Lessons from Surah al-Ma’idah (Verse: 1-5)

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Diari, Interest, Islam, Pearls of wisdom

Assalamu’alaykum,

 

In today’s halaqah we discussed about the first 5 verses of surah al-Ma’idah. We were asked if we ever felt that our hearts are uplifted, spiritually, when we contemplate on these verses. The verses are as following:

” 1. O you who believe! Fulfil (your) obligations. Lawful to you (for food) are all the beasts of cattle except that which will be announced to you (herein), game (also) being unlawful when you assume Ihram for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage). Verily, Allah commands that which He wills.

2. O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month, nor of the animals brought for sacrifice, nor the garlanded people or animals , and others nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you finish the Ihram (of Hajj or ‘Umrah ), you may hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.

3. Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maitah (the dead animals – cattle – beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, (that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols) and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) – and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An-Nusub (stone-altars). (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision; (all) that is Fisqun (disobedience of Allah and sin). This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above mentioned meats), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

4. They ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) what is lawful for them (as food). Say: “Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat [all kind of Halal (lawful-good) foods which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. And those beasts and birds of prey which you have trained as hounds, training and teaching them (to catch) in the manner as directed to you by Allah; so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Swift in reckoning.”

5. Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends. And whosoever disbelieves in Faith [i.e. in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith i.e. His (Allah’s) Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], then fruitless is his work; and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. “

SubhanAllah, I have never really asked that question to myself. And when I contemplate on the verses, I don’t really feel that the verses touches me from within. Because to me, these type of verses were sent down as commandments and I thought I can only feel spirit being uplifted when I actually apply the legislations. Then, brother Mustafa (our halaqah teacher) said that it is normal for laymen to feel the way I felt. But the scholars viewed these verses in different light. Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim said regarding verse 4 of the surah, which mentions about hunting dogs, that there are three benefits that one can obtain from this portion of the verse alone:

1. Excellence of knowledge – animals that are brought by untrained and trained hunting dogs don’t have the same status. Animals brought by the trained dogs are halal whereas animal brought by the untrained dogs are haram. For trained hunting dogs, the master can be sure that the dogs brought back the animals for him but in the case of untrained dogs,the animals brought by the dogs cannot be determined whether its for the master or for itself. In our case however, knowledge can determine whether our deeds are accepted or not. If we did something without having the knowledge, the deeds that we do may not be accepted and could be considered as acts of innovation.

2. Intention – Dogs that are well trained know well that the animals they hunt are for their masters and not for themselves. Untrained hunting dogs may sometimes eat the animals they preyed on which makes the animal they hunted haram for the master to eat. This can be compared to our intention in doing our deeds. If we don’t have the proper intention in doing any deeds for the sake of Allah, our good deeds are worthless in His eyes.

3. Realization – The reason why the trained hunting dogs will never eat the animals they hunted is because they know that  their masters have taken care of their well being. And for that, they will not disappoint their master even if at that time, they themselves are hungry. What about us, humans? Our provisions, health, children are all bestowed on us by Allah. Have we fulfill His right? If hunting dogs can be loyal to its masters and do whatever the masters ask them to do, what about us who owes everything we have in our life to our Master?

A brother in the halaqah also has mentioned one more beautiful benefit from the verse, that is:

Perfection – Trained hunting dogs always make sure that they presented the animals to their masters in the best form possible. In our terms, we should perform our deeds in the best manner possible because we tend to do our work half-heartedly.

The benefits mentioned really makes me think if I have done my job as a servant of Allah. I really need to reexamine my heart and ponder if I have done everything correctly according to His legislation. May Allah makes our intention right whenever we do any deeds, for this life and the hereafter, and may He accepts from us our deeds. May Allah makes it easy for us to perfect our deeds and deen and grants us success in this life and the next, ameen

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