Al-Anaam · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayah 68 and 69

The Prohibition of Sitting with Those who Deny and Mock Allah’s Ayaat

In these ayaat, Muslims have been instructed that they should as a matter of principle, abstain from being a part of the gatherings frequented by those who prefer to follow falsehood. We have been instructed so because a sin is a sin whether we do it ourselves or watch others do it.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

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The word yakhudoona [يَخُوضُونَ] is from the root letters kha-wau-daad [khawd] which basically means to enter into water and wade through it. When a person goes for swimming or when a child enters water, does he want to come out? He wants to keep swimming, keep playing or go deeper inside. So isn’t it good that people want to go deeper in the Ayaat of Allah? No. These people don’t go deeper in the Ayaat to learn something or to change themselves but rather they are indulged in it only to mock or deny them, in fault finding and looking for discrepancies and for disputes and debates. It’s a futile intellectual exercise.

Therefore, fa`rid [فَأَعْرِضْ] that is “then turn away,” from these people until they talk about something other than ridiculing the Ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. “Turning away” means leaving the gathering or getting busy doing something else. People will say, “Look we are studying the Qur’an. We are talking about the religion.” But when they mock and ridicule there is no khair [goodness] in sitting with them. One should rise and leave such a gathering, until they talk about a subject other than the denial they were engaged in. If one keeps sitting with them he will be influenced and become like them.

This command is for everyone. Those who were present at the time of the Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam as well as for us. This command is for every member of the Ummah. No one is to sit with those who deny and distort Allah’s Ayaat. The same subject appears in another ayah where it has been said, “If you kept sitting there, you will be like them.” [Surah an-Nisa : 140]

At the end of the ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says if Shaytan makes one forget this command then one should leave the gathering as soon as he recalls. To keep sitting there after having remembered is a sin. A hadeeth states,

رُفِعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأُ وَالنِّسْيَانُ وَمَا اسْتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْه

“My Ummah was forgiven unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are coerced to do.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala then says in Ayah 69,

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When we see people talk negatively about Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, we feel guilty that may be we are not doing enough. Here, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gives us a comfort that those who had Taqwa are not accountable for what the wrongdoers do. However, it does remain our duty that we should tell them what is right and true which may perhaps help them take the right path.

We have been commanded to avoid and ignore their gatherings so that they become aware of their error and the wrong action that they are doing. Perhaps, they may avoid that behavior and never repeat it again.

LESSONS:

– We learn about the prohibition of the company of those who mock the Ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala whether it’s a social gathering, an academic class, a book, or a website. Can we hear a negative word about someone we adore? If we truly love Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala we will not tolerate mockery or ridicule of His Ayaat.

Someone might ask, “What if you are sitting in a gathering where you are defending your Deen?” If someone has attained the scholarly level of understanding all aspects of Islam and the other religion, and is equipped with the skills to present Islam “only then” is this permission provided. And there are very few individuals who are skilled in this.

People love quoting ayaat out of context. If we don’t possess the knowledge or in what context something was said in the Qur’an we should refuse invitations for discussions and debates and leave this matter to those who are well-versed in the knowledge of the Qur’an. Continuing talking or debating about something without knowledge can instill a doubt in our hearts. And we will unintentionally be questioning our own Book. [May Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala protect our emaan, aameen.]

– Sitting in a gathering where religion is being made fun of by choice is kufr [disbelief], to sit without dislike is a sin and to sit for a worldly gain is mubah that is it is neither sin nor good. On the other hand, if one sits in a good gathering like Qur’an class it’s worship.

– We should leave futile gatherings because we can be influenced. It can affect our faith. And most importantly, if Allah’s punishment descends on those people at that time, would we want to be at such a place?

– After remembering that what a person is doing is sinful one should immediately abandon it because if one continues doing what they have been doing then it will be a sin.

– In Ayah 69, we learn about the Compassion of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala that how kind He is, He doesn’t completely give up on someone. He is reminding us that while we should not participate in the sin of the wrongdoers we have a responsibility of telling them the truth. Perhaps, it might affect them.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 68 and 69

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