;
The Punishment of the Disbelievers
﴿ فَٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ قُطِّعَتۡ لَهُمۡ ثِيَابٌ۬ مِّن نَّارٍ۬

(then as for those who disbelieved, garments of fire will be cut out for them,) meaning, pieces of fire will be prepared for them. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Of copper, for it is the hottest of things when it is heated.''

﴿ هَـٰذَانِ خَصۡمَانِ ٱخۡتَصَمُواْ فِى رَبِّہِمۡ‌ۖ فَٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ قُطِّعَتۡ لَهُمۡ ثِيَابٌ۬ مِّن نَّارٍ۬ يُصَبُّ مِن فَوۡقِ رُءُوسِہِمُ ٱلۡحَمِيمُ يُصۡهَرُ بِهِۦ مَا فِى بُطُونِہِمۡ وَٱلۡجُلُودُ

(boiling water will be poured down over their heads. With it will melt (or vanish away) what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.) meaning, when the boiling water --which is water that has been heated to the ultimate degree- is poured down over their heads. Ibn Jarir recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

« إِنَّ الْحَمِيمَ لَيُصَبُّ عَلَى رُؤُوسِهِمْ فَيَنْفُذُ الْجُمْجُمَةَ حَتَّى يَخْلُصَ إِلَى جَوْفِهِ، فَيَسْلُتَ مَا فِي جَوْفِهِ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ قَدَمَيْهِ، وَهُوَ الصِّهْرُ، ثُمَّ يُعَادُ كَمَا كَان »

(The boiling water will be poured over their heads and will penetrate their skulls until it reaches what is inside, and what is inside will melt until it reaches their feet. This is the melting, then he will be restored to the state he was before.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said it is Hasan Sahih. This was also recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, who then recorded that `Abdullah bin As-Sariy said, "The angel will come to him, carrying the vessel with a pair of tongs because of its heat. When he brings it near to his face, he will shy away from it. He will raise a hammer that he is carrying and will strike his head with it, and his brains will spill out, then he will pour the brains back into his head. This is what Allah says in the Ayah:

﴿ يُصۡهَرُ بِهِۦ مَا فِى بُطُونِہِمۡ وَٱلۡجُلُودُ

(With it will melt what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.)''

﴿ وَلَهُم مَّقَـٰمِعُ مِنۡ حَدِيدٍ۬

(And for them are hooked rods of iron.) Ibn `Abbas said, "They will be struck with them, and with each blow, a limb will be severed, and they will cry out for oblivion.''

﴿ ڪُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡہَا مِنۡ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيہَا

(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein,) Al-A`mash reported from Abu Zibiyan that Salman said, "The fire of Hell is black and dark; its flames and coals do not glow or shine.'' Then he recited:

﴿ ڪُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡہَا مِنۡ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيہَا

(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein,)

﴿ وَذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ

("Taste the torment of burning!'') This is like the Ayah:

﴿ وَقِيلَ لَهُمۡ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ ٱلَّذِى كُنتُم بِهِۦ تُكَذِّبُونَ

(and it will be said to them: "Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'') (32:20). The meaning is that they will be humiliated by words and actions.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُدۡخِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ يُحَلَّوۡنَ فِيهَا مِنۡ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ۬ وَلُؤۡلُؤً۬ا‌ۖ وَلِبَاسُهُمۡ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ۬ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيِّبِ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡحَمِيدِ

(23. Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise), wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk.) (24. And they are guided unto goodly speech and they are guided to the path of Him, Who is Worthy of all praises.)

The Reward of the Believers

When Allah tells us about the state of the people of Hell -- we seek refuge with Allah from that state of punishment, vengeance, burning and chains -- and the garments of fire that have been prepared for them, He then tells us about the state of the people of Paradise -- we ask Allah by His grace and kindness to admit us therein. He tells us:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُدۡخِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ

(Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Gardens underneath which rivers flow,) means, these rivers flow throughout its regions, beneath its trees and palaces, and its inhabitants direct them to go wherever they want.

﴿ يُحَلَّوۡنَ فِيهَا

(wherein they will be adorned) -- with jewelry --

﴿ مِنۡ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ۬ وَلُؤۡلُؤً۬ا‌ۖ

(with bracelets of gold and pearls) means, on their arms, as the Prophet said in the agreed-upon Hadith:

« تَبْلُغُ الْحِلْيَةُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَيْثُ يَبْلُغُ الْوَضُوء »

(The jewelry of the believer ﴿in Paradise will reach as far as his Wudu' reached.)

﴿ وَلِبَاسُهُمۡ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ۬

(and their garments therein will be of silk. ) in contrast to the garments of fire worn by the inhabitants of Hell, the people of Paradise will have garments of silk, Sundus and Istabraq fine green silk and gold embroidery, as Allah says:

﴿ عَـٰلِيَہُمۡ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضۡرٌ۬ وَإِسۡتَبۡرَقٌ۬‌ۖ وَحُلُّوٓاْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ۬ وَسَقَٮٰهُمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ شَرَابً۬ا طَهُورًا إِنَّ هَـٰذَا كَانَ لَكُمۡ جَزَآءً۬ وَكَانَ سَعۡيُكُم مَّشۡكُورًا

(Their garments will be of green Sundus, and Istabraq. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. (And it will be said to them): "Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavor has been accepted.'') (76:21-22). In the Sahih, it says:

« لَا تَلْبَسُوا الْحَرِيرَ وَلَا الدِّيبَاجَ فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ لَبِسَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا لَمْ يَلْبَسْهُ فِي الْآخِرَة »

(Do not wear fine silk or gold embroidery in this world, for whoever wears them in this world, will not wear them in the Hereafter.) `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, "Those who do not wear silk in the Hereafter are those who will not enter Paradise. Allah says:

﴿ وَلِبَاسُهُمۡ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ۬

(and their garments therein will be of silk)''

﴿ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيِّبِ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ

(And they are guided unto goodly speech.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَأُدۡخِلَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّهِمۡ‌ۖ تَحِيَّتُہُمۡ فِيہَا سَلَـٰمٌ

(And those who believed and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow -- to dwell therein forever, with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: "Salam (peace!)'') (14:23)

﴿ جَنَّـٰتُ عَدۡنٍ۬ يَدۡخُلُونَہَا وَمَن صَلَحَ مِنۡ ءَابَآٮِٕہِمۡ وَأَزۡوَٲجِهِمۡ وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِہِمۡ‌ۖ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ يَدۡخُلُونَ عَلَيۡہِم مِّن كُلِّ بَابٍ۬ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكُم بِمَا صَبَرۡتُمۡ‌ۚ فَنِعۡمَ عُقۡبَى ٱلدَّارِ

(And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): "Salamun `Alaykum (peace be upon you!)'', for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!'') (13:23-24),

﴿ لَا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوً۬ا وَلَا تَأۡثِيمًا إِلَّا قِيلاً۬ سَلَـٰمً۬ا سَلَـٰمً۬ا

(No evil vain talk will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of, "Peace! Peace! (Salaman! Salaman!).'') (56:25-26) They will be guided to a place in which they will hear good speech.

﴿ وَيُلَقَّوۡنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً۬ وَسَلَـٰمًا

(Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.) (25:75), unlike the scorn which will be heaped upon the people of Hell by way of rebuke, when they are told:

﴿ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ

(`Taste the torment of burning!'')

﴿ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡحَمِيدِ

(and they are guided to the path of Him Who is Worthy of all praises. ) to a place in which they will give praise to their Lord for all His kindness, blessings and favors towards them, as it says in the Sahih Hadith:

« إِنَّهُمْ يُلْهَمُونَ التَّسْبِيحَ وَالتَّحْمِيدَ كَمَا يُلْهَمُونَ النَّفَس »

(They will be inspired with words of glorification and praise, just as they are inspired with breath.) Some scholars of Tafsir said that the Ayah,

﴿ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلطَّيِّبِ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ

(And they are guided unto goodly speech) refers to the Qur'an; and it was said that it means La ilaha illallah or words of remembrance prescribed in Islam. And the Ayah:

﴿ وَهُدُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡحَمِيدِ

(and they are guided to the path of Him Who is Worthy of all praises.) means, the straight path in this world. These interpretations do not contradict that mentioned above. And Allah knows best.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬ نُّذِقۡهُ مِنۡ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

(25. Verily, those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, and from Al-Masjid Al-Haram which We have made (open) to (all) men, the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there, and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment.)

A Warning to Those Who hinder Others from the Path of Allah and from Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Who seek to do Evil Actions therein

Allah rebukes the disbelievers for preventing the believers from coming to Al-Masjid Al-Haram and performing their rites and rituals there, claiming that they were its guardians,

﴿ وَمَا ڪَانُوٓاْ أَوۡلِيَآءَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنۡ أَوۡلِيَآؤُهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا ٱلۡمُتَّقُونَ

(and they are not its guardians. None can be its guardians except those who have Taqwa) (8:34). In this Ayah there is proof that it was revealed in Al-Madinah, as Allah says in Surat Al-Baqarah:

﴿ يَسۡـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلشَّہۡرِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ۬ فِيهِ‌ۖ قُلۡ قِتَالٌ۬ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ۬‌ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَڪُفۡرُۢ بِهِۦ وَٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ وَإِخۡرَاجُ أَهۡلِهِۦ مِنۡهُ أَكۡبَرُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, "Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and to drive out its inhabitants) (2:217) And Allah says here:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ

(Verily, those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, and from Al-Masjid Al-Haram) meaning, not only are they disbelievers, but they also hinder people from the path of Allah and from Al-Masjid Al-Haram. They prevent the believers who want to go there from reaching it, although the believers have more right than anyone else to go there. The structure of this phrase is like that to be found in the Ayah:

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ

(Those who believed, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.) (13:28) Not only are they believers, but their hearts also find rest in the remembrance of Allah.

The Issue of renting Houses in Makkah
﴿ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ

(which We have made (open) to (all) men, the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there) meaning that they prevent people from reaching Al-Masjid Al-Haram, which Allah has made equally accessible to all in Shari`ah, with no differentiation between those who live there and those who live far away from it.

﴿ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ

(the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there,) Part of this equality is that everyone has equal access to all parts of the city and can live there, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas concerning the Ayah:

﴿ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ

(the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there,) He (Ibn `Abbas) said: "Both the people of Makkah and others can stay in Al-Masjid Al-Haram.''

﴿ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ

(the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there,) Mujahid said, "The people of Makkah and others are equally allowed to stay there.'' This was also the view of Abu Salih, `Abdur-Rahman bin Sabit and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated from Ma`mar, from Qatadah who said: "Its own people and others are equal therein.'' This is the issue about which Ash-Shafi`i and Ishaq bin Rahwayh differed in the Masjid of Al-Khayf, when Ahmad bin Hanbal was also present. Ash-Shafi`i was of the opinion that the various parts of Makkah can be owned, inherited and rented, and he used as evidence the Hadith of Usamah bin Zayd who said, "I said, O Messenger of Allah, will you go and stay tomorrow in your house in Makkah'' He said,

« وَهَلْ تَرَكَ لَنَا عَقِيلٌ مِنْ رِبَاعٍ؟ »

(Has `Aqil left us any property) Then he said,

« لَا يَرِثُ الْكَافِرُ الْمُسْلِمَ وَلَا الْمُسْلِمُ الْكَافِر »

"O people of Makkah, do not put gates on your houses, and let the bedouins stay wherever they want.'' He said: Ma`mar told us, narrating from someone who heard `Ata' say about the Ayah,

﴿ سَوَآءً ٱلۡعَـٰكِفُ فِيهِ وَٱلۡبَادِ‌ۚ

(the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there, ) "They may stay wherever they want.'' Ad-Daraqutni recorded a saying reported from `Abdullah bin `Amr: "Whoever charges rent for the houses of Makkah, consumes fire.'' Imam Ahmad took a middle path, according to what his son Salih narrated from him, and he said, "They may be owned and inherited, but they should not be rented, so as to reconcile between all the proofs.'' And Allah knows best.

A Warning to Those Who want to commit Evil Actions in the Haram
﴿ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬ نُّذِقۡهُ مِنۡ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

(and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment.)

﴿ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(or to do wrong,) means, he aims deliberately to do wrong, and it is not the matter of misunderstanding. As Ibn Jurayj said narrating from Ibn `Abbas, "This means someone whose actions are intentional.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "The evil action of Shirk.'' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said: "The evil action is allowing in the Haram what Allah has forbidden, such as mistreating and killing, whereby you do wrong to those who have done you no wrong and you kill those who have not fought you. If a person does this, then he deserves to suffer a painful torment.''

﴿ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(or to do wrong,) Mujahid said, "To do some bad action therein. This is one of the unique features of Al-Haram, that the person who is about to do some evil action should be punished if this is his intention, even if he has not yet commenced the action.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded in his Tafsir that `Abdullah (i.e., Ibn Mas`ud) commented about the Ayah,

﴿ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong,) "If a man intends to do some evil action therein, Allah will make him taste a painful torment.'' This was also recorded by Ahmad. I say, ﴿its chain is Sahih according to the conditions of Al-Bukhari, and it is more likely Mawquf than Marfu`. And Allah knows best. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Insulting a servant and anything more than that is (counted as) wrongdoing.'' Habib bin Abi Thabit said:

﴿ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong,) "Hoarding (goods) in Makkah.'' This was also the view of others.

﴿ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong,) Ibn `Abbas said, "This was revealed about `Abdullah bin Unays. The Messenger of Allah sent him with two men, one of whom was a Muhajir and the other from among the Ansar. They began to boast about their lineages and `Abdullah bin Unays got angry and killed the Ansari. Then he reverted from Islam (became an apostate) and fled to Makkah. Then these words were revealed concerning him:

﴿ وَمَن يُرِدۡ فِيهِ بِإِلۡحَادِۭ بِظُلۡمٍ۬

(and whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong,) meaning, whoever flees to Al-Haram to do evil actions, i.e., by leaving Islam.'' These reports indicate some meanings of the phrase "evil actions'', but the meaning is more general than that and includes things which are more serious. Hence when the owners of the Elephant planned to destroy the House (the Ka`bah), Allah sent against them birds in flocks,

﴿ تَرۡمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ۬ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ۬ فَجَعَلَهُمۡ كَعَصۡفٍ۬ مَّأۡڪُولِۭ

(Striking them with stones of Sijjil. And He made them like (an empty field of) stalks (of which the corn has been eaten up by cattle).) (105:4-5). means He destroyed them and made them a lesson and a warning for everyone who intends to commit evil actions there. Hence it was reported in a Hadith that the Messenger of Allah said:

« يَغْزُو هَذَا الْبَيْتَ جَيْشٌ حَتَّى إِذَا كَانُوا بِبَيْدَاءَ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ خُسِفَ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِم »

(This House will be attacked by an army, then when they are in a wide open space, the first of them and the last of them will be swallowed up by the earth.)

﴿ وَإِذۡ بَوَّأۡنَا لِإِبۡرَٲهِيمَ مَكَانَ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ أَن لَّا تُشۡرِكۡ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَطَهِّرۡ بَيۡتِىَ لِلطَّآٮِٕفِينَ وَٱلۡقَآٮِٕمِينَ وَٱلرُّڪَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ وَأَذِّن فِى ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالاً۬ وَعَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ ضَامِرٍ۬ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ۬

(26. And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim the site of the House (saying): "Associate not anything with Me, and sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up (for prayer), and those who bow and make prostration (in prayer);'') (27. And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every Fajj `Amiq.)

Building of the Ka`bah and the Proclamation of the Hajj

This is a rebuke to those among Quraysh who worshipped others than Allah and joined partners with Him in the place which from the outset had been established on the basis of Tawhid and the worship of Allah Alone, with no partner or associate. Allah tells us that He showed Ibrahim the site of the `Atiq House, i.e., He guided him to it, entrusted it to him and granted him permission to build it. Many scholars take this as evidence to support their view that Ibrahim was the first one to build the House and that it was not built before his time. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Dharr said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, which Masjid was the first to be built' He said,

« الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَام »

(Al-Masjid Al-Haram.) I said, `Then which' He said,

« بَيْتُ الْمَقْدِس »

(Bayt Al-Maqdis.) I said, `How long between them' He said,

« أَرْبَعُونَ سَنَة »

(Forty years.)'' And Allah says:

﴿ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٍ۬ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكً۬ا

(Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing) (3:96) until the end of following two Ayat. Allah says:

﴿ وَعَهِدۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيۡتِىَ لِلطَّآٮِٕفِينَ وَٱلۡعَـٰكِفِينَ وَٱلرُّڪَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

(and We commanded Ibrahim and Isma`il that they should purify My House for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I`tikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves.) (2:125) And Allah says here:

﴿ أَن لَّا تُشۡرِكۡ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

(Associate not anything with Me,) meaning, `Build it in My Name Alone.'

﴿ وَطَهِّرۡ بَيۡتِىَ

(and sanctify My House) Qatadah and Mujahid said, "And purify it from Shirk.

﴿ لِلطَّآٮِٕفِينَ وَٱلۡقَآٮِٕمِينَ وَٱلرُّڪَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

(for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up, and those who bow, and make prostration (in prayer)) means, `and make it purely for those who worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate.' What is meant by "those who circumambulate it'' is obvious, since this is an act of worship that is done only at the Ka`bah and not at any other spot on earth.

﴿ وَٱلۡقَآٮِٕمِينَ

(and those who stand up) means, in prayer. Allah says:

﴿ وَٱلرُّڪَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

(and those who bow, and make prostration.) Tawaf and prayer are mentioned together because they are not prescribed together anywhere except in relation to the House. Tawaf is done around the Ka`bah and prayer is offered facing its direction in the majority of cases, with a few exceptions, such as when one is uncertain of the direction of the Qiblah, during battle and when praying optional prayers while traveling. And Allah knows best.

﴿ وَأَذِّن فِى ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ

(And proclaim to mankind the Hajj) meaning, `announce the pilgrimage to mankind and call them to perform pilgrimage to this House which We have commanded you to build.' It was said that Ibrahim said: "O Lord, how can I convey this to people when my voice will not reach them'' It was said: "Call them and We will convey it.'' So Ibrahim stood up and said, "O mankind! Your Lord has established a House so come on pilgrimage to it.'' It is said that the mountains lowered themselves so that his voice would reach all the regions of the earth, and those who were still in their mothers' wombs and their fathers' loins would hear the call. The response came from everyone in the cities, deserts and countryside, and those whom Allah has decreed will make the pilgrimage, until the Day of Resurrection: "At Your service, O Allah, at Your service.'' This is a summary of the narrations from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others among the Salaf. And Allah knows best. This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and by Ibn Abi Hatim at length.

﴿ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالاً۬ وَعَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ ضَامِرٍ۬

(They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel,) This Ayah was used as evidence by those scholars whose view is that Hajj performed on foot by those who are able, is better than Hajj performed riding, because the phrase "on foot'' is mentioned first, and because it is an indication of their keenness and resolve. Waki` narrated from Abu Al-`Umays from Abu Halhalah from Muhammad bin Ka`b that Ibn `Abbas said, "I do not regret anything except for the fact that I wish I had performed Hajj on foot, because Allah says,

﴿ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالاً۬

(They will come to you on foot).'' But the majority are of the view that performing Hajj while riding is better, following the example of the Messenger of Allah , because he performed Hajj riding, although his physical ability was sound.

﴿ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ

(they will come from every Fajj) means every route, as Allah says:

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا فِيہَا فِجَاجً۬ا سُبُلاً۬

(And We placed therein Fijaj for them to pass) (21:31).

﴿ عَمِيقٍ۬

(`Amiq) means dis- tant. This was the view of Mujahid, `Ata', As-Suddi, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayan, Ath-Thawri and others. This Ayah is like the Ayah in which Allah tells us how Ibrahim prayed for his family,

﴿ فَٱجۡعَلۡ أَفۡـِٔدَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَہۡوِىٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ

(So fill some hearts among men with love towards them) (14:37). There is no one among the Muslims who does not long to see the Ka`bah and perform Tawaf, people come to this spot from every corner of the world.

﴿ لِّيَشۡهَدُواْ مَنَـٰفِعَ لَهُمۡ وَيَذۡڪُرُواْ ٱسۡمَ ٱللَّهِ فِىٓ أَيَّامٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومَـٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ‌ۖ فَكُلُواْ مِنۡہَا وَأَطۡعِمُواْ ٱلۡبَآٮِٕسَ ٱلۡفَقِيرَ ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ وَلۡيُوفُواْ نُذُورَهُمۡ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

(28. That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor having a hard time.) (29. Then let them complete their prescribed duties and perform their vows, and circumambulate the `Atiq House.)

Hajj Brings benefits in this World and in the Hereafter
﴿ لِّيَشۡهَدُواْ مَنَـٰفِعَ لَهُمۡ

(That they may witness things that are of benefit to them,) Ibn `Abbas said, "Benefits in this world and in the Hereafter.'' Benefits of the Hereafter includes Allah's pleasure. Material benefits in this world include sacrificial animals and trade.'' This was also the view of Mujahid and others, that the benefits come in this world and in the Hereafter. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ لَيۡسَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبۡتَغُواْ فَضۡلاً۬ مِّن رَّبِّڪُمۡ‌ۚ

(There is no sin on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord) [2:198].

﴿ وَيَذۡڪُرُواْ ٱسۡمَ ٱللَّهِ فِىٓ أَيَّامٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومَـٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ‌ۖ

(and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).) Shu`bah and Hushaym narrated from Abu Bishr from Sa`id from Ibn `Abbas, "The appointed days are the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah). Al-Bukhari narrated this with a disconnected chain in a manner denoting his approval of it. Something similar was narrated from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, Mujahid, Qatadah, `Ata', Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet said:

«مَا الْعَمَلُ فِي أَيَّامٍ أَفْضَلَ مِنْهَا فِي هَذِه»

(No deeds are more virtuous than deeds done on these days.) They said, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah'' He said,

«وَلَا الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ إِلَّا رَجُلٌ يَخْرُجُ يُخَاطِرُ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ بِشَيْء»

(Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out risking himself and his wealth for the sake of Allah, and does not come back with anything.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

«مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَعْظَمَ عِنْدَ اللهِ وَلَا أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ الْعَمَلُ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ فَأَكْثِرُوا فِيهِنَّ مِنَ التَّهْلِيلِ وَالتَّكْبِيرِ وَالتَّحْمِيد»

(There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbir, and Tahmid during these days.) Al-Bukhari said, "Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurayrah used to go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbir, and the people would say Takbir when they said Takbir.'' These ten days include the day of `Arafah. It was recorded in Sahih Muslim that Abu Qatadah said, "The Messenger of Allah was asked about fasting on the day of `Arafah, and he said,

«أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الْمَاضِيَةَ وَالْآتِيَة»

(I hope by Allah that it will be an expiation for the previous year and the coming year.) These ten days include the day of An-Nahr (Sacrifice), which is the greatest day of Hajj, and it was recorded in a Hadith that it is the most virtuous day to Allah.

﴿ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ‌ۖ

(over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them.) means, camels, cattle and sheep, as Allah explained in Surat Al-An`am:

﴿ ثَمَـٰنِيَةَ أَزۡوَٲجٍ۬‌ۖ

(eight pairs) [6:143]

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِنۡہَا وَأَطۡعِمُواْ ٱلۡبَآٮِٕسَ ٱلۡفَقِيرَ

(Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor having a hard time.) It was recorded that when the Messenger of Allah offered his sacrifice, he commanded that part of each animal should be taken and cooked, and he ate some of the meat and drank some of the broth.

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِنۡہَا

(Then eat thereof) Hushaym narrated from Husayn, from Mujahid, "This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَإِذَا حَلَلۡتُمۡ فَٱصۡطَادُواْ‌ۚ

(But when you finish the Ihram, you may hunt) [5:2]

﴿ فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةُ فَٱنتَشِرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ

(Then when the (Jumu`ah) Salah (prayer) is ended, you may disperse through the land) [62:10]. This was the view favored by Ibn Jarir in his Tafsir.

﴿ ٱلۡبَآٮِٕسَ ٱلۡفَقِيرَ

(the poor having a hard time.) `Ikrimah said, "This means the one who is in desperate need whose poverty is apparent, and the poor person who is too proud to ask others for help.'' Mujahid said, "The one who does not stretch forth his hand (to ask for help).''

﴿ ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ

(Then let them complete their prescribed duties) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means ending Ihram by shaving one's head, putting on one's ordinary clothes, trimming one's nails and so on.'' This was also reported from him by `Ata' and Mujahid. This was also the view of `Ikrimah and Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi.

﴿ وَلۡيُوفُواْ نُذُورَهُمۡ

(and perform their vows,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, this means any vows made about sacrificing a camel.

﴿ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

(and circumambulate the `Atiq House. ) Mujahid said, "This means the Tawaf which is obligatory on the day of Sacrifice.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hamzah said, "Ibn `Abbas said to me: `Have you read in Surat Al-Hajj where Allah says:

﴿ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

(and circumambulate the `Atiq House.) The end of rituals is the Tawaf around the `Atiq House.''' I say, this is what the Messenger of Allah did. When he came back from Mina on the day of Sacrifice, he began with stoning the Jamrah, stoning it with seven pebbles, then he offered his sacrifice and shaved his head, then he departed and circumambulated the House.'' In the Two Sahihs it was recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The people were commanded to end their visit to the Ka`bah by circumambulating the House, but menstruating women are exempt from this.

﴿ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

(the `Atiq House) the area from behind Al-Hijr, because this was originally part of the Ka`bah built by Ibrahim, but the Quraysh excluded it from the House (when they had to rebuild it) because they were short of funds. The Messenger of Allah included it in his Tawaf and said that it is part of the House. He did not acknowledge the two Shami corners, because they were not built precisely upon the original foundations of Ibrahim. Qatadah narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on the Ayah,

﴿ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

(and circumambulate the `Atiq House.) "Because it is the first House established for mankind.'' This was also the view of `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. It was recorded that `Ikrimah said, "It was called Al-Bayt Al-`Atiq because it survived (U`tiqa) from the flood at the time of Nuh.'' Khusayf said, "It was called Al-Bayt Al-`Atiq because it was never conquered by any tyrant.''

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمۡ حُرُمَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّهُ ۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۗ وَأُحِلَّتۡ لَڪُمُ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمُ إِلَّا مَا يُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ‌ۖ فَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلرِّجۡسَ مِنَ ٱلۡأَوۡثَـٰنِ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ قَوۡلَ ٱلزُّورِ حُنَفَآءَ لِلَّهِ غَيۡرَ مُشۡرِكِينَ بِهِۦ‌ۚ وَمَن يُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَتَخۡطَفُهُ ٱلطَّيۡرُ أَوۡ تَهۡوِى بِهِ ٱلرِّيحُ فِى مَكَانٍ۬ سَحِيقٍ۬

(30. That and whoever honors the sacred things of Allah, then that is better for him with his Lord. The cattle are lawful to you, except those (that will be) mentioned to you. So shun the Rijs of the idols, and shun false speech.) (31. Hunafa' Lillah, not associating partners unto Him; and whoever assigns partners to Allah,