Monday, July 22, 2013

[2-250] Al-Mash`ar Al-Haram

Al-Mash`ar Al-Haram
and `Arafat and said to him, `Have you `Arafta (known, learned) what I showed you' thrice. Ibrahim said, `Yes I did.''' Similar statements were reported from Abu Mijlaz and Qatadah. a

[رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَـتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ ]

(129. "Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur'an), and purify them. Verily, You are the Mighty, the Wise.'')



Ibrahim's Supplication that Allah sends the Prophet

Allah mentioned Ibrahim's supplication for the benefit of the people of the Sacred Area (to grant them security and provision), and it was perfected by invoking Allah to send a Messenger from his offspring. This accepted supplication, from Ibrahim, conformed with Allah's appointed destiny that Muhammad be sent as a Messenger among the Ummiyyin and to all non-Arabs, among the Jinns and mankind.

Hence, Ibrahim was the first person to mention the Prophet to the people. Ever since, Muhammad was known to the people, until the last Prophet was sent among the Children of Israel, Jesus the son of Mary, who mentioned Muhammad by name. Jesus addressed the Children of Israel saying,

[إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّراً بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِى مِن بَعْدِى اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ]

(I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, confirming what is before me in the Tawrah, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad) (61:6)

This is why the Prophet said ,

«دَعْوَةُ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَبُشْرَى عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَم»

(The supplication of my father Ibrahim and the glad tidings brought forth by Jesus the son of Mary.)

The Prophet said,

«وَرَأَتْ أُمِّي أَنَّهُ خَرَجَ مِنْهَا نُورٌ أَضَاءَتْ لَهُ قُصُورُ الشَّام»

(My mother saw a light that went out of her and radiated the palaces of Ash-Sham.)

It was said that the Prophet's mother saw this vision when she was pregnant with, narrated this vision to her people, and the story became popular among them. The light mentioned in the Hadith appeared in Ash-Sham (Greater Syria), testifying to what will later occur when the Prophet's religion will be firmly established in Ash-Sham area. This is why by the end of time, Ash-Sham will be a refuge for Islam and its people. Also, Jesus the son of Mary will descend in Ash-Sham, next to the eastern white minaret in Damascus. The Two Sahihs stated,

«لَا تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ وَلَا مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ اللهِ وَهُمْ كَذَلِك»

وفي صحيح البخاري

«وَهُمْ بالشَّام»

(There will always be a group of my Ummah who will be on the truth, undeterred by those who fail or oppose them, until the command of Allah comes while they are on this.)

Al-Bukhari added in his Sahih, (And they will reside in Ash-Sham.)



The Meaning of Al-Kitab wal-Hikmah

Allah said,

[وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ]

(and instruct them in the Book) meaning, Al-Qur'an,

[وَالْحِكْــمَةِ]

(and Al-Hikmah) meaning, the Sunnah, as Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Abu Malik asserted. It was also said that `Al-Hikmah', means `comprehension in the religion', and both meanings are correct. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said, that Ibn `Abbas said that,

[وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ]

(and purify them) means, "With the obedience of Allah.''

[إِنَّكَ أَنتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ]

(Verily, You are the Mighty, the Wise).

This Ayah stated that Allah is able to do anything, and nothing escapes His ability. He is Wise in His decisions, His actions, and He puts everything in its rightful place due to His perfect knowledge, wisdom and justice.

[وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَهِيمَ إِلاَّ مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ وَلَقَدِ اصْطَفَيْنَـهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِنَّهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ - إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - وَوَصَّى بِهَآ إِبْرَهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَـبَنِىَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ ]

(130. And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who fools himself Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous). (131. When his Lord said to him, "Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!'' He said, "I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).'') (132. And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya`qub (Jacob) (saying), "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.'')



Only the Fools deviate from Ibrahim's Religion

Allah refuted the disbelievers' innovations of associating others with Allah in defiance of the religion of Ibrahim, the leader of the upright. Ibrahim always singled out Allah in worship, with sincerity, and he did not call upon others besides Allah. He did not commit Shirk, even for an instant. He disowned every other deity that was being worshipped instead of Allah and defied all his people in this regard. Prophet Ibrahim said,

[فَلَماَّ رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَةً قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّى هَـذَآ أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يقَوْمِ إِنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ - إِنِّى وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِىَ لِلَّذِى فَطَرَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ حَنِيفاً وَمَآ أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ]

(O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners (in worship with Allah). Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism), and I am not of Al-Mushrikin.) (6:78-79). Also, Allah said,

[وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِى بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ - إِلاَّ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ ]

(And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people: "Verily, I am innocent of what you worship. "Except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allah alone) Who did create me; and verily, He will guide me'') (43:26-27),

[وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ ]

(And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he (Ibrahim) had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him (Ibrahim) that he (his father) was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah (one who invokes Allah with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing) (9:114), and,

[إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَـنِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ - شَاكِراً لانْعُمِهِ اجْتَبَـهُ وَهَدَاهُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ - وَءاتَيْنَـهُ فِى الْدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَإِنَّهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ]

(Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah (a leader having all the good qualities, or a nation), obedient to Allah, Hanif (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikin. (He was) thankful for His (Allah's) favors. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.) (16:120-122).

This is why Allah said here,

[وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَهِيمَ]

(And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim), meaning, abandons his path, way and method

[إِلاَّ مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ]

(except him who fools himself) meaning, who commits injustice against himself by deviating from the truth, to wickedness. Such a person will be defying the path of he who was chosen in this life to be a true Imam, from the time he was young, until Allah chose him to be His Khalil, and who shall be among the successful in the Last Life. Is there anything more insane than deviating from this path and following the path of misguidance and deviation instead Is there more injustice than this Allah said,

[إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ]

(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed) (31:13).

Abu Al-`Aliyah and Qatadah said, "This Ayah (2:130) was revealed about the Jews who invented a practice that did not come from Allah and that defied the religion of Ibrahim.'' Allah's statement,

[مَا كَانَ إِبْرَهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ - إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَـذَا النَّبِىُّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَاللَّهُ وَلِىُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ]

(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin. Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.) (3:67-68), testifies to this fact.

Allah said next,

[إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ]

(When his Lord said to him, "Submit (i. e. be a Muslim)!'' He said, "I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).'')

This Ayah indicates that Allah commanded Ibrahim to be sincere with Him and to abide and submit to Him; Ibrahim perfectly adhered to Allah's command. Allah's statement,

[وَوَصَّى بِهَآ إِبْرَهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ]

(And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Ya`qub) means, Ibrahim commanded his offspring to follow this religion, that is, Islam, for Allah. Or, the Ayah might be referring to Ibrahim's words,

[أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ]

(I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists)).

This means that these Prophets loved these words so much that they preserved them until the time of death and advised their children to adhere to them after them. Similarly, Allah said,

[وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَـقِيَةً فِى عَقِبِهِ]

(And he (Ibrahim) made it [i.e. La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone)] a Word lasting among his offspring, (true Monotheism)) (43:28).

It might be that Ibrahim advised his children, including Jacob, Isaac's son, who were present. It appears, and Allah knows best, that Isaac was endowed with Jacob, during the lifetime of Ibrahim and Sarah, for the good news includes both of them in Allah's statement,

[فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ]

(But We gave her (Sarah) glad tidings of Ishaq (Isaac), and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub (Jacob)) (11:71).

Also, if Jacob was not alive then, there would be no use here in mentioning him specifically among Isaac's children. Also, Allah said in Surat Al-`Ankabut,

[وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَـبَ]

(And We bestowed on him (Ibrahim), Ishaq and Ya`qub, and We ordained among his offspring prophethood and the Book.) (29:27), and,

[وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً]

(And We bestowed upon him Ishaq, and (a grandson) Ya`qub) (21:72), thus, indicating that this occurred during Ibrahim's lifetime. Also, Jacob built Bayt Al-Maqdis, as earlier books testified. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which Masjid was built first' He said, (Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Al-Ka`bah).) I said, `Then' He said, (Bayt Al- Maqdis.) I said, `How many years later' He said, (Forty years. )'' Further, the advice that Jacob gave to his children, which we will soon mention, testifies that Jacob was among those who received the advice mentioned in Ayat above (2:130-132).



Adhering to Tawhid until Death

Allah said,

[يَـبَنِىَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ]

((Saying), "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.'') meaning, perform righteous deeds during your lifetime and remain on this path, so that Allah will endow you with the favor of dying upon it. Usually, one dies upon the path that he lived on and is resurrected according to what he died on. Allah, the Most Generous, helps those who seek to do good deeds to remain on the righteous path.

This by no means contradicts the authentic Hadith that says,

«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتّـى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّار فَيَدْخُلُهَا. وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بعَمَلِ أَهلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَو ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا»

(Man might perform the works of the people of Paradise until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from it, then the Book (destiny) takes precedence, and he performs the works of the people of the Fire and thus enters it. Also, man might perform the works of the people of the Fire until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from the Fire, but the Book takes precedence and he performs the works of the people of Paradise and thus enters it.) Allah said, (92:5-10),

[فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَى وَاتَّقَى - وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَى - فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَى - وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَى - وَكَذَّبَ بِالْحُسْنَى - فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْعُسْرَى ]

(As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him. And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And belies Al-Husna (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah). We will make smooth for him the path for evil),

[أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَآءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِى قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَآئِكَ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ - تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم وَلاَ تُسْـَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ]

n(133. Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub (Jacob) When he said unto his sons, "What will you worship after me'' They said, "We shall worship your AIlah (God ـ Allah) the Ilah of your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma`il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), One Ilah, and to Him we submit (in Islam)).'' (134. That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.)




Ya`qub's Will and Testament to His Children upon His Death

This Ayah contains Allah's criticism of the Arab pagans among the offspring of Isma`il as well as the disbelievers among the Children of Israel Jacob the son of Isaac, the son of Ibrahim. When death came to Jacob, he advised his children to worship Allah alone without partners. He said to them,

[مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِى قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَآئِكَ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ]

("What will you worship after me'' They said, "We shall worship your Ilah (God ـ Allah) the Ilah of your fathers, Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq,'')

Mentioning Isma`il here is a figure of speech, because Isma`il is Jacob's uncle. An-Nahas said that the Arabs call the uncle a father, as Al-Qurtubi mentioned).

This Ayah is used as evidence that the grandfather is called a father and inherits, rather than the brothers (i.e. when his son dies), as Abu Bakr asserted, according to Al-Bukhari who narrated Abu Bakr's statement from Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Az-Zubayr. Al-Bukhari then commented that there are no opposing opinions regarding this subject. This is also the opinion of `A'ishah the Mother of the believers, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Tawus and `Ata', Malik, Ash-Shaf`i and Ahmad said that the inheritance is divided between the grandfather and the brothers. It was reported that this was also the opinion of `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, bin Mas`ud, Zayd bin Thabit and several scholars among the Salaf and later generations.

The statement,

[إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا]

(One Ilah (God)) means, "We single Him out in divinity and do not associate anything or anyone with Him.''

[وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ]

(And to Him we submit), in obedience meaning, obedient and submissiveness. Similarly, Allah said,

[وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ]

(While to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned) (3:83).

Indeed, Islam is the religion of all the Prophets, even if their rei]spective laws differed. Allah said,

[وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ ]

(And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad ) [but We revealed to him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah)], so worship Me (alone and none else)) (21:25).

There are many other Ayat - and Hadiths - on this subject. For instance, the Prophet said,

«نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ دِينُنا وَاحِد»

(We, the Prophets, are brothers with different mothers, but the same religion.)

Allah said,

[تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ]

(That was a nation who has passed away) meaning, existed before your time,

[لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم]

(They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn).

This Ayah proclaims, Your relationship to the Prophets or righteous people among your ancestors will not benefit you, unless you perform good deeds that bring about you religious benefit. They have their deeds and you have yours,

[وَلاَ تُسْـَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ]

(And you will not be asked of what they used to do).''

This is why a Hadith proclaims,

«مَنْ بَطَّأَ بِهِ عَمَلُهُ لَمْ يُسْرِعْ بِهِ نَسَبُه»

(Whoever was slowed on account of his deeds will not get any faster on account of his family lineage.)'

[وَقَالُواْ كُونُواْ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى تَهْتَدُواْ قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ]

(135. And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided.'' Say (to them O Muhammad ), "Nay, (we follow) only the religion of Ibrahim, Hanif (Islamic Monotheism), and he was not of Al-Mushrikin (those who worshipped others along with Allah. )

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said that `Abdullah bin Suriya Al-A`war said to the Messenger of Allah, "The guidance is only what we (Jews) follow. Therefore, follow us, O Muhammad, and you will be rightly guided.'' Also, the Christians said similarly, so Allah revealed,

[وَقَالُواْ كُونُواْ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى تَهْتَدُواْ]

(And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided.'') Allah's statement,

[قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفًا]

(Say (to them O Muhammad ), "Nay, (we follow) only the religion of Ibrahim, Hanif) means, "We do not need the Judaism or Christianity that you call us to, rather,

[مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفاً]

((we follow) only the religion of Ibrahim, Hanif) meaning, on the straight path, as Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and `Isa bin Jariyah stated. Also, Abu Qilabah said, "The Hanif is what the Messengers, from beginning to end, believed in.''

[قُولُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَآ أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ]

(136. Say (O Muslims): "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma`il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya`qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya`qub), and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and `Isa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).'')



The Muslim believes in all that Allah `revealed and all the Prophets

Allah directed His believing servants to believe in what He sent down to them through His Messenger Muhammad and in what was revealed to the previous Prophets in general. Some Prophets Allah mentioned by name, while He did not mention the names of many others. Allah directed the believers to refrain from differentiating between the Prophets and to believe in them all. They should avoid imitating whomever Allah described as,

[وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاًأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ حَقّاً]

(And wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, "We believe in some but reject others,'' and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers) (4:150-151).

Al-Bukhari narrated that Abu Hurayrah said, "The People of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and translate it into Arabic for the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا تُصَدِّقُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا تُكَذِّبُوهُمْ وقُولُوا: آمَنَّا بِاللهِ وَمَا أُنْزل إِلَيْنَا»

(Do not believe the People of the Book, nor reject what they say. Rather, say, `We believe in Allah and in what was sent down to us.)''

Also, Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Mostly, the Messenger of Allah used to recite,

[ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا]

(We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us) (2: 136), and,

[ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ]

(We believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah)) (3:52) during the two (voluntary) Rak`at before Fajr.''

Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` and Qatadah said, "Al-Asbat are the twelve sons of Jacob, and each one of them had an Ummah of people from his descendants. This is why they were called Al-Asbat.'' Al-Khalil bin Ahmad and others said, "Al-Asbat among the Children of Israel are just like the tribes among the Children of Isma`il.'' This means that the Asbat are the various tribes of the Children of Israel, among whom Allah sent several Prophets. Moses said to the Children of Israel,

[اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً]

(Remember the favor of Allah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings) (5:20). Also, Allah said,

[وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمُ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا]

(And We divided them into twelve tribes) (7:160).

Al-Qurtubi said, "Sibt is the group of people or a tribe all belonging to the same ancestors.''

Qatadah said, "Allah commanded the believers to believe in Him and in all His Books and Messengers. '' Also, Sulayman bin Habib said, "We were commanded to believe in the (original) Torah and Injil, but not to implement them.''

[فَإِنْ ءَامَنُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَآ ءَامَنتُمْ بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِنْ تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِى شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ - صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَـبِدونَ ]

(137. So if they believe in the like of that which you believe then they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice for you against them. And He is the Hearer, the Knower.) (138. [Our Sibghah (religion) is] the Sibghah of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah can be better than Allah's And we are His worshippers.)

Allah said, if they, the disbelievers among the People of the Book and other disbelievers, believe in all of Allah's Books and Messengers and do not differentiate between any of them,

[فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ]

(then they are rightly guided) meaning, they would acquire the truth and be directed to it.

[وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ]

(but if they turn away) from truth to falsehood after proof had been presented to them,

[فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِى شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ]

(then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them) meaning, Allah will aid the believers against them,

[وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ]

(And He is the Hearer, the Knower). Allah said,

[صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ]

(The Sibghah of Allah). Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "The religion of Allah.'' This Tafsir was also reported of Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah, Ibrahim, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdullah bin Kathir, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and other scholars. The Ayah,

[فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ]

(Allah's Fitrah (i.e. Allah's Islamic Monotheism)) (30:30) directs Muslims to, "Hold to it.''

[قُلْ أَتُحَآجُّونَنَا فِى اللَّهِ وَهُوَ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ وَلَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُخْلِصُونَ - أَمْ تَقُولُونَ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَــقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطَ كَانُواْ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى قُلْ ءَأَنتُمْ أَعْلَمُ أَمِ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ كَتَمَ شَهَـدَةً عِندَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم وَلاَ تُسْـَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ]

(139. Say (O Muhammad to the Jews and Christians), "Dispute you with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds. And we are sincere to Him (i.e. we worship Him alone and none else, and we obey His orders).'') (140. Or say you that Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq, Ya`qub and Al-Asbat, were Jews or Christians Say, "Do you know better or does Allah And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Allah And Allah is not unaware of what you do.'') (141. That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.)

Allah directed His Prophet to pre-empt the arguments with the idolators:

[قُلْ أَتُحَآجُّونَنَا فِى اللَّهِ]

(Say (O Muhammad to the Jews and Christians), "Dispute you with us about Allah) meaning, "Do you dispute with us regarding the Oneness of Allah, obedience and submission to Him and in avoiding His prohibitions,

[وَهُوَ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ]

(while He is our Lord and your Lord) meaning, He has full control over us and you, and deserves the worship alone without partners.

[وَلَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ]

(And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds.) meaning, we disown you and what you worship, just as you disown us. Allah said in another Ayah,

[وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّى عَمَلِى وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنتُمْ بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّآ أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَاْ بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ]

(And if they belie you, say: "For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!'') (10:41), and,

[فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِىَ للَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ]

(So if they dispute with you (Muhammad ) say: "I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me'') (3:20). Allah said about Ibrahim,

[وَحَآجَّهُ قَوْمُهُ قَالَ أَتُحَاجُّونِّى فِى اللَّهِ]

(His people disputed with him. He said: "Do you dispute with me concerning Allah'') (6:80), and,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِى حَآجَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ فِى رِبِّهِ]

(Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord (Allah)) (2:258). He said in this honorable Ayah,

[وَلَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُخْلِصُونَ]

(And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds. And we are sincere to Him.) meaning, "We disown you just as you disown us,''

[وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُخْلِصُونَ]

(And we are sincere to Him), in worship and submission.

Allah then criticized them in the claim that Ibrahim, the Prophets who came after him and the Asbat were following their religion, whether Judaism or Christianity. Allah said,

[قُلْ ءَأَنتُمْ أَعْلَمُ أَمِ اللَّهُ]

(Say, "Do you know better or does Allah'') meaning, Allah has the best knowledge and He stated that they were neither Jews, nor Christians. Similarly, Allah said in the Ayah,

[مَا كَانَ إِبْرَهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ]

(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin) (3:67) and the following Ayat. Allah also said,

[وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ كَتَمَ شَهَـدَةً عِندَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ]

And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Alla0h؟ )2:140(. Al-Hلasan Al-Basلri said, They used to recite the Book of Alla0h He sent to them that stated that the true religion is Isla0m and that Muhلammad is the Messenger of Alla0h. Their Book also stated that Ibra0h0m, Isma0 0l, Ishلa0q, Ya qu0b and the tribes were neither Jews, nor Christians. They testified to these facts, yet hid them from the people. Alla0h s statement,

[وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ]

(And Allah is not unaware of what you do), is a threat and a warning that His knowledge encompasses every one's deeds, and He shall award each accordingly. Allah then said,

[تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ]

(That was a nation who has passed away.) meaning, existed before you,

[لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم]

(They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you of what you earn.) meaning, they bear their deeds while you bear yours,

[وَلاَ تُسْـَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ]

(And you will not be asked of what they used to do) meaning, the fact that you are their relatives will not suffice, unless you imitate their good deeds. Further, do not be deceived by the fact that you are their descendants, unless you imitate them in obeying Allah's orders and following His Messengers who were sent as warners and bearers of good news. Indeed, whoever disbelieves in even one Prophet, will have disbelieved in all the Messengers, especially if one disbelieves in the master and Final Messenger from Allah, the Lord of the worlds, to all mankind and the Jinns. May Allah's peace and blessings be on Muhammad and the rest of Allah's Prophets.

[سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّـهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِى كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ - وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِن كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(142. The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say: "What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they used to face in prayer.'' Say (O Muhammad ): "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.'') (143. Thus We have made you [true Muslims ـ real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad ) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy, difficult) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.)




Changing the Qiblah ـ Direction of the Prayer

Imam Al-Bukhari reported that Al-Bara' bin `Azib narrated: "Allah's Messenger offered his prayers facing Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka`bah (at Makkah). The first prayer which he offered (facing the Ka`bah) was the `Asr (Afternoon) prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him, went out and passed by some people in a mosque who were in the bowing position (in Ruku`) during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He addressed them saying, `By Allah, I bear witness that I have offered prayer with the Prophet facing Makkah (Ka`bah).' Hearing that, those people immediately changed their direction towards the House (Ka`bah) while still as they were (i.e., in the same bowing position). Some Muslims who offered prayer towards the previous Qiblah (Jerusalem) before it was changed towards the House (the Ka`bah in Makkah) had died or had been martyred, and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers towards Jerusalem). Allah then revealed:

[وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., the prayers of those Muslims were valid)) (2:143).''

Al-Bukhari collected this narration, while Muslim collected it using another chain of narrators. Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Al-Bara' narrated: Allah's Messenger used to offer prayers towards Bayt Al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem), but would keep looking at the sky awaiting Allah's command (to change the Qiblah). Then Allah revealed:

[قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah).) (2:144)

A man from among the Muslims then said, "We wish we could know about those among us who died before the Qiblah was changed (i.e., towards Makkah) and also about our own prayers, that we had performed towards Bayt Al-Maqdis.'' Allah then revealed:

[وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ]

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost.) (2:143)

The fools among the people, meaning the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), said, "What made them change the former Qiblah that they used to face'' Allah then revealed:

[سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ]

(The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say...)

until the end of the Ayah.

`Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said: When Allah's Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). The Jews were delighted then. Allah's Messenger faced Jerusalem for over ten months. However, he liked (to offer prayer in the direction of) Prophet Ibrahim's Qiblah (the Ka`bah in Makkah) and used to supplicate to Allah and kept looking up to the sky (awaiting Allah's command in this regard). Allah then revealed:

[فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ]

(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.) meaning, its direction. The Jews did not like this change and said, "What made them change the Qiblah that they used to face (meaning Jerusalem)'' Allah revealed:

[قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ]

(Say (O Muhammad ): "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.'')

There are several other Ahadith on this subject. In summary, Allah's Messenger was commanded to face Bayt Al-Maqdis (during the prayer) and he used to offer prayer towards it in Makkah between the two corners (of Ka`bah), so that the Ka`bah would be between him and Bayt Al-Maqdis8. When the Prophet migrated to Al-Madinah, this practice was no longer possible; then Allah commanded him to offer prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, as Ibn Abbas and the majority of the scholars have stated.

Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that the news (of the change of Qiblah) was conveyed to some of the Ansar while they were performing the `Asr (Afternoon) prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, upon hearing that, they immediately changed their direction and faced the Ka`bah.

It is reported in the Sahihayn (Al-Bukhari Muslim) that Ibn `Umar narrated: While the people were in Quba' (Mosque) performing the Fajr (Dawn) prayer, a man came and said, "A (part of the) Qur'an was revealed tonight to Allah's Messenger and he was commanded to face the Ka`bah. Therefore, face the Ka`bah. They were facing Ash-Sham, so they turned towards the Ka`bah.

These Hadiths prove that the Nasikh (a Text that abrogates a previous Text) only applies after one acquires knowledge of it, even if the Nasikh had already been revealed and announced. This is why the Companions mentioned above were not commanded to repeat the previous `Asr, Maghrib and `Isha' prayers (although they had prayed them towards Jerusalem after Allah had changed the Qiblah). Allah knows best.

When the change of Qiblah (to Ka`bah in Makkah) occurred, those inflicted with hypocrisy and mistrust, and the disbelieving Jews, both were led astray from the right guidance and fell into confusion. They said:

[مَا وَلَّـهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِى كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا]

(What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah to which they used to face in prayer.)

They asked, "What is the matter with these people (Muslims) who one time face this direction (Jerusalem), and then face that direction (Makkah)'' Allah answered their questions when He stated:

[قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ]

(Say (O Muhammad ): "To Allah belong both, east and the west.) meaning, the command, the decision and the authority are for Allah Alone. Hence:

[فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ]

(...so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne).) (2:115),

and:

[لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ]

( It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is the one who believes in Allah.) (2:177) This statement means, the best act is to adhere to Allah's commands. Hence, wherever He commands us to face, we should face. Also, since obedience requires implementing Allah's commands, if He commands us every day to face different places, we are His servants and under His disposal, and we face whatever He orders us to face. Certainly, Allah's care and kindness towards His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , and certainly, his Ummah (Muslim nation) is profoundly great. Allah has guided them to the Qiblah of (Prophet) Ibrahim -- Allah's Khalil (intimate friend). He has commanded them to face the Ka`bah, the most honorable house (of worship) on the face of the earth, which was built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil in the Name of Allah, the One without a partner. This is why Allah said afterwards:

[قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ]

(Say (O Muhammad ): "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.'')

Imam Ahmad reported that `A'ishah (the Prophet's wife) said that Allah's Messenger said about the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians):

«إنَّهُم لا يَحْسِدونَنَا عَلَى شَيْء كَمَا يَحْسِدونَنا عَلَى يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُوا عَنْهَا وَعَلَى الْقِبْلَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُّوا عَنْهَا وَعَلَى قَوْلِنَا خَلْفَ الإِمَامِ: آمِين»

(They do not envy us for a matter more than they envy us for Jumu`ah (Friday) to which Allah has guided us and from which they were led astray; for the (true) Qiblah to which Allah has directed us and from which they were led astray; and for our saying `Amin' behind the Imam (leader of the prayer).)




The Virtues of Muhammad's Nation

Allah said:

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا]

(Thus We have made you [true Muslims], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad ) be a witness over you.)

Allah stated that He has changed our Qiblah to the Qiblah of Ibrahim and chose it for us so that He makes us the best nation ever. Hence, we will be the witnesses over the nations on the Day of Resurrection, for all of them will then agree concerning our virtue. The word Wasat in the Ayah means the best and the most honored. Therefore, saying that (the Prophet's tribe) Quraysh is in the Wasat regarding Arab tribes and their areas, means the best. Similarly, saying that Allah's Messenger was in the Wasat of his people, means he was from the best subtribe. Also, `Asr, the prayer that is described as `Wusta' (a variation of the word Wasat), means the best prayer, as the authentic collections of Ahadith reported. Since Allah made this Ummah (Muslim nation) the Wasat, He has endowed her with the most complete legislation, the best Manhaj (way, method, etc.,) and the clearest Madhhab (methodology, mannerism, etc). Allah said:

[هُوَ اجْتَبَـكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكمْ فِى الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّـكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِى هَـذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيداً عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ]

(He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship: it is the religion of your father Ibrahim. It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Qur'an), that the Messenger (Muhammad ) may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind!) (22:78)

Moreover, Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Sa`id narrated: Allah's Messenger said:

«يُدْعَى نُوحٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامة، فَيُقَالُ لَهُ: هَلْ بَلَّغْتَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، فَيُدْعَى قَوْمُهُ فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: هَلْ بَلَّغَكُمْ فَيَقُولُونَ: مَا أتَانَا مِنْ نَذِيرٍ وَمَا أتَانَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ، فَيُقَالُ لِنُوح: مَنْ يَشْهَدُ لَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: مُحَمَّدٌ وَأُمَّتُهُ، قال فَذلِكَ قَوْلُهُ:

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا]

قَالَ: والْوَسَطُ الْعَدْلُ، فَتُدْعَون فَتَشْهَدُونَ لَهُ بِالْبَلَاغِ ثُمَّ أَشْهَدُ عَلَيْكُم»

(Nuh will be called on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked, `Have you conveyed (the Message)' He will say, `Yes.' His people will be summoned and asked, `Has Nuh conveyed (the Message) to you' They will say, `No warner came to us and no one (Prophet) was sent to us.' Nuh will be asked, `Who testifies for you' He will say, `Muhammad and his Ummah.')

This is why Allah said:

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا]

(Thus We have made you a Wasat nation.)

The Prophet said; (The Wasat means the `Adl (just). You will be summoned to testify that Nuh has conveyed (his Message), and I will attest to your testimony.)

It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

Imam Ahmad also reported that Abu Sa`id Khudri narrated: Allah's Messenger said:

«يَجِيءُ النَّبِيُّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَعَهُ الرَّجُلَانِ وَأَكْثَرُ مِنْ ذلِكَ، فيُدْعَى قَوْمُهُ، فَيُقَالُ: هَلْ بَلَّغَكُمْ هَذَا؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: لَا فَيُقالُ لَهُ: هَلْ بَلَّغْتَ قَوْمَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، فَيُقالُ: مَنْ يَشْهَدُ لَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: مُحَمَّدٌ وَأُمَّتُهُ، فَيُدْعَى مُحَمَّدٌ وَأُمَّتُهُ، فَيُقَالُ لَهُمْ: هَلْ بَلَّغَ هذَا قَوْمَهُ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ، فَيُقَالُ: وَمَا عِلْمُكُمْ؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: جَاءَنَا نَبِيُّنَاصلى الله عليه وسلّم فأخْبَرَنَا أَنَّ الرُّسُلَ قَدْ بَلَّغُوا، فَذلِك قَوْلُهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا]

قَالَ: عَدْلًا

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا]

(The Prophet would come on the Day of Resurrection with two or more people (his only following!), and his people would also be summoned and asked, `Has he (their Prophet) conveyed (the Message) to you' They would say, `No.' He would be asked, `Have you conveyed (the Message) to your people' He would say, `Yes.' He would be asked, `Who testifies for you' He would say, `Muhammad and his Ummah.' Muhammad and his Ummah would then be summoned and asked, `Has he conveyed (the Message) to his people' They would say, `Yes.' They would be asked, `Who told you that' They would say, `Our Prophet (Muhammad) came to us and told us that the Messengers have conveyed (their Messages). ')

Hence Allah's statement:

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا]

(Thus We have made you a Wasat nation.)

He said, "(meaning) the `Adl,' (he then continued reciting the Ayah):

[وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا]

(Thus We have made you, a just (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad ) be a witness over you.)''

Furthermore, Imam Ahmad reported that Abul-Aswad narrated: I came to Al-Madinah and found that an epidemic had broken out that caused many fatalities. I sat next to `Umar bin Al-Khattab once when a funeral procession started and the people praised the dead person. `Umar said, "Wajabat (it will be recorded as such), Wajabat!'' Then another funeral was brought forth and the people criticized the dead person. Again, `Umar said, "Wajabat.'' Abul-Aswad asked, "What is Wajabat, O Leader of the faithful'' He said, "I said just like Allah's Messenger had said:

«أَيُّمَا مُسْلِمٍ شَهِدَ لَهُ أَرْبَعَةٌ بِخَيْر أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّــة»

قَالَ: فَقُلْنَا وَثَلَاثَةٌ؟ قَالَ: فَقَالَ:

«وَثَلَاثَــــة»

قَالَ: فَقُلْنَا وَاثْنَانِ: قَالَ

«وَاثْنَان»

. ثُمَّ لَمْ نَسْأَلْهُ عَنِ الْوَاحِدِ.

(Any Muslim for whom four testify that he was righteous, then Allah will enter him into Paradise.' We said, `What about three' He said, `And three.' We said, `And two' He said, `And two.' We did not ask him about (the testimony) of one (believing) person.)''

This was also recorded by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i.



The Wisdom behind changing the Qiblah

Allah then said:

[وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِن كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ]

(And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy, difficult) except for those whom Allah guided.)

Allah states thus: We have legislated for you, O Muhammad, facing Bayt Al-Maqdis at first and then changed it to the Ka`bah so as to find who will follow and obey you and thus face whatever you face.

[مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ]

(...from those who would turn on their heels.) meaning, reverts from his religion. [Allah then said:]

[وَإِن كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً]

(Indeed it was great (heavy, difficult))

The Ayah indicates that changing the Qiblah from Bayt Al-Maqdis to the Ka`bah is heavy on the heart, except for whomever Allah has rightly guided their hearts, who believe in the truth of the Messenger with certainty and that whatever he was sent with is the truth without doubt. It is they who believe that Allah does what He wills, decides what He wills, commands His servants with what He wills, abrogates any of His commands that He wills, and that He has the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proof in all this. (The attitude of the believers in this respect is) unlike those who have a disease in their hearts, to whom whenever a matter occurs, it causes doubts, just as this same matter adds faith and certainty to the believers. Similarly, Allah said:

[وَإِذَا مَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـذِهِ إِيمَـناً فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَتْهُمْ رِجْسًا إِلَى رِجْسِهِمْ]

(And whenever there comes down a Surah (chapter from the Qur'an), some of them (hypocrites) say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it'' As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add doubt and disbelief to their doubt and disbelief; and they die while they are disbelievers.) (9:124, 125)

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 the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.) (17:82)

Certainly, those who remained faithful to the Messenger , obeyed him and faced whatever Allah commanded them, without doubt or hesitation, were the leaders of the Companions. Some scholars stated that the Early Migrants (who migrated with the Prophet from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and Ansar (the residents of Al-Madinah who gave aid and refuge to both the Prophet and the Migrants) were those who offered prayers towards the two Qiblah (Bayt Al-Maqdis and then the Ka`bah). Al-Bukhari reported in the explanation of the Ayah (2:143) that Ibn `Umar narrated: While the people were performing the Fajr (Dawn) prayer in the Quba' Mosque, a man came and said, "Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet and he was ordered to face the Ka`bah. Therefore, face the Ka`bah.'' They then faced the Ka`bah. Muslim also recorded it.

At-Tirmidhi added that they were performing Ruku` (bowing down in prayer), and then changed the direction (of the Qiblah) to the Ka`bah while still bowing down. Muslim reported this last narration from Anas. These Hadiths all indicate the perfect obedience the Companions had for Allah and His Messenger and their compliance with Allah's commandments, may Allah be pleased with them all.

Allah said:

[وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ]

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost.) meaning, the reward of your prayers towards Bayt Al-Maqdis before would not be lost with Allah. It is reported in Sahih that Abu Ishaq As-Sabi`y related that Bara' narrated: "The people asked about the matter of those who offered prayers towards Bayt Al-Maqdis and died (before the Qiblah was changed to Ka`bah). Allah revealed:

[وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ]

(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost.)''

It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi from Ibn `Abbas, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Sahih.

Ibn Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas narrated:

[وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَـنَكُمْ]

(And Allah would never make your faith to be lost.) entails: Your (prayer towards) the first Qiblah and your believing your Prophet and obeying him by facing the second Qiblah; He will grant you the rewards for all these acts. Indeed,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.)''

Furthermore, it is reported in the Sahih that Allah's Messenger saw a woman among the captives who was separated from her child. Whenever she found a boy (infant) among the captives, she would hold him close to her chest, as she was looking for her boy. When she found her child, she embraced him and gave him her breast to nurse. Allah's Messenger said:

« أَتُرَوْنَ هذِهِ طَارِحَةً وَلَدَهَا فِي النَّارِ وَهِي تَقْدِرُ عَلى أَنْ لَا تَطْرَحَه»

؟ قَالُوا: لَا يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ. قَالَ:

«فَوَاللهِ للهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا»

(Do you think that this woman would willingly throw her son in the fire) They said, "No, O Messenger of Allah!'' He said, (By Allah! Allah is more merciful with His servants than this woman with her son.)

[قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ ]

(144. Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do).



The First Abrogation in the Qur'an was about the Qiblah

`Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas narrated: The first abrogated part in the Qur'an was about the Qiblah. When Allah's Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, the majority of its people were Jews, and Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis. The Jews were delighted then. Allah's Messenger faced it for ten and some months, but he liked to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim (Ka`bah in Makkah). He used to supplicate to Allah and look up to the sky (awaiting Allah's command). Allah then revealed:

[قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ]

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven), until,

[فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ]

(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.)

The Jews did not like this ruling and said:

[مَا وَلَّـهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِى كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ]

("What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah (prayer direction) to which they used to face in prayer.'' Say (O Muhammad), "To Allah belong both, east and the west.'') (2:142)

Allah said:

[فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ]

(. ..so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah) (2:115),

and:

[وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ]

(And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger).) (2:143)



Is the Qiblah the Ka`bah itself or its General Direction

Al-Hakim related that `Ali bin Abu Talib said:

[فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(...so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah).) means its direction.''

Al-Hakim then commented that the chain of this narration is authentic and that they (i.e., Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not include it in their collections.

This ruling concerning the Qiblah is also the opinion of Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and others. Allah's Statement:

[وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ]

(And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction) is a command from Allah to face the Ka`bah from wherever one is on the earth: the east, west, north or south. The exception is of the voluntary prayer (Nafl) while one is traveling, for one is allowed to offer it in any direction his body is facing, while his heart is intending the Ka`bah. Also, when the battle is raging, one is allowed to offer prayer, however he is able. Also, included are those who are not sure of the direction and offer prayer in the wrong direction, thinking that it is the direction of the Qiblah, because Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear.



The Jews had Knowledge that the (Muslim) Qiblah would later be changed

Allah stated that:

[وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ]

(Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord.)

This Ayah means: The Jews, who did not like that you change your Qiblah from Bayt Al-Maqdis, already knew that Allah will command you (O Muhammad) to face the Ka`bah. The Jews read in their Books their Prophets' description of Allah's Messenger and his Ummah, and that Allah has endowed and honored him with the complete and honorable legislation. Yet, the People of the Book deny these facts because of their envy, disbelief and rebellion. This is why Allah threatened them when He said:

[وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ]

(And Allah is not unaware of what they do.)

[وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ بِكُلِّ ءَايَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُواْ قِبْلَتَكَ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ وَمَا بَعْضُهُم بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِنَّكَ إِذَا لَّمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ ]

(145. And even if you were to bring to the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction), nor are you going to follow their Qiblah. And they will not follow each other's Qiblah. Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the wrongdoers.)



The Stubbornness and Disbelief of the Jews

Allah describes the Jews' disbelief, stubbornness and defiance of what they know of the truth of Allah's Messenger , that if the Prophet brought forward every proof to the truth of what he was sent with, they will never obey him or abandon following their desires. In another instance, Allah said:

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ ]

(Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) (10:96, 97)

This is why Allah said here:

[وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ بِكُلِّ ءَايَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُواْ قِبْلَتَكَ]

(And even if you were to bring to the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction)).

Allah's statement:

[وَمَآ أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ]

(...nor are you going to follow their Qiblah ), indicates the vigor with which Allah's Messenger implements what Allah commanded him. Allah's statement also indicates that as much as the Jews adhere to their opinions and desires, the Prophet adheres by Allah's commands, obeying Him and following what pleases Him, and that he would never adhere to their desires in any case. Hence, praying towards Bayt Al-Maqdis was not because it was the Qiblah of the Jews, but because Allah had commanded it. Allah then warns those who knowingly defy the truth, because the proof against those who know is stronger than against other people. This is why Allah said to His Messenger and his Ummah:

[وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِنَّكَ إِذَا لَّمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the wrongdoers.)

[الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ - الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ]

(146. Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad or the Ka`bah at Makkah) as they recognize their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it ـ [i.e., the qualities of Muhammad which are written in the Tawrah and the Injil ). (147. This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt).



The Jews know that the Prophet is True, but they hide the Truth

Allah states that the scholars of the People of the Scripture know the truth of what Allah's Messenger was sent with, just as one of them knows his own child, which is a parable that the Arabs use to describe what is very apparent. Similarly, in a Hadith, Allah's Messenger said to a man who had a youngster with him:

«ابْنُكَ هَذَا»

؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أَشْهَدُ بِهِ

(Is this your son) He said, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah! I testify to this fact.'' Allah's Messenger said:

«أَمَا إِنَّهُ لَا يَجْنِي عَلَيْكَ وَلَا تَجْنِي عَلَيْه»

(Well, you would not transgress against him nor would he transgress against you.)

According to Al-Qurtubi, it was narrated that `Umar said to `Abdullah bin Salam (an Israelite scholar who became a Muslim), "Do you recognize Muhammad as you recognize your own son'' He replied, "Yes, and even more. The Honest One descended from heaven on the Honest One on the earth with his (i.e., Muhammad's) description and I recognized him, although I do not know anything about his mother's story.''

Allah states next that although they had knowledge and certainty in the Prophet , they still:

[لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ]

(conceal the truth.)

The Ayah indicates that they hide the truth from the people, about the Prophet , that they find in their Books,

[وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ]

(while they know it. ) Allah then strengthens the resolve of His Prophet and the believers and affirms that what the Prophet came with is the truth without doubt, saying:

[الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ]

((This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt.)

[وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا فَاسْتَبِقُواْ الْخَيْرَتِ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(148. For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is able to do all things.)



Every Nation has a Qiblah

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

[وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا]

(For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers))

"This talks about followers of the various religions. Hence, every nation and tribe has its own Qiblah that they choose, while Allah's appointed Qiblah is what the believers face.''

Abul-`Aliyah said, "The Jew has a direction to which he faces (in the prayer). The Christian has a direction to which he faces. Allah has guided you, O (Muslim) Ummah, to a Qiblah which is the true Qiblah.'' This statement was also related to Mujahid, `Ata' Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi, and others.

This last Ayah is similar to what Allah said:

[لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِى مَآ ءَاتَـكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً]

(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah had 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. The return of you (all) is to Allah.) (5:48)

In the Ayah (2:148), Allah said:

[أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ]

(Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is able to do all things.) meaning: He is able to gather you from the earth even if your bodies and flesh disintegrated and scattered.

[وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِنَّهُ لَلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ - وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِى وَلاٌّتِمَّ نِعْمَتِى عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ]

(149. And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.) (150. And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces towards it (when you pray) so that men may have no argument against you except those of them that are wrongdoers, so fear them not, but fear Me! ـ And so that I may complete My blessings on you and that you may be guided.)



Why was changing the Qiblah mentioned thrice

This is a third command from Allah to face Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) from every part of the world (during prayer). It was said that Allah mentioned this ruling again here because it is connected to whatever is before and whatever is after it. Hence, Allah first said:

[قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا]

(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you) (2:144), until:

[وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ]

(Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.) (2:144)

Allah mentioned in these Ayat His fulfillment of the Prophet's wish and ordered him to face the Qiblah that he liked and is pleased with. In the second command, Allah said:

[وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِنَّهُ لَلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ]

(And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masid Al-Haram that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.)

Therefore, Allah states here that changing the Qiblah is also the truth from Him, thus upgrading the subject more than in the first Ayah, in which Allah agreed to what His Prophet had wished for. Thus Allah states that this is also the truth from Him that He likes and is pleased with. In the third command, Allah refutes the Jewish assertion that the Prophet faced their Qiblah, as they knew in their Books that the Prophet will later on be commanded to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim, the Ka`bah. The Arab disbelievers had no more argument concerning the Prophet's Qiblah after Allah commanded the Prophet to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim, which is more respected and honored, rather than the Qiblah of the Jews. The Arabs used to honor the Ka`bah and liked the fact that the Messenger was commanded to face it.



The Wisdom behind abrogating the Previous Qiblah

Allah said:

[لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ]

(...so that men may have no argument against you)

Therefore, the People of the Book knew from the description of the Muslim Ummah that they would be ordered to face the Ka`bah. If the Muslims did not fit this description, the Jews would have used this fact against the Muslims. If the Muslims had remained on the Qiblah of Bayt Al-Maqdis, which was also the Qiblah of the Jews, this fact could have been used as the basis of argument by the Jews against other people.

Allah's Statement:

[إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ]

(...except those of them that are wrongdoers,) indicates the Mushrikin (polytheists) of Quraysh. The reasoning of these unjust persons was the unsound statement: "This man (Muhammad) claims that he follows the religion of Ibrahim! Hence, if his facing Bayt Al-Maqdis was a part of the religion of Ibrahim, why did he change it'' The answer to this question is that Allah has chosen His Prophet to face Bayt Al-Maqdis first for certain wisdom, and he obeyed Allah regarding this command. Then, Allah changed the Qiblah to the Qiblah of Ibrahim, which is the Ka`bah, and he also obeyed Allah in this command. He, obeys Allah in all cases and never engages in the defiance of Allah even for an instant, and his Ummah imitates him in this.

Allah said:

[فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِى]

(. ..so fear them not, but fear Me!) meaning: `Do not fear the doubts that the unjust, stubborn persons raise and fear Me Alone.' Indeed, Allah Alone deserves to be feared.

Allah said:

[وَلاٌّتِمَّ نِعْمَتِى عَلَيْكُمْ]

(...so that I may complete My blessings on you.)

This Ayah relates to Allah's statement:

[لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ]

(...so that men may have no argument against you), meaning: I will perfect My bounty on you by legislating for you to face the Ka`bah, so that the (Islamic) Shari`ah (law) is complete in every respect. Allah said:

[وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ]

(...that you may be guided.), meaning: `To be directed and guided to what the nations have been led astray from, We have guided you to it and preferred you with it.' This is why this Ummah is the best and most honored nation ever.

[كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْكُمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَـتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ - فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ ]

(151. Similarly (to complete My blessings on you), We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad ) of your own, reciting to you Our verses (the Qur'an) and purifying you, and teaching you the Book (the Qur'an) and the Hikmah (i. e., Sunnah, Islamic laws and Fiqh ـ jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you did not know.) (152. Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.)



Muhammad's Prophecy is a Great Bounty from Allah

Allah reminds His believing servants with what He has endowed them with by sending Muhammad as a Messenger to them, reciting to them Allah's clear Ayat and purifying and cleansing them from the worst types of behavior, the ills of the souls and the acts of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era). The Messenger also takes them away from the darkness (of disbelief) to the light (of faith) and teaches them the Book, the Qur'an, and the Hikmah (i.e., the wisdom), which is his Sunnah. He also teaches them what they knew not. During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to utter foolish statements. Later on, and with the blessing of the Prophet's Message and the goodness of his prophecy, they were elevated to the status of the Awliya' (loyal friends of Allah) and the rank of the scholars. Hence, they acquired the deepest knowledge among the people, the most pious hearts, and the most truthful tongues. Allah said:

[لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ]

(Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad ) from among themselves, reciting unto them His verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them (from sins).) (3:164)

Allah also criticized those who did not give this bounty its due consideration, when He said:

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ ]

(Have you not seen those who have changed the favors of Allah into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad ) and his Message of Islam), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction) (14:28)

Ibn `Abbas commented, "Allah's favor means Muhammad.'' Therefore, Allah has commanded the believers to affirm this favor and to appreciate it by thanking and remembering Him:

[فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ ]

(Therefore, remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me, and never be ungrateful to Me.)

Mujahid said that Allah's statement:

[كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْكُمْ]

(Similarly (to complete My favor on you), We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad ) of your own,)

means: Therefore, remember Me in gratitude to My favor.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented about Allah's statement:

[فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ]

(Therefore remember Me. I will remember you), "Remember Me regarding what I have commanded you and I will remember you regarding what I have compelled Myself to do for your benefit (i.e., His rewards and forgiveness).''

An authentic Hadith states:

«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي وَمَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَأٍ ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَأٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْه»

(Allah the Exalted said, `Whoever mentions Me to himself, then I will mention him to Myself; and whoever mentions Me in a gathering, I will mention him in a better gathering.)'

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي نَفْسِكَ ذَكَرْتُك فِي نَفْسِي، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ ذكَرْتُكَ فِي مَلَإٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَوْ قَالَ: فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُ وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي شِبْرًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي ذِرَاعًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ بَاعًا، وَإنْ أَتَيْتَنِي تَمْشِي أَتَيْتُكَ هَرْوَلَة»

(Allah the Exalted said, `O son of Adam! If you mention Me to yourself, I will mention you to Myself. If you mention Me in a gathering, I will mention you in a gathering of the angels (or said in a better gathering). If you draw closer to Me by a hand span, I will draw closer to you by forearm's length. If you draw closer to Me by a forearm's length, I will draw closer to you by an arm's length. And if you come to Me walking, I will come to you running).

Its chain is Sahih, it was recorded by Al-Bukhari. Allah said:

[وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ]

(...and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.)

In this Ayah, Allah commands that He be thanked and appreciated, and promises even more rewards for thanking Him. Allah said in another Ayah:

[وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِى لَشَدِيدٌ ]

(And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: "If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e., disbelievers), verily, My punishment is indeed severe.)

Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said: `Imran bin Husayn came by us once wearing a nice silken garment that we never saw him wear before or afterwards. He said, "Allah's Messenger said:

«مَنْ أَنْعَمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ نِعْمَةً فَإِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَرَى أَثَرَ نِعْمَتِهِ عَلَى خَلْقِه»

، وَقَالَ رَوْحٌ مَرَّةً:

«عَلَى عَبْدِه»

(Those whom Allah has favored with a bounty, then Allah likes to see the effect of His bounty on His creation), or he said, "on His servant'' - according to Ruh (one of the narrators of the Hadith).

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّـبِرِينَ - وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَكِن لاَّ تَشْعُرُونَ ]

(153. O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).) (154. And say not of those who are killed in the way of Allah, "They are dead.'' Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.)



The Virtue of Patience and Prayer

After Allah commanded that He be appreciated, He ordained patience and prayer. It is a fact that the servant is either enjoying a bounty that he should be thankful for, or suffering a calamity that he should meet with patience. A Hadith states:

«عَجَبًا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لَهُ قَضَاءً إلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ فَشَكَرَ كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وإنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ فَصَبَرَ كَانَ خَيْرًا لَه»

(Amazing is the believer, for whatever Allah decrees for him, it is better for him! If he is tested with a bounty, he is grateful for it and this is better for him; and if he is afflicted with a hardship, he is patient with it and this is better for him.)

Allah has stated that the best tools to help ease the effects of the afflictions are patience and prayer. Earlier we mentioned Allah's statement:

[وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَ ]

(And seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer) and truly, it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi`in [i.e., the true believers in Allah]) (2:45)

There are several types of Sabr ـ patience: one for avoiding the prohibitions and sins, one for acts of worship and obedience. The second type carries more rewards than the first type. There is a third type of patience required in the face of the afflictions and hardships, which is mandatory, like repentance.

`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "Sabr has two parts: patience for the sake of Allah concerning what He is pleased with (i.e., acts of worship and obedience), even if it is hard on the heart and the body, and patience when avoiding what He dislikes, even if it is desired. Those who acquire these qualities will be among the patient persons whom Allah shall greet (when they meet Him in the Hereafter; refer to Surat Al-Ahzab 33:44), Allah willing.''



The Life enjoyed by Martyrs

Allah's statement:

[وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ]

(And say not of those who are killed in the way of Allah, "They are dead.'' Nay, they are living,) indicates that the martyrs are alive and receiving their sustenance.

Muslim reported in his Sahih:

«أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الشُّهَدَاءِ فِي حَوَاصِلَ طَيْرٍ خُضْرٍ، تَسْرَحُ فِي الْجَنَّة حَيْثُ شَاءَتْ، ثُمَّ تَأْوِي إلَى قَنَادِيلَ مُعَلَّقَةٍ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، فَاطَّلَعَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ اطِّلَاعَةً، فقَالَ: مَاذَا تَبْغُونَ؟ فَقَالُوا: يَا رَبَّنَا وَأَيَّ شَيْءٍ نَبْغِي، وَقَدْ أَعْطَيْتنَا مَا لَمْ تُعْطِ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ؟ ثُمَّ عَادَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِمِثْلِ هذَا، فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا أَنَّهُم لَا يُتْرَكُون مِنْ أَنْ يُسْأَلُوا، قَالُوا: نُرِيدُ أَنْ تَرُدَّنَا إِلَى الدَّارِ الدُّنْيَا فَنُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِكَ حَتَّى نُقْتَلَ فِيكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَى لِمَا يَرَوْنَ مِنْ ثَوابِ الشَّهادَةِ فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ جَلَّ جَلَالُهُ: إِنِّي كَتَبْتُ أَنَّهُمْ إلَيْهَا لَا يَرْجِعُون»

(The souls of the martyrs are inside green birds and move about in Paradise wherever they wish. Then, they take refuge in lamps that are hanging under the Throne (of Allah). Your Lord looked at them and asked them, `What do you wish for' They said, `What more could we wish for while You have favored us with what You have not favored any other of your creation' He repeated the question again. When they realize that they will be asked (until they answer), they said, `We wish that You send us back to the earthly life, so that we fight in Your cause until we are killed in Your cause again,' (because of what they enjoy of the rewards of martyrdom). The Lord then said, `I have written that they will not be returned to it (earthly life) again.)

Imam Ahmad reported that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik narrated from his father that Allah's Messenger said:

«نَسَمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ طَائِرٌ تَعْلَقُ فِي شَجَرِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَهُ اللهُ إِلَى جَسَدهِ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُه»

(The believer's soul is a bird that feeds on the trees of Paradise until Allah sends it back to its body when the person is resurrected.)

This Hadith includes all the believers in its general meaning. Thus, the fact that the Qur'an mentions the martyrs in particular in the above Ayah serves to honor, glorify and favor them (although the other believers share the rewards they enjoy).

[وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الاٌّمَوَالِ وَالاٌّنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّـبِرِينَ - الَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ - أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ]

(155. And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient).) (156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'') (157. They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e., who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.)

The Believer is Patient with the Affliction and thus gains a Reward

Allah informs us that He tests and tries His servants, just as He said in another Ayah:

[وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّى نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَـهِدِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّـبِرِينَ وَنَبْلُوَ أَخْبَـرَكُمْ ]

(And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the cause of Allah) and As-Sabirin (the patient), and We shall test your facts (i.e., the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).) (47:31)

Hence, He tests them with the bounty sometimes and sometimes with the afflictions of fear and hunger. Allah said in another Ayah:

[فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ]

(So Allah made it taste extreme of hunger (famine) and fear.) (16:112)

The frightened and the hungry persons show the effects of the affliction outwardly and this is why Allah has used here the word `Libas' (cover or clothes) of fear and hunger. In the Ayat above, Allah used the words:

[بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ]

(with something of fear, hunger,) meaning, a little of each. Then (Allah said),

[وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الاٌّمَوَالِ]

(loss of wealth,) meaning, some of the wealth will be destroyed,

[وَالاٌّنفُسِ]

(lives) meaning, losing friends, relatives and loved ones to death,

[وَالثَّمَرَتِ]

(and fruits,) meaning, the gardens and the farms will not produce the usual or expected amounts. This is why Allah said next:

[وَبَشِّرِ الصَّـبِرِينَ]

(but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient).)

He then explained whom He meant by `the patient' whom He praised:

[الَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ ]

(Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'') meaning, those who recite this statement to comfort themselves in the face of their loss, know that they belong to Allah and that He does what He wills with His servants. They also know that nothing and no deed, even if it was the weight of an atom, will be lost with Allah on the Day of Resurrection. These facts thus compel them to admit that they are Allah's servants and that their return will be to Him in the Hereafter.

This is why Allah said: t

[أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ]

(They are those on whom are the Salawat (i. e., who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy,) meaning, Allah's praise and mercy will be with them. Sa`id bin Jubayr added, "Meaning, safety from the torment.''

[وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ]

(and it is they who are the guided ones.) `Umar bin Al-Khattab commented: "What righteous things, and what a great heights.

[أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ]

(They are those on whom are the Salawat from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy) are the two righteous things.

[وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ]

(and it is they who are the guided ones) are the heights.''

The heights means more rewards, and these people will be awarded their rewards and more.


The Virtue of asserting that We all belong to Allah, during Afflictions

There are several Ahadith that mention the rewards of admitting that the return is to Allah by saying:

[إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ]

("Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'') when afflictions strike. For instance, Imam Ahmad reported that Umm Salamah narrated: Once, Abu Salamah came back after he was with Allah's Messenger and said: I heard Allah's Messenger recite a statement that made me delighted. He said:

«لَا يُصِيبُ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مُصِيبَةٌ فَيَسْتَرْجِعُ عِنْدَ مُصِيبَتِهِ ثُمَّ يقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي وأَخْلِفْ لِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا، إِلَّا فَعَلَ ذلِكَ بِه»

(No Muslim is struck with an affliction and then says Istirja` when the affliction strikes, and then says: `O Allah! Reward me for my loss and give me what is better than it,' but Allah will do just that.) Umm Salamah said: So I memorized these words. When Abu Salamah died I said Istirja` and said: "O Allah! Compensate me for my loss and give me what is better than it.'' I then thought about it and said, "Who is better than Abu Salamah'' When my `Iddah (the period of time before the widow or divorced woman can remarry) finished, Allah's Messenger asked for permission to see me while I was dyeing a skin that I had. I washed my hands, gave him permission to enter and handed him a pillow, and he sat on it. He then asked me for marriage and when he finished his speech, I said, "O Messenger of Allah! It is not because I do not want you, but I am very jealous and I fear that you might experience some wrong mannerism from me for which Allah would punish me. I am old and have children.'' He said:

«أمَّا مَا ذَكَرْتِ مِنَ الْغَيْرَةِ فَسَوْفَ يُذْهِبُهَا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَنْكِ، وَأَمَّا مَا ذَكَرْتِ مِنَ السِّنِّ فَقَدْ أَصَابَنِي مِثْلُ الَّذِي أَصَابَكِ، وَأَمَّا مَا ذَكَرْتِ مِنَ الْعِيَالِ فَإِنَّمَا عِيَالُكِ عِيَالِي»

(As for the jealousy that you mentioned, Allah the Exalted will remove it from you. As for your being old as you mentioned, I have suffered what you have suffered. And for your having children, they are my children too.) She said, "I have surrendered to Allah's Messenger.'' Allah's Messenger married her and Umm Salamah said later, "Allah compensated me with who is better than Abu Salamah: Allah's Messenger .'' Muslim reported a shorter version of this Hadith.

[إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ ]

(158. Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or `Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House to perform Tawaf between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recognizer, All-Knower).



The Meaning of "it is not a sin'' in the Ayah

Imam Ahmad reported that `Urwah said that he asked `A'ishah about what Allah stated:

[إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا]

(Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or `Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah).) "By Allah! It is not a sin if someone did not perform Tawaf around them.'' `A'ishah said, "Worst is that which you said, O my nephew! If this is the meaning of it, it should have read, `It is not a sin if one did not perform Tawaf around them.' Rather, the Ayah was revealed regarding the Ansar, who before Islam, used to assume Ihlal (or Ihram for Hajj) in the area of Mushallal for their idol Manat that they used to worship. Those who assumed Ihlal for Manat, used to hesitate to perform Tawaf (going) between Mounts As-Safa and Al-Marwah. So they (during the Islamic era) asked Allah's Messenger about it, saying, `O Messenger of Allah! During the time of Jahiliyyah, we used to hesitate to perform Tawaf between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.' Allah then revealed:

[إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا]

(Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or `Umrah of the House to perform the going (Tawaf) between them.)'' `A'ishah then said, " Allah's Messenger has made it the Sunnah to perform Tawaf between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah), and thus, no one should abandon performing Tawaf between them.'' This Hadith is reported in the Sahihayn.

In another narration, Imam Az-Zuhri reported that `Urwah said: Later on I (`Urwah) told Abu Bakr bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Harith bin Hisham (of `A'ishah's statement) and he said, "I have not heard of such information. However, I heard learned men saying that all the people, except those whom `A'ishah mentioned, said, `Our Tawaf between these two hills is a practice of Jahiliyyah. ' Some others among the Ansar said, `We were commanded to perform Tawaf of the Ka`bah, but not between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.' So Allah revealed:

[إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ]

(Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the symbols of Allah.)'' Abu Bakr bin `Abdur-Rahman then said, "It seems that this verse was revealed concerning the two groups.'' Al-Bukhari collected a similar narration by Anas.

Ash-Sha`bi said, "Isaf (an idol) was on As-Safa while Na'ilah (an idol) was on Al-Marwah, and they used to touch (or kiss) them. After Islam came, they were hesitant about performing Tawaf between them. Thereafter, the Ayah (2:158 above) was revealed.''



The Wisdom behind legislating Sa`i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah

Muslim recorded a long Hadith in his Sahih from Jabir, in which Allah's Messenger finished the Tawaf around the House, and then went back to the Rukn (pillar, i.e., the Black Stone) and kissed it. He then went out from the door near As-Safa while reciting:

[إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ]

(Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the symbols of Allah.) The Prophet then said, (I start with what Allah has commanded me to start with [meaning start the Sa`i (i.e., fast walking) from the As-Safa]). In another narration of An-Nasa'i, the Prophet said, (Start with what Allah has started with (i.e., As-Safa).)

Imam Ahmad reported that Habibah bint Abu Tajrah said, "I saw Allah's Messenger performing Tawaf between As-Safa and Al-Marwah, while the people were in front of him and he was behind them walking in Sa`i. I saw his garment twisted around his knees because of the fast walking in Sa`i (he was performing) and he was reciting:

«اسْعَوْا فَإِنَّ اللهَ كَتَبَ عَلَيْكُمُ السَّعْي».

(Perform Sa`i, for Allah has prescribed Sa`i on you.)'''

This Hadith was used as a proof for the fact that Sa`i is a Rukn of Hajj. It was also said that Sa`i is Wajib, and not a Rukn of Hajj and that if one does not perform it by mistake or by intention, he could expiate the shortcoming with Damm. Allah has stated that Tawaf between As-Safa and Al-Marwah is among the symbols of Allah, meaning, among the acts that Allah legislated during the Hajj for Prophet Ibrahim.

Earlier we mentioned the Hadith by Ibn `Abbas that the origin of Tawaf comes from the Tawaf of Hajar (Prophet Ibrahim's wife), between As-Safa and Al-Marwah seeking water for her son (Isma`il) Ibrahim had left them in Makkah, where there was no habitation for her. When Hajar feared that her son would die, she stood up and begged Allah for His help and kept going back and forth in that blessed area between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. She was humble, fearful, frightened and meek before Allah. Allah answered her prayers, relieved her of her loneliness, ended her dilemma and made the well of Zamzam bring forth its water for her, which is:

«طَعَامُ طُعْمٍ،وَشِفَاءُ سُقْم»

(A tasty (or nutritional) food and a remedy for the illness.)

Therefore, whoever performs Sa`i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah should remember his meekness, humbleness and need for Allah to guide his heart, lead his affairs to success and forgive his sins. He should also want Allah to eliminate his shortcomings and errors and to guide him to the straight path. He should ask Allah to keep him firm on this path until he meets death, and to change his situation from that of sin and errors to that of perfection and being forgiven, --- the same providence which was provided to Hajar.

Allah then states:

[وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا]

(And whoever does good voluntarily.)

It was said that the Ayah describes performing Tawaf more than seven times, it was also said that it refers to voluntary `Umrah or Hajj. It was also said that it means volunteering to do good works in general, as Ar-Razi has stated. The third opinion was attributed to Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Allah knows best.

Allah states:

[فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ]

(...then verily, Allah is All-Recognizer, All-Knower.) meaning, Allah's reward is immense for the little deed, and He knows about the sufficiency of the reward. Hence, He will not award insufficient rewards to anyone. Indeed:

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً ]

(Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.) (4:40)

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالْهُدَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّـهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُولَـئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّـعِنُونَ - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ - إِن الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلـئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ - خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ ]

(159. Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the People in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.) (160. Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.) (161. Verily, those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers, it is they on whom is the curse of Allah and of the angels and of mankind, combined.) (162. They will abide therein (under the curse in Hell), their punishment will neither be lightened nor will they be reprieved).



The Eternal Curse for Those Who hide Religious Commandments

These Ayat sternly warn against those who hide the clear signs that the Messengers were sent with which guide to the correct path and beneficial guidance for the hearts, after Allah has made such aspects clear for His servants through the Books that He revealed to His Messengers. Abu Al-`Aliyah said that these Ayat, "were revealed about the People of the Scripture who hid the description of Muhammad .'' Allah then states that everything curses such people for this evil act. Certainly, just as everything asks for forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea and the bird in the air, then those who hide knowledge are cursed by Allah and by the cursers. A Hadith in the Musnad, narrated through several chains of narrators, that strengthens the overall judgment of the Hadith, states that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ فَكَتَمَهُ، أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَار»

(Whoever was asked about knowledge that one has, but he hid it, then a bridle made of fire will be tied around his mouth on the Day of Resurrection.)

It is also recorded by Al-Bukhari that Abu Hurayrah said, "If it was not for an Ayah in Allah's Book, I would not have narrated a Hadith for anyone:

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالْهُدَى]

(Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down,)''

Mujahid said, "When the earth is struck by drought, the animals say, `This is because of the sinners among the Children of Adam. May Allah curse the sinners among the Children of Adam.'''

Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said that

[وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّـعِنُونَ]

(and cursed by the cursers) means that the angels and the believers will curse them. Moreover, a Hadith states that everything, including the fish in the sea, asks for forgiveness for the scholars. The Ayah (2:159 above) states that those who hide the knowledge will be cursed, (in this life and) on the Day of Resurrection, by Allah, the angels, all humanity, and those who curse (including the animals) each in its own distinct way. Allah knows best.

From this punishment, Allah excluded all who repent to Him:

[إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ]

(Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed).)

This Ayah refers to those who regret what they have been doing and correct their behavior and, thus, explain to the people what they have been hiding.

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ]

(These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.)

This Ayah also indicates that those who used to call to innovation, or even disbelief, and repent to Allah, then Allah will forgive them. Allah afterwards states that those who disbelieve in Him and remain in this state until they die, then:

[أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلـئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ]

[خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ]

(it is they on whom is the curse of Allah and of the angels and of mankind, combined. They will abide therein (under the curse in Hell).)

Therefore, they will suffer the eternal curse until the Day of Resurrection and after that in the fire of Jahannam, where,

[لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ]

(their punishment will neither be lightened)

Hence, the torment will not be decreased for them,

[وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ]

(nor will they be reprieved.)

The torment will not be changed or tempered for even an hour. Rather, it is continuous and eternal. We seek refuge with Allah from this evil end.



Cursing the Disbelievers is allowed

There is no disagreement that it is lawful to curse the disbelievers. `Umar bin Al-Khattab and the Imams after him used to curse the disbelievers in their Qunut (a type of supplication) during the prayer and otherwise. As for cursing a specific disbeliever, some scholars stated that it is not allowed to curse him, because we do not know how Allah will make his end. Others said that it is allowed to curse individual disbelievers. For proof, they mention the story about the man who was brought to be punished repeatedly for drinking (alcohol), a man said, "May Allah curse him! He is being brought repeatedly (to be flogged for drinking).'' Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا تَلْعَنْهُ فَإِنَّه يُحِبُّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَه»

(Do not curse him, for he loves Allah and His Messenger).

This Hadith indicates that it is allowed to curse those who do not love Allah and His Messenger . Allah knows best.

[وَإِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ الرَّحِيمُ ]

(163. And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God ـ Allah), La ilaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.)

In this Ayah, Allah mentions that He is the only deity, and that He has no partners or equals. He is Allah, the One and Only, the Sustainer, and there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He is the Most Gracious ـ Ar-Rahman, the Most Merciful ـ Ar-Rahim. We explained the meanings of these two Names in the beginning of Surat Al-Fatihah. Shahr bin Hawshab reported that Asma' bint Yazid bin As-Sakan narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«اسْمُ اللهِ الْأَعْظَمُ فِي هَاتَيْنِ الآيَتَيْنِ

(Allah's Greatest Name is contained in these two Ayat):

[وَإِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ الرَّحِيمُ ]

(And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God ـ Allah), La ilaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.) and:

[الم - ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ]

(Alif-Lam-Mim. Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Haiyul-Qaiyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists).) (3:1, 2)''

Then Allah mentions some of the proof that He is alone as the deity, that He is the One who created the heavens and the earth and all of the various creatures between them, all of which testify to His Oneness. Allah said:

[إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَاخْتِلَـفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِى تَجْرِى فِى الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَـحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ]

(164. Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.)



The Proofs for Tawhid

Allah said:

[إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ]

(Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth...)

Therefore, the sky, with its height, intricate design, vastness, the heavenly objects in orbit, and this earth, with its density, its lowlands, mountains, seas, deserts, valleys, and other structures, and beneficial things that it has. Allah continues:

[وَاخْتِلَـفِ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ]

(...and in the alternation of night and day.)

This (the night) comes and then goes followed by the other (the day) which does not delay for even an instant, just as Allah said:

[لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ ]

(It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.) (36:40)

Sometimes, the day grows shorter and the night longer, and sometimes vice versa, one takes from the length of the other. Similarly Allah said:

[يُولِجُ الَّيْلَ فِى النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِى الَّيْلِ]

(Allah merges the night into the day, and He merges the day into the night) (57:6) meaning, He extends the length of one from the other and vice versa. Allah then continues:

[وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِى تَجْرِى فِى الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ]

(. ..and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind,)

Shaping the sea in this manner, so that it is able to carry ships from one shore to another, so people benefit from what the other region has, and export what they have to them and vice versa.

Allah then continues:

[وَمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا]

(...and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death), which is similar to Allah's statement:

[وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الاٌّرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبّاً فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ ]

(And a sign for them is the dead land. We give it life, and We bring forth from it grains, so that they eat thereof.) (36:33), until:

[وَمِمَّا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ]

(which they know not.) (36:36)

Allah continues:

[وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ]

(and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein,) meaning, in various shapes, colors, uses and sizes, whether small or large. Allah knows all that, sustains it, and nothing is concealed from Him. Similarly, Allah said:

[وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِى كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ ]

(And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus or grave). All is in a Clear Book (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz ـ the Book of Decrees with Allah).) (11:6)

[وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَـحِ]

(...and in the veering of winds...)

Sometimes, the wind brings mercy and sometimes torment. Sometimes it brings the good news of the clouds that follow it, sometimes it leads the clouds, herding them, scattering them or directing them. Sometimes, the wind comes from the north (the northern wind), and sometimes from the south, sometimes from the east, and striking the front of the Ka`bah, sometimes from the west, striking its back. There are many books about the wind rain, stars and the regulations related to them, but here is not the place to elaborate on that, and Allah knows best.

Allah continues:

[وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ]

(...and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth,)

The clouds run between the sky and the earth to wherever Allah wills of lands and areas.

Allah said next:

[لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ]

(...are indeed Ayat for people of understanding,) meaning, all these things are clear signs that testify to Allah's Oneness. Similarly, Allah said:

[إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَاخْتِلَـفِ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لاّيَـتٍ لاٌّوْلِى الاٌّلْبَـبِ - الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَـماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِى خَلْقِ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ رَبَّنَآ مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَـطِلاً سُبْحَـنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ]

(Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.'') (3:190, 191)

[وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ - إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ - وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُواْ مِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ حَسَرَتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ ]

(165. And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.) (166. When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them). (167. And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us. '' Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire.)



The Condition of the Polytheists in this Life and the Hereafter

In these Ayat, Allah mentions the condition of the polytheists in this life and their destination in the Hereafter. They appointed equals and rivals with Allah, worshipping them along with Allah and loving them, just as they love Allah. However, Allah is the only deity worthy of worship, Who has neither rival nor opponent nor partner. It is reported in the Sahihayn that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: I said, "O Messenger of Allah! What is the greatest sin'' He said:

«أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك»

(To appoint a rival to Allah while He Alone has created you.)

Allah said:

[وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ]

(But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else))

Because these believers love Allah, know His greatness, revere Him, believe in His Oneness, then they do not associate anything or anyone with Him in the worship. Rather, they worship Him Alone, depend on Him and they seek help from Him for each and every need.

Then, Allah warns those who commit Shirk,

[وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا]

(If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah.) if these people knew what they will face and the terrible punishment they are to suffer because of their disbelief and Shirk (polytheism), then they would shun the deviation that they live by.

Allah mentions their false beliefs in their idols, and that those they followed will declare their innocence of them. Allah said:

[إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ]

(When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them).) the angels, whom they used to claim that they worshipped, declare their innocence of them in the Hereafter, saying:

[تَبَرَّأْنَآ إِلَيْكَ مَا كَانُواْ إِيَّانَا يَعْبُدُونَ]

(We declare our innocence (from them) before You. It was not us they worshipped.) (28:63), and:

[سُبْحَـنَكَ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِن دُونِهِمْ بَلْ كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ الْجِنَّ أَكْـثَرُهُم بِهِم مُّؤْمِنُونَ]

("Glorified be You! You are our Wali (Lord) instead of them. Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them.'') (34:4)

The Jinn will also disown the disbelievers who worshipped them, and they will reject that worship. Allah said:

[وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ - وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ ]

(And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) (46:5, 6) Allah said:

[وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً ]

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً ]

(And they have taken (for worship) alihah (gods) besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory (and also protect them from Allah' punishment). Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection).) (19:81, 82) Prophet Ibrahim said to his people:

[إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن نَّـصِرِينَ]

(You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.) (29:25) Allah said:

[وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّـلِمُونَ مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبّهِمْ يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لَوْلاَ أَنتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُؤْمِنِينَ قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ أَنَحْنُ صَدَدنَـكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَى بَعْدَ إِذْ جَآءكُمْ بَلْ كُنتُمْ مُّجْرِمِينَ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُاْ اْلَعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الاْغْلَـلَ فِى أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ]

(But if you could see when the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers) will be made to stand before their Lord,how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!'' And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you Nay, but you were Mujrimin (polytheists, sinners, disbelievers, criminals).'' Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!'' And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets (for disobeying Allah during this worldly life), when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do) (34:31-33) Allah said:

[وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى فَلاَ تَلُومُونِى وَلُومُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ مَّآ أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَآ أَنتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِىَّ إِنِّى كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ]

(And Shaytan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).) (14:22)

Allah then said:

[وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ]

(...and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.) meaning, when they see Allah's torment, their power and means of salvation are all cut off, and they will have no way of making amends, nor will they find a way of escape from the Fire. `Ata' reported that Ibn `Abbas said about:

[وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ]

(then all their relations will be cut off from them.) "meaning the friendship.'' Mujahid reported a similar statement in another narration by Ibn Abu Najih.

Allah said:

[وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُواْ مِنَّا]

(And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.'')

This Ayah means: `If we only had a chance to go back to the life so that we could disown them (their idols, leaders, etc.) shun their worship, ignore them and worship Allah Alone instead.' But they utter a lie in this regard, because if they were given the chance to go back, they would only return to what they were prohibited from doing, just as Allah said. This is why Allah said:

[كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ حَسَرَتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them.) meaning, their works will vanish and disappear. Similarly, Allah said:

[وَقَدِمْنَآ إِلَى مَا عَمِلُواْ مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَآءً مَّنثُوراً ]

(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) (25:23)

Allah also said:

[مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ]

(The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day.) (14:18), and:

[وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَآءً]

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water.) (24:39)

This is why Allah said ـ at the end of the Ayah 2:167 above

[وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ]

(And they will never get out of the Fire.)

[يـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَتِ الشَّيْطَـنِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ]

إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوء وَالْفَحْشَآء وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ-]

(168.O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.) (169. He (Satan) commands you only what is evil and Fahsha' (sinful), and that you should say about Allah what you know not.)


The Order to eat the Lawful Things, and the Prohibition of following the Footsteps of Shaytan

After Allah stated that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and that He Alone created the creation, He stated that He is the Sustainer for all His creation, and He mentioned a favor that He granted them; He has allowed them to eat any of the pure lawful things on the earth that do not cause harm to the body or the mind. He also forbade them from following the footsteps of Shaytan, meaning his ways and methods with which he misguides his followers, like prohibiting the Bahirah (a she-camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it), or Sa'ibah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for the idols and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), or a Wasilah (a she-camel set free for idols because it has given birth to a she-camel at its first delivery and then again gives birth to a she-camel at its second delivery), and all of the other things that Shaytan made attractive to them during the time of Jahiliyyah. Muslim recorded `Iyad bin Himar saying that Allah's Messenger said that Allah the Exalted says,

يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى:إِنَّ كُلَّ مَالٍ مَنَحْتُهُ عِبَادِي فَهُوَ لَهُمْ حَلَالٌ، وَفِيهِ وَإِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ، فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ، وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُم»

(`Every type of wealth I have endowed My servants is allowed for them...' (until), `I have created My servants Hunafa' (pure or upright), but the devils came to them and led them astray from their (true) religion and prohibited them from what I allowed for them. ')

Allah said:

[إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ]

(...he is to you an open enemy.)

warning against Satan. Allah said in another instance:

[إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوّاً إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُواْ مِنْ أَصْحَـبِ السَّعِيرِ ]

(Surely, Shaytan is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire.) (35:6), and:

[أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّـلِمِينَ بَدَلاً]

(Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimin (polytheists, and wrongdoers, etc).) (18:50)

Qatadah and As-Suddi commented on what Allah said:

[وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَتِ الشَّيْطَـنِ]

(...and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan)):

Every act of disobedience to Allah is among the footsteps of Satan.

`Abd bin Humayd reported that Ibn `Abbas said: "Any vow or oath that one makes while angry, is among the footsteps of Shaytan and its expiation is that of the vow. '' Allah's statement:

[إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَآءِ وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ]

(He (Satan) commands you only what is evil and Fahsha (sinful), and that you should say about Allah what you know not.)

The verse means: `Your enemy, Satan, commands you to commit evil acts and what is worse than that, such as adultery and so forth. He commands you to commit what is even worse, that is, saying about Allah without knowledge.' So this includes every innovator and disbeliever.

[وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَآ أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءَابَآءَنَآ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ ءَابَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ - وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَآءً وَنِدَآءً صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ ]

(170 When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah has sent down.'' They say: "Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.'' (Would they do that!) even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided) (171. And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those (flock of sheep) that hear nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.)



The Polytheist imitates Other Polytheists

Allah states that if the disbelievers and polytheists are called to follow what Allah has revealed to His Messenger and abandon the practices of misguidance and ignorance that they indulge in, they will say, "Rather. We shall follow what we found our fathers following,'' meaning, worshipping the idols and the false deities. Allah criticized their reasoning:

[أَوَلَوْ كَانَ ءَابَاؤُهُمْ]

((Would they do that!) even though their fathers), meaning, those whom they follow and whose practices they imitate, and:

[لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ]

(...did not understand anything nor were they guided) meaning, they had no sound understanding or guidance. Ibn Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this was revealed about a group of Jews whom Allah's Messenger called to Islam, but they refused, saying, "Rather, we shall follow what we found our forefathers following.'' So Allah revealed this Ayah (2:170) above."



The Disbeliever is just like an Animal

Allah then made a parable of the disbelievers, just as He said in another Ayah:

[لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ مَثَلُ السَّوْءِ]

(For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description.) (16:60)

Similarly, Allah said here (2:171 above)

[وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ]

(And the example of those who disbelieve...) meaning, in their injustice, misguidance and ignorance, they are just like wandering animals, not understanding what they are told; if the shepherd heralds them or calls them to what benefits them, they would not understand what is actually being said to them, for they only hear unintelligible sounds. This is what is reported from Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.

[صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ]

(They are deaf, dumb, and blind.) means, they are deaf, as they do not hear the truth; mute, as they do not utter it; and blind, as they do not see or recognize its path and way.

[فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ]

(So they do not understand.) means, they do not comprehend or understand anything.

[يـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ للَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ - إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(172. O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah ـ Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship). (173. He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah. 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.)



The Command to eat Pure Things and the Explanation of the Prohibited Things

Allah commands His believing servants to eat from the pure things that He has created for them and to thank Him for it, if they are truly His servants. Eating from pure sources is a cause for the acceptance of supplications and acts of worship, just as eating from impure sources prevents the acceptance of supplications and acts of worship, as mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad, that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah's Messenger said:

«أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ طَيِّبٌ، لَا يَقْبَلُ إِلَّا طَيِّـبًا، وَإنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ، فَقَالَ:

[يأَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُواْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَاعْمَلُواْ صَـلِحاً إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ ]

، وَقَالَ:

[يـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ]

ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ: يَا رَبِّ يَا رَبِّ، وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَملْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَغُذِّيَ بالْحَرَامِ فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذلِكَ؟»

(O people! Allah is Tayyib (Pure and Good) and only accepts that which is Tayyib. Allah has indeed commanded the believers with what He has commanded the Messengers, for He said: (O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am well-acquainted with what you do) (23:51), and: (O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with) He then mentioned a man, (who is engaged in a long journey, whose hair is untidy and who is covered in dust, he raises his hands to the sky, and says, `O Lord! O Lord!' Yet, his food is from the unlawful, his drink is from the unlawful, his clothes are from the unlawful, and he was nourished by the unlawful, so how can it (his supplication) be accepted'') It was also recorded by Muslim and At-Tirmidhi

After Allah mentioned how He has blessed His creatures by providing them with provisions, and after commanding them to eat from the pure things that He has provided them, He then stated that He has not prohibited anything for them, except dead animals. Dead animals are those that die before being slaughtered; whether they die by strangling, a violent blow, a headlong fall, the goring of horns or by being partly eaten by a wild animal. Dead animals of the sea are excluded from this ruling, as is explained later, Allah willing, as Allah said:

[أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ]

(Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) watergame and its use for food) (5:96), and because of the Hadith about the whale recorded in the Sahih. The Musnad, Al-Muwatta' and the Sunan recorded the Prophet saying about the sea:

«هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ والْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه»

(Its water is pure and its dead are permissible.)

Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Ad-Daraqutni reported that Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said:

«أُحِلَّ لَنَا مَيْتتَانِ وَدَمَانِ،السَّمَكُ وَالْجَرَادُ وَالْكَبِدُ وَالطِّحَال»

(We have been allowed two dead things and two bloody things: fish and locusts; and liver and spleen).

We will mention this subject again in Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5 in the Qur'an), In sha' Allah (if Allah wills).

Issue: According to Ash-Shafi`i and other scholars, milk and eggs that are inside dead unslaughtered animals are not pure, because they are part of the dead animal. In one narration from him, Malik said that they are pure themselves, but become impure because of their location. Similarly, there is a difference of opinion over the cheeses (made with the milk) of dead animals. The popular view of the scholars is that it is impure, although they mentioned the fact that the Companions ate from the cheeses made by the Magians (fire worshippers). Hence, Al-Qurtubi commented: "Since only a small part of the dead animal is mixed with it, then it is permissible, because a minute amount of impurity does not matter if it is mixed with a large amount of liquid.'' Ibn Majah reported that Salman said that Allah's Messenger was asked about butter, cheese and fur. He said:

«الْحَلَالُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ، وَالْحَرَامُ مَا حَرَّمَ اللهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ، وَمَا سَكَتَ عَنْهُ فَهُوَ مِمَّا عَفَا عَنْه»

(The allowed is what Allah has allowed in His Book and the prohibited is what Allah has prohibited in His Book. What He has not mentioned is a part of what He has pardoned.)

Allah has prohibited eating the meat of swine, whether slaughtered or not, and this includes its fat, either because it is implied, or because the term Lahm includes that, or by analogy. Similarly prohibited are offerings to other than Allah, that is what was slaughtered in a name other than His, be it for monuments, idols, divination, or the other practices of the time of Jahiliyyah. Al-Qurtubi mentioned that `A'ishah was asked about what non-Muslims slaughter for their feasts and then offer some of it as gifts for Muslims. She said, "Do not eat from what has been slaughtered for that day, (or feast) but eat from their vegetables.''



The Prohibited is Allowed in Cases of Emergency

Then Allah permitted eating these things when needed for survival or when there are no permissible types of food available. Allah said:

[فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ]

(But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits), meaning, without transgression or overstepping the limits,

[فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ]

(...then there is no sin on him.) meaning, if one eats such items, for,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Mujahid said, "If one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing the set limits. For example, if he didn't, then he would have to resort to highway robbery, rising against the rulers, or some other kinds of disobedience to Allah, then the permission applies to him. If one does so transgressing the limits, or continually, or out of disobedience to Allah, then the permission does not apply to him even if he is in dire need.'' The same was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr. Sa`id and Muqatil bin Hayyan are reported to have said that without willful disobedience means, "Without believing that it is permissible.'' It was reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah:

[غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ]

(. ..without willful disobedience nor transgressing) saying, "Without willful disobedience means eating the dead animal and not continuing to do so. Qatadah said:

[غَيْرَ بَاغٍ]

(without willful disobedience) "Without transgressing by eating from the dead animals, that is when the lawful is available.''

Issue: When one in dire straits finds both ـ dead animals, and foods belong to other people which he could get without risking the loss of his hands or causing harm, then it is not allowed for him to eat the dead animals. Ibn Majah reported that `Abbad bin Shurahbil Al-Ghubari said, "One year we suffered from famine. I came to Al-Madinah and entered a garden. I took some grain that I cleaned, and ate, then I left some of it in my garment. The owner of the garden came, roughed me up and took possession of my garment. I then went to Allah's Messenger and told him what had happened. He said to the man:

«مَا أَطْعَمْتَهُ إِذْ كَانَ جَائِعًا أَوْ سَاغِبًا وَلَا عَلَّمْتَهُ إِذْ كَانَ جَاهِلًا»

فَأَمَرَهُ فَرَدَّ إِلَيْهِ ثَوْبَهُ، فَأمَرَ لَهُ بِوَسْقٍ مِنْ طَعَامٍ أَوْ نِصْفِ وَسْقٍ.

(You have not fed him when he was hungry - or he said starving - nor have you taught him if he was ignorant.)

The Prophet commanded him to return `Abbad's garment to him, and to offer him a Wasq (around 180 kilograms) - or a half Wasq - of food

This has a sufficiently strong chain of narrators and there are many other witnessing narrations to support it, such as the Hadith that `Amr bin Shu`ayb narrated from his father that his grandfather said: Allah's Messenger was asked about the hanging clusters of dates. He said:

«مَنْ أَصَابَ مِنْهُ مِنْ ذِي حَاجَةٍ بِفِيهِ غَيْرَ مُتَّخِذٍ خُبْنَةً،فَلَا شَيْءَ عَلَيْه»

(There is no harm for whoever takes some of it in his mouth for a necessity without putting it in his garment.)

Muqatil bin Hayyan commented on:

[فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(...then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) "For what is eaten out of necessity.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Allah is pardoning for what has been eaten of the unlawful, and Merciful' in that He allowed the prohibited during times of necessity.'' Masruq said, "Whoever is in dire need, but does not eat or drink until he dies, he will enter the Fire.'' This indicates that eating dead animals for those who are in need of it for survival is not only permissible but required.

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيًلا أُولَـئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلاَّ النَّارَ وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلَـلَةَ بِالْهُدَى وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ - ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ لَفِى شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ ]

(174. Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith (of worldly things), they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment). (175. Those are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of forgiveness. So how bold they are (for evil deeds which will push them) to the Fire). (176. That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. And verily, those who disputed as regards the Book are far away in opposition).



Criticizing the Jews for concealing what Allah revealed

Allah said:

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ]

(Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book.) Meaning the Jews who concealed their Book's descriptions of Muhammad , all of which testify to his truth as a Messenger and a Prophet. They concealed this information so that they would not lose authority and the position that they had with the Arabs, where they would bring them gifts, and honor them. The cursed Jews feared that if they announced what they know about Muhammad , then the people would abandon them and follow him. So they hid the truth so that they may retain the little that they were getting, and they sold their souls for this little profit. They preferred the little that they gained over guidance and following the truth, believing in the Messenger and having faith in what Allah was sent him with. Therefore, they have profited failure and loss in this life and the Hereafter.

As for this world, Allah made the truth about His Messenger known anyway, by the clear signs and the unequivocal proofs. Thereafter, those whom the Jews feared would follow the Prophet , believed in him and followed him anyway, and so they became his supporters against them. Thus, the Jews earned anger on top of the wrath that they already had earned before, and Allah criticized them again many times in His Book. For instance, Allah said in this Ayah (2:174 above):

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيًلا]

(Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith (of worldly things).) meaning, the joys and delights of this earthly life. Allah said:

[أُولَـئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلاَّ النَّارَ]

(...they eat into their bellies nothing but fire,) meaning, whatever they eat in return for hiding the truth, will turn into a raging fire in their stomachs on the Day of Resurrection.

Similarly, Allah said:

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْيَتَـمَى ظُلْماً إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَاراً وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيراً ]

(Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!) (4:10)

Also, reported in an authentic Hadith is that Allah's Messenger said:

«الَّذِي يَأْكُلُ أَوْ يَشْرَبُ فِي آنِيةِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ إنَّمَا يُجَرْجِرُ فِي بَطْنِهِ نَارَ جَهَنَّم»

(Those who eat or drink in golden or silver plates are filling their stomachs with the fire of Jahannam (Hell).)

Allah said:

[وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ]

(Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment.)

This is because Allah is furious with them for concealing the truth. They thus deserve Allah's anger, so Allah will not look at them or purify them, meaning that He will not praise them but will cause them to taste a severe torment. Then, Allah said about them:

[أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلَـلَةَ بِالْهُدَى]

(Those are they who have purchased error for guidance.)

Hence, they opposed the guidance, that is, not announcing the Prophet's description they find in their Books, the news about his prophecy and the good news of his coming which the previous Prophets proclaimed, as well as following and believing in him. Instead, they preferred misguidance by denying him, rejecting him and concealing his descriptions that were mentioned in their Books. Allah said:

[وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ]

(...and torment at the price of forgiveness,) meaning, they preferred torment over forgiveness due to the sins they have committed. Allah then said:

[فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ]

(So how bold they are (for evil deeds which will push them) to the Fire.)

Allah states that they will suffer such severe, painful torment that those who see them will be amazed at how they could bear the tremendous punishment, torture and pain that they will suffer. We seek refuge with Allah from this evil end. RAllah's Statement:

[ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ]

(That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. ) means, they deserve this painful torment because Allah has revealed Books to His Messenger Muhammad , and the Prophets before him, and these revelations bring about truth and expose falsehood. Yet, they took Allah's signs for mockery. Their Books ordered them to announce the truth and to spread the knowledge, but instead, they defied the knowledge and rejected it. This Final Messenger ـ Muhammad ـ called them to Allah, commanded them to work righteousness and forbade them from committing evil. Yet, they rejected, denied and defied him and hid the truth that they knew about him. They, thus, mocked the Ayat that Allah revealed to His Messengers, and this is why they deserved the torment and the punishment. This is why Allah said here (2:176):

[ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ لَفِى شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ ]

(That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. And verily, those who disputed about the Book are far away in opposition.)

[لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةِ وَالْكِتَـبِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَءَاتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ ذَوِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَوةَ وَءَاتَى الزَّكَوةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَـهَدُواْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِى الْبَأْسَآءِ والضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ ]

(177. It is not Birr that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west; but Birr is the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set servants free, performs As-Salah (Iqamat-As-Salah), and gives the Zakah, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al-Muttaqun (the pious).)



Al-Birr (Piety, Righteousness)

This Ayah contains many great wisdoms, encompassing rulings and correct beliefs.

As for the explanation of this Ayah, Allah first commanded the believers to face Bayt Al-Maqdis, and then to face the Ka`bah during the prayer. This change was difficult for some of the People of the Book, and even for some Muslims. Then Allah sent revelation which clarified the wisdom behind this command, that is, obedience to Allah, adhering to His commands, facing wherever He commands facing, and implementing whatever He legislates, that is the objective. This is Birr, Taqwa and complete faith. Facing the east or the west does not necessitate righteousness or obedience, unless it is legislated by Allah. This is why Allah said:

[لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(It is not Birr that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Birr is the one who believes in Allah and the Last Day,)

Similarly, Allah said about the sacrifices:

[لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلاَ دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَـكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ]

(It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is the piety from you that reaches Him.) (22:37)

Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "The Jews used to face the west for their Qiblah, while the Christians used to face the east for their Qiblah. So Allah said:

[لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ]

(It is not Birr that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers)) (2: 177) meaning, "this is faith, and its essence requires implementation.'' Similar was reported from Al-Hasan and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Ath-Thawri recited:

[وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ]

(but Birr is the one who believes in Allah,) and said that what follows are the types of Birr. He has said the truth. Certainly, those who acquire the qualities mentioned in the Ayah will have indeed embraced all aspects of Islam and implemented all types of righteousness; believing in Allah, that He is the only God worthy of worship, and believing in the angels the emissaries between Allah and His Messengers.

The `Books' are the Divinely revealed Books from Allah to the Prophets, which were finalized by the most honorable Book (the Qur'an). The Qur'an supercedes all previous Books, it mentions all types of righteousness, and the way to happiness in this life and the Hereafter. The Qur'an abrogates all previous Books and testfies to all of Allah's Prophets, from the first Prophet to the Final Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon them all.

Allah's statement:

[وَءَاتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ]

(...and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it,) refers to those who give money away while desiring it and loving it. It is recorded in the Sahihayn that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said:

«أَفْضَلُ الصَّدَقةِ أَنْ تَصَدَّقَ وَأَنْتَ صَحِيحٌ شَحِيحٌ، تَأْمُلُ الْغِنَى وتَخْشَى الْفقْر»

(The best charity is when you give it away while still healthy and thrifty, hoping to get rich and fearing poverty.)

Allah said:

[وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِيناً وَيَتِيماً وَأَسِيراً - إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لاَ نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَآءً وَلاَ شُكُوراً ]

(And they give food, inspite of their love for it, to the Miskin (the poor), the orphan, and the captive (saying): "We feed you seeking Allah's Face only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.'') (76:8, 9)

and:

[لَن تَنَالُواْ الْبِرَّ حَتَّى تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ]

(By no means shall you attain Birr unless you spend of that which you love.) (3:92) Allah's statement:

[وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ]

(...and give them preference over themselves even though they were in need of that) (59:9) refers to a higher category and status, as the people mentioned here give away what they need, while those mentioned in the previous Ayat give away what they covet (but not necessarily need).

Allah's statement:

[ذَوِى الْقُرْبَى]

(the kinsfolk) refers to man's relatives, who have more rights than anyone else to one's charity, as the Hadith supports:

«الصَّدَقَةُ عَلَى الْمَسَاكِينِ صَدَقَةٌ، وعَلَى ذِي الرَّحِمِ اثْنتَانِ: صَدَقَةٌ وَصِلَـةٌ، فَهُمْ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِكَ وَبِبِرِّكَ وَإِعْطَائِك»

(Sadaqah (i. e., charity) given to the poor is a charity, while the Sadaqah given to the relatives is both Sadaqah and Silah (nurturing relations), for they are the most deserving of you and your kindness and charity).

Allah has commanded kindness to the relatives in many places in the Qur'an.

[وَالْيَتَـمَى]

(to the orphans) The orphans are children who have none to look after them, having lost their fathers while they are still young, weak and unable to find their own sustenance since they have not reached the age of work and adolescence. `Abdur-Razzaq reported that `Ali said that the Prophet said:

[وَالْمَسَـكِينُ]

(and to Al-Masakin) The Miskin is the person who does not have enough food, clothing, or he has no dwelling. So the Miskin should be granted the provisions to sustain him enough so that he can acquire his needs. In the Sahihayn it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي تَرُدُّه التَّمْرَةُ والتَّمْرَتَانِ، واللُّقْمَةُ واللُّقْمَتَانِ، وَلكِنِ الْمِسْكِينُ الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنىً يُغْنِيه وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتصَدَّقَ عَلَيْه»

(The Miskin is not the person who roams around, and whose need is met by one or two dates or one or two bites. Rather, the Miskin is he who does not have what is sufficient, and to whom the people do not pay attention and, thus, do not give him from the charity.)

[وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ]

(and to the wayfarer) is the needy traveler who runs out of money and should, thus, be granted whatever amount that helps him to go back to his land. Such is the case with whoever intends to go on a permissible journey, he is given what he needs for his journey and back. The guests are included in this category. `Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Ibn As-Sabil (wayfarer) is the guest who is hosted by Muslims.'' Furthermore, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Muqatil bin Hayyan said similarly.

[وَالسَّآئِلِينَ]

(and to those who ask) refers to those who beg people and are thus given a part of the Zakah and general charity.

[وَفِي الرِّقَابِ]

(and to set servants free) These are the servants who seek to free themselves, but cannot find enough money to buy their freedom. We will mention several of these categories and types under the Tafsir of the Ayah on Sadaqah in Surat Bara'ah [chapter 9 in the Qur'an], In sha' Allah.

Allah's statement:

[وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَوةَ]

(performs As-Salah (Iqamat-As-Salah)) means those who pray on time and give the prayer its due right; the bowing, prostration, and the necessary attention and humbleness required by Allah. Allah's statement:

[وَءَاتَى الزَّكَوةَ]

(and gives the Zakah) means the required charity (Zakah) due on one's money, as Sa`id bin Jubayr and Muqatil bin Hayyan have stated.

Allah's statement:

[وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَـهَدُواْ]

(and who fulfill their covenant when they make it,)

is similar to:

[الَّذِينَ يُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ يِنقُضُونَ الْمِيثَـقَ ]

(Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and break not the Mithaq (bond, treaty, covenant).) (13:20)

The opposite of this characteristic is hypocrisy. As found in a Hadith:

«آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإذَا ائْتُمِنَ خَان»

(The signs of a hypocrite are three: if he speaks, he lies; if he promises, he breaks his promise; and if he is entrusted, he breaches the trust.)

In another version:

«إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإذَا عَاهَدَ غَدَرَ،وَإذَا خَاصَمَ فَجَر»

(If he speaks, he lies; if he vows, he breaks his vow; and if he disputes, he is lewd.)

Allah's statement:

[وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِى الْبَأْسَآءِ والضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ]

(. ..and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles).) means, during the time of meekness and ailment.

[وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ]

(...and at the time of fighting (during the battles).) means on the battlefield while facing the enemy, as Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Murrah Al-Hamdani, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak and others have stated.

And calling them the patient here, is a form of praise, because of the importance of patience in these circumstances, and the suffering and difficulties that accompany them. And Allah knows best, it is He Whom help is sought from, and upon Him we rely.

Allah's statement:

[أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا]

(Such are the people of the truth) means, whoever acquires these qualities, these are truthful in their faith. This is because they have achieved faith in the heart and realized it in deed and upon the tongue. So they are the truthful,

[وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ]

(and they are Al-Muttaqun (the pious).) because they avoided the prohibitions and performed the acts of obedience.

[يـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاٍّنثَى بِالاٍّنْثَى فَمَنْ عُفِىَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَىْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَآءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَـنٍ ذَلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ]

وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَوةٌ يأُولِي الالْبَـبِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ-]

(178. O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of equality) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money), then it should be sought in a good manner, and paid to him respectfully. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this, whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood money), he shall have a painful torment.) (179. And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may acquire Taqwa.)


The Command and the Wisdom behind the Law of Equality

Allah states: O believers! The Law of equality has been ordained on you (for cases of murder), the free for the free, the slave for the slave and the female for the female. Therefore, do not transgress the set limits, as others before you transgressed them, and thus changed what Allah has ordained for them. The reason behind this statement is that (the Jewish tribe of) Banu An-Nadir invaded Qurayzah (another Jewish tribe) during the time of Jahiliyyah (before Islam) and defeated them. Hence, (they made it a law that) when a person from Nadir kills a person from Quraizah, he is not killed in retaliation, but only pays a hundred Wasq of dates. However, when a person from Quraizah kills a Nadir man, he would be killed for him. If Nadir wanted (to forfeit the execution of the murderer and instead require him) to pay a ransom, the Quraizah man pays two hundred Wasq of dates [double the amount Nadir pays in Diyah (blood money)]. So Allah commanded that justice be observed regarding the penal code, and that the path of the misguided and mischievous persons be avoided, who in disbelief and transgression, defy and alter what Allah has commanded them. Allah said:

[كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاٍّنثَى بِالاٍّنْثَى]

(Al-Qisas (the Law of equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.)

Allah's statement:

[الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاٍّنثَى بِالاٍّنْثَى]

(the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.) was abrogated by the statement life for life (5:45). However, the majority of scholars agree that the Muslim is not killed for a disbeliever whom he kills. Al- Bukhari reported that `Ali narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«وَلَا يُقْتَلُ مُسْلِمٌ بِكَافِر»

(The Muslim is not killed for the disbeliever (whom he kills).)

No opinion that opposes this ruling could stand correct, nor is there an authentic Hadith to contradict it. However, Abu Hanifah thought that the Muslim could be killed for a disbeliever, following the general meaning of the Ayah (5:45) in Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5 in the Qur'an).

The Four Imams (Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi`i and Ahmad) and the majority of scholars stated that the group is killed for one person whom they murder. `Umar said, about a boy who was killed by seven men, "If all the residents of San`a' (capital of Yemen today) collaborated on killing him, I would kill them all.'' No opposing opinion was known by the Companions during that time which constitutes a near Ijma` (consensus). There is an opinion attributed to Imam Ahmad that a group of people is not killed for one person whom they kill, and that only one person is killed for one person. Ibn Al-Mundhir also attributed this opinion to Mu`adh, Ibn Az-Zubayr, `Abdul-Malik bin Marwan, Az-Zuhri, Ibn Sirin and Habib bin Abu Thabit. Allah's statement:

[فَمَنْ عُفِىَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَىْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَآءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَـنٍ]

(But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money), then it should be sought in a good manner, and paid to him respectfully.) refers to accepting blood money (by the relatives of the victim in return for pardoning the killer) in cases of intentional murder. This opinion is attributed to Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Sha`tha', Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata' Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan. Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said:

[فَمَنْ عُفِىَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَىْءٌ]

(But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money)) means the killer is pardoned by his brother (i.e., the relative of the victim) and accepting the Diyah after capital punishment becomes due (against the killer), this is the `Afw (pardon mentioned in the Ayah).'' Allah's statement:

[فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(...then it should be sought in a good manner,) means, when the relative agrees to take the blood money, he should collect his rightful dues with kindness:

[وَأَدَآءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَـنٍ]

( and paid to him respectfully.) means, the killer should accept the terms of settlement without causing further harm or resisting the payment.

Allah's statement:

[ذَلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ]

(This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.) means the legislation that allows you to accept the blood money for intentional murder is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. It lightens what was required from those who were before you, either applying capital punishment or forgiving.

Sa`id bin Mansur reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Children of Israel were required to apply the Law of equality in murder cases and were not allowed to offer pardons (in return for blood money). Allah said to this Ummah (the Muslim nation):

[كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاٍّنثَى بِالاٍّنْثَى فَمَنْ عُفِىَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَىْءٌ]

(The Law of equality in punishment is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the servant for the servant, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money),)

Hence, `pardoning' or `forgiving' means accepting blood money in intentional murder cases.'' Ibn Hibban also recorded this in his Sahih. Qatadah said:

[ذَلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ]

(This is an alleviation from your Lord)

Allah had mercy on this Ummah by giving them the Diyah which was not allowed for any nation before it. The People of the Torah (Jews) were allowed to either apply the penal code (for murder, i.e., execution) or to pardon the killer, but they were not allowed to take blood money. The People of the Injil (the Gospel - the Christians) were required to pardon (the killer, but no Diyah was legislated). This Ummah (Muslims) is allowed to apply the penal code (execution) or to pardon and accept the blood money.'' Similar was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.

Allah's statement:

[فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ]

(So after this whoever transgresses the limits, he shall have a painful torment.) means, those who kill in retaliation after taking the Diyah or accepting it, they will suffer a painful and severe torment from Allah. The same was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ata' `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.


The Benefits and Wisdom of the Law of Equality

Allah's statement:

[وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَوةٌ]

(And there is life for you in Al-Qisas) legislating the Law of equality, i.e., killing the murderer, carries great benefits for you. This way, the sanctity of life will be preserved because the killer will refrain from killing, as he will be certain that if he kills, he would be killed. Hence life will be preserved. In previous Books, there is a statement that killing stops further killing! This meaning came in much clearer and eloquent terms in the Qur'an:

[وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَوةٌ]

(And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of equality in punishment).)

Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "Allah made the Law of equality a `life'. Hence, how many a man who thought about killing, but this Law prevented him from killing for fear that he will be killed in turn.'' Similar statements were reported from Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Malik, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Muqatil bin Hayyan. Allah's statement:

[يأُولِي الأَلْبَـبِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ]

(O men of understanding, that you may acquire Taqwa.) means, `O you who have sound minds, comprehension and understanding! Perhaps by this you will be compelled to refrain from transgressing the prohibitions of Allah and what He considers sinful. ' Taqwa (mentioned in the Ayah) is a word that means doing all acts of obedience and refraining from all prohibitions.

[كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ ]

[فَمَن بَدَّلَهُ بَعْدَمَا سَمِعَهُ فَإِنَّمَآ إِثْمُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُبَدِّلُونَهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ - فَمَنْ خَافَ مِن مُّوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا فَأَصْلَحَ بَيْنَهُمْ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(180. It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqin (the pious).) (181. Then whoever changes it after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (182. But he who fears from a testator some unjust act or wrongdoing, and thereupon he makes peace between the parties concerned, there shall be no sin on him. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)



Including Parents and Relatives in the Will was later abrogated

This Ayah contains the command to include parents and relatives in the will, which was obligatory, according to the most correct view, before the Ayah about inheritance was revealed. When the Ayah of inheritance was revealed, this Ayah was abrogated, so fixed shares of the inheritance for deserving recipients were legislated by Allah. Therefore, deserving inheritors take their fixed inheritance without the need to be included in the will or to be reminded of the favor of the inherited person. For this reason we see the Hadith narrated in the Sunan and other books that `Amr bin Kharijah said: I heard Allah's Messenger saying in a speech:

«إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَعْطَى كُلَّ ذِي حَقَ حَقَّهُ، فَلَا وَصِيَّــةَ لِوَارِث»

(Allah has given each heir his fixed share. So there is no will for a deserving heir.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Muhammad bin Sirin said: Ibn `Abbas recited Surat Al-Baqarah (chapter 2 in the Qur'an) until he reached the Ayah:

[إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ]

(...if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin.)

He then said, "This Ayah was abrogated.'' This was recorded by Sa`id bin Mansur and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak Al-Hakim Said, "It is Sahih according to their criteria (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)''. Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement:

[الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ]

(a bequest to parents and next of kin)

was abrogated by the Ayah:

[لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً ]

(There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether the property be small or large ـ a legal share.) (4:7)

Ibn Abu Hatim then said, "It was reported from Ibn `Umar, Abu Musa, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, `Ata' Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Sirin, `Ikrimah, Zayd bin Aslam and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Tawus, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Shurayh, Ad-Dahhak and Az-Zuhri said that this Ayah (2:180 above) was abrogated by the Ayah about the inheritors (4:7).''


The Will for the Relatives that do not qualify as Inheritors

It is recommended that the remaining relatives who do not have a designated fixed share of the inheritance, be willed up to a third, due to the general meaning of the Ayah about the will. It is recorded in the Sahihayn that Ibn `Umar said that Allah's Messenger said:

«مَا حَقُّ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ لَهُ شَيْءٌ يُوصِي فِيه يَبِيتُ لَيْلَتَيْنِ إلَّا وَوَصِيَّتُهُ مَكْتُوبَةٌ عِنْدَه»

(It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.)

Ibn `Umar commented, "Ever since I heard this statement from Allah's Messenger , no night has passed, but my will is kept ready with me.'' There are many other Ayat and Ahadith ordering kindness and generosity to one's relatives.



The Will should observe Justice

The will should be fair, in that one designates a part of the inheritance to his relatives without committing injustice against his qualified inheritors and without extravagance or stinginess. It is recorded in the Sahihayn that Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas said, "O Allah's Messenger! I have some money and only a daughter inherits from me, should I will all my remaining property (to others)'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d said, "Then may I will half of it'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d said, "One-third'' He said, "Yes, one-third, yet even one-third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor, begging from others.'' Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih that Ibn `Abbas said, "I recommend that people reduce the proportion of what they bequeath by will to a fourth (of the whole legacy) rather than a third, for Allah's Messenger said:

«الثُّلُثُ وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِير»

(One-third, yet even one-third is too much.)''

Allah's statement:

[فَمَن بَدَّلَهُ بَعْدَمَا سَمِعَهُ فَإِنَّمَآ إِثْمُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُبَدِّلُونَهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ]

(Then whoever changes it after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) means, whoever changed the will and testament or altered it by addition or deletion, including hiding the will as is obvious, then

[فَإِنَّمَآ إِثْمُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُبَدِّلُونَهُ]

(the sin shall be on those who make the change. )

Ibn `Abbas and others said, "The dead person's reward will be preserved for him by Allah, while the sin is acquired by those who change the will.''

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ]

(Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) means, Allah knows what the dead person has bequeathed and what the beneficiaries (or others) have changed in the will.

Allah's statement:

[فَمَنْ خَافَ مِن مُّوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا]

(But he who fears from a testator some unjust act or wrongdoing,)

Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and As-Suddi said, "Error.'' These errors include such cases as when the inheritor indirectly acquires more than his fair share, such as by being allocated that a certain item mentioned in the legacy be sold to him. Or, the testator might include his daughter's son in the legacy to increase his daughter's share in the inheritance, and so forth. Such errors might occur out of the kindness of the heart without thinking about the consequences of these actions, or by sinful intention. In such cases, the executive of the will and testament is allowed to correct the errors and to replace the unjust items in the will with a better solution, so that both the Islamic law and what the dead person had wished for are respected and observed. This act would not constitute an alteration in the will and this is why Allah mentioned it specifically, so that it is excluded from the prohibition (that prohibits altering the will and testament) mentioned in the previous Ayah. And Allah knows best.



The Virtue of Fairness in the Will

`Abdur-Razzaq reported that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah's Messenger said:

«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْخَيْرِ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَإِذَا أَوْصَى حَافَ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ، فَيُخْتَمُ لَه بِشَرِّ عَمَلِهِ، فَيَدْخُلُ النَّارَ. وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّرِّ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَيَعْدِلُ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ، فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِخَيْرِ عَمَلِهِ، فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّــة»

(A man might perform the works of righteous people for seventy years, but when he dictates his will, he commits injustice and thus his works end with the worst of his deeds and he enters the Fire. A man might perform the works of evil people for seventy years, but then dictates a just will and thus ends with the best of his deeds and then enters Paradise.)

Abu Hurayrah then said, "Read if you wish:

[تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَعْتَدُوهَا]

(These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them.)'' (2:229)

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ]

[أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَتٍ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ]

(183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may acquire Taqwa.) (184. Fast for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.)



The Order to Fast

In an address to the believers of this Ummah, Allah ordered them to fast, that is, to abstain from food, drink and sexual activity with the intention of doing so sincerely for Allah the Exalted alone. This is because fasting purifies the souls and cleanses them from the evil that might mix with them and their ill behavior. Allah mentioned that He has ordained fasting for Muslims just as He ordained it for those before them, they being an example for them in that, so they should vigorously perform this obligation more obediently than the previous nations. Similarly, Allah said:

[لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِى مَآ ءَاتَـكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ]

(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah had 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.) (5:48)

Allah said in this Ayah:

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ]

(O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may have Taqwa).) since the fast cleanses the body and narrows the paths of Shaytan. In the Sahihayn the following Hadith was recorded:

«يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيتَـزَوَّجْ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِع فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاء»

.(O young people! Whoever amongst you can afford marriage, let him marry. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.)

Allah then states that the fast occurs during a fixed number of days, so that it does not become hard on the hearts, thereby weakening their resolve and endurance.)



The various Stages of Fasting

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that `A'ishah said, "(The day of) `Ashura' was a day of fasting. When the obligation to fast Ramadan was revealed, those who wished fasted, and those who wished did not.'' Al-Bukhari recorded the same from Ibn `Umar and Ibn Mas`ud.

Allah said:

[وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ]

(...those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).)

Mu`adh commented, "In the beginning, those who wished, fasted and those who wished, did not fast and fed a poor person for each day.'' Al- Bukhari recorded Salamah bin Al-Akwa` saying that when the Ayah:

[وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ]

(...those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).) was revealed, those who did not wish to fast, used to pay the Fidyah (feeding a poor person for each day they did not fast) until the following Ayah (2:185) was revealed abrogating the previous Ayah. It was also reported from `Ubaydullah from Nafi` that Ibn `Umar said; "It was abrogated.'' As-Suddi reported that Murrah narrated that `Abdullah said about this Ayah:

[وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ]

(those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).) "It means `those who find it difficult (to fast).' Formerly, those who wished, fasted and those who wished, did not but fed a poor person instead.'' Allah then said:

[فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا]

(But whoever does good of his own accord) meaning whoever fed an extra poor person,

[فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ]

(it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you) Later the Ayah:

[فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ]

(So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month) (2:185) was revealed and this abrogated the previous Ayah (2:184).



The Fidyah (Expiation) for breaking the Fast is for the Old and the Ailing

Al-Bukhari reported that `Ata heard Ibn `Abbas recite:

[وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ]

(And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).)

Ibn `Abbas then commented, "(This Ayah) was not abrogated, it is for the old man and the old woman who are able to fast with difficulty, but choose instead to feed a poor person for every day (they do not fast).'' Others reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr mentioned this from Ibn `Abbas. So the abrogation here applies to the healthy person, who is not traveling and who has to fast, as Allah said:

[فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ]

(So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month.) (2:185)

As for the old man (and woman) who cannot fast, he is allowed to abstain from fasting and does not have to fast another day instead, because he is not likely to improve and be able to fast other days. So he is required to pay a Fidyah for every day missed. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas and several others among the Salaf who read the Ayah:

[وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ]

(And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man)) to mean those who find it difficult to fast as Ibn Mas`ud stated. This is also the opinion of Al-Bukhari who said, "As for the old man (person) who cannot fast, (he should do like) Anas who, for one or two years after he became old fed some bread and meat to a poor person for each day he did not fast.''

This point, which Al-Bukhari attributed to Anas without a chain of narrators, was collected with a continuous chain of narrators by Abu Ya`la Mawsuli in his Musnad, that Ayyub bin Abu Tamimah said; "Anas could no longer fast. So he made a plate of Tharid (broth, bread and meat) and invited thirty poor persons and fed them.'' The same ruling applies for the pregnant and breast-feeding women if they fear for themselves or their children or fetuses. In this case, they pay the Fidyah and do not have to fast other days in place of the days that they missed.

[شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ]

(185. The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasting) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.)



The Virtue of Ramadan and the Revelation of the Qur'an in it.

Allah praised the month of Ramadan out of the other months by choosing it to send down the Glorious Qur'an, just as He did for all of the Divine Books He revealed to the Prophets. Imam Ahmad reported Wathilah bin Al-Asqa` that Allah's Messenger said:

«أُنْزِلَتْ صُحُفُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي أَوَّلِ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، وَأُنْزِلَتِ التَّوْرَاةُ لِسِتَ مَضَيْنَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، وَالْإِنْجِيلُ لِثَلاثَ عَشَرةَ خَلَتْ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، وَأَنْزَلَ اللهُ الْقُرْآنَ لأَرْبَعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ خَلَتْ مِنْ رَمَضَان»

(The Suhuf (Pages) of Ibrahim were revealed during the first night of Ramadan. The Torah was revealed during the sixth night of Ramadan. The Injil was revealed during the thirteenth night of Ramadan. Allah revealed the Qur'an on the twenty-fourth night of Ramadan.)



The Virtues of the Qur'an

Allah said:

[هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ]

(...a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).)

Here Allah praised the Qur'an, which He revealed as guidance for the hearts of those who believe in it and adhere to its commands. Allah said:

[وَبَيِّنَـتٍ]

(and clear proofs) meaning, as clear and unambiguous signs and unequivocal proof for those who understand them. These proofs testify to the truth of the Qur'an, its guidance, the opposite of misguidance, and how it guides to the straight path, the opposite of the wrong path, and the distinction between the truth and falsehood, and the permissible and the prohibited.



The Obligation of Fasting Ramadan

Allah said:

[فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ]

(So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month.)

This Ayah requires the healthy persons who witness the beginning of the month, while residing in their land, to fast the month. This Ayah abrogated the Ayah that allows a choice of fasting or paying the Fidyah. When Allah ordered fasting, He again mentioned the permission for the ill person and the traveler to break the fast and to fast other days instead as compensation. Allah said:

[وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ]

(...and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasting) must be made up] from other days.)

This Ayah indicates that ill persons who are unable to fast or fear harm by fasting, and the traveler, are all allowed to break the fast. When one does not fast in this case, he is obliged to fast other days instead. Allah said:

[يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ]

(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.)

This Ayah indicates that Allah allowed such persons, out of His mercy and to make matters easy for them, to break the fast when they are ill or traveling, while the fast is still obligatory on the healthy persons who are not traveling.



Several Rulings concerning the Fast

The authentic Sunnah states that Allah's Messenger traveled during the month of Ramadan for the battle for Makkah. The Prophet marched until he reached the area of Kadid and then broke his fast and ordered those who were with him to do likewise. This was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Breaking the fast mentioned in this Hadith was not required, for the Companions used to go out with Allah's Messenger during the month of Ramadan, then, some of them would fast while some of them would not fast and neither category would criticize the others. If the command mentioned in the Hadith required breaking the fast, the Prophet would have criticized those who fasted. Allah's Messenger himself sometimes fasted while traveling. For instance, it is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We once went with Allah's Messenger during Ramadan while the heat was intense. One of us would place his hand on his head because of the intense heat. Only Allah's Messenger and `Abdullah bin Rawahah were fasting at that time.''

We should state that observing the permission to break the fast while traveling is better, as Allah's Messenger said about fasting while traveling:

«مَنْ أَفْطَرَ فَحَسَنٌ، وَمَنْ صَامَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْه»

(Those who did not fast have done good, and there is no harm for those who fasted.)

In another Hadith, the Prophet said:

«عَلَيْكُمْ بِرُخْصَةِ اللهِ الَّتِي رُخِّصَ لَكُم»

(Hold to Allah's permission that He has granted you.)

Some scholars say that the two actions are the same, as `A'ishah narrated that Hamzah bin `Amr Al-Aslami said, "O Messenger of Allah! I fast a lot, should I fast while traveling'' The Prophet said:

«إِنْ شِئْتَ فَصُمْ، وَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَأَفْطِر»

(Fast if you wish or do not fast if you wish.)

This Hadith is in the Two Sahihs. It was reported that if the fast becomes difficult (while traveling), then breaking the fast is better. Jabir said that Allah's Messenger saw a man who was being shaded (by other people while traveling). The Prophet asked about him and he was told that man was fasting. The Prophet said:

«لَيْسَ مِنَ الْبِرِّ الصِّيَامُ فِي السَّفَر»

(It is not a part of Birr (piety) to fast while traveling.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

As for those who ignore the Sunnah and believe in their hearts that breaking the fast while traveling is disliked, they are required to break the fast and are not allowed to fast.

As for making up for missed fasting days, it is not required to be consecutive. One may do so consecutively or not consecutively. There are ample proofs to this fact. We should mention that fasting consecutive days is only required exclusively during Ramadan. After the month of Ramadan, what is required then is to merely make up for missed days. This is why Allah said:

[فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ]

(. ..the same number (should be made up) from other days.)



Ease and not Hardship

Allah then said:

[يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ]

(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.)

Imam Ahmad recorded Anas bin Malik saying that Allah's Messenger said:

«يَسِّرُوا وَلَا تُعَسِّرُوا وَسَكِّنُوا وَلَا تُنَفِّرُوا»

(Treat the people with ease and don't be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don't fill them with aversion.)

This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs. It is reported in the Sahihayn that Allah's Messenger said to Mu`adh and Abu Musa when he sent them to Yemen:

«بَشِّرَا وَلَا تُنَفِّرَا، وَيَسِّرَا وَلَا تُعَسِّرَا، وَتَطَاوَعَا وَلَا تَخْتَلِفَا»

(Treat the people with ease and don't be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don't fill them with aversion; and love each other, and don't differ.)

The Sunan and the Musnad compilers recorded that Allah's Messenger said:

«بُعِثْتُ بِالْحَنِيفِيَّةِ السَّمْحَة»

(I was sent with the easy Hanifiyyah (Islamic Monotheism).)

Allah's statement:

[يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ]

(Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days)) means: You were allowed to break the fast while ill, while traveling, and so forth, because Allah wanted to make matters easy for you. He only commanded you to make up for missed days so that you complete the days of one month.



Remembering Allah upon performing the Acts of Worship

Allah's statement:

[وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ]

(...and that you must magnify Allah [i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you) means: So that you remember Allah upon finishing the act of worship. This is similar to Allah's statement:

[فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَـسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا]

(So when you have accomplished your Manasik, (rituals) remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance.) (2:200) and:

[فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَوةُ فَانتَشِرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَابْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ]

(...Then when the (Jumu`ah) Salah (prayer) is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah (by working), and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.) (62:10) and:

[فَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ - وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَـرَ السُّجُودِ ]

(...and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting. And during a part of the night, glorify His praises, and after the prayers.) (50:39, 40)

This is why the Sunnah encouraged Tasbih (saying Subhan Allah, i.e., all praise is due to Allah), Tahmid (saying Al-Hamdu Lillah, i.e., all the thanks are due to Allah) and Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) after the compulsory prayers. Ibn `Abbas said, "We used to know that Allah's Messenger has finished the prayer by the Takbir.'' Similarly, several scholars have stated that reciting Takbir the during `Id-ul-Fitr was specified by the Ayah that states:

[وَلِتُكْمِلُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ]

((He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you...) Allah's statement:

[وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ]

(...so that you may be grateful to Him.) means: If you adhere to what Allah commanded you, obeying Him by performing the obligations, abandoning the prohibitions and abiding by the set limits, then perhaps you will be among the grateful.

[وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ]

(186. And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad concerning Me, then answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.)




Allah hears the Servant's Supplication

Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, "We were in the company of Allah's Messenger during a battle. Whenever we climbed a high place, went up a hill or went down a valley, we used to say, `Allah is the Most Great,' raising our voices. The Prophet came by us and said:

«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، ارْبَعُوا عَلى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، فَإِنَّكُمْ لَا تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ ولَا غَائِبًا، إنَّمَا تَدْعُونَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا، إنَّ الَّذي تَدْعُونَ أَقْربُ إِلَى أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْ عُنُقِ رَاحِلَتِهِ، يا عَبْدَاللهِ بْنَ قَيْسٍ، أَلَا أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَةً مِنْ كُنُوزِ الْجَنَّةِ؟ لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِالله»

(O people! Be merciful to yourselves (i.e., don't raise your voices), for you are not calling a deaf or an absent one, but One Who is All-Hearer, All-Seer. The One Whom you call is closer to one of you than the neck of his animal. O `Abdullah bin Qais (Abu Musa's name) should I teach you a statement that is a treasure of Paradise: `La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (there is no power or strength except from Allah).')

This Hadith was also recorded in the Two Sahihs, and Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah recorded similar wordings. Furthermore, Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Prophet said:

«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالى أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا دَعَانِي»

("Allah the Exalted said, `I am as My servant thinks of Me, and I am with him whenever he invokes Me.') Allah (Subhana Wa Tala) accepts the Invocation

Imam Ahmad also recorded Abu Sa`id saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيها إِثْمٌ ولَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ، إلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثِ خِصَالٍ: إِمَّا أَنْ يُعَجِّل لَهُ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الأُخْرَى، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا»

قَالُوا: إذًا نُكْثِرُ؟ قَالَ:

«اللهُ أَكْثَر»

(No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du`a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.'') They said, "What if we were to recite more (Du`a).'' He said, (There is more with Allah.)

`Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad recorded `Ubadah bin As-Samit saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا عَلى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ مِنْ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بَدَعْوَةٍ إِلَّا آتَاهُ اللهُ إيَّاهَا، أَوْ كَفَّ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِم»

(There is no Muslim man on the face of the earth who supplicates to Allah but Allah would either grant it to him, or avert a harm from him of equal proportions, as long as his supplication does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb.) At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith.

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَالَمْ يَعْجَلْ، يَقُولُ: دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي»

(One's supplication will be accepted as long as he does become get hasty and say,`I have supplicated but it has not been accepted from me.")



Allah accepts the Invocation

Imam Ahmad also recorded Abu Sa`id saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيها إِثْمٌ ولَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ، إلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثِ خِصَالٍ: إِمَّا أَنْ يُعَجِّل لَهُ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الأُخْرَى، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا»

قَالُوا: إذًا نُكْثِرُ؟ قَالَ:

«اللهُ أَكْثَر»

(No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du`a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.'') They said, "What if we were to recite more (Du`a).'' He said, (There is more with Allah.)

`Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad recorded `Ubadah bin As-Samit saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا عَلى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ مِنْ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بَدَعْوَةٍ إِلَّا آتَاهُ اللهُ إيَّاهَا، أَوْ كَفَّ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِم»

(There is no Muslim man on the face of the earth who supplicates to Allah but Allah would either grant it to him, or avert a harm from him of equal proportions, as long as his supplication does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb.) At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith.

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَالَمْ يَعْجَلْ، يَقُولُ: دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي»

(One's supplication will be accepted as long as he does become get hasty and say, `I have supplicated but it has not been accepted from me.'')

This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Malik, and this is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

Muslim recorded that the Prophet said:

«لا يَزَالُ يُسْتَجابُ لِلْعَبْدِ مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْم أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِمٍ مَا لَمْ يَسْتَعْجِل»

قِيَل: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، وَمَا الاسْتِعْجَالُ؟ قَالَ:

«يَقُولُ: قَدْ دَعَوْتُ وقَدْ دَعَوْتُ، فَلَمْ أَرَ يُسْتَجَابُ لِي، فَيَسْتَحْسِرُ عِنْدَ ذلِكَ وَيَدَعُ الدُّعَاء»

(The supplication of the servant will be accepted as long as he does not supplicate for what includes sin, or cutting the relations of the womb, and as long as he does not become hasty.) He was asked, "O Messenger of Allah! How does one become hasty'' He said, (He says, `I supplicated and supplicated, but I do not see that my supplication is being accepted from me.' He thus looses interest and abandons supplicating (to Allah).)


Three Persons Whose Supplication will not be rejected

In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and the Sunans of At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«ثَلاَثةٌ لَا تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ: الْإمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَالصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ، وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ، يَرْفَعُهَا اللهُ دُونَ الْغَمَامِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَتُفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، يَقُولُ: بِعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكَ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِين»

(Three persons will not have their supplication rejected: the just ruler, the fasting person until breaking the fast, and the supplication of the oppressed person, for Allah raises it above the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the doors of heaven will be opened for it, and Allah says, `By My grace! I will certainly grant it for you, even if after a while.')

[أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالـنَ بَـشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّيْلِ وَلاَ تُبَـشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَـكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَـجِدِ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهَا كَذلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ ]

(187. It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Siyam (fasting). They are Libas [i.e., body-cover, or screen] for you and you are Libas for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall. And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I`tikaf in the Masjids. These are the limits (set) by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His Ayat to mankind that they may acquire Taqwa.)



Eating, Drinking and Sexual Intercourse are allowed during the Nights of Ramadan

These Ayat contain a relief from Allah for the Muslims by ending the practice that was observed in the early years of Islam. At that time, Muslims were allowed to eat, drink and have sexual intercourse only until the `Isha' (Night) prayer, unless one sleeps before the `Isha' prayer. Those who slept before `Isha' or offered the `Isha' prayer, were not allowed to drink, eat or sexual intervourse sex until the next night. The Muslims found that to be difficult for them.

The Ayat used the word `Rafath' to indicate sexual intercourse, according to Ibn `Abbas, `Ata' and Mujahid. Similar Tafsir was offered by Sa`id bin Jubayr, Tawus, Salim bin `Abdullah, `Amr bin Dinar, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Ad-Dahhak, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, As-Suddi, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

Allah said:

[هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ]

(They are Libas [i.e., body-cover, or screen] for you and you are Libas for them.)

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that this Ayah means, "Your wives are a resort for you and you for them.'' Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "They are your cover and you are their cover.'' In short, the wife and the husband are intimate and have sexual intercourse with each other, and this is why they were permitted to have sexual activity during the nights of Ramadan, so that matters are made easier for them.

Abu Ishaq reported that Al-Bara' bin `Azib said, "When the Companions of Allah's Messenger observed fast but would sleep before breaking their fast, they would continue fasting until the following night. Qays bin Sirmah Al-Ansari was fasting one day and was working in his land. When the time to break the fast came, he went to his wife and said, `Do you have food' She said, `No. But I could try to get you some.' His eyes then were overcome by sleep and when his wife came back, she found him asleep. She said, `Woe unto you! Did you sleep' In the middle of the next day, he lost consciousness and mentioned what had happened to the Prophet . Then, this Ayah was revealed: r

[أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ]

(It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Siyam (fasting)) until...

[وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ]

(and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall. ) Consequently, they were very delighted.'' Al-Bukhari reported this Hadith by Abu Ishaq who related that he heard Al-Bara' say, "When fasting Ramadan was ordained, Muslims used to refrain from sleeping with their wives the entire month, but some men used to deceive themselves. Allah revealed:

[عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ]

(Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you.)

`Ali bin Abu Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "During the month of Ramadan, after Muslims would pray `Isha', they would not touch their women and food until the next night. Then some Muslims, including `Umar bin Al-Khattab, touched (had sex with) their wives and had some food during Ramadan after `Isha'. They complained to Allah's Messenger . Then Allah sent down:

[عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالـنَ بَـشِرُوهُنَّ]

(Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them)'' This is the same narration that Al-`Awfi related from Ibn `Abbas.

Allah said:

[وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ]

(. ..and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring),)

Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, Anas, Shurayh Al-Qadi, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam, Hakam bin `Utbah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, and others said that this Ayah refers to having offspring. Qatadah said that the Ayah means, "Seek the permission that Allah has allowed for you.'' Sa`id narrated that Qatadah said,

[وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ]

(and seek that which Allah has ordained for you,)



Time for Suhur

Allah said:

[وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّيْلِ]

(...and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall.)

Allah has allowed eating and drinking, along with having sexual intercourse, as we have stated, during any part of the night until the light of dawn is distinguished from the darkness of the night. Allah has described that time as `distinguishing the white thread from the black thread.' He then made it clearer when He said:

[مِنَ الْفَجْرِ]

(of dawn.)

As stated in a Hadith that Imam Abu `Abdullah Al-Bukhari recorded, Sahl bin Sa`d said, "When the following verse was revealed:

[وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ]

(Eat and drink until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread) and (of dawn) was not revealed, some people who intended to fast, tied black and white threads to their legs and went on eating till they differentiated between the two. Allah then revealed the words, (of dawn), and it became clear to them that it meant (the darkness of) night and (the light of) day. ''

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said that `Adi said, "I took two strings, one black and the other white and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night, but could not make any distinction between the two. So, the next morning I went to Allah's Messenger and told him the whole story. He said:

«إِنَّ وِسَادَكَ إِذًا لَعَرِيضٌ، أَنْ كَانَ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ وَالْأَسْوَدُ تَحْتَ وِسَادَتِك»

(Your pillow is very wide if the white and black threads are under it!) Some wordings for this Hadith read,

«إِنَّكَ لَعَرِيضُ الْقَفَا»

(Your Qafa (back side of your neck) is wide!)

Some people said that these words meant that `Adi was not smart. This is a weak opinion. The narration that Al-Bukhari collected explains this part of the Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Adi bin Hatim narrated: I said, "O Messenger of Allah! What is the white thread from the black thread Are they actual threads'' He said:

«إنَّكَ لَعَرِيضُ الْقَفَا أَنْ أَبْصَرْتَ الْخَيْطَيْنِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: لَا بَلْ هُوَ سَوَادُ اللَّيْلِ وَبَيَاضُ النَّهَار»

(Your Qafa is wide if you see the two threads. Rather, they are the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the daylight.)



Suhur is recommended

Allah allowed eating and drinking until dawn, it represents proof that Suhur is encouraged, since it is a Rukhsah (concession or allowance) and Allah likes that the Rukhsah is accepted and implemented. The authentic Sunnah indicates that eating the Suhur is encouraged. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Anas narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السَّحُورِ بَرَكَة»

(Eat the Suhur, for there is a blessing in Suhur.)

Muslim reported that `Amr bin Al-`As narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«إِنَّ فَصْلَ مَا بَيْنَ صِيَامِنَا وصِيَامِ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أَكْلَةُ السَّحَر»

(The distinction between our fast and the fast of the People of the Book is the meal of Suhur.)

Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Sa`id narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«السَّحُورُ أَكْلُهُ بَرَكَةٌ فَلَا تَدَعُوهُ، وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ تَجْرَعُ جُرْعَةَ مَاءٍ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّون عَلَى الْمُتَسَحِّرِين»

(Suhur is a blessed meal. Hence, do not abandon it, even if one just takes a sip of water. Indeed, Allah and His angels send Salah (blessings) upon those who eat Suhur.)

There are several other Hadiths that encourage taking the Suhur, even if it only consists of a sip of water.

It is preferred that Suhur be delayed until the time of dawn. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Anas bin Malik narrated that Zayd bin Thabit said, "We had Suhur with Allah's Messenger and then went on to pray.'' Anas asked, "How much time was there between the Adhan (call to prayer) and the Suhur'' He said, "The time that fifty Ayat take (to recite).''

Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Dharr saying that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا تَزَالُ أُمَّتِي بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْإِفْطَارَ وَأَخَّرُوا السُّحُور»

(My Ummah will always retain goodness as long as they hasten in breaking the fast and delay the Suhur.)

There are several Hadiths that narrate that the Prophet called Suhur "the blessed meal.''

There are narrations from several of the Salaf that they allowed the Suhur to be eaten later until close to Fajr. This is is reported from Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, Hudhayfah, Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas and Zayd bin Thabit. It is also reported from many of the Tabi`in, such as Muhammad bin `Ali bin Husayn, Abu Mijlaz, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Abu Ad-Duha, Abu Wa'il and other companions of Ibn Mas`ud. This is also the opinion of `Ata', Al-Hasan, Hakam bin `Uyainah, Mujahid, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Abu Sha`tha' Jabir bin Zayd, Al- A`mash and Ma`mar bin Rashid. We have mentioned the chains of narrations for their statements in our (Ibn Kathir's) book about Siyam (Fasting), and all praise is due to Allah.

It is also recorded in the Two Sahihs that Al-Qasim said that `A'ishah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا يَمْنَعُكُمْ أَذَانُ بِلَالٍ عَنْ سَحُورِكُمْ، فَإِنَّهُ يُنَادِي بِلَيْلٍ، فَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى تَسْمَعُوا أَذَانَ ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُؤَذِّنُ حَتَّى يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْر»

(The Adhan pronounced by Bilal should not stop you from taking Suhur, for he pronounces the Adhan at night. Hence, eat and drink until you hear the Adhan by Ibn Umm Maktum, for he does not call the Adhan until dawn.)

This is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

Imam Ahmad reported that Qays bin Talq quoted from his father that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَيْسَ الْفَجْرُ الْمُسْتَطِيلَ فِي الْأُفُقِ وَلَكِنِ الْمُعْتَرِضُ الْأَحْمَر»

(Dawn is not the (ascending) glow of white light of the horizon. Rather, it is the red (radiating) light.)

Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith, but their wording is:

«كُلُوا واشْرَبُوا، وَلَا يَهِيدَنَّكُمُ السَّاطِعُ الْمُصْعِدُ، فَكُلُوا واشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَعْتَرِضَ لَكُمُ الْأَحْمَر»

(Eat and drink and do not be rushed by the ascending (white) light. Eat and drink until the redness (of the dawn) appears.)

Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) recorded that Samurah bin Jundub narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا يَغُرَّنَّكُمْ أَذَانُ بِلَالٍ وَلَا هَذَا الْبَيَاضُ لِعَمُودِ الصُّبْحِ حَتَّى يَسْتَطِير»

(Do not be stopped by Bilal's Adhan or the (ascending) whiteness, until it spreads.) Muslim also recorded this Hadith.



There is no Harm in beginning the Fast while Junub (a state of major ritual impurity)

Issue: Among the benefits of allowing sexual activity, eating and drinking until dawn for those who are fasting, is that it is allowed to start the fast while Junub (in the state of impurity after sexual discharge), and there is no harm in this case if one takes a bath any time in the morning after waking up, and completes the fast. This is the opinion of the Four Imams and the majority of the scholars. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that `A'ishah and Umm Salamah said that Allah's Messenger used to wake up while Junub from sexual intercourse, not wet dreams, and he would take a bath and fast. Umm Salamah added that he would not break his fast or make up for that day.

Muslim recorded that `A'ishah said that a man asked:

يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، تُدْرِكُنِي الصَّلَاةُ وَأَنَا جَنُبٌ فَأَصُومُ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِصلى الله عليه وسلّم:

«وَأَنَا تُدْرِكُنِي الصَّلاةُ وَأَنَا جُنُبٌ فَأَصُوم»

"O Messenger of Allah! The (Dawn) prayer time starts while I am Junub, should I fast'' Allah's Messenger replied, (And I. The prayer time starts while I am Junub and I fast.)

He said, "You are not like us, O Messenger of Allah! Allah has forgiven your previous and latter sins.'' Allah's Messenger said:

«وَاللهِ إِنَّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَخْشَاكُمْ للهِ وَأَعْلَمَكُمْ بِمَا أَتَّقِي»

(By Allah! I hope that I have the most fear from Allah among you and the best knowledge of what Taqwa is.)



Fasting ends at Sunset

Allah said:

[ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّيْلِ]

(...then complete your fast till the nightfall.)

This Ayah orders breaking the fast at sunset. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said that Allah's Messenger said:

«إِذَا أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْلُ مِنْ ههُنَا، وَأَدْبَرَ النَّهَارُ مِنْ ههُنَا فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِم»

(If the night comes from this direction (the east), and the day departs from that direction (the west), then the fasting person breaks his fast.)

It is reported that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`idi narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْر»

(The people will retain goodness as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said:

«يَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: إِنَّ أَحَبَّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فِطْرًا»

(Allah the Exalted said, `The dearest among My servants to Me are those who hasten in breaking the fast the most.')

At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and said that this Hadith is Hasan Gharib.



Prohibition of Uninterrupted Fasting (Wisal)

There are several authentic Hadiths that prohibit Al-Wisal, which means continuing the fast through the night to the next night, without eating. Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا تُوَاصِلُوا»

قَالُوا: يَارَسُولَ اللهِ إِنَّكَ تُوَاصِلُ، قَالَ:

«فَإِنِّي لَسْتُ مِثْلَكُمْ إِنِّي أَبِيتُ يُطْعِمُنِي رَبِّي وَيَسْقِينِي»

(Do not practice Al-Wisal in fasting.) So, they said to him, "But you practice Al-Wisal, O Allah's Messenger!'' The Prophet replied, "(I am not like you, I am given food and drink during my sleep by my Lord.) ,So, when the people refused to stop Al-Wisal, the Prophet fasted two days and two nights (along with those who practiced Wisal) and then they saw the crescent moon (of the month of Shawwal). The Prophet said to them (angrily):

«لَوْ تَأَخَّرَ الْهِلَالُ لَزِدْتُكُم»

(If the crescent had not appeared, I would have made you fast for a longer period.)

That was as a punishment for them (when they refused to stop practicing Al-Wisal). This Hadith is also recorded in the Sahihayn.

The prohibition of Al-Wisal was also mentioned in a number of other narrations. It is a fact that practicing Al-Wisal was one of the special qualities of the Prophet , for he was capable and assisted in his practice of it. It is obvious that the food and drink that the Prophet used to get while practicing Al-Wisal was spiritual and not material, otherwise he would not be practicing Al-Wisal. We should mention that it is allowed to refrain from breaking the fast from sunset until before dawn (Suhur). A Hadith narrated by Abu Sa`id Khudri states that Allah's Messenger said:

«لَا تُوَاصِلُوا فَأَيُّكُمْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُوَاصِلَ فَلْيُوَاصِلْ إِلَى السَّحَر»

(Do not practice Al-Wisal, but whoever wishes is allowed to practice it until the Suhur.)

They said, "You practice Al-Wisal, O Messenger of Allah!'' He said:

«إِنِّي لَسْتُ كَهَيْئَتِكُمْ، إِنِّي أَبِيتُ لِي مُطْعِمٌ يُطْعِمُنِي وَسَاقٍ يَسْقِينِي»

(I am not similar to you, for I have One Who makes me eat and drink during the night.) This Hadith is also collected in the Two Sahihs.



The Rulings of I`tikaf

Allah said:

[وَلاَ تُبَـشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَـكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَـجِدِ]

(And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I`tikaf in the Masjids.)

`Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah is about the man who stays in I`tikaf at the mosque during Ramadan or other months, Allah prohibited him from touching (having sexual intercourse with) women, during the night or day, until he finishes his I`tikaf.'' Ad-Dahhak said, "Formerly, the man who practiced I`tikaf would go out of the mosque and, if he wished, would have sexual intercourse (with his wife). Allah then said:

[وَلاَ تُبَـشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَـكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَـجِدِ]

(And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I`tikaf in the Masjids.) meaning, `Do not touch your wives as long as you are in I`tikaf, whether you were in the mosque or outside of it'.'' It is also the opinion of Mujahid, Qatadah and several other scholars, that the Muslims used to have sexual intercourse with the wife while in I`tikaf if they departed the mosque until the Ayah was revealed. Ibn Abu Hatim commented, "It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Mujahid, `Ata' Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Muqatil said that the Ayah means, `Do not touch the wife while in I`tikaf.'''

What Ibn Abu Hatim reported from these people is the agreed upon practice among the scholars. Those who are in I`tikaf are not allowed to have sexual intercourse as long as they are still in I`tikaf in the mosque. If one has to leave the mosque to attend to a need, such as to relieve the call of nature or to eat, he is not allowed to kiss or embrace his wife or to busy himself with other than his I`tikaf. He is not even allowed to visit ailing persons, but he can merely ask about their condition while passing by. I`tikaf has several other rulings that are explained in the books (of Fiqh), and we have mentioned several of these rulings at the end of our book on Siyam (Fasting), all praise is due to Allah. Furthermore, the scholars of Fiqh used to follow their explanation of the rules for fasting with the explanation of the rules for I`tikaf, as this is the way these acts of worship were mentioned in the Qur'an.

By mentioning I`tikaf after fasting, Allah draws attention to practicing I`tikaf during the month of the fast, especially the last part of the month. The Sunnah of Allah's Messenger is that he used to perform I`tikaf during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan until he died. Afterwards, the Prophet's wives used to perform I`tikaf as the Two Sahihs recorded from `A'ishah the Mother of the believers. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Safiyyah, the daughter of Huyai, went to Allah's Messenger to visit him in the mosque while he was in I`tikaf. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet accompanied her back home, as it was night. Her house was at Usamah bin Zayd's house on the edge of Al-Madinah. While they were walking, two Ansari men met them and passed by them in a hurry, for they were shy to bother the Prophet while he was walking with his wife. He told them:

«عَلى رِسْلِكُمَا، إِنَّهَا صَفِيَّةُ بِنْتُ حُيَي»

(Do not run away! She is (my wife) Safiyyah bint Huyai.) Both of them said, "All praise is due to Allah, (How dare we think of any evil) O Allah's Messenger!'' The Prophet said (to them):

«إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَجْرِي مِنِ ابْنِ آدَمَ مَجْرَى الدَّمِ، وَإِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ يَقْذِفَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمَا شَيْئًا، أَوْ قَالَ: شَرًّا»

(Shaytan reaches everywhere in the human body, that the blood reaches. I was afraid lest Shaytan might suggest an evil thought in your minds.)

Imam Ash-Shafi`i commented, "Allah's Messenger sought to teach his Ummah to instantly eliminate any evil thought, so that they do not fall into the prohibited. They (the two Ansari men) had more fear of Allah than to think evil of the Prophet . Allah knows best.''

The Ayah (2:187) prohibits sexual intercourse and anything like kissing or embracing that might lead to it during I`tikaf. As for having the wife helping the husband, it is allowed. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `A'ishah said, "Allah's Messenger would bring his head near me (in her room) and I would comb his hair, while I was on my menses. He would enter the room only to attend to what a man needs.''

Allah's statement:

[تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ]

(These are the limits (set) by Allah) means, `This is what We have explained, ordained, specified, allowed and prohibited for fasting. We also mentioned the fast's objectives, what is permitted during it, and what is required of it. These are the set limits that Allah has legislated and explained, so do not come near them or transgress them.' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "(Allah's set limits mentioned in the Ayah) mean these four limits (and he then recited):

[أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ]

(It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Siyam (fasting).) and he recited up to:

[ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّيْلِ]

(then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall.) My father and other's used to say similarly and recite the same Ayah to us.''

Allah said:

[كَذلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ]

(Thus does Allah make clear His Ayat to mankind) meaning, `Just as He explains the fast and its rulings, He also explains the other rulings by the words of His servant and Messenger, Muhammad .' Allah continues:

[لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ]

(to mankind that they may attain Taqwa.) meaning, `So that they know how to acquire the true guidance and how to worship (Allah).' Similarly, Allah said:

[هُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ ءَايَـتٍ بَيِّنَـتٍ لِّيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِّنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(It is He Who sends down manifest Ayat to His servant (Muhammad ) that He may bring you out from (types of) darkness into the light. And verily, Allah is to you full of kindness, Most Merciful.) (57:9)

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُواْ بِهَآ إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ]

(188. And eat up not one another's property unjustly (in any illegal way, e.g., stealing, robbing, deceiving), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.)



Bribery is prohibited and is a Sin

`Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This (Ayah 2:188) is about the indebted person when there is no evidence of the loan. So he denies taking the loan and the case goes to the authorities, even though he knows that it is not his money and that he is a sinner, consuming what is not allowed for him.'' This opinion was also reported from Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayan and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. They all stated, "Do not dispute when you know that you are being unjust.''



The Judge's Ruling does not allow the Prohibited or prohibit the Lawful

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Salamah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«أَلَا إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ، وَإِنَّمَا يَأْتِينِي الْخَصْمُ، فَلَعَلَّ بَعْضَكُمْ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَلْحَنَ بِحُجَّتِهِ مِنْ بَعْضٍ فَأَقْضِيَ لَهُ، فَمَنْ قَضَيْتُ لَهُ بِحَقِّ مُسْلِمٍ فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ قِطْعَةٌ مِنْ نَارٍ، فَلْيَحْمِلْهَا أَوْ لِيَذَرْهَا»

(I am only human! You people present your cases to me, and as some of you may be more eloquent and persuasive in presenting his argument, I might issue a judgment in his benefit. So, if I give a Muslim's right to another, I am really giving him a piece of fire; so he should not take it.)

The Ayah and the Hadith prove that the judgment of the authorities in any case does not change the reality of the truth. Hence, the ruling does not allow what is in fact prohibited or prohibit what is in fact allowed. It is only applicable in that case. So if the ruling agrees with the truth, then there is no harm in this case. Otherwise, the judge will acquire his reward, while the cheater will acquire the evil burden.

This is why Allah said:

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُواْ بِهَآ إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ]

(And eat up not one another's property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.) meaning, `While you know the falsehood of what you claim. ' Qatadah said, "O son of Adam! Know that the judge's ruling does not allow you what is prohibited or prohibit you from what is allowed. The judge only rules according to his best judgment and according to the testimony of the witnesses. The judge is only human and is bound to make mistakes. Know that if the judge erroneously rules in some one's favor, then that person will still encounter the dispute when the disputing parties meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection. Then, the unjust person will be judged swiftly and precisely with that which will surpass whatever he acquired by the erroneous judgment he received in the life of this world.''

[يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَبِهَا وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ]

(189. They ask you (O Muhammad) about the crescents. Say: "These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.'' It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors, and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.)



The Crescent Moons

Al-`Awfi related that Ibn `Abbas said, "The people asked Allah's Messenger about the crescent moons. Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed:

[يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ]

(They ask you (O Muhammad) about the crescents. Say, "These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind...) so that they mark their acts of worship, the `Iddah (the period of time a divorced woman or a widow is required to wait before remarrying) of their women and the time of their Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'' `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn `Umar narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«جَعَلَ اللهُ الْأَهِلَّةَ مَوَاقِيتَ لِلنَّاسِ، فَصُومُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ، وَأَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ، فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَعُدُّوا ثَلَاثِينَ يَوْمًا»

(Allah has made the crescents signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind. Hence, fast on seeing it (the crescent for Ramadan) and break the fast on seeing it (the crescent for Shawwal). If it (the crescent) was obscure to you then count thirty days (mark that month as thirty days).) WThis Hadith was also collected by Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, and he said, "The chain is Sahih, and they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not recorded it."



Righteousness comes from Taqwa

Allah said:

[وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَبِهَا]

(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to enter the house from the back upon assuming the Ihram. Thereafter, Allah revealed (the following Ayah):

[وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَبِهَا]

(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.)

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded the same Hadith from Al-Bara' but with the wording; "The Ansar used to enter their houses from the back when returning from a journey. Thereafter, this Ayah (2:189 above) was revealed...''

Al-Hasan said, "When some people during the time of Jahiliyyah would leave home to travel, and then decide not to travel, they would not enter the house from its door. Rather, they would climb over the back wall. Allah the Exalted said:

[وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا]

(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back,).''

Allah's statement:

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ]

(...and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.) Have Taqwa of Allah, means to do what He has commanded you and refrain from what He has forbidden for you,

[لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ]

(that you may be successful.) tomorrow when you stand before Him and He thus rewards you perfectly.

[وَقَـتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ - وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِّنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ وَلاَ تُقَـتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّى يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِن قَـتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَآءُ الْكَـفِرِينَ - فَإِنِ انتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ - وَقَـتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ للَّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَنَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّـلِمِينَ ]

(190. And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.) (191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. ) (192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimin (the polytheists and wrongdoers).)



The Command to fight Those Who fight Muslims and killing Them wherever They are found

Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah commented on what Allah said:

[وَقَـتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ]

(And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you,)

Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "This was the first Ayah about fighting that was revealed in Al-Madinah. Ever since it was revealed, Allah's Messenger used to fight only those who fought him and avoid non-combatants. Later, Surat Bara'ah (chapter 9 in the Qur'an) was revealed.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said similarly, then he said that this was later abrogated by the Ayah:

[فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ]

(then kill them wherever you find them) (9:5).

However, this statement is not plausible, because Allah's statement:

[الَّذِينَ يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ]

(...those who fight you) applies only to fighting the enemies who are engaged in fighting Islam and its people. So the Ayah means, `Fight those who fight you', just as Allah said (in another Ayah):

[وَقَاتِلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةً]

(...and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively.) (9:36)

This is why Allah said later in the Ayah:

[وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِّنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ]

(And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.) meaning, `Your energy should be spent on fighting them, just as their energy is spent on fighting you, and on expelling them from the areas from which they have expelled you, as a law of equality in punishment.'



The Prohibition of mutilating the Dead and stealing from the captured Goods

Allah said:

[وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ]

(but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.)

This Ayah means, `Fight for the sake of Allah and do not be transgressors,' such as, by committing prohibitions. Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that transgression (indicated by the Ayah), "includes mutilating the dead, theft (from the captured goods), killing women, children and old people who do not participate in warfare, killing priests and residents of houses of worship, burning down trees and killing animals without real benefit.'' This is also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, Muqatil bin Hayyan and others. Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Buraydah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«اغْزُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، قَاتِلُوا مَنْ كَفَرَ بِاللهِ، اغْزُوا وَلَا تَغُلُّوا وَلَا تَغْدِرُوا وَلَا تَمْثُلُوا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا وَلِيدًا وَلَا أَصْحَابَ الصَّوَامِع»

(Fight for the sake of Allah and fight those who disbelieve in Allah. Fight, but do not steal (from the captured goods), commit treachery, mutilate (the dead), or kill a child, or those who reside in houses of worship.)

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Ibn `Umar said, "A woman was found dead during one of the Prophet's battles and the Prophet then forbade killing women and children. '' There are many other Hadiths on this subject.



Shirk is worse than Killing

Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. Abu Malik commented about what Allah said:

[وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ]

(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that what Allah said:

[وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ]

(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.''



Fighting in the Sacred Area is prohibited, except in Self-Defense

Allah said:

[وَلاَ تُقَـتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah))

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:

«إنَّ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ حَرَّمَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّموَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلَمْ يَحِلَّ لِي إِلَّا سَاعَةً مِنْ نَهَارٍ، وَإِنَّهَا سَاعَتِي هذِهِ حَرامٌ بحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيامَةِ، لا يُعْضَدُ شَجَرُهُ، وَلَا يُخْتَلىَ خَلَاهُ، فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخَّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللهِصلى الله عليه وسلّم، فَقُولُوا: إنَّ اللهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكُم»

(Allah has made this city a sanctuary since the day He created the heavens and the earth. So, it is a sanctuary by Allah's decree till the Day of Resurrection. Fighting in it was made legal for me only for an hour in the daytime. So, it (i.e., Makkah) is a sanctuary, by Allah's decree, from now on until the Day of Resurrection. Its trees should not be cut, and its grass should not be uprooted. If anyone mentions the fighting in it that occurred by Allah's Messenger, then say that Allah allowed His Messenger, but did not allow you.)

In this Hadith, Allah's Messenger mentions fighting the people of Makkah when he conquered it by force, leading to some deaths among the polytheists in the area of the Khandamah. This occurred after the Prophet proclaimed:

«مَنْ أَغْلَقَ بَابَهُ فهُوَ آمِنٌ،وَمَنْ دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ فَهُو آمِنٌ، ومَنْ دَخَلَ دَارَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَهُوَ آمِن»

(Whoever closed his door is safe. Whoever entered the (Sacred) Mosque is safe. Whoever entered the house of Abu Sufyan is also safe.)

Allah said:

[حَتَّى يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِن قَـتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَآءُ الْكَـفِرِينَ]

(...unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.)

Allah states: `Do not fight them in the area of the Sacred Mosque unless they start fighting you in it. In this case, you are allowed to fight them and kill them to stop their aggression.' Hence, Allah's Messenger took the pledge from his Companions under the tree (in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah) to fight (the polytheists), after the tribes of Quraysh and their allies, Thaqif and other groups, collaborated against the Muslims (to stop them from entering Makkah to visit the Sacred House). Then, Allah stopped the fighting before it started between them and said:

[وَهُوَ الَّذِى كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُم بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِن بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.) (48:24) and:

[وَلَوْلاَ رِجَالٌ مُّؤْمِنُونَ وَنِسَآءٌ مُّؤْمِنَـتٌ لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوهُمْ أَن تَطَئُوهُمْ فَتُصِيبَكمْ مِّنْهُمْ مَّعَرَّةٌ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ لِّيُدْخِلَ اللَّهُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ لَوْ تَزَيَّلُواْ لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً]

(Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills ـ if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.) (48:25)

Allah's statement:

[فَإِنِ انتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) which means, `If they (polytheists) cease fighting you in the Sacred Area, and come to Islam and repent, then Allah will forgive them their sins, even if they had before killed Muslims in Allah's Sacred Area.' Indeed, Allah's forgiveness encompasses every sin, whatever its enormity, when the sinner repents it.



The Order to fight until there is no more Fitnah

Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when He said:

[حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ]

(...until there is no more Fitnah) meaning, Shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam.

Allah's statement:

[وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ للَّهِ]

(...and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone).) means, `So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.' It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said: "The Prophet was asked, `O Allah's Messenger! A man fights out of bravery, and another fights to show off, which of them fights in the cause of Allah' The Prophet said:

«مَنْ قَاتَلَ لِتَكُونَ كَلِمَةُ اللهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيا فَهُوَ فِي سَبِيلِ الله»

(He who fights so that Allah's Word is superior, then he fights in Allah's cause.) In addition, it is reported in the Two Sahihs:

«أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا لَا إِلهَ إلَّا اللهُ، فَإِذَا قَالُوهَا عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُم وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ إلَّا بِحَقِّهَا وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى الله»

(I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people until they proclaim, `None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. Whoever said it, then he will save his life and property from me, except for cases of the law, and their account will be with Allah.)

Allah's statement:

[فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَنَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers.) indicates that, `If they stop their Shirk and fighting the believers, then cease warfare against them. Whoever fights them afterwards will be committing an injustice. Verily aggression can only be started against the unjust.' This is the meaning of Mujahid's statement that only combatants should be fought. Or, the meaning of the Ayah indicates that, `If they abandon their injustice, which is Shirk in this case, then do not start aggression against them afterwards.' The aggression here means retaliating and fighting them, just as Allah said:

[فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ]

(Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.) (2:194)

Similarly, Allah said:

[وَجَزَآءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا]

(The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof.) (42:40), and:

[وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ]

(And if you punish them, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. ) (16:126)

`Ikrimah and Qatadah stated, "The unjust person is he who refuses to proclaim, `There is no God worthy of worship except Allah'.''

Under Allah's statement:

[وَقَـتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ]

(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah) Al-Bukhari recorded that Nafi` said that two men came to Ibn `Umar during the conflict of Ibn Az-Zubayr and said to him, "The people have fallen into shortcomings and you are the son of `Umar and the Prophet's Companion. Hence, what prevents you from going out'' He said, "What prevents me is that Allah has for bidden shedding the blood of my (Muslim) brother.'' They said, "Did not Allah say:

[وَقَـتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ]

(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah))'' He said, "We did fight until there was no more Fitnah and the religion became for Allah Alone. You want to fight until there is Fitnah and the religion becomes for other than Allah!''

`Uthman bin Salih added that a man came to Ibn `Umar and asked him, "O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! What made you perform Hajj one year and `Umrah another year and abandon Jihad in the cause of Allah, although you know how much He has encouraged performing it'' He said, "O my nephew! Islam is built on five (pillars): believing in Allah and His Messenger, the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, paying the Zakah and performing Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House.'' They said, "O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! Did you not hear what Allah said in His Book:

[وَإِن طَآئِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُواْ فَأَصْلِحُواْ بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الأُخْرَى فَقَـتِلُواْ الَّتِى تَبْغِى حَتَّى تَفِىءَ إِلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ]

(And if two parties (or groups) among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which outrages till it complies with the command of Allah.) (49:9) and:

[وَقَـتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ]

(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief))

He said, "That we did during the time of Allah's Messenger when Islam was still weak and (the Muslim) man used to face trials in his religion, such as killing or torture. When Islam became stronger (and apparent), there was no more Fitnah.'' He asked, "What do you say about `Ali and `Uthman'' He said, "As for `Uthman, Allah has forgiven him. However, you hated the fact that Allah had forgiven him! As for `Ali, he is the cousin of Allah's Messenger and his son-in-law.'' He then pointed with his hand, saying, "This is where his house is located (meaning, `so close to the Prophet's house just as `Ali was so close to the Prophet himself').''

[الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَـتُ قِصَاصٌ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ ]

(194. The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin.)



Fighting during the Sacred Months is prohibited, except in Self-Defense

Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Miqsam, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Ata said, "Allah's Messenger went for `Umrah on the sixth year of Hijrah. Then, the idolators prevented him from entering the Sacred House (the Ka`bah in Makkah) along with the Muslims who came with him. This incident occurred during the sacred month of Dhul-Qa`dah. The idolators agreed to allow them to enter the House the next year. Hence, the Prophet entered the House the following year, along with the Muslims who accompanied him, and Allah permitted him to avenge the idolators' treatment of him, when He said:

[الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَـتُ قِصَاصٌ]

(The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas).)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "Allah's Messenger would not engage in warfare during the Sacred Month unless he was first attacked, then he would march forth. He would otherwise remain idle until the end of the Sacred Months.'' This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators.

Hence, when the Prophet was told that `Uthman was killed (in Makkah) when he was camped at the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after he had sent `Uthman as his emissary to the polytheists, he accepted the pledge from his Companions under the tree to fight the polytheists. They were one thousand and four hundred then. When the Prophet was informed that `Uthman was not killed, he abandoned the fight and reverted to peace.

When the Prophet finished fighting with (the tribes of) Hawazin during the battle of Hunayn and Hawazin took refuge in (the city of) At-Ta'if, he laid siege to that city. Then, the (sacred) month of Dhul-Qa`dah started, while At-Ta'if was still under siege. The siege went on for the rest of the forty days (rather, from the day the battle of Hunayn started until the Prophet went back to Al-Madinah from Al-Ji`ranah, were forty days), as reported in the Two Sahihs and narrated by Anas. When the Companions suffered mounting casualties (during the siege), the Prophet ended the siege before conquering At-Ta'if. He then went back to Makkah, performed `Umrah from Al-Ji`ranah, where he divided the war booty of Hunayn. This `Umrah occurred during Dhul-Qa`dah of the eighth year of Al-Hijrah.

Allah's statement:

[فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ]

(...whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.) ordains justice even with the polytheists. Allah also said in another Ayah:

[وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ]

(And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted.) (16:126)

Allah's statement:

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ]

(And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin (the pious)) (2:194) commands that Allah be obeyed and feared out of Taqwa. The Ayah informs us that Allah is with those who have Taqwa by His aid and support in this life and the Hereafter.

[وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ]

(195. And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)



The Command to spend in the Cause of Allah

Al-Bukhari recorded that Hudhayfah said:

[وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ]

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) "It was revealed about spending.'' Ibn Abu Hatim reported him saying similarly. He then commented, "Similar is reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.''

Aslam Abu `Imran said, "A man from among the Ansar broke enemy (Byzantine) lines in Constantinople (Istanbul). Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was with us then. So some people said, `He is throwing himself to destruction.' Abu Ayyub said, `We know this Ayah (2:195) better, for it was revealed about us, the Companions of Allah's Messenger who participated in Jihad with him and aided and supported him. When Islam became strong, we, the Ansar, met and said to each other, `Allah has honored us by being the Companions of His Prophet and in supporting him until Islam became victorious and its following increased. We had before ignored the needs of our families, estates and children. Warfare has ceased, so let us go back to our families and children and attend to them.' So this Ayah was revealed about us:

[وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ]

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) the destruction refers to staying with our families and estates and abandoning Jihad'.'' This was recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, `Abd bin Humayd in his Tafsir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduwyah, Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim. At-Tirmidhi said; "Hasan, Sahih, Gharib" Al-Hakim said, "It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it."

Abu Dawud's version mentions that Aslam Abu `Imran said, "We were at (the siege of) Constantinople. Then, `Uqbah bin `Amr was leading the Egyptian forces, while the Syrian forces were led by Fadalah bin `Ubayd. Later on, a huge column of Roman (Byzantine) soldiers departed the city, and we stood in lines against them. A Muslim man raided the Roman lines until he broke through them and came back to us. The people shouted, `All praise is due to Allah! He is sending himself to certain demise.' Abu Ayyub said, `O people! You explain this Ayah the wrong way. It was revealed about us, the Ansar when Allah gave victory to His religion and its following increased. We said to each other, `It would be better for us now if we return to our estates and attend to them.' Then Allah revealed this Ayah (2:195)'.''

Abu Bakr bin `Aiyash reported that Abu Ishaq As-Subai`y related that a man said to Al-Bara' bin `Azib, "If I raided the enemy lines alone and they kill me, would I be throwing myself to certain demise'' He said, "No. Allah said to His Messenger :

[فَقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ]

(Then fight (O Muhammad ) in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) That Ayah (2:195) is about (refraining from) spending.'' Ibn Marduwyah reported this Hadith, as well as Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said; "It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it." Ath-Thawri and Qays bin Ar-Rabi` related it from Al-Bara'. but added:

[لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ]

(You are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) "Destruction refers to the man who sins and refrains from repenting, thus throwing himself to destruction.''

Ibn `Abbas said:

[وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ]

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction) "This is not about fighting. But about refraining from spending for the sake of Allah, in which case, one will be throwing his self into destruction."

The Ayah (2:195) includes the order to spend in Allah's cause, in the various areas and ways that involve obedience and drawing closer to Allah. It especially applies to spending in fighting the enemies and on what strengthens the Muslims against the enemy. Allah states that those who refrain from spending in this regard will face utter and certain demise and destruction, meaning those who acquire this habit. Allah commands that one should acquire Ihsan (excellence in the religion), as it is the highest part of the acts of obedience. Allah said:

[وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ]

(and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)

[وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ وَلاَ تَحْلِقُواْ رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْىُ مَحِلَّهُ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ فَإِذَآ أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِى الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ]

(196. And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady that you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either fasting or giving Sadaqah or a sacrifice. Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast for three days during Hajj and seven days after his return, making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is severe in punishment.) g


The Command to complete Hajj and `Umrah

After Allah mentioned the rulings for fasting and Jihad, he explained the rituals by commanding the Muslims to complete Hajj and `Umrah, meaning, to finish the rituals of Hajj and `Umrah after one starts them. This is why Allah said afterwards:

[فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ]

(But if you are prevented) meaning, if your way to the House is obstructed, and you are prevented from finishing it. This is why the scholars agree that starting the acts of Hajj and `Umrah requires one to finish them. As for Makhul, he said, "Complete, means to start them from the Miqat (areas the Prophet designated to assume Ihram from).'' `Abdur-Razzaq said that Az-Zuhri said: "We were told that `Umar commented on:

[وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ]

(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) "Complete Hajj and `Umrah means performing each of them separately, and to perform `Umrah outside of the months of Hajj, for Allah the Exalted says:

[الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ]

(The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months. )''

As-Suddi said,

[وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ]

(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) means, "Maintain the performance of Hajj and `Umrah.'' Ibn `Abbas was reported to have said, "Hajj is `Arafat, while `Umrah is Tawaf.'' Al-A`mash related that Ibrahim said that `Alqamah commented on Allah's statement:

[وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ]

(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) "Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) recited it this way: `Complete Hajj and `Umrah to the House, so that one does not exceed the area of the House during the `Umrah'.'' Ibrahim then said, "I mentioned this statement to Sa`id bin Jubayr and he said; `Ibn `Abbas also said that.''' Sufyan reported that Ibrahim said that `Alqamah said (regarding the Ayah 2:196), "Perform the Hajj and `Umrah to the House.'' Ath-Thawri reported that Ibrahim read (the Ayah), "Perform the Hajj and `Umrah to the House.''



If One is prevented while in Route, He slaughters the Sacrifice, shaves his Head and ends Ihram

Allah's statement:

[فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(But if you are prevented, sacrifice a Hady (animals for sacriface) such as you can afford,) was revealed in the sixth year of Hijrah, the year of the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah when the polytheists prevented Allah's Messenger from reaching the House. Allah revealed Surat Al-Fath (chapter 48 in the Qur'an) then, and allowed the Muslims to slaughter any Hady (animals for sacrifice) they had. They had seventy camels with them for that purpose. They were also permitted to shave their heads and end their Ihram. When the Prophet commanded them to shave their heads and end the state of Ihram, they did not obey him, as they were awaiting that order to be abrogated. When they saw that the Prophet went out after shaving his head, they imitated him. Some of them did not shave, but only shortened their hair. This is why the Prophet said:

«رَحِمَ اللهُ الْمُحَلِّقِين»

(May Allah award His mercy to those who shaved.)

They said, "What about those who shortened the hair'' He said in the third time, "And to those who shortened.'' Every seven among them shared one camel for their sacrifice. They were one thousand and four hundred Companions and were camping in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, outside the Sacred Area. It was also reported that they were within the boundaries of the Sacred Area. Allah knows best.

Being prevented from the House (Hasr) includes more than just being sick, fearing an enemy or getting lost on the way to Makkah. Imam Ahmad reported that Al-Hajjaj bin `Amr Al-Ansari said that he heard Allah's Messenger saying:

«مَنْ كُسِرَ أَوْ عَرِجَ فَقَدْ حَلَّ وَعَلَيْهِ حَجَّةٌ أُخْرَى»

(Whoever suffered a broken bone or a limb, will have ended his Ihram and has to perform Hajj again.) He said, "I mentioned that to Ibn `Abbas and Abu Hurayrah and they both said, `He (Al-Hajjaj) has said the truth'.'' This Hadith is also reported in the Four Collections. In the version of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, the Prophet said, "Whoever limped, had a broken bone or became ill...'' Ibn Abu Hatim also recorded it and said, "It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Az-Zubayr, `Alqamah, Sa`id bin Musayyib, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Mujahid, An-Nakha`i, `Ata' and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that being prevented (Hasr) entails an enemy, an illness or a fracture.'' Ath-Thawri also said, "Being prevented entails everything that harms the person.''

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `A'ishah said that Allah's Messenger went to Duba`ah bint Az-Zubayr bin `Abdul-Muttalib who said, "O Messenger of Allah! I intend to perform Hajj but I am ill.'' He said, "Perform Hajj and make the condition: `My place is where You prevent (or halt) me.'' Muslim recorded similarly from Ibn `Abbas. So saying such a condition for Hajj is allowed is based on this Hadith.

Allah's statement:

[فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(...sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford) includes a sheep also, as Imam Malik reported that `Ali bin Abu Talib used to say. Ibn `Abbas said, "The Hady includes eight types of animals: camels, cows, goats and sheep.'' `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said about what Allah said:

[فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(...sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford)

"As much as one could afford.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, "If one can afford it, then camels, otherwise cows, or sheep.'' Hisham bin `Urwah quoted his father:

[فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(...sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e., a sheep, a cow, or a camel) such as you can afford) `Depending on the price.'

The proof that sacrificing only a sheep is allowed in the case of being prevented from continuing the rites, is that Allah has required sacrificing whatever is available as a Hady, and the Hady is any type of cattle; be it camels, cows or sheep. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas the cousin of Allah's Messenger and the scholar of Tafsir. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `A'ishah, the Mother of the believers, said, "The Prophet once offered some sheep as Hady.''

Allah's statement:

[وَلاَ تَحْلِقُواْ رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْىُ مَحِلَّهُ]

(...and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice.) is a continuation of His statement:

[وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ]

(And complete, the Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) and is not dependent upon:

[فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady) as Ibn Jarir has erroneously claimed. When the Prophet and his Companions were prevented from entering the Sacred House during the Al-Hudaybiyyah year by the polytheists from Quraysh, they shaved their heads and sacrificed their Hady outside the Haram (Sacred) area. In normal circumstances, and when one can safely reach the House, he is not allowed to shave his head until:

[حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْىُ مَحِلَّهُ]

(.. .and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice.) and then he ends the rituals of Hajj or `Umrah, or both if he had assumed Ihram for both. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Hafsah said, "O Allah's Messenger! What is wrong with the people, they have finished their Ihram for `Umrah but you have not'' The Prophet said,

«إنِّي لَبَّدْتُ رَأْسِي وَقَلَّدْتُ هَدْيِي، فَلَا أَحِلُّ حَتَّى أَنْحَر»

(I matted my hair and I have garlanded my Hady (animals for sacrifice), so I will not finish my Ihram till I offer the sacrifice.)



Whoever shaved his Head during Ihram, will have to pay the Fidyah

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 on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah.)

Al-Bukhari reported that `Abdur-Rahman bin Asbahani said that he heard `Abdullah bin Ma`qil saying that he sat with Ka`b bin `Ujrah in the mosque of Kufah (in Iraq). He then asked him about the Fidyah of the fasting. Ka`b said, "This was revealed concerning my case especially, but it is also for you in general. I was carried to Allah's Messenger and the lice were falling in great numbers on my face. The Prophet said:

«مَا كُنْتُ أُرَى أَنَّ الْجَهْدَ بلَغَ بكَ هذَا، أمَا تَجِدُ شَاة»

؟ قُلْتُ: لَا

(I never thought that your ailment (or struggle) had reached to such an extent as I see. Can you afford a sheep (for sacrifice)' I replied in the negative.) He then said:

«صُمْ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ أَوْ أَطْعِمْ سِتَّةَ مَسَاكِينَ، لِكُلِّ مِسْكِينٍ نِصْفُ صَاعٍ مِنْ طَعَامٍ، وَاحْلِقْ رَأْسَك»

(Fast for three days or feed six poor persons, each with half a Sa` of food (1 Sa` = 3 kilograms approx.) and shave your head.)

So this is a general judgement derived from a specific case.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka`b bin `Ujrah said, "Allah's Messenger came by while I was igniting the fire under a pot and while the lice were falling down my head or my eyelids. He said:

«يُؤْذِيكَ هَوَامُّ رَأْسِك»

؟ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ

(Do these lice in your head bother you) I said, `Yes.' He said:

«فَاحْلِقْهُ، وَصُمْ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، أَوْ أَطْعِمْ سِتَّةَ مَسَاكِينَ، أَوِ انْسُكْ نَسِيكَة»

(Shave it, then fast three days, or feed six poor people, or sacrifice an animal.)

Ayyub (one of the narrators of the Hadith) commented, "I do not know which alternative was stated first.'' The wording of the Qur'an begins with the easiest then the more difficult options: "Pay a Fidyah of fasting (three days), feeding (six poor persons) or sacrificing (an animal).'' Meanwhile, the Prophet advised Ka`b with the more rewarding option first, that is, sacrificing a sheep, then feeding six poor persons, then fasting three days. Each Text is suitable in its place and context, all the thanks and praises are due to Allah.



Tamattu` during Hajj

Allah said:

[فَإِذَآ أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,)

That is, when you are able to complete the rites, so whoever among you connects his `Umrah with Hajj having the same Ihram for both, or, first assuming Ihram for `Umrah, and then assuming Ihram for Hajj when finished the `Umrah, this is the more specific type of Tamattu` which is well-known among the discussion of the scholars whereas in general there are two types of Tamattu`, as the authentic Hadiths prove, since among the narrators are those who said, "Allah's Messenger performed Tamattu`, and others who said, "Qarin" but there is no difference between them over the Hady.

So Allah said,

[فَإِذَآ أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj (i.e., Hajj At-Tamattu` and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,) means let him sacrifice whatever Hady is available to him, the least of which is a sheep. One is also allowed to sacrifice a cow because the Prophet slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives. Al-Awza`i reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives when they were performing Tamattu`. This was reported by Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah.

This last Hadith proves that Tamattu` is legislated. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `Imran bin Husayn said, "We performed Hajj At-Tamattu` in the lifetime of Allah's Messenger and then the Qur'an was revealed (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu`). Nothing was revealed to forbid it, nor did he (the Prophet ) forbid it until he died. And somebody said what he wished (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu`) according to his own opinion.'' Al-Bukhari said that `Imran was talking about `Umar. It is reported in an authentic narration that `Umar used to discourage the people from performing Tamattu`. He used to say, "If we refer to Allah's Book, we should complete it,'' meaning:

[فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْىِ]

(...whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,)

However `Umar did not say that Tamattu` is unlawful. He only prevented them so that the people would increase their trips to the House for Hajj (during the months of Hajj) and `Umrah (throughout the year), as he himself has stated.



Whoever performs Tamattu` should fast Ten Days if He does not have a Hady

Allah said:

[فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ]

(...but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all.)

This Ayah means: "Those who do not find a Hady, let them fast three days during the Hajj season.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, "If one does not have a Hady, he should fast three days during Hajj, before `Arafah day. If the day of `Arafah was the third day, then his fast is complete. He should also fast seven days when he gets back home.'' Abu Ishaq reported from Wabarah from Ibn `Umar who said, "One fasts one day before the day of Tarwiyah, the day of Tarwiyah (eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah) and then `Arafah day (the ninth day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah).'' The same statement was reported by Ja`far bin Muhammad from his father from `Ali.

If one did not fast these three days or at least some of them before `Id day (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah), he is allowed to fast during the Tashriq days (11-12-13th day of Dhul-Hijjah). `A'ishah and Ibn `Umar said, "Fasting the days of Tashriq was only allowed for those who did not find the Hady,'' as Al-Bukhari has reported. Sufyan related that Ja`far bin Muhammad narrated that his father said that `Ali said, "Whoever did not fast the three days during the Hajj, should fast them during the days of Tashriq.'' This is also the position taken by `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, referring to the general meaning of Allah's statement:

[فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ]

(...fast three days during the Hajj...)

As for what Muslim reported that Qutaybah Al-Hudhali said that Allah's Messenger said:

«أَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ، وَذِكْرِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(The days of Tashriq are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah the Exalted.)

This narration is general in meaning while what `A'ishah and Ibn `Umar narrated is specific.

Allah said:

[وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ]

(...and seven days after his return.)

There are two opinions regarding the meaning of this Ayah. First, it means `when you return to the camping areas'. The second, upon going back home. `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Salim narrated that he heard Ibn `Umar saying:

[فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَـثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ]

"(...but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return,) means when he goes back to his family. '' The same opinion was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, `Ata', `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Imam Az-Zuhri and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.

Al-Bukhari reported that Salim bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Umar said, "During the Farewell Hajj of Allah's Messenger , he performed Tamattu` with `Umrah and Hajj. He drove a Hady along with him from Dhul-Hulayfah. Allah's Messenger started by assuming Ihram for `Umrah, and then for Hajj. And the people, too, performed the `Umrah and Hajj along with the Prophet . Some of them brought the Hady and drove it along with them, while the others did not. So, when the Prophet arrived at Makkah, he said to the people:

«مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُم أَهْدَى فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَحِلُّ مِنْ شَيْءٍ حَرُمَ مِنْهُ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ حَجَّهُ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أَهْدَى فَلْيَطُفْ بالْبَيْتِ وبالصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةِ وَلْيُقَصِّرْ وَلْيَحْلِلْ، ثُمَّ لْيُهِلَّ بِالْحَجِّ، فَمَنْ لَمْ يجَدْ هَدْيًا فَلْيَصُمْ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ، وَسَبْعةً إِذَا رَجَعَ إِلى أَهْلِه»

(Whoever among you has driven the Hady, should not finish his Ihram till he completes his Hajj. And whoever among you has not (driven) the Hady with him, he should perform Tawaf of the Ka`bah and between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. Then, he should shave or cut his hair short and finish his Ihram, and should later assume Ihram for Hajj; [but he must offer a Hady (sacrifice)]. And if anyone cannot afford a Hady, he should fast for three days during the Hajj and seven days when he returns home.)

He then mentioned the rest of the Hadith, which is reported in the Two Sahihs.

Allah said:

[تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ]

(...making ten days in all.) to emphasize the ruling we mentioned above. This method is common in the Arabic language, for they would say, `I have seen with my eyes, heard with my ears and written with my hand,' to emphasize such facts. Similarly, Allah said:

[وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ]

(...nor a bird that flies with its two wings) (6:38) and:

[وَلاَ تَخُطُّهُ بِيَمِينِكَ]

(...nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand) (29:48) and:

[وَوَعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلَـثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَـتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً]

(And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added (to the period) ten (more), and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights.) (7:142)

It was also said that the meaning of "ten days in all'' emphasizes the order to fast for ten days, not less than that.



The Residents of Makkah do not perform Tamattu"

Allah said:

[ذَلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِى الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah).) This Ayah concerns the residents of the area of the Haram, for they do not perform Tamattu`. `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Tawus said, "Tamattu` is for the people, those whose families are not residing in the Haram area (Makkah), not for the residents of Makkah. Hence Allah's Statement:

[ذَلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِى الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah).)

`Abdur-Razzaq then said, "I was also told that Ibn `Abbas said similar to Tawus.'' Allah said:

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ]

(...and fear Allah) meaning, in what He has commanded you and what He prohibited for you. He then said:

[وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ]

(...and know that Allah is severe in punishment) for those who defy His command and commit what He has prohibited.

[الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يأُوْلِي الأَلْبَـبِ ]

(197. The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, Allah knows it. And take provisions for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!)



When does Ihram for Hajj start

Allah said:

[الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ]

(The Hajj is (in) the well-known months.)

This Ayah indicates that Ihram for Hajj only occurs during the months of Hajj. This was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Jabir, `Ata', Tawus and Mujahid. The proof for this is Allah's statement that Hajj occurs during known, specific months, which indicates that Hajj is not allowed before that, just as the prayer has a fixed time (before which one's prayer is not accepted).

Ash-Shafi`i recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "No person should assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of the Hajj, for Allah said:

[الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ]

(The Hajj is (in) the well-known months.)

Ibn Khuzaymah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "No Ihram for Hajj should be assumed, except during the months of Hajj, for among the Sunnah of Hajj is that one assume Ihram for it during the Hajj months. '' This is an authentic narration and the Companion's statement that such and such is among the Sunnah is considered as a Hadith of the Prophet , according to the majority of the scholars. This is especially the case when it is Ibn `Abbas who issued this statement, as he is the Tarjuman (translator, interpreter, explainer) of the Qur'an.

There is a Hadith about this subject too. Ibn Marduwyah related that Jabir narrated that the Prophet said:

«لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ يُحْرِمَ بِالْحَجِّ إِلَّا فِي أَشْهُرِ الْحَج»

(No one should assume Ihram for Hajj, but during the months of Hajj.)

The chain of narrators for this Hadith is reasonable. Ash-Shafi`i and Al-Bayhaqi recorded this Hadith from Ibn Jurayj who related that Abu Az-Zubayr said that he heard Jabir bin `Abdullah being asked, "Does one assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of the Hajj'' He said, "No.'' This narration is more reliable than the narration that we mentioned from the Prophet . In short, this statement is the opinion of the Companion, supported by Ibn `Abbas' statement that it is a part of the Sunnah not to assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of the Hajj. Allah knows best.



The Months of Hajj

Allah said:

[أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ]

(...the well-known months.)

Al-Bukhari said that Ibn `Umar said that these are Shawwal, Dhul-Qa`dah and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. This narration for which Al-Bukhari did not mention the chain of narrators, was collected by a continuous chain of narrators that Ibn Jarir rendered authentic, leading to Ibn `Umar, who said:

[الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَـتٌ]

(The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months.) "which are Shawwal, Dhul-Qa`dah and the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.'' Its chain is Sahih. Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and he said,"It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs."

This statement is also reported from `Umar, `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr, Ibn `Abbas, `Ata', Tawus, Mujahid, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Imam Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Makhul, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Muqatil bin Hayyan. This opinion was preferred by Ibn Jarir who said, "It is a common practice to call two months and a part of the third month as `months'. This is similar to the Arab's saying, `I visited such and such person this year or this day.' He only visited him during a part of the year and a part of the day. Allah said:

[فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِى يَوْمَيْنِ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ]

(But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him.)

In this case, one will only be hastening for one and a half days.''

Allah then said:

[فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ]

(So whosoever intends (Farada) to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram),) meaning that one's assuming the Ihram requires a Hajj, for the person is required to complete the rituals of Hajj after assuming Ihram. Ibn Jarir said that Al-`Awfi said, "The scholars agree that (Farada) `intends' mentioned in the Ayah means it is a requirement and an obligation.'' `Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said: f

[فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ]

(So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), ) refers to those who assume Ihram for Hajj and `Umrah''. `Ata' said, "'Intends', means, assumes the Ihram.'' Similar statements were attributed to Ibrahim, Ad-Dahhak and others.



Prohibition of Rafath (Sexual Intercourse) during Hajj

Allah said:

[فَلاَ رَفَثَ]

(He should not have Rafath)

This Ayah means that those who assume the Ihram for Hajj or `Umrah are required to avoid the Rafath, meaning, sexual intercourse. Allah's statement here is similar to His statement:

[أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ]

(It is made lawful for you to have Rafath (sexual relations) with your wives on the night of the fast.) (2:187)

Whatever might lead to sexual intercourse, such as embracing, kissing and talking to women about similar subjects, is not allowed. Ibn Jarir reported that Nafi` narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "Rafath means sexual intercourse or mentioning this subject with the tongue, by either men or women.'' `Ata' bin Abu Rabah said that Rafath means sexual intercourse and foul speech. This is also the opinion of `Amr bin Dinar. `Ata' also said that they used to even prevent talking (or hinting) about this subject. Tawus said that Rafath includes one's saying, "When I end the Ihram I will have sex with you.'' This is also the same explanation offered by Abu Al-`Aliyah regarding Rafath. `Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Rafath means having sex with the wife, kissing, fondling and saying foul words to her, and similar acts.'' Ibn `Abbas and Ibn `Umar said that Rafath means to have sex with women. This is also the opinion of Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Abu Al-`Aliyah who narrated it from `Ata' and Makhul, `Ata Al-Khurasani, `Ata' bin Yasar, `Atiyah, Ibrahim, Ar-Rabi`, Az-Zuhri, As-Suddi, Malik bin Anas, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Abdul-Karim bin Malik, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak, and others.



The Prohibition of Fusuq during Hajj

Allah said:

[وَلاَ فُسُوقَ]

(...nor commit sin) Miqsam and several other scholars related that Ibn `Abbas said, "It is disobedience." This is also the opinion of `Ata,' Mujahid, Tawus, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Az-Zuhri, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Ata' bin Yasar, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

Ibn Wahb reported that Nafi` narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "Fusuq [or sin mentioned in the Ayah (2:197)] refers to committing what Allah has forbidden in the Sacred Area.''

Several others said that Fusuq means cursing others, they based this on the authentic Hadith:

«سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْر»

(Cursing the Muslim is Fusuq, while fighting him is Kufr.)

`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said Fusuq here means slaughtering animals for the idols, as Allah said:

[أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ]

(...or impious (Fisq) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah.) (6: 145)

Ad-Dahhak said that Fusuq is insulting one another with bad nicknames.

Those who said that the Fusuq means all types of disobedience are correct. Allah has also prohibited committing injustice during the months of Hajj in specific, although injustice is prohibited throughout the year. This is why Allah said:

[مِنْهَآ أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ]

(...of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein.) (9:36)

Allah said about the Sacred Area:

[وَمَن يُرِدْ فِيهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُّذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ]

(...and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment.) (22:25)

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:

«مَنْ حَجَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتَ، فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ خَرَجَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ كَيَوْمَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّه»

(Whoever performed Hajj to this (Sacred) House and did not commit Rafath or Fusuq, will return sinless, just as the day his mother gave birth to him.)



The Prohibition of arguing during Hajj

Allah said:

[وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ]

(nor should there be Jidal during Hajj) meaning, disputes and arguments. Ibn Jarir related that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that what Allah said:

[وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ]

(...nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj.) means to argue with your companion (or fellow) until you make him angry. This is similar to the the opinion that Miqsam and Ad-Dahhak related to Ibn `Abbas. This is also the same meaning reported from Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ata', Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Jabir bin Zayd, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Makhul, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, `Amr bin Dinar, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata bin Yasar, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri.



The Encouragement for Righteous Deeds and to bring Provisions for Hajj

Allah said:

[وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ]

(And whatever good you do, Allah knows it.)

After Allah prohibited evil in deed and tongue, He encouraged righteous, good deeds, stating that He is knowledgeable of the good that they do, and He will reward them with the best awards on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said next:

[وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى]

(And take provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).)

Al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "The people of Yemen used to go to Hajj without taking enough supplies with them. They used to say, `We are those who have Tawakkul (reliance on Allah).' Allah revealed this Ayah:

[وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى]

(And take provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).)

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah narrated that Ibn `Umar said, "When people assumed Ihram, they would throw away whatever provisions they had and would acquire other types of provisions. Allah revealed:

[وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى]

(And take a provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).) Allah forbade them from this practice and required them to take flour and Sawiq (a type of food usually eaten with dates) with them.''



The Provisions of the Hereafter

Allah said:

[فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى]

(...but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).) When Allah required mankind to supply themselves with what sustains them for the journeys of this life, He directed them to the necessary provisions for the Hereafter: Taqwa. Allah said in another Ayah:

[وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ]

(...and as an adornment; and the raiment of Taqwa, that is better.) (7:26)

Allah mentioned the material covering and then He mentioned the spiritual covering, which includes humbleness, obedience and Taqwa. He also stated that the latter provision is better and more beneficial than the former.

[وَاتَّقُونِ يأُوْلِي الأَلْبَـبِ]

(So fear Me, O men of understanding!) meaning: `Fear My torment, punishment, and affliction for those who defy Me and do not adhere to My commands, O people of reason and understanding.'

[لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَإِذَآ أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَـتٍ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُمْ مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّآلِّينَ ]

(198. There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading). Then when you leave `Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His praises, i.e., prayers and invocations) at the Mash`ar-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good) as He has guided you, and verily you were before, of those who were astray).



Commercial Transactions during Hajj

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "`Ukaz, Mijannah and Dhul-Majaz were trading posts during the time of Jahiliyyah. During that era, they did not like the idea of conducting business transactions during the Hajj season. Later, this Ayah was revealed:

[لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ]

(There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord.) during the Hajj season.''

Abu Dawud and others recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "They used to avoid conducting business transactions during the Hajj season, saying that these are the days of Dhikr. Allah revealed:

[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).)

This is also the explanation of Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Mansur bin Al-Mu`tamir, Qatadah, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and others. Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Umaymah said that when Ibn `Umar was asked about conducting trade during the Hajj, he recited 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). )

This Hadith is related to Ibn `Umar with a strong chain of narrators. This Hadith is also related to the Prophet , as Ahmad reported that Abu Umamah At-Taymi said, "I asked Ibn `Umar, `We buy (and sell during the Hajj), so do we still have a valid Hajj' He said, `Do you not perform Tawaf around the House, stand at `Arafat, throw the pebbles and shave your heads' I said, `Yes.' Ibn `Umar said, `A man came to the Prophet and asked him about what you asked me, and the Prophet did not answer him until Jibril came down with this 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).) The Prophet summoned the man and said: (You are pilgrims).'' Ibn Jarir narrated that Abu Salih said to `Umar, "`O Leader of the faithful! Did you conduct trade transactions during the Hajj'' He said, "Was their livelihood except during Hajj''



Standing at `Arafat

Allah said:

[فَإِذَآ أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَـتٍ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ]

(Then when you leave `Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His praises, i.e., prayers and invocations) at the Mash`ar-il-Haram.)

`Arafat is the place where one stands during the Hajj and it is a pillar of the rituals of Hajj. Imam Ahmad and the Sunan compilers recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ya`mar Ad-Diyli said that he heard Allah's Messenger saying:

«الْحَجُّ عَرَفَاتٌ ثَلَاثًا فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ عَرَفَةَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْرُ فَقَدْ أَدْرَكَ، وَأَيَّامُ مِنًى ثَلَاثَــةٌ، فَمَنْ تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَنْ تَأَخَّر فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيه»

(Hajj is `Arafat, (thrice). Hence, those who have stood at `Arafat before dawn will have performed (the rituals of the Hajj). The days of Mina are three, and there is no sin for those who move on after two days, or for those who stay.)

The time to stand on `Arafat starts from noon on the day of `Arafah until dawn the next day, which is the day of the Sacrifice (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah). The Prophet stood at `Arafat during the Farewell Hajj, after he had offered the Zuhr (noon) prayer, until sunset. He said, "Learn your rituals from me.'' In this Hadith (i. e., in the previous paragraph) he said, "Whoever stood at `Arafat before dawn, will have performed (the rituals of Hajj).'' c`Urwah bin Mudarris bin Harithah bin Lam At-Ta'i said, "I came to Allah's Messenger at Al-Muzdalifah when it was time to pray. I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I came from the two mountains of Tayy', and my animal became tired and I became tired. I have not left any mountain, but stood on it. Do I have a valid Hajj' Allah's Messenger said:

«مَنْ شَهِدَ صَلَاتَنَا هذِهِ، فَوَقَفَ مَعَنَا حَتَّى نَدْفَعَ، وَقَدْ وَقَفَ بِعَرَفَةَ قَبْلَ ذلِكَ لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهارًا فَقَدْ تَمَّ حَجُّهُ وَقَضَى تَفَثَه»

(Whoever performed this prayer with us, stood with us until we moved forth, and had stood at `Arafat before that, day or night, will have performed the Hajj and completed its rituals).''

This Hadith was collected by Imam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Sلahih. It was reported that the mount was called `Arafat because, as `Abdur-Razzaq reported that `Ali bin Abu Talib said, "Allah sent Jibril to Prophet Ibrahim and he performed Hajj for him (to teach him its rituals). When Ibrahim reached `Arafat he said, `I have `Araftu (I know this place).' He had come to that area before. Thereafter, it was called `Arafat.'' Ibn Al-Mubarak said that `Ata' said, "It was called `Arafat because Jibril used to teach Ibrahim the rituals of Hajj. Ibrahim would say, `I have `Araftu, I have `Araftu.' It was thereafter called `Arafat.'' Similar statements were attributed to Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar and Abu Mijlaz. Allah knows best.

`Arafat is also called

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