Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 49

وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ

“And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you.”

Previously we learned that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was given a choice whether to judge between two people or not. He was told that in case he decides to judge between people then he should do so with justice. We also learned that when the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam would make any judgment pertaining to the People of the Book, he’d refer their Books. Here, he is being told judge with that which was revealed towards you meaning the Qur’an.

We read in ayah 48 that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala described Qur’an as muhaymin over other Scriptures. It’s revelation has abrogated the previous Books and whatever that was revealed from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in Torah and Injeel is now in the Qur’an. So Qur’an is the new law now and it must be followed.

He was instructed not to follow the desires of the people because they will confuse him. When there is a judgment to be made there are some people who are very honest and innocent and they present their case straightforwardly. On the other hand, there are some people who are sly. They present their case in such an ambiguous way that the judge doesn’t know how to extract the truth from it. It is easy to be deceived by them.

Therefore, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam is being warned don’t fall for their trap. If you follow their vain desires they can lead you astray.

About the people who turn away from the judgment made according to the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ وَإِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنَ النَّاسِ لَفَـسِقُونَ

“And if they turn away, then know that Allah’s will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly, most men are rebellious.”

Only that person will turn away from the correct judgment for whom Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has wished punishment. This punishment is the result of the sins that they have been doing. Therefore, we really need to be mindful of even minutest sins. We can be deprived of Allah’s mercy for our sins. He can lead us astray for whatever wrong that we have been doing.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah by saying that most men are rebellious meaning there are only a few who seek His Guidance or submit to His commands.


– A person should consciously follow the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We may meet people in our lives who will misguide us giving us references of weak ahadeeth or a lecture of their scholar.  Sisters who wear hijab when they go and meet their friends, they put questions such as, “Do you really think Allah commanded us to wear hijab? Where is it written in Qur’an?” If we are someone who has not read the Qur’an we will begin to give value to such questions. This shows we need to be well-equipped with knowledge.

– If a person turns away from the law of Allah it is because of his own sins.

– Most people are rebellious or sinful. They don’t want to follow the commands of Allah. When we see majority of the people not following Allah’s deen, we instill doubts in our heart that may be we are wrong. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah Yusuf ayah 103, “And most of the people, although you strive [for it], are not believers.”

Majority is not authority. If you’re the only person among your friends wearing hijab don’t think you’re wrong. Refer to the Qur’an. Is it in the Qur’an? Yes! If you’re the only person who is punctual about his Salah don’t let other’s laziness distract you. Even if everyone is opposing you adhere to what the Qur’an and Sunnah says.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah al-An’am ayah 116, “And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah . They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.”


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