Sunday 13 November 2022

The Divine Command to establish Prayer and Charity

Qur'an lays excessive importance to As Salat (Prayer) and Charity (both obligatory and voluntary) for prayers establish a one-to-one communication of man with Allah without any need for an intermediary and charity allows help to those who have been given less than the others. There are numerous Ayats in Qur'an where both As Salat and Zakat come together, thus the importance of these acts for a believer.

Today we share the 31st verse of Surah 14. Ibraheem (Abrham) based on the same theme:

قُلْ لِّـعِبَادِىَ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا يُقِيۡمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَيُنۡفِقُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ سِرًّا وَّعَلَانِيَةً مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّاۡتِىَ يَوۡمٌ لَّا بَيۡعٌ فِيۡهِ وَلَا خِلٰلٌ‏ 
(14:31) (O Prophet), tell those of My servants who believe that they should establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them with, both secretly and openly, before there arrives the Day when there will be no bargaining, nor any mutual befriending.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: 
Allah orders His servants to obey Him, fulfill His rights and be kind to His creatures. He ordained the prayer, which affirms the worship of Allah alone, without partners, and to spend from the provisions that He has granted them, by paying the due Zakah, spending on relatives and being kind to all others. Establishing the prayer requires performing it on time, perfectly, preserving its act of bowing having humility during it, and preserving its prostrations. Allah has ordained spending from what He granted, in secret and public, so that the people save themselves:

(Before the coming of a Day), the Day of Resurrection, (on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.) on which no ransom will be accepted from anyone, if he seeks to buy himself. 
Allah said in another Ayah, (So this Day no ransom shall be taken from you, nor of those who disbelieved.) [57:15] 
Allah said here, (nor befriending.) Ibn Jarir commented, "Allah says that on that Day, there will be no friendship between friends that might save those deserving punishment from it. Rather, on that Day, there will be fairness and justice.' Qatadah said, "Allah knows that in this life, there is mutual bargaining and there are friendships which people benefit from. A man chooses his friends and the reasons behind befriending them; if it was for Allah's sake, their friendship should be maintained, but if it was for other than Allah, their friendship is bound to be cutoff.'' I say that the meaning of this, is that Allah the Exalted is declaring that on that Day, no mutual bargaining or ransom will avail anyone, even if he ransoms himself with the earth's fill of gold if he could find that amount! No friendship or intercession shall avail one if he meets Allah while a disbeliever. 

Allah the Exalted also said:
 (And fear the Day when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped.) [2:123] and,
O you believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.) [2:254]

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Putting ourselves back in the position in which the Muslim community found themselves in Makkah just before the Hijrat, we can imagine how much encouragement and consolation they needed from the preaching, the Faith, and the steadfast character of Al-Mustafa. Intolerant persecution was the order of the day; neither the life nor the property or reputation of the Muslims was safe. They are asked to find strength and tranquility in prayer and in helping each other according to their needs and resources.

Here, as elsewhere, "Sustenance" is to be taken in the literal as well as the metaphorical sense. There were many among the Muslims who were poor, or slaves, or depressed, because they were deprived of the means of livelihood on account of their Faith. They were to be fed, clothed, and sheltered, by those who had means. Charity was to be ordinarily secret, so as to cut out all show or parade, and perhaps also lest the enemy should dry up those sources by unprincipled violence; but there must be much that had to be open and organized, so that all the needy could know where to go to be relieved.

The great Day of Reckoning would be one on which all values would be changed. Wealth, as understood in this world, would no longer count. Should we not therefore use any wealth we have in this life, to give here and receive there? Bai includes all bargaining, -barter, purchase and sale, etc. In this world, where wealth has some value, let us spend it and get for ourselves "treasures in heaven." In the next life each man will stand on his merits and personal responsibility. One man cannot help another. Let us here help each other to become true and righteous, so that our personal account may be favourable there.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
In this verse, the Prophet ﷺ is asked to address God’s servants who have accepted the faith. These are the people who will take heed when they are warned against evil. They accept God’s blessings and appreciate them, and will never exchange them for disbelief. The Prophet is to address these people and teach them how to be grateful for God’s blessings. They should express their gratitude through worship, obedience to God and kindness to His servants.

God commands His Messenger to say to those who have attained to faith that they should express their gratitude to God by establishing regular prayer, for prayer is the most express form of gratitude to God. They should also spend in charity out of the sustenance God provides for them, and make such spending both in secret and in public. Secret charity protects the dignity of the taker and enhances the virtue of the giver. This ensures that charity does not become a source of pride and arrogance. Charitable spending in public serves to demonstrate obedience to God’s orders, and provides a good example to others in the community. Both ways are left to the discretion and sensitivities of every believer.

The believers are told to spend on others now so that their balance which is preserved for them increases through gains they make by charitable spending. This they have to do before a day comes when there is no longer any possibility for wealth to grow, or friendship to bring any benefit. What is of benefit to people is only the good works they have already done, for their reward is stored.

Please listen to explanation of the Ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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