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Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verse 195

195. " And spend in the way of Allah; and cast not yourselves by your own hands into perdition: and do good (to others) , for verily Allah loves the doers of good."


Holy War needs as much money and property as it needs the sincere, strong experienced battle men, because in Holy War, the existence of both the spiritual and physical preparation, and suitable weapons, artillery and other fighting equipments for troops are necessary. True it is that the most important effective factor of the fate of a war is the involving soldiers, but a soldier needs to be equipped. Hence, the verse emphasizes that the lack of spending wealth in this way is to bring themselves and other Muslims to destruction. " And spend in the way of Allah; and cast not yourselves by your own hands into perdition:..."

At the time of revelation, in particular, a great deal of Muslims were full of ardor and emotions for Holy War, but they were so poor that they could not prepare the artillery. As the Qur'an states, they used to come to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and ask him to supply the necessary means in order to send them to the battle-field. But they usually came back with sorrow and grief while their eyes were shedding tears because the required means could not be supplied. The statement of the Qur'an in Sura At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 92 is thus; "...they went back while their eyes overflowed with tears on account of grief for not finding that which they should spend."

Spending, a Prevention of Destruction

A general fact and a social rite can be taken from this holy verse in account of disbursing, although the subject is mentioned next to the verses of Holy War. The idea is that spending, in general, causes the members of a society to be delivered from perdition. And, on the contrary, when the custom of donation be neglected and the properties be compiled in one pole of the society, there will come forth a majority of the poor and deprived. So, very soon, a great burst happens in the society in which the selves and wealth of capitalists will be burnt by the fire of that revolution. Here, thereby, the relation of 'donation' and 'prevention of destruction ' is made clear. Therefore, disbursement is useful for capitalist, before it would be beneficial to the state of the deprived; that is, the justification of wealth is a protector of wealth. Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) has pointed to this very fact where he says:

"...guard your properties by paying alms tax..." 89

Next to the stage of Holy War and donation, it leads to benevolence and, at the end of the verse, it commands to doing good because the stage of doing good is the highest stage in the course of human development which Islam regards to fully. It says: "...and do good (to others) , for verily Allah loves the doers of good."

The occurrence of this phrase at the end of the verse on donation points to this meaning that the act of donation must be fulfilled with an absolute sincerity and affection: far from any term of reproach or what annoys or hurts the person whom the favour is done to.


89. Nahjul-Balaqah, saying No. 146

Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"

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