Surah As-Saff Ayat 3 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 3
Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.
Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not.
It is most loathsome in the sight of Allah that you should profess what you do not practise.
Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.
It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not.
Greatly detested (Literally: great is detesting) (is it) in the Reckoning of Allah, that you say what you do not perform. (i.e., occupants)
It is most hateful to God that you say things and then do not do them;
Quran 61 Verse 3 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah As-Saff ayat 3, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(61:3) It is most loathsome in the sight of Allah that you should profess what you do not practise.
2. One meaning of this passage is general as is apparent from its words. It has a special meaning also, which becomes evident when this verse is read along with the verse that follows. The first meaning is that there should be complete agreement between a true Muslim’s word and deed: he should carry into effect whatever he says, and when he has no intention of doing it, or has no power for it, he should not say it. To say one thing and do another is one of the most hideous characteristics of man, in the sight of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has explained that a person’s being characterized by this quality is a sign that he is not a believer but a hypocrite.
According to a Hadith, he said: The hypocrite has three signs even if he offered the Prayer and observed the Fast, and professed to be a Muslim: That is when he spoke he lied; when he made a promise, he broke it; and when he was entrusted with something, he proved dishonest. (Bukhari, Muslim).
In another Hadith he said:
Four characteristics are such that the one who has all four, is a hypocrite through and through, and the one who has one of these, has one characteristic of hypocrisy in him until he gives it up. That is when he is entrusted with something, he proves dishonest; when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he quarrels he crosses all limits of morality and decency. (Bukhari, Muslim).
The jurists of Islam have almost unanimously held the view that if a person makes a pledge to Allah (e.g. vows to do something), or enters into an agreement with others, or promised somebody to do something, it is obligatory for him to fulfill it, unless the thing he has promised is by itself sinful. If it is sinful, he should not observe or carry out the agreement or promise, but should expiate its violation as mentioned in (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 89) above. (Al-Jassas and Ibn alArabi, Ahkam al-Quran).
This much for the general meaning of these verses. As for their special meaning, it becomes obvious when these are read along with the verse that follows. The object is to reprove those people who talked much and made tall promises to fight and lay down their lives in the cause of Islam, but when the time came of their test and trial, they fled the battlefield. The people of weak faith have been taken to task for this weakness at several places in the Quran. For instance, in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 77), it has been said: Have you also marked those to whom if was said, withhold your hands (a while from war) and establish the salat and pay the zakat. Now that they have been commanded to fight, some of them fear the people as they should fear Allah, or even more than that. They say: Our Lord, why have You prescribed fighting for us? Why have You not given us further respite. And in (Surah Muhammad, Ayat 20): Those who have believed, were saying, why is not a Surah sent down (to enjoin fighting). But when a decisive Surah was sent down in which fighting had been mentioned, you saw those in whose hearts was a disease, looking towards you like the one under the shadow of death. On the occasion of the Battle of Uhud in particular, the weaknesses to which allusions have been made continuously from (verse 121 to verse 171 of Surah Aal-Imran) became all the more conspicuous and visible.
The commentators while explaining the background of the revelation of these verses have mentioned the different forms of the weaknesses to which exception has been taken here. Ibn Abbas says that before the fighting was proscribed, there were some people among the Muslims who said: Would that we could know the act that is most lovable in the sight of Allah, so that we would perform the same. But when they were told that it was fighting in the cause of Allah, it became most difficult for them to carry out their promise. Muqatil bin Hayyan has stated that in the Battle of Uhud these very people were put to the test, and they abandoned the Prophet (peace be upon him) and fled. Ibn Zaid says that many of the people made the Prophet (peace be upon him) believe that they would go out with him to fight the enemy whenever it was so required, but when the time of the test came their promises proved false. Qatadah and Dahhak say that if some people did take pan in the battle, they accomplished nothing, but on their return from the battlefield they boasted and bragged, saying: We put up a brave fight and we achieved such and such a victory. It is such people who have been rebuked by Allah in these verses.
The tafsir of Surah As-Saff verse 3 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saff ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 4.
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