Allah commands His servants and Messengers, peace be upon them all, to eat lawful food and do righteous deeds, which indicates that eating what is lawful helps one to do righteous deeds. The Prophets, peace be upon them, did this in the most perfect manner, and did all kinds of good deeds in words, actions, guidance and advice. May Allah reward them with good on behalf of the people.
(Eat of the Tayyibat) Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak said, "This means lawful. In the Sahih it says:
(There is no Prophet who was not a shepherd.) They asked, "And you, O Messenger of Allah" He said,
(Yes, I used to tend the sheep of the people of Makkah for a few Qirats.) In the Sahih, it says:
(Dawud, upon him be peace, used to eat from the earnings of his own hand.) It was recorded in Sahih Muslim, Jami` At-Tirmidhi and Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad -- from whom this version comes -- that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(O people, Allah is Tayyib and only accepts that which is Tayyib, and Allah commands the believers as He had commanded the Messengers by saying:
(O Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.) 23:51 and
(O you who believe! Eat of the Tayyibat that We have provided you with)2:172.) Then he mentioned how a man may travel on a long journey, dusty and unkempt,
(and his food, drink and clothing are unlawful, and he has nourished himself with what is unlawful, and he extends his hands towards the sky, saying, `O Lord, O Lord!' -- how can his prayer be answered.) At-Tirmidhi said that it is "Hasan Gharib."
(And verily, this your religion is one religion,) means, `your religion, O Prophets, is one religion and one group, which is the call to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate.' Allah said:
(and I am your Lord, so have Taqwa.) We have already discussed this in Surat Al-Anbiya'. The phrase
(one nation) is descriptive.
(But they have broken their religion among them into sects,) the nations to whom Prophets were sent.
(each group rejoicing in what is with it.) means, they rejoice in their misguidance because they think that they are rightly-guided. Allah says, threatening and warning:
(So, leave them in their error) meaning their misguidance,
(for a time.) means, until the appointed time of their destruction comes. This is like the Ayah:
(So give a respite to the disbelievers; deal gently with them for a while.) 86:17 And Allah says:
(Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!) 15:3
(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We prolong them, We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) means, `do these deceived people think that what We give them of wealth and children is because they are honored and precious in Our sight No, the matter is not as they claim when they say,
(We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.) 34:35 But this thinking is wrong, and their hopes will be dashed. We only give those things to them in order to make them go further (in sin) and to give them more time.' Allah says:
(but they perceive not.) as He says elsewhere:
(So, let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah's plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world...) 9:55
(We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness) 3:178.
(Then leave Me Alone with such as belie this Qur'an. We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not. And I will grant them a respite.) 68:44-45
(Leave Me Alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely.) until His saying:
(opposing) 74: 11-16
(And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he who believes, and does righteous deeds...) 34:37 And there are many other Ayat which say similar things. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah has distributed your behavior to you just as He has distritbuted your provision. Allah gives the things of this world to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He only gives religious commitment to those whom He loves. Whoever is given religious commitment by Allah is loved by Him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no servant truly submits until his heart and his tongue submit, and he does not truly believe until his neighbor is safe from his harm.) They said, `What is his harm, O Messenger of Allah' He said,
(His wrongdoing and misbehavior. No person who earns unlawful wealth and spends it will be blessed in that; if he gives it in charity, it will not be accepted from him and if he leaves it behind (when he dies), it will be his provision in the Fire. Allah does not wash away an evil deed with another, but he washes away evil deeds with good deeds, for impurity cannot wash away with another impurity.))