Introduction of Aal-e-`Imran
(Revealed after Hijrah)
This chapter has a twofold connection with the preceding chapter, Al-Baqarah, i.e. (1) there is a link between the whole chapter, Al-e-‘Imran and the whole chapter, Al-Baqarah, and (2) there is a link between the concluding portion of Al-Baqarah and the opening verses of Al-e-‘Imran. In fact, the order in the Quran is of two kinds: either the topic with which one chapter is concluded is continued in the following chapter, or the subject matter of the whole preceding chapter is dealt with in the next. This twofold connection exists between the Surahs—Al-Baqarah and Al-e-‘Imran.
The connection of the whole subject matter of Al-e-‘Imran with that of Al-Baqarah mainly consists in a description of the causes that led to the transfer of prophethood from the Mosaic to the Islamic dispensation. This was the main theme of Al-Baqarah, and in explanation the degenerate condition of the Jews was dealt with at some length in that Surah. But in Al-Baqarah, little light was shed on Christianity, which constitutes the culmination of the Mosaic dispensation. This omission could have given rise to doubts in the minds of some people that though Judaism which constituted the beginning of the Mosaic dispensation had become corrupt, its culmination, the Christian Faith, was still pure; and hence, there was no necessity to introduce and establish a new religion—Islam. To remove this seemingly legitimate doubt, the hollowness of the current Christian doctrines has been fully exposed in Al-e-‘Imran. But as the Christian faith seeks to base its superiority as much on the nobility of its detailed practical teaching as on the excellence of its tenets and doctrines, so after Al-e-‘Imran this subject has been dealt with in chapter An-Nisa’ to which reference will be made at its proper place. Anyhow, the falsity of the Christian doctrines having been established in Al-e-‘Imran, the chapter proceeds to show that, as the Christian faith which had reformed and regenerated Judaism had itself become corrupt and degenerate, it could not prove a bar in the way of the introduction of a new and better dispensation. On the contrary, it constituted a strong testimony to the need for the introduction of a new Law. Consequently, the Divine attributes of "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining" in the very beginning of Al-e-‘Imran are intended to repudiate Christian doctrines.
The second kind of connection viz. that of the concluding portion of Al-Baqarah with the opening portion of Al-e-‘Imran is apparent from the fact that the former Surah had concluded with some prayers in which prayer for national reformation and for the triumph of Islam over its enemies formed the main subject; and by placing the Divine attributes of "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining" in the beginning of Al-e-‘Imran, Muslims have been assured that God will certainly come to their aid and that by His help alone can success be achieved, because He being "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining", His power knows no weakening. Similarly, verse 5 of the present chapter, which purports to say that a grievous punishment is in store for those who have rejected the signs of God and that God possesses the power to take revenge, points to the acceptance of the prayer embodied in the concluding words of the last chapter, i.e. So help us against the disbelieving people.
This Surah is known by several names in the Hadith. Like Al-Baqarah, it is also known by the name Az-Zahra’(the Bright One) which is indicative of the strong similarity existing between the themes of the two Surahs and their subject matter. The chapter is also known by the names Al-Aman (Peace), Al-Kanz (the Treasure), Al-Mu‘ina (the Helper), Al-Mujadalah (the Pleading), Al-Istighfar (the Seeking of Forgiveness), and Tayyiba (the Pure). The Surahwas revealed at Medina.
This chapter, like its predecessor, opens with the abbreviated letters Alif Lam Mim (I am Allah, the All-Knowing) which is intended to draw our attention to the Divine attribute of knowledge; and mention of the attributes "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All Sustaining" is meant to point out that in this Surah the Divine attribute of knowledge has been substantiated by God’s attributes of "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining", i.e. the fact that God is "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining" constitutes proof of His being "All-Knowing", because death and decay are born of lack of knowledge. He Who is "Living" and "Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining" will necessarily be "All-Knowing" because if there had been another "All-Knowing" being like Him, he too would have possessed the power to provide means for his everlasting subsistence (2:3). Then the chapter goes on to say (a) that whereas the Torah and the Gospels have proceeded from a true source, the followers of these Books, Jews and Christians, have strayed away from the right path as regards their doctrines and deeds; (b) that consequently Divine punishment would overtake them, and (c) that the belief that connection with these Books will save them from God’s punishment is a vain hope, because these Books having become abrogated, are unable to satisfy the needs and requirements of the time (4-7). Further the Surah says that there is going to be a sort of spiritual duel between the Quran and these Books and that in this duel the Quran will prove to be far superior to them and will prevail over them when set against them because it embodies teachings which the latter lack (8-12). The Surah proceeds to tell Muslims that they should banish the doubt from their minds that, in view of the numerical superiority of Jews and Christians and the preponderance of the means at their disposal, Muslims would not prevail against them, because God had already granted them predominance over enemies who were also more powerful and larger in number. The same phenomenon will be repeated now. Further, God says that national victories do not result from material means but from the superiority of national morals. Hence final victory will come to Muslims because, though they lack the former they are in ample possession of the latter (13-18). Again, the Quran says that belief in the Oneness of God forms one of the important and major means of victory, and with this Muslims have been blessed. So as Muslims possess true religion, no power on earth can defeat them (19-20). The chapter proceeds to dwell upon the theme that nobody can prevail against God and His Messenger because opposition to them means opposition to justice and justice cannot suffer defeat (21-23).
Furthermore, the chapter says that the enemies of Islam labour under the delusion that their national usages and customs are superior to those of Muslims. They seem to ignore the fact that in this world there is no escape from the law of cause and effect, and they cannot hope to succeed by flouting this law (24-28). It further says that there exists a great difference between the good morals of Muslims and the bad morals of disbelievers; the former, therefore, should always be on their guard against being influenced by the depravity of the latter lest they incur God’s wrath (29-31). The Surah continues the subject and develops it further when it says that the way to progress and prosperity for Muslims does not lie in imitating other peoples but in strictly following Islam and the Holy Prophet (32-33). The above statement is not an empty assertion, because history bears testimony to the fact that victory has always come by following God’s Messengers (34-35). After this a clear and detailed exposition of the real subject is taken in hand with a brief reference to the beginning of Christianity, the refutation of which is the main theme here (36-64). Then the attention of the People of the Book has been drawn to the fact that when Muslims also believe in the truth of the origin and source of their faith, there is no reason for them to fight each other. On the contrary, they should both preach to disbelievers the doctrine of the Oneness of God, on which they agree, and keep within bounds their respective doctrines where they disagree (65). Then some light is thrown on the evil consequences of differences and enmity which possess no reasonable basis, and it is made clear that such enmity leads to foolish beliefs and dulls the brain and impairs righteousness (66-81). The Quran further says that every Messenger has always had a pledge taken from his followers that when God bestows on them "Book and Wisdom," they should also accept the truth that follows in its wake, failing which God’s punishment would descend on them (82-90); and the chapter warns Christians that they cannot hope to remain the "chosen ones" of God and retain His love if they refuse to accept the New Truth. Muslims, however, adhere to this teaching and believe in all the Messengers and, in fact, no other course is acceptable to God. It asks how a person who has subscribed to the view that truth has always continued to be revealed by God can now, with justification, defy this principle; and declares that, if one does so, one will certainly incur God’s displeasure and His punishment (91-92). Then the Surah goes on to say that real good consists in sacrificing that thing in the way of God which is most dear to one and thus real sacrifice is the sacrifice of one’s feelings, customs and beliefs (93). It further says that matters regarding which the People of the Book dispute and quarrel with Muslims carry no weight because originally some of them were regarded as permissible by their own forefathers. If the latter succeeded in obtaining salvation in spite of them, why cannot Muslims (94-96)? The subject is further developed where God says that Muslims and Jews have a meeting point in Abraham, and since it was Abraham who laid the foundations of the Ka‘bah, why should the Israelites quarrel with Muslims on the basis of unreal and unsubstantial differences and why should they prefer deception and tyranny to cool and dispassionate consideration of truth (97-100). Then a note of warning is sounded to Muslims that the People of the Book have gone so far in opposition to them that, if they had their way, they would certainly lead them astray. But Muslims cannot go astray because they are the recipients of God’s new revelation. They are, therefore, admonished to put up patiently with all opposition and oppression, strengthen their connection with God and establish their mutual relations on a firmer basis because they will stand in sore need of a united front when confronted with a severe attack from Christians (101-110). Muslims are further told that before that time comes, they should strengthen their ranks by conveying the Message of Islam to as many people as possible and this should be done in two ways: (a) there should be a special party of preachers among Muslims who should dedicate their lives to the propagation of Islam; (b) Muslims should preach their faith as best they can. Herein lies the success of Islam (111). Muslims are further warned against harbouring the delusion that, in the event of their fight with Christians, the Jews would help them. On the contrary, the latter would spare no pains to harass and oppress them. They would, however, fail to do Muslims any real harm and would themselves meet with disgrace and humiliation (112-113). The Quran does not fail to recognize good wherever it is found and says that all the People of the Book are not bad. Some among them are good and these will get their reward from God (114-116). But those who are evilly disposed will come to grief and will be disgraced. Muslims are admonished to have nothing to do with such people lest they become influenced by their bad morals. They should, however, have no fear of them, because they would not be able to do Muslims any substantial harm (117-121).
Then a brief reference is made to the Battle of Badr, and Muslims are told that, just as in the face of extremely adverse circumstances God protected and helped them against the idolaters of Mecca at Badr and vouchsafed them a clear victory over them, the same will happen with regard to the People of the Book. God’s mercy and forgiveness will accompany Muslims and His punishment will fall on their enemies (122-130). Muslims are further told that Jews and Christians depend for their power and might on interest. But the taking and giving of interest runs counter to good morals. They should, therefore, derive their power from helping the poor (131-133). Secondly, Christians depend on Atonement, a doctrine born of the view that repentance will not be accepted. By taking interest the People of the Book oppress God’s servants and by subscribing to the dogma of the non-acceptance of repentance they declare God to be cruel like themselves. Muslims are enjoined to avoid this doctrine and to ask forgiveness of God if they happen to commit a sinful act (134-137). They are further comforted by the knowledge that God has always destroyed the enemies of His Messengers. They should do their duty, make suitable sacrifices and employ the material means at their disposal and leave the rest to God. He would see that victory comes to them; they are only required to make as much effort as should demonstrate the depth and sincerity of their faith (138-144). Further, God says that in the vast chain of truth, the Holy Prophet is but a link and if he should happen to die or be killed in battle (though in conformity with God’s promise he could not be killed), Muslims should not lose heart because believers have, throughout the ages, been fighting the enemies of truth in adverse circumstances and as a result have always achieved both worldly and spiritual prosperity (145-152). Then the incident of Uhud is mentioned and the lesson is driven home to Muslims that sometimes a slight exhibition of weakness results in dire consequences (153-156), and they are admonished that on such occasions of crisis they should completely avoid mutual recrimination as it is calculated to undermine national spirit; and he who does so is not a friend of his community (157-159). Another rule of conduct to be observed is that in time of warfare leaders should behave more leniently than usual towards their followers and should have proper regard for their susceptibilities, so that the enemy may get no opportunity to create discord among them and all things should be done after mutual consultation (160). Then the former subject is repeated, viz. that no success is possible without God’s help, therefore the demands of religion and morality should not be disregarded from considerations of petty worldly gains (161-164). God then reminds Muslims of the great good He has done to them inasmuch as He has raised for them a perfect Messenger. They should follow him and eschew the path of disturbers of peace that they may achieve success (165-169). Then the Quran lays down a great principle, viz. that those who lose their lives while fighting for the cause of truth are entitled to special respect. It is these people who get eternal life and it is they who exhibit such morals as give life to their community (170-173). After that we are told that in every community there are some weak people, so we should not be afraid of the existence of some weak members in our ranks (174-180). Again, a reference is made to the People of the Book and we are told that their religious condition has become so corrupt that, while on the one hand they claim to be God’s own chosen people, on the other, they hesitate to spend their money in His way. Muslims are enjoined to take a lesson from this (181- 183). The moral depravity of these people is further contrasted with their claim that they are commanded to give their allegiance only to that Messenger who should demand the greatest sacrifice of them. God says that such Messengers did appear among them, but they refused to accept them (184-185). The theme of sacrifice is further developed where God says that it is foolish to be afraid of making sacrifices for national causes. The greatest of sacrifices is to suffer death, but death is sure to come upon every one, with the difference that the good continue to make progress even after death. Why then should one be afraid of it? (186). Muslims are then warned that they will have to be tried; and they should not think that they would achieve success without passing through the ordeal of trials and tribulations (187). God further says that He had commanded the People of the Book to preach and propagate these teachings but, when they themselves consigned them to oblivion, how could they preach them to others? These people seek to be praised for deeds which they have not done. But instead of praise they will meet with disgrace and destruction because he who does not live up to his professions is never honoured (188-190). In the next few verses the special qualities and characteristics of true believers are described and Muslims are taught certain prayers, the offering of which is essential for progress and prosperity (191-195). They are told that if they pray with sincerity, their prayers will be accepted and, with God’s help, they will defeat and bring low their enemy, however strong (196-199). But all the People of the Book are not bad. Though a majority of them are bad, some of them are good. These latter will get their reward from God (200). The Surah concludes with rules of conduct by observing which Muslims can achieve success and predominance (201).
یہ سورت مدینہ میں ہجرت کے تیسرے سال نازل ہوئی۔ بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی دو سو ایک آیات ہیں۔
اس میں سورت فاتحہ میں مذکور تیسرے گروہ ضالین کا خصوصیت سے ذکر ہے۔ اور اس پہلو سے عیسائیت کے آغاز، حضرت مریم کی پیدائش اور حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی اعجازی پیدائش کا ذکر ملتا ہے۔ اس سورت میں حضرت مریم علیہا الصلوٰۃ والسلام کے ساتھ اللہ تعالیٰ کا جو غیرمعمولی حسن و احسان کا سلوک تھا اور جس طرح اللہ تعالیٰ غیب سے اُنہیں رزق عطا فرماتا تھا اس کا بھی ذکر ملتا ہے۔ معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ حضرت زکریا علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کے دل میں پاک اولاد کی جو غیرمعمولی خواہش پیدا ہوئی وہ حضرت مریم علیہا الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی پاکیزگی پر غور کے نتیجہ ہی میں عطا ہوئی۔
اس میں حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کے معجزات کا بھی اس رنگ میں ذکر ہے کہ بائبل پڑھ کر انسان کو جو غلط فہمیاں پیدا ہوتی ہیں ان سب کا ردّ قرآن کریم نے معجزات کی حقیقت بیان کرتے ہوئے فرمادیا ہے۔ اس میں حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی طبعی وفات کا بھی ذکر موجود ہے۔
اس سورت میں یہود کے میثاق کے مقابل پر میثاق النبیین کا ذکر ملتا ہے جو سب نبیوں سے لیا گیا جس کا خلاصہ یہ ہے کہ اگر تمہارے بعد اللہ تعالیٰ کے ایسے رسول پیدا ہوں جو تمہاری نیک تعلیمات کی تصدیق کرنے والے اور ان پر عمل کرنے والے ہوں تو لازم ہے کہ تمہاری قوم اُن کی مدد کرے۔ اور یہ میثاق وہ ہے جس کا سورۃ الاحزاب میں بھی ذکر ہے اور یہ کہ خود حضرت اقدس محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم سے بھی یہی میثاق لیا گیا تھا۔
اس سورت میں اَور امور کے علاوہ مالی قربانی کا فلسفہ بھی بیان ہوا ہے کہ جب تک تم خدا کی راہ میں وہ خرچ نہ کرو جس سے تمہیں محبت ہو اور جو بہترین دکھائی دے اُس وقت تک تمہاری قربانی قبول نہیں ہوسکتی۔
اس سورت میں بدرکے موقع پر آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کی اس اعجازی فتح کا بھی ذکر ہے جس کے بعد اسلام کی عظیم الشان فتوحات کا دور شروع ہوتا ہے اور اُحد کا بھی ذکر ہے کہ کس طرح حضرت اسماعیل علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی قربانی کی یاد تازہ کرتے ہوئے صحابہ بھیڑ بکریوں کی طرح ذبح کئے گئے لیکن رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کا دامن نہیں چھوڑا۔
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ﴿۱﴾
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
a. 1:1. (close)
a. See 1:1. (close)
293. See note under 1:1. (close)
b. 2:2. (close)
362A. See 16. (close)
b. See 2:2. (close)
293A. See note under 2:2. (close)
اللّٰہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۙ الۡحَیُّ الۡقَیُّوۡمُ ؕ﴿۳﴾
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَيُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُ
c. See 2:256. (close)
363. The verse contains a strong refutation of the false doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. This doctrine being one of the principal topics dealt with in this Surah, the opening verses thereof fittingly refer to such attributes of God as cut at the very root of this doctrine. These attributes, i.e. the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining, prove, on the one hand, that God, the Possessor of these attributes, should need no partner or helper; and on the other that Jesus, who was subject to the law of birth and death, and therefore was neither ever-living, nor self-subsisting and all-sustaining, could not be God. These attributes also prove the hollowness of the doctrine of Atonement which is a corollary to the above doctrine. Jesus, it is claimed by Christians, suffered death to atone for the sins of mankind. If that is so, he could not be God, for God is Ever-Living and cannot suffer death, permanent or temporary. It is futile to say that the death of Jesus meant only the separation of the god- Jesus from his physical habitat. The connection between the god-Jesus and his physical body was, according to Christian belief, in its very nature a temporary one and was bound to break one day, even if Jesus had not died on the Cross. So the mere breaking up of this connection could serve no useful purpose. It must be some other death which brought redemption to his sinful followers. That death, according to the Christians themselves, came upon Jesus when after his crucifixion he descended into Hades or Hell (Acts 2:31). Thus, far from being immune from death, which is God’s exclusive prerogative, Jesus suffered death both in its literal and figurative sense. Similarly, the attributes, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining prove the falsity of the Christian doctrine. God, being Self-Subsisting and All- Sustaining, should not only live by Himself without the support of any other being but all other beings should receive support from Him. But Jesus did not possess these attributes. Like other mortals, he was born of a woman, lived on food and drink, suffered pain and distress, asked others to pray for the alleviation of his sufferings, and finally, as Christians say, died on the Cross. The New Testament bears ample testimony to all these facts. But God being Ever-Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining is above all these physical weaknesses. (close)
294. For the meaning of الحی and القیوم see 2:256.
The verse contains a strong refutation of the divinity of Jesus. This doctrine being one of the main topics dealt with in this chapter, the Surah fittingly opens with such attributes of God as cut at the very root of this doctrine. These attributes, i.e. (1) the Living or the Ever-Living, and (2) the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining, prove on the one hand that God, the possessor of these attributes, should need no partner or helper; and on the other that Jesus, who was subject to the law of birth and death, being thus neither ever-living nor self-subsisting and all-sustaining, could not be divine.
These attributes also prove the hollowness of the doctrine of Atonement which is a corollary of the above doctrine. Jesus, it is said, suffered death to atone for the sins of mankind. If that is so, he could not be God, for God is Ever-Living and cannot suffer death, permanent or temporary. It is futile to say that the death of Jesus meant only the separation of the god-Jesus from his physical habitat. The connection between the god-Jesus and his physical body was, according to Christian belief, in its very nature, a temporary one and was bound to break one day, even if Jesus had not died on the cross. So the mere breaking up of this connection could serve no useful purpose. It must be some other death which brought redemption to his sinful followers. That death, according to the Christians themselves, came upon Jesus when after his crucifixion he descended into Hades or Hell (Acts 2:31 and the Book of Common Prayer, Article on Religion, III). Thus, far from being immune from death, which is God’s exclusive prerogative, Jesus suffered death both in its literal and figurative sense. He not only died but descended into Hades. Again he not only suffered from grief and pain but also disgrace and humiliation.
Similarly, the attribute of القیوم (the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining) proves the falsity of the Christian doctrine. God, being Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining, should not only live by Himself without the support of any other being but all others should receive support from Him. But Jesus can never be proved to possess these attributes. Like other mortals, he was born of a woman, lived on food and drink, suffered pain and humiliation, asked others to pray for the alleviation of his sufferings, and finally, as the Christians say, died on the cross. The New Testament bears ample testimony to all these facts. But God being Ever-Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining is above all this. (close)
نَزَّلَ عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَیۡنَ یَدَیۡہِ وَ اَنۡزَلَ التَّوۡرٰٮۃَ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلَ ۙ﴿۴﴾
نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقٗا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ
a. 4:106; 5:49; 29:52; 39:3. (close)
364. Haqqa means, it was or became just, proper, right, true, authentic, genuine, substantial or real; or it was or became an established or confirmed fact; or it was or became binding, incumbent or due (Lane). The expression Bil-Haqq signifies, (1) that the Qur’an comprises teachings which are based on eternal truths and are incapable of being successfully assailed; (2) that its first recipients are the people best suited to receive it; (3) that it has come in the fulness of time and fulfils all true human needs; (4) that it has come to stay and no effort on the part of its opponents can destroy or tamper with it. (close)
365. The word, Taurat, is derived from Wara which means, he burnt; he concealed (Aqrab). Taurat is so called probably because in its pristine purity reading it and acting upon its teaching kindled in the heart of men the fire of Divine love. Possibly, the word also contains a hint that bright prophecies about the advent of the last Law-giving Prophet lie hidden in the Book. Taurat is the name applied to the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The name is also sometimes applied to the Ten Commandments. (close)
366. Injil, which means, good news, is, according to Aqrab, a Greek word (un-derived from any Arabic root) from which the English word "Evangel" is derived. The Gospels were so called because they contained not only "good news" for those who accepted Jesus but also because they contained prophecies about the advent of the greatest Prophet whose coming Jesus had described as the coming of the Lord Himself (Matt. 21:40). The word does not refer to the present four Gospels which were written by the followers of Jesus long after his crucifixion and which give merely an account of his life and teachings, but to the actual revelation received by Jesus. (close)
295. Important Words:
بالحق (containing the truth). الحق is derived from حق i.e. it was or became just, proper, right, true, authentic, genuine, substantial or real; or it was or became an established or confirmed truth or fact; or it was or became binding, incumbent or due. So حق means, a truth; an established fact; a right; equity and justice; a thing that is decreed or destined; a thing suitable to the requirements of wisdom, justice, truth and right. الحق is one of the names of God, meaning the Really Existing God; or the Creator according to the requirements of wisdom, justice and right. The word is also applied to the Quran and the religion of Islam (Lane). See also 2:181.
توراة (Torah) is believed to be a Hebrew word. In Arabic it is said to be derived from وری. They say وری النار i.e. the fire burnt. وری الزند means, he made the fire-producing wood or steel produce fire. وری الخبر means, he concealed the news. وری عن کذا means, he meant one thing but by using equivocal expressions made the listener think of another (Aqrab). In view of these significations of the word, توراة (Torah) is so called probably because in its pristine purity reading it and acting upon its teaching kindled in the heart of man the fire of Divine love. Possibly, the word also contains a hint that bright prophecies about the advent of the final Law-giving Prophet lie hidden in the Book. In Hebrew the root meaning of the word is "to teach", the word Torah meaning, "instruction or precept or law" (Gesenius). Torah is the name applied to the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The name may have its origin in the popular Jewish belief that "the original Pentateuch, like everything celestial, consisted of fire, being written in block letters of flame upon a white ground of fire" (Jew. Enc. xii. 197). The name Torah is also sometimes applied to the Ten Commandments.
انجیل (Gospel) is probably of Greek origin from which the English form "Evangel" (good news) is derived. The word Evangel was formerly freely used in place of Gospel, but is now archaic. In Arabic نجله ابوہ (najalahu) means, his father begot him. نجل الشیء means, he laid bare or disclosed the thing. نجل الارض means, he tore open or ploughed the land for the purpose of sowing seed. نجل الرجل (najila) means, the man’s eyes were large and beautiful. The word انجیل which, according to Aqrab, is a Greek word underived from any Arabic root, means بشارة i.e. good news.
مصدقًا (fulfilling). See 2:42.
الفرقان (Discrimination). See 2:54.
The expression بالحق rendered as "containing the truth" (lit. "with truth") means:(1) that the Quran comprises true teachings which are based on eternal truth and are incapable of being successfully assailed; (2) that the Quran has been sent rightly, meaning that the first recipients of it were the fittest people to receive it; (3) that it has come in the fullness of time and fulfils a true need; (4) that it has come to stay and no effort on the part of its opponents can succeed in destroying or tampering with it. See Important Words above.
انجیل means "good news", and the Gospels are so called because they contained not only "good news" for those who accepted Jesus, but also because they contained prophecies about the advent of the Greatest of the Prophets whose coming Jesus described as the coming of the Lord Himself (Matt. 21:40) or as the advent of the kingdom of God (Mark, 1:15). They also contain prophecies about the advent in the Latter Days of Jesus’ own counterpart, the Promised Messiah.
The word انجیل occurring in the verse does not refer to the present four Gospels which were written by the followers of Jesus long after his so-called crucifixion and which give merely an account of his life and teachings. The word refers to the actual revelation received by Jesus from God. The present Gospels do indeed contain a part of that revelation, but Divine words have become so mixed up with the sayings of Jesus himself that in many cases it is difficult to distinguish between the two. The Gospels contain a good deal of matter which is admittedly not of Divine origin.
The saying of the Holy Prophet, صدورھم اناجیلھم i.e. "the breasts of my Companions are like Gospels" (Lisan), sheds some light on the significance and position of the Gospels. This saying of the Prophet means that the breasts of his Companions were repositories of his life history and teachings which are indeed a great gospel. It may be inferred from this that the position of the present Gospels is analogous to that of the collections of Hadith, such as Bukhari, Muslim, etc.
The clause, He sent down the Torah and the Gospel before this as a guidance, means that before the Quran was revealed, the Torah and the Gospels provided spiritual guidance for men but that their place was now taken by the Quran which has come as a guidance for all time and all mankind. (close)
مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ہُدًی لِّلنَّاسِ وَ اَنۡزَلَ الۡفُرۡقَانَ ۬ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَزِیۡزٌ ذُو انۡتِقَامٍ ﴿۵﴾
مِن قَبۡلُ هُدٗى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلۡفُرۡقَانَۗ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٞ شَدِيدٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٞ ذُو ٱنتِقَامٍ
b. 2:54, 186; 8:42; 21:49; 25:2. (close)
367. Al-Furqan may refer to the Qur’an or to the heavenly signs vouchsafed to the Holy Prophet which establish his truth. (close)
a. 5:96; 14:48; 39:38. (close)
a. 2:54, 186; 8:42; 21:49; 25:2. (close)
b. 5:96; 14:48; 39:38. (close)
296. Important Words:
ذوانتقام (Possessor of the power to requite). انتقام is the noun-infinitive from نقم i.e. he took vengeance. They say نقم منه or انتقم منه meaning, he wreaked vengeance on him; he punished him; he inflicted penal retribution on him for what he had done. نقمة and انتقام both mean, vengeance or penal retribution or punishment (Aqrab & Lane).
The words, and He has sent down the Discrimination, placed at the end of the verse refer to the Quran, the coming down of which has already been mentioned in the beginning of the verse. The idea has been repeated here to point out that the Quran has come to take the place of the previous scriptures, the word "Discrimination" also pointing to the same fact. The word may also refer to the heavenly signs vouchsafed to Islam to establish its truth.
For an explanation of the term مصدق (fulfilling) see 2:42.
After the coming down of the Quran as a "Discrimination" and as "fulfilling" what is in the previous scriptures, the persistent rejection of the Holy Prophet becomes indeed deserving of great punishment, and the verse points out that the God of Islam being "Mighty" and "Possessor of the power to requite", those who have rejected the truth must be prepared for divine requital. (close)
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَخۡفٰی عَلَیۡہِ شَیۡءٌ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَا فِی السَّمَآءِ ؕ﴿۶﴾
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَخۡفَىٰ عَلَيۡهِ شَيۡءٞ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِي ٱلسَّمَآءِ
b. 14:39; 40:17; 64:5; 86:6. (close)
a. 14:39; 40:17; 64:5; 87:8. (close)
God is not only Mighty and the Possessor of the power to requite but He is also All-Knowing, which is a necessary attribute for the successful exercise of power and the infliction of punishment. The verse thus constitutes yet another argument against the alleged divinity of Jesus. Nothing is hidden from God, His knowledge encompassing everything; but Jesus, according to his own admission, did not know many things (Mark 11:12, 13). He even did not know when the Judgement Day was to be (Matt. 24:36). Such lack of knowledge is evidently incompatible with the dignity of God. (close)
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ یُصَوِّرُکُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡحَامِ کَیۡفَ یَشَآءُ ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۷﴾
هُوَ ٱلَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ كَيۡفَ يَشَآءُۚ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
c. 22:6; 23:12-15; 39:7; 40:65; 64:4. (close)
368. As development of the child takes place in the womb of the mother, the offspring naturally is affected by her physical and moral condition. So Jesus, whose body like that of all other human beings was formed in the womb of a woman, could not escape being affected by the limitations and failings inherent in woman. This is why, in his discussion with the Christians of Najran, the Holy Prophet pointedly referred to the birth of Jesus as an argument to disprove his so-called divinity. He is reported to have said to them: "Do you not know that it was a woman who conceived Jesus, and then she was delivered of him just as a normal woman is delivered of a child" (Jarir, iii.101)? (close)
b. 22:6; 23:13-15; 39:7; 40:65; 64:4. (close)
298. Important Words:
یصور (fashions) is derived from صار. They say صار الشیء meaning: (1) he made the thing inclined; (2) he divided or cut the thing into parts or pieces. صورہ means, he formed or fashioned it; he gave it a shape. صورہ تصویرا means, he fashioned it and gave it a definite shape.الصورة means, the image or form or shape of a thing by which it is distinguished from other things (Aqrab & Lane).
تصویر (fashioning) and خلق (creating) are two different things as is clear from 7:12 and 82:89. خلق which takes place before تصویر means creating a thing and giving it a general physical form, whereas تصویر signifies detailed formation and the endowing of a child with moral and spiritual faculties. Thus خلق and تصویر are interrelated like body and soul. Medical research has shown that there exists some subtle relationship between the physical features of a man and his morals. The clause, He it is Who fashions you in the wombs, would, therefore, mean that after God brings into existence a body in the womb, He endows it with faculties and capacities necessary to fulfil its destiny. So it is in the womb of his mother that the foundations of a man’s future are laid, and it is to this fact that the Holy Prophet referred when he said that when the formation of the child in the womb begins, the angels ask God whether they should write it down as lucky or ill-fated (Bukhari).
As the formation of the child takes place in the womb of the mother, naturally it is affected by its environment, i.e. the physical and moral condition of the mother. So Jesus, whose body, like that of other human beings, was formed in the womb of a woman, could not escape being affected by the limitations and failings inherent in woman. Now as the Bible holds woman to be morally inferior to man, for it was through Eve that Satan deceived Adam (Gen. 3:12, 13), Jesus could not but have partaken of the failings and weaknesses of his mother. Thus, the fatherless birth of Jesus proved, if anything, that Jesus was by nature more inclined to sin than other men. This is why, in his discussion with the Christians of Najran, the Holy Prophet pointedly referred to the birth of Jesus as an argument disproving his divinity. He is reported to have said to them: "Do you not know that it was a woman who conceived Jesus, just as a woman conceives a child, and then she was delivered of him just as a woman is delivered of a child" (Jarir, iii. 101).
The clause, there is no God but He, has been placed as a natural consequence of the preceding clause. When it is God Who fashions children in the wombs of their mothers, no child born of a woman could claim to be divine. (close)
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ مِنۡہُ اٰیٰتٌ مُّحۡکَمٰتٌ ہُنَّ اُمُّ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ اُخَرُ مُتَشٰبِہٰتٌ ؕ فَاَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ زَیۡغٌ فَیَتَّبِعُوۡنَ مَا تَشَابَہَ مِنۡہُ ابۡتِغَآءَ الۡفِتۡنَۃِ وَ ابۡتِغَآءَ تَاۡوِیۡلِہٖ ۚ وَ مَا یَعۡلَمُ تَاۡوِیۡلَہٗۤ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ۘؔ وَ الرّٰسِخُوۡنَ فِی الۡعِلۡمِ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اٰمَنَّا بِہٖ ۙ کُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ رَبِّنَا ۚ وَ مَا یَذَّکَّرُ اِلَّاۤ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۸﴾
هُوَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ مِنۡهُ ءَايَٰتٞ مُّحۡكَمَٰتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَٰبِهَٰتٞۖ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمۡ زَيۡغٞ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَٰبَهَ مِنۡهُ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ ٱلۡفِتۡنَةِ وَٱبۡتِغَآءَ تَأۡوِيلِهِۦۖ وَمَا يَعۡلَمُ تَأۡوِيلَهُۥٓ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُۗ وَٱلرَّـٰسِخُونَ فِي ٱلۡعِلۡمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ كُلّٞ مِّنۡ عِندِ رَبِّنَاۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّآ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَٰبِ
d. 11:2. (close)
369. Muhkam means, (1) that which has been made secure from change or alteration; (2) that in which there is no ambiguity or possibility of doubt; (3) that which is clear in meaning and decisive in exposition and (4) a verse which embodies a teaching special to the Qur’an (Mufradat & Lane). (close)
370. Umm means, (1) mother; (2) source or origin or basis of a thing; (3) anything which is a means of sustenance and support or of reformation and correction for another; (4) anything to which other things around it are linked (Aqrab & Mufradat). (close)
e. 39:24. (close)
371. Mutashabih is used about (1) that phrase, sentence or verse which is susceptible of different, though concordant, interpretations; (2) that whose parts resemble or are concordant with one another; (3) that whose true significance bears a similarity to a sense which is not meant; (4) that of which the true meaning is known only by referring it to what is termed Muhkam; (5) that which cannot be rightly understood without repeated consideration; (6) a verse which contains teaching corresponding to or resembling those contained in the previous revealed Scriptures (Mufradat). (close)
a. 7:54; 18:79. (close)
372. Ta’wil means, (1) interpretation or explanation; (2) conjecture about the meaning of a speech or writing; (3) turning away a speech or writing from its right interpretation; (4) interpretation of a dream; (5) end, result or sequel of a thing (Lane). In this verse the word occurs twice; in the former place it gives the second or the third meaning, while in the latter it gives the first or the fifth meaning. (close)
b. 4:163. (close)
373. The verse lays down the golden rule that, in order to prove a controversial point, the decisive and clearly worded parts of a Scripture should be taken into consideration, and if these are found to contradict the construction put upon a certain ambiguous passage that passage should be so interpreted as to make it harmonize with the decisive and clearly worded parts of the text. According to the verse, the Qur’an has two sets of verses. Some are Muhkam (firm and decisive in meaning) and others Mutashabih (capable of different interpretations). The right way to interpret a Mutashabih verse is that only such interpretation of it should be accepted as agrees with the verses that are Muhkam. In 39:24 the whole of the Qur’an is called Mutashabih and in 11:2 all the Quranic verses have been described as Muhkam. This should not be taken as contradicting the verse under comment, according to which some verses of the Qur’an are Muhkam and others Mutashabih. So far as the real significance of the Quranic verses is concerned the whole of the Qur’an is Muhkam, in that all its verses contain decisive and eternal truths. In another sense, however, the whole of the Qur’an is Mutashabih inasmuch as the Quranic verses have been so worded as to give at one and the same time, several meanings equally true and good. The Qur’an is also Mutashabih (mutually resembling) in the sense that there is no contradiction or inconsistency in it, its different verses supporting one another. But parts of it are certainly Muhkam and others Mutashabih for different readers according to their knowledge, mental make up and natural capacities, as the present verse points out. As regards prophecies, those that are couched in plain and direct language, susceptible of only one meaning, would be regarded as Muhkam and those that are described in figurative or metaphorical language, capable of more than one interpretation, would be regarded as Mutashabih. The prophecies described in metaphorical language should, therefore, be interpreted in the light of the prophecies that are clearly and literally fulfilled and also in the light of the basic and fundamental principles of Islam. For Muhkam prophecies, the reader is referred to 58:22; whereas 28:86 contains a Mutashabih prophecy. The term Muhkam may also be applied to such verses as embody full and complete commandments while Mutashabih verses are those which give only part of a certain commandment, and are required to be read in conjunction with other verses to make a complete injunction. Muhkamat (decisive verses) generally deal with the Law and the doctrines of Faith, while Mutashabihat generally deal with topics of secondary importance or describe incidents in the lives of Prophets or the history of peoples and, while so doing, sometimes make use of idioms and phrases capable of different meanings. Such verses should not be so interpreted as to contradict the clearly worded tenets of the Faith. It may be noted here that the use of metaphors, the main basis of Mutashabih verses in religious Scriptures, is necessary in order to assure vastness of meaning in the fewest of words, to add beauty and grace to the style, and to provide for the people a trial without which spiritual development and perfection are not possible. (close)
a. 11:2. (close)
b. 39:24. (close)
c. 7:54; 18:79. (close)
d. 4:163. (close)
299. Important Words:
محکمات (decisive in meaning) is derived from احکم which again is derived from حکم which means, he decided or he judged; he prevented or restrained or withheld. احکمه means, he rendered it firm, stable and secure; he restrained it. Hence محکم means: (1) that which has been made secure from change or alteration; (2) that in which there is no ambiguity or possibility of doubt; (3) that which is clear in meaning and decisive in exposition (Aqrab, Mufradat & Lane).
ام (basis) is the noun-infinitive from ام (amma), i.e. he aimed at or sought or took himself to. ام possesses a variety of meanings some of which are: (1) mother; (2) source or origin or basis of a thing; (3) anything which is a means of sustenance and support or of reformation and correction for another; (4) anything to which other things surrounding it are linked (Aqrab & Mufradat).
متشابھات (susceptible of different interpretations) is the plural of متشابھة which is derived from شبه. They say شبھه به i.e. he made it to be like that; he likened it to that. شبه علیه الامر means, he rendered the affair confused or obscure or ambiguous to him. تشابه الرجلان means, the two men were so like each other that it was difficult to distinguish one from the other. متشابهmeans, mutually resembling. Thus the expressions متشابھه is used about (1) that phrase, sentence or verse which is susceptible of different, though concordant, interpretations; or (2) that whose parts resemble or are concordant with one another; or (3) that whose true significance bears a similarity to a sense which is not meant; or (4) that of which the true meaning is known only by referring it to what is termed محکم (decisive); or (5) that which cannot be rightly understood without repeated consideration (Aqrab, Lane & Mufradat).
زیغ (perversity) is the noun-infinitive from زاغ which means, he declined or deviated, or turned aside from the right course. So زیغ means, deviation from the truth or the right course; crookedness; doubt. ازاغه means, he made him deviate from the right course (Aqrab & Mufradat).
تاویله (its interpretation). تاویل is the noun-infinitive from اول which is derived from آل i.e. he or it turned or returned. اولهmeans, he caused it or him to turn or return. اول الکلام means, he interpreted or explained the speech or writing. اول الرؤیاmeans, he interpreted the dream. تاویل means, (1) interpretation or explanation; (2) conjecture about the meaning of a speech or writing; (3) turning away a speech or writing from its right interpretation; (4) interpretation of a dream; (5) end, result or sequel of a thing (Lane & Aqrab). In the present verse the word تاویل occurs twice, the first-mentioned تاویلgiving the second or the third meaning, while the second-mentioned gives the first or the fifth meaning.
الراسخون (firmly grounded) is the plural of الراسخ which is derived from رسخ i.e. he or it was or became firm, stable or established. رسخ الشیءmeans, the thing became firmly established. رسخ العلم فی قلبه means, knowledge became firmly established, or sank deep, in his heart. الراسخ فی العلم is one whose knowledge is extensive and deep-rooted, being firmly established and based on sure ground (Aqrab & Mufradat).
The verse, which was revealed when a party of Christians from Najran visited the Holy Prophet in Medina (Jarir), serves a fourfold purpose: (1) it gives the genesis of the later Christian doctrines and explains how the true original doctrines became perverted; (2) it tells how the critics of Islam, particularly the Christians, distort true Islamic teachings in order to find an excuse for attacking Islam; (3) it warns Muslims to take a lesson from the history of Christians; and (4) it supplies a sure and trustworthy principle of interpreting revealed Books, or, for that matter, any writing or speech, in a right manner.
What proved the perversion of the Christian faith was that expressions like "Son of God" etc. used metaphorically were taken literally and the simple and straightforward faith of Jesus was transformed out of all recognition, the متشابهbeing given the place of محکم.
Again, it is on record that when the party of Christians, referred to above, visited the Holy Prophet and had a discussion with him on the godhead of Jesus, they, like clever casuists, who when it suits their purpose tear a passage from its context and then base their arguments on it, asked the Holy Prophet if the words کلمة الله (word of God) and روح(spirit) were used about Jesus in the Quran, and, receiving an answer in the affirmative, joyfully exclaimed that the divinity of Jesus was thereby proved. They did not care to ponder over the explanation of these words in their context, which did not at all bear out the sense which they thought they possessed. It is to such objectionable practices that allusion is made in this verse, which lays down the golden rule that, in order to prove a controversial point, the decisive and clearly worded parts of a Scripture should be taken into consideration, and that if they are found to contradict the construction put upon a certain ambiguous passage quoted in support of an argument, that interpretation should be rejected and the passage should be so interpreted as to make it harmonize with the decisive and clearly worded parts of the text.
This golden rule should always be observed whenever it is required to interpret or explain a passage which is susceptible of several interpretations and is not easily comprehensible. Its observance is all the more necessary when a seemingly difficult and knotty verse of the Quran is sought to be explained. Any interpretation which clashes with other verses of the Quran and runs counter to the clearly worded parts thereof should be rejected and only that interpretation which is in harmony with its basic principles should be accepted.
According to the verse, the Quran has two sets of verses. Some are محکم (decisive in meaning) and others متشابه(capable of different interpretations). The right way to interpret a متشابه verse is that only such interpretation of it should be accepted as agrees with the verses that are محکم and all other interpretations should be dismissed as incorrect. It is on record that one day the Holy Prophet, on hearing people disputing about the interpretation of certain verses of the Quran, angrily said: "Thus were ruined those who have gone before you. They interpreted certain parts of their scriptures in such a manner as to make them contradict other parts. But the Quran has been so revealed that different parts of it should corroborate one another. So do not reject any truth by making one part contradict the other. Act on what you understand thereof and refer that which you do not understand to those who know and understand it" (Musnad).
The above hadith also refutes the theory of abrogation, for it speaks of the Quran as a Book of which all parts corroborate one another and condemns those who think that some of its verses contradict others. To Ahmad, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, goes the credit of exploding the so-called abrogation theory. He and his disciples have given convincing explanations of those verses which were previously regarded as abrogated.
It may be noted here that in 39:24 the whole Quran is called متشابه and in 11:2 all the Quranic verses have been described as محکم. This should not be taken as contradicting the verse under comment, according to which some verses of the Quran are محکم and others متشابه. The apparent in-consistency is easily explained. So far as the real significance of the Quranic verses is concerned the whole of the Quran is محکم (decisive), inasmuch as all its verses contain decisive and eternal truths. In another sense, however, the whole of the Quran is متشابه inasmuch as the Quranic verses have been so worded as to give, at one and the same time, several meanings equally true and good. The Quran is also متشابه (i.e.mutually resembling) in the sense that there is no contradiction or inconsistency in it, its different verses affording support to one another. But parts of it are certainly محکم or متشابه for different readers according to their mental and spiritual capacities, as the present verse points out.
As regards prophecies, those that are couched in plain and direct language, susceptible of only one meaning, would be regarded as محکم and those that are described in figurative or metaphorical language, capable of more than one interpretation, would be regarded as متشابه. The prophecies described in metaphorical language should, therefore, be interpreted in the light of the prophecies that have been clearly and literally fulfilled and also in the light of the basic and fundamental principles of Islam. For an example of محکم prophecies, the reader is referred to 58:22; whereas 28:86 contains a متشابه prophecy.
The term محکم may also be applied to such verses as embody full and complete commandments while متشابه verses are those which give only part of a certain commandment, and require to be read in conjunction with other verses to make a complete injunction.
Moreover, محکمات (decisive verses) generally deal with the Law and the doctrines of Faith, while متشابھات generally deal with topics of secondary importance or describe incidents in the lives of Prophets or the history of peoples and, while so doing, sometimes make use of idioms and phrases capable of different meanings. Such verses should not be so interpreted as to contradict the clear-worded tenets of the Faith.
The Arabic clause which has been translated as and none knows its right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord', may be rendered in two ways, according as the pause is made after the word الله (Allah) or after the word العلم (knowledge). If the pause is made after العلم (knowledge), the clause would be translated as above and the term would in this case apply to verses pertaining to events of the past or verses containing general exhortation. If, however, the pause is made after الله (Allah), the term متشابھات would refer to prophecies of which the real interpretation is known to God only. In this case the clause would be translated as, "and none knows its interpretation except Allah; and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, "We believe in it, the whole is from our Lord". Grammatically, both constructions are correct.
Finally, it may be noted that the use of metaphors, the main basis of متشابھات verses, in religious scriptures is necessary; (1) to assure vastness of meaning in the fewest of words; (2) to add beauty and grace to the style; and (3) to provide for the people a trial (ابتلاء) without which spiritual development and perfection is not possible. (close)
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوۡبَنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدَیۡتَنَا وَ ہَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ رَحۡمَۃً ۚ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَہَّابُ ﴿۹﴾
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوبَنَا بَعۡدَ إِذۡ هَدَيۡتَنَا وَهَبۡ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحۡمَةًۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡوَهَّابُ
374. The right knowledge of the Qur’an is vouchsafed only to those who are pure of heart (56:80). (close)
300. Important Words:
الوھاب (Bestower) is derived from وھب i.e. he gave or he bestowed. وھب له مالا means, he gave or bestowed property on him. ھبة which is the noun-infinitive from وھب means: (1) the act of giving a person something without receiving anything in return; (2) the thing so given. الوھاب which is the intensive form of واھب (giver) means, one who gives greatly and extensively (Aqrab). The word is used about God because He gives to each and every one of His creatures according to his deserts and none is overlooked (Mufradat).
The verse, which comprises a very important prayer, comes as a fitting sequel to the preceding verse. It points out the great truth that not unoften a people receive a favour or blessing from God, which sometimes later proves a means of stumbling for them. They abuse the favour of God or misinterpret divine guidance and thus bring about their ruin. This is what happened to the Christians; and Muslims are warned to be watchful against this source of error and ever to pray to God to protect them against it. See also 1:7.
The verse also hints that dissension and straying away from the truth would be the lot of Muslims if they subordinated decisive verses to those ambiguous, and fundamentals to matters of secondary importance. This is why the Holy Prophetsaused to recite this prayer constantly, which fact implied an instruction to his followers to do the same. Indeed, there could be no greater tragedy than, having once found the right path, to go astray, and, having once received Divine favour, to become the object of His anger.
The verse also draws attention to the fact that the error of interpreting متشابھات in a manner which is at variance with محکمات (see preceding verse) can only be avoided through the purification of the heart and through prayer. The right knowledge of the Quran is vouchsafed only to those who are pure of heart. In this connection see also 56:80. (close)
رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّکَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِیَوۡمٍ لَّا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخۡلِفُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ ﴿۱۰﴾٪
رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ جَامِعُ ٱلنَّاسِ لِيَوۡمٖ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُخۡلِفُ ٱلۡمِيعَادَ
a. 3:26; 4:88; 45:27. (close)
a. 3:26; 4:88; 45:27. (close)
301. Important Words:
جامع (wilt assemble) is derived from جمع i.e. he collected or he assembled. جمع الشیء means, he assembled and arranged the thing. God is called جامع because He will bring together all men on the Day of Judgement and will give them their reward or punishment as they deserve. The central mosque of a town is also called جامع because people gather there for Prayers, particularly for Friday Prayer from the entire neighbourhood. جمعة (Friday) is also so called because on that day people assemble for the weekly worship (Taj & Aqrab).
المیعاد (promise) is derived from وعد i.e. he promised. Generally وعد means, he promised a good thing; and اوعد means, he threatened with something evil. میعاد means, time or place of promise or appointment (Aqrab). It also means, promise (Lane).
The prayer contained in the preceding verse becomes all the more essential because man has to give an account of his actions before God on the Day of Reckoning when He will bring together men of all ages and all lands. An examination is a very hard thing but it becomes harder still if held in the presence of a gathering comprising the whole of mankind. (close)