Al-Anaam · Juz 8 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 152 – 153

Ten Commandments

In Ayah 151, we read five of the ten commandments sent by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala that are similar to those mentioned in the Torah. Ayaat 152 and 153 describe the next five commandments.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

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The Sixth Prohibition: Eating up the Property of an Orphan

The address here is to the guardians of orphaned children who are minors. The guardians have been told that they should treat the property of orphans as if it was fire. They should not go near it to take from it or eat of it unlawfully.

[Read: A Stern Warning against Those Who Use up the Orphan’s Wealth]

However, protecting the property of the orphan and investing it in a permissible business where the danger of loss does not customarily exist is fair enough, even necessary. Guardians of the orphaned children should do so.

When the orphan child reaches an age of full strength that adolescence, according to Ash-Sha`bi, Malik and others the property can be handed over to the orphan. The guardian must see that the child has matured and has the ability to protect his property by himself and invest it gainfully.

[Read: Giving Back the Property of the Orphans When they Reach Adulthood]

The Seventh Prohibition: Weighing and Measuring Short

The word bil-qist [بِالْقِسْطِ] translated as “justice” applies to a transaction in which the giver does not decrease anything from what is due to be received by the other party and the receiver does not take anything more than what is due to come to him from the giver. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has warned about those abandoning this commandment in Surah Mutaffifeen. He said, “Woe to those who give less [than due], Who when they take a measure from people, take in full. But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. Do they not think that they will be resurrected?” Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala destroyed an entire nation that was accustomed to giving less in weights and measures. They were the people of Sh`uaib `alayhi salaam.

Then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said, “We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity…” meaning that whoever strives while pursing his rights and giving other people their full rights, then there is no sin on him if he commits an honest mistake after trying his best and striving to do what is right. Any command that is imposed on a person is not impossible. It is because the person has been given the ability to do it. Such as being kind to your parents is not impossible. Not killing your children out of fear of poverty is not impossible. How much would a child eat? Do your best and if it’s beyond your ability to please someone Allah will not hold you accountable for it.

The Eighth Commandment: The Order for Just Testimony

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commands justice in action and statement, with both near relatives and distant relatives. Indeed, Allah orders justice for everyone at all times and in all situations.

Every word that we utter whether of praise or advice should be measured. When we are called for witness or to give a judgment nothing should stop us from saying what is right, true and just – no friendship and love, no enmity and hostility. Sometimes when there is a person that we like we keep on sprinkling words of praise about them. On the other hand, when there is someone who we don’t like we exaggerate in their case, and even talk about traits that are not present in them.

[Read: The Necessity of Observing Justice]
[Read: Commanding Justice and Conveying the Justice for Allah]

The Ninth Command: Fulfill the Covenant of Allah

The ninth command is to fulfill the covenant of Allah and avoid breaking the solemn pledge given. The covenant of Allah could mean the pledge that was taken from every human being at the beginning of life when all human beings were asked: Alastu biRabbikum “Am I not your Lord?” All of us said: Bala meaning there is no doubt that You are our Rabb. This pledge demands that we do not disobey any command given by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

Consider everything He has asked to do at the level of the highest possible priority and take it to be the most important of all that we do. And as for things He has asked us not to do, we should not go even near them – even stay away from falling in doubts about them. Thus, the essence of this covenant is that we should obey Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala totally and perfectly.

The solemn pledge also means the pledge which a man makes with another in “the name of Allah” such as when a person says: Wallahi or in sha Allah.

The Ayah ends with a sentence of persuasion, “This has He instructed you that you may remember”. Take these commands to heart and remember them in different situations in your life.

Ayah 153 – Follow the Straight Path

The last of the ten commandments appears in Ayah 153. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

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Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala commanded the believers to adhere to the Jama`ah and forbade them from causing divisions and disputes. He informed them that those before them were destroyed because of divisions and disputes in the religion of Allah.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal recorded that `Abdullah ibn Mas`oud radhiAllahu `anhu said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam drew a line with his hand [in the sand] and said,

هَذَا سَبِيلُ اللهِ مُسْتَقِيمًا

“This is Allah’s path, leading straight.” He then drew lines to the right and left of that line and said, “These are the other paths, on each path there is a devil who calls it.” He then recited this Ayah.

Ibn Jareer recorded that a man asked Ibn Mas`oud, “What is As-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem (the straight path)?” Ibn Mas`pud replied, “Muhammad left us at its lower end and its other end is in Paradise. To the right of this Path are other paths, and to the left of it are other paths, and there are men (on these paths) calling those who pass by them. Whoever goes on the other paths will end up in the Fire. Whoever takes the Straight Path, will end up in Paradise.”

Allah’s statement,

فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ

“so follow it, and follow not (other) ways…” describes Allah’s path in the singular sense, because truth is one. Allah describes the other paths in the plural, because they are many and are divided.

There is one path that the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam showed us. That is the path of Allah. And there are many other ways that will deviate a person from the way of Allah.

The sign of being on the correct path is that a person implements the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.

LESSONS:

The ten commandments listed in these Ayaat [151 – 153] are:

(1) Not to associate anyone with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala in belief, deed, worship or obedience;
(2) to be kind to one’s parents;
(3) to not kill children because of poverty;
(4) to stay away from immorality and shameful acts;
(5) to not kill someone unjustly whether a Muslim or non-Muslim;
(6) to not eat up the orphan’s property by false means;
(7) to weigh or measure in full;
(8) to be just in witness, judgment or speech;
(9) to fulfill the covenant of Allah; and
(10) to follow the straight path of Allah and not follow other ways right and left.

DOWNLOAD PDF: al-Anaam Ayaat 152 – 153

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