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)
لَئِنۡۢ بَسَطۡتَّ اِلَیَّ یَدَکَ لِتَقۡتُلَنِیۡ مَاۤ اَنَا بِبَاسِطٍ یَّدِیَ اِلَیۡکَ لِاَقۡتُلَکَ ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اللّٰہَ رَبَّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۲۹﴾
لَئِنۢ بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقۡتُلَنِي مَآ أَنَا۠ بِبَاسِطٖ يَدِيَ إِلَيۡكَ لِأَقۡتُلَكَۖ إِنِّيٓ أَخَافُ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
The expression, I am not going to stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, does not mean that Abel did not even desire to defend himself. These words only mean that if he were forced to stretch forth his hand towards his brother, it would not be with the intention of slaying him, but only in self-defence. The declaration was necessary, for there are cases in which both the slayer and the slain become equally guilty. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that not unoften "both the slayer and the slain go to Hell." This hadith obviously refers to such slain persons as engage in a fight with the intention of killing their opponents, but it so happens that the latter get the better of them and kill them. In such cases, the intention of both parties being equally criminal, both are guilty and both deserve to be cast into Hell. But Abel, who desired to live righteously and die righteously, would not stain his conduct even in a moment of extreme danger and wanted to take good care that he did not overstep the limits of the right of self-defence. (close)
اِنِّیۡۤ اُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ تَبُوۡٓاَ بِاِثۡمِیۡ وَ اِثۡمِکَ فَتَکُوۡنَ مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ النَّارِ ۚ وَ ذٰلِکَ جَزٰٓؤُا الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۰﴾
إِنِّيٓ أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوٓأَ بِإِثۡمِي وَإِثۡمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنۡ أَصۡحَٰبِ ٱلنَّارِۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَـٰٓؤُاْ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
737. Uridu is derived from Rada which sometimes does not express an actual wish but simply a practical state or condition likely to develop in a certain manner (18:78). The verse does not mean that Abel desired his brother Cain to be cast into Hell. What he meant was simply that the natural and inevitable result of his own non-aggressive attitude would be that his brother would go to Hell. (close)
738. Ithmi means, "the sin committed against me." The would-be victim is only describing the consequences of his brother’s intended action. (close)
665. Important Words:
ارید (I wish) is derived from راد i.e. he or it went to and fro; or he desired or sought (a thing). ارید means, he intended or willed or wished or desired or sought. But sometimes the word does not express an actual will or wish but simply a practical state or condition likely to develop in a certain manner. The Arabs say of a seriously sick person یرید ان یموت (lit. he wishes to die) meaning, he is about to die or his condition bespeaks of nearness of death. The Quran says: یرید ان ینقض viz.the wall intended to fall down, i.e. it was about or ready to fall down (18:78) (Aqrab & Lane).
The verse does not mean, as some may be led to think, that Abel desired his brother, Cain, to be cast into Hell. What he meant by the word ارید (I wish), as explained under Important Words above, was simply that the natural and inevitable consequence of his own non-aggressive attitude would be that his brother would go to Hell. In fact, by using this expression, Abel desired to dissuade Cain from perpetration of the horrible crime of fratricide by picturing to him its awful consequences. He told his brother that, as for himself, he would rather die the death of one sinned against than raise his hand to kill him. The result of this would be that he (Cain) would take upon himself the burden of his (Abel’s) sin, (i.e.that of slaying him) as well as that of other sins of his own.
The expression may be explained in another way also. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that on the Day of Judgement the good deeds of transgressors would be transferred to the account of the persons whom they had wronged and if transgressors had no good deeds to their account, the sins of the persons transgressed against would be transferred to them and thus wrongdoers would bear not only their own sins but also those of the persons whom they had wronged (Muslim, ch. on Birr Was-Silah). (close)
فَطَوَّعَتۡ لَہٗ نَفۡسُہٗ قَتۡلَ اَخِیۡہِ فَقَتَلَہٗ فَاَصۡبَحَ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾
فَطَوَّعَتۡ لَهُۥ نَفۡسُهُۥ قَتۡلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُۥ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلۡخَٰسِرِينَ
Instead of directly and briefly saying that "he killed his brother", the verse expresses the same idea in a somewhat longer sentence, viz. his mind induced him to kill his brother, so he killed him. This is done to point to the great truth that it is man’s own نفس or mind, or more properly his own "self" which often becomes the source of evil for him. (close)
فَبَعَثَ اللّٰہُ غُرَابًا یَّبۡحَثُ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ لِیُرِیَہٗ کَیۡفَ یُوَارِیۡ سَوۡءَۃَ اَخِیۡہِ ؕ قَالَ یٰوَیۡلَتٰۤی اَعَجَزۡتُ اَنۡ اَکُوۡنَ مِثۡلَ ہٰذَا الۡغُرَابِ فَاُوَارِیَ سَوۡءَۃَ اَخِیۡ ۚ فَاَصۡبَحَ مِنَ النّٰدِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۛۙ۳۲﴾
فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ غُرَابٗا يَبۡحَثُ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ لِيُرِيَهُۥ كَيۡفَ يُوَٰرِي سَوۡءَةَ أَخِيهِۚ قَالَ يَٰوَيۡلَتَىٰٓ أَعَجَزۡتُ أَنۡ أَكُونَ مِثۡلَ هَٰذَا ٱلۡغُرَابِ فَأُوَٰرِيَ سَوۡءَةَ أَخِيۖ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلنَّـٰدِمِينَ
739. Commentators differ as to whether the incident of the raven did actually happen or it is only a parable. It is not improbable that an incident of this nature might have actually occurred. Study of the ways and habits of birds has led to many useful discoveries. See Gen. 4:1-15; and 'The Jerusalem Targum.' (close)
Commentators differ as to whether the incident of the raven mentioned in the present verse was an actual fact or whether it is merely meant as a parable. It is not at all improbable that an incident of this nature might have actually occurred. The study of the ways and habits of birds has led to many useful discoveries. For the Biblical story of the two sons of Adam see Gen. 4:1-15 also the Jerusalem Targum. (close)
مِنۡ اَجۡلِ ذٰلِکَ ۚۛؔ کَتَبۡنَا عَلٰی بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ اَنَّہٗ مَنۡ قَتَلَ نَفۡسًۢا بِغَیۡرِ نَفۡسٍ اَوۡ فَسَادٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَکَاَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ اَحۡیَاہَا فَکَاَنَّمَاۤ اَحۡیَا النَّاسَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ رُسُلُنَا بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ ۫ ثُمَّ اِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنۡہُمۡ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ لَمُسۡرِفُوۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾
مِنۡ أَجۡلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبۡنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ أَنَّهُۥ مَن قَتَلَ نَفۡسَۢا بِغَيۡرِ نَفۡسٍ أَوۡ فَسَادٖ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ ٱلنَّاسَ جَمِيعٗا وَمَنۡ أَحۡيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَآ أَحۡيَا ٱلنَّاسَ جَمِيعٗاۚ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُنَا بِٱلۡبَيِّنَٰتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرٗا مِّنۡهُم بَعۡدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ لَمُسۡرِفُونَ
740. What is hinted at in the verse is that an incident similar to that of the two sons of Adam mentioned here but of much greater import was to take place later. There was to appear among the brethren of the Israelites a Prophet. This fact was to enrage the Israelites against that Prophet and they were to become thirsty for his blood on account of envy, even as Cain had become thirsty for the blood of his brother Abel. The Prophet was to be no ordinary soul. He was to be a World-Reformer, ordained to bring the eternal Law for all mankind whose entire future depended on him, and therefore slaying him was equivalent to slaying the whole of mankind, and the preservation of his life was, as it were, the preservation of the whole of mankind. (close)
a. 7:102; 9:70; 14:10; 40:23. (close)
a. 7:102; 9:70; 14:10; 40:23. (close)
This verse draws a great moral from the simple incident related in the foregoing verses. The incident of the two sons of Adam had a parallel in the history of nations, as hinted in the words, On account of this We prescribed for the Children of Israel, etc. If the incident simply related to "the two sons of Adam" it had obviously no direct bearing on the Israelites.
As a matter of fact, what is hinted at is that an incident similar to that of the two sons of Adam mentioned here, but of much greater import, was to take place later. There was to appear among the brethren of the Israelites a Prophet whose offering God was to favour with acceptance, while that of his brethren, the Israelites, was to be rejected owing to their impiety and lack of righteousness. This was to enrage the Israelites against that Prophet and they were to become thirsty for his blood on account of envy, even as Cain had become thirsty for the blood of his brother Abel. The story of Cain and Abel was, therefore, intended, as hinted in the opening words of this verse, to serve as a warning for the Israelites. The Prophet meant to be raised from among the brethren of the Israelites was to be no ordinary soul. He was to be a World-Reformer ordained to bring the eternal Law for mankind whose entire future depended on him and, therefore, his slaying was equivalent to the slaying of the whole of mankind, and the preservation of his life was, as it were, the preservation of the life of the whole of mankind. This great soul had killed no person, nor had it created disorder in the land.
The advent of this Prophet was foretold in the Bible (Deut. 18:18-22), and therein it was also announced that God would demand requital of those who did not hearken to this Prophet. (close)
اِنَّمَا جَزٰٓؤُا الَّذِیۡنَ یُحَارِبُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ وَ یَسۡعَوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَسَادًا اَنۡ یُّقَتَّلُوۡۤا اَوۡ یُصَلَّبُوۡۤا اَوۡ تُقَطَّعَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ اَرۡجُلُہُمۡ مِّنۡ خِلَافٍ اَوۡ یُنۡفَوۡا مِنَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ لَہُمۡ خِزۡیٌ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾
إِنَّمَا جَزَـٰٓؤُاْ ٱلَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَيَسۡعَوۡنَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَسَادًا أَن يُقَتَّلُوٓاْ أَوۡ يُصَلَّبُوٓاْ أَوۡ تُقَطَّعَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَأَرۡجُلُهُم مِّنۡ خِلَٰفٍ أَوۡ يُنفَوۡاْ مِنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ ذَٰلِكَ لَهُمۡ خِزۡيٞ فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَلَهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
b. 9:107. (close)
741. Islam does not hesitate to take extreme measures when the interests of the State or society at large so demand to uproot a dangerous evil. It refuses to pander to the false sentiments of emotional visionaries but follows the dictates of reason and sound judgment while prescribing punishment for public offences. The punishment prescribed here is of four categories, the form of the punishment to be inflicted in a particular case would depend upon the attending circumstances. Awarding or imposition of punishment is the concern of Government and not that of any individual. The words "expelled from the land" according to Imam Abu Hanifah signify imprisonment. (close)
a. 9:107. (close)
The verse has two applications. Figuratively it applies to the People of the Book who, by rejecting the Prophet from among their brethren (see the preceding verse), were, as it were, waging war against God. The punishment which the verse prescribes for them finds a fitting illustration in their history. Taken in its apparent sense, the verse lays down the different forms of punishment that may be meted out to those who wage war against innocent Muslims, killing and slaying them and creating disorder in the land.
The object underlying the injunction embodied in the words, their hands and their feet be cut off on alternate sides, is, on the one hand, to disable the culprit from carrying on a war of aggression, and on the other, to leave him fit enough to earn his living by doing some work. The cutting off of the hand and the foot on the same side would leave the victim utterly helpless. The verse also shows that Islam does not hesitate to take extreme measures to uproot an evil when the interests of society or the State demand it. Islam is not a religion of false sentiments but of sound judgement and true reason. See also the next verse. (close)
اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ تَابُوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ تَقۡدِرُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۚ فَاعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۳۵﴾
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تَقۡدِرُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡۖ فَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ
a. 4:18. (close)
742. This and the preceding verse refer not to ordinary dacoits and robbers but to rebels and those miscreants who make aggressive war upon the Muslim State, as is clear from the words, who wage war against Allah and His Messenger. The inference finds further support from the fact that the present verse promises amnesty to offenders if they repent. But obviously those who commit heinous offences against individuals or society, such as dacoits, robbers and thieves, cannot, in ordinary circumstances, be pardoned by the State even if they repent. They must suffer the penalty of their evil deeds as prescribed by the Law. Surely, repentance may secure for them pardon from God, but the powers of the State are limited in this respect. Political offenders, however, may be forgiven if they repent and desist from further acts of rebellion and other offences against the State (close)
b. 4:18. (close)
This and the preceding verse refer, not to ordinary dacoits and robbers, as is wrongly assumed by some, but to rebels and those miscreants who make aggressive war upon the Muslim State, as is clear from the words, who wage war against Allah and His Messenger. This inference finds further support from the fact that the present verse promises amnesty to offenders if they repent. But obviously those who commit heinous offences against individuals or against society, such as dacoits, robbers and thieves, cannot, in ordinary circumstances, be pardoned by the State even if they repent. They must suffer the penalty of their wicked deeds as prescribed by the Law. Surely, repentance may secure for them pardon from God, but the powers of the State are limited in this respect. Political offenders, however, may be forgiven if they repent and desist from further acts of rebellion and other offences against the State. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ ابۡتَغُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ الۡوَسِیۡلَۃَ وَ جَاہِدُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱبۡتَغُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ ٱلۡوَسِيلَةَ وَجَٰهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ
b. 17:58. (close)
743. Wasilah signifies, a means of access to a thing; honourable rank with a king; degree; affinity, a tie or connection (Lane). The word does not mean "an intermediary between God and man." This latter meaning is not only unsupported by the usage of the Arabic language, but is also opposed to the Qur’an and the sayings of the Holy Prophet. The prayer after the usual 'Call to Prayer' includes the words, "O God! Give Muhammad Wasilah," meaning that God may vouchsafe to the Prophet increasing nearness to Himself, and not that the Prophet may have someone to act as intermediary between him and God. (close)
c. 9:41; 22:79. (close)
a. 17:58. (close)
b. 9:41; 22:79. (close)
671. Important Words:
الوسیلة (way of approach) is the noun-infinitive from وسل. They say وسل الی الله بعمل i.e. he did a deed by which he became near to God. وسل الیه بکذا means, he sought to bring himself near to him, or to approach or gain access to him, or to advance himself in his favour. وسیلة therefore, signifies, a means of access to a thing; a means of becoming near to, or intimate with, a thing or person; honourable rank with a king; degree; affinity; a tie or connection (Lane).
It is wrong to interpret the word الوسیلة as meaning "an intermediary between man and God"; such an interpretation is not only unsupported by the usage of the Arabic language, but is also opposed to the teachings of the Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet. The Quran says that those whom people invoke beside God and whom they desire to make intermediaries between themselves and God, in order to attain His nearness, are themselves in need of attaining His nearness (17:58). The Holy Prophet is also reported to have said: "Ask for وسیلة(nearness of God) for me", i.e. pray to God that He may grant me His special nearness. The prayer after the usual call to Prayer includes the words, "O God! give Muhammad wasilah", meaning that God may vouchsafe to the Prophet increasingly greater nearness to Himself, and not that he may have someone to act as intermediary between him and God. The words that follow, viz. strive in His way, also point to the same interpretation; for they describe the means by which the nearness of God may be attained. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَوۡ اَنَّ لَہُمۡ مَّا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّ مِثۡلَہٗ مَعَہٗ لِیَفۡتَدُوۡا بِہٖ مِنۡ عَذَابِ یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنۡہُمۡ ۚ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۳۷﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوۡ أَنَّ لَهُم مَّا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعٗا وَمِثۡلَهُۥ مَعَهُۥ لِيَفۡتَدُواْ بِهِۦ مِنۡ عَذَابِ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنۡهُمۡۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ
d. 13:19; 39:48. (close)
a. 13:19; 39:48. (close)