یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا رَاعِنَا وَ قُوۡلُوا انۡظُرۡنَا وَ اسۡمَعُوۡا ؕ وَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۵﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَقُولُواْ رَٰعِنَا وَقُولُواْ ٱنظُرۡنَا وَٱسۡمَعُواْۗ وَلِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ
b. 4:47. (close)
131. The word Ra‘ina belongs to the measure of Mufa‘alah which generally gives the sense of reciprocity, denoting two parties standing almost on the same level, and may mean, "have regard for us that we may have regard for you." Or being traced to the root Ra‘in which means, a foolish or conceited fellow, the word signifies: 'O fool' or 'O conceited fellow.' As this expression involved disrespect to the Holy Prophet, God forbids Muslims to use such words, and advises them to use language which is respectful and unequivocal, such as the word Unzurna meaning 'wait for us.' After mentioning the intrigues which the Jews of Arabia had carried on with outsiders to ruin the mission of the Holy Prophet, the Qur’an proceeds to illustrate in this verse such of their machinations as they resorted to in order to belittle the Holy Prophet and sow dissension and discord among Muslims. An apparently minor illustration is selected to emphasize the fact that where the spirit of a people is concerned, sometimes very small things bring about dangerous results which undermine among them the spirit of discipline and respect for authority. (close)
a. 4:47. (close)
111. Important Words:
راعنا (ra‘ina) is derived from رعی meaning, he watched or looked on. راعه means, he looks towards him with goodly feeling or he had regard for him. راع امرہ means, he watched his affair. راعنی سمعك means, lend me your ear or listen to what I say. راع النجوم means, he watched the stars and waited for their setting (Aqrab). So راعنا would mean, look to us or have a regard for us. Or the word is derived from the root رعن i.e. he acted foolishly in which case راعن would mean, a fool; a conceited person; a proud man (Aqrab).
انظرنا (unzurna) is derived from نظر meaning, he looked, or he saw, or he had regard for. So انظرنا would mean, look to us or have regard for us. Both these words, i.e. راعنا and انظرنا are used by a listener when he cannot follow the speech of a speaker. They roughly give the sense of, "I request you to repeat what you have said" or, to give a commoner idiom, "I beg your pardon"; or they are used on similar other occasions when one desires to draw the attention of a person towards oneself.
After mentioning the intrigues which the Jews carried on with outsiders to ruin the mission of the Holy Prophet, the Quran proceeds to illustrate such of their machinations as they resorted to in order to belittle the Holy Prophet and sow dissension and discord among Muslims. An apparently minor illustration is selected to emphasize the fact that where the spirit of a people is concerned, sometimes very small things bring about dangerous results, inasmuch as they help to undermine the spirit of discipline and respect for authority. It is hinted that the Jews were in the habit of devising plans to detract from the due respect with which the minds of the Muslims were inspired towards the Holy Prophet. One of these mean attempts was to address such words to the Holy Prophet as were not quite in harmony with a spirit of discipline and respect; or bore a twofold sense, one good and the other bad. Some Muslims, in innocent imitation of the Jews and in ignorance of the latter’s real motive, sometimes began to imitate their language.
One of the words used by the Jews was راعنا (ra‘ina) which, as explained under Important Words, means, have regard for us. But as the word راعنا belongs to the measure of مفاعلة which generally gives the idea of reciprocity denoting two parties standing almost on the same level, it may mean, have regard for us that we may have regard for you. As this expression involved disrespect to the Holy Prophet, God forbids Muslims to use such words, and advises them to use language which is perfectly respectful and unequivocal. He exhorts them to say انظرنا instead of راعنا because the former expression, though having a similar meaning, conveys no bad sense. God further enjoins Muslims to listen to the Holy Prophet attentively, so that they may not need such words at all.
The word راعنا which the Muslims were forbidden to use can, as pointed out above, also be traced to the root راعن which means, a fool or a conceited person. When used in addressing a person, it takes the form of راعنا which may mean, "O fool" or "O conceited person".
The Jews, utterly depraved in mentality, resorted to these mean practices with a view to belittling the position of the Holy Prophet and undermining the spirit of respect in which he was held by his followers. The Quran has mentioned this incident with a twofold purpose; firstly, to expose the Jews and to bring home to them their mean and mischievous intentions; secondly, to teach the Muslims a lesson of respect and caution. For the testimony of the Hadith to such incidents see Jarir and Manthur under 2:105. (close)
مَا یَوَدُّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ لَا الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ اَنۡ یُّنَزَّلَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ خَیۡرٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَخۡتَصُّ بِرَحۡمَتِہٖ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۱۰۶﴾
مَّا يَوَدُّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَلَا ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّنۡ خَيۡرٖ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَخۡتَصُّ بِرَحۡمَتِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ
a. 3:75. (close)
The People of the Book and the pagan tribes of Arabia grudged the favours which were being bestowed by God on Muslims. In reply to this, God says that He, being the Lord and Master of the entire Universe, could not forever bind Himself to one people but chose for His bounty whomsoever He pleased from among His creation. But now when He has chosen the Muslims, He is not confining His favours to one people only. The mission of the Holy Prophet being for all mankind, the call to come and receive God’s favours is universal and hence no people need now show envy or grudge. With the advent of Islam the era of الفضل العظیم i.e. "exceeding (viz. universal) bounty" had dawned. (close)
مَا نَنۡسَخۡ مِنۡ اٰیَۃٍ اَوۡ نُنۡسِہَا نَاۡتِ بِخَیۡرٍ مِّنۡہَاۤ اَوۡ مِثۡلِہَا ؕ اَلَمۡ تَعۡلَمۡ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۰۷﴾
۞مَا نَنسَخۡ مِنۡ ءَايَةٍ أَوۡ نُنسِهَا نَأۡتِ بِخَيۡرٖ مِّنۡهَآ أَوۡ مِثۡلِهَآۗ أَلَمۡ تَعۡلَمۡ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٌ
b. 16:102. (close)
131A. Ayah means, message, sign, command or a verse of the Qur’an (Lane). (close)
132. It is mistakenly inferred from this verse that some verses of the Qur’an have been abrogated. The conclusion is patently erroneous and unwarranted. There is nothing in this verse to indicate that the word Ayah refers to Quranic verses. Both in the preceding and the following verses, a reference is made to the People of the Book and their jealousies against the new Revelation which shows that the Ayah spoken of in this verse as being abrogated, refers to the previous Revelations. It is pointed out that the previous Scriptures contained two kinds of commandments: (a) Those which, owing to changed conditions and to the universality of the new Revelation, required abrogation. (b) Those containing eternal truths which needed resuscitation so that people might be reminded of the forgotten truth. It was, therefore, necessary to abrogate certain portions of those Scriptures and bring in their place new ones, and also to restore the lost ones. So, God abrogated some portions of the previous Revelations, substituting them with new and better ones, and at the same time re-introduced the missing portions by similar ones. This is the meaning which is consistent with the context and the general spirit of the Quranic teaching. The Qur’an has abrogated all previous Scriptures; for, in view of the changed conditions of mankind, it has brought a new Law which is not only better than all the old Laws, but is also meant for all men for all times. An inferior teaching with a limited mission must give place to a superior teaching with a universal mission. In the verse the word Nansakh (We abrogate) relates to the word Bi-Khairin (one better) and the word Nunsiha (We cause to be forgotten) relates to the word Bi-Mithliha (the like thereof), meaning that when God abrogates a certain thing He brings a better one in its place and when He causes a thing to be forgotten, He resuscitates it. It is admitted by Jewish scholars themselves that after the Israelites were carried away in captivity to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, the whole of the Pentateuch was lost (Enc. Bib.). (close)
a. 16:102. (close)
113. Important Words:
ننسخ (We abrogate) is derived from نسخ which has two meanings: (1) he abrogated or annulled, irrespective of the fact whether he brought another in its place or not; (2) he prepared a true copy of a book (Aqrab). It is from the latter sense that the word نسخة or "copy" is derived. From the former sense we derive the words ناسخ i.e. the thing which comes to abrogate another, and منسوخ i.e. the thing which is abrogated.
ننسھا (We cause to be forgotten) is derived from نسی meaning, he forgot, or he failed to preserve in his mind. انسی is the causative form of نسی meaning, he made a person forget a thing (Aqrab).
مثل (like) has three distinct uses: (1) either it is used to denote the like of a thing; (2) or it is used to denote a thing itself; (3) or sometimes it is redundant, giving no special meaning (Aqrab & Misbah).
Some commentators have attempted to infer from this verse that some of the verses of the Quran have been abrogated by others. But this conclusion is grievously erroneous and unwarranted. There is nothing in this verse to indicate that the word آیة (Sign) occurring here refers to the Quranic verses. Both in the preceding and the following verses, a reference is made to the People of the Book and their jealousies for the new revelation, which clearly shows that the word آیة spoken of in this verse as being abrogated, refers to the previous revelation. It is pointed out in this verse that the previous Scriptures contained two kinds of commandments. Firstly, those which, owing to the changed conditions of the world and the universality of the new revelation, required abrogation; secondly, those containing eternal truths which did not require abrogation but simply resuscitation so that people might be reminded of the forgotten truth. It was, therefore, necessary (1) to abrogate certain portions and bring in their place new ones, and (2) to restore the lost ones. So, God abrogated some portions of the old Books, replacing them with new and better ones, and at the same time He re-introduced the missing portions by similar ones. This is the only meaning which is consistent with the context and the general spirit of Quranic teaching. In the verse the word ننسخ (We abrogate) relates to the words بخیر (one better) and the words ننسھا (cause to be forgotten) relate to the words بمثلھا (the like thereof) meaning that when God abrogates a certain thing He brings a better thing in its place and when He causes a thing to be forgotten, i.e. when people forget a thing, He brings it over again, i.e. He resuscitates it.
The Jews themselves admit that after the Israelites were carried as captives to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, the whole of the Pentateuch was lost (Enc. Bib, 653-654).
The meaning put on the verse by some Translators, viz., that certain verses of the Quran stand abrogated is not only opposed to the words of the Quran and the context of the verse, but is also against reason; nor can any authentic saying of the Holy Prophet be quoted in its favour. On the contrary, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said that the whole of the Quran must be strictly followed and he himself acted upon all its teachings throughout his life. Besides this, the Quran itself testifies to its own purity and integrity. The well-known verse: Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation and most surely We will be its Guardian (15:10) leads to no other conclusion. If the abrogation of any part of the Quran be conceded, the promise about its protection becomes null and void, for in that case it would be impossible to distinguish the abrogated portions from the rest of the Book. Again, there is absolutely no self-contradiction in the Quran, and therefore there is no need of resorting to the theory of abrogation. So-called contradictions only betray lack ofdeep study on the part of those who proclaim them. When one fails to understand two verses in their true relations, one is inclined to see a contradiction between them and then takes recourse to the convenient theory that one of the two verses must have been abrogated by the other. As soon as they appear to be reconcilable, the abrogation theory becomes gratuitous. This is why those who have upheld the abrogation theory have gradually been compelled to reduce the number of abrogated verses; for whereas the abrogated verses were formerly thought to be as many as 500, they have, by later scholars, been gradually reduced to only five. But even this is incorrect; for there is absolutely no verse in the Quran which is abrogated and we challenge any critic to come forward and prove that any verse of the Holy Book is abrogated. It is a pity that such beautiful significance of the verse under comment should have, as has been briefly portrayed above, become marred through ignorance and thoughtlessness. The verse has a reference to yet another significance as well.The People of the Book have been told that the Quran has come to abrogate all previous Scriptures; for, in view of the changed conditions of mankind, it has brought a new شریعة (Law) which is not only better than all the old codes of Law, but is also meant for all men and all times. An inferior thing with a limited mission must give place to a superior thing with a universal mission. Having explained this point, the Quran proceeds to say that although its teachings are meant for all time, yet a period is destined to come in the life of Islam when, though the letter of the Quran would still be intact, its spirit would be forgotten and lost by Muslims. When such a time comes, God will arrange to resuscitate the Quranic teachings, i.e. bring back "the like thereof" by raising a special Reformer from among Muslims. This prophecy is referred to more pointedly in 62:4 where God promises to raise a Reformer in the likeness of the Holy Prophet in the Latter Days. This Reformer, it is pointed out, would bring back the true faith to the world, even if it had soared away as high as the Pleiades (Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir). The prophecy has been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. (close)
اَلَمۡ تَعۡلَمۡ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ لَہٗ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۱۰۸﴾
أَلَمۡ تَعۡلَمۡ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهُۥ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِيّٖ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
a. 3:190; 5:41; 7:159; 9:116; 43:86; 57:6. (close)
a. 3:190; 5:41; 7:159; 9:116; 43:86; 57:6. (close)
114. Important Words:
ولی (protector). They say ولی الرجل i.e. he helped him; or he made friends with him. ولی البلد means, he got control or authority over the town. So ولی means: (1) friend; (2) helper; (3) protector; (4) ally, etc. (Aqrab).
In this verse an argument has been brought forth in support of the fact that Quranic revelation abrogates the previous revelations. God says that to Him belongs the entire universe, the heavens and the earth, and it was in the fitness of things that finally a revelation meant for the whole of mankind should have made its appearance.
In the verse, the Jews are also told that it will be to their own interest to embrace Islam; for otherwise they will have neither friend nor helper against Allah.
There is a subtle implication in the verse, viz. that the Muslims, though despised and persecuted today, will not only receive spiritual favours from God, but will also become masters of large earthly kingdoms as well; for is not Allah the Controller of the heavens and the earth? (close)
اَمۡ تُرِیۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ تَسۡـَٔلُوۡا رَسُوۡلَکُمۡ کَمَا سُئِلَ مُوۡسٰی مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَبَدَّلِ الۡکُفۡرَ بِالۡاِیۡمَانِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ السَّبِیۡلِ ﴿۱۰۹﴾
أَمۡ تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَسۡـَٔلُواْ رَسُولَكُمۡ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِن قَبۡلُۗ وَمَن يَتَبَدَّلِ ٱلۡكُفۡرَ بِٱلۡإِيمَٰنِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ
b. 4:154. (close)
133. This verse mentions another artifice which the Jews employed to overthrow the mission of the Holy Prophet. They asked him absurd and silly questions as had no bearing on religion. This they did to inoculate Muslims with the spirit of stupid questioning, so that the dignity of faith should suffer and they may fall victim to doubts. (close)
115. Important Words:
سواء (right) is derived from سوی. They say سوی الرجل i.e. his affairs became straight and well. سواء means: (1) the central portion of a thing; (2) equal. سواء السبیل means, the straight or right portion of a way; or a straight or right way (Lisan & Aqrab).
This verse mentions another artifice which the Jews employed to overthrow the mission of the Holy Prophet. They asked him absurd and silly questions as had no bearing on religion. This they did to inoculate Muslims with the same spirit of stupid questioning, so that their hearts might gradually become estranged from the dignity of faith and give way to doubt. In warning Muslims against such a course, the Quran points out that the Jews had ruined themselves by putting similar questions to Moses, and that the Muslims should, therefore, beware of following their evil example. In fact, unnecessary and irrelevant questions in religious matters eventually lead one to loss of faith, for they tend to degrade religion to a plaything or a piece of idle philosophy.
As to the nature of questions put to Moses by the Israelites, the Quran refers to one in 4:154. Says God: The People of the Book ask thee to cause a Book to descend on them from heaven. They asked Moses a greater thing than this; they said, 'Show us Allah openly.' then a destructive punishment overtook them because of their transgression. Then they took the calf for worship after clear Signs had come to them, but We pardoned even that. And We gave Moses manifest authority. This verse gives us an indication as to the nature of the questions that were put to Moses, and Muslims are forbidden to put such questions to their Prophet. (close)
وَدَّ کَثِیۡرٌ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ لَوۡ یَرُدُّوۡنَکُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اِیۡمَانِکُمۡ کُفَّارًا ۚۖ حَسَدًا مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الۡحَقُّ ۚ فَاعۡفُوۡا وَ اصۡفَحُوۡا حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ اللّٰہُ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱۰﴾
وَدَّ كَثِيرٞ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لَوۡ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ إِيمَٰنِكُمۡ كُفَّارًا حَسَدٗا مِّنۡ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقُّۖ فَٱعۡفُواْ وَٱصۡفَحُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِيَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمۡرِهِۦٓۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ
a. 3:101, 150; 4:90. (close)
b. 5:14. (close)
c. 5:53; 16:34. (close)
b. a5:14. (close)
c. b5:53; 16:34. (close)
116. Important Words:
فاعفوا (forgive) is derived from عفا. They say عفا عنه or عفا له or عفا ذنبه or عفا عن ذنبه meaning, he forgave and pardoned him and did not resort to punishment; he connived at his fault or offence. عفا الله عنه means, God obliterated the traces of his sin. عفا عن الشیء means, he withheld or restrained himself from it (Aqrab).
اصفحوا (turn away) is derived from صفح. They say صفح عنه meaning, he turned his face from it, he avoided it and left it alone; he pardoned him his sin. الصفح means, the side of a thing; or the side of a face, i.e. the cheek, etc. (Aqrab).
امر (decree). The verb امر means, he commanded or he enjoined or he asked. So امر means, a command; an order; a decree; a judgement; an affair; a thing; a condition or state; an event. امرالله means, the promised or the decreed punishment of God (Aqrab & Lane).
By manifold devices, some of which have been referred to above, the Jews wished to lead the Muslims astray, and their designs had their basis in jealousy. Muslims are exhorted not to quarrel with them but to wait patiently in a spirit of forbearance, till God Himself should finally decide the matter.
As explained under Important Words above, there is a subtle distinction between the meanings of عفو (forgive) and صفح(turn away). Whereas the former means, abstaining from punishment, the latter signifies, turning one’s face away or leaving a thing alone. By using the words together, God exhorts Muslims not only to forgive the Jews and refrain from punishing them for their overt hostile acts and covert machinations, but to leave them alone and remain aloof from them till God Himself opened out a way for them, which He eventually did, as soon afterwards the Jews themselves declared war against the Muslims.
It is wrong to think that the words, till Allah brings His decree, refer to aggressive war. It is God’s general decree or judgement that is meant here, as may be inferred from the words that follow, viz. surely, Allah has the power to do all that He wills. Some of the Jews embraced Islam and the rest perished as a result of divine punishment.
The phrase, out of envy from themselves, means that the Holy Prophet had done nothing to excite their jealousy, but that it was their own evil nature that had given rise to it. The disease of حسد (jealousy) originated in their own hearts and had no infection from outside. (close)
وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتُوا الزَّکٰوۃَ ؕ وَ مَا تُقَدِّمُوۡا لِاَنۡفُسِکُمۡ مِّنۡ خَیۡرٍ تَجِدُوۡہُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱۱﴾
وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنۡ خَيۡرٖ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ
d. See 2:4. (close)
e. 73:21. (close)
a. See 2:4. (close)
b. 73:21. (close)
When one is subjected to continued persecution, one is apt to lose patience. But Muslims were enjoined to meekly endure troubles and torments, and in order to be able to do so, they were ordered to resort to الصلوة (prayers to God) on the one hand, and to الزکوة (helping mankind) on the other. By so doing, they would acquire from God the power to endure.
The words, whatever good you send on before you for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah, contain a deep spiritual truth. Whatever good man does is kept in store for him by Allah and nothing is lost. Every good work is like a seed which may lie hidden from the public view but is all the time a large tree in the making. So the Muslims should not think that their Prayers and their Zakah will be lost. They are sure to bring forth good fruit sooner or later. (close)
وَ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ یَّدۡخُلَ الۡجَنَّۃَ اِلَّا مَنۡ کَانَ ہُوۡدًا اَوۡ نَصٰرٰی ؕ تِلۡکَ اَمَانِیُّہُمۡ ؕ قُلۡ ہَاتُوۡا بُرۡہَانَکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾
وَقَالُواْ لَن يَدۡخُلَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوۡ نَصَٰرَىٰۗ تِلۡكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمۡۗ قُلۡ هَاتُواْ بُرۡهَٰنَكُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
f. 2:95; 62:7. (close)
134. The Jews and the Christians both suffer from the delusion that only a Jew or a Christian could obtain salvation. (close)
c. 2:95; 62:7. (close)
118. Important Words:
ھود (the Jews) has by some been looked upon as the plural of ھائد which is active participle from ھاد meaning, he repented and turned towards the truth or towards God. In this sense ھود would mean, a people who have turned to God with repentance. The word ھود is a proper name for the Jews. The original and commoner word, however, is الیھود or یھود from which, according to some, the letter یا has been dropped, leaving the word ھود (Aqrab). See also 2:63.
So far Christians were not separately addressed. But now the Quran mentions them along with the Jews, indicating that their case was no better than that of the latter, both being under the delusion that one could obtain salvation merely by becoming a Jew or a Christian. They forgot the fact that when God had established a fresh covenant, salvation could not be possible without conforming thereto. If, however, the Jews and the Christians were justified in their claims, they should advance some reasons or scriptural evidence to show that it was enough for the purposes of salvation to join their folds. And they could not do it, because in their very Scriptures was foretold the appearance of a Prophet whom they were enjoined to accept and whose rejection was stated to lead to estrangement from God.
Christianity, as well as Judaism, was meant for the guidance of the Israelites alone. The mission of Jesus was not meant for the whole world (Matt. 7:6; 10:6; 15:24; Mark 7:27). Though later on the followers of Jesus violated the limit imposed upon his mission and claimed universality for it, yet the hard fact remains that he was sent only for the Israelites, and his mission was to uplift that people alone. As other nations of the world are also the creation of God, it is therefore only right to believe that God must have made some arrangement for their guidance as well. Hence, it is quite unreasonable on the part of the Jews and Christians to hold that the door of salvation was closed against the followers of other faiths. Such a view would mean that God had confined salvation to certain tribes, to the exclusion of others, which is evidently absurd.
Islam, however, is not exposed to that objection. In the first place, it is not a tribal faith, but is universal in character. In the Quran, God enjoins the Holy Prophet to Say, O mankind! truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah (7:159). Similarly, there is a saying of the Holy Prophet to the effect, "I have been sent for the whole mankind while the Prophets before me were sent to particular peoples only" (Musnad).
Secondly, unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam does not hold Hell to be ever-lasting, but a place of reformation, where sinners will be purged of their sins to enable them to find their way ultimately to Heaven and enjoy the reward of whatever good deeds they had done in this world. On the other hand, Islam looks upon the bounties of Heaven to be everlasting. With Jews and Christians, it is only the wish that has been father to the thought and nothing else. Produce your proof, if you are truthful, says the Quran. (close)
بَلٰی ٭ مَنۡ اَسۡلَمَ وَجۡہَہٗ لِلّٰہِ وَ ہُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ فَلَہٗۤ اَجۡرُہٗ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہٖ ۪ وَ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۳﴾٪
بَلَىٰۚ مَنۡ أَسۡلَمَ وَجۡهَهُۥ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٞ فَلَهُۥٓ أَجۡرُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ
g. 4:126. (close)
135. Wajh means, face; the thing itself; object and motive; deed or action to which a man directs his attention; the desired way; favour or countenance (Aqrab). (close)
a. See 2:63. (close)
a. 4:126. (close)
b. See 2:63. (close)
119. Important Words:
بلی (nay) is used for تصدیق (confirmation) and generally follows a question. It must be followed by a clause in the affirmative, whether the question which it follows is in the negative or affirmative. Thus in English it may either be rendered as yes or nay, as the case may be, but not as no (Aqrab & Lane).
اسلم (submits) is derived from سلم which means, he was or became safe and secure, or he escaped. سلم من العیب والآفة means, he became safe or free from defect and evil. اسلم which is both transitive and intransitive means: (1) he embraced Islam; (2) he resigned or submitted himself; (3) he paid in advance. اسلم وجھه لله means, he submitted or resigned himself wholly to God, or he devoted his entire attention to God, or he resigned himself to God (Lane & Aqrab).
وجھه (himself). وجه means: (1) face; (2) the part of a thing visible to the sight of a looker on; (3) the thing itself; (4) direction; (5) object and motive; (6) deed or action to which a man directs his attention; (7) the desired way; (8) favour or countenance as in فعل ذالك لوجه الله i.e. he did it to obtain the favour or countenance of God (Aqrab).
محسن (doer of good) is derived from حسن meaning, he or it became good or beautiful. احسن الیه means, he did good to, or bestowed a favour on him. احسن الشیء means, he rendered the thing good or beautiful. احسان means, the doing of good; act of goodness; sincerity. الحسنی (feminine of الاحسن) means: (1) success or victory; (2) best thing; (3) the view or vision of God; to see God (Aqrab & Lane).
The verse is important and explains a fundamental truth. In refutation of the claims of Jews and Christians to the monopoly of salvation, the Quran mentions the fundamental principle that for salvation it is not of any avail to be a Christian or a Jew, but that it lies in اسلام which signifies absolute surrender to God’s will and unqualified compliance with His word. He who secures this secures salvation; mere profession of a faith is not enough. The word محسن (the doer of good deeds), as also hinted under Important Words above, has been explained by the Holy Prophet as follows:
ان تعبد الله كانك تراہ فان لم تكن تراہ فانه یراك
i.e. "you may become a محسن only if you pray to or worship God in such a spirit of reality and certitude that you feel that you are seeing Him (and that God also is seeing you); or (with a lower degree of certitude) that you at least feel that God is seeing you." محسن also means, one who does good to God’s creatures. Thus according to Islam, salvation lies, (1) in اسلام or absolute submission to the will of God; and (2) in true worship of God offered with a perfect degree of certitude; and (3) in doing good to one’s fellow beings.
It is a distinctive feature of Islam that it makes its followers realize the presence of God and continued contact with Him a reality, and thus enables them to establish a true and permanent connection with Him even in this life. This is really the beginning of salvation. The Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement has explained this verse in the following beautiful words:
"The verse alludes to the three important stages of perfect goodness, i.e. (1) فنا (self-annihilation); (2) بقا (regeneration); and (3) لقا (union with God). The words اسلم وجھه لله (submits himself completely to Allah) teach that all our powers and organs and whatever belongs to us should be surrendered to God and devoted to His service. This state is known فناء or death which a true Muslim must bring on himself…The second clause وھومحسن (and is the doer of good) alludes to the state of بقا or regeneration, for when a man is quickened by the love of God and all his movements become subservient to His will, his self dying entirely within him, he is, as it were, granted a new life which may be called بقا or regeneration. He lives for God, and through Him he lives for his fellow beings…The concluding words, (he) shall have his reward with His Lord. No fear shall come upon such, neither shall they grieve, describe the third or the final stage—the stage of لقا or union with God. It is the highest stage of knowledge, certainty, trust and love. The reward of one’s sincerity and devotion is not obscure or doubtful. It is certain, visible, and, as it were, tangible. In this stage man is so sure of the existence of God that he may be said to be actually seeing Him. No fear of the future darkens his faith. The dead past is buried and the living present has no sorrow for him. Every spiritual bliss is present. Such a state is termed لقا or union with God" (A’inah). (close)
وَ قَالَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ لَیۡسَتِ النَّصٰرٰی عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ ۪ وَّ قَالَتِ النَّصٰرٰی لَیۡسَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ ۙ وَّ ہُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡنَ الۡکِتٰبَ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ مِثۡلَ قَوۡلِہِمۡ ۚ فَاللّٰہُ یَحۡکُمُ بَیۡنَہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ فِیۡمَا کَانُوۡا فِیۡہِ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴﴾
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلنَّصَٰرَىٰ عَلَىٰ شَيۡءٖ وَقَالَتِ ٱلنَّصَٰرَىٰ لَيۡسَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ عَلَىٰ شَيۡءٖ وَهُمۡ يَتۡلُونَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَۗ كَذَٰلِكَ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ مِثۡلَ قَوۡلِهِمۡۚ فَٱللَّهُ يَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
b. 5:69. (close)
c. 5:69. (close)
136. Shai’ means, a thing; anything good; concern; what is willed (Lane).
Nothing is more foreign to the whole spirit of Islam than opposition to truth. Islam teaches that all faiths possess certain truths and a religion is called true not because it has a monopoly of truth but because it possesses the whole truth and is free from all forms of untruth. While claiming to be a perfect and complete religion, Islam frankly acknowledges the truths and virtues other faiths possess. (close)
a. 5:69. (close)
b. 5:69. (close)
120. Important Words:
الیھود (the Jews) signifies the followers of Moses or of what is known as Judaism. The word as already explained is either derived from ھاد which means, he turned to God or to the truth with repentance (Aqrab); or it is derived from یھودا (Judah) who was one of the sons of Jacob. As the descendants of یھودا formed an independent kingdom at Jerusalem which became the religious centre of the Jews, therefore the Jewish religion came to be known as Judaism and the people professing that religion as یھود or Jews (Enc. Brit. under the word Jews. See also 2:63 and 2:112).
یتلون (they read) is derived from تلا which means: (1) he followed; (2) he read or recited (Aqrab). The Quran says والقمراذا تلاھاi.e. by the moon when it follows the sun; and again یتلوا علیھم آیاته i.e. the Prophet reads or recites to them God’s Signs. In the present verse the word یتلون may be taken to signify either of these two senses, i.e. they both read the same Book or they both follow the same Book. See also 2:103.
Nothing is more foreign to the spirit of Islam than opposition to truth, wherever it may happen to be. Islam teaches that all faiths possess certain truths and the true religion is so called not because it has a monopoly of truth, but because it possesses all truth and is free from all defects. While, therefore, claiming to be a perfect and complete religion, Islam does not denounce other faiths but frankly acknowledges the truths and the virtues they possess. If this golden principle of Islam be properly understood and appreciated, much existing religious rancour and bitterness would disappear. But unfortunately, there is a general tendency among the followers of different religious systems to refuse to acknowledge the truth found in faiths, other than their own. The Quran declares this attitude of mind to be the result of lack of knowledge and wisdom, and this verse strongly condemns Jews and Christians for refusing to see any good whatever in the rival faith, in spite of the fact that they have a good deal in common, being the followers of the same Book—the Bible. (close)