Surah Baqarah Translation

Surah Baqarah Translation, Surah Al Baqarah In English



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Surah Baqarah In Arabic

الم ﴿1﴾ ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿2﴾ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ ﴿3﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ ﴿4﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿5﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنْذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنْذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿6﴾ خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿7﴾ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿8﴾ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿9﴾ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ ﴿10﴾ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ ﴿11﴾ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿12﴾ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿13﴾ وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ ﴿14﴾ اللَّهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴿15﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ فَمَا رَبِحَتْ تِجَارَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ ﴿16﴾ مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ ﴿17﴾ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿18﴾ أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ مِنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ ﴿19﴾ يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ ۖ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُمْ مَشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿20﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿21﴾ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿22﴾ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿23﴾ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَلَنْ تَفْعَلُوا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ ۖ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ ﴿24﴾ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِنْ ثَمَرَةٍ رِزْقًا ۙ قَالُوا هَٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُطَهَّرَةٌ ۖ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿25﴾ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَنْ يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿26﴾ الَّذِينَ يَنْقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَنْ يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿27﴾ كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنْتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿28﴾ هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿29﴾ وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَنْ يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿30﴾ وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿31﴾ قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿32﴾ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنْبِئْهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَنْبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ ﴿33﴾ وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿34﴾ وَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنْتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَكُلَا مِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلَا تَقْرَبَا هَٰذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿35﴾ فَأَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ عَنْهَا فَأَخْرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِ ۖ وَقُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ ﴿36﴾ فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿37﴾ قُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدًى فَمَنْ تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿38﴾ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿39﴾ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ ﴿40﴾ وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ ﴿41﴾ وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿42﴾ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ ﴿43﴾ أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنْسَوْنَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿44﴾ وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ ﴿45﴾ الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُلَاقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿46﴾ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿47﴾ وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا لَا تَجْزِي نَفْسٌ عَنْ نَفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَلَا يُؤْخَذُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ ﴿48﴾ وَإِذْ نَجَّيْنَاكُمْ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَسُومُونَكُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ يُذَبِّحُونَ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيُونَ نِسَاءَكُمْ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكُمْ بَلَاءٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَظِيمٌ ﴿49﴾ وَإِذْ فَرَقْنَا بِكُمُ الْبَحْرَ فَأَنْجَيْنَاكُمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْظُرُونَ ﴿50﴾ وَإِذْ وَاعَدْنَا مُوسَىٰ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَنْتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ ﴿51﴾ ثُمَّ عَفَوْنَا عَنْكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿52﴾ وَإِذْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَالْفُرْقَانَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ﴿53﴾ وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّكُمْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ بِاتِّخَاذِكُمُ الْعِجْلَ فَتُوبُوا إِلَىٰ بَارِئِكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿54﴾ وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَىٰ لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْظُرُونَ ﴿55﴾ ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَاكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿56﴾ وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَىٰ ۖ كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ ۖ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَٰكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿57﴾ وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُوا هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ نَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿58﴾ فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا قَوْلًا غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَنْزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا رِجْزًا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ ﴿59﴾ وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَىٰ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ ۖ فَانْفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَشْرَبَهُمْ ۖ كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِنْ رِزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿60﴾ وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَىٰ لَنْ نَصْبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنْبِتُ الْأَرْضُ مِنْ بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّائِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا ۖ قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَىٰ بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ ۚ اهْبِطُوا مِصْرًا فَإِنَّ لَكُمْ مَا سَأَلْتُمْ ۗ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوْا وَكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ ﴿61﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿62﴾ وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُمْ بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُوا مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿63﴾ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنْتُمْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿64﴾ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَوْا مِنْكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ ﴿65﴾ فَجَعَلْنَاهَا نَكَالًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا وَمَوْعِظَةً لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿66﴾ وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْبَحُوا بَقَرَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُوًا ۖ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ ﴿67﴾ قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّنْ لَنَا مَا هِيَ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَا فَارِضٌ وَلَا بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَافْعَلُوا مَا تُؤْمَرُونَ ﴿68﴾ قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّنْ لَنَا مَا لَوْنُهَا ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ صَفْرَاءُ فَاقِعٌ لَوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ النَّاظِرِينَ ﴿69﴾ قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّنْ لَنَا مَا هِيَ إِنَّ الْبَقَرَ تَشَابَهَ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿70﴾ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَا ذَلُولٌ تُثِيرُ الْأَرْضَ وَلَا تَسْقِي الْحَرْثَ مُسَلَّمَةٌ لَا شِيَةَ فِيهَا ۚ قَالُوا الْآنَ جِئْتَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُوا يَفْعَلُونَ ﴿71﴾ وَإِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْسًا فَادَّارَأْتُمْ فِيهَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ ﴿72﴾ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُحْيِي اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿73﴾ ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿74﴾ أَفَتَطْمَعُونَ أَنْ يُؤْمِنُوا لَكُمْ وَقَدْ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿75﴾ وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ قَالُوا أَتُحَدِّثُونَهُمْ بِمَا فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لِيُحَاجُّوكُمْ بِهِ عِنْدَ رَبِّكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿76﴾ أَوَلَا يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ﴿77﴾ وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ ﴿78﴾ فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿79﴾ وَقَالُوا لَنْ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَةً ۚ قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَهْدًا فَلَنْ يُخْلِفَ اللَّهُ عَهْدَهُ ۖ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿80﴾ بَلَىٰ مَنْ كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿81﴾ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿82﴾ وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِنْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ ﴿83﴾ وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ ﴿84﴾ ثُمَّ أَنْتُمْ هَٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ تَظَاهَرُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِالْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَإِنْ يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَارَىٰ تُفَادُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ ۚ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ ۚ فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَنْ يَفْعَلُ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿85﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ فَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ ﴿86﴾ وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنْفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ ﴿87﴾ وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ ۚ بَلْ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَقَلِيلًا مَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿88﴾ وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَهُمْ وَكَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ مَا عَرَفُوا كَفَرُوا بِهِ ۚ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿89﴾ بِئْسَمَا اشْتَرَوْا بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بَغْيًا أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ فَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ ۚ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ ﴿90﴾ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا نُؤْمِنُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَيَكْفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَاءَهُ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا مَعَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ فَلِمَ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنْبِيَاءَ اللَّهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿91﴾ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مُوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَنْتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ ﴿92﴾ وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُمْ بِقُوَّةٍ وَاسْمَعُوا ۖ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِمْ ۚ قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿93﴾ قُلْ إِنْ كَانَتْ لَكُمُ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَالِصَةً مِنْ دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿94﴾ وَلَنْ يَتَمَنَّوْهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ ﴿95﴾ وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ حَيَاةٍ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا ۚ يَوَدُّ أَحَدُهُمْ لَوْ يُعَمَّرُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ أَنْ يُعَمَّرَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿96﴾ قُلْ مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿97﴾ مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِلَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ ﴿98﴾ وَلَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ ۖ وَمَا يَكْفُرُ بِهَا إِلَّا الْفَاسِقُونَ ﴿99﴾ أَوَكُلَّمَا عَاهَدُوا عَهْدًا نَبَذَهُ فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿100﴾ وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَهُمْ نَبَذَ فَرِيقٌ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿101﴾ وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَٰكِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَى الْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَارُوتَ وَمَارُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِ ۚ وَمَا هُمْ بِضَارِّينَ بِهِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنْفَعُهُمْ ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا لَمَنِ اشْتَرَاهُ مَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿102﴾ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَمَثُوبَةٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ ۖ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿103﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقُولُوا رَاعِنَا وَقُولُوا انْظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا ۗ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿104﴾ مَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَنْ يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿105﴾ مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا ۗ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿106﴾ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿107﴾ أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَسْأَلُوا رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۗ وَمَنْ يَتَبَدَّلِ الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ ﴿108﴾ وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿109﴾ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿110﴾ وَقَالُوا لَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَنْ كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ ۗ تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ ۗ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿111﴾ بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿112﴾ وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ لَيْسَتِ النَّصَارَىٰ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَىٰ لَيْسَتِ الْيَهُودُ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَهُمْ يَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ قَالَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ مِثْلَ قَوْلِهِمْ ۚ فَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿113﴾ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ مَنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَىٰ فِي خَرَابِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ أَنْ يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلَّا خَائِفِينَ ۚ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿114﴾ وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿115﴾ وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا ۗ سُبْحَانَهُ ۖ بَلْ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ كُلٌّ لَهُ قَانِتُونَ ﴿116﴾ بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ ﴿117﴾ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ لَوْلَا يُكَلِّمُنَا اللَّهُ أَوْ تَأْتِينَا آيَةٌ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ قَالَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ مِثْلَ قَوْلِهِمْ ۘ تَشَابَهَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ ﴿118﴾ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا ۖ وَلَا تُسْأَلُ عَنْ أَصْحَابِ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿119﴾ وَلَنْ تَرْضَىٰ عَنْكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۗ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿120﴾ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ أُولَٰئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ ۗ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿121﴾ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿122﴾ وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا لَا تَجْزِي نَفْسٌ عَنْ نَفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلَا تَنْفَعُهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ ﴿123﴾ وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿124﴾ وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَنْ طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ ﴿125﴾ وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ قَالَ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَأُمَتِّعُهُ قَلِيلًا ثُمَّ أَضْطَرُّهُ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ النَّارِ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿126﴾ وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿127﴾ رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً لَكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿128﴾ رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿129﴾ وَمَنْ يَرْغَبُ عَنْ مِلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلَّا مَنْ سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ وَلَقَدِ اصْطَفَيْنَاهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَإِنَّهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿130﴾ إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ ۖ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿131﴾ وَوَصَّىٰ بِهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَا بَنِيَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿132﴾ أَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِي قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ إِلَٰهَكَ وَإِلَٰهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿133﴾ تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿134﴾ وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ تَهْتَدُوا ۗ قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿135﴾ قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿136﴾ فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنْتُمْ بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ ۖ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿137﴾ صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً ۖ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ ﴿138﴾ قُلْ أَتُحَاجُّونَنَا فِي اللَّهِ وَهُوَ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ وَلَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُخْلِصُونَ ﴿139﴾ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطَ كَانُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ ۗ قُلْ أَأَنْتُمْ أَعْلَمُ أَمِ اللَّهُ ۗ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ كَتَمَ شَهَادَةً عِنْدَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿140﴾ تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُمْ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿141﴾

الجزء ﴿ 2 ﴾

سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُوا عَلَيْهَا ۚ قُلْ لِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿142﴾ وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ ۚ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۗ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿143﴾ قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ ۗ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿144﴾ وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ بِكُلِّ آيَةٍ مَا تَبِعُوا قِبْلَتَكَ ۚ وَمَا أَنْتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا بَعْضُهُمْ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ إِنَّكَ إِذًا لَمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿145﴾ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿146﴾ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ﴿147﴾ وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿148﴾ وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَإِنَّهُ لَلْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿149﴾ وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ﴿150﴾ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا مِنْكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمْ مَا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿151﴾ فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ ﴿152﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿153﴾ وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ ﴿154﴾ وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿155﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿156﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿157﴾ إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿158﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَىٰ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ ﴿159﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَبَيَّنُوا فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿160﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿161﴾ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْظَرُونَ ﴿162﴾ وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿163﴾ إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿164﴾ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ ﴿165﴾ إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ ﴿166﴾ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ ﴿167﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ ﴿168﴾ إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَنْ تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿169﴾ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ ﴿170﴾ وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿171﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿172﴾ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿173﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلَّا النَّارَ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿174﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ فَمَا أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ ﴿175﴾ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِي الْكِتَابِ لَفِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ ﴿176﴾ لَيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَنْ تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ ﴿177﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنْثَىٰ بِالْأُنْثَىٰ ۚ فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿178﴾ وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿179﴾ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِنْ تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿180﴾ فَمَنْ بَدَّلَهُ بَعْدَمَا سَمِعَهُ فَإِنَّمَا إِثْمُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يُبَدِّلُونَهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿181﴾ فَمَنْ خَافَ مِنْ مُوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا فَأَصْلَحَ بَيْنَهُمْ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿182﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿183﴾ أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ ۚ وَأَنْ تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿184﴾ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿185﴾ وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ﴿186﴾ أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنْكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ ﴿187﴾ وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالْإِثْمِ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿188﴾ يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ ۖ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ ۗ وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿189﴾ وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ ﴿190﴾ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِنْدَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ ۖ فَإِنْ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿191﴾ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿192﴾ وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ ۖ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿193﴾ الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَاتُ قِصَاصٌ ۚ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿194﴾ وَأَنْفِقُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ ۛ وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿195﴾ وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۖ وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِنْ رَأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِنْ صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ ۚ فَإِذَا أَمِنْتُمْ فَمَنْ تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۚ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ ۗ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ﴿196﴾ الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ ﴿197﴾ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُمْ مِنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِنْدَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ ﴿198﴾ ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿199﴾ فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمْ مَنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا ۗ فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ ﴿200﴾ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴿201﴾ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا ۚ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ ﴿202﴾ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَنْ تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَنْ تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ ﴿203﴾ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ ﴿204﴾ وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ ﴿205﴾ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ أَخَذَتْهُ الْعِزَّةُ بِالْإِثْمِ ۚ فَحَسْبُهُ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ ﴿206﴾ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴿207﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ ﴿208﴾ فَإِنْ زَلَلْتُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْكُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿209﴾ هَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظُلَلٍ مِنَ الْغَمَامِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ ﴿210﴾ سَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَمْ آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ آيَةٍ بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَمَنْ يُبَدِّلْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ﴿211﴾ زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۘ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿212﴾ كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿213﴾ أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ ﴿214﴾ يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنْفِقُونَ ۖ قُلْ مَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ ﴿215﴾ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَنْ تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَنْ تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿216﴾ يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۗ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَنْ دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا ۚ وَمَنْ يَرْتَدِدْ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿217﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿218﴾ يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنْفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿219﴾ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْيَتَامَىٰ ۖ قُلْ إِصْلَاحٌ لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ ۖ وَإِنْ تُخَالِطُوهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَأَعْنَتَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿220﴾ وَلَا تَنْكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ ۚ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ مُشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ ۗ وَلَا تُنْكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا ۚ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ مُشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿221﴾ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ ۖ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ ۖ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ ﴿222﴾ نِسَاؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَكُمْ فَأْتُوا حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّىٰ شِئْتُمْ ۖ وَقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ مُلَاقُوهُ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿223﴾ وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لِأَيْمَانِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَتُصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿224﴾ لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ يُؤَاخِذُكُمْ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿225﴾ لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ ۖ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿226﴾ وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿227﴾ وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَنْ يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِنْ كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿228﴾ الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ ۖ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا إِلَّا أَنْ يَخَافَا أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا فِيمَا افْتَدَتْ بِهِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿229﴾ فَإِنْ طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِنْ بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنْكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ ۗ فَإِنْ طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يَتَرَاجَعَا إِنْ ظَنَّا أَنْ يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿230﴾ وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ سَرِّحُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ ۚ وَلَا تُمْسِكُوهُنَّ ضِرَارًا لِتَعْتَدُوا ۚ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا آيَاتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿231﴾ وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَنْ يَنْكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۗ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿232﴾ وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ ۖ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ ۚ وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَا تُضَارَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ لَهُ بِوَلَدِهِ ۚ وَعَلَى الْوَارِثِ مِثْلُ ذَٰلِكَ ۗ فَإِنْ أَرَادَا فِصَالًا عَنْ تَرَاضٍ مِنْهُمَا وَتَشَاوُرٍ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا ۗ وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ تَسْتَرْضِعُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا سَلَّمْتُمْ مَا آتَيْتُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿233﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا ۖ فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنْفُسِهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ ﴿234﴾ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا عَرَّضْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْ خِطْبَةِ النِّسَاءِ أَوْ أَكْنَنْتُمْ فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ ۚ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ سَتَذْكُرُونَهُنَّ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا تُوَاعِدُوهُنَّ سِرًّا إِلَّا أَنْ تَقُولُوا قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا ۚ وَلَا تَعْزِمُوا عُقْدَةَ النِّكَاحِ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْكِتَابُ أَجَلَهُ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿235﴾ لَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنْ طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُوا لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً ۚ وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدَرُهُ مَتَاعًا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿236﴾ وَإِنْ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ إِلَّا أَنْ يَعْفُونَ أَوْ يَعْفُوَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ عُقْدَةُ النِّكَاحِ ۚ وَأَنْ تَعْفُوا أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَلَا تَنْسَوُا الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿237﴾ حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ ﴿238﴾ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالًا أَوْ رُكْبَانًا ۖ فَإِذَا أَمِنْتُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَمَا عَلَّمَكُمْ مَا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿239﴾ وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا وَصِيَّةً لِأَزْوَاجِهِمْ مَتَاعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ ۚ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي مَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنْفُسِهِنَّ مِنْ مَعْرُوفٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿240﴾ وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿241﴾ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿242﴾ أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ خَرَجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَهُمْ أُلُوفٌ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ فَقَالَ لَهُمُ اللَّهُ مُوتُوا ثُمَّ أَحْيَاهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ ﴿243﴾ وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿244﴾ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿245﴾ أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الْمَلَإِ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مُوسَىٰ إِذْ قَالُوا لِنَبِيٍّ لَهُمُ ابْعَثْ لَنَا مَلِكًا نُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ هَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِنْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ أَلَّا تُقَاتِلُوا ۖ قَالُوا وَمَا لَنَا أَلَّا نُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَقَدْ أُخْرِجْنَا مِنْ دِيَارِنَا وَأَبْنَائِنَا ۖ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ تَوَلَّوْا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ ﴿246﴾ وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَكُمْ طَالُوتَ مَلِكًا ۚ قَالُوا أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ عَلَيْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْكِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُؤْتَ سَعَةً مِنَ الْمَالِ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاهُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿247﴾ وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَىٰ وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿248﴾ فَلَمَّا فَصَلَ طَالُوتُ بِالْجُنُودِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مُبْتَلِيكُمْ بِنَهَرٍ فَمَنْ شَرِبَ مِنْهُ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَمَنْ لَمْ يَطْعَمْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي إِلَّا مَنِ اغْتَرَفَ غُرْفَةً بِيَدِهِ ۚ فَشَرِبُوا مِنْهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِنْهُمْ ۚ فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَهُ هُوَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ قَالُوا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا الْيَوْمَ بِجَالُوتَ وَجُنُودِهِ ۚ قَالَ الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُلَاقُو اللَّهِ كَمْ مِنْ فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿249﴾ وَلَمَّا بَرَزُوا لِجَالُوتَ وَجُنُودِهِ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿250﴾ فَهَزَمُوهُمْ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَقَتَلَ دَاوُودُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمَّا يَشَاءُ ۗ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَفَسَدَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿251﴾ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿252﴾

الجزء ﴿ 3 ﴾

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَٰكِنِ اخْتَلَفُوا فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ آمَنَ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ كَفَرَ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلُوا وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ ﴿253﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَا بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ وَلَا شَفَاعَةٌ ۗ وَالْكَافِرُونَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿254﴾ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿255﴾ لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَدْ تَبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انْفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿256﴾ اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُمْ مِنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿257﴾ أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِي حَاجَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي رَبِّهِ أَنْ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِي يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِي وَأُمِيتُ ۖ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿258﴾ أَوْ كَالَّذِي مَرَّ عَلَىٰ قَرْيَةٍ وَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْيِي هَٰذِهِ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۖ فَأَمَاتَهُ اللَّهُ مِائَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ ۖ قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتَ ۖ قَالَ لَبِثْتُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ ۖ قَالَ بَلْ لَبِثْتَ مِائَةَ عَامٍ فَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِكَ وَشَرَابِكَ لَمْ يَتَسَنَّهْ ۖ وَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ حِمَارِكَ وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَانْظُرْ إِلَى الْعِظَامِ كَيْفَ نُنْشِزُهَا ثُمَّ نَكْسُوهَا لَحْمًا ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ قَالَ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿259﴾ وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ أَرِنِي كَيْفَ تُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِنْ ۖ قَالَ بَلَىٰ وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي ۖ قَالَ فَخُذْ أَرْبَعَةً مِنَ الطَّيْرِ فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ اجْعَلْ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ جَبَلٍ مِنْهُنَّ جُزْءًا ثُمَّ ادْعُهُنَّ يَأْتِينَكَ سَعْيًا ۚ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿260﴾ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنْبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنْبُلَةٍ مِائَةُ حَبَّةٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿261﴾ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ لَا يُتْبِعُونَ مَا أَنْفَقُوا مَنًّا وَلَا أَذًى ۙ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿262﴾ قَوْلٌ مَعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ ﴿263﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُمْ بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ كَالَّذِي يُنْفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا ۖ لَا يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿264﴾ وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ وَتَثْبِيتًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ كَمَثَلِ جَنَّةٍ بِرَبْوَةٍ أَصَابَهَا وَابِلٌ فَآتَتْ أُكُلَهَا ضِعْفَيْنِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يُصِبْهَا وَابِلٌ فَطَلٌّ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿265﴾ أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِنْ نَخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ لَهُ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ وَلَهُ ذُرِّيَّةٌ ضُعَفَاءُ فَأَصَابَهَا إِعْصَارٌ فِيهِ نَارٌ فَاحْتَرَقَتْ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿266﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْفِقُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا كَسَبْتُمْ وَمِمَّا أَخْرَجْنَا لَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۖ وَلَا تَيَمَّمُوا الْخَبِيثَ مِنْهُ تُنْفِقُونَ وَلَسْتُمْ بِآخِذِيهِ إِلَّا أَنْ تُغْمِضُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ ﴿267﴾ الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَعِدُكُمْ مَغْفِرَةً مِنْهُ وَفَضْلًا ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿268﴾ يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ﴿269﴾ وَمَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ نَفَقَةٍ أَوْ نَذَرْتُمْ مِنْ نَذْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُهُ ۗ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنْصَارٍ ﴿270﴾ إِنْ تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ ۖ وَإِنْ تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۚ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنْكُمْ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ ﴿271﴾ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِأَنْفُسِكُمْ ۚ وَمَا تُنْفِقُونَ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تُظْلَمُونَ ﴿272﴾ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الَّذِينَ أُحْصِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا ۗ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ ﴿273﴾ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿274﴾ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا ۗ وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا ۚ فَمَنْ جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَانْتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿275﴾ يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿276﴾ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿277﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿278﴾ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ ﴿279﴾ وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ مَيْسَرَةٍ ۚ وَأَنْ تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿280﴾ وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ ﴿281﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنْتُمْ بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ۚ وَلْيَكْتُبْ بَيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ وَلَا يَأْبَ كَاتِبٌ أَنْ يَكْتُبَ كَمَا عَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ ۚ فَلْيَكْتُبْ وَلْيُمْلِلِ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلَا يَبْخَسْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ فَإِنْ كَانَ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ سَفِيهًا أَوْ ضَعِيفًا أَوْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ يُمِلَّ هُوَ فَلْيُمْلِلْ وَلِيُّهُ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ وَاسْتَشْهِدُوا شَهِيدَيْنِ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ ۖ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيْنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ مِمَّنْ تَرْضَوْنَ مِنَ الشُّهَدَاءِ أَنْ تَضِلَّ إِحْدَاهُمَا فَتُذَكِّرَ إِحْدَاهُمَا الْأُخْرَىٰ ۚ وَلَا يَأْبَ الشُّهَدَاءُ إِذَا مَا دُعُوا ۚ وَلَا تَسْأَمُوا أَنْ تَكْتُبُوهُ صَغِيرًا أَوْ كَبِيرًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَأَقْوَمُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ وَأَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَرْتَابُوا ۖ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً حَاضِرَةً تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَلَّا تَكْتُبُوهَا ۗ وَأَشْهِدُوا إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُضَارَّ كَاتِبٌ وَلَا شَهِيدٌ ۚ وَإِنْ تَفْعَلُوا فَإِنَّهُ فُسُوقٌ بِكُمْ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿282﴾ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ وَلَمْ تَجِدُوا كَاتِبًا فَرِهَانٌ مَقْبُوضَةٌ ۖ فَإِنْ أَمِنَ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا فَلْيُؤَدِّ الَّذِي اؤْتُمِنَ أَمَانَتَهُ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ ۗ وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ ۚ وَمَنْ يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ ﴿283﴾ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَإِنْ تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُمْ بِهِ اللَّهُ ۖ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿284﴾ آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿285﴾ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِنْ نَسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنْتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿286﴾

Surah Baqarah Transliteration In English

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

  1. Alif-Laaam-Meeem
  2. Zaalikal Kitaabu laa raiba feeh; hudal lilmuttaqeen
  3. Allazeena yu’minoona bilghaibi wa yuqeemoonas salaata wa mimmaa razaqnaahum yunfiqoon
  4. Wallazeena yu’minoona bimaa unzila ilaika wa maaa unzila min qablika wa bil Aakhirati hum yooqinoon
  5. Ulaaa’ika ‘alaa hudam mir rabbihim wa ulaaa’ika humul muflihoon
  6. Innal lazeena kafaroo sawaaa’un ‘alaihim ‘a-anzar tahum am lam tunzirhum laa yu’minoon
  7. Khatamal laahu ‘alaa quloobihim wa ‘alaa sam’i-him wa ‘alaaa absaarihim ghishaa watunw wa lahum ‘azaabun ‘azeem(section 1)
  8. Wa minan naasi mainy yaqoolu aamannaa billaahi wa bil yawmil aakhiri wa maa hum bimu’mineen
  9. Yukhaadi’oonal laaha wallazeena aamanoo wa maa yakhda’oona illaaa anfusahum wa maa yash’uroon
  10. Fee quloobihim mara dun fazaadahumul laahu maradah; wa lahum ‘azaabun aleemum bimaa kaanoo yakziboon
  11. Wa izaa qeela lahum laa tufsidoo fil ardi qaalooo innamaa nahnu muslihoon
  12. Alaaa innahum humul mufsidoona wa laakil laa yash’uroon
  13. Wa izaa qeela lahum aaminoo kamaaa aamanan naasu qaalooo anu’minu kamaaa aamanas sufahaaa’; alaaa innahum humus sufahaaa’u wa laakil laa ya’lamoon
  14. Wa izaa laqul lazeena aamanoo qaalooo aamannaa wa izaa khalaw ilaa shayaateenihim qaalooo innaa ma’akum innamaa nahnu mustahzi’oon
  15. Allahu yastahzi’u bihim wa yamudduhum fee tughyaanihim ya’mahoon
  16. Ulaaa’ikal lazeenash tara wud dalaalata bilhudaa famaa rabihat tijaaratuhum wa maa kaanoo muhtadeen
  17. Masaluhum kamasalillazis tawqada naaran falammaaa adaaa’at maa hawlahoo zahabal laahu binoorihim wa tarakahum fee zulumaatil laa yubsiroon
  18. Summum bukmun ‘umyun fahum laa yarji’oon
  19. Aw kasaiyibim minas samaaa’i feehi zulumaatunw wa ra’dunw wa barq, yaj’aloona asaabi’ahum feee aazaanihim minas sawaa’iqi hazaral mawt’ wallaahu muheetum bilkaafireen
  20. Yakaadul barqu yakhtafu absaarahum kullamaaa adaaa’a lahum mashaw feehi wa izaaa azlama ‘alaihim qaamoo; wa law shaaa’al laahu lazahaba bisam’ihim wa absaarihim; innal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer (section 2)
  21. Yaaa aiyuhan naasu’budoo Rabbakumul lazee khalaqakum wallazeena min qablikum la’allakum tattaqoon
  22. Allazee ja’ala lakumul arda firaashanw wassamaaa’a binaaa ‘anw wa anzala minassamaaa’i maaa’an fa akhraja bihee minas samaraati rizqal lakum falaa taj’aloo lillaahi andaadanw wa antum ta’lamoon
  23. Wa in kuntum fee raibim mimmaa nazzalnaa ‘alaa ‘abdinaa fatoo bi Sooratim mim mislihee wad’oo shuhadaaa’akum min doonil laahi in kuntum saadiqeen
  24. Fail lam taf’aloo wa lan taf’aloo fattaqun Naaral latee waqooduhan naasu walhijaaratu u’iddat lilkaafireen
  25. Wa bashshiril lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati anna lahum jannaatin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru kullamaa ruziqoo minhaa min samaratir rizqan qaaloo haazal lazee ruziqnaa min qablu wa utoo bihee mutashaabihaa, wa lahum feehaaa azwaajum mutahhara tunw wa hum feehaa khaalidoon
  26. Innal laaha laa yastahyeee ai yadriba masalam maa ba’oodatan famaa fawqahaa; faammal lazeena aamanoo faya’lamoona annahul haqqu mir rabbihim wa ammal lazeena kafaroo fayaqooloona maazaaa araadal laahu bihaazaa masalaa; yudillu bihee kaseeranw wa yahdee bihee kaseeraa; wa maa yudillu biheee illal faasiqeen
  27. Allazeena yanqudoona ‘ahdal laahi mim ba’di meesaaqihee wa yaqta’oona maaa amaral laahu biheee ai yoosala wa yufsidoona fil ard; ulaaa’ika humul khaasiroon
  28. Kaifa takfuroona billaahi wa kuntum amwaatan fa ahyaakum summa yumeetukum summa yuhyeekum summaa ilaihi turja’oon
  29. Huwal lazee khalaqa lakum maa fil ardi jamee’an summas tawaaa ilas samaaa’i fasaw waahunna sab’a samaa waat; wa Huwa bikulli shai’in Aleem(section 3)
  30. Wa iz qaala rabbuka lil malaaa’ikati innee jaa’ilun fil ardi khaleefatan qaalooo ataj’alu feehaa mai yufsidu feehaa wa yasfikud dimaaa’a wa nahnu nusabbihu bihamdika wa nuqaddisu laka qaala inneee a’lamu maa laa ta’lamoon
  31. Wa ‘allama Aadamal asmaaa’a kullahaa summa ‘aradahum ‘alal malaaa’ikati faqaala ambi’oonee bias maaa’i haaa’ulaaa’i in kuntum saadiqeen
  32. Qaaloo subhaanaka laa ‘ilma lanaaa illaa maa ‘allamtanaaa innaka antal’aleemul hakeem
  33. Qaala yaaa Aadamu ambi’ hum biasmaaa’ihim falammaa amba ahum bi asmaaa’ihim qaala alam aqul lakum inneee a’lamu ghaibas samaawaati wal ardi wa a’lamu maa tubdoona wa maa kuntum taktumoon
  34. Wa iz qulnaa lilmalaaa’i katis judoo liAadama fasajadooo illaaa Ibleesa abaa wastakbara wa kaana minal kaafireen
  35. Wa qulnaa yaaa Aadamus kun anta wa zawjukal jannata wa kulaa minhaa raghadan haisu shi’tumaa wa laa taqrabaa haazihish shajarata fatakoonaa minaz zaalimeen
  36. Fa azallahumash Shaitaanu ‘anhaa fa akhrajahumaa mimmaa kaanaa fee wa qulnah bitoo ba’dukum liba’din ‘aduwwunw wa lakum fil ardi mustaqarrunw wa mataa’un ilaa heen
  37. Fatalaqqaaa Aadamu mir Rabbihee Kalimaatin fataaba ‘alaihi; innahoo Huwat Tawwaabur Raheem
  38. Qulnah bitoo minhaa jamee ‘an fa immaa ya’tiyannakum minnee hudan faman tabi’a hudaaya falaa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahza noon
  39. Wallazeena kafaroo wa kaz zabooo bi aayaatinaa ulaaa’ika Ashaabun Naari hum feehaa khaalidoon (section 4)
  40. Yaa Baneee Israaa’eelaz kuroo ni’matiyal lateee an’amtu ‘alaikum wa awfoo bi’Ahdeee oofi bi ahdikum wa iyyaaya farhaboon
  41. Wa aaminoo bimaaa anzaltu musaddiqal limaa ma’akum wa laa takoonooo awwala kaafirim bihee wa laa tashtaroo bi Aayaatee samanan qaleelanw wa iyyaaya fattaqoon
  42. Wa laa talbisul haqqa bilbaatili wa taktumul haqqa wa antum ta’lamoon
  43. Wa aqeemus salaata wa aatuz zakaata warka’oo ma’ar raaki’een
  44. Ataamuroonan naasa bilbirri wa tansawna anfusakum wa antum tatloonal Kitaab; afalaa ta’qiloon
  45. Wasta’eenoo bissabri was Salaah; wa innahaa lakabee ratun illaa alal khaashi’een
  46. Allazeena yazunnoona annahum mulaaqoo Rabbihim wa annahum ilaihi raaji’oon (section 5)
  47. Yaa Baneee Israaa’eelaz kuroo ni’matiyal lateee an’amtu ‘alaikum wa annee faddaltukum ‘alal ‘aalameen
  48. Wattaqoo Yawmal laa tajzee nafsun ‘an nafsin shai’anw wa laa yuqbalu minhaa shafaa’atunw wa laa yu’khazu minhaa ‘adlunw wa laa hum yunsaroon
  49. Wa iz najjainaakum min Aali Fir’awna yasoomoonakum sooo’al azaabi yuzabbihoona abnaaa’akum wa yastahyoona nisaaa’akum; wa fee zaalikum balaaa’um mir Rabbikum ‘azeem
  50. Wa iz faraqnaa bikumul bahra fa anjainaakum wa agh-raqnaaa Aala Fir’awna wa antum tanzuroon
  51. Wa iz waa’adnaa Moosaaa arba’eena lailatan summattakhaztumul ‘ijla mim ba’dihee wa antum zaalimoon
  52. Summa ‘afawnaa ‘ankum mim ba’di zaalika la’allakum tashkuroon
  53. Wa iz aatainaa Moosal kitaaba wal Furqaana la’allakum tahtadoon
  54. Wa iz qaala Moosaa liqawmihee yaa qawmi innakum zalamtum anfusakum bittikhaa zikumul ‘ijla fatoobooo ilaa Baari’ikum faqtulooo anfusakum zaalikum khairul lakum ‘inda Baari’ikum fataaba ‘alaikum; innahoo Huwat Tawwaabur Raheem
  55. Wa iz qultum yaa Moosaa lan nu’mina laka hattaa naral laaha jahratan fa akhazat kumus saa’iqatu wa antum tanzuroon
  56. Summa ba’asnaakum mim ba’di mawtikum la’allakum tashkuroon
  57. Wa zallalnaa ‘alaikumul ghamaama wa anzalnaa ‘alaikumul Manna was Salwaa kuloo min taiyibaati maa razaqnaakum wa maa zalamoonaa wa laakin kaanooo anfusahum yazlimoon
  58. Wa iz qulnad khuloo haazihil qaryata fakuloo minhaa haisu shi’tum raghadanw wadkhulul baaba sujjadanw wa qooloo hittatun naghfir lakum khataayaakum; wa sanazeedul muhsineen
  59. Fabaddalal lazeena zalamoo qawlan ghairal lazee qeela lahum fa anzalnaa ‘alal lazeena zalamoo rijzam minas samaaa’i bimaa kaanoo yafsuqoon(section 6)
  60. Wa izis tasqaa Moosaa liqawmihee faqulnad rib bi’asaakal hajara fanfajarat minhusnataaa ‘ashrata ‘aynan qad ‘alima kullu unaasim mash rabahum kuloo washraboo mir rizqil laahi wa laa ta’saw fil ardi mufsideen
  61. Wa iz qultum yaa Moosaa lan nasbira ‘alaa ta’aaminw waahidin fad’u lanaa rabbaka yukhrij lanaa mimmaa tumbitul ardu mimbaqlihaa wa qis saaa’ihaa wa foomihaa wa ‘adasihaa wa basalihaa qaala atastabdiloonal lazee huwa adnaa billazee huwa khayr; ihbitoo misran fa inna lakum maa sa altum; wa duribat ‘alaihimuz zillatu walmaskanatu wa baaa’oo bighadabim minal laah; zaalika bi annahum kaano yakfuroona bi aayaatil laahi wa yaqtuloonan Nabiyyeena bighairil haqq; zaalika bimaa ‘asaw wa kaanoo ya’tadoon (section 7)
  62. Innal lazeena aamanoo wallazeena haadoo wan nasaaraa was Saabi’eena man aamana billaahi wal yawmil aakhiri wa ‘amila saalihan falahum ajruhum ‘inda Rabbihim wa laa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahzanoon
  63. Wa iz akhaznaa meesaaqakum wa rafa’naa fawqakumut Toora khuzoo maaa aatainaakum biquwwatinw wazkuroo maa feehi la’allakum tattaqoon
  64. Summa tawallaitum mim ba’di zaalika falawlaa fadlul laahi ‘alaikum wa rahmatuhoo lakuntum minal khaasireen
  65. Wa laqad ‘alimtumul lazeena’-tadaw minkum fis Sabti faqulnaa lahum koonoo qiradatan khaasi’een
  66. Faja’alnaahaa nakaalal limaa baina yadihaa wa maa khalfahaa wa maw’izatal lilmuttaqeen
  67. Wa iz qaala Moosaa liqawmiheee innal laaha yaamurukum an tazbahoo baqaratan qaalooo atattakhizunna huzuwan qaala a’oozu billaahi an akoona minal jaahileen
  68. Qaalud-‘u lanaa rabbaka yubaiyil lanaa maa hee; qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratul laa faaridunw wa laa bikrun ‘awaanum baina zaalika faf’aloo maa tu’maroon
  69. Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka yubaiyil lanaa maa lawnuhaa; qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratun safraaa’u faaqi’ul lawnuhaa tasurrunnaazireen
  70. Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka yubaiyil lanaa maa hiya innal baqara tashaabaha ‘alainaa wa innaaa in shaaa’al laahu lamuhtadoon
  71. Qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratul laa zaloolun tuseerul arda wa laa tasqil harsa musallamatullaa shiyata feehaa; qaalul ‘aana jita bilhaqq; fazabahoohaa wa maa kaado yaf’aloon (section 8)
  72. Wa iz qataltum nafsan faddaara’tum feehaa wallaahu mukhrijum maa kuntum taktumoon
  73. Faqulnad riboohu biba’dihaa; kazaalika yuhyil laa hul mawtaa wa yureekum aayaatihee la’allakum ta’qiloon
  74. Summa qasat quloobukum mim ba’di zaalika fahiya kalhijaarati aw-ashaadu qaswah; wa inna minal hijaarati lamaa yatafajjaru minhul anhaar; wa inna minhaa lamaa yash shaqqaqu fayakhruju minhul maaa’; wa inna minhaa lamaa yahbitu min khashyatil laa; wa mal laahu bighaafilin ‘ammaa ta’maloon
  75. Afatatma’oona ai yu’minoo lakum wa qad kaana fareequm minhum yasma’oona Kalaamal laahi summa yuharri foonahoo mim ba’di maa’aqaloohu wa hum ya’lamoon
  76. Wa izaa laqul lazeena aamanoo qaalooo aamannaa wa izaakhalaa ba’duhum ilaa ba’din qaalooo atuhaddisoonahum bimaa fatahal laahu ‘alaikum liyuhaajjookum bihee ‘inda rabbikum; afalaa ta’qiloon
  77. Awalaa ya’lamoona annal laaha ya’lamu maa yusirroona wa maa yu’linoon
  78. Wa minhum ummiyyoona laa ya’lamoonal kitaaba illaaa amaaniyya wa in hum illaa yazunnoon
  79. Fawailul lillazeena yaktuboonal kitaaba bi aidihim summa yaqooloona haazaa min ‘indil laahi liyashtaroo bihee samanan qaleelan fawailul lahum mimmaa katabat aydeehim wa wailul lahum mimmaa yaksiboon
  80. Wa qaaloo lan tamassanan Naaru illaaa ayyaamam ma’doo dah; qul attakhaztum ‘indal laahi ‘ahdan falai yukhlifal laahu ‘ahdahooo am taqooloona ‘alal laahi maa laa ta’lamoon
  81. Balaa man kasaba sayyi’atanw wa ahaatat bihee khateee’atuhoo fa-ulaaa’ika Ashaabun Naari hum feehaa khaalidoon
  82. Wallazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati ulaaa’ika Ashaabul Jannati hum feeha khaalidoon (section 9)
  83. Wa iz akhaznaa meesaaqa Baneee Israaa’eela laa ta’budoona illal laaha wa bil waalidaini ihsaananw wa zil qurbaa walyataamaa walmasaakeeni wa qooloo linnaasi husnanw wa aqeemus salaata wa aatuzZakaata summa tawallaitum illaa qaleelam minkum wa antum mu’ridoon
  84. Wa iz akhaznaa meesaa qakum laa tasfikoona dimaaa’akum wa laa tukhrijoona anfusakum min diyaarikum summa aqrartum wa antum tashhadoon
  85. Summa antum haaa’ulaaa’i taqtuloona anfusakum wa tukhrijoona fareeqam minkum min diyaarihim tazaaharoona ‘alaihim bil ismi wal’udwaani wa iny yaatookum usaaraa tufaadoohum wahuwa muharramun ‘alaikum ikhraajuhum; afatu’ mi-noona biba’dil Kitaabi wa takfuroona biba’d; famaa jazaaa’u mai yaf’alu zaalika minkum illaa khizyun fil hayaatid-dunyaa wa yawmal qiyaamati yuraddoona ilaaa ashaddil ‘azaab; wa mal laahu bighaafilin ‘ammaa ta’maloon
  86. Ulaaa’ikal lazeenash tarawul hayaatad dunyaa bil aakhirati falaa yukhaffafu ‘anhumul ‘azaabu wa laa hum yunsaroon(section 10)
  87. Wa laqad aatainaa Moosal Kitaaba wa qaffainaa mim ba’dihee bir Rusuli wa aatainaa ‘Eesab-na-Maryamal baiyinaati wa ayyadnaahu bi Roohil Qudus; afakullamaa jaaa’akum Rasoolum bimaa laa tahwaaa anfusukumus takbartum fafareeqan kazzabtum wa fareeqan taqtuloon
  88. Wa qaaloo quloobunaa ghulf; bal la’anahumul laahu bikufrihim faqaleelam maa yu’minoon
  89. Wa lammaa jaaa’ahum Kitaabum min ‘indil laahi musaddiqul limaa ma’ahum wa kaanoo min qablu yastaftihoona ‘alal lazeena kafaroo falammaa jaaa’ahum maa ‘arafoo kafaroo bih; fala ‘natul laahi ‘alal kaafireen
  90. Bi’samash taraw biheee anfusahum ai yakfuroo bimaaa anzalal laahu baghyan ai yunazzilal laahu min fadlihee ‘alaa mai yashaaa’u min ibaadihee fabaaa’oo bighadabin ‘alaa ghadab; wa lilkaafireena ‘azaabum muheen
  91. Wa izaa qeela lahum aaminoo bimaaa anzalal laahu qaaloo nu’minu bimaaa unzila ‘alainaa wa yakfuroona bimaa waraaa’ahoo wa huwal haqqu musaddiqal limaa ma’ahum; qul falima taqtuloona Ambiyaaa’al laahi min qablu in kuntum mu’mineen
  92. Wa laqad jaaa’akum Moosa bilbaiyinaati summat takhaztumul ‘ijla mim ba’dihee wa antum zaalimoon
  93. Wa iz akhaznaa meesaaqakum wa rafa’naa fawqa kumut Toora khuzoo maaa aatainaakum biquwwatinw wasma’oo qaaloo sami’naa wa ‘asainaa wa ushriboo fee quloobihimul ‘ijla bikufrihim; qul bi’samaa yaamurukum biheee eemaanukum in kuntum mu’mineen
  94. Qul in kaanat lakumud Daarul Aakhiratu ‘indal laahi khaalisatam min doonin naasi fatamannawul mawta in kuntum saadiqeen
  95. Wa lai yatamannawhu abadam bimaa qaddamat aydeehim; wallaahu ‘aleemum bizzaalimeen
  96. Wa latajidannahum ahrasannaasi ‘alaa hayaatinw wa minal lazeena ashrakoo; yawaddu ahaduhum law yu’ammaru alfa sanatinw wa maa huwa bi muzahzihihee minal ‘azaabi ai yu’ammar; wallaahu baseerum bimaa ya’maloon (section 11)
  97. Qul man kaana ‘aduwwal li Jibreela fainnahoo nazzalahoo ‘alaa qalbika bi iznil laahi musaddiqal limaa baina yadaihi wa hudanw wa bushraa lilmu’mineen
  98. Man kaana ‘aduwwal lillaahi wa malaaa’ikatihee wa Rusulihee wa Jibreela wa Meekaala fa innal laaha ‘aduwwul lilkaafireen
  99. Wa laqad anzalnaaa ilaika Aayaatim baiyinaatinw wa maa yakfuru bihaaa illal faasiqoon
  100. Awa kullamaa ‘aahadoo ahdan nabazahoo fareequm minhum; bal aksaruhum laa yu’minoon
  101. Wa lammaa jaaa’ahum Rasoolum min ‘indil laahi musaddiqul limaa ma’ahum nabaza fareequm minal lazeena ootul Kitaaba Kitaabal laahi waraaa’a zuhoorihim ka annahum laa ya’lamoon
  102. Wattaba’oo maa tatlush Shayaateenu ‘alaa mulki Sulaimaana wa maa kafara Sulaimaanu wa laakinnash Shayatteena kafaroo yu’al limoonan naasas sihra wa maaa unzila ‘alal malakaini bi Baabila Haaroota wa Maaroot; wa maa yu’allimaani min ahadin hattaa yaqoolaaa innamaa nahnu fitnatun falaa takfur fayata’al lamoona minhumaa maa yufarriqoona bihee bainal mar’i wa zawjih; wa maa hum bidaaarreena bihee min ahadin illaa bi-iznillah; wa yata’allamoona maa yadurruhum wa laa yanfa’uhum; wa laqad ‘alimoo lamanish taraahu maa lahoo fil Aakhirati min khalaaq; wa labi’sa maa sharaw biheee anfusahum; law kaanoo ya’lamoon
  103. Wa law annahum aamanoo wattaqaw lamasoobatum min ‘indillaahi khairun law kaanoo ya’lamoon (section 12)
  104. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo laa taqooloo raa’inaa wa qoolun zurnaa wasma’oo; wa lilkaafireena ‘azaabun aleem
  105. Maa yawaddul lazeena kafaroo min ahlil kitaabi wa lal mushrikeena ai-yunazzala ‘alaikum min khairim mir Rabbikum; wallaahu yakhtassu birahmatihee mai-yashaaa; wallaahu zul fadlil’azeem
  106. Maa nansakh min aayatin aw nunsihaa na-ti bikhairim minhaaa aw mislihaaa; alam ta’lam annal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in qadeer
  107. Alam ta’lam annallaaha lahoo mulkus samaawaati wal ard; wa maa lakum min doonil laahi minw waliyyinw wa laa naseer
  108. Am tureedoona an tas’aloo Rasoolakum kamaa su’ila Moosa min qabl; wa mai yatabaddalil kufra bil eemaani faqad dalla sawaaa’as sabeel
  109. Wadda kaseerum min ahlil kitaabi law yaruddoo nakum mim ba’di eemaanikum kuffaaran hasadam min ‘indi anfusihim mim ba’di maa tabaiyana lahumul haqqu fa’foo wasfahoo hattaa yaa tiyallaahu bi amrih; innal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in qadeer
  110. Wa aqeemus salaata wa aatuz zakaah; wa maa tuqaddimoo li anfusikum min khairin tajidoohu ‘indal laah; innal laaha bimaa ta’maloona baseer
  111. Wa qaaloo lai yadkhulal jannata illaa man kaana Hoodan aw Nasaaraa; tilka amaaniyyuhum; qul haatoo burhaa nakum in kuntum saadiqeen
  112. Balaa man aslama wajhahoo lillaahi wa huwa muhsinun falahooo ajruhoo ‘inda rabbihee wa laa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahzanoon (section 13)
  113. Wa qaalatil Yahoodu laisatin Nasaaraa ‘alaa shai’inw-wa qaalatin Nasaaraaa laisatil Yahoodu ‘alaa shai’inw’wa hum yatloonal Kitaab; kazaalika qaalal lazeena la ya’lamoona misla qawlihim; fallaahu yahkumu bainahum Yawmal Qiyaamati feemaa kaanoo feehi yakhtalifoon
  114. Wa man azlamu mimmam-mana’a masaajidal laahi ai-yuzkara feehas muhoo wa sa’aa fee kharaabihaaa; ulaaa’ika maa kaana lahum ai yadkhuloohaaa illaa khaaa’ifeen; lahum fiddunyaa khizyunw wa lahum fil aakhirati ‘azaabun ‘azeem
  115. Wa lillaahil mashriqu walmaghrib; fa aynamaa tuwalloo fasamma wajhullaah; innal laaha waasi’un Aleem
  116. Wa qaalut takhazal laahu waladan subhaanahoo bal lahoo maa fis samaawaati wal ardi kullul lahoo qaanitoon
  117. Badeee’us samaawaati wal ardi wa izaa qadaaa amran fa innamaa yaqoolu lahoo kun fayakoon
  118. Wa qaalal lazeena laa ya’lamoona law laa yukallimunal laahu aw taateenaaa aayah; kazaalika qaalal lazeena min qablihim misla qawlihim; tashaabahat quloobuhum; qad baiyannal aayaati liqawminy yooqinoon
  119. Innaaa arsalnaaka bilhaqqi basheeranw wa nazeeranw wa laa tus’alu ‘an Ashaabil Jaheem
  120. Wa lan tardaa ‘ankal Yahoodu wa lan Nasaaraa hattaa tattabi’a millatahum; qul inna hudal laahi huwalhudaa; wa la’init taba’ta ahwaaa’ahum ba’dal lazee jaaa’aka minal ‘ilmimaa laka minal laahi minw waliyyinw wa laa naseer
  121. Allazeena aatainaahumul Kitaaba yatloonahoo haqqa tilaawatiheee ulaaa’ika yu’minoona bih; wa mai yakfur bihee fa ulaaa’ika humul khaasiroon (section 14)
  122. Yaa Baneee Israaa’eelaz-kuroo ni’matiyal lateee an’amtu ‘alaikum wa annee faddaltukum ‘alal ‘aalameen
  123. Wattaqoo yawmal laa tajzee nafsun ‘an nafsin shai ‘anw wa laa yuqbalu minhaa ‘adlunw wa laa tanfa’uhaa shafaa ‘atunw wa laa hum yunsaroon
  124. Wa izib talaaa Ibraaheema Rabbuhoo bi Kalimaatin fa atammahunna qaala Innee jaa’iluka linnaasi Imaaman qaala wa min zurriyyatee qaala laa yanaalu ‘ahdiz zaalimeen
  125. Wa iz ja’alnal Baita masaabatal linnaasi wa amnanw wattakhizoo mim Maqaami Ibraaheema musallaaa; wa ‘ahidnaaa ilaaa Ibraaheema wa Ismaa’eela an tahhiraa Baitiya littaaa’ifeena wal’aakifeena warrukka’is sujood
  126. Wa iz qaala Ibraaheemu Rabbij ‘al haazaa baladan aaminanw warzuq ahlahoo minas samaraati man aamana minhum billaahi wal yawmil aakhiri qaala wa man kafara faumatti’uhoo qaleelan summa adtarruhooo ilaa ‘azaabin Naari wa bi’salmaseer
  127. Wa iz yarfa’u Ibraaheemul qawaa’ida minal Baitiwa Ismaa’eelu Rabbanaa taqabbal minnaa innaka Antas Samee’ul Aleem
  128. Rabbanaa waj’alnaa muslimaini laka wa min zurriyyatinaaa ummatam muslimatal laka wa arinaa manaasikanaa wa tub ‘alainaa innaka antat Tawwaabur Raheem
  129. Rabbanaa wab’as feehim Rasoolam minhum yatloo ‘alaihim aayaatika wa yu’allimuhumul Kitaaba wal Hikmata wa yuzakkeehim; innaka Antal ‘Azeezul Hakeem (section 15)
  130. Wa mai yarghabu ‘am-Millati Ibraaheema illaa man safiha nafsah; wa laqadis tafainaahu fid-dunyaa wa innahoo fil aakhirati laminas saaliheen
  131. Iz qaala lahoo Rabbuhooo aslim qaala aslamtu li Rabbil ‘aalameen
  132. Wa wassaa bihaaa Ibraaheemu baneehi wa Ya’qoob, yaa baniyya innal laahas tafaa lakumud deena falaa tamootunna illaa wa antum muslimoon
  133. Am kuntum shuhadaaa’a iz hadara Ya’qoobal mawtu iz qaala libaneehi maa ta’budoona mim ba’dee qaaloo na’budu ilaahaka wa ilaaha aabaaa’ika Ibraaheema wa Ismaa’eela wa Ishaaqa Ilaahanw waahidanw wa nahnu lahoo muslimoon
  134. Tilka ummatun qad khalat lahaa maa kasabat wa lakum maa kasabtum wa laa tus’aloona ‘ammaa kaanoo ya’maloon
  135. Wa qaaloo koonoo Hoodan aw Nasaaraa tahtadoo; qul bal Millata Ibraaheema Haneefanw wa maa kaana minal mushrikeen
  136. Qoolooo aamannaa billaahi wa maaa unzila ilainaa wa maaa unzila ilaaa Ibraaheema wa Ismaa’eela wa Ishaaqa wa Ya’qooba wal Asbaati wa maaootiya Moosa wa ‘Eesaa wa maaa ootiyan Nabiyyoona mir Rabbihim laa nufarriqoo baina ahadim minhum wa nahnu lahoo muslimoon
  137. Fa in aamanoo bimisli maaa aamantum bihee faqadih tadaw wa in tawallaw fa innamaa hum fee shiqaaq; fasayakfeekahumul laah; wa Huwas Samee’ul Aleem
  138. Sibghatal laahi wa man ahsanu minal laahi sibghatanw wa nahnu lahoo ‘aabidoon
  139. Qul atuhaaajjoonanaa fil laahi wa Huwa Rabbunaa wa Rabbukum wa lanaa a’maalunaa wa lakum a’maalukum wa nahnu lahoo mukhlisoon
  140. Am taqooloona inna Ibraaheema wa Ismaa’eela wa Ishaaqa wa Ya’qooba wal asbaata kaanoo Hoodan aw Nasaaraa; qul ‘a-antum a’lamu amil laah; wa man azlamu mimman katama shahaadatan ‘indahoo minallaah; wa mallaahu bighaafilin ‘ammaa ta’maloon
  141. Tilka ummatun qad khalat lahaa maa kasabat wa lakum maa kasabtum wa laa tus’aloona ‘ammaa kaano ya’maloon (section 16, End Juz 1)
  142. Sayaqoolus sufahaaa’u minan naasi maa wallaahum ‘an Qiblatihimul latee kaanoo ‘alaihaa; qul lillaahil mashriqu walmaghrib; yahdee mai yashaaa’u ilaa Siraatim Mustaqeem
  143. Wa kazaalika ja’alnaakum ummatanw wasatal litakoonoo shuhadaaa’a ‘alan naasi wa yakoonar Rasoolu ‘alaikum  shaheedaa; wa maa ja’alnal qiblatal latee kunta ‘alaihaaa illaa lina’lama mai yattabi’ur Rasoola mimmai yanqalibu ‘alaa ‘aqibayh; wa in kaanat lakabeeratan illaa ‘alal lazeena hadal laah; wa maa kaanal laahu liyudee’a eemaanakum; innal laaha binnaasi la Ra’oofur Raheem
  144. Qad naraa taqalluba wajhika fis samaaa’i fala nuwalliyannaka qiblatan tardaahaa; fawalli wajhaka shatral Masjidil haaraam; wa haisu maa kuntum fawalloo wujoohakum shatrah; wa innal lazeena ootul Kitaaba laya’lamoona annahul haqqu mir Rabbihim; wa mal laahu bighaafilin ‘ammaa ya’maloon
  145. Wa la’in ataital lazeena ootul kitaaba bikulli aayatim maa tabi’oo Qiblatak; wa maaa anta bitaabi’in Qiblatahum; wa maa ba’duhum bitaabi”in Qiblata ba’d; wa la’init taba’ta ahwaaa’ahum mim ba’di maa jaaa’aka minal ‘ilmi innaka izal laminaz zaalimeen
  146. Allazeena aatainaahumul kitaaba ya’rifoonahoo kamaa ya’rifoona abnaaa’ahum wa inna fareeqam minhum layaktumoonal haqqa wa hum ya’lamoon
  147. Alhaqqu mir Rabbika falaa takoonana minal mumtareen (section 17)
  148. Wa likullinw wijhatun huwa muwalleehaa fastabiqul khairaat; ayna maa takoonoo yaati bikumullaahu jamee’aa; innal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in qadeer
  149. Wa min haisu kharajta fawalli wajhaka shatral Masjidil Haraam; wa innahoo lalhaqqu mir Rabbik; wa mallaahu bighaafilin ‘ammaa ta’maloon
  150. Wa min haisu kharajta fawalli wajhaka shatral Masjidil Haraam; wa haisu maa kuntum fawalloo wujoohakum shatrahoo li’allaa yakoona linnaasi ‘alaikum hujjatun illal lazeena zalamoo minhum falaa takhshawhum wakhshawnee wa liutimma ni’matee ‘alaikum wa la’allakum tahtadoon
  151. kamaaa arsalnaa feekum Rasoolam minkum yatloo ‘alaikum aayaatina wa yuzakkeekum wa yu’alli mukumul kitaaba wal hikmata wa yu’allimukum maa lam takoonoo ta’lamoon
  152. Fazkurooneee azkurkum washkuroo lee wa laa takfuroon (section 18)
  153. Yaaa ayyuhal laazeena aamanus ta’eenoo bissabri was Salaah; innal laaha ma’as-saabireen
  154. Wa laa taqooloo limai yuqtalu fee sabeelil laahi amwaat; bal ahyaaa’unw wa laakil laa tash’uroon
  155. Wa lanablu wannakum bishai’im minal khawfi waljoo’i wa naqsim minal amwaali wal anfusi was samaraat; wa bashshiris saabireen
  156. Allazeena izaaa asaabathum museebatun qaalooo innaa lillaahi wa innaaa ilaihi raaji’oon
  157. Ulaaa’ika ‘alaihim salawaatun mir Rabbihim wa rahma; wa ulaaa’ika humul muhtadoon
  158. Innas Safaa wal-Marwata min sha’aaa’iril laahi faman hajjal Baita awi’tamara falaa junaaha ‘alaihi ai yattawwafa bihimaa; wa man tatawwa’a khairan fa innal laaha Shaakirun’Aleem
  159. Innal lazeena yaktumoona maaa anzalnaa minal baiyinaati walhudaa mim ba’di maa baiyannaahu linnaasi fil kitaabi ulaaa’ika yal’anuhumul laahu wa yal’anuhumul laa ‘inoon
  160. Illal lazeena taaboo wa aslahoo wa baiyanoo fa ulaaa’ika atoobu ‘alaihim; wa Anat Tawwaabur Raheem
  161. Innal lazeena kafaroo wamaa too wa hum kuffaarun ulaaa’ika ‘alaihim la ‘natul laahi walmalaa’ikati wannaasi ajma’een
  162. khaalideena feeha laa yukhaffafu ‘anhumul ‘azaabu wa laa hum yunzaroon
  163. Wa ilaahukum illaahunw waahid, laaa ilaaha illaa Huwar Rahmaanur Raheem (section 19)
  164. Inna fee khalqis samaawaati wal ardi wakhtilaafil laili wannahaari walfulkil latee tajree fil bahri bimaa yanfa’unnaasa wa maaa anzalal laahu minas samaaa’i mim maaa’in fa ahyaa bihil arda ba’da mawtihaa wa bas sa feehaa min kulli daaabbatinw wa tasreefir riyaahi wassahaabil musakhkhari bainas samaaa’i wal ardi la aayaatil liqawminy ya’qiloon
  165. Wa minan naasi mai yattakhizu min doonil laahi andaadai yuhibboonahum kahubbil laahi wallazeena aamanooo ashaddu hubbal lillah; wa law yaral lazeena zalamoo iz yarawnal ‘azaaba annal quwwata lillaahi jamee’anw wa annallaaha shadeedul ‘azaab
  166. Iz tabarra al lazeenat tubi’oo minal lazeenattaba’oo wa ra awul ‘azaaba wa taqatta’at bihimul asbaab
  167. Wa qaalal lazeenat taba’oo law anna lanaa karratan fanatabarra a minhum kamaa tabarra’oo minnaa; kazaalika yureehimullaahu a’maalahum hasaraatin ‘alaihim wa maa hum bikhaarijeena minan Naar (section 20)
  168. Yaaa ayyuhan naasu kuloo mimmaa fil ardi halaalan taiyibanw wa laa tattabi’oo khutu waatish Shaitaan; innahoo lakum ‘aduwwum mubeen
  169. Innamaa yaamurukum bissooo’i walfahshaaa’i wa an taqooloo alal laahi maa laa ta’lamoon
  170. Wa izaa qeela lahumuttabi’oo maaa anzalal laahu qaaloo bal nattabi’u maaa alfainaa ‘alaihi aabaaa’anaaa; awalaw kaana aabaaa’uhum laa ya’qiloona shai’anw wa laa yahtadoon
  171. Wa masalul lazeena kafaroo kamasalil lazee yan’iqu bimaa laa yasma’u illaa du’aaa’anw wa nidaaa’aa; summum bukmun ‘umyun fahum laa ya’qiloon
  172. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo kuloo min taiyibaati maa razaqnaakum washkuroo lillaahi in kuntum iyyaahu ta’budoon
  173. Innamaa harrama ‘alaikumul maitata waddama wa lahmal khinzeeri wa maaa uhilla bihee lighairil laahi famanid turra ghaira baaghinw wa laa ‘aadin falaaa isma ‘alaih; innal laaha Ghafoorur Raheem
  174. Innal lazeena yaktumoona maaa anzalal laahu minal kitaabi wa yashtaroona bihee samanan qaleelan ulaaa’ika maa yaakuloona fee butoonihim illan Naara wa laa yukallimu humul laahu Yawmal Qiyaamati wa laa yuzakkeehim wa lahum ‘azaabun aleem
  175. Ulaaa’ikal lazeenash tarawud dalaalata bilhudaa wal’azaaba bilmaghfirah; famaaa asbarahum ‘alan Naar
  176. Zaalika bi annal laaha nazzalal kitaaba bilhaqq; wa innal lazeenakh talafoo fil kitaabi lafee shiqaaqim ba’eed (section 21)
  177. Laisal birra an tuwalloo wujoohakum qibalal mashriqi walmaghribi wa laakinnal birra man aamana billaahi wal yawmil aakhiri wal malaaa ‘ikati wal kitaabi wan nabiyyeena wa aatalmaala ‘alaa hubbihee zawilqurbaa walyataa maa walmasaakeena wabnas sabeeli wassaaa’ileena wa firriqaabi wa aqaamas salaata wa aataz zakaata walmoofoona bi ahdihim izaa ‘aahadoo wasaabireena fil baasaaa’i waddarraaa’i wa heenal baas; ulaaa’ikal lazeena sadaqoo wa ulaaa ‘ika humul muttaqoon
  178. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo kutiba alaikumul qisaasu fil qatlaa alhurru bilhurri wal’abdu bil’abdi wal unsaa bil unsaa; faman ‘ufiya lahoo min akheehi shai’un fattibaa’um bilma’roofi wa adaaa’un ilaihi bi ihsaan; zaalika takhfeefum mir rabikum wa rahmah; famani’ tadaa ba’da zaalika falahoo ‘azaabun aleem
  179. Wa lakum fil qisaasi hayaatuny yaaa ulil albaabi la ‘allakum tattaqoon
  180. Kutiba ‘alaikum izaa hadara ahadakumul mawtu in taraka khairanil wasiyyatu lilwaalidaini wal aqrabeena bilma’roofi haqqan ‘alalmut taqeen
  181. Famam baddalahoo ba’da maa sami’ahoo fa innamaaa ismuhoo ‘alallazeena yubaddi loonah; innallaha Samee’un ‘Aleem
  182. Faman khaafa mim moosin janafan aw isman fa aslaha bainahum falaaa ismaa ‘alayh; innal laaha Ghafoorur Raheem(section 22)
  183. Yaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo kutiba ‘alaikumus Siyaamu kamaa kutiba ‘alal lazeena min qablikum la’allakum tattaqoon
  184. Ayyaamam ma’doodaat; faman kaana minkum mareedan aw’alaa safarin fa’iddatum min ayyaamin ukhar; wa ‘alal lazeena yuteeqoonahoo fidyatun ta’aamu miskeenin faman tatawwa’a khairan fahuwa khairul lahoo wa an tasoomoo khairul lakum in kuntum ta’lamoon
  185. Shahru Ramadaanallazeee unzila feehil Qur’aanu hudal linnaasi wa baiyinaatim minal hudaa wal furqaan; faman shahida minkumush shahra falyasumhu wa man kaana mareedan aw ‘alaa safarin fa’iddatum min ayyaamin ukhar; yureedul laahu bikumul yusra wa laa yureedu bikumul ‘usra wa litukmilul ‘iddata wa litukabbirul laaha ‘alaa maa hadaakum wa la’allakum tashkuroon
  186. Wa izaa sa alaka ‘ibaadee ‘annnee fa innee qareebun ujeebu da’wataddaa’i izaa da’aani falyastajeeboo lee wal yu’minoo bee la’allahum yarshudoon
  187. Uhilla lakum laylatas Siyaamir rafasu ilaa nisaaa’ikum; hunna libaasullakum wa antum libaasullahunn; ‘alimal laahu annakum kuntum takhtaanoona anfusakum fataaba ‘alaikum wa ‘afaa ‘ankum fal’aana baashiroo hunna wabtaghoo maa katabal laahoo lakum; wa kuloo washraboo hattaa yatabaiyana lakumul khaitul abyadu minal khaitil aswadi minal fajri summa atimmus Siyaama ilal layl; wa laa tubaashiroo hunna wa antum ‘aakifoona fil masaajid; tilka hudoodul laahi falaa taqraboohaa; kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu aayaatihee linnaasi la’allahum yattaqoon
  188. Wa laa taakuloo amwaalakum bainakum bilbaatili wa tudloo bihaaa ilal hukkaami litaakuloo fareeqam min amwaalin naasi bil ismi wa antum ta’lamoon (section 23)
  189. Yas’aloonaka ‘anil ahillati qul hiya mawaaqeetu linnaasi wal Hajj; wa laisal birru bi an ta’tul buyoota min zuhoorihaa wa laakinnal birra manit taqaa; wa’tul buyoota min abwaa bihaa; wattaqullaaha la’allakum tuflihoon
  190. Wa qaatiloo fee sabeelillaahil lazeena yuqaatiloonakum wa laa ta’tadooo; innal laaha laa yuhibbul mu’tadeen
  191. Waqtuloohum haisu saqif tumoohum wa akhrijoohum min haisu akhrajookum; walfitnatu ashaddu minal qatl; wa laa tuqaatiloohum ‘indal Masjidil Haraami hattaa yaqaatilookum feehi fa in qaatalookum faqtuloohum; kazaalika jazaaa’ul kaafireen
  192. Fa ininn-tahaw fa innal laaha Ghafoorur Raheem
  193. Wa qaatiloohum hatta laa takoona fitnatunw wa yakoonad deenu lillaahi fa-inin tahaw falaa ‘udwaana illaa ‘alaz zaalimeen
  194. Ash Shahrul Haraamu bish Shahril Haraami wal hurumaatu qisaas; famani’tadaa ‘alaikum fa’tadoo ‘alaihi bimisli ma’tadaa ‘alaikum; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annal laaha ma’al muttaqeen
  195. Wa anfiqoo fee sabeelil laahi wa laa tulqoo bi aydeekum ilat tahlukati wa ahsinoo; innal laaha yuhibbul muhsineen
  196. Wa atimmul Hajja wal Umarata lillaah; fain uhsirtum famas taisara minal hadyi walaa tahliqoo ru’oosakum hatta yablughal hadyu mahillah; faman kaana minkum mareedan aw biheee azam mir ra’sihee fafidyatum min Siyaamin aw sadaqatin aw nusuk; fa izaaa amintum faman tamatta’a bil ‘Umrati ilal Hajji famastaisara minal hadyi; famal lam yajid fa Siyaamu salaasati ayyaamin fil Hajji wa sab’atin izaa raja’tum; tilka ‘asharatun kaamilah; zaalika limal lam yakun ahluhoo haadiril Masjidil Haraam; wattaqul laaha wa’lamoo annal laaha shadeedul’iqaab (section 24)
  197. Al-Hajju ashhurum ma’-loomaat; faman farada feehinnal hajja falaa rafasa wa laa fusooqa wa laa jidaala fil Hajj; wa maa taf’aloo min khairiny ya’lamhul laah; wa tazawwadoo fa inna khairaz zaadit taqwaa; wattaqooni yaaa ulil albaab
  198. Laisa ‘alaikum junaahun an tabtaghoo fad lam mir rabbikum; fa izaaa afadtum min ‘Arafaatin fazkurul laaha ‘indal-Mash’aril Haraami waz kuroohu kamaa hadaakum wa in kuntum min qablihee laminad daaalleen
  199. Summa afeedoo min haisu afaadan naasu wastagh firullaah; innal laaha Ghafoor ur-Raheem
  200. Fa-iza qadaitum manaa sikakum fazkurul laaha kazikrikum aabaaa’akum aw ashadda zikraa; faminannaasi mai yaqoolu Rabbanaaa aatinaa fiddunyaa wa maa lahoo fil Aakhirati min khalaaq
  201. Wa minhum mai yaqoolu rabbanaaa aatina fid dunyaa hasanatanw wa fil aakhirati hasanatanw wa qinaa azaaban Naar
  202. Ulaaa’ika lahum naseebum mimmaa kasaboo; wal laahu saree’ul hisaab
  203. Wazkurul laaha feee ayyaamin ma’doodaatin; faman ta’ajjala fee yawmaini falaaa ismaa ‘alaihi wa man ta akhara falaaa isma ‘alayhi; limanit-taqaa; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annakum ilaihi tuhsharoon
  204. Wa minan naasi mai yu’jibuka qawluhoo fil hayaatid dunyaa wa yushhidul laaha ‘alaa maa fee qalbihee wa huwa aladdulkhisaam
  205. Wa izaa tawallaa sa’aa fil ardi liyufsida feeha wa yuhlikal harsa wannasl; wallaahu laa yuhibbul fasaad
  206. Wa izaa qeela lahuttaqil laaha akhazathul izzatu bil-ism; fahasbuhoo jahannam; wa labi’sal mihaad
  207. Wa minan naasi mai yashree nafsahub tighaaa’a mardaatil laah; wallaahu ra’oofum bil’ibaad
  208. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanud khuloo fis silmi kaaaffatanw wa laa tattabi’oo khutuwaatish Shaitaan; innahoo lakum ‘aduwwum mubeen
  209. Fa in zalaltum minba’di maa jaaa’atkumul baiyinaatu fa’lamoo annallaaha ‘Azeezun hakeem
  210. Hal yanzuroona illaaa ai ya’tiya humul laahu fee zulalim minal ghamaami walmalaaa’ikatu wa qudiyal amr; wa ilal laahi turja’ul umoor (section 25)
  211. Sal Banee Israaa’eela kam aatainaahum min aayatim baiyinah; wa mai yubaddil ni’matal laahi mim ba’di maa jaaa’athu fa innallaaha shadeedul’iqaab
  212. Zuyyina lillazeena kafarul hayaatud dunyaa wa yaskharoona minal lazeena aamanoo; wallazeenat taqaw fawqahum yawmal Qiyaamah; wallaahu yarzuqu mai yashaaa’u bighairi hisaab;
  213. Kaanan naasu ummatanw waahidatan fab’asal laahun Nabiyyeena mubashshireena wa munzireena wa anzala ma’ahumul kitaaba bilhaqqi liyahkuma bainan naasi feemakh talafoo feeh; wa makh talafa feehi ‘illallazeena ootoohu mim ba’di maa jaaa’athumul baiyinaatu baghyam bainahum fahadal laahul lazeena aamanoo limakh talafoo feehi minal haqqi bi iznih; wallaahu yahdee mai yashaaa’u ilaa Siraatim Mustaqeem
  214. Am hasibtum an tadkhulul jannata wa lammaa yaa-tikum masalul lazeena khalaw min qablikum massathumul baasaaa’u waddarraaaa’u wa zulziloo hattaa yaqoolar Rasoolu wallazeena aamanoo ma’ahoo mataa nasrul laah; alaaa inna nasral laahi qareeb
  215. Yas’aloonaka maazaa yunfiqoona qul maaa anfaqtum min khairin falil waalidaini wal aqrabeena walyataamaa wal masaakeeni wabnis sabeel; wa maa taf’aloo min khairin fa innal laaha bihee ‘Aleem
  216. Kutiba alaikumulqitaalu wa huwa kurhullakum wa ‘asaaa an takrahoo shai’anw wa huwa khairullakum wa ‘asaaa an tuhibbo shai’anw wa huwa sharrullakum; wallaahu ya’lamu wa antum laa ta’lamoon(section 26)
  217. Yas’aloonaka ‘anish Shahril Haraami qitaalin feehi qul qitaalun feehi kabeerunw wa saddun ‘an sabeelil laahi wa kufrum bihee wal Masjidil Haraami wa ikhraaju ahlihee minhu akbaru ‘indal laah; walfitnatu akbaru minal qatl; wa laa yazaaloona yuqaatiloonakum hatta yaruddookum ‘an deenikum inis tataa’oo; wa mai yartadid minkum ‘an deenihee fayamut wahuwa kaafirun fa ulaaa’ika habitat a’maaluhum fid dunyaa wal aakhirati wa ulaaa’ika ashaabun Naari hum feehaa khaalidoon
  218. Innal lazeena aamanoo wallazeena haajaroo wa jaahadoo fee sabeelil laahi ulaaa’ika yarjoona rahmatal laah; wallaahu Ghafoorur Raheem
  219. Yas’aloonaka ‘anilkhamri walmaisiri qul feehimaaa ismun kabeerunw wa manaafi’u linnaasi wa ismuhumaa akbaru min naf’ihimaa; wa yas’aloonaka maaza yunfiqoona qulil-‘afwa; kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu lakumul-aayaati la’allakum tatafakkaroon
  220. Fid dunyaa wal aakhirah; wa yas’aloonaka ‘anil yataamaa qul islaahullahum khayr, wa in tukhaalitoohum fa ikhwaanukum; wallaahu ya’lamul mufsida minalmuslih; wa law shaaa’al laahu la-a’natakum; innal laaha ‘Azeezun Hakeem
  221. Wa laatankihul mushrikaati hattaa yu’minn; wa la amatum mu’minatun khairum mim mushrikatinw wa law a’jabatkum; wa laa tunkihul mushrikeena hattaa yu’minoo; wa la’abdummu’minun khairum mimmushrikinw wa law ‘ajabakum; ulaaa’ika yad’oona ilan Naari wallaahu yad’ooo ilal Jannati walmaghfirati biiznihee wa yubaiyinu Aayaatihee linnaasi la’allahum yatazakkaroon (section 27)
  222. Wa yas’aloonaka ‘anil maheedi qul huwa azan fa’tazilun nisaaa’a fil maheedi wa laa taqraboo hunna hattaa yathurna fa-izaa tatah-harrna faatoohunna min haisu amarakumul laah; innallaaha yuhibbut Tawwaabeena wa yuhibbul mutatahhireen
  223. Nisaaa’ukum harsullakum faatoo harsakum annaa shi’tum wa qaddimoo li anfusikum; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annakum mulaaqooh; wa bash shirilmu ‘mineen
  224. Wa laa taj’alul laaha ‘urdatal li aymaanikum an tabarroo wa tattaqoo wa tuslihoo bainan naas; wallaahu Samee’un ‘Aleem
  225. Laa yu’aakhi zukumul laahu billaghwi feee aymaa nikum wa laakiny yu’aakhi zukum bimaa kasabat quloo bukum; wallaahu Ghafoorun Haleem
  226. Lillazeena yu’loona min nisaaa’ihim tarabbusu arba’ati ashhurin fain faaa’oo fa innal laaha Ghafoorur Raheem
  227. Wa in ‘azamut talaaqa fa innal laaha Samee’un ‘Aleem
  228. Walmutallaqaatu yatarab basna bi anfusihinna salaasata qurooo’; wa laa yahillu lahunna ai yaktumna maa khalaqal laahu feee arhaaminhinna in kunna yu’minna billaahi wal yawmil aakhir; wa bu’oola tuhunna ahaqqu biraddihinna fee zaalika in araadooo islaahaa; wa lahunna mislul lazee alaihinna bilma’roof; wa lirrijjaali ‘alaihinna daraja; wallaahu ‘Azeezun Hakeem (section 28)
  229. Attalaaqu marrataani fa imsaakum bima’roofin aw tasreehum bi ihsaan; wa laa yahillu lakum an taakhuzoo mimmaaa aataitumoohunna shai’an illaaa ai yakhaafaaa alla yuqeemaa hudoodallahi fa in khiftum allaa yuqeemaa hudoodal laahi falaa junaaha ‘Alaihimaa feemaf tadat bihee tilka hudoodul laahi falaa ta’tadoohaa; wa mai yata’adda hudoodal laahi fa ulaaa’ika humuzzaa limoon
  230. Fa in tallaqahaa falaa tahillu lahoo mim ba’du hattaa tankiha zawjan ghairah; fa in tallaqahaa falaa junaaha ‘alaihimaaa ai yataraaja’aaa in zannaaa ai yuqeemaa hudoodal laa; wa tilka hudoodul laahi yubaiyinuhaa liqawminy ya’lamoon
  231. Wa izaa tallaqtumun nisaaa’a fabalaghna ajala hunna fa amsikoohunna bima’roofin law sarrihoo hunna bima’roof; wa laa tumsikoo hunna diraa rallita’tadoo; wa mai yaf’al zaalika faqad zalama nafsah; wa laa tattakhizooo aayaatillaahi huzuwaa; wazkuroo ni’matal laahi ‘alaikum wa maaa anzala ‘alaikum minal kitaabi wal hikmati ya’izukum bih; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annal laaha bikulli shai’in ‘Aleem (section 29)
  232. Wa izaa tallaqtumun nisaaa’a fabalaghna ajalahunna falaa ta’duloo hunna ai yankihna azwaaja hunna izaa taraadaw bainahum bilma’ roof; zaalika yoo’azu bihee man kaana minkum yu’minu billaahi wal yawmil aakhir; zaalikum azkaa lakum wa at-har; wallaahu ya’lamu wa antum laa ta’lamoon
  233. Walwaa lidaatu yurdi’na awlaada hunna hawlaini kaamilaini liman araada ai yutimmar radaa’ah; wa ‘alalmawloodi lahoo rizqu hunna wa kiswatuhunna bilma’roof; laatukallafu nafsun illaa wus’ahaa; laa tudaaarra waalidatum biwaladihaa wa laa mawloodul lahoo biwaladih; wa ‘alal waarisi mislu zaalik; fa in araadaa Fisaalan ‘an taraadim minhumaa wa tashaawurin falaa junaaha ‘alaihimaa; wa in arattum an tastardi’ooo awlaadakum falaa junaaha ‘alaikum izaa sallamtum maaa aataitum bilma’roof; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annal laaha bimaa ta’maloona baseer
  234. Wallazeena yutawaffawna minkum wa yazaroona azwaajai yatarabbasna bi anfusihinna arba’ata ashhurinw wa ‘ashran fa izaa balaghna ajalahunna falaa junaaha ‘alaikum feemaa fa’alna feee anfusihinna bilma’roof; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloona Khabeer
  235. Wa laa junaaha ‘alaikum feema ‘arradtum bihee min khitbatin nisaaa’i aw aknantum feee anfusikum; ‘alimal laahu annakum satazkuroonahunna wa laakil laa tuwaa’idoohunna sirran illaaa an taqooloo qawlamma’roofaa; wa laa ta’zimoo ‘uqdatan nikaahi hattaa yablughal kitaabu ajalah; wa’lamooo annal laaha ya’lamumaa feee anfusikum fahzarooh; wa’lamooo annallaaha Ghafoorun Haleem (section 30)
  236. Laa junaaha ‘alaikum in tallaqtumun nisaaa’a maa lam tamassoohunna aw tafridoo lahunna fareedah; wa matti’hoohunna ‘alal moosi’i qadaruhoo wa ‘alal muqtiri qadaruhoo matta’am bilma’roofi haqqan ‘alalmuhsineen
  237. Wa in tallaqtumoohunna min qabli an tamassoohunna wa qad farad tum lahunna fareedatan fanisfu maa faradtum illaaa ai ya’foona aw ya’fuwallazee biyadihee ‘uqdatunnikaah; wa an ta’fooo aqrabu littaqwaa; wa laa tansawulfadla bainakum; innal laaha bimaa ta’maloona Baseer
  238. Haafizoo ‘alas salawaati was Salaatil Wustaa wa qoomoo lillaahi qaaniteen
  239. Fa in khiftum farijaalan aw rukbaanan fa izaaa amintum fazkurul laaha kamaa ‘allamakum maa lam takoonoo ta’lamoon
  240. Wallazeena yutawaf fawna minkum wa yazaroona azwaajanw wasiyyatal li azwaajihim mataa’an ilal hawlighaira ikhraaj; fa in kharajna falaa junaaha ‘alaikum fee maa fa’alna feee anfusihinna min ma’roof; wallaahu Azeezun Hakeem
  241. Wa lilmutallaqaati mataa’um bilma’roofi haqqan ‘alal muttaqeen
  242. Kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu lakum aayaatihee la’allakum ta’qiloon (section 31)
  243. Alam tara ilal lazeena kharajoo min diyaarihim wa hum uloofun hazaral mawti faqaaala lahumul laahu mootoo summa ahyaahum; innal laaha lazoo fadlin ‘alannaasi wa laakinna aksarannaasi laa yashkuroon
  244. Wa qaatiloo fee sabeelil laahi wa’lamooo annal laaha Samee’un ‘Aleem
  245. Man zal lazee yuqridul laaha qardan hasanan fayudaa ‘ifahoo lahoo ad’aafan kaseerah; wallaahu yaqbidu wa yabsutu wa ilaihi turja’oon
  246. Alam tara ilal malai mim Baneee Israaa’eela mim ba’di Moosaaa iz qaaloo li Nabiyyil lahumub ‘as lanaa malikan nuqaatil fee sabeelillaahi qaala hal ‘asaitum in kutiba ‘alaikumul qitaalu allaa tuqaatiloo qaaloo wa maa lanaaa allaa nuqaatila fee sabeelil laahi wa qad ukhrijnaa min diyaarinaa wa abnaaa’inaa falammaa kutiba ‘alaihimul qitaalu tawallaw illaa qaleelam minhum; wallaahu ‘aleemum bizzaalimeen
  247. Wa qaala lahum Nabiy yuhum innal laaha qad ba’asa lakum Taaloota malikaa; qaalooo annaa yakoonu lahul mulku ‘alainaa wa nahnu ahaqqu bilmulki minhu wa lam yu’ta sa’atamminal maal; qaala innallaahas tafaahu ‘alaikum wa zaadahoo bastatan fil’ilmi waljismi wallaahu yu’tee mulkahoo mai yashaaa’; wallaahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem
  248. Wa qaala lahum Nabiyyuhum inna Aayata mulkiheee ai yaatiyakumut Taabootu feehi sakeenatummir Rabbikum wa baqiyyatummimmaa taraka Aalu Moosa wa Aalu Haaroona tahmiluhul malaaa’ikah; inna fee zaalika la Aayatal lakum in kuntum mu’mineen (section 32)
  249. Falammaa fasala Taalootu biljunoodi qaala innal laaha mubtaleekum binaharin faman shariba minhu falaisa minnee wa mallam yat’amhu fa innahoo minneee illaa manigh tarafa ghurfatam biyadih; fashariboo minhu illaa qaleelamminhum; falammaa jaawazahoo huwa wallazeena aamanoo ma’ahoo qaaloo laa taaqata lanal yawma bi Jaaloota wa junoodih; qaalallazeena yazunnoona annahum mulaaqul laahi kam min fi’atin qaleelatin ghalabat fi’atan kaseeratam bi iznil laah; wallaahuma’as saabireen
  250. Wa lammaa barazoo liJaaloota wa junoodihee qaaloo Rabbanaaa afrigh ‘alainaa sabranw wa sabbit aqdaamanaa wansurnaa ‘alal qawmil kaafireen
  251. Fahazamoohum bi iznillaahi wa qatala Daawoodu jaaloota wa aataahul laahulmulka Wal Hikmata wa ‘allamahoo mimmaa yashaaa’; wa law laa daf’ullaahin naasa ba’dahum biba’dil lafasadatil ardu wa laakinnal laaha zoo fadlin ‘alal’aalameen
  252. Tilka Aayaatul laahi natloohaa ‘alaika bilhaqq; wa innaka laminal mursaleen (End Juz 2)
  253. Tilkar Rusulu faddalnaa ba’dahum ‘alaa ba’d; minhum man kallamal laahu wa rafa’a ba’dahum darajaat; wa aatainaa ‘Eesab na Maryamal baiyinaati wa ayyadnaahu bi Roohil Qudus; wa law shaaa’al laahu maqtatalal lazeena mimba’dihim mim ba’di maa jaaa’athumul baiyinaatu wa laakinikh talafoo faminhum man aamana wa minhum man kafar; wa law shaaa’al laahu maq tataloo wa laakinnallaaha yaf’alu maa yureed (section 33)
  254. Yaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo anfiqoo mimmaa razaqnaakum min qabli ai yaatiya yawmul laa bai’un feehee wa la khullatunw wa laa shafaa’ah; walkaa firoona humuz zaalimoon
  255. Allahu laaa ilaaha illaa Huwal Haiyul Qaiyoom; laa taakhuzuhoo sinatunw wa laa nawm; lahoo maa fissamaawaati wa maa fil ard; man zal lazee yashfa’u indahooo illaa bi-iznih; ya’lamu maa baina aydeehim wa maa khalfahum wa laa yuheetoona bishai’im min ‘ilmihee illaa bimaa shaaa’; wasi’a Kursiyyuhus samaawaati wal arda wa laa Ya’ooduhoo hifzuhumaa; wa Huwal Aliyyul ‘Azeem
  256. Laaa ikraaha fid deeni qat tabiyanar rushdu minal ghayy; famai yakfur bit Taaghooti wa yu’mim billaahi faqadis tamsaka bil’urwatil wusqaa lan fisaama lahaa; wallaahu Samee’un ‘Aleem
  257. Allaahu waliyyul lazeena aamanoo yukhrijuhum minaz zulumaati ilan noori wallazeena kafarooo awliyaaa’uhumut Taaghootu yukhrijoonahum minan noori ilaz zulumaat; ulaaa’ika Ashaabun Naari hum feehaa khaalidoon(section 34)
  258. Alam tara ilal lazee Haaajja Ibraaheema fee Rabbiheee an aataahullaahul mulka iz qaala Ibraaheemu Rabbiyal lazee yuhyee wa yumeetu qaala ana uhyee wa umeetu qaala Ibraaheemu fa innal laaha yaatee bishshamsi minal mashriqi faati bihaa minal maghribi fabuhital lazee kafar; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmaz zaalimeen
  259. Aw kallazee marra ‘alaa qaryatinw wa hiya khaawiyatun ‘alaa ‘urooshihaa qaala annaa yuhyee haazihil laahu ba’da mawtihaa fa amaatahul laahu mi’ata ‘aamin summa ba’asahoo qaala kam labista qaala labistu yawman aw ba’da yawmin qaala bal labista mi’ata ‘aamin fanzur ilaa ta’aamika wa sharaabika lam yatasannah wanzur ilaa himaarika wa linaj’alaka Aayatal linnaasi wanzur ilal’izaami kaifa nunshizuhaa summa naksoohaa lahmaa; falammaa tabayyana lahoo qaala a’lamu annal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer
  260. Wa iz qaala Ibraaheemu Rabbi arinee kaifa tuhyil mawtaa qaala awa lam tu’min qaala balaa wa laakin liyatma’inna qalbee qaala fakhuz arba’atan minat tairi fasurhunna ilaika summaj ‘al ‘alaa kulli jabalin minhunna juz’an summad’uu hunna ya’teenaka sa’yaa; wa’lam annal laaha ‘Azeezun Hakeem (section 35)
  261. Masalul lazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahum fee sabeelil laahi kamasali habbatin ambatat sab’a sanaabila fee kulli sumbulatim mi’atu habbah; wallaahu yudaa’ifu limai yashaaa; wallaahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem
  262. Allazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahum fee sabeelillaahi summa laa yutbi’oona maaa anfaqoo mannanw wa laaa azal lahum ajruhum ‘inda Rabbihim; wa laa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahzanoon
  263. Qawlum ma’roofunw wa maghfiratun khairum min sadaqatiny yatba’uhaaa azaa; wallaahu Ghaniyyun Haleem
  264. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo laa tubtiloo sadaqaatikum bilmanni wal azaa kallazee yunfiqu maalahoo ri’aaa’an naasi wa laa yu’minu billaahi wal yawmil aakhiri famasaluhoo kamasali safwaanin ‘alaihi turaabun fa asaabahoo waabilun fatara kahoo saldaa; laa yaqdiroona ‘alaa shai’im mimmaa kasaboo; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmal kaafireen
  265. Wa masalul lazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahu mubtighaaa’a mardaatil laahi wa tasbeetam min anfusihim kamasali jannatim birabwatin asaabahaa waabilun fa aatat ukulahaa di’faini fa il lam yusibhaa waabilun fatall; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloona Baseer
  266. Ayawaddu ahadukum an takoona lahoo jannatum min nakheelinw wa a’naabin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru lahoo feehaa min kullis samaraati wa asaabahul kibaru wa lahoo zurriyyatun du’afaaa’u fa asaabahaaa i’saarun feehi naarun fahtaraqat; kazaalika yubaiyinul laahu lakumul aayaati la’allakum tatafakkaroon (section 36)
  267. Yaaa ‘ayyuhal lazeena aamanooo anfiqoo min taiyibaati maa kasabtum wa mimmaaa akhrajna lakum minal ardi wa laa tayammamul khabeesa minhu tunfiqoona wa lastum bi aakhizeehi illaaa an tughmidoo feeh; wa’lamooo annal laaha Ghaniyyun Hameed
  268. Ash Shaitaanu ya’idukumul faqra wa ya’murukum bilfahshaaa’i wallaahu ya’idukum maghfiratam minhu wa fadlaa; wallaahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem
  269. Yu’til Hikmata mai yashaaa’; wa mai yu’tal Hikmata faqad ootiya khairan kaseeraa; wa maa yazzakkaru illaaa ulul albaab
  270. Wa maaa anfaqtum min nafaqatin aw nazartum min nazrin fa innal laaha ya’lamuh; wa maa lizzaalimeena min ansaar
  271. In tubdus sadaqaati fani’immaa hiya wa in tukhfoohaa wa tu’toohal fuqaraaa’a fahuwa khayrul lakum; wa yukaffiru ‘ankum min saiyi aatikum; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloona Khabeer
  272. Laisa ‘alaika hudaahum wa laakinnal laaha yahdee mai yashaaa’; wa maa tunfiqoo min khairin fali anfusikum; wa maa tunfiqoona illab tighaaa’a wajhil laah; wa maa tunfiqoo min khairiny yuwaffa ilaikum wa antum laa tuzlamoon
  273. Lilfuqaraaa’il lazeena uhsiroo fee sabeelil laahi laa yastatee’oona darban fil ardi yah sabuhumul jaahilu aghniyaaa’a minat ta’affufi ta’rifuhum biseemaahum laa yas’aloonan naasa ilhaafaa; wa maa tunfiqoo min khairin fa innal laaha bihee ‘Aleem (section 37)
  274. Allazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahum billaili wan nahaari sirranw wa ‘alaaniyatan falahum ajruhum ‘inda Rabbihim wa laa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahzanoon
  275. Allazeena yaakuloonar ribaa laa yaqoomoona illaa kamaa yaqoomul lazee yatakhabbatuhush shaitaanu minal mass; zaalika bi annahum qaalooo innamal bai’u mislur ribaa; wa ahallal laahul bai’a wa harramar ribaa; faman jaaa’ahoo maw’izatum mir rabbihee fantahaa falahoo maa salafa wa amruhooo ilal laahi wa man ‘aada fa ulaaa ‘ika Ashaabun naari hum feehaa khaalidoon
  276. Yamhaqul laahur ribaa wa yurbis sadaqaat; wallaahu laa yuhibbu kulla kaffaarin aseem
  277. Innal lazeena aamanoo wa amilus saalihaati wa aqaamus salaata wa aatawuz zakaata lahum ajruhum ‘inda rabbihim wa laa khawfun ‘alaihim wa laa hum yahzanoon
  278. Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanut taqul laaha wa zaroo maa baqiya minar ribaaa in kuntum mu’mineen
  279. Fail lam taf’aloo faazanoo biharbim minal laahi wa Rasoolihee wa in tubtum falakum ru’oosu amwaalikum laa tazlimoona wa laa tuzlamoon
  280. Wa in kaana zoo ‘usratin fanaziratun ilaa maisarah; wa an tasaddaqoo khairul lakum in kuntum ta’lamoon
  281. Wattaqoo yawman turja’oona feehi ilal laahi summa tuwaffaa kullu nafsim maa kasabat wa hum laa yuzlamoon (section 38)
  282. Yaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo izaa tadaayantum bidaiynin ilaa ajalimmusamman faktubooh; walyaktub bainakum kaatibum bil’adl; wa laa yaaba kaatibun ai yaktuba kamaa ‘allamahul laah; falyaktub walyumlilil lazee ‘alaihil haqqu walyattaqil laaha rabbahoo wa laa yabkhas minhu shai’aa; fa in kaanal lazee ‘alaihil haqqu safeehan aw da’eefan aw laa yastatee’u ai yumilla huwa falyumlil waliyyuhoo bil’adl; wastash hidoo shaheedaini mir rijaalikum fa il lam yakoonaa rajulaini farajulunw wamra ataani mimman tardawna minash shuhadaaa’i an tadilla ihdaahumaa fatuzakkira ihdaahumal ukhraa; wa laa yaabash shuhadaaa’u izaa maadu’oo; wa laa tas’amooo an taktuboohu sagheeran awkabeeran ilaaa ajalih; zaalikum aqsatu ‘indal laahi wa aqwamu lishshahaadati wa adnaaa allaa tartaabooo illaaa an takoona tijaaratan haadiratan tudeeroonahaa bainakum falaisa ‘alaikum junaahun allaa taktuboohan; wa ashidooo izaa tabaaya’tum; wa laa yudaaarra kaatibunw wa laa shaheed; wa in taf’aloo fa innahoo fusooqum bikum; wattaqul laaha wa yu’allimu kumul laah; wallaahu bikulli shai’in ‘Aleem
  283. Wa in kuntum ‘alaa safarinw wa lam tajidoo kaatiban farihaanum maqboodatun fa in amina ba’dukum ba’dan falyu’addil lazi tumina amaa natahoo walyattaqil laaha Rabbah; wa laa taktumush shahaadah; wa mai yaktumhaa fa innahooo aasimun qalbuh; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloona ‘Aleem(section 39)
  284. Lillaahi maa fissamaawaati wa maa fil ard; wa in tubdoo maa feee anfusikum aw tukhfoohu yuhaasibkum bihil laa; fayaghfiru li mai yashaaa’u wa yu’azzibu mai yashaaa’u;wallaahu ‘alaa kulli shai in qadeer
  285. Aamanar-Rasoolu bimaaa unzila ilaihi mir-Rabbihee walmu’minoon; kullun aamana billaahi wa Malaaa’ikathihee wa Kutubhihee wa Rusulihee laa nufarriqu baina ahadim-mir-Rusulih wa qaaloo sami’naa wa ata’naa ghufraanaka Rabbanaa wa ilaikal-maseer
  286. Laa yukalliful-laahu nafsan illaa wus’ahaa; lahaa maa kasabat wa ‘alaihaa maktasabat; Rabbanaa laa tu’aakhiznaaa in naseenaaa aw akhtaanaa; Rabbanaa wa laa tahmil-‘alainaaa isran kamaa hamaltahoo ‘alal-lazeena min qablinaa; Rabbanaa wa laa tuhammilnaa maa laa taaqata lanaa bih; wa’fu ‘annaa waghfir lanaa warhamnaa; Anta mawlaanaa fansurnaa ‘alal qawmil kaafireen (section 40)

 

Translation

  1. Lam. Mim .
  2. This Book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the God-fearing,
  3. who believe in the Unseen, and are steadfast in Salah (prayer) , and spend out of what We have provided them;
  4. and who believe in what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed before you; and they have faith in the Hereafter.
  5. It is these who are guided by their Lord; and it is just these who are successful.
  6. Surely for those who have disbelieved, it is all the same whether you warn them or you warn them not: they do not believe.
  7. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.
  8. And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.
  9. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.
  10. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.
  11. And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.
  12. Are not they indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not.
  13. And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe? are not they indeed the foolish? But they know not.
  14. And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock.
  15. Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy.
  16. These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided.
  17. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him Allah taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see,
  18. Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not.
  19. Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, Allah encompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance, His omniscience and His omnipotence) .
  20. The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is able to do all things.
  21. O mankind! worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil) .
  22. Who hath appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better) .
  23. And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad) , then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful.
  24. And if ye do it not – and ye can never do it – then guard yourselves against the Fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones.
  25. And give glad tidings ( O Muhammad) unto those who believe and do good works; that theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow; as often as they are regaled with food of the fruit thereof, they say: this is what was given us aforetime; and it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are pure companions; there for ever they abide.
  26. Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude? He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants;
  27. Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers.
  28. How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return.
  29. He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.
  30. And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.
  31. And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.
  32. They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise.
  33. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide.
  34. And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.
  35. And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers.
  36. But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time.
  37. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation) , and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.
  38. We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
  39. But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein.
  40. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you, and fulfil your (part of the) covenant, I shall fulfil My (part of the) covenant, and fear Me.
  41. And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already (of the Scripture) , and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me.
  42. Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.
  43. Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship) .
  44. Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practise it) ? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?
  45. Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded,
  46. Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning.
  47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.
  48. And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped.
  49. And (remember) when We did deliver you from Pharaoh’s folk, who were afflicting you with dreadful torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women: that was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
  50. And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight.
  51. And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights (of solitude) , and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and were wrong-doers.
  52. Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that ye might give thanks.
  53. And when We gave unto Moses the Scripture and the criterion (of right and wrong) , that ye might be led aright.
  54. And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.
  55. And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly; and even while ye gazed the lightning seized you.
  56. Then We revived you after your extinction, that ye might give thanks.
  57. And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and sent down on you the manna and the quails, (saying) : Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you – they wronged Us not, but they did wrong themselves.
  58. And when We said: Go into this township and eat freely of that which is therein, and enter the gate prostrate, and say: “Repentance.” We will forgive you your sins and will increase (reward) for the right-doers.
  59. But those who did wrong changed the word which had been told them for another saying, and We sent down upon the evil-doers wrath from heaven for their evil-doing.
  60. And when Moses asked for water for his people, We said: Smite with thy staff the rock. And there gushed out therefrom twelve springs (so that) each tribe knew their drinking-place. Eat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth.
  61. And when ye said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind of food; so call upon thy Lord for us that He bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth – of its herbs and its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would ye exchange that which is higher for that which is lower? Go down to settled country, thus ye shall get that which ye demand. And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression.
  62. Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad) , and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
  63. And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying) : Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil) .
  64. Then, even after that, ye turned away, and if it had not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy ye had been among the losers.
  65. And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated!
  66. And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations, and an admonition to the Allah-fearing.
  67. And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish!
  68. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; (she is) between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded.
  69. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders.
  70. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and Lo! if Allah wills, we may be led aright.
  71. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.
  72. And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding.
  73. And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand.
  74. Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness. For indeed there are rocks from out which rivers gush, and indeed there are rocks which split asunder so that water floweth from them. And indeed there are rocks which fall down for the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
  75. Have ye any hope that they will be true to you when a party of them used to listen to the word of Allah, then used to change it, after they had understood it, knowingly?
  76. And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe. But when they go apart one with another they say: Prate ye to them of that which Allah hath disclosed to you that they may contend with you before your Lord concerning it? Have ye then no sense?
  77. Are they then unaware that Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim?
  78. Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess.
  79. Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, “This is from Allah,” that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby.
  80. And they say: The Fire (of punishment) will not touch us save for a certain number of days. Say: Have ye received a covenant from Allah – truly Allah will not break His covenant – or tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not?
  81. Nay, but whosoever hath done evil and his sin surroundeth him; such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein.
  82. And those who believe and do good works: such are rightful owners of the Garden. They will abide therein.
  83. And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying) : Worship none save Allah (only) , and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse.
  84. And when We made with you a covenant (saying) : Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (thereto) .
  85. Yet ye it is who slay each other and drive out a party of your people from their homes, supporting one another against them by sin and transgression? – and if they came to you as captives ye would ransom them, whereas their expulsion was itself unlawful for you – Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. For Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
  86. Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price of the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened, neither will they have support.
  87. And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty) , and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?
  88. And they say: Our hearts are hardened. Nay, but Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe.
  89. And when there cometh unto them a scripture from Allah, confirming that in their possession – though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved – and when there cometh unto them that which they know (to be the truth) they disbelieve therein. The curse of Allah is on disbelievers.
  90. Evil is that for which they sell their souls: that they should disbelieve in that which Allah hath revealed, grudging that Allah should reveal of His bounty unto whom He will of His slaves. They have incurred anger upon anger. For disbelievers is a shameful doom.
  91. And when it is said unto them: Believe in that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed unto us. And they disbelieve in that which cometh after it, though it is the truth confirming that which they possess. Say (unto them, O Muhammad) : Why then slew ye the prophets of Allah aforetime, if ye are (indeed) believers?
  92. And Moses came unto you with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) , yet, while he was away, ye chose the calf (for worship) and ye were wrong-doers.
  93. And when We made with you a covenant and caused the Mount to tower above you, (saying) : Hold fast by that which We have given you, and hear (Our Word) , they said: We hear and we rebel. And (worship of) the calf was made to sink into their hearts because of their rejection (of the covenant) . Say (unto them) : Evil is that which your belief enjoineth on you, if ye are believers.
  94. Say (unto them) : If the abode of the Hereafter in the providence of Allah is indeed for you alone and not for others of mankind (as ye pretend) , then long for death (for ye must long for death) if ye are truthful.
  95. But they will never long for it, because of that which their own hands have sent before them. Allah is aware of evil-doers.
  96. And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters. (Each) one of them would like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live (a thousand years) would be no means remove him from the doom. Allah is Seer of what they do.
  97. Say ( O Muhammad, to mankind) : Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah’s leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers;
  98. Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers.
  99. Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them.
  100. Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not.
  101. And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not,
  102. And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they (the two angels) teach it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation, therefore disbelieve not (in the guidance of Allah) . And from these two (angles) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no-one save by Allah’s leave. And they learn that which harmeth them and profiteth them not. And surely they do know that he who trafficketh therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter; and surely evil is the price for which they sell their souls, if they but knew.
  103. And if they had believed and kept from evil, a recompense from Allah would be better, if they only knew.
  104. O ye who believe, say not (unto the Prophet) : “Listen to us” but say “Look upon us,” and be ye listeners. For disbelievers is a painful doom.
  105. Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooseth for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of Infinite Bounty.
  106. Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?
  107. Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any guardian or helper?
  108. Or would ye question your messenger as Moses was questioned aforetime? He who chooseth disbelief instead of faith, verily he hath gone astray from a plain road.
  109. Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.
  110. Establish worship, and pay the poor-due; and whatever of good ye send before (you) for your souls, ye will find it with Allah. Lo! Allah is Seer of what ye do.
  111. And they say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful.
  112. Nay, but whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
  113. And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing (true) , and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing (true) ; yet both are readers of the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ.
  114. And who doth greater wrong than he who forbiddeth the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest His name should be mentioned therein, and striveth for their ruin. As for such, it was never meant that they should enter them except in fear. Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom.
  115. Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah’s Countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
  116. And they say: Allah hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are subservient unto Him.
  117. The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
  118. And those who have no knowledge say: Why doth not Allah speak unto us, or some sign come unto us? Even thus, as they now speak, spake those (who were) before them. Their hearts are all alike. We have made clear the revelations for people who are sure.
  119. Lo! We have sent thee ( O Muhammad) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And thou wilt not be asked about the owners of hell-fire.
  120. And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah (Himself) is Guidance. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then wouldst thou have from Allah no protecting guardian nor helper.
  121. Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers.
  122. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.
  123. And guard (yourselves) against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it; nor will they be helped.
  124. And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders) ? He said: My covenant includeth not wrong-doers.
  125. And when We made the House (at Makka) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying) : Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray) . And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying) : Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship) .
  126. And when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, He answered: As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire – a hapless journey’s end!
  127. And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed) : Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty) . Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower.
  128. Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful.
  129. Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise.
  130. And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous.
  131. When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds.
  132. The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying) : O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him) .
  133. Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy god, the god of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One Allah, and unto Him we have surrendered.
  134. Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
  135. And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad) : Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters.
  136. Say ( O Muslims) : We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
  137. And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
  138. (We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are His worshippers.
  139. Say (unto the People of the Scripture) : Dispute ye with us concerning Allah when He is our Lord and your Lord? Ours are our works and yours your works. We look to Him alone.
  140. Or say ye that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know best, or doth Allah? And who is more unjust than he who hideth a testimony which he hath received from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
  141. Those are a people who have passed away; theirs is that which they earned and yours that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
  142. The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
  143. Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. But it was not Allah’s purpose that your faith should be in vain, for Allah is Full of Pity, Merciful toward mankind.
  144. We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad) . And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye ( O Muslims) , wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
  145. And even if thou broughtest unto those who have received the Scripture all kinds of portents, they would not follow thy qiblah, nor canst thou be a follower of their qiblah; nor are some of them followers of the qiblah of others. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then surely wert thou of the evil-doers.
  146. Those unto whom We gave the Scripture recognise (this revelation) as they recognise their sons. But lo! a party of them knowingly conceal the truth.
  147. It is the Truth from thy Lord ( O Muhammad) , so be not thou of those who waver.
  148. And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.
  149. And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
  150. Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be ( O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice – Fear them not, but fear Me! – and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided.
  151. Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you, who reciteth unto you Our revelations and causeth you to grow, and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not.
  152. Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me.
  153. O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast.
  154. And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead.” Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
  155. And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast,
  156. Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah’s and lo! unto Him we are returning.
  157. Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided.
  158. Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is) . And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware.
  159. Lo! Those who hide the proofs and the guidance which We revealed, after We had made it clear to mankind in the Scripture: such are accursed of Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse.
  160. Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth) . These it is toward whom I relent. I am the Relenting, the Merciful.
  161. Lo! Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined.
  162. They ever dwell therein. The doom will not be lightened for them, neither will they be reprieved.
  163. Your Allah is One Allah; there is no Allah save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
  164. Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) for people who have sense.
  165. Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah (only) – those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah – Oh, that those who do evil had but known, (on the day) when they behold the doom, that power belongeth wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment!
  166. (On the day) when those who were followed disown those who followed (them) , and they behold the doom, and all their aims collapse with them.
  167. And those who were but followers will say: If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us. Thus will Allah show them their own deeds as anguish for them, and they will not emerge from the Fire.
  168. O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
  169. He enjoineth upon you only the evil and the foul, and that ye should tell concerning Allah that which ye know not.
  170. And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance?
  171. The likeness of those who disbelieve (in relation to the messenger) is as the likeness of one who calleth unto that which heareth naught except a shout and cry. Deaf, dumb, blind, therefore they have no sense.
  172. O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship.
  173. He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  174. Lo! those who hide aught of the Scripture which Allah hath revealed and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing else than fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make them grow. Theirs will be a painful doom.
  175. Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. How constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire!
  176. That is because Allah hath revealed the Scripture with the truth. Lo! those who find (a cause of) disagreement in the Scripture are in open schism.
  177. It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing.
  178. O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.
  179. And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, that ye may ward off (evil) .
  180. It is prescribed for you, when death approacheth one of you, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil) .
  181. And whoso changeth (the will) after he hath heard it – the sin thereof is only upon those who change it. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower.
  182. But he who feareth from a testator some unjust or sinful clause, and maketh peace between the parties, (it shall be) no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  183. O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil) ;
  184. (Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need – but whoso doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know –
  185. The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong) . And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.
  186. And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.
  187. It is made lawful for you to go in unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. Allah is Aware that ye were deceiving yourselves in this respect and He hath turned in mercy toward you and relieved you. So hold intercourse with them and seek that which Allah hath ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall and touch them not, but be at your devotions in the mosques. These are the limits imposed by Allah, so approach them not. Thus Allah expoundeth His revelation to mankind that they may ward off (evil) .
  188. And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully.
  189. They ask thee, ( O Muhammad) , of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not righteousness that ye go to houses by the backs thereof (as do the idolaters at certain seasons) , but the righteous man is he who wardeth off (evil) . So go to houses by the gates thereof, and observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.
  190. Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
  191. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
  192. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  193. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.
  194. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) .
  195. Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent.
  196. Perform the pilgrimage and the visit (to Makka) for Allah. And if ye are prevented, then send such gifts as can be obtained with ease, and shave not your heads until the gifts have reached their destination. And whoever among you is sick or hath an ailment of the head must pay a ransom of fasting or almsgiving or offering. And if ye are in safety, then whosoever contenteth himself with the visit for the pilgrimage (shall give) such gifts as can be had with ease. And whosoever cannot find (such gifts) , then a fast of three days while on the pilgrimage, and of seven when ye have returned; that is, ten in all. That is for him whoso folk are not present at the Inviolable Place of Worship. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is severe in punishment.
  197. The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter) ; for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O men of understanding.
  198. It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading) . But, when ye press on in the multitude from ‘Arafat, remember Allah by the sacred monument. Remember Him as He hath guided you, although before ye were of those astray.
  199. Then hasten onward from the place whence the multitude hasteneth onward, and ask forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  200. And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance. But of mankind is he who saith: “Our Lord! Give unto us in the world,” and he hath no portion in the Hereafter.
  201. And of them (also) is he who saith: “Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.”
  202. For them there is in store a goodly portion out of that which they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning.
  203. Remember Allah through the appointed days. Then whoso hasteneth (his departure) by two days, it is no sin for him, and whoso delayeth, it is no sin for him; that is for him who wardeth off (evil) . Be careful of your duty to Allah, and know that unto Him ye will be gathered.
  204. And of mankind there is he whoso conversation on the life of this world pleaseth thee (Muhammad) , and he calleth Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart; yet he is the most rigid of opponents.
  205. And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief.
  206. And when it is said unto him: Be careful of thy duty to Allah, pride taketh him to sin. Hell will settle his account, an evil resting-place.
  207. And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah hath compassion on (His) bondmen.
  208. O ye who believe! Come, all of you, into submission (unto Him) ; and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
  209. And if ye slide back after the clear proofs have come unto you, then know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
  210. Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angels? Then the case would be already judged. All cases go back to Allah (for judgment) .
  211. Ask of the Children of Israel how many a clear revelation We gave them! He who altereth the grace of Allah after it hath come unto him (for him) , lo! Allah is severe in punishment.
  212. Beautified is the life of the world for those who disbelieve; they make a jest of the believers. But those who keep their duty to Allah will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.
  213. Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
  214. Or think ye that ye will enter paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah’s help? Now surely Allah’s help is nigh.
  215. They ask thee, ( O Muhammad) , what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it.
  216. Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
  217. They question thee ( O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression) , but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.
  218. Lo! those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah’s mercy. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  219. They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect.
  220. Upon the world and the Hereafter. And they question thee concerning orphans. Say: To improve their lot is best. And if ye mingle your affairs with theirs, then (they are) your brothers. Allah knoweth him who spoileth from him who improveth. Had Allah willed He could have overburdened you. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
  221. Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember.
  222. They question thee ( O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.
  223. Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, ( O Muhammad) .
  224. And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
  225. Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your hearts have garnered. Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
  226. Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
  227. And if they decide upon divorce (let them remember that) Allah is Hearer, Knower.
  228. Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
  229. Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah’s limits: such are wrong-doers.
  230. And if he hath divorced her (the third time) , then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge.
  231. When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits) . He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour) , but remember Allah’s grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things.
  232. And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not.
  233. Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father) . If they desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, it is no sin for them; and if ye wish to give your children out to nurse, it is no sin for you, provide that ye pay what is due from you in kindness. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is Seer of what ye do.
  234. Such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days. And when they reach the term (prescribed for them) then there is no sin for you in aught that they may do with themselves in decency. Allah is informed of what ye do.
  235. There is no sin for you in that which ye proclaim or hide in your minds concerning your troth with women. Allah knoweth that ye will remember them. But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run. Know that Allah knoweth what is in your minds, so beware of Him; and know that Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
  236. It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good.
  237. If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
  238. Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah.
  239. And if ye go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback. And when ye are again in safety, remember Allah, as He hath taught you that which (heretofore) ye knew not.
  240. (In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
  241. For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off (evil) .
  242. Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations so that ye may understand.
  243. Bethink thee ( O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.
  244. Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.
  245. Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return.
  246. Bethink thee of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a prophet whom they had: Set up for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s way. He said: Would ye then refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you? They said: Why should we not fight in Allah’s way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children? Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, all save a few of them. Allah is aware of evil-doers.
  247. Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough? He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
  248. And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come unto you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Moses and the house of Aaron left behind, the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) ye are believers.
  249. And when Saul set out with the army, he said: Lo! Allah will try you by (the ordeal of) a river. Whosoever therefore drinketh thereof he is not of me, and whosoever tasteth it not he is of me, save him who taketh (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. But they drank thereof, all save a few of them. And after he had crossed (the river) , he and those who believed with him, they said: We have no power this day against Goliath and his hosts. But those who knew that they would meet Allah exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave! Allah is with the steadfast.
  250. And when they went into the field against Goliath and his hosts they said: Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the disbelieving folk.
  251. So they routed them by Allah’s leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.
  252. These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee (Muhammad) with truth, and lo! thou art of the number of (Our) messengers;
  253. Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so wiled it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will.
  254. O ye who believe! spend of that wherewith We have provided you ere a day come when there will be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers.
  255. Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.
  256. There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
  257. Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
  258. Bethink thee of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He Who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.
  259. Or (bethink thee of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have not rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is Able to do all things.
  260. And when Abraham said (unto his Lord) : My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my heart may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste, and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
  261. The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah’s way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
  262. Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent; their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve.
  263. A kind word with forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. Allah is Absolute, Clement.
  264. O ye who believe! Render not vain your almsgiving by reproach and injury, like him who spendeth his wealth only to be seen of men and believeth not in Allah and the Last Day. His likeness is as the likeness of a rock whereon is dust of earth; a rainstorm smiteth it, leaving it smooth and bare. They have no control of aught of that which they have gained. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.
  265. And the likeness of those who spend their wealth in search of Allah’s pleasure, and for the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a height. The rainstorm smiteth it and it bringeth forth its fruit twofold. And if the rainstorm smite it not, then the shower. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
  266. Would any of you like to have a garden of palm-trees and vines, with rivers flowing underneath it, with all kinds of fruit for him therein; and old age hath stricken him and he hath feeble offspring; and a fiery whirlwind striketh it and it is (all) consumed by fire. Thus Allah maketh plain His revelations unto you, in order that ye may give thought.
  267. O ye who believe! Spend of the good things which ye have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad (with intent) to spend thereof (in charity) when ye would not take it for yourselves save with disdain; and know that Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise.
  268. The devil promiseth you destitution and enjoineth on you lewdness. But Allah promiseth you forgiveness from Himself with bounty. Allah is All-Embracing, All-knowing.
  269. He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding.
  270. Whatever alms ye spend or vow ye vow, lo! Allah knoweth it. Wrong-doers have no helpers.
  271. If ye publish your almsgiving, it is well, but if ye hide it and give it to the poor, it will be better for you, and will atone for some of your ill-deeds. Allah is Informed of what ye do.
  272. The guiding of them is not thy duty ( O Muhammad) , but Allah guideth whom He will. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, it is for yourselves, when ye spend not save in search of Allah’s Countenance; and whatsoever good thing ye spend, it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
  273. (Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade) . The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, lo! Allah knoweth it.
  274. Those who spend their wealth by night and day, by stealth and openly, verily their reward is with their Lord, and their shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
  275. Those who swallow usury cannot rise up save as he ariseth whom the devil hath prostrated by (his) touch. That is because they say: Trade is just like usury; whereas Allah permitteth trading and forbiddeth usury. He unto whom an admonition from his Lord cometh, and (he) refraineth (in obedience thereto) , he shall keep (the profits of) that which is past, and his affair (henceforth) is with Allah. As for him who returneth (to usury) – Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
  276. Allah hath blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful. Allah loveth not the impious and guilty.
  277. Lo! those who believe and do good works and establish worship and pay the poor-due, their reward is with their Lord and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
  278. O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers.
  279. And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principal (without interest) . Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.
  280. And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (let there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that ye remit the debt as almsgiving would be better for you if ye did but know.
  281. And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.
  282. O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be not averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no sin for you if ye write it not. And have witnesses when ye sell one to another, and let no harm be done to scribe or witness. If ye do (harm to them) lo! it is a sin in you. Observe your duty to Allah. Allah is teaching you. And Allah is knower of all things.
  283. If ye be on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a pledge in hand (shall suffice) . And if one of you entrusteth to another let him who is trusted deliver up that which is entrusted to him (according to the pact between them) and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord. Hide not testimony. He who hideth it, verily his heart is sinful. Allah is Aware of what ye do.
  284. Unto Allah (belongeth) whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will bring you to account for it. He will forgive whom He will and He will punish whom He will. Allah is Able to do all things.
  285. The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers – We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.
  286. Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.

[From Holy Quran Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall]

Explanation

الۗمّۗ

The Surah begins with the Arabic letters Alif, Lam and Mim (equivalents of A, L and M). Several Surahs begin with a similar combination of letters, for example, Ha, Mim, or Alif, Lam, Mim, Sad. Each of these letters is pronounced separately without the addition of a vowel sound after it. So, the technical term for them is مقطعات (Mugatta` at: isolated letters).

According to certain commentators, the isolated letters are the names of the Surahs at the beginning of which they occur. According to others, they are the symbols of the Divine Names. But the majority of the blessed Companions (رض) and the generation next to them, the تابعین Tabi’ in, and also the later authoritative scholars have preferred the view that the isolated letters are symbols or mysteries, the meaning of which is known to Allah alone or may have been entrusted as a special secret to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) not to be communicated to anyone else. That is why no commentary or explanation of these letters has at all been reported from him. The great commentator Al-Qurtubi has adopted this view of the matter, which is summarized below:

“According to ` Amir Al-Sha’bi, Sufyan Al-Thawri and many masters of the science of Hadith, every revealed book contains certain secret signs and symbols and mysteries of Allah; the isolated letters too are the secrets of Allah in the Holy Qur’an, and hence they are among the مشتبہات (Mutashabihat: of hidden meaning), the meaning of which is known to Allah alone, and it is not permissible for us even to enter into any discussion with regard to them. The isolated letters are not, however, without some benefit to us. Firstly, to believe in them and to recite them is in itself a great merit. Secondly, in reciting them we receive spiritual blessings from the unseen world, even if we are not aware of the fact. AI-Qurtubi (رح) adds: “The Blessed Caliphs Abu Bakr, ` Umar, ` Uthman and ` Ali (رض) and most of the Companions like ` Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (رض) firmly held the view that these letters are the secrets of Allah, that we should believe in them as having descended from Allah and recite them exactly in the form in which they have descended, but should not be inquisitive about their meanings, which would be improper”. Citing Al-Qurtubi and others, Ibn Kathir too prefers this view.

On the other hand, interpretations of the isolated letters have been reported from great and authentic scholars. Their purpose, however, was only to provide symbolical interpretation, or to awaken the minds of the readers to the indefinite possibilities of meanings that lie hidden in the Holy Qur’an, or just to simplify things; they never wished to claim that these were the meanings intended by Allah Himself. Therefore, it would not be justifiable to challenge such efforts at interpretation since it would go against the considered judgment of veritable scholars.

ذٰلِكَ الْكِتٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ   فِيْهِ  ھُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِيْنَ

The sentence “That Book has no doubt in it” raises a grammatical and exegetical problem, for the first phrase in the Arabic text reads as ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ :Dhcilikal kitab. Now, the word dhalika ذَٰلِكَ (that) is used to point out a distant thing, while the word kitab (book) obviously refers to the Holy Qur’an itself, which is present before us. So, this particular demonstrative pronoun does not seem to be appropriate to the situation. There is, however, subtle indication. The pronoun refers back to the prayer for the straight path made in the Surah Al-Fatihah, implying that the prayer has been granted and the Holy Qur’an is the answer to the request, which gives a detailed account of the straight path to those who seek guidance and are willing to follow it.

Having indicated this, the Holy Qur’an makes a claim about itself: “There is no doubt in it”. There are two ways in which doubt or suspicion may arise with regard to the validity or authenticity of statement. Either the statement itself is erroneous, and thus becomes subject to doubt; or, the listener makes a mistake in understanding it. In the latter case, the statement does not really become subject to doubt, even if someone comes to suspect it out of a defective or distorted understanding – as the Holy Qur’an itself reminds us later in the same Surah: , وَاِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِىْ رَيْبٍ If you are in doubt…” (2:23). So, in spite of the doubts and objections of a thousand men of small or perverse understanding, it would still be true to say that there is no doubt in this book – either with regard to it having been revealed by Allah, or with regard to its contents.

ھُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِيْنَ :”A guidance for the God-fearing”: The Arabic word for the God-fearing is Muttaqin, derived from Taqwa which literally means “to fear, to refrain from”, and in Islamic terminology it signifies fearing Allah and refraining from the transgression of His commandments. As for the Holy Qur’an being a guidance to the God-fearing, it actually means that although the Holy Qur’an provides guidance not only to mankind but to all existents in the universe, yet the special guidance which is the means of salvation in the other world is reserved for the God-fearing alone. We have already explained in the commentary on the Surah “Al-Fatihah” that there are three degrees of divine guidance – the first degree being common to the whole of mankind and even to animals etc., the second being particular to men and jinns, and the third being special to those who are close to Allah and have found His favour, the different levels of this last degree being limitless.

It is the last two degrees of guidance which are intended in the verse under discussion. With regard to the second degree, the implication is that those who accept the guidance will have the hope of being elevated to the rank of the God-fearing. With reference to the third degree, the suggestion is that those who are already God-fearing may receive further and limitless guidance through the Holy Qur’an. This explanation should be sufficient to remove the objection that guidance is needed much more by those who are not God-fearing, for now we know that the specification of the God-fearing does not entail a denial of guidance to those who not possess this qualification.

الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَ يُـقِيْمُوْنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقْنٰھُمْ يُنْفِقُوْنَ

The next two verses delineate the characteristic qualities of the God-fearing, suggesting that these are the people who have received guidance, whose path is the straight path, and that he who seeks the straight path should join their company, adopt their beliefs and their way of life. It is perhaps in order to enforce this suggestion that the Holy Qur’an, immediately after pointing out the attributes peculiar to the God-fearing, proceeds to say:

أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

It is these who are on guidance given by their Lord, and it is just these who are successful.

The delineation of the qualities of the God-fearing in these two verses also contains, in essence, a definition of Faith (‘Iman ایمان) and an account of its basic tenets and of the fundamental principles of righteous conduct:

الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَ يُـقِيْمُوْنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقْنٰھُمْ يُنْفِقُوْنَ

Who believe in the unseen, and are steadfast in Salah and spend out of what We have provided them.

Thus, the first of the two verses, mentions three qualities of the God-fearing – belief in the unseen, being steadfast in Salah, and spending in the way of Allah. Many important considerations arise out of this verse, the most significant being the meaning and definition of ‘Iman ایمان (Faith).

Who are the God-fearing?

The Definition of ‘Iman

The Holy Qur’an has provided a comprehensive definition of ‘Iman ایمان in only two words ” يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ “Believe in the unseen”. If one has fully understood the meaning of the words ‘Iman ایمان and Ghayb غیب ، one will have also understood the essential reality of ‘Iman ایمان .

Lexically, the Arabic word ‘Iman ایمان signifies accepting with complete certitude the statement made by someone out of one’s total confidence and trust in him. Endorsing someone’s statement with regard to sensible or observable facts is, therefore, not ‘Iman ایمان . For example, if one man describes a piece of cloth as black, and another man endorses the statement, it may be called Tasdiq تصدیق (confirmation) but not ‘Iman ایمان ، for such an endorsement is based on personal observation, and does, in no way, involve any confidence or trust in the man who has made the statement. In the terminology of the Shari` ah, ‘Iman ایمان signifies accepting with complete certitude the statement made by a prophet out of one’s total confidence and trust in him and without the need of personal observation.1

  1. It would be helpful to note that in the everday idiom of the West, and even in modern social sciences, “faith” has come to mean no more than an intense emotional state or “a fixe emotion”. As against this, the Islamic conception of Iman ایمان is essentially intellectual, in the original signification of “Intellect” which the modern West has altogether forgotten.

As for the word Ghaib غیب ، lexically it denotes things which are not known to man in an evident manner, or which are not apprehensible through the five senses. The Holy Qur’an uses this word to indicate all the things which we cannot know through the five senses or through reason, but which have been reported to us by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . These include the essence and the attributes of Allah, matters pertaining to destiny, heaven and hell and what they contain, the Day of Judgment and the things which happen on that Day, divine books, all the prophets who have preceded the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . in short, all the things mentioned in the last two verses of the Surah Al-Baqarah. Thus, the third verse of the Surah states the basic creed of the Islamic faith in its essence, while the last two verses provide the details.

So, belief in the unseen ultimately comes to mean having firm faith in everything that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has taught us – subject to the necessary condition that the teaching in question must have come down to us through authentic and undeniable sources. This is how the overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars generally define ‘Iman ایمان (See al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah, ‘Aqa’id al-Nasafi etc.).

According to this definition, Iman ایمان signifies faith and certitude, and not mere knowledge. For, a mental knowledge of the truth is possessed by Satan شیطان himself, and even by many disbelievers – for example, they knew very well that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was truthful and that his teachings were true, but they did not have faith in him nor did they accept his teachings with their heart, and hence they are not Muslims.

The Meaning of ` Establishing’ Salah

The second quality of the God-fearing is that they are “steadfast in the prayer.” The verb employed by the Holy Qur’an here is Yuqimuna يُقِيمُنَا (generally rendered in English translations as “they establish”, which comes from the word Iqamaha اقامہ signifying “to straighten out” ). So, the verb implies not merely saying one’s prayers, but performing the prayers correctly in all possible ways and observing all the prescribed conditions, whether obligatory (Fard فرض) or necessary (Wajib واجب) or commendable (Mustahabb مستحب). The concept includes regularity and perpetuity in the performance of Salah as also an inward concentration, humility and awe. At this point, it may be noted that the term does not mean a particular Salah, instead, it includes all fard, wajib and nafl نفل prayers.

Now to sum up – the God-fearing are those who offer their prayers regularly and steadfastly in accordance with the regulations of the Shari’ah, and also observe the spiritual etiquette outwardly and inwardly.

Spending in the way of Allah: Categories

The third quality of the God-fearing is that they spend in the way of Allah. The correct position in this respect, which has been adopted by the majority of commentators, is that it includes all the forms of spending in the way of Allah, whether it be the fard (obligatory) Zakah or the Wajib (necessary) alms-giving or just voluntary and nafl نفل (supererogatory) acts of charity: For, the Holy Qur’an usually employs the word Infaq انفاق with reference to nafl نفل (supererogatory) alms-giving or in a general sense, but reserves the word Zakah for the obligatory alms-giving. The simple phrase: مِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاكُم : “Spend out of what We have provided them” inspires us to spend in the way of Allah by drawing our attention to the fact that anything and everything we possess is a gift from Allah and His trust in our hands, and that even if we spend all our possessions in the way of Allah, it would be proper and just and no favour to Him. But Allah in His mercy asks us to spend in His way “out of’ what (مِمَّا) he has provided – that is, only a part and not the whole.

Among the three qualities of the God-fearing, faith is, of course, the most important, for it is the basic principle of all other principles, and no good deed can find acceptance or validity without faith. The other two qualities pertain to good deeds_ Now, good deeds are many; one could make a long list of even those which are either obligatory or necessary. So, the question arises as to why the Holy Qur’an should be content to choose for mention only two – namely, performing Salah and spending in the way of Allah. In answering this question, one could say. that all the good deeds which are obligatory or necessary for man pertain either to his person and his body or to his possessions. Among the personal and bodily forms of ` Ibadat عبادت (acts of worship), the most important is the Salah. Hence the Holy Qur’an mentions only this form in the present passage. As for the different forms of ` Ibadat عبادت pertaining to possessions, the word Infaq انفاق (spending) covers all of them. Thus, in mentioning only two good deeds, ` the Holy Qur’an has by implication included all the forms of worship and all good deeds. The whole verse, then, comes to mean that the God-fearing are those who are perfect in their faith and in their deeds both, and that Islam is the sum of faith and practice. In other words, while providing a complete definition of Iman ایمان (Faith), the verse indicates the meaning of Islam as well. So, let us find out how Iman ایمان and Islam are distinct from each other.

The distinction between Iman ایمان and Islam اسلام

Lexically, ‘.Iman ایمان signifies the acceptance and confirmation of something with one’s heart, while Islam signifies obedience and submission. Iman ایمان pertains to the heart; so does Islam, but it is related to all the other parts of the human body as well. From the point of view of the Shari’ah, however, Iman ایمان is not valid without Islam, nor Islam without Iman ایمان . In other words, it is not enough to have faith in Allah and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in one’s heart unless the tongue expresses the faith and also affirms one’s allegiance and submission. Similarly, an oral declaration of faith and allegiance is not valid unless one has faith in one’s heart.

In short, Iman ایمان ، and Islam have different connotations from the lexical point of view. It is on the basis of this lexical distinction that the Holy Qur’an and Hadith refer to a difference between the two. From the point of view of the Shari` ah, however, the two are inextricably linked together, and one cannot be valid without the other – as is borne out by the Holy Qur’an itself.

When Islam, or an external declaration of allegiance, is not accompanied by Iman ایمان or internal faith, the Holy Qur’an terms it as Nifaq نفاق (hypocrisy), and condemns it as a greater crime than an open rejection of Islam:

اِنَّ الْمُنٰفِقِيْنَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْاَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ

Surely the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of Hell. (4:145)

In explanation of this verse let us add that so far as the physical world goes, we can only be sure of the external state of a man, and cannot know his internal state with any degree of certainty. So in the case of men who orally declare themselves to be Muslims without having faith in their heart, the Shari’ah requires us to deal with them as we would deal with a Muslim in worldly affairs; but in the other world their fate would be worse than that of the ordinary disbelievers. Similarly, if Iman ایمان or acknowledgment in the heart is not accompanied by external affirmation and allegiance, the Holy Qur’an regards this too as kufr کفر or rejection and denial of the Truth – speaking of the infidels, it says:

يَعْرِفُوْنَهٗ كَمَا يَعْرِفُوْنَ اَبْنَاۗءَھُمْ

They know him (that is, the Holy Prophet   صلى الله عليه وسلم) as they know their own sons (2:146);

or in another place:

وَجَحَدُوْا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَآ اَنْفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَّعُلُوًّا

Their souls knew them (the signs sent by Allah) to be true, yet they denied them in their wickedness and their pride. (27:14)

My respected teacher, ` Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Anwar Shah used to explain it thus – the expanse which Iman ایمان and Islam اسلام have to cover in the spiritual journey is the same, and the difference lies only in the beginning and the end; that is to say, Iman ایمان starts from the heart and attains perfection in external deeds, while Islam starts from external deeds and can be regarded as perfect when it reaches the heart.

To sum up, Iman ایمان is not valid, if acknowledgment in the heart does not attain to external affirmation and allegiance; similarly, Islam اسلام is not valid, if external affirmation and allegiance does not attain to confirmation by the heart. Imam Ghazzali and Imam Subki رحمۃ اللہ علیہما both have arrived at the same conclusion, and in Musamarah, Imam Ibn al-Humam (رح) reports the agreement of all the authentic scholars in this respect.2 …who believe in what has been revealed to you and in what has been revealed before you, and do have faith in the Hereafter.

  1. Today one finds a very wide-spread confusion, sometimes amounting to a total incomprehension, with regard to the distinction between Islam and Iman ایمان ، essentially under the influence of Western modes of thought and behaviour and, to be more specific, that of the ever-proliferating Protestant sects and schools of theology. Since the middle of the 19th century there have sprouted in almost every Muslim country a host of self-styled Reformists, Revivalists, Modernists et al, each pretending to have understood the “real” Islam for the first time, and each adopting an extremist, though untenable, posture with regard to Islam and Iman ایمان .

On the one hand, we have people claiming that Islam is only a matter of the “heart” (a word which has during the last four hundred years been used in the West as an equivalent of “emotion” or, worse still, of “emotional agitation” ) or of “religious experience” (a very modish term brought into currency by William James). As a corollary, they stubbornly refuse to see the need for a fixed ritual or an ethical code, all of which they gladly leave to social exigency or individual preference. They base their claims on the unquestioned axiom that religion is “personal” relationship between the individual and “his” God. It is all too obvious that this genre of Modernist “Islam” is the progeny of Martin Luther with cross-pollination from Rousseau.

On the other hand, we have fervent and sometimes violent champions of Islam insisting on a merely external performance of rituals – more often on a mere conformity to moral regulations, and even these, of their liking. They would readily exclude, and are anyhow indifferent to, the internal dimension of Islam. A recent modification of this stance (in the wake of a certain Protestant pioneering, it goes without saying) has been to replace divinely ordained rituals by acts of social service or welfare, giving them the status and value of acts of worship.

Counseling on divorce, abortion, premarital sex and the rest of the baggage having already become a regular part of the functions of a Protestant clergyman, it would not be too fond to expect, even on the part of our Modernists, the speedy inclusion of acts of entertainment as well. There is still another variety of deviationists, more visible and vociferous than the rest, and perhaps more pervasive and pernicious in their influence, finding easy credence among a certain section of Muslims with a sloppy western-style education. While dispensing with the subtle distinctions between Islam and Iman ایمان ، they reduce Islam itself to a mere system of social organization, or even to state-craft. According to their way of looking at things, if Muslims fail to set up a social and political’ organization of a specified shape, they would cease to be Muslims.

Applied to the history of Islam, this fanciful notion would lead to the grotesque conclusion that no Muslim had ever existed. These are only a few examples of the intellectual distortions produced by refusing to define Islam and Iman ایمان clearly and ignoring the distinction between the two. Contrary to all such modernizing deviations, Islam in fact means establishing a particular relationship of obedience and servitude with Allah. This relationship arises neither out of vague “religious experiences” nor out of social regimentation; in order to attain it, one has to accept all the doctrines and to act upon all the commandments specified in the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith and the Shari’ah.

These doctrines and commandments cover all the spheres of human life, individual or collective, right up from acts of worship down to social, political and economic relations among men, and codes of ethics and behaviour, morals and manners, and their essential purpose is to produce in man a genuine attitude of obedience to Allah. If one acts according to the Shari’ah one, no doubt, gains many worldly benefits, individual as well as collective.

These benefits may be described as the raison d’etre of the commandments, but are in no way their essential object, nor should a servant of Allah seek them for themselves in obeying Him, nor does the success or failure of a Muslim as a Muslim depend on attaining them. When a man has fully submitted himself to the commandments of Allah in everything he does, he has already succeeded as a Muslim, whether he receives the related worldly benefits or not.

وَ الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِمَآ اُنْزِلَ اِلَيْكَ وَمَآ اُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ ۚوَبِالْاٰخِرَةِ ھُمْ يُوْقِنُوْنَ

This verse speaks of some other attributes of the God-fearing, giving certain details about faith in the unseen with a special mention of faith in hereafter. Commenting on this verse, the blessed Companions ` Abdullah ibn Masud and ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbs (رض) have said that in the days of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) God-fearing Muslims were of two kinds, – those who used to be associators and disbelievers but accepted Islam, and those who used to be among the people of the Book (that is, Jews and Christians) but embraced Islam later on; the preceding verse refers to the first group, and this verse to the second. Hence this verse specifically mentions belief in the earlier Divine Books along with belief in the Holy Qur’an, for, according to the Hadith, people in the second group deserve a double recompense, firstly, for believing in and following the earlier Books before the Holy Qur’an came to replace them, and secondly, for believing in and following the Holy Qur’an when it came as the final Book of Allah.

Even today it is obligatory for every Muslim to believe in the earlier Divine Books except that now the belief has to take this form: everything that Allah has revealed in the earlier Books is true (excepting the changes and distortions introduced by selfish people), and that it was incumbent upon the people for whom those Books had been sent to act according to them, but now that all the earlier Books and Shari’ahs have been abrogated, one must act according to the Holy Qur’an alone.3

  1. Exactly as predicted by a Hadith, today we see all around us a proliferation of “knowledge” and of “writing”. One of the dangerous forms the process has taken is the indiscriminate translation at least into European languages and the popularization of the sacred books of all possible religious and metaphysical traditions – not only the Hindu, the Chinese or the Japanese, but also the Shamanic or the Red Indian. The lust for reading sacred books has virtually grown into a mania, especially among the modern young people with their deep sense of being uprooted and disinherited, and all considerations of aptitude have been contemptuously set aside. In these circumstances, Muslims with a Western orientation are naturally impelled to ask themselves as to what they can or should make of such books which sometimes seem to offer similarities and parallels to the Holy Qur’an itself, and more often to the Sufi doctrines.

The problem has already attained noticeable proportions, for in 1974 the government of Turkey found it necessary to ban the entry of certain Hindu sacred books like the Bhagavadgita and Upanishads. The correct doctrinal position in this respect is that it is obligatory for every Muslim, as an essential part of the Islamic creed, to believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah and in the Divine Books (not in their distorted forms, but as they were originally revealed) that have specifically been mentioned by their names in the Holy Qur’an, and also to believe that Allah has sent His messengers and His books for the guidance of all the peoples and all the ages, and that Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the last prophet and the Holy Qur’an the final Book of Allah which has come down to replace the earlier Books and Shari’ahs.

As to the question of the authenticity and divine origin of a particular book held in reverence by an earlier religion or metaphysical tradition, a Muslim is not allowed to affirm such a claim unequivocally, nor should he unnecessarily reject such a possibility. In so far as contents of the book concerned agree with what the Holy Qur’an has to say on the subject, we may accept the statement as true, otherwise spiritual etiquette requires an average Muslim to keep quiet and not meddle with things which he is not likely to understand.

As for reading the sacred books of other traditions, it should be clearly borne in mind that a comparative study of this nature requires a very special aptitude which is extremely rare, and hence demands great caution. A cursory reading of sacred books, motivated by an idle curiosity or by a craze for mere information, may very well lead to an intellectual disintegration or to something still worse, instead of helping in the “discovery of the truth” and the acquisition of “peace” which a comparative study is widely supposed to promise. Even when the aptitude and the knowledge necessary for the task is present, such a study can be carried out only under the supervision of an authentic spiritual master. In any case, we cannot insist too much on the perils of the enterprise.

An argument to the Finality of Prophethood

The mode of expression helps us to infer from this verse the fundamental principle that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the last of all the prophets, and the Book revealed to him is the final revelation and the last Book of Allah. For, had Allah intended to reveal another Book or to continue. The mode of revelation even after the Holy Qur’an, this verse, while prescribing belief in the earlier Books as necessary for Muslims, must also have referred to belief in the Book or Books to be revealed in the future. In fact, such a statement was all the more needed, for people were already familiar with the necessity of believing in the Torah, the Evangile and the earlier Books, and such a belief was in regular practice too, but if prophethood and revelation were to continue even after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، it was essential that the coming of another prophet and another book should be clearly indicated so that people were not left in doubt about this possibility.

So, in defining Iman ایمان ، the Holy Qur’an mentions the earlier prophets and the earlier Books, but does not make the slightest reference to a prophet or Book to come after the last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . The matter does not end with this verse. The Holy Qur’an touches upon the subject again and again in no less than forty or fifty verses, and in all such places it mentions the prophets, the Books and the revelation preceding the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) but nowhere is there even so much as a hint with regard to the coming of a prophet or of a revelation in the future, belief in whom or which should be necessary. We cite some verses to demonstrate the point:

وَمَآ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ

And what We have sent down before you. (16:43)

وَلَقَدْ اَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّنْ قَبْلِكَ

And We have certainly sent messengers before you. (40:78)

وَلَقَدْ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ رُسُلًا

And certainly before you We have sent messengers. (20:47)

وَمَآ اُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ

And what was revealed before you. (4:60)

وَلَقَدْ اُوْحِيَ اِلَيْكَ وَاِلَى الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِك

And it has certainly been revealed to you and to those who have gone before you… (39:65)

كَذٰلِكَ يُوْحِيْٓ اِلَيْكَ وَاِلَى الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ

Thus He reveals to you and He revealed to those who have gone before you. (42:3)

كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَي الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ

Fasting is decreed (literally, written) for you as it was decreed for those before you. (2:183)

سُنَّةَ مَنْ قَدْ اَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنْ رُّسُلِنَا

Such was Our way with the messengers whom We sent before you. (17:77)

In these and similar verses, whenever the Holy Qur’an speaks of the sending down of a Book or a revelation or a prophet or a messenger, it always attaches the conditional phrase, Min qabl مِنْ قَبْلِ (before) or Min Qablik مِنْ قَبْلِك (before you), and nowhere does it employ or suggest an expression like min ba` d مِنْ بَعد (after you). Even if other verses of the Holy Qur’an had not been explicit about the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and about the cessation of revelation, the mode of expression adopted by the Holy Qur’an in the present verse would in itself have been sufficient to prove these points.

The God-fearing have Faith in the Hereafter

The other essential quality of the God-fearing mentioned in this verse is that they have faith in Al-Akhirah الآخرت (the Hereafter). Lexically the Akhirah signifies ‘that which comes after something’; in the present context, it indicates a relationship of contrast with the physical world, and thus signifies the other world which is beyond physical reality as we know it and also beyond the sensuous or rational perception of man. The Holy Qur’an gives to the Hereafter other names too – for example, Dar al-Qarar دار القرار (the Ever-lasting Abode), Dar al-Hayawan دار الحیوان (the Abode of Eternal Life) and Al-` Ugba العقبہ (the Consequent).

The Holy Qur’an is full of vivid descriptions of the Hereafter, of the joys of heaven and of the horrors of hell. Although faith in the Hereafter is included in faith in the unseen which has already been mentioned, yet the Holy Qur’an refers to it specifically because it may, in a sense, be regarded as the most important among the constitutive elements of faith in so far as it inspires man to translate faith into practice, and motivates him to act in accordance with the requirements of his faith. Along with the two doctrines of the Oneness of God and of prophethood, this is the third doctrine which is common to all the prophets and upon which all the Shari’ahs are agreed.4

  1. There is a deplorable misconception with regard to the Hereafter, quite wide-spread among those who are not, or do not want to be, familiar with the Holy Qur’an and who have at the same time been touched by the rationalism, materialism and libertarianism of the Western society, which makes them cherish certain mental and emotional reservations at least about the horrors of hell, if not about the joys of heaven. Some of them have gone to the preposterous length of supposing that these are the inventions of the ` Ulama’ whom they describe as ‘obscurantist’ of course, in the jargon of the Western Reformation and of the so-called Enlightenment. They ignore the obvious fact that faith in the Holy Qur’an necessitates faith in every word of the Holy Qur’an, and that it is not possible to affirm one of the Book while denying another and yet remain a Muslim ۭاَفَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتٰبِ وَتَكْفُرُوْنَ بِبَعْضٍ “What, do you believe in one part of the Book and deny another?” (2:85) Moreover, these enlightened Muslims have never made a serious attempt to take into account the complex historical factors that led to- the rise of the Enlightenment in Europe, nor the meaning of the subsequent development in ethical ideas.

We may, therefore, give a few and very brief indications. There has been no dearth, even in the hey-day of the Enlightenment, of thinkers who have had no scruples in dispensing with ethics altogether which they look upon as superstition or tyranny and hence a blight for the human personality. But even those thinkers who have recognised the indispensable need for regulations and rules, if not principles, for human conduct in order to preserve social order or to make social life possible, have in general had no qualms about discarding the very idea of divine sanction – despite the intimation of Voltaire, the arch-priest of relationalism, that man would have to invent God, even if He did not exist.

As to the nature and origin of the ethical regulations and the sanction behind them, Western thinkers have fiom time to time tried to promote various agencies – the sovereign state, social will or convention or custom, the supposedly pure and innocent nature of man himself with its capacity for self-regulation, and finally biological laws. The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed the withering away of all these ethical authorities which has left the modern man without even a dim prospect of constructing a new illusion. It is only in this perspective that one can properly consider the significance of the belief in the hereafter for human society.

Faith in the Hereafter: A revolutionary belief

The belief in the Hereafter, among Islamic doctrines, is the one whose role in history has been what is nowadays described as revolutionary, for it began with transmuting the morals and manners of the followers of the Holy Qur’an, and gradually gave them a place of distinction and eminence even in the political history of mankind. The reason. is obvious. Consider the case of those who believe that life in the physical world is the only life, its joys the only joys and its pains the only pains, whose only goal is to seek the pleasures of the senses and the fulfillment of physical or emotional needs, and who stubbornly refuse to believe in the life of the Hereafter, in the Day of Judgment and the assessment of everyone’s deeds, and in the requital of the deeds in the other world. When such people find the distinction between truth and falsehood, between the permissible and the forbidden, interfering with the hunt for the gratification of their desires, such differentiations naturally become intolerable to them.

Now, who or what can effectively prevent them from committing crimes? The penal laws made by the state or by any other human authority can never serve either as real deterrent to crime or as agents of moral reform. Habitual criminals soon grow used to the penalties. A man, milder or gentler of temperament or just timid, may agree to forego the satisfaction of his desires for fear of punishment, but he would do so only to the extent that he is in danger of being caught. But in his privacy where the laws of the state cannot encroach upon his freedom of action, who can force him to renounce his pleasures and accept the yoke of restraints? It is the belief in the Hereafter and the fear of Allah, and that alone, which can bring man’s private behaviour in line with his public behaviour, and establish a harmony between the inner state and the outer.

For the God-fearing man knows for certain that even in the secrecy of a well-guarded and sealed room and in the darkness of night somebody is watching him, and somebody is writing down the smallest thing he does. Herein lies the secret of the clean and pure society which arose in the early days of Islam when the mere sight of a Muslim, of his manners and morals, was enough to make non-believers literally fall in love with Islam. For true Faith in the Hereafter, certitude must follow Oral Affirmation.

Before we proceed, we may point out that in speaking of faith in the hereafter as one of the qualities of the God-fearing, the Holy Qur’an does not use the word yu’minuna یومنینا (believe) but the word yuqinuna (have complete certitude), for the opposite of belief is denial, and that of certitude is doubt and hesitation. Thus, we find a subtle suggestion here that in order to attain the perfection of Iman ایمان it is not enough to affirm the hereafter orally, but one must have a complete certitude which leaves no room for doubt – the kind of certitude which comes when one has seen a thing with one’s own eyes. It is an essential quality of the God-fearing that they always have present before their eyes the whole picture of how people will have to present themselves for judgment before Allah in the hereafter, how their deeds will be assessed and how they will receive reward or punishment according to what they have been doing in this world.

A man who amasses wealth by usurping what rightfully belongs to others, or who gains petty material ends by adopting unlawful means forbidden by Allah, may declare his faith in the hereafter a thousand times and the Shari’ah may accept him as a Muslim in the context of worldly concerns, but he does not possess the certitude which the Holy Qur’an demands of him. And it is this certitude alone which transforms human life, and which brings in its wake as a reward the guidance and triumph promised in verse 5 of this Surah:

أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿5﴾

It is these who are on guidance given by their Lord; and it is just these who are successful.

اِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا سَوَاۗءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَاَنْذَرْتَھُمْ اَمْ لَمْ تُنْذِرْھُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُوْنَ

After affirming the Holy Qur’an as the Book of Guidance and as being beyond all doubt, the first five verses of the present Surah refer to those who derive full benefit from this Book and whom the Holy Qur’an has named as Mu’minun مؤمنون (true Muslims) or Muttaqun مُتَّقون (the God-fearing), and also delineate their characteristic qualities which distinguish them from others. The next fifteen verses speak of those who refuse to accept this guidance, and even oppose it out of sheer spite and blind malice. In the time of the Holy Prophet , (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) there were two distinct groups of such people. On the one hand were those who came out in open hostility and rejection, and whom the Holy Qur’an has termed as kafirun کافرون (disbelievers); on the other hand were those who did not, on account of their moral depravity and greed, had even the courage to speak out their minds and to express their disbelief clearly, but adopted the way of deceit and duplicity.

They tried to convince the Muslims that they had faith in the Holy Qur’an and its teachings, that they were as good a Muslim as any and would support the Muslims against the disbelievers. But they nursed denial and rejection in their hearts, and would, in the company of disbelievers, assure them that they had nothing to do with Islam, but mixed with Muslims in order to deceive them and to spy on them. The Holy Qur’an has given them the title of Munafiqun مُنافقون (hypocrites). Thus, these fifteen verses deal with those who refuse to believe in the Holy Qur’an – the first two are concerned with open disbelievers, and the other thirteen with hypocrites, their signs and characteristics and their ultimate end.

Taking the first twenty verses of this Surah together in all their detail, one can see that the Holy Qur’an has, on the one hand, pointed out to us the source of guidance which is the Book itself, and, on the other, divided mankind into two distinct groups on the basis of their acceptance or rejection of this guidance – on the one side are those who have chosen to follow and to receive guidance, and are hence called Mu’minun (true Muslims) or Muttaqun مُتَّقون (the God-fearing); on the other side are those who reject the guidance or deviate from it, and are hence called Kafirun (disbelievers) or Munafiqun مُنافقون (hypocrites). People of the first kind are those whose path is the object of the prayer at the end of the Surah Al-Fatihah, صِرَ‌اطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ : the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace”, and people of the second kind are those against whose path refuge has been sought

غَيْرِ‌ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّين

Not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.

This teaching of the Holy Qur’an provides us with a fundamental principle. A division of mankind into different groups must, in order to be meaningful, be based on differences in _principle, not on considerations of birth, race, colour, geography or language. The Holy Qur’an has given a clear verdict in this respect:

خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنْكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَّمِنْكُمْ مُّؤْمِنٌ

“It was He that created you: yet some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers” (64:2).

As we have said, the first two verses of this Surah speak of those disbelievers who had become so stubborn and obstinate in their denial and disbelief that they were not prepared to hear the truth or to consider a clear argument. In the case of such depraved people, the usual way of Allah has always been, and is, that they are given a certain kind of punishment even in this world – that is to say, their hearts are sealed and their eyes and ears stopped against the truth, and in so far as truth is concerned they become as if they have no mind to think, no eyes to see and no ears to listen. The last phrase of the second verse speaks of the grievous punishment that is reserved for them in the other world. It may be observed that the prediction that: لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ they shall not believe” is specifically related to those disbelievers who refused to listen to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and who, as Allah knew, were going to die as disbelievers. This does not apply to disbelievers in general, for there were many who later accepted Islam.

What is Kufr کفر ? (Infidelity)

As for the definition of kufr کفر (disbelief), we may point out that lexically the word means to hide, to conceal. Ingratitude is also called kufr کفر ، because it involves the concealing or the covering up of the beneficence shown by someone. In the terminology of the Shari` ah, kufr کفر signifies the denial of any of those things in which it is obligatory to believe. For example, the quintessence of Iman ایمان as well as the very basis of the Islamic creed is the requirement that one should confirm with one’s heart and believe with certitude everything that the Holy Prophet tl has brought down to us from Allah and which has been established by definite and conclusive proof; therefore, a man who has the temerity to question or disregard even a single teaching of this kind will be described as a kafir کافر (disbeliever or infidel).

The meaning of ‘Indhar’ انذار (warning) by a Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

In translating the first of these two verses, we have used the English verb to warn’ for the Arabic word Indhar. This word actually signifies bringing news which should cause alarm or concern, while Ibshar ابشار signifies bringing good news which should make people rejoice. Moreover, Indhar is not the ordinary kind of warning meant to frighten people, but one which is motivated by compassion and love, just as one warns one’s children against fire or snakes or beasts. Hence a thief or a bandit or an aggressor who warns or threatens others cannot be called a Nadhir نذیر (warner).

The latter is a title specially reserved for the prophets (عليهم السلام) for they warn people against the pains and punishments of the other world out of their compassion and love for their fellow men. In choosing this title for the prophets, the Holy Qur’an has made the subtle suggestion that for those who go out to reform others it is not enough merely to convey a message, but that they must speak to their listeners with sympathy, understanding and a genuine regard for their good.

In order to comfort the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) the first of these verses tells him that some of the disbelievers are so vain, arrogant and opinionated that they, in spite of recognizing the truth, stubbornly persist in their refusal and are not prepared to hear the truth or to see obvious proofs, so that all the efforts he makes for reforming and converting them will bear no fruit, and for them it is all one whether he tries or not.

The next verse explains the reason, that is, Allah has set a seal on their hearts and ears, there is a covering on their eyes, all the avenues of knowing and understanding are thus closed, and now it would be futile to expect any change in them. A thing is sealed so that nothing may enter it from outside; the setting of a seal on their hearts and ears also means that they have altogether lost the capacity for accepting the truth.

The Holy Qur’an describes .the condition of these disbelievers in terms of their hearts and ears having been sealed, but in the case of the eyes it refers to a covering. The subtle distinction arises from the fact that an idea can enter the heart from all possible directions and not from one particular direction alone, and so can a sound enter the ears; an idea or a sound can be blocked only by sealing the heart and the ears. On the contrary, the eyes work only in one direction, and can see only the things which lie in front of them; if there is a covering on them, they cease to function. (See Mazhari)

خَتَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰي قُلُوْبِهِمْ وَعَلٰي سَمْعِهِمْ   ۭ   وَعَلٰٓي اَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ  وَّلَھُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ

Favour withdrawn by Allah is a punishment

These two verses tell us that the other world is the place where one would receive the real punishment for one’s disbelief or for some of one’s sins. One may, however, receive some punishment for certain sins even in this world. Such a punishment sometimes takes a very grievous form – that is, the divine favour which helps one to reform oneself is withdrawn, so that, ignoring how one’s deeds are to be assessed on the Day of Judgment, one keeps growing in disobedience and sin, and finally comes to lose even the awareness of evil. In delineating such a situation certain elders have remarked that one punishment for an evil deed is another evil deed which comes after, and one reward for a good deed is another good deed which comes after.

According to a Hadith, when a man commits a sin, a black dot appears on his heart; this first dot disturbs him just as a smudge on a white cloth is always displeasing to us; but if, instead of asking Allah’s pardon for the first sin, he proceeds to commit a second, another dot shows up, thus, with every new sin the black dots go on multiplying till the whole heart turns dark, and now he can no longer see good as good nor evil as evil, and grows quite incapable of making such distinctions. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) added that The Holy Qur’an uses the term Ra’n or Rain (rust) for this darkness: as in Mishkat from the Musnad of Ahmad and Tirmidhi.

كَلَّا بَلْ ۫ رَانَ عَلٰي قُلُوْبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُوْا يَكْسِبُوْنَ

No. But what they did has rusted their hearts (83:14)

According to another authentic Hadith reported by Tirmidhi from the blessed Companion Abu Hurairah (رض) the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said, “When a man commits a sin, his heart grows dark, but if he seeks Allah’s pardon, it becomes clear again”. (See Qurtubi)

It should be carefully noted that in announcing that it is all one whether the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ` warns the disbelievers or not, the Holy Qur’an adds the condition ` Alaihim علیھم (for them), which clearly indicates that it is all one for the disbelievers alone, and not for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for he would in any case get a reward for bringing the message of Allah to his fellow-men and for his efforts to teach and reform them. That is why there is not a single verse in the Holy Qur’an which should dissuade the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from calling even such people to Islam. From this we may infer that the man who strives to spread the Word of Allah and to reform his fellow-men does always get a reward for his good deed, even if he has not been effective.

A doubt is removed

We may also answer a question which sometimes arises in connection with the second of these two verses that speaks of the hearts and the ears of the disbelievers having been sealed and of their eyes being covered. We find a similar statement in another verse of the Holy Qur’an:

كَلَّا بَلْ ۫ رَانَ عَلٰي قُلُوْبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُوْا يَكْسِبُوْنَ

No. But what they did has rusted their hearts (83:14)

which makes it plain that it is their arrogance and their evil deeds themselves that have settled do their hearts as a rust رَان . In the verse under discussion, it is this very rust which has been described as ‘a seal’ or ‘a covering’. So, there is no occasion here to raise the objection that if Allah Himself has sealed their hearts and blocked their senses, they are helpless and cannot be held responsible for being disbelievers, and hence they should not be punished for what they have not themselves chosen to do. If we consider the two verses (2:7 and 83:14) together, we can easily see why they should be punished in adopting the way of arrogance and pride they have, willfully and out of their own choice, destroyed their capacity for accepting the truth, and thus they themselves are the authors of their own ruin. But Allah, being Creator of all the actions of His creatures, has in verse 2:7 attributed to Himself the setting of a seal on the hearts and the ears of the disbelievers, and has thus pointed out that when these people insisted, as a matter of their own choice, on destroying their aptitude for receiving the truth, Allah produced, as is His way in such cases, the state of insensitivity in their hearts and senses.

فِىْ قُلُوْبِهِمْ مَّرَضٌ  فَزَادَھُمُ اللّٰهُ مَرَضًا  وَلَھُمْ عَذَابٌ اَلِيْمٌۢ    بِمَا كَانُوْا يَكْذِبُوْنَ

The third verse indicates why the hypocrites behave so foolishly and why they fail to see the folly of their course:

فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَ‌ضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَ‌ضًا

In their hearts there is a malady, so Allah has made them grow in their malady.

Now, illness or disease, in the general medical sense, is a state in which a man has lost the balanced proportion of the elements within him necessary to keep him healthy, so that his body can no longer function properly, which may finally lead to his total destruction. In the terminology of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, the word ‘disease’ is also applied to certain mental or psychic states (we are using the two terms in the original and more comprehensive sense) which hinder man from attaining any degree of spiritual perfection, for they gradually deprive him of the ability to perform good deeds, and even of ordinary human decency, till he meets with his spiritual death. The great spiritual master, Junaid of Baghdad, has said that just as the diseases of the body arise from an imbalance among the four humours, the diseases of the heart arise from a surrender to one’s physical desires.

According to the present verse, the disease hidden in their hearts is unbelief and rejection of the truth, which is as much a physical sickness as a spiritual one. It is all too obvious that being ungrateful to one’s creator and nourisher and going against His commandments is to be spiritually sick. Moreover, to keep this disbelief concealed for the sake of petty worldly gains and not to have the courage to speak out one’s mind is no less a disease of the soul. Hypocrisy is a physical disease too in so far as the hypocrite is always shuddering4for fear of being exposed. Jealousy being a necessary ingredient of hypocrisy, he cannot bear to see the Muslims growing stronger in the world, and yet the poor hypocrite cannot even have the satisfaction of unburdening his heart of the venom. No wonder that all this tension should express itself in physical ailment.

The curse of telling lies

(4)          There is another subtle and very significant point here. According to these verses, the hypocrites would meet with a grievous punishment for having told lies. Now, their greatest crime was disbelief and hypocrisy in matters of faith, and they had been committing other crimes as well, like nursing envy and malice against Muslims in their hearts and actually conspiring against them. And yet here the grievous punishment has been connected with their habit of telling lies. This is an indication that basically this nefarious habit was their real crime, which gradually led them to hypocrisy and disbelief. In other words, although hypocrisy and disbelief are much greater crimes, yet they arise from the habit of telling lies. That is why the Holy Qur’an combines the sin of lying with the sin of idol worship in the same phrase:

فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّ‌جْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ‌

“Guard yourselves against the filth of idols and against telling lies” (22:30)

وَاِذَا قِيْلَ لَھُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوْا فِى الْاَ رْضِ    ۙ   قَالُوْٓا اِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُوْنَ

The fourth and the fifth verses expose the sophistry of the hypocrites -their activities threatened to produce a general chaos and disorder, and yet, in their mealy-mouthed way, they pretended to be men of good will and to be serving the cause of peace and order. The Holy Qur’an makes it clear that oral claims alone do not decide the question whether one is working for order or disorder, for what thief would call himself a thief? It depends on what one does, not on what one says. If a man’s activities do result in mischief, he will be called a mischief-maker, even if he had no such intention.

Who are reformers and mischief-makers

(7) As these verses report, when the hypocrites were asked not to spread disorder in the land through their prevarication and double dealing, they used to reply emphatically إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ :”We are nothing but reformers.” The word Innama إِنَّمَا (nothing but), used in, the Arabic text, indicates not merely emphasis but exclusivity. So, their reply would mean that they were nothing but reformers, the servants of order, and that their activities could have nothing to do with disorder. Commenting on their reply, the Holy Qur’an says:

أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُ‌ونَ

“Beware, it is, in fact, they who spread disorder, but they are not aware.”

Now, we learn two things from this comment. Firstly, the activities of the hypocrites did actually produce disorder in the land. Secondly, they did not indulge in these activities with the express intention or design of creating disorder they were not even aware of the possibility that their actions could be the cause of disorder. For, among the things which spread disorder in the world, there are some which are commonly recognized to be mischievous and disorderly activities, and hence every sensible and conscientious man refrains from them e.g., theft, robbery, murder, rape etc.; on the other hand, there are some which in their external aspect do not appear to be mischief or disorder, but, working unseen, they have the necessary consequence of destroying the morals of men which, in its turn, opens the door to all kinds of disorder.

This is exactly what the hypocrites were doing. No doubt, they refrained from theft, robbery etc.; it was on this count that they denied their being mischievous, and emphatically asserted that they were serving the cause of order. But all this while they had been freely giving vent to their malice and envy by conspiring with the enemies of the Muslims. These are things which finally bring man down to the level of beasts. Once he has lost his awareness of ethical values and human decency, even an average man becomes an agent of social disorder of a disorder much greater than that released by thieves or robbers, or even beasts are capable of producing. For, the mischief of robbers and beasts can be controlled by the physical power of law and government. But laws are made and enforced by men. What happens to laws, when man has ceased to be man, can easily be witnessed all around us in the world of today. Everyone takes it for granted that humanity is on the march and the modern man is so far. the ultimate in civilization; the network of educational institutions covers every hamlet on the face of the earth; legislative bodies keep buzzing night and day; organizations for the promulgation of laws spend billions, and circumlocution offices proliferate. And yet crime and disorder keep in step with the march of civilization. The reason is simple.

Law is not an automatic machine; it requires men to make it work. If man ceases to be man, neither laws nor can bureaucratic agencies provide a remedy for the all-pervading disorder. It is for this that the greatest benefactor of mankind, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، concentrated all his attention on making men real men – in all the plenitude of the term. Once this has been achieved, crime or disorder comes to an end of itself without the help of enormous police forces and extensive system of law-courts. As long as people acted upon his teachings in certain parts of the world, man saw a kind of peace and order prevail the like of which had never been witnessed before nor is likely to be witnessed when these teachings are abandoned or disregarded.

In so far as actual practice is concerned, the essence of the teachings of the Holy Prophet is fear of Allah and solicitude for the assessment of one’s deeds on the Day of Judgment. If these are absent, no constitution or legal code, nor administrative body or university can force or induce man to keep away from crime. Those who run the world in our day invent ever-new administrative measures to prevent crime, but they not only neglect the very soul of administration, the fear of Allah, but even deploy the means of destroying it – all of which has the necessary consequence that the remedy only helps to feed the malady.

To another aspect of the question, it is easy enough to find a cure for thieves and robbers and for all those who create disorder openly. But the miscreants who have been described in these verses always appear in the garb of reformers, brandishing colourful schemes of social amelioration which are only a mask for personal interests, and for raising the slogan, إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ :”We are nothing but reformers.” Hence it is that Allah, while asking men not to spread disorder on the earth, has also said in another place:

وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ الْمُفْسِدَ مِنَ الْمُصْلِحِ

“And Allah knows the one who makes mischief distinct from him who promotes good.” (2:220)

This is an indication that Allah alone10 knows the states of men’s hearts and their intentions, and He alone knows the nature and consequences of each human deed as to whether it would help the cause of order or of disorder. So, to serve the cause of order, it is not sufficient merely to possess such an intention; much more essential than that is to orient oneself in thought and deed in harmony with the Shari’ah, for an action may, in spite of the best intentions, sometimes result in mischief and disorder, if it is not guided by the Shari` ah.

وَاِذَا قِيْلَ لَھُمْ اٰمِنُوْا كَمَآ اٰمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوْٓا اَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَآ اٰمَنَ السُّفَهَاۗءُ ۭاَلَآ اِنَّھُمْ ھُمُ السُّفَهَاۗءُ وَلٰكِنْ لَّا يَعْلَمُوْنَ

This verse also places before the hypocrites a criterion of true faith (Iman ایمان) آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ :”Believe as people have believed”. According to the consensus of commentators, the Arabic word Na-s النَّاسُ : (people) in this verse refers to the blessed Companions of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) because it is just these ‘people’ who had embraced the Faith and had accepted the Holy Qur’an as the word of Allah while it was being revealed. So, the verse indicates that the only kind of Iman ایمان (faith) acceptable to Allah is the one which should be similar to that of the blessed Companions, and that the Iman ایمان of others would be worthy of the name only when they believe in the same things in the same way as the Companions did.

In other words, the Iman ایمان of the Companions is a touchstone for testing the Iman ایمان of all the other Muslims; any belief. or deed which departs from their faith and practice, however pleasing in its looks or good in its intention, is not valid according to the Shari` ah. There is a consensus of commentators on this position. One should also notice that the hypocrites used to call the blessed Companions ‘fools’ (Sufaha-‘ السُّفَهَاء). This has always been the way of those who go astray – anyone who tries to show them the right path is, in their eyes, ignorant and stupid. But who could, the Holy Qur’an points out, be more stupid than the man who refuses to see clear signs?

In the seventh verse, we see the double-facedness and trickery of the hypocrites. In the company of the Muslims, they would vociferously declare their faith in Islam; but, going back to their own people, would reassure them that they had never left the way of their ancestors, and had been meeting the Muslims only to make fun of them.

Injunctions and related considerations

It has sometimes been debated as to whether the distinction between Kufr کفر (infidelity or disbelief) and Nifaq نفاق (hypocrisy) still holds good even after the days of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) The correct position with regard to this question is this. At that time, there were two ways of identifying a hypocrite and declaring him to be one -either Allah Himself informed the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) through revelation that such and such a man was not a Muslim at heart but a hypocrite, or a man through some word or deed overtly repugnant to the Islamic creed or practice showed himself up as a hypocrite, thus providing a clear evidence against himself. Divine revelation having ceased with the departure of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from this world, the first way of identifying a hypocrite is no longer available, but the second way is still valid. That is to say, if a man is found, on certain evidence, to be guilty, in word or deed, of rejecting or opposing or distorting or holding in scorn the basic doctrines of Islam undeniably established by the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith and ` ijma اجمع (consensus), he would be regarded as a Munafiq منافق (hypocrite) in spite of his claim to be a true Muslim. The Holy Qur’an Ives such a hypocrite the name of a mulhid مُلحد or heretic- لَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا : “Those who distort Our verses”, 41:40), and the Hadith calls them a zindiq ماکهن .

One must also add that since the kufr کفر (infidelity) of such a man has been proved by clear and definite evidence, the Shari’ah will not put him in a separate category, but deal with him as it would deal with any other kafir کافر (infidel). That is why the authentic scholars are unanimous in concluding that after the departure of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) the question of hypocrites ceased to be a relevant one – now anyone who is not a genuine Muslim will be regarded as kafir کافر . The famous author, Al-` Aini, in his commentary on Al-Bukhari, reports from Imam Malik that after the days of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) this is the only available means of identifying ‘hypocrisy’, and that a man who carries this mark could be called a hypocrite.

وَاِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا قَالُوْٓا اٰمَنَّا  وَاِذَا خَلَوْا اِلٰى شَيٰطِيْنِهِمْ ۙ قَالُوْٓا اِنَّا مَعَكُمْ ۙ اِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِءُوْنَ

As we have seen, the Surah Al-Baqarah opens with the declaration that the Holy Qur’an is beyond all doubt. The first twenty verses of the Surah delineate the features of those who believe in the Holy Qur’an and of those who do not — the first five dealing with the former, under the title of Al-Muttaqun المتقون (the God-fearing); the next two with those disbelievers who were quite open and violent in their hostility — that is, Al-Kafirun الکافرون (the disbelievers or the infidels), and the following thirteen with those crafty disbelievers who claimed to be Muslims but, in reality, were not so. This second variety of the disbelievers has received from the Holy Qur’an the name of Al-Munafiqun المنافقون (the hypocrities).

Of these thirteen verses, the first two define the characteristic behaviour of the hypocrites thus:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌

And among men there are some who say, ‘We believe in Allah and in the Last Day’,

Yet they are no believers. They try to deceive Allah and those who believe, when they are deceiving none but their own selves, and they are not aware. These verses expose their claim to be Muslims as false and deceitful, and show that they are only trying to be clever. Obviously, no one can deceive Allah – probably they themselves could not have had such a delusion. But the Holy Qur’an equates, in a way, their attempt to deceive the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Muslims with the desire to deceive Allah Himself (See Qurtubi)

Such a desire, the Holy Qur’an points out, can have only one consequence – they end up by deceiving no one but themselves, for Allah Himself cannot possibly be deceived, and Divine Revelation protects the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from all trickery and deceit, so that the hypocrites themselves will have to bear, in the other world as well as in this, the punishment for their presumptuousness.

As for Allah making them grow in their malady, it means that they are jealous of the growing strength of the Muslims, but it is Allah’s will to make the position of the Muslims even stronger, as they can see for themselves, which feeds their bile and keeps the disease of their hearts growing.

These two verses, thus, describe the state of their insensitivity and ignorance – they regard their defects as merits. The sixth verse shows the other aspect of this depravity – the merit of others (that is, the unalloyed faith of the Muslims) changes into a defect, and even becomes contemptible in their eyes.5

  1. As for the hypocrites declaring openly that they were not prepared to believe as others did believe, and as for their dubbing the Muslims as fools, it is obvious that they could have been so outspoken only before the poor among the Muslims, otherwise they used to be very careful about keeping their disbelief concealed.)

(2) A little reflection on these verses would reveal the true nature of Islam and Iman ایمان (faith) and also that of kufr کفر (disbelief), for the Holy Qur’an reports the claim of the hypocrites to be Muslims: اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰهِ :”we believe in Allah”, (2:8), forthwith refutes this claim: مَا ھُمْ بِمُؤْمِنِيْنَ :”yet they are no believers”. In order to understand fully the implications of these verses, one should bear in one’s mind the fact that the hypocrites in question were actually Jews. Now, belief in Allah and in Hereafter is, no doubt, an essential part of their creed as well; what was not included in their creed, as defined by their religious scholars, was the belief in the prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . In declaring their faith in Islam, the Jews very cleverly used to leave out the belief in the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and mention only two elements: belief in Allah and belief in the Hereafter. So far as such a declaration goes, they cannot be called liars, and yet the Holy Qur’an refutes their claim to be Muslims, and regards them as liars. Why?

The fact is that, for one to be a Muslim, it is not sufficient merely to declare one’s faith in Allah and the Hereafter in any form or manner which suits one’s individual or collective fancy. As for that, associators of all kinds do, in one way or another, believe in Allah and consider Him to be Omnipotent’ but the Holy Qur’an does not allow any of these things to pass for Iman ایمان (faith). Iman ایمان or faith in Allah must, in order to be valid and worthy of the name, conform to what the Holy Qur’an specifically lays down with regards to the divine names and attributes; similarly, belief in the Hereafter can be valid only when it is true to the specifications of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.7

  1. Even peoples described by the Westerners as “savages” or “primitives – though “degenerates” would be far closer to the mark – have at least a vague notion of a Supreme Deity, and ususally very vivid ideas about the other world.
  2. There is no end to the making of books, and no end to the making of gods and to the naming of gods – above all, in our own day. Reason, Nature, Man, Life, all having served their turn and grown rusty, are being replaced by more fancy names – “the ground of being” of the so-called Christian Existentialism, the ultimate “archetype of the Collective Unconscious” of Jungian psychology, and what not. They have lately invented a goldless theology too.

In the light of this explanation one can see that the Jews who pretended to be Muslims believed neither in Allah nor in the Hereafter according to these definite requirements. For, on the one hand, they regarded the Prophet ` Uzair or Ezra (عليه السلام) as the son of God, and, on the other, cherished the fond belief that the progeny of the prophets, no matter how it acted, would always remain ‘the chosen of God’, and would not be called to account on the Day of Judgment, or at the worst receive only a token punishment. These being their beliefs, the Holy Qur’an rightly rejects their claims to faith in Allah and the Hereafter.

(3) As we have already said, verse 13 defines what Iman ایمان (faith) really is: اٰمِنُوْا كَمَآ اٰمَنَ النَّاسُ :”Believe as other men have believed”. In other words, the criterion for judging one’s claim to ‘lman ایمان is the ‘ lman ایمان of the blessed Companions of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and any claim to Iman ایمان which does not conform to it is not acceptable to Allah and to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . If a man has the presumption8 to interpret an Islamic doctrine or verse of the Holy Qur’an in a way which departs from the explicit and clear explanation provided by the Holy Qur’an itself or by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، his individual opinion and belief, no matter how much it titillates the palate of his contemporaries or feeds their fancy, will have no value or validity in the eyes of the Shari’ah. For example, the Qadianis قادیانی 9 claim that like Muslims they too believe in the doctrine of the Finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، but in this respect they deviate from what the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has himself stated, and what the Companions believed in, and distort the doctrine so.as so as to make room for the prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian; so, according to the indication of the Holy Qur’an, they come

under this indictment: مَا ھُمْ بِمُؤْمِنِيْنَ :”They are no believers.”

  1. As is all too common these days.
  2. Who style themselves as Ahmadis.

In short, if a man interprets an Islamic doctrine in a way which is repugnant to the Iman ایمان of the blessed Companions, and yet claims to be a Muslim on the basis of his adherence to this doctrine and also performs his religious duties exactly like Muslims, he will not be considered a Mu’min مومنین (true Muslim) until and unless he agrees to conform to the criterion of Iman ایمان laid down by the Holy Qur’an.

Removal of a doubt

We may also dispel a misunderstanding which often arises – and is more often made to arise with an ulterior motive – with regard to the famous dictum in the Hadith and Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) that the ‘people of the Ka’bah’ کعبہ (Ahl al-Qiblah), that is, those who turn towards the Ka’bah کعبہ in offering prescribed Salah نماز cannot be branded as infidels. The verse under discussion clearly defines the meaning of the phrase, Ahl al-Qiblah. The term pertains only to those who do not deny any of the basic essential doctrines and commandments of Islam which are called the Daruriat ضروریات (essentials). For that matter even the hypocrites mentioned in the Holy Qur’an used to offer their prayers exactly as the Muslims did; but turning towards Ka’bah کعبہ while praying was not taken to be sufficient to make them acceptable as true Muslims, simply because they did not have faith in all the essentials of Islam as the blessed Companions did.

يٰٓاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوْا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُوْنَ

A review of verses linked together

The second verse of the Surah ‘Al-Baqarah’ provides the answer to the prayer made in the Surah Al-Fatihah, اهْدِنَا الصِّرَ‌اطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ “Guide us in the straight path”- that is to say, the guidance man has prayed for is present in this book, for the Holy Qur’an is from the beginning to the end a detailed account of the straight path. Then, the Surah proceeds to divide men into three groups according to whether they accept the guidance of the Holy Qur’an or not. Three verses speak of the true and God-fearing Muslims, who not only accept but also act upon the guidance, and the next two verses of those disbelievers who oppose it openly.

Then come thirteen verses dealing with the hypocrites who are hostile to this guidance, but, for the sake of petty worldly interests or in seeking to harm the Muslims, try to keep their disbelief concealed and to present themselves as Muslims. Thus, the first twenty verses of the Surah, in dividing men into three groups on the basis of their acceptance or rejection of the guidance, indicate that the proper criterion for dividing men into groups is neither race or colour, nor language nor geography, but religion. Hence those, who believe in Allah and follow the guidance He has provided in the Holy Qur’an, form one nation, and those who disbelieve form a different nation – the Holy Qur’an calls the former the ‘party of Allah’ and the latter – the party of Satan شیطان ‘ (58:19-22)

Then, the present verses (21 and 22), addressing the three groups together, present the message for which the Holy Qur’an has been revealed. In asking men to give up the worship of created beings and to worship Allah alone, they adopt a mode of expression which not only makes an affirmation but also supports it with arguments so clear that even an average man, only if he uses his common sense, cannot help being convinced of the Oneness of God.

Commentary:

In starting the address, verse 21 uses the Arabic word An-nas, الناس which signifies man in general, or man as such – so, the word covers all the three groups we have just mentioned. And the message delivered by the verse is:’ اعْبُدُوْا رَبَّكُمُ “Worship your Lord.” The Arabic word عبادہ ` Ibadah (worship) connotes expending all energies one has in total obedience to somebody, and shunning all disobedience out of one’s awe and reverence. (Ruh-al-Bayan) We have earlier explained the meaning of the word Rabb رَبّ (one who gives nurture). Let us add that the choice of this particular name from among the Beautiful names of Allah is very meaningful in the present context, for the affirmation has thus been combined with the argument in a very short sentence.

The word Rabb رَبّ indicates that only He is, or can be, worthy of being worshipped, He is the final and absolute Cause of nurturing man – Who changes man through gradual stages of development from a drop of water into healthy, sentient and rational being, and Who provides the means for his sustenance and growth. This truth is so obvious that even an ignorant or intellectually dull man would, on a little reflection, not fail to see and admit that such a power of nurturing can belong only to Allah, and not to a created being. What can a creature do for man, when it owes its very existence to the Creator? Can a needy one come to the help of another? And if it appears to be doing so, the act of nurturing must in reality and ultimately belong to the One Being on whom both have to depend in order to exist at all. So, who else but the Rabb رَبّ can be worthy of adoration and worship?

The sentence is addressed to all the three groups of men, and for each it has a different meaning. اعْبُدُوْا رَبَّكُمُ “Worship your Lord”: the phrase calls upon the disbelievers to give up worshipping created beings and to turn to the Creator; it asks the hypocrites to be sincere and true in their faith; it commands the sinning Muslims to change their ways and try to be perfect in their obedience to Allah; and it encourages the God-fearing Muslims to be steadfast in their worship and obedience, and to make a greater effort in the way of Allah (Ruh-al-Bayan).

The two verses proceed to enlarge upon the theme by specifying certain special qualities of the Rabb: الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ ”Who created you and those before you.” This is a quality which one cannot even imagine to belong to a created being, for it can pertain only to the Creator – that is, the quality of giving existence to what did not exist before, and of producing from the darkness and filth of the mother’s womb a creature as lovely and noble as man.

In adding to the phrase: الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ :”who created you” the words, الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ ; and those before you,” the verse shows that Allah alone is the Creator of all mankind. It is also significant that the verse mentions only “those before you” and not “those who will come after you”, and through this omission suggests that there will not be any Ummah (a traditional community formed by all the followers of a prophet) to succeed the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، for no prophet will be sent down after the Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and hence no new ` Ummah’ will arise.

The final phrase of verse 21 لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ has been translated here as “so that you may become God-fearing”. It may also be translated to mean “So that you may save yourselves from hell”, or “So that you may guard yourselves against evil.” But the point is that one can hope to attain salvation and paradise only when one worships Allah alone, and does not associate anyone else with Him.

Before we proceed, we must clarify a very important doctrinal point. The phrase (لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ) which has been translated here as “so that you may become God-fearing”

The Doctrine Of Tauhid توحید : A source of peace in human life

Tauhid توحید ، the most fundamental doctrine of Islam, is not a mere theory, but the only effective way of making man a man in the real sense of the term – it is his first and last refuge and the panacea for all his ills. For the essence of this doctrine is that every possible change in the physical universe, its very birth and death is subject to the will of the One and Only Being, and a manifestation of His wisdom. When this doctrine takes hold of a man’s mind and heart, and becomes his permanent state, all dissension ceases to exist and the world itself changes into a paradise for him, as he knows that the enmity of the foe and the love of the friend equally proceed from Allah who rules over the hearts of both. Such a man lives his life in perfect peace, fearing none and expecting nothing from anyone: shower him with gold, or put him in irons, he would remain unmoved, for he knows where it comes from.

This is the significance of the basic declaration of the Islamic creed, لَا الٰہَ الا اللہ (there is no God but Allah). But, obviously, it is not enough to affirm the Oneness of God orally; one must have a complete certitude, and must also have the truth always present close to one’s heart, for Tauhid توحید is to see God as one, and not merely to say that He is one. Today, the number of those who can respect this basic formula of the Islamic creed runs to millions all over the world – far more than it ever did, but mostly it is just an expense of breath: their lives do not show the colour of Tauhid توحید ; or otherwise, they should have been like their forefathers who were daunted neither by wealth nor by power, awed neither by numbers nor by pomp and show to turn their back upon the Truth – when a prophet could all by himself stand up against the world, and say: ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلَا تُنظِرُ‌ونِ :”So try your guile on me, then give me no respite” (7 :195). If the blessed Companions and their successors came to dominate the world in a few years, the secret lay in this Tauhid توحید ، correctly understood and practised. May Allah bless all the Muslims with this great gift!

الَّذِىْ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْاَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَّالسَّمَاۗءَ بِنَاۗءً   ۠   وَّاَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاۗءِ مَاۗءً فَاَخْرَجَ بِهٖ مِنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ   ۚ   فَلَا تَجْعَلُوْا لِلّٰهِ اَنْدَادًا وَّاَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُوْنَ

That is to say, once one has understood that, in reality, Allah alone is the Creator and the Provider, one will have also understood that no one else can be worthy of worship and of being associated with Allah as an equal or rival god.

To sum up, these two verses call men to what is the essential purpose of sending down all the Divine Books and all the prophets – Tauhid توحید ، or the affirmation and the worship of the one God.

Tauhid توحید is a doctrine which has an all-pervading and radically transforming impact on every sphere of human life, internal as well as external, individual as well as collective. For, once a man comes to believe that there is only One Being who alone is the Creator, the Lord and Master of the universe, who alone is all-powerful and ordains the slightest movement of the smallest atom, and without whose will no one can harm or do good to another – such a man, rich or poor, in joy or sorrow, would always look only towards that One Being, and gain the insight to discover behind the veil of apparent causes the workings of the same Omnipotence.

If our modern worshippers of ‘energy’ only had some understanding of the doctrine of Tauhid توحید ، they would easily see that power resides neither in steam nor in electricity, but that the source of all powers is the One Being who has created steam and electricity. To know this, however, one must have insight. The greatest philosopher in the world, if he fails to see this truth, is no better than the rustic fool who saw a railway-train move at the waving of a green flag and stop at the waving of a red flag, and concluding that it was the power of the green and red flags that controlled the movement of the huge train, made an obeisance to them. People would laugh at the rustic, for he did not know that the two flags are merely signs, while the train is actually run by the driver, or, better still, by the engine. A more perceptive observer would ascribe the function to the steam inside the engine. But he who believes in the One God would laugh at all these wise men, for he can see through the steam, the fire and the water even, and discover behind the appearances the might of the One and Only Being who has created fire and water, and whose will makes them perform their allotted functions.

Employs the Arabic particle l` alla which indicates an expectation or hope, and is used on an occasion when it is not definite that a certain action or event would necessarily be actualized. Now, if one does really possess Iman ایمان (faith) and does really believe in Tauhid ٰتوحید ، one would, in consequence definitely attain salvation and go to Heaven, as Allah Himself has promised. But here the certainty has been expressed in terms of an expectation or hope in order to make man realize that no human action by itself and in itself can bring salvation as a necessary reward. One can attain salvation and go to Heaven only by the grace of Allah alone. The ablility to perform good deeds, and Iman ایمان itself is only a sign of divine grace, not the cause.

The next verse recounts some other qualities of Allah with regard to the act of nurturing, with the difference that while verse 21 spoke of the bounties of Allah pertaining to the human self, verse 22 speaks of those pertaining to man’s physical environment. Since man’s being basically has two dimensions, one internal (Anfus انفس) and the other external (Afaq آفاق), the two verses, in a summary way, encompass all the kinds of blessings that descend on man from Allah.

Among the cosmic bounties, the first to be mentioned is the earth which has been made a bed for man. It is neither soft and fluid like water on which one cannot settle, nor hard like stone or steel that should make it difficult to be harnessed for man’s purposes, but has been given a middle state between the soft and the hard for man to utilize it conveniently in his daily life. The Arabic word, Firash فراش (bed), which literally means ‘something spread out’, does not necessarily imply that the earth is not round, for the great globe of the earth, in spite of being round, appears to be flat to the onlooker, and the usual way of the Holy Qur’an is to describe things in an aspect which should be familiar to an average man, literate or illiterate, city dweller or rustic.

The other bounty is that the sky has been made like an ornamented and beautiful ceiling. The third is that Allah sent down water from the sky. This, again, does not necessarily mean that water comes down directly from the sky without the medium of clouds – even in everyday idiom, a thing coming down from above is said to be coming from the sky. The Holy Qur’an itself, on several occasions, refers to Allah sending down water from the clouds:

ءَاَنْتُمْ اَنْزَلْتُمُوْهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ اَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنْزِلُوْنَ

“Did you send it down from the clouds, or did We send it?” (56:69)

وَّاَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْــصِرٰتِ مَاۗءً ثَجَّاجًا

“And have sent down from the rain-clouds abundant water.” (78:14)

The fourth bounty is to bring forth fruits with this water, and to provide nourishment to man from them.

The first three of these bounties are of an order in which man’s effort or action, his very being even, does not enter at all. There was no sign of man when the earth and the sky already existed, and clouds and rain too were performing their functions. As for these things, not even an ignorant fool could ever fancy that all this could be the work of a man or an idol, or of a created being. In the case of producing fruits and making them serve as nourishment for man, however, a simpleton may, on a superficial view, attribute this to human effort and ingenuity, for one can see man digging the earth, sowing the seed and protecting the plants.

But the Holy Qur’an has, in certain verses, made it quite clear that human effort has nothing to do with the act of growing trees and bringing out fruits, for human activity accomplishes nothing more than removing the hindrances to the birth and growth of a plant, or protecting it from being destroyed. Even the water which feeds the plant is not the creation of the farmer – all he does is to make the water reach the plant at the proper time in a proper quantity. The actual birth and growth of the tree, and the putting forth of leaves, branches and fruits is the work of Divine Power, and of no one else. Says the Holy Qur’an :

أَفَرَ‌أَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُ‌ثُونَ ﴿63﴾ أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَ‌عُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِ‌عُونَ ﴿64﴾

“Have you considered the soil you till? Is it you that give them growth or We ? ” (56:63)

The only answer which man can find to this question posed by the Holy Qur’an is that undoubtedly it is Allah alone who makes the plants grow.

In short, this verse mentions four qualities of Allah which cannot possibly be found in a created being. Having learnt from these two verses that it is Allah, and no one else, who brings man into existence out of nothingness, and provides the means of his sustenance through the earth, the sky, the rains and the fruits, one cannot, if one possesses a little common sense, help acknowledging that Allah, and no one else, is worthy of all worship and obedience, and that the ultimate iniquity is to turn away from Him who made man exist and gave him the means of survival and growth, and to prostrate oneself before others who are as helpless as man. Allah has put man at the head of all His creatures so that the universe should serve him, while he should totally devote himself to the worship and remembrance of Allah and obedience to Him without distraction. But there are men so given to their indolence and ignorance that they forget the One God, and in consequence, have to serve a billion gods.

In order to rescue men from this slavery to others, the Holy Qur’an says at the end of this verse:

فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿22﴾

“So, do not set up parallels to Allah when you know.”

وَاِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِىْ رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلٰي عَبْدِنَا فَاْتُوْا بِسُوْرَةٍ مِّنْ مِّثْلِهٖ وَادْعُوْا شُهَدَاۗءَكُمْ مِّنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صٰدِقِيْنَ

The Guidance which the Holy Qur’an provides to man rests on two basic principles – Tauhid توحید (the Oneness of God) and Risalah (Prophethood). The two preceding verses (21 and 22) affirm the Oneness of God in presenting certain acts peculiar to Allah alone as a proof; these two verses (23 and 24) affirm the prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in presenting the word of Allah as a proof. In both the places, the mode of argument is the same. The preceding verses mention cer¬tain things which no one could or can do except Allah – for example, creating the sky and the earth, sending down water from the sky, bringing forth fruits with water; and the point of the argument is that since no one except Allah can do these things, no one else can be wor¬thy of being worshipped.

These two verses refer to a kind of speech which cannot possibly come from anyone except Allah, and the like of which no human being can ever produce just as the helplessness of man and other creatures in the matter of creating the sky and the earth etc. is a demonstration of the fact that these are the acts of Allah alone, in the same way the helplessness of all created beings in the matter of producing something equal to or resembling the Word of Al¬lah is a demonstration of the fact that this is the Word of Allah alone. Here the Holy Qur’an challenges all men the world over, those of the present and those of the future, to produce even a small passage like this, if they suppose it to be the work of a man, for other men may also be capable of accomplishing what one man has achieved. In case indi¬viduals should fail in such an effort, the Holy Qur’an allows them the facility of calling to their aid all possible helpers – they could even hold an international ‘workshop’ for the purpose.

The next verse fore-warns them that such a venture would never succeed, and threatens with the fires of hell, for having once acknowledged his inability to produce something to equal the Holy Qur’an, which is a clear evidence of its being the word, not of man but of a Being who stands above all created things, if a man still persists in his disbelief, he is only seeking a place in hell. The Holy Qur’an asks men to beware of such a fate.

The Miraculous Qur’an is a prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

Thus, the verses, in emphasizing the miraculous character of the Holy Qur’an, present it as the evidence of the prophethood of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and of his truth. No doubt, the miracles of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) are innumerable, each more marvelous than the other, but in mentioning only one of these here – one that pertains to the sphere of knowledge, namely, the Holy Qur’an – Allah has pointed out that this is the greatest. Even among the miracles of all the prophets (عليهم السلام) this particular miracle has a special distinction. It has been the way of Allah to show His omnipotence by manifesting some miracles through each prophet or messenger. But each miracle appears with a certain prophet, and ends with him. The Holy Qur’an, on the contrary, is a miracle which is to survive till the end of time.

As for the phrase: وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَ‌يْبٍ :”And if you are in doubt,” we may remark that the verse employs the Arabic word, raib رَ‌يْب for ‘doubt’. According to Imam Raghib al-Isfahani, raib رَ‌يْب signifies a kind of hesitation or indecision or suspicion which has no basis, and can therefore be eas¬ily overcome with the help of a little reflection. That is why the Holy Qur’an says that having this kind of doubt (raib رَ‌يْب) is not consistent with being a man of knowledge, even if he were not a Muslim:

وَلَا يَرْ‌تَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“So that the people of the Book and Muslims should have no doubt”. (74:31)

Similarly, at the very beginning of the Surah Al-Bagarah the Holy Qur’an refers to itself as the Book :”In which there is no doubt (raib رَ‌يْب).” In the present verse again it uses the word raib رَ‌يْب to say: وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَ‌يْبٍ :”if you are in doubt”, the implication being that the truths enunci¬ated by the Holy Qur’an are so clear and evident that there is no room for any hesitation or indecision or suspicion to arise except for those who do not possess knowledge.

As for the people who hesitate in accepting the Holy Qur’an as the Word of Allah, and suspect that it is the work of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or of some other man, the verse proposes an easy test – they should produce a passage (a Surah) resembling or equalling the Holy Qur’an in order to substantiate their claim; but if they fail, they should finally acknowledge the Holy Qur’an to be undoubtedly the Word of Allah. The Arabic word “Surah” means a “limited or definite piece”; as a technical term, a Surah is a passage of the Holy Qur’an which has been set apart from other passages by Divine Commandment (Wahy وحی), there being 114 Surahs in the Holy Qur’an, some long and others very short. The present verse uses the word Surah without the definite article “Al’, and hence includes the shortest of the Surahs in the challenge thrown out to the doubters.

At this point, the objection can arise that the failure of one man or one group of men does not necessarily argue the inability of another man or group in the matter. The Holy Qur’an meets this objection by declaring:

وَادْعُوْا شُهَدَاۗءَكُمْ مِّنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صٰدِقِيْنَ

“And do call your supporters other than Allah, if you are true”.

The Arabic word used here is Shuhada شُهَدَا ، the plural or Shahid which signifies ‘one who is present’- a witness is called a Shahid شھید ، for he has to be present in the court of law. In this verse, the word Shuhada- شُهَدَا ” refers either to men in general – implying that the doubters could call to their aid any men whatsoever from anywhere in the world -, or specifically to the idols of the disbelievers of Makkah who thought that these blocks of stone would appear on the, Day of Judgment as witnesses in their favour.

The next verse foretells that the doubters shall never succeed, even if they tried with all their individual or collective might, in producing a passage which could resemble the Holy Qur’an. If they should still persist in their denial, the verse threatens them with the fire of Hell, which has already been prepared for such stubborn disbelievers.

The infidels of Makkah, history tells us, were ready to give up their very lives for the purpose of obliterating Islam. In throwing out to them this challenge, the Holy Qur’an gave them an easy chance of accomplishing their purpose, and even hurt their tribal sense of honour by predicting that they would never be able to take up the challenge. And yet not a single contender came up for the trial, which was a clear admission of their helplessness and an acknowledgment of the Holy Qur’an being the Word of Allah. This fact establishes the Holy Qur’an as the evident miracle of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Since the challenge still stands, the miracle too lives on, and shall live to the end of the world.

The Holy Qur’an: A living miracle

As for the Holy Qur’an being a miracle, the subject has been thoroughly discussed in scores of books by the greatest scholars in all the ages and in different languages. We may mention a few outstanding ones: Nazm نظم al-Qur’an by al-Jahiz, written in the 3rd century A.H.; ‘I’jaz al-Qur’an’ by Abu ‘Abdullah Wasiti, written early in the 4th century; a small book, اعجاز ‘I’jaz al-Qur’an’ by Ibn ‘Isa Rabbani, written later in the 4th century; a long and comprehensive book, اعجاز ‘I’jaz al-Qur’an’ by Qadi AbJ of all that has been written on the subject, the literature being so vast. We shall, however, give a few brief indications as to why the Holy Qur’an is held to be a miracle of the Prophet of Islam: (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

Qualities that make the Qur’an a miracle

(1)          The Holy Qur’an is incomparable for its comprehensiveness even among the Sacred Books of the world; on the one hand, it brings to man the ultimate knowledge of a metaphysical order, and, on the other, provides guidance for all the spheres of human life, spiritual or physical, individual or collective. Those who suspect the Book to have been the product of a human agency should remind themselves of the simple fact that it appeared at a time and in a place which offered no facilities for acquiring the kind of education which is necessary for composing such a book – in fact, the Arabs were in those days known as the Ummiyyun, ‘the illiterates’, and that the Book came through the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who could not even read or write, and who had not tried to learn even the arts of poetry and rhetoric on which the Arabs prided themselves. This fact, in itself, is nothing short of a miracle.

(2)          The Holy Qur’an is, no doubt, guidance for all men without any distinction of time or place, but the first to be addressed were the Arabs of the Age of Ignorance. In affirming that no human being could produce even a few verses comparable to its own, the Holy Qur’an did not confine the challenge merely to the richness of meaning and the quality of wisdom, but included the mode of expression as well. Now, the ‘illiterates’ of Arabia had no pretensions to wisdom or knowledge, but they certainly fancied themselves for their eloquence – to them, the aliens were just ‘The Dumb’ (Al-‘Ajam العجم).

And some of them were so mad in their hostility to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that, if they could see a chance of hurting him in doing so, they would readily have slit their own throats out of sheer spite. And yet no one came forward to accept the challenge. This helplessness in a contest which should have been easy for a people so gifted with a spontaneous eloquence – does it not argue that the Holy Qur’an is not the word of man, but the Word of Allah? As a matter of fact, the most discriminating among the contemporary Arabs did admit, though in private, that the Holy Qur’an was inimitable; some of them had the honesty to say so in public and some accepted Islam, while others in spite of this admission, could not give up the ways of their forefathers, or sufficiently overcome tribal rivalries, particularly their hostility to Banu ` Abd Munaf, the tribe of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to embrace Islam.

Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (رح) has, in his ‘Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra’, reported a number of incidents which illustrate the point. When the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Holy Qur’an began to attract the attention of people even outside Makkah, the enemies of Islam became worried about the huge crowds that would assemble there for the annual pilgrimage and would be likely to fall under his spell. Their tribal chiefs wanted to find an effective stratagem to prevent such a situation from arising, and they referred the problem to Walid ibn Mughirah, the eldest and the wisest among them. To begin with, they suggested that they could tell the pilgrims that the Holy Qur’an was (May Allah forgive us for reporting a blasphemy) only the ravings of a lunatic. But Walid could foresee that when the pilgrims heard the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) speaking with such lucidity and eloquence, they would immediately know that the allegation was not true. Next they thought of dismissing him as a mere poet.

But Walid warned them that, an understanding of the arts of poetry being innate in most Arabs, the pilgrims would easily see that he was no poet. Then, they considered the possibility of putting him down as one of the soothsayers. But Walid feared that they would again discover how false the imputation was, and would only turn against the accusers. In summing up his own impression of the Holy Qur’an, he said: “By God, there is not a single man among you who knows more about Arabic poetry than me. And, by God, I find in this speech a kind of sweetness and grace which I have never found in the speech of any poet or of any eloquent man.” After a good deal of thought, he finally advised them to accuse the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) of being a sorcerer who employed his black art in separating sons from fathers, and wives from husbands.

Exactly the same was the impression made by the Holy Qur’an on many other people, who expressed similar views – for example, Nadr ibn Harith, a tribal chief; Unais, the brother of the blessed Companion, Abu Dharr; As’ad ibn Zurarah, another tribal chief, and Qais ibn Nasibah of the Banu Sulaim tribe. Even the vilest enemies of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم        like Akhnas ibn Shariq, Abu Sufyan and, of all persons, Abu Jahl himself are reported to have stealthily crept in the darkness of night to the house of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to hear him reciting the Holy Qur’an, and to have been so entranced by the Word of Allah that they could not tear themselves away from the place till it was dawn. Yet they continued to be stubborn in their denial, for, as Abu Jahl confessed in so many words, they had been successfully vying with the tribe of Banu ` Abd Munaf in all possible virtues, but now that their rivals had produced a prophet, they could not come up with something to match the claim.

In short, the Arabs failed to take up the challenge of the Holy Qur’an, and admitted their helplessness; nor has anyone else succeeded in the attempt since then – all of which goes to show that the Holy Qur’an can only be the Word of Allah, not of man.

(3)          The Holy Qur’an made many predictions about future events, and things turned out to be exactly as it had declared. For example, the infidels of Makkah were not prepared to believe the prophecy that the people of Rum روم ، or the Byzantians, would finally rout the Persians after having suffered an initial defeat. The infidels made it a point of honour, and put a wager on it, but were humiliated to see the prophecy come true before the stipulated period of ten years was over.

(4)          The Holy Qur’an gives a clear account of some of the earlier prophets, of their Shari’ ah and of their peoples, and of many historical events since the beginning of the world. Even the best scholars among the Jews and the Christians did not possess such exact information. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، who had never attended a school nor been in the company of a learned man, could not have provided all these details for himself without having received the knowledge from Allah.

(5)          Several verses of the Holy Qur’an disclosed what certain people had tried to keep concealed in their hearts, and they had to confess that this was just what they had been thinking. We shall cite only two instances.

اِذْ ھَمَّتْ طَّاۗىِٕفَتٰنِ مِنْكُمْ اَنْ تَفْشَلَا

“When two of your battalions thought of falling away…” (3:122)

يَقُولُونَ فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ لَوْلَا يُعَذِّبُنَا اللَّـهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ

“They say in their hearts, Why does Allah not punish us for what we say?’

(6)          The Holy Qur’an predicted that such and such men would not be able to do such and such things, and then it turned out that, in spite of having the power, they could not do these things. The Jews claimed to be the ‘Chosen of God’ and His friends. Since one is always eager to meet one’s friends, the Holy Qur’an asked them to substantiate their claim by wishing for death and for going back to Allah, but at the same time declared وَلَا يَتَمَنَّوْنَهُ أَبَدًا :”And they shall never wish for it” (62:7). Now, expressing a wish for death should not be difficult for anyone, if he wishes to establish his bonafides; for the Jews in particular, it would have been an easy way of refuting the Holy Qur’an. But, in spite of all their hatred for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) they knew in their hearts that the Holy Qur’an was the Book of Allah, and feared that if they told a lie in this matter, they would actually die. And they kept quiet.

(7)          When the Holy Qur’an is recited (in Arabic, of course), it affects in a strange and indefinable way the heart of even a casual listener, Muslim or non-Muslim. History reports many instances of people accepting Islam merely because they happened to be passing by when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was reciting the Holy Qur’an – such was the case, for example, of the blessed Companion Jubair ibn Mut’im (رض) .

(8)          The best book in the world, if read four or five times, begins to lose its charm even for the most fervent admirer. But the peculiar quality of the Holy Qur’an, and of it alone, is that the more one reads or recites it, the more eager one becomes to do so again and again. Even among the sacred books of the world, the Holy Qur’an is unique in this respect.

(9)          The sacred books of many religions have been lost or no longer exist in an integral and authentic form. But Allah has promised in the Holy Qur’an that He Himself will protect this Book, and preserve it against the slightest change upto the end of time. During the fourteen centuries of the history of Islam, millions of copies, written by hand or printed, have been spread all over the globe as no other sacred book has been. But in this respect the greatest miracle of the Holy Qur’an is that in all the ages and in all the places where Muslims have lived, there have been millions of people who have known the Book by heart without the alteration of a single consonant or vowel. So, Allah has preserved His Last Book not merely in the shape of written words, but, above all in the hearts of men. Allah is Ever-Living, so will His Word live forever beyond the interference of created beings.

(10)       There is no other book which should comprehend all the forms of knowledge and wisdom in so short a space as does the Holy Qur’an, fulfilling all possible spiritual needs of man, and providing him with guidance for all the spheres of his internal or external, individual or social activity.

(11)       It is not merely a theoretical guidance that the Holy Qur’an has offered. Which other book, sacred or otherwise, has had such a vast and deep impact on the history of mankind in such a short time? Which other book has brought about such a radical change in the individual and collective life of millions of men within the space of a few years? For when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) departed from this world, Islam had, in spite of all opposition and without the modern media of communication, already established a new order of life all over the Arabian peninsula, and within the next few decades the message of the Holy Qur’an had reached India on one side, and Spain on the other. Can such pervasiveness be anything but a miracle?

Answers to some doubts

Before we leave the subject, we may also deal with certain doubts which have been expressed with regard to the miraculous nature of the Holy Qur’an. It has, for example, been suggested that some people, at one time or another, must have taken up the challenge of the Holy Qur’an, and produced something comparable to it, but their compositions have not been preserved and have not come down to us. But the objection is fanciful. The number of people hostile to Islam has, in any age, been much larger than that of Muslims, and they have possessed far greater and much more efficacious means of publicity than Muslims ever have. If any seemingly successful attempt had been made to produce an imitation of the Holy Qur’an, it would not only have been preserved but also been widely publicised.

After all, the infidels of Makkah used to bring all kinds of wild and fanatic charges against the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) For instance, they accused him of having learnt all that he taught from the monk, Buhira whom he had met only once in Syria; or, they imputed the Holy Qur’an to the authorship of a Roman slave who, being an alien, could not have been a master of the Arabic language and of the characteristically Arab form of eloquence – the Holy Qur’an itself has reported this calumny. But even they, for all their venom, never pretended to have produced something resembling the Holy Qur’an. Anyhow, whatever funny or flimsy attempts have been made to match the Holy Qur’an are on record in the books of history. For example, Musaylama کّذاب of Yemen, known as the Great Liar, came out with a string of obscenities as a reply to the Word of Allah, but his own people dismissed them for what they were worth. At a later date, the famous man of letters, ` Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa’ thought of trying his wits against the Holy Qur’an, but soon gave up in despair.ll

  1. A latter-day adventurist has been the Irish novelist James Joyce who congratulated himself on having faced up to the Challenge of the Holy Qur’an in his “Finnegans Wake”. Soon recognized to be at least very funny, this book can already be seen to be going up in a smoke of jokes.

The point, however, is that if someone had really produced even three or four verses comparable to those of the Holy Qur’an, the matter could not have gone without being passed down to us at least by the enemies of Islam. Of late a different kind of objection has sometimes been raised. They say that the impossibility of successfully imitating a book does not by itself argue that it is the Word of Allah or a miracle, for poets like Shakespeare or Hafiz too have never been imitated successfully. But a miracle is, by definition, something which occurs without the like means having been employed.

Every poet or writer in the world, even the greatest, is known to have undergone a process of education and training in his art, and to have made use of certain means and methods which are humanly possible. But the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، as we have said before, did not even know reading or writing, and was never interested in learning the arts of eloquence. Moreover, it is not merely a question of literary style. In considering the Holy Qur’an as a miracle, we must, above all, take into account the spiritual efficacy and. the transforming power it has, and which it has been showing these last fourteen hundred years.12

  1. We may conclude this discussion by quoting a passage from the well-known scholar of comparative religion and traditional civilizations, Frithjof Schuon: The superhuman value of a revealed Book cannot be apparent in an absolute fashion from its earthly form, nor from its conceptual content alone; in reality, the Divine and therefore miraculous quality of such a Book is of an order quite other than that of the most perfect dialectic or the most brilliant poetry. This quality shows itself first of all in a richness of meanings – a feature that is incapable of being imitated – and also in what might be called the underlying divine ‘magic’ which shines through the formal expression and proves itself by its results in souls, and in the world, in space and in time. Only this Divine substance can explain the spiritual and theurgic efficacy of the Qura’nic verses, with its consequences in miraculously rapaid expansion of primitive Islam in the conditions in which it took place, as well as in the stability of Moslem institutions and the extraordinary fruitfulness of Islamic doctrine.” (“Dimensions of Islam”, London, 1970 page 55).

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يَسْتَحْىٖٓ اَنْ يَّضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوْضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا

In the foregoing verses, it was affirmed that the Holy Qur’an does not admit of any kind of doubt, and that if someone should have a suspicion as to its being the Word of God, he should try to produce even a small Surah comparable to it. These two verses refer to an objection raised by the disbelievers with regard to the Holy Qur’an, and provide an answer to them. They had been saying that had the Qur’an been the Word of Allah, it would not have employed contemptible creatures like an ant or a gnat in its parables, for such a thing goes against the sublimity and majesty of Allah, when it would embarrass even a man with some sense of dignity. The Holy Qur’an points out that when one intends to speak of a detestable thing or person or situation, in a parable, the use of a gnat or something even more contemptible neither transgresses the principles of eloquence or logic, nor does it go against the sense of dignity or modesty, and hence Allah does not feel shy in using such imagery. The Holy Qur’an also shows that doubts of this kind arise only in the minds of those whom their disbelief has drained of all power to see things in a proper perspective, while such empty misgivings never touch the minds and hearts of true believers.

Qur’anic Parables: Test and guidance

The Holy Qur’an proceeds to suggest even a raison d’etre for the use of such parables: they serve as a test for men. In the case of those who are ready to think and to understand, they become a source of guidance; but for those who refuse to understand, out of indifference or out of a stubborn hostility and denial, they are a cause of greater confusion and misguidance. In elaborating this point, the Holy Qur’an specifies that these parables throw into confusion only those disobedient and rebellious people who disavow the covenant they have made with Allah, break all those relationships which Allah has commanded them to keep intact, and consequently produce an ever-widening disorder and anarchy in the world.

Who is فاسق fasiq?

The Arabic word used by the Holy Qur’an in speaking of the disobedient is Al-fasiqin, its root being fasaqa which means to go outside or to stray beyond a limit’. In the terminology of the Shari’ah, fisq فسق signifies ‘going beyond the circle of obedience to Allah, or transgressing the commandments of Allah’. Now, transgression does not stop at being merely disobedient in one’s actions, but can sometimes lead to outright denial and disbelief. So, the word fasiq فاسق is applied to a disbeliever (kafir کافر ) as well – such a use of the word is frequent in the Holy Qur’an. A Muslim who is a habitual sinner is also called a fasiq فاسق – this is how the jurists (Fuqaha’ ) ordinarily use the word, making the fasiq فاسق a counterpart of the kafir کافر on the opposite side. That is to say, a man who commits a major sin and does not repent, or who insists on committing minor sins and makes it a habit, would be called a fasiq فاسق in the terminology of the Fuqaha’; on the other hand, a man who commits such sins publicly and openly without being ashamed of it is called a kafir کافر . (See Mazhari)

Living by the Covenant with Allah

The Covenant which the transgressors disavow refers to the one that all men made with Allah before any of them came down to the earth. The Holy Qur’an says that Allah brought together the spirits of all men, and asked them: اَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ :”Am I not your Lord?” And they replied with one voice: بَليٰ : “Yes” (7:172). This acceptance and affirmation of Allah as their only Lord and Master requires that men should in no way be disobedient to Him. Allah’s books and His prophets come down to the world to remind them of this Covenant, to renew it, and to teach them in detail how to act upon it. Now, those who break this Covenant, how can they ever be expected to learn from the prophets and the books of Allah?

Injunctions and related considerations:

(1)          Verse 26 shows if one intends to explain something useful or essential for the spiritual guidance of one’s readers or listeners, it is neither sinful nor reprehensible to refer to something which is generally supposed to be contemptible or dirty, nor does it go against the dignity of the writer or the speaker. Examples of the use of such images or parables occur in the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith, and in the writings of the Sufis and other great Muslim scholars, all of whom have disregarded the habitual idea of modesty or seriousness in the interest of the real object to be attained.

(2)          The reference to the disavowing of one’s covenant with Allah indicates that the infringement of a contract or agreement made with one’s fellow men is a grave sin, which may have the consequence of depriving a man of the ability to do good deeds.

(3)          Verse 27 shows that it is essential for us to maintain the relationships which the Shari’ah has commanded us to keep intact, and that it is forbidden to break them. Indeed, religion itself signifies the divinely ordained laws which bind us to fulfil our obligations with regard to Allah (Huququllah) and with regard to His servants (Huquq al-‘Ibad). According to this verse, the fundamental cause of disorder in human society is the sundering of these relationships.

The Holy Qur’an says that real losers are those who go against divine commandments. There is a suggestion here that real loss pertains to the other world, the loss of this world being too small a thing to be worthy of serious consideration.

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُوْنَ بِاللّٰهِ وَكُنْتُمْ اَمْوَاتًا فَاَحْيَاكُمْ   ۚ ثُمَّ يُمِيْتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيْكُمْ ثُمَّ اِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُوْنَ

The earlier verses affirmed the existence and the Oneness of Allah, and prophethood, giving self-evident proofs and refuting the whimsical and false notions of the doubters and the disbelievers. These two verses speak of the blessings which Allah has showered on man, pointing out that all the same there are men who do not recognize the bounty of Allah and persist in their denial — the suggestion being that if they do not want to take the trouble of considering the arguments which have been advanced by the Holy Qur’an in the earlier verses, they should, as every man with an undistorted nature must, at least be grateful to their benefactor, for even this would be a way of realizing why they should be obedient to Allah.

The first of these two verses refers to the blessings which are particular to the very being of man — that is to say, he had no life before Allah gave him existence. The second verse refers to the general blessings which are common to man and other creatures — firstly, the earth and all that it contains and on which man’s life immediately depends, and secondly, the skies with which life on earth is directly related.

Verse 28 begins by expressing surprise at those who insist on being ungrateful to Allah and on denying Him. On the face of it, the disbelievers had never denied Allah but only the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، all the same, the Holy Qur’an equates such a denial with the denial of Allah Himself.

Then, the verse reminds man that once he was “dead” اموات (amwat), or that he had no life. He existed, if at all, in the shape of billions of lifeless particles aimlessly floating; Allah brought them together, made them into a man, and gave them life.

The verse proceeds to warn him that Allah will take away his life, and then give it back to him a second time. This second life refers to the Day of Judgment when Allah will collect the lifeless and scattered particles of each and every man again, and give-him a new life. Thus, the first ‘death’ or ‘state of lifelessness’ was at the beginning before man received life from Allah; the second death comes when a man completes the life-span allotted to him; and the second life will be given on the Day of Judgment.

The verse ends by telling man that he will ultimately go back to Allah. This, of course, refers to the Resurrection when all men will rise from their graves, will be assembled for giving an account of their deeds, and be finally punished or rewarded according to what they had been doing in the world.

According to this verse, the chief blessing of Allah for man is life, for without life he cannot profit from any other blessing. This is obvious enough. But the verse counts death too as a blessing. It is so, because physical death is the door to the perpetual life of the other world after which there is no death.

ھُوَ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَّا فِى الْاَرْضِ جَمِيْعًا    ۤ  ثُمَّ اسْتَوٰٓى اِلَى السَّمَاۗءِ فَسَوّٰىھُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمٰوٰتٍ

In recounting the blessings which man has received from Allah, verse 29 refers to Allah having created for man “all that the earth contains.” This small phrase comprehends all kinds of benefits which accrue to him from the earth and its produce. Then, the verse speaks of the creation of the sky and its division into seven skies or heavens, as they are usually called in English. In this context, the Holy Qur’an uses the Arabic word, Istawaإستوا which initially means ‘to stand upright, to climb’, and thence signifies ‘to turn or pay attention to something’, and, in a wider sense, ‘to take a straight and firm decision which nothing can hinder’. The implication here is that Allah being Omniscient and Omnipotent, it was not at all difficult for Him to create the universe, once He had decided to do so.

The life in ‘Barzakh’ برزخ

(The period between death and resurrection)

(1)          Verse 28 shows that a man who does not apparently deny Allah, but refuses to accept the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as the Messenger of Allah, and the Holy Qur’an as the Book of Allah, would still be counted among those who do not believe in Allah.

(2)          Verse 28 mentions only one kind of life which is to follow one’s physical death – that is, the life which will begin on the Day of Resurrection – but says nothing about the life in the grave, although the Holy Qur’an and Hadith explicitly speak of how people will be questioned about their faith in their graves, and will also receive some reward or punishment. Now, this life in the grave is something intermediary (Barzakh برزخ ) between the life which man has in this world and one he will have in the other. In other words, it is a state in between the two, resembling the life one has while dreaming; it can be called a supplement to the life of this world as also a prelude to the life hereafter. In short, this intermediary life is not in itself a distinct entity, and hence need not be mentioned separately.

(3)          According to verse 29, everything in the universe has been created for man. It means that there is nothing in the universe from which man does not derive some benefit in one way or the other, directly or indirectly. There are things which man uses physically as food or medicine; other things are useful for him without his knowing it; even poisonous or dangerous things do him some good; even things which are forbidden for him in one of their aspects, may in some other aspect be quite beneficial; finally, almost everything can serve to teach him a lesson or illuminate him in the interest of his life in the Hereafter. The great Sufi Ibn ` Ata’ remarks in connection with this verse: ‘Allah has created the universe for you so that it should serve you and you should serve Allah. A wise man should thus know that he will certainly get what has been created for him, and should not, in worrying about it, forget the Being for whom he himself has been created’ (Al-Bahr al-Muhit).

On the basis of verse 29, some scholars have came to the conclusion that since everything in the world has been created for man, it is essentially legitimate (Halal حلال) and permissible (Mubah مٰباح ) for man to make use of everything, except the things which have been forbidden by the Shari’ah. So, the use of a thing is to be regarded as lawful so long as the Holy Qur’an or the Hadith does not forbid it.

On the contrary, some other scholars say that the mere fact of a thing having been created for the benefit of man does not argue that it automatically becomes lawful to make use of it. So, the use of everything is essentially unlawful unless an explicit statement in the Holy Qur’an or the Hadith, or an argument based on them establishes the use of a thing as legitimate.

There are still other authentic scholars who have not taken sides in this controversy. Ibn Hayyan, in his commentary ‘Al-Bahr al-Muhit’, points out that this verse does not provide a valid basis for, either of the two views, for the letter lam in the phrase: khalaqa lakum indicates causation, signifying that the universe has been “created for your sake.” So, one cannot draw any conclusion from the phrase as to the use of everything being essentially legitimate or illegitimate. The injunction with regard to the legitimacy or the illegitimacy of the use of particular things have been provided elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, and it is obligatory to follow these injunctions.

(5)          Verse 29 shows that the earth was created before the skies, as indicated by the word, ثُم : Thumma (‘then’ ). Another verse of the Holy Qur’an seems to be saying the opposite وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ دَحَاهَا ﴿٣٠﴾: “He spread out the earth after this.” (79:30) But it does not necessarily mean that the earth was created after the skies. What it actually implies is that although the earth had already been created when the skies came into being, yet a final shape was given to it after the reation of the skies. (A1-Bahr al-Muhit, etc.)

(6)          According to verse 29, the, skies are seven in number. This shows that the opinion of the ancient Greek astronomers and some Muslim philosophers, who used to speak of nine heavens, was no more than a conjecture.

وَاِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةِ اِنِّىْ جَاعِلٌ فِى الْاَرْضِ خَلِيْفَةً ۭ قَالُوْٓا اَتَجْعَلُ فِيْهَا مَنْ يُّفْسِدُ فِيْهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاۗءَ    ۚ  وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ   ۭ  قَالَ اِنِّىْٓ اَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُوْنَ

The preceding verses recounted the general and some of the particular blessings of Allah, and asked man to recognize them and not to be ungrateful and disobedient to his Benefactor. Now, ten verses, beginning with the 30th, tell the story of the father of mankind, Adam (عليه السلام) ، in continuation of this theme and also by way of illustration. For, blessings are of two kinds – tangible and intangible. Food, water, money, houses, or lands are some of the tangible blessings; while honour, happiness or knowledge are intangible ones. The earlier verses were concerned with blessings of the first kind; these verses speak of those of the second kind – that is to say, how Allah bestowed the gift of knowledge on Adam (عليه السلام) ، made the angels prostrate themselves before him to show their respect, and gave men the honour of being his sons.

The creation of Adam

The present three verses relate how Allah, having decided to create Adam and to make him His deputy on the earth, spoke of it to the angels – seemingly by way of a trial, suggesting that they should express their opinions in this matter. The angels submitted that they could not understand why men were being chosen to be-the deputies, for some of them would shed blood and spread disorder on this earth. They thought that they themselves were more suited to perform this function, as the nature of angels is wholly good, no evil deed can possibly come out of them, they are totally obedient to Allah, and should hence be more capable of managing the affairs of the world. In replying to them, Allah first adopted the mode of authority, and told the angels that they knew nothing about the nature and the needs of deputation on the earth, and that Allah alone was the one to know it fully. The second answer was in the mode of wisdom – Adam had been given preference over the angels on account of his superiority in the station of knowledge, because in order to function properly as a deputy on the earth one must know the names, the properties and the characteristics of the things to be found there, and the angels had no aptitude for this kind of knowledge.

(1) A question arises here as to why Allah chose to speak of His decision to the angels. Was it merely to inform them? Was it to seek their advice? Or, was it to make them express their opinion on the subject?

Why Allah discussed Adam’s creation with angels?

As for seeking advice, it is obvious enough that one turns for advice to wise and trustworthy people only when one cannot see all the aspects of a problem clearly, and does not want to depend on one’s own knowledge and understanding alone, or when the rights of others are equal to one’s own, and they too have to be consulted, as happens in the counsels of the world. Evidently, neither of the two situations obtain in the present case. Allah is the creator of the universe, and knows everything about the smallest particle of dust; He sees and hears everything, apparent or hidden. How can He stand in need of anyone’s advice? Similarly, He does not run the universe under the parliamentary system, in which all have equal rights and everyone has to be consulted directly or indirectly. He is the Lord and Master, and all His creatures, be they men or angels, are His slaves – no one has the right to question Him about His actions, and to ask Him why He did this or why He did not do that: لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ : “He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they are to be questioned.” (21:23)

In fact, Allah did not mean to seek the advice of the angels, nor was there any need for it, but He, in His wisdom, gave a mere statement the form of a consultation in order to teach men the advisability of mutual consultation. After all, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was a messenger of Allah, and all the information he needed in dealing with the affairs of the world could have been conveyed to him by means of revelation, and yet the Holy Qur’an asks him to seek the advice of his Companions, so that the Islamic community should learn this lesson from him and the way of mutual consultation should be established through him. In short, this is the first raison d’etre of the mode of expression adopted by Allah. (Ruh al-Bayan)

The other has been suggested by the Holy Qur’an itself. Before the appearance of man, the angels had taken it for granted that Allah would not create a being who should be superior to them and greater in knowledge – as has been reported in a narration coming down from the blessed Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) and cited by Ibn Jarir (رض) in his commentary. But Allah knew that He would create a being who would be superior to all other creatures and greater than them in knowledge, and who would receive the gift of divine vice regency. So, Allah mentioned this in the assembly of the angels so that they may disclose what they had been thinking. Speaking according to their own lights, they very humbly submitted that a creature like man who carried within himself a tendency towards evil and disorder and who would not balk even at blood-shed, could not be expected to maintain peace and order on the earth, while they themselves, being free of all evil, and perfect in their obedience and devotion, could perform the function more satisfactorily. They did not mean to raise an objection to the choice which Allah had made, for angels are innocent of such sentiments; they were only being curious, and wanted to know the raison d’etre of such a choice.

To begin with, Allah gave them a very brief reply إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ “I know what you do not know”, implying that they are not aware of the nature and the requirements of divine vice regency, which had led them to suppose that only pure and innocent beings could fulfill the conditions necessary for such a responsible position.

Then, Allah demonstrated the truth to them in a vivid form. He gave to Adam (عليه السلام) kind of knowledge for which he alone had been endowed with the proper aptitude, and not the angels. That is to say, He taught him the names, the properties and qualities of all the existents, animate or inanimate. Angelic nature is not capable of such awareness – for example, an angel cannot really experience the pain of hunger and thirst, the tumult of passions, and the torment from the bite of a scorpion or a snake, or the exhilaration from an intoxicant. Only Adam (عليه السلام) had the capacity to learn such things, and he was taught to know them. Then, there is no indication in the Holy Qur’an to show that he was taught in privacy, apart from the angels. It may well be that the teaching in itself was open to the angels as well as to him; his nature allowed him to receive it, and he learnt the lesson, while, they were impeded by their own proper nature, and could not.

Or, it may be that the teaching did not take an external form at all, but that the Adamic nature was made to carry this particular kind of knowledge within itself without the need of a formal education, just as an infant does not have to be taught how to suck the mother’s milk, or a duckling how to swim. As to the question why Allah, being omnipotent, did not change the nature of the angels and make them learn these things, we shall say that the question, in fact, boils down to this: Why did not Allah change the angels into men? For, if their nature had been altered, they would no longer have remained angels, but become men.

In short, through this demonstration Allah made the angels realize how wrong they were in supposing that He would not create any being superior to them in any way, and that they themselves were more suitable for being the vice regents of Allah than Adam (عليه السلام) . Since they failed to name the things which Adam (عليه السلام) could, they came to see that purity and innocence is not the criterion in choosing a deputy or vice regent but the knowledge of the things which are to be found on the earth, of the ways of using them, and of the consequences which would follow from such a use.

We can also infer a general principle from the episode – it is necessary for a ruler to know fully the nature, the temperament and the peculiarities of the people over whom he is to rule, without which he cannot enforce justice and order. If one does not know the pain of being hungry, how can one deal justice to the man who has unjustly been kept hungry?

We may also point out that in expressing their opinion, the angels were neither raising an objection, nor being vain and proud, nor asserting their right; it was, on their part, only a humble submission, and an offer of their services. When they found that there was another being who was, with his special kind of knowledge, more suitable for the function, they as humbly acknowledged the fact and withdrew their earlier opinion in saying: سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيم : “To You belongs all purity! We have no knowledge except what You have given us. Surely, You alone are the all-knowing, the all-wise.” In the present context, the phrase, “To You belongs all purity” also has the implication that Allah is free from the charge of having withheld from the angels the knowledge which He gave to Adam (عليه السلام) ، for, being the all-knowing and the all-wise, He gives to each creature the kind and the degree of knowledge and understanding which He, and He alone, knows to be in consonance with the specific nature of that creature.

Another question which may arise out of this episode is: How did the angels come to know that man would shed blood? Did they possess the knowledge of hidden things and of divine secrets? Or, was it a mere conjecture on their part? Most of the authoritative scholars believe, on the basis of certain , آثار : Athar ‘ or reports available about the blessed Companions, that it was Allah Himself who had informed the angels on this occasion as to how man would behave on the earth. (See Ruh a1-Ma` ani’ ). It is only then that they became curious about the raison d’etre of man being chosen as the vice regent in spite of his propensity to evil.

Besides demonstrating the superiority of Adam in knowledge, Allah dispelled the misgivings of the angels with regard to the evil propensities in man by the short and simple answer, إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ,: “Certainly, I know what you do not know.” There is a subtle suggestion here – what makes man fit for viceregency is just the peculiarity which, in the eyes of the angels, made him unfit for this function. For, a deputy or vice regent is needed on the earth just for the purpose of preventing blood-shed and disorder; if there is no possibility of disorder in a place, where is the need for sending there an administrator? Thus, it was the Divine Will and Wisdom that, just as Allah had created beings as innocent and sinless as the angels, or beings as totally evil as Satan and his progeny, or beings like the jinns in whom evil dominated over good, He would also create beings in whom good and evil should be equally mixed, who should try to conquer the evil in themselves and to grow in goodness so as to seek and attain the pleasure of their Creator.

Man is the vice regent of Allah on the earth

(2)          These verses tell us that a vice regent was appointed to keep order on the earth and to promulgate divine laws. From here we learn the basic principles for the governance of men on the earth.

The ultimate sovereignty in the universe belongs to Allah Himself, as is explicitly stated in many verses of the Holy Qur’an: إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّـهِ “Judgment belongs to Allah alone” (6:57); لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ “The sovereignty of the skies and the earth belongs to Him alone” (9:116); لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ‌ “Verily, His is the Creation and the Command.” (7:54)

But He has, in His wisdom, chosen to send His vice regents to the earth for maintaining spiritual and temporal order. Their function is to announce and promulgate divine commandments, to teach men how to abide by these laws, and sometimes even to exercise temporal power as well as spiritual authority under divine guidance. The appointment is made directly by Allah Himself, and is in no sense a reward for the good deeds or the spiritual effort of the individual concerned. There is a total consensus of all the authentic scholars of the Islamic Ummah on the doctrine that prophethood is not a thing which one can at¬tain through one’s personal effort or on the merit of one’s good deeds, but that Allah Himself, in His supreme knowledge and wisdom, choos¬es certain individuals for acting as His messengers, prophets and vice-regents. The Holy Qur’an has explicitly declared it in several verses: اللَّـهُ يَصْطَفِي مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُ‌سُلًا وَمِنَ النَّاسِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ‌: “Allah chooses His messengers from among the angels and from among men; surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing” (22:75); اللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِ‌سَالَتَهُ : “Allah knows best whom to entrust with His message” (6:124).

These vice regents receive divine commandments directly from Allah, and then promulgate them in the world. The chain of vice regents began with Adam (عليه السلام) and continued in the same way upto the Holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was the last Caliph of Allah on earth

(5) The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) came to the earth as the last vice regent (Khalifa خلیفہ ), the last Messenger (Rasul رسول) and the last prophet (Nabiyy نبِّیِ ) of Allah, endowed with certain special qualities peculiar to him which he does not share with any other prophet. We may mention some of these characteristics:

(a) Each of the earlier prophets was sent for the guidance of a particular country or people, and his authority was limited to his jurisdiction alone, – for example, Musa (عليه السلام) and ` Isa (عليه السلام) – (Moses and Jesus Christ (عليهم السلام) were sent to Bani’ Isra’il (the Israelites). But the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been sent for the guidance of all the men and all the jinns, and his authority extends to all the members of the two species. The Holy Qur’an has declared the universality of his prophethood in these words: قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَ‌سُولُ اللَّـهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ “Say: 0 mankind, I am the messenger of Allah to you all, of Him to whom belongs the sovereignty of the skies and of the earth” (7:158). A hadith of the Sahih of Muslim reports the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as having said that he had been made superior to all other prophets in six things. The first of these is, of course, the universality of his prophethood.

(b)          Just as the viceregency and prophethood of all the earlier prophets was limited to particular peoples and countries, in the same way it was also limited to specific periods; when the age of one prophet was over, another prophet would come to take his place as the new vice regent. On the contrary, the Holy Prophet Muhammad $ has been sent by Allah as the last of all prophets; his prophethood is not circum¬scribed within a specific period, but shall last till the end of time.

(c)           It has so happened that the teachings and the Shari` ah of each of the earlier prophets would remain intact for a time, but then gradually people would start deviating from them and distorting them till they became unrecognizable; at this stage Allah would send a new prophet with a new Shari’ah. But the Sharl’ah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is to remain alive in its integral form upto the end of the universe. Allah has taken upto Himself the responsibility of protecting the words and the meanings of the Holy Qur’an:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ‌ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“It is We who have sent down the Remembrance (i.e. the Holy Qur’an) and We are its Protector” (15:9).

Similarly, He has made a special provision for the preservation of the Hadith which contains the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that is to say, in spite of all the vicissitudes of time there shall remain till the Doomsday a group of people who will preserve these teachings and transmit them accurately to others, and who will receive help and protection from Allah Himself. Since Allah has ordained the survival of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, there is obviously no need for a new prophet or messenger or vice regent and no room for a new Shari` ah.

(d)          Contrary to the case of all the earlier prophets, the prophethood and viceregency of the last of them, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم , is not limited to a particular period, but is to continue upto the end of time, and those who succeed him for the preservation of spiritual and temporal order in the world, are to be, not the vice regents of Allah, but the vice regents of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his deputies. A hadith reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim both says:

«كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الأَنْبِيَاءُ، كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَإِنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَسَيَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَيَكْثُرُونَ». (صحيح البخاري: 3455، صحيح مسلم: 1852)

“The Israelites were governed by their prophets. When a prophet died, another would come to take his place. And beware خلفاء ، no prophet is to come after me. Of course, there will be my deputies (Khulafa’ ), and there will be many of them.’

The issue of Caliphate after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

(e)          Allah has ordained that after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) his Ummah, or the Islamic community, shall as a body enjoy the privilege which has been that of the prophets (عليهم السلام) . That is to say, the Ummah as a collective body has been declared to be innocent and under the special protection of Allah Himself, so that it will never unanimously agree upon a doctrinal error or a deviation, and hence any decision which has been arrived at in religious matters through the consensus of the Ummah is to be regarded as manifestation of Divine Commandment. That is why the consensus of the Ummah has been accepted as the third source of the Shari’ah, the first two being the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith. For the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has himself said, لن تجتمع أمتي علی الضلالة :”My Ummah shall never collectively agree upon error.” And we have already referred to another hadth which tells us that no matter how much the world has changed or how indifferent people have grown to the Truth, there shall always remain in the Islamic Ummah a group of people who will defend and preserve the Truth, and who will finally win.

(6) Since it has been ordained that the Islamic Ummah as a body shall never go wrong, the responsibility of choosing a deputy to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has also been entrusted to it. Now, for the governance of the earth the legitimate way is that the Ummah should select a Khalifah who, once chosen, would solely be responsible for the maintenance of spiritual and temporal order. And it is also possible that there should be a single Khalifah for the whole world.

The first to succeed the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as his deputies were the First Four Great Khulafa خلفاء ، known as al-Khulafa’ al-Rashideen (or the rightly-guided ones, commonly translated as the ‘Orthodox Ca¬liphs’ ), and the Khilafat خلافت order functioned according to the proper principles upto the end of their time. So, their decisions are not merely temporary judgments, but have a permanent legislative val¬ue, and carry an authority in their own degree, for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said, علیکم بسنتی و سنۃ الخفاء الراشدین :’Follow my way steadfastly, and the way of the rightly-guided Khalifahs.’

After the age of the rightly-guided Khalifahs, different rulers appeared in different regions, but none of them can be described as a Khalifah of the whole Islamic community in the proper sense of the term, though they may be called the Amirs اُمراء of particular regions. When it became practically impossible for all the Muslims of the world to agree upon one man as their Khalifah, and it became customary to have a separate Amir امیر for each region, people accepted the principle that the man who had been chosen or acknowledged by the majority of the Muslims in a country, should be called the Amir of that country. The basis for this procedure has been provided by the Holy Qur’an itself: وَأَمْرُ‌هُمْ شُورَ‌ىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ :”And they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation” (42:38).

The modern legislative assemblies are a form of mutual consultation, with the difference that they are quite free to make whatever laws they like according to their own opinion, while an Islamic legislative assembly, its members and their Amir all shall be bound by the law which Allah has sent us through the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . There are certain specific conditions for the membership of an Islamic assembly as well as for the choice of an Amir امیر . And, most important of all, laws must be made within the bounds of the basic principles laid down by the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, the authority of which the assembly cannot have the right to question.

Let me give a brief summary of the whole discussion. The verses which tell us of how Allah informed the angels about his intention to send a vice regent to the earth, provide us with some of the fundamental principles of the governance of man:

(a)          The sovereignty of the skies and of the earth belongs to Allah Himself.

(b)          The function of promulgating the Commandments of Allah on the earth is performed by a vice regent who is at the same time a messenger of Allah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

(c)           The chain of such vice regents ends with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for he is the last Messenger and Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

(d)          Now the function of viceregency is performed by the deputies of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

(e)          Such a deputy (Khalifah) is to be chosen by the Ummah or Islamic community.14

  1. (1) Some Modernists have zealously taken to the habit of interpreting these verses as implying that man as a vice regent of Allah is required to make a ‘progress’ in ‘Science’ – that is, in the empirical study of physical phenomena; a so-called ‘Muslim’ translator of the Holy Qur’an has even had the temerity to translate the name ‘Adam (عليه السلام) ‘ by the English word ‘Man’, thus denying the existence and prophethood of Adam (عليه السلام) . In order to dispel such grave errors and distortions of word and meaning, let us point out that the ‘names’ which Allah taught to Adam (عليه السلام) not refer merely to the chemical or biological or psychological properties of things and men, but to their essential qualities and aptitudes – we are using the word ‘essential’ in the technical and metaphysical sense of the word in which it was originally used in the West too.

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi (رح) adds in his ‘Bayan al-Qur’an’ that the knowledge of the ‘names’ even includes a knowledge of the injunctions of the Shari` ah as to the distinction between the lawful and the unlawful. Then, there are many great Sufis who maintain that Adam (عليه السلام) was given the knowledge of ‘the names of Allah’ – not of all the divine names in detail, of course, for it is not possible for a created being to comprehend the Infinite, but of divine names in a summary form. This interpretation has been advanced by as authentic a commentator as Qadi Thanaullah of Panipat in his ‘Tafsir al-Mazhari’. In the explanation of this subtle point we may say that everything that exists reflects some divine attribute, which in its turn is a manifestation of a divine name; thus, divine names are the essential principles or roots of all things, and one who knows divine names does also know things in their inner natures.

(2) With regard to the question of the vice regency of Allah, we cannot pass over a very serious distortion of the authentic doctrine which has been introduced by the Modernists and seems to be growing in currency. Under the influence of Western Humanism, and specially in their indifference to doctrinal matters, the Modernists have come to identify the prophet and the father of mankind, Adam (عليه السلام) totally with the biological species called ‘man’, and have made out as if every individual member of this species, unconditionally and without any qualifications, is born to be a vice regent of Allah.

The error has been promoted by a thoughtless misreading of Sufi metaphysical texts and Sufi poetry. What our Modernists have never cared to learn is the concept of degrees and their distinctions. The Sufis, no doubt, often speak of ‘man’ as being the vice regent of Allah, but what they are actually referring to is not a biological organism or species, but Al-Insan Al-Kamil’, ‘the Universal Man’ – a term which the orientalists have wrongly rendered as ‘the perfect man’, thus introducing ethical implications in the sphere of pure metaphysics. In the writings of the Sufis, prose and poetry both, ‘Man’ also stands for ‘the Total and Essential Reality of man’ (Al-Hagigah al-Jdmi’ah al-Insaniyyah). Now, the Universal Man par excellence is the Holy Prophet $ this is the first degree of “manhood” to which belong the Aulia’ (Men of Allah or the great saints) and those rulers who dealt justice according to the Shari’ah.

Then, there are lower degrees pertaining to the pious and the virtuous Muslims down to the lowest degree where stand people who are sinful, yet, being Muslims, can hope for salvation. Allah alone knows best as to who belongs to which degree; below the degree of the blessed Companions one can never speak with certitude. If we allow ourselves to associate vice regency with an ordinary Muslim, it would only be viceregency, so to say, by reflection, just as the ‘Iman of every Muslim is only a reflection of the ‘Iman of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Anyway, the necessary condition of receiving even a faint reflection of viceregency and “Manhood” is that one should be a Muslim, for, as the Holy Qur’an has explicitly declared, ‘Allah shall not now accept any faith except Islam.’ As for attributing viceregency of “Manhood” to common man as such is concerned, it can at best only be viceregency, to use Aristotelean terms, in potency and not in act – it cannot be effective unless it is actualized through a total submission to the Shari’ah and a strenuous spiritual effort and waiting upon the grace of Allah. In fact, the highest excellence open to man now is to be in word and deed and thought a perfect follower of the Sunnah, the way of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

وَاِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةِ اسْجُدُوْا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوْٓا اِلَّآ اِبْلِيْسَ   ۭ  اَبٰى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ  وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكٰفِرِيْنَ

The episode recounted in the foregoing verses has shown how the angels came to learn that Adam was superior to them in so far as he possessed the forms of knowledge necessary for the function of divine vice regency, while they themselves did not, nor did the jinns. Now, Allah willed to manifest this superiority in a visible and concrete form. So, He commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (عليه السلام) in his honour. They obeyed except Iblis ابلیس or Satan who, in his pride, refused to do so.

If we go by the words of the Holy Qur’an, the command was given to the angels alone, but, in excepting Iblis ابلیس from those who obeyed, the text also suggests that the command was given to all the created beings that existed at that time and possessed understanding, including the jinns as well as the angels. But the Holy Qur’an mentions the angels alone, because when superior beings like the angels were required to show their respect for Adam (عليه السلام) ، inferior creatures like the jinns must, it goes without saying, have been ordered to do the same.

Angels prostrate before Adam

(1) In this verse, the angels have been commanded to prostrate themselves before Adam (عليه السلام) . Another verse of the Holy Qur’an tells us that the parents and the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) (Joseph) on reaching Egypt, prostrated themselves before him (12:100). Evidently such a prostration cannot have been intended as an act of worship, for worshipping anyone other than Allah is an act of association (Shirk شرک) and infidelity (Kufr کفر), and hence cannot possibly be allowed by any Shari` ah. So, it appears that in the days of the ancient prophets prostrating oneself before somebody must have been just an act of courtesy or a way of showing one’s respect, and enjoyed the same value as we do in our own days things like a simple greeting, a handshake, the kissing of hand, or standing up in someone’s honour. Imam Al-Jassas has said in his Ahkam al-Qur’an that it was permissible in the Shari` ah of the earlier prophets (عليهم السلام) to prostrate oneself in honour of one’s elders, but that the Shari’ah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has forbidden gestures like prostrating oneself, or bowing down very low or standing with one hand placed on the other in the manner of the Salah before someone, all of which may suggest an act of worship, and has allowed only greeting (Salam) and hand-shake as a gesture of courtesy or respect.

It is easy to understand the raison d’etre of such a prohibition. Association, infidelity and the worship of anyone other than Allah are things which in their nature go against the very principle of ‘Iman ایمان (faith), and cannot therefore be tolerated by any Shari’ ah. There are, however, certain acts and gestures which are not in themselves acts of ‘association’ or infidelity, but may, on account of the ignorance or indifference of people, become a prelude to ‘association’ and infidelity. So, the Shari` ahs of the earlier prophets did not forbid such acts in an absolute manner, but prevented them from being used as the instruments of ‘association’ and infidelity.

For example, making pictures of living things is not in itself an act of ‘association’ or infidelity, and was hence permissible in the earlier Shari’ahs. In speaking of how the jinns used to serve Sulayman (عليه السلام) (Solomon) the Holy Qur’an itself says: يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِن مَّحَارِ‌يبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ :”They made for him whatever he liked – places of worship, and pictures.” (34:13) Similarly, prostrating oneself before somebody as a gesture of respect was permissible in the earlier Shari` ahs. But gradually the practice opened the way to ‘association’ and infidelity on account of people’s ignorance and thoughtlessness, and even caused grave distortions in the Shari` ahs of different prophets, which had to be rectified by other prophets and other Shari` ahs.

Since the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the last of all the prophets and messengers of Allah, and his Shari’ah is the last of all Shari` ahs and is to remain valid upto the end of time, Allah has, in order to protect it against all distortion, stopped every chink through which ‘association’ or idolatry could possibly enter. That is why this Shari’ah has strictly forbidden all those practices which had at one time or another served as a means towards ‘association’ or idol-worship.

For example, making pictures of living things has been totally banned; prostrating oneself before somebody, even as a mark of respect, has been forbidden; it is not permissible to offer one’s Salah (prayer) at those hours of the day which the infidels had reserved for worshipping their gods, for even this slight and external correspondence might lead to ‘association’; and, according to a Hadith reported by Muslim, one is not allowed to call one’s slave an “` abd” عبد ، nor is a slave allowed to call his master a “rabb رَبّ ” – the words respectively signify “a slave” and ‘one who gives nurture’, and are as such harmless, but they can be misconstrued, and may mislead ignorant slaves or helpless and subjugated people into the worship of their masters: hence the prohibition.

With regard to the question of prostration, we may add that, according to some authentic scholars, Salah, the basic form of Islamic worship, comprises of four kinds of actions – standing upright, bowing, sitting down, and prostrating oneself; the first two of these, standing up and sitting down, are actions which one habitually does in the course of one’s daily chores, and which one also performs as acts of worship in the course of a Salah (prayer), but the other two, bowing down and prostrating oneself, are actions which one does not go through as a matter of habit, and which are characteristically associated with Salah (prayer) and ` Ibadah (worship); hence it is that the Islamic Shari’ah has identified them with acts of worship, and forbidden the Muslims to bow down or prostrate themselves before anyone other than Allah.

Given that the Holy Qur’an itself speaks of prostration as a mark of respect, one would wish to know on what grounds it has been affirmed that the Islamic Shari’ah has forbidden this practice. As to this question, we may point out that several well-known narrations coming down to us from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) through quite a large number of his blessed Companions, are there to establish that prostrating oneself before somebody as a mark of respect is unlawful (haram حرام).

To cite only one such narration, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said that, if he could allow people to prostrate themselves before anyone other than Allah as a mark of respect, he would have ommanded wives to prostrate themselves before their husbands. This clearly shows that prostration as a mark of respect is absolutely forbidden, and no allowance can, in this respect, be made in favour of any created being. We may add that the Hadith we have just referred to has come down to us through twenty Companions, while, according to Tadrib al-Rawi, the famous book on the fundamentals of the science of Hadith, a Tradition which has been reported by only ten Companions is called Mutawatir متواتر ، and enjoys the same authority in the matter of injunctions as the Holy Qur’an.

(2)          The Holy Qur’an describes Iblis or Satan شیطان as an infidel. His infidelity does not arise from disobedience in his action, for, according to the Shari’ah, giving up an obligation in practice is only a sin and a transgression, and does not constitute infidelity. Iblis became an infidel, because he had defied and challenged a divine commandment, and had, in refusing to prostrate himself, virtually said that, in his opinion, Adam عليه السلام   was not worthy of it.

(3)          Iblis had attained such a high degree in science and knowledge that he was called طاؤس الملأکہ Ta’ us al-Mala’ikah: “The Peacock Among the Angels.” How did he, then, come to commit such a suicidal error? Some scholars say that it was because of his pride and vanity that Allah took back from him the wealth of knowledge and understanding, and hence he came to act like an ignorant fool. Others have suggested that his error was due to self-love and ambition. The famous commentary, ‘Ruh al-Bayan’ resolves the question by quoting a line of verse in Arabic which shows that once the aid of Allah has been withdrawn from a man, he can no longer save himself from sins, and all the effort he makes only serves to push him farther and farther into misguidance. May Allah, in his mercy, save all of us from such a fate! The commentary draws from it the conclusion that one should not be vain about one’s learning or one’s deeds or even about one’s Iman ایمان (faith), for Iman ایمان is valid only if it lasts till one’s final breath and into the first stage of one’s journey to the other world.

وَقُلْنَا يٰٓاٰدَمُ اسْكُنْ اَنْتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَكُلَامِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِـئْتُمَـا  ۠  وَلَا تَـقْرَبَا ھٰذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُوْنَا مِنَ الظّٰلِمِيْنَ

This is a continuation of the story of Adam (عليه السلام) . When his superiority over the angels and his fitness for the role of vice regent had been announced to the angels and been acknowledged by them, and Iblis had been condemned as an infidel and expelled from Paradise on account of his pride and his defiance of divine authority, Adam and Hawwa حوّا (عليهما السلام) (Eve), his wife, received a command from Allah to live in Paradise and enjoy its blessings. But they were also instructed not to eat the fruit of a particular tree. Now, having been disgraced because of Adam (عليه السلام) ، Iblis ابلیس or Satan had an account to settle with him, and as soon as he got the opportunity, he tricked them into eating from this tree. Because of this error on their part, they too were ordered to leave Paradise, and to go down and live on the earth. They were at the same time warned that their existence on the earth would no longer be full of perpetual bliss as it had been in Paradise, but that there would be dissension and enmity among men, their progeny, which would spoil the joy of earthly life.

Since these events took place after Adam (عليه السلام) had been created and the angels had been commanded to prostrate themselves before him, some scholars have concluded from it that the creation of Adam (عليه السلام) and the prostration of the angels took place somewhere outside Paradise, and that he was sent there later on. But the words of the Holy Qur’an do not exclude the other interpretation that both the events took place in Paradise, but that he had not been told at that time where he was to live, which was done later.

When Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) were sent to live in Paradise, they were allowed to eat whatever they liked ‘at pleasure’ – the Arabic word in the text being ‘Raghadan’ رَ‌غَدًا ، which signifies provision for which one does not have to work, and which is never exhausted nor falls short. Thus, their life was totally free from all care.

They were commanded not to go near a certain tree – which was an emphatic way of asking them not to eat its fruit. The tree has not been given a specific name either in the Holy Qur’an or in the Hadith. Some commentators say that it was wheat, others say that it was a fig-tree or a grape-vine. But it is not really necessary to make specific what the Holy Qur’an has left vague. (See Qurtubi)15

  1. Even the Bible does not name the tree. As to the apple being the fruit concerned, it is only a popular misunderstanding arising from the fact that the Latin word “Malum” means an “apple” as well as a “sin, or evil.

According to the Holy Qur’an, it was Satan who ’caused them to slip’ (azallahuma). It clearly shows that the error and disobedience of Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) was not of the kind which technically constitutes a sin, but arose out of a misunderstanding produced by Satan. They ate the forbidden fruit, because Satan had cleverly deceived them.16

  1. We may note that in the previous episode the Holy Qur’an used the name Iblis ابلیس۔ a word which comes from the root Balas بلس ، ‘to be disappointed’, and hence signifies “one who has lost all hope of receiving the grace of Allah.” In the present episode he has been called Al-Shaytan الشیطان – a word which comes from the root Shatn, شطن “to be far away”, and hence signifies “one who has been removed far away from the mercy of Allah.” Iblis is a proper name, while Shaytan is the name of a genus. When the Holy Qur’an speaks of Al-Shaytan, it always refers to Iblis. But the common noun Shaytan, or its plural Shayatin refers to the genus, which includes men and jinns both. It would be interesting to add that the root Shayt means ‘the excess of anger and rage’, and may possibly be the basis of the word Shaytan.

Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) in Paradise

(1) In allowing Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) to eat at pleasure, and in forbidding them to go near the tree, Allah used, according to the text of the Holy Qur’an, the verbs for the dual number, thus including both in the address. But in asking them to live in Paradise Allah did not address both of them, but said: أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ : “You and your wife.” This form of address yields two. legal principles: (a) the husband is responsible for providing a dwelling-place for his wife (b) for the purpose of dwelling the wife is dependent on the husband, and she must live in the house in which her husband lives.

(2)          In this context the Arabic word ‘uskun اُسکُن (live) suggests that their stay in Paradise was to be temporary, not permanent which is a usual condition for the ownership of a house. Allah did not say that Paradise had been given to them, but only asked them to live there, for Allah knew that certain things were going to happen on account of which they would have to leave this dwelling-place. Moreover, the right to ‘own’ a dwelling-place in Paradise is earned through ‘Iman (faith) and good deeds, which one can acquire only after the Day of Judgment. The Fuqaha’ (jurists) have derived from it the principle that, if a man asks someone to live in his house, the other man does not thereby acquire the ownership of the house nor the right to a permanent stay. (Qurtubi)

(3)          In allowing Adam and Hawwa (عليهم السلام) to eat at pleasure, Allah used the verb for the dual number, and said: ” کُلَا ” meaning ‘eat both of you’. This indicates that in the matter of food the wife is not subservient to her husband, but can eat whatever she needs or likes, as can the husband.

(4)          Allah also allowed them to eat from wherever they liked. This shows that man has the right to move freely from one place to another according to his needs or wishes.

(5)          Allah did not want them to eat the fruits of a certain tree, but as a precautionary measure He commanded them not to approach it even. It is from here that the Fugaha’ have derived one of the basic principles of Islamic law, which requires that the things or actions which are likely to serve as means to sin or as its instruments are equally forbidden. That is to say, there are certain things which are not forbidden in themselves, but when there is a danger that in making use of them a man would become involved in an unlawful activity, they too have to be forbidden.

The Prophets are innocent of all sins

(6) As we have seen here, Adam (عليه السلام) had been forbidden to eat the fruit of a certain tree, and had also been warned against the machinations of his enemy, Satan شیطان ، and yet he had eaten the forbidden fruit. It is seemingly a sin, while the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith and rational arguments too establish the innocence and sinlessness of all the prophets. There is an absolute consensus of the four great Imams of Islamic law and of all the authentic scholars on the doctrine that each and every prophet is innocent of and protected against all sins, major or minor. Some people have suggested that prophets are not protected against minor sins, but the majority of authentic scholars do not agree with this opinion. (Qurtubi) It is necessary for prophets to be thus protected, because they are sent down to be the guides of men – if a guide can go against the commandments of Allah and commit a sin, major or even minor, people would no longer be ready to trust his word or deed. If one cannot have trust and faith even in the prophets, how can the work of spiritual guidance be possible? Hence the necessity of prophets being sinles[.

The Holy Qur’an does, however, relate certain incidents which tend to suggest that a certain prophet committed a sin, and drew upon himself the displeasure of Allah. The story about Adam (عليه السلام) eating the forbidden fruit is one such instance. According to the consensus of the authentic scholars, in all cases a prophet comes to commit an error through a misunderstanding or just forgetfulness, and it is never a deliberate and wilful transgression of divine commandment. As is well-known, a Mujtahid مجتہد is one who possesses the necessary qualifications for finding out through analogical deduction the rule for a case regarding which no specific commandment is present in the Holy Qur’an or the Hadith; if he makes a mistake in determining the rule, he still re¬ceives a reward from Allah for having made the effort. The mistake made by a prophet is always of this nature, or is due to oversight and hence pardonable, and cannot be called a ‘sin’ in the technical sense. Moreover, a prophet, being under the protection of Allah, can never show oversight or forgetfulness in things which are directly concerned with his prophetic and legislative function, but only in personal matters. (See al-Bahr al-Muhit)

The station of the prophets, however, is so exalted, that even a little oversight on the part of a great man is considered to be a great error. That is why such slips on the parts of certain prophets have been described in the Holy Qur’an as ‘sins’, and Allah has shown his displeasure too, although they are not ‘sins’ in their nature.

As for the error committed by Adam (عليه السلام) commentators have advanced several explanations:

(a)          A certain tree was pointed out to Adam (عليه السلام) as being forbidden. But it was not this particular tree alone that was intended, but all the trees of this kind. The Hadith too relates a similar case. Holding a piece of silk and some gold in his hand, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said that those two things were forbidden to the men in his Ummah. Obviously the ban does not apply to these very pieces of silk and gold alone, but to silk and gold as such. But it is quite possible for someone to imagine that only the particular pieces which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) held in his hand were forbidden. Similarly, Adam (عليه السلام) thought that the prohibition applied only to the particular tree which had been pointed out to him. Satan exploited this mis-understanding, and assured him on oath that, being a well-wisher, he could never advise him to do something which was wrong or harmful, and that the forbidden tree was quite different, and not the one from which he was asking him to pluck a fruit.

(b)          Satan may have suggested to Adam (عليه السلام) that the prohibition was valid only upto a period after

he had been created, just as infants are denied heavy food till they have grown up, and that since Adam (عليه السلام) had now grown stronger, the ban too had been lifted.

(c)           It is equally possible that, when Satan told him that if he ate this fruit, the eternal bliss of Paradise would be guaranteed for him, Adam (عليه السلام) forgot the prohibition. This verse of the Holy Qur’an seems to give credence to such a possibility: فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا : “Adam forgot, and We did not find him steadfast.” (20:115)

Anyhow, the essential point is that Adam did not deliberately and willfully disobey Allah; all that he did was an act of oversight or the kind of mistake which a Mujtahid مجتہد can make. The error was not, properly speaking, a sin, but Adam (عليه السلام) being so close to Allah, and in view of his station of a prophet, even this lapse was regarded as very serious, and described as a ` sin’ in the Holy Qur’an. But the Holy Qur’an tells us that when he repented and prayed for pardon, Allah forgave him.

فَاَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطٰنُ عَنْهَا فَاَخْرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيْهِ     ۠ وَقُلْنَا اھْبِطُوْا بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ   ۚ   وَلَكُمْ فِى الْاَرْضِ مُسْـتَقَرٌّ وَّمَتَاعٌ اِلٰى حِيْنٍ

A question arises here as to how Satan got into Paradise for seducing Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) when he had already been expelled from there for refusing to prostrate himself. There are many possible ways in which he can have played his trick. Possibly he never met them, but planted the suggestion in their minds from afar – a thing which Satan can always do, and of which we have a specimen in the work of the hypnotists. It is equally possible that Satan, being one of the jinns whom Allah has given certain unusual powers denied to man, assumed the shape of a snake or of something else, and thus succeeded in entering Paradise. Perhaps it was because of this disguise that Adam (عليه السلام) did not remember Allah’s warning that Satan was his enemy. According to the Holy Qur’an, Satan assured them on oath that he was one of their well-wishers (7:21). It apparently suggests that he did actually meet them, and speak to them face o face.

The Holy Qur’an says that Satan فَأَخْرَ‌جَهُمَا :”brought them out” of the state in which they had been living. In actual fact, they were ‘brought out’ under a divine command, but since Satan served as a means and as an intermediary, the action has been attributed to him.17

  1. The words of the Holy Qur’an do not in the least imply that Satan had any power whatsoever to act on his own. So, any Manichean dualism is totally out of the question.

In commanding Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) to go down from

Paradise, Allah also said, بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ: ‘Some of you (shall be the) enemies of some.’ If Satan had not been turned out of the skies till then, he is included in this address, the implication being that the enmity between Satan on the one hand, and Adam and Hawwa’ and their progeny on the other, would continue on the earth too. But if Sa¬tan, as some scholars maintain, had already been expelled, then the addressees are Adam and Hawwa’ (عليهما السلام) and their progeny; the implication would now be that Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) ‘ would have to undergo a double punishment, firstly that of being banished from Par¬adise, secondly that of seeing enmity arise among their children which must make life unpleasant for parents. (Baran al-Qur’an)

They were also told that the earth would be a temporary dwelling-place for them, and that they would have to leave it too, which also meant that they would not find real peace of mind there.

قُلْنَا اھْبِطُوْا مِنْهَا جَمِيْعًا    ۚ  فَاِمَّا يَاْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِّـنِّىْ ھُدًى فَمَنْ تَبِعَ ھُدَاىَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا ھُمْ يَحْزَنُوْنَ

Descension of Adam was not a punishment

That is why the command for Adam (عليه السلام) to go down to the earth was not withdrawn even when he had been pardoned: only the mode was now altered. Earlier the command had been given in the mode of authority, and the sending down to the earth intended as a punishment: hence the reference to the enmity among men. Now, it was in the mode of wisdom, and the sending down to the earth, an honour – the honour of vice regency. Hence the reference to things Viceregency involves. In commanding Adam and Hawwa (عليهما السلام) and their progeny to live on the earth, Allah told them that He would be sending down to men His guidance – that is, the injunctions of the Shari’ah – through revelation, and that those who follow it faithfully shall be free from sorrow and anxiety – in other words, they shall not have to grieve about any loss in the past, nor to worry about some misfortune in the future.

The obedient are freed of worries

(4)          Verse 38 promises two great rewards to those who follow divine guidance – they will fear, and they will not grieve. Fear is the anxiety one feels in apprehending some trouble or pain in the future. Grief is the sorrow arising from the loss of something valuable or from one’s failure in attaining a desired object. One can see that these two rewards comprehend all the possible forms of comfort and peace. Then, the text of the Holy Qur’an makes a subtle distinction between the two. In saying that those who follow divine guidance will have no fear, it speaks in general terms and uses a noun – the Arabic Phrase: لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ is to be translated literally as ‘no fear upon them’. But in the next phrase وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ , the Holy Qur’an employs a verb, placing before it a pronoun as the subject. The literal translation of the phrase is: ‘they shall not grieve’.

The implication here is that being totally free from all sense of loss is possible only to Men of Allah or the saints18 who follow divine guidance in all its details; as for the others, no man whether an emperor or a billionaire, can help being grieved at the loss of a valued object or the frustration of a desire, all of which is but a necessary part of the scheme of things. The ‘friends of Allah’ do not have to grieve, because they annihilated their own desires and their very will in submitting themselves totally to the will of Allah. The Holy Qur’an also tells us that those who go to Paradise will thank Allah for having removed from them all regret and sorrow: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ “All praise belongs to Allah who has put away all sorrow from us” (35:34). It means that some degree of sorrow is inevitable for every human being except those who have perfected and made fast their relationship with Allah.

Let us make it clear that the verse does negate all grief and sorrow in the case of the ‘friends of Allah’, but the negation applies only to the loss of worldly things and the frustration of worldly desires. As for the anxiety about the other world and the fear of Allah and the deep sense of awe before His Glory, the ‘friends of Allah’ are far ahead of other men in these. It has been reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) often appeared to be worried and in deep thought – this was not for fear of any trouble or loss in the worldly sense, but on account of his anxiety for his Ummah, and of his awe before Divine Glory.

Nor does this verse imply that prophets and saints should not feel the instinctive and all too human fear when confronted by things which are generally known to inspire dread. The Holy Qur’an itself relates how the prophet Musa (Moses) (عليه السلام) was struck with fear when his stick turned into a dragon: أَوْجَسَ فِي نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَیٰ : “Musa felt            a fear in himself.” (20:67)

  1. The word “Saints” is very weak and only an approximate translation of the Arabic phrase “Awliya-Allah”, ‘the friends of Allah’ – a concept which has only a faint resemblance with the Christian idea of a ‘saint’. Consequently, the term ‘men of Allah’ has been used most frequently throughout this commentary.

But it was only an instinctive and physical fear, and the incident anyhow belongs to the early days of his prophethood, for when Allah said: لَا تَخَفْ : ‘Do not be afraid’, the fear disappeared altogether. We may explain the incident in another way also. His fear did not arise as it does in the case of ordinary men, from the apprehension of some harm or hurt from the dragon, but from the likelihood that the extraordinary event might lead the Israelites into misguidance. So, this fear was not worldly, but other-worldly.

يٰبَنِىْٓ اِسْرَاۗءِيْلَ اذْكُرُوْا نِعْمَتِىَ الَّتِىْٓ اَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاَوْفُوْا بِعَهْدِىْٓ اُوْفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ   ۚ   وَاِيَّاىَ فَارْھَبُوْنِ

The Surah Al-Baqarah begins by speaking of the Holy Qur’an itself, and tells us that although it provides guidance to all men, yet only true Muslims will derive a full benefit from it. The Sarah proceeds to warn the disbelievers against the grievous punishment which awaits them in the other world, and also to delineate the misdeeds of the two kinds of disbelievers – those who deny openly, and the hypocrites. Then, addressing all the three groups, it urges upon them to worship Allah alone, and, presenting the Holy Qur’an as a miracle which cannot be imitated by man, invites them to have faith in it. Next, the Surah recounts how Adam (عليه السلام) was created to be the vice regent of Allah, and thus shows the omnipotence and wisdom of Allah so that men may realize why they must obey and worship Him and never be disobedient to Him.

Now, in the days of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) there were two kinds of people among the disbelievers and the hypocrites. On the one hand were mushrikin مشرکین ، idolaters and associators who did not possess any religious knowledge, were even otherwise mostly illiterate, and followed the customs of their forefathers – for example, the inhabitants of Makkah in general whom the Holy Qur’an calls the Ummiyyun اُمیون (the illiterate). On the other hand were those who believed in the earlier prophets, had a knowledge of the earlier Divine Books like the Torah and the Evangile, and were known as being well-educated. Some of them were the followers of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) (Moses), but did not accept Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) (Jesus) as a prophet – these were the Yahud یہود or the Jews. Others were the followers of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) ، but did not believe that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was, being a prophet, divinely protected against all sin – these were the Nasara نصارا or the Christians. On account of their belief either in the Torah or the Evangel or in both, the Holy Qur’an calls these two groups Ahl al-Kitab اھل الکتاب (the people of the Book). Being well-educated, they were respected and trusted by the people around them, and their opinion had a great deal of weight. If they came to the straight path, others too could be expected to follow their example۔

The Jews predominated in Madinah and its environs. The Surah Al-Baqarah is also Madinite. So, after dealing with the idolaters and associators, it addresses the people of the Book in a special manner, from verse 40 to verse 123. Adopting a persuasive and friendly tone, the Surah refers to the noble family to which they belong and the honour which they receive from the people on account of such an affiliation; then, recounting the blessings which Allah has been showering on them, it asks them to be aware of their many misdeeds and their sins, and invites them to come to the Straight Path. All this has been said, to begin with, in a very brief manner – four verses inviting them to Islam, and three to good deeds. Then comes a long and detailed address to them, at the beginning of which, as also just before the end, occur the words, يَا بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ ya Bani Isra’il (0 children of Israel) -the repetition is, of course, the usual rhetorical device for making the speech persuasive.

Isra’il is a Hebrew word, signifying ‘the servant of Allah’; it is also the second name of Sayyidna Ya` qub (Jacob) (عليه السلام) . Certain scholars have remarked that among the prophets it is the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) alone who has several names, except for Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) who has two names, Ya` qub and Isra’il. The Holy Qur’an addresses the Jews here, not as the “Children of Ya` qub”, but as the “Children of Isra’il”, so that the title may remind them that they are the children of the ‘the servant of Allah’, and hence they should follow the example of their father in worshipping Allah alone and in obeying Him.

In verse 40, Allah asks the Israelites to fulfill His covenant – that is to say, the one they had made with Allah. According to Qatadah قتادہ and Mujahid مجاہد ، the following verse of the Holy Qur’an refers to this covenant which had been mentioned in Torah توراة as well (For the Covenant, see Exodus, ch. XXXIV) (165):

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذَ اللَّـهُ مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ وَبَعَثْنَا مِنْهُمُ اثْنَيْ عَشَرَ‌ نَقِيبًا ۖ وَقَالَ اللَّـهُ إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ ۖ لَئِنْ أَقَمْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَيْتُمُ الزَّكَاةَ وَآمَنتُم بِرُ‌سُلِي وَعَزَّرْ‌تُمُوهُمْ وَأَقْرَ‌ضْتُمُ اللَّـهَ قَرْ‌ضًا حَسَنًا لَّأُكَفِّرَ‌نَّ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ Allah made a covenant with the children of Isra’il, and We raised up from among them twelve chieftains. And Allah said, ‘I am with you. Surely, if you perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and believe in My messengers and help them, and lend to Allah a good loan, I will forgive your evil deeds, and I will admit you to gardens underneath which rivers flow’ (5:12).

The covenant mentions acts like prayers and alms, but the most important clause is having faith in all the messengers of Allah including the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Hence, according to the blessed Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، the covenant here signifies having faith in and obeying the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) (See Ibn Jarir).

As for Allah fulfilling their covenant, the verse we have just quoted (5:12) makes the meaning clear – Allah will forgive the sins of those who fulfill the terms of the covenant, and will admit them to Paradise. Verse 41 makes it quite explicit that according to the covenant it is obligatory for the Israelites to have faith in the Holy Qur’an, for, after all, it has been sent down to confirm the essential teachings of the Torah. Now, the Israelite scholars were afraid that if they told the truth in this matter, they would be going against the public sentiment, and thus lose their adherents and income both. So, these three verses exhort them to speak the truth without fear, for Allah alone is worthy of being feared.19

  1. Let us add that what the Holy Qur’an confirms with regard to the Torah and the Evangile is the fact that they are the Books of Allah. As for the distortions which have from time to time been introduced into them, they are no part of the original texts, and hence the question of confirming such interpolated passages does not arise.

Injunctions and related considerations

(1)          Al-Qurtubi remarks in his Commentary that Allah, in asking the Israelites to worship and obey Him, reminds them of the bounties and blessings He has showered on them, but in the case of the followers of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . He asks them to do so without mentioning His bounties: فَاذْكُرُ‌ونِي أَذْكُرْ‌كُمْ : “Remember Me, I will remember you.” (2:152)

This is a subtle suggestion which brings out the superiority of this Ummah over the others – the Islamic Ummah has a direct relationship with Allah, for it begins by recognizing the Benefactor, and through this knowledge recognizes His bounties; other peoples, on the contrary, begin by recognizing the bounties, and proceed through this medium to a knowledge of the Benefactor.

(2)          Verse 40 shows that it is obligatory to fulfill the agreement one has entered into, and it is forbidden to break one’s promise. The injunction has been stated explicitly in another verse: أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ : “Fulfill your agreements.” (5:1)

According to a hadith reported by Muslim, those who break their promises would, before being finally punished in the other world, be humiliated before the whole human race when it assembles together on the Day of Judgment, for a flag would be placed as a stigma beside everyone who has committed this sin, and the bigger the crime, the higher would the flag be.

وَاٰمِنُوْا بِمَآ اَنْزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُوْنُوْٓا اَوَّلَ كَافِرٍۢ بِهٖ

(3)          Verse 41 asks the Israelites not to be the first to deny the Holy Qur’an, although being a disbeliever is in itself the ultimate sin, whether one be the first or the last. The verse, in fact, suggests that the man who is the first to deny and disbelieve will not only incur the sin of his own denial but also bear the additional burden of the sin of misleading all those who follow his example; and will thus have to undergo a multiple punishment.

It follows from here that the man who is in any way responsible for others falling into any kind of sin will have to bear the burden of this sin along with the sinners; similarly, the man who in some way helps others to do a good deed will receive a reward for it along with them. Several verses of the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) repeatedly stress this point.

(4)          Verse 41 warns the Israelites against taking a paltry price for His signs or verses (the Arabic word, Ayat آیت has both the meanings). The context makes it clear that it is forbidden to take money from people by misinterpreting or concealing the verses of the Book of Allah in order to please them or to serve their worldly interests. There is an absolute consensus of the Ummah on this point.

(5)          As for the question of taking a wage for teaching the verses of the Holy Qur’an or for reporting them correctly, verse 41 is not concerned with the matter. But it is an important question in itself whether it is permissible to accept wages for teaching the Holy Qur’an. There is a divergence of views among the Fuqaha ‘ (jurists) in this matter. Imam Malik, Imam al-Shafi` i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal رحمہم اللہ ، consider such wages to be permissible, while the great Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) and some other jurists hold them to be impermissible, for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) at has forbidden the use of the Holy Qur’an as a means of livelihood. But there has been a radical change in the circumstances since then.

Formerly, those who taught the Holy Qur’an used to receive a subsistence allowance from the Baytul-Mal بیت المال ، or the public exchequer of the Islamic state. But since Islamic society fell into a disorder, 20 they lost their financial support. The teaching of the Holy Qur’an to children being a full-time job, the teachers could not turn to difficult professions without interrupting this essential chain of transmitting the Word of Allah from generation to generation. In view of this situation, the jurists of the Hanafi school declared it permissible to accept wages for teaching the Holy Qur’an. According to Hidayah, the famous book of Hanafi code, this should be the rule (fatwa) these days. Later jurists have extended the permission to similar duties like leading Salah (Imamah), calling for prayers (Adhan اذان ), teaching the Hadith and the Fiqh, etc., for they are related to the teaching of the Holy Qur’an, and the survival of Islam equally depends on them. (See al-Durr al-Mukhtar, al-Shami)

  1. Through the onslaught of Western imperialism and other factors.

(6)          The famous Hanafi scholar Shami has, in his commentary on “al-Durr al- Mukhar” and in his own book “Shifal-` Alil”, explained in great detail and with convincing arguments that the later jurists have allowed the acceptance of wages for the teaching of the Holy Qur’an etc. Only in view of an essential religious need which must be fulfilled, or the whole Islamic order would be disturbed; hence the permission should be limited only to such essential needs. It logically follows from this principle that paying or receiving wages for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an for transmitting the reward to the dead or in the interest of some worldly purpose is forbidden, for it fulfils no essential religious need.

Thus, the man who recites the Holy Qur’an for wages in this manner and the man who pays him for it both commit a sin. When there is no merit earned in such a recitation, how can it be transferred to the dead? Al-Shami refers to many authoritative works like “Taj al-Shari` ah”, ‘Ayni’s commentary on Hidayah, the marginal notes by Khayr al-Din Al-Ramali on “al-Bahr al-Ra’iq”, etc., and specially cites Al-Ramali to the effect that practices like paying for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an beside the grave of a dead man or elsewhere in order to transmit the reward to him, have never been reported from the blessed Companions or their immediate successors or from other great scholars of the early centuries of Islam, and are hence an innovation (Bid’ah) in religion.

وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَــقَّ وَاَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُوْنَ

(6)          Verse 42 explicitly shows that it is not permissible to mix truth and falsehood together in such a way that the addressee falls into a confusion as to what the truth is, and that it is forbidden to conceal the truth because of fear or greed.

Imam al-Qurtubi (رح) has, in his commentary, related a very illuminat¬ing story in this context – a story which has come down to us through a chain of reliable reporters, and has been taken from the “Musnad” of Darimi.

During one of his visits to the Holy town of Madinah, the Ummayyid Caliph Sulayman ibn ` Abd al-Malik (رح) wanted to meet someone who had lived with a Companion of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، if such a man was still alive. On being informed that Abu Hazim (رض) was the only man of this kind left in the town, he sent for him.

The Caliph said to him, “Abu Hazim, why have you shown such discourtesy and disloyalty?”

“How have I been discourteous or disloyal to you?”

“Everybody who is anybody in Madinah has come to see me, but you haven’t”, complained the Caliph.

“0 chief of the Muslims, may Allah protect you against saying something which is not true to the fact”, replied Abu Hazim “You have not been familiar with my name before today, nor have I ever seen you. Things being what they are, how could I come to meet you? Is it disloyalty or discourtesy?”

The Caliph looked around questioningly. Imam Zuhri (رح) spoke up: “Abu Hazim is right, and you are wrong.”

Changing the subject, the Caliph asked: “Abu Hazim, how is it that I don’t like to die?”

“The reason is simple,” Abu Hazim said “You have made your world flourish, and turned your habitation in the other world into a desert. Naturally, you don’t like to leave a flourishing city for a desert.”

The Caliph admitted that it was true, and came out with another question: “What would it be like when we have to appear before Allah tomorrow?”

Said Abu Hazim, “The man who has been doing good deeds will present himself before Allah like the man who returns from a travel to his loved ones, while the man who has been doing evil deeds will appear like the slave who had run away and has now been brought back to his master.”

The Caliph burst into tears, and said with a sigh, “I wish we could know how Allah would deal with us.”

Abu Hazim replied, “Assess your deeds in the light of the Book of Allah, and you will know.”

“Which verse of the Holy Qur’an can help us to do so?”

“Here is the verse: اِنَّ الْأَبْرَ‌ارَ‌ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ ﴿١٣﴾ وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ‌ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ ﴿١٤﴾: “Surely the righteous shall be in bliss, and the transgressors shall be in a fiery furnace.” (82:13-14)

The Caliph remarked: “Allah’s mercy is great; it can cover even the wrong-doers.”

Abu Hazim recited another verse: إِنَّ رَ‌حْمَتَ اللَّـهِ قَرِ‌يبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ “Surely the Mercy of Allah is close to those who do good deeds.” (7:56)

The Caliph advanced another question: “Tell me, Abu Hazim, who is the most honorable among the servants of Allah?”

“Those who are mindful of their fellow-human beings and possess the right kind of understanding to know the truth.”

“Which is best among good deeds?”

“Fulfilling the obligations laid down by Allah, and keeping away from what He has forbidden.”

“Which is the prayer that is likely to be accepted by Allah?”

“The prayer of a man for him who has done him some good.”

“Which is the best form of charity?”

“Giving as much as one can, in spite of one’s own need, to a man in misery without trying to make him feel grateful and without causing him pain by trying to put him off.”

“Which is the best form of speech?”

“Speaking the truth plainly and unreservedly before the man who can harm you in some way or from whom you expect a favour.”

“What kind of man is the wisest among the Muslims?”

“He whose actions are governed by obedience to Allah, and who invites others as well to it.”

“What kind of man is the most stupid?”

“He who helps another man in committing some injustice, which comes to mean that he has been selling off his faith for serving the worldly interests of that man.”

The Caliph agreed with all this, and then asked him pointedly, “What do you think of me?”

Abu Hazim wanted to be excused from replying to such a question, but the Caliph insisted that he should say a word of advice. Abu Hazim said: “0 chief of the Muslims, your forefathers established their rule over the people with the help of the sword and against their will, after killing hundreds of men. Having done all this, they departed from the world. I wish you could know what they themselves are saying after their death and what people are saying about them.”

Fearing that the Caliph would be displeased by such plain talk, one of his courtiers rebuked Abu Hazim for having spoken so rudely. He replied: “No, you are wrong. I have not said anything rude but only what Allah has commanded us to say. For Allah has enjoined upon the ` ulama’ to speak the truth before the people and not to conceal it.” And he recited this verse of the Holy Qur’an لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكْتُمُونَهُ : “You shall make it clear to the people and not conceal it.” (3:187)

The Caliph asked, Wright how can we reform ourselves now?”

Abu Hazim said, “Give up your pride, acquire a spirit of fellow-feeling for the people, and give them justly what is due to them.”

Abu Hazim, is it possible that you come to live with us?”

“May Allah protect me from it!”

“Why?”

“Because I am afraid that if I live with you, I might begin to like your wealth and your grandeur, and have to suffer a grievous punishment for it in the other world.”

“Well, is there anything you need? What can we do for you?”

“Yes, I have a need. Please help me to save myself from Hell and to enter Paradise.”

“This is not in my power.”

“Then, there is nothing you can do for me.”

The Caliph asked him to pray for him. Abu Hzim made this prayer: “0 Allah, if you approve of Sulayman, make the well-being of this world and the next easily accessible to him; but if he is your enemy, drag him by the hair towards the deeds you approve of.”

The Caliph then asked him for some special advice. Abu- H-azim said: “I shall make it short. You should have the fear of your Lord and reverence for Him to the degree that He never finds you present at the place He has forbidden, and never finds you absent from the place where He has commanded you to be.”

Later on, the Caliph sent one hundred gold dinars to him as a present. Abu Hazim sent the money back with a letter, saying: “If these dinars are the wages for my words, then blood and pork are, in my eyes, cleaner than this money. If you believe that this money is my due from the public exchequer, then there are hundreds of ` Ulama’ and servants of Islam. If you have sent the same amount to each one of them, I can accept the money, otherwise I do not need it.”

Abu Hazim’s refusal to accept the wages for giving advice clearly shows that taking wages for an act of worship or obedience to Allah is not permissible.

وَاَقِيْمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَارْكَعُوْا مَعَ الرّٰكِعِيْنَ

In the last three verses and of these four, Allah reminds the Israelites of the blessings He has bestowed upon them, and invites them to Islam and to good deeds. The earlier three verses were concerned with the true faith and doctrines; the present verses speak of good deeds, mentioning only the most important of them. It was usually the love of money and power that made it difficult for the Jews, especially for their scholars, to accept Islam. The verses prescribe the remedy for the twin diseases – they should fortify themselves with Sabr صبر (patience) and Salah نماز (prayer).

“Patience” is a very weak translation of the Arabic word Sabr صبر ، which has three connotations: (a) bearing pain and misfortune patiently (b) restraining oneself from sin (c) being steadfast in obeying Allah.

Now, patience, in this wide sense, is the perfect remedy for the love of money. For, money cannot be an end in itself, but is sought only as a means of satisfying one’s appetites; when a man has made a firm resolve not to follow his appetites like a slave, he will no longer need much money, nor will the love of money blind him to the distinction between his gain and loss. Similarly, Salah نماز is the remedy for ambition and the love of power. For, outwardly and inwardly both, Salah نماز involves the exercise of humility; naturally, the more one tries to perform it in the proper manner, the more it purifies him of the love of money and power, and of ambition and pride. These being the real substance of all spiritual disorder in man, once they are brought under control, it becomes easy for one to accept Islam and to be steadfast in one’s faith.

Let us add that while patience (Sabr) requires only the restraining or giving up of excessive appetites and unnecessary desires, Salah, in addition to all this, further requires the performance of certain actions, and also a temporary renunciation of perfectly lawful desires and of many human needs which the Shari’ah allows one to fulfill, e.g., eating, drinking, speaking, walking etc. – and, at that, making such a renunciation five times during the day and the night regularly at fixed hours. Thus, Salah means performing certain prescribed actions and restraining oneself from all lawful or unlawful activities at fixed hours.

Once a man has decided to give up unnecessary desires, the instinctive urge itself loses its intensity in a few days. So, the exercise of patience is not, after all, so difficult. But offering Salah نماز entails submitting oneself to the conditions laid down by the Shari` ah, observing the fixed hours, and giving up the basic human activities and desires, all of which is quite exacting for the instinctive disposition of man. So, one may very well raise an objection here: for the purpose of making it easy for a man to accept Islam and to be steadfast in his faith, the Holy Qur’an prescribes Sabr صبر and Salah نماز ، but to use this remedy is in itself a difficult thing, specially the Salah and its restriction – now, how can this difficulty be overcome? The Holy Qur’an admits that performing Salah نماز regularly and steadfastly is, no doubt, exacting, and proceeds to show the way out of this impasse – Salah نماز is not a burden to the humble in heart.

To know the effectiveness of the remedy, we must know the disease, and find out why Salah نماز should be so burdensome. The human heart loves to roam about freely in the vast spaces of thought and fancy; all the organs of the human body being subservient to the heart, it requires them to be equally free. On the other hand, Salah نماز demands the renunciation of such freedom, – and prohibits eating, drinking, walking, talking etc. – a restriction which annoys the heart and is also painful for the human organs governed by it.

In short, Salah نماز is burdensome because the heart enjoys to keep the faculties of thought and imagination in a continuous motion. Motion being the disease, it can only be remedied by its opposite – restfulness. Hence, the Holy Qur’an prescribes Khushu-` (خشوع) a word which we have rendered into English by the phrase “humbleness in heart”, but which actually signifies “the restfulness of the heart.”

Now, the question arises as to how one can acquire this “restfulness of the heart.” Everyone knows through his own experi¬ence that, if one deliberately tries to empty one’s heart of all kinds of thoughts and fancies, the effort rarely succeeds. The only way to achieve it is that since the human mind cannot move in two directions simultaneously, one should make it absorb itself in one thought alone so that all other thoughts may disappear by themselves without any effort on one’s part. So, having prescribed “the restfulness of the heart”, the Holy Qur’an also prescribes a particular thought which will, if one absorbs oneself in it, drive away all other thoughts: once the movement of thought and fancy has been reduced to the restful¬ness of the heart, the performance of Salah نماز becomes easy; regularity in offering the ordained prayers gradually cures the disease of pride and ambition, and thus the way to the perfecting of one’s faith grows smooth. Such is the well-ordered and beautifully integrated art of spir¬itual medicine that the Holy Qur’an has given us! 21

  1. As against this stand the fanciful systems of thought – concentration, wearing a pseudo-mystical look and some-times an Eastern make-up but all spawned in the Angst-ridden West – things like Yoga and Transcendental Meditation, which serve only to derange an already disordered psyche.

Now, the thought in which one should immerse oneself in order to acquire “the restfulness of the heart” has been explained by the Holy Qur’an in describing “the humble in heart” – they are the people who bear in mind that they are to meet their Lord, when they shall receive the reward for their obedience, and also bear in mind that they are to return to Him, when they shall be required to present an account of their deeds. These twin thoughts produce hope and fear in the heart, and hope and fear are the best agents for inducing a man to devote himself to good deeds.

The prayer which the Holy Qur’an prescribes is not a mere contemplation or meditation. Al-Sala-h: الصلوة ، in the terminology of Shari’ah, is a definite form of ` Ibadah عبادت or worship, the mode of which is divinely ordained. As often as the Holy Qur’an insists on the performance of the Salah نماز ، it employs the word Igamah اِقامہ ، except in one or two instances. Lexically, the word means “making a thing straight, or keeping it firmly in its place.” A tree or a wall or anything which is vertical and straight, usually lasts long in its place; so, the word also signifies “establishing a thing or making it perpetual.” Thus, the conjunction of the two words, Salah نماز and Igamah اِقامہ ، in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith signifies, not merely offering the prayer, but performing the five ordained prayers steadfastly in the prescribed form at the prescribed hours and fulfilling all the necessary conditions. The Holy Qur’an and the Hadith speak of the great rewards and blessings one can hope to receive for offering Salah نماز ، and of other benefits which flow from it, but all of them are tied up with Igamah اقامہ in the sense which we have just explained.

For example, the Holy Qur’an says: إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌: “The Salah نماز restrains one from indecency and evil.” (29:45)

The prescribed prayer will bear these fruits only when one has been performing it in the full sense of Iqamah اقامہ . It follows from it that if one finds people who are quite regular in offering their prayers indulging in immodest or even evil activities, one should not have misgivings about the veracity of this verse, for these people have, no doubt, been praying, but not been observing the conditions of Iqamah اقامہ .

Verse 43 also speaks of paying Zakah, the prescribed alms. Now, lexically speaking, the Arabic word ; زَّكَاةَ : Zakah has two significations: (a) to purify (b) grow. Zakah is not a tax levied by the State or society, but, in the terminology of the Shari’ah, means that portion of one’s belongings which is set apart and spent in total accord with the injunctions of the Shari’ah.

This verse is addressed to the Israelites, and does not by itself show that offering prayers and paying alms was obligatory for them before the days of Islam. But the following verse:

لَقَدْ أَخَذَ اللَّـهُ مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ وَبَعَثْنَا مِنْهُمُ اثْنَيْ عَشَرَ‌ نَقِيبًا ۖ وَقَالَ اللَّـهُ إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ ۖ لَئِنْ أَقَمْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَيْتُمُ الزَّكَاةَ

Allah made a covenant with the Israelites and raised among them twelve chieftains. And Allah said, ‘I am with you. Sure¬ly, if you perform Salah and pay Zakah. (5:12)

does show that the two things were obligatory for them, even if the external modes might have been different.

The verse proceeds to say: “Bow down with those who bow (in worship).” Lexically, the Arabic word Ruku رکوع ` means “to bow down”, and may hence be applied even to prostrating oneself (Sajdah سجدہ), which is the ultimate form of bowing down. But in the terminology of the Shari’ah it pertains to the particular form of bowing down which has been prescribed for Salah.

One may well ask why this particular gesture has been chosen for a special mention from among the different gestures involved in the Salah نماز . We would reply that it is a metonymy for Salah, and a part has been made to stand for the whole – just as in verse 17:78: قُرْ‌آنَ الْفَجْرِ‌: “the recitation of the Qur’an in the morning” refers to the morning prayers, and on several occasions in some Hadith narrations the use of the word Sajdah سجدہ covers one set of movements (Rak’ah) in Salah نماز or even to the whole of it. Thus, the verse actually means: “Offer Salah نماز along with those who offer Salah نماز .”

Salah نماز with Jama’ ah: (congregation)

Then, there is a more comprehensive explanation for the specific reference to “bowing down” (Ruku` رکوع). The form of the ritual prayers ordained for the Israelites and others included prostrating oneself (Sajdah سجدہ), but not bowing down. This particular way of bowing down called Ruku رکوع ` is peculiar to the Islamic Salah نماز alone. Hence, Raki` in راکعین or those who bow down (in worship) are, obviously enough, the members of the Islamic Ummah, and the verse, in effect, asks the Israelites to accept Islam, and to offer their prayers along with the Muslims.

The command, أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ : “Be steadfast in Salaih”, shows that Salah نماز is obligatory. The other command, وَارْ‌كَعُوا مَعَ الرَّ‌اكِعِينَ : “Bow down with those who bow (in worship) “, establishes that Salah is to be offered in the company of other Muslims (Jama` ah).

A very important question arises here – what is the degree of the obligation intended in this injunction? There is a difference of views among the Fuqaha’ (jurists) on this point. According to a large body of blessed Companions, their successors and of the jurists of the ummah, it is necessary (wajib واجب) to offer Salah نماز in a congregation, and it is a sin to give up the Jama` ah. Some of the blessed Companions have gone to the length of holding that it is not permissible to offer Salah نماز all by oneself without a proper excuse allowed by the Shari’ah. Verse 43, in its literal connotation, provides an argument in favour of this view. Moreover, certain hadith narrations too seem to suggest that the Jama` ah is necessary (Wajib واجب ). For example, a hadith reported by Abu Dawud (رح) says that for a man living near a mosque Salah is permissible only in the mosque.

According to another hadith reported from the blessed Companion Abu Hurayrah (رض) by Imam Muslim (رح) ، a Companion who was blind asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for the permission to offer Salah نماز in his house, for there was no one to take him to the mosque and to bring him back. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) allowed him to do so, but, as he was leaving, asked him if he could hear the call for the prayers in his house. He said that he could. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) remarked: “In that case, you must come to the mosque. Another narration of the same hadith as reported by Abu Dawud (رح) adds that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: “Then, I see no room for making a concession in your case.” Similarly. al-Qurtubi cites a hadith from the blessed Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) who reports that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) once said: من سمع الندا، فلم یجب فلا صلاة لہ الا من عذر “The man who hears the call for the prayers but does not go to the mosque for the Jam-a’ah, has not offered his prayers at all, except that he should have some valid excuse.” On the basis of such ahadith, Companions like ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) and Aba Musa al-Ash` ari (رض) ، have ruled that if a man lives close enough to a mosque to hear the call for prayers and yet does not attend the Jama` ah without a valid excuse, his offering of the Salah نماز at home is not acceptable. (Let us explain that hearing the call refers to the call made by a man possessing an average voice, and not to that made by a man with an extraordinarily loud voice or broadcast by a loudspeaker). Presented this far were arguments advanced by our revered elders who consider that Salah نماز with is wajib واجب or necessary.

On the other hand, the majority of the blessed Companions, their successors and later jurists hold that the Jama` ah is a Sunnah which has been particularly emphasized (Mu’akkadah مؤَکَّدَہ), and that among the Sunnah of this kind it is, like the Sunnah offered in Fajr فجر Salah نماز ، the most emphasized so as to come very close to being necessary. On the basis of certain other verses and Hadith narrations, they interpret the imperative in “bow down with those who bow” as intended for emphasis only. As for the ahadith which appear to be saying that it is just not permissible for those who live near a mosque to offer their Salah نماز at home, they say that these only mean that this is not the perfect way to offer the prayers.

The most comprehensive explanation of the matter has been provided by the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) ، as reported by Imam Muslim (رح) : “The man who wishes to meet Allah tomorrow (i.e. the Day of Judgment) as a true Muslim, should offer these (five) prayers regularly and steadfastly in a place where the call for the prayers is habitually made (i.e. a mosque), for Allah has laid down for your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) certain ways of good guidance (Sunnan al-Huda), and offering the five prescribed prayers with the Jama` ah is one of them. If you offer these prayers at home,” he added pointing towards a man, “as he does, keeping away from the Jama’ah, you will have forsaken the Sunnah of your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and if you forsake the Sunnah of your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، you will go astray. The man who (performs the wudu’ وضو or ablution and cleanses himself in the proper manner, and then) goes to a mosque, for every step that he takes, Allah forgives one of his sins, adds one good deed to his account and promotes him one rank higher. Our company was such that there was not a single man, except for people known for their hypocrisy who would offer their prayers at home away from the Jama-‘ah, so much so that even when a man was ill or unable to walk, he was brought to the mosque with his hands resting on the shoulders of two men, and made to stand in the row of those who were praying.”

This statement fully brings out the great importance of the Jama` ah, but at the same time defines its exact position by including it among the “ways of good guidance” (Sunan al-Huda) which are, in the terminology of the Fuqaha’ (jurists), called Al-Sunan al-Mu’akkadah سنن المؤکدہ (the Sunnah on which the greatest emphasis has been placed). Thus, if a man does not go to the mosque for Jama` ah and offers Salah نماز at home without having proper excuse like illness, his prayers will be valid, but he will have earned the displeasure of Allah for having given up a Sunnah which comes under the category of Mu’akkadah. If neglecting the Jama` ah becomes habitual for him, he will be committing a grave sin. If all the people living in the vicinity of a mosque leave it deserted and offer their prayers at home, they become, in the eyes of the Sha¬ri` ah, liable to punishment. Qadi ` Iyad says that if persuasion fails to mend such people, they must be challenged by a show of force. (Qurtubi)

اَتَاْمُرُوْنَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنْسَوْنَ اَنْفُسَكُمْ وَاَنْتُمْ تَتْلُوْنَ الْكِتٰبَ    ۭ   اَفَلَاتَعْقِلُوْنَ

An admonition to preachers without practice

Verse 44 addresses the religious scholars of the Jews, and reprimands them for a strange contradiction in their behaviour – they used to advise their friends and relatives to follow the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and to be steadfast in their Islamic faith, which shows that they regarded Islam as the true faith, but, being enslaved to their desires, were not prepared to accept this faith themselves, although they were regular readers of the Torah and knew how emphatically it denounces the scholar who does not act upon his knowledge. Though externally addressed to the Jewish scholars, the verse, in a larger sense, condemns all those who preach good deeds to others but do not act upon this principle, who ask others to have fear of Allah but show no such fear in their own behaviour. The Hadith speaks in detail of the dreadful punishments these men will have to bear in the other world. The blessed Companion Anas (رض) reports that on the Night of the Ascension (معراج), the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) passed by some people whose lips and tongues were being cut with scissors made of fire; on being questioned as to who they were, the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) (Gabriel) explained that they were certain avaricious preachers of the Holy Prophet’s Ummah who made others to good deeds but ignored themselves. (Ibn Kathir). According to a hadith reported by Ibn ` Asakir, certain people living in Paradise will find some of their acquaintances in the fire of hell, and ask them, “How is it that you find yourselves in hell, while we have attained Paradise just on account of the good deeds we had learnt from you”; those in hell will reply: “We used to say all that with our tongues, but never acted upon what we said.” (Ibn Kathir)

All this should not be taken to mean that it is not permissible for a man who has himself been slack in good deeds, or is in some way a transgressor, to give good counsel or preach to others, nor that a man who has been indulging in a certain sin may not try to dissuade others from committing that sin. For, doing a good deed is one form of virtue, and persuading others to do this good deed is another form of virtue in its own right. Obviously, if one has given up one form of virtue it does not necessarily follow that he should give up the other form as-well. For example, if a man does not offer his prescribed Salah نماز ، it is not necessary for him to give up fasting too. Similarly, if a man does not offer his prayers, it does not argue that he should not be allowed to ask others to offer their prayers. In the same way, doing something prohibited by the Shari’ah is one kind of sin, and not to dissuade those whom he can influence from this misdeed is another kind, and committing one kind of sin does not necessarily entail committing the other sin as well. (Ruh al-Ma’an~i (

Imam Malik (رح) has cited Sa’ id ibn Jubayr (رض) as saying that if everyone decides to refrain from persuading others to good deeds and dissuading them from evil deeds on the assumption that he himself is a sinner and can have no right to preach to others until and unless he has purged himself of all sins, there would be no one left to give good counsel to people, for who can be totally free of sins? According to Hasan (رح) of Basra, this is exactly what Satan wants that, obsessed by this false notion of purity, people should neglect their obligation to, provide religious instruction and good counsel to others. (Qurtubi)

Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) used to say that when he became aware of a certain bad habit in himself, he would expressly denounce this particular tendency in his sermons so that the barakah of the sermon should help him to get rid of it.

In short, verse 44 does not imply that the man who has been indif¬ferent to good deeds in his own life is not allowed to preach or to give good counsel, but that the man who preaches should not neglect good deeds in his own life. Now, a new question arises here – it is not per¬missible for a preacher and non-preacher alike to neglect good deeds, then why should the preacher alone be specifically discussed in this context? We would reply that such negligence is, no doubt, impermissi¬ble for both, but the crime of the preacher is more serious and repre¬hensible than that of the non-preacher, for the former commits a crime knowing that it is crime, and cannot plead ignorance as an excuse. On the contrary, the non-preacher, especially if he is illiterate , may be committing the sin of not trying to acquire knowledge, but, as far as the transgression of the Shari’ah is concerned, he can, to a certain de¬gree plead ignorance of the law as his excuse. Moreover, if a scholar or a preacher commits a sin, he is actually mocking at the Shari’ah. The blessed Companion Anas (رض) reports from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that on the Day of Judgment, Allah will forgive illiterate and ignorant people much more readily than He will the scholars.

وَاسْتَعِيْنُوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلٰوةِ  ۭ  وَاِنَّهَا لَكَبِيْرَةٌ اِلَّا عَلَي الْخٰشِعِيْنَ

Khushu` خشوع : The Humbleness of Heart

Verse 45 speaks of the humble in heart. The “humbleness of heart” (Khushu خشوع `), which the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith speak of, connotes a restfulness of heart and humility arising out of the awareness of Allah’s majesty and of one’s own insignificance in comparison to it. This quality, once acquired, shows its spiritual fruitfulness in making the obedience to Allah and submission to Him easy and pleasant for one; sometimes it reflects itself even in the bodily posture and appearance of the man who has acquired it, for such a man always behaves in a disciplined and polite manner, is modest and humble, and seems to be “broken-hearted”, that is to say, one who has lost all vanity and self-love. If a man does not bear genuine humility and fear of Allah in his heart, he does not, with all his external modesty and downcast looks, really possess the quality of Khushu خشوع ` (humbleness of heart). In fact, it is not proper even to show the signs of Khushu خشوع ` in one’s behavior deliberately. On seeing a young man sitting with his head bowed down, the rightly-guided Khalifah Sayyidna ` Umar (رض) said: “Raise your head! Humbleness of heart is in the heart.” Ibrahim Nakha’i has said: “Humbleness of heart does not mean wearing rough clothes, eating coarse food and keeping the head bowed down.

Humbleness of heart is to treat the high and the low alike in matters of truth, and to keep the heart free to devote itself entirely to Allah and to the performance of what Allah has made obligatory for you.” Similarly, Hasan (رح) of Basra has said : The Caliph ` Umar (رض) would speak loudly enough to be heard, whenever he spoke, would walk swiftly, whenever he walked, and would strike forcefully, whenever he struck a man. All the same, he undoubtedly was a man with a real humbleness of heart.” In short, wearing deliberately and by one’s own choice, the looks of a man who possesses the humbleness of heart is a kind of self-delusion and a ruse of Satan, and hence reprehensible. But if a man happens to manifest such signs without knowing it, he can be excused.(Qurtubi)

Let us add that there is another word – Khudu` – which is often used along with Khushu خشوع `, and which appears several times in the Holy Qur’an as well. The two words are almost synonymous. But the word Khushu خشوع `, according to its lexical root, refers to the lowering of the voice and of the glance when it is not artificial but arises out of a real modesty and fear of Allah – for example, the Holy Qur’an says: “Voices have been hushed” (20:108). On the other hand, the word “Khudu`”refers to the bodily posture which shows modesty and humility – for example, the Holy Qur’an says: “So their necks will stay humbled to it”. (26:4) We must also define as to what, in the eyes of the Shari` ah, the exact position and value of Khushu خشوع ` is with regard to Salah نماز . The Holy Qur’an and the Hadith repeatedly stress its importance as in: “And perform the prayer for the sake of My remembrance.” (20:14)

Obviously, forgetfulness is the opposite of remembrance and hence the man who becomes unmindful of Allah while offering Salah, is not fulfilling the obligation of remembering Allah. Another verse says: “Do not be among the unmindful.” (7:205)

Similarly, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said: “The Salah نماز simply means self-abasement and humility.” Says another hadith: “If his prayers do not restrain a man from immodesty and evil, he goes farther and farther away from Allah.” Salah نماز offered unmindfully does not obviously restrain man from evil deeds, and consequently such a man goes farther and farther away from Allah.

Having quoted these verses and ahadith in support of other arguments in his Ihya’ al-` Ulum, الاحیاء العلوم Imam al-Ghazali (رح) suggests that Khushu خشوع ` must then be a necessary condition for Salah نماز ، and that its acceptability must depend on it. He adds that, according to the blessed Companion, Mu` adh ibn Jabal (رض) and jurists as great as Sufyan al-Thawri and Hasan al-Basri, Salah نماز offered without Khushu خشوع ` is not valid.

On the other hand, the four great Imams of Islamic jurisprudence and most of the jurists do not hold Khushu خشوع ` to be a necessary condition for Salah نماز . In spite of considering it to be the very essence of Salah نماز ، they say that the only condition necessary in this respect is that while saying Allahu Akbar اللہ اکبر at the beginning of the prayers one should turn with all one’s heart to Allah, and have the intention (niyyah نیت ) of offering the prayers only for the sake cif Allah; if one does not attain Khushu` in the rest of the prayers, one will not get any reward for that part of the prayers, but, from the point of view of Fiqh فقہ (jurisprudence), one will not be charged with having forsaken Salah نماز ، nor will one be liable to the punishment which is meted out to those who give up prescribed prayers without a valid excuse.

Imam al-Ghazali (رح) has provided an explanation for this divergence of view. The Fuqaha’ (jurists), he points out, are not concerned with inner qualities and states of the heart (Ahwal احوال ), but only enunciate the exoteric regulations of the Shari` ah on the basis of the external actions of men’s physical organs – it does not lie within the jurisdiction of Fiqh فقہ to decide whether one will get a reward for a certain deed in the other world or not. Khushu خشوع ` being an inner state, they have not prescribed it as a necessary condition for the total duration of Salah نماز ، but have made the validity of the prayers depend on the lowest degree of Khushu خشوع ` – turning, as one begins the prayers, with one’s heart to Allah and having the intention of only worshipping Him.

There is another explanation for not making Khushu خشوع ` a necessary condition for the total duration of the prayers. In certain other verses, the Holy Qur’an has clearly enunciated the principle which governs legislation in religious matters: nothing is made obligatory for men that should be beyond their endurance and power. Now, except for a few gifted individuals, men in general are incapable of maintaining Khushu خشوع ` for the total duration of the prayers; so, in order to avoid compelling men to a task they cannot accomplish, the Fuqaha’ have made Khushu خشوع ` a necessary condition only for the beginning of the prayers, and not for the whole duration.

In concluding the discussion, Imam al-Ghazali (رح) remarks that in spite of the great importance of Khushu خشوع ` one can depend on the infinite mercy of Allah, and hope that the man who offers his prayers unmindful will not be counted among those who give up the prayers altogether, for he has tried to fulfill the obligation, has turned his away from everything to concentrate his attention on Allah even for a few moments, and has been mindful of Allah alone at least while forming his intention for the prayers. Offering one’s prayers in this half-hearted manner has, to say the least, the merit of keeping one’s name excluded from the list of those who habitually disobey Allah and forsake the prescribed prayers altogether.

In short, this is a matter in which hope and fear both are involved – there is the fear of having incurred punishment as well as the hope of being ultimately forgiven. So, one should try one’s best to get rid of one’s laziness and indifference. But it is the mercy of Allah alone which can help one to succeed in this effort.

فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِيْنَ ظَلَمُوْا قَوْلًا غَيْرَ الَّذِىْ قِيْلَ لَھُمْ فَاَنْزَلْنَا عَلَي الَّذِيْنَ ظَلَمُوْا رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاۗءِ بِمَا كَانُوْا يَفْسُقُوْنَ

This verse is a continuation of the preceding verse. Allah had commanded the Israelites to keep, while entering the city, repeating the word Hittatun حِطَّةٌ (which indicates repentance for one’s sin and the request for pardon). But they replaced this word with another phrase by way of mockery, and started saying, Habbatun fi sha` irah (grain in the midst of barley), or Hintatun حِطَّةٌ (wheat).

The punishment which descended on them was plague that wiped out seventy thousand men (Qurtubi). In passing, we may recall a hadith which says that plague is a punishment for the disobedient, and a blessing for the obedient.

Injunctions and related considerations

The Israelites were punished for having changed a word ordained by Allah, and substituted a phrase of their own invention, thus distorting the meaning itself. According to the consensus of the Fuqaha ‘ (Muslim jurists), a change in the words of the Holy Qur’an, or of a Hadith, or of a divine commandment which invents or distorts the actual meaning is impermissible.

This should be obvious enough. But there is another question — is it permissible to change the words in such a way that the meaning does not suffer but remains intact? In his commentary, Imam al-Qurtubi (رح) says that in certain texts and in certain kinds of speech the words are as much a part of the intention as the meanings and equally necessary for conveying an idea, and that in such a case it is not permissible to change the words. For example, in the Adhan اذان (the call for prayers) it is not permissible to employ words other than those which have been laid down for the purpose by the hadith. Similar is the case of the Salah: the different things to be recited in them (like Subhanaka Allahumma سبحانک اللہم ، At-Tahiyyat التحیات ، Qunut قُنُوت ) or the glorification of Allah during the Ruku’ رکوع (bowing down) and the Sajdah سجدہ (prostration) all these must be said exactly in the words which have been reported in the hadith; substituting other words is not allowed, even if the meaning does not undergo a change.

This rule applies to each and every word of the Holy Qur’an. All the Injunctions with regard to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an strictly pertain to those words alone which Allah has revealed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . According to the hadith, the merit of reciting the Holy Qur’an is so great that for every letter that one reads or recites one gets the reward which one would get for performing ten good deeds. But if one reads a very accurate translation of the Holy Qur’an or even an Arabic version in which the original words have been replaced by certain other words without injuring the sense, the Shari’ah shall not accept it as a recitation of the Holy Qur’an, and one will not get any reward of recitation for it. For, it is not the meanings alone which constitute the Holy Qur’an; “Qur’an” is the name of meanings inherent in the words revealed by Allah to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) so that the two are inseparable from each other.

It appears from the present verse that Allah had commanded the Israelites to say this particular word, Hittatun حِطَّةٌ , while offering their Taubah توبہ (repentance), and hence changing the ordained word was in itself a sin. They went so far as to distort even the meaning, and drew upon themselves the divine punishment.

Now, as for other kinds of speech in which it is the meanings that are really intended and not the words, the masters of the science of Hadith and the jurists in general believe that in such places words can be changed provided that the meaning does not suffer but remains in-tact. Al-Qurtubi has cited Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi` i رحمہم اللہ as holding the view that it is quite permissible to report aha¬dith with regard to its meaning alone provided that the man who reports it should have a perfect knowledge of the Arabic language and also be familiar with the situation to which this particular hadith per¬tains, so that he should not misinterpret the text or distort the sense.

On the other hand, certain masters of the science of Hadith do not allow the slightest change in the words of a hadith, and insist that it should be reported exactly in the words in which one has received it. This, for example, is the view of Muhammad ibn Sirin, Qasim ibn Muhammad etc. Some of them even insist that if in reporting a hadith a reporter has made a lexical mistake, the man who has heard the hadith from him must, in his own turn, report it in exactly the same words including the mistake, only indicating what the correct word is likely to be. Such scholars cite a hadith in support of their view. It has been reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) advised a man to say this prayer before going to sleep at night: اَمَنتُ بِکِتَابِکَ اَلَّذِی اَنزَلَتَ وَ نَبِیِّآکَ الَّذِی اَرسَلتَ I have faith in Your Book which You have made to descend, and in Your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) whom You have sent.” The prescribed prayer had the word Nabiyy (Prophet), but the man changed it for Rasul (Messenger). The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) instructed him not to make a change, but to say the prescribed word Nabiyy. This shows that it is not permissible to change a single word in reporting a hadith. Similarly, another hadith says: نَضَّرَ اللہُ اِمرَأَ سمِعَ مَقِالَتِی فَبَلَّغَنَا کَمَا سَمِعَھَا “May Allah make the man flourish who heard my speech, and then conveyed it exactly as he had heard.” This also indicates that it is necessary to report the exact words of a hadith as one has received them.

Most of the jurists and the masters of the science of Hadith, however, believe that although it is better to report a hadith as far as possible in exactly the same words as one has heard without making any change intentionally, yet if one cannot recall the exact words, it is also permissible to report the meaning in one’s own words, and that the words of the hadith quoted above – “… conveyed it exactly as he had heard” – might also mean that one should report the meaning of a hadith exactly and without any alteration. Obviously, changing the words does not necessarily go against this provision. Imam al-Qurtubi (رح) has, in support of his view, pointed out that this very hadith goes to prove that changing words, when necessary, is permissible, for this hadith itself has come down to us in different words in different versions. As for the other hadith in which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has insisted that the word Nabiyy should be recited and not the word Rasul, one might explain it in this way.

The word Nabiyy (prophet) carries the sense of sublimity much more than does the word Rasul, for the latter is employed for any messenger whatsoever, while the former is reserved only for those who are specially chosen by Allah for being directly addressed through revelation (Wahy وحی ), and who thus occupy a rank higher than all other men. There is another explanation too. As far as prayers are concerned, the words appointed for the purpose by Allah or by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) have a much greater efficacy than any other words can have. (Qurtubi) That is why those who prepare تعویذ : ta’widh (translated as ‘charms’ in absence of an exact counterpart) or ` awdhah, or suggest words to pray are very careful in keeping to the authentically reported words without the slightest change. So, one may say that the prayers which are considered to be very efficacious, should be included in the first category of speech in which not only the meanings but the words also must be carefully safeguarded, for both are equally intended.

وَاِذِ اسْتَسْقٰى مُوْسٰى لِقَوْمِهٖ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبْ بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ    ۭ

This incident too belongs to the story of the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness. Parched with thirst, they requested Sayyidna Musa (رح) ، 1t to pray to Allah for water. Allah commanded him to strike a certain rock with his staff. As he did so, twelve streams gushed forth out of the rock, one for each of the twelve tribes. Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) (Jacob) had twelve sons, and each had a large family of his own. So, the families were considered as tribes, each with its own administrative organisation and its own head. Hence, the number twelve ]. What they have been asked to eat is the Mann مَن and the Salwa سلوا (manna and quails), and the water is, of course, the one which had come out of the rock.

The Israelites have, in this verse, been asked not to spread disorder which in this context signifies disobedience to Allah and transgression of His Commandments.

The great Commentator al-Qadi al-Baydawi (رح) points out that it is a great error22 to deny miracles. When Allah has given a certain stone the unusual property of drawing iron to itself, it cannot be, logically and rationally speaking, impossible that He should also give another stone the property of absorbing water from the earth and of releasing it again. Even this explanation is meant for those who take a superficial view of things. Otherwise, it is in no way impossible that Allah should produce water within a stone itself. Those who call it impossible do not actually understand the technical meaning of the term “impossible.”

  1. Even a great error in logic.

An answer to a doubt about the Israelites

It has been asked whether it is necessary, in times of drought, to offer formal prayers in order to beseech Allah for rains. The present verse tells us that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) just prayed for water, and Allah made a miraculous provision. It shows that the essential thing in beseeching Allah for rains is just a prayer. In the Shari’ah of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) a mere prayer was considered to be sufficient for the purpose. According to Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) ، this principle holds good for the Islamic Shari` ah too. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has, in this respect, acted differently on different occasions. An authentic hadith reports that once he went outside the city to the open space where the congregational prayers were held on the day of the ` Id عید ، offered formal prayers, delivered a Khutbah خطبہ (address), and then prayed to Allah for rains. According to another hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim from the blessed Companion Anas (رض) ، once the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) prayed for rains while delivering the Khutbah on Friday, and Allah sent down rains.

No matter what form the prayer takes, all the scholars agree that it cannot be effective unless it is accompanied by a repentance for one’s sins, a confession of one’s powerlessness, a sincere expression of humility and an affirmation of servitude to Allah. So long as one persists in sin and transgression, one has no right to hope that the prayer would be answered. But if Allah may, in His mercy and benevolence, grant the prayer without this condition being fulfilled, it is His will, and He is All-Powerful.

وَاِذْ قُلْتُمْ يٰمُوْسٰى لَنْ نَّصْبِرَ عَلٰي طَعَامٍ وَّاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنْۢبِتُ الْاَرْضُ مِنْۢ بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّاۗىِٕهَا وَفُوْمِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا   ۭ

This episode has been indirectly referred to in verse 58, and it also occurred in the wilderness of Tih تیہ . The Israelites grew weary of eating the Mann مَن and the Salwa سلوا (manna and quails) everyday, and wished to have ordinary vegetables and grain. Allah commanded them through Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to go to a certain town which lay somewhere in the wilderness, to till[ cultivate ] the land there, to grow to eat whatever they liked.

The Israelites were thus being ungrateful and impertinent. Even otherwise, it was so usual with them not only to transgress divine commandments but also to deny them outright. They had also been slaying a number of prophets at different times – they knew they were committing a misdeed, but their hostility to the truth and their stubbornness in disobedience made them blind to the nature of their conduct and its consequences. Through such persistent and willful misdemeanour they drew upon themselves the wrath of Allah. Disgrace and degradation settled upon them forever. That is to say, they no longer had any respect in the eyes of others, nor magnanimity in themselves.

One form of this disgrace is that temporal power has been taken away from them forever. For only forty days, however, – and that too when the Day of Judgment will have come close – the Dajjal دَجَال (Anti-Christ) belonging to the Jewish race, will have an irregular dominion like that of a robber. This cannot be described as having temporal power, in the proper sense of the term. Allah had made it quite clear to the Jews through Sayyidna Musa (Moses عليه السلام) that if they con-tinued to be disobedient, they would always have to live under the domination of other nations. Says the Holy Qur’an: وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَ‌بُّكَ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَن يَسُومُهُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ “And when your Lord proclaimed He would send forth against them, unto the Day of Resurrection, those who should visit them with evil chastisement.” (7:167)

As to how the Companions, their successors and the great commentators have interpreted the disgrace and degradation which has settled on the Jews, let us present a summary in the words of Ibn Kathir: لا یزالون مستذلین من وجدہم استذلہم و ضرب علیہم الصغار “No matter how wealthy they grow, they will always be despised by other people; whoever gets hold of them will humiliate them, and attach to them the emblems of servitude.” The commentator Dahhak Ibn Muzahim reports from the blessed Companion ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas (رض) that the Jews will always remain under the domination of others, will be paying taxes and tributes to them – that is to say, they will themselves never have power and authority in the real sense of the term.

Another verse of the Holy Qur’an also speaks of the disgrace of the Jews, but with some addition:

ضُرِ‌بَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا إِلَّا بِحَبْلٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَحَبْلٍ مِّنَ النَّاسِ

And disgrace has been stamped over them wherever they are found, unless (saved) through a rope from Allah and through a rope from men.” (3:112)

Now, the ‘rope’ or means from Allah refers to the case of those whom Allah Himself has, through His own commandment, saved from this disgrace – for example, children, women, or those who are totally devoted to prayer and worship and never go to war against Muslims.

The ‘rope’ or means from men refers to a treaty of peace with the Muslims, or a permission to live in a Muslim country on payment of the Jizyah جزیہ (the tax levied on non-Muslims living in a Muslim country, which exonerates them from military service etc.) Since the Holy Qur’an uses the expression “from men” and not “from Muslims”, a third situation is also possible – the Jews may make political arrangements with other non-Muslims, live under their backing and protection, and thus be in ‘peace’.

There is another aspect to the question – we must look into the nature of the exception that has been made in the verse which we have just cited. Now, when an exception is added to a statement, the exception may fall into either of these two categories: (1) What has been excepted formed, or still forms, a part of what it has been excepted from. For example, take this statement: “The tribe came except Zayd.” Zayd was and still is a member of the tribe, but he has been excepted from it in so far as the act of coming is concerned. (2) What has been excepted did not form, or no longer forms, a part of what it has been excepted from. For example: “The tribe came except the donkey.”

The donkey, of course, never formed a part of the tribe, and he has been excepted from the act of coming in so far as the act pertains to the tribe. If the exception made in the present verse is of the first kind, then the statement would mean that all the Jews always and everywhere live in disgrace with the exception of two situations – protection provided to women and children etc. by the commandment of Allah Himself, or by a treaty of peace with the Muslims or with some non-Muslim nations. On the other hand, if the exception is of the second kind, the verse would mean that the Jews as a group would essentially and always remain in disgrace with the exception of some who may find protection under the commandment of Allah, or of some others who may receive support from other nations and thus disguise their own disgrace.

Thus, Verse 3:112 helps to elucidate Verse 2:61, and also dispels the doubt which sometimes arises in the minds of the Muslims at the sight of the so-called “Israeli state” imposed on Palestine. For, they find it difficult to reconcile the two things – the Holy Qur’an seems to indicate that the Jews will never have a sovereign state, while they have actually usurped Palestine and set up a state of their own. But if we go beyond the appearances, we can easily see that “Israel” is not an independent sovereign state, but only a stronghold of the Western powers which they have established in the midst of Muslim countries in order to protect their own interests; without the backing of these super-powers the Jewish “state” cannot survive for a month, and the Western powers themselves look upon the Israelis as their henchmen. The “Israeli state” has been living, as the Holy Qur’an says, “through a rope from men,” and, even at that, living as a parasite on the Western powers. So, there is no real occasion to have a misgiving about what the Holy Qur’an has said on the subject.

Moreover, the half of Palestine which the Jews have usurped and the parasite state they have set up there is no more than a spot on the map of the world. As against this, we have vast expanses of the globe covered by Christian states, by Muslim states, and even by the states of people who do not believe in Allah at all. Can this tiny blot on the map and that too under the American-British umbrella, negate the disgrace which Allah has made to settle upon the Jews?

اِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَالَّذِيْنَ ھَادُوْا وَالنَّصٰرٰى وَالصّٰبِـــِٕيْنَ مَنْ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْاٰخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا  الخ…..

The previous verse spoke of how the Israelites drew upon themselves the wrath of Allah through their habitual insolence and disobedience. Now, this account may lead the listeners, or the Jews themselves, to suppose that, in view of such transgression, their Taubah (repentance), if they agree to offer it, would not be acceptable to Allah. In order to dispel such a misgiving, the present verse lays down a general principle: no matter how a man has been behaving earlier, so long as he submits himself fully to the commandments of Allah in his beliefs and in his deeds both, he is acceptable to Allah, and will get his reward. It is obvious enough that after the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, which is the last message of Allah, perfect obedience to Allah can only mean accepting Islam and following the Last Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) 23 The verse, in effect, assures everyone that once a man has accepted Islam, all his former transgressions, whether in the matter of beliefs or in that of deeds, will be forgiven, and he will become worthy of receiving the rewards of the other world.

23.Contrary to the flaccid fancies of some “modernizers” who are very happy with themselves over their “liberalism” and “tolerance”, the present verse does not open the way to salvation for each and every “man of good will” irrespective of the creed he follows. If one reads the verse in its proper context and along with other relevant verses of the Holy Qur’an, one will easily see that the verse, in fact, promises salvation in the other world only to those who accept Islam. It is an invitation to Islam extended to the Jews, the Christians, the Sabeans and, as a matter of fact, to the followers of all possible religions, and even to non-believers –specific names only serve as examples.

Let us note, in passing, that nothing is definitely known as to the beliefs and the practices of the Sabeans, and different opinions have been expressed on the subject. (Most probably they used to worship the stars).

One might also ask why the verse mentions the Muslims, for if it is an invitation to Islam, there is no need to extend the invitation to those who have already accepted Islam. But if we keep in mind the richly concentrated style of the Holy Qur’an, and try to look beyond the literal sense of the words into the implications and suggestions contained in the verse, we would find that the inclusion of the Muslim factor has added a new dimension to the meaning. It is as if a king should, in a similar situation, say that his laws are impartially applicable to all his subjects, and that whosoever obeys them shall receive his reward for obedience irrespective of whether he has earlier been a friend or a foe. Obviously, the friend has always been loyal and obedient, and the warning and the promise have really been addressed to the foe. But the suggestion contained in such a formulation is that the favours of the king do not proceed from any personal attachment to the friends, but depend on the quality of obedience and loyalty, and hence the foes too will become worthy of his favours if they acquire the necessary quality. This is the raison d’etre of mentioning the Muslims along with the non-Muslims in this verse, which should never be taken to imply that salvation can be attained without accepting Islam.

We had better dispel another misunderstanding which is likely to arise from the wordings of the present verse — and, which is actually being promoted by certain ‘modernizers’. The verse mentions only two articles of faith of the Islamic creed — faith in Allah and faith in the Day of Judgment. This should not be taken to mean that in order to attain salvation it is enough to have faith only in Allah and in the Day of Judgment. For, the Holy Qur’an repeatedly declares that he who does not believe in the prophets, in angels and in the Books of Allah is not a Muslim. Faith in Allah is the first article in the Islamic creed, while faith in the Day of Judgment is the last. By mentioning only these two, the verse intends to say in a succinct manner that it is necessary to have faith in all the articles of the creed, from the first to the last. Moreover, it is through the prophets and the Books of Allah alone that man can acquire any knowledge of the essence and the attributes of Allah and of what is to happen on the Day of Judgment, while the Books of Allah are revealed to the prophets through an angel. So, it is not possible to have faith in Allah and the Day of Judgment until and unless one has faith in the angels, in the Books of Allah and in the prophets.

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِيْنَ اعْتَدَوْا مِنْكُمْ فِى السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَھُمْ كُوْنُوْا قِرَدَةً خٰسِـــِٕيْنَ

This episode belongs to the time of Sayyidna Dawud (David (عليه السلام Allah had appointed Saturday as the Sabt سبت ، or the sacred day, for the Israelites; it was specially set apart for prayers and worship, and hence fishing was prohibited on this day. But these people lived on the sea-shore, and were very fond of fish. Al-Qurtubi says that the Is¬raelites, at first, invented all sorts of clever pretences for catching fish on Saturday, and gradually started doing so openly. There now grew a division amongst them on this point. On the one hand were these transgressors, and, on the other, some scholars and pious men who tried to dissuade them from such disobedience. When the former paid no heed to them, the latter broke away altogether from the sinners, and began to live in a separate part of the town. One day they felt no sound was coming from the other part of the town. Growing curious, they went there and found that all the transgressors had been changed into apes. Qatadah says that the young ones had become apes, and the old ones swine. The apes could recognize their relatives and friends, and would approach them weeping out of remorse, and seeking their sympathy and help. Then all of them died after three days.

As to the question whether the apes and the swine we see today bear any kinship to these Israelites who had been metamorphosed, the correct position is that people who have been metamorphosed into beasts by Allah as a punishment cease to breed, and leave no progeny behind. According to a hadith reported by Imam Muslim from the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) some people asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) whether the apes and the swine were the descendants of the metamorphosed Jews. The Holy Prophet reminded them that apes and swine existed in the world even before, and said that when Allah sends down this particular kind of punishment on a people, the race comes to an end with this, and there is no further breeding.24

  1. Some ‘modernizing’ Muslims have tried to explain away this metamorphosis by suggesting that these disobedient Jews did not actually and physically turn into beasts, but that the change was only psychological in so far as they acquired the evil characteristics of apes and swine. To say such a thing is to deny an explicit statement of the Holy Qur’an, which no Muslim can do, if he wishes to remain a Muslim. Moreover, in denying the possibility of physical change, the ‘modernizers’ are also denying the power of Allah, and putting limitations on it. Even as a piece of literary exegesis, the ‘modernist’ interpretation is flimsy. For, even before the punishment fell on them, these Jews had been displaying the moral and psychological traits of beasts: the greed of swine and the craftiness of apes. Where was, then, the change which the Holy Qur’an declares to be a punishment for the offenders and a warning for others? Our ‘modernists’ are, in fact, all too ready to swallow without batting an eye-lid the most preposterous and unfounded notions, only if they come from the West. So, they have complete certitude with regard to Darwin’s speculation, that the apes evolved into man, although no verifiable data has yet been gathered to support the contention; but when it comes to the statement in the Holy Qur’an that men were changed into apes, they look askance at it, although this kind of change is rationally and logically as possible as the other.

Let us now go back to the verse under discussion. The people who witnessed the event, or heard of it, were of two kinds – the disobedient and the obedient. For the disobedient, it served as a ‘deterrent’, an example and a warning, which persuaded them to repent of their disobedience. For the obedient, it was a lesson and a reminder that they should be steadfast in their obedience. It serves these two purposes even now.

Injunctions and related considerations

We have been saying that the Jews who were changed into apes had used certain ruses or pretences to justify their sin in their own eyes. This brings us to a rather delicate question of Fiqh فقہ (Islamic ju¬risprudence). Certain ‘modernists’ have quite shamelessly been busy maligning the master jurists of Islam by suggesting that these masters have invented very intricate “stratagems” (Hiyal, plural of Hilah) for helping the rich and powerful to infringe the laws of the Shari’ah and get away with it. This is a petty calumny, and should not have been worthy of consideration except for the fact that such ‘modernists’ have had some success with the gullible and the ignorant by playing upon the Arabic word Hilah. As everyone knows, the lexical meaning of a word is one thing, and its technical signification, when it is used as a term in some science, is another. In its literal sense, the word Hi¬lah no doubt means “a trick, a stratagem”, but as a technical term in Fiqh فقہ it signifies a device for and a means of giving legitimacy to an ac¬tion in a contingency by making certain necessary modifications in it in consonance with the ‘Shari` ah. Thus, it is not a way of by-passing the Shari’ah, but of helping people to conform to it even in a situation where necessity or human weakness would compel them to go against it.

The present verse has a particular relevance to the question, and would help to clarify it a great deal. The transgression on the part of the Jews which the verse speaks of, and which drew upon them such dreadful punishment, was not a clear and explicit infringement of divine law, but the use of certain “tricks” which necessarily involved the negation of the divine commandment. For example, on Saturday they would tie one end of a cord to the tail of a fish and the other end to something on the shore, and leave the fish in the water; on Sunday, they would take it out and eat it. Such a ruse not only negates an injunction of the Shari’ah, but is actually a mockery. That is why those who practiced such “stratagems” were considered to be disobedient and rebellious, and subjected to dire punishment.

But this particular instance does in no way go to prove that the Hiyal are impermissible. We have explained the nature and purpose of such “devices” alone. Not only do they form an integral part of Fiqh فقہ ، but some of them have actually been suggested by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself. For example, bartering a kilo of good dates for two kilos of bad dates is, according to the Shari’ah, a kind of usury. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has suggested a “device” (Hilah) for avoiding the infringement of this regulation in a situation where such a transaction becomes necessary – that is, instead of bartering one commodity for another, one may employ the exchange value of money: first sell two kilos of bad dates for two rupees, and then with the two rupees thus obtained buy a kilo of good dates. The intention in using this “device” is to conform to the Shari’ah, and not to by-pass it. The negation of the Shari’ah is neither intended here, nor does it actually take place. This principle holds good in the case of all the Hiyal which the Fuqaha-‘ (jurists) have proposed in order to save people from practicing what the Shari` ah has prohibited. It is a travesty of the truth to compare them to or represent them as the “tricks” employed by the Jews to negate and mock the Shari ah.

وَاِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْسًا فَادّٰرَءْتُمْ فِيْهَا   وَاللّٰهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُوْنَ

The murderer had his supporters who wanted to hide his crime, and hence began accusing different people. But Allah willed that the criminal should be brought to book, and appointed a miraculous way of identifying him — that is, the dead body of the murdered man should be touched with a part of the flesh of the sacrificial cow. When this was done, the dead man came back to life, announced the name of his murderer, and died again.

This miraculous event is a manifestation of the omnipotence of Allah, and Holy Qur’an presents it as an argument against those who deny the Resurrection of the dead for the Last Judgment. Verse 73 says that this precedent should induce people to make use of their reason, and see that what has happened in a past instance can as easily happen in a future instance.

With regard to this event one may ask as to why Allah made the resurrection of the dead man depend upon his being touched with a part of flesh when he had the power to bring the man back to life without the intervention of any such device; or, one may ask as to why the dead man should have been brought back to life when the name of the murderer could have been revealed even otherwise. In answer to this, we shall say that Allah is omnipotent, and does not act under any kind of compulsion, but that all His actions proceed from His all-embracing wisdom. Moreover, it is He alone who knows, and can know, the raison d’etre of what He does. The Shari’ah does not oblige us to discover the raison d’etre of each and every divine act, nor is it necessary or possible that we should be able to comprehend the raison d’etre in each case. The best way in such a case is to accept what Allah or the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said, and to keep quiet.

Let us say a word about the arrangement and sequence of the events. Verse 72 relates how a man was murdered, and how people started accusing each other. This is the beginning of the story which has been related earlier in Verses 67-71. This chronological order has not been preserved in the narration, but inverted, and this re-arrangement has a subtle significance. This long section of the Surah (Chapter) has been dealing with the transgressions of the Israelites, and this is just what the Holy Qur’an intends to bring out in narrating different stories, the narrating of stories not being an object in itself here. The present story is meant to show two misdeeds – firstly, committing a murder and then trying to hide it; secondly, raising uncalled-for objections to divine commandments. If the chronological order had been kept up, the readers would have supposed that it was only the first of these that was really intended, while the second was added only by way of completing the story. The present arrangement clearly shows that both the misdeeds have been equally emphasized.

Injunctions and related consideration

In this incident the statement of the murdered man was considered evidence for condemning the murderer, because Allah had informed Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) through revelation that the man would, on coming back to life, speak the truth. Otherwise, one cannot be declared as being guilty of murder without proper evidence, the rules of which have been laid down by the Shari’ah.

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوْبُكُمْ مِّنْۢ بَعْدِ ذٰلِكَ فَهِىَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ اَوْ اَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

The Surah has been relating a number of incidents which show that the Israelites were always prone to disobedience and rebellion and had to undergo punishment again and again. Such an experience should have taught them humility and obedience. On the contrary, their hearts became all the more hardened against divine guidance. This insensibility led them into further misdeeds and transgressions. The present verse describes their degeneracy, and warns them that Allah knows everything they have been doing, and will punish them for their evil deeds.

In contrasting the hearts of the Israelites with stones, the verse refers to three states of the latter: (1) Some stones give forth a great amount of water. (2) Others give forth only a small quantity. (3) Still others do not give forth water, but fall down from their place for fear of Allah.

The first two of these states are a matter of everyday observation, but the third may be subject to doubt, for the ability to feel fear requires reason and sensibility, and the stones, as one supposes, do not possess these faculties. But reason is not always a necessary requisite for the ability to feel fear – after all, animals do feel fear, even though they do not possess reason. Sensibility is, of course, necessary. But there is no rational argument which should deny sensibility to minerals. For sensibility depends on life, and the minerals may possibly possess a kind of subtle life which man may not be aware of. In fact, scientists have recently discovered the signs of life and sensibility in minerals too. Anyhow, an explicit statement in the Holy Qur’an carries a validity and an authority which no physical science or rational argument can dispute.

Then, we do not claim that fear of Allah is always the only cause which makes a stone fall down. For, the Holy Qur’an itself says that this cause operates only in the case of some stones. So, there may be different causes which make stones fall down; some of these causes may be purely physical, while one of them may be the fear of Allah.

The order in which the three kinds of stones have been mentioned is very subtle, and, in view of the meaning and purpose intended, extremely expressive and significant. The verse places in the highest degree those stones whose affectivity is so strong that rivers gush forth from them, and provide sustenance to beasts and men. In contrast to them, it has been suggested, the hearts of the Jews are so hard that they are incapable of feeling any sympathy for their fellow-men even in suffering and pain, and hence incapable of wishing to do them good. In the second degree come the stones which do serve the creatures of Allah, but to a lesser extent. But the hearts of Jews are harder than even these. To the lowest degree of affectivity belong those stones which do not benefit anyone, but can at least ‘feel’ the fear of Allah. But the Jews are devoid of even this minimum degree of sensitivity.

وَقَالُوْا لَنْ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ اِلَّآ اَيَّامًا مَّعْدُوْدَةً

The claim of the Jews that they would not be sent to Hell for their sins, or, if at all, only for a few days, has been interpreted by the Commentators in different ways. One of them is as follows:-

The principle is common to all the Shari’ahs that if a believer commits sins, he will receive a punishment in Hell for some time and in accordance with the degree and nature of his sins, but as he possesses ‘Iman ایمان (faith), he will not be assigned to Hell for ever, and will be released after having served his term. Now, the argument on which the assertion of the Jews was based was that since the Shari ah of Sayyidna Musa (Moses عليه السلام) had not, in their view, been abrogated, they were true believers (Mumins مؤمنین ), and had not turned into infidels (Kafirs) by denying the prophethood of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) (Jesus ( and of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ; hence – so the argument ran – if they were sent to Hell in punishment of some sin, they would again’ be taken out after a few days. This false assertion is, thus based on another false assertion.

The Torah never declares that the Shari` ah of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) is meant to last forever. To claim perpetuity for it is an unfounded and false assertion, and hence the Jews who made such a claim and denied the prophethood of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) and of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، must on account of this denial be held to be infidels and disbelievers (Kafirs کفار ). And no Book of Allah holds out to the infidels the promise that they would be released from Hell after a while. The present verse refers to such a promise as the “pledge” of Allah. Since Allah has never made such a promise, it goes to show that the Jews were making a baseless claim.

وَاِذْ اَخَذْنَا مِيْثَاقَ بَنِىْٓ اِسْرَاۗءِيْلَ لَا تَعْبُدُوْنَ اِلَّا اللّٰهَ ۣوَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ اِحْسَانًا وَّذِي الْقُرْبٰى وَالْيَتٰمٰى

This verse speaks of the pledge which Allah had made the Israelites take, and the few people it refers to as having been true to the pledge were those who acted upon the Shari’ah of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) (Moses) as long as it was in force, and when it was abrogated, followed the Shari` ah of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

Injunctions and related considerations

(1) This verse brings out the basic elements common to Islam and all the earlier Shari` ah: Tauhid توحید (the doctrine of Unity or Oneness); service to one’s parents, relations, orphans and the needy; being gentle in speaking to all human beings; Salah نماز and Zakah زکوٰۃ .

(2) The verse asks us to adopt a gentle tone and an open-hearted manner in speaking to others, whether they are good or evil, pious or impious, orthodox or aberrant, followers of Sunnah or adherents to partitive innovations in it. In religious matter, however, one should not try to hide the truth for the sake of pleasing people or of winning their approval. The Holy Qur’an tells us that when Allah sent Sayyidna Musa and Sayyidna Harun (Moses and Aaron) (عليهم السلام) to the Pharaoh فرعون ، He instructed them to use gentle and soft words (20:42). None of us who addresses another today can be superior to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، nor can the man addressed be viler than the Pharaoh فرعون .

Talha ibn ` Umar recounts that once he said to the great master of the Sciences of Exegesis and Hadith, ‘At-a’ عطاء ، “One can see around you people who are not quite orthodox in their beliefs. As for me, I am rather short-tempered. If such people come to me, I deal with them harshly.” ` Ata’ replied, “Do not behave like this,” and, reciting the present verse, he added, Allah has commanded us to speak to people politely. When Jews and Christians all are to be treated like this, would this commandment not apply to a Muslim, no matter what kind of a man he is?” (Qurtubi)

ثُمَّ اَنْتُمْ ھٰٓؤُلَاۗءِ تَقْتُلُوْنَ اَنْفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُوْنَ فَرِيْـقًا مِّنْكُمْ مِّنْ دِيَارِھِمْ ۡ تَظٰھَرُوْنَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِالْاِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۭوَاِنْ يَّاْتُوْكُمْ اُسٰرٰى تُفٰدُوْھُمْ وَھُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ اِخْرَاجُهُمْ

This verse recounts how the Israelites broke the pledge they had willingly made. Allah had laid down three special injunctions for the Israelites: (1) They should not kill one another in an internecine war. (2) They should not force their own people into exile. (3) If they found a man from amongst them a prisoner of war, they should pay a ransom, and get him released. The Israelites disregarded the first two injunctions, and acted upon the third alone which they supposed easier to be carried out.

It happened like this. There lived in Madinah two tribes, the Aws اوس and the Khazraj خزرج ، who were hostile to each other, and would often go to war. In the environs of Madinah, there also lived two tribes of the Jews, the Bani Qurayzah بنی قریظہ and the Bani Nadir. The former had friendly relations with the Aws اوس ، and the latter with the Khazraj خزرج . When the Aws اوس and the Khazraj خزرج went to war against each other, the two tribes of the Jews also took part in the battle, each on the side of its own friends. In these battles, many Jews lost their lives or were rendered homeless as much as the non-Jews. In other words, the Jews of the Bani Qurayzah بنی قریظہ tribe had a share in the slaughter and exile of the Jews of the Bani Nadir tribe, and vice versa. However, when some of the Jews became prisoners of war, each of the two Jewish groups would persuade their respective friends among the non-Jews to accept a ransom and to release the prisoners. When they were asked why they showed such a solicitude for the prisoners, they would say that it was obligatory for them to get prisoners released. But when someone objected to their helping the non-Jews in slaughtering the Jews, they used to reply that it would be a real disgrace if they did not go to the aid of their friends, even if they were not Jews.

So, the present verse exposes their duplicity and their perversity. The Holy Qur’an indicts their behaviour as “sin and aggression,” and this suggests that the Israelites were infringing on two kinds of rights — the right of Allah, by disobeying Him; and the right of His creatures, by inflicting pain and loss on them.

The verse proceeds to reprimand them for accepting certain injunctions laid down in the Torah, while rejecting others, and following their own whims in both the cases. At the end, this long verse announces the grave punishment for such misdeeds the Israelites will have to bear in this world as well as in the other.

Let it be clearly understood that the Jews referred to in this verse had already become infidels (Kafirs کفار) by refusing to accept and affirm the prophethood of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . But instead of referring to this aspect of their infidelity, the verse points out another aspect. It reprimands them for having faith (‘Iman ایمان ) only in some part of the Book (Torah تورات ) and not having faith in some other. If we take the words of the present verse literally, it means that the Jews had become infidels by not having faith in some parts (that is to say, some injunctions) of the Torah. For, a Divine Book has to be accepted as a whole; to reject a part is to reject the whole, and clearly amounts to disbelief and infidelity (Kufr کفر ). But if we interpret the present verse in a different way, and take it to be reprimanding the Jews for not acting upon certain injunctions, then a question would arise here: How is it that the verse delineates their infringement of certain commandments as Kufr کفر or infidelity, although a believer cannot be considered an infidel so long as he accepts, at least in principle, the distinctions between the Halal حلال (lawful) and the Haram حرام ( unlawful) exactly as laid down by the Shari’ah? The answer to the question is that when a sin is very grave, the idiom of the Shari’ah sometimes delineates it as Kufr کفر (infidelity) in order to emphasize its gravity and its moral nature. This is also what the hadith intends to do when it says: مَن تَرَکَ الصَلاۃ مُتَعمَّداً فَقَد کَفَرَ :”He who gave up the Salah wilfully became an infidel.

This second interpretation does not, however, attenuate or modify the Kufr کفر (infidelity) of the Jews of which they had already been guilty by denying the prophethood of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

The verse announces that the Jews will have to bear a punishment not only in the other world, but in this world too – in the shape of humiliation and disgrace. It took place as it had been foretold. In the time of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself, the Jews of the Bani Qurayzah بنی قریظہ tribe had to lose their lives or to undergo imprisonment, and those of the Bani Nadir tribe were expelled for having broken the pact they had earlier made with the Muslims.

A doctrinal point

Verse 85 announces the “punishment” for Jews. One may very well ask here why the direst punishment should be reserved for the Jews, and not for atheists, for the Jews at least believe in Allah. The famous Commentator ‘Aids’ says in his “Ruh al-Ma’ani” that every punishment meted out to the infidels will be “the direst” in the sense that it will have no end or limit. So, what the verse implies is not that the punishment given to the Jews will be more severe than the one given to all the other infidels, but that they will be given the kind of punishment which is “the direst” in the sense of having no end or limit. In other words, the verse suggests that the punishment given to the infidels will be more severe than the one given to Muslim sinners. But if there are going to be different degrees in the punishment meted out to different kinds of infidels, it does not in any way go against the implications of this verse. (Bayan al-Qur an)

وَلَقَدْ اٰتَيْنَا مُوْسَى الْكِتٰبَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِنْۢ بَعْدِهٖ بِالرُّسُلِ ۡ وَاٰتَيْنَا عِيْسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنٰتِ وَاَيَّدْنٰهُ بِرُوْحِ الْقُدُسِ ۭ

The Qur’an again reminds the Israelites how Allah in His mercy forgave them their transgressions again and again, and provided them with all the means of guidance. First of all, He gave them a Divine Book, the Torah, through Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) (Moses); then, sent them a number of prophets; and, at the end of this line, sent down Sayyidna Isa (عليه السلام) (Jesus) along with clear and irrefutable evidences of his prophethood, like the Evangel and miracles, and appointed the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) (Gabriel) to give him support.

The Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) has often been called “Ruh al-Qudus” (the Holy Spirit) in the Noble Qur’an and the Hadith. For example, in Verse 16:102 – قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُ‌وحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّ‌بِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيُثَبِّتَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَ‌ىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿١٠٢﴾ – “Say: the Holy Spirit has brought it (the Noble Qur’an) down;” or in a couplet of the poet and blessed Companion Hassan ibn Thabit (رض) ، reported in the Hadith:

وجبریل رسول الله فینا

وروح القدس لیس لہ کفاء

Jibra’il, the messenger of Allah, comes to us;

he is the Holy Spirit, the incomparable.”

Allah helped and supported Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) through Jibra’il (عليه السلام) in several ways. (1) He was conceived through the breath of the Archangel. (2) Jibra’il (عليه السلام) protected him against being touched by Satan at the time of his birth. (3) The Archangel always accompanied him in order to defend him against the hostility of the Jews. (4) It was through him that Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) was raised to the heav¬ens.

In. spite of all these divine favours, the Jews persisted in their rebellion. They were so stubborn in the worship of their desires, that whenever the prophets brought to them certain divine injunctions which did not please them, the Jews would deny the prophets – they denied even Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) ، or would kill them outright — for example, they dealt in this vile manner with Sayyidna Zakariyya (عليه السلام) (Zachariah) and Sayyidna Yahya (عليه السلام) (John the Baptist).

وَقَالُوْا قُلُوْبُنَا غُلْفٌ ۭ بَلْ لَّعَنَهُمُ اللّٰهُ بِكُفْرِھِمْ فَقَلِيْلًا مَّا يُؤْمِنُوْنَ

The Jews used to say sarcastically that their hearts were “veiled”, by which they meant that their hearts were so well protected against Islam that it could never touch them. This was their way of congratulating themselves on being staunch in their belief. The Holy Qur’an points out that this is not the firmness of faith, but a damnation, for they deny Islam which now is the true religion, and stick to a religion which has been abrogated. They, consequently, possess only “a little” faith (‘Iman ایمان). Since a little faith is not acceptable, they turn out to be infidels.

The little “ faith” which they possessed pertained to the doctrines which are common to Islam and Judaism – for example, belief in Allah, or belief in the Day of Judgment. But they did not accept Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as a prophet, and the Holy Qur’an as the Word of Allah. So, their faith was not complete.

If the Verse describes ‘the little faith’ as ‘Iman ایمان ، it does so only in the lexical sense, for ‘Iman ایمان signifies total certitude, even if it pertains to certain things, and not to others. But from the point of view of the Shari’ah, such a partial faith cannot be described as ‘Iman ایمان . The Shari` ah would accept as valid only that ‘Iman ایمان which affirms with certitude each and everything that the Shari` ah requires one to affirm.

قُلْ اِنْ كَانَتْ لَكُمُ الدَّارُ الْاٰخِرَةُ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ خَالِصَةً مِّنْ دُوْنِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صٰدِقِيْنَ

The Jews used to claim that the blessings of the other world were specially reserved for them, and were not, meant for any other people. Certain other verses of the Holy Qur’an too refer to such a claim on the part of the Jews, and also of the Christians: قَالُوا لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ‌ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً : “They say: The, fire will not touch us but for a few days” (2:80), وَقَالُوا لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَ‌ىٰ : And they say: No one will enter Paradise except he who is a Jew or Christian” (2:111), وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَ‌ىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّـهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ :”And the Jews and the Christians said: We are the sons of Allah and His close friends” (5:18). What they meant in making such a claim was that since their own faith was the true one, they must certainly attain salvation in the other world — the repentant and the forgiven being admitted to Paradise from the very beginning, the sinners finding release from the fires of Hell after undergoing a punishment for a few days, and the obedient receiving a welcome like sons and beloved friends.

The use of certain improper expressions like “sons of Allah” not-withstanding, these claims are in themselves quite correct, provided that they pertain to people who follow a true and valid faith. But the Jews (and the Christians as well) were still following a faith which had been abrogated, and was thus no longer valid — a fact which nulli¬fied their claim. So, the Holy Qur’an has refuted the claim again and again in different ways, and the present verse has adopted a special mode. The habitual method of settling a dispute is to have a discussion and let both the parties present their own arguments. Since the Jews knew they could not win, they fought shy of this normal way. So, the Holy Qur’an suggests an abnormal method, which would not call for much knowledge or understanding, but only put a little strain on the tongue. The proposed trial consists in this — if the Jews are so sure of the blessings of the other world being reserved for themselves, they should declare that they wish to die, and this declaration would estab¬lish them as being genuine in their faith; but if they refuse to accept the challenge, it would show that they were liars. The Holy Qur’an also predicts that they would never have the courage to go through the trial.

In view of their hostility to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، one could expect them to take up such a simple challenge very zealously. But they knew very well in their heart of hearts that the Holy Prophet a and the Muslims stood for the truth, while they themselves were the champions of falsehood, and were, in actual fact, infidels. So, they refused to go through the trial, for they were struck with awe, and feared that as soon as they had expressed the wish to die, death would come over them, and they would be sent to Hell. This recalcitrance is, thus, in itself an evidence of the truth of Islam.

Here we must note that the trial was proposed not for all the Jews of all the ages, but specially for those who were the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and who used to deny him out of sheer envy and malice, in spite of having recognized that he was a genuine prophet.

Nor should one raise the doubt here that they had perhaps accepted the challenge, and “wished” for death in their hearts, as the Holy Qur’an seems to ask. For one, the Holy Qur’an itself reports the prediction that they would never “wish for it.” Secondly, if they could wish for death in their hearts, they must have declared it orally too, for their victory lay in just such a declaration, and this was a very easy way of refuting the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . But they did not avail themselves of this opportunity.

Nor can one suppose that they did make an oral declaration, for the fact has not been reported, and thus has not come down to us. Such a supposition would be wrong, because the opponents of Islam have always outnumbered its adherents, and if such a thing had happened, they must have been trumpeting it aloud to show to the world that the Jews had successfully passed the test proposed by the Holy Qur’an itself.

قُلْ مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيْلَ فَاِنَّهٗ نَزَّلَهٗ عَلٰي قَلْبِكَ بِاِذْنِ اللّٰهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَھُدًى وَّبُشْرٰى لِلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

The perversity of the Jews was very fertile, and gave them ever-new excuses for denying the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم . When they learnt that it was Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) (Gabriel ) who brought the Glorious Qur’an to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، they said that the Archangel (عليه السلام) was their enemy, as it was through him that rigorous commandments or catastrophic punishments had always descended on them,. and that for this reason they would not accept a Book which had been revealed through his agency. They also added that they could have accepted the Holy Qur’an, if the Archangel Mika’il (عليه السلام) (Michael) had brought it down, for he is connected with rain and with divine mercy.

In refuting this argument, the Holy Qur’an points out that Jibra’il (عليه السلام) is only a messenger, and has, acting only as a messenger, brought down the Holy Qur’an under a divine command to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . So, why should the Jews be so particular about the messenger, and not look at the Book itself? As for the Book, it confirms the earlier Books of Allah, provides guidance to men, and gives good tidings to the believers. This being what the Divine Books are meant for, the Holy Qur’an is evidently enough a Divine Book, and must, as such be obeyed. To deny it on account of one’s hostility to Jibra’il (عليه السلام) is sheer stupidity or outright perversity. Now, as for the attitude of the Jews towards Jibra’il (عليه السلام) ، the Holy Qur’an declares that to be hostile to the angels (including Jibra’il and Mika’il (عليهما السلام) or to the prophets is tantamount to being hostile to Allah Himself. Verse 98 puts down the enemies of angels and prophets as infidels (Kafirin) in saying that Allah is the enemy of the infidels. In other words, those who deny or oppose the angels and the prophets will have their due punishment in the other world.

Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) has, in his “Bayan al-Qur’an”, warned against the possibility of very grave error that may arise with regard to the statement in Verse 97 that the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) (Gabriel ) has “brought down the Book on the heart” of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . The error would lie in drawing from this phrase the conclusion that Allah has not revealed the words of the Holy Qur’an but only the meanings. Such a supposition is quite baseless, because many verses of the Holy Qur’an itself mention the Arabic language as the vehicle of revelation in the case of this particular Book of Allah.

That should leave no room for any doubt. Moreover, the “heart” perceives words as much as it does meanings; in fact, the perceiving agent is the “heart”, while the ears etc. are only its instruments. Specially, in the state of revelation, the external organs of the senses become dormant, and the heart receives even the words directly without the intervention of the ears. Although we cannot understand the nature of revelation properly, yet, choosing a mundane analogy, one can say that while dreaming in our sleep we do hear words and remember them afterwards, in spite of our external sense of hearing having been suspended while we dreamt. This example should make it easy to see that the revelation of meanings to the heart does in no way preclude the revelation of words as well. Anyhow, it is a sin – and an intellectual dishonesty – to rely on one’s own conjectures in defiance of a clear and definite statement in the Holy Qur’an.

وَاتَّبَعُوْا مَا تَتْلُوا الشَّيٰطِيْنُ عَلٰي مُلْكِ سُلَيْمٰنَ ۚ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمٰنُ وَلٰكِنَّ الشَّيٰطِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا يُعَلِّمُوْنَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ ۤ الخ….

In connection with these two verses, some commentators have reported certain Judaic traditions, which have given rise to a number of doubts, especially in the minds of Muslims with a Western orientation. Maulana Ashraf Thanavi has provided very simple and clear solutions to these exegetical problems, and we shall reproduce them here:

(1) The Jews were impertinent and senseless enough to attribute magic and sorcery to a prophet — namely, Sayyidna Sulayman (عليه السلام) (Solomon). So, in saying that they used to learn the black arts of the devils (Shayatin شیاطین), the Holy Qur’an takes care to deny, as a pa¬renthesis, such a vile allegation against Sayyidna Sulayman (عليه السلام) .

(2) These verses condemn the Jews for indulging in black magic. In connection with the verses, some commentators have reported a long and well-known story about a woman called Zuhrah زُہرہ ، which is not based on any authentic Islamic tradition. Those scholars who have found the story to be infringing the regulations of the Shari` ah, have rejected it as mere fiction; but those who believe that it can be interpreted so as to come in line with the Shari` ah, have not dismissed it totally. For the moment we are not concerned with the question whether the story is true or false. But what we would like to insist upon is the fact that a proper understanding does in no way depend on this story.

(3) The Jews knew very well that their indulgence in black magic was not only a sin, but also involved infidelity (Kufr کفر ). They could also see that such activities would do them no good even in this world, for their sorcery could not harm anyone except when Allah willed it so. Thus their practice went against their knowledge, and they made no use of their understanding to see this discrepancy. That is why the Holy Qur’an, to begin with, states that they “knew”, and then goes on to negate this ‘knowledge’ by saying, “Only if they knew!” For, if one does neither act upon what one knows nor tries to understand it properly, one’s knowledge is no better than ignorance.

(4) There was a time when black magic had grown very popular in the world, particularly in Babylon. Seeing its astonishing efficacy, ignorant people began to confuse its effects with the miracles of prophets, and to suppose that the two were identical in nature. Some even looked upon magicians as being holy men, and worthy of being obeyed; still others actually started learning and practising black magic as if it were a good deed bearing a divine sanction.25

  1. Just as there has been a sudden outburst of enthusiasm for the occult sciences in the West since the middle of the sixties in this century, particularly in America where even the universities have been inundated by it.

In short, this extraordinary veneration for magic and magicians had become a potent source of misguidance. In order to eradicate this misunderstanding, Allah sent down to Babylon two angels, Harut and Marut, for informing the people as to the true nature of magic and as to its different forms, so that they should distinguish it from the miracles of prophets, and keep away from obeying magicians and practising magic themselves. Just as the prophethood of prophets is divinely confirmed through miracles, signs and rational or other arguments, in the same way the angelical nature of Harut and Marut was confirmed on the basis of different signs and arguments, so that people should listen attentively to them and follow their guidance.

This particular function was not assigned to the prophets for two reasons. Firstly, the need of the hour was to establish a distinction between the prophets and the magicians, and, the prophets being in a way a party to the dispute, it was proper that a third party should be the arbitrator. Secondly, the necessary distinction between the two could not, in a normal course, be defined without citing and reporting the verbal formulas employed in magic. Merely to report heretical speech is not in itself a heresy – this is a logical and rational principle, and the Shari’ah too accepts it. So, the prophets could have been allowed to cite these formulas; but, they being a manifestation of divine guidance, Allah did not ask them to perform such a function, and chose two angels for the purpose.

For, Allah’s commandments are of two kinds — those pertaining to Takwin تکوین (creation and the cosmic order), and those pertaining to Tashri تشریع ‘ (legislation) -, and it is quite possible that sometimes the two may not seem to accord with each other. The order of creation is made up of good and evil both, and it is the angels through whom divine commandments are enforced. in this sphere. So, the angels are made to do things which, in the perspective of the cosmic order, always lead to general good, but which, in so far as they necessarily involve some kind of partial disorder, are seen to be evil — for example, the growth and upkeep of a human tyrant, or of a harmful beast, each of which is right in the context of the order of creation, but wrong from the point of view of the order of legislation. On the other hand, the prophets are entrusted only with the functions of the legislative order, which are, in their general as well as particular applications, nothing but good.

Although, in view of the ultimate purpose, this reporting of the formulas of magic too was related to the legislative order, yet there was probability — which even materialized — that a reporting of such formulas could give an incentive to the practice of black magic. So, Allah preferred not to make the prophets even an indirect means of such reprehensible activities. All the same, the prophets too were made to serve the main purpose by announcing the basic regulations of the Shari’ah with regard to magic, though not the details pertaining to the minor rules derived from them, for that could have possibly given rise to temptation. We shall explain it through an analogy.

The prophets have, for example, told us that it is forbidden to accept a bribe, and have also explained the nature of bribery, but have not given us the details as to how a bribe is given or taken, for a delineation of such minute details would have served only to teach men the different methods of giving or taking a bribe. Or, take an example from different branches of magic. If one utters a certain formula, one would, on getting up from the bed in the morning, find money under his pillow or in his pocket. The Shari` ah makes it quite clear that such a practice is not, in principle, legitimate, but does not specify what that formula is.

In short, the two angels came down to Babylon, and started the work assigned to them — that is to say, they used to explain the basic principles of magic, its different forms and the specific formulas, and then used to dissuade the people from getting themselves involved in these activities or with the magicians. Their work was exactly like that of a scholar who, finding that illiterate people sometime fall into uttering heretical words or phrases on account of their ignorance, should collect in his speeches or writings all such phrases that have gained currency, and inform them as to what they must carefully avoid.

Now, all sorts of people started coming to the angels for seeking information about the nature and the specific formulas of a magic lest ignorance should lead them into error, in the matter of doctrines or that of deeds. In order to provide the correct teaching on this subject and to protect the people from error, the angels were scrupulous enough to make it a point to warn them of possible dangers in giving them the information. They insisted on making it quite clear that in allowing them to provide this kind of information to the people in general, Allah intended to put His servants through a trial, for He would see who uses this knowledge for protecting his ‘Iman ایمان (faith) by recognizing evil and avoiding it, and who falls into misguidance by adopting evil that he has come to recognize as evil — a choice which can easily lead one into Kufr کفر (infidelity) in the matter of deeds or in that of doctrines. The angels repeatedly advised them to seek this dangerous information only with a good intent and to remain steadfast in this good intent, and not to misuse the knowledge so as to earn perpetual damnation.

The angels could not be more honest and forthright. So, they explained the basic principles of magic and even the subsidiary details to all those who were ready to take the pledge to remain steadfast in their faith. Of course, if anyone broke the pledge and fell into transgression or infidelity, it was his own business, and the angels could not be held responsible for it. Some were true to their promise, while many did not fulfil the pledge, and made their knowledge of magic a means of doing harm to people — this in itself is sin and transgression, while some modes of magic actually involve infidelity (Kufr کفر). Thus, through a misuse of their knowledge of magic, some turned into sinners and others into infidels.

Let us repeat that the angels had taught magic for the purpose of reforming the people and helping them to keep to the straight path, but those who misused this teaching did so out of their own perversity. An example would make the situation still more clear. Let us suppose that a man goes to a master of the Islamic sciences, who is an expert in the traditional branches of learning and in philosophy as well, and who also acts upon his knowledge, and this man requests the master to teach him philosophy, ancient or modern, so that he may protect himself against the doubts raised by the philosophers with regard to Islamic doctrines, and may also be able to give a satisfactory reply to those who raise such doubts. Apprehending that he might turn out to be insincere, and might finally bring the knowledge of philosophy to the aid of false and anti-Islamic ideas, the master warns him against such an eventuality, and the man takes a pledge that he would not misuse his knowledge. Having satisfied himself, the master gives him a thorough training in philosophy. But the man, contrary to his promise, begins to accept the anti-Islamic and false theorizing of philosophers as the truth. Obviously, in such a case, the teacher can in no way be held responsible for the way the pupil behaves. Similarly, there can be no room for doubting the integrity of these two angels.

Although Allah Himself knows how things were, yet one can suppose that once the angels had done the work assigned to them, they must have been recalled to the Heavens. (Bay an al-Qur’an)

What is Magic ? Definition and effects

Since the study of magic has been enjoying a weird currency in the Western countries since 1968, and has sometimes been accepted as a part of academic research, we had better consider the subject at some length from the Islamic point of view. According to the authoritative Arabic dictionary “Al-Qamus القاموس “, the word Sihr سحر (Magic) signifies an effect the cause of which is not apparent, whether the cause may actually lie in something which possesses a luminous quality (as the effect of certain phrases), or in things with an extra-sensory reality (as the effect produced by jinns and devils), or in the power of imagination (as the effect of hypnotism), or in things which are sensory yet hidden (as a magnet drawing to itself a piece of iron, when the magnet is concealed from the onlookers; or the effect of drugs, when they have been furtively administered; or the influence of stars and planets). The causes at work being numerous, the forms of magic too are numerous.

Magic and Charms

In everyday language, magic signifies those practices which involve the cooperation of jinns and devils, or the exercise of the power of imagination, or the use of certain words or phrases. It is a rationally established proposition, accepted by ancient philosophers and by some of the modern ones as well, and equally confirmed by ob¬servation and experiment, that words and phrases in themselves pos¬sess a certain efficacy, and that when certain letters, words or phrases are recited or written down for a specified number of times, they pro-duce certain specific results. Similar results are obtained by employ¬ing human hair or nails or the clothes worn by the person concerned, etc. – a practice which is usually described as the preparation of “Charms”. All such things are commonly known as magic.

Sihr سحر or Magic جادو : The Islamic view

But in the terminology of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, Sihr سحر (magic جادو) refers to all those usual happenings which have been brought about with the active help of the devils (Shayatin شیاطین ), won over through certain practices likely to please them. There are several ways of pleasing the devils. Sometimes one sings the praises of the devils, and sometimes recites formulas of a heretical nature which deny Allah or associate others with Him.

The worship of stars and planets too gladdens their heart, as do certain evil deeds – for example, preparing a charm with the blood of a person killed unlawfully, or refusing to adopt the prescribed modes of purifying one’s body, or living constantly and deliberately in a state of uncleanliness and impurity. Just as the aid of the angels can be won only through those modes of speech and action which they like (for example, remembrance of Allah, fear of Him and obedience to His commandments, cleanliness and purity, avoidance of all kinds of dirtiness, physical or otherwise, and good deeds in general), similarly the co-operation of the devils can be obtained through those modes of speech and action which are pleasant to them. That is why only those are successful in the practice of black magic who are habitually unclean and impure, avoid required purification and remembrance of Allah, and are given to all kinds of evil deeds – for example, it is usually during the period of menstruation that women become effective in the practice of black magic. So much for black magic or sorcery in the exact sense of the term. As for sleights of hand, mesmerism, hypnotism, or the tricks of jugglers, they are sometimes described as magic only by an extension of the meaning of the word, or metaphorically. (Ruh al-Ma’ani)

Kinds of Magic

In his “Mufradat al-Qur’an مفردات “, Imam Raghib al-Isfahani (رح) says that there are several kinds of magic. Firstly, there are sleights of hand, like those of jugglers, which deceive the eyes of the onlookers, but have no further substance. Then, there are ways of influencing the imagina¬tion of others through the concentration of one’s own powers of thought so that they begin to see or feel things which do not really ex¬ist as happens in mesmerism or hypnotism. Such a result is sometimes obtained with the help of the devils (Shayatin) too. In speaking of the magicians of the Pharaoh فرعون ، the Holy Qur’an says: سَحَرُ‌وا أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ They cast a spell on the eyes of the people” (7:116). Or, in another place: يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِ‌هِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَ “Through their magic Moses came to think that they (ropes turned into serpents) were running about” (20:66). Obviously, this piece of magic had to do with influencing of the imagination. The second of these verses employs a verb which has the same root as the noun Khayal خیال (thought), and hence clearly states that the ropes and the wands cast down by the magicians had neither turned serpents nor made any movement, but the imagination of Sayyidna Musa (Moses عليه السلام) had been affected so as to see them running about in the shape of serpents. The Holy Qur’an also indicates the other way of in¬fluencing men’s imaginations which involves the help of the devils (Shayatin شیاطین):”

هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ عَلَىٰ مَن تَنَزَّلُ الشَّيَاطِينُ ﴿221﴾ تَنَزَّلُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿222﴾

Shall I tell you on whom the devils descend? They descend on all those who are slanderers and sinners.” (26:221-222)

Still another kind of magic is that which can change the very nature of a thing – for example, turning a man into a beast or into a stone. Scholars like Imam Raghib al-Isfahani and Abu Bakr al-Jasas رحمۃ اللہ علیہما deny that magic can totally change the nature of a thing, but confine the efficacy of magic only to influencing the imagination and to deceiving the eyes of the onlookers. This is also what the Mu’tazilah thought of the matter. But most of the scholars hold that neither the Shari` ah nor any rational argument forbids the possibility of trans-substantiation or the changing of one thing into another, like a living body turning into a stone. As for the well-known principle of the classical philosophers that the change of the “essences” (Haqa`’iq حقأیق) is not possible, it concerns the “essences” of the three categories – the Impossible, the Possible and the Necessary –, for, rationally speaking, it just cannot be that something impossible should become possible, or that something possible should become impossible.

And as to the Holy Qur’an putting down the magic of the Egyptian sorcerers as only an impact on the imagination, it does not necessarily mean that all the forms of magic should be no more than an influencing of the imagination. Moreover, certain scholars have seen an argument in favour of the possibility of trans-substantiation through magic in a saying of Ka` b al-Ahbar, reported by Imam Malik (رح) in his Muwatta’ مؤطاء on the authority of Qa’qa’ ibn Hakim: “Were it not for these phrases which I recite regularly, the Jews would have changed me into a donkey.” “A donkey” is, no doubt, a usual metaphor for “a fool.” But it is not proper to turn away, unnecessarily, from the literal meaning to a metaphorical one. So, the sentence means just what it says – that if the recitation of the phrases had not protected him, the Jewish sorcerers would have changed him into a donkey. The saying, thus, establishes two things. Firstly, it is possible to change a man into a donkey; secondly, the phrases he used to recite had the property of making the magic of the sorcerers lose its efficacy. On being asked what these phrases were, the scholar Ka’b al-Ahbar taught his listeners the following words of prayer:

«أَعُوذُ بِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ، الَّذِي لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَعْظَمَ مِنْهُ، وَبِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّاتِ الَّتِي لَا يُجَاوِزُهُنَّ بَرٌّ وَلَا فَاجِرٌ، وَبِأَسْمَاءِ اللَّهِ الْحُسْنَى كُلِّهَا مَا عَلِمْتُ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَمْ أَعْلَمْ، مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ وَبَرَأَ وَذَرَأَ». موطأ مالك ت عبد الباقي (2/ 952)

“I seek the protection of Allah the Great, greater than whom there is none; and I seek the protection of the perfect words of Allah which no man, virtuous or wicked, can even transcend; and I seek the protection of all the Beautiful Names of Allah, those of them which I know and those which I do not know, from the evil of everything which Allah has created, to which He has given existence, and which He has spread (over the earth or the universe).”

To sum up, all the three forms of magic are possible, and can manifest themselves in actual fact.

Miracles

Now, let us turn to another important aspect of the question. Through prophets and saints certain events come into manifestation which normally and habitually never happen, and are hence designated as Kharq al-Adah خرق العادہ (contrary to the habitual). The Islamic term for the miracles of prophets is Mu’ jizat معجزات ، and for those of saints, Karamat کرامات . The effects produced by such miracles are in appearance sometimes similar to those produced by magic. This external resemblance leads some ignorant people to confuse the one with the other, and they begin to have a reverence for magicians which is totally out of place. So, one must understand the difference between the two clearly.26

  1. Editorial Note on; معجزہ :Mu` jizah or Miracle: For all the unusual

events and unprecendented happenings the English language has but one word, ‘Miracle’ which makes it impossible for the reader in that language to mark the subtle difference in various forms of miracles. Briefly, therefore, the different forms of miracles with their distinct objections are explained here. It is hoped that this will help the readers have a clearer conception of Mu’ jizah.

These terms are used in Arabic language to define and differentiate the unprecendented happenings and here each of them is explained, so as to clearly differentiate them. Qualitatively, there is, apparently no difference in all of them.

Mu’ jizah is the unusual event which occurs at ‘the hands of a prophet. It is purely an act of Allah. A prophet’s own volition has no part in the working of it. For those who witness a Mu’ jizah it is compulsory to believe in it.

Karamah (کرامۃ) — another mode of unusual happenings > is also an act of Allah; it appears at the hands of a Man of Allah (ولیُ اللہ ،). The basic difference in Mu’ jizah and Karamah is that one who performs Mu’ jizah, addresses himself as a prophet, a Man of. Allah has no such claim. In both Mu jizah and Karamah the usual cause and effect link is absent. Things happen but without any cause; and there is usually a total transformation of the nature and behaviour of objects in Mu’ jizah and Karamah. at is required is a generalized belief in them. Allah chooses whoever He wills for Mu’ jizah and Karamah. No degree of stringent discipline can give the power to make the unusual happen.

Irhas ارھ اس) ) is also a kind of Karamah. It heralds the coming of a prophet. It usually occurs at the hands of the one who is closely related to the prophet: the unprecedented happenings in the the life of Mariam (علیہا السلام) ، mother of prophet ` Isa (عليه السلام) or the various unusual events that began occurring to and around Aminah — the blessed mother of our Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ; for instance, she had no pangs of birth, towards the close of the birth period she used to hear stranger voices greeting her, although she saw no one. It is compulsory to believe in such events of Irhas as have been mentioned in the Qur’an and believe in a general manner, that Irhas is usually associated with the coming of a prophet.

The Difference between Miracle and Magic

The miracles of prophets and saints are different from magic, firstly, in their respective natures, and, secondly, with regard to the signs and indications attendant upon each. As for the difference in their natures, it lies in the fact that the results produced through magic depend on the law of causality as much as do the ordinary and usual events in the physical world, the only distinction being that the causes are in the latter case quite clear or easily observable, while in the former they are different for a common man to detect. Where the causes are evident, the effects are immediately referred back to them, and the events thus produced are not considered to be astonishing, but where the causes are hidden or obscure, the events produced by them arouse wonder and amazement, and those who are ignorant of the causes readily come to believe that the things have happened in contravention of the habitual laws of the physical universe.

27 What these people do not realize is that such happenings are as much due to certain causes as the habitual events – the cause in the case of extraordinary happenings often being the activity of a jinn or a devil (Shaytan). For example, a letter suddenly falls in front of a man, and on reading it he finds that the letter has been written just this day and is coming from a distance of ten thousand miles. Now, the onlookers would call it a “supernatural” event, for they do not know that Allah has given the power of doing such things to jinns and devils. Once one comes to understand the means through which things of this nature take place, one would no longer see them as “supernatural”, or even as being contrary to “habit”. In short, all the results obtained through magical practices are, in fact, due to the operation of physical causes, but in the eyes of common people they acquire the illusory appearance of “supernatural” events, simply because the operative causes are hidden from them.

  1. In the West, they describe such events as being “supernatural”, although the Latin word Natura, which is the equivalent of the Greek word Phusis, does, at least in its original sense, cover all that has been created, whether it lies in the domain studied by empirical science or beyond it.

On the other hand, miracles happen directly under divine command without the intervention of physical causes. For example, the Holy Qur’an tells us how the tyrant Namrud نمرود (Nimrod) threw Sayyidna Ibrahim (Abraham عليه السلام) into a blazing fire, and how Allah commanded the fire to grow cold for him, but not so cold as to do him harm — and the fire obeyed the command, and, instead of scorching him, provided a place of safety.

This was a direct divine act, and hence a miracle. Now, we sometimes hear of men who, having applied certain chemicals to their body, can enter a fire without being scorched. This is not a miracle, for the operative cause is of a physical nature – that is, the chemicals. These chemicals are not known to people in general, and they are deluded into believing such a performance to be a °°supernatural” event going beyond the realm of “the habitual”. The Holy Qur’an itself leaves no doubt as to a miracle being directly an act of Allah Himself. In the Battle of Badr بدر ، the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) took up a handful of pebbles, and threw them at the army of the infidels, which blinded their eyes. Referring to this miracle, the Holy Qur’an says: مَا رَ‌مَيْتَ إِذْ رَ‌مَيْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ رَ‌مَىٰ ۚ:”When you threw (the pebbles), it was not you who threw, but Allah who threw (them) ” (8:17). The statement is explicit enough, and means that the miraculous result produced by a handful of pebbles was not the work of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ، but the act of Allah Himself.

Miracle and Magic: How to distinguish between them?

Having explained the difference between the nature of a miracle and that of magic, we must now turn to another important question –the results produced by each of them being in appearance the same, how is the common man to know the difference between the two? In fact, Allah has given to each certain characteristic features which can help the common man to distinguish miracles from magic. Firstly, miracles are manifested through those whom everyone knows to be clean in body, pure in deeds and God-fearing. On the contrary, magic shows its effectiveness through those who are unclean in body, dirty in deeds, shunning the worship of Allah and His remembrance. This is a distinction which everyone can observe with his own eyes. Secondly, Allah has so ordained things that if a man pretends to be a prophet and claims to perform miracles, and yet tries to practise magic, his magic is never effective, but he can be effective in magic so long as he does not lay a claim to prophethood.

Magic جادو and Prophets (عليهم السلام)

As to the question whether magic can have an effect on prophets, we shall say that it can. As we have explained above, magic operates through physical causes, and prophets are not immune to the influence of physical causes. Just as they feel the effects of hunger and thirst, fall ill and get healed through the operation of apparent physical causes, in the same way they can be affected by the hidden operations of magic, which are no less physical. Let us add that being affected by magic does in no way go against the dignity of the station of prophethood — no more than would thirst or hunger. Authentic ahadith report that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was affected by the magic spell cast by the Jews, that he came to know of it through revelation, and that he took certain measures to free himself of its effects. The Holy Qur’an too tells us how Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) (Moses) experienced the effects of magic when the sorcerers cast a spell on his eyes, and the ropes and the sticks thrown by them began to look like running serpents, so that he was really frightened (20:66, 67).

Injunctions of the Shari’ah with regard to Magic

As we have already said, Sihr جادو (magic), in the terminology of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, refers only to those practices in which one seeks the help of jinns and devils (Shayatin شیاطین ) by gaining their pleasure through the adoption of certain phrases or actions that involve infidelity (Kufr کفر ) and association (Shirk شرک ) or sin and transgression, and thus brings about certain extraordinary and unusual events. The magic of Babylon, mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, was just this, and it is this form of magic which it condemns as infidelity or Kufr (Jassa). According to Abu Mansur, the most valid and correct view in this respect is that each and every form of magic does not, unconditionally and absolutely, constitute infidelity, but only that form which employs actions or speech contrary to the tenets of faith (‘Iman ایمان ). (Ruh al-Ma’ani)

As everyone knows, the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith repeatedly enjoin upon the Muslims to consider the Shayatin شیطان as one’s enemies, to hate them and to curse them. Seeking to please them and to win their friendship, in contravention of such clear commandments, is in itself a sin. Moreover, they are pleased only when one indulges in Kufr کفر (infidelity) or Shirk شرک (association), and thus forfeits one’s faith (‘Iman ایمان ) altogether, or at least in disobedience and transgression, displeasing Allah and His angels by wallowing in dirt and impurity — which becomes an additional sin. And if one makes use of magic for doing some harm to a human being unlawfully, it is still one more sin.

Thus, what the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith call Sihr جادو can never be free either of infidelity in the matter of faith, or at least of infidelity in the matter of actions. If, in order to please the Shayatin شیطان ، one adopts actions or speech involving infidelity or association, one would be committing an act’ of real infidelity in the matter of faith; and even if one manages to avoid infidelity and association in speech or action, but indulges in other sinful activities, one would not remain free from infidelity in the matter of actions. This is what the Holy Qur’an means when, in the present verses, it designates magic as Kufr کفر .

To sum up, when magic employs actions or speech involving infidelity (such as seeking the help of Shayatin شیاطین ، or believing the stars and the planets to be effective in themselves, or claiming prophethood by presenting the results of magical procedures as miracles, etc), such a magic, according to the consensus, constitutes infidelity; and when magic does not involve acts of infidelity but only the commission of sinful acts, such a magic is a major sin.

Now, let us add some subsidiary injunctions with regard to magic.

(1) Since magic is not usually free from infidelity in the matter of faith or in that of action, it necessarily follows that it is forbidden to learn or teach or practice it. Some jurists, however, allow one to learn magic for the purpose of protecting Muslims from harm, but one must not try to learn more than is necessary.

(2) If in preparing charms and amulets the help of Jinns and Shayatin شیاطین has been sought, they too come under the category of Sihr جادو ، and are thus forbidden. If the words employed in the charms are vague, and one does not exactly know what they mean but suspects that they are invocations addressed to idols or Shayatin شیاطین ، even such charms are forbidden.

(3) As for the other forms of magic beside the Sihr جادو ، like that of Babylon, condemned by the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, if they involve Kufr and Shirk in some way, they too are forbidden.

(4) If there is a form of magic which employs words or actions or other elements to which the Shari` ah does not object, then it is permissible on condition that it is not used for a purpose which the Shari’ah forbids.

(5) It is permissible to use the verses of the Holy Qur’an, or the Divine Names or the words of the Hadith in preparing charms and amulets, or as a recitation or invocation for gaining divine help in order to attain a desired end. But if such a use of the sacred texts or words is made for a reprehensible purpose, like doing harm to someone without an excuse, even that is forbidden. (Shami, Fatawa Qadi Khan)

A doctrinal point

Verse 102 says: “They could not thus do any harm to anyone, except with the permission of Allah”. This shows that causes in themselves and by themselves cannot produce the effects one usually associates with them, and it is Allah who creates the effects as much as the causes. (Bayan al-Qur’an)

مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ اٰيَةٍ اَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَاْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَآ اَوْ مِثْلِهَا ۭ

At first, Muslims used to pray with their faces turned towards the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس at Jerusalem; later on, Allah commanded them to turn towards the Ka’bah کعبہ . Similarly, certain other injunctions were abrogat¬ed altogether, or replaced by others. This provided the Jews and some of the associators too with an occasion to taunt the Muslims, and to say that such changes were made by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself and not by Allah. Their purpose was to sow the seed of doubt in the mind of the Muslims with regard to the Holy Qur’an being a book revealed by Allah. They used to argue that if everything that Allah revealed was good, as the Muslims affirmed, why should one injunction be re-placed by another? For, it would only mean that one of the two injunc¬tions must be good, and the other evil, but no divine revelation can possibly be evil. Putting these two premises together, the Jews tried to draw the conclusion that the Holy Qur’an could not be a revealed book.

The present verse refutes this line of argument, and, in effect, points out that abrogation does not mean replacing good with evil, or vice versa, which should imply the possibility of the presence of evil in divine revelation, but that everything that Allah reveals to His prophets is good, and that what has been abrogated is good as much as what abrogated it.

The verse declares that if Allah chooses to abrogate an injunction contained in a certain verse, while retaining the verse itself as a part of the Holy Qur’an, or chooses to remove a verse from the memories of men altogether, there is nothing objectionable in it, for Allah alone knows the wisdom that lies in His choice, and He makes these changes for the good of men. In fact, He always sends another verse or injunction better than, or at least equal to, what He has abrogated. Allah being omnipotent and omniscient, He possesses the authority to change His commandments as He likes, and He also knows what is good for men at a particular time, and makes these changes according to this knowledge. Men have no friend or helper except Allah. As friend, Allah keeps their good in view while laying down injunctions. As helper, He protects those who obey His commandments against the hostility of their foes – but if the obedient are to receive blessings in the other world greater than the harm they have to suffer in this world, the apparent domination of their foes does not really matter.

What is Naskh? (Abrogation)

Verse 106 speaks of Allah abrogating certain verses, or making men forget certain others. The first phrase of the verse, thus covers all the possible forms in which a verse of the Qur’an can be abrogated. The Arabic word in the text is Naskh نسخ ،. which has two lexical meanings – – (1) to write, and (2) to abolish, to repeal. According to the consensus of all the commentators, the word has been employed in this verse in the second sense — that is, the repeal or abrogation of an injunction. So, in the terminology of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, Naskh (نسخ) signifies the promulgation of an injunction in place of another –whether the later injunction merely consists in the repeal of the earli¬er or, substitutes a new regulation in its place.

The other form of Naskh نسخ mentioned in this verse is that sometimes Allah made the Holy Prophet and the blessed Companions forget a certain verse alto¬gether. The commentators have cited several instances of this kind of Naskh نسخ ، and the purpose in such cases has usually been to repeal a cer¬tain regulation.

The kinds of abrogation

Making laws and repealing them to promulgate new ones in their stead is a regular and well-known practice in human governments and institutions. But in the case of man-made laws abrogation takes place sometimes because the law-makers do not understand the situation properly while making a certain law, and have to change it when they realize their mistakes, and sometimes because when a law is promul¬gated, it is in accord with the prevailing situation, but when quite un¬foreseen changes alter the situation, the law too has to be changed. But these two forms of abrogation are out of the question in the case of divine injunctions.

There is, however, a third form too. The lawmaker makes a law, knowing fully well that the circumstances are going to change in such a way that the law will no longer be suitable for the new situation; so, when the situation changes as he already knew, he changes the law too, and promulgates a new one which he had thought of at the very start. For example, a physician prescribes a medicine for a patient in view of his present conditions, but he knows that when the patient has been using it for two days, his condition will change and require a new medicine — with this realization, he prescribes a medicine suitable for that day, but two days later, when circumstances have changed, he prescribes a new one. The physician can easily give the patient written instructions for the whole course of the treatment, with all the changes in the medicines duly indicated. But this would be putting too much burden on the already feeble patient, and there would also be the danger of some harm through a possible error or misunderstanding.

This is the only form of abrogation which can occur, and has been occurring iri divine injunctions and in divine books. Every new Shari’ah and every new revealed Book has been abrogating many injunctions of the earlier Shari’ah and of the earlier Book. Similarly, within the same Shari’ah, too, it has always happened that a certain law was in force for a time, but Divine Wisdom chose to abrogate it and to promulgate another in its place. Ahadith reported by Muslim says: لم تکن نبوۃ قط الا تناسخت : “There has never been a prophethood which did not abrogate some injunctions.” This is a principle which it should not be difficult to understand. It was only some malicious and ignorant Jews who confused the divine abrogation of injunctions with the two forms of the repeal of man-made laws, and began, in their impudence, to taunt the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) – in reply to which, as we have said, these two verses were revealed. (Ibn Jar~r, Ibn Kathir etc.)

As for the Muslims, it was probably in their desire to avoid giving occasion to the enemies of Islam for such taunts that some from among the Mu` tazilah tried to explain away the whole question of Naskh نسخ . Log¬ically speaking, there is a possibility — so ran their argument — of ab¬rogation in the case of divine injunctions, and the possibility cannot be denied on any rational ground, but abrogation has not actually oc¬curred in the Holy Qur’an, and there is no verse in the Holy Book which abrogates another (Nasikh ناسخ ) and no verse which has been abro¬gated (Mansukh منسوخ ). This view is attributed to Abu Muslim al-Isfahani, but the ` Ulama’ in general have always rejected this opinion, and re¬futed the argument. Thus, we read in “Ruh al-Ma` ani”:

واتفقت أهل الشرائع على جواز النسخ ووقوعه وخالفت اليهود غير العيسوية في جوازه وقالوا: يمتنع عقلا، وأبو مسلم الأصفهاني في وقوعه فقال: إنه وإن جاز عقلا لكنه لم يقع. تفسير الألوسي = روح المعاني (1/ 351)

The people belonging to all the Shari’ahs are unanimous in accepting the validity of abrogation and its actual occurrence both. Only the Jews — with the exception of their ` Isawiyyah عیسویّہ sect have denied the possibility of abrogation, and Abu Mus¬lim al-Isfahani (رح) has denied its occurrence, for he says that it is rationally possible, but has not actually taken place.”

Imam al-Qurtubi (رح) says:

مَعْرِفَةُ هَذَا الْبَابِ أَكِيدَةٌ وَفَائِدَتُهُ عَظِيمَةٌ، لَا يَسْتَغْنِي عَنْ مَعْرِفَتِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ، وَلَا يُنْكِرُهُ إِلَّا الْجَهَلَةُ الْأَغْبِيَاءُ. تفسير القرطبي (2/ 62)

“It is essential to understand the question of abrogation, and great benefits flow from such an understanding, which no scholar can dispense with, and no one can deny abrogation except the ignorant and the dull-headed.”

In this connection, al-Qurtubi has related a very illuminating incident. The fourth Khalifah Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) ، saw a man preaching in the mosque. He asked the people what the man was doing. On being told that he was preaching, the blessed Khalifah said: “He is not doing anything of the sort, but only announcing to the people that he is such and such a man and the son of such and such, and asking them to recognize and remember him.” Calling the man to his side, he asked: “Do you know the injunctions which have been abrogated and those which have abrogated the earlier ones?” When he confessed that he did not, the Khalifah turned him out of the mosque, and ordered him never to preach there.

It is not feasible to cite here all the sayings of the blessed Companions and their immediate Successors (Tabi` in تابعین) which affirm the actual occurrence of abrogation in the case of injunctions laid down by the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith. Some of these have been quoted, along with the evidence for the authenticity of the reports, in the commentaries of Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir etc. and in “Al-Durr al-Manthur”. As for the reports less strongly authenticated, they are just innumerable. That is why there has always been a total consensus of the ` Ulama’ on the question of Naskh, except for Abu Muslim al-Isfahani and a few others from among the Mu’tazilah who have denied the actual occurrence of abrogation — but Imam Razi has, in his commentary, exposed in detail the hollowness of their opinion.

The terminology of the Naskh

It is also essential to keep in mind a certain distinction in the use of the word Naskh as a technical term of the Shari’ah. The technical sense of the word implies changing an injunction, and replacing one injunction by another. Now, this change may consist in repealing an injunction altogether and replacing it by another (for example, fixing the Ka’bah as the Qiblah قبلہ۔- the direction towards which Muslims turn in their prayers — instead of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ); the change may equally consist in retaining an injunction but adding certain condition and provisions to it. The ` Ulama’ of the early period of Islam have used the word Naskh in this general and comprehensive sense which includes the total repeal of an injunction as well as a partial change in an injunction with the addition of certain conditions, provisions or exceptions. That is why the ` Ulama’ of the earlier period have indicated some five hundred verses of the Holy Qur’an which, according to them, have been abrogated.

But, according to the ` Ulama’ of a later period, only that change is to be called a Naskh which cannot in any way be brought into consonance with an earlier injunction. Obviously, this approach greatly reduces the number of abrogated verses. For example, there are, according to al-Suyuti السیوتی ، only twenty such verses.

Later on, Shah Waliyyullah ولیُ اللہ ، seeking to bring the abrogated injunctions in consonance with the earlier injunctions, reduced the number of abrogated verses to only five — these being the cases where later injunctions could not be made to correspond with the earlier ones without far-fetched interpretations. This effort is highly commendable, because the basic postulate behind an injunction is its permanence, while abrogation goes against this postulate, and hence it is not proper to posit abrogation in a verse laying down an injunction which can, in some justifiable manner, be shown to be still valid.

But this effort to reduce the number of abrogated verses does not, and cannot in the least imply28 that the presence of abrogation is in any way — may Allah forgive us for reproducing a blasphemy — a shortcoming or defect in the Holy Qur’an or Islam, that the ` Ulama’ have for the last fourteen hundred years been trying to remove it, that the ultimate inspiration came to Shah Waliyyullah whose extraordi¬nary achievement lies in having reduced the number of abrogated verses to five, and that now one may wait for a few geniuses who would bring the number down to zero.

28-As the ‘modernists’ have been all too impatient to believe.

To adopt such an approach towards the question of “Naskh” is no service to Islam or to the Holy Qur’an, 29 nor can it obliterate the profound investigations into truth of the matter made by the blessed Companions, their Successors, and the ` Ulama’ of the generations that followed them during the last fourteen hundred years, nor can it stop the recriminations of the enemies of Islam. In fact, all it would do is to furnish a weapon to the present-day traducers of Islam and those who wish to rebel against Islam, who would now be saying that what the ` Ulama’ of the Islamic Ummah have been maintaining on the subject for the last fourteen hundred years has finally proved to be wrong. May Allah forbid such a thing! If this door is opened, it would let in all kinds of disorders, and all the injunctions of the Shari’ah would come under suspicion. Then, is there any guarantee that the results of this “modernistic” research would not turn out to be wrong tomorrow!

29-To which pretends the whole tribe of self-styled scholars, researchers, “experts in Islamic studies” and “revivificateurs of Islam.”

We have come across certain recent writings in which an attempt has been made to revive the argument of Abu Muslim al-Isfahani.

Such writers begin with the assumption that the Arabic word Ma in verse 106 is not a relative or adverbial pronoun signifying “whenever”, or “whichever” but a conjunction implying “ifـ” that introduces a conditional clause; so, they translate the first phrase of the verse not as “whichever verse We abrogate”, but as “if We abrogate a verse”, and say that the statement pertains to a supposition or to an imaginary situation as do the phrases beginning with the Arabic word Law (لَو : if) — for example: لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَة : “If there were in the sky and the earth another god beside Allah” (21:22) or إِن كَانَ لِلرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ وَلَدٌ “If the All-Merciful had a son” (43:81).

On this basis, they argue that abrogation is possible, but has never actually occurred. Such writers, we are afraid, do not show an intimate knowledge of Arabic grammar, for there is a great deal of difference between a condition suggested by the word Ma ما and the imaginary situation introduced by the conjunction Law. Moreover, it is on the basis of this verse itself that the blessed Companions have affirmed the occurrence of abrogation, and have even cited many instances. So have their Successors and all authentic Commentators. In view of such unanimity, the new-fangled interpretation cannot be acceptable. Even Shah Waliyyullah, in reducing the number of abrogated verses, has never thought of denying the fact of abrogation. In short, all the authentic and authoritative ` Ulama’, from the days of the blessed Companions down . to our own day, have always affirmed not only the possibility, but also the actual occurrence of abrogation. This has been the position of all the ` Ulama’ of Deoband دیوبند too, without any exception.

The injunctions with regard to abrogation are too many and too intricate to be discussed here — they properly belong to the books on the Principles of Jurisprudence.

وَقَالُوْا لَنْ يَّدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ اِلَّا مَنْ كَانَ ھُوْدًا اَوْ نَصٰرٰى ۭ تِلْكَ اَمَانِيُّھُمْ ۭ

The Jews and the Christians were hostile not only to the Muslims, but also to each other. They had forgotten the essence of religion –that is, adherence to the true and authentic doctrines, and performance of good deeds as laid down by the Shari’ah — and had identified it with a mere affiliation to a racial or social community. Each of the two groups claimed that it had the exclusive right to go to the Paradise, without having any argument to substantiate the claim. The Jews read the Torah, while the Christians read the Evangel, and they could have easily seen that the two Books confirm each other. Each party used to assert, in its malice, that the religion of the other was baseless. This gave an excuse to the mushrikin (associators) who, in spite of their ignorance, began to say the same of both the religions.

The Holy Qur’an dismisses these pretensions as mere fancy and self-delusion. It declares that other people too will go to Paradise who have, in their time, been following the Shari’ah of their own prophet, and who, now that the Holy Qur’an also has abrogated all the earlier Divine Books, follow the Islamic Shari’ah. Verse 112 lays down the general principle in this respect, which is accepted by the followers of all the Divine Books. The essence of religion, whether it be Islam or Christianity or Judaism, lies in two things.

(1) One should obey Allah in one’s belief as well as in one’s actions. (2) This obedience should not arise from expediency, but one should surrender oneself to divine commandments in all sincerity. Moreover, it is not enough to be worthy of Paradise merely to have a sincere intention to obey Allah, and then to invent, according to one’s own fancy, the modes and forms of obedience, for it is absolutely essential that the forms of worship and the modes of obedience should be no other than those which Allah Himself has appointed through the agency of His prophets — it goes without saying that since the revelation of the Holy Qur’an this can only mean accepting and following the Islamic Shari’ah. We may add that in connection with the first of these two principles, the Holy Qur’an employs the Arabic word اَسلمَ : Aslama which signifies total submission to Allah, and in connection with the second word Muhsin محسن ، which signifies “one who performs good deeds” according to the Shari’ah.

The differences between the Jews and the Christians

In so far as these verses deal with the claims of the Jews and the Christians, the point of the argument is this:- Having laid down the two principles the acceptance of which makes one worthy of Paradise, the Holy Qur’an suggests that they should now try to find out who is really acting upon them. Obviously, one who keeps following an injunction even after it has been abrogated cannot be described as obedi¬ent, and hence the Jews and the Christians no longer deserve this ti¬tle. After the abrogation of an injunction, obedience consists in acting upon the new injunction which has replaced the earlier one. This con¬dition is now being fulfilled only by the Muslims who have accepted the latest and the last Prophet (رض) and his Shari’ah. Hence, they alone shall now be considered worthy of Paradise. The condition of one’s be¬ing sincere in one’s obedience excludes the hypocrites too, for the Sha-ri` ah counts them among the infidels, and thus assigns them to Hell.

Verse 112 also announces the reward of those who act upon these principles — on the Day of Judgment, they shall have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve, as angels will give them good tidings. As for the debates among the Jews, the Christians and the associators, Verse 113 declares that Allah will Himself decide the question finally on the Day of Judgment. In fact, the question has already been settled on the basis of what Allah has revealed in His Books as well as on the basis of rational argument; the final decision on the Day of Judgment will be of the visible kind — those who follow the Truth will be sent to Paradise, while those who go after falsehood will be cast down in Hell.

These verses provide a warning to the Muslims as well, lest they too should delude themselves like the Jews and the Christians, and suppose that merely because they belong to the social community of Muslims and can, as such, claim to be Muslims, whereby they can dis¬pense with the need to obey Allah and to follow the Shari` ah, and yet receive the rewards Allah has promised to give to true Muslims. Even Muslims have no right to hope for these rewards until and unless they submit themselves totally, in thought and deed both, to the command¬ments of Allah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

وَمَنْ اَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ مَّنَعَ مَسٰجِدَ اللّٰهِ اَنْ يُّذْكَرَ فِيْهَا اسْمُهٗ وَسَعٰى فِيْ خَرَابِهَا

Injunctions and related considerations

Verse 114 lays down, or helps us to infer, some very important injunctions:

All the mosques in the world are equally worthy of respect. Just as it is a great sin to desecrate in any way the Baytul-Maqdis, or the mosque attached to the Ka’bah (Al-Masjid al- Haram) or the mosque of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، the same prohibition holds good with regard to all other mosques. These three mosques, no doubt, enjoy a superior position, and special respect is to be paid to them. The reward for offering prayers once in Al-Masjid al-Haram is equal to that of praying a hundred thousand times elsewhere; the reward for praying in the mosque of the Holy Prophet g and in the Baytul-Maqdis equals that of praying fifty thousand times. To make a long journey for the purpose of praying in any one of these three mosques is a meritorious act which makes one worthy of receiving a special barakah بَرَکہ . On the other hand, the Holy Prophet $ has forbidden it that one should make a long journey in order to offer one’s prayers in a mosque other than these three, believing it to be a meritorious act.

The sanctity of the Mosque

(2) It is forbidden to prevent people, in any form or manner possible, from offering their prayers or “remembering” Allah in a mosque. An obvious form of such interference is not to allow someone to enter a mosque or to offer his prayers or to read the Holy Qur’an there. A less explicit form is to produce some kind of a noise in the mosque itself or play music nearby, and thus to disturb people in their prayers or in their “remembrance” (; ) of Allah. Similarly, if one starts reciting the Holy Qur’an or “remembering” Allah loudly so as to disturb the people who are offering supererogatory prayers (Nawafil نوافل) or themselves reading the Holy Qur’an or silently “remembering” Allah (Dhikr ذکر ), one is being guilty of the same sin. Therefore, the Fuqaha’ (masters of Islamic jurisprudence) have forbidden this practice. But, if people are not present in the mosque, one may recite the Holy Qur’an or make “dhikr ذکر ” in a loud voice. On the basis of this principle we can also see that it is forbidden to beg or to collect donations even for a religious purpose while people are engaged in their prayers or in “dhikr ذکر .”

(3) All the possible forms of laying waste a mosque are forbidden. This includes not only demolishing and destroying a mosque, but also producing conditions which result in a mosque being laid waste or deserted. For, laying waste a mosque implies that few, or only a few people should come there for offering their prayers. A mosque can be said to be flourishing, not on the score of the beauty of its architecture or of its ornamentation, but only when it is full of men who come to pray and to “remember” Allah. Says the Holy Qur’an:

إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ‌ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّـهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ ۖ فَعَسَىٰ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَن يَكُونُوا مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ ﴿18﴾

Only those do populate the mosques of Allah who believe in Allah and in the Day of Judgment, who are steadfast in Salah and pay the Zakah, and do not fear anyone but Allah” (9:18).

So, the Holy Prophet g has foretold that when the Day of Judgment comes close, the mosques of the Muslims would be beautifully designed and decorated and be apparently full of people, but they would in reality be deserted, for a few people would go there for the purpose of offering their prayers. We are also reminded of what the fourth Khalifah and the blessed Companion ` Ali (رض) has said. There are, according to him, six deeds which behove a man –three of them pertain to the state when one is living at home and the other three to the state when one is on a journey.

The first three are –to read the Holy Qur’an, to populate the mosques, and to bring together a number of friends who wish to serve Allah and His faith. The other three are — to spend out of what one has over one’s needy companions of the way, to be polite to everyone, and to be cheerful with one’s co-travellers so long as one does not go beyond the limits allowed by the Shari’ah. What he means by “populating” the mosques is that one should enter them in a spirit of humility and with the fear of Allah in one’s heart, and then engage oneself in prayers or in reciting the Holy Qur’an or in making “dhikr. ذکر ‘ In opposition to this, the laying waste of mosques would mean that few, or only a few people should offer their prayers in them, or that a set of circumstances is allowed to develop which makes it difficult for those who are present to acquire the proper attitude of humility.

If Verse 114 was revealed on the occasion of the Peace of Hudaybiyyah حُدیبیہ when the mushrikin (associators) of Makkah had prevented the Muslims from entering Al-Masjid al-Haram, then it is quite obvious that laying waste a mosque does not merely mean demolishing it, but also that it is not being allowed to be used for the purpose for which it was built — that is, for Salah and for the Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.

As for Verse 115, we have already pointed out that Allah not being limited to any particular direction or place, the Muslims do not, in turning towards the Ka’bah کعبہ ، at all mean to worship it, but that this particular orientation has been fixed on account of certain other considerations. We have also noted that for sixteen or seventeen months after the Hijrah ھجرہ ، the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the blessed Companions were made to turn towards the Baytul-Maqdis in their prayers under divine commandment. This was, so to say, a practical demonstration of the truth that one can find Allah in every direction, and that Allah’s attention encompasses all possible directions and dimensions simultaneously. A further and permanent demonstration of the same truth is provided by the injunction with regard to supererogatory prayers (Nawafil).

That is to say, if one wishes to offer such prayers while travelling on a horse or a camel etc., it is not necessary for him even to turn towards the Qiblah, for he is allowed to keep his face towards the direction in which his horse is moving, and to offer his supererogatory prayers through the gestures of his head and arms. In fact, according to certain commentators, Verse 115 lays down just this rule with regard to supererogatory prayers. But one must bear in mind that this injunction applies only to that form of travel which involves animals like a horse or a camel that makes it difficult for one to turn towards the Qiblah. But in other forms of travel (e.g., in a train or a ship or an aeroplane) where it is not difficult to turn towards the Qiblah, one has to adopt the proper orientation even in offering supererogatory prayers. However, should the train or the aeroplane change its direction while one is still praying and there is no room for readjusting one’s orientation accordingly, one can go on and finish the prayers in the same state.

Similarly, if one does not know the direction of the Qiblah, nor can correctly determine it on account of the darkness of the night or for some other valid reason, nor can find someone to provide correct information, the same rule would apply in this case too. In such a situation, one is allowed to follow one’s conjecture, and to turn in the direction which seems to be the most likely. The direction one chooses would serve as the Qiblah. If, having finished one’s prayers, one discovers that the choice of this particular direction was wrong, even then one’s prayers would remain acceptable, and one would not have to repeat them.

وَلِلّٰهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۤ فَاَيْنَـمَا تُوَلُّوْا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللّٰهِ ۭ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيْمٌ

In order to understand these two verses, one should keep in mind three different incidents connected with the three groups hostile to Islam, all of which were, in one way or another, guilty of preventing people from worshipping Allah in mosques and of laying them waste.

(1) When Allah changed the Qiblah قبلہ that is to say, commanded the Muslims to turn towards the Ka’bah کعبہ in their Salah, and not towards the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس –, the Jews raised all kinds of objections to it, and tried to produce in the minds of the Muslims doubts and misgiving which, had they taken root, would have led to the denial of the Holy Prophet g and to the giving up of prescribed Salah, thus laying waste the mosque of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

(2) The Romans had once invaded Jerusalem, and the ignorant among them had polluted the Baytul-Maqdis, which naturally prevented people from performing Salah in this mosque. The Christians in a way looked upon the Romans as their ancestors; moreover, the humiliation of the Jews was in itself pleasing to them. Thus, in refusing to condemn this misdeed of the Romans, the Christians too were being indirectly responsible for laying waste the mosque.

(3) At the time of the peace of Hudaybiyyah حدیبیہ ، the mushrikin (associators) did not allow the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to enter Makkah and to perform the Hajj. So, this group too was guilty of the same sin.

According to the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، Verse 114 refers to the second of these three incidents — the commentator Ibn Jarir too accepts this view. But the commentator Ibn Kathir (رح) follows Ibn Zayd (رض) in preferring the third as being the occasion on which this verse was revealed. The Holy Qur’an, however, speaks in general terms of the mosques of Allah” so as to lay down a regular and permanent law, for all the peoples, covering all the possible cases of desecrating mosques and of hindering the “remembrance” (ذکر) of Allah in any way and thus laying them waste — it denounces those who are capable of such a misdeed as being “unjust” or “cruel”, and threatens them with humiliation in this world and dire punishment in the other, for the dignity of a mosque requires that one should enter it in a spirit of lowliness and respect, and with the fear of Allah in one’s heart.

The prediction of the Holy Qur’an came true. The groups which had been trying to lay waste the mosques were soon humiliated, and came under the Muslim rule. They are, of course, to meet a dire punishment in the other world for being disbelievers, but the punishment will be all the more severe on account of this additional sin.

The earlier verses have told us how each of these groups claimed to be on the right path. The present verse, in referring to their desecra¬tion of mosques, refutes this claim as being a shameless pretension on the part of those whose behaviour itself gives them the lie.

As for Verse 115, let us recall that the idolaters compelled the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to migrate from Makkah to Madinah, and thus separated him from the Ka’bah کعبہ (the incident is, of course, known as the Hijrah ھجرہ ). For some sixteen or seventeen months after that, the Muslims had to, under the commandment of Allah, turn towards the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس (at Jerusalem) while offering Salah. But the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) felt a deep longing for turning towards the Ka’bah, and from time to time he would look upwards, waiting for the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) to come with a new commandment in this respect. Finally, such a commandment did come, and Allah changed the orientation (Qiblah). Speaking of this modification, the Holy Qur’an says:

قَدْ نَرَ‌ىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْ‌ضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ‌ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَ‌امِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَ‌هُ ۗ

We do see how you raise your face again and again towards the sky. So, We are going to give you the orientation which you desire. Therefore, turn your face towards the Holy Mosque at Makkah, and all of you too, wheresoever you may be, turn towards it.” (2:144)

This new commandment naturally made the Muslims very happy, but the Jews, in their habitual malice, made it an occasion for taunting them and accusing them of going against the way of the earlier prophets.

Thus, there are two facets to Verse 115. On the one hand, it is an answer to the objection raised by the Jews; on the other hand, it brings comfort to the Holy Prophet and to the blessed Companions. The verse points out that had Allah been limited to any one direction, a fixed and permanent orientation would have been necessary for worshipping Him, but that, being infinite and beyond all possible limitations and qualifications, He is the Lord of the East and the West and of all conceivable directions — He is everywhere, and surrounds everything. Wheresoever a man turns, he shall find Allah “facing” him — that is to say, ready to accept his prayers and to shower His bounties on him. Consequently, neither does the Baitui-Maqdis بیت المقدس nor the Ka’bah enjoy an inherent or inalienable superiority; either of them can acquire a position of privilege only through divine ordination. All that matters is to obey the commandment of Allah, which alone can make one worthy of receiving His grace. In order to win His pleasure, one has to orient oneself according to what He Himself has determined. If, in spite of being infinite and free from all limitations, Allah has yet fixed a particular orientation, it is because He is Omniscient, and knows what is the best in a certain situation and for a certain people.

Although it is not possible for man to comprehend fully the wisdom which is inherently present in each and every divine commandment, yet the fixing of a definite orientation for Salah has a very obvious raison d’etre. Whichever way one turns, one would, no doubt, find Allah “facing” him; but if one has to choose a direction every time one starts to pray, it would only mean a dispersion of one’s attention. And when several men are offering their prayers jointly it would really be odd if each one of them adopts a different orientation. So, a fixed orientation for all helps the individual and the groups both in acquiring the necessary concentration of mind and the sense of a joint purpose.

This explanation satisfactorily dispels the objection often raised by certain antagonists who accuse the Muslims of being the worshippers of the Ka’bah.” If, by way of self-justification, they should still assert that they too keep the idols in front of them while meditating or worshipping for the same purpose of attaining a state of concentration, the claim does in no way reinforce their accusation against the Muslims. Moreover, an impartial investigation into the respective attitudes and frames of minds would easily show how genuine the Muslims are in their claim to be worshipping no one but Allah, and how dubious the position of the others is in this respect. Even if we accept the claim that idols or icons are no more than a means to an end, one would, in employing idols as a “support”, still he required to produce a relevant injunction from a Shari’ah which has not been abrogated as yet. Today, the Muslims alone possess such a Shari’ah.

Before we proceed, we must sound a note of caution. Verse 115 says that whichever way one turns, one would find “the face of Allah”, and that Allah being “All-Embracing” surrounds everything. Wisdom lies in not trying to investigate unnecessarily into the meanings of these or similar statements. For, just as it is not at all possible for a creature to comprehend fully the “Being” (Dhat ذات ) of Allah, it is equally impossible to comprehend the essential reality of the “Attributes” (Sifat صفات). All that man is required to do is to have a general faith in the Realities of the Divine Order – there is no obligation for him to look into the particularities of this sphere which is totally beyond human reach.

وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللّٰهُ وَلَدًا ۙ سُبْحٰنَهٗ ۭ بَلْ لَّهٗ مَا فِي السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ ۭكُلٌّ لَّهٗ قٰنِتُوْنَ

As the Holy Qur’an reports in some other verses, some of the Jews called the Prophet Uzayr (عليه السلام) (Ezra) the son of God, as did the Christians in the case of Sayyidna ` Isa (Jesus عليه السلام)~ and most of them still do, while the mushrikin مشرکین of Makkah considered the angels to be the daughters of God. These two verses show the absurdity of such assertions. For, even on rational grounds, it is totally impossible that God should have offspring. Were it at all possible, the situation would necessarily involve either of the two alternative characteristics — the offspring would belong either to the same genus as the father does, or to a different genus.

If it belongs to a different genus, that obviously is a defect, while God should in order to be God, be free of all defects — as reason itself requires, and as Verse 116 affirms. If the offspring belongs to the same genus, that too is a contradiction in terms, for God has no equal and no existent can belong to the same genus as He does. Let us explain what we mean. God alone is the Necessary Being (Al-Dhat al-Wajib الذات الواجب ), and hence necessarily carries within Himself the Attributes of Perfection which are peculiar to Him alone and which cannot exist in any one other than God. Now, if we deny a necessary attribute to a certain being, we automatically deny the existence of that being. So, no one other than God can be a necessary being. Insofar as “necessity” is in itself the essence of the Ultimate Reality, or an inalienable quality of the Ultimate Reality, anyone other than God cannot share the Reality with Him. Hence, it would be a plain and simple contradiction in terms of claim that anyone other than God can belong to the same genus.

Having refuted the false claims of the Jews, the Christians and the mushrikin, the two verses proceed to demonstrate how and why the Attributes of Perfection are peculiar to Allah Himself and Him alone. Firstly, all that exists in heaven or earth belongs to Allah. Secondly, everything is also subservient to Him — in the sense that no one can interfere with His omnipotence (for example, with His power to create a.nd to destroy), even if some men may be lax in obeying the injunctions of the Shari’ah. Thirdly, He is the Creator and the Inventor of the skies and of the earth. Fourthly, His power of creation is so mighty that when He wishes to do something (for example, wishes to create something), He does not need any instruments or helpers — all that He does is to say, “Be”, and the thing becomes what He wishes it to be. These four qualities are not to be found in anyone other than Allah. In fact, even those who attributed offspring to Him, believed in this truth. Thus, their claims to the contrary stand finally refuted.

The two verses give rise to certain other important considerations.

(1) If Allah has chosen to assign certain tasks to certain angels (for example, sending down rain or bringing to the creatures their nourishment), or has chosen to employ causes, materials or physical forces in order to produce certain effects, He has done so in His wisdom. So, it is neither permissible nor proper that men should look upon these angels or causes or physical forces as being effective agents in themselves, and turn to them for help in their need.

(2) The commentator al-Baydawi has remarked that, Allah being the First Cause of the things, the earlier Shari’ahs had allowed the use of the title “Father” for Him, but that the ignorant misunderstood and distorted the sense of “Fatherhood” so badly that to entertain such a belief or to apply this title to Allah has now been declared to be an act of infidelity (Kufr). As this practice ` can lead to all kinds of doctrinal disorders, it is no longer permissible to employ this particular word or a similar expression with reference to Allah.31

  1. As for creation taking place through the Divine Command, “Be”, we would like to add a note, following the example of Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) in his “Bayan a1-Qur’an”, for the benefit of those who happen to be interested in Western philosophy, or in Christian theology, or, worst of all, in the writings of the Orientalists and their translations of Sufi texts.

Let us begin by saying that it is a mystery — and we are using the word “mystery”, not in the debased and the modern sense, but in the original meaning of the term which implies that certain realities are altogether beyond the reach of human understanding, and that certain other realities cannot and must not, even when partially or wholly understood, be given out to those who have no aptitude for receiving them, and that with regard to them it is advisable “to keep one’s lips closed.” In these matters, when and what one chooses to reveal is ultimately not the question of liberalism or democratism or egalitarianism, but that of “spiritual etiquette.” Having repeated the warning given by Maulana Thanavi himself, we shall do no more than explaining what “Bayan al-Qur’an” says on the subject.

Regarding this particular mystery, there is a difference of approach between the two groups of the Mutakallimin متکلمین (the masters of al-1lm al-Kalam العلم الکلام or dialectical theology). According to the Asha’ri group, “Be, and it comes to be” (Kun fa Yakun کن فیکون ) is a metaphorical or allegorical expression. That is to say, the phrase does not signify that Allah actually addressed an existent and commanded it “to be”, but it is an allegorical illustration of His omnipotence, suggesting that there is no interval between an act of will on His part and its realization. The commentator al-Baydawi has adopted this view. But, according to the Maturidi group, the phrase literally means what it says. This approach to the subject, however, produces a difficult problem.

A command is given only to an existent. If a thing does not exist at all, how can Allah address it? On the other hand, if a thing does already exist, it is superfluous to command it “to be.” The problem can easily be resolved if we keep two considerations in mind. Firstly, this command does not belong to the order of Tashri’: (تشریع : legislation) which requires the addressee to exist in actual fact and to possess understanding; it belongs to the order of Takwin :(تکوین : creation) which is concerned with giving existence to non-existents.

This explanation, in its turn, brings us into the thick of a controversy that has muddled a great deal of Western philosophy and theology. We refer to the question of “creation arising out of nothingness” (Ex Nihilo), and the second of our two considerations will clarify it. It is usual enough to place “existence” Wujud وجود ) in opposition to “nothingness or non-existence” (عدم ` adam ). But it has also been said that non-existence does not exist. For, Allah is omniscient, and Divine Knowledge comprehends everything that has been, or is, or will be, so that what does not yet exist according to our reckoning does already exist in Divine Knowledge. To use a different expression, everything past, present or future has its “pure” and “subtle” counterpart in Divine Knowledge. If Western terminology should be more easily comprehensible to some of our readers, we can call these Prototypes, Numbers, or Essences, or Ideas or Archetypes, but each time we will have to give a more refined and a higher signification to these terms than Pythagoras or Plato ever did. The Sufis, however, call them “Al-A` yan al-Thabitah.” With the help of this explanation we can see that when Allah wishes to create a thing,

He commands its Essence, which already exists in His Knowledge, “to be”, and it “comes to be” –that is to say, comes to be actualised in the world. Thus, “creation” does not arise out of “nothingness.” Before a thing comes to exist as an “actuality” in the world, it already exists as a “potentiality” in Divine Knowledge. It is this “potentiality” to which the Divine Command “Be” is addressed. Hence, it is equally true to say that Essences do not exist, and to say that Essences do exist. The first statement pertains to the knowledge of the creatures, and the second to the Divine Knowledge.

At the end, we shall again insist that no good can come out of unnecessarily meddling with such delicate questions, especially if the purpose is no more than to seek a new sensation.

وَلَنْ تَرْضٰى عَنْكَ الْيَهُوْدُ وَلَا النَّصٰرٰى حَتّٰى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَھُمْ ۭ

Being anxious to save as many men as possible from misguidance and damnation, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) took great pains to convince the deniers, and was specially lenient and gentle with the People of the Book. In this verse, Allah informs him that their denial is not due to lack of convincing arguments and proofs, but is motivated by pride and self-satisfaction, for each of the two groups — namely, the Jews and the Christians — believes its own religion to be the only genuine religion, and there is no likelihood of pleasing either of them until and unless the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) accepts their religion. The religions of the Jews and the Christians, no doubt, were once genuine and had been instituted by Allah. But each had since distorted its religion out of shape; moreover, in sending down Islam as the final Shari’ah, Allah had abrogated all the earlier ones, and hence Islam had by now become the only Shari’ah acceptable to Allah, and in this sense the only genuine and veritable “guidance” possible in this last of all the ages.

It is on account of the present distorted state of the earlier religions, and specially because of their having been abrogated by Divine Commandment that Verse 120 equates them with Ahwa’ (the plural of Hawa) — that is to say, personal desires, or individual opinions and baseless conjectures. Since the deniers are not willing to extricate themselves from their desires and fancies, it is not possible to please them without accepting their opinions — a thing which a Messenger of Allah can never do. Should they affect a more friendly stance towards the Holy Prophet g , Allah asks him to say to them in plain and simple words that the only guidance worth the name is that which comes from Allah — and He has already made it clear enough that Islam is now the only form of “guidance” acceptable to Him.

Now, supposing just for the sake of supposing that he should accept their fancies in spite of having received the Truth from Allah through revelation, the verse informs him that in such a case he would find no helper to save him from divine wrath. Other verses of the Holy Qur’an, of course, definitely establish the fact that Allah is pleased and will always remain pleased with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and thus he can never be the object of divine wrath. Since divine wrath necessarily follows upon the acceptance of baseless fancies, it is logically impossible for him to follow the opinions of the Jews and the Christians, as divine pleasure and divine wrath cannot be combined with each other. On the other hand, they can never be pleased with him unless he follows their wishes. Consequently, one cannot expect from them any change of heart. Hence, the purport of Verse 120 is to advise the Holy Prophet not to worry too much about them.32

  1. Let us add that the warning is apparently addressed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، but is really intended for deniers, the purpose being to make them realize the dire consequences of their vanity. In fact, divine wrath is already visible, for the warning has been administered to them, not directly but obliquely, which shows the contempt in which Allah holds them — Translator ]

اَلَّذِيْنَ اٰتَيْنٰھُمُ الْكِتٰبَ يَتْلُوْنَهٗ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهٖ ۭ

Verse 120 dealt with the hopeless condition of the opponents of Islam among the People of the Book. Now, the present verse turns, in the usual manner of the Holy Qur’an, to the other aspect, and speaks of those Jews and Christians who were honest and just, and, having recognised the truth, affirmed the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and accepted Islam.

The verse tells us how it has been possible for these men to effect a radical change in themselves. Allah has given a Book to the Christians as well as to the Jews. But, unlike most of their co-religionists, these men have been reading the Book “observing the rights of its recitation.”

That is to say, they have distorted neither the words nor the meanings, nor have they tried to misinterpret or conceal the prophecies about the coming of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . In other words, they have used their intellect in trying to understand the meanings, and their will in accepting the truth and in following it. It is they who acknowledge the Holy Qur’an, and have faith in it. In doing so, they are actually affirming their own Books too and acting upon them insofar as their Books explicitly foretell the coming of the Last Prophet and of the last Book of Allah. As for those who persist in their denial, they are bound to suffer the greatest loss, for they have refused to believe in the Last Revelation, and have, in fact, not shown much of a belief in their own Books, and not followed the guidance provided by them in this matter. 33

  1. The commentary we have here is based on a report from the blessed Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، according to whom this verse was revealed on the occasion of the arrival of forty Christians from Abyssinia who had accepted Islam. But other commentators believe that “those to whom We have given the Book” are the blessed Companions, and “the Book” is the Holy Qur’an. As for reading the Book “observing the rights of its recitation”, it means enunciating each word correctly and clearly, and keeping the fear and love of Allah present in one’s heart while reading, and also the resolve to follow divine guid-nce and to obey divine commandments. The blessed second Khalifah ` Umar (رض) has said that reading the Holy Qur’an “observing the rights of its recitation” requires that when one comes to a description of Paradise, one should pray to Allah for granting one this abode, and when one finds a description of Hell, one should seek Allah’s protection from it. (Ibn Abi Hatim)

وَاِذِ ابْتَلٰٓى اِبْرٰهٖمَ رَبُّهٗ بِكَلِمٰتٍ فَاَتَـمَّهُنَّ ۭ قَالَ اِنِّىْ جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ اِمَامًا ۭ قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِىْ ۭ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظّٰلِمِيْنَ

(34.) So far a whole section of this Surah has been dealing directly with the conduct of the Jews in the course of their history, and their present hostility to Islam, delineating the inner motives and mainsprings of this rabid opposition. As we have seen, they were proud of being the children of Jacob and of Abraham (Sayyidna Ya` qub and Sayyidna Ibrahim عليهما السلام), and believed that, being the chosen people of God, they had the exclusive privilege of being the leaders of humanity, and hence the station of prophethood could not be conferred on anyone who did not belong to their race. Now, the Holy Qur’an proceeds, in the present section of the Surah, to refute this line of thought in an indirect manner, by telling the story of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and of his elder son Sayyidna Isma’il (Ishmael عليه السلام).

This section is going to suggest some essential considerations in answer to the denial of the Holy Prophet on the part of the Jews:-

(1) He alone can be a guide to humanity who is not unjust and not a transgressor, and has successfully gone through the trial imposed on him by Allah — and these qualifications the Jews do not fulfill.

(2) The Ka’bah کعبہ ، towards which the Muslims turn in Salah and which is not acceptable to the Jews, had actually been built by Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and hence the orientation (Qiblah) of the Muslims is the same as was his.

(3) The way of Islam is the Way of Ibrahim , عليه السلام , and the Muslims alone are his real followers.

(4) It was Sayyidna Ibrahim himself who had prayed for the Last Prophet to be sent down to humanity, and hence one who at all wishes to follow his way cannot but affirm the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and accept Islam. (5) It is wrong of the Jews to deny the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) merely on account of his not belonging to their race, for Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) had two sons, Sayyidna Isma’il and Sayyidna Ishaq (عليهما السلام) (Ishmael and Isaac ), and he had prayed for divine grace to descend on both of them (Genesis, ch. 17), so that the superiority enjoyed by the children of Isaac (عليه السلام) in their own time had now been transferred to the children of Isma’il (عليه السلام) . What these indications aim at is to show the Jews that if they wish to have a share in the grace of Allah, they had better acknowledge the Holy Prophet g and accept Islam, the last and now the only valid form of the Abrahamic Way –Translator.

The great trials put to Ibrahim (عليه السلام)

The section dealing with the story of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) begins with Verse 124. It recounts how he was tried by Allah in different ways, how he came out of these trials successfully, and how he was rewarded. It also tells us that when Allah promised to make him a great guide to men, and their chief, (by conferring prophethood on him, or by giving him a huge number of followers), he prayed for this reward to be bestowed on some from among his progeny too. Allah granted this prayer, but on one condition, which is also to serve as a general principle in this matter — namely, that this dignity shall never be conferred on those who are disobedient and unjust, but on some of those from among his progeny who are obedient and just.

Now, Verse 124 gives rise to a number of very fundamental questions:- The purpose of a trial is to test the aptitude and worthiness of a man for a certain function, but Allah is all-knowing and knows every existent inside out. Then, what was the purpose of this trial? (2) What were the different forms of this trial? (3) What kind of success did Sayyidna Ibrahim attain? (4) What is the nature of the reward he received? (5) What are the various aspects of the principle which defines the conditions necessary for receiving this reward ?

As for the purpose of the trials which Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was made to undergo, we shall point out that the Arabic word رَبّ : Rabb (Lord) occurring in this verse provides the clue to the problem. In saying that it was Allah Himself who put him through the trials, the verse chooses to employ, out of all the Divine Names, the title رَبّ Rabb which indicates a specific Divine Attribute — namely, that of making a thing attain the state of its perfection gradually and stage by stage. In other words, the trial of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was not the punishment for a crime, nor was it intended to uncover a hidden aptitude, but was a manifestation of this particular Divine Action, and a necessary part of the process of “nurturing” the prophet and making him reveal his inherent qualities to the world, so that he may be led, stage by stage, to assume his final station, already chosen for him by his Lord. We may note, in passing, that the Arabic text of the Verse places the object (Ibrahim) before the subject رَبّ (Rabb), thus indicating the glorious position of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) among the prophets We may also add that although it is Divine Knowledge and Will that chooses a man for prophethood, yet he is not allowed to assume this station until his aptitude and worthiness has openly shown itself for all men and angels to witness. This is just what had happened, as we have already seen in this Sarah, in the case of the trial of Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) before the angels.

As for the particular form in which Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was tried, the Holy Qur’an only refers to certain “things” (Kalimah کلمہ۔- literally, “word” ). According to most of the commentators, the “things” or “words” mean certain divine injunctions. But there is some difference of views among the blessed Companions and their immediate succes¬sors as to what these injunctions were, and how many.

According to some, they were ten, and, according to others, thirty. But basically there is no opposition among these views, for all the injunctions which have been mentioned in this context were, in one way or another, meant to serve as trials and tests. This is what the great commenta¬tors like Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir (رح) believe to be the truth of the matter. One thing is, however, quite clear. These trials were not like academic tests, nor were intended to gauge mental capacities or the grasp of mere theories; the purpose, on the other hand, was to test the readi¬ness in obeying Allah and the steadfastness in submitting oneself to divine commandments. This helps us to see that what really has a value in the eyes of Allah is not theoretical hair-splitting, but actual deeds, within and without.

Let us now relate the story of some of the more important trials. Since Allah intended to raise Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) to a specially exalted station among the prophets, and to confer on him the title of Khalilullah خلیلُ اللہ (the Friend of Allah), he was made to go through very severe trials. Not only his people, but his own family also was sunk deep in idol-worshipping; in opposition to their creed and customs, he was given ‘Al-Din al-Hanif الدین الحنیف ‘, “the Pure Religion”, and was asked to go out to his people, and to bring them back to the Straight Path. Unflinchingly he obeyed the divine command, and, with the courage and determination of the prophet that he was, he set out to wage a war against idol-worship and to call them to the unalloyed worship of the One God.

This obviously drew upon him the ire of his people and of their king Namrud نمرود (Nimrod), who finally decided to burn him alive in a blazing fire. Seeking, as he did, nothing but the pleasure of his Lord, he gladly let himself be thrown onto the pyre., Since he had succeeded in this test, Allah commanded قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ‌ كُونِي بَرْ‌دًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ “0 fire, be coolness and safety for Ibrahim” (21:69). As one can see, the command was given to fire as such, and not to any particular one. Consequently, all fire, wherever it was present in the world, grew cold, and the fire set ablaze by Namrud نمرود did so, too. Now, excessive cold is equally painful and killing – there is a region of extreme cold in Hell دوزخ itself, called Zamharir زمہریر . So, in commanding fire to grow cold, Allah in His grace added the word Salama سلامہ (be safe).

The second trial was that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was asked to leave his homeland and to migrate to Syria along with his family. Then, he was commanded to leave even this country — which he readily did, accompanied by his wife Hajirah (Hagar ھجر ) and his infant son Sayyidna Isma’il (Ishmael عليه السلام), and led by the archangel Jibra’il (Gabriel عليه السلام). Llbn Kathir. Whenever they passed through a fertile land, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) would wish to be allowed to settle there, but the archangel would inform him that Allah did not want him to do so. Finally, when they reached the barren desert which was destined to be the site of Makkah مکہ and where the Ka’bah کعبہ was to be built, he was commanded to stay there.

But now began a new trial, much more difficult for man to bear. He was ordered to leave his wife and son in the desert, and to go back to Syria. “The Friend of Allah” had so annihilated his own will and desire, and was so anxious to obey his Lord that he did not allow even a moment to lapse between the command and its execution, and started on his journey without informing his wife. When she noticed that he was going away, she called after him — but received no reply. Not even when she demanded why he was forsaking them in such a vast and lonely desert. But she was, after all, the wife of “the Friend of Allah”, and could now see for herself how the matters stood. So, she asked if he had received a divine command. Only now Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) replied that it was so. Having understood the situation, she calmly remarked, “Alright. Go. The Lord who has commanded you to part from us shall Himself look after us, and not let us be destroyed.”

And she sat back in the desert, full of trust and peace, with the infant on her lap. But as time passed, thirst, her own and especially that of her suckling son, compelled her to leave it behind and to go in search of water. She climbed up and down the hills of Safa صفا and Marwah مروہ ، but had, after seven attempts, to come back unsuccessfully. It is to commemorate this event that running seven times between the two hills has been made an obligatory part of the rites of the Hajj and Umrah حج وعمرہ . As she returned to her son, the mercy of Allah descended in the form of the archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) who made a spring of fresh water spout forth from the parched ground — the same spring which is now called Zamzam زم زم . In a day or two, the water began to draw (attract) animals towards itself, and the sight of animals brought men to the place. By and by, the provisions necessary for human life became regularly available, and the future city of Makkah began to take shape.

The infant — who was to become Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) — began to grow up, and was soon able to take upon himself the usual functions of human life. Under divine permission, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) came now and then to see how his wife and son were doing. It is now that Allah chose to submit him to the greatest of all possible trials. The son had grown up in such unpromising circumstances, and been deprived of constant fatherly care and affection. Now, the father received the command to slaughter his son with his own hand. Says the Holy Qur’an:

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَ‌ىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ‌ مَاذَا تَرَ‌ىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ‌ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِ‌ينَ ﴿102﴾

When he had reached the age of being able to help his father in his work, the latter said, ‘My son, I see in a dream that I am slaughtering you. Now, say, what do you think?’ He re-plied, ‘My father, do as you have been bidden; you shall find me, if Allah so wills, one of the patients ‘. (37: 102)

Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) took his son to the wilderness of Mina منٰیٰ , and fulfilled, so far as he himself was concerned, the divine command¬ment. But Allah did not really mean to have the son slaughtered, but only to test the father. If we consider the words of the Holy Qur’an just cited, we shall find that in his dream, he had not seen the accom¬plishment of the slaughter, but only the act of slaughtering. And this much he did perform. In this respect, revelation came to him in the form of a dream, picturing the act, perhaps for this very reason – that is to say, Allah did not want to give him a verbal command to sacrifice his son. Hence, Allah commended him for having صَدَّقْتَ الرُّ‌ؤْيَا : “confirmed the dream” (37:105). In recompense for this total submission to divine will, Allah sent down a ram from heaven to be sacrificed in place of Sayyidna Isma’il (عليه السلام) . Now, the annual sacrifice of sheep or goats etc. Has been made a regular form of worship in commemoration of the way of Sayyidna Ibrahim۔ (عليه السلام)

In addition to those rigorous trials, a number of other restrictions were imposed on him in the shape of certain injunctions, which too, he fulfilled as devotionally. Ten of these commandments are known as the characteristics of the Fitrah and are concerned with the cleanliness and purification of the body. These ten have been made permanent injunctions for all the later Ummahs (or communities of believers) too, and the Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has insistently commanded his followers to fulfill them.

Ibn Kathir (رح) has reported from the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) that thirty elements make up the whole of Islam, ten of which have been mentioned in Surah , (“Al-Bara’ah, or “Al-Tawbah” ), the oth¬er ten in Surah 33 (“Al-Ahzab” ), and the last ten in Surah 23 (“Al-Mu’minun” ). These two had formed a part of the trials of Sayyidna Ib¬rahim (عليه السلام) and he fulfilled these conditions with equal faithful¬ness. Surah 9 lays down these ten qualities as being characteristic of true believers:

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّ‌اكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الْآمِرُ‌ونَ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ‌ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ‌ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿112﴾

“Those who repent, those who worship (Allah), those who praise (Allah), those who keep a fast, those who bow down and prostrate themselves (before Allah), those who invite others to good deeds and forbid evil deeds, those who keep within the bounds fixed by Allah. And give good tidings to the true believers.” (9:112)

And the ten qualities mentioned in Surah 23:1-11 are:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿1﴾ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ ﴿2﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِ‌ضُونَ ﴿3﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ ﴿4﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُ‌وجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ ﴿5﴾ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ‌ مَلُومِينَ ﴿6﴾ فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَ‌اءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ ﴿7﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَ‌اعُونَ ﴿8﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ ﴿9﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِ‌ثُونَ ﴿10﴾ الَّذِينَ يَرِ‌ثُونَ الْفِرْ‌دَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿11﴾

“Those true believers shall certainly prosper who show humility in their Salah, and turn away from idle activities, and are keen to purify themselves, and guard their private parts except from their wives and what their right hands own (bondswomen) – which is not blameworthy, but whoever seeks after more than that is a transgressor – and those who preserve what has been entrusted to them and also their covenant, and who are regular in performing their Salah. Those are the inheritors who shall inherit Paradise, and they shall live there forever.” (23:1-11).

And the ten qualities mentioned in Surah 35 of 33 are as follows:

إِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْقَانِتَاتِ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالصَّادِقَاتِ وَالصَّابِرِ‌ينَ وَالصَّابِرَ‌اتِ وَالْخَاشِعِينَ وَالْخَاشِعَاتِ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَاتِ وَالصَّائِمِينَ وَالصَّائِمَاتِ وَالْحَافِظِينَ فُرُ‌وجَهُمْ وَالْحَافِظَاتِ وَالذَّاكِرِ‌ينَ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرً‌ا وَالذَّاكِرَ‌اتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّـهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَ‌ةً وَأَجْرً‌ا عَظِيمًا ﴿35﴾

“Men and women who perform what Islam enjoins upon them, men and women who are true believers, obedient men and obedient women, truthful men and truthful women, men and women who are patient, men and women who possess humili¬ty, men and women who give in charity, men who fast and women who fast, men and women who guard their private parts, men and women who remember Allah abundantly – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (33:35)

A third question with regard to Verse 124 still remains to be answered – what degree of success did Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) attain in these trials? The Holy Qur’an defines his accomplishment in these words: وَإِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّىٰ “And Ibrahim who paid his debt in full.” (53:37)

As for the reward he received, Verse 124 itself has announced it: إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا “He (Allah) said – “I am going to make you an Imam for the people.” The Arabic word imam امام ، which we have not translated here, lexically signifies “leader or chief or guide.” Since the present verse is related to Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، the word ‘Imam امام in this context means, above all, “a prophet”, though it includes the general sense of “leadership”, too, as also of the title “Patriarch” which the Jews and Christians have given to him. Prophethood, let us repeat, cannot be won through personal effort; all the same, a prophet has to display his perfection in the thirty qualities we have just referred to, and even people of a lower scale must, in order to be worthy of leadership in a general sense, possess these qualities in their own degree. The Holy Qur’an makes it quite plain in another place:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِ‌نَا لَمَّا صَبَرُ‌وا ۖ وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ ﴿24﴾

“And from among them We appointed some as leaders to guide men by Our command, when they were patient (in re-straining themselves from disobedience), and had a sure faith in Our commandments.” (32:24).

This verse gives a resume of the thirty qualities in the two words, Sabr صبر (patience) and Yagin یقین (sure faith, or certitude) – the second refers to the perfection of knowledge, and the first to the perfection of actual practice.

The last question pertains to the law which lays down that the station of a guide and leader would not be granted to the unjust and the disobedient. To hold this station is, in a way, to be a vice regent of Allah, and hence this rank cannot be given to a rebel. It follows from this that Muslims, insofar as they have a choice in the matter, should not appoint as their ruler or representative a man who is a rebel against Allah or disobedient to Him.

The word zalim ظالم (“unjust” ) also shows us – and very explicitly, too – that each and every prophet is totally sinless before becoming a prophet as much as after becoming a prophet. Certain words in the Holy Qur’an, which seem to suggest the contrary, have been employed, not in a literal or technical sense, but only metaphorically – for example, in the case of Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) . To interpret such expressions in the sense of technical “sin” constitutes a very grave doctrinal error, and an insistence on such an interpretation opens the way to further errors.35

  1. We may add a few words for the benefit of those who are anxious to adopt unquestioningly the literary and philosophical mores of the West. Since the Second World War, the writings of the Danish man of letters and thinker, Kierkegaard (who was a dilettante in theology too), have been casting a sort of paralysing fascination over the nien of sensibility in the West. Particularly his book “Fear and Trembling”, which deals with the trial of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) avowedly in the manner of a psychological novel, is supposed to have triggered into action a number of Existentialist philosophies, and even to have furnished the point of departure for all modernistic Christian theology, specially of the Protestant persuasion.

Now, Sayyidna Ibrahim rX…JI _L was, even according to the admission of Jews and Christians, a prophet, and not ” 1’homme moyen sensuel” which is the subject matter of the novel, of psychology, and, not the least, of the theology of the Dane.

Secondly, he did not merely have to go through emotional stress and strain, or through a problem of the conscience, or through a “crisis of identity” – the fear and the trembling, as the philosopher maintains -, but was equally tried in the matter of faithfully observing divine injunctions.

Thirdly, when he knew that Allah had chosen him to be a prophet, he did not grow silent and secretive and lonely – as the fancy of our literary artist would have us believe -, but proclaimed the fact to others. Without such a proclamation, he would not at all have been able to perform the function of a prophet. In fact, it has been said that “the Friend of Allah” would not take his daily meals until he had found a guest to share it with him. In short, all we wish to point out is that the nature of prophethood is a degree of reality which we can understand only partially and that too only with the help of Divine Books, and hence it is not a sphere in which human fantasy may be allowed to roam at its sweet will.

وَاِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَاَمْنًا ۭ وَاتَّخِذُوْا مِنْ مَّقَامِ اِبْرٰهٖمَ مُصَلًّى

The History of Ka’bah

In the course of the story of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، we now come to the building of the “House of Allah” – the Ka’bah کعبہ . An answer is thus being given to the Jews who used to deny the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) on the ground of their assumption that prophethood could not be given to anyone outside their own clan, and who used to scoff at the Muslims for turning towards the Ka’bah کعبہ in their prayers, and to believe that the Hajj was no more than a custom of the ignorant Arabs. The earlier verse had made it clear that prophethood could not be given to the unjust and the disobedient, even if they belonged to the progeny of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) – a rule which destroys the very basis of the presumptuousness and vanity of the Jews. The present verse reminds them that the Ka’bah کعبہ was built under divine commandment by Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، himself with the help of his son Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) and thus suggests that the performance of the Hajj حج and the orientation towards the Ka’bah کعبہ have both been instituted by divine decree, and that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is a direct descendant of Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (عليهما السلام) ، and is reviving the Abrahamic Way, which the Jews too must follow.

Verse 125 briefly outlines the history of the re-construction of the Ka’bah, the characteristic qualities of the “House of Allah” and the city of Makkah, and the injunctions with regard to the respect which has to be paid to this sacred place. The Holy Qur’an returns to the subject again and again in different chapters, providing more details. We shall cite Verses 26 and 27 from the Surah “Al-Hajj” which deals particular¬ly with the annual pilgrimage:

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِ‌كْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ‌ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّ‌كَّعِ السُّجُودِ ﴿26﴾ وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِ‌جَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ‌ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ ﴿27﴾

And when We appointed for Ibrahim the place of the House: “You shall not associate anything with Me. And keep My House clean for those who circumambulate it, who stand there for the prayers, and who bow and prostrate themselves. And proclaim the pilgrimage among men, and they shall come to you on foot and on every lean camel too, coming from every deep ravine..” (22:26-27)

Ibrahim (عليه السلام) migrated to Makkah

Ibn Kathir reports from Mujahid etc. that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was living in Syria when he received the revelation that Allah was going to indicate to him the site of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، which he was required to build and keep clean for those who should assemble there for performing the Hajj and offering the Salah نماز . In connection with the earlier verse, we have already told the story how he was led by the archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) to the desert where the city of Makkah مکہ المکرمہ is now situated and where the remains of the earlier structure of the Ka’bah کعبہ stood only in the shape of a mound, and how he was commanded by Allah to leave his wife and infant son behind and to return to Syria. He immediately started on the journey, but was naturally anxious about his wife and child. So, when he was out of ear-shot, he prayed to Allah for them, as has been reported in the Surah “Ibrahim”:

رَ‌بِّ اجْعَلْ هَـٰذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَن نَّعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَام

“My Lord, make this city a place of peace, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.” (14:35)

And he prayed further:

رَّ‌بَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّ‌يَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ‌ ذِي زَرْ‌عٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّ‌مِ رَ‌بَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْ‌زُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَ‌اتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُ‌ونَ ﴿37﴾

Our Lord, I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley which is incultivable, close to Your Holy House that they may, Our Lord, be steadfast in the prayers. So, make the hearts of men tender towards them, and provide them with fruits, so that they may be thankful.” (14:37)

In the earlier commandment which had brought him to his place, Allah had asked him to keep His House clean. He knew that Allah intended the House to be kept clean not only from external dirt but also from internal filth -namely, association (Shirk شرک ) and infidelity (Kufr کفر). So, while departing from this barren desert where he was leaving his family but where a town was to grow, he prayed to Allah, firstly, to make it a place of safety and peace, and, secondly, to protect him and his children from idol-worship and association. “The Friend of Allah” had attained that degree of knowledge where one sees oneself as a mere nothing, and one makes no movement without a full realization of the truth that nothing happens independently of Divine Will, and that all one’s actions and even inclinations rest in the hand of Allah. So, he turned to Allah Himself for help in being able to carry out the command to keep the House of Allah clean from association and infidelity. There is another subtle suggestion in this prayer. Allah had commanded that due respect should be paid to His “House.” Now, there was a likelihood that some people might begin, out of sheer ignorance, to worship the Ka’bah itself. That is why Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) specially prayed for him and his children to be protected from association (shirk شرک). Then, out of his love for his wife and son, he prayed to Allah to provide them, in His grace, with fruits in this barren and uncultivable land where he was leaving them under divine command.

A hadith in Al-Bukhari’s collection of the Traditions (Ahadith) tells us in detail how the archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) appeared and made the spring of Zamzam زم زم flow in the desert, how some people from the tribe of Ju¬rhum جُرھُم came and settled there, and how Sayyidna Isma’il (عليه السلام) was married to a lady of this tribe. We also learn from different Traditions (Ahadith) of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that the command to settle near the Ka’bah کعبہ and to keep it clean (mentioned in Verse 26-27 of the Surah “Al-Hajj” ) was at that time addressed only to Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) for his son was yet an infant. And in those circumstances the in¬tention of the command was not to start the reconstruction of the Ka’bah کعبہ but only to place the wife and the son of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) in this locality so that a human settlement should begin to take shape. On the other hand, the verse we are dealing with (2:125) re¬peats the same command to keep the House clean, but is addressed as much to Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) as to his father, for the son had now grown into a young and married man, and could be included in the command to rebuild the Ka’bah.

A hadith reported by Al-Bukhari says that, on one of his periodic visits to his wife and son at Makkah, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) found his son sitting under a tree, making arrows. He informed the son that Allah had entrusted him with a special task, and asked him if he would help his father. The son was, of course, as ready to obey and to serve as ever. Allah had already indicated the spot and also the area where the Ka’bah کعبہ was to be rebuilt. When they started digging the ground, the earlier foundations became visible, and it was on them that they began to raise the walls. The next verse speaks of this event وَإِذْ يَرْ‌فَعُ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ : “When Ibrahim was raising up the foundations of the House, and Ismail (too).” The order of the names indicates that the builder of the Ka’bah کعبہ is Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) while the role of Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) is that of a helper.makhan37

All the verses of the Holy Qur’an on the subject of the Ka’bah either say that the location had been indicated by Allah Himself, or report the divine command to keep the House clean, but never suggest that a new House was to be built in a new place. This in itself shows that the Ka’bah already existed in some form. Indeed, the Hadith, and history too, confirms this fact, and from these sources we learn that the earlier structure of the Ka’bah had either been destroyed at the time of the Deluge of Sayyidna Nuh (عليه السلام) (Noah) or raised into the heavens, leaving the foundations buried in the ground. Hence, Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (عليهما السلام) were not the original founders of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، but had raised a new building on the earlier foundations.

As to who founded the Ka’bah کعبہ for the first time and when, there is no fully authenticated Hadith which could clarify this point. Certain narrations coming from the people of the Book, however, tell us that it was founded by the angels even before Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) came down to the earth. He built the Ka’bah کعبہ a second time, or renovated it. This structure remained intact upto the time of the Deluge, which destroyed it, and left it a mere mound – the shape in which Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (عليهما السلام) found it. And they constructed a new building on the site. Since then, the Ka’bah کعبہ has undergone certain alterations, but has never been demolished completely. Before the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) assumed the prophetic functions, the Quraysh of Makkah built the Ka’bah کعبہ afresh, and he himself took part in this renovation.

Some injunctions related to the Haram حرم

(1) The word Mathabah مَثَابَة ، used in this verse, comes from the root Thaba ثبا (signifying “to come back” ), and thus denotes a place to which one returns again and again. This shows that Allah has given a position of privilege to the Ka’bah کعبہ – it shall always remain a place where people will assemble from the four corners of the world, and would long to return to it again and again. Al-Qurtubi reports the great commentator Mujahid to have said that one never has enough of visiting the Ka’bah کعبہ ، but comes back every time with a greater longing to return, and to see it again. Certain scholars have remarked that one of the signs of one’s Hajj حج having been accepted by Allah is that, on one’s return, one should find in one’s heart a greater desire to present oneself in the House of Allah again. This is borne out by the experience of those who have had the good fortune to be there – each visit, instead of slaking the thirst, rather increases it. Considering that Makkah has nothing to offer by way of a beautiful landscape or easy access or mundane comforts, yet, its power to draw millions of people to itself every year is nothing short of miracle.

(2) This verse says that Allah has made “the House” a place of peace. “The House” refers not only to the Ka’bah itself, but also to the whole area of the Mosque which surrounds it, and is called the Haram. There are other instances in the Holy Qur’an where the word “Ka’bah” or the expression Baytullah بیت اللہ (“House of Allah” ) connotes the whole area of the Haram. For example, the phrase هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ : “an offering to reach the Ka` bah” (5:95) refers to the Haram, for the verse deals with the subject of animal sacrifice, while it is not legitimate to offer such a sacrifice inside the Ka’bah. So, Verse 125 means that the whole of the Haram has been made a place of peace – that is to say, people have been forbidden from shedding blood or taking revenge within these precincts (ibn al-` Arabi). In fact, this commandment was one of the residues of the Way of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) which were still alive in the Age of Ignorance (Al-Jahiliyyah الجاھلیہ), and all kinds of bloodshed or battle, individual or collective, were held to be forbidden inside this sanctuary, so much so that a man would never let himself take his revenge, even if he came upon the murderer of his brother or father in the Haram. The Islamic Shari’ah has preserved this injunction. The ban was lifted only for the sake of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) on the day of the conquest of Makkah, and that too only for a few hours, and was reimposed for ever immediately after – the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself announced it in his address on the occasion. (Al-Bukhari)

Now, as for the man who commits, within these precincts, a crime for which the Shari’ah has laid down a specific physical punishment (Hadd حد) or allowed the victim to be revenged (Qisas قصاص ), the Haram will not provide sanctuary to him – the consensus holds that such a criminal will be duly punished. (Al-Jassas and Al-Qurtubi) For, the Holy Qur’an itself says: فَإِن قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ “If they fight you [ inside the Haram ], you may kill them.” (2:191) There is, however, a difference of views among the masters of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) on one point. What is to be done with the man who commits a crime outside, and then seeks a sanctuary in the Haram? Even in this case, some masters would have the criminal punished in the manner prescribed by the Shari’ah. On the other hand, Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) ، believes that if such men are allowed to save themselves from punishment in this manner, the Haram would become an easy refuge for all kinds of criminals and disorder would prevail, but in view of the sanctity of the place, the criminal would not be punished inside the Haram, but forced to come out, and then the punishment prescribed by the Shari’ah would be duly given to him.

(3) The present verse mentions “the Station of Ibrahim.” It is a stone on which Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) had stood while building the Ka’bah, and which miraculously acquired the print of his foot. (Ai-Bukhari) The blessed Companions Anas (رض) says that he has himself seen the mark on the stone. On the other hand, it has been reported from the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas that the Haram as a whole is the “Station of Ibrahim. ” Probably he meant that the two rak’ahs رکعات of the Salah نماز which this verse enjoins upon us to offer near the “Station of Ibrahim” after completing tawaf طواف (circumambulation) of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، may be offered anywhere within the precincts of the Haram, and that the prayers thus offered would be quite valid. Most of the Fuqaha’ accept this view.

The Maqam of Ibrahim

(1) As to the commandment for making “the Station of Ibrahim” a place of offering one’s prayers, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself has explained it through his own words and actions on the occasion of his last Hajj حج . After completing the tawaf طواف ، when he reached “the Station of Ibrahim,” placed some yards away from the Ka’bah کعبہ ، he recited this very verse, and then offered two rak’ats رکعتین on the other side of this stone, with his face turned towards the Ka’bah کعبہ (Sahih Muslim). The Fuqaha’ have inferred from this the rule that if one does not get the room to stand close to “the Station of Ibrahim,” one may, while offering prayers, validly stand at any distance from it that one can, so long as the Ka’bah کعبہ ، as well as “the Station of Ibrahim,” is in front of him.

(2) This verse shows that it is necessary (Wajib واجب) to offer two rak` ahs رکعتین after the tawaf طواف of the Ka’bah کعبہ . (Al-Jassas and Mulla ` Ali a1-Qari) But offering these prayers specifically behind the “Station of Ibrahim” is a Sunnah (the Way of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). There is, however, no bar on offering these prayers at any other spot within the Haram, for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself has been reported to have offered them near the gate of the “House of Allah”, as did the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، too (a1-Jassas). In his “Al-Manasik المناسِک “, Mulla ` Ali al-Qari says that if one is not, for some reason, able to offer these necessary (Wajib واجب) prayers behind “the Station of Ibrahim,” as required by the Sunnah, he may validly offer them anywhere he possibly can within the Haram, or even outside.

In fact, this is exactly what happened to Sayyidah Umm Salmah (رض) ، one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . On the occasion of her Last Hajj حج ، she could not find the opportunity to offer these Wajib واجب prayers inside the Haram, and was able to do so when she was outside the city of Makkah itself. Most of the F u q a h a’, except Imam Malik (رح) ، hold the view that if circumstances compel one to offer these prayers outside the Haram, one is not required to make an animal sacrifice by way of compensation.

(6) The divine command to طَهِّرَ‌ا بَيْتِيَ “Keep My House clean” includes purifying it from physical and external dirt as much as from internal filth like infidelity (Kufr کفر) and association (Shirk شرک ), and from impurities like greed, lust, envy, pride, vanity, hypocrisy, etc. Then, the use of the expression “My House” indicates that the commandment applies to mosques in general, for all the mosques are “the Houses of Allah”, as the Holy Qur’an itself has said فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّـهُ أَن تُرْ‌فَعَ “In houses which Allah has commanded to be raised up” (24:36). Al-Qurtubi reports that the Second Khalifah ` Umar (رض) once heard a man shout in the mosque, and rebuked him for having forgotten where he was. That is to say, one should pay due respect to a mosque, and refrain from speaking loudly, and, above all, from saying something which the Shari’ah has forbidden. In short, just as the Haram حرم must be kept clean from all kinds of dirt and filth, external and internal, so must every mosque. Those who enter a mosque must keep their bodies and their clothes free from dirt, filth and even from bad smells, and also keep their hearts free from Shirk شرک ، hypocrisy, pride, malice and greed etc. The Holy Prophet g has asked the people not to enter a mosque, if they have just eaten raw onion or garlic, and has also forbidden very small children and mad men to enter a mosque for fear of their polluting it.

(7) The verse shows that “the House of Allah” is meant for people to make tawaf طواف of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، to do I` tikaf اعتکاف (to seek a retreat for worship and meditation), and to offer their prayers. In the case of those who come from outside to perform the Hajj حج ، the tawaf طواف carries greater merit than offering prayers. Lastly, the verse makes it clear that it is absolutely permissible to offer one’s prayers inside the “House of Allah”, whether the prayers are fard فرض (obligatory) or nafl نفل (supererogatory) (Jasss).

وَاِذْ قَالَ اِبْرٰهٖمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ ھٰذَا بَلَدًا اٰمِنًا وَّارْزُقْ اَھْلَهٗ مِنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ مَنْ اٰمَنَ مِنْھُمْ بِاللّٰهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْاٰخِرِ ۭ

The prayers of Ibrahim (عليه السلام)

Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) always carried out the commandments of Allah without losing a moment, and was ready to make all kinds of sacrifices in His way, whether they involved worldly goods, or wife and children, or his own likes and dislikes. All the same, having affection and love for one’s family is not only a natural urge in man, but also a divine commandment. This is what manifests itself in the present verses, where we find him praying for the well-being of his family in this world as much as in the other.

The prayer begins with the word Rabb رَبّ , which lexically signifies One who gives nurture.” Thus, it teaches us the proper mode of praying to Allah, for this form of address in itself draws the mercy and grace of Allah on the man who is praying. The first thing Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) prayed for was that Allah may turn the barren desert where he had left his family under divine commandment, into a city, so that his wife and son should not feel lonely, and that their daily needs should be easily satisfied. The same prayer occurs in Surah “Ibrahim” (14:35), but employs the construction Al-balad البلد (“the city” ), while the present verse employs Baladan بلداً (“a city” ). The difference probably arises from the fact that the prayer reported here was made when the place was still a desert and Sayyidna Ibrahim wished “a city” to grow in this barren land, while the prayer reported in Surah “Ibrahim” was made when “the city” had already risen and was quite well-known, for near the end of the same Surah we find him saying الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ‌ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ “Praise be to Allah who has given me, in my old age, Ismail and Ishaq ” (14:39), which suggests that the second prayer was made after the birth of Sayyidna Ishaq (Isaac عليه السلام), an event that occurred thirteen years after the birth of Sayyidna Ismail (Ishmael عليهما السلام). (Ibn Kathir)

Coming back to the verse under discussion, we see that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) also prayed for this city to be made “a place of peace” – that is to say, safe from slaughter and plunder as from calamities, and secure against the domination of the infidels. The prayer was, granted. Makkah became a thriving city, which is now a place of pilgrimage for Muslims who come to it in millions every year. It also became safe and secure, for no infidel has ever been able to conquer it or dominate over it. The Holy Qur’an itself narrates the story of “Ashab al-Fil اصحاب الفیل ” (“the People of the Elephant” ) who were destroyed for having ventured to invade Makkah. The city has also been safe from slaughter and plunder. Even before the advent of Islam, the Arabs in the Age of Ignorance, for all their deviation into infidelity and association, deeply respected the Ka’bah کعبہ and its environs as a matter of their creed – in spite of being vengeful, they would never take their revenge so long as the enemy remained within the precincts of the Haram حرم . In fact, the inhabitants of Makkah themselves were respected throughout Arabia, and the trading caravans passing to and fro between Makkah and Syria or Yemen were never interrupted.

Allah has given security even to birds and animals inside the Haram حرم ، and forbidden all kinds of hunting within this area. So, even birds and animals distinctly show a feeling of security inside the Haram حرم ، and are not scared of men. The sanctity of the place was emphasised and enforced by Islam even further. As for the slaughter which took place in the Haram حرم at the hands of Hajjaj ibn Yusuf or the Qaramitah, it was the work of those who called themselves Muslims, and not an invasion by infidels. If a man chooses to set fire to his own house, it does not falsify the general rule of the security provided to it against outsiders. Moreover, incidents like these have been very rare since the days of Sayyidna Ibrahim i , and, then, we also know the dreadful fate of those who had dared to pollute “the House of Allah.” In short, Allah has, in answer to his prayer, made the city so secure that even the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) shall not have the power to enter it.

Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) had also prayed for the people of Makkah to be provided with fruits. The surrounding land was uncultivable, but, in answer to the prayer, Allah made the neighbouring city of Taif very fertile and productive in fruits, which started coming to Makkah. According to certain traditions of the Israelites, Taif was originally situated in Syria, but was transferred to the present locality by the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) under divine command.

The Ibrahimic wisdom

One may also notice that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) did not pray for the land of Makkah to be made fertile, but suggested in his prayer that the fruits might come to Makkah from somewhere else as an import. He probably intended that his descendants should not get unduly absorbed in agriculture, for his purpose in founding the settlement was that his people لیقوموا الصلاۃ “should be steadfast in the prayers.” In other words, he wanted the essential function of his descendants to protect “the House of Allah” and to engage themselves in acts of worship. Otherwise, he could have prayed for Makkah itself to be made fertile, and Allah would have granted the prayer as easily.

The point becomes all the more clear if we consider the word Thamarat (plural of Thamarah ثمرات۔ “fruit” ). This word appears in the same context again in another verse يُجْبَىٰ إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَ‌اتُ كُلِّ شَيْ the fruits of all kinds of things are drawn towards it (the city) ” (28:57). If it is the fruits of trees that are intended here, the word “Yujba يُجْبَىٰ (“drawn” ) is a sufficient indication that in granting the prayer Allah had not promised to produce them in Makkah itself, but to send them to the city from other places. On the other hand, the verse does not speak of “the fruits of all kinds of trees”, but of “the fruits of all kinds of things.” Obviously, the intention is to generalize the sense of “fruits” – a word which in common idiom implies the product obtained from a thing or an activity. The word should, then, cover not only the fruits of trees, but also the products of all kinds of crafts and industries in fact, all that is needed to sustain human life. Now, everyone can see for himself that Makkah possesses neither agriculture nor industry, and yet enjoys the benefits of these as much as any prosperous city in the world.

Verse 126 also provides an example of the rectitude of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) The first phrase of his prayer for the well-being and prosperity of the people of Makkah seems to suggest that he wished to include the infidels as much as the faithful. But earlier when he had prayed for all his descendants without making any distinction between the faithful and the infidels (as reported in Verse 124), Allah had answered that the prayer would be granted in the case of the faithful, but not in the case of the unjust – that is, mushrikin مشرکین (associators). On that occasion, he had prayed for the position of imamah (leadership). But the fear of Allah and the solicitude for being totally obedient to Him was so deeply ingrained in the heart of “the Friend of Allah” that even in praying for the prosperity of his people the earlier proviso came to his mind, and he at once added a rejoinder to the effect that he was praying only for the faithful. Allah was pleased with his rectitude, and told him that the worldly prosperity would be given to the disbelievers too, but that in the other world the faithful would be the only ones to prosper, while the disbelievers would receive nothing more than the punishment due to them.

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِنَآ اُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ

Verse 128 reports that he further prayed to Allah “to make” him and his son obedient to His commandments and to His Will. This prayer too proceeds from the same sense of fear and awe, and from the same knowledge. He has, all his life, been performing exemplary deeds of obedience, and yet he prays to “be made” obedient. It is so, because the more one grows in one’s knowledge of Divine Majesty, the more one comes to realize that one is not being faithful and obedient as is due.

It is significant. that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) included his descendants too in his prayer. This shows that the “men of Allah” who never hesitate in sacrificing themselves and their children in the way of Allah, yet love them deeply. All the same, they know what the proper requirements of parental love are, and how they should be fulfilled. This is something beyond the reach of average men, who suppose the well-being of their children to reside in physical health and comfort alone, and spend all their love and care on providing just this to their family. But those who have received the favour of Allah show a much greater solicitude for the spiritual well-being of their children than for the physical, being more anxious as to what happens to them in the other world than in this.

So, the great prophet prayed to Allah to make a group from among his descendants fully obedient to Him. This prayer aims at another advantage as well. Experience tells us that if those who enjoy a respectable position in their community, and their descendants keep to the right path, they are naturally held in esteem, and their conduct inspires others to reform themselves. (AI-Bahr al-Muhit) Allah heard this prayer too, and among the descendants of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) there has always been a group of people obedient to Allah and firm in the Straight Path. Even in the Age of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah جاھلیہ ) when the whole world, and Arabia in particular, was lost in the darkness of idol-worship and Shirk شرک ، there still remained some men from among his descendants who had faith in the One God, who believed in the other world, and were obedient to Allah – for example, Zayd ibn ` Amr bin Nufayl, and Quss ibn Sa` idah. It has also been reported that ` Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, the grand-father of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ، shunned idol-worship and Shirk شرک (Al-Bahr al-Muhit)

We might add an explanatory note about the word Manasik مناسک (the plural of Mansik) which occurs in Verse 128. This word signifies the different actions involved in the performance of the Hajj, and also the different places where the rites are performed – like ` Arafah عرفات ، Muzdalifah مزدلفہ or Mina منی . Both the meanings of the word are intended here, and the substance of the last part of the prayer is that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) wanted the rites of the Hajj to be explained and their locations to be indicated. The verb which has been employed in this connection is Arina أَرِ‌نَا – “show us.” Now, seeing is done through the eyes, and also through the heart. So, the different locations of the rites were shown to him through the Archangel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) and the injunctions regarding the Hajj were explained in detail.

رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيْهِمْ رَسُوْلًا مِّنْھُمْ يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ اٰيٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيْهِمْ ۭ

The prayer of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)

Let us start by commenting on certain words which occur in this verse. The Arabic word Yatlu يَتْلُو (translated in English as “recite”, or “read out” ) comes from the word Tilawah, (تلاوہ) which lexically signi¬fies “to follow, to obey”, but in the terminology of the Qur’an and the Hadith denotes the recitation or reading of the Holy Qur’an or of a Di-vine Book, for one who reads a Divine Book is also required to obey it fully.

The word also suggests that it is obligatory to read the Holy Qur’an exactly as it has been revealed by Allah, and not to add or sub-tract a word on one’s own part, not even to change the pronunciation of a word which often may, in the Arabic language, change the very meaning of the word concerned. In his “Mufradat al-Qur’an مفردات القرآن “, Imam al-Raghib al-Isfahani (رح) says that the word Tilawah cannot, in current idi¬om, be applied to the reading of any book other than the Word of Al¬lah.

The word Kitab کتاب (Book) in this verse, of course, refers to the Holy Qur’an itself. As to the word Hikmah حکمہ (usually translated in English as “wisdom” ), it carries various meanings in Arabic – for example, arriving at the truth , justice, exact knowledge, etc. (al-Qamus). According to al-Raghib al-Isfahani (رح) ، when the word is used in speaking of Allah, it connotes the total and perfect knowledge of all existents, and flawless creation; but when applied to someone other than Allah, it connotes a proper knowledge of the existents, and good deeds. In connection with the present verse, Maulana Mahmud al-Hasan has interpreted the word as “profound truths, or subtle realities”, while Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) has taken it to mean “the art of understanding properly”. The commentators from among the blessed Companions and their immediate successors, whose interpretations come directly from the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself, have advanced different connotations of the word Hikmah حکمہ – some say that it refers to the commentary and exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, others believe that it means the proper understanding of the religion (Din دین ), or the injunctions of the Shari’ah, or such commandments of Allah which have been received through the word of the Holy Prophet g . But the truth of the matter is that in spite of the apparent variety of expressions used, the substance of all these statements is the same – namely, the Way (Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet and the Hadith. This is the interpretation reported from Qatadah by Ibn Kathir and Ibn Jarir.

Commentary

Now, to proceed with the commentary, let us consider why Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) in praying for the well-being of his descendants in this world and in the other, requested Allah to send a prophet from among them. The reason is twofold. Firstly, the appearance of a prophet from among them would in itself be an honour and a blessing. Secondly, the prophet being a member of their own group, they would be thoroughly familiar with his past and present and with his ways, and thus find it easy to have trust in him, and to profit from his guidance. According to a hadith, in accepting this prayer Allah promised that this prophet would be sent in the last of all ages. (Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir)

According to a hadith reported by Imam Ahmad in his “Musnad”, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said that Allah had chosen him as the Last Prophet at a time when Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) was not yet born and only his clay was being prepared, and that he was the manifestation of the prayer of his father, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، of the good tidings brought by Sayyidna ` Isa (Jesus Christ (عليه السلام) and of the dream seen by his mother. The good-tidings refer to the announcement made by Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) as reported in the Holy Qur’an:

مُبَشِّرً‌ا بِرَ‌سُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ

I have brought the good-tidings of a prophet who is to come after me, and his name is Ahmad.” (61:6)

And the mother of the Holy Prophet had, during her pregnancy, seen in a dream that a light went out of her which illumined the places in far-off Syria. Then, the words of the present prayer of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) have been repeated in two different places in the Holy Qur’an – once in Surah “‘Al` Imran” (Ch.3) and then in Surah “Al-Jumu` ah” (Ch. 62). Both the passages where these words have been repeated speak of the prophethood of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and thus show that he is the prophet whom Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) had prayed for.

All these verses – namely, the present verse from Surah “Al-Baqarah”, and the other two from Surah “‘Al-` Imran” and Sarah “Al-Jumu` ah” respectively – say the same thing about the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in the same words. That is to say, they define the purpose of his being sent to the world as the Messenger of Allah and his functions as a prophet. These functions are threefold. Firstly, to recite the verses; secondly, to teach the Book and also to teach “wisdom”; and thirdly, “to purify” the people. Now, let us examine the three in detail.

(1) The verse speaks separately of “reciting” the Holy Qur’an and of “teaching” it. Since “reciting” pertains to the words, and “teaching” to their meanings, the explicit distinction between the two shows that the words of the Holy Qur’an are no less important in themselves and for themselves than their meanings, and that the recitation and preservation of the words is obligatory, and constitutes an act of worship. In order to understand this aspect of the question we have only to recall that the first and immediate listeners and disciples of the Holy Prophet not only knew Arabic very well but were themselves very eloquent speakers of the language, some of them being even poets. For an audience like this it should have apparently been enough to recite the Holy Qur’an, without any explanation or commentary, for them to be taught – in their case, the “reciting” and the “teaching” should have, for all practical purpose, become one and the same thing. Why has the Holy Qur’an, then, mentioned them separately as two distinct prophetic functions?

If one considers the question seriously, one can easily draw two important conclusions. To begin with, one would come to see that the Holy Qur’an is not like other books where meanings are the ultimate object, while words have only a secondary place as being no more than a vehicle for the ideas, and can hence tolerate minor changes and modifications so long as the meaning does not suffer. In the case of man-made books, it would thus be totally frivolous to go on reading the words without paying any attention to the meanings. On the contrary, in the case of the Holy Qur’an the words are in themselves as necessary and inalienable a part of the intention as the meanings, and the Shari` ah has laid down particular injunctions with regard to the words of the Holy Qur’an.

That is why in the Science of the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh اصول افقہ) the Holy Qur’an has been defined as comprehending words and meaning both. In other words, if the meanings of the Holy Qur’an are expressed in a different language, or even if certain other Arabic words are substituted for the revealed ones, such a version shall not be entitled to the name “Qur’an”, in spite of the meanings being intact. Consequently, if one were to recite this modified version in Salah, one’s prayers shall not be valid. Similarly, a reading of this version shall not bring one the reward promised in the Hadith for the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, nor shall any of the injunctions related to the Holy Qur’an apply to it. Hence the Fuqaha’ have forbidden the printing and publication of a translation of the Holy Qur’an without the Arabic text. It is quite wrong to speak of an “Urdu Qur’an” or “English Qur’an”, simply be-cause a translation of the original into any language whatsoever cannot properly be called “the Qur’an”.

In short, the word Yatlu یتلو in the present verse leaves no doubt as to the fact that the “recitation of the verses” is an end in itself, for one does not “recite” meanings, but words. Of course, it goes without saying that Allah has sent the Holy Qur’an for us to understand it and to follow its guidance. To be content with memorizing the words alone and being indifferent to the meanings would merely show one’s ignorance of the nature of the Book of Allah, and one’s ungratefulness. But there are so many people these days who suppose that the Holy Qur’an is like other books, and believe that it is a waste of time to read or memorize its words without knowing what they mean. In view of this wide-spread error, we cannot insist too much on the truth that the recitation of the words of the Holy Qur’an is in itself a regular act of worship and brings a great reward.

This is borne out by the practice of the Holy Prophet and his blessed Companions. They knew the meanings of the Holy Qur’an as no one else can, and yet they never thought that once they had understood it and acted upon it, nothing more was required of them. On the contrary, they kept reciting the Holy Qur’an again and again as long as they lived. Some of the Companions used to recite the whole Book of Allah in a single day, some in two days, and some in three. Reciting the Holy Qur’an in one week has always been quite a usual practice among the Muslims, which is indicated by the division of the Holy Qur’an into seven stages (Manazil منازل ). In fact, by instituting the recitation of the Holy Qur’an as an act of worship, carrying a reward of its own, and by giving it a separate and regular position among the prophetic functions, Allah has been very merciful to those Muslims who are not for some reason yet able to understand the meanings, and has saved them from the misfortune of being indifferent to the words and thus being totally deprived of the blessings which flow from His Book. Even such Muslims should, no doubt, keep trying to understand the meanings too so that they may receive the blessings in full, and the ultimate purpose of the Revelation may be realized.

(2) According to the present verses, “teaching the Book” is a prophetic function distinct from “reciting the Verses”. We can easily infer from it the principle that in order to understand the Holy Qur’an it is not sufficient merely to know the Arabic language, but that it also requires the “teaching” of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . As everyone knows, in order to learn a science or art – be it medicine or engineering, or something as ordinary as cookery – it is not enough to read a book or to be proficient in a language. Had it been the only qualification required, one could have easily mastered all the sciences and the arts on which one could find books written in the language one knew. To learn the meanest craft, then, one needs the regular and constant guidance of a teacher. This being so, how can one hope to understand, unaided, the Holy Qur’an which has something to say on the most difficult subjects possible, ranging from theology to philosophy and physics? Had a competence in the Arabic language been sufficient for this task, scores of Jewish and Christian scholars and men of letters in the Arabic countries today would have been counted among the greatest commentators as would have been Abu Jahl ابو جھل and Abu Lahab ابو لہب in the days of the Holy Prophet .

By distinguishing “the teaching of the Book” from “the reciting of the verses” as a distinct prophetic function, the Holy Qur’an has underlined the fact that in order to understand the Book of Allah properly it is not enough, even for those who know Arabic very well, merely to listen to a recitation of the verses, but that such an understanding can be acquired only through the teaching of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and that to separate the one from the other, and to make an attempt at interpretation on one’ s own is no more than a self-delusion. Had it not really been necessary to explain and teach the meanings of the Holy Qur’an, why should have Allah sent us a Messenger? There were many other ways of conveying His Book to men. But Allah knows everything, and is All-Wise. He knows that an understanding of His Book depends on the guidance of a teacher much more than that of human sciences and arts does – in fact, on the guidance, not of an ordinary teacher, but of one who in his turn receives guidance from Allah Himself directly through Revelation (Wahy وحی ), and who is designated in Islamic terminology as a Nabiyy نبی (Prophet) and a Rasul رسول (Messenger of Allah). According to the Holy Qur’an itself, Allah has sent the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to men for the express purpose of explaining to them in detail the injunctions and the meanings of the Divine Book لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ : “So that you should explain to men what We have revealed for them”. (16:44)

According to the present verse, the prophetic function of “teaching the Book” also includes the “teaching of Hikmah حِکمہ As we have shown above, although this word carries various meanings in the Arabic language, yet, with reference to this verse and similar ones, the blessed Companions and their immediate successors have interpreted Hikmah حِکمہ as “the Sunnah” or the Way of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . It means that along with “teaching the Book” the prophetic functions include the teaching of the principles and modes of spiritual discipline. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has himself said, اِنَّما بُعثِتُ مَعَلِماً have been sent only as a teacher.” From this, it necessarily follows that his followers are required to be disciples, and that every Muslim, man or woman, should as a Muslim be a life-long student, keen to learn what the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has taught. If one cannot for some reason master the different sciences connected with the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, one must try to acquire at least a satisfactory knowledge and understanding of the basic doctrines of Islam and of the fundamental injunctions of the Shari’ah which are absolutely indispensable for every Muslim.

(3) “Purifying the people” is also an essential prophetic function. The Arabic word Tazkiyah تذکیہ denotes purifying a thing or person from all kinds of filth, internal as well as external. One can see for oneself what the different kinds of external filth are – the Shari’ah has clearly defined them. The internal varieties include, on the one hand, false beliefs like infidelity (Kufr کفر ), association (Shirk شرک ), or total reliance on someone other than Allah, and, on the other hand, pride, vanity malice, jealousy, love of worldly things, etc. Although the evil nature of such beliefs and tendencies has been fully explained in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, yet in making the purification of the people” a distinct and separate prophetic function the present verse indicates that just as a mere knowledge of words and technical terms does not make one the master of a science or art, in the same way a knowledge, or even a proper understanding of its principles does not by itself make one perfect in the science or art concerned. To attain any degree of perfection one must also learn to put the principles into practice, and “realize” them in oneself and for oneself, which again requires the supervision of an authentic teacher and guide. In the Way of Sufis (Tariqah) the function of the spiritual guide (Shaykh) is to help the disciple in obeying the injunctions of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah so thoroughly that it becomes a matter, not of effort, but of habit – so to say, his very “nature”.36

  1. At this point, we must sound a note of warning. It has grown, in our day, almost habitual to speak of Islam as “the religion of action” – if not of “activism”. In such phrases, the implication is never absent that “action” is tc be considered as an anti-thesis of “thought”, and “practice” as that of “theory” – as if there is a dichotomy, and the two activities can hardly be reconciled with each other. And there is always the insinuation that in order to be worthy of any respect one must make an either/or kind of choice in favour of “action” and “practice” as against “thought” and “theory”.

Such formulations are no older than four centuries, and are the necessary products of certain dilemmas which historically arose in the society of the Christian West. They do not and cannot, as such, belong to a religious or metaphysical approach to things. In so far as an activity can be described as specifically “human”, it cannot be purely automatic, but is preceded by thought. In other words, all “practice” is governed by a “theory”, and all “action” guided by “thought” or some principle, good or bad. The rule is so general that it applies even to the action of those who have been promoting the dichotomy. As far as the Islamic way of looking at things is concerned, it goes without saying that no action or practice, however good, can have the slightest merit or spiritual efficacy until and unless it carries a divine sanction.

It logically follows that the foremost duty of a Muslim is to acquaint himself with divine commandments, and then to obey them.

One can, if one likes, give to the first the name of “theory”, and the second the name of “practice”. But there is no dichotomy involved, nor any choice called for۔

No “practice” can be valid without being informed by “theory”, and no “theory” can be of much avail without being put into “practice”. It is “theory” which makes “practice” meaningful, and it is through “practice” alone that one acquires a true knowledge of “theory”. They are not two entities, but only two ways of considering the same reality. What finally matters is “realization” or making the essential truths “real” to oneself.

In the West itself, and as late as the end of the Middle Ages, there were people who knew that theoria and praxis went together in the terminology of spiritual disciplines. In fact, the Greek word does, in its original meaning, say all that we have been trying to explain here. For, even if “theory” in modern European languages has come to mean just a ‘speculation’, or a ‘supposition’, even a ‘fancy’, the Greek verb theoreo signified “to see”, and the noun theoros denoted the “man who sees”. Thus, theoria was not merely a fancy, but a truth which could be “seen”, or actively realized.

Now that we are on the subject of purification (tazkiyah تزکیہ ), we might add another important consideration. From the days of the First Prophet to the days of the Last (عليهم السلام) it has been the Way of Allah that in order to guide men and to show them the Straight Path, He has been sending them not only His Books but His prophets also. This indicates the general principle that for their guidance men need, on the one hand, a Divine Teaching revealed in the form of a Book, and, on the other, a human teacher in the form of a prophet who should train and discipline them into absorbing the divine guidance fully. Men need not merely one of these, but both.

For, a man alone can be the teacher of another man, and not a book – which serves only as an aid. That is why Islam began with a Book and a Prophet, and the two, working together, produced a society of men who are unparalleled in history for their rectitude. For the coming generations too, the two ba¬sic principles of guidance have continued to function in the form of the Shari’ah and the Men of Allah”. The Holy Qur’an has emphasised the point again and again. Let us quote a few instances: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿١١٩﴾: “0 believers, fear Allah, and be with the truth-ful” (9:119). In summing up the qualities of “the truthful” (Al-Sadiqun الصدیقون ), another verse ends with the words: أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ “It is they who are truthful, and it is they who are the God-fearing”. (2:177) As we have explained in our commentary on the first chapter, the Surah “Al-Fatihah الفاتحة ” is the quintessence of the Holy Qur’an, and the essence of this Surah is the guidance towards the Straight Path (Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim السیرۃ المتقیم).

Now, in order to indicate the Straight Path the Holy Qur’an has, instead of calling it the Path of the Qur’an or the Path of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or the Path of the Sunnah, spoken of the Men of Allah who can show the Straight Path to the seeker. Says the Holy Qur’an: صِرَ‌اطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ‌ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ ﴿٧﴾ the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace, not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who are misguided”. (1:7) An-other verse provides greater specification – فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِين : “Those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace – the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous.” (4:69) Similarly, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has, for the benefit of all the later gen¬erations of Muslims, explicitly named certain personalities who should be followed in religious matters: یا ایھا الناس انِّی ترکتُ فیکم ما إن أخَذتم بہ لَن تضِلُّوا کتاب اللہ عِترَتِي اَھلِ بیتي ” I am leaving behind me two things; if you stand firm by them you will never fall into misguidance – firstly, the Book of Allah, and, secondly, my descendants and the members of my family.” (Tirmidhi ترمذی) A hadith reported by Al-Bukhari says: اقتدوا بالذین من بعدي أبي بکر و عمر “After me, follow Abu Bakr and ` Umar.” And a third hadith says: علیکم بسنتي و سنۃ الخلفاء الراشدین “You must adopt my way (the Sunnah) and the way of Al-Khulafa’ al-Rashidin” – that is, the first four rightly-guided Caliphs.

In short, whether it be religion or the different sciences and arts, the acquisition of knowledge in the proper sense of the term depends on profiting from authentic books and authentic teachers. In the case of religion, however, people are, while turning to these two modes, liable to fall into the error of putting exclusive or excessive emphasis on one of them alone, which brings them more harm than good. Thus, there are, on the one hand, people who neglect the Book of Allah, and begin to adore their scholars and spiritual masters, without taking the trouble of finding out whether they are obedient to the Shari` ah or not. In fact, this has been the characteristic malady of the Jews and the Christians. Speaking of them, the Holy Qur’an says: اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَ‌هُمْ وَرُ‌هْبَانَهُمْ أَرْ‌بَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ : “They have taken their rabbis and their monks as their lords apart from Allah.” (9:31) Obviously, this is the royal road to Shirk شرک (association) and Kufr کفر (infidelity), on which millions have perished, and go on perishing. On the other hand, there are people who claim that the Book of Allah is by itself sufficient for them, and that in order to understand it they do not need the guidance of a teacher or a scholar or a spiritual master.

This too is a form of misguidance, for an attempt to interpret the Book of Allah on one’s own, without the aid of reliable specialists, inevitably draws one into all sorts of errors, makes one a slave of one’s own desires and inclinations, and may, in some cases at least, lead one straight outside the pale of Islam. So, what one is required to do is to put each of these two means of knowledge in its proper place, and to profit from both. One should be quite clear about the basic principle in this respect – to Allah alone belongs the authority to lay down a commandment, and it is Allah alone we have been called upon to obey, while the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is a means of helping us to know how Allah is to be obeyed, and one obeys Him on the ground that to obey the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is to obey Allah Himself. Besides that, one should, when faced with difficulties in understanding the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith or in acting upon them, turn for help, willingly and respectfully, to the words and deeds of the masters in these subjects, and consider it to be the key to the door of salvation.

There is a second conclusion to be drawn from the fact that the present verse includes the teaching of the Book among the prophetic functions. As we know, Allah has promised to safeguard the Holy Qur’an Himselfإِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ‌ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿٩﴾ : “It is We who have revealed the Guidance, and it is We who watch over it.” (15:9) Consequently, every single word, every consonant and every vowel of the Holy Qur’an has remained intact upto this day, and shall remain intact as long the world lasts. Now, according to the present verse, the teaching of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is absolutely indispensable for a proper understanding of the Holy Qur’an, and without this guidance it is not possible to act upon the Holy Qur’an in a real sense. It logically follows from it that the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) should also receive divine protection in their own degree, and remain intact as a whole till the end of the world; otherwise, the preservation of the words of the Holy Qur’an would not, by itself, fully serve the purpose for which Allah has revealed it. It goes without saying that the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) are identical with what is called the Sunnah or the Hadith. Although Allah has not promised the same degree of protection to the Hadith as to the Holy Qur’an, and the words of the Sunnah have not been preserved exactly in the same manner as the words of the Holy Qur’an, yet the prophetic interpretations too must, according to the present verse, remain intact, and it has, taken as a whole, remained intact upto this day.Whenever an attempt has been made to distort a Hadith or to invent spurious ones, the specialists in the science have always exposed the fraud.

Thus, in accordance with the prediction implicit in the present verse, Allah has preserved the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from the days of the blessed Companions to our own day through fully authentic collections of the Ahadith and through the masters of this subject. And this divine protection shall continue to the last day of the world. For, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself has assured us that in his Ummah there shall always remain till the end of the world a group of authentic scholars who shall jealously and watchfully guard the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith against all attempts at distortion or misrepresentation. This hadith by itself gives the lie to some contemporary writers who have, for the ulterior motive of discrediting the injunctions of the Islamic Shari’ah, been trying to propagate the notion that the whole body of the Ahadith we possess is inauthentic and hence unreliable. But anyone who has eyes to see can easily understand the stratagem – if one cannot trust the Hadith, one can no longer trust the text of the Holy Qur’an. And this is exactly what the Westerners and their local allies want to accomplish – that is, to make the Muslims turn away from the Holy Qur’an.

In the end, let us note that the three prophetic functions which Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) referred to in his prayer, and which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was sent to perform, were fulfilled in his own life-time. In order to have an idea of the great transformation which the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, the teaching of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his purifying influence brought about in men, it is enough to see what the Holy Qur’an says in praise of his Companions (رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہم)

وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى لْكُفَّارِ‌ رُ‌حَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَ‌اهُمْ رُ‌كَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِ‌ضْوَانًا

“Those who are with him are hard against the disbelievers, merciful to one another; you see them-bowing and prostrating themselves (in prayers), seeking the bounty of Allah and His pleasure”. (48:29).

وَمَنْ يَّرْغَبُ عَنْ مِّلَّةِ اِبْرٰھٖمَ اِلَّا مَنْ سَفِهَ نَفْسَهٗ

The earlier verses have defined the basic principles of the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، called upon men to follow it, and warned them against the dangers involved in turning away from it. They have also refuted the claims of the Jews and the Christians to be the followers of this religion, while indicating Islam as the only religion which is now faithful to the Abrahamic Tradition, and which has, in its essentials, been the religion common to all the prophets. The present verses show the solicitude of the prophets (عليهم السلام) in giving religious and spiritual instruction and guidance to their descendants.

The Ibrahimic Way

Verse 130 speaks of the superiority of the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، from which arises his own spiritual station and glory in this world and in the other. This being so, anyone who turns away from this religion only displays his own stupidity.37 Anyhow, the point is that only he can turn away from this religion who does not possess any understanding, or has totally lost it, for this alone is the religion of “Nature”, and no one can deny it so long as his “nature”, in the essential and integral sense of the word, remains intact. The superiority of this religion is shown by the simple fact that Allah conferred a special honour on Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) in this world and in the next on account of this very religion. As for the honour and greatness he received in this world, everyone knows how Namrud نمرود (Nimrod) with all his might failed to impress him, how he accepted gladly to be thrown into the fire rather than give up the worship of the One God, and how the Lord of the worlds changed the fire into a garden for him, so that believers and non-believers alike finally came to recognize his uprightness and his unalloyed faith. The associators of Arabia were, after all, his progeny, and had , in spite of their idol-worship, always continued to hold him in great esteem, and even claimed to be his followers. Certain remnants of his religion were still present among them, though somewhat distorted by their ignorance – for example, the Hajj, the annual sacrifice of animals, hospitality etc. These are the manifestations of the special divine grace which had designated “the Friend of Allah” (Khalilullah خلیل اللہ ) as the ‘Imam’ of people. (2:124) So much for his greatness in this world. As to the next, Verse 130 has announced the exalted station Allah has granted him in the Hereafter.

  1. Let us note that the relevant phrase in the Arabic text of this verse can be translated into English in three ways: (a) Such a man is stupid in himself (b) he has besotted himself, and allowed himself to become stupid (c) he is ignorant of his own self.

اِذْ قَالَ لَهٗ رَبُّهٗٓ اَسْلِمْ ۙ قَالَ اَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعٰلَمِيْنَ

Verse 131 defines the basic principle of the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) . Allah asked him to submit himself, and he willingly and gladly agreed to submit himself to “the Lord of the worlds.” Let us add that the word of command employed in this verse is Aslim اَسلِم ، which comes from the same root as the word Islam. It is difficult to find an exact English equivalent, for the word signifies “to obey, to submit oneself, to surrender one’s will.” Anyhow, we should notice that in reply to the divine command, he did not say, as one would have expected, اَسلَمتُ لَک : “I submit myself to you,” but, more elaborately: اَسلَمتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِين : “I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.” This particular form of reply expresses the attitude of respect and awe proper to the occasion, and includes the praise of Allah which the moment of receiving the honour of divine address demanded. It also carries a recognition of the fact that in submitting himself to the Lord of the worlds he was only performing the essential duty of a servant towards the Master of All, and doing it for his own benefit. The reply makes it clear that the basic principle of the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، and its very essence is contained in one word, Islam, which signifies total obedience and willing submission of oneself to Allah. It was to show to the world his perfect adherence to this principle that he was made to pass through all the trials before attaining his exalted station. Islam اسلام ، or submission to Allah, is what the world has been created for; it is the end all the prophets and all the divine books have been sent to serve.

We also learn from this verse that the religion common to all the prophets (عليهم السلام) and the point on which all of them come together is Islam اسلام . Beginning with Sayyidna Adam (عليه السلام) upto the Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) every messenger of Allah and every prophet has called men to اسلام Islam alone, and enjoined upon his followers to keep to this Straight Path. The Holy Qur’an is quite explicit on this subject: إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّـهِ الْإِسْلَامُ. “Certainly, in the eyes of Allah the only religion is Islam” (3:19) and وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ‌ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ “Whoso desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him.” (3:85) In order to put the question in the proper perspective as also to avoid the risk of misunderstanding let us add a few remarks. All the religions which different prophets brought to the world had a divine sanction behind them, were essentially instituted by Allah Himself, and each of them was, in its own time, “accepted” in the sight of Allah. Consequently, each of these religions – whether one calls it Judaism or Christianity or something else – must in its essence be Islam, in the general sense of the word – namely, total submission to Allah.

But the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) is distinguished from others by a peculiar characteristic – that is, he gave to his religion the name of Islam, and to his followers the name of Muslims. We have al-ready seen in Verse, 128 how he prayed for himself, his son and his progeny: رَ‌بَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّ‌يَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ And, our Lord, keep us both obedient (Muslimayn مُسْلِمَيْنِ ) to you, and make of our progeny a people (Ummah) obedient (Muslimah مُّسْلِمَةً ) to you.” And now in Verse 132 we find him advising his descendants not to die without being sure that they have been Muslims. After him this distinction of being specifi¬cally called Muslims and “the Islamic Ummah” passed on, according to his own instruction, to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet۔ (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) Addressing the Muslims, the Holy Qur’an says: مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَـٰذَا “Be steadfast in the religion of your father, Ibrahim. He named you Muslims before this as well as in this (the Holy Qur’an).” (22:78) When the Holy Qur’an was revealed, the Jews and the Christians, and even the idol-worshippers of Arabia used to make the claim, each group on its own part, that they were the followers of the Abrahamic religion, but the ‘Holy Qur’an and its followers have made it quite evident that in this last phase of human history the religion of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and this alone, is the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) the relig¬ion of quintessential “Nature” (Al-fitrah).

In short, the essence of all the divine books, all the Shari’ahs and the teachings of all the prophets is Islam – that is, turning away from one’s desires in order to obey divine commandments, and giving up individual opinion in order to submit oneself to divine guidance. But we are grieved to see that there are thousands of Muslims today, who have forgotten this basic truth, and wish to pursue their own desires in the name of Islam. What appeals to them is that kind of interpretation (rather, misinterpretation) of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith which should flatter their desires. In fact, what they strive to do is to distort the Shari’ah to suit their fancies, and to do it so cleverly that the idols they really worship should appear in the garb of religion. Such men are, indeed, trying to be clever with Allah Himself who knows every particle of the universe and who can look into the deepest recesses of the human heart – the Almighty before whom nothing avails but complete surrender and total submission.

What Islam requires of man is that he should set aside all his desires and inclinations, and seek, in everything he does, the pleasure of his Lord. And he can find this pleasure only when he knows the commandments of his Lord, and also performs these tasks exactly in the manner He has prescribed. This is what ` Ibadah عبادہ or worship is, in the real sense of the word. It is the perfection of this total obedience and submission and love which constitutes the final stage of man’s spiritual development, which is known as the Station (Maqam) of Abdiyyah (عبدِیہ Servanthood). This is the station where Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) received from Allah the title of Khalilullah خلیلُ اللہ (the Friend of Allah), and the Last of All the Prophets the title of عبَدِنا :Abduna (Our Servant). On the subsidiary levels of the Station of Servanthood stand the Abdal عبدال ، the Aqtal, the Awliya اَولِیا ، the men of Allah – the ‘saints’ of the Islamic Ummah, each in his own degree. This is the essence of Tawhid توحید (the realization of unicity), on attaining which all one’s fears and hopes become bound with Allah, and with no one else.

Thus, Islam signifies total obedience to Allah, and this obedience is possible only when one follows the Sunnah, the Way of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . The Holy Qur’an has laid down the principle in very explicit words:

فَلَا وَرَ‌بِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ‌ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَ‌جًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا ﴿65﴾

“By your Lord, they will never be true Muslims till they make you the judge regarding the disagreements between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your verdict, and sur-render themselves in full submission.” (4:65).

In the end let us clarify an important point. As reported in Verse 132, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) made his descendants promise that before they died they should make sure that they had been Muslims. It means that one should steadfastly follow the teachings of Islam throughout one’s life, so that one receives the grace of Allah and remains a Muslim upto the last breath. A number of ahadith too say that one would die in the state which one has maintained in one’s life, and one would, on the Day of Resurrection, rise from the grave in the same state. This is the usual way of Allah with men – if His servant makes up his mind to do good deeds and also strives in this direction as best as he can, Allah helps him and makes the task easy for him. This principle does not in any way stand in opposition to what has been said in another hadith to this effect:

A man keeps doing the kind of good deeds for which Paradise has been promised and it seems that there is only an arms’ length between him and Paradise, and then all of a sudden his destiny overcomes him, and he starts doing what would lead him to Hell, and finally he reaches Hell; on the other hand, a man keeps doing what would lead him to Hell, and it seems that there is only an arm’s length between him and Hell, and then his destiny overcomes him, and he starts doing what would make him worthy of Paradise, and finally he enters Paradise.

We have said that there is no contradiction involved, for some texts of this hadith mention a proviso too – “as it appeared to people.” That is to say, the first of these two men appeared in the eyes of the onlookers to be performing good deeds, while in fact he was doing just the opposite; similarly, the second man had from the outset been doing what would make him worthy of Paradise, though people thought him to be a sinner. (Ibn Kathir) We conclude this discussion with the remark that the man who has been steadfast in doing good deeds, should trust the divine promise, rely on the usual way of Allah with His creatures, and hope that through the grace of Allah he would depart from this world in this blessed state.

اَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَدَاۗءَ اِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوْبَ الْمَوْتُ ۙ اِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيْهِ مَا تَعْبُدُوْنَ مِنْۢ بَعْدِيْ الخ…..

The previous verses have defined the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and the essence of Islam. Now, these two verses bring before us another aspect of the question. Call it the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim or Islam, it is in any case meant for the whole world. Then why have the descendants of Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليهم السلام) been specifically mentioned here, and why should have these two great prophets been so particular in giving this counsel to their sons? We shall say that these specifications show that love for one’s progeny and solicitude for their well-being is in no way incompatible with the station of prophethood or even with that of “the Friend of Allah”. For, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، who was, on one occasion, not only willing but happy to be sacrificing his son in obedience to the commandment of Allah, did on a different occasion pray for the well-being of his progeny in this world and the other, and wished, while departing from this world, to offer them what was the greatest blessing in his eyes – namely, Islam. Verses 132 and 133 suggest this very principle. So, even prophets love their children, the only difference being that while ordinary men consider the good things of this world alone to be worthwhile and wish to leave to their children as much of these as they can, in the eyes of the prophets and their genuine followers the only thing that counts is Iman ایمان (faith) and good deeds – in one word, Islam – and it is this eternal wealth which they wish and strive to transmit wholly to their descendants.

This practice of the prophets provides a special guidance to parents: just as they are keen to secure the worldly comfort and happiness of their children, they should pay equal, if not greater, attention to the discipline of their external and internal behaviour according to the requirements of the Shari’ah. Is it at all reasonable that one should strain every nerve to protect one’s children from the heat of the sun, but leave them exposed to the fire of Hell?

From this example of the prophets we also learn that it is the duty of the parents and the right of the children that one should first of all take care of the spiritual health of one’s own children, and worry about others only afterwards. This principle rests on three considerations. Firstly, one’s children are, on account of the special relationship with the parents, likely to accept the counsel more easily and thoroughly than others, and may later on be of great help in the efforts which one makes in the service of Islam.

Secondly, the easiest and the most effective way of transmitting the Truth to a whole people is that the head of each family should take upon himself the responsibility of teaching and training the members of his family. Employing a current and popular term, we may say that this localized and decentralized method distributes the responsibility over a large number of individuals, and teaching the families separate¬ly amounts finally to teaching the society, as a whole. The Holy Qur’an itself has laid down the principle: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارً‌ا : “0 be¬lievers, guard yourselves and your families against a Fire.” (66:6) In fact, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself who is the Messenger of Allah for the whole of humanity and whose guidance shall remain valid upto the last day of the world, was commanded to convey the Truth first of all to the members of his family. Thus, the Holy Qurian says: وَأَنذِرْ‌ عَشِيرَ‌تَكَ الْأَقْرَ‌بِينَ : “And warn your clan, your nearest kin.” (26:214) and وَأْمُرْ‌ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ‌ عَلَيْهَا “ And bid your familyto offer Salah, and be regular in them yourself”. (20:132) And the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) always fulfilled these commandments.

Thirdly, one can observe for oneself that if the close relations or the members of his family do not support a man in what he wishes to teach, or do not seem to be acting upon it, his teachings do not succeed so well with others. When the Holy Prophet took upon himself the prophetic function, the usual reply of his listeners was that he should first convince his own clan, the Quraysh, before turning to others. But when his own clan accepted Islam and the process had been completed at the time of the conquest of Makkah, the world saw, as the Holy Qur’an reports يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّـهِ أَفْوَاجًا “People entering Allah’s religion in throngs.” (110:2)

The main reason for the ignorance and the indifference towards Islam which is wide-spread among the Muslims today, is that even when the parents themselves are good Muslims in every way, they leave their children to themselves and let the social environment mould them in its own fashion. Their only worry is to see their children doing well in this world, and they never think of what will happen to them in the next. Let us pray that Allah, in His mercy, grant all of us the solicitude for the other world, and help us to make a genuine effort for acquiring the only wealth that can ever be: faith and rectitude!

Injunctions and related considerations

Verse 133 reports that the sons of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) (Jacob) promised to worship اِلٰہ اٰباءک ابراہیم و اسماعیل و اسحٰق :”The God of your father, Ibrahim and Ismail and-Ishaq .” This phrase indicates that the term “father” includes the grand-father as well. The blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) has deduced from this verse the rule that in matters of inheritance the grandfather shall be treated like the father.

فَاِنْ اٰمَنُوْا بِمِثْلِ مَآ اٰمَنْتُمْ بِهٖ فَقَدِ اھْتَدَوْا ۚ وَاِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَاِنَّمَا ھُمْ فِيْ شِقَاقٍ ۚ فَسَيَكْفِيْكَهُمُ اللّٰهُ ۚ وَھُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ

The definition of ` Iman ایمان

From the beginning of the Surah Ai-Baqarah upto this place, different verses have been explaining the nature and essence ‘Iman ایمان (faith), sometimes succinctly and sometimes in detail. Verse 137 defines ‘Iman ایمان in a simple and short phrase which is at the same time so comprehensive that all possible details and explanations are inherent in it. The earlier verses having established that the only religion which is valid at present is Islam, this verse assures the Muslims that the Jews and the Christians can find the guidance only “if they believe just as you believe”, or, in other words, “if they believe in what you believe in.” The immediate addressees of the phrase “you believe” are the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his blessed Companions.

Thus, in doctrinal matters above all, their ‘Iman ایمان has been placed before us as a model, and the verse is essentially a divine commandment, laying down the fundamental principle that the only ‘Iman ایمان acceptable to Allah is the one which was adopted by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his blessed Companions, and that any doctrines or beliefs that deviate from it in the least are neither valid nor acceptable to Allah. That is to say, one should believe in Allah and His attributes, in the angels, in the Books of Allah, in the messengers and prophets of Allah and in their teachings exactly in the same manner as the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the blessed Companions did, without adding or subtracting anything on one’s own part and without advancing one’s own interpretations or distorting the authentic meanings of the doctrines. Nor is one allowed to assign to the angels or the prophets a station higher or lower than the one assigned to them by the word or deed of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Moreover, one is also required to be sincere and pure in one’s faith, for the contrary would amount to hypocrisy (Nifaq نفاق ).

This explanation helps us to see in its true proportions the situa¬tion of the heterodox sects among the Muslims – of those who make tall claims as to the genuineness of their ‘Iman ایمان ، but do not possess ‘Iman ایمان in the full sense of the term. As for that, even the idolators of Arabia used to proclaim the authenticity of their ‘Iman ایمان as do the Jews and the Christians even today, and as do even the heretics in every age, but since their faith in Allah, in the prophets and the angels, and in the Day of Judgment etc. did not conform to the ‘Iman ایمان of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، it was not acceptable to Allah and was summarily rejected.

To give a few examples, some of the associators of Arabia used to deny the very existence of angels, while others considered them to be the daughters of God. Some groups among the Jews refused to obey the prophets and were so hostile to them that they came to assassinate a number of them, while other groups among the Jews and the Christians began to revere the prophets so extravagantly as to identify them with God Himself, or to place them on the level of God or to consider them the sons of God. These two attitudes are the two extremes of deviation, and are clearly seen, in the light of this verse, to be only two forms of misguidance.

According to the Shari’ah, it is, of course, obligatory for every Muslim to respect and love the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and if one lacks in this respect and love, one cannot be said to possess ‘Iman ایمان in the true sense of the term; all the same, let it be clearly understood that it is misguidance and association (Shirk شرک ) to make him the equal of Allah with respect to an attribute like knowledge or power. For, according to the Holy Qur’an, the essence of Shirk شرک lies in making someone other than Allah the equal of Allah with respect to a divine attribute, as is indicated by this verse: إِذْ نُسَوِّيكُم بِرَ‌بِّ الْعَالَمِينَ : “And when we used to make you equal of the Lord of the worlds.” (26:98) There are some Muslims who consider the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to be omniscient and omnipresent like Allah Himself, and, in doing so, congratulate themselves upon showing the respect and love which is required of a Muslim, while they are only disobeying the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and going against his teachings. They should learn from this verse that the respect and love for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) which Allah demands from a Muslim is only that kind of respect and love which his blessed Companions had for him – neither more nor less than this, for either would be a deviation and a sin.

The terms Zilli and Buruzi are not valid

On the other hand, there are people [ like the group called the Qadianis قادیانی or the Ahmadis احمدی of Lahore ] who have been deying the unambiguous and clear declaration of the Holy Qur’an that Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is the last of all the prophets, and (Qadianis قادیانی ) trying to make room for a new prophet. In order to serve this evil purpose, they have out of their own fantasy manufactured exotic forms of prophethood, and given to them equally fanciful names like Buruz (incarnation) or Zill (manifestation). The present verse exposes this fraud as well, for the ‘Iman ایمان of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and of his blessed Companions (رض) does not show any trace of a belief in prophets of this genre, and anyone who pretends to such a belief is an avowed heretic.

Similarly, there are people whose minds and hearts are so befogged in modern materialism and the so-called “rationalism” that they find it difficult to accept the idea of the other world and the things that pertain to it, and then try to subject them to crooked interpretations, which they suppose to be an effort to make Islam more acceptable to the modern mind, and hence a great service to Islam. But, insofar as these interpretations transgress the commandment indicated in this verse – that is to say, they do not conform to the ‘Iman ایمان of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and of his Companions (رض) ، they are totally false, and must be rejected. It is obligatory for a Muslim to believe without demur in what the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith tell us with regard to the other world and all that pertains to it. For example, it is quite inadmissible to maintain that on the Day of Judgment men will be resurrected only “spiritually” and not bodily, or that the reward and the punishment in the other world will be “spiritual” and not physical, or that the “weighing of the deeds” is only a metaphorical expression. Let us insist once again that all such interpretations are doctrinally false and unacceptable to Allah – as the present verse has established.

Having defined the ‘Iman which is acceptable to Allah, Verse 137 also points out that the enemies of Islam may yet remain unconvinced out of sheer obstinacy and malice. Allah asks the Holy Prophet not to worry about them, for Allah will deal with them Himself, and pro¬tect His prophet. This promise has been made more explicitly in an other verse: وَاللَّـهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ : “And Allah will protect you against these people.” (5:67) Subsequent events showed the fulfillment of this prom¬ise.

صِبْغَةَ اللّٰهِ ۚ وَمَنْ اَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللّٰهِ صِبْغَةً ۡ وَّنَحْنُ لَهٗ عٰبِدُوْنَ

The Colour of Allah

Verse 138 delineates Islam as the “colouring of Allah”, and explains this “colouring” as the unalloyed worship of Allah and total submission to Him. Verse 135 has identified Islam with “the religion of Ibrahim.” If we put Verse 135 and 138 together, it becomes clear that essentially Islam – or any authentic religion, for that matter – is the religion of Allah, and that the association of a religion with the name of a prophet can only be symbolised.

Verse 138 presents religion as “colouring” صبغہ (Sibghah). The expression carries within itself several levels of meaning. But the immediate allusion is to a certain ceremony of the Christians. On the seventh day of its birth, they used to bathe an infant in coloured (probably yellow) water, which was supposed to be a substitute for circumcision, and a sufficient guarantee for the external and internal purification of the infant – the fast and indelible “colouring” of Christian faith, so to say. The verse suggests that this colour is wasted away with the water, without leaving a trace outside or inside, nor does this kind of baptism serve the purpose of circumcision and cleanse a man of physical impurity. And the verse declares that the only colouring worth the name is the colouring of a genuine and unabrogated religion – that is, Islam اسلام۔ the only colouring which can guarantee physical and spiritual purification, and the only one which shall remain. Then, the word Sibghah صِبْغَةَ or “colouring” has a deeper meaning too. Just as a certain colour is openly and clearly visible to the beholder, the signs of genuine and pure ‘Iman ایمان should shine through the face, the movements, the habits and the behaviour of a Muslim. In this sense, the verse is a commandment, asking Muslims “to dye” themselves in the “colouring of Allah”, outwardly and inwardly by offering unalloyed worship to Him alone, by submitting themselves totally to His commandments, and by gladly accepting His will.

قُلْ اَتُحَاۗجُّوْنَـــنَا فِي اللّٰهِ وَھُوَ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ ۚ وَلَنَآ اَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ اَعْمَالُكُمْ ۚ وَنَحْنُ لَهٗ مُخْلِصُوْنَ

These three verses bring to an end the section of the Surah in which certain claims of the Jews and the Christians have been refuted — for example, their assertion that Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) (Abraham), Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) (Ishmael), Sayyidna Ishaq (عليه السلام) (Isaac), Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) (Jacob) and the prophets (عليهم السلام) in his lineage were either Jews or Christians, and the claim that they were the chosen people and would have the exclusive privilege of being sent straight to Paradise which would be denied to Muslims. The earlier verses have established that the religion of all these prophets was Islam, in the general sense of the term, but that the earlier Shari` ahs have now been abrogated, and the title of “Islam” been specially given to the religion of Sayyidna Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .

Should the Jews and the Christians still continue, in their stubbornness, to deny, Allah asks the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the Muslims to declare in plain and simple words that Allah, being the Lord of All, cannot show any special favour to any particular group of His creatures, and that on the Day of Judgment He will assess the Jews and the Christians as well as the Muslims according to what each has believed in and how each has been behaving – a principle which was accepted by the People of the Book too.

The Muslims have also been asked to announce that they on their part recognize no other god but Allah, and have purified their religion of all traces of association (Shirk شرک ) – as against the Jews and the Christians who consider Sayyidna ` Uzayr (عليه السلام) (Ezra) and Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) (Jesus) respectively to be “the Son of God”, and whose religions have, moreover, been abrogated. In this respect at least, Muslims have a superiority over them. If the People of the Book should, on account of their affiliation with the earlier prophets, still keep insisting on their own rectitude, the Muslims may ask them a basic question – who knows the truth better, Allah or the People of the Book? Allah has definitely and finally announced the truth in the Last Revelation, and the People of the Book themselves know that the religion of the earlier prophets was Islam. Yet they are trying to conceal the truth, and being unjust, in the gravest sense of the term. Allah knows what they have been doing, and will judge them according to their own deeds, and not according to the deeds of their ancestors. Thus, at the end of this section, Verse 141, which is a repetition of Verse 134, warns them against the consequences of their vanity and pretentiousness, and advises them to take care of themselves rather than relying on ancestral glory.

Verse 139 brings out the essential and peculiar characteristic of the Islamic Ummah اُمَّت۔ it has purified itself of all possible admixture of Shirk شرک (association), and devoted itself, externally and internally, to Allah. The Arabic word in the text is Mukhlisun مُخلصون ، the plural of Mukhlis مخلص which signifies “one who has purified himself’, and which is allied to the word Ikhlas اخلاص ، “the act of purifying oneself.” According to Said ibn Jubayr, Ikhlas اخلاص consists in worshipping no one but Allah, associating no one with Allah, and doing good deeds only for the sake of obeying Allah, and not for the purpose of winning the admiration of the people. Certain spiritual masters have said that Ikhlas اخلاص is a deed which can be identified neither by men, nor by angels nor by Satan شیطان ، and that it is a “secret” between Allah and His servant.38

  1. The word Ikhlas اخلاص is usually rendered into English as “sincerity” and Mukhlis مخلص as “sincere.” It is to be doubted whether the word “sincerity” did, at any time and in any Western language, carry the full gamut of the meanings of the Arabic word Ikhlas اخلاص . Anyhow, the sense of the word “sincerity” has, in current usage, become not only perverted but some-times actually inverted. The word used to imply a harmony between ex¬ternal action and inner inclination, along with the tacit assumption that the external action concerned was, if nothing else, at least socially accept-able to some degree. But “sincerity”, as employed in our days, suggests a compliance with one’s emotions or even with one’s instincts. As such, the concept of “sincerity” is being used to justify and authorize fornication, or even murder. It is easy to see that such an idea of “sincerity” is the exact anti-thesis of Ikhlas اخلاص . For, one cannot attain even the lowest degree of Ikhlas اخلاص without forming a clear intention to obey the injunctions of the Shaah as against letting oneself be guided by one’s instinctual urges or emotional inclinations while the concept of “sincerity” in vogue requires one to ignore the Shari’ah or even mundane considerations and to do the bidding of one’s impulse of the moment, thus reducing man to an automa¬ton at the mercy of his reflexes.

Nor should we forget another serious as¬pect of the problem. There is another allied notion of “sincerity” which has been disturbing the peace of many pious people even in the past, but which has acquired a devastating intensity in our own days. This notion of “sincerity” demands one to seek fixity and unrelieved continuity in an emotional state, which is, of course, not possible for man as he is consti¬tuted. It so happens with some pious people that once they start seeking this kind of “sincerity” in offering their enjoined prayers, they find that they cannot keep up an unbroken concentration of mind, and are so frightened by this lapse that they sometimes give up offering their prayers, believing such worship to be “insincere” and hence invalid. Let us make it clear once for all that the only thing the Shari` ah requires from us is to have the correct intention and attitude when we begin our prayers or perform any other good deed. This alone is the pre-requisite for attaining Ikhlas اخلاص ، which, anyhow, is not a matter of emotions and af¬fective states. In short, Islam requires us to perfect the quality of Ikhlas اخلاص as defined by the Shari’ah, and not to seek “sincerity” in the Western sense of the term, ancient or modern. For an elaborate treatment of the subject, see Tarbiyyah al-Salik تربیہ السالک by Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) .

سَيَقُوْلُ السُّفَهَاۗءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلّٰىهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِىْ كَانُوْاعَلَيْهَا

The orientation of Qiblah قبلہ

“Qiblah قبلہ ” signifies the direction to which one turns one’s face. It goes without saying that a true Muslim turns in every form of worship towards Allah alone, and Allah is not limited to any particular direc¬tion but transcends all dimensions. The logic of this fact requires that in worshipping Him everyone should be free to choose any orientation that he likes, and that he should have the allowance to keep changing his orientation as it suits him. But Divine Wisdom found it more in the fitness of things that all the worshippers should turn to the same direction, and have a fixed orientation. For, worship has several forms, some of which pertain to a single individual, while others have a collective aspect too. Among the first are included fasting, remem¬brance of Allah (dhikr ذکر ) etc. which can be performed in privacy, while the Salah and the Hajj are performed openly and in a congregation. The latter, beside being forms of worship, have a secondary function as well – that of providing a social and collective discipline to the Mus¬lims. Obviously, the basic principle of social organization is the unity and integration of the individuals, on the firmness and solidity of which depends the strength of the social organization, whereas an im¬proper emphasis on individuality encourages a disintegrating and fis¬siparous tendency.

As to what the principle of unity and integrity should be, different people have chosen different ways at different times. For example, some have adopted race or colour as the integrating principle, others have opted for the homeland or the geographical region, still others for language. But all these considerations are purely arbitrary and accidental; instead of bringing men together, they divide them, and pro-duce, (as the newspapers show us every day) worldwide concussions. So, the revealed religions and the Shari’ahs of the prophets (عليهم السلام) the collective name for which is “Islam اسلام ” – have not shown unnecessary regard to such arbitrary and accidental factors, but have, in determin¬ing the principle of integration and unity among men, established themselves on the only basis which can possibly be valid – that is, the unity of mind arising out of doctrinal unity.

In other words, Islam has called upon men not to become divided in the worship of a thousand false gods, but to join together in the worship of the True God, the One, the Incomparable – the only worship which can draw men from the four corners of the world, men of the past, of the present and of the future, all into a single body of the Faithful. Then, in order to give this inner unity a visible form and also to reinforce it, certain external expressions of unity have also been prescribed. But in both the cases the basic principle has been that the unity in view should not be imposed by circumstances, but arise from an act of will and choice, and produce a spiritual brotherhood.

As to the accidental factors like race or colour or birth-place, Islam has given them their proper place in the social life of man, but has not allowed any of them to usurp the central position. It is only in the field where human’ s will can exercise its power to choose that Islam has sought to establish unity among men, internal as well as external. Moreover, the consideration inherent in the relevant injunctions and regulations has been that the things which are to serve as the point of unity should be of such a nature that every human being – man or woman, literate or illiterate, townsman or rustic – can choose and adopt them with equal ease.

It is hence that the Islamic Shari’ah has not imposed a single and rigid mode of dress or food or housing on all the peoples of the world, for, the climatic conditions and the needs and even the preferences of people living in different regions being different, such uniformity would have made life difficult for them. Supposing that in making a certain form of dress obligatory, a certain minimum had been pre-scribed, such a regulation would, beside being inconvenient for some, have gone against the principle of moderation, and amounted to a re¬jection of Allah’s bounties; on the other hand, if a more elaborate dress had been made compulsory, it would have been impossible for the poor to fulfill the conditions. So, instead of prescribing a uniform for all the Muslims, the Shari` ah has permitted the different modes of dressing current among different peoples or regions, and has only laid down certain necessary restrictions – for example, the dress should cover a certain area of the body, specified separately for men and women; in choosing a particular form of dress one should avoid being prodigal or vain, nor should a dress be chosen for the sake of imitating non-Muslims.

In short, Islam has established as points of unity for the Muslims only such things as can be the objects of a free choice, are easy to adopt and do not entail undue hardship or expense – for example, keeping the ranks straight in congregational prayers; following the movements of the ‘Imam امام in such prayers strictly; adopting a single form of dress while performing the Hajj, etc.

Among these, one of the most important is the Qiblah قبلہ or the orientation for the Salah. As we have said, Allah Himself is free of all dimensions whatsoever, but the establishment of a single and definite Qiblah قبلہ provides an easy and concrete unifying principle for men. Now, had the matter of choosing a Qiblah قبلہ been left to men to decide for themselves, it would in itself have become a cause of dissension and a conflict among them. So, it was necessary that a thing of such import be determined by Allah Himself. In fact, the angels had already laid the foundation of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، the House of Allah, even before Sayyidna Adam was sent down to the earth. This was the first Qiblah قبلہ of mankind.

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَ‌كًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ﴿96﴾

“Certainly, the first House which was built for men is the one at Makkah – blessed, and a guidance for the worlds” (3:96).

As we have pointed out above in our commentary on Verse 125, this continued to be the Qiblah upto the time of Sayyidna Nuh (Noah عليه السلام), when the Ka’bah کعبہ was destroyed by the Deluge. It was rebuilt, under divine command by Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (Abraham and Ishmael (عليهما السلام) (and became their Qiblah قبلہ . After that, the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس at Jerusalem was established as the Qiblah قبلہ for the Hebrew prophets and their people. Even so, these prophets, according to Abu al-` Aliyah, used to offer their prayers in the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس in such a way that they should be facing not only the Rock (Sakhrah صخرہ ) but the Ka’bah کعبہ also. (Qurtubi)

When Salah was made obligatory for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، the Qiblah قبلہ appointed for him was, according to some scholars, the Ka’bah کعبہ which had already served as the Qiblah قبلہ for his ancestor, Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) . Sometime after the Hijrah ھجرہ (his migration from Makkah to Madinah), or, as some scholars maintain, a little before that event, he received a divine commandment to turn towards the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس . (This particular commandment has not been reported in the Holy Qur’an – a fact which shows the hollowness of the claim that the Holy Qur’an can be fully understood without the help of the Hadith.) According to a hadith reported by Al-Bukhari, he offered his prayers with the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as his Qiblah قبلہ for sixteen or seventeen months. The spot where he offered his prayers in this manner is still marked off in the mosque at Madinah. (Qurtubi)

The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was, of course, obedience personified, and he continued to offer his prayers with the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as his Qiblah according to the divine commandment, but at the same time he longed that the Ka’bah, which had been the Qiblah of Sayyidna Adam and Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) may be established as his also. The Way of Allah being that He, in His grace, often fulfils the wishes of those of His servants who have found His favour, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) hoped that Allah would grant this wish. The Holy Qur’an describes the situation thus:

قَدْ نَرَ‌ىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْ‌ضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ‌ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَ‌امِ

“We have been seeing you turn your face to heaven. So, We will certainly assign to you a Qiblah قبلہ that you would like. Now, turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid al-Haram المسجد الحرام ) (2:144).

One should notice that the verse we have just cited does not employ the terms, “Ka’bah کعبہ ” or Baytullah بیت اللہ ، but the expression Al-Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque). It indicates that for those who live far away from Makkah it is not necessary, while offering Salah, to have the Ka’bah کعبہ itself exactly in front of them, but turning one’s face in the direction of the “House of Allah” is quite sufficient. On the other hand, for those who are present in the Sacred Mosque or can see the Ka’bah from a distance, it is necessary to have the Ka’bah کعبہ or some part of it exactly in front of them, failing which the prayers will not be valid.makhan30

Now, when the Ka’bah کعبہ was finally established as the Qiblah sixteen or seventeen months after the Hijrah ھجرہ ، some Jews, associators and hypocrites began to scoff at the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his Companions (رض) ، for being so capricious in the matter of their Qiblah قبلہ . The Holy Qur’an reports this objection, adding that such an objection can come only from stupid people – just as earlier in this Surah those who turn away from the religion of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) have been described as people who have besotted themselves. In replying to this objection, the second part of the verse shows that their stupidity lies in not realizing that the East and the West both belong to Allah Himself, and that He guides whomsoever He likes on the straight path. The verse, thus, explains the meaning of adopting an orientation – that is to say, neither does the Ka’bah کعبہ nor the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس by itself possess any exclusive merit in this regard, and it is the divine commandment alone which gives to it the distinction of being the Qiblah قبلہ – it could have as easily chosen some other place to serve the purpose. Moreover, the only merit in adopting a particular Qiblah lies in one’s obedience to the divine commandment and in one’s total submission to the will of Allah, which is the basic principle of the religion of the founder of the Ka’bah کعبہ ، Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) . In fact, the Holy Qur’an itself explains this truth in clear terms:

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ‌ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِ‌قِ وَالْمَغْرِ‌بِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ‌ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ

“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces to the East or the West; but righteousness is that one believes in Allah” (2:177).

Or in an earlier Verse: أَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّـهِ : “So whichever way you turn, there is the Face of Allah.” (2:115) These verses clearly define the meaning and significance of adopting an orientation – that is, the place which has been chosen to serve as the Qiblah قبلہ does not possess any merit in its own right, but the special merit arises from its having been chosen by Allah, and similarly turning towards it constitutes a meritorious act only insofar as it shows a readiness to obey divine commandment. The raison d’etre of changing the Qiblah قبلہ for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) might well be to show to the people in a visible form that a Qiblah is not an idol to be worshipped but only a concrete expression of divine commandment, and may hence be changed as and when Allah wills. In fact, the very next verse (2:143) explicitly says that when the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس was earlier appointed as the Qiblah, it was intended to show who was willing to obey the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and who was not.

Verse 142, thus, fully refutes the antagonists of Islam, and points out that Allah guides whosoever He wills on the Straight Path – the Straight Path, of course, being the readiness to obey divine commandment without demur. And this Straight Path was granted to the Muslims by the grace of Allah. There is also the suggestion that in the matter of the injunctions of the Shari` ah rectitude lies in obeying each and every divine commandment unquestioningly without being too curious about the raison d’etre of such a commandment. For, those who seek a raison d’etre usually do so because they wish to deny or denigrate or disobey the Shari’ah.

According to a With reported from Sayyidah ` A’isha (رض) in the “Musnad” of Imam Ahmad, the People of the Book are specially jealous of the Muslims for three things – (1) in answer to the divine commandment to every Ummah (or religious community) to set aside a day in the week for worship, the Jews chose Saturday and the Chris¬tians, Sunday, while the Muslims opted for Friday which happened to be the favourite of Allah; (2) the Ka’bah was appointed as the Qiblah for the Muslims, and not for others; (3) the Muslims were given the privilege of saying Amin while offering Salah behind an ‘Imam.

وَكَذٰلِكَ جَعَلْنٰكُمْ اُمَّةً وَّسَطًا لِّتَكُوْنُوْا شُهَدَاۗءَ عَلَي النَّاسِ وَيَكُـوْنَ الرَّسُوْلُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيْدًا ۭ

The verse qualifies the Islamic nation (Ummah) with the objective Wasat which signifies “moderate, middle or central”, and is usually applied to a thing considered to be the best of its kind. According to a hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi from the blessed Companion Abu Said al-Khudri (رض) ، the word Wasat وَسَطً is to be interpreted as “just” – in the sense of being “the best” (Qurtubi). The verse points out that just as Allah has granted to the Muslims a Qiblah قبلہ which is superior to all other orientations, in the same way He has bestowed upon the Islamic Ummah the unparalleled distinction of being moderate, balanced and just – in short, the honour of occupying the central position among all the Ummahs or Traditional communities. This distinction will manifest itself in its full resplendence on the Day of Judgment.

Those among the earlier Ummahs who had been denying their prophets would, on that day, pretend that they had never received a book from Allah nor had any prophet given them any kind of guidance. The Islamic Ummah would, then, be called upon to bear witness, and it would, testify that prophets had been coming from Allah in every age, and providing guidance to each and every people. The earlier Ummahs would raise the objection that since the Islamic Ummah did not exist at that time and could not possibly know what had been happening before it came into being, its testimony against the earlier peoples could not be valid. In reply to this, the Islamic Ummah would maintain that even if it was not an eyewitness to the events of the past, yet it had received an authentic report from the most reliable source of information that can possibly be – that is, from the Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and from the Last Book of Allah. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself would be called in as a witness, and he would confirm the testimony of his Ummah. (For details, see the various Ahadith reported in the collections of al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa’i and Imam Ahmad).

The most moderate of all people

According to the present verse, the characteristic quality which confers a superiority on the Islamic Ummah over others is its being Wasat وَسَطً – (a word which has been variously translated into English as “midmost, moderate, just, intermediary, middle, central or justly balanced.” ) In order to explain the implications of the word Wasat وَسَطً , commentators have usually made use of another Arabic adjective معتدل Mu’tadil (signifying “moderate or temperate” ) and the noun I` tidal اعتدال which means “being equal”; both the words come from the root Adl عدل which signifies “to be equal, or to make equal”.41

  1. So, for the purpose of the present discussion we shall choose the English word “moderation” in order to explain certain essential features of the Islamic Ummah.

In this regard one would like to know why the superiority of a human group or individual should be made to depend on the quality of moderation. Let us begin this discussion with a quite tangible fact. All the medical systems, old or new, are unanimous in accepting the principle that the health of the human body depends on the temperateness of the different elements of which it is composed, and that illness or disease comes from a disturbance of this equilibrium. According to the ancient Greek medicine, which was further developed by the Muslims, these elements or “humours” are four in number – blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, and the humours produce four physical states in the body – heat, cold, wetness and dryness. As long as the four states are properly balanced against one another, the human body enjoys good health; but as soon as there is an immoderate increase or decrease in any one of them, the body becomes diseased, and if the balance is not properly restored in time, it may succumb to the forces of death. Similarly, in the ethical and spiritual sphere too health depends on temperateness and inner equilibrium, and illness arises out of intemperance and disequilibrium, which, if allowed to grow, results in spiritual death. At the same time, anyone who has eyes to see would readily discover for himself that the essence of manhood which places man at the head of all created beings, does not lie in the physical states of his body – that he, in fact, shares with all the animals – but in something higher and subtler: namely, spiritual perfection. As the great Sufi poet Rumi رومی has said: “Manhood does not reside in the flesh, or in the fat or in the skin; manhood is nothing else than seeking to please the Friend.” As to those who ignore this essential attribute of man and allow it to be destroyed in themselves, Rumi رومی says: “These people you see all around are non-human; they are not men, but only wear the masks of man.”

The Universal Man

This being so, we are naturally led to the conclusion that he alone can deserve the title of Al-Insan al-Kamil الانسان الکامل (“the Universal Man” ) who has attained ethical and spiritual equilibrium along with physical equilibrium. This quality has specially been granted to all the prophets (عليهم السلام) ، and, in its most perfect form, to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who is thus “the Universal Man” par excellence. As for humanity in general, Allah has, on the other hand, created a stable and complex system of medicines, instruments and physicians for the physical well-being of man; similarly, He has, on the other hand, sent His prophets who bring divine guidance for man, and who are provided with a certain amount of requisite physical force too, so that they may promulgate this law of equilibrium and moderation in the world. The Holy Qur’an defines the purpose of sending prophets and messengers of Allah to men, and of giving them Divine Books:

لَقَدْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا رُ‌سُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ

“Indeed, We have sent Our messengers with the clear signs, and We have sent down with them the Book and the Balance, so that men might uphold justice. And We have sent own iron in which there is great might and many uses for men.” (57:25)

Let us add by way of explanation that “the Book” is meant for producing inner equilibrium and temperateness in men, and “the Balance” for producing equilibrium in their social conduct and economic transactions – the “Balance” may also stand for the Shari’ah of every prophet which helps us to define what “equilibrium” really is in its various applications in the different spheres of human life, and which serves to establish justice in the world.

Now, let us recall that the verse under discussion characterizes the Islamic Ummah with the word Wasat وَسَطً (“moderate, middle, central” ). Our discussion must have made it clear that this simple word comprehends all the qualities which it is possible for an individual or a community of men to possess in this world. Through such a characterization of the Islamic Ummah, the Holy Qur’an has thus indicated that this Ummah possesses the essential quality of manhood to a degree of perfection that no other Ummah does, and that it is superior to all others in serving the purpose for which the whole cosmic order has been created, and for which all the prophets and divine books have been sent.

The Universal Community

Certain other verses of the Holy Qur’an define this essential quality of the Islamic Ummah in more specific terms. For example: وَمِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ : Among those We have created there is an Ummah which guides by the truth, and by it dispenses justice.” (7:181) That is to say, the Islamic Ummah displays its spiritual equilibrium in giving up the pursuit of individual desires and interests in order to follow divine guidance and try to make others to do the same, and in settling all kinds of disputes in the light of divine law without being influenced by the vested interests of a person or a group. Another verse is still more specific:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ‌ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِ‌جَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُ‌ونَ بِالْمَعْرُ‌وفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ‌ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ

“You are the best Ummah that has been brought forth for men, bidding to good deeds and forbidding evil deeds and believing in Allah.” (3:110)

It is the best Ummah, for it has been granted a unique Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who taught us to respect all other prophets (عليهم السلام) ، and a Book which is the most comprehensive and the most perfect of all the Divine Books, and has in itself been endowed with the quality of temperateness, moderation and equilibrium to a degree as no other Ummah does enjoy; it has been destined to be the recipient of the most subtle modes of knowledge, to outshine others in all the forms of faith and practice, and, above all, in the fear of Allah – its field of action not limited to any one country or race but extending all over the world, and infusing all the spheres of human existence. The phrase أُخْرِ‌جَتْ لِلنَّاسِ “raised for mankind.” (3:110) indicates that the very purpose for which it has been brought into being is to work for the good of men, and to help them find the way to salvation and to Paradise, its function and, so to say, its very insignia as an Ummah being to guide people towards good deeds and to dissuade them from evil deeds. This role of the Islamic Ummah has been formulated very succinctly in a hadith: اَلدینُ نصیحۃ “Religion consists in having the good of others at heart” – particularly of other Muslims. Let us add that the good deeds towards which this Ummah is meant to guide others are those which have been defined as such by the Shari’ah, while the evil deeds from which it is to dissuade them include infidelity (Kufr کفر ), association (Shirk شرک ), innovations in religion (Bid’ah بِدعہ ), sins of different kinds, illegitimate customs, transgression of divine commandments, immoral or indecent actions, etc. As to dissuading people from evil deeds, this too may take various forms – it may require the use sometimes of the tongue, sometimes of the hand, sometimes of the pen and sometimes of the sword – in fact, it would include all the forms of Jihad. As far as the extensive and intensive display of this particular quality is concerned, no other Ummah can compare with the Islamic Ummah.

Moderateness: A Comparative View

Let us now consider how far the temperateness or the moderation of this Ummah is borne out by actual facts. Since it is not possible here to make a detailed comparative study of the respective beliefs and practices of all the Ummahs, we shall give only a few examples which would, we hope, satisfactorily establish the superiority of this Ummah over others.

First of all, let us take up the doctrinal aspect. In the case of the earlier Ummahs one would observe that on the one hand they took their prophets to be the sons of Allah and started worshipping them – وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ‌ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَ‌ى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ “The Jews said, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah’, and the Christians said, ‘Christ is the son of Allah’.” (9:30) -, and that on the other hand some people from among them, in spite of having recognized and acknowledged their prophet on the basis of his oft-repeated miracles, refused to obey him when he asked them to take part in a holy war, and bluntly said: اذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَ‌بُّكَ فَقَاتِلَا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ “Go forth, you and your Lord, and fight; we will be sitting here.” (5:24) We sometimes see even the spectacle of prophets being tortured by their own followers. On the contrary, we have the Islamic Ummah which has such a deep love for the Holy Prophet g that Muslims have, in every period of their history, taken it to be the greatest blessing to be able to sacrifice their own lives and even the lives of their wives and children at his call, and yet it has never exceeded the limit, and has placed the Holy Prophet only in the station of a prophet and not in the station of Allah. In spite of knowing him to be the most perfect of all the prophets (عليهم السلام) ، it has been calling him: “the servant of Allah, and His messenger.” The doctrinal position with regard to him, as defined in the famous Arabic poem “Qasidah al-Burdah قصیدہ البردہ “, is that, short of attributing “the sonhood of Allah” to him (which the Christians do in the case of Christ, and which constitutes an act of infidelity), anything that one says in his praise would be correct; or, in the words of a Persian poet, addressing the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) :

بعد از خدا (اللہ تعالیٰ ) بزرگ تؤی قصہ مختصر

“In short, after God, you are the greatest.”

When we turn from the doctrinal aspect to a consideration of the actual attitudes and practices in the matter of worship and rites, we again find similar excesses and aberrations on the part of earlier Ummahs. On the-one hand, we see their religious scholars misinterpreting or changing the injunctions of their Shari’ah and even distorting the Sacred Books for a few pieces of silver, and inventing all kinds of ruses to get rid of divinely ordained rites; on the other hand, we find people giving up the world altogether, imprisoning themselves in monastic cells, refusing to accept their share in the blessings of the physical world which Allah has not only granted to man but the enjoyment of which also He has permitted, and, in short, believing that imposing hardships on oneself carries the highest merit and is in itself an act of worship par excellence.

The history of Islamic Ummah, on the contrary, presents a totally different picture. On the one hand, it has never adopted monasticism as the supreme form of religious life – in fact, Islam forbids such an attitude. On the other hand, through its readiness to sacrifice property and life, even children and all for the sake of the commandments of Allah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، the Ummah established its sway even politically over a considerable area of the world. It has demonstrated in its practice as no other Ummah has that religion is meant to be put into action in the market- places and the halls of power as much as in the mosques and the contemplative retreats. It is the Islamic Umniah which has shown the world how the poor in spirit can move about in the robes of kings, and the kings in spirit conceal themselves in the garb of beggars – all because the king as well as the beggar knows that the greatest dignity lies in being the servant of Allah.

In the sphere of human and social relations too, the earlier Ummahs have in their behaviour been guilty of excess in one way or another. On the one hand, we see an indifference to human rights and particularly an utter disregard of the rights of women, and, in general, a pursuit of individual interests and desires irrespective of the question of right and wrong. On the other hand, we have the display of an exaggerated sentimentality which forbids the eating of animal flesh, in spite of Allah having made it lawful, and which frowns upon the killing of an insect even accidentally. It was the Islamic Ummah and its Shari’ah which established an equilibrium and a just order in the field of human relations. On the other hand, it set down a clear code of human rights, extended them to women as well, and prescribed that not only in times of peace but on the battle-field itself the enemies too must enjoy certain inalienable rights. On the other hand, it clearly demarcated every right and every duty, and put down every act of falling back from the prescribed mark or exceeding it as a crime. The Islamic Shari’ah also taught that one should try to fulfill all of one’s obligations towards others, but if one saw one’s own rights suffer, one should exercise patience and forgiveness.

In the economic sphere too, the other Ummahs have been a prey to excesses of different kinds. For example, in our own age we have, on the one hand, the Capitalist system which pays no heed to the distinction between the lawful and the unlawful, and is totally blind to the welfare of the people, but exalts the amassing of wealth as the highest virtue; on the other hand are certain economic systems which have no respect for personal property. In actual fact, the essence of these two hostile systems is the same – the pursuit of worldly things as the be-all and the end-all of human life. Contrary to this, the Islamic Shari’ah brings the conflicting elements into an equilibrium, giving to each its proper place. On the one hand, it does not allow the amassing of wealth to be made the ultimate end of man’s effort, nor does it make human dignity depend on the considerations of money or rank or office. On the other hand, it promulgates certain principles for the distribution of wealth in a balanced manner so that no member of a society should be deprived of the basic necessities of life, nor should an individual or a group appropriate all the available wealth. The things which can be shared in common by all the members of a society have been entrusted to public or joint control, while in certain specific things the right to private property has been fully respected. It made a clear-cut distinction between lawful (Halal حلال ) possessions and unlawful (Haram حرام ) possessions, insisting on the spiritual merit of lawful possessions and laying down the rules for making use of them.

Injunctions and related considerations

(1) According to the present verse, Allah has made the Islamic Ummah an equitable and just, and hence a trustworthy community, “so that” it may be qualified to bear witness. From this we infer the legal principle that one who is not ` Adil عادل (trustworthy – as defined by the Shari’ah) cannot be acceptable as a witness in a court of law.

(2) According to al-Qurtubi, this verse establishes Ijma`: (اجمع), or the consensus of the Islamic Ummah, as one of the four deciding agencies in the matter of legislation. For, the very fact that Allah Himself has accepted this Ummah as a trustworthy witness as against the other traditional communities, shows that the consensus of this Ummah is a deciding factor in legislative matter, and that it is necessary (Wajib) to act upon it. Thus, the consensus of the blessed Companions has to be accepted by their successors, and that of the latter by the next generation.

According to Al-Tafsir al-Mazhari, this verse establishes the principle that the deeds and actions of this Ummah which have been approved by a consensus are all of them commendable, for, if one were to admit the possibility of a consensus on an error, the Ummah cannot be characterized as being moderate and just.

Imam al-Jassas adds that the dependability of the consensus is not particular to the time of the Holy Prophet or of the blessed Companions, but that the consensus of the Muslims in any age whatsoever is equally trustworthy, for this verse is addressed to the whole Ummah which includes not only the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) but also the succeeding generations of Muslims upto the Day of Judgment. Thus, the Muslims living in any age whatsoever qualify as the witnesses of Allah whose agreement on a certain point becomes a deciding factor in matters of legislation, and who cannot arrive at a consensus on anything which should constitute an error or a deviation.42

  1. Let us not, however, forget that consensus or Ijma’ in this context does not at all imply a sort of referendum on the basis of adult franchise, but means the agreement of a majority of such scholars as fulfil the necessary conditions for pronouncing a judgment in the matters of the Shari’ah – that is to say, those who possess the authority to exercise Ijtihad. It goes without saying that once a consensus of this kind has been arrived at in any matter, the majority of the Ummah accepts it, and holds by it.

The History of the Qiblah قبلہ

There is some difference of opinion among the blessed Companions and their Successors as to whether it was the Baytullah بیت اللہ at Makkah or the “Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ” at Jerusalem which was appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ ، when the five daily prayers were made obligatory in Makkah al-Mukarramah مکہ المکرمہ before the Hijrah ھجرہ (the migration of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) from Makkah to Madinah). According to the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، the first Qiblah قبلہ was the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ، and continued to be so even after the Hijrah for some sixteen or seventeen months, and it was only then that Allah commanded that the Baytullah بیت اللہ be taken as the Qiblah قبلہ .

However, the practice of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) at Makkah was that he used to offer his prayers between al-Hajar al-Aswad الھجر الاسود (“the Black Stone” ) and al-Rukn al-Yamaniy رکن یمانی (“the corner facing Yemen” ) so that his face should be turned towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ and the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس both at the same time. But this was no longer possible when he migrated to Madinah, and hence his keen desire that the Baytullah بیت اللہ be appointed as the new Qiblah. (Ibn xathir) But other Companions (رض) are of the view that when the five daily prayers were made obligatory at Makkah, it was the Baytullah بیت اللہ which served as the Qiblah قبلہ for the Muslims as it had for Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (عليهما السلام) . As long as the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) stayed at Makkah, he continued to observe this Qiblah قبلہ . But after the Hijrah, Allah ordained a change in the orientation, and the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس was appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ ، which it continued to be for sixteen or seventeen months. Then came a new commandment, and the Baytullah بیت اللہ was restored as the Qiblah قبلہ .

Al-Qurtubi, relying on the authority of Abu ` Amr, prefers the second view to the first. The raison d’etre of these changes of orientation has been explained like this. When the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) came to Madinah, he had to deal with the Jews, and in order to familiarize them with Islam he adopted their Qiblah قبلہ under divine commandment. But, by and by it became evident that a stubborn people like the Jews would not easily give up their hostility to Islam. So, Allah allowed him to go back to the original Qiblah قبلہ ، which, being the Qiblah قبلہ of his forefathers, Sayyidna Ibrahim and Sayyidna Ismail (عليهما السلام) was naturally dearer to him. In fact, the mosque of Sayyidna Salih (عليه السلام) was oriented towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ ، as is shown by an incident reported by al-Qurtubi from Abu al-‘Aliyah al-Riyahi. The latter once had a debate with a Jew concerning the orientation adopted by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) (Moses)

The Jew insisted that the great prophet turned in his prayers towards the Sakhrah, The Dome of the Rock in the Sacred Mosque at Jerusalem, while Abu al-` Aliyah maintained that he stood near the Sakhrah صخرہ ، but his face was turned towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ . Finally, the latter suggested that the dispute could be decided by having a look at the mosque of Sayyidna Salih (عليه السلام) situated on a hill below the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس . And, on visiting the mosque, they found that it was oriented towards the Baytulla بیت اللہ .

Now, according to those who prefer the first of the two views, the raison d’etre was that it was necessary at Makkah to differentiate the Muslims from the idol-worshippers and to emphasize the distinction between the two, and hence the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس was appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims instead of the Baytullah بیت اللہ which was at that time the Qiblah قبلہ of the mushrikin مشرکین . Then, after the Hijrah ھجرہ ، there arose a new need at Madinah – that of highlighting the distinction between the Muslims and the Jews. So, the Qiblah قبلہ of the Jews was given up, and the Baytullah بیت اللہ was adopted as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims.

On account of the difference between these two views, the phrase the Qiblah قبلہ which you used to observe” has also been interpreted in two ways. On the basis of the first view, “the Qiblah قبلہ ” referred to in the present verse can only be the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس which was the first and earlier Qiblah قبلہ ; on the basis of the second, it can also be the Ka’bah کعبہ which was the earliest and the first Qiblah قبلہ . Anyhow, the real import of the verse remains the same in either case – the commandment with regard to the change in orientation is a test of the faith of those who claim to be the followers of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، which would openly demonstrate the distinction between those who are genuinely obedient to Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and those who follow their individual opinion. History records that after this verse had been revealed, those who were weak in their faith, or were just hypocrites, forsook Islam, and even accused the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) of having gone back to the ways of his own people – that is, of the mushrikin مشرکین .

Injunctions and related considerations

(1) The present verse shows that sometimes an injunction based on the Sunnah, or the Tradition of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is abrogated by the Holy Qur’an. As Imam al-Jassas points out in his “Ahkam al-Qur’an”, the Noble Qur’an does not specify that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was ever commanded, before the Hijrah ھجرہ or after, to turn in his prayers towards the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس : we find the relevant evidence only in the Hadith and the Sunnah. It comes to mean that a practice which had been established by the Sunnah was abrogated by this verse of the Holy Qur’an, appointing the Baytullah بیت اللہ as the Qiblah قبلہ .

(2) This verse also goes to show that the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah too, in a certain respect, cannot be delinked from the Holy Qur’an, and that the Holy Qur’an recognizes the legitimacy of those injunctions which find no mention in the Holy Qur’an but have been instituted by the Hadith alone. For, the present verse clearly states at the end that prayers which had been offered, taking the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as the Qiblah قبلہ ، as commanded by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، are altogether valid and acceptable to Allah.

(3) This verse helps us to resolve a delicate problem in Islamic jurisprudence pertaining to the “Khabar al-Wahid” (which is a Hadith reported by one or two persons only). The question which arises in this respect is whether an injunction laid down in the Holy Qur’an, or definitely authenticated otherwise, can be abrogated by such a hadith. The Hanafi School of jurisprudence holds that it cannot, while the reports concerning this verse suggest that it can do so, if strong indications are present to establish the authenticity of such a hadith. For, al-Bukhari, Muslim and nearly all the authentic collections of the Ahadith report the following circumstances from several Companions (رض) اجمعین . When the divine commandment changing the Qiblah came down, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) offered his prayers at the time of ` Asr عصر (or, according to other reports cited by Ibn Kathir, at the time of zuhr ظھر ) facing the Baytullah بیت اللہ . Some Companions, departing from the mosque, happened to pass by the mosque of the Bani Salamah tribe, and found these people offering their prayers in the direction of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس . So, they called out to inform them that the Qiblah قبلہ had now been changed, and that they had just offered their prayers along with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in the direction of the Baytullah بیت اللہ . On hearing this, those people at once changed their orientation to Baytullah بیت اللہ even in the course of the prayers. Nuwaylah Bint Muslim relates that women who were in the back row came forward, so that when the orientation had been changed, men were again in the front row and women in the back row. (Ibn Katnir) Thus the Banu Salmah tribe adopted the new Qiblah قبلہ the very same day. But the news reached Quba قبا the next day in the course of the Fajr فجر prayers – as reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim from the blessed Companion Ibn ` Umar (رض) ، and the people of Quba قبا too turned towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ in the course of the prayers. (Ibn Kathir and Jassas)

After citing these reports, Imam al-Jassas concludes:

ھذا خبر صحیح مستفیض في أیدي أھل العلم قد تلقوہ بالقبول فصار في حیز تواتر الموجب للعلم.

“Although this hadith is essentially a solitary report, (that is, Al-Khabar al-Wahid), yet, having been generally accepted and also being supported by strong indication with regard to its authenticity, it has acquired the status of a hadith that has been related by a number of trustworthy reporters in an uninterrupted succession — a fact which always leads to certitude”.

The Hanafi jurists agree with this conclusion. They must, however, face another question. This hadith acquired general acceptance only much later, while the news of the change in the orientation must have been conveyed to the Banu Salamah tribe and this hadith immediately without its being widely known? Al-Jassas replies that not only these people but all the Companions already knew that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) wished the Baytullah بیت اللہ to be appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ and had even been praying for it, and had begun to consider it quite probable that the injunction to retain Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as the Qiblah قبلہ may not remain operative in the future. In other words, the probability of a change had made the continuation of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as the Qiblah قبلہ a bit uncertain, and not definite. In view of this element of uncertainty, the Khabar al-Wahid was considered to be quite sufficient for abrogating the earlier commandment. Otherwise, a Khabar al-Wahid cannot justifiably abrogate a definite and final injunction laid down by the Holy Qur’an.

(4) The present verse helps to resolve an important problem which has been the subject of a controversy: if the ‘Imam uses a microphone in leading Salah, would it be legitimate for the congregation to obey his call in their movements? If they can hear no more than the sound coming out of the loud-speaker, would it not invalidate their prayers?

As we have already noted, Al-Bukhari reports a hadith from the blessed Companion ` Abdullah ibn ` Umar (رض) ، relating how the people of Quba قبا turned towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ even in the course of their prayers as soon as they heard the commandment about the change in orienta¬tion. Commenting on this incident, the great Hanafi scholar al-` Ayni says: فیہ جواز تعلیم من لیس فی الصلوۃ من ھو فیھا :”This hadith establishes the rule that a man who is not offering his prayers may teach or instruct the man who is engaged in his prayers.” In another place, al-` Ayni also adds that from this hadith, al-Tahtawi has derived the rule that if a man engaged in his prayers hears the words spoken by one who is not so engaged, it does not invalidate his prayers (‘Umdah al-Qari).

Of course, the Hanafi jurists in general hold that if a man engaged in his prayers obeys the call of another man who is not participating in these prayers, it invalidates his prayers. What they, however, mean is that obeying someone other than Allah in the course of Salah invalidates it, but if one is actually obeying a divine commandment and the other man is acting only as a means of communicating this injunction to him, it does not invalidate the prayers at all. An example would make the point clear. If a man, joining the congregational prayers, finds that there is no room left in the first row, and that he would be the only one to stand in the second, he should, according to the jurists, pull someone back from the first row and make him join the second row along with himself.

Now, on the face of it, the man who allows himself to be pulled back is obeying someone other than Allah in the course of the prayers, and this should invalidate his prayers. But, in fact, it is not so. The most authoritative book of Hanafi jurisprudence, “Al-Durr al-Mukhtar الدُر المختار “, lays down the rule that the prayers of this man are perfectly valid. As to why his prayers would not be invalidated, A1-Tahtawi (رح) explains that this man has not actually been obeying the new-comer, but following a divine commandment conveyed to him by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Let us add that there are two different ways in which a man engaged in his prayers may obey the call of another man who is not participating with him in these prayers. (a) He may wish to please this man and to obey him, In such a case, the prayers would become invalid. (b) He obeys a commandment of the Shari’ah, conveyed to him by the other man. In this case, he is essentially obeying a divine commandment, and hence his prayers would not become invalid. (Tahtawi)

This discussion should make it easy to resolve the problem about the use of a microphone by an ‘Imam in leading the congregational prayers. Technical experts hold that the sound coming out of a loudspeaker is exactly the sound produced by the ‘Imam امام . If it is so, there is no question of the prayers being invalid. But if we suppose that the sound transmitted by a microphone is not exactly the sound produced by the ‘Imam امام ، but only an imitation of the sound, or a report of what he has been saying, even then it would be improper to suspect that the people offering their prayers have been obeying the command of the microphone. For, it is obvious enough that they have been obeying the commandment of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to follow the movements of the ‘Imam امام۔ the microphone does no more than inform them that the ‘Imam امام has, for example, bowed himself down or prostrated himself, and in accepting this information and following his movements, they obey the ‘Imam امام and not the instrument. And it is, of course, a divine commandment which requires us to obey the ‘Imam امام in the congregational prayers.

(5) There is a phrase in the present verse which requires some explanation: “And Allah is not to let your faith go waste.” If we take ‘Imam (faith) in its usual sense, the phrase would be interpreted like this. When the Qiblah قبلہ was changed, some stupid people thought that the Muslims had forsaken Islam, and that their ‘Imam امام had now become null and void. The verse assures the Muslims that Allah would not allow their ‘Imam امام to go waste, and asks them not to fall prey to such senseless conjectures.

On the other, on the basis of certain Ahadith, some early commentators have interpreted the word ‘Imam امام in the verse to mean the Salah. According to this interpretation, Allah assures the Muslims that the commandment changing the Qiblah قبلہ would in no way affect the validity of the prayers they have been offering so far in the direction of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس – Allah would not allow these prayers to go waste, for they are valid, and have already been accepted.

Al-Bukliari has reported from the Companion al-Bara’ ‘Ibn ` Azib, and al-Tirmidhi from the Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) that when the Baytullah بیت اللہ was appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ ، people became worried about the fate of those Muslims who had been praying in the direction of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ، but had died before having the opportunity to pray in the direction of the Baytullah بیت اللہ .

قَدْ نَرٰى تَـقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاۗءِ ۚ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضٰىھَا ۠فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۭوَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوْا وُجُوْھَكُمْ شَطْرَهٗ

The orientation to Qiblah قبلہ

This verse begins by speaking of how deeply the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ،; wished that the Ka’bah کعبہ be appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims. This inclination has been explained in different ways, but there is no real contradiction involved in these different views. For example, it has been said that before prophethood was conferred on him, he used to follow, out of the impulsion of his own nature, the way of Sayyidna Ibrahim (رض) (Araham) , and that when he began to receive the Revelation, the Holy Qur’an itself designated his Shari’ah as being in total accord with the Abrahamic Way. Moreover, the Qiblah قبلہ of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) as well as that of Sayyidna Ismail (عليه السلام) ، had been the Ka’bah کعبہ . So, it was quite in the nature of things for him to wish that the Ka’bah کعبہ be appointed as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims.

An additional factor was that the Arab tribes, in spite of being associators, at least claimed to be the followers of the Abrahamic Way, and acknowledged the Ka’bah کعبہ as their Qiblah قبلہ in contradiction to the Jews. Once the Ka’bah کعبہ had been made the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims, the Arabs could be expected to find Islam more acceptable. As. for the hope that the adoption of the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as the Qiblah قبلہ would bring the Jews closer to Islam, it had been dashed by the events of the last sixteen or seventeen months, for the hostility of the Jews to Islam, fed by their vanity, had only been growing more intense.

Whatever be the motive, the Holy Prophet was very keen to see the Ka’bah appointed as the Qiblah. Now, prophets are as close to Allah as man can ever be, and this exalted station teaches them to observe a very strict spiritual etiquette – they never submit a request before Allah until and unless they have received the permission to do so. This principle leads us to believe that the Holy Prophet had already been allowed to pray for his wish to be fulfilled, and that he hoped his prayer would be granted. So, he used to turn his face again and again to the sky, anxiously waiting for an angel to appear and bring the injunction he had been wishing for.

In the present verse, Allah describes this state of the Holy Prophet in an appreciative manner, and promises to assign him a Qiblah that he would like. Immediately after the promise, there follows the commandment: فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ‌ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَ‌امِ : .Now turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque.” Here we find a manifestation of the subtle workings of divine grace – the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was, to begin with, granted the joy of hearing a promise made, and, immediately after, the greater joy of seeing the promise fulfilled. (Qurtubi, Jassas and Mazhari)

Injunctions and related considerations

As we have explained earlier, Allah is not confined to any direction or dimension و لِلَّـهِ الْمَشْرِ‌قُ وَالْمَغْرِ‌بُ : “And the East and the West both belong to Allah.” (2:115) But in order to institute a communal unity among the Muslims scattered all over the world, Divine Wisdom thought fit to assign them a particular and definite orientation which could serve as a visible symbol of that unity. Now, this orientation could have as easily been provided by the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس . But the Ka’bah کعبہ was finally chosen as the Qiblah قبلہ in accordance with the wish of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and the injunction was announced in the present verse. The situation required that the Holy Qur’an should use the phrase: ‘Turn your face toward the Ka’bah کعبہ ، or toward the Baytullah بیت اللہ .’ But we actually find the Holy Qur’an saying: “Turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid al-Haram المسجد الحرام .” This particular mode of expression helps to clarify several important questions with regard to the Qiblah قبلہ .

Although, the Qiblah قبلہ ، to be precise, is the Baytullah بیت اللہ ، which is known as the Ka’bah کعبہ ، yet it is obvious that one can turn exactly towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ only so long as one can see it with one’s own eyes, and that for those who live at some distance and cannot see it directly, it would be too rigorous an obligation to fulfill, if they were required to turn exactly towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ – in the case of distant towns, an exact orientation would be difficult and uncertain even with the help of the instruments and calculations. But the Islamic Shari’ah always aims at making things easy for people. So, the Holy Qur’an has designated as the Qiblah قبلہ ، not the Baytullah بیت اللہ or the Ka’bah کعبہ ، but Ali-Masjid al-Haram المسجد الحرام which covers a much wider area, and in the direction of which it is easy to turn even for those who live in far off places.

Then, a greater facility has been provided by the use of the word Shatr شطر . This Arabic word signifies “the half of a thing”, or the direction in which a thing lies.” According to the consensus of the commentators, here the word has been used in the second sense. So, the word itself points to the rule that in the case of places which are far from Makkah it is not even necessary for the prayers to be valid that one should turn exactly towards Al-Masjid al-Harm المسجد الحرام۔ for, it is quite sufficient to turn only “in the direction” of the Sacred Mosque, as the Holy Qur’an itself.has indicated. (Al-Bahr al-Muhit)

Let us give an example to make the rule as clear as possible. For countries which lie to the East of Makkah (e.g. Pakistan or India), the direction of Al-Masjid al-Haram المسجد الحرام means the West. So, if one turns towards the West, one’s prayers would be valid enough. Since the point at which the sun sets in the summer is different from that where it sets in the winter, the Fuqaha’ (the Muslim jurists) have decided that for the purposes of Salah in such countries, the West (the direction of the Qiblah قبلہ in this case) lies in between these two points. In mathematical terminology it means that an area covering 48 degrees between these two points is to be taken as being the direction of the Qiblah قبلہ . That is to say, even if one inclines 24 degrees to the right or to the left of the point at which Al-Masjid al-Hamm al-Haram المسجد الحرام is situated, one would still be considered to be praying in the right direction, and one’s prayers would be quite valid. (For details, see “shark al-Chaghmini, ch. IV)

This discussion should be enough to expose the ignorance and muddle-headedness of those who, finding a slight deviation of two or three degrees in the orientation of some mosques in Pakistan and India, have pronounced the prayers offered in these mosques to be null and void. Such baseless opinions only betray the desire on their part to produce confusion and bickering among the Muslims. Let us not forget that the Islamic Shari’ah is meant for all men and for all the countries of the world, and will last till the Day of Judgment. Hence, the injunctions of the Shari’ah pertaining to all the spheres of human life have been made easy to practise, so that Muslims living in far flung hamlets, mountains, forests or islands may act upon them only on the basis of their own observation and experience, without needing the help of scientific instruments or mathematical calculations.

Thus, people living to the East of Makkah may take an area covering 48 degrees as their Qiblah قبلہ – a deviation of five or ten degrees would not affect the validity of their prayers in any way. This has been made quite clear by a hadith reported by al-Tirmidhi from the blessed Companion Abu Hurayrah (رض) which says: ما بین المشرق و المغرب قبلہ : “The Qiblah lies between the East and the West.” This hadith is actually addressed to the people of Madinah whose Qiblah قبلہ lies, to be precise, in the direction of the South somewhere between the East and the West, but, in effect, the hadith provides an explanation of the phrase “‘in the direction of Al-Masjid al-Haram” المسجد الحرام . This is the general principle; one should, however, make an effort to ensure, in laying down the foundation of a mosque, that the orientation towards the Baytullah بیت اللہ is as exact as possible.

The successors of the Blessed Companions and the generations following them had adopted a very simple method for determining the correct orientation: If there was a mosque built by the blessed Companions present in a town, the neighbouring mosques were given the same orientation, and these in their turn used to serve as the models for the mosques in the villages or towns in the region concerned, thus setting up a chain which went on prolonging itself. Consequently, the method of determining the Qiblah in places far off from Makkah has always been this: If an old mosque is present in the vicinity, the new mosques should conform to its orientation, for in so many towns it is the blessed Companions themselves or their successors who have built mosques and determined their orientation which has been followed by later generations.

To conclude, the mosques which have so far been built are quite sufficient for the purpose of determining the orientation, and it is not proper to raise unnecessary objections and doubts in this respect – the Shari’ah actually disapproves of such attempts at leading Muslims into perplexity. For, such a perplexity may sometimes have the consequence of making people suspect that in so far as the blessed Companions, their successors or the generality of Muslims have not been able to determine a mathematically correct orientation, their prayers have not been valid. Such a thought is not only false, but also betrays the insolence of the man who can harbour it. It is in view of this that Ibn Rajab, the famous Hanbali scholar of the 8th century A.H., disapproves of the use of astronomical instruments and complex mathematical calculations for the purpose of fixing the orientation. He writes:

وأما علم التسيير فإذا تعلم منه ما يحتاج إِلَيْهِ للاهتداء ومعرفة القبلة، والطرق كان جائزًا عند الجمهور. وما راد عليه فلا حاجة إِلَيْهِ وهو يشغل عما هو أهم منه، وربما أدى التدقيق فيه إِلَى إساءة الظن بمحاريب المسلمين في أمصارهم. كما وقع ذلك كثيرًا من أهل هذا العِلْم قديمًا وحديثًا، وذلك يفضي إِلَى اعتقاد خطأ الصحابة والتابعين في صلاتهم في كثير من الأمصار، وهو باطل. وقد أنكر الإمام أحمد الاستدلال بالجدي، وقال إِنَّمَا ورد “ما بين المشرق والمغرب قبلة” يعني: لم يرد اعتبار الجدي ونحوه من النجوم. مجموع رسائل ابن رجب (3/ 12)

“As for the science of astronomy, it is legitimate, according to the ` Ulama علما ‘ in general, to acquire it for its being helpful in de termining the Qiblah قبلہ or in finding one’s way in a journey or the directions of the roads. A greater knowledge than this is not at all necessary (according to the Shari’ah), for that may lead one to neglect more important things, and an indulgence in complex calculations may sometimes produce vile doubts about the mosques of Muslims in their towns – a weakness to which the amateurs of such sciences are all too prone. It may even lead one to believe that the prayers of the blessed Com¬panions and their successors in certain towns had been in-valid – a belief which is totally false. For this reason, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal has forbidden the Pole-Star to be taken into consideration for determining the orientation, on the ground that the hadith says no more than that the Qiblah قبلہ lies between the East and the West.”

As for deserted regions, forests or new settlements, etc. where no earlier mosques are to be found, the Shari` ah lays down this rule on the basis of the practice of the blessed Companions and their successors: in such places one should arrive at an approximate determination of the Qiblah قبلہ with the help of the Sun, the Moon and Pole-Star, these being the phenomena with which everyone is familiar enough; and if one still suspects some slight deviation, one should ignore it. For, according to al-Bada’i`, the authoritative work on Islamic jurisprudence, in places far off from Makkah, an approximately correct orientation, chosen on the basis of such general indications, stands for the Ka’bah کعبہ ، and all the injunctions pertaining to the Qiblah apply to the orientation selected in this manner. The Shari` ah provides many illustrations of the basic principle involved here. For example, sleep is taken to stand for the passing of wind, and invalidates the Wudu وضو (the prescribed ablution); or, a journey is taken to represent hardship, even when an actual journey does not involve it, and a man who is in the course of any kind of a journey is given all the concessions allowed by the Shari` ah to a traveler. The principle requires that an orientation determined on the basis of general and familiar indications should be accepted as the Qiblah قبلہ . The great scholar known as “Allama Bahr al-‘Ulum” lays down the rule thus in his ” Rasa’il al-Ark-an”:

والشروط وقوع المسامتۃ علی حسب ما یری المصلی ونحن غیرمامورین بالمسامتۃ علی ما یحکم بہ اللالات الرصدیۃ ولھذا افتوا ان الانحراف المفسدان یتجاوز المشارق و المغارب

The only condition necessary to be fulfilled in turning to-wards the Qiblah قبلہ is that the man offering his prayers should be duly convinced that his face is turned in the direction of the Ka’bah کعبہ . The Shari` ah does not compel us to adopt exactly the orientation which can be obtained only with the help of astro¬nomical instruments. So the ‘Ulama عُلما in general have come to the conclusion that a deviation invalidates the prayers only when the difference is as great as between the East and the West.”

Those interested in a detailed discussion of the subject may consult my book in Urdu, “Simt-e-Qiblah سمت القبلہ “.

وَلَىِٕنْ اَتَيْتَ الَّذِيْنَ اُوْتُوا الْكِتٰبَ بِكُلِّ اٰيَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُوْا قِبْلَتَكَ ۚ

In continuing the discussion on the subject of the Qiblah قبلہ ، or the divinely-ordained orientation, the present verse provides yet another instance of the maliciousness of the People of the Book اھل کتاب . It is not that they demand solid and convincing arguments in order to be able to accept the new injunction with regard to the Qiblah قبلہ : it is sheer stubbornness which does not allow them to give their assent, and no proof in the world, declares the Holy Qur’an, is ever going to satisfy them. In fact, their two groups display an equal malice even towards each other – the Jews have adopted the Baytul-Maqdis as their Qiblah قبلہ ، while the Christians have chosen the East, and each group rejects the Qiblah of the other. On the other hand, the Holy Prophet , cannot accept either of these two orientations, for the new Qiblah قبلہ of the Mus¬lims – the Baytullah بیت اللہ – has been instituted by a divine commandment, and is never going to be abrogated. So, there is no likelihood of an agreement between the People of the Book and the Muslims in this matter. The Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ، no doubt, had once been instituted by a divine commandment, but that commandment has now been abrogated.

Anyone who follows an abrogated injunction, and ignores the new in-junction which has replaced the earlier one, is actually disobeying Al¬lah, and acting upon his individual opinion and personal desire. Natu¬rally, it is impossible for the Holy Prophet g to follow the desires of the People of the Book. But, supposing for the sake of supposition, were he to do so even after having received a definite injunction through the Wahy وحی (Revelation), he would be counted among the unjust – that is, among those who disobey divine commandments. Such a situ¬ation, however, can never arise. Being a prophet, he is essentially sin-less, and as such cannot possibly be among the unjust. From this prin¬ciple it logically follows that it is impossible for him to favour the desires of the People of the Book, and to accept their Qiblah قبلہ as his own.

Let us make it quite clear that this warning is outwardly addressed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، but is, in fact, intended for his Ummah, which is being asked to realize fully the gravity of the sin of ignoring or disobeying the injunction which has finally established the Baytullah بیت اللہ as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims.

As for the phrase, وما انت بتبع : “You are not to follow their Qiblah قبلہ “, it is meant to declare that the Baytullah بیت اللہ shall now stay as the Qiblah قبلہ upto the end of the world. Thus, the declaration refutes the scoffing allegation of the People of the Book that there was no stability in the Islamic injunctions, and that the Muslims might again adopt the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as their Qiblah قبلہ . (Al-Bahr al-Muhit)

اَلَّذِيْنَ اٰتَيْنٰھُمُ الْكِتٰبَ يَعْرِفُوْنَهٗ كَمَا يَعْرِفُوْنَ اَبْنَاۗءَھُمْ

Verses 144 and 145 have told us how the People of the Book اھل الکتاب knew in their hearts that a divine commandment itself had instituted the Baytullah بیت اللہ as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims, and yet denied this fact in public. Now, the two present verses show that their conduct towards the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was equally dishonest and malicious.

The Torah and the Evangel had already foretold the coming of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and set down the signs and indications which should help the people to recognize him. On the basis of the irrefutable evidence provided by their own Sacred Books, the Jews and the Christians knew him to be the promised Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، but many of them refused to acknowledge him as such out of sheer obstinacy.

Let us add a word or two in order to explain the simile employed here by the Holy Qur’an – that of man recognizing his own son without any doubt or ambiguity. As everyone knows, in bringing two terms into comparison with each other, a simile does not involve in this analogy all the aspects of these two terms, but only those which should be relevant to the occasion. So, in considering the present simile one should not allow one’s imagination to roam far afield, and bring under discussion even those cases which happen to be illegitimate. For, the present simile intends to make a very simple and obvious point – since the son grows from infancy to manhood normally under the eyes of his parents, his face or general appearance is quite sufficient for his father to recognize him without any doubt or hesitation. The Jews and the Christians enjoyed the same kind of facility – or even certainty – in being able to recognize the Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . So, to persist in denying him was as dishonest as refusing to recognize one’s own son should normally be.

And it was just this kind of gross dishonesty that the People of the Book were indulging in. Some of them, while denying the truth themselves, even tried to keep it concealed from others, although they knew fully well that this particular truth (that is to say, the new injunction with regard to the Qiblah قبلہ) had been established by Revelation from Allah Himself.

The phrase, “The Truth is from your Lord”, can also be interpreted in a general sense as providing a definition of the nature of truth – namely, that alone is truth which comes from Allah. One who has understood this fact can never allow himself to be in doubt with regard to this particular truth or to any other which has been revealed to a prophet by Allah.

وَلِكُلٍّ وِّجْهَةٌ ھُوَ مُوَلِّيْهَا فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرٰتِ اَيْنَ مَا تَكُوْنُوْا يَاْتِ بِكُمُ اللّٰهُ جَمِيْعًا

The change of Qiblah

The question of religious orientation being of the highest significance for an Ummah (or a traditional community), these verses continue and enlarge upon the theme of the Qiblah, and lay down further raisons d’etre for the change.

It is, the commentators point out, an observable fact that every traditional community has had a religious orientation of its own, whether appointed by Allah or chosen by itself. This being so, why should anyone object, or wonder that Allah has appointed for the Islamic Ummah a Qiblah قبلہ peculiar to it? After all, it is a regular and distinct Tradition in its own right – in fact, the last of all Traditions, which makes it all the more necessary that it must have a distinct Qi¬blah. Anyhow, once the divine commandment has been promulgated, the Muslims need not worry about the objections or the ridicule of others, but should, above all, concern themselves with the performance of good deeds (as defined by Allah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). They should, indeed, give up fruitless controversies and strive to excel in good deeds, for they have to appear before Allah on the Day of Judgment when they will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds. The raison d’etre laid down in this verse requires that the Muslims should, whether staying at home or travelling, turn their faces in the direction of Al-Masjid al-Harm المسجد الحرام ، for that undoubtedly is the Qiblah قبلہ appointed for them by divine commandment. It is obligatory for them to obey this as well as any other commandment, bearing in mind that Allah is not unaware of what men do.

In repeating this commandment, Verse 150 adds a third raison d’etre. The Torah and the evangel had indicated that the promised Last Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) would have the Ka’bah کعبہ as his Qiblah المسجد الحرام . If the Muslims continued to pray with the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس as their Qiblah قبلہ ، the opponents of Islam would have found an argument to justify their denial of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . But the new commandment with regard to the Qiblah قبلہ takes away the ground from under their feet, and at least the just ones among them can no longer raise this kind of objection. Of course, the stubborn and malignant ones would still carp – they would start saying that it was the Baytul-Maqdis بیت المقدس ، and not the Ka’bah کعبہ ، which had been the Qiblah قبلہ of the earlier prophets, and that the adoption of the Ka’bah کعبہ constituted an infringement of the established prophetic tradition. But the Muslims need not worry about defending Islam against such baseless objections, for the only thing which can be harmful to them is not the hostility of men but the disobedience to or disregard of divine commandments. So, in Verse 150, Allah asks the Muslims to fear, not the enemies of Islam, but Him alone. This is the only way to remain true to the divine guidance they have received – namely, Islam. This steadfastness, too, is a blessing from Allah, and the blessing will appear in its perfect glory in the other world when the Muslims shall, as a reward for their faithfulness, be admitted to Paradise.

Let us note that in announcing the commandment with regard to the change in orientation, Verses 144-150 address the listeners three times in the singular number and twice in the plural. In a general way, one can say that this repetition is meant for emphasis. The commandment fixing a new Qiblah قبلہ not only provided an occasion for the glee of the opponents of Islam, but was also a very conspicuous and sudden change in the religious observances of the Muslims themselves, whose hearts would have remained perturbed without such an emphatic repetition. The reiteration also suggests that this is the final and definite decision with regard to the Qiblah قبلہ ، and that no further change can be expected in this matter.

Al-Qurtubi has, however, explained this mode of expression in such a way that the repetition becomes something more than mere emphasis, and each phrase, in being repeated, acquires a new implication. It goes without saying that the commandments in the singular number are addressed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself, and those in the plural to the blessed Companions and to the Muslims in general. Thus, the commandment in Verse 144 pertains to the situation of those who find themselves in Madinah or in their own home-town, whatever that might be, and is intended to make it clear that the injunction is not particular to the mosque of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) but applies to every town or village and to every quarter of a town. Verse 149 repeats the commandment with the addition of the phrase “from wheresoever you set out”, which shows that the injunction now refers to the state of a journey. Since a journey involves different situations – for example, unbroken travel for several days at a time, or a short or long stay somewhere in the course of the journey, Verse 150 repeats the injunction in order to cover all these situations.

Let us add that Verse 148 introduces the theme of orientation with the word Wijhatun, which lexically signifies “the thing one turns one’s face to”, and which has been interpreted by the blessed Companion Ibn ` Abbas (رض) as “Qiblah قبلہ ” or religious orientation. In fact, the word Qiblatun itself appears in the reading of the blessed Companion Ubayy ibn Ka’b (رض) ، which leaves no ambiguity in interpreting the phrases.43

  1. Before we leave the subject, let us remark that nowadays quite a good number of people, especially those with a Western formation, approach the Holy Qur’an as they do a book composed by a human author who pays due regard to what commonly passes as logic and sequential argument, and often do feel embarrassed or confused when they come across the close repetition of words and phrases in the Book of Allah, finding it impossible to explain or justify what is seemingly redundant. And it is not unlikely that this embarrassment may open the way to shame-faced misgivings and doubts even in the minds of those who wish to serve the cause of Islam in the modern world. What these men of good will tend to ignore is the elementary fact that the Word of Allah cannot be subservient to the rules of philosophical or literary composition, and that the reiteration of words and phrases, even of a sequence of sentences, is a regular mode of expression common to all the Sacred Books of the world. Moreover, the great orthodox (in the sense of unfailing adherence to the Qur’an and Sunnah) commentators of the Holy Qur’an have tried, each in his own way, to suggest the raisons d’etre of this device, and also to explain the possible implications of each particular instance of repetition. Some of the explanations pertaining to the verses we are concerned with here have been summarized by Maulana Muhammad Idris in his own commentary, from which we borrow the following resume:

(1) The first declaration is addressed to those who reside in Makkah, the second to those who live in the Arabian peninsula, and the third to all men . living anywhere in the world.

(2) The first is intended to cover all the situations and states, the second to cover all the places, and the third to cover all the periods of time.

(3) This passage of the Holy Qur’an lays down three raisons d’etre for the change in the religious orientation; hence, the commandment has been affirmed afresh along with each argument.

(4) This was the first occasion in the Islamic Shari` ah when a new commandment to abrogate an earlier one came. So, repetition was necessary to impress upon the minds of the people the multiple significance of the occasion and of the commandment.

(5) The abrogation of any commandment whatsoever is likely to give rise to all sorts of doubts, and to produce internal or external disorder. The naive cannot, anyhow, understand the why and how of an abrogation occurring in the case of a divine commandment. So, an emphatic reiteration becomes all the more essential.

Injunctions and related considerations

(1) Verse 145 has already indicated to the Muslims that although Allah has now appointed a new and permanent Qiblah قبلہ for the whole of mankind, yet the Jews and the Christians are not going to give up their respective orientations, nor shall the Muslims ever forsake their own. The People of the Book, anyhow, have no right to object to the Ka’bah being divinely chosen as the Qiblah قبلہ of the Muslims, for – as Verse 148 reminds us – every traditional community (Ummah) has always had a Qiblah قبلہ of its own, and so does the Islamic Ummah. Since the Muslims can be sure of their right to a Qiblah قبلہ peculiar to them, and the People of the Book are not expected to listen to reason, Allah asks the Muslims in this verse not to engage themselves in fruitless discussions and futile disputes, but to “strive, then, to excel in good deeds.” The Holy Qur’an discourages unnecessary discussions, for they make one neglect one’s real task, which is to prepare oneself for one’s death and for the other world. So, the verse ends with the rejoinder that on the Day of Judgment Allah shall bring all men together, and suggests that the desire to be safe from the criticism of others and the anxiety to win over them in disputes only betrays one’s attachment to the temporal world, and that wisdom lies in caring more for what is everlasting.

(2) The expression “strive to excel” also indicates that one should hasten to perform a good deed (whether it be Salah. (prayers) or Sawm صوم (fasting) or the Hajj (pilgrimage) or Zakah (giving of alms) etc.) as soon as one gets the opportunity to do so. For, the ability to do a good deed is a favour from Allah, and negligence in performing it amounts to ungratefulness and disrespect towards Allah. =Hence, it is to be feared that procrastination in this matter may be punished with a withdrawal of the divine favour, and that the culprit may altogether lose the ability to perform good deeds. May Allah protect us from such a fate! The point has been made quite explicit in another verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّـهِ وَلِلرَّ‌سُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْ‌ءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُ‌ونَ ﴿24﴾

“0 believers, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which will gave you life; and know that Allah does (sometimes) stand between a man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be mustered” (8:24).

(3) From this very expression – “strive, then, to excel in good deeds” – some of the fugaha-‘ (Muslim jurists) have drawn the conclusion that it is more meritorious to offer each of the five daily prayers as soon as the appointed time for it begins, or as early as possible, and have even cited the ahadith of the Holy Prophet in support of this view, which is shared by Imam Shafi` i (رح) . On the other hand, the great Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik رحمۃ اللہ علیہما specify that it is more meritorious to offer certain prayers a bit late, as has been indicated by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself through his speech or action, while the rest of the prayers should, of course, be offered as early as possible within the time prescribed. An example of the former is provided by Al-Bukhari who reports from the blessed Companion Anas (رض) the superior merit of offering the ` Isha عشاء prayers rather late in the night. The blessed Companion Abu Hurayrah (رض) also reports such a preference on the part of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself (Qurtubi).

Similarly, Al-Bukhari and Al-Tirmidhi report from the blessed Companion Abu Dharr that in the course of a journey once the blessed Companion Bilal (رض) wanted to recite Adhan اذان (call for prayers) as soon as the time for the zuhr ظھر prayers began, but the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) asked him to wait till it was a bit cooler, and remarked that the heat of the noon-day is a part of the fire of Hell. In other words, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) evidently preferred the zuhr ظھر prayers to be offered rather late in summer. On the basis of such ahadith, Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik رحمۃ اللہ علیہما have come to the conclusion that although in the case of those prayers regarding which we have not been asked to offer them a bit late (for example, the Maghrib مغرب prayers), it is better to do so as soon as the appointed time begins, yet in the case of those prayers regarding which a specific indication does exist one should offer them somewhat later within the time prescribed. They add that if one wishes to act upon the commandment, “strive, then, to excel in good deeds”, even in the latter case, then the only way to do so is not to delay the prayers when the desirable or commendable (Mustahabb مستحب ) time has arrived.

In short, Verse 148 has, according to a consensus of all the Fugaha’, established the principle that when the time for offering a prescribed prayer has arrived, one should not delay it without a valid excuse, which may either be a clear-cut specification in the Shari’ah (as we have just defined), or a physical disability, like illness, etc.

كَمَآ اَرْسَلْنَا فِيْكُمْ رَسُوْلًا مِّنْكُمْ يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْكُمْ اٰيٰتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيْكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

These verses conclude the discussion on t