یَمۡحَقُ اللّٰہُ الرِّبٰوا وَ یُرۡبِی الصَّدَقٰتِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یُحِبُّ کُلَّ کَفَّارٍ اَثِیۡمٍ ﴿۲۷۷﴾
يَمۡحَقُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ وَيُرۡبِي ٱلصَّدَقَٰتِۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ
352. This seems to be a prophecy that economics based on interest will eventually disappear or will be destroyed. (close)
a. 30:40. (close)
a. 30:40. (close)
283. Important Words:
یمحق (abolish) is derived from محق which means, he abolished or annulled or obliterated a thing; he annihilated it; he rendered a thing deficient and deprived it of its blessing of increase (Aqrab).
یربی (will cause to increase) is from the same root as ربا (interest) for which see 2:276.
The verse hints not only that Allah is abolishing interest and declaring it to be unlawful but that a time is coming when interest will he blotted out from the world and charity and alms will take its place. This promise was first fulfilled by the ascendancy of Islam in the East and the West, and now that the Promised Messiah, with whose advent the second and universal rise of Islam has been prophesied, has appeared, the promise will again be fulfilled by the re-ascendancy of Islam in the four corners of the world.
The words, Allah will abolish interest and will cause charity to increase, also contain the secret of world prosperity. If nations desire to prosper, they should stop the giving and taking of interest and practise charity instead. It is of interest to note that the word یربی (will cause to increase) is from the same root as ربا (interest). The clause thus beautifully hints that whereas the world looks upon the taking of interest as a means of increase, the real means thereof lies in charity. The words also mean that God, in His dealings with men, will deal kindly by those who spend their wealth in charity so that they will eventually prosper and thrive, while those who lend or borrow money at interest will be punished by God. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتَوُا الزَّکٰوۃَ لَہُمۡ اَجۡرُہُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ ۚ وَ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یَحۡزَنُوۡنَ ﴿۲۷۸﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَوُاْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرُهُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ
b. See 2:4. (close)
a. See 2:4. (close)
The verse points out that abstaining from interest and giving money in charity are highly righteous deeds and the righteous will have their reward with God. The verse also declares that in order to attain salvation (1) one must have true faith, and (2) do righteous deeds; and of the righteous deeds the verse singles out the two most important ones: firstly, the observance of Prayers, which pertains to the rights of God; and secondly, the giving of Zakah which pertains to the rights of men. The noble spirit underlying the commandment relating to Zakah runs counter to the evil spirit underlying the practice of giving and taking interest. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ ذَرُوۡا مَا بَقِیَ مِنَ الرِّبٰۤوا اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۷۹﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ ٱلرِّبَوٰٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
The verse hints that the taking of interest is against God-fearingness. The Creator loves goodness and beneficence towards the poor and the needy, fair and equitable distribution of wealth among people, and peace among the nations of the world; but the system of interest strikes at the very root of these blessings. The closing words of the verse hint that the taking of interest is also against true belief. (close)
فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَفۡعَلُوۡا فَاۡذَنُوۡا بِحَرۡبٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تُبۡتُمۡ فَلَکُمۡ رُءُوۡسُ اَمۡوَالِکُمۡ ۚ لَا تَظۡلِمُوۡنَ وَ لَا تُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸۰﴾
فَإِن لَّمۡ تَفۡعَلُواْ فَأۡذَنُواْ بِحَرۡبٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۖ وَإِن تُبۡتُمۡ فَلَكُمۡ رُءُوسُ أَمۡوَٰلِكُمۡ لَا تَظۡلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظۡلَمُونَ
286. Important Words:
فاذنوا (then beware of) is derived from اذن. They say اذن له i.e. he gave ear or listened to it or him; he permitted, or allowed him. أذن بالشیء means, he knew the thing; or he became informed or apprised of it. آذنه بالامر means, he made him to know the thing; or he notified or announced it to him. أذن (adhdhana) or تأذن (ta’adhdhana) means, he made known or notified or announced (Lane).
حرب (war) is from حرب. They say حربه i.e. he despoiled him of his wealth and property, leaving him without anything. حرب (hariba) means, he became greatly angry, or wrathful. الحرب means, war; hostilities (Aqrab).
رؤس اموالکم (your original sums). رؤس is the plural of رأس meaning: (1) head; (2) the upper or higher part or end of a thing; (3) chief or leader of a society. رأس الشھر means, the first day of the month. The word رأس also signifies the thing itself; as they say ھوقسم برأسه i.e. this is an independent species in itself. رأس المال means, the original sum without interest; principal; capital. The Arabs say اقرضنی عشرة برؤسھا i.e. he lent me a loan of ten pieces of money without interest (Aqrab & Lane).
The verse declares that the taking of interest is tantamount to waging war against God. It may be inferred from this that those among Muslims who lend money at interest, should be boycotted by the rest of the community. History bears testimony to the fact that such Muslim States as borrowed or lent money at interest were ruined.
It is often objected that no trade or commerce is possible without interest. This is not correct. There is no natural relation between trade and interest. The latter has become unconsciously associated with the former, as Western countries have based their commercial system on credit. If this had not been so, commerce would not have been dependent upon interest. Only a few hundred years ago, Muslims were responsible for a large part of the world’s commerce, and yet they carried it on without interest. They used to borrow money even from the poorer classes by way of partnership loans, and the commerce carried on by them thus contributed directly to the welfare of those classes. Interest is not at all essential for commerce, but as commerce is now being carried on, on the basis of interest, it appears as if without interest it would come to a standstill. No doubt, a change in the system would at first be inconvenient but the system of commerce depending upon interest can certainly be discarded.
Interest is, in fact, a leech which is fast sucking away the blood of humanity, especially of the lower and middle classes. Even the upper classes are not entirely secure against its poison, but they are deriving a false enjoyment from it like the proverbial leopard who ate away his own tongue by rubbing it against a rough stone, foolishly thinking it to be the blood and flesh of another animal. Unfortunately those who are willing to forego it are too weak to withstand the force of the current system.
The system of credit prevailing in Western countries is destructive to the peace of the world in two ways. On the one hand, it helps the accumulation of wealth in a few hands and, on the other, it facilitates war. No government can be imagined as entering upon a great war unless it relies upon its ability to raise money by means of loans carrying interest. Long and devastating wars are made possible only by the institution of interest. If huge loans on interest were not possible, many countries would refuse to enter what appeared to be a long war; and if they entered such wars at all, they would certainly hasten to withdraw from them long before they actually terminated, for their treasuries would become empty and their people would revolt in protest against the criminal waste of men and money. But the system of what appear to be easy loans makes it possible for governments to carry on ruinous struggles as they are able to obtain the sinews of war without having to resort to a system of direct taxation. The people of belligerent countries do not, at the moment, feel the burden which is laid on their backs, but after the war is over their backs are bent double under the staggering weight of national debts and future generations are kept busy reducing the weight. Take, for instance, the case of the last Great War. If huge loans had not been possible, the result of the war would still have been the same, but the devastation and the heavy indebtedness of the different countries would have been avoided. Nay, the War itself might have been avoided; and even if it had taken place, the belligerents would soon have been exhausted, peace would have been signed within a year, and the world would have proceeded on its forward march of progress. A worse fate is perhaps awaiting the Western countries at the termination of the present World War. (close)
وَ اِنۡ کَانَ ذُوۡ عُسۡرَۃٍ فَنَظِرَۃٌ اِلٰی مَیۡسَرَۃٍ ؕ وَ اَنۡ تَصَدَّقُوۡا خَیۡرٌ لَّکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸۱﴾
وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسۡرَةٖ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيۡسَرَةٖۚ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيۡرٞ لَّكُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
353. Islam urges the giving of loans but they should be beneficent loans, without interest. If the debtor finds himself in straitened circumstances when the time for the repayment of a loan arrives, he should be granted respite till he finds himself in easier circumstances. (close)
The preceding verse enjoined the taking back of the original sums only. The present verse further exhorts the creditor to grant delay to a debtor in straitened circumstances.
Creditors are exhorted to deal kindly and beneficently with their brethren so that God may also (deal with them kindly. They should remember that if they have advanced loans to others, God has also advanced certain loans to them by conferring on them His numberless favours and bounties; and if they have a right to charge interest, God has also a right to make heavy demands from them, but He does not. And if He did, what would be the fate of man? (close)
وَ اتَّقُوۡا یَوۡمًا تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ فِیۡہِ اِلَی اللّٰہِ ٭۟ ثُمَّ تُوَفّٰی کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا کَسَبَتۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸۲﴾٪
وَٱتَّقُواْ يَوۡمٗا تُرۡجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفۡسٖ مَّا كَسَبَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ
a. See 2:273. (close)
The verse sums up the discussion on the subject of taking interest by warning the people that the day is coming when they will be made to stand before God and render an account of their deeds. They should remember the principle, "Do as you would be done by". The Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
"None of you can be deemed to be a true believer, unless he likes for his brother what he likes for himself" (Bukhari & Muslim). (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا تَدَایَنۡتُمۡ بِدَیۡنٍ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی فَاکۡتُبُوۡہُ ؕ وَ لۡیَکۡتُبۡ بَّیۡنَکُمۡ کَاتِبٌۢ بِالۡعَدۡلِ ۪ وَ لَا یَاۡبَ کَاتِبٌ اَنۡ یَّکۡتُبَ کَمَا عَلَّمَہُ اللّٰہُ فَلۡیَکۡتُبۡ ۚ وَ لۡیُمۡلِلِ الَّذِیۡ عَلَیۡہِ الۡحَقُّ وَ لۡیَتَّقِ اللّٰہَ رَبَّہٗ وَ لَا یَبۡخَسۡ مِنۡہُ شَیۡئًا ؕ فَاِنۡ کَانَ الَّذِیۡ عَلَیۡہِ الۡحَقُّ سَفِیۡہًا اَوۡ ضَعِیۡفًا اَوۡ لَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُ اَنۡ یُّمِلَّ ہُوَ فَلۡیُمۡلِلۡ وَلِیُّہٗ بِالۡعَدۡلِ ؕ وَ اسۡتَشۡہِدُوۡا شَہِیۡدَیۡنِ مِنۡ رِّجَالِکُمۡ ۚ فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ یَکُوۡنَا رَجُلَیۡنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَّ امۡرَاَتٰنِ مِمَّنۡ تَرۡضَوۡنَ مِنَ الشُّہَدَآءِ اَنۡ تَضِلَّ اِحۡدٰٮہُمَا فَتُذَکِّرَ اِحۡدٰٮہُمَا الۡاُخۡرٰی ؕ وَ لَا یَاۡبَ الشُّہَدَآءُ اِذَا مَا دُعُوۡا ؕ وَ لَا تَسۡـَٔمُوۡۤا اَنۡ تَکۡتُبُوۡہُ صَغِیۡرًا اَوۡ کَبِیۡرًا اِلٰۤی اَجَلِہٖ ؕ ذٰلِکُمۡ اَقۡسَطُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ وَ اَقۡوَمُ لِلشَّہَادَۃِ وَ اَدۡنٰۤی اَلَّا تَرۡتَابُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ تِجَارَۃً حَاضِرَۃً تُدِیۡرُوۡنَہَا بَیۡنَکُمۡ فَلَیۡسَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ جُنَاحٌ اَلَّا تَکۡتُبُوۡہَا ؕ وَ اَشۡہِدُوۡۤا اِذَا تَبَایَعۡتُمۡ ۪ وَ لَا یُضَآرَّ کَاتِبٌ وَّ لَا شَہِیۡدٌ ۬ؕ وَ اِنۡ تَفۡعَلُوۡا فَاِنَّہٗ فُسُوۡقٌۢ بِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ ؕ وَ یُعَلِّمُکُمُ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۸۳﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيۡنٍ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٖ مُّسَمّٗى فَٱكۡتُبُوهُۚ وَلۡيَكۡتُب بَّيۡنَكُمۡ كَاتِبُۢ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِۚ وَلَا يَأۡبَ كَاتِبٌ أَن يَكۡتُبَ كَمَا عَلَّمَهُ ٱللَّهُۚ فَلۡيَكۡتُبۡ وَلۡيُمۡلِلِ ٱلَّذِي عَلَيۡهِ ٱلۡحَقُّ وَلۡيَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّهُۥ وَلَا يَبۡخَسۡ مِنۡهُ شَيۡـٔٗاۚ فَإِن كَانَ ٱلَّذِي عَلَيۡهِ ٱلۡحَقُّ سَفِيهًا أَوۡ ضَعِيفًا أَوۡ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُ أَن يُمِلَّ هُوَ فَلۡيُمۡلِلۡ وَلِيُّهُۥ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِۚ وَٱسۡتَشۡهِدُواْ شَهِيدَيۡنِ مِن رِّجَالِكُمۡۖ فَإِن لَّمۡ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيۡنِ فَرَجُلٞ وَٱمۡرَأَتَانِ مِمَّن تَرۡضَوۡنَ مِنَ ٱلشُّهَدَآءِ أَن تَضِلَّ إِحۡدَىٰهُمَا فَتُذَكِّرَ إِحۡدَىٰهُمَا ٱلۡأُخۡرَىٰۚ وَلَا يَأۡبَ ٱلشُّهَدَآءُ إِذَا مَا دُعُواْۚ وَلَا تَسۡـَٔمُوٓاْ أَن تَكۡتُبُوهُ صَغِيرًا أَوۡ كَبِيرًا إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلِهِۦۚ ذَٰلِكُمۡ أَقۡسَطُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَأَقۡوَمُ لِلشَّهَٰدَةِ وَأَدۡنَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَرۡتَابُوٓاْ إِلَّآ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَٰرَةً حَاضِرَةٗ تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيۡنَكُمۡ فَلَيۡسَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ جُنَاحٌ أَلَّا تَكۡتُبُوهَاۗ وَأَشۡهِدُوٓاْ إِذَا تَبَايَعۡتُمۡۚ وَلَا يُضَآرَّ كَاتِبٞ وَلَا شَهِيدٞۚ وَإِن تَفۡعَلُواْ فَإِنَّهُۥ فُسُوقُۢ بِكُمۡۗ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ ٱللَّهُۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمٞ
b. 96:5. (close)
354. The borrower, and not the lender, is to dictate because; (1) it is the borrower who incurs the liability; and justice demands that the words defining the liability should be selected by him; (2) the document is to be deposited with the lender and not the borrower. So the borrower has been asked to dictate so that the fact of his having dictated may serve as a proof of the correctness of the amount and the conditions about payment, and he may have no cause or ground to deny it. (close)
a. 4:30. (close)
354A. The implication is that it would be better to have a writing even in such a case like cash memo or voucher. (close)
354B. This refers to big transactions. (close)
a. 96:5. (close)
b. 4:30. (close)
289. Important Words:
ولیه (someone who can watch his interest). ولی means, friend; helper; guardian of one’s affairs; he who protects or watches one’s interests (Aqrab). See also 2:108.
As the preceding verses prohibit interest and enjoin that only the original sum taken as a loan be returned to the creditor, the Quran now fittingly turns to the subject of loans not carrying interest. The verse enjoins that all transactions regarding loans should be committed to writing. It is really amazing, and is indeed a wonderful testimony to its Divine origin, that the Quran, which was revealed about 1,350 years ago when the art of writing was yet in its infancy, should lay so much stress on writing down all transactions.
The verse should not be interpreted to signify that only such transactions should be committed to writing as have a fixed term for the paying back of a loan. The injunction is general and is meant to obviate or minimize disputes so as to leave no room for doubt as to whether any amount has really been lent and as to the amount of the money lent. The words, for a fixed period, have been added to emphasize the additional fact that whenever a loan is advanced, a term must be fixed.
The verse further enjoins that when a transaction is made on credit, the document drawn up should be written by a third person so that there may be little chance of fraud and neither of the parties may have a cause of complaint against the other, both standing on the same level.
The borrower, and not the lender, is to dictate because: (1) it is the borrower who incurs the liability, and justice demands that words defining the liability should not only be well known to, but also selected by him; (2) the document is to be deposited with the lender and not the borrower. So the borrower has been asked to dictate so that the fact of his having dictated may serve as a proof of the correctness of the amount and the condition about payment, and he may have no ground to deny it.The clause, he should not diminish anything therefrom, have been added because loans may be of different kinds. They may not always be in cash and may be for long terms and there may also be certain conditions attached to them. In such cases it sometimes happens that in drawing up documents, people resort to trickery and leave loopholes. So borrowers (who have to dictate) have been warned against such evil practices and have been enjoined to fear God and dictate with honesty and justice.
In the clause, and call two witnesses from among your men, the word "your" has been most wisely added to imply that the witnesses should not be strangers but should be known men residing in the same locality so that, if need arises, they may be easily summoned to give evidence. The words "such as you like", point to the fact that the witnesses, whether men or women, should be desirable persons and should enjoy the confidence of both parties.
The clause, and let no harm be done to the scribe or the witness, signifies that if the scribe is a professional man, he should be duly paid for his services; otherwise wrong would be done to him. Similarly, a person should not be compelled, so far as possible, to become a witness if it causes him loss of any kind. Again, the scribe or the witnesses should also be paid their travelling and other necessary expenses when they are summoned before a Qadi or judge. The words also hint that the witnesses and the scribe should not be forced or threatened or bribed or otherwise influenced to suppress the truth or tell a falsehood when called upon to give evidence. (close)
وَ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ عَلٰی سَفَرٍ وَّ لَمۡ تَجِدُوۡا کَاتِبًا فَرِہٰنٌ مَّقۡبُوۡضَۃٌ ؕ فَاِنۡ اَمِنَ بَعۡضُکُمۡ بَعۡضًا فَلۡیُؤَدِّ الَّذِی اؤۡتُمِنَ اَمَانَتَہٗ وَ لۡیَتَّقِ اللّٰہَ رَبَّہٗ ؕ وَ لَا تَکۡتُمُوا الشَّہَادَۃَ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکۡتُمۡہَا فَاِنَّہٗۤ اٰثِمٌ قَلۡبُہٗ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۸۴﴾٪
۞وَإِن كُنتُمۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٖ وَلَمۡ تَجِدُواْ كَاتِبٗا فَرِهَٰنٞ مَّقۡبُوضَةٞۖ فَإِنۡ أَمِنَ بَعۡضُكُم بَعۡضٗا فَلۡيُؤَدِّ ٱلَّذِي ٱؤۡتُمِنَ أَمَٰنَتَهُۥ وَلۡيَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّهُۥۗ وَلَا تَكۡتُمُواْ ٱلشَّهَٰدَةَۚ وَمَن يَكۡتُمۡهَا فَإِنَّهُۥٓ ءَاثِمٞ قَلۡبُهُۥۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ عَلِيمٞ
355. Loans may also be advanced in the form of pledges, one party receiving the loan of money and the other the thing pledged in lieu of it. This form of practical transaction will be in the nature of an Amanah, i.e. a trust or deposit affecting both parties. By identifying a loan with a trust it is hinted that loans should be returned with the same care and honesty with which property deposited as a trust is returned on demand. (close)
a. 2:141; 5:107. (close)
290. Important Words:
رھان (pledge) is derived from رھن. They say رھن الشیء فلانا او عند فلان i.e. he deposited the thing with him or gave it in his possession as a pledge or security for a debt, etc. راھن is one who makes such a pledge and مرتھن is one who receives it. رھینand مرھون mean, the thing so pledged; the thing placed or kept in custody in lieu of a debt, etc. رھان which is the noun-infinitive from راھن and رھن (rahn) which is the noun-infinitive from رھن (rahana) mean, the act of pledging; also the thing pledged. رھان is also the plural of رھن (Aqrab & Lane).
امانة (trust) and اوتمن (is entrusted) and امن (entrusts) are all derived from the same root. امن means, he trusted or he entrusted. ائتمن فلانا علی کذا means, he trusted him with that; he deposited it with him as a trust. امانة means, the thing committed to the trust and care of a person; also honesty, faithfulness and trustworthiness (Aqrab).
If a scribe is not available, loans may be advanced in the form of pledges, one party receiving the loan of money and the other the thing pledged in lieu of this loan. This form of practical transaction, the verse goes on to explain, will be in the nature of an امانة i.e. a trust or deposit affecting both parties. By classing a loan with a trust, it is hinted that loans should be returned with the same care and the same honesty with which property deposited as a trust is returned on demand.
The words, and conceal not testimony, either refer to the testimony of such witnesses as may be present at the time of the pledge, or it may refer to the testimony of the parties themselves. When no other witness is available, the parties are themselves treated as such and may be called upon to give a true account of the affairs on oath.
The expression, his heart is sinful, signifies that he who conceals testimony commits a sin which has not a temporary effect but vitiates the innermost recesses of his heart. Nay, it is a sign of the fact that his heart has already become vitiated. (close)
لِلّٰہِ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تُبۡدُوۡا مَا فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَوۡ تُخۡفُوۡہُ یُحَاسِبۡکُمۡ بِہِ اللّٰہُ ؕ فَیَغۡفِرُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یُعَذِّبُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۸۵﴾
لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ وَإِن تُبۡدُواْ مَا فِيٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَوۡ تُخۡفُوهُ يُحَاسِبۡكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُۖ فَيَغۡفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٌ
b. 21:48. (close)
356. The word bihi signifies; (a) by means of or on the basis of; (b) for or because of; and the clause would mean, "Allah will call you to account for it or because of it," i.e. no human thought or action will go unaccounted for, however hidden it may be, and that it will be punished or pardoned as Allah may will. (close)
c. 5:19, 41; 48:15. (close)
357. The expression, "the will or pleasure of God," rather denotes the existence of a natural law (7:157). But as in the case of Allah it is His Will which stands for His Law, therefore the Qur’an has used this expression to point out (1) that God is the final authority in the universe; and (2) that His Will is the Law, and (3) that His Will manifests itself in a just and benevolent manner, for He is the Possessor of perfect attributes (17:111). (close)
a. 21:48. (close)
b. 5:19, 41; 48:15. (close)
In this and the following two verses, with which the present Surah concludes, the subject of تزکیة (tazkiyah) or purification has been dealt with as promised in the prayer of Abraham (2:130). By reminding us that to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, the Quran teaches us that, since everything is God’s, we must avoid all those things which He requires us to avoid and adopt all those which He requires us to adopt. If we obey the commandments of God, which are meant for our own good, He will cause us to thrive and prosper, for He is the Controller of all causes and all effects.
The verse embodies the great secret of attaining purification. That secret is, that if you wish to become pure, you should begin with the root, i.e. you should make your hearts pure. Says the Holy Prophet: "In the body of man there is a piece of flesh; if this piece of flesh is sound, the whole body becomes sound; if it is corrupt, the whole body becomes corrupt. Behold! It is the heart" (Bukhari).
The particle با (for) in the Arabic clause rendered as, Allah will call you to account for it, means: (a) by means of or on the basis of; (b) for or because of. Following the first meaning, the verse would mean "Allah will call you to account by means of it or on the basis of it", i.e. your actions will be judged on the basis of that which is in your hearts. They will be weighed from the point of view of your motives. This is another way of saying, in the words of the Holy Prophet, انما الاعمال بالنیات i.e. Surely, the actions of men will be judged by the intention or the motive with which they are performed (Bukhari). Following the second meaning of it, the verse would mean, "Allah will call you to account for it or because of it", i.e. no human thought will be lost, however hidden it may be and that it will be requited or pardoned as Allah may will it.
In connection with the words, whether you keep it hidden, it should be remembered that God will not call man to account for passing or momentary thoughts that sometimes cross his mind, for they are beyond one’s control. In 2:287 we read, "Allah burdens not any soul beyond its capacity", and it is certainly beyond our "capacity" to check the fleeting thoughts that occasionally flash across our minds. It is only the evil thoughts that we cherish and harbour in our minds, such as malice, envy, etc., and we shall be called to account for only the evil designs that we knowingly evolve and contemplate. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that God has commanded the angels saying: "If a servant of mine thinks of doing an evil deed, do not write it down against him; but if he carries out his intention, then write it down. And if he intends to do a good deed, but abstains from doing it, write it down as one good act; and if he actually does a good deed then let it be noted as ten acts of virtue" (Tirmidhi).
The expression, whomsoever He pleases, does not mean that God acts, as it were, arbitrarily without law or purpose. In the Quranic idiom the expression, "the will or pleasure of God," rather denotes the existence of a natural law (7:157). But as in the case of Allah it is His will which stands for His Law, therefore the Quran uses this expression to point out that (1) God is the final authority in the universe; and that (2) His will is the law; and that (3) His will manifests itself in a just and benevolent manner, for He is the possessor of perfect attributes (17:111). (close)
اٰمَنَ الرَّسُوۡلُ بِمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡہِ مِنۡ رَّبِّہٖ وَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ؕ کُلٌّ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ مَلٰٓئِکَتِہٖ وَ کُتُبِہٖ وَ رُسُلِہٖ ۟ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَیۡنَ اَحَدٍ مِّنۡ رُّسُلِہٖ ۟ وَ قَالُوۡا سَمِعۡنَا وَ اَطَعۡنَا ٭۫ غُفۡرَانَکَ رَبَّنَا وَ اِلَیۡکَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۲۸۶﴾
ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٖ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦۚ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا وَأَطَعۡنَاۖ غُفۡرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
358. Good deeds are indeed the principal means for the attainment of spiritual purification, but they have their origin in the purity of the heart, which can be attained only by holding right beliefs. Hence the verse details the fundamental beliefs, which the Qur’an has taught, i.e. belief in God and His angels, His Books and His Messengers, in their natural order. (close)
a. See 2:137. (close)
b. 3:148, 194; 60:6. (close)
a. See 2:137. (close)
292. Important Words:
غفرانك (Thy forgiveness). غفران is the noun-infinitive from غفر for which see 2:59 and 2:200. غفران on the part of God signifies, covering man with mercy and forgiveness and saving him from the punishment of sins. It is used in the infinitive form for the sake of emphasis, words like "I or we implore" being understood before it.
The mention of the believers along with the Prophet has a special significance in the verse; the purifying influence of the Holy Prophet has brought into existence a class of men who have become purified both in belief and in deeds, thus fulfilling the object for which the Prophet for whom Abraham had prayed was to make his appearance.
Good deeds are indeed the principal means for the attainment of purification, but they have their origin in the purity of the heart, which can be attained only by holding true beliefs. Hence, the verse details the fundamental points of belief which the Holy Prophet taught his followers, i.e. belief in God and His angels and His Books and His Messengers, mentioned in their natural order.
Among the points of belief detailed here, one is that true believers say, We make no distinction between any of His Messengers. This means that true believers should accept all the Messengers of God, without exception, and should make no distinction between them by accepting some and rejecting others. There is in this, food for thought for those Muslims who reject the Promised Messiah, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, whom God raised in fulfilment of the prophecies of the Holy Prophet and who came to demonstrate the truth of Islam, by cogent reasons and powerful signs.
Another very important means of attaining purification is prayer. The verse represents true believers as offering prayer to God in the ennobling words, We hear and we obey. We implore Thy forgiveness, O our Lord, and to Thee is the returning. This prayer contains four basic elements of purification: (1) man should ever be prepared to listen to God’s commandments; (2) he should be ever ready to obey His commandments, whatever the circumstances; (3) he should always be asking for God’s forgiveness for his sins and shortcomings; and (4) he should never forget that he will one day return to, and stand before, his Maker and will render an account of his works. (close)