The Ayah: 'Consult them in the affairs'

Q: What is the Tafsir (exegesis of the meanings) of Allah's Statement (the meanings of which are translated as): and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah May Allah protect and support you.

A: The word Shura linguistically means the act of exchanging opinions and ideas on certain matters. It is defined as taking decision after exchanging and reviewing different opinions. It is taken from the term, "Shurt-ul-`Asal (I collected the honey), that is to say taking it from its honeycomb. Al-Qurtuby commented in his Tafsir that Shura is based upon the divergence of opinions, and the person who is consulted scrutinizes them to arrive at what is in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as best possible. If he is directed to what Allah willed in a certain matter, by the guidance of Allah, he resolves to act according to it and apply it relying on Him, such is the aim of required Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings). This is what Allah ordered His Prophet to do as mentioned in this Ayah. Ibn Kathir commented: This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to consult his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) when issues would arise. It served as a means to please and encourage them to be more active in what they do, as he consulted them on the day of the Battle of Badr (Part No. 3; Page No. 177) concerning seizing the caravan of Abu Sufyan.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.