وَ قَالَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ وَ النَّصٰرٰی نَحۡنُ اَبۡنٰٓؤُا اللّٰہِ وَ اَحِبَّآؤُہٗ ؕ قُلۡ فَلِمَ یُعَذِّبُکُمۡ بِذُنُوۡبِکُمۡ ؕ بَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقَ ؕ یَغۡفِرُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یُعَذِّبُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ لِلّٰہِ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا بَیۡنَہُمَا ۫ وَ اِلَیۡہِ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۹﴾
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ وَٱلنَّصَٰرَىٰ نَحۡنُ أَبۡنَـٰٓؤُاْ ٱللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّـٰٓؤُهُۥۚ قُلۡ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُمۖ بَلۡ أَنتُم بَشَرٞ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقَۚ يَغۡفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَلِلَّهِ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَاۖ وَإِلَيۡهِ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
a. 62:7. (close)
b. 2:285 3:130; 5:41. (close)
a. 62:7. (close)
b. 2:285; 3:130; 5:41. (close)
The claim of Jews and Christians to be "the sons of God and His beloved ones" is found in 2:81, 112; 3:25; 62:7.
The clause, Why then does He punish you for your sins, contains a double argument against the preposterous claim of the People of the Book. If they are truly the sons of God and His beloved ones, why do they commit sins which is a sign of filth and uncleanness? One springing from God and beloved of Him must certainly be above this, for God loves not those who are filthy and commit sins. Again, if they are really the sons of God and His beloved ones, why do they suffer torment and punishment while a divine being must be above such weakness? (close)
یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ قَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلُنَا یُبَیِّنُ لَکُمۡ عَلٰی فَتۡرَۃٍ مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا مَا جَآءَنَا مِنۡۢ بَشِیۡرٍ وَّ لَا نَذِیۡرٍ ۫ فَقَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ بَشِیۡرٌ وَّ نَذِیۡرٌ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿٪۲۰﴾
يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ قَدۡ جَآءَكُمۡ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمۡ عَلَىٰ فَتۡرَةٖ مِّنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَآءَنَا مِنۢ بَشِيرٖ وَلَا نَذِيرٖۖ فَقَدۡ جَآءَكُم بَشِيرٞ وَنَذِيرٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ
c. 5:16. (close)
729. History is silent whether any Prophet had appeared in any country between the Holy Prophet and Jesus, at least not among the People of the Book. The world was, in fact, expecting and preparing for the advent of humanity’s greatest Deliverer. Some statements of doubtful authenticity (Kalbi) mention that Jesus was followed by some Prophets, Khalid bin Salam, being one of them. But the Holy Prophet himself is reported to have said that there was no Prophet between him and Jesus (Bukhari). (close)
a. 5:16. (close)
657. Important Words:
فترة (interval) is the noun-infinitive from فتر. They say فترالشیء i.e. the thing remitted or became allayed or abated or still after vehemence; or it became gentle after violence. They say فترعن عمله i.e. he flagged or became remiss or languid in his work. فترالحر means, the heat abated or flagged after being intense and vehement. فترة means, languor or remissness; weakness or feebleness; an interval of time between two things; an interval of time between two Prophets during which there is a cessation of prophetic revelation (Aqrab & Lane).
As generally believed, no Prophet appeared among Jews and Christians after Jesus. According to some historians, however, three Prophets did appear after Jesus, and according to Kalbi, Jesus was followed by four Prophets, one of them, Khalid bin Salam, appearing in Arabia. It was with regard to Khalid bin Salam that the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, "He was a Prophet to whose message his people paid no heed" (Muhit). Whatever the truth, the Holy Prophet was preceded by a period of فترة or cessation of Prophethood, no Prophet of God having appeared immediately before him.
The expression, lest you say, there has come to us no bearer of glad tidings and no warner, points to the important truth that God never visits a people with punishment unless He first sends a Messenger to them (17:16), because if punishment overtakes men without the appearance of a Messenger, they can justifiably say that they are being punished without being told what their offence is and without being given the opportunity to repent and mend their ways. In the present age too the world has been visited with calamities of diverse kinds on an extraordinary scale. A Messenger, therefore, must have come. He has indeed come in the fulness of the time in the person of Ahmad, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. (close)
وَ اِذۡ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی لِقَوۡمِہٖ یٰقَوۡمِ اذۡکُرُوۡا نِعۡمَۃَ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِذۡ جَعَلَ فِیۡکُمۡ اَنۡۢبِیَآءَ وَ جَعَلَکُمۡ مُّلُوۡکًا ٭ۖ وَّ اٰتٰٮکُمۡ مَّا لَمۡ یُؤۡتِ اَحَدًا مِّنَ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾
وَإِذۡ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوۡمِهِۦ يَٰقَوۡمِ ٱذۡكُرُواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِذۡ جَعَلَ فِيكُمۡ أَنۢبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُم مُّلُوكٗا وَءَاتَىٰكُم مَّا لَمۡ يُؤۡتِ أَحَدٗا مِّنَ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
a. 1:7; 4:70; 19:59. (close)
730. The substitution of the word kum (you) instead of Fi-kum implies the hint that whereas each and every member of a nation to which a ruling monarch belongs possesses, as it were, dominion and sovereignty, the followers of a Prophet are not sharers in his Prophethood. (close)
When speaking about the raising of the Prophets, the verse uses the word "among" which is omitted when the making of kings is mentioned. This is so because the mission of a Prophet was in those days confined to his own people to whom he was sent. Prophets have, therefore, been spoken of as being raised "among" them. But kings have to rule over foreign nations as well. In their case, therefore, the word has been dropped. Moreover, in the substitution of the word کم (you) instead of فیکم (among you) the allusion is to the fact that whereas each and every member of the nation to which a ruling monarch belongs possesses, as it were, dominion and sovereignty, it is not so in the case of a Prophet.
It may be noted that the word عالمین (the peoples) as used in this verse does not mean "peoples of all times", but only the people of that particular age. See also 2:48.
The expression, ordained for you, contains a veiled promise to the effect that God would help them and make them victorious, if the Israelites only showed the courage to step forward and enter the Holy Land. But they did not possess the requisite faith and the requisite courage and so "turned losers". See vv. 25 & 27 below. (close)
یٰقَوۡمِ ادۡخُلُوا الۡاَرۡضَ الۡمُقَدَّسَۃَ الَّتِیۡ کَتَبَ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ وَ لَا تَرۡتَدُّوۡا عَلٰۤی اَدۡبَارِکُمۡ فَتَنۡقَلِبُوۡا خٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۲﴾
يَٰقَوۡمِ ٱدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ ٱلۡمُقَدَّسَةَ ٱلَّتِي كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ وَلَا تَرۡتَدُّواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَدۡبَارِكُمۡ فَتَنقَلِبُواْ خَٰسِرِينَ
731. The expression, ordained for you, contains an implied promise that God would help them and make them victorious, if only the Israelites had the courage to enter the Holy Land. (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰمُوۡسٰۤی اِنَّ فِیۡہَا قَوۡمًا جَبَّارِیۡنَ ٭ۖ وَ اِنَّا لَنۡ نَّدۡخُلَہَا حَتّٰی یَخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡہَا ۚ فَاِنۡ یَّخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡہَا فَاِنَّا دٰخِلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوۡمٗا جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدۡخُلَهَا حَتَّىٰ يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡهَا فَإِن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡهَا فَإِنَّا دَٰخِلُونَ
732. This means that the annals of these people were known to the Israelites. The Amalekites and other unruly Arab tribes lived in the Holy Land at that time. The Israelites were very much afraid of them. (close)
733. Compare this insolent and cowardly attitude of the companions of Moses to the willing and almost unbelievable sacrifices of the Companions of the Holy Prophet, who were ever eager to jump into the very jaws of death at the slightest bidding of their Master. When the Holy Prophet, with a handful of his ill-equipped Companions intended to go forth to meet the vastly superior and much better-equipped Meccan force at Badr, he consulted them about it. Thereupon one of the Companions stood up and addressed the Holy Prophet in the memorable words: "We would not say to thee, O Prophet of God, as was said by the companions of Moses, 'go thou and thy Lord and fight and here we sit.' On the contrary, O Prophet of the Lord! We are ever with thee and we will go with thee whither thou goest. We will fight the enemy on thy right and on thy left and in thy front and behind thy back; and we trust God that thou wilt see from us what will comfort thine eyes" (Bukhari). (close)
659. Important Words:
جبّارین (haughty and powerful) is the plural of جبار which is derived from جبر. They say جبرالعظم (jabaral-‘azma) or جبّرالعظم(jabbaral-‘azma), i.e. he set the bone; he reduced it from the fractured state. جبرالرجل (jabaral-rajula) or جبّرالرجل (jabbaral-rajula) means, he restored the man from the state of poverty and weakness to that of wealth and strength. جبرت الیتیم means, I put the affairs of the orphan into good order. جبّره means, he compelled and forced him against his will. جبّار means, one who magnifies himself and behaves proudly, haughtily and insolently; one who slays when in anger or one who slays unjustly; one who domineers over others by absolute force and power; one extravagant in acts of wrongdoing, disobedience and rebellion; one huge, tall and strong; a giant. When used about God, الجبّار means, One Who can force His creatures to obey His commands; the Supreme, the Unattainable, the High above His creatures; the Restorer of the poor and the weak to wealth and power; the Reformer of the people by raising them from a low state to a high one (Lane & Aqrab).
Compare this insolent and cowardly attitude of the companions of Moses to the willing and almost unbelievable sacrifices of the Companions of the Holy Prophet, who were ever eager to jump into the very jaws of death at the bidding of their Master. (close)
قَالَ رَجُلٰنِ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَخَافُوۡنَ اَنۡعَمَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِمَا ادۡخُلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡبَابَ ۚ فَاِذَا دَخَلۡتُمُوۡہُ فَاِنَّکُمۡ غٰلِبُوۡنَ ۬ۚ وَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَتَوَکَّلُوۡۤا اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
قَالَ رَجُلَانِ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِمَا ٱدۡخُلُواْ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلۡتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمۡ غَٰلِبُونَۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُوٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
734. The "two men" spoken of here are generally supposed to be Joshua, the son of Nun; and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (Num. 14:6). But from the context Moses and Aaron appear more likely to be the "two men" here referred to. The word Rajul (man) is expressive of manliness and courage. That these two brave men were Moses and Aaron themselves may also be inferred from the fact that Moses prayed for himself and his brother, Aaron (5:26). God does not name these two men but simply speaks of them as "two brave men" in order to praise their manliness and courage and also to condemn by implication the cowardice of the other Israelites who were with them. (close)
a. 3:161; 5:12; 9:51. (close)
660. Important Words:
علیھم (against them). The word علی as a particle has several meanings. Here it gives the meaning of "against" (Lane). The Quran says: ولھم علی ذنب i.e. and they have a crime or offence standing against me (26:15). In his Arabic Grammar, Wright says that the particle علی is sometimes used in "a hostile sense in which case it can be generally rendered as 'against' or 'upon', as in خرج علیه i.e. he went out against him or he rebelled against him."
The two "men" spoken of here are generally supposed to be Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (Num. 14:6). But from the context Moses and Aaron appear more likely to be the two "men" here referred to.
The word رجل (man) is thus here expressive of manliness and courage. By using this word, the Quran means to say that of that big host of cowardly people there were only two men who were truly brave and courageous. That these two brave men were Moses and Aaron themselves may also be inferred from the fact that when these two "men" spoke to their people, and urged them to "enter" the land, the latter, in reply, addressed none other but Moses, saying, O Moses, we will never enter it so long as they remain in it (5:25), thus making it clear that it was Moses himself who had spoken to them the words contained in this verse. Again, when the people refused to obey Moses, he is reported to have prayed to God, saying, My Lord, I have power over none but myself and my brother, therefore make Thou a distinction between us and the rebellious people (5:26). Now, if the two "men" had been other than Moses and Aaron, they should have certainly been included in his prayer by Moses, because they had deserved it by boldly offering to enter the land in spite of resistance, exhorting others also to do so. But Moses prayed only for himself and his brother, which shows that the two men whom God praises as "men", (i.e. brave men) and of whom He speaks as His favoured ones were Moses and Aaron themselves. God does not name them but simply speaks of them as رجلان i.e. "two brave men" in order to praise their manliness and courage and at the same time to condemn by implication the cowardice of the other Israelites who were with them.
The expression, enter the gate advancing against them, possesses a spiritual connotation as well. For every person there is a "holy land", which is his goal and paradise. Allah has "ordained" this "holy land" for man (5:22) because he has been created for it. But the cowardly and the low-spirited are always afraid of entering it. They are too timorous to face "the rebellious ones", i.e. the evil ones and their own evil inclinations. They desire to enter Heaven without deserving it, without any exertion on their part, without facing and fighting their evil passions and without fighting those who stand in their way. They tremble and quail before the trials and tribulations that confront them. But here, too, God has created for every person "two men", i.e. two wise counsellors who encourage him and exhort him not to be afraid of difficulties and to follow undauntedly the path that leads to eternal happiness and everlasting bliss. These two counsellors are (1) human reason and (2) man’s pure and unsullied nature. These two go on telling man and urging him that he need only be up and doing and God will help him. He should boldly face trials and God will make everything easy for him, and he will come out of the struggle victorious and triumphant. Most men, however, wish that the power of their enemies should break of itself, but it cannot break without their using the weapon of self-sacrifice. "Forty years", as hinted in 5:27 below, is the time required by man to attain to perfect manhood. This is a sufficiently long time. If he does not mend his ways during this period and defies the dictates of reason and conscience, he is lost, and there is little hope for him. But if he makes up his mind boldly to meet the evil influences, he may be saved. He need only take heart and make bold to enter the struggle, and what appears to him to be a thick jungle of difficulties will turn out to be a garden, the seeming "Hell" assuming the form of a veritable "Heaven". (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰمُوۡسٰۤی اِنَّا لَنۡ نَّدۡخُلَہَاۤ اَبَدًا مَّا دَامُوۡا فِیۡہَا فَاذۡہَبۡ اَنۡتَ وَ رَبُّکَ فَقَاتِلَاۤ اِنَّا ہٰہُنَا قٰعِدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنَّا لَن نَّدۡخُلَهَآ أَبَدٗا مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَٱذۡهَبۡ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَٰتِلَآ إِنَّا هَٰهُنَا قَٰعِدُونَ
The companions of Moses perhaps never fell so low as on the present occasion. They were cowardly, faithless and slothful. Compare with this the noble example of the Companions of the Holy Prophet of Islam. There is a report to the effect that when the Holy Prophet, with a handful of his ill-equipped Companions, intended to go forth to meet the vastly superior and much better-equipped Meccan force at Badr, he consulted them about it. Thereupon one of he Companions stood up and addressed the Holy Prophet in the following memorable words, "We would not say to thee, O Prophet of God! as said the companions of Moses, 'Go thou and thy Lord and fight and here we sit'. On the contrary, O Prophet of the Lord! We are ever with thee and we will go with thee whither thou goest. We will fight the enemy on thy right and on thy left and in thy front and behind thy back; and we trust God that thou wilt see from us what will comfort thine eyes." The tradition says that when the Holy Prophet heard these words, his face beamed with delight; and no wonder (Bukhari & Hisham). (close)
قَالَ رَبِّ اِنِّیۡ لَاۤ اَمۡلِکُ اِلَّا نَفۡسِیۡ وَ اَخِیۡ فَافۡرُقۡ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿۲۶﴾
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي لَآ أَمۡلِكُ إِلَّا نَفۡسِي وَأَخِيۖ فَٱفۡرُقۡ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡفَٰسِقِينَ
Even if, as the Bible says, "the two men" referred to in 5:24 above were Joshua and Caleb, the present prayer of Moses remains true; for Aaron being a Prophet of God was the only one truly entitled to the guarantee expressed by Moses. (close)
قَالَ فَاِنَّہَا مُحَرَّمَۃٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَرۡبَعِیۡنَ سَنَۃً ۚ یَتِیۡہُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ فَلَا تَاۡسَ عَلَی الۡقَوۡمِ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿٪۲۷﴾
قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡۛ أَرۡبَعِينَ سَنَةٗۛ يَتِيهُونَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ فَلَا تَأۡسَ عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡفَٰسِقِينَ
a. 2:244. (close)
735. When the Israelites behaved in a cowardly manner, God decreed that they should continue to wander in the wilderness for 40 years in order that the life of the desert should invigorate them and infuse in them a new life and should strengthen their morals. In the meantime, the old generation had become practically extinct and the younger generation grew brave and strong enough to conquer the Promised Land. (close)
662. Important Words:
یتیھون (they shall wander in distraction) is derived from تاه meaning: (1) he lost his way in the desert; (2) he was or became confounded or perplexed; (3) he went away in the land confounded or perplexed and was unable to see his right course; (4) his intellect or mind was or became disordered and confused and he perished; (5) he magnified himself or behaved proudly or insolently (Aqrab & Lane).
When the Israelites behaved in a cowardly manner, God decreed that they should remain in the desert for a period of 40 years so that the life of the desert should invigorate them and strengthen their morals. In the mean-time, the old generation became practically extinct and the younger generation grew brave and strong enough to conquer the Promised Land. See also note on 5:24 above. For the relevant portion of the Bible see Num. ch. 14. (close)
وَ اتۡلُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ نَبَاَ ابۡنَیۡ اٰدَمَ بِالۡحَقِّ ۘ اِذۡ قَرَّبَا قُرۡبَانًا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ اَحَدِہِمَا وَ لَمۡ یُتَقَبَّلۡ مِنَ الۡاٰخَرِ ؕ قَالَ لَاَقۡتُلَنَّکَ ؕ قَالَ اِنَّمَا یَتَقَبَّلُ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾
۞وَٱتۡلُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ نَبَأَ ٱبۡنَيۡ ءَادَمَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ إِذۡ قَرَّبَا قُرۡبَانٗا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمۡ يُتَقَبَّلۡ مِنَ ٱلۡأٓخَرِ قَالَ لَأَقۡتُلَنَّكَۖ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ
736. "The two sons of Adam" figuratively signify any two individuals from among mankind. The parable also illustrates the inimical attitude of the Israelites towards the descendants of Ishmael because Prophethood had become transferred from them to the Ishmaelites in the person of the Holy Prophet. (close)
663. Important Words:
قربا (they offered) and قربانا (offering) are both derived from قرب (qaruba) which means, he or it was or became near, either in place or in station or grade or rank. قربه (qarraba-hu) means, he caused or made him to become near; he made him to be a near associate; or he made him an object of favour or honour. قرب لله قربانا means, he offered or presented to God an offering or oblation. Hence قربان means, an offering or oblation; a sacrifice; anything by means of which one seeks nearness to God; a near or particular or favourite associate or companion (Lane).
As sacrifice is at the root of all success, whether individual or national, the Quran here fittingly turns to the subject of sacrifice, the lack of which proved the fall of the followers of Moses. "The two sons of Adam" may be taken in the figurative sense as well, meaning any two individuals from among mankind.
The words, Allah accepts only from the righteous, addressed by Abel to his brother Cain (both sons of Adam) are intended to mean that the latter would gain nothing by slaying the former, except that he would become all the more removed from righteous-ness—a quality essential for the acceptance of an offering.
The concluding words of the verse point to the important truth that in sacrifice mere outward form is nothing. It is only the underlying spirit that makes it acceptable and fruitful. The story is continued in the following verses. (close)