Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 189 (2:189)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 189 in Arabic Text

يَسْـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلْأَهِلَّةِ ۖ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَٰقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَٱلْحَجِّ ۗ وَلَيْسَ ٱلْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُوا۟ ٱلْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَأْتُوا۟ ٱلْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَٰبِهَا ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Yas’aloonaka ‘anil ahillati qul hiya mawaaqeetu linnaasi wal Hajj; wa laisal birru bi an ta’tul buyoota min zuhoorihaa wa laakinnal birra manit taqaa; wa’tul buyoota min abwaa bihaa; wattaqullaaha la’allakum tuflihoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 189

Sahih International
They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed.

Yusuf Ali
“They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: And fear Allah: That ye may prosper.

Abul Ala Maududi
They ask you about the phases of the moon. Say, “These are signs for the people to reckon dates and fix the periods for hajj.” Also tell them, “It is no virtue to enter your houses from their backs during the Hajj days); real virtue is that one should refrain from incurring the displeasure of Allah; so enter your houses by their proper doors. and fear Allah so that you may gain (true) success.

Muhsin Khan
They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr (is the quality of the one) who fears Allah. So enter houses through their proper doors, and fear Allah that you may be successful.

Pickthall
They ask thee, (O Muhammad), of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not righteousness that ye go to houses by the backs thereof (as do the idolaters at certain seasons), but the righteous man is he who wardeth off (evil). So go to houses by the gates thereof, and observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.

Dr. Ghali
They ask you concerning the new moons (Literally: crescents). Say, “They are fixed times for mankind, and (for) the Pilgrimage.” And benignancy is not to come up to the homes from their backs; but benignancy is for man to be pious; and come up to the homes by their doors, and be pious towards Allah, so that possibly you would prosper.

Abdel Haleem
They ask you [Prophet] about crescent moons. Say, ‘They show the times appointed for people, and for the pilgrimage.’ Goodness does not consist of entering houses by the back [door]; the truly good person is the one who is mindful of God. So enter your houses by their [main] doors and be mindful of God so that you may prosper.

Quran 2 Verse 189 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 189, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:189) People question you concerning the phases of the moon. Say: “They are signs to determine time for the sake of people and for the Pilgrimage.”[198] Also tell them: “True righteousness is not that you enter your houses from the back; righteousness lies in fearing Allah. So, enter your houses by their doors, and fear Allah that you might attain true success.”[199]


198. The waxing and waning of the moon has attracted men’s attentions throughout the ages and all kinds of fanciful ideas, superstitions and rituals have been, and are still today, associated with it. The moon was considered the basis of good and bad omens. Certain dates were considered auspicious and others inauspicious for starting journeys, for beginning new tasks, for weddings and so on on the ground that the rising and setting of the moon, its waxing and waning and its eclipse affect human destiny. The Arabs too had their share of such superstitions. It was therefore natural that enquiries regarding such matters should be addressed to the Prophet.

In response, God says that the waxing and waning of the moon is nothing more than a physical phenomenon. By its appearance in the firmament the moon enables man to divide his year and it can thus be considered nature’s own calendar. Particular reference is made to Hajj because it occupied the position of highest importance in the religious, cultural and economic life of the Arabs. Four months of the year were specified since they were the months of major and minor Pilgrimage (Hajj and ‘Umrah). During these months there was to be no warfare and the routes were completely safe for travelling. Thanks to the peace and tranquillity thus established, trade and commerce prospered.

199. One superstitious custom of the Arabs was that once they entered the state of consecration for Pilgrimage they did not enter their houses by the door. Instead, they either leapt over the walls from the rear or climbed through windows which they had specially erected for that purpose. On returning from journeys, too, they entered their houses from the rear. In this verse this superstitious custom is denounced, as are all superstitious customs; it is pointed out that the essence of moral excellence consists of fearing God and abstaining from disobeying His commands. Those meaningless customs by which people felt bound, out of blind adherence to the traditions of their forefathers, and which had no effect at all on man’s ultimate destiny, had nothing to do with moral excellence.

Ibn-Kathir

188. And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way, e.g., stealing, robbing, deceiving), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.


Bribery is prohibited and is a Sin

`Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “This (Ayah 2:188) is about the indebted person when there is no evidence of the loan. So he denies taking the loan and the case goes to the authorities, even though he knows that it is not his money and that he is a sinner, consuming what is not allowed for him.” This opinion was also reported from Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayan and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. They all stated, “Do not dispute when you know that you are being unjust.”

The Judge’s Ruling does not allow the Prohibited or prohibit the Lawful

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Salamah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«أَلَا إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ، وَإِنَّمَا يَأْتِينِي الْخَصْمُ، فَلَعَلَّ بَعْضَكُمْ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَلْحَنَ بِحُجَّتِهِ مِنْ بَعْضٍ فَأَقْضِيَ لَهُ، فَمَنْ قَضَيْتُ لَهُ بِحَقِّ مُسْلِمٍ فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ قِطْعَةٌ مِنْ نَارٍ، فَلْيَحْمِلْهَا أَوْ لِيَذَرْهَا»

(I am only human! You people present your cases to me, and as some of you may be more eloquent and persuasive in presenting his argument, I might issue a judgment in his benefit. So, if I give a Muslim’s right to another, I am really giving him a piece of fire; so he should not take it.)

The Ayah and the Hadith prove that the judgment of the authorities in any case does not change the reality of the truth. Hence, the ruling does not allow what is in fact prohibited or prohibit what is in fact allowed. It is only applicable in that case. So if the ruling agrees with the truth, then there is no harm in this case. Otherwise, the judge will acquire his reward, while the cheater will acquire the evil burden.

This is why Allah said:

﴿وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُواْ بِهَآ إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

(And eat up not one another’s property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.) meaning, `While you know the falsehood of what you claim. ‘ Qatadah said, “O son of Adam! Know that the judge’s ruling does not allow you what is prohibited or prohibit you from what is allowed. The judge only rules according to his best judgment and according to the testimony of the witnesses. The judge is only human and is bound to make mistakes. Know that if the judge erroneously rules in some one’s favor, then that person will still encounter the dispute when the disputing parties meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection. Then, the unjust person will be judged swiftly and precisely with that which will surpass whatever he acquired by the erroneous judgment he received in the life of this world.”

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