In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 261
This is a parable that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala made of the multiplication of rewards for those who spend in His cause, seeking His pleasure. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala multiplies the good deed ten to seven hundred times.
We have learned earlier that spending in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala means spending wealth in the promotion of Allah’s Deen. Some examples include giving money to the Masjid [mosque] or an Islamic institute, donating money for the printing of pamphlets and other religious educational material, giving money for the salaries of religious staff and so on.
This ayah indicates that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grows the good deeds for its doers, just as He grows the plant for whoever sows it in fertile land. The Sunnah also mentions that the deeds are multiplied up to seven hundred folds. For instance, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Mas’oud radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that a man once gave away a camel, with its bridle on, in the cause of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
لَتَأْتِيَنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِسَبْعِمِائَةِ نَاقَةٍ مَخْطُومَة
“On the Day of Resurrection, you will have seven hundred camels with their bridles.”
In another hadeeth Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ، الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشَرِ أَمْثَالِهَا، إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ، إِلى مَا شَاءَ اللهُ، يَقُولُ اللهُ: إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي، وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ، يَدَعُ طَعَامَهُ وَشَهْوَتَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي، وَلِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ: فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ، وَلَخَلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ، الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ، الصَّومُ جُنَّة
“Every good deed that the son of Adam performs will be multiplied ten folds, to seven hundred folds, to many other folds, to as much as Allah wills. Allah said, ‘Except the fast, for it is for Me and I will reward for it. One abandons his food and desire in My sake.’ The fasting person has two times of happiness: when he breaks his fast and when he meets his Lord. Verily, the odor that comes from the mouth of whoever fasts is purer to Allah than the scent of musk. Fasting is a shield (against sinning), fasting is a shield.” Muslim recorded this hadeeth.
وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۗ
“And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills,” is according to the person’s sincerity in his deeds. “And Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing,” meaning, His Favor is so wide that it encompasses much more than His creation, and He has full knowledge in whoever deserves it or does not deserve it.
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