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Sura 5
Aya 2
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا لا تُحِلّوا شَعائِرَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الشَّهرَ الحَرامَ وَلَا الهَديَ وَلَا القَلائِدَ وَلا آمّينَ البَيتَ الحَرامَ يَبتَغونَ فَضلًا مِن رَبِّهِم وَرِضوانًا ۚ وَإِذا حَلَلتُم فَاصطادوا ۚ وَلا يَجرِمَنَّكُم شَنَآنُ قَومٍ أَن صَدّوكُم عَنِ المَسجِدِ الحَرامِ أَن تَعتَدوا ۘ وَتَعاوَنوا عَلَى البِرِّ وَالتَّقوىٰ ۖ وَلا تَعاوَنوا عَلَى الإِثمِ وَالعُدوانِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَديدُ العِقابِ

Muhammad Asad

O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,1 nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over2 are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:3 but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
  • Lit., "nor against the offerings, nor the garlands" - a reference to the 'animals which are brought to Mecca at the time of pilgrimage, to be sacrificed there in the name of God and most of their flesh distributed among the poor. In order to mark out such animals, and to prevent their being inadvertently used for profane (e.g., commercial) ends, garlands are customarily hung around their necks. See also 2:196.- The term sha'a'ir Allah (lit., "God's symbols), occurring earlier in this sentence, denotes the places reserved for particular religious rites (e.g., the Ka'bah) as well as the religious rites themselves. (Cf. 2 : 158, where As-Safa and Al-Marwah are described as "symbols set up by God"). In the above context, the rites 'of pilgrimage, in particular, are alluded to.
  • Lit:, "when you have become free of the obligations attaching to the state of pilgrimage" (idha halaltum ).
  • Inasmuch as this surah was undoubtedly revealed in the year 10 H. (Tabarf, Ibn Kathir), it is difficult to accept the view of some of the commentators that the above verse alludes to the events culminating in the truce of Hudaybiyyah, in 6 H., when the pagan Quraysh succeeded in preventing the Prophet and his followers from entering Mecca on pilgrimage. At the time of the revelation of this surah Mecca was already in the possession of the Muslims, and there was no longer any question of their being barred from it by the Quraysh, almost all of whom had by then embraced Islam. We must, therefore, conclude that the above injunction cannot be circumscribed by a historical reference but has a timeless, general import: in other words, that it refers to anybody who might endeavour to bar the believers - physically or metaphorically - from the exercise of their religious duties (symbolized by the "Inviolable House of Worship") and thus to lead them away from their faith. In view of the next sentence, moreover, this interpretation would seem to be the only plausible one.