Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 183-188: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the eighteenth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 183-188. In this passage, Allah provides the rulings and guidance surrounding the fast of Ramadan. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you so that you might gain taqwa. [2:183]

يا أيها الذين صدَّقوا الله ورسوله وعملوا بشرعه، فرض الله عليكم الصيام كما فرضه على الأمم قبلكم؛ لعلكم تتقون ربكم، فتجعلون بينكم وبين المعاصي وقاية بطاعته وعبادته وحده.ـ

183. O you who have believed in Allah and His messenger and act according to His legislation, Allah has mandated fasting for you just as He mandated it for the nations before you. This is in order that you might fear your Lord and thus place a barrier of obedience and worshiping Allah alone between yourselves and sins.

أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

A limited number of days. Then whoever of you is sick or traveling, then the same number of other days. And for those who are able to fast, a ransom of feeding a poor person. And whoever voluntarily does good, that is good for him. And fasting is better for you, if only you knew. [2:184]

فرض الله عليكم صيام أيام معلومة العدد وهي أيام شهر رمضان. فمن كان منكم مريضًا يشق عليه الصوم، أو مسافرًا فله أن يفطر، وعليه صيام عدد من أيام أُخَر بقدر التي أفطر فيها. وعلى الذين يتكلفون الصيام ويشقُّ عليهم مشقة غير محتملة كالشيخ الكبير، والمريض الذي لا يُرْجَى شفاؤه، فدية عن كل يوم يفطره، وهي طعام مسكين، فمن زاد في قدر الفدية تبرعًا منه فهو خير له، وصيامكم خير لكم- مع تحمُّل المشقة- من إعطاء الفدية، إن كنتم تعلمون الفضل العظيم للصوم عند الله تعالى.ـ

184. Allah has mandated fasting for a specific number of days, those being the days of the month of Ramadan. Then whoever of you is sick – thus making fasting difficult  – or a traveler, then he can break his fast and must fast the same number of days that he broke his fast at another time. For those who are able to fast but fasting brings on difficulties that he is unable to bear, such as an elderly person or a chronically sick person, then he should pay a ransom for each day that he does not fast, which is feeding one sick person. Then if he voluntarily increases the amount of his ransom, that is good for him. But fasting even while bearing the difficulty is better for you than paying the ransom. If only you knew the great bounty with Allah for fasting.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind and proofs for the guidance and a criterion. So whoever of you witnesses the month, then let him fast it. And whoever is sick or traveling, then the same number of other days. Allah wants ease for you and He does not want difficulty for you, and for you to complete the number and to exalt Allah for having guided you and so that you may be grateful. [2:185]

شهر رمضان الذي ابتدأ الله فيه إنزال القرآن في ليلة القدر؛ هداية للناس إلى الحق، فيه أوضح الدلائل على هدى الله، وعلى الفارق بين الحق والباطل. فمن حضر منكم الشهر وكان صحيحًا مقيمًا فليصم نهاره. ويُرخَّص للمريض والمسافر في الفطر، ثم يقضيان عدد تلك الأيام. يريد الله تعالى بكم اليسر والسهولة في شرائعه، ولا يريد بكم العسر والمشقة، ولتكملوا عدة الصيام شهرًا، ولتختموا الصيام بتكبير الله في عيد الفطر، ولتعظموه على هدايته لكم، ولكي تشكروا له على ما أنعم به عليكم من الهداية والتوفيق والتيسير.ـ

185. The month of Ramadan in which Allah began the revelation of the Qur’an during Laylah al-Qadr. It is a guidance to the truth for mankind, and it contains the clearest proofs of Allah’s guidance and it separates the truth from falsehood. So whoever of you is present, healthy, and not traveling for the month, then let him fast its days. And there are allowances for the sick and travelers to not fast, but both groups must later make up the same number of days. Allah wants ease and easiness for you in His legislative rulings; He does not want hardness and difficulty for you. And He wants for you to complete the whole month of fasting, and to complete the fast by exalting Allah on ‘Eid al-Fitr, and to exalt Him for His having guided you, and that you would be grateful to Him for His blessings of guiding you, enabling you, and making things easy for you.

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

And when My slaves ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to the call of the caller when he calls. So respond to Me and believe in Me so that you may be rightly guided. [2:186]

وإذا سألك- أيها النبي- عبادي عني فقل لهم: إني قريب منهم، أُجيب دعوة الداعي إذا دعاني، فليطيعوني فيما أمرتهم به ونهيتهم عنه، وليؤمنوا بي، لعلهم يهتدون إلى مصالح دينهم ودنياهم. وفي هذه الآية إخبار منه سبحانه عن قربه من عباده، القرب اللائق بجلاله.ـ

186. And when My slaves ask you – O Prophet – about Me, then tell them that I am near to them. I respond to the call of the caller when he calls Me, so let them obey Me in what I command them and prohibit them and believe in Me so that they may be guided to the uprightness of their religious and worldly lives.

In this ayah, Allah informs us of His closeness to His slaves, a closeness that befits His majesty.

حِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّـهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

It is allowed for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the nights of fasting. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for you. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and pardoned you. So now have relations with them and seek what Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of fajr becomes clear from the black thread. Then complete the fast until night. And do not have relations with them while you are making i’tikaf in the mosques. These are Allah’s limits, so do not come close to them. Thus does Allah make His signs clear to mankind so that they might have taqwa. [2:187]

أباح الله لكم في ليالي شهر رمضان جماعَ نسائكم، هنَّ ستر وحفظ لكم، وأنتم ستر وحفظ لهن. علم الله أنكم كنتم تخونون أنفسكم؛ بمخالفة ما حرَّمه الله عليكم من مجامعة النساء بعد العشاء في ليالي الصيام- وكان ذلك في أول الإسلام-، فتاب الله عليكم ووسَّع لكم في الأمر، فالآن جامعوهن، واطلبوا ما قدَّره الله لكم من الأولاد، وكلوا واشربوا حتى يتبَيَّن ضياء الصباح من سواد الليل، بظهور الفجر الصادق، ثم أتموا الصيام بالإمساك عن المفطرات إلى دخول الليل بغروب الشمس. ولا تجامعوا نساءكم أو تتعاطوا ما يفضي إلى جماعهن إذا كنتم معتكفين في المساجد؛ لأن هذا يفسد الاعتكاف (وهو الإقامة في المسجد مدة معلومة بنيَّة التقرب إلى الله تعالى). تلك الأحكام التي شرعها الله لكم هي حدوده الفاصلة بين الحلال والحرام، فلا تقربوها حتى لا تقعوا في الحرام. بمثل هذا البيان الواضح يبين الله آياته وأحكامه للناس؛ كي يتقوه ويخشَوْه.ـ

187. Allah has permitted sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of the month of Ramadan. They are a covering and protection for you, and you are a covering and protection for them. Allah knows that you were deceiving yourselves by going against Allah’s prohibition of sexual intercourse with your wives after the ‘isha’ prayer during the nights of fasting, and that was the practice at the beginning of Islam. So Allah accepted your repentance and made the situation easier for you. So now, you can have intercourse with them, and seek the children that Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the light of dawn becomes clear from the darkness of the night at the time of true fajr‘s appearance. Then complete the fast by abstaining from the things which break a fast until the night begins at the setting of the sun. And do not have intercourse with your wives nor engage in what would lead to intercourse while you are making i’tikaf in the mosques, as that would invalidate your i’tikaf (which is remaining in the mosque for a certain period of time with the aim of drawing closer to Allah). These legal rulings which Allah has legislated for you are His limits which delineate what is allowed from what is prohibited, so do not come close to them so that you do not fall into the forbidden matters. With the likes of this clear explanation, Allah makes His signs and rulings clear to the people so that they would fear and venerate Him.

وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالْإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

And do not consume one another’s wealth through falsehood or send the matter to judges so that you can consume a portion of the people’s wealth wrongly while you know. [2:188]

ولا يأكل بعضكم مال بعض بسبب باطل كاليمين الكاذبة، والغصب، والسرقة، والرشوة، والربا ونحو ذلك، ولا تلقوا بالحجج الباطلة إلى الحكام؛ لتأكلوا عن طريق التخاصم أموال طائفة من الناس بالباطل، وأنتم تعلمون تحريم ذلك عليكم.ـ

188. And do not consume one another’s wealth under false pretenses such as a false oaths, extortion, theft, bribery, usury, and so on. And do not give false arguments to  judges so that you can wrongfully consume the wealth of a group of people by way of argumentation while you know that that has been forbidden.

[al-Tafsir al-Muyassar pg 28-29]

See a more in-depth explanation of this passage, see the three-part Fasting in the Qur’an Series Guide from sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di

See also: The Relationship between Supplication and Fasting: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: “When My Slaves Ask About Me, I am Near”: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

See also: “When My slaves ask you about Me, Indeed I am near”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Benefits of Fasting: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di

See also: “… And Seek What Allah Has Decreed For You”: Tafsir al-Tabari

And for more translations related to fasting and Ramadan, please visit our collection of more than 30 Ramadan Articles

3 thoughts on “Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 183-188: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

  1. Please check ayaat number 2:184 and 2:187, I believe there is a correction to be made in the translations, BarakAllahu feekum wa jazakallahu Khaira.

  2. Pingback: “… And Seek What Allah Has Decreed For You”: Tafsir al-Tabari | Tulayhah

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