Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 30

Traps of Nafs

Allah’s statement,

فَطَوَّعَتْ لَهُ نَفْسُهُ قَتْلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

“So the soul of the other encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers.”

This means his conscience encouraged him to kill his brother by making it seem like a sensible thing to do, so he killed him, even after his brother admonished him.

Ibn Jareer radhiAllahu anhu said, “When he wanted to kill his brother, he started to twist his neck. So Shaytan took an animal and placed its head on a rock, then he took another rock, and smashed its head with it until he killed it while the son of Adam was looking. So he did the same thing to his brother.” Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this.

Abdullah bin Wahb said that Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that his father said, “Qabeel held Habeel by the head to kill him, so Habeel laid down for him and Qabeel started twisting Habeel’s head, not knowing how to kill him. Shaytan came to Qabeel and said, ‘Do you want to kill him?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Shaytan said, ‘Take that stone and throw it on his head.’ So Qabeel took the stone and threw it at his brother’s head and smashed his head. Shaytan then went to Hawwa in a hurry and said to her, ‘O Hawwa’! Qabeel killed Habeel.’ She asked him, ‘Woe to you! What does kill mean?’ He said, ‘He will no longer eat, drink or move.’ She said, ‘And that is death.’ He said, ‘Yes it is.’ So she started to weep until Adam came to her while she was weeping and said, ‘What is the matter with you?’ She did not answer him. He asked her two more times, but she did not answer him. So he said, ‘You and your daughters will inherit the practice of weeping, while I and my sons are free of it.’” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it.

Allah’s statement,

فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

“And became one of the losers.” in this life and the Hereafter, and which loss is worse than this Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud radhiAllahu anhu said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

لَا تُقْتَلُ نَفْسٌ ظُلْمًا إِلَّا كَانَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ الْأَوَّلِ كِفْلٌ مِنْ دَمِهَا،لِأَنَّهُ كَانَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْل

“Any soul that is unjustly killed, then the first son of Adam will carry a burden of its shedding, for he was the first to practice the crime of murder.”

Ibn Jareer recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr used to say, “The son of Adam, who killed his brother, will be the most miserable among men. There is no bloodshed on earth since he killed his brother, until the Day of Resurrection, but he will carry a burden from it, for he was the first person to establish murder.”


– When a person intends to do someone initially there’s an internal struggle. A person’s heart is naturally inclined to obey Allah and to commit a sin. When a person intends to do something taqwa and fajoor both call him. Taqwa stops him and fajoor encourages him to commit the wrong whichever is stronger wins.

– We also get the warning against nafs that encourages man to commit evil. When a person is blinded by the desires he listens to his nafs. Therefore, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam used to seek protection from the evilness of his soul every morning. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us not to listen to our nafs.

– People commit murder to get rid of another person. It seems as the easiest solution however this doesn’t solve the problem. The thought of killing someone is the fitnah of nafs, it’s a test. By acting on the nafs a person ends up in the hellfire.


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