Al-Anaam · Juz 8 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 146 and 147

Foods that were Prohibited to the Jews

In Surah Aal Imrah Ayah 93, we learned that all food was permissible for the Bani Israel except for what Yaqoob `alayhi salaam had made haram upon himself. Later some foods were made haram for them. And why was that? It was because of their injustice and transgression. In these Ayaat Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala explains us the types of foods prohibited for the Jews and the reason behind this prohibition. He says,


Every bird and animal with undivided hoof such as camel, ostrich, duck and goose was forbidden for them to eat. The word zufurin [ظُفُرٍ] refers to such nails by which hunting cannot be done. The Jews used to forbid these types of foods saying that Israeel or Yaqoob used to forbid them for himself so they too forbid them. The fat of the cattle and sheep was also prohibited on them except for what was joined to the spine of the animal.

The word Hawaya is the plural of the word hawaiya and it means small intestine. Abu Ja`far ibn Jareer said that it is entrails. Only this fat was permissible for them: that which was attached to the backbone, that which was attached to the small intestines or that which was mixed with a bone. Ibn Jurayj commented, “The fat on the rump that is mixed with the tailbone was allowed for them, and also the fat on the legs, heads, eyes and what adheres to the bones.”

This restriction was imposed on them as recompense for their rebellion and defying Allah’s commandments. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said in Surah an-Nisa Ayah 160, “For the wrongdoing of the Jews, We made unlawful for them certain good foods which had been lawful for them  – and for their hindering many from Allah’s way.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the Ayah by saying, “And indeed, we are truthful,” meaning that He is justified in the penalty He have them. Secondly, it also means that people might say something else but what Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says is the truth.

Ayah 147 – The Tricks of the Jews, and Allah’s Curse

The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam is being told to convey to his opponents among the idolators, Jews and the likes, those who reject him that even though they refuse to accept what the Prophet tells them about halal and haram they should know that their Lord’s mercy is vast. Here they are being encouraged to seek the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

And at the same time they are being warned, “…but His punishment cannot be repelled from the people who are criminals.” Defying the Messenger will invite Allah’s wrath. After inviting them to Allah’s mercy, they are being told not to act foolishly because nothing can evade Allah’s punishment except repentance. If they are not being punished now it is only because Allah wants good for them and is allowing them time to change. This is a threat for those who deny Allah’s punishment.


– We learn about the prohibition of tayab (pure) food because of the crimes that they did. If a person makes a halal thing haram upon himself who is he trying to beat or who is he resembling? Someone who has been punished by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, and there is nothing cool about that.

– Zulm (injustice) is a cause of decrease in rizq. When a person commits injustice he is deprived of provision.

– It is part of Taqwa to ascertain what we are eating. We should only consume that which has been made permissible by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

– We should not wait for Allah’s wrath to descend upon us before we can change. The moment we realize our mistakes we should seek forgiveness and change our course.

– Disobeying the Messenger sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam can invite Allah’s punishment.

– It is Allah’s mercy that He allows people time to change and does not punish them immediately.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 146 and 147

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