“Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-An’aam:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّـهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِم مَّرْ‌جِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. [6:108]

Commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote the following:

ينهى الله المؤمنين عن أمر كان جائزا، بل مشروعا في الأصل، وهو سب آلهة المشركين، التي اتخذت أوثانا وآلهة مع الله، التي يتقرب إلى الله بإهانتها وسبها. ـ

Here, Allah is prohibiting the believers from something which is permissible – in fact, at its basis it is legislated – and that thing is insulting the polytheists’ objects of worship; those which are taken as idols and objects of worship alongside Allah, and those which the believers insult and hold in contempt thereby seeking nearness to Allah.

ولكن لما كان هذا السب طريقا إلى سب المشركين لرب العالمين، الذي يجب تنزيه جنابه العظيم عن كل عيب، وآفة، وسب، وقدح -نهى الله عن سب آلهة المشركين، لأنهم يحمون لدينهم، ويتعصبون له. لأن كل أمة، زين الله لهم عملهم، فرأوه حسنا، وذبوا عنه، ودافعوا بكل طريق، حتى إنهم، ليسبون الله رب العالمين، الذي رسخت عظمته في قلوب الأبرار والفجار، إذا سب المسلمون آلهتهم. ـ

That being said, when this insulting becomes a pathway for the polytheists to insult the Lord of all creation – the One whom it is necessary to exalt His great nobility above any form of deficiency, vice, insult, or contempt – then Allah has prohibited insulting the objects of worship of the polytheists, because then the polytheists would reflexively defend their religion and cling to it fanatically. For Allah has made the deeds of every nation seem pleasing to them, such that they see them as good. Thus they defend and protect their religion by every means, even to the extent that they would insult Allah – the Lord of all creation, the One whose magnification is implanted in the hearts of the both righteous and the sinners alike – if the believers insult their objects of worship.

 ولكن الخلق كلهم، مرجعهم ومآلهم، إلى الله يوم القيامة، يعرضون عليه، وتعرض أعمالهم، فينبئهم بما كانوا يعملون، من خير وشر. ـ

However, the ultimate place of return for all created beings is to Allah on the Day of Judgement. They will be presented to him, and their actions will be reviewed, and then they will be informed of what they used to do – both the good and the bad.

وفي هذه الآية الكريمة، دليل للقاعدة الشرعية وهو أن الوسائل تعتبر بالأمور التي توصل إليها، وأن وسائل المحرم، ولو كانت جائزة تكون محرمة، إذا كانت تفضي إلى الشر. ـ

And this noble ayah contains a proof for a principle of the Sharee’ah which state that the means take the same ruling as the ends at which they arrive, and that the means to something forbidden – even if the means themselves are permissible – become forbidden if they lead to evil.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 299-300]

See also: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Using truthful speech for false purposes: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The command to extol the Prophet, and the punishment for harming him or the believers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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3 thoughts on ““Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Forbidding the permissible to prevent the forbidden: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Using truthful speech for false purposes: Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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