وَ لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا کَالَّتِیۡ نَقَضَتۡ غَزۡلَہَا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ قُوَّۃٍ اَنۡکَاثًا ؕ تَتَّخِذُوۡنَ اَیۡمَانَکُمۡ دَخَلًۢا بَیۡنَکُمۡ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ اُمَّۃٌ ہِیَ اَرۡبٰی مِنۡ اُمَّۃٍ ؕ اِنَّمَا یَبۡلُوۡکُمُ اللّٰہُ بِہٖ ؕ وَ لَیُبَیِّنَنَّ لَکُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ مَا کُنۡتُمۡ فِیۡہِ تَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۹۳﴾
وَلَا تَكُونُواْ كَٱلَّتِي نَقَضَتۡ غَزۡلَهَا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَٰثٗا تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيۡمَٰنَكُمۡ دَخَلَۢا بَيۡنَكُمۡ أَن تَكُونَ أُمَّةٌ هِيَ أَرۡبَىٰ مِنۡ أُمَّةٍۚ إِنَّمَا يَبۡلُوكُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۚ وَلَيُبَيِّنَنَّ لَكُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ مَا كُنتُمۡ فِيهِ تَخۡتَلِفُونَ
b. 16:95. (close)
1572. This and the preceding verse lay the greatest stress on the inviolability of oaths which should be observed at all costs. (close)
1573. The Arabic expression is capable of three interpretations:
(1) Because one people (non-Muslims) are stronger and wealthier than the other people (Muslims), i.e. Muslims should not put other stronger people out of their guard by concluding with them a peace treaty, thus biding their time till a favourable opportunity arises and they are strong enough to dishonour it.
(2) For fear lest one people (non-Muslims) should become stronger and wealthier than the other people (Muslims).
(3) So that one people (Muslims) should become stronger than the other people (non-Muslims), i.e. Muslims should not make a treaty with non-Muslims with this object in view that by taking advantage of it they should add to their own strength and break it when they find themselves stronger than non-Muslims. (close)
a. 16:95. (close)
1893. Important Words:
انکاثا (pieces) is the plural of نکث (nikthun) which is derived from نکث (nakatha). They say نکث الحبل i.e. he untwisted the end of a rope. نکث العھد means, he broke the covenant. نکث السواک means, he made the head of the tooth-stick to be disintegrated, dis-united, or separated, in its fibres (Lane & Aqrab).
دخلا (means of deceit) is derived from دخل which means, he or it entered or went or got in. دخل (dakhalun) means, a thing that enters into another thing and is not of it; people or persons who assert their relationship to those of whom they are not; badness, corruptness or unsoundness; or a bad, a corrupt or an unsound state or quality. They say فی عقله دخلi.e. in his intellect is an unsoundness; rottenness; leanness or emaciation; perfidiousness, faithlessness or treachery; deceit, guile or circumvention. The Quranic expression ولا تتخذوا ایمانکم دخلا بینکم means, And make ye not your oaths to be a means of deceit or guile or circumvention between you. (Lane & Aqrab).
اربی (more powerful) is derived from ربا which means, it (the thing) increased or augmented; it increased by usury; ربت الارض means, the ground became large and swelled. اربیت means, I took more than I gave. اربی علی الخمیس ونحوھا means, he exceeded the age of fifty and the like. رباmeans, an excess and an addition. اربی means, more numerous, and more abundant in wealth (Lane & Aqrab).
This verse may be taken as a continuation of the subject matter of the previous verse or it may be understood to deal with a new subject. If it be taken as a continuation of the subject of the previous verse, it contains a warning to believers not to break covenants they have made with one another, for if solemn pledges are broken mutual trust disappears and the unity of the community becomes disintegrated. In fact, the strict observance of covenants and fulfilment of promises are really indispensable for the maintenance of communal concord and unity; for communal concord depends on mutual cooperation and the doing of good to one another. But these things are possible only when men abide by their promises and pledges. If promises solemnly made are not kept, general distrust prevails and the result is total disintegration of the unity of the community.
The verse may not only refer to the covenants which individuals make with one another, but may also comprise that solemn compact which Muslims make at the hands of their Imam or Khalifah, binding themselves to obey him and under his guidance to strive for the progress of the community and the Faith. The Faithful are warned in this verse that since God has organized them into a united and disciplined community under one Leader to whom they have sworn allegiance, they should remain true to him and refrain from creating discord. If they failed to live up to their high ideals, Islam would lose the prestige and power it has gained through their sacrifices. The verse also teaches the great truth, which Muslim statesmen and leaders may well bear in mind, that discord created by a few individuals breaks up a whole organization and all the labour expended on the organization of the community is wasted and fresh and renewed efforts have to be made to reorganize it. They should therefore be always on their guard against mischief-makers because if they allowed their organization to be broken up, they would be like that foolish woman who, "after having made it strong, breaks her yarn into pieces".
The verse seems also to refer to compacts which Muslims in future were destined to make with other nations. In that case, it would be taken as having started a new subject and the Muslims would be regarded as having been enjoined to remain faithful to their treaties, for it is on the strict observance of treaties that the peace of the world depends. The words, you make your oaths to be a means of deceit between you, refer not only to compacts which individuals make with one another but also to the treaties which nations make with one another. Both are inviolable and both must be strictly observed.
The words ان تکون امة ھی اربی من امة may be interpreted in three different ways: (1) because one people (non-Muslims) are stronger and wealthier than the other people (Muslims) i.e. to gain time by hoodwinking the stronger party; (2) lest one people (non-Muslims) should become stronger and wealthier than the other people (Muslims) i.e. to exploit the weaker party; and (3) that one people (Muslims) may become stronger and wealthier than the other people (non-Muslims) i.e. to weaken the stronger party. According to the first rendering, the verse would mean that Muslims should not use the treaties which they make with another nation in order to deceive them because they happen to be stronger in numbers and resources. That is to say, Muslims should not seek to put other people off their guard by concluding with them a treaty of peace, thus biding their time till a favourable opportunity arises and they are strong enough to dishonour their treaty.
According to the second rendering, the verse would mean that Muslims should not make treaties with a weaker nation with the evil intent of exploiting it and fraudulently taking possession of its country. According to the third rendering, however, the verse would mean that Muslims should not make treaties with other people with the object of weakening their strength or impeding their progress. These are the noble and sublime Islamic teachings with regard to the sacredness and inviolability of international treaties. To see one’s country great and powerful is a natural desire but under no circumstances is it permissible to Muslims to achieve it at the cost of treaties solemnly made or by fraudulent means. Treaties should be entered into with the noble object of maintaining international peace, and not for deceiving or harming other nations. The West may well learn a lesson from this noble teaching of the Quran.
The words, Surely, Allah tries you therewith, mean that such opportunities come as a trial, and God will see whether Muslims act upon the moral precepts of Islam or are led astray by the love of the world and imitate the example of other people. These teachings furnish remarkable evidence of the truth of the Quran and of the supremacy of Islam over other religions. The verse was revealed at Mecca, when Muslims did not possess even a single yard of land, but they were given teachings which were meant to guide the conduct of leaders of great nations and rulers of empires, and the instructions given were so noble and sublime that it was not possible to deny their superiority over other similar teachings. All the unrest and lack of trust so widespread among the nations of the world today is due to non-observance of these teachings. (close)
وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ لَجَعَلَکُمۡ اُمَّۃً وَّاحِدَۃً وَّ لٰکِنۡ یُّضِلُّ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَہۡدِیۡ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ عَمَّا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾
وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمۡ أُمَّةٗ وَٰحِدَةٗ وَلَٰكِن يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهۡدِي مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَلَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ
a. 5:49; 11:119. (close)
a. 5:49; 11:119. (close)
The verse means to say that the authors of such treaties as are concluded with the intent to deceive other peoples have in view no object other than that of establishing their own dominion in the world. But, says the Quran, if it had been the will of God that there should be only one dominant power in the earth, He Himself would have made one. There is therefore no justification in having recourse to dishonest means for the purpose of subduing other nations. A nation which seeks to impose its will and foist its domination upon other peoples against their consent will itself someday fall victim to the evil designs of another nation and lose its freedom. (close)
وَ لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡۤا اَیۡمَانَکُمۡ دَخَلًۢا بَیۡنَکُمۡ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌۢ بَعۡدَ ثُبُوۡتِہَا وَ تَذُوۡقُوا السُّوۡٓءَ بِمَا صَدَدۡتُّمۡ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ۚ وَ لَکُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۹۵﴾
وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوٓاْ أَيۡمَٰنَكُمۡ دَخَلَۢا بَيۡنَكُمۡ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمُۢ بَعۡدَ ثُبُوتِهَا وَتَذُوقُواْ ٱلسُّوٓءَ بِمَا صَدَدتُّمۡ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَكُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٞ
1574. Such conduct will weaken your power. (close)
The injunction contained in the previous verse has been repeated in the present one in order to bring home to Muslims the fact that although in principle it is not right to conclude treaties with dishonest motives, yet Muslims should particularly abstain from concluding such treaties, inasmuch as they are the bearers of the Divine Law and dishonest conduct on their part, even though it be in political affairs, will make men turn away from Islam. The words, or your foot will slip after it has been firmly established, mean that such conduct on the part of Muslims will weaken their power after it had become established in the earth. These words implied the great promise that although Muslims were being bitterly persecuted at Mecca by their opponents, yet the time was soon coming when God would establish their power on earth because such rules of conduct could only be laid down for a people who were destined to play a very prominent part in the politics of the world. The fulfilment of this prophecy under most unfavourable circumstances constitutes conclusive proof of the Quran being the revealed word of God. (close)
وَ لَا تَشۡتَرُوۡا بِعَہۡدِ اللّٰہِ ثَمَنًا قَلِیۡلًا ؕ اِنَّمَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ ہُوَ خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾
وَلَا تَشۡتَرُواْ بِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ ثَمَنٗا قَلِيلًاۚ إِنَّمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ هُوَ خَيۡرٞ لَّكُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
b. 3:78. (close)
1575. When people attain to power they generally fall victim to all sorts of temptations. Their enemies employ spies and informers among them and offer large bribes to know their State secrets. The Muslims are warned against succumbing to such temptations in the words: And barter not the covenant of Allah for a paltry price. (close)
a. 3:78. (close)
A great future was promised to Muslims in the foregoing verses. They were to attain power and glory. But, says the present verse, when people attain to power they fall victim to all sorts of temptations. Their enemies employ spies and informers from among them and offer large bribes to get possession of their State secrets. So Muslims are warned against succumbing to such temptations in the words: And barter not the covenant of Allah for a paltry price. They are warned that they would establish a republic at Medina, and their enemies would offer large bribes to some of their own members to disclose the secrets of the Muslim State to them, but these bribes, however large, would be quite a paltry thing compared with the boons which they would receive from God if they remained loyal to their State and led righteous lives.
The words, If you only knew, mean that Muslims could not even imagine, in the very difficult conditions under which they lived at Mecca, that they would ever rise to such great power as was ultimately theirs. (close)
مَا عِنۡدَکُمۡ یَنۡفَدُ وَ مَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ بَاقٍ ؕ وَ لَنَجۡزِیَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡۤا اَجۡرَہُمۡ بِاَحۡسَنِ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾
مَا عِندَكُمۡ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ بَاقٖۗ وَلَنَجۡزِيَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُوٓاْ أَجۡرَهُم بِأَحۡسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
c. 11:12; 39:11. (close)
b. 11:12; 39:11. (close)
The verse means to say that the sums of money which will be offered to you as bribes will soon be spent but the boons and favours which God will confer on you will endure not only in this world but will extend to the next.
The words, according to the best of their works, mean that while rewarding Muslims, God will take into consideration their best works and will reward them according to those works. In fact, the good works which a man does are of various degrees; some being of a higher standard of excellence than others. For the purpose of rewarding Muslims God will not consider their deeds of the lower type nor even of the middling standard, but will take into consideration their best works and will reward them according to these. Nay, God’s reward will exceed even their best works, for it will be at least ten times as much as their best deeds (6:161). But this great reward, it is added, will be conferred only on those who do not waver under hardships nor barter away their faith for a paltry price. (close)
مَنۡ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّنۡ ذَکَرٍ اَوۡ اُنۡثٰی وَ ہُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَلَنُحۡیِیَنَّہٗ حَیٰوۃً طَیِّبَۃً ۚ وَ لَنَجۡزِیَنَّہُمۡ اَجۡرَہُمۡ بِاَحۡسَنِ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾
مَنۡ عَمِلَ صَٰلِحٗا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوۡ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٞ فَلَنُحۡيِيَنَّهُۥ حَيَوٰةٗ طَيِّبَةٗۖ وَلَنَجۡزِيَنَّهُمۡ أَجۡرَهُم بِأَحۡسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
a. 3:196; 4:125; 20:113. (close)
1576. The verse recognizes the equality of the rights of men and women and promises both equal share in Divine favours. (close)
a. 3:196; 4:125; 20:113. (close)
Whereas on the one hand the verse recognizes the equality of rights of men and women and promises both equal share in the favours that God will confer on them, on the other it tells disbelievers that, as they have degraded women, dominion and authority would be taken away from them and would be given to a people—Muslims—who will give women their due rights. (close)
فَاِذَا قَرَاۡتَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ فَاسۡتَعِذۡ بِاللّٰہِ مِنَ الشَّیۡطٰنِ الرَّجِیۡمِ ﴿۹۹﴾
فَإِذَا قَرَأۡتَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ
In v. 97 it was said that those who would remain steadfast under hard trials would be favoured with great rewards. The present verse tells believers that the best way by which they could guard heavenly boons is that they should seek the protection of God against the attacks of Satan. The reason why Muslims are bidden to seek the protection of God against Satan while beginning to recite the Quran is that it is a most precious treasure from which Satan tries to keep men away. Hence the necessity of seeking God’s protection against Satan while beginning the recitation of the Quran lest worldly gains and material comforts should make men oblivious of their great spiritual objectives. (close)
اِنَّہٗ لَیۡسَ لَہٗ سُلۡطٰنٌ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ یَتَوَکَّلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾
إِنَّهُۥ لَيۡسَ لَهُۥ سُلۡطَٰنٌ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
b. 15:43; 17:66; 34:22. (close)
a. 15:43; 17:66; 34:22. (close)
This verse gives the reason why it is necessary to seek God’s protection against Satan. Satan can have no access to those who entrust their affairs to God. Such persons are beyond his approach. Those who call God to their help need have no fear of him. This means that seeking God’s protection is a form of trust in Him. (close)
اِنَّمَا سُلۡطٰنُہٗ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ یَتَوَلَّوۡنَہٗ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ بِہٖ مُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۱﴾٪
إِنَّمَا سُلۡطَٰنُهُۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوۡنَهُۥ وَٱلَّذِينَ هُم بِهِۦ مُشۡرِكُونَ
c. 2:258; 3:176; 7:28. (close)
b. 2:258; 3:176; 7:28. (close)
According to this verse Satan can exercise his influence only on those who make friends with him. Those who seek the protection of God against him declare him to be their enemy, and so they get beyond his control. The verse incidentally proves that v. 99 did not refer to the Holy Prophet as is wrongly assumed by some. Satan could not possibly have power over him. (close)
وَ اِذَا بَدَّلۡنَاۤ اٰیَۃً مَّکَانَ اٰیَۃٍ ۙ وَّ اللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا یُنَزِّلُ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّمَاۤ اَنۡتَ مُفۡتَرٍ ؕ بَلۡ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾
وَإِذَا بَدَّلۡنَآ ءَايَةٗ مَّكَانَ ءَايَةٖ وَٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُفۡتَرِۭۚ بَلۡ أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
d. 2:107. (close)
1577. The meaning is: "When We avert or delay punishment on account of a change for the better on the part of those who are threatened with it." There is no reference here to the abrogation of any of the verses of the Qur’an. There is no verse in the Qur’an which clashes with any other verse of the Book and which may therefore have to be regarded as abrogated. All parts of the Qur’an support and corroborate one another. There is nothing in the context either to suggest any reference to the idea of abrogation. (close)
c. 2:107. (close)
Before proceeding to explain this verse it is necessary to understand the real meaning of the word ایة which, primarily means "a sign". Unless there is something in the context to show that a word is taken in any of its secondary senses, we must take it in its primary sense. The verses of the Quran are called ایات (signs) because every one of them constitutes a sign of guidance. The preceding verses spoke of the punishments which were in store for disbelievers. This fact lends support to the view that the word ایة is here used in its original sense, viz. in the sense of a sign. Now the fulfilment of the prophecies of punishment depends on the attitude of those concerning whom they are made. If they are obstinate and persist in rejecting the signs of God, the threatened punishment overtakes them. But if they show repentance it is averted, deferred or delayed, for God is Merciful and His attribute of Mercy predominates over all His other attributes. The case of the people of Jonah is a well-known instance for understanding the nature and purpose of the prophecies of punishment. Jonah predicted destruction of the people of Nineveh, but they repented and renounced their evil ways. So God had mercy on them and averted the impending punishment (10:99), and in place of the sign of punishment, He showed a sign of mercy. On such occasions, i.e. when God averts or delays a predicted punishment in consonance with His attribute of Mercy, the sons of darkness accuse their Prophet of falsehood and declare that his prophecy has not been fulfilled. These critics conveniently ignore the fact that there is a vast difference between a promise and a threat. If a person does not keep his promise, he is rightly regarded as guilty of breach of a solemn undertaking but if he does not carry into actual effect his threat, he cannot be accused of any breach of promise. On the contrary, it will be regarded as an act of generosity and kindness on his part not to have done so. According to Arabic idiom also, whereas the non-fulfilment of a promise is called a breach of promise, the non-fulfilment of threat is regarded as an act of generosity. The Arabs say الخلف فی الوعد عند العرب کذب وفی الوعید کرم i.e. the breach of promise is a lie but the non-fulfilment of a threat is an act of generosity. God is Merciful, and if a person repents, His Mercy demands that punishment should be averted from him, and in such a case it will be foolish to accuse the Prophet of falsehood. The words, and Allah knows best what He reveals, mean that God knows best what kind of sign is required to be shown under particular circum-stances. He shows His signs according to the requirements of the time. If He sees that disbelievers have given up their evil course and are penitent, He refrains from punishing them and changes the form of the sign. In that case the threat of punishment is not carried out, and under such circumstances it is foolish to accuse the Prophet of falsehood. So the expression واذا بدلنا ایة مکان ایة would mean, When We avert or delay punishment on account of a change for the better on the part of those who are threatened with such punishment…
Taking the word ایة in the sense of Law, this expression would mean that when in certain matters the Law of Islam is found to differ from Laws previously revealed, disbelievers regard it as evidence of the Quran’s being a forgery. This meaning is in perfect harmony with the context. It is argued that when the Quran declares previous Laws to have been revealed by God, it should not have differed from them. But the admission that previous Laws have been revealed by God does not mean that none of their ordinances could be replaced by new ordinances. According to the Quran, the previous Laws were meant for particular peoples and for particular times. They were suited only to the requirements of the peoples for whom they were revealed. The Quran, on the other hand, constitutes a universal Law, meant for all peoples and all times, and therefore if it is found to contain certain teachings which differ from the teachings of previously revealed Scriptures, that is no evidence of the Quran’s being a forgery. On the other hand, it is but natural and necessary that the perfect and universal Law—the Quran—should differ in some of its ordinances from temporary and provisional Laws previously revealed.
It must be clearly understood that the verse contains no reference to the abrogation of any of the verses of the Quran. The Holy Prophet has not been reported to have ever declared any verse of the Quran to have been abrogated by another verse. Nor are there any verses in the Quran which clash with other parts of the Book and which may therefore have to be regarded as abrogated. All parts of the Quran support and corroborate one another. Moreover, there is nothing in the context to suggest any reference to the abrogation theory.
It is also worth remembering that the passage under comment was revealed in Mecca. In fact, the whole Surah belongs to the Meccan period. And the Surahs of the Meccan period deal with teachings pertaining to morals and matters of belief, and about these there can be no question of abrogation or revocation. (close)