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Holy Quran Section > Commentary of the Holy Quran by Dr. Basharat Ahmad > Chapter 107 (Al-Ma'un - Acts of Kindness)

Commentary of Chapter 107 (Al-Ma'un - Acts of Kindness) of the Holy Quran
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
Translated by KalamAzad Muhammad

1. Introduction:

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1. Hast thou seen him who belies religion?
2. That is the one who is rough to the orphan,
3. And urges not the feeding of the needy.
4. So woe to the praying ones,
5. Who are unmindful of their prayer!
6. Who do (good) to be seen,
7. And refrain from acts of kindness!"

This chapter is a Makkan revelation.

2. The Three Conditions Man Must Fulfil for Allah to Love Him:
In this chapter we are told that if we wish Allah to dwell in our hearts there are three things we have to do. In other words, if we wish the Lord of the Ka‘bah to reside in our hearts, we have to fulfil three obligatory conditions and then we will qualify for the throne of Allah being placed in our hearts.

Firstly, we must show kindness and compassion to His creation. Secondly, love for Him and reverence for His Oneness must prevail over everything else. Thirdly, our hearts must be generous and liberal, for Allah, Most High, is not fond of those who are not kind and sympathetic to His creatures; neither does He enter those hearts that are filled with false gods; nor can He live in narrow-minded and constricted hearts, for although the heavens and the earth, vast as they are, cannot contain Him, yet He can be contained in the hearts of those servants whose liberality and munificence of heart surpass the extensiveness of the heavens and the earth.

3. Allah Does not Love Those Whose Actions Contradict Their Words:
So Allah cannot live in the hearts of those who do not fulfil these conditions. Their claim to religiosity is baseless and even their performance of salah (prayers) is useless. Thus, the Holy Quran says: Araital-ladhi yukadh-dhibu bid-din (Hast thou seen him who belies religion?) Here the denial of religion means denying it in practice, that is, professing devotion to religion in words but acting contrary to the teachings of the religion.

Dhalikal-ladhi yadu‘ul yatim
That is the one who is rough to the orphan

Wa la yahud-du ‘ala ta‘amil miskin
And urges not the feeding of the needy

4. Man Must Show Kindness to Allah's Creation:
Here the first condition of religion is mentioned, and that is kindness to the creation of Allah. It is pointed out that Allah, Most High, will not alight on a heart that does not entertain compassion for His creatures. Here we must observe that so important does Allah consider the duties we owe to our fellow-men that He has given them precedence over the duties we owe Him, and has placed kindness to His creatures before love for Him and reverence for His Oneness, that is, respect for the commands of Allah.

5. Our Duty to the Orphans and the Needy:
Everybody in the world fights furiously for his rights and is ready to kill or die for them while others are forced to give those rights to him. But there are two disadvantaged groups who do not have the ability to claim their rights. As a result, fulfilling our obligations to them with compassion is emphasized by Allah, Who wanted to place the performance of our duties to others on such a lofty pedestal that not only will we grant the servants of Allah their rights, but we will do so with joy and delight in our hearts, and even be prepared to undergo all kinds of sacrifices in struggling for the rights of those who are unable to do so for themselves. These two groups are the orphans and the needy.

Orphans are those who have been left alone in the world in such a condition that they are still unable to work for their own livelihood and cannot look after themselves. For example, an orphan is a young child whose father or guardian had died, or a wife whose husband or guardian has passed away and who is not in a position to work for a living or support herself.

A needy person is one who has the potential to work and support himself but for some reason he has suffered a loss in the resources with which he used to do so. For example, this may refer to a labourer whose hand is now broken, or to someone who was engaged in a skilled profession but has become blind, or to a businessman who has suffered bankruptcy, or to a servant who has lost his job, etc.

In Islam, it is the duty of all Muslims not only to support the orphans and the needy, but to get together and equip them to become useful and beneficial members of the society.

To be harsh to the orphan does not mean to reprove and drive him from your door, if he comes asking for bread. In fact, begging is contrary to the teachings of Islam and our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have said that on the Day of Resurrection the beggar will be seen without any flesh on his face.

Once Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was travelling on camel back and his whip fell to the ground. He dismounted and took up his whip. Standing nearby was a person who addressed the Caliph thus:

"O Caliph, if you had asked me I would have taken it up for you."

The Caliph replied: "Then I would have been forced to ask you a favour."

In other words, it was better to get down from the camel and take up the whip than to beg a favour.

Thus, to be harsh to the orphans means to be indifferent to their rights or to usurp them. For example, a powerful relative may defraud the weaker ones of their just due, or an influential member of the society may use his authority to deny the orphans their due rights, or rich members of society may refuse to feed and educate them, even though this is an obligation from Allah to every member of the Muslim society.

As regards the needy, Allah says that the person who belies religion is the one who does not help to devise an organized system for feeding the poor and providing regular employment for them. For instance, a society may be formed to develop a capital fund for the purpose of giving "goodly loans" for business or education or to set up factories, businesses, etc., to create jobs for the unemployed or to provide homes for the aged or the handicapped where they can work according to their ability and earn something for themselves. These efforts should also include such relatives, friends and neighbours who need our assistance. In short, performing with compassion, our duties to our fellow human beings is the first condition of truly religious persons. If this is lacking, Allah will not visit the heart of such people.

This page was printed from the 'Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam)'
located at
http://aaiil.org or http://www.aaiil.org

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