Hate or love, and Warfare in sacred months
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verses – 216b & 217a of 286, Section – 26 & 27 of 40 (Part - 2)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. And Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
Wa ‘asaaa ‘an- takrahuu shay-‘anw-wa huwa khayrul-lakum. Wa ‘asaaa ‘an- tuhibbuu shay- ‘anw-wa huwa sharrul-lakum. WAllaahu ya’- lamu wa ‘antum laa ta’-lamuun.
‘Asaaa – (it may happen, haply, perhaps) it is possible, it may be.
In the previous part of the verse, God Almighty ordained for warfare and commanded that apparently the warfare seems bad to you but there is no other resource for the life of the community and exaltation of the nation without it.
Now to clear this subject, it is being commanded in a very good and unique manner: “And it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you.” Its evidence exists that, you don’t know about your good and bad. You don’t know, “what is better for you and what is worse. However, our Creator knows very well that what is better and what is worse for us. While it is the reality; then we should do that whatever He says and which He commands. There is good and better for us in it.
Without any doubt the most difficult thing in this world is to put one’s life and wealth in danger, and these both fears exist in the warfare. The human being can’t be ready easily to sacrifice these precious things. However, if he had known that this life and the entire paraphernalia of this life are casual, but immortal life and permanent comfort will be bestowed after it, then these things have no importance for the humankind.
Secondly, if the mankind would have belief that his Creator knows better about his profit and loss than him, moreover; he doesn’t have more knowledge. The entire wisdom and the goodness are in His control and whatever He says, that all is for his favor. In this form, an individual will get ready to sacrifice - whether it is his life and wealth or any other most precious thing. And at that time, nothing will be valuable for him.
They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred months. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression).
Yas-‘aluunaka ‘anish- Shahril-Haraami qitaalin-fiih. Qul qitaalun-fiihi kabiir.
‘Ash-Shahrul-Haraamu – (the sacred month), Lunar calendar has four sacred months; Muharram, Rajab, Zi Qa'dah and Zil-Hajjah. These months were considered very blessed and pure by the Arabs. While killing, devastation and militancy were their occupation, but they used to stop every kind of warfare during these four months. Here the month of Rajab indicates particularly towards ‘ash- Shahrul-Haraamu.
Cause of revelation of this verse is that in the 2nd Hijrah, once during a journey, a warfare took place among some Companions (may God be pleased with them) of the Holy Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and the Idolaters, and one Idolater was killed in the war. According to these companions, this warfare was fought on 30th of the month of Jamadi-us-saani which wasn’t a sacred month, but after that, it was known that the moon of Jamadi-us-saani had become of 29 days, and on which day; the warfare was fought, that was 1st of Rajab which was a sacred month.
To this error which happened unknowingly, the Infidels and Idolaters spread this news publicly and began taunting, “See! Now the Muslims don’t respect these months. They have begun the warfare also in the month of Rajab.” Due to this reason, those Companions approached the court of the Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and asked: It happened unintentionally. What we have to do now? Then this verse was revealed and the Muslims were told that the warfare is a worse thing during the sacred months but it is then; when the error is committed intentionally and having the knowledge of the sacred months; the warfare is fought. And this battle which the Muslims fought wasn’t fought intentionally but it was their misunderstanding.
The Scholars agree upon this matter that even now; whenever the Infidels will begin fighting in the sacred months, the Muslims can fight counter and defensive war to save them, can react on their attack because the human lives are more sacred than the sanctity of these months. It is more necessary to save them. Although, fighting in these sacred months is worse but the worst things are those which are committed by the Infidels. For example, they don’t believe in Allah Almighty, worship more gods instead of the One, do not believe in the Last Day (the Day of Resurrection), spread the sedition and quarrelsome, and exile the people from their houses, because these things are more worse and horrible than the warfare. The Infidels don’t think on their wicked deeds themselves. They began taunting the Muslims upon a little unknowingly error.
These matters have been described in the next part of this verse which will be explained in the next lesson. The Infidels and idolaters don’t see their own behavior but puzzle the Muslims. They are taunting due to an unintentional mistake.