The Quran

Commentaries for 7.26

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.26 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you) We have created and given you (raiment) clothes of cotton, wool and fur (to conceal your shame) your nakedness, (and splendid vesture) properties and stuff, that is the furniture of the house, (but the raiment of restraint from evil) the raiment of profession of Allah's divine Oneness and of abstinence, (that is best) better than the raiment of cotton. (This) the raiment of cotton (is of the revelations of Allah) of the marvels of Allah, (that they may remember) take admonition.
7.26 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O Children of Adam! We have sent down on you a garment, that is, We have created it for you, to conceal, to cover up, your shameful parts, and feathers, meaning all that one adorns oneself with of garments, and the garment of God-fearing, righteous deeds and virtuous traits (read as libāsa’l-taqwā, ‘the garment of God-fearing’, as a supplement to the preceding libāsan, ‘a garment’; or read as libāsu’l-tawqā as the subject, the predicate of which is the [following] sentence) that is best; that is one of God’s signs, the proofs of His power; perhaps they will remember, and believe (the address shifts from the second [to the third] person).
7.26 Kashani - Kashani
[O Children of Adam! We have sent down on you] a garment to conceal your shameful parts, that is to say, a divine law that covers up the vile aspects of your descriptions and the lewdness of your acts, and feathers, that is, beauty that will distance you from any likeness to neglected cattle and that will adorn you with virtuous character traits and beautiful acts, and the garment of God-fearing, that is, the attribute of abstinence and caution against the atttibute of the soul, that is better, than the sum total of the pillars of the law, since it is the fundament and the basis of religion, much like [the role of] a restrictive diet in treatment [of maladies]; that is one of God's signs, that is, one of the lights of His attributes, since avoidance of the attributes of the soul is not actualised and is not facilitated except by the manifestation of the self-disclosures of the attributes of the Truth. This is what they [in the community] refer to when they say: 'God does not dispose of something that belongs to a servant except that He compensates him with something better of the same type'; perhaps they will remember, at the manifestation of the self-disclosures of your original spiritual garment, or the vicinity of the Truth which you used to inhabit by the guidance of the lights of the attributes.
7.26 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Bestowing Raiment and Adornment on Mankind
Allah reminds His servants that He has given them Libas and Rish. Libas refers to the clothes that are used to cover the private parts, while Rish refers to the outer adornments used for purposes of beautification. Therefore, the first type is essential while the second type is complimentary. Ibn Jarir said that Rish includes furniture and outer clothes. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on the Ayah,
وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى
(and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa...) "When one fears Allah, Allah covers his errors. Hence the `Libas of Taqwa' (that the Ayah mentions).''
7.26-27 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
In this passage, the Qur'an has used the story of Adam and Eve for the eradication of the evil of nakedness. Satan had seduced the Arabs of the pre-Islamic period into believing that clothing was meant merely for the purpose of decorating and protecting the body from the hardships of weather. Accordingly they totally disregarded its real purpose and paid no heed to cover their shameful parts and did not hesitate to uncover them before others in the open. Above all, they would go round the Ka'abah in perfect nudity during the Haj season; and their women were even more shameless than their men. That was because they considered it a religious act and did this as if it were a virtuous deed.
The whole human race has been addressed because this evil was not confined to the Arabs alone but many people of the world had been (and even today are) guilty of this. Therefore the whole human race has been warned, as if to say, "O children of Adam! Nudity is a clear manifestation of the fact that you have been seduced by Satan. As you have discarded the Guidance of your Lord, and rejected the Message of His Prophets, you have given yourselves up to Satan who has misled you from the way of natural modesty into that shameful state, in which he intended to mislead your first parents. If you consider it seriously, you will come to the inevitable conclusion that you can neither understand rightly the demands of your nature nor fulfill them without the Guidance of the Messengers."
This passage brings out clearly the following facts about clothing:
(1) The need of clothing has not been artificially created in man, but it is an important urge of human nature. That is why Allah has not created a natural covering for the human body, as He has done in the case of all other animals. Instead, He has instilled inherently the feelings of modesty and shyness in human nature. Besides this, He has not made his sex organs as merely sex organs, but has also made them shameful organs, which, by his very nature, he does not like to expose before others. Moreover, He has not given man any ready-made covering for hiding the shameful parts, but has ingrained in the human nature that man should hide them with a clothing. This is what v. 26 implies. Allah has inspired man with the urge to hide the shameful parts of the body. Therefore man should understand the nature of this inspired urge and make clothing for himself from the material provided by Him.
(2) The fact that in v. 26 the covering of the shameful parts precedes the protecting and decorating of the body, is a clear proof that more importance has been attached to the moral than the physical function of clothing. Thus it is obvious that the human nature is quite different from the animal nature. That is why Nature has made provision for the protection and decoration of the body of the animals, but has ingrained no urge in them for the covering of their shameful parts. But when the human beings discarded the Guidance of Allah and began to follow the guidance of Satan, they reversed the above order as if to say, "Your clothing is merely to protect and decorate your bodies just as the skins cover the bodies of the animals. As regards the covering of the shameful parts, garments have absolutely no importance, for these are merely sex organs and not shameful organs."
(3) The garments should not only be the means of covering the shameful parts and of protection and decoration but should also enable man to attain piety. The dress should, therefore, be such as to conceal those parts of the body that should be hidden from others; it should neither be too expensive nor too poor with regard to the position of the wearers; it should not smack of haughtiness nor arrogance nor hypocrisy. Moreover, the garment of piety demands that the male should not wear the female dress and vice versa, and that the Muslims should not imitate blindly the non-Muslims in dress. It is obvious that only those who believe in the Guidance of Allah and follow it, can attain the desired standard of the garment of piety. But those who discard the Guidance of God and make satans their guides, are misled by them into one error or the other in regard to clothing.
(4) Clothing is one of Allah's many Signs which are spread all over the world and which lead men to the recognition of the Reality, provided that one sincerely seeks it. If one seriously considers the above-mentioned three facts about clothing, one can easily understand how clothing is an important Sign of Allah.