Surah Al-Ma’idah Ayat 87 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 87
O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.
O ye who believe! make not unlawful the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, but commit no excess: for Allah loveth not those given to excess.
Believers! Do not hold as unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and do not exceed the bounds of right. Allah does not love those who transgress the bounds of right.
O you who believe! Make not unlawful the Taiyibat (all that is good as regards foods, things, deeds, beliefs, persons, etc.) which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.
O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, and transgress not, Lo! Allah loveth not transgressors.
O you who have believed, do not prohibit whatever good things Allah has made lawful for you, and do not transgress. Surely Allah does not love the transgressors.
You who believe, do not forbid the good things God has made lawful to you- do not exceed the limits: God does not love those who exceed the limits-
Quran 5 Verse 87 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Ma’idah ayat 87, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(5:87) Believers! Do not hold as unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and do not exceed the bounds of right. Allah does not love those who transgress the bounds of right.
104. This verse embodies two directives. The first is that man should not attribute to himself the authority to proclaim things either lawful or unlawful according to his own wishes. Only that which God has held to be lawful is lawful, and only that which God has declared unlawful is unlawful. If men were to declare certain things either lawful or unlawful on their own authority, they would not be following the law of God but their own laws. The second directive is that they should not adopt the course of world-renunciation and abstention from worldly pleasures as the Christian monks, Hindu mendicants, Buddhist bhikshus and illuminist mystics did. Religious-minded and virtuous people have always tended to consider their physical and carnal desires an impediment to spiritual growth. They have considered suffering, deprivation from worldly pleasures and abstention from the means of worldly sustenance to be acts of goodness and indispensable for achieving proximity to God. Even some of the Companions leaned in this direction. The Prophet (peace be on him) once came to know that some Companions had resolved that they would fast without interruption, that instead of spending the night on their beds they would remain awake praying, that they would consume neither meat nor fat, and would have no (sexual) relations with women. The Prophet (peace be on him) addressed the people on this subject and said: ‘I have not been commanded to do so. Even your own self has rights against you. So, fast on certain days and refrain from fasting on others. Stay awake praying at night and also sleep. Look at me; 1 sleep as well as stay awake (praying); sometimes I fast and sometimes I don’t. I consume meat as well as fat. Whosoever dislikes my way does not belong to me.’ He then added: ‘What has happened to people that they have prohibited for themselves women, good food, perfumes, sleep and the pleasures of the world, whereas I have not taught you to become monks and priests. In my religion there is neither abstention from women nor from meat, neither seclusion nor withdrawal.
For the purposes of self-control my religion has fasting. As for monasticism, all its benefits can be derived from jihad (struggle in the way of God). Serve God and associate none with Him. Perform Hajj and ‘Umrah, establish Prayers, dispense Zakah and observe the fasts of Ramadan. Those who were destroyed before you were destroyed because they were severe with themselves, and when they became severe with themselves God became severe with them as well. It is the remnants of such people who you see in the oratories and hermitages of monks.’ (Ibn Kathir, vol. 2, pp. 626 and 628-9 – Ed.)
There are traditions to the effect that the Prophet (peace be on him) once came to know that one of his Companions was always so preoccupied with worship and devotion that he did not approach his wife for long periods. The Prophet (peace be on him) called for him and directed him to go to his wife. On being told that he was fasting, the Prophet (peace be on him) asked him to break the fast and proceed to his wife. During the reign of ‘Umar a lady once lodged the complaint that her husband fasted all day and prayed all night and had no relations with her. ‘Umar appointed the famous Successor (Tabi’i), Ka’b b. Thawr al-Azdi to look into the matter. He issued the judgement that the husband had the right to spend three nights in Prayer if he so wished, but every fourth night was the right of his wife. (Fiqh al-Sunnah, vol. 2, p. 164 – Ed.)
105. ‘Do not exceed the bounds of right’ has a broad signification. To hold the things which are lawful to be unlawful, and to shun the things declared by God to be clean as if they were unclean, is in itself an act of wrongful excess. It should be remembered, at the same time, that extravagant indulgence even in clean things is an act of wrongful excess. Likewise, to overstep the limits of the permissible is also an act of wrongful excess. God disapproves of all three kinds of excess.
87. O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors. 88. And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.
`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, “This Ayah ﴿5:87﴾ was revealed about some of the Companions of the Prophet who said, `We should cut off our male organs, abandon the desires of this life and travel in the land, just as the Ruhban (monks) do.’ When the Prophet heard of this statement, he summoned them and asked them if they made this statement and they answered `Yes.’ The Prophet said,
(I fast and break my fast, pray and sleep, and marry women. Whoever follows my Sunnah is of me, and whoever abandons my Sunnah is not of me.)” Ibn Abi Hatim also collected this Hadith. Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas narrated a similar Hadith. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `A’ishah said that some of the Companions asked the wives of the Prophet about the acts of worship that he performed in private. One of them said, “I will not eat meat,” another said, “I will not marry women,” while the third said, “I will not sleep on the bed.” When the Prophet heard this statement, he said,
(What is the matter with some people who said such and such I fast and break the fast, sleep and wake to stand to pray, eat meat, and marry women. He who is not pleased with my Sunnah is not of me.) Allah’s statement,
(and transgress not.) means, do not exaggerate and make it hard for yourselves by prohibiting the permissible things. Do not transgress the limits by excessively indulging in the permissible matters; only use of it what satisfies your need; and do not fall into extravagance. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance.)﴿7:31﴾, and,
(And those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).)﴿25:67﴾ So Allah legislated a medium way between those who are extreme and those who fall into shortcomings, and it does not allow excessive application, nor lack of application. This is why Allah said here,
(Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful to you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.) then He said,
(And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good,)﴿5:88﴾, eat of those items that are pure and lawful for you,
(and have Taqwa of Allah,) in all your affairs, obey Him and seek His pleasure, all the while staying away from defiance and disobedience of Allah,
(and have Taqwa of Allah in Whom you believe.)
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