فَاِلَّمۡ یَسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لَکُمۡ فَاعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ بِعِلۡمِ اللّٰہِ وَ اَنۡ لَّاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ فَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾
فَإِلَّمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَكُمۡ فَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَآ أُنزِلَ بِعِلۡمِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَن لَّآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَۖ فَهَلۡ أَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ
1303. The use of plural pronoun 'your' instead of 'thy' shows that the challenge was not necessarily from the Holy Prophet alone, but Muslims in every age could deliver a challenge in these terms. The verse guarantees that the Qur’an will ever stand unrivalled in its manifold excellent qualities. (close)
d. 4:167. (close)
a. 4:167. (close)
Naturally the question arises here whether the challenge contained in the preceding verse was confined to the lifetime of the Holy Prophet or whether it extended even to the later ages. This question has been answered in the present verse by the use of the plural pronoun "you" in the clause, And if they do not respond to you, thus showing that the challenge was not confined to the time of the Holy Prophet but extended to all time. If the challenge had been confined only to the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, the words used would have been "if they do not respond to thee" and not as they are. The use of the plural pronoun shows that Muslims in every age can deliver this challenge to disbelievers and the verse guarantees that the Quran will ever stand unrivalled in its manifold excellences.
The words, then know that it has been revealed replete with Allah’s knowledge, mean that if the opponents of Islam do not accept this challenge, it will clearly establish that the Quran comprises the special knowledge of God, and contains matters which are beyond human ken, being undiscoverable by man; hence their inability to produce a book like it.
The expression, that there is no god but He, indicates that the inability of men of all ages to produce a book like the Quran will also prove that there is no god beside Allah; for, if there had been other gods, they and their votaries would have accepted the challenge and, by producing through their cumulative efforts a work like the Quran, would have demonstrated the hollowness of this challenge. Complete silence on their part is sure evidence of the fact that there is no God beside Allah and that He has no equal.
It is disbelievers who are addressed in the closing words, Will you then submit, and they are asked whether they will not join the fold of Islam now that this unaccepted challenge has proved that the Quran is indeed the Word of God. (close)
مَنۡ کَانَ یُرِیۡدُ الۡحَیٰوۃَ الدُّنۡیَا وَ زِیۡنَتَہَا نُوَفِّ اِلَیۡہِمۡ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فِیۡہَا وَ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا لَا یُبۡخَسُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيۡهِمۡ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ فِيهَا وَهُمۡ فِيهَا لَا يُبۡخَسُونَ
a. 2:201; 17:19. (close)
a. 2:201; 17:19. (close)
It is clear from this verse that those who desire the present life and its riches and strive after it get their full share of it. No one is deprived of what he strives after. The worldly prosperity and material advancement of Christian nations is sometimes adduced as an evidence of the truth of Christianity. This verse exposes the falsity of this inference. The attainment of worldly prosperity is no proof of the fact that one is following the right religion, for God has appointed laws for every kind of progress and anyone who observes the laws appointed for the material progress of man can attain worldly felicity. The mere attainment of worldly prosperity, unless it is attended by other clear signs, is therefore no proof of godliness. It must, however, be remembered that in this life one gets the reward of only those deeds which one does purely for this world. It is to this important point that the words, their works in this life, refer.
The expression, they shall not be wronged therein, means that disbelievers will not be deprived of the rewards of their work in this life, simply for refusing to believe in God’s Messengers. Disbelievers are not punished in this life for mere disbelief or mere denial of truth for which punishment is reserved in the next life. In this world they are only punished when they make mischief and create disorder and persecute believers. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَیۡسَ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اِلَّا النَّارُ ۫ۖ وَ حَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوۡا فِیۡہَا وَ بٰطِلٌ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَيۡسَ لَهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ إِلَّا ٱلنَّارُۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُواْ فِيهَا وَبَٰطِلٞ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
b. 17:19. (close)
b. 17:19. (close)
Disbelievers are here told that if they do not embrace Islam, they will of course not be deprived of worldly goods which they might have earned by the sweat of their brow, but they will surely remain deprived of God’s blessings.
The pronoun ھا (this) in فیھا (in this) may refer to either the present life mentioned in the previous verse or the Hereafter in the verse under comment. In the former case, the clause, that which they wrought in this life shall come to naught, would mean that, as they had been rewarded in the present life for the works which they did for this life, therefore these works would prove of no avail to disbelievers in the life to come. In the latter case, the clause would mean that, as their deeds for the present life were in accordance with the laws of God, therefore, they got their reward for them; but as the deeds which they did for the next life were in defiance of Divine laws, therefore they would do them no good and would fail to serve the purpose for which they were apparently meant. (close)
اَفَمَنۡ کَانَ عَلٰی بَیِّنَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ وَ یَتۡلُوۡہُ شَاہِدٌ مِّنۡہُ وَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہٖ کِتٰبُ مُوۡسٰۤی اِمَامًا وَّ رَحۡمَۃً ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِہٖ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکۡفُرۡ بِہٖ مِنَ الۡاَحۡزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوۡعِدُہٗ ۚ فَلَا تَکُ فِیۡ مِرۡیَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ ٭ اِنَّہُ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾
أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٖ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ وَيَتۡلُوهُ شَاهِدٞ مِّنۡهُ وَمِن قَبۡلِهِۦ كِتَٰبُ مُوسَىٰٓ إِمَامٗا وَرَحۡمَةًۚ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِهِۦۚ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلۡأَحۡزَابِ فَٱلنَّارُ مَوۡعِدُهُۥۚ فَلَا تَكُ فِي مِرۡيَةٖ مِّنۡهُۚ إِنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ
c. 47:15. (close)
d. 46:11; 61:7. (close)
1304. Three arguments have been given in this verse in support of the Holy Prophet in the words: (a) 'Who stands upon a clear proof from his Lord,' (b) to testify to whose truth a witness from Him shall follow him,' and (c) 'who was preceded by the Book of Moses.' 'The clear proof from his Lord' was the great moral revolution which the Holy Prophet had brought about in the life of his corrupt and decadent people, and the witnesses who bore testimony to his truth were the Divine Teachers from among his followers who, by their precept and practice, established the truth of Islam and the Qur’an in every age, the witness par excellence being the Promised Messiah, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement; and the words 'was preceded by the Book of Moses' point to the prophecies that are found in the Bible about the Holy Prophet. See 2135. (close)
e. 2:148; 10:95. (close)
a. 47:15. (close)
b. 46:11; 61:7. (close)
c. 2:148; 10:95. (close)
This verse embodies three important criteria by which the truth of the Quran and that of the Holy Prophet can be tested, and declares that he who satisfies these three criteria cannot be an impostor.
There are three classes of men whom a Divine Message can possibly concern:(1) the contemporaries of a Messenger of God, to whom the Message is directly addressed; (2) the generations yet unborn who are to receive the Message in the future; (3) the past generations to whom their Prophet gave the news that a Messenger was to come. If these three classes of witnesses bear testimony to the truth of a claimant to prophethood, there can remain no doubt about his truth. The faith of the last-mentioned class of people, i.e. those who expect the advent of a Messenger of God, has its basis in past prophecies about his advent, while the first-mentioned class, i.e. the contemporaries of a claimant, judge his claim (a) by the touchstone whether he possesses in his own person any proof which testifies to his truth, or (b) by the prophecies of earlier Scriptures about the advent of a Divine Messenger. Lastly, there is the second class of people, i.e. those yet unborn who in their time look upon the signs witnessed by the contemporaries of a claimant as mere stories, and confine their scrutiny to the change brought about by the claimant—the fruit of his reformatory efforts. In fact, succeeding generations attach more importance to the fruits of the labours of a Divine Messenger and to the results of his mission than to anything else. If his Message continues to bear fruit down to their time, they come to realize that it is a truly useful thing and concerns them as much as it did past generations.
In point of importance, pride of place belongs to internal evidence, that is, the evidence which a claimant possesses in his own person, because such evidence serves as a clear proof not only for the contemporaries of the claimant but also for the generations to come and because it relieves seekers after truth of the trouble of turning to other things for guidance, it being in itself a sufficient proof of the truth of the claimant. This kind of proof is referred to in the words, Can he who possesses a clear proof from his Lord be an impostor?
The second evidence, which is also second in importance, of the truth of a Divine claimant pertains to the results produced by his Message and the fruits of his labours; for in the absence of this evidence, the practical value of a Message claimed to be Divine becomes doubtful in the eyes of later generations. In fact, the intrinsic truth of a Message does not constitute a sufficient incentive for acting upon it. It has to be shown that it is also meant for the recipient and for the age in which he lives and that it has not been superseded by a later Message. The fact that a Message continues to bear fruit suffices to establish the fact that it is as practicable and as useful at present as it was in the past. This kind of evidence is referred to in the words, and a witness from Him shall follow him.
Last in point of importance is the evidence which relates to prophecies holding hope of a future reformer and a future Message. The evidence of such prophecies is also useful, for it keeps the minds of men prepared for the acceptance of the Message, although naturally only those people benefit by it in whose time the expected Message actually makes its appearance. This kind of evidence is hinted at in the words, and who was preceded by the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy.
All these three kinds of evidence have been adduced in this verse in support of the Holy Prophet and the Quranic Message. The Quran possesses strong internal evidence of its Divine origin; the Scriptures that preceded it bear clear witness to its truth; and it was also to bear fruit in the future in a way that nobody could have any reasonable ground to reject it. Similarly, the Holy Prophet who brought this Message also possesses this triple evidence which clearly proves him to be a true Messenger of God.
The words, a witness from Him (God) shall follow him (the Holy Prophet), also point to the appearance of a great Reformer in the Latter Days who was to come as "a witness" to bear testimony to the truth of the Holy Prophet. It is worth noting that the person who was to appear after the Holy Prophet to bear testimony to his truth has been called a شاھد (a witness) and it is evident that a witness is needed only when the continued practicability and usefulness of a Message is called in question. It is evident, therefore, that after the advent of the Holy Prophet a Messenger was needed only at a time when there should arise about the Quran the question whether it was still worthy of being acted upon. It is well known that such a question never arose about the Quran during the last 1350 years, and it is only in the present time that doubts have begun to be expressed about this claim of the Quran with persistence from all quarters. There is a section of Muslims themselves who hold the view that some teachings of the Quran, particularly with regard to the five daily Prayers, the amputation of the hands of a thief, polygamy, purdah, usury, etc., need alteration or amendment. Then there are the followers of claimants like Baha’ullah, who believe that the Law of Islam has become abrogated and they seek to introduce a new Law in its place. Last of all, the so-called higher critics of the west question the authenticity of some historical facts mentioned in the Quran as well as the practicability of some of its teachings. Such a state of affairs never existed before the present age and therefore, truly speaking, no "witness" was needed before now.
The words منه (from Him) in the expression, a witness from Him, clearly show that the promised witness was to be a heavenly Messenger. This heavenly Messenger is Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement,who appeared at a time when the teachings of Islam had begun openly to be declared unpractical and impracticable and the object of whose advent was to bear witness to the truth of Islam by means of clear proofs and fresh heavenly signs.
It should also be remembered that the words, a witness from Him shall follow him, promised the appearance of a person who was to invite men to accept and follow the Quran and not of one who was to abrogate its teachings. Thus, incidentally, the verse furnishes an irrefutable argument against the claims of Baha’ullah.
The third evidence in support of the truth of the Quran and of the Holy Prophet lies in the fact that their advent was predicted by previous Prophets. The Book of Moses forms the most conspicuous example of it. It contains clear prophecies about the Holy Prophet and the Quran. Among others, the reader is referred to Deut. 18:18.
The Book of Moses is here called "a guide" because it serves as a guide to the truth of Islam. It is "a mercy" in the sense that it has made it easy for men to accept the truth in four different ways: (1) by means of prophecies which point to the truth of the Holy Prophet; (2) by laying down criteria by means of which the truth of a Prophet can be tested; (3) by enabling men to compare the teachings of the two Books; and (4) by helping to explain the fundamentals of the Law.
The word احزاب (opposing parties) generally signifies the parties that oppose the Prophets. As the Holy Prophet was raised for the whole of mankind, the words would here signify the followers of all the religions of the world other than Islam.
The words, be not thou in doubt about it, are addressed to the reader and not to the Holy Prophet. These words are preceded by the words, those who consider these matters believe therein, to point out that as there has already come into existence a party of men who believe in the Quran and the Holy Prophet, it is highly unreasonable to think that, whereas the evidences mentioned above have succeeded in bringing into existence a party of firm believers, the Prophet himself to whom those evidences were revealed should remain in doubt about their Divine origin. These words, therefore, cannot be said to have been addressed to the Holy Prophet. They are undoubtedly addressed to each and every reader of the Quran. (close)
وَ مَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ یُعۡرَضُوۡنَ عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ وَ یَقُوۡلُ الۡاَشۡہَادُ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَذَبُوۡا عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ ۚ اَلَا لَعۡنَۃُ اللّٰہِ عَلَی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۹﴾
وَمَنۡ أَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ كَذِبًاۚ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ يُعۡرَضُونَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ وَيَقُولُ ٱلۡأَشۡهَٰدُ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡۚ أَلَا لَعۡنَةُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
a. 6:22; 10:18; 61:8. (close)
1305. The witnesses may be the Divine Prophets. (close)
b. 39:61. (close)
a. 6:22; 10:18; 61:8. (close)
b. 39:61. (close)
The verse tells us that it is quite easy to distinguish a true claimant from a false one. Those who falsely lay claim to prophethood are most unjust and the unjust are under God’s curse. So it is not difficult to distinguish between true and false prophets. One can know false prophets from their very appearance and their very circumstances.
The word الاشھاد (witnesses) may here refer to true Prophets who will give the lie to their rejecters by pointing to the accursed condition of false prophets and inviting comparison with them. (close)
الَّذِیۡنَ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ یَبۡغُوۡنَہَا عِوَجًا ؕ وَ ہُمۡ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمۡ کٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَبۡغُونَهَا عِوَجٗا وَهُم بِٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ هُمۡ كَٰفِرُونَ
c. 3:100; 7:46; 14:4; 16:89. (close)
a. 3:100; 7:46; 14:4; 16:89. (close)
The purport of this verse is that the enemies of truth not only hinder men from the path of God but also adopt ways and means by which the beauty of God’s word may be spoiled or may remain hidden; and, instead of appearing attractive, it may look hideous and repulsive. This is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the enemies of truth. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ لَمۡ یَکُوۡنُوۡا مُعۡجِزِیۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا کَانَ لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ۘ یُضٰعَفُ لَہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ ؕ مَا کَانُوۡا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ السَّمۡعَ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَمۡ يَكُونُواْ مُعۡجِزِينَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِنۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَۘ يُضَٰعَفُ لَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُۚ مَا كَانُواْ يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَمَا كَانُواْ يُبۡصِرُونَ
1306. The leaders of disbelief will be punished both for their own sins and for the sins of those whom they misled. (close)
d. 26:213. (close)
b. 26:213. (close)
Those who forge lies against God (see v. 19) can never succeed in their wicked plans but only become involved in the meshes of their own schemes and stratagems.
God cannot be their friend and helper because of their fabricating lies against Him, and as God, the Lord of the universe, is angry with them, their own friends and sympathizers can be of no help to them.
The word یضاعف (will be doubled) being derived from ضعف (for which see 3:131), which means both "the double of a thing" or "an unlimited addition," is used here in both these senses. The punishment of disbelievers will be doubled in the sense that they will be punished both for their own sins and for the sins of those whom they misled. In the second sense, the verse means that their punishment will continue to increase absolutely; for by preaching and disseminating a false teaching they sowed the seeds of evil in the world, and as long as that evil subsists their punishment will continue.
Surprise is expressed in the words, They can neither hear, nor can they see, at those who falsely claim to be Divine Messengers. It is pointed out that although both true and false prophets have passed before them, yet they would not try to see what a miserable end the false prophets came to nor would they listen to the stories of their lives. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ ضَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ وَضَلَّ عَنۡهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفۡتَرُونَ
a. 7:54; 10:31. (close)
a. 7:54; 10:31. (close)
1403. Important Words:
For the meaning of the word خسر (khasira) see 6:13. The word is really intransitive, though for the sake of convenience it has been translated here as transitive. (close)
لَا جَرَمَ اَنَّہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمُ الۡاَخۡسَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ هُمُ ٱلۡأَخۡسَرُونَ
b. 16:110. (close)
b. 16:110. (close)
1404. Important Words:
لاجرم (undoubtedly). They say جرمه i.e. he cut it or he cut it off. جرم لاھله means, he acquired or earned for his family. جرم also means, he committed a fault or sin or crime. The expression لاجرم means, there is no avoiding (lit. cutting) it; or it is absolutely necessary; verily or truly. It also sometimes gives the sense of "nay" (Lane).
The verse purports to say that though disbelievers may do a slight harm to the Prophets of God in this life, in the life to come they alone will suffer. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اَخۡبَتُوۡۤا اِلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَنَّۃِ ۚ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ وَأَخۡبَتُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ أَصۡحَٰبُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِۖ هُمۡ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
c. 2:83; 4:58; 3:58; 13:30; 22:57; 29:8; 30:16; 42:23. (close)
1307. In order to attain to the higher stages of spiritual progress, perfect conviction, complete submission to, and full trust in God and sincere love for Him are essential in addition to right belief and good works. (close)
c. 2:83; 3:58; 4:58; 13:30; 22:57; 29:8; 30:16; 42:23. (close)
1405. Important Words:
اخبتوا (humbled themselves) is derived from خبت. They say خبت ذکرہ meaning, the mention of him or it was or became concealed, i.e. he or it was or became obscure and of no repute or became concealed. اخبت الی الله means, he was or became lowly, humble or submissive in heart and obedient to God; or he humbled or abased himself to his Lord; or he trusted his Lord. خبت (khabtun) means, a low or depressed tract of land; or a wide and low tract of ground; or a soft tract of ground which is easy to walk through (Lane).
The verse makes it clear that in order to attain to the highest stages of spiritual progress, mere faith and good works are not sufficient; perfect conviction, complete submission and full trust in God and sincere love for Him are also essential. Just as a child is happy and satisfied only when it is in the lap of its mother, similarly he who desires to make real spiritual progress should humble himself before God, place complete trust in Him and always turn to Him for help. (close)