Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 215-220: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twenty-second installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 215-220. After the previous section encouraging the believers to submit to Allah completely, this passage presents guidance on a number of legal questions. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ ۖ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

They ask you what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good is for parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, and the traveler. And whatever good you do, Allah is certainly Knowing of it. [2:215]

يسلك أصحابك- أيها النبي- أي شيء ينفقون من أصناف أموالهم تقربًا إلى الله تعالى، وعلى مَن ينفقون؟ قل لهم: أنفقوا أيَّ خير يتيسر لكم من أصناف المال الحلال الطيب، واجعلوا نفقتكم للوالدين، والأقربين من أهلكم وذوي أرحامكم، واليتامى، والفقراء، والمسافر المحتاج الذي بَعُدَ عن أهله وماله. وما تفعلوا من خير فإن الله تعالى به عليم.ـ

215. They ask you – O Prophet – what type of their wealth should they spend when seeking closeness to Allah, and who should they spend on. Tell them: spend whatever goodness is easy for you from the various types of permissible, wholesome wealth, and spend on parents, close relatives such as your immediate family and close relations, orphans, the poor, and needy travelers who are far-removed from their family and wealth. And whatever good you do, Allah is certainly knowledgeable of it.

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Fighting has been prescribed for you even though it is disliked by you. Perhaps you would dislike something while it is good for you. And perhaps you would love something while it is bad for you. And Allah knows while you do not know. [2:216]

فرض الله عليكم- أيها المؤمنون- قتال الكفار، والقتال مكروه لكم من جهة الطبع؛ لمشقته وكثرة مخاطره، وقد تكرهون شيئًا وهو في حقيقته خير لكم، وقد تحبون شيئًا لما فيه من الراحة أو اللذة العاجلة، وهو شر لكم. والله تعالى يعلم ما هو خير لكم، وأنتم لا تعلمون ذلك. فبادروا إلى الجهاد في سبيله.ـ

216. Allah has mandated fighting the disbelievers for you – O believers -, while fighting is disliked by you, as is natural due to its difficulty and many dangers. And you might dislike something while in reality it is actually good for you. And you might love something due to the short-term ease and enjoyment it contains even though it is bad for you. And Allah knows what is good for you, while you do not know. So, hasten to make jihaad for Allah’s sake.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۗ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا ۚ وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

They ask you about the sacred months – about fighting in them. Say: Fighting in them is a grave thing, but barring others from the path of Allah and disbelief in Him and barring others from al-Masjid al-Haram and expelling its people from it is graver to Allah. Turmoil is graver than killing. They will continue fighting you until they cause you to leave your religion if they are able. And whoever of you leaves his religion and then dies while he is a disbeliever, for those their deeds will become worthless in this life and the next. And those ones will be the people of the Hellfire. They will be in it forever. [2:217]

يسألك المشركون- أيها الرسول- عن الشهر الحرام: هل يحل فيه القتال؟ قل لهم: القتال في الشهر الحرام عظيم عند الله استحلاله وسفك الدماء فيه، ومَنْعكم الناس من دخول الإسلام بالتعذيب والتخويف، وجحودكم بالله وبرسوله وبدينه، ومَنْع المسلمين من دخول المسجد الحرام، وإخراج النبي والمهاجرين منه وهم أهله وأولياؤه، ذلك أكبر ذنبًا، وأعظم جرمًا عند الله من القتال في الشهر الحرام. والشرك الذي أنتم فيه أكبر وأشد من القتل في الشهر الحرام. وهؤلاء الكفار لم يرتدعوا عن جرائمهم، بل هم مستمرون عليها، ولا يزالون يقاتلونكم حتى يردوكم عن الإسلام إلى الكفر إن استطاعوا تحقيق ذلك. ومن أطاعهم منكم- أيها المسلمون- وارتدَّ عن دينه فمات على الكفر، فقد ذهب عمله في الدنيا والآخرة، وصار من الملازمين لنار جهنم لا يخرج منها أبدًا.ـ

217. The mushrikoon ask you – O Messenger – about the sacred months: is it allowed to fight during them? Tell them: Fighting during a sacred month in a grave thing to Allah, seeking to remove its sanctity and spilling blood in it. But preventing people from becoming Muslims by torturing and intimidating them, rejecting Allah and His Messenger and His religion, preventing the Muslims from coming to al-Masjid al-Haram, and expelling the Prophet and the Muhajiroon from al-Masjid al-Haram even though they are its rightful people and protectors – that is an even greater sin and graver crime to Allah than fighting during a sacred month. And the shirk which you commit is even worse than killing during a sacred month. These disbelievers cannot be stopped from committing their crimes; rather, they will continue doing them and they will not stop fighting you until they turn you away from Islam back to disbelief if they are able to achieve that. And whoever of you – O Muslims – obeys them and turns back from his faith and then dies in a state of disbelief, then he has lost his good deeds in both this life and the next and has become one of those who will remain in the hellfire forever, never to leave it.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Those who believe and perform hijrah and jihaad in Allah’s path – those ones hope for Allah’s mercy. And Allah is forgiving, merciful. [2:218]

إن الذين صَدَّقوا بالله ورسوله وعملوا بشرعه والذين تركوا ديارهم، وجاهدوا في سبيل الله، أولئك يطمعون في فضل الله وثوابه. والله غفور لذنوب عباده المؤمنين، رحيم بهم رحمة واسعة.ـ

218. Those who believe in Allah and His Messenger and act according to His divine legislation and who leave their homes and perform jihaad in Allah’s path – those ones hope for Allah’s bounty and reward. And Allah is forgiving of His believing servants’ sins, merciful towards them with extensive mercy.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ * فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ۖ قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌ لَّهُمْ خَيْرٌ ۖ وَإِن تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: They contain great sin and some benefits for mankind, but their sin is greater than their benefit. And they ask you about what they should spend. Tell them: the excess. In this way does Allah make the signs clear to you so that you would reflect. * In this life and the next. And they ask you about the orphans. Say: Improvement for them is best. But if you mix your affairs with theirs, they are your brothers. And Allah knows the one who spoils from the one who improves. And if Allah had wished, He could have put you in difficulties. Allah is surely Almighty, All-Wise. [2:219-220]

يسألك المسلمون- أيها النبي- عن حكم تعاطي الخمر شربًا وبيعًا وشراءً، والخمر كل مسكر خامر العقل وغطاه مشروبًا كان أو مأكولا ويسألونك عن حكم القمار- وهو أَخْذُ المال أو إعطاؤه بالمقامرة وهي المغالبات التي فيها عوض من الطرفين-، قل لهم: في ذلك أضرار ومفاسد كثيرة في الدين والدنيا، والعقول والأموال، وفيهما منافع للناس من جهة كسب الأموال وغيرها، وإثمهما أكبر من نفعهما؛ إذ يصدَّان عن ذكر الله وعن الصلاة، ويوقعان العداوة والبغضاء بين الناس، ويتلفان المال. وكان هذا تمهيدًا لتحريمهما. ويسألونك عن القَدْر الذي ينفقونه من أموالهم تبرعًا وصدقة، قل لهم: أنفقوا القَدْر الذي يزيد على حاجتكم. مثل ذلك البيان الواضح يبيِّن الله لكم الآيات وأحكام الشريعة؛ لكي تتفكروا فيما ينفعكم في الدنيا والآخرة.ـ

219. The Muslims ask you – O Prophet – about the ruling of engaging in drinking, selling and buying khamr (intoxicants), and khamr is any intoxicating substance that muddles and overcomes one’s intellect, regardless of whether one drinks it or eats it. And they ask you about gambling – which is when a gambler takes or gives some amount of wealth in a competition in which the payout comes from the two parties involved. Tell them: These things involve many harms and ill effects to one’s religious and worldly life and one’s intellect and wealth, and also involve some benefits for people in terms of gaining wealth and other factors. But the sin of these things is greater than their benefit, for they stop people from remembering Allah and from the prayer, and they bring about enmity and animosity between people, and they eat up one’s wealth. This was preparing the people for these things to later be prohibited. And they ask you about what amount of the wealth they spend should be given in charity. Tell them: Spend the amount which is above your needs. In this clear way, Allah clearly explains the verses and legal rulings to you so that you may reflect on what will benefit you in this life and the next.

ويسألونك- أيها النبي- عن اليتامى كيف يتصرفون معهم في معاشهم وأموالهم؟ قل لهم: إصلاحكم لهم خير، فافعلوا الأنفع لهم دائمًا، وإن تخالطوهم في سائر شؤون المعاش فهم إخوانكم في الدين. وعلى الأخ أن يرعى مصلحة أخيه. والله يعلم المضيع لأموال اليتامى من الحريص على إصلاحها. ولو شاء الله لضيَّق وشقَّ عليكم بتحريم الخالطة. إن الله عزيز في ملكه، حكيم في خلقه وتدبيره وتشريعه.ـ

And they ask you – O Prophet – about the orphans – how should they deal with them regarding their living arrangements and their wealth? Tell them: Improving their lot is best, so always do what is most beneficial for them. And if you mix your day-to-day living costs with theirs, they are your brothers in the religion, and a brother should work to promote the well-being of his brother. And Allah knows who wastes away the wealth of an orphan from those who are eager to improve it. And if Allah wished, He could have made things constrained and difficult for you by prohibiting you from mixing your day-to-day living expenses. Allah is certainly All-Powerful over His dominion, All-Wise regarding His creation and how to manage them and legislate for them.

[al-Tafsir al-Muyassar pg. 33-35]

See also: A Clarification on the Annulment of One’s Deeds: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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

See also: Notes on Allah’s Might and Wisdom: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Sacred Months

See also: The Ruling on Fighting during the Sacred Months: Ibn Rajab

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