The Quran

Commentaries for 7.28

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.28 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when they do some lewdness) when they forbid al-Bahirah, al-Sa'ibah, al-Wasilah and al-Ham, (they say: We found our fathers doing it) forbidding it (and Allah hath enjoined it on us) i.e. to forbid al-Bahirah, al-Sa'ibah, al-Wasilah and al-Ham. (Say) O Muhammad: (Allah, verily, enjoineth not lewdness) transgressions and the forbidding of cattle and crops. (Tell ye) indeed you are saying (concerning Allah that which you know not) to be the case?
7.28 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And when they commit any indecency, such as idolatry, or circumambulating the [Sacred] House naked, saying, ‘We cannot perform the circumambulations wearing clothes in which we were disobedient to God’ — and so they forbade this [wearing of clothes] — they say, ‘We found our fathers practising it, and so we followed their example, and God has, also, enjoined it on us’. Say, to them: ‘God does not enjoin indecency. Do you say concerning God that which you do not know?’, that He has said? (the interrogative is meant as a repudiation).
7.28-30 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Disbelievers commit Sins and claim that Allah commanded Them to do so!
Mujahid said, "The idolators used to go around the House (Ka`bah) in Tawaf while naked, saying, `We perform Tawaf as our mothers gave birth to us.' The woman would cover her sexual organ with something saying, `Today, some or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it, I do not allow it (it is not for adultery or for men to enjoy looking at!).''' Allah sent down the Ayah,
وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَآ ءَابَاءَنَا وَاللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا
(And when they commit a Fahishah (sin), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.'')7:28 I say, the Arabs, with the exception of the Quraysh, used to perform Tawaf naked. They claimed they would not make Tawaf while wearing the clothes that they disobeyed Allah in. As for the Quraysh, known as Al-Hums, they used to perform Tawaf in their regular clothes. Whoever among the Arabs borrowed a garment from one of Al-Hums, he would wear it while in Tawaf. And whoever wore a new garment, would discard it and none would wear it after him on completion of Tawaf. Those who did not have a new garment, or were not given one by Al-Hums, then they would perform Tawaf while naked. Even women would go around in Tawaf while naked, and one of them would cover her sexual organ with something and proclaim, "Today, a part or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it I do not allow it.'' Women used to perform Tawaf while naked usually at night. This was a practice that the idolators invented on their own, following only their forefathers in this regard. They falsely claimed that what their forefathers did was in fact following the order and legislation of Allah. Allah then refuted them, Allah said,
وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَآ ءَابَاءَنَا وَاللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا
(And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.'')
Allah does not order Fahsha', but orders Justice and Sincerity
Allah replied to this false claim,
قُلْ
(Say), O Muhammad, to those who claimed this,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَآءِ
("Nay, Allah never commands Fahsha'...'') meaning, the practice you indulge in is a despicable sin, and Allah does not command such a thing.
أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
("Do you say about Allah what you know not'') that is, do you attribute to Allah statements that you are not certain are true Allah said next,
قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ
(Say: "My Lord has commanded justice, (fairness and honesty)''),
وَأَقِيمُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
("And that you should face Him only, in every Masjid, and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him...'') This Ayah means, Allah commands you to be straightforward in worshipping Him, by following the Messengers who were supported with miracles and obeying what they conveyed from Allah and the Law that they brought. He also commands sincerity in worshipping Him, for He, Exalted He is, does not accept a good deed until it satisfies these two conditions: being correct and in conformity with His Law, and being free of Shirk.
The Meaning of being brought into Being in the Beginning and brought back again
Allah's saying
كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ
(As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again) 7:29. Until;
الضَّلَـلَةُ
(error.) There is some difference over the meaning of:
كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ
(As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again.) Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that it means, "He will bring you back to life after you die.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented, "As He made you begin in this life, He will bring you back to life on the Day of Resurrection.'' Qatadah commented on:
كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ
(As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again.) "He started their creation after they were nothing, and they perished later on, and He shall bring them back again.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "As He created you in the beginning, He will bring you back in the end.'' This last explanation was preferred by Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir and he supported it with what he reported from Ibn `Abbas, "The Messenger of Allah stood up and gave us a speech, saying,
«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ تُحْشَرُونَ إِلَى اللهِ حُفَاةً عُرَاةً غُرْلًا
كَمَا بَدَأْنَآ أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْداً عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا فَـعِلِينَ
(O people! You will be gathered to Allah while barefooted, naked and uncircumcised, (As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it)).21:104 This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah,
كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَفَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلَـلَةُ
(As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;) "Allah, the Exalted, began the creation of the Sons of Adam, some believers and some disbelievers, just as He said,
هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُمْ مُّؤْمِنٌ
(He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers) 64:2. He will then return them on the Day of Resurrection as He started them, some believers and some disbelievers. I say, what supports this meaning, is the Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud that Al-Bukhari recorded, (that the Prophet said:)
«فَوَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيرُهُ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ، فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا، وَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ، فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة»
(By He, other than Whom there is no god, one of you might perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until only the length of an arm or a forearm would separate him from it. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he commits the work of the people of the Fire and thus enters it. And one of you might perform the deeds of the people of the Fire until only the length of an arm or a forearm separates between him and the Fire. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he performs the work of the people of Paradise and thus enters Paradise.) We should combine this meaning -- if it is held to be the correct meaning for the Ayah -- with Allah's statement:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
(So set you your face towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind) 30:30, and what is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِه»
(Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.) Muslim recorded that `Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالـى: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ، فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِم»
(Allah said, `I created My servants Hunafa' (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion.) The collective meaning here is, Allah created His creatures so that some of them later turn believers and some turn disbelievers. Allah has originally created all of His servants able to recognize Him, to single Him out in worship, and know that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He also took their covenant to fulfill the implications of this knowledge, which He placed in their consciousness and souls. He has decided that some of them will be miserable and some will be happy,
هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُمْ مُّؤْمِنٌ
(He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers) 64:2. Also, a Hadith states,
«كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا»
(All people go out in the morning and sell themselves, and some of them free themselves while some others destroy themselves.) Allah's decree will certainly come to pass in His creation. Verily, He it is
وَالَّذِى قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى
(Who has measured (everything); and then guided) 87: 3, and,
الَّذِى أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى
(He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright) 20:50. And in the Two Sahihs:
«فَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ، وَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَة»
(As for those among you who are among the people of happiness, they will be facilitated to perform the deeds of the people of happiness. As for those who are among the miserable, they will be facilitated to commit the deeds of the miserable). This is why Allah said here,
فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلَـلَةُ
(A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;) Allah then explained why,
إِنَّهُمُ اتَّخَذُوا الشَّيَـطِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ
(because) surely, they took the Shayatin as supporters instead of Allah). Ibn Jarir said, "This is one of the clearest arguments proving the mistake of those who claim that Allah does not punish anyone for disobedient acts he commits of deviations he believes in until after knowledge of what is correct reaches him, then he were to obstinately avoid it anyway. If this were true, then there would be no difference between the deviations of the misguided group - their belief that they are guided - and the group that is in fact guided. Yet Allah has differentiated between the two in this noble Ayah, doing so in both name and judgement.''
7.28-30 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This refers to the custom of the Arabs of going round the Ka`abah in perfect nudity (E.N. 15), considering it to be a religious act, enjoined by Allah.
This brief sentence ("Allah never enjoins a shameful thing") contains a very forceful argument against their beliefs and customs of ignorance. In order to understand the force of the argument, it is necessary to understand two basic things:
(1) Though the Arabs practiced nudism in the performance of certain religious rituals, they considered nakedness itself a shameful thing. That is why, in spite of this custom, no respectable Arab ever chose to practice nudism in a civilized gathering, in the bazaar or before one's kith and kin.
(2) Even though they considered nudism to be a shameful thing, they said that they practiced it because this custom had been enjoined by Allah. This claim was based on the wrong notion that their religion was from Allah. But the Qur'an refutes their claim by arguing like this: "You yourselves consider nudism to be an indecent thing. Therefore your claim that Allah has enjoined the practice of nudism is absolutely false. As a corollary to this, if this indecent custom is approved by your religion, it is a clear proof of the fact that your religion is not froth Allah.
In v. 29, Allah showed, by contrast, that the religion prescribed by Him had no connection whatsoever with their senseless customs, which were contradictory to the following fundamental principles of His religion:
(1) A man should conduct his life in accordance with justice and righteousness;
(2) He should keep his direction right during worship. That is, "It should be exclusively directed towards Allah and there should be absolutely nothing of shirk in it and he should not show any sort of obedience or obeisance or servility to any other than Allah.
(3) He should invoke Allah and none else, for guidance, succor, help and protection. He should, however, dedicate his entire life exclusively to Allah before invoking His help, for it is absurd to lead a life of shirk. disbelief, disobedience, and slavery of others, and then invoke Allah, as if to say, "O God, help us in carrying out successfully our rebellion against Thyself."
(4) Above all, he should sincerely and firmly believe that he shall be resurrected in the Next World, just as he has been given birth in this world, and then shall be called upon to render an account of all his deeds in this world.