Date :Saturday, March 14th, 2020 | Time : 19:35 |ID: 137754 | Print

 Fighting n the Sacred Months: Commentary on the Quran (Chapter 2:217-218) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary on the Quran (Chapter 2:217-218)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

 Fighting in the Sacred Months

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۗ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا ۚ وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٢١٧﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٢١٨

2:217 They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, “Fighting therein is great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah (SWT) and disbelief in God and [preventing access to] Al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah (SWT).

And Fitnah [turning people away from Islam] is greater than killing.” And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.

2:218 Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah (SWT) – those expect the mercy of Allah (SWT). And Allah (SWT) is Forgiving and Merciful.

Commentary: The four months of Dhū al-Qa’ida, Dhū al-Ḥijjah, Muḥarram and the month of Ṣafar had been considered sacred since the time of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Fighting and bloodshed were forbidden in these months. Islam endorsed and accepted this tradition, as stated in Chapter 9:3. See commentary on verse 2:194 for further information.

Verse 2:217 explicitly states that fighting is the sacred months is a great sin:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ …﴿٢١٧

2:217 They ask you about fighting in the sacred month. Say, “Fighting therein [in the sacred month] is great [sin].

The verse goes on to say that averting people from the way of Allah (SWT) (وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ), disbelief in God (وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ), preventing access to Al-Masjid al-Haram (وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ), and expulsion of its people from that place (وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ) are greater sins in the sight of Allah (SWT) than the sin of fighting in the sacred months. Notably, the sin of turning people away from Islam (الْفِتْنَةُ) is greater than the evil of fighting in the sacred months:

… وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ … ﴿٢١٧

2:217 …but averting [people] from the way of Allah (SWT) and disbelief in God and [preventing access to] Al-Masjid Al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah (SWT). And the evil of Fitnah [diverting people from Islam] is greater than fighting [in the sacred months].

The verse asserts that the disbelievers, regardless of the sacredness of the month, will continue to fight the believers until they turn them away, if possible, from their religion:

…وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا … ﴿٢١٧

2:217 …And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able.

In conclusion, believers should stand firm and not be intimidated by disbelievers. Those who reverts from Islam and dies as a disbeliever, assuredly, their deeds would become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and they would be among the companions of the eternal Fire.

… وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٢١٧

2:217 …And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.

Those who left from a state of disbelief to belief and strived for the cause of Allah (SWT) expect the mercy of Allah (SWT) rightfully. Indeed, Allah (SWT) forgives the faults and shortcomings of believers and is merciful to them.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٢١٨

2:218 Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah (SWT) – those expect the mercy of Allah (SWT). And Allah (SWT) is Forgiving and Merciful.

Word-for-Word Translation:

The word “Al-Fit’natu” [Arabic: (الْفِتْنَةُ)] has various connotations in the Quran such as trial and tribulation, deception and seduction, torment and punishment, and falling into error and going astray. See commentary on 2:191-194 for further explanation.

2:217 [يَسْأَلُونَكَ] They ask you [عَنِ] about [الشَّهْرِ] the month [الْحَرَامِ] the sacred [قِتَالٍ] concerning fighting [فِيهِ] in it. [قُلْ] Say, [قِتَالٌ] fighting [فِيهِ] in it [كَبِيرٌ] is a great sin. [وَصَدٌّ] But, hindering people [عَن] from [سَبِيلِ] the way of [اللَّـهِ] Allah [وَكُفْرٌ] and disbelief [بِهِ] in Him, [وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ] and preventing access to the sacred Masjed, [وَإِخْرَاجُ] and driving out [أَهْلِهِ] its people [مِنْهُ] from it [أَكْبَرُ] is greater sin  [عِندَ] near [اللَّـهِ] Allah. [وَالْفِتْنَةُ] And the oppression [أَكْبَرُ] is greater [مِنَ] than [الْقَتْلِ] killing. [وَلَا يَزَالُونَ] And they will not cease [يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ] to fight with you [حَتَّىٰ] till [يَرُدُّوكُمْ] they turn you away [عَن] from [دِينِكُمْ] your religion [إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا] if they are able. [وَمَن] And whoever [يَرْتَدِدْ] turns away [مِنكُمْ] among you [عَن] from [دِينِهِ] his religion [فَيَمُتْ] then dies [وَهُوَ] while he [كَافِرٌ] is a disbeliever [فَأُولَـٰئِكَ] for those [حَبِطَتْ] became worthless [أَعْمَالُهُمْ] their deeds [فِي الدُّنْيَا] in this world [وَالْآخِرَةِ ] and the Hereafter [وَأُولَـٰئِكَ] and those [أَصْحَابُ] are companions [النَّارِ] of the Fire, [هُمْ] they [فِيهَا] in it [خَالِدُونَ] will abide forever.

2:218 [إِنَّ] Indeed, [الَّذِينَ] those who [آمَنُوا] believed [وَالَّذِينَ] and those who [هَاجَرُوا] emigrated [وَجَاهَدُوا] and strove [فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ] in the way of Allah, [أُولَـٰئِكَ] those [يَرْجُونَ] they hope [رَحْمَتَ] for Mercy [اللَّـهِ] of Allah. [وَاللَّـهُ] And Allah [غَفُورٌ] is Oft-Forgiving [رَّحِيمٌ] Most Merciful.

 

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