وَ لَوۡ عَلِمَ اللّٰہُ فِیۡہِمۡ خَیۡرًا لَّاَسۡمَعَہُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اَسۡمَعَہُمۡ لَتَوَلَّوۡا وَّ ہُمۡ مُّعۡرِضُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾
وَلَوۡ عَلِمَ ٱللَّهُ فِيهِمۡ خَيۡرٗا لَّأَسۡمَعَهُمۡۖ وَلَوۡ أَسۡمَعَهُمۡ لَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُم مُّعۡرِضُونَ
1109. The expression "makes them hear" means that if in their present condition God should force them to accept the truth, they would in their heart of hearts remain unconverted and would never become true Muslims. (close)
The expression اسمعھم (made them hear) in the first place mean that if God had known any good in them, He would have made them hear and accept the truth. The verse thus shows that it is only those whose hearts are wholly corrupt that are caused or allowed to go astray by God. Those in whose hearts there is any good are always led by God to the acceptance of the truth.
The second clause of the verse indicates that while Allah makes good men accept and follow guidance, He never forces anyone to go astray. The expression اسمعھم (made them hear) in the second place, therefore, means that if in their present condition God should force them to accept the truth, the result would be that their hearts would remain unconverted and they would never become true Muslims. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لِلّٰہِ وَ لِلرَّسُوۡلِ اِذَا دَعَاکُمۡ لِمَا یُحۡیِیۡکُمۡ ۚ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَحُوۡلُ بَیۡنَ الۡمَرۡءِ وَ قَلۡبِہٖ وَ اَنَّہٗۤ اِلَیۡہِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمۡ لِمَا يُحۡيِيكُمۡۖ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيۡنَ ٱلۡمَرۡءِ وَقَلۡبِهِۦ وَأَنَّهُۥٓ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ
c. 4:60; 8:47; 24:55. (close)
1109A. The pronoun "he" refers to the Messenger, for it is the Messenger who actually calls. Calling by God is also through His Messenger. Or, "he" may be taken to refer to both Allah and the Messenger separately, i.e. when Allah calls you or when the Messenger calls you. (close)
1110. The giving of life to the dead when ascribed to a Prophet of God should be taken in its metaphorical or spiritual sense. (close)
1110A. The words "Allah comes in between a man and his heart" signify that man (or his ego) has no control over his heart, so he cannot make it obey his dictates. The words may also mean that one should hasten to listen and respond to Divine Call because if one delays doing so, unforeseen circumstances may intervene to make one’s heart hard or rusty and then one may refuse to listen to it. (close)
a. 3:33; 4:60; 8:47; 24:55. (close)
Though the verse enjoins the Faithful to respond to both Allah and His Messenger, it does not say "when they (Allah and His Messenger) call you" but simply "when he calls you." The pronoun "he" obviously refers to the Messenger, for it is the Messenger who actually calls. Calling by God is also through His Messenger. Or the singular pronoun "he" may be taken to refer to both Allah and the Messenger taken separately, i.e. when Allah calls you or when the Messenger calls you.
The words, that he may give you life, embody a great truth. The calling of the Messenger is always for the purpose of giving life to those who believe. It must, however, be remembered that when the quickening of, or the giving of life to, the dead is ascribed to a Prophet of God, the words should be taken not in their physical but in their spiritual sense.
The words, know that Allah comes in between a man and his heart, are important. There are two powers in men, firstly, the will-power of the "I". This power has its seat in the mind and has, therefore, been referred to in the verse as "man". The second power lies in the heart. The "I" or the will-power, or in other words "the man," issues its command and it is for the heart to obey it. But an unpurified heart does not always obey the command emanating from the mind. The words, Allah comes in between a man and his heart, therefore, signify that God has His position between the "I" and the heart. Man has not the power to purify his heart, i.e. he cannot make it obey the dictates of the "I", for he has no control over it. But God controls the heart and can purify it. So we should obey God that He may purify our heart and make it follow the will of the "I". The expression is figurative and means that it is God alone Who can make the dictates of the "I" have the desired effect on the heart.
The verse also hints that one should always hasten to hear and obey a good call; for if one delays doing so, the law of God, meant for those who hesitate to accept the truth and keep back from it, is likely to come in, and make the heart rusty, with the result that it becomes all the more disinclined to accept the truth. (close)
وَ اتَّقُوۡا فِتۡنَۃً لَّا تُصِیۡبَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا مِنۡکُمۡ خَآصَّۃً ۚ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ ﴿۲۶﴾
وَٱتَّقُواْ فِتۡنَةٗ لَّا تُصِيبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمۡ خَآصَّةٗۖ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ
a. 11:114. (close)
1111. It is not enough to make ourselves good. We are not safe unless we also reform our environment. A house surrounded by a raging fire is likely to fall a victim to it any moment. (close)
1114. Important Words:
فتنة (affliction). See 2:192.
The verse embodies a great and important truth. It is not enough that you should become good yourselves. If you are surrounded by wicked and ungodly persons, you cannot escape the contagion and its consequences. Thus, even a good man may sometimes be overtaken by Divine punishment, if he is living among wicked people and does not shun their society. Hence, we should not only try to lead righteous lives ourselves, but should also endeavour to make others do the same. We should not only reform ourselves but try to reform the society in which we move and the people among whom we live. We cannot long enjoy safety if the houses surrounding ours are on fire. (close)
وَ اذۡکُرُوۡۤا اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ قَلِیۡلٌ مُّسۡتَضۡعَفُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ تَخَافُوۡنَ اَنۡ یَّتَخَطَّفَکُمُ النَّاسُ فَاٰوٰٮکُمۡ وَ اَیَّدَکُمۡ بِنَصۡرِہٖ وَ رَزَقَکُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّیِّبٰتِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾
وَٱذۡكُرُوٓاْ إِذۡ أَنتُمۡ قَلِيلٞ مُّسۡتَضۡعَفُونَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ ٱلنَّاسُ فَـَٔاوَىٰكُمۡ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصۡرِهِۦ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ
1112. Muslims are here told that as God had saved them when they were weak in the land and were surrounded by strong and mischievous people, so they should strive to protect the weak when they are in power. The verse implies a prophecy that Muslims will soon attain political power. (close)
b. 7:87. (close)
Muslims are here told that as God saved them when they were weak in the land and were surrounded by wicked and mischievous people, so they should strive to save those who are weak and surrounded by dangers. The verse also hints that as Muslims will soon prosper and attain power, they should never forget the days of hardships through which they have passed, i.e. in the days of their power, they should never oppress the weak creatures of God but should always treat them with justice and mercy. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَخُوۡنُوا اللّٰہَ وَ الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ تَخُوۡنُوۡۤا اَمٰنٰتِکُمۡ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَخُونُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوٓاْ أَمَٰنَٰتِكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
1113. The verse speaks of man’s two loyalties—his loyalty to God (and his Messenger) which is absolute and eternal because God is our Creator and Nourisher; and his loyalty to his fellow-beings which springs from the obligations he owes to them. (close)
The verse enjoins Muslims not to act faithlessly with regard to either the commandments of God or the rights of one another. Indeed, a Muslim should always be true to God and true to his fellow beings.
It is significant that when speaking of being true to God, the verse directly says, prove not false to Allah, but when speaking of men the words used are, prove not false to your trusts.
This is to point out that whereas faithfulness to God is absolute and eternal, being based on the very creation of man, faithfulness to man springs from the trusts and obligations that he may form or enter into. (close)
وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّمَاۤ اَمۡوَالُکُمۡ وَ اَوۡلَادُکُمۡ فِتۡنَۃٌ ۙ وَّ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ عِنۡدَہٗۤ اَجۡرٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۲۹﴾
وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَآ أَمۡوَٰلُكُمۡ وَأَوۡلَٰدُكُمۡ فِتۡنَةٞ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عِندَهُۥٓ أَجۡرٌ عَظِيمٞ
b. 7:87; 3:124; 64:16. (close)
a. 3:187; 64:16. (close)
1117. Important Words:
فتنة (trial) is derived from فتن . They say فتنه i.e. he tried or proved or tested him. So فتنه means, a trial meant to separate the good from the bad. See also 2:103, 192; 4:92 & 5:50,72. Thus فتنة is anything that is a means of purification and advancement for the good and a means of exposure and downfall for the wicked.
As فتنة (trial) is a means of purification, our possessions and our children are called a "trial" because they are a means of our spiritual purification. It is by means of them that we are able to make sacrifices in the cause of religion and humanity. If we have no wealth, we cannot give it away in the service of God or of our fellow-creatures. If we have no children, we will not be in a position to train them as good and pious men for the service of God and mankind. Moreover, if we have no children, we shall be free and shall have no obstacle to overcome; and, therefore, our spending money in the cause of God will, in that case, not give us as much credit as it would do if we spent it while we had children. Thus, both our possessions and our children enable us to make sacrifices in the cause of God and our fellow beings; they are, therefore, a blessing, not a curse. But they may become a curse for the wicked, for whom the love of wealth and children proves a great stumbling block.
The words, a great reward, signify that when God has conferred on us blessings like wealth and children without any endeavour on our part, He can bestow on us far greater rewards, if we strive in His cause and try to win His favour. But if the word فتنة (trial) is taken in a bad sense, i.e. a stumbling block, then the words "a great reward" would signify that if our wealth and children prove a stumbling block for us, we should not allow them to stand in our way, but should turn to God with Whom we will find a great reward for this sacrifice of ours. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ تَتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّکُمۡ فُرۡقَانًا وَّ یُکَفِّرۡ عَنۡکُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ وَ یَغۡفِرۡ لَکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۳۰﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تَتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ فُرۡقَانٗا وَيُكَفِّرۡ عَنكُمۡ سَيِّـَٔاتِكُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ
a. 18:6; 64:10; 66:9. (close)
1114. Furqan means, (1) that which distinguishes between right and wrong; (2) proof or evidence or argument; (3) aid or victory, and (4) dawn (Lane). (close)
a. 48:6; 64:10; 66:9. (close)
1118. Important Words:
فرقان (distinction) means: (1) that which enables one to distinguish between truth and falsehood and right and wrong; (2) proof or evidence or argument; (3) aid or victory; (4) dawn (Lane). See also 2:54.
The word فرقان (distinction) may be taken here in all the four senses mentioned under Important Words above. Firstly, if a man becomes God-fearing, he is given a light by means of which he is able to distinguish between right and wrong. Secondly, the righteous and the God-fearing are taught and vouchsafed proofs and arguments by God. They do not blindly believe in the truth of their religion but they are granted proofs and arguments for what they believe. Thirdly, God-fearing men receive aid and victory from God. Fourthly, God removes from them the darkness of hardships and there dawns upon them the day of happiness and bliss. (close)
وَ اِذۡ یَمۡکُرُ بِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِیُثۡبِتُوۡکَ اَوۡ یَقۡتُلُوۡکَ اَوۡ یُخۡرِجُوۡکَ ؕ وَ یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ وَ یَمۡکُرُ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ خَیۡرُ الۡمٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾
وَإِذۡ يَمۡكُرُ بِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِيُثۡبِتُوكَ أَوۡ يَقۡتُلُوكَ أَوۡ يُخۡرِجُوكَۚ وَيَمۡكُرُونَ وَيَمۡكُرُ ٱللَّهُۖ وَٱللَّهُ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡمَٰكِرِينَ
b. 3:55; 27:51. (close)
1115. Reference in the verse is to the secret conference which was held in Darun-Nadwah (House of Consultation) in Mecca. Seeing that all their efforts to arrest the progress of the new Faith had failed and that most of those Muslims who could afford to leave Mecca had emigrated to Medina and were out of harm’s way, the Elders of the town assembled in Darun-Nadwah to devise plans to make a last attempt to finish Islam. After deep deliberation they hit upon a plan that a number of young men from various Quraish tribes should, in a joint attack, swoop down upon the Holy Prophet and kill him. The Holy Prophet left the house unnoticed at dead of night, when the watchers were overpowered by sleep, and took refuge in Cave Thaur along with Abu Bakr, his ever faithful Companion, and finally reached Medina in safety. (close)
a. 3:55; 27:51. (close)
1119. Important Words:
یثبتوك (imprison thee) is derived from اثبت which is derived from ثبت which means, it continued or subsisted or endured; or it remained fixed or stationary; or it was or became constant, fast or established. اثبته means, he made it to continue or subsist or endure; or he made it to remain fixed or stationary. They say اثبته جراحة i.e. wound rendered him unable to move. ضربوہ حتی اثبتوه means, they beat him so as to render him motionless. اثبته بوثاق means, he made him fast with a bond so that he could not move. So لیثبتوك (liyuthbituka) or لیثبتوك (liyuthabbituka), which is another reading of the word, means, that they might inflict upon thee a wound by reason of which thou shouldst not be able to rise or move about; or that they might confine thee to thy place, i.e. imprison thee and prevent thy moving about (Lane).
The Holy Prophet bore resemblance to all Prophets of God. At the Battle of Badr, God showed a miracle, similar to the miracle of Moses (see 8:18 above), while the present verse refers to a sign which was like the signs of Jonah and Jesus. At Mecca, the Quraish had a council-room called Darun-Nadwah. There they used to hold their consultations against the Holy Prophet. When they learnt that Islam had spread to Medina, where converts to the new Faith were fleeing for refuge, Abu Jahl and other leaders of the Quraish held a meeting at Darun-Nadwah in order to consider some decisive step to put an end to the new Movement. Various proposals were made at the meeting. One was that the Holy Prophet should be put under confinement, i.e. imprisoned; another was that he should be expelled from the city; yet another was that suitable men belonging to all the different tribes of the Quraish should be selected, and these should make a joint attack on the Holy Prophet and slay him. This last proposal was finally agreed upon, and the Holy Prophet’s house was surrounded one dark night with the object of attacking him as soon as he came forth. But, being apprised by God of the coming danger, the Holy Prophet had already made arrangements with Abu Bakr to flee from Mecca that very night. He, therefore, caused his nephew ‘Ali to lie in his bed and prepared himself to leave. Those who had laid siege to the house occasionally peeped into the house and, mistaking ‘Ali for the Holy Prophet, waited patiently for him outside. While thus waiting, it so happened that the watchers were overpowered by sleep, and the Holy Prophet, availing himself of the opportunity, departed from the house unnoticed. Abu Bakr was already waiting for him at some distance, and the two, bidding farewell to their beloved city, repaired, according to a pre-arranged plan, to a cave in a difficult mountain-top outside Mecca, where they took shelter. When the bloodthirsty Meccans knew of his escape, they quickly prepared to pursue him. They actually followed him, tracing his steps, till they reached the very cave where the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr were in hiding; but, as the report says, already a spider had spun its cobweb across the mouth of the cave. Thus confronted, it never occurred to them that the Holy Prophet had taken shelter in that out-of-the-way cave whose entrance looked as if it had not been used for a long time. They argued that the tracer who had brought them to the mouth of the cave was at fault and it so happened that none of them so much as glanced into the cave to make sure whether or not anybody was inside. Thus it was that God saved His beloved servant from the clutches of the ravenous wolves that so savagely pursued him. Being unable to find any further trace of him, they returned to Mecca. As, however, a heavy price was set on his head, and it was announced that whoever brought him, dead or alive, would have a reward of 100 camels, people pursued him in all directions; but here, too, God came to his help and none could lay hands on him. After remaining hidden in the cave for three days, the Holy Prophet and his devoted Companion resumed their flight to Medina and, avoiding the better-known tracks, hastened to their destination where the Muslim community of the Ansar and such of the Muhajirin as had already reached there accorded them a most cordial welcome.
Thus, the Quraish practically resorted to all the three plans that have been mentioned in the verse under comment: (1) they confined the Holy Prophet when they laid siege to his house at night; (2) they drove him from his native city; and (3) they attempted to carry out their resolution of Darun-Nadwah to put him to death. But God baffled every attempt of theirs, and he, who had fled from their town as a helpless fugitive, returned to them eight years later as an illustrious victor, at whose hands they cringingly sought, and readily obtained, pardon. They planned and plotted against him, as the verse says; but their plans and intrigues led to their own ruin. They drove him from their city, but his very flight led him to power and prosperity and proved the cause of their destruction. Sometime after the flight, a Meccan army proudly issued forth from Mecca and proceeded to Badr, a place near Medina, little dreaming that it was going to its own ruin. All this was arranged and decreed by God, Who is the best of planners. He so arranged that the army which had come forth with such pomp and display of power returned from Badr an utterly routed and disorderly rabble, leaving its proud leaders either dead on the battlefield or captives in the hands of those whom they hated and despised.
It should be noted that the word مکر (plan) used in this verse does not necessarily mean an evil plot. It is general in its significance, comprising both good and evil planning, according to the purpose for which it is contrived. The plots of the enemies of truth were, of course, evil; but God never has recourse to evil design. He planned things in such a way as to frustrate the evil designs of the enemy and make the cause of Islam triumph. The very fact that the Quran prefixes the word خیر (best) to the word ماکرین (planners) shows that the word has been used in a good sense with respect to God; for the word خیر (meaning good, better or best) is invariably prefixed to words which are used in a good sense. See also 3:55.
The present verse has been placed most fittingly between the verses relating to the Battle of Badr; for after speaking of that great battle, the Quran reminds the Holy Prophet and his Companions of the plots of the enemy against him and draws his attention to the wonderful way in which God had helped him at the time of his flight, frustrating the designs of the enemy and turning them to the advantage of Islam. He would do it again when needed and the Battle of Badr was another instance of the kind. (close)
وَ اِذَا تُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتُنَا قَالُوۡا قَدۡ سَمِعۡنَا لَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَقُلۡنَا مِثۡلَ ہٰذَاۤ ۙ اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّاۤ اَسَاطِیۡرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾
وَإِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَٰتُنَا قَالُواْ قَدۡ سَمِعۡنَا لَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَقُلۡنَا مِثۡلَ هَٰذَآ إِنۡ هَٰذَآ إِلَّآ أَسَٰطِيرُ ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ
c. 6:26; 68:16; 83:14. (close)
1116. The disbelievers boasted that they could produce a composition like that of the Qur’an. It was, however, an empty boast, which they dared not translate into fact. The challenge that they would never be able to produce even a short chapter like unto a Chapter of the Qur’an, has ever remained unaccepted. (close)
a. 6:26; 68:16; 83:14. (close)
The disbelievers alleged that they could produce a composition like that of the Quran. It was, however, nothing but an empty boast on their part, which they never attempted to carry into effect; and the challenge of the Quran, which declared that they would never be able to produce even a short chapter like any chapter of the Quran, has ever remained unanswered. The disbelievers also thought that the Quran contained nothing but the tales of the ancients. The verse under comment contradicts this assertion by drawing their attention to the powerful prophecies contained in the Quran which unmistakably prove it to be the Word of God, it being beyond the power of man to produce a composition containing such powerful prophecies. The Battle of Badr, for instance, fulfilled many a mighty prophecy, foretold by the Quran (e.g 54:45-47; 34:30, 31)—a fact which rendered it impossible for man to imitate a production like it, and which fully exposed the absurdity of the assertion that the Quran was nothing but tales of the ancients. (close)
وَ اِذۡ قَالُوا اللّٰہُمَّ اِنۡ کَانَ ہٰذَا ہُوَ الۡحَقَّ مِنۡ عِنۡدِکَ فَاَمۡطِرۡ عَلَیۡنَا حِجَارَۃً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ اَوِ ائۡتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۳۳﴾
وَإِذۡ قَالُواْ ٱللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَٰذَا هُوَ ٱلۡحَقَّ مِنۡ عِندِكَ فَأَمۡطِرۡ عَلَيۡنَا حِجَارَةٗ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ أَوِ ٱئۡتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٖ
1117. It was almost in these words that Abu Jahl prayed in the battlefield of Badr (Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir). The prayer was literally fulfilled. Abu Jahl along with many other leaders of the Quraish was killed and their bodies were thrown into a pit. (close)
This was the prayer which Abu Jahl, the leader of the disbelievers, offered to God at Badr and it was accepted. He prayed on that memorable day that God might destroy him and his party if the Prophet was in the right (Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir). Strange to say, not only were Abu Jahl and his companions punished at Badr by God but, as prayed for by Abu Jahl, even stones were rained down upon them; for, when at the throwing of a handful of pebbles by the Holy Prophet (8:18), there arose a strong wind, it literally rained upon the disbelieving host hard pebbles from the desert. (close)