The Tafsir of Surat Al-Ma`un
Which was revealed
In the Name of Allah,
the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Have you seen him who
denies Ad-Din) (2. That is he who repulses the orphan,) (3. And urges not the
feeding of Al-Miskin.) (4. So, woe unto those performers of Salah,) (5. Those
who with their Salah are Sahun.) (6. Those who do good deeds only to be seen,)
(7. And withhold Al-Ma`un.)
Allah says, "O Muhammad! Have you seen the one who
denies the Din'' Here the word Din means the Hereafter, the Recompense and the
(That is he who repulses the orphan, )
meaning, he is the one who oppresses the orphan and does
not give him his just due. He does not feed him, nor is he kind to him.
(And urges not the feeding of Al-Miskin.) This is as
(Nay! But you treat
not the orphans with kindness and generosity! And urge not one another on the
feeding of Al-Miskin!) (89:17-18)
meaning, the poor man who has nothing to sustain him and
suffice his needs. Then Allah says,
(So, woe unto those
performers of Salah, those who with their Salah are Sahun.)
Ibn `Abbas and others have said, "This means the
hypocrites who pray in public but do not pray in private.''
Thus, Allah says,
performers of Salah,) They are those people who pray and adhere to the prayer,
yet they are mindless of it. This may either be referring to its act entirely,
as Ibn `Abbas said, or it may be referring to performing it in its stipulated
time that has been legislated Islamically. This means that the person prays it
completely outside of its time. This was said by Masruq and Abu Ad-Duha.
Dinar said, "All praise is due to Allah, the One Who said,
Salah are Sahun.) and He did not say, `those who are absent minded in their
It could also mean the first time of the prayer, which
means they always delay it until the end of its time, or they usually do so. It
may also refer to not fulfilling its pillars and conditions, and in the
required manner. It could also mean performing it with humility and
contemplation of its meanings. The wording of the Ayah comprises all of these
meanings. However, whoever has any characteristic of this that we have
mentioned then a portion of this Ayah applies to him. And whoever has all of
these characteristics, then he has completed his share of this Ayah, and the
hypocrisy of actions is fulfilled in him. This is just as is confirmed in the
Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,
(This is the prayer of
the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the
hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until it is between the two horns of
Shaytan. Then he stands and pecks four (Rak`ahs) and he does not remember Allah
(in them) except very little.)
This Hadith is describing the end of the time for the
`Asr prayer, which is the middle prayer as is confirmed by a text (Hadith).
This is the time in which it is disliked to pray. Then this person stands to
pray it, pecking in it like the pecking of a crow. He does not have tranquility
or humility in it at all. Thus, the Prophet said,
(He does not remember
Allah (in them) except very little.)
He probably only stands to pray it so that the people
will see him praying, and not seeking the Face of Allah. This is just as if he
did not pray at all. Allah says,
(Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who
deceives them. And when they stand up with laziness and to be seen of men, and
they do not remember Allah but little.) (4:142)
and Allah says here,
(Those who do good deeds only to be seen,)
Imam Ahmad recorded from `Amr bin Murrah that he said,
"We were sitting with Abu `Ubaydah when the people mentioned showing-off.
A man known as Abu Yazid said, "I heard `Abdullah bin `Amr saying that the
Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever tries to make the people hear of his deed, Allah, the
One Who hears His creation, will hear it and make him despised and degraded.)''
from what is related to his statement,
(Those who do good deeds only to be seen.)
is that whoever does a deed solely for Allah, but the
people come to know about it, and he is pleased with that, then this is not
considered showing off.
Al-Ma`un.) This means that they do not worship their Lord well, nor do they
treat His creation well. They do not even lend that which others may benefit
from and be helped by, even though the object will remain intact and be
returned to them. These people are even stingier when it comes to giving Zakah
and different types of charity that bring one closer to Allah.
Al-Mas`udi narrated from Salamah bin Kuhayl who reported
from Abu Al-`Ubaydin that he asked Ibn Mas`ud about Al-Ma`un and he said,
"It is what the people give to each other, like an axe, a pot, a bucket
and similar items.''
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Ma`un, and all
praise and thanks are due to Allah.