English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 5: Al-Maidah — Food (Revealed at Madinah: 16 sections, 120 verses)

Section 14 (Verses 5:101–5:108): Some Directions for Muslims


یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَسۡـَٔلُوۡا عَنۡ اَشۡیَآءَ اِنۡ تُبۡدَ لَکُمۡ تَسُؤۡکُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَسۡـَٔلُوۡا عَنۡہَا حِیۡنَ یُنَزَّلُ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ تُبۡدَ لَکُمۡ ؕ عَفَا اللّٰہُ عَنۡہَا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۱﴾

5:101 O you who believe, do not ask about things which, if made known to you, would give you trouble; and if you ask about them when the Quran is being revealed, they will be made known to you. Allah pardons this; and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.1

قَدۡ سَاَلَہَا قَوۡمٌ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ ثُمَّ اَصۡبَحُوۡا بِہَا کٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾

5:102 A people before you indeed asked such questions, then became disbelievers in them.

مَا جَعَلَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡۢ بَحِیۡرَۃٍ وَّ لَا سَآئِبَۃٍ وَّ لَا وَصِیۡلَۃٍ وَّ لَا حَامٍ ۙ وَّ لٰکِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ ؕ وَ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾

5:103 Allah has not ordained a baḥīrah or a sā’ibah or a waṣīlah or a ḥāmī, but those who disbelieve fabricate a lie against Allah.2 And most of them do not understand.

وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ وَ اِلَی الرَّسُوۡلِ قَالُوۡا حَسۡبُنَا مَا وَجَدۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ اٰبَآءَنَا ؕ اَوَ لَوۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾

5:104 And when it is said to them, Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, they say: Sufficient for us is that on which we found our fathers. What! even though their fathers knew nothing and had no guidance!

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ ۚ لَا یَضُرُّکُمۡ مَّنۡ ضَلَّ اِذَا اہۡتَدَیۡتُمۡ ؕ اِلَی اللّٰہِ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ جَمِیۡعًا فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾

5:105 O you who believe, take care of your souls — he who goes astray cannot harm you when you are on the right way. To Allah you will all return, so He will inform you of what you did.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا شَہَادَۃُ بَیۡنِکُمۡ اِذَا حَضَرَ اَحَدَکُمُ الۡمَوۡتُ حِیۡنَ الۡوَصِیَّۃِ اثۡنٰنِ ذَوَا عَدۡلٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ اَوۡ اٰخَرٰنِ مِنۡ غَیۡرِکُمۡ اِنۡ اَنۡتُمۡ ضَرَبۡتُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَاَصَابَتۡکُمۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃُ الۡمَوۡتِ ؕ تَحۡبِسُوۡنَہُمَا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الصَّلٰوۃِ فَیُقۡسِمٰنِ بِاللّٰہِ اِنِ ارۡتَبۡتُمۡ لَا نَشۡتَرِیۡ بِہٖ ثَمَنًا وَّ لَوۡ کَانَ ذَا قُرۡبٰی ۙ وَ لَا نَکۡتُمُ شَہَادَۃَ ۙ اللّٰہِ اِنَّاۤ اِذًا لَّمِنَ الۡاٰثِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۶﴾

5:106 O you who believe, call to witness between you, when death draws near to one of you, at the time of making the will, two just persons from among you, or two others from among others than you,3 if you are travelling in the land and the calamity of death befalls you. You should detain them after the prayer. Then if you doubt (them), they shall both swear by Allah (saying): We will not take for it a price even for a relative, nor will we hide the testimony of Allah,4 for then certainly we shall be sinners.

فَاِنۡ عُثِرَ عَلٰۤی اَنَّہُمَا اسۡتَحَقَّاۤ اِثۡمًا فَاٰخَرٰنِ یَقُوۡمٰنِ مَقَامَہُمَا مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اسۡتَحَقَّ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَوۡلَیٰنِ فَیُقۡسِمٰنِ بِاللّٰہِ لَشَہَادَتُنَاۤ اَحَقُّ مِنۡ شَہَادَتِہِمَا وَ مَا اعۡتَدَیۡنَاۤ ۫ۖ اِنَّاۤ اِذًا لَّمِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۷﴾

5:107 If it is discovered that they are guilty of a sin, two others shall stand up in their place from among those against whom the first two have been guilty of a sin; so they shall swear by Allah: Certainly our testimony is truer than the testimony of those two, and we have not exceeded the limit, for then surely we should be unjust.

ذٰلِکَ اَدۡنٰۤی اَنۡ یَّاۡتُوۡا بِالشَّہَادَۃِ عَلٰی وَجۡہِہَاۤ اَوۡ یَخَافُوۡۤا اَنۡ تُرَدَّ اَیۡمَانٌۢ بَعۡدَ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ ؕ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اسۡمَعُوۡا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾٪

5:108 Thus it is more probable that they will give true testimony or fear that other oaths will be taken after their oaths. And keep your duty to Allah and listen. And Allah does not guide the transgressing people.


  1. Islam prohibited questions relating to details on many points which would require this or that practice to be made obligatory, and much was left to individual will or the circumstances of the time and place. The exercise of judg­ment occupies a very important place in Islam and this gives ample scope to different nations and communities to frame laws for themselves to meet new and changed situations. The Holy Prophet also discouraged questions on details in which a Muslim could choose a way for himself.
  2. The liberation of certain animals in honour of idols was a practice among the Arabs, and as Islam uprooted every vestige of idolatry, this practice is condemned here. The terms baḥīrah, sā’ibah, waṣīlah and ḥāmī referred to vari­ous types of camels and goat.
  3. The words “others than you” show that the evidence of the follow­ers of other religions is admissible according to the Quran, who may be chosen as witnesses by Muslims.
  4. “The testimony of Allah” stands for the testimony which Allah has enjoined to be borne uprightly.