Tuesday 6 April 2021

How is it that you do not expend in the Way of Allah

A man is not given wealth by Allah that he should squander it for his own pleasures and comforts. But there is also a part of it which intended to be spent in the way of Allah so that the have nots could also be benefitted from it and have their life so supported. That is that all that man "possesses" is but held in trust from God, since "all that is in the heavens and on earth belongs to Him", whereas man is allowed only its usufruct.

The 10th verse of Surah 57. Al Hadid reminds such people in the same direction:

وَ مَا لَـكُمۡ اَلَّا تُنۡفِقُوۡا فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَلِلّٰهِ مِيۡـرَاثُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ لَا يَسۡتَوِىۡ مِنۡكُمۡ مَّنۡ اَنۡفَقَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ الۡفَتۡحِ وَقَاتَلَ​ ؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ اَعۡظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيۡنَ اَنۡفَقُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدُ وَقَاتَلُوۡا​ ؕ وَكُلًّا وَّعَدَ اللّٰهُ الۡحُسۡنٰى​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرٌ
(57:10) How is it that you do not expend in the Way of Allah when to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? Those who spent their wealth and took part in fighting before the Victory cannot be equated (with those who spent their wealth and took part in fighting afterwards). They are higher in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to each Allah has promised a good reward. Allah is well aware of all that you do.

" How is it that you do not expend in the Way of Allah when to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? " This has two meanings:

(1) Your wealth is not going to stay with you forever. One day you will leave it behind; then Allah alone will inherit it. Thus the best thing would be that you should spend it yourself in the cause of Allah so that your reward for it is guaranteed with Allah. If you do not spend it yourself, it will in any case return to Allah, but then you will not be entitled to any reward from Him.

(2) You should have no fear of indigence and poverty when you spend it in the cause of Allah, because Allah for Whose sake you would spend your wealth is the Owner of all the treasures of the heavens and the earth. He possessed not only what He has bestowed on you today but has much more to bestow on you tomorrow. This same thing has been expressed at another place, thus:

O Prophet, say to them: My Lord gives abundantly to whomever of His servants He wills and sparingly to whomever He wills. Whatever you spend, He replenishes it by other provisions: He is the best of Providers. (Surah Saba, Ayat 39).

" Those who spent their wealth and took part in fighting before the Victory cannot be equated (with those who spent their wealth and took part in fighting afterwards). They are higher in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. "  That is, although both are entitled to the reward, yet the former are necessarily higher in rank than the latter, for they faced greater risks for the sake of Allah in difficult circumstances, which the latter not. They spent their wealth at a time when there appeared no remote chance of victory that would compensate for their expenditure, and they fought the disbelieves at a critical time when there was an ever present apprehension that the enemy might overpower and crush the followers of Islam completely.
Mujahid, Qatadah and Zaid bin Aslam, from among the commentators, say that the word victory in this verso has been used for the conquest of Makkah, and Amir Shabi says that it refers to the truce of Hudaibiyah. The former view has been adopted by most of the commentators, and in support of the latter this tradition from Abu Saeed Khudri is presented: During the time when the truce of Hudaibiyah was concluded, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to us: In the near future there will appear the people whose deeds will make you look upon your own deeds as mean and trifling, but even if one of them possessed a mountain of gold and he spent all of it in the cause of Allah, he would not attain to your spending two pounds, or even one pound of it. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduyah, Abu Nuaim Isfahani). 
Furthermore, it is also supported by the Hadith which Imam Ahmad has related on the authority of Anas. He says: Once a dispute arose between Khalid bin Walid and Hadrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf, in the course of which Khalid said to Abdur Rahman: You people assume your superiority over us on account of your past services. When this thing came to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) notice, he said: By God in whose hand is my lift, even if you people spent gold equal (in weight) to Mount Uhud, or equal to other mountains, you would not attain to the deeds of these people. From this it is argued that in this verse victory refers to the truce of Hudaibiyah, for Khalid bin Walid had embraced Islam after this truce and had participated in the conquest of Makkah. However, whether victory in this particular case is taken to imply the truce of Hudaibiyah or the conquest of Makkah, in any case the verse does not mean that the distinction of the ranks is confined to this one victory alone, but as a general principle it shows that those who fight and spend in the cause of Islam at the time when disbelief and disbelievers appear to be dominant and Islam seems to have no remote chance of victory, are far superior in rank to those who make sacrifices after the conflict between Islam and paganism has been decided in favor of Islam.

" But to each Allah has promised a good reward. Allah is well aware of all that you do. "  That is, Allah does not bestow His favors blindly. Ho sees who has performed what deeds, under what kind of circumstances, and with what motive and then determines the rank and the reward of the deed of each person with full justice and awareness.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
This means, spend and do not fear poverty or scarcity. Surely, He in Whose cause you spent is the King and Owner of the heavens and earth and has perfect control over their every affair, including their treasuries. He is the Owner of the Throne, with all the might that it contains, and He is the One Who said,
"And whatsoever you spend of anything, He will replace it. And He is the best of providers." [34:39], and,
" whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah will remain." [16:96]

Therefore, those who trust in and depend on Allah will spend, and they will not fear poverty or destitution coming to them from the Owner of the Throne. They know that Allah will surely compensate them for whatever they spend.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
This is same as is said in the 180th verse of Surah 3. Al 'Imran: 
"And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah hath given them of His Grace think that it is good for them: nay it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks like a twisted collar on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do. "
The gifts are of all kinds: material gifts, such as wealth, property, strength of limbs, etc., or intangible gifts, such as influence, birth in a given set, intellect, skill, insight, etc., or spiritual gifts of the highest kind. The spending of all these things (apart from what is necessary for ourselves) for those who need them, is charity, and purifies our own character. The withholding of them (apart from our needs) is similarly greed and selfishness, and is strongly condemned.
By an apt metaphor the miser is told that his wealth or the other gifts which he hoarded will cling round his neck and do him no good. He will wish he could get rid of them, but he will not be able to do so. According to the Biblical phrase in another connection they will hang like a millstone round his neck (Matt. xviii. 6). The metaphor here is fuller. He hugged his wealth or his gifts about him. They will become like a heavy collar, the badge of slavery, round his neck. They will be tied tight and twisted, and they will give him pain and anguish instead of pleasure. Cf. also xvii. 13.
Another metaphor is now introduced. Material wealth or property is only called ours during our short life here. So all gifts are ours in trust only; they ultimately revert to Allah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens or on earth.

Wiki Quran:

The surah then adds the incentive to spend in charity, putting this in an emphatic way: "Why should you not spend freely in the cause of God, seeing that God's alone is the heritage of the heavens and the earth?" (Verse 10) This reference takes us back to the fact already mentioned in the opening verses: "His is the dominion over the heavens and the earth. Everything goes back to God." (Verse 5) The heavens and the earth are His own property and they revert back to Him. What has been assigned to people on trust will also go back to Him as part of this inheritance. Why should they, then, not be charitable when He is asking them to spend in charity? When this is put into perspective, there can be no justification for stinginess.

The elite community of the early believers, the Muhajirin and the Ansar, came forward with what they could of sacrifice, in life and property, during a very hard time, before the great triumph was achieved. The victory mentioned here may refer to either the fall of Makkah to Islam, or to the signing of the peace treaty at al-Hudaybiyah. Both were events that greatly consolidated the position of Islam at a time when it was still besieged by enemies on all fronts. These people offered their sacrifices to God, entertaining no thought of worldly gain or currying favour with a powerful Muslim state, for there was none. Their sacrifice was the result of a choice they made for God's sake. It was in support of a faith they wholeheartedly accepted and loved, valuing it dearer than their lives and properties. Yet what they sacrificed was, in quantity, much less than what those who flocked to Islam after its victory were able to sacrifice. Some of these offered sacrifices, stopping at the amount they heard the early Muslims gave. Therefore, the Qur'an gives these offerings their true values, making it clear that it is not the quantity that determines the value; rather, it is the motive pointing to the truth of faith: "Those of you who gave and fought [for God's cause] before the victory are not like others: they are higher in rank than those who gave and fought afterwards." (Verse 10)

A person who makes financial sacrifices and fights when the faith he believes in is struggling against great odds, able to call on the support of only a few, and when there is little hope of personal gain is totally different from the one who makes such sacrifices and fights at the time of security, when supporters are plentiful and victory is assured. The first is totally dedicated to his faith, placing his complete trust in God, with no quick gains to be hoped for. Nothing but faith urges him to make such sacrifices. The other always finds those who encourage him to do good deeds, even when his intention is right and he is totally dedicated to faith. Anas reports: "Some verbal disagreement occurred between Khalid ibn al-Walid and (Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf. Khalid said to (Abd al-Rahman: 'You take pride against us because of the period you had ahead of us.'1 We heard that this was mentioned to the Prophet. He said: `Leave my Companions alone. By Him who holds my soul in His hand, should any of you spend the like of Mount Uhud, [or he might have said, 'the weight of mountains'] in gold, he would not achieve the like of their deeds'." [Related by Ahmad.] The Prophet is also authentically quoted as saying: "Do not curse my Companions. By Him who holds my soul in His hand, should any of you spend the like of Mount Uhud in gold, he would not achieve the measure of any one of them, not even half that measure."

Having established the true measure of both groups in God's sight, the surah now states that they will all reside in heaven: "Although God has promised the ultimate good to all of them." (Verse 10) Despite their difference in degree, they have all done well. This difference in rank and the promise of the great reward to all are due to God's knowledge of their respective situations, intentions, determination and actions: "God is well aware of all that you do." (Verse 10) This is a reference to real intentions beyond apparent actions. It is after all the intention that determines the value of any action. 

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [1]  
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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Jazak Allah khair JHB.
May Almighty Allah bless us al n make us a good pious muslim.

O brother in faith....your effort in putting across the most valuable.....subject....with such clarity is remarkable... I pray to Allah for grant of HIS blessings....to you.....for such a beautiful work....for a common man to understand the message from Allah.
Asim jelani

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