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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Surat Al-Anaam/Cattle -Meccan –Ayats 165 – Section Nine – Verses 130-144


O’ you assembly of Jinn and mankind!” Did not there came to you Messengers from amongst you, reciting to My Verses, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?” They will say:”we bear witness against ourselves.” It was the life of this world that deceived them. And they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers/rejected Faith. (130) 

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آَيَاتِي وَيُنْذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا قَالُوا شَهِدْنَا عَلَى أَنْفُسِنَا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ (130)

This is because your Lord would not destroy men’s /populations habitations for their wrong-doings whilst their occupants were unwarned. (so the Apostles/Messengers were sent). (131)

ذَلِكَ أَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ رَبُّكَ مُهْلِكَ الْقُرَى بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا غَافِلُونَ (131)

For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. For your Lord is not unaware of any thing that they do. (132)

وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِمَّا عَمِلُوا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ (132)

And your Lord is Rich- Self-Sufficient and free of all needs- Full of Mercy; if He Wills, He can destroy you all, and in your place make whom He wills as your successors, as He raised you up from the posterity of other people. (133)

وَرَبُّكَ الْغَنِيُّ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ إِنْ يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفْ مِنْ بَعْدِكُمْ مَا يَشَاءُ كَمَا أَنْشَأَكُمْ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّةِ قَوْمٍ آَخَرِينَ (133)

Surely, all that you have been promised, will verily come to pass, and you cannot escape/frustrate it (in the least bit). (134)

إِنَّ مَا تُوعَدُونَ لَآَتٍ وَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ (134)

Say (O’ Muhammad):”O’ my people! Work according to your way (and whatever you can); I surely, will do (my part); and soon you will come to know who is it whose end will be (best/happy) end in the Hereafter. Certainly it is that iniquitous/ wrong-doers will not prosper. (135) 

قُلْ يَا قَوْمِ اعْمَلُوا عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ إِنِّي عَامِلٌ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ تَكُونُ لَهُ عَاقِبَةُ الدَّارِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ (135)

And they assigned to God out of what He has produced –in abundance- in tilth and cattle, they assigned Him a share: they say –according to their fancies-:”this is for God, and this is for our (God’s so called) ‘partners’! but the share of their ‘partners’ does not reach God, whilst the share of God reaches their ‘partners’! Evil and unjust is their assignment in the way they judge! (136) 

وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ نَصِيبًا فَقَالُوا هَذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَذَا لِشُرَكَائِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَى شُرَكَائِهِمْ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ (136)

Even so, in the eyes of most of the Pagans/ polytheists –their ‘God’s so-called partners’ made alluring the fair seeming the slaughter of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction, and cause confusion in their religion. And if God had Willed, they would not have done so. so leave them alone and their inventions and fabrications. (137)   

وَكَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ شُرَكَاؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُوا عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ (137)

And –according to their claim- they say such and such cattle and crops are taboos/forbidden, and non should eat of them except those whom –so they say- we allow/wish; further (they say) there are cattle forbidden to yoke (forbidden to be used for burden); and cattle on which (at the time of slaughtering) the name of God should not be pronounced. Inventions and lying against God’s Name. soon He Will recompense them for their inventions and fabrications. (138) 

وَقَالُوا هَذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لَا يَطْعَمُهَا إِلَّا مَنْ نَشَاءُ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لَا يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاءً عَلَيْهِ سَيَجْزِيهِمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ (138)

And they say:”what is in the bellies (wombs) of such and such cattle is especially reserved (for food) for our males alone, and forbidden to our (females) women/wives, but if it is still-born/born dead, then all shall have shares therein. For their false attributions – of superstitions to God- He will soon punish them. Verily, He is All-Wise, All-Knower. (139)   

وَقَالُوا مَا فِي بُطُونِ هَذِهِ الْأَنْعَامِ خَالِصَةٌ لِذُكُورِنَا وَمُحَرَّمٌ عَلَى أَزْوَاجِنَا وَإِنْ يَكُنْ مَيْتَةً فَهُمْ فِيهِ شُرَكَاءُ سَيَجْزِيهِمْ وَصْفَهُمْ إِنَّهُ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ (139)

Indeed lost are the those who has slay/killed their children foolishly without knowledge, and have forbidden that which God has provided for them, inventing lies against God. They have indeed gone astray and heeded no guidance. (140)

قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ قَتَلُوا أَوْلَادَهُمْ سَفَهًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَحَرَّمُوا مَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ افْتِرَاءً عَلَى اللَّهِ قَدْ ضَلُّوا وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ (140)

And it is He who produces/establishes/creates (call into existence) gardens trellised and untrellised, and date palms, and tilth/crops of all kinds, shapes and shape (their fruits and their seeds) and olives and pomegranates; similar (in kind) and different (in taste and variety). Eat of their fruit when they ripen (in season), but render/pay the due that is proper thereof (its Zakat/alms as ordained is 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day that the harvest is gathered, and do not waste by extravagance. Verily, He loves not the wasters and extravagant. (141)   

وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنْشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ كُلُوا مِنْ ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآَتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ (141)

And of the cattle are some for burden (like camel), and some for meat. Eat of what God has provided for you, and do not follow the step of Satan; Surely he is to you an open avowed enemy.(142)

وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ حَمُولَةً وَفَرْشًا كُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ (142)

(take) eight mates: of the sheep two  (male and female), and of the goats two (male and female). Say:”Has He forbidden the two males or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females encloses? Tell/inform me with knowledge if you are truthful.” (143) 

ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ مِنَ الضَّأْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْمَعْزِ اثْنَيْنِ قُلْ آَلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ نَبِّئُونِي بِعِلْمٍ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ (143)

And of camels two (male and female), and of the oxen two (male and female). Say:”Has He forbidden the two males or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females encloses? Or were you present when God ordered you such a thing?” Then who does more wrong than the one who invents a lie against God, to lead  mankind astray without knowledge? Certainly, God do not guide people who are iniquitous, wrong- doers/polytheists. (144)

وَمِنَ الْإِبِلِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ اثْنَيْنِ قُلْ آَلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ أَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ وَصَّاكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهَذَا فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا لِيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ (144)


(Hadeeth Sharif: Verse 143):1/ Narrated Abu Hurrairah: I heard God’s Messenger [PPBUH] saying:” while a shepherd was amongst his sheep, a wolf attacked them and took away one sheep. When the shepherd chased the wolf, the wolf turned towards him and said, ‘who will be its guard on the day of wild animals when nobody except I will be its shepherd*?’. And while a man was diving a cow with a load on it, it turned towards him and spoke to him saying: ‘I have not been created for this purpose, but for ploughing’. The people said:’ Glorified is God’. The Prophet [PPBUH] said: “but I believe in it and so do Abu Bakr and Umar”. Saheeh Al-Bukhary. *it has been written that a wolf also spoke to a shepherd during the Prophet’s [PPBUH] lifetime near Al-Medina, as narrated in Imam Ahmed in the Musnad of Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (volume 3). 2/Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri :(While a shepherd was in his herd of sheep), suddenly a wolf attacked a sheep and took it away, the shepherd chased the wolf and took back the sheep, the wolf sat on its tail and addressed the shepherd saying: ’Be afraid of God, you have taken the provision from me which God gave me’. The shepherd said: ‘What an amazing thing! A wolf sitting on its tail speaks to me in the language of human beings.’ The wolf said: ‘Shall I tell you something more amazing than this? There is Muhammad [PPBUH] the Messenger of God in Yathrib (Al-Medina) informing the people about the news of the past.’ Then the shepherd –after hearing that- proceeded (towards Al-Medina) driving his sheep till he entered Al-Medina, cornered his sheep in a place, and came to God’s Messenger Muhammad [PPBUH] and informed the whole story. God’s Messenger [PPBUH] ordered for the proclamation of a congregational Salat/prayer; then he came out and asked the shepherd inform the people (about the story), and he informed them. Then the Messenger [PPBUH] said: “He (the shepherd) has spoken the truth. By Him (God) in Whose Hand my soul is, the Day of Resurrection will not be established till beasts of prey (wolves) speak to the human beings, and the tip of his lash and the shoelaces of a person speak to him and his thigh informs him about his family as to what happened to them after him.
COMMENTARY- VERSES 130-144: (Introduction to verses 130-150: God punishes not mere shortcoming; there are degrees in good and evil deeds. God is Merciful, but His Plan is sure, and none can stand in its way. We must avoid all superstition, and all excess, and humbly ask for His guidance.)
(Verses 130-131)- ‘Apostles/Messengers from amongst you’. This is addressed to the whole gathering of men and Jinn. Are the Jinn but disembodied spirits of evil men?
(Verse 132)- On good and evil there are infinite degree, in our deeds and motives; so will there be degrees in our spiritual position. For everything is known to God, better than it is to ourselves.
(Verse 133)- God is not dependant on our prayer or service. It is out of His Mercy that He desires our own good. Any race or people to whom He gives chances should understand that its failure does not affect God. He could create others in their place, as He did in times past, and is doing in our own day, if only we had the wit to see it.
(Verse 134)- Both the good news and the warning which God’s apostles came to give will be fulfilled. Nothing can stop God’s Universal Plan. (see verse 125 and commentary).
(Verse 135)- In so far as this is addressed to the Unbelievers it is a challenge: “Do your utmost; nothing will deter me from my duty; we shall see who wins in the end.”  Passing from the particular occasion, we can understand it in a more general sense, which is true for all times. Let the evil ones do their worst. Let those who believe do all they can, according to their opportunities and abilities. The individual must do the straight duty that lies before him. In the end God will judge, and His judgment is always true and just.
(Verse 136)- There is scathing sarcasm here, which some of the Commentators have missed. The Pagans have generally a big Pantheon, though above it they have a vague idea of a Supreme God. But the material benefits go to the godlings, the fancied “partners” of God; for they have temples, priests, dedications, etc… while the true and supreme God has only lip-worship, or at best a share with numerous “partners”. This was so in Arabia in Arabia also. The shares assigned to the “Partners” went to the priests and hangers-on of the “partners”, who were many and clamorous for their rights. The share assigned to God possibly went to the poor, but more probably went to the priests who had the cult of the “partners”, for the Supreme God had no separate priests of His own. It is also said that when heaps were thus laid out, if any portion of God’s heap fell into the heaps of the “Partners”, the priests greedily and promptly appropriated it, while in the contrary case, the “partners’” priests were careful to reclaim any portion from what they called “God’s heap”. The absurdity of the whole thing is ridiculed. God created everything; how can He have a SHARE!?
(Verse 137)- The false gods and idols –among many nations, including the Arabs- were supposed to require human sacrifices. Ordinarily such sacrifices are revolting to mankind, but they are made “alluring” – a sacred rite- by Pagan custom, which falsely arrogates to itself the name of religion. Such custom –if allowed- would do nothing but destroy the people who practice them, and make their religion but a confused bundle of revolting superstitions.
(Verse 138)- A/ A taboo of certain foods is sometimes a device of the priesthood to get special things for itself. It has to be enforced by pretending that the prohibition for others is by the Will of God. It is a lie or invention against God. As most superstitions are. B/ Cattle dedicated to heathen gods may be reserved from all useful work; in that case they are a dead loss to the community, and they –besides- do a great deal of damage to fields and crops. C/ If meat is killed in the name of heathen gods, it would naturally not be killed by the solemn rite in God’s name, by which alone the killing can be justified for food. (see Surat Al-Ma’ida 5 verse 5).
(Verses 139-140)- These are further Pagan superstitions about cattle. Some have already been in verse 106 which may be consulted with the notes/commentary.
(Verse 141)- A/ ANSHA’A: see verse 98 and commentary.  B/ a beautiful passage, with music to match the meaning: see verse 99 and commentary. C/ “WASTE NOT, WANT NOT”, says the English proverb. Here the same wisdom is preached from a higher motive. See what a magnificent means God provides in nature for the sustenance of all His creatures, because He loves them all. Enjoy them in moderation and be grateful. But commit no excess, and commit no waste; the two things are the same from different angles of vision. If you do, you take away something from other creatures and God would not like your selfishness.
(Verse 142)- Superstition kills true religion. We come back to the Arab Pagan superstitions about cattle for food. The horse is not mentioned, because horse flesh was not an article of diet and there were no superstitions about it. Sheep and goats, camels and oxen were the usual sources of meat. Sheep and goats were not used as beasts of burden, but camels -of both sexes, were used to carry burdens, and oxen for the plough, though cows were mainly used for milk and meat. The words “some for burden and some for meat” do not differentiate whole species, except that they give you the first two and the last two as categories.
(Verses 143-144)- The superstitions referred to in verse 139 and in Surat Al-Ma’da 5 verse 103 are further ridiculed in these two verses.