Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 29 (17:29)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 29 in Arabic Text

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ ٱلْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًۭا مَّحْسُورًا
Wa laa taj’al yadaka maghloolatan ilaa ‘unuqika wa laa tabsut haa kullal basti fataq’uda maloomam mahsooraa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 29

Sahih International
And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.

Yusuf Ali
Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.

Abul Ala Maududi
(vi) Do not keep your hand fastened to your neck nor outspread it, altogether outspread, for you will be left sitting rebuked, destitute.

Muhsin Khan
And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

Pickthall
And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded.

Dr. Ghali
And do not set up your hand shackled to your neck, (i.e., Do not be niggardly) nor outspread it widespread altogether, (Literally: outspread it all outspreading, i.e., do not be a spendthrift) for then you will sit blamed and regretfully rejected.

Abdel Haleem
Do not be tight-fisted, nor so open-handed that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret.

Quran 17 Verse 29 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 29, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:29) (vi) Do not keep your hand fastened to your neck nor outspread it, altogether outspread, for you will be left sitting rebuked, destitute.[29]


29. “And do not keep your hand fastened to your neck”, means: Do not be parsimonious. “Nor outspread it altogether widespread” means: Do not be extravagant. The Quran desires the people to follow the golden mean, i.e. they should neither be so parsimonious as to prevent the circulation of wealth nor so extravagant as to destroy their own economy. On the contrary, they should learn to behave in a balanced manner so that they should spend money wherever it should be spent and refrain from becoming spendthrifts so as to involve themselves into trouble. As a matter of fact, it is ingratitude towards Allah’s favor to spend money for the sake of show, luxury and sinful acts and similar things which are neither man’s real necessities nor useful. Therefore, those people who spend money lavishly on such things as these are the brethren of Satan.

These clauses too, are not merely meant to be moral instructions for individuals. They are intended to safeguard the Islamic society against extravagance by moral instruction, collective pressure and legal restrictions. Accordingly, in the Islamic state of Al-Madinah, practical steps were taken to safeguard the community against extravagance. First, many forms of extravagance and luxury were forbidden by law. Secondly, legal measures were taken against it. Thirdly, social reforms were introduced to put an end to those customs which involved extravagance. The government was empowered to prevent people from the obvious forms of extravagance. Above all, Zakat and voluntary charity helped to break parsimony and the lust of hoarding money. Besides these measures, a public opinion was created that enabled the people to discriminate between generosity and extravagance and thrift and parsimony: so much so that parsimonious people were looked down upon as ignominious and the thrifty people were regarded as honorable. This moral and mental attitude became a part and parcel of the Muslim society, and even today the parsimonious people and hoarders are looked down upon in the Muslim society, while the generous people are respected everywhere.

Ibn-Kathir

29. And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor overextend it (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. 30. Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His servants.


Moderation in Spending

Allah enjoins moderation in living. He condemns miserliness and forbids extravagance.

﴿وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ﴾

(And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck,) this means, do not be miserly and stingy, never giving anything to anyone, as the Jews – may the curses of Allah be upon them – said, “Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e., He does not give and spend of His bounty)”. They attributed miserliness to Him, Exalted and Sanctified be the Most Generous Bestower!

﴿وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ﴾

(nor overextend it (like a spendthrift)) means, nor be extravagant in spending and giving more than you can afford, or paying more than you earn, lest you become blameworthy and find yourself in severe poverty. If you are a miser, people will blame you and condemn you, and no longer rely on you. When you spend more than you can afford, you will find yourself without anything to spend, so you will be worn out, like an animal that cannot walk, so it becomes weak and incapable. It is described as worn out, which is similar in meaning to exhausted. As Allah says:

﴿الَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقًا مَّا تَرَى فِى خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَـنِ مِن تَفَـوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ – ثُمَّ اْرجِعِ البَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ البَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ ﴾

(Then look again: “Can you see any rifts” Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out. ) (67:3-4) meaning, unable to see any faults. Similarly, Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj, Ibn Zayd and others understood this Ayah as miserliness and extravagance. It was reported in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Abu Az-Zinad from Al-A`raj that Abu Hurayrah heard the Messenger of Allah say:

«مَثَلُ الْبَخِيلِ وَالْمُنْفِقِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلَيْنِ عَلَيْهِمَا جُبّتَانِ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ مِنْ ثُدِيِّهِمَا إِلَى تَرَاقِيهِمَا، فَأَمَّا الْمُنْفِقُ فَلَا يُنْفِقُ إِلَّا سَبَغَتْ أَوْ وَفَرَتْ عَلَى جِلْدِهِ حَتَّى تُخْفِيَ بَنَانَهُ وَتَعْفُوَ أَثَرَهُ، وَأَمَّا الْبَخِيلُ فَلَا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُنْفِقَ شَيْئًا إِلَّا لَزِقَتْ كُلُّ حَلْقَةٍ مِنْهَا مَكَانَهَا، فَهُوَ يُوَسِّعُهَا فَلَا تَتَّسِع»

(The parable of the miser and the almsgiver is that of two persons wearing iron cloaks from their chests to their collar-bones. When the almsgiver gives in charity, the cloak becomes spacious until it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his tracks (obliterates his tracks – or, his sins will be forgiven). And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and (its) every ring gets stuck to its place, and he tries to widen it, but it does not become wide.) This version was recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Zakah. In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Abi Muzarrid narrated from Sa`id bin Yasar that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

«مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ يُصْبِحُ الْعِبَادُ فِيهِ إِلَّا وَمَلَكَانِ يَنْزِلَانِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمَا:اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ مُنْفِقًا خَلَفًا، وَيَقُولُ الْآخَرُ: اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ مُمْسِكًا تَلَفًا»

(There is no day when a person wakes up but two angels come down from heaven. One of them says, `O Allah, compensate the one who gives (in charity),’ and the other one says, `O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.’)” Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

«مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَنْفَقَ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله»

(Wealth never decreases because of Sadaqah (charity). Allah never increases a servant who gives in charity except in honor, and whoever is humble for the sake of Allah, Allah will raise him in status.) According to a Hadith narrated by Abu Kathir from `Abdullah bin `Amr, who attributed it to the Prophet :

«إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ فَإِنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْبُخْلِ فَبَخِلُوا، وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا، وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُوا»

(Beware of stinginess for it destroyed the people who came before you. It commanded them to be miserly, so they were miserly; and it commanded them to cut the ties of kinship, so they cut them; and it commanded them to commit immoral actions, so they did so.)

﴿إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقْدِرُ﴾

(Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills).) This Ayah is telling us that Allah is the One Who provides or withholds, the Bestower Who is running the affairs of His creation as He wills. He makes rich whomever He wills, and He makes poor whomever He wills, by the wisdom that is His. He said: /

﴿إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا﴾

(Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His servants.) meaning, He knows and sees who deserves to be rich and who deserves to be poor. In some cases, richness may be decreed so that a person gets carried away, leading to his own doom. In other cases, poverty may be a punishment. We seek refuge with Allah from both.

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