Surah Insan Ayat 7 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 7
They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread.
They perform (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide.
These will be the ones who fulfil their vows and dread the Day whose woe shall be spread far and wide;
They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading.
(Because) they perform the vow and fear a day whereof the evil is wide-spreading,
They fulfill (their) vows and fear a Day whose evil is spread all over;
They fulfil their vows; they fear a day of widespread woes;
جو نذر پوری کرتے ہیں اور اس دن سے ڈرتے ہیں جس کی برائی چاروں طرف پھیل جانے والی ہے
Quran 76 Verse 7 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Insan ayat 7, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(76:7) These will be the ones who fulfil their vows and dread the Day whose woe shall be spread far and wide;
10. One meaning of fulfilling the vow is that one should fulfill. The second, that one should fulfill what one has pledged oneself to do. The third, that one should fulfill what one has been enjoined; what is obligatory for one to do, whether one has been enjoined it, or is self imposed. Of these three the second meaning is the best known and generally the same is implied by fulfilling the vow. In any case, these righteous people have been regarded as praiseworthy either because they carry out the duties enjoined by Allah, or because if they vow to Allah to perform certain good deeds which Allah has not enjoined on them, they fulfill even those self imposed vows, not to speak of showing any negligence in carrying out the duties which Allah has actually enjoined on them.
As for the commandments concerning the vow, it would be useful to explain at length here so as to enable the people to avoid the errors and rid themselves of the misunderstandings with regard to fulfilling the vow and learn the correct rules pertaining to it.
(1) The jurists have mentioned four kinds of the vow: (a) that one should pledge to Allah that he would perform such and such a good act to earn His good pleasure; (b) that one should make a vow that he would perform such and such a good act in gratitude to Allah if He fulfilled his such and such wish and desire or need. Both these kinds of the vow have been termed nadhr tabarrur (i.e. vows for a good cause) by the jurists, and it is agreed by all that it is obligatory to fulfill them; (c) That one should pledge to do an unlawful thing or to refrain from an obligatory thing; (d) that one should bind oneself to do a permissible thing, or to refrain from an obligatory thing, or pledge to do an unworthy thing. These two kinds of the vow have been termed nadhr lajaj (i.e. vow of ignorance, disputation and stubbornness) by the jurists. About the third kind of the vow (c), it is agreed that it does not take place at all; and about the fourth kind of the vow (d), the juristic opinion is divided. Some jurists say that it should be fulfilled; some others say that one should expiate the breaking of the oath, and still others that one has the option to fulfill the vow or to expiate it. According to the Shafeis and the Malikis this vow does not take place at all, and according to the Hanafis both these kinds of the vow entail expiation.
(2) Several Ahadith show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden making a vow with a view to changing the destiny, or with a view to making an offer to Allah that if He fulfilled his such and such wish, he would perform such and such good act, not in gratitude to Allah, but in exchange for His help. Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported that once the Prophet (peace be upon him), while he forbade the making of a vow, said; “It cannot avert anything which is about to befall, but through it something is extracted from the miserly person.” The last sentence of the Hadith means: The miserly person is not prone to spend anything in the cause of Allah; because of the vow he gives away something in charity in the greed that Allah would accept his offer and change his destiny for him. Another tradition from Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is to the effect; The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: the vow can neither hasten anything nor defer anything, but through it something is extracted from the miserly person. In another tradition he says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade making of the vow and said: “It does not bring any good, but it is a means whereby something is extracted from the miserly person.” Several traditions on the same subject have been related by Muslim from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), and in one tradition which both Bukhari and Muslim have related, he reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “As a matter of fact, the vow cannot bring the son of Adam anything which Allah has not ordained for him, but the vow sometimes coincides with the destiny itself and through it the divine will takes out from the possession of the miserly person that which he was not inclined to give away willingly.” This same theme is further explained by the tradition of Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas according to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “True vow is that whereby Allah’s goodwill and approval may be sought.”
(3) Another rule that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave concerning the vow is that only that vow should be fulfilled, which is in obedience to Allah; the vow made in disobedience to Allah should never be fulfilled. Likewise, there can be no vow concerning a thing which is not in his power to perform. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who made a vow that he would obey Allah, should obey Him, and the one who made a vow that he would disobey Allah, should not disobey.” Thabit bin Dahhak says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There can be no question of fulfilling a vow made in the disobedience of Allah, nor in something which is not in his possession.” Muslim has related a tradition on the same subject from Imran bin Husain; and in Abu Daud a tradition has been reported in greater detail from Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No vow and no oath is of any use in an act which is not in the power of man to perform, or which involves disobedience of Allah, or severance of relations with kindred.”
(4) One should not fulfill a vow which is made to perform an act which is of no good in itself, which is useless, or involves unbearable hardship or self torture, and might have been self imposed as an act of virtue. In this connection, the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are very clear and definite. Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that once when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was giving a sermon, he saw a man who was standing in the sun. He asked who he was and why he was standing in the sun. The people said that he was Abu Israil: he had vowed that he would keep standing and would not sit, nor take shade, nor speak to anybody, and would keep fasting. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Tell him to speak, to come in the shade and sit, but to observe the fast.” Uqbah bin Amir Juhani says: “My sister vowed that she would go for Hajj barefoot and also vowed that she would not cover her head with a garment during the journey. The Prophet said: Tell her to go by a conveyance and to cover her head.” Muslim has related several traditions on this subject with a little variation in wordings. Abdullah bin Abbas reporting the incident concerning Uqbah bin Amir’s sister, has reported the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words to the effect: “Allah has no need of her vow: tell her to use a conveyance.” In another tradition Ibn Abbas says, “A man said: My sister has vowed to go and perform Hajj on foot. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Allah has no need that your sister should undergo hardship. She should go for Hajj by a conveyance.” Anas bin Malik has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw, probably during the Hajj journey, an old man being supported between his two sons. When he asked what was the matter with him, it was said that the old man had vowed to go on foot. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah is free from this that the man should place himself in agony. Then he commanded him to ride.”
(5) If it is not practically possible to fulfill a vow, it may be fulfilled in some other way. Jabir bin Abdullah says: “On the day of the conquest of Makkah, a man stood up and said: O Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, I had vowed that if Allah made Makkah fall at your hand, I would pray two rakahs in Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, say the prayer here. He again asked the same thing and the Prophet (peace be upon him) again gave the same reply. When he asked it again, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: All right, as you please.” According to another tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “By Him Who has sent Muhammad with the truth, if you pray here it will suffice for you instead of your praying at Bait al Maqdis.”
(6) The opinion among the jurists is divided concerning the person who vows to give away all his possessions for the cause of Allah. Imam Malik says that he should give away one third of his possessions, and Sahnun from among the Malikis has expressed the opinion that he should give away so much of his possessions as does not subject him to hardship later. Imam Shafei says that if the vow is of the nature of tabarrur (i.e. for a good cause), he should give away all his possessions, and if it is of the nature of lajaj (i.e. a vow of ignorance), he has the option to fulfill the vow or to expiate the oath. Imam Abu Hanifah says that he should give away all such possessions as are subject to zakat, but the vow will not apply to those possessions which are exempt from zakat, e.g. house, or other such properties. Imam Zufar from among the Hanafis is of the opinion that he should give away everything in charity after he has taken out two months’ maintenance for his family.
Hadrat Kaab bin Malik says: “When I was granted forgiveness for incurring Allah’s displeasure for staying behind on the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk, I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and submitted: My repentance also included that I would give away all my possessions in charity for the sake of Allah and His Messenger. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: No, do not do that. I said, then half of the possessions? He said: No. I said, then one third of the possessions? He replied: Yes. According to another tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Withhold some of your possessions for yourself: this would be better for you.” Imam Zuhri says: “Information has reached to me that Abu Lubabah (who had similarly incurred displeasure in connection with the battle of Tabuk) said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “I shall give away all my possessions for the sake of Allah and His Messenger in charity.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “For you it would be enough to give away only one third of it.”
(7) Should a person who vowed to perform a good act before embracing Islam, fulfill it after he has embraced Islam? The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) ruling in this connection is that he should fulfill it. According to a tradition in Abu Daud and Tahavi, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have vowed in the pre Islamic days that he would observe itikaf (devotional seclusion) in the Masjid al-Haram (for one night, or according to others, one day). After embracing Islam when he asked for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) ruling, he replied: “Fulfill your vow.” Some jurists have taken this ruling of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to mean that it is obligatory to do so, and some others that it is commendable.
(8) About the question whether the heirs are under obligation to fulfill a vow made by the deceased person or not, the juristic opinion is divided. Imam Ahmad, Ishaq bin Rahawaih, Abu Thaur and the Zahiris say that if the deceased person had vowed to observe the fasting or perform the prayer but could not fulfill the vow, the heirs have to fulfill it. The Hanafis say that if the vow pertained to a bodily worship (e.g. the prayer or the fasting), the heirs are under no obligation to fulfill it, and if it pertained to monetary worship and the deceased did not leave any will for his heirs to fulfill it, they are again under no obligation to fulfill it, but if he left a will, it will be obligatory for the heirs to fulfill it from his inheritance up to one third of its extent. The Maliki viewpoint also is somewhat the same. The Shafeis say that if the vow pertains to a non monetary worship, or if it pertains to a monetary worship and the deceased person did not leave any inheritance, the heirs are under no obligation to fulfill it; and if the deceased left some inheritance, the heirs would be bound to fulfill the vow pertaining to a monetary worship, no matter whether the dying person left a will or not. In the Hadith there is a tradition from Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) on this subject to the effect: Saad bin Ubadah asked for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) verdict, saying: My mother has died and she had made a vow which she could not fulfill. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Fulfill the vow on her behalf. Another tradition from Ibn Abbas is to the effect: A woman went on a sea journey and vowed that if she returned home safe and sound, she would observe fast for a month. On her return home she died. Her sister or her daughter came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to ask for his decision. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Observe the fast on her behalf.” Abu Daud has related another tradition with the same content from Buraidah, saying: “A woman asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) a similar thing and he gave the same reply as mentioned above.” Since these traditions are not explicit as to whether the rulings the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave pertained to its being obligatory or commendable, and since about the vow made by Saad bin Ubadah’s mother also it is not clear whether it pertained to a monetary worship, or a bodily worship, there have arisen differences among the jurists on this question.
(9) As for an unlawful vow it is clear that it should not be fulfilled. However, there is a difference of opinion as to whether it entails expiation or not. On this point, since the traditions differ, the juristic opinion is also divided. According to one kind of the traditions the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded the person concerned to make the expiation. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no vow in the disobedience of Allah, and its expiation is the expiation of breaking the oath. In the case of Uqbah bin Amir Juhani’s sister (mentioned above), the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded that she should break her vow and fast for three days. In the case of another woman also who had vowed to go for Hajj on foot, he commanded that she should go by a conveyance and should make expiation for the oath. Ibn Abbas has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The one who made a vow but did not specify what the vow was about, should expiate for the oath, and the one who made a vow to perform a sinful act, should expiate for the oath, and the one who made a vow to perform something which he does not have the power to perform, should expiate for the oath, and the one who made a vow to do something which he can do, should fulfill it. On the other hand, there are the traditions which show that there is no expiation in this case. The person who had vowed that he would stand in the sun and would not speak to anyone. Making a reference to him in Muwatta, Imam Malik writes: “I could not know by any means whether the Prophet (peace be upon him) besides commanding him to break the vow might also have told him to make the expiation. Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas has reported that the Prophet said: “If one swearing an oath for something later finds that another thing was better than that, he should abandon it and should adopt the better course and the abandonment itself is the expiation.” Baihaqi says that this Hadith and Abu Hurairah’s this tradition: “He should adopt the better course and this is its expiation” are not established. Imam Nawawi discussing these traditions of the Hadith in his commentary of Sahih Muslim writes: “Imam Malik, Shafei, Abu Hanifah, Daud, Zahiri and other scholars say that the vow made to do a sinful thing is void and ineffectual and it does not entail any expiation if not fulfilled, but lmam Ahmad says that it entails expiation.”
The tafsir of Surah Al-Insan verse 7 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Insan ayat 4 which provides the complete commentary from verse 4 through 12.
Quick navigation links
Share the message of the Qur’an