Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”
Chapter 6 Al-‘An`ām : Verse 151
Shirk is Forbidden
(I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from. ) meaning, I will inform you about what your Lord has forbidden for you in truth, not guessing or wishful thinking. Rather, it is revelation and an order from Him.
(Join not anything in worship with Him;) this Allah has ordained, for He said at the end of the Ayah,
(This He has commanded you that you may understand.) Messenger of Allah said,
(Jibril came to me and conveyed the good news that, “Whoever among your followers dies, worshipping none along with Allah, will enter Paradise.” I said, “Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse” He said, “Even if he stole or committed illegal sexual intercourse.” Messenger of Allah said,
(Allah said, `O Son of Adam! As long as you supplicate to Me and hope of Me, I will forgive whatever you committed, and it will be easy for Me to do that. And even if you brought the earth’s fill of sins to Me, I will bring forth its fill of forgiveness, as long as you do not associate anything or anyone in worship with Me. And even if you err and your errors accumulate until they reach the boundaries of the sky and you then ask Me for forgiveness, I will forgive you.’)
The Order for Kindness to Parents
Allah said next, (be kind and dutiful to your parents;) meaning, Allah has commanded and ordered you to be kind to your parents. Allah said in another Ayah, (And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents.) (17:23) Allah often mentions obeying Him and being dutiful to parents together. Allah said, (Give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in this world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.) (31:14-15) Therefore, Allah ordered children to be dutiful and kind to their parents, even if they were idolators.
It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Mas`ud said, “I asked Allah’s Messenger about which deed is the best. He said, (The prayer, when it is performed on time.) I said, `Then’ He said, (Being dutiful to parents.) I asked, `Then’ He said, (Jihad in Allah’s cause.) Ibn Mas`ud said, “The Messenger of Allah said these words to me, and had I asked him for more, he would have said more.”
Killing Children is Forbidden
Allah said, (Kill not your children because of poverty, We shall provide sustenance for you and for them.) After Allah commanded kindness to parents and grandparents, He next ordered kindness to children and grandchildren. Allah said,
(kill not your children because of poverty,) because the idolators used to kill their children, obeying the lures of the devils. They used to bury their daughters alive for fear of shame, and sometimes kill their sons for fear of poverty. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “I asked the Messenger of Allah , `Which sin is the biggest’ He said, (To call a rival for Allah, while He Alone created you.) I said, `Then what’ He said, (To kill your son for fear that he might share your food.’) I said, `Then what’ He said, (To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.)
(None is more jealous than Allah. This is why He has forbidden the immoral sins committed openly or secretly.) `Abdul-Malik bin `Umayr said that Warrad narrated that Al-Mughirah said that Sa`d bin `Ubadah said, “If I see a man with my wife (committing adultery), I will kill him with the sword.” When the matter came to the Messenger of Allah , he said, (Do you wonder at Sa`d’s jealousy By Allah, I am more jealous than Sa`d, and Allah is more jealous than I. This is why He has forbidden the immoral sins committed openly and in secret.)
The Prohibition of Unjustified Killing
(And kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law).) This part of the Ayah emphasizes this prohibition in specific, although it is included in the immoral sins committed openly and in secret. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The blood of a Muslim person who testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is prohibited, except for three offenses: a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse, life for life, and whoever reverts from the religion and abandons the Jama`ah (the community of faithful believers). (Whoever killed a person having a treaty of protection with the Muslims, and who enjoys the guarantee of Allah and His Messenger, he will have spoiled the guarantee of Allah ﴿for him﴾. He shall not smell the scent of Paradise though its smell is perceived from a distance of seventy years.)
Allah’s statement, (This He has commanded you that you may understand.) means, this is what He has commanded you that you may comprehend His commandments and prohibitions.