Fulfilling the Rights of Allah and His Creation: Tafsir ibn Kathir

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote the following in part of his explanation of surah al-Haqqah:

وقوله : ( إنه كان لا يؤمن بالله العظيم ولا يحض على طعام المسكين ) أي : لا يقوم بحق الله عليه من طاعته وعبادته ، ولا ينفع خلقه ويؤدي حقهم ; فإن لله على العباد أن يوحدوه ولا يشركوا به شيئا ، وللعباد بعضهم على بعض حق الإحسان والمعاونة على البر والتقوى ; ولهذا أمر الله بإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة ، وقبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يقول : ” الصلاة ، وما ملكت أيمانكم ” .ـ

Allah’s statement:

إِنَّهُ كَانَ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ الْعَظِيمِ * وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

Indeed, he did not use to have eemaan in Allah, the Magnificent * Nor did he encourage others to feed the poor. [69:33-34]

meaning: He neither fulfilled the rights of obedience and worship that Allah had over him nor did he bring any benefit to Allah’s creation or fulfill their rights. For Allah’s right over His slaves is that they would single Him out in worship and not associate anyone in worship alongside Him, and the rights of that the slaves have over one another is to show good treatment and aid one another in righteousness and piety. It is in the same vein that Allah commanded us to both establish the prayer and give the zakah. And the Prophet’s soul was taken while he was repeating, “The prayer, and those whom your right hand possesses!”

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 8/216]

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