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The Verses Of Jihad In Quran: Meaning, Reason Of Revelation, Context, And Background - Part 14

By Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, New Age Islam

(Translated from Urdu by Newageislam.com)

 28 January 2022

Explaining Verses 4:101 and 8:69 Out Of 26 Verses Presented By Wasim Rizvi In Supreme Court

Main Points Discussed In Part 14

1.      One of the things that the early Muslims had to learn in verse 4:101 was how to pray when they were fearful of the enemies and at war with them.

2.      Some commentators argue that the prayer of the journey is not meant in this verse, but rather the prayer of fear.

3.      The part of verse 4:101 that says, “Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy” relates to a reason.

4.      During the Prophet's lifetime, the infidels used to plot attacks against Muslims even during prayers. Muslims are therefore cautioned in this verse to always be aware and vigilant!

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“And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer, [especially] if you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you. Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy.” (4:101)

“Therefore benefit from the booty you have received, lawful and good; and keep fearing Allah; indeed Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (8:69)

It's important to notice that in verse 4:101, fear of the enemy isn't a prerequisite for shortening prayers (Qasr). The phrase “if you fear” does not make fear during travel a requirement for shortening prayers. Rather, this pertains to the situation at the time the verse was revealed, as travel was not without fear in those days. The expression “if you fear” was used to reflect the widespread fear of the enemy while travelling in those days. [Hence the readers should not be perplexed here, and 'fear' should not be considered a condition for shortening prayers]. The criterion of reducing prayers (Qasr) applies exclusively to the travels outlined by the jurists, regardless of whether the journey is for Jihad, trade, or some other reason.

One of the things that the Islamic Mujahideen had to learn was how to pray when they were fearful of the enemies and at war with them. This critical topic was addressed by Allah Almighty in this verse 4:101.

In [the Arabic verse of] the Quran, the word “Qasr” alludes to the shortening of prayers. The phrase “shortening of prayers” in this verse is not clearly defined. Is this limited to reducing the number of raka'ats of prayers, for example, by reducing the number of raka'ats of prayers from four to two? Is this implying that the prayers should be performed in a more reduced manner, such as performing prayers through gestures? Because this text does not precisely define what the phrase “shortening of prayers” means, commentators have come up with two different interpretations:

(2) Qasr in this verse refers to reducing the number of raka'ats. The majority of commentators share this viewpoint. They disagree, however, about whether the prayer in this verse refers to the prayer of the journey [Salat al-Safar] or the prayer of fear [Salat al-Khauf]. Some of them believe that this is the prayer of the journey. According to this premise, any prayer that is performed in four raka'ats during non-travel days will be offered in just two raka'ats on journey days, such as Zuhr, Asr, and Isha prayers. The Maghrib and Fajr prayers are not included in them, which means they will not be shortened.

Some commentators argue that the prayer of the journey is not meant in this verse, but rather the prayer of fear. Hazrat Ibn Abbas, Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah, and a group of other jurists believe this. Through the words of the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him], Allah has ordained it mandatory for the prayer of non-travel to be performed in four raka'ats, the prayer of the journey to be conducted in two raka'ats instead of four raka'ats, and the prayer of fear to be performed in one raka'at, according to Hazrat Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). (Sahih Muslim, Chapter on Prayer of traveller and its shortening, p.241)

Commenting on the aforementioned hadith, Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (may Allah have compassion on him) says that a section of Salaf has practised offering one raka'at of prayer in times of fear. Imam Hasan Basri and Ishaq bin Rahwiyyah hold this viewpoint. The great Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'i, and the majority of jurists, on the other hand, believe that the prayer of fear is the same as the prayer of peace. This indicates that four raka'ats will be performed on non-travel days and two raka'ats will be offered on travel days. They are, however, not permitted to perform one rak'ah under any conditions. These jurists responded to this hadith by saying that one rak'ah refers to the rak'ah that is performed alongside the Imam in a state of fear, while the other is performed separately. (See Imam Nawawi, Commentary on Sahih Muslim: Chapter on the prayer of traveller and its shortening, p. 241) Both of these viewpoints differ on the meaning of qasr as a reduction in the number of raka'ats.

(2)The second position is that Qasr in this verse refers to a reduction in the number of ways in which the raka'ats of prayers are completed. So the Qasr here means that the prayers should be performed using gestures. To put it another way, bowing and prostration should be done with gestures, and prayers should be brief. It is permitted to pray on foot in this situation. It is also permitted to pray even if you are bleeding. This is the prayer that is performed in the shadow of swords on the battlefield. Swords brandish from all sides as the battle proceeds, and lives are on the verge of dying. This prayer is offered at such moments.

This interpretation (shortening in the ways of raka'ats) has been labelled as weak by the author of Tafsir Kabir [Imam Razi].

It is recommended to use the word 'Qasr' in this verse to indicate that the four-raka'at prayer will be reduced to two Raka'ats. This is supported by the evidence of the hadith recounted by Hazrat Ya'li b. Umayyah, in which he says to Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), “Allah says, “And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer, [especially] if you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you. (4:101)”, and now that the people are safe (i.e. there is no longer any fear of the enemy), why is it necessary to shorten the prayer?”

Hazrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stated, “I was as astonished as you are by this judgement. Therefore I inquired about it with Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), who replied, "It is a charity that Allah has bestowed upon you, so accept His kindness.” (Sahih Muslim, Chapter on Prayer of traveller and its shortening, p.241). More proofs in this regard have been provided by the author of Tafsir-e-Kabir. (See Tafsir-e-Kabir, Imam Razi, under verse 4:101)

See the books of Fiqh to know how to perform the prayer of fear [Salat al-Khauf] (Razvi).

The part of verse 4:101 that says, “Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy” relates to a reason. Let us now consider why polytheists and unbelievers have been described as open enemies in this verse.

During the Prophet's lifetime, the infidels were constantly attempting to persecute Muslims. They never missed an occasion to make an assault on Muslims while they were at work. They used to plot attacks against Muslims even during prayers. As a result, Muslims are cautioned in this verse to always be aware and vigilant! They have been informed that the infidels and polytheists have animosity toward them and that they may attack you at any time.

This animosity still exists today. Muslims are still being targeted by non-Muslim superpowers. Videos of such tragic atrocities against vulnerable and helpless Muslims have been shared on social media, giving us shivers. The fanatical mob kills innocent Muslims on the road whenever it pleases, and the perpetrators are never apprehended or punished. Isn't this atrocity a clear indication that certain people regard Muslims as their enemies?

2. “Therefore benefit from the booty you have received, lawful and good; and keep fearing Allah; indeed Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (8:69)

Muslims are commanded in this verse to benefit from the spoils of war. The Companions refrained from taking the spoils of war, thus Allah revealed this verse and told the Muslims that taking the spoils of war is allowed. It's also been stated that the particle "ma" in this verse refers to the ransom mentioned in the previous verses. From this perspective, the verse means that it is one of the spoils of war and that it is likewise legal and permissible for them. (Tafsir Ibn Saud, vol.4, p.36)

When the Badr captives were brought to the Prophet's court, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) conferred with his Companions. Some Companions, like Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), speculated that they were family members. What good does it do to murder them? Perhaps they will embrace Islam. Therefore, they should be freed in exchange for a ransom, and their lives should be spared. On the contrary, several Companions, including Hazrat Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him), advocated for their execution and annihilation. They've caused us a lot of grief. As a result, they are deserving of having their necks blown off. We don't require their ransom payment. Rather, one of us should murder one’s relative! Ali should assassinate Aqeel, Hamza should assassinate Abbas, and I should assassinate a relative of mine.

But, on the counsel of Hazrat Abu Bakr, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) released all of the seventy captives and the noble Quraysh in exchange for ransom. This ransom is also one of the spoils of war, and it is permitted for you, according to this verse.

Allah Almighty later revealed the verse, confirming Hazrat Umar Farooq's and his supporters' opinion. This is mentioned in Surah Anfal verse 67. (Al-Razvi)

Other Parts Of The Articles:   

The Verses of Jihad: Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background- Part 1

The Verses of Jihad: Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background- Part 2

The Verses of Jihad: Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background- Part 3

The Verses of Jihad- Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background- Part 4

The Verses of Jihad in The Quran - Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background - Part 5

The Verses of Jihad in The Quran - Meaning, Denotation, Reason of Revelation and Background - Part 6

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context and Background - Part 7

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context and Background - Part 8

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context and Background - Part 9

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context and Background - Part 10

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context and Background - Part 11

The Verses Of Jihad In Quran: Meaning, Reason Of Revelation, Context, And Background - Part 12

The Verses of Jihad in Quran: Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context, and Background - Part 13

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Maulana Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, Principal of Madrasa Arabia Ashrafia Zia-ul-Uloom Khairabad, District Mau, UP (India) is a Sufi-minded, well-mannered, classical Islamic scholar, an expert teacher, an excellent writer, a good poet and orator. He has authored numerous books, some of which are as follows: 1) Fazilat-e-Ramazan, 2) Zad-ul-Haramain, 3) Mukhzin-e-Tib, 4) Tauzeehat-e-Ahsan, the commentary on  the well-known logical book “Mulla Hasan” 5) Muhazarat fi Halle Qutbi Tasawwurat, 6) Tahzib al-Faraid commentary on “Sharh al-Aqaid”, 7) Atayib al-Tahani fi Halle Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani, 8) Commentary on Sahih Muslim

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