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يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَآ أَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُوۤاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُعْتَدِينَ
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-Al-Mâ’idah ( المائدة )

Asbab Al-Nuzul

(O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you…) [5:87]. Abu 'Uthman ibn 'Amr al-Mu'adhdhin informed us> Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hamdan> al-Husayn ibn Nasr ibn Sufyan> Ishaq ibn Mansur> Abu 'Asim> 'Uthman ibn Sa'id>> 'Ikrimah> Ibn 'Abbas who related that a man went to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: “I have forbidden meat on myself because whenever I eat it I feel the urge to sleep with women”, and so the verse (O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you) and also (Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good…) [5:88]. The commentators of the Qur'an said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sat down one day and gave an admonition to people whereby he described the Day of Judgement to them and did not mention anything other than things which would instil fear in them. People cried as a result of the softening of their hearts. Then ten of the prophetic Companions gathered in the house of 'Uthman ibn Maz'un al-Jumahi. They included Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud, 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, Salim, the client of Abu Hudhayfah, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad, Salman al-Farisi and Ma'qil ibn Muqarrin. They agreed to fast the day and stand in prayer at night, never to sleep in their beds, eat meat or fat, never to sleep with their wives or use perfume. They also agreed to wear coarse wool garments, reject the worldly life, wander through the land and become monks, and cut off their male organs. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, heard of this, he gathered them and said: 'I was informed that you agreed to do such-and-such things, is this true?' They said: 'It is, but we only meant to do good'. He said to them: 'I was not commanded to do those things, and your own selves have a right over you. Fast and break fast, stand in prayer at night and sleep, for I stand in prayer at night but I also sleep; I sometimes fast and sometimes do not; I eat meat and fat. And whoever shuns my practice is not of me'. Then he went out and gave a sermon to people in which he said: 'How come some people have forbidden sleeping with women, eating, wearing perfume, sleeping and the desires of this world? I am not commanding you to be priests or monks, for there is no room in my religion for abstention from eating meat and sleeping with women, nor is there room for adoption of monasteries. The wandering of my community consists of fasting and its monasticism is Jihad. And worship Allah and do not associate anyone with Him; perform the greater and lesser pilgrimage, establish the prayer, pay the poor-due, and fast the month of Ramadan. Those who were before you perished because of their extremism; they made things hard on themselves and so Allah made it hard on them. The remains of those people are in monasteries and cloisters'. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse, upon which they said: 'O Messenger of Allah, What is to be done with the vows that we have made?' This is because they had vowed to each other to carry out the things they agreed on. As an answer, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths) [2:225]”.


Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou