From the Book, Introduction to the Tafseer of the Quran, by the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir, the eminent jurist and statesman, Sheikh Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah:
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوْ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the rituals for Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah – there is no blame upon him for Tawaaf between them. And whoever volunteers Good – then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:158)
Allah سبحانه وتعالى clarifies in these Ayaat the following:
1- When Allah سبحانه وتعالى mentioned regarding Al-Baytul Al-Haraam (The Sacred House (al-Ka’aba)) that He سبحانه وتعالى made it a Qiblah for Muslims, He سبحانه وتعالى mentioned what the status of it is for Him and it is the Hajj and Umrah. He سبحانه وتعالى mentioned the Sa’ee (Journey) between Safa and Marwa, which the Muslims felt guilty doing and how Allah سبحانه وتعالى lifted guilt from them and that obeying the order of Allah سبحانه وتعالى in that entails a great reward.
And all this is in the context of the previous Ayaat about the direction of the new Qiblah and the Dawah to Islam and Allah سبحانه وتعالى mentions about the continuity, then the implementation of the orders of God, although there is hardship or harm in the Way of Allah, and patience upon harm in the Way of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and the clarification of the great reward prepared by Allah سبحانه وتعالى for those who obey him abiding by His Law and adhering to it no matter how heavy or hard or embarrassing, and indeed the consequence is for the Righteous.
It is to this context that this noble Verse had referred. The Muslims felt guilt in the Sa’ee between Safa and Al-Marwah, and they feared that there would be sin upon them if they made the Sa’ee. This was because there were two idols in the time of Jaahiliyyah at their station. At Safa there was an idol in the image of a man called Asaaf and at Marwah there was an ideal in the image of a women called Naailah, so the people of Jahiliyyah used to travel in between them and touched the idols. So, when Islam came and the idols were broken, the Muslim disliked to make Sa’ee between them because of the two idols. So this Ayah was revealed as narrated by Ibn Abaas (ra), i.e. that the Muslims feared from incurring sin if they made Sa’ee between them because of the two idols that were stationed there in the time of Jahiliyyah, so the verse was revealed to show that there is no sin in that.
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ “Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the ritual for Allah.”
The linguistic origin of الصَّفَا “as-Safa” is the smooth stone, whilst the linguistic origin of الْمَرْوَةَ “al-Marwah” is the white stone. In the traditional sense they signify two known, small mountains in Makkah near the Sacred House, الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ “as-Safa and al-Marwah” and Shar’a (Islamic Law) came to use them in the traditional sense.
شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ “rituals for Allah” i.e. from the characteristics of the Hajj for Allah سبحانه وتعالى and they are the plural form of شعيرة ritual and are the rituals of worshiping in the Hajj – the rites of Hajj – which were stipulated by Allah سبحانه وتعالى, i.e. made them features for the people from Tawaaf of the Sacred House, the Sa’ee, the Stay (at Mina) amongst other rites of Hajj.
فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا “there is no blame upon him for Tawaaf between them” i.e. there is no sin and there is no blame within the Hajj or the Umrah that they make Sa’ee (Walk) between them. They felt guilty performing the Sa’ee between them, as we have clarified and so Allah سبحانه وتعالى lifted the guilt from the Sa’ee between them.
فَلاَ جُنَاحَ “there is no blame” does not mean that there is no sin on Tawaaf or non-Tawaaf because it comes from the removing the guilt from Tawaaf specifically. And there is no lifting of guilt from non-Tawaaf. Yet, instead, they comply with the command of Allah with respect to Tawaaf between them both and there is no blame in that. It was narrated that Hisham ibn Urwah said from his father that he said: “I said to ‘Aa’ishah, the mother of the believers – may Allah be pleased with her – and I was a young boy at the time: I saw the Speech of Allah – the Almighty – إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوْ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا “Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the rituals for Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for Tawaaf between them.” and said “I think there is no harm for anyone if he does not make Tawaaf between them.” A’ishah (ra) said “Nay, had it been so as you said, it would have been thus. It is no sin on him not to go around them., may Allah be pleased with her: No, if it was as she says, it would have been فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا “there is no blame upon him for not making Tawaaf between them.”
أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا “for Tawaaf between them.” i.e the Tawaaf amalgamates the (ت) tha and the (ط) Taa, and the origin of Tawaaf is walking around the thing, circambulation, and the intention here is to make Sa’ee (Walk) between them.
So accordingly, the meaning of the Ayyah is an address from Allah سبحانه وتعالى to the Muslims i.e. anyone who makes Hajj or Umrah to Al-Bayt ul-Haram from you, let him make Sa’ee between as-Safa and al-Marwah, thus they both became of the rituals for Allah سبحانه وتعالى and are no longer signs of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance pre-Islam) and do not be ashamed or fear from the incurring of sin through the Sa’ee between them, because of the two idols who were at their station in the past during Jahiliyyah. That matter has been ended now and Allah سبحانه وتعالى has lifted from you the sin and the guilt, so make Sa’ee between them both and and comply to the command of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
As for the Shar’i Ruling on Sa’ee between as-Safa and al-Marwah, it is Obligatory, and it is a Rukun (ركن Pillar) of Hajj and ‘Umrah, with the following evidence:
a. The Ayah states that the Sa’ee between Safa and Marwah is one of the rituals of Hajj, شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ “ritual for Allah”.
b. In the hadeeth narrated by Jabir (ra) on the description of the Hajj of RasulAllah (saaw) – the Farewell Hajj – that “and he was saying: «لِتَأْخُذُوا مَنَاسِكَكُمْ فَإِنِّي لاَ أَدْرِي لَعَلِّي لاَ أَحُجُّ بَعْدَ حَجَّتِي هَذِهِ» “Learn your rituals (by seeing me performing them), for I do not know whether I would be performing Hajj after this Hajj of mine.” [Muslim 2286, Nisa’i 3012, Abu Dawood 1680, Ahmad 318/3, 337]. In this saying, there is a Bayyaan (بيان Demonstration) by RasulAllah (saaw) of the Hajj and so the clarification takes its (Hajj’s) Ruling, i.e. Obligation. So the Sa’ee between as-Safa and al-Marwah is Obligatory as the Demonstration takes the Rule of the Mubeen (مبين Demonstrated).
Accordingly, the Sa’ee becomes Obligatory in Hajj and Umrah. It is not to be said that because the aforementioned evidence is about Sa’ee and it is not about that in Umrah. It is not to be said, because the Ayah states فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوْ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا “So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for Tawaaf between them.” And this indicates that the Hukm Shar’ee (حكم شرعي Legal Ruling) over Sa’ee is one and the same for the one who makes Hajj or Umrah.
Since the Sa’ee is Fard (فرض Obligatory) and the Sa’ee is part of the Hajj or ‘Umrah, and the Obligation is part of the ruling, it means that this part is a Rukun (ركن Pillar) of that Ruling, such as Rukoo’ or Sujood in Salah. Consequently, the Sa’ee is a pillar of Hajj or Umrah.
2- And Allah سبحانه وتعالى concludes this Ayah by His Saying saying, وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ “And whoever volunteers Good – then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.” As forخَيْرًا “Good”, it is an Established Indefinite Noun and so is Mutlaq (مطلق Absolute) i.e. Allah سبحانه وتعالى is Appreciative and Knowing of all those who draw close to Allah سبحانه وتعالى through any Good whatsoever, whether it is in Umrah and in Hajj as is within the context of the Ayah, or indeed any Good whatsoever as is deduced from the discharging of Good without Tuqayyad (تقييد Restriction).
وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ “And whoever volunteers” i.e. draws closer through Naafilah (نافلة Voluntary) and this is to urge the Muslims not to be content with Obligations only, but follow them with the Voluntary and thus through that one draws closer to Allah سبحانه وتعالى as in the Hadeeth «أحـب ما تقـرب به إليّ عبدي ما افتـرضته عليه، ولا يزال عبدي يتقرب إليّ بالنوافل حتى…». “And the most beloved thing by which My servant draws closer to Me, is what I have Obligated upon him; and My servant keeps on drawing closer to Me through performing the Voluntary until…” [Bukhari 6021]
شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ “Appreciative, Knowing” i.e. Accepting from them their Obedience to Me and Knowing of what they do whether it is large or small, thus rewarding them no matter how much they volunteer, large or small, for Allah سبحانه وتعالى does not let waste even the atom’s weight.
فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it- And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.”