Meaning of Quran 5:101-102
Fatwa No: 117583

Question

Can you explain the words of Allah in Surah 5:101-102. What are the things we should ask about and what should we not ask about. May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Allaah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask about them while the Quran is being revealed, they will be shown to you. Allaah has pardoned it [i.e. that which is past]; and Allaah is Forgiving and Forbearing. A people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers.} [Quran 5:101-102]

This verse prohibits the Muslims from asking about things they have no benefit in asking about, because if such matters appear to them it may be harmful to them and it will be difficult for them to hear it, like the person who asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): ‘‘Where is my father (in the Hereafter)? The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: ‘‘In Hellfire.’’, or the person who asked about Hajj: ‘‘Is it every year, o Prophet of Allaah?’’, whereupon the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: ‘‘No, and if I replied by ‘yes’, it would become an obligation on you to perform it every year and you will not be able to do so .’’

These examples are reported about the reasons for which the verse was revealed, and similar to this are the questions asked just in order to mock the person or to ask rigid questions without any benefit.

To conclude, this verse was revealed because of asking about things that have no benefit, or because of asking too much, or asking in order to mock, or test someone or to argue with him only for the sake of argument.

As regards asking the scholars about the matters of religion or asking people of experience about beneficial things in this worldly life, then this is not included in the probation of asking.

Allaah Knows best.

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