Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 168-176: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the sixteenth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 168-176. This passage continues discussing the great crime, harms and punishments of concealing or altering the truth that Allah has revealed. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الأَرْضِ حَلالًا طَيِّبًا وَلا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ * إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لا تَعْلَمُونَ

O mankind, eat from whatever is on the earth that is lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of the shaytaan. He is certainly a clear enemy to you. * He only orders you to do evil and immorality and to say what you do not know about Allah. [2:168-169]

يا أيها الناس كلوا من رزق الله الذي أباحه لكم في الأرض، وهو الطاهر غير النجس، النافع غير الضار، ولا تتبعوا طرق الشيطان في التحليل والتحريم، والبدع والمعاصي. إنه عدو لكم ظاهر العداوة إنما يأمركم الشيطان بكل ذنب قبيح يسوءُكم، وبكل معصية بالغة القبح، وبأن تفتروا على الله الكذب من تحريم الحلال وغيره بدون علم.ـ

168-169. O mankind, eat from what Allah has provided and permitted for you on the earth. Those are the things which are clean, not filthy; beneficial, not harmful. And do not follow the shaytaan‘s ways of treating forbidden things as permitted, treating permitted things as forbidden, innovations, and sin. He is certainly a plain enemy. The shaytaan only commands you to do all forms of despicable sins that will harm you and all kinds of utterly reprehensible sins, and to fabricate lies about Allah such as treating forbidden things as permitted, treating permitted things as forbidden, and other such lies not based on any knowledge.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

And when they are told, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow what we found our fathers doing.” Even if their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided?  [2:170]

وإذا قال المؤمنون ناصحين أهل الضلال: اتبعوا ما أنزل الله من القرآن والهدى، أصرُّوا على تقليد أسلافهم المشركين قائلين: لا نتبع دينكم، بل نتبع ما وجدنا عليه آباءنا. أيتبعون آباءهم ولو كانوا لا يعقلون عن الله شيئًا، ولا يدركون رشدًا؟ـ

170. When the believers sincerely advise the people of misguidance by saying, “Follow the Qur’an and guidance that Allah has revealed,” they persist in blind-following their polytheist ancestors, saying, “We will not follow your religion. Instead, we will follow what we found our fathers doing.” Will they follow their fathers even if their fathers did not understand anything about Allah, nor did they practice an upright way of life?

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

The example of those who disbelieve is like one who shouts at something that hears nothing but calls and cries. Deaf, dumb, and blind, so they do not understand. [2:171]

وصفة الذين كفروا وداعيهم إلى الهدى والإيمان كصفة الراعي الذي يصيح بالبهائم ويزجرها، وهي لا تفهم معاني كلامه، وإنما تسمع النداء ودَوِيَّ الصوت فقط. هؤلاء الكفار صُمٌّ سدُّوا أسماعهم عن الحق، بُكْم أخرسوا ألسنتهم عن النطق به، عُمْي لا ترى أعينهم براهينه الباهرة، فهم لا يعملون عقولهم فيما ينفعهم.ـ

171. The description of those who disbelieve and those who invite them to guidance and faith is just like a shepherd who calls out to the grazing animals and rebukes them, but they do not understand what he is saying. They only hear cries and the sounds of a voice. These disbelievers are deaf, their ears prevented from hearing the truth; dumb, their tongues silenced from speaking the truth; blind, their eyes unable to see the clear proofs of the truth. As a result, they do not use their intellects in any way that would benefit them.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

O you who believe, eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah if it is indeed Him who you worship. [2:172]

يا أيها المؤمنون كلوا من الأطعمة المستلَذَّة الحلال التي رزقناكم، ولا تكونوا كالكفار الذين يحرمون الطيبات، ويستحِلُّون الخبائث، واشكروا لله نعمه العظيمة عليكم بقلوبكم وألسنتكم وجوارحكم، إن كنتم حقًا منقادين لأمره، سامعين مطيعين له، تعبدونه وحده لا شريك له.ـ

172. O believers, eat of the delicious permitted foods which We have provided for you. Do not be like the disbelievers who consider good things to be forbidden while treating filthy things as permitted. And thank Allah for the great blessings He has given you – being grateful to Him with your hearts, tongues and limbs – if you are truly those who comply with His commands, listening and obeying Him, worshiping Him alone with no partners.

إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

He has only forbidden you from dead animals, blood, the flesh of pigs, and whatever has been sacrificed to others besides Allah. But whoever is forced, neither willingly nor indulging, then there is no sin on him. Allah is certainly Forgiving, Merciful. [2:173]

إنما حرم الله عليكم ما يضركم كالميتة التي لم تذبح بطريقة شرعية، والدم المسفوح، ولحم الخنزير، والذبائح التي ذبحت لغير الله. ومِنْ فَضْلِ الله عليكم وتيسيره أنه أباح لكم أكل هذه المحرمات عند الضرورة. فمن ألجأته الضرورة إلى أكل شيء منها، غير ظالم في أكله فوق حاجته، ولا متجاوز حدود الله فيما أُبيح له، فلا ذنب عليه في ذلك. إن الله غفور لعباده، رحيم بهم.ـ

173. Allah has only forbidden you from what will harm you, such as the dead animals which were not slaughtered in the legislated way, flowing blood, the flesh of pigs, and those animals which were slaughtered for others besides Allah. Out of Allah’s favors towards you and making matters easier, He has permitted you to eat these forbidden things in times of dire need. So whoever is driven by dire need to eat any of these things, neither going beyond the limits in eating more than necessary nor exceeding the limits of the allowance that Allah set, then there is no sin on him for doing so. Allah is certainly forgiving and merciful towards His servants.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۙ أُولَـٰئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلَّا النَّارَ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّـهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Those who conceal parts of the scripture that Allah has revealed and exchange it for a small price – those one will not eat anything into their stomachs except fire, nor will Allah speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they will have a painful punishment. [2:174]

إن الذين يُخْفون ما أنزل الله في كتبه من صفة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وغير ذلك من الحق، ويحرصون على أخذ عوض قليل من عرض الحياة الدنيا مقابل هذا الإخفاء، هؤلاء ما يأكلون في مقابلة كتمان الحق إلا نار جهنم تتأجج في بطونهم، ولا يكلمهم الله يوم القيامة لغضبه وسخطه عليهم، ولا يطهرهم من دنس ذنوبهم وكفرهم، ولهم عذاب موجع.ـ

174. Those who conceal what Allah has revealed in His Books regarding the descriptions of Muhammad or any other parts of the truth, hoping to gain some small trade-off from the things of this worldly life in exchange for hiding the truth – these people, as a fitting recompense for concealing the truth, will eat nothing but the fire of Hell which will blaze in their stomachs. Also, Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection due to His anger and wrath towards them, nor will He purify them of the filth of their sins and disbelief, and they will have a painful punishment.

أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ فَمَا أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ

Those are the ones who purchased error at the price of guidance and punishment at the price of forgiveness. How committed they are in pursuit of the fire! [2:175]

أولئك المتصفون بهذه الصفات استبدلوا الضلالة بالهدى وعذاب الله بمغفرته، فما أشد جراءتهم على النار بعملهم أعمال أهل النار!! يعجب الله من إقدامهم على ذلك، فاعجبوا- أيها الناس- من جراءتهم، ومن صبرهم على النار ومكثهم فيها. وهذا على وجه الاستهانة بهم، والاستخفاف بأمرهم.ـ

175. Those who have just been described with these characteristics have taken misguidance in place of guidance and Allah’s punishment in place of His forgiveness. How brazen they are towards the Hellfire by doing the deeds of the people of the Hellfire. Allah is amazed at their eagerness for it, so be amazed – O people – at their boldness and their patience with the fire and their dwelling in it. This is said out of contempt for them and disparaging their condition.

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّـهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِي الْكِتَابِ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ

That is because Allah sent down the Scripture in truth. And those who differ regarding the Scripture are certainly far away in their opposition. [2:176]

ذلك العذاب الذي استحقوه بسبب أن الله تعالى نزَّل كتبه على رسله مشتملة على الحق المبين، فكفروا به. وإن الذين اختلفوا في الكتاب فأمنوا ببعضه وكفروا ببعضه، لفي منازعة ومفارقة بعيدة عن الرشد والصواب.ـ

176. That is the punishment that they deserve, for Allah revealed His scriptures full of clear truth to His messengers, but they disbelieved in them. And those who differ regarding the scripture, believing in some of it and disbelieving in some of it, are certainly in in disagreements and splitting, far away from right guidance and the correct position.

[al-Tafsir al-Muyassar pages 25-26]

See our al-Tafsir al-Muyassar Translation Index for more

See also: The Understanding of the Disbelievers is Limited to this Life: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Those Who Hear Nothing But Calls and Cries: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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