Sacrifice: The making of a Muslim

Sacrifice: The Making of a Muslim!

Dhul Hijjah, 1432AH

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Indeed, all praise and thanks are due to Allaah. We praise Him; seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek protection from Him from the evils of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomever Allaah guides, no one can misguide him, and whomever He sends astray, there is no other guide for him. I testify that nothing has any right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, having no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger-may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his family, companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment. To proceed:

Assalaam alaykum wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuuh.

The month of Dhul-Hijjah has come upon us and with it milllions of pilgrims have gathered in the Holy city of Makkah to perform the rites of Hajj, answering the noble call that Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhis-salaam) made ages ago:

وَأَذِّن فِى ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ ﴿٢٧

Q22:27. And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).

In performing the rites of Hajj, we are constantly aware of the story of Ibrahim (Alayhis-salaam) and his legacies from the building of the Ka’bah, to his prayer at the Maqam Ibrahim, to the sae between Safa and Marwa, to the spring of Zam-zam, to the standing on the Mount of Arafat, to the stoning of the Jamaraat and to its culmination ultimately in the sacrifice on the day of Eid.

We see in him a life filled with different forms of sacrifice: emigration from his homeland of shirk at a young age, spending his youth and vitality in the call to Allaah, giving up his wife and child in a barren land, expending his energy in the building of the Ka’abah and submission to the will of Allaah to sacrifice his son.

This month, I’m looking at all the little and big ways, the obvious and obscure ways, the easy and hard ways in which sacrifice is mentioned and enjoined upon us in the Noble Quran. I hope that at the end of this month we’ll comprehend better that it is truly not the meat that reaches Allaah but its the heart’s submission and profession as the Rasul (peace&blessings of Allaah be upon him) was commanded to say in Suuratul An-‘Aam Verse 162:

Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds!

PS: Its verses such as Q22:27 above that reminds me of how truly noble and TRUE this deen is and how it spans generations of mankind, and how something that is such an essential part of our deen was actually legislated long before the Rasul (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was raised as a messenger. Indeed, this deen and worship is truly for Allaah alone and I’m so grateful to have been favored with His guidance.

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Before The Dawn!

Suuratudh – Dhaariyaat Verse 18.

وَبِٱلْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ ﴿١٨

18. And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 9, Page 261.

Allah said:

﴿وَبِالاٌّسْحَـرِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ ﴾

(And in the hours before dawn, they were asking for forgiveness.) Mujahid and several others said: “They were performing Salah.” Others said that they would stand in prayer during the night and delayed asking Allah for forgiveness until the latter hours before dawn. As Allah, the Exalted the Blessed, said;

﴿وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالاٌّسْحَارِ﴾

(And those who seek forgiveness during the last hours of the night.)(3:17); This is because it is better if asking for forgiveness is done while praying. It is confirmed in the Sahih collections as well as others, from several Companions, that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَنْزِلُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْأَخِيرُ، فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ مِنْ تَائِبٍ فَأَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِ. هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ. هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَيُعْطَى سُؤْلَهُ؟ حَتْى يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْر»

(Allah, the Most High, descends each night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains. He says, “Is there anyone who is repenting so that I may accept his repentance Is there anyone seeking forgiveness, so that I may forgive him Is there anyone asking of Me, so that I may grant him his request” until Fajr begins).

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Strive for Nobility!

Suuratul – Hujuraat Verse 13.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّـهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ ﴿١٣

13. O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 9, Page 206.

Allah the Exalted said,

﴿إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عَندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَـكُمْ﴾

(Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa) meaning, `you earn honor with Allah the Exalted on account of Taqwa, not family lineage.’ There are many Hadiths from the Prophet that support this meaning. Al-Bukhari narrated that Abu Hurayrah said, “Some people asked the Prophet , `Who is the most honorable among people’ He replied,

«أَكْرَمُهُمْ عِنْدَ اللهِ أَتْقَاهُم»

(The most honorable among them with Allah is the one who has the most Taqwa) They said, `We did not ask you about this.’ He said,

«فَأَكْرَمُ النَّاسِ يُوسُفُ نَبِيُّ اللهِ، ابْنُ نَبِيِّ اللهِ، ابْنِ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ خَلِيلِ الله»

(Then the most honorable person is Yusuf, Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Khalil) They said, `We did not ask you about this.’ He said,

«فَعَنْ مَعَادِنِ الْعَرَبِ تَسْأَلُونِّي»

(Then you want to ask me about the Arab lineage) They said, `Yes.’ He said,

«فَخِيَارُكُمْ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ خِيَارُكُمْ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ إِذَا فَقُهُوا»

(Those among you who were best in Jahiliyyah, are the best among you in Islam, if they attain religious understanding”). Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in several places of his Sahih, An-Nasa’i did as well in the Tafsir section of his Sunan.

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Forgive and Forget!

Suuratush – Shuuraa Verse 40.

وَجَزَٰٓؤُا۟ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا ۖ فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُۥ عَلَى ٱللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ ﴿٤٠

40. The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof, but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allaah. Verily, He likes not the Zalimun (oppressors, polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 8, Page 600.

Justice, has been prescribed, in the form of the prescribed laws of equality in punishment (Al-Qisas), but the better way, which means forgiving, is recommended, as Allaah says:

﴿وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ﴾

(and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation) (5:45). Allah says here:

﴿فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ﴾

(but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allaah ) means, that will not be wasted with Allaah. As it says in a Sahih Hadith:

«وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا»

(Allaah does not increase the person who forgives except in honor)”

﴿إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّـلِمِينَ﴾

(Verily, He likes not the wrongdoers) means, the aggressors, i.e., those who initiate the evil actions.

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Sacrificing Sleep……

Suuratus – Sajdah Verse 16.

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ﴿١٦

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أُخْفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٧

16. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. 17. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 7, Page 615.

Then Allah says:

﴿تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ﴾

(Their sides forsake their beds,) meaning, they pray the voluntary night prayer and forego sleep and resting on a comfortable bed. Mujahid and Al-Hasan said that the Ayah

﴿تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ﴾

(Their sides forsake their beds, ) refers to voluntary night prayer. Ad-Dahhak said, “It refers to Salat Al-`Isha’ in congregation and Salat Al-Fajr in congregation.

﴿يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفاً وَطَمَعاً﴾

(to invoke their Lord in fear and hope,) means, in fear of His punishment and in hope of His reward.

﴿وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ﴾

(and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.) means, they do both obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. Their leader in this world and the Hereafter is the Messenger of Allah . Imam Ahmad recorded that Mu`adh bin Jabal said, “I was with the Messenger of Allah on a journey one morning, walking near him. I said, `O Prophet of Allah, tell me of a deed that will grant me admittance to Paradise and keep me away from Hell.’ He said:

«لَقَدْ سَأَلْتَ عَنْ عَظِيمٍ وَإِنَّهَ لَيَسِيرٌ عَلَى مَنْ يَسَّرَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ، تَعْبُدُ اللهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَتُؤْتِي الزَّكَاةَ، وَتَصُومُ رَمَضَانَ، وَتَحُجُّ الْبَيْت»

(You have asked about something great, and it is easy for the one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, establish regular prayer, pay Zakah, fast Ramadan and perform pilgrimage to the House.) Then he said:

«أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْخَيْرِ؟ الصَّومُ جُنَّةٌ، وَالصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِىءُ الْخَطِيئَةَ، وَصَلَاةُ الرَّجُلِ فِي جَوْفِ اللَّيْل»

(Shall I not tell you of the gates of goodness Fasting is a shield, charity wipes out sin, and the prayer of a man in the depths of the night.)

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Striving is for Self.

Suuratul – Ankabuut Verse 6.

وَمَن جَـٰهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَـٰهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّـهَ لَغَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ﴿٦

6. And whosoever strives, he strives only for himself. Verily, Allah is free of all wants from the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 7, Page 460.

﴿وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَـهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ﴾

(And whosoever strives, he strives only for himself.) This is like the Ayah,

﴿مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلِنَفْسِهِ﴾

(Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself) (41:46). Whoever does a righteous deed, the benefit of that deed will come back to him, for Allah has no need of the deeds of His servants, and even if all of them were to be as pious as the most pious man among them, that would not add to His dominion in the slightest. Allah says:

﴿وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَـهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ عَنِ الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(And whosoever strives, he strives only for himself. Verily, Allah stands not in need of any of the creatures.) Then Allah tells us that even though He has no need of His creatures, He is kind and generous to them. He will still give to those who believe and do righteous deeds the best of rewards, which is that He will expiate for them their bad deeds, and will reward them according to the best deeds that they did. He will accept the fewest good deeds and in return for one good deed will give anything between ten rewards and seven hundred, but for every bad deed, He will give only one evil merit, or even that He may overlook and forgive.

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Striving as you Ought to!

Suuratul – Hajj Verse 78.

وَجَـٰهِدُوا۟ فِى ٱللَّـهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِۦ ۚ هُوَ ٱجْتَبَىٰكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ۚ

هُوَ سَمَّىٰكُمُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِى هَـٰذَا لِيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا۟ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ ۚ

فَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱعْتَصِمُوا۟ بِٱللَّـهِ هُوَ مَوْلَىٰكُمْ ۖ فَنِعْمَ ٱلْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ ﴿٧٨

78. And strive hard in Allah’s Cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and with all your efforts). He has chosen you (to convey His Message, Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship, it is the religion of your father Ibrahim. It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Qur’an), that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind! So perform As-Salat, give Zakat and hold fast to Allah [i.e. have confidence in Allah, and depend upon Him in all your affairs] He is your Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.), what an Excellent Maula and what an Excellent Helper!

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 6, Page 622.

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

﴿هُوَ اجْتَبَـكُمْ﴾

(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:

«بَشِّرَا وَلَا تُنَفِّرا وَيَسِّرَا وَلَا تُعَسِّرَا»

(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.

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Striving at its Best!

Suuratul – Israa’ Verse 19.

وَمَنْ أَرَادَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا ﴿١٩

19. And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allah’s Obedience) while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded (by Allah).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 5.

Allah tells us that not everyone who desires this world and its luxuries gets what he wants. That is attained by those whom Allah wants to have it, and they get what He wills that they should get. This Ayah narrows down the general statements made in other Ayat. Allah says:

﴿عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ﴾

(We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell) meaning, in the Hereafter,

﴿يَصْلَـهَآ﴾

(he will burn therein) means, he will enter it until it covers him on all sides,

﴿مَذْمُومًا﴾

(disgraced) means, blamed for his bad behaviour and evil deeds, because he chose the transient over the eternal,

﴿مَّدْحُورًا﴾

(rejected.) means, far away (from Allah’s mercy), humiliated and put to shame.

﴿وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الاٌّخِرَةَ﴾

(And whoever desires the Hereafter) wanting the Hereafter and its blessings and delights,

﴿وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا﴾

(and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it) seeking it in the right way, which is following the Messenger .

﴿وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ﴾

(while he is a believer,) means, his heart has faith, i.e., he believes in the reward and punishment,

﴿فَأُولَـئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا﴾

(then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (rewarded by Allah).)

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Zakaah

Suuratut – Tawbah Verse 60.

إِنَّمَا ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتُ لِلْفُقَرَآءِ وَٱلْمَسَـٰكِينِ وَٱلْعَـٰمِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَٱلْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَٱلْغَـٰرِمِينَ وَفِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّـهِ وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ ۖ

فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ ٱللَّـهِ ۗ وَٱللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٦٠

60. As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 4, Page 453.

After Allah mentioned the protest that the ignorant hypocrites mentioned to the Prophet about the distribution of alms. He stated that it is He who divided the alms, explained its rulings and decided in its division; He did not delegate this decision to anyone else. Allah mentioned the expenditures of Zakah in this Ayah, starting with the Fuqara’ (the poor) because they have more need than the other categories, since their need is pressing and precarious. It was reported that Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn Zayd and several others said that the Faqir is a graceful person who does not ask anyone for anything, while the Miskin is the one who follows after people, begging. Qatadah said, “The Faqir is the ill person, while the Miskin is physically fit.”

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهَذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي يَطُوفُ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَتَرُدُّهُ اللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ، وَالتَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَان»

 قالوا: فمن المسكين يا رسول الله؟ قال:

«الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنًى يُغْنِيهِ، وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا»

(The needy person is not the one who goes round the people and asks them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two). They asked, “Then who is the needy person, O Allah’s Messenger!” He said, (The one who does not have enough to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people.) The Two Shaykhs collected this Hadith

 

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Giving it All.

Suuratul – Al-An’aam Verse 162.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ﴿١٦٢

162. Say (O Muhammad ): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 3, Page 538.

Allah said,

﴿قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(Say: “Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the all that exists”) Allah commands the Prophet to inform the idolators who worship other than Allah and sacrifice to something other than Him, that he opposes them in all this, for his prayer is for Allah, and his rituals are in His Name alone, without partners. Allah said in a similar statement,

﴿فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ ﴾

(Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice) ﴿108:2﴾meaning, make your prayer and sacrifice for Allah alone. As for the idolators, they used to worship the idols and sacrifice to them, so Allah commanded the Prophet to defy them and contradict their practices. Allah, the Exalted, commanded him to dedicate his intention and heart to being sincere for Him alone. Mujahid commented,

﴿إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى﴾

(Verily, my prayer and my Nusuk…) refers to sacrificing during Hajj and `Umrah. The Ayah,

﴿وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ﴾

(and I am the first of the Muslims) means, from this Ummah, according to Qatadah. This is a sound meaning, because all Prophets before our Prophet were calling to Islam, which commands worshiping Allah alone without partners.

 

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