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Neither Repentance of the Disbeliever Upon Death, Nor His Ransoming Himself on the Day of Resurrection Shall be Accepted

Allah threatens and warns those who revert to disbelief after they believed and who thereafter insist on disbelief until death. He states that in this case, no repentance shall be accepted from them upon their death. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ وَلَيۡسَتِ ٱلتَّوۡبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ

(And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them) (4:18).

This is why Allah said,

﴿ لَّن تُقۡبَلَ تَوۡبَتُهُمۡ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلضَّآلُّونَ

(never will their repentance be accepted. And they are those who went astray.) to those who abandon the path of truth for the path of wickedness. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that some people embraced Islam, reverted to disbelief, became Muslims again, then reverted from Islam. They sent their people inquiring about this matter and they asked the Messenger of Allah. On that, this Ayah was revealed,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعۡدَ إِيمَـٰنِهِمۡ ثُمَّ ٱزۡدَادُواْ كُفۡرً۬ا لَّن تُقۡبَلَ تَوۡبَتُهُمۡ

(Verily, those who disbelieved after their belief and then went on increasing in their disbelief never will their repentance be accepted). The chain of narration is satisfactory. Thereafter, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمۡ كُفَّارٌ۬ فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِم مِّلۡءُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ذَهَبً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱفۡتَدَىٰ بِهِۦۤ‌ۗ

(Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them even if they offered it as a ransom.)

Those who die while disbelievers, shall have no good deed ever accepted from them, even if they spent the earth's fill of gold in what was perceived to be an act of obedience. The Prophet was asked about `Abdullah bin Jud`an, who used to be generous to guests, helpful to the indebted and who gave food (to the poor); will all that benefit him The Prophet said,

« لَا، إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَقُلْ يَوْمًا مِنَ الدَّهْرِ: رَبِّ اغْفِر لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّين »

(No, for not even one day during his life did he pronounce, `O my Lord! Forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment.)

Similarly, if the disbeliever gave the earth's full of gold as ransom, it will not be accepted from him. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَا يُقۡبَلُ مِنۡہَا عَدۡلٌ۬ وَلَا تَنفَعُهَا شَفَـٰعَةٌ۬

(...nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him,) (2:123), and

﴿ لَّا بَيۡعٌ۬ فِيهِ وَلَا خِلَـٰلٌ

(...on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.) (14:31), and,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ لَوۡ أَنَّ لَهُم مَّا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَمِثۡلَهُ ۥ مَعَهُ ۥ لِيَفۡتَدُواْ بِهِۦ مِنۡ عَذَابِ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنۡهُمۡ‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment) (5:36).

This is why Allah said here,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمۡ كُفَّارٌ۬ فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِم مِّلۡءُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ذَهَبً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱفۡتَدَىٰ بِهِۦۤ‌ۗ

,(Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them if they offered it as a ransom).

The implication of this Ayah is that the disbeliever shall never avoid the torment of Allah, even if he spent the earth's fill of gold, or if he ransoms himself with the earth's fill of gold, - all of its mountains, hills, sand, dust, valleys, forests, land and sea.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّ خَيْرَ مَنْزِلٍ، فَيَقُولُ: سَلْ وَتَمَنَّ، فَيَقُولُ: مَا أَسْأَلُ وَلَا أَتَمَنَّى إِلَّا أَنْ تَرُدَّنِي إِلَى الدُّنْيَا فَأُقْتَلَ فِي سَبِيلِكَ عَشْرَ مِرَارٍ، لِمَا يَرَى مِنْ فَضْلِ الشَّهَادَةِ، وَيُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ شَرَّ مَنْزِلٍ، فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: تَفْتَدِي مِنِّي بِطِلَاعِ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّ نَعَمْ، فَيَقُولُ: كَذَبْتَ، قَدْ سَأَلْتُكَ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَأَيْسَرَ فَلَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَيُرَدُّ إِلَى النَّار »

(A man from among the people of Paradise will be brought and Allah will ask him, "O son of Adam! How did you find your dwelling'' He will say, "O Lord, it is the best dwelling.'' Allah will say, "Ask and wish.'' The man will say, "I only ask and wish that You send me back to the world so that I am killed ten times in Your cause,'' because of the honor of martyrdom he would experience. A man from among the people of the Fire will be brought, and Allah will say to him, "O son of Adam! How do you find your dwelling'' He will say, "It is the worst dwelling, O Lord.'' Allah will ask him, "Would you ransom yourself from Me with the earth's fill of gold'' He will say, "Yes, O Lord.'' Allah will say, "You have lied. I asked you to do what is less and easier than that, but you did not do it,'' and he will be sent back to the Fire.)

This is why Allah said,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّـٰصِرِينَ

(For them is a painful torment and they will have no helpers.) for they shall not have anyone who will save them from the torment of Allah or rescue them from His painful punishment.

﴿ لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ۬

(92. By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.)

Al-Birr is Spending from the Best of One's Wealth

In his Tafsir, Waki` reported, that `Amr bin Maymun said that

﴿ لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr) is in reference to attaining Paradise.

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas bin Malik said, "Abu Talhah had more property than any other among the Ansar in Al-Madinah, and the most beloved of his property to him was Bayruha' garden, which was in front of the (Messenger's) Masjid. Sometimes, Allah's Messenger used to go to the garden and drink its fresh water.'' Anas added, "When these verses were revealed,

﴿ لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr unless You spend of that which you love,)

Abu Talhah said, `O Allah's Messenger! Allah says,

﴿ لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love;) No doubt, Bayruha' garden is the most beloved of all my property to me. So I want to give it in charity in Allah's cause, and I expect its reward and compensation from Allah. O Allah's Messenger! Spend it where Allah makes you think is feasible. ' On that, Allah's Messenger said,

« بَخٍ بَخٍ، ذَاكَ مَالٌ رَابِحٌ، ذَاكَ مَالٌ رَابِحٌ، وَقَدْ سَمِعْتُ، وَأَنَا أَرَى أَنْ تَجْعَلَهَا فِي الْأَقْرَبِين »

(Well-done! It is profitable property, it is profitable property. I have heard what you have said, and I think it would be proper if you gave it to your kith and kin.)

Abu Talhah said, `I will do so, O Allah's Messenger.' Then Abu Talhah distributed that garden among his relatives and cousins.''

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs. They also recorded that `Umar said, "O Messenger of Allah! I never gained possession of a piece of property more precious to me than my share in Khaybar. Therefore, what do you command me to do with it'' The Prophet said,

« حَبِّسِ الْأَصْلَ وَسَبِّلِ الثَّمَرَة »

(Retain the land to give its fruits in Allah's cause.)

﴿ كُلُّ ٱلطَّعَامِ ڪَانَ حِلاًّ۬ لِّبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِۦ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةُ‌ۗ قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةِ فَٱتۡلُوهَآ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ فَمَنِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ قُلۡ صَدَقَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۗ فَٱتَّبِعُواْ مِلَّةَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ حَنِيفً۬ا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ

(93. All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Isra'il made unlawful for himself before the Tawrah was revealed. Say: "Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful. '') (94. Then after that, whosoever shall invent a lie against Allah, then it is these that are the wrongdoers.) (95. Say:" Allah has spoken the truth; follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (monotheist), and he was not of the Mushrikin (idolaters).'')

The Questions that the Jews Asked Our Prophet

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "A group of Jews came to Allah's Prophet and said, `Talk to us about some things we will ask you and which only a Prophet would know.' He said, `Ask me about whatever you wish. However, give your pledge to Allah, similar to the pledge that Ya`qub took from his children, that if I tell you something and you recognize its truth, you will follow me in Islam.' They said, `Agreed.' The Prophet said, `Ask me about whatever you wish.' They said, `Tell us about four matters: 1. What kinds of food did Isra'il prohibit for himself 2. What about the sexual discharge of the woman and the man, and what role does each play in producing male or female offspring 3. Tell us about the condition of the unlettered Prophet during sleep, 4. And who is his Wali (supporter) among the angels' The Prophet took their covenant that they will follow him if he answers these questions, and they agreed. He said, `I ask you by He Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that Isra'il once became very ill When his illness was prolonged, he vowed to Allah that if He cures His illness, he would prohibit the best types of drink and food for himself. Was not the best food to him camel meat and the best drink camel milk' They said, `Yes, by Allah.' The Messenger said, `O Allah, be Witness against them.' The Prophet then said, `I ask you by Allah, other than Whom there is no deity (worthy of worship), Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that man's discharge is thick and white and woman's is yellow and thin If any of these fluids becomes dominant, the offspring will take its sex and resemblance by Allah's leave. Hence, if the man's is more than the woman's, the child will be male, by Allah's leave. If the woman's discharge is more than the man's, then the child will be female, by Allah's leave.' They said, `Yes.' He said, `O Allah, be Witness against them.' He then said, `I ask you by He Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that the eyes of this unlettered Prophet sleep, but his heart does not sleep' They said, `Yes, by Allah!' He said, `O Allah, be Witness.' They said, `Tell us now about your Wali among the angels, for this is when we either follow or shun you.' He said, `My Wali (who brings down the revelation from Allah) is Jibril, and Allah never sent a Prophet, but Jibril is his Wali.' They said, `We then shun you. Had you a Wali other than Jibril, we would have followed you.' On that, Allah, the Exalted revealed,

﴿ قُلۡ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّ۬ا لِّجِبۡرِيلَ

(Say: "Whoever is an enemy to Jibril...'') (2:97).''

Allah's statement,

﴿ نَفۡسِهِۦ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ

(before the Tawrah was revealed) (3:93), means, Isra'il forbade that for himself before the Tawrah was revealed. There are two objectives behind revealing this segment of the Ayah. First, he forbade himself the most delightful things for Allah's sake. This practice was allowed during his period of Law, and is, thus, suitable that it is mentioned after Allah's statement,

﴿ لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ‌ۚ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr, unless you spend of that which you love) (3: 92).

What we are allowed in our Law is to spend in Allah's obedience from what we like and covet (but not to prohibit what Allah has allowed). Allah said in other Ayat;

﴿ وَءَاتَى ٱلۡمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ

(And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it,) (2:177), and;

﴿ وَيُطۡعِمُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ

(And they give food, in spite of their love for it,) (76:8).

The second reason is that after Allah refuted the false Christian beliefs and allegations about `Isa and his mother. Allah started refuting the Jews here, may Allah curse them, by stating that the abrogation of the Law, that they denied occurs, already occurred in their Law. For instance, Allah has stated in their Book, the Tawrah, that when Nuh departed from the ark, Allah allowed him to eat the meat of all types of animals. Afterwards, Isra'il forbade the meat and milk of camels for himself, and his children imitated this practice after him. The Tawrah later on prohibited this type of food, and added several more types of prohibitions. Allah allowed Adam to marry his daughters to his sons, and this practice was later forbidden. The Law of Ibrahim allowed the man to take female servants as companions along with his wife, as Ibrahim did when he took Hajar, while he was married to Sarah. Later on, the Tawrah prohibited this practice. It was previously allowed to take two sisters as wives at the same time, as Ya`qub married two sisters at the same time. Later on, this practice was prohibited in the Tawrah. All these examples are in the Tawrah and constitute a Naskh (abrogation) of the Law. Therefore, let the Jews consider what Allah legislated for `Isa and if such legislation falls under the category of abrogation or not. Why do they not then follow `Isa in this regard Rather, the Jews defied and rebelled against `Isa and against the correct religion that Allah sent Muhammad with.

This is why Allah said,

﴿ كُلُّ ٱلطَّعَامِ ڪَانَ حِلاًّ۬ لِّبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِۦ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةُ‌ۗ

(All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Isra'il made unlawful for himself before the Tawrah was revealed) (3:93) meaning, before the Tawrah was revealed, all types of foods were allowed, except what Isra'il prohibited for himself. Allah then said,

﴿ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةُ‌ۗ قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةِ فَٱتۡلُوهَآ إِن كُنتُمۡ

(Say: "Bring here the Tawrah and recite it, if you are truthful.''),

for the Tawrah affirms what we are stating here. Allah said next,

﴿ فَمَنِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ

(Then after that, whosoever shall invent a lie against Allah, then these it is that are the wrongdoers.) (3:94), in reference to those who lie about Allah and claim that He made the Sabbath and the Tawrah eternal. They are those who claim that Allah did not send another Prophet calling to Allah with the proofs and evidences, although evidence indicates that abrogation, as we have described, occurred before in the Tawrah,

﴿ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ

(then these it is that are the wrongdoers.)

Allah then said,

﴿ قُلۡ صَدَقَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۗ

(Say, "Allah has spoken the truth;'') (3:95) meaning, O Muhammad, say that Allah has said the truth in what He conveyed and legislated in the Qur'an,

﴿ فَٱتَّبِعُواْ مِلَّةَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ حَنِيفً۬ا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ

(follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif, and he was not of the idolaters.'') (3:95).

Therefore, follow the religion of Ibrahim that Allah legislated in the Qur'an. Indeed, this is the truth, there is no doubt in it, and the perfect way, and no Prophet has brought a more complete, clear, plain and perfect way than he did. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّنِى هَدَٮٰنِى رَبِّىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬ دِينً۬ا قِيَمً۬ا مِّلَّةَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ حَنِيفً۬ا‌ۚ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ

(Say: "Truly, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not of the idolaters.'') (6:161)

and,

﴿ ثُمَّ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ أَنِ ٱتَّبِعۡ مِلَّةَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ حَنِيفً۬ا‌ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِڪِينَ

(Then, We have sent the revelation to you (saying): "Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not of the idolaters.) (16:123).

﴿ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٍ۬ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكً۬ا وَهُدً۬ى لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتُۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌ۬ مَّقَامُ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ ۥ كَانَ ءَامِنً۬ا‌ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(96. Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-`Alamin (mankind and Jinn). (97. In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it, he attains security. And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, for those who are able to undertake the journey; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the `Alamin.)

The Ka`bah is the First House of Worship

Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٍ۬ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ

(Verily, the first House appointed for mankind) for all people, for their acts of worship and religious rituals. They go around the House (in Tawaf), pray in its vicinity and remain in its area in I`tikaf.

﴿ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ

(was that at Bakkah,) meaning, the Ka`bah that was built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil, whose religion the Jews and Christians claim they follow. However, they do not perform Hajj to the house that Ibrahim built by Allah's command, and to which he invited the people to perform Hajj. Allah said next,

﴿ مُبَارَكً۬ا

(full of blessing), sanctified,

﴿ وَهُدً۬ى لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(and a guidance for Al-`Alamin.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said; "I said, `O Allah's Messenger! Which Masjid was the first to be built on the surface of the earth' He said, `Al-Masjid Al-Haram (in Makkah).' I said, `Which was built next' He replied `Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).' I said, `What was the period of time between building the two' He said, `Forty years.' He added,

« ثُمَّ حَيْثُ أَدْرَكْتَ الصَّلَاةَ فَصَلِّ، فَكُلُّهَا مَسْجِد »

(Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the whole earth was made a Masjid.)'' Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected this Hadith.

The Names of Makkah, Such As `Bakkah

Allah said,

﴿ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ

(was that at Bakkah), where Bakkah is one of the names of Makkah. Bakkah means, `it brings Buka' (crying, weeping) to the tyrants and arrogant, meaning they cry and become humble in its vicinity. It was also said that Makkah was called Bakkah because people do Buka next to it, meaning they gather around it. There are many names for Makkah, such as Bakkah, Al-Bayt Al-`Atiq (the Ancient House), Al-Bayt Al-Haram (the Sacred House), Al-Balad Al-Amin (the City of Safety) and Al-Ma'mun (Security). Makkah's names include Umm Rahm (Mother of Mercy), Umm Al-Qura (Mother of the Towns), Salah, (as well as others).

The Station of Ibrahim

Allah's statement,

﴿ فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتُۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌ۬

(In it are manifest signs) (3:97), means, clear signs that Ibrahim built the Ka`bah and that Allah has honored and blessed it. Allah then said,

﴿ مَّقَامِ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ

(the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim) When the building (the Ka`bah) was raised, Ibrahim stood on; the Maqam so that he could raise the walls higher, while his son Isma`il was handing the stones to him. We should mention that the Maqam used to be situated right next to the House. Later, and during his reign, `Umar bin Al-Khattab moved the Maqam farther to the east, so that those who go around the House in Tawaf are able to perform it easily, without disturbing those who pray next to the Maqam after finishing their Tawaf. Allah commanded us to pray next to the Maqam;

﴿ وَٱتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ مُصَلًّ۬ى‌ۖ

(And take you (people) the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer) (2:125).

We mentioned the Hadiths about this subject before, and all the thanks are due to Allah. Al-`Awfi said that, Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتُۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌ۬ مَّقَامُ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۖ

(In it are manifest signs, the Maqam of Ibrahim;)

"Such as the Maqam and Al-Mash`ar (Al-Haram).'' Mujahid said, "The impression of Ibrahim's feet remains on the Maqam as a clear sign.'' It was reported that `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan and others said similarly.

Al-Haram, the Sacred Area, is a Safe Area

Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ ۥ كَانَ ءَامِنً۬ا‌ۗ

(whosoever enters it, he attains security,) (3:97) meaning, the Haram of Makkah is a safe refuge for those in a state of fear. There in its vicinity, they will be safe, just as was the case during the time of Jahiliyyah. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "(During the time of Jahiliyyah) a man would commit murder, then wear a piece of wool around his neck and enter the Haram. And even when the son of the murdered person would meet him, he would not make a move against him, until he left the sanctuary.'' Allah said,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّا جَعَلۡنَا حَرَمًا ءَامِنً۬ا وَيُتَخَطَّفُ ٱلنَّاسُ مِنۡ حَوۡلِهِمۡ‌ۚ

(Have they not seen that We have made (Makkah) a secure sanctuary, while men are being snatched away from all around them) (29:67), and,

﴿ فَلۡيَعۡبُدُواْ رَبَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَطۡعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ۬ وَءَامَنَهُم مِّنۡ خَوۡفِۭ

(So let them worship (Allah) the Lord of this House (the Ka`bah). (He) Who has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear) (106:3-4).

It is not allowed for anyone to hunt in the Haram or to drive game out of its den to be hunted, or cut the trees in its vicinity, or pick its grass, as the Hadiths of the Prophet and the statements of the Companions testify. The Two Sahihs recorded (this being the wording of Muslim) that Ibn `Abbas said, "On the day of the conquest of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا هِجْرَةَ، وَلَكِنْ جِهَادٌ وَنِيَّةٌ وَإِذَا اسْتُنْفِرْتُمْ فَانْفِرُوا »

(There is no more Hijrah (migration to Makkah), only Jihad and good intention. If you were mobilized, then march forth.)

He also said on the day of the conquest of Makkah,

« إِنَّ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ حَرَّمَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَواتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَحِلَّ الْقِتَالُ فِيهِ لأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي، وَلَمْ يَحِلَّ لِي إِلَّا فِي سَاعَةٍ مِنْ نَهَارٍ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، لَا يُعْضَدُ شَوْكُهُ، وُلَا يُنَفَّرُ صَيْدُهُ، وَلَا يَلْتَقِطُ لُقَطَتَهَا إِلَّا مَنْ عَرَّفَهَا، وَلَا يُخْتَلَى خَلَاهَا »

(Beware! Allah made this town (Makkah) a sanctuary when He created the heavens and earth, and it is sacred by Allah's decree until the Day of Resurrection. Fighting in Makkah was not permitted for anyone before me, and it was made legal for me for only a few hours or so on that day. No doubt it is at this moment a sanctuary by Allah's decree until the Day of Resurrection. It is not allowed to uproot its thorny shrubs, hunt its game, pick up its lost objects, except by announcing it, or to uproot its trees.)

Al-`Abbas said, `Except the lemon grass, O Allah's Messenger, as they use it in their houses and graves.' The Prophet said:

« إِلَّا الْإِذْخِر »

(Except lemongrass).''

The Two Sahihs also recorded that Abu Shurayh Al-`Adawi said that he said to `Amr bin Sa`id while he was sending the troops to Makkah (to fight `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr), "O Commander! Allow me to tell you what Allah's Messenger said on the day following the conquest of Makkah. My ears heard it and my heart memorized it thoroughly, and I saw the Prophet with my own eyes when he, after glorifying and praising Allah, said,

« إِنَّ مَكَّةَ حَرَّمَهَا اللهُ، وَلَمْ يُحَرِّمْهَا النَّاسُ، فَلَا يَحِلُّ لِامْرِى يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ أَنْ يَسْفِكَ بِهَا دَمًا، وَلَا يَعْضِدَ بِهَا شَجَرَةً، فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخَّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلّم فِيهَا فَقُولُوا لَهُ: إِنَّ اللهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكُمْ، وَإِنَّمَا أَذِنَ لِي فِيهَا سَاعَةً مِنْ نَهَارٍ، وَقَدْ عَادَتْ حُرْمَتُهَا الْيَوْمَ كَحُرْمَتِهَا بِالْأَمْسِ فَلْيُبَلِّغِ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِب »

(Allah, not the people, made Makkah a sanctuary. Therefore, anybody who has belief in Allah and the Last Day, should neither shed blood in it nor cut down its trees. If anybody argues that fighting in it is permissible on the basis that Allah's Messenger fought in Makkah, say to him, `Allah allowed His Messenger and did not allow you.' Allah allowed me only for a few hours on that day (of the conquest), and today its sanctity is as valid as it was before. So, those who are present, should inform those who are absent of this fact.).''

Abu Shurayh was asked, "What did `Amr reply'' He said that `Amr said, "O Abu Shurayh! I know better than you in this respect; Makkah does not give protection to a sinner, a murderer or a thief.''

Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

« لَا يَحِلُّ لِأَحَدِكُمْ أَنْ يَحْمِلَ بِمَكَّةَ السِّلَاح »

(None of you is allowed to carry a weapon in Makkah.) Muslim recorded this Hadith.

`Abdullah bin `Adi bin Al-Hamra' Az-Zuhri said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say while standing at Al-Hazwarah in the marketplace of Makkah,

« وَاللهِ إِنَّكِ لَخَيْرُ أَرْضِ اللهِ، وَأَحَبُّ أَرْضِ اللهِ إِلَى اللهِ، وَلَوْلَا أَنِّي أُخْرِجْتُ مِنْكِ مَا خَرَجْت »

(By Allah! You are the best of Allah's land and the most beloved land to Allah. Had it not been for the fact that I was driven out of you, I would not have left you.)

Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith and this is his wording. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah also collected it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

The Necessity of Performing Hajj

Allah said,

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ

(And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, for those who are able to undertake the journey) (3:97).

This Ayah established the obligation of performing Hajj. There are many Hadiths that mention it as one of the pillars and fundamentals of Islam, and this is agreed upon by the Muslims. According to texts and the consensus of the scholars, it is only obligatory for the adult Muslim to perform it once during his lifetime. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah once gave a speech in which he said,

« أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ فُرِضَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْحَجُّ فَحُجُّوا »

(O people! Hajj has been enjoined on you, therefore, perform Hajj.)

A man asked, "Is it every year, O Allah's Messenger'' The Prophet remained silent until the man repeated the question three times and he then said,

« لَوْ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ لَوَجَبَتْ وَلَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُم »

(Had I said yes, it would have become an obligation and you would not have been able to fulfill it.) He said next,

« ذَرُونِي مَا تَرَكْتُكُمْ فَإِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِكَثْرَةِ سُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ، وَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ، وَإِذَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَدَعُوه »

(Leave me as I leave you, those before you were destroyed because of their many questions and disputing with their Prophets. If I command you with something, perform it as much as you can. If I forbid something for you, then refrain from it.) Muslim recorded similarly.

Meaning of `Afford' in the Ayah

There are several categories of "the ability to under take the journey''. There is the physical ability of the person himself and the ability that is related to other things as mentioned in the books of jurisprudence. Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "A man stood up and asked the Messenger of Allah, `O Messenger of Allah! Who is the pilgrim' He said, `He who has untidy hair and clothes.' Another man asked, `Which Hajj is better, O Messenger of Allah' He said, `The noisy (with supplication to Allah) and bloody (with sacrifice).' Another man asked, `What is the ability to undertake the journey, O Messenger of Allah' He said, `Having provision and a means of transportation.''' This is the narration that Ibn Majah collected. Al-Hakim narrated that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah was asked about Allah's statement,

﴿ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ

(for those who are able to undertake the journey;) (3:97) "What does `able to undertake the journey' mean'' The Prophet answered, "Having sufficient provision and a means of transportation.'' Al-Hakim stated that this Hadith's chain of narration is authentic, following the guidelines of Muslim in his Sahih, but the Two Sahihs did not collect it. Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ أَرَادَ الْحَجَّ فَلْيَتَعَجَّل »

(Whoever intends to perform Hajj, let him rush to perform it.) Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.

The One who Denies the Necessity of Hajj Becomes a Disbeliever

Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(...and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the `Alamin) (3:97).

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and several others commented on this Ayah, "Whoever denies the necessity of Hajj becomes disbeliever, and Allah is far Richer than to need him.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Isma`ili recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Whoever can afford Hajj but did not perform it, there is no difference in his case if he dies while Jew or Christian.'' This has an authentic chain of narration leading to `Umar.

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ لِمَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱللَّهُ شَہِيدٌ عَلَىٰ مَا تَعۡمَلُونَ قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ مَنۡ ءَامَنَ تَبۡغُونَہَا عِوَجً۬ا وَأَنتُمۡ شُهَدَآءُ‌ۗ وَمَا ٱللَّهُ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُونَ

(98. Say: "O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you reject the Ayat of Allah, while Allah is Witness to what you do'') (99. Say: "O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you stop those who have believed, from the path of Allah, seeking to make it seem crooked, while you (yourselves) are witnesses And Allah is not unaware of what you do.'')

Chastising the People of the Book for Their Disbelief and Blocking the Path of Allah

In this Ayah Allah criticizes the disbelieving People of the Book for refusing the truth, rejecting Allah's Ayat and hindering those who seek to believe from His path, although they know that what the Messenger was sent with is the truth from Allah. They learned this from the previous Prophets and honorable Messengers, may Allah's peace and blessings be on them all. They all brought the glad tidings and the good news of the coming of the unlettered, Arab, Hashimi Prophet from Makkah, the master of the Children of Adam, the Final Prophet and the Messenger of the Lord of heavens and earth. Allah has warned the People of the Book against this behavior, stating that He is Witness over what they do, indicating their defiance of the knowledge conveyed to them by the Prophets. They rejected, denied and refused the very Messenger whom they were ordered to convey the glad tidings about his coming. Allah states that He is never unaware of what they do, and He will hold them responsible for their actions,

﴿ يَوۡمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ۬ وَلَا بَنُونَ

(The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail) (26:88).

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تُطِيعُواْ فَرِيقً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعۡدَ إِيمَـٰنِكُمۡ كَـٰفِرِينَ وَكَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ وَأَنتُمۡ تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتُ ٱللَّهِ وَفِيڪُمۡ رَسُولُهُ ۥ‌ۗ وَمَن يَعۡتَصِم بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ هُدِىَ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

(100. O you who believe! If you obey a group of those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would (indeed) render you disbelievers after you have believed!) (101. And how would you disbelieve, while unto you are recited the verses of Allah, and among you is His Messenger And whoever depends upon Allah, then he is indeed guided to the right path.)