Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 180-218

{180. It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqin (the pious).

181. Then whoever changes it after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

182. But he who fears from a testator some unjust act or wrongdoing, and thereupon he makes peace between the parties concerned, there shall be no sin on him. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

Including Parents and Relatives in the Will was later abrogated

This Ayah contains the command to include parents and relatives in the will, which was obligatory, according to the most correct view, before the Ayah about inheritance was revealed. When the Ayah of inheritance was revealed, this Ayah was abrogated, so fixed shares of the inheritance for deserving recipients were legislated by Allah. Therefore, deserving inheritors take their fixed inheritance without the need to be included in the will or to be reminded of the favor of the inherited person. For this reason we see the Hadith narrated in t he Sunan and ot her books that ‘Amr bin Kharijah said: I heard Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying in a speech:

”Allah has given each heir his fixed share. So there is no will for a deserving heir.” (An-Nasai 6:247)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Muhammad bin Sirin said: Ibn ‘Abbas recited Surah Al-Baqarah (chapter 2 in the Qur’an) until he reached the Ayah: ‘‘…if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin.” He then said, “This Ayah was abrogated.” This was recorded by Sa’id bin Mansur and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak (Sa’id bin Mansur 2:663) Al-Hakim Said, “It is Sahih according to their criteria (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)”. Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that Allah’s statement: ”a bequest to parents and next of kin” was abrogated by the Ayah:

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

The Will for the Relatives that do not qualify as Inheritors

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

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

Ibn ‘Umar commented, “Ever since I heard this statement from Allah’s Messenger , no night has passed, but my will is kept ready with me.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:419 and Muslim 3:1249) There are many other Ayat and Ahadith ordering kindness and generosity to one’s relatives.

The Will should observe Justice

The will should be fair, in that one designates a part of the inheritance to his relatives without committing injustice against his qualified inheritors and without extravagance or stinginess. It is recorded in the Sahihayn that Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I have some money and only a daughter inherits from me, should I will all my remaining property (to others)?” He said, “No.” Sa’d said, “Then may I will half of it?” He said, “No.” Sa’d said, “One- third” He said, “Yes, one-third, yet even one-third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor, begging from others.”  (fath Al-Bari 5:724 and Muslim 3:1250) Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “I recommend that people reduce the proportion of what they bequeath by will to a fourth (of the whole legacy) rather than a third, for Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said : ”One-third, yet even one-third is too much.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari no.2743)

Allah’s statement: ”Then whoever changes it after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower” means, whoever changed the will and testament or altered it by addition or deletion, including hiding the will as is obvious, then ‘‘the sin shall be on those who make the change.” Ibn ‘Abbas and others said, “The dead person’s reward will be preserved for him by Allah, while the sin is acquired by those who change the will.” ”Truly, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” means, Allah knows what the dead person has bequeathed and what the beneficiaries (or others) have changed in the will.

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

The Virtue of Fairness in the Will

‘Abdur-Razzaq reported that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said:

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

Abu Hurayrah then said, “Read if you wish:

 ”These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them.” (2:229) (‘Abdur Razzaq 9:88)

{183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may acquire Taqwa.

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

The Order to Fast

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

”To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. If Allah had willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so compete in good deeds.” (5:48)

Allah said in this Ayah: ”O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may have Taqwa’‘ since the fast cleanses the body and narrows the paths of Shaytan. In the Sahihayn the following Hadith was recorded:

”O young people! Whoever amongst you can afford marriage, let him marry. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:8 and Muslim 2:1018)

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

The various Stages of Fasting

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that ‘A’ishah said, “(The day of) ‘Ashura’ was a day of fasting. When the obligation to fast Ramadan was revealed, those who wished fasted, and those who wished did not.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:26 and Muslim 2:792)

Allah said: ”…those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day)” Mu`adh commented, “In the beginning, those who wished, fasted and those who wished, did not fast and fed a poor person for each day.” Al- Bukhari recorded Salamah bin Al-Akwa saying that when the Ayah: ”…those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day)” was revealed, those who did not wish to fast, used to pay the Fidyah (feeding a poor person for each day they did not fast) until the following Ayah (2:185) was revealed abrogating the previous Ayah. It was also reported from Ubaydullah from Nafi that Ibn Umar said; “It was abrogated.” As-Suddi reported that Murrah narrated that ‘Abdullah said about t his Ayah: ”those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day)” ‘It means those who find it difficult (to fast).’ Formerly, those who wished, fasted and those who wished, did not but fed a poor person instead.” Allah then said: ‘‘But whoever does good of his own accord” meaning whoever fed an extra poor person, ”it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you” Later the Ayah: ”So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month” (2:185) was revealed and this abrogated the previous Ayah (2:184).

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

Al-Bukhari reported that ‘Ata heard Ibn Abbas recite: ”And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day)’‘ Ibn Abbas then commented, “(This Ayah) was not abrogated, it is for the old man and the old woman who are able to fast with difficulty, but choose instead to feed a poor person for every day (they do not fast).” Others reported that Said bin Jubayr mentioned this from Ibn Abbas. So the abrogation here applies to the healthy person, who is not traveling and who has to fast, as Allah said:

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

As for the old man (and woman) who cannot fast, he is allowed to abstain from fasting and does not have to fast another day instead, because he is not likely to improve and be able to fast other days. So he is required to pay a Fidyah for every day missed. This is the opinion of Ibn Abbas and several others among the Salaf who read the Ayah: ”And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man)” to mean those who find it difficult to fast as Ibn Masud stated. This is also the opinion of Al-Bukhari who said, “As for the old man (person) who cannot fast, (he should do like) Anas who, for one or two years after he became old fed some bread and meat to a poor person for each day he did not fast.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:179)

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

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

The Virtue of Ramadan and the Revelation of the Qur’an in it

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

”The Suhuf (Pages) of Ibrahim were revealed during the first night of Ramadan. The Torah was revealed during the sixth night of Ramadan. The Injil was revealed during the thirteenth night of Ramadan. Allah revealed the Qur’an on the twenty-fourth night of Ramadan.” (Ahmad 4:107)

The Virtues of the Qur’an

Allah said: ”…a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)” Here Allah praised the Qur’an, which He revealed as guidance for the hearts of those who believe in it and adhere to its commands. Allah said: ”and clear proofs” meaning, as clear and unambiguous signs and unequivocal proof for those who understand them. These proofs testify to the truth of the Qur’an, its guidance, the opposite of misguidance, and how it guides to the straight path, the opposite of the wrong path, and the distinction between the truth and falsehood, and the permissible and the prohibited.

The Obligation of Fasting Ramadan

”So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan, i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasting) that month.” This Ayah requires the healthy persons who witness the beginning of the month, while residing in their land, to fast the month. This Ayah abrogated the Ayah that allows a choice of fasting or paying the Fidyah. When Allah ordered fasting, He again mentioned the permission for the ill person and the traveler to break the fast and to fast other days instead as compensation. Allah said: ”…and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasting) must be made up] from other days.” This Ayah indicates that ill persons who are unable to fast or fear harm by fasting, and the traveler, are all allowed to break the fast. When one does not fast in this case, he is obliged to fast other days instead. Allah said: ”Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” This Ayah indicates that Allah allowed such persons, out of His mercy and to make matters easy for them, to break the fast when they are ill or traveling, while the fast is still obligatory on the healthy persons who are not traveling.

Several Rulings concerning the Fast

The authentic Sunnah states that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, traveled during the month of Ramadan for the battle for Makkah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, marched until he reached the area of Kadid and then broke his fast and ordered those who were with him to do likewise. This was recorded in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 3:213 and Muslim 2:784) Breaking the fast mentioned in this Hadith was not required, for the Companions used to go out with Allah’s Messenger during the month of Ramadan, then, some of them would fast while some of them would not fast and neither category would criticize the others. If the command mentioned in the Hadith required breaking the fast, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would have criticized those who fasted. Allah’s Messenger himself sometimes fasted while traveling. For instance, it is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We once went with Allah’s Messenger during Ramadan while the heat was intense. One of us would place his hand on his head because of the intense heat. Only Allah’s Messenger and ‘Abdullah bin Rawahah were fasting at that time.”

We should state that observing the permission to break the fast while traveling is better, as Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said about fasting while traveling:

”Those who did not fast have done good, and there is no harm for those who fasted.” (Muslim 2:790)

In another Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Hold to Allah’s permission that He has granted you.’‘ (Muslim 2:786)

Some scholars say that the two actions are the same, as ‘A’ishah narrated that Hamzah bin ‘Amr Al-Aslami said, “O Messenger of Allah! I fast a lot, should I fast while traveling” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Fast if you wish or do not fast if you wish.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:211 and Muslim 2:789)

It was reported that if the fast becomes difficult (while traveling), then breaking the fast is better. Jabir said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saw a man who was being shaded (by other people while traveling). The Prophet asked about him and he was told that man was fasting. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”It is not a part of Birr (piety) to fast while traveling.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:216 and Muslim 2:786)

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

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

Ease and not Hardship

Allah then said: ”Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” Imam Ahmad recorded Anas bin Malik saying that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion.” (Ahmad 3:131)

It is reported in the Sahihayn that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to Muadh and Abu Musa when he sent them to Yemen:

”Treat the people with ease and don’t be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don’t fill them with aversion; and love each other, and don’t differ.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:660 and Muslim 3:1587)

The Sunan and the Musnad compilers recorded that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”I was sent with the easy Hanifiyyah (Islamic Monotheism).” (Ahmad 5:266)

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

Remembering Allah upon performing the Acts of Worship

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

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

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

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

This is why the Sunnah encouraged Tasbih (saying Subhan Allah, i.e., all praise is due to Allah), Tahmid (saying Al-Hamdu Lillah, i.e., all the thanks are due to Allah) and Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) after the compulsory prayers. Ibn Abbas said, “We used to know that Allah’s Messenger has finished the prayer by the Takbir.” Similarly, several scholars have stated that reciting Takbir the during ` Id-ul-Fitr was specified by the Ayah that states: ”(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e., to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you…” Allah’s statement: ”…so that you may be grateful to Him.” means: If you adhere to what Allah commanded you, obeying Him by performing the obligations, abandoning the prohibitions and abiding by the set limits, then perhaps you will be among the grateful.

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

Allah hears the Servant’s Supplication

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

”O people! Be merciful to yourselves (i.e., don’t raise your voices), for you are not calling a deaf or an absent one, but One Who is All-Hearer, All-Seer. The One Whom you call is closer to one of you t han t he neck of his animal. O Abdullah bin Qais (Abu Musa’s name) should I teach you a statement that is a treasure of Paradise: ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (there is no power or strength except from Allah).” (Ahmad 4:402)

Furthermore, Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Allah the Exalted said, ‘I am as My servant thinks of Me, and I am with him whenever he invokes Me.” (Ahmad 3:210)

Allah accepts the Invocation

Imam Ahmad also recorded Abu Said saying that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du’a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.” They said, “What if we were to recite more (Du’a).” He said, ‘There is more with Allah.”’ (Ahmad 3:18)

Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad recorded Ubadah bin As-Samit saying that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”There is no Muslim man on the face of the earth who supplicates to Allah but Allah would either grant it to him, or avert a harm from him of equal proportions, as long as his supplication does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb.” (Ahmad 5:329)

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”One’s supplication will be accepted as long as he does become get hasty and say, ‘I have supplicated but it has not been accepted from me’ “(Ahmad 2:396)

Three Persons Whose Supplication will not be rejected

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

”Three persons will not have their supplication rejected: the just ruler, the fasting person until breaking the fast, and the supplication of the oppressed person, for Allah raises it above the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the doors of heaven will be opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My grace! I will certainly grant it for you, even if after a while.”’ (Ahmad 3:544)

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

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

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

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

Abu Ishaq reported that Al-Bara’ bin Azib said, “When the Companions of Allah’s Messenger observed fast but would sleep before breaking their fast, they would continue fasting until the following night. Qays bin Sirmah Al-Ansari was fasting one day and was working in his land. When the time to break the fast came, he went to his wife and said,’Do you have food?’ She said, ‘No. But I could try to get you some.’ His eyes then were overcome by sleep and when his wife came back, she found him asleep. She said, ‘Woe unto you! Did you sleep?’ In the middle of the next day, he lost consciousness and mentioned what had happened to the Prophet,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Then, this Ayah was revealed ”It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Siyam (fasting)” until… ”and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall.” Consequently, they were very delighted.” Al-Bukhari reported this Hadith by Abu Ishaq who related that he heard Al- Bara’ say, “When fasting Ramadan was ordained, Muslims used to refrain from sleeping with their wives the entire month, but some men used to deceive themselves. Allah revealed: ‘‘Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned  to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you.”

Ali bin Abu Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, “During the month of Ramadan, after Muslims would pray ‘Isha’, they would not touch their women and food until the next night. Then some Muslims, including `Umar bin Al-Khattab, touched (had sex with) their wives and had some food during Ramadan after’ Isha’. They complained to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Then Allah sent down: ”Allah               knows that you used to deceive yourselves,  so He turned  to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them” This is the same narration that Al-` Awfi related from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 3:496)

Allah said:’‘ ..and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring)”

Abu Hurayrah, Ibn ` Abbas and others said that this Ayah refers to having offspring. (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:377-378) Qatadah said that the Ayah means, “Seek the permission that Allah has allowed for you.” S id narrated that Qatadah said, ”and seek that which Allah has ordained for you”.

Time for Suhur

Allah said: ”…and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall.” Allah has allowed eating and drinking, along with having sexual intercourse, as we have stated, during any part of the night until the light of dawn is distinguished from the darkness of the night. Allah has described that time as ` distinguishing the white thread from the black thread.’ He then made it clearer when He said: ”of dawn.”

As stated in a Hadith that Imam Abu Abdullah Al-Bukhari recorded, Sahl bin Sad said, “When the following verse was revealed: ”Eat and drink until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread” and ”of dawn” was not revealed, some people who intended to fast, tied black and white threads to their legs and went on eating till they differentiated between the two. Allah then revealed the words, ”of dawn”, and it became clear to them that it meant ”the darkness of” night and ”the light of day. ” (Fath Al-Bari 8:31)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ash-Shabi said that Adi said, “I took two strings, one black and the other white and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night, but could not make any distinction between the two. So, the next morning I went to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and told him the whole story. He said:

”Your pillow is very wide if the white and black threads are under it!” (Fath Al-Bari 8:31)

Some wordings for this Hadith read,

”Your Qafa (back side of your neck) is wide!” (Fath Al-Bari 8:31)

Al-Bukhari recorded that ` Adi bin Hatim narrated: I said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the white thread from the black thread? Are they actual threads?” He said:

”Your Qafa is wide if you see the two threads. Rather, they are the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the daylight.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:31)

Suhur is recommended

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

”Eat the Suhur, for there is a blessing in Suhur.”  (Muslim 2:771)

Muslim reported that Amr bin Al-As narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The distinction between our fast and the fast of the People of the Book is the meal of Suhur.” (Ahmad 3:44)

Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Said narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

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

There are several other Hadiths that encourage taking the Suhur, even if it only consists of a sip of water. It is preferred that Suhur be delayed until the time of dawn. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Anas bin Malik narrated that Zayd bin Thabit said, “We had Suhur with Allah’s Messenger and then went on to pray.” Anas asked, “How much time was there between the Adhan (call to prayer) and the Suhur” He said, “The time that fifty Ayat take (to recite).” (Fath Al-Bari 4:164 and Muslim 2:771)

Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Dharr saying that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”My Ummah will always retain goodness as long as they hasten in breaking the fast and delay the Suhur.” (Ahmad 5:147)

There are several Hadiths that narrate that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, called Suhur “the blessed meal.”

It is also recorded in the Two Sahihs that Al-Qasim said that ` A’ishah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The Adhan pronounced by Bilal should not stop you from taking Suhur, for he pronounces the Adhan at night. Hence, eat and drink until you hear the Adhan by Ibn Umm Maktum, for he does not call the Adhan until dawn.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:162 and Muslim 2:768)

Imam Ahmad reported that Qays bin Talq quoted from his father that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Dawn is not the (ascending) glow of white light of the horizon. Rather, it is the red (radiating) light.” (Ahmad 4:23)

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

”Eat and drink and do not be rushed by the ascending (white) light. Eat and drink until the redness (of the dawn) appears.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 3:389)

Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) recorded that Samurah bin Jundub narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Do not be stopped by Bilal’s Adhan or the (ascending) whiteness, until it spreads.” (At-Tabari 3:517)

There is no Harm in beginning the Fast while Junub (a state of major ritual impurity)

Issue: Among the benefits of allowing sexual activity, eating and drinking until dawn for those who are fasting, is that it is allowed to start the fast while Junub (in the state of impurity after sexual discharge), and there is no harm in this case if one takes a bath any time in the morning after waking up, and completes the fast. This is the opinion of the Four Imams and the majority of the scholars. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that `A’ishah and Umm Salamah said that Allah’s Messenger used to wake up while Junub from sexual intercourse, not wet dreams, and he would take a bath and fast. Umm Salamah added that he would not break his fast or make up for that day. (Fath Al-Bari 4:182)

Muslim recorded that A’ishah said that a man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! The (Dawn) Prayer starts while I am in junub, should I fast?” Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied, “And I. The prayer starts while I am Junub and I fast” He said, “You are not like us O Messenger of Allah! Allah has forgiven you your previous sins and latter sins.” Allah’s Messenger said “By Allah! I hope that i have the most fear from Allah among you and the best knowledge of what Taqwa is.” (Muslim 2:781)

Fasting ends at Sunset

Allah said: ‘‘…then complete your fast till the nightfall.”  This Ayah orders breaking the fast at sunset. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Umar bin Al- Khattab said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”If the night comes from this direction (the east), and the day departs from that direction (the west), then the fasting person breaks his fast.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:231 and Muslim 2:772)

It is reported that Sahl bin Sad As-Saidi narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The people will retain goodness as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:234)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Allah the Exalted said, ‘The dearest among My servants to Me are those who hasten in breaking the fast the most.” (Ahmad 2:237)

Prohibition of Uninterrupted Fasting (Wisal)

There are several authentic Hadiths that prohibit Al-Wisal, which means continuing the fast through the night to the next night, without eating. Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Do not practice Al-Wisal in fasting.” So, they said to him, “But you practice Al-Wisal, O Allah’s Messenger!” The Prophet replied, “I am not like you, I am given food and drink during my sleep by my Lord.” So, when the people refused to stop Al-Wisal, the Prophet fasted two days and two nights (along with those who practiced Wisal) and then they saw the crescent moon (of the month of Shawwal). The Prophet said to them (angrily):”If the crescent had not appeared, I would have made you fast for a longer period.” That was as a punishment for them (when they refused to stop practicing Al-Wisal). (Ahmad 2:281, Muslim 2:774, Fath Al-Bari 4:238)

The prohibition of Al-Wisal was also mentioned in a number of other narrations. It is a fact that practicing Al-Wisal was one of the special qualities of the Prophet , for he was capable and assisted in his practice of it. It is obvious that the food and drink that the Prophet used to get while practicing Al-Wisal was spiritual and not material, otherwise he would not be practicing Al-Wisal. We should mention that it is allowed to refrain from breaking the fast from sunset until before dawn (Suhur). A Hadith narrated by Abu Said Khudri states that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ‘Do not practice Al-Wisal, but whoever wishes is allowed to practice it until the Suhur.” They said, “You practice Al-Wisal, O Messenger of Allah!” He said: ”I am not similar to you, for I have One Who makes me eat and drink during the night.” This Hadith is also collected in the Two Sahihs.

The Rulings of Itikaf

Allah said: ”And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in Itikaf in the Masjids.” Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This Ayah is about the man who stays in I`tikaf at the mosque during Ramadan or other months, Allah prohibited him from touching (having sexual intercourse with) women, during the night or day, until he finishes his Itikaf.” Ad-Dahhak said, “Formerly, the man who practiced Itikaf would go out of the mosque and, if he wished, would have sexual intercourse (with his wife). Allah then said: ”And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in Itikaf in the Masjids.” meaning, ‘Do not touch your wives as long as you are in Itikaf, whether you were in the mosque or outside of it’.” It is also the opinion of Mujahid, Qatadah and several other scholars, that the Muslimsused to have sexual intercourse with the wife while in Itikaf if they departed the mosque until the Ayah was revealed.

Those who are in Itikaf are not allowed to have sexual intercourse as long as they are still in  Itikaf in the mosque. If one has to leave the mosque to attend to a need, such as to relieve the call of nature or to eat, he is not allowed to kiss or embrace his wife or to busy himself with other than his Itikaf. He is not even allowed to visit ailing persons, but he can merely ask about their condition while passing by. Itikaf has several other rulings that are explained in the books (of Fiqh), and we have mentioned several of these rulings at the end of our book on Siyam (Fasting), all praise is due to Allah. Furthermore, the scholars of Fiqh used to follow their explanation of the rules for fasting with the explanation of the rules for Itikaf, as this is the way these acts of worship were mentioned in the Qur’an.

By mentioning Itikaf after fasting, Allah draws attention to practicing Itikaf during the month of the fast, especially the last part of the month. The Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is that he used to perform Itikaf during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan until he died. Afterwards, the Prophet’s wives used to perform Itikaf as the Two Sahihs recorded from A’ishah the Mother of the believers. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Safiyyah, the daughter of Huyai, went to Allah’s Messenger to visit him in the mosque while he was in Itikaf. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet accompanied her back home, as it was night. Her house was at Usamah bin Zayd’s house on the edge of Al-Madinah. While they were walking, two Ansari men met them and passed by them in a hurry, for they were shy to bother the Prophet while he was walking with his wife. He told them: ”Do not run away! She is (my wife) Safiyyah bint Huyai.” Both of them said, “All praise is due to Allah, (How dare we think of any evil) O Allah’s Messenger!” The Prophet said (to them): ”Shaytan reaches everywhere in the human body, that the blood reaches. I was afraid lest Shaytan might suggest an evil thought in your minds.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:326 and Muslim 4:1712)

Imam Ash-Shafi`i commented, “Allah’s Messenger sought to teach his Ummah to instantly eliminate any evil thought, so that they do not fall into the prohibited. They (the two Ansari men) had more fear of Allah than to think evil of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah knows best.”

The Ayah (2:187) prohibits sexual intercourse and anything like kissing or embracing that might lead to it during Itikaf. As for having the wife helping the husband, it is allowed. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that A’ishah said, “Allah’s Messenger would bring his head near me (in her room) and I would comb his hair, while I was on my menses. He would enter the room only to attend to what a man needs.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:320 and Muslim 1:244)

Allah’s statement: ”These are the limits (set) by Allah” means, ‘This is what We have explained, ordained, specified, allowed and prohibited for fasting. We also mentioned the fast’s objectives, what is permitted during it, and what is required of it. These are the set limits that Allah has legislated and explained, so do not come near them or transgress them.’ Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, “Allah’s set limits mentioned in the Ayah mean these four limits (and he then recited): ”It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Siyam (fasting)” and he recited up to: ”then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall.” My father and other’s used to say similarly and recite the same Ayah to us.”

Allah said: ‘‘Thus does Allah make clear His Ayat to mankind” meaning, ‘Just as He explains the fast and its rulings, He also explains the other rulings by the words of His servant and Messenger, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.’ Allah continues: ”to mankind that they may attain Taqwa.” meaning, ‘So that they know how to acquire the true guidance and how to worship (Allah).’ Similarly, Allah said:

”It is He Who sends down manifest Ayat to His servant (Muhammad ) that He may bring you out from (types of) darkness into the light. And verily, Allah is to you full of kindness, Most Merciful.” (57:9)

{188. And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way, e.g., stealing, robbing, deceiving), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.}

 

Bribery is prohibited and is a Sin

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This (Ayah 2:188) is about the indebted person when there is no evidence of the loan. So he denies taking the loan and the case goes to the authorities, even though he knows that it is not his money and that he is a sinner, consuming what is not allowed for him.” This opinion was also reported from Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayan and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. They all stated, “Do not dispute when you know that you are being unjust.”

The Judge’s Ruling does not allow the Prohibited or prohibit the Lawful

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Salamah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”I am only human! You people present your cases to me, and as some of you may be more eloquent andpersuasiveinpresentinghisargument, Imight issueajudgment inhisbenefit. So, if I give a Muslim’s right to another, I am really giving him a piece of fire; so he should not take it.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:190 and Muslim 3:1373)

The Ayah and the Hadith prove that the judgment of the authorities in any case does not change the reality of the truth. Hence, the ruling does not allow what is in fact prohibited or prohibit what is in fact allowed. It is only applicable in that case. So if the ruling agrees with the truth, then there is no harm in this case. Otherwise, the judge will acquire his reward, while the cheater will acquire the evil burden.

This is why Allah said: ”And eat up not one another’s property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully” meaning, ‘While you know the falsehood of what you claim. Qatadah said, “O son of Adam! Know that the judge’s ruling does not allow you what is prohibited or prohibit you from what is allowed. The judge only rules according to his best judgment and according to the testimony of the witnesses. The judge is only human and is bound to make mistakes. Know that if the judge erroneously rules in some one’s favor, then that person will still encounter the dispute when the disputing parties meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection. Then, the unjust person will be judged swiftly and precisely with that which will surpass whatever he acquired by the erroneous judgment he received in the life of this world.”

{189. They ask you (O Muhammad) about the crescents. Say: “These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.” It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors, and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.}

The Crescent Moons

Al-Awfi related that Ibn Abbas said, “The people asked Allah’s Messenger about the crescent moons. Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed: ”They ask you (O Muhammad) about the crescents. Say, “These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind…” so that they mark their acts of worship, the Iddah (the period of time a divorced woman or a widow is required to wait before remarrying) of their women and the time of their Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).” Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn Umar narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Allah has made the crescents signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind. Hence, fast on seeing it (the crescent for Ramadan) and break the fast on seeing it (the crescent for Shawwal). If it (the crescent) was obscure to you then count thirty days (mark that month as thirty days)” (Abdur Razzaq 4:156)

Righteousness comes from Taqwa

Allah said: ”It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al- Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.”

Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ said, “During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to enter the house from the back upon assuming the Ihram. Thereafter, Allah revealed (the following Ayah): ”It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:310)

Allah’s statement: ”…and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful” Have Taqwa of Allah, means to do what He has commanded you and refrain from what He has forbidden for you, ”that you may be successful” tomorrow when you stand before Him and He thus rewards you perfectly.

{190. And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.

191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimin (the polytheists and wrongdoers)}

The Command to fight Those Who fight Muslims and killing Them wherever They are found

”And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you” Abu Al-Aliyah said, “This was the first Ayah about fighting that was revealed in Al-Madinah. Ever since it was revealed, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to fight only those who fought him and avoid non-combatants. Later, Surah At-Taubah (chapter 9 in the Qur’an) was revealed.” (At-Tabari 3:561) Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said similarly, then he said that this was later abrogated by the Ayah: ‘‘then kill them wherever you find them” (9:5). However, this statement is not plausible, because Allah’s statement: ”…those who fight you” applies only to fighting the enemies who are engaged in fighting Islam and its people. So the Ayah means, ‘Fight those who fight you’, just as Allah said (in another Ayah):

 ”…and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively” (9:36)

This is why Allah said later in the Ayah: ”And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” meaning, ‘Your energy should be spent on fighting them, just as their energy is spent on fighting you, and on expelling them from the areas from which they have expelled you, as a law of equality in punishment.’

The Prohibition of mutilating the Dead and stealing from the captured Goods

Allah said: ”but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors” This Ayah means, ‘Fight for the sake of Allah and do not be transgressors,’ such as, by committing prohibitions. Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that transgression (indicated by the Ayah), “includes mutilating the dead, theft (from the captured goods), killing women, children and old people who do not participate in warfare, killing priests and residents of houses of worship, burning down trees and killing animals without real benefit.” This is also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Umar bin Abdul- Aziz, Muqatil bin Hayyan and others. Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Buraydah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Fight for the sake of Allah and fight those who disbelieve in Allah. Fight, but do not steal (from the captured goods), commit treachery, mutilate (the dead), or kill a child, or those who reside in houses of worship.” (Muslim 3:1357)

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Umar said, “A woman was found dead during one of the Prophet’s battles and the Prophet then forbade killing women and children. ” (Fath Al-Bari 6:172 and Muslim 3:1364) There are many other Hadiths on this subject.

Shirk is worse than Killing

Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. Abu Malik commented about what Allah said: ”And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.” Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.” Abu Al-Aliyah, Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that what Allah said: ”And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing” “Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.”

Fighting in the Sacred Area is prohibited, except in Self-Defense

Allah said: ”And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah)” It is reported in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Allah made this city a sanctuary since the day He created the heavens and the earth. So, it is a sanctuary by Allah’s decree, from now on until the Day of Resurrection. Fighting in it was made legal for me only for an hour in the daytime. So it (i.e. Makkah) is a sanctuary, by Allah’s decree from now until the day of Resurrection. Its trees should not be cut, and its grass should not be uprooted. If anyone mentions the fighting in it that occured by Allah’s Messenger, then say Allah allowed His Messenger, but did not allow you.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:327 and Muslim 2:986-987)

In this hadith, Allah’s messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, mentions fighting the people of Makkah when he conquered it by force, leading to some deaths among the polytheists in the area of Khadamah. This occurred after the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, proclaimed:

“Whoever closed his door is safe. Whoever entered the (Sacred) Mosque is safe. Whoever entered the house of Abu Sufyan is safe.” (Ahmad 2:292)

Allah said: ”…unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” Allah states: ‘Do not fight them in the area of the Sacred Mosque unless they start fighting you in it. In this case, you are allowed to fight them and kill them to stop their aggression.’ Hence, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, took the pledge from his Companions under the tree (in the area of Al- Hudaybiyyah) to fight (the polytheists), after the tribes of Quraysh and their allies, Thaqif and other groups, collaborated against the Muslims (to stop them from entering Makkah to visit the Sacred House). Then, Allah stopped the fighting before it started between them and said:

”And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.” (48:24) and:

”Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills – if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.” (48:25)

Allah’s statement: ”But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” which means, ‘If they (polytheists) cease fighting you in the Sacred Area, and come to Islam and repent, then Allah will forgive them their sins, even if they had before killed Muslims in Allah’s Sacred Area.’ Indeed, Allah’s forgiveness encompasses every sin, whatever its enormity, when the sinner repents it.

The Order to fight until there is no more Fitnah

Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when He said: ”…until there is no more Fitnah” meaning, Shirk. Allah’s statement: ”…and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone)’‘ means, ‘So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.’ It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ashari said: “The Prophet was asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! A man fights out of bravery, and another fights to show off, which of them fights in the cause of Allah?’  The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”He who fights so that Allah’s Word is superior, then he fights in Allah’s cause.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:450 and Muslim 3:1513)

In addition, it is reported in the Two Sahihs:

”I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people until they proclaim, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’. Whoever said it, then he will save his life and property from me, except for cases of the law, and their account will be with Allah.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:592 and Muslim 1:53)

Allah’s statement: ”But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers” indicates that, ‘If they stop their Shirk and fighting the believers, then cease warfare against them. Whoever fights them afterwards will be committing an injustice. Verily aggression can only be started against the unjust.’ This is the meaning of Mujahid’s statement that only combatants should be fought. (At-Tabari 3:584) Or, the meaning of the Ayah indicates that, ‘If they abandon t heir i njustice, which is Shirk in this case, then do not start aggression against them afterwards.’ The aggression here means retaliating and fighting them, just as Allah said:

”Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.” (2:194) Similarly, Allah said:

”The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof.” (42:40), and:

”And if you punish them, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted.” (16:126)

Ikrimah and Qatadah stated, “The unjust person is he who refuses to proclaim, ‘There is no God worthy of worship except Allah’.” (At-Tabrai 3:573)

Under Allah’s statement: ”And fight them until there is no more Fitnah” Al-Bukhari recorded that Nafi said that two men came to Ibn Umar during the conflict of Ibn Az-Zubayr and said to him, “The people have fallen into shortcomings and you are the son of Umar and the Prophet’s Companion. Hence, what prevents you from going out?” He said, “What prevents me is that Allah has forbidden shedding the blood of my (Muslim) brother.” They said, “Did not Allah say: ”And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah)?” He said, “We did fight until there was no more Fitnah and the religion became for Allah Alone. You want to fight until there is Fitnah and the religion becomes for other than Allah!”

Uthman bin Salih added that a man came to Ibn Umar and asked him, “O Abu Abdur- Rahman! What made you perform Hajj one year and Umrah another year and abandon Jihad in the cause of Allah, although you know how much He has encouraged performing it?” He said, “O my nephew! Islam is built on five (pillars): believing in Allah and His Messenger, the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, paying the Zakah and performing Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House.” They said, “O Abu Abdur-Rahman! Did you not hear what Allah said in His Book:

”And if two parties (or groups) among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which outrages till it complies with the command of Allah” (49:9)

and: ”And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief)” He said, “That we did during the time of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when Islam was still weak and (the Muslim) man used to face trials in his religion, such as killing or torture. When Islam became stronger (and apparent), there was no more Fitnah.” He asked, “What do you say about Ali and Uthman?” He said, “As for Uthman, Allah has forgiven him. However, you hated the fact that Allah had forgiven him! As for Ali, he is the cousin of Allah’s Messenger and his son-in-law.” He then pointed with his hand, saying, “This is where his house is located (meaning, ‘so close to the Prophet’s house just as Ali was so close to the Prophet himself’).” (Fath Al-Bari 8:32)

{194. The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin.}

Fighting during the Sacred Months is prohibited, except in Self- Defense

Ibn Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Miqsam, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Ata said, “Allah’s Messenger went for Umrah on the sixth year of Hijrah. Then, the idolators prevented him from entering the Sacred House (the Ka’bah in Makkah) along with the Muslims who came with him. This incident occurred during the sacred month of Dhul-Qadah. The idolators agreed to allow them to enter the House the next year. Hence, the Prophet entered the House the following year, along with the Muslims who accompanied him, and Allah permitted him to avenge the idolators’ treatment of him, when He said: ”The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas)”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said, “Allah’s Messenger would not engage in warfare during the Sacred Month unless he was first attacked, then he would march forth. He would otherwise remain idle until the end of the Sacred Months.” This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators. (Ahmad 3:345)

Hence, when the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was told that Uthman was killed (in Makkah) when he was camped at the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after he had sent Uthman as his emissary to the polytheists, he accepted the pledge from his Companions under the tree to fight the polytheists. They were one thousand and four hundred then. When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was informed that Uthman was not killed, he abandoned the fight and reverted to peace.

When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, finished fighting with (the tribes of) Hawazin during the battle of Hunayn and Hawazin took refuge in (the city of) At-Ta’if, he laid siege to that city. Then, the (sacred) month of Dhul-Qadah started, while At-Ta’if was still under siege. The siege went on for the rest of the forty days (rather, from the day the battle of Hunayn started until the Prophet went back to Al-Madinah from Al-Ji` ranah, were forty days), as reported in the Two Sahihs and narrated by Anas. When the Companions suffered mounting casualties (during the siege), the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ended the siege before conquering At-Ta’if. He then went back to Makkah, performed Umrah from Al-Jiranah, where he divided the war booty of Hunayn. This Umrah occurred during Dhul-Qadah of the eighth year of Al-Hijrah. (Fath Al-Bari 3:701 and Muslim 2:916)

Allah’s statement: ”…whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him” ordains justice even with the polytheists. Allah also said in another Ayah:

‘And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted.” (16:126)

Allah’s statement: ”And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin (the pious)” (2:194) commands that Allah be obeyed and feared out of Taqwa. The Ayah informs us that Allah is with those who have Taqwa by His aid and support in this life and the Hereafter.

{195. And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).}

The Command to spend in the Cause of Allah

Al-Bukhari recorded that Hudhayfah said: ”And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.” “It was revealed about spending.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:33) Aslam Abu Imran said, “A man from among the Ansar broke enemy (Byzantine) lines in Constantinople (Istanbul). Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was with us then. So some people said, ‘He is throwing himself to destruction.’ Abu Ayyub said, ‘We know this Ayah (2:195) better, for it was revealed about us, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger who participated in Jihad with him and aided and supported him. When Islam became strong, we, the Ansar, met and said to each other, ‘Allah has honored us by being the Companions of His Prophet and in supporting him until Islam became victorious and its following increased. We had before ignored the needs of our families, estates and children. Warfare has ceased, so let us go back to our families and children and attend to them.’ So this Ayah was revealed about us: ‘‘And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.” the destruction refers to staying with our families and estates and abandoning Jihad’.” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:299)

Abu Dawud’s version mentions that Aslam Abu Imran said, “We were at (the siege of) Constantinople. Then, Uqbah bin Amr was leading the Egyptian forces, while the Syrian forces were led by Fadalah bin Ubayd. Later on, a huge column of Roman (Byzantine) soldiers departed the city, and we stood in lines against them. A Muslim man raided the Roman lines until he broke through them and came back to us. The people shouted, ‘All praise is due to Allah! He is sending himself to certain demise.’ Abu Ayyub said, ‘O people! You explain this Ayah the wrong way. It was revealed about us, the Ansar when Allah gave victory to His religion and its following increased. We said to each other, ‘It would be better for us now if we return to our estates and attend to them.’ Then Allah revealed this Ayah (2:195)’.”

Abu Bakr bin Aiyash reported that Abu Ishaq As-Subaiy related that a man said to Al-Bara’ bin Azib, “If I raided the enemy lines alone and they kill me, would I be throwing myself to certain demise?” He said, “No. Allah said to His Messenger:

‘Then fight (O Muhammad) in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.” (4:84)

That Ayah (2:195) is about (refraining from) spending. “Destruction refers to the man who sins and refrains from repenting, thus throwing himself to destruction.”

Ibn Abbas said: ”And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction) “This is not about fighting. But about refraining from spending for the sake of Allah, in which case, one will be throwing his self into destruction.”

The Ayah (2:195) includes the order to spend in Allah’s cause, in the various areas and ways that involve obedience and drawing closer to Allah. It especially applies to spending in fighting the enemies and on what strengthens the Muslims against the enemy. Allah states that those who refrain from spending in this regard will face utter and certain demise and destruction, meaning those who acquire this habit. Allah commands that one should acquire Ihsan (excellence in the religion), as it is the highest part of the acts of obedience. Allah said: ”and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good)”

{196. And complete Hajj and Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady that you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either fasting or giving Sadaqah or a sacrifice. Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast for three days during Hajj and seven days after his return, making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is severe in punishment.}

The Command to complete Hajj and Umrah

After Allah mentioned the rulings for fasting and Jihad, he explained the rituals by commanding the Muslims to complete Hajj and Umrah, meaning, to finish the rituals of Hajj and Umrah after one starts them. This is why Allah said afterwards: ”But if you are prevented” meaning, if your way to the House is obstructed, and you are prevented from finishing it. This is why the scholars agree that starting the acts of Hajj and Umrah requires one to finish them. As for Makhul, he said, “Complete, means to start them from the Miqat (areas the Prophet designated to assume Ihram from).” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:437) Abdur-Razzaq said that Az-Zuhri said: “We were told that Umar commented on: ”And complete Hajj and Umrah for Allah.) “Complete Hajj and Umrah means performing each of them separately, and to perform Umrah outside of the months of Hajj, for Allah the Exalted says: ”The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months.” As-Suddi said, ‘‘And complete Hajj and Umrah for Allah.” means, “Maintain the performance of Hajj and Umrah.” Ibn Abbas was reported to have said, “Hajj is Arafat, while Umrah is Tawaf.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:439) Al- Amash related that Ibrahim said that Alqamah commented on Allah’s statement: ”And complete Hajj and Umrah for Allah.” “Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) recited it this way: ‘Complete Hajj and Umrah to the House, so that one does not exceed the area of the House during the Umrah’.” Ibrahim then said, “I mentioned this statement to Said bin Jubayr and he said; ‘Ibn Abbas also said that.”’     Sufyan reported that Ibrahim  said that Alqamah said (regarding the Ayah 2:196), “Perform the Hajj and Umrah to the House.” (At-Tabari 4:7) Ath-Thawri reported that Ibrahim read (the Ayah), “Perform the Hajj and `Umrah to the House.”

If One is prevented while in Route, He slaughters the Sacrifice, shaves his Head and ends Ihram

Allah’s statement: ”But if you are prevented, sacrifice a Hady (animals for sacriface) such as you can afford” was revealed in the sixth year of Hijrah, the year of the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah when the polytheists prevented Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, from reaching the House. Allah revealed Surat Al-Fath (chapter 48 in the Qur’an) then, and allowed the Muslims to slaughter any Hady (animals for sacrifice) they had. They had seventy camels with them for that purpose. They were also permitted to shave their heads and end their Ihram. When the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, commanded them to shave their heads and end the state of Ihram, they did not obey him, as they were awaiting that order to be abrogated. When they saw that the Prophet went out after shaving his head, they imitated him. Some of them did not shave, but only shortened their hair. This is why the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “May Allah award His mercy to those who shaved.” They said, “What about those who shortened the hair?” He said in the third time, “And to those who shortened.’‘ (Muslim 2:946) Every seven among them shared one camel for their sacrifice. They were one thousand and four hundred Companions and were camping in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, outside the Sacred Area. It was also reported that they were within the boundaries of the Sacred Area. Allah knows best.

Being prevented from the House (Hasr) includes more than just being sick, fearing an enemy or getting lost on the way to Makkah. Imam Ahmad reported that Al-Hajjaj bin ` Amr Al-Ansari said that he heard Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying:

”Whoever suffered a broken bone or a limb, will have ended his Ihram and has to perform Hajj again.”

He said, “I mentioned that to Ibn Abbas and Abu Hurayrah and they both said, He (Al- Hajjaj) has said the truth’.”  (An-Nasai 5:198) This Hadith is also reported in the Four Collections. In the version of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Whoever limped, had a broken bone or became ill…” Ibn Abu Hatim also recorded it and said, “It was reported that Ibn Masud, said that being prevented (Hasr) entails an enemy, an illness or a fracture.”  (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:444-445) Ath- Thawri also said, “Being prevented entails everything that harms the person.”

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, went to Duba’ah bint Az-Zubayr bin Abdul-Muttalib who said, “O Messenger of Allah! I intend to perform Hajj but I am ill.” He said, “Perform Hajj and make the condition: ‘My place is where You prevent (or halt) me.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:34) Muslim recorded similarly from Ibn Abbas. (Muslim 2:868) So saying such a condition for Hajj is allowed is based on this Hadith.

Allah’s statement: ”…sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford” includes a sheep also, as Imam Malik reported that Ali bin Abu Talib used to say. (Al-Muwatta 1:385) Ibn Abbas said, “The Hady includes eight types of animals: camels, cows, goats and sheep.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:450) Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn Abbas said about what Allah said:”…sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford” “As much as one could afford.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:451) Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, “If one can afford it, then camels, otherwise cows, or sheep.” (At-Tabari 4:30) Hisham bin Urwah quoted his father: ”…sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e., a sheep, a cow, or a camel) such as you can afford” ’Depending on the price.’ (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:452)

The proof that sacrificing only a sheep is allowed in the case of being prevented from continuing the rites, is that Allah has required sacrificing whatever is available as a Hady, and the Hady is any type of cattle; be it camels, cows or sheep. This is the opinion of Ibn  Abbas the cousin of Allah’s Messenger and the scholar of Tafsir. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that A’ishah, the Mother of the believers, said, “The Prophet once offered some sheep as Hady.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:639 and Muslim 2:958)

Allah’s statement: ”…and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice” is a continuation of His statement: ”And complete, the Hajj and  Umrah for Allah” and is not dependent upon: ”But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady” as Ibn Jarir has erroneously claimed. When the Prophet and his Companions were prevented from entering the Sacred House during the Al- Hudaybiyyah year by the polytheists from Quraysh, they shaved their heads and sacrificed their Hady outside the Haram (Sacred) area. In normal circumstances, and when one can safely reach the House, he is not allowed to shave his head until: ”…and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice” and then he ends the rituals of Hajj or Umrah, or both if he had assumed Ihram for both. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Hafsah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is wrong with the people, they have finished their Ihram for ‘Umrah but you have not?”  The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”I matted my hair and I have garlanded my Hady (animals for sacrifice), so I will not finish my Ihram till I offer the sacrifice.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:493 and Muslim 2:902)

Whoever shaved his Head during Ihram, will have to pay the Fidyah

Allah said: ”And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah.” Al-Bukhari reported that Abdur-Rahman bin Asbahani said that he heard Abdullah bin Ma` qil saying that he sat with Ka’b bin Ujrah in the mosque of Kufah (in Iraq). He then asked him about the Fidyah of the fasting. Ka’b said, “This was revealed concerning my case especially, but it is also for you in general. I was carried to Allah’s Messenger and the lice were falling in great numbers on my face. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ”I never thought that your ailment (or struggle) had reached to such an extent as I see. Can you afford a sheep (for sacrifice)?’‘ I replied in the negative. He then said: ”Fast for three days or feed six poor persons, each with half a Sa of food [1 Sa = 3 kilograms approx] and shave your head.” So this is a general judgement derived from a specific case. (Fath Al-Bari 8:34)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka’b bin Ujrah said, “Allah’s Messenger came by while I was igniting the fire under a pot and while the lice were falling down my head or my eyelids. He said: ”Do these lice in your head bother you?” I said, ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘‘Shave it, then fast three days, or feed six poor people, or sacrifice an animal.”

Ayyub (one of the narrators of the Hadith) commented, “I do not know which alternative was stated first.” The wording of the Qur’an begins with the easiest then the more difficult options: “Pay a Fidyah of fasting (three days), feeding (six poor persons) or sacrificing (an animal).” Meanwhile, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised Ka’b with the more rewarding option first, that is, sacrificing a sheep, then feeding six poor persons, then fasting three days. Each Text is suitable in its place and context , all the thanks and praises are due to Allah.

Tamattu duringHajj

Allah said: ”Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford”  That is, when you are able to complete the rites, so whoever among you connects his Umrah with Hajj having the same Ihram for both, or, first assuming Ihram for Umrah, and then assuming Ihram for Hajj when finished the ‘Umrah, this is the more specific type of Tamattu which is well-known among the discussion of the scholars whereas in general there are two types of Tamattu, as the authentic Hadiths prove, since among the narrators are those who said, “Allah’s Messenger performed Tamattu, and others who said, “Qarin” but there is no difference between them over the Hady.

So Allah said, ‘‘Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj (i.e., Hajj At-Tamattu` and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford” means let him sacrifice whatever Hady is available to him, the least of which is a sheep. One is also allowed to sacrifice a cow because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives. Al-Awza’i reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives when they were performing Tamattu. (Abu Dawud 2:362) This was reported by Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah.

This last Hadith proves that Tamattu is legislated. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Imran bin Husayn said, “We performed Hajj At-Tamattu in the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger and then the Qur’an was revealed (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu). Nothing was revealed to forbid it, nor did he (the Prophet) forbid it until he died. And somebody said what he wished (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu) according to his own opinion.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:34 and Muslim 2:900) Al-Bukhari said that Imran was talking about Umar. It is reported in an authentic narration that Umar used to discourage the people from performing Tamattu. He used to say, “If we refer to Allah’s Book, we should complete it,” meaning: ”…whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford” However Umar did not say that Tamattu is unlawful. He only prevented them so that the people would increase their trips to the House for Hajj (during the months of Hajj) and Umrah (throughout the year), as he himself has stated.

Whoever performs Tamattu should fast Ten Days if He does not have a Hady

Allah said: ”…but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all.” This Ayah means: “Those who do not find a Hady, let them fast three days during the Hajj season.” Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, “If one does not have a Hady, he should fast three days during Hajj, before Arafah day. If the day of Arafah was the third day, then his fast is complete. He should also fast seven days when he gets back home.” (At-Tabari 4:97) Abu Ishaq reported from Wabarah from Ibn Umar who said, “One fasts one day before the day of Tarwiyah, the day of Tarwiyah (eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah) and then Arafah day (the ninth day of the month of Dhul- Hijjah).” (At-Tabari 4:95) The same statement was reported by Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father from Ali. (At-Tabari 4:94) If one did not fast these three days or at least some of them before Id day (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah), he is allowed to fast during the Tashriq days (11-12-13th day of Dhul-Hijjah). A’ishah and Ibn Umar said, “Fasting the days of Tashriq was only allowed for those who did not find the Hady,” as Al-Bukhari has reported. Sufyan related that Jafar bin Muhammad narrated that his father said that Ali said, “Whoever did not fast the three days during the Hajj, shouldfast them during the days of Tashriq.” This is also the position taken by Ubayd bin Umayr referring to the general meaning of Allah’s statement: ”…fast three days during theHajj…” As for what Muslim reported that Qutaybah Al-Hudhali said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The days of Tashriq are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah the Exalted.” (Muslim 2:800)

This narration is general in meaning while what A’ishah and Ibn Umar narrated is specific.

Allah said: ”…and seven days after his return.” There are two opinions regarding the meaning of this Ayah. First, it means ‘when you return to the camping areas’. The second, upon going back home. Abdur-Razzaq reported that Salim narrated that he heard Ibn Umar saying: ”…but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return” means when he goes back to his family.” (Tafsir Abdur Razzaq 1:76)

Al-Bukhari reported that Salim bin Abdullah narrated that Ibn Umar said, “During the Farewell Hajj of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he performed Tamattu with Umrah and Hajj. He drove a Hady along with him from Dhul-Hulayfah. Allah’s Messenger started by assuming Ihram for Umrah, and then for Hajj. And the people, too, performed the Umrah and Hajj along with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Some of them brought the Hady and drove it along with them, while the others did not. So, when the Prophet arrived at Makkah, he said to the people:

”Whoever among you has driven the Hady, should not finish his Ihram till he completes his Hajj. And whoever among you has not (driven) the Hady with him, he should perform Tawaf of the Ka` bah and between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. Then, he should shave or cut his hair short and finish his Ihram, and should later assume Ihram for Hajj; [but he must offer a Hady (sacrifice)]. And if anyone cannot afford a Hady, he should fast for three days during the Hajj and seven days when he returns home.”

He then mentioned the rest of the Hadith, which is reported in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 3:630 and Muslim 2:901)

Allah said: ”…making ten days in all.” to emphasize the ruling we mentioned above. This method is common in the Arabic language, for they would say, ‘I have seen with my eyes, heard with my ears and written with my hand,’ to emphasize such facts. Similarly, Allah said:

 ”…nor a bird that flies with its two wings” (6:38) and:

 ”…nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand” (29:48) and:

”And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added (to the period) ten (more), and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights.”(7:142)

It was also said that the meaning of “ten days in all” emphasizes the order to fast for ten days, not less than that.

The Residents of Makkah do not perform Tamattu

Allah said: ”This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah)” This Ayah concerns the residents of the area of the Haram, for they do not perform Tamattu. Abdur-Razzaq reported that Tawussaid, “Tamattu is for the people, those whose families are not residing in the Haram area (Makkah), not for the residents of Makkah. Hence Allah’s Statement: ”This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah.” Abdur-Razzaq then said, “I was also told that Ibn Abbas said similar to Tawus.” (At-Tabari 4:111) Allah said: ”…and fear Allah” meaning, in what He has commanded you and what He prohibited for you. He then said: ”…and know that Allah is severe in punishment” for those who defy His command and commit what He has prohibited.

{197. The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, Allah knows it. And take provisions for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, Omen of understanding!}

When does Ihram for Hajj start?

Allah said: ‘‘TheHajj is (in) the well-known months” This Ayah indicates that Ihram for Hajj only occurs during the months of Hajj. This was reported from Ibn Abbas, Jabir, Ata’, Tawus and Mujahid. The proof for this is Allah’s statement that Hajj occurs during known, specific months, which indicates that Hajj is not allowed before that, just as the prayer has a fixed time (before which one’s prayer is not accepted). Ash-Shafi’i recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “No person should assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of theHajj, for Allah said: ”TheHajj is (in) the well-known months” (Al-Umm 2:132) Ibn Khuzaymah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “No Ihram for Hajj should be assumed, except during the months of Hajj, for among the Sunnah of Hajj is that one assume Ihram for it during the Hajj months.” This is an authentic narration and the Companion’s statement that such and such is among the Sunnah is considered as a Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, according to the majority of the scholars. This is especially the case when it is Ibn Abbas who issued this statement, as he is the Tarjuman (translator, interpreter, explainer) of the Qur’an.

There is a Hadith about this subject too. Ibn Marduwyah related that Jabir narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

 ”No one should assume Ihram for Hajj, but during the months of Hajj.” (Al-Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah and Tafsir Abdur-Razzaq)

The chain of narrators for this Hadith is reasonable. Ash-Shafi’i and Al-Bayhaqi recorded this Hadith from Ibn Jurayj who related that Abu Az-Zubayr said that he heard Jabir bin Abdullah being asked, “Does one assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of the Hajj?” He said, “No.” (Al-Umm 2:132) This narration is more reliable than the narration that we mentioned from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. In short, this statement is the opinion of the Companion, supported by Ibn Abbas’ statement that it is a part of the Sunnah not to assume Ihram for Hajj before the months of the Hajj. Allah knowsbest.

The Months of Hajj

Allah said: ”…the well-known months’‘ Al-Bukhari said that Ibn Umar said that these are Shawwal, Dhul-Qa` dah and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. (Fath Al-Bari 3:490) This narration for which Al-Bukhari did not mention the chain of narrators, was collected by a continuous chain of narrators that Ibn Jarir rendered authentic, leading to Ibn ‘Umar, who said: ”The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months which are Shawwal, Dhul- Qa` dah and the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.” (At-Tabari 4:1116) Its chain is Sahih. Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and he said,”It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs.” (Al-Hakim 2:276) This opinion was also preferred by Ibn Jarir who said, “It is a common practice to call two months and a part of the third month as ‘months’. This is similar to the Arab’s saying, ‘I visited such and such person this year or this day.’ He only visited him during a part of the year and a part of the day.

Allah said: ”But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him” In this case, one will only be hastening for one and a half days.” Allah then said:”So whosoever intends (Farada) to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram)” meaning that one’s assuming the Ihram requires a Hajj, for the person is required to complete the rituals of Hajj after assuming Ihram. Ibn Jarir said that Al-Awfi said, “The scholars agree that (Farada) ‘intends’ mentioned in the Ayah means it is a requirement and an obligation.” Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said: ‘‘So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram)’‘ refers to those who assume Ihram for Hajj and ‘Umrah”. ‘Ata’ said, “‘Intends’, means, assumes the Ihram.” Similar statements were attributed to Ibrahim, Ad-Dahhak and others. (At-Tabari 4:123)

Prohibition of Rafath (Sexual Intercourse) during Hajj

Allah said: ”He should not have Rafath” This Ayah means that those who assume the Ihram for Hajj or Umrah are required to avoid the Rafath, meaning, sexual intercourse. Allah’s statement here is similar to His statement:

”It is made lawful for you to have Rafath (sexual relations) with your wives on the night of the fast.” (2:187)

Whatever might lead to sexual intercourse, such as embracing, kissing and talking to women about similar subjects, is not allowed. Ibn Jarir reported that Nafi narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said, “Rafath means sexual intercourse or mentioning this subject with the tongue, by either men or women.” Ata bin Abu Rabah said that Rafath means sexual intercourse and foul speech. This is also the opinion of Amr bin Dinar. Ata also said that they used to even prevent talking (or hinting) about this subject. Tawus said that Rafath includes one’s saying, “When I end the Ihram I will have sex with you.” (At-Tabari 4:128) This is also the same explanation offered by Abu Al-Aliyah regarding Rafath. Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said, “Rafath means having sex with the wife, kissing, fondling and saying foul words to her, and similar acts.” Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar said that Rafath means to have sex with women. (At-Tabari 4:129)

The Prohibition of Fusuq during Hajj

Allah said: ”…nor commit sin” Miqsam and several other scholars related that Ibn Abbas said, “It is disobedience.” Ibn Wahb reported that Nafi narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said, “Fusuq [or sin mentioned in the Ayah (2:197)] refers to committing what Allah has forbidden in the Sacred Area.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:497) Several others said that Fusuq means cursing others, they based this on the authentic Hadith:

”Cursing the Muslim is Fusuq, while fighting him is Kufr.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:135)

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said Fusuq here means slaughtering animals for the idols, as Allah said:

”…or impious (Fisq) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah.” (6: 145)

Ad-Dahhak said that Fusuq is insulting one another with bad nicknames. Those who said that the Fusuq means all types of disobedience are correct. Allah has also prohibited committing injustice during the months of Hajj in specific, although injustice is prohibited throughout the year. This is why Allah said:

 ”…of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein.” (9:36)

Allah said about the Sacred Area:

”…and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment.” (22:25)

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Whoever performed Hajj to this (Sacred) House and did not commit Rafath or Fusuq, will return sinless, just as the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:25 and Muslim 2:983)

The Prohibition of arguing during Hajj

Allah said: ”nor should there be Jidal during Hajj” meaning, disputes and arguments. Ibn Jarir related that Abdullah bin Masud said that what Allah said: ”…nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj” means to argue with your companion (or fellow) until you make him angry. This is similar to the the opinion that Miqsam and Ad-Dahhak related to Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 4:141)

The Encouragement for Righteous Deeds and to bring Provisions for Hajj

Allah said: ”And whatever good you do, Allah knows it.” After Allah prohibited evil in deed and tongue, He encouraged righteous, good deeds, stating that He is knowledgeable of the good that they do, and He will reward them with the best awards on the Day of Resurrection.

Allah said next: ”And take provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” Al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud reported that Ibn Abbas said, “The people of Yemen used to go to Hajj without taking enough supplies with them. They used to say, ‘We are those who have Tawakkul (reliance on Allah).’ Allah revealed this Ayah: ‘‘And take provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah narrated that Ibn Umar said, “When people assumed Ihram, they would throw away whatever provisions they had and would acquire other types of provisions. Allah revealed: ”And take a provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” Allah forbade them from this practice and required them to take flour and Sawiq (a type of food usually eaten with dates) with them.”

The Provisions of the Hereafter

Allah said: ”…but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” When Allah required mankind to supply themselves with what sustains them for the journeys of this life, He directed them to the necessary provisions for the Hereafter: Taqwa. Allah said in another Ayah:

”…and as an adornment; and the raiment of Taqwa, that is better.” (7:26)

Allah mentioned the material covering and then He mentioned the spiritual covering, which includes humbleness, obedience and Taqwa. He also stated that the latter provision is better and more beneficial than the former. ”So fear Me, O men of understanding!” meaning: ‘Fear My torment, punishment, and affliction for those who defy Me and do not adhere to My commands, O people of reason and understanding.’

{198. There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading). Then when you leave `Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His praises, i.e., prayers and invocations) at the Mashar-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good) as He has guided you, and verily you were before, of those who were astray}

Commercial Transactions during Hajj

Al-Bukhari reported that IbnAbbas said, “Ukaz, Mijannah andDhul-Majaz were trading posts during the time of Jahiliyyah. During that era, they did not like the idea of conducting business transactions during the Hajj season. Later, this Ayah was revealed:”There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord” during the Hajj season.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:34)

Abu Dawud and others recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “They used to avoid conducting business transactions during the Hajj season, saying that these are the days of Dhikr. Allah revealed: ”There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading)”  Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Umaymah said that when Ibn Umar was asked about conducting trade during the Hajj, he recited the Ayah: ”There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading)” (At-Tabari 4:165) This Hadith is related to Ibn Umar with a strong chain of narrators. This Hadith is also related to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as Ahmad reported that Abu Umamah At-Taymi said, “I asked Ibn Umar, ‘We buy (and sell during the Hajj), so do we still have a valid Hajj?’ He said, ‘Do you not perform Tawaf around the House, stand at Arafat, throw the pebbles and shave your heads?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Ibn Umar said, ‘A man came to the Prophet and asked him about what you asked me, and the Prophet did not answer him until Jibril came down with this Ayah: ”There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading)” The Prophet summoned the man and said: (You are pilgrims).” Ibn Jarir narrated that Abu Salih said to ‘Umar, “`O Leader of the faithful! Did you conduct trade transactions during the Hajj?” He said, “Was their livelihood except during Hajj?” (At-Tabari 4:168)

Standing at Arafat

Allah said: ”Then when you leave Arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His praises, i.e., prayers and invocations) at the Mashar-il-Haram.” Arafat is the place where one stands during the Hajj and it is a pillar of the rituals of Hajj. Imam Ahmad and the Sunan compilers recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin Ya’mar Ad-Diyli said that he heard Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him saying:

”Hajj is Arafat, (thrice). Hence, those who have stood at Arafat before dawn will have performed (the rituals of the Hajj). The days of Mina are three, and there is no sin for those who move on after two days, or for those who stay.” (Ahmad 4:310)

The time to stand on Arafat starts from noon on the day of Arafah until dawn the next day, which is the day of the Sacrifice (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah). The Prophet stood at Arafat during the Farewell Hajj, after he had offered the Zuhr (noon) prayer, until sunset. He said, “Learn your rituals from me.” In this Hadith (i. e., in the previous paragraph) he said, “Whoever stood at Arafat before dawn, will have performed (the rituals of Hajj).”

Urwah bin Mudarris bin Harithah bin Lam At-Ta’i said, “I came to Allah’s Messenger at Al-Muzdalifah when it was time to pray. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I came from the two mountains of Tayy’, and my animal became tired and I became tired. I have not left any mountain, but stood on it. Do I have a valid Hajj ?’ Allah’s Messenger said:

 ”Whoever performed this prayer with us, stood with us until we moved forth, and had stood at Arafat before that, day or night, will have performed the Hajj and completed its rituals.” 

This Hadith was collected by Imam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Sahih. (Ahmad 4:261) It was reported that the mount was called Arafat because, as Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ali bin Abu Talib said, “Allah sent Jibril to Prophet Ibrahim and he performed Hajj for him (to teach him its rituals). When Ibrahim reached Arafat he said, ‘I have Araftu (I know this place).’ He had come to that area before. Thereafter, it was called Arafat.”  (Abdur-Razzaq 5:96) Ibn Al- Mubarak said that Ata said, “It was called Arafat because Jibril used to teach Ibrahim the rituals of Hajj. Ibrahim would say, ‘I have Araftu, I have Araftu.’ It was thereafter called Arafat.” Similar statements were attributed to Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar and Abu Mijlaz. Allah knows best.

Arafat is also called Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram, Al-Mash’ar Al-Aqsa and Ilal, while the mount that is in the middle of Arafat is called Jabal Ar-Rahmah (Mount of Mercy).

The Time to leave Arafat and Al-Muzdalifah

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said, “During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to stand at Arafat. When the sun would be on top of the mountains, just as the turban is on top of a man’s head, they would move on. Allah’s Messenger delayed moving from Arafat until sunset.”  (Ibn Abi Hati 2:517) Ibn Marduwyah related this Hadith and added, “He then stood at Al-Muzdalifah and offered the Fajr (Dawn) prayer at an early time. When the light of dawn broke, he moved on.” This Hadith has a Hasan chain of narrators. The long Hadith that Jabir bin Abdullah narrated, which Muslim collected, stated, “The Prophet kept standing there (meaning at Arafat) until sunset, when the yellow light had somewhat gone and the disc of the sun had disappeared. Then, the Prophet made Usamah sit behind him, and in order to keep her under control, pulled the nose string of Al-Qaswa’ so hard, that its head touched the saddle. He gestured with his right hand and said, “Proceed calmly people, calmly!” Whenever he happened to pass over an elevated tract of sand, he lightly loosened the nose string of his camel till she climbed up and this is how they reached Al-Muzdalifah. There, he led the Maghrib (Evening) and Isha’ (Night) prayers with one Adhan and two Iqamah (which announces the imminent start of the acts of the prayer) and did not glorify Allah in between them (i.e., he did not perform voluntary Rakah). Allah’s Messenger then laid down till dawn and offered the Fajr (Dawn) prayer with Adhan and Iqamah, when the morning light was clear. He again mounted Al-Qaswa’, and when he came to Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram, he faced towards Qiblah, supplicated to Allah, glorifying Him and saying, La ilaha illallah, and he continued standing until the daylight was very clear. He then went quickly before the sun rose.” (Muslim 2:886)

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Usamah bin Zayd was asked, “How was the Prophet’s pace when he moved?’ He said, “Slow, unless he found space, then he would go a little faster.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:605 and Muslim 2:936)

Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram

Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn Umar said that all of Al-Muzdalifah is Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram. It was reported that Ibn Umar was asked about Allah’s statement: ”…remember Allah (by glorifying His praises, i.e., prayers and invocations) at the Mash’ar-il-Haram.” He said, “It is the Mount and the surrounding area.” It was reported that Al-Mash’ar Al- Haram is what is between the two Mounts (refer to the following Hadith), as Ibn Abbas, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Al-Hasan and Qatadah have stated.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jubayr bin Mut’im narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”All of Arafat is a place of standing, and keep away from Uranah. All of Al-Muzdalifah is a place for standing, and keep away from the bottom of Muhassir. All of the areas of Makkah are a place for sacrifice, and all of the days of Tashriq are days of sacrifice.”(Ahmad 4:82)

Allah then said: ‘‘And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good) as He has guided you.” This Ayah reminds Muslims of Allah’s bounty on them that He has directed and taught them the rituals of Hajj according to the guidance of Prophet Ibrahim Al-Khalil. This is why Allah said: ”…and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.” It was said that this Ayah refers to the condition before the guidance or the Qur’an or the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, all of which are correct meanings.

{199. Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allah for His forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.}

The Order to stand on Arafat and to depart from it

This Ayah contains Allah’s order to those who stand at Arafat to also move on to Al-Muzdalifah, so that they remember Allah at Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram. Allah commands the Muslim to stand with the rest of the pilgrims at Arafat, unlike Quraysh who (before Islam) used to remain in the sanctuary, near Al-Muzdalifah, saying that they are the people of Allah’s Town and the servants of His House. Al-Bukhari reported that A’ishah said, “Quraysh and their allies, who used to be called Al-Hums, used to stay in Al-Muzdalifah while the rest of the Arabs would stand at Arafat. When Islam came, Allah commanded His Prophet to stand at Arafat and then proceed from there. Hence Allah’s statement: ”…from the place whence all the people depart” This was also said by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ata’, Qatadah and As-Suddi and others. Ibn Jarir chose this opinion and said that there is Ijma (a consensus among the scholars) for it.

Imam Ahmad reported that Jubayr bin Mutim said, “My camel was lost and I went out in search of it on the day of Arafah, and I saw the Prophet standing in Arafat. I said to myself, ‘By Allah he is from the Hums. What has brought him here?” (Ahmad 4:80) This Hadith is also reported in the Sahihayn. (Fath Al-Bari 3:602 and Muslim 2:894) Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said that ‘depart’ mentioned in the Ayah refers to proceeding from Al-Muzdalifah to Mina to stone the pillars. Allah knows best.

Asking Allah for His Forgiveness

Allah said: ”…and ask Allah for His forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” Allah frequently orders remembrance of Him after acts of worship are finished. Muslim reported that Allah’s Messenger used to ask Allah for His forgiveness thrice after the prayer is finished. (Muslim 1:414) It is reported in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, encouraged Tasbih (saying Subhan Allah, i.e., Glorified is Allah), Tahmid (saying Al-Hamdu Lillah, i.e., praise be to Allah) and Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) thirty-three times each (after prayer). (Fath Al-Bari 2:378 and Muslim 1:417)

Ibn Marduwyah collected the Hadith that Al-Bukhari reported from Shaddad bin Aws, who stated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The master of supplication for forgiveness, is for the servant to say: ` O Allah! You are my Lord, there is no deity worthy of worship except You. You have created me and I am Your servant. I am on Your covenant, as much as I can be, and awaiting Your promise. I seek refuge with You from the evil that I have committed. I admit Your favor on me and admit my faults. So forgive me, for none except You forgives the sins.’  Whoever said these words at night and died that same night will enter Paradise. Whoever said it during the day and died will enter Paradise.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:100)

Furthermore, it is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abdullah bin Amr said that Abu Bakr said, “O Messenger of Allah! Teach me an invocation so that I may invoke (Allah) with it in my prayer. He told me to say:

”Allahumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran, wa la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta faghfirli maghfiratan min indika, war-hamni innaka Antal-Ghafur-ur-Rahim

O Allah! I have done great injustice to myself and none except You forgives sins, so please forgive me and be merciful to me as You are the Forgiver, the Merciful.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:484 and Muslim 4:2078)

There are many other hadiths on the subject.

{200. So when you have accomplished your Manasik, remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance. But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.

201. And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”

202. For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.}

The Order for Remembrance of Allah and seeking Good in this Life and the Hereafter upon completing the Rites of Hajj

Allah commands that He be remembered after the rituals are performed, ”..as you remember your forefathers” Said bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said, “During the time of Jahiliyyah, people used to stand during the (Hajj) season, and one of them would say, ‘My father used to feed (the poor), help others (end their disputes, with his money), pay the Diyah (i.e., blood money),’ and so forth. The only Dhikr that they had was that they would remember the deeds of their fathers. Allah then revealed to Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance.” Therefore, remembering Allah the Exalted and Ever High is always encouraged. We should mention that when Allah used “or” in the Ayah, He meant to encourage the people to remember Him more than they remember their forefathers, not that the word entails a doubt (as to which is larger or bigger). This statement is similar to the Ayat:

”…as stones or even worse in hardness” (2:74) and,

 ”…fear men as they fear Allah or even more” (4:77) and,

”And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more” (37:147) and,

”And was at a distance of two bows’ length or (even) nearer.” (53:9)

Allah encourages calling Him in supplication after remembering Him, because this will make it more likely that the supplication will be accepted. Allah also criticizes those who only supplicate to Him about the affairs of this life, while ignoring the affairs of the Hereafter. Allah said: ”But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter” meaning, they have no share in the Hereafter. This criticism serves to discourage other people from imitating those mentioned. Said bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said, “Some bedouins used to come to the standing area (Arafat) and supplicate saying, ‘O Allah! Make it a rainy year, a fertile year and a year of good child bearing.’ They would not mention any of the affairs of the Hereafter. Thus, Allah revealed about them: ”But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.” The believers who came after them used to say: ‘‘Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”

Next, Allah revealed: ”For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.” Hence, Allah praised those who ask for the affairs of both this life and the Hereafter. He said: ”And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” The supplication mentioned and praised in the Ayah includes all good aspects of this life and seeks refuge from all types of evil. The good of this life concerns every material request of well-being, spacious dwelling, pleasing mates, sufficient provision, beneficial knowledge, good profession or deeds, comfortable means of transportation and good praise, all of which the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned regarding this subject. All of these are but a part of the good that is sought in this life.

As for the good of the Hereafter, the best of this includes acquiring Paradise, which also means acquiring safety from the greatest horror at the gathering place. It also refers to being questioned lightly and the other favors in the Hereafter. As for acquiring safety from the Fire, it includes being directed to what leads to this good end in this world, such as avoiding the prohibitions, sins of all kinds and doubtful matters. Al-Qasim bin Abdur-Rahman said, “Whoever is gifted with a grateful heart, a remembering tongue and a patient body, will have been endowed with a good deed in this life, a good deed in the Hereafter and saved from the torment of the Fire.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:542) This is why the Sunnah encourages reciting this Du’a (i.e., in the Ayah about gaining a good deed in this life and the Hereafter). Al-Bukhari reported that Anas bin Malik narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to say:

”O Allah, our Lord! Give us that which is good in this life, that which is good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:35)

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas said, “Allah’s Messenger visited a Muslim man who had become as weak as a sick small bird. Allah’s Messenger said to him, ‘Were you asking or supplicating to Allah about something?’ He said, ‘Yes. I used to say: O Allah! Whatever punishment you saved for me in the Hereafter, give it to me in this life.’ Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”All praise is due to Allah! You cannot bear it -or stand it-. You should have said: ‘Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”

The man began reciting this D’a and he was cured.” (Ahmad 3:107)

Al-Hakim reported that Said bin Jubayr said, “A man came to Ibn Abbas and said, ‘I worked for some people and settled for a part of my compensation in return for their taking me to perform Hajj with them. Is this acceptable?’ Ibn Abbas said, ‘You are among those whom Allah described: ”For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.” Al-Hakim then commented; “This Hadith is authentic according to the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) although they did not record it.”

{203. And remember Allah during the Appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allah (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him.}

Remembering Allah during the Days of Tashriq – Days of Eating and Drinking

Ibn Abbas said, ‘The Appointed Days are the Days of Tashriq (11-12-13th of Dhul-Hijjah) while the Known Days are the (first) ten (days of Dhul-Hijjah).” (Al-Qurtubi 3:3) Ikrimah said that: ”And remember Allah during the Appointed Days” means reciting the Takbir – Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, during the days of Tashriq after the compulsory prayers. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:545)

Imam Ahmad reported that Uqbah bin Amr said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah), the day of the Sacrifice (10th) and the days of the Tashriq (11-12-13th) are our Id (festival) for we people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” (Ahmad 4:152)

Imam Ahmad reported that Nubayshah Al-Hudhali said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The days of Tashriq are days of eating, drinking and Dhikr (remembering) of Allah.” 

Muslim also recorded this Haith. (Ahmad 5:75 and Muslim 2:800) We also mentioned the Hadith of Jubayr bin Mut’im:

”All of Arafat is a standing place and all of the days of Tashriq are days of Sacrifice.” (Ahmad 4:82)

We also mentioned the Hadith by Abdur-Rahman bin Ya’mar Ad-Diyli:

”The days of Mina (Tashriq) are three. Those who hasten in two days then there is no sin in it, and those who delay (i.e., remain in Mina for a third day) then there is no sin in it.” (Abu Dawud 2:485)

Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The days of Tashriq are days of eating and remembering Allah.” 

Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent Abdullah bin Hudhafah to Mina proclaiming:

”Do not fast these days (i.e., Tashriq days), for they are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah the Exalted and Most Honored.” (At-Tabari 4:211)

The Appointed Days

Miqsam said that Ibn Abbas said that the Appointed Days are the days of Tashriq, four days: the day of the Sacrifice (10th of Dhul-Hijjah) and three days after that. In addition, the apparent meaning of the following Ayah supports this opinion: ”But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him.” So the Ayah hints to the three days after the day of Sacrifice. Allah’s statement: ”And remember Allah during the Appointed Days” directs remembering Allah upon slaughtering the animals, after the prayers, and by Dhikr (supplication) in general. It also includes Takbir and remembering Allah while throwing the pebbles every day during the Tashriq days. A Hadith that Abu Dawud and several others collected states:

”Tawaf around the House, Sa’i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah and throwing the pebbles were legislated so that Allah is remembered in Dhikr.” (Abu Dawud 2:447)

When mentioning the first procession (refer to 2:199) and the second procession of the people upon the end of the Hajj season, when they start to return to their areas, after they had gathered during the rituals and at the standing places, Allah said, ”and obey Allah (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him.” Similarly, Allah said:

”And it is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him you shall be gathered back.” (23: 79)

{204. And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart, yet he is the most quarrelsome of the opponents.

205. And when he turns away (from you O Muhammad), his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief).

206. And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest!

207. And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is full of kindness to (His) servants.}

The Characteristics of the Hypocrites

As-Suddi said that these Ayat were revealed about Al-Akhnas bin Shariq Ath-Thaqafi who came to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and announced his Islam although his heart concealed otherwise. Ibn Abbas narrated that these Ayat were revealed about some of the hypocrites who criticized Khubayb and his companions who were killed during the Raji incident. Thereafter, Allah sent down His condemnation of the hypocrites and His praise for Khubayb and his companions: ‘‘And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.”

It was also said that they refer to the hypocrites and the believers in general. This is the opinion of Qatadah, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and several others, and it is correct.

Ibn Jarir related that Al-Qurazi said that Nawf Al-Bikali, who used to read (previous Divine) Books said, “I find the description of some members of this Ummah in the previously revealed Books of Allah: they (hypocrites) are people who use the religion to gain material benefit. Their tongues are sweeter than honey, but their hearts are more bitter than Sabir (a bitter plant, aloe). They show the people the appearance of sheep while their hearts hide the viciousness of wolves. Allah said, ‘They dare challenge Me, but they are deceived by Me. I swear by Myself that I will send a Fitnah (trial, calamity) on them that will make the wise man bewildered.’ I contemplated about these statements and found them in the Qur’an describing the hypocrites: ‘‘And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart” This statement by Al-Qurazi is Hasan Sahih. Allah said: ”…and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart” This Ayah indicates that such people pretend to be Muslims, but defy Allah by the disbelief and hypocrisy that their hearts conceal. Similarly Allah said:

”They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah.” (4:108)

This Tafsir was reported from Ibn Abbas by Ibn Ishaq. (At-Tabari 4:230) It was also said that the Ayah means that when such people announce their Islam, they swear by Allah that what is in their hearts is the same of what their tongues are pronouncing. This is also a correct meaning for the Ayah that was chosen by Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. (At-Tabari 4:233) It is also the choice of Ibn Jarir who related it to Ibn Abbas and Mujahid. Allah knows best.

Allah said:

”Yet he is the most Aladd of the opponents.” (2:204)

The Ayah used the word Aladd here, which literally means ‘wicked’ (here it means ‘quarrelsome’). A variation of the word Ludda was also used in another Ayah:

”So that you (Muhammad) warn with it (the Qur’an) a Ludda people.” (19:97)

Hence, a hypocrite lies, alters the truth when he quarrels and does not care for the truth. Rather, he deviates from the truth, deceives and becomes most quarrelsome. It is reported in Sahih that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise). If you have a dispute with him, he is most quarrelsome.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:111)

Imam Bukhari reported that A’ishah narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The most hated person to Allah is he who is Aladd and Khasim (meaning most quarrelsome)” (Fath Al-Bari 8:36)

Allah then said: ‘‘And when he turns away (from you O Muhammad), he struggles in the land to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief.” This Ayah indicates that such persons are deviant in the tongue, evil in the deeds, their words are fabricated, their belief is wicked and their works are immoral. The Ayah used the (Arabic word) Sa’a  (literally, ‘tries’ or ‘intends’). This word was also used to describe Pharaoh:

”Then he turned his back, Yas’a (striving hard against Allah). Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud saying, ‘I am your lord, most high.’ So Allah, seized him with a punishing example for his last and first transgression. Verily, in this is an instructive admonition for whosoever fears Allah.” (79:22-26)

Sa’a was also used in the Ayah:

”O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah (prayer) on the day of Friday (Jumu` ah prayer), As’aw come to the remembrance of Allah.” (62:9)

This Ayah means, ‘when the call to the Friday prayer is announced intend and then proceed to attend the Friday prayer.’ We should mention that hastening to the mosque is condemed by the Sunnah (as this is another meaning for the word Sa’a):

”When you come to attend the prayer, do not come in a Sa`i (haste). Rather, come to it while walking at ease and in peace (or grace).” (Muslim 1:420)

The hypocrite has no motive in this life but to cause mischief and to destroy the crops and the offspring, including what the animals produce and what the people depend on for their livelihood. Mujahid said, “If the hypocrite strives for mischief in the land, Allah prevents the rain from falling and thus the crops and the offspring perish.” The Ayah continues: ”…and Allah likes not mischief” that is, Allah does not like those who possess these characteristics, or those who act like this.

Rejecting Advice is Characteristic of the Hypocrites

Allah said: ”And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime.” This Ayah indicates that when the hypocrite, who deviates in his speech and deeds, is advised and commanded to fear Allah, refrain from his evil deeds and adhere to the truth, he refuses and becomes angry and outraged, as he is used to doing evil. This Ayah is similar to what Allah said:

”And when Our clear verses are recited to them, you will notice a denial on the faces of the disbelievers! They are nearly ready to attack with violence those who recite Our verses to them. Say: “Shall I tell you of something worse than that The Fire (of Hell) which Allah has promised to those who disbelieved, and worst indeed is that destination!” (22:72)

This is why in this Ayah, Allah said: ”So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest” meaning, the Fire is enough punishment for the hypocrite.

The Sincere Believer prefers pleasing Allah

Allah said: ”And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.” After Allah described the evil characteristics of the hypocrites, He mentioned the good qualities of the believers. Allah said: ‘‘And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.” Ibn Abbas, Anas, Sa’id bin Musayyib, Abu Uthman An-Nahdi, Ikrimah and several other scholars said that this Ayah was revealed about Suhayb bin Sinan Ar-Rumi. When Suhayb became a Muslim in Makkah and intended to migrate (to Al-Madinah), the people (Quraysh) prevented him from migrating with his money. They said that if he forfeits his property, he is free to migrate. He abandoned his money and preferred to migrate, and Allah revealed this Ayah about him. Umar bin Khattab and several other Companions met Suhayb close to the outskirts of Al-Madinah at Al-Harrah (flat lands with black stones). They said to him, “The trade has indeed been successful.” He answered them, “You too, may Allah never allow your trade to fail. What is the matter?” Umar told him that Allah has revealed this Ayah (2:207) about him. It was also reported that Allah’s Messenger said, “The trade has been successful, O Suhayb!” (At-Tabari 4:248)

The meaning of the Ayah (2:207) includes every Mujahid in the way of Allah. Allah said in another Ayah:

”Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Tawrah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah. Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.” (9:111)

When Hisham bin Amr penetrated the lines of the enemy, some people criticized him. Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Hurayrah refuted them and recited this Ayah: ”And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is full of kindness to (His) servants.”

 

{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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