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لَّيْسَ ٱلْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلآخِرِ وَٱلْمَلاۤئِكَةِ وَٱلْكِتَابِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى ٱلْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَامَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَاكِينَ وَٱبْنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِي ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلاةَ وَآتَى ٱلزَّكَاةَ وَٱلْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُواْ وَٱلصَّابِرِينَ فِي ٱلْبَأْسَآءِ وٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَحِينَ ٱلْبَأْسِ أُولَـٰئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُتَّقُونَ
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-Al-Baqarah ( البقرة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

It is not piety, that you turn your faces, in prayer, to the East and to the West. This was revealed in response to the claim made by the Jews and the Christians to this effect. True piety, that is, the pious person (al-birr, is also read al-barr, in the sense of al-bārr [‘the dutiful person’]) is [that of] the one who believes in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Book, that is, the scriptures, and the prophets, and who gives of his substance, however, despite [it being], cherished, by him, to kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the traveller and beggars, and for, the setting free of, slaves, both the captive and the one to be manumitted by contract; and who observes prayer and pays the alms, that are obligatory, and what was [given] before [alms were made obligatory], in the way of charity; and those who fulfil their covenant when they have engaged in a covenant, with God or with others, those who endure with fortitude (al-sābirīna is the accusative of laudation) misfortune (al-ba’sā’ is abject poverty), hardship, illness, and peril, at the height of a battle in the way of God; these, described in the way mentioned, are the ones who are truthful, in their faith and in their claims to piety, and these are the ones who are fearful, of God.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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