you the Book (this Qur'an) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhayminan over it (old Scriptures).

فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ

So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً

To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way.

وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِى مَآ ءَاتَـكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ

If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so compete in good deeds.

إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

The return of you (all) is to Allah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.

49

 وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you.

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ

And if they turn away, then know that Allah's will is to punish them for some sins of theirs.

وَإِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنَ النَّاسِ لَفَـسِقُونَ

And truly, most men are rebellious.

50

 أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَـهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ

Do they then seek the judgment of (the days of) ignorance!

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْماً لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm faith.

Praising the Qur'an; the Command to Refer to the Qur'an for Judgment

Allah mentioned the Tawrah that He sent down to His Prophet Musa, the one whom He spoke directly to, praising it, commanding that it should be implemented, before it was abrogated.

Allah then mentioned the Injil, praised it and commanded its people to adhere to it and follow it, as we stated.

He next mentioned the Glorious Qur'an that He sent down to His honorable servant and Messenger.

Allah said,

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ ...  

And We have sent down to you the Book in truth...,

meaning, with the truth that, no doubt, is coming from Allah.

... مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ ...

confirming the Scripture that came before it,

meaning, the Divinely Revealed Books that praised the Qur'an and mentioned that it would be sent down from Allah to His servant and Messenger Muhammad.

The Qur'an was revealed as was foretold in the previous Scriptures. This fact increased faith in the previous Scriptures for the sincere who have knowledge of these Scriptures, those who adhered to Allah's commands and Laws and believed in His Messengers.

Allah said,

قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا

وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً

Say: "Believe in it or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.'' And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'' (17:107-108),

meaning that they say, the promise of our Lord, concerning the coming of Muhammad by the words of His previous Messengers, will certainly be fulfilled.

Allah's statement,

... وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ ...

and Muhayminan over it,

According to Sufyan Ath-Thawri who narrated it from Abu Ishaq from At-Tamimi from Ibn Abbas, means entrusted over it.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "Muhaymin is, `the Trustworthy'. Allah says that the Qur'an is trustworthy over every Divine Book that preceded it.''

This was reported from Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Atiyah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ata' Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd.

Ibn Jarir said, "The Qur'an is trustworthy over the Books that preceded it. Therefore, whatever in these previous Books conforms to the Qur'an is true, and whatever disagrees with the Qur'an is false.''

Al-Walibi said that Ibn Abbas said that; Muhayminan means, `Witness'.

Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi said the same.

Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said that; Muhayminan means, `dominant over the previous Scriptures'.

These meanings are similar, as the word Muhaymin includes them all. Consequently, the Qur'an is trustworthy, a witness, and dominant over every Scripture that preceded it. This Glorious Book, which Allah revealed as the Last and Final Book, is the most encompassing, glorious and perfect Book of all times. The Qur'an includes all the good aspects of previous Scriptures and even more, which no previous Scripture ever contained. This is why Allah made it trustworthy, a witness and dominant over all Scriptures. Allah promised that He will protect the Qur'an and swore by His Most Honorable Self,

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَـفِظُونَ

Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). (15:9)

Allah said,

... فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ ...

So judge between them by what Allah has revealed.

Ibn Jarir said, The Ayah commands: O Muhammad! Rule between the people, Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered, by what Allah has revealed to you in this Glorious Book and what it approves of for you from the Law of the previous Prophets.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"The Prophet had the choice to judge between them or to turn away from them and refer them to their own Law. Then this Ayah was revealed, وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ (So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires...) (5:49) and he was commanded to judge between them by our Book.''

Allah's statement

... وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ ...

and follow not their vain desires...,

This means the ideas they promote, because of which they turned away from what Allah revealed to His Messengers.

This is why Allah said,

... وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ...

And follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.

The Ayah commands: Do not diverge from the truth that Allah has ordained for you, to the vain desires of these miserable, ignorant people.

Allah's statement,

... لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا ...

To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way.

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً  (To each among you, We have prescribed a law), Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn Abbas, Shir`at meaning, a clear path.

... وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ...

If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation.

This is a general proclamation to all nations informing them of Allah's mighty ability. If Allah wills, He would make all mankind follow one religion and one Law, that would never be abrogated. Allah decided that every Prophet would have his own distinct law that is later abrogated partially or totally with the law of a latter Prophet. Later on, all previous laws were abrogated by the Law that Allah sent with Muhammad, His servant and Messenger, whom Allah sent to the people of earth as the Final Prophet.

Allah said,

... وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَآ آتَاكُم ...

If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you.

This Ayah means, Allah has instituted different laws to test His servants' obedience to what He legislates for them, thus, He rewards or punishes them according to their actions and what they intend.

Abdullah bin Kathir said that the Ayah, فِي مَآ آتَاكُم  (In what He has given you), means, of the Book.

Next, Allah encouraged rushing to perform good deeds,

... فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ ...

so strive as in a race in good deeds.

which are obedience to Allah, following His Law that abrogated the laws that came before it, and believing in His Book, the Qur'an, which is the Final Book that He revealed.

Allah said next,

... إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا ...

The return of you (all) is to Allah;

Therefore, O people, your return and final destination is to Allah on the Day of Resurrection,

... فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾

then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.

Allah will inform you about the truth in which you used to differ and will reward the sincere, as compensation for their sincerity, and will punish the disbelieving, rebellious people who rejected the truth and deviated from it to other paths, without proof or evidence to justify their actions. Rather, they have rejected the clear evidences, unequivocal proofs and established signs.

Ad-Dahhak said that, فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ  (So strive as in a race in good deeds), is directed at the Ummah of Muhammad, but the first view is more apparent.

Allah's statement,

وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ ...

And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires,

emphasizes this command and forbids ignoring it.

Allah said next,

... وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ إِلَيْكَ ...

but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you.

meaning; beware of the Jews, your enemies, lest they distort the truth for you in what they convey to you. Therefore, do not be deceived by them, for they are liars, treacherous and disbelievers.

... فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ ...

And if they turn away,

from the judgment that you pass in their disputes, and they defy Allah's Law.

... فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ ...

then know that Allah's will is to punish them for some sins of theirs.

meaning, know that this will occur according to the decree of Allah, and because out of His wisdom they have deviated from the truth, and because of their previous sins.

... وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ لَفَاسِقُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾

And truly, most men are rebellious.

Therefore, the majority of humans are disobedient to their Lord, defiant of the truth and deviate away from it.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

And most people will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. (12:103)

and,

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

And if you obey most of those on the earth they will mislead you far away from Allah's path. (6:116)

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"Ka`b bin Asad, Ibn Saluba, Abdullah bin Surya and Shas bin Qays said to each other, `Let us go to Muhammad to try and misguide him from his religion.'

So they went to the Prophet and said, `O Muhammad! You know that we are the scholars, noblemen and chiefs of the Jews. If we follow you, the Jews will follow suit and will not contradict us. But, there is enmity between us and some of our people, so we will refer to you for judgment in this matter, and you should rule in our favor against them and we will believe in you.'

The Messenger of Allah refused the offer and Allah sent down these Ayat about them,

وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ إِلَيْكَ

And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you.) until, لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ  (for a people who have firm faith.)'' (5:49-50)

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this Hadith.

Allah continues,

أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللّهِ حُكْمًا لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ ﴿٥٠﴾  

Do they then seek the judgment of (the days of) ignorance! And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm faith!

Allah criticizes those who ignore Allah's commandments, which include every type of righteous good thing and prohibit every type of evil, but they refer instead to opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allah's religion.

During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to abide by the misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts.

The Tatar (Mongols) abided by the law that they inherited from their king Genghis Khan who wrote Al-Yasiq, for them. This book contains some rulings that were derived from various religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of these rulings were derived from his own opinion and desires. Later on, these rulings became the followed law among his children, preferring them to the Law of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. Therefore, whoever does this, he is a disbeliever who deserves to be fought against, until he reverts to Allah's and His Messenger's decisions, so that no law, minor or major, is referred to except by His Law.

Allah said,

أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ ...

Do they then seek the judgment of (the days of) ignorance!

meaning, they desire and want this and ignore Allah's judgment.

... وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللّهِ حُكْمًا لِّقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm faith.

Who is more just in decision than Allah for those who comprehend Allah's Law, believe in Him, who are certain that Allah is the best among those who give decisions and that He is more merciful with His creation than the mother with her own child Allah has perfect knowledge of everything, is able to do all things, and He is just in all matters.

Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَبْغَضُ النَّاسِ إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، مَنْ يَبْتَغِي فِي الْإِسْلَامِ سُنَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ، وَطَالِبُ دَمِ امْرِىءٍ بِغَيْرِ حَقَ لِيُرِيقَ دَمَه

The most hated person to Allah is the Muslim who seeks the ways of the days of ignorance and he who seeks to shed the blood of a person without justification.

Al-Bukhari recorded Abu Al-Yaman narrating a similar Hadith, with some addition.

51

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ

O you who believe! Do not take friends from the Jews and the Christians, as they are but friends of each other. And if any among you befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.

52

 فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ يُسَـرِعُونَ فِيهِمْ يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌ

And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease, they hurry to their friendship, saying: "We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.''

فَعَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِىَ بِالْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ فَيُصْبِحُواْ عَلَى مَآ أَسَرُّواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ نَـدِمِينَ

Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His will. Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves.

53

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَهُـؤُلاءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ إِنَّهُمْ لَمَعَكُمْ

And those who believe will say: "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you!''

حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ فَأَصْبَحُواْ خَـسِرِينَ

All that they did has been in vain, and they have become the losers.

The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ ...  

O you who believe! Do not take friends from the Jews and the Christians, as they are but friends of each other.

Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.

Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this,

... وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ...

And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that;

Umar ordered Abu Musa Al-Ashari to send him on one sheet of balance the count of what he took in and what he spent. Abu Musa then had a Christian scribe, and he was able to comply with Omar's demand.

Umar liked what he saw and exclaimed, "This scribe is proficient. Would you read in the Masjid a letter that came to us from Ash-Sham?''

Abu Musa said, `He cannot.''

Umar said, "Is he not pure?''

Abu Musa said, "No, but he is Christian.''

Abu Musa said, "So `Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, `Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).'

He then recited,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends...''

Then he reported that Abdullah bin `Utbah said, "Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware.''

The narrator of this statement said, "We thought that he was referring to the Ayah, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء  (O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends),''

... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٥١﴾

Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.

Allah said,

فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ ...  

And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease...,

A disease of doubt, hesitation and hypocrisy.

... يُسَارِعُونَ فِيهِمْ ...

they hurry to their friendship,

meaning, they rush to offer them their friendship and allegiances in secret and in public.

... يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌ ...

saying: "We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us."

They thus offer this excuse for their friendship and allegiances to the disbelievers, saying that they fear that the disbelievers might defeat the Muslims, so they want to be in favor with the Jews and Christians, to use this favor for their benefit in that eventuality!

Allah replied,

... فَعَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِالْفَتْحِ ...

Perhaps Allah may bring a victory...,

According to As-Suddi, referring to the conquering of Makkah.

... أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ ...

or a decision according to His will,

As-Suddi stated, means, requiring the Jews and Christians to pay the Jizyah.

... فَيُصْبِحُواْ ...

Then they will become,

meaning, the hypocrites who gave their friendship to the Jews and Christians, will become,

... عَلَى مَا أَسَرُّواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ ...

for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves,

of allegiances,

... نَادِمِينَ ﴿٥٢﴾

regretful.

for their friendship with the Jews and Christians which did not benefit them or protect them from any harm. Rather, it was nothing but harm, as Allah exposed their true reality to His faithful servants in this life, although they tried to conceal it.

When the signs that exposed their hypocrisy were compiled against them, their matter became clear to Allah's faithful servants. So the believers were amazed at these hypocrites who pretended to be believers, swearing to their faithfulness, yet their claims were all lies and deceit.

This is why Allah said,

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَهَـؤُلاء الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمُواْ بِاللّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ إِنَّهُمْ لَمَعَكُمْ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَأَصْبَحُواْ خَاسِرِينَ ﴿٥٣﴾  

And those who believe will say, "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you!'' All that they did has been in vain, and they have become the losers.

54

 يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِى اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ يُجَـهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ يَخَـفُونَ لَوْمَةَ لائِمٍ

O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and never fearing the blame of the blamers.

ذلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ

That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills.

وَاللَّهُ وَسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.

55

 إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلوةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَوةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ

Verily, your Protector is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, those who perform the Salah, and give Zakah, and they bow down.

56

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْغَـلِبُونَ

And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious.

Threatening to Replace the Believers With Another People if They Revert from Islam

Allah emphasizes His mighty ability and states that whoever reverts from supporting His religion and establishing His Law, then Allah will replace them with whomever is better, mightier and more righteous in Allah's religion and Law.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْاْ يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْماً غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَكُونُواْ أَمْثَـلَكُم

And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes. (47:38)

and,

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحقِّ إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ بِعَزِيزٍ

Do you not see that Allah has created the heavens and the earth with truth If He will, He can remove you and bring (in your place) a new creation! And for Allah that is not hard or difficult. (14:19-20)

Verily this is not difficult or hard on Allah.

Allah said here,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ ...  

O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion...,

and turns back from the truth to falsehood, from now until the commencement of the Last Hour.

... فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ ...

Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him;

Allah said next,

... أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ...

humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers.

These are the qualities of perfect believers, as they are humble with their believing brothers and allies, stern with their enemies and adversaries. In another Ayah, Allah said,

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيْنَهُمْ

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. (48;29)

The Prophet is described as the smiling fighter, smiling to his allies and fighting his enemies.

Allah's statement,

... يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَلاَ يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لآئِمٍ ...

Fighting in the way of Allah, and never fearing the blame of the blamers.

Nothing prevents them from obeying Allah, establishing His Law, fighting His enemies, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. Certainly, nothing prevents them from taking this path, neither someone who seeks to hinder them, nor one who blames or chastises them.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "My Khalil (intimate friend, the Messenger) has commanded me to do seven deeds.

· He commanded me to love the poor and to be close to them.

· He commanded me to look at those who are less than me and not those who are above me.

· He commanded me to keep the relations of the womb, even if they cut it.

· He commanded me not to ask anyone for anything,

· to say the truth even if it was bitter, and

· to not fear the blame of anyone for the sake of Allah.

· He commanded me to often repeat, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no strength or power except from Allah)', for these words are from a treasure under the Throne (of Allah).''

It is confirmed in the Sahih;

مَا يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يُذِلَّ نَفْسَه

The believer is not required to humiliate himself.

He was asked; "How does one humiliate himself, O Messenger of Allah?''

So he replied;

يَتَحَمَّلُ مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ مَا لَا يُطِيق

He takes on tests that he cannot bear.

... ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاء ...

That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills.

meaning, those who have these qualities, acquired it by Allah's bounty and favor and because He granted them these qualities.

... وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٥٤﴾

And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.

His favor is ever extending, and He has perfect knowledge of those who deserve or do not deserve His favor and bounty.

Allah's statement,

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ...  

Verily, your Protector is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers...,

means, the Jews are not your friends. Rather, your allegiance is to Allah, His Messenger and the faithful believers.

... الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ ...

those who perform the Salah, and give the Zakah...,

referring to the believers who have these qualities and establish the prayer, which is one of the most important pillars of Islam, for it includes worshipping Allah alone without partners. They pay Zakah, which is the right of the creation and a type of help extended to the needy and the poor.

As for Allah's statement,

... وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ ﴿٥٥﴾

and they bow down,

some people thought that they give the Zakah while bowing down. If this were the case, then paying the Zakah while bowing would be the best form of giving Zakah. No scholar from whom religious rulings are taken says this, as much as we know.

Therefore, وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ  (and they bow down), means, they attend the prayer in congregation in Allah's Masjids and spend by way of charity on the various needs of Muslims.

Allah said;

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ ﴿٥٦﴾  

And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious.

similarly Allah said;

كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لاّغْلِبَنَّ أَنَاْ وَرُسُلِى إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

لاَّ تَجِدُ قَوْماً يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ يُوَآدُّونَ مَنْ حَآدَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ ءَابَآءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَنَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ أُوْلَـئِكَ كَتَبَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ الإِيمَـنَ وَأَيَّدَهُمْ بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ أُوْلَـئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

Allah has decreed: "Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.'' Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty.

You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a Ruh (proof) from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the party of Allah. Verily, it is the party of Allah that will be the successful. (58:21-22)

Therefore, those who accept the allegiance of Allah - His Messenger and the faithful believers - will gain success in this life and the Hereafter. Hence Allah's statement here, وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فَإِنَّ حِزْبَ اللّهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ  (And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious).

57

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

O you who believe! Do not take as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you, and (nor) the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.

58

 وَإِذَا نَـدَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ

And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.

The Prohibition of Being Loyal Friends with Disbelievers

Allah said;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ...  

O you who believe! Do not take as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun,

This Ayah discourages and forbids taking the enemies of Islam and its people, such as the People of the Book and the polytheists, as friends. These disbelievers mock the most important acts that any person could ever perform, the honorable, pure acts of Islam which include all types of good for this life and the Hereafter. They mock such acts and make them the subject of jest and play, because this is what these acts represent in their misguided minds and cold hearts.

Allah said;

... مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ ...

from those who received the Scriptures before you and (nor) the disbelievers...,

This is to clarify the particular category (of disbelievers).

As Allah said,

فَاجْتَنِبُواْ الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الاٌّوْثَـنِ

So shun the evil of the idols... (22:30)

So some recited it "Kuffari'', making it an object of the preposition, and others recited it "Kuffara'', making it a predicate noun;

... لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ ...

Take not as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you...,

with the meaning of "nor'',

...وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَاء ...

nor the disbelievers as friends,

That is, do not take these people nor those people as friends.

The meaning here of "Kuffar'' (disbelievers) is idolators.

Similarly, Ibn Jarir recorded that; in the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud (in place of "Kuffar'' he recited it: "and those who commit Shirk."

Allah's statement,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٥٧﴾

And have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.

means, fear Allah and do not take the enemies of you and your religion as friends, if you believe in Allah's Law and religion that these people mocked and jested about.

Allah said in another Ayah,

لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return. (3:28)

The Disbelievers Mock the Prayer and the Adhan

Allah said,

وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ...  

And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun;

When you proclaim the Adhan for the prayer, which is the best action there is, for those who have sound minds and good comprehension,

اتَّخَذُوهَا (they take it...) also,

... هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٥٨﴾

as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.

the acts of worship and Allah's Law.

These are the characteristics of the followers of Shaytan who,

إِذَا سَمِعَ الْأَذَانَ أَدْبَرَ وَلَهُ حُصَاصٌ، أَيْ ضُرَاطٌ، حَتَّى لَا يَسْمَعَ التَّأْذِينَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّأْذِينُ، أَقْبَلَ فَإِذَا ثُوِّبَ لِلصَّلَاةِ أَدْبَرَ، فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّثْوِيبُ أَقْبَلَ حَتَّى يَخْطُرَ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: اذْكُرْ كَذَا اذْكُرْ كَذَا، لِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ يَذْكُرُ حَتَّى يَظَلَّ الرَّجُلُ لَا يَدْرِي كَمْ صَلَّى، فَإِذَا وَجَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ ذلِكَ، فَلْيَسْجُدْ سَجْدَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ السَّلَام

When the call for prayer is made, Shaytan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan. When the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqamah is pronounced, Shaytan again takes to his heels. When the Iqamah is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and to say, `Remember this and that,' which he has not thought of before the prayer, until the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember, then he should perform two prostrations before pronouncing the Salam.

This Hadith is agreed upon.

Az-Zuhri said,  "Allah mentioned the Adhan in His Book,

وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ

And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.

59

 قُلْ يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ هَلْ تَنقِمُونَ مِنَّآ إِلاَّ أَنْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَـسِقُونَ

Say: "O People of the Scripture! Do you criticize us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and in what has been sent down to us and in that which has been sent down before (us), and that most of you are rebellious.''

60

 قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ اللَّهِ مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ وَعَبَدَ الطَّـغُوتَ أُوْلَـئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَأَضَلُّ عَن سَوَآءِ السَّبِيلِ

Say: "Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah: those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, and those of whom He transformed into monkeys and swine, and those who worshipped Taghut; such are worse in rank, and far more astray from the straight path.''

61

وَإِذَا جَآءُوكُمْ قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا وَقَدْ دَّخَلُواْ بِالْكُفْرِ وَهُمْ قَدْ خَرَجُواْ بِهِ

When they come to you, they say: "We believe.'' But in fact they enter with disbelief and they go out with the same.

وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْتُمُونَ

And Allah knows all that they were hiding.

62

وَتَرَى كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ يُسَـرِعُونَ فِى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ

And you see many of them hurrying for sin and transgression, and eating illegal things.

 لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

Evil indeed is that which they have been doing.

63

 لَوْلاَ يَنْهَـهُمُ الرَّبَّـنِيُّونَ وَالاٌّحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ

Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things.

لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ

Evil indeed is that which they have been performing.

The People of the Book are Enraged at the Believers Because of their Faith in Allah

Allah says;

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ ...  

Say: "O People of the Scripture!

Allah commands: Say, O Muhammad, to those who mock and jest about your religion from among the People of the Scriptures.

... هَلْ تَنقِمُونَ مِنَّا إِلاَّ أَنْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلُ ...

Do you criticize us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and in what has been sent down to us and in that which has been sent down before (us),

Do you have any criticism or cause of blame for us, other than this This, by no means, is cause of blame or criticism.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَمَا نَقَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, the Almighty, Worthy of all praise! (85:8)

and,

وَمَا نَقَمُواْ إِلاَ أَنْ أَغْنَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

and they could not find any cause to do so except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty. (9:74)

In an agreed upon Hadith, the Prophet said,

مَا يَنْقِمُ ابْنُ جَمِيلٍ إِلَّا أَنْ كَانَ فَقِيرًا فَأَغْنَاهُ الله

What caused Ibn Jamil to Yanqim (refuse to give Zakah), although he was poor and Allah made him rich!

Allah's statement,

... وَأَنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَاسِقُونَ ﴿٥٩﴾

and that most of you are rebellious...

is connected to أَنْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلُ  (that we believe in Allah, and in that which has been sent down to us and in that which has been sent down before (us)). Therefore, the meaning of this part of the Ayah is: we also believe that most of you are rebellious and deviated from the straight path.

The People of the Scriptures Deserve the Worst Torment on the Day of Resurrection

Allah said next,

قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذَلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ اللّهِ ...   

Say: "Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah!"

The Ayah commands the Prophet to say: Shall I inform you about a worse people with Allah on the Day of Resurrection than what you think of us!

They are you, with these characteristics,

... مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللّهُ ...

those who incurred the curse of Allah,

were expelled from His mercy,

... وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ ...

and who incurred His wrath,

and anger, after which He will never be pleased with them,

... وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ ...

those of whom He transformed into monkeys and swine,

as we mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah and as we will mention in Surah Al-A`raf.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Mas`ud said,

"Allah's Messenger was asked if the current monkeys and swine were those whom Allah transformed. He said,

إنَّ اللهَ لَمْ يُهْلِكْ قَوْمًا، أَوْ لَمْ يَمْسَخْ قَوْمًا فَيَجْعَلَ لَهُمْ نَسْلًا وَلَا عَقِبًا، وَإِنَّ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ كَانَتْ قَبْلَ ذلِك

Allah never destroyed a people by transforming them and making offspring or descendants for them. The monkeys and swine existed before that.''

This was also recorded by Muslim.

Allah said,

... وَعَبَدَ الطَّاغُوتَ ...

Those who worshipped Taghut...,

and served them, becoming their servants.

The meaning of this Ayah is: you, O People of the Scriptures, who mock our religion, which consists of Allah's Tawhid, and singling Him out in worship without others, how can you mock us while these are your characteristics!

This is why Allah said,

... أُوْلَـئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً ...

such are worse in rank...,

than what you -- People of the Scriptures -- think of us Muslims,

... وَأَضَلُّ عَن سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ ﴿٦٠﴾

and far more astray from the straight path.

`More' in the Ayah does not mean that the other party is `less' astray, but it means that the People of the Scriptures are far astray.

In another Ayah, Allah said,

أَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرّاً وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلاً

The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose. (25:24)

The Hypocrites Pretend to be Believers but Hide their Kufr

Allah said,

وَإِذَا جَآؤُوكُمْ قَالُوَاْ آمَنَّا وَقَد دَّخَلُواْ بِالْكُفْرِ وَهُمْ قَدْ خَرَجُواْ بِهِ ...  

When they come to you, they say, "We believe.'' But in fact they enter with (an intention of) disbelief and they go out with the same.

This is the description of the hypocrites, for they pretend to be believers while their hearts hide Kufr.

So Allah said; وَقَد دَّخَلُواْ  (But in fact they enter) on you, O Muhammad, بِالْكُفْرِ  (with disbelief) in their hearts and they depart with Kufr, and this is why they do not benefit from the knowledge they hear from you, nor does the advice and reminder move them. So, وَهُمْ قَدْ خَرَجُواْ بِهِ  (and they go out with the same) meaning, they alone.

... وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْتُمُونَ ﴿٦١﴾

and Allah knows all that they were hiding.

Allah knows their secrets and what their hearts conceal, even if they pretend otherwise with His creatures, thus pretending to be what they are not.

Allah, Who has perfect knowledge of the seen and unseen, has more knowledge about the hypocrites than any of His creatures do and He will recompense them accordingly.

Allah's statement,

وَتَرَى كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ...  

And you see many of them (Jews) hurrying for sin and transgression, and eating illegal things.

They hurry to devour prohibited and illegal things, all the while transgressing against people, unjustly consuming their property through bribes and Riba,

... لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾

Evil indeed is that which they have been doing.

Indeed, horrible is that which they used to do and the transgression that they committed.

Criticizing Rabbis and Learned Religious Men for Giving up on Forbidding Evil

Allah said,

لَوْلاَ يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ ...    

Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things.

meaning why don't the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from this evil!

The Rabbaniyyun are the scholars who are in positions of authority, while the Ahbar are the regular scholars.

... لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾

Evil indeed is that which they have been performing.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, referring to the Rabbaniyyun, because they abandoned forbidding evil.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said, "There is no Ayah in the Qur'an that has more severe admonition than this Ayah,

(Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things. Evil indeed is that which they have been performing).''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Yahya bin Ya`mar said,"

Ali bin Abi Talib once gave a speech, which he started by praising Allah and thanking Him.

He then said, `O people! Those who were before you were destroyed because they committed sins and the Rabbaniyyun and Ahbar did not forbid them from evil. When they persisted in sin, they were overcome by punishment. Therefore, enjoin righteousness and forbid evil before what they suffered also strikes you. Know that enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil does not reduce the provision or shorten the term of life.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَا مِنْ قَوْمٍ يَكُونُ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِهِمْ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بِالْمَعَاصِي هُمْ أَعَزُّ مِنْهُ وَأَمْنَعُ، وَلَمْ يُغَيِّرُوا إِلَّا أَصَابَهُمُ اللهُ مِنْهُ بِعَذَاب

There is no people among whom there are those who commit sins, while the rest are more powerful and mightier than the sinners, yet they do not stop them, but Allah will send a punishment upon them.

Ahmad was alone with this wording.

Abu Dawud recorded it, but in his narration Jarir said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَكُونُ فِي قَوْمٍ يُعْمَلُ فِيهِمْ بِالْمَعَاصِي، يَقْدِرُونَ أَنْ يُغَيِّرُوا عَلَيْهِ، فَلَا يُغَيِّرُوا إِلَّا أَصَابَهُمُ اللهُ بِعِقَابٍ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمُوتُوا

There is no one who resides among people committing evil among them, and they do not stop him though they are able to do so, but Allah will punish them (all) before they die.''

Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.

64

 وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ

The Jews say: "Allah's Hand is tied up.''

غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْ

Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered.

بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَآءُ

Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends as He wills.

وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم مَّآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً

Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief.

وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ

We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection.

كُلَّمَآ أَوْقَدُواْ نَاراً لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.

65

 وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَـتِهِمْ وَلاٌّدْخَلْنَـهُمْ جَنَّـتِ النَّعِيمِ

And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa, We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).

66

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِمْ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ لاّكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم

And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur'an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.

مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَآءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ

And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.

The Jews Say That Allah's Hand is Tied up!

Allah says;

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ...  

The Jews say: "Allah's Hand is tied up.''

Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continuous curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection, describe Him as a miser. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him.

The Jews also claim that Allah is poor, while they are rich.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ  (The Jews say, "Allah's Hand is tied up").

"They do not mean that Allah's Hand is literally tied up. Rather, they mean that He is a miser and does not spend from what He has. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ  فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورًا

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. (17:29)

In this Ayah, Allah prohibits stinginess and extravagance, which includes unnecessary and improper expenditures.

Allah describes stinginess by saying, وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ  (And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck). Therefore, this is the meaning that the Jews meant, may Allah's curses be on them.

Ikrimah said that; this Ayah was revealed about Finhas, one of the Jews, may Allah curse him.

We mentioned before that Finhas said, إِنَّ اللّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاء  "(Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!)'' (3:181), and that Abu Bakr smacked him. Allah has refuted what the Jews attribute to Him and cursed them in retaliation for their lies and fabrications about Him.

Allah said,

... غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْ ...

Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered.

What Allah said occurred, for the Jews are indeed miserly, envious, cowards and tremendously humiliated.

Allah said in other Ayat,

أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً

أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً

Or have they a share in the dominion! Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty! Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and the Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. (4:53-54)

and,

ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ

Indignity is put over them. (3:112)

Allah's Hands are Widely Outstretched

Allah said next,

... بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاء ...

Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His bounty) as He wills.

Allah's favors are ample, His bounty unlimited, as He owns the treasures of everything. Any good that reaches His servants is from Him alone, without partners. He has created everything that we need by night or by day, while traveling or at home and in all situations and conditions.

Allah said,

وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, an extreme ingrate. (13:34)

There are many other Ayat on this subject.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said that Abdur-Razzaq narrated to him that Ma`mar said that Hammam bin Munabbih said, "This is what Abu Hurayrah narrated to us that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ يَمِينَ اللهِ مَلْأَى، لَا يَغِيضُهَا نَفَقَةٌ، سَحَّاءُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ، أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا أَنْفَقَ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ السَّموَات وَالْأَرْضَ، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَغِضْ مَا فِي يَمِينِهِ قال : وَعَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ، وَفِي يَدِهِ الْأَخُرى الْقَبْضُ يَرْفَعُ وَيَخْفِض

Allah's Right Hand is perfectly full, and no amount of spending can decrease what He has, even though He spends by night and by day. Do you see how much Allah has spent since He created the heavens and earth Yet surely it has not decreased what He has in His Right Hand. His Throne is over the water and in His Other Hand is the hold by which He raises and lowers.

He also said that Allah said,

أَنْفِقْ، أُنْفِقْ عَلَيْك

`Spend and I will spend on you.'''

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

The Revelation to the Muslims only Adds to the Transgression and Disbelief of the Jews

Allah said,

... وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم مَّا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا ...

Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief.

meaning, the bounty that comes to you, O Muhammad, is a calamity for your enemies, the Jews and their kind. The more the revelation increases the believers in faith, good works, and beneficial knowledge, the more the disbelievers increase in envy for you and your Ummah, the more they increase in Tughyan -- which is to exceed the ordained limits for things -- and in disbelief -- meaning denial of you.

Allah said in other Ayat,

قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى أُوْلَـئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ

Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away.'' (41:44)

and,

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّـلِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases wrongdoers in nothing but loss. (17:82)

Allah said next,

... وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ...

We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection.

Therefore, their hearts are never united. Rather, their various groups and sects will always have enmity and hatred for each other, because they do not agree on the truth, and because they opposed you and denied you.

Allah's statement,

... كُلَّمَا أَوْقَدُواْ نَارًا لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللّهُ ...

Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it;

means, every time they try to plot against you and kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it and makes their plots turn against them. Therefore, their evil plots will return to harm them.

... وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا وَاللّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٤﴾

and they (ever) strive to make mischief on earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.

It is their habit to always strive to cause mischief on the earth, and Allah does not like those with such behavior.

Had the People of the Book Adhered to their Book, they Would Have Acquired the Good of this Life and the Hereafter

Allah said next,

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ ...  

And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa...,

Consequently, had the People of the Book believed in Allah and His Messenger and avoided the sins and prohibitions that they committed;

... لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلأدْخَلْنَاهُمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ ﴿٦٥﴾

We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).

meaning We would have removed the dangers from them and granted them their objectives.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِم مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ...    

And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord,

meaning, the Qur'an, as Ibn Abbas and others said.

... لأكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم ...

they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.

Had they adhered to the Books that they have with them which they inherited from the Prophets, without altering or changing these Books, these would have directed them to follow the truth and implement the revelation that Allah sent Muhammad with. These Books testify to the Prophet's truth and command that he must be followed.

Allah's statement, لأكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم  (they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet), refers to the tremendous provision that would have descended to them from the sky and grown for them on the earth. Allah said in another Ayah,

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَـتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

And if the people of the towns had believed and had Taqwa, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth. (7:96)

Allah's statement,

... مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَاء مَا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٦٦﴾

And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.

is similar to Allah's statement,

وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ

And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith. (7:159)

and His statement about the followers of `Isa, peace be upon him,

فَـَاتَيْنَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنْهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ

So We gave those among them who believed, their (due) reward. (57:67)

Therefore, Allah gave them the highest grade of Iqtisad, which is the middle course, given to this Ummah. Above them there is the grade of Sabiqun, as Allah described in His statement;

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَـبَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَـلِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَتِ بِإِذُنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

جَنَّـتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ

Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who, by Allah's permission, are Sabiq (foremost) in good deeds. That itself is indeed a great grace. `Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens) will they enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk. (35:32-33)

67

 يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ

O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord.

وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ

And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْكَـفِرِينَ

Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.

Commanding the Prophet to Convey the Message; Promising Him Immunity and Protection

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ...  

O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord.

Allah addresses His servant and Messenger Muhammad by the title `Messenger' and commands him to convey all that He has sent him, a command that the Prophet has fulfilled in the best manner.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said, "Whoever says to you that Muhammad hid any part of what Allah revealed to him, then he is uttering a lie. Allah said, يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ  (O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord).''

Al-Bukhari collected the short form of this story here, but mentioned the full narration in another part of his book.

Muslim in the Book of Iman, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i in the Book of Tafsir of their Sunans also collected this Hadith.

In is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Aishah said, "If Muhammad hid anything from the Qur'an, he would have hidden this Ayah,

وَتُخْفِى فِى نِفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَـهُ

But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people while Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.'' (33:37)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Az-Zuhri said, "From Allah comes the Message, for the Messenger is its deliverance and for us is submission to it.''

The Ummah of Muhammad has testified that he has delivered the Message and fulfilled the trust, when he asked them during the biggest gathering in his speech during the Farewell Hajj. At that time, there were over forty thousand of his Companions.

Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said in his speech on that day,

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي، فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ ؟

O people! You shall be asked about me, so what are you going to reply?

They said, "We bear witness that you have conveyed (the Message), fulfilled (the trust) and offered sincere advice.''

The Prophet kept raising his finger towards the sky and then pointing at them, saying,

اللَّهُمَّ هَلْ بَلَّغْتُ ؟ اللَّهُمَّ هَلْ بَلَّغْتُ ؟

O Allah! Did I convey? O Allah! Did I convey?

Allah's statement,

... وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ ...

And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message.

meaning: If you do not convey to the people what I sent to you, then you have not conveyed My Message. Meaning, the Prophet knows the consequences of this failure.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, "It means, if you hide only one Ayah that was revealed to you from your Lord, then you have not conveyed His Message.''

Allah's statement,

... وَاللّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ ...

Allah will protect you from mankind.

means, you convey My Message and I will protect, aid and support you over your enemies and will grant you victory over them. Therefore, do not have any fear or sadness, for none of them will be able to touch you with harm.

Before this Ayah was revealed, the Prophet was being guarded, as Imam Ahmad recorded that;

Aishah said that the Prophet was vigilant one night when she was next to him; she asked him, "What is the matter, O Allah's Messenger?''

He said,

لَيْتَ رَجُلًا صَالِحًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِي يَحْرُسُنِي اللَّيْلَة

Would that a pious man from my companions guard me tonight!

She said, "Suddenly we heard the clatter of arms. The Prophet said,

مَنْ هَذَا ؟

Who is that?''

He (the new comer) replied, "I am Sa`d bin Malik (Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas).''

The Prophet asked,

مَا جَاءَ بِكَ ؟

What brought you here?

He said, "I have come to guard you, Allah's O Messenger.''

Aishah said, "So, the Prophet slept (that night) and I heard the noise of sleep coming from him.''

This Hadith is recorded in Two Sahihs.

Another narration for this Hadith reads, "The Messenger of Allah was vigilant one night, after he came to Al-Madinah...'',

meaning, after the Hijrah and after the Prophet consummated his marriage to Aishah in the second year of Hijrah.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Aishah said, "The Prophet was being guarded until this Ayah, وَاللّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ  (Allah will protect you from mankind) was revealed.''

She added; "The Prophet raised his head from the room and said;

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ انْصَرِفُوا فَقَدْ عَصَمَنِي اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل

O people! Go away, for Allah will protect me.'''

At-Tirmidhi recorded it and said, "This Hadith is Gharib.''

It was also recorded by Ibn Jarir, and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, where he said, "Its chain is Sahih, but they did not record it.''

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٦٧﴾

Verily, Allah guides not those who disbelieve.

means, O Muhammad, you convey, and Allah guides whom He wills, and misguides whom He wills.

In other Ayat, Allah said,

لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ

Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. (2:272)

and,

فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ

Your duty is only to convey and on Us is the reckoning. (13:40)

68

 قُلْ يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَى شَىْءٍ حَتَّى تُقِيمُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

Say: "O People of the Scripture! You have nothing till you act according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur'an).''

وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ مَّآ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ

Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief. So do not grieve for the people who disbelieve.

69

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالصَّـبِئُونَ وَالنَّصَـرَى مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Surely, those who believe, and those who are the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians, whosoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

There is no Salvation Except through Faith in the Qur'an

Allah says:

قُلْ ...  

say:

Allah says: O Muhammad, say,

... يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ ...

O People of the Scripture! You have nothing...,

meaning no real religion,

... حَتَّىَ تُقِيمُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...

...till you act according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur'an).''

until you adhere to and implement the Tawrah and the Injil. That is, until you believe in all the Books that you have that Allah revealed to the Prophets. These Books command following Muhammad and believing in his prophecy, all the while adhering to his Law.

Allah's statement,

... وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم مَّا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا ...

Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief.

... فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٦٨﴾

So do not grieve for the people who disbelieve,

Do not be sad or taken aback by their disbelief.

Allah said next,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ...  

Surely, those who believe,

referring to Muslims,

... وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ ...

those who are the Jews,

who were entrusted with the Tawrah,

... وَالصَّابِؤُونَ ...

and the Sabians...

a sect from the Christians and Magians who did not follow any particular religion, as Mujahid stated.

... وَالنَّصَارَى ...

and the Christians,

As for the Christians, they are known and were entrusted with the Injil.

... مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾

whosoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

The meaning here is that if each of these groups believed in Allah and the Hereafter, which is the Day of Judgment and Reckoning, and performed good actions, which to be so, must conform to Muhammad's Law, after Muhammad was sent to all mankind and the Jinns. If any of these groups held these beliefs, then they shall have no fear of what will come or sadness regarding what they lost, nor will grief ever affect them.

We discussed a similar Ayah before in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:62).

70

 لَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ وَأَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمْ رُسُلاً

Verily, We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent Messengers to them.

كُلَّمَا جَآءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنفُسُهُمْ فَرِيقاً كَذَّبُواْ وَفَرِيقاً يَقْتُلُونَ

Whenever there came to them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not, a group of them they called liars, and others among them they killed.

71

 وَحَسِبُواْ أَلاَّ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ فَعَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ ثُمَّ تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ عَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ

They thought there will be no Fitnah (trial or punishment), so they became blind and deaf; after that Allah turned to them (with forgiveness); yet again many of them became blind and deaf.

وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ

And Allah is the All-Seer of what they do.

 Allah says;

لَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ رُسُلاً ...  

Verily, We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent Messengers to them.

Allah reminds that He took the covenant and pledges from the Children of Israel to hear and obey Him and His Messenger. They broke these pledges and covenants and followed their lusts and desires instead of the law, and whichever part of the law they agreed with, they took it. Otherwise, they abandoned it, if it did not conform to their desires.

This is why Allah said,

... كُلَّمَا جَاءهُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنْفُسُهُمْ فَرِيقًا كَذَّبُواْ وَفَرِيقًا يَقْتُلُونَ ﴿٧٠﴾

وَحَسِبُواْ أَلاَّ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ فَعَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ ...  

Whenever there came to them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not - a group of them they called liars, and others among them they killed. They thought there will be no Fitnah (trial or punishment) so they became blind and deaf.

thinking that they would suffer no repercussions for of the evil that they committed. Consequently, they were blinded from the truth and became deaf, incapable of hearing the truth. For these reasons they were unable to be guided by it.

.. ثُمَّ تَابَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ عَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ ...

after that Allah turned to them (with forgiveness); yet again many of them became blind and deaf.

Allah forgave that, then, ثُمَّ عَمُواْ وَصَمُّواْ (yet they became blind and deaf) again,

... كَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٧١﴾  

many of them, and Allah is the All-Seer of what they do.

He has perfect knowledge of what they do and whomever among them deserves the guidance and whomever deserves misguidance.

72

 لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ

Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the Messiah (`Isa), son of Maryam.''

وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَابَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ رَبُّى وَرَبَّكُمْ

But the Messiah said: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.''

إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.

73

 لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَـلِثُ ثَلَـثَةٍ

Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the third of three.''

وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ

And there is no god but One God (Allah).

وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them.

74

 أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Will they not repent to Allah and ask His forgiveness! For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

75

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ

The Messiah (`Isa), son of Maryam, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother (Maryam) was a Siddiqah. They both used to eat food.

انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الاٌّيَـتِ ثُمَّ انْظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

Look how We make the Ayat clear to them; yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).)

The Disbelief of the Christians; `Isa Only called to Tawhid

Allah says;

لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ...  

Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the Messiah (`Isa), son of Maryam.''

Allah states that the Christians such sects as Monarchite, Jacobite and Nestorite are disbelievers, those among them who say that `Isa is Allah. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. They made this claim in spite of the fact that `Isa made it known that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger.

The first words that `Isa uttered when he was still a baby in the cradle were, "I am Abdullah (the servant of Allah).'' He did not say, "I am Allah,'' or, "I am the son of Allah.'' Rather, he said,

إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً

Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet. (19:30) until he said,

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

"And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the straight path.'' (19:36)

He also proclaimed to them when he was a man, after he was sent as a Prophet, commanding them to worship his Lord and their Lord, alone without partners,

... وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ ...

But the Messiah said, "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.'' Verily, whosoever sets up partners with Allah...,

in worship;

... فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ...

...then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode.

as He will send him to the Fire and forbid Paradise for him.

Allah also said;

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills. (4:48)

and,

وَنَادَى أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَآءِ أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ

And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise; "Pour on us some water or anything that Allah has provide you with.'' They will say: "Allah has forbidden both to the disbelievers.'' (7:50)

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet had someone proclaim to the people,

إِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَة

Only a Muslim soul shall enter Paradise.

In another narration, مُؤْمِنَة Only a believing soul...

This is why Allah said that `Isa said to the Children of Israel,

...إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ  فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ ﴿٧٢﴾

Verily, whosoever sets up partners with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And there are no helpers for the wrongdoers.

There is no help from Allah, nor anyone who will support or protect them from the state they will be in.

Allah's statement,

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ ...  

Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the third of three."

Mujahid and several others said that; this Ayah was revealed about the Christians in particular.

As-Suddi and others said that; this Ayah was revealed about taking `Isa and his mother as gods besides Allah, thus making Allah the third in a trinity.

As-Suddi said, "This is similar to Allah's statement towards the end of the Surah,

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ

And (remember) when Allah will say: "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah' He will say, "Glory be to You!" (5:116)

Allah replied,

... وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ ...

But there is no god but One God.

meaning there are not many worthy of worship but there is only One God without partners, and He is the Lord of all creation and all that exists.

Allah said next, while threatening and admonishing them,

... وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ ...

And if they cease not from what they say,

their lies and false claims,

... لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٣﴾

verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.

in the Hereafter, shackled and tormented.

Allah said next,

أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٧٤﴾  

Will they not repent to Allah and ask His Forgiveness For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

This demonstrates Allah's generosity, kindness and mercy for His creatures, even though they committed this grave sin and invented such a lie and false allegation. Despite all of this, Allah calls them to repent so that He will forgive them, for Allah forgives those who sincerely repent to Him.

`Isa is Allah's Servant and His Mother is a Truthful Believer

Allah said,

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ...    

The Messiah, son of Maryam, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him.

`Isa is just like the previous Prophets, and he is one of the servants of Allah and one of His honorable Messengers. Allah said in another Ayah,

إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَـهُ مَثَلاً لِّبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

He (`Isa) was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. (43:59)

Allah said next,

... وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ ...

His mother was a Siddiqah,

for she believed in Allah with complete trust in Him.

This is the highest rank she was given, which proves that she was not a Prophet.

Allah said next,

... كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ ...

They both used to eat food,

needing nourishment and to relieve the call of nature. Therefore, they are just servants like other servants, not gods as ignorant Christian sects claim, may Allah's continued curses cover them until the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said next,

... انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الآيَاتِ ...

Look how We make the Ayat clear to them.

making them unequivocal and plain,

... ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾

yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).

look at the opinions, misguided ideas, and claims they cling to, even after Our clarification and plain, unequivocal explanation.

76

 قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرّاً وَلاَ نَفْعاً وَاللَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Say: "How do you worship besides Allah something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you! But it is Allah Who is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.''

77

 قُلْ يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِى دِينِكُمْ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ أَهْوَآءَ قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ كَثِيراً وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَآءِ السَّبِيلِ

Say: "O People of the Scripture! Exceed not the limits in your religion beyond the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray before and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path.''

The Prohibition of Shirk (Polytheism) and Exaggeration in the Religion

Allah admonishes those who take up rivals with Him and worship the idols, monuments and false deities. Allah states that such false deities do not deserve any degree of Divinity.

Allah said,

قُلْ...  

Say,

O Muhammad, to those from among the Children of Adam, such as the Christians, who worship other than Allah,

... أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلاَ نَفْعًا ...

How do you worship besides Allah something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you!

meaning, which cannot prevent harm for you nor bring about your benefit.

... وَاللّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٧٦﴾

But it is Allah Who is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.

He hears what His servants say and has knowledge of all things. Therefore, how did you worship inanimate objects that do not hear, see or know anything - having no power to bring harm or benefit to themselves let alone others - instead of worshipping Allah.

Allah then said,

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ...    

Say: "O People of the Scripture! Exceed not the limits in your religion beyond the truth,

Meaning: Do not exceed the limits concerning the truth and exaggeration in praising whom you were commanded to honor. You exaggerated in his case and elevated him from the rank of Prophet to the rank of a god. You did this with `Isa, who was a Prophet, yet you claimed that he is god besides Allah.

... وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ أَهْوَاء قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبْلُ ...

and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray before...

This error occurred because you followed your teachers, the advocates of misguidance who came before your time and who,

... وَأَضَلُّواْ كَثِيرًا وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ ﴿٧٧﴾

...and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path.

deviated from the straight path, to the path of misguidance and deviation.

78

 لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوْا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud and `Isa, son of Maryam. That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing (beyond the bounds).

79

 كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَـهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ

They used not to forbid one another from the evil they committed.

لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ

 Vile indeed was what they used to do.

80

تَرَى كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their friends.

لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ أَن سَخِطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِى الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَـلِدُونَ

Evil indeed is that which they have sent forward before themselves; for that (reason) Allah is wrath with them, and in torment they will abide.

81

وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْلهِ والنَّبِىِّ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَلَـكِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ فَـسِقُونَ

And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them as friends; but many of them are rebellious.

Allah Cursed the Disbelievers Among the Children of Israel

Allah says;

لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ ﴿٧٨﴾    

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud and `Isa, son of Maryam. That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing (beyond the bounds).

Allah states that He has cursed the disbelievers among the Children of Israel long ago, and revealed this fact to His Prophets Dawud and `Isa, son of Maryam. He cursed them because they disobeyed Allah and transgressed against His creatures.

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, "They were cursed in the Tawrah, the Injil, the Zabur (Psalms) and the Furqan (Qur'an).''

Allah then states that during their time, their habit was that,

كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ ...  

They used not to forbid one another from the evil they committed.

They did not forbid each other from committing sins and the prohibitions. Allah chastised them for this behavior, so that their behavior would not be imitated.

Allah said,

... لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ ﴿٧٩﴾

Vile indeed was what they used to do.

 Hadiths that Order Enjoining Righteousness and Forbidding Evil

There are many Hadiths that order enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said that the Prophet said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ، أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ، ثُمَّ لَتَدْعُنَّهُ فَلَا يَسْتَجِيبَ لَكُم

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah will send a punishment on you from Him. Then, you will supplicate to Him, but He will not accept your supplication.

At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''

Muslim recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَان

He among you who witnesses an evil, let him change it with his hand, if he cannot do that, then by his tongue, if he cannot do even that, then with his heart, and this is the weakest faith.

Abu Dawud said that Al-Urs, (meaning Ibn Amirah), said that the Prophet said,

إِذَا عُمِلَتِ الْخَطِيئَةُ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَانَ مَنْ شَهِدَهَا فَكَرِهَهَا، وَقَالَ مَرَّةً فَأَنْكَرَهَا كَانَ كَمَنْ غَابَ عَنْهَا، وَمَنْ غَابَ عَنْهَا فَرَضِيَهَا كَانَ كَمَنْ شَهِدَهَا

When sin is committed on the earth, then whoever witnesses it and hates - (once he said): forbids it, will be like those who did not witness it. Whoever was absent from it, but agreed with it, will be like those who witness it.

Only Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith.

Abu Dawud recorded that one of the Companions said that the Prophet said,

لَنْ يَهْلِكَ النَّاسُ حَتَّى يَعْذِرُوا أَوْ يُعْذِرُوا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِم

The people will not perish until they do not leave -or- have any excuse for themselves.

Ibn Majah recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah gave a speech once and said,

أَلَا لَا يَمْنَعَنَّ رَجُلًا هَيْبَةُ النَّاسِ أَنْ يَقُولَ الْحَقَّ إِذَا عَلِمَه

Behold! Fear from people should not prevent one from saying the truth if he knows it.

Abu Sa`id then cried and said, "By Allah! We have seen some errors, but we feared (the people).''

Another Hadith that Abu Sa`id narrated states that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَفْضَلُ الْجِهَادِ كَلِمَةُ حَقَ عِنْدَ سُلْطَانٍ جَائِر

The best Jihad is a word of truth proclaimed before an unjust ruler.

Recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib from this route of narration.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah said that the Prophet said,

لَا يَنْبَغِي لِمُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يُذِلَّ نَفْسَه

It is not required of the Muslim that he humiliate himself.

They said, `How does one humiliate himself?''

he said;

يَتَعَرَّضُ مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ لِمَا لَا يُطِيق

He takes on trials that he is not capable of enduring.

This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih Gharib.''

Censuring the Hypocrites

Allah said,

تَرَى كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...  

You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their friends.

Mujahid said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites.

Allah's statement,

... لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ ...

Evil indeed is that which they have sent forward before themselves;

by giving their loyalty and support to the disbelievers, instead of the believers. This evil act caused them to have hypocrisy in their hearts and brought them the anger of Allah, that will remain with them until the Day of Return.

Allah said;

... أَن سَخِطَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ...

for that (reason) Allah is wrath with them.

because of what they did.

Allah next said that,

... وَفِي الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ ﴿٨٠﴾

in torment they will abide.

on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah's statement,

وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالله والنَّبِيِّ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء ...    

And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them as friends.

meaning, had they sincerely believed in Allah, His Messenger and the Qur'an, they would not have committed the evil act of supporting the disbelievers in secret and being enemies with those who believe in Allah, the Prophet and what was revealed to him,

... وَلَـكِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ ﴿٨١﴾

but many of them are rebellious.

disobedient to Allah and His Messenger and defiant of the Ayat of His revelation that He sent down.

82

 لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk,

وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَاناً وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.'' That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.

83

 وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ

And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized.

يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّـهِدِينَ

They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.''

84

 وَمَا لَنَا لاَ نُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَنَطْمَعُ أَن يُدْخِلَنَا رَبُّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّـلِحِينَ

"And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people.''

85

فَأَثَابَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِمَا قَالُواْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ جَزَآءُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

So because of what they said, Allah awarded them with Gardens under which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of good-doers.

86

 وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَحِيمِ

But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayat, they shall be the dwellers of Hell.

The Reason Behind Revealing these Ayat

Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and others said that; these Ayat were revealed concerning a delegation that An-Najashi (King of Ethiopia) sent to the Prophet in order to hear his words and observe his qualities.

When the delegation met with the Prophet and he recited the Qur'an to them, they embraced Islam, cried and were humbled. Then they returned to An-Najashi and told him what happened.

Ata bin Abi Rabah commented, "They were Ethiopians who embraced Islam when the Muslims who migrated to Ethiopia resided among them.''

Qatadah said, "They were some followers of the religion of `Isa, son of Maryam, who when they saw Muslims and heard the Qur'an, they became Muslims without hesitation.''

Ibn Jarir said that; these Ayat were revealed concerning some people who fit this description, whether they were from Ethiopia or otherwise.

Allah said,

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ ...  

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk,

This describes the Jews, since their disbelief is that of rebellion, defiance, opposing the truth, belittling other, people and degrading the scholars. This is why the Jews - may Allah's continued curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection - killed many of their Prophets and tried to kill the Messenger of Allah several times, as well as, performing magic spells against him and poisoning him. They also incited their likes among the polytheists against the Prophet.

Allah's statement,

... وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ...

and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.''

refers to those who call themselves Christians, who follow the religion of the Messiah and the teachings of his Injil. These people are generally more tolerant of Islam and its people, because of the mercy and kindness that their hearts acquired through part of the Messiah's religion. In another Ayah, Allah said;

وَجَعَلْنَا فِى قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ رَأْفَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً

And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him, compassion, mercy, and monasticism... (57:27)

In their book is the saying; "He who strikes you on the right cheek, then turn the left cheek for him.''

And fighting was prohibited in their creed, and this is why Allah said,

... ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾

That is because among them are Qissisin (priests) and Ruhban (monks), and they are not proud.

This means that among them are Qissisin (priests).

The word Ruhban refers to one dedicated to worship.

Allah said,

... ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.

This describes them with knowledge, worship and humbleness, along with following the truth and fairness.

وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ... 

And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized.

This refers to the good news that they have about the advent of Muhammad.

...  يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ﴿٨٣﴾

They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.''

who testify to the truth and believe in it.

وَمَا لَنَا لاَ نُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَمَا جَاءنَا مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَنَطْمَعُ أَن يُدْخِلَنَا رَبَّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿٨٤﴾  

"And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth And We wish that our Lord will admit us (in Paradise) along with the righteous people.''

Such sect of Christians are those mentioned in Allah's statement,

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَـشِعِينَ للَّهِ

And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. (3:199)

and,

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ

Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it (the Qur'an). And when it is recited to them, they say, "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we were Muslims.'' (28:52-53) until, لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ  "We seek not the ignorant.'' (28:55)

This is why Allah said here,

فَأَثَابَهُمُ اللّهُ بِمَا قَالُواْ ...  

So because of what they said, Allah awarded them...

rewarding them for embracing the faith and recognizing and believing in the truth.

... جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ...

Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever.

and they will never be removed from it, for they will dwell and remain in it forever and ever,

... وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٨٥﴾

Such is the reward of good-doers.

who follow the truth and obey it wherever, whenever and with whomever they find it.

Allah then describes the condition of the miserable.

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...    

But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayat,

defied and opposed them,

... أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٨٦﴾

they shall be the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire.

For they are the people of the Fire who will enter and reside in it (eternally).

87

 يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَـتِ مَآ أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ

O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.

88

 وَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ

And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.

There is No Monasticism in Islam

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللّهُ لَكُمْ ...  

O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you,

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said,

"This Ayah was revealed about some of the Companions of the Prophet who said, `We should cut off our male organs, abandon the desires of this life and travel in the land, just as the Ruhban (monks) do.' When the Prophet heard of this statement, he summoned them and asked them if they made this statement and they answered `Yes.'

The Prophet said,

لكِنِّي أَصُومُ وَأُفْطِرُ، وَأُصَلِّي، وَأَنَامُ، وَأَنْكِحُ النِّسَاءَ، فَمَنْ أَخَذَ بِسُنَّتِي فَهُوَ مِنِّي، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْخُذْ بِسُنَّتِي فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي

I fast and break my fast, pray and sleep, and marry women. Whoever follows my Sunnah is of me, and whoever abandons my Sunnah is not of me.''

Ibn Abi Hatim also collected this Hadith.

Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas narrated a similar Hadith.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Aishah said that;

some of the Companions asked the wives of the Prophet about the acts of worship that he performed in private.

One of them said, "I will not eat meat,'' another said, "I will not marry women,'' while the third said, "I will not sleep on the bed.''

When the Prophet heard this statement, he said,

مَا بَالُ أَقْوَامٍ يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمْ كَذَا وَكَذَا، لكِنِّي أَصُومُ وَأُفْطِرُ، وَأَنَامُ وَأَقُومُ، وَآكُلُ اللَّحْمَ، وَأَتَزَوَّجُ النِّسَاءَ، فَمَنْ رَغِبَ عَنْ سُنَّتِي فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي

What is the matter with some people who said such and such I fast and break the fast, sleep and wake to stand to pray, eat meat, and marry women. He who is not pleased with my Sunnah is not of me.

Allah's statement,

... وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ ...

and transgress not,

means, do not exaggerate and make it hard for yourselves by prohibiting the permissible things. Do not transgress the limits by excessively indulging in the permissible matters; only use of it what satisfies your need; and do not fall into extravagance.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ

And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance. (7:31)

and,

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَنفَقُواْ لَمْ يُسْرِفُواْ وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُواْ وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَاماً

And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes). (25:67)

So Allah legislated a medium way between those who are extreme and those who fall into shortcomings, and it does not allow excessive application, nor lack of application.

This is why Allah said here,

...لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللّهُ لَكُمْ  وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ ﴿٨٧﴾

Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.

then He said,

وَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ حَلاَلاً طَيِّبًا ...    

And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good,

eat of those items that are pure and lawful for you,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ ...

and have Taqwa of Allah,

in all your affairs, obey Him and seek His pleasure, all the while staying away from defiance and disobedience of Allah,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِيَ أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٨٨﴾

and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.

89

 لاَ يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِى أَيْمَـنِكُمْ وَلَـكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الاٌّيْمَـنَ

Allah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths;

فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَـكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ

for its expiation feed ten poor, on a scale of the Awsat of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or free a slave.

فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ذلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَـنِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُواْ أَيْمَـنَكُمْ

That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths.

كَذلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ءَايَـتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat that you may be grateful.

Unintentional Oaths

Allah says;

لاَ يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ ...  

Allah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths,

We mentioned the subject of unintentional oaths in Surah Al-Baqarah, all praise and thanks are due to Allah, and so we do not need to repeat it here. We also mentioned that the Laghw in oaths refers to one's saying, "No by Allah,'' or, "Yes, by Allah,'' unintentionally.

Expiation for Breaking the Oaths

Allah said,

... وَلَـكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الأَيْمَانَ ...

but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths.

in reference to the oaths that you intend in your hearts,

... فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَاكِينَ ...

for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten poor,

who are needy, not able to find necessities of the life.

Allah's statement,

... مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ ...

on a scale of the Awsat of that with which you feed your own families;

According to Ibn Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ikrimah, means, "On the average scale of what you feed your families.''

Ata Al-Khurasani commented on the Ayah, "From the best of what you feed your families.''

Allah's statement,

... أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ ...

or clothe them,

refers to clothing each of the ten persons with what is suitable to pray in, whether the poor person was male or female. Allah knows best.

Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said that; the Ayah means a robe or garment for each poor person (of the ten).

Mujahid also said that; the least of clothing, referred to in the Ayah, is a garment, and the most is whatever you wish.

Al-Hasan, Abu Jafar Al-Baqir, Ata, Tawus, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Hammad bin Abi Sulayman and Abu Malik said that; it means (giving each of the ten poor persons) a garment each.

Allah's statement,

... أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ ...

or free a slave,

refers to freeing a believing slave.

In the Muwatta of Malik, the Musnad of Ash-Shafii and the Sahih of Muslim, a lengthy Hadith was recorded that;

Umar bin Al-Hakam As-Sulami said that he once had to free a slave (as atonement) and he brought a black slave girl before the Messenger of Allah, who asked her;

أَيْنَ اللهُ ؟

Where is Allah?

She said, "Above the heavens.''

He said,

مَنْ أَنَا ؟

Who am I?

She said, "The Messenger of Allah.''

He said,

أَعْتِقْهَا فَإِنَّهَا مُؤْمِنَة

Free her, for she is a believer.

There are three types of expiation for breaking deliberate oaths, and whichever one chooses, it will suffice, according to the consensus (of the scholars).

Allah mentioned the easiest, then the more difficult options, since feeding is easier than giving away clothes, and giving away clothes is easier than freeing a slave.

If one is unable to fulfill any of these options, then he fasts for three days for expiation, just as Allah said,

... فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلاَثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ...

But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days.

Ubayy bin Ka`b and Ibn Mas`ud and his students read this Ayah as follows, "Then he should fast three consecutive days.''

Even if this statement was not narrated to us as a part of the Qur'an through Mutawatir narration, it would still be an explanation of the Qur'an by the Companions that has the ruling of being related from the Prophet.

Allah's statement,

... ذَلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ...

That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn.

means, this is the legal way to atone for deliberate oaths,

... وَاحْفَظُواْ أَيْمَانَكُمْ ...

And protect your oaths.

Do not leave your broken oaths without paying the expiation for them, according to the meaning given by Ibn Jarir.

... كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ ...

Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat,

and explains them to you,

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٨٩﴾

that you may be grateful.

90

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالاٌّنصَابُ وَالاٌّزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَـنِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are a Rijs of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.

91

 إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ فِى الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَوةِ فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ

Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with Khamr and Maysir, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain

92

وَأَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُواْ

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and beware.

فَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّمَا عَلَى رَسُولِنَا الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ

Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger's duty to convey in the clearest way.

93

لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ إِذَا مَا اتَّقَواْ وَءامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ ثُمَّ اتَّقَواْ وَءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ اتَّقَواْ وَّأَحْسَنُواْ

Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate, if they have Taqwa and believe and do righteous good deeds, and they (again) have Taqwa and believe, and then (once again) have Taqwa and perform good.

وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And Allah loves the good-doers.

Prohibiting Khamr (Intoxicants) and Maysir (Gambling)

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ ...    

O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are,

Allah forbids His believing servants from consuming Khamr and Maysir which is gambling.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ali bin Abi Talib, the Leader of the Faithful, said that; chess is a type of gambling.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ata, Mujahid and Tawus, or , two of them, said that; every type of gambling, including children's playing with (a certain type of) nuts, is Maysir.

Ibn Umar said that; Al-Maysir means gambling,

and this is the same statement that Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn Abbas, who added, "They used to gamble during the time of Jahiliyyah, until Islam came. Allah then forbade them from this evil behavior.''

Meaning of Ansab and Azlam

According to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ata', Sa`id bin Jubayr and Al-Hasan, Al-Ansab were altar stones, in whose vicinity sacrifices were offered (during the time of Jahiliyyah).

As Ibn Abi Hatim narrated they also said that; Al-Azlam were arrows that they used for lotteries to make decisions.

Allah said,

... رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ ...

A Rijs of Shaytan's handiwork,

meaning, abomination of Shaytan's handiwork, according to Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported it from Ibn Abbas.

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that; Rijs means `sin'.

while Zayd bin Aslam said; "An evil handiwork of Shaytan.''

... فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ ...

So avoid that,

avoid all of these abominations,

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٩٠﴾

in order that you may be successful.

and this is a statement of encouragement.

Allah said next,

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ ﴿٩١﴾  

Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with Khamr (intoxicants) and Maysir (gambling), and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain!

This is a threat and a warning.

وَأَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُواْ فَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّمَا عَلَى رَسُولِنَا الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿٩٢﴾    

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and beware. Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger's duty to convey in the clearest way.

 Hadiths that Prohibit Khamr (Intoxicants)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said,

"There were three stages to prohibiting Khamr (intoxicants). When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, the people were consuming alcohol and gambling, so they asked the Messenger of Allah about these things, Allah revealed,

يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَآ إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَـفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ

They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men.'' (2:219) until the end of the Ayah.

The people said, `They (intoxicants and gambling) were not prohibited for us. Allah only said, فِيهِمَآ إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَـفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ  (In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men).'

So they went on drinking Khamr until one day, one of the emigrants lead his companions in the Maghrib prayer and mixed up the Ayat in his recitation. Thereafter, Allah sent down a tougher statement,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ

O you who believe! Approach not the Salah (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning of) what you utter. (4:43)

Then, the people would drink before the time of the prayer so that they would attend the prayer while sober.

A firmer Ayah was later revealed,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ...... أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ

O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.  

Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with Khamr (intoxicants) and Maysir (gambling), and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain! (5:90-91)

So they said, `We abstained, O Lord!' Later, some people said, `O Allah's Messenger! Some people died in the cause of Allah, while some others died in their beds, but they used to drink alcohol and indulge in gambling, which Allah has made a Rijs of the work of Shaytan.' So Allah sent down,

لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ ...    

Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate... (5:93) until the end of the Ayah.

The Prophet said,

لَوْ حُرِّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَتَرَكُوهُ كَمَا تَرَكْتُم

Had they been made impermissible for them, they would have abandoned them as you have abandoned them.

Ahmad recorded this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "O Allah! Explain the verdict about Khamr to us clearly.''

The Ayah in Surah Al-Baqarah was revealed,

يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَآ إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ

They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling.

Say: "In them is a great sin.'' (2:219)

Umar was summoned and this Ayah was recited to him, but he still said, "O Allah! Make the verdict of Khamr clear to us.''

Then the Ayah in Surah An-Nisa' was revealed,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى

O you who believe! Do not approach the Salah when you are in a drunken state. (4:43)

Thereafter, the Prophet had someone herald when it was time to pray, "Those in a drunken state are not to approach the prayer.''

Umar was again summoned and the Ayah was recited to him, but he still said, "O Allah! Make the verdict concerning Khamr clear to us.''

Then, the Ayah in Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:91) was revealed, and Umar was summoned and it was recited to him. When he reached the part of the Ayah that reads, فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ  (So, will you not then abstain). ( 5:91) Umar said, "We abstained, we abstained.''

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith. Ali bin Al-Madini and At-Tirmidhi graded it Sahih.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs, that Umar bin Al-Khattab said in a speech; while standing on the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah (in the Prophet's Masjid in Al-Madinah),

"O people! The prohibition of Khamr was revealed; and Khamr was extracted from five things: From grapes, dates, honey, wheat and barley. Khamr is what intoxicates the mind.''

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "The prohibition of Khamr was revealed when there were five kinds of intoxicants in Al-Madinah, besides what was produced from grapes.''

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said,

"I once was giving an alcoholic beverage to Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Suhayl bin Bayda' and several of their friends meeting at Abu Talhah's house. When they were almost intoxicated, some Muslims came and said, `Did you not know that Khamr has been prohibited?'

They said, `We'll wait and ask.' They then said, `O Anas! Spill the remaining alcohol out of your container.'

By Allah! They never drank it again, and their Khamr at that time was made from unripe and normal dates.'''

This is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

In another narration by Anas,

"I was the butler of the people in the house of Abu Talhah when Khamr was prohibited, and in those days alcohol was made from unripe and normal dates. A caller then heralded, and Abu Talhah ordered me to see what it was about. So I found that a person was announcing that alcoholic drinks had been prohibited. Abu Talhah ordered me to go out and spill the wine.

I went out and spilled it, and it flowed in the streets of Al-Madinah.

Some people said, `Some people were killed and wine was still in their stomachs.' Later on, Allah's revelation came,

لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ ...

Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate... (5:93)''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Anas bin Malik said,

"I was serving Abu Talhah, Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah, Abu Dujanah, Mu`adh bin Jabal and Suhayl bin Bayda, until they became intoxicated from an alcoholic drink made of mixed unripe and normal dates. Then I heard someone herald, `Khamr has been made illegal.' So no one went in or out until we spilled the alcohol and broke its barrels. Some of us then performed ablution and others took a shower, and we wore some perfume. We then went out to the Masjid while the Messenger of Allah was reciting,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ

O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are only an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that...), (5:90), until, فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ  (So, will you not then abstain). (5:91)

A man asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What about those who died drinking it?' Allah sent down the verse,

لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ ...

Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate. (5:93)''

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لُعِنَتِ الْخَمْرُ عَلى عَشْرَةِ أَوْجُهٍ:

· لُعِنَتِ الْخَمْرُ بِعَيْنِهَا،

· وَشَارِبُهَا،

· وَسَاقِيهَا،

· وَبَائِعُهَا،

· وَمُبْتَاعُهَا،

· وَعَاصِرُهَا،

· وَمُعْتَصِرُهَا،

· وَحَامِلُها،

· وَالْمَحْمُولَةُ إِلَيْهِ،

· وَآكِلُ ثَمَنِهَا

Ten matters related to Khamr were cursed.

· Khamr itself was cursed,

· whoever drinks it,

· its server,

· seller,

· buyer,

· brewer,

· who asks for it to be brewed,

· whoever carries it,

· whomever it is carried to and

· whoever consumes its price.

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith.

Ahmad recorded that Ibn Umar said,

"Once, the Messenger of Allah went out and I went out with him. I walked to his right, but Abu Bakr came along and I gave way to him, and Abu Bakr was walking on the Prophet's right, while I was walking on his left. Then Umar came along and he was walking on the Prophet's left, since I gave way to him.

The Messenger of Allah then found a leather skin hanging containing alcohol, so he asked for a knife and ordered that the skin be cut open. He then said,

لُعِنَتِ الْخَمْرُ وَشَارِبُهَا، وَسَاقِيهَا، وَبَائِعُهَا، وَمُبْتَاعُهَا، وَحَامِلُهَا، وَالْمَحْمُولَةُ إِلَيْهِ، وَعَاصِرُهَا وَمُعْتَصِرُهَا، وَآكِلُ ثَمَنِهَا

Khamr was cursed, and so are those who drink it, serve it, sell it, buy it, carry it, have it carried to them, brew it, have it brewed and consume its price.''

Another Hadith

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Sa`d said, "There were four Ayat revealed about Khamr...''

He then said, "A man from Al-Ansar made some food and invited us. We drank Khamr before it was prohibited and became intoxicated, and thus started to boast about our status. The Ansar said that they were better, while Quraysh (the Muhajirin) said that they were better. So a man from the Ansar took a bone and struck Sa`d's nose with it and made a flesh wound on it. Ever since that happened, Sa`d's nose had a scar from that wound. The Ayah, إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ (Intoxicants, gambling,) until, فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ  (So, will you not then abstain) was later revealed.''

Muslim recorded this Hadith.

Another Hadith

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "This Ayah in the Qur'an,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are only an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful. (5:90)

was also in the Tawrah;

`Allah has sent down truth to eradicate falsehood, joyful play, flute or wind instruments, Zafan (dances) and Kibarat (referring to cabarets using the lute and bagpipe), tambourine, guitar, harp and lyric and love poetry. And Khamr is bitter for those who taste it. Allah has vowed by His grace and power, `Whoever drinks it after I prohibited it, I will make him thirsty on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever abandons it after I prohibited it, I will let him taste it in the residence of Grace (Paradise).'''

Its chain of narration is Sahih

Another Hadith

Ash-Shafii narrated that Malik narrated that Nafi` said that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ شَرِبَ الْخَمْرَ فِي الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُبْ مِنْهَا حُرِمَهَا فِي الآخِرَة

Whoever drinks Khamr in the life of this world and does not repent from it, will be deprived of it in the Hereafter.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith.

Muslim recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

كُلُّ مُسْكِرٍ خَمْرٌ، وَكُلُّ مُسْكِرٍ حَرَامٌ،

وَمَنْ شَرِبَ الْخَمْرَ فَمَاتَ وَهُوَ يُدْمِنُهَا وَلَمْ يَتُبْ مِنْهَا، لَمْ يَشْرَبْهَا فِي الْآخِرَة

Every intoxicant is Khamr, and every intoxicant is unlawful.

Whoever drinks Khamr and dies while addicted to it, without repenting from drinking it, will not drink it in the Hereafter.

Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham said that he heard Uthman bin Affan saying,

"Avoid Khamr, for it is the mother of all sins.

There was a man before your time who used to worship Allah secluded from the people. Later, an evil woman loved him and sent her female servant to him saying that they wanted him to witness something. So he went with the servant. Whenever they went through the door, she locked it behind them, until he reached a beautiful woman with a young servant boy and some alcohol. She said to him, `By Allah! I did not invite you to be a witness for anything, but called you to have sex with me, kill this boy or drink this alcohol.'

So she gave him some alcohol, and he kept asking for more until he (became intoxicated and) had sex with her and killed the boy.

Therefore, avoid Khamr, because it is never combined with faith, but one of them is bound to expel the other (from the heart).''

This was recorded by Al-Bayhaqi. This statement has an authentic chain of narration.

Abu Bakr bin Abi Ad-Dunya recorded this statement in his book on the prohibition of intoxicants, but he related it from the Prophet.

Relating it from Uthman is more authentic, and Allah knows best.

Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"When Khamr was prohibited, some people said, `O Allah's Messenger! What about our brethren who died while still drinking Khamr?'

Allah sent down the Ayah, لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ  (Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate), until the end of the Ayah.

When the Qiblah (direction of the prayer) was changed (from Jerusalem to Makkah), some people asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What about our brethren who died while still praying toward Jerusalem'

Allah sent down,

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ

And Allah would never make your faith to be lost.'' (2:143)

Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

when the Ayah, لَيْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا طَعِمُواْ إِذَا مَا اتَّقَواْ وَّآمَنُواْ  (Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate, if they have Taqwa, and believe...) was revealed,

قِيلَ لِي: أَنْتَ مِنْهُم

I was told, that you are among them.

This is the narration that Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i collected.

إِذَا مَا اتَّقَواْ وَّآمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّقَواْ وَّآمَنُواْ ثُمَّ اتَّقَواْ وَّأَحْسَنُواْ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٩٣﴾

if they have Taqwa and believe and do righteous good deeds, and they (again) have Taqwa and believe, and then (once again) have Taqwa and perform good. And Allah loves the good-doers.

94

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَيَبْلُوَنَّكُمُ اللَّهُ بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ الصَّيْدِ تَنَالُهُ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَرِمَـحُكُمْ لِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ مَن يَخَافُهُ بِالْغَيْبِ

O you who believe! Allah will certainly make a trial for you with something in the game that is well within reach of your hands and your lances, that Allah may test who fears Him in the unseen.

فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى بَعْدَ ذلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Then whoever transgresses thereafter, for him there is a painful torment.

95

 يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ الصَّيْدَ وَأَنْتُمْ حُرُمٌ

O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of Ihram,

وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَآءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنْكُمْ هَدْياً بَـلِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ

and whosoever of you kills it intentionally, the penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka`bah, of livestock equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you;

أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَـكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذلِكَ صِيَاماً لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِ

or, for expiation, he should feed the poor, or its equivalent in fasting, that he may taste the heaviness (punishment) of his deed.

عَفَا اللَّهُ عَمَّا سَلَف وَمَنْ عَادَ فَيَنْتَقِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انْتِقَامٍ

Allah has forgiven what is past, but whosoever commits it again, Allah will take retribution from him. And Allah is Almighty, All-Able of Retribution.  

Prohibiting Hunting Game in the Sacred Area and During the State of Ihram

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ...  

you who believe!

... لَيَبْلُوَنَّكُمُ اللّهُ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الصَّيْدِ تَنَالُهُ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَرِمَاحُكُمْ ...

Allah will certainly make a trial for you with something in (the matter of) the game that is well within reach of your hands and your lances,

Ali bin Abi Talhah Al-Walibi said that Ibn Abbas said that Allah's statement refers to,

"The weak and young game. Allah tests His servants with such game during their Ihram, that if they wish, they would be able to catch it with their hands. Allah has commanded them to avoid catching it.''

Mujahid said that,

 تَنَالُهُ أَيْدِيكُمْ  (well within reach of your hands), refers to the young game and chicks, while وَرِمَاحُكُمْ  (and your lances), refers to mature game.

Muqatil bin Hayyan said that;

this Ayah was revealed during the Umrah of Al-Hudaybiyyah, when wild game and birds were coming to the Muslim camping area, which they had never seen the likes of before. Allah prohibited them from hunting the game while in the state of Ihram.

... لِيَعْلَمَ اللّهُ مَن يَخَافُهُ بِالْغَيْبِ ...

that Allah may test who fears Him in the unseen.

Therefore, Allah tests His servants with the game that comes near their camping area, for if they wish, they can catch it with their hands and spears in public and secret. This is how the obedience of those who obey Allah in public and secret becomes apparent and tested.

In another Ayah, Allah said;

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

Verily! Those who fear their Lord in the unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise). (67:12)

Allah said next,

... فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ...

Then whoever transgresses thereafter,

According to As-Suddi, after this warning and threat, then,

... فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٩٤﴾

for him there is a painful torment.

for his defiance of Allah's command and what He has decreed.

Allah said next,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ الصَّيْدَ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ...  

O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of Ihram,

This Ayah prohibits killing the game in the state of Ihram, except what is exempt from this as mentioned in the Two Sahihs;

Aishah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

خَمْسٌ فَوَاسِقُ يُقْتَلْنَ فِي الْحِلِّ وَالْحَرَم ِ:

· الْغُرَابُ،

· وَالْحِدَأَةُ،

· وَالْعَقْرَبُ،

· وَالْفَأْرَةُ،

· وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُور

Five are Fawasiq, they may be killed while in Ihram or not;

· the crow,

· the kite,

· the scorpion,

· the mouse and

· the rabid dog.

Ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

خَمْسٌ مِنَ الدَّوَابِّ لَيْسَ عَلَى الْمُحْرِمِ فِي قَتْلِهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ :

· الْغُرَابُ،

· وَالْحِدَأَةُ،

· وَالْعَقْرَبُ،

· وَالْفَأْرَةُ،

· وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُور

It is not harmful in a state of Ihram to kill five kinds of animals:

· the crow,

· the kite,

· the scorpion,

· the mouse and

· the rabid dog.

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Ayub narrated that Nafi` narrated similar wordings for this Hadith from Ibn Umar.

Ayub said, "So I said to Nafi, `What about the snake?'

He said, `There is no doubt that killing the snake is allowed.'''

The ruling concerning the rabid dog also includes the wolf, lion, leopard, tiger and their like, since they are more dangerous than the rabid dog, or because the term Kalb (dog) covers them. Allah knows best.

Abu Sa`id narrated that the Prophet was asked about the animals that the Muhrim is allowed to kill and he said,

· الحَيَّةُ،

· وَالْعَقْرَبُ،

· وَالْفُوَيسِقَةُ،

· وَيَرْمِي الْغُرَابَ وَلَا يُقْتُلُهُ،

· وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُورُ،

· وَالحِدَأَةُ،

· وَالسَّبُعُ العَادِي

· The snake,

· the scorpion,

· the mouse,

· and the crow - which is shot at but not killed --

· the rabid dog,

· the kite and

· wild beasts of prey.

Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith, as did At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan'', and Ibn Majah.

The Penalty of Killing Game in the Sacred Area or in the State of Ihram

Allah said,

... وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاء مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ ...

And whosoever of you kills it intentionally, the penalty is (an offering of) livestock equivalent to the one he killed.

Mujahid bin Jabr said,

"The meaning of `intentionally' here is that one intends to kill the game while forgetting that he is in the state of Ihram. Whoever intentionally kills the game while aware that he is in the state of Ihram, then this offense is more grave than to make an expiation, and he also loses his Ihram.''

This statement is odd, and the view of majority is that they have to pay the expiation for killing the game whether they forgot that they are in Ihram or not.

Az-Zuhri said, "The Book (the Qur'an) asserts the expiation for intentional killing, and the Sunnah included those who forget, as well.''

The meaning of this statement is that the Qur'an mentioned the expiation and sin of those who intentionally kill game, يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذَلِكَ صِيَامًا  (that he may taste the heaviness (punishment) of his deed. Allah has forgiven what is past, but whosoever commits it again, Allah will take retribution from him), the Sunnah that includes the rulings issued by the Prophet and his Companions, indicated the necessity of expiation in cases of unintentional killing of game, just as the Book legislated expiation for intentional killing. Killing game is a form of waste, which requires expiation in intentional and unintentional cases, although those who intend it have sinned, rather than those who made an honest error.

Allah's statement, فَجَزَاء مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ  (The penalty is (an offering of) livestock equivalent to the one he killed) indicates the necessity of offering an equivalent animal to the one the Muhrim killed.

The Companions gave rulings that the camel, for instance, is the equivalent of the ostrich, the cow is the equivalent of wild cattle, and the goat for the deer.

As for the cases when there is no equivalent for the killed animal, Ibn Abbas said that one should spend its amount in Makkah (i.e. charity), as Al-Bayhaqi recorded.

Allah's statement,

... يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ ...

As adjudged by two just men among you;

means, two just Muslim men should determine an animal equivalent to the game killed, or the amount of its price.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Jarir Al-Bajali said,

"I killed a deer when I was in the state of Ihram and mentioned this fact to Umar, who said, `Bring two of your brethren and let them judge you.' So I went to Abdur-Rahman and Sa`d and they said that I should offer a male sheep.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Tariq said,

"Arbad killed a deer while in the state of Ihram and he went to Umar to judge him. Umar said to him, `Let us both judge,' and they judged that Arbad should offer a goat that was fed on abundant water and grass. Umar commented, يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ  (As adjudged by two just men among you);''

Allah's statement,

... هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ ...

...an offering brought to the Ka`bah.

indicates that this equivalent animal should be brought to the Ka`bah, meaning, the Sacred Area, where it should be slaughtered and its meat divided between the poor of the Sacred Area.

There is a consensus on this ruling.

Allah said,

... أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذَلِكَ صِيَامًا ...

or, for expiation, he should feed the poor, or its equivalent in fasting,

that is, if the Muhrim does not find an equivalent to what he killed, or the animal hunted is not comparable to anything else.

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَو عَدْلُ ذَلِكَ صِيَامًا (...an offering brought to the Ka`bah, or, for expiation, he should feed the poor, or its equivalent in fasting),

"If the Muhrim killed game, then his judgment is its equivalent.

· If he kills an antelope, he offers a sheep slaughtered in Makkah. If he cannot, then he feeds six poor people, otherwise he should fast for three days.

· If he kills a deer, he offers a cow. If unable, he feeds twenty poor people, or otherwise if unable, he fasts for twenty days.

· If he kills an ostrich or zebra, he offers a camel, or he feeds thirty poor people, or fasts thirty days.''

Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded this statement, and in Ibn Jarir's narration, the food measurement is a Mudd (4 handfuls of food) each that suffices for the poor.

Allah's statement,

... لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِ ...

that he may taste the heaviness (punishment) of his deed.

means, We have required him to pay this expiation so that he tastes the punishment of his error.

... عَفَا اللّهُ عَمَّا سَلَف ...

Allah has forgiven what is past.

during the time of Jahiliyyah, provided that one becomes good in Islam and follows Allah's Law, all the while avoiding the sin.

Allah then said,

... وَمَنْ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ اللّهُ مِنْهُ ...

but whosoever commits it again, Allah will take retribution from him.

meaning, whoever does this after it has been prohibited in Islam and having knowledge that it is prohibited.

... فَيَنتَقِمُ اللّهُ مِنْهُ وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انْتِقَامٍ ﴿٩٥﴾

Allah will take retribution from him. And Allah is Almighty, All-Able of retribution.

Ibn Jurayj said,

"I said to `Ata', `What is the meaning of, عَفَا اللّهُ عَمَّا سَلَف  (Allah has forgiven what is past),'

He said, `Meaning, during the time of Jahiliyyah.'

I asked about, وَمَنْ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ اللّهُ مِنْهُ  (but whosoever commits it again, Allah will take retribution from him).

He said, `Whoever commits this offense again in Islam, then Allah will take retribution from him and he also has to pay the expiation.'

I asked, `Is there any punishment for repeating this offense that you know of?'

He said, `No.'

I said, `Do you think that the authorities should punish him?'

He said, `No, for it is a sin that he committed between him and Allah. He should pay the expiation.'''

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement.

It was said that;

the Allah will take retribution' refers to the expiation, according to Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ata, and the majority among the earlier and later generations.

They stated that when the Muhrim kills game, the expiation becomes necessary, regardless of whether it was the first, second or third offense, and whether intentional or by error.

Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement; وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انْتِقَامٍ  (And Allah is Almighty, All-Able of retribution),

"Allah says that He is invincible in His control, none can resist Him, prevent Him from exacting retribution from anyone, or stop Him from punishing anyone. This is because all creation is His creation and the decision is His, His is the might, and His is the control.

His statement, ذُو انْتِقَامٍ  (All-Able of retribution), meaning, He punishes those who disobey Him for their disobedience of Him.''

96

 أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَـعاً لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ وَحُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَرِّ مَا دُمْتُمْ حُرُماً

Lawful to you is water game and its use for food -- for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel, but forbidden is (the pursuit of) land game as long as you are in a state of Ihram.

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And have Taqwa of Allah to Whom you shall be gathered back.

97

 جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِيَاماً لِّلنَّاسِ وَالشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَالْهَدْىَ وَالْقَلَـئِدَ ذلِكَ لِتَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Allah has made the Ka`bah, the Sacred House, an asylum of security and benefits for mankind, and also the Sacred Month and the animals of offerings and the garlanded, that you may know that Allah has knowledge of all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and that Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything.

98

اعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

99

مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ

The Messenger's duty is but to convey. And Allah knows all that you reveal and all that you conceal.

Water Game is Allowed for the Muhrim

Allah says;

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ ...  

Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game and its use for food,

Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others commented on Allah's statement; أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ (Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game...), that it means,

what one eats fresh from it, while, وَطَعَامُهُ  (And its use for food) what is eaten dry and salted.

Ibn Abbas said that; `water game' refers to what is taken from water while still alive, while, وَطَعَامُهُ  (and its use for food) refers to what the water throws ashore dead.

Similar statements were reported from Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Zayd bin Thabit, Abdullah bin `Amr, Abu Ayub Al-Ansari, Ikrimah, Abu Salamah bin Abdur-Rahman, Ibrahim An-Nakhai and Al-Hasan Al-Basri.

Allah's statement,

... مَتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ ...

for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel,

as food and provision for you, وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ  (and those who travel),

According to Ikrimah, those who are in the sea and traveling along the sea.

Other scholars said that; water game is allowed for those who fish it from the sea, as well as, when it is salted and used as food for travelers inland.

A similar statement was reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and As-Suddi and others.

Imam Malik bin Anas recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said,

"Allah's Messenger sent an army towards the east coast and appointed Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah as their commander, and the army consisted of three hundred men, including myself.

We marched on until we reached a place where our food was about to finish. Abu Ubaydah ordered us to collect all the food for our journey, and it was collected in two bags of dates.

Abu Ubaydah kept on giving us our daily ration in small amounts from it, until it was exhausted. The share of each of us used to be one date only.''

I (one of the narrators from Jabir) said, "How could one date suffice for you?''

Jabir replied, "We came to know its value when even that finished.''

Jabir added, "When we reached the seashore, we saw a huge fish which was like a small mountain. The army ate from it for eighteen days. Then Abu Ubaydah ordered that two of its ribs be affixed in the ground. Then he ordered that a she-camel be ridden, and it passed under the two ribs (forming an arch) without touching them.''

This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs.

Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah said,

"A man asked Allah's Messenger, `O Allah's Messenger! We go to sea and carry little water with us. If we use it for Wudu, we get thirsty, so should we use seawater for Wudu?''

The Messenger of Allah said,

هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه

Its water is pure and its dead are lawful.''

The two Imams, Ash-Shafii and Ahmad bin Hanbal, recorded this Hadith, along with the Four Sunan compilers.

Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban graded it Sahih.

This Hadith was also recorded from the Prophet by several other Companions.

Hunting Land Game is Prohibited During Ihram

Allah said,

... وَحُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَرِّ مَا دُمْتُمْ حُرُمًا ...

but forbidden is land game as long as you are in a state of Ihram.

Therefore, hunting land game during Ihram is not allowed, and

· if someone who is in the state of Ihram hunts, he will have to pay expiation, along with the sin he earns if he does it intentionally.

· If he hunts by mistake, he will have to pay the expiation and is not allowed to eat from it, because this type of game is just like dead animals, be he a Muhrim or a non-Muhrim.

· If someone who is not in the state of Ihram hunts and gives the food to a Muhrim, the Muhrim is not allowed to eat from its meat if it was killed for him in particular.

As-Sa`b bin Jaththamah said that;

he gave a zebra as a gift to the Prophet in the area of Waddan or Abwa', the Prophet gave it back. When the Prophet saw the effect of his returning the gift on As-Sa`b's face, he said,

إِنَّا لَمْ نَرُدَّهُ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا أَنَّا حُرُم

We only gave it back to you because we are in a state of Ihram.

This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs.

The Prophet thought that As-Sa`b hunted the zebra for him, and this is why he refused to take it. Otherwise, the Muhrim is allowed to eat from the game if one who is not in Ihram hunts it.

For when Abu Qatadah hunted a zebra when he was not a Muhrim and offered it to those who were in the state of Ihram, they hesitated to eat from it.

They asked the Messenger of Allah and he said,

هَلْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ أَحَدٌ أَشَارَ إِلَيْهَا أَوْ أَعَانَ فِي قَتْلِهَا ؟

Did any of you point at it or help kill it?

They said, "No.''

He said,

فَكُلُوا

Then eat, (and he also ate from it).

This Hadith is also in the Two Sahihs with various wordings.

(Ibn Kathir only mentioned Ayat 96 to 99 here and explained the better part of Ayah number 96, but he did not mention the explanation of the rest of that Ayah or the other Ayat (97 to 99). This is the case in all of the copies of his Tafsir in existence, and he might have forgotten to do that, for it is less likely that all who copied this book forgot to copy only this part. So we used a summary of the Tafsir of these Ayat from the Imam of Tafsir, Ibn Jarir At-Tabari. We tried to summarize At-Tabari's eloquent words to the best of our ability, by Allah's help and leave).

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِيَ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾

And have Taqwa of Allah to Whom you shall be gathered back.

Allah says, fear Allah, O people, and beware of His might, by obeying what He commands you and avoiding what He prohibits for you in these Ayat revealed to your Prophet.

These Ayat forbid Khamr, gambling, Al-Ansab and Al-Azlam, along with hunting land game and killing it while in the state of Ihram. To Allah will be your return and destination, and He will punish you for disobeying Him and will reward you for obeying Him.

جَعَلَ اللّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِيَامًا لِّلنَّاسِ ...  

Allah has made the Ka`bah, the Sacred House, an asylum of security and benefits for mankind,

Allah says, Allah made the Ka`bah, the Sacred House, an asylum of safety for the people who have no chief to prevent the strong from transgressing against the weak, the evil from the good-doers, and the oppressors from the oppressed.

... وَالشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَالْهَدْيَ وَالْقَلاَئِدَ ...

And also the Sacred Month and the animals of offerings and the garlanded.

Allah says that He made these symbols an asylum of safety for the people, just as He made the Ka`bah an asylum of safety for them, so that He distinguishes them from each other, for this is their asylum and symbol for their livelihood and religion.

Allah made the Ka`bah, the Sacred Month, the Hady, the garlanded animals and people an asylum of safety for the Arabs who used to consider these symbols sacred. Thus, these symbols were just like the chief who is obeyed by his followers, and who upholds harmony and public safety. As for the Ka`bah, it includes the entire sacred boundary.

Allah termed it "Haram'' because He prohibited hunting its game and cutting its trees or grass.

Similarly, the Ka`bah, the Sacred Month, the animals of offerings and the garlands were the landmarks of existing Arabs. These symbols were sacred during the time of Jahiliyyah and the people's affairs were guided and protected by them. With Islam they became the symbols of their Hajj, their rituals, and the direction of the prayer, i.e., the Ka`bah in Makkah.

... ذَلِكَ لِتَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٩٧﴾

that you may know that Allah has knowledge of all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and that Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything.

Allah says; O people, I made these symbols an asylum for you, so that you know that He Who made these symbols that benefit your life and provide you with security, also knows everything in the heavens and earth that brings about your immediate or eventual benefit. Know that He has perfect knowledge of everything and that none of your deeds or affairs ever escapes His observation; and He will count them for you so that He rewards those who do good with the same and those who do evil in kind.

اعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٩٨﴾  

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah says, know that your Lord, Who has perfect knowledge of whatever is in the heavens and earth, and Who is never unaware of your deeds - public or secret - is severe in punishment for those who disobey and defy Him. He also pardons the sins of those who obey and repent to Him, more Merciful than to punish them for the sins that they repented from.

مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ ﴿٩٩﴾  

The Messenger's duty is but to convey. And Allah knows all that you reveal and all that you conceal.

This is a warning from Allah for His servants in which He says:

Our Messenger, whom We sent to you, has only to convey Our Message and then the reward for the obedience, and punishment for the disobedience is on Us. The obedience of those who accept Our Message never escapes Our knowledge, just as in the case of those who disobey and defy Our Message. We know what one of you does, demonstrates physically, announces, and utters with his tongue, and what you hide in your hearts, be it of faith, disbelief, certainty, doubt or hypocrisy. He Who is so capable, then nothing that the hearts conceal, nor any of the apparent acts of the souls in the heavens and earth could escape His knowledge.

In His Hand, alone, is the reward and punishment, and He is worthy to be feared, obeyed and never disobeyed.

101

 قُل لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ

Say: "Not equal are the bad things and the good things, even though the abundance of the bad may please you. ''

فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ يأُوْلِى الاٌّلْبَـبِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding in order that you may be successful.

102

 يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَآءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ وَإِن تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْءَانُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ

O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if you ask about them while the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you.

عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهَا وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

Allah has forgiven that, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

103

قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُواْ بِهَا كَـفِرِينَ

Before you, a community asked such questions, then on that account they became disbelievers.

Allah says to His Messenger,

قُل ...  

Say, (O Muhammad),

... لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ ...

Not equal are the bad things and the good things, even though they may please you, (O human),

... كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ ...

the abundance of bad.

This Ayah means, the little permissible is better than the abundant evil.

... فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ ...

have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding...,

who have sound minds, avoid and abandon the impermissible, and let the permissible be sufficient for you.

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿١٠٠﴾

in order that you may be successful.

in this life and the Hereafter.

Unnecessary Questioning is Disapproved of

Allah said next,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ ...  

O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.

This Ayah refers to good conduct that Allah is teaching His believing servants, by forbidding them from asking about useless things. Since if they get the answers they sought, they might be troublesome for them and difficult on their ears.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said,

"The Messenger of Allah gave a speech unlike anything I heard before. In this speech, he said,

لَو تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ، لَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلًا، وَلَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا

If you but know what I know, you will laugh little and cry a lot.

The companions of Allah's Messenger covered their faces and the sound of crying was coming out of their chests.

A man asked, `Who is my father?'

The Prophet said, `So-and-so'.

This Ayah was later revealed, لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء  (Ask not about things...).''

Muslim, Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Qatadah said about Allah's statement, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ  (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble),

Anas bin Malik narrated that once, the people were questioning the Messenger of Allah until they made him angry. So he ascended the Minbar and said,

لَا تَسْأَلُونِي الْيَوْمَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا بَيَّنْتُهُ لَكُم

You will not ask me about anything today but I will explain it to you.

So the Companions of the Messenger of Allah feared that it was the commencement of a momentous event, and I looked to my right and left and found only people who covered their faces, crying.

An argumentative man who was said to be the son of someone other than his true father asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Who is my father?

The Prophet said, `Your father is Hudhafah.''

Umar stood up (when he saw anger on the Prophet's face) and said, "We accept Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion and Muhammad as our Messenger, I seek refuge with Allah from the evil of the Fitan (trials in life and religion).''

The Messenger of Allah said,

لَمْ أَرَ فِي الْخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ كَالْيَومِ قَطُّ، صُوِّرَتْ لِي الجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ حَتَّى رَأَيْتُهُمَا دُونَ الْحَائِط

I have never witnessed both goodness and evil like I have today. Paradise and the Fire were shown to me and I saw them before that wall.

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Sa`id.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"Some people used to question the Messenger of Allah to mock him. One of them would ask, `Who is my father,' while another would ask, `Where is my camel,' when he lost his camel.

Allah sent down this Ayah about them, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ  (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble...).''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali said, "When this Ayah was revealed,

وَللَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَـعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً

And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can bear the journey. (3:97)

they asked, `O Allah's Messenger! Is it required every year?'

He did not answer them, and they asked again, `Is it every year?'

He still did not answer them, so they asked, `Is it every year?'

He said,

لَا، وَلَوْ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ لَوَجَبَتْ وَلَوْ وَجَبَتْ لَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُم

No, and had I said `yes', it would have become obligated, and had it become obligated, you would not be able to bear it.

Allah sent down, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ  (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble).''

At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith. The apparent wording of this Ayah indicates that we are forbidden to ask about things that if one has knowledge of, he would be sorry he had asked. Consequently, it is better to avoid such questions.

Allah's statement,

... وَإِن تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ ...

But if you ask about them while the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you.

means, if you ask about things that you are prohibited from asking about, then when the revelation about them comes to the Messenger , they will be made plain for you, وَذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ (Verily! That is easy for Allah). (64:7)

Allah said next,

... عَفَا اللّهُ عَنْهَا ...

Allah has forgiven that,

what you did before this,

... وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿١٠١﴾

and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

Do not ask about things that do not have a ruling yet, for because of your questions, a difficult ruling may be ordained.

A Hadith states,

أَعْظَمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ جُرْمًا مَنْ سَأَلَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ لَمْ يُحَرَّمْ، فَحُرِّمَ مِنْ أَجْلِ مَسْأَلَتِه

The worst criminal among the Muslims is he who asks if a matter is unlawful (or not), and it becomes unlawful because of his asking about it.

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى فَرَضَ فَرَائِضَ فَلَا تُضَيِّعُوهَا، وَحَدَّ حُدُودًا فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا، وَحَرَّمَ أَشْيَاءَ فَلَا تَنْتَهِكُوهَا، وَسَكَتَ عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ رَحْمَةً بِكُمْ غَيْرَ نِسْيَانٍ فَلَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا

Allah, the Most Honored, has ordained some obligations, so do not ignore them; has set some limits, so do not trespass them; has prohibited some things, so do not commit them; and has left some things without rulings, out of mercy for you, not that He forgot them, so do not ask about them.

Allah said next,

قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُواْ بِهَا كَافِرِينَ ﴿١٠٢﴾  

Before you, a community asked such questions, then on that account they became disbelievers.

meaning, some people before your time asked such questions and they were given answers. They did not believe the answers, so they became disbelievers because of that. This occurred because these rulings were made plain to them, yet they did not benefit at all from that, for they asked about these things not to gain guidance, but only to mock and defy.

103

 مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ مِن بَحِيرَةٍ وَلاَ سَآئِبَةٍ وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ وَلاَ حَامٍ وَلَـكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Ham. But those who disbelieve invent lies against Allah, and most of them have no understanding.

104

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءَابَاءَنَآ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ ءَابَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ

And when it is said to them: "Come to what Allah has revealed and unto the Messenger.'' They say: "Enough for us is that which we found our fathers following,'' even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever and no guidance.  

The Meaning of Bahirah, Sa'ibah, Wasilah and Ham

Allah says;

مَا جَعَلَ اللّهُ مِن بَحِيرَةٍ وَلاَ سَآئِبَةٍ وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ وَلاَ حَامٍ ...  

Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Ham.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said,

"The Bahirah is a female camel whose milk was spared for the idols and no one was allowed to milk it.

The Sa'ibah is a female camel let loose for free pasture for the idols, and nothing was allowed to be carried on it.

Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

رَأَيْتُ عَمْرَو بْنَ عَامِرٍ الْخُزَاعِيَّ يَجُرُّ قُصْبَهُ فِي النَّارِ، وَكَانَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ سَيَّبَ السَّوَائِب

I saw `Amr bin Amir Al-Khuza`i pulling his intestines behind him in the Fire, and he was the first to start the practice of Sa'ibah.

As for the Wasilah, it is a female camel set free for the idols, because it had given birth to a she-camel in its first delivery and then another she-camel at its second delivery. They used to set such camel free if she gave birth to two females without a male between them.

As for the Ham, it is a male camel which would be freed from work for the idols, after it had finished a number of copulations assigned for it. The male camel freed from work in this case is called a Hami.''

Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَنْ سَيَّبَ السَّوَائِبَ وَعَبَدَ الْأَصْنَامَ أَبُو خُزَاعَةَ عَمْرُو بْنُ عَامِرٍ، وَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُهُ يَجُرُّ أَمْعَاءَهُ فِي النَّار

The first to start the practice of Sa'ibah and worshipping idols was Abu Khuza`ah, `Amr bin Amir. I saw him pulling his intestines behind him in the Fire.

The `Amr mentioned in the above Hadith is the son of Luhay bin Qam`ah, one of the chiefs of the tribe of Khuza`ah who were the caretakers of the House of Allah after the tribe of Jurhum, (and before the Prophet's tribe, Quraysh). He was the first to change the religion of Ibrahim (Al-Khalil in Makkah) bringing idol worshipping to the area of Hijaz (Western Arabia). He also called the foolish people to worship idols and offer sacrifices to them and started these ignorant rituals concerning the animals as well as other rituals of Jahiliyyah.

Allah said in Surah Al-An`am,

وَجَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالاٌّنْعَامِ نَصِيباً

And they assign to Allah a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created... (6:136)

As for the Bahirah, Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said,

"It is the female camel that has given delivery five times. After that, they looked at the fifth delivery, if it were a male, they would slaughter it and give it to the men only and not the women. If it were a female, they would cut off its ears and proclaim, `This is a Bahirah (no one is allowed to milk it).'''

As-Suddi and others mentioned a similar statement.

As for the Sa'ibah, Mujahid said that; it is for sheep, and mentioned a similar meaning as for Bahirah.

He said that it delivers six females and then a male, female or two males, and that they then would slaughter it (the newly born sheep) and feed its meat to the men, but not to the woman.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that; the Sa'ibah is the female camel that delivers ten females, without giving birth to a single male between them. They would then set it free and no one was allowed to ride it, cut its wool or milk it, except for a guest.

Abu Rawq said, "The Sa'ibah was made as such when one goes out for some of his affairs and succeeds in whatever he intended to do. So he would designate a Sa'ibah from his property, a female camel or another type, and would set it free for the idols (in appreciation for his success). Then, whatever this camel gave birth to was set free for the idols too.''

As-Suddi said, "When one's affair was successful, or if he was cured from an illness, or if his wealth increased, he would set some of his wealth free for the idols. Those who would try to acquire any of the Sa'ibah property were punished in this world.''

As for the Wasilah, Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said, "It is the sheep that gives birth seven times, if she gives birth to a male or a female stillborn at its seventh delivery, the men, but not the women, would eat from it. If she gave birth to a female, or a female and a male, they would set them free, proclaiming (about the male in this case), His sister Wasalat (literally, `connected him to being forbidden on us').''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that, وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ  (Or a Wasilah), "It is the female camel that gives delivery to a female and then another female at its second delivery. They would call such a camel a Wasilah, proclaiming that she has Wasalat (connected) between two females without giving birth to a male between them. So they used to cut off the ears of the Wasilah and let it roam free to pasture for their idols.''

A similar explanation was reported from Imam Malik bin Anas.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "The Wasilah sheep is the ewe that gives birth to ten females in five deliveries, giving birth to two females at each delivery. This sheep would be called Wasilah and would be set free. Whatever this sheep delivers afterwards, male or female, would be given to the men, but not the women, but if it delivers a stillborn, men and women would share it!''

As for the Ham, Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, "If a man's camel performs ten copulations, they would call him a Ham, `So set him free.,''

Similar was reported from Abu Rawq and Qatadah.

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said, "The Ham is the male camel whose offspring gave birth to their own offspring; they would then proclaim, `This camel has Hama (protected) its back.' Therefore, they would not carry anything on this male camel, cut his wool, prevent him from grazing wherever he likes or drinking from any pool, even if the pool did not belong to its owner.''

Ibn Wahb said, "I heard Malik saying, `As for the Ham, it is the male camel who is assigned a certain number of copulations, and when having finished what was assigned to him, would have peacock feathers placed on him and be set free.'''

Other opinions were also mentioned to explain this Ayah.

There is a Hadith on this subject that Ibn Abi Hatim collected from Abu Ishaq As-Subay`i from Al-Ahwas Al-Jushami from his father Malik bin Nadlah who said,

"I came to the Prophet wearing old clothes. So he said to me,

هَلْ لَكَ مِنْ مَال ٍ؟

Do you have any property?

I said, `Yes.'

He asked,

مِنْ أَيِّ الْمَالِ ؟

What type?

I said, `All types; camels, sheep, horses and slaves.'

He said,

فَإِذَا آتَاكَ اللهُ مَالًا فَلْيُرَ عَلَيْك

If Allah gives you wealth, then let it show on you.

He then asked,

تُنْتِجُ إِبِلُكَ وَافِيَةً آذَانُهَا ؟

Do your camels deliver calves that have full ears?

I said, `Yes, and do camels give birth but to whole calves.'

He said,

فَلَعَلَّكَ تَأْخُذُ الْمُوسَى فَتَقْطَعَ آذَانَ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْهَا وَتَقُولَ: هَذِهِ بَحِيَرةٌ، تَشُقَّ آذَانَ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْهَا وَتَقُولَ: هَذِهِ حُرِّم

Do you take the knife and cut off the ears of some of them saying, `This is a Bahirah,' and tear the ears of some of them and proclaim, `This is Sacred?'

I said, `Yes.'

He said,

فَلَا تَفْعَلْ إِنَّ كُلَّ مَا آتَاكَ اللهُ لَكَ حِل

Then do not do that, for all the wealth that Allah has given you is allowed for you.

Then he said;

مَا جَعَلَ اللّهُ مِن بَحِيرَةٍ وَلاَ سَآئِبَةٍ وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ وَلاَ حَامٍ ...

Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Ham.

As for the Bahirah, it is the animal whose ears were cut, one would not allow his wife, daughters, or any of his household to benefit from its wool, hair or milk. But, if it died, they would share it.

As for the Sa'ibah, they used to set it free for their idols and announce this fact in the vicinity of the idols.

As for the Wasilah, it is the sheep that gives birth to six offspring. When she delivered for the seventh time, they would cut its ears and horns, saying, `it has Wasalat (connected deliveries),' and they would not slaughter it, hit it or prevent it from drinking from any pool.''

This Hadith was narrated with the addition of the explanation of these words in it.

In another narration for this Hadith from Abu Ishaq from Abu Al-Ahwas, `Awf bin Malik used his own words (i.e., he explained these words not as a part of the Hadith itself) and this is more sound.

Imam Ahmad recorded this Hadith from Sufyan bin Uyaynah, from Abu Az-Za`ra' `Amr bin `Amr, from his uncle Abu Al-Ahwas `Awf bin Malik bin Nadlah from his father, Malik bin Nadlah.

This narration also does not contain the explanation of Bahirah, Ham etc., that is added to the Hadith above, and Allah knows best.

Allah's statement,

... وَلَـكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٠٣﴾

But those who disbelieve invent lies against Allah, and most of them have no understanding.

means, Allah did not legislate these invented rituals and He does not consider them acts of obedience. Rather, it is the idolators who made them into rituals and acts of worship that they used to draw near to Allah. But they did not and will not help them to draw near to Him, rather, these innovations will only harm them.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا ...  

And when it is said to them: "Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger.'' They say: "Enough for us is that which we found our fathers following,''

meaning, if they are called to Allah's religion, Law and commandments and to avoiding what He prohibited, they say, `The ways and practices that we found our fathers and forefathers following are good enough for us. `

Allah said,

...  أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٠٤﴾

even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever and no guidance.  

That is, even though their fathers did not understand or recognize the truth or find its way. Therefore, who would follow their forefathers, except those who are even more ignorant and misguided than they were

105

 يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُمْ مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who believe! Take care of yourselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about (all) that you used to do.

One is Required to Reform Himself First

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٠٥﴾  

O you who believe! Take care of yourselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about (all) that you used to do.

Allah commands His believing servants to reform themselves and to do as many righteous deeds as possible. He also informs them that whoever reforms himself, he would not be affected by the wickedness of the wicked, whether they were his relatives or otherwise.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Qays said,

"Abu Bakr As-Siddiq stood up, thanked Allah and praised Him and then said, `O people! You read this Ayah, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ  (O you who believe! Take care of yourselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error).

You explain it the wrong way. I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

إِنَّ النَّاسَ إِذَا رَأَوُا الْمُنْكَرَ وَلَا يُغَيِّرُونَهُ، يُوشِكُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ يَعُمَّهُمْ بِعِقَابِه

If the people witness evil and do not change it, then Allah is about to send His punishment to encompass them.

I (Qays) also heard Abu Bakr say, `O people! Beware of lying, for lying contradicts faith.'''

106

 يِـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ شَهَـدَةُ بَيْنِكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ حِينَ الْوَصِيَّةِ اثْنَانِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنْكُمْ أَوْ ءَاخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ

O you who believe! When death approaches any of you, and you make a bequest, then take the testimony of two just men of your own folk or two others from outside,

إِنْ أَنتُمْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَأَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةُ الْمَوْتِ تَحْبِسُونَهُمَا مِن بَعْدِ الصَّلوةِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللَّهِ

if you are traveling through the land and the calamity of death befalls you. Detain them both after the Salah (the prayer), (then) if you are in doubt (about their truthfulness), let them both swear by Allah (saying):

إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ لاَ نَشْتَرِى بِهِ ثَمَناً وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَلاَ نَكْتُمُ شَهَـدَةَ اللَّهِ إِنَّآ إِذَاً لَّمِنَ الاٌّثِمِينَ

"We wish not for any worldly gain in this, even though he (the beneficiary) be our near relative. We shall not hide the testimony of Allah, for then indeed we should be of the sinful.''

107

 فَإِنْ عُثِرَ عَلَى أَنَّهُمَا اسْتَحَقَّآ إِثْماً فَآخَرَانِ يِقُومَانُ مَقَامَهُمَا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الاٌّوْلَيَانِ

If it then becomes known that these two had been guilty of sin, let two others stand forth in their places, nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right.

فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللَّهِ لَشَهَـدَتُنَا أَحَقُّ مِن شَهَـدَتِهِمَا وَمَا اعْتَدَيْنَآ إِنَّا إِذاً لَّمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

Let them swear by Allah (saying): "We affirm that our testimony is truer than that of both of them, and that we have not trespassed (the truth), for then indeed we should be of the wrongdoers.''

108

ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِالشَّهَـدَةِ عَلَى وَجْهِهَآ أَوْ يَخَـفُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَـنٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ

That should make it closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape, or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths.

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْمَعُواْ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ

And have Taqwa of Allah and listen (with obedience to Him). And Allah guides not the rebellious people.

Testimony of Two Just Witnesses for the Final Will and Testament

This honorable Ayah contains a glorious ruling from Allah.

Allah's statement,

يِا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ شَهَادَةُ بَيْنِكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ حِينَ الْوَصِيَّةِ اثْنَانِ ...  

O you who believe! When death approaches any of you, and you make a bequest, then take the testimony of two...

meaning that there should be two witnesses in such cases,

... ذَوَا عَدْلٍ ...

just men...

thus, describing them as just,

... مِّنكُمْ ...

of your own folk, (Muslims).

... أَوْ آخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ ...

or two others from outside,

non-Muslims, meaning the People of the Book, according to Ibn Abbas as Ibn Abi Hatim recorded.

Allah said next,

... إِنْ أَنتُمْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ ...

if you are traveling through the land, (on a journey),

... فَأَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةُ الْمَوْتِ ...

and the calamity of death befalls you.

These are two conditions that permit using non-Muslims from among the Dhimmis for witnesses when there are no Muslims present:

When one is traveling and needs to write a will, as Sharih Al-Qadi said. Ibn Jarir recorded that Sharih said,

"The witness of the Jews and Christians is not allowed except while traveling, and even then only to witness the dictation of the will.''

Allah's statement,

... تَحْبِسُونَهُمَا مِن بَعْدِ الصَّلاَةِ ...

Detain them both after the Salah (the prayer),

According to Al-Awfi who reported it from Ibn Abbas, refers to the `Asr prayer.

This is the same explanation reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Qatadah, Ikrimah and Muhammad bin Sirin.

As for Az-Zuhri, he said that; they are detained after Muslim prayer (i.e., in congregation). Therefore, these two witnesses will be detained after a congregational prayer,

... فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللّهِ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ ...

let them both swear by Allah if you are in doubt.

meaning, if you are in doubt that they might have committed treachery or theft, then they should swear by Allah,

... لاَ نَشْتَرِي بِهِ ...

We wish not in this,

According to Muqatil bin Hayyan, in our vows.

... ثَمَنًا ...

for any worldly gain,

of this soon to end life.

... وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى ...

even though he be our near relative.

meaning, if the beneficiary be our near relative, we will still not compromise on the truth.

... وَلاَ نَكْتُمُ شَهَادَةَ اللّهِ ...

We shall not hide the testimony of Allah,

thus stating that the testimony is Allah's, as a way of respecting it and valuing its significance.

... إِنَّا إِذًا لَّمِنَ الآثِمِينَ ﴿١٠٦﴾

for then indeed we should be of the sinful.''

فَإِنْ عُثِرَ عَلَى أَنَّهُمَا اسْتَحَقَّا إِثْمًا فَآخَرَانِ يِقُومَانُ مَقَامَهُمَا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَوْلَيَانِ ...

If it then becomes known that these two had been guilty of sin, let two others stand forth in their places, nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right.

...  فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللّهِ لَشَهَادَتُنَا أَحَقُّ مِن شَهَادَتِهِمَا ...

Let them swear by Allah (saying): "We affirm that our testimony is truer than that of both of them...''

Meaning, our testimony that they have cheated is more truthful than the testimony that they have offered,

... وَمَا اعْتَدَيْنَا ...

and that we have not trespassed (the truth),

when we accused them of treachery,

... إِنَّا إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٠٧﴾

for then indeed we should be of the wrongdoers.

if we had lied about them.

This is the oath of the heirs, and preference is to be given to their saying. Just as in the case with the oath of relative of a murdered person if he attempts to tarnish the case of the murdered person. So his family takes an oath in defense of his honor. This is discussed in the studies of the oaths in the books of Ahkam.

Allah's statement,

ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِالشَّهَادَةِ عَلَى وَجْهِهَا ...  

That should make it closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape (and thus accepted),

means, the ruling requiring the two Dhimmi witnesses to swear, if there is a doubt that they were not truthful, might compel them to admit to the testimony in its true form.

Allah's statement,

... أَوْ يَخَافُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ ...

or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths.

means, requiring them to swear by Allah might encourage them to admit to the true testimony because they respect swearing by Allah and they glorify and revere Him. They also fear exposure if the heirs of the deceased are required to swear instead of them. In this case, the heirs would swear and earn the rightful inheritance that the two witnesses failed to declare. This is why Allah said, أَوْ يَخَافُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ  (or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths).

then,

... وَاتَّقُوا اللّهَ ...

And have Taqwa of Allah,

 in all of your affairs,

... وَاسْمَعُواْ ...

and listen,

and obey,

... وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿١٠٨﴾

And Allah guides not the rebellious people.

who do not obey Him or follow His Law.

109

 يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ

On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)!''

قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ

They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is hidden.''

The Messengers Will be Asked About Their Nations

Allah says;

يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ  قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ ﴿١٠٩﴾  

On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)!'' They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is hidden.''

Allah states that on the Day of Resurrection, He will ask the Messengers about how their nations, to whom He sent them, answered and responded to their teachings.

Allah said in other Ayat,

فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers. (7:6)

and,

فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْـَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do. (15:92-93)

According to Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and As-Suddi, The statement of the Messengers here, لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا (We have no knowledge), is the result of the horror of that Day.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ath-Thawri said that Al-A`mash said that Mujahid said about the Ayah, يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ  (On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received)!''

They will become afraid and reply,  لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا (We have no knowledge),

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this explanation.

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah,

"They will say to the Lord, Most Honored, `We have no knowledge beyond what we know, and even that, You have more knowledge of them than us.''

This response is out of respect before the Lord, Most Honored, and it means, we have no knowledge compared to Your encompassing knowledge. Therefore, our knowledge only grasped the visible behavior of these people, not the secrets of their hearts. You are the Knower of everything, Who has encompassing knowledge of all things, and our knowledge compared to Your knowledge is similar to not having any knowledge at all, for أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ  (only You are the Knower of all that is hidden).

110

 إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ

 (Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam!

اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِى عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى وَلِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِى الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً

Remember My favor to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh - il-Qudus (Jibril) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity;

وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ

and when I taught you the Book, the Hikmah, the Tawrah and the Injil;

وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِى فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْراً بِإِذْنِى وَتُبْرِىءُ الاٌّكْمَهَ وَالاٌّبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِى وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوتَى بِإِذْنِى

and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My permission;

وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: `This is nothing but evident magic.'''

111

 وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ ءَامِنُواْ بِى وَبِرَسُولِى قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ

"And when I Awhaytu (put in the hearts of) Al- Hawariyyin to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: `We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.'''

Reminding `Isa of the Favors that Allah Granted him

Allah said,

إِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ ...  

(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam!

Allah mentions how He blessed His servant and Messenger, `Isa, son of Maryam, and the miracles and extraordinary acts He granted him.

Allah said,

... اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ ...

Remember My favor to you,

when I created you from your mother, without male intervention, and made you a sign and clear proof of My perfect power over all things.

...وَعَلَى وَالِدَتِكَ ...

And to your mother,

when I made you testify to her chastity and you thus absolved her from the sin that the unjust, ignorant liars accused her of.

... إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ...

when I supported you with Ruh-il-Qudus,

the angel Jibril, and made you a Prophet, calling to Allah in the cradle and manhood. I made you speak in the cradle, and you testified that your mother was free from any immoral behavior, and you proclaimed that you worship Me. You also conveyed the news of My Message and invited them to worship Me.

... تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً ...

so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity;

Meaning you called the people to Allah in childhood and in maturity.

And the word Tukallim means invited, because his speaking to people while a child is nothing strange by itself.

Allah's statement,

... وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ ...

(And when I taught you the Book and the Hikmah,) the power of writing and understanding,

... وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ ...

(and the Tawrah,) which was revealed to Musa, son of `Imran, who spoke to Allah directly.

Allah's statement,

... وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي ...

and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My permission,

means: `you shaped it in the figure of a bird by My permission, and it became a bird with My permission,

... فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي ...

and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My permission,

after you blew into it'. Then, it became a flying bird with a soul by Allah's permission.

Allah said;

... وَتُبْرِىءُ الأَكْمَهَ وَالأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي ...

and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My permission,

This was explained before in Surah Al Imran and we do not need to repeat it here.

Allah's statement,

... وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوتَى بِإِذْنِي ...

And when you brought forth the dead by My permission,

meaning, you called them and they rose from their graves by Allah's leave, power, intent and will. Allah said next,

... وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١١٠﴾

and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but evident magic.''

Meaning: `remember My favor, when I stopped the Children of Israel from harming you, when you brought them the clear proofs and evidence, testifying to your Prophethood and Message from Me to them. They rejected you and accused you of being a magician and tried to kill you by crucifixion, but I saved you, raised you to Me, purified you from their vulgarity and protected you from their harm.' The wording of this Ayah indicates that `Isa will be reminded of these favors on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah used the past tense in these Ayat indicating that it is a forgone matter that will certainly occur.

This Ayah also contains some of the secrets of the Unseen that Allah revealed to His Messenger Muhammad.

Allah said,

وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ آمِنُواْ بِي وَبِرَسُولِي ...  

And when I (Allah) Awhaytu Al-Hawariyyin to believe in Me and My Messenger.

This is also a reminder of Allah's favor on `Isa, by making disciples and companions for him.

It is also said that Awhaytu in the Ayah means, `inspired', just as in another Ayah, Allah said;

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ

And We inspired the mother of Musa (saying): Suckle him... (28:7)

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِى مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ

ثُمَّ كُلِى مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَتِ فَاسْلُكِى سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلاً

And your Lord Awha (inspired) the bee, saying: "Take habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).'' (16:68-69)

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented about the Hawariyyun, "Allah inspired them'',

As-Suddi said, "`He put in their hearts,''

and the Hawariyyun said,

... قَالُوَاْ آمَنَّا وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿١١١﴾

they said: `We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.

112

 إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ أَن يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ

(Remember) when Al-Hawariyun said: "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down to us a Ma'idah from heaven!''

قَالَ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

`Isa said: "Have Taqwa of Allah, if you are indeed believers.''

113

 قَالُواْ نُرِيدُ أَن نَّأْكُلَ مِنْهَا وَتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُنَا وَنَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ صَدَقْتَنَا وَنَكُونَ عَلَيْهَا مِنَ الشَّـهِدِينَ

They said: "We wish to eat thereof and to be stronger in faith, and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses. ''

114

قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَآ أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيداً لاًّوَّلِنَا وَءَاخِرِنَا وَءَايَةً مِّنْكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ

`Isa, son of Maryam, said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us -- for the first and the last of us -- a festival and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.''

115

قَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّى مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ فَإِنِّى أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَاباً لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَداً مِّنَ الْعَـلَمِينَ

Allah said: "I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among the `Alamin.''

Sending Down the Ma'idah

This is the story of the Ma'idah, the name of which this Surah bears, Surah Al-Ma'idah.

This is also among the favors that Allah granted His servant and Messenger, `Isa, accepting his request to send the Ma'idah down, and doing so as clear proof and unequivocal evidence.

Allah said,

إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ ...  

(Remember) when Al-Hawaryun said...

the disciples of `Isa said,

... يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ أَن يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاء ...

O `Isa, son of Maryam! Can your Lord send down to us a Ma'idah from heaven!

The Ma'idah is the table that has food on it.

Some scholars said that; the disciples requested this table because they were poor and deprived. So they asked `Isa to supplicate to Allah to send a table of food down to them that they could eat from every day and thus be more able to perform the acts of worship.

... قَالَ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١١٢﴾

`Isa said: "Have Taqwa of Allah, if you are indeed believers.''

`Isa answered them by saying, `Have Taqwa of Allah! And do not ask for this, for it may become a trial for you, but trust in Allah for your provisions, if you are truly believers.'

قَالُواْ نُرِيدُ أَن نَّأْكُلَ مِنْهَا ...  

They said: "We wish to eat thereof.''

we need to eat from it,

... وَتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُنَا ...

and to be stronger in faith,

when we witness it descending from heaven as sustenance for us.

... وَنَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ صَدَقْتَنَا ...

and to know that you have indeed told us the truth,

of your Message and our faith in you increases and also our knowledge.

... وَنَكُونَ عَلَيْهَا مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ﴿١١٣﴾

and that we ourselves be its witnesses.

testifying that it is a sign from Allah, as proof and evidence that you are a Prophet, and attesting to the truth of what you brought us.

قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَآئِدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاء تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيداً لِّأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا  ...

`Isa, son of Maryam, said: "O Allah, our Lord! Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us -- for the first and the last of us -- a festival...''

As-Suddi commented that the Ayah means, "We will take that day on which the table was sent down as a day of celebration, that we and those who come after us would consider sacred.''

Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that it means, "A day of prayer.''

... وَآيَةً مِّنكَ ...

and a sign from You.

proving that You are able to do all things and to accept my supplication, so that they accept what I convey to them from You.

... وَارْزُقْنَا ...

and provide us sustenance,

a delicious food from You that does not require any effort or hardship.

... وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ ﴿١١٤﴾

for You are the Best of sustainers.''

قَالَ اللّهُ إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ ...  

Allah said: "I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves...''

by denying this sign and defying its implication, O `Isa,

... فَإِنِّي أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١١٥﴾

then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among the Alamin.

among the people of your time.

Allah said in similar Ayat,

وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ

And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir`awn's people to enter the severest torment!'' (40:46)

and,

إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ

Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire. (4:145)

Ibn Jarir said that Abdullah bin `Amr said, "Those who will receive the severest torment on the Day of Resurrection are three:

· The hypocrites,

· those from the people of Al-Ma'idah who disbelieved in it, and

· the people of Fir`awn.''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"They said to `Isa, son of Maryam, `Supplicate to Allah to send down to us from heaven, a table spread with food.'

He also said, `So the angels brought the table down containing seven fish and seven pieces of bread and placed it before them. So the last group of people ate as the first group did.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ishaq bin Abdullah said that; the table was sent down to `Isa son of Maryam having seven pieces of bread and seven fish, and they ate from it as much as they wished. But when some of them stole food from it, saying, "It might not come down tomorrow,'' the table ascended.

These statements testify that the table was sent down to the Children of Israel during the time of `Isa, son of Maryam, as a result of Allah's accepting his supplication to Him. The apparent wording of this Ayah also states so, قَالَ اللّهُ إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ  (Allah said: "I am going to send it down unto you...'').

116

 وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَءَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِى وَأُمِّىَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ

And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah!'''

قَالَ سُبْحَـنَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِى أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِى بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ

He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it.

فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِى وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ

You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the Knower of all that is hidden and unseen.''

117

 مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَآ أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبَّكُمْ

"Never did I say to them ought except what You (Allah) did command me to say: `Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.'

وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِى كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them, but when You took me (up), You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.''

118

إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

"If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.''

`Isa Rejects Shirk and Affirms Tawhid

Allah says;

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ ...  

And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection):

Allah will also speak to His servant and Messenger, `Isa son of Maryam, peace be upon him, saying to him on the Day of Resurrection in the presence of those who worshipped `Isa and his mother as gods besides Allah,

... يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ ...

O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah!'

This is a threat and a warning to Christians, chastising them in public, as Qatadah and others said, and Qatadah mentioned this Ayah as evidence,

هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ

"This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth.'' (5:119)

Allah's statement,

... قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ ...

He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say)...

contains Allah's direction for `Isa to utter the perfect answer.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said,

"`Isa will be taught his argument in reply to what Allah will ask him, وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ  يَاعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ  (And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah!').''

Abu Hurayrah then narrated that the Prophet said that Allah taught `Isa to say,

سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ

Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say)...

Ath-Thawri narrated this Hadith from Ma`mar from Ibn Tawus from Tawus.

`Isa's statement,

... إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ ...

Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it.

means, had I said it, You, my Lord, would have known it, for nothing escapes Your knowledge. Rather, I have not said these words nor did the thought even cross my mind, this why he said,

... تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ ﴿١١٦﴾

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ ...  

You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. Never did I say to them ought except what You (Allah) did command me to say... (and convey).

... أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ...

Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.

I only called them to what You sent me with and commanded me to convey to them, أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ  (Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord) and this is what I conveyed to them,

.... وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ ...

And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them,

I was a witness over what they did when I was amongst them.

... فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ ﴿١١٧﴾

but when You took me (up), You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"The Messenger of Allah stood up once and gave us a speech in which he said,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَحْشُورُونَ إِلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حُفَاةً، عُرَاةً، غُرْلا

O people! You will be gathered to Allah while barefooted, naked and uncircumcised;

كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ

As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (21:104)

وَإِنَّ أَوَّلَ الْخَلَائِقِ يُكْسَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِبْرَاهِيمُ، أَلَا وَإِنَّهُ يُجَاءُ بِرِجَالٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي فَيُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ، فَأَقُولُ: أَصْحَابِي، فَيُقَالُ:إِنَّكَ لَا تَدْرِي مَا أَحْدَثُوا بَعْدَكَ، فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ الصَّالِح

The first among the creation who will be covered with clothes will be Ibrahim. Some men from my Ummah will be brought and taken to the left (to the Fire) and I will yell, `They are my followers!' It will be said, `You do not know what they innovated after you (in religion).' So I will say just as the righteous servant (`Isa) said,

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them, but when You took me (up), You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.

فَيُقَالُ: إِنَّ هؤُلَاءِ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُم

It will further be said, `These people kept reverting back on their heels after you left them.'''

Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith in the explanation of this Ayah.

Allah said;

إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ  ﴿١١٨﴾  

If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.

All matters refer back to Allah, for He does what He Wills and none can question Him about what He does, while He will question them.

This Ayah also shows the crime of the Christians who invented a lie against Allah and His Messenger, thus making a rival, wife and son for Allah. Allah is glorified in that He is far above what they attribute to Him. So this Ayah has tremendous value and delivers unique news.

119

 قَالَ اللَّهُ هَـذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّـدِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ

Allah will say: "This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth:

لَهُمْ جَنَّـتٌ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً

Theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) -- they shall abide therein forever.

رَّضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ ذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success.

120

 للَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا فِيهِنَّ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is able to do all things.

Only Truth will be of Benefit on the Day of Resurrection

Allah says;

قَالَ اللّهُ ...  

Allah will say:

Allah answers His servant and Messenger `Isa, son of Maryam, after he disowns the disbelieving Christians who lied about Allah and His Messenger, and when `Isa refers their end to the will of his Lord.

...هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ ...

This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth.

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas commented, "This is the Day when Tawhid will benefit those who believed in it.''

... لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ...

Theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) -- they shall abide therein forever.

and they will never be removed from it.

... رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ ...

Allah is pleased with them and they with Him.

وَرِضْوَنٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ

But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah. (9:72)

We will mention the Hadiths about this Ayah (9:72) later on.

Allah's statement,

... ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿١١٩﴾

That is the great success.

means, this is the great success, other than which there is no greater success.

Allah said in another Ayat,

لِمِثْلِ هَـذَا فَلْيَعْمَلِ الْعَـمِلُونَ

For the like of this let the workers work. (37:61)

and,

وَفِى ذَلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَـفِسُونَ

And for this let (all) those strive who want to strive. (83:26)

Allah's statement,

لِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا فِيهِنَّ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٢٠﴾

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, and He is able to do all things.

means, He created everything, owns everything, controls the affairs of everything and is able to do all things. Therefore, everything and everyone are in His domain and under His power and will. There is none like Him, nor is there rival, ancestor, son, or wife for Him, nor a lord or god besides Him.

Ibn Wahb said that he heard Huyay bin Abdullah saying that Abu Abdur-Rahman Al-Habli said that Abdullah bin `Amr said, "The last revealed Surah was Surah Al-Ma'idah.''

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Ma'idah. To Allah be praise and blessings.

*********

© Copy Rights:

Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana,

Lahore, Pakistan

Email: cmaj37@gmail.com

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