Quran Selected Commentaries
Tafsir Surat-ul Baqara
Trans. by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili
© 1995-2016 Pearl Publishing House
In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, the Compassionate
VERSE 1 Alif, Lãm, Meem.These are three of the fourteen challenging mystical letters, revealed as keys of certain suras in the holy Quran, and for over fourteen hundred years, scholars and commentators alike have ceded that they cannot decipher them, attributing their meaning to a wisdom of divine nature. However, Muslims recite them as they were revealed.
VERSE 2 This is the book, there is no doubt in it, a guide to the pious.The word ‘Book’ here means the Quran, and Quran also means scripture detailing a covenant and a reminder Tathkira (15:9). This revelation is also a divine guidance, Hudã (72:13), and it is a gift for pious people. Such gift is bestowed particularly upon people who fear wrongdoing, and are ardent in their devotion and love for their Lord. Speaking to His messenger, God Almighty says: "You are not responsible for guiding them, Allah guides whomever He pleases" (2:272).
Piety means dutifulness to God Almighty, having a strict regard for what is morally right, and it means heedfulness, and showing careful prudence especially in reducing and avoiding risk or danger.
Omar bin al-Khattãb, God be pleased with him, once asked Ubayyu bnu Ka‘ab: "What is piety?" He replied: "Have you ever walked a thorny path?"
"Indeed." Omar replied, "What did you do then?" Ubayyu added; Omar said: "I gathered up the ends of my garment, and hastened through it earnestly." Ubayyu bnu Ka‘ab replied: "That is piety."
VERSE 3 who believe in the unseen, who are steadfast in their prayers, and who expend alms out of what We give them;Faith means believing to be true, and having unquestioning belief in God Almighty, requiring no further proof. That is believing in the manifest signs as well as in the unseen ones as true, as described by God Almighty at the conclusion of this sura: (The Apostle believes in what is revealed to him from his Lord, as do the people of faith. Each one of them believes in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers" (2:286). A prerequisite of such faith is practicing good deeds, as noted in the holy Quran: (Those who believe and do good, and believe in what We revealed to Muhammad — which is the truth from their Lord — God will redeem their sins, and improve their state" (47:2).
It is natural when seekers on the path and pious people meet God’s messenger h, witness his signs, and believe in his message, but it is surely a greater wonder and a true sign of faith when people come to this world after the passing of God’s messenger h, discover the book that was revealed to him, and believe in God’s signs. This also means believing in the unseen, and this is a great blessing indeed and a "guidance to the pious ones."
Steadfastness in one’s prayers also represents faith, devotion, and willingness for servitude. That is obedience to God’s commands, and fulfillment of a covenant that necessitates a reward in this world and in the hereafter.
In fact, all of God’s prophets were given the same command, requiring people steadfastness in their prayers, devotion, and piety. Describing some other benefits of steadfastness in one’s prayers, God Almighty says: (Prayers prevents lewdness and inequity — surely the remembrance of Allah is the most eminent blessing, and Allah knows all what you do" (29:45).
Furthermore, believers are required to give alms from the benefits God Almighty provided as an ephemeral trust, and which one will have to relinquish sooner or later.
VERSE 4 Who believe in this revelation which is sent to you, and in the revelations which were sent before you, and who with certainty are aware of the hereafter.God Almighty says: "Some of the people of the book believe in Allah, and they believe in what is revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them, humbling themselves to Allah" (3:199); and He says: "When it is recited unto them, they say: "We believe in it. It is the truth from our Lord, and even before its revelation, we were Muslims unto Him. Such ones will be given double their reward, because they were steadfast in their prayers, and they willingly spent alms out of what We gave them" (28:53-54).
Regarding charity, Ibn ‘Abbãss, God be pleased with him, narrated that God’s messenger (uwbp) sent Mu‘ãth to Yemen and said to him: "You shall meet there some of the people of the Book. Call them to bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that I am the messenger of God. If they consent, then inform them that God has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night; and if they consent, then inform them that God has decreed in their moneys and properties a charity to be taken from their rich and given to their poor" (Bukhãrï vol. 2, p. 271)
VERSE 5 Those are the ones who follow the guidance of their Lord, and those are the successful ones.‘Abdullãh bnu ‘Amru narrated that some people came to God’s messenger (uwbp) and said: "O messenger of God, we read from the Quran and find aspirations, then we read from it and we nearly feel despair!" He replied: "Shall I tell you about the dwellers of paradise and about the companions of hell-fire?" They said: "Indeed." God’s messenger (uwbp) recited: (Alif, Lãm, Meem. This is the book, there is no doubt in it, a guide to the pious; who believe in the unseen, who are steadfast in their prayers, and who expend alms out of what We give them; Who believe in this revelation which is sent to you, and in the revelations which were sent before you, and who with certainty are aware of the hereafter. Those are the ones who follow the guidance of their Lord, and those are the successful ones. He added: "Those are the dwellers of paradise." The people said: "We hope to be among them." God’s messenger (uwbp) further continued: (As to those who deny the truth, it is inconsequential whether you warn them or not, they will not believe. Allah has placed a seal on their hearts and hearing; a veil covers their eyes, and awesome torments are awaiting them.) He added: "And those are the dwellers of hell-fire." The people said: "We are not like them O messenger of God!" He replied: "Indeed."
VERSE 6 As to those who deny the truth, it is inconsequential whether you warn them or not, they will not believe.Denying the truth means to negate and refute what one already knows to be true, such people are described in the holy Quran: "Those who are effected by the decree of your Lord (as sinners) will not believe, even if they were to witness every sign that comes to them, and until they see the painful doom" (10:96-97) He also says: "Even if you were to evince every manifest sign to the people of the scripture (from their Lord), they would not accept your appointed direction of prayers" (2:145).
A similar expression is found in Jeremiah: "Can a black man change the color of his skin, or the leopard remove his spots? If they could, then you that do nothing but evil could learn what is right." (Jer. 13-23)
God Almighty also says in the Quran: "Your duty is only to convey the message, and the reckoning remains in our hands" (13:40) "You are but a warner, and Allah is the controller of every thing" (11:12).
VERSE 7 Allah has placed a seal on their hearts and hearing; a veil covers their eyes, and awesome torments are awaiting them.Those who turn away from the truth, who are seized by Satan, and who obey his insinuations, Allah has dulled their understanding, so that they can no longer recognize the truth, nor can their consciousness perceive the reality because of their turning on their heels, their arrogance, and rejection of the truth. Almighty Allah says: "Their calamities were the result of their disobedience and transgression" (2:61). He also says: "We did not treat them unjustly, but they were unjust to themselves" (11:101).
A similar text is found in the Old Testament, and providing the same news from God Almighty — it says: "Then the Lord said to me, ‘Make the minds of these people dull, their ears deaf, and their eyes blind, so that they cannot see or hear or understand." (Isaiah 6-10)
VERSES 8-9 Some people say: "We believe in Allah and in the day of judgment;’ but in reality they do not believe They think that they can deceive Allah and the believers, but are unaware that they deceive none but themselves.Hypocrisy is the mendacity of showing virtues and beliefs, while masking evil intentions. Some type of hypocrites fall into the category of adamant conviction; and such a person will no doubt dwell in hell-fire eternally. Another type of hypocrisy is distinct by actions of nefariousness and flagrant enmity, and this type of hypocrites is worse to his contemporaries.
Ibn Juraij describes a hypocrite as someone who is full of contradictions — that is contradiction between his words and actions, intentions and expressions, secret dealings and public announcements, explanations and real motives, and whether he is present or absent, he remains a hypocrite.
Describing people with empty words and nothing further, God Almighty says: "When the hypocrites come to you and say: "We bear witness that you are God’s messenger,’ but Allah already knows that you are His messenger! ) (63:1); and furthermore, God Almighty refutes the claims of the hypocrites, saying: "And Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars" (63:1). Knowing them clearly, God Almighty further explains: "But in reality they do not believe" (2:8). In another chapter, explaining their fate, God says: "When Allah will raise them, they would swear unto Him, as they swear now unto you, and they will fancy that they have some type of footing on that day — never! They are nothing but liars." (58:18)
VERSE 10 Their hearts are diseased, and Allah has caused their disease to intensify, and an afflictive punishment is awaiting them as a result of their lying.This kind of disease is called doubt and suspicion, and Allah caused their dubiety further agitation so that they cannot understand the reason behind their own distrust and lack of faith. God Almighty then describes their further defeat, saying: "They were prevented from attaining what they desired" (34:54); which also means that God’s messenger (uwbp) lived in the same city of Medina were they too resided, and by God’s leave, they surely failed to cause him any harm.
"Among the wondering Arabs around you, there are some hypocrites, and among the townspeople of Medina are some who persist in hypocrisy — you do not know them, but We know them" (9:101).
VERSES 11-12 When they are told: "Do not spread corruption on earth,’ they reply: "We are only good-doers!’ No, they are the corrupters, but they do not realize it.Spreading corruption means indulging in vice, depravity, immorality, wickedness, and rejection of the truth. Spreading corruption on earth also means disobedience to God’s commands, or enticing others to disrupt the peace on earth. In fact, the well being and the thriving of the earth and the heavens to achieve their intended purpose depends on obedience to God’s commands.
In essence, the meaning of spreading corruption on earth means: to take unfair advantage of people; to discount their rights to worship their Lord and to obey His command; to plunder people’s properties, spiritual and material; to mislead them; to pursue innovations; and to indoctrinate a generation with fallacious arts and deceptive cults; and to claim absolute independence from all moral restraints, among other acts of corruption that unfortunately are more prevalent in today’s world then they were in the past.
Salmãn al-Fãrisï, God be pleased with him, commented on the above verse, saying that ‘people with such degree of aberration and insanity did not exist at the time of God’s messenger h in Medina, and that their time in this world may come later.’
According to Muslim commentators, spreading corruption on earth also means that the believers should not let their interests be held hostage to the unbelievers, and that such patronage would leave them in a state of servitude and dependence on those who do not believe in God. Instead believers should patronage their interests among themselves first. On this subject, God almighty also says: "O believers, do not take those who reject faith as your patrons instead of the believers. Do you want to give Allah a clear warrant against you?" (4:144)
VERSE 13 And when they are told: "Believe in what people believe;’ they reply: "Are we to believe in what fools believe in?’ No, they are the fools, but they do not know it.In the sick mind of one who rejects faith, a believer is a fool. However, God Almighty emphasizes clearly that they are the fools, but they do not know it.
A similar testimony is also found in the Old Testament: "The Lord says, ‘Tell the descendants of Jacob, tell the people of Judah: Pay attention, you foolish and stupid people, who have eyes but cannot see, and have ears, but cannot hear’ " (Jer. 5-20).
VERSES 14-15 When they meet the believers, they say: "We too are believers;’ and when they retreat to the company of their satans, they say: "We are with you, we are only mocking!’ No, Allah mocks them, and defers their punishment so that they may further blunder in their blindness.God Almighty promises the hypocrites and the unbelievers the very treatment on the day of judgment, stating: The day when the hypocrites among men and women say to the believers: "Look upon us, allow us to borrow from your light!’ It will be said to them: "Go behind you there and seek the light you asked for.’ (As soon as they turn to do what they were told), a fence will suddenly come down to separate between them — having a gate, its inner side (where the believers abide) abounds with mercy, and its outer side (where the hypocrites belong) meets with doom (57:13).
In reference to deferring their punishment so that they may blunder in their blindness, Almighty God also says: Do they think that what We expedite (what they relish of) money and children as something good? No, but they cannot perceive (Our design) (23:55-56). He also says: Let Me deal with those who belie this utterance. We shall steer them gradually through pathways they do not recognize (68:44).
It also means that such people will be given up to what stimulates their depravity and vice for a while in this world; letting them further blunder in their sins; then God Almighty says: Once they have forgotten and dismissed what they were told, We open to them the gates to all things they delight in until, even as they indulge in such pleasures, We seize them unexpecting, as they freeze dumbfounded with no hope to ever receive pardon. Thus, the last remnant of wrongdoers will be cutoff, all praises be to Allah, Lord of the universes (6:44-45).
VERSE 16 Such are those who barter guidance for error, whose commerce has brought them no benefits, and who have lost direction.Meaning those who give preference to error over guidance, and reject faith instead of answering Allah’s call. This is similar to the verse: As for the people of Sodom, We gave them the guidance, but they preferred blindness over guidance (41:17); you saw what happened to such people when they prefer straying instead of following the divine guidance, and choose differences over unity, fear over tranquillity, and who follow innovation instead of embracing the correct guidance.
VERSES 17-18 Their example is like that of someone who lights a fire, and when it lights around him, Allah takes away their sight, and leaves them blind behind veils of darkness; Deaf, dumb, and blind, with no way out of what is in store for them;Allah shows people examples, and gives them parables to learn from and to heed His call. He says: We give people such parables (to reflect about them), but only those who recognize the truth will understand them (29:43).
The above parable is of someone who lights a fire which gives him benefits from its heat, it illuminates and improves his environment, appeases his mind, and comforts his indulgences. When suddenly the fire is extinguished, he feels lost, bewildered, scared, and unable to see or follow any guidance. Hence he becomes, deaf because he cannot hear, dumb because he cannot speak, and blind because he cannot see even if there was light around him, and will be unable to find a way out of his predicament.
This is the destiny of a hypocrite. He finds light and understanding when he draws near the truth, and when he turns on his heels, and expresses beliefs he does not actually have, he in fact, blocks out the benefits of such light from reaching him, and becomes dumbfounded. The share of a blind person who walks near such a fire is nothing but smoke and possible burns. In truth, there is nothing more raveling, involved, and challenging than the true meaning of religious adherence.
The term darkness used in this verse also means ignorance and falsehood, and the term light means knowledge and guidance. Such is also the meaning of the Quranic verse: Surely it is not the eyes that grow blind, but the hearts that lie in the chests that are effected by such blindness (22:46).
VERSES 19-20 or like those under a rain-laden cloud, which is charged with thunder and lightning; who plug their ears with their fingers against the thunderclaps, in fear of death; and Allah is surely in control of the unbelievers. The power of the lightning nearly blinds them. When it flashes, they walk by its light, and when it leaves them in the dark, they halt. Should it be Allah’s will, He can certainly deprive them of their hearing and sight; for surely Allah has power over everything.Allah then gives another parable to emphasize the evil nature and wickedness of hypocrites. In their case, and from time to time, hypocrites recognize the truth, but again they foster suspicion and doubt, and that is the meaning of a ‘rain-laden cloud’ that hides the sunlight and warmth of faith. When thunderclaps strike, meaning whatever loud voice they hear, they are seized with fear, apprehension, and anxiety, thinking it is directed against them, as described by God Almighty: They deem every shout to be against them (63:4).
VERSES 21-22 O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those who have gone before you, perhaps then you could foster piety. He spread the earth for you, and raised the heavens above you, and He caused water to fall from the skies, and through it, He brings forth fruits for your sustenance; therefore, do not knowingly set up rivals unto Allah.Allah has ordained people to recognize His lordship, sovereignty, and His manifest favors that brought about the creation from non-existence into life, and He showered them with countless benefits, some are hidden, and others are clear.
Among His sings, He spread the earth for them as a bed, firmly fixed in its position, and He raised the heavens above them as a dome, and He sealed it for their own protection. He says: We made the skies a protected ceiling, yet, they do not wish to recognize such signs (21:32). In another verse, God Almighty says: Allah is the one Who made the earth for your dwelling place, and the sky He raised as a structure (above you), and He fashioned you, perfected your form, and provided you with all kinds of good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Blessed is Allah, Lord of the universes (40:64).
Ibn Mas‘oud once said: "O Messenger of God, what is the greatest sin?" He replied: "Setting up a rival to Allah, when He is your creator" (Reported in Sahïh Bukhãri). In another prophetic saying, God’s messenger (uwbp) asked Mu‘ãth: "Do you know what is God’s right upon people?" — That they worship Him, and set up no partner unto Him."
The phrase ‘do not knowingly set up rivals unto Allah,’ also recalls the same command in the Bible: "Worship no God but Me." (Exod. 20-3)
VERSES 23-24 If you have doubt concerning what We revealed to Our servant, then produce a single sura to compare with any one in this Book; and call up your witnesses besides Allah, if you were truthful. But if you cannot do so, and you will surely fail to do so, then guard yourselves against a fire whose fuel are people and stones — prepared for the unbelievers.Following the divine command to people to recognize the lordship and sovereignty of God Almighty Who has no associate or partner, and to worship none but Him, He then reconfirms the messengership of His prophet Muhammad h, and challenges the unbelievers to produce any proof whatsoever, to use any help they desire, and to call up their witnesses besides Allah if there is any truth to their claims! However, God knows well that they are divided in opinions and beliefs.
Almighty God further authenticates: It is not even possible to invent this Quran in despite of Allah; but it came (from Him) to confirm previous messages, and to clarify the scriptures. There is surely no doubt in it, and it comes from the Lord of the universes (10:38). Refuting the disbelievers claims that the Quran is not from God Almighty, He again challenges them, saying: Bring in ten suras like it (10:38); or even, Produce a single sura like it (2:23).
Such challenge is also supported in other Quranic Chapters: A scripture which verses are set decidedly, then expounded; and it comes from One Who is wise and versed (11:1); Thus, the Word of your Lord is decided in truth and justice (6:115).
As for the phrase: A fire whose fuel are people and stones, Almighty God says: As to those who swerve (from the right path), they become stumps for hell-fire (72:15); and addressing the destination of idol worshipers, Almighty God says: Surely you and the false gods you worship besides Allah are the stumps of hell-fire; that is where you will certainly culminate. If these were truly gods they would not have entered it, and each will abide eternally in it (21:98-99); Every time its intensity abates, We will intensify its fierceness (17:58).
A similar reproof regarding worshiping false gods also can be found in the Old Testament, where it says: "Then the people of Judah and of Jerusalem will go to the gods to whom they offered sacrifices and will cry out to them for help. But such gods will not be able to save them when this destruction comes." (Jer. 11-12)
VERSE 25 Give the glad tidings to those who believe (in God) and who do good deeds, that gardens beneath which rivers flow are awaiting them. Every time they receive a fruit in it, they say: "This is what we ate before;’ for what they will receive then resembles what they know; and in it they shall have chaste companions, and in it they shall dwell forever.Imam Ibn Kathïr spoke of the fruits of paradise saying: "The believers will know the name of the fruit, but the taste will be different." As for the expression ‘chaste companions,’ Ibn ‘Abbãss, God be pleased with him, explained that the wives of the believers in paradise will experience no menstrual period; while Mujãhid explained that the dwellers of paradise will be free from menstruation, feces, urine, sperm, spittle, sweating, and conception.
As for their abiding eternally in paradise, it represents the ultimate reward of bliss, and they will no longer experience need, separation, or death.
VERSES 26-27 Allah does not shy to use a mosquito for a parable, or even a larger creature. The believers know it is the truth from their Lord, while the unbelievers say: "What does Allah mean by this parable?’ With it, He lets many people go astray, and with it, He guides many people on the straight path, and He lets only the evildoers stray from the right path. Such are the ones who break the covenant of Allah after accepting it, and they are the ones who break the bond Allah commanded to keep whole, and spread corruption on earth. These are the losers.Qatãda explains the meaning of a mosquito in this verse to mean ‘truth’. Al-Rabï’ bin Anas interpreted this parable to mean: "God gave this parable as an example of the people of the world; whereas, when a mosquito is hungry, it survives, and once it is fattened with blood, it dies." Qatãda then recited: Once they have forgotten and dismissed what they were told, We open to them the gates to all things they delight in, until, even as they indulge in such pleasures, We seize them unexpecting, as they freeze dumbfounded with no hope to ever receive pardon (6:44).
The parable of a mosquito also could mean ‘the most rudimentary, or the smallest thing,’ Allah does not shy to speak of the least things or what lies beyond that, as He says: God gives people parables, so perhaps they may heed His admonition (14:25).
Some commentators read the meaning of the phrase ?those who break the covenant of Allah, ¤ to mean the non-believers, the polytheists, and the hypocrites. Others regard it to mean the original covenant Allah took from people at the time of creation, saying: Remember when your Lord took from the seed of Adam — from their loins (by externalizing their embodiment), and made them testify to what they themselves bore witness to. He said: ‘Am I not your Lord? ‘Indeed, we bear witness to that,’ they replied (7:172-173).
Knowing the nature of some of them, God Almighty added: This subject is brought up now in case you should say on the day of judgment: "We were unmindful of this,’ or you should say: "Our fathers were polytheists before us, and we were only their seed — would You destroy us on account of the actions of those who negated (or falsified) the truth?" (7:172-173)
This was the original covenant, and following that, people had to renew their covenant every time God Almighty sent messengers. Reminding them again, the Almighty Lord says: Fulfill My covenant — I fulfill your covenant — and fear none but Me (2:40).
Anas bin Abi al-‘Ãliya commented on the above verse "who break the bond Allah commanded to keep whole by ascribing six attributes to hypocrites when they are strong, saying: "They lie when they speak; renege when they promise; betray when they are entrusted; break their covenant when they make one; cut off the ties they were commanded to keep intact; and they spread corruption on earth. On the other hand, when they are week, they demonstrate three attributes: they lie when they speak; renege when they promise, and betray when they are entrusted."
The above divine testimony: These are the losers means those who work against their own fortune by disobeying God’s commands, and who pass off the opportunity of receiving God’s mercy.
VERSE 28 How can you deny Allah? You were lifeless, and He gave you life, He then will cause you to die, and once more He will restore you back to life, and furthermore, unto Him you will return.The above verse: You were lifeless is also illustrated in the verse: Were they created from nothing, or did they create themselves? (52:35)
VERSE 29 He created all that the earth contains for you. He then turned to the heavens, and made them into seven firmaments, and He has absolute knowledge of everything.After calling the souls and the people to remember their covenant, God Almighty reconfirms the knowledge He revealed about the origin and creation of the heavens, the earth, and what they contain. He states: Doesn’t He know who He created? (76:14) And in another Quranic verse, He further enunciates: Are you more difficult to create or the sky He constructed? He raised it as a dome (to remain) at a specific height, and He decided its thickness. He made its night dark, and its day light. And He spread the earth after that. He also drew water out of it, and brought forth its pasture. And in it He embedded the mountains. To serve as provisions for you and for your cattle (79:27-33). Regarding such provisions, Almighty God says: And He allocated the measures of its needed sustenance (41:10).
VERSE 30 Behold, when your Lord said to the angels: "I am appointing a deputy on earth,’ they said: "Will You place someone who does evil and sheds blood in it, while we celebrate Your praises, and revere Your Name as the most holy?’ He said: "I know what you do not know.’In this verse, Almighty God honors the children of Adam by telling them the story of the creation of their father Adam, upon whom be peace, and the purpose behind the appointment of a deputy on earth.
In the commentaries collected in Tafsïr al-Siddi, Ibn Mas‘oud explained that following this divine statement, the angels asked: "Lord, what would a deputy (khalifa) do?" And the angels interpreted from God’s answer that some of the progeny of this deputy would spread corruption on earth, and commit murder. It is in that regard that the angels further asked God Almighty: Will You place someone who does evil and sheds blood in it, while we celebrate Your praises, and revere Your Name as the most holy? (2:30).
Revering the name of God Almighty ‘as the most holy’ also means to worship Him, exalt His praises, glorify His name, answer His call, and to obey His commands.
VERSES 31-33 Allah taught Adam the names of all things. He then placed them before the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these things if you are right.’ ‘Glory be to You,’ they replied, ‘We only know what You taught us. You are indeed the all-knowing and the all-wise.’ Allah said: "O Adam, tell them their names.’ When Adam told them their names, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and that I know all that you reveal and conceal?’In this verse, Almighty God particularly honors Adam by teaching him directly and exclusively the meaning and names of things, and He raises him in knowledge above the angels.
Prior to the creation of Adam, when God Almighty created something, He gave certain ranks of angels knowledge of its name and attributes. But in this case, the divine question also could mean: "Tell Me if you knew about this creation, its purpose, and appointment?’ Hence, the angels conceded: Glory be to You! We only know what You taught us.
As to the scrutiny presented by Almighty God in His saying: I know all that you reveal and conceal, it represents His knowledge of the satanic qualities of pride, arrogance, jealousy, envy, hatred, and the spirit of disobedience that developed in Iblïs, the accursed one.
VERSE 34 Then, when We said to the angels: "Bow down before Adam,’ they did, except for Iblïs — he disdained, showed arrogance, and so became a disbeliever.This verse is similar to God’s saying: I am creating a human from clay. Once I have fashioned him and breathed of My spirit into him, bow in prostration to him. And so all the angels prostrated themselves (38:71-73)
God Almighty created Adam by His own hand in order for Iblïs not to show arrogance with regard to what Almighty God has fashioned with His own hands.
Almighty God says: We created the jinn before that from the fire of a scorching wind (15:27). He also says: They bowed down, except Iblïs, and he was of the jinn (18:50), And he thus became a disbeliever; meaning disobedient, ungrateful, and heedless.
Commenting on this verse, Ibn ‘Abbãss said that when he disobeyed God Almighty’s command, and further lured Adam and his wife also to disobey God’s command, he became accursed Satan and the damned one, and he with his followers were barred from ever entering paradise, or receiving God’s forgiveness.
Almighty God said: O Iblïs, what prevented you from bowing in prostration to what I created by My own hands. Are you possessed with arrogance, or are you above obeying My command? He said: I am better than him — You created me from fire, and You created him from clay (38:75).
VERSES 35-36 We then said: "O Adam, dwell with your wife in paradise, and eat from its fruits as you please, but do not near this tree or you would fall into error.’ But Satan made them fall and drove them out of what they had. ‘Go down,’ We said, ‘enemies to one another, and you will have on earth a temporary abode and the needed sustenance.’Adam was created from living elements, that is, earth and water, while Eve was created from a living being with a soul and knowledge, that is, Adam, and that is why she was called: Hawwa, (lit., life, from Arb., hayãt).
Letting Adam and his wife into paradise, God Almighty pointed at Iblïs and said: O Adam! This one is an enemy to you and to your wife. Therefore, do not let him drive you both out of paradise, otherwise you will suffer miserably. In paradise you will not experience hunger or nakedness, Nor will you thirst or suffer from the heat of the sun (20:117-119).
Satan began to whisper his evil suggestions to them to uncover their shame that was concealed from them. He said: "Your Lord only forbade you from this tree for you not to become angels or live for ever. And he swore to them: "I advise you best.’ And then, he brought about their fall through deception and arrogance (7:20-22). Thus Adam disobeyed his Lord, and allowed himself to be seduced. But then his Lord chose to bless him, and turned to him with forgiveness and gave him guidance (20:121-122).
VERSES 37-39 Adam received words from his Lord, and Allah availed His mercy to him, for He is indeed oft-forgiving and merciful. We said: "All of you, get out of it, and when you hear My call, whoever follows My guidance shall neither fear nor grieve.’ ‘As for those who reject the truth and deny Our revelations, they are the companions of hell-fire, and in it they shall dwell forever.’When Adam and Eve realized the consequences of their disobedience; They said: our Lord, we have transgressed against our own souls, and if You do not forgive us and show us mercy, we would surely be lost. (7:23). Adam received words (of inspiration) from his Lord, and Allah availed His mercy to him, for He is indeed oft-forgiving and merciful (2:37). God then said: ‘Go down, enemies to one another, and on earth you will find abode and subsistence for a while. On earth you shall live, in it you shall die, and at last, you shall be brought forth from it again’ (7:24-25).
Almighty God also warned the descendants of Adam on this subject, saying: O children of Adam! We bestowed on you vestments to cover your shame, and feathers (for your comfort), but the cloak of righteousness is best. O children of Adam, do not let Satan seduce and allure you, as he did when he drove your parents out of paradise. He stripped them of their vestments to show them their nakedness (of which they felt ashamed). He and his clan see you from an angle from which you cannot see them. And We decidedly made the devils patrons of those who reject faith (7:26-27).
Hence, "Whoever follows My guidance shall neither fear nor grieve. But whoever turns away from My message, his life will turn miserable, and on the day of resurrection We will raise him up blind. He will say: "My Lord! Why did you raise me up blind, though I used to have sight? God will then say: "Let it be so! When Our clear signs came to you, you disregarded them, then forgot about them, and today also, you will be forgotten (20:123-126).
VERSES 40-41 O children of Israel, remember My favor, which I bestowed on you. Fulfill your covenant with Me — I fulfill My covenant with you, and fear none but Me. Believe in what I revealed here confirming the scripture you have at hand. Do not become the first to reject it. Do not barter My revelations for a small price, and be mindful of Me.
O children of Israel, (Israel was God’s prophet Jacob); O Descendents of those We carried along with Noah (in the ark) — and he was a grateful servant (17:3); "Recall when Moses said to his people: O my people! Remember God’s favor on you: He produced prophets from among you, made you kings, and gave you what He gave to no other nation (5:20). Moses (also) said to his people: "Remember God’s favor on you, when He delivered you from the hands of Pharaoh’s people, who subjected you to awesome torture — they slaughtered your male children, and let the female ones live; surely these were tremendous trials from your Lord.’ Then, your Lord made it known in public: "If you are grateful, I will show more favors towards you, but if you show ingratitude (and reject the message), My punishment is then most severe’ (14:6-7).
Earlier on, Allah took a covenant from the tribes that sprung from Israel; and We raised twelve chieftains from among them. God said: "I am on your side if you establish regular prayer, pay alms, and believe in My messengers, support them, and loan to Allah a good (unselfish) loan (5:12). Hence, If you loan to Allah a good loan, He will multiply it for you, and forgive you your sins, for Allah appreciates good deeds, and He is most forbearing (64:17).
Almighty Allah further says: O children of Israel, believe in what I revealed (to you) here, confirming the scripture you have at hand (2:41); and which supersedes them in preponderance (5:58). Do not become the first to reject it, (and) do not barter My revelations for a small price; Those who sell the covenant of Allah along with their faith, for a cheap price will have no strength to bear the consequences in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look at them, or value the worth of their deeds for redemption, and a tormenting punishment is awaiting them. And among them, there is a group of people who use their tongues for misstatements, claiming them to be of the scripture, so that perhaps you would think they are from the scripture, but it is not. They say that such statements come from God, but they are not from God, and they knowingly speak falsehood in the name of Allah (3:77-78).
VERSE 42 Do not confound truth with falsehood and knowingly hide the truth. Establish regular prayer, pay alms, and prostrate yourselves among the worshipers.Al-Hassan al-Basri, as well as Qatãda commented on this verse to mean: "Do not confuse Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,’ when you know well that God Almighty has called all of you to surrender to Him, and to submit to His will — Your God is One, surrender your wills to Him. And give glad tidings to those who humbly hearken (to His call); Whose hearts are filled with reverence when God is mentioned, and who bear their afflictions with patience, establish regular prayer, and spend generously from what We give them (22:35). And when they hear the revelation which is sent to the messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears, resulting from what they know to be true, and they say: "Our Lord, we believe; therefore, confirm us among the witnesses (5:83).
Almighty God then commands that alms (Arb. zakãt), be distributed to the poor from the money of the rich. Ibn ‘Abbãss, God be pleased with him, explained that the alms tax is due for a surplus of two hundred (of any currency), and above. Al-Hassan, God be pleased with him, said: ‘Alms-giving is an obligatory tenet along with the prescribed regular prayers, and deeds are worthless without them.’
VERSES 43-44 Do you enjoin upon others to practice the right conduct, and forget about practicing it yourselves — and yet you read the scripture. Have you no sense?Ibn ‘Abbãss commented: "How can you enjoin upon others to pray, fast, and give money in charity and forget to do so yourselves? You preach to people to read the scripture, and to believe in their prophecies that were revealed earlier, you enjoin upon them to hold firm to the covenant, and then, when a revelation comes from your Lord, you regard it with disdain?’
Anas Ibn Mãlik, God be pleased with him, narrated that God’s Messenger h, said: "When I was taken on the Nocturnal Journey, I passed by some people whose lips and tongues were being shorn with clippers made of fire. I asked: "Who are these people?" The answer came: "They come from among your followers who in the nether world used to preach to people, and enjoin on them to do good, while they forgot about doing it themselves, and yet, they used to read the Book — Did they have no brains?"
It is also narrated in some traditions that God Almighty may forgive an ignorant person seventy times for his wrongdoing before He would forgive a learned person once! Then in another tradition, it is said that God Almighty will reckon an ignorant person for not seeking to learn.
VERSES 45-46 Do not be hasty, pray with constancy, although offering prayers is hard except for the humble ones, Who recognize that they are unfailingly going to meet their Lord, and that they are returning to Him.Constancy here means devotion, sincerity, and ardent seeking of God’s pleasure in the hereafter. As for the meaning of patience, Sufyãn al-Thawri narrated that God’s Messenger h, said: "Fasting is half of patience." In some traditions, patience defined as restraining oneself from wrongdoing.
God Almighty says: Establishing regular prayers precludes shameful actions and despicable deeds (29:45). The Almighty One also says: Those who were given (true) knowledge said: "The reward of Allah is best for someone who believes (in the message of his Lord), and engages in doing good deeds, although only those who exercise patience will attain such reward" (28:80). But none will be granted such attainment except those who persevere in patience, and none will be granted such achievement except the most fortunate ones (41:35), Who recognize that they are unfailingly going to meet their Lord, and that they are returning to Him (2:46).
VERSE 47 O children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed on you when I chose you from among all nations to receive My message;In sura III of the holy Quran, Almighty God also says: Were the people of the book to believe (in this message), it would be more beneficial for their sake (3:110).
VERSE 48 And fear a day when no soul can avail another; when neither intercession nor indemnification shall be accepted from it, and when no one can help it.The day when no burdened soul will carry the sin of another" (35:18). On that day, each person will have his own concerns to make him indifferent (80:37) to what others have or have not. That is , A day when no father can offer a thing for his son, nor a son for his father! (31:33)
The Almighty creator further enunciates in reference to the day of judgment, and in relationship to those who reject His revelation, that, The intercession of no mediator will avail them on that day (74:48); Therefore, leave them to indulge (in their vanities) and trifle until they meet their day which they have been promised (43:86).
VERSES 49-50 And remember when We saved you from Pharaoh’s people, who subjected you to the cruelest sufferings, slaughtering your sons, and sparing your women, and such adversities were awesome trials from your Lord. And remember when We made the sea split open and saved you, and drowned Pharaoh’s people in front of your own eyes.
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