The meaning of at-tahlukah in aya 2:195 of the Qur’an

In hadith nr. 1316 of Bulugh ul-Maram by imam Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani rahimahullah we can read the following: Abu Ayyub (al-Ansari) -may Allah be pleased with him- narrated that this verse (Q. 2:195) was revealed concerning us (al-Ansar). He was referring to the verse “And don’t throw yourselves into destruction (at-tahlukah)“. Abu Ayyub said that to answer those who disapproved of the action of those who attacked ar-Rum (Byzantines) till they were amidst their army. Related by the three imams. At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim graded it as sahih.

In the accompanying footnote it is said: When the Muslims confronted the Rum at Constantinopel, a Muslim fighter attacked the lines of the Rum until he was in their midst, and then returned. People then cried: ‘He is throwing himself into destruction.’ Abu Ayyub then told them that they are misinterpreting the verse which was revealed concerning the Ansar, when Allah granted them victory they said to themselves secretly: our property was lost, so why don’t we stay here to take care of our property and regain what we have lost (and leave jihad in the cause of Allah). Allah the Almighty then revealed this verse to show them that the real destruction occurs by staying back in their dwellings and not spending their wealth in the cause of Allah.

Shaykh dr. ‘Abd ul-‘Azim Badawi -in his work Al-Wajiz fi Fiqh as-Sunnah wa’l-Kitab al-‘Aziz (English translation, pp. 651, 652) mentions this as well and refers to the tafsir of Ibn Kathir where this story has been mentioned.

This aya and hadith are proofs for the permissibility of inghimas / taghrir bi’l-nafs in a jihad.

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Filed under Fiqh, Hadith, Tafsir, Uncategorized

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