Transgress Not the Sabbath

“Transgress not…

the Sabbath”

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Assalamu’ aleikum!.

    Here is an excellent question for study:  Should Muslims honor the Sabbath day “Sabt” as a day of rest upon which one refrains from any work? Many in Islam believe that the Ten Commandments, which were written with the “finger of Allah,” are to be obeyed. What many have overlooked, however, is the fact that one of these Ten Commandments has been largely forgotten! Even the majority of Christians who claim they are the people of the Book (Holy Books of the Bible) do not give heed to one of the commandments as written in the Taurat. In fact, many of them look upon these ten sacred Laws for humanity with disinterest, scorn or hatred. 

    Let us first take a close look at what the Ten Commandments really are, and then determine whether we are to live by these laws today. We know they are written specifically in the Taurat in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 of the Holy Books. They are upheld and taught throughout the Injeel of the Bible Scriptures. Remember that the respected Prophet Mohammed has revealed in the Honored Qur’an that both the Taurat given to Moses and the Injeel given to Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah) were “for our admonition.” They are “guidance and light,” and are the “criterion” of the judgment. See Sura 2.53 Al-Baqara; Sura 3.3 Aal-E-Imran; Sura 21.48 Al-Aniva; Sura 10.94 Yunus; Sura 5.44 Al-Maeda. These suras are only some of the many references made in the Honored Qur’an to the Holy Books of the Bible Scriptures (Taurat and Injeel). 

Example of Ibrahim

    Many today feel that Ibrahim, from long ago, was a man who honored Allah with all his heart. He has therefore become a model or pattern for us to follow. The Holy Books (Bible Scriptures) tell how Ibrahim viewed Allah’s Ten Commandments. Taurat Genesis 26:5 says, “…Abraham [Ibrahim] obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 

    This verse in the Taurat tells us that the Ten Commandments of Allah were faithfully followed by Ibrahim, who lived long before Moses’ time. That fact proves that men of ancient times certainly knew of that law, which Allah repeated to Moses centuries later in the towering heights of Mount Sinai. If Ibrahim is considered to be the “Hanif” of those who are in sincerity drawing close to Allah, then we would do well to follow the example of Ibrahim by also keeping the Ten Commandments of Allah. Simply put, Ibrahim obeyed the fourth commandment by keeping the seventh day of the week as “Sabt,” as the “day of rest” in honor of Allah.


“The Finger of Allah”

    The story of the Ten Commandments is recorded in the Taurat in Exodus 20. As the children of Israel who had been delivered from Egyptian bondage encamped in the wilderness of the desert, Moses (Musa) was instructed by Allah to climb up to Him on Mount Sinai. It is while Moses was up there that he was given two tables of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments, or Ten Words, by the finger of Allah. Taurat Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10.

    The Holy Qur’an refers to this event: “And for their Covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) We said: ‘Enter the gate with humility;’ and (once again) We commanded them: ‘Transgress not in the matter of the Sabbath.’ And we took from them a solemn Covenant.” Sura 4.154 An-Nisa. 


Allah’s Messenger a Hypocrite?

    That subheading above asks a question for which most of you surely already know the answer: Of course not! If the desert prophet (Musa) was told to say to the people, “Transgress not in the matter of the Sabbath,” then would he not be considered a hypocrite if he did not abide by the Sabbath himself? In other words, the prophet surely would not ask people to abide by one of Allah’s Laws if he himself did not abide by the same law! That reasoning is proof enough that the desert prophet also must have obeyed the fourth commandment   

    That commandment instructs us to rest upon the seventh day of the week in honor of Allah. It serves to remind us that Allah created all things in six days. In the clearest words of the Honored Qur’an, it is written that the Sabbath is not to be transgressed. In fact, in the following sura a “curse” was pronounced by Allah upon those who were “Sabbath breakers:” “O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah must be carried out.” Sura 4.47 An-Nisa. 


Example of Isa al-Masih

    Perhaps from One who was closest to Allah, we can learn the truth about the Sabbath—that is, whether it is still in effect today! We have the example of Isa al-Masih, who was sent down from Allah, who was the Word from Allah. To Isa al-Masih was given the Injeel. Sura 3.45 tells us that the Word from Allah came through Isa al-Masih, who was held in Honor in heaven. From the lips of Him Who was sent down, we learn that Isa on the Sabbath day taught those who had gathered together in the synagogue.  Injeel Mark 1:21 says, “And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he [Isa al-Masih] entered into the synagogue, and taught.”

    Some argue that the Sabbath was made only for the Jews, but the Word from Allah reveals the truth of the matter:  Injeel Mark 2:27 says, “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” 

    Some prefer to twist or misinterpret that quoted verse above to read or mean “Jew” instead of “man.” But there it is in plain language: Isa al-Masih, who was sent down from Allah and who was among those nearest to Allah, and held in honor (Sura 3.45), has indeed told us that “the Sabbath was made for man.” (That word “man” means all of mankind.) Besides, it was at Creation that the first Sabbath was kept by Allah Himself—long before there was a Jew. Yet how many of the believers accept and honor this message from Allah? Do men not find their own business more important than the business of Allah-- even on His Holy Day, the seventh of the week (Saturday), which is called “Sabt”? 

    Many treat the Holy Books as if they were shoppers in it; they select and keep the parts they like, and refuse the rest. Is this not what has happened in our world today? Where is the earnest seeker for truth? Who among men place the affairs of Allah foremost, and seek with all their hearts to know His will?  Injeel Luke 4:4 reads, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word of God [Allah].” Clearly, it is not left to man to “pick and choose.”

Does Allah Change?

    We have the record that upon the heights of Mount Sinai, the Words of the Ten Commandments not only were written upon stone by the finger of Allah, but also the Words were spoken by Allah Himself! Taurat Deuteronomy 5:22 tells us, “These words the LORD [Allah] spake unto all your assembly in the mount [Sinai] out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me [Moses].”

    Again referring to the same laws, Exodus 20:1 reads, “And God [Allah] spake all these words, saying….” Thus Allah not only wrote the Words, but He also spoke the Words, so that we would make no mistake. Below is the Sabbath Law, quoted just as Allah spoke it at Mt. Sinai: 

    Taurat Exodus 20:8-11: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”  Please notice, dear reader, that Allah “blessed” the day and “hallowed it” (made it sacred).

    Will Allah alter or change the Laws which have gone out of His mouth? To this we simply answer by the Word from Allah. Zabur P salms 89:34 states, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”  

What God Blesses is Blest Forever!

    I Chronicles 17:27 states, “Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.” Now it is our choice whether we will follow and render full submission to Allah’s will, or whether we will be like the unbelievers who disregard His will. That you may be found among the faithful is our wish for you, dear reader. Remember, a Muslim is one who is submitted to Allah’s Word without question. Would this not include observing the Sabbath day of rest? God has promised: “…Them that honour me I will honour….” I Samuel 2:30. 

    The Sabbath, which commemorates the creation of God, will be kept in eternity. The ancient prophet Isaiah foretells, “…From one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”  Taurat Isaiah 66:23. 

It is important to understand the will of Allah here and now, and to follow His counsel here, in preparation for following Him in the hereafter.


Text Copied from DivineIslam's Qur'an Viewer software v2.913. Bible scriptures from King James Version   


“Transgress not … 

the Sabbath”



Sura 4.154 



R. M. Harnisch









 Series  no.  07