Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves) in the prayer, (and worship) obey (your Lord, and do good) righteous works, (that haply ye may prosper) that you may be safe from Allah's wrath and punishment.
O you who have faith, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord!
In respect of understanding, the Pir of the Tariqah said in the tongue of allusion, “He commanded the faithful to bowing and prostrating. In saying 'and worship your Lord,' He means 'Put up with trials in the religion and this world since God has placed you among the folk of service and provided you with the sweetness of the taste of being chosen by Him.'” He is saying, “If the trials of the passing days and the tribulation of this world are made into a draft and placed in the hand of your incapacity, do not make a sour face. Carry the load of tribulation with spirit and heart. Drink the draft in gratitude for the fact that He has commanded you to His service and kept you in the presence of prayer and the station of secret whispering.”
Take care not to lay favors on Him with your obedience and worship. Know that in reality, all the acts of obedience and worship, the good deeds and words, of Adam's children from the beginning of existence to the end of the era, placed next to the divine perfection and beauty, are nothing but the noise of an old woman's spindle. Had He in His generosity and bounty not invited this handful of dust to the threshold of His eternity and, with His gentleness, spread out the carpet of bold expansiveness in the house of guidance, how could this woebegone of existence, this speck of impure dust, have the gall to take a step on the edge of the carpet of kings? What is suited for dust is to say with the attribute of brokenness and the tongue of incapacity and poverty,
“We have come to shame at our own existence, we've encountered stone because of the decree.
O you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves, in other words, perform prayer, and worship your Lord, affirm His Oneness, and do good, such as [showing] kindness to kin and [the adoption of] noble traits, that perhaps you may be prosperous, [that perhaps] you may secure everlasting life in Paradise.
(Surat Al-Hajj has been blessed with two Sajdahs, so whoever does not prostrate them should not read them.)
وَجَـهِدُوا فِى اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَـدِهِ
(And strive hard in Allah's cause as you ought to strive.) means, with your wealth and your tongues and your bodies. This is like the Ayah:
اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ
(Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due.) 3:102
(He has chosen you,) means, `O Ummah of Islam, Allah has selected you and chosen you over all other nations, and has favored you and blessed you and honored you with the noblest of Messengers and the noblest of Laws.'
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكمْ فِى الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) He has not given you more than you can bear and He has not obliged you to do anything that will cause you difficulty except that He has created for you a way out. So the Salah, which is the most important pillar of Islam after the two testimonies of faith, is obligatory, four Rak`ahs when one is settled, which are shortened to two Rak`ah when one is traveling. According to some Imams, only one Rak`ahs is obligatory at times of fear, as was recorded in the Hadith. A person may pray while walking or riding, facing the Qiblah or otherwise. When praying optional prayers while traveling, one may face the Qiblah or not. A person is not obliged to stand during the prayer if he is sick; the sick person may pray sitting down, and if he is not able to do that then he may pray lying on his side. And there are other exemptions and dispensations which may apply to the obligatory prayers and other duties. So the Prophet said:
«بُعِثْتُ بِالْحَنِيفِيَّةِ السَّمْحَة»
(I have been sent with the easy Hanifi way.) And he said to Mu`adh and Abu Musa, when he sent them as governors to Yemen:
(Give good news and do not repel them. Make things easy for the people and do not make the things difficult for them.) And there are many similar Hadiths. Ibn `Abbas said concerning the Ayah,
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكمْ فِى الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship), "This means difficulty.''
مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَهِيمَ
(It is the religion of your father Ibrahim. ) Ibn Jarir said, "This refers back to the Ayah,
وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكمْ فِى الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
(and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) meaning, any difficulty.'' On the contrary, He has made it easy for you, like the religion of your father Ibrahim. He said, "It may be that it means: adhere to the religion of your father Ibrahim.'' I say: This interpretation of the Ayah is like the Ayah:
(He has named you Muslims both before and in this (Qur'an),) Imam `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said, narrating from Ibn Jurayj, from `Ata', from Ibn `Abbas: concerning Allah's saying,
هُوَ سَمَّـكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ
(He has named you Muslims before) "This refers to Allah, may He be glorified.'' This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ata', Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Qatadah. Mujahid said, "Allah named you Muslims before, in the previous Books and in Adh-Dhikr,
(and in this) means, the Qur'an.'' This was also the view of others, because Allah says:
(He has chosen you, and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship) Then He urged them to follow the Message which His Messenger brought, by reminding them that this was the religion of their father Ibrahim. Then He mentioned His blessings to this Ummah, whereby He mentioned them and praised them long ago in the Books of the Prophets which were recited to the rabbis and monks. Allah says:
هُوَ سَمَّـكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ
(He has named you Muslims both before) meaning, before the Qur'an,
(and in this.) Under the explanation of this Ayah, An-Nasa'i recorded from Al-Harith Al-Ash`ari from the Messenger of Allah, who said:
(that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind!) means, `thus We have made you a just and fair nation, the best of nations, and all other nations will testify to your justice. On the Day of Resurrection you will be,
شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ
(witnesses over mankind),' because on that Day all the nations will acknowledge its leadership and its precedence over all others. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection the testimony of the members of this community will be accepted as proof that the Messengers conveyed the Message of their Lord to them, and the Messenger will testify that he conveyed the Message to them.
فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ
(So perform the Salah, give Zakah) means, respond to this great blessing with gratitude by fulfilling your duties towards Allah, doing that which He has enjoined upon you and avoiding that which He had forbidden. Among the most important duties are establishing regular prayer and giving Zakah. Zakah is a form of beneficence towards Allah's creatures, whereby He has enjoined upon the rich to give a little of their wealth to the poor each year, to help the weak and needy. We have already mentioned its explanation in the Ayah of Zakah in Surat At-Tawbah (9:5).
(and hold fast to Allah.) means, seek the help and support of Allah and put your trust in Him, and get strength from Him.
(He is your Mawla,) meaning, He is your Protector and your Helper, He is the One Who will cause you to prevail against your enemies.
فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ
(what an Excellent Mawla and what an Excellent Helper!) He is the best Mawla and the best Helper against your enemies. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Hajj. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions, and grant them peace; may Allah honor and be pleased with the Companions and those who follow them in truth until the Day of Resurrection.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the right way of attaining we success, but even after adopting these ways of worship and performing good deeds one should not rest content or be proud that he would surely attain success because he is worshiping Allah and is doing good deeds. He should only expect that Allah will by His grace accept his services and bless him with we success.
Imam Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, `Abdullah bin Mubarak and Ishaq bin Rahawayah hold the view that this verse of Surah Al-Hajj requires a `prostration'. But Imam 'Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Hasan Basri, Said bin al-Musayyab, Said bin Jubair, Ibrahim Nakha`i and Sufyan Thauri dispute this. The arguments of the two sides are briefly as follows:
The former group of commentators base their opinion on the following:
(1) The verb in the verse is in the imperative mood.
(2) The Tradition of `Uqbah bin `Amir, which has been reported by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmizi, Ibn Marduyah and Baihaqi, says, "I asked, `O Messenger of Allah ! Dces the merit of Surah Al-Hajj consist in the fact that it contains two verses requiring prostration?' He replied, `Yes, the one who does not prostrate on these two verses, should not recite them.' "
(3) The Tradition of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah in which `Amr bin `As says that he was told by the Holy Prophet that there were two verses requiring prostration in Surah Al-Hajj.
(4) Sayings of Hadrat `Umar, `Ali, `Uthman, Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Abul Darda, Abu MUsa Ash`ari and `Ammar bin Yasir to the effect that Surah AIHajj contains two prostrations.'
The latter group of commentators argue as follows;
The verse contains a command both for Sajdah (prostration) and for Ruku' (bowing in prayer), which implies the whole Islamic Prayer according to the Qur'anic usage, and not `prostration' alone.
(2) The tradition reported by 'Uqbah bin `Amir is unauthentic as it has weak links.
(3) The Tradition of 'Amr bin `As is also unreliable, because its reporters are not well known.
(4) As for the sayings of the Companions, Ibn 'Abbas has clearly explained that prostration in respect of the first verse (in Surah AI-Hajj) is obligatory, whereas in regard to the second, it is only suggestive.
The Arabic word Jihad is very comprehensive. It includes every kind of effort, exertion, conflict and war. Jihad for the cause of Allah means that it should be performed for.His service and for His approval against those who prevent others from following His Way. The performance of Jihad also requires that one should first of all fight against one's own self in order to subdue it. For there can be no true Jihad unless one fights against one's evil self and subdues one's desires and lusts to the obedience of Allah. The Holy Prophet himself has emphasized the need for this Jihad. Once when the warriors for the cause of Allah returned from Jihad, he said: "You have returned from the lesser Jihad to the' greater Jihad." They asked, "What is that greater Jihad.'" The Holy Prophet replied, "It is the Jihad against one's own desires and lusts."
Moreover, the battlefield for Jihad is, in fact, the whole world, and Islam demands that one should exert one's utmost against all the rebels of Allah and the wicked powers with all of one's heart and mind and body and wealth.
The direct addressees of this were the Companions of the Holy Prophet, for they were the first who had the honor to be chosen for this service; others have been addressed only indirectly being their followers. This thing has been mentioned in the Qur'an in other ways as well. For reference, see II: 143 and III: 110.
"(Allah) has not laid on you any hardship in your religion." That is, "The creed you have been given is very simple and straightforward and the laws and regulations you have to obey are practicable. You are free within its bounds to make as much progress as you cap." This was to impress that the lives of the Muslims were free from all those useless and unnatural restrictions which had been imposed upon the former communities by their priests and law-givers. The negative aspect of the same thing has been mentioned in V1I: 157: "... He enjoins them to follow virtue and forbids them from evil: He makes pure things lawful for them and impure things unlawful. He relieves them of their burdens and frees thetas from the shackles that bound them."
Though Islam tray be called the religion of Prophets Noah, Moses, Jesus, etc., yet the Qur'an emphasizes over and over again that it is the religion of Prophet Abraham. Therefore, "You should follow it." This is for three reasons:
(1) The first addressees of the Qur'an were the Arabs who were more familiar with Prophet Abraham than with any other Prophet and acknowledged him to be a holy personage and their leader.
(2) Prophet Abraham alone was the person whom the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims and the mushriks of Arabia and of the adjoining countries unanimously acknowledged as a great Prophet.
(3) When the Qur'an invites all these communities to follow the way of Abraham, it in fact, admonishes them that all their religions had been invented long after Prophet Abraham and, therefore, were not trustworthy because they contradicted many things taught by him. As for the mushriks of Arabia, they also acknowledged that idol-worship among them had been started by 'Amr bin Luhayy, who was a leader of Bani Khuza`ah, and had brought an idol, called Hubal, from Moab in about 600 B.C. So the religion to which Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) invited them was the same pure, un-adulterated religion which was taught by Prophet Abraham (Allah's peace be upon him).
For further details, see E.N.'s 134, 135 of Chapter II (AI-Baqarah) and E.N.'s 58, 79 of Chapter III (Al-`Imran) and E.N.'s 119, 120 of Chapter XVI (An-Nahl)
Here the word "you" has not been addressed exclusively to those Believers who lived at the time of the revelation of this verse, or those who believed after its revelation. It includes all those human beings, who, from the beginning of human history, believed in Tauhid, the Hereafter, Prophethood and the Divine Books. They were not "Jews", "Christians", etc., but "Muslims" in the sense that they had surrendered themselves to Allah. Likewise the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) are not Muhammadans but "Muslims".
For Explanation, see E. N. 144 of Chapter II (Al-Baqarah).
".... hold fast to Allah": Follow exclusively the Guidance and the law of Allah: obey Him alone: fear Him and have all your hopes and expectations in Him: invoke Him alone for help: trust in Him and pray to Him for all your needs.