اَفَغَیۡرَ اللّٰہِ اَبۡتَغِیۡ حَکَمًا وَّ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ اِلَیۡکُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ مُفَصَّلًا ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ اَنَّہٗ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَلَا تَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡمُمۡتَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۵﴾
أَفَغَيۡرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبۡتَغِي حَكَمٗا وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَنزَلَ إِلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ مُفَصَّلٗاۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ يَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُۥ مُنَزَّلٞ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِٱلۡحَقِّۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ
a. 7:53; 12:112; 16:90. (close)
b. 2:147; 6:21. (close)
901. The "Book" may also refer to the Qur’an; for not only the previous Divine Scriptures but also the Qur’an itself bears testimony to the truth of the Holy Prophet. It contains teachings which, though they run counter to current views and beliefs, yet fair-minded people to whom these teachings are rehearsed and explained feel constrained to acknowledge their reasonableness. (close)
a. 7:53; 12:112; 16:90. (close)
b. 2:147; 6:21. (close)
The words, Shall I seek for judge other than Allah, illustrate how wicked leaders bring forward gilded speech and fallacious reasoning against the Prophets. They try to turn away the attention of men from the revealed Scriptures which bear testimony to the truth of a Prophet and bring forward doubtful traditions and quotations from religious writings of human authors in support of their false notions. Or, as sometimes happens, they propose the names of certain persons to act as judges and to give their verdict after hearing the arguments of both sides. As the Prophets of God have to expose the errors of all parties, therefore, wicked leaders are sure that the judges, influenced by the general opposition to the Prophets, will give their verdict against them. So the Quran makes the Holy Prophet emphatically declare, Shall I seek for judge other than Allah? i.e. in religious matters none beside Allah can be taken as judge. The writings of theologians cannot make us dispense with the revealed Word of God, nor can any human being act as judge in matters pertaining to faith. Allah alone can act as judge and His word alone can guide to the truth.
Now the question arises, How does Allah or His word act as judge? The question is answered by the verse in the words: And those to whom We gave the Book know that it has been sent down from thy Lord with truth. This means that the Quran has come in accordance with, and in fulfilment of the prophecies contained in the previous Scriptures and, as none knows the secrets of the future save God, so the Quran must be accepted as proceeding from Him. The previous Scriptures contain clear prophecies concerning the Holy Prophet and these prophecies bear testimony to his truth and the truth of the Quran; hence, those who have been given a knowledge of the Book and consequently of the prophecies contained therein should know that the Holy Prophet of Islam is a true Prophet and that the revelation that has been sent down to him is a true revelation. It is thus that God acts as judge.
The word "Book" in the clause, those to whom We gave the Book, may also refer to the Quran; for not only the previous Word of God, but also the Quran itself, bears testimony to the Holy Prophet. The Quran contains teachings which run counter to the views and beliefs current among the nations of the world; yet every opponent before whom these teachings are rehearsed and explained is compelled to acknowledge their great reasonableness and superiority. Again, not only were these teachings accepted by thousands in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet but those who believed in them were so convinced of their truth that they were prepared to lay down their lives rather than give up these teachings. So the very lives of the Companions of the Holy Prophet bore witness to the truth of the Quran. A Book which is possessed of such spiritual power cannot be rejected as false.
The last words of the verse, i.e. be thou not of those who doubt, refer to the reader, and not to the Holy Prophet. When the previous Scriptures as well as the Quran bear unmistakable testimony to the truth of the Holy Prophet and of the revelation that has been sent down to him, then no one is justified in entertaining doubt concerning them. (close)
وَ تَمَّتۡ کَلِمَتُ رَبِّکَ صِدۡقًا وَّ عَدۡلًا ؕ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِکَلِمٰتِہٖ ۚ وَ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۶﴾
وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدۡقٗا وَعَدۡلٗاۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَٰتِهِۦۚ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
901A. It is reported that when Mecca fell and the Holy Prophet entered the Ka‘bah which was at that time full of idols, and struck the idols one after the other with his stick, he recited the very words of this prophecy: The word of thy Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice, thus alluding to the fact that with the Fall of Mecca the word of God had indeed been fulfilled (Manthur). (close)
c. 6:35. (close)
902. The Divine prophecies or the way and manner in which God’s laws work in favour of Divine Prophets. (close)
a. 6:35. (close)
The verb تمت (has been fulfilled) though grammatically in the past tense is here used in the future tense, meaning, shall be fulfilled, for in prophecies often a preterit is used to express the future tense. This is done in order to show that the event predicted is, in the sight of God, as good as fulfilled. The words thus contain a prophecy and mean that what God has said about the future triumph of Islam shall certainly come to pass. It is reported that when Mecca fell and the Holy Prophet entered the Ka‘bah, which was at that time full of idols, and struck the idols one after another with his stick, he recited the very words of this prophecy: the Word of thy Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice, in allusion to the fact that with the Fall of Mecca, the Word of God had indeed been fulfilled (Manthur, under 6:116).
The words, None can change His words, refer to the prophecies or to the ways or usage of God. With regard to the سنة or usage of God, it must be remembered that it is not for us to determine what the usage or the law of God is. Generally speaking, it is that which has been expressly mentioned as such in the Quran. Thus, one of the laws of God specified in the Quran is that His Messengers triumph and their enemies are brought to naught. Such laws have been spoken of as سنن الله(the ways or usages of God) and are not to be confounded with the laws of nature.
By the words, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing is meant that God hears not only the prayers of believers but also what the enemies of the Holy Prophet say against him. Similarly, He knows not only the sufferings and sacrifices of believers but also what the enemies of Islam are doing to harm and ruin it. So He will decide between the two parties. (close)
وَ اِنۡ تُطِعۡ اَکۡثَرَ مَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ یُضِلُّوۡکَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنۡ یَّتَّبِعُوۡنَ اِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَ اِنۡ ہُمۡ اِلَّا یَخۡرُصُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۷﴾
وَإِن تُطِعۡ أَكۡثَرَ مَن فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَإِنۡ هُمۡ إِلَّا يَخۡرُصُونَ
d. 10:37; 53:29. (close)
a. 10:37; 53:29. (close)
858. Important Words:
یخرصون (lie) is derived from خرص which means, he computed the quantity or number of a thing by conjecture; he conjectured; he opined while he was not certain. It also means, he spoke falsely, or he lied, or he said what was untrue. خراص means, a liar; or one who only conjectures or opines and does not make sure of a thing by ascertaining the truth (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse purports to say that the question of the truth or otherwise of Islam should not be decided according to the verdict of the majority, for the majority of mankind are ignorant. Therefore, matters of faith cannot be decided by the verdict of the majority. There has never been a people the majority of whom are wise or learned. Even in worldly legislatures, it is only a limited number of persons whose opinion matters. Again, even in so-called advanced countries the masses have their leaders, and it is these leaders whose opinion they follow. Thus, in reality, it is always a limited number whose opinion matters.
The verse refers particularly to the people of Arabia in the time of the Holy Prophet, the majority of whom were undoubtedly ignorant. (close)
اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ یَّضِلُّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ ۚ وَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِالۡمُہۡتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ مَن يَضِلُّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦۖ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ
a. 16:126. (close)
903. In matters of faith it is neither the majority nor the minority that can be accepted as judge of what is right or wrong. God alone is the Infallible Judge. He gives His judgment by showing heavenly Signs and by helping the party which pursues the path of truth. (close)
a. 16:126. (close)
The verse signifies that, apart from the fact stated in the preceding verse that the majority of men often possess less knowledge than the minority, neither the majority nor the minority can be trusted in matters of faith. Sometimes the minority are in the right and sometimes the majority. Hence it is necessary that God should decide as to which party follows the right path. In fact, God alone can be the judge. He gives His decision by showing heavenly signs and by helping the party which pursues the path of truth. (close)
فَکُلُوۡا مِمَّا ذُکِرَ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ بِاٰیٰتِہٖ مُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾
فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡهِ إِن كُنتُم بِـَٔايَٰتِهِۦ مُؤۡمِنِينَ
b. 5:5. (close)
904. Vv. 2:173 and 23:52 show that the eating of good and pure food has a direct bearing on the actions of man. So believers are here enjoined to partake of pure and wholesome food to strengthen their faith and cleanse their hearts of impurity. (close)
The commandment to eat of that over which the name of Allah has been pronounced may appear to some to have no connection with the subject matter of the previous verses. But it is really not so. The very fact that this verse is preceded by the particle فاء (then) shows that this commandment has come as a sequence of what has gone before. Again, the verb کلوا (eat) is plural and as this commandment is given in continuation of the preceding commandments, it follows that the previous commandments, although given in the singular number, are general in their application and are not addressed to the Holy Prophet personally. Thus the commandment, be thou not of those who doubt (6:115 above), is also addressed to really each and every reader.
As regards the connection between the present commandment and the preceding ones, it may be noted that elsewhere the Quran says: O ye who believe, eat of the good things We have provided for you, and render thanks to Allah (2:173). Again, O ye Messengers, eat of the things that are pure, and do good works (23:52). These verses clearly show that the eating of good and pure things has a direct bearing on the actions of man, who is thereby enabled to feel grateful to God and do good works. As the weak among the Faithful sometimes gave way to doubt when they heard the objections of disbelievers referred to in the previous verses, the Quran here bids them to partake of pure and holy food. The result will be that they themselves will become pure and their faith will become strengthened and thus they will become proof against the doubts which disbelievers seek to create in their minds by raising objections.
It may be objected that present-day Muslims pronounce the name of God on the animals they slaughter, and yet their minds are not free from doubt. The reason is that they pronounce the name of God only as a cold formality without sincerity or earnestness. It should also be remembered that the injunction to eat of that on which the name of God has been pronounced applies not only to the flesh of animals but to all kinds of food. The verse enjoins Muslims to pronounce the name of God on all food of which they partake, so that they may be constantly reminded of God and their lives may be sanctified.
The verse also shows how those who follow reason only, independently of Divine revelation, commit blunders. One of the objections raised by disbelievers against Muslims was that, although they professed to be devoted to God, yet they did not partake of the flesh of the animal that was killed by God (meaning the animal that died of itself), while they cheerfully partook of the flesh of animals which they themselves killed, (i.e. slaughtered animals). This is the kind of objection which is sometimes raised by men who depend merely on reason and think themselves to be independent of Divine revelation. The verse incidentally answers this objection by hinting that it is not a question of who kills the animal. The question is, who follows the commandment of God and who partakes of his food in His name. Certainly only he who acts upon the commandment of God and eats in His name, will win His pleasure. (close)
وَ مَا لَکُمۡ اَلَّا تَاۡکُلُوۡا مِمَّا ذُکِرَ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ وَ قَدۡ فَصَّلَ لَکُمۡ مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِلَّا مَا اضۡطُرِرۡتُمۡ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ وَ اِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا لَّیُضِلُّوۡنَ بِاَہۡوَآئِہِمۡ بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِالۡمُعۡتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲۰﴾
وَمَا لَكُمۡ أَلَّا تَأۡكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡهِ وَقَدۡ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِلَّا مَا ٱضۡطُرِرۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡهِۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرٗا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهۡوَآئِهِم بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُعۡتَدِينَ
c. 2:174; 5:4, 5; 6:146; 16:116. (close)
a. 2:174; 5:4-5; 6:146; 16:116. (close)
In this verse the objection of disbelievers has been answered in the very words in which it was made. Their objection was that Muslims profess to be devoted to the name of Allah, yet they do not eat of the flesh of the animal killed by God, i.e. the animal that dies of itself. The answer given in the present verse is, "when we are devoted to Allah, why should we not eat of the food on which the name of our Lord is pronounced?" But the name of God is not pronounced on an animal that dies of itself. Its death takes place under the general law of nature.
The words, He has already explained, refer to 16:116, which was revealed earlier.
The word "mislead" signifies that man-made teachings, which are given by most men in opposition to the teachings of God, only lead people astray.
The word "transgressors" at the end of the verse indicates that the objections raised against the teachings of God have their source in malice and enmity and those who bring forward such objections are indeed transgressors. (close)
وَ ذَرُوۡا ظَاہِرَ الۡاِثۡمِ وَ بَاطِنَہٗ ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یَکۡسِبُوۡنَ الۡاِثۡمَ سَیُجۡزَوۡنَ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَقۡتَرِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۱﴾
وَذَرُواْ ظَٰهِرَ ٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَبَاطِنَهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡسِبُونَ ٱلۡإِثۡمَ سَيُجۡزَوۡنَ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَقۡتَرِفُونَ
d. 6:152; 7:34. (close)
a. 6:152; 7:34. (close)
There are certain things which are manifestly evil and there are others which appear to be good but are really evil; or even if they do not appear to be good, their evil nature lies concealed and is not apparent. The Quran enjoins Muslims here to abstain from both, for such is the requirement of true piety.
The verse beautifully explains why it is forbidden to eat such animals as die of themselves or such as are not duly slaughtered by pronouncing thereupon the name of God. The pronouncing of the name of God exercises only a subtle influence. It brings about no physical change in the flesh, but it does produce a sanctifying effect on the heart. The killing of an animal is likely to harden the heart. But when a man pronounces the name of God at the time of slaughter, he, as it were, says: "I have no right to kill this animal of my own accord, but Allah Whose creation and property it is, has granted me permission to do so." This mental attitude will insure the heart against becoming hardened. Moreover, the pronouncing of the name of God is meant to be a guarantee that the animal is being slaughtered in the name of the Lord and Master of the universe and not in that of any other.
It was on a similar principle that ‘Umar, the Second Successor of the Holy Prophet, acted when, while kissing the Black Stone at the time of performing the طواف or circuit of the Ka‘bah, he addressed it in the memorable words: "I know thou art only a stone, but I kiss thee because I saw the Prophet of God kiss thee" (Bukhari, ch. on Hajj). By so saying, he pointed to the great truth that devotion to God should make man averse from paying homage to anything beside Him and that all actions of man should be performed for God. (close)
وَ لَا تَاۡکُلُوۡا مِمَّا لَمۡ یُذۡکَرِ اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہِ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَفِسۡقٌ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الشَّیٰطِیۡنَ لَیُوۡحُوۡنَ اِلٰۤی اَوۡلِیٰٓئِہِمۡ لِیُجَادِلُوۡکُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ اَطَعۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ اِنَّکُمۡ لَمُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۲﴾٪
وَلَا تَأۡكُلُواْ مِمَّا لَمۡ يُذۡكَرِ ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡهِ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَفِسۡقٞۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلشَّيَٰطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰٓ أَوۡلِيَآئِهِمۡ لِيُجَٰدِلُوكُمۡۖ وَإِنۡ أَطَعۡتُمُوهُمۡ إِنَّكُمۡ لَمُشۡرِكُونَ
a. 5:4; 6:146. (close)
905. The verse explains why it is forbidden to eat such animals as die of themselves or such as are not duly slaughtered with an invocation of the name of God. The pronouncement of the name of God produces sanctifying effect on man’s heart which nullifies the hardening effect which the killing of the animal is likely to produce. (close)
a. 5:4; 6:146. (close)
The verse points out that if believers eat of the flesh of those animals on which the name of God has not been pronounced, it will be an act of disobedience and transgression.
One sin leads to another. If a believer fails to pronounce the name of God on his food, his heart becomes devoid of reverence for Him and this gradually leads to شرك i.e. associating partners with God. (close)
اَوَ مَنۡ کَانَ مَیۡتًا فَاَحۡیَیۡنٰہُ وَ جَعَلۡنَا لَہٗ نُوۡرًا یَّمۡشِیۡ بِہٖ فِی النَّاسِ کَمَنۡ مَّثَلُہٗ فِی الظُّلُمٰتِ لَیۡسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنۡہَا ؕ کَذٰلِکَ زُیِّنَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۳﴾
أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيۡتٗا فَأَحۡيَيۡنَٰهُ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُۥ نُورٗا يَمۡشِي بِهِۦ فِي ٱلنَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُۥ فِي ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ لَيۡسَ بِخَارِجٖ مِّنۡهَاۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
b. 8:25. (close)
906. In the foregoing verses it was pointed out that man-made laws are always defective. Now it is mentioned in the present verse that man-made teachings cannot stand against Divine teachings. The case of those who devise laws, with the aid of human reason alone, is like one who gropes in darkness from which he will never come out. (close)
c. 6:109; 10:13; 27:5. (close)
a. 8:25. (close)
b. 6:109; 10:13; 27:5. (close)
In the foregoing verses it was pointed out that man-made teachings are always defective. Now, the Quran proceeds to show that man-made teachings cannot stand against Divine teachings.
The verse purports to put the question: "If there is a teaching which is really from God, will it not be better than that devised by man?" Now, this is a question which every man, even a disbeliever, will have to reply in the affirmative. Indeed, human reason cannot have the boldness to deny it. The question has thus been put to make disbelievers conscious of a great truth.
The expression, he is in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth, refers to the man who devises laws with the aid of reason alone— reason that is fettered by numberless limitations to which man is subject. The laws made by men are always subject to change owing to their intrinsic defectiveness. A law is made today but it has to be changed tomorrow on account of the defects which by experience are found in it. Then the new law is again changed for the same reason, and this process goes on indefinitely and sometimes even a sort of a circle comes into being. Thus the case of such men as devise their laws with the aid of human reason alone is like one who is in darkness from which he will never come out.
The words, made to seem fair, imply that Satan and his associates adorn the evil doings of men. In the beginning it is Satan who misleads men by inciting them to evil. But when a man goes on doing evil deeds, his evil deeds gradually begin to appear good to him. This is the law of God meant as a punishment. It is to this later adornment of deeds under the law of God that the Quran refers in 6:109 above. (close)
وَ کَذٰلِکَ جَعَلۡنَا فِیۡ کُلِّ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَکٰبِرَ مُجۡرِمِیۡہَا لِیَمۡکُرُوۡا فِیۡہَا ؕ وَ مَا یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ اِلَّا بِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۴﴾
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرۡيَةٍ أَكَٰبِرَ مُجۡرِمِيهَا لِيَمۡكُرُواْ فِيهَاۖ وَمَا يَمۡكُرُونَ إِلَّا بِأَنفُسِهِمۡ وَمَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
d. 17:17. (close)
b. 17:17. (close)
The verse is rather difficult to translate. Some translators make the word اکابر (great ones) the first object of the verb جعلنا (have We made) and the word مجرمیھا (its sinners) the second object. But the better rendering and one more befitting the context is to treat the words اکابر and مجرمیھا as مضاف and مضاف الیه making them jointly the first object of جعلنا and supplying the second object from the expression "in utter darkness" occurring in the preceding verse. Similarly the لام in لیمکروا is not لام تعلیل but لام عاقبة.
We are told in 6:113 above that it is the law of God that wicked leaders from among the common people and from among the big ones are always hostile to the Prophets of God. It is to these wicked leaders that the verse under comment refers. They are surrounded by utter darkness from which they never emerge (see the preceding verse). (close)