الآية رقم (286) - لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

(286) - (Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have what [good] it has gained, and it will bear what [evil] it has earned. "Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.")

Allah (swt) responds to the supplication (in the previous verse) with this verse. In addition, this verse is a response to the one who thinks that Allah (swt) will hold them accountable for what’s within themselves and not for their deeds. Thus, (swt) says:

( لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ) (Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity ): Allah (swt)does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} Everything is within your capacity as long as Allah (swt) has charged you with. Besides, you can perform more. For example, Allah (swt) has charged you with five-time prayers. You can pray fifty Raka’s; yet, He never charges you to pray this much. He charges you with one-month fasting, whereas fast every Monday and Thursday and may sometimes fast for two months. He charges you to pay 2.5% of your fortune as Zakat while you may pay ten percent. So, Allah (swt) charges within one’s capacity. Keep in mind that all fiducial charges by (swt) are within your capacity. Why so? Because He exempts you when you have no such capacity. Allah (swt) says:

{لَّيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَىٰ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرِيضِ حَرَجٌ}

(There is not upon the blind any guilt or upon the lame any guilt or upon the ill any guilt.) (Al-Fath: 17) And says:

{ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ}

(And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom of feeding a poor person.) (Al-Baqara: 182) And says:

 لَّيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرْضَىٰ وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُوا لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۚ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

(There is not upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend any discomfort when they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is not upon the doers of good any cause [for blame]. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.) (At-Tawba: 91)

To sum it up, you’re charged only withing your capacity.

( لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ ) (…It will have what it has gained, and it will bear what it has earned ): So, it will have the consequence of what good it has gained, because this is what it gains on its own, and the good is for it. And it will bear the consequence of what evil it has earned. Then, He (swt) concludes with a great supplication which all people should know these verses by heart and supplicate with. This is the supplication of the believers:

( رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ) (…Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred ): Someone may argue that humans are never accountable for forgetfulness and errors, and Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“Allah has forgiven my nation for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do[1].”

So, why do we say: (“Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred.) ? You have to be polite with Allah (swt); so you say that you’ve forgotten whenever you disobey. You never forget being a disobedient; yet, you say that you’ve forgotten to show politeness with (swt). A servant is never allowed to disobey the Creator.

( رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا ) (…Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us ): It’s such a big burden here, (like that which You laid upon those before us.) i.e. the Jews who followed Moses (PBUH). They were charged with and banned from so much.

( رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ) (…Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear ): It’s taken for granted that Allah (swt) never charges or burdens you beyond your capacity. However, a human may sometimes feel weak and unable to shoulder all the burdens; so they pray with such a great supplication.

( وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ) (…And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us ): We need the three things:

1-    The pardon: to erase the impact of the sin; we need pardon upon the misdeeds we do against people;

2-    Forgiveness: we need forgiveness for the sins we commit against our Lord and ourselves by not fulfilling all the worshipping; and

3-    Mercy: which is the broadest and most comprehensive thing. Mercy is not to sin. Thus, Allah (swt) describes Prophet Muhammad (saws):

{ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ}

(And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.) (Al-Anbiyaa: 107)

That’s why the Suras of the Holy Quran start with (In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful) and the Sura of Al-Baqara is concluded with: (And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us.).

( أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ) (…You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”): This is the supplication of all Muslims at all times.

[1] Hadith no.10307, P. 233, Vol 4. Kanz-ul-Ummal

الآية رقم (285) - آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

(285) - (The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.")

These verses are the concluding verses of the Sura of (Al-Baqara).

“It’s narrated that while Gabriel was sitting with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he heard a sound above him. He lifted his head, and said: “This is a gate which has been opened in heaven today. It was never opened before.” Then an angel descended through it, he said: “This is an angel who has come down to earth. He never came down before.” He sent greetings and said: “Rejoice with two lights given to you. Such lights were not given to any Prophet before you. These (lights) are: Fatihah-til-Kitab (Al-Fatihah), and the concluding verses of Al-Baqara. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings it contains[1].”

We all know and must know them by heart.

( آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ) (The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers ): Prophet Muhammad (saws) used to say (ash-hadu anni rasulu-llah – I believe that I’m the messenger of Allah) in all incidents that took place. Thus, the Prophet first believes (in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers.)  and so do the believers following the Prophet. Wahhabis deny the visit of the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (saws) arguing that the Kaaba is (the House of Allah). Anyhow, our counter argument says: ‘we never come to know Allah (swt) but through the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (saws). Our love to the Prophet is limitless, and through him we come to believe and know the House of Allah (Kaaba) only through the Prophet (saws). This verse is a proof of that.

( كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ) (…All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers ): The elements of faith are all unseen, and all of them (the messenger and the believers) have believed; in what? In Allah (swt) and his angels, books, and messengers. Someone may inquire here: aren’t the books and messengers seen while the Quran is unseen? The Quran is unseen at the time when it was revealed but seen as a book before me. A messenger of Allah is unseen to me but he was seen to the people who were at his time. Those people came to know that such person was the messenger when he told them that Allah (swt) had tasked him through Gabriel.

( لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ) (…We make no distinction between any of His messengers ): This is the slogan in Islam. We never make a distinction between the messengers in terms of belief. We believe in all prophets, books and messengers mentioned in the Holy Quran. We honor the symbols of Allah (swt) as well as His messengers (PBUT). We believe in them all, in Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc. We believe in all religions and books revealed by the Almighty. In all, we never make distinction between faiths. All faiths are one, but the legislations are different. Faiths are revealed by one God:

{ شرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ}

(He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein.) (Ash-Shura: 13)

Religion never leads to division. Contrarily, it leads to solidarity of the society. The faith in Islam is based upon: (We make no distinction between any of His messengers ). However, someone may argue that there are verses that make distinction:

{ وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ}

(And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways.) (Al-Israa: 55)

Such distinction is either in terms of miracles or that the message of the messenger is for all humanity such as the message of Prophet Muhammad (saws).

( وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ) (…And they say, “We hear and we obey ): The believers say we hear and obey, whereas the Jews say:

{ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا}

(We hear and disobey.) (Al-Baqara: 93)

It’s not enough, then, to hear and believe; you must also obey.

( غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا ) (…Your forgiveness, our Lord ): Why do we ask for forgiveness if we hear and obey? It’s because you won’t fulfill all the rights to Allah (swt) even if you spend your life hearing, obeying and kneeling for Him. You still need His forgiveness. And you ask for forgiveness when you disobey. Likewise, you must ask for it when you obey.

( وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ) (…and to You is the [final] destination”): You’re, my Lord, our final destination.

[1] Hadith no. 2052, P. 745, Vol 1, Al-Mustadrak Ala Asahihayn

الآية رقم (284) - لِّلَّهِ ما فِي السَّمَاواتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللّهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

(284) - (To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent.)

( لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ) (To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. ): The universe is exclusively in the hands of Allah (swt). (Allah) comes first and everything after belongs to Him. Whatever is there in heavens and earth belongs to Him (swt). On the other hand, some people may think that they own something; but such ownership is trivial because it’s in the world of mortals. You may own a palace. Yet, you it’s either that you leave it by death or lose it by poverty, isn’t it? Then, no one has the exclusive ownership but Allah (swt). 

( وَإِن تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ ) (…Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it ): Omar Bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) wept so much when hearing this verse. Allah (swt) holds us accountable whether we show or conceal whatever is within ourselves. So, the following verse reads:

{ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا}

(Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.) (Al-Baqara: 286)

What does Allah’s saying: (Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it,) refer to? Verbs refer to concrete actions, and a man intends either good or bad. This concept is explained by Prophet Muhammad (saws):

“He who intended to do good, but did not do it, one good was recorded for him, and he who intended to do good and also did it, ten to seven hundred good deeds were recorded for him. And he who intended evil, but did not commit it, no entry was made against his name, but if he committed that, it was recorded[1].”

Hence, these verses state that:

1-    Allah (swt) holds you accountable for the evil you conceal within yourself if such evil takes place.

2-    Allah (swt) knows the secret, beyond the secret and what’s within one’s self.

3-    Allah (swt) wants us to intend the good always, never do the bad, and have good thoughts before our deeds. That’s why Allah (swt) says:

( فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ ) (…Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills ): Don’t forget that (swt) wills to forgive all the sins:

{ قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ}

(Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”) (Az-Zumar: 53)

So, we never intervene in whatever Allah (swt) made open for his creatures. And it’s in Allah’s (swt) will which is limitless, but why He (swt) forgives whom He wills? Because Allah (swt) is competent over everything; can do without your worship; and is never affected by your wrongdoing.

[1] Hadith no. 130, Chapter: If a person thinks of doing a good deed it will be recorded for him, and if he thinks of doing a bad deed it will not be recorded for him, Faith Vol. Sahih Muslim

الآية رقم (283) - وَإِن كُنتُمْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ وَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ كَاتِبًا فَرِهَانٌ مَّقْبُوضَةٌ فَإِنْ أَمِنَ بَعْضُكُم بَعْضًا فَلْيُؤَدِّ الَّذِي اؤْتُمِنَ أَمَانَتَهُ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُواْ الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

(283) - (And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a security deposit [should be] taken. And if one of you entrusts another, then let him who is entrusted discharge his trust [faithfully] and let him fear Allah, his Lord. And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it - his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do.)

( وَإِن كُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ وَلَمْ تَجِدُوا كَاتِبًا فَرِهَانٌ مَّقْبُوضَةٌ ) (And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a security deposit [should be] taken ): There is no notary when on a journey. Then, there’s no harm to take a security deposit in such case. Islam has made the security deposit permissible in order to have an additional guarantee.

( فَإِنْ أَمِنَ بَعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ) (…And if one of you entrusts another ): One person may not request any security deposit for the other person under such condition which is, again, linked to the fear of Allah (swt). Why? Because:

( فَلْيُؤَدِّ الَّذِي اؤْتُمِنَ أَمَانَتَهُ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ ) (…then let him who is entrusted discharge his trust [faithfully] and let him fear Allah, his Lord ) Thus, the whole thing is linked to the fear of Allah (swt).

( وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ ) (…And do not conceal testimony ): Here comes the witness after touching upon the notary, the debtor, the creditor, relations, … etc. The witness mustn’t conceal the testimony; it’s sinful to do so. When the right is concealed by the witnesses, the wrong would prevail. That’s why (swt) forbids concealing the testimony. There is a question here why it’s said here:

( وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ ) (…for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful ): Although the testimony is by the tongue rather than the heart, his heart is sinful because the heart is the source of all human and psychological inclinations as described by Prophet Muhammad (saws):

There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart[1].”

[1] Hadith no. 52, Chapter: The superiority of that person who leaves all doubtful (unclear) things for the sake of his religion, Belief Vol. Sahih Al-Bukhari.

الآية رقم (282) - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ وَلاَ يَأْبَ كَاتِبٌ أَنْ يَكْتُبَ كَمَا عَلَّمَهُ اللّهُ فَلْيَكْتُبْ وَلْيُمْلِلِ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلاَ يَبْخَسْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا فَإن كَانَ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ سَفِيهًا أَوْ ضَعِيفًا أَوْ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُ أَن يُمِلَّ هُوَ فَلْيُمْلِلْ وَلِيُّهُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ شَهِيدَيْنِ من رِّجَالِكُمْ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيْنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ مِمَّن تَرْضَوْنَ مِنَ الشُّهَدَاء أَن تَضِلَّ إْحْدَاهُمَا فَتُذَكِّرَ إِحْدَاهُمَا الأُخْرَى وَلاَ يَأْبَ الشُّهَدَاء إِذَا مَا دُعُواْ وَلاَ تَسْأَمُوْاْ أَن تَكْتُبُوْهُ صَغِيرًا أَو كَبِيرًا إِلَى أَجَلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللّهِ وَأَقْومُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ وَأَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَرْتَابُواْ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً حَاضِرَةً تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَلاَّ تَكْتُبُوهَا وَأَشْهِدُوْاْ إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ وَلاَ يُضَآرَّ كَاتِبٌ وَلاَ شَهِيدٌ وَإِن تَفْعَلُواْ فَإِنَّهُ فُسُوقٌ بِكُمْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

(282) - (O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah. And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things.)

The economic issue is concluded with this verse. In fact, Islam has set a law that all countries of the world have not been able to deviate from until this moment. This law has to do with registering contracts with a notary public. Even the name of the notary public (in Arabic) is derived from this verse known as the verse on the rules of credit which states that debts or rights must be written and documented. Subsequently, all commercial contracts and instruments have been initially based on the rules of this verse, the longest verse in the Holy Quran.

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ) (O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down ): The believers are the only one addressed when there is an enjoinment because Allah (swt) never enjoin upon non-believers and in this case:

{ لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ}

(There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.) (Al-Baqara: 256)

applies because there is no compulsion in terms of belief. People are free to believe in Islam or not, but they have to follow what Allah orders when they believe in Islam.

{ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ}

(so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.) (Al-Kahf: 29)

So people are never made to convert to Islam by force but rather by the morals of Islam, thought, reason, persuasion, proof, and evidence. Allah (swt) says:

{ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ}

(Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”) (Al-Baqara: 111)

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ) (O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down …): This is about documenting economic transactions and preserving the rights of the creditor as well as the debtor.

( إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ) (…a specified term ): a set time.

( فَاكْتُبُوهُ ) (…write it down ): document it.

( وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ ) (…And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice ): Justice is a condition for writing down in this case, and this is the root of the concept of the notary public. Allah (swt) has made it a condition that such a scribe has to be unbiased in order to preserve the economic rights of people. Sometimes we may see siblings and heirs quarrel over the inheritance of their parents. Thus, the above is realistic to deal with real life problems.

( وَلَا يَأْبَ كَاتِبٌ أَن يَكْتُبَ كَمَا عَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ ) (…Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him ): Scribes were very few in the pre-Islam era. Therefore, (Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him.) has been a kind of motivation for certain people to undertake the documentation of debts between people. (as Allah has taught him.) All disciplines like writing, reading, education, space science, mathematics, economics … etc. are of what Allah (swt) has taught us. In addition, the Almighty has set all the secrets of the universe and provided humans with mind to uncover such secrets. This is the root of science.

(  فَلْيَكْتُبْ وَلْيُمْلِلِ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ ) (…So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate ): The one who dictates is the one who has the obligation (the debtor), so they document their commitments.

(  وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلَا يَبْخَسْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا ) (…And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it ): There is a big difference when all the economic, social, and moral values are prescribed by divine rather than human source. The difference lies in the issue of control as believers have self-control because they believe in their Lord; this is such an important point left out by people when they have decided to talk about or note down morals which become meaningless, valueless if not connected to faith. Moreover, morals can never be enforced by law but by the divine control. In sum, the connection between values and morals and the teachings of religions and self-control is the only way to ensure the enforcement of morals.

Here we have the fear of Allah (swt) associated with the documentation process with the goal of stating that the whole thing is about the fear of Allah in essence and not just about documentation. Keep the Almighty in your mind, not money, creditor or debtor; that’s why the Almighty says here: (And let him fear Allah, his Lord,).

( فَإِن كَانَ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ سَفِيهًا أَوْ ضَعِيفًا أَوْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ أَن يُمِلَّ هُوَ فَلْيُمْلِلْ وَلِيُّهُ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ) (…But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice ): When the person who has the obligation is unable to dictate because of having limited understanding or being too young or too old, their guardian should do that on their behalf.

( وَاسْتَشْهِدُوا شَهِيدَيْنِ مِن رِّجَالِكُمْ ۖ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيْنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ مِمَّن تَرْضَوْنَ مِنَ الشُّهَدَاءِ ) (…And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses ): This is one of the verse some people misinterpret with the goal of defaming the legislation of the Almighty by claiming that Islam considers woman to be half of man and deprives her from her rights; this verse and the verse on inheritance:

{ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنثَيَيْ}

(for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.) (An-Nisaa: 11)

are among the proofs they provide for that end. So, they claim that Islam differentiates between man and woman. Islam, on the other hand, has made man and woman complement each other since they are of the same origin. Still, man has his own characteristics and duties, and woman has her own characteristics and duties like conceiving, birth giving, breastfeeding, upbringing … etc. Moreover, the passion of woman is more prolific than that of man; plus, man and woman have a totally different morphology. However, Allah (swt) has made man and woman complement each other for life to carry on but preferred neither man nor woman since people are preferred in terms of piety:

{ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ}

(O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted..) (Al-Hujuraat: 13)

Moreover, the Almighty has made man and woman equal in all the verses on enjoinment and reward:

{ مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ}

(Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.) (An-Nahl: 97)

Nonetheless, the Almighty can never require woman to do the same as what’s required from man. So, equality between man and woman is incorrect as we seek them to complement each other and the woman to have all of her rights. If we consider the Holy Quran we find out that woman has been given rights (in Islam) that no other earthly doctrines have ever given to her. In all, when we have comprehensive understanding of and correctly implement the religion of Islam and the Holy Quran we know well that woman is honored and given rights in some issues more than man is given.

In this verse, the Almighty talks about testimony, and the question here is: do we need a testimony by two women in all cases? No; the testimony of one woman is sufficient in some cases. However, in criminal, economic, trade, and commerce cases man’s testimony is generally more appropriate because men are more capable of testifying in such cases of obligation. A woman can’t testify on criminal cases that are harsh when we take the nature of women in consideration. As an example, human made laws are set for general cases with certain exceptions. Yet, the Almighty’s rules and legislations are set generally, not for special cases. Men are generally more into the cases of buying, selling, debt, credit, disagreements and disputes. Based on that, a man is required to testify in such cases while, in this respect, two women can testify so that if one a woman forgets something or is mistaken, the other reminds her. Thus: (so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.) ‘errs’ refer to forgetting or being mistaken. How come woman is deprived from her rights then? This is rather meant to honour her in cases where it’s better to have the testimony of two women. The same applies with respect to inheritance:

{ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنثَيَيْ}

(for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.) (An-Nisaa: 11)

But is it the case for all the inheritance? The share of woman is in many cases of inheritance division is more than that of man. So, for the male, what is equal to the share of two females in certain cases. If we consider the law of distribution of estate and note how the shares are divided according to the Almighty’s rules we find that the share of woman (mother, sister, wife, and daughter) is more than the man’s. Another point here is the woman as the mother.

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him)! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Your father[1].”

Then, three fathers are never equivalent to one mother. So, how come someone claims that a woman is equivalent to half of man with respect to a testimony on a case of selling. We should consider the rules as a whole not in part. No one has ever given woman rights as much as Islam does.

( وَلَا يَأْبَ الشُّهَدَاءُ إِذَا مَا دُعُوا ) (…And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon ): Because this is an honor to be fulfilled by the witnesses who would have testimony on the rights of people so that such debts and contracts among people are well documented and not lost.

( وَلَا تَسْأَمُوا أَن تَكْتُبُوهُ صَغِيرًا أَوْ كَبِيرًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلِهِ ) (…And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term ): Don’t get fed up even if it’s a minor issue which, nonetheless, has to be documented. In addition, written guarantees must be  made whether the debt is minor or major.

( ذَٰلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَأَقْوَمُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ ) (…That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence ): Prophet Muhammad (saws) used to call people not only to establish the prayers but also justice as ordered by Allah when he was calling for Islam:

 { إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ}

(Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.) (An-Nahl: 90)

Thus, the very first thing the Prophet uttered is: (Indeed, Allah orders justice), and Allah stands for the absolute justice, so He says: (And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term.) to guarantee justice and make the testimony firmer even if it’s documented.

( وَأَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَرْتَابُوا ) (…and more likely to prevent doubt between you ): Doubt should be prevented among you in trading, selling, buying, and all economic and commercial transactions.

( إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً حَاضِرَةً تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَلَّا تَكْتُبُوهَا ) (…except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it ): It’s needless to document when the transaction is immediate so it becomes a barter deal. Just see how Islam stated that at that time.

( وَأَشْهِدُوا إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ ) (…And take witnesses when you conclude a contract ): In order to document all economic transaction in general, take witnesses when you conclude a contract.

The time for a deposit is different from its due time. That’s why the Almighty repeats (and take witnesses) in the talk about different transactions such as selling, loan … etc. At the time of deposit, the person keeping it intends to return it. However, at the time when the deposit is due, the faith of such person might be shaken.

( وَلَا يُضَارَّ كَاتِبٌ وَلَا شَهِيدٌ ) (…Let no scribe be harmed or any witness ): Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm[2].”

Therefore, you mustn’t harm the one who will write for you; and you must also allocate a certain amount for them in return of their efforts. This is the basis for the position of the (notary public).

( وَإِن تَفْعَلُوا فَإِنَّهُ فُسُوقٌ بِكُمْ ) (…For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you ): Such a grave disobedience happens when you act contrary to what Allah (swt) orders. This is deviation from the obedience of Allah (swt).

( وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ) (…And fear Allah ): Fear Allah (swt), then, in all transactions such as selling, buying, loans, other transactions … etc. And make the fear of Allah (swt) a pillar for all of that. The fear of Allah (swt) is the guarantee to fulfill all such matters as long as it’s there between the creditor and the debtor, the buyer and the seller … etc. The fear of Allah (swt) is the real guarantee, even if we have documentation and witnesses.

( وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ) (…And Allah teaches you ): Allah (swt) is the source of all knowledge. In addition, the more pious a person is, the more knowledge Allah (swt) grants to them. There are many pious knowledgeable people who draw different meanings from this verse, including but not limited to that fact that the fear of Allah (swt) is a way for knowledge. Imam Ashafe’e says:

“To Wake’e  I complained about my ill-memory,

So, he guided me to leave wrong-doing,

As knowledge is a light that’s heavenly,

And such light is never bestowed to the wrong-doing.”

( وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ) (…And Allah is Knowing of all things): Allah (swt) knows everything from the fear of Allah to documenting; and:

 {وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ عَلِيمًا}

(and sufficient is Allah as Knower.) (An-Nisaa: 70)

[1] Hadith no. 5626, Chapter: Who is more entitled to the best companionship? Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab) Vol. Sahih Al-Bukhari

[2] Hadith no. 6536, Vol 4, Majma’ Azzawaed wa Manba’ Alfawaed

الآية رقم (281) - وَاتَّقُواْ يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ

(281) - (And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.)

Allah (swt) reminds usurers, believers, along with the charitable people and the good-doers -the latter is more elevated than the former because they waive off loans when the borrower is insolvent. So, the Almighty reminds everyone that they must fear the doomsday and the incidents of that day -the Day of Reckoning. Therefore, fear that day, have a barrier of more good deeds between you and the Day of Reckoning:

{ وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا ۖ وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ}

(And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.) (Al-Anbiyaa: 47)

( وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ) (And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah ): The return to Allah (swt) when lifetime is over is only decided by Him, not by humans.

( ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ ) (…Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly): Those are the just balance which good and bad deeds are weighed. Undoubtedly, the fact that humans treat their fellow humans in good faith is what adds weight (of good deeds) to the balance. This is because Allah (swt) has made the Islamic Sharia for the good of mankind. On the other hand, Allah (swt) is in no need of one’s prayer, zakat, pilgrimage, or fasting; you rather you do the good for yourself:

{ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا}

(And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward.) (Al-Muzzammil: 20)

So, all of that will be in the balance of your good deeds which result from human interaction pursuant to the rules of the Almighty. The outcome in this case is a very noble society. This is not merely theoretical. Once, Omar Bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was appointed as a judge by when Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) -and we all know what being a judge means, to handle and settle all that arises from differences among people in the society plus settling economic, social or criminal disputes of all forms. So, when Abu Bakr assumed the caliphate, he appointed Omar bin Al-Khattab as a judge in Madina, and Omar spent a year without having a single case. Then, Omar asked Abu Bakr to discharge him from being a judge. “O Omar, is it out of toil that you ask for a discharge?” wondered Abu Bakr, and Omar replied, “No, O Caliph, but the believers never need me (as a judge). They have known what their rights are and don’t ask for more. As such, they have known their duties and never fall short of. Each of them wants for his brother what he wants for himself. They check about the condition of whoever has been unseen; visit the patient; support the poor; help the needy; and stand by the distressed among them. For them, advice is a doctrine, and their manners are to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. So, how come that they ever disagree? So, how come that they ever disagree?” It is a society based on such rules; and no one can even claim that ‘you’re talking about theoretical or imaginary situations as in dreams.’ Never, we’re not talking about dreams. But rather about divine instructions and Sharia rules that had been followed and applied, resulting in a society as depicted in the story of Omar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Bakr. In Addition, Harun ar-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph, used, while in the capital Baghdad, to look at a cloud and says: “pour wherever you want, your fruits come to me.” These words can’t be said without certainty. It’s said based upon the sound value, moral, social, and economic setup established by Prophet Muhammad (saws).

الآية رقم (280) - وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

(280) - (And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.)

Allah (swt) diagnosticates a disease and prescribes treatment for it. So, what treatment has been prescribed by the Holy Quran in this verse?

( وإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيْسَرَةٍ ) (And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease ): This is a good loan when someone is insolvent and in distress so that they cannot repay the loan they borrowed on time. Islam doesn’t only consider the economy which is an integral part of the social movement of people and a main pillar of societies. Nowadays, it is well known that most of the problems among people are due to financial transactions; Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“there is a Fitnah (trial) for every nation (or Ummah) and the trial for my nation is wealth[1].”

Anyway, if the borrower is insolvent and cannot repay the dues, then wait for them until they are capable of repaying the loan. What a great divine legislation!

( وَأَن تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ) (…But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you if you only knew): This issue doesn’t stop at the issue of giving time to the insolvent till they are capable of repaying; we also have: (But if you give [from your right as] charity,) which means to completely forgive it. This is an elevation of fiducial perfection. You should not ask the needy to pay the loan at a specific time when they are insolvent. Besides, it’s better if you can forgive and give the loan in charity to them. The economy in Islam is based on three things: supply, obligation and loan.

A good loan is under the conditions stated above in the verse. What is ‘supply,’ then?  It is to provide the needy with a charity. Charity, however, is neither an economic nor a commercial transaction; doesn’t involve credit or usury; and is rather an act of charity.

Again, Islamic economics is based on the supply through charity at first. Then, there is the obligation which is paying Zakat.  Allah (swt) has made a sufficient portion in the wealth of the rich to satisfy the poor. Thus, it is a matter of related to the economic movement of the society, as the Almighty has allocated a legitimate portion of the rich’s wealth for the poor. On the other hand, some scholars argue that whoever does not pay Zakat is considered as a thief  because they have stolen that legitimate portion of money for the poor.

How come that such a religion (Islam) is accused of being a religion of cruelty and terrorism because of some people who have defamed and misrepresented Islam. Islam states that when a creditor finds a debtor in distress and incapable of repaying a loan, the creditor can waive off the loan as a charity. This is a religion that elevates in the perfections of faith so that the economy is made in this manner. Still, there is an important point that Prophet Muhammad (saws) highlights:

“Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: ‘Whoever takes the money of the people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes it in order to spoil it, then Allah will spoil him[2].’”

When you borrow and want to repay a loan, Allah (swt) will support you to pay it back. This is one of the incentives for the economy.

[1] Hadith no. 3223, Chapter Halal money collection and respective issues, Zakat Vol. Sahih Ibn Habban

[2] Hadith no. 2257, Chapter: Borrowing money from people, Loans, Payment of Loans, Freezing of Property, Bankruptcy Vol. Sahih Al-Bukhari.

الآية رقم (279) - فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ فَأْذَنُواْ بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُؤُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لاَ تَظْلِمُونَ وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ

(279) - (And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged.)

( فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا ) (And if you do not ): Some doesn’t want to do that (give up on usury). The proof is the capitalist setup prevailing all over the world nowadays.

( فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ) (…Then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger ): This is very dreadful because it is the only time that Allah (swt) has such phrase.

{ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ}

(And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.) (Al Muddaththir: 31)

You do not know what He does, He destroys money, takes health … etc. Moreover, you may suffer from sins, adversity, calamities and burdens and will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection:

{ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ}

(And in the Hereafter is severe punishment.) (Al-Hadid: 20)

( فَأْذَنُوا ) (…then be informed ): Get informed through your sense of hearing:

{ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا}

(Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.) (Al-Israa: 36)

So, be informed of a war where you too powerless to confront your opponents, Allah (swt) and His Messenger.

( وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ ) (…But if you repent, you may have your principal – [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged): Why? Because He has guaranteed your capital and prevented you from increasing it through usury or interest that are forbidden by Allah (swt). Then, repentance is required. In addition, he whoever deals in usury has committed a deadly sin. Prophet Muhammad (saws) says:

“‘avoid the seven destructive things;’ it was asked: (by those present) “What are they, O messenger of Allah ?”He replied, “Associating anyone or anything with Allah in worship; practising sorcery, killing of someone without a just cause whom Allah has forbidden, devouring the property if an orphan, eating of usury, fleeing from the battlefield and slandering chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers[1].”

[1] Hadith no. 2615, Chapter: His Almighty said {Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze(10)} (An-Nisaa), Wills and Testaments (Wasaayaa), Sahih Al-Bukhari

الآية رقم (278) - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

(278) - (O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.)

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ) (O you who have believed ): The believers are addressed because there is a contract of faith between the believers and the Lord. Thus, the believers must obey the orders and fulfil the obligations by Allah (swt); and they are addressed in this case. Consequently, whenever the Almighty says: (O you who have believed) there follows a fiducial duty or an obligation:

{ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ}

(O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting.) (Al-Baqara: 183)

{ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاكُم}

(O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you.) (Al-Baqara: 254)

{ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُوا النِّسَاءَ كَرْهًا}

(O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.) (An-Nisaa: 19)

The believers were even addressed when it was about banning usury because usury was so common in the society prior to Islam.

( اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ) (…And fear Allah; indeed ): Fearing Allah, piety, is to fear the attributes of majesty of Allah (swt) such as the Majestic, the Overpowering, the Avenger, and so on. Fearing Allah (swt) means that you follow His orders and avoid what He has forbidden.

( وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا ) (…and give up what remains [due to you] of interest ): ‘and’ is a conjunction, and ‘give up’ here means that you should leave what remains of usury because some people were still having something left therefrom.

( إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ) (…if you should be believers): ‘If’ is conditional. If you are not believers, then it’s your own business and your own account will be in the afterlife. As for the believers, they must fulfil duties whether they know the reason behind then or not. Believers follow the orders of the Almighty, so it’s good if they know the wisdom therein. If no, then they worship by following the orders of the Almighty.

الآية رقم (277) - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَوُاْ الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

(277) - (Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.)

Faith can’t be accepted without good deeds because it’s not a wishful thinking but rather what is kept firm in the heart and confirmed by deeds. Then, prove your faith; the first proof is to spend out of what the Almighty has given you. Allah (swt) says:

 {لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ}

(Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.) (Aal-Imran: 92)

( وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ ) (…And establish prayer and give Zakah ): Here we have two main pillars of Islam. The first is meant to sustain loyalty to Allah (swt) and is permanent and can’t be dismissed, i.e. the prayers. Zakat, on the other hand, is undue upon the poor; and pilgrimage is a duty for who can afford; and fasting is not due upon the patient. The only exception is the prayers:

 {إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا}

(prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.) (An-Nisaa: 103)

There is no excuse not to perform the prayers, neither an illness nor anything else. If you cannot perform it standing, pray while sitting down. In addition, if you cannot perform it while sitting down, pray while you lie down. Even if you are not able to lie, then perform it with your eyes, and if you cannot with your eyes, the moves of the prayer should cross your mind. Thus, there is no excuse not to perform the prayers in all cases; and it is introductory to all worships.

( وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ ) (And give Zakah ): Allah (swt) often mentions Zakah and prayers together:

{ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ}

(And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy.) (An-Noor: 56)

Prayer is about the connection with the Almighty and sustaining loyalty to Him. Zakat, on the other hand, is a proof of honesty with Allah (swt).

( لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ) (…Will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve): Those who believe, do righteous deeds, establish prayers, and give Zakat for the sake of Allah (swt) will get the reward from Him. Consider this issue here in terms of the Almighty’s parameters not yours; by how much He gives how much you give; and His power, capability, authority, might, possession, and greatness. Attribute what happens to the doer and never look at what happened. Always consider the doer. For example, how much difference is there between ‘a child hit you’ and ‘a boxer hit you.’ Therefore, (will have their reward with their Lord). Allah (swt) reiterates that the rewards are with Him. Moreover, Allah’s power is limitless, and, thus, the reward is according to Him.

( وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ) (…and there will be no fear concerning them): There won’t be any fear concerning them in this world because they have protected their money, cured their patients, and left an inheritance for their children in this world.

( وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ) (…nor will they grieve): They won’t grieve in the afterlife. In general, fear is normally of what will happen, while grief is over what happened. Anyway, you won’t be afraid nor grieve as long as you are in Allah (swt)’s custody; how to gain that?  It is when you are one of those who have believed, did righteous deeds, established prayers and paid zakat.

الآية رقم (276) - يَمْحَقُ اللّهُ الْرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ

(276) - (Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.)

This is meant to spread the good in society; what a great comparison!

( يَمْحَقُ ) (destroys ): Means that its effects will disappear one by one. Thus, the money out of usury doesn’t vanish at once. Just consider the usurers and whether their inheritance is destroyed or not. This is a Qur’an that is recited and worshipped through and prayed with until the Day of Judgment. Allah (swt) can only say that He destroys and does so. Still, it’s not destroyed at once. Usury is such a social plague that destroys the economy of societies.

( وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ ) (…And gives increase for charities ): The increase is attained through charities. So, if you want to grow and increase your wealth, you have to spend on the creatures of Allah (swt) and help the poor and the needy out of it. What a great, noble image.

( وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ  ) (…And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever): Allah (swt) has used intensiveness for ‘sinning’ and ‘disbeliever’ in Arabic to indicate the heinous act of making usury permissible and taking advantage of those in need. Therefore, the conclusion of the verse about usury and usurers in a society is: (And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.)

الآية رقم (275) - الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَاءهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىَ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

(275) - (Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, "Trade is [just] like interest." But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.)

The issue raised in the above verses is an economic one. The core of Islamic economics is based on realizing an appropriate social economy through Zakat and charities along with the manner of performing Zakat, which is a kind of economic measure.  It’s a must, however, to state there is a serious issue that might pop up when considering the way the rich and the poor deal with each other; that is the ‘interest’ (usury) on which the capitalist economy is based or the economy of most countries is based nowadays.

Usury or interest can be defined as ‘an excess’ that stems out of exploiting the needy to multiply money, and it is the worst form of economic action. Some economists argue that the economy can only be intact when the interest is zero, i.e. there is no usury. Again, interest is about exploiting the needy. The question here is why it is such an awful relationship? Because there is the rich and the poor; the former guarantees the return of their money with excess as a result of the loan to the latter; this is usury or what is known as ‘interest’ nowadays. Therefore, it’s an exploitation of the need to gain more. The verse highlights how serious is usury which is the basis of economic corruption. Usury is a source of harm to wealth. On the other hand, when fornication and usury spread among people, they expose themselves to the wrath and the punishment of the Almighty.

( الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا ) (Those who consume interest ): Can usury be consumed like food?  It’s so because whatever you consume comes from that money.

( يَتَخَبَّطُهُ ) (…insanity ): This word refers to wandering aimlessly.

( الشَّيْطَانُ ) (…by Satan ): This matter is unknown to us. The Almighty tells us that the devils (Satan) are there, and they are the disobedient of the jinn who are, in turn, creatures unseen by us. Still, those creatures can beat anyone in this life; when a person is beaten by the devils, they will have the characteristics of Satan consequently. Therefore, the metaphor here is that the one who consumes usury wander aimlessly as a result of being beaten into insanity by Satan. This is such a heinous heavenly calumniation of the consumers of usury. Some scholars suggest the one who consumes interest cannot stand on the Day of Resurrection, not in this world, except as the one beaten by Satan into insanity. However, if we look for usurers in a society and watched them, we will realize the credibility of what the Almighty says: (cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity.) They have been beaten by Satan so they have deviated in this life and exploited the needy, the poor and the needy by means of interest or usury to have excess to their needs.

( ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا ) (…That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest ): Among the aspects of being beaten by Satan into insanity is that (they say, “Trade is [just] like interest). This verse should be (interest is like trade) as per our limited understanding. Yet, those people are insane, and as a result, they claim that usury is a mutual contract. Yet, who can claim that a mutual contract is proper and intact? Is it permissible for a man and a woman to commit adultery when they agree mutually on that?  It’s right that the poor in need may agree to borrow and pay interest; and the usurer has accepted to lend them with an interest. Yet, this is neither a valid contract nor selling. Generally, whoever endeavors to make usury as permissible claim it to be a form of the of selling. Thus, here is an example of the insanity: to claim that selling is like usury. They should have said usury is like selling, but this is a depiction of insanity by inverting words. On the other hand,  Allah (swt) has intervened here and said:

( وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا ۚ فَمَ ) (…But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest ): Such a divine utterance is absolute and cannot be interpreted in any way: the verse clearly states that selling is permitted while usury is prohibited. Moreover, no one can claim that such usury is a result of bounty or whatsoever. (and has forbidden interest.) is a clear cut answer to this issue.

( فَمَن جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ) (…So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah.): There is no retroactive effect with respect to this matter because usurers were a lot when the prohibition of usury was revealed. (whoever has received an admonition from his Lord) Admonition is a piece of information and a reminder by Allah the Almighty. If they desist, stop usury, they may have what is past only. (And his affair rests with Allah) Everything of the past is in the hands of Allah (swt) because it is irreversible.

( وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ) (…But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein): This is a sin, and whoever commits a sin will not abide eternally in hell. So, why the verse reads: (But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.) Because whoever makes usury permissible defies a rule judgment by Allah. So, this is not a mere disobedience; it is like Satan’s (may Allah curse him). When Adam (peace be upon him) had disobeyed, he didn’t defy a rule of Allah (swt):

{ وَعَصَىٰ آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَىٰ}

(And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred.) (Taa-Haa: 121)

But then repented to Allah (swt) and sought His forgiveness:

{ ثُمَّ اجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ وَهَدَىٰ}

(Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him].) (Taa-Haa: 122)

Yet, Satan defied what Allah has ruled:

{ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ}

(Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.) (Al-A’raaf: 12) and:

 {قَالَ أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًاٰ}

(He said, “Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?”) (Al-Israa: 61)

So, Satan defied the orders of the Lord. Likewise, whoever claims that trading is like usury to make it legitimate makes permissible what Allah has forbidden and, thus, defies a rule of the Almighty. The result, then, is: (those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.)

الآية رقم (274) - الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلاَنِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

(274) - (Those who spend their wealth [in Allah 's way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly - they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.)

Spending is about time: day or night and manner: openly or secretly. So, don’t delay a charity you can give at night to daytime, and vice versa. Besides, don’t spend just openly but also in secret.

Reasons of revelation:

Ali Bin Abi Taleb (may Allah be pleased with him) once had four dirhams, and he spent one dirham at night, one during the day, one in secret, and one openly. Then this verse was revealed.

( فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ) (…they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve): They get their rewards from Allah (swt), and no fear is there about their future because their future is in the hands of the Almighty for whom they work. There is no fear about them; they will never grieve in the afterlife. They won’t even be sad due to the feeling that their money has become less. In all, they won’t feel sad in the heart either in this life or in the afterlife as long as they are dealing with Allah (swt) in terms of charity, not with the poor.

الآية رقم (273) - لِلْفُقَرَاء الَّذِينَ أُحصِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الأَرْضِ يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاء مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُم بِسِيمَاهُمْ لاَ يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

(273) - ([Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah, unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.)

( لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الَّذِينَ أُحْصِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ ) (for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah, unable to move about in the land ): Here is an example of one way for the expenditure of Zakat on the poor who have been restricted. The verse indicates the Muhajirin who were displaced in the way of Allah (swt) and His prophet and were repatriated to Madina without any provision to support them. Moreover, (unable to move about in the land.) means that they can’t travel in pursuit of livelihood.

( يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ ) (…An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint ): This means that they never ask people to get charity. Besides, anybody who doesn’t know about them think that they were rich in sense of their costumes, manners and talks. They are only known by a characteristic sign; that is, their humbleness and solemnity, not their tongues and request for charity.

( لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا ) (…They do not ask people persistently): They never ask, persist, or stand at the gates of people asking. What can we get out of this verse here? We mustn’t leave the needy till they ask for charity. The verse here suggests that there are many people whom you may think to be rich due to their restraint; we have look for and recognize them through their characteristic sign and check their conditions. This is one of the purposes of enacting Jama’a and Juma’a prayers (group and Friday prayers in mosques) to make people meet, inquire about each other’s conditions and feel the needs of the helpless, the weak and the needy even if they never ask for any help. Not everyone stands at the gates of other people and ask for charities.

( وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ ) (…And whatever you spend of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it): Just be assured the One to whom you worked already knows what you’ve done. Therefore, your reward is directly proportional to your care for the needs of the poor and the weak. He is Knowing, keep it in mind.

الآية رقم (272) - لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلأنفُسِكُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلاَّ ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ اللّهِ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ

(272) - (Not upon you, [O Muhammad], is [responsibility for] their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever good you [believers] spend is for yourselves, and you do not spend except seeking the countenance of Allah. And whatever you spend of good - it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.)

Reason of revelation:

Prophet Muhammad (saws) once went to perform the Umra of Al-Qadaa and was accompanied by Asmaa Bint Abi Bakr. Asmaa’s mother and grandmother, who were still disbelievers, asking for money. She, then, refuse to give them till she asks Prophet Muhammad (saws) to do so as they both were non-Muslim. She asked to be permitted by the Prophet; then, this verse was revealed. After that, the Prophet (saws) permitted her, and she gave them. Another story about the reason of revelation was told by ‘Al-Kalbi.’ It says that some Muslims had Jewish relatives and in-laws to whom they used to had given charities prior to their conversion to Islam. So, didn’t like to do that after they had converted to Islam but sought the permission of Prophet Muhammad (saws). Subsequently, this verse was revealed and they gave them. In this context, spending is not about giving away to Muslims only, and all people are created by the Almighty. Thus, you can give charities to Muslims and non-Muslims, if in need. And this verse, which is among the verses on spending in the way of Allah (swt), is a proof of the same.

( لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ ) (Not upon you, [O Muhammad], is [responsibility for] their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills ): The Almighty elaborate on guidance when He has told Prophet Muhammad (saws):

 {إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ}

(Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.) (Al-Qasas: 56)

{ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ}

(And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path.) (Ash-Shura: 52)

Such guidance is about guiding to the good and Allah’s Sharia. You guide people but can never make them follow by heart and soul, a thing that only Allah (swt) can do. Consequently, we can’t compel people to follow Allah’s Sharia as the Almighty says: (Not upon you, [O Muhammad], is [responsibility for] their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills.) and

 {فَذَكِّرْ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُذَكِّرٌ * لَّسْتَ عَلَيْهِم بِمُصَيْطِر}

(So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. % You are not over them a controller.) (Al-Ghaashiya: 21-22)

( وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ ) (…And whatever good you [believers] spend ): The Almighty names the process of spending (money or power) in the way of Allah (swt) and other people as ‘good.’ That’s why Islam can’t be by a religion of mercy. We start everything we do by Basmala (in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful). In addition, Allah (swt) tells Prophet Muhammad (saws):

 {وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ}

(And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.) (Al-Anbiyaa: 107)

Not only to Muslims. So, whatever good that you spend is meant to all people regardless of their races, belonging, religions, or faiths because they are among Allah’s creatures. In short, you have to do good to others regardless on their belonging.

( فَلِأَنفُسِكُمْ ) (…is for yourselves ): Whatever good one does pays off. Allah (swt) says:

 {وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ}

(And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward.) (Al-Muzzammil: 20)

Thus, it’s not ‘good’ only; you put forward for yourself when you give away to the poor, keeping the Lord in mind. One of the pious people used to weep after giving away to the poor; and when asked about the reason, he used to say: ‘I’ve kept someone coming with the good for me (waiting) at my gate.’ This means that a poor person (to whom you give away) brings the good for yourself. An important point to highlight here is that spending by virtue of Zakat is a religious obligation for the rich, not the poor, who have no such obligation. Spending, i.e. Zakat in this context, is one of the five pillars of Islam, which can’t be without Zakat. The rich, then, need the poor; the question here can be: who is more in need of the other: the poor (in terms of money) or the rich (in terms of religion)? The rich, indeed, because this is a matter of faith, the pillars of Islam. The rich need to fulfill the pillars of Islam by giving away to the poor, whereas the poor take only because they need money and not to fulfill a religious duty.

( وَمَا تُنفِقُونَ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ ) (…and you do not spend except seeking the countenance of Allah ): You get rewarded only by the one for whom you’ve worked. That’s why spending has to be in the way of Allah (swt) because it goes along with people when it’s for their sake.

( وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ ) (…And whatever you spend of good – it will be fully repaid to you ): It’s repaid in full.

( وَأَنتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ ) (…and you will not be wronged): You’re not wronged in this life since you spend and, thus, avoid the hatred of the poor. Moreover, you’re not wronged in the afterlife as you’ve obeyed Allah’s orders and protected your money by Zakat.

الآية رقم (271) - إِن تُبْدُواْ الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاء فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لُّكُمْ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

(271) - (If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.)

The Almighty continues with the issue spending in the way of Allah (swt) and good deeds which are part and parcel of the religion. 

“Charity is proof[1]

 of the soundness of faith. The wealth you have is the Almighty’s who has given it to you. Anyway, spending Allah’s money on his creatures proves the soundness of your faith and abidance to Allah’s orders.

( إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ ) (If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good ): As far as charities are concerned, there are two manners of spending:(1) either to disclose the charity, or (2) to conceal it.

You do good when you disclose charities; why? Because when a rich person discloses charity with good intention, particularly in the case of the obligatory Zakat, he protects the society and himself and become a model to be followed in terms of obeying Allah’s obligations. As such, clerics argue that when a rich man does a charity he must disclose it; while an average person is better to hide it. This is due to the fact that people will talk about the behavior of the rich man and say: ‘he has money, properties and palaces… but he doesn’t spend a penny.’ So, it’s about social solidarity and human feelings. You realize it when you disclose the charity, and prevent hatred and envy to infiltrate into the hearts of the poor. In all, to disclose a charity is better in such case. However, Allah (swt) says after that immediately:

( وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ) (…but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you ): When the Holy Quran talks about charities and Zakat, it calls them charity because it is a matter of proving one’s faith:

 إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

(Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise..) (At-Tawba: 60)

This verse is related to Zakat, not charity; the former is obligatory, while the latter is a Sunnah by Prophet Muhammad (saws). Therefore, if you disclose the charity (i.e. Zakat), it’s a good thing you do. On the other hand, if you conceal (charities) and give them to the poor, it is better for you so that hypocrisy never infiltrate to the hearts of the rich. In this context, the Prophet (saws) mentions among the seven types of people who will be shaded under the shade of the Almighty on the day when will be no shade except His:

“and a man who gives charity so secretly that his left-hand doesn’t know what his right hand has given[2].”

( وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ ) (…but if you conceal them and give them to the poor ): It states that charities, Zakat in particular, can be disclosed because this is about honoring Allah’s rituals.

( فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ) (…it is better for you ): As for charities (other than Zakat), it’s better to conceal them. On the other hand, Allah (swt) orders humans to work as hard as they can, not as much as they need, or else, no Zakat would have been there. This means that you work for yourself and for others; you work to meet the needs of the poor and the helpless. Therefore, Allah (swt) says about Zakat:

 {قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ}

(Certainly will the believers have succeeded: % They who are during their prayer humbly submissive % And they who turn away from ill speech % And they who are observant of zakah.) (Al-Muminoon: 1-4)

Just note that the Almighty says ‘observants,’ not ‘performers.’ The question here is: how one can be an ‘observant’ rather than a ‘performer’ of Zakat? This is because you work as hard as you can, not as much as you need, and this is compatible with the concept of work under the concept of Zakat: to give part of your fortune away to the poor and the needy. This money, however, must have been earned through work. Thus, we have {observants} not ‘performers’ of Zakat. To sum up, there is a difference between observing and performing Zakat since you work as hard as you can to fulfill the needs of the poor and the needy.

( وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ) (…and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds ): Sins need to be forgive, while misdeeds need to be removed. The reason behind that is a misdeed is removed since you’re not doing wrong to the Almighty. No one can ever do wrong to Allah (swt). Therefore, a misdeed needs removal rather than forgiveness. On the other hand, forgiveness is associated with sins:

{ يَغْفِرْ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ}

(Allah will forgive for you your sins.) (Al-Ahqaf: 31)

A sin is different from a misdeed. You never harm the Almighty by the former but rather fall short in fulfilling His obligations such as not performing all the prayers. On the other hand, it’s a misdeed when you tell lies to someone or slander them. In short, a sin is committed against the Almighty, whereas a misdeed is done against His creatures. Moreover, the Almighty removes the misdeeds you have one day when you conceal charities and fulfill His obligations.

( وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ ) (…And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted): The Almighty hasn’t said (Knowing) because He knows all the fine details and thoughts of a human being, so, He is Acquainted with that: when a human spends, they do it in the way of Allah (swt) and to have their misdeeds removed.

[1] Hadith no. 223, the bounty of Wudu’, Purification Vol. Sahih Al-Bukhari

[2] Hadith no. 1357, Chapter: charities by the hand right, Zakat Vol. Sahih Al-Bukhari

الآية رقم (270) - وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُم مِّن نَّذْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

(270) - (And whatever you spend of expenditures or make of vows - indeed, Allah knows of it. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.)

The previous verses interpreted are about addressing an important issue: the stinginess of soul and spending in the way of Allah (swt). They have clarified all the issues related spending in the way of Allah (swt) and the hypocrisy thereof along with all the ways by which Satan can disturb a person while paying the obligatory Zakat or charities, a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saws). Then, Allah (swt) continues the talk about spending:

( وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن نَّفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُم مِّن نَّذْرٍ ) (And whatever you spend of expenditures or make of vows ): We’ve talked much about expenditure. Yet, it’s the first time we have the word ‘vows’ mentioned. What does it mean here? It means that one does something of the same nature as what the Almighty has enjoined upon them beyond what’s been obligated. For example, the Almighty has enjoined five time prayers upon us, and we may perform the Sunnah prayers. Yet, someone may vow to pray forty Rakaa’s voluntarily for Allah. This is of the same nature of what Allah has enjoined upon us i.e. the prayers but beyond what has been obligated (the five-time prayers) by the Almighty. Another example is that someone may vow to slaughter a goat or a sheep…etc. which is similar to slaughter done in Al-Adha Eid, but you rather do that at a different time in this case. So, a vow should be about something of the same nature of what the Almighty has ordered and mustn’t be contradictory to it.

( فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ ) (…Allah knows of it ): The conclusion of this verse indicates that Allah (swt) knows the sincerity and honesty of one’s intention. Plus, we all know that half of the religion has been stated in one Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari, narrated by Omar Bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

“The value of an action depends on the intention behind it. So every work relates to the sincerity of the intention[1].”

Thus, it’s all about the sincerity of the intention. Allah (swt) knows everything when you spend or make a vow. As long as any action is done with a sincere intention, it will be rewarded accordingly by the Almighty, whereas, if such action is done for the sake of hypocrisy or worldly interest, then Allah (swt) is so self-sufficient, and the action won’t be rewarded in this case. A reward is only taken from whom one work for.

( وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ ) (…And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers): What’s the relevance of ‘wrongdoing’ here? There are different types of wrongdoing, the severest of which is to do the wrong to one’s self not others. Moreover, wrongdoing has two types: the first is when one does wrong to themselves by giving priority to trivial desire over an everlasting paradise, the mundane over the heavenly, and what people have over what the Lord of humans. The second one is to do wrong to others. So, (And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.) means that they will be helped neither in this life nor in the afterlife since they have their deeds for the sake of humans rather than the Lord.

[1] Hadith no. 1, How the Divine Revelation started being revealed to Allah’s Messenger, Revelation Vol, Sahih al-Bukhari.

 

الآية رقم (269) - يُؤتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَابِ

(269) - (He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.)

Why has Allah (swt) created some people in need and others not? This is Allah’s rule of difference and tribulation. Still, there is a wisdom unseen to us; humans are mortal, and their conditions keep changing: the one who gives today may be given tomorrow. So, Allah (swt) asks from and for you at the same time to make you always feel that you are in the world of mortals. Otherwise, had all people been rich, they would have played the tyrant and done wrong, and no one would have felt need for others. So, Allah (swt) demands from you to give you? And do you guarantee that the rich will remain rich? And the strong will remain strong?

           {وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ}

(And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people.) (Aal-Imran: 140)

There is a wisdom we are unfamiliar with because Allah (swt) has kept a secret of His creatures. The Almighty has created you along with the poor in this world. Thus, the Almighty is responsible for His creatures as long as He has created them all. Moreover, the Almighty gives someone and tells another one to give to someone else. The golden rule in this case is that you’re dealing with the Almighty.

“Al-Bayhaqi narrated that once Abdul Malek Bin Qareeb Al-Asmai’ said: ‘one day I was out of the Jame’ mosque of Al-Basra (city in Iraq) I ran into a primitive Bedouin riding a young camel in the lanes on the city. He was holding his sword and a bow. He greeted me when he had come closer to me and wondered, ‘from which tribe you are?’ ‘The Asmai’s,’ I replied. ‘So, you’re Al-Asmai’,’ he noted, and I said ‘yes.’ Then, the Bedouin asked me, ‘where are off from?’ ‘from a place where the sayings of the Compassionate is being recited.’ ‘Does the Compassionate have sayings recited by humans?’ the Bedouin wondered, and I replied, ‘yes.’ He, then, requested me to recite some before him; I asked him to get off his young camel, and so did he. After that, I started reciting verses from the Sura of (Adh-Dhaariyat). However, when I reached the verse: {And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. (22)} he asked me, ‘O’ Asmai’, is that what the compassionate says?’ ‘indeed,’ I replied, adding, ‘by the One who has sent (Prophet) Muhammad with the right, it’s what the Compassionate’s revealed to His prophet (Muhammad).’ The Bedouin then said ‘ok,’ slayed his camel, cut its meat and didn’t deskin it, and requested me to help him distribute the meat. So, the meat was distributed to passersby. The Bedouin broke his sword and bow and buried them in the sand then left towards the desert repeating the verse: {And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. (22)}. After the Bedouin was out of sight, I started blaming myself: ‘O’ Asmai’, You’ve been reciting the Quran for thirty years and never noticed what that Bedouin, who didn’t even know that the Compassionate has words, had noticed. However, I went to Hajj With Haroon Ar-Rasheed, the Caliph after some time. While I was walking round Kaaba, I heard a delicate voice calling, ‘O’ Asmai’, come over; O’ Asmai’, come over.’ Then I saw the Bedouin who was exhausted and pale; he came, greeted, and asked me, ‘recite what the Compassionate says. I started reciting the Sura of (Adh-Dhaariyat) till I reached the same verse: {And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. (22)}, then, the Bedouin started crying: ‘indeed, we’ve had what Lord promises; indeed, we’ve had what Lord promises. After that, he asked me, ‘O’ Asmai’, does the compassionate says other than that.’ ‘Yes,’ I said and recited: {Then by the Lord of the heaven and earth, indeed, it is truth – just as [sure as] it is that you are speaking. (23)} (Adh-Dhaariyat). The Bedouin, however, cried: ‘exalted is Allah; who has made Him in wrath so that He has made an oath? He was made to lay on his right side, repeated his saying three times, and passed away[1].”

Even the simple Bedouin has understood that the Almighty got in wrath of the rich who never spend on the poor.

[1] Hadith no. 1337, the thirteenth of the branches of faith, reliance on Allah, the branches of faith (Shua’b Al-Iman)

الآية رقم (268) - الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاء وَاللّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلاً وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(268) - (Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing..)

Satan threatens you with poverty because it calls you to keep the money and not to spend it, have usury and get money from here and there.

( يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ ) (…threatens you with poverty ): This is the outcome of the above: you are empty handed; this has been stated earlier in the story of the garden that’s hit by a whirlwind and got burnt. In all, Satan threatens you with poverty, both in this life and in the afterlife.

( وَاللَّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ ) (…while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him ): Allah (swt) hasn’t said that He promises you provision because Allah’s provision is a bounty by Him rather than a matter of justice for you. Why it’s ‘forgiveness?’ Help your brothers and sisters; this is the way you should treat people so that the Almighty forgives you. It’s a very important social issue; a social treatment based on the noblest values and morals that boost social solidarity and the consolidation of the society and the nation.

( وَفَضْلًا ) (…And bounty ): All the treasures of earth can never be equivalent to Allah’s bounty:

{ قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ}

(Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”) (Yunus: 58)

الآية رقم (267) - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَنفِقُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ تَيَمَّمُواْ الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُم بِآخِذِيهِ إِلاَّ أَن تُغْمِضُواْ فِيهِ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

(267) - (O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.)

Here is another condition for spending: {spend from the good things which you have earned} Never steal and give away. In this context, a poet once said:

‘Condemned is she,

Who wants to do the good

From what to her genitals they pay,

Neither she enjoys nor gives away,’

Spending should be as legislated by the Almighty in order to get accepted by Him.

Reason of revelation:

Sahl Bin Haneef narrated that people used to pick the worst of their fruits to be given away as a charity. Therefore, (And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself]) was revealed.

The verse should be generalized in terms of meaning rather than considered to be for a specific reason. So, spend what you love when you want to do that.

 {لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ}

(Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.) (Aal-Imran: 92)

So, it should be from what you love not the bad or the rotten.