Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’ida Ayah 3 [Part 5]

Permitting the Dead Animals in Conditions of Necessity

Towards, the end of this ayah an exemption has been made.

فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِى مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above mentioned animals), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

If a person is subjected to severe hunger to a point where death becomes likely, then under this condition, were he to eat a little from unlawful animals mentioned in the ayah, there will be no sin on him. but, the condition is that the purpose of such eating should not be to have one’s fill or to enjoy it. Instead of doing that, one should eat just about what would remove the state of compulsion.

Therefore, when one is forced to take any of the impermissible things that Allah mentioned to meet a necessity, he is allowed and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful with him. Allah is well aware of His servant’s needs during dire straits, and He will forgive and pardon His servant in this case.

In the Musnad and the saheeh of Ibn Hibban, it is recorded that Ibn Umar radhiAllahu anhu said that Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

إنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ تُؤْتَى رُخْصَتُهُ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ تُؤْتَى مَعْصِيَتُه

“Allah likes that His Rukhsah (allowance) be used, just as He dislikes that disobedience to Him is committed.” We should mention here that it is not necessary for one to wait three days before eating the meat of dead animals, as many unlettered Muslims mistakenly think. Rather, one can eat such meat when the dire need arises. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Waqid Al-Laythi said that the Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! We live in a land where famine often strikes us. Therefore, when are we allowed to eat the meat of dead animals?” The Prophet replied,

إِذَا لَمْ تَصْطَبِحُوا، وَلَمْ تَغْتَبِقُوا،وَلَمْ تَخْتَفِئُوا بَقْلًا فَشَأْنُكُمْ بِهَا

“When you neither find food for lunch and dinner nor have any produce to eat, then eat from it.” Only Imam Ahmad collected this narration and its chain meets the criteria of the two saheehs. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لإِثْمٍ

“with no inclination to sin…” meaning, one does not incline to commit what Allah has prohibited. Allah has allowed one when necessity arises to eat from what He otherwise prohibits, under the condition that his heart does not incline to eat what Allah prohibited. This points to the fact that these unlawful things are still unlawful as they already were, but only such a person has been given leave because of the state of compulsion he may be in.


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