(You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their friends.) Mujahid said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites. Allah's statement,
(Evil indeed is that which they have sent forward before themselves;) by giving their loyalty and support to the disbelievers, instead of the believers. This evil act caused them to have hypocrisy in their hearts and brought them the anger of Allah, that will remain with them until the Day of Return. Allah said;
(for that (reason) Allah is wrath with them) because of what they did. Allah next said that,
(in torment they will abide) on the Day of Resurrection. Allah's statement,
(And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them as friends.) meaning, had they sincerely believed in Allah, His Messenger and the Qur'an, they would not have committed the evil act of supporting the disbelievers in secret and being enemies with those who believe in Allah, the Prophet and what was revealed to him,
(but many of them are rebellious). disobedient to Allah and His Messenger and defiant of the Ayat of His revelation that He sent down.
(82. Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk, and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.'' That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.) (83. And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.'') (84. "And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people.'') (85. So because of what they said, Allah awarded them with Gardens under which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of good-doers.) (86. But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayat, they shall be the dwellers of Hell.)
Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and others said that these Ayat were revealed concerning a delegation that An-Najashi (King of Ethiopia) sent to the Prophet in order to hear his words and observe his qualities. When the delegation met with the Prophet and he recited the Qur'an to them, they embraced Islam, cried and were humbled. Then they returned to An-Najashi and told him what happened. `Ata' bin Abi Rabah commented, "They were Ethiopians who embraced Islam when the Muslims who migrated to Ethiopia resided among them.'' Qatadah said, "They were some followers of the religion of `Isa, son of Maryam, who when they saw Muslims and heard the Qur'an, they became Muslims without hesitation.'' Ibn Jarir said that these Ayat were revealed concerning some people who fit this description, whether they were from Ethiopia or otherwise. Allah said,
(Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk,) This describes the Jews, since their disbelief is that of rebellion, defiance, opposing the truth, belittling other, people and degrading the scholars. This is why the Jews - may Allah's continued curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection - killed many of their Prophets and tried to kill the Messenger of Allah several times, as well as, performing magic spells against him and poisoning him. They also incited their likes among the polytheists against the Prophet . Allah's statement,
(and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.'') refers to those who call themselves Christians, who follow the religion of the Messiah and the teachings of his Injil. These people are generally more tolerant of Islam and its people, because of the mercy and kindness that their hearts acquired through part of the Messiah's religion. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(And We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him, compassion, mercy, and monasticism...) (57:27). In their book is the saying; "He who strikes you on the right cheek, then turn the left cheek for him.'' And fighting was prohibited in their creed, and this is why Allah said,
(That is because among them are Qissisin (priests) and Ruhban (monks), and they are not proud.) This means that among them are Qissisin (priests). The word Ruhban refers to one dedicated to worship. Allah said,
(That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.) This describes them with knowledge, worship and humbleness, along with following the truth and fairness.
(And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized.) This refers to the good news that they have about the advent of Muhammad ,
(They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.'') who testify to the truth and believe in it.
("And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth And We wish that our Lord will admit us (in Paradise) along with the righteous people.'') Such sect of Christians are those mentioned in Allah's statement,
(And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah.) (3:199) and,
(Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it (the Qur'an). And when it is recited to them, they say, "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we were Muslims'') (28:52-53), until,
("We seek not the ignorant.'') (28:55) This is why Allah said here,
(So because of what they said, Allah awarded them...) rewarding them for embracing the faith and recognizing and believing in the truth,
(Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever.) and they will never be removed from it, for they will dwell and remain in it forever and ever,
(Such is the reward of good-doers) who follow the truth and obey it wherever, whenever and with whomever they find it. Allah then describes the condition of the miserable.
(But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayat,) defied and opposed them,
(they shall be the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire.) For they are the people of the Fire who will enter and reside in it (eternally).
(87. O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.) (88. And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.)
`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah ﴿5:87﴾ was revealed about some of the Companions of the Prophet who said, `We should cut off our male organs, abandon the desires of this life and travel in the land, just as the Ruhban (monks) do.' When the Prophet heard of this statement, he summoned them and asked them if they made this statement and they answered `Yes.' The Prophet said,
(I fast and break my fast, pray and sleep, and marry women. Whoever follows my Sunnah is of me, and whoever abandons my Sunnah is not of me.)'' Ibn Abi Hatim also collected this Hadith. Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas narrated a similar Hadith. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `A'ishah said that some of the Companions asked the wives of the Prophet about the acts of worship that he performed in private. One of them said, "I will not eat meat,'' another said, "I will not marry women,'' while the third said, "I will not sleep on the bed.'' When the Prophet heard this statement, he said,
(What is the matter with some people who said such and such I fast and break the fast, sleep and wake to stand to pray, eat meat, and marry women. He who is not pleased with my Sunnah is not of me.) Allah's statement,
(and transgress not.) means, do not exaggerate and make it hard for yourselves by prohibiting the permissible things. Do not transgress the limits by excessively indulging in the permissible matters; only use of it what satisfies your need; and do not fall into extravagance. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance.) (7:31), and,
(And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).) (25:67)So Allah legislated a medium way between those who are extreme and those who fall into shortcomings, and it does not allow excessive application, nor lack of application. This is why Allah said here,
(Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.) then He said,
(And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good,) (5:88), eat of those items that are pure and lawful for you,
(and have Taqwa of Allah,) in all your affairs, obey Him and seek His pleasure, all the while staying away from defiance and disobedience of Allah,
(and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.)
(89. Allah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten poor, on a scale of the Awsat of that with which you feed your own families; or clothe them; or free a slave. But whosoever cannot afford, then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths. Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat that you may be grateful.)
We mentioned the subject of unintentional oaths in Surat Al-Baqarah, all praise and thanks are due to Allah, and so we do not need to repeat it here. We also mentioned that the Laghw in oaths refers to one's saying, "No by Allah,'' or, "Yes, by Allah,'' unintentionally.
(but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths.) in reference to the oaths that you intend in your hearts,
(for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten poor,), who are needy, not able to find necessities of the life. Allah's statement,
(on a scale of the Awsat of that with which you feed your own families;) means, "On the average scale of what you feed your families,'' according to Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and `Ikrimah. `Ata' Al-Khurasani commented on the Ayah, "From the best of what you feed your families''. Allah's statement,
(or clothe them,) refers to clothing each of the ten persons with what is suitable to pray in, whether the poor person was male or female. Allah knows best. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah means a robe or garment for each poor person (of the ten). Mujahid also said that the least of clothing, referred to in the Ayah, is a garment, and the most is whatever you wish. Al-Hasan, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir, `Ata', Tawus, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Hammad bin Abi Sulayman and Abu Malik said that it means (giving each of the ten poor persons) a garment each. Allah's statement,
(or free a slave) refers to freeing a believing slave. In the Muwatta' of Malik, the Musnad of Ash-Shafi`i and the Sahih of Muslim, a lengthy Hadith was recorded that `Umar bin Al-Hakam As-Sulami said that he once had to free a slave (as atonement) and he brought a black slave girl before the Messenger of Allah , who asked her;
(Where is Allah) She said, "Above the heavens.'' He said,
(Who am I) She said, "The Messenger of Allah.'' He said,
(Free her, for she is a believer.) There are three types of expiation for breaking deliberate oaths, and whichever one chooses, it will suffice, according to the consensus (of the scholars). Allah mentioned the easiest, then the more difficult options, since feeding is easier than giving away clothes, and giving away clothes is easier than freeing a slave. If one is unable to fulfill any of these options, then he fasts for three days for expiation, just as Allah said,
(But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days.) Ubayy bin Ka`b and Ibn Mas`ud and his students read this Ayah as follows, "Then he should fast three consecutive days.'' Even if this statement was not narrated to us as a part of the Qur'an through Mutawatir narration, it would still be an explanation of the Qur'an by the Companions that has the ruling of being related from the Prophet . Allah's statement,
(That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn.) (5:89) means, this is the legal way to atone for deliberate oaths,
(And protect your oaths.) Do not leave your broken oaths without paying the expiation for them, according to the meaning given by Ibn Jarir.
(Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat) and explains them to you,
(that you may be grateful.)
(90. O you who believe! Khamr, Maysir, Ansab, and Azlam are a Rijs of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful.) (91. Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with Khamr and Maysir, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from the Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain) (92. And obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and beware. Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger's duty to convey in the clearest way.) (93. Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate, if they have Taqwa and believe and do righteous good deeds, and they (again) have Taqwa and believe, and then (once again) have Taqwa and perform good. And Allah loves the good-doers.)