Shakir: And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good. (2:195)
First note that most translators translated the word التَّهْلُكَةِ in verse (2:195) as destruction, but perdition might also apply if we consider the final destination of those who cast themselves to destruction in the context of this verse (which is jahannam/hell).
The verse in first place is a invitation or order for spending for the sake or cause of Allah!
Here some evidences about the revelation of the verse:
- Narrated Abu Wail:
Hudhaifa said, "The Verse:-- "And spend (of your wealth) in the Cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves in destruction," (2.195) was revealed concerning spending in Allah's Cause (i.e. Jihad). (Sahih al-Bukhari)
- Narrated Aslam bin 'Imran At-Tujibi:
"We were in a Roman city, when a large column of Romans came out to us. So about the same number or more of the Muslims went towards them. The commander of the people of Egypt was 'Uqbah bin 'Amir, and the commenter of the (our) group was Fadalah bin 'Ubaid. One man among the Muslims reached the Roman line until he entered amidst them, so the people started screaming: 'Subhan Allah! He has thrown himself into destruction!'
Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari said: 'O you people! You give this interpretation for this Ayah, while this Ayah was only revealed about us, the people among the Ansar, when Allah made Islam might, and increased its supporters. Some of us secretly said to each other, outside of the presence of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): "Our wealth has been ruined, and Allah has strengthened Islam, and increased its supporters, so if we tend to our wealth then what we lost of it shall be revitalized for us." So Allah, Blessed and Most High, revealed to His Prophet (ﷺ), rebuking what we said: 'And spend in the cause of Allah, and do not throw yourselves into destruction. (2:195)' So the destruction was tending to the wealth and maintaining it.' Abu Ayyub did not cease traveling in Allah's cause, until he was buried in the land of the Romans."
(Jami' at-Tirmidhi and a similiar version in sunan abi Dawod -note that Abu Ayub has narrated the meaning an verdict while the narration was narrated by Aslam bin 'Imran at-Tajubi أَسْلَمَ أَبِي عِمْرَانَ التُّجِيبِيِّ as a witness of what happened. The same narration is also narrated by an-Nasa'i, ibn Hebban and al-Hakim according to ibn Hajar in Bulgh al-Maram)
The point in this is that when the verse about spending was revealed some said that if we keep spending for the cause of Allah we will become poor, which was quoted by Moqatil and Sa'id ibn al-Mussayib in tafsir al-Baghawi.
وقال سعيد بن المسيب ومقاتل بن حيان : لما أمر الله تعالى بالإنفاق قال رجل أمرنا بالنفقة في سبيل الله ولو أنفقنا أموالنا بقينا فقراء فأنزل الله هذه الآية
In tafsir ibn Kathir you amy read (quotes from qtafsir):
(And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction.)
"It was revealed about spending.'' Ibn Abu Hatim reported him saying similarly. He then commented, "Similar is reported from Ibn 'Abbas, Mujahid, 'Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, 'Ata', Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.''
Abu Bakr bin 'Aiyash reported that Abu Ishaq As-Subai'y related that a man said to Al-Bara' bin 'Azib, "If I raided the enemy lines alone and they kill me, would I be throwing myself to certain demise'' He said, "No. Allah said to His Messenger :
(Then fight (O Muhammad ) in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) That Ayah (2:195) is about (refraining from) spending.'' Ibn Marduwyah reported this Hadith, as well as Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak who said; "It meets the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) but they did not record it." Ath-Thawri and Qays bin Ar-Rabi` related it from Al-Bara'. but added:
(You are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself.) (4:84) "Destruction refers to the man who sins and refrains from repenting, thus throwing himself to destruction.''
Ibn 'Abbas said: (And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction) "This is not about fighting. But about refraining from spending for the sake of Allah, in which case, one will be throwing his self into destruction."
Finally ibn Kathir explains:
The Ayah (2:195) includes the order to spend in Allah's cause, in the various areas and ways that involve obedience and drawing closer to Allah. It especially applies to spending in fighting the enemies and on what strengthens the Muslims against the enemy. Allah states that those who refrain from spending in this regard will face utter and certain demise and destruction, meaning those who acquire this habit. Allah commands that one should acquire Ihsan (excellence in the religion), as it is the highest part of the acts of obedience.
Imam al-Qurtobi in his tafsir added an explanation of a statament on the authority of ibn 'Abbas:
ولا تمسكوا عن الصدقة فتهلكوا
(My own translation take it with care)
"Do not refrain from sadaqah, that you will perish"
This means if you don't give the poor people sadaqah they will not help you nor stay at your side in a battle and you will be defeated!
Scholars also concluded from this verse that one shouldn't harm himself or do something which clearly will lead to a danger where one may risk his life.
Therefore ibn hajjar said:
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for restricting it to that -- meaning restricting the verse to the matter of not spending for the sake of Allaah -- that is subject to further discussion, because what counts is the general meaning of the wording. End quote.
Fath al-Baari, 8/185 (source islamqa #117275)