27 Sep

Why do you say that which you do not do

O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?

[Qur’aan 61:2]


There is a difference of opinion in regards to the reason why this Verse was revealed.


Some have said it was revealed regarding those who wanted to know what the best deed was, and when Allaah showed them what the best deed is and they recognized it, they failed to take up the deeds.


Before Jihaad was made obligatory they would say: We wish Allaah guides us to what is the best of all deeds so that we may act upon it. Allaah then told his Messenger that the best deed is to believe in Allaah (have Imaan in him) and to do Jihaad against the ones who indulge in disobedience and oppose Imaan and do not attest to it.


When the ruling for Jihaad was revealed, there were those from among the believers who disliked it, and it was very difficult for them to follow the command regarding it.


Thereupon Allaah said:

O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?

Another group of scholars are of the opinion that this Verse was revealed to reprimand those Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) who would boast about an act of good which he had never done.


Imaam al-Tabari says that Qataadah said it has reached me that this Verse was in regards to Jihaad. A man would say I fought and did such and such a thing while he had not done it so Allaah warned him in regards to that with a severe warning.

A third group of scholars says that the Verse was revealed in regards to the Munaafiquun who promised to help the believers but were lying.

Imaam al-Tabari holds that the first opinion is the most correct opinion. He says the Verse could not have been about the Munaafiquun because Allaah has addressed those who He is speaking to in the Verse by saying “O those who have believed (i.e. have Imaan).” He labeled them with Imaan. It cannot be the Munaafiquun.

He rejects the second opinion because that is akin to lying. To say that you did something when you haven't done it is lying. This was not a trait of the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). Hence, the second opinion is also not valid according to Imaam al-Tabari.

Tafsiir al-Tabari
Volume 23 Page 354


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