Surah Al-Baqarah Part 25

{208.O you who believe! Enter Silm perfectly, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily, he is to you a plain enemy

209. Then if you slide back after the clear signs (Prophet Muhammad , and this Qur’an and Islam) have come to you, then know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise}

Entering Islam in its Entirety is obligated

Allah commands His servants who believe in Him and have faith in His Messenger to implement all of Islam’s legislation and law, to adhere to all of its commandments, as much as they can, and to refrain from all of its prohibitions. Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, and also Mujahid, Tawus, Ad-Dahhak, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said that Allah’s statement: ”Enter Silm” means Islam. Allah’s statement: ”…perfectly” means, in its entirety. This is the Tafsir of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Abu Al-Aliyah, Ikrimah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak. Mujahid said that the Ayah means, ‘Perform all the good works and the various pious deeds, this is especially addressed to those from among the People of the Scripture who embraced the faith.’ (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:585)

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said that: ”O you who believe! Enter Silm perfectly” refers to the believers among the People of the Scripture. This is because they believed in Allah, some of them still followed some parts of the Tawrah and the previous revelat ions. So Allah said: ”Enter Islam perfectly” Allah thus commanded them to embrace the legislation of the religion of Muhammad in its entirety and to avoid abandoning any part of it. They should no longer adhere to the Tawrah.

Allah then said: ”…and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan” meaning, perform the acts of worship and avoid what Satan commands you to do. This is because:

“He (Shaytan) commands you only what is evil and Fahsha’ (sinful), and that you should say about Allah what you know not.” (2:169) and:

”He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire.” (35:6)

Hence, Allah said: ”Then if you slide back after the clear signs have come to you” meaning, if you deviate from the Truth after clear proofs have been established against you. ”Verily, he is to you an open enemy.” Allah said: ”…then know that Allah is All-Mighty” in His punishment, and no one can escape His vengeance or defeat Him. ”All-Wise” in His decisions, actions and rulings. Hence Abu Al-Aliyah, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said, “He is Mighty in His vengeance, Wise in His decision.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:591)

{210. Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them over the shadows of the clouds and the angels? (Then) the case would be already judged. And to Allah return all matters (for decision)}

Do not delay embracing the Faith

”Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them over the shadows of the clouds and the angels?” on the Day of Resurrection to judge the early and the latter creations. Allah shall then reward each according to his or her deeds; and whoever does good shall see it, and whoever does evil shall see it. This is why Allah said: ”(Then) the case would be already judged. And to Allah return all matters (for decision)” Similarly, Allah said:

”Nay! When the earth is ground to powder. And your Lord comes with the angels in rows. And Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him” (89:21-23) and:

”Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord (Allah) should come, or that some of the signs of your Lord should come (i. e., portents of the Hour, e.g., rising of the sun from the west)!” (6:158)

Abu Jafar Razi reported that Abu Al-Aliyah narrated that: ”Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them over the shadows of the clouds and the angels?” means, the angels will descend on the shadows of clouds, while Allah comes as He wills. Some of the reciters read it, ”Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them and also the angels over the shadows of the clouds.” This is similar to Allah’s other statement:

”And (remember) the Day when the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and the angels will be sent down, with a grand descending.” (25:25)

{211. Ask the Children of Israel how many clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) We gave them. And whoever changes Allah’s favor after it has come to him, [e.g., renounces the religion of Allah (Islam) and accepts Kufr (disbelief)] then surely, Allah is severe in punishment.

212. Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they mock at those who believe. But those who have Taqwa, will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives (of His bounty, blessings, favors, and honors on the Day of Resurrection) to whom He wills without limit.}

 

The Punishment for changing Allah’s Favour and mocking the Believers

Allah mentioned that the Children of Israel, were witnesses to many clear signs that attest to the truth of Moses regarding what he was sent with for them. They witnessed his hand (when it became lit with light), his parting the sea, his striking the rock (and water flowed from the rock), the clouds that shaded them during the intense heat, the manna and the quails, and so forth. These signs attested to the existence of the Creator and the truth of Moses by whose hand these signs appeared. Yet, so many among them changed Allah’s favor, by preferring disbelief to faith and by ignoring Allah’s favors. ”And whoever changes Allah’s favor after it had come to him, then surely, Allah is severe in punishment.”

Similarly, Allah said about the disbelievers of Quraysh:

”Have you not seen those who have changed the blessings of Allah into disbelief, and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction Hell, in which they will burn, – and what an evil place to settle in!’‘ (14:28-29)

Then Allah states that He has made the life of this world beautiful for the disbelievers who are satisfied with it, who collect wealth, but refrain from spending it on what they have been commanded, which could earn them Allah’s pleasure. Instead, they ridicule the believers who ignore this life and who spend whatever they earn on what pleases their Lord. The believers spend seeking Allah’s Face, and this is why they have gained the ultimate happiness and the best share on the Day of the Return. Therefore, they will be exalted above the disbelievers at the Gathering Place, when they are gathered, during the resurrection and in their final destination. The believers will reside in the highest grades in the utmost highs, while the disbelievers will reside in the lowest of lows (in the Fire).

This is why Allah said: ”And Allah gives to whom He wills without limit.” This Ayah indicates that Allah gives sustenance to whomever He wills of His servants without count or limit in this and the Hereafter. A Hadith has stated (that Allah said):

 ”O son of Adam! Spend (in Allah’s cause) and I (Allah) will spend on you.”

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”O Bilal! Spend and do not fear deprivation from the Owner of the Throne.” (At-Tabarani 10:192)

Allah said:

 ”…and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s cause), He will replace it.” (34:39)

In addition, it is reported in the Sahih (that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said):

”Every day two angels come down from heavens and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:357)

Also in the Sahih:

”The son of Adam says, ‘My money, my money!’ Yet, what is your money except that which you eat and use up, wear and tear, and spend in charity and thus keep (in your record). Other than that, it will go away and will be left for the people (the inheritors)” (Muslim 4:2273)

In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The Dunya (life of this world) is the residence of those who have no residence, the wealth of those who have no wealth, and it is harvested by those who have no sense of reason.” (Ahmad 6:71)

 

{213. Mankind was one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent down the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred, one to another. Then Allah by His leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to the straight path}

Disputing, after the Clear Signs have come, indicates Deviation

Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas said, “There were ten generations between Adam and Nuh, all of them on the religion of Truth. They later disputed so Allah sent the Prophets as warners and bringers of glad tidings.” He then said that this is how Abdullah read the Ayah: ”The people were one Ummah and they then disputed.” (At-Tabari 4:275) Al-Hakim recorded this in his Mustadrak and said, “Its chain of narrators is Sahih, but they (Al- Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.” Abu Jafar Razi reported that Abu Al-Aliyah said that Ubayy bin Kab read the Ayah as: ”The people were one Ummah and they then disputed and Allah sent the Prophets as warners and bringers of glad tidings.”

Abdur-Razzaq said that Mamar said that Qatadah said that Allah’s statement: ‘‘Mankind was one community” means; “They all had the guidance. Then: They disputed and Allah sent Prophets. The first to be sent was Nuh.” Abdur-Razzaq reported that Abu Hurayrah commented on: ”Then Allah by His leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed” saying that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”We are the last (nation), but the first (foremost) on the Day of Resurrection. We are the first people to enter Paradise, although they (Jews and Christians) have been given the Book before us and we after them. Allah has guided us to the truth wherever they disputed over it. This is the day (Friday) that they disputed about, Allah guided us to it. So, the people follow us, as tomorrow is for the Jews and the day after is for the Christians.” (Abdur Razzaq 1:82)

Ibn Wahb related that Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that his father said about the Ayah: ”Then Allah by His leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed” They disputed about the day of Congregation (Friday). The Jews made it Saturday while the Christians chose Sunday. Allah guided the Ummah of Muhammad to Friday. They also disputed about the true Qiblah. The Christians faced the east while the Jews faced Bayt Al-Maqdis. Allah guided the Ummah of Muhammad to the true Qiblah (Ka`bah in Makkah). They also disputed about the prayer, as some of them bow down, but do not prostrate, while others prostrate, but do not bow down. Some of them pray while talking and some while walking. Allah guided the Ummah of Muhammad to the truth. They also disputed about the fast; some of them fast during a part of the day, while others fast from certain types of foods. Allah guided the Ummah of Muhammad to the truth. They also disputed about Ibrahim. The Jews said, ‘He was a Jew,’ while the Christians considered him Christian. Allah has made him a Haniyfan Musliman. Allah has guided the Ummah of Muhammad to the truth. They also disputed about Isa. The Jews rejected him and accused his mother of a grave sin, while the Christians made him a god and the son of God. Allah made him by His Word and a spirit from (those He created) Him. Allah guided the Ummah of Muhammad to the truth.” (At-Tabari 4:284)

Allah then said: ”…by His leave’‘ meaning, ‘By His knowledge of them and by what He has directed and guided them to,’ according to Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 4:286) Also: ”And Allah guides whom He wills” means from among His creation. Allah said: ”…to the straight way’‘ meaning, He commands the decision and the clear proof. Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that A’ishah narrated that when Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to wake up at night to pray, he would say:

”O Allah, the Lord of (angels) Jibril, Mika’il and Israfil, Creator of the heavens and earth and Knower of the seen and the unseen. You judge between Your servants regarding what they have disputed in, so guide me to what have been the subject of dispute of the truth by Your leave. Indeed, You guide whom You will to the straight path.” (Muslim 1:534)

A Du’a reads:

”O Allah! Show us the truth as truth, and bestow adherence to it on us. Show us the evil as evil, and make us stay away from it, and do not confuse us regarding the reality of evil so that we will not be led astray by it, and make us leaders for the believers.” (Takhrij Al-Ihya 3:1418)

 

{214. Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!}

 

Victory only comes after succeeding in the Trials

Allah said: ”Or think you that you will enter Paradise” before you are tested and tried just like the nations that came before you? This is why Allah said: ”…without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments” meaning, illnesses, pain, disasters and hardships. Ibn Masud, Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Murrah Al-Hamdani, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad- Dahhak, Ar-Rabi , As-Suddi and Muqat il bin Hayyan said that ”Al-Ba’sa” means poverty. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:616) Ibn Abbas said that ”…and Ad-Darra” means ailments. ”and were so shaken” for fear of the enemy, and were tested, and put to a tremendous trial. An authentic Hadith narrated that Khabbab bin Al-Aratt said, “We said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Why do you not invoke Allah to support us? Why do you not supplicate to Allah for us?’ He said:

”The saw would be placed on the middle of the head of one of those who were before you (believers) and he would be sawn until his feet, and he would be combed with iron combs between his skin and bones, yet that would not make him change his religion.”

He then said:

”By Allah! This matter (religion) will spread (or expand) by Allah until the traveler leaves Sana’ to Hadramawt (both in Yemen, but at a great distance from each other) fearing only Allah and then the wolf for the sake of his sheep. You are just a hasty people.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:716)

And Allah said:

”Alif-Lam-Mim. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars.” (29:1-3)

The Companions experienced tremendous trials during the battle of Al-Ahzab (the Confederates). Allah said:

”When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harboring doubts about Allah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking. And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: “Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!” (33:10-12)

When Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan, “Did you fight him (Prophet Muhammad)?” He said, “Yes.” Heraclius said, “What was the outcome of warfare between you’?’ Abu Sufyan said, “Sometimes we lose and sometimes he loses.” He said, “Such is the case with Prophets, they are tested, but the final victory is theirs.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:25)

Allah’s statement: ”…without (such) (trials) as came to those who passed away before you” meaning, their way of life. Similarly, Allah said:

”Then We destroyed men stronger (in power) than these – and the example of the ancients has passed away (before them)” (43:8) and:

”…were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah?”

They pleaded (to Allah) for victory against their enemies and invoked Him for aid and deliverance from their hardships and trials. Allah said: ”Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!’‘ Allah said:

”Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.” (94:5-6)

So just as there is hardship, its equal of relief will soon arrive. This is why Allah said: ”Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!”

 

{215. They ask you (O Muhammad ) what they should spend. Say: “Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well.”}

Who deserves the Nafaqah (Spending or Charity)

Muqatil bin Hayyan said that this Ayah was revealed about the voluntary charity. The Ayah means, ‘They ask you (OMuhammad ) how they should spend,’ as Ibn Abbas and Mujahid have stated. So, Allah explained it for them, saying: ”Say: “Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al-Masakin and the wayfarer,” meaning, spend it on these categories or areas. Similarly, a Hadith states (that those who deserve one’s generosity the most, are):

”Your mother, father, sister, brother, the closest and then the farthest (relatives).” (Al-Hakim 3:611)

Maymun bin Mihran once recited this Ayah (2:215) and commented, “These are the areas of spending. Allah did not mention among them the drums, pipe, wooden pictures, or the curtains that cover the walls.” (Ibn Abu hatim 2:620)

Next, Allah said: ”…and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well” meaning, whatever you perform of good works, Allah knows them and He will reward you for them in the best manner, no one will be dealt with unjustly, even the weight of an atom.

 

{216. Fighting is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.}

 

Jihad is made Obligatory

In this Ayah, Allah made it obligatory for the Muslims to fight in Jihad against the evil of the enemy who transgress against Islam. Az-Zuhri said, “Jihad is required from every person, whether he actually joins the fighting or remains behind. Whoever remains behind is required to give support, if support is warranted; to provide aid, if aid is needed; and to march forth, if he is commanded to do so. If he is not needed, then he remains behind.” It is reported in the Sahih:

”Whoever dies but neither fought (i.e., in Allah’s cause), nor sincerely considered fighting, will die a death of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era of ignorance).” (Muslim 3:1517)

On the day of Al-Fath (when he conquered Makkah), the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”There is no Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Al-Madinah) after the victory, but only Jihad and good intention. If you were required to march forth, then march forth.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:56)

Allah’s statement: ”…though you dislike it” means, ‘Fighting is difficult and heavy on your hearts.’ Indeed, fighting is as the Ayah describes it, as it includes being killed, wounded, striving against the enemies and enduring the hardship of travel. Allah then said: ” ..and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you” meaning, fighting is followed by victory, dominance over the enemy, taking over their lands, money and offspring. Allah continues: ”…and that you like a thing which is bad for you.” This Ayah is general in meaning. Hence, one might covet something, yet in reality it is not good or beneficial for him, such as refraining from joining the Jihad, for it might lead to the enemy taking over the land and the government. Then, Allah said: ”Allah knows, but you do not know.” meaning, He has better knowledge than you of how things will turn out to be in the end, and of what benefits you in this earthly life and the Hereafter. Hence, obey Him and adhere to His commands, so that you may acquire the true guidance.

 

{217. They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.” And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever.

218. Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard in the way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.}

The Nakhlah Military Maneuvers, and the Ruling on Fighting during the Sacred Months

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Jundub bin Abdullah said: Allah’s Messenger assembled a group of men under the command of Abu Ubaydah bin Jarrah. When he was about to march, he sarted crying for the thought of missing Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Consequently, the Messenger relieved Abu Ubaydah from command, appointed Abdullah bin Jahsh instead, gave him some written instructions and commanded him not to read the instructions until he reached such and such area. He also said to Abdullah: ‘‘Do not compel any of your men to continue marching with you thereafter.”  When Abdullah read the instructions, he recited Istirja [saying, ‘Truly! to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return’ and refer to (2:156)] and said, “I hear and obey Allah and His Messenger.” He then told his companions the story and read the instructions to them, and two men went back while the rest remained. Soon after, they found Ibn Hadrami (one of the disbelievers of Quraysh) and killed him not knowing that that day was in Rajab or Jumadi (where Rajab is the Sacred Month). The polytheists said to the Muslims, “You have committed murder in the Sacred Month.” Allah then revealed: ”They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression)…” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:628)

Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, who compiled the Sirah (life story of the Prophet ), related that Ziyad bin Abdullah Bakka’i said that Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar Al-Madani wrote in his book on the Sirah, “Allah’s Messenger sent Abdullah bin Jahsh bin Riyab Al-Asadi in Rajab, after he (the Prophet) came back from the first battle of Badr. The Prophet sent eight people with him, all from among the Muhajirun and none from the Ansar. He also gave him some written instructions and ordered him not to read them until he marched for two days. Abdullah should then read the instructions and march to implement them, but should not force any of those who were with him to accompany him. When Abdullah bin Jahsh marched for two days, he opened and read the (Prophet’s) instructions, “When you read these instructions, march until you set camp at Nakhlah between Makkah and At-Ta’if. There, watch the movements of the caravan of Quraysh and collect news about them for us.” When Abdullah bin Jahsh read the document, he said, “I hear and obey.” He then said to his companions, “Allah’s Messenger has commanded me to march forth to Nakhlah to watch the movements of the caravan of Quraysh and to inform him about their news. He has prohibited me from forcing any of you (to go with me). So, those who seek martyrdom, they should march with me. Those who dislike the idea of martyrdom, let them turn back. Surely, I will implement the command of Allah’s Messenger .” He and his companions continued without any of them turning back.

Abdullah entered the Hijaz area (western Arabia) until he reached an area called Buhran, close to Furu. There, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas and Utbah bin Ghazwan lost the camel that they were riding in turns, and they went back to search for it while Abdullah bin Jahsh and the rest of his companions continued until they reached Nakhlah. Then, a caravan belonging to the Quraysh passed by carrying raisins, food stuff and some trade items for the Quraysh. Amr bin Hadrami, whose name was Abdullah bin Abbad, was in the caravan, as well as Uthman bin Abdullah bin Al-Mughirah and his brother Nawfal bin Abdullah from the tribe of Makhzum, and Al-Hakam bin Kaysan, a freed slave of Hisham bin Al-Mughirah. When they saw the Companions they were frightened, but when they saw Ukkashah bin Mihsan their fears subsided, since his head was shaved. They said, “These people seek the Umrah, so there is no need to fear them.”

The Companions conferred among themselves. That day was the last day in the (sacred) month of Rajab. They said to each other, “By Allah! If you let them pass, they will soon enter the Sacred Area and take refuge in it from you. If you kill them, you will kill them during the Sacred Month.” They at first hesitated and did not like to attack them. They then began encouraging themselves and decided to kill whomever they could among the disbelievers and to confiscate whatever they had. Hence, Waqid bin Abdullah At-Tamimi shot an arrow at Amr bin  Al-Hadrami and killed   him. Uthman bin Abdullah and          Al-Hakam bin Kaysan gave themselves up, while Nawfal bin Abdullah was able to outrun them in flight. Later on, Abdullah bin Jahsh and his companions went back to Allah’s Messenger in Al-Madinah with the caravan and the two prisoners. Ibn Ishaq went on: I was told that some members of the family of Abdullah bin Jahsh said that Abdullah said to his companions: “Allah’s Messenger will have one-fifth of what we have confiscated.” This occurred before Allah required one-fifth for His Messenger from the war booty. So, Abdullah designated one-fifth of the caravan for Allah’s Messenger and divided the rest among his companions. Ibn Ishaq also stated that at first, when the Sariyah came back to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he said to them: ”I have not commanded you to conduct warfare during the Sacred Month.” He left the caravan and the two prisoners alone and did not take any share of the war booty.

When Allah’s Messenger did that, the soldiers from the attack were concerned and felt that they were destroyed, and their Muslim brethren criticized them for what they did. The Quraysh said that Muhammad and his Companions violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month and shed blood, confiscated property and took prisoners during it. Those who refuted them among the Muslims who remained in Makkah replied that the Muslims had done that during the month of Sha`ban (which is not a sacred month). Meanwhile, the Jews were pleased about what happened to Allah’s Messenger. They said, ‘Amr bin Hadrami was killed by Waqid bin Abdullah: Amr, means the war has started, Hadrami means the war has come, as for Waqid (bin `Abdullah): the war has raged (using some of the literal meanings of these names to support their fortune-telling!).” But, Allah made all that turn against them. The people continued talking about this matter, then Allah revealed to His Messenger :

”They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.”

This Ayah means, ‘If you had killed during the Sacred Month, they (disbelievers of Quraysh) have hindered you from the path of Allah and disbelieved in it. They also prevented you from entering the Sacred Mosque, and expelled you from it, while you are its people, ‘…a greater (transgression) with Allah” than killing whom you killed among them. Also: ”…and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing” means, trying to force the Muslims to revert from their religion and re-embrace Kufr after they had believed, is worse with Allah than killing. Allah said: ”And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can.” So, they will go on fighting you with unrelenting viciousness. Ibn Ishaq went on: When the Qur’an touched this subject and Allah brought relief to the Muslims instead of the sadness that had befallen them, Allah’s Messenger took possession of the caravan and the two prisoners. The Quraysh offered to ransom the two prisoners, Uthman bin Abdullah and Hakam bin Kaysan. Allah’s Messenger said: ”We will not accept your ransom until our two companions return safely.” meaning Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas and Utbah bin Ghazwan, “For we fear for their safety with you. If you kill them, we will kill your people.” Later on, S’d and Utbah returned safely and Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, accepted the Quraysh’s ransom for their prisoners. As for Al-Hakam bin Kaysan, he became Muslim and his Islam strengthened. He remained with Allah’s Messenger until he was martyred during the incident at Bir Maunah (when the Prophet sent seventy Companions to Najd to teach them Islam, but Banu Sulaim killed them all except two). As for Uthman bin Abdullah, he went back to Makkah and died there as a disbeliever.

Ibn Ishaq went on: When Abdullah bin Jahsh and his companions were relieved from their depressing thoughts after the Qur’an was revealed about this subject, they sought the reward of the fighters (in Allah’s way). They said, “O Messenger of Allah! We wish that this incident be considered a battle for us, so that we gain the rewards of the Mujahidin.” Then, Allah revealed: ”Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard in the way of Allah, all these hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Hence, Allah has greatly elevated their hopes of gaining what they had wished for. (Ibn Hashim 2:252-255)

 

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