Surah Al-Baqarah

سورة البقرة

Tafsir: Al-Quranul Kareem – Ibn Kathir
Chapter 2| Surah Al-Baqarah – The Cow |Part Three

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

LineTreeSurah Al-Baqarah
– The Cow –

Part | Three002 - 115

115.| And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne). Surely, Allah is Sufficient (for His creatures’ needs), Knowing.

Facing the Qiblah
(Direction of the Prayer)

Allah said,

”…  And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne). Surely, Allah is Sufficient (for His creatures’ needs), Knowing.”

This ruling brought comfort to the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, who were driven out of Makkah and had to depart from the area of Al-Masjid Al-Haram.

In Makkah, the Messenger of Allah used to pray in the direction of Bayt Al-Maqdis, while the Ka`bah was between him and the Qiblah. When the Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, he faced Bayt Al-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months, and then Allah directed him to face Al-Ka`bah in prayer. This is why Allah said,

(And to Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne)).

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said, “The first part of the Qur’an that was abrogated was about the Qiblah.

When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, which was inhabited by the Jews, he was at first commanded to face Bayt Al-Maqdis.

The Jews were happy, and the Messenger of Allah faced Bayt Al-Maqdis for some ten months.

However, the Messenger of Allah liked to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim (Al-Ka`bah at Makkah), and he used to look to the sky and supplicate. So Allah revealed, (Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven) until, (turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction), (2:144).

The Jews were disturbed by this development and said, `What made them change the direction of the Qiblah that they used to face’ Allah revealed,

(Say (O Muhammad): “To Allah belong both, east and the west”), (2:142) and, (So wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne)).”

Ikrimah said that Ibn Abbas said, (So wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne)) means,

“Allah’s direction is wherever you face, east or west.”

Mujahid said that, (So wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne)) means,

“Wherever you may be, you have a Qiblah to face, that is, Al-Ka`bah.”

However, it was said that; Allah sent down this Ayah before the order to face the Ka`bah.

Ibn Jarir said, “Others said that this Ayah was revealed to the Messenger of Allah permitting the one praying voluntary prayers to face wherever they wish in the east or west, while traveling, when in fear and when facing the enemy.”

For instance, Ibn Umar used to face whatever direction his animal was headed and proclaim that the Messenger of Allah did the same, explaining the Ayah, (So wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah).”

That Hadith was also collected by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduwyah, and its origin is in the Two Sahihs from Ibn Umar and Amr bin Rabi`ah without mentioning the Ayah.

In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that Nafi said that; whenever Ibn Umar was asked about the prayer during times of fear, he used to describe it and would then say, “When the sense of fear is worse than that, pray while standing, or while riding, whether facing the Qiblah or not.” Nafi then said, “I think Ibn Umar mentioned that from the Prophet.”

It was also said that; the Ayah was revealed about those who are unable to find the correct direction of the Qiblah in the dark or due to cloudy skies and, thus, prayed in a direction other than the Qiblah by mistake.

The Qiblah for the People of Al-Madinah is what is between the East and the West

In his Tafsir of this Ayah (2:115), Al-Hafiz Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

What is between the east and the west is the Qiblah for the people of Al-Madinah, Ash-Sham and Iraq.

At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the wording, What is between the east and the west is a Qiblah.

Allah’s statement

Surely, Allah is Sufficient (for His creatures’ needs), Knowing.

Ibn Jarir said, “The meaning of Allah’s statement is that Allah encompasses all His Creation by providing them with sufficient needs and by His generosity and favor.

His statement,

(Knowing) means, He is knowledgeable of their deeds and nothing escapes His watch, nor is He unaware of anything. Rather, His knowledge encompasses everything.”

002 - 116

116.| And they (Jews, Christians and pagans) say: Allah has begotten a son (children or offspring). Glory is to Him (Exalted is He above all that they associate with Him). Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all are Qanitun to Him.

002 - 117

117.| The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: “Be!  and it is.

Refuting the Claim that Allah has begotten a Son

Allah said,

And they (Jews, Christians and pagans) say: Allah has begotten a son (children or offspring), This and the following Ayat refute the Christians, may Allah curse them, and their like among the Jews and the Arab idolators, who claimed that the angels are Allah’s daughters. Allah refuted all of them in their claim that He had begotten a son.

Allah said,

Glory is to Him. meaning, He is holier and more perfect than such claim;

Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, meaning, the truth is not as the disbelievers claimed, rather, Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and earth and whatever and whoever is in, on and between them. Allah is the Supreme  Authority in the heavens and earth, and He is the Creator, Provider and Sustainer Who decides all the affairs of the creation as He wills. All creatures are Allah’s servants and are owned by Him. Therefore, how could one of them be His son

The son of any being is born out of two comparable beings. Allah has no equal or rival sharing His grace and greatness, so how can He have a son when He has no wife Allah said,

‘’He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife He created all things and He is the Knower of everything! (6:101)

And they say: “The Most Gracious (Allah) has begotten a son (offspring or children).”

Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Gracious (Allah). But it is not suitable for (the majesty of) the Most Gracious (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children).

There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious (Allah) as a servant. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender). (19:88-95) and,

Say: “He is Allah (the) One, Allah the Samad (the Self- Sufficient, upon whom all depend), He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable to Him.” (112:1-4)

In these Ayat, Allah stated that He is the Supreme Master Whom there is no equal or rival, everything and everyone was created by Him, so how can He have a son from among them This is why, in the Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet said,

Allah said, `The son of Adam has denied Me, and that is not his right. He has insulted Me, and that is not his right.

As for the denial of Me, he claimed that I am unable to bring him back as he used to be (resurrect him).

As for his insulting Me, he claimed that I have a son. All praise is due to Me, it is unbefitting that I should have a wife or a son.’

This Hadith was recorded by Al-Bukhari.

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

No one is more patient when hearing an insult than Allah. They attribute a son to Him, yet He still gives them sustenance and health.

Everything is within Allah’s Grasp

Allah said,

… and all are Qanitun to Him.

Ibn Abi Hatim said that Abu Sa`id Al-Ashaj informed them that Asbat informed them from Mutarrif, from Atiyah, from Ibn Abbas who said that, “

(Qantin) means, they pray to Him.

Ikrimah and Abu Malik also said that, (and all are Qanitun to Him),

… means, bound to Him in servitude to Him.

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Qanitun is sincerity. Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that,  (all are Qanitun to Him) … means,

“Standing up – before Him – on the Day of Resurrection.”

Also, As-Suddi said that,  (and all are Qanitun to Him) means,

“Obedient on the Day of Resurrection.”

Khasif said that Mujahid said that, (and all are Qanitun to Him) means, “Obedient. He says, `Be a human’ and he becomes a human.”

He also said, “(Allah says,) `Be a donkey’ and it becomes a donkey.”

Also, Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that, (and all are Qanitun to Him),

… means, obedient.

Mujahid also said, “The obedience of the disbeliever occurs when his shadow prostrates, while he hates that.”

Mujahid’s statement, which Ibn Jarir preferred, combines all the meanings, and that is that Qunut means obedience and submission to Allah.

There are two categories of Qunut: legislated and destined, for Allah said,

And unto Allah (alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the (late) afternoons. (13:15)

The Meaning of Badi`

Allah said,

The Badi` (Originator) of the heavens and the earth.

which means, He created them when nothing resembling them existed.

Mujahid and As-Suddi said that; this is the linguistic meaning, for all new matters are called Bid`ah.

Muslim recorded the Messenger of Allah saying, …every innovation (in religion) is a Bid`ah.

There are two types of Bid`ah, religious, as mentioned in the Hadith: …every innovation is a Bid`ah and every Bid`ah is heresy.

And there is a linguistic Bid`ah, such as the statement of the Leader of the faithful Umar bin Al-Khattab when he gathered the Muslims to pray the Tarawih prayer in congregation (which was also an earlier practice of the Prophet) and said, “What a good Bid`ah this is.”

Ibn Jarir said, “Thus the meaning of the Ayat (2:116-117)

becomes, `Allah is far more glorious than to have had a son, for He is the Owner of everything that is in the heavens and earth. All testify to His Oneness and to their submissiveness to Him. He is their Creator and Maker. Without created precedence, He shaped the creatures in their current shapes. Allah also bears witness to His servants that Jesus, who some claimed to be Allah’s son, is among those who testify to His Oneness. Allah stated that He created the heavens and earth out of nothing and without precedent. Likewise, He created Jesus, the Messiah, with His power and without a father.”

This explanation from Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy upon him, is very good and correct.

Allah said, When He decrees a matter, He only says to it : “Be!  And it is.

… thus, demonstrating His perfectly complete ability and tremendous authority; if He decides a matter, He merely orders it to, `Be’ and it comes into existence.

Similarly, Allah said, ‘’Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!  and it is. (36:82)

‘’Verily, Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: “Be!  and it is. (16:40)

 ‘’And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)

So Allah informed us that He created Jesus by merely saying, “Be!” and he was, as Allah willed:

‘’Verily, the likeness of `Isa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!  and he was. (3:59)

002-118

118.| And those who have no knowledge say: “Why does not Allah speak to us (face to face) or why does not a sign come to us!” So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike, We have indeed made plain the signs for people who believe with certainty.

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn Abbas said that; Rafi bin Huraymilah said to the Messenger of Allah, “O Muhammad! If you were truly a Messenger from Allah, as you claim, then ask Allah to speak to us directly, so that we hear His Speech.”

So Allah revealed,

And those who have no knowledge say: “Why does not Allah speak to us (face to face) or why does not a sign come to us!”

Abu Al-Aliyah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that it was actually the statement of the Arab disbelievers:

So said the people before them words of similar import.

He said, “These are the Jews and the Christians.”

What further proves that the Arab idolators said the statement mentioned in the Ayah is that Allah said, And when there comes to them a sign (from Allah) they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah had received.” Allah knows best with whom to place His Message. Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals (polytheists and sinners) for that which they used to plot. (6:124)

And they say: “We shall not believe in you (O Muhammad), until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us, until, (Say (O Muhammad): “Glorified (and Exalted) be my Lord ((Allah) above all that evil they (polytheists) associate with Him)! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger!” (17:90-93)

And those who expect not a meeting with Us (i.e. those who deny the Day of Resurrection and the life of the Hereafter) said: “Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord!” (25:21)

­Nay, everyone of them desires that he should be given pages spread out. (74:52)

There are many other Ayat that testify to the disbelief of the Arab idolators, their transgression, stubbornness, and that they asked unnecessary questions out of disbelief and arrogance. The statements of the Arab idolators followed the statements of the nations of the People of the Two Scriptures and other religions before them.

Allah said, The People of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven.

Indeed, they asked Musa (Moses) for even greater than that, when they said: “Show us Allah in public.” (4:153)

­And (remember) when you said: “O Musa! We shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly.” (2:55)

Allah’s statement,

Their hearts are alike.

… means, the hearts of the Arab idolators are just like the hearts of those before them, containing disbelief, stubbornness and injustice.

Similarly, Allah said, Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!”

Have they (the people of the past) transmitted this saying to these (Quraysh pagans)! (51:52-53)

Allah said next, We have indeed made plain the signs for people who believe with certainty.

… meaning, We made the arguments clear, proving the truth of the Messengers, with no need of more questions or proofs for those who believe, follow the Messengers and comprehend what Allah sent them with.

As for those whose hearts and hearing Allah has stamped and whose eyes have been sealed, Allah described them:

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)

002 - 119

119.| Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) with the truth (Islam), a bringer of glad tidings (for those who believe in what you brought, that they will enter Paradise) and a warner (for those who disbelieve in what you brought, that they will enter the Hellfire). And you will not be asked about the dwellers of the blazing Fire.

Allah says;

Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) with the truth (Islam), a bringer of glad tidings (for those who believe in what you brought, that they will enter Paradise) and a warner (for those who disbelieve in what you brought, that they will enter the Hellfire).

Allah’s statement;

And you will not be asked about the dwellers of the blazing Fire.

… means, “We shall not ask you about the disbelief of those who rejected you.”

Similarly, Allah said,

Your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning. (13:40)

So remind them (O Muhammad)  you are only one who reminds. You are not a dictator over them. (88:21-22) and,

We know best what they say. And you (O Muhammad) are not the one to force them (to belief). But warn by the Qur’an; him who fears My threat. (50:45)

There are many other similar Ayat.

The Description of the Prophet in the Tawrah Imam Ahmad recorded; Ata’ bin Yasar saying that he met Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As and said to him, “Tell me about the description of the Messenger of Allah in the Torah.”

He said, “Yes, by Allah, he is described by the Torah with the same characteristics that he is described with in the Qur’an with:

`O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news, a warner, and as safe refuge for the unlettered people. You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you the Mutawakkil (who depends and relies on Allah for each and everything). You are not harsh, nor hard, nor obnoxious in the bazaars. He does not reward the evil deed with an evil deed. Rather, he forgives and pardons. Allah will not bring his life to an end, until he straightens the wicked’s religion by his hands so that the people proclaim: There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. By his hands, Allah will open blind eyes, deaf ears and sealed hearts.”’

This was recorded by Al-Bukhari only.

002 - 120

120.| Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) guidance. And if you (O Muhammad) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper.

002 - 121

121.| Those to whom we gave the Book recite it as it should be recited (Yatlunahu Haqqa Tilawatihi) they are the ones who believe therein. And whoso disbelieve in it, those are they who are the losers.

Allah said,

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad) till you follow their religion.

Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement, meaning, `The Jews and the Christians will never be happy with you, O Muhammad! Therefore, do not seek what pleases or appeases them, and stick to what pleases Allah by calling them to the truth that Allah sent you with.’

Allah’s statement,

Say: “Verily, the guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) guidance.”

… means, `Say, O Muhammad, the guidance of Allah that He sent me with is the true guidance, meaning the straight, perfect and comprehensive religion.”’

Qatadah said that Allah’s statement,  (Say: “Verily, the guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) guidance) is, “A true argument that Allah taught Muhammad and his Companions and which they used against the people of misguidance.”

Qatadah said, “We were told that the Messenger of Allah used to say,

There will always be a group of my Ummah fighting upon the truth, having the upper hand, not harmed by their opponents, until the decree of Allah (the Last Hour) comes.

This Hadith was collected in the Sahih and narrated from Abdullah bin `Amr.

And if you (O Muhammad) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper.

This Ayah carries a stern warning for the Muslim Ummah against imitating the ways and methods of the Jews and Christians, after they have acquired knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah, may Allah grant us refuge from this behavior.

Although the speech in this Ayah was directed at the Messenger, the ruling of which applies to his entire Ummah.

The Meaning of Correct Tilawah

Allah said,

Those to whom We gave the Book, (Yatlunahu Haqqan Tilawatih.)

Abdur-Razzaq said from Ma`mar, from Qatadah, “They are the Jews and Christians.”

This is the opinion of Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and it was also chosen by Ibn Jarir.

Sa`id reported from Qatadah, “They are the Companions of the Messenger of Allah.”

Abu Al-Aliyah said that Ibn Mas`ud said, “By He in Whose Hand is my soul! The right Tilawah is allowing what it makes lawful, prohibiting what it makes unlawful, reciting it as it was revealed by Allah, not changing the words from their places, and not interpreting it with other than its actual interpretation.”

As-Suddi reported from Abu Malik from Ibn Abbas who said about this Ayah:

“They make lawful what it allows and they prohibit what it makes unlawful, and they do not alter its wordings.”

Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “They are those who when they recite an Ayah that mentions mercy, they ask Allah for it, and when they recite an Ayah that mentions torment, they seek refuge with Allah from it.”

This meaning was attributed to the Prophet, for when he used to recite an Ayah of mercy, he invoked Allah for mercy, and when he recited an Ayah of torment, he sought refuge from it with Allah.

Allah’s statement, they are the ones who believe therein.

… explains the Ayah, (Those to whom We gave the Book, Yatlunahu Haqqa Tilawatihi).

These Ayat mean, “Those among the People of the Book who perfectly adhered to the Books that were revealed to the previous Prophets, will believe in what I have sent you with, O Muhammad!”

Allah said in another Ayah,

And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely, have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet. (5:66)

The Ayah,

Say (O Muhammad) “O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! You have nothing (as regards guidance) till you act according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur’an).” (5:68)

… means, “If you adhere to the Torah and the Gospel in the correct manner, believe in them as you should, and believe in the news they carry about Muhammad’s Prophethood, his description and the command to follow, aid and support him, then this will direct you to adhere to truth and righteousness in this life and the Hereafter.”

In another Ayat, Allah said,

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Tawrah and the Injil. (7:157)

Say (O Muhammad to them): “Believe in it (the Qur’an) or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: “Glory be to our Lord!

Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.” (17:107-108)

These Ayat indicate that what Allah promised for Muhammad will certainly occur.

Allah also said,

Those to whom We gave the Scripture (i. e. the Tawrah and the Injil) before it, they believe in it (the Qur’an). And when it is recited to them, they say: “We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to Allah in Islam as Muslims. These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them. (28:52-54)

And say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates (Arab pagans): “Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allah in Islam)!”

If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message; and Allah is the Seer of (His) servants. (3:20)

Allah said,

And whoever disbelieves in it (the Qur’an), those are they who are the losers, just as He said in another Ayah, But those of the sects (Jews, Christians and all the other non-Muslim nations) that reject it (the Qur’an), the Fire will be their promised meeting place. (11:17)

As recorded in the Sahih, the Prophet said, By He in Whose Hand is my soul! There is no member of this Ummah (mankind and Jinns), Jew or a Christian, who hears of me, yet does not believe in me, but will enter the Fire.

002 - 122

122.| O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the nations.

002-123

123.| And fear the Day (of Judgment) when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped.

Allah says;

O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the nations.

And fear the Day (of Judgment) when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped.

We mentioned a similar Ayah at the beginning of this Surah, and it is mentioned here to emphasize the importance of following the Ummi Prophet and Messenger, who is described for the People of the Scriptures in their Books by his characteristics, name, the good news about him and the description of his Ummah.

Allah warned them against concealing this information, which is among the favors that Allah granted them.

Allah also commanded them to remember their daily life and their religious affairs and how He blessed them.

They should not envy their cousins, the Arabs, for what Allah has given them, the Final Messenger of Allah being an Arab. Envy should not incite them to oppose or deny the Prophet or refrain from following him, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him until the Day of Judgment.

002-124

124.| And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) tried him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), “Verily, I am going to make you an Imam (a leader) for mankind (to follow you).” (Ibrahim) said, “And of my offspring (to make leaders).” (Allah) said, “My covenant (Prophethood) includes not Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).”

Ibrahim Al-Khalil was an Imam for the People Allah is informing us of the honor of Ibrahim Al-Khalil, who He made an Imam for the people, and a model to be imitated,

because of the way he conducted himself and adhered to Tawhid. This honor was given to Prophet Ibrahim when he adhered to Allah’s decisions and prohibitions. This is why Allah said,

And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (i.e., Allah) tried him with (certain) commands.

This Ayah means, O Muhammad! Remind the idolators and the People of the Scriptures, who pretend to be followers of the religion of Ibrahim, while in reality they do not follow it, while you, O Muhammad, and your followers are the true followers of his religion; remind them of the commands and prohibitions that Allah tested Ibrahim with. which he fulfilled.

indicating that Ibrahim implemented all of Allah’s orders.

Allah said in another Ayah,

And of Ibrahim (Abraham) who fulfilled (or conveyed) all that (Allah ordered him to do or convey). (53:37)

… meaning, he was truthful and he was obedient to Allah’s legislation.

Also, Allah said,

Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah (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 (polytheists), (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) favors. He (Allah) chose him 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. Then, We have sent the revelation to you (O Muhammad saying): “Follow the religion of Ibrahim Hanif (Islamic Monotheism  to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the Mushrikin. (16:120-123)

Say (O Muhammad): “Truly, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim, Hanifan, and Ibrahim (to worship none but Allah, alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin.” (6:161)

Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifan (Islamic Monotheism 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)

Allah said, (with Kalimat (words)) which means, “Laws, commandments and prohibitions.”

`Words’ as mentioned here, sometimes refers to what Allah has willed, such as Allah’s statement about Maryam, And she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord, and (also believed in) His Scriptures, and she was of the Qanitin (i.e. obedient to Allah). (66:12)

“Words” also refers to Allah’s Law, such as Allah’s statement, And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. (6:115),

… meaning, His legislation.

“Words” also means truthful news, or a just commandment or prohibition. For instance, Allah said, And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) Words (commands), which he fulfilled,

… meaning, he adhered to them.

Allah said,

He (Allah) said (to him), “Verily, I am going to make you an Imam (a leader) for mankind (to follow you).”

… as a reward for Ibrahim’s good deeds, adhering to the commandments and avoiding the prohibitions.

This is why Allah made Ibrahim a role model for the people, and an Imam whose conduct and path are imitated and followed.

What were the Words that Ibrahim was tested with There is a difference of opinion over the words that Allah tested Ibrahim with. There are several opinions attributed to Ibn Abbas.

For instance, Abdur-Razzaq said that Ibn Abbas said,

“Allah tested him with the rituals (of Hajj).”

Abu Ishaq reported the same.

Abdur-Razzaq also narrated that Ibn Abbas said that, (And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) (i.e., Allah) tried him with (certain) commands) means,

“Allah tested him with Taharah (purity, ablution): five on the head and five on the body.

As for the head, they are;

  • cutting the mustache,
  • rinsing the mouth,
  • inhaling and discarding water,
  • using Siwak and
  • parting the hair.

As for the body, they are;

  • trimming the nails,
  • shaving the pubic hair,
  • circumcision and
  • plucking under the arm and
  • washing with water after answering the call of nature.”

Ibn Abi Hatim said,

“A similar statement was also reported from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, An-Nakhai, Abu Salih,

Abu Al-Jald, and so forth.”

There is a similar statement that Imam Muslim narrated from Aishah who said that Allah’s Messenger said,

Ten are among the Fitrah (instinct, natural constitution):

  • trimming the mustache,
  • growing the beard,
  • using Siwak,
  • inhaling and then exhaling water (in ablution),
  • cutting the nails,
  • washing between the fingers (in ablution),
  • plucking the underarm hair,
  • shaving the pubic hair,
  • washing with water after answering the call of nature, (and I forgot the tenth, I think it was) rinsing the mouth (in ablution).

The Two Sahihs recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Prophet said,

Five are among the acts of Fitrah:

  • circumcision,
  • shaving the pubic hair,
  • trimming the mustache,
  • cutting the nails and
  • plucking the underarm hair.

This is the wording with Muslim.

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn Abbas said,

“The words that Allah tested Ibrahim with, and that he implemented were:

  • abandoning his (disbelieving) people when Allah commanded him to do so,
  • disputing with Nimrod (king of Babylon) about Allah,
  • being patient when he was thrown in the fire (although this was extremely traumatic),
  • migrating from his homeland when Allah commanded him to do so,
  • patience with the monetary and material demands of hosting guests by Allah’s command,
  • and Allah’s order for him to slaughter his son.

When Allah tested Ibrahim with these words, and he was ready for the major test, Allah said to him, (“Submit (be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of all that exists.” (2:131) although this meant defying and being apart from the people.”

The Unjust do not qualify for Allah’s Promise Allah said that Ibrahim said, (Ibrahim) said, And of my offspring (to make leaders), and Allah replied, My covenant (Prophethood) includes not Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).

When Allah made Ibrahim an Imam (Leader for the faithful), he asked Allah that Imams thereafter be chosen from his offspring. Allah accepted his supplication, but told him that there will be unjust people among his offspring and they will not benefit from Allah’s promise. Thus, they will neither become Imams nor be imitated (for they will not be righteous).

The proof that Ibrahim’s supplication to Allah was accepted is that Allah said in Surah Al-Ankabut, And We ordained among his offspring Prophethood and the Book. (29:27)

Hence, every Prophet whom Allah sent after Ibrahim were from among his offspring, and every Book that Allah revealed was to them.

As for Allah’s statement,” said, “My covenant (Prophethood) includes not Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).”

Allah mentioned that there are unjust people among the offspring of Ibrahim, and they will not benefit from Allah’s promise, nor would they be entrusted with anything, even though they are among the children of Allah’s Khalil (intimate friend, Prophet Abraham).

There will also be those who do good among the children of Ibrahim, and these it is who will benefit from Ibrahim’s supplication.

Ibn Jarir said that this Ayah indicated that the unjust shall not be Imams for the people.

Moreover, the Ayah informed Ibrahim that there will be unjust people among his offspring.

Also, Ibn Khuwayz Mindad Al-Maliki said,

“The unjust person does not qualify to be a Khalifah, a ruler, one who gives religious verdicts, a witness, or even a narrator (of Hadiths).”

002 - 125

125.| And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (or the stone on which Ibrahim as a place). And We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (Itikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).

The Virtue of Allah’s House

Allah says;

And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (or the stone on which Ibrahim as a place).

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, (And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind),

“They do not remain in the House, they only visit it and return to their homes, and then visit it again.”

Also, Abu Jafar Ar-Razi narrated from Ar-Rabi bin Anas from Abu Al-Aliyah who said that, (And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety) means, “Safe from enemies and armed conflict. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people were often victims of raids and kidnapping, while the people in the area surrounding it (Al-Masjid Al-Haram) were safe and not subject to kidnapping.”

Also, Mujahid, Ata, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas were reported to have said that the Ayah (2:125) means, “Whoever enters it shall be safe.”

This Ayah indicates that Allah honored the Sacred House, which Allah made as a safe refuge and safe haven. Therefore, the souls are eager, but never bored, to conduct short visits to the House, even every year.

This is because Allah accepted the supplication of His Khalil, Ibrahim, when he asked Allah to make the hearts of people eager to visit the House. Ibrahim said, Our Lord! And accept my invocation. (14:40)

Allah described the House as a safe resort and refuge, for those who visit it are safe, even if they had committed acts of evil.

This honor comes from the honor of the person who built it first, Khalil Ar-Rahman, just as Allah said,  And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim the site of the (Sacred) House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me…” (22:26)

Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-Alamin (mankind and Jinn). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it, he attains security. (3:96-97).

The last honorable Ayah emphasized the honor of Ibrahim’s Maqam, and the instruction to pray next to it, (And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer). The Maqam of Ibrahim.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented on the Ayah, take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer), “The stone (Maqam) is the standing place of Ibrahim, Allah’s Prophet, and a mercy from Allah.

Ibrahim stood on the stone, while Ismail was handing him the stones (constructing the Ka`bah).” As-Suddi said, “The Maqam of Ibrahim is a stone which Ismail’s wife put under Ibrahim’s feet when washing his head.”

Al-Qurtubi mentioned this, but he considered it unauthentic, although others gave it preference, Ar-Razi reported it in his Tafsir from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, and Ar-Rabi bin Anas.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Jabir, describing the Hajj (pilgrimage) of the Prophet said, “When the Prophet performed Tawaf, Umar asked him, `Is this the Maqam of our father?’

He said, `Yes.’

Umar said, `Should we take it a place of prayer?’

So Allah revealed, (And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) as a place of prayer”).

Al-Bukhari said, “Allah’s statement, (And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) as a place of prayer) meaning, they return to it repeatedly.”

He then narrated that Anas bin Malik said that Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “I agreed with my Lord, or my Lord agreed with me, regarding three matters.

I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I wish you take the Maqam of Ibrahim a place for prayer.’ The Ayah, (And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham)) was revealed.

I also said, `O Messenger of Allah! The righteous and the wicked enter your house. I wish you would command the Mothers of the believers (the Prophet’s wives) to wear Hijab. Allah sent down the Ayah that required the Hijab.

And when I knew that the Prophet was angry with some of his wives, I came to them and said, `Either you stop what you are doing, or Allah will endow His Messenger with better women than you are.’

I advised one of his wives and she said to me, `O Umar! Does the Messenger of Allah not know how to advise his wives, so that you have to do the job instead of him!’ Allah then revealed,

It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you,  Muslims (who submit to Allah).” (66:5)

Also, Ibn Jarir narrated that Jabir said, “After the Messenger of Allah kissed the Black Stone, he went around the house three times in a fast pace and four times in a slow pace. He then went to Maqam of Ibrahim, with it between him and the House, and prayed two Rak`ahs.”

This is part of the long Hadith that Muslim recorded in Sahih.

Al-Bukhari recorded that `Amr bin Dinar said that he heard Ibn Umar say, “The Messenger of Allah performed Tawaf around the House seven times and then prayed two Rak`ahs behind the Maqam.”

All these texts indicate that the Maqam is the stone that Ibrahim was standing on while building the House.

As the House’s walls became higher, Ismail brought his father a stone, so that he could stand on it, while Ismail handed him the stones. Ibrahim would place the stones on the wall, and whenever he finished one side, he would move to the next side, to complete the building all around. Ibrahim kept repeating this until he finished building the House, as we will describe when we explain the story of Ibrahim and Ismail and how they built the House, as narrated from Ibn Abbas and collected by Al-Bukhari.

Ibrahim’s footprints were still visible in the stone, and the Arabs knew this fact during the time of Jahiliyyah.

This is why Abu Talib said in his poem known as Al-Lamiyyah, “And Ibrahim’s footprint with his bare feet on the stone is still visible.”

The Muslims also saw Ibrahim’s footprints on the stone, as Anas bin Malik said, “I saw the Maqam with the print of Ibrahim’s toes and feet still visible in it, but the footprints dissipated because of the people rubbing the stone with their hands.”

Earlier, the Maqam was placed close to the Ka`bah’s wall. In the present time, the Maqam is placed next to Al-Hijr on the right side of those entering through the door.

When Ibrahim finished building the House, he placed the stone next to the wall of Al-Ka`bah. Or, when the House was finished being built, Ibrahim just left the stone where it was last standing, and he was commanded to pray next to the stone when he finished the Tawaf (circumambulating). It is understandable that the Maqam of Ibrahim would stand where the building of the House ended.

The Leader of the faithful Umar bin Al-Khattab, one of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs whom we were commanded to emulate, moved the stone away from the Ka`bah’s wall during his reign.

Umar is one of the two men, whom the Messenger of Allah described when he said, Imitate the two men who will come after me: Abu Bakr and Umar.

Umar was also the person whom the Qur’an agreed with regarding praying next to Maqam of Ibrahim. This is why none among the Companions rejected it when he moved it.

Abdur-Razzaq reported from Ibn Jurayj from Ata, “Umar bin Al-Khattab moved the Maqam back.”

Also, Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Mujahid said that, “Umar was the first person who moved the Maqam back to where it is now standing.”

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr, Ahmad bin Ali bin Al-Husayn Al-Bayhaqi recorded Aishah saying,

“During the time of the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr, the Maqam was right next to the House. Umar moved the Maqam during his reign.”

This Hadith has an authentic chain of narration.

The Command to purify the House Allah says;

And We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (Itikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that,

(And We gave Our Ahd (command) to Ibrahim and Ismail) means, “Allah ordered them to purify it from all filth and impurities, of which none should ever touch it.”

Also, Ibn Jurayj said, “I said to Ata, `What is Allah’s Ahd?’

He said, `His command.”’

Also, Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, ” (that they should purify My House (the Ka`bah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (Itikaf)), “Purify it from the idols.”

Further, Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that, ‑ (purify My House for those who are circumambulating it) means, “From the idols, sexual activity, false witness and sins of all kinds.”

Allah said, ” (for those who are performing Tawaf (circumambulating) it).

The Tawaf around the House is a wellestablished ritual.

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that, (for those who are circumambulating it), means, strangers (he means who do not live in Makkah), while; “(or staying (Itikaf)), is about those who live in the area of the Sacred House.

Also, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that; Itikaf is in reference to those who live in the area of the House, just as Sa`id bin Jubayr stated.

Allah said, (or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer)), Ibn Abbas said, when it is a place of prayer it includes those who are described as bowing and prostrating themselves.

Also, Ata and Qatadah offered the same Tafsir.

Purifying all Masjids is required according to this Ayah and according to Allah’s statement, In houses (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honored), in them His Name is remembered (i.e. Adhan, Iqamah, Salah, invocations, recitation of the Qur’an). Therein glorify Him (Allah) in the mornings and in the (late) afternoons. (24:36)

There are many Hadiths that give a general order for purifying the Masjids and keeping filth and impurities away from them. This is why the Prophet said,

The Masjids are established for the purpose that they were built for (i.e. worshipping Allah alone).

002 - 126

126.| And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.” He (Allah) answered: “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!”

002 - 127

127.| And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Ismail were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower.”

002 - 128

128.| “Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik, and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.

Makkah is a Sacred Area

Allah said,

And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.”

Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir At-Tabari narrated that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said, Ibrahim made Allah’s House a Sacred Area and a safe refuge. I have made what is between the two sides of Al-Madinah a Sacred Area. Therefore, its game should not be hunted, and its trees should not be cut.

An-Nasa’i and Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

There are several other Hadiths that indicate that Allah made Makkah a sacred area before He created the heavens and earth.

The Two Sahihs recorded Abdullah bin Abbas saying that the Messenger of Allah said, Allah has made this city a sanctuary (sacred place) the Day He created the heavens and earth. Therefore, it is a sanctuary until the Day of Resurrection because Allah made it a sanctuary.

It was not legal for anyone to fight in it before me, and it was legal for me for a few hours of one day. Therefore, it is a sanctuary until the Day of Resurrection, because Allah made it a sanctuary.

None is allowed to uproot its thorny shrubs, or to chase its game, or to pick up something that has fallen, except by a person who announces it publicly, nor should any of its trees be cut.

Al-Abbas said, O Messenger of Allah! Except the lemon-grass, for our goldsmiths and for our graves.’ The Prophet added, Except lemon-grass.

This is the wording of Muslim.

The Two Sahihs also recorded Abu Hurayrah narrating a similar Hadith, while Al-Bukhari recorded a similar Hadith from Safiyyah bint Shaybah who narrated it from the Prophet. Abu Shurayh Al-Adawi said that he said to `Amr bin Sa`id while he was sending armies to Makkah, “O Commander! Let me narrate a Hadith that the Messenger of Allah said the day that followed the victory of Makkah. My ears heard the Hadith, my heart comprehended it, and my eyes saw the Prophet when he said it.

He thanked Allah and praised Him and then said, Allah, not the people, made Makkah a sanctuary, so any person who has belief in Allah and the Last Day, should neither shed blood in it nor should he cut down its trees. If anybody argues that fighting in it is permissible on the basis that Allah’s Messenger fought in Makkah, say to him, `Allah allowed His Messenger and did not allow you.’

Allah allowed me only for a few hours on that day (of the Conquest), and today its sanctity is valid as it was before. So, those who are present should inform those who are absent (concerning this fact).

Abu Shurayh was asked, `What did `Amr reply?’ He said, (Amr said) `O Abu Shurayh! I know better than you about this, the Sacred House does not give protection to a sinner, a murderer or a thief.’

This Hadith was collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

After this, there is no contradiction between the Hadiths that stated that Allah made Makkah a sanctuary when He created the heavens and earth and the Hadiths that Ibrahim made it a sanctuary, since Ibrahim conveyed Allah’s decree that Makkah is a sanctuary, before he built the House.

Similarly, the Messenger of Allah was written as the Final Prophet when Adam was still clay. Yet, Ibrahim said, (Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own), (2: 129).

Allah accepted Ibrahim’s supplication, although He had full knowledge beforehand that it will occur by His decree.

To further elaborate on this subject, we should mention the Hadith about what the Messenger of Allah said when he was asked,

“O Messenger of Allah! Tell us about how your Prophethood started.”

He said, I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, the good news of Jesus, the son of Mary, and my mother saw a light that radiated from her which illuminated the castles of Ash-Sham (Syria).

In this Hadith, the Companions asked the Messenger about the beginning of his Prophethood. We will explain this matter later, if Allah wills.

Ibrahim invokes Allah to make Makkah an Area of Safety and Sustenance

Allah tells;

And (remember) when Ibrahim said, …

My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security, from terror, so that its people do not suffer from fear.

Allah accepted Ibrahim’s supplication. Allah said, Whosoever enters it, he attains security, (3:97) and,

Have they not seen that We have made (Makkah) a secure sanctuary, while men are being snatched away from all around them. (29:67)

We have already mentioned the Hadiths that prohibit fighting in the Sacred Area.

Muslim recorded that Jabir said that the Messenger of Allah said,

No one is allowed to carry weapons in Makkah. Allah mentioned that Ibrahim said, Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security)

… meaning, make this a safe city.

This occurred before the Ka`bah was built.

Allah said in Surah Ibrahim,

And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord!

Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security…” (14:35) as here, Ibrahim supplicated a second time after the House was built and its people lived around it, after Ishaq who was thirteen years Ismail’s junior was born.

This is why at the end of his supplication, Ibrahim said here,

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismail (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac). Verily, my Lord is indeed the Hearer of invocations. (14:39)

Allah said next,

“…and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.” He (Allah) answered: “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!”

Ibn Jarir said that Ubayy bin Ka`b commented on, “(He answered: “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!”)

“These are Allah’s Words (meaning not Ibrahim’s)” This is also the Tafsir of Mujahid and Ikrimah.

Furthermore, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, (My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.)

“Ibrahim asked Allah to grant sustenance for the believers only. However, Allah revealed, `I will also provide for the disbelievers, just as I shall provide for the believers. Would I create something and not sustain and provide for I shall allow the disbelievers little delight, and then force them to the torment of the Fire, and what an evil destination.” Ibn `Abbas then recited,

On each these as well as those We bestow from the bounties of your Lord. And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden. (17:20)

This was recorded by Ibn Marduwyah, who also recorded similar statements from Ikrimah and Mujahid.

Similarly, Allah said,

Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah will never be successful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve. (10:69-70)

And whoever disbelieves, let not his disbelief grieve you (O Muhammad). To Us is their return, and We shall inform them what they have done. Verily, Allah is the Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment. (31:23-24) and,

And were it not that mankind would have become of one community (all disbelievers desiring worldly life only), We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious (Allah), silver roofs for their houses, and elevators whereby they ascend. And for their houses, doors (of silver), and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline. And adornments of gold. Yet all this would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is (only) for the Muttaqin (the pious). (43:33-35)

Allah said next,

Then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!

… meaning,

“After the delight that the disbeliever enjoyed in this life, I will make his destination torment in the Fire, and what an evil destination.” This Ayah indicates that Allah gives the disbelievers respite and then seizes them in a manner compatible to His greatness and ability.

This Ayah is similar to Allah’s statement, And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then (in the end) I seized it (with punishment). And to Me is the (final) return (of all). (22:48)

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded,

No one is more patient than Allah when hearing abuse. They attribute a son to Him, while He grants them sustenance and health.

The Sahih also recorded, Allah gives respite to the unjust person, until when He seizes him; He never lets go of him.

He then recited Allah’s statement: Such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful (and) severe. (11:102)

Building the Ka`bah and asking Allah to accept This Deed

Allah said,

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Ismail (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord!

Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower.

Allah said,

“O Muhammad! Remind your people when Ibrahim and Ismail built the House and raised its foundations while saying, (Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us.

Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower).”

Al-Qurtubi mentioned that Ubayy and Ibn Mas`ud used to recite the Ayah this way,

And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Ismail were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), Saying, “Our Lord!

Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower.”

What further testifies to this statement (which adds `saying’ to the Ayah) by Ubayy and Ibn Mas`ud, is what came afterwards, (Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You).

The Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail were performing a good deed, yet they asked Allah to accept this good deed from them.

Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that; Wuhayb bin Al-Ward recited,  (And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Ismail were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us”) and cried and said, “O Khalil of Ar-Rahman! You raise the foundations of the House of Ar-Rahman (Allah), yet you are afraid that He will not accept it from you”

This is the behavior of the sincere believers, whom Allah described in His statement, And those who give that which they give, (23:60),

… meaning, they give away voluntary charity, and perform the acts of worship yet, ?] (with their hearts full of fear) (23: 60) afraid that these good deeds might not be accepted of them.

There is an authentic Hadith narrated by Aishah on this subject, which we will mention later, Allah willing.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “Prophet Ibrahim took Ismail and his mother and went away with them until he reached the area of the House, where he left them next to a tree above Zamzam in the upper area of the Masjid.

During that time, Ismail’s mother was still nursing him. Makkah was then uninhabited, and there was no water source in it. Ibrahim left them there with a bag containing some dates and a waterskin containing water.

Ibrahim then started to leave, and Ismail’s mother followed him and said, `O Ibrahim! To whom are you leaving us in this barren valley that is not inhabited?’ She repeated the question several times and Ibrahim did not reply.

She asked, `Has Allah commanded you to do this?’

He said, `Yes.’

She said, `I am satisfied that Allah will never abandon us.’

Ibrahim left, and when he was far enough away where they could not see him, close to Thaniyyah, he faced the House, raised his hands and supplicated, (O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka`bah at Makkah)) until,  (Give thanks) (14:37).

Ismail’s mother then returned to her place, started drinking water from the water-skin and nursing Ismail. When the water was used up, she and her son became thirsty. She looked at him, and he was suffering from thirst; she left, because she disliked seeing his face in that condition. She found the nearest mountain to where she was, As-Safa, ascended it and looked, in vain, hoping to see somebody. When she came down to the valley, she raised her garment and ran, just as a tired person runs, until she reached the Al-Marwah mountain. In vain, she looked to see if there was someone there. She ran to and fro (between the two mountains) seven times.”

Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said, “This is why the people make the trip between As-Safa and Al-Marwah (during Hajj and Umrah).”

“When she reached Al-Marwah, she heard a voice and said, `Shush,’ to herself. She tried to hear the voice again and when she did, she said, `I have heard you. Do you have relief?’ She found the angel digging with his heel (or his wing) where Zamzam now exists, and the water gushed out.

Ismail’s mother was astonished and started digging, using her hand to transfer water to the water-skin.”

Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet then said, “May Allah grant His mercy to the mother of Ismail, had she left the water, (flow naturally without her intervention), it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth.”

“Ismail’s mother started drinking the water and her milk increased for her child.

The angel (Gabriel) said to her, `Do not fear abandonment. There shall be a House for Allah built here by this boy and his father. Allah does not abandon His people.’

During that time, the area of the House was raised above ground level and the floods used to reach its right and left sides.

Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum, passing through Kada’, made camp at the bottom of the valley. They saw some birds, they were astonished, and said, `Birds can only be found at a place where there is water. We did not notice before that this valley had water.’

They sent a scout or two who searched the area, found the water, and returned to inform them about it. Then they all went to Ismail’s mother, next to the water, and said, `O Mother of Ismail!

Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?’

She said, `Yes. But you will have no exclusive right to the water here.’

They said, `We agree.”’

Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet said, “At that time, Ismail’s mother liked to have human company.”

“And thus they stayed there and sent for their relatives to join them. Later on, her boy reached the age of puberty and married a lady from them, for Ismail learned Arabic from them, and they liked the way he was raised. Ismail’s mother died after that.

Then an idea occurred to Abraham to visit his dependents. So he left (to Makkah). When he arrived, he did not find Ismail, so he asked his wife about him. She said, `He has gone out hunting.’

When he asked her about their living conditions, she complained to him that they live in misery and poverty.

Abraham said (to her), `When your husband comes, convey my greeting and tell him to change the threshold of his gate.’

When Ismail came, he sensed that they had a visitor and asked his wife, `Did we have a visitor?’

She said, `Yes. An old man came to visit us and asked me about you, and I told him where you were. He also asked about our condition, and I told him that we live in hardship and poverty.’

Ismail said, `Did he ask you to do anything?’ She said, `Yes. He asked me to convey his greeting and that you should change the threshold of your gate.’

Ismail said to her, `He was my father and you are the threshold, so go to your family (i.e. you are divorced).’

So he divorced her and married another woman.

Again Ibrahim thought of visiting his dependents whom he had left (at Makkah). Ibrahim came to Ismail’s house, but did not find Ismail and asked his wife, `Where is Ismail?’

Ismail’s wife replied, `He has gone out hunting.’ He asked her about their condition, and she said that they have a good life and praised Allah.

Ibrahim asked, `What is your food and what is your drink?’

She replied, `Our food is meat and our drink is water.’

He said, `O Allah! Bless their meat and their drink.”’

The Prophet (Muhammad) said, “They did not have crops then, otherwise Ibrahim would have invoked Allah to bless that too. Those who do not live in Makkah cannot bear eating a diet only containing meat and water.”

“Ibrahim said, `When Ismail comes back, convey my greeting to him and ask him to keep the threshold of his gate.’

When Ismail came back, he asked, `Has anyone visited us?’

She said, `Yes. A good looking old man,’ and she praised Ibrahim, `And he asked me about our livelihood and I told him that we live in good conditions.’

He asked, `Did he ask you to convey any message?’

She said, `Yes. He conveyed his greeting to you and said that you should keep the threshold of your gate.’

Ismail said, `That was my father, and you are the threshold; he commanded me to keep you.’

Ibrahim then came back visiting and found Ismail behind the Zamzam well, next to a tree, mending his arrows. When he saw Ibrahim, he stood up and they greeted each other, just as the father and son greet each other.

Ibrahim said, `O Ismail, Your Lord has ordered me to do something.’

He said, `Obey your Lord.’

He asked Ismail, `Will you help me?’

He said, `Yes, I will help you.’

Ibrahim said, `Allah has commanded me to build a house for Him there,’ and he pointed to an area that was above ground level.

So, both of them rose and started to raise the foundations of the House. Abraham started building (the Ka`bah), while Ismail continued handing him the stones. Both of them were saying, `O our Lord ! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.’ (2.127).”’

Hence, they were building the House, part by part, going around it and saying, (Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the Hearer, the Knower).

The Story of rebuilding the House by Quraysh before the Messenger of Allah was sent as Prophet In his Sirah, Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said, “When the Messenger of Allah reached thirty-five years of age, the Quraysh gathered to rebuild the Ka`bah, this included covering it with a roof. However, they were weary of demolishing it. During that time, the Ka`bah was barely above a man’s shoulder, so they wanted to raise its height and build a ceiling on top.

Some people had stolen the Ka`bah’s treasure beforehand, which used to be in a well in the middle of the Ka`bah. The treasure was later found with a man called, Duwayk, a freed servant of Bani Mulayh bin `Amr, from the tribe of Khuza`ah. The Quraysh cut off his hand as punishment. Some people claimed that those who actually stole the treasure left it with Duwayk.

Afterwards, the sea brought a ship that belonged to a Roman merchant to the shores of Jeddah, where it washed-up. So they collected the ship’s wood to use it for the Ka`bah’s ceiling; a Coptic carpenter in Makkah prepared what they needed for the job. When they decided to begin the demolition process to rebuild the House, Abu Wahb bin Amr bin A’idh bin Abd bin Imran bin Makhzum took a stone from the Ka`bah; the stone slipped from his hand and went back to where it had been.

He said, `O people of Quraysh! Do not spend on rebuilding the House, except from what was earned from pure sources. No money earned from a prostitute, usury or injustice should be included.”’

Ibn Ishaq commented here that the people also attribute these words to Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah bin Abdullah bin Amr bin Makhzum.

Ibn Ishaq continued, “The Quraysh began to organize their efforts to rebuild the Ka`bah, each sub tribe taking the responsibility of rebuilding a designated part of it.

However, they were still weary about bringing down the Ka`bah. Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah said, `I will start to bring it down.’ He held an ax and stood by the Ka`bah and said, `O Allah! No harm is meant. O Allah! We only seek to do a good service.’ He then started to chop the House’s stones.

The people waited that night and said, `We will wait and see. If something strikes him, we will not bring it down and instead rebuild it the way it was. If nothing happens to him, then Allah will have agreed to what we are doing.’

The next morning, Al-Walid went to work on the Ka`bah, and the people started bringing the Ka`bah down with him. When they reached the foundations that Ibrahim built, they uncovered green stones that were above each other, just like a pile of spears.”

Ibn Ishaq then said that some people told him, “A man from Quraysh, who was helping rebuild the Ka`bah, placed the shovel between two of these stones to pull them up; when one of the stones was moved, all of Makkah shook, so they did not dig up these stones.”

The Dispute regarding Who should place the Black Stone in Its Place

Ibn Ishaq said,

“The tribes of Quraysh collected stones to rebuild the House, each tribe collecting on their own. They started rebuilding it, until the rebuilding of the Ka`bah reached the point where the Black Stone was to be placed in its designated site.

A dispute erupted between the various tribes of Quraysh, each seeking the honor of placing the Black Stone for their own tribe. The dispute almost led to violence between the leaders of Quraysh in the area of the Sacred House.

Banu Abd Ad-Dar and Banu Adi bin Ka`b bin Lu’ay, gave their mutual pledge to fight until death. However, five or four days later, Abu Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah bin Abdullah bin Amr bin Makhzum, the oldest man from Quraysh then intervened at the right moment. Abu Umayyah suggested that Quraysh should appoint the first man to enter the House from its entrance to be a mediator between them. They agreed.

The Messenger – Muhammad – was the first person to enter the House. When the various leaders of Quraysh realized who the first one was, they all proclaimed, `This is Al-Amin (the Honest one). We all accept him; This is Muhammad.’

When the Prophet reached the area where the leaders were gathering and they informed him about their dispute, he asked them to bring a garment and place it on the ground. He placed the Black Stone on it. He then requested that each of the leaders of Quraysh hold the garment from one side and all participate in lifting the Black Stone, moving it to its designated area. Next, the Prophet carried the Black Stone by himself and placed it in its designated position and built around it. The Quraysh used to call the Messenger of Allah `Al-Amin’ even before the revelation came to him.”

Ibn Az-Zubayr rebuilds Al-Ka`bah the way the Prophet wished.

Ibn Ishaq said, “During the time of the Prophet, the Ka`bah was eighteen cubits high and was covered with Egyptian linen, and they with a striped garment.

Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf was the first person to cover it with silk.”

The Ka`bah remained the same way the Quraysh rebuilt it, until it was burned during the reign of Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr, after the year 6o H, at the end of the reign of Yazid bin Muawiyah.

During that time, Ibn Az-Zubayr was besieged at Makkah. When it was burned, Ibn Az-Zubayr brought the Ka`bah down and built it upon the foundations of Ibrahim, including the Hijr in it. He also made an eastern door and a western door in the Ka`bah and placed them on ground level. He had heard his aunt Aishah, the Mother of the believers, narrate that the Messenger of Allah had wished that.

The Ka`bah remained like this throughout his reign, until Al-Hajjaj killed Ibn Az-Zubayr and then rebuilt it the way it was before, by the order of Abdul-Malik bin Marwan.

Muslim recorded that Ata said, “The House was burnt during the reign of Yazid bin Muawiyah, when the people of Ash-Sham raided Makkah.

Ibn Az-Zubayr did not touch the House until the people came for Hajj, for he wanted to incite them against the people of Ash-Sham. He said to them, `O people! Advise me regarding the Ka`bah, should we bring it down and rebuild it, or just repair the damage it sustained.’

Ibn Abbas said, `I have an opinion about this. You should rebuild the House the way it was when the people became Muslims. You should leave the stones that existed when the people became Muslims and when the Prophet was sent.’

Ibn Az-Zubayr said, `If the house of one of them gets burned, he will not be satisfied, until he rebuilds it. How about Allah’s House I will invoke my Lord for three days and will then implement what I decide.’

When the three days had passed, he decided to bring the Ka`bah down. The people hesitated to bring it down, fearing that the first person to climb on the House would be struck down. A man went on top of the House and threw some stones down, and when the people saw that no harm touched him, they started doing the same. They brought the House down to ground level.

Ibn Az-Zubayr surrounded the site with curtains hanging from pillars, so that the House would be covered, until the building was erect.

Ibn Az-Zubayr then said, `I heard Aishah say that the Messenger of Allah said, If it was not for the fact that the people have recently abandoned disbelief, and that I do not have enough money to spend on it, I would have included in the House five cubits from Al-Hijr and would have made a door for it that people could enter from, and another door that they could exit from.

Ibn Az-Zubayr said, `I can spend on this job, and I do not fear the people.’

So he added five cubits from the Hijr, which looked like a rear part for the House that people could clearly see.

He then built the House and made it eighteen cubits high. He thought that the House was still short and added ten cubits in the front and built two doors in it, one as an entrance and another as an exit.

When Ibn Az-Zubayr was killed, Al-Hajjaj wrote to Abdul-Malik bin Marwan asking him about the House and told him that Ibn Az-Zubayr made a rear section for the House.

Abdul-Malik wrote back, `We do not agree with Ibn Az-Zubayr’s actions. As, for the Ka`bah’s height, leave it as it is. As for what he added from the Hijr, bring it down, and build the House as it was before and close the door.’

Therefore, Al-Hajjaj brought down the House and rebuilt it as it was.”

In his Sunan, An-Nasa’i collected the Hadith of the Prophet narrated from Aishah, not the whole story, The correct Sunnah conformed to Ibn Az-Zubayr’s actions, because this was what the Prophet wished he could do, but feared that the hearts of the people who recently became Muslim could not bear rebuilding the House. This Sunnah was not clear to Abdul-Malik bin Marwan. Hence, when Abdul-Malik realized that Aishah had narrated the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah on this subject, he said, “I wish we had left it as Ibn Az-Zubayr had made it.”

Muslim recorded that Ubadydullah bin Ubayd said that Al-Harith bin Abdullah came to Abdul-Malik bin Marwan during his reign. Abdul-Malik said, `I did not think that Abu Khubayb (Ibn Az-Zubayr) heard from Aishah what he said he heard from her.’

Al-Harith said, `Yes he did. I heard the Hadith from her.’

Abdul-Malik said, `You heard her say what?’

He said, `She said that the Messenger of Allah said, Your people rebuilt the House smaller. Had it not been for the fact that your people are not far from the time of Shirk, I would add what was left outside of it. If your people afterwards think about rebuilding it, let me show you what they left out of it.

He showed her around seven cubits.’ One of the narrators of the Hadith, Al-Walid bin Ata, added that the Prophet said, I would have made two doors for the House on ground level, one eastern and one western. Do you know why your people raised its door above ground level? She said, `No.’

He said, To allow only those whom they wanted to enter it. When a man whom they did not wish to enter the House climbed to the level of the door, they would push him down.

Abdul-Malik then said, `You heard Aishah say this Hadith?’

He said, `Yes.’

Abdul-Malik said, `I wish I left it as it was.”

An Ethiopian will destroy the Ka`bah just before the Last Hour

The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, The Ka`bah will be destroyed by Dhus-Sawiqatayn (literally, a person with two lean legs) from Ethiopia.

Also, Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet said, As if I see him now: a black person with thin legs plucking the stones of the Ka`bah one after another.

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded in his Musnad that Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-`As said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, Dhus-Sawiqatayn from Ethiopia will destroy the Ka`bah and will loot its adornments and cover. It is as if I see him now: bald, with thin legs striking the Ka`bah with his ax.

This will occur after the appearance of Gog and Magog people.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

There will be Hajj and Umrah to the House after the appearance of Gog and Magog people.)

Al-Khalil’s Supplication Allah said that Ibrahim and Ismail supplicated to Him, Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik, and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.

Ibn Jarir said, “They meant by their supplication, `Make us submit to Your command and obedience and not associate anyone with You in obedience or worship.”

Also, Ikrimah commented on the Ayah, ” (Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You), “Allah said, `I shall do that.”’ (And of our offspring a nation submissive unto You), Allah said, `I shall do that.'”

This supplication by Ibrahim and Ismail is similar to what Allah informed us of about His believing servants, And those who say: `Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqin. (25:74)

This type of supplication is allowed, because loving to have offspring who worship Allah alone without partners is a sign of complete love of Allah. This is why when Allah said to Ibrahim, (Verily, I am going to make you an Imam (a leader) for mankind (to follow you)), (2:124),

Ibrahim said, ” (“And of my offspring (to make leaders).” (Allah) said, “My covenant (Prophethood) includes not the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers)”) (2:124) which is explained by,  (And keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols) (14:35)

Muslim narrated in his Sahih that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, When the son of Adam dies, his deeds end except for three deeds:

  • an ongoing charity,
  • a knowledge that is being benefited from and
  • a righteous son who supplicates (to Allah) for him.

The Meaning of Manasik

Sa`id bin Mansur said that Attab bin Bashir informed us from

Khasif, from Mujahid who said,

“The Prophet Ibrahim supplicated, (and show us our Manasik), Jibril then came down, took him to the House and said, `Raise its foundations.’

Ibrahim raised the House’s foundations and completed the building.

Jibril held Ibrahim’s hand, led him to As-Safa and said, `This is among the rituals of Allah.’

He then took him to Al-Marwah and said, `And this is among the rituals of Allah.’

He then took him to Mina until when they reached the Aqabah, they found Iblis standing next to a tree. Jibril said, `Say Takbir (Allah is the Great) and throw (pebbles) at him.’

Ibrahim said the Takbir and threw (pebbles at) Iblis.

Iblis moved to the middle Jamrah, and when Jibril and Ibrahim passed by him, Jibril said to Ibrahim, `Say Takbir and throw at him.’

Ibrahim threw at him and said Takbir.

The devious Iblis sought to add some evil acts to the rituals of Hajj, but he was unable to succeed.

Jibril took Ibrahim’s hand and led him to 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.

002-129

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;

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your verses, 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,

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

The Prophet said, 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,

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,

and instruct them in the Book, meaning, Al-Qur’an, 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.

… and purify them, Ali bin Abi Talhah said, that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means,

“With the obedience of Allah.”

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.

002 - 130

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.

002 - 131

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).”

002 - 132

132.| And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim (Abraham) upon his sons and by Yaqub (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 says;

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.

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:

‘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,

(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)

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,

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

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,

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, 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,

And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Yaqub, means, Ibrahim commanded his offspring to follow this religion, that is, Islam, for Allah.

Or, the Ayah might be referring to Ibrahim’s words, ” (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,

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, But We gave her (Sarah) glad tidings of Ishaq (Isaac), and after Ishaq, of Yaqub (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 Surah Al-Ankabut,

And We bestowed on him (Ibrahim), Ishaq and Yaqub, and We ordained among his offspring Prophethood and the Book. (29:27) and,

And We bestowed upon him Ishaq, and (a grandson) Yaqub, (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, (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, 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,

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. (92:5-10)

002 - 133

133.| Or were you witnesses when death approached Yaqub (Jacob) When he said unto his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We shall worship your Ilah (God  Allah) the Ilah of your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), One Ilah, and to Him we submit (in Islam).”

002 - 134

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.

Yaqub’s Will and Testament to His Children upon His Death Allah tells; Or were you witnesses when death approached Yaqub (Jacob) When he said unto his sons, “What will you worship after me?”

This Ayah contains Allah’s criticism of the Arab pagans among the offspring of Ismail 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,

“What will you worship after me” They said, “We shall worship your Ilah (God  Allah) the Ilah of your fathers, Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq,”

Mentioning Ismail here is a figure of speech, because Ismail 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 Aishah the Mother of the believers, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Tawus and Ata, Malik, Ash-Shafii 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,

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

And to Him we submit, in obedience meaning, obedient and submissiveness.

Similarly, Allah said,

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 respective laws differed.

Allah said,

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

Allah said,

That was a nation who has passed away,

… meaning, existed before your time.

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.

… And you will not be asked of what they used to do.

This is why a Hadith proclaims, Whoever was slowed on account of his deeds will not get any faster on account of his family lineage.

002 - 135

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.

Allah says;

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-Awar 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, (And they say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided”).

Allah’s statement,

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, ((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.”

002 - 136

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), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Yaqub), 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 says;

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), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Yaqub), 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).”

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, 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, 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, (We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us) (2:136), and, (We believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah) (3:52) during the two (voluntary) Rak`ah 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 Ismail.”

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

Also, Allah said, 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.”

002 - 137

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.

002 - 138

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,

So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, 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,

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

… but if they turn away, from truth to falsehood after proof had been presented to them, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them, meaning, Allah will aid the believers against them. And He is the Hearer, the Knower.

Allah said,

Our Sibghah (religion) is) the Sibghah of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah can be better than Allah’s. And we are His worshippers.

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement,  (The Sibghah of Allah), “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, (Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), (30:30) directs Muslims to, “Hold to it.”

002 - 139

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).”

002 - 140

140.| Or say you that Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yaqub 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.”

002 - 141

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

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,

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)

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,

His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah.” (6:80)

Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord (Allah). (2:258)

He said in this honorable Ayah,

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,”

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

Allah said, Or say you that Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yaqub and Al-Asbat, were Jews or Christians!

Allah 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, 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,

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,

And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Allah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, They used to recite the Book of Allah He sent to them that stated that the true religion is Islam and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Their Book also stated that Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yaqub and the tribes were neither Jews, nor Christians. They testified to these facts, yet hid them from the people.

Allah’s statement,

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, That was a nation who has passed away.

… meaning, existed before you.

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

… meaning, they bear their deeds while you bear yours.

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.

002 - 142

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.”

002 - 143

143.| Thus We have made you (true Muslims  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 \ Direction of the Prayer

Allah says;

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.”

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: (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: (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: (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: (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: (turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction), (2:144) 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: (O Muhammad): “To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way”).

There are several other Hadiths 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-Maqdis. 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: (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: both, east and the west), meaning, the command, the decision and the authority are for Allah Alone. Hence: …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: 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: Say (O Muhammad ): “To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way.”

Imam Ahmad reported that Aishah (the Prophet’s wife) said that Allah’s Messenger said about the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians):

They do not envy us for a matter more than they envy us for Jumuah (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:

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 sub tribe.

Also, Asr, the prayer that is described as `Wusta’ (a variation of the word Wasat), means the best prayer, as the authentic collections of Hadith 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:

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: 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: (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:

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:

Thus We have made you a Wasat nation

He said, “the `Adl,’ he then continued reciting the Ayah, 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: Any Muslim for whom four testify that he was righteous, then Allah will enter him into Paradise.’ We said, `What about three?’ He said, =hhhh<<. `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:

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.

(…from those who would turn on their heels.),

… meaning, reverts from his religion.

Allah then said, (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:

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:

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:

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: (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:

(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, 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:

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.

002 - 144

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

Allah said:

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.

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: (Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven), until, (turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction).

The Jews did not like this ruling and said: “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:

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

(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:

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: And Allah is not unaware of what they do.

002 - 145

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 says;

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 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:

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:

(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:

…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.

And they will not follow each other’s Qiblah. 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:

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.

002 - 146

146.| Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize 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  (i.e., the qualities of Muhammad which are written in the Tawrah and the Injil).

002 - 147

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 theTruth

Allah says;

Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize 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  (i.e., the qualities of Muhammad which are written in the Tawrah and the Injil).

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: Is this your son?

He said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah! I testify to this fact.”

Allah’s Messenger said: 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: conceal the truth. The Ayah indicates that they hide the truth from the people, about the Prophet , that they find in their Books, 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:

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

002 - 148

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

Allah said;

For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good.

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said: (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: 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)

Allah said:

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.

002 - 149

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.

002 - 150

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!  And so that I may complete My blessings on you and that you may be guided.

Why was changing the Qiblah mentioned thrice

Allah said;

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.

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:

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: 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:

And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid 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.

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), 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:

…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 theMuslims 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:

…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:

…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:

…so that I may complete My blessings on you. This Ayah relates to Allah’s statement: (…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) Shariah (law) is complete in every respect.

Allah said:

…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.

002 - 151

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  jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you did not know.

002 - 152

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 says;

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 jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you did not know.

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:

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

Mujahid said that Allah’s statement: (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: (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: 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:

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:

…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:

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. (14:7)

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: 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).

002 - 153

153.| O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).

002 - 154

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

Allah says;

O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).

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:

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:

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  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 Surah Al-Ahzab (33:44), Allah willing.”

The Life enjoyed by Martyrs

Allah’s statement:

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.

Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.

Muslim reported in his Sahih:

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: 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.

002 - 155

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).

002 - 156

156.| Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

002 - 157

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 says;

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger,

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

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:

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:

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

Then Allah said, loss of wealth, meaning, some of the wealth will be destroyed, lives, meaning, losing friends, relatives and loved ones to death, … and fruits, meaning, the gardens and the farms will not produce the usual or expected amounts.

This is why Allah said next: but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient).

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

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:

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.” and it is they who are the guided ones. Umar bin Al-Khattab commented: “What righteous things, and what a great heights. (They are those on whom are the Salawat from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy) are the two righteous things. (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 Hadiths that mention the rewards of admitting that the return is to Allah by saying:

“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:

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:

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. 2:158 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 Allah says

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.

Imam Ahmad reported that Urwah said that he asked Aishah about what Allah stated: “By Allah! It is not a sin if someone did not perform Tawaf around them.”

Aishah 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:

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.”

Aishah 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 Aishah’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 Aishah 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:  (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: (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:

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 (Ismail). 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: 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: And whoever does good.

002 - 158

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 Allah says:

‘’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.

Imam Ahmad reported that Urwah said that he asked Aishah about what Allah stated: “By Allah! It is not a sin if someone did not perform Tawaf around them.”

Aishah 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:

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.”

Aishah 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 Aishah’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 Aishah 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:

(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: (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:

‘’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 (Ismail). 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:

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:

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:

… 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:

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)

002 - 159

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.

002 - 160

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.

002 - 161

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.

002 - 162

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

Allah says;

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.

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:

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:

(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 (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:

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.

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;

Verily, those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers, then:

… 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, their punishment will neither be lightened,

Hence, the torment will not be decreased for them, 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:

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

002 - 163

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

Allah says;

And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God  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 – Ar-Rahman,
  • the Most Merciful – Ar-Rahim.

We explained the meanings of these two Names in the beginning of Surah Al-Fatihah.

Shahr bin Hawshab reported that Asma’ bint Yazid bin As-Sakan narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

Allah’s Greatest Name is contained in these two Ayat:

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

‘’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:

002 - 164

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:

‘’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:

… 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:

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:

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:

…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:

…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:

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

Allah continues:

… 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:

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  the Book of Decrees with Allah). (11:6)

…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:

…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:

…are indeed Ayat for people of understanding.

meaning, all these things are clear signs that testify to Allah’s Oneness.

Similarly, Allah said:

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)

002 - 165

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.

002 - 166

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.

002 - 167

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.

Allah says;

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah.

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:

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

Allah said:

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,

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.

… and that Allah is severe in punishment.

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

Allah said:

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:

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

“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:

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:

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:

‘’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:

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:

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:

…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: (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:

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:

Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them.

… meaning, their works will vanish and disappear.

Similarly, Allah said:

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:

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)

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,

”And they will never get out of the Fire.”

002 - 168

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.

002 - 169

169.| He (Satan) commands you only what is evil and Fahishah (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;

O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan).

Allah 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, o like prohibiting the Bahirah (a she-camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it), or o Sa’ibah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for the idols and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), or o 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,

`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:

…he is to you an open enemy. warning against Satan.

Allah said in another instance:

”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)

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: (…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:

He (Satan) commands you only what is evil and Fahishah (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.

002 - 170

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..!

002 - 171

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 says;

When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has sent down.”

They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.”

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

…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 says;

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.

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

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

Similarly, Allah said here (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.

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.

So they do not understand.

… means, they do not comprehend or understand anything.

____________________________________________________________

Part One | Part TwoPart Three