Sat 19 Jm2 1435 - 19 April 2014
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Meaning of the verse, “and do not throw yourselves into destruction”

Can you please clarify the meaning of the verse of 2.195] And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good. I am confused because on this fatwa it refered to not spending in the cause of Allah The question number 46807 .
but then I read another fatwa where it said refered to it as killing yourself If I have understood it correctly Sheik. The question number 21589 Can you please clarify Sheik?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

The scholars – mufassireen, fuqaha’ and others -- are unanimously agreed that the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And spend in the Cause of Allaah (i.e. Jihad of all kinds) and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allaah), and do good. Truly, Allaah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good-doers)” [al-Baqarah 2:195] was revealed in the context of enjoining spending, and with regard to the reason for the revelation of this verse it was narrated that some of the Sahaabah wanted to focus on their farms and trade, and forsake jihad for the sake of Allaah, and Allaah warned them against doing that in this verse. 

Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated from Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said concerning this verse: It was revealed concerning spending (in the way of Allaah). End quote. (al-Bukhaari, no. 4516). 

Al-Tirmidhi (2972) narrated that Aslam Abu ‘Imraan said: We were in the city of the Byzantines and there came out to us a large number of Byzantines. One of the Muslim men charged at the Byzantine ranks until he penetrated among them, and the people shouted and said: Subhaan Allaah! He has thrown himself into destruction! Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari stood up and said: O people, you are misinterpreting this verse. Rather this verse was revealed concerning us Ansaar, when Allaah granted victory to Islam and the number of its supporters increased. We said to one another in private, and not to the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him): Our wealth and property have diminished. Allaah has granted victory to Islam and the number of its supporters has increased. We should focus on our wealth and property and try to take care of them. Then Allaah revealed to His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) a verse which refuted what we said: “And spend in the Cause of Allaah (i.e. Jihad of all kinds) and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allaah)”. So destruction here referred to focusing on wealth and property, and abandoning jihad. Abu Ayyoob continued to strive in jihad for the sake of Allaah until he was buried in Constantinople.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 13. 

Despite that, the scholars -- both earlier and later -- also quoted this verse as evidence to show that it is forbidden to kill oneself or harm oneself or throw oneself into destruction by any means, based on the general meaning of the words of the verse and by analogy, and they affirmed the basic usooli principle which says: what counts is the general meaning of the words, not the specific reason for revelation. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

As for restricting it to that -- meaning restricting the verse to the matter of not spending for the sake of Allaah -- that is subject to further discussion, because what counts is the general meaning of the wording. End quote. 

Fath al-Baari, 8/185 

Al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

i.e., do not do that which will bring about your destruction. The salaf had a number of opinions concerning the meaning of the verse. The truth is that what matters is the general meaning of the wording not the specific reason for revelation. Everything that may be called destruction in religious or worldly terms is included in that. This is the view of Ibn Jareer al-Tabari. End quote. 

Fath al-Qadeer, 1/193 

This is also indicated by the various interpretations that the salaf gave for this verse. It was narrated from al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he regarded the one who committed a sin then despaired of the mercy of Allaah as throwing himself into destruction. 

Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari (8/33): It was narrated by Ibn Jareer and Ibn al-Mundhir with a saheeh isnaad. 

Thus it becomes clear that the two answers previously given on our website do not contradict one another. What is mentioned in question number 46807 explains the reason for the revelation of this verse and the context in which it was revealed. 

The answer to question number 21589 is quoting as evidence the general meaning of the wording of the verse, and explaining that it is not permissible to throw oneself into destruction in any sense, whatever the form of this destruction or harm. 

And Allaah knows best.

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