کُنۡتُمۡ خَیۡرَ اُمَّۃٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ تَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اٰمَنَ اَہۡلُ الۡکِتٰبِ لَکَانَ خَیۡرًا لَّہُمۡ ؕ مِنۡہُمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ اَکۡثَرُہُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۱﴾
كُنتُمۡ خَيۡرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَأۡمُرُونَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَتَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِ وَتُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِۗ وَلَوۡ ءَامَنَ أَهۡلُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لَكَانَ خَيۡرٗا لَّهُمۚ مِّنۡهُمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ وَأَكۡثَرُهُمُ ٱلۡفَٰسِقُونَ
c. 2:144. (close)
d. 3:105, 115; 7:158; 9:71; 31:18. (close)
457. The verse not only claims that the Muslims are the best people—a big claim indeed—but also gives reasons for it: (1) They have been raised for the good of all mankind; and (2) it is their duty to enjoin good and forbid evil and believe in one God. The glory of the Muslims is subject to and governed by these two conditions. (close)
b. 2:144. (close)
c. 3:105, 115; 7:158; 9:71; 31:18. (close)
The verse not only claims that the Muslims are the best people—a great claim indeed—but also gives reasons for it. These reasons are: (1) Muslims have been raised for the good of others; (2) they have been raised not for the good of any one people or any one country but for the good of all mankind; (3) it has been made their duty to enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in one God. The history of Islam bears ample testimony to the fact that Muslims fulfilled all the hopes expressed in this verse. They were not only the torch-bearers of Islam to the four corners of the world but they also contributed to the betterment of other peoples in a most remarkable manner. The renaissance of the west was mostly, if not entirely, due to their influence (The Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault).
The greatness of a people is proportionate to the magnitude of their work. As Muslims were to bring about the good of all mankind, they have been declared the greatest of all peoples. In fact, the real purpose of a Muslim’s life is to do good for humanity. As Islam is the greatest good, so Muslims have been enjoined to convey its message to the whole world. They are also required to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. There are other people also who claim to enjoin good and forbid evil, but their aim in doing so is to contribute to the strength or betterment of their own respective communities. The Quran warns Muslims against having such restricted motives by adding the words, and you believe in Allah, i.e. your preaching should only be for God’s sake Who is the Lord of the worlds.
The assignment of this great task to Muslims also implies the appearance of Divine Messengers among them from time to time, for it is heavenly Messengers alone who can best perform this duty; and it is through them that we can properly realize the true significance of this task.
It may also be pointed out here that, according to this verse, the excellence of the Muslim people is governed by, and is subject to, the above conditions, i.e. preaching Islam to mankind and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil; mere lip-profession of Islam cannot entitle anyone to claim excellence. (close)
لَنۡ یَّضُرُّوۡکُمۡ اِلَّاۤ اَذًی ؕ وَ اِنۡ یُّقَاتِلُوۡکُمۡ یُوَلُّوۡکُمُ الۡاَدۡبَارَ ۟ ثُمَّ لَا یُنۡصَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾
لَن يَضُرُّوكُمۡ إِلَّآ أَذٗىۖ وَإِن يُقَٰتِلُوكُمۡ يُوَلُّوكُمُ ٱلۡأَدۡبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يُنصَرُونَ
a. 59:13. (close)
a. 59:13. (close)
The words, they cannot harm you save a slight hurt, signify that Jews, in spite of their great enmity to Islam, will not be able to do Muslims more than a slight injury, and this is what actually happened.
The words, they shall show you their backs, contain a prophecy which met with its fulfilment three times by the defeat at Medina of the hostile Jewish tribes who made common cause with the Arab tribes. They were guilty of treachery and met with the punishment they deserved.
The words are equally applicable to the enemies of Islam in general. Preaching of the Divine Message can bring upon Muslims only temporary trouble. If they persevere in preaching with sincerity and patience, they are sure to come out successful in their endeavour. On the other hand, if the enemies of Islam take up arms against Muslims for their preaching of Islam, God will help the latter against their enemies and grant them victory. (close)
ضُرِبَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الذِّلَّۃُ اَیۡنَ مَا ثُقِفُوۡۤا اِلَّا بِحَبۡلٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ حَبۡلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ وَ بَآءُوۡ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ ضُرِبَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡمَسۡکَنَۃُ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ وَ یَقۡتُلُوۡنَ الۡاَنۡۢبِیَآءَ بِغَیۡرِ حَقٍّ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِمَا عَصَوۡا وَّ کَانُوۡا یَعۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۳﴾٭
ضُرِبَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلذِّلَّةُ أَيۡنَ مَا ثُقِفُوٓاْ إِلَّا بِحَبۡلٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَحَبۡلٖ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَضُرِبَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَسۡكَنَةُۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَقۡتُلُونَ ٱلۡأَنۢبِيَآءَ بِغَيۡرِ حَقّٖۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعۡتَدُونَ
b. 2:62, 91; 5:61; 7:168. (close)
458. The verse contains an important and far-reaching prophecy regarding the Jews, viz. that they are for ever doomed to disgrace and humiliation and to live in subjection to others. The history of the Jewish people from the time of the Holy Prophet up to the present day bears eloquent testimony to the truth of this awful prophecy. In all countries and in all ages, the present age of enlightenment and toleration not excepted, the Jews have been the victim of bitter persecution and have been subjected to diverse kinds of disgrace and humiliation. The establishment of the State of Israel is but a temporary phase in the life of Jewry. (close)
c. 2:62, 92; 3:22. (close)
b. 2:62, 67; 5:61; 7:168. (close)
398. Important Words:
حبل (protection). See 3:104.
المسکنة (wretchedness) is derived from سکن i.e. he or it was or became still or silent or motionless. مسکنة means, the state of مسکین; lowliness or submissiveness; lowness, abasement or humiliation; paucity of property; evil state or condition; weakness; poverty of mind, etc. (Lane). It also means disgrace and wretchedness (Aqrab) also loss of the power of movement (Mufradat).
This verse contains an important and far-reaching prophecy regarding Jews. They are forever doomed to disgrace and humiliation. They have ever to live in subjection to other powers. The history of the Jewish people from the time of the Holy Prophet up to the present day bears woeful testimony to the truth of this awful prophecy. In all countries and in all ages, the present age of enlightenment and toleration not being excepted, they have been the victims of bitter persecution and have been subjected to diverse kinds of disgrace and humiliation. Their practice of usury has also made them the hated of all nations.
The word حبل rendered here as "protection" is full of significance and is applicable in almost all its different meanings, for which see 3:104. Generally speaking, the divine rope, or in other words, "protection from Allah", refers to Islam; and "protection from men" refers to the protection of non-Muslim powers. The latter may be illustrated by the Treaty of Versailles, which afforded the Jews a temporary protection, while the former was made possible through a section of them accepting the Holy Prophet. In the present age, the Promised Messiah (Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam), whom God has raised as the saviour of mankind, is the emblem of protection for the Jews. They can save themselves by accepting him.
The word مسکنة rendered as "wretchedness" also signifies, humiliation, disgrace, and loss of the power of movement. All these have been the fate of the Jews. They have often been expelled from countries, and even today in Russia there are certain districts which they are not permitted to enter. The recent persecution of the Jews in Germany and other countries of Europe is only too well-known to need a reference.
The clause, kill the Prophets unjustly, refers not only to the attempt of the Jews to crucify Jesus, but also to their plots to kill the Holy Prophet of Islam.
The verse also serves as a warning to Muslims that if they rejected the Promised Messiah, who has come in the spirit and power of Jesus as well as of the Holy Prophet, and whose duty it is to preach and rejuvenate Islam, they would also be smitten with the same disgrace which has been the lot of the Jews for their rejection of Jesus and the Holy Prophet. (close)
لَیۡسُوۡا سَوَآءً ؕ مِنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ اُمَّۃٌ قَآئِمَۃٌ یَّتۡلُوۡنَ اٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ اٰنَآءَ الَّیۡلِ وَ ہُمۡ یَسۡجُدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴﴾
۞لَيۡسُواْ سَوَآءٗۗ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ أُمَّةٞ قَآئِمَةٞ يَتۡلُونَ ءَايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ءَانَآءَ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَهُمۡ يَسۡجُدُونَ
a. 4:163. (close)
459. The words Ummatun Qa’imatun may also mean: (1) A party or people who perform fully and faithfully their duties; (2) a people who stand up for Prayer in the latter part of the night. The words refer only to those Jews who had embraced Islam. (close)
a. 4:163. (close)
399. Important Words:
امة قائمة (a party who stand by the covenant) may give a number of meanings besides the one given in the text e.g.: (1) a party of people who perform well the duties entrusted to them; (2) a people who stand up for Prayer in the latter part of the night, an act of worship highly commended both in the Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet.
The words, a party who stand by their covenant, refer to those among the Jews who embraced Islam (see the next verse and also 4:163). The view finds further support from the words, and prostrate themselves before Him, for سجدة (prostration) was not included in the worship performed by Jews. The exhortation to Mary conveyed in the words, and prostrate thyself (3:44), was only an exceptional commandment specifically meant for her. (close)
یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ یَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ یُسَارِعُوۡنَ فِی الۡخَیۡرٰتِ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۵﴾
يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ وَيَأۡمُرُونَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَيَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِ وَيُسَٰرِعُونَ فِي ٱلۡخَيۡرَٰتِۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
b. 3:105, 111; 9:71. (close)
c. 21:91; 23:62; 35:33. (close)
a. 3:105, 111; 9:71. (close)
b. 21:91; 23:62; 35:33. (close)
وَ مَا یَفۡعَلُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ فَلَنۡ یُّکۡفَرُوۡہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِالۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۶﴾
وَمَا يَفۡعَلُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٖ فَلَن يُكۡفَرُوهُۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمُۢ بِٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ
d. 28:85; 99:8. (close)
460. Islam is not a national or tribal religion. Whoever joins it, no matter what community or creed he comes from, receives the same reward as any other follower of the Faith, provided, of course, he acts righteously. No prejudicial treatment is meted out to the members of any particular nationality. A Jew, and for that matter any other person, after embracing Islam is on par with an Arab Muslim. (close)
c. 28:85; 99:8. (close)
The verse shows that Islam is not a national or tribal religion, but that whoever joins it, no matter from what nation or creed he comes, will receive the same reward as any other follower of the Faith, provided, of course, he acts righteously. In Islam, no preferential or prejudicial treatment is meted out to the members of any particular nationality. A Jew, and for that matter any other man, after embracing Islam, is on a par with an Arab Muslim. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَنۡ تُغۡنِیَ عَنۡہُمۡ اَمۡوَالُہُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَوۡلَادُہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ شَیۡـًٔا ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ اَصۡحٰبُ النَّارِ ۚ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۷﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَن تُغۡنِيَ عَنۡهُمۡ أَمۡوَٰلُهُمۡ وَلَآ أَوۡلَٰدُهُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ شَيۡـٔٗاۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ أَصۡحَٰبُ ٱلنَّارِۖ هُمۡ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
e. 3:11; 58:18. (close)
a. 3:11; 58:18. (close)
If disbelievers employ their wealth and their children in opposition to God, this shall not serve as protection against Divine punishment which must overtake them. But if they employ their wealth and their children in order to win the pleasure of God, this is sure ultimately to lead to their guidance. A Companion of the Holy Prophet is reported to have once said to him that in the Days of Ignorance, i.e. before he accepted Islam, he had given a hundred camels in charity and asked him whether that charity would bring him any reward. The Holy Prophet promptly replied, "Your acceptance of Islam is a result of the very charity you practised" (Bukhari, ch. on Zakah). (close)
مَثَلُ مَا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا کَمَثَلِ رِیۡحٍ فِیۡہَا صِرٌّ اَصَابَتۡ حَرۡثَ قَوۡمٍ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ فَاَہۡلَکَتۡہُ ؕ وَ مَا ظَلَمَہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ لٰکِنۡ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾
مَثَلُ مَا يُنفِقُونَ فِي هَٰذِهِ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَثَلِ رِيحٖ فِيهَا صِرٌّ أَصَابَتۡ حَرۡثَ قَوۡمٖ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ فَأَهۡلَكَتۡهُۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنۡ أَنفُسَهُمۡ يَظۡلِمُونَ
a. 10:25; 68:18-21. (close)
461. The idea underlying this verse is that the efforts of the disbelievers against Islam will recoil on themselves. Whatever they do or spend with a view to injuring the cause of Islam will only injure themselves. (close)
b. 10:25; 68:18-21. (close)
402. Important Words:
صر (intense cold). They say صر الباب i.e. the door made a sound or a creaking sound. صر الطائر means, the bird (hawk or falcon) uttered its cry. صر means, it (plant) became smitten with intense cold; or he (a person) had an iron collar put round his neck. So صر means: (1) intense cold; (2) cold that smites the herbage and destroys it; (3) sound or noise; (4) a wind with an excessively loud sound; (5) fire (Lane & Lisan).
The idea underlying this verse is that the efforts of the disbelievers against Islam will react only against themselves. Whatever they do and whatever they spend with a view to injuring or destroying Islam will only injure the disbelievers themselves. God sent Islam for the good of the people, but by rejecting it they are bringing about their own ruin. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡا بِطَانَۃً مِّنۡ دُوۡنِکُمۡ لَا یَاۡلُوۡنَکُمۡ خَبَالًا ؕ وَدُّوۡا مَا عَنِتُّمۡ ۚ قَدۡ بَدَتِ الۡبَغۡضَآءُ مِنۡ اَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ ۚۖ وَ مَا تُخۡفِیۡ صُدُوۡرُہُمۡ اَکۡبَرُ ؕ قَدۡ بَیَّنَّا لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ بِطَانَةٗ مِّن دُونِكُمۡ لَا يَأۡلُونَكُمۡ خَبَالٗا وَدُّواْ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ قَدۡ بَدَتِ ٱلۡبَغۡضَآءُ مِنۡ أَفۡوَٰهِهِمۡ وَمَا تُخۡفِي صُدُورُهُمۡ أَكۡبَرُۚ قَدۡ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ ٱلۡأٓيَٰتِۖ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُونَ
b. 3:21; 4:140, 145. (close)
c. 9:47. (close)
462. Khabal means, corruption whether of body or reason or actions; loss or deterioration; ruin or destruction; fatal poison (Aqrab). (close)
463. They love to see you fall into calamity or misfortune; to perish or to become weak and broken; or they love to see that you deviate from the path of righteousness and take to a life of sin. (close)
a. 3:29; 4:140, 145. (close)
b. 9:47. (close)
403. Important Words:
بطانة (intimate friends) is derived from بطن i.e. it was or became hidden. بطانة means a lining; an inner vest; a close and intimate friend or friends; a friend or friends to whom one reveals one’s secrets (Aqrab).
خبالا (corruption) is derived from خبل. They say خبله i.e. he made him or it corrupt or evil. خبله الحزن means, the grief affected and vitiated his reason. خبل الرجل عن کذا means, he confined the man and prevented him from it. خبالا means, corruption or bad condition whether of body or reason or actions; loss or deterioration; ruin or destruction; fatal poison (Aqrab).
عنتم (in trouble) is derived from عنت. They say عنت الشیء i.e. the thing became bad or corrupt. عنت فلان means, misfortune befell him and he got into trouble. عنت زید means Zaid met with a calamity and was ruined. عنت العظم means, the bone became weak and broke after it was in a good condition. عنت الرجل means, the man committed a sin (Aqrab). See also 2:221.
The words لایالونکم خبالا rendered as, they will not fail to corrupt you, may also mean: (1) they have no scruple in ruining you; (2) they leave no stone unturned to spoil your work; (3) they will do what they can to corrupt your religion; (4) they are always busy injuring you.
The words ودوا ما عنتم (they love to see you in trouble) may, in the light of the meanings given under Important Words above, mean: (1) they love to see you fall into calamity and misfortune; (2) they love to see you perish; (3) they love to see you become weak and broken; (4) they love to see you become sinful.
Obviously, this verse refers to avoiding such non-Muslims only as are at war with Muslims or such as seek to injure Islam in any other way. It does not require Muslims to have absolutely no relations with any non-Muslim. Elsewhere, the Quran says:
Allah forbids you not respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion and who have not driven you out from your homes, that you be kind to them and deal equitably with them. Surely Allah loves those who are equitable (60:9). (close)
ہٰۤاَنۡتُمۡ اُولَآءِ تُحِبُّوۡنَہُمۡ وَ لَا یُحِبُّوۡنَکُمۡ وَ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡکِتٰبِ کُلِّہٖ ۚ وَ اِذَا لَقُوۡکُمۡ قَالُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا ۚ٭ۖ وَ اِذَا خَلَوۡا عَضُّوۡا عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡاَنَامِلَ مِنَ الۡغَیۡظِ ؕ قُلۡ مُوۡتُوۡا بِغَیۡظِکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۱۲۰﴾
هَـٰٓأَنتُمۡ أُوْلَآءِ تُحِبُّونَهُمۡ وَلَا يُحِبُّونَكُمۡ وَتُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡكِتَٰبِ كُلِّهِۦ وَإِذَا لَقُوكُمۡ قَالُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوۡاْ عَضُّواْ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡأَنَامِلَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِۚ قُلۡ مُوتُواْ بِغَيۡظِكُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
d. 2:15, 77; 5:62. (close)
464. As borne out by the context, the words "while they do not believe in the Book, all of it" or similar words should be taken to be understood after the words, you believe in the Book, all of it. (close)
465. The words, Perish in your rage, have been addressed to such Jews as are the enemies of Islam and seek to destroy it. (close)
a. 2:15, 77; 5:62. (close)
As borne out by the context, words like "and they do not believe in all the Book" must be taken to be understood after the words, you believe in all the Book.
The words, perish in your rage, have been addressed to such Jews as are the enemies of Islam and seek to destroy it. The words are meant as a rebuke. When every effort has been made to reform them, and they would not listen, then they should suffer the consequence of their blind hostility. (close)