Quranic Inspiration 5

Quranic Inspiration 5

They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs.” Thus Allah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.”

Chapter 2 Al-Baqarah : Verse 219

Explanatory Notes:

The Gradual Prohibition of Khamr (Alchoholic Drink)

Allah said:

[They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drinks and gambling.]

[Say: In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men.]

As for the harm that the Khamr and gambling cause, it effects the religion. As for their benefit, it is material, including benefit for the body, digesting the food, getting rid of the excrements, sharpening the mind, bringing about a joyous sensation and financially benefiting from their sale. Also, (their benefit includes) earnings through gambling that one uses to spend on his family and on himself. Yet, these benefits are outweighed by the clear harm that they cause which affects the mind and the religion. This is why Allah said:

(…but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.)

This Ayah was the beginning of the process of prohibiting Khamr, not explicity, but it only implied this meaning. So when this Ayah was recited to `Umar, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Then, this Ayah that is in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed:

(O you who believe! Approach not As-Salah (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state.) (4:43)

Soon after, Allah sent down a clear prohibition of Khamr in Surat Al-Ma’idah:

(O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain) (5:90, 91)

Spending whatever One could spare of his Money on Charity

Allah said:

(And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is (spare) beyond your needs.”)

Al-Hakam said that Miqsam said that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah means, whatever you can spare above the needs of your family.

Ibn Jarir related that Abu Hurayrah said that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah! I have a Dinar (a currency).” The Prophet said:

(Spend it you on yourself.) Then (Spend it on your wife.) Then (Spend it on your offspring.) Then he said:[You have better knowledge (meaning how and where to spend it in charity)].

(Start with yourself and grant it some charity. If anything remains, then spend it on your family. If anything remains, then spend it on your relatives. If anything remains, then spend it like this and like that (i.e., on various charitable purposes).)

A Hadith states:

(O son of Adam! If you spend whatever you can spare, it would be better for you; but if you keep it, it would be worse for you. You shall not be blamed for whatever is barely sufficient.)

Allah said:

(Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat in order that you may give thought. In (to) this worldly life and in the Hereafter.) meaning, just as He stated and explained these commandments for you, He also explains the rest of His Ayat regarding the commandments and His promises and warnings, so that you might give thought in this life and the Hereafter.

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