Wednesday, September 12, 2018 8:05:50 AM
Enjoying Foods and Drinks in The Quran

Enjoying Foods and Drinks: Commentary of The Quran (Chapter 2:172-173) by: Mohammad Sobhanie

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿١٧٢﴾ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٧٣﴾


2:172 O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] only Him that you worship.

2:173 He has only forbidden to you the meat of an animals that dies of itself, blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of an animal which is slaughtered with invoking (mentioning) any name other than the name of Allah (SWT) [at the time of slaughter]. But whoever is forced [to eat forbidden things by necessity], without being rebellious or transgressive, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Commentary:  The verse 2:172 sanctions believers to eat and enjoy from the good things which Allah (SWT) has provided them, [(مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ)] and enjoins them to express their gratitude for the bounties and blessings of Allah (SWT), [(وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّـهِ)] if they truly worship Him [(إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ)].

Individuals can show their gratitude by serving and worshipping only Allah (SWT). This includes acknowledging that He is the source of all bounties and using divine blessings in ways that He is pleased with it.

Earlier, the verses 2:168 asked mankind to eat whatever is on earth that is lawful and wholesome:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٦٨﴾

2:168 O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and wholesome; and do not follow in the footsteps of Shaitan; Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.

There are two noticeable differences between the verse 2:168 and 2:173. The first difference is that, the verse 2: 168 asks mankind to eat whatever is lawful on earth. Whereas the verses 2:172 asks believers to enjoy the good things which Allah has provided them. Selection of words in the verses implies that Allah (SWT) has provided pure and good livelihoods for believers and others are benefiting these bounties as well [Tafseer–e–Namoona, Vol.1 P. 581].

The second difference is that the verse 2:168 asks mankind to refrain from sins [(وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ)] whereas verse 2:172 asks believers to take a step further and express their gratuities by doing righteous deeds [(وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّـهِ)].

Alteration of Divine Law: Evidently, nomadic Arabs during the early rise of Islam had forbidden themselves to consume some permissible meats (see Chapter of Al-Anam 6:139 & 6:143-145). The verse 2:173 discards the aforementioned false belief and states that Allah (SWT) has forbidden the meat of an animal which dies itself [(الْمَيْتَةَ)], blood [(الدَّمَ)], the flesh of swine [(وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ)], and the meat of an animal that has been slaughtered without invoking (calling) the name of Allah (SWT) [(مَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ)]. However, in life-threatening cases [(فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ)], there is no sin upon people [(فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ)] who eat forbidden foods, provided that he neither desires to disobey the law [(غَيْرَ بَاغٍ)] nor exceeds what is absolutely indispensable [(وَلَا عَادٍ)].

Some commentator adds, if one falls in a state of emergency because of his own disobedient behavior or because he has exceeded the limit which has driven him to a state of emergency, then he will be blamed for eating prohibited items.


The word [(بَاغٍ)] is from the root [(بغى)] means to revolt, rebel, disobey, break the law and [(عَادٍ)] means to transgress; here, it means to exceed beyond the amount necessary.

The word [(أُهِلَّ)] means to raise the voice and [(مَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ)] means to raise the voice and invoke names other than the name of Allah (SWT). The word [(استهلال)] of the new moon means once one sees the new moon with a loud voice calls “this is the moon’,[Tasnem, Vol.8,Page 615]


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