An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 29

Prohibiting Unlawfully Earned Money

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala prohibits His believing servants from illegally acquiring each other’s property using various dishonest methods such as Riba, gambling and other wicked methods that appear to be legal, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows that, in reality, those involved seek to deal in interest. Ibn Jareer recorded that Ibn `Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented on a man who buys a garment, saying that if he likes it he will keep it, or he will return it along with an extra Dirham.” This is what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala meant, when He said,

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ

“Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly….” `Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “When Allah sent down,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَـطِلِ

“O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly…” some Muslims said, `Allah has forbidden us from eating up each other’s property unjustly, and food is our best property. Therefore, none among us is allowed to eat from anyone else’s food.’ After that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent down,

لَّيْسَ عَلَى الاٌّعْمَى حَرَجٌ

“There is no restriction on the blind,” until the end of the Ayah 61 Surah Nur.

Allah’s statement,

إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ

“….except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent,” means, do not revert to illegal ways and means to acquire money. However, there is no harm in commercial transactions that transpire between the buyer and the seller with mutual consent, so that money is legally earned from these transactions. Mujahid said that,

إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ

means, by selling and buying, or giving someone a gift. Ibn Jareer recorded this statement.

The Option to Buy or Sell Before Parting is Part of “Mutual Consent” in Trading

Mutual agreement in various transactions is attained when both parties have the right to uphold or dissolve the agreement before they part. In the Two Saheehs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

الْبَيِّعَانِ بِالْخِيَارِ مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

“The seller and the buyer retain the (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.” Al-Bukhari’s wording for this Hadith reads,

إِذَا تَبَايَعَ الرَّجُلانِ فَكُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا بِالْخِيَارِ، مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

“When two men conduct a transaction, they retain their (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.”

Forbidding Murder and Suicide

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ

“….And do not kill yourselves….” by committing Allah’s prohibitions, falling into sin and eating up each other’s property unjustly,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً

“…Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you,” in what He commanded you and prohibited you from.

Ibn Marduwyah mentioned this honorable ayah and then reported that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بَحَدِيدَةٍ، فَحَدِيدَتُهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَجَأُ بِهَا بطْنَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، ومَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِسُمَ فَسُمُّهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَتَحَسَّاهُ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، وَمَنْ تَرَدَّى مِنْ جَبَلٍ فَقَتلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَهُوَ مُتَرَدَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا

“Whoever kills himself with an iron tool, then his tool will be in his hand and he will keep stabbing himself with it in the Fire of Jahannam, forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with poison, then his poison will be in his hand and he will keep taking it in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever. Whoever kills himself by throwing himself from a mountain, will keep falling in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever.” This hadeeth was also collected in the Two Saheehs. Abu Qilabah said that Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِشَيْءٍ، عُذِّبَ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

“Whoever kills himself with an instrument, will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.”

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