Surah Al-An’am Part 7 Ayat 118-128

{118. So eat of that on which Allah’s Name has been mentioned, if you are believers in His Ayat.

119. And why should you not eat of that on which Allah’s Name has been mentioned, while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity? And surely, many do lead astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.}

 

Allowing What was Slaughtered in the Name of Allah

This is a statement of permission from Allah, for His servants, allowing them to eat the slaughtered animals werein His Name was mentioned when slaughtering them. It is understood from it that He has not allowed that over which Allah’s Name was not mentioned when slaughtering. This was the practice of the pagans of Quraysh who used to eat dead animals and eat what was slaughtered for the idols.

Allah next encourages eating from the meat of sacrificed animals on which His Name was mentioned upon slaughtering, “And why should you not eat of that on which Allah’s Name has been mentioned, while He has explained to you what is forbidden to you…” meaning, He has explained and made clear to you what He hasprohibited for you in detail, “except under compulsion of necessity.” In which case, you are allowed to eat whatever you can find. Allah next mentions the ignorance of the idolators in their misguided ideas, such as eating dead animals and what was sacrificed while other than Allah’s Name was mentioned when slaughtering them. Allah said, “And surely, many do lead astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.” He has complete knowledge of their transgression, lies and inventions.

 

{120. Leave sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.}

 

Mujahid said that, “Leave evil, open and secret…” refers to all kinds of sins committed in public and secret. (At-Tabari 12:73) Qatadah said that, “Leave sin, open and secret…” encompasses sins committed in public and secret, whether few or many. (At-Tabari 12:72) In another statement, Allah said, “Say: “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (evil sins) whether committed openly or secretly.” (7:33) This is why Allah said, “Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.” Whether the sins they committed were public or secret, Allah will compensate them for these sins. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that An-Nawwas bin Saman said, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about Al-Ithm. He said,

“The sin is that which you find in your heart and you dislike that people become aware of it.” (Muslim 4:1980)

 

{121. Eat not of that on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced, for surely it is disobedience. And certainly, the Shayatin do inspire their friends to dispute with you, and if you obey them, then you would indeed be polytheists.}

The Prohibition of what was Slaughtered in other than Allah’s Name

This Ayah is used to prove that slaughtered animals are not lawful when Allah’s Name is not mentioned over them – even if slaughtered by a Muslim. The Ayah about hunting game, “So eat of what they (trained hunting dogs or birds of prey) catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it.” (5:4) supports this. The Ayah here emphasized this ruling, when Allah said, “for surely it is disobedience.” They say that “it” refers to eating it, and others say that it refers to the sacrifice for other than Allah. There are various Hadiths that order mentioning Allah’s Name when slaughtering and hunting. The Hadith narrated by Adi bin Hatim and Abu Thalabah (that the Prophet said)

“When you send your trained hunting dog and mention Allah’s Name on releasing it, then eat from whatever it catches for you.”

This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs.  (Fath Al-Bari 9:524 and Muslim 3:1529) The Rafi bin Khadij narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said;

“You can use what would make blood flow (i.e. slaughter) and you can eat what is slaughtered and the Name of Allah is mentioned at the time of slaughtering.”

This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs.  (Fath Al-Bari 9:546 and Muslim 3:1558) Ibn Masud narrated that Allah’s Messenger said to the Jinns.

“(For food) you have every bone on which Allah’s Name was mentioned on slaughtering.” (Muslim 1:332)

Jundub bin Sufyan Al-Bajali said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Whoever slaughtered before he prayed (the Id prayer), let him slaughter another sacrifice in its place. Whoever did not offer the sacrifice before we finished the prayer, let him slaughter and mention Allah’s Name.”

The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 9:546 and Muslim 3:1551)

The Devil’s Inspiration

Allah said, “And certainly, the Shayatin do inspire their friends to dispute with you,” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ishaq said that a man said to Ibn Umar that Al-Mukhtar claimed that he received revelation. So Ibn Umar said, “He has said the truth,” and recited this Ayah, “And certainly, the Shayatin do inspire their friends…” (Ibn Abi Hatim 4:1379)

Abu Zamil said, “I was sitting next to Ibn Abbas at a time when Al-Mukhtar bin Abi Ubayd was performing Hajj. So a man came to Ibn Abbas and said, ‘O Ibn Abbas! Abu Ishaq (Al-Mukhtar) claimed that he received revelation this night.’ Ibn Abbas said, He has said the truth.’ I was upset and said, Ibn Abbas says that Al-Mukhtar has said the truth’ Ibn Abbas replied, ‘There are two types of revelation, one from Allah and one from the devil. Allah’s revelation came to Muhammad , while the Shaytan’s revelation comes to his friends.’ He then recited, “And certainly, the Shayatin do inspire their friends…” We also mentioned Ikrimah’s commentary on the Ayah, “Inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion.” Allah said next, “to dispute with you” Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas commented; “Eat not of that on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned…” until, “…to dispute with you” “The devils inspire their loyal supporters, ‘Do you eat from what you kill but not from what Allah causes to die’?” As-Suddi said; “Some idolators said to the Muslims, ‘You claim that you seek Allah’s pleasure. Yet, you do not eat what Allah causes to die, but you eat what you slaughter’ Allah said, “and if you obey them…”, and eat dead animals, “then you would indeed be polytheists.” Similar was said by Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and several others among scholars of the Salaf.

Giving Preference to Anyone’s Saying Over the Legislation of Allah is Shirk

Allah’s statement, “and if you obey them, then you would indeed be polytheists.” means, when you turn away from Allah’s command and Legislation to the saying of anyone else, preferring other than what Allah has said, then this constitutes Shirk. Allah said in another Ayah, “They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah.”  (9:31) In explanation of this Ayah, At-Tirmidhi recorded that Adi bin Hatim said, “O Allah’s Messenger! They did not worship them.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Yes they did. They (monks and rabbis) allowed the impermissible for them and they prohibited the lawful for them, and they followed them in that. That was their worship of them.”

{122. Is he who was dead, and We gave him life, and set for him a light, whereby he can walk among men — like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out Thus it is made fair seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.}

The Parable of the Disbeliever and the Believer

This is an example that Allah has given of the believer who was dead, meaning, wandering in confusion and misguidance. Then, Allah brought life to him, by bringing life to his heart with faith, guiding him to it and guiding him to obeying His Messengers, “And set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men.” for he became guided to where he should go and how to remain on the correct path. The light mentioned here is the Qur’an, according to Ibn Abbas, as Al-Awfi and Ibn Abi Talhah reported from him. As-Suddi said that the light mentioned here is Islam. Both meanings are correct. “Like him who is in the darkness” of ignorance, desires and various types of deviation, “From which he can never come out” for he is unable to find a way out from what he is in. In Musnad Ahmad, it is recorded that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said;

“Allah created creation in darkness, then He showered His Light upon them. Whoever was struck by that light is guided, whoever it missed is astray.” (Ahmad 2:176)

Allah said in other Ayat, “Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their friends are Taghut, they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever.” (2:257), and “Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on the straight way?” (67:22), and “The parable of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf and the seer and the hearer. Are they equal when compared Will you not then take heed” (11:24), and, “Not alike are the blind and the seeing. Nor are darkness and light. Nor are the shade and the sun’s heat. Nor are the living and the dead. Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear, but you cannot make hear those who are in the graves. You are only a warner.” (35:19-23)

There are many other Ayat on this subject. We explained before why Allah mentioned the light in the singular sense and the darkness in the plural sense when we explained the Ayah at the beginning of the Surah, “And originated the darknesses and the light.” (6:1) Allah’s statement, “Thus it is made fair seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.” means, We made their ignorance and misguidance appear fair to them, as Allah decreed out of His wisdom, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him alone without partners.

 

{123. And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not.

124. And when there comes to them a sign they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.” Allah knows best with whom to entrust His Message. Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals for that which they used to plot.}

 

Evil Plots of the Leaders of the Criminals and their Subsequent Demise

Allah says: Just as We appointed chiefs and leaders for the criminals who call to disbelief, hinder from the path of Allah, and oppose and defy you in your town, O Muhammad. Such was also the case with the Messengers before you, who were tested with the same. But the good end was always theirs.’ Allah said in other Ayat, “Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.” (25:31) Allah said, “And when We decide to destroy a town, We send a definite order to those among them who lead a life of luxury, and they transgress therein.” (17:16) meaning, We command them to obey Us, but they defy the command and as a consequence, We destroy them. It was also said that, “We send a definite order”, in the last Ayah means, “We decree for them,” as Allah stated here “to plot therein.” Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas explained the Ayah “…great ones of its wicked people to plot therein.” “We give the leadership to these wicked ones and they commit evil in it. When they do this, We destroy them with Our torment.” Mujahid and Qatadah said that in the Ayah, “great ones” refers to leaders.

I say that this is also the meaning of Allah’s statements, “And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them, said: “We believe not in what you have been sent with.” And they say: “We have too much wealth and too many children and we are not going to suffer punishment.” (34:34-35) And, “And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” (43:23) ‘Plot’ in the Ayah (6:123) refers to beautified speech and various actions with which the evil ones call to misguidance. Allah said about the people of Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him, “And they have plotted a mighty plot.” (71:22) Allah said, “But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers.” And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: “Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you Nay, but you were criminals.” Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals for Him!” (34:31-33).

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abi Umar said that Sufyan said, “Every ‘plot’ mentioned in the Qur’an refers to actions.” Allah’s statement, “But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not.” means, the harm of their wicked plots, as well as misguiding those whom they lead astray, will only strike them. Allah said in other Ayat, “And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own.” (29:13) and, “And also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. Evil indeed is that which they shall bear!” (16:25). Allah said; “And when there comes to them a sign they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.” When there comes to them a sign they say, “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.” until the angels bring us the Message from Allah, just as they brought it to the Messengers.

In another Ayah, Allah said, “And those who expect not a meet ing with Us said: “Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?” (25:21). Allah’s statement, “Allah knows best with whom to entrust His Message.” means, He knows best with whom His Message should be given and which of His creatures are suitable for it. Allah said in other Ayat, “And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns?” Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord?” (43:31-32). They said, why was not this Qur’an revealed to a mighty, respectable leader, honored by us, “…from one of the two towns” Of Makkah and At-Ta’if. This is because they, may Allah curse them, belittled the Messenger out of envy, transgression, rebellion and defiance. Allah described them, “And when they see you, they only mock: “Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger” (25:41) and “And when those who disbelieved see you, they only mock at you: “Is this the one who talks about your gods” While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious (Allah).” (21:36), and, “Indeed Messengers were mocked before, but the scoffers were surrounded by that, whereat they used to mock.” (21:41)

The Disbelievers Admit to the Prophet’s Nobility of Lineage

The disbelievers did all of this although they admitted to the Prophet’s virtue, honorable lineage, respectable ancestry and purity of household and upbringing, may Allah, His angels, and the believers send blessings upon him. The disbelievers used to call the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, before he received revelation, ‘Al-Amin’ – the Truthful. The leader of the Quraysh disbelievers, Abu Sufyan, had to admit to this fact when Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked him, “How honorable is his (the Prophet’s) ancestral lineage among you?” Abu Sufyan answered, “His ancestry is highly regarded among us.” Heraclius asked, “Do you find that he lied, before he started his mission?” Abu Sufyan replied, “No.” The emperor of Rome relied on the honor and purity of the Prophet to recognize the truth of his prophethood and what he came with. Imam Ahmad recorded that Wathilah bin Al-Asqa said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, Allah has chosen Ismail from the offspring of Ibrahim, Bani Kinanah from the offspring of Ismail, Quraysh from Bani Kinanah, Bani Hashim from Quraysh and, He has chosen me from Bani Hashim.”(Ahmad 4:107)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“I was chosen from a succession of the best generations of the Children of Adam, until the generation I was sent in.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:653)

Allah’s said, “Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals…” This is a stern threat and sure promise from Allah for those who arrogantly refrain from obeying His Messengers and adhering to what they came with. On the Day of Resurrection, they will suffer humiliation and eternal disgrace before Allah, because they were arrogant in the worldly life. This is why it is befitting that they earn disgrace on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said in another Ayah, “Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (40:60) disgrace and dishonor. Allah said next, “and a severe torment for that which they used to plot.” Since plotting usually takes place in secret and involves treachery and deceit, the disbelievers were recompensed with severe torment from Allah on the Day of Resurrection, as a just reckoning, “And your Lord treats no one with injustice” (18:49) Allah said in another Ayah, “The Day when all the secrets will be examined.” (86:9) Meaning, the secrets, hidden thoughts and intentions will be exposed. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“A banner will be raised for every deceitful person from his anus on the Day of Resurrection, and it will say; ‘This is the treacherous plot of so-and-so, son of so-and-so, son of so-and-so.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:327 and Muslim 4:1361)

The wisdom in this is that since a plot occurs in secret, and people are usually unaware of it, then on the Day of Resurrection the plot itself will become public news testifying to the actions of those who committed it.

 

{125. And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not.}

 

Allah said, “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam” He makes Islam easy for him and strengthens his resolve to embrace it, and these are good signs. Allah said in “Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord (as he who is a non-Muslim)” (39:22) and, “But Allah has endeared the faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience hated by you. Such are they who are the rightly guided.” (49:7) Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam”, “Allah says that He will open his heart to Tawhid and faith in Him.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 3:356) This is the same as was reported from Abu Malik and several others, and it is sound.

Allah’s statement, “and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted” refers to inability to accept guidance, thus being deprived of beneficial faith. “…as if he is climbing up to the sky.” because of the heaviness of faith on him. Said bin Jubayr commented that in this case, “(Islam) finds every path in his heart impassable.” (At-Tabari 12:105)

Al-Hakam bin Aban said that Ikrimah narrated from Ibn Abbas that he commented on: “…as if he is climbing up to the sky”, “Just as the Son of Adam cannot climb up to the sky, Tawhid and faith will not be able to enter his heart, until Allah decides to allow it into his heart.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 3:356)

Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir commented: “This is a parable that Allah has given for the heart of the disbeliever, which is completely impassable and closed to faith. Allah says, the example of the disbeliever’s inability to accept faith in his heart and that it is too small to accommodate it, is the example of his inability to climb up to the sky, which is beyond his capability and power.” (At-Tabari 12:109) He also commented on Allah’s statement, “Thus Allah puts the Rijs (wrath) on those who believe not.” “Allah says that just as He makes the heart of whomever He decides to misguide, closed and constricted, He also appoints Shaytan for him and for his likes, those who refused to believe in Allah and His Messenger. Consequently, Shaytan lures and hinders them from the path of Allah.” (At-Tabari 12:110) Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that, Rijs, refers to Shaytan, (At-Tabari 12:111) while Mujahid said that it refers to all that does not contain goodness. (At-Tabari 12:111) Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that, Rijs, means, ‘torment’.

{126. And this is the path of your Lord leading straight. We have detailed Our Ayat for a people who take heed.

127. For them will be the abode of peace with their Lord. And He will be their Wali because of what they used to do.}

After Allah mentioned the way of those who were themselves led to stray from His path and who hindered others from it, He emphasized the honor of the guidance and religion of truth that He sent His Messenger with. Allah said next, “And this is the path of your Lord leading straight.” that is, Islam, that We have legislated for you, O Muhammad, by revealing this Qur’an to you, is Allah’s straight path. “We have detailed Our Ayat…” We have explained the Ayat and made them clear and plain,“for a people who take heed” those who have sound comprehension and understand what Allah and His Messenger convey to them, “For them will be the abode of peace” Paradise, “with their Lord.” on the Day of Resurrection. Allah described Paradise as ‘the abode of peace’, because its residents are safe due to their access to the straight path, which conforms to the way of the Prophets. And just as their way was not wicked, they earned the abode of peace [which is free from all wickedness]. “And He will be their Wali” Protector, Supporter and Helper, ”because of what they used to do” As reward for their good deeds, Allah has favored them and been generous with them, and awarded them Paradise.

{128. And on the Day when He will gather them together (and say): “O you assembly of Jinn! Many did you mislead of men,” and their friends among the people will say: “Our Lord! We benefited one from the other, but now we have reached our appointed term which You did appoint for us. ” He will say: “The Fire be your dwelling place, you will dwell therein forever, except as Allah may will. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.”}

 

Allah says, ‘Mention, O Muhammad, in what you convey and warn,’ that, “on the Day when He will gather them (all) together.” gather the Jinns and their loyal supporters from mankind who used to worship them in this life, seek refuge with them, obey them and inspire each other with adorned, deceitful speech. Allah will proclaim then, “O you assembly of Jinn! Many did you mislead of men” So the Ayah; “Many did you mislead of men) refers to their misguiding and leading them astray. Allah also said; “Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you. And that you should worship Me. That is the straight path. And indeed he (Shaytan) did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did you not, then, understand” (36:60-62), and “and their friends among the people will say: “Our Lord! We benefited one from the other…”

The friends of the Jinns among humanity will give this answer to Allah, after Allah chastises them for being misguided by the Jinns. Al-Hasan commented, “They benefited from each other when the Jinns merely commanded and mankind obeyed.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 3:357)

Ibn Jurayj said, “During the time of Jahiliyyah, a man would reach a land and proclaim, ‘I seek refuge with the master (Jinn) of this valley,’ and this is how they benefited from each other. They used this as an excuse for them on the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tabari 12:116) Therefore, the Jinns benefit from humans since humans revere the Jinns by invoking them for help. The Jinns would then proclaim, “We became the masters of both mankind and the Jinns.” ”but now we have reached our appointed term which You did appoint for us.” meaning, death, according to As-Suddi. ”He (Allah) will say: “The Fire be your dwelling place…” where you will reside and live, you and your friends, “you will dwell therein forever.” and will never depart except what Allah may will.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 3 Pages 448-468

 

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