Commands Given By Allaah to Mankind That Applies In Every Era – [Back to Some of The Basics]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
And (remember) when We took a covenant from Bani Israa-eel, (saying): Worship none but Allah (Alone) and be dutiful to parents, kindred, and to orphans and to the Al-Masakin(the poor), [Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol. 10, Page 158 (Verse 9:60)] and speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad Peace be upon him ], and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat. Then you slid back, except a few of you, while you are backsliders.’’ [Soorah Al-Baqarah: Ayah: 83]
These prescribed (divine) commands are from the fundamental affairs of the Religion which Allaah commanded in every law (revealed to the Prophets and Messengers before Muhammad) because they comprise of an overall benefit in every era and place, therefore they cannot be abrogated just as a foundation of the religion (cannot be abrogated). And for this reason Allaah commanded us with it in His saying:
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا
Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.’’ [Soorah An-Nisaa: Ayah: 36]
And with regards to the statement (of Allaah): [وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ – And (remember) when We took a covenant from the children of Israel…’’ This was due to their stubborness, for indeed they disobeyed every command they were commanded and did not accept it, except by way of a solemn oath and a firm covenant.
[لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ– Worship none but Allaah (alone)]- This is a command to worship Allaah (alone) and a prohibition against associating a partner with Him. All (righteous) deeds cannot be accepted if they are not (built) upon this foundation. This is a right of Allaah to be fulfilled by His slaves.
Then Allaah said: [وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا – And be dutiful to parents]; That is: Be dutiful to parents through kind treatment – all types of kindness in speech and action. In this a prohibition from being disobedient to them (i.e. regarding that which is not tantamount to disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger) and being evil towards them. That is because obligated on (a person) to be kind (towards parents) and a command given to (a person to) do something is (also) a prohibition against doing what is opposite of it.
Kind treatment has two opposites:  Evil treatment and it is the greater crime.  Lack of kind treatment without evil treatment and this is forbidden; however, it is obligatory to abandon evil treatment. Likewise, this (kind treatment to parents) is to be extended to kindred, orphans and the poor. And the details of kind treatment are not limited in number; rather they (only) have defined boundaries.
Then Allaah (The Most High) commanded (them) with kind treatment towards mankind in general, saying: [وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا -And speak good to people] – by way of good speech; enjoining good upon them, forbidding them from evil, teaching them knowledge, greeting them with Salaam etc
And when it is the case that a person is not able to accommodate everyone within his wealth, therefore he has been commanded with an affair he is able to (fulfil) by way of kind treatment towards all created beings and that is through kind treatment by way of speech; therefore this shows that evil speech against the people is prohibited, even against a person who disbelieves in Allaah. And due to this Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ – And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner)].
And from the good manners of a person -which Allaah has commanded -is that one should be upright in speech and action, and should not use evil or foul speech. One should neither curse nor become argumentative; rather one should be good mannered, forbearing, courteous towards everyone and exercise much patience when harmed by the people, in fulfilment of Allaah’s command and hoping for Allaah’s reward.
Therefore, Allaah commanded Bani Israa’eel to establish the prayer and pay the Zaka because the prayer necessitates sincerity to The Only True Object of worship (Allaah) and Zakah necessitates kind treatment to the slaves of (Allaah). However, after they were commanded with these good and suitable commandments– which when examined by whoever has insight and common sense will realise the kind treatment of Allaah towards His slaves, for Allaah commanded them with these (deeds), favoured them with it and took a covenant from them regarding it— they wilfully turned away from it, except a few of them…..
[Source: Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ by Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah). Abridged & slightly paraphrased]