(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.)
Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to enter the house from the back upon assuming the Ihram. Thereafter, Allah revealed (the following Ayah):
(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.)
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded the same Hadith from Al-Bara' but with the wording; "The Ansar used to enter their houses from the back when returning from a journey. Thereafter, this Ayah (2:189 above) was revealed...''
Al-Hasan said, "When some people during the time of Jahiliyyah would leave home to travel, and then decide not to travel, they would not enter the house from its door. Rather, they would climb over the back wall. Allah the Exalted said:
(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back,).''
(...and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.) Have Taqwa of Allah, means to do what He has commanded you and refrain from what He has forbidden for you,
(that you may be successful.) tomorrow when you stand before Him and He thus rewards you perfectly.
(190. And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.) (191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. ) (192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimin (the polytheists and wrongdoers).)
Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah commented on what Allah said:
(And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you,)
Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "This was the first Ayah about fighting that was revealed in Al-Madinah. Ever since it was revealed, Allah's Messenger used to fight only those who fought him and avoid non-combatants. Later, Surat Bara'ah (chapter 9 in the Qur'an) was revealed.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said similarly, then he said that this was later abrogated by the Ayah:
(then kill them wherever you find them) (9:5).
However, this statement is not plausible, because Allah's statement:
(...those who fight you) applies only to fighting the enemies who are engaged in fighting Islam and its people. So the Ayah means, `Fight those who fight you', just as Allah said (in another Ayah):
(...and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively.) (9:36)
This is why Allah said later in the Ayah:
(And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.) meaning, `Your energy should be spent on fighting them, just as their energy is spent on fighting you, and on expelling them from the areas from which they have expelled you, as a law of equality in punishment.'
(but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.)
This Ayah means, `Fight for the sake of Allah and do not be transgressors,' such as, by committing prohibitions. Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that transgression (indicated by the Ayah), "includes mutilating the dead, theft (from the captured goods), killing women, children and old people who do not participate in warfare, killing priests and residents of houses of worship, burning down trees and killing animals without real benefit.'' This is also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, Muqatil bin Hayyan and others. Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Buraydah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:
(Fight for the sake of Allah and fight those who disbelieve in Allah. Fight, but do not steal (from the captured goods), commit treachery, mutilate (the dead), or kill a child, or those who reside in houses of worship.)
It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Ibn `Umar said, "A woman was found dead during one of the Prophet's battles and the Prophet then forbade killing women and children. '' There are many other Hadiths on this subject.
Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. Abu Malik commented about what Allah said:
(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that what Allah said:
(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.''
(And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah))
It is reported in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:
(Allah has made this city a sanctuary since the day He created the heavens and the earth. So, it is a sanctuary by Allah's decree till the Day of Resurrection. Fighting in it was made legal for me only for an hour in the daytime. So, it (i.e., Makkah) is a sanctuary, by Allah's decree, from now on until the Day of Resurrection. Its trees should not be cut, and its grass should not be uprooted. If anyone mentions the fighting in it that occurred by Allah's Messenger, then say that Allah allowed His Messenger, but did not allow you.)
In this Hadith, Allah's Messenger mentions fighting the people of Makkah when he conquered it by force, leading to some deaths among the polytheists in the area of the Khandamah. This occurred after the Prophet proclaimed:
(Whoever closed his door is safe. Whoever entered the (Sacred) Mosque is safe. Whoever entered the house of Abu Sufyan is also safe.)
(...unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.)
Allah states: `Do not fight them in the area of the Sacred Mosque unless they start fighting you in it. In this case, you are allowed to fight them and kill them to stop their aggression.' Hence, Allah's Messenger took the pledge from his Companions under the tree (in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah) to fight (the polytheists), after the tribes of Quraysh and their allies, Thaqif and other groups, collaborated against the Muslims (to stop them from entering Makkah to visit the Sacred House). Then, Allah stopped the fighting before it started between them and said:
(And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.) (48:24) and:
(Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills ـ if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.) (48:25)
(But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) which means, `If they (polytheists) cease fighting you in the Sacred Area, and come to Islam and repent, then Allah will forgive them their sins, even if they had before killed Muslims in Allah's Sacred Area.' Indeed, Allah's forgiveness encompasses every sin, whatever its enormity, when the sinner repents it.
Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when He said:
(...until there is no more Fitnah) meaning, Shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam.
(...and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone).) means, `So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.' It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said: "The Prophet was asked, `O Allah's Messenger! A man fights out of bravery, and another fights to show off, which of them fights in the cause of Allah' The Prophet said:
(He who fights so that Allah's Word is superior, then he fights in Allah's cause.) In addition, it is reported in the Two Sahihs:
(I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people until they proclaim, `None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. Whoever said it, then he will save his life and property from me, except for cases of the law, and their account will be with Allah.)
(But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers.) indicates that, `If they stop their Shirk and fighting the believers, then cease warfare against them. Whoever fights them afterwards will be committing an injustice. Verily aggression can only be started against the unjust.' This is the meaning of Mujahid's statement that only combatants should be fought. Or, the meaning of the Ayah indicates that, `If they abandon their injustice, which is Shirk in this case, then do not start aggression against them afterwards.' The aggression here means retaliating and fighting them, just as Allah said:
(Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.) (2:194)
Similarly, Allah said:
(The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof.) (42:40), and:
(And if you punish them, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. ) (16:126)
`Ikrimah and Qatadah stated, "The unjust person is he who refuses to proclaim, `There is no God worthy of worship except Allah'.''
Under Allah's statement:
(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah) Al-Bukhari recorded that Nafi` said that two men came to Ibn `Umar during the conflict of Ibn Az-Zubayr and said to him, "The people have fallen into shortcomings and you are the son of `Umar and the Prophet's Companion. Hence, what prevents you from going out'' He said, "What prevents me is that Allah has for bidden shedding the blood of my (Muslim) brother.'' They said, "Did not Allah say:
(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah))'' He said, "We did fight until there was no more Fitnah and the religion became for Allah Alone. You want to fight until there is Fitnah and the religion becomes for other than Allah!''
`Uthman bin Salih added that a man came to Ibn `Umar and asked him, "O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! What made you perform Hajj one year and `Umrah another year and abandon Jihad in the cause of Allah, although you know how much He has encouraged performing it'' He said, "O my nephew! Islam is built on five (pillars): believing in Allah and His Messenger, the five daily prayers, fasting Ramadan, paying the Zakah and performing Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House.'' They said, "O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! Did you not hear what Allah said in His Book:
(And if two parties (or groups) among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which outrages till it complies with the command of Allah.) (49:9) and:
(And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief))
He said, "That we did during the time of Allah's Messenger when Islam was still weak and (the Muslim) man used to face trials in his religion, such as killing or torture. When Islam became stronger (and apparent), there was no more Fitnah.'' He asked, "What do you say about `Ali and `Uthman'' He said, "As for `Uthman, Allah has forgiven him. However, you hated the fact that Allah had forgiven him! As for `Ali, he is the cousin of Allah's Messenger and his son-in-law.'' He then pointed with his hand, saying, "This is where his house is located (meaning, `so close to the Prophet's house just as `Ali was so close to the Prophet himself').''
(194. The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas). Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin.)
Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Miqsam, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Ata said, "Allah's Messenger went for `Umrah on the sixth year of Hijrah. Then, the idolaters prevented him from entering the Sacred House (the Ka`bah in Makkah) along with the Muslims who came with him. This incident occurred during the sacred month of Dhul-Qa`dah. The idolaters agreed to allow them to enter the House the next year. Hence, the Prophet entered the House the following year, along with the Muslims who accompanied him, and Allah permitted him to avenge the idolaters' treatment of him, when He said:
(The sacred month is for the sacred month, and for the prohibited things, there is the Law of equality (Qisas).)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "Allah's Messenger would not engage in warfare during the Sacred Month unless he was first attacked, then he would march forth. He would otherwise remain idle until the end of the Sacred Months.'' This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators.
Hence, when the Prophet was told that `Uthman was killed (in Makkah) when he was camped at the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after he had sent `Uthman as his emissary to the polytheists, he accepted the pledge from his Companions under the tree to fight the polytheists. They were one thousand and four hundred then. When the Prophet was informed that `Uthman was not killed, he abandoned the fight and reverted to peace.
When the Prophet finished fighting with (the tribes of) Hawazin during the battle of Hunayn and Hawazin took refuge in (the city of) At-Ta'if, he laid siege to that city. Then, the (sacred) month of Dhul-Qa`dah started, while At-Ta'if was still under siege. The siege went on for the rest of the forty days (rather, from the day the battle of Hunayn started until the Prophet went back to Al-Madinah from Al-Ji`ranah, were forty days), as reported in the Two Sahihs and narrated by Anas. When the Companions suffered mounting casualties (during the siege), the Prophet ended the siege before conquering At-Ta'if. He then went back to Makkah, performed `Umrah from Al-Ji`ranah, where he divided the war booty of Hunayn. This `Umrah occurred during Dhul-Qa`dah of the eighth year of Al-Hijrah.
(...whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.) ordains justice even with the polytheists. Allah also said in another Ayah:
(And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted.) (16:126)
(And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with Al-Muttaqin (the pious)) (2:194) commands that Allah be obeyed and feared out of Taqwa. The Ayah informs us that Allah is with those who have Taqwa by His aid and support in this life and the Hereafter.
(195. And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)
Al-Bukhari recorded that Hudhayfah said:
(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) "It was revealed about spending.'' Ibn Abu Hatim reported him saying similarly. He then commented, "Similar is reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.''
Aslam Abu `Imran said, "A man from among the Ansar broke enemy (Byzantine) lines in Constantinople (Istanbul). Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was with us then. So some people said, `He is throwing himself to destruction.' Abu Ayyub said, `We know this Ayah (2:195) better, for it was revealed about us, the Companions of Allah's Messenger who participated in Jihad with him and aided and supported him. When Islam became strong, we, the Ansar, met and said to each other, `Allah has honored us by being the Companions of His Prophet and in supporting him until Islam became victorious and its following increased. We had before ignored the needs of our families, estates and children. Warfare has ceased, so let us go back to our families and children and attend to them.' So this Ayah was revealed about us:
(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) the destruction refers to staying with our families and estates and abandoning Jihad'.'' This was recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, `Abd bin Humayd in his Tafsir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduwyah, Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim. At-Tirmidhi said; "Hasan, Sahih, Gharib" Al-Hakim said, "It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it."
Abu Dawud's version mentions that Aslam Abu `Imran said, "We were at (the siege of) Constantinople. Then, `Uqbah bin `Amr was leading the Egyptian forces, while the Syrian forces were led by Fadalah bin `Ubayd. Later on, a huge column of Roman (Byzantine) soldiers departed the city, and we stood in lines against them. A Muslim man raided the Roman lines until he broke through them and came back to us. The people shouted, `All praise is due to Allah! He is sending himself to certain demise.' Abu Ayyub said, `O people! You explain this Ayah the wrong way. It was revealed about us, the Ansar when Allah gave victory to His religion and its following increased. We said to each other, `It would be better for us now if we return to our estates and attend to them.' Then Allah revealed this Ayah (2:195)'.''
Abu Bakr bin `Aiyash reported that Abu Ishaq As-Subai`y related that a man said to Al-Bara' bin `Azib, "If I raided the enemy lines alone and they kill me, would I be throwing myself to certain demise'' He said, "No. Allah said to His Messenger:
(Then fight (O Muhammad) in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) That Ayah (2:195) is about (refraining from) spending.'' Ibn Marduwyah reported this Hadith, as well as Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said; "It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it." Ath-Thawri and Qays bin Ar-Rabi` related it from Al-Bara'. but added:
(You are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) "Destruction refers to the man who sins and refrains from repenting, thus throwing himself to destruction.''
Ibn `Abbas said:
(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction) "This is not about fighting. But about refraining from spending for the sake of Allah, in which case, one will be throwing his self into destruction."
The Ayah (2:195) includes the order to spend in Allah's cause, in the various areas and ways that involve obedience and drawing closer to Allah. It especially applies to spending in fighting the enemies and on what strengthens the Muslims against the enemy. Allah states that those who refrain from spending in this regard will face utter and certain demise and destruction, meaning those who acquire this habit. Allah commands that one should acquire Ihsan (excellence in the religion), as it is the highest part of the acts of obedience. Allah said:
(and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)
(196. And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady that you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either fasting or giving Sadaqah or a sacrifice. Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast for three days during Hajj and seven days after his return, making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is severe in punishment.)