Date :Saturday, June 13th, 2020 | Time : 19:01 |ID: 150130 | Print

Oath in the Name of Allah (SWT): Commentary on the Quran (Chapter 2:224-225) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary on the Quran (Chapter 2:224-225)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Oath in the Name of Allah (SWT)

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّـهَ عُرْضَةً لِّأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٢٤﴾ لَّا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا كَسَبَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٢٥

2:224 Do not make the name of Allah (SWT) in your oaths an obstacle that you do good, and be righteous and make peace between [the] people. And Allah (SWT) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

2:225 Allah (SWT) does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but God imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. And Allah (SWT) is Forgiving and Forbearing.

Commentary: There was a dispute between the son-in-law and daughter of one of the companions of the Prophet (SAWA) named Abdullah ibn Rawa’ah. Abdullah had vowed not to interfere in his daughter’s marital disputes. Therefore, he refrained from taking any action to resolve the dispute between his daughter and her husband. The above verses were revealed, which specifies oaths such as the oath of Abdullah ibn Rawa’ah are baseless and should be ignored [TafseereNamoona, Vol. 2, P.145]. Now, let’s look at verse 2:224 closely.

Al-Aymān (اَلْاَيْمان) is the plural of Al-Yamīn (الْیَمین) and means the right hand. Since one raises the right hand during the swearing of an oath, Al-Aymān (اَلْاَيْمان) metaphorically implies oaths. The Ur’datan (عُرْضَةً) is translated to an obstacle and hindrance. Hence, the translation of the verse is:

وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّـهَ عُرْضَةً لِّأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٢٤

2:224 Do not make the name of Allah (SWT) in your oaths an obstacle (عُرْضَةً) that you do good, and be righteous and make peace between [the] people. And Allah (SWT) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

 The above translation is equivalent to the following Arabic phrase [TafseereNamoona, Vol. 2, P.146, Footnote-1]:

وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللّهَ بِسَبَبِ أَیْمانِکُمْ) عُرْضَةً (حاجِزاً أَنْ تَبَرُّوا وَ تَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ

Category of Oaths: Verse 2:225 categorizes oaths into vain oaths (اللَّغْوِ) and sincere oaths that come from the heart (بِمَا كَسَبَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ). Vain oaths include oaths that are contrary to the teachings of Islam, such as the oath of Abdullah ibn Rawa’ah. The Qur’an teaches us to help others in resolving their differences, while Abdullah ibn Rawa’ah vowed to do otherwise. Also, oaths that one is accustomed to uttering habitually, such as (وَ اللّه) “by God” or the oaths that one swears out of anger, frustration, and fleeting emotions are vain.

Verse 2:225 asserts that Allah (SWT) will not hold anyone accountable for his vain oaths. But he will take to task those who break the vows that they made with awareness and serious intention. Breaking such oaths is sinful and are actions subject to atonement:

 لَّا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّـهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا كَسَبَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٢٥

2:225 Allah (SWT) will not hold you accountable for your vain oaths, but will take you to task for the oaths taken with serious intention in your hearts. And Allah (SWT) is Most Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

Appendix: In verse 2:224, ur’datan (عُرْضَةً) is also translated to an excuse. In this case the translation of the verse is:

2:224 Do not make the name of Allah (SWT) in your oaths an excuse (عُرْضَةً) for not doing good and controlling yourselves and making peace between the people. And Allah (SWT) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

The phrase An-Tabarrū (أَن تَبَرُّوا) literally means “that you do good.” But in here implies An la Tabarrū (أَنﻻتَبَرُّوا), which means “that you do not do good”. The omission of (لا) after (أَن) has also been noticed in verses 4:176 and 16:15, which are indicated in parentheses [TafseereNamoona, Vol. 2, P.146, Footnote-1 & Al-Mizan Vol.1, P.333]:

يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ أَن )لا (تَضِلُّوا

4:176 God explains (Divine Laws to you) so that you will (not) go astray

وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن )لا (تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ

16:15 And God has placed into the earth firm mountains that it does (not) quakes with you,

Word-for-Word Translation:

2:224 [وَلَا] And do not [تَجْعَلُوا] make [اللَّـهَ] the name of Allah (SWT) [عُرْضَةً] an obstacle [لِّأَيْمَانِكُمْ] in your oaths [أَن] that [تَبَرُّوا] you do good [وَتَتَّقُوا] and be righteous [وَتُصْلِحُوا] and make peace  [بَيْنَ] between [النَّاسِ] the people [وَاللَّـهُ] And Allah (SWT) [سَمِيعٌ] is All-Hearing [عَلِيمٌ] All-knowing.

2:225 [لَّا] not [يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ] will take you to task [اللَّـهُ] Allah (SWT) [بِاللَّغْوِ] for what is unintentional [فِي] in [أَيْمَانِكُمْ] your oaths [وَلَـٰكِن] and but [يُؤَاخِذُكُم] God takes you to task [بِمَا] for what [كَسَبَتْ] have earned [قُلُوبُكُمْ] your hearts [وَاللَّـهُ] And Allah (SWT) [غَفُورٌ] is Oft-Forgiving [حَلِيمٌ] Most Forbearing.

 

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