"Allah hath not appointed anything in the nature of a Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Hami, but those who disbelieve invent a lie against Allah. Most of them have no sense." (Holy Qur'an 5:103)
Bahirah Or A Sa'ibah Or A Wasilah Or A Hami
Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:28 PM
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Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:37 PM
The exegetes differ about the meanings of the names of these four kinds of cattle, resulting in difference about details of their related laws - as you will soon see - yet it is accepted by all that those laws accorded them some sort of freedom, respect and care for their well-being; and that three groups were of camels, i.e. bahirah, saibah and haami, and one, waseelah, was of goat.
al-Baheerah: Majma'u'l-bayan says: It was a she-camel which gave birth five times, the last one being a male calf; they used to cleave its ear a wide tear; they refrained from riding or slaughtering it; it was not driven away from any water or pasture, and even if a tired traveler found it, he would not ride it. (Reported from az-Zajjaj.)
Also, it is said that when a she-camel had given birth five times, they looked at the fifth issue; if it was a male, they slaughtered it and men and women all partook of it; but if it was a female, they cleaved its ear and it was called al-baheerah: its fur was not shorn; if it was slaughtered, the name of Allah was not mentioned on it; nor was it used for loading or riding; women were forbidden to taste even a drop of its milk or to get any benefit from it - its milk and benefits were reserved for men until it died; when it died, men and women joined in eating it. (Reported from Ibn 'Abbas.)
And it is said that al-baheerah was the daughter of as-saaibah. (Reported from Muhammad ibn Ishaq.)
as-Saaibah: Majma'u'l-bayan says: It was what they used to let go free; a man made a vow that if he returned from his journey, or if he recovered from illness, or so on, then his she-camel would be saaibah; then it would be treated like al-baheerah, in that it would not be used in any way, nor would it be kept back from any water or pasture. (Reported from az-Zajjaj; and also it is the saying of 'Alqamah.)
Also, it is said that it was a she-camel that was freed for idols. Usually, a man freed whatever he wished from among his property; then he brought it to custodians, i.e. servants of their dieties, and they fed way-farers of its milk and so on. (Reported from Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn Mas'ud.)
Also, it is said that when a she-camel gave birth to ten females consequently, without any male calf coming in between, it was made free; they did not ride it, nor did they shear its fur, and except for a guest, no one could drink its milk; if after that she again bore a female, its ear was torn and it was left to roam with its mother; and it was that was called al-baheerah. (Reported from Muhammad ibn Ishaq.)
al-Waseelah: Majma'u'l-bayan says: It was taken out from goats. When a goat gave birth to a female kid, it belonged to them, and if it bore a male, it was slaughtered to their dieties; but if it gave birth to a male and a female together, they said: It has joined its brother; and then the male kid was not slaughtered for their dieties. (Reported from az-Zajjaj.)
Also, it has been said that when a goat gave birth seven times, then if the seventh was a male kid, they slaughtered it for their deities, and its meat was exclusively reserved for men; and if it was a female kid, it was allowed to live and joined the herd. But if the seventh pregnancy brought forth male and female kids, they said: The sister has joined its brother, as it is unlawful to us; so both became unlawful and their benefit and milk was reserved for men to the exclusion of women. (Reported from Ibn Mas'ud and Muqatil)
Also, it is said that al-waseelah was a goat which brought forth ten female kids in five pregnancies, without there being any male among them. Then they said she has joined. Then whatever was born to her after that, was reserved for men, the women being excluded from it. (Reported from Muhammad ibn Ishaq.)
al-Haami: Majma'u'l-bayan says: It is a male camel. When a male camel had sired ten pregnancies, they used to say: Its back is protected. Nothing was loaded on it, nor was it prevented from water or pasture. (Reported from Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn Mas'ud, and also from Abu 'Ubaydah and az-Zajjaj.)
Also, it is said that when a male camel's child's child was impregnated, they said: Its back has become protected; so it was not ridden. (Reported from al-Farra'.)
Although there is all this difference in meanings of these names, there is a strong probability that it portrays the variation in different tribes' usage and customs, because such superstitions were wide spread among ancient barbaric nations.
Be it as it may. The verse aims at refuting the rules they had fabricated for these four types of the cattle, wrongly ascribing them to Allah. Look at the divine words: "Allah has not ordained (the making of) a baheerah or a saaibah or a waseelah or a haami"; followed immediately by the clause: "but those who disbelieve fabricate a lie against Allah."
This latter clause appears to answer a supposed question: When Allah denied ordaining baheerah and other types of cattle, it was as if somebody had asked: Then what is the position of the claims made by disbelievers?' And the answer came: those who disbelieve fabricate a lie against Allah. Then it was further explained, adding the clause: "and most of them do not understand." It means that their positions differ in this fabrication; most of them fabricate against Allah what they do and they do not understand; while the remaining small group do understand the Truth, knowing well that what they ascribe to Allah is mere fabrication. These are the leaders whose words are listened to and who manage the affairs of the masses; and they are the obstinate and stubborn ones.
Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant (7:199)
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