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Providing Pilgrims with Water and maintaining the Sacred Masjid are not equal to Faith and Jihad Print E-mail
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

Providing Pilgrims with Water and maintaining the Sacred Masjid are not equal to Faith and Jihad

In his Tafsir, Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas explained this Ayah: "The idolators said, `Maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram and providing water for pilgrims are better than embracing the faith and performing Jihad.' They used to boast and show off among the people because they claimed, they were the people and maintainers of Al-Masjid Al-Haram. Allah mentioned their arrogance and rejection (of the faith), saying to `the people of Al-Haram', who were idolators,

[قَدْ كَانَتْ ءَايَـتِى تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَكُنتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَـبِكُمْ تَنكِصُونَ - مُسْتَكْبِرِينَ بِهِ سَـمِراً تَهْجُرُونَ ]
(Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels (denying them, and refusing to listen to them with hatred). In pride, talking evil about it (the Qur'an) by night.) [23:66-67]. They used to boast about being those who maintained the Sacred Sanctuary,

[بِهِ سَـمِراً]
(talking about it by night). They used to talk about this by night while shunning the Qur'an and the Prophet . Allah declared that faith and Jihad with the Prophet are better than the idolators' maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram and providing water for pilgrims. These actions -- maintaining and serving Allah's House -- will not benefit them with Allah because they associate others with Him. Allah the Exalted said,

[لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]
(They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.) those who claimed they are the maintainers of the House. Allah described them with injustice, on account of their Shirk, and thus, their maintaining the Masjid will not avail them.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah was revealed about Al-`Abbas bin `Abdul-Muttalib, for when he was captured in the battle of Badr, he said, `If you rushed before us to embrace Islam, perform Hijrah and Jihad, we were maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram, providing water for the pilgrims and setting the indebted free.' Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, said,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims), until,

[وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]
(and Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers). Allah says, `All these actions were performed while committing Shirk, and I do not accept the (good deeds) that are performed while in a state of Shirk.''' Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "Muslims came to Al-`Abbas and his friends who were captured during the battle of Badr and admonished them for their Shirk. Al-`Abbas said, `By Allah! We used to maintain Al-Masjid Al-Haram, release the indebted, serve the House (or cover it, or maintain it) and provide water for pilgrims.' Allah revealed this verse,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims...)''' There is a Hadith [from the Prophet ] about the Tafsir of this Ayah that we should mention. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that An-Nu`man bin Bashir said that a man said, "I do not care if I do not perform an action after embracing Islam other than providing drinking water for pilgrims [who visit the Ka`bah at Makkah].'' Another man said, "I do not care if I do not perform an action after embracing Islam other than maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram.'' A third man said, "Jihad in the cause of Allah is more righteous than what you have said.'' `Umar admonished them, "Do not raise your voices next to the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah,'' and as it was a Friday, he said, "but after we pray the Friday prayer, we will go to the Prophet and ask him.'' This verse was revealed,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid Al-Haram), until,

[لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللَّهِ]
(They are not equal before Allah. )

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ وَإِخْوَنَكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ إِنِ اسْتَحَبُّواْ الْكُفْرَ عَلَى الإِيمَـنِ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّـلِمُونَ - قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَلٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ ]
(23. O you who believe! Take not as supporters your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to belief. And whoever of you befriends them, then he is one of the wrongdoers.) (24. Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are rebellious.)

Providing Pilgrims with Water and maintaining the Sacred Masjid are not equal to Faith and Jihad

In his Tafsir, Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas explained this Ayah: "The idolators said, `Maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram and providing water for pilgrims are better than embracing the faith and performing Jihad.' They used to boast and show off among the people because they claimed, they were the people and maintainers of Al-Masjid Al-Haram. Allah mentioned their arrogance and rejection (of the faith), saying to `the people of Al-Haram', who were idolators,

[قَدْ كَانَتْ ءَايَـتِى تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَكُنتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَـبِكُمْ تَنكِصُونَ - مُسْتَكْبِرِينَ بِهِ سَـمِراً تَهْجُرُونَ ]
(Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels (denying them, and refusing to listen to them with hatred). In pride, talking evil about it (the Qur'an) by night.) [23:66-67]. They used to boast about being those who maintained the Sacred Sanctuary,

[بِهِ سَـمِراً]
(talking about it by night). They used to talk about this by night while shunning the Qur'an and the Prophet . Allah declared that faith and Jihad with the Prophet are better than the idolators' maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram and providing water for pilgrims. These actions -- maintaining and serving Allah's House -- will not benefit them with Allah because they associate others with Him. Allah the Exalted said,

[لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]
(They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.) those who claimed they are the maintainers of the House. Allah described them with injustice, on account of their Shirk, and thus, their maintaining the Masjid will not avail them.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah was revealed about Al-`Abbas bin `Abdul-Muttalib, for when he was captured in the battle of Badr, he said, `If you rushed before us to embrace Islam, perform Hijrah and Jihad, we were maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram, providing water for the pilgrims and setting the indebted free.' Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, said,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims), until,

[وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]
(and Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers). Allah says, `All these actions were performed while committing Shirk, and I do not accept the (good deeds) that are performed while in a state of Shirk.''' Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "Muslims came to Al-`Abbas and his friends who were captured during the battle of Badr and admonished them for their Shirk. Al-`Abbas said, `By Allah! We used to maintain Al-Masjid Al-Haram, release the indebted, serve the House (or cover it, or maintain it) and provide water for pilgrims.' Allah revealed this verse,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims...)''' There is a Hadith [from the Prophet ] about the Tafsir of this Ayah that we should mention. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that An-Nu`man bin Bashir said that a man said, "I do not care if I do not perform an action after embracing Islam other than providing drinking water for pilgrims [who visit the Ka`bah at Makkah].'' Another man said, "I do not care if I do not perform an action after embracing Islam other than maintaining Al-Masjid Al-Haram.'' A third man said, "Jihad in the cause of Allah is more righteous than what you have said.'' `Umar admonished them, "Do not raise your voices next to the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah,'' and as it was a Friday, he said, "but after we pray the Friday prayer, we will go to the Prophet and ask him.'' This verse was revealed,

[أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]
(Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid Al-Haram), until,

[لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللَّهِ]
(They are not equal before Allah. )

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ وَإِخْوَنَكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ إِنِ اسْتَحَبُّواْ الْكُفْرَ عَلَى الإِيمَـنِ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّـلِمُونَ - قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَلٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ ]
(23. O you who believe! Take not as supporters your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to belief. And whoever of you befriends them, then he is one of the wrongdoers.) (24. Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are rebellious.)

 
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