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)
کُلُّ الطَّعَامِ کَانَ حِلًّا لِّبَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ اِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلُ عَلٰی نَفۡسِہٖ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ تُنَزَّلَ التَّوۡرٰٮۃُ ؕ قُلۡ فَاۡتُوۡا بِالتَّوۡرٰٮۃِ فَاتۡلُوۡہَاۤ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾
۞كُلُّ ٱلطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلّٗا لِّبَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفۡسِهِۦ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةُۚ قُلۡ فَأۡتُواْ بِٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةِ فَٱتۡلُوهَآ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
439. Certain foods which the Jews abstained from were allowed by Islam. One such thing was the sciatic nerve, to which reference is made in Gen. 32:32. Jacob suffered from sciatica, and, for medical reasons he forbade himself the sciatic nerve as food. This was his personal matter but the Israelites made it a rule of conduct to abstain from eating the sinew. (close)
440. The name Israel was bestowed upon Jacob in a vision (Gen. 32:28). (close)
380. Important Words:
کل (all) is a very common Arabic word used to express two senses: (1) all members of a group; (2) all parts of an individual thing. The word may generally be rendered as, all; whole; each; every one, etc. It is also sometimes used in the sense of "the majority of", and rarely even in the sense of "some" or "part of" (Aqrab & Taj)
The preceding verses emphasize the importance of complete submission to the will of God. The highest good cannot be attained without the sacrifice of most beloved things, including personal and national sentiments. The present verse cites an apt illustration. Whereas God had allowed "all food" to the Jews, the Israelites forbade themselves parts thereof on the ground that Jacob, for personal and medical considerations, abstained from partaking of them. But as the word Israel, primarily the name of Jacob, is also used about his children and descendants and has been so used in the Bible, it may also be taken in this sense in the second clause of the present verse.
By saying, All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, the Quran also refutes an objection of the People of the Book, which served as an obstacle in the way of their accepting Islam. There were certain kinds of food which the Jews abstained from eating but which were allowed by Islam. One such thing was the sciatic nerve, to which reference is made in Gen. 32:32. Jacob suffered from sciatica, and, therefore, for medical reasons he forbade himself the use of the sciatic nerve as food. This was a personal matter but the Children of Israel followed his example blindly and made it a rule of conduct to abstain from the eating of the sinew. It was not forbidden by Law, the abstention being purely voluntary.
Moreover, the incident which led to the abandonment of the sciatic nerve as food by Israel and later by the Israelites took place long before the Torah was revealed. The Torah itself does not forbid it but merely mentions it as a practice of the Jews who had, therefore, no right to object to its use by the Muslims. The objection, if valid, also held good against Abraham and many other Prophets. Besides, there are some foods which were used by Abraham and his descendants but were later forbidden by the Torah. The camel is an instance of this kind. Hence, the verse purports to say that if certain foods used by the patriarchs are allowed to other peoples, the Jews have no right to object.
It may be pointed out here that there is a difference of meaning between کل طعام (kullu-ta‘amin) and کل الطعام (kullut-ta‘ami) as used in the present verse. The former means, every kind of food, while the latter means, all food, i.e. the whole food. It appears that the Jews objected that the Muslims ate the whole meat, not excepting even the nerve. (close)
فَمَنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۵﴾
فَمَنِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
441. Dhalika refers to the statement made in the preceding verse. To say that such and such parts of food were disallowed by God whereas He had not forbidden them, amounted to forging a lie against God. (close)
The word ذالك (this) refers to the statement made in the preceding verse. To say that such and such parts of food were disallowed by God whereas He had not forbidden them, or even without directly attributing any commandant to God persistently to abstain from partaking of a lawful food without just reason virtually amounted to forging a lie against God which only wrongdoers could resort to. (close)
قُلۡ صَدَقَ اللّٰہُ ۟ فَاتَّبِعُوۡا مِلَّۃَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ حَنِیۡفًا ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾
قُلۡ صَدَقَ ٱللَّهُۗ فَٱتَّبِعُواْ مِلَّةَ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ حَنِيفٗاۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ
a. See 3:68. (close)
442. By saying that Abraham was ever obedient to God, the verse hints that he did not prohibit the eating of any particular food of his own accord, as the Israelites have done. It purports to say that by differing from the Israelites in this matter, Islam does not go against the way and the practice of the Prophets of God, particularly that of Abraham. (close)
By saying that Abraham was ever obedient to God, the verse hints that he did not prohibit the eating of any particular meat of his own accord, as the Israelites have done. So by differing from the Israelites in this matter, Islam does not go against the way and the practice of the Prophets of God, particularly that of Abraham.
By saying that Abraham did not associate gods with Allah, the Jews are reminded that it is they themselves who set up gods with God and go against the religion of Abraham, to whom the will of his Master was all in all. (close)
اِنَّ اَوَّلَ بَیۡتٍ وُّضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِیۡ بِبَکَّۃَ مُبٰرَکًا وَّ ہُدًی لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۹۷﴾
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٖ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكٗا وَهُدٗى لِّلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
b. 5:98; 27:92; 28:58; 29:68; 106:4, 5. (close)
443. Becca is the name given to the Valley of Mecca, the mim of Mecca being changed into ba’. These two letters are interchangeable as in Lazim and Lazib. The Qur’an here draws the attention of the People of the Book to the remote antiquity of the Ka‘bah in order to point out that it is the real and original centre of God’s religion; those adopted by Jews and Christians being of later origin. See also 2:128. (close)
a. 5:98; 27:92; 28:58; 29:68; 106:4, 5. (close)
383. Important Words:
بکة (Becca) is the name given to the valley of Mecca. The word is probably derived from بك. They say بکه i.e. he pushed him into a narrow and crowded place. بك عنقه means, he dealt blows on his neck and broke it. تباك القوم علی الشیء means, the people crowded round the thing. The valley of مکة (Mecca) is called بکة (Becca) probably on account of the crowding of the people there, or because it used to break the necks of the tyrants (Aqrab). The word بکة (Becca) is also considered by some to be the same as Mecca, its م having been changed into ب. These two letters are interchangeable as in لازم and لازب.
See note on 2:128 with regard to the antiquity of the Ka‘bah.
In this verse, the Quran draws the attention of the People of the Book to the antiquity of the Ka‘bah in order to point out that the real and original centre of God’s religion is the Ka‘bah, those adopted by Jews and Christians being of later origin. Just as certain foods which Jews abstained from were not originally forbidden but came subsequently to be held unlawful, similarly their Qiblah was not the original Qiblah but was adopted as such at a subsequent time. (close)
فِیۡہِ اٰیٰتٌۢ بَیِّنٰتٌ مَّقَامُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ ۬ۚ وَ مَنۡ دَخَلَہٗ کَانَ اٰمِنًا ؕ وَ لِلّٰہِ عَلَی النَّاسِ حِجُّ الۡبَیۡتِ مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَیۡہِ سَبِیۡلًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾
فِيهِ ءَايَٰتُۢ بَيِّنَٰتٞ مَّقَامُ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُۥ كَانَ ءَامِنٗاۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلٗاۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
c. 2:126. (close)
d. 14:36; 28:58; 29:68. (close)
e. 22:28. (close)
444. After alluding to the historical evidence in favour of the Ka‘bah, the Qur’an proceeds to adduce three reasons to show that the Ka‘bah is entitled to be adopted as the Qiblah or the Centre of God’s religion for all times: (a) Abraham, the great Patriarch prayed here; (b) it gives peace and security; (c) it shall ever remain the Centre to which men from different countries and diverse nations will resort for Pilgrimage. (close)
b. 2:126. (close)
c. 14:36; 28:58; 29:68. (close)
d. 22:28. (close)
After alluding to the historical evidence in favour of the Ka‘bah, the Quran proceeds to state that reason also demands that the Ka‘bah should be adopted as the Qiblah. The verse gives reasons to show that the Ka‘bah is entitled to be adopted as the Qiblah or the centre of God’s religion.
The first reason, as hinted in the words, the place of Abraham, is that Abraham came and prayed here. Jews and Christians, to both of whom Abraham is worthy of great reverence, have to admit that Abraham visited the place. Therefore, it cannot be denied that it is a blessed place.
The second reason, referred to in the words whoso enters it enters peace, is that the Ka‘bah not only promises but also affords peace and security to those who enter it. This promise has been literally fulfilled. Temporally, God has ever protected it against wars and invasions both in ancient and modern times. The way in which Abrahah, ruler of Yemen, and his hosts were destroyed when they tried to invade the Ka‘bah and the way in which this territory, which then formed a part of the dominion of Turkey, was kept outside the conflict during the First World War (1914-18) afford remarkable instances of how miraculously God protects the Ka‘bah. Unlike the sacred places of other nations, it has never fallen into the hands of a people who would not revere it. Even in the Days of Ignorance when the different tribes of pagan Arabia were constantly at war with one another, the territory of the Ka‘bah was held to be sacred and no fighting was allowed therein. Spiritually, also, it is a place of security for those who enter it in the spiritual sense, i.e.embrace the religion of Islam. They become recipients of divine favours and enjoy security from the punishment of God.
The third reason which entitles the Ka‘bah to be adopted as the Qiblah is hinted at in the words, pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men…owe to God. The verse contains an implied promise on the part of God that the Ka‘bah shall ever continue to be the centre to which men of different countries and diverse nations will resort for Pilgrimage. The fulfilment of this promise is proof of the fact that the Ka‘bah has indeed been designed by God to be the Qiblah of all nations.
Every Muslim who can find a way to Mecca is bound to perform Pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah once in his lifetime. If he performs it more than once, it is regarded as a supererogatory act of devotion.
The words, who can find a way thither, embody three conditions: (1) one should have the necessary conveyance for performing the journey; (2) one should have the necessary money to bear the expenses; and (3) there should be peace and security on the way (Dawud). If a person is sick, he is supposed to have no "way" and Pilgrimage does not become obligatory on him.
The words, and whoever disbelieves (let him remember) that Allah is surely independent of all creatures, signify that whoever refuses to accept the Ka‘bah as the Qiblah, in spite of the arguments given in its favour, should remember that these commandments have been given for the good of man himself; so if he does not act upon them, he only harms himself and does no harm to God, Who is "Independent of all creatures".
The object of Pilgrimage is to accustom men to leave their home and country and suffer separation from relatives and friends for the sake of God. The Pilgrimage to Mecca is also a symbol of the respect shown to places where the will of God was specially manifested and a reminder of the incidents connected with that manifestation. It reminds believers of the long and hazardous journey of Abraham and Ishmael to the desert valley of Mecca and of Ishmael’s being left in that desert by Abraham; it tells them in speechless eloquence how those who make sacrifices in the way of God are protected and honoured by him; and it fosters their faith in the power and might of God. Again, the pilgrim, on finding himself near the place which has, from the beginning of the world, been dedicated to the worship of God, is sure to experience a peculiar spiritual association with those who have, through centuries, been bound together by the love and remembrance of God.
Beside this, the Pilgrimage to Mecca has great social and political significance; for Muslims from all parts of the world who meet here once a year can exchange views and establish and renew relations of love and brotherhood. They have opportunities of acquainting themselves with the problems that confront Muslims in different countries, of copying one another’s good points, profiting by one another’s experience and of cooperating with one another. It is, however, a matter of great regret that at present little advantage is being taken of this aspect of the Pilgrimage. (close)
قُلۡ یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ ٭ۖ وَ اللّٰہُ شَہِیۡدٌ عَلٰی مَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۹﴾
قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لِمَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَىٰ مَا تَعۡمَلُونَ
a. 3:71. (close)
445. Shahid means, one who gives information of what he witnesses; one possessing much knowledge; a person slain in the way of God. When used about God the word signifies, He from Whose knowledge nothing is hidden (Lane). (close)
a. 3:71. (close)
385. Important Words:
شھید (Watchful), for which see also 2:24, is here used for the first time in connection with God. The word is derived from شھد which means, he gave information or decisive information of what he had witnessed or seen; he declared what he knew; he gave testimony or evidence; he saw or watched or witnessed or beheld a thing; he was present at a place. شھیدmeans, one who gives information of, or declares, what he knows or has seen or witnessed; one who gives decisive information; one who sees or beholds a thing; witness or an eye-witness; one possessing much know-ledge; a martyr slain in the cause of God. When used about God the word signifies, the Faithful; the Trusty in testimony; He from Whose know-ledge nothing is hidden (Lane). Other similar words used by the Quran about God are (1) وکیل meaning Guardian (e.g. 3:174); and (2) رقیب meaning Watcher (e.g. 4:2); and (3) حفیظ also meaning Guardian or Keeper (e.g. 11:58 and 4:81). See also 2:24; 4:2; 3:174 and 4:81.
The words لم تکفرون rendered as, why deny ye, may also be rendered as, why are you ungrateful respecting…
The institution of Pilgrimage and other forms of worship prescribed by Islam are all for the good of man, but in his ignorance he refuses to recognize, or be thankful for, this good. (close)