Showing posts with label Commandments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commandments. Show all posts

Monday 9 December 2019

Selected Verse from Quran: Do not usurp one another’s possessions by false claims

Islam is a complete of life and spells out the code of conduct for the righteous and the true believers. It tells how a believer should live his life and how he should protect the rights of others by not usurping on their possessions.

Unfortunately, while almost all Muslims can read and recite Qur'an in Arabic, a large portion of them do not know what they are reading and what Allah demands of them. Even those who can understand the meaning, fail to read the detailed explanation of each verse and the reference to the context under which a particular verse (ayat) was revealed. And because of this, they fail to grasp the true spirit of a verse and fail to understand what is required of them as true servant of Allah.

These days I am presenting the exegesis of Surah 2 Al Baqarah and while reading the Surah, I came across the verse below and I froze there and then for here is something that Allah forbade us to do and we are doing exactly just the opposite of it. Please read the verse and its translation, both in English and Urdu, fro I want it to be read and understood very clearly for we may committing a grave sin if we are doing something that we have been forbade to do:
وَلَا تَاۡكُلُوۡٓا اَمۡوَالَـكُمۡ بَيۡنَكُمۡ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَتُدۡلُوۡا بِهَآ اِلَى الۡحُـکَّامِ لِتَاۡکُلُوۡا فَرِيۡقًا مِّنۡ اَمۡوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالۡاِثۡمِ وَاَنۡـتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ

"Do not usurp one another’s possessions by false means, nor proffer your possessions to the authorities so that you may sinfully and knowingly usurp a portion of another’s possessions." (Surah 2 Al Baqarah: 188) 

اور تم ایک دوسرے کے مال آپس میں ناحق نہ کھایا کرو اور نہ مال کو (بطورِ رشوت) حاکموں تک پہنچایا کرو کہ یوں لوگوں کے مال کا کچھ حصہ تم (بھی) ناجائز طریقے سے کھا سکو حالانکہ تمہارے علم میں ہو  کہ یہ گناہ ہے

Now why I want every reader of mine to ponder over it. I have seen many Muslims, though offering prayers five times a day and giving charity and performing Hajj and Umrah, usurping others' possessions and even doing it on behalf of the rulers and thus giving a large chunk to them to cover their sins. I have seen rulers getting filthy rich while people they rule being robbed of the money that should in fact had been used for their welfare. Perhaps the dishonest rulers and their cronies have not really read this verse, and so many of its like, or even if they have read, have not really bother to understand it. For then they would have never been dishonest and usurpers.

Now coming over to its explanation that many of us have may have never read:

One meaning of this verse is that people should not try to seek illegitimate benefits by bribing magistrates. Another meaning is that when a person is aware that the property, he claims rightfully belongs to someone else, he should not file a judicial petition either because the other party lacks the evidence to support their case or because by trickery and cunning the petitioner can usurp that property. It is possible that the judicial authority would decide the case in favour of the false claimant on the basis of the formal strength of the claim, but as this judicial verdict would merely be the result of the chicanery to which the claimant had resorted he would not become its rightful owner. In spite of the judgement of the court the property would remain unlawful for him in the sight of God. 

It has been reported in a Tradition that the Prophet said: 'I am merely a human being and you bring to me your disputes. It is possible that some of you will be more impressive in argument than others, so that I may give judgement in favour of one on the basis of what I hear. Beware that if I award to someone what belongs to his brother, I will have assigned to him a lump of Fire.' (Bukhari, 'Shahadat', 27; Muslim, 'Aqdiayah', 4; Abu Da'ud , 'Aqdiayah', 7; Tirmidhi, 'Ahkam', 11, 18; Nasai 'Qudat', 12, 33; 1bn Majah, 'AhkAm', 5, etc. - Ed.)

Yusuf Ali, a prominent Muslim scholar and exegetist of Qur'an explains this verse as under:

Besides the three primal physical needs of man, which are apt to make him greedy, there is a fourth greed in society, the greed of wealth and property. The purpose of fasts is not completed until this fourth greed is also restrained. Ordinarily honest men are content if they refrain from robbery, theft, or embezzlement. Two more subtle forms of the greed are mentioned here. One is where one uses one's own property for corrupting others - judges or those in authority - so as to obtain some material gain even under the cover and protection of the law. The words translated "other people's property" may also mean "public property". A still more subtle form is where we use our own property or property under our own control - "among yourselves" in the Text - for vain or frivolous uses. Under the Islamic standard this is also greed. Property carries with it its own responsibilities. If we fail to understand or fulfill them, we have not learnt the full lesson of self-denial by fasts.
Mufti Muhammad Shaffi / Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani's Explanation:
This verse was revealed in the background of a particular event which relates to a land dispute between two of the noble Companions. The case came up for hearing in the court of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) The plaintiff had no witnesses. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the defendant to take an oath in accordance with Islamic legal norm. He was all set to take the oath when the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) recited the following verse before him as a matter of good counsel: 
Surely, those who take a small price out of the covenant of Allah and out of their oaths, for them there is no share in the Hereafter. (3:77) 
When the Companion heard this verse which warns those who try to take over someone's property through a false oath, he abandoned his intention to take that oath and surrendered the land to the plaintiff. (Ruh al-Ma'ani) 

Previous verses to verse 188 dealt with injunctions relating to fasting in which the use of lawful things has been forbidden during a fixed period and fixed timings. Now in this verse, the acquisition and use of haram or unlawful wealth or property has been forbidden. This has a thematic congruity since the real purpose behind fasting, an act of worship, is nothing but to make man get used to abstaining from what is lawful for him. If he can do that, there is every likelihood that abstaining from what is totally unlawful will become all the more easier for him. There is yet another correspondence here. It is necessary that one must make an effort to break his or her fast with what is halal. Anyone who goes through the rigours of fasting throughout the day but ends up breaking his fast in the evening with what is haram shall only find his fast unacceptable in the sight of Allah. 

This verse forbids the acquisition and use of wealth and property by unlawful means. It will be recalled that the acquisition and use of things by lawful means has been stressed upon in Verse 168 of Surah al-Baqarah as follows: 
"0 people, eat of what is in the earth, permissible and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan; indeed, for you he is an open enemy."
Again, the same command appears in Surah al-Nahl:
"So, eat from what Allah has provided for you, permissible and good, and be grateful for the blessing of Allah, if it is Him you worship." (16:114) 
The words of this divine injunction are general: 'And do not eat up each other's property by false means'. This includes the usurping of someone's property, and theft, and robbery, through which money or property belonging to someone is taken away by force. Again, any money or property acquired through lying or a false oath, or earnings which have been prohibited by Islamic law, even though one has personally sweated out to earn it, are all haram, unlawful and false. 

Look around and if you find such people, try to read out this verse to them and make them understand its meaning - may you can prevent them from committing further sins and save others of being usurped by them.

May Allah help us understand Qur'an 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'an

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran 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 Sūrahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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 following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given in each page. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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