In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 208 – 210
The previous ayaat ended with a word of praise for the sincere. They are those who work solely for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They do not seek recognition or praise from anyone else. Sincerity, however, can sometimes touch the limits of excess. One does not want to go to extremes but inadvertently he exceeds the limits set by the Shariah and Sunnah.
When ‘Abdullah ibn Salam radhiAllahu ‘anhu and others reverted to Islam, they brought some of their previous beliefs along. For example, Saturday was a sacred day and a day of no work in Judaism, and camel meat was unlawful. They thought they could honor the laws of Judaism that Islam does not require dishonoring. By maintaining the sanctity of Sabbath and staying away from camel meat and practicing Islam at the same time they were not going against the law of any of the prophets (Moses and Muhammad, peace be upon both of them).
Through these ayaat Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala corrects this approach and commands the believers to enter into Islam in its entirety. There is no pick-and-choose in religion. Neither can we borrow some of the practices of other religion nor can we leave out some practices of Islam. We have to accept and practice everything that Islam offers.
The word silmi [السِّلْمِ] is from the root seen-laam-meem and it means to submit, conform or obey. The word kaffatan [كَافَّةً] is from the root kaf-fa-fa and it means to withhold, desist, refrain from, withdraw or keep back. The word khutuwaat [خُطُوَاتِ] is from the root kha-Ta-wau and it means step or way. The word zalaltum [زَلَلْتُم] is from the root zaa-laam-laam and it means to move away, slip or slide.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands His servants to adhere to all of Islam’s commandments, as much as one can, and to refrain from all of its prohibitions.
A little slip in religion allows Shaytan to take over us and trip further. Therefore, it was said, “…and do not follow the footsteps of Satan.” He is an enemy always waiting to attack us.
About Shaytan’s plots, the Qur’an states:
“He (Shaytan) commands you only what is evil and sinful, and that you should say about Allah what you know not.” [Al-Baqarah 2:169]
“He only invites his followers to be among the companions of the Blaze.” [Fatir 35:6]
By following a pick-and-choose policy or straying away from the Shariah and Sunnah, he can make us practice what seems as worship or a good thing, but it is against the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the teachings of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is the reason why many people fall for the innovations(Bid’at). They claim there is no harm in practicing a good thing even if it is not proven by the Qur’an and Sunnah. The issue is that Islam is Allah’s religion and it has been completed By Him; He has provided us a clear guideline as to what is to be followed and what is prohibited. We must abide by His law and not follow our nafs or cultural practices.
The scholars explain that “…enter into Islam completely (and perfectly)…” also means that our words and actions should be in agreement to one another. We should walk the talk and not simply make verbal declarations of our faith. Our mind and heart should be at rest with what we believe in, and practice our belief with full conviction and faith. All our dealings, whether personal or professional, should be in accordance to the Islamic teachings. In earning a living, we should not cheat others nor should we get into impermissible businesses or relationships.
An important matter to consider here is that being an obedient slave of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not entail that one should isolate himself in the Masjid [mosque] or get busy in worship such that he neglects his personal, social and business commitments. Although priority should be given to worship, there should be a balance as our beloved Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam displayed through his Seerah.
After having received clear laws and rules that lead to the straight path, there is no justification left for any deviation. Those who still slip, they must remember that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Mighty, has the power to punish, and is Wise too, lest one should misread any delay in punishment.
– We learn that there is no such thing as Ramadan Muslim, Friday Muslim, practicing Muslim or non-practicing Muslim. One is either a Muslim or not a Muslim. What are these labels about? How can we claim to be Muslims when we do not submit to the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and only worship Him when it is convenient for us?
– Entering Islam perfectly means accepting everything that it offers. It means doing that which is permitted and staying away from the prohibitions. It means living as the slave of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and not as the slave of our desires.
– It means that we need to set some principles in our life. We should not blindly follow people that wherever they wish they can take us. We must first see: Is this also what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wants from me? Will my action please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Having set principles, keeps one steadfast on the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Our way shouldn’t be that when people mock us, we give up religion. We should remember the sacrifices of the Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum, they were mocked, shunned,persecuted and ridiculed but nothing deterred their commitment to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and Islam.
– We have been told not to follow the footsteps of Shaytan. It means we need to know what are the things that have been called Satanic actions. In the Qur’an, magic, gambling, alcohol consumption, etc. have been called some of the Satanic actions. If this is what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not want to us to do then we must stay away from them and also advise our loved ones. Eating and drinking with left hand is the way of Shaytan. But how proud we are when our child writes or eats with the left hand?
– We protect ourselves from the environmental dangers such as on a snowy day we wear snow shoes so that we do not slip, but when it comes to slipping in dunya we are not as careful. Shaytan is a clear enemy of mankind, adamant to make them suffer in the Hereafter. He is sitting at every path to trick us. In our Salah, he distracts us countless times and when we lose khushu, everything is lost. We have performed an obligation but what is the quality of such a prayer? Why is it that we do not take as much care in shielding ourselves from Shaytan’s attacks.
– we should also be very careful when we intentionally or intentionally follow the events and festivals of the other religions like celebrating and wishing birthdays,valentines,halloween etc.A muslim CANNOT celebrate these practices because by this he resembles the non-muslims which is prohibited in islam.
Do not Delay Embracing Faith
The word zulalin [ظُلَلٍ] is from the root za-laam-laam and it means shadow, shade or shelter. The word ghamami [الْغَمَامِ] is from the root ghayn-meem-meem and it means covered, veiled or concealed. It is also used for clouds.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asks, “Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds and the angels and the matter is (then) decided?” It means do they wait for the Day of Resurrection when all matters will be judged? On that Day, no excuse will be heard and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala shall then reward each according to his or her deeds; and whoever does good shall see it, and whoever does evil shall see it,be it be as small as an atom’s weight.
We seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from the trials and horrors of the Day of Resurrection. Allahumma aameen.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 208 – 210
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]