اَفَغَیۡرَ دِیۡنِ اللّٰہِ یَبۡغُوۡنَ وَ لَہٗۤ اَسۡلَمَ مَنۡ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ طَوۡعًا وَّ کَرۡہًا وَّ اِلَیۡہِ یُرۡجَعُوۡنَ ﴿۸۴﴾
أَفَغَيۡرَ دِينِ ٱللَّهِ يَبۡغُونَ وَلَهُۥٓ أَسۡلَمَ مَن فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ طَوۡعٗا وَكَرۡهٗا وَإِلَيۡهِ يُرۡجَعُونَ
434. As in the physical world man must submit to the laws of nature—and he knows by experience that such submission is useful for him—it is only reasonable that, in spiritual matters also wherein he has been granted a certain amount of freedom, he should obey the laws and commands of Allah and thus win His pleasure to his own benefit. (close)
As in the physical world man must submit to the laws of nature, whether he wills it or not and he knows by experience that such submission is useful for him, it is only reasonable that in spiritual matters also, wherein he has been granted a certain amount of freedom, he should obey the laws and commands of Allah and thus win His pleasure to his own eventual benefit. (close)
قُلۡ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡنَا وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلٰۤی اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ اِسۡحٰقَ وَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ وَ الۡاَسۡبَاطِ وَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیَ مُوۡسٰی وَ عِیۡسٰی وَ النَّبِیُّوۡنَ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ۪ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَیۡنَ اَحَدٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ ۫ وَ نَحۡنُ لَہٗ مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۸۵﴾
قُلۡ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ وَإِسۡمَٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَٱلۡأَسۡبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٖ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَنَحۡنُ لَهُۥ مُسۡلِمُونَ
a. 2:137, 286. (close)
435. The Jews refused to believe in non-Israelite Prophets as the words, obey none but him who follows your religion (3:74) show. The charge has been pressed home to them that while they rejected all but the Israelite Prophets, Islam requires its followers to believe in all the Prophets of God, irrespective of the country or the race or the community to which they belonged or of the time in which they lived. This constitutes Islam’s great superiority over all other religions. (close)
435A. The words do not mean that there is no difference of rank or status between various Prophets which view is contrary to 2:254. What they really signify is that there can be no discrimination between them as Divine Messengers. (close)
b. 2:137; 2:286 (close)
The Jews refused to believe in non-Israelite Prophets as the words, obey none but him who follows your religion (3:74) show. In the present verse, the charge has been pressed home to Jews that whereas they rejected all but the Israelite Prophets, Islam requires its followers to believe in all the Prophets of God, irrespective of the country or the race or the community to which they belonged or of the time in which they lived. Again, Islam requires them not only to believe in the Prophets that have passed away but also in any that may appear in future. A great contrast indeed, between the catholicity of Islam and the narrow-mindedness of Judaism!
The words, We make no distinction between any of them, should not be understood to mean that Islam considers all Prophets to be of equal spiritual rank. This view is contrary to 2:254 in which some Prophets have been declared to possess a higher spiritual rank than others.
So the words refer only to discrimination as regards believing in them and not as regards their rank. (close)
وَ مَنۡ یَّبۡتَغِ غَیۡرَ الۡاِسۡلَامِ دِیۡنًا فَلَنۡ یُّقۡبَلَ مِنۡہُ ۚ وَ ہُوَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۶﴾
وَمَن يَبۡتَغِ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡإِسۡلَٰمِ دِينٗا فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡهُ وَهُوَ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡخَٰسِرِينَ
b. 3:20; 5:4. (close)
a. 3:20; 5:4. (close)
The Jews and Christians used to say that they were not bound to accept Islam because it was the Quran that verified the Torah and the Gospel, and not the Torah and the Gospel that verified the Quran. Apart from the fact that the Quran does not "verify" the previous scriptures in the sense in which they understood it, their sense of false security has been shattered in this verse and it has been declared unequivocally that Islam is now the only religion acceptable to God. Even if the word اسلام (Islam) is here taken to signify not "the Religion of Islam" but "submission and resignation to the will of God", the present verse makes it binding on the People of the Book to accept Islam as it alone now represents the will of the Supreme Being. (close)
کَیۡفَ یَہۡدِی اللّٰہُ قَوۡمًا کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِہِمۡ وَ شَہِدُوۡۤا اَنَّ الرَّسُوۡلَ حَقٌّ وَّ جَآءَہُمُ الۡبَیِّنٰتُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾
كَيۡفَ يَهۡدِي ٱللَّهُ قَوۡمٗا كَفَرُواْ بَعۡدَ إِيمَٰنِهِمۡ وَشَهِدُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱلرَّسُولَ حَقّٞ وَجَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتُۚ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهۡدِي ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
436. Certainly a people, who at first believe in the truth of a Prophet and proclaim their belief openly in him and become witnesses of Heavenly Signs but afterwards reject him through fear of men or other worldly considerations, lose all title to be again guided to the right path. Or the verse may refer to those who believed in the former Prophets but rejected the Holy Prophet. (close)
Certainly a people who at first believe in the truth of a Prophet and proclaim their belief openly and become witnesses of heavenly signs but afterwards reject that Prophet through fear of men or other worldly considerations lose all title to be again guided to the right path. The verse lays down a general principle that God lets a person go astray only when the latter knowingly allows disbelief and wickedness to get hold of him and does not try to improve his ways. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ جَزَآؤُہُمۡ اَنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لَعۡنَۃَ اللّٰہِ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ وَ النَّاسِ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۸﴾
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمۡ أَنَّ عَلَيۡهِمۡ لَعۡنَةَ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ أَجۡمَعِينَ
a. 2:162; 4:53; 5:79. (close)
For an explanation of the expression, the curse of Allah and of angels and of men, see under 2:162. (close)
خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ۚ لَا یُخَفَّفُ عَنۡہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یُنۡظَرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۹﴾
خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنۡهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنظَرُونَ
b. 2:163. (close)
See 2:163. (close)
اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ تَابُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ وَ اَصۡلَحُوۡا ۟ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۹۰﴾
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَأَصۡلَحُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٌ
c. 2:161; 4:147; 5:40; 24:6. (close)
436A. Mere repentance and sorrow at past misdeeds is not sufficient to secure Divine forgiveness; an honest promise to eschew evil ways and a firm resolve to reform others also is needed for the purpose. (close)
The curse and punishment spoken of in the preceding verses are conditional and will last as long as the condition that has brought them about lasts.
The words, and amend, show that mere repentance and sorrow at what is past is not sufficient to secure Divine forgiveness. Sinners must not only express genuine regret for past faults but also promise to abandon evil ways in the future. Nay, they should do more. They should try to reform others as well, for the word اصلحوا rendered as "amend" not only signifies amending one’s own ways but also reforming others (see 2:161). If a person is really sincere in his repentance and realizes the true value of virtue, he cannot stop at being good himself but would also try to make others good, if only to protect his own environment. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِیۡمَانِہِمۡ ثُمَّ ازۡدَادُوۡا کُفۡرًا لَّنۡ تُقۡبَلَ تَوۡبَتُہُمۡ ۚ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الضَّآلُّوۡنَ ﴿۹۱﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعۡدَ إِيمَٰنِهِمۡ ثُمَّ ٱزۡدَادُواْ كُفۡرٗا لَّن تُقۡبَلَ تَوۡبَتُهُمۡ وَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلضَّآلُّونَ
d. 4:138; 63:4. (close)
437. The verse does not mean that the repentance of apostates shall in no case be accepted because this inference runs counter to 3:90 according to which repentance is acceptable at every stage. Reference here is to those persons only who make a profession of repentance and, instead of reinforcing their profession by bringing about a real and practical change in their lives, actually increase in disbelief. (close)
a. 4:138; 63:4. (close)
The verse does not mean that the repentance of apostates shall in no case be accepted because this inference runs counter to 3:90, according to which repentance is acceptable at every stage. So the reference in the words, their repentance shall not be accepted, is to those persons who only make a profession of repentance but are not sincere in it, and, instead of reinforcing their profession by bringing about a real and practical change in their lives, actually increase in disbelief. The words, these are they who have gone astray, placed at the end of the verse corroborate this inference, for they show that in spite of a lip-profession of repentance, they still continue to follow a course of error. Such repentance cannot be genuine and hence cannot be accepted. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ مَاتُوۡا وَ ہُمۡ کُفَّارٌ فَلَنۡ یُّقۡبَلَ مِنۡ اَحَدِہِمۡ مِّلۡءُ الۡاَرۡضِ ذَہَبًا وَّلَوِ افۡتَدٰی بِہٖ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ وَّ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۹۲﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمۡ كُفَّارٞ فَلَن يُقۡبَلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِم مِّلۡءُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ذَهَبٗا وَلَوِ ٱفۡتَدَىٰ بِهِۦٓۗ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّـٰصِرِينَ
a. 2:162; 4:19; 47:35. (close)
b. 2:162; 4:19; 47:35. (close)
This verse further explains the true significance of repentance. So long as death does not overtake one and the door of performing good works is open, the door of repentance is also open. But in no case will mere lip-repentance of disbelievers or their alms be accepted. If there is no faith in the heart, mere giving of alms or mere apparently good works cannot win the pleasure of God, even if one spends large quantities of gold. (close)
لَنۡ تَنَالُوا الۡبِرَّ حَتّٰی تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوۡنَ ۬ؕ وَ مَا تُنۡفِقُوۡا مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِہٖ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۹۳﴾
لَن تَنَالُواْ ٱلۡبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيۡءٖ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٞ
b. 9:34, 111; 63:11. (close)
438. In order to attain true faith, which is the essence of all righteousness and is the highest form of good, one must be prepared to sacrifice everything that one holds dear. The highest stage of righteousness can be attained only by spending in the way of God that which one loves best. High morals (Birr) cannot be attained without imbibing a true spirit of sacrifice. (close)
a. 9:34, 111; 63:11. (close)
379. Important Words:
البر (righteousness) means, goodness of a high order (Mufradat). The Holy Prophet has explained the word بر as حسن الخلق i.e.the excellence of moral qualities (Muslim & Musnad). See also 2:45, 178. As true belief is the basis of all goodness, so the word البر may also be taken to mean true belief.
Since the word البر means, goodness or righteousness of a high order or excellence of morals, the verse purports to say that though God is cognizant of, and suitably rewards, each and every thing that one spends in the cause of Allah, yet the goodness of a high order, most acceptable in His sight, can be achieved only by spending out of things, be they material or otherwise, which one loves most for the obvious reason that such spending involves the greatest sacrifice.
In the preceding verse it is said, there shall not be accepted from anyone of them even an earthful of gold, though he offer it in ransom. From this some people might conclude that spending in the cause of God was of no use. To remove this possible misunderstanding, it is pointed out here that spending in the cause of God is a highly meritorious act and spending what is best naturally brings the highest good. The preceding verse refers only to such disbelievers as die in their disbelief.
The verse may be interpreted in three ways: (1) If البر is taken to mean true faith, the verse would mean that as disbelievers think more of their worldly interests than of God, they are unable to recognize the truth of Islam. Thus the verse signifies that in order to attain true faith, which is the essence of all righteousness and the highest form of good, one must be prepared to sacrifice everything that one holds dear. (2) If البر is taken in the sense of goodness of a high order, the verse would mean that though whatever is spent in the cause of God is an act of righteousness, yet the highest stage of righteousness can be attained only by spending in the way of God that which one loves best. (3) If, however, the word البرis taken to mean high morals, the verse would signify that high morals cannot be attained without inculcating a true spirit of sacrifice.
It is on record in the Hadith that when this verse was revealed, Abu Talhah, a Companion of the Holy Prophet, stood up and addressing him said, "O Messenger of God, my garden known as Bi’r Rauha’ (this garden was situated opposite to the Mosque at Medina) is to me the dearest of my property and I hereby give it in charity" (Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir). This illustrates how the early converts to Islam strove to practise the highest good as the Quran enjoined upon them. (close)