In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Quran: Chapter 7, Wa iza Sameoo, ‘And When They Listen to’, Sura: 5 ‘Al- Maidah’ ‘The Table spread with food’, Verse: 101- 102
Verse 101: O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain (clear) to you, may cause you trouble. But if you ask about them while the Quran is being revealed, they will be made plain (clear) to you. Allah has forgiven that, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.
Verse 102: Before you, a community asked such questions, then on that account they became disbelievers.
Explanation by Ibne Kathir: [The respected Imam, Abu Al-Fida’, `Imad Ad-Din Isma il bin ‘Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi– born in Busra 701 H– died in Damascus in 774 H/ b. 1301 Christian Era– d. 1373CE. http://www.dar-us-salam.com/authors/hafiz-ibn-kathir.htm ]
Unnecessary Questioning is Disapproved of
Allah said next,
O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.
This Ayah refers to good conduct that Allah is teaching His believing servants, by forbidding them from asking about useless things. Since if they get the answers they sought, they might be troublesome for them and difficult on their ears.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said,
“The Messenger of Allah gave a speech unlike anything I heard before. In this speech, he said,
لَو تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ، لَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلًا، وَلَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا
If you but know what I know, you will laugh little and cry a lot.
The companions of Allah’s Messenger covered their faces and the sound of crying was coming out of their chests.
A man asked, `Who is my father?’
The Prophet said, `So-and-so’.
This Ayah was later revealed, لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء (Ask not about things…).”
Muslim, Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith.
Difficult words by samia2010oct: All are Islamic religious scholars, Imams;
Al-Bukhari: Full name Imâm Abû `Abdullâh Muhammad ibn Ismâ`îl al-Bukhârî (194 H- 265 H / 809 CE- 878 CE) http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_bukhari.htm
Muslim: Full name Imam Abu’l-Husain ‘Asakir-ud-Din Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi (202 H – 261H/ 817 CE- 874 CE) http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/Imam_muslim.htm
Ahmad: Full name Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hambal (164 A.H. /780 CE. — 241 A.H. / 855 CE) http://www.renaissance.com.pk/mjuletfor96.html
At-Tirmidhi: Imam Abū ‛Īsa Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsa ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsa ibn al Ḍaḥḥāk al-Sulamīat-Tirmidhī (209-279 AH/824- 892 CE) http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/about
An-Nasa’i: Imam Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn `Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā’ī (214 -303 AH/ ca. 829 – 915 AD/CE) http://sunnah.com/nasai/about
Continuation of explanation by Ibne Kathir: Ibn Jarir recorded that Qatadah said about Allah‘s statement, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble),
Anas bin Malik narrated that once, the people were questioning the Messenger of Allah until they made him angry. So he ascended the Minbar and said,
لَا تَسْأَلُونِي الْيَوْمَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا بَيَّنْتُهُ لَكُم
You will not ask me about anything today but I will explain it to you.
So the Companions of the Messenger of Allah feared that it was the commencement of a momentous event, and I looked to my right and left and found only people who covered their faces, crying.
An argumentative man who was said to be the son of someone other than his true father asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is my father?
The Prophet said, `Your father is Hudhafah.”
Umar stood up (when he saw anger on the Prophet’s face) and said, “We accept Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion and Muhammad as our Messenger, I seek refuge with Allah from the evil of the Fitan (trials in life and religion).”
The Messenger of Allah said,
لَمْ أَرَ فِي الْخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ كَالْيَومِ قَطُّ، صُوِّرَتْ لِي الجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ حَتَّى رَأَيْتُهُمَا دُونَ الْحَائِط
I have never witnessed both goodness and evil like I have today. Paradise and the Fire were shown to me and I saw them before that wall.
This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Sa`id.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said,
“Some people used to question the Messenger of Allah to mock him. One of them would ask, `Who is my father,’ while another would ask, `Where is my camel,’ when he lost his camel.
Allah sent down this Ayah about them, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble…).”
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali said,
“When this Ayah was revealed,
وَللَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَـعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً
And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can bear the journey. (3:97)
they asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! Is it required every year?’
He did not answer them, and they asked again, `Is it every year?’
He still did not answer them, so they asked, `Is it every year?’
لَا، وَلَوْ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ لَوَجَبَتْ وَلَوْ وَجَبَتْ لَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُم
No, and had I said `yes’, it would have become obligated, and had it become obligated, you would not be able to bear it.
Allah sent down, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ (O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble).”
At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.
The apparent wording of this Ayah indicates that we are forbidden to ask about things that if one has knowledge of, he would be sorry he had asked. Consequently, it is better to avoid such questions.
… وَإِن تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ …
But if you ask about them while the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you.
means, if you ask about things that you are prohibited from asking about, then when the revelation about them comes to the Messenger , they will be made plain for you, وَذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ (Verily! That is easy for Allah). (64:7)
Allah said next,
… عَفَا اللّهُ عَنْهَا …
Allah has forgiven that,
what you did before this,
… وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿١٠١﴾
and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.
Do not ask about things that do not have a ruling yet, for because of your questions, a difficult ruling may be ordained.
A Hadith states,
أَعْظَمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ جُرْمًا مَنْ سَأَلَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ لَمْ يُحَرَّمْ، فَحُرِّمَ مِنْ أَجْلِ مَسْأَلَتِه
The worst criminal among the Muslims is he who asks if a matter is unlawful (or not), and it becomes unlawful because of his asking about it.
It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى فَرَضَ فَرَائِضَ فَلَا تُضَيِّعُوهَا، وَحَدَّ حُدُودًا فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا، وَحَرَّمَ أَشْيَاءَ فَلَا تَنْتَهِكُوهَا، وَسَكَتَ عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ رَحْمَةً بِكُمْ غَيْرَ نِسْيَانٍ فَلَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا
Allah, the Most Honored, has ordained some obligations, so do not ignore them; has set some limits, so do not trespass them; has prohibited some things, so do not commit them; and has left some things without rulings, out of mercy for you, not that He forgot them, so do not ask about them.
Allah said next,
قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُواْ بِهَا كَافِرِينَ ﴿١٠٢﴾
Before you, a community asked such questions, then on that account they became disbelievers.
meaning, some people before your time asked such questions and they were given answers. They did not believe the answers, so they became disbelievers because of that. This occurred because these rulings were made plain to them, yet they did not benefit at all from that, for they asked about these things not to gain guidance, but only to mock and defy.
Explanation by samia2010oct: In religion Islam asking questions is not shunned, not stopped, not looked down upon and not discouraged. Rather it is encouraged to ask relevant, serious questions so that one is more clear about one’s actions. One is encouraged to ask questions so he/ she become sure of the truth and the Devine Guidance. With no misunderstandings and without any confusions practice of the Devine Rules become easy, enjoyable and consistent. It is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira and Major sin to ask unimportant, irrelevant and non serious questions just to ridicule or mock the religion, or to ridicule or mock the things associated with the religion, to make them or the religion look worthless and unimportant. For all Major Sins there is the punishment of burning of whole body by unending Hell Fire. For many Major Sins the punishment starts from this world and continues in the Hereafter.