Surah Baqarah Ayat 197 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 197
Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.
“For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise.
The months for Hajj are well known to all; whoever makes up his mind to perform Hajj during these fixed months, let him totally abstain from all sorts of sexual indulgence, wickedness and wrangling during the Hajj and remember that Allah knows whatever good you do. Take necessary provisions for Hajj, and piety is the best of all provisions: so refrain from disobeying Me, O men of understanding!
The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!
The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O men of understanding.
The Pilgrimage is (in) months well-known; so, whoever ordains (upon himself) the Pilgrimage in them, then there shall be no lying with (womenfolk), nor evident immorality, nor disputing in the Pilgrimage. And whatever charity you perform, Allah knows it. And sustain yourselves; so, the most charitable sustenance is piety; and be pious to Me, O (you) endowed with intellects!
The pilgrimage takes place during the prescribed months. There should be no indecent speech, misbehaviour, or quarrelling for anyone undertaking the pilgrimage- whatever good you do, God is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of God- always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding-
Quran 2 Verse 197 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 197, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:197) The months of Hajj are well known. Whoever intends to perform Pilgrimage in these months shall abstain from sensual indulgence, wicked conduct and quarrelling; and whatever good you do, Allah knows it. Take your provisions for the Pilgrimage; but, in truth, the best provision is piety. Men of understanding, beware of disobeying Me.
214. In the state of consecration (ihram) the husband and wife are required to refrain not only from sexual intercourse but also from lascivious conversation (and, for that matter, from any act which either stems from or is likely to stimulate sexual desire – Ed).
215. Even though all sinful acts are evil, the sinfulness of such acts is aggravated when they are committed in the state of consecration (ihram).
216. In this state it is not even permitted to rebuke one’s servant.
217. In the pre-Islamic Age of Ignorance it was considered an act of gross worldliness for anyone to carry provisions while on the Pilgrimage. A pious man was expected to go to the House of God without any worldly goods. This misconception is removed here and it is pointed out that abstention from carrying provisions is not necessarily an act of righteousness. True righteousness lies in the fear of God, in abstaining from violating His commands, and in leading a pure and decent life. If a pilgrim’s conduct is not good and he resorts to wickedness the mere fact of not carrying provisions, thus parading his detachment from worldly goods, will do him no good. For his wickedness he will suffer humiliation both in the sight of God and man, and his action will be a desecration of the religious duty for which he undertook the journey. On the other hand, if a person’s heart is full of the fear of God, and his moral conduct is good, he will be exalted by God and will be held in high esteem by human beings on his return from the Pilgrimage, regardless of the amount of provisions he carried.
196. And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady that you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either fasting or giving Sadaqah or a sacrifice. Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast for three days during Hajj and seven days after his return, making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is severe in punishment.
After Allah mentioned the rulings for fasting and Jihad, he explained the rituals by commanding the Muslims to complete Hajj and `Umrah, meaning, to finish the rituals of Hajj and `Umrah after one starts them. This is why Allah said afterwards:
(But if you are prevented) meaning, if your way to the House is obstructed, and you are prevented from finishing it. This is why the scholars agree that starting the acts of Hajj and `Umrah requires one to finish them. As for Makhul, he said, “Complete, means to start them from the Miqat (areas the Prophet designated to assume Ihram from).” `Abdur-Razzaq said that Az-Zuhri said: “We were told that `Umar commented on:
(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) “Complete Hajj and `Umrah means performing each of them separately, and to perform `Umrah outside of the months of Hajj, for Allah the Exalted says:
(The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months. )”
(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) means, “Maintain the performance of Hajj and `Umrah.” Ibn `Abbas was reported to have said, “Hajj is `Arafat, while `Umrah is Tawaf.” Al-A`mash related that Ibrahim said that `Alqamah commented on Allah’s statement:
(And complete Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) “Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) recited it this way: `Complete Hajj and `Umrah to the House, so that one does not exceed the area of the House during the `Umrah’.” Ibrahim then said, “I mentioned this statement to Sa`id bin Jubayr and he said; `Ibn `Abbas also said that.”’ Sufyan reported that Ibrahim said that `Alqamah said (regarding the Ayah 2:196), “Perform the Hajj and `Umrah to the House.” Ath-Thawri reported that Ibrahim read (the Ayah), “Perform the Hajj and `Umrah to the House.”
(But if you are prevented, sacrifice a Hady (animals for sacriface) such as you can afford,) was revealed in the sixth year of Hijrah, the year of the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah when the polytheists prevented Allah’s Messenger from reaching the House. Allah revealed Surat Al-Fath (chapter 48 in the Qur’an) then, and allowed the Muslims to slaughter any Hady (animals for sacrifice) they had. They had seventy camels with them for that purpose. They were also permitted to shave their heads and end their Ihram. When the Prophet commanded them to shave their heads and end the state of Ihram, they did not obey him, as they were awaiting that order to be abrogated. When they saw that the Prophet went out after shaving his head, they imitated him. Some of them did not shave, but only shortened their hair. This is why the Prophet said:
(May Allah award His mercy to those who shaved.)
They said, “What about those who shortened the hair” He said in the third time, “And to those who shortened.” Every seven among them shared one camel for their sacrifice. They were one thousand and four hundred Companions and were camping in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, outside the Sacred Area. It was also reported that they were within the boundaries of the Sacred Area. Allah knows best.
Being prevented from the House (Hasr) includes more than just being sick, fearing an enemy or getting lost on the way to Makkah. Imam Ahmad reported that Al-Hajjaj bin `Amr Al-Ansari said that he heard Allah’s Messenger saying:
(Whoever suffered a broken bone or a limb, will have ended his Ihram and has to perform Hajj again.) He said, “I mentioned that to Ibn `Abbas and Abu Hurayrah and they both said, `He (Al-Hajjaj) has said the truth’.” This Hadith is also reported in the Four Collections. In the version of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, the Prophet said, “Whoever limped, had a broken bone or became ill…” Ibn Abu Hatim also recorded it and said, “It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Az-Zubayr, `Alqamah, Sa`id bin Musayyib, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Mujahid, An-Nakha`i, `Ata’ and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that being prevented (Hasr) entails an enemy, an illness or a fracture.” Ath-Thawri also said, “Being prevented entails everything that harms the person.”
It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger went to Duba`ah bint Az-Zubayr bin `Abdul-Muttalib who said, “O Messenger of Allah! I intend to perform Hajj but I am ill.” He said, “Perform Hajj and make the condition: `My place is where You prevent (or halt) me.” Muslim recorded similarly from Ibn `Abbas. So saying such a condition for Hajj is allowed is based on this Hadith.
(…sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford) includes a sheep also, as Imam Malik reported that `Ali bin Abu Talib used to say. Ibn `Abbas said, “The Hady includes eight types of animals: camels, cows, goats and sheep.” `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said about what Allah said:
(…sacrifice a Hady such as you can afford)
“As much as one could afford.” Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, “If one can afford it, then camels, otherwise cows, or sheep.” Hisham bin `Urwah quoted his father:
(…sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e., a sheep, a cow, or a camel) such as you can afford) `Depending on the price.’
The proof that sacrificing only a sheep is allowed in the case of being prevented from continuing the rites, is that Allah has required sacrificing whatever is available as a Hady, and the Hady is any type of cattle; be it camels, cows or sheep. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas the cousin of Allah’s Messenger and the scholar of Tafsir. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `A’ishah, the Mother of the believers, said, “The Prophet once offered some sheep as Hady.”
(…and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice.) is a continuation of His statement:
(And complete, the Hajj and `Umrah for Allah.) and is not dependent upon:
(But if you are prevented, then sacrifice a Hady) as Ibn Jarir has erroneously claimed. When the Prophet and his Companions were prevented from entering the Sacred House during the Al-Hudaybiyyah year by the polytheists from Quraysh, they shaved their heads and sacrificed their Hady outside the Haram (Sacred) area. In normal circumstances, and when one can safely reach the House, he is not allowed to shave his head until:
(.. .and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice.) and then he ends the rituals of Hajj or `Umrah, or both if he had assumed Ihram for both. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Hafsah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is wrong with the people, they have finished their Ihram for `Umrah but you have not” The Prophet said,
(I matted my hair and I have garlanded my Hady (animals for sacrifice), so I will not finish my Ihram till I offer the sacrifice.)
(And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment on his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah.)
Al-Bukhari reported that `Abdur-Rahman bin Asbahani said that he heard `Abdullah bin Ma`qil saying that he sat with Ka`b bin `Ujrah in the mosque of Kufah (in Iraq). He then asked him about the Fidyah of the fasting. Ka`b said, “This was revealed concerning my case especially, but it is also for you in general. I was carried to Allah’s Messenger and the lice were falling in great numbers on my face. The Prophet said:
؟ قُلْتُ: لَا
(I never thought that your ailment (or struggle) had reached to such an extent as I see. Can you afford a sheep (for sacrifice)’ I replied in the negative.) He then said:
(Fast for three days or feed six poor persons, each with half a Sa` of food (1 Sa` = 3 kilograms approx.) and shave your head.)
So this is a general judgement derived from a specific case.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka`b bin `Ujrah said, “Allah’s Messenger came by while I was igniting the fire under a pot and while the lice were falling down my head or my eyelids. He said:
؟ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ
(Do these lice in your head bother you) I said, `Yes.’ He said:
(Shave it, then fast three days, or feed six poor people, or sacrifice an animal.)
Ayyub (one of the narrators of the Hadith) commented, “I do not know which alternative was stated first.” The wording of the Qur’an begins with the easiest then the more difficult options: “Pay a Fidyah of fasting (three days), feeding (six poor persons) or sacrificing (an animal).” Meanwhile, the Prophet advised Ka`b with the more rewarding option first, that is, sacrificing a sheep, then feeding six poor persons, then fasting three days. Each Text is suitable in its place and context, all the thanks and praises are due to Allah.
(Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,)
That is, when you are able to complete the rites, so whoever among you connects his `Umrah with Hajj having the same Ihram for both, or, first assuming Ihram for `Umrah, and then assuming Ihram for Hajj when finished the `Umrah, this is the more specific type of Tamattu` which is well-known among the discussion of the scholars whereas in general there are two types of Tamattu`, as the authentic Hadiths prove, since among the narrators are those who said, “Allah’s Messenger performed Tamattu`, and others who said, “Qarin” but there is no difference between them over the Hady.
So Allah said,
(Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj (i.e., Hajj At-Tamattu` and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,) means let him sacrifice whatever Hady is available to him, the least of which is a sheep. One is also allowed to sacrifice a cow because the Prophet slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives. Al-Awza`i reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger slaughtered cows on behalf of his wives when they were performing Tamattu`. This was reported by Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah.
This last Hadith proves that Tamattu` is legislated. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that `Imran bin Husayn said, “We performed Hajj At-Tamattu` in the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger and then the Qur’an was revealed (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu`). Nothing was revealed to forbid it, nor did he (the Prophet ) forbid it until he died. And somebody said what he wished (regarding Hajj At-Tamattu`) according to his own opinion.” Al-Bukhari said that `Imran was talking about `Umar. It is reported in an authentic narration that `Umar used to discourage the people from performing Tamattu`. He used to say, “If we refer to Allah’s Book, we should complete it,” meaning:
(…whosoever performs the `Umrah (in the months of Hajj), before (performing) the Hajj, he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford,)
However `Umar did not say that Tamattu` is unlawful. He only prevented them so that the people would increase their trips to the House for Hajj (during the months of Hajj) and `Umrah (throughout the year), as he himself has stated.
(…but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all.)
This Ayah means: “Those who do not find a Hady, let them fast three days during the Hajj season.” Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, “If one does not have a Hady, he should fast three days during Hajj, before `Arafah day. If the day of `Arafah was the third day, then his fast is complete. He should also fast seven days when he gets back home.” Abu Ishaq reported from Wabarah from Ibn `Umar who said, “One fasts one day before the day of Tarwiyah, the day of Tarwiyah (eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah) and then `Arafah day (the ninth day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah).” The same statement was reported by Ja`far bin Muhammad from his father from `Ali.
If one did not fast these three days or at least some of them before `Id day (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah), he is allowed to fast during the Tashriq days (11-12-13th day of Dhul-Hijjah). `A’ishah and Ibn `Umar said, “Fasting the days of Tashriq was only allowed for those who did not find the Hady,” as Al-Bukhari has reported. Sufyan related that Ja`far bin Muhammad narrated that his father said that `Ali said, “Whoever did not fast the three days during the Hajj, should fast them during the days of Tashriq.” This is also the position taken by `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, referring to the general meaning of Allah’s statement:
(…fast three days during the Hajj…)
As for what Muslim reported that Qutaybah Al-Hudhali said that Allah’s Messenger said:
(The days of Tashriq are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah the Exalted.)
This narration is general in meaning while what `A’ishah and Ibn `Umar narrated is specific.
(…and seven days after his return.)
There are two opinions regarding the meaning of this Ayah. First, it means `when you return to the camping areas’. The second, upon going back home. `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Salim narrated that he heard Ibn `Umar saying:
“(…but if he cannot (afford it), he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return,) means when he goes back to his family. ” The same opinion was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, `Ata’, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Imam Az-Zuhri and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.
Al-Bukhari reported that Salim bin `Abdullah narrated that Ibn `Umar said, “During the Farewell Hajj of Allah’s Messenger , he performed Tamattu` with `Umrah and Hajj. He drove a Hady along with him from Dhul-Hulayfah. Allah’s Messenger started by assuming Ihram for `Umrah, and then for Hajj. And the people, too, performed the `Umrah and Hajj along with the Prophet . Some of them brought the Hady and drove it along with them, while the others did not. So, when the Prophet arrived at Makkah, he said to the people:
(Whoever among you has driven the Hady, should not finish his Ihram till he completes his Hajj. And whoever among you has not (driven) the Hady with him, he should perform Tawaf of the Ka`bah and between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. Then, he should shave or cut his hair short and finish his Ihram, and should later assume Ihram for Hajj; ﴿but he must offer a Hady (sacrifice)﴾. And if anyone cannot afford a Hady, he should fast for three days during the Hajj and seven days when he returns home.)
He then mentioned the rest of the Hadith, which is reported in the Two Sahihs.
(…making ten days in all.) to emphasize the ruling we mentioned above. This method is common in the Arabic language, for they would say, `I have seen with my eyes, heard with my ears and written with my hand,’ to emphasize such facts. Similarly, Allah said:
(…nor a bird that flies with its two wings) (6:38) and:
(…nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand) (29:48) and:
(And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added (to the period) ten (more), and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights.) (7:142)
It was also said that the meaning of “ten days in all” emphasizes the order to fast for ten days, not less than that.
(This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah).) This Ayah concerns the residents of the area of the Haram, for they do not perform Tamattu`. `Abdur-Razzaq reported that Tawus said, “Tamattu` is for the people, those whose families are not residing in the Haram area (Makkah), not for the residents of Makkah. Hence Allah’s Statement:
(This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (i.e., non-resident of Makkah).)
`Abdur-Razzaq then said, “I was also told that Ibn `Abbas said similar to Tawus.” Allah said:
(…and fear Allah) meaning, in what He has commanded you and what He prohibited for you. He then said:
(…and know that Allah is severe in punishment) for those who defy His command and commit what He has prohibited.
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