The Prophet PBUH said,
Tafsir ibn Kathir, is a classic Sunni Islam Tafsir (commentary of the Qur'an) by Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir. It is considered to be a summary of the earlier Tafsir al-Tabari. It is popular because it uses Hadith to explain each verse and chapter of the Qur'an 'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, was born in 1301 in Busra, Syria and was taught by Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Mizzi, Ibn Al Firkah, Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmed bin Abi-Talib, Ibn Al-Hajjar, Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin Asakir, Ibn Ash-Shirazi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, Zahriyyah Shaykh, and Muhammad bin Zarrad.
Surah Ale Imran
"The example of him (a believer) who recites the Qur'an is like that of a citron which tastes good and smells good.
And he (a believer) who does not recite the Qur'an is like a date which is good in taste but has no smell.
And the example of a dissolute wicked person who recites the Qur'an is like the Raihana (sweet basil) which smells good but tastes bitter.
And the example of a dissolute wicked person who does not recite the Qur'an is like the colocynth which tastes bitter and has no smell.
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: Bukhari
Surah Al Imran
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Surah Al Imran was revealed in Al-Madinah, as evident by the fact that the first eighty-three Ayat in it relate to the delegation from Najran that arrived in Al-Madinah on the ninth year of Hijrah (632 CE).
We will elaborate on this subject when we explain the Ayah about the Mubahalah (3:61) in this Surah, Allah willing.
We should also state that we mentioned the virtues of Surah Al Imran along with the virtues of Surah Al-Baqarah in the beginning of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah.
in the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, we discussed the meaning of the separate letters that appear in the beginnings of some Surahs.
اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ﴿٢﴾
Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.
We mentioned the Hadith in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kursi (2:255) that mentions that Allah's Greatest Name is contained in these two Ayat, اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ (Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists) (2:255) and (3:2)
We also explained the Tafsir of, Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Hayyul-Qayyum, in the Tafsir of Ayat Al-Kursi.
نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ ...
It is He Who has sent down the Book to you with truth,
means, revealed the Qur'an to you, O Muhammad, in truth, meaning there is no doubt or suspicion that it is revealed from Allah.
Verily, Allah revealed the Qur'an with His knowledge, and the angels testify to this fact, Allah is sufficient as a Witness.
... مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ ...
Confirming what came before it,
means, from the previous divinely revealed Books, sent to the servants and Prophets of Allah.
These Books testify to the truth of the Qur'an, and the Qur'an also testifies to the truth these Books contained, including the news and glad tidings of Muhammad's Prophethood and the revelation of the Glorious Qur'an.
... وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ ...
And He sent down the Tawrah,
to Musa (Musa) son of Imran,
... وَالإِنجِيلَ ﴿٣﴾
And the Injil,
to `Isa, son of Mary.
مِن قَبْلُ ...
meaning, before the Qur'an was revealed.
... هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ ...
As a guidance to mankind, (in their time).
... وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ ...
And He sent down the criterion,
which is the distinction between misguidance, falsehood and deviation on one hand, and guidance, truth and piety on the other hand. This is because of the indications, signs, plain evidences and clear proofs that it contains, and because of its explanations, clarifications, etc.
... إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ ...
Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah,
means they denied, refused and unjustly rejected them.
... لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ...
For them there is a severe torment, (on the Day of Resurrection).
... وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ...
And Allah is All-Mighty,
meaning, His grandeur is invincible and His sovereignty is infinite,
... ذُو انتِقَامٍ ﴿٤﴾
All-Able of Retribution.
from those who reject His Ayat and defy His honorable Messengers and great Prophets.
إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَخْفَىَ عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاء ﴿٥﴾
Truly, nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heaven.
Allah states that He has perfect knowledge in the heavens and earth and that nothing in them is hidden from His watch.
هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاء ...
He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills.
meaning, He creates you in the wombs as He wills, whether male or female, handsome or otherwise, happy or miserable.
... لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٦﴾
La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Almighty, the All-Wise.
meaning, He is the Creator and thus is the only deity worthy of worship, without partners, and His is the perfect might, wisdom and decision.
This Ayah refers to the fact that `Isa, son of Mary, is a created servant, just as Allah created the rest of mankind. Allah created `Isa in the womb (of his mother) and shaped him as He willed. Therefore, how could `Isa be divine, as the Christians, may Allah's curses descend on them, claim `Isa was created in the womb and his creation changed from stage to stage, just as Allah said,
يَخْلُقُكُمْ فِى بُطُونِ أُمَّهَـتِكُـمْ خَلْقاً مِّن بَعْدِ خَلْقٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتٍ ثَلَـثٍ
He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three veils of darkness. (39:6)
The Mutashabihat and Muhkamat Ayat
هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ ...
It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear,
Allah states that in the Qur'an, there are Ayat that are Muhkamat, entirely clear and plain, and these are the foundations of the Book which are plain for everyone.
And there are Ayat in the Qur'an that are Mutashabihat not entirely clear for many, or some people. So those who refer to the Muhkam Ayat to understand the Mutashabih Ayat, will have acquired the correct guidance, and vice versa.
This is why Allah said,
... هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ ...
They are the foundations of the Book,
meaning, they are the basis of the Qur'an, and should be referred to for clarification, when warranted.
... وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ...
And others not entirely clear,
as they have several meanings, some that agree with the Muhkam and some that carry other literal indications, although these meaning might not be desired.
The Muhkamat are the Ayat,
As for the Mutashabihat Ayat,
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar commented on, مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ (In it are verses that are entirely clear) as,
"Containing proof of the Lord, immunity for the servants and a refutation of opponents and of falsehood. They cannot be changed or altered from what they were meant for.''
He also said,
"As for the unclear Ayat, they can (but must not) be altered and changed, and this is a test from Allah to the servants, just as He tested them with the allowed and prohibited things. So these Ayat must not be altered to imply a false meaning or be distorted from the truth.''
Therefore, Allah said,
... فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ ...
So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation,
meaning, those who are misguided and deviate from truth to falsehood.
... فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ...
they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof,
meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings.
As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people.
This is why Allah said,
... ابْتِغَاء الْفِتْنَةِ ...
meaning, they seek to misguide their following by pretending to prove their innovation by relying on the Qur'an -- the Mutashabih of it -- but, this is proof against and not for them.
For instance, Christians might claim that (`Isa is divine because) the Qur'an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah's statements, إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ (He (`Isa) was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.) (43:59) and,
إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثِمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!'' and he was. (3:59)
There are other Ayat that clearly assert that `Isa is but one of Allah's creatures and that he is the servant and Messenger of Allah, among other Messengers.
... وَابْتِغَاء تَأْوِيلِهِ ...
And seeking for its Ta'wil,
to alter them as they desire.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Aishah said,
"The Messenger of Allah recited, هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ (It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear), until, أُوْلُواْ الألْبَابِ (Men of understanding) and he said,
فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُ الَّذِين يُجَادِلُونَ فِيهِ، فَهُمُ الَّذِينَ عَنَى اللهُ، فَاحْذَرُوهُم
When you see those who argue in it (using the Mutashabihat), then they are those whom Allah meant. Therefore, beware of them.''
Al-Bukhari recorded a similar Hadith in the Tafsir of this Ayah (3:7) as did Muslim in the book of Qadar (the Divine Will) in his Sahih, and Abu Dawud in the Sunnah section of his Sunan, from Aishah;
"The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah, هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ (It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear), until, وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألْبَابِ (And none receive admonition except men of understanding). He then said,
فَإِذَا رَأَيْتِ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ؛ فَأُولئِكَ الَّذِينَ سَمَّى اللهُ، فَاحْذَرُوهُم
When you see those who follow what is not so clear of the Qur'an, then they are those whom Allah described, so beware of them.''
This is the wording recorded by Al-Bukhari.
Only Allah Knows the True Ta'wil (Interpretation) of the Mutashabihat
... وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللّهُ ...
But none knows its Ta'wil except Allah.
Similarly, as preceded in what has been reported from Ibn Abbas,
"Tafsir is of four types:
Scholars of Qur'an recitation have different opinions about pausing at Allah's Name in this Ayah. This stop was reported from Aishah, Urwah, Abu Ash-Sha`tha' and Abu Nahik.
Some pause after reciting, وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ (And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge), saying that the Qur'an does not address the people with what they cannot understand.
Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that Ibn Abbas said,
"I am among those who are firmly grounded in its Ta'wil interpretation.''
The Messenger of Allah supplicated for the benefit of Ibn Abbas,
اللَّهُمَّ فَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ وَعَلِّمْهُ التَّأْوِيل
O Allah! Bestow on him knowledge in the religion and teach him the Ta'wil (interpretation).
Ta'wil has two meanings in the Qur'an,
For instance, Allah said,
وَقَالَ يأَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَـى مِن قَبْلُ
And he said: "O my father! This is the Ta'wil of my dream aforetime!'' (12:100)
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ يَوْمَ يَأْتِى تَأْوِيلُهُ
Await they just for it's Ta'wil On the Day (Day of Resurrection) it's Ta'wil is finally fulfilled. (7:53)
refers to the true reality of Resurrection that they were told about.
If this is the meaning desired in the Ayah above (3:7) then pausing after reciting Allah's Name is warranted, because only Allah knows the true reality of things.
In this case, Allah's statement, وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ (And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge) is connected to His statement, يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ (say: "We believe in it'').
If the word Ta'wil means the second meaning, that is, explaining and describing, such as what Allah said, نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ ((They said): "Inform us of the Ta'wil of this''), (12:36) meaning its explanation, then pausing after reciting, وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ (And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge) is warranted. This is because the scholars have general knowledge in, and understand what they were addressed with, even though they do not have knowledge of the true reality of things. Therefore, Allah's statement, يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ (say: "We believe in it'') describes the conduct of the scholars.
Similarly, Allah said,
وَجَآءَ رَبُّكَ وَالْمَلَكُ صَفّاً صَفّاً
And your Lord comes, and the angels, in rows. (89:22)
means, your Lord will come, and the angels will come in rows.
Allah's statement that the knowledgeable people proclaim,
... يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ ...
We believe in it,
means, they believe in the Mutashabih.
... كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ...
all of it is from our Lord,
meaning, both the Muhkam and the Mutashabih are true and authentic, and each one of them testifies to the truth of the other. This is because they both are from Allah and nothing that comes from Allah is ever met by contradiction or discrepancy.
أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلَـفاً كَثِيراً
Do they not then consider the Qur'an carefully! Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many a contradiction. (4:82)
Allah said in this Ayah,
... وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألْبَابِ ﴿٧﴾
And none receive admonition except men of understanding.
meaning, those who have good minds and sound comprehension, understand, contemplate and comprehend the meaning in the correct manner.
Further, Ibn Al-Mundhir recorded in his Tafsir that Nafi` bin Yazid said,
"Those firmly grounded in knowledge are those who are modest for Allah's sake, humbly seek His pleasure, and do not exaggerate regarding those above them, or belittle those below them.''
Allah said that they supplicate to their Lord,
رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا ...
Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us.
meaning, "Do not deviate our hearts from the guidance after You allowed them to acquire it. Do not make us like those who have wickedness in their hearts, those who follow the Mutashabih in the Qur'an. Rather, make us remain firmly on Your straight path and true religion.''
... وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ ...
And grant us from Ladunka,
meaning, from You,
... رَحْمَةً ...
with which You make our hearts firm, and increase in our Faith and certainty,
... إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ ﴿٨﴾
Truly, You are the Bestower.
Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded that Umm Salamah said that the Prophet used to supplicate,
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِك
O You Who changes the hearts, make my heart firm on Your religion.
He then recited,
The Ayah continues,
"Our Lord! Verily, it is You Who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt''
meaning, they say in their supplication: O our Lord! You will gather Your creation on the Day of Return, judge between them and decide over what they disputed about. Thereafter, You will reward or punish each according to the deeds they did in this life.
... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ ﴿٩﴾
Verily, Allah never breaks His Promise.''
On the Day of Resurrection, No Wealth or Offspring Shall Avail
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَن تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلاَدُهُم مِّنَ اللّهِ شَيْئًا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمْ وَقُودُ النَّارِ ﴿١٠﴾
Verily, those who disbelieve, neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them whatsoever against Allah; and it is they who will be fuel of the Fire.
Allah states that the disbelievers shall be fuel for the Fire,
يَوْمَ لاَ يَنفَعُ الظَّـلِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ الْلَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ
The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (i.e. painful torment in Hell-fire). (40:52)
Further, what they were granted in this life of wealth and offspring shall not avail them with Allah, or save them from His punishment and severe torment.
Similarly, Allah said,
فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَلُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ بِهَا فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَـفِرُونَ
So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah's plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers. (9:55)
لاَ يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فِى الْبِلَـدِ
مَتَـعٌ قَلِيلٌ ثُمَّ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ
Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest. (3:196-197)
Allah said in this Ayah,,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...
Verily, those who disbelieve,
meaning, disbelieved in Allah's Ayat, denied His Messengers, defied His Books and did not benefit from His revelation to His Prophets.
... لَن تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلاَدُهُم مِّنَ اللّهِ شَيْئًا وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمْ وَقُودُ النَّارِ
Neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them whatsoever against Allah; and it is they who will be fuel of the Fire.
meaning, they will be the wood with which the Fire is kindled and fed.
Similarly, Allah said,
إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ
Certainly you (disbelievers) and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (21:98)
Allah said next,
كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ ...
Like the Da'b of the people of Fir`awn.
Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means,
"Like the behavior of the people of Fir`awn.''
This is the same Tafsir of Ikrimah, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, and others.
Other scholars said that the Ayah means,
"Like the practice, conduct, likeness of the people of Fir`awn.''
These meanings are all plausible,
for the Da'b means practice, behavior, tradition and habit.
The Ayah indicates that the disbelievers will not benefit from their wealth or offspring. Rather, they will perish and be punished.
... وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ...
and those before them; they belied Our Ayat. So Allah punished them for their sins.
This is the same end the people of Fir`awn and the previous nations met, those who rejected the Messengers, the Ayat, and proofs of Allah that they were sent with.
... وَاللّهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ﴿١١﴾
And Allah is severe in punishment.
meaning, His punishment is severe and His torment is painful. None can escape Allah's grasp, nor does anything escape His knowledge. Allah does what He wills and prevails over all things, it is He to Whom everything is humbled and there is no deity worthy of worship, nor any Lord except Him.
Threatening the Jews With Defeat and Encouraging Them to Learn a Lesson From the Battle of Badr
Allah commands the Prophet Muhammad to;
قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...
Say to those who disbelieve:
Allah commanded the Prophet Muhammad to proclaim to the disbelievers.
... سَتُغْلَبُونَ ...
You will be defeated, (in this life),
... وَتُحْشَرُونَ ...
And gathered together, (on the Day of Resurrection),
... إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ ﴿١٢﴾
to Hell, and worst indeed is that place of rest.
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar recorded that Asim bin Umar bin Qatadah said that;
when the Messenger of Allah gained victory in the battle of Badr and went back to Al-Madinah, he gathered the Jews in the marketplace of Bani Qaynuqa.
Therefore, Allah said,
قَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ آيَةٌ ...
There has already been a sign for you,
meaning, O Jews, who said what you said! You have an Ayah, meaning proof, that Allah will make His religion prevail, award victory to His Messenger, make His Word apparent and His religion the highest.
... فِي فِئَتَيْنِ ...
In the two armies,
meaning, two camps,
... الْتَقَتَا ...
in combat (in Badr).
... فِئَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ...
One was fighting in the Cause of Allah, (the Muslims),
... وَأُخْرَى كَافِرَةٌ ...
And as for the other, in disbelief.
meaning, the idolators of Quraysh at Badr.
... يَرَوْنَهُم مِّثْلَيْهِمْ رَأْيَ الْعَيْنِ ...
They saw them with their own eyes twice their number,
means, the idolators thought that the Muslims were twice as many as they were, for Allah made this illusion a factor in the victory that Islam had over them.
It was said that the meaning of Allah's statement, يَرَوْنَهُم مِّثْلَيْهِمْ رَأْيَ الْعَيْنِ (They saw them with their own eyes twice their number),
is that the Muslims saw twice as many idolators as they were, yet Allah gave them victory over the disbelievers.
Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
"When we looked at the disbelievers' forces, we found that they were twice as many as we were. When we looked at them again, we thought they did not have one man more than we had. So Allah's statement,
وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِى أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلاً وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِى أَعْيُنِهِمْ
And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes." (8:44)
When the two camps saw each other, the Muslims thought that the idolators were twice as many as they were, so that they would trust in Allah and seek His help. The idolators thought that the believers were twice as many as they were, so that they would feel fear, horror, fright and despair. When the two camps stood in lines and met in battle, Allah made each camp look smaller in the eyes of the other camp, so that they would be encouraged to fight each other,
لِّيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْراً كَانَ مَفْعُولاً
so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained. (8:42),
meaning, so that the truth and falsehood are distinguishable, and thus the word of faith prevails over disbelief and deviation, so that the believers prevail and the disbelievers are humiliated.
In a similar statement, Allah said;
وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ وَأَنتُمْ أَذِلَّةٌ
And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. (3:123)
In this Ayah Allah said,
... وَاللّهُ يُؤَيِّدُ بِنَصْرِهِ مَن يَشَاء إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لَّأُوْلِي الأَبْصَارِ ﴿١٣﴾
And Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.
meaning, this should be an example for those who have intelligence and sound comprehension. They should contemplate about Allah's wisdom, decisions and decree, that He gives victory to His believing servants in this life and on the Day the witnesses stand up to testify.
The True Value of This Earthly Life
زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاء وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ...
Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, Qanatir Al-Muqantarah of gold and silver, branded beautiful horses (Musawwamah), cattle and fertile land.
Allah mentions the delights that He put in this life for people, such as women and children, and He started with women, because the test with them is more tempting.
For instance, the Sahih recorded that the Messenger said,
مَا تَرَكْتُ بَعْدِي فِتْنَةً أَضَرَّ عَلَى الرِّجَالِ مِنَ النِّسَاء
I did not leave behind me a test more tempting to men than women.
When one enjoys women for the purpose of having children and preserving his chastity, then he is encouraged to do so.
There are many Hadiths that encourage getting married, such as,
وَإِنَّ خَيْرَ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مَنْ كَانَ أَكْثَرَهَا نِسَاء
Verily, the best members of this Ummah are those who have the most wives.
He also said,
الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ، وَخَيْرُ مَتَاعِهَا الْمَرْأَةُ الصَّالِحَة
This life is a delight, and the best of its delight is a righteous wife.
The Prophet said in another Hadith,
حُبِّبَ إِلَيَّ النِّسَاءُ وَالطِّيبُ، وَجُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِي فِي الصَّلَاة
I was made to like women and perfume, and the comfort of my eye is the prayer.
Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
"Nothing was more beloved to the Messenger of Allah than women, except horses,''
and in another narration,
"...than horses except women.''
The desire to have children is sometimes for the purpose of pride and boasting, and as such, is a temptation. When the purpose for having children is to reproduce and increase the Ummah of Muhammad with those who worship Allah alone without partners, then it is encouraged and praised.
A Hadith states,
تَزَوَّجُوا الْوَدُودَ الْوَلُودَ، فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُمُ الْأُمَمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
Marry the Wadud (kind) and Walud (fertile) woman, for I will compare your numbers to the rest of the nations on the Day of Resurrection.
The desire of wealth sometimes results out of arrogance, and the desire to dominate the weak and control the poor, and this conduct is prohibited. Sometimes, the want for more money is for the purpose of spending it on acts of worship, being kind to the family, the relatives, and spending on various acts of righteousness and obedience; this behavior is praised and encouraged in the religion.
Scholars of Tafsir have conflicting opinions about the amount of the Qintar, all of which indicate that;
the Qintar is a large amount of money, as Ad-Dahhak and other scholars said.
Abu Hurayrah said
"The Qintar is twelve thousand Uwqiyah, each Uwqiyah is better than what is between the heavens and earth.''
This was recorded by Ibn Jarir.
The desire to have horses can be one of three types.
This is why in this case, these horses provide a shield of sufficiency for their owner, as evident by a Hadith that we will mention, Allah willing, when we explain Allah's statement,
وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُمْ مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ
And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war. (8:60)
As for the Musawwamah horses, Ibn Abbas said that;
they are the branded, beautiful horses.
This is the same explanation of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abdur-Rahman bin Abdullah bin Abza, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Abu Sinan and others.
the Musawwamah refers to the horse with a white spotted faced, and the horse with white feet.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,
لَيْسَ مِنْ فَرَسٍ عَرَبِيَ إِلَّا يُؤْذَنُ لَهُ مَعَ كُلِّ فَجْرٍ يَدْعُو بِدَعْوَتَيْنِ يَقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ خَوَّلْتَنِي مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ، فَاجْعَلْنِي مِنْ أَحَبِّ مَالِهِ وَأَهْلِهِ إِلَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَبَّ أَهْلِهِ وَمَالِهِ إِلَيْه
Every Arabian horse is allowed to have two supplications every dawn, and the horse supplicates, `O Allah! You made me subservient to the son of Adam. Therefore, make me among the dearest of his wealth and household to him, or, ...make me the dearest of his household and wealth to him.
... وَالأَنْعَامِ ...
means, camels, cows and sheep.
.... وَالْحَرْثِ ...
And fertile land,
meaning, the land that is used to farm and grow plants.
Allah then said,
... ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ...
This is the pleasure of the present world's life,
meaning, these are the delights of this life and its short lived joys.
... وَاللّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ ﴿١٤﴾
But Allah has the excellent return with Him.
meaning, the best destination and reward.
The Reward of the Those Who Have Taqwa is Better Than All Joys of This World
This is why Allah said,
قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيْرٍ مِّن ذَلِكُمْ ...
Say: "Shall I inform you of things far better than those!''
This Ayah means, "Say, O Muhammad, to the people, `Should I tell you about what is better than the delights and joys of this life that will soon perish!'''
Allah informed them of what is better when He said,
... لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ ...
For those who have Taqwa there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow,
meaning, rivers run throughout it.
These rivers carry various types of drinks: honey, milk, wine and water such that no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no heart has ever imagined.
... خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ...
Therein (is their) eternal (home),
meaning, they shall remain in it forever and ever and will not want to be removed from it.
... وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ ...
And Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives),
meaning, from filth, dirt, harm, menstruation, post birth bleeding, and other things that affect women in this world.
... وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ ...
And Allah will be pleased with them.
meaning, Allah's pleasure will descend on them and He shall never be angry with them after that. This is why Allah said in in Surah Bara`ah,
وَرِضْوَنٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ
But the pleasure of Allah is greater. (9:72)
meaning, greater than the eternal delight that He has granted them.
Allah then said,
... وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴿١٥﴾
And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) servants.
and, He gives each provisions according to what they deserve.
The Supplication and Description of Al-Muttaqin
Allah describes the Muttaqin, His pious servants, whom He promised tremendous rewards,
الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا ...
Those who say: "Our Lord! We have indeed believed,''
in You, Your Book and Your Messenger.
... فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا ...
so forgive us our sins,
because of our faith in You and in what You legislated for us. Therefore, forgive us our errors and shortcomings, with Your bounty and mercy,
... وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴿١٦﴾
and save us from the punishment of the Fire.
Allah then said,
(They are) those who are patient,
while performing acts of obedience and abandoning the prohibitions.
... وَالصَّادِقِينَ ...
those who are true,
concerning their proclamation of faith, by performing the difficult deeds.
... وَالْقَانِتِينَ ...
meaning, they submit and obey Allah,
... وَالْمُنفِقِينَ ...
those who spend,
from their wealth on all the acts of obedience they were commanded, being kind to kith and kin, helping the needy, and comforting the destitute.
... وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ ﴿١٧﴾
and those who pray and beg Allah's pardon in the last hours of the night.
and this testifies to the virtue of seeking Allah's forgiveness in the latter part of the night.
It was reported that when Yaqub said to his children, سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّيَ (I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you) (12:98) he waited until the latter part of the night to say his supplication.
Furthermore, the Two Sahihs, the Musnad and Sunan collections recorded through several Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,
يَنْزِلُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالى فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلى سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ، فَيَقُولُ:
هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ فَأُعْطِيَهُ ؟
هَلْ مِنْ دَاعٍ فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ ؟
هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ ؟
Every night, when the last third of it remains, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends to the lowest heaven saying,
"Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request?
Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation?
Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?''
The Two Sahihs recorded that Aishah said,
"The Messenger of Allah performed Witr during the first part, the middle and latter parts of the night. Then, later (in his life), he would perform it (only) during the latter part.''
Abdullah bin Umar used to pray during the night and would ask,
"O Nafi! Is it the latter part of the night yet?''
and if Nafi said, "Yes,'' Ibn Umar would start supplicating to Allah and seeking His forgiveness until dawn.
This Hadith was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim.
The Testimony of Tawhid
شَهِدَ اللّهُ ...
Allah bears witness,
Allah bears witness, and verily, Allah is sufficient as a Witness, and He is the Most Truthful and Just Witness there is;
His statement is the absolute truth,
... أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ...
that La ilaha illa Huwa,
meaning, He Alone is the Lord and God of all creation; everyone and everything are His servants, creation and in need of Him. Allah is the Most Rich, Free from needing anyone or anything.
Allah said in another Ayah,
لَّـكِنِ اللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكَ
But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down (the Qur'an) unto you (O Muhammad). (4:166)
Allah then mentioned the testimony of His angels and those who have knowledge after he mentioned His own testimony,
شَهِدَ اللّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ ...
Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also bear witness to this).
This Ayah emphasizes the great virtue of those who have knowledge.
... قَآئِمَاً بِالْقِسْطِ ...
(He) maintains His creation in justice,
in all that He does.
... لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ ...
None has the right to be worshipped but He,
thus emphasizing this fact.
... الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿١٨﴾
the Almighty, the All-Wise.
the Mighty that does not submit to weakness due to His might and greatness, the Wise in all His statements, actions, legislation and decrees.
The Religion with Allah is Islam
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ ...
Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.
Allah states that there is no religion accepted with Him from any person, except Islam.
Islam includes obeying all of the Messengers until Muhammad who finalized their commission, thus closing all paths to Allah except through Muhammad. Therefore, after Allah sent Muhammad, whoever meets Allah following a path other than Muhammad's, it will not be accepted of him.
In another Ayah, Allah said,
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلَـمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him. (3:85)
In this Ayah (3:19) Allah said, asserting that the only religion accepted with Him is Islam, إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ (Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam).
Allah then states that those who were given the Scripture beforehand divided in the religion after Allah sent the Messengers and revealed the Books to them providing them the necessary proofs to not do so.
... وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ...
Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except out of rivalry, after knowledge had come to them.
meaning, some of them wronged others. Therefore, they differed over the truth, out of envy, hatred and enmity for each other. This hatred made some of them defy those whom they hated even if they were correct.
Allah then said,
... وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ ...
And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat of Allah,
meaning, whoever rejects what Allah sent down in His Book.
... فَإِنَّ اللّهِ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ ﴿١٩﴾
then surely, Allah is Swift in reckoning.
Allah will punish him for his rejection, reckon him for his denial, and torment him for defying His Book.
Thereafter, Allah said.
فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ ...
So if they dispute with you (Muhammad),
so if they argue with you about Tawhid.
... فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ...
Say: "I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me.''
meaning, Say, `I have made my worship sincere for Allah Alone without partners, rivals, offspring or companion, وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ (and those who follow me) who followed my religion and embraced my creed.'
In another Ayah, Allah said,
قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِى أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِى
Say (O Muhammad): "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me...'' (12:108)
Islam is the Religion of Mankind and the Prophet Was Sent to all Mankind
Allah commanded His servant and Messenger, Muhammad, to call the People of the Two Scriptures and the unlettered idolators to his religion, way, Law and all that Allah sent him with.
... وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ وَالأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ ...
And say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates (Arab pagans): "Do you (also) submit yourselves!'' If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message.
meaning, their reckoning is with Allah and their return and final destination is to Him. It is He Who guides whom He wills and allows whom He wills to stray, and He has the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proof for all of this.
This is why Allah said,
... وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴿٢٠﴾
And Allah sees the servants.
for He has perfect knowledge of who deserves to be guided and who does not deserve to be guided. Verily, لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ (He cannot be questioned for what He does, while they will be questioned) (21:23) because of His perfect wisdom and mercy.
This and similar Ayat are clear proofs that the Message of Muhammad is universal to all creation, as it is well established in the religion, according to the various texts of the Book and Sunnah. For instance, Allah said,
قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
Say (O Muhammad): "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.'' (7:158)
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَـلَمِينَ نَذِيراً
Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to the Alamin (mankind and Jinn). (25:1)
The Two Sahihs and other collections of Hadith recorded that;
the Prophet sent letters to the kings of the earth during his time and to different peoples, Arabs and non-Arabs, People of the Book and the unlettered, just as Allah had commanded him.
Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ma`mar said, that Hammam said that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ: يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ، وَمَاتَ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّار
By He in Whose Hand is my soul! No member of this Ummah, no Jew or Christian, hears of me but dies without believing in what I was sent with, but will be among the people of the Fire.
Muslim recorded this Hadith.
The Prophet said,
بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد
I was sent to the red and black.
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة
A Prophet used to be sent to his people, but I was sent to all mankind.
Chastising the Jews for Their Disbelief and for Killing the Prophets and Righteous People
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ ...
Verily, those who disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah and kill the Prophets without right,
This Ayah chastises the People of the Book for the transgression and prohibitions they committed by their denials in the past and more recent times, of Allah's Ayat and the Messengers.
They did this due to their defiance and rejection of the Messengers, denial of the truth and refusal to follow it. They also killed many Prophets when they conveyed to them what Allah legislated for them, without cause or criminal behavior committed by these Prophets, for they only called them to the truth.
... وَيَقْتُلُونَ الِّذِينَ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْقِسْطِ مِنَ النَّاسِ ...
And kill those men who order just dealings,
thus, demonstrating the worst type of arrogance.
Indeed, the Prophet said,
الْكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الْحَقِّ وَغَمْطُ النَّاس
Kibr (arrogance) is refusing the truth and degrading people.
This is why when they rejected the truth and acted arrogantly towards the creation, Allah punished them with humiliation and disgrace in this life, and humiliating torment in the Hereafter.
... فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٢١﴾
then announce to them a painful torment.
meaning, painful and humiliating.
أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ ﴿٢٢﴾
They are those whose works will be lost in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.
Chastising the People of the Book for Not Referring to the Book of Allah for Judgment
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ نَصِيبًا مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى كِتَابِ اللّهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّى فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
Have you not seen those who have been given a portion of the Scripture! They are being invited to the Book of Allah to settle their dispute, then a party of them turned away, and they are averse.
Allah criticizes the Jews and Christians who claim to follow their Books, the Tawrah and the Injil, because when they are called to refer to these Books where Allah commanded them to follow Muhammad, they turn away with aversion.
This censure and criticism from Allah was all because of their defiance and rejection.
Allah said next,
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ...
This is because they say: "The Fire shall not touch us but for a number of days.''
meaning, what made them dare to challenge and defy the truth is their false claim that Allah will only punish them for seven days in the Fire, a day for every one thousand years in this life.
We mentioned this subject in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah.
Allah then said,
... وَغَرَّهُمْ فِي دِينِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾
And that which they used to invent regarding their religion has deceived them.
meaning, what caused them to remain on their false creed is that they deceived themselves, believing that the Fire will only touch them for a few days for their errors. However, it is they who have invented this notion, and Allah did not grant them authority to support this claim.
Allah said, while threatening and warning them,
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جَمَعْنَاهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ ...
How (will it be) when We gather them together on the Day about which there is no doubt (i. e. the Day of Resurrection).
meaning, what will their condition be like after they have uttered this lie about Allah, rejected His Messengers and killed His Prophets and their scholars who enjoined righteousness and forbade evil Allah will ask them about all this and punish them for what they have done.
This is why Allah said, فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جَمَعْنَاهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ (How (will it be) when We gather them together on the Day about which there is no doubt.) meaning, there is no doubt that this Day will come,
... وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
And each person will be paid in full what he has earned And they will not be dealt with unjustly.
O Muhammad, while praising your Lord, thanking Him, relying in all matters upon Him and trusting in Him.
... اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ ...
O Allah! Possessor of the power,
meaning, all sovereignty is Yours.
... تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء ...
You give power to whom You will, and You take power from whom You will, and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will.
meaning, You are the Giver, You are the Taker, it is Your will that occurs and whatever You do not will, does not occur.
This Ayah encourages thanking Allah for the favors He granted His Messenger and his Ummah. Allah transferred the Prophethood from the Children of Israel to the Arab, Qurashi, Makkan, unlettered Prophet, the Final and Last of all Prophets and the Messenger of Allah to all mankind and Jinn.
Allah endowed the Prophet with the best of qualities from the prophets before him. Allah also granted him extra qualities that no other Prophet or Messenger before him was endowed with, such as granting him (more) knowledge of Allah and His Law, knowledge of more of the matters of the past and the future, such as what will occur in the Hereafter.
Allah allowed Muhammad's Ummah to reach the eastern and western parts of the world and gave dominance to his religion and Law over all other religions and laws. May Allah's peace and blessings be on the Prophet until the Day of Judgment, and as long as the day and night succeed each other.
This is why Allah said, قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ (Say: "O Allah! Possessor of the power''),
meaning, You decide what You will concerning Your creation and You do what you will.
Allah refutes those who thought that they could decide for Allah,
وَقَالُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ
And they say: "Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Ta'if)!'' (43:31)
Allah refuted them by saying,
أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ
Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord! (43:32),
meaning, "We decide for Our creation what We will, without resistance or hindrance by anyone. We have the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proof in all of this, and We give the Prophethood to whom We will.''
Similarly, Allah said,
اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
Allah knows best with whom to place His Message.
انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
See how We prefer one above another (in this world). (17: 21)
... بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٢٦﴾
In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are able to do all things.
تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي الْنَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ ...
You make the night enter into the day, and You make the day enter into the night,
meaning, You take from the length of one of them and add it to the shortness of the other, so that they become equal, and take from the length of one of them and add it to the other so that they are not equal. This occurs throughout the seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter.
... وَتُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ الَمَيَّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ...
You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living.
means, You bring out the seed from the plant and the plant from the seed; the date from its seed and the date's seed from the date; the faithful from the disbeliever and the disbeliever from the faithful; the chicken from the egg and the egg from the chicken, etc.
... وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿٢٧﴾
And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit.
meaning, You give whomever You will innumerable amounts of wealth while depriving others from it, out of wisdom, and justice.
The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers
لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُوْنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ...
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers,
Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers.
Allah warned against such behavior when He said,
... وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ ...
And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way,
meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him.
Similarly, Allah said,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ
O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them, until, وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path. (60:1)
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً
O you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves! (4:144)
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them. (5:51)
Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins,
وَالَّذينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption. (8:73)
Allah said next,
... إِلاَّ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ...
unless you indeed fear a danger from them,
meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers.
In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.
For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said,
"We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.''
Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said,
"The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.''
... وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ ...
And Allah warns you against Himself.
meaning, He warns you against His anger and the severe torment He prepared for those who give their support to His enemies, and those who have enmity with His friends.
... وَإِلَى اللّهِ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿٢٨﴾
And to Allah is the final return.
meaning, the return is to Him and He will reward or punish each person according to their deeds.
Allah Knows What the Hearts Conceal
قُلْ إِن تُخْفُواْ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ أَوْ تُبْدُوهُ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ ...
Say: "Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth.
Allah tells His servants that He knows the secrets and apparent matters and that nothing concerning them escapes His observation. Rather, His knowledge encompasses them in all conditions, time frames, days and instances. His knowledge encompasses all that is in heaven and earth, and nothing not even the weight of an atom, or what is smaller than that in the earth, seas and mountains, escapes His observation.
... وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٢٩﴾
And Allah is able to do all things.
and His ability encompasses everything.
This Ayah alerts Allah's servants that they should fear Him enough to not commit what He prohibits and dislikes, for He has perfect knowledge in all they do and is able to punish them promptly. And He gives respite to some of them, then He punishes them, and He is Swift and Mighty in taking account.
This is why Allah said afterwards,
يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا ...
On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done,
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah brings the good and evil deeds before the servant, just as He said,
يُنَبَّأُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذِ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ
On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind. (75:13)
When the servant sees his good deeds, he becomes happy and delighted. When he sees the evil deeds he committed, he becomes sad and angry. Then he will wish that he could disown his evil work and that a long distance separated it from him. He will also say to the devil who used to accompany him in this life, and who used to encourage him to do evil;
يلَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ
"Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts ـ a horrible companion (indeed)! (43:38)
... وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوَءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا ...
and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil.
Allah then said, while threatening and warning,
... وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ ...
And Allah warns you against Himself,
meaning, He warns you against His punishment.
Allah then said, while bringing hope to His servants, so that they do not despair from His mercy or feel hopeless of His kindness,
... وَاللّهُ رَؤُوفُ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴿٣٠﴾
And Allah is full of kindness with the servants.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
"Allah is so kind with them that He warns them against Himself.'' Others commented, "He is merciful with His creation and likes for them to remain on His straight path and chosen religion, and to follow His honorable Messenger.''
Allah's Love is Attained by Following the Messenger
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ ...
Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. Muhammad), Allah will love you,
This honorable Ayah judges against those who claim to love Allah, yet do not follow the way of Muhammad. Such people are not true in their claim until they follow the Shariah (Law) of Muhammad and his religion in all his statements, actions and conditions.
It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَد
Whoever commits an act that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected of him.
This is why Allah said here,
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ ...
Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...,''
meaning, what you will earn is much more than what you sought in loving Him, for Allah will love you.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri and several scholars among the Salaf commented,
"Some people claimed that they love Allah. So Allah tested them with this Ayah; قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ (Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...'').''
Allah then said,
... وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٣١﴾
"And forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.''
meaning, by your following the Messenger, you will earn all this with the blessing of his mission.
Allah next commands everyone,
قُلْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ ...
Say: "Obey Allah and the Messenger.'' But if they turn away,
by defying the Prophet,
... فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾
then Allah does not like the disbelievers.
thus, testifying that defiance of the Messenger's way constitutes Kufr.
Indeed, Allah does not like whoever does this, even if he claims that he loves Allah and seeks a means of approach to Him, unless, and until, he follows the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger from Allah to the two creations: mankind and the Jinn.
This is the Prophet who, if the previous Prophets and mighty Messengers were to have been alive during his time, they would have no choice but to follow, obey him, and to abide by his Law. Allah willing, we will mention this fact when we explain the Ayah, وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ (And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets). (3:81)
The Chosen Ones Among the People of the Earth
إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَى آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٣٣﴾
ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِن بَعْضٍ وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾
Allah chose Adam, Nuh (Noah), the family of Ibrahim and the family of Imran above the nations. Offspring, one of the other, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Allah states that He has chosen these households over the people of the earth.
For instance, Allah chose Adam, created him with His Hand and blew life into him. Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, taught him the names of everything and allowed him to dwell in Paradise, but then sent him down from it out of His wisdom.
Allah chose Nuh and made him the first Messenger to the people of the earth, when the people worshipped idols and associated others with Allah in worship. Allah avenged the way Nuh was treated, for he kept calling his people day and night, in public and in secret, for a very long time. However, his calling them only made them shun him more, and this is when Nuh supplicated against them. So Allah caused them to drown, and none among them was saved, except those who followed the religion that Allah sent to Nuh.
Allah also chose the household of Ibrahim, including the master of all mankind, and the Final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Allah also chose the household of Imran, the father of Maryam bint Imran, the mother of `Isa, peace be upon them. So `Isa is from the offspring of Ibrahim, as we will mention in the Tafsir of Surah Al-An`am, Allah willing, and our trust is in Him.
The Story of Maryam's Birth
إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَةُ عِمْرَانَ ...
(Remember) when the wife of Imran said:
The wife of Imran mentioned here is the mother of Maryam, and her name is Hannah bint Faqudh.
Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Hannah could not have children and that one day, she saw a bird feeding its chick. She wished she could have children and supplicated to Allah to grant her offspring. Allah accepted her supplication, and when her husband slept with her, she became pregnant. She vowed to make her child concentrate on worship and serving Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid in Jerusalem), when she became aware that she was pregnant.
... رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٣٥﴾
O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.
meaning, You hear my supplication and You know my intention. She did not know then what she would give birth to, a male or a female.
فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنثَى وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ ...
Then when she gave birth to her, she said: "O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child, ـ and Allah knew better what she bore.
... وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالأُنثَى ...
And the male is not like the female,
in strength and the commitment to worship Allah and serve the Masjid in Jerusalem.
... وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ ...
And I have named her Maryam,
thus, testifying to the fact that it is allowed to give a name to the newly born the day it is born, as is apparent from the Ayah, which is also a part of the law of those who were before us.
Further, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah mentioned that the Prophet said,
وُلِدَ لِيَ اللَّيْلَةَ وَلَدٌ، سَمَّيْتُهُ بِاسْمِ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيم
This night, a son was born for me and I called him by my father's name, Ibrahim.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.
They also recorded that;
Anas bin Malik brought his newborn brother to the Messenger of Allah who chewed a piece of date and put it in the child's mouth and called him Abdullah.
Other new born infants were also given names on the day they were born.
Qatadah narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said,
كُلُّ غُلَامٍ رَهِينٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ، يُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ سَابِعِهِ، وَيُسَمَّى وَيُحْلَقُ رَأَسُه
Every new born boy held in security by his Aqiqah, until his seventh day, a sacrifice is offered on his behalf, he is given a name, and the hair on his head is shaved.
This Hadith was collected by Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan, and was graded Sahih by At-Tirmidhi.
We should mention that another narration for this Hadith contained the wording, "and blood is offered on his behalf,'' which is more famous and established than the former narration, and Allah knows best.
Allah's statement that Maryam's mother said,
... وِإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ ﴿٣٦﴾
"...And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.''
means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him.
Allah accepted her supplication, for Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ إِلَّا مَسَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ حِينَ يُولَدُ، فَيَسْتَهِلُّ صَارِخًا مِنْ مَسِّهِ إِيَّاهُ، إِلَّا مَرْيَمَ وَابْنَهَا
Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.
Abu Hurayrah then said,
"Read if you will, وِإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ (And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast).''
The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Maryam Grows Up; Her Honor is with Allah
فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ ...
So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance.
Allah states that He has accepted Maryam as a result of her mother's vow and that,
... وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا ...
He made her grow in a good manner,
meaning, made her conduct becoming, her mannerism delightful and He made her well liked among people. He also made her accompany the righteous people, so that she learned righteousness, knowledge and religion.
... وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا ...
And put her under the care of Zakariyya,
meaning, Allah made Zakariyya her sponsor.
Allah made Zakariyya Maryam's guardian for her benefit, so that she would learn from his tremendous knowledge and righteous conduct. He was the husband of her maternal aunt, as Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Jarir stated, or her brother-in-law, as mentioned in the Sahih,
فَإِذَا بِيَحْيَى وَعِيسى، وَهُمَا ابْنَا الْخَالَة
I saw John and `Isa, who are maternal cousins.
We should state that in general terms, what Ibn Ishaq said is plausible, and in this case, Maryam was under the care of her maternal aunt.
The Two Sahihs recorded that;
the Messenger of Allah decided that Amarah, the daughter of Hamzah, be raised by her maternal aunt, the wife of Jafar bin Abi Talib, saying,
الْخَالَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْأُم
The maternal aunt is just like the mother.
Allah then emphasizes Maryam's honor and virtue at the place of worship she attended,
... كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً ...
Every time he entered the Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance.
Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Atiyah Al-Awfi and As-Suddi said,
"He would find with her the fruits of the summer during winter, and the fruits of the winter during summer.''
When Zakariyya would see this;
... قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا ...
He said: "O Maryam! From where have you gotten this!''
meaning, where did you get these fruits from!
... قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ ...
She said, "This is from Allah.''
... إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿٣٧﴾
Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.
The Supplication of Zakariyya, and the Good News of Yahya's Birth
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ قَالَ ...
At that time Zakariyya invoked his Lord, saying:
When Zakariyya saw that Allah provided sustenance for Maryam by giving her the fruits of winter in summer and the fruits of summer in winter, he was eager to have a child of his own.
By then, Zakariyya had become an old man, his bones feeble and his head full of gray hair. His wife was an old women who was barren. Yet, he still supplicated to Allah and called Him in secret,
... رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ...
O my Lord! Grant me from Ladunka, (from You),
... ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ...
A good offspring,
meaning, a righteous offspring,
... إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء ﴿٣٨﴾
You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.
فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ ...
Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in the Mihrab,
meaning, the angels spoke to him directly while he was secluded, standing in prayer at his place of worship.
Allah told us about the good news that the angels delivered to Zakariyya,
... أَنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَـى ...
Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya,
of a child from your offspring, his name is Yahya.
Qatadah and other scholars said that;
he was called Yahya (literally, `he lives') because Allah filled his life with faith.
Allah said next,
... مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ ...
believing in the Word from Allah.
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, and also Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak, and several others said that the Ayah, مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ (believing in the Word from Allah) means,
"Believing in `Isa, son of Maryam.''
... وَسَيِّدًا ...
Abu Al-Aliyah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Qatadah and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that;
Sayyidan, means, a wise man.
Ibn Abbas, Ath-Thawri and Ad-Dahhak said that;
Sayyidan means, "The noble, wise and pious man.''
Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Sayyid is the scholar and Faqih. `Atiyah said that Sayyid is the man noble in behavior and piety. `Ikrimah said that it refers to a person who is not overcome by anger, while Ibn Zayd said that it refers to the noble man. Mujahid said that Sayyidan means, honored by Allah.
... وَحَصُورًا ...
And Hasuran, (chaste),
does not mean he refrains from sexual relations with women, but that he is immune from illegal sexual relations.
This does not mean that he does not marry women and have legal sexual relations with them, for Zakariyya said in his supplication for the benefit of Yahya, هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً (Grant me from You, a good offspring), meaning, grant me a son who will have offspring, and Allah knows best.
... وَنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿٣٩﴾
A Prophet, from among the righteous.
delivers more good news of sending Yahya as Prophet after the good news that he will be born. This good news was even better than the news of Yahya's birth.
In a similar statement, Allah said to the mother of Musa,
إِنَّا رَآدُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَـعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Verily, We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of the Messengers. (28:7)
When Zakariyya heard the good news, he started contemplating about having children at his age.
قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىَ يَكُونُ لِي غُلاَمٌ وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِيَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَأَتِي عَاقِرٌ ...
"O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old, and my wife is barren!''
... قَالَ ...
meaning the angel said,
... كَذَلِكَ اللّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاء ﴿٤٠﴾
"Thus Allah does what He wills.''
meaning, this is Allah's matter, He is so Mighty that nothing escapes His power, nor is anything beyond His ability.
قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّيَ آيَةً ...
He said: "O my Lord! Make a sign for me.''
meaning make a sign that alerts me that the child will come.
... قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلاَّ رَمْزًا ...
(Allah) said: "Your sign is that you shall not speak to the people for three days except by signals.''
meaning, you will not be able to speak except with signals, although you are not mute.
In another Ayah, Allah said,
ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً
For three nights, though having no bodily defect. (19:10)
Allah then commanded Zakariyya to supplicate, thank and praise Him often in that condition,
... وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالإِبْكَارِ ﴿٤١﴾
And remember your Lord much and glorify (Him) in the afternoon and in the morning.
We will elaborate more on this subject in the beginning of Surah Maryam, Allah willing.
The Virtue of Maryam Over the Women of Her Time
وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَى نِسَاء الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٤٢﴾
And (remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the nations.''
Allah states that the angels spoke to Maryam by His command and told her that He chose her because of her service to Him, because of her modesty, honor, innocence, and conviction.
Allah also chose her because of her virtue over the women of the world.
At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ali bin Abi Talib said,
"I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
خَيْرُ نِسَائِهَا مَرْيَمُ بِنْتُ عِمْرَانَ، وَخَيْرُ نِسَائِهَا خَدِيجَةُ بِنْتُ خُوَيْلِد
The best woman (in her time) was Maryam, daughter of Imran, and the best woman (of the Prophet's time) is Khadijah (his wife), daughter of Khuwaylid.''
The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ashari said that the Messenger of Allah said,
كَمُلَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ كَثِيرٌ، وَلَمْ يَكْمُلْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا مَرْيَمُ بِنْتُ عِمْرَانَ وَ آسِيَةُ امْرَأَةُ فِرْعَوْن
Many men achieved perfection, but among women, only Maryam the daughter of Imran and Asiah, the wife of Fir`awn, achieved perfection.
The Six -- with the exception of Abu Dawud - recorded it.
Al-Bukhari's wording for it reads,
كَمُلَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ كَثِيرٌ، وَلَمْ يَكْمُلْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا آسِيَةُ امْرَأَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ، وَمَرْيَمُ بِنْتُ عِمْرَانَ،
وَإِنَّ فَضْلَ عَائِشَةَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ كَفَضْلِ الثَّرِيدِ عَلى سَائِرِ الطَّعَام
Many men reached the level of perfection, but no woman reached such a level except Asiah, the wife of Fir`awn, and Maryam, the daughter of Imran.
The superiority of Aishah (his wife) to other women, is like the superiority of Tharid (meat and bread dish) to other meals.
We mentioned the various chains of narration and wordings for this Hadith in the story of `Isa, son of Maryam, in our book, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, all the thanks are due to Allah.
Allah states that the angels commanded Maryam to increase acts of worship, humbleness, submission, prostration, bowing, and so forth, so that she would acquire what Allah had decreed for her, as a test for her. Yet, this test also earned her a higher grade in this life and the Hereafter, for Allah demonstrated His might by creating a son inside her without male intervention.
يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ ﴿٤٣﴾
"O Maryam! Submit yourself with obedience (Aqnuti) and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with Ar-Raki`in.''
As for Qunut (Aqnuti in the Ayah),
it means to submit with humbleness.
In another Ayah, Allah said,
بَل لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all surrender with obedience (Qanitun) to Him. (2:116)
Allah next said to His Messenger after He mentioned Maryam's story,
ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاء الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيكَ ...
This is a part of the news of the Ghayb which We reveal.
"and narrate to you (O Muhammad),''
... وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُون أَقْلاَمَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ ﴿٤٤﴾
You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam; nor were you with them when they disputed.
meaning, "You were not present, O Muhammad, when this occurred, so you cannot narrate what happened to the people as an eye witness. Rather, Allah disclosed these facts to you as if you were a witness, when they conducted a lottery to choose the custodian of Maryam, seeking the reward of this good deed.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ikrimah said,
"Maryam's mother left with Maryam, carrying her in her infant cloth, and took her to the rabbis from the offspring of Aaron, the brother of Musa. They were responsible for taking care of Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid) at that time, just as there were those who took care of the Ka`bah.
Maryam's mother said to them, `Take this child whom I vowed (to serve the Masjid), I have set her free, since she is my daughter, for no menstruating woman should enter the Masjid, and I shall not take her back home.'
They said, `She is the daughter of our Imam,' as Imran used to lead them in prayer, `who took care of our sacrificial rituals.'
Zakariyya said, `Give her to me, for her maternal aunt is my wife.'
They said, `Our hearts cannot bear that you take her, for she is the daughter of our Imam.' So they conducted a lottery with the pens with which they wrote the Tawrah, and Zakariyya won the lottery and took Maryam into his care.'''
Ikrimah, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, and several others said that;
the rabbis went into the Jordan river and conducted a lottery there, deciding to throw their pens into the river. The pen that remained afloat and idle would indicate that its owner would take care of Maryam.
When they threw their pens into the river, the water took all the pens under, except Zakariyya's pen, which remained afloat in its place.
Zakariyya was also their master, chief, scholar, Imam and Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him and the rest of the Prophets.
Delivering the Good News to Maryam of `Isa's Birth
This Ayah contains the glad tidings the angels brought to Maryam that she would give birth to a mighty son who will have a great future.
إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ ...
(Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word from Him,
a son who will come into existence with a word from Allah, `Be', and he was.
According to the majority of the scholars, this is the meaning of Allah's statement (about Yahya) مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ (Believing in the Word from Allah) (3:39).
... اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ...
His name will be Al-Masih, `Isa, the son of Maryam,
and he will be known by this name in this life, especially by the believers.
`Isa was called "Al-Masih'' (the Messiah) because when he touched (Mash) those afflicted with an illness, they would be healed by Allah's leave.
Allah's statement, عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ (`Isa, the son of Maryam),
relates `Isa to his mother, because he did not have a father.
... وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ﴿٤٥﴾
Held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.
meaning, he will be a leader and honored by Allah in this life, because of the Law that Allah will reveal to him, sending down the Scripture to him, along with the other bounties that Allah will grant him with.
`Isa will be honored in the Hereafter and will intercede with Allah, by His leave, on behalf of some people, just as is the case with his brethren the mighty Messengers of Allah, peace be upon them all.
`Isa Spoke When He was Still in the Cradle
وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً ...
He will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood,
calling to the worship of Allah Alone without partners, while still in the cradle, as a miracle from Allah, and when he is a man, by Allah's revelation to him.
Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَا تَكَلَّمَ مَوْلُودٌ فِي صِغَرِهِ إِلَّا عِيسَى وَصَاحِبُ جُرَيْج
No infant spoke in the cradle except `Isa and the companion of Jurayj.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
لَمْ يَتَكَلَّمْ فِي الْمَهْدِ إِلَّا ثَلَاثَةٌ: عِيسَى، وَصَبِيٌّ كَانَ فِي زَمَنِ جُرَيْجٍ، وَصَبِيٌّ آخَر
No infant spoke in the cradle except three, `Isa, the boy during the time of Jurayj, and another boy.
... وَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾
And he will be one of the righteous.
in his statements and actions, for he will possess, pure knowledge and righteous works.
`Isa was Created Without a Father
When Maryam heard the good news that the angels conveyed from Allah, she said;
قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ ...
"O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.''
Mary said, "How can I have a son while I did not marry, nor intend to marry, nor am I an indecent woman, may Allah forbid''
The angel conveyed to Maryam, Allah's answer,
... قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء ...
He said: "So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills.
He is Mighty in power and nothing escapes His ability.
Allah used the word `create' here instead of the word `does' as in the tale about Zakariyya (3:40), to eradicate any evil thought concerning `Isa.
Allah next emphasized this fact when He said,
... إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿٤٧﴾
When He has decreed something, He says to it only: "Be! ـ and it is.
meaning, what Allah wills, comes into existence instantly and without delay.
In another Ayah, Allah said,
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50),
meaning, "We only issue the command once, and it comes into existence instantly, as fast as, and faster than, a blink of the eye.''
The Description of `Isa and the Miracles He Performed
And He will teach him,
Allah states that the good news brought to Maryam about `Isa was even better because Allah would teach him,
... الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ ...
the Book and Al-Hikmah.
It appears that the `Book' the Ayah mentioned here refers to writing. We explained the meaning of Al-Hikmah in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah.
... وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ ﴿٤٨﴾
the Tawrah and the Injil.
The Tawrah is the Book that Allah sent down to Musa, son of Imran, while the Injil is what Allah sent down to `Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon them, and `Isa memorized both Books.
وَرَسُولاً إِلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ...
And will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel,
means, that Allah will send `Isa as a Messenger to the Children of Israel, proclaiming to them,
... أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ ...
I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave.
These are the miracles that `Isa performed; he used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow into it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave. Allah made this a miracle for `Isa to testify that He had sent him.
... وَأُبْرِىءُ الأكْمَهَ ...
And I heal him who is Akmah,
meaning, `a person who was born blind,' which perfects this miracle and makes the challenge more daring.
... والأَبْرَصَ ...
And the leper,
which is a known disease.
... وَأُحْيِـي الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ ...
And I bring the dead to life by Allah's leave.
Many scholars stated that Allah sent every Prophet with a miracle suitable to his time.
For instance, in the time of Musa, magic was the trade of the time, and magicians held a high position. So Allah sent Musa with a miracle that captured the eyes and bewildered every magician. When the magicians realized that Musa's miracle came from the Almighty, Most Great, they embraced Islam and became pious believers.
As for `Isa, he was sent during a time when medicine and knowledge in physics were advancing. `Isa brought them the types of miracles that could not be performed, except by one sent by Allah. How can any physician bring life to clay, cure blindness and leprosy and bring back to life those entrapped in the grave!
Muhammad was sent during the time of eloquent people and proficient poets. He brought them a Book from Allah; if mankind and the Jinn tried to imitate ten chapters, or even one chapter of it, they will utterly fail in this task, even if they tried to do it by collective cooperation. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah and is nothing like that of the creatures.
... وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ...
And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses,
means, I tell you about what one of you has just eaten and what he is keeping in his house for tomorrow.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ ...
all these miracles.
... لآيَةً لَّكُمْ ...
is a sign for you,
testifying to the truth of what I was sent to you with.
... إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٤٩﴾
وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ ...
If you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawrah,
affirming the Tawrah and upholding it,
... وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ...
and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you.
This part of the Ayah indicates that `Isa abrogated some of the Laws of the Tawrah and informed the Jews of the truth regarding some issues that they used to dispute about.
In another Ayah;
وَلأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِى تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ
And in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ. (43;63)
`Isa said next,
... وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...
And I have come to you with a proof from your Lord.
"Containing affirmation and evidence to the truth of what I am conveying to you.''
... فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ ﴿٥٠﴾
إِنَّ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ...
So have Taqwa of Allah and obey me. Truly, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone).
for I and you are equal in our servitude, submission and humbleness to Him.
... هَـذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٥١﴾
This is the straight path.
The Disciples Give Their Support to `Isa
فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَى ...
Then when `Isa came to know,
meaning, `Isa felt that they were adamant in disbelief and continuing in misguidance.
... مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ ...
of their disbelief, he said:
He said to them.
... مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللّهِ ...
Who will be my helper in Allah's cause.
"Meaning, who would follow me to Allah.''
However, it appears that `Isa was asking,
"Who would help me convey the Message of Allah!''
The Prophet said during the Hajj season, before the Hijrah,
مَنْ رَجُلٌ يُؤْوِينِي حَتَّى أُبَلِّغَ كَلَامَ رَبِّي؟، فَإِنَّ قُرَيْشًا قَدْ مَنَعُونِي أَنْ أُبَلِّغَ كَلَامَ رَبِّي
Who will give me asylum so that I can convey the Speech of my Lord, for the Quraysh have prevented me from conveying the Speech of my Lord.
until he found the Ansar. The Ansar helped the Prophet and gave him refuge. He later migrated to them, they comforted the Prophet and protected him from all his enemies, may Allah be pleased with them all.
This is similar to what happened with `Isa, for some of the Children of Israel believed in him, gave him their aid and support and followed the light that was sent with him. This is why Allah said about them;
... قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾
رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنزَلَتْ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ﴿٥٣﴾
Al-Hawariyyun said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims.
Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger; so write us down among those who bear witness.''
Hawari in Arabic - means `support'.
The Two Sahihs recorded that;
when the Prophet encouraged the people to fight during the battle of Al-Ahzab, Az-Zubayr came forward, and again, when the Prophet asked for fighters a second time. The Prophet said,
إِنَّ لِكُلِّ نَبِيَ حَوَارِيًّا، وَحَوَارِيِّي الزُّبَيْر
Every Prophet has a Hawari, and Az-Zubayr is my Hawari.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said about, فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ (so write us down among those who bear witness),
"Meaning among the Ummah of Muhammad.''
This Hadith has a good chain of narration.
The Jews Plot to Kill `Isa
وَمَكَرُواْ وَمَكَرَ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ ﴿٥٤﴾
And they plotted, and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of those who plot.
Allah states that the Children of Israel tried to kill `Isa by conspiring to defame him and crucify him.
They complained about him to the king who was a disbeliever. They claimed that `Isa was a man who misguided people, discouraged them from obeying the king, caused division, and separated between man and his own son. They also said other lies about `Isa, which they will carry on their necks, including accusing him of being an illegitimate son.
The king became furious and sent his men to capture `Isa to torture and crucify him. When they surrounded `Isa's home and he thought that they would surely capture him, Allah saved him from them, raising him up from the house to heaven.
Allah put the image of `Isa on a man who was in the house; when the unjust people went in the house while it was still dark, they thought that he was `Isa. They captured that man, humiliated and crucified him. They also placed thorns on his head.
However, Allah deceived these people. He saved and raised His Prophet from them, leaving them in disarray in the darkness of their transgression, thinking that they had successfully achieved their goal.
Allah made their hearts hard, and defiant of the truth, disgracing them in such disgrace that it will remain with them until the Day of Resurrection. This is why Allah said, وَمَكَرُواْ وَمَكَرَ اللّهُ وَاللّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ (And they plotted, and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of those who plot).
Meaning of "Take You"
إِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ...
And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa!
... إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ ...
I will take you and raise you to Myself,
while you are asleep.
Allah said in a similar Ayat,
وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَتَوَفَّـكُم بِالَّيْلِ
It is He Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep). (6:60)
اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الاٌّنفُسَ حِينَ مِوْتِـهَا وَالَّتِى لَمْ تَمُتْ فِى مَنَامِـهَا
It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. (39:42)
The Messenger of Allah used to recite the following words when he would awaken;
الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا، وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُور
All the thanks are due to Allah Who brought us back to life after He had caused us to die (sleep), and the Return is to Him.
وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَى مَرْيَمَ بُهْتَانًا عَظِيمًا
وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلاَّ اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا
بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا
وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا
And because of their saying, "We killed Al-Masih `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,'' but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not.
But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.
And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them. (4:156-159)
`His death' refers to `Isa, and the Ayah means that;
the People of the Book will believe in `Isa, before `Isa dies. This will occur when `Isa comes back to this world before the Day of Resurrection, as we will explain.
By that time, all the People of the Book will believe in `Isa, for he will annul the Jizyah and he will only accept Islam from people.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Hasan said that Allah's statement, إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ (I will take you),
is in reference to sleep, for Allah raised `Isa while he was asleep.
Altering the Religion of `Isa
... وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...
And purify (save) you from those who disbelieve,
by raising you to heaven,
... وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection.
This is what happened. When Allah raised `Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups.
Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur'an and refuted them.
The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity.
Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant. Constantine changed the religion of `Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust, which is in fact the Great Treachery. He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine, changed the direction of the prayer that `Isa established to the east, built churches for `Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed. So the religion of `Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more then twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul).
Throughout this time, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. Allah aided them against the Jews because they used to be closer to the truth than the Jews, even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah's curse descend on them.
When Allah sent Muhammad, those who believed in him also believed in Allah, His Angels, Books and Messengers in the correct manner. So they were the true followers of every Prophet who came to earth. They believed in the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, who called them to believe in the truth in its entirety. This is why they had more right to every Prophet than his own nation, especially those who claim to follow their Prophet's way and religion, yet change and alter his religion.
Furthermore, Allah abrogated all the laws that were sent down to the Prophets with the Law. He sent Muhammad with, which consists of the true religion that shall never change or be altered until the commencement of the Last Hour. Muhammad's religion shall always be dominant and victorious over all other religions. This is why Allah allowed Muslims to conquer the eastern and western parts of the world and the kingdoms of the earth.
Furthermore, all countries submitted to them; they demolished Kisra (king of Persia) and destroyed the Czar, ridding them of their treasures and spending these treasures for Allah's sake. All this occurred just as their Prophet told them it would, when he conveyed Allah's statement,
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِى الاْرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِى ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدّلَنَّهُمْ مّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْناً يَعْبُدُونَنِى لاَ يُشْرِكُونَ بِى شَيْئاً
Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them. And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they worship Me and do not associate anything with Me. (24:55)
Therefore, Muslims are the true believers in `Isa.
The Muslims then acquired Ash-Sham from the Christians, causing them to evacuate to Asia Minor, to their fortified city in Constantinople. The Muslims will be above them until the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, he, Muhammad, who is truthful and who received the true news, has conveyed to Muslims that they will conquer Constantinople in the future, and seize its treasures.
Threatening the Disbelievers with Torment in This Life and the Hereafter
... وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿٥٥﴾
فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَأُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ ﴿٥٦﴾
And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute.
As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.
This is what Allah did to the Jews who disbelieved in `Isa and the Christians who went to the extreme over him.
Allah tormented them in this life; they were killed, captured, and lost their wealth and kingdoms. Their torment in the Hereafter is even worse and more severe,
وَمَا لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَاقٍ
And they have no Waq (defender or protector) against Allah. (13:34)
وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ ...
And as for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full.
in this life, with victory and domination, and in the Hereafter, with Paradise and high grades.
... وَاللّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٥٧﴾
And Allah does not like the wrongdoers.
Allah then said,
ذَلِكَ نَتْلُوهُ عَلَيْكَ مِنَ الآيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الْحَكِيمِ ﴿٥٨﴾
This is what We recite to you of the verses and the Wise Reminder.
meaning, "What We narrated to you, O Muhammad, regarding `Isa, his birth and his life, is what Allah conveyed and revealed to you, sent down from the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet). So there is no doubt in it.
Similarly, Allah said in Surah Maryam;
ذلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِى فِيهِ يَمْتُرُونَ
مَا كَانَ للَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ سُبْحَـنَهُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
Such is `Isa, son of Maryam. (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute). It befits not Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: "Be!'' and it is. (19:34-35)
The Similarities Between the Creation of Adam and the Creation of `Isa
إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللّهِ ...
Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah,
regarding Allah's ability, since He created him without a father.
... كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ...
is the likeness of Adam,
for Allah created Adam without a father or a mother.
... خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثِمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿٥٩﴾
He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!'' and he was.
Therefore, He Who created Adam without a father or a mother is able to create `Isa, as well, without a father. If the claim is made that `Isa is Allah's son because he was created without a father, then the same claim befits Adam even more. However, since such a claim regarding Adam is obviously false, then making the same claim about `Isa is even more false.
Furthermore, by mentioning these facts, Allah emphasizes His ability, by creating Adam without a male or female, Hawwa from a male without a female, and `Isa from a mother without a father, compared to His creating the rest of creation from male and female. This is why Allah said in Surah Maryam, وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ (And We made him a sign for mankind), (19: 21).
Allah said in this Ayah,
الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُن مِّن الْمُمْتَرِينَ ﴿٦٠﴾
(This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.
meaning, this is the only true story about `Isa, and what is beyond truth save falsehood.
The Challenge to the Mubahalah
Allah next commands His Messenger to call those who defy the truth, regarding `Isa, to the Mubahalah (the curse).
فَمَنْ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءنَا وَأَبْنَاءكُمْ وَنِسَاءنَا وَنِسَاءكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وأَنفُسَكُمْ ...
Then whoever disputes with you concerning him after the knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves''
for the Mubahalah,
... ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ ...
then we pray, (supplicate),
... فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٦١﴾
and we invoke Allah's curse upon the liars,
among the two of us.
The reason for the call to Mubahalah and the revelation of the Ayat from the beginning of this Surah until here, is that;
a delegation from the Christians of Najran (in Yemen) came to Al-Madinah to argue about `Isa, claiming that he was divine and the son of Allah.
Allah sent down the beginning of this Surah until here, to refute their claims, as Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar and other scholars stated.
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said in his famous Sirah,
"The delegation of Christians from Najran came to the Messenger of Allah. The delegation consisted of sixty horsemen, including fourteen of their chiefs who make decisions.
These men were;
They also included,
Three of these men were chiefs of this delegation,
Abu Harithah was an Arab man from (the family of) Bakr bin Wa`il, but when he embraced Christianity, the Romans and their kings honored him and built churches for him (or in his honor). They also supported him financially and gave him servants, because they knew how firm his faith in their religion was.''
Abu Harithah knew the description of the Messenger of Allah from what he read in earlier divine Books. However, his otherwise ignorance led him to insist on remaining a Christian, because he was honored and had a high position with the Christians.
Ibn Ishaq said,
"Muhammad bin Jafar bin Az-Zubayr said that, `The (Najran) delegation came to the Messenger of Allah in Al-Madinah, entered his Masjid wearing robes and garments, after the Prophet had prayed the Asr prayer. They accompanied a caravan of camels led by Bani Al-Harith bin Ka`b.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah who saw them said that they never saw a delegation like them after that... Then Abu Harithah bin Alqamah and Al-Aqib Abdul-Masih or As-Sayyid Al-Ayham spoke to the Messenger of Allah, and they were Christians like the king (Roman King).
However, they disagreed about `Isa;
Allah is far from what they attribute to Him.''
Indeed, these are the creeds of the Christians.
They said, `If Allah were one, he would have said, `I did, command, create and decide.' This is why they claim that `Isa and Allah are one (Trinity).
Allah is far from what they attribute to Him, and we should mention that the Qur'an refuted all these false Christian claims.
Ibn Ishaq continued,
"When these Ayat came to the Messenger from Allah, thus judging between him and the People of the Book, Allah also commanded the Prophet to call them to the Mubahalah if they still refused the truth.
The Prophet called them to the Mubahalah. They said, `O Abu Al-Qasim! Let us think about this matter and get back to you with our decision to what we want to do.'
They left the Prophet and conferred with Al-Aqib, to whom they referred to for advice. They said to him, `O Abdul-Masih! What is your advice?'
He said, `By Allah, O Christian fellows! You know that Muhammad is a Messenger and that he brought you the final word regarding your fellow (`Isa). You also know that no Prophet conducted Mubahalah with any people, and the old persons among them remained safe and the young people grew up. Indeed, it will be the end of you if you do it. If you have already decided that you will remain in your religion and your creed regarding your fellow (`Isa), then conduct a treaty with the man (Muhammad) and go back to your land.'
They came to the Prophet and said, `O Abu Al-Qasim! We decided that we cannot do Mubahalah with you and that you remain on your religion, while we remain on our religion. However, send with us a man from your Companions whom you are pleased with to judge between us regarding our monetary disputes, for you are acceptable to us in this regard.'''
Al-Bukhari recorded that Hudhayfah said,
"Al-Aqib and As-Sayyid, two leaders from Najran, came to the Messenger of Allah seeking to invoke Allah for curses (against whoever is unjust among them), and one of them said to the other, `Let us not do that. By Allah, if he were truly a Prophet and we invoke Allah for curses, we and our offspring shall never succeed afterwards.'
So they said, `We will give you what you asked and send a trusted man with us, just a trusted man.'
The Messenger of Allah said;
لَأَبْعَثَنَّ مَعَكُمْ رَجُلًا أَمِينًا حَقَّ أَمِين
"Verily, I will send a trusted man with you, a truly trustworthy man.''
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah all felt eager to be that man.
The Messenger said,
قُمْ يَا أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ بْنَ الْجَرَّاح
"O Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah! Stand up.''
When Abu Ubaydah stood up, the Messenger of Allah said,
هَذَا أَمِينُ هذِهِ الْأُمَّة
"This is the trustee of this Ummah.'''
Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said on another occasion,
لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَمِينٌ، وَأَمِينُ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ بْنُ الْجَرَّاح
Every Ummah has a trustee, and the trustee of this Ummah is Abu Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,
"Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, said, `If I see Muhammad praying next to the Ka`bah, I will step on his neck.'
The Prophet later said,
لَوْ فَعَلَ لَأَخَذَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ عِيَانًا،
Had he tried to do it, the angels would have taken him publicly.
ولو أن اليهود تمنوا الموت لماتوا، ورأوا مقاعدهم من النار،
Had the Jews wished for death, they would have perished and would have seen their seats in the Fire.
ولو خرج الذين يباهلون رسول اللهصلى الله عليه وسلّم لرجعوا لا يجدون مالًا ولا أهلًا
Had those who sought Mubahalah with the Messenger of Allah, went ahead with it, they would not have found estates or families when they returned home.''
Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi graded Hasan Sahih.
Allah then said,
إِنَّ هَـذَا لَهُوَ الْقَصَصُ الْحَقُّ ...
Verily, this is the true narrative,
meaning, what we narrated to you, O Muhammad, about `Isa is the plain truth that cannot be avoided.
... وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَإِنَّ اللّهَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٦٢﴾
and none has the right to be worshipped but Allah. And indeed, Allah is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ ...
And if they turn away,
by abandoning this truth,
... فَإِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِالْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٣﴾
then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.
for those who abandon the truth for falsehood commit mischief, and Allah has full knowledge of them and will subject them to the worst punishment.
Verily, Allah is able to control everything, all praise and thanks are due to Him, and we seek refuge with Him from His revenge.
Every Person Knows about Tawhid
This Ayah includes the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians, and those who follow their ways.
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى كَلَمَةٍ ...
Say: "O people of the Scripture! Come to a word.''
`Word' - in Arabic - also means a complete sentence, as evident from this Ayah. Allah described this word as being one,
... سَوَاء بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ ...
that is the same between us and you,
an honest and righteous word that is fair to both parties.
Allah then explained this word,
... أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا ...
that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him,
we worship neither a statue, cross, idol, Taghut (false gods), fire or anything else. Rather, we worship Allah Alone without partners, and this is the message of all of Allah's Messengers.
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): "None has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and none else).'' (21:25)
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ
And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities).'' (16:36)
Allah said next,
... وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضاً أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ ...
"and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.''
Ibn Jurayj commented,
"We do not obey each other in disobedience to Allah.''
... فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُولُواْ اشْهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾
Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims.''
if they abandon this fair call, then let them know that you will remain in Islam as Allah has legislated for you.
We should mention that the letter that the Prophet sent to Heraclius reads,
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Heraclius, Leader of the Romans:
peace be upon those who follow the true guidance. Embrace Islam and you will acquire safety, embrace Islam and Allah will grant you a double reward. However, if you turn away from it, then you will carry the burden of the peasants,
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى كَلَمَةٍ ... فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُولُواْ اشْهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
"O people of the Scripture: Come to a word that is the same between us and you, that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.''
Then, if they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims.'''' (3:64)
Muhammad bin Ishaq and other scholars said that;
the beginning of Surah Al Imran, and more than eighty verses thereafter; were revealed about the delegation of Najran.
Az-Zuhri stated that;
the people of Najran were the first people to pay the Jizyah (tax money paid to the Muslim State). However, there is no disagreement that the Ayah that ordained the Jizyah (9:29) was revealed after the Fath (conquering Makkah, and therefore, after the delegation of Najran came to Al-Madinah).
So, how can this Ayah (3:64) be contained in the Prophet's letter to Heraclius before the victory of Makkah, and how can we harmonize between the statements of Muhammad bin Ishaq and Az-Zuhri
The answer is that the delegation of Najran came before Al-Hudaybiyyah (before the victory of Makkah), and what they paid was in lieu of the Mubahalah; not as Jizyah.
The Ayah about the Jizyah was later revealed, and its ruling supported what occurred with the Najran people.
In support of this opinion, we should mention that in another instance, the ruling on dividing the booty into one - fifth (for the Prophet) and four-fifths (for the fighters) agreed with the practice of Abdullah bin Jahsh during the raid that he led before Badr.
An Ayah later on upheld the way Abdullah divided the booty. Therefore, it is possible that the Prophet wrote this statement (Say, "O People of the Scripture. ..'') in his letter to Heraclius before the Ayah was revealed. Later on, the Qur'an agreed with the Prophet's statement, word by word.
It is also a fact that the Qur'an was revealed in agreement with what Umar said regarding the captured disbelievers at Badr, the Hijab (Muslim woman code of dress), refraining from performing prayer for the hypocrites, and regarding his statements:
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
And take you the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer. (2:125)
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَجاً خَيْراً مِّنكُنَّ
It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you. (66:5)
Disputing with the Jews and Christians About the Religion of Ibrahim
Allah censures the Jews and Christians for their dispute with Muslims over Ibrahim Al-Khalil and the claim each group made that he was one of them.
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"The Christians of Najran and Jewish rabbis gathered before the Messenger of Allah and disputed in front of him. The rabbis said, `Ibrahim was certainly Jewish.' The Christians said, `Certainly, Ibrahim was Christian.'
So Allah sent down,
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تُحَآجُّونَ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ ...
O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim,
meaning, `How is it that you, Jews, claim that Ibrahim was Jew, although he lived before Allah sent down the Tawrah to Musa!
How is it that you, Christians, claim that Ibrahim was Christian, although Christianity came after his time''
... وَمَا أُنزِلَتِ التَّورَاةُ وَالإنجِيلُ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِهِ ...
while the Tawrah and the Injil were not revealed till after him!
This is why Allah said,
... أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾
Have you then no sense!
Allah then said,
هَاأَنتُمْ هَؤُلاء حَاجَجْتُمْ فِيمَا لَكُم بِهِ عِلمٌ فَلِمَ تُحَآجُّونَ فِيمَا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ ...
Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge!
This Ayah criticizes those who argue and dispute without knowledge, just as the Jews and Christians did concerning Ibrahim. Had they disputed about their religions, which they had knowledge of, and about the Law that was legislated for them until Muhammad was sent, it would have been better for them. Rather, they disputed about what they had no knowledge of, so Allah criticized them for this behavior. Allah commanded them to refer what they have no knowledge of to He Who knows the seen and unseen matters and Who knows the true reality of all things.
This is why Allah said,
... وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦٦﴾
It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.
مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا ...
Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa,
shunning Shirk and living in Iman,
... وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿٦٧﴾
and he was not of the Mushrikin.
This Ayah is similar to the Ayah in Surah Al-Baqarah,
وَقَالُواْ كُونُواْ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى تَهْتَدُواْ
And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided...'' (2:135)
Allah said next,
إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَـذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَاللّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٦٨﴾
Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who have believed. And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.
This Ayah means,
"The people who have the most right to be followers of Ibrahim are those who followed his religion and this Prophet, Muhammad, and his Companions from the Muhajirin, Ansar and those who followed their lead.''
Sa`id bin Mansur recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
إِنَّ لِكُلِّ نَبِيَ وُلَاةً مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ، وَإِنَّ وَلِيِّي مِنْهُمْ أَبِي وَخَلِيلُ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَل
Every Prophet had a Wali (supporter, best friend) from among the Prophets. My Wali among them is my father Ibrahim, the Khalil (intimate friend) of my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored.
The Prophet then recited, إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ (Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him...).
... وَاللّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.
means, Allah is the Protector of all those who believe in His Messengers.
The Envy the Jews Feel Towards Muslims; Their Wicked Plots Against Muslims
وَدَّت طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
A party of the People of the Scripture wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves, and they perceive not.
Allah states that the Jews envy the faithful and wish they could misguide them.
Allah states that the punishment of this behavior will fall back upon them, while they are unaware.
Allah criticizes them,
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ ﴿٧٠﴾
O People of the Scripture!: Why do you disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, while you bear witness.)
You know for certain that Allah's Ayat are true and authentic.
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٧١﴾
O People of the Scripture: Why do you mix truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know!
by hiding what is in your Books about the description of Muhammad, while you know what you do.
وَقَالَت طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ آمِنُواْ بِالَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَجْهَ النَّهَارِ وَاكْفُرُواْ آخِرَهُ ...
And a party of the People of the Scripture say: "Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the believers, and reject it at the end of the day,
This is a wicked plan from the People of the Book to deceive Muslims who are weak in the religion. They decided that they would pretend to be believers in the beginning of the day, by attending the dawn prayer with the Muslims. However, when the day ended, they would revert to their old religion so that the ignorant people would say, "They reverted to their old religion because they uncovered some shortcomings in the Islamic religion.''
This is why they said next.
... لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿٧٢﴾
so that they may turn back.
Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid commented about this Ayah, which refers to the Jews,
"They attended the dawn prayer with the Prophet and disbelieved in the end of the day in order to misguide the people. This way, people would think that they have uncovered shortcomings in the religion that they briefly followed.''
وَلاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِلاَّ لِمَن تَبِعَ دِينَكُمْ ...
"And believe no one except the one who follows your religion.''
They said, do not trust anyone with your secret knowledge, except those who follow your religion. Therefore, they say, do not expose your knowledge to Muslims in order to prevent them from believing in it and, thus, use it as proof against you.
... قُلْ إِنَّ الْهُدَى هُدَى اللّهِ ...
Say: (O Prophet) "Verily, right guidance is the guidance of Allah.''
Allah guides the hearts of the faithful to the perfect faith through the clear Ayat, plain proofs and unequivocal evidence that He has sent down to His servant and Messenger Muhammad. This occurs, O you Jews, even though you hide the description of Muhammad. the unlettered Prophet whom you find in your Books that you received from the earlier Prophets.
... أَن يُؤْتَى أَحَدٌ مِّثْلَ مَا أُوتِيتُمْ أَوْ يُحَآجُّوكُمْ عِندَ رَبِّكُمْ ...
(And they say:) "Do not believe that anyone can receive like that which you have received, otherwise they would engage you in argument before your Lord.''
They say, "Do not disclose the knowledge that you have to the Muslims, to prevent them from learning it and thus becoming your equals. They will be even better because they will believe in it or will use it against you as evidence with your Lord, and thus establish Allah's proof against you in this life and the Hereafter.''
... قُلْ إِنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِيَدِ اللّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاء ...
Say: "All the bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He grants to whom He wills.
meaning, all affairs are under His control, and He gives and takes. Verily, Allah gives faith, knowledge and sound comprehension to whomever He wills. He also misguides whomever He wills by blinding his sight, mind, sealing his heart, hearing and stamping his eyes closed. Allah has the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proofs.
... وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٣﴾
And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.''
يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿٧٤﴾
He selects for His mercy whom He wills and Allah is the Owner of great bounty.
meaning, He has endowed you, O believers, with tremendous virtue, in that He honored your Prophet Muhammad over all other prophets, and by directing you to the best Shariah there is.
How Trustworthy Are the Jews
وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ ...
Among the People of the Scripture is he who,
Allah states that there are deceitful people among the Jews. He also warns the faithful against being deceived by them, because some of them,
... مَنْ إِن تَأْمَنْهُ بِقِنطَارٍ ...
if entrusted with a Qintar (a great amount) of money,
... يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ ...
will readily pay it back;
This Ayah indicates that this type would likewise give what is less than a Qintar, as is obvious.
... وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ إِن تَأْمَنْهُ بِدِينَارٍ لاَّ يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ إِلاَّ مَا دُمْتَ عَلَيْهِ قَآئِمًا ...
and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding,
and insisting on acquiring your rightful property. If this is what he would do with one Dinar, then what about what is more than a Dinar!
We mentioned the meaning of Qintar in the beginning of this Surah, while the value of Dinar is well known.
... ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِي الأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ ...
because they say: "There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).''
means, what made them reject the truth (or what they owed) is that they said, "There is no harm in our religion if we eat up the property of the unlettered ones, the Arabs, for Allah has allowed it for us.''
... وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾
But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it.
for they invented this lie and word of misguidance. Rather, Allah would not allow this money for them unless they had a right to it.
Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`sa`ah bin Yazid said that;
a man asked Ibn Abbas, "During battle, we capture some property belonging to Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, such as chickens and sheep.''
Ibn Abbas said, "What do you do in this case?''
The man said, "We say that there is no sin (if we confiscate them) in this case.''
He said, "That is what the People of the Book said, لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِي الأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ (There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs)).
Verily, if they pay the Jizyah, then you are not allowed their property, except when they willingly give it up.''
Allah then said,
بَلَى مَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَى ...
Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much,
fulfills his promise and fears Allah among you, O People of the Book, regarding the covenant Allah took from you to believe in Muhammad when he is sent, just as He took the same covenant from all Prophets and their nations. Whoever avoids Allah's prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shariah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind.
... فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٧٦﴾
verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin.
There is No Share in the Hereafter for Those Who Break Allah's Covenant
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً ...
Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths,
Allah states that whoever prefers the small things of this short, soon to end life, instead of fulfilling what they have promised Allah by following Muhammad, announcing his description (from their books) to people and affirming his truth, then,
... أُوْلَـئِكَ لاَ خَلاَقَ لَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ ...
they shall have no portion in the Hereafter.
They will not have a share or part in the Hereafter's rewards,
... وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللّهُ وَلاَ يَنظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
Neither will Allah speak to them nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection,
with His mercy.
This Ayah indicates that Allah will not speak words of kindness nor look at them with any mercy.
... وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ ...
nor will He purify them,
from sins and impurities. Rather, He will order them to the Fire.
... وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٧﴾
and they shall have a painful torment.
There are several Hadiths on the subject of this Ayah, some of which follow.
The First Hadith
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said,
"The Messenger of Allah said,
ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللهُ، وَلَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ، وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيم
There are three persons whom Allah will not speak to, look at on the Day of Resurrection or purify, and they shall taste a painful torment.
I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Who are they, may they gain failure and loss?'
He said, repeating this statement thrice,
This was also recorded by Muslim, and the collectors of the Sunan.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Adi bin Amirah Al-Kindi said,
"Imru' Al-Qays bin Abis, a man from Kindah, disputed with a man from Hadramut in front of the Messenger of Allah concerning a piece of land. The Prophet required the man from Hadramut to present his evidence, but he did not have any.
The Prophet required Imru' Al-Qays to swear to his truthfulness, but the man from Hadramut said, `O Messenger of Allah! If you only require him to swear, then by the Lord of the Ka`bah (Allah), my land is lost.'
The Messenger of Allah said,
مَنْ حَلَفَ عَلى يَمِينٍ كَاذِبَةٍ لِيَقْتَطِعَ بِهَا مَالَ أَحَدٍ، لَقِيَ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ غَضْبَان
Whoever swears while lying to acquire the property of others, will meet Allah while He is angry with him.''
Raja' one of the narrators of the Hadith, said that;
the Messenger of Allah then recited, إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً (Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths...).
Imru' Al-Qays said, `What if one forfeits this dispute, what will he gain, O Messenger of Allah?'
The Prophet answered, `Paradise.'
Imru' Al-Qays said, `Bear witness that I forfeit all the land for him.'''
An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَنْ حَلَفَ عَلى يَمِينٍ هُوَ فِيهَا فَاجِرٌ، لِيَقْتَطِعَ بِهَا مَالَ امْرِى مُسْلِمٍ، لَقِيَ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِ غَضْبَان
Whoever takes a false oath to deprive a Muslim of his property will meet Allah while He is angry with him.
"By Allah! This verse was revealed concerning me. I owned some land with a Jewish man who denied my right, and I complained against him to the Messenger of Allah.
The Prophet asked me, `Do you have evidence?'
I said, `I don't have evidence.'
He said to the Jew, `Take an oath then.'
I said, `O Allah's Messenger! He will take a (false) oath immediately, and I will lose my property.'
Allah revealed the verse, إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً (Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths...).''
The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ، وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ، وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ:
Three persons whom Allah shall not speak to on the Day of Resurrection, or look at, or purify them, and they shall taste a painful torment.
Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Hasan Sahih.
The Jews Alter Allah's Words
وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَابِ لِتَحْسَبُوهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ ...
And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues, so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: This is from Allah, but it is not from Allah,
Allah states that some Jews, may Allah's curses descend on them, distort Allah's Words with their tongues, change them from their appropriate places, and alter their intended meanings. They do this to deceive the ignorant people by making it appear that their words are in the Book of Allah. They attribute their own lies to Allah, even though they know that they have lied and invented falsehood.
Therefore, Allah said,
.. وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٧٨﴾
and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it.
Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that, يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَابِ (who distort the Book with their tongues), means,
"They alter them (Allah's Words).''
Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said that;
the Ayah means they alter and add although none among Allah's creation can remove the Words of Allah from His Books, they alter and distort their apparent meanings.
Wahb bin Munabbih said,
"The Tawrah and the Injil remain as Allah revealed them, and no letter in them was removed. However, the people misguide others by addition and false interpretation, relying on books that they wrote themselves. Then, وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ (they say: "This is from Allah,'' but it is not from Allah;). As for Allah's Books, they are still preserved and cannot be changed.''
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.
However, if Wahb meant the books that are currently in the hands of the People of the Book, then we should state that there is no doubt that they altered, distorted, added to and deleted from them. For instance, the Arabic versions of these books contain tremendous error, many additions and deletions and enormous misinterpretation. Those who rendered these translations have incorrect comprehension in most, rather, all of these translations.
If Wahb meant the Books of Allah that He has with Him, then indeed, these Books are preserved and were never changed.
No Prophet Ever Called People to Worship him or to Worship Other Than Allah
مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللّهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُواْ عِبَادًا لِّي مِن دُونِ اللّهِ ...
It is not (possible) for any human being to whom Allah has given the Book and Al-Hukm and Prophethood to say to the people: "Be my worshippers rather than Allah's.''
This Ayah means, it is not for a person whom Allah has given the Book, knowledge in the Law and Prophethood to proclaim to the people, "Worship me instead of Allah,'' meaning, along with Allah. If this is not the right of a Prophet or a Messenger, then indeed, it is not the right of anyone else to issue such a claim.
This criticism refers to the ignorant rabbis, priests and teachers of misguidance, unlike the Messengers and their sincere knowledgeable followers who implement their knowledge; for they only command what Allah commands them, as their honorable Messengers conveyed to them. They also forbid what Allah forbade for them, by the words of His honorable Messengers. The Messengers, may Allah's peace and blessings be on all of them, are the emissaries between Allah and His creation, conveying Allah's Message and Trust. The messengers indeed fulfilled their mission, gave sincere advice to creation and conveyed the truth to them.
... وَلَـكِن كُونُواْ رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ ﴿٧٩﴾
On the contrary (he would say), "Be you Rabbaniyyun, because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it.''
means, the Messenger recommends the people to be Rabbaniyyun.
Ibn Abbas, Abu Razin and several others said that;
Rabbaniyyun means, "Wise, learned, and forbearing.''
Ad-Dahhak commented concerning Allah's statement, بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ (because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it).
"Whoever learns the Qur'an deserves to become a Faqih (learned).''
وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ (and you are studying it),
preserving its words.
Allah then said,
وَلاَ يَأْمُرَكُمْ أَن تَتَّخِذُواْ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ وَالنِّبِيِّيْنَ أَرْبَابًا ...
Nor would he order you to take angels and Prophets for lords.
The Prophet does not command worshipping other than Allah, whether a sent Messenger or an angel.
... أَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْكُفْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ ﴿٨٠﴾
Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to Allah's will!
meaning, he would not do that, for whoever calls to worshipping other than Allah, will have called to Kufr.
The Prophets only call to Iman which commands worshipping Allah Alone without partners.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): "None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me''. (21:25)
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ
And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghut (all false deities).'' (16:36)
وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ
And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious (Allah)!'' (43:45)
Allah said concerning the angels,
وَمَن يَقُلْ مِنْهُمْ إِنِّى إِلَـهٌ مِّن دُونِهِ فَذلِكَ نَجْزِيهِ جَهَنَّمَ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الظَّـلِمِينَ
And if any of them should say: "Verily, I am a god besides Him (Allah),'' such a one We should recompense with Hell. Thus We recompense the wrongdoers. (21:29)
Taking a Pledge From the Prophets to Believe in Our Prophet, Muhammad
Allah states that He took a pledge from every Prophet whom He sent from Adam until `Isa, that when Allah gives them the Book and the Hikmah, thus acquiring whatever high grades they deserve, then a Messenger came afterwards, they would believe in and support him.
Even though Allah has given the Prophets the knowledge and the Prophethood, this fact should not make them refrain from following and supporting the Prophet who comes after them. This is why Allah, the Most High, Most Honored, said,
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ...
And (remember) when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: "Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah.''
meaning, if I give you the Book and the Hikmah,
... ثُمَّ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ...
"and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.''
Allah said, "Do you agree (to it) and will you take up Isri!''
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that;
`Isri' means, "My covenant.''
Muhammad bin Ishaq said that, إِصْرِي (Isri) means,
"The responsibility of My covenant that you took,''
meaning, the ratified pledge that you gave Me.
... قَالُواْ أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُواْ وَأَنَاْ مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ﴿٨١﴾
They said: "We agree.''
He said: "Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses.''
then whoever turns away after this,''
from fulfilling this pledge and covenant,
... فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾
they are the rebellious.
Ali bin Abi Talib and his cousin Abdullah bin Abbas said,
"Allah never sent a Prophet but after taking his pledge that if Muhammad were sent in his lifetime, he would believe in and support him.''
Allah commanded each Prophet to take a pledge from his nation that if Muhammad were sent in their time, they would believe in and support him.
Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said,
"Allah took the pledge from the Prophets that they would believe in each other,''
and this statement does not contradict what Ali and Ibn Abbas stated.
Therefore, Muhammad is the Final Prophet until the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest Imam, who if he existed in any time period, deserves to be obeyed, rather than all other Prophets. This is why Muhammad led the Prophets in prayer during the night of Isra when they gathered in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).
He is the intercessor on the Day of Gathering, when the Lord comes to judge between His servants. This is Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud (the praised station) (refer to 17:79) that only Muhammad deserves, a responsibility which the mighty Prophets and Messengers will decline to assume. However, Muhammad will carry the task of intercession, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.
The Only Valid Religion To Allah is Islam
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا ...
Do they seek other than the religion of Allah, while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly.
Allah rebukes those who prefer a religion other than the religion that He sent His Books and Messengers with, which is the worship of Allah Alone without partners, to Whom, وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ (submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth), Willingly, or not.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَللَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا
And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. (13:15)
أَوَ لَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى مَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ يَتَفَيَّأُ ظِلاَلُهُ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَالْشَّمَآئِلِ سُجَّدًا لِلّهِ وَهُمْ دَاخِرُونَ
وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ
Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly.
And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud.
They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded. (16:48-50)
Therefore, the faithful believer submits to Allah in heart and body, while the disbeliever unwillingly submits to Him in body only, since he is under Allah's power, irresistible control and mighty kingship that cannot be repelled or resisted.
Waki reported that Mujahid said that;
the Ayah, وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا (While to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly),
is similar to the Ayah,
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ
And verily, if you ask them: "Who created the heavens and the earth!'' Surely, they will say: "Allah.'' (39:38)
He also reported that Ibn Abbas said about, وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا (while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly),
"When He took the covenant from them.''
... وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٨٣﴾
And to Him shall they all be returned.
on the Day of Return, when He will reward or punish each person according to his or her deeds.
Allah then said,
قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا ...
Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us,
... وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ...
and what was sent down to Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yaqub,