وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ اِلَّا لِیُطَاعَ بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اَنَّہُمۡ اِذۡ ظَّلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ جَآءُوۡکَ فَاسۡتَغۡفَرُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اسۡتَغۡفَرَ لَہُمُ الرَّسُوۡلُ لَوَجَدُوا اللّٰہَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِیۡمًا ﴿۶۵﴾
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِۚ وَلَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ إِذ ظَّلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ جَآءُوكَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱسۡتَغۡفَرَ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ ٱللَّهَ تَوَّابٗا رَّحِيمٗا
625. It is sometimes sought to be inferred from these words that though a Prophet is to be always obeyed by the people to whom he preaches his Message, yet he himself does not give allegiance to any other Prophet. This is evidently a wrong inference. The fact that a Prophet is the object of other people’s obedience does not preclude the possibility of his being himself subordinate to, and a follower of, another Prophet. Aaron was a subordinate Prophet to Moses (20:94). (close)
a. 4:111 (close)
a. 4:111. (close)
It is sometimes sought to be inferred from the words, We have sent no Messenger but that he should be obeyed by the command of Allah, that though a Prophet is to be always obeyed by the people to whom he preaches his message, yet he himself gives allegiance to no other Prophet nor can he be subject to the Law of any other Prophet. This is evidently a very wrong inference. The simple and straightforward meaning of the words is only this that when God sends a Prophet, He means that those to whom he is sent should obey him. But the fact that a Prophet is the object of other people’s obedience cannot preclude the possibility of his being himself subordinate to, and a follower of another Prophet. A governor is sent to a province to be obeyed but that does not mean that he is not subordinate to the Governor General, if any, or to the king. According to the Quran, Aaron was a subordinate Prophet to Moses. This is why, when Moses went up to the Mount leaving Aaron behind him to look after the Israelites, and the Israelites took to worshipping the calf, Moses severely reprimanded him on his return, saying "Hast thou then disobeyed my command?" (20:94). In this connection see also 5:45. (close)
فَلَا وَ رَبِّکَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ حَتّٰی یُحَکِّمُوۡکَ فِیۡمَا شَجَرَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا یَجِدُوۡا فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَیۡتَ وَ یُسَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِیۡمًا ﴿۶۶﴾
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُواْ فِيٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ حَرَجٗا مِّمَّا قَضَيۡتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمٗا
b. 4:60. (close)
626. The commandment pertains to the Holy Prophet as Head of the Muslim State and may, therefore, apply also to his Rightly-guided Successors. (close)
538. Important Words:
حرجا (demur) is the noun-infinitive from حرج meaning, it was or became narrow; or he became disquieted and contracted in his bosom; he doubted, because doubt disquiets the mind; he became straitened or in difficulty, particularly owing to the commission of a sin or crime for which he deserved punishment; حرجا therefore means, straitness; difficulty; a sin or crime or an act of disobedience for which one deserves punishment (Lane & Aqrab).
It should be noted that the injunction contained in this verse does not refer to the Holy Prophet alone. The verse speaks of the settlement of disputes, and so the injunction contained in it should be taken to pertain not to the person of the Holy Prophet but to him as Head of the Muslim State and is, therefore, applicable to his Successors as well. Muslims should not only have their disputes settled in accordance with the Law of Islam but should submit to the awards of those in authority with cheerfulness. The injunction is most essential for the maintenance of solidarity among the Muslim community. In fact, the chief cause of discord in a community is that people should regard their own judgement as right and should refuse to give to those in authority their due. The verse requires the Faithful not only to refer their differences to the Holy Prophet, and for that matter to his Successors, deputies and representatives, but to submit to their decisions cheerfully and without demur. (close)
وَ لَوۡ اَنَّا کَتَبۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنِ اقۡتُلُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ اَوِ اخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡ دِیَارِکُمۡ مَّا فَعَلُوۡہُ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اَنَّہُمۡ فَعَلُوۡا مَا یُوۡعَظُوۡنَ بِہٖ لَکَانَ خَیۡرًا لَّہُمۡ وَ اَشَدَّ تَثۡبِیۡتًا ﴿ۙ۶۷﴾
وَلَوۡ أَنَّا كَتَبۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ أَنِ ٱقۡتُلُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ أَوِ ٱخۡرُجُواْ مِن دِيَٰرِكُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٞ مِّنۡهُمۡۖ وَلَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ لَكَانَ خَيۡرٗا لَّهُمۡ وَأَشَدَّ تَثۡبِيتٗا
c. 6:78. (close)
627. The words, Uqtulu Anfusakum, do not mean "slay yourselves" but "slay your people" (2:55), or "lay down your lives in the cause of God". (close)
a. 4:78. (close)
This verse refers to the hypocrites of Medina. The words اقتلوا انفسکم (kill your people) do not mean "kill yourselves" because suicide has been declared in Islam to be unlawful.
The expression انفسکم simply means "your people" (see note on 2:55). The Refugees had to leave their hearths and homes and had to kill their own disbelieving kith and kin in the war that had been forced upon them by the latter. (close)
وَّ اِذًا لَّاٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ مِّنۡ لَّدُنَّـاۤ اَجۡرًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿ۙ۶۸﴾
وَإِذٗا لَّأٓتَيۡنَٰهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّآ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمٗا
وَّ لَہَدَیۡنٰہُمۡ صِرَاطًا مُّسۡتَقِیۡمًا ﴿۶۹﴾
وَلَهَدَيۡنَٰهُمۡ صِرَٰطٗا مُّسۡتَقِيمٗا
d. 19:37; 36:62; 42:53, 54. (close)
a. 19:37; 36:62; 42:53-54. (close)
The next verse explains what is meant here by being guided in the right path. (close)
وَ مَنۡ یُّطِعِ اللّٰہَ وَ الرَّسُوۡلَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنۡعَمَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنَ النَّبِیّٖنَ وَ الصِّدِّیۡقِیۡنَ وَ الشُّہَدَآءِ وَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ۚ وَ حَسُنَ اُولٰٓئِکَ رَفِیۡقًا ﴿ؕ۷۰﴾
وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّهَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ رَفِيقٗا
a. 4:14; 8:25. (close)
628. The particle ma‘ denotes concomitance of two or more persons in one place or at one time; or in position, rank or status. It also implies the sense of assistance as in 9:40 (Mufradat). The particle has been used at several places in the Qur’an in the sense of fi meaning "among" (3:194 & 4:147). (close)
b. 1:7; 5:21; 19:59; 57:20. (close)
629. The verse is important as it describes all the avenues of spiritual progress open to Muslims. All the four spiritual ranks—the Prophets; the Truthful; the Martyrs and the Righteous—can now be attained only by following the Holy Prophet. This is an honour reserved for the Holy Prophet alone. No other Prophet shares it with him. The inference is further supported by the verse which speaks of Prophets generally and says: And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers, they are the Truthful and the Martyrs in the presence of their Lord (57:20). When read together these two verses signify that, whereas the followers of other Prophets could only attain the rank of the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous and no higher, the followers of the Holy Prophet can rise to the rank of a Prophet also. The Bahrul-Muhit (vol. iii, p. 287) quotes Ar-Raghib as saying: "God has divided the believers into four classes in this verse, and has appointed for them four stages, some of which are lower than the others, and He has exhorted true believers not to remain behind any of these stages." And adds that "Prophethood is of two kinds, general, and special. The special Prophethood, viz. the Law-bearing Prophethood, is now unattainable; but the general Prophethood continues to be attained." (close)
b. 4:14; 8:25. (close)
c. 1:7; 5:21; 19:59; 57:20. (close)
541. Important Words:
مع (among) is a common word of the Arabic language denoting concomitance. It means "with" or "among", etc. signifying the being together of two or more persons both literally and figuratively. The word مع thus denotes (1) concomitance of two or more persons in one place; or (2) concomitance of two or more persons at one time; or (3) concomitance of two or more persons in position, rank or status.
The word also implies the sense of assistance, as in the verse إن الله معنا i.e. Allah is with us, which means, God is our Helper (Mufradat).
The verse is important inasmuch as it describes the avenues of spiritual progress open to Muslims. The four spiritual ranks: (1) the Prophets (2) the Truthful (3) the Martyrs and (4) the Righteous can be attained only by following the Holy Prophet. This is an honour reserved for the Holy Prophet alone. No other Prophet shares it with him. The inference is further supported by the verse which speaks of Prophets generally and says, And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers, they are the Truthful and the Martyrs in the presence of their Lord (57:20). When read together these two verses purport to mean that whereas the followers of other Prophets could only rise to the rank of the Truthful and the Martyrs, and no higher, the followers of the Holy Prophet can achieve even higher ranks; viz. they can rise to the rank of a Prophet also.
Some critics take exception to the particle مع rendered as "among" but generally taken to mean "with" and allege that a follower of the Holy Prophet will only be placed "with" the Prophets and not "among" them. Apart from what has been said under Important Words, if the particle مع be taken to denote that a follower of the Holy Prophet is merely joined to and placed with these four classes of men, without actually becoming one of them and without attaining their rank, it will follow from the construction of the verse that not only no person, by following in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet, can attain to the rank of a Prophet but also that he cannot even attain the rank of a Siddiq (Truthful) or a Shahid (Martyr) or a Salih (Righteous) but that he can only be joined to and placed with the people holding these ranks without himself attaining to their spiritual status, which is simply absurd. It is evident that the preposition مع rendered as "among" governs all the four nouns equally viz. the Salihin, the Shuhada’, the Siddiqin and the Nabiyyin, the four having been linked together in one chain. So what holds good in one case should hold good in the other cases as well. Hence, if according to this verse a person can attain the rank of a Salih (Righteous) by following the Holy Prophet of Islam, he can also attain the rank of a Prophet. If we deny the rank of a Prophet to the followers of the Holy Prophet, we will have to deny to them the rank of the Righteous also.
Besides, as shown under Important Words, it is wrong to say that the preposition مع always denotes merely being physically joined to or placed with a class of people physically without attaining to their position or rank. The word has been used at several places in the Quran in the sense of فی i.e. "among" or "from among" (see 3:194 and 4:147). In the latter verse, i.e. 4:147, God says that those of the hypocrites, who repent and amend, will be مع المؤمنین i.e. "among the believers". Now by no stretch of imagination can it be presumed that these people will only "be placed with the believers" and will not form part of them. The verse thus definitely proves that the word مع has been used here in the sense of فی or "among" and in no other sense. So is the case with 3:194. It is exactly in this sense that it has been used in the present verse. If, in the above-mentioned verses in which the word مع occurs, it is taken to give the sense of mere companionship, these verses would become meaningless. Certainly, it can give no comfort to a believer to be told that as a reward of his submission to God and the Holy Prophet, he would be merely made to sit in the company of the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous, without attaining the spiritual rank they attained. That the preposition مع is not always used in the sense of companionship finds a further illustration in the words which the Holy Prophet is reported to have uttered just before his death viz. ألحقنی بالرفیق الاعلی i.e. "O God, join me with the exalted companions" (meaning the class of the Prophets in Heaven). Now does this prayer of the Holy Prophet offered at the time of his death mean that he only wished to live in the company of these exalted personages and that he himself was not a Prophet of God?
Support for the above-mentioned wrong inference is sometimes sought from the words, this grace is from Allah, occurring in the succeeding verse. The word "grace", it is alleged, indicates that what these people will get will be purely through God’s grace and not as any reward or result of their own works and deeds. But the question: Did the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous attain their high spiritual stations independently of the "grace" of God? Did not the Holy Prophet himself, when asked whether he would get salvation by his deeds, say that he, too, would receive it through the "grace" of God? (Bukhari, ch. on Marda). Does this reply of the Prophet mean that he did not "deserve" salvation? In fact, the truth is that every blessing that one receives is a "grace" of God, in spite of the fact that it is the actions of man that draw this grace.
It may here be pointed out that the interpretation we have put on the verse under comment is not a new one. AbuHayyan, the well-known author of Bahrul-Muhit and Ar-Raghib, the great lexicographer, agree with this view. The Bahrul-Muhit (vol. iii, p. 287) quotes Ar-Raghib as saying: "God has divided the believers into four classes in this verse, and has appointed for them four stages, some of which are lower than the others, and He has exhorted true believers not to remain behind any of these stages." This explanation shows that both these commentators of the Quranheld that, as hinted in this verse, the rank of prophethood was attainable by following the Holy Prophet. Similarly, the author of the well-known commentary Ruhul-Ma‘ani in explanation of this verse, writes as follows: "Prophethood is of two kinds, general and special. The special prophethood, viz. the Law-bearing prophethood is now unattainable; but the general prophethood still continues." In fact, it is only the prophethood with a new Law that has now ceased, the Quran being the final Law of God, but prophethood without a new Law continues and is certainly attainable by the followers of the Holy Prophet who has himself said: "If my son Ibrahim had lived, he would have become a Prophet" (Majah, ch. on Jana’iz).
It may also be noted that even if the word مع is rendered as "with" and not as "among", it will not make much difference, for the word "with" very often gives the sense of being one of the party. When you are with a people, you are one of them. Even in English the word "with" is used in that sense. For fuller discussion of the subject of prophethood, see 33:41.
Finally, the word "companions" occurring at the end of the verse should not be construed to mean that mere companionship is meant here; for the expression has been used to hint at an additional significance, viz. that those who sincerely and truly follow God and His Messenger will not only rank among the Prophets, etc., but will also form a sort of company or brotherhood with them. (close)
ذٰلِکَ الۡفَضۡلُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ عَلِیۡمًا ﴿٪۷۱﴾
ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡفَضۡلُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ عَلِيمٗا
See note on the preceding verse. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا خُذُوۡا حِذۡرَکُمۡ فَانۡفِرُوۡا ثُبَاتٍ اَوِ انۡفِرُوۡا جَمِیۡعًا ﴿۷۲﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ خُذُواْ حِذۡرَكُمۡ فَٱنفِرُواْ ثُبَاتٍ أَوِ ٱنفِرُواْ جَمِيعٗا
630. Hidhr means, caution or precaution; vigilance; guard; state of preparation; or of fear (Lane). The word extends to all kinds of precautions and preparations necessary for defence, and has been understood to include the putting on of weapons of defence. (close)
631. Ath-Thubah means, a company or body of men; a distinct body or company of men; a troop of horsemen (Lane). (close)
543. Important Words:
ثبات (separate parties) is derived from ثبی and not from ثبت as some wrongly suppose. They say ثبی الشیء i.e. he collected the thing and added to it. ثبوت له خیرا means, I mentioned his qualities one after the other. ثبة of which ثبات is plural means, a company or body of men; a distinct body or company of men; a troop of horsemen; the place where water collects in a valley or ground (Lane & Aqrab).
حذر (precautions). The verb حذر means, he was cautious or vigilant or on his guard; he took care; he prepared himself against; he feared. حذر means, caution or precaution; vigilance; guard; state of preparation; or of fear (Lane). The word extends to all kinds of precautions and preparations necessary for defence, and has been taken to include the putting on of weapons of defence.
The Muslims are warned to be always vigilant and on their guard and in a perfect state of preparation even when they march out in force. The verse may also be taken in the figurative sense, applying to missionary and cultural activities. (close)
وَ اِنَّ مِنۡکُمۡ لَمَنۡ لَّیُبَطِّئَنَّ ۚ فَاِنۡ اَصَابَتۡکُمۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃٌ قَالَ قَدۡ اَنۡعَمَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیَّ اِذۡ لَمۡ اَکُنۡ مَّعَہُمۡ شَہِیۡدًا ﴿۷۳﴾
وَإِنَّ مِنكُمۡ لَمَن لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ فَإِنۡ أَصَٰبَتۡكُم مُّصِيبَةٞ قَالَ قَدۡ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيَّ إِذۡ لَمۡ أَكُن مَّعَهُمۡ شَهِيدٗا
632. The verse refers to Hypocrites or the internal enemies of Islam and mentions their two prominent traits. (close)
544. Important Words:
لیبطئن (tarries behind) is derived from بطؤ meaning, he was or became slow, late or backward. بطأ means, it made him slow, late or backward. But بطأ is also used intransitively, as in the tradition من بطأبه عمله i.e. he whom his evil deeds hold back (lit. he whose evil deeds keep back along with him). So بطأ would mean, (1) he held back or tarried behind, and (2) he made others hold back and tarry behind (Aqrab, Lane, Mufradat & Kashshaf).
This verse refers to the internal enemies of Islam. It gives two characteristics of hypocrites: (1) they fail to march out with Muslims and are glad to do so; (2) they do not share with Muslims their joys and sorrows. They are more anxious about their own selves than about the success of Islam. If Muslims meet with trouble, they rejoice that they themselves escaped it by remaining behind, and exultingly remind Muslims of the advice which they gave them and by acting against which the Muslims came to grief, as they did after the Battle of Uhud.
It is worthy of note here that though in connection with the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet himself was at first in favour of fighting the enemy by staying in Medina, he did not rebuke the Muslims when they suffered a reverse by telling them that they had met with a disaster by going against his wish. But the hypocrites did taunt the Muslims that they had suffered defeat by defying their advice. It is for this taunting that the hypocrites have been reprimanded in this verse, because such a course, if allowed, is calculated to prove detrimental to the cause of communal unity and concord. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ اَصَابَکُمۡ فَضۡلٌ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ لَیَقُوۡلَنَّ کَاَنۡ لَّمۡ تَکُنۡۢ بَیۡنَکُمۡ وَ بَیۡنَہٗ مَوَدَّۃٌ یّٰلَیۡتَنِیۡ کُنۡتُ مَعَہُمۡ فَاَفُوۡزَ فَوۡزًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿۷۴﴾
وَلَئِنۡ أَصَٰبَكُمۡ فَضۡلٞ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَن لَّمۡ تَكُنۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُۥ مَوَدَّةٞ يَٰلَيۡتَنِي كُنتُ مَعَهُمۡ فَأَفُوزَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيمٗا