Dear fellows, again we are together in one of our tafsir lessons. We are continuing our lesson with the verse 177 of
177-) Leysel birra en tuvellu vucuhekum kibelel meshriki vel magribi ve lakinnel birra men amene Billahi vel yevmil ahiri vel Melaiketi vel Kitabi ven Nebiyyiyn* ve atelmale ala hubbihi zevil kurba vel yetama vel mesakiyne vebnes sebiyli ves sailiyne ve fiyrrikab* ve ekamesSalate ve atezZekate vel mufune Bi ahdihim iza ahedu* vas Sabiriyne fiyl be’sai ved darrai ve hiynel be’s* ulaikelleziyne sadeku* ve ulaike humul muttekun;
Turning (your faces or your consciousness) to the east or the west (the reality of existence OR the knowledge of the mechanics of the system) does not mean you are experiencing its reality (albirra). To experience the reality (albirra) is to believe in Allah in accord with the meaning of the letter B, and to believe in the life to come, the angels (the unperceivable forces of the Names of Allah constituting existence), the Book (the essence of existence and the sunnatullah), the Nabis, and who give from their possessions with the love of Allah to their relatives, orphans, those in need, travelers who are stranded (from their homes), and to free slaves, and who perform salat (duly turn introspectively to Allah) and who unrequitedly share a portion of what Allah has bestowed to them (zakah), and who stay true to their word, and who are resistant in the face of calamity, ailment and violence. Those are the devout and the protected ones. (A.Hulusi)
It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and give Zakat (regular charity); to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God fearing. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Leysel birra en tuvellu vucuhekum kibelel meshriki vel magrib The real virtue, true righteousness is not, turning your faces towards east or west.
ve lakinnel birra men amene Billahi vel yevmil ahiri vel Melaiketi vel Kitabi ven Nebiyyiyn But the true virtue exists and the ones who has it are the ones who give their faiths to Allah. Show their imans to Afterlife. The ones who shows their faiths to angels, the source of revelations and prophets.
The great verse is talking about virtue. The real definitions of virtue. The verse is enough to make the definition of being good, all by itself. What is goodness? What is virtue? This verse defines the whole question. According to this verse, virtue is not the shell, envelope, style or method of our doings; it’s the souls of what we have done. As in; defining the essence of actions virtue is possible by looking to it’s soul, the source; not the way of presenting it.
We can describe virtue as humans constant values and rights. Virtue is the collection of truths immune to time and space changes. Eternal rights, to be exact. That’s why the lack of virtue can be defined as the same way, immune to time and space changes.
For example, doing good things to humans is a virtue. Sacrifing is a virtue. Helping others, helping without waiting something in return is a virtue. Loving is a virtue. Resisting suffering, asking for justice and presenting it is a virtue. Objecting the evil, turning back to ugly actions, hanging to what’s good and right are all virtues. And their meanings cannot be changed by time or space or anything.
Virtue is like a rose, a nightingale, river. Can you imagine a person who hates roses while keeping his soul intact? Can you imagine a person who cannot be excited in heart by a jungle. How can you see a person who says something like “I hate this rivers flowing.” You probably look at him like, “There’s definitely something wrong with this man.” “His essence is broken.”
So the virtue is like this. Can you imagine a person saying; “I hate goodness.”? So basically the virtue is the collection of behaviours and actions who are defined as good, right and beautiful, and all are immune to the touches of time and space.
Of course, the virtue mentioned in this verse came with a much different context. What was that? Jews objected when muslims had changed their Qibla from Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque to Masjid Al-Haram. More specifically the sons of Israel who became Jewminded objected. Well, had they appreciated the muslims, when they began to face their own Qibla at the first time? No..! They hadn’t done that either. Remember our previous lessons. We mentioned it there. When the muslim community were facing their qiblas for praying, they were saying;
– Look, look. Muhammad doesn’t even know what he’s doing. He’s decrying us, saying we corrupted our book, but he’s facing our qibla at the same time.
They hadn’t appreciated them back then. For one who cannot know the value, no value would be enough. So surely they wouldn’t appreciated the turning back to the muslims own qibla. This time they said;
“This way, that way… What is that, a toy?” They were saying…
Also the hypocrites were saying inappropriate things about the change of Qibla;
So are we going to face and pray to Kaaba which is full of idols of our enemies, infidels…!
Again, the ones who looked at the finger; not the moon, not the Allah’s orders; had lost. The ones who stucked on the moon pointing finger, lost. The ones who looked at the moon, won. The group who chose to object became hypocrites and casted out from Islamic community.
And this verse sent down since the change of Qibla incident was there. And it has given us how we should measure the value of an action, how should we evaluate a persons behaviours, how should we measure the situation and with what. Facing east or west is not a thing of virtue. So what then? The real virtue is about the reason. It’s about why you do it.
-Allah ordered, so I turned. O Rabb, you said Mecca, then I turn Mecca. I’m not looking at the finger, I’m looking at the moon. I wish to have your blessing. I give my submission to you. Not the foundation stone in Jerusalem or the cubical stone building in Mecca. I surrender to you. Whatever you order me to face, I face that direction.
This was a symbol actually. And remember the verses which we were translating about Abraham’s submission. Remember them. This passage which include this verse is connected this to those verses.
Submission. Allah was testing the submission of a community like that. And The Rabb of All Worlds were giving the fundamental measurement behind all orders and restrictions. The real determinative is not the envelope. The determinative is the thing inside the envelope. The message written in envelope.
Our worshippings and prays are like letters, sent to Allah. Those letters include one envelope and one message. Think that you send an empty envelope to Allah. Not that the letter is empty, it is considered disrespectful and shameful against Allah. For that, one should look at the message not the cover. The styles of our worshippings are their suits, their bodies. But all actions have their souls as well. If you abandon the souls of your prays, you turn them into meatsuits which are already dead inside.
So Qibla, prayings, Hacc, Zekah and all actions have both envelopes and messages. A shape and a message hidden in that shape. They all have souls.
We have recently translated that verse; InnesSafa velMervete min sheairillah The distance between Safa and Merve, is one of Allah’s symbols. And every symbol has a truth it represents. So we should look at this symbol to see what it represents. If you dwell on the symbol only and forget the truth behind it, you become a person who cannot see the message since you cannot open the envelope. That’s why this verse wants you to pay attention to the message hidden inside the envelope, again. And says; “The direction you should face is not important as the reason why you should face that direction.” Yes, “Allah ordered me to, that’s why I face there.” Being able to say that is the real quality, real virtue and we learn this fact from this verse.
ve lakinnel birra men amene Billah The real virtue is the virtue of the one who gives his faith to Allah. The ones who believe the afterlife, vel yevmil ahiri vel Melaiketi believe the angels, vel Kitabi believe the celestial message, ven Nebiyyiyn and prophets, they are the ones who have the real virtue.
Why the concept of virtue be connected to the concept of faith. Let alone, why is it named as the foundation of virtue? Yes, fellows. Faith is the foundation of virtue.
A question might be asked. Doesn’t a person who have no faith, can have virtue? I’m not saying that, I cannot say that. We have no proof to make such a claim that a person who has no faith has no virtue either. But that virtue cannot last, it cannot be real and permanent. This verse gives us enough proof for saying only that. It cannot be permanent and real. What really cement the foundation of virtue, what really turn it into a real and permanent feature is faith.
For example; Doing good to a person is a virtue. A person doesn’t need to have faith in order to do good things to a person. An atheist, an infidel, a non-muslim can easily do that. And they are not few, they are many. I’m not talking about non-muslims who solely believe a creators existence and doing these deeds for their faiths. Their actions are already be founded from faith. We cannot exclude those from faithed virtues. But there are some who have virtues but they lack of faith. It might be possible, they exist.
All right, let’s think about a person. A person who helps a homeless boy. A boy who lives in a derelict, this person takes him to his home, feeds him, grows him. At this point we should ask; why does a man do such a thing? The foundation of virtue is hidden in that question. Why does a man do such thing. If he believes in Allah, then the answer is easy. For the sake of Allah. So does a man of no faith do such a thing? Let’s assume he does. There are some. So why does he do that?
You might think “Does the reason really necessary?” Yes it does. No person makes an action without reason. That’s what makes us human. And according to the nature of man, a person always look for his own gain first. (Faith is the ultimate gain, I should add here) Heaven is the conclusion of faith so heaven is an ultimate gain. The sake of Allah, again the ultimate gain. Of course the ones who know the depth of this gain cannot be settled for less. But what about others? Those who don’t know this ultimate gain and make such things for lesser gains. Why do they hold a kids hand like that? The answer of the question “Why” is always there. Somewhere deep. Because you cannot say “There’s no reason.” or “Just to make something good.” Because acts must always be built on a foundation.
A baseless ethics is not possible. Even Kant, the big genius, the great ethics theorician of modernity, compelled to base his theories to Christianity as the base of culture. He couldn’t have done it otherwise because the concept of conscience is only possible by this. Not a single ideology or job or a thought system can create a concept of conscience, only religion can make it. This is very important. And that’s why the question of reasoning should always be asked. If you manage to go the great depths of heart, you might find answers like these.
He might do this because he wants the attention and admiration of people; saying “Look he’s helping this kid.” According to Islam this is not an honorable action. Because the cause comes from outside, not within. And if your outside cause dries out, then you action will wither away too. So a person who does his action just for getting the admiration of other people won’t finish his doings if the attention will not be given. Simple as that.
What else? I raise this child so that I can use him. This may also be the cause. It’s possible alright. So you may find very different reasons. But none of them are a “I do this for the sake of Allah, for the sake of eternity.” None of the causes can reach this level. And for that, they are not virtues. They are fictional, superficial, a virtue at first glance but not permanent. What makes a virtue real and permanent is faith, dear friends. I cannot say “He who doesn’t have faith, cannot have virtue”. It’s possible, surely an atheist can make good actions too. But for a virtue to be called real and permanent, it should be crowned with faith, that I can say.
But it’s not enough. The sole faith is not enough for virtue. What should follow? Worshippings? No. Fastings? No. Hacc? No… Interesting, another thing comes. “Infak” Meaning giving for Allah without waiting a return. Coincidence? Absolutely not. It sure is not a coincidence for Infak’s arrival after Faith. Coincidence is not the way of speech in Qur’an. Because Qur’an is the greatest speech of wonder. The arrival of Qur’an is the opposition for coincidence. So you cannot find a random sequence in Qur’an. We believe this. Therefore the arrival of Infak behind faith hold a wonderful message behind it. Because it’s very hard to find the help without waiting something in return.
ve atelmale ala hubbihi Giving your possessions. ala hubbihi giving things gladly, we might translate. Giving things even they are connected to them, is another type of translation. The “He” pronoun there; according to some translators it’s a reference to Allah. Giving things because of the love of Allah. But I think it’s not accurate to close the door for other meanings since the pronoun using there holds many other meanings as well. We should open all the windows leading to other meanings.
So, the meaning should not be contained within a single point of view. He might give things both for the love of Allah, and he might give things he loves. He loves and gives things away. ala hubbihi I believe this meaning is more accurate. Even he loves his belongings, he gives away gladly. Why should a man gives his things gladly. Because he loves Allah even more. Isn’t that right? Aren’t two meanings matching each other? So there’s no need for discussions among translators here. No need for arguments about; “This pronoun is a reference for Allah or reference of things.” Because remember our previous lessons;
..velleziyne amenu esheddu hubben Lillah..(65) Those who show faith, loves Allah most. Yes. Anyone who have curiosity about this matter might search the information in our previous tafsir of that particular verse.
zevil kurba To whom; people who are close to you. ve el yetama and orphans vel mesakiyn poors, vebnes sebiyl passangers who stranded in one place, babies who are cast out, parentless infants who are left at doors, mosque entrances, police buildings or worse places, ves sailiyne people who are in need, ve fiyrrikab people who lost their liberty and freedom. Those days, it was about slaves. Today this part is all about people who are fighting for justice, imprisoned, and condemned, people who are fighting for their own freedom and independence in the name of humanity, for Allah and for every kinds of justice. So the term, ve fiyrrikab includes all of them. Giving your possessions to them, even you like what you have.
It’s not over. A third one has come. Let’s see, we see infak which has been brought by Rabb of All Worlds after Faith. Infak is a concept under the roof of human-society relations. Because infak is an opening from human to society. As you can see Allah has been putting the law of human-society in front of the law of human with Allah. You see, right? Praying and zekah arrives now. Allah pulls the law of His between humans, behind the law of human-society relations. For that, this becomes the way of islamic fikh (law). For example; a person dies and he has a debt to a person and a debt to Allah. That persons debt comes first, then it can be talked about the debt to Allah. Why? Because Allah is Rahman and Rahim. A person may not be that merciful and understanding. That doesn’t mean, the laws of Allah, the debts to Allah are not important, they are. But since the mercy and understanding of Allah is immense, naturally Allah puts humans law up front. Hope I explained the situation clearly.
So within this frame, there’s a third element arrives, the worshippings under the roof of Hukukullah (Laws of Allah) ve ekamesSalate Real virtue is, executing the salat (daily prays) to its full. Just praying doesn’t fully means this. Here, it means putting to its feet, resurrecting the pray, making the pray stay on its feet. ve atezZekate and doing the zekah. Giving. Cleaning, purifying the belongings. A necessary amount for giving away for totally purifing the person. Without waiting a return of course.
vel mufune Bi ahdihim iza ahedu Then it comes to the moral codes, ethics. Keeping the promises, when given. This is one of the measures of true virtue. A person even with all his prays and zekahs; if he cannot keep his promises, his virtue cannot be whole ever. There will always be a blind spot, a sin-reachable door in his virtue. So as you can see, the accessories of virtue are ethics. A person who is low on the terms of ethics cannot reach the true virtue, it’s not possible. So the problem which most of the people don’t care these days, mentioned here. A problem, mentioned with the faith, infak, praying and zekah. Keeping a promise when given.
Of course it holds another message here to the sons of Israel who became Jew-minded. They gave a promise to Allah and didn’t keep it.
And another message has been given to both the first addressed muslims and all true believers beyond time, this message is;
“You too gave your promise to Allah. If you break your promise to Allah, you too will become like Jewminded sons of Israel.”
vas Sabiriyne fiyl be’sai ved darrai ve hiynel be’s And again, what’s another quality of real virtue owner? Resisting to difficulties and agonies, in times of hardship. vas Sabiriyn They resist. Patience is resistance. Showing stamina against all kinds of hardships and difficulties because all those bad situations are actually tests. Tests of faith. So will you give up, when your faiths are put to test? Will you surrender, just like that?
Therefore resisting in faith, resisting in truth concept has been explained here. If you are indeed on truth then there’s no reason to give up resisting. It’s a requirement to resist if you are holding the truth in your hands. If you choose to give up while having the truth in tough situations, it means you’re not worthy of holding the truth. Those who considered worthy are only the people resisting while with the truth.
ulaikelleziyne sadeku So those; those are the ones who are faithful to their promises. Those are the ones who have kept their promises to Allah. What had they promised? A promise of “Nisak”. Remember when Allah asked us at the beginning of time; “Am I not your Rabb?” They answered “Yes.” Kalu bela shehitna “You are our Rabb, and we are witnesses of that.” And with that promise, Allah meant all the following promises like the one when Allah brought down the revelations to those communities and they said; “O Rabb, we will deliver your words to humanity with all our efforts.”
ve ulaike humul muttekun; and those are not only kept their promises to Allah and faithful to Allah, they are also the ones who reached devotion and realized their responsibilities to Allah. Those are the devout and the protected ones.
178-) Ya eyyuhelleziyne amenu kutibe aleykumul kisasu fiyl katla* el hurru Bil hurri vel abdu Bil abdi vel unsa Bil unsa* femen ufiye lehu min ahiyhi shey’un fettiba’un Bil ma’rufi ve edaun ileyhi Bi ihsan* zalike tahfiyfun min Rabbikum ve rahmetun, femeni’teda ba’de zalike felehu azabun eliym;
O believers, retribution (equality based process) in cases of murder has been determined for you: the free for the one with freedom, the slave for the enslaved, and the female for the feminine one. If the murderer is (partly) remitted by the victim’s brother (or successor) then this should be adhered to and (compensation) be paid. This is an alleviation and grace from your Rabb. Whoever transgresses his limits after this, he will have severe suffering. (A.Hulusi)
O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave chastisement. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Ya eyyuhelleziyne amenu O you believers. (When this speech comes I always think the deeper meaning, “O you who have claims of belief.” Because faith is a claim.) So… O you believers, if you want to prove your faiths then I’m showing you a proving ground.
kutibe aleykumul kisasu fiyl katla Fair retribution, equal process, similar punishment has been determined for you. el hurru Bil huri The free for the one with freedom. vel abdu Bil abdi the slave for enslaved. vel unsa Bil unsa the woman for the woman.
I have to stay there for a little while. First of all, what is kisas. You might notice I translated the word as fair retribution and equal process since the real meaning of this word is this. If you look at dictionary, you find meanings like shortening, cleaning, removing, destroying the bad effects; those are the explanations for kisas. For example Arabs say; “Kassus shar” for shortening hair or removing the beard. Both of them are Kassas shar. Kisas comes from the root word of kaas. Same origin. It means destroying the tracks of something.
Murder, is the violation of living right, the given at birth, most natural right of human. It’s a great violation because this is a right given to every human at birth by Allah. So violation to that right is both a violation to human right and Allah’s right, therefore one of the great sins. It comes with the form of “Sabaal mubikat” in one of the hadiths. One of the great sins, first one of them, in fact.
We are looking at one of the principles of islamic punishment law. Kisas. Unfortunately this is one of the principles on every ignorant people, people who learn Islam not from the friends or scholars of Islam, but the enemies of Islam. For that, this is one of the principles of islamic punishent law, resisted by ignorant enemies of Islam and unknowingly defending the crime in that process. This is a situation misinterpreted by them and throw them into a position of defending the guilty, not the innocent, defending the murderer, not the victim, defending the crime, not the justice.
So when handling the topic, we should first answer the question of “What is kisas?” It’s fair punishment. It’s the law of equality. For murders, more specifically murders of purpose, the retribution is the execution of the murderer. Or in the cases of injury or organ damage, the fair process requires of the same retribution to the perpetrator. This is kisas.
Kisas is not a law of a particular community. Sons of Israel follow this law to the letter by the order of Tora. There’s an order of kisas in Tora, the book of Genesis.
Like I say, Jews were following this order to the letter. Paul Christianism, removed the kisas altogether. For all purposely murders, the punisments were all become “diyets”, money compensations.
Islam approached this two different poles with a balanced attitude and brought a perfect punishment system against murder charges. This verse is the one which explains the process. The order of kisas is not strict as the law which was followed by Jews and also not as guilty-defender as the christianity. The approach, the punisment system is both balanced and deterrent.
Now the thing we should focus on, must be this. “Kisas has been determined for you, prescribed to you.” Should we understand this prescription like we understand the daily prays or ramadan fastings or Hacc? No. Taberi also asked this question and answered it. The true answer. No. If it was, the following sentence cannot be admissible.
femen ufiye lehu min ahiyhi shey’un fettiba’un Bil ma’rufi But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand. Since you cannot back off from a must-order like pray or fasting. And yet Allah advices us remission in cases like these. Allah says, “This approach is better.” We will translate this verse deeply in a while, this is the following words. So what should we understand from this;
kutibe aleykumul kisas “It has been determined for you.” words. To understand this order much accurate, we should know the background of the incident which this verse had come to.
As you might know, Arabs are a community which have a great tension and anger amongst themselves, especially leads to murder in many occasions. They have all deep clan racism. And a constant war has been going on amongst clans. When someone from a strong clan kills another from a weak clan, he either takes no penalty or case leads to money charge automatically. But if the opposite situation happens, a weak clan member kills the strong clans member even by accident, what do you think it happens? “Since you killed one of us, we want the lives of every men in your clan.” They can demand such things. Can you imagine? All of them. “You killed one of us but we are strong, noble, and great. So all of your clans mens lives for our one.”
There’s an incident we read about that timeline. A member of a noble clan had been murdered by a small clans member, a boy from a weak clan. He became a murderer so the elders of this weak clan went to the chief of other clan. As it happens, the victim was the son of the chief. The elders asked the rival chief, “What do you wish from us? This incident happened, he became a murderer, so we owe you. What do you wish?” What should be the natural penalty? Sending the murderer to the victims relatives so the punisment should be carried? No. This was the answer of the clan chief. “Either you resurrect my son or your clans men should all surrender to me, including you. I will kill all of you all by myself and even then I won’t say “I avenged my son.””
So think, a noble woman had been killed by a weak clans member. And what do they want in return? “Who are your strongest members in this clan? This one, this one and this one…Give them to us.” Just like that. There was a huge injustice. They won’t even take the killer. Whoever are the most valued members in that weak clan, they were taking them, even they were totally innocent.
This was the torment, the injustice. How come the justice could be established if you punish some others than the original criminal. Justice means punishing the criminal, in the scale of the crime he commited, that’s it. There should be an equality between crime and punishment. This justice scale can become unbalanced from both sides. The punishment should neither be too heavy nor too light. If you punish someone lightly, you encourages people to do it. No one cares about the punishment. Even considered a reward for the criminal. And yet if the penalty becomes too heavy, then you turn a criminal into a victim himself. And to the opposite, you become criminal from the position of victim. In justice, the balance can be undone by both sides. So equality…
Actually this has been the problem of law systems throughout the history. The equality in penalty problem is not something that a social law can solve. Hence this problem still exists today. The social law, peoples law bankrupts about the equality principle. And the constant increasing rates in crimes throughout the entire world are the proofs of this bankrupcy.
Don’t you see how the crime laws of Mussolini of 1930’s Italy take that much credit nowadays? How we encourage people for crimes, how we applause the criminal and condemn the victim instead. Encouraging and defending the crime is a crime all by itself.
Yes, only revelations could be able to figure this out. The eternal problem of punishment laws; the best solution has been given us by revelations. We’ll get to that in a while. But first we should understand the sentence, “Kisas has been determined for you.” as “equality is a must in punishment.” The verse continues with this. Free for the one with freedom. Slave for enslaved, woman for woman.
For example, a woman is killed. The killer is a man, and should we search for a woman to execute? No, that’s not what it meant in this verse. Or a slave killed a free person. “We should search for a free man, we cannot settle for a slave. Because the victim is a free man.” Is that what should we say? No, the verse hasn’t told you that. Not even close. Again, to be able to fully understand the verse, first we should know the background of its arrival. And in this verse, the background is like what I explained to you, a while ago. The historical context. There was an inbalance, unequality; since the killer hadn’t been punished. So what should we understand from this verse? “Only punishing the criminal has been determined for you. Punishing an innocent is forbidden for you.”
This verse explains this, otherwise there will be no amnesty. All things aside, Islamic crime laws and criminology always puts the amnesty option to the center. Let me give you a couple of examples.
First fornication punishment as stoning (Before the arrival of the verse Noah/2). This punishment was given to Maiz el Eslemi. There was another similar incident before but he was a Jew and sentenced by Jewish laws. But this was the first time the sentence was given to a Muslim. A man named Maiz el Eslemi came to Rasulallah and confessed.
He confessed for the first time and Rasulallah turned him back. “Go away, are you crazy?”
Second time Rasulallah turned him back again, by saying, “Is he drunk?”
He came third time, this time Rasulallah sent word to his tribe.
And then the man came and confessed for the fourth time saying; “O Rasulallah.” That’s what he said. “Tahrir o Rasulallah.”
Check this out. He didn’t say, “Punish me.” His faith reached such a level, he was saying; “Clean me, purify me.” That’s faith.
In worlds history, you cannot find such examples in some other civilizations. Insisting on a punishment which will lead to certain death for himself. He’s saying; “Purify me.” Because his conscience could only be purified like this. A troubled conscience. His crime covered his conscience and nothing else helped him. His faith forced him to such a point that he could only be eased if he recieved the full punishment. That’s why he came four times with insistance.
The penalty was given. But he escaped. After that he was chased and the penalty was given by lynching. I must add something here that this wasn’t a normal case. Because the incident Maiz was involved happened at a time when most men were not in the city. It was the time of war. Situations were extraordinary. Even the incidents news would reach the battle zone, a good chance the Islamic Army loses the battle. Because their belongings, their left behind possession wouldn’t be safe. So this was the situation around the incident.
That’s why Rasulallah used this phrase for Maiz; “I should give a punishment to him for the sake of “making an example.” This phrase alone proves that the punishment of out of normal terms. Nekkeltu bih..! Setting an example punishment. This is one of the meanings of Nekkele’bih. Giving a punishment, building a case for setting a public warning.
They arrived after the execution. Rasulallah weren’t with them. He couldn’t do such things. They said; “He escaped once, o Rasulallah.” According to the lore in some books, Rasulallah gave this answer. “I wish you left him be.”
If the punishment has been a must, could he say that? Hence we can see that the punishment is not a must but justice is. To be specific, fair retribution is a must in crime and punishment, not the absolute punisment itself. The verse has been saying; “Limit the crime with only the criminal.” And what is the last sentence of this verse, let’s see.
femeni’teda ba’de zalike felehu azabun eliym; Whoever transgresses his limits after this, he will have severe suffering. This verse prevents us from passing the limits. It doesn’t solidify the punishment, on the contrary it solidifies the justice. It hardens the equality. So naturally the reaction of Rasulallah in that case was; “I wish you left him be.”
The person named Hezzal was present there at the time. The man who convinced Maiz for confession. The man who talked Maiz at the first place and said.” Go and confess to Rasulallah.” So Rasulallah looked at him now. (Hezzal means, gabby, which I assume wasn’t his name but given to him after his role in this case) Rasulallah looked at him and said; “Do you like what you have done?” If the punishment was a must, Rasulallah wouldn’t said that.
Also, I read Abdul Cabbar’s Mu’ni; his 20 volumes masterpiece, a person was coming to Rasulallah to confess his crime. Just after Rasulallah saw him turning the corner, he says; “Don’t confess, don’t you ever confess.” Because if he does, it became a public case, hence a public punishment would be mandatory. But if he wouldn’t confess, this will all be between him and his Rabb, so the repentance is advised.
Again in first stealing case, Rasulallah’s reaction is very different. A person was caught by another while stealing. Of course punishment was carried because the situation was reflected to public. Case became public, so the punishment should be in the name of community. After the sentence was carried, this was the Rasulallah’s reaction to the person who brought the thief; “You are dealing with satan…!”
So think, if the punishment has been a must-order in Islamic crime laws, if islamic criminology mandatorized the punishment, could Rasulallah be able to show those reactions? So naturally, it’s not about that. The main concern is societies peace. Security and justice. This is the main concern. I will explain the three fundamental rules of Islamic Crime Laws in a bit.
femen ufiye lehu min ahiyhi shey’un Whoever be forgiven by the brother, we should translate the sentence like this. Whoever gets the forgiveness from the brother; fettiba’un Bil ma’rufi ve edaun ileyhi Bi ihsan This pardon must be carried with fairness. ve edaun ileyhi Bi ihsan And the compensation must be paid nicely. If the victims side relatives choose to forgive the murderer, then the pardon should be carried with fairness. This is one of the magnificent doors in islamic crime laws. Because the sentence of death is a punishment of no-return. The hearts of the victims relatives burns with agony for their loss. But the juristiction, the power of forgiveness is on their hands.
So what’s it like today? In modern crime laws, the juristiction of pardon is not on the victim’s relatives possession, the people who have absolutely no connection to the case, no heartache about the loss of the victim; those are the ones who possess the power of excuse. So the crime is naturally encouraged. Committing a murder turns into an activity so natural as eating junk food. Why? Because there’s no balance between crime and punishment. No justice, no fairness. And since there’s no equality in crime and punishment, one can easily think, “I shoot him and do my time, then with the first pardon, I get out and move on.” This becomes the mentality.
So who should forgive? The relatives of the victim, the ones with fire in their hearts. Wife of a murdered man, can she be able to forgive? Maybe she can; but for that you should inject conscience into society. Religion encourages forgiveness. If Allah advices the pardon, she does. This is important. To be able to choose forgiveness, one should gain something. If Allah tells her, “If you forgive him, wouldn’t Allah forgive your sins in return?”, why wouldn’t she choose that option then?
So as you can see, the islamic crime laws are based on faith in their fundamentals. They are all based on a persons virtue. We did mention the virtue above, right? After the arrival of the verse about virtue, this verse came about kisas. We can understand the close connection between these two. Personal virtue is not enough. To protect the peace of society, there should be rules, laws. So Qur’an puts those rules in this verse.
zalike tahfiyfun min Rabbikum ve rahme It comes. This is a concession, a mercy from your Rabb. A mercy, a pity. Why these concepts? Because within the previous sheria, the sheria of sons of Israel, the compensation or indemnity wasn’t possible. This concepts are the fairness and ease, for the newly borned community.
femeni’teda ba’de zalike felehu azabun eliym; Whoever transgresses his limits after this, whoever tries to punish someone else than the criminal, he will have severe suffering.
The point of the verse and the actual limits are given us by this last sentence. We understand from this last sentence that the absolution of Kisas is not the absolution of punishment. It’s the must-nature of justice. Fair retribution. The punishment hasn’t become a mandatory procedure. The justice has. And the option of pardon, the power of forgiveness has been given to the relatives of the victim. Because that’s where the fire is and that’s where the fire should be put down.
At this point I should explain the three fundamentals that the islamic crime laws are based on. Three absolute foundations.
1 – Deterrence. Crime and punishment equality shows this. Islamic punishment laws put front the concept of deterrence. That’s why the executions have been done in public. Why? This is not for show. This is using the option of deterrence. If someone see the end of the crime he’s willing to commit, the situation deter him to do that, he gives up his intentions then. He won’t because the crime without a proper punishment is a crime bound to be happened again. That’s why the deterrence function is a priority in islamic crime laws.
2 – Calming the aggrieved. The second foundation of islamic crime laws is, calming the aggrieved. That’s why the option of forgiving, the pardon authority is given to the relatives of the victim. Because they are the ones who should be calmed. If they choose not to forgive, then the punishment is carried with fairness. There should be no transgressing, whatever the criminal did, that must be the level of his punishment, not something more. And the aggrieved will find calm and closure with that. If you won’t calm the aggrieved, the victims left behind, in other words if you won’t punish the crime with equal terms, then you force the victims side to take action and encourage them to commit crime.
What are the reasons of blood feuds? Crimes and punishment because there’s no equality in that. And hence the victims cannot find peace and with the rage of being victimized even more, they choose the path of similar crimes to the other side. You encourage them because you cannot give them a reason to be calm. Your punishment is not fair. So this procedure commonize the deaths and murders. At the end, you cannot be able to uphold the law and protect the peace which once you only need to give up a few lives in the name of equality and deterrence. Now you are paying the price by giving up thousands of lives. Isn’t that right? That’s the source material which differentiate the celestial crime laws from earthly man-made laws.
3 – The third foundation that the islamic punishment laws are based on is, purifying the criminal. Islam doesn’t always thing about the victims side, it thinks about the criminals aspect too. Because the commited crime is not just about the extortion to victims rights, it’s a violation against Allah’s rights as well. The criminal is violating the natural right which Allah gives to human, the right of life. So naturally violating this right has an equal punishment, because it’s a crime and a sin on that matter. That’s why the punishments in islam are also the repetences. The person who serves his time or pays the price for the crime he once committed, is considered purified. As in the sins of this particular crime is deleted because he pays the price with equality on his living days. This foundation is also a calming reason for the criminals conscience.
Think about it, if a person whose conscience is still intact, his virtues are not because corrupted yet, but forced to commit a crime, the guilt won’t leave him forever then. The feeling of this guilt will eat him every single day until his demise. Isn’t that right? Islam gives an option of clearing the conscience to the criminal with that. By using the option of confession. But with a single doubt, the punishment is dropped. Because there’s a hadith about this. idreul hudude bishubehat. Drop the punishments with reasonable doubts. (Tirmizi) If you have a slight of doubt in your case, the conviction is automatically dropped.
179-) Ve lekum fiylkisasi hayatun ya ulil’elbabi leallekum tettekun;
There is for you, life in retribution. The intelligent ones who contemplate… So that you may be protected. (A.Hulusi)
In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, O ye men of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Ve lekum fiylkisasi hayatun ya ulil’elbabi In the Law of Equality, there’s life for you. Fair retribution and just conviction has Life within. There’s a resurrection for you. O man of intelligence, says Qur’an. As in use your heads, be a man of thinking.
As you can see, Allah doesn’t say; “I ordered this. So it shall be.” Check the behaviour of Allah. He’s not saying; “You cannot ask for the reason.” He’s saying; “O you, the men of understanding; “I ordered this, so think over it. If you use your heads right, if you still have sensibility, you will realize that this is the truest, fairest, most natural and beautiful way, the best law for you.” O the people of intelligence, there’s life for you in this. Why life? Of course;
1- Because of the deterrence for murders. This law decreases the numbers of crime and criminals. Because of its deterrence aspect. If the murderer knows that he can easily be put down after the crime, can he still be able to do that with ease? But if he says; “I can rest for 3 years, 5 years or 10 years in a facility, then a great pardon and I’m out again. Even without the pardon, I can stay there. You know the regular crimes. A woman is stabbed by a man in the middle of the street. He gets 1 or 2 years of penalty, then gets out. So tell me know, isn’t this the definition encouraging the crime, or what. You kill someone, then wonder around waving your hands. Life is so cheap, really? Yes, there’s life in kisas. Why is that? Because the killer must first embrace the idea of dying first. If he cannot accept this fact, he also cannot accept that murder is an option.
2- From another point of view, there’s more life in kisas. If you use the law of equality as a community, then all those blood feuds, rival family executions will be over. You can save countless of lives with that. Because the criminal will face justice and the relatives of the victim will find closure.
3- Again there’s life in kisas. Eternal life. Killers eternal life will be saved and he will face Allah purified, cleaned. So, there’s life. And that’s the way this verse should be understood.
leallekum tettekun; “Maybe this way, you realize your responsibilities to people, to Allah, to nature and to community.” says Qur’an. Kisas is a way of responsibility.
[Additional Info: MORE INFO ON KISAS ARGUMENTS.
For either regular killings or premeditated murders; those who object the death penalty or kisas, are all based their arguments on philosophical or religional evidences.
1-Even with all the evidences prove otherwise, and sees the benefit to humanity; human nature loathes the concepts of death penalty and in that matters, kisas. His conscience denies that.
2-Execution is a loss for humanity and taking a second life instead of just one.
3-Taking or demanding a mans life with kisas way, is based on the merciless feelings and revenge in heart. Those feelings are evil and to prevent this, it would be appropriate to incarcerate the murderer, educate him through hard work and prevent further crimes by this way, instead of just taking his life. It’s possible to admit that the killer is just ill. Because no sane man can take a life, so just like other mental patiences take treatments in mental facilities, those people should get the same attention and treatment like them.
4-Laws have been made for the current socities in their times, and answer the needs of that time period. Therefore it’s unnatural to keep the same laws throughout time. Kisas laws are like that. Today societies need their individuals. The relatives of the victim may want punishment for the murderer. When these two sides meet, the only logical outcome and solution is, incarcerating the person by sentencing him for life or by some similat sentences in that scale.
Holy Qur’an answers those objections with this words.
“Whoever kills a person except (as retribution) for a (murdered) person or for spreading corruption in the land, it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind… And whoever saves a person’s life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind...”
According to this verse which points out the imporance of life rights and giving them without making discrimination; it’s not right to this a matter of murder as a crime about just two people, or a matter of individuality. It must either be prevented to take lives and the living rights of entire humanity are guaranteed or the rights recieve constant threats. A societies structural integrity depends on its individuals. What real and important are those individuals. So if protecting the lives of individuals cannot be achieved, then protecting the life of society cannot be possible.
In order to answer those objections above, it’s possible to say these.
a) Almost every human being, tries to prevent a person who takes action to take his life, at a price of killing him. Naturally every law systems count “self-defense” as “not against the law.” Also societies take similar actions and open war against other countries which assault their countries, lifestyles, personal gains. These two happenings show that in cases like protecting life and its necessities; human nature doesn’t find “self-defense” or taking another mans life, as against conscience or law.
b)If a community succeeds in its educations and people don’t commit crimes even without the possibility of heavy retributions; and if these facts are proved by scientific datas; then rare occurances of murder cases can be sentenced with different punishments and precautions. Islam gives the possibility of forgiving or asking for money charge as a kisas demand. So naturally this door is always open.
But until it’s proved that the precations and punishments other than kisas, making this crimes of murders much rare and prevent further similar crimes by science; fair retribution type punishments will still prevent its position of being optionless.
c) Although the feelings life, mercy and compassion are beautiful feelings; they cause tyrany, violations of rights and lack of security of human rights, if not used properly. If the system works to ignore the victims side and benefits the murderer, then the laws become weak and desperate instead of being just.
d)The action of punishing a crime with similar actions. If this trend becomes a tools of seeking justice and celestiality and evaluated as a tool of education and guilt prevention, instead of seeing it as a personal and egotistic feeling; it wouldn’t be looked at something bad.
e)Connecting the murder to mental illnesses and sending criminals to hospitals instead of jails or death rows; doesn’t bring a conclusion other than encouraging the murder. On top of that, today’s specialists object this notion and count murder as a punishment required crime; not an illness.
f)Many countries have death penalties in their laws these days. In certain cases those law-bringers thought it’s just to execute the person instead of putting him on jail and benefit from him. As they see it’s mandatory putting him down to prevents the rights of living. The economical benefit of killer doesn’t considered as high as protecting the human lives. (In that cases the lives of other people which can be saved by kisas).
g)To prevent accidental executions; Islam has brought the practice of preventing certain punishments in certain cases; if there’s a slightly misunderstanding or a single doubt. (Prof. Dr. Hayrettin Karaman)]
180-) Kutibe aleykum iza hadara ehadekumul mevtu in terake hayra* elvasiyyetu lilvalideyni vel akrabiyne Bil ma’ruf* hakkan alel muttekiyn;
When death approaches one of you, if a good (wealth) is going to be left, a bequest should be made to the parents or relatives. This is a duty upon those who wish to be protected! (Ahmet Hulusi)
It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the God- fearing. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Kutibe aleykum iza hadara ehadekumul mevtu in terake hayra We passed on to another topic. Even it seems not completely independent, it surely have not many connections with each others. But; the passage we have been studying for a while, is about orders and restrictions. Allah sent down instructions one after another here. And now we came to the heritage verse. We cannot say completely irrelevant though. Because the death is above. And those who met their demises, left heritages. It doesn’t matter the person is guilty or innocent, death is there. The problems about death were written in previous verse, and here the solutions are brought to the table, solutions of the problems which may arise with death. So the heritage verse comes.
Kutibe aleykum iza hadara ehadekumul mevt When death approaches one of you, when one of you realizes he’s about to face death, in terake hayran if a good (wealth) is going to be left, elvasiyyetu lilvalideyn , a bequest should be made to the parents vel akrabiyn or relatives. He should bequeathed his left behind belongings to his mother, father and relatives. Bil ma’rufi *hakkan alel muttekiyn; And how should he do that? He should do that with just. With reasonable scales. I will translate this further in a while. hakkan alel muttekiyn This is a truth which should be followed by those who feel responsibility to Allah. Yes.!
This verse is famous by its content and is called the heritage verse. Via this verse Allah advises a person which is close to death, should make a bequest his belongings to those who are left behind, if he has any. Heritage word is also a name about advise. A person who will face death in a close time should leave his belongings to his parents and relatives as heritage.
According to some translators, this verse is revoked by the verses Nisa 7-11 and 12 and some other heritage related verses. Also there are some other translators, included the first generation translators like Ibn Abbas and his followers. Again Katade, Master Mujahit and some others are in this group of translators which have been saying; “No, this verse is not a revoked or left out.” I also believe this comment is more accurate. Because the other verse, the verse Nisa-11, which is used to revoke this one; has a clear phrase like this. “..min ba’di vasiyyetin yusiy Biha ev deyn..” As in, the division of the late’s belongings and his debts among the inheritors.
If this verse is revoked as they say, should the other verse which is used to revoke this one has this phrase in it? Ones who ask this question are fair indeed. The motive is clear and in place. This verse is not a revoked or invalid by order. But this verse is sent to us with other heritage related verses like the ones in the sura of Nisa. So who has these rights and to whom should they leave his belongings?
1-Since non-muslim parents cannot be inheritors for a muslim childs heritage, there should be some form of compensation in that scale for them.
Again if parents would have been involved in their childs demise, they cannot get any heritage either. But if they are in poor condition, again some form of compensation can be made.
Also relatives. Not every relatives can be counted as heirs. For example for parentless childrens and orphans whose mother and father are dead; cannot be counted as heirs from a grandparents heritage according to Islamic Law. So how should they be treated in this situation? According to this verse they cannot be left out. They should absolutely be counted as inheritors. If they would be left out in persons will, the scale of necessity takes over and they are counted for a portion of inheritance.This form of seperation was first used by Omar Bin Abdulaziz; the great caliph Omar The Second. This became mandatory and official.
Also in situation like this; one of a mans child is poor, others are rich. With the necessity of not offending the others; this is being told here with; Bil ma’ruf with niceness. Within this scale of Bil ma’ruf’ , without offending the other children, an additional inheritance can be made for that side. In a hadith we read; this additional portion cannot be over 1/3 of entire inheritance. Rasulallah said no for a man who wanted to bequeath most of his belongings (more than 1/3) to one of his sons. So 1/3 of entire inheritance can be given to a single heir, if the other inheritors’ blessings and confirmations are taken. It’s possible.
Also a relative who is poor but not a heir to an inheritance can be added to a will. As you can see, the speech and the intention of this verse is very clear. But I want to point out another truth that this verse wants us to realize. The realization of death for us via the matter of inheritance. This orders and words are advises for people who are close to death. But we have no way of knowing how much death is close to us. Can it be possible to know about our demises out of nothing? So the celestial message we need to realize from this advise should be; “your will should be ready for all time.”
The greatest of inheritances is not over material belongings. It’s the inheritance of religion. Inheriting Allah to people who are left behind. Inheriting Qur’an, religion, faith and the cause. Advising the struggle over Allah’s path is the greatest of all inheritances. Rasulallah had given this as inheritance to his community with his Last Speech. Final Sermon is the will of Rasulallah for his community.
The most beautiful inheritance is, leaving the sirat-i mustakiym for those who are left behind. Giving sirat-i mustakiym as inheritance… This inheritance for heirs will be like a note written to Judgement Day and it will be your ever-living good deed even after your death. Maybe those who cannot fulfill their promises to you may be able to, by your will. This is like the horses which keep running after you are shot to death. For that every true believer should leave Allah, Qur’an, Prophet And Faith as inheritance for those who are left behind as inheritors.
Can you imagine the effect of a persons last words over people, his will starting with; “My children, my dear wife, my precious kids, my beloved brothers, sisters…” and inviting them to Sirat-i Mustakiym? Can you imagine the depth of those invitations made by your beloved father or mother or your husband or wife to you. It might be even possible to straighten a kid, a wife, a sibling or friend who was going astray before, not listening the words of truth but with those last words, with that persons will, find the true path again. So why not use this last opportunity? If he does that, this last action, his last will reflects to his afterlife as a good deed. It becomes his ongoing charity.
Of course this can be done by people who are at peace with death. Leaving a will means having the guts of walking around with death side by side. Then who can scare you with death? Who can threathen, who can scare a person with death if he’s so at peace with death enough to write his will? This gives a person a very different kind of strength, a different kind of power.
When I say, “Inheritance.”, the concept of “foundation.” Islam is a civilization of foundation organizations. Charity foundations have been founded by these kind of inheritances. Giving most of his belongings to the Way of Allah. Making Allah his inheritor. If a person wants to live even after death, he should leave his belongings to Allah. First person in Islam who donated his belongings as inheritance, was a Jew. Or should I say; a true-born Muslim, a natural muslim who born as a son of Israel. It’s more accurate. The story of Muhayrik… I mentioned it in my book “Becoming Jew-minded Attitude.”
He came to the prophet before the Battle of Uhud. He was a wealthy Israelian Scholar. “O Muhammad. I will fight under your banner. If I die, I’m leaving you all my possessions, I’m donating them to you for using on the way of Allah.” He passed away in battle. Rasulallah buried him near the corner of Muslim cemetary and said. “He was one of the best among sons of Israel and to most beneficent.” He was the first person who donate his possessions to Islam. After him, Caliph Omar used the same thing. Donating your belongings to Islam means continue living after your death.
[Additional Info: The beneficence in the holy verse is possessions. But is it about most of his belongings or a small amount. Or both paths can be used about this?
Many debates have been made on this topic. Some say whether it’s less or more, what wants to be said here is possessions. But some translated the meaning as most. According to this, donating your possessions if you are poor is not allowed. Ibn Abbas and Caliph Ali had restricted the poors on donating their possessions. (Ali Kucuk-Besairu’l Qur’an)]
181-) Femen beddelehu ba’de ma semi’ahu feinnema ismuhu alelleziyne yubeddilunehu, innAllahe Semiy’un Aliym;
And whoever alters (does not comply with the bequest) after hearing it, the fault is only upon the one who alters it. Certainly Allah is the Sami, the Aleem. (Ahmet Hulusi)
If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it, the guilt shall be on those who make the change. For Allah hears and knows (All things). (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Femen beddelehu ba’de ma semi’ahu feinnema ismuhu alelleziyne yubeddilunehu, And whoever alters the bequest after hearing it, whoever changes, corrupts it. Alters the bequest after learning for his or someone elses benefit; feinnema ismuhu alelleziyne yubeddilunehu, the guilt shall be on those who make the change. The sin is on him. innAllahe Semiy’un Aliym; For Allah hears and knows (All things).
Again the call here is to be honest and ethical. Especially over the contracts content, about not betraying the trust. Bequest, will is a trust and it is said here, advised here that altering the will on one side’s benefit is not ethical.
182-) Femen hafe min musin cenefen ev ismen feasleha beynehum fela isme aleyh* innAllahe Gafur’un Rahiym;
But if one fears a mistake or a deliberate aberration from the bequeather and mediates (among the inheritors), there is no fault upon him. Most certainly, Allah is the Ghafur, the Rahim. (Ahmet Hulusi)
But if anyone fears partiality or wrong-doing on the part of the testator, and brings about a settlement amongst (the parties concerned), there is no wrong in him: For Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Femen hafe min musin cenefen ev ismen But if anyone fears of acting faulty or doing wrong; if someone fears of the consequences of the unjustly divided inheritance, min musin fears for the inheritors wrong behaviour of falling for a mistake; feasleha beynehum fela isme aleyh Then the situation is different. Then there’s no sin over looking for settlement amongst heirs. It’s possible that the inheritor looks the situation differently and makes an unjust, wrong division for his inheritance. He’s on the edge of death, his judgement might be clouded, and because of this injustice caused by some weakness; if someone witness this injustice, he can interfere to correct this wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. innAllahe Gafur’un Rahiym; For Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.
183-) Ya eyyuhelleziyne amenu kutibe aleykumusSiyamu kema kutibe alelleziyne min kablikum leallekum tettekun;
O believers, Siyam (fasting – the act of reducing corporeality to its lowest level and turning to one’s essence) has been decreed upon you as it was decreed for those before you. That you may be protected! (A.Hulusi)
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,- (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
We passed on to another topic. Fasting. O you, who have claims of faith, who says they are faithful. Shall I advise you a proving ground for your claims? Command, O Rabb.! kutibe aleykumusSiyamu Fasting is decreed upon you. kema kutibe alelleziyne min kablikum Just like it was decreed upon to those before you. leallekum tettekun; Do you know why fasting becomes a “must order”, a decree? To awakening the mind of responsibility over us. Why this mind of responsibility, more importantly, how? Fasting is the sustenance of soul. It’s not the starvation of body, it’s the feeding of soul.
In Mecca-origin Suras, there’s no fasting situation is processed, except the sura of Mary. In Mary chapter; inniy nezertu lirRahmani savmen the fasting was given us with the word “savm”. Savm is the fasting of silence. Also in literature, fasting means, holding, cutting, severing and breaking the bonds. Fasting of silence is one of the fasting types in Jewism, just like not eating meat, fish, cheese; not drinking milk… There are several special fastings in their religion. But they are all included in fasting. As in a person who is in fasting is bound not to talk with sin-filled words. He’s also in fasting, bound not to talk bad either. “I’m in fasting.” he should say.” He’s bound not to be offensive, bound not to be angry. “I’m in fasting, I cannot be offensive.” he should say. With those, the fasting grows and becomes an ethical action over you.
Yes. Just like it was decreed those before you. As we already know, there’s no verse in Tora, decreeing the fasting but the fasting is glorified and the people who have done it are praised. Just like in Bible, not a decree but praised as well.
Again fasting is not just for the People of Book, other heathens have this. Maybe passed on from an ancient but uncorrupted verse or a prophet’s teachings. In ancient Rome, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece as well as todays Hinduism; fasting is a big worshipping activity. Fasting is an action existed in every multi-deity or paganist religions. For that we can easily say that fasting is a mutual ritual and religious action in both true and superstitious beliefs.
If we ask, what’s the purpose of fasting; the end part of the verse gives us that. leallekum tettekun; so that we may be protected. Opening the mind, gaining a responsibility. Fasting has three purposes.
1-Celebrating Qur’ans birthday. Fasting is a must. Ramadan is the month Qur’an began to arrive. Night of Power is a night within Ramadan and the birthnight of Qur’an. We learn this from Qur’an itself. By doing our fastings, we have been also celebrating the birth of Qur’an. Of course we should ask this. “What have you done with the child whose birthday you celebrate?” Did you kill the child and celebrate his birthday then? Where’s the Qur’an which it’s birthday you celebrate? Where do you have it, what’s its position in your lives? Everyone of us should ask ourselves this question, sirs.
2-Educating the ego. Fasting is an action, educating the ego and nourishing the soul. Purifies us. An inside purification. A wealth within us. A journey to our very existence.
3.Teaching us the poors and famished. Fasting is the best technic for teaching us the humanities hardships by giving us a taste. Allah teaches us manners by making us see a taste of poor, needy, hungry folks all around the world.
Fasting gives us these 3 consciousness. If we have them, then we gain responsibilities both to Allah, to ourselves and to community. And this is takva.This is piety.
[Additional Info: Prolonged fasting ‘re-boots’ immune system
Results of a new study on mice and a phase 1 trial of humans suggest that prolonged cycles of fasting – for 2-4 days at a time – not only protect against toxic effects of chemotherapy, but also trigger stem cell regeneration of new immune cells and clearing out of old, damaged cells.
The study, by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, and published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first to show that a natural intervention can trigger regeneration of an organ or system through stem cells.
The team believes the findings could benefit people with immune system damage, for example if they have received chemotherapy treatment for cancer. It could also benefit the elderly whose immune systems are weakened through aging, making them more susceptible to disease.
The scientists say prolonged fasting appears to shift stem cells of the immune system from a dormant state to an active state of self-renewal.
Results from experiments with mice and a phase 1 human clinical trial showed that long periods of fasting significantly lowered levels of white blood cells. In the mice, it flipped a switch that changed the signaling pathways of hematopoietic stem cells – a group of stem cells that generate blood and immune systems.
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” says Valter Longo, a professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, and director of the USC Longevity Institute.
He says that when you stop eating, the body uses up stored glucose, fat and ketones, and also recycles worn out and damaged immune cells.
“What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting,” he explains. “Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”
In mice, prolonged fasting replenished worn out immune cells with new ones
The researchers found that fasting for 2-4 days reduced PKA, an enzyme that is involved in extending lifespan in simple organisms.
In mice, prolonged periods of fasting – repeated cycles of 2-4 days with no food – over the course of 6 months, killed older and damaged immune cells and generated new ones.
During each fasting cycle, the drop in white cell levels triggered a stem-cell based regeneration of new immune cells. In particular, prolonged fasting reduced PKA, an enzyme that the team had previously discovered is involved in extending lifespan in simple organisms.
Other studies have also linked PKA to the control of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency – the extent to which they can become different cell-types.
Prolonged fasting also led to a drop in IGF-1, a growth factor hormone linked to aging, cancer and tumor progression.
Switching off the gene for PKA is the key step that triggers the stem cells to shift to regeneration, Prof. Longo says. “It gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system.”
And the good news, he adds, is that the body also rids itself “of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.”
Three-day fast protected cancer patients from toxic chemo effects
In a clinical trial involving a small group of cancer patients, the team also found that fasting for 3 days before receiving chemotherapy protected them from its toxic effects.
While chemotherapy saves lives, it also causes significant damage to the immune system, and the team hopes their findings show that fasting may help to minimize some of that harm.
Meanwhile, there is no suggestion that people should try to get these same effects by prolonged fasting, which should only be done under medical supervision.
More clinical studies are now needed to test the effectiveness of the approach in humans and also examine the side effects.
Prof. Longo says they are now investigating whether these same regeneration effects work with other systems and organs as well as the immune system. His lab is already planning further animal studies and clinical trials.
Funds from the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the V Foundation and the National Cancer Institute of the NIH helped finance the study.
Meanwhile, Medical News Today recently reported how stem cells show potential for brain damage repair. Research from Australia suggests by manipulating cell-surface proteins it may be possible to get bone marrow stem cells to differentiate into brain cells. If the method proves viable, it could lead to ways of generating new brain cell populations for repairing brain damage.
Written by Catharine Paddock PhD]
184-) Eyyamen ma’dudat* femen kane minkum meriydan ev ala seferin feiddetun min eyyamin uhar* ve alelleziyne yutiykunehu fidyetun ta’amu miskiyn* femen tetavve’a hayran fehuve hayrun lehu, ve en tesumu hayrun lekum in kuntum ta’lemun;
This is for a certain number of days. But whoever among you is ill or traveling, then they can make up for the days they couldn’t experience (fasting). Those whose health condition is not strong enough for fasting should feed someone in need (for each day they miss) as compensation. One who gives more than this will have greater benefit. Siyam (fasting – the act of reducing corporeality to its lowest level and turning to one’s essence) is more beneficial for you (than paying compensation), if only you knew. (A.Hulusi)
(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Eyyamen ma’dudat These (fastings) are for a certain number of days. femen kane minkum meriydan ev ala seferin feiddetun min eyyamin uhar But whoever among you is ill or on travel, then they can make up for the days they couldn’t do their fastings.
Don’t try asking the measure of illness. You should find your own measurements on this matter by being virtuous to Allah, this is a matter of ethics. Being ethical in Allah’s business. That’s for the concept of isteftikal vek, getting the decree from your hearts.
And if you ask about the measurements of travel; well there are some debates on this among first community. Rasulallah hadn’t put standart measurements on this matter. So in travels which you are forced to shorten your daily prays, you can postpone your fasting duties as well. But this is not a rule, it’s a license. The person who holds onto his duties even with tough circumstances will surely get their prizes.
Although one time, a Yemeni had come to Rasulallah and asked him in his language; “Eminem birriem sami mim sefer?” In Yemeni language lam is read as mim. “Is it virtuous to do our fastings while on travel? And Rasulallah answered him with his language; “Leyse min em birriem sam’i mim sefer..!” “No, it’s not virtuous to do fastings on travel.” But the travel mentioned here is the battle journey, a war marching, so to speak. And it’s clear that the hardship of a journey for battle must be indeed rough.
ve alelleziyne yutiykunehu fidyetun ta’amu miskiyn Those who are in no condition for fasting, (who have the potential of giving) should feed someone in need (for each day they miss) as compensation.
I translated yutiykunehu here as who have the condition, the potential, the power of giving. But according to Ibn. Abbas and the other following him, a second point of view is there. Taberi takes both sides. Yutallikune Those who are in no condition, which has to opposite meaning here. But I believe my version is more accurate in literal meaning. Also Ibn. Abbas has another translation which he takes this word as this meaning too.
Yes, if we read it like that, there’s a “hu” pronoun which borns the question of the origin. As in “Hu” pronoun, if it is translated as “whoever in capable” that the origin goes to taamil miskin. But even in that state, this pronoun has two sides, two sectioned word. Whoever in capable of experiencing his fastings, also should feed someone in need. In Ramadan, a person should experience his fasting duty and help other people in need.
femen tetavve’a hayran fehuve hayrun lehu And whoever gives more than this will have greater benefit. This is another truth this verse wants to point out. ve en tesumu hayrun lekum in kuntum ta’lemun; And it is better for you that you experience fasting,
This comment illuminates the section above. Even if you are in condition of fasting duty, it’s possible to give some compensation instead. But we should see this in the light of “tedric”, leveling process. Fasting duty; just like other religious deeds and actions, became a must, level by level. When it first became a duty, people have licenses not to do their fastings but give money to others instead. Muaz Bin Cebel had a hadith on that matter, showing us this fact. He was saying; “Arabs weren’t very used to fasting. They were considering it as a hardship. That’s why they had hard times when fasting became a must-duty.”
This was an alternate route at first times. But the following verse has explained it further and said whoever reaches Ramadan, he should do his fastings. With this approach the condition of feeding others are revoked, it became a license. A license just for those who are very sick or old and unable to do their fastings. This is a good and true approach on this matter.
185-) Shehru Ramadanelleziy unzile fiyhil Kur’anu huden linNasi ve beyyinatin minel huda velFurkan* femen shehide minkumushehre felyesumhu, ve men kane meriydan ev ala seferin feiddetun min eyyamin uhar* yuriydullahu Bikumul yusra ve la yuriydu Bi kumul ‘usr* ve li tukmilul ‘iddete ve li tukebbirullahe ala ma hedakum ve leallekum teshkurun;
The Quran, which enables the realization of the truth and delineates the difference between the right and the wrong, has been revealed in the month of Ramadan. Whoever among you is present in this month should fast (experience the essence of fasting at every level). And whoever is ill or traveling can make up for the days that are missed. (HU) wants to facilitate experiencing your essential reality through fasting, not cause you hardship. By completing the required amount of days (HU) wants you to feel and appreciate His Akbariyyah, to the degree of your experience of the reality. (A.Hulusi)
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qurán, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Shehru Ramadanelleziy unzile fiyhil Kur’anu huden linNasi ve beyyinatin minel huda velFurkan Month of Ramadan; there it is. The birthmonth of Qur’an. A holy time period that Qur’an arrived in it. Normally there’s no celestiality in it, only because it’s the birthmonth of Qur’an, Ramadan gets a holy nature. huden linNasi ve beyyinatin Qur’an, as a guide to mankind ve beyyinatin minel huda Carrying clear evidences proving this guidance velFurkan and Furkan, the ability of distinguishing right from wrong. This Qur’an sent down in this month. This verse explains why the month of Ramadan has more celestial nature.
femen shehide minkumuushehre felyesumhu This is the section which was assigned to the previous verse: whoever witness the arrival of this month, should definitely experience fasting. Felyesumh ..!
ve men kane meriydan ev ala seferin Whoever has an illness or a journey, feiddetun min eyyamin uhar can make up for the days that are missed later. yuriydullahu Bikumul yusra ve la yuriydu Bi kumul ‘usr Allah intends every easinesses (options) for you; He does not want to put to difficulties.
You see the expression? You see the mercy of our Rabb? Allah has been saying; “By sending down these orders, by giving you these decrees; I’m not intending you to be put to difficulties; these are for you. If my intentions are to challenge you with these orders, then I wouldn’t give you those licenses. My worshippers I’m not putting my blessing on absolute must and impossible. I’m putting my blessings on possible; fair and possible.” This is what Rabb of All Worlds says. Allah intends every easiness for you.
Our Aisha mother (wife of Muhammad (p.b.u.h.)) informs us with this. “When prophet needs to choose between two things, he always chooses the easy one.” Again in another hadith of Rasulallah, he said; “Ease things, don’t complicate them.” This touch became a fundamental religious ideology in Islamic Laws.
ve li tukmilul ‘iddete ve li tukebbirullahe ala ma hedakum Allah does this so that you may complete the required amount of days. ve li tukebbirullahe ala ma hedakum Again a question of why? So that you may reach the true path of salvation, so that you glorify Allah and chant his name. ve leallekum teshkurun; and perchance you shall be grateful, so that you shall show your gratitude.
The reasons of fastings are these. So that we may chant the name of Allah, glorify Allah and show our gratitudes. Gratitude of what? “O our Rabb, it’s a blessing that you talked to us. If you hadn’t shown us the true path with your words of revelations, we would surely be among those who lost their ways. For that we are greatful.” This is showing the gratitude for Qur’an.
186-) Ve iza seeleke ‘ibadiy ‘anniy feinniy kariyb* uciybu da’veteddâ’i iza de’ani, felyesteciybu liy vel yu’minu Biy leallehum yershudun;
So, if my servants ask you of ME, undoubtedly I am Qarib (as close as the limits of one’s understanding; remember the verse ‘I am closer to you than your jugular vein’!) I respond to those who turn to me (in prayer). So let them respond to me and believe in me so that they experience their maturation. (A. Hulusi)
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Ve iza seeleke ‘ibadiy ‘anniy feinniy kariyb Right after showing gratitude and glorifying the name of Allah, what should we need? Appreciation of course. Shouldn’t we need to appreciate Allah with our fullest? Can it be possible to show our gratitude without showing our appreciation? So what do we need to show our appreciation for Allah? We should know our “limits” of course. We should know our weakness and helplessness and inabilities. Because it’s not possible to comprehend the depths of greatnesses of Allah. Our minds cannot handle that.
So, you appreciate the helpless nature instead. By doing that, you automatically appreciate Allah’s greatness. Because in that process, you can be in only one position. A position of praying. Praying means, knowing the personal inability and fragile nature. Praying is a confession of a persons helplessness. So here, a great verse arrived on matter of praying.
Ve iza seeleke ‘ibadiy ‘anniy If my worshippers ask you about ME; feinniy kariyb I’m indeed close to them. What a magnicifent and clear truth. Only a revelation can use such a clear tone. They should know that I’m Kariyb, close to them.
uciybu da’vetedda’ı iza de’ani I respond to those who turn to me (in prayer). I come to the invitation of those who invite me. I answer the cries of those who beg me. felyesteciybu liy So my worshippers, you come to my call. Run to my invitation, I invite you, I pray for you. I pray for you with mercy, blessing and heaven. With Muhammad and Qur’an. Come to my invitation with these. vel yu’minu Biy and believe. Accept my invitation with unconditional faith. leallehum yershudun; Hopefully you shall find the true path. You shall reach the true path.
[Additional Info: These are some obstacles like eating, drinking, having intercourse and other bodily pleasures which are holding a person from feeling the closeness of Allah and live under that mental state. If people are always in that earthly pleasures, they cannot realize the window which opens to beyond physical worlds and beings. They cannot watch other realms, they cannot think about them and contact with them. They cannot enjoy the unprecedented pleasures of those. The fasting ritual, offers a unique opportunity to a person by closing the aspect of earthly pleasures, so that maybe people see the other view. If a person can benefit this opportunity with his whole being, he will find Allah’s closeness and company and will find a way of living so vivid and consciously, unlike the days he was only having earth-bound pleasures. This verse is an invitation of taking this opportunity and a reminder or truth to those who do their fasting duties. (Tafsir of Religious Organization.)]
So those who accept the invitation of Allah; Allah also accept their invitations as well. For those who ignore this invitation cannot get Allah’s closeness. Hopefully Allah puts us among those who invite Him from the depth of our hearts, realize the closeness of Allah, closer that our own jugular vein. Among those who invite Allah to his heart and accept Allah’s invitation by inviting him to himself.
“Ve ahiru davana velil hamdulillahi rabbil alemiyn” (Jonah/10) “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds!” All products of our claims, causes and lives are for Allah and our last word to our Allah is “Hamd”.