44. The textual “tafath” is for impurity, filth or dirt. But authorities have explained it here as meaning hajj rituals. Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah and others have said in reference to the words “li-yaqdu tafatha-hum” means, ‘complete the rest of the rituals’ such as, shaving off the head, trimming the moustache, throwing the pebbles, circumambulation of the House, and rest of the hajj rites. However, another opinion has it that the allusion is to cleanliness by way of shaving off the head, trimming of moustaches, removal of arm-pit hair etc. (Ibn Jarir).
`Ata’, Mujahid, `Ikrimah and others were also of the opinion, writes Ibn Kathir, that the allusion by “tafath” is to the shaving of the head, removal of pubic hair, clipping the nails, and removal of the Ihraam (pilgrim garb).
Relying on the linguists, Qurtubi agrees with the above meaning.
45. Some of the ancient scholars, such as Mujahid and `Ikramah have thought that the textual “nadhr” here, at this point, is in the sense of intention. Therefore this part of the text may be understood as, “let them fulfill their intention,” meaning, “let them now complete the rest of the rites of Hajj.” Sufyan and Imam Malik were also of the same opinion (Ibn Kathir).
At all events, it might be remembered, adds Shafi`, that nadhr is proper nadhr if a person vows to do something good, such as, that he will offer so many supererogatory prayers, or will expend so much money etc., if such and such a good thing happens. If that thing happens, then, fulfilling the vow is obligatory (wajib). However, if it was an evil deed that was vowed, (e.g., he would do something prohibited in Islam, if such and such a things happened), then, technically it is not binding to fulfill the vow. In fact, it must be avoided and forgiveness sought through expiation which is now binding on him for breaking an oath. Further, one might also remember that a vow is not a vow proper with merely the intention in the heart. It has to be vocalized in words to become a vow proper, entailing expiation, if not fulfilled. Also see n. 574 of Al-Baqarah
46. There is no difference in opinion that the allusion is to the Tawaf al-Ziyarah, the obligatory circumambulation of Hajj (Tabari, Qurtubi).
47. The translation of “`ateeq” as ancient reflects the literal meaning. (Although the hadith in Tirmidhi to this effect is not sound: Ibn Kathir). Another is that it is in the sense of “freed” since Allah has freed the House of all tyrants. As for its destruction at Hajjaj’s hands, he was actually after `Abdullah ibn Zubayr and not the House which received incidental damage (Ibn Jarir, Qurtubi and others). In fact, there is a hadith to this effect in Tirmidhi who rated it Hasan Sahih (Ibn Kathir and others).
Hajj commandments have appeared at two places in the Qur’an: earlier in Surah al-Baqarah, verses 196-203, and here at this point. A cursory glance reveals that a certain order has been followed. In Surah al-Baqarah they were: Standing at `Arafaat, night-stay in Muzdalifah, followed by three days stay at Mina. And, at this point: sacrifice, cleansing (removal of hair etc.), and then the Final Tawaf al-Ifadah (Au.).
Mufti Shafi` points out that according to the Hanafiyyah and Malikiyyah, it is obligatory (wajib) to follow this sequence, since this is the Qur’anic sequence. Imam Malik declared it Sunnah, not following which entails a decrease in rewards, but expiation is not necessary. Ibn `Abbas has however narrated, “whoever changed the sequence must expiate with a sheep in sacrifice.” This report is in Ibn Abi Shaybah, and, following Hadith Principles, although Ibn `Abbas does not attribute it to the Prophet, it has to be considered as being in fact a statement of the Prophet. (For details, see Tafsir Maz-hari). Imam Tahawi has narrated this report through different chains. This also happens to be the opinion of Sa`id b. Jubayr, Qatadah, Nakha`i and Hasan al-Busri. Other scholars however, hold different opinions.