Surah Al-An’am Ayat 138 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 138
And they say, “These animals and crops are forbidden; no one may eat from them except whom we will,” by their claim. And there are those [camels] whose backs are forbidden [by them] and those upon which the name of Allah is not mentioned – [all of this] an invention of untruth about Him. He will punish them for what they were inventing.
And they say that such and such cattle and crops are taboo, and none should eat of them except those whom – so they say – We wish; further, there are cattle forbidden to yoke or burden, and cattle on which, (at slaughter), the name of Allah is not pronounced; – inventions against Allah’s name: soon will He requite them for their inventions.
They say: ‘These animals and these crops are sacrosanct: none may eat of them save those whom we will’ – imposing interdictions of their own contriving. And they declare that it is forbidden to burden the backs of certain cattle, and these are the cattle over which they do not pronounce the name of Allah. All these are false fabrications against Allah, and He will soon requite them for all that they fabricate.
And according to their pretending, they say that such and such cattle and crops are forbidden, and none should eat of them except those whom we allow. And (they say) there are cattle forbidden to be used for burden or any other work, and cattle on which (at slaughtering) the Name of Allah is not pronounced; lying against Him (Allah). He will recompense them for what they used to fabricate.
And they say: Such cattle and crops are forbidden. No-one is to eat of them save whom we will – in their make-believe – cattle whose backs are forbidden, cattle over which they mention not the name of Allah. (All that is) a lie against Him. He will repay them for that which they invent.
And they have said, “These are cattle (Arabic ‘ancam includes cattle, camels, sheep and goats) and tillage sacrosanct; none shall feed on them except whom we decide, ” according to their assertion, and cattle whose backs have been prohibited, and cattle over which they do not mention The Name of Allah, fabricating (lies) against (Him). He will soon recompense them for whatever they were fabricating.
They also say, ‘These cattle and crops are reserved, and only those we allow may eat them’- so they claim! There are some animals they exempt from labour and some over which they do not pronounce God’s name [during slaughter], falsely attributing these [regulations] to Him: He will repay them for the falsehoods they invent.
Quran 6 Verse 138 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-An’am ayat 138, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(6:138) They say: ‘These animals and these crops are sacrosanct: none may eat of them save those whom we will’ – imposing interdictions of their own contriving. And they declare that it is forbidden to burden the backs of certain cattle, and these are the cattle over which they do not pronounce the name of Allah.  All these are false fabrications against Allah, and He will soon requite them for all that they fabricate.
111. There was a practice among the people of Arabia whereby they used to consecrate certain animals and farms to certain shrines, and at offerings at certain altars. These consecrated offerings could not be used by everybody. An elaborate code laid down what kind of offering could be used by what kind of people. God not only judges such practices to be polytheistic, but also censures them as man-made innovations. God was the master of all that they had consecrated as offerings to the deities. He had neither encumbered human beings with the need to make any of those offerings and consecrations nor imposed those restrictions on what they might consume. These were the wilful inventions of headstrong and rebellious people who attributed to themselves the authority to make laws as they pleased.
112. Traditions indicate that there were certain ritual offerings, and that on certain occasions animals were consecrated for sacrifice at which it was deemed unlawful to pronounce the name of God. It was also prohibited to ride such animals during the Pilgrimage, since at that time the pilgrim pronounced the name of God when he recited the formula: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk. Every care was taken not to pronounce the name of God at the time of milking, mounting, slaughtering and eating of such animals.
113. Even though those rules had not been laid down by God, people followed them under the false impression that they had been prescribed by Him. They could not adduce any injunction from God in support of such a belief, and all that they could claim was that it was an integral part of their ancestors’ way of life.
138. And according to their claim, they say that such and such cattle and crops are Hijr (forbidden), and none should eat of them except those whom we allow. And (they say) there are cattle forbidden to be used for burden, and cattle on which (at slaughtering) the Name of Allah is not pronounced; lying against Him (Allah). He will recompense them for what they used to fabricate.
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Hijr refers to what they forbade, such as the Wasilah, and the like.” Similar was said by Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Qatadah, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others. Qatadah commented on,
(They say that such and such cattle and crops are Hijr,) “It is a prohibition that the Shayatin appointed for their wealth, and a type of exaggeration and extremism that did not come from Allah.” ﴿`Abdur-Rahman﴾ Ibn Zayd bin Aslam said that, d
(Hijr,) refers to what the idolators designated for their deities. As-Suddi said that the Ayah,
(And none should eat of them except those whom we allow, they claimed…) means, “They said, only those whom we choose can eat of them., and the rest are prohibited from eating them.” Similar to this honorable Ayah, Allah said,
(Say: “Tell me, what provision Allah has sent down to you! And you have made of it lawful and unlawful.” Say: “Has Allah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent a lie against Allah”) ﴿10:59﴾, and,
(Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah or a Sa’ibah or a Wasilah or a Ham. But those who disbelieve invent lies against Allah, and most of them have no understanding.) ﴿5:103﴾ As-Suddi said that cattle forbidden to be used for burden were the Bahirah, Sa’ibah, Wasilah and Ham, as well as cattle for which the idolators did not mention Allah’s Name when slaughtering them nor when they were born. Abu Bakr bin `Ayyash said that `Asim bin Abi An-Najud said, “Abu Wa’il said to me, `Do you know the meaning of the Ayah,
(And (they say) there are cattle forbidden to be used for burden, and cattle on which the Name of Allah is not pronounced.) I said, `No.’ He said, `It is the Bahirah, which they would not use to for Hajj (either by riding it or carrying things on it).”’ Mujahid also said that they were some of the camels belonging to idolators on which Allah’s Name was not mentioned when riding, milking, carrying things, copulation or any other action.
(lying against Him.) against Allah. The idolators indeed lied when they attributed this evil to Allah’s religion and Law; He did not allow them to do that nor did He approve of it,
(He will recompense them for what they used to fabricate.) against Him, and falsely attribute to Him.
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