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)
وَ اِذَا جَآءَتۡہُمۡ اٰیَۃٌ قَالُوۡا لَنۡ نُّؤۡمِنَ حَتّٰی نُؤۡتٰی مِثۡلَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیَ رُسُلُ اللّٰہِ ؕۘؔ اَللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ حَیۡثُ یَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَہٗ ؕ سَیُصِیۡبُ الَّذِیۡنَ اَجۡرَمُوۡا صَغَارٌ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ وَ عَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌۢ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۵﴾
وَإِذَا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ ءَايَةٞ قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤۡمِنَ حَتَّىٰ نُؤۡتَىٰ مِثۡلَ مَآ أُوتِيَ رُسُلُ ٱللَّهِۘ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ حَيۡثُ يَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُۥۗ سَيُصِيبُ ٱلَّذِينَ أَجۡرَمُواْ صَغَارٌ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَعَذَابٞ شَدِيدُۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَمۡكُرُونَ
a. 28:49. (close)
906A. Allah knows best who is fit to be His Messenger and who is not. (close)
a. 28:49. (close)
The verse embodies the last argument or the last excuse of disbelievers in the present discussion. They say, "We will never believe in Divine revelation until we also receive revelation like unto the revelation of the Messengers of God. If God speaks to them, let Him speak to us also."
God answers this foolish objection by saying: "It is not to every man that God speaks; He speaks only to him whom He finds worthy of it and whom He selects for the purpose." As for those who make themselves deserving of humiliation and abasement, they cannot be honoured with messages from God. Their doom is only "humiliation and a severe punishment." (close)
فَمَنۡ یُّرِدِ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یَّہۡدِیَہٗ یَشۡرَحۡ صَدۡرَہٗ لِلۡاِسۡلَامِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّرِدۡ اَنۡ یُّضِلَّہٗ یَجۡعَلۡ صَدۡرَہٗ ضَیِّقًا حَرَجًا کَاَنَّمَا یَصَّعَّدُ فِی السَّمَآءِ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یَجۡعَلُ اللّٰہُ الرِّجۡسَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۶﴾
فَمَن يُرِدِ ٱللَّهُ أَن يَهۡدِيَهُۥ يَشۡرَحۡ صَدۡرَهُۥ لِلۡإِسۡلَٰمِۖ وَمَن يُرِدۡ أَن يُضِلَّهُۥ يَجۡعَلۡ صَدۡرَهُۥ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجٗا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي ٱلسَّمَآءِۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّجۡسَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ
907. He regards Divine commandments as a burden and finds physical difficulty and mental trouble in carrying them out. His bosom, as it were, becomes narrow like one who is climbing up a steep height. (close)
b. 10:101. (close)
a. 10:101. (close)
867. Important Words:
حرجاً (close) means, close, strait or narrow (Lane). See also 4:66.
رجس (Punishment). See 5:91.
The desire of Allah, mentioned in the words, whomsoever Allah wishes to guide, follows the actions of man. It is the result of man’s own good deeds, and not arbitrary.
The words, He expands his bosom for the acceptance of Islam, signify that such a one is cheerfully willing to accept and obey every command of God. He feels pleasure in obeying God’s behests. If a man is always ready and willing to obey the commandments of God, it shows that he is progressing spiritually. But if a man feels Divine commandments to be a burden, it is an indication of the fact that he is spiritually retrogressing.
The "wish" of Allah to make a man go astray also comes as a sequence to man’s own evil deeds. When a man becomes a sinner and does wicked deeds the result is that he is led astray from the right path. Such a one feels the commandments of God to be burdensome, and perceives difficulty and mental trouble in carrying them out. His bosom becomes narrow and close. His case is like that of a person who is asked to climb up a steep height.
It may be noted here in passing that the verse also hints that to ascend into heaven with the physical body is a sort of punishment and not a boon.
The verse tells us that God helps those who practise virtue and willingly obey His commandments and He causes them to progress spiritually, while those who do not believe and lead sinful lives continue to advance in sin and wickedness.
The verse further teaches us that we cannot progress spiritually unless we render obedience to God with willing and cheerful hearts. (close)