Exposition of the Holy Quran – 05 Surah Al-Maidah (G A Parwez)

Surah 5: Al-Maidah

(The Repast)

(1) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, observe the restrictions imposed on you by Allah carefully. He has made animals which graze, lawful for you as food, excepting those for which instructions were given separately (2:173, 5:3). If you are on pilgrimage, do not hunt these animals. Verily, Allah ordains what He deems proper.

(2) Do not profane (i) the symbols designed by Allah (2:158) and (ii) the sacred months during which it is prohibited to wage wars. The animals which pilgrims take for their use must be protected (22:28, 22:36). Those who go for pilgrimage must not be ill-treated so that they may be in a position to seek the bounties of their sustainer and His accord and discuss their programmes and plans peacefully. When Hajj is over, you may resort to hunting again. In Makkah you will meet those who inflicted great hardships on you for a long time, even obstructing your entry to the Ka’bah. Now you have overcome them but the feeling of revenge should not prevent you from doing justice to them and should not induce you to indulge in excesses (5:8). Cooperate with one another in matters dealing with the welfare of humanity. Adhere to the laws of Allah. Let the action of your enemies be judged by the law of Mukafat.

(3) Allah has declared the following to be haram (prohibited) (2:173):carrion flowing blood (6:146) the flesh of swine that which has been dedicated to someone other than Allah that which has been killed by strangling or by being gored that which has been partly eaten by a wild beast unless you have slaughtered it properly before its death that which has been sacrificed on altars that which has been apportioned by means of divining arrows (a superstitious custom amongst the mushrikeen at that time), as such things         would take you away from the right path.

However, if one is faced with a situation when he can find nothing else to eat except the above, and his life is threatened, then he can partake of what has been declared haram provided he is driven to it by starvation and not out of greed or the desire to violate the divine laws (2:173).

Your adversaries who had rejected your deen have now given up hope of reaching any compromise with you. They will confront you openly now. Do not be afraid of them. Your ascendancy over them has been completely established and thus Allah has bestowed His full blessings upon you and Islam has been assigned for you, as your deen, so there is no need for fear or compromise. You should only fear the consequences of disobeying Allah’s laws. And most certainly Allah is the protector and the Raheem.

(4) People ask you, O Rasool, what is made lawful for them. Tell them that, except what is haram, all pleasant things are halal (permissible). You can also eat the flesh of animals seized by your beasts of prey that you have trained by means of the capability given to you by Allah. You must pronounce the name of Allah over these animals and thus take good care of the laws of Allah Who is swift in reckoning.

(5) To reiterate: Excepting that which has been declared to be haram, you may partake of everything else which is good and pleasant for you. Also lawful for you is the food prepared by those who were given the Book (provided it does not contain that which is prohibited to you and if they also partake of your food).

Chaste and momin women are lawful for you in marriage and also chaste women from amongst the people who were given the Book before you, provided you give them their dower and marry them for the purpose of leading a conjugal life and not for the mere satisfaction of your lust. Do not have a secret relationship with them (4:25). Those who do so exchange deen for kufr. All their actions are rendered waste and in the hereafter they will be the losers.

(6) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, at the time of salat wash your faces and your hands and arms up to the elbows and pass your (wet) hands lightly over your head and wash your feet up to the ankles. If you have cohabited with your wives, then take a full bath. If you cannot wash yourself due to sickness when water is harmful to you or when you are on a journey or have returned from the call of nature or have touched a woman, and water is not available, you can cleanse yourselves by using soil and wiping your hands and face (4:43).

Allah does not want to impose hardship upon you. His intention is only to keep you in a clean state so that He can bestow the full measure of His blessings upon you and so that your efforts may fructify.

(7) Keep in mind the blessings bestowed on you by Allah and the covenant made with Him by you, saying, “We have heard and we will obey.” Therefore, fulfil your covenant by adhering to the laws of Allah. Allah’s law of Mukafat is aware even of what is harboured within you.

(8) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, always stand up for justice in the cause of Allah. Let not others’ enmity towards you make you deviate from the path of justice. Always, and in all circumstances, act justly. This is akin to taqwa. Always adhere to the laws of Allah Who is aware of all that you do.

(9-10) Allah has promised that for those who believe and do good, there will be protection and great reward. On the other hand, jaheem shall be the abode of those who reject Allah’s laws outright and those who profess to believe in them but whose profession is belied by their actions.

(11) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, recollect the blessings which Allah showed to you when a certain people were bent upon acting high-handedly towards you. He restrained their hands. Therefore, you should adhere to Allah’s laws and repose your trust in Him.

(12) Allah had taken a covenant from the Bani-Israel and had raised twelve leaders (guardians) from amongst them. Allah had assured them that if they established the order of sala and zaka, had faith in Allah’s rusul supporting their mission, and gave a loan to Allah for humanity’s betterment, then He would certainly be with them, remove their weaknesses and admit them into gardens wherein streams flow. But whoever turns back after this, will drift from the path of prosperity in life.

(13) When the Bani-Israel breached the covenant, they deprived themselves of the blessings of Allah and their hearts were hardened (2:74). They tampered with the phraseology of divine revelation and even put aside a portion of their commandments. They will continue to indulge in similar activities and you will always discover deceit in them except for a few of them. So forbear and overlook. Allah likes those who lead a balanced life.

(14) That was about the Jews. From those who call themselves the Nazarenes, We had also taken a similar covenant. But they neglected a part of what was ordained. They split into sects and their mutual enmity and spite will be everlasting. It will not be long before Allah will let them know the actual position of their self-made faith.

(15-16) O Ahl-ul-Kitab, our Rasool has come to you to lay open much that you were wont to conceal in your scriptures. He will overlook many of your shortcomings. A light has assuredly come to you from Allah i.e., a book of illumination by which He will guide those who wish to follow the path of peace and complete harmony. He will bring them out of darkness into light and direct them to the straight path of success and prosperity in life.

(17) Those who deify Messiah, son of Mary, indeed commit kufr. O Rasool! Ask them, “Who could stop Allah if He wished to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, his mother and all who are on the earth?” All power and authority in the entire universe belongs to Allah alone. He creates what He wishes and provides a measure for everything.

(18) Jews and Christians say, “We are the beloved children of Allah (and notwithstanding what we do, paradise belongs to us).” Ask them O Rasool, “Why then does Allah punish you from time to time for your wrongdoings?” (Even your scriptures are replete with accounts of your shortcomings and your sufferings.) You are not the beloved children of Allah. You are like others whom He has created. Both forgiveness and punishment are determined by Allah’s law of Mukafat. Allah’s authority dominates the entire universe. All human beings are accountable to Him and will be judged according to the law of Mukafat.

(19) O Ahl-ul-Kitab, Our Rasool has come to you at a time when the light kindled by the previous rusul had become dim and their teachings were made ineffective, so that you may not say, “There had come to us no bearer of good tidings, nor a Warner.” Now a bearer of good tidings and a Warner has come to you and, therefore, you have no excuse for covering your misdeeds. Allah has appointed measures for all things.

(20) Call to mind the time when Moses addressed his people, saying, “Remember the blessings bestowed upon you by Allah, by raising anbiya from amongst you and making you possessors of power and authority and giving you what has never been given to any people before (i.e., the privileges both of divine guidance and kingdom).”

(21) He asked them, “O my people enter boldly the land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back lest you be the losers.”

(22) They said to Moses, “Therein live people who are most powerful and oppressive. Surely we will not enter that land till they are out of it. If they leave, we will certainly enter it.”

(23) Thereupon two men from amongst them(1) who feared to disobey Allah’s laws and whom Allah had favoured with His blessings, said, “Why do you feel so weak and timid? Rush into the city through its gate. Once you have done that, you will be victorious. You should trust in Allah if you truly believe in Him.”

(24) They said, “O Moses! Never shall we enter the land while they are there. If you are so confident about Allah’s help, you and your Rabb(2) can go and fight with them. We will wait and see.”

(25) Grieved by their attitude, Moses exclaimed, “My Rabb! I have no control over anyone except myself and my brother. You should decide between the two of us and these unruly people.”

(26) Thereupon Allah said, “Let this land be forbidden to them for forty years. They shall wander in the wilderness in utter distraction. Since this is the outcome of their own doings, you should not grieve for them.”

(27-29) (Isaac and Ishmael were brothers. At first nabuwwa (prophethood) remained within the descendants of Isaac. Thereafter, however, it was bestowed upon Ishmael’s descendant (i.e., Muhammad (PBUH), and the Jews were very envious of this). To illustrate the results of envy, Allah relates to them, in due form, the story of the two sons of Adam(3) (i.e., two persons). Each of them made an offering to Allah. The offering of one of them was accepted, and that of the other was not. Thereupon, the one whose offering was rejected said to the other out of anger and spite, “I will surely kill you.” The other replied, “(I have done nothing against you that you should kill me) Allah accepts offering from the muttaqeen. You may stretch forth your hand to kill me but I will not do anything. I am very much afraid of disobeying Allah’s laws. It may, however, come about that in defending myself I may cause some harm to you. You will be responsible both for your intention to kill me and the injury you might receive at my hands. You will be the dweller of jahannam. This is the recompense of zalimeen (usurpers).”

(30) (Despite what his brother said) Cain made up his mind to slay his brother and indeed did so and thus became one of the losers.

(31) He killed his brother in anger but when his anger subsided, he was regretful. It so happened that he saw a raven scratching the earth. This made him think that the raven was suggesting to him that he should have covered his brother’s fault instead of killing him. When this dawned upon him he became extremely ashamed of himself.

(32) Unjust murder is such a heinous crime that We laid down for the Bani-Israel that if one kills another except as a punishment for murder or for spreading disorder in the land it shall be as if he has killed all mankind. On the other hand, if one saves the life of a single person it shall be as if he has saved the lives of all mankind.

Our rusul came with instructions as clear as this but the majority of the people continued to commit excesses.

(33-34) The retribution for those who are against the divine system and go about spreading disorder in the land, is execution, crucifixion, physical restraint(4) and banishment from the country. This is their punishment and disgrace in this world and in the hereafter they will have even greater chastisement. If they surrender and repent before they are overpowered, they may secure Allah’s protection and rahma.

(35) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, adhere to Allah’s laws and try to secure a high rank in His eyes. For this you should strive hard in the cause of Allah. This is how you will be successful in your efforts.

(36-37) Those who oppose the divine order will not be able to protect themselves from torment on the day of reckoning even if they possessed all the treasures of the world twice over and offered it as ransom, since this ransom would not be accepted, for a grievous suffering awaits them. No matter how much they want to flee from jahannam, they will not be able to do so – a long lasting suffering awaits them.

(38-39) As to a thief, man or woman, such restrictions should be imposed on them which render them incapable of committing such a crime(5). If they feel regret and make amends thereafter and the authority concerned is satisfied that they can be reclaimed, the divine order shall take steps to protect them and make provision for their nourishment (till they are capable of earning on their own), and they may be forgiven.

(40) Do you not know that Allah has the highest authority in the entire universe? He has appointed laws for punishment and forgiveness according to the measures He has devised.

(41) O Rasool, let not those people cause you grief who run headlong towards kufr (denial of the truth). They are (i) those who profess to be believers but, in fact, are not, and (ii) from amongst the Jews. They come to you so that on going back to their companions they may coin lies. They pervert the words of their scriptures and say to their followers, “If the believers give you something like this you should accept it, and otherwise be wary of it.” None will be able to save those who create fitna (mischief), from Allah’s chastisement. These people do not want their hearts to be purified. For them there is disgrace in this world and great chastisement in the hereafter.

(42) To reiterate: The Jews listen to you only to coin lies. They devour that which is unlawful. Their religious leaders have the authority to decide their disputes but they adopt a very cunning technique – if they want to favour a person and feel that judgement according to Muslim law will be favourable to them, they advise him to go to the Rasool.

O Rasool! They come to you for judgement. It is up to you to take up their case or decline to interfere. If you decline, it will do you no harm, but if you judge between them, judge justly. Allah likes those who judge fairly.

(43) It is surprising that they come to you for judgement, when they have the Torah with them and they profess that it contains Allah’s commandments. They turn away from the Torah. The truth is that they do not really believe in anything – leave aside their own book.

(44) The fact is that We had sent them the Torah which contained guidance and light. Their anbiya who surrendered to Allah’s laws used to settle their disputes according to it. The rabbis and guardians of law who were vested with the responsibility of safeguarding Allah’s revelation and who also bore witness to its truth, did likewise. So, O Jews! Fear none except Me and do not barter My injunctions for a paltry price.

Mark this: Those who do not decide their affairs according to what Allah has revealed – they are the ones who in fact are the kafireen.

(45) In that book (the Torah) We had laid down the law for them, “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear and tooth for tooth, and for other injuries like for like. If the injured person foregoes retaliation out of kindliness, this will serve as atonement for the criminal’s wrongdoing. As for the judges they should remember, “Those who do not judge according to what Allah has revealed are, in fact the zalimeen.”

(46) We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in the line of the anbiya of the Bani-Israel to confirm that which was already in the Torah. We gave him the Injeel, which also contained guidance and light and confirmed the teachings of the Torah. To reiterate: The Injeel (the Bible) contained guidance and light and confirmed the teachings of the Torah but the guidance and good counsel contained in it was beneficial only for those who cared to adhere to Allah’s laws.

(47) The followers of the Injeel (the Bible) were asked to administer justice according to that book and were warned that those who do not decide their affairs by what Allah has revealed are indeed, the fasiqeen (transgressors).

(48) O Rasool, likewise We have sent you a book based on truth. It validates and subsumes the true teachings of the earlier books. You should judge between them according to what Allah has revealed and do not follow their desires which make you deviate from the truth. You might ask yourself when Allah’s guidance sent to all the anbiya was the same (and differences were created subsequently by their followers), why Allah did not compel the latter to follow His laws. The answer is that doing so would have been against Allah’s plan according to which freedom of the will has been given to human beings. The moral responsibility for all actions derives from this freedom. Moreover, this gives them the greatest incentive to do good deeds, so, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, be expeditious in doing good deeds, the result of which will come about according to Allah’s law of Mukafat. When the divine order is established the differences and variations created by the followers of the earlier anbiya will become manifest.

(49) O Rasool! Judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their desires. Be on your guard lest they tempt you away from any of the commandments of Allah. If they turn away from the judgment you give, they will certainly fall into fitna for some of their wrongdoings. A good many of them are fasiqeen.

(50) Those who turn away from the judgement you give, in fact wish to revert to the time of jahiliyyah (ignorance). But the true momineen know that there can be no law or system better than the one given by Allah.

(51) The differences between the momineen, on the one hand, and Jews and Christians, on the other, have become clear. Therefore, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, do not make them as your allies. Despite the mutual enmity between Jews and Christians, they are one in their opposition to you. Mark this: Whosoever takes them as friends will be reckoned as one of them. Certainly the zalimeen do not benefit from Allah’s guidance.

(52-53) You will see that the munafiqeen, whose hearts are diseased, hasten towards befriending Jews and Christians. They say that if they remain aloof from them they will fall into trouble. The time will soon come when you will gain victory over these people or some other event of His devising may take place. Whatever they conceal in their hearts will become manifest and they will feel regret. At that time the members of the Jamat-ul-Momineen will say to one another, “These were the people who used to swear that they were on our side.” Then all the efforts of the munafiqeen will be rendered waste and they shall be the losers.

(54) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, beware that if you turn away from Allah’s deen (you should not fancy that it will cause any harm to Allah, nay – you will in fact harm your own self). We will replace you by others who will obey Our laws in preference to everything else in the world and the result of their obedience will be recompense from Allah. They will act with humility towards each other but will be firm towards their adversaries. They will strive hard in the cause of Allah and will not care about what others say. This is a blessing from Allah, which He bestows on those who wish to have it according to His laws, for Allah is infinite and all- knowing.

(55-56) Mark this: Your friends are Allah and the Rasool and the Jamat-ul-Momineen who establish the system of Sala and Zaka and always keep themselves collectively submissive to Allah’s laws. Those who take Allah and His Rasool and the Jamat-ul-Momineen for friends, will form a community responsible for the enforcement of Allah’s laws. They will surely gain the upper hand.

(57) The kuffar and the Ahl-ul-Kitab jointly scoff at your deen. Therefore, you should not take them as your friends. You should adhere to Allah’s laws if you are true believers.

(58-59) When you call the momineen to salat, these people make it an object of jest. They do not understand that this call is for an assembly of those who strive for their betterment. O Jamat-ul-Momineen, ask these Ahl-ul-Kitab, if they seek vengeance from you for believing in Allah and what was revealed to their Rasool as well as to the earlier anbiya. Most of them are, indeed,  fasiqeen.

(60) Let Us tell you  that those who lead wretched lives are the ones who, as a result of their wrong-doings, deprive themselves of Allah’s blessings, incur His wrath, degrade their humanity, become objects of ridicule and scorn and are subjected to those who are most oppressive (2:61, 65). They are in such a wretched position because they have strayed far away from the straight path.

(61) Whenever they come to you they say, “We believe,” whereas, the fact is that they both came and went back as unbelievers. Allah knows well what they hide.

(62) You will find many of them hastening towards wrong-doing and excesses and keen on devouring what is unlawful. How heinous is all that they do!

(63) Why do their guardians of law and rabbis abstain from forbidding them to tell lies and devouring what is unlawful? Instead of enforcing Allah’s laws, they follow their self-made laws. How heinous is all that they do!

(64) When Allah asks the Jamat-ul-Momineen to give financial help for the establishment of the Divine Order, the Jews say, “Look at their Allah. His own hands are tied and He is begging for help.” The fact is that the Jews have become so miserly that they do not spend anything for the benefit of mankind with the result that they are deprived of Allah’s bounties. Allah’s hands are stretched out wide open but His ways are His own. His plan is implemented through the instrumentality of human beings. Instead of reflecting on what We are saying, their kufr and excesses are accentuated by it because it points out their weaknesses and wrong-doing. The result of their attitude is that they develop enmity and spite towards each other. Wherever they live they will try to spread disorder and kindle the fire of war which Allah puts out through other people. They run about spreading disorder in the land. Allah does not like such mufsideen (those who promote disorder).

(65) Notwithstanding all this, if the Ahl-ul-Kitab had believed in the Qur’an and adhered to the laws contained therein, the ill-effects of their past misdeeds would have been removed and they would have been admitted to Allah’s blessings.

(66) If Jews and Christians had established their systems in conformity with the true teachings of the Torah and the Bible, they would have received sustenance from everywhere. They did not do so. Then another opportunity had come to them. If they had believed in the revelation contained in the Qur’an and acted according to its laws, similar beneficial results would have followed. There are only a few amongst them who follow the middle course; others are evil-doers (3:143). Those who deny the truth cannot follow the right path.

(67) Despite their opposition, O Rasool, you should continue to deliver Allah’s message to mankind. If you do not do this, you will fail to perform the function of a rasool. Allah will safeguard your mission from evil-doers (3:144). Those who deny the truth deprive themselves of the chance to follow the right path.

(68) Say, “O Ahl-ul-Kitab, until you follow the true teachings of the Torah and the Bible which are contained in the Qur’an, nothing will be of any avail to you.” O Rasool! You will see that the revelation sent to you will provoke greater disdain and kufr amongst them. You should not grieve for those who reject Allah’s revelation.

(69) The Jews believe that paradise is reserved for the Bani-Israel and the Christians believe that the Messiah atoned for their sins. O Rasool, tell them that this is their vain imagining. Allah’s law is that any person from amongst:

  1. Jews, Christians, Sabaeans
  2. Those who believe in Allah without formally adopting any particular religion
  3. Those who are Muslim only by virtue of being born in a Muslim family (4:136; 57:28)

Whoever believes in Allah’s law of Mukafat as stated in the Qur’an and leads his life accordingly will be duly rewarded. Such persons will lead a life of heavenly bliss, free of fear, grief and anxiety (2:62).

(70) This is what We also said to the Bani-Israel. We took a covenant from them and sent rusul, one after another, to them. Instead of following them, as soon as a rasool said anything that was not agreeable to them, they declared him an impostor and sometimes even plotted to kill him (2:87).

(71) They imagined that regardless of what they did, they were not accountable to anyone. Because of this attitude of theirs they lost the capability of understanding. Because of Allah’s law of respite, they were not punished immediately. Some of them took advantage of the opportunity and changed their behaviour. They received Allah’s blessings. This state of affairs, however, continued for a short while. After that, they resumed their past behaviour with the same results. Allah is watching to see how they are behaving now.

(72) The Christians who deify the Messiah, son of Mary, are certainly unbelievers. The Messiah had asked the Bani-Israel to obey only Allah Who was his Rabb as well as the Rabb of the Bani-Israel. Whoever ascribes divinity to any being besides Allah can never be admitted to janna, and jahannam shall be his abode. Such zalimeen shall have no helpers.

(73) Similarly, those who believe in the Trinity are also kafireen. There is no god but Allah, the One. If they do not desist from their wrong belief, they will be considered kafireen for whom there is great chastisement.

(74) Will these people not turn towards Allah and seek His protection? They should remember that He alone is the protector and Raheem.

(75) The Messiah was no more than a rasool. Surely, similar rusul came before him and passed away (3:143). The Messiah was a rasool and his mother was a woman who upheld the truth. They were human beings and lived on food like other human beings.

Mark, how clear are Allah’s assertions and notice how the Christians turn away from such plain truth.

(76) Say to the Christians, O Rasool, “Will you obey, besides Allah, those who do not have the power either to harm you or to benefit you? Allah is all-hearing and knowing.”

(77) Say to the Ahl-ul-Kitab, “Do not exceed the limits of your deen (4:171) and do not say anything about it except the truth. Do not follow the desires of those who had gone astray in the past, had led many others astray and are still straying from the right path.”

(78-79) What is being said about the Bani-Israel is nothing new. David and Jesus (son of Mary) said the same thing about those who adopted kufr from amongst their people. This was because the latter were rebellious and had committed excesses. (The concept of good and bad had become so oblivious from their minds that) they would not prevent one another from doing whatever hateful things they wanted to do. How heinous was what they did!

(80) You will see many of them befriending the unbelievers. How bad is the material they are preparing for their future that Allah will never approve of! They will certainly live in torment and distress.

(81) Had they believed in Allah, this Nabi and in that which has been sent down to him, they would certainly not have taken them as their friends. But many of them are fasiqeen (transgressors).

(82) O Rasool! Of all people you will find the Jews and the mushrikeen of Makkah the most bitter in their enmity towards the believers. On the other hand, you will see those who call themselves the Nazarenes nearest in social relationship to the believers(6). This is so because amongst them there are priests and monks who are not given to arrogance (their followers naturally imbibe their character).

(83-85) They are so tender-hearted that when they hear what has been revealed to the Rasool and reflect upon it, they recognize its truth and you will see their eyes overflow with tears. They say, “O our Rabb we believe in this revelation; reckon us amongst those who bear witness to this truth. When we have recognized the truth, why should we, then, not believe in it? We yearn to be admitted with the community of the saliheen.” Due to their belief and sincere desire, Allah admitted them into janna wherein streams flow. This is the recompense of those who live according to the divine laws.

(86) On the other hand, those who reject Allah’s laws and consider them false are destined for jaheem.

(87-88) The Christian monks adopted monasticism and renounced many of the pleasant things of life (57:27). O Jamat-ul-Momineen! You should not do this and do not treat as unlawful the pleasant things which Allah has made lawful for you. If you do this, it will be tantamount to overstepping the bounds. Allah does not like those who do this.

You should eat of the wholesome things which Allah has made lawful for you and adhere to the divine laws in which you believe.

(89) (If you have taken an oath not to partake a particular lawful thing, mind it that) Allah holds you accountable only for oaths taken with serious intent and not for frivolous oaths (2:225). The atonement for breaking serious oaths is to feed ten poor persons with such food as your family eats, or to provide clothes to them or set free a captive(7). But one who cannot afford this should fast for three days. This is the atonement for breaking serious oaths, which you have sworn wrongfully. Serious oaths hat you have sworn rightfully must be kept. Thus, in this way Allah makes His directives clear to you. For this, you should be thankful to Him.

(90-91) O Jamat-ul-Momineen those things which benumb the human intellect e.g., wine, and easily acquired money e.g., through games of chance (2:219), animals sacrificed upon altars and divining arrows (5:3) are abominable and devised by Satan, so refrain from them in order that you may be prosperous. Satan only wants to breed enmity and spite amongst you by means of wine and games of chance and to hold you back from adhering to Allah’s laws, particularly sala. Will you not refrain from them?

(92) You should obey Allah and His Rasool i.e., the divine order established by the Rasool, and be on your guard. If you turn away you should know that the Rasool’s responsibility is only to deliver the message.

(93) Those who believe and do good shall not be blamed for what they may have taken before. If in future they refrain from eating what is unlawful, continue to believe, do good and adhere to Allah’s laws, they will lead a virtuous life. Allah likes those who lead such lives.

(94) As stated earlier (5:1), hunting while performing Hajj is prohibited. If there is an animal which is lawful and within your lance’s reach, you would be greatly tempted to hunt it. In such a situation it will become manifest whether you adhere to Allah’s laws or not. Whoever transgresses the limitations imposed by Allah will suffer a painful chastisement.

(95) So, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, you should kill no game while you are performing pilgrimage. If anyone does so intentionally, he should bring to the Ka’bah as compensation the offering of an animal of like value – this being determined by two just persons. Or he may atone by feeding the poor, or by fasting for an appropriate period. This is required so that he may realize the gravity of his deed. Allah has overlooked what was done in the past but if anyone repeats the offence, Allah will impose a penalty upon him. Allah has the power and authority to impose punishment.

(96) Prohibition of hunting during pilgrimage is confined to game living on land. The game of the sea – whether it is in the water or brought on the land – is however, lawful as provision for you as well as for those who are on a journey. Every action will be judged according to Allah’s law of Mukafat.

(97-99) Allah has made the Ka’bah a sanctuary and also the centre of the divine order whose ultimate aim is to set all humanity upon its feet and make it independent. You should respect the sanctity of the months during which war is prohibited and abstain from injuring animals brought by the pilgrims. These things are told to you, so that you should know that Allah is the protector and Raheem, but He is also very strict in punishing. So far as the Rasool is concerned, his function is only to deliver the message. But Allah knows what you do openly and in secret.

(100) Say to them O Rasool, the lawful and the unlawful are not alike in value even though the abundance of what is unlawful may appear attractive to you. Therefore, O people of wisdom and reflection, adhere to the laws of Allah so that you may prosper.

(101-102) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! (what is necessary for the guidance of mankind has been given through the revelation and prescribed in the Qur’an). Do not probe into what has not been revealed. If you probe into it while the Qur’an is being revealed and your question is answered, it may cause you embarrassment (so it is better for you to avoid such discussion and if you do something which is wrong and there is no revelation). Allah will overlook that as Allah has in the past overlooked such failings for He is forbearing and protective(8).

People before you (Bani-Israel) used to ask Moses such questions. (The result of their probing was that they made extra-revelatory laws a part of an unchangeable Shariah and when they found this Shariah impracticable, they repudiated their deen itself. (2:108) You should not do that.

(103) Allah has not sanctioned the practices of the mushrikeen associated with Baheera(9), Saiba, Waseela and Ham – animals dedicated to idols and set free. If these people claim that these practices have been enjoined by Allah, they tell a lie. Even human reason would show that these practices are mere superstition.

(104) When they are asked to come to what Allah has revealed and to His Rasool, they will say, “No, we will only follow in the footsteps of our ancestors.” In other words they would follow in the footsteps of their ancestors even if the latter lacked knowledge and wisdom and did not follow the right path revealed by Allah (2:170).

(105) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! You alone are responsible for the development of your personality (nafs). If you follow the right path which may be different from your ancestors’ path, you will not be harmed by those who follow the wrong path. After all, all human actions are judged according to Allah’s law of Mukafat.

(106) It has been laid down earlier that it is incumbent upon every momin to make a legally valid will for his relatives and others close to him (2:180). When anyone approaches death and makes a bequest there should be two just witnesses from amongst you, or lacking that, two from amongst others, if he is on a journey. If the witnesses are required to give evidence, the appropriate authority may detain them after sala. If the party against whom they have testified suspects them of untruth, they may swear by Allah saying, “We have not sold our evidence for any price to anyone, even though he may be a kin, and we will not conceal the truth and will give evidence only for Allah’s sake. If we tell a lie, we will certainly commit an offence.”

(107) If it is discovered later that the evidence given by them was not true, the party against whom they have testified may bring two witnesses from amongst them who would swear by Allah and say, “We affirm that what we will say is more correct than what the previous witnesses have said and we will not transgress the limits imposed by Allah. If we do this, we will be reckoned amongst the zalimeen.”

(108) In this way it will be more likely that the witnesses will be true to facts since they will be afraid that they might be contradicted by others under an equally solemn oath. O Jamat-ul-Momineen! You should keep in mind Allah’s laws, hearken to His commands and remember that those who disobey His laws, cannot follow the right path.

(109) On the day of reckoning Allah will assemble the rusul and ask them, “What response did you get to your call and to what extent have your followers acted upon it?” They would reply, “We do not have exact knowledge because we could only see what was apparent. You – and You alone – know what was hidden.”

(110) In this respect, the case of the followers of Jesus is particularly pertinent (5:117). (Remember) when Allah will say to Jesus, “Recall My blessings to you and to your mother; I had given you Revelation in an authentic form, which gave you tremendous strength and confidence. You preached to people from an early age to an advanced age (3:45).”

I taught you the book and wisdom i.e., the Torah and the Bible. On the basis of this teaching, you said to the Bani-Israel, “If you follow my teachings, this will give you a new life and uplift you, enabling you to soar to heights according to Allah’s laws. At present, you are blind; you will gain sight anew. At present, people shun you; your new life will be most respectable. At present, the fields of your efforts are barren and lifeless; through this revelation they will become green and fruitful” (3:48, 3:111, 6:123). You were giving the Bani-Israel these tidings but they were plotting to kill you. They rejected your teachings by saying that it was nothing but a lie(10).

(111) Allah will further say to Jesus, “When I said to your companions through the revelation given to you, ‘Believe in Me and in My Rasool’”, they said, “We believe and bear witness that we are Muslims.”

(112) Without the establishment of the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya, humanity is degraded since people are generally compelled, out of necessity, to barter their self-respect for bread. The companions of Jesus said to him, “Is it not possible for your Rabb to establish such a system?(11)” Jesus replied, “It is possible, provided you have trust in Allah and adhere to His laws.”

(113) They said, “If this is done, we will be satisfied and we will bear witness that you have indeed spoken the truth to us.”

(114) Thereupon, Jesus, son of Mary, said to Allah, “Help us to establish such a system which will be a means of rejoicing for us as well as for those who would come after us provided they continue to uphold the system. And this would be practical proof regarding the truth of Your law. O Allah! Provide us Your sustenance because all this which we get according to Your law is much better than what we get through man-made systems.”

(115) Allah replied, “This will be done but beware that whosoever amongst you turns away from it, will receive a chastisement such as was not given to anyone else in the world.”

(116-118) And when Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you ask people to deify you and your mother besides Allah?” He will say, “Your knowledge extends much beyond mine. How could it behove me to say that which I know to be untrue? If I had said such a thing, surely you would have known it. You know even what is in my heart but I do not know what You know. You – and You alone – know all that is hidden from us. I said nothing to them except what You bid me to say, which was that they should obey Allah who is their Rabb as well as mine. As long as I stayed with them, I kept a vigilant watch over them. But when You completed the term of my life, You alone watched over them. You have devised measures for everything. If you punish them, they are devotees to you or if you forgive them, you have the absolute power but your power is blended with wisdom.”

(119) Allah will say, “This is the day when the truth of the truthful will benefit them. They shall have gardens wherein streams flow, where they will dwell beyond the count of time. This is because they adhered to Allah’s law and Allah recompensed them for it. This is, indeed, the highest achievement.”

(120) This is Allah’s law of Mukafat which encompasses the universe. He wields power over all.

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(1)          Probably these two men were Moses and Aaron.

(2)          Rabb also means elder brother.

(3)          Called Cain and Abel in the Torah.

(4)          The literal meaning of the text is “to cut their hands and feet.”

(5)          The literal meaning of the text is “cutting off the hands.” When the divine order of Rabubiyya is established, every person will be guaranteed the means of livelihood. If anyone commits a theft under such circumstances, he deserves the highest punishment. Those who commit crime due to psychological abnormality will get treatment, not punishment (see also 12:31).

(6)          There is a difference between making allies and contracting social relationships. The Qur’an has prohibited making allies with both Jews and Christians (5:51).

(7)          Question of setting free of a captive relates to the time when slavery still operated in the society.  Islam banned slavery for good.

(8)          Workable details of the Qur’anic injunctions given in principle have been left to the ummah to prescribe according to the exigencies of time. Qur’anic injunctions remain immutable while their details can be changed by the divine order through mutual consultations if and when necessary. Such an authority or right cannot be exercised by any individual.

(9)          Baheera , Sa’iba, Waseela and Ham:

Before the advent of Islam, Arab pagans, due to superstition and ignorance, used to earmark certain classes of domestic animals for dedication to their various idols.  These reverenced animals were set free to pastures. Consuming their milk and using them as beasts of burden was prohibited.

(10)        The literal translation of the words is as follows: “When you fashioned, by My permission, out of clay a thing bearing the semblance of a bird, you breathed into it and, by My leave, it became a bird, and when you healed the born blind and the leper, by My leave, and by My leave, when you raised the dead.”

(11)        The literal translation is, “Is your Rabb able to send down to us a tray of food from above?”

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