اُحِلَّ لَکُمۡ صَیۡدُ الۡبَحۡرِ وَ طَعَامُہٗ مَتَاعًا لَّکُمۡ وَ لِلسَّیَّارَۃِ ۚ وَ حُرِّمَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ صَیۡدُ الۡبَرِّ مَا دُمۡتُمۡ حُرُمًا ؕ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ الَّذِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾
أُحِلَّ لَكُمۡ صَيۡدُ ٱلۡبَحۡرِ وَطَعَامُهُۥ مَتَٰعٗا لَّكُمۡ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِۖ وَحُرِّمَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ صَيۡدُ ٱلۡبَرِّ مَا دُمۡتُمۡ حُرُمٗاۗ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِيٓ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ
793. The word "sea" includes rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, etc. See 7:139. (close)
b. 5:2, 96. (close)
a. 5:2, 96. (close)
The word بحر (sea) here includes rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, etc. See 7:139.
As during the time of Pilgrimage, hunting on land is likely to prove inconvenient and even dangerous to pilgrims visiting the Ka‘bah, whereas the catching of sea-game does not interfere with traffic, so the former has been prohibited and the latter allowed. (close)
جَعَلَ اللّٰہُ الۡکَعۡبَۃَ الۡبَیۡتَ الۡحَرَامَ قِیٰمًا لِّلنَّاسِ وَ الشَّہۡرَ الۡحَرَامَ وَ الۡہَدۡیَ وَ الۡقَلَآئِدَ ؕ ذٰلِکَ لِتَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۹۸﴾
۞جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡكَعۡبَةَ ٱلۡبَيۡتَ ٱلۡحَرَامَ قِيَٰمٗا لِّلنَّاسِ وَٱلشَّهۡرَ ٱلۡحَرَامَ وَٱلۡهَدۡيَ وَٱلۡقَلَـٰٓئِدَۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتَعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ
c. 2:126; 3:97, 98. (close)
794. God has made Pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah a sign for the progress and prosperity of Muslims. So long as they will continue to perform Pilgrimage, God’s grace will continue to attend them. Pilgrimage is a means of support for men in a material sense also. Muslims from all parts of the world visit the Ka‘bah in hundreds of thousands every year and this serves as a potent means of support for the Meccans. But the promise is not confined to the people of Mecca but encompasses in its purview all mankind. Qiyam also signifies a teaching which is permanent and not subject to abrogation. (close)
a. 5:3. (close)
b. 2:126; 3:97-98. (close)
c. 5:3. (close)
725. Important Words:
قیاما (means of support and uplift) is the noun-infinitive from قام meaning, he stood up, or he stood still. They say: قام المرأةi.e. he (the husband) supported or maintained the woman. قام به قیاما تاما means, he managed it (an affair, etc.) perfectly. قیاماtherefore signifies, means of support and uplift (Lane, Aqrab & Zamakhshari). See also 4:6.
God has made Pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah a sign for the progress and prosperity of Muslims. So long as they will continue to perform Pilgrimage, God’s grace will continue to attend them. But it is regrettable that wealthy Muslims have now generally grown negligent in this respect, with the result that their glory has departed.
Pilgrimage is also a means of support for men in a material sense. Muslims from all parts of the world visit the Ka‘bah and this serves as a means of support for the people of Mecca. Abraham left his wife Hagar and his son Ishmael in the wilderness of Paran near Mecca, apparently to die from starvation. But God made provision not only for Hagar and Ishmael in that barren and bleak desert but also for their posterity for all times to come. See also ch. 106. But to say that the promise that the Pilgrimage will continue to prove a means of subsistence for Meccans only is to limit its vast scope and application. It certainly is not confined to the people of Mecca but encompasses all mankind. It is clear from the verse that not only will the Pilgrimage to Mecca with its attendant rites continue till the end of time, but that the world itself will last only so long as the Pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah continues and that it will come to an end when the Pilgrimage ceases to be performed. This is indeed a great prophecy; for there have been many places in the world which were the resorts of pilgrims in their own time but which have long ceased to be so and are now deserted and forgotten. But the Ka‘bah is meant to remain for all times "an inviolable house and a means of support and uplift for mankind". (close)
اِعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿ؕ۹۹﴾
ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
b. 15:50, 51. (close)
a. 15:50-51. (close)
The Divine attributes of forgiveness and mercy are given great prominence in the Quran. My mercy encompasses all things, says the Holy Book (7:157). Therefore, whenever God warns people of His punishment in the Quran, He also makes it a point to remind them of His attributes of forgiveness and mercy, thus showing that these attributes predominate over His other attributes and only await a gesture of goodness on the part of man to show themselves. (close)
مَا عَلَی الرَّسُوۡلِ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تُبۡدُوۡنَ وَ مَا تَکۡتُمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾
مَّا عَلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ إِلَّا ٱلۡبَلَٰغُۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُبۡدُونَ وَمَا تَكۡتُمُونَ
c. 16:83; 36:18; 64:13. (close)
d. 2:78; 6:4; 11:6; 16:20. (close)
a. 16:83; 36:18; 64:13. (close)
b. 2:78; 6:4; 11:6; 16:20. (close)
This verse sheds some light on the responsibility and duty of a Prophet. With the deliverance of the message entrusted to a Prophet, his duty ends, and he is not responsible if, in spite of his clear warnings, the people reject his mission. He has not been given the power to force them to believe. In fact, each Divine Message serves as a guidance for the people to whom it is given. If they live upto it and repent of their evil ways, they find God Forgiving and Merciful; but if they persist in their wicked practices, they are punished and God makes another people take their place. (close)
قُلۡ لَّا یَسۡتَوِی الۡخَبِیۡثُ وَ الطَّیِّبُ وَ لَوۡ اَعۡجَبَکَ کَثۡرَۃُ الۡخَبِیۡثِ ۚ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ یٰۤاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۱﴾٪
قُل لَّا يَسۡتَوِي ٱلۡخَبِيثُ وَٱلطَّيِّبُ وَلَوۡ أَعۡجَبَكَ كَثۡرَةُ ٱلۡخَبِيثِۚ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَـٰٓأُوْلِي ٱلۡأَلۡبَٰبِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ
e. 2:268. (close)
795. Being naturally influenced by his environment man is prone to follow and imitate others, particularly when they happen to be in the majority. The verse contains a warning against unthinking and blind following of the majority. (close)
c. 2:268. (close)
Being naturally influenced by his environment, man is prone to follow and imitate what others do, particularly when they happen to be in the majority. This verse, however, is a warning against unthinking and blind following of the majority. The real criterion by which the worth of a thing is to be judged is not how many people do it, but what good it contains; and, God being the source of all good, the only true and unfailing test is, as the verse puts it, تقوی or God-fearingness. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَسۡـَٔلُوۡا عَنۡ اَشۡیَآءَ اِنۡ تُبۡدَ لَکُمۡ تَسُؤۡکُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَسۡـَٔلُوۡا عَنۡہَا حِیۡنَ یُنَزَّلُ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ تُبۡدَ لَکُمۡ ؕ عَفَا اللّٰہُ عَنۡہَا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۲﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَسۡـَٔلُواْ عَنۡ أَشۡيَآءَ إِن تُبۡدَ لَكُمۡ تَسُؤۡكُمۡ وَإِن تَسۡـَٔلُواْ عَنۡهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ تُبۡدَ لَكُمۡ عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهَاۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٞ
a. 2:109. (close)
796. The basis of the Islamic Shari‘ah is threefold: (1) The Law as embodied in the Qur’an, (2) the Sunnah or the practice of the Holy Prophet, and (3) injunctions and precepts contained in his authentic sayings. These three sources of Islamic Law deal with all the fundamental problems of man, but minor details are left to his discretion to solve them in the light of the above three torch-bearers of guidance, aided and assisted by his own God- given intellectual powers and faculties. It is to matters relating to minor details that the present verse refers. (close)
d. 2:109. (close)
The verse is important, as it sheds light on the principle underlying the Shari‘ah, i.e. the code of Divine Laws. The bases of the Islamic Shari‘ah are threefold: (1) the Law embodied in the Quran, (2) Sunnah or the practice of the Holy Prophet, and (3) the injunctions and precepts contained in his sayings. These three sources of Islamic Law deal with all the fundamental problems of man, but minor details are left to be thought out by man himself in the light of the above three torch-bearers of guidance, aided and assisted by his own God-given intellectual powers and faculties. It is to matters relating to minor details that the present verse refers and God warns the Faithful that the habit of asking questions about such matters will do them more harm than good.
As a matter of fact, God, in His infinite wisdom, leaves sufficient room for individuals to exercise and develop their power of judgement and their reasoning faculty. When man is confronted with situations and circumstances about which he finds no definite and clear-cut guidance in the Quran, or in the practice or sayings of the Holy Prophet, he has to find a way for himself in order to meet them as best he can, keeping always in view the guiding and unalterable principle that nothing is to be done which runs counter to any Quranic injunction or to the established practice and the authentic sayings of the Holy Prophet. Islam is thus not a hard and fast code of laws, for it does not lay down rigid injunctions regarding minor and ever-changing details. On the contrary, it affords sufficient scope for individ-uals to exercise their judgement in order to adapt an injunction of a general nature to meet a new and changed situation. The basic principles, however, are unchangable. But as details continue to change, Islam has not resorted to rigid legislation with regard to minor details and has forbidden Muslims to ask for legislation regarding them. Indeed, it was about filling up these very details to meet new and altered conditions that the Holy Prophet said اختلاف امتی رحمة i.e. "The difference of opinion among my followers is, indeed, a source of mercy". This hadith meant that as it had been left to Muslims to chalk out a way for themselves with regard to such minor details about which no definite pronouncement is to be found in the Shari‘ah, there was bound to be a difference of opinion among Muslim theologians about them, but that this difference would prove a blessing for them because it would afford opportunities for the exercise and cultivation of their reasoning faculties as well as a suitable and flexible law about ever-changing details.
The reader will see that this verse also incidentally refutes the allegations of those who say that the laws of Islam, being rigid and unchangeable, afford not room for the exercise of individual judgement, and that they fetter humanity for all time to hard and fast rules and are thus calculated to impede the intellectual advancement of man rather than help it.
The expression, which if revealed to you would cause you trouble, means that if God or His Prophet had legislated about minor details and had not left such matters to individual discretion so that people might formulate law concerning them according to their own judgement and their own circumstances, they would have found it troublesome and the development of man’s intellect would have become seriously hampered. (close)
قَدۡ سَاَلَہَا قَوۡمٌ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ ثُمَّ اَصۡبَحُوۡا بِہَا کٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾
قَدۡ سَأَلَهَا قَوۡمٞ مِّن قَبۡلِكُمۡ ثُمَّ أَصۡبَحُواْ بِهَا كَٰفِرِينَ
b. 2:109. (close)
797. Unnecessary questioning about minor details or seeking legislation on them is generally to the detriment of the questioner himself. It limits his discretion and fetters his judgment, besides binding him to unnecessary and irksome legislation. The Israelites put unnecessary questions to Moses in regard to minor details with the result that they created difficulties for themselves and ended by breaking the commandments of God (2:109). (close)
a. 2:109. (close)
Unnecessary questioning about minor details and seeking legislation on them is always to the detriment of the questioner himself. It limits his discretion and fetters his judgement, besides binding him and his co-religionists to unnecessary and irksome legislation. The Israelites are reported in the Quran to have put unnecessary questions to Moses in regard to minor details with the result that they created difficulties for themselves and became more and more perplexed and confounded and ended with breaking the commandments of God and drawing His displeasure on themselves (e.g. 2:109). (close)
مَا جَعَلَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡۢ بَحِیۡرَۃٍ وَّ لَا سَآئِبَۃٍ وَّ لَا وَصِیۡلَۃٍ وَّ لَا حَامٍ ۙ وَّ لٰکِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ ؕ وَ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾
مَا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ مِنۢ بَحِيرَةٖ وَلَا سَآئِبَةٖ وَلَا وَصِيلَةٖ وَلَا حَامٖ وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَفۡتَرُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَۖ وَأَكۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡقِلُونَ
c. 6:137. (close)
798. Bahirah: A name given by pagan Arabs to a she-camel which had given birth to seven young ones and was then let loose to feed freely after its ears were slit. It was dedicated to some god and its milk was not used nor its back. (close)
798A. Sa’ibah: A she-camel let loose to water and pasture after giving birth to five young ones. (close)
798B. Wasilah: A she-camel (or an ewe or she-goat) let loose in the name of a god after she had given birth to seven female young ones consecutively. If at the seventh birth she bore a pair, male and female, these were also let loose. (close)
798C. Hamin: A camel which had fathered seven young ones. It was let loose and was not used for riding or carrying. It was free to pasture and water. (close)
798D. After having stated that minor matters and details have been left to man to legislate as he thinks proper, the verse fittingly draws attention to the fact that such freedom and discretion are not allowed in fundamentals, because in fundamentals unanimity is essential and divergence of opinion may prove immensely harmful. The verse gives an illustration to show that human intellect cannot be trusted with the making of the laws on fundamental matters. The Arabs used to let loose the animals mentioned in the verse in honour of their idols. Besides being based on disbelief and superstition, the practice was also highly foolish. The animals thus let loose wrought great havoc wherever they went. The Qur’an refers to this evil practice as an example of man-made laws and warns Christians who question the wisdom of a revealed Law to learn a lesson from the morally degrading practices to which the pagan Arabs had resorted because they had no revealed Law to guide them. (close)
b. 6:137. (close)
731. Important Words:
بحیره (Bahirah) is derived from بحر which means, he cut or slit lengthwise; he split or clave. Bahirah was a name given by the pagan Arabs to a camel (or a goat) which they let loose to feed, after slitting its ears. The word may be applied both to males and females, but in practice it was only the females that were thus let loose to pasture where they liked. They were dedicated to some god and their milk was not used nor their back. The description of Bahirah varied among different tribes.
سائبة (Sa’ibah) is derived from ساب which means, it or he went away at random or went wherever it or he liked. سائبة was a name given to a she-camel set free to go wherever she pleased. She was generally let loose as an offering to the gods when one recovered from a sickness or returned safe from a journey. Often a she-camel having given birth to 10 female young ones was let loose to pasture where she would, and she was not ridden nor was her milk drunk except by her young.
وصلیة (Wasilah) is derived from وصل which means, he connected or joined. وصیلة was the name given to a she-camel that was let loose in the name of a god after she had consecutively given birth to seven female young ones. If at the seventh birth, she bore a pair, male and female, each of the latter was also let loose.
حام (Ham) is derived from حمی. They say احمی الشیء i.e. he prohibited the thing; or he protected it; or defended it against encroachment, invasion or attack. حام which is really حامی therefore means a stallion camel that has his back prohibited or interdicted to be used for bearing a rider or carrying a burden; such camel was neither ridden nor shorn of his fur; he was left at liberty and was not debarred from pasturage or from water. The word is also used about a stallion camel whose offspring’s offspring has conceived (Lane).
After having said that minor matters and details should be left to man to legislate as he thinks proper, the Quran, in the present verse, fittingly draws our attention to the fact that such freedom and discretion cannot be allowed to man in fundamentals and things of importance, because in such matters unanimity is essential and divergence of opinion may prove immensely harmful. The verse under comment gives an illustration to show that human intellect cannot be trusted with the making of laws on fundamental matters, for, if left to itself, it is likely to make laws that would lead man to perdition. An instance of such laws is given in this verse. It is really Christians for whom the address in this verse is meant; but instead of drawing attention to the laws devised and invented by Christians, the Quran very wisely refers here to certain practices of the pagan Arabs, for one can more easily see a mote in another man’s eye than a beam in one’s own. The Arabs used to let loose the animals mentioned in the verse in honour of their idols. Besides being based on disbelief and superstition, the practice was also highly foolish. The animals thus let loose wrought great havoc wherever they went. They devastated field crops and gardens and killed children. The Quran refers to the letting of these animals as an example of man-made laws and warns Christians who question the wisdom and blessings of a revealed Law to learn a lesson from the degrading practices to which the pagan Arabs had fallen victim, because they had no revealed Law to guide them. (close)
وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ وَ اِلَی الرَّسُوۡلِ قَالُوۡا حَسۡبُنَا مَا وَجَدۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ اٰبَآءَنَا ؕ اَوَ لَوۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَإِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسۡبُنَا مَا وَجَدۡنَا عَلَيۡهِ ءَابَآءَنَآۚ أَوَلَوۡ كَانَ ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ شَيۡـٔٗا وَلَا يَهۡتَدُونَ
a. 2:171; 31:22. (close)
It is indeed strange that when science and knowledge advance and new discoveries and new inventions are made, people are quick to throw overboard worn out ideas and theories tenaciously held by their forefathers and hasten to accept and benefit by the new inventions and discoveries; but when a Prophet brings to them a new guidance from God, they refuse to accept it on the ground that it does not agree with the beliefs and ideas held by their ancestors and with their own time-honoured notions and theories. How foolish is this attitude and how lame and absurd the excuse for the rejection of divine truths! This is how the Quran exposes the untenability of the position of the rejecters of truth. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ ۚ لَا یَضُرُّکُمۡ مَّنۡ ضَلَّ اِذَا اہۡتَدَیۡتُمۡ ؕ اِلَی اللّٰہِ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ جَمِیۡعًا فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۶﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَنفُسَكُمۡۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا ٱهۡتَدَيۡتُمۡۚ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡ جَمِيعٗا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ
a. 2:138. (close)
799. Our duty only is to preach the truth to others. If they accept it, well and good, but if in spite of our best efforts they refuse to be weaned from their evil course, their rejection of truth will do us no harm. In no case should we compromise our principles in order to win others over to our way of thinking. That would be ruining our own souls to save the souls of others and that indeed would be a bad bargain. (close)
b. 2:138. (close)
This verse tells us that though man can sacrifice his worldly interests for the sake of others, yet he cannot so sacrifice his beliefs and religious principles. In religious matters our duty is only to show people the right path and exhort them to follow it; but we should not ruin or wrong our souls for their sake. It cannot profit mankind nor ourselves if we lose our own soul in trying to save others. The body may be sacrificed but not the soul. Christians abandoned some of the fundamental principles of their religion, hoping to win over certain heathen nations to Christianity. But in doing so they lost the truth and struck a very bad bargain.
The verse, however, should not be understood to mean that we should not preach the truth to others, and should confine our attention to saving our own souls only and have no thought for others. In fact, the Quran enjoins upon every Muslim to try his utmost to make others see truth, because firstly, it is our duty to propagate truth; and secondly, placed as we are, we cannot properly save ourselves unless we also save those among whom we live. What the verse, therefore, means is that our duty is only to preach truth to others. If they accept it, well and good; but if, in spite of our efforts, they refuse to be weaned from their evil course, their rejection of the truth will do us no harm. But in no circumstances should we compromise our principles in order to win others over to our way of thinking. That would be ruining our own souls to save others.
There is a hadith to the effect that once the Holy Prophet explained this verse as meaning that you should preach truth under all circumstances but when you see that the person to whom you preach truth persists in following his own evil inclinations and does not listen to you, then your duty will have ended by your having preached to him the truth, and in this case his evil practices would do you no harm, if only you yourselves scrupulously follow the truth (Tirmidhi, ch. on Tafsir).
The words, He who goes astray cannot harm you when you yourselves are rightly guided, may also mean that if you do the right sort of preaching and try to find the right way of approach to a person and even then he does not accept the truth, then his going astray will not harm you and you will not be held responsible for it. In this case, the words, when you yourselves are rightly guided, would mean, "if you succeed in finding out the right way of preaching and put in the right sort of effort". (close)