From the Book, Introduction to the Tafseer of the Quran, by the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir, the eminent jurist and statesman, Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الأَرْضِ حَلالاً طَيِّبًا وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِين * إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ * وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ * وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ * يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ * إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
168: O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.
169: He (Satan) commands you only what is Soo’ (سوء Wickedness) and Fahsha’ (Abomination), and that you should say about Allah what you know not.
170: When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” (Would they do that!) even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided)
171: And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those (cattle) that hear nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.
172: O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship).
173: He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah. But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)”
(Al Baqarah 2:168-173)
Allah (swt) clarifies in these Ayaat the following:
1- Allah (swt) clarified in the previous Ayaat regarding the evidences of Imaan and Oneness of Allah (swt), the love of Allah (swt) within the believers and the love of Equals (Andaad) among the Kafireen and also what Allah (swt) had prepared for the kafireen of painful torment for taking them instead of Allah (swt). Then, Allah (swt) clarified within these Ayaat the blessings of Allah and His Provision for all of humankind, including the Kafireen.
In the Ayaat, there is a Khitaab (خطاب Address) to the people that they eat from the earth which is lawful and good and the ‘Amr (أمر Command) كُلُوا “eat” is the Command of Mubah (إباحة Permission).
وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ “and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan” is the Tahreem (Prohibition) i.e. that you do not follow his ways and do not imitate him.
إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِين “Verily, he is to you an open enemy” i.e manifest hostility to humankind. This is Dalaalah (دلالة Evidencing) that the Shaytan no matter how wise his plans, thinking and consideration, it remains an exposed manifestation which will not deceive the possessors of sound intellect and straight forward nature, regarding the harm that it calls towards.
And then Allah (swt) clarified that the Shaytaan does not command Khair (خير Good) ever, but ordered all kinds of Shar (شرّ Evil), whether it does not reach the punishment by the Hadd – which is Soo’ (سوء Wickedness)- or it does have punishment by Hadd- which is Fahisha – as Ibn Abbas (ra) said, or even that which lead to Kufr (Disbelief) such as the fabrication against Allah through Tahleel (تحليل Allowance) and Tahreem (تحريم Prohibition), as the Mushrikeen (Polytheists) do, وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ “and that you should say about Allah what you know not” In this regard, it is a Dalaalah (دلالة Evidencing) of the necessity of confirming to the Commands and Prohibitions of Allah (swt) and not fabricating against Him (swt).
2- Allah (swt) then clarified the status of those who follow the steps of the Shaytaan, that if they are told to abide by the law of Allah (swt), they answer that they only follow what their fathers found. Here Allah (swt) rebukes them and refutes their answer, rebuking them for following their fathers in blind imitation, without consideration or reflection, knowing that their fathers were on a false doctrine that they professed, without reason and guidance.
أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ “(Would they do that!) even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided)” The hamzah (ء) particle is to denounce the situation that they are in and expresses repulsion and surprise. The waw (و) particle is about the situation itself. Its meaning is that they follow their fathers in their Deen, whilst their fathers, whilst their father professed a Deen without reason or guidance.
3- Then Allah struck an example for those Kafiroon who follow their fathers in their misguidance without thinking or considering. There example, in their benefiting of what they are called to of Goodness and following of all that Allah (swt) has revealed, is like cattle that do not understand the shouts of their shepherd, except as mere sounds without meaning, so they do not hear of it but calls and cries, mere sounds coming from near or far. This is a Kinaya (كناية Metonym) for lack of reflection, perception and sound understanding which those who disbelieve and cattle share in common!
يَنْعِقُ “he shouts” which is the variation in the calls upon the cattle to rebuke them.
بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً “that hear nothing but calls and cries” i.e. cattle that can hear only except as mere sounds without meaning, and Maal (مَا What) is mentioned to evidence that which is without intelligence.
إِلاَّ دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً “nothing but calls and cries” Du’aa (دُعَاء calls) is for near Nida’a (نِدَاء cries) is for far, i.e. the cattle that hear only sounds coming from near or far.
The complete meaning is that when the Kafireen are told to follow all that Allah (swt) has revealed, they say, but we follow the Deen of our fathers, regardless of their falsehood and will follow them in blind imitation without examination or consideration.
Such are those who in their understanding and awareness of what they preach, are like the animals that are rebuked by their shepherd, they can only hear voices, and they turn with the voices wherever they roam without knowing the meanings of the voices, as to whether the voices are bad or good for the cattle, or whether they are cursing them or praising them, without distinguishing the voices of goodness from those of falsehood, or the lean from the meaty, for they are only sounds for them.
Just like the cattle that turn with the voices that reach them, back and forth, without understanding their meanings, the blind imitators turn with the Deen of their fathers, coming and going, without understanding that Deen or considering it to ascertain its validity. Instead they drown in its falsehood and misguidance as if they had no ears to hear, or tongues to speak with, or eyes to see with, their understanding and they do not understand as if their intellect has been disabled. صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ “(They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.”
4- Then Allah (swt) address his believing worshipers with a special address, after the general address to all people, which is a special mercy for and contentment with the Believers. And thus He provides them of the lawful, good things and they are grateful to Him (swt) for His grace, for they believe in Him (swt) and worship Him (swt) Alone. And this special speech to them after the general address to all people is itself the indicator of what Allah (swt) has made ready for them of grace and contentment, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ “O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship”
5- إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ “He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah” I.e He forbade th mentioned food. The Arabs, if they prescribe a Tahreem (Prohibition) on that which is eaten that means that it is a Tahreem (Prohibition) to eat it, even if it is not explicitly mentioned that there is Prohibition upon eating it. For example, حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ الْمَيْتَةُ “Maitah (dead animals) are prohibited for you” [Surah Al-Maaida 5:3], so the eating is prohibited. If the Prohibition is prescribed for what he drinks, the meaning is that it is a Prohibition upon its drinking. For example, «كلّ مسكر خمر وكلّ خمر حرام» “every drink of wine and every wine is Haraam.” [Muslim 3733, 3735, Tirmidhi 1784, An-Nisa’i 5488, Ibn Majah 3381, Ahmed] If the prohibition is prescribed regarding women, it is meant to be regarding marriage to them. حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ “Your mothers and daughters are forbidden upon you.” [An-Nisa’a 4:23] i.e. their marriage.
This is because the Arabs when they utter a word, admit within it that which is required as indication by their language, without having to mention it separately.
إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْمَيْتَةَ “He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals)” and the Maitah (الميتة dead animals) is a Lafz Aam (لفظ عام General Term) that applies to all that is not slaughtered through Shariah slaughtering, which is the slaughter and the butchering that is evident in the Shar’I Rulings, in all that is to be slaughtered, such as the cattle and all that is permissible to eat. The Maitah also applies to all that is forbidden to eat of other animals, in the form of killing and death, through slaughter or other than that. In other words, all that is Halaal to eat is not said to be Maitah, unless it dies without Shari slaughtering. Maitah also includes all that is Haraam to eat of its meat, whether it died in the form of the Shariah slaughter or not.
Maitah also includes every part that is cut or separated from the livin for RasulAllah (saaw) said: «ما قطع من البهيمة وهي حية فهو ميتة» “What is cut from the beast whilst it is alive, is Maitah.” [Tirmidhi 1400, Abu Daud 2475, Ibn Maajah 3207]
Maitah is a General Term that applies to every Maitah, unless a specific evidence is given as stated in the hadeeth of RasulAllah (saaw): «أحلت لنا ميتتان ودمان: السمك والجراد والكبد والطحال» “Two kinds of Maitah and two kinds of blood are permitted for us,: fish, locust, liver and spleen.” [Ibn Maajah 3305, Ahmed 2/97]
وَالدَّمَ “Blood” is also a General Term and applies to all blood, unless there is a specific evidence as in the previous hadeeth where the Prohibition is specified to other than the liver and spleen. Blood also applies to what is stated in the Ayah أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا “flowing blood” [Surah Al-Anaam 6:145] Blood includes the flowing blood i.e. the liquid flowing from the carcass. So the blood that is Haraam is only the flowing blood, from other than the liver and spleen.
وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ “flesh of swine” is the known animal.
وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ “that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah” like the slaughter for idols, mentioning other than the name of Allah (swt). مَا “What” is in the Form of Generality, so the General Term includes all that is for other than Allah (swt), whether sacrificed for idols or others of the sort. And the sacrificing is the raising of the voice in slaughtering by name in the name of other than Allah (swt) and this slaughtered meat is Haraam.
6 – فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ “But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him.” Allah (swt) clarifies that those who are forced to eat what which Allah (swt) forbade in the verse, Allah (swt) is Forgiving, Merciful and there is no sin in eating from that which God has forbidden in this case.
However, the lifting of sin from eating the forbidden is conditional upon being really forced to ensure the lifting of the sin, which depends on two matters, otherwise there is no excuse for it and there is punishment. These two matters are mentioned in the verse added to the preposition of circumstance غَيْرَ “without”:
a. غَيْرَ بَاغٍ “without willful disobedience” which is without being an oppressor and oppression is putting the thing in the wrong place and the meaning is that this eating is motivated by being forced to preserve life, so eating for other than that means that he would have wronged himself with this eating because he used it in the wrong place. So, Allah (swt) has forbidden eating the Maitah but if it is eaten through being forced to preserve life, so if he ate it in this circumstance then he would have used it in its place. However, if he eats what Allah (swt) has forbidden, whilst he is not forced to preserve life, then he used it in the wrong place and thus he will be disobedient i.e. an oppressor.
And we said that Baghian (Disobedient باغيا) in this sense which is the use of the eating of Maitah in the wrong place, which is being forced to preserve life. We said that because Allah (swt) has mentioned this in another verse فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لإِثْمٍ “But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin” [Surah al-Maida 5:3], whilst this verse is فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ “But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him.” Both verses are in the same subject and comment on the same prohibited matters meaning that they have one meaning as follows:
فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ “But whoever is forced by severe hunger” i.e. starvation that is threatening life and it is the same as فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ “But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience” i.e. without being an oppressor which means that it is being used in the right place to preserve life.
b. وَلاَ عَادٍ “nor transgressing due limits” i.e. he does not go beyond that which is necessary to preserve his life. So, when he suffers from starvation causing destruction, he eats as much as he needs and he does not transgress to eating Haraam things through his desires and self-indulgence, or he indulged in it even though he found Halaal that fulfills his need. So, if he goes beyond the necessary or inclines to eating that which Allah (swt) has made Haraam, whilst he finds Halaal food instead of it, then he has indulged in sin and inclined towards it. This is the same meaning as in the other verse غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لإِثْمٍ “with no inclination to sin” [Surah al-Maida 5:3] i.e. without indulgence in sin and no inclination towards it.