Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 57 and 58

The Prohibition of Friendship with Those who Make Fun of Islam

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala once again stresses upon the command mentioned in ayah 51 that the Muslims should not seek close friendship with people who make fun of their religion. They can be divided in two groups: The People of the Book and the disbelievers and non-Muslims, in general.

Forbinding the believers from being friends with those who mock their religion, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

“O you who believe! Do not take as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you, and (nor) the disbelievers; and have taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.”

In al-Bahr al-Muhit, Imam Abu Hayyan says that the People of the Book were already included under the word, Kuffar or disbelievers, still the People of the Book have been mentioned here particularly. It is so perhaps because they were though closer to Islam as compared with other disbelievers yet very few from among them embraced Islam.

The People of the Book take pride in being adherent to Divine Faith and Divine Scripture. This proud partisanship made them opt for not accepting the Truth. The attitude of mockery against Muslims was something that they displayed most.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us to have taqwa of Him if we believe in His Law and religion that these people mocked and jested about. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said in Surah ale-Imran ayah 28,

لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ

“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.”

Ayah 58

In ayah 58, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala elucidates the kind of mockery that the People of the Book and the disbelievers used to perform. He says,

وَإِذَا نَـدَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ

“And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.”

When  adhan was proclaimed for salah, which is the best action the People of the Book and the disbelievers would start making fun because these people didn’t understand the acts of worship and Allah’s law.

Tafseer Mazhari with reference to Ibn Abi Hatim reports the event itself by saying that there was a Christian in Madina al-tayyibah. When he heard the words of adhan “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” he would say, “May Allah burn the liar”. At last, this very remark made by him became the cause of his entire family burn to ashes. How this happened was commonplace. When he was sleeping, his servant entered the house with a little fire for some purpose. A speck from it flew out and fell down on some piece of cloth. When everybody was asleep, the speck turned into a blaze and everybody was burnt to death.

Making fun of adhan is the characteristic of the followers of Shaytan who,

إِذَا سَمِعَ الْأَذَانَ أَدْبَرَ وَلَهُ حُصَاصٌ، أَيْ ضُرَاطٌ، حَتَّى لَا يَسْمَعَ التَّأْذِينَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّأْذِينُ، أَقْبَلَ فَإِذَا ثُوِّبَ لِلصَّلَاةِ أَدْبَرَ، فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّثْوِيبُ أَقْبَلَ حَتَّى يَخْطُرَ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: اذْكُرْ كَذَا اذْكُرْ كَذَا، لِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ يَذْكُرُ حَتَّى يَظَلَّ الرَّجُلُ لَا يَدْرِي كَمْ صَلَّى، فَإِذَا وَجَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ ذلِكَ، فَلْيَسْجُدْ سَجْدَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ السَّلَام

When the call for prayer is made, Shaytan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the adhan. When the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqamah is pronounced, Shaytan again takes to his heels. When the Iqamah is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and to say, “Remember this and that,” which he has not thought of before the prayer, until the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember, then he should perform two prostrations before pronouncing the Salam. This hadeeth is agreed upon.

The reason that these people do not understand is not that they are deaf and dumb rather they may be smart and quick-witted in worldly matter, but when it comes to Islam either they don’t use their brains or their mind does not work in that direction. Therefore, they appear dumb like one who does not understand.

About such people, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah Ar’Rum ayah 7, “These people do not know outward matters of the present life while they are headless to the Hereafter.”

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala doesn’t make us from those who mock adhan or any of the pillars of Islam, or those who are heedless about the Hereafter, aameen.

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