Showing posts with label Verse 199. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Verse 199. Show all posts

Friday 21 October 2022

Important DOs/DONTs from Qur'an: Hold to Forgiveness

Man is always prone to making mistakes, committing sins and hurting others. And for that he more often than not feels guilty and asks for Divine forgiveness. But if someone does something wrong to us, intentionally or unintentionally, do we forgive them if they ask for it?  In many cases a big NO, while some do forgive.

Forgiveness in fact is the basic trait of a believer. Unless he softens up his heart even if having been wronged and has the sagacity of forgiving, no one could be better than him in the eyes of Allah. Ever imagined the torture, rebukes, mocking and even physical harm that came to the prophets of Allah and yet theybremained steadfast and never prayed for the bad of those who brought them harm. For had they done so, they would have never taught the ir people the miracle of forgiveness and its everlasting effects. 

Even life of most revered and the last prophet of Allah, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, was full of grievances he suffered at the hands of the non-believers / Mushrakeen of Makkah, yet he forgave them when he finally entered Makkah. This every noble act moved hearts of many tyrants who were expecting a revenge from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. But he forgave.

The following verse from Sūrah 7. Al-A’raf (The Heights): 199 is a Divine Commandment addressed to Prophet of Allah to forgive and avoid the ignorant for they never listen to logic and always turn down what is right and the truth:

خُذِ الۡعَفۡوَ وَاۡمُرۡ بِالۡعُرۡفِ وَاَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ الۡجٰهِلِيۡنَ‏ 
[O Prophet!] Hold to forgiveness, enjoin equity, and avoid the ignorant.

While the concept of forgiveness is deliberated upon by the scholars as mentioned below, let us understand the term Equity. Islam always emphasizes on equity rather than equality:
While the terms equity and equality may sound similar, the implementation of one versus the other can lead to dramatically different outcomes for marginalized people. 
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
“The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.” —Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute
Tafsir Ibn e Kathir:
`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on Allah's statement,

(خُذِ الْعَفْوَ Show forgiveness) "Allah commanded ﴿Prophet Muhammad ﴾ to show forgiveness and turn away from the idolators for ten years. Afterwards Allah ordered him to be harsh with them.' And more than one narration from Mujahid says, "From the ﴿bad﴾ behavior and actions of the people, of those who have not committed espionage.'' And Hashim bin `Urwah said that his father said, "Allah ordered Allah's Messenger to pardon the people for their behavior.'' And in one narration, "pardon what I have allowed you of their behavior. 

In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is recorded that Hisham reported from his father `Urwah from his brother `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr who said; (Show forgiveness) was only revealed about the peoples ﴿bad﴾ character.'' There is a narration from Mughirah from Hisham from his father from Ibn `Umar; and another from Hisham from his father from `A'ishah, both of whom said similarly. And Allah knows best. Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Yunus said that Sufyan bin `Uyaynah narrated that Umay said, "When Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, revealed this Ayah,

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf (what is good), and turn away from the foolish) to His Prophet, the Messenger of Allah asked: «مَا هَذَا يَا جِبْرِيل» (`What does it mean, O Jibril) Jibril said, `Allah commands you to forgive those who wronged you, give to those who deprived you, and keep relations with those who cut theirs with you.''' Al-Bukhari said, "Allah said,

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf and turn away from the ignorant). `Al-`Urf', means, righteousness.' Al-Bukhari next recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "`Uyaynah bin Hisn bin Hudhayfah stayed with his nephew Al-Hur bin Qays, who was among the people whom `Umar used to have near him, for `Umar used to like to have the reciters of the Qur'an (who memorized it) near him and would listen to their opinion, regardless of whether they were old or young men. `Uyaynah said to his nephew, `O my nephew! You are close to this chief (`Umar), so ask for permission for me to see him.' Al-Hur said `I will ask him for you,' and he asked `Umar for permission for `Uyaynah to meet him, and `Umar gave him permission. When `Uyaynah entered Umar, he said, `O Ibn Al-Khattab! You neither give to us sufficiently nor rule with justice between us.' `Umar became so angry that he almost punished `Uyaynah. However, Al-Hur said, `O Chief of the Faithful! Allah, the Exalted, said to His Prophet,

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf, and turn away from the foolish) Verily this man (`Uyaynah) is one of the fools!' By Allah, `Umar did not do anything after he heard that Ayah being recited, and indeed, he was one who adhered to the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.'' Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Some scholars said that people are of two kinds, good-doer, so accept his good doing and neither ask him more than he can bear nor what causes him hardship. The other kind is the one who falls in shortcomings, so enjoin righteousness on him. If he still insists on evil, becomes difficult and continues in his ignorance, then turn away from him, so that you're ignoring him might avert his evilness. Allah said in other instances,
ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ السَّيِّئَةَ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ - وَقُلْ رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيـطِينِ - وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحْضُرُونِ 
(Repel evil with that which is better. We are best acquainted with the things they utter. And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.') [23:96-98] and,

وَلاَ تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلاَ السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ - وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ 
(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient -- and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion in this world.) [41:34-35] in reference to the advice contained in these Ayat,
Yusuf Ali explains the above quoted verse in the following words:
Allah comforts the Prophet and directs his mind to three precepts: (1) to forgive injuries, insults, and persecution; (2) to continue to declare the faith that was in him, and not only to declare it, but to act up to it in all his dealings with friends and foes; (3) to pay no attention to ignorant fools, who raised doubts or difficulties, hurled taunts or reproaches, or devised plots to defeat the truth: they were to be ignored and passed by, not to be engaged in fights and fruitless controversies, or conciliated by compromises.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
Lit., "accept what is easily forthcoming [from man's nature]". According to Zamakhshari, khudh al-'afw means: "Accept what comes easily to thee [or "what is willingly accorded to thee"] of the doings and the nature of men, and make things easy [for them], without causing them undue hardship (kulfah); and do not demand of them efforts that may be too difficult for them." This interpretation - which has been adopted by many other classical commentators as well - is based on the identical explanation of the phrase khudh al 'afw by 'Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and his brother 'Urwah (Bukhari), as well as by 'A'ishah and, in the next generation, by Hisham ibn 'Urwah and Mujahid (see Tabari, Baghawi and Ibn Kathir). Thus, in accordance with the Qur'anic statements that "man has been created weak" (4:28) and that "God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear" (2:286, 6:152, 7:42, 23:62), the believer is admonished to make due allowance for human nature and not to be too harsh with those who err. This admonition is the more remarkable as it follows immediately upon a discourse on the most unforgivable of all sins - the ascribing of divine powers or qualities to anyone or anything but God.

"The ignorant ones" - i.e., those who willfully remain deaf to moral truths, and not those who are simply unaware of them.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The first directive given in this passage is to make allowances for the weaknesses of human beings and accept what is decent and easy from them. The Prophet is instructed not to require perfection or expect a very high standard of morality. He should overlook their shortfalls and weaknesses. But all that applies in personal matters, not in questions of faith or religious duties.

There can be no overlooking of the essentials of faith or Islamic law. Forbearance can apply in business and personal dealings. Such forbearance is the appropriate attitude to be shown by those who are strong towards people who are weak. God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) is a guide and a teacher. Hence, forbearance and forgiveness are appropriate qualities for him.

Indeed, these were distinctive qualities of the Prophet Muhammad. He never showed anger over personal matters. But if something related to the faith made him angry, then his anger was feared by all. All advocates of the divine faith are required to follow the Prophet’s suit. An advocate of the divine message, who inevitably deals with human beings, must be kind and easy, but without being negligent.

Enjoin the doing of what is right.” This order applies to everything that is clearly good and generally accepted as such by honest people with a sound, uncorrupted nature. When people get used to doing what is good, they become ready to do it voluntarily, feeling that it is no burden. Nothing stops people from doing what is good, like rigidity and complication, particularly in the early days of being aware of their religious duties. In the early stages, they should be given duties that are easy and common to all so that they get used to responding properly. This enables people to get ready for what requires more effort and approach it without difficulty.

And turn away from those who choose to remain ignorant.” As used here, ignorance may be understood as the opposite of wisdom, or the opposite of knowledge. Both meanings are closely related. Turning away from them is just to ignore them and show how petty all their ignorant actions are. One must not enter into any argument with them because that is a waste of time. Ignoring them altogether may get them to revise their attitude and soften their hearts. Argument, on the other hand, may lead to polarization and stubbornness. Even if it does not soften their hearts, they remain isolated from anyone who is good at heart. The latter will realize that the advocates of the divine message are forbearing, unwilling to enter into a slanging match while ignorant people continue with their stupid attitude. Every advocate of faith should realize the importance of this divine directive, because God knows what influences people and what may get through to them.

Having explained the above said verse in detail, you may now 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: Important DOs and DON'Ts from Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages: Understanding Al Qur'an and  Selected Verses from the Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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 following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • 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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