اِذۡ تَبَرَّاَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتُّبِعُوۡا مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡا وَ رَاَوُا الۡعَذَابَ وَ تَقَطَّعَتۡ بِہِمُ الۡاَسۡبَابُ ﴿۱۶۷﴾
إِذۡ تَبَرَّأَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتۡ بِهِمُ ٱلۡأَسۡبَابُ
a. 28:64, 65; 34:33, 34. (close)
191. The verse constitutes a stern warning to those who blindly follow their leaders and, being led astray by them, reject God’s Messengers. (close)
a. 28:64, 65; 34:33, 34. (close)
173. Important Words:
تبرأ (disown) is derived from بری. They say بری من العیب او الدین i.e. he became free from defect or got clear of debt. بارأ شریکهmeans, he became separated from his partner. تبرأ من فلان means, he separated from such a one; he got clear of him; he declared to have no connection with him; he renounced or disowned him (Aqrab).
اسباب (ties) is the plural of سبب which signifies: (1) a tie or a rope; (2) a means which helps a person to reach his destination; (3) a way or a path, leading to something; (4) love or relationship (Aqrab).
This verse vividly describes the scene when those guilty of idolatry will be called to account for their evil beliefs and practices. They will look to their leaders for help and guidance, but the latter will disown them and all ties of love and kinship between them will be cut asunder and all supports and all means of rescue will be lost. The verse is a stern warning to those who blindly follow their leaders and, being misled by them, reject God’s Messengers. (close)
وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡا لَوۡ اَنَّ لَنَا کَرَّۃً فَنَتَبَرَّاَ مِنۡہُمۡ کَمَا تَبَرَّءُوۡا مِنَّا ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُرِیۡہِمُ اللّٰہُ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ حَسَرٰتٍ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَا ہُمۡ بِخٰرِجِیۡنَ مِنَ النَّارِ ﴿۱۶۸﴾٪
وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُواْ لَوۡ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةٗ فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنۡهُمۡ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُواْ مِنَّاۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ حَسَرَٰتٍ عَلَيۡهِمۡۖ وَمَا هُم بِخَٰرِجِينَ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ
b. 23:100; 26:103. (close)
b. 23:100; 26:103. (close)
174. Important Words:
کرة (return) is the infinitive noun from کر. They say کر الفارس i.e. the horseman returned to the attack after he had raced back. فعله کرة بعدکرة means, he did it again and again. کرة therefore means: (1) returning to the attack; (2) returning to the original state (3) a turn or time (Mufradat & Aqrab).
حسرات (anguish) is the plural of حسرة which is derived from حسر. They say حسرالبحر i.e. the sea sank or receded from the shore. حسرالرجل means: (1) the man was tired and wearied (2) he was sorrowful and grieved. حسرة means: (1) feeling intense anguish at a loss sustained or harm suffered; (2) regret or compunction; (3) grief or sorrow for a thing that has escaped one (Aqrab & Taj).
Having despaired of receiving help from their leaders, the disbelievers will, on the Day of Judgement, wish that they may be sent back to the world so that they may denounce these leaders in this world just as they were disowning them in the next. But this will be only a vain desire doomed to perish unfulfilled. Nay, the selfsame desire will become a source of anguish and punishment for them.
The clause, they shall not get out of the Fire, does not mean that the punishment of Hell will be unending. Islam does not believe in the eternity of Hell. While the Quran speaks of the blessings of Paradise as never-ending and everlasting, it does not say so of the punishment of Hell but simply speaks of it as being very long (11:108, 109). The sayings of the Holy Prophet also support this view. "There will come a time over Hell," he is reported to have said, "when there will remain none in it" (‘Ummal). The verse only means that, being unable to bear the torment of Hell, the dwellers of the Fire will wish to come out of it, but will not be able to do so (32:21), until their term of punishment is over. The word Fire as used in this verse may also mean the fire of anguish and agony in which they shall burn on account of their designs and cherished hopes having come to naught. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ کُلُوۡا مِمَّا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ حَلٰلًا طَیِّبًا ۫ۖ وَّ لَا تَتَّبِعُوۡا خُطُوٰتِ الشَّیۡطٰنِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَکُمۡ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۱۶۹﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ حَلَٰلٗا طَيِّبٗا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمۡ عَدُوّٞ مُّبِينٌ
c. 5:89; 8:70; 16:115. (close)
192. Good actions must accompany true faith. With this verse begins a discussion of the second part of Abraham’s prayer regarding the work of the Promised Prophet, i.e. the teaching of the laws of the Shari‘ah and of the wisdom underlying them. Henceforward ordinances about Prayer, Fasting, Pilgrimage and Zakat are given and so are the laws relating to social matters; and as food plays an important part in the formation of a man’s character, regulations concerning it are mentioned first. All food according to Islam should be: (1) Halal, i.e. allowed by the Law; and (2) it should also be Tayyib, i.e. good, pure, wholesome and agreeable. Under the second condition sometimes even lawful things become forbidden. (close)
d. 2:209; 6:143; 24:22. (close)
193. The prohibition against following Satan, coming immediately after the commandment with respect to food, alludes to the influence which physical actions exercise on the moral and spiritual conditions of man. The use of unlawful and unwholesome food tends to impair man’s moral faculties and impede his spiritual development. See also 23:52. (close)
e. 7:23; 12:6; 28:16; 35:7; 36:61. (close)
a. 5:89; 8:70; 16:115. (close)
b. 2:209; 6:143; 24:22. (close)
c. 7:23; 12:6; 28:16; 35:7; 36:61. (close)
175. Important Words:
حلال (lawful) is the noun-infinitive from حل which has several meanings. حل العقده means, he unloosened the tie. حل بالمکانmeans, he alighted at the house. حل علیه غضب الله means, God’s punishment came down on him or befell him. حل الشیء means, the thing became lawful. حل الیمین means, he absolved himself from the oath. حلال is, therefore, that the use of which has been permitted by God; a lawful thing. The word is the opposite of حرام which means, a forbidden or unlawful thing (Aqrab).
طیباً (good) is derived from طاب meaning, he or it became good. طاب الشیء means, the thing was good or pure or wholesome. Thus طیب would mean, good, pure, wholesome and agreeable (Aqrab).
خطوات (footsteps) is the plural of خطوة which is derived from خطا which means, he stepped or walked, خطوة means, the distance between the two feet of a person while walking. The clause لا تتبعوا خطوات الشیطان would also mean, do not follow the ways of Satan (Aqrab).
مبین (open) is derived from بان meaning: (1) it became clear and manifest; or (2) it became separated or disunited or cut off. ابان الشیء means (1) he or it made the thing clear; or (2) he or it cut the thing into pieces or made it disunited. ابان الشیءmeans, the thing became clear. Thus مبین would mean: (1) a being or thing which is clear and manifest; (2) a being or thing which makes other things clear; and (3) a being or thing which cuts another thing into pieces and makes it disunited (Aqrab).
Good actions must accompany true faith. So with this verse begins a discussion of the second part of Abraham’s prayer regarding the work of the Promised Prophet, i.e., the teaching of the laws of Shari‘ah and of the wisdom underlying them.
Henceforward ordinances about Prayer, Fasting, Pilgrimage and Zakah are given and so are the laws relating to social matters and as food plays an important part in the formation of a man’s character, regulations concerning it are mentioned first. According to Islam, all food should be: (1) حلال i.e. allowed by the Law; and (2) it should also be طیبi.e. good, pure, wholesome and agreeable. Under the second condition, sometimes even lawful things become forbidden. Thus, for instance, the eating of goat’s flesh is حلال or lawful; but if some flesh becomes rotten and putrefied, it will not be طیب and will consequently not be permissible. This distinction between حلال (lawful) and طیب (good and pure) food is not to be found in any teaching except that of Islam. So comprehensive is the Islamic teaching on this subject that not only are conditions laid down as to when lawful things become prohibited, as in this verse, but also as to when even unlawful food becomes permissible (2:174; 5:4; 6:120, 146; 16:116).
The prohibition against following Satan, coming immediately after the commandment with respect to food, alludes to the influence which physical actions exercise on the moral and spiritual conditions of man. The use of unlawful and unwholesome food tends to impair our moral and spiritual faculties, while lawful and wholesome food improves our morals and helps the development of our spiritual powers. This subject is also dealt with in 23:52.
As explained under Important Words above, the word مبین gives three different meanings. Thus عدو مبین would mean (1) that Satan is a manifest and open enemy of man; (2) that Satan is not only manifest himself but also makes his connections manifest—leaving a visible trace of wickedness wherever he treads; and (3) that he is always striving to create disunion among the Faithful and to cut asunder all such ties as God has ordered to be made firm. In this connection see also 2:28. (close)
اِنَّمَا یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ وَ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾
إِنَّمَا يَأۡمُرُكُم بِٱلسُّوٓءِ وَٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
a. 2:269; 24:22. (close)
194. Satan first prompts man to do such deeds as do not appear to be manifestly bad and the influence of which is confined to the doer alone. Then step by step he makes him a hardened sinner, making him lose all sense of modesty. (close)
a. 2:269; 24:22. (close)
176. Important Words:
سوء (evil) is the noun-infinitive from ساء meaning, he or it became bad or evil. ساء الامر فلانا means, the thing was disagreeable to such a one and made him sorrowful. سوء means: (1) evil, bad or wicked; (2) mischief and corruption; (3) anything that makes a person sad and sorrowful (Aqrab & Mufradat).
فحشاء (foul) is derived from فحش i.e. it became excessive or immoderate; or it became manifestly or excessively bad, evil or unseemly. Thus فحشاء means: (1) anything manifestly or excessively bad, evil, etc.; (2) anything forbidden by God; (3) foul talk or saying; and (4) illegal intercourse or fornication (Lane & Aqrab).
This verse speaks of the subtle ways by which Satan misleads man. He first prompts him to do deeds which do not appear to be manifestly wicked and the influence of which is confined to the person of the doer alone. Then, step by step, he makes the deluded person a hardened sinner, causing him to lose all sense of modesty, till finally the man goes so far as to make innovations in religion for which he possesses neither knowledge nor authority. As Satan’s promptings are never based on knowledge, so the natural consequence is that those who follow him begin to attribute to God things without having the least authority for so doing. Their theories are based on ignorance and not on knowledge. In fact, all knowledge is based on close observation, and close observation cannot be had, unless one enjoys nearness of a thing. So it is futile to expect true knowledge of God from those who are away from Him. (close)
وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمُ اتَّبِعُوۡا مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ قَالُوۡا بَلۡ نَتَّبِعُ مَاۤ اَلۡفَیۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ اٰبَآءَنَا ؕ اَوَ لَوۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡقِلُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۱﴾
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ٱتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ قَالُواْ بَلۡ نَتَّبِعُ مَآ أَلۡفَيۡنَا عَلَيۡهِ ءَابَآءَنَآۚ أَوَلَوۡ كَانَ ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡقِلُونَ شَيۡـٔٗا وَلَا يَهۡتَدُونَ
b. 5:105; 10:79; 21:53, 54; 31:22. (close)
195. It is indeed strange, but nevertheless regrettable, that in matters of religion which so deeply concern his eternal life man is often content to follow blindly in the footsteps of his elders. But in worldly matters where only the interests of this life are at stake, and that too partially, he takes meticulous care to see that he adopts the right course, and does not blindly follow others. (close)
a. 5:105; 10:79; 21:53, 54; 31:22. (close)
It is indeed strange, but nevertheless a hard fact, that in matters of religion which so deeply concern man, he is often content to follow blindly the footsteps of his forefathers and does not even care to satisfy himself that his forefathers were wise and well-guided people. On the other hand, in worldly matters where only the interests of this life are at stake, and that too partially, he often takes meticulous care to see that he adopts the right course and does not blindly follow others. (close)
وَ مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا کَمَثَلِ الَّذِیۡ یَنۡعِقُ بِمَا لَا یَسۡمَعُ اِلَّا دُعَآءً وَّ نِدَآءً ؕ صُمٌّۢ بُکۡمٌ عُمۡیٌ فَہُمۡ لَا یَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۲﴾
وَمَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ ٱلَّذِي يَنۡعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسۡمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَآءٗ وَنِدَآءٗۚ صُمُّۢ بُكۡمٌ عُمۡيٞ فَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡقِلُونَ
196. The Holy Prophet delivered the Divine Message to disbelievers. He is the crier. They heard his voice but made no effort to grasp its meaning. His words fell, as it were, on deaf ears, with the result that their spiritual faculties became wholly vitiated and they stooped low to the level of animals and beasts (7:180; 25:45), which only hear the cry of the crier but do not understand what he says. (close)
c. See 2:19. (close)
b. See 2:19. (close)
178. Important Words:
ینعق (shouts) is derived from نعق which means, he cried aloud. They say نعق الراعی بغنمه i.e. the shepherd shouted to his flock.نعق المؤذن means, the (Mu’adhdhin) raised his voice to call people to Prayer (Aqrab).
دعاء (call). دعاه means, he called a person by addressing him (Aqrab).
نداء (cry) means: (1) a loud voice or cry; (2) a general call without any specific person being addressed (Aqrab & Lane).
In this verse the Holy Prophet has been likened to a herdsman who shouts to his flock but they hear nothing except the sound, being unable to understand the meaning of the words uttered by him. Similarly, the people whom the Prophet addresses are like a herd of animals unable to follow and understand his call. The words of the verse fully expressed would read somewhat like this: مثل الذین کفروا کمثل اصحاب الذی ینعق i.e. "The case of those who disbelieve is like that of a people surrounding one who shouts, etc." The Holy Prophet conveyed the Divine Message to disbelievers. They heard his voice but made no effort to grasp the meaning of his message. His words fell, as it were, on deaf ears, with the result that the spiritual faculties of the disbelievers became wholly vitiated and they stooped low to the level of animals and beasts (7:180; 25:45). (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا کُلُوۡا مِنۡ طَیِّبٰتِ مَا رَزَقۡنٰکُمۡ وَ اشۡکُرُوۡا لِلّٰہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ اِیَّاہُ تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۳﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَٰتِ مَا رَزَقۡنَٰكُمۡ وَٱشۡكُرُواْ لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ إِيَّاهُ تَعۡبُدُونَ
a. 5:6; 16:115; 23:52; 40:65. (close)
197. The injunction contained in the words, "eat of good, pure and wholesome things (Tayyibat) indicates that Muslims are not allowed to use things which may, in any way, injure their physical or moral or spiritual health, though they may be allowed by the Shari‘ah. (close)
The injunction contained in the words, "eat of طیبات i.e. good, pure and wholesome things", indicates that Muslims are not allowed to use things which may, in any way, injure their physical or moral or spiritual health, though they may be حلال i.e. allowed by Law. The injunction is thus very important and far-reaching in its effect. The words, We have provided for you, further imply that Muslims are also not allowed to make use of things acquired by unfair and unlawful means. Only the things bestowed by God, i.e. those lawfully earned, are to be used. (close)
اِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡمَیۡتَۃَ وَ الدَّمَ وَ لَحۡمَ الۡخِنۡزِیۡرِ وَ مَاۤ اُہِلَّ بِہٖ لِغَیۡرِ اللّٰہِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضۡطُرَّ غَیۡرَ بَاغٍ وَّ لَا عَادٍ فَلَاۤ اِثۡمَ عَلَیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۷۴﴾
إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡمَيۡتَةَ وَٱلدَّمَ وَلَحۡمَ ٱلۡخِنزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ بِهِۦ لِغَيۡرِ ٱللَّهِۖ فَمَنِ ٱضۡطُرَّ غَيۡرَ بَاغٖ وَلَا عَادٖ فَلَآ إِثۡمَ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٌ
b. 5:4; 6:146; 16:116. (close)
198. The very name of this foul animal contains an allusion to the prohibition of its flesh. The word is a combination of Khinz and Ara; the first part meaning, 'very foul' and the second, 'I see', meaning, 'I see it very foul'……In Hindi, this animal is known by the name Su’ar which exactly means the same as the Arabic Khinzir, i.e. 'I see it very foul'......In Hindi this animal is also known as bad meaning 'bad' or 'foul' which is probably a translation of the original Arabic word. (close)
199. Ithm means, anything unlawful, i.e. a sin; anything which renders a person deserving of punishment (Aqrab); anything that pricks the mind as something evil (Mufradat). The four things mentioned in this verse are not the only things prohibited in Islam. Islam prohibits the use of many other things also which are divided into grades or categories, some of them being "unlawful" and others Mamnu‘ (forbidden). The verse under comment mentions only the "unlawful things." The forbidden things have been stated by the Holy Prophet and are mentioned in the Hadith. The use of Haram or an unlawful thing has direct bearing on the moral development of man but it is not so with a forbidden thing which stands on a lower level of importance, though both are prohibited. Among the things declared unlawful in this verse, the blood and the flesh of a dead animal as food are evidently injurious and have been recognized as such by most authorities on medicine. The flesh of swine has been proved to be injurious, besides man’s physical health, to his moral and spiritual health. The swine eats filth and takes delight in living in dirty places. It has indecent habits and possesses the evil trait of sex- perversion. Tape-worms, scrofula, cancer and encysted trichina are known to be more prevalent among pork-eating peoples. The use of pork also causes trichinosis. (close)
180. Important Words:
المیتة (that which dies of itself) is derived from مات i.e. he died. میتة means: (1) an animal that has died a natural death (Aqrab); (2) an animal that has not been slaughtered in a manner prescribed by Law (Lane & Mufradat).
الخنزیر (swine). Authorities differ as to the derivation of this word, some deriving it from خنزر and others from خزر. The word الخنزرة means, hard and rugged land; or a clumsy, badly-finished axe. خزر الرجل means, the man looked with the hinder parts or outer angles of his eyes (Lisan). خزرت العین means, the eye was or became narrow and small. خزر الرجل means, the man looked from the outer angle of the eye; or he had a distortion of one of his eyes. The Arabs say: کل خنزیراخزر i.e. all swine look from the outer angles of their eyes. خزر المرء means the man affected or pretended to be cunning. الخنزیر means, the swine, the hog, the pig; a certain well-known foul animal the eating of whose flesh is said to be forbidden by every Prophet (Lane). The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement says of the word خنزیر: "The very name of this foul animal contains an allusion to the prohibition of its flesh. It is a combination of خنز and ار, the first part meaning, 'very foul' and the second, 'I see'. The word thus literally means, 'I see it very foul'…What is yet more remarkable is that in Hindi this animal is known by the name سؤر which is similarly composed of two words, i.e. سوء and ار, the latter part being identical with the latter part of the Arabic word and the former being the exact equivalent of the first part of the Arabic form. The Hindi word, therefore, exactly means the same as the Arabic, viz. 'I see it very foul'…In Hindi this animal is also known as بد meaning bad or foul which is probably a translation of the original Arabic word" (Teachings of Islam).
أھل (invoked) is derived from ھل meaning, it (the moon) made its appearance; he (the man) cried aloud. اھل also means, it made its appearance; he called or cried aloud. اھل بالتسمیة علی الذبیحة means, he invoked or pronounced the name of God while slaughtering an animal. اھل السیف بفلان means, the sword cut into him ( Aqrab). اھلال which is the infinitive-noun from اھل means, to raise one’s voice aloud by way of exclamation, on seeing the ھلال or the moon of the first night (Mufradat). Thus اھل به لغیر الله would mean, on which the name of anything besides God has been invoked at the time of slaughter; or which has been cut or slaughtered for a being other than God.
اضطر (driven by necessity) is derived from ضر which means, it did harm. ضرہ الی کذا means, it forced him to resort to that. اضطره means, he compelled him against his will. اضطره الی کذا means, he compelled him against his will to have recourse to that (Aqrab).
باغ (disobedient) is derived from بغی meaning, he rebelled; he disobeyed; he committed a wrong. باغ is really باغی being the active participle from بغی meaning, one who disobeys; one who is rebellious (Aqrab).
عاد (exceeding the limit) is the active participle from عدا i.e. he exceeded the proper or the prescribed limit. عدی علیهmeans, he transgressed against him. عاد is really عادی meaning, one who exceeds the limit (Aqrab).
اثم (sin). The verb اثم means, he did a thing which was unlawful for him; he did a thing which made him deserving of punishment. Thus the noun اثم means: (1) anything unlawful, i.e. a sin; (2) anything which makes a person deserving of punishment (Aqrab); (3) anything that pricks the mind as something evil (Mufradat).
This verse speaks only of food that is حرام or unlawful. It makes no mention of طیبات or pure and wholesome things to which reference has already been made in the preceding verse. It should not be supposed that the four things mentioned in this verse are the only things prohibited in Islam. As a matter of fact, Islam prohibits the use of many things; but they are divided into grades or classes, some of them being حرام or unlawful and others being ممنوع or simply forbidden. The verse under comment mentions only the former class. The forbidden things have been stated by the Holy Prophet and are mentioned in Hadith. They must not be used by the Faithful but they cannot be called حرام or unlawful. In fact, there is a great difference between unlawful (حرام) and forbidden (ممنوع) things. Islam recognizes due difference in the importance of different things, and so all prohibitions cannot be classed together and treated as of equal importance. The use of حرام or an unlawful thing has a great and direct bearing on the moral and spiritual development of man but it is not so with a ممنوع or forbidden thing which stands on a lower level of importance, though both are prohibited.
Among the things declared حرام or unlawful in this verse, the injuriousness of consuming blood and the flesh of a dead animal as food has been recognized by most authorities on medicine. The use of the flesh of swine has also proved to be injurious not only to the physical health of man, but also to his moral and spiritual health. The swine eats filth and takes delight in living in dirty places. It has indecent habits and possesses the evil trait of sex-perversion. Tape-worms, scrofula, cancer and encysted trichina are known to be more prevalent among pork-eating peoples. The use of pork also causes trichinosis.
The clause, and that on which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked, refers to that animal at the time of whose slaughter the name of any deity other than Allah is invoked or that animal which is slaughtered with a view to winning the pleasure of an idol or a saint etc., even though the name of Allah may have been mentioned while slaughtering it. Hence, all such animals as are sacrificed in order to propitiate a false deity or a saint, or any food that is cooked as an offering to a deceased person have been condemned as unlawful. Such foods are spiritually harmful. The incentive to these offerings is شرك (i.e. idolatry) and شرك is tantamount to rebellion against God.
In spite of the fact that the above mentioned things have been declared to be unlawful, the verse goes on to say that if for want of food the very life of a person should be in danger, considerations of the preservation of human life must temporarily prevail over other considerations. This is a case of choosing the lesser of two evils. Hence the verse very wisely makes an exception in case of a real and urgent necessity when no other food is available and one is in real danger of losing one’s life if one does not use the unlawful food. In fact, of the four unlawful things, the first three have been declared unlawful mostly on the basis of the fact that they are injurious to physical and moral health, and it is certainly wise to permit their use in case of urgent necessity when there is real danger to life. As for the fourth thing, i.e. a food consecrated to any other being beside Allah, it is evident that it is not injurious intrinsically. It is injurious only from the point of view of faith. Therefore when such a thing is used merely to save one’s life, which may be so usefully employed in the service of religion, there can be no real objection in eating it, because this extremely rare act cannot be considered as involving شرك or idolatry, particularly when it is performed with the sanction of God.
Permission for the exceptional use of such things is, however, qualified by two important conditions: (1) that one who resorts to this use must not be باغی (i.e. disobedient). There should be no lurking spirit of revolt or disobedience behind the act. The circumstances must be real and the condition genuine, and nothing should be done out of design and wilfulness; (2) that the user of unlawful food under exceptional circumstances should not become عاد i.e. he should not exceed the limit. He should confine himself to such quantity only as is absolutely essential to save life. Thus the exceptional use is permissible only at a time when one is under bona fide constraint and is in real danger, and then only to the extent which is absolutely necessary for saving life.
Though it has been declared in this verse that there is no sin in partaking of a prohibited food when no revolt or transgression is intended, yet as one might err in judging what is revolt or transgression and what is not, and thus be unconsciously guilty of breaking a divine commandment, the Quran adds the words: surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful, meaning that an unintentional deviation will be forgiven by the Merciful God. The clause also reminds a Muslim that though it has been made permissible for him to take unlawful food in exceptional circumstances, yet such circumstances may be due to certain hidden shortcomings of his own for which he should seek God’s forgiveness, and that if he does so he will find God Forgiving and Merciful. In this connection see also 5:4; 6:146 & 16:116. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یَکۡتُمُوۡنَ مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ یَشۡتَرُوۡنَ بِہٖ ثَمَنًا قَلِیۡلًا ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ مَا یَاۡکُلُوۡنَ فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِہِمۡ اِلَّا النَّارَ وَ لَا یُکَلِّمُہُمُ اللّٰہُ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ وَ لَا یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ ۚۖ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۷۵﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَيَشۡتَرُونَ بِهِۦ ثَمَنٗا قَلِيلًا أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ مَا يَأۡكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمۡ إِلَّا ٱلنَّارَ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
a. See 2:147. (close)
b. 2:42. (close)
200. The words signify that as fire cannot satisfy thirst, but rather increases it, so the things of this world cannot bring peace of mind and contentment but rather the reverse of them. (close)
c. 2:160. (close)
b. See 2:42. (close)
c. 2:160 (close)
181. Important Words:
یزکیھم (purify them) is from زکی meaning, he purified him; he elevated him (Aqrab). See also 2:130.
Sin generally originates from an undue love of the world but the world is indeed a small thing as compared with the Hereafter (9:38). Those who forsake truth or conceal it for the things of this world eat naught but fire which will eventually consume their own bodies. The verse beautifully hints that the things of this world, as opposed to spiritual blessings, are like the hellfire of the next. As food goes to make up the tissues of the body, so will the body of an enemy of truth eating fire become one whole mass of fire, serving as fuel for the fire of Hell. The words also signify that as fire cannot satisfy hunger and thirst, but rather increases them, so the things of this world cannot bring about peace of mind and contentment but rather the reverse of them. The verse also constitutes a stern warning to those preachers who, in order to gain worldly ends, accommodate their sermons to the views of the listeners and refrain from speaking the truth.
The words Allah will not speak to them do not mean that God will not speak to them at all; for God, being the Lord and Master, will speak even to the guilty on the Day of Judgement, but such speech will be like that of a judge condemning a criminal to punishment. What is meant is that God will not speak to them with love and affection.
The words, nor will He purify them, mean that He will not adjudge them as purified but will declare them unclean and unholy, These words may also mean that on the Day of Judgement, God will not elevate them or exalt them to Himself but will leave them abased and neglected. Again, as these people opposed the truth in the world in order that they might enjoy the good things thereof, they will correspondingly have a painful punishment in the Hereafter and will be deprived of all sweetness of life in the world to come (see important Words under 2:8). (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ اشۡتَرَوُا الضَّلٰلَۃَ بِالۡہُدٰی وَ الۡعَذَابَ بِالۡمَغۡفِرَۃِ ۚ فَمَاۤ اَصۡبَرَہُمۡ عَلَی النَّارِ ﴿۱۷۶﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱشۡتَرَوُاْ ٱلضَّلَٰلَةَ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡعَذَابَ بِٱلۡمَغۡفِرَةِۚ فَمَآ أَصۡبَرَهُمۡ عَلَى ٱلنَّارِ
d. 2:17; 3:178; 4:45. (close)
201. The words mean that the disbelievers are, as it were, possessed of great endurance to bear the torment of the fire of Hell. These words have been used ironically. (close)
b. 2:17; 3:178; 4:45. (close)
The words ما اصبرھم علی النار i.e. how great is their endurance of the Fire, and similar other expressions are used in the Arabic language to express wonder on the part of the onlooker and tenacity and intensiveness of the relevant quality in the object. The expression, therefore, means that though the deeds of disbelievers are sure to bring down upon them the great punishment of Fire, yet they so tenaciously persist in their wicked course as to indicate that they are, as it were, possessed of great endurance of its torment. (close)