The Quran

Commentaries for 2.125

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.125 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Allah then commanded people to emulate him, saying: (And when We made the House a resort) a place to turn to (for mankind) whereby they can turn and long for (and a sanctuary) for whoever enters it: (Take) it, O community of Muhammad! (as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray)) a place whereby you turn in prayer. (And We imposed a duty upon) commanded (Abraham and Ishmael: Purify My house) from idols (for those who go around and those who meditate therein) those who live there (and those who bow down and prostrate themselves) those who perform the five daily prayers, regardless of their country of origin.
2.125 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And when We appointed the House, the Ka‘ba, to be a place of visitation, to which they flock from every direction, for the people, and a sanctuary, of safety for them from the injustice and attacks that befall other places: a person could come across his father’s killer there, and yet not act violently against him; and: ‘Take (ittakhidhū is also read ittakhadhū, making it a predicate), O people, to yourselves Abraham’s station, the founding stone he used when building the House, for a place of prayer’, so that you perform two units of prayer for the circumambulation; And We made a covenant with Abraham and Ishmael, We commanded them: ‘Purify My House, of graven images, for those that shall go round it and those that cleave to it, in ritual residence, to those who bow and prostrate themselves’, that is, those who pray: (al-rukka‘ and al-sujūd are the plurals of rāki‘, ‘one bowing’, and sājid, ‘one prostrated’, respectively).
2.125 Kashani - Kashani
And when We appointed the House, of the heart, to be a place of visitation, a place of return and a place of settlement, for the people, and a sanctuary, a place of security or a cause for security and safety for them in which they shall feel secure and at peace upon their arrival there from the dangers of the attributes of the soul and [from] the havoc of the destructive and corruptive faculties of nature, and [from] the conjurings of the satans of illusion and imagination and their seductions and devices. 'Take to yourselves Abraham's station, which is the station of the spirit and the station of friendship, as a place of prayer', a place for true prayer which is the witnessing and the divine union and the friendship of the tasting; and We made a covenant with Abraham and Ishmael, 'Purify My House, We commanded them to purify the House of the heart from the defilements of the conversations of the soul and the impurities of the evil whisperings of Satan and the filth of the motivations of caprice and the dirt of the attributes of the faculties, for those that shall go round it, that is, for the yearning wayfarers who go round the heart during their journey, and those that cleave to it, those who have arrived at the station of the heart through that reliance that is the affirmation of the unity of the acts, those who reside therein without the variegations of the soul that could drive [them] away from it, to those who bow, that is, those who have submitted, who have reached the station of the self-disclosure of the attributes and the perfect level of satisfaction, and those who prostrate themselves', those annihilated in the Oneness.
2.125 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Virtue of Allah's House
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ
(And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind) "They do not remain in the House, they only visit it and return to their homes, and then visit it again.'' Also, Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi narrated from Ar-Rabi` bin Anas from Abu Al-`Aliyah who said that,
وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً
(And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety) means, "Safe from enemies and armed conflict. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people were often victims of raids and kidnapping, while the people in the area surrounding it (Al-Masjid Al-Haram) were safe and not subject to kidnapping.'' Also, Mujahid, `Ata', As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas were reported to have said that the Ayah (2:125) means, "Whoever enters it shall be safe.''
This Ayah indicates that Allah honored the Sacred House, which Allah made as a safe refuge and safe haven. Therefore, the souls are eager, but never bored, to conduct short visits to the House, even every year. This is because Allah accepted the supplication of His Khalil, Ibrahim, when he asked Allah to make the hearts of people eager to visit the House. Ibrahim said (14:40),
رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَآءِ
(Our Lord! And accept my invocation).
Allah described the House as a safe resort and refuge, for those who visit it are safe, even if they had committed acts of evil. This honor comes from the honor of the person who built it first, Khalil Ar-Rahman, just as Allah said,
وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لإِبْرَهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لاَّ تُشْرِكْ بِى شَيْئاً
(And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim the site of the (Sacred) House (the Ka`bah at Makkah) (saying): "Associate not anything (in worship) with Me...'') (22:26) and,
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكاً وَهُدًى لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ فِيهِ ءَايَـتٌ بَيِّـنَـتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ ءَامِناً
(Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-`Alamin (mankind and Jinn). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it, he attains security) (3:96-97).
The last honorable Ayah emphasized the honor of Ibrahim's Maqam, and the instruction to pray next to it,
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer). The Maqam of Ibrahim
Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented on the Ayah,
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer) "The stone (Maqam) is the standing place of Ibrahim, Allah's Prophet, and a mercy from Allah. Ibrahim stood on the stone, while Isma`il was handing him the stones (constructing the Ka`bah).''As-Suddi said, "The Maqam of Ibrahim is a stone which Isma`il's wife put under Ibrahim's feet when washing his head." Al-Qurtubi mentioned this, but he considered it unauthentic, although others gave it prefrence, Ar-Razi reported it in his Tafsir from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.
Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Jabir, describing the Hajj (pilgrimage) of the Prophet said, "When the Prophet performed Tawaf, `Umar asked him, `Is this the Maqam of our father' He said, `Yes.' `Umar said, `Should we take it a place of prayer' So Allah revealed,
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) as a place of prayer.'')
Al-Bukhari said, "Chapter: Allah's statement,
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) as a place of prayer) meaning, they return to it repeatedly.'' He then narrated that Anas bin Malik said that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "I agreed with my Lord, or my Lord agreed with me, regarding three matters. I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I wish you take the Maqam of Ibrahim a place for prayer.' The Ayah,
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham)) was revealed. I also said, `O Messenger of Allah! The righteous and the wicked enter your house. I wish you would command the Mothers of the believers (the Prophet's wives) to wear Hijab. Allah sent down the Ayah that required the Hijab. And when I knew that the Prophet was angry with some of his wives, I came to them and said, `Either you stop what you are doing, or Allah will endow His Messenger with better women than you are.' I advised one of his wives and she said to me, `O `Umar! Does the Messenger of Allah not know how to advise his wives, so that you have to do the job instead of him' Allah then revealed,
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَجاً خَيْراً مِّنكُنَّ مُسْلِمَـتٍ
(It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, ـ Muslims (who submit to Allah)).'' (66:5)
Also, Ibn Jarir narrated that Jabir said, "After the Messenger of Allah kissed the Black Stone, he went around the house three times in a fast pace and four times in a slow pace. He then went to Maqam of Ibrahim, with it between him and the House, and prayed two Rak`ahs.'' This is part of the long Hadith that Muslim recorded in Sahih. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Amr bin Dinar said that he heard Ibn `Umar say, "The Messenger of Allah performed Tawaf around the House seven times and then prayed two Rak`ahs behind the Maqam.''
All these texts indicate that the Maqam is the stone that Ibrahim was standing on while building the House. As the House's walls became higher, Isma`il brought his father a stone, so that he could stand on it, while Isma`il handed him the stones. Ibrahim would place the stones on the wall, and whenever he finished one side, he would move to the next side, to complete the building all around. Ibrahim kept repeating this until he finished building the House, as we will describe when we explain the story of Ibrahim and Isma`il and how they built the House, as narrated from Ibn `Abbas and collected by Al-Bukhari. Ibrahim's footprints were still visible in the stone, and the Arabs knew this fact during the time of Jahiliyyah. This is why Abu Talib said in his poem known as `Al-Lamiyyah', "And Ibrahim's footprint with his bare feet on the stone is still visible.''
The Muslims also saw Ibrahim's footprints on the stone, as Anas bin Malik said, "I saw the Maqam with the print of Ibrahim's toes and feet still visible in it, but the footprints dissipated because of the people rubbing the stone with their hands.''
Earlier, the Maqam was placed close to the Ka`bah's wall. In the present time, the Maqam is placed next to Al-Hijr on the right side of those entering through the door.
When Ibrahim finished building the House, he placed the stone next to the wall of Al-Ka`bah. Or, when the House was finished being built, Ibrahim just left the stone where it was last standing, and he was commanded to pray next to the stone when he finished the Tawaf (circumambulating). It is understandable that the Maqam of Ibrahim would stand where the building of the House ended. The Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab, one of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs whom we were commanded to emulate, moved the stone away from the Ka`bah's wall during his reign. `Umar is one of the two men, whom the Messenger of Allah described when he said,
«اقْتَدُوا بِاللَّذَيْنِ مِنْ بَعْدِي أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَر»
(Imitate the two men who will come after me: Abu Bakr and `Umar.)
`Umar was also the person whom the Qur'an agreed with regarding praying next to Maqam of Ibrahim. This is why none among the Companions rejected it when he moved it.
`Abdur-Razzaq reported from Ibn Jurayj from `Ata', "`Umar bin Al-Khattab moved the Maqam back.'' Also, `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Mujahid said that `Umar was the first person who moved the Maqam back to where it is now standing.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr, Ahmad bin `Ali bin Al-Husayn Al-Bayhaqi recorded `A'ishah saying, "During the time of the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr, the Maqam was right next to the House. `Umar moved the Maqam during his reign.'' This Hadith has an authentic chain of narration. i
2.125 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The purification of the House was not only to be from rubbish but also from all kinds of false worship so that the name of Allah alone should be glorified in it. The real purification of Allah's House is that no other name than His should be mentioned in it. For the worship of anyone else or the invoking of any other name for help really polluted the House. This verse charges, in a subtle manner, the Quraish with the crime of keeping idols in the Ka`bah and worshipping them instead of Allah. It implies that these idolaters who were proud of being the heirs of Abraham and Ismail were not discharging the obligations of that heritage. Hence they, like the Israelites, have forfeited all rights to the promise of Allah made to Abraham.
2.125 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And when We appointed the House to be a place of visitation for the people and a sanctuary: “Mention O Muḥammad when We appointed the House meaning the Kaʿba to be a place of visitation for people to come to and a sanctuary for them to return to to make their way to it from every direction. It is a House which I created from stone yet attached to eternity. Whoever looks to the House with the eye of creation is cut off while those who look with the eye of far-reaching vision arrive and connect. Everyone who seeks refuge at that House is secure from the punishment of the hereafter if he seeks refuge to show veneration and respect ʿalā jihati al-iʿẓām wa-l-iḥtirām and repent from sins wa-l-tawbati ʿan al-āthām.” It is said that the House was built of stone but it is a stone that attracts hearts just as a magnet attracts iron. [What kind of house is itḍ] A house... Its shade causes whomever comes to it to remain in the courtyard of security amn. A house... Whoever glances upon it receives the good news of forgiveness attained. A house... Subtleties circumambulate the heart of whoever circumambulates it. One circumambulation is by another circumambulation and one circuit is by another circuit. Is the reward of goodness anything but goodnessḍ [55:60]. A house... Whatever one spends of one's wealth to reach it is not lost. A house... Whatever one withholds from it is without profit. Whoever visits it forgets any other place of visitation and abandons his [own] regions. A house... No distance is reckoned too far to it. Visiting it is not to be neglected for fear of unpleasant occurrences or harmful attacks. This is a house which possesses no harm for the lifeblood of the poor fuqarāÌ. A house... Whoever holds back from visiting it lacks noble-heartedness futuwwa or is deficient in love maḥabba. A house... The heart of the one who holds back from it is harder than stones. A house... When the rays of its lights fall upon someone he is made to forget suns and moons. A house... One is not so much amazed by those who stay away from it but rather by how those who come to it can leave! Take to yourselves Abraham's station for a place of prayer; A servant was raised up on his feet for the sake of God سبحانه and his footprints made a qibla for all Muslims to honor him for all time until the resurrection.
and We made a covenant with Abraham and Ishmael: “Purify My House for those that shall go round it ṬāÌifīn and those that cleave to it ʿākifīn to those who bow and prostrate themselves.” In the outward sense the affair concerns the purification of the House while the allusion in the verse is to the purification of the heart. The purification of the House [refers to] protecting it from different kinds of dirt and filth al-adnās wa-l-awḌār and the purification of the heart [refers to] guarding it from paying attention to humankind or anything other [than God] al-ajnās wa-l-aghyār. The circumambulation of the pilgrims around the House is known from the law. The circumambulation of meanings is known to the people of the Real. Meanings go round ṬāÌifa in the hearts of those who know qulūb al-ʿārifīn. Realities cleave ʿākifa in the hearts of those who declare [God's] oneness qulūb al-muwaḥḥidīn. These are the companions of transformation aṣḥāb al-talwīn and those are the lords of stability arbāb al-tamkīn. The hearts of those who seek their objective qulūb al-qāṣidīn remain ever standing wāqifa at the door of generosity; they continually practice humility. The hearts of those who declare [God's] oneness qulūb al-muwaḥḥidīn remain ever bowing rākiʿa on the carpet of the communion [of lovers]. The hearts of the ecstatics qulūb al-wājidīn remain ever prostrating sājida on the carpet of nearness. It is said that the ascendant longings of the seekers are ever standing wāqifa at the door of magnanimity. The lofty resolutions of the aspirants remain ever circumambulating ṬāÌifa the place of witnessing [divine] generosity. The aspirations that come to those who know [remain] ever cleaving ʿākifa to the presence of majesty.