الآية رقم (7) - وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ

(7) - (And withhold assistance. (6))

The assistance is anything that can help and is beneficial, such as, a needle, an axe, a pot and others of the house instruments that can be borrowed and that which are not found in all houses since the poor do not have them. On the other hand, the assistance may refer to the all the good deed in general.

Thus, this is another characteristic of the materialist humans, that is connected with driving away the orphan.

Humans’ ways of dealing with the material issues in life are indeed connected with understanding the Islamic method, that is, the human soul naturally loves money and very assiduous in collecting it, so that, when money becomes insignificant to you, against what Allah (swt) commands you to do, then, you know that you are on the true path, otherwise, you are on the opposite side, in this case you have to reconsider yourself.

Pondering upon this Surah, we find that it includes commands that are connected with material issues which are the pillars of life and it includes, as well, innermost matters represented by the true prayer that leads to closeness to Allah (swt).

When these matters become straight the whole society becomes straight since everyone will feel that his loyalty is just to Allah (swt).

From here we notice the relation between Surah Al-Maa’un and Surah Quraysh which ends with:

    الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ ﴿

 (Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.) (Quraysh: 4)

By which we realize that the essence of religion relates to granting the good to others.

 

الآية رقم (6) - الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاؤُونَ

(6) - (Those who make show [of their deeds] (5)

Those who pretend doing the deeds for the sake of Allah (swt) but indeed, they are not, rather, their deeds are to satisfy people.

The one who make show of his prayer has just one aim that is to be pointed as worshipper, so he cares about how people look at him, without taking into consideration that Allah (swt) is looking at him. Shad’da Ibn Aws (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I heard the Prophet (saws) said: “The thing that I most fear for my nation is polytheism and the hidden desire, I said: O’ Messenger of Allah, may your nation have an association with Allah (swt) after you? He (saws) said: “Yes, for they do not worship the sun or the moon neither a stone or an idol, rather, they make show of their deeds”.[1]

[1] Majma’ Al-Zawaed, Hadith No. 5226.

الآية رقم (5) - الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ

(5) - (Who are heedless of their prayer -. (4)

سَاهُونَ (heedless): Inattentive of their prayer, delay it from its time.

Those who just perform the outer acts of the prayer without applying its meaning and essence. Allah (swt) says:

     ﴾إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ﴿

 (Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing,)
(Al-Ankaboot: 45)

It is a great mercy of Allah (swt) towards His Servants that He (swt) made the woe for those who are heedless of their prayer, not heedless during their prayer. That is why when a Bedouin heard this verse said: All praise is due to Allah (swt) that He said: (of their prayer) and did not say: (during their prayer) because all of us may be subjected to  heedless in our prayer, even the devout people and those who establish the prayer rightfully.

الآية رقم (4) - فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ

(4) - (So woe to those who pray. (4)

The reason of revelation: Ibn Al-Munther narrated that Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said about this verse that: It was revealed because of the hypocrites, who used to pray, only to be seen, in the presence of the believers, but when the believers were absent they used to leave the prayer, additionally, they used to withhold them borrowing.

فَوَيْلٌ (woe): Indicates the disgrace, torture and destruction.

This is a threat directed to those who are considered of those who pray and believe sincerely in Allah (swt), while, in fact, they perform the worship deeds and rituals apparently; their hearts do not have any submission or faith or obedience. This condition is explained clearly in the noble Hadith which was narrated by Abo Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that:

“A man entered the mosque and started praying Then (after finishing the prayer) the man came to the Prophet (saws) and greeted him. The Prophet (saws) said to him, “Go back and pray, for you have not prayed. The man went back, and having prayed, he came and greeted the Prophet. The Prophet (saws) after returning his greetings said, “Go back and pray, for you did not pray (repeated it three times)”.[1]

Hence, prayer is not established by just outer acts, rather, it is the act of heart too. In this verse Allah (swt) is threatening those who perform the prayer while ignoring its essence. This is because the prayer is the pillar of faith, whoever establishes it, he, as if, establishes the religion, and whoever leaves it, he, as if, destroys the religion.

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of description of prayer, hadith No. 724.

الآية رقم (3) - وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

(3) - (And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. (3)

This is the second characteristic of the those who denies the Recompense, the first one was driving away the orphan.

When an orphan or a poor come to you while you do not have anything to give them, the least you do is to encourage others to give them, this is the weakest of faith.

These deeds are kind of worships that the Holy Qur’an tells us about, they are economic and social worships, as if, encouraging the feeding and helping of the poor, passing the good things to others and applying the social solidarity among the members of society is one of the basis of doctrine principles regarding the worships relate to economic and society.

Then, the Surah moves to another kind of worship that is the prayer, which is the pillar to other acts of worship:

الآية رقم (2) - فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ

(2) - (For that is the one who drives away the orphan (2)

He believes in Allah (swt) and the message, but there is weakness and doubt in his behavior, that is because he is far from the method and the understanding of the requital in the hereafter, if he was to recall the scenes of the punishment, he would not have dared to disobey the method or commit any sin. It was narrated by Al-Harith Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he passed by the Prophet (saws) so he asked him:

“How are you this morning O’Harithah?, He said: I woke up a true believer, The Prophet said: “look at what you are saying, each truth has a  reality, so what is the reality of your belief? He said: My self abstained from life, as if I am looking at the throne of my Lord prominent, and as if I am looking at the people of Paradise visiting their others, and as if I am looking at the people the Hell shouting in it, the Prophet said: “O’ Harithah, you comprehended, so keep on” repeated it thrice”[1]

Here we notice that the companion Al-Harithath (may Allah be pleased with him) described his faith as true, whereas this issue is very big, so that, the Prophet (saws) wanted to point out to the seriousness of the answer.

However, Allah (swt) in this verse indicated that who denies the Recompense, could be a believer, who believes in the essences of religion, but he does not fulfill the faith requirements doing such as of driving away the orphan.

يَدُعُّ  (drives away): This word shows how this behavior is ugly  and rude, to drive the orphan violently.

This person did not answer back the orphan with a word, rather, with a merciless act. The orphan is a weak child, does not have support or power, so driving away him is an immoral tough matter. The orphan needs pity, courtesy and support. Thus, when we care about the orphan, then we are doing a mission that Allah (swt) has assigned to us towards this weak human being.

Allah (swt) is Able to support and provide him with reasons of living better than what we have, but Allah (swt) wants to see from His Servants the evidences of their sympathy and co-operation. Allah (swt) wants as well to test them by their actions toward each other. Allah (swt) wants to see the reaction of His strong creatures towards the weak ones. As such, Allah (swt) named spending in His path as a loan to Him (swt):

  ﴾مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ﴿

 (Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.) (Al-Baqara: 245)

When you give the poor or the orphan it is as if you give Allah (swt) a loan. When Allah (swt) clarifies to us this divine equation He is as if saying: If you take care of the orphan, the weak, and the needy and help them in doing their deeds, I will help you with your children and I will help your children as well and will guarantee that someone will support them after you:

   ﴾وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُوا مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّةً ضِعَافًا خَافُوا عَلَيْهِمْ فَلْيَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْيَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا﴿

 (And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.)
(An-Nisaa: 9)

So, if you, O’ human, wants to guarantee your children’s life after you, do not think this is done by building a house or a palace or by depositing money in a bank or in insurance companies, rather this is done by depositing in the divine insurance company because your guarantee will be in Allah’s (swt) hands, He Who is:

   ﴾فَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَافِظًا ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿

 (He is the most merciful of the merciful.) (Yussuf: 64)

In Surah Al-Kahf Allah (swt) presents to us a real example of this divine insurance concerning the children, through the story of Sayyidna Musa (pbuh) with the righteous servant:

   ﴾وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ﴿

 (And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord.) (Al-Kahf: 82)

Allah (swt) utilized someone who kept safe the treasure of the two orphans because their father was a righteous man, thereof, the righteous of the father brings the benefits to his children.

Another aspect of oppressing the orphans and the needy in the following verse:

[1] Shu’ab Al-Iman, the Book 71, hadith No. 10591.

الآية رقم (1) - أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ

(1) - (Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? (1)

Allah (swt) is addressing the Prophet (saws), telling him: Have you, O’ Muhammad, seen the one who denies the Recompense?

It is narrated that this Surah was revealed particularly because of Abo Jahl, or Abo Al-A’ss bin Wael, when he hit an orphan and pushed him, and the Prophet (saws) himself has witnessed this incident.

This is not a question, it is one of the styles of the Holy Qur’an to bring an announcement in a form of interrogative, that is Because Allah (swt) wants to share the addressee in the speech, as if the answer is not known by the humans, so He (swt) will tell about it.

Anyone who hears this question will think that the one who denies the Recompense is the one who disbelieves in Allah (swt) and His Prophet, who does not establish prayer, fast, or even does not give alms or practice pilgrimage. However, Allah (swt) wants to tell us that lying against the Recompense does not necessarily mean to deny the origin of faith or to disbelieve; the liar against the Recompense could be a believer but he does not follow the method of Allah (swt), does not submit to Allah’s (swt) commands nor refrain from what is forbidden, because applying the faith on deeds is the cornerstone of faith as Al-Hassan Al-Bassri (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Faith is what is settled in the heart and affirmed by the deeds’ [1]

It is easy of a Muslim to say that he is a believer, rather, it is not so easy to submit and act according to the method that he believes in.

[1] Mussanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, The Book of faith, Hadith No. 30351