Hajj is During Well-Known Months: Tafsir al-Sa’di

While discussing some of the rulings related to Hajj in surah al-Baqarah, Allah informs us that:

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّـهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

Hajj is during well-known months. So whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein, there is no rafath and no fusooq and no jidal during Hajj. And whatever you do of good good – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is taqwa. So have taqwa, O you of understanding. [2:197]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di explained this ayah in his tafsir by writing:

يخبر تعالى أن { الْحَجَّ } واقع في { أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ } عند المخاطبين, مشهورات, بحيث لا تحتاج إلى تخصيص، كما احتاج الصيام إلى تعيين شهره, وكما بين تعالى أوقات الصلوات الخمس. وأما الحج فقد كان من ملة إبراهيم, التي لم تزل مستمرة في ذريته معروفة بينهم. والمراد بالأشهر المعلومات عند جمهور العلماء: شوال, وذو القعدة, وعشر من ذي الحجة, فهي التي يقع فيها الإحرام بالحج غالبا.ـ

Allah informs us that

الْحَجَّ

Hajj …

takes place during

أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ

… well-known months

i.e. well-known to those to whom this revelation was originally addressed. Well-known such that there was no need to specify it as had been the case which explicitly naming the month of fasting or how Allah had clarified the times of the five daily prayers. But the Hajj had been part of the religion of Ibrahim which had continued to be practiced among his descendants and was known to them. According to the majority of scholars, the intended meaning of the well-known months is Shawwaal, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, and Dhu’l-Hijjah because these are the months in which people enter in a state of ihram for Hajj for the most part.

ـ { فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ } أي: أحرم به, لأن الشروع فيه يصيره فرضا, ولو كان نفلا. واستدل بهذه الآية الشافعي ومن تابعه, على أنه لا يجوز الإحرام بالحج قبل أشهره، قلت لو قيل: إن فيها دلالة لقول الجمهور, بصحة الإحرام [بالحج] قبل أشهره لكان قريبا، فإن قوله: { فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ } دليل على أن الفرض قد يقع في الأشهر المذكورة وقد لا يقع فيها, وإلا لم يقيده. ـ

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ

So whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein …

meaning: whoever entered into a state of ihram during them, because undertaking this becomes making it obligatory upon yourself.

al-Shafi’ee and those who follow him used this ayah as evidence for the position that it is not permission to enter into a state of ihram for Hajj prior to these months. However, if someone were to say this then I would respond that this ayah actually contains a proof for the majority position which is that it is permissible to enter into ihram before these months so long as it is shortly before them. That is because Allah’s statement

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ

So whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein …

is a proof that that making the Hajj obligatory on oneself could be done in these aforementioned months or outside of them; otherwise He would not have specified “therein” here.

وقوله: { فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ } أي: يجب أن تعظموا الإحرام بالحج, وخصوصا الواقع في أشهره, وتصونوه عن كل ما يفسده أو ينقصه, من الرفث وهو الجماع ومقدماته الفعلية والقولية, خصوصا عند النساء بحضرتهن. والفسوق وهو: جميع المعاصي, ومنها محظورات الإحرام. والجدال وهو: المماراة والمنازعة والمخاصمة, لكونها تثير الشر, وتوقع العداوة.ـ

Allah’s statement:

فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ

… there is no rafath and no fusooq and no jidal during Hajj.

meaning that you must honor the ihram of Hajj, especially during these months of Hajj, and protect it from anything that would annul or undermine it such as:

al-rafath which is sexual intercourse and whatever actions or statements lead up to that, especially talking about it in the presence of women

al-fusooq which refers to all forms of disobedience, including those things which are forbidden while in a state of ihram

and jidal, which is arguing, disputing and contending because of how these things stir up evil and lead to enmity

والمقصود من الحج, الذل والانكسار لله, والتقرب إليه بما أمكن من القربات, والتنزه عن مقارفة السيئات, فإنه بذلك يكون مبرورا والمبرور, ليس له جزاء إلا الجنة، وهذه الأشياء وإن كانت ممنوعة في كل مكان وزمان, فإنها يتغلظ المنع عنها في الحج.ـ

The objective of Hajj is humility and brokenness towards Allah, drawing closer to Him through the acts of devotion that one is able to perform, and declaring Him free of any evil traits or deeds. If that is done, then it is a mabroor (accepted) Hajj, and there is no other reward for that besides Jannah.

So even though these things are prohibited in every time and place, their prohibition becomes even more emphasized during the Hajj.

واعلم أنه لا يتم التقرب إلى الله بترك المعاصي حتى يفعل الأوامر، ولهذا قال تعالى: { وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ } أتى بـ ” من ” لتنصيص على العموم، فكل خير وقربة وعبادة, داخل في ذلك، أي: فإن الله به عليم, وهذا يتضمن غاية الحث على أفعال الخير, وخصوصا في تلك البقاع الشريفة والحرمات المنيفة, فإنه ينبغي تدارك ما أمكن تداركه فيها, من صلاة, وصيام, وصدقة, وطواف, وإحسان قولي وفعلي.ـ

It is important to understand that drawing close to Allah cannot be accomplished simply by leaving off acts of disobedience, but must also be accompanied by enacting the commands. That is why Allah says:

وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ

And whatever you do of good – Allah knows it.

Here Allah says “of good” in order to indicate the generality of this statement, that any and every form of good, effort to draw near to Allah, or act of worship in included in this. In other words, Allah is all-knowing of these things. So this statement includes the strongest form of encouragement to do good, especially in these noble locations and tremendous sacred places. So one ought to expend the maximum amount of effort he can muster in good deeds such as prayer, fasting, charity, tawaaf, good statements and good actions.

ثم أمر تعالى بالتزود لهذا السفر المبارك, فإن التزود فيه الاستغناء عن المخلوقين, والكف عن أموالهم, سؤالا واستشرافا، وفي الإكثار منه نفع وإعانة للمسافرين, وزيادة قربة لرب العالمين، وهذا الزاد الذي المراد منه إقامة البنية بلغة ومتاع. وأما الزاد الحقيقي المستمر نفعه لصاحبه, في دنياه, وأخراه, فهو زاد التقوى الذي هو زاد إلى دار القرار, وهو الموصل لأكمل لذة, وأجل نعيم دائم أبدا، ومن ترك هذا الزاد, فهو المنقطع به الذي هو عرضة لكل شر, وممنوع من الوصول إلى دار المتقين. فهذا مدح للتقوى.ـ

Allah then commands us to take provision for this blessed trip, for part of taking provisions is making yourself free of need from other created beings and refraining from taking their wealth or having to ask for it. The more one prepares himself by taking provisions, the more benefit and aid he can be to other travelers and the more he can draw close to the Lord of all creation.

Those are the provisions which are meant to maintain ones body and provide for his material needs, but as for the true and lasting provisions which benefit those who have them both in this life and in the next, they are the provisions of al-taqwa. That is the provision for one traveling to the hereafter which will take him to the best of delights and everlasting pleasures. But whoever does not take this provision will be cut off from these things and subjected to every form of harm, prevented from reaching the abode of the muttaqoon. So this is a great commendation of al-taqwa.

    ثم أمر بها أولي الألباب فقال: { وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ } أي: يا أهل العقول الرزينة, اتقوا ربكم الذي تقواه أعظم ما تأمر به العقول, وتركها دليل على الجهل, وفساد الرأي

Then Allah directs the people of understanding to fulfill this command by saying:

وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

so have taqwa, O you of understanding.

meaning: O people of intellect and composure, have taqwa of your Lord, for having taqwa of Him is the greatest thing that your intellect orders you to do, while not doing so would be a proof of your ignorance and poor judgement.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 89-90]

See also: The Straight Path Leads to Allah: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: Eemaan, jihaad and Hajj mabroor: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: Khutbah regarding Hajj: Imam al-Sa’di

One thought on “Hajj is During Well-Known Months: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Eemaan, jihaad and Hajj mabroor: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali | Tulayhah

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