The command to spend in the cause of Allah, Glorified and Praised Be He

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

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The command to spend in the cause of Allah, Glorified and Praised Be He.

وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

(195. And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 195

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Al-Bukhari recorded that Hudhayfah said:

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) “It was revealed about spending.” Ibn Abu Hatim reported him saying similarly. He then commented, “Similar is reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata’, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.”

Aslam Abu `Imran said, “A man from among the Ansar broke enemy (Byzantine) lines in Constantinople (Istanbul). Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari was with us then. So some people said, `He is throwing himself to destruction.’ Abu Ayyub said, `We know this Ayah (2:195) better, for it was revealed about us, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger who participated in Jihad with him and aided and supported him. When Islam became strong, we, the Ansar, met and said to each other, `Allah has honored us by being the Companions of His Prophet and in supporting him until Islam became victorious and its following increased. We had before ignored the needs of our families, estates and children. Warfare has ceased, so let us go back to our families and children and attend to them.’ So this Ayah was revealed about us:

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.) the destruction refers to staying with our families and estates and abandoning Jihad’.” This was recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, `Abd bin Humayd in his Tafsir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduwyah, Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim. At-Tirmidhi said; “Hasan, Sahih, Gharib” Al-Hakim said, “It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it.”

Abu Dawud’s version mentions that Aslam Abu `Imran said, “We were at (the siege of) Constantinople. Then, `Uqbah bin `Amr was leading the Egyptian forces, while the Syrian forces were led by Fadalah bin `Ubayd. Later on, a huge column of Roman (Byzantine) soldiers departed the city, and we stood in lines against them. A Muslim man raided the Roman lines until he broke through them and came back to us. The people shouted, `All praise is due to Allah! He is sending himself to certain demise.’ Abu Ayyub said, `O people! You explain this Ayah the wrong way. It was revealed about us, the Ansar when Allah gave victory to His religion and its following increased. We said to each other, `It would be better for us now if we return to our estates and attend to them.’ Then Allah revealed this Ayah (2:195)’.”

Abu Bakr bin `Aiyash reported that Abu Ishaq As-Subai`y related that a man said to Al-Bara’ bin `Azib, “If I raided the enemy lines alone and they kill me, would I be throwing myself to certain demise” He said, “No. Allah said to His Messenger :

(Then fight (O Muhammad ) in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) That Ayah (2:195) is about (refraining from) spending.” Ibn Marduwyah reported this Hadith, as well as Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said; “It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it.” Ath-Thawri and Qays bin Ar-Rabi` related it from Al-Bara’. but added:

(You are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) “Destruction refers to the man who sins and refrains from repenting, thus throwing himself to destruction.”

Ibn `Abbas said:

(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction) “This is not about fighting. But about refraining from spending for the sake of Allah, in which case, one will be throwing his self into destruction.”

The Ayah (2:195) includes the order to spend in Allah’s cause, in the various areas and ways that involve obedience and drawing closer to Allah. It especially applies to spending in fighting the enemies and on what strengthens the Muslims against the enemy. Allah states that those who refrain from spending in this regard will face utter and certain demise and destruction, meaning those who acquire this habit. Allah commands that one should acquire Ihsan (excellence in the religion), as it is the highest part of the acts of obedience. Allah said:

(and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good).)

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