Surah Baqarah Ayat 173 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 173
He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
“He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.
Allah has only forbidden you to eat what dies of itself, and blood and swine flesh and what has been consecrated to any other name than of Allah. But one will incur no sin if, forced by absolute necessity, he eats of any of these forbidden things, provided he has no intention of transgressing the law and does not take more than what is absolutely indispensable: for Allah is very Forgiving and very Merciful.
He has forbidden you only the Maytatah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a scrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Surely He has prohibited for you only carrion (i.e. dead meat) and blood and the flesh of swine, and whatever has been acclaimed to other than Allah. So, whoever is constrained, neither being inequitable nor aggressive, then no vice will be upon him; surely Allah is Ever-Forgiving, EverMerciful.
He has only forbidden you carrion, blood, pig’s meat, and animals over which any name other than God’s has been invoked. But if anyone is forced to eat such things by hunger, rather than desire or excess, he commits no sin: God is most merciful and forgiving.
Quran 2 Verse 173 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 173, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:173) He has made unlawful to you only carrion and blood and the flesh of swine and that over which there has been pronounced the name of anyone other than Allah’s. But he who is constrained (to eat of them) – and he neither covets them nor exceeds the indispensable limit incurs no sin: Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
171. This applies to the flesh of an animal slaughtered in the name of anything and anyone other than God as well as to the food prepared as an offering to someone other than God. God alone is the master of everything – of the animal whose flesh we consume as well as of every other kind of food – and it is He Who has mercifully provided us with them. Hence, if it is appropriate to pronounce any name as an expression of gratitude, of consecration, it can only be the name of God. To use anyone else’s name means that we believe that there is some other being either instead of or in addition to God which deserves to be acknowledged as our Lord and Benefactor.
172. This verse grants permission to use prohibited things with three stipulations. First, one must be in a state of extreme compulsion, for example, being gravely ill or being so hungry and thirsty that one’s very life is in danger, and a prohibited thing is all that is available to save one’s life. Second, the person concerned should have no inclination to violate the Law of God. Third, in consuming the prohibited thing one should not exceed the limits of bare necessity. If a few bites or a few drops are enough to save one’s life, one ought not to go beyond the absolute minimum.
172. O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah ـ Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship. 173. He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah. But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah commands His believing servants to eat from the pure things that He has created for them and to thank Him for it, if they are truly His servants. Eating from pure sources is a cause for the acceptance of supplications and acts of worship, just as eating from impure sources prevents the acceptance of supplications and acts of worship, as mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad, that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger said:
(O people! Allah is Tayyib (Pure and Good) and only accepts that which is Tayyib. Allah has indeed commanded the believers with what He has commanded the Messengers, for He said: (O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am well-acquainted with what you do) (23:51), and: (O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with) He then mentioned a man, (who is engaged in a long journey, whose hair is untidy and who is covered in dust, he raises his hands to the sky, and says, `O Lord! O Lord!’ Yet, his food is from the unlawful, his drink is from the unlawful, his clothes are from the unlawful, and he was nourished by the unlawful, so how can it (his supplication) be accepted”) It was also recorded by Muslim and At-Tirmidhi
After Allah mentioned how He has blessed His creatures by providing them with provisions, and after commanding them to eat from the pure things that He has provided them, He then stated that He has not prohibited anything for them, except dead animals. Dead animals are those that die before being slaughtered; whether they die by strangling, a violent blow, a headlong fall, the goring of horns or by being partly eaten by a wild animal. Dead animals of the sea are excluded from this ruling, as is explained later, Allah willing, as Allah said:
(Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) watergame and its use for food) (5:96), and because of the Hadith about the whale recorded in the Sahih. The Musnad, Al-Muwatta’ and the Sunan recorded the Prophet saying about the sea:
(Its water is pure and its dead are permissible.)
Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Ad-Daraqutni reported that Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said:
(We have been allowed two dead things and two bloody things: fish and locusts; and liver and spleen).
We will mention this subject again in Surat Al-Ma’idah (chapter 5 in the Qur’an), In sha’ Allah (if Allah wills).
Issue: According to Ash-Shafi`i and other scholars, milk and eggs that are inside dead unslaughtered animals are not pure, because they are part of the dead animal. In one narration from him, Malik said that they are pure themselves, but become impure because of their location. Similarly, there is a difference of opinion over the cheeses (made with the milk) of dead animals. The popular view of the scholars is that it is impure, although they mentioned the fact that the Companions ate from the cheeses made by the Magians (fire worshippers). Hence, Al-Qurtubi commented: “Since only a small part of the dead animal is mixed with it, then it is permissible, because a minute amount of impurity does not matter if it is mixed with a large amount of liquid.” Ibn Majah reported that Salman said that Allah’s Messenger was asked about butter, cheese and fur. He said:
(The allowed is what Allah has allowed in His Book and the prohibited is what Allah has prohibited in His Book. What He has not mentioned is a part of what He has pardoned.)
Allah has prohibited eating the meat of swine, whether slaughtered or not, and this includes its fat, either because it is implied, or because the term Lahm includes that, or by analogy. Similarly prohibited are offerings to other than Allah, that is what was slaughtered in a name other than His, be it for monuments, idols, divination, or the other practices of the time of Jahiliyyah. Al-Qurtubi mentioned that `A’ishah was asked about what non-Muslims slaughter for their feasts and then offer some of it as gifts for Muslims. She said, “Do not eat from what has been slaughtered for that day, (or feast) but eat from their vegetables.”
Then Allah permitted eating these things when needed for survival or when there are no permissible types of food available. Allah said:
(But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits), meaning, without transgression or overstepping the limits,
(…then there is no sin on him.) meaning, if one eats such items, for,
(Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
Mujahid said, “If one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing the set limits. For example, if he didn’t, then he would have to resort to highway robbery, rising against the rulers, or some other kinds of disobedience to Allah, then the permission applies to him. If one does so transgressing the limits, or continually, or out of disobedience to Allah, then the permission does not apply to him even if he is in dire need.” The same was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr. Sa`id and Muqatil bin Hayyan are reported to have said that without willful disobedience means, “Without believing that it is permissible.” It was reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah:
(. ..without willful disobedience nor transgressing) saying, “Without willful disobedience means eating the dead animal and not continuing to do so. Qatadah said:
(without willful disobedience) “Without transgressing by eating from the dead animals, that is when the lawful is available.”
Issue: When one in dire straits finds both ـ dead animals, and foods belong to other people which he could get without risking the loss of his hands or causing harm, then it is not allowed for him to eat the dead animals. Ibn Majah reported that `Abbad bin Shurahbil Al-Ghubari said, “One year we suffered from famine. I came to Al-Madinah and entered a garden. I took some grain that I cleaned, and ate, then I left some of it in my garment. The owner of the garden came, roughed me up and took possession of my garment. I then went to Allah’s Messenger and told him what had happened. He said to the man:
فَأَمَرَهُ فَرَدَّ إِلَيْهِ ثَوْبَهُ، فَأمَرَ لَهُ بِوَسْقٍ مِنْ طَعَامٍ أَوْ نِصْفِ وَسْقٍ.
(You have not fed him when he was hungry – or he said starving – nor have you taught him if he was ignorant.)
The Prophet commanded him to return `Abbad’s garment to him, and to offer him a Wasq (around 180 kilograms) – or a half Wasq – of food
This has a sufficiently strong chain of narrators and there are many other witnessing narrations to support it, such as the Hadith that `Amr bin Shu`ayb narrated from his father that his grandfather said: Allah’s Messenger was asked about the hanging clusters of dates. He said:
(There is no harm for whoever takes some of it in his mouth for a necessity without putting it in his garment.)
Muqatil bin Hayyan commented on:
(…then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) “For what is eaten out of necessity.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “Allah is pardoning for what has been eaten of the unlawful, and Merciful’ in that He allowed the prohibited during times of necessity.” Masruq said, “Whoever is in dire need, but does not eat or drink until he dies, he will enter the Fire.” This indicates that eating dead animals for those who are in need of it for survival is not only permissible but required.
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