وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوا الزِّنٰۤی اِنَّہٗ کَانَ فَاحِشَۃً ؕ وَ سَآءَ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۳۳﴾
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ فَٰحِشَةٗ وَسَآءَ سَبِيلٗا
b. 25:69. (close)
1615. The commandment forbidding 'the slaying of children' is followed by another equally weighty injunction about adultery because adultery also causes the death of innumerable children in different forms. Unlike the biblical commandment, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' the Qur’an says, 'Go not nigh unto adultery,' which is clearly a more comprehensive and more effective and sensible commandment. The Qur’an not only prohibits and condemns the actual act of adultery but seeks to close and shut all those avenues that lead to it. (close)
a. 25:69. (close)
The commandment forbidding “the killing of children” is followed by another equally weighty injunction about adultery, because adultery also causes the death of innumerable children, for to prevent pregnancy contraceptives are used and if despite precaution pregnancy does take place, abortion is resorted to. All these are different forms of infanticide. Moreover, the proper bringing up of children born of such immoral unions is neglected, thus causing their moral death.
Unlike the Biblical commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery", the Quran says, "Come not near unto adultery", which is clearly a more comprehensive and more effective commandment. The Quran not only prohibits and condemns the actual act of adultery but seeks to close and shut all those avenues that lead to it,
such as free and promiscuous intermingling of the sexes. Purdah, which forbids women to display the beauty of their person or dress to men not their near relatives, and sundry other preventive measures prescribed by Islam effectively check this fell moral disease from spreading. Compared with the Quranic injunctions the teaching of the Bible is altogether ineffective and cannot, and has actually failed to, check the spread of this most heinous of all social crimes in the West. The Quranic injunction that even the occasions and places which are calculated ultimately to lead to the commission of sin must be avoided, applies as much to persons of very strong as to those of weak moral calibre. Whereas the latter class of people are bidden to avoid going near the places of sin lest they actually fall into it, those who can withstand temptations are commanded to avoid them in order that many others morally not so strong may be saved, by their example, from falling into sin. (close)
وَ لَا تَقۡتُلُوا النَّفۡسَ الَّتِیۡ حَرَّمَ اللّٰہُ اِلَّا بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ وَ مَنۡ قُتِلَ مَظۡلُوۡمًا فَقَدۡ جَعَلۡنَا لِوَلِیِّہٖ سُلۡطٰنًا فَلَا یُسۡرِفۡ فِّی الۡقَتۡلِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ مَنۡصُوۡرًا ﴿۳۴﴾
وَلَا تَقۡتُلُواْ ٱلنَّفۡسَ ٱلَّتِي حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّۗ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظۡلُومٗا فَقَدۡ جَعَلۡنَا لِوَلِيِّهِۦ سُلۡطَٰنٗا فَلَا يُسۡرِف فِّي ٱلۡقَتۡلِۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ مَنصُورٗا
c. 6:152; 25:69. (close)
1616. In the preceding two verses reference was made to the two indirect ways of slaying. The verse under comment speaks of direct murder. After the murderer is convicted by a properly constituted court, the heirs of the murdered person have the right either to have the murderer legally executed or accept blood money in lieu of the death of the murdered person. If, however, it is against the interests of public peace or morality to allow blood money to the heirs or if the demand of the heirs be found to be not bona-fide, the court may refuse to accept their option and order the murderer’s execution. In fact, both the heirs and the State equally share the right to pardon or punish the guilty person. This right of the State in regard to the punishment of the guilty person covers all matters to which the injunction about retribution applies. Whereas in the earlier part of the verse the rights of the party offended against have been safeguarded, the words, let him not exceed the prescribed bounds in slaying, imply a recommendation in favour of the murderer. The words show that although 'life for life' is the general rule, the heirs of the murdered person should not always insist upon the literal execution of this commandment. The murderer is to suffer the extreme penalty of the law only when the dictates of equity, public peace and morality demand it. His life may be spared and blood money accepted if this act of grace is calculated to lead to his moral reformation. (close)
b. 6:152; 25:69. (close)
In the preceding two verses reference was made to the two indirect ways of killing. The verse under comment, however, speaks of direct murder. It declares it unlawful to kill a soul, the killing of which has been forbidden by God.
The word نفس (soul) means anything which breathes and therefore includes all living things. So the words, which Allah has forbidden, have been added in order to restrict their application to man, it being lawful to kill other animals except under certain conditions when their killing also is forbidden.
The word ولی (heir) is applied to any person who is entitled to inherit another man’s property after the latter’s death. But one may nominate a person other than his legal heir as his ولی. If a person is murdered, his ولی (heir) has the right to demand satisfaction. But after the murderer is convicted by a properly constituted court, the heir of the murdered person has the right either to have the murderer legally executed or accept blood-money in lieu of the death of the murdered person. If, however, it is considered against the interests of public peace or morality to allow blood money to the heir or if the demand of the heir be found to be not bona fide, the court may refuse to accept the option of the heir and order the murderer’s execution. In fact, both the heir and the State equally share the right to pardon or punish the guilty person. This right of the State in regard to the punishment of the guilty person covers all matters to which the injunction of قصاص(retaliation) applies. The Caliph ‘Ali is reported to have punished a guilty person whom the aggrieved party had pardoned on the plea that the dictates of public peace demanded his punishment. ‘Ali was convinced that the fear of being harmed by the offender had made the aggrieved person pardon him. See also 2:179.
Whereas in the earlier part of the verse the rights of the party offended against have been safeguarded, the words, let him not exceed the prescribed bounds in slaying, safeguard the interests of the offender. They mean to say that the aggrieved party should not exceed legitimate bounds by adopting a cruel method of killing. In fact, these words imply a recommendation in favour of the murderer. They also show that although "life for life" is the general rule, the heirs of the murdered person may not always act upon this rule. The murderer is to suffer the extreme penalty of the law only when the dictates of equity, retaliation, public peace and morality absolutely demand it. His life should be spared if this act of grace is calculated to lead to his moral reformation. In the words, for therein he is helped by law, the aggrieved person is reminded of his responsibilities. He is told that he, too, is responsible for the maintenance of peace. As God has safeguarded his rights, he should have regard for the rights of others—he should not always insist upon his "pound of flesh". (close)
وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوۡا مَالَ الۡیَتِیۡمِ اِلَّا بِالَّتِیۡ ہِیَ اَحۡسَنُ حَتّٰی یَبۡلُغَ اَشُدَّہٗ ۪ وَ اَوۡفُوۡا بِالۡعَہۡدِ ۚ اِنَّ الۡعَہۡدَ کَانَ مَسۡـُٔوۡلًا ﴿۳۵﴾
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ مَالَ ٱلۡيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِي هِيَ أَحۡسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ أَشُدَّهُۥۚ وَأَوۡفُواْ بِٱلۡعَهۡدِۖ إِنَّ ٱلۡعَهۡدَ كَانَ مَسۡـُٔولٗا
a. 4:7, 11; 6:153. (close)
b. 5:2; 16:92. (close)
1617. After having laid down the law about the punishment for murder which leaves behind orphans in two families—in the family of the murderer and in that of the murdered person—the Qur’an proceeds to give directions about the rights of orphans. One of the most important of these is with regard to their property. The word "covenant" (meaning an obligation) has been used here to emphasize the fact that taking proper care of the property of the orphans constitutes no favour to them but is a responsibility and a duty to be discharged fully and honestly. (close)
a. 4:7, 11; 6:153. (close)
Besides the every-day incidence of death, sudden and accidental happenings, among which may be included epidemics, murders, etc. leave children orphans. Hence, after having laid down the law about the punishment of murder, which leaves orphans in two families––in the family of the murderer and that of the murdered person—the Quran proceeds to give directions about the rights of orphans. One of the most important of these is with regard to their property.
The present verse clearly lays down that the property of orphans is to be handled in such a way that it may increase and produce the best results for them. In this as in many other respects the teaching of Islam is clearly superior to that of other religions. In no other religious system have such detailed instructions been given to safeguard the property of orphans as are given by Islam. The present verse institutes, as it were, a general Court of Wards, a department designed for the protection of the property of orphaned minors. It is generally considered to be a western institution, but it was conceived and brought into being by Islam no less than 1350 years ago.
The words, until he attains his maturity, signify that the guardianship of orphans’ property is not to be given up before they are physically and mentally mature enough to take proper care of it; nor is it to be retained a minute longer after that.
The word عھد (covenant) also means an obligation and it has been used here in this sense to emphasize the fact that taking proper care of orphans’ property constitutes no favour to them but is a responsibility and a duty to be discharged fully and honestly. Orphans are powerless to call their guardians to account if the latter are found to be guilty of fraudulence with regard to their property. So God has given their charge the status of a divine covenant the breach of which will be severely punished.
This word عھد, however, may possess a wider significance. It may refer to the responsibility that devolves upon a powerful nation which takes under its protection a weaker sister nation. Such a powerful nation is reminded that it can keep under its tutelage the weaker nation only till that time when the latter "comes of age" and is fit to take charge of its affairs. The weaker nation is here likened to an orphan whose period of tutelage is a sacred trust which the stronger nation is directed to discharge honestly "until it attains its maturity." The verse thus possesses an object lesson for the Western Mandatory Powers. (close)
وَ اَوۡفُوا الۡکَیۡلَ اِذَا کِلۡتُمۡ وَ زِنُوۡا بِالۡقِسۡطَاسِ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَحۡسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلًا ﴿۳۶﴾
وَأَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡكَيۡلَ إِذَا كِلۡتُمۡ وَزِنُواْ بِٱلۡقِسۡطَاسِ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمِۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيۡرٞ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلٗا
a. 7:86; 11:85, 86; 26:182, 183; 55:10. (close)
1618. The secret of the commercial progress and prosperity of a people lies in honest and fair dealing in commercial transactions. (close)
a. 7:86; 11:85-86; 26:182,183; 55:10. (close)
The verse points to the fact that the secret of the commercial progress and prosperity of a people lies in honest and fair dealing in commercial transactions. (close)
وَ لَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ ؕ اِنَّ السَّمۡعَ وَ الۡبَصَرَ وَ الۡفُؤَادَ کُلُّ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَانَ عَنۡہُ مَسۡـُٔوۡلًا ﴿۳۷﴾
وَلَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَيۡسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلۡمٌۚ إِنَّ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡبَصَرَ وَٱلۡفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ كَانَ عَنۡهُ مَسۡـُٔولٗا
b. 11:47. (close)
c. 24:25; 36:66; 41:21-23. (close)
1619. The verse cuts at the root of all sources of suspicion which in natural order are "the ear," "the eye" and "the heart." "The ear" is the first avenue through which most suspicions enter one’s mind. Most suspicions are caused by ill-founded reports which one hears about another person. Next source is that of sight. A person sees another doing a certain act and interprets it wrongly and is led to suspect the latter’s motives and intentions. The last and most degraded kind of suspicion is that which a person entertains about another person not as the result of a bad report which he might have heard about him, nor in consequence of a bad act or deed which he might have seen him committing but which is purely the figment of his own diseased mind. Thus it is not only human life and property (to which a reference has already been made in the preceding verse) which are sacred and inviolable, but human honour also is sacrosanct and an attack upon it will also have to be accounted for. (close)
b. 11:47. (close)
c. 24:25; 36:66; 41:21-23. (close)
This verse cuts at the root of all sources of suspicion. These sources in their natural order are "the ear", "the eye" and "the heart". "The ear" is the first avenue through which most suspicions enter man’s mind. As a rule suspicions are caused by ill-founded reports which one hears about another person. Next to hearing comes the source of sight. A person sees another doing a certain act and interprets it wrongly and is led to suspect the latter’s motives and intentions. The last and most degraded kind of suspicion is that which a person entertains about another not as the result of a bad report which he might have heard about him nor in consequence of a bad act or deed which he might have seen him doing but which is purely the figment of his own diseased mind. Muslims are enjoined to steer clear of all these forms of suspicion. They are the enemy of all cordial social relations.
The verse draws attention to the fact that it is not only human life and property (to which a reference has already been made in the preceding verse) which are sacred and inviolable; human honour also is sacrosanct and an attack upon it also will have to be accounted for.
A person will be called to account for having listened to anything about another person which he had no right to do. Similarly, he will be brought to book for having seen something which he should not have seen. And so will he be punished for harbouring in his mind evil thoughts about other people. We are told that our impressions and opinions should not be based on mere hearsay and surmise but on sure knowledge. Mere evidence of the ear, the eye or the heart is not sufficient to condemn a person or form an adverse opinion about him but sure knowledge based on thorough enquiry. Mark the high moral tone of these teachings! (close)
وَ لَا تَمۡشِ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مَرَحًا ۚ اِنَّکَ لَنۡ تَخۡرِقَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ لَنۡ تَبۡلُغَ الۡجِبَالَ طُوۡلًا ﴿۳۸﴾
وَلَا تَمۡشِ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مَرَحًاۖ إِنَّكَ لَن تَخۡرِقَ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَلَن تَبۡلُغَ ٱلۡجِبَالَ طُولٗا
d. 31:19. (close)
1620. To be proud of and exult over one’s achievements not only smacks of frivolity, but does moral injury to the proud person, for such an attitude makes him content with what he has already achieved and is thus calculated to impede and arrest his moral progress. (close)
a. 31:19. (close)
The teaching given in the previous verses pertained to our relations with other individuals or with God. The moral precepts which this verse proceeds to lay down concern our own selves. First of all we are bidden not to be proud of and exult over our achievements, for such an attitude makes us content with what we have already achieved and is thus calculated to impede and arrest our moral progress. The words, thou canst not rend the earth nor canst thou reach the mountains in height, remind us that after all our successes and achievements are limited, and there is no sense in our losing our heads over what is so limited. In spite of all our achievements, real or imaginary, we, have to live on this earth and among its people. We should not therefore behave in such a manner as to make ourselves intolerable to others. A proud man’s life is generally very bitter. In every-day life he cannot do without the help and assistance of those among whom he lives and yet he disdains their cooperation. This contrariness and irreconcilability of attitude and feelings renders his life bitter and makes him unacceptable to others.
Taking the word جبال (mountains) in the sense of "leaders" or "learned men", which is also one of its so many meanings, the verse seems to administer a subtle rebuke to the haughty and the arrogant that they cannot attain that height of greatness and honour among their people which these two classes of men reach by their knowledge and service, and yet these pillars of learning are the models of humility and humaneness. (close)
کُلُّ ذٰلِکَ کَانَ سَیِّئُہٗ عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ مَکۡرُوۡہًا ﴿۳۹﴾
كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّكَ مَكۡرُوهٗا
In this verse, which speaks of the dark or evil side of things, a vast store of knowledge has been compressed in a very brief sentence. It purports to say that nothing in this world may be described as absolutely good or bad. Every action has its good or evil aspect. It is the circumstances under which it is done that make it good or bad. Belief in the Unity of God, for instance, is a virtue, but if one makes it a cause of mischief and begins to abuse other people’s gods, it will become an evil. Similarly, it is a virtue to be obedient to one’s parents, but if one begins to commit acts of injustice or worship deities other than Allah at their bidding, obedience to them becomes an evil act. Again, it is an act of virtue to abstain from killing but if one should, on that ground, abstain from fighting in defence of one’s country or oppose the killing of a person who has been sentenced to death by a properly constituted court of law, his conduct will be considered reprehensible; and so on and so forth. A Muslim is, therefore, expected to understand and realize the reality and true significance of God’s commandments and to use his God-given gifts, powers and faculties on proper occasions in accordance with the exigencies of time and circumstance and the dictates of reason. Every natural faculty has a good or bad use and it is only the improper use of those faculties that is called evil and is forbidden by God. How true and comprehensive is this definition of good and bad actions but how few people really understand it! (close)
ذٰلِکَ مِمَّاۤ اَوۡحٰۤی اِلَیۡکَ رَبُّکَ مِنَ الۡحِکۡمَۃِ ؕ وَ لَا تَجۡعَلۡ مَعَ اللّٰہِ اِلٰـہًا اٰخَرَ فَتُلۡقٰی فِیۡ جَہَنَّمَ مَلُوۡمًا مَّدۡحُوۡرًا ﴿۴۰﴾
ذَٰلِكَ مِمَّآ أَوۡحَىٰٓ إِلَيۡكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ ٱلۡحِكۡمَةِۗ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَٰهًا ءَاخَرَ فَتُلۡقَىٰ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومٗا مَّدۡحُورًا
a. 17:23; 26:214; 28:89. (close)
a. 17:23; 26:214; 28:89. (close)
In 16:126 we were told that a number of commandments full of wisdom would be given soon. The present verse purports to say that a few of these wise Divine commandments have already been mentioned in the previous verses. In v. 23. great stress was laid on توحید (Oneness of God). In the following verses the practical implications of the Islamic conception of توحید and the great moral and spiritual benefits that mankind has derived from this concept were explained. In the verse under comment, however, توحید is considered from another standpoint, the injury that its antithesis—idolatry (شرک) does to human intellect. A polytheist naturally feels self-condemned and realizes the untenability of his position before a believer in the Oneness of God because he knows that he possesses no solid argument to support his belief. Thus he can never enjoy real peace of mind. (close)
اَفَاَصۡفٰٮکُمۡ رَبُّکُمۡ بِالۡبَنِیۡنَ وَ اتَّخَذَ مِنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اِنَاثًا ؕ اِنَّکُمۡ لَتَقُوۡلُوۡنَ قَوۡلًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿٪۴۱﴾
أَفَأَصۡفَىٰكُمۡ رَبُّكُم بِٱلۡبَنِينَ وَٱتَّخَذَ مِنَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنَٰثًاۚ إِنَّكُمۡ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوۡلًا عَظِيمٗا
b. 37:151; 43:20; 52:40. (close)
a. 37:151; 43:20; 52:40. (close)
This verse gives an illustration of the mental confusion and lack of intellectual poise of polytheists. For instance, some of them say that angels are God’s daughters and they worship them although they themselves regard daughters to be a source of shame and humiliation. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا فِیۡ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنِ لِیَذَّکَّرُوۡا ؕ وَ مَا یَزِیۡدُہُمۡ اِلَّا نُفُوۡرًا ﴿۴۲﴾
وَلَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا فِي هَٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ لِيَذَّكَّرُواْ وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمۡ إِلَّا نُفُورٗا
c. 17:90; 18:55. (close)
1621. For a revealed Book which has to deal with all matters of importance it is but natural and even necessary that it should revert, time and again, to the relevant points which bear on the main theme. When repetition is intended to throw light upon a matter from a new angle or to refute a new objection, no sane and intelligent person can take objection to it. (close)
b. 17:90; 18:55. (close)
1971. Important Words:
صرفنا (We have explained the truth in various ways). صرف(Sarrafa) is the intensified form of صرف (Sarafa). صرفه means, he turned, sent or put him away or back from his way or course. صرف الشیء (Sarrafa) means, he employed the thing in more than one way. صرف الکلام means, he derived one part of the speech from another. تصریف is the turning from one state or condition to another or from one direction or course or way to another. تصریف الایات signifies the varying of the Quranic verses by repeating them in different forms (Lane & Aqrab).
The objection is generally raised against the Quran that it unnecessarily repeats its subjects. This objection has been answered in this verse. According to the two meanings of the word صرفنا given under Important Words, the verse would mean, (a) that the Quran refutes all possible objections raised against its principles and teachings and (b) that it discusses all important subjects from all conceivable points of view. For a book which has to deal exhaustively with all questions of importance it is quite natural and even necessary that it should revert, time and again, to the relevant points which bear on the main theme. No reasonable person can call this repetition. Repetition is objectionable only when it serves no useful purpose, but when it is intended to throw light upon a question from a new angle of vision or to refute a new objection no sane and intelligent person can object to it. (close)