Sunday 26 January 2020

Surah Al i Imran - The Family of Imran: 3rd Chapter of the Quran (Part I)

Sürah Al i Imran ( ʾĀl ʿImrān  "آل عِمْرَان " The Family of Imran) is the 3rd sürah with 200 ayahs with twenty rukus, part of the 3rd and 4th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The Sürah takes its name from 33rd verse.

This Sürah is cognate to Sürah II Al Baqarah. but the matter is here treated from a different point of view, The references to Badr (Ramadân. H. 2) and Uhud Shawwal. H. 3.) give a clue to the dates of those passages.

Like Sürah II. it takes a general view of the religious history of mankind, special reference to the People of the Book, proceeds to explain the birth 4 he new People of Islam and their ordinances, insists on the need of struggle and fighting in the cause of Truth, and exhorts those who have been blessed with Islam to remain constant in Faith, pray for guidance, and maintain their with hope for the Future.

The new points of view developed are: (1) The emphasis is here laid on the duty of the Christians to accept the new light: the Christians are here specially appealed to, as the Jews were specially appealed to in the last Sürah(2) the lessons of the battles of Badr and Uhud are set out for the Muslim community; and (3) the responsibilities of that community are insisted on both internally and in their relations to those outside.

As already explained in the Overview, the exegesis of the Sürah has been divided into parts owing to the length of the Sürah, which is 200 verses long. The exegesis will be presented in following parts according to the subject matter:
  • Part I: Verses 1 - 32: 
  • Part II: Verses 33 - 65. 
  • Part III: Verses 66 - 101. 
  • Part IV: Verses 102 - 120. 
  • Part V: Verses 121 - 175. 
  • Part VI: Verses 175 - 189. This part also includes the concluding verses of the Sürah  (190-200), which are not directly connected with the verses immediately preceding it but with the theme of the Surah as a whole. 
Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer of Part I of the Sürah in English of the Sürah. These are the introductory verses in which the fundamental truths about Allah, Revelation and Life-after-death have been reiterated to serve as fitting preliminaries, leading to the main topics discussed later in the Sürah.

For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku 1 [Verses 1-9]
Verses 1-6 It is Allah Who has revealed Torah, Gospel and Al-Quran
( 1 )   Alif, Lam, Meem. الٓمّٓۚ‏ 
"Alif Lam Meem" are The Muqaṭṭaʿāt (Arabic: حُرُوف مُقَطَّعَات‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt, "mysterious letters"), a combination of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 chapters (surahs) of the Quran just after the opening Bismillāh, thus also called the or occasionally called Fawatih (openers). Alif, Lam, Meem here in this sūrah are also part of these letters, the meaning of which is not known.

The names of letters of the Arabic alphabet, called huruf muqatta'at, occur at the beginning of several surahs of the Qur'an. At the time of the Qur'anic revelation the use of such letters was a well-known literary device, used by both poets and orators, and we find several instances in the pre-Islamic Arabic literature that has come down to us.

Since the muqatta'at were commonly used the Arabs of that period generally knew what they meant and so they did not present a puzzle. We do not notice, therefore, any contemporaries of the Prophet (peace be on him) raising objections against the Qur'an on the ground that the letters at the beginning of some of its surahs were absurd. For the same reason no Tradition has come down to us of any Companion asking the Prophet about the significance of the muqatta'at. Later on this literary device gradually fell into disuse and hence it became difficult for commentators to determine their precise meanings. It is obvious, however, that deriving right guidance from the Qur'an does not depend on grasping the meaning of these vocables, and that anyone who fails to understand them may still live a righteous life and attain salvation. The readers, therefore, need not delve too deeply into this matter.

It is worthy to note that the above abbreviated letters have occurred at the beginning of six Sürahs in the Quran: Al-Baqarah, Ale-Imran, Al-'Ankabut, Ar-Rum, Luqman, and As-Sajdah.

اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَۙ الۡحَىُّ الۡقَيُّوۡمُؕ‏ 
( 2 )   Allah - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence.
Irrespective of the number of gods or objects of worship set up by ignorant people, the fact remains that godhead in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Eternal Being, Who is indebted to no one for His existence. In fact, He is not only self-existent, but upon Him rests the entire order of the universe. He alone wields all sovereign authority over His dominion. None shares either His attributes or His power and might, and no one has the same claims against the creatures as He. Hence, if anywhere in the heavens or the earth someone sets up anything or anybody as an object of worship and service (ilah) either instead of or in addition to the One True God this amounts to declaring war on reality.

Explanation by Professor Javed Ahmad Ghamidi:
The actual word is: الۡقَیُّوۡم. This refers to the being who not only exists on its own accord but also is instrumental in keeping others in existence. By mentioning it and the attribute of الۡحَیّ before it, the Qur’an has negated the existence of all deities who are neither alive nor are able to give life to others nor are able to exist of their own accord and are incapable of keeping others in existence. In fact, they are dependent on a Being who is Living and is instrumental in keeping others in existence.

نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكَ الۡـكِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَاَنۡزَلَ التَّوۡرٰٮةَ وَالۡاِنۡجِيۡلَۙ‏ 
( 3 )   He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.
مِنۡ قَبۡلُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَاَنۡزَلَ الۡفُرۡقَانَ  ؕ​ اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا بِاٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِيۡدٌ  ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ عَزِيۡزٌ ذُو انۡتِقَامٍؕ‏  
( 4 )   Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Qur'an. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah will have a severe punishment, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.
The Torah is generally taken to signify the first five books of the Old Testament, and the Injil (Gospel), to mean the four Gospels of the New Testament, even though those books form a part of it. This has sometimes caused people to wonder if these books were indeed revealed by God. If they are accepted as revealed, one may wonder if the Qur'an really verifies their contents as this verse says. The fact is, however, that the Torah is not identical with the first five books of the Old Testament even though those books form a part of the Torah. Likewise, the Injil is not identical with the four Gospels of the New Testament.

The fact is that the Torah, in the Qur'anic usage, signifies the revelations made to Moses (peace be on him), in about forty years, from the time he was appointed a Prophet until his death. These include the Ten Commandments', which were handed over to him inscribed on stone tablets. Moses took down the rest of the revealed injunctions and handed over one copy to each of the twelve tribes of Israel, and one copy to the Levites for safe keeping. It is this book which was known as the Torah and it existed until the first destruction of Jerusalem. The copy entrusted to the Levites was put beside the Ark of the Covenant along with the Commandment tablets, and the Israelites knew it as the Torah. The Jews, however, neglected the Book: during the reign of Josiah the King of Judah the Temple of Solomon was under repair and the high priest, Hilkiah, chanced to find the Book lying in the construction area. He gave it to the King's secretary, Shaphan, who in turn took it to the King as if it were a strange find (see 2 Kings 22: 8-13).

Hence, when the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem and razed it and the Temple of Solomon to the ground, the Israelites lost for ever the few original copies of the Torah which they possessed, and which they had consigned to obscurity. At the time of Ezra the priest, some Israelites returned from captivity in Babylon, and when Jerusalem was rebuilt the entire history of Israel, which now comprises the first seventeen books of the Old Testament, was recorded by Ezra with the assistance of some other elders of the community. Four of these books, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, consist of a biographical narrative of Moses. In this biography those verses of the Torah available to Ezra and the other elders are also recorded and in the contexts in which they were revealed. The present Torah, therefore, comprises those fragments of the original book which are interspersed throughout the biography of Moses (composed in the manner described above).

In locating these fragments of the original Torah there are certain expressions which help us. These are interspersed between the different pieces of biographical narration and usually open with words such as: 'Then the Lord said to Moses', and 'Moses said, the Lord your God commands you.' These expressions, then, are fragments of the original Torah. When the biographical narration re-commences, however, we can be sure that the fragment of the true Torah has concluded. Wherever authors and editors of the Bible have added anything of their own accord, by way of either elaboration or elucidation, it has become very difficult for an ordinary reader to distinguish the original from the explanatory additions. Those with insight into Divine Scripture, however, do have the capacity to distinguish between the original revealed fragments and the later, human interpolations.

It is these scattered fragments of the original revealed Book which the Qur'an terms as the Torah, and it is these which it confirms. When these fragments are compared with the Qur'an, there is no difference between the two as regards the fundamental teachings. Whatever differences exist relate to legal matters and are of secondary importance. Even today a careful reader can appreciate that the Torah and the Qur'an have sprung from one and the same Divine source.

Likewise, Injil signifies the inspired orations and utterances of Jesus (peace be on him), which he delivered during the last two or three years of his life in his capacity as a Prophet. There are no certain means by which we can definitively establish whether or not his statements were recorded during his lifetime. It is possible that some people took notes of them and that some followers committed them to memory. After a period of time, however, several treatises on the life of Jesus were written. The authors of these treatises recorded, in connection with the biographical account, those sayings of his which they had received from the previous generation of co-religionists, in the form of either oral traditions or written notes about events in his life. As a result the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not identical with the Injil. Rather, the Injil consists of those statements by Jesus which form part of these Gospels. Unfortunately we have no means of distinguishing the fragments of the original Injil from the pieces written by the authors themselves. All we can say is that only those sections explicitly attributed to Jesus, for example in statements such as: 'And Jesus said' and 'And Jesus taught', constitute the true Injil. It is the totality of such fragments which is designated as the Injil by the Qur'an, and it is the teachings contained in these fragments that the Qur'an confirms. If these fragments are put together and compared with the teachings of the Qur'an one notices very few discrepancies between the two, and any discrepancies that are found can be resolved easily by unbiased reflection.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In some editions the break between verses 3 and 4 occurs here in the middle of the sentence, but in the edition of Hafiz Uthmqan, followed by the Egyptian Concordance Fath-ur-Rahman, the break occurs at the word Furqan. In verse-divisions our classicists have mainly followed rhythm. As the word Furqan from this point of view is parallel to the word Intiqam, which ends the next verse. I have accepted the verse-division at Furqan as more in consonance with Quranic rhythm. It makes no real difference to the numbering of the verses, as there is only a question of whether one line should go into verse 3 or verse 4.

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يَخۡفٰى عَلَيۡهِ شَىۡءٌ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَلَا فِى السَّمَآءِ ؕ‏  
( 5 )   Indeed, from Allah nothing is hidden in the earth nor in the heaven.
That is, God knows all the facts of the universe. Hence the Book which He has revealed is, of necessity, true. It may be more appropriate to say that the unadulterated Truth can be made available to man only through this Book, which has been revealed by the All-Knowing, All-Wise God.

هُوَ الَّذِىۡ يُصَوِّرُكُمۡ فِى الۡاَرۡحَامِ كَيۡفَ يَشَآءُ ​ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ‏ 
( 6 )   It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
This refers to two important facts. The first is that no being knows human nature as well as God does; it is thus imperative that man should depend on the guidance revealed by God, something man needs the most. The second is that the Being Who takes care of all of man's requirements, major and minor, from the time of conception onward, will not fail to provide guidance for man's conduct in this life.

Who can penetrate the mystery of life when a new life is just being born, except Allah? The reference to the mystery of birth prepares us for the mystery of the birth of Jesus mentioned in iii. 41 and the following verses.

Verses 7-9 Decisive vs Allegorical verses and Supplication of the Believers: 

هُوَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ عَلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ مِنۡهُ اٰيٰتٌ مُّحۡكَمٰتٌ هُنَّ اُمُّ الۡكِتٰبِ وَاُخَرُ مُتَشٰبِهٰتٌ​ؕ فَاَمَّا الَّذِيۡنَ فِىۡ قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ زَيۡغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُوۡنَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنۡهُ ابۡتِغَآءَ الۡفِتۡنَةِ وَابۡتِغَآءَ تَاۡوِيۡلِهٖۚ وَمَا يَعۡلَمُ تَاۡوِيۡلَهٗۤ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ ​ۘ وَ الرّٰسِخُوۡنَ فِى الۡعِلۡمِ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اٰمَنَّا بِهٖۙ كُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ رَبِّنَا ​ۚ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ‏  
( 7 )   It is He Who has revealed the Book to you. Some of its verses are absolutely clear and lucid, and these are the core of the Book. Others are ambiguous. Those in whose hearts there is perversity, always go about the part which is ambiguous, seeking mischief and seeking to arrive at its meaning arbitrarily, although none knows their true meaning except Allah. On the contrary, those firmly rooted in knowledge say: 'We believe in it; it is all from our Lord alone.' No one derives true admonition from anything except the men of understanding.
Muhkam means that which has been made firmly and perfectly. The muhkam verses mentioned here are those Qur'anic verses which are embodied in clear and lucid language and whose meaning is not liable to any ambiguity and equivocation. The words of these verses are clear pointers to their true meaning and, therefore, it is difficult to subject them to arbitrary interpretation. Such verses form the core of the Holy Book; they are the verses which fulfill the true purpose for which the Qur'an was revealed, and they invite the whole world to Islam. They embody admonition and instruction as well as the refutation of erroneous doctrines and the elucidation of the Right Way. They also contain the fundamentals of the true faith; teachings relating to belief, worship and morality, and mandatory duties and prohibitions. These are the verses which will guide the genuine seeker after Truth who turns to the Qur'an in order to find out what he ought and ought not to do.

'Ambiguous' verses are those whose meaning may have some degree of equivocation. It is obvious that no way of life can be prescribed for man unless a certain amount of knowledge explaining the truth about the universe, about its origin and end, about man's position in it and other matters of similar importance, is intimated to him. It is also evident that the truths which lie beyond the range of human perception have always eluded and will continue to elude man; no words exist in the human vocabulary which either express or portray them. In speaking about such things, we necessarily resort to words and expressions generally employed in connection with tangible objects. In the Qur'an, too, this kind of language is employed in relation to supernatural matters; the verses which have been characterized as 'ambiguous' refer to such matters.

At best, such expressions may serve to either bring man close to or enable him to formulate some view of reality, even if it is a faint one. The more one tries to determine the precise meaning of such verses, the more their ambiguities proliferate, and the more one is confronted with choosing between several plausible interpretations. All this is likely to alienate one progressively further away' from the Truth instead of bringing one closer to it. Those who seek the Truth and do not hanker after the satisfaction of their egocentric quest for exotic superfluities, will be satisfied with the dim vision of reality derived from these verses. They will concentrate their attention instead on the clear and lucid 'core' verses of the Qur'an. It will be left to those who are either out to make mischief and mislead people or who have an abnormal passion for superfluities to devote their attention to hair-splitting discussions about the contents of the 'ambiguous" verses.

This might give rise to an unnecessary problem: How can people believe in 'ambiguous' verses when the contents of these cannot be grasped?

The fact is that a reasonable person will believe that the Qur'an is the Book of God through his reading of its clear and lucid verses, rather than by learning fanciful interpretations of the ambiguous verses. Once so convinced, he is not likely to be worried by doubts and anxieties caused by the ambiguities of the verses concerned. One who seeks the Truth is satisfied with the obvious meaning of these verses, and wherever he encounters complications and ambiguities he abstains from pursuing their solution too far. Instead of wasting his time splitting hairs, he is content to believe in the things laid down in the Book of God, without seeking to know them precisely and in detail. He turns his attention, in the main, to questions of a practical nature.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This passage gives us an important clue to the interpretation of the Holy Qur'an. Broadly speaking it may be divided into two portions, not given separately, but intermingled: viz. (1) the nucleus or foundation of the Book, literally "the mother of the Book"; (2) the part which is not entirely clear. It is very fascinating to take up the latter, and exercise our ingenuity about its meaning, but it refers to such profound matters that are beyond human language and though people of wisdom may get some light from it, no one should be dogmatic, as the final meaning is known to Allah alone. The Commentators usually understand the verses "of established meaning" (muhkam) to refer to the categorical orders of the Sharia (or the Law), which are plain to everyone's understanding. But perhaps the meaning is wider: the "mother of the Book" must include the very foundation on which all Law rests, the essence of Allah's Message, as distinguished from the various illustrative parables, allegories, and ordinances.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The mighty and wise God and the God Who is living and instrumental in keeping others in existence should reveal a book and then punish those who reject it after being communicated the truth to such an extent that they are not able to deny it.

The word muhkam here is used in parallel to the word mutashabih. Muhkam verses are ones in which such facts are stated that are possible to be understood by man, which are not beyond his knowledge and intellect and the capability of divulging whose meaning is ingrained in him. Most verses of the Qur’an are of this sort and on them it is based. For this very reason, the Qur’an has called them Umm al-Kitab, which means the real foundation of the book.

Mutashabih verses are ones in which the blessings and torments of the Hereafter are mentioned in the form of similes and parables or state the attributes and actions of God or mention something which is beyond the grasp of our knowledge and observation like God blowing His spirit into Adam, birth of Jesus (sws) without a father or the various places and circumstances one may encounter in Paradise and Hell. All things for which words have not yet been invented can only be stated through parables and similes. The facts of an unknown world are stated through these very means in the literature of all languages of the world. For example, two hundred years ago, if a person had foreknowledge of electricity bulbs but at that time they had not been invented, he would perhaps have said: Lanterns which would neither require oil nor fire will one day light up the world. The nature of mutashabih verses is no different. Neither are they unascertainable nor is there any ambiguity in their meaning. They are set in eloquent Arabic, and we are able to understand their meaning without any difficulty. The only thing is that we are not able to understand what they imply in real life. However, since this lack of understanding has nothing to do with understanding the Qur’an, a believer should not get after determining what they imply. While explaining this, Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… The reality to which these [mutashabihat] point is itself very clear and obvious. Human intellect can understand that part of it which is essential for it to understand. However, since it belongs to an unseen world, the Qur’an mentions it through parables and similes so that students of the Qur’an can understand it as per their capabilities and consider that only God knows what their real form and shape is. These [mutashabihat] relate to attributes and works of God or to the reward and punishment of the Hereafter. We are able to understand them to the extent we need to understand them, and this increases our knowledge and faith but if we go beyond this and start to seek what is their real form and shape, then this will only lead us astray. The result of this is that while wanting to clear one doubt from the mind, a person ends up gathering many more; so much so, in this quest to know more he loses what he had gained and refutes very clear facts just because he is not able to ascertain their form and shape. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 25)
The actual word is: زَیۡغ. It means “to be inclined” and “to bend.” While explaining this, Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This word simultaneously has two meanings: “to be perverted” and “to bend.” When something which is standing bends, it comes near to falling down. This state is the opposite state depicted in this verse by the words: الرّٰسِخُوۡنَ فِی الۡعِلۡمِ (the well-grounded in knowledge).

زَیۡغ though is a very common ailment with which people who have gone astray are afflicted, the People of the Book were deeply struck with it. The history of the Jews bears witness that they have been afflicted with it from the very beginning and the aspect which makes the matter very grave is that they were involved in it in the presence of their prophet. Consequently, this is the very reason that they earned the wrath of God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 30.)

This is a reference to the misguided attitude of the Jews and Christians. A study of their history shows that the Jews were more interested in creating mischief and the Christians in wanting to know what exactly the mutashabih verses point to. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahisince these two forms of misguidance and error are common to all misguided people of the world, the Qur’an has mentioned them in a general way so that the discourse is all-embracing and not merely refers to the Jews and Christians. However, people who appreciate the style of the Qur’an would very well know its insinuation.

It should remain clear about this verse that the Almighty has not said that no one except Him knows the meaning of the mutashabihat verses; on the contrary, He says that no one knows the form and manifestation of what is conveyed in these verses. The Qur’anic word used is ta’wil and it is used in the same meaning here as it is in the following verses: وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَبَتِ ہٰذَا تَاۡوِیۡلُ رُءۡیَایَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ۫ قَدۡ جَعَلَہَا رَبِّیۡ حَقًّا (100:12) (And Joseph said: “Father, this is the manifestation of my dream I saw earlier; my Lord has made it a reality.” (12:100)). Everyone knows the meanings in which this dream is stated in the Qur’an. Even an ordinary student of this Book understands without any difficulty the meaning of the verse 4 of Surah Yusuf in which this dream is mentioned. However, the true manifestation of the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowing before Joseph (sws) could only have been ascertained by a person once these words manifested themselves in reality. These are the things which the Qur’an calls mutashabih, and as people contend, they do not mean something which is ambiguous and vague so that the mutashabihat may in any way undermine the status of the Qur’an as the Furqan and the Mizan.

These are the people whose hearts have not been perverted, who recognize human limits and accordingly determine the bounds of their knowledge.

Men of sound knowledge regard both the muhkam and the mutashabih verses to be blessings of God and profess equal faith in both. The reason is that they are men of intellect and use their intellect in the right manner.

In fact, it is their certitude in the promises of God which saves them from every deviation and makes them persevere on the right path and as a result becomes a means for their soundness in knowledge.

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوۡبَنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ هَدَيۡتَنَا وَهَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡكَ رَحۡمَةً ​ ۚ اِنَّكَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَهَّابُ‏ 
( 8 )   [Who say], "Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.
Here in this verse Al Wahaabالۡوَهَّابُ‏ ", one of the attributes of Allah is used as the best of the bestowers.

رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّكَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِيَوۡمٍ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيۡهِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُخۡلِفُ الۡمِيۡعَادَ‏ 
( 9 )   Our Lord, surely You will gather the people for a Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is the prayer of those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. The more they know the more they realize how little they know. But they have Faith. The glimpses they get of Truth they wish to hold fast in their hearts, and they pray to Allah to preserve them from deviating even from what light they have got. They are sure of their eventual return to Allah, when all doubts will be solved.

Ruku 2 [Verses 10-20]
Verses 10-13 Warning to the unbelievers and Lesson from the Battle of Badr:

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا لَنۡ تُغۡنِىَ عَنۡهُمۡ اَمۡوَالُهُمۡ وَلَاۤ اَوۡلَادُهُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ شَيۡـئًا​ ؕ وَاُولٰٓـئِكَ هُمۡ وَقُوۡدُ النَّارِۙ‏ 
( 10 )   Indeed, those who disbelieve - never will their wealth or their children avail them against Allah at all. And it is they who are fuel for the Fire.
Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
Here the real malady with which these rejecters are inflicted with is referred to: in reality, it is their love for wealth and children which is stopping them from submitting before the facts presented by the Qur’an; however, to conceal this aspect they go after the mutashabihat and try to raise objections in them so that their weakness remains hidden.

كَدَاۡبِ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَۙ وَالَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِمۡ​ؕ كَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰيٰتِنَا ​ۚ فَاَخَذَهُمُ اللّٰهُ بِذُنُوۡبِهِمۡ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ شَدِيۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ‏ 
( 11 )   [Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and those before them. They denied Our signs, so Allah seized them for their sins. And Allah is severe in penalty.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
From the beginning of the world, sin, oppression, arrogance, and want of Faith have gone together. The Pharaoh of the time of Moses relied upon his power, his territory, his armies, and his resources to mock at Moses the messenger of Allah and to oppress the people of Moses. Allah saved the Israelite and punished their oppressors through many plagues and calamities.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The actual words are: کَدَاۡبِ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ. The real construction of this clause is: دَاْبُهُمْ کَدَاۡبِ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ and has been translated thus.

The actual words are: شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ. They convey two meanings: firstly, a punishment is in retribution of deeds and secondly, like physical laws, the moral laws of the Almighty too necessarily produce results. The only difference is that a day has been fixed wherein the results of the latter will manifest and the results of physical laws generally manifest immediately in this world.

قُلۡ لِّلَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا سَتُغۡلَبُوۡنَ وَتُحۡشَرُوۡنَ اِلٰى جَهَنَّمَ​ؕ وَبِئۡسَ الۡمِهَادُ‏ 
( 12 )   Say to those who disbelieve, "You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting place."
The original meaning of kufr is to conceal. This lent the word a nuance of denial and it began to be used as an antonym of iman . Iman means to believe, to accept, and to recognize. Kufr, on the contrary, denotes refusal to believe, to deny, to reject. According to the Qur'an there are several possible forms of disbelief. One is to refuse either to believe in the existence of God, to acknowledge His sovereignty, to recognize Him as the only Lord of the Universe and of mankind or to recognize Him as the only Lord and the only object of worship and adoration. The second form of disbelief is when a man recognizes the existence of God but still refuses to accept His ordinances and directives as the only source of true guidance, and as the true law for his life. The third form of disbelief is when even though a man recognizes in principle that he ought to follow the guidance of God he refuses to believe in the Prophets who were the means of communicating God's guidance to man. The fourth form of disbelief is to differentiate between one Prophet and another and, out of parochialism and bigotry, to accept some Prophets and reject others. The fifth form of disbelief is the refusal to recognize, either totally or partially, the teachings communicated by the Prophets, on God's behalf, concerning the beliefs, the principles of morality, and the laws for fashioning human life. The sixth form of disbelief is where a person theoretically accepts all that he should accept but willfully disobeys God's ordinances and persists in this disobedience, and considers disobedience rather than obedience to God to be the true principle of life.

All these modes of thought and action are forms of rebellion towards God and the Qur'an characterizes each of them as kufr. In addition, the term kufr is used at several places in the Qur'an in the sense of ingratitude and in this usage it signifies the exact opposite of shukr (gratitude). Gratefulness consists in feeling thankful to one's benefactor, in duly recognizing the value of his benevolence, in making use of it in a manner pleasing to its bestower, and in being utterly loyal to him. Ingratitude denotes, on the contrary, that the man concerned has either failed to recognize the bounty of his benefactor, or considers it to be either the outcome of his own power and ability or else that of some other person's favour or intercession. Another form of ingratitude consists in failing to recognize fully the worth of the bounty received and in either allowing it to be wasted or to be used in contravention of the will of the benefactor; this ingratitude includes infidelity and treachery towards the benefactor in disregard of his benevolence and kindness. This kind of kufr is known in ordinary language as ungratefulness.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The only difference is that a day has been fixed wherein the results of the latter will manifest and the results of physical laws generally manifest immediately in this world.

A sign that the truth will triumph and those who have rejected the Qur’an shall necessarily be vanquished in this world. The way divine help came in the battle of Badr made this aspect very obvious to the addressees of the Qur’an. The reason was that the Jews had already witnessed the advent of such divine help in the battle fought by their Prophet Saul (sws) and Christians in the revelations of John the Divine had already read the predictions of the advent of Muhammad (sws) and the Quraysh themselves had fought the battle of Badr while regarding it to be a means to decide who is on the right path.

قَدۡ كَانَ لَـكُمۡ اٰيَةٌ فِىۡ فِئَتَيۡنِ الۡتَقَتَا ؕ فِئَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَاُخۡرٰى كَافِرَةٌ يَّرَوۡنَهُمۡ مِّثۡلَيۡهِمۡ رَاۡىَ الۡعَيۡنِ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ يُؤَيِّدُ بِنَصۡرِهٖ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ  ​ؕ اِنَّ فِىۡ ذٰ لِكَ لَعِبۡرَةً لِّاُولِى الۡاَبۡصَارِ‏ 
( 13 )   Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met - one fighting in the cause of Allah and another of disbelievers. They saw them [to be] twice their [own] number by [their] eyesight. But Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for those of vision.
The events and results of the Battle of Badr are briefly reviewed so as to bring home certain lessons to the Muslims. The actual disparity between the two armies was roughly three to one, but even a cursory glance was enough to tell the casual observer that the army of unbelievers was about twice as large as that of the believers.

There are three important lessons to be learnt. First, the manner in which the believers and the unbelievers advanced to the battlefield clearly demonstrated the difference in the moral fiber of the two armies. In the army of the unbelievers, the soldiers held drinking parties and were entertained by the songs and dances of slave girls. The prevalent mood of that army was one of self-indulgence. On the other hand, piety, fear of God and moral restraint of the highest order characterized the Muslim army. The soldiers were busy in devotion and remembrance of God, to Whom they addressed all their prayers and supplication. It was obvious to anyone which army was fighting in God's cause. Second, the believers won a resounding victory against an army of unbelievers superior to them in numbers, and in the quality and the quantity of arms. So the victory clearly indicated which of the two armies enjoyed the support of God. Third, the outcome of the battle came as a shocking humiliation for those who, heedless of God's might, had been exulting in the strength of their arms and the number of their supporters. It came as a shock to such people when God subjected a tribe like the Quraysh, foremost in influence and power throughout Arabia, to an ignominious defeat at the hands of a few ill-equipped Makkan fugitives and peasants from Madina.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This refers to the battle of Badr in Ramadan in the second year of the Hijra. The little exiled community of Makkan Muslims, with their friends in Madinah had organised themselves into a God-fearing community, but were constantly in danger of being attacked by their Pagan enemies of Makkah in alliance with some of the disaffected elements (Jews and Hypocrites) in or near Madinah itself. The design of the Makkans was to gather all the resources they could, and with an overwhelming force, to crush and annihilate Muhammad and his party. To this end Abu Sufyan was leading a richly-laden caravan from Syria to Makkah. He called for armed aid from Makkah, The battle was fought in the plain of Badr, about 150 kilometers south-west of Madinah. The Muslim force consisted of only about 313 men, mostly ill-armed, but they were led by Muhammad, and they were fighting for their Faith. The Makkan army, well-armed and well-equipped, numbered over a thousand and had among its leaders some of the most experienced warriors of Arabia, including Abu Jahl, the inveterate foe and persecutor of Islam. Against all odds the Muslims won a brilliant victory, and many of the enemy leaders, including Abu Jahl, were killed.

It was impossible, without the miraculous aid of Allah, for such a small and ill-equipped force as was the Muslim band, to defeat the large and well-found force of the enemy. But their Faith, firmness, zeal, and discipline won them divine aid. Enemy prisoners stated that the enemy ranks saw the Muslim force to be many times larger than it was.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
In this verse, parallel clauses and sentences have been suppressed as per the linguistic principles of Arabic. If these are unfolded, the whole discourse would be something like: فِئَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللّٰہِ وَاُخْرٰى كَافِرَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ الطَّاغُوْتِ. In the first part of the sentence, the word مُؤْمِنَة is suppressed as is evidenced by the word كَافِرَة in its parallel clause and in the second part, the words تُقَاتِلُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ الطَّاغُوْتِ are suppressed as is evidenced by the words تُقَاتِلُ فِيْ سَبِيْلِ الطَّاغُوْتِ in its parallel clause.

Consequently, this became a means of over-awing the Quraysh and, as a result, of their defeat. Obviously, this incident happened when after the battle had started the help of the angels arrived and as a result of their participation an army of three hundred and thirteen soldiers was suddenly seemed to be composed of two thousand combatants which was twice as many as the army of the attackers. On these very grounds, the Qur’an has called this a sign of God and has specially emphasized the fact that the disbelievers saw it from their eyes in the very manner they saw the outstretched field of Badr.

Here it needs to remain in consideration that the incident mentioned in Surah al-Anfal as per which both armies seemed much less in number to each other belonged to the time when the battle just started and the Almighty has stated the wisdom behind it there. Hence there is no contradiction between these two statements of the Qur’an.

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
The greatest difference between a wise and foolish person is that whilst the latter cannot view things beyond his nose, the former is able to see a whole array of facts if he is merely sounded a reminder or shown a small sign or given a trivial hint. If one door is opened, he is able to acquire the keys of the next. Such people are called men of vision because their eyes don’t merely see, they are also visionary and have the ability to make them see a whole in the part and an ocean in a drop of water. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 40.)
Verses 14-17 Comforts of this life vs The life in Hereafter:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوٰتِ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ وَالۡبَـنِيۡنَ وَالۡقَنَاطِيۡرِ الۡمُقَنۡطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالۡفِضَّةِ وَالۡخَـيۡلِ الۡمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالۡاَنۡعَامِ وَالۡحَـرۡثِ​ؕ ذٰ لِكَ مَتَاعُ الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا ​ۚ وَاللّٰهُ عِنۡدَهٗ حُسۡنُ الۡمَاٰبِ‏ 
( 14 )   Men are naturally tempted by the lure of women, children, treasures of gold and silver, horses of mark, cattle and plantations. These are the enjoyments in the life of this world; but Allah has with Him the best return.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The pleasures of this world are first enumerated: women for love; sons for strength and pride; hoarded riches, which procure all luxuries; the best and finest pedigree horses; cattle, the measure of wealth in the ancient world, as well as the means and symbols of good farming in the modern world; and broad acres of well-tilled land. By analogy, we may include, for our mechanized age, machines of all kinds,-tractors, motor- cars, aeroplanes, the best internal-combustion engines, etc., etc. In "heaped-up hoards of gold and silver," the Arabic word translated hoards is quanatir plural of quintar, which literally means a Talent of 1.200 ounces of gold.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The actual words are: زُیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ. This is not a comment on mere proclivity towards wealth, women or children because this is a requisite of man’s nature; it is actually a mention of their being a source of enticement. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… Tazyin (enticement) here means that something becomes so luring to the eyes that a person begins to see everything in its light. So much so, it becomes impossible for him to see anything independently. He regards it to be the barometer to judge every other thing. Such a potent proclivity towards something is obviously against the desire of the Almighty. As a result of this attitude, great imbalances result in life which derail a person from following the straight path of the shari‘ah and that of his own nature. This is in fact a state of ill-health which results from poor vision and disrespect for the rules set by God or in other words from lack of God-consciousness. The real causes for this are Satan and man’s base desires. These desires exceed their natural bounds and then Satan sugar coats these desires to such an extent that a person is not able to see anything beyond them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 40.)
Similarly, while explaining the sequence of things mentioned here which lure man, he writes:
… Foremost mentioned is one’s family because they are the closest to a person. The love for everything else is subservient to this love and is in fact mostly for it. After that, wealth is mentioned and in wealth, gold and silver are referred to because they are more expensive than other items. Among one’s belongings, the first thing mentioned is horses because the Arabs valued them on the three occasions of embellishment, pride and defence. Next cattle are mentioned because before the appearance of civilizational culture in the time of nomadic culture, livelihood depended on cattle. Plantations and orchards are mentioned at the very end because their importance appeared once the world embraced civilizational culture when man started to live in cities and villages. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 41)
The actual words are: الۡقَنَاطِیۡرِ الۡمُقَنۡطَرَۃِ. This construction is similar to constructions such as ألف مؤلفة and بدر مبدرة used in the Arabic language.

This refers to thorough-bred horses. This expression has been used because thorough-bred horses are generally marked in some way.

These are the enjoyments of this world which itself is temporary in nature and all its components are fleeting and being lured by its temptations in contrast to the eternal kingdom of heaven which will be set up after the Day of Judgement is absolute foolishness. A little deliberation shows that all this is implied in this short sentence.

قُلۡ اَؤُنَبِّئُكُمۡ بِخَيۡرٍ مِّنۡ ذٰ لِكُمۡ​ؕ لِلَّذِيۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا عِنۡدَ رَبِّهِمۡ جَنّٰتٌ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا وَاَزۡوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَّرِضۡوَانٌ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بَصِيۡرٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ​ۚ‏ 
( 15 )   Say, "Shall I inform you of [something] better than that? For those who fear Allah will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from Allah. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants
The Qur'anic text has the Arabic word azwaj which means 'spouses' or 'couples', and embraces both husband and wife. The husband is the zawj of his wife, and vice versa. In the Next World, however, this relationship of spouses will be qualified by purity. If a man has been virtuous in this world while his wife has not, their relationship in the Next World will be sundered and the man will receive another spouse who will be pure and virtuous. On the other hand, if a virtuous woman has had an evil husband she will be tied in companionship with a virtuous man. Where husband and wife have both been virtuous their relationship will become everlasting.

This shows that God neither showers His favours on people arbitrarily nor makes casual and superficial judgements. He knows full well the deeds and intentions of people. He also knows who merits His rewards and who does not.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This question is meant to urge the addressees to change their outlook: instead of considering this transient life to be real life, they should look towards the Hereafter where an eternal and everlasting life awaits them.

This is a comprehensive expression of the blessings of Paradise. Consequently, when it is mentioned, it is, in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi (Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 42),as if every blessing has been mentioned: blessings which can be expressed in some way and those also which are even beyond reflection and imagination.

This sentence is meant to sound an assurance: if God is watching His servants then He will definitely reward them for their faith and good deeds and necessarily reward them for their perseverance on them. Each sacrifice they give will be counted before their Lord.

اَلَّذِيۡنَ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّنَاۤ اٰمَنَّا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ​ۚ‏ 
( 16 )   Those who say, "Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire,"
Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This is a permutative (بدل) of the expression لِلَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا in the previous verse. The implied meaning is that one should also take a look at these servants of God and instead of running after the attractions of this life, follow these people.

اَلصّٰـبِرِيۡنَ وَالصّٰدِقِـيۡنَ وَالۡقٰنِتِـيۡنَ وَالۡمُنۡفِقِيۡنَ وَالۡمُسۡتَغۡفِرِيۡنَ بِالۡاَسۡحَارِ‏ 
( 17 )   The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn.
That is, they are those who remain steadfast in the cause of Truth; who do not lose heart when they either suffer losses or are subjected to afflictions; who do not despair when they encounter reverses; who are not seduced by temptations. They are the ones who remain faithful to the Truth, even when it apparently stands no chance of prevailing.

If they feel difficulty in keeping to righteousness, the remedy lies in resorting to Prayer and patience. From these two attributes they will derive the strength needed to follow their chosen course.

The literal meaning of 'sabr' is to exercise restraint, to keep oneself tied down. It denotes the will-power, the firm resolve and the control over animal desires which enables man to advance along the path of his choice - the path that satisfies his heart and conscience - in utter disregard of the temptations within, and of all obstacles and opposition without. The purpose of this directive is to urge man to develop this quality and to reinforce it from the outside by means of Prayer.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
True servants of Allah are described in iii. 16 and 17. They have faith, humility, and hope (iii. 16); and they have certain virtues (iii. 17) viz., (1) patience, steadfastness, self-restraint, and all that goes under the full definition of Sabr; this shows a certain attitude of mind: (2) in all their dealings they are true and sincere as they are also in their promises and words; this marks them out in social conduct: (3) further, their spiritual worship is earnest and deep, an inner counterpart of their outward conduct; (4) their worship of Allah shows itself in their love of their fellow-men, for they are ready and liberal in charity: and (5) their self-discipline is so great that the first thing they do every morning is humbly to approach their God.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This is a second permutative through which the Qur’an is highlighting the traits which its recipients should have

If a person combats with determination and resoluteness the hardships of poverty, sickness, war and other similar things and whatever point of view he holds as correct, adheres to it without any semblance of hopelessness, worry and complain, then this is patience. Here the Qur’an has highlighted this trait in its recipients the foremost. The reason for this is that the greatest hindrance in the way of people who are being invited to accept the truth is that they have not been able to cultivate the quality of patience in them.

Verses 18-20 Testimony of Allah about Himself and that the True Religion in the sight of Allah is Al-Islam:

   شَهِدَ اللّٰهُ اَنَّهٗ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَۙ وَالۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةُ وَاُولُوا الۡعِلۡمِ قَآئِمًا ۢ بِالۡقِسۡطِ​ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُؕ‏  
( 18 )   Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge - [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
The testimony in question is from God Himself, Who knows directly all the realities of the universe, Who observes every existing thing without obstruction. It is the testimony of the One from Whose sight nothing is hidden, and who can be a better first-hand witness than He? His testimony is that no one but He is possessed of the attributes of godhead; no one has the power to govern the universe, and no one has the right to claim the rights which belong exclusively to God.

After God, the most trustworthy testimony is that of the angels, for they carry out the administration of the universe. The testimony of the angels, based on their own observations, is that the Will of God alone reigns supreme in the universe, and they turn to Him alone in the governance of the heavens and the earth. Moreover, all creatures possessing knowledge of reality have testified, unanimously, that no one except the One True God reigns and rules over the universe.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Allah Himself speaks to us through His revelations (through angels) and through His Creation, for all Nature glorifies Allah. No thinking mind, if it only judges the matter fairly, can fail to find the same witness in his own heart and conscience. All this points to the Unity of Allah, His exalted nature, and His wisdom.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
Ie., the oneness of the Almighty, His attribute of adhering to justice is a reality that God Who has knowledge of everything in this universe, before Whom everyone is apparent, from Whose eyes nothing in this earth and sky is hidden Himself testifies to this. Also, His angels who look after the affairs of His kingdom and implement His directives also vouch for this as do all sections among human beings who have been blessed with deep knowledge and who have diligently kept this knowledge untainted from desires, emotions and biases.

The actual words are: قَآئِمًۢا بِالۡقِسۡطِ. In my opinion, the word قَآئِمًا is declined in the accusative form because it is an assertive state (حال مؤكدة) from the pronoun ہُوَ in the expression لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ. The governing element of the state is the meaning of the sentence. A little deliberation shows that besides monotheism, the testimony to God adhering to justice occupies a great significance in the Islamic faith. It means that just as we believe that God is the one and only, no one is a partner to Him in His being, attributes and all power and control is in His hands, we similarly believe that He is using His power and control within the bounds of justice and will do so in future also. Since this world has been made as a place for trials and tests, as a consequence of these trials the existence of oppression and injustice is tolerated to a great extent. However, no one should be misled by this. It is a fact that just as the physical laws of God are unassailable, His moral laws are also unassailable and impartial. In order to alert people about this, His law of worldly retribution has many a time come into play. First, this retribution took place through His messengers and later through the progeny of Abaham (sws), and now it is in force through them for the last many centuries. No one who observes this retribution can doubt that individually each person also shall similarly one day be called to account.

Therefore, He shall definitely set up a miniature day of judgement in this world. This is a requirement both of His honour and wisdom. If He does not do so, it would only mean that He is either helpless or just a merry-maker Who has made this world for His entertainment.

اِنَّ الدِّيۡنَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ الۡاِسۡلَامُ وَمَا اخۡتَلَفَ الَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡكِتٰبَ اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡيًا ۢ بَيۡنَهُمۡ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّكۡفُرۡ بِاٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ
 فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَرِيۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ‏ 
( 19 )   Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.
In the sight of God there is only one system of life and way of conduct which is both in accord with reality and morally right. This consists of man's acknowledging God as his Lord and the sole object of his worship and devotion; of surrendering himself unreservedly to God in obedience and service. In doing so he should follow in toto the guidance communicated by God through His Messengers rather than try to devise ways of serving God according to his own lights. This mode of thought and action is known as Islam, and it is only reasonable that the Lord and Creator of the universe should accept nothing less from His creatures and servants. In his folly man thinks that he has the right to believe in and follow every doctrine that comes his way whether it be atheism or idolatry. In the sight of the Sovereign of the universe, however, all such attitudes amount to nothing short of rebellion against God.

This shows that the religion of every Messenger of God, in every age and clime, was none other than Islam (submission to God). Likewise, every Divine book, in whichever language it was revealed, and to whichever people it was addressed, contained the teachings of Islam. The various religions which have spread among mankind are distortions of this true, original religion, and are the result of tampering. Coveting privileges over and above those to which they were entitled, people altered the beliefs, principles and injunctions of the true religion in a manner conducive to their own interests.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The People of the Book may be supposed to know something about the previous religious history of mankind. To them the appeal should be easy and intelligible, as all Religion is one, and it is only being renewed in Islam. But the appeal is also made to the Pagan Arabs, who are unlearned, and who can well be expected to follow the example of one of their own, who received divine enlightenment, and was able to bring new knowledge to them. A great many of both these classes did so. But the few who resisted Allah's grace, and actually threatened and persecuted those who believed, are told that Allah will look after His own.

Bagyan: through envy, through selfish contumacy or obstinacy, through sheer contrary-mindedness, or desire to resist or rebel. Cf. ii. 90, and ii. 213.

The People of the Book may be supposed to know something about the previous religious history of mankind. To them the appeal should be easy and intelligible, as all Religion is one, and it is only being renewed in Islam. But the appeal is also made to the Pagan Arabs, who are unlearned, and who can well be expected to follow the example of one of their own, who received divine enlightenment, and was able to bring new knowledge to them. A great many of both these classes did so. But the few who resisted Allah's grace, and actually threatened and persecuted those who believed, are told that Allah will look after His own.

فَاِنۡ حَآجُّوۡكَ فَقُلۡ اَسۡلَمۡتُ وَجۡهِىَ لِلّٰهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ​ؕ وَقُل لِّلَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡاُمِّيّٖنَ ءَاَسۡلَمۡتُمۡ​ؕ فَاِنۡ اَسۡلَمُوۡا فَقَدِ اهۡتَدَوْا ​ۚ وَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَاِنَّمَا عَلَيۡكَ الۡبَلٰغُ ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بَصِيۡرٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ 
( 20 )   So if they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, "Have you submitted yourselves?" And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away - then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.
The Prophet (peace be on him) is asked to tell them in effect: I and my followers have embraced the original, unadulterated Islam which is the true religion enjoined by God. Tell us, now, if you are prepared to give up the accretions introduced by your forefathers, and embrace this original, true religion?'

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Note the literary skill in the argument as it proceeds. The mystery of birth faintly suggests that we are coming to the story of Jesus. The exposition of the Book suggests that Islam is the same religion as that of the People of the Book. Next we are told that the People of the Book made their religion one-sided, and through the priesthood of the family of Imran, we are brought to the story of Jesus, who was rejected by a body of the Jews as Muhammad was rejected by a body of both Jews and Christians.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The implication is that the religion of the Jews and Christians was also Islam. From the very beginning, the Almighty revealed the same religion to His prophets and messengers. He did not reveal any religion other than Islam to them. The religions which today exist in the name of Judaism and Christianity have come into being only after their followers have created dissensions in what Islam originally was.

The actual words are: اَسۡلَمۡتُ وَجۡہِیَ لِلّٰہِ. By submitting one’s face to God is actually meant submitting one’s self to God. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, while explaining this expression, writes:
… Face is the most grand and striking feature of a person. When a person submits his most grand and auspicious part, it is as if he has submitted everything. This expression is similar to bowing our head to express obedience. There exists utmost humility and submission in this expression. The manner and instance in which the words اَسۡلَمۡتُ وَجۡہِیَ لِلّٰہِ occur in this verse show that they are meant to convey the fact that a person has embraced Islam; however, simultaneously they convey the real spirit of Islam so that those who were claiming to be religious and who were indulging in debates and arguments against Islam are warned of what they were indulging in against. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 53)
The word “unlettered” refers to a person who is unaware of formal and bookish knowledge gained in an educational institution. It is used as a title for the Ishmaelites. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… The reason is that these people were unaware of formal and ceremonial education received in institutions and led the simple life of Bedouins. In this manner being unlettered was a feature which made them distinct from the Israelites who were recipients of divine books. It is possible that for Arabs this usage began from the People of the Book because it is also mentioned in the Torah that the Prophet Ishmael (sws) was unlettered and lived the life of nomads; however, this much is evident that this word carried no derogatory overtone for the Arabs. Consequently, the Qur’an has used it to merely distinguish them from the People of the Book. For this very reason, Muhammad (sws) is called an unlettered Prophet in the Qur’an. Contained in it is also a reference to the predictions mentioned in the Torah. The Arabs themselves used this word for themselves which is an open testimony to the fact that they did not find any element of insult for them in this word. It is evident from some narratives that Muhammad(sws) has also used this word for his people. For example: نحن أمة أمية (We are an unlettered nation, (Bukhari, no. 1913; Muslim, no. 1085)). At some places in the Qur’an, this word is mentioned in a derisive way; however, at these places its literal meaning is implied. For example, in he following verse: مِنۡہُمۡ اُمِّیُّوۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ (2:78) the verse: wherein it implies the illiterate common masses among the Jews. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 53)
These words sound an assurance to Muhammad (sws): if people are not accepting his message and want to continue to indulge in imprudence, he should leave them to themselves and he should rest assured that their matter is in the hands of God; He is watching over all what they say and do and will deal with each the way he is worthy of.

Ruku 3 [Verses 21-30]
Verses 21-25 Warning to the Unbelievers and Faith of the Jews and Christians:

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ وَيَقۡتُلُوۡنَ النَّبِيّٖنَ بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّۙ وَّيَقۡتُلُوۡنَ الَّذِيۡنَ يَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ مِنَ النَّاسِۙ فَبَشِّرۡهُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَ لِيۡمٍ‏ 
( 21 )   Those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and kill the prophets without right and kill those who order justice from among the people - give them tidings of a painful punishment.
This is a sarcastic remark. Its purpose is to bring home to them that the misdeeds about which they are so jubilant, and which they regard as their proud achievements, will ultimately lead them to a painful end.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Right; haqq has many shades of meaning; (1) right, in the sense of having a right to something; (2) right, in the sense of straight conduct, as opposed to wrong; (3) truth; (4) justice. All these shades are implied here.

Examples of the Prophets slain were: "the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar": Matt. xxiii. 35. Cf. Q. ii. 61. n. 75. Again, John the Baptist (Yahya, noble, chaste, a prophet, of the goodly company of the righteous. Q. iii. 39), was bound, imprisoned, and beheaded, and his head presented to a dancing harlot: Matt. xiv. 1-11.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The actual words are: فَبَشِّرۡہُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ. This expression is the enunciative (khabar) of اِنَّ. The particle ف is appended to it because the noun (ism) of the particle اِنَّ encompasses the meaning of a conditional sentence which requires an apodosis. It is customary in Arabic that the particle فَ be appended to the apodosis.

The mention of this word here firstly reflects the severity of the crime of the Jews because cruelty of murdering an innocent person and that too a prophet can only be imagined; secondly, it expresses the exaltedness of the truth: it is such a great thing that even a prophet is not beyond it.

اُولٰٓـئِكَ الَّذِيۡنَ حَبِطَتۡ اَعۡمَالُهُمۡ فِى الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِيۡنَ‏ 
( 22 )   They are the ones whose deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and for them there will be no helpers.
They have spent their efforts and energies in a manner leading to catastrophic results in this world and the Next.

No power can make these misdeeds either bear good fruit or prevent them bearing evil fruit. The powers upon which the wrong-doers rely for support in this world and in the World to Come will not be of any help to them.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This prediction of the Qur’an materialized word for word. Consequently, in a very short time, all their plans ended in failure and they were expelled from the Arabian peninsula in such a humiliating manner that they had no one to support or help them.

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَى الَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوۡا نَصِيۡبًا مِّنَ الۡكِتٰبِ يُدۡعَوۡنَ اِلٰى كِتٰبِ اللّٰهِ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلّٰى فَرِيۡقٌ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَهُمۡ مُّعۡرِضُوۡنَ‏ 
( 23 )   Do you not consider, [O Muhammad], those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They are invited to the Scripture of Allah that it should arbitrate between them; then a party of them turns away, and they are refusing.
They are asked to acknowledge the Book of God as the final arbiter in all matters, and to submit to its judgement, accepting as right whatever this Book holds to be right, and as wrong whatever it holds to be wrong. The Book of God referred to here is the Torah and the Injil, while the expression 'those who have been given a portion of the Book' refers to the Jewish and Christian religious scholars. (For the Quranic view of the Torah and the Injil see n. 2 above - Ed.)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A portion of the Book. I conceive that Allah's revelation as a whole throughout the ages is "The Book". The Law of Moses, and the Gospel of Jesus were portions of the Book. The Qur'an completes the revelation and is par excellence the Book of Allah.

The Commentators mention a particular incident when a dispute was submitted by the Jews for arbitration to the Holy Prophet. He appealed to the authority of their own books, but they tried to conceal and prevaricate. The general lesson is that the People of the Book should have been the first to welcome in Muhammad the living exponent of the Message of Allah as a whole, and some of them did so: but others turned away from guilty arrogance, relying on corrupted texts and doctrines forged out of their own fancies, though they were not conformable to reason and good sense.

Professor Ghamidi Explanation:
This is a style which expresses wonder and is often employed in the Arabic language on such instances.

The actual words are: نَصِیۡبًا مِّنَ الۡکِتٰبِ. The word مِنْ here is for explication; ie. people in whose share came the Book of God, and they were blessed with it while leaving aside all other nations of the world.

The actual words are: ثُمَّ یَتَوَلّٰی فَرِیۡقٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ. The real stress in them is on the word مِنۡہُمۡ. The implication is that those who turn away are the People of the Book who should have been the first to recognize the Book of God and profess faith in it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

"… It was not difficult for people who were familiar with and believed in the Torah and the Gospel to recognize the Qur’an if they were free from bias and prejudice. How is it possible for them to not recognize the Book whose initial chapters they had read, whose style and approach they were familiar with, whose initial scheme of teachings and guidance they were aware of, whose predictions were in their knowledge and what they were awaiting to be fulfilled – when this Book appeared before them in its full majesty and grandeur. Then how strange it is that the People of the Book turned away from the Qur’an and deliberately became indifferent to it?" (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 60.)

ذٰ لِكَ بِاَنَّهُمۡ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ اِلَّاۤ اَيَّامًا مَّعۡدُوۡدٰتٍ​ وَغَرَّهُمۡ فِىۡ دِيۡنِهِمۡ مَّا كَانُوۡا يَفۡتَرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 24 )   That is because they say, "Never will the Fire touch us except for [a few] numbered days," and [because] they were deluded in their religion by what they were inventing.
These people considered themselves to be God's favourites and cherished the illusion that, regardless of what they did, they were bound to enter Paradise. They took the view that since they were believers, were descended from pious people, followed noble Prophets, and were disciples and admirers of holy men, Hell would not dare touch them. They also thought that even if they were thrown into Hell they would remain there for a few days only, to be purged of the impurity of the sins which had afflicted them, and would then be sent straight to Paradise. Such notions had made them so bold that even when they committed the most atrocious crimes and the most mortal of sins, and brazenly deviated from Truth and rectitude, their hearts remained utterly unmoved by the fear of God.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This sentence is meant to rebuke the People of the Book and assure Muhammad(sws). The implication is that the hearts of these people cannot be softened. Showing indifference to the truth has become their second nature and if the Prophet’s call is not influencing them, then it is not his fault. It is entirely the fault of their evil disposition.

They have been led to believe that whatever their deeds, they would not be put in Hell forever. They would not be cast into it in the first place and if at all they would be, then they would necessarily be set free after a few days after they have endured the punishment of their sins. This of course is a deception which their false desires have induced them into.

فَكَيۡفَ اِذَا جَمَعۡنٰهُمۡ لِيَوۡمٍ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيۡهِ وَوُفِّيَتۡ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُوۡنَ‏ 
( 25 )   So how will it be when We assemble them for a Day about which there is no doubt? And each soul will be compensated [in full for] what it earned, and they will not be wronged.
Verses 26-27 Allah is the One Who controls the kingdom and honor:

قُلِ اللّٰهُمَّ مٰلِكَ الۡمُلۡكِ تُؤۡتِى الۡمُلۡكَ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتَنۡزِعُ الۡمُلۡكَ مِمَّنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ​ ؕ بِيَدِكَ الۡخَيۡرُ​ؕ 
اِنَّكَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏ 
( 26 )   Say, "O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.
Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This apparently seems to be a supplication; however, in reality, a little deliberation will show that great glad tidings are concealed in it for the Ishmaelites. The reason is that this supplication clearly indicates that the being in whose hands lies all good has decided that the sovereignty of the world should be bestowed upon the Ishmaelites and no amount of opposition from the Israelites would be able to change this decision. Humiliation after humiliation is destined for them. Consequently, if they will continue living in this world, they will live in subservience to the Ishmaelites. There is no other way in which they will be able to survive here.

Not only this, besides these glad tidings a great piece of advice is also hidden in the verse: the Ishmaelites while accepting this sovereignty should not become proud and conceited by considering themselves entitled to it; they should accept it with great humility and with emotions of serving the Almighty; this is because all good is in the hands of God and it is His mere blessing that He has chosen them – the Ishmaelites out all of the nations of the world for this position.

تُوۡلِجُ الَّيۡلَ فِى النَّهَارِ وَتُوۡلِجُ النَّهَارَ فِى الَّيۡلِ​ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡحَـىَّ مِنَ الۡمَيِّتِ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡمَيِّتَ مِنَ الۡحَـىِّ​ وَتَرۡزُقُ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ‏  
( 27 )   You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account."
Those who disbelieved and disobeyed were seen to be prosperous, whereas the believers, with their devotion and loyalty to God, suffered all the deprivation, persecution and torment to which the Prophet and his followers were subjected around the year 3 A.H. The contrasting states of the two groups of men were the reverse of what would naturally be expected. This raised disturbing questions in people's minds about the underlying wisdom of this phenomenon. The verse conveys God's answer.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
True in many senses. In every twenty-four hours, night merges into day, and day into night, and there is no clear boundary between them. In every solar year, the night gains on the day after the summer solstice, and the day gains on the night after the winter solstice. But further, if light and darkness are viewed as symbols of (a) knowledge and ignorance, (b) happiness and misery, (c) spiritual insight and spiritual blindness, Allah's Plan or Will works here too as in the physical world, and in His hand is all Good.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This is a testimony of the world around man on what has been said above: just as night appears from the day and vice versa and life from death and vice versa, on similar grounds are decisions made for the rise and fall, honour and disgrace and life and death of nations. The indication of life and death of the Israelites and the Ishmaelites found in this parable is explained thus by Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi:
… The plant which Abraham (sws) had sown in the lush and fertile lands of Palestine had now withered away and as the Prophet John had said that an axe had been placed on its roots. On the other hand, the plant he had sown in the desolate and barren lands of Arabia and which had shrunk was now beginning to blossom and as referred to by the Prophet Jesus (sws): it was to become a strong tree and was destined to take the whole world in the refuge of its shade. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 65)
He gives to such an extent that there is no limit to it and gives from where a person cannot even imagine.

Verses 28-30 Prohibition of taking unbelievers as protectors:

لَا يَتَّخِذِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ اَوۡلِيَآءَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ​ۚ وَمَنۡ يَّفۡعَلۡ ذٰ لِكَ فَلَيۡسَ مِنَ اللّٰهِ فِىۡ شَىۡءٍ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَتَّقُوۡا مِنۡهُمۡ تُقٰٮةً  ؕ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسَهٗ​ ؕوَاِلَى اللّٰهِ الۡمَصِيۡرُ‏  
( 28 )   The believers may not take the unbelievers for their allies in preference to those who believe. Whoever does this has nothing to do with Allah unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrong-doing. Allah warns you to beware of Him for it is to Allah that you will return.
This means that it is lawful for a believer, helpless in the grip of the enemies of Islam and in imminent danger of severe wrong and persecution, to keep his faith concealed and to behave in such a manner as to create the impression that he is on the same side as his enemies. A person whose Muslim identity is discovered is permitted to adopt a friendly attitude towards the unbelievers in order to save his life. If he considers himself incapable of enduring the excesses to which he may be subjected, he may even state that he is not a believer.

One should not be overwhelmed by the fear of other human beings to the extent of losing the fear of God. Human beings can harm a man but the most they can do is to ruin his transient, earthly life. God, on the other hand, can subject him to everlasting torment. If one is constrained in extraordinary circumstances to resort to a prudent concealment of faith (taqiyah) in order to save one's life, this concealment should remain within reasonable limits. The most one is permitted to do is to protect one's life and property without jeopardizing either the interests of Islam or of the Muslim community as a whole, and without causing loss of life and property to other Muslims. One must never allow saving one's own life to lead to the propagation of unbelief at the expense of Islam and to the dominance of unbelievers over Muslims. Here the believers are warned that, no matter how dangerous the circumstances surrounding them, they cannot escape God's reproach if they give substantial aid to those rebelling against Him, and cause any harm to God's chosen religion, to the community of believers or to any individual believer. For, it is to God that one will ultimately return for reckoning.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If Faith is a fundamental matter in our lives our associations and friendships will naturally be with those who share our Faith. "Evil communications corrupt good manners": and evil company may corrupt Faith. In our ordinary every-day affairs of business, we are asked to seek the help of Believers rather than Unbelievers. Only in this way can our community be strong in organisation and unity. But where there is no question of preference, or where in self-defence we have to take the assistance of those not belonging to our Faith, that is permissible. In any case we must not weaken our Brotherhood: we must try to make it stronger if possible.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
This is an admonition sounded to Muslims who were not fully focused in understanding the requirements of their faith and at this stage also when the Almighty was about to decide the fate of the Jews and Christians were not only inclined towards them but would also became a pawn in their hands against Islam and other Muslims. The condition of مِنۡ دُوۡنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ (leaving aside the Muslims) has been imposed so that if this friendship is not against the interest of Islam and the Muslims, then it was not prohibited even at that time.

The actual words are: اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَتَّقُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ تُقٰىۃً. This sentence is an exception to the sentence فَلَیۡسَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ. The word تُقٰىۃً is an object of emphasis (maf‘ul mutlaq) in the very way it is in verse 102 of this surah: اِتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ حَقَّ تُقٰتِہٖ.

This is a warning to the weak and hypocritical Muslims who have been mentioned earlier. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

"… [In it] is a special aspect of admonition to the Hypocrites. They should not ignore other attributes of God whilst being deceived from His nobility. If He forgives conspiracies, forgoes intrigues and does not take notice of rumour, then this does not mean that He does not consider these as crimes or that He cannot seize them for these offences; the only reason for this is that He gives utmost respite to people. However, this respite is in fact a respite which has to end one day. After this, His justice will manifest itself and this justice is also an aspect of His being. If it has not manifested itself as yet, no one should have the misconception that it will never do so. Decisions of God have their own time and may seem delayed but they are never cancelled. When this aspect of His being will manifest itself everyone will come to know that no one is more powerful, more just and a better organizer of affairs than Him." (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 68)

قُلۡ اِنۡ تُخۡفُوۡا مَا فِىۡ صُدُوۡرِكُمۡ اَوۡ تُبۡدُوۡهُ يَعۡلَمۡهُ اللّٰهُ​ؕ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِؕ​ وَاللّٰهُ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏  
( 29 )   Say, "Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it. And He knows that which is in the heavens and that which is on the earth. And Allah is over all things competent.
The reference here is to the inclination which these Muslims had in their hearts for the Jews and Christians.

يَوۡمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ مُّحۡضَرًا ۖۚ ۛ وَّمَا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءٍ ۚۛ  تَوَدُّ لَوۡ اَنَّ بَيۡنَهَا وَبَيۡنَهٗۤ اَمَدًاۢ بَعِيۡدًا ​ؕ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسَهٗ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ رَءُوۡفٌۢ بِالۡعِبَادِ 
( 30 )   The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants."
It is out of sheer goodwill that God warns people against deeds likely to have devastating consequences for them.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
The actual words are: مَا عَمِلَتۡ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءٍ. There is a suppression of the word مُحۡضَرًا at the end of this sentence. The reason is that it is present in the previous sentence: مَا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا and this presence is evidence of its suppression here.

I.e., since the Almighty is very gracious to His servants and wants to save them from a humiliating fate on the Day of Judgement, He is continuously warning them of Himself: they should not be misled by the respite granted by Him; they should know that when He seizes them, so firm will be His grasp that no one will be able to escape from Him.

Ruku 4 [Verses 31-41]
Verses 31-32 Order to obey and follow the Prophet"

قُلۡ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ تُحِبُّوۡنَ اللّٰهَ فَاتَّبِعُوۡنِىۡ يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ اللّٰهُ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَـكُمۡ ذُنُوۡبَكُمۡؕ​ وَاللّٰهُ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِيۡمٌ‏ 
( 31 )   Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
Here these Muslims are taught the right attitude which they must adopt regarding God’s messenger after claiming that they love God.

 قُلۡ اَطِيۡعُوا اللّٰهَ وَالرَّسُوۡلَ​​ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏ 
( 32 )   Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.
This marks the conclusion of the first discourse. Reflection upon its contents, particularly the reference to the Battle of Badr, leads one to the conclusion that this section was probably revealed between the battles of Badr and Uhud, i.e. sometime in 3.A.H. The tradition mentioned by Muhammad b. Ishaq has led to the common misunderstanding that the first eighty verses of this surah were revealed on the occasion of the arrival of the deputation from Najran in 9 A.H. (See Ibn Hisham. Sirah, vol. 1, pp. 573 ff., especially p. 576; Ibn Ishaq, Life of Muhammad, tr. A. Guillaume, second impression, London, Oxford, 1968. pp. 270 ff.. especially p. 272 - Ed.) This is not true. In the first place, the introductory section indicates that the surah was revealed much earlier. Second, the Tradition narrated by Muqatil b. Sulayman states explicitly that on the occasion of the arrival of the deputation from Najran only those verses which concern the Prophets John (Yahya) and Jesus ('Isa) (peace be on them) were revealed, and the number of those verses is about thirty.

Explanation Professor Ghamidi:
In very stern words, these people are admonished to plainly obey God and His Prophet otherwise they too will be considered among these disbelievers with whom they have friendship.

In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, the points which must specifically be kept in consideration in this verse and in the previous one are:

Firstly, the tone of both these verses is different. The first verse has a ring of affection in it and the second one strikes admonition and in fact is a warning. In other words, affection and sternness are found intermingled at one place.

Secondly, the essence of faith is love for God and the condition for this love is that no other love should be its rival.

Thirdly, the sole means of loving the Almighty is to show obedience to Muhammad(sws). All other means which are adopted in this regard amount to religious innovation and deviation.

Fourthly, the only way in which a person is endeared to the Almighty is by showing obedience to Muhammad(sws). If the life of a person departs from the Sunnah of Muhammad(sws) and he still vainly believes that he is loved by the Almighty or that others regard him to be loved by Him, then this notion is absolutely wrong.

Fifthly, the least requirement of religion is to show obedience to God and His Messenger. If a person is evasive in fulfilling this requirement, then he will be regarded as one who disbelieves in religion. God does not like such people. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 71)

Note: The remaining portion of Ruku 4 (verses 33-41) will be covered in Part II as these are relevant to discussion of the subject matter discussed in Part II.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah Al i Imran with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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