Surah Al-Baqarah
سورة البقرة

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

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

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Surat Al-Baqarah
”The Cow”

Part Five

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229.| The divorce is twice, after that either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you gave them (the Mahr, bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g., to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the wrongdoers.

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230.| And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband. Then, if the other husband divorces her, it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes plain for the people who have knowledge.

Divorce is Thrice

Allah says;

”The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.”

This honorable Ayah abrogated the previous practice in the beginning of Islam, when the man had the right to take back his divorced wife even if he had divorced her a hundred times, as long as she was still in her Iddah (waiting period). This situation was harmful for the wife, and this is why Allah made the divorce thrice, where the husband is allowed to take back his wife after the first and the second divorce (as long as she is still in her Iddah).

The divorce becomes irrevocable after the third divorce, as Allah said:

(The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness).

In his Sunan, Abu Dawud reported in Chapter: “Taking the Wife back after the third (Divorce) is an abrogated practice,” that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah:

(And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs,) (2:228). The man used to have the right to take back his wife even if he had divorced her thrice. Allah abrogated this and said: (The divorce is twice).

This Tafsir was also collected by An-Nasa’i.

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Urwah said that a man said to his wife,

“I will neither divorce you nor take you back.”

She said, “How?”

He said, “I will divorce you and when your term of Iddah nears its end, I will take you back.”

She went to Allah’s Messenger and told him what happened, and Allah revealed: (The divorce is twice).

Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) also reported this Hadith in his Tafsir.

Allah said:

…after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness, meaning, `If you divorce her once or twice, you have the choice to take her back, as long as she is still in her Iddah, intending to be kind to her and to mend differences. Otherwise, await the end of her term of Iddah, when the divorce becomes final, and let her go her own way in peace, without committing any harm or injustice against her.’

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “When the man divorces his wife twice, let him fear Allah, regarding the third time. He should either keep her with him and treat her with kindness, or let her go her own way with kindness, without infringing upon any of her rights.”

Taking back the Mahr (Dowry).

Allah said:

And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of (the dowry) what you gave them,

.. meaning, you are not allowed to bother or pressure your wives to end this situation by giving you back the Mahr and any gifts that you have given them (in return for divorce).

Similarly, Allah said:

…and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of what you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. (4:19)

However, if the wife willingly gives back anything with a good heart, then Allah said regarding this situation:

…but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm. (4:4)

Allowing Khul` and the Return of the Mahr in that Case When the spouses have irreconcilable differences wherein the wife ignores the rights of the husband, dislikes him and becomes unable to live with him any longer, she is allowed to free herself (from married life) by giving him back what he had given her (in gifts and Mahr). There is no sin on her in this case nor on him if he accepts such offer.

This is why Allah said:

And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you gave them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g., to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back.

Sometimes, the woman has no valid reason and she still asks for her marriage to be ended. In this case, Ibn Jarir reported that Thawban said that Allah’s Messenger said:

Any woman who asks her husband for divorce without justification, then the scent of Paradise will be forbidden for her.

At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and stated that it is Hasan.

Ibn Jarir said that; the Ayah (2:229) was revealed about Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas and his wife Habibah bint Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. In his Muwatta, Imam Malik reported that; Habibah bint Sahl Al-Ansariyah was married to Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas and that Allah’s Messenger once went to the Fajr (Dawn) prayer and found Habibah bint Sahl by his door in the dark.

Allah’s Messenger said, “Who is this?”

She said, “I am Habibah bint Sahl, O Messenger of Allah!”

He said, “What is the matter?”

She said, “I and Thabit bin Qays”, meaning, (she can no longer be with) her husband.

When her husband Thabit bin Qays came, Allah’s Messenger said to him:

This is Habibah bint Sahl, she said what Allah has permitted her to say.

Habibah also said, “O Messenger of Allah! I still have everything he gave me.”

Allah’s Messenger said:

Take it from her.

So, he took it from her and she remained in her family’s house.”

This was reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i.

Al-Bukhari reported that; Ibn Abbas said that the wife of Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I do not criticize his religion or mannerism. But I hate committing Kufr in Islam (by ignoring his rights on her).”

Allah’s Messenger said: Will you give him back his garden?

She said, “Yes.”

Allah’s Messenger said: Take back the garden and divorce her once.

An-Nasa’i also recorded it.

The `Iddah (Waiting Period) for the Khul”

At-Tirmidhi reported that; Rubayi bint Mu`awwidh bin Afra got a Khul during the time of Allah’s Messenger and the Prophet ordered her to wait for one menstruation period for Iddah.

Transgressing the set limits of Allah is an Injustice Allah said:

These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the wrongdoers.

This means that the laws that Allah has legislated are His set limits, so do not transgress them.

An authentic Hadith states:

Allah has set some limits, so do not transgress them; and commanded some commands, so do not ignore them; and made some things unlawful, so do not commit them. He has also left some matters (without rulings) as a mercy with you, not because He has forgotten them, so do not ask about them.

Pronouncing Three Divorces at the same Time is Unlawful The last Ayah we mentioned was used as evidence to prove that it is not allowed to pronounce three divorces at one time. What further proves this ruling is that Mahmud bin Labid has stated – as An-Nasa’i recorded – that Allah’s Messenger was told about a man who pronounced three divorces on his wife at one time, so the Prophet stood up while angry and said:

The Book of Allah is being made the subject of jest while I am still amongst you.

A man then stood up and said, “Should I kill that man, O Messenger of Allah.”

The Wife cannot be taken back after the Third Divorce Allah said:

And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful for him thereafter until she has married another husband.

This Ayah indicates that if the man divorces his wife for the third time after he divorced her twice, then she will no longer be allowed for marriage to him.

Allah said:

…until she has married another husband.

… meaning, until she legally marries another man.

For instance, if she has sexual intercourse with any man, even her master (if she was a servant), she would still be ineligible for marriage for her ex-husband (who divorced her thrice), because whomever she had sexual relations with was not her legal husband.

If she marries a man without consummating the marriage, she will not be eligible for her ex-husband.

Muslim reported that Aishah said that; Allah’s Messenger was asked about a woman who marries a man who thereafter divorces her (thrice). She then marries another man and he divorces her before he has sexual relations with her, would she be allowed for her first husband?

Allah’s Messenger said: No, until he enjoys her Usaylah (sexual relation).

Al-Bukhari also reported this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Aishah said, “The wife of Rifa`ah Al-Qurazi came while I and Abu Bakr were with the Prophet and she said, `I was Rifa`ah’s wife, but he divorced me and it was an irrevocable divorce. Then I married Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubayr, but his sexual organ is minute like a string.’ She then took a small string of her garment (to resemble how small his sexual organ was).

Khalid bin Sa`id bin Al-`As, who was next to the door and was not yet allowed in, said, `O Abu Bakr! Why do you not forbid this (woman) from what she is revealing frankly before the Prophet?’

The Prophet merely smiled. Then, Allah’s Messenger asked her:

Do you want to remarry Rifa`ah? You cannot unless you experience his Usaylah and he experiences your Usaylah (i.e., had a complete sexual relation with your present husband).”

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

Muslim’s wording is “Rifa`ah divorced his wife for the third and final time.”

The word Usaylah mentioned in the Hadith, means sexual intercourse.

Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa’i reported that Aishah said that Allah’s Messenger said: ”Usaylah is sexual intercourse.”

The Curse on the Participants of Tahlil/Halalah The reason for the woman (who was divorced thrice) to marry another man must be that the man desires her and has the intention of having an extended married life with her. These are the legal goals and aims behind marriage. If the reason behind the second marriage was to make the woman eligible for her ex-husband again, then this is the Tahlil that the Hadiths have cursed and criticized.

In addition, when the reason behind this marriage (if it was Tahlil) is announced in the contract, it would make the contract invalid according to the majority of the scholars.

Imam Ahmad reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who does Tahlil, the one in whose favor it is done, those who eat Riba (usury) and those who feed it (pay the usury).”

At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i reported this Hadith and At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan.”

He said, “This is what is acted upon according to people of knowledge among the Companions, among whom are Umar, Uthman and Ibn Umar.

It was also the saying of the scholars of Fiqh among the Tabi`in (second generation of Islam). And it has been reported from Ali, Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn Abbas.”

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim reported that Nafi said:

“A man came to Ibn Umar and asked him about a man who divorced his wife three times. Then, his brother married her to make Tahlil for his brother, without the brother knowing this fact. He then asked, “Is she allowed for the first (husband)?”

He said, “No, unless it is a marriage that involves desire.

We used to consider this an act of adultery during the time of Allah’s Messenger.”

Al-Hakim said, “This Hadith has a Sahih chain although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.”

The wording of this Hadith indicates that the ruling came from the Prophet.

Abu Bakr bin Abu Shaybah, Al-Jawzjani, Harb Al-Kirmani and Abu Bakr Al-Athram said that Qabisah bin Jabir said that Umar said, “If the participants to Tahlil are brought to me, I will have them stoned.”

When does a Woman who was divorced Three Times become Eligible for Her First Husband Allah said:

‘’And if he has divorced her, meaning, the second husband after he had complete sexual relations with her. it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, meaning, the wife and her first husband.’’

… provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah.

… meaning, they live together honorably.

Mujahid said, “If they are convinced that the aim behind their marriage is honorable.”

Next, Allah said:

These are the limits of Allah, His commandments and legislation.

He makes plain,

… for the people who have knowledge.

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231.| And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on a reasonable basis or set them free on a reasonable basis. But do not take them back to hurt them, and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself. And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in jest, but remember Allah’s favors on you (i.e., Islam), and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (the Prophet’s Sunnah  legal ways  Islamic jurisprudence) whereby He instructs you. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.

Being Kind to the Divorced Wife.

Allah Says;

And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on a reasonable basis or set them free on a reasonable basis.

This is a command from Allah to men that when one of them divorces his wife with a reversible divorce, he should treat her kindly. So when her term of Iddah (waiting period) nears its end, he either takes her back in a way that is better, including having witnesses that he has taken her back, and he lives with her with kindness. Or, he should release her after her Iddah finishes and then kindly asks her to depart from his house, without disputing, fighting with her or using foul words.

Allah then said:

But do not take them back to hurt them, Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Masruq, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that; a man used to divorce his wife, and when her Iddah came near its end, he would take her back to harm her and to stop her from marrying someone else. He then divorced her and she would begin her Iddah and when her Iddah term neared its end, he would take her back again, so that the term of Iddah would be prolonged for her. After that, Allah prohibited this practice.

Allah has also threatened those who indulge in such practices, when He said;

…and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself. meaning, by defying Allah’s commandments.

Allah then said:

And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest, Ibn Jarir said that Abu Musa (Al-Ashari) narrated that; Allah’s Messenger once became angry at the Ashari tribe. Abu Musa went to him and said,

“O Messenger of Allah! Are you angry with the Ash`ariyyin”

The Prophet said:

‘’One of you says, `I divorced her’ -then says- `I took her back!’ This is not the appropriate way Muslims conduct divorce. Divorce the woman when she has fulfilled the term of the prescribed perio’’

Masruq said that; the Ayah refers to the man who harms his wife by divorcing her and then taking her back, so that the Iddah term is prolonged for her.

Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ata Al-Khurasani, Ar-Rabi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “He is the man who divorces his wife and says, `I was joking.’ Or he frees a servant or gets married and says, `I was only joking.’

Allah revealed:

(And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest). Then such men were made to bear the consequences of their actions.

Allah then said:

…but remember Allah’s favors on you, meaning, by His sending His Messenger with the right guidance and clear signs to you. …and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah) (meaning the Sunnah), …whereby He instructs you. … meaning, commands you, forbids you and threatens you for transgressing His prohibitions.

Allah said:

And fear Allah, meaning, concerning what you perform and what you avoid.

… and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.

… none of your secret or public affairs ever escapes His knowledge, and He will treat you accordingly.

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232.| And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on reasonable basis. This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous and purer for you. Allah knows and you know not.

The Wali (Guardian) of the Divorced Woman should not prevent Her from going back to Her Husband.

Allah says;

And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on reasonable basis.

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This Ayah was revealed about the man who divorces his wife once or twice and her Iddah finishes. He later thinks about taking her back in marriage and the woman also wishes that, yet, her family prevents her from remarrying him.

Hence, Allah prohibited her family from preventing her.”

Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Az-Zuhri and Ad-Dahhak stated that this is the reason behind revealing the Ayah.

These statements clearly conform to the apparent meaning of the Ayah.

There is no Marriage without a Wali (for the Woman)

The Ayah (2:232) also indicates that the woman is not permitted to give herself in marriage. Rather, she requires a Wali (guardian such as her father, brother, adult son, and so forth) to give her away in marriage, as Ibn Jarir and At-Tirmidhi have stated when they mentioned this Ayah.

Also, a Hadith states that:

‘’The woman does not give another woman away for marriage and the woman does not give herself away in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away for marriage’’.

Another Hadith states:

No marriage is valid except with the participation of a mature Wali and two trustworthy witnesses.

The Reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232)

It was reported that; this Ayah was revealed about Ma`qil bin Yasar Al-Muzani and his sister.

Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, when he mentioned the Tafsir of this Ayah (2:232), that the husband of the sister of Ma`qil bin Yasar divorced her. He waited until her Iddah finished and then asked to remarry her, but Ma`qil refused. Then, this Ayah was sent down:

(…do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands).

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah and Al-Bayhaqi reported this Hadith from Al-Hasan from Ma`qil bin Yasar.

At-Tirmidhi rendered this Hadith authentic and in his narration, Ma`qil bin Yasar gave his sister in marriage for a Muslim man during the time of Allah’s Messenger.

She remained with him for a while and he divorced her once and did not take her back until her Iddah finished.

They then wanted to get back with each other and he came to ask her for marriage.

Ma`qil said to him, “O ungrateful one! I honored you and married her to you but you divorced her. By Allah! She will never be returned to you.”

But Allah knew his need for his wife and her need for her husband and He revealed:

(And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period) until He said: (…and you know not).

When Ma`qil heard the Ayah, he said, “I hear and obey my Lord.”

He then summoned the man and said, “I will honor you and let you remarry (my sister).”

Ibn Marduwyah added (that Ma`qil said), “And will pay (the expiation) for breaking my vow.”

Allah said:

This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. … meaning, prohibiting you from preventing the women from marrying their ex-husbands, if they both agree to it. (among you), O people, (who believes in Allah and the Last Day) meaning, … believes in Allah’s commandments and fears His warnings and the torment in the Hereafter.

Allah said:

That is more virtuous and purer for you. … meaning, obeying Allah’s Law by returning the women to their ex-husbands, and abandoning your displeasure, is purer and cleaner for your hearts.

Allah knows, the benefits you gain from what He commands and what He forbids. … and you know not. the benefits in what you do or what you refrain from doing.

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233.| The mothers should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them. And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on a reasonable basis. And fear Allah and know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do.

The Suckling Period is only Two Years.

Allah says;

The mothers should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, This is a direction from Allah to the mothers to suckle their infants through the complete term of suckling, which is two years. Hence, suckling after two years is not included in this address.

Allah said:

(…who desire to complete the term of suckling), Therefore, the suckling that establishes Tahrim (prohibition, i.e., one cannot marry his mother or sister from suckling) is what occurs before the two years end. If the infant is suckled only after two years of age, then no Tahrim will be established.

At-Tirmidhi under Chapter: `Suckling establishes Tahrim within the first two years,’ reported that Umm Salamah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

Suckling establishes Tahrim if it is on the breast and before Fitam (before weaning, i.e., before the end of the first two years).

At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan Sahih. The majority of the people of knowledge among the Companions of Allah’s Messenger and others acted upon this, that is that suckling establishes Tahrim (prohibition in marriage) before the end of the two years and that whatever occurs after that does not establish Tahrim.

At-Tirmidhi is alone in recording this Hadith and the narrators in its chain meet the criteria of the Sahihayn.

The Prophet’s statement:

(On the breast), refers to the organ of suckling before the two years.

Imam Ahmad reported a Hadith in which Al-Bara bin Azib narrated,

“When Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, died, the Prophet said: My son has died on the breast and he has someone to suckle him in Paradise.

Furthermore, Ad-Daraqutni related that Ibn Abbas said that Allah’s Messenger said: Suckling establishes Tahrim only within the (first) two years.

Imam Malik reported this Hadith from Thawr bin Zayd who narrated that Ibn Abbas related it to the Prophet.

Ad-Darawardi reported this Hadith from Thawr who narrated it from Ikrimah who narrated it from Ibn Abbas. In this narration, which is more authentic, he added: Whatever occurs after the two years is not considered.

Suckling beyond the Two Years It is reported in the Sahih that; Aishah thought that if a woman gives her milk to an older person (meaning beyond the age of two years) then this will establish Tahrim.

This is also the opinion of Ata bin Abu Rabah and Layth bin Sa`d.

Hence, Aishah thought that it is permissible to suckle the man whom the woman needs to be allowed in her house. She used as evidence the Hadith of Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah, where the Prophet ordered Abu Hudhayfah’s wife to give some of her milk to Salim, although he was a man, and ever since then, he used to enter her house freely. However, the rest of the Prophet’s wives did not agree with this opinion and thought that this was only a special case. This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

Suckling for Monetary Compensation.

Allah said:

…but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis.

… meaning, the father of the baby is obliged to provide for the expenses of the mother and to buy her clothes, in reasonable amounts usually used by similar women in that area, without extravagance or stinginess. The father spends within his means in this case.

Allah said in another Ayah:

Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease. (65:7)

Ad-Dahhak commented, “If the husband divorces his wife, with whom he had a child, and she suckles that child, he is required to provide for the mother’s expenses and clothes within reason.”

No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear.

No Darar (Harm) or Dirar (Revenge)

Allah said:

No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, meaning, the mother should not decline to rear her child to harm its father. The mother does not have the right to refrain from suckling the child after giving birth, unless she suckles him/her the milk that is necessary for his/her survival. Later on, she is allowed to give up custody of the child as long as she does not do that intending to harm the father.

In addition, the father is not allowed to take the child from his mother to harm the mother.

This is why Allah said: …nor father on account of his child. … meaning, by taking the child from its mother intending to harm the mother. This is the Tafsir of Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ibn Zayd, and others on this Ayah.

Allah then said:

… And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father).

Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi and Ad-Dahhak stated, meaning, by refraining from harming the relative (of the father, i.e., his infant).

It was also reported that; (the Ayah requires) the inheritor (of the father) to spend on the mother of the child, just as the father was spending, and to preserve her rights and refrain from harming her, according to the Tafsir of the majority of the scholars.

We should state that; Ibn Jarir has explained this subject in detail in his Tafsir and that he also stated that suckling the child after the second year might harm the child’s body and mind.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that, Alqamah asked a woman who was suckling her child after the second year ended, not to do that.

Fitam (weaning) occurs by Mutual Consent.

Allah said:

If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them.

This Ayah indicates that if the father and the mother decide on the Fitam (weaning) before the two years (of suckling) end, and for a benefit that they duly discuss and agree upon, then there is no sin in this case.

So, the Ayah indicates that one parent is not allowed to make this kind of decision without duly consulting the other parent, as stated by Ath-Thawri.

The method of mutual consultation protects the child’s interests. It is also a mercy from Allah to His servants, for He has legislated the best method for parents to rear their children, and His legislation guides and directs the parents and the children to success.

Similarly, Allah said in Surah At-Talaq,

Then if they give suck to the children for you, give them their due payment, and let each of you accept the advice of the other in a just way. But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may give suck for him (the father of the child). (65:6)

Allah then said:

And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on a reasonable basis.

… meaning, if the mother and the father both agree that the father assumes custody of the child due to a circumstance that compels her or allows him to do so, then there is no sin in this case.

Hence, the mother is allowed to give up the child and the father is allowed to assume custody of the child.

The father should kindly give the mother her expenses for the previous period (during which she reared and suckled the child), and he should seek other women to suckle his child for monetary compensation.

Thereafter, Allah said:

‘’ And fear Allah,’’  meaning, in all of your affairs.

And know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do. meaning, none of your affairs or speech escapes His perfect Watch.

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234.| And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a (just and) honorable manner (i.e., they can marry). And Allah is well-acquainted with what you do.

The Iddah (Waiting Period) of the Widow.

Allah says;

And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, This Ayah contains a command from Allah to the wives whose husbands die, that they should observe a period of Iddah of four months and ten nights, including the cases where the marriage was consummated or otherwise, according to the consensus (of the scholars).

The proof that this ruling includes the case where the marriage was not consummated is included in the general meaning of the Ayah. In a narration recorded by Imam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan, which At-Tirmidhi graded Sahih, Ibn Mas`ud was asked about a man who married a woman, but he died before consummating the marriage. He also did not appoint a Mahr (dowry) for her. They kept asking Ibn Mas`ud about this subject until he said,

“I shall give you my own opinion, and if it is correct then it is from Allah, while if it is wrong it is because of my error and because of (the evil efforts of) Satan. In this case, Allah and His Messenger are innocent of my opinion. She has her full Mahr.”

In another narration, Ibn Mas`ud said, “She has a similar Mahr to that of the women of her status, without stinginess or extravagance.” He then continued, “She has to spend the Iddah and has a right to the inheritance.” Ma`qil bin Yasar Ashja`i then stood up and said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger issue a similar judgment for the benefit of Barwa` bint Washiq.”

Abdullah bin Mas`ud became very delighted upon hearing this statement.

In another narration, several men from Ashja (tribe) stood up and said, “We testify that Allah’s Messenger issued a similar ruling for the benefit of Barwa bint Washiq.”

As for the case of the widow whose husband dies while she is pregnant, her term of Iddah ends when she gives birth, even if it occurs an instant (after her husband dies). This ruling is taken from Allah’s statement:

And for those who are pregnant, their Iddah is until they lay down their burden. (65:4)

There is also a Hadith from Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyah in the Two Sahihs, through various chains of narration.

Her husband, Sa`d bin Khawlah, died while she was pregnant and she gave birth only a few nights after his death. When she finished her Nifas (postnatal period), she beautified herself for those who might seek to engage her (for marriage).

Then, Abu Sanabil bin Ba`kak came to her and said, “Why do I see you beautified yourself, do you wish to marry? By Allah! You will not marry until the four months and ten nights have passed.”

Subay`ah said, “When he said that to me, I collected my garments when night fell and went to Allah’s Messenger and asked him about this matter.

He said that my Iddah had finished when I gave birth and allowed me to get married if I wished.”

The Wisdom behind legislating the Iddah Sa`id bin Musayyib and Abu Al-Aliyah stated that; the wisdom behind making the Iddah of the widow four months and ten nights is that the womb might contain a fetus. When the woman waits for this period, it will become evident if she is pregnant.

Similarly, there is a Hadith in the Two Sahihs narrated by Ibn Mas`ud stating:

(The creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of his mother in forty days in the form of a seed, and next he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and next a morsel of flesh for a similar period. Then, Allah sends an angel who is ordered to breathe life unto the fetus.

So, these are four months and ten more days to be sure, as some months are less (than thirty days), and the fetus will then start to show signs of life after the soul has been breathed into it. Allah knows best.

The Iddah of the Slave Mother whose Master dies We should state here that; the Iddah of the slave mother is the same in the case of death, as the Iddah of the free woman.

Imam Ahmad reported that `Amr bin Al-`As said, “Do not confuse the Sunnah of our Prophet for us. The Iddah of the mother, who is also a servant, when her master dies, is four months and ten nights.”

Mourning is required during the Iddah of Death.

Allah said:

…then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a (just and) honorable manner (i.e., they can marry). And Allah is well-acquainted with what you do.

This Ayah indicates that mourning for the dead husband is required until the Iddah is finished. It is also reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Habibah and Zaynab bint Jahsh narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for more than three days for any dead person except her husband, for whom she mourns for four months and ten days. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Salamah said that; a woman said, “O Messenger of Allah! My daughter’s husband died and she is complaining about her eye, should we administer kohl in her eye?”

He said, “No,” several times upon repeating this question.

He then said:

It is four months and ten (nights)! During the Jahiliyyah, one of you would mourn for an entire year.

Zaiynab the daughter of Umm Salamah said (about the pre-Islamic era of ignorance),

“When the woman’s husband died, she would go into seclusion and would wear the worst clothes she has. She would refrain from wearing perfume or any adornments until a year passed. She would then come out of seclusion and would be given dung that she would throw. Then an animal would be brought out, a donkey, a sheep, or a bird. Then some blood would be drained from it, usually resulting in its death.”

In short, the mourning required from a wife whose husband dies, includes not using beautification aids, such as wearing perfume and the clothes and jewelry that encourage the men to seek marriage from the woman.

All widows must observe this period of mourning whether they are young, old, free, servant, Muslim or disbeliever, as the general meaning of the Ayah indicates.

Allah also said: …then when they have fulfilled their term, According to Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi bin Anas, meaning, when the Iddah finishes. … there is no sin on you,

Az-Zuhri said, “Meaning her Wali (guardian).” … if they (the wives) dispose, meaning, the women whose Iddah has finished. Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, “If the woman is divorced or if her husband dies and then her Iddah term ends, there is no sin that she beautifies herself, so that she becomes ready for marriage proposals. This is the way `that is just and honorable’.”

It was reported that Muqatil bin Hayyan gave the same explanation.

Ibn Jurayj related that Mujahid said: (…there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a just and honorable manner), “refers to allowed and pure (honorable) marriage.”

It was also reported that Al-Hasan, Az-Zuhri and As-Suddi said the same.

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235.| And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them, but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret except that you speak an honorable saying. And do not be determined on the marriage bond until the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

Mentioning Marriage indirectly during the Iddah.

Allah said:

And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal, (And there is no sin on you) meaning, to indirectly mention marriage to the widow during the term of Iddah for her deceased husband.

Ath-Thawri, Shu`bah and Jarir stated that Ibn Abbas said:

(And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal), “means saying, `I want to marry and I am looking for a woman whose qualities are such and such,’ thus talking to her in general terms in a way that is better.”

In another narration (by Ibn Abbas), “Saying, `I wish that Allah endows me with a wife,’ but he should not make a direct marriage proposal.”

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah: (And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal) means, “The man could say, `I wish to marry,’ `I desire a wife,’ or, `I wish I could find a good wife’.”

Mujahid, Tawus, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Yazid bin Qusayt, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Qasim bin Muhammad and several others among the Salaf and the Imams said that; one is allowed to mention marriage indirectly to the woman whose husband died.

It is also allowed to indirectly mention marriage to a woman who had gone through final, irrevocable divorce. The Prophet ordered Fatimah bint Qays to remain in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum for Iddah when her husband Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced her for the third time.

He said to her: Inform me when your Iddah term ends. When she finished the Iddah, Usamah bin Zayd, the Prophet’s freed slave asked to marry her, and the Prophet married her to him. As for the divorced wife (not irrevocably divorced), there is no disagreement that it is not allowed for other than her husband to mention marriage proposals to her directly or indirectly (before the Iddah finishes). Allah knows best.

Allah said: …or conceal it in yourself, meaning, if you hide the intention of seeking marriage with them.

Similarly, Allah said: And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal. (28:69) …while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. (60:1)

So, Allah said here:

Allah knows that you will remember them, meaning, in your hearts, so He made it easy for you.

Allah then said: …but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret.

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means, do not say to her, “I am in love (with you),” or, “Promise me you will not marry someone else (after the Iddah finishes),” and so forth.

Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Ikrimah, Abu Ad-Duha, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Mujahid and Ath-Thawri said that, it (meaning of the Ayah) means taking the woman’s promise not to marry someone else.

Afterwards, Allah said:

…except that you speak an honorable saying.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ibn Zayd said that; the Ayah means to indirectly refer to marriage, such as saying, “I desire someone like you.”

Muhammad bin Sirin said: I asked Ubaydah about the meaning of Allah’s statement: (…except that you speak an honorable saying), He said, “He says to her Wali, `Do not give her away (in marriage) until you inform me first’.” This statement was narrated by Ibn Abu Hatim.

Allah then said: And do not be determined on the marriage bond until the term prescribed is fulfilled. … meaning, do not make marriage contracts before the Iddah finishes.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Abu Malik, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Az-Zuhri, Ata Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ad-Dahhak said that: (until the term prescribed is fulfilled) means, `Do not consummate the marriage before the Iddah term finishes.’ The scholars agree that marriage contracts during the Iddah are invalid.

Allah then said: And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. … warning the men against the ideas they conceal in their hearts about women, directing them to think good about them rather than the evil, and Allah would not let them despair of His mercy,

as He said: ”And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.”

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236.| There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But give them a Mut`ah (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good.

Divorce before consummating the Marriage.

Allah says;

There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But give them a Mut`ah (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good.

Allah allowed divorce after the marriage contract and before consummating the marriage.

Ibn Abbas, Tawus, Ibrahim and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that;

`touched’ (mentioned in the Ayah) means sexual intercourse.

The husband is allowed to divorce his wife before consummating the marriage or giving the dowry if it was deferred.

The Mut`ah (Gift) at the time of Divorce.

Allah commands the husband to give the wife (whom he divorces before consummating the marriage) a gift of a reasonable amount, the rich according to his means and the poor according to his means, to compensate her for her loss.

Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that Sahl bin Sa`d and Abu Usayd said that; Allah’s Messenger married Umaymah bint Sharahil. When she was brought to the Prophet he extended his hand to her, but she did not like that. The Prophet then ordered Abu Usayd to provide provisions for her along with a gift of two garments.

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237.| And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed for them their due (dowry), then pay half of that, unless they (the women) agree to remit it, or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it. And to remit is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). And do not forget liberality between yourselves. Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.

The Wife gets half of Her Mahr if She is divorced before the Marriage is consummated.

Allah says;

And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed for them their due (dowry), then pay half of that, This honorable Ayah is not a continuation of the Mut`ah (gift) that was mentioned in the previous Ayah (i.e., divorce before the marriage is consummated).

This Ayah requires the husband to relinquish half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before the marriage is consummated. If it was discussing any other type of gift, then it would have been mentioned that way, especially when this Ayah follows the previous Ayah related to this subject. Allah knows best.

Giving away half of the bridal-money in this case is the agreed practice according to the scholars. So, the husband pays half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before consummating the marriage.

Allah then said:

… unless they (the women) agree to remit it, meaning, the wife forfeits the dowry and relieves the husband from further financial responsibility.

As-Suddi said that Abu Salih mentioned that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement:

“Unless the wife forfeits her right.”

Furthermore, Imam Abu Muhammad bin Abu Hatim said that it was reported that Shurayh, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Nafi, Qatadah, Jabir bin Zayd, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ibn Sirin, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and As-Suddi said similarly.

Allah then said:

…or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it.

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his grandfather narrated that the Prophet said:

The husband is he who has the marriage tie.

Ibn Marduwyah also reported this Hadith, and it is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir.

The Hadith states that the husband is the person who really holds the marriage tie in his hand, as it is up to him to go on with the marriage or end it.

On the other hand, the Wali of the wife is not allowed to give away any of her rightful dues without her permission, especially the dowry.

Allah then stated:

And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).

Ibn Jarir said,

“Some scholars said that this statement is directed at both men and women.”

Ibn Abbas said:

“(And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)), indicates that the one who forgives, is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety).”

A similar statement was made by Ash-Sha`bi and several other scholars.

Mujahid, An-Nakhai, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Thawri stated that; `liberality’ mentioned in the Ayah refers to the woman giving away her half Mahr, or the man giving away the full Mahr.

This is why Allah said here:

‘’And do not forget liberality between yourselves.’’

… meaning, kindness (or generosity), as Sa`id has stated.

Allah said:

Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.

… meaning, none of your affairs ever escapes His perfect Watch, and He will reward each according to his deeds.

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238.| Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience.

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239.| And if you fear (an enemy), (perform Salah) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).

Allah says;

Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience.

Allah commands that the prayer should be performed properly and on time.

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Mas`ud said, “I asked the Prophet, `Which deed is the dearest (to Allah)?’

He replied: To offer the prayers at their fixed times. I asked, `What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied: To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” I again asked, `What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied: To be good and dutiful to your parents.

Abdullah then added, “The Prophet told me these words, and had I asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.”

The Middle Prayer.

Furthermore, Allah has specifically mentioned the Middle prayer, which is the Asr prayer according to the majority of the scholars among the Companions, as At-Tirmidhi and Al-Baghawi have stated.

Al-Qadi Al-Mawardi added that the majority of the scholars of the Tabi`in also held this view.

Al-Hafiz Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr said that this is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars of the Athar (i.e., the Hadith and the statements of the Salaf).

In addition, Abu Muhammad bin Atiyah said that this is the Tafsir (of the Middle prayer) of the majority of scholars.

Al-Hafiz Abu Muhammad Abdul-Mu’min bin Khalaf Ad-Dumyati stated in his book on the Middle prayer that; it is the Asr prayer and mentioned that this is the Tafsir of Umar, Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Ayyub, Abdullah bin Amr, Samurah bin Jundub, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa`id, Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Umm Salamah, Ibn Abbas and Aishah.

This is also the Tafsir of Ubaydah, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Razin, Zirr bin Hubaysh, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibn Sirin, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Kalbi, Muqatil, Ubayd bin Abu Maryam, and others.

The Proof that the `Asr Prayer is the Middle Prayer Imam Ahmad reported that Ali narrated that Allah’s Messenger said during the battle of Al-Ahzab (the Confederates):

They (the disbelievers) busied us from performing the Middle prayer, the Asr prayer, may Allah fill their hearts and houses with fire.)

He performed the Asr prayer between Maghrib and Isha.

Muslim and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith.

In addition, the Two Sheikhs, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa’i and several other collectors of the Sunan recorded this Hadith using different chains of narrators to Ali.

The Hadith about the battle of Al-Ahzab, when the Mushriks prevented Allah’s Messenger and his Companions from performing the Asr prayer, has been narrated by several other Companions. We only mentioned the narrations that stated that the Middle prayer is the Asr prayer.

Furthermore, Muslim reported similar wordings for this Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud and Al-Bara bin Azib.

In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that Samurah bin Jundub said that Allah’s Messenger said:

‘’The Middle prayer is the Asr prayer.’’

In another narration, Allah’s Messenger mentioned:

(Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Middle Salah) and stated that it is the `Asr prayer.

In another narration, Allah’s Messenger said: It is the Asr prayer. and Ibn Jafar mentioned that the Prophet was then being asked about the Middle prayer. At-Tirmidhi reported this Hadith and said, “Hasan, Sahih.”

In addition, Abu Hatim bin Hibban reported in his Sahih that; Abdullah said that Allah’s Messenger said: ‘’The Middle prayer is the Asr prayer.’’

At-Tirmidhi reported that Ibn Mas`ud narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: The Asr prayer is the Middle prayer.

At-Tirmidhi then stated that this Hadith is of a Hasan Sahih type.

Muslim reported the Hadith in his Sahih and his wordings are: They (disbelievers) busied us from performing the Middle prayer, the Asr prayer.

These texts emphasize the fact (that the Asr prayer is the Middle prayer).

What further proves this fact is that, in an authentic Hadith, Allah’s Messenger emphasized the necessity of preserving the Asr prayer, when he said, as Ibn Umar narrated: Whoever misses the Asr prayer will be like who has lost his family and money.

It is reported in the Sahih that Buraydah bin Al-Husayb said that the Prophet said: On a cloudy day, perform the (Asr) prayer early, for whoever misses the Asr prayer, will have his (good) deeds annulled.

The Prohibition of speaking during the Prayer.

Allah said:

And stand before Allah with obedience.

… meaning, with humbleness and humility before Him (i.e., during the prayer).

This command indicates that it is not allowed to speak during the prayer, as speaking contradicts the nature of the prayer. This is why the Prophet refused to answer Ibn Mas`ud when he greeted him while he was praying and said afterwards:

The prayer makes one sufficiently busy. i.e., by the various actions of the body, tongue and heart involved during the prayer.

Muslim reported that the Prophet said to Muawiyah bin Hakam As-Sulami when he spoke during the prayer:

The ordinary speech people indulge in is not appropriate during the prayer. The prayer involves only Tasbih (praising Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) and remembering Allah.

Imam Ahmad reported that Zayd bin Arqam said: “One used to address his friend about various affairs during the prayer.’’

Then when this Ayah was revealed: (And stand before Allah with obedience), we were ordered to refrain from speaking.”

The Group (i.e., the Hadith collections), except Ibn Majah, reported this Hadith.

The Fear Prayer.

Allah said:

‘’And if you fear (an enemy), (perform Salah) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).

After Allah commanded His servants to perform the prayer perfectly and emphasized this commandment, He mentioned the situation where the person might not be able to perform the prayer perfectly, during battle and combat.

Allah said:

(And if you fear (an enemy), perform Salah on foot or riding), meaning, pray in the appropriate manner under these circumstances, whether on foot or riding and whether facing the Qiblah or otherwise.

Imam Malik reported that Nafi related that Ibn Umar used to describe the Fear prayer when he was asked about it and would then add,

“If there is intense fear, pray on foot, riding, facing the Qiblah and otherwise.”

Nafi commented, “I think that he related that to the Prophet.”

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported the Hadith.

Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Allah has ordained the prayer by the words of your Prophet: four (Rak`ah) while residing, two Rak`ah while traveling and one Rak`ah during times of fear.”

This is also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, and others.

In addition, Al-Bukhari has entitled a Chapter: `Prayer while confronting the Forts and facing the Enemy’. Al-Awza`i said,

“If the victory seems near and the Muslims are unable to perform the prayer (in the normal manner), they should pray by nodding each by himself. If they are unable to nod, they should delay the prayer until fighting is finished.

When they feel safe, they should pray two Rak`ah. If they are unable, they should then pray one Rak`ah that includes two prostrations.

If they are unable, then Takbir alone does not suffice, so they should delay the prayer until they are safe.”

This is the same view that Makhul held.

Anas bin Malik said, “I participated in the attack on the fort of Tastar, when the light of dawn started to become clear.

Suddenly, the fighting raged and the Muslims were unable to pray until the light of day spread.

We then prayed (the Dawn prayer) with Abu Musa and we became victorious.

I would not have been pleased if I were to gain in the life of this world and whatever is in it instead of that prayer.”

This is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

Prayer during the Times of Peace is performed normally.

Allah said:

‘’And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray), meaning, `Perform the prayer as I have commanded you by completing its bowing, prostration, standing, sitting, and with the required attention (in the heart) and supplication.’

Allah said: …in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before).

… meaning, just as He has endowed you, guided you and taught you about what benefits you in this life and the Hereafter, so thank and remember Him.

Similarly, Allah said after He mentioned the prayer of Fear, …but when you are free from danger, perform As-Salah. Verily, As-Salah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours. (4:103)

We will mention the Hadiths about the prayer of Fear and its description in Surah An-Nisa while mentioning.

Allah’s statement:

When you (O Messenger Muhammad) are among them, and lead them in As-Salah (the prayer).

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240.| And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage). And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

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241.| And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious).

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242.| Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Laws) to you, in order that you may understand.

Ayah (240) was abrogated.

Allah said;

And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage). And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

The majority of the scholars said that; this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234), what Allah said: (…they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days), (2:234).

For instance, Al-Bukhari reported that; Ibn Az-Zubayr said: I said to Uthman bin Affan: (And those of you who die and leave wives behind them) was abrogated by the other Ayah (2:234). Therefore, why did you collect it (meaning, in the Qur’an)?”

He said, “O my nephew! I shall not change any part of the Qur’an from its place.”

The question that Ibn Az-Zubayr asked Uthman means:

`If the ruling of the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated to four months (the Iddah of the widow, and refer to 2:234), then what is the wisdom behind including it in the Qur’an, although its ruling has been abrogated?

If the Ayah (2:240) remains (in the Qur’an) after the Ayah that abrogated it (2:234), this might imply that its ruling is still valid.’

Uthman, the Leader of the faithful, answered him by stating that this is a matter of the revelation, which mentioned these Ayat in this order. `Therefore, I shall leave the Ayah where I found it in the Qur’an.’

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said about what Allah said: (And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out), “The widow used to reside, and have her provisions provided for her for a year, in her deceased husband’s house.

Later, the Ayah that specified the inheritance (4:12) abrogated this Ayah (2:240), and thus the widow inherits one-fourth or one-eighth of what her (deceased) husband leaves behind.”

Ibn Abu Hatim also related that Ali bin Abu Talhah stated that Ibn Abbas said, “When a man died and left behind a widow, she used to remain in his house for a year for her Iddah, all the while receiving her provisions during this time.

Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah: (And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days), (2:234).

So, this is the Iddah of the widow, unless she was pregnant, for her Iddah then ends when she gives birth.

Allah also said:

In that which you leave, their (your wives’) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave. (4:12)

So Allah specified the share of the widow in the inheritance and there was no need for the will or the Nafaqah (maintenance) which were mentioned in (2:240).”

Ibn Abu Hatim stated that Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that; the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by:

(four months and ten days. (2:234)

Al-Bukhari reported that; Mujahid said that:

(And those of you who die and leave wives behind them) (2:234) used to be the Iddah, and the widow had to remain with her (deceased) husband’s family (during that period, i.e., four months and ten days). Then, Allah revealed:

(And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage).

So, Allah made the rest of the year, which is seven months and twenty days, as a will and testament for her. Consequently, if she wants, she could use her right in this will and remain in the residence (for the rest of the year). Or, if she wants, she could leave the (deceased husband’s) house after the four months and ten days have passed. This is the meaning of what Allah said:

(…without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you).

Therefore, the required term of Iddah is still unchanged (refer to 2:234).

Ata quoted Ibn Abbas, “This Ayah (2:240) has abrogated (the requirement that) the widow spends the Iddah with his (i.e., her deceased husband’s) family. So, she spends her Iddah wherever she wants.

This is the meaning of what Allah said: (without turning them out).”

Ata also said: “If she wants, she spends the Iddah with his family and resides there according to the will (meaning the rest of the year). If she wants, she is allowed to leave, for Allah said: (there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves).”

Ata then said: “Then (the Ayah on) the inheritance (refer to 4:12) came and abrogated the residence. Hence, the widow spends her Iddah wherever she wants and does not have the right to residence any more.”

The statement of Ata and those who held the view that the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah on the inheritance (4:12), is only valid for more than the four months and ten days (required in 2:234). However, if they mean that the four months and ten days are not required from the deceased husband’s estate, then this opinion is the subject of disagreement among the scholars.

As proof, they said that the widow is required to remain in her (deceased) husband’s house (for four months and ten days) according to what Malik reported from Zaynab bint Ka`b bin Ujrah.

She said that Fari`ah bint Malik bin Sinan, the sister of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, told her that she came to Allah’s Messenger asking him to return to her family’s residence with Banu Khudrah. Her husband had pursued some of his servants who ran away, but when he reached the area of Al-Qadum, they killed him.

She said, “So I asked Allah’s Messenger if I should stay with my family in Banu Khudrah, for my (deceased) husband did not leave me a residence that he owns or Nafaqah (maintenance).

Allah’s Messenger answered in the positive. While I was in the room, Allah’s Messenger summoned me or had someone summon me and said:

What did you say?

I repeated the story to him about my (deceased) husband.

He said:

Stay at your home until the term reaches its end. So I remained through the Iddah term for four months and ten days in my (deceased husband’s) house.

Thereafter, Uthman bin Affan sent for me during his reign and asked me about this matter and I told him what happened. He made a judgment to the same effect.”

This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih”.

The Necessity of the Mut`ah (Gift) at the Time of Divorce.

Allah said:

And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious).

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that; when Allah’s statement:

(…a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good) (2:236) was revealed, a man said, “If I want, I will be excellent and if I do not, I will not.”

Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah:

(And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious).

The scholars who ruled that; the Mut`ah (reasonable gift) at the time of divorce is required for every divorced woman, whether she had a bridal-money appointed for her or not, and whether the marriage was consummated or not, relied on this Ayah (2:241) when they issued their ruling. This is the view taken on this subject by Sa`id bin Jubayr and several others among the Salaf and also Ibn Jarir.

Hence, Allah’s statement:

There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched (had sexual relation with) them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But bestow on them (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good. (2:236) only mentions some specifics of this general ruling.

Allah then said:

Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Laws) to you, meaning, what He allows, forbids, requires, His set limits, His commandments and His prohibitions are all explained and made plain and clear for you. He did not leave any matter in general terms if you needed the specifics.

… in order that you may understand.

… meaning, understand and comprehend.

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243.| Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death Allah said to them, “Die”. And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but most men thank not.

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244.| And fight in the way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

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245.| Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.

The Story of the Dead People.

Allah says;

Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death Allah said to them, “Die”. And then He restored them to life.

Ibn Abu Hatim related that Ibn Abbas said that; these people mentioned herein, were the residents of a village called Dawardan.

Ali bin Asim said that; they were from Dawardan, a village several miles away from Wasit (in Iraq).

In his Tafsir, Waki bin Jarrah said that Ibn Abbas commented, (Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death), that they were four thousand persons who escaped the plague (that broke out in their land). They said, “We should go to a land that is free of death!”

When they reached a certain area, Allah said to them: (“Die”) and they all died.

Afterwards, one of the Prophets passed by them and supplicated to Allah to resurrect them and Allah brought them back to life. So, Allah stated:

(Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death).

Furthermore, several scholars among the Salaf said that; these people were the residents of a city during the time of the Children of Israel. The weather in their land did not suit them and an epidemic broke out. They fled their land fearing death and took refuge in the wilderness.

They later arrived at a fertile valley and they filled what is between its two sides. Then Allah sent two angels to them, one from the lower side and the other from the upper side of the valley. The angels screamed once and all the people died instantly, just as the death of one man.

They were later moved to a different place, where walls and graves were built around them. They all perished, and their bodies rotted and disintegrated. Long afterwards, one of the Prophets of the Children of Israel, whose name was Hizqil (Ezekiel), passed by them and asked Allah to bring them back to life by his hand.

Allah accepted his supplication and commanded him to say, “O rotted bones, Allah commands you to come together.” The bones of every body were brought together. Allah then commanded him to say, “O bones, Allah commands you to be covered with flesh, nerves and skin.” That also happened while Hizqil was watching. Allah then commanded him to say, “O souls, Allah commands you to return, each to the body that it used to inhabit.”

They all came back to life, looked around and proclaimed, “All praise is due to You (O Allah!) and there is no deity worthy of worship except You.” Allah brought them back to life after they had perished long ago.

We should state that bringing these people back to life is a clear proof that physical resurrection shall occur on the Day of Resurrection.

This is why Allah said: Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind, meaning, in that He shows them His great signs, sound proofs and clear evidences. Yet, … but most men thank not. as they do not thank Allah for what He has given them with in their worldly life and religious affairs.

The story of the dead people (above) also indicates that no caution can ever avert destiny and that there is no refuge from Allah, but to Allah Himself. These people departed from their land fleeing the epidemic and seeking to enjoy a long life. What they earned was the opposite of what they sought, as death came quickly and instantaneously and seized them all.

There is an authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad reported that Abdullah bin Abbas said that; Umar bin Al-Khattab once went to Ash-Sham (Syria). When he reached the area of Sargh, he was met by the commanders of the army: Abu Ubaydah bin Jarrah and his companions. They told him that the plague had broken out in Ash-Sham.

The Hadith then mentioned that Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, who was away attending to some of his affairs, came and said, “I have knowledge regarding this matter. I heard Allah’s Messenger say:

If it (the plague) breaks out in a land that you are in, do not leave that land to escape from it. If you hear about it in a land, do not enter it. Umar then thanked Allah and went back. This Hadith is also reported in the Sahihayn.

Abandoning Jihad does not alter Destiny.

Allah said:

And fight in the way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

This Ayah indicates that just as caution does not alter destiny, abandoning Jihad will neither bring the appointed term closer nor delay it. Rather, destiny and the appointed provisions are fixed and shall never be changed or altered, neither by addition nor deletion.

Similarly, Allah said:

(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.”

Say: “Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth.” (3:168)

Allah said:

They say: “Our Lord! Why have you ordained for us fighting Would that you had granted us respite for a short period!”

Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatila (a scalish thread in the long slit of a date stone). Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” (4:77-78)

Abu Sulayman, Khalid bin Al-Walid, the commander of the Muslim armies, the veteran among Muslim soldiers, the protector of Islam and the Sword of Allah that was raised above His enemies, said while dying, “I have participated in so-and-so number of battles.

There is not a part of my body, but suffered a shot (of an arrow), a stab (of a spear) or a strike (of a sword). Yet, here I am, I die on my bed just as the camel dies! May the eyes of the cowards never taste sleep.”

He, may Allah be pleased with him, was sorry and in pain because he did not die as martyr in battle. He was sad that he had to die on his bed!

The Good Loan and its Reward.

Allah said:

Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times, In this Ayah, Allah encourages His servants to spend in His cause. Allah mentioned this same Ayah in several other parts of His Glorious Qur’an.

The Hadith that mentions that Allah descends (every night down on the nearest heaven to us when the last third of the night remains) states that Allah says:

‘’Who would give a loan to He Who is neither poor nor unjust.’’

Allah’s statement:

(He may multiply it to him many times), is similar to His statement:

The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. (2:261)

We will mention this Ayah later on.

Allah then said:

And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), … meaning, `Spend (in Allah’s cause) and do not be anxious.’

Certainly, Allah is the Sustainer Who increases or decreases the provisions to whomever He wills among His servants. Allah’s wisdom is perfect, and, … and unto Him you shall return, (on the Day of Resurrection).

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246.| Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa! When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s way.” He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you!” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)!” But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.

The Story of the Jews Who sought a King to be appointed over Them.

Allah tells;

Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa! When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s way.”

He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you!”

Mujahid said that; the Prophet (mentioned in the Ayah) is Shamwil (Samuel).

Wahb bin Munabbih said: The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Moses. They then innovated in the religion and some of them even worshipped the idols. Yet, there were always Prophets sent among them who would command them to work righteous deeds, refrain from doing evil and who would rule them according to the commands of the Torah.

When they (Israelites) committed the evil that they committed, Allah caused their enemies to overwhelm them, and many fatalities fell among them as a consequence. Their enemies also captured a great number of them, and took over large areas of their land.

Earlier, anyone who would fight the Israelites would lose, because they had the Torah and the Tabut, which they inherited generation after generation ever since the time of Moses, who spoke to Allah directly. Yet, the Israelites kept indulging in misguidance until some king took the Tabut from them during a battle. That king also took possession of the Torah, and only a few of the Israelites who memorized it remained.

The Prophethood halted among their various tribes and only a pregnant woman remained of the offspring of Lavi (Levi), in whom the Prophethood still appeared. Her husband had been killed, so the Israelites kept her in a house so that Allah may give her a boy, who would be their Prophet. The woman also kept invoking Allah to grant her a boy. Allah heard her pleas and gave her a boy whom she called `Shamwil’

… meaning `Allah has heard my pleas.’

Some people said that the boy’s name was Shamun (Simeon), which also has a similar meaning.

As that boy grew, Allah raised him to be a righteous person. When he reached the age of Prophethood, Allah revealed to him and commanded him to call (his people) to Him and to His Tawhid (Oneness). Shamwil called the Children of Israel (to Allah) and they asked him to appoint a king over them so that they could fight their enemies under his command. The kingship had also ended among them.

Their Prophet said to them, “What if Allah appoints a king over you, would you fulfill your vow to fight under his command!”

They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children!”

… meaning, `After our land had been confiscated and our children had been taken from us.’

Allah said:

But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.

… meaning, only a few of them kept their promise, but the majority abandoned Jihad and Allah has full knowledge of them.

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247.| And their Prophet said to them, “Indeed Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.” They said, “How can he be a king over us when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth.” He said: “Verily, Allah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”

Allah tells;

And their Prophet said to them, “Indeed Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.” When the Israelites asked their Prophet to appoint a king over them, he appointed Talut (Saul), who was then a soldier. But, Talut was not a descendant of the house of kings among them, which was exclusively in the offspring of Yahudha (Judah). This is why;

They said, “How can he be a king over us, meaning, how can he be the king for us! when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth, They said that Talut was also poor and did not have the wealth that justifies him being king.

Some people stated that Talut used to bring water to the people, while others stated that his profession was dyeing skins.

The Jews, thus, disputed with their Prophet while they were supposed to obey him and to say good words to him.

He (their Prophet) said: “Verily, Allah has chosen him above you.

… meaning, `Allah chose Talut from amongst you while having better knowledge about him.’

Their Prophet stated, “I did not choose Talut to be your king on my own. Rather, Allah has commanded that upon your request.”

Further: …and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature.

… meaning, `Talut is more knowledgeable and honorable than you, and stronger and more patient during combat, and has more knowledge of warfare.

In short, he has more knowledge and is stronger than you are.

The king should have sufficient knowledge, be fair looking and should have a strong soul and body.’

He then said: ‘’And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills.’’

… meaning, Allah Alone is the Supreme Authority Who does what He wills and no one can ask Him about His actions, while they will be asked (about their actions by Him). This is because Allah has perfect knowledge, wisdom and kindness with His creation.

Allah said: And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”

… meaning, His favor is encompassing and He grants His mercy to whom He wills.

He also knows those who deserve to be kings and those who do not deserve it.

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248.| And their Prophet said to them: “Verily! The sign of His kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut, wherein is Sakinah (peace and reassurance) from your Lord and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, carried by the angels. Verily, in this is a sign for you if you are indeed believers.

Allah tells that;

And their Prophet said to them: “Verily! The sign of His kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut, Their Prophet then proclaimed, “The sign of the blessings of Talut’s kingship over you is that Allah will give you back the Tabut (wooden box) that has been taken from you.”

Allah said: (wherein is Sakinah from your Lord) meaning, peace (or grace) and reassurance.

Abdur-Razzaq stated that Qatadah said: (wherein is Sakinah), means grace.

In addition, Ar-Rabi said that; Sakinah means mercy.

This is also the meaning given by Ibn Abbas, as Al-Awfi narrated.

Allah then said: …and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, Ibn Jarir related that Ibn Abbas said about this Ayah: ”Meaning, Moses’ staff and the remnants of the Tablets.”

This is the same Tafsir of Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Ikrimah, who added, “And also the Torah.”

Abdur-Razzaq said that he asked Ath-Thawri about the meaning of, (…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind), Ath-Thawri said, “Some said that it contained a pot of manna and the remnants of the Tablets, while some others said that it contained (Moses’) staff and two shoes (and refer to 20:12).”

Allah then said: …carried by the angels.

Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn Abbas said, “The angels came down while carrying the Tabut between the sky and the earth, until they placed it before Talut while the people were watching.”

As-Suddi said, “The Tabut was brought to Talut’s house, so the people believed in the Prophethood of Shamun (Simeon) and obeyed Talut.”

The Prophet then said: Verily, in this is a sign for you, testifying to my truth in what I was sent with, my Prophethood, and my command to you to obey Talut. … if you are indeed believers. … in Allah and the Hereafter.

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249.| Then when Talut set out with the army, he said: “Verily, Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me; and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand.” Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.” But those who knew with certainty that they were going to meet Allah, said: “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave.” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).

Allah tells;

Then when Talut set out with the army, Allah states that Talut, the king of the Children of Israel, marched forth with his soldiers and the Israelites who obeyed him. His army was of eighty thousand then, according to As-Suddi, but Allah knows best.

Talut said: he said: “Verily, Allah will try you by a river. … meaning, He will test you with a river, which flowed between Jordan and Palestine, i.e., the Shariah river, according to Ibn Abbas and others.

He continued, So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me; meaning, shall not accompany me today. … and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. … meaning, there is no harm in this case.

Allah then said:

Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them.

Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn Abbas commented, “Whoever took some of it (the river’s water) in the hollow of his hand, quenched his thirst; as for those who drank freely from it, their thirst was not quenched.”

Ibn Jarir reported that Al-Bara bin Azib said, “We used to say that the Companions of Muhammad who accompanied him on the battle of Badr were more than three hundred and ten, just as many as the soldiers who crossed the river with Talut. Only those who believed crossed the river with him.” Al-Bukhari also reported this.

This is why Allah said: So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.”

This Ayah indicates that the Israelites (who remained with Saul) thought that they were few in the face of their enemy who were many then. So, their knowledgeable scholars strengthened their resolve by stating that Allah’s promise is true and that triumph comes from Allah Alone, not from the large numbers or the adequacy of the supplies.

But those who knew with certainty that they were going to meet Allah, said: “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient).

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250.| And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, and set firm our feet and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.”

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251.| So they routed them by Allah’s leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom (after the death of Talut and Samuel) and Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of bounty to the Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).

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252.| These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah).

Allah further tells;

And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, When the faithful party, who were few under the command of Talut, faced their enemy, who were many under the command of Jalut, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience…,” … meaning, send down patience on us from You.

… and set firm our feet, meaning, against the enemy and save us from running away and from feebleness, … and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.)

Allah said:

”So they routed them by Allah’s leave, meaning, they defeated and overwhelmed them by Allah’s aid and support. Then, … and Dawud killed Jalut.”

Israelite accounts claimed that (Prophet) David killed Goliath with a slingshot that he had, which he launched at Goliath causing his death. Talut promised that whoever killed Jalut, would marry his daughter and would share his kingship and authority. He kept his promise. Later, the kingship was transferred to Prophet Dawud in addition to being granted Prophethood by Allah.

So, Allah said: …and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom, that Talut had and, … and Al-Hikmah, that comes with the Prophethood, meaning, after Shamwil.

Allah then said,

… and taught him of that which He willed. meaning, what He willed of the knowledge that He bestowed on (Prophet) Dawud.

Next, Allah said:

”And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. This Ayah indicates that if it were not for the fact that Allah checks one set of people with another, such as when Talut and the bravery of Dawud helped the Children of Israel (against Goliath), then people would have perished.”

Similarly, Allah said:

For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and Masjids, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much, would surely, have been pulled down. (22:40)

Allah then said:

But Allah is full of bounty to the Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists), meaning, by His mercy and favor He fixes some of them by some others. Surely, Allah has the wisdom, the supreme authority and the clear proof against His creation in all of His actions and statements.

Allah said:

These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah).

This Ayah states, `These Ayat (verses) of Allah that We have narrated for you in truth conform to the exact manner that these stories have occurred and to the truth that still remain in the (Divine) Books that the scholars of the Children of Israel have and know.

Allah said:

‘’O Muhammad, (you are) (one of the Messengers (of Allah)) emphatically stating the truth of his Prophethood.’’

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253.| Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honor); and to `Isa, the son of Maryam, We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Ruh-il-Qudus (Jibril). If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed  some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He wills.

Allah Honored Some Prophets Above Others.

Allah says;

Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; Allah states that He has honored some Prophets to others.

For instance, Allah said,

‘’And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud We gave the Zabur (Psalms).’’ (17:55)

In the Ayah, Allah said,

Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly), meaning, Musa and Muhammad, and also Adam according to a Hadith recorded in Sahih Ibn Hibban from Abu Dharr.

Others He raised to degrees (of honor), as is evident in the Hadith about the Isra’ journey, when the Messenger of Allah saw the Prophets in the various heavens according to their rank with Allah.

If somebody asks about the collective meaning of this Ayah and the Hadith that the Two Sahihs collected from Abu Hurayrah which states, “Once, a Muslim man and a Jew had an argument and the Jew said, `No, by Him Who gave Musa superiority over all human beings!’

Hearing him, the Muslim man raised his hand and slapped the Jew on his face and said, `Over Muhammad too, O evil one!’

The Jew went to the Prophet and complained to him and the Prophet said,

‘’Don’t give me superiority above the Prophets, for the people will become unconscious on the Day of Resurrection, and I will be the first to be resurrected to see Musa holding on to the pillar of Allah’s Throne. I will not know whether the unconsciousness Musa suffered on the Day of the Trumpet sufficed for him, or if he got up before me. So, do not give me superiority above the Prophets.’’

In another narration, the Prophet said, Do not give superiority to some Prophets above others.

The answer to this question is that this Hadith prohibits preferring some Prophets above others in cases of dispute and argument, such as the incident mentioned in the Hadith. The Hadith indicates that it is not up to creation to decide which Prophet is better, for this is Allah’s decision. The creation is only required to submit to, obey and believe in Allah’s decision.

Allah’s statement,

And We gave `Isa, the son of Maryam, clear signs, refers to the proofs and unequivocal evidences that testify to the truth that `Isa delivered to the Children of Israel, thus testifying that he was Allah’s servant and His Messenger to them.

And supported him with Ruh-il-Qudus, meaning Allah aided `Isa with Jibril, peace be upon him.

Allah then said,

If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed  some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another.

… meaning all this happened by Allah’s decree, and this is why He said next,

But Allah does what He wills.

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254.| O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

Allah Says;

O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, Allah commands His servants to spend for His sake, in the path of righteousness, from what He has granted them, so that they acquire and keep the reward of this righteous deed with their Lord and King. Let them rush to perform this deed in this life,

… before a Day comes, meaning, the Day of Resurrection,

… when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession.

This Ayah indicates that on that Day, no one will be able to bargain on behalf of himself or ransom himself with any amount, even if it was the earth’s fill of gold; nor will his friendship or relation to anyone benefit him.

Similarly, Allah said,

Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. (23:101)

Nor intercession, meaning, they will not benefit by the intercession of anyone.

Allah’s statement,

… and it is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

indicates that no injustice is worse than meeting Allah on that Day while a disbeliever.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ata bin Dinar said, “All thanks are due to Allah Who said, (and it is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers), but did not say, `And it is the wrongdoers who are the disbelievers.”’

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255.| Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission. He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, … and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

The Virtue of Ayat Al-Kursi.

This is Ayat Al-Kursi and tremendous virtues have been associated with it, for the authentic Hadith describes it as `the greatest Ayah in the Book of Allah.’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubayy bin Ka`b said that; the Prophet asked him about the greatest Ayah in the Book of Allah, and Ubayy answered, “Allah and His Messenger know better.”

When the Prophet repeated his question several times, Ubayy said, “Ayat Al-Kursi.”

The Prophet commented,

Congratulations for having knowledge, O Abu Al-Mundhir! By He in Whose Hand is my soul! This Ayah has a tongue and two lips with which she praises the King (Allah) next to the leg of the Throne.

This Hadith was also collected by Muslim, but he did not include the part that starts with, “By He in Whose Hand…”

Imam Ahmad recorded that; Abu Ayub said that he had some dates and a Ghoul used to take some, and he complained to the Prophet.

The Prophet said to him, “When you see her, say, `In the Name of Allah, answer to the Messenger of Allah’.”

Abu Ayub said that when she came again, he said these words and he was able to grab her.

She begged, “I will not come again,” so Abu Ayub released her.

Abu Ayub went to the Prophet and the Prophet asked him, “What did your prisoner do?”

Abu Ayub said, “I grabbed her and she said twice, `I will not come again,’ and I released her.”

The Prophet said, “She will come back.”

Abu Ayub said, “So I grabbed her twice or three times, yet each time (I would release her when) she vowed not to come back.

I would go to the Prophet who would ask me, `What is the news of your prisoner?’ I would say, `I grabbed her, then released her when she said that she would not return.’

The Prophet would say that she would return.

Once, I grabbed her and she said, `Release me and I will teach you something to recite so that no harm touches you, that is, Ayat Al-Kursi.’

Abu Ayub went to the Prophet and told him, and the Prophet said, “She is liar, but she told the truth.”

At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith in the chapter of the virtues of the Qur’an and said, “Hasan Gharib.”

In Arabic, `Ghoul’ refers to the Jinn when they appear at night.

Al-Bukhari recorded a similar story in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah, in the chapters on the virtues of the Qur’an and the description of Shaytan. In this narration, Abu Hurayrah said, “Allah’s Messenger assigned me to keep watch over the Sadaqah (charity) of Ramadan. A person snuck in and started taking handfuls of foodstuff. I caught him and said, `By Allah, I will take you to Allah’s Messenger.’

He said, `Release me, for I am meek and have many dependents and am in great need.’

I released him, and in the morning Allah’s Messenger asked me, `What did your prisoner do yesterday, O Abu Hurayrah!’

I said, `O Allah’s Messenger! He complained of being needy and of having many dependents, so I pitied him and let him go.’

Allah’s Messenger said, `Indeed, he told you a lie and will be coming again.’

I believed that he would show up again, for Allah’s Messenger had told me that he would return. So, I watched for him. When he (showed up and) started stealing handfuls of foodstuff, I caught hold of him again and said, `I will definitely take you to Allah’s Messenger.’

He said, `Leave me, for I am very needy and have many dependents. I promise I will not come back again.’

I pitied him and let him go.

In the morning Allah’s Messenger asked me, `What did your prisoner do last night, O Abu Hurayrah!’

I replied, `O Allah’s Messenger! He complained of his great need and of too many dependents, so I took pity on him and set him free.’

Allah’s Messenger said, `Verily, he told you a lie; he will return.’

I waited for him attentively for the third time, and when he (came and) started stealing handfuls of the foodstuff, I caught hold of him and said, `I will surely take you to Allah’s Messenger as it is the third time you promised not to return, yet you returned.’

He said, `Let me teach you some words which Allah will give you benefit from.’

I asked, `What are they?’

He replied, `Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat Al-Kursi- Allahu la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum, till you finish the whole verse. (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no Shaytan will come near you until morning.’

So, I released him.

In the morning, Allah’s Messenger asked, `What did your prisoner do yesterday?’

I replied, `O Allah’s Messenger! He claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah will grant me some benefit, so I let him go.’

Allah’s Messenger asked, `What are they?’

I replied, `He said to me: Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat Al-Kursi from the beginning to the end, Allahu la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum. He further said to me: (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no Shaytan will come near you until morning.’

(One of the narrators) then commented that they (the Companions) were very keen to do good deeds.

The Prophet said, `He spoke the truth, although he is a liar.

Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights, O Abu Hurayrah!’

Abu Hurayrah said, `No.’

He said, `It was Shaytan.”’

An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith in Al-Yawm wa Al-Laylah.

Allah’s Greatest Name is in Ayat Al-Kursi Imam Ahmad recorded that Asma’ bint Yazid bin As-Sakan said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say about these two Ayat, Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists) (2:255), and, (Alif-Lam-Mim. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists), (3:1-2)

They contain Allah’s Greatest Name.

This is also the narration collected by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih”.

Further, Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Abu Umamah reported that the Prophet said, Allah’s Greatest Name, if He was supplicated with it, He answers the supplication, is in three Surahs – Al-Baqarah, Al Imran and Ta-Ha.

Hisham bin Ammar, the Khatib (orator) of Damascus (one of the narrators in the above narration), said, “As for Al-Baqarah, it is in, Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists, in Al Imran, it is in, Alif-Lam-Mim. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists, (3:1-2), while in Ta-Ha, it is in,

And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allah), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists, (20:111).

Ayat Al-Kursi has Ten Complete Arabic Sentences:

1. Allah’s statement,

Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, mentions that Allah is the One and Only Lord of all creation.

2. Allah’s statement,

Al-Hayyul-Qayyum, testifies that Allah is the Ever Living, Who never dies, Who sustains everyone and everything. All creation stands in need of Allah and totally relies on Him, while He is the Most Rich, Who stands in need of nothing created.

Similarly, Allah said,

And among His signs is that the heaven and the earth stand by His command. (30:25)

3. Allah’s statement,

Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him, means, no shortcoming, unawareness or ignorance ever touches Allah. Rather, He is aware of, and controls what every soul earns, has perfect watch over everything, nothing escapes His knowledge, and no secret matter is secret to Him.

Among His perfect attributes, is the fact that He is never effected by slumber or sleep. Therefore,

Allah’s statement,

(Neither slumber overtakes Him) indicates that no unawareness due to slumber ever overtakes Allah.

Allah said afterwards,

(nor sleep), which is stronger than slumber.

It is recorded in the Sahih that Abu Musa said, “The Messenger of Allah delivered a speech regarding four words:

Allah does not sleep, and it does not befit His majesty that He sleeps. He lowers the scales and raises them. The deeds of the day are resurrected in front of Him before the deeds of the night, and the deeds of the night before the deeds of the day. His Veil is light, or fire, and if He removes it, the rays from His Face would burn whatever His sight reaches of His creation.

4. Allah’s statement,

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, indicates that everyone is a servant for Allah, a part of His kingdom and under His power and authority.

Similarly, Allah said,

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). (19:93-95)

5. Allah’s statement,

Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission, is similar to His statements, And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with. (53:26) and,

They cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. (21:28)

These Ayat assert Allah’s greatness, pride, and grace, and that no one dares to intercede with Him on behalf of anyone else, except by His permission.

Indeed, the Hadith about the intercession, states that the Prophet said,

I will stand under the Throne and fall in prostration, and Allah will allow me to remain in that position as much as He wills. I will thereafter be told, “Raise your head, speak and you will be heard, intercede and your intercession will be accepted”.

The Prophet then said, “He will allow me a proportion whom I will enter into Paradise.”

6. Allah’s statement,

He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter, this refers to His perfect knowledge of all creation; its past, present and future.

Similarly, Allah said that the angels proclaimed;

And we (angels) descend not except by the command of your Lord (O Muhammad). To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two; and your Lord is never forgetful. (19:64)

7. Allah’s statement,

And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills, asserts the fact that no one attains any part of Allah’s knowledge except what Allah conveys and allows.

This part of the Ayah indicates that no one ever acquires knowledge of Allah and in His Attributes, except what He conveys to them.

For instance, Allah said,

But they will never compass anything of His knowledge. (20: 110)

8. Allah’s statement,

His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth.

Waki narrated in his Tafsir that Ibn Abbas said, “Kursi is the footstool, and no one is able to give due consideration to (Allah’s) Throne.”

Al-Hakim recorded this Hadith in his Mustadrak from Ibn Abbas, who did not relate it to the Prophet.

Al-Hakim said, “It is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sahihs, and they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.”

In addition, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said, “If the seven heavens and the seven earths were flattened and laid side by side, they would add up to the size of a ring in a desert, compared to the Kursi.”

9. Allah’s statement,

And He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, meaning, it does not burden or cause Him fatigue to protect the heavens and earth and all that is in between them. Rather, this is an easy matter for Him.

Further, Allah sustains everything, has perfect watch over everything, nothing ever escapes His knowledge and no matter is ever a secret to Him. All matters are insignificant, modest and humble before Him.

He is the Most Rich, worthy of all praise. He does what He wills, and no one can ask Him about what He does, while they will be asked. He has supreme power over all things and perfect alertness concerning everything.

He is the Most High, the Greatest, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, and no Lord other than Him.

10. Allah’s statement,

And He is the Most High, the Most Great, is similar to His statement, the Most Great, the Most High. (13:9)

These and similar Ayat and authentic Hadiths about Allah’s Attributes must be treated the way the Salaf (righteous ancestors) treated them by accepting their apparent meanings without equating them (with the attributes of the creation) or altering their apparent meanings.

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256.| There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

No Compulsion in Religion.

Allah says,

There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path.

(There is no compulsion in religion), meaning, “Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam.

Rather, whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty.

Whoever Allah blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam.”

It was reported that; the Ansar were the reason behind revealing this Ayah, although its indication is general in meaning.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said (that before Islam), “When (an Ansar) woman would not bear children who would live, she would vow that if she gives birth to a child who remains alive, she would raise him as a Jew.

When Banu An-Nadir (the Jewish tribe) were evacuated (from Al-Madinah), some of the children of the Ansar were being raised among them, and the Ansar said, `We will not abandon our children.’

Allah revealed,

(There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path).” Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith. As for the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said to a man, “Embrace Islam.”

The man said, “I dislike it.” The Prophet said, “Even if you dislike it.”

First, this is an authentic Hadith, with only three narrators between Imam Ahmad and the Prophet. However, it is not relevant to the subject under discussion, for the Prophet did not force that man to become Muslim.

The Prophet merely invited this man to become Muslim, and he replied that he does not find himself eager to become Muslim. The Prophet said to the man that even though he dislikes embracing Islam, he should still embrace it, `for Allah will grant you sincerity and true intent.’

Tawhid is the Most Trustworthy Handhold.

Allah’s statement,

Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. is in reference to, “Whoever shuns the rivals of Allah, the idols, and those that Shaytan calls to be worshipped besides Allah, whoever believes in Allah’s Oneness, worships Him alone and testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, (then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold).

Therefore, this person will have acquired firmness (in the religion) and proceeded on the correct way and the straight path.

Abu Al-Qasim Al-Baghawi recorded that Umar said, “Jibt means magic, and Taghut means Shaytan.

‘’Verily, courage and cowardice are two instincts that appear in men, the courageous fights for those whom he does not know and the coward runs away from defending his own mother. Man’s honor resides with his religion and his status is based upon his character, even if he was Persian or Nabatian.”

Umar’s statement that Taghut is Shaytan is very sound, for this meaning includes every type of evil that the ignorant people of Jahiliyyah (pre Islamic era of ignorance) fell into, such as worshipping idols, referring to them for judgment, and invoking them for victory.

Allah’s statement,

… then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break, means, “He will have hold of the true religion with the strongest grasp.”

Allah equated this adherence to the firm handhold that never breaks because it is built solid and because its handle is firmly connected.

This is why Allah said here, (then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break).

Mujahid said, “The most trustworthy handhold is Iman (faith).”

As-Suddi said that; it refers to Islam.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Qays bin Abbad said, “I was in the Masjid when a man whose face showed signs of humbleness came and prayed two Rak`ahs that were modest in length. The people said, `This is a man from among the people of Paradise.’ When he left, I followed him until he entered his house, and I entered it after him and spoke with him. When he felt at ease, I said to him, `When you entered the Masjid, the people said such and such things.’

He said, `All praise is due to Allah! No one should say what he has no knowledge of. I will tell you why they said that.

I saw a vision during the time of the Messenger of Allah, and I narrated it to him. I saw that I was in a green garden, and he described the garden’s plants and spaciousness, `and there was an iron pole in the middle of the garden affixed in the earth and its tip reached the sky. On its tip, there was a handle, and I was told to ascend the pole. I said, `I cannot.’ Then a helper came and raised my robe from behind and said to me, `Ascend.’ I ascended until I grasped the handle and he said to me, `Hold on to the handle.’ I awoke from that dream with the handle in my hand.

I went to the Messenger of Allah and told him about the vision and he said,

As for the garden, it represents Islam; as for the pole, it represents the pillar of Islam; and the handle represents the most trustworthy handhold.

You shall remain Muslim until you die.

This Companion was Abdullah bin Salam.”

This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs; and Al-Bukhari also recorded it with another chain of narration.

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257.| Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Awliya’ (supporters and helpers) are Taghut (false deities and false leaders), they bring them out from light into darknesses. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever.

Allah says;

Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Awliya’ (supporters and helpers) are Taghut (false deities and false leaders), they bring them out from light into darknesses.

Allah stated that whoever follows what pleases Him, He will guide him to the paths of peace, that is Islam, or Paradise. Verily, Allah delivers His believing servants from the darkness of disbelief, doubt and hesitation, to the light of the plain, clear, explained, easy and unequivocal truth.

He also stated that Shaytan is the supporter of the disbelievers who beautifies the paths of ignorance and misguidance that they follow, thus causing them to deviate from the true path into disbelief and wickedness.

Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever.

This is why Allah mentioned the light in the singular while mentioned the darkness in the plural, because truth is one, while disbelief comes as several types, all of which are false.

Similarly, Allah said,

And verily, this is my straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path.

This He has ordained for you that you may have Taqwa. (6:153)

And originated the darknesses and the light. (6:1) and, to the right and to the lefts. (16:48)

There are many other Ayat on the subject that mention the truth in the singular and falsehood in the plural, because of falsehood’s many divisions and branches.

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258.| Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom! hen Ibrahim said (to him): “My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.” He said, “I give life and cause death.” Ibrahim said, “Verily, Allah brings the sun from the east; then bring it you from the west.” So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people, who are wrongdoers.

The Debate Between Ibrahim Al-Khalil and King Nimrod The king who disputed with Ibrahim was King Nimrod, son of Canaan, son of Kush, son of Sam, son of Noah, as Mujahid stated.

It was also said that he was Nimrod, son of Falikh, son of Abir, son of Shalikh, son of Arfakhshand, son of Sam, son of Noah.

Mujahid said, “The kings who ruled the eastern and western parts of the world are four, two believers and two disbelievers.

As for the two believing kings, they were;

  • Suleiman bin Dawud and
  • Dhul-Qarnayn.

As for the two disbelieving kings, they were;

  • Nimrod and
  • Nebuchadnezzar.”

Allah knows best.

Allah said, Have you not looked, meaning, “With your heart, O Muhammad!” … at him who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, meaning, about the existence of Allah. Nimrod denied the existence of a god other than himself, as he claimed, just as Fir`awn said later to his people,

”I know not that you have a god other than me.” (28:38)

What made Nimrod commit this transgression, utter disbelief and arrant rebellion was his tyranny and the fact that he ruled for a long time. This is why the Ayah continued,

Because Allah had given him the kingdom.

It appears that Nimrod asked Ibrahim to produce proof that Allah exists.

When Ibrahim said (to him): “My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death”,

… meaning, “The proof of Allah’s existence is the creations that exist after they were nothing and perish after they had existed. This only proves the existence of the Creator, Who does what He wills, for these things could not have occurred on their own without a Creator who created them, and He is the Lord that I call to for worship, Alone without a partner.”

This is when Nimrod said,

He said, “I give life and cause death”.

Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ishaq and As-Suddi said that he meant, “Two men who deserved execution were to be brought before me, and I would command that one of them be killed, and he would be killed. I would command that the second man be pardoned, and he would be pardoned. This is how I bring life and death.”

However, it appears that since Nimrod did not deny the existence of a Creator, his statement did not mean what Qatadah said it meant. This explanation does not provide an answer to what Ibrahim said. Nimrod arrogantly and defiantly claimed that he was the creator and pretended that it was he who brings life and death.

”Later on, Fir`awn imitated him and announced, I know not that you have a god other than me.” (28: 38)

This is why Ibrahim said to Nimrod,

Ibrahim said, “Verily, Allah brings the sun from the east; then bring it you from the west”.

This Ayah means, “You claim that it is you who brings life and death. He who brings life and death controls the existence and creates whatever is in it, including controlling its planets and their movements. For instance, the sun rises everyday from the east.

Therefore, if you were god, as you claimed, bringing life and death, then bring the sun from the west.”

Since the king was aware of his weakness, inadequacy and that he was not able to reply to Ibrahim’s request, he was idle, silent and unable to comment. Therefore, the proof was established against him.

So the disbeliever was utterly defeated.

Allah said,

And Allah guides not the people, who are wrongdoers.

… meaning, Allah deprives the unjust people of any valid proof or argument. Furthermore, their false proof and arguments are annulled by their Lord, and they have earned His anger and will suffer severe torment.

The meaning that we provided is better than the meaning that some philosophers offered, claiming that Ibrahim used the second argument because it was clearer than the first one. Rather, our explanation asserts that Ibrahim refuted both claims of Nimrod, all praise is due to Allah.

As-Suddi stated that the debate between Ibrahim and Nimrod occurred after Ibrahim was thrown in the fire, for Ibrahim did not meet the king before that day.

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259.| Or like the one who passed by a town in ruin up to its roofs. He said: “How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death!” So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: “How long did you remain (dead)!” He (the man) said: “(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or part of a day.” He said: “Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and your drink, they show no change; and look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.” When this was clearly shown to him, he said, “I know (now) that Allah is able to do all things.”

The Story of Uzayr.

Allah’s statement,

”(Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord) means, “Have you seen anyone like the person who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord!”

Then, Allah connected the Ayah, Or like the one who passed by a town in ruin up to its roofs, to the Ayah above by using `or’.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ali bin Abi Talib said that; the Ayah meant Uzayr.

Ibn Jarir also reported it, and this explanation was also reported by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim from Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Sulayman bin Buraydah.

Mujahid bin Jabr said that; the Ayah refers to a man from the Children of Israel, and the village was Jerusalem, after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it and killed its people. (in ruin) means, it became empty of people.

Allah’s statement,

‘(up to its roofs) indicates that the roofs and walls (of the village) fell to the ground.”

Uzayr stood contemplating about what had happened to that city, after a great civilization used to inhabit it.

He said:

“Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death!

…because of the utter destruction he saw and the plausibility of its returning to what it used to be.

So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again).

The city was rebuilt seventy years after the man (Uzayr) died, and its inhabitants increased and the Children of Israel moved back to it. When Allah resurrected Uzayr after he died, the first organ that He resurrected were his eyes, so that he could witness what Allah does with him, how He brings life back to his body. When his resurrection was complete, Allah said to him, meaning through the angel,

He said: “How long did you remain (dead)!” He (the man) said: “(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or part of a day.”

The scholars said that since the man died in the early part of the day and Allah resurrected him in the latter part of the day, when he saw that the sun was still apparent, he thought that it was the sun of that very day.

He said, (“Or part of a day”).

He said: “Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and your drink, they show no change.”

He had grapes, figs and juice, and he found them as he left them; neither did the juice spoil nor the figs become bitter nor the grapes rot.

”And look at your donkey.”!

“How Allah brings it back to life while you are watching.”

And thus We have made of you a sign for the people, that Resurrection occurs.

Look at the bones, how We Nunshizuha, meaning, collect them and put them back together.

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim, recorded that; Kharijah bin Zayd bin Thabit said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah read this Ayah, (how We Nunshizuha).

Al-Hakim said; “Its chain is Sahih and they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.”

The Ayah was also read,   “Nunshiruha”

… meaning, bring them back to life, as Mujahid stated.

And clothe them with flesh.

As-Suddi said, “Uzayr observed the bones of his donkey, which were scattered all around him to his right and left, and Allah sent a wind that collected the bones from all over the area. Allah then brought every bone to its place, until they formed a full donkey made of fleshless bones. Allah then covered these bones with flesh, nerves, veins and skin. Allah sent an angel who blew life in the donkeys’ nostrils, and the donkey started to bray by Allah’s leave.”

When this was clearly shown to him, All this occurred while Uzayr was watching, and this is when he proclaimed,

He said, “I know (now) that Allah is able to do all things.”

… meaning, “I know that, and I did witness it with my own eyes. Therefore, I am the most knowledgeable in this matter among the people of my time.”

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260.| And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe!” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”

The Khalil Supplicates to Allah to Show Him How He Resurrects the Dead.

Allah tells;

“My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.”

He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe!”

He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.”

The scholars said that; there are reasons behind this request by Ibrahim.

For instance, when Ibrahim said to Nimrod, (My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death,) he wanted to solidify his knowledge about resurrection by actually witnessing it with his eyes.

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

We are more liable to be in doubt than Ibrahim when he said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” Allah said, “Don’t you believe!”

Ibrahim said, “Yes (I believe), but (I ask) in order to be stronger in faith.”

The Prophet’s statement in the Hadith means, “We are more liable to seek certainty.”

The Answer to Al-Khalil’s Request

Allah said,

He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you.”

Scholars of Tafsir disagreed over the type of birds mentioned here, although this matter in not relevant due to the fact that the Qur’an did not mention it.

Allah’s statement,

… cause them to incline towards you, means, cut them to pieces.

This is the explanation of Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Malik, Abu Al-Aswad Ad-Dili, Wahb bin Munabbih, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi.

… and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste.

Therefore, Ibrahim caught four birds, slaughtered them, removed the feathers, tore the birds to pieces and mixed the pieces together. He then placed parts of these mixed pieces on four or seven hills.

Ibn Abbas said,

“Ibrahim kept the heads of these birds in his hand. Next, Allah commanded Ibrahim to call the birds to him, and he did as Allah commanded him. Ibrahim witnessed the feathers, blood and flesh of these birds fly to each other, and the parts flew each to their bodies, until every bird came back to life and came walking at a fast pace towards Ibrahim, so that the example that Ibrahim was witnessing would become more impressive.

Each bird came to collect its head from Ibrahim’s hand, and if he gave the bird another head the bird refused to accept it. When Ibrahim gave each bird its own head, the head was placed on its body by Allah’s leave and power. ”

This is why Allah said,

And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

… and no one can overwhelm or resist Him.

Whatever Allah wills, occurs without hindrance, because He is the All-Mighty, Supreme above all things, and He is Wise in His statements, actions, legislation and decrees.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ma`mar said that Ayub said that Ibn Abbas commented on what Ibrahim said,

(but to be stronger in Faith), “To me, there is no Ayah in the Qur’an that brings more hope than this Ayah.”

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir said that;

Abdullah bin Abbas met Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-`As and said to him, “Which Ayah in the Qur’an carries more hope for you?”

Ibn Amr said,

Say: “O Ibadi (My servants) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not. (39:53)

Ibn Abbas said, “But I say that it is Allah’s statement,

And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe!” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe)

Allah accepted Ibrahim’s affirmation when he merely said, `Yes.’

This Ayah refers to the doubts that attack the heart and the thoughts that Shaytan inspires.”

Al-Hakim also recorded this in Al-Mustadrak and said; “Its chain is Sahih but they did not record it.”

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261.| The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is that of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

Rewards of Spending in Allah’s Cause.

Allah says;

The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is that of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains.

This is a parable that Allah made of the multiplication of rewards for those who spend in His cause, seeking His pleasure. Allah multiplies the good deed ten to seven hundred times.

Allah said,

(The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah…), Sa`id bin Jubayr commented, “Meaning spending in Allah’s obedience.”

Makhul said that the Ayah means, “Spending on Jihad, on horse stalls, weapons and so forth.”

The parable in the Ayah is more impressive on the heart than merely mentioning the number seven hundred. This Ayah indicates that Allah `grows’ the good deeds for its doers, just as He grows the plant for whoever sows it in fertile land.

The Sunnah also mentions that the deeds are multiplied up to seven hundred folds. For instance, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that a man once gave away a camel, with its bridle on, in the cause of Allah and the Messenger of Allah said,

On the Day of Resurrection, you will have seven hundred camels with their bridles.

Muslim and An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith, and Muslim’s narration reads, “A man brought a camel with its bridle on and said, `O Messenger of Allah! This is in the sake of Allah.’

The Messenger said,

You will earn seven hundred camels as reward for it on the Day of Resurrection.

Another Hadith:

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

‘’Every good deed that the son of Adam performs will be multiplied ten folds, to seven hundred folds, to many other folds, to as much as Allah wills.’’

Allah said, “Except the fast, for it is for Me and I will reward for it. One abandons his food and desire in My sake.”

The fasting person has two times of happiness: when he breaks his fast and when he meets his Lord.

Verily, the odor that comes from the mouth of whoever fasts is more pure to Allah than the scent of musk.

‘’Fasting is a shield (against sinning), fasting is a shield.’’

Muslim recorded this Hadith.

Allah’s statement,

Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills, is according to the person’s sincerity in his deeds.

And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

… meaning, His Favor is so wide that it encompasses much more than His creation, and He has full knowledge in whoever deserves it, or does not deserve it.

All the praise and thanks are due to Allah.

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262.| Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

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263.| Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allah is Rich (free of all needs) and He is Most Forbearing.

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264.| O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

To Remind About Charity Given is Forbidden.

Allah says;

Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord.

Allah praises those who spend from their money in His cause, and then refrain from reminding those who received the charity of that fact, whether these hints take the form of words or actions.

Allah’s statement,

”(or with injury), indicates that they do not cause harm to those whom they gave the charity to, for this harm will only annul the charity.”

Allah next promised them the best rewards for this good deed, (their reward is with their Lord), indicating that Allah Himself will reward them for these righteous actions. Further,

On them shall be no fear, regarding the horrors of the Day of Resurrection, … nor shall they grieve. regarding the offspring that they leave behind and the adornment and delights of this world.

They will not feel sorry for this, because they will acquire what is far better for them.

Allah then said,

”Kind words, … meaning, compassionate words and a supplication for Muslims.” … and forgiving, meaning, forgiving an injustice that took the form of actions or words. … are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury.

And Allah is Rich, not needing His creation.

Most Forbearing.

… forgives, releases and pardons them.

There are several Hadiths that prohibit reminding people of acts of charity. For instance, Muslim recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said, Three persons whom Allah shall neither speak to on the Day of Resurrection nor look at nor purify, and they shall receive a painful torment:

  • he who reminds (the people) of what he gives away,
  • he who lengthens his clothes below the ankles and
  • he who swears an oath while lying, to sell his merchandise.

This is why Allah said,

” ‘O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, stating that the charity will be rendered in vain if it is followed by harm or reminders. In this case, the reward of giving away charity is not sufficient enough to nullify the harm and reminders.”

Allah then said,

… like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, meaning, “Do not nullify your acts of charity by following them with reminders and harm, just like the charity of those who give it to show off to people.”

The boasting person pretends to give away charity for Allah’s sake, but in reality seeks to gain people’s praise and the reputation of being kind or generous, or other material gains of this life. All the while, he does not think about Allah or gaining His pleasure and generous rewards, and this is why Allah said,

… and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day.

Allah next set the example of whoever gives charity to show off.

Ad-Dahhak commented that the example fits one who follows his acts of charity with reminders or harm.

Allah said,

His likeness is the likeness of Safwan, where Safwan, from is Safwanah, meaning `the smooth rocks,’

… on which is little dust; on it falls a Wabil, meaning, heavy rain.

… which leaves it bare.

This Ayah means that heavy rain left the Safwan completely barren of dust. Such is the case with Allah’s action regarding the work of those who show off, as their deeds are bound to vanish and disappear, even though people think that these deeds are as plentiful as specks of dust.

So Allah said,

They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

2:265 And the parable of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s pleasure while they in their own selves are sure and certain that Allah will reward them (for their spending in His cause), is that of a garden on a height; heavy rain falls on it and it doubles its yield of harvest. And if it does not receive heavy rain, light rain suffices it. And Allah is All-Seer (knows well) of what you do.

Allah says;

And the parable of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s pleasure while they in their own selves are sure and certain that Allah will reward them (for their spending in His cause),

This is the example of the believers who give away charity seeking only Allah’s pleasure, (while they in their own selves are sure and certain) meaning, they are certain that Allah shall reward them for these righteous acts with the best rewards.

Similarly, in a Hadith collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah said,

‘’Whoever fasts Ramadan with faith and expectation.’’

…meaning, believing that Allah commanded the fast, all the while awaiting His reward for fasting it.

Allah’s statement,

… is that of a garden on a Rabwah, means, the example of a garden on `a height above the ground’, as the majority of scholars have stated.

Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak added that it also has flowing rivers.

Allah’s statement,

Wabil falls on it, means, heavy rain as we stated, So it produces its, and it doubles its yield of harvest. And if it does not receive heavy rain, light rain suffices it.

… its yield of harvest, meaning, fruits or produce,

… doubles, as compared to other gardens.

And if it does not receive Wabil, a Tall suffices it.

Ad-Dahhak said that; the `Tall’ is light rain.

The Ayah indicates that the garden on the Rabwah is always fertile, for if heavy rain does not fall on it, light rain will suffice for it. Such is the case regarding the believer’s good deeds, for they never become barren.

Rather, Allah accepts the believer’s righteous deeds and increases them, each according to his deeds. This is why Allah said next,

And Allah is All-Seer of what you do.

”… meaning, none of His servants’ deeds ever escapes His perfect watch.”

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266.| Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, while he is stricken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a fiery whirlwind, so that it is burnt! Thus does Allah make clear His Ayat to you that you may give thought.

The Example of Evil Deeds Nullifying Good Deeds.

Allah says;

Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, while he is stricken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a fiery whirlwind, so that it is burnt!

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas and Ubayd bin Umayr said that; Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, “According to your opinion, about whom was this Ayah revealed, (Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines…).”

They said, “Allah knows best.”

Umar became angry and said, “Say we know or we do not know.”

Ibn Abbas said, “O Leader of the Faithful! I have an opinion about it.”

Umar said, “O my nephew! Say your opinion and do not belittle yourself.”

Ibn Abbas said, “This is an example set for a deed.”

Umar said, “What type of deed?”

Ibn Abbas said, “For a wealthy man who works in Allah’s pleasure and then Allah sends Shaytan to him, and he works in disobedience, until he annuls his good works.”

This Hadith suffices as an explanation for the Ayah, for it explains the example it sets by a person who does good first and then follows it with evil, may Allah save us from this end. So, this man annulled his previous good works with his latter evil works. When he desperately needed the deeds of the former type, there were none.

This is why Allah said,

(while he is stricken with old age, and his children are weak (not able to look after themselves), then it is struck with a whirlwind) with heavy wind, (that is fiery, so that it is burnt) meaning, its fruits were burnt and its trees were destroyed.

Therefore, what will his condition be like!

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said,

“Allah has set a good parable, and all His parables are good.

He said,

‘’Would any of you wish to have a garden with date palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein. But he lost all this in his old age, (while he is stricken with old age) while his offspring and children are weak just before the end of his life.

Then a lightning storm came and destroyed his garden.

Then he did not have the strength to grow another garden, nor did his offspring offer enough help. This is the condition of the disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection when he returns to Allah, for he will not have any good deeds to provide an excuse – or refuge – for him, just as the man in the parable had no strength to replant the garden.

The disbeliever will not find anything to resort to for help, just as the offspring of the man in the parable did not provide him with help. So he will be deprived of his reward when he most needs it, just as the man in the parable was deprived of Allah’s garden when he most needed it, when he became old and his offspring weak.”

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that the Messenger of Allah used to say in his supplication,

‘O Allah! Make Your biggest provision for me when I am old in age and at the time my life ends.

This is why Allah said,

Thus Allah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.

… meaning, comprehend and understand the parables and their intended implications.

Similarly, Allah said,

And these similitudes We put forward for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His signs). (29:43)

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267.| O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allah is Rich (free of all needs), and worthy of all praise.

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268.| Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahishah’ (evil deeds) whereas Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

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269.| He grants Hikmah to whom He wills, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.

The Encouragement to Spend Honest Money for Allah’s Sake.

Allah says;

‘O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein.

Allah commands His believing servants to spend in charity, as Ibn Abbas stated, from the pure, honest money that they earned and from the fruits and vegetables that He has grown for them in the land.

Ibn Abbas said,

“Allah commanded them to spend from the purest, finest and best types of their money and prohibited spending from evil and dishonest money, because Allah is pure and good and only accepts that which is pure and good.”

This is why Allah said, (and do not aim at that which is bad) meaning, filthy (impure) money, (to spend from it, (though) you would not accept it) meaning,

“If you were given this type, you would not take it, except if you tolerate the deficiency in it.

Verily, Allah is far Richer than you, He is in no need of this money, so do not give, for His sake, what you would dislike for yourselves.”

It was reported that, (and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it) means, “Do not spend from the dishonest, impure money instead of the honest, pure money.”

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Bara bin Azib commented on Allah’s statement,

‘’(O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it), that it was revealed about the Ansar. When the season for harvesting date-trees would start, the Ansar would collect ripe-date branches from their gardens and hang them on a rope erected between two pillars in the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah. The poor emigrant Companions would eat from these dates.

However, some of them (Ansar) would also add lesser type of dates in between ripe-date branches, thinking they are allowed to do so. Allah revealed this Ayah about those who did this, (and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it).

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, (you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein) means, “If you had a right on someone who would pay you less than what you gave them, you would not agree until you require more from them to make up the difference.

This is why Allah said,

”(save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein) meaning, `How do you agree for Me what you do not agree for yourselves, while I have a right to the best and most precious of your possessions!”’

Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith and Ibn Jarir added,

“And this is the meaning of Allah’s statement,

‘’By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love.” (4:92)

Allah said next,

And know that Allah is Rich (free of all needs), and worthy of all praise. meaning, “Although Allah commanded you to give away the purest of your money in charity, He is far Richer from needing your charity, but the purpose is that the distance between the rich and the poor becomes less.”

Similarly, Allah said,

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

Allah is Rich and free of needing anything from any of His creatures, while all of His creatures stand in need of Him.

Allah’s bounty encompassing, and what He has never ends. Therefore, whoever gives away good and pure things in charity, let him know that Allah is the Most Rich, His favor is enormous and He is Most Generous, Most Compassionate; and He shall reward him for his charity and multiply it many times. So who would lend to He Who is neither poor nor unjust, Who is worthy of all praise in all His actions, statements, and decisions, of Whom there is neither a deity worthy of worship except Him, nor a Lord other than Him.

Satanic Doubts Concerning Spending in Charity.

Allah said,

Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahishah’; whereas Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said, Shaytan has an effect on the son of Adam, and the angel also has an effect. As for the effect of Shaytan, it is by his threatening with evil repercussions and rejecting the truth.

As for the effect of the angel, it is by his promise of a good end and believing in the truth. Whoever finds the latter, let him know that it is coming from Allah and let him thank Allah for it.

Whoever finds the former, let him seek refuge – with Allah – from Shaytan.

The Prophet then recited,

‘’Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahishah’; whereas Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and bounty.’’

This is the narration that At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i collected in the book of Tafsir in their Sunan collections.

Allah said,

Shaytan threatens you with poverty, so that you hold on to whatever you have and refrain from spending it in Allah’s pleasure.

And orders you to commit Fahishah’, meaning, “Shaytan forbids you from spending in charity because of the false fear of becoming poor, and he encourages evil deeds, sins, indulging in what is prohibited, and immoral conduct.”

Allah said,

Whereas Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself, instead of the evil that Shaytan enjoins on you. And Bounty, as opposed to the poverty that Shaytan frightens you with. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.

The Meaning of Al-Hikmah.

Allah said,

He grants Hikmah to whom He wills, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.

(He grants Hikmah to whom He wills), Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “That is knowledge of the Qur’an. For instance, the abrogating and the abrogated, what is plain and clear and what is not as plain and clear, what it allows, and what it does not allow, and its parables.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

There is no envy except in two instances: a person whom Allah has endowed with wealth and he spends it righteously, and a person whom Allah has given Hikmah and he judges by it and teaches it to others.

This was also collected by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah.

Allah’s statement,

But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding. means, “Those who will benefit from the advice are those who have sound minds and good comprehension with which they understand the words (of advice and reminder) and their implications.”

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270.| And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.

002 - 271

271. If you disclose your Sadaqat (almsgiving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allah) will expiate you some of your sins. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.

Allah says;

And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all.

Allah states that He has perfect knowledge of the good deeds performed by all of His creation, such as charity and various vows, and He rewards tremendously for these deeds, provided they are performed seeking His Face and His promise.

Allah also warns those who do not work in his obedience, but instead disobey His command, reject His revelation and worship others besides Him:

And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. meaning, who will save them from Allah’s anger and torment on the Day of Resurrection.

The Virtue of Disclosing or Concealing Charity.

Allah said,

If you disclose your Sadaqat, it is well), meaning, “It is well if you make known the charity that you give away.”

Allah’s statement,

But if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. this indicates that concealing charity is better than disclosing it, because it protects one from showing off and boasting. However, if there is an apparent wisdom behind disclosing the charity, such as the people imitating this righteous act, then disclosing it becomes better than concealing it.

The Messenger of Allah said, He who utters aloud Quranic recitation is just like he who discloses charity acts. He who conceals Quranic recitation is just like he who conceals charity acts.

The Ayah indicates that it is better that acts of charity be concealed, as reiterated by the Hadith that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

‘’Allah will give shade to seven on the Day when there will be no shade but His.’’

They are:

  • a just ruler,
  • a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah,
  • two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake who meet and part in Allah’s cause only,
  • a man whose heart is attached to the Masjids from the time he departs the Masjid until he returns to it,
  • a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears,
  • a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says, `I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds’, and
  • a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.

Allah’s statement,

(Allah) will expiate you some of your sins, means, in return for giving away charity, especially if it was concealed. Therefore, you will gain goodness by your rank being raised, and your sins being forgiven.

Allah’s statement,

And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. means, “No good deed that you perform escapes His knowledge, and He shall reward for it.”

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272.| Not upon you (Muhammad) is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allah’s Face. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.

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273.| (Charity is) for Fuqara’ (the poor), who in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.

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274.| Those who spend their wealth (in Allah’s cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Giving Charity to Polytheists.

Allah says;

Not upon you (Muhammad) is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allah’s Face. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.

Abu Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa’i recorded that Ibn Abbas said that; they, “Disliked giving charity to their polytheist relatives, but were later on allowed to give it to them when they inquired about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed.”

Allah’s statement,

And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, is similar to His other statement, Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself. There are many other similar Ayat in the Qur’an.

Allah said next,

”When you spend not except seeking Allah’s Face.”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented, “Whenever the believer spends, including what he spends on himself, he seeks Allah’s Face with it.”

Ata Al-Khurasani said that the Ayah means, “You give away charity for the sake of Allah. Therefore, you will not be asked about the deeds (or wickedness) of those who receive it.”

This is a sound meaning indicating that when one spends in charity for Allah’s sake, then his reward will be with Allah. He will not be asked if the charity unintentionally reached righteous, evil, deserving or undeserving persons, for he will be rewarded for his good intention.

The proof to this statement is the Ayah,

And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged. The Two Sahihs recorded a Hadith by Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

A man said, “Tonight, I shall give charity.” He went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to an adulteress. The next morning the people said that alms were given to an adulteress. The man said, “O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave my alms) to an adulteress. Tonight, I shall give alms again.”

He went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a rich person. The next morning (the people) said, “Last night, a wealthy person was given alms.” He said, “O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I gave alms) to a wealthy man.

‘’Tonight, I shall again give charity.”

So he went out with his charity and (unknowingly) gave it to a thief. The next morning (the people) said, “Last night, a thief was given alms.” He said, “O Allah! All the praises are for You. (I have given alms) to an adulteress, a wealthy man and a thief.”

Then, someone came to him and said, “The alms that you gave away were accepted. As for the adulteress, the alms might make her abstain from adultery. As for the wealthy man, it might make him take a lesson and spend his wealth that Allah has given him. As for the thief, it might make him abstain from stealing.”

Who Deserves Charity.

Allah said,

(Charity is) for the poor, who in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel), meaning, the migrants who migrated to Allah and His Messenger, resided in Al-Madinah and did not have resources that sufficiently provided them with their needs.

And cannot Darban (move about) in the land, meaning, “They cannot travel in the land to seek means of livelihood.”

Allah said in other instances (using a variation of the word Darban), And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah (the prayer). (4:101)

He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah’s bounty, yet others fighting in Allah’s cause. (73:20)

Allah then said,

The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty, meaning, those who do not know their situation think that they are well-off, because they are modest in their clothes and speech.

There is a Hadith with this meaning that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

The Miskin (needy) is not he who wanders about and whose need is sufficed by a date or two, a bite or two or a meal or two. Rather, the Miskin is he who neither has enough resources to sustain him, all the while people are unaware of his need so they do not give to him, nor does he ask people for anything. Imam Ahmad also recorded this Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud.

Allah’s statement,

”You may know them by their mark, means, “Those who have good minds discover their situation,”

… just as Allah said in other instances, The mark of them (i.e. of their faith) is on their faces. (48:29)

But surely, you will know them by the tone of their speech! (47:30)

Allah’s statement,

”… they do not beg of people at all, means, they do not beg and, thus, do not require people to provide them with more than what they actually need.”

Indeed, those who ask people for help, while having what suffices for their needs, have begged.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said, “My mother sent me to the Messenger of Allah to ask him for help, but when I came by him I sat down. The Prophet faced me and said to me,

  • Whoever felt satisfied, then Allah will enrich him.
  • Whoever is modest, Allah will make him decent.
  • Whoever is content, then Allah will suffice for him.
  • Whoever asks people, while having a small amount, he will have begged the people.

Abu Sa`id said,

“I said to myself, `I have a camel, Al-Yaqutah, and indeed, it is worth more than a small amount.’ And I went back without asking the Prophet for anything.”

This is the same wording for this Hadith collected by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i.

Allah’s statement,

”And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well.”

… indicates that no charity escapes Him, and He will reward it fully and perfectly on the Day of Resurrection, when it is most desperately needed.

Praise for those who Spend in Charity.

Allah said,

Those who spend their wealth (in Allah’s cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

This Ayah praises those who spend in charity for Allah’s sake, seeking His pleasure, day and night, publicly and in secret, including what one spends on his family.

The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas:

You will not spend charity with which you seek Allah’s Face, but you will ascend a higher degree and status because of it, including what you put in your wife’s mouth.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

‘’When the Muslim spends on his family while awaiting the reward for it from Allah, it will be written as charity for him.’’

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

Allah said,

… shall have their reward with their Lord, on the Day of Resurrection, as reward for what they spent in acts of obedience.

We previously explained the Ayah,

… there shall be no fear on them nor shall they grieve.

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275.| Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “Trading is only like Riba,” whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns (to Riba), such are the dwellers of the Fire they will Abide therein.

The Punishment for Dealing with Riba (Interest and Usury) After Allah mentioned the righteous believers who give charity, pay Zakah and spend on their relatives and families at various times and conditions, He then mentioned those who deal in usury and illegally acquire people’s money, using various evil methods and wicked ways.

Allah describes the condition of these people when they are resurrected from their graves and brought back to life on the Day of Resurrection:

Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity.

This Ayah means, on the Day of Resurrection, these people will get up from their graves just as the person afflicted by insanity or possessed by a demon would.

Ibn Abbas said, “On the Day of Resurrection, those who consume Riba will be resurrected while insane and suffering from seizures.”

Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this and then commented, “This Tafsir was reported from Awf bin Malik, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan.”

Al-Bukhari recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said in the long Hadith about the dream that the Prophet had,

We reached a river – the narrator said, “I thought he said that the river was as red as blood”- and found that a man was swimming in the river, and on its bank there was another man standing with a large collection of stones next to him. The man in the river would swim, then come to the man who had collected the stones and open his mouth, and the other man would throw a stone in his mouth.

The explanation of this dream was that the person in the river was one who consumed Riba.

Allah’s statement,

”That is because they say: “Trading is only like Riba,” whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba, indicates that the disbelievers claimed that Riba was allowed due to the fact that they rejected Allah’s commandments, not that they equated Riba with regular trade.”

The disbelievers did not recognize that Allah allowed trade in the Qur’an, for if they did, they would have said, “Riba is trade.” Rather, they said, (Trading is only like Riba) meaning, they are similar, so why did Allah allow this, but did not allow that, they asked in defiance of Allah’s commandments.

Allah’s statement,

Whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba, might be a continuation of the answer to the disbelievers’ claim, who uttered it, although they knew that Allah decided that ruling on trade is different from that of Riba.

Indeed, Allah is the Most Knowledgeable, Most Wise, Whose decision is never resisted. Allah is never asked about what He does, while they will be asked. He is knowledgeable of the true reality of all things and the benefits they carry. He knows what benefits His servants, so He allows it for them, and what harms them, so He forbids them from it. He is more merciful with them than the mother with her own infant.

Thereafter, Allah said,

So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge), meaning, those who have knowledge that Allah made usury unlawful, and refrain from indulging in it as soon as they acquire this knowledge, then Allah will forgive their previous dealings in Riba,

4 (Allah has forgiven what is past). (5:95)

On the day Makkah was conquered the Prophet said,

‘’All cases of Riba during the time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period of ignorance) is annulled and under my feet, and the first Riba I annul is the Riba of Al-Abbas (the Prophet’s uncle).’’

We should mention that; the Prophet did not require the return of the interest that they gained on their Riba during the time of Jahiliyyah. Rather, he pardoned the cases of Riba that occurred in the past, just as Allah said, (shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge).

Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi said that, (shall not be punished for the past), refers to the Riba one consumed before it was prohibited.

Allah then said,

But whoever returns, meaning, deals in Riba after gaining knowledge that Allah prohibited it, then that warrants punishment, and in this case, the proof will have been established against such person.

This is why Allah said,

”such are the dwellers of the Fire  they will abide therein forever.”

Abu Dawud recorded that Jabir said, “When, (Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah said,

Whoever does not refrain from Mukhabarah, then let him receive a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger.”

Al-Hakim also recorded this in his Mustadrak, and he said, “It is Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and he did not record it.”

Mukhabarah (sharecropping), farming land in return for some of its produce, was prohibited.

Muzabanah, trading fresh dates still on trees with dried dates already on the ground, was prohibited.

Muhaqalah, which refers to trading produce not yet harvested, with crops already harvested, was also prohibited.

These were prohibited to eradicate the possibility that Riba might be involved, for the quality and equity of such items are only known after they become dry.

The subject of Riba is a difficult subject for many scholars. We should mention that the Leader of the Faithful, Umar bin Al-Khattab, said, “I wished that the Messenger of Allah had made three matters clearer for us, so that we could refer to his decision:

  • the grandfather (regarding inheriting from his grandchildren),
  • the Kalalah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs) and
  • some types of Riba.”

Umar was referring to the types of transactions where it is not clear whether they involve Riba or not.

The Shariah supports the rule that;

  • for any matter that is unlawful, then the means to it are also unlawful, because whatever results in the unlawful is unlawful, in the same way that whenever an obligation will not be complete except with something, then that something is itself an obligation.

The Two Sahihs recorded that An-Nu`man bin Bashir said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

Both lawful and unlawful things are evident, but in between them there are matters that are not clear. So whoever saves himself from these unclear matters, he saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these unclear matters, he will have fallen into the prohibitions, just like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near a private pasture, at any moment he is liable to enter it.

The Sunan records that Al-Hasan bin Ali said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.

Ahmad recorded that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Umar said,

“The Ayah about Riba was one of the last Ayat to be revealed, and the Messenger of Allah died before he explained it to us. So leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

Ibn Majah recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Riba is seventy types, the least of which is equal to one having sexual intercourse with his mother.

Continuing on the subject of prohibiting the means that lead to the unlawful, there is a Hadith that Ahmad recorded in which Aishah said,

“When the Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah about Riba were revealed, the Messenger of Allah went out to the Masjid and recited them and also prohibited trading in alcohol.”

The Six collections recorded this Hadith, with the exception of At-Tirmidhi.

The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

May Allah curse the Jews! Allah forbade them to eat animal fat, but they melted it and sold it, eating its price.

Ali and Ibn Mas`ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

May Allah curse whoever consumes Riba, whoever pays Riba, the two who are witnesses to it, and the scribe who records it.

They say they only have witnesses and a scribe to write the Riba contract when they want it to appear to be a legitimate agreement, but it is still invalid because the ruling is applied to the agreement itself, not the form that it appears in. Verily, deeds are judged by their intentions.

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276.| Allah will destroy Riba and will give increase for Sadaqat. And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners.

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277.| Truly, those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform the Salah and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Allah Does Not Bless Riba.

Allah says;

Allah will destroy Riba and will give increase for Sadaqat.

Allah states that He destroys Riba, either by removing this money from those who eat it, or by depriving them of the blessing, and thus the benefit of their money.

Because of their Riba, Allah will torment them in this life and punish them for it on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said,

Say: “Not equal are Al-Khabith (evil things) and At-Tayyib (good things), even though the abundance of Al-Khabith may please you.” (5:100)

And put the wicked (disbelievers and doers of evil deeds) one over another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. (8:37) and,

And that which you give in gift (to others), in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting to get a better one in return) from other people’s property, has no increase with Allah. (30:39)

Ibn Jarir said that Allah’s statement,

(Allah will destroy Riba), is similar to the statement reported of Abdullah bin Mas`ud, “Riba will end up with less, even if it was substantial.”

Imam Ahmad recorded a similar statement in Al-Musnad.

Allah Increases Charity, Just as One Raises His Animal Allah’s statement,

And will give increase for Sadaqat, means, Allah makes charity grow, or He increases it.

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

Whoever gives in charity what equals a date from honest resources, and Allah only accepts that which is good and pure, then Allah accepts it with His right (Hand) and raises it for its giver, just as one of you raises his animal, until it becomes as big as a mountain. This was recorded in the book of Zakah.

Allah Does not Like the Disbelieving Sinners.

Allah’s statement,

And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners. indicates that Allah does not like he who has a disbelieving heart, who is a sinner in tongue and action.

There is a connection between the beginning of the Ayah on Riba and what Allah ended it with. Those who consume Riba are not satisfied with the permissible and pure resources that Allah provided them. Instead, they try to illegally acquire people’s money by relying on evil methods. This demonstrates their lack of appreciation for the bounty that Allah provides.

Praising Those Who Thank Allah Allah praised those who believe in His Lordship, obey His commands, thank Him and appreciate Him. They are those who are kind to His creation, establish prayer and give charity due on their money. Allah informed them of the honor that He has prepared for them and that they will be safe from the repercussions of the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said,

Truly, those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform the Salah and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

278.| O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and give up what remains from Riba, if you are (really) believers.

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279.| And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.

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280.| And if the debtor is having a hard time, then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay; but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.

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281.| And have Taqwa the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.

The Necessity of Taqwa and Avoiding Riba.

Allah commands His believing servants to fear Him and warns them against what would bring them closer to His anger and drive them away from His pleasure.

Allah said,

”O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, meaning, fear Him and remember that He is watching all that you do.”

And give up what remains of Riba, meaning, abandon the Riba that people still owe you upon hearing this warning, if you indeed have been believers. believing in the trade that He allowed you and the prohibition of Riba.

Zayd bin Aslam, Ibn Jurayj, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi said that; this Ayah was revealed about Bani Amr bin Umayr, a sub-tribe of Thaqif, and Bani Al- Mughirah, from the tribe of Bani Makhzum, between whom were outstanding transactions of Riba leftover from time of Jahiliyyah. When Islam came and both tribes became Muslims, Thaqif required Bani Al-Mughirah to pay the Riba of that transaction, but Bani Al-Mughirah said, “We do not pay Riba in Islam.”

Attab bin Usayd, the Prophet’s deputy on Makkah, wrote to the Messenger of Allah about this matter. This Ayah was then revealed and the Messenger of Allah conveyed it to Attab.

”O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger.”

They said, “We repent to Allah and abandon whatever is left of our Riba”, and they all abandoned it.

This Ayah serves as a stern threat to those who continue to deal in Riba after Allah revealed this warning.

Riba Constitutes War Against Allah and His Messenger Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn Abbas said that, (then take a notice of war) means, “Be sure of a war from Allah and His Messenger.”

He also said,

“On the Day of Resurrection, those who eat Riba will be told, `take up arms for war.”’

He then recited,

(And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger).

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said about, (And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger), “Whoever kept dealing with Riba and did not refrain from it, then the Muslim Leader should require him to repent. If he still did not refrain from Riba, the Muslim Leader should cut off his head.”

Allah then said,

But if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly, by taking the Riba, And you shall not be dealt with unjustly. meaning, your original capital will not diminish.

Rather, you will receive only what you lent without increase or decrease.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Amr bin Al-Ahwas said, “The Messenger of Allah gave a speech during the Farewell Hajj saying;

”Verily, every case of Riba from the Jahiliyyah is completely annulled. You will only take back your capital, without increase or decrease. The first Riba that I annul is the Riba of Al-Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib, all of it is annulled.”

Being Kind to Debtors Who Face Financial Difficulties.

Allah said,

And if the debtor is having a hard time, then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay; but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.

Allah commands creditors to be patient with debtors who are having a hard time financially, (And if the debtor is having a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay).

During the time of Jahiliyyah, when the debt came to term, the creditor would say to the debtor, “Either pay now or interest will be added to the debt.”

Allah encouraged creditors to give debtors respite regarding their debts and promised all that is good, and a great reward from Him for this righteous deed, (But if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know), meaning, if you forfeit your debts and cancel them completely.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.

I also heard the Prophet say, ”Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will earn charity multiplied two times for each day he gives.”

I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I heard you say, `Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.’ I also heard you say, `Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will earn charity multiplied by two times for each day he gives.’

He said,

He will earn charity of equal proportions for each day (he gives time) before the term of the debt comes to an end, and when the term comes to an end, he will again acquire charity multiplied by two times for each day if he gives more time.”

Ahmad recorded that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that; Abu Qatadah had a debt on a man, who used to hide from Abu Qatadah when he looked for him to pay what he owed him. One day, Abu Qatadah came looking for the debtor and a young boy came out, and he asked him about the debtor and found out that he was in the house eating.

Abu Qatadah said in a loud voice, “O Fellow!

Come out, for I was told that you are in the house.”

The man came out and Abu Qatadah asked him, “Why are you hiding from me?”

The man said, “I am having a hard time financially, and I do not have any money.”

Abu Qatadah said, “By Allah, are you truly facing a hard time?”

He said, “Yes.”

Abu Qatadah cried and said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say, Whoever gives time to his debtor, or forgives the debt, will be in the shade of the Throne (of Allah) on the Day of Resurrection.”

Muslim also recorded this Hadith in his Sahih.

Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawsili recorded that Hudhayfah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

‘’On the Day of Resurrection, one of Allah’s servants will be summoned before Him and He will ask him, “What deeds did you perform for Me in your life?”

He will say, “O Lord! In my life, I have not performed a deed for Your sake that equals an atom,” three times.

The third time, the servant will add, “O Lord! You granted me wealth and I used to be a merchant. I used to be lenient, giving easy terms to those well-off and giving time to the debtors who faced hard times.”

Allah will say, “I Am the Most Worthy of giving easy terms. Therefore, enter Paradise.”

Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith from Hudhayfah, and Muslim recorded a similar wording from Uqbah bin Amir and Abu Mas`ud Al-Badri.

Allah further advised His servants, by reminding them that this life will soon end and all the wealth in it will vanish. He also reminded them that the Hereafter will surely come, when the Return to Him will occur, and that He will hold His creation accountable for what they did, rewarding them or punishing them accordingly.

Allah also warned them against His torment,

”And have Taqwa for the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

It was reported that; this was the last Ayah revealed from the Glorious Qur’an.

An-Nasa’i recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “The last Ayah to be revealed from the Qur’an was, And have Taqwa for the Day when you shall be brought back to Allah. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

This is the same narration reported by Ad-Dahhak and Al-Awfi from Ibn Abbas.

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282.| O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down. Let a scribe write it down in justice between you. Let not the scribe refuse to write, as Allah has taught him, so let him write. Let him (the debtor) who incurs the liability dictate, and he must have Taqwa of Allah, his Lord, and diminish not anything of what he owes. But if the debtor is of poor understanding, or weak, or is unable to dictate for himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called (for evidence). You should not become weary to write it (your contract), whether it be small or big, for its fixed term, that is more just with Allah; more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves, save when it is a present trade which you carry out on the spot among yourselves, then there is no sin on you if you do not write it down. But take witnesses whenever you make a commercial contract. Let neither scribe nor witness suffer any harm, but if you do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So have Taqwa of Allah; and Allah teaches you. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything.

The Necessity of Writing Transactions That Take Effect Later on This Ayah is the longest in the Glorious Qur’an.

Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that he was told that the Ayah most recently revealed from above the Throne — the last Ayah to be revealed in the Qur’an — was the Ayah about debts.

Allah’s statement,

O you who believe! When you contract a debt for a fixed period, write it down, directs Allah’s believing servants to record their business transactions when their term is delayed, to preserve the terms and timing of these transactions, and the memory of witnesses, as mentioned at the end of the Ayah,

(that is more just with Allah; more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves).

The Two Sahihs recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “Allah’s Messenger came to Al-Madinah, while the people were in the habit of paying in advance for fruits to be delivered within one or two years.

The Messenger of Allah said,

Whoever pays money in advance (for dates to be delivered later) should pay it for known specified measure and weight (of the dates) for a specified date.

Allah’s statement,

(write it down), is a command from Him to record such transactions to endorse and preserve their terms. Ibn Jurayj said, “Whoever borrowed should write the terms, and whoever bought should have witnesses.”

Abu Sa`id, Ash-Sha`bi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Al-Hasan, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd said that; recording such transactions was necessary before, but was then abrogated by Allah’s statement,

(Then if one of you entrusts the other, let the one who is entrusted discharge his trust (faithfully). (2:283)

Allah’s statement,

Let a scribe write it down in justice between you, and in truth. Therefore, the scribe is not allowed to cheat any party of the contract and is to only record what the parties of the contract agreed to, without addition or deletion.

Allah’s statement,

Let not the scribe refuse to write, as Allah has taught him, so let him write, means, “Those who know how to write should not refrain from writing transaction contracts when asked to do so.”

Further, let writing such contracts be a type of charity from the scribe for those who are not lettered, just as Allah taught him what he knew not. Therefore, let him write, just as the Hadith stated,

It is a type of charity to help a worker and to do something for a feeble person.

In another Hadith, the Prophet said,

Whoever kept knowledge to himself will be restrained by a bridle made of fire on the Day of Resurrection.

Mujahid and Ata said that; if asked to do so, “The scribe is required to record.”

Allah’s statement,

Let him (the debtor) who incurs the liability dictate, and he must have Taqwa of Allah, his Lord, indicates that the debtor should dictate to the scribe what he owes, so let him fear Allah.

And diminish not anything of what he owes, meaning, not hide any portion of what he owes.

But if the debtor is of poor understanding, and is not allowed to decide on such matters, because he used to waste money, for instance, Or weak, such as being too young or insane,

Or is unable to dictate for himself, because of a disease, or ignorance about such matters. … then let his guardian dictate in justice.

Witnesses Should Attend the Dictation of Contracts.

Allah said,

And get two witnesses out of your own men, requiring witnesses to attend the dictation of contracts to further preserve the contents.

And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, this requirement is only for contracts that directly or indirectly involve money. Allah requires that two women take the place of one man as witness, because of the woman’s shortcomings, as the Prophet described.

Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

O women! Give away charity and ask for forgiveness, for I saw that you comprise the majority of the people of the Fire.

One eloquent woman said, “O Messenger of Allah!

Why do we comprise the majority of the people of the Fire?”

He said,

You curse a lot and you do not appreciate your mate.

I have never seen those who have shortcoming in mind and religion controlling those who have sound minds, other than you.

She said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is this shortcoming in mind and religion?”

He said,

As for the shortcoming in her mind, the testimony of two women equals the testimony of one man, and this is the shortcoming in the mind.

As for the shortcoming in the religion, woman remains for nights at a time when she does not pray and breaks the fast in Ramadan.

Allah’s statement,

… such as you agree for witnesses, requires competency in the witnesses.

Further, Allah’s statement, so that if one of them errs, refers to the two women witnesses; whenever one of them forgets a part of the testimony.

… the other can remind her, meaning, the other woman’s testimony mends the shortcoming of forgetfulness in the first woman.

Allah’s statement,

And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called, means, when people are called to be witnesses, they should agree, as Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas stated.

Similarly, Allah said,

Let not the scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so let him write.

Some say that; this Ayah indicates that agreeing to become a witness is Fard Kifayah (required on at least a part of the Muslim Ummah).

However, the majority of the scholars say that the Ayah,

(And the witnesses should not refuse when they are called), is referring to testifying to what the witnesses actually witnessed, thus befitting their description of being `witnesses’.

Therefore, when the witness is called to testify to what he witnessed, he is required to give testimony, unless this obligation was already fulfilled, in which case such testimony becomes Fard Kifayah.

Mujahid and Abu Mijlaz said, “If you are called to be a witness, then you have the choice to agree. If you witnessed and were called to testify, then come forward.”

It was reported that Ibn Abbas and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that; the obligation includes both cases, agreeing to be a witness and testifying to what one witnessed.

Allah’s statement,

You should not become weary to write it (your contract), whether it be small or large, for its fixed term, perfects this direction from Allah by commanding that the debt be written, whether the amount is large or small.

Allah said,

(You should not become weary), meaning, do not be discouraged against writing transactions and their terms, whether the amount involved is large or small.

Allah’s statement,

… that is more just with Allah; more solid as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves, means, writing transactions that will be fulfilled at a later date is more just with Allah meaning better and more convenient in order to preserve the terms of the contract. Therefore, recording such agreements helps the witnesses, when they see their handwriting – or signatures – later on and thus remember what they witnessed, for it is possible that the witnesses might forget what they witnessed.

(And more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves) meaning, this helps repel any doubt. Since if you need to refer to the contract that you wrote and the doubt will end.

Allah’s statement,

… save when it is a present trade which you carry out on the spot among yourselves, then there is no sin on you if you do not write it down.

… indicates that if the transaction will be fulfilled immediately, then there is no harm if it is not recorded.

As for requiring witnesses to be present in trading transactions, Allah said,

But take witnesses whenever you make a commercial contract.

However, this command was abrogated by,

(Then if one of you entrusts the other, let the one who is entrusted discharge his trust (faithfully). (2:283)

Or, it could be that having witnesses in such cases is only recommended and not obligatory, as evident from the Hadith that Khuzaymah bin Thabit Al-Ansari narrated which Imam Ahmad collected.

Umarah bin Khuzaymah Al-Ansari said that his uncle, who was among the Prophet’s Companions, told him that the Prophet was making a deal for a horse with a Bedouin man. The Prophet asked the Bedouin to follow him so that he could pay him the price of the horse.

The Prophet went ahead of the Bedouin. The Bedouin met several men who tried to buy his horse, not knowing if the Prophet was actually determined to buy it. Some people offered more money for the horse than the Prophet had.

The Bedouin man said to the Prophet, “If you want to buy this horse, then buy it or I will sell it to someone else.”

When he heard the Bedouin man’s words, the Prophet stood up and said, “Have I not bought that horse from you?”

The Bedouin said, “By Allah! I have not sold it to you.”

The Prophet said, “Rather, I did buy it from you.” The people gathered around the Prophet and the Bedouin while they were disputing, and the Bedouin said, “Bring forth a witness who testifies that I sold you the horse.”

Meanwhile, the Muslims who came said to the Bedouin, “Woe to you! The Prophet only says the truth.”

When Khuzaymah bin Thabit came and heard the dispute between the Prophet and the Bedouin who was saying, “Bring forth a witness who testifies that I sold you the horse,” Khuzaymah said, “I bear witness that you sold him the horse.”

The Prophet said to Khuzaymah, “What is the basis of your testimony?”

Khuzaymah said, “That I entrusted you, O Messenger of Allah!”

Therefore, the Messenger made Khuzaymah’s testimony equal to the testimony of two men.

This was also recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i.

Allah’s statement,

Let neither scribe nor witness suffer (or cause) any harm, also indicates that the scribe and the witness must not cause any harm, such as, when the scribe writes other than what he is being dictated, or the witness testifies to other than what he heard or conceals his testimony. This is the explanation of Al-Hasan and Qatadah.

Allah’s statement,

But if you do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you, means, “If you defy what you were commanded and commit what you were prohibited, then it is because of the sin that resides and remains with you; sin that you never release or rid yourselves from.”

Allah’s statement,

So have Taqwa of Allah, means, fear Him, remember His watch over you, implement His command and avoid what He prohibited. And Allah teaches you.

Similarly, Allah said,

‘’O you who believe! If you have Taqwa of Allah, He will grant you Furqan (a criterion to judge between right and wrong). (8:29) and, ‘’O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and believe in His Messenger, He will give you a double portion of His mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight). (57:28)

Allah said;

”And Allah is the All-Knower of everything. stating that Allah has perfect knowledge in all matters and in their benefits or repercussions, and nothing escapes His perfect watch, for His knowledge encompasses everything in existence.”

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283.| And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then let there be a pledge taken (mortgaging), then if one of you entrusts the other, let the one who is entrusted discharge his trust, and let him have Taqwa of Allah, his Lord. And conceal not the evidence, for he who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.

What is the `Mortgaging’ Mentioned in the Ayah.

Allah said,

”And if you are on a journey, meaning, traveling and some of you borrowed some money to be paid at a later date.” ”… and cannot find a scribe, who would record the debt for you.”

Ibn Abbas said, “And even if they find a scribe, but did not find paper, ink or pen.” Then,

… let there be a pledge taken (mortgaging), given to the creditor in lieu of writing the transaction.

The Two Sahihs recorded that; Anas said that the Messenger of Allah died while his shield was mortgaged with a Jew in return for thirty Wasq (approximately 180 kg) of barley, which the Prophet bought on credit as provisions for his household.

In another narration, the Hadith stated that this Jew was among the Jews of Al-Madinah.

Allah said,

”… then if one of you entrusts the other, let the one who is entrusted discharge his trust (faithfully).”

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded, with a sound chain of narration, that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “This Ayah abrogated what came before it (i.e. that which required recording the transaction and having witnesses present).”

Ash-Sha`bi said, “If you trust each other, then there is no harm if you do not write the loan or have witnesses present.”

Allah’s statement,

And let him have Taqwa of Allah,

… means, the debtor.

Imam Ahmad and the Sunan recorded that Qatadah said that Al-Hasan said that Samurah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

The hand (of the debtor) will carry the burden of what it took until it gives it back.

Allah’s statement,

And conceal not the evidence, means, do not hide it or refuse to announce it.

Ibn Abbas and other scholars said, “False testimony is one of the worst of the major sins, and such is the case with hiding the true testimony.

This is why Allah said,

For he who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful.

As-Suddi commented, “Meaning he is a sinner in his heart.”

This is similar to Allah’s statement,

We shall not hide testimony of Allah, for then indeed we should be of the sinful. (5:106)

Allah said,

‘’O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both (than you).’’

So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice; and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do. (4:135) and in this Ayah (2:283) He said,

And conceal not the evidence, for he who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.

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284.| To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.

Would the Servants be Accountable for What They Conceal in Their Hearts.

Allah says;

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it.

Allah states that His is the kingship of the heavens and earth and of what and whoever is on or between them, that He has perfect watch over them. No apparent matter or secret that the heart conceals is ever a secret to Him, however minor it is.

Allah also states that He will hold His servants accountable for what they do and what they conceal in their hearts.

In similar statements, Allah said,

Say (O Muhammad): “Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is able to do all things) (3:29) and,

He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden. (20;7)

There are many other Ayat on this subject.

In this Ayah (2:284), Allah states that He has knowledge of what the hearts conceal, and consequently, He will hold the creation accountable for whatever is in their hearts. This is why when this Ayah was revealed, it was hard on the Companions, since out of their strong faith and conviction, they were afraid that such reckoning would diminish their good deeds.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “When

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.

… was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, it was very hard for the Companions of the Messenger.

The Companions came to the Messenger and fell to their knees saying, `O Messenger of Allah! We were asked to perform what we can bear of deeds: the prayer, the fast, Jihad and charity.

However, this Ayah was revealed to you, and we cannot bear it.’

The Messenger of Allah said,

Do you want to repeat what the People of the Two Scriptures before you said, that is, `We hear and we disobey!’ Rather, say, `We hear and we obey, and we seek Your forgiveness, O our Lord, and the Return is to You.

When the people accepted this statement and their tongues recited it, Allah sent down afterwards,

The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels,

His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers  and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).” (2:285)

When they did that, Allah abrogated the Ayah (2:284) and sent down the Ayah,

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error,” until the end.” (2:286)

Muslim recorded it with the wording; “When they did that, Allah abrogated it (2:284) and sent down,

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.” (2:286)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

“Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians)” (2:286)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

“Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.” (2:286)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

“Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (2:286)

Allah said, `I shall.”’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Mujahid said, “I saw Ibn Abbas and said to him,

`O Abu Abbas! I was with Ibn Umar, and he read this Ayah and cried.’

He asked, `Which Ayah?’

I said,

(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it).

Ibn Abbas said, `When this Ayah was revealed, it was very hard on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah and worried them tremendously. They said: O Messenger of Allah!

We know that we would be punished according to our statements and our actions, but as for what occurs in our hearts, we do not control what is in them.’

The Messenger of Allah said,

Say, `We hear and we obey.’

They said, `We hear and we obey.’

Thereafter, this Ayah abrogated the previous Ayah,

(The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah), until,

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned). (2:285-286)

Therefore, they were pardoned what happens in their hearts, and were held accountable only for their actions.”’

The Group recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Allah has pardoned my Ummah for what they say to themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act on it.

The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, ”Allah said (to His angels), “If My servant intends to commit an evil deed, do not record it as such for him, and if he commits it, write it for him as one evil deed.”

If he intends to perform a good deed, but did not perform it, then write it for him as one good deed, and if he performs it, write it for him as ten good deeds.”

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285.| The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”

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286.| Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

The Hadiths on the Virtue of These Two Ayat, May Allah Benefit Us by Them Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said, Whoever recites the last two Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice for him.

The rest of the six also recorded similar wording for this Hadith.

The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith using various chains of narration, and Imam Ahmad also recorded it.

Muslim recorded that Abdullah said, “When the Messenger of Allah went on the Isra journey, he ascended to the Sidrat Al-Muntaha in the sixth heaven, where whatever ascends from the earth ends at, and whatever descends from above it ends at.

When that covered the lote tree which did cover it! (53:16)

… meaning, a mat made of gold.

The Messenger of Allah was then given three things:

  • the five prayers,
  • the last Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah and
  • forgiveness for whoever did not associate anything or anyone with Allah from his Ummah.”

Earlier we mentioned the Hadith regarding the virtues of Surah Al-Fatihah from Ibn Abbas which stated,

“While the Messenger of Allah was with Jibril, he heard a noise from above. Jibril lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door that was opened just now in heaven, and it was never opened before.’

An angel came down through the door to the Prophet and said, `Receive the good news of two lights that you have been given and which no Prophet before you was given:

  • the Opener of the Book (Al-Fatihah) and
  • the last Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah.

You will not read a letter of them, but you will be granted its benefit.”’

This Hadith was collected by Muslim and An-Nasa’i, and this is the wording collected by An-Nasa’i.

The Tafsir of the Last Two Ayat of Surah Al-Baqarah Allah said,

The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers.

Allah said,

Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.”

Therefore, each of the believers believes that Allah is the One and Only and the Sustainer, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and there is no Lord except Him.

The believers also believe in all Allah’s Prophets and Messengers, in the Books that were revealed from heaven to the Messengers and Prophets, who are indeed the servants of Allah.

Further, the believers do not differentiate between any of the Prophets, such as, believing in some of them and rejecting others. Rather, all of Allah’s Prophets and Messengers are, to the believers, truthful, righteous, and they were each guided to the path of righteousness, even when some of them bring what abrogates the Law of some others by Allah’s leave.

Later on, the Law of Muhammad, the Final Prophet and Messenger from Allah, abrogated all the laws of the Prophets before him. So the Last Hour will commence while Muhammad’s Law remains the only valid Law, and all the while a group of his Ummah will always be on the path of truth, apparent and dominant.

Allah’s statement,

And they say, “We hear, and we obey,” means, we heard Your statement, O our Lord, comprehended and implemented it, and adhered to its implications.

“(We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, contains a plea and supplication for Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and kindness.

… and to You is the return (of all).”

Allah’s statement,

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope, means, Allah does not ask a soul what is beyond its ability.

This only demonstrates Allah’s kindness, compassion and generosity towards His creation.

This Ayah is the Ayah that abrogated the Ayah that worried the Companions, that is, Allah’s statement,

(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it), (2:284).

This indicates that although Allah will question His servants and judge them, He will only punish for what one is able to protect himself from.

As for what one cannot protect himself from, such as what one says to himself – or passing thoughts – they will not be punished for that.

We should state here that to dislike the evil thoughts that cross one’s mind is a part of faith.

Allah said next,

He gets reward for that which he has earned, of good.

And he is punished for that which he has earned, of evil, that is, concerning the acts that one is responsible for.

Allah then said, (mentioning what the believers said) while directing His servants to supplicate to Him, all the while promising them that He will answer their supplication:

“Our Lord! Push us not if we forget or fall into error,” meaning, “If we forgot an obligation or fell into a prohibition, or made an error while ignorant of its ruling.”

We mentioned the Hadith by Abu Hurayrah, that Muslim collected, wherein Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication).”

There is also the Hadith by Ibn Abbas that Allah said, “I did (accept your supplication).”

Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians), means, “Even if we were able to perform them, do not require us to perform the difficult deeds as You required the previous nations before us, such as the burdens that were placed on them. You sent Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy, to abrogate these burdens through the Law that You revealed to him, the Hanifi (Islamic Monotheism), easy religion.”

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that; the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication).”

Ibn Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, “I did (accept your supplication).”

There is the Hadith recorded through various chains of narration that; the Messenger of Allah said, I was sent with the easy Hanifiyyah way.

Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear, of obligations, hardships and afflictions, do not make us bear what we cannot bear of this.

(Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear), We mentioned that Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication)” in one narration, and,

“I did (accept your supplication),” in another narration.

Pardon us, …meaning, between us and You regarding what You know of our shortcomings and errors.

And grant us forgiveness, concerning what is between us and Your servants.

So do not expose our errors and evil deeds to them.

Have mercy on us, in what will come thereafter. Therefore, do not allow us to fall into another error.

They say that those who commit error need three things:

  • Allah’s forgiveness for what is between Him and them,
  • that He conceals these errors from His other servants, and thus does not expose them before the servants, and
  • that He grants them immunity from further error.”

We mentioned before that Allah answered these pleas, “I shall,” in one narration and, “I did,” in another narration.

You are our Mawla, … meaning, You are our supporter and helper, our trust is in You, You are sought for each and every type of help and our total reliance is on You.

There is no power or strength except from You.

And give us victory over the disbelieving people.

… those who rejected Your religion, denied Your Oneness, refused the Message of Your Prophet, worshipped other than You and associated others in Your worship. Give us victory and make us prevail above them in this and the Hereafter.

Allah said, “I shall,” in one narration, and, “I did,” in the Hadith that Muslim collected from Ibn Abbas.

Further, Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Ishaq said that; whenever Mu`adh would finish reciting this Surah,  (And give us victory over the disbelieving people), he would say “Amin.”

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah At-Baqarah, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.