Surah al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage ) 22 : 28

لِّيَشْهَدُوا۟ مَنَٰفِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ فِىٓ أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلْأَنْعَٰمِ ۖ فَكُلُوا۟ مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا۟ ٱلْبَآئِسَ ٱلْفَقِيرَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allāh on known [i.e., specific] days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable poor.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The sūrah then mentions some aspects and objectives of the pilgrimage. The benefits that pilgrims receive are manifold. The pilgrimage is a season of trade and worship, and a conference where people get to know each other and establish close cooperation. It is a religious duty in which objectives pertaining to this life converge with those that pertain to the life to come. Near and distant memories of true faith are also grouped together. Business people find pilgrimage to be a high season for their merchandise. Fruits of every type are brought to the sanctified city of Makkah from all corners. Pilgrims come from every country and area of the world bringing with them their best goods that have different seasons. Thus, in Makkah all these are found in the same season, making of the pilgrimage an all-embracing exhibition and an annual international market place.

But the pilgrimage is also a conference at which all Muslims gather. In it they find the beginning of their community, going back ages in time to none other than their first father, Abraham (peace be upon him): “It is He who has chosen you, and has laid no hardship on you in [anything that pertains to] religion; the creed of your forefather Abraham. It is He who has named you Muslims, in bygone times and in this [book].” (Verse 78) There at the pilgrimage, they find the force that brings them all together, their qiblah to which they all turn as they stand up in prayer. They also find the banner under which they unite, namely, the banner of faith under which all distinctions of race, colour or nationality are non-existent. They sense their power, of which they may often be oblivious; that is the power of their unity which is capable of sweeping everything before it, when they are united by faith alone.

The pilgrimage is a conference where Muslims have the opportunity to get to know one another, discuss their affairs, coordinate their plans, group their forces, exchange commodities, information, experiences and other benefits. They organize their single well-integrated Muslim world once every year, under God’s banner, close to His House, in the light of devotion to Him alone and the memories outlined, in the best place, time and atmosphere.

It is to this blessing that the verse refers: “so that they might experience much that shall be of benefit to them.” This applies to every generation according to its prevailing circumstances, needs, experience, and requirements. This is part of what God wants the pilgrimage to be, ever since He made it a duty incumbent upon all Muslims, and ordered Abraham to proclaim this duty to mankind.

The sūrah refers to some of the rituals of the pilgrimage and their purpose: “They might extol the name of God on the days appointed [for sacrifice], over whatever heads of cattle He may have provided for them.” This is a reference to the animal sacrifice that pilgrims offer on the four days of `Īd. The Qur’ānic verse refers first to the practice of extolling God’s name at the time of the slaughter, highlighting the fact that the whole atmosphere is one of worship, and the purpose of the sacrifice is to get closer to God. Hence, the sūrah stresses the mentioning of God’s name at the point of sacrifice, as though such mention is the aim of the whole sacrificial ritual.

The sacrifice itself commemorates the sacrifice that was given as a ransom for Ishmael. Thus, it commemorates a sign given by God, and the act of obedience by His two noble servants, Abraham and Ishmael, in addition to the element of charity involved as most of its meat is given to the poor. The ‘heads of cattle’ mentioned in the Qur’ānic verse refer to camels, cows, sheep and goats that are normally sacrificed. “Eat, then, of such [sacrificed cattle] and feed the unfortunate poor.” The order to eat of one’s sacrifice is one of permissibility and recommendation, while the order to feed the poor is one of duty and obligation. Perhaps the order that one should eat of one’s own sacrifice is meant to show the poor that it is wholesome and of a quality that the person offering it does not disdain to eat from.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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As this Surah contains the characteristics of both the Makkan and the Madīnan Surahs the commentators have differed as to its period of revelation but in the light of its style and themes we are of the opinion that a part of it (v. 1-24) was sent down in the last stage of the Makkan life of the Prophet a little before migration and the rest (v. 25-78) during the first stage of his Madinah life. That is why this Surah combines the characteristics of both the Makkan and the Madinah Surahs.

According to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and other great commentators, v. 39 is the first verse that grants the Muslims permission to wage war. Collections of hadith and books on the life of the Prophet confirm that after this permission actual preparations for war were started and the first expedition was sent to the coast of the Red Sea in Safar 2 A.H. which is known as the Expedition of Waddan or Al-Abwa.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

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