The Holy Quran Commentary Sura 2:Al-Bakara & The Cow
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Commentary of Quran

[Shakir 2:1] Alif Lam Mim.
[Yusufali 2:1] A.L.M.
[Pickthal 2:1] Alif. Lam. Mim.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:1]

ALIF LAM MIM are letters of the Arabic alphabet. They are known as huruf muqatta-at, letters used as abbreviations for words which have a definite meaning of sublime and profound nature known only to Allah, His last prophet, and His Ahl ul Bayt, the true divinely chosen successors, the holy Imams. Particularly, these types of symbolic alphabets, used in some of the surahs of the Quran, as a part of those surahs, are beyond the comprehension of (even) the most learned intellectuals. It is strictly prohibited to use imagination and discretion in finding out its purport and meaning.

There are six surahs including al Baqarah, which begin with ALIF, LAM, MIM. The others are Ali Imran, Ankabut, Rum, Luqman and Sajdah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Many interpretations have been forwarded and manipulated by some commentators, but they are all based upon conjecture, devoid of any definite authority. According to the holy Imams these letters are a means of reaching the higher realms of true knowledge, available in the verses of the Quran, but the domain of sublime confidences are reserved only for the chosen representatives of Allah.

(2) Presence or glory (Baqarah: 115 - Rahman: 27).
[Shakir 2:2] This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:2] This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;
[Pickthal 2:2] This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:2]

DHALIKAL KITAB
Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Dhalika (that), a demonstrative pronoun, refers to something distant, but, in Arabic, sometimes is also used to indicate a highly revered object, even if it is close at hand. This book, the word of Allah, in the sphere of revelation, is complete, comprehensive, sublime and worthy of reverence, in the highest possible degree. Therefore, here and in many other sentences dhalika is used to refer to this holy book; and tilka, the feminine gender of dhalika, is used to refer to its verses. Whether translated as this or that, it refers to that which is in our hands.

AL KITAB

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Al kitab, the book, has been named Quran, derived from the verb qura-a, which means to recite or to read. Therefore, the literal meaning of Quran is recitation, in the light of verses 16 to 19 of al Qiyamah, and in view of verse 185 of al Baqarah, it is a guidance with clear proofs, and a distinction.

It is furqan - that which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil, according to verse 1 of al Furqan, on account of its containing the principles of good and evil, and also the conditions of reward and punishment. It is also called furqan because of its gradual delivery, part by part, according to verses 106 and 107 of Bani Israil. According to verse 9 of al Hijr, it is dhikr, the reminder.

Al kitab is hakim (a decisive book of divine wisdom), aziz (a unique book of natural beauty), hamid (praiseworthy), majid (glorious), karim (bounteous and honoured) and mubin (clear and expressive).

It is also ummul kitab, the mother book. The application of this title is with regard to the clear revelations, beyond all ambiguity (ayat ul muhkamat) - they are the substance of the book as per verse 7 of Ali Imran, in the light of which the rest of the book is explained.

There are many other substitute expressions of the above noted description of al kitab, mentioned in the verses of the Quran, some of which have been listed on page 1. Also many important aspects of the book have been discussed in the "essentials for the readers of the Quran", from page 1 to 7.

The Quran has been specified as the book, as well as, the word or sentence of Allah. The book and the word are the vehicles of thought and will. When the expression of thought or will, or both, are written, giving stability and simultaneity to the components, it is a book, whereas the word is only the spoken expression. Although the expression, whether written or spoken, is attributable to the knowledge and the ability of the author or speaker, it is absurd to refer to the work of the author or speaker as his attribute, because knowledge or ability, and not its outcome, is the attribute.

In normal sense, the word is produced by highly organised functions of the vocal organs of living beings; and a book is the result of the elaborate labour of man's hand, pen, paper and ink etc. This does not apply to the word and the book of Allah. According to Imam Ali ibna abi Talib, the word of Allah is not a spoken expression in the sense of sound but is a divine will. He said:

It is not a sound that strikes the ear, nor a voice to be heard. Verily His words are His work, originated by Him.

His work, originated by Him, had stability and simultaneity prior to its gradual delivery to the visible world; and after the appearance in the lowest sphere of manifestation, this stable and simultaneous work became His book. Therefore, it has continuity, in the order of descent, by the continuity of His will. In view of these two aspects, all that has been created (the whole and its parts) is His word, the effect of His creative will. On account of its stability and the simultaneity of its parts the whole creation is a book of Allah i.e. the written expression of His will and thought.

Generally, the endurance of the written expression does not depend upon the existence of its author, or the continuity of his attention. But the relation between the created and the creator, as pointed out by the Quran, is like the ray of light to its source; the reaction to the action; the reflection to the radiation; the speech to the continuity of attention and the will to speak; or the mental process to the attention. Also, as the speech is related to the speaker, so too the genesis, survival, continuity and simultaneity of the parts of every finite being is related to the continuity of the attention and will of the infinite, the creator. Viewing the creation from this angle, it is the word of Allah. Therefore, the effect or outcome of the divine will and knowledge is the book, as well as, the word of Allah.

Allah is the absolute and the ultimate authority in the domain of creation (what is), as well as, in the domain of legislation (what ought to be). In the "what is", there is no place for the will of the creature. In the "what ought to be", the will of the creature operates as a reaction. With reference to the "what is", the book of Allah is the kitab ul takwini. In connection with the "what ought to be", it is the kitab ul tashri-i. The source of both the books, the takwini and the tashri-i (under the process of tanzil, the gradual delivery), is with Allah, immeasurable, but the revealed form, He had sent down, is in a known measure (see verse 21 of al Hijr). Nazul or the revelation is a term applied in the Quran to the process of descent from the infinite to the finite, in creation as well as in legislation. The divine revelation, in legislation, passes through the same stages of intellectual, angelical and non-material agencies, as it does in creation. In creation, the last stage of revelation is that when it is exposed to our senses, termed as alam shahadat (the visible world), and alam malak (the world of cause and effect). In legislation the last stage of revelation is the heart (power to visualise) of the Holy Prophet, prior to its utterance. Therefore, this revelation (legislation) is in complete conformity with the revelation regarding creation.

Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says:

Although you see yourself as a "nothing to speak of" origin, in you is summed up the vast universe; and, therefore, you are the meaningful book whose words make clear the unknown.

Thus man is the synthesis of kitab ul takwini, or a brief summary of the universe, a microcosm (alam saghir), and the universe is a universal man (insan ul kabir). Each can be viewed in the light of the other. This is only applicable to a man who has reached the superlative sphere of intellectual attainment and is capable of direct communion with the absolute, which is the highest stage of obedience (ububiyat). It is applicable to the last prophet of Allah. And it is applicable to those whom he had identified with himself in such attainment. It is unanimously agreed and universally acknowledged by all schools of Islam that the Holy Prophet did not identify anyone with himself nor himself with anyone save Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, Husayn and the other nine Imams of his house.

The Holy Prophet had said:

I and Ali are from "one and same" divine light.

The first of us is Muhammad,

the middle of us is Muhammad,

the last of us is Muhammad,

every one of us is Muhammad.

Next to the Holy Prophet and those mentioned above, are the other prophets and messengers of Allah, according to their various degrees of attainment. To each of them the word and the book of Allah, in the realm of legislation, had been revealed, keeping in view their respective degree of attainment as the microcosm and purposeful book of creation. The higher a prophet was in his attainment, the more comprehensively was the word and the book revealed to him. The last prophet, in his ascent, reached the maximum stage of qaba aw adna (two bows length, or even nearer - Najm:9), therefore, the word and the book revealed to him was the most comprehensive, the most expressive, and the final revelation, tammat kalimatu rabbika sidqan wa adla (and perfect is the word of your Lord in truth and justice) - See verses 115 and 116 of al An-am.

While explaining the word and the book, in their origin and in the various stages of their revelation down to the visible world, the process of descent from the infinite to the finite and from the absolute unity to manifold multiplicity has been dealt with. Now it must be mentioned, as pointed out earlier, that the process of creation is circular in nature, and all that which has been created should return to the original source, therefore, the ascent, from the finite to the infinite, and from multiplicity to unity, necessarily follows the same stages of the descent in reverse.

He regulates (all) affairs from heaven to the earth; then it shall ascend unto Him.

(SAJDAH: 5)

Also refer to verse 2 of al Saba, and verse 11 of al Rum.

Whatever comes into existence in the lowest realm, be it a substance, an accident, or an action, appears in the highest in a refined form, or correspondingly retains its refined impression. These impressions may be termed as the divine books of the hereafter (kutub ma badut tabiyy) i.e. books post-physical, in the same way as the impressions present in the process of revelation, prior to the visible world, may be termed as book pre-physical. The origin and the absolute reality behind the phenomenon, the universe, in all its stages and phases, is identified with the infinite excellence. Therefore, it must be said that the stages, in both the arcs of descent and ascent, together with their contents, closer to the infinite, are more real than the stages further from the absolute. In fact the lower stages are the impressions, images and reflections of the real entities in the higher stages.

And there is not a thing but with Us are its treasures, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.

(HIJR: 21 )

In the initial stages of contemplation, the things perceptible to the senses look real, and all that which is out of sight (beyond perception) appears to be imaginary, but when the intellectual observation and vision grasps the above view point and reaches beyond, this state of mind will give the impression of unreality and the ideas beyond take the shape of reality. So, the things which appear in the sensual realm are merely of an illusory nature, unreal; because their reality lies in the realm beyond. This imperative condition is applicable to the book of creation (kitab ul takwini), the visible phenomenon of creation, as well as the revealed book of legislation (kitab ul tashri-i). To deny the existence of the Quran, or the other sacred scriptures, prior to their advent in their visible form, means the denial of the proceeding of the universe from the infinitely perfect absolute. It would be an unreasonable denial based upon a negative approach (from the imperfect to the perfect and from the unconscious to the conscious), because the basis of pure scientific investigation is that "a thing cannot come out of nothing." Or were they created by nothing? (Tur: 35) The truth that whatever appears in the visible world has had a pre-existence in some form in the book (the unseen world), as stated in verse 22 of al Hadid, has to be accepted.

The Quran, in verses 38 and 39 of al Rad says that "for every term (age) there is a book (a written record) prescribed; (of it) Allah effaces what He wills, and confirms (what He wills); and with Him is the mother of the book (basic source)." It means that for every fixed term or period there is a book which is subject to change. Also for every soul and for every community there is a book (see verse 10 of al Munafiqun) and each of these has two books, the book prior to its existence and the book after its existence (see verses 27 and 28 of al Jathiyah, and verses 13 and 14 of Bani Isra-il). All these partial books, dealing with conduct and character and various aspects, prior to or after the visible appearance, are included in the ummul kitab, which is with Allah (see verses 38 and 39 of al Rad), represented here by the Quran which is ummul kitab, as well as, kitab ul mubin. Therefore, all references to al-kitab indicate the Quran either in its revealed form or in its form prior to revelation.

The Quran is the sum total of the word and the book of Allah. It is the map of the universe. Its letters, words, clauses, sentences, chapters, parts, and symbols, jointly or severally, signify the facts of the creation in its circular process. To read and understand any map, a fixed scale is required, without which it would be a meaningless mass of unrelated and irrelevant dots and lines having no value or significance. Therefore, in the case of the Quran, those who do not make use of the "real scale", remain unattached, go astray and wander in the wilderness of ignorance and confusion. The Quran refers to this fact.

"Verily, We sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the book and the scale, that mankind may observe right measure (establish themselves in justice):

(HADID:25)

Reason, with its limitations, can be applied as a scale, but the Quran provides the clear guidance as to who are the true scale.

Verily (indeed) it is Quran honourable,

in a book, hidden,

which none touches save the purified.

(WAQI-AH: 77 to 79)

The touch, mentioned in the above verse, is not physical in nature, but is purely intellectual and spiritual, which implies total identification of the known, the knowing and the knower, inseparable from each other. Therefore, only the thoroughly purified souls, as shown in the above verse, can be in touch with the Quran in its pre-revealed form, as it is in the hidden book. The Quran clearly identifies such persons who have been thoroughly purified by Allah Himself to the perfect degree in verse 33 of al Ahzab. They are the Ahl ul Bayt, the people of the holy house. The well known and the most authentic declaration of the Holy Prophet (Hadith Thaqalayn) is the confirming interpretation of these verses. The holy book and the holy Ahl ul Bayt are inseparably identified with each other from their origin, down in the arc of descent, and up again in their ascent (return) to the presence of the maliki yawmid din. It makes no difference whether the term imamum mabin, in verse 12 of Ya Sin, is interpreted either as the Ahl ul Bayt or as the Quran, for these two are neither separate from each other nor will ever be separable, because one reflects the other.

And everything we have confined into a clear expressive guide. (YA SIN:12)

The revealed book, in our hands, does not speak, and is therefore mute (samit); whereas the Ahl ul Bayt by being able to speak are eloquent (natiq). This conclusion is based upon the Quran and the wording of the Holy Prophet. Whoever does not accept it, does so, based on his own conjectural discretion. Whatever is said while explaining the verses of the Quran, throughout this commentary, is based upon the unambiguous verses of the book itself, the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet, the holy Ahl ul Bayt and true logical reasoning.

In view of the explanation of the word and the book of Allah, the opinion held by some people of importance, as an article of faith, that the Quran is uncreated, eternal and co-existing with the being of Allah, like His attributes, becomes unacceptable. The word or writing of Allah is His work, not His essential attribute. The idea of coexistence of His work with His being was imported from the Christian ideology which was borrowed from Jewish Alexandrian philosophy. The Quran repeatedly presents the whole creation and its every part and particle as the word (work) of Allah, the outcome of His creative will and attention, or His legislative will and attention.

By disclosing the correct meaning of the term word, applicable to every creature, the Quran refutes the efforts of the Christian theologists to establish Christ as the co-existing being with God by calling him the divine word after (erroneously) assuming that the word of God is uncreated and eternal. According to the Quran the unusual birth of Isa does not exempt him from being a created obedient servant of Allah.

Verily, the likeness of Isa (Jesus) with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust,

(ALI IMRAN:59)

Also see verses 16 to 38 in Maryam. In the book of Luke (3:38) Adam has also been referred to as the son of God, which clearly implies that the word "son" has been substituted for "the chosen servant" of God. Thus Isa was one of the obedient servants of the Lord in the same sense as Adam was one of His chosen servants, and nothing more.

LA RAYBA FIHI

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The Quran in full, in parts and in its arrangement, is the work of Allah. There is no doubt in it. In verses 41 and 42 of Ha Mim, it has been made clear that the book, in our hands, is the same as revealed to the Holy Prophet, both in its quantity as well as in its arrangement. It was revealed to him as a complete book. The gradual delivery, part by part, verse by verse or chapter by chapter to the people, on various occasions, does not mean that the revelation to him was also gradual or piecemeal. He recited it as and when necessary, under divine instruction, which only regulated the delivery. It is a historical fact that the arrangement of the verses was not made according to any chronological order, but that the passages delivered in the later period were put by the order of the Holy Prophet, into the respective chapters delivered in the earlier period, because he knew beforehand, to which chapter each verse belonged. This would not have been possible unless the whole and complete book, in its present arrangement, had already been with him, duly revealed, prior to its delivery to the people. For those who treat the Holy Prophet as an ordinary man who passed his forty years in ignorance, astray and bewildered, prior to the endowment of the prophetic mission, when the holy ghost, Jibra-il, taught him bismillah, as in the case of a child, the gradual revelation, scattered and with no proper arrangement, may be justified; but for those who see the Holy Prophet in his true position, which is repeatedly asserted by the Quran; that he never followed, in any period of his life, any path or creed except the divine religion, rightly know and believe that he was chosen and commissioned right from the beginning, to deliver that which had already been revealed to him.

MUTTAQIN

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The root word of taqwa (to adopt protection or to be on guard) is waqiya (protection). It is not fair to associate taqwa with fear. In view of His universal mercy and grace there should be no fear. One should be afraid of ungodliness and its influence. Walking on the finer than a hair and sharper than a sword right path, a complete submission to Allah's will, brings success. It is a very difficult exercise unless man remains on guard, at every moment, against the danger of straying off the path. either by falling short or by exceeding the boundaries. This state of cautiousness and precaution is taqwa, the highest form of godmindedness. Taqwa wherever it is used in the Quran, means to take refuge with Allah, by total submission to His will, from straying off the right path. Ali ibna abi Talib says "obedience to Him is freedom from bondage" (ta-atahu ghina). Poor and enslaved are those who disobey Him and go astray. In total submission to His will lies independence, freedom and deliverance. Taqwa is used in the sense of fear only in prepositional form-see verse 28 of Ali Imran. Taking taqwa in this sense some of the holy Imams used the word taqiyyah, a precaution against the evildoers who abuse and destroy the faith and the faithful. Taqiyyah means not to disclose or make public one's faith or some articles of faith to the aggressive mischief-mongers, or to those who are not fit to grasp the truth. This is godliness and paying attention to Allah's will.

Those who want to be led on the right path must remember that a perfect standard of the attribute is in view whenever the definition or description of any quality is referred to. For example, any one or every one who merely professes to be pious or faithful can never be included among the group described as muttaqin, and muttaqun, or muminin, and muminun, in the holy book. They, who possess the referred qualities to the maximum possible degree of perfection, are addressed in the holy book. Others may claim suitable categories according to the degrees of qualities they possess. A thorough and impartial search takes us to the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt who (alone) possess all the qualities mentioned in verses 2,3,4 and 5 of this surah, to the maximum, who never, in their lives, committed any minor or major sin, because, as mentioned in verse 33 of al Ahzab, they are the only muttaqin thoroughly purified by Allah Himself. No doubt, the book is a guidance to others also to the extent of every individual's personal purity and to the degree these qualities are developed by following the infallible Ahl ul Bayt.

As the Quran is the manifestation of the absolute rahman and rahim, its guidance is also universal as well as particular. Wherever it is mentioned in the Quran that the Holy Prophet has been sent as Allah's grace or blessing for the worlds, or the book has been revealed to him so that he may warn the people, the reference is made to the universal aspect of guidance. Allah does not reserve His bounty for a particular group. His grace is universal, but the creatures are responsible, according to their ability to receive, for obtaining the benefits, or not getting anything at all, or going in reverse direction, and harming themselves. Here, in this verse, the guidance has been mentioned with reference to the particular group of the muttaqin, the pious, to make known the group of people who have obtained the highest benefits due to their purest degree of piety. The Quran describes a few qualities of this pious group in verses 3, 4 and 5 of this surah. In one of his sermons, Ali ibna abi Talib, the authority after the Holy Prophet, enumerates the properties of piety in detail, which gives a clear view of the nature and significance of piety. Please also refer to verse 177 of this surah.

(see commentary for verse 1). Shirk (polytheism), according to verse 13 of Luqman, is the greatest injustice, therefore, it is directly opposite to wasat.

There are three type of shirk:

JALLIYY - evident.
KHAFIYY - concealed.
AKHFA - most concealed.
The Holy Prophet has compared the shirk, hidden in the hearts of men, to the movement of a black ant on a black stone in the darkness of the night. Everyone is involved with shirk of one kind or another, in the heart of his hearts. Strictly speaking, trying to assert one's own wish against a decree of Allah is no less than a shirk of equalising one's self or ego with the authority of the divine will. Those who have been praised by Allah as wasatan (just) had never been contaminated with shirk at any time. In the days of the Holy Prophet, he, Ali and Fatimah alone had this distinction, otherwise all the companions had worshipped many gods other than Allah, therefore, this word wasat can only be applied to the Holy prophet, Fatimah, Ali and the holy Imams. Also refer to the commentary of verse 124 of this surah.

(3) Shahid means witness, used in the sense of raqib (who observes attentively, guards and preserves) or mahaymin (who confirms, protects and fulfils). Witness is he who can testify every aspect of the event, manifest as well as hidden. In verse 17 of al Hajj the word shahid has been used for Allah. "Allah is witness over all things." In verse 43 of al Rad and in verse 17 of al Hud, Ali ibna abi Talib is the witness (see page 4 for details). In verse 41 of al Nisa and in verse 89 of al Nahl it is said that Allah will bring of every people a witness and will bring the Holy Prophet as a witness to verify all the witnesses. (See commentary of these verses).

'We are the witnesses of Allah," said Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zaynal Abidin and Imam Ali ibna abi Talib.

The holy Imams are the ummatan wasatan. Every true believer in Allah should turn unto them for guidance in order to know what is goodness or virtue. According to the degree of closeness and attachment with the holy Imams, one gets the blessings and bounties of Allah. The example of Salman must be kept in mind. On account of his close attachment with the Ahl ul Bayt, the Holy Prophet had bestowed the highest honour on him - "One among the Ahl ul Bayt," a privilege given to none, except him, outside the family of the Holy Prophet.

(4) Li-na-lama. "We might know" is the literal meaning. As Allah is all-knowing, He does not need a test to know whether one is a believer or not. With reference to Allah this phrase means "to make manifest or to express openly." The change in the direction of qiblah was made to make known those who really believe in Allah and those who will turn back upon their heels.

(5) Illa alalladhina hadallah means that the change of qiblah was surely hard except for those whom Allah had guided aright. Sa-bi reports that one day in the court of Hajjaj at Basra, Hasan al Basri was present. Hajjaj and his courtiers were abusing Ali ibna abi Talib. Hasan al Basri was silent. Hajjaj invited him to give his opinion. Hasan al Basri said that illaa alalladhina hadallah was revealed for Ali ibna abi Talib.

Among those who were praying behind the Holy Prophet when the divine communication to change the qiblah was received, it was Ali ibna abi Talib who alone turned towards Makka simultaneously with the Holy Prophet.

(6) Ma kanallaku li-yudis imanakam

The true faithful in the family of the Holy Prophet knew, through their belief in the almighty Allah, the ultimate direction of qiblah, therefore they were certain that their prayers in the direction of Jerusalem did not go waste. According to Ibna Abbas this part of the verse was revealed to allay the fears of those who thought that their prayers offered towards Jerusalem might be rendered useless.


[Shakir 2:3] Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.
[Yusufali 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;
[Pickthal 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:3]

YUMINUNA BIL GHAYB

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The literal meanings of iman, islam and din, used frequently in the Quran, are very close to each other. The submission of thoughts and feelings to the object of belief is iman. To surrender willingly, inwardly as well as outwardly, to the will (of a supreme being) is islam. A deeply rooted dutiful, devoted, submissive and abiding approach, by nature and in appearance, towards "the approved discipline" is din. Din has been used variously to mean judgement, subjugation, religion, to do good, to obey, to advance a loan, to take into account, to reward and to punish, but the root is that which has been stated above, which also implies all the given meanings.

According to verses 14 and 15 of al Hujurat islam is the outward obedience and iman is the inward submission. Islam and iman become synonymous when islam is used with reference to inward submission and iman is used with reference to outward obedience. Let us examine the state of mind in connection with iman and din. All the mental tendencies and faculties together with their allied phenomenon is rooted in the human ego or the conscious-self, referred to as "I". The ego, endowed with self-consciousness, loves itself. This self-love is followed by the involvement and concern for self-protection, self-maintenance and self-advancement .

Self-love creates and promotes the emotions of devotion, hatred, lust, and anger, also feelings and imagination, thinking and contemplation. The love for self-preservation creates the lust (hunger) for food, which is responsible for the development of the sense of taste. It also enables to feel repulsion for that food which is harmful. This repulsion is termed as anger. The desire to preserve the self, in all times, through reproduction, is carried out by the sexual lust. It is because of self-love, that man loves that which belongs to him and to which he refers to as "mine" - parents, children, relatives, community and surroundings with which, in some way or the other, he is associated. Things which he feels as not his own or opposed to his interest, create repulsion in him. Man's activities are the expression of either the love or repulsion that he feels, whether or not the object of love or repulsion is within the control of his will power. With regard to those objects which are within the control of his will power, a lust for domination is developed. But if the object, loveable or repulsive, useful or harmful, is beyond his control, a sense of awe and reverence associated with the desire for an approach through surrender, submission and appeasement is developed, believing that the object is sacred. This submissive state of mind is described as din, and its expression takes the form of sacrifice (qurbani). In this sense din and iman are one and the same, i.e. the inclination of the mind and heart towards the object believed to be effective in one's destiny. Mere belief, or just to be sure of anything is not iman, but belief in its reality and its effectiveness in one's destiny, beyond the domination of one's own will power, is true iman. No one, not even those who pose as atheists, can be devoid of this subjective aspect of din and iman. The objective aspect or methods of approach bring in the differences. People may differ as to who or what should be held as sacred and how to pray and offer sacrifice, but no one can do without holding something or other as sacred and bowing down before that sacred object, and adopting a method of approach and adoration. The sacred objects and the methods of prayers and sacrifice have gone through an evolutionary process with the development of man's intellect, knowledge, experience, power of reasoning, contemplation, and, above all, on account of the instructions and guidance given by the divinely commissioned teachers.

The necessary consequence of religious tendency, natural in every man, as the result of self-love, is prayer and sacrifice. Sacrifice is an effort to break one's bonds so as to come in contact with the sacred being, the ultimate object of faith, by parting with some of his possessions, which, on account of his faith, are regarded as gifts received from the sacred being. Prayer is a demand put forward to the object of adoration and veneration; and when the demand is met, the bounties received are given to others, in charity, to please the fulfiller. So to take and to give, in religious adoration, go together. Only in how and what is given people are distinguished from each other. Din and iman, in the highest form, is yuminuna bil ghayb, a total and perfect inclination and commitment of the mind and the heart, on the strength of pure reasoning, to the unseen and the inconceivable reality, realised by all as beyond the grasp of human means and intellect. The loftier the object the more intense will be the faith in it. Although there are beings beyond the empirical knowledge like angels and jinn etc., yet they are created beings, definable and within the conceptual capacity of man; despite the fact that they cannot be verified through observation and experiment. Only Allah, beyond all definitions and limitations, is ghayb ul mutlaq, the incomprehensible absolute, the loftiest object of din and iman, the ultimate of iman bil ghayb, and not anything else created by Him. This iman bil ghayb is a dynamic force which takes man towards the absolute in a progressive and unfaltering stride. If any other unseen, except the ghayb ul mutlaq, is held as an object of faith, it will cause stoppage, obstruction and stagnancy, which results in idolatry. In verses 52 to 56 of al Anbiya this stagnancy has been condemned.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says:

That which your mind, in its finest awareness, may distinctly grasp, would be your creation

like unto you, and that will bounce and come back to you.

YUQIMUNAS SALAT

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The literal meaning of salat is the middle of the backbone. When used as a verb, it means the bending and unbending of the backbone. It is particularly employed when an animal is curved at the time of delivery. Figuratively, it was used for a bending posture at the time of giving or taking something. From this, it was adopted for prayer, to signify a submissive attitude. The Quran has drawn on this word to describe man's praying attitude towards Allah, as well as Allah's turning towards His creatures.

The natural religious tendency of man, as the result of self-love, makes him bend before the absolute, in prayer, to express his wants and needs in order to obtain fulfilment. The bending of the absolute means His turning towards the supplicant to give that which he deserves.

According to verses 41 to 43 of al Ahzab, for the creature, prayer is the expression of his quest for the grace of the creator, and for the creator His salat is the bestowal of His grace upon the creature.

In Islam, the purpose of prayer is to please Allah, and nothing pleases Allah but that which is the most beneficial to His creatures. Therefore, no prayer is approved by Islam save that which has been prescribed by Allah, nothing less, nothing more, as man has no right to add, omit or alter the prescribed prayer.

MIMMA RAZAQNAHUM YUNFIQUN

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Please refer to the commentary of yumununa bil ghayb about spending in the way of the Lord which is the essential property of iman. Spending in the way of Allah, as prescribed by Him pleases Him because it is a source of great benefit to His creatures.

As mentioned earlier, the giving away to others from that which has been provided is not confined to the material possessions, but it includes every thing which comes under the term provision, like knowledge etc.

(see commentary for verse 1).

(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:4] And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you and they are sure of the hereafter.
[Yusufali 2:4] And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.
[Pickthal 2:4] And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:4]

The pious are those who believe not only in the truthfulness of the Quran, revealed to the Holy Prophet, but also in the holy books sent down to the prophets of Allah before him. This makes Islam a universal religion for the whole mankind. According to verse 24 of Fatir, verse 78 of al Mumin, verse 150 of al Nisa, and verse 136 and 285 of al Baqarah, no other religion besides Islam, enjoins as an article of faith, the belief in the truthfulness of all the messengers of Allah and the holy scriptures.

BIL AKHIRATI

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Akhirat literally means the end, but in the Quran this word has mostly been used in the sense of the hereafter, the life after death. In some places it means the world beyond the visible world.

They know (only) the appearance (the apparent phase) of the life of the world (the lower life), and are heedless (negligent) of the hereafter (its other phase).

(RUM: 7)

The use of the word zahir (apparent), and ghafil (negligent) makes clear that akhirat referred to in the above-noted verse is an antonym of zahir, which is known to most people, yet they are negligent. The word negligence is justified when something is known but paid no attention. The life after death is not the antonym of the apparent, nor it is the neglected known. It is something to come. Therefore, in the above verse, the "other phase" means the world beyond the range of physical experience, which is the world of subjective insight and conscious self. In this connection, it must be noted that even the material world is not known to us through the physical experience of senses because they are affected by the qualities and conditions of the matter, not by the matter itself; and the conscious self is closer to the other world than to the lower world, which is more akin to the senses. For this reason ghafilun, not jahilun has been used. To know the true meaning, it is essential to take into consideration the context in which this word has been applied in the Quran.

Here, in this verse akhirat has been utilised in the sense of hereafter, the life after death, or after

the end, the end of the material world. There is nothing without some end, in the sense of purpose, and the purpose lies beyond the "apparent phase", the world of awareness through the physical experience of the senses.

HUM YUQINUN

Yaqin is the state of conviction and certainty acquired through an unshakeable evidence or proof. The description of muttaqin begins with iman bil ghayb, a complete submission of mind and heart to the ghaybul mutlaq and ends with yaqin, an unshakeable firm conviction and certainty that the ultimate purpose of life in this world lies in the life after death in the direction unto the absolute.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3).

(5) Essence, self or the nature of the inner being (Ma-idah : 108 - Qasas: 88 - Rahman: 27).

Here it means total submission.

Mere verbal profession of faith does not bring salvation, as the Jews and the Christians thought, but guidance and its rewards are for him who submits himself entirely to Allah and acts in the way of Allah, in conformity with Allah's will, uncompromisingly, in full awareness of his goal, shedding all strings of attachments and desires. There is no fear for him, nor shall he grieve. At the time of migrating from Makka to Madina, the Holy Prophet had a companion with him. They took refuge in a cave to avoid the pursuing enemies. The companion was miserable with fear and grief. The Holy Prophet asked him not to fear because Allah was present with them. Also there were companions who deserted the Holy Prophet when the terror and fright of death made them flee from the battle of Uhad.

(see commentary for verse 2) Belief in the revealed scriptures, as the true word of Allah, is one of the articles of faith (Baqarah: 285).

His reliance upon Allah's ability to protect whom He wills, was unqualified;

and, above all, being from one and the same divine light, they were so closely integrated that one had
to be in the shoes of another all the time.

While the assassins were lying in wait for the planned strike, they, on several occasions, looked slyly at the bed, and were assured by the blanket of the Holy Prophet that he was sleeping inside it. They did not realise that it was Ali under the blanket, whilst the Holy Prophet opened the door and walked away unnoticed. As planned, the assassins, naked swords in their hands, broke in and removed the blanket from the sleeper's face. They were surprised to find Ali there instead of the Holy Prophet. They viewed his composure and steady expression of resolute courage, and having failed to obtain any information about the whereabouts of the Holy Prophet, disappointed, they stepped out one by one.

The Holy Prophet had asked his companions not to leave their homes on the night of the migration, but he found Abu Bakr following him on his way to Madina. However, he allowed him to accompany him and they took refuge in a cave, because after finding Ali in the bed, the conspirators at once started the quest for the Holy Prophet. By Allah's will, a spider wove a web across the mouth of the cave, and in front of it a pigeon laid her eggs. Seeing this, the pursuers presumed that no one had entered the cave for a long time and did not search it. Inside the cave, the companion of the Holy Prophet was frightened and had started crying in anguish when he heard the voices of the enemy. The Holy Prophet recited the following verse to console him.

Do not fear. Allah is with us. (Tawbah: 40) On the next morning, Ali returned to the depositors all that which they kept with the Holy Prophet in trust and left Makka, with the ladies of the house, to join the Holy Prophet in Madina. It must be noted that even his opponents called the Holy Prophet al-amin, the trustworthy, and kept their valuables in his custody. And it was Ali, the executor of his will, who discharged all his commitments on his behalf. But the Muslim ummah, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, went along with the frightened companion and forgot him whose unshakeable faith in Allah, love for His messenger, and matchless courage entitled him to obtain mardatillah, the pleasure and discretion of Allah. Ali's risking his life for the Holy Prophet pleased Allah so much that He revealed this verse in his honour, referring to Ali's actions as selling his soul for earning Allah's pleasure and permission.


[Shakir 2:5] These are on a right course from their Lord and these it is that shall be successful.
[Yusufali 2:5] They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.
[Pickthal 2:5] These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:5]

The use of ula-ika, the demonstrative pronoun for remote things or persons, as the subject of the sentence implies "those only" (a restriction) who depend on and follow the guidance from their Lord, and are successful in their life-journey. The reason for this restriction is obvious, as, although His guidance is universal, but only people of such calibre (described as muttaqin), and none else, can avail and use the guidance, in its minutest detail, in letter and spirit, to the full satisfaction and pleasure of the guide.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2) Those Jews and Christians who believe in some prophets and not in others (Nisa: 150) are, in fact, the real unbelievers (Nisa: 151 ).


[Shakir 2:6] Surely those who disbelieve, it being alike to them whether you warn them, or do not warn them, will not believe.
[Yusufali 2:6] As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.
[Pickthal 2:6] As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:6]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Kufr means to cover or to conceal. In the Quran covering the truth, or the fault, has been described as kufr. Covering or concealing the truth is turning the mind from it. Covering the fault is redeeming or redressing, or wiping it out, as per verse 31 of al Nisa. It is mostly used in a sense directly opposite to iman.

In the sense of concealment of truth, kufr is a wilful act, (may be) not out of ignorance, but due to ulterior motives or unreasonable bigotry. Therefore the disbelievers (kafirs), devoid of faith, do not follow guidance, whether they are warned or not. In view of verse 1 of al Furqan, it would be wrong to say that the Holy Prophet has been advised not to carry on his mission. It points out the obstinacy of the infidels and their expected reaction to the warnings, on account of their trend and tendency to suppress the truth.

When this biased and prejudiced bent of mind, to reject the real and adopt the unreal, becomes a rigid habit, "sealing" of hearts takes place, according to the next verse.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2) "Nor shall you attain unto righteousness until you spend of that which you love", says verse 92 of Ali Imran.

Islam does not demand indifference to worldly possessions but makes it obligatory to subordinate the love of possession to the spirit of giving it away in the name and cause of Allah, the real owner of the bounties, which are given to some of His servants as a favour. They should hold these bounties as a trust to be distributed according to His command. Emancipation of the captives or liberation of slaves is an essential condition of the genuine faith in Allah.

Of all the religions, only Islam condemns slavery. It treats liquidation of the institution of slavery as a prime virtue. In verse 13 of al Balad freeing a slave has been highly praised. In verse 89 of al Ma-idah and in verse 3 of al Mujadalah the liberation of slaves has been prescribed as kaffarah (expiation).

The Holy Prophet said:

"For the love of Allah give away your wealth for freeing those enemies whom you have captured in war."

Once the Holy Prophet gave a slave to Abu Dhar with instructions to treat him kindly and to do with him as he would with himself. As soon as Abu Dhar brought the slave home, he set him free. "Allah will bless you", said the Holy Prophet when he heard the news.


[Shakir 2:7] Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them.
[Yusufali 2:7] Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).
[Pickthal 2:7] Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:7]

Sealing of the disbelievers' hearts, who make a willing choice of the life of sin, is a happening

in the usual course. Lack of proper use of the faculties of discernment and understanding blunts their judgement and reasonableness, a logical penalty, referred to in verse 179 of al Araf, and verse 5 of Ha Mim, wherein they themselves bear witness to the penalty they had been inflicted with. According to the commentator of Majma ul Bayan, seal means witness or testimony.

Allah bears witness to the loss of usefulness of the disbelievers' faculties to see, hear and understand,

in order to inform the Holy Prophet that all attempts, howsoever sincere and eager, will fail to bring them back to the right path, as they are unable to pay attention to any type of warning.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

As has been explained on page 24, in the commentary of verse 5 of al Fatihah, man's action is in fact a reaction to Allah's action which becomes active in response to the complex of essential qualities of the object which reacts.

QULUB

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Qalb (heart) in the Quran, refers to the functions of the conscious self. It is the centre of total human consciousness, known as "I", like the physical heart which is the centre of the blood circulation system. The mind receives information ; through the experiences of the senses, which are developed into ideas by a mental operation, which also perceives feelings. These feelings are translated into actions, and the actions return back to the mind, undergoing the same process. It resembles the circular movement of the blood into the physical heart. Another justification is the close relation of the feelings with the physical heart, the main organ of the body, which, moved by the feeling, acts. The qalb reacts to the suggestions and guidance received through the experiences of the senses as well as subjective insight, corresponding to the individual peculiarities. Some qalbs are more receptive to goodness, refined thoughts and feelings of a higher spiritual nature. Some qalbs are more inclined towards evil and worldly pleasures. A "one and the same" suggestion may cause different reactions in the two directly opposite qalbs. One qalb receives the divine command and carries it out, while the other rejects it and revolts.

The immediate organ between the heart and the divine preaching is the ear, therefore, it has been connected with the heart, and as the result of the sealing of the heart, the ear has also been sealed. Consequently the disbelievers' vision has been obscured. Now they cannot see the truth. For them is a painful torture in the hereafter.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:8] And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers.
[Yusufali 2:8] Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe.
[Pickthal 2:8] And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:8]

From verse 8 to verse 20 the conduct of the hypocrites has been described.

Aqa Mahdi Puya Says:

Those disbelievers, who put on a show of coming into the fold of Islam in order to avail safety and security, to serve their self-interest, and to protect their social position, have been described as the hypocrites (munafiqin).

Although a large number of commentators find it suitable to point to Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades, exclusively, as the hypocrites referred to here and in other places, but the use of the word munafiqin is not restricted to Madani surahs. In verse 11 of al Ankabut, revealed in Makka, when Abdullah bin Obay and his active partisans did not appear on the scene, this word was used to identify, in general, one and all, in any age, who may possess this evil.

Among those who accepted Islam and agreed to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet, some were reluctant converts; some were uncertain about the bonafides of the Holy Prophet as the messenger of Allah; some, under protest and with a heavy heart, followed the mainstream but at heart were pagans; some only put up a front. Such half-hearted, unwilling, or deceptive acceptance of faith is devoid of the higher spiritual conceptions, therefore, sincere and perfect practice of the faith was not possible. And men and women belonging to this category could never fulfil any of the demands of the faith, particularly that which did not serve their interest, because, in their minds, something else, not the faith in Allah and the Holy Prophet, was more likely and feasible. The incident about the cutting down of trees during the siege of Bani Nadhir, referred to in verse 5 of al Hashr; the abandonment in time of trouble by running away from the battle of Uhad, referred to in verses 153 to 155 of Ali Imran; the expression of doubt about the bonafides of the messenger of Allah, throws light on the conduct of those companions who were weak or indecisive in their belief.

In between the two directly opposite groups, the thoroughly purified muttaqin and the munafiqin whose hearts, ears and eyes have been sealed, there is the type of above-noted group of converts who agreed to give answer to the call of the Holy Prophet to worship one Allah and follow His commandments, but on account of their inability to detach themselves completely from the habits, customs and mental attitude of the "days of ignorance" and infidelity, failed, on many occasions, to meet the demands of pure faith,

because of the infiltration of doubts and suspicions about the genuineness of the prophethood of the

Holy Prophet.

(i) According to Tabari (Vol. 3, page 21, published from Egypt), Shibli (Al Faruq), Ibna Kathir (Badayah Wan Nahayah: Volume 4, page 28, published in 1351 Hijra from Egypt), the second and the third caliphs were among the deserters in the battle of Uhad.

(ii) According to Tarikh Khamis, Vol. 2, page 24, published in 1302 Hijra from Egypt), Sahih Bukhari (Vol. 2; page 82 published in 1355 Hijra from Egypt), Tafsir Durr Manthur (Vol.2; page 77 published in 1314 Hijra from Egypt), and Tafsir Kathir (Vol. 3; page 351 published in 1402 from Beirut), the second caliph Hazrat Umar bin Khattab, as per his own version, had never before suspected so strongly the bonafides of Muhammad the true messenger of Allah, as at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya.

There are different classes of believers. No doubt the types described above are not hypocrites, but, as pure and perfect faith is a very refined state of mind and heart, they cannot be counted in the highest category of believers. It is very difficult for an individual to know the degree of his own faith (verse 9 refers to the self-delusion of such believers), until he comes across a test and trial. The true quality of the faith of the confused companions was laid bare whenever tested, yet such indecisive believers, after the Holy Prophet, were acclaimed as the heroes of Islam.

Many a commentator wrongly refers to Abdullah bin Obay and his associates whenever munafiqin are discussed in the Quran, as a scapegoat substitute for the really dangerous hypocrites whose subversive activities proved more harmful to Islam than Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades. It is an attempt to restrict the general view of the Quran. In fact Abdullah bin Obay's activities never amounted to a real threat. He had no influence even over his own family. He was a very wealthy man, and therefore, wanted to be the chief of Madina, but his chances of success disappeared after the arrival of the Holy Prophet. He was a man of no importance. Had his schemes been really harmful to Islam, the Holy Prophet would not have led his funeral prayers.

The verses in the Quran, about the hypocritical attitude of some of the disciples of the Holy Prophet, are more applicable to the people of Quraysh than any other group. The aim of the Quran is to describe the psychological condition of the companions surrounding the Holy Prophet, in order to classify the reaction of mankind, in general, till eternity, to the final message of Allah, conveyed through the last prophet. The reaction to the divine message divides people in different groups. Those whose commitment is total on account of their complete concord with the prophetic guidance, occupy the highest position nearest to Allah. Those who are not fully convinced, due to lack of wisdom, may not oppose and go astray, but only manage to keep themselves from denying the faith.

Apart from these two groups, there are some who openly oppose Allah and his prophet, with no hope of any improvement in their attitude.

There is another class of people who profess the faith in a hypocritical manner, with a rigid antagonistic attitude of mind and heart. They are those whose heart, hearing and sight have not yet been sealed. There is a hope of improvement if they come out of their wavering. They come under the definition of munafiqin until the improvement takes place. This wavering in most of the disciples of the Holy Prophet was due to their attachment with the old habits, customs and creeds. The force of the new mission tried to detach them from their "days of ignorance" psyche. This conflict between the tendency of the "days of ignorance" and the irresistible energy of truth created the mental conflict which was responsible for their activities both during and after the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. This wavering has been pointed out by the Quran in verses 144 and 149 of Ali Imran, and verses 25 and 26 of Muhammad. There are many authentic traditions that the Holy Prophet also expressed his concern about this "turning back" of his companions. It must be noted that though the Quran deals with the hypocrites in many surahs in various shades and descriptions, but the Muslim historians, however, do not mention the far reaching influence of the policies and activities carried out by the hypocrites, as rulers, after the departure of the Holy Prophet. On the contrary, a general view is presented that every one of the companions was a true faithful, a bright star, and a symbol of guidance, in total disregard to the indisputable role of the hypocrites during and after the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. They did not die before the Holy Prophet. They emerged with full force after him and exercised full control over the destiny of the ummah.

The Holy Prophet says:

A hypocrite is he who lies, breaks promises, and proves himself dishonest if trusted.

In fact there were very few among the companions who, detached from their old habits, customs and creeds, submitted wholeheartedly to the religion of Allah.

The Holy Quran says:

Very few of My servants are grateful.

(SABA:13)

In verses 8 to 20 reference is made to those hypocrites whose conscience, hearing and sight have been sealed and there is no possibility of their return to the truth.

Verse 9 confirms the position of the people, described and discussed in the previous verse, who are under the delusion that their state of mind is hidden from Allah. To obtain wealth and power they try to attract the attention of the people by putting on a superficial show of virtuousness. They may win the goodwill of the common people but their expectation of getting a reward from Allah ends in frustration, because He is fully aware of the intentions of His creatures.

He does not take them out of their delusion. Hypocrisy lurks in the hearts of those who are not thoroughly purified. Circumstances and lure of worldly gains, and not independent conviction, motivated many an early convert to come into the camp of the Holy Prophet. When, the doings and sayings of the messenger of Allah, under the strict commands of Allah, began to make clear that authority to guide and administer the society belonged to the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, the thoroughly purified, as the fulfilment of the divine will according to the verse 33 of al Ahzab, their envy and grudge against the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt came into the open. In the light of verse 80 of al Nisa whosoever opposes and subverts the authority of the Holy Prophet, in fact disobeys Allah.

The Quran says:

Verily, those who cause suffering to Allah and His messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a disgraceful punishment.

(AHZAB:57)

The Holy Prophet says:

Fatima is my flesh and blood. Whosoever causes suffering to her in fact causes suffering to me. He who has pained me in fact has pained Allah; and indeed, he is a disbeliever.

(Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 2; page 206 published in 1355 Hijra from Egypt, Sahih Muslim: Vol. 4; page 125 published in 1349 Hijra from Egypt).

Many books of history and traditions clearly mention the disgraceful attitude of the companions towards the dearest daughter of the Holy Prophet, after his death. For example in Vol. 1, page 64 of Tarikh Abul Fida, published from Egypt, it is written that the two caliphs were among those who went to the house of Fatima for setting it on fire. Also Abi Fat-ha Shahrastani in Al Milal Wan Nahal on page 25 and 26 mentions the events which took place at the house of Bibi Fatimah.

Anfusahum means themselves as well as their associates. "And they do not perceive" represent the men who imagine themselves to be good and those who follow such men. In fact they do not know what they are. They are actually self-deluded. This is the state of mind of all those who are misguided and misled by their own false judgement.

To follow the true guidance, communicated through the word of Allah, it is essential not only to know those upon whom, on account of their knowledge and total commitment to the divine guidance, bounties had been bestowed, but also to identify those who defied it and went astray, in order to avoid following their wickedness.

The policy to verbally profess faith in Allah and His messenger, so as to deceive the faithful, in the hope of getting material gains, is termed in verse 10, and in many other verses as the "disease of the heart", the result of which may be disbelief (kufr), or hypocrisy (nifaq). Envy and jealousy took hold of those who did not sincerely believe in the supreme authority of the Holy Prophet. The disbelief, the envy and the jealousy of the hypocrites has been termed as a disease. Since it is Allah who bestowed the supreme authority on the Holy Prophet, therefore, the envy and jealousy in the hearts of the hypocrites, as a disease, which increased proportionately to the enhancement in the glory of the Holy Prophet, is the result of Allah's will.

The duplicity in the conduct of the hypocrites, pointed out in verse 11, was a mutual arrangement between them and the infidels to check and upset the growing honour and status of the Holy Prophet and the dominance of Islam, through intrigue and subversion; but, to pacify the questioning of the believers, they said it was to bring the infidels to friendly terms with the Muslims, whereas, truly, they were planning to usurp the political power in order to lay hands on the material gains which would be there to possess after the departure of the Holy Prophet. It became plain to them that during the lifetime of the messenger of Allah such schemes could not be implemented, therefore, the enemies of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, in the garb of peace-makers, played a waiting game. It must be noted that though, after the Holy Prophet, they took the control of the government, but earned the displeasure of almighty Allah who has promised painful punishment on the liars, a fact which they did not perceive.

For ordinary people it is very difficult to detach themselves from the clutches of old ideologies which serve their selfish interest, and follow or believe in a new faith, free from the lure of profit or the fear of loss, particularly when the new faith demands a complete rejection of the viciousness of the animal self which clings to raw passions and crude urges. They were proud of their social position and possessions under the old system. This misconceived individual and group pride made the infidels look down upon the true believers (with really awakened minds) as inferiors, because they (the infidels) could not use reason or put forward arguments to contradict the true faith, Islam. Verse 13 makes it clear that, in truth, it is they who are mean and stupid, not those who believe in Allah and His messenger by discarding false notions of pride and conceit

As you sow so shall you reap. It is the law of nature. In verse 14 and 15 "the making fun" of the believers by the infidels has been compared to deviltry, but the paying back in the same coin by Allah is the scorn (or the last laugh) they shall experience on the day of judgement in the form of eternal punishment. In this world they have been given (enough) rope, pelf and power, to hang themselves in the end.

In verse 16 the wilful adoption of error has been likened to a bad bargain.

Believing in the truth, according to verse 17, is like the illumination of a fire which lights up the surrounding. The spark of faith which had just been kindled could have been turned into a bright floodlight but evils like envy, malice and love of material possessions put out the spark of faith, therefore, Allah, in view of the prevalent evil, took away the light of faith and abandoned them to the utter darkness of ignorance and disbelief.

In verse 18 the loss of the "inner light" is illustrated as becoming deaf, dumb and blind, due to which there is no possibility of finding the way leading to the truth.

Rain makes the earth grow life-giving and life-preserving provisions. In verse 19, Islam has been compared to an abundant rain. The lightning is the victories Islam won against the forces of infidelity.

The darkness is the occasion when the Muslims did not have an upper hand, which created doubts in the minds of the hypocrites about the genuineness of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet. They feared total annihilation. In verse 20, it is said that the hypocrites, attracted momentarily by the glory of Islam, rejoiced at their joining the ranks of the Muslims; and in the hour of trials and tribulations they recoiled, scared and doubled-minded. They were under the total control of Allah's power. There is no escape from His hold. In the days of early Islam it was in the interest of the Muslims to let the hypocrites remain in delusion.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The new mission, Islam, is like a heavy shower coming down from heaven, a promising event every one welcomes, but the thunder, lightning and darkness, coming along with it, create fright and make people take precaution against the impending threat. In the days of early Islam some people anticipated reaping a good harvest if they joined the ranks of the believers, yet they were reluctant to give up the privileges enjoyed by them under the old system. For example the Quraysh, as custodians of the Kabah, were respected by the people of Arabia. This sanctity gave them the opportunity of monopolising the trade from the Indian Sea to the Mediterranean, and from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and Red Sea upto the African coast. By giving up idolatry, they had to renounce class distinction and agree to the equality of human beings, preached by Islam, which would have certainly affected their economic interests. On the other hand, they could not close their eyes to the grand possibility of taking control of the ever progressing active energy of a highly advanced society, created by the lofty ideals of Islam, which would spread like a wild fire all over the world, so as to rule over vast lands and countless people and appropriate the wealth of the nations. The result was a continuous wavering. Neither did they want to detach themselves from the old order, which appeared to them as a frightful darkness, nor could they resist the unlimited produce the abundant rain, Islam, would yield. These wavering hypocrites do not belong to the class of those disbelievers whose hearts, ears and eyes have been sealed.

After classifying the people according to their reactions to the divine message, the Quran addresses mankind as a whole, irrespective of their classes, because the mission of the Holy Prophet is universal; for all times. The aim of the Quran is to stimulate the reaction to the divine message and develop the aptitude for choosing good to the highest degree so that man individually and collectively may take his due place and position in the arc of ascent or the evolutionary upward curve of existence, the full manifestation of which will appear on the final day of resurrection, qiyamat ul kubra.

If some people's vision and insight have been sealed beyond any hope of their ever finding the way to truth, then what is the use of addressing such closed minds? The aim of the Quran is to stimulate reaction, through its message, in all classes, in order to maintain its universality, since as mentioned earlier none would remain without some reaction. Some make a willing choice of the right path, and some go in the opposite direction. In this connection refer to verses 80 and 81 of al Naml.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2) and pay the (prescribed) poor-tax;


[Shakir 2:9] They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.
[Yusufali 2:9] Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not!
[Pickthal 2:9] They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:9] (see commentary for verse 8)(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 3)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2) and fulfil a promise when made;

and bear with patience that which torments in distress, affliction and in times of conflict.
Those who own the righteousness, described above, are the ones who are true to themselves and safeguard themselves with thorough awareness of the divine laws.

Notes concerning some of the above factors are given below:-

Please refer to the commentary of verse 40 of this surah. Fulfilment of the promise made with Allah is also included.

Faithful adherence to treaties and fulfilment of commitments by Muslim governments have been prescribed by Islam.


[Shakir 2:10] There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied.
[Yusufali 2:10] In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).
[Pickthal 2:10] In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:10] (see commentary for verse 8)(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2) As verse 207 of al Baqarah and verse 111 of al Barat point out, a true believer's most praiseworthy and excellent characteristic is the ability to willingly endure adversity, inconvenience and discomfort, which is possible if he surrenders his soul to Allah. For him the life of this world is a burden of responsibilities. He is not afraid to lose it in the way of Allah, on the contrary he readily accepts death, and is fearless and devoted. In verse 119 of al Barat Allah asks those who believe to remain attached with the truthful ones whose qualities have been described in this verse-"these are the ones who are the truthful ones"; also refer to verse 15 of al Hujurat. Such superb qualities, in perfection and completeness, are found only in the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt, if the history of Islam is carefully studied without prejudice .

If verse 2 of this surah is read in the light of this verse it becomes clear that the Quran is a guidance to the pious who possess all the qualities mentioned in this verse - they are the Holy Prophet and the twelve holy Imams in whom each quality is manifest in its highest perfection and completeness. They are those who have been chosen by Allah to guide mankind towards the path of Allah through the Quran. Therefore, Shias, after the Holy Prophet, follow only Ali and the holy Imams as their guides because of their unique merits, acknowledged even by their enemies. The whole Muslim world, without exception, knows and accepts the fact that it was Ali alone who earned the unique title of mazhar ul aja-ib - the manifestation of (divine) wonders, because Ali and the Holy Prophet are the manifestations of one and the same divine light.

Those who do not sell their souls to Allah tremble, fear and lose heart and confidence whenever they encounter distress or misfortune, because their profession of the faith in Allah is pretentious, sly and artful, not real.

To know the true significance of this verse, it is sufficient to quote the saying of the Holy Prophet that whoever acts upon this (one) verse attains perfection in faith.


[Shakir 2:11] And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers.
[Yusufali 2:11] When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only Want to make peace!"
[Pickthal 2:11] And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:11] (see commentary for verse 8)(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:12] Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.
[Yusufali 2:12] Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.
[Pickthal 2:12] Are not they indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:12] (see commentary for verse 8)(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:13] And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.
[Yusufali 2:13] When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know.
[Pickthal 2:13] And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe? are not they indeed the foolish? But they know not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:13] (see commentary for verse 8) Asadullahul Ghalib - The ever victorious strength of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:14] And when they meet those who believe, they say: We believe; and when they are alone with their Shaitans, they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.
[Yusufali 2:14] When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting."
[Pickthal 2:14] And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:14] (see commentary for verse 8) Lisanullah - The tongue of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:15] Allah shall pay them back their mockery, and He leaves them alone in their inordinacy, blindly wandering on.
[Yusufali 2:15] Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (To and fro).
[Pickthal 2:15] Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:15] (see commentary for verse 8) Yadullah - The hand of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:16] These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction.
[Yusufali 2:16] These are they who have bartered Guidance for error: But their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction,
[Pickthal 2:16] These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:16] (see commentary for verse 8) Aynullah - The eye of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:17] Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness-- they do not see.
[Yusufali 2:17] Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness. So they could not see.
[Pickthal 2:17] Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him Allah taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see,
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:17] (see commentary for verse 8) Wajhullah - The face of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:18] Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they will not turn back.
[Yusufali 2:18] Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path).
[Pickthal 2:18] Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:18] (see commentary for verse 8) Waliyyullah - The closest friend of Allah.

Akhu Rasulullah - The brother of the messenger of Allah.
(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:19] Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:19] Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky: In it are zones of darkness, and thunder and lightning: They press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap, the while they are in terror of death. But Allah is ever round the rejecters of Faith!
[Pickthal 2:19] Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, Allah encompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance, His omniscience and His omnipotence).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:19] (see commentary for verse 8)(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:20] The lightning almost takes away their sight; whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still; and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have taken away their hearing and their sight; surely Allah has power over all things.
[Yusufali 2:20] The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light (Helps) them, they walk therein, and when the darkness grows on them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah hath power over all things.
[Pickthal 2:20] The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is able to do all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:20] (see commentary for verse 8) Siddiq Akbar - The most truthful.

(see commentary for verse 1)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:21] O men! serve your Lord Who created you and those before you so that you may guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:21] O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness;
[Pickthal 2:21] O mankind! worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:21]

In this verse, through la-alla (so that), the emphasis is laid on the freedom of choice given to every individual. In Islam there is no merit in any virtue imposed by force. Willing service to the Lord, in the spirit of thankfulness, is a must for the creature, in return for the countless gifts, favours and bounties He bestows on His creatures. Imam Ali ibna abi Talib defines obedience (service) as under:

(1) The service offered out of fear is the obedience of a slave.

(2) The service offered for gain is the obedience of a businessman or trader.

(3) The service offered by a free man, of his own choice, in thankfulness for the bounties he receives from the beneficent Lord, is the obedience of a sincere faithful who obeys on account of his independent conscience.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Obedience is to react to the order of authority in complete agreement and unity of feeling. In this sense the Quran directs man to surrender to no one save to the universal will of the absolute Lord of grace and love. Only complete resignation to His will saves man from the miseries of the worldly life. It does not mean mystic inactivity. It is an active reaction.

Faruq al Azam - The greatest distinguisher of truth and falsehood.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:22] Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and (Who) sends down rain from the cloud then brings forth with it subsistence for you of the fruits; therefore do not set up rivals to Allah while you know.
[Yusufali 2:22] Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).
[Pickthal 2:22] Who hath appointed the earth a resting-place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:22]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The structure of man's individual characteristics is the combination of physical and spiritual influences. The spiritual aspect is heavenly and the physical aspect is worldly - the up and down or the heaven and the earth. In relation to human vision, the spiritual aspects take man towards the absolute and the physical aspects divert him away from it. The ultimate aim of the Quran is to convince man that all his needs and expectations receive fulfilment if he directs his attention towards the heavenly direction, instead of diverting his attention to the material world. The spiritual journey terminates in the absolute up, the infinite, the equal of whom is inconceivable. So, devoted to Him, man must translate His will into practical life, particularly when the just idea of "an equal to Him is inconceivable" appeals to him.

Abul A-imma - The father of the Imams.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:23] And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.
[Yusufali 2:23] And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.
[Pickthal 2:23] And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:23]

In this verse the almighty all-wise Allah throws an open challenge to mankind for making an effort to compose even one surah in the style and manner of the Quran, not only to assert the genuineness of the divine words revealed to a man who did not receive any type of education from any mortal, but also to put an end to doubts and speculations, for ever, that it could be the fabrication of any human mind.

This challenge refers to the Quran as a work of literature and wisdom, and not to its effects as some commentators wrongly try to prove. The inimitable literary excellence and the pure and perfect wisdom of the Quran has been and will always be beyond the reach of the literary and intellectual genius of mankind.

Say (O Muhammad); If men and jinn should unite to produce the like of this Quran they could not produce the like of it though they were helpers one of another.

(BANI ISRAIL: 88)

Also refer to Yunus: 38, Hud: 13.

Even if any one makes an effort, there will be no witness available to testify to his claim. No attempt has been made so far, and no one shall succeed.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Since the beginning of Islam till today, the enemies of Islam have been trying to belittle Islam but they never dared to answer the challenge, in spite of repeated attempts made by the most celebrated scholars and men of letters, jointly and severally.

In what respect is the Quran an unchallengable miracle? How is it the proof of its own truthfulness? Several views have been put forward by both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars.

(1) Eloquence and rhetorical excellence.

(2) Prophecies.

(3) Precepts and laws.

(4) Effect of its forceful and fascinating tone on the human mind and heart.

No attempt has been made to look into the book itself to know why and in what sense it is a miracle. The book is the book of guidance. The duty of the messenger of Allah was to convey and preach guidance to mankind. The speaker or author arranges his words and sentences to make his ideas meaningful to the audience or the readers. In search of the best way to communicate the ideas, the science of grammar and the art of rhetoric had been developed. The use of language and style has to be adopted in relation to the class of people who are addressed. A message or guidance of universal nature, dealing with all aspects of human life in its manifold dimensions (individual and social, economic and political, physical and spiritual) not for any particular person or class but for every human being, community and nation, educated and uneducated, till eternity, must be the work of a person who knows, inside out, human nature in general as well as the capacity to understand and the tendencies of different individuals and communities of different classes and races. In addition, the relation of each individual to the other, the relation of mankind as a whole to other beings and surrounding nature, the beginning and the end of human life, the first and the final cause of creation of which man is a part, have to be taken into consideration. The style and substance of such a message should not only appeal to the "welfare-oriented" interests of the people but also should be able to refine human feelings and emotions. Such a power of expression is beyond the limit of human ability. Therefore it is true to say that the Quran is a miracle in view of its style and substance.

Abu Turab - The father of the earth.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:24] But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:24] But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.
[Pickthal 2:24] And if ye do it not - and ye can never do it - then guard yourselves against the Fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:24]

WA LAN TAFALU (and never shall you do it) is a prophecy as well as a warning.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The threat of making the disbelievers and hypocrites the fuel of the fire (hell) is real. The faith in Allah as the creator and the law-giver, and the belief in the hereafter wherein every individual will be rewarded in proportion to his obedience, or will be punished because of his disobedience to the divine law, are the two essential principles of Islam. It is downright dishonesty to interpret the fire as the miseries, torments, discomforts and calamities of the life in this world. This attribution of giving fanciful meanings, unsupported by the Quran or the sayings of the Holy Prophet, betrays the materialistic bias of such interpreters who do not agree that there is a real existence beyond this world.

The view expressed by the Ahmadi school in connection with verses 23 and 24, are in fact .the reproduction of the ideas put forward by Mirza Abul Fazl Gulpaygani, the leader of Baha-i movement. There are many doctrines of the Ahmadi school which have been borrowed from the Baha-i school.

Sayfullah - The sword of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:25] And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow; whenever they shall be given a portion of the fruit thereof, they shall say: This is what was given to us before; and they shall be given the like of it, and they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:25] But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say: "Why, this is what we were fed with before," for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (for ever).
[Pickthal 2:25] And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) unto those who believe and do good works; that theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow; as often as they are regaled with food of the fruit thereof, they say: this is what was given us aforetime; and it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are pure companions; there for ever they abide.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:25]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The expression that the heavenly fruits, which the believers will enjoy, are similar, in taste, to that which they were familiar with, shows the continuity of the human consciousness and memory of the experiences in the life of this world; otherwise there is no sense in the concept of reward or punishment. The emphasis on the continuance of consciousness by Islam is to make man guard against evil. The theory of Karma (transmigration), advanced by the Vedantic school, states that man loses the consciousness and memory of the experiences of his previous life as soon as he dies and takes another form of life. This theory is of no use to man as it does not stimulate him to do good or avoid evildoing.

In giving the description of the life of the hereafter, the Quran refers to the pain and pleasure experienced by the senses, because there is no other way to make man form an idea about the pains and pleasures, as a punishment or a reward, awaiting him in his other life, which he earns through bad or good conduct in this life. In the absence of the developed senses, to have an idea of the actual pains and the pleasures of the life of the hereafter, a figurative form has to be used to reach man in general, an example of which is verse 15 of Muhammad. The intellectual significance of the parables presented to man cannot be grasped by the common people save those endowed with wisdom. The Quran says that the life of the hereafter is the developed continuation of the life of the world. Not losing the essential elements, this life takes to a highly refined form in the next life, more real, effective and purposeful. Every object of our senses has a corresponding existence in the heaven. The social life of the hereafter, with positive and negative forces, is another fact which Quran makes known to us.

The rewards, mentioned in this verse, are obtainable through a creative power bestowed upon the faithful who win the pleasure of Allah by doing good and avoiding evil, in love of the creator. Azwaj means spouses, husbands or wives. Men will have women and women will have men as their mates.

This verse through wa hum fiha khalidun declares that the reward to the virtuous and the punishment to the wicked shall continue for ever.

Ba of Bismillah - The essence of the Quran.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:26] Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable-- (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors,
[Yusufali 2:26] Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: "What means Allah by this similitude?" By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),-
[Pickthal 2:26] Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude? He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants;
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:26]

Dall means to lead astray or cause to err. When it is used with reference to divine action it means withdrawal of grace, as a punishment, for rejecting the guidance offered without ulterior motives.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Through metaphorical expressions, in the form of parables, the Quran stimulates the human mind and heart. A healthy mind grasps the truth, whereas a perverted mind adds more threads to its web of doubts. The one and same expression produces two opposite effects. The right response is the acceptance of the guidance, the reaction of the muttaqin, and the wrong response is the "going astray", the reaction of the fasiqin.

Mawla - The Lord-Master.

It is not surprising that, throughout the centuries, the Muslims, in every age, in every place, never address any one as "Mawla" except Allah, Muhammad and Ali, though some restrict it to Allah alone, but whoso includes the Holy Prophet has to have Ali as the part of the sacred whole, in view of the Prophet's announcement "man kuntu Mawla fa hadha Aliyyun Mawla" at Ghadir Khum. So it is common among the Muslims to call out Muhammad and Ali as "Mawla"

The wisdom of Ali in the form of lectures and discourses is available to mankind in the "Nahj al Balagha". It is a book, considered in style and substance, next to the Quran, by all those Muslim and non-Muslim scholars who have studied these two books in depth.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:27] Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.
[Yusufali 2:27] Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves.
[Pickthal 2:27] Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:27]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The wrongdoers (fasiqin), mentioned in the previous verse, break the covenant of Allah (yanquduna ahadallah), and cut asunder that which Allah has commanded to join (yaqtuna ma amarallah), and make mischief to destroy peace and harmony in human society.

Which covenant?

Every soul, before coming into this world, makes a promise with the Lord that it will exist only to fulfil the will of the Lord, and never shall rebel against His authority, known as the original or the latent covenant. The second or the manifest covenant is that which an individual agrees to be bound by when he or she embraces Islam, which, in fact, is a surrender of the self to the will of Allah.

The covenant referred to here is that by which the believers bound themselves before Allah through

the Holy Prophet at Ghadir Khum when the verse 67 of al Ma-idah was revealed. Every believer accepted the declaration of the messenger of Allah that of whomsoever the Holy Prophet was the lord-master, Ali son of Abu Talib was also his lord-master. After the unanimous undertaking of the believers, the following verse was revealed.

This day I have perfected for you, your religion, and have completed My favour on you, and chosen for you Islam (to be) the religion.

Therefore, fulfilment of the covenant made with Allah is demanded in verses 20, 21 and 25 of al Rad, so that after the departure of the Holy Prophet, the believers might not follow any other person save Ali ibna abi Talib, who alone was declared worthy and able to carry out the mission of Islam, as the lawful authority (lord-master), in the absence of the Holy Prophet.

The declaration was not a mere fancy of the Holy Prophet to honour Ali, but in compliance with Allah's command to save the followers of Islam from yielding to those who make mischief in the earth and spread corruption in the garb of religious leaders. According to verse 217 of al Baqarah, mischief is more grievous than carnage. Islam stands for peace and harmony. And when is peace disturbed? Only when anyone wants to have (usurp) something which rightfully is not his.

Islam has prescribed a well-knit structure of human relationship to maintain peace and harmony in the society. In addition to various aspects of human relations, Allah has, with a purpose in view, made it obligatory for the believers to know and adhere to the relationship prescribed between them and the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt. To avoid the overwhelming delusions of falsehood it is essential to accept the authority of the Holy Prophet, Ali ibna abi Talib, and the divinely commissioned rightly guided guides, in his progeny.

This verse applies to everyone who opposes the divinely established authority of imamat (the guidance through the holy Imams) immediately succeeding the risalat (the prophethood of the Holy Prophet) which is the covenant every faithful adherent of Islam has to make good.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:28] How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
[Yusufali 2:28] How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.
[Pickthal 2:28] How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:28]

True knowledge about Allah is the basis of the faith. The whole system of religion is a natural consequence of that generative factor. The most practical method of acquiring this knowledge is to observe and contemplate on the creation before our eyes, as repeatedly advised by the Quran, known to the modern world as scientific, proceeding from the concrete to the abstract.

Through kuntum amwatan it is made clear that the soul, though existed in the spiritual realm but was unable to take any active part in the visible creation.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The human ego, which was not as it is now - a conscious self - is addressed here. The previous state is termed as "being dead". "Giving life" is the present conscious state. The departure of the conscious self from the body is death. The state after this departure is revivification. It is a continuous evolutionary transformation of a conscious self upto the communion with the infinite, not in the sense of annihilation, nor the absorption of the finite into the infinite, but in the sense of the realisation of the fact that nothing is real save Allah.

After departing from one life to live another life, the pain or pleasure in the succeeding life is the result of the mode of life adopted in the preceding life. Therefore the return is for the final retribution.

The Holy Prophet said:

You shall not be annihilated, because you have been created to last till eternity. You only go from this life of actions (good or bad) to the life of happiness or misery.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:29] He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.
[Yusufali 2:29] It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.
[Pickthal 2:29] He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:29]

In Arabic language, according to Lisanul kitab, sab-a is used (in addition to denote number seven) to say seven or more, several or many. Therefore, the seven heavens mentioned in this verse may mean a large number of heavens.

What we see above is sama. Raghib Isphani says that every sama is a heaven in relation to what is beneath it.

In verse 12 of al Talaq it is mentioned that there are as many earths as the heavens.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to this verse and verses 9 to 12 of Ha Mim and verses 27 to 32 of Nazi-at the development of the earth and its resources had taken place before the arrangement and organisation of the heavens. Verses 30 to 33 of Anbiya say that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass, but had been separated by splitting. The creation of the heavens and the earth was simultaneous, but the development of earth took place before the grouping of the heavens. Verse 30 describes another development after the arrival of Adam.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:30] And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.
[Yusufali 2:30] Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not."
[Pickthal 2:30] And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:30]

To understand this verse the following explanations should be carefully studied:

ANGELS

Angels, according to the Quran, are finite creatures, devoid of substance, in the sense of matter, therefore, imperceptible by our senses.

An Ahmadi commentator describes the angels as energy without any freedom of will and consciousness, which proves untrue in view of the reply the angels gave to Allah's declaration about His will to send a khalifa on the earth. It means that the angels have been endowed with freedom of will to give expression to their views whenever they choose to do so, and that they are liable to err, because Allah told them that they did not know what Allah knew when they made known their opinion.

In whatever manner created and wherever found, the angels, finite creatures of light, endowed with consciousness and intelligence, act to fulfil the divine plan. They take any physical form (except pigs, dogs and other base animals) to become visible to human vision, but belong to the celestial realm.

JINN

Jinn are also conscious beings. Angels are made of light, therefore, on account of their illuminating gracious nature only good comes out from them. Jinn are made of fire, therefore, more often than not, evil is associated with them. They can also take any physical form, including debased animals. The word mala-ik is derived from the Arabic malk, not from the Hebrew root alaka. The meaning of malk, mulk, milk and malakut is possession, which is also ownership or holding. The holding authority is malik or maalik or malak, who is also the owner or the sovereign, exclusively used by the Quran to refer to Allah. The whole universe is milk or mulk and the holder is the absolute owner, Allah. Between the absolute owner and the held mulk there are dominions over which the intermediary authorities exercise control, with Allah's consent, in relation to the dominion above them. Each of these dominions is termed as malakut and each holding authority is called malak. The pagans worship these mala-ik, under misconceived conclusion, as the independent authorities, either the sons or the daughters of the absolute authority, who can speak or advocate on their behalf to the king of kings. It is because they do not have the insight, or true guidance, to view the spiritual world, as pointed out by verses 26 to 31 of al Najm.

Allah alone holds the authority. No interceding authority shall be accepted by Him, save those to whom He Himself has delegated the authority, according to verse 87 of Maryam and such other verses in the Quran.

Therefore worship of no one is acceptable, in Islam, save the worship of Allah.

KHALIFA

The literal meaning of khalaf is to come after, follow, succeed etcetera. In this verse it has been used in the sense of succeeding, in fact, representing Allah on the earth, to exercise His authority in terms of "reacting" to His will, as His vicegerent. This is the basis of prophethood. Some schools of thought hold the view that reason and intellect, at the disposal of man, are enough to represent Allah, and there is no need of the delegation of authority. In this verse however the necessity of a vicegerent of Allah on the earth has been conclusively proved, appointment of whom cannot and shall not be made by any one save Allah. Khalifatullah, the representative of Allah, is he whom Allah Himself delegates His authority.

These are they whom We gave the book and the authority and the prophethood;

These are they whom Allah has guided, so, follow their guidance;

(AN-AM 89 and 90)

Neither the consensus of public opinion, nor a group, nor an individual has the right to represent the will of Allah. Even the prophets or the angels did not have the right to say anything in the matter of appointment of the khalifa. Allah does not allow any one to interfere with the execution of His will, nor can any one question Him. Here and in many other places, dealing with the delegation of authority, it has been asserted that His will and choice is not arbitrary but is always based on the recognition of merit. Adam was appointed as His vicegerent, in preference to the angels, on the merit of possessing the knowledge which they did not have. According to verse 124 of al Baqarah Allah appointed prophet Ibrahim as the Imam after He had tried Ibrahim with a number of things which he fulfilled, with the clear provision that although there would be Imams in his progeny, but those who were unjust would not receive this authority. In verse 947 of al Baqarah, Saul is appointed as an authority over the people because of his wisdom and strength, in preference to those who claimed to be more worthy than him on account of their worldly position. In verses 17 to 25 of al Sad, Allah appoints Dawud as His vicegerent on the merit of wisdom, power of judgement and obedience to Allah's will.

The most important qualifications, mentioned in the Quran, are given below:

(i) Untiring and continuous remembrance of Allah, with no drift or diversion under any type

of circumstance.

(ii) Never giving in to the demands motivated by self-oriented interests.

Following only the divine revelations.
Being the first and the foremost in establishing and carrying out every virtue to the point of perfection.
(v) Awareness and wisdom of all laws (physical and moral) made by Allah, and their operation, so as not to make any mistakes; and for this awareness received no guidance or education from any one save Allah.

(vi) No type of adversity, crisis or temptation should affect the tranquillity of the mind and the heart, described as sakinah in the Quran.

(vii) The purity of birth, character and conduct because of which they are the most honoured with Allah (Hujurat:13), the foremost in faith and virtue, in receiving the rewards, and in their nearness to Allah (Waqi-ah:10,11).

(viii) Ruling over the people with justice as pointed out in verse 26 of al Sad.

Keeping in view the above-noted qualities, Allah, in verses 33 and 34 of Ali Imran, says that He had, on account of certain basic qualities, chosen Adam, Nuh, the descendants of Ibrahim and Imran and the Holy Prophet, the descendant of Ibrahim through Isma-il. The Quran does not advocate hereditary rights of succession but asserts that this lineage had a distinctive divine peculiarity for which they had been chosen as vicegerents of Allah. The reason for bestowing this privilege on the descendants of Ibrahim is known to Allah only, because as said by Allah in the event of appointing Adam as khalifa, He knows that which His creatures do not know. We must accept the limitations of our knowledge and glorify the grace and justice of Allah.

We have given to Ibrahim's children the book and the wisdom and We gave them a great kingdom.

(NISA: 54)

The above-noted verse refers to the Holy Prophet as the last prophet in the lineage of prophet Ibrahim.

The vicegerency of Allah did not come to an end after the Holy Prophet. It continued. In verse 77 of Bani Israil the almighty Allah says:

This was Our way with Our messengers whom We had sent before you, and you shall not find

any change in our way.

So it is confirmed that there is no change or modification in the principle and the method of appointing His vicegerent. In verse 55 of al Nur it is further made clear that the vicegerency continues after the Holy Prophet in the same way and manner as was in vogue before him. According to verses 31 and 32 of Fatir the holy book, in completed form, was given in inheritance to those servants of Allah whom He had selected. They belong to the children of Ibrahim excluding those who were zalimin, unjust, meaning those who, at any time in their lives, had worshipped a ghayr-allah (other than Allah). A careful study of "the essentials for the readers of the Quran", page 1 to 7, and the commentary of verse 2 of this surah makes it clear that Ali ibna abi Talib was the true vicegerent of Allah, appointed by Allah and His Holy Prophet.

The Holy Prophet was the perfector of Adam's mission of khalifatullah on the earth and the executor of the final will of the Lord of the worlds. Therefore his khalifa was also chosen and appointed by Allah to carry out the responsibilities of the divine office. The choice was not left to the fancy of the people, nor was any consultation needed. Inni ja-ilun fil ardi khalifah is an open declaration of His will and decision. Likewise the successor of the Holy Prophet could neither be chosen by the companions nor by the Holy Prophet himself. From the "feast of the near relations" to the event of "Ghadir Khum", narrated in detail on page 6 on the authority of well-known Muslim scholars, it was the will and command of Allah which the Holy Prophet had carried out.

History also testifies to the fact that on all occasions, it was Ali who came forward to meet the challenge, and proved his qualities for the entitlement to the divine office of vicegerency, although all the companions had equal opportunities to rise to the occasion.

After the conclusion and the termination of the office of prophethood, the infinite mercy of the merciful Lord did not leave mankind to go astray, misled by false leaders who usurped temporal authority, but commanded the Holy Prophet to declare the vicegerency of Ali and his progeny (the twelve Imams). The Holy Prophet, therefore, appointed Ali ibna abi Talib as his and Allah's khalifa on the earth.

Now the people have the freedom of choice either to follow the divinely chosen Imams or run after the self-appointed false leaders.

Verily, We have shown him (man) the (right) way, be he thankful (and follow it), or be ungrateful (reject it).

(DAHR: 3)

In addition to that which has been stated on pages 1 to 7 there are countless merits and qualifications of Ali ibna abi Talib, mentioned and discussed on the authority of well-known Muslim scholars, in several publications like "The Right Path", "Peshawar Nights" and other books which can be studied to know the truth. It is not possible to refer to all these here. In the commentary of other verses of the Quran, his merits have been mentioned and discussed. They also give conclusive answers to the point of view of those who say that after the Holy Prophet, the authority for the application of divine legislation has been delegated by Allah to the faithful followers of Islam in general, therefore, every Muslim is the vicegerent of Allah, to exercise His authority according to the book and the sunnah of the Holy Prophet. The reference to the book of Allah and the sunnah (doings and sayings) of the Holy Prophet, for the sake of justifying their conduct after the Holy Prophet, appears self-defeating and contradictory, when these two agencies (they purport to follow), as explained above and at many suitable occasions in this book, have irrefutably established the vicegerency of Ali and his progeny, which only the followers of "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad" faithfully accept and follow.

ADAM

While talking about the creation of Adam the appearance of visible form (matter) in the "arc of ascent" must be reviewed. Matter, in its primitive mode of being, carries the potentiality to develop into various forms - minerals, vegetables, animals and human beings. The capability of matter to give form to different species is determined by the "unlike in nature" potency of its elements or components. Earth, a product of matter, carried the capacity to bring some of its elements to a more advanced and highly organised body of a human being. Likewise its other components could develop other animate or inanimate objects. In form and substance each individual human being differs from the other. It is on account of the diversity in the potentiality of the components of the matter.

The development in the "arc of ascent" was gradual. The graduality (in time) is motion. Motion is the transfer of potentiality into actuality.

While, indeed, He created you through regular stages,

And Allah has caused you to grow as a growth from the earth,

(NUH: 14 and 17)

According to the following verses of the Quran man is made of the finest essence of the matter.

Verily, We created man of wet clay of black mud moulded into shape,

(HIJR: 26)

And indeed We created man from an extract of clay,

(MUMINUN: 1 2)

The distinctive aspects of each of the beings in the "arc of ascent" are reflections of the corresponding beings in the "arc of descent". Those angels who administer the development of the animal life belong to a higher order compared to those angels who control the development of the plant life. The human spirit (ruh) is the reflection emanated directly from the absolute (min ruhi), according to verse 29 of al Hijr. It does not mean separation because the absolute is indivisible. It refers to His direct attention or command. The other beings in the "arc of ascent" are also the reflections of His attention or command but through angelic medium.

Tinat (nature or disposition) is the extract of the total skill or worth in the matter under Allah's direct attention. The spirit, also referred to as "I", is the reflection of the divine command or attention referred to as min ruhi- My spirit, by Allah, but conditioned by its tinat. Ruh may be one but the reflections may be many and may differ in reflecting that which they have received. The total energy in the "arc of descent" conditions the tinat in its primitive stage, after which its developed state reflects the divine spirit. These two factors ruh and tinat constitute the creation of man. Through this evolutionary movement, from the

potential state to the actual form, as the Quran says, man in particular and all other species in general, have been developed from their respective origins which carry their respective potentialities.

Ruh, according to the Quran and the Holy Prophet's sayings refers to that which proceeds from the absolute through the "arc of descent". The nafs (soul, ego or self) is the corresponding reflection or the reaction in the "arc of ascent". As this reflection is conditioned by the tinat, it cannot have any existence prior to the development of the tinat. On the contrary, the ruh or the corresponding action in the arc of descent has its existence prior to the reflection in the arc of ascent. If the reference is to the radiation or the acting source in the "arc of descent", it exists before the body, and is eternal with the eternity of the source. If the reference is made to the reflection (human ego, or self) it comes into being after the formation of the tinat. Therefore, the nafs of each individual is developed after the preparation of the body. It depends on the matter for its development but becomes independent in the process of growth. The ruh exists independently before the matter and remains so, for ever. It, the ruh, never joins the matter and never becomes dependent on it. It acts on the matter. The nafs, with no prior existence as it is only a reaction of the ruh, acts through the body, and when it develops into a state, free from the influence of matter, the ruh operates and makes it independent. Thereafter it neither deteriorates nor becomes dependent again. Through progress and development into a higher state of spirituality, passive matter reaches the condition of a conscious active form.

It is not true that the body is blind and the soul is light, and, joined together, they help each other temporarily, but after separation each remains as before, devoid of any progress and development, as the theory of transmigration tries to make man believe.

That which the Quran says about the creation of man and other species is true beyond any doubt. It negates the theory of the evolution of all species from one origin, and the affinity between the protoplasm of all the species, describing the variation as a secondary stage caused by the external factors - heredity, environment, struggle for existence, natural selection, survival of the fittest. Its detailed analysis is not possible here but it is enough to state that the protoplasm of each species is of a peculiar and different design. The variation is in the protoplasm itself and not due to the external factors in its development.

ALLAH'S ANNOUNCEMENT

The angels as conscious beings are the intermediary agents in the process of development and administration of the physical world, operating under the laws of cause and effect; therefore, Allah informed them about the creation of Adam, a new phase, and says:

I am appointing a vicegerent in the earth.

It was in the knowledge of the angels that struggle and conflict among the living beings in the pre-Adam period brought about bloodshed and destruction. Many a religious school confirms that there were semi-men, jinn and demons (afrit) before the advent of Adam, on the earth. According to some traditions they were living beings of furious nature and fiery temperament, devoid of intellect, reasoning and contemplation, fighting each other for survival. The angels who always worship Allah and carry out His orders presumed that Adam would also be like the above noted creatures. Allah rightly points out their ignorance about the excellence of the vicegerency He has bestowed upon Adam.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:31] And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.
[Yusufali 2:31] And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the names of these if ye are right."
[Pickthal 2:31] And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:31]

NAMES

Angels are obedient beings. There is no "becoming" (change) in the angelic sphere. Each of them has a fixed status to carry out a particular function. Man, on the other hand, made of matter, endowed with vast potentialities and scope for progress and development, is more fit to reflect or to react to the various aspects of the higher will. The potentiality of matter reveals itself in many forms, but it is only through the organism of man that its highly refined potentiality develops into intellect, reason and contemplation, the essential requirements for wisdom and knowledge. According to verse 75 of Sad, Allah has created Adam with His two hands, matter and spirit, which gives man the distinctive power of expression, termed as biyan by the Quran. This expressive power is related to His vicegerency, because the vicegerent, as the representative of the principal, gives expression to His will and command. The higher the ability of recepiency and the reflective power, the greater will be the scope and canvas of representation. It is on this basis that all the messengers and prophets of Allah will be standing under the standard of the Holy Prophet, which will be in the hand of Ali, on the day of resurrection.

The names Adam learned from Allah were not in the knowledge of the angels, because these names did not refer to the phenomena known to them. The hum of aradahum does not refer to the "names" but to the "named", and as a plural term cannot be used for Allah, therefore, it cancels the possibility of interpreting these names as the names of Allah. When reference is made in Arabic to several objects of inanimate nature, a singular feminine pronoun is used, but when the objects are conscious beings, a plural masculine pronoun is used, as done here through aradahum, to point out the "named ones". If the object referred to is inanimate, the singular feminine pronoun, tilka or hadhihi should have been used. Here the personal demonstrative pronoun refers to the conscious beings of a superior-most status, knowledge of whose names entitled Adam to the vicegerency of Allah. Thus the existence of the beings of the highest status has been established. Due to the affinity between Adam and these highest beings (alin), he was capable to function as the medium of their manifestation. Verse 4 of al Tin says that the status of man, in the order of creation, is the highest in excellence. The alin, the highest beings, referred to in this verse, are the most perfect and the most blessed human beings, for whose manifestation in the arc of ascent, Adam was chosen. Till then the names of the highest beings along with the insight and vision of their realities, their latent qualities and inherent endowments were unknown to the angels.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:32] They said: Glory be to Thee! we have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.
[Yusufali 2:32] They said: "Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom."
[Pickthal 2:32] They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:32] (see commentary for verse 31)(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:33] He said: O Adam! inform them of their names. Then when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not say to you that I surely know what is ghaib in the heavens and the earth and (that) I know what you manifest and what you hide?
[Yusufali 2:33] He said: "O Adam! Tell them their names." When he had told them, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?"
[Pickthal 2:33] He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:33]

Through Adam the angels became acquainted with the glory of the glorious beings. When Adam, at the command of Allah, stated the names, qualities and symbols of those highest beings whose collective and comprehensive status can be termed as wisdom personified, the angels witnessed the glory of the infinite power and wisdom of the Lord that could create such perfect beings of the highest calibre, in substance as well as in style, like of whom they did not know till then.

In Durr Manthur, Jalaluddin Sayuti says that the Holy Prophet had said: "The objects shown to the angels were five lights. Allah informed the angels pointing to each of the lights respectively:

(i) This is Muhammad, the most praised, derived from My name, the praised one.

(ii) This is Ali, the high, derived from My name, the highest.

(iii) This is Fatimah, the original, derived from my name, the originator of the heavens and the earth.

(iv) This is Hasan, the bountiful, derived from My name, the benefactor.

(v) This is Husayn, the good, derived from My name, the good in origin.

O angels! It is in love of these five that I have created the universe."

It becomes a logical conclusion that since Allah willed these five lights of glory to be manifested through Adam, he had been appointed as the khalifa of Allah, and through these lights Allah's light had been destined to be manifested.

As Allah is aware of all the "unseen" in the universe, He knew that the angels secretly thought themselves more deserving than Adam to be chosen as Allah's khalifa. After seeing the glory of the five lights, endowed in the seed of Adam, they accepted their ignorance and submitted to Allah's decision.

(see commentary for verse 4)(see commentary for verse 2)
[Shakir 2:34] And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam they did obeisance, but Iblis (did it not). He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:34] And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.
[Pickthal 2:34] And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:34]

Satisfied with the proof of the absolute wisdom and mercy of Allah, the angels prostrated themselves before Adam, as ordered by Allah, and acknowledged the superiority of the khalifa of Allah. Iblis, jinn, as described by verse 50 of al Kahf, overcome with grief and despair, under the burden of arrogance (kabar), refused to come into the camp of knowledge and mercy surrounded by iman. According to this verse, prostration (sajdah) by one created being, in order to pay homage and accept superiority of another created being, is permissible. The sajdah of total submission and unconditional surrender is for the creator only.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:35] And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:35] We said: "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."
[Pickthal 2:35] And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:35]

With his opposite and complementary companion, Hawwa, the woman, Adam, the man was given the garden to dwell in, unrestrained. Only a tree was out of bounds.

According to many a tradition, it was not the perpetual heavenly garden. The garden referred to here was an area of expansion, comfort and ease, everything that was needed and desired was available without toil and effort. The out of bound tree is the symbol of temptation, covetousness, envy and greed. Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida says:

It stimulates desire for things which are not necessary for life.

Imam Ali bin Husayn says:

It stimulates desires for the worldly possessions as the ultimate object of life.

The command of Allah was not to go near the tree. Eating the fruit of the tree was not definitely forbidden.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:36] But the Shaitan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.
[Yusufali 2:36] Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time."
[Pickthal 2:36] But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:36]

Adam was endowed with infinite potentiality to reach the ultimate through rational thinking and be able to discriminate and choose. Shaytan, the furious and the fiery, obstinate and perverse, devoid of iman, became an enemy of Adam. The stimulating warning of the divine command "not to go near the tree" awakened Adam's latent ambition to march unto those "highest beings" whose status Allah had shown him. To begin this journey, Adam, in a way, apparently gave Shaytan the opportunity to use his guile and rebellious energy in order to take advantage of the situation and get even with his adversary who caused his downfall. Adam and Hawwa slipped out of the condition of peace and contentment into the realm of struggle where peace and conflict, love and hate, and such opposites are at full play. Thereafter the two opposite groups faced each other. It was a conflict between good and evil, right and wrong. Ihbitu, also used in verse 61 of al Baqarah, means a change from the easy life of joy and happiness to the life of toil, suffering and misery.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:37] Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:37] Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:37] Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:37]

There was no chance of going back to the dwelling of joy and happiness. They were at the mercy of the Lord. They turned repentant unto Allah. The merciful and oft-forgiving Lord blessed Adam with the most extraordinary words of prayer through which Adam, and after him any one in his progeny (mankind), could invoke the mercy of the Lord. These were the holy names of those highest beings whom Allah had already introduced to Adam. So the oft-forgiving merciful Lord took Adam and his wife under His mercy when they invoked Him through these names.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:38] We said: Go forth from this (state) all; so surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 2:38] We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:38] We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:38]

Now to enter the real paradise, going back to the land of eternal bliss, man must use his intelligence, and make a choice of the right path shown by Allah through the guidance He has made available to man in this world of opposite forces. This guidance was already shown to Adam, which he disclosed to the angels who prostrated themselves immediately, but Shaytan refused to follow it. He is here, till the human beings dwell in this world, to lead man astray from the true guidance Allah has made available through His last prophet Muhammad and the divinely commissioned Imams. Those who follow these divinely chosen guides shall walk on the right path, will be safe from fear and grief, and earn the right to enter the heavenly garden.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:39] And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:39] "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein."
[Pickthal 2:39] But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:39]

The literal meaning of ayat is sign. Every verse of the Quran is a sign (ayat) because it draws the attention of the reader to its meaning. But Allah's signs, in the perfect sense, are those beings whose holy personalities draw the attention of the human beings to the glory of Allah. Every prophet of Allah, during his time, was a sign of Allah, and the Holy Prophet, the Twelve Imams and Bibi Fatimah are the conclusive signs of Allah. Allah gives a fair warning to those who, under the influence of the eternal enemy of man, Shaytan, go astray from the right path, the path of "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad", that their abode will be the fire.

REVIEW OF VERSES 30 TO 39

The term "Adam", in the Quran, refers to the first man who came out of a state of ease and comfort to make effort and reach the ultimate excellence. In this journey, within the sphere of time and space, he, as the most well-equipped creature among all the created beings, has, at his disposal, divine guidance, to fight and overcome the obstacles and evil of satanic forces. Prior to the advent of Adam, life on earth for the living beings had no other meaning except to struggle for survival. Adam gave a new significance to life on earth. Man was given the knowledge to learn how to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. Through this knowledge his conscience directed him what to do and what not to do, to adopt harmony and to avoid discord. As Adam came out of the earthly paradise, blessed with the divine guidance, he, due to the potentiality he carried in himself, aspired for the ultimate good, by using all his faculties to curb the drift unto greed, lust, hatred, anger etcetera and walk on the right path.

The Holy Prophet says:

Every human child is born with the Adam's nature; it is the "parents" (the environment) which turns the child into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian.

Man is originally sinless. The evil takes roots in him through external factors. Therefore, the Christian theory of "original sin" has no place in the interpretation of the history of Adam by the Quran. The approaching to the out-of-bounds tree, when he was in the earthly paradise, was prior to his coming into this world, therefore, on account of his record, after shouldering the responsibility of the vicegerency of Allah on the earth, he is clean and sinless.

According to the traditions of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad there were several Adams, which indicate that there may be several worlds like ours. The symbolic value of the advent of Adam is applicable to human life because man is born in the paradise of ease and comfort, and as a child is pure and free from the responsibility of making efforts to fulfil his wants. As he grows to maturity, he has to make use of his faculties to get what he used to have without effort. The sense of duty and responsibility, and the consciousness of good and evil prepare him to fight against satanic forces working against him. It is not possible for him to get out of the trouble caused by the conflicting desires and satanic temptations unless he turns towards the ultimate reality as the sole object of his life. It gives him peace and tranquillity, saves him from fear and grief, does not let him fall from the state of humanity to the state of animal nature. To reach the ultimate reality it is essential to know the holy names because of whom Adam was blessed and forgiven. In these holy persons the divine vicegerency reached its destination. They are Muhammad (Nabuwwat), and his Ahl ul Bayt (Imamat).

In view of the creation of man, his responsibilities to the creator and to the institution of divine vicegerency and its continuity on earth till the day of resurrection, as a covenant between "man and God", and the submission to the universal will of the absolute, as the law governing all aspects of his life, it is necessary to point out a few guiding factors to have a clear understanding about the beginning and development of the prophetic mission.

Allah, who alone knows everything, has reserved the right of the appointment of the vicegerent with Himself.

The appointment is not an arbitrary act of choosing but the vicegerent is selected on merit after the test of inherent excellence.

The created beings, be they angels or prophets, have no right or say in the appointment of the vicegerent. The essential imperative is the knowledge of the holy names which alone help the candidate for the vicegerency to cross terrestrial barriers and reach the glorious heavenly heights in order to establish communion with the universal grace and will of the almighty Lord, as has been observed in the case of Adam.

Adam conveyed the appointment of Shith, his son, as the vicegerent of Allah to his other children, but a large number of his sons opposed this declaration. The tendency of the majority to revolt against the declared will of Allah is on record, as mentioned in the Quran, throughout the history of the appointments of the prophets of Allah - Nuh, Sam, Ibrahim, Is-haq, Isma-il, Yaqub, Yusuf, Musa, Talut, Dawud, and Isa.

The declarations of Musa, and other prophets after him, about the advent of Isa, llyas and the "promised prophet" in the progeny of Isma-il and the "twelve princes" succeeding him, were opposed tooth and nail by the Jews. The pagan Romans, instigated by the Jews, executed Yahya and put Isa on the cross, but Allah raised him to heaven. Isa announced the coming of the "Paraclete" (Muhammad or Ahmed) before he left this world.

And when the promised "Paraclete" would come, he will complete the mission by delivering the whole truth and shall never speak but whatsoever he shall hear from the Lord that he shall speak.

(The Book of John).

Isa had appointed Simon as his successor and as the rock of divinity on whom the edifice of the faith will be based, but Paul opposed him. To make people discard Simon, Paul claimed the appearance of Isa in his vision, and by accommodating the pagan cult of the Romans he corrupted the true faith and established the orthodox Christian Church.

The Holy Prophet, on several occasions, appointed Ali ibna abi Talib as his successor and vicegerent, in compliance with the commands of Allah. Some of the important traditions and the verses of the Quran which make clear and confirm the vicegerency of Ali ibna abi Talib have been mentioned in the "Essentials for the readers of the Quran" (page 1 to 7), and in the commentary of verses 2 and 30 to 39 of this surah. From his birth in the holy Kabah to the "tradition of qartas", there are several events and occasions, recorded by well-known Muslim scholars in many books of history, traditions and commentaries (mentioned in the commentary of relevant verses in this book) which can be referred to for arriving at the conclusion that in his own right and on the basis of his matchless merits, he alone was the divinely chosen vicegerent to succeed the Holy Prophet.

Some of the titles of Ali ibna abi Talib, which are exclusively his, are given below:


Mawlud Kabah - Born in the house of Allah.
Nafs al Rasul - The "self" of the messenger.
Kullu Iman - The total faith.
La Fata - The hero who has no equal.
Karrar Ghayra Farrar - The unconquerable attacker who never runs away from the battlefield.
Bab al Ilm - The gateway to wisdom.
Al Murtada - The chosen (by Allah).
Amir al Muminin - The commander of the faithful.
Imam al Muttaqin - The leader of the pious.
Mazhar al Aja-ib The manifestor of wonders.
Imam al Awliya - The original source of the friends of Allah who seek His closest nearness.
Sayyid al Awsiya - The chief (or the first) of the successors of the Holy Prophet.
(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:40] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.
[Yusufali 2:40] O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
[Pickthal 2:40] O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you, and fulfil your (part of the) covenant, I shall fulfil My (part of the) covenant, and fear Me.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:40]

The Bani Israil are reminded to be faithful to their covenant with Allah.

This day the Lord, your God, commands you to keep these statutes and laws: be careful to observe them with all your heart and soul. You have recognised the Lord this day as your God; you are to conform to His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, and His laws, and to obey Him.

(Deut 26: 16 and 17)

And Allah would fulfil His covenant with the Bani Israil. Musa said:

For it was he whom the Lord God chose from all your tribes to attend on the Lord and to minister in the name of the Lord, both he and his sons for all time.

(Deut 18: 5)

I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Musa), and I will put my words into his mouth. He shall convey all my commands to them, and if any one does not listen to the words which he will speak, I will require satisfaction from him.

(Deut 1 8: 1 8, 1 9)

The Holy Prophet was the promised prophet.

To say that Isa was the promised Prophet is a false claim by the Christian Church because Isa himself said:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another to be your advocate, who will be with for ever - the spirit of truth. Your advocate will teach you everything, and will call to mind all that I have told you.

(John 14: 16 and 26)

It is for your good that I am leaving you. If I do not go, your advocate will not come. When he comes, he will confute the world, and show where wrong and right and judgement lie.

There is still much that I could say to you, but the burden would be too great for you now.

However, when he comes who is the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears; and he will make known to you the things that are coming.

(John 16: 7 to 14)

"The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among yourselves as he raised me, you shall listen to everything he says to you, and anyone who refuses to listen to that prophet must be extirpated from Israel." And so said all the prophets, from Samuel onwards; with one voice they all predicted these days. You are the heirs of the prophets; you are within the covenant which God made with your fathers, when he said to Abraham, "And in your offspring all the families on earth shall find blessings"

(Acts 3: 22 to 25)

And when the promised "Paraclete" would come, he will complete the mission by delivering the whole truth and shall never speak but whatsoever he shall hear from the Lord that he shall speak.

(The Book of John)

Isa himself never claimed to have come in the fulfilment of the prophecy about the advent of the promised prophet, nor any other prophet, after him did so, except the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafa. In view of these undeniable facts the Christian Church had no alternative but to give currency to the belief in the second advent of Isa. Musa and Muhammad were the law-givers, whereas Isa was the follower of the laws preached by Musa. Therefore, the phrase "like you" applies to Muhammad, not to Isa.

Similarities between Muhammad and Musa are many. No two prophets, in historical background, resembled each other more than these two. It must also be noted that Allah helped and protected Musa through his brother Harun and Muhammad through his brother Ali.

Reference has been made here to the covenant taken from the Bani Israil to believe in the Holy Prophet and walk in the way of the Lord. The Holy Prophet rightly claimed to be the promised prophet.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:41] And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither take a mean price in exchange for My communications; and Me, Me alone should you fear.
[Yusufali 2:41] And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.
[Pickthal 2:41] And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:41]

The Bani Israil are exhorted, in this verse, to believe in the Quran, which verifies Tawrat and Injil, particularly about the fulfilment of the prophecy about the advent of the promised prophet, Muhammad al Mustafa, as explained above.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:42] And do not mix up the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (it).
[Yusufali 2:42] And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).
[Pickthal 2:42] Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:42]

It refers to the scriptures, revealed prior to the Quran, which had been profusely tampered with, restyled and disguised by the Christians. Many rabbis knew the true text of the scriptures in the time of the Holy Prophet but concealed the truth, and when a few less careful, now and then, quoted them as mentioned in verse 76 of this surah they were rebuked for giving secret information to the Muslims.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:43] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and bow down with those who bow down.
[Yusufali 2:43] And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).
[Pickthal 2:43] Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:43]

Due to the system of optional asceticism among the Jews and the Christians, only a very few could adopt the life of piety and devotion (essential for a human being to be initiated into the realm of spiritual bliss), leaving the rest of the majority of the people to sink deep into hypocritical ritual practices. Islam, on the other hand, educates every human being, through salat, to keep their involvement with the material gains and enjoyment at a reasonable level and give sufficient time to the worship of Allah in order to reach the heights of spiritual glory, which in fact is the purpose of existence in this world. As explained in the commentary of verse 3 of this surah, salat has been made obligatory for all believers because, on account of its style and substance, man gets rid of pride and arrogance. Zakat, giving in the way of Allah, has also been dealt with in detail therein. These injunctions make every man join the stream of worshippers and seekers of nearness to the ultimate truth.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:44] What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?
[Yusufali 2:44] Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand?
[Pickthal 2:44] Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practise it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:44]

It is essential to create in-built discipline through reason, and then, as a model, advise others to do good, otherwise empty advice is likely to be ineffective .

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:45] And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones,
[Yusufali 2:45] Nay, seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,-
[Pickthal 2:45] Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded,
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:45]

Wasta-inu (seek help) applies to worldly as well as spiritual matters as stated in verse 5 of al Fatihah. Sabr (patience) and salat (prayer) curb vain desires, pride and self-indulgence and lead to humility, acceptance and obedience. The Arabic word sabr has many shades of implied suggestions - willingness to endure, submission, self-control, serenity, poise, and ability to continue. Salat has been explained in verse 3 of this surah. To liberate the human ego from the clutches of the excessive attachment to bodily wants and material success, a refined discipline has to be built through subordinating the body to the control of the spiritual energy, otherwise mere formal rituals and recitation of chants and charms do not help man to rise above the level of animal life, as has been shown by Ali ibna abi Talib. The whole world bears witness to the fact that in wisdom, spiritual achievements, and bodily strength there is no one who can be compared with him. He stands high and above in the select company of the most devoted servants of Allah. The lives of the Holy Prophet, Bibi Fatimah, his daughter and the Holy Imams is a brilliant light which throws light on the path to be followed by the sincere faithful who seek assistance (wasta-inu) to build up the balanced character mentioned above, and referred to in this verse. It is reported that whenever the Holy Prophet or any of the holy Imams, or Bibi Fatimah faced any difficulty, they prayed salat and sought Allah's help.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:46] Who know that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him.
[Yusufali 2:46] Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him.
[Pickthal 2:46] Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:46]

The reward of spiritual discipline and worship of Allah is the certainty of the knowledge of the return to Allah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The word liqa (meeting or encounter) has been used in the Quran many times. It is wrong to interpret it as seeing. The theory of the possibility of seeing Allah (ruyat) in this world or in the hereafter assumes the personification of God, which is a fanciful conjecture against the fundamental article of the faith (the absolute unity), therefore, has been rejected by the Holy Quran: "vision perceives Him not" (An-am: 103), and the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams.

Ali ibna abi Talib says:

I do not worship the God whom I cannot see, not through sight, (but) through insight.

Therefore, liqa means realisation through insight and not by physical vision.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:47] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[Yusufali 2:47] Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other (for My Message).
[Pickthal 2:47] O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:47]

The Bani Israil were Allah's chosen people. It was His favour that they were graced with many prophets. There were more prophets among them than the rest of the people of the world put together. Allah saved them from the merciless persecution of the Fir-awns and provided them with heavenly bounties, but instead of making use of the guidance and the blessings to reach a higher spiritual level they fell into the degradation of depravity and disbelief.

Aqa Mahdi Pooya says:

"You", the addressee, in this verse, are not only those who were present and were guilty of ingratitude but also their forefathers and ancestors. This is applicable to all humanity. It is a reminder to call to mind Allah's favours and bounties bestowed on mankind.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:48] And be on your guard against a day when one soul shall not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted, nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped.
[Yusufali 2:48] Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
[Pickthal 2:48] And guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:48]

On the day of resurrection absolute justice will prevail. The chosen people also will be judged in view of their actions.

If "nor shall intercession be accepted" is not understood by knowing its particular use in this verse, and by making reference to other verses of the Quran in this connection, every ordinary reader comes to a wrong conclusion.

Allah has prescribed for Himself mercy (An-am: 12 and 54), and says in verse 87 of Yusuf that verily, none despairs of Allah's mercy save disbelieving people. The just Allah is also the merciful Lord. His mercy conditions His justice.

The verses, which make certain that in the divine scheme of reward and punishment the "institution" of intercession has been firmly established, are quoted below:

Who can intercede with Him, except by His permission.

(BAQARAH: 255)

They shall have no power of intercession, save he who has taken a promise from the merciful.

(MARYAM: 87)

On that day no intercession avails, save (that of) him to whom the merciful has given permission and whose word He accepts.

(TAHA: 109)

There is no intercessor save after His permission;

(YUNUS: 3)



There are several such verses in the Quran which prove untrue the theory of non-availability of intercession propagated by a misguided school of thought among the Muslims.

The Holy Prophet and the thoroughly purified Imams (Ahzab: 33) are those upon whom Allah has bestowed (an-amta alayhim - Fatihah :7) the power of intercession.

The word shafa (to pair or to join a thing to its like) is the root of shafa-at, which means intercession. It can be favourable or unfavourable, as per verse 85 of al Nisa. It signifies the loving attachment of a person with his ideal or model whom he follows. On the day of judgement the wicked and the virtuous will be separated, therefore, it will be a day of pairing of the souls according to their affinity and attachment in this world - "remember the day when We will summon every people with their Imam (leader)", says verse 71 of Bani Israil.

The inadmissibility of intercession here is in the case of those who not only do not avoid evil but make a choice of wickedness as their mode of life; which is the direct result of their wilful rejection of the path of the thoroughly purified, adherence to whose guidance would have saved them from eternal damnation.

It is this despair of the non-availability of Allah's mercy which had compelled the founders of the Christian Church to invent the doctrine of atonement - God, in order to pardon man, in spite of His justice, incarnated Himself into the form a begotten son, called Jesus, and then got Himself killed so that the price of the sins of man be paid. This unreasonable idea of redemption gives man licence to sin as and when he likes.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The word yawm, in this verse, refers to the life of the hereafter which includes the term of life beginning with the departure of the soul till the final resurrection. In some verses of the Quran it is said that every human being will undergo a trial on the day of final resurrection as an individual, whereas some other verses suggest groups of people, along with their leaders, will come before the Lord. According to some verses the wicked will be condemned without being permitted to put forward their lame excuses, whereas other state that some of the wicked will accuse their leaders for misleading them. There is no contradiction. In fact there are several varying stages in the intermediary period as well as in the final phase. The examination of every soul according to its individual deeds may differ from the accountability of its social behaviour. A man may be condemned as an individual but on account of his attachment to the divinely chosen wasilah (support and influence), he may be redeemed. The Quran, in many places, asserts the effectiveness of intercession, therefore, the negation here either refers to a particular condition or to the fact that no intercession offered by a soul on its own behalf shall be accepted. Only those who have been authorised by Allah shall have the right to intercede.

The wavering between belief and disbelief by the Bani Israil is also visible among the followers of other prophets. All the messengers of Allah patiently put up with this kind of attitude in order to check desertion in the early stages of the propagation of the faith. Drift from the truth and reversion to falsehood was discouraged, and the doors of repentance were kept open, but only a few took advantage of the leniency.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:49] And when We delivered you from Firon's people, who subjected you to severe torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and in this there was a great trial from your Lord.
[Yusufali 2:49] And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
[Pickthal 2:49] And (remember) when We did deliver you from Pharaoh's folk, who were afflicting you with dreadful torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women: that was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:49]

Specifically, this verse reminds the Bani Israil of the miseries the Fir-awns inflicted upon them and how they were saved. In general, it is a reminder to all who have been saved from past afflictions and given the knowledge of wisdom arising from such circumstances. The details of their sorry plight under the Fir-awns have been given in the old testament:

So they (Egyptians) treated their Israelite slaves with ruthless severity, and made life bitter for them with servitude setting them to work on clay and brick-making, and all sorts of work in the fields. In short they made ruthless use of them as slaves in every kind of hard labour. Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives: "When you are attending the Hebrew women in childbirth, watch as the child is delivered and if it is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live."

(Exodus 1: 13 to 16)

Allah kept them safe from the King's designs:

But they were god-fearing women. They did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do, but let the boys live. So he summoned those Hebrew midwives and asked them why they had done this and let the boys live. They told Firawn that Hebrew women were not like Egyptian women. When they were in labour they gave birth before the midwife could get to them. So God made the midwives prosper, and the people (Israelites) increased in number and in strength.

(Exodus-1: 17 to 20)

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:50] And when We parted the sea for you, so We saved you and drowned the followers of Firon and you watched by.
[Yusufali 2:50] And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people within your very sight.
[Pickthal 2:50] And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sight.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:50]

The cleaving of the (Red) sea was a real occurrence. In this way Allah saved the Bani Israil because at that time they were in submission to the truth.

A detailed account of the event is given in the old testament. Please refer to Exodus 14: 1 to 31.

To escape from the pursuing Fir-awn and his army Musa and his followers reached the Red Sea. Fir-awn was almost upon them when the Jews looked up and saw the Egyptians close behind. Then Allah commanded Musa to strike the water with his rod, as there were no boats to carry them across the sea. Musa did as was told. A dry path appeared. They easily reached the other side After their crossing

Fir-awn with his army followed the same path but in midway the water in the sea again began to flow and the pursuing enemy was drowned, while the Bani Israil were watching from the shore. Also refer to verse 90 of Yunus.

Since a self-appointed prophet, the founder of the Ahmadi school, could not rise above the level of ordinary human beings, he tried to deprive every genuine prophet of Allah of the special honours Allah had bestowed upon His chosen representatives. To him there is no extraordinary (miraculous) aspect in this occurrence. He and his followers do not believe in the divinely endowed spiritual strength of the true prophets of Allah. They say that bahr means a river, not sea (which is not true according to Arabic literature); and that at the time when Musa and his followers crossed, it was shallow, but the army of Firawn was swept away by a tide. In the line of wilful misinterpretation it is forgotten that the tide which saved Musa and his followers from the pursuit of the Firawn's army was a miracle, else how could the coming of tide in shallow waters be justified, unless it is attributed to the will of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:51] And when We appointed a time of forty nights with Musa, then you took the calf (for a god) after him and you were unjust.
[Yusufali 2:51] And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong.
[Pickthal 2:51] And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights (of solitude), and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and were wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:51]

Musa stayed on the mount for forty days after which the law of Tawrat was given to him. He observed fast on all the forty days. According to verse 142 of al Araf the stay was for thirty days, but subsequently the term was extended by ten more days. The delay created doubts in the minds of the Bani Israil about the genuineness of the prophethood of Musa, and unjustly they took up the worship of the calf.

Musa had appointed his brother, Harun, as his successor and deputy, during his absence. Likewise the Holy Prophet, at the time of migrating to Madina from Makka, had chosen Ali to sleep in his bed, during the night of hijrat, and to return the deposits, kept in trust with him, to the owners; commissioned Ali to take charge of the administration in Madina when he went to Tabuk to encounter the enemy; and he had also assigned to Ali the responsibility of delivering al Barat to the people of Makka, because as per the divine command only he or Ali could deliver the divine revelation. "Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa", declared the Holy Prophet. As the people of Musa violated their oath of loyalty to Harun and followed Samayri the magician, the ummah of Muhammad also turned their back upon Ali and pursued their own fancies. In this way the iman of the people was tested, and they were found doing injustice to themselves. As stated in verse 3 of this surah a true believer must believe in the unseen. In view of the limitations of human wisdom, reliance upon the divinely chosen guides is the surest way to the right path. If one does not follow the Holy Prophet and his divinely chosen holy Imams, it is the deviator who suffers the consequences by being unjust to himself because the guides remain independent of the mischief of the deserters.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:52] Then We pardoned you after that so that you might give thanks.
[Yusufali 2:52] Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful.
[Pickthal 2:52] Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that ye might give thanks.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:52]

Gratitude and glorification of Allah are the rewards of submission and recognition of the state of submission. Gratefulness is contentment.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:53] And when We gave Musa the Book and the distinction that you might walk aright.
[Yusufali 2:53] And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.
[Pickthal 2:53] And when We gave unto Moses the Scripture and the criterion (of right and wrong), that ye might be led aright.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:53]

Furqan means that which teaches to distinguish between good and evil or between truth and falsehood. In verse 41 of al Anfal it is used to refer to the mental awakening experienced by the Muslims after the battle of Badr. The Quran is referred to as furqan in verse one of al Furqan.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:54] And when Musa said to his people: O my people! you have surely been unjust to yourselves by taking the calf (for a god), therefore turn to your Creator (penitently), so kill your people, that is best for you with your Creator: so He turned to you (mercifully), for surely He is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:54] And remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker." Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:54] And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:54]

The outer meaning is that the righteous among the Bani Israil should get rid of the evil ones, the calf-worshippers, even if they were their own beloved kith and kin. It is stated in the Bible that three thousand persons were killed. The inner meaning could be the annihilation of selfishness, pride and other base passions. In any event, as stated here, carrying out Allah's command brings about purity and forgiveness.

As stated in verse 51 of this surah those who sin, in fact, do injustice to themselves, go astray and become poorer by missing the divine mercy.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:55] And when you said: O Musa! we will not believe in you until we see Allah manifestly, so the punishment overtook you while you looked on.
[Yusufali 2:55] And remember ye said: "O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on.
[Pickthal 2:55] And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly; and even while ye gazed the lightning seized you.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:55]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Those who refuse to believe in the unseen (Baqarah: 3) inevitably go for idolatry. This tendency of demanding impractical divine manifestations was also evident in the opponents of the Holy Prophet (Nisa: 153)

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:56] Then We raised you up after your death that you may give thanks.
[Yusufali 2:56] Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be grateful.
[Pickthal 2:56] Then We revived you after your extinction, that ye might give thanks.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:56]

A group of seventy (stupid) elders demanded to see Allah and hear His voice, but when the manifestation of the divine glory came on them, they were destroyed (see Araf: 155). The lightning appeared on the demand of the people, therefore, it was not a punishment, and the word mawt refers to cessation of life, not stupor, as the Ahmadi commentator tries to misinterpret this verse. In verse 143 of al Araf wa kharra Musa sa-iqa means Musa fell down senseless, and falamma afaqa means when he recovered, whereas, here, in the case of the elders the word mawt (death or cessation of life) and ba-atha (raising after death) are used.

The tendency of Ahmadi commentators to deny miracles is the result of the lack of ability to understand the intellectual development of mankind. The historical events and the reactions of the people in the days of Musa and other prophets are recorded in the Bible. In those days miracles were frequently manifested to convince the people who were not aware of the laws governing the operation of creation, and therefore, could not be convinced through rational arguments.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The people asked Musa to show them the proof of his prophethood by requesting Allah to appear in person. In their foolishness they did not know that corporeality is for the creatures, not for the uncreated creator, therefore, their demand was met by another proof - the raising after death.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:57] And We made the clouds to give shade over you and We sent to you manna and quails: Eat of the good things that We have given you; and they did not do Us any harm, but they made their own souls suffer the loss.
[Yusufali 2:57] And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you:" (But they rebelled); to us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.
[Pickthal 2:57] And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and sent down on you the manna and the quails, (saying): Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you - they wronged Us not, but they did wrong themselves.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:57]

"When the Bani Israil departed from Egypt towards the Philistine via the Red Sea, the Lord all the time went before them, by day a pillar of cloud to guide them on their journey, by night a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day." (Exodus 13)

Manna and salwa are two heavenly foods not requiring toil to obtain.

Traditions confirm that there was always a similar pillar of cloud over the head of the Holy Prophet during his journeys to Syria, before he was commissioned to make public his mission of prophethood.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:58] And when We said: Enter this city, then eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish, and enter the gate making obeisance, and say, forgiveness. We will forgive you your wrongs and give more to those who do good (to others).
[Yusufali 2:58] And remember We said: "Enter this town, and eat of the plenty therein as ye wish; but enter the gate with humility, in posture and in words, and We shall forgive you your faults and increase (the portion of) those who do good."
[Pickthal 2:58] And when We said: Go into this township and eat freely of that which is therein, and enter the gate prostrate, and say: "Repentance." We will forgive you your sins and will increase (reward) for the right-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:58]

The city mentioned here may be in the land of Canaan according to Numbers 33:52 of the Old Testament.

As commanded by Allah, Musa gave instructions to the Bani Israil to enter the city through its gate prostrating, and saying: "I seek forgiveness of the Lord and turn repentant unto Him", because therein they would live in peace and harmony with plenty of provisions.

The Holy Prophet informed his followers, Muslims, about another city with its gate. He said:

I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.

If anyone wants to come into contact with the divinely endowed wisdom of the Holy Prophet, he should first get familiar with Ali not only by building up close attachment with him but also by paying homage to him with expression of reverence. In Tafsir Durr al Manthur, Jalaluddin Suyuti quotes Ali ibna abi Talib:

Our position in Islam to the Muslims is the same as the gate of hitta was to the Bani Israil.

Those who do good to others get more bounties from Allah.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:59] But those who were unjust changed it for a saying other than that which had been spoken to them, so We sent upon those who were unjust a pestilence from heaven, because they transgressed.
[Yusufali 2:59] But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly.
[Pickthal 2:59] But those who did wrong changed the word which had been told them for another saying, and We sent down upon the evil-doers wrath from heaven for their evil-doing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:59]

The Bani Israil changed the saying (hitta - pardon) which had been spoken to them for another saying (hinta-wheat), also mentioned in verses 161 and 162 of al Araf.

Those who unjustly change the word or covenant or command of Allah for something other than the original, are duly punished.

"Thus the plague which had attacked the Israelites was brought to a stop; but twenty-four thousand had already died."

(Number 25: 9)

Those who do not pay attention to the declaration of the Holy Prophet (I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate) suffer spiritual degradation and go astray.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:60] And when Musa prayed for drink for his people, We said: Strike the rock with your staff So there gushed from it twelve springs; each tribe knew its drinking place: Eat and drink of the provisions of Allah and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief.
[Yusufali 2:60] And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: "Strike the rock with thy staff." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each group knew its own place for water. So eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth.
[Pickthal 2:60] And when Moses asked for water for his people, We said: Smite with thy staff the rock. And there gushed out therefrom twelve springs (so that) each tribe knew their drinking-place. Eat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:60]

Exodus 17: 1 to 6 narrate that when there was no water for the people to drink Allah asked Musa to take with him some of the elders of Israil and the staff with which he had struck the Red Sea. When Musa struck the rock, water poured out of it. Twelve springs for the twelve tribes of the Bani Israil gushed out from that rock, as each tribe wanted to have a separate spring for its use.

To deny the extraordinary (miraculous) events in the lives of the prophets, the Ahmadi commentator misinterprets this verse. He says that Musa was commanded to walk into the mountains where he found already flowing springs, and wrongly quotes Exodus 5:27 which, in fact, refers to some other occasion when salty water was turned sweet for the Bani Israil. This is plain mischief-making .

Islam prevents man from making mischief and lays stress on peace and harmony.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:61] And when you said: O Musa! we cannot bear with one food, therefore pray Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And abasement and humiliation were brought down upon them, and they became deserving of Allah's wrath; this was so because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly; this was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.
[Yusufali 2:61] And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth, -its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, Its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without just cause. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing.
[Pickthal 2:61] And when ye said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind of food; so call upon thy Lord for us that He bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth - of its herbs and its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would ye exchange that which is higher for that which is lower? Go down to settled country, thus ye shall get that which ye demand. And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:61]

One sin leads to another. Disobedience at a lower level gradually makes man bold and he begins to exceed the limits until he finally finds himself engulfed into the deep waters of sinfulness, disconnecting all his links with the grace and mercy of the Lord. This is how the Bani Israil became the murderers of the prophets of Allah because they all came with one message:

"There is no god save Allah."

And you say "If we had been alive in our father's time, we should never have taken part with them in the murder of the prophets."

(Matthew 23: 30)

"I send you therefore prophets, sages, and teachers; some of them you will kill and crucify, others you will flog in your synagogues and hound from city to city. And so, on you will fall the guilt of all the innocent blood spilt on the ground, from innocent Abel to Zechariah son of Berachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar."

(Matthew 23: 34 and 35)

Exactly in the same manner, the Muslims neglected the commands of the Holy Prophet about his Ahl ul Bayt. First they ignored the high status of the Ahl ul Bayt and then deprived them of their rights; ultimately they killed the holy Imams one by one. So, those who hear or write or read the accounts of the sufferings of the holy Imams caused by the people, with whom they feel closely associated in one way or the other, and quietly ignore their heinous crimes without expressing dislike, disgust and contempt, should be held responsible for those crimes as if they themselves have committed them. Particularly in the case of Imam Husayn, such persons will stand in the row of the actual murderers on the day of judgement.

Covetous for the material products of the earth, dissatisfied with the heavenly (spiritual) aspects of life, a better nourishment, the Bani Israil fell into abasement and humiliation, because they exchanged that which was better for that which was worse.

To know the behaviour of the Bani Israil, please refer to Numbers 11: 1 to 27 .

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:62] Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 2:62] Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:62] Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:62]

Sabeans belonged to Chaldean religion. Their religion was much modified at various times and places by Jewish, Gnostic and Zoroastrian influences, and so there are conflicting accounts of them in various Muslim authors. Star-worship was the distinctive feature of their religion, otherwise they were monotheists.

Before saying that whoever believes in Allah and the last day, and does good, not becoming a Muslim even after Islam has been chosen as the religion of Allah, is entitled to be blessed by Allah, the following verse should be taken into consideration:

And whoso seeks as religion other than Islam it will not be accepted from him, and he will be among the losers in the hereafter.

(Ali Imran: 85)

And to remove misunderstanding, it should be noted that this verse refers to those Sabeans, Jews and Christians who, as sincere faithful, followed the original teachings of their respective prophets, without ever corrupting the true message, and believing in the prophecy of the advent of Muhammad made known by Musa, Isa and other prophets (see Baqarah: 40), and also those of them who lived in the days of the Holy Prophet but died before the news of his proclamation of the promised prophethood could reach them, because surely they would have come into the fold of Islam if they had known about it. Belief in the unity of Allah and the day of judgement and doing good is the spirit of Islam. This was the religion all the messengers of Allah preached to their people.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:63] And when We took a promise from you and lifted the mountain over you: Take hold of the law (Tavrat) We have given you with firmness and bear in mind what is in it, so that you may guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:63] And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah."
[Pickthal 2:63] And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:63]

The Ahmadi commentator again denies the lifting of the mountain over the Bani Israil, because of his inability to read history in its true perspective, explained in the commentary of verse 56 of this surah. In verse 171 of al Araf the almighty Allah says: "We shook the mountain above them as if it were a covering and they thought that it was going to fall upon them;" therefore, the dishonesty or the lack of good sense in the thinking of the Ahmadi commentator is clearly evident.

"Hold fast" means to be sure of that good which has been bestowed so that certainty becomes second nature; and to remember is to be saved from darkness, loss and agony of non-remembrance. Be firm and aware of what is evil and harmful so that it is avoided.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:64] Then you turned back after that; so were it not for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, you would certainly have been among the losers.
[Yusufali 2:64] But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah to you, ye had surely been among the lost.
[Pickthal 2:64] Then, even after that, ye turned away, and if it had not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy ye had been among the losers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:64] (see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:65] And certainly you have known those among you who exceeded the limits of the Sabbath, so We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
[Yusufali 2:65] And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
[Pickthal 2:65] And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated!
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:65]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Sabbath day was reserved exclusively for prayers. To do anything else was forbidden. The people invented crafty methods through which the fish got trapped. In this way they resorted to fishing which was also forbidden on the Sabbath days. In view of their persistent violations in spite of the repeated warnings given by the prophets., they were transformed into apes. After three days all of them died. A powerful wind swept their corpses into the sea. This incident took place in the town of Elah, on the coast of the Red Sea, during the time of prophet Dawud.

This transformation has again been stated in verse 166 of al Araf.

Misinterpreting the Quran, by inappropriately comparing the wording of one passage to the other passages without any grammatical reasoning or the identity of the meaning, is an attempt to confuse the purport of one with the other, which the Holy Prophet has strongly prohibited, and declared that it is as bad as infidelity.

The following wonderful events, which became operative as supernatural phenomena, are narrated in the Quran as the miracles given to Musa to furnish the proof of his prophethood.:

The rod of Musa transformed into a serpent.
The brilliance of the palm of Musa.
The splitting of the sea.
The gushing of water from the rock.
The coming of manna and salwa from the heavens.
The shadowing of the cloud over the Bani Israil.
The raising of the dead.
The suspension of the mountain over the people.
The transformation of the transgressors into apes.
Denial of the divine signs, which appeared due to the ability of the supernatural energy to make adjustments in nature leads to the rejection of the true religion of Allah preached by the last messenger of Allah, as is evident in the case of the Ahmadi movement - a hypocritical and dishonest camouflage and a gross disloyalty to the true faith. The Ahmadi commentator adds "as" before the word apes, in order to deny the divine sign.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:66] So We made them an example to those who witnessed it and those who came after it, and an admonition to those who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:66] So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah.
[Pickthal 2:66] And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations, and an admonition to the Allah-fearing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:66] (see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:67] And when Musa said to his people: Surely Allah commands you that you should sacrifice a cow; they said: Do you ridicule us? He said: I seek the protection of Allah from being one of the ignorant.
[Yusufali 2:67] And remember Moses said to his people: "Allah commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "Allah save me from being an ignorant (fool)!"
[Pickthal 2:67] And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish!
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:67]

If a man was murdered and the people were unable to trace out the murderer, according to the original law of Musa, 50 men of the suspected tribe had to swear their innocence and ignorance and pay the blood-money to the inheritors of the deceased. When a case like this actually took place the Bani Israil rebelled, argued, doubted and rejected the doctrine of truthful submission and guidance. They insisted that Musa should pray to Allah to reveal the name of the murderer, which Musa was rightly refusing because it was contrary to the divine laws in force. In fact it was a conspiracy to test the prophetic powers of Musa. In answer, Allah commanded them to sacrifice a cow. They were greatly disturbed by this command because under the influence of the heathen ideologies, cows and bulls were held in high veneration. They again started to pester Musa with endless questions. They thought that narrowing down the specification of the cow would result in non-availability of such an animal. Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida has rightly observed that any cow would have been sufficient, but the more the Bani Israil made a fuss, the more did Allah impose restrictions as a punishment to their persistent demands for unnecessary details. Musa, under the divine command, was able to make them purchase the prescribed cow by paying a large sum to a very holy and pious man who owned such a cow. It was a reluctant compliance.

The cow was slain and its tail was put on the sacrum of the dead man. The dead man came to life and pointed out the same man as the murderer, who had raised the cry for his blood-money. The murderer was his nephew. The body was concealed in a nearby village. The Bani Israil, as said above, wanted to test Musa. They were sure that Musa had no means of finding out the murderer to the full satisfaction of the people. The unfolding event proved their limitations. Allah brought forth that which they were going to hide.

The patience of the prophet of Allah with the doubters is a proof of his divinely inspired concern for the people. In a similar way, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, many of the Muslims quarrelled over his judgement and doubted his will and intention that Ali ibna abi Talib should lead and establish Islam-original.

Since all human beings have been created by Allah, killing a person and what he represents is like destroying the entire creation (see verse 32 of al Ma-idah).

The Ahmadi commentator says that the meaning of qatl in verse 72 is "almost dead" and refers to verses 157 and 158 of al Nisa wherein "the raising of Isa alive unto Allah" has been mentioned, and tries to make people believe that this verse also refers to Isa. In his zeal to fabricate falsehood he has overlooked the sentence: "And Allah brings forth what you hide". The Jews had no doubt about the crucifixion of Isa, nor concealed it, nor did they dispute about it. It makes clear that the Ahmadi school does not believe in the omnipotent power of Allah.

(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:68] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what she is. Musa said: He says, Surely she is a cow neither advanced in age nor too young, of middle age between that (and this); do therefore what you are commanded.
[Yusufali 2:68] They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!"
[Pickthal 2:68] They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; (she is) between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:68] (see commentary for verse 67)(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:69] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what her color is. Musa said: He says, Surely she is a yellow cow; her color is intensely yellow, giving delight to the beholders.
[Yusufali 2:69] They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!"
[Pickthal 2:69] They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:69] (see commentary for verse 67)(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:70] They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what she is, for surely to us the cows are all alike, and if Allah please we shall surely be guided aright.
[Yusufali 2:70] They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if Allah wills."
[Pickthal 2:70] They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and Lo! if Allah wills, we may be led aright.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:70] (see commentary for verse 67)(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:71] Musa said: He says, Surely she is a cow not made submissive that she should plough the land, nor does she irrigate the tilth; sound, without a blemish in her. They said: Now you have brought the truth; so they sacrificed her, though they had not the mind to do (it).
[Yusufali 2:71] He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.
[Pickthal 2:71] (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:71] (see commentary for verse 67)(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:72] And when you killed a man, then you disagreed with respect to that, and Allah was to bring forth that which you were going to hide.
[Yusufali 2:72] Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide.
[Pickthal 2:72] And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:72] (see commentary for verse 67)(see commentary for verse 4)
[Shakir 2:73] So We said: Strike the (dead body) with part of the (Sacrificed cow), thus Allah brings the dead to life, and He shows you His signs so that you may understand.
[Yusufali 2:73] So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.
[Pickthal 2:73] And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:73] (see commentary for verse 67)
[Shakir 2:74] Then your hearts hardened after that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse in hardness; and surely there are some rocks from which streams burst forth, and surely there are some of them which split asunder so water issues out of them, and surely there are some of them which fall down for fear of Allah, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:74] Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:74] Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness. For indeed there are rocks from out which rivers gush, and indeed there are rocks which split asunder so that water floweth from them. And indeed there are rocks which fall down for the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:74]

Even after witnessing the soul-stirring event the Bani Israil lost no time in reverting to disbelief. They were like stones, worse. than stones, because even a stone follows its nature. It does not rebel. In

the thin layers of stones water is stored, which can be drawn out. Springs issues out of them. The nature of qalb (heart) is to turn - to change old habits and be intimate with truth; live, and die for the truth. If a man has the required degree of faith in Allah and develops the strength of conviction, he can make use of nature around him, because by native volition every object yields to the laws operative under the will of Allah. Therefore the messengers of Allah and the representatives of Allah had demonstrated extraordinary events (miracles) to prove that on account of the divine endowments in them, they could make the material phenomena yield to their will in complete submission to the will of Allah. The Quran repeatedly declares that everything, even inanimate objects, which seem to be fixed and immovable and unable to do anything of their own accord, volunteer and surrender to their creator. And there is none in the universe who does not sing or celebrate the glory of the Lord. See verse 44 of Bani Israil. So to deny "there are some of them which fall down for fear of Allah" under the cover of allusive symbolism is a guessing game of the Ahmadi and other of its kind theoreticians, who are apparently ignorant of the latest scientific findings. In the opinion of many scholars inanimate matter possesses a kind of rudimentary sensibility which can be stimulated to respond to a proper stimulus. The law of gravitation which maintains the form and movement of the whole universe confirms this theory.


[Shakir 2:75] Do you then hope that they would believe in you, and a party from among them indeed used to hear the Word of Allah, then altered it after they had understood it, and they know (this).
[Yusufali 2:75] Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.
[Pickthal 2:75] Have ye any hope that they will be true to you when a party of them used to listen to the word of Allah, then used to change it, after they had understood it, knowingly?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:75]

People who are not aware of the truth readily become believers when they see the light of truth, but those who know the truth and yet deny it remain disbelievers.

The Jews and the Christians of Arabia were expecting the advent of the Holy Prophet, in view of the prophecies made by Musa, Isa and other Prophets, (see Baqarah: 40), therefore, they used to warn the pagans:

"Wait! The promised one comes and punishes you all for your wickedness".

Their attitude towards Islam, before hijrat, was not hostile, if not friendly, but as the influence and the power of the Muslims increased, they stopped talking about the prophecies mentioned in their scriptures and prevented others from referring to them. Though yuharrifunahu here means misinterpretation and not any material change in the wording, yet it is proved that the pre-Islamic scriptures had been misinterpreted (tahrif ma-nawi) as well as tampered with by omission, addition, and substitution of letters, words and sentences (tahrif lafzi), as mentioned in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica and the periodicals published by the Watch Tower Society. What has been discovered today after extensive research by independent scholars has been disclosed by the Quran in this verse.


[Shakir 2:76] And when they meet those who believe they say: We believe, and when they are alone one with another they say: Do you talk to them of what Allah has disclosed to you that they may contend with you by this before your Lord? Do you not then understand?
[Yusufali 2:76] Behold! when they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe": But when they meet each other in private, they say: "Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?"- Do ye not understand (their aim)?
[Pickthal 2:76] And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe. But when they go apart one with another they say: Prate ye to them of that which Allah hath disclosed to you that they may contend with you before your Lord concerning it? Have ye then no sense?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:76]

Those Jews, who only pretended to have accepted Islam, had close relations with the rabbis. In their meetings, the clever rabbis, as stated in the commentary of Baqarah: 42, reprimanded the less-careful converts for their unscrupulous utterings about the prophecies written in their scriptures regarding the advent of the Holy Prophet. They were afraid of giving the believers, through such disclosures, an upper hand at the time of argumentation, which could make the true seekers of the truth among them go into the fold of Islam in sincerity.


[Shakir 2:77] Do they not know that Allah knows what they keep secret and what they make known?
[Yusufali 2:77] Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal?
[Pickthal 2:77] Are they then unaware that Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:77]

In continuation of verses 75 and 76 of this surah this verse says that the truth will prevail in spite of the false notion of the Jews that if they do not make known the prophecies about the advent of Muhammad, the last prophet of Allah, the people will never accept Islam.


[Shakir 2:78] And there are among them illiterates who know not the Book but only lies, and they do but conjecture.
[Yusufali 2:78] And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.
[Pickthal 2:78] Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. They but guess.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:78]

The crafty scholars, among the Jews, kept the knowledge of the scriptures exclusively to themselves and told only lies in front of the illiterates in order to exert and maintain power over those of them who did not know the books. It is a warning to mankind in general that the illiterate, as opposed to the scheming scholar, is the innocent victim of priest-class falsehood and tyranny. Barring the common people from access to means of gaining knowledge, the clever set successfully maintains exclusive control and power, deliberately keeping others deprived, and in darkness.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The word ummi generally means one who can neither write nor read. Here it is used for those Jews who could neither read nor write. In many places the Quran addresses the Arabs as ummies. With reference to the use of ummi for the Holy Prophet, commentators say that it is either because the Holy Prophet could neither write nor read, or because he was one of the Arabs, or because he was the inhabitant of the city of Makka known as the Ummul-Qura.

Ummi can also be derived from the word umm-the mother. Ummi means the person who remains the same in his native endowments as was born, without receiving any education or training from any (outside) source. The Holy Prophet did not receive knowledge or education from any mortal but by Allah Himself. He was born with divinely endowed .wisdom and remained the same, without letting any worldly agency influence his self, tutored and perfected by Allah Himself.

Allah has revealed to you the book and the wisdom and taught you what you did not know. Great has been the grace of Allah on you.

(NISA: 113)

Please refer to verse 12 of Ya Sin, verses 1 to 4 of al Rahman and verses 4 and 5 of al Najm.

It is He who raised among the ummies a messenger from amongst them, who recites His signs to them, reforms them and teaches them the book and the wisdom (JUMU-AH: 2), so it is absurd to believe that Allah had sent an illiterate to teach the book and the wisdom to the illiterates.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has said that the conscience of every human being tells him not to follow blindly any one who pretends to be a guide without having the necessary merits, therefore, he cannot wholly blame others for being ignorant of the divine guidance because of the trickery of the false guides he chooses to follow.


[Shakir 2:79] Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.
[Yusufali 2:79] Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.
[Pickthal 2:79] Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:79]

In order to confuse the people so that they could not see in the Holy Prophet the qualities mentioned in their books and rightly identify him as the promised prophet, they had made alterations in the holy scriptures. By corrupting the books they had corrupted themselves.


[Shakir 2:80] And they say: Fire shall not touch us but for a few days. Say: Have you received a promise from Allah, then Allah will not fail to perform His promise, or do you speak against Allah what you do not know?
[Yusufali 2:80] And they say: "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:" Say: "Have ye taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?"
[Pickthal 2:80] And they say: The Fire (of punishment) will not touch us save for a certain number of days. Say: Have ye received a covenant from Allah - truly Allah will not break His covenant - or tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:80]

According to George Sale, "the Jews believe that no person, be he ever so wicked, or of whatever sect, shall remain in hell above eleven months or at the most a year except Dathan or Abiram. the atheists who will be tormented there to all eternity ."


[Shakir 2:81] Yea, whoever earns evil and his sins beset him on every side, these are the inmates of the fire; in it they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:81] Nay, those who seek gain in evil, and are girt round by their sins,- they are companions of the Fire: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
[Pickthal 2:81] Nay, but whosoever hath done evil and his sin surroundeth him; such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:81]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Earning (obtaining a return) is quite different from falling into evil. Those who earn the wages of sin are enclosed in sin. One sin leads to another sin. It is a vicious and unending cycle. Willing yielding to evil for self advancement, erects a fortress of wickedness brick by brick; and access to good becomes impossible. They are enclosed in error. Sinning becomes their nature, as the conscience is paralysed. Total abandonment to evil obtains eternal punishment. They are the people of hell. Man finds himself in such a hopeless situation only when he breaks the covenant made with the Lord and disconnects all links of attachment with the divinely commissioned guides (Baqarah: 38). Even a little liking for the goodness of the holy Imams may change the lifestyle of a habitual sinner.


[Shakir 2:82] And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:82] But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
[Pickthal 2:82] And those who believe and do good works: such are rightful owners of the Garden. They will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:82] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:83] And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. Then you turned back except a few of you and (now too) you turn aside.
[Yusufali 2:83] And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).
[Pickthal 2:83] And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:83]

The covenant is a contract of guidance. Every clause is a command of Allah. Tawhid, worship and adoration of none other than Allah, is the first and the foremost command.

Call upon Him with sincere (and exclusive) obedience.

(ARAF: 29)

Turning to a ghayrallah is as bad as surrendering to Shaytan who is an open enemy of man.

IYYAKA NA-BUDU WA IYYAKA NASTA-IN

(FATIHAH: 4)

For this reason recitation of al Fatihah has been made obligatory in every salat.

One is born into this world through parents, and therefore he who is on the path of guidance cannot but do good to parents (Luqman: 13). Parents should be loved, respected, obeyed and looked after in health and sickness. To walk ahead of them, to shout in their presence, to lose temper on account of any of their actions, or even to look at them with displeasure is unworthy of a true believer. In a wider sense, teachers and guardians are also parents - the spiritual source of guidance.

The Holy Prophet said:

"I and Ali are the fathers of the ummah."

In the Old Testament the covenant made with the Bani Israil has been referred to as under:

"He announced the terms of His covenant to you, binding you observe the ten words."

(Deut 4: 13)

"You shall have no other god to set against Me."

(Exodus 20: 3)

"Worship the Lord your God."

(Exodus 23: 25)

"At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce for that year and leave it in your settlements so that the Levites, who have no holding or patrimony among you, and the aliens, orphans, and widows in your settlements may come and eat their fill. If you do this the Lord your God will bless you in everything to which you set your hand.

(Deut 14: 28 and 29)

In this verse the significance of the religion of Allah, Islam, has been pointed out. If the commandments of this verse are carried out how peaceful and pleasant would life on earth be!


[Shakir 2:84] And when We made a covenant with you: You shall not shed your blood and you shall not turn your people out of your cities; then you gave a promise while you witnessed.
[Yusufali 2:84] And remember We took your covenant (to this effect): Shed no blood amongst you, nor turn out your own people from your homes: and this ye solemnly ratified, and to this ye can bear witness.
[Pickthal 2:84] And when We made with you a covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your people nor turn (a party of) your people out of your dwellings. Then ye ratified (Our covenant) and ye were witnesses (thereto).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:84]

Ibna Hisham in "Siratun Nabi", and Amir Ali in the "Spirit of Islam" say that this reminder is directed to the Bani Israil, who entered into a treaty with the Holy Prophet at Madina.

A few clauses are quoted below:

"Whosoever is rebellious, or seeks to spread enmity and sedition, the hand of every man shall be against him, even if he be a son. Whosoever of the Jews follows us shall have aid and succour; they shall not be injured, nor shall any enemy be aided against them. The Jewish clans in alliance with the several tribes of Madina are one people with the believers. The Jews will profess their religion, the Muslims theirs. As with the Jews, so with their adherents. No one shall go forth to war excepting with the permission of Muhammad, but this shall not hinder any from seeking lawful revenge. The Jews shall be responsible for their expenditure, the Muslims for theirs, but if attacked each shall come to the assistance of the other. Madina shall be sacred and inviolable for all that join this treaty; controversies and disputes shall be referred to for the decision of God and His Prophet. None shall join the men of Makka or their allies, for verily the engaging parties are bound together against every one that shall threaten Madina. War and peace shall be made in common."

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Although the Jews acknowledged and witnessed the divine command not to shed blood of their people, nor drive them away out of their habitations, yet they transgressed. This Jewish attitude was conspicuously noticeable in the nature of the Muslim ummah, when they killed, tormented and abused the holy family of the Holy Prophet in Kerbala and after Kerbala.

Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zaynul Abidin had said:

In view of the clear instructions of the Holy Prophet and the decisive injunctions of the Quran it is obligatory to love, revere and follow the Ahl ul Bayt, but, even if the prophet had commanded the ummah to hate and abuse his children, they could not have been able to do worse than what they did to us.

They persecuted the Ahl ul Bayt in whichever town they took shelter, forced them to drift from place to place, and at last surrounded them from all sides in the desert of Kerbala, and then murdered in cold blood, all the male friends, relatives and companions of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Holy Prophet They spared no one, not even the six month infant son of the Holy Imam. The persecutors, in devilish frenzy, trampled the bodies of the devoted martyrs under the hooves of their horses, plundered, looted and set the tents of the Ahl ul Bayt on fire. It was a premeditated, ruthless and satanic dance of death. The ladies and children of the holy house in chains, along with the severed heads of the martyrs, walked through the streets of Kufa and Damascus (to the court of Yazid). The tragedy of Kerbala casts a gloom upon every refined, compassionate and God-fearing soul. It makes hearts bleed, and tears flow. Cries of lamentation reach the heavens.

In the court of Yazid, Bibi Zaynab binta Ali stood up and said in a clear, definite and strong voice:

O Yazid! What would the Holy Prophet say if he sees us in this condition today? Think you O Yazid, that by killing our men and capturing us and reducing us to this state, you have won and we have lost? Then verily you are mistaken. Our cause has been established by Allah and no power on earth can ever do it any harm. The temporal power which you assume is to be counted but only for a very few days and then you shall feel sorry for your tyranny but it shall be in vain. The divine kingdom is with us and shall remain with us for ever. All that you possess is nothing but a passing show and there is nothing divine in it. Verily, Satan holds power on the earth more than all the tyrants together but in the eyes of Allah he is the cursed and the derided one. It appears that sins have encompassed your heart and severed all the links of faith and made you bold to utter the proud words against the truth. "Have they not travelled on the earth and seen how the others before them had met their end? They were far more powerful than them, dug up the earth and built far more than what did they build; and their messengers came to them with clear proofs. It was not for Allah to wrong them, they wronged themselves. Then evil was the end of those who did evil, for they belied the signs of Allah and made fun of them."


[Shakir 2:85] Yet you it is who slay your people and turn a party from among you out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and exceeding the limits; and if they should come to you, as captives you would ransom them-- while their very turning out was unlawful for you. Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the re ward of such among you as do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:85] After this it is ye, the same people, who slay among yourselves, and banish a party of you from their homes; assist (Their enemies) against them, in guilt and rancour; and if they come to you as captives, ye ransom them, though it was not lawful for you to banish them. Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?- and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:85] Yet ye it is who slay each other and drive out a party of your people from their homes, supporting one another against them by sin and transgression? - and if they came to you as captives ye would ransom them, whereas their expulsion was itself unlawful for you - Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. For Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:85]

It is said by some commentators that this verse refers to the dual standards of the Jews of Madina.

"The Jewish tribes Bani Qurayza and Bani Nadhir living side by side at Madina made an alliance with Aus and Khazraj, the two rival tribes of Madina respectively, and when the latter fought against each other their allies took part in fighting and thus one Jewish tribe slaughtered and imprisoned the other and laid waste their habitations; but afterwards collected subscriptions for the release of Jewish prisoners, giving reason for this that their law commanded them to redeem the prisoners and they fought for the honour of their allies."

They carried out one command of Allah by ransoming their people but violated the other command that they should have not slain their people and laid waste their habitations.


[Shakir 2:86] These are they who buy the life of this world for the hereafter, so their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.
[Yusufali 2:86] These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their penalty shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.
[Pickthal 2:86] Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price of the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened, neither will they have support.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:86]

They who bought the life of this world for personal gain and fulfilment of their treacherous designs by using unfair, wicked and brutal means to suppress and usurp the rights of the Ahl ul Bayt, are included among those who shall be punished in the hereafter.


[Shakir 2:87] And most certainly We gave Musa the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Isa, the son of Marium, clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit, What! whenever then a messenger came to you with that which your souls did not desire, you were insolent so you called some liars and some you slew.
[Yusufali 2:87] We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you a messenger with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?- Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!
[Pickthal 2:87] And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:87]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Whenever the message of truth is not conducive to the selfish interests of the people the (animal) nafs rejects it, and the rejection manifests itself in rebellion against the divine covenant and against those who are divinely chosen to guide to the right path.

Although, according to verse 22 of al Mujadilah, Allah guides and inspires every virtuous individual through the spirit, but the repeated mention of ruhul quds (the holy spirit), in the verses of the Quran, has a special significance. It is, as far as we know, a very highly refined spiritual entity whose function is to guide, inspire and infuse the prophetic spirit. It also equips the divinely selected individual to exercise miraculous powers.

An impostor, who did not have such a spirit or an angel to guide him, yet claimed prophethood, interprets ruh as guidance, which every virtuous individual receives from Allah. According to him, even the help which prophet Isa received from Allah was merely in the form of guidance. In this way he purposely tries to discredit every true messenger of Allah from having any angelic service at his command.

The repeated mention of ruhul quds in connection with the prophet Isa clearly establishes the fact that he was particularly chosen for this distinction.

Please refer to the following verses wherein the word holy spirit or spirit has been used:

AL BAQARAH: 253

AL MA-IDAH: 110

AL NAHL: 102

AL MUMIN: 15

AL SHURA: 52

AL MUJADILAH: 22

AL NABA: 38

AL QADR: 4

Through fa-fariqan kadhdhabtum, the obstinate refusal to believe in the true messengers of Allah,

and to carry out those commands which do not serve selfish interests, is disclosed.

In fariqan taqtuluna, the change of tense from the past to the present refers to the attempts the Jews were making to kill the Holy Prophet.


[Shakir 2:88] And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe.
[Yusufali 2:88] They say, "Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve Allah's Word: we need no more)." Nay, Allah's curse is on them for their blasphemy: Little is it they believe.
[Pickthal 2:88] And they say: Our hearts are hardened. Nay, but Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:88]

Ghulf can be interpreted either to say "our hearts are covered and encased, therefore, we cannot hear and understand that which the Holy Prophet says", or "our hearts are (already) the repositories (of knowledge), therefore, we do not need any guidance". In either case, devoid of iman, they deserve to be cursed.


[Shakir 2:89] And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:89] And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith.
[Pickthal 2:89] And when there cometh unto them a scripture from Allah, confirming that in their possession - though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved - and when there cometh unto them that which they know (to be the truth) they disbelieve therein. The curse of Allah is on disbelievers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:89]

In Islam empty declaration of faith carries no weight. Those who believe must translate their intentions and love of truth into correct actions. People who do so shall dwell in the eternal land of bliss and fulfilment.



As has been explained in the commentary of verse 40 of this surah, and further elaborated in verses 75 to 79, the Jews should have known and accepted that the Holy Prophet was the promised prophet of Allah and he was preaching the truth, since his message was similar in form and language to that which they already had. But the Jews, had more of arrogance and pride in them than faith, and so belied him, thus earning Allah's curse.


[Shakir 2:90] Evil is that for which they have sold their souls-- that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:90] Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny (the revelation) which Allah has sent down, in insolent envy that Allah of His Grace should send it to any of His servants He pleases: Thus have they drawn on themselves Wrath upon Wrath. And humiliating is the punishment of those who reject Faith.
[Pickthal 2:90] Evil is that for which they sell their souls: that they should disbelieve in that which Allah hath revealed, grudging that Allah should reveal of His bounty unto whom He will of His slaves. They have incurred anger upon anger. For disbelievers is a shameful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:90]

These verses are in reply to the arrogance of the Jews. The Jews, out of envy, denied that Allah had sent down Injil on the prophet Isa and the Quran on the Holy Prophet. Although they said that they only believed in what was revealed to the Israelite prophets, despite the prophecy of the promised prophet in their book (see verse 40 of this surah), they still killed their own prophets.

There is no end to the wrath brought about on them which they themselves had earned.


[Shakir 2:91] And when it is said to them, Believe in what Allah has revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed to us; and they deny what is besides that, while it is the truth verifying that which they have. Say: Why then did you kill Allah's Prophets before if you were indeed believers?
[Yusufali 2:91] When it is said to them, "Believe in what Allah Hath sent down, "they say, "We believe in what was sent down to us:" yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: "Why then have ye slain the prophets of Allah in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?"
[Pickthal 2:91] And when it is said unto them: Believe in that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We believe in that which was revealed unto us. And they disbelieve in that which cometh after it, though it is the truth confirming that which they possess. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Why then slew ye the prophets of Allah aforetime, if ye are (indeed) believers?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:91] (see commentary for verse 90)
[Shakir 2:92] And most certainly Musa came to you with clear arguments, then you took the calf (for a god) in his absence and you were unjust.
[Yusufali 2:92] There came to you Moses with clear (Signs); yet ye worshipped the calf (Even) after that, and ye did behave wrongfully.
[Pickthal 2:92] And Moses came unto you with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), yet, while he was away, ye chose the calf (for worship) and ye were wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:92] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:93] And when We made a covenant with you and raised the mountain over you: Take hold of what We have given you with firmness and be obedient. They said: We hear and disobey. And they were made to imbibe (the love of) the calf into their hearts on account of their unbelief Say: Evil is that which your belief bids you if you are believers.
[Yusufali 2:93] And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai): (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you, and hearken (to the Law)": They said:" We hear, and we disobey:" And they had to drink into their hearts (of the taint) of the calf because of their Faithlessness. Say: "Vile indeed are the behests of your Faith if ye have any faith!"
[Pickthal 2:93] And when We made with you a covenant and caused the Mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast by that which We have given you, and hear (Our Word), they said: We hear and we rebel. And (worship of) the calf was made to sink into their hearts because of their rejection (of the covenant). Say (unto them): Evil is that which your belief enjoineth on you, if ye are believers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:93]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Musa asked the Jews to hold fast with firmness to that which Allah had given them after making a covenant with them, but they said, "We listen, and disobey". Likewise, the Holy Prophet demanded allegiance from his followers to Allah's command at Ghadir Khum which they agreed to accept but broke the promise. The Holy Prophet had prophesied that his followers would follow into the footsteps of the followers of Musa.


[Shakir 2:94] Say: If the future abode with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the people, then invoke death if you are truthful.
[Yusufali 2:94] Say: "If the last Home, with Allah, be for you specially, and not for anyone else, then seek ye for death, if ye are sincere."
[Pickthal 2:94] Say (unto them): If the abode of the Hereafter in the providence of Allah is indeed for you alone and not for others of mankind (as ye pretend), then long for death (for ye must long for death) if ye are truthful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:94]

The Jews thought that they were Allah's favourites to the exclusion of all other people, and they alone would go to paradise. This preposterous idea made them deny the Holy Prophet in spite of the clear proofs available in their book (see commentary of verse 40 of this surah).

"Desire death, if you are truthful", is a challenge. Tamannul Mawta means desire or wish (not invoke or pray) death. If they were so specially favoured by Allah, they did not have to even take the trouble of praying for death; merely desiring it would have received His response. He who loves Allah loves death -to depart from this world and enter the eternal land of bliss and happiness. Also refer to verses 6 and 7 of al Jumu-ah. Everyone of the holy Ahl ul Bayt was always prepared for death and loved it. After receiving the fatal blow Imam Ali said: "By the Lord of the holy Kabah, I have attained success."

The conviction of the Jews was not genuine. They did not believe in what they said. Aware of their own misdeeds, and the way they had corrupted their books, they could not desire death for themselves. On the other hand they were plotting to kill the Holy Prophet, because they knew that the Holy Prophet was a true prophet of Allah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

"Desire death, if you are truthful" is an open challenge. Whoso thinks that the blissful life of the hereafter is exclusively his must always be ready to die. He who is sure of a better life in the hereafter, as the favour of Allah, would not like to prolong his earthly life but would expedite his departure from here. According to Imam Ali, a genuine devotee, the lover or the favourite of Allah, would not let his soul stay in his body for fraction of a moment if his term of life has not been ordained by Allah, because he knows what awaits him in the life of the hereafter. Therefore he is never afraid of death.

Imam Ali said:

"Verily, by Allah I declare that the son of Abu Talib is more familiar with death than a baby is with the breast of his mother."

Therefore, neither the greed for power nor the fear of death, as the opponents of Ali used to think, was the reason for his outspoken analysis of the behaviour of his contemporaries, or his silence in the midst of ruthless deviators and hypocrites.


[Shakir 2:95] And they will never invoke it on account of what their hands have sent before, and Allah knows the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:95] But they will never seek for death, on account of the (sins) which their hands have sent on before them. and Allah is well-acquainted with the wrong-doers.
[Pickthal 2:95] But they will never long for it, because of that which their own hands have sent before them. Allah is aware of evil-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:95] (see commentary for verse 94)
[Shakir 2:96] And you will most certainly find them the greediest of men for life (greedier) than even those who are polytheists; every one of them loves that he should be granted a life of a thousand years, and his being granted a long life will in no way remove him further off from the chastisement, and Allah sees what they do.
[Yusufali 2:96] Thou wilt indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life,-even more than the idolaters: Each one of them wishes He could be given a life of a thousand years: But the grant of such life will not save him from (due) punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do.
[Pickthal 2:96] And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters. (Each) one of them would like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live (a thousand years) would be no means remove him from the doom. Allah is Seer of what they do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:96] (see commentary for verse 94)
[Shakir 2:97] Say: Whoever is the enemy of Jibreel-- for surely he revealed it to your heart by Allah's command, verifying that which is before it and guidance and good news for the believers.
[Yusufali 2:97] Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by Allah's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,-
[Pickthal 2:97] Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers;
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:97]

According to the book of Daniel (12: 1) , Mika-il is the great captain who stands guard over the Jews. So Mika-il was their guardian angel. They disliked Jibra-il, who they thought, always brought punishment. It was Jibra-il through whom the prophets came to know the perverse behaviour of the Jews, and, therefore, they cursed the Jews. It was Jibra-il who announced the birth of John the Baptist, and conveyed the glad tidings to virgin Maryam about the birth of Isa whom the Jews obstinately hated. It was Jibra-il who saved Nebuchadnezzar from their clutches when he was a boy, and he, afterwards, destroyed their temple. Jibra-il was their enemy. This prejudice led them to believe that he was asked to convey the office of prophethood to one of the Jews but he inadvertently went to the Holy Prophet. Abdulla bin Suriya, a Jew, came to the Holy Prophet and asked some questions to test his genuineness. He was convinced that Muhammad was a true messenger of Allah, but when he came to know that it was Jibra-il who conveyed the divine message, he said that he would not believe in his prophethood because Jibra-il was the enemy of the Jews. In fact, the Jews were the enemies of Jibra-il, who brought Allah's commands and revelations to His prophets, which contained guidance and good news for the believers. Whosoever is the enemy of Allah, His messengers and His angels is an unbeliever. Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers who are described as infidels. Therefore, those who troubled, tortured and killed the Ahl ul Bayt, the beloved darlings of the Holy Prophet and Allah, are the enemies of the Holy Prophet and Allah. When the Holy Prophet was leaving this world to meet his creator, the so-called followers of the true religion of Allah deserted him and held a conference in Saqifa to choose a ruler in complete disregard to their oath of allegiance, which they had promised to uphold, at Ghadir Khum, just a few months before. They had accepted Ali as their Mawla, but soon after the departure of the Holy Prophet, they deprived Ali of his right to succeed the Holy Prophet, and, to show their power in this world, arrested him and dragged him to the court of the ruler. The daughter of the Holy Prophet, Bibi Fatima Zahra, was not only publicly insulted during the trial of Fadak, but that which the Holy Prophet had given her by the command of Allah was taken away from her, and her house was also set on fire. An aggressor kicked the door of her house which fell on her and killed the child she was carrying in her womb, and which finally proved to be the cause of her death. Ali was killed in the mosque. Hasan, the grandson of the Holy Prophet was killed by poison. Husayn, the other grandson of the Holy Prophet, and his friends and relatives, were slain in Kerbala, and the ladies of the holy family were chained, tortured and held captive for a long time. One after the other, the Holy Imams were killed. Sayyids, the sons and daughters of the family of Ahl ul Bayt, were hunted, captured and were either murdered or tortured. Those who were responsible, directly or indirectly, for such heinous crimes are certainly the enemies of the Holy Prophet, because no reasonable person can say that these were the acts of friends. Such people are unbelievers, and Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers. In verse 57 of al Ahzab, Allah has cursed those who annoy or displease Allah and His messenger in this world and has prepared a painful punishment for them in the hereafter. The Holy Prophet said:

"O Ali! Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood. He who fights you, in fact has declared war against me, and to fight against me is to fight Allah."

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Angels and angelic functions have been explained in the commentary of the earlier verses of this surah. Now the functions of the four arch-angels are given below:

(1) JIBRA-IL

He communicated the will of Allah to His messengers. He also destroyed the enemies of Allah and His messengers.

(2) MIKA-IL

He supplies nourishment and provisions.

(3) ISRAFIL

He gives forms and shapes. He also assimilates nature.

(4) IZRA-IL

He disengages living beings from one state of existence to initiate into another state of existence .

These are, in fact the functions of the rububiyat, the cherishing aspect of Allah's grace. There are many angels working under the arch-angels. The various angelic functions are closely linked together. One cannot function without the other. The single exclusive authority of Allah controls these functions according to His supreme will. So, there is no room for the angels to act in contravention to the command of Allah. Only ignorant fools indulge in the theory of possible disobedience by the angels. In verse 6 of al Tahrim, the almighty Allah says that the angels do not disobey Him in that which He commands them; they do that which they are commanded to do.

When various agencies represent one and the same authority, hostility directed towards any will include all and finally lead to the original source, as has been correctly pointed out in verses 152 to 154 of al Nisa.


[Shakir 2:98] Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His messengers and Jibreel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:98] Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.
[Pickthal 2:98] Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:98] (see commentary for verse 97)
[Shakir 2:99] And certainly We have revealed to you clear communications and none disbelieve in them except the transgressors.
[Yusufali 2:99] We have sent down to thee Manifest Signs (ayat); and none reject them but those who are perverse.
[Pickthal 2:99] Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:99]

The verses of the Quran are clear signs. "Signs" also refer to the miracles which the messengers of Allah put into operation (under Allah's command) when the unbelievers denied their divinely commissioned role. Allah's authority is absolute. What His will brings about none can ever undo. Covered with ignorance, the perverse unbelievers disbelieve in the "signs" of Allah.


[Shakir 2:100] What! whenever they make a covenant, a party of them cast it aside? Nay, most of them do not believe.
[Yusufali 2:100] Is it not (the case) that every time they make a covenant, some party among them throw it aside?- Nay, Most of them are faithless.
[Pickthal 2:100] Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:100]

Those who break the covenant made with Allah through any of His messengers are indeed the accursed unbelievers. Such a covenant was made with Allah by the Muslims through the Holy Prophet at Ghadir Khum. After him, they threw the sacred covenant to the winds and usurped the right to guide the people in lure of worldly gains which they obtained by corrupting and converting the religion of Allah into a heathen system of government, like of which there were many in this world before Islam.


[Shakir 2:101] And when there came to them a Messenger from Allah verifying that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing.
[Yusufali 2:101] And when there came to them a messenger from Allah, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if (it had been something) they did not know!
[Pickthal 2:101] And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not,
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:101]

This verse refers to the obstinate Jewish denial of the prophecy about the Holy Prophet in their books. Please refer to verse 40 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:102] And they followed what the Shaitans chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shaitans disbelieved, they taught men sorcery and that was sent down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet these two taught no man until they had said, "Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever." Even then men learned from these two, magic by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this.
[Yusufali 2:102] They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying: "We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme." They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!
[Pickthal 2:102] And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they (the two angels) teach it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation, therefore disbelieve not (in the guidance of Allah). And from these two (angles) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no-one save by Allah's leave. And they learn that which harmeth them and profiteth them not. And surely they do know that he who trafficketh therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter; and surely evil is the price for which they sell their souls, if they but knew.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:102]

Prophet Sulayman was endowed with extraordinary powers to control the forces of nature. To discredit him in the eyes of the people the devils had forged a book in the name of Sulayman on the art of sorcery in order to give currency to the idea that it was witchcraft, not divine endowment, through which Sulayman directed the operation of created phenomena and exercised various super natural acts. As sorcery demands belief in ungodly agencies and false deities, he who makes use of witchcraft is an infidel. To cast aspersion on the prophet of Allah was a blasphemy. Sulayman worshipped the true God (Yahweh). He was not an unbeliever. It was the devilish beings who disbelieved .

Though it cannot be directly observed. the good and evil spirits are capable of corporeal manifestation. To invoke the agency of evil spirits in order to effect magic is infidelity, and is therefore condemned by Islam. In Babylon and other centres of old civilisation sorcery was in vogue. It was used to confuse the people because they could not distinguish between witchcraft and genuine miracles. To counter this devilish scheme two angels, Harut and Marut, were sent down by Allah to help the prophet of that time. By providing him with the means of undoing the effects of sorcery, the people were properly equipped to discriminate between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. During the time of the Holy Prophet a large number of Jews practised sorcery and adopted it as their creed by setting aside the Tawrat.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to the first book of Kings 11: 1 to 11, in the Old Testament, Sulayman defected from true worship and the Lord was angry with him because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel. This verse refutes the Jewish allegation. The following inferences can be drawn from this verse:

(1) Sorcery is not altogether ineffective.

(2) Sorcery can do no harm if Allah so wills.

(3) To learn witchcraft or sorcery is not profitable, but harmful.

(4) Those who go after the art of sorcery and witchcraft will have no share of good in the hereafter, because it is as bad as mischief-making. To dispel the effects of witchcraft and sorcery people are allowed to learn the art of defending themselves.


[Shakir 2:103] And if they had believed and guarded themselves (against evil), reward from Allah would certainly have been better; had they but known (this).
[Yusufali 2:103] If they had kept their Faith and guarded themselves from evil, far better had been the reward from their Lord, if they but knew!
[Pickthal 2:103] And if they had believed and kept from evil, a recompense from Allah would be better, if they only knew.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:103]

Instead of guarding themselves against evil and relying upon that which Allah gives as a reward, a large number of people had fallen prey to the belief in sorcery.


[Shakir 2:104] O you who believe! do not say Raina and say Unzurna and listen, and for the unbelievers there is a painful chastisement.
[Yusufali 2:104] O ye of Faith! Say not (to the Messenger) words of ambiguous import, but words of respect; and hearken (to him): To those without Faith is a grievous punishment.
[Pickthal 2:104] O ye who believe, say not (unto the Prophet): "Listen to us" but say "Look upon us," and be ye listeners. For disbelievers is a painful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:104]

The doubters, and all those with the outlook of Bani Israil, take to twisting any word necessary to suit their purpose. Ra-ina means "listen to us", but it was turned by a little twist in accent into a word of reproach (meaning "stupid") by the Jews (also refer to verse 46 of al Nisa). Therefore the word unzurna (look upon us) was suggested which gave no room to the enemy for casting aspersion on the Holy Prophet. This verse shows how much the Jews disliked the Holy Prophet. It also prohibits use of any word bearing sinister meaning with reference to him.

The Jews and the idol-worshippers did not like that khayr (good), the Quran, should be revealed to the Holy Prophet. As "the mercy unto the worlds" the Holy Prophet himself was khayr because khayr (good) is rahmah (mercy). He, the last law-giver messenger of Allah, was a descendant of prophet Ismail, the younger son of prophet Ibrahim, therefore, the Jews, who were the descendants of prophet Ishaq, the elder son of prophet Ibrahim, did not like the advent of the promised prophet in the progeny of prophet Ismail. They knew that the ministry of the Holy Prophet was genuine and Islam was the true religion of Allah, but their prejudice and envy led them astray. The same prejudice and envy created the venomous group of the hypocrites (munafiqin) who opposed the Holy Prophet in his lifetime, and, after him, persecuted, murdered and tried to destroy completely his Ahl ul Bayt. The hatred of the Israelites against the non-Israelites was reflected in the hatred of the non-Hashimites against the Hashimites. Allah chooses whom He pleases for His mercy and grace (also refer to verses 90 and 91 of this surah).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

An interesting conversation between the second caliph and Ibna Abbas, recorded by Tabari and other historians, is quoted below, which throws light on the influence of the Jewish mentality on the behaviour and mental attitude of the non-Hashimite Muslims.

The second caliph said:

"O son of Abbas! Do you know why your family has been deprived of Khilafat? The Quraysh did not like that prophethood (nubuwwat) and vicegerency (khilafat) be combined in the family of Hashim, lest their vanity increases. So they chose some one else, really their choice was good."

Ibna Abbas said:

"There is nothing unusual so far as the hatred of the Quraysh for the family of Hashim is concerned, because right from the beginning they did not like the message, nor the messenger. 'That is because they were averse to what Allah has sent down, so He shall render their deeds null and void (Muhammad: 9)'. And the apprehension about the vanity of the people who have been (thoroughly) purified, by Allah himself, from every type of uncleanness is an (unfounded) accusation. It would have been most appropriate if the Quraysh had chosen he whom Allah had chosen, and .."

At this stage the caliph interrupted and said:

"Behold! O son of Abbas! I have already been informed about your utterances. Beware! You may fall in my estimation."

Ibna Abbas said:

"Yes. If my opinions are true, they should not cause my downfall, and if they be untrue, you should remind me to put them in order."

The caliph got angry and left the place.

This incident, sharply defines the most vital issue which divided the Muslims into various schools of thought .


[Shakir 2:105] Those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book do not like, nor do the polytheists, that the good should be sent down to you from your Lord, and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.
[Yusufali 2:105] It is never the wish of those without Faith among the People of the Book, nor of the Pagans, that anything good should come down to you from your Lord. But Allah will choose for His special Mercy whom He will - for Allah is Lord of grace abounding.
[Pickthal 2:105] Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooseth for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of Infinite Bounty.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:105] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:106] Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
[Yusufali 2:106] None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?
[Pickthal 2:106] Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:106]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Naskh, as a Quranic term, means substitution of one current law by another. It is called bada if the substitution is in the law of creation, and naskh if it is in the law of legislation.

Substitution has been effected in "creation" as well as in "legislation". The sudden changes in the course of creation, caused by the supreme will of Allah, a factor apparently incomprehensible for the human intellect, are known as miracles - like the birth of Adam and Isa, and the extraordinary performances carried out by the prophets and divinely chosen representatives of Allah. These miracles cannot be taken as effects without any cause, but are caused by a factor inconceivable by the human intellect. The effect of the creature's prayer in the course of providence is also based on the phenomenon of bada. These types of activities on the part of the creatures are a reaction to the divine action. They are governed by the possibility of bada, provided there is no contradiction. For example the "creation of a self-existing being" is a self-contradictory idea. Allah alone is the self-existing creator, and what He creates cannot be self-existing. The term "creation" itself suggests that it is not self-existing but was created whereas the term "self-existing" means that it was not created by anyone. Another example is of an "even number". It is impossible to stop it from being divided into two equal whole numbers. In view of the infinite power, possibilities and potentialities at the command of Allah it has been believed and accepted that every known operation in the creation can be changed, substituted or abrogated by His supreme will or action. The human knowledge may not comprehend the use of that which has happened and that which will happen, in the sphere of bada. It must be kept in mind that there can be no limitation to the power and ability of Allah. Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says: "Allah has effected changes (bada) and will also effect many changes in the operation (system) of the universe."

Change {Naskh) in the "legislation" became necessary due to the gradual development of the human society. Though the spirit might have been the same but the laws and teachings for mankind in a developed society had to be other than what they were in the primitive age. The conditions and circumstances of a particular age do not appear again. There are teachings, applicable in every age, but they, keeping the essential spirit intact, take to new forms till they reach the final stage. From Adam to Muhammad, the divinely appointed teachers took into consideration the receptive capacity of the people. For example prophet Isa, knowing the limitations of his people, put off the delivery of the final message and asked them to wait for the promised prophet.

There is still much that I could say to you, but the burden would be too great for you now. However, when he comes who is the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth: for he will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears; and he will make known to you the things that are coming.

(John 16: 19 and 13)

The divine order "to do" or "not to do" a thing is based upon reason - alms should be given for helping the poor; or liquor is prohibited in order to avoid its ill-effects. The justifying reason is in the thing ordered to be done or not to be done.

Sometimes the justifying reason is in the order itself. This is true of the orders issued merely as a test of the obedience of the believers. For example, the change in the direction of Qiblah was made (Baqarah: 149) to test the obedience of the believers; or when prophet Ibrahim was asked to sacrifice his son

In the first category naskh takes place only when the substitution is necessary in view of the new development. In the second category change is made, without making less its scope and intensity, so that it may fully serve the purpose of the trial. Through naskh as well as bada the withdrawal of the previous procedure or legislation is made known. If the time-limit has already been prescribed for any law or procedure then the term naskh or bada cannot be used. Every aspect of the creation or the legislation, together with their possible manifestations, are known to the creator. Naskh or bada (substitution) cannot be attributed to Allah's ignorance or change of mind. These terms are used in relation to the creatures' knowledge of the divine will. Some orders or processes carry the restriction of the period of validity at the time of their revelation in which case the term bada or naskh cannot be applied. Sometimes it manifests afterwards. In both cases of naskh and bada, the change or substitution means notification of the discontinuation of the procedure or legislation which was in force. In connection with the events of creation or the procedures of legislation the prophets of Allah, now and then, received definite revelations about the taking place of an event, with its details, without any possibility of any change; and at times the nature of the predictions of the consequences of an act was indefinite, which, subject to conditions, could be changed. When the development reaches the ultimate stage, as verse 115 of al An-am says, there is no changing in His words. In the gradual revelation of the laws to the Holy Prophet, no abrogation of any portion of the Quran has been effected. It is generally believed that some Quranic laws, had been abrogated by its own verses, or by the sayings of the Holy Prophet; a list of which has been prepared by the jurists and the commentators, but the context of the traditions, in view of the external evidence, has been, with ulterior motives, twisted and misapplied. A careful study of the Quran with a thorough knowledge of the conclusively proved laws of the faith, passed on to us by the Holy Ahl ul Bayt, the divinely chosen purified custodians of the word of Allah, makes clear the view and proves that there are very few, not exceeding five, abrogations; and even those cannot be described as real or actual naskh. For example the order to pay alms in verse 12 of al Mujadalah was given to test the sincerity of the persons who wanted to meet and talk to the Holy Prophet privately, because most of the companions, without any reason at all, sought his audience for the sake of personal vanity. After this order none paid the prescribed alms save Ali. The purpose of the test was to make public the insincerity of the companions, therefore, it was removed when their deception was proved. This order was totally withdrawn, after condemning the niggardly attitude of the companions, in verse 13 of al Mujadalah. This order resembles the order given to prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. When it was proved beyond doubt that Ibrahim was certainly carrying out the divine command, the order was withheld (Saffat: 103 to 107). In the same manner when only Ali carried out the order of verse 12 of al Mujadalah, it was proved that he alone, and no one else among the companions, was in the category of prophet Ibrahim, therefore, the order was withdrawn.

As the Holy Prophet said, theoretically his sayings could change or substitute (naskh) the Quranic laws. Such change or abrogation can be accepted if reported on the authority of the thoroughly purified Ahl ul Bayt, because traditions reported through other sources are conflicting and spurious.

In every age, among all human societies, in different parts of the earth, the representatives of Allah were sent to put in order the affairs of the people through laws applicable to the time and environment in which they lived. Ability of man to apply reason and understand things and events progressed and advanced with the passage of time, therefore, certain laws and commandments (pertaining to theoretical, practical, intellectual, religious and legal matters concerning day to day life) which bring harmony and peace in every aspect of existence upon the earth, as well as make man ready to explore the higher regions of spiritual satisfaction, in certain cases and circumstances had to be changed or substituted to pave way for further progress. At last the last messenger of Allah, the greatest and the most manifest sign of Allah (the term Ayat or sign taken in a broader and higher sense means the best human soul created), endowed with the divine wisdom, power and authority, was sent to give effect to the concluding part of the plan of educating and training for the final unification of mankind through the true knowledge of the immediate as well as the ultimate. In the chain of the prophets of Allah, among whom some had been made to excel others (Baqarah: 253), the last prophet, Muhammad al Mustafa, the superior-most, the seal of prophethood, came with the final discipline and guidance. Once the development had reached its maximum height, there remained no need for any further change of any kind. Therefore, no prophet was sent after his departure (see commentary of verse 7 of al Fatihah), but a man like him, after him, is necessary as an Imam, in every age, for the authentic, true, and proper explanation of the word of Allah, the Quran, and also to serve as an ideal to guide and keep mankind on the right path. The following saying of the Holy Prophet is a true interpretation of this verse:

The first of us is Muhammad,

the middle of us is Muhammad,

the last of us is Muhammad,

everyone of us is Muhammad.

Only men of understanding know that the same quality of divine energy which activated the prophethood was also manifested in imamat with equal force.


[Shakir 2:107] Do you not know that Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper?
[Yusufali 2:107] Knowest thou not that to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth? And besides Him ye have neither patron nor helper.
[Pickthal 2:107] Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any guardian or helper?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:107]

The whole universe is Allah's kingdom, He is the owner, the sovereign. Therefore, it. is a waste of time and energy, serving no purpose, if persons, i.e. polytheists and idol-worshippers, worship imaginary gods or deities.


[Shakir 2:108] Rather you wish to put questions to your Messenger, as Musa was questioned before; and whoever adopts unbelief instead of faith, he indeed has lost the right direction of the way.
[Yusufali 2:108] Would ye question your Messenger as Moses was questioned of old? but whoever changeth from Faith to Unbelief, Hath strayed without doubt from the even way.
[Pickthal 2:108] Or would ye question your messenger as Moses was questioned aforetime? He who chooseth disbelief instead of faith, verily he hath gone astray from a plain road.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:108]

Squabbling or hankering after proofs and miracles, as the Bani Israil did for disbelieving in that which a messenger of Allah had said, in order to disobey his orders and as well as to create doubts in the minds of the believers, is the lower nature of man, which is clearly condemned in this verse as losing the right direction of the true path.

There is a warning particularly to Muslims who must always remember that the Holy Prophet did not (ever) speak of his own desire, and that whatever he said was nothing but a revelation that was revealed to him (Najm: 3 and 4). According to verse 65 of al Nisa, even in personal matters, the messenger of Allah's orders should be accepted and carried out.


[Shakir 2:109] Many of the followers of the Book wish that they could turn you back into unbelievers after your faith, out of envy from themselves, (even) after the truth has become manifest to them; but pardon and forgive, so that Allah should bring about His command; surely Allah has power over all things.
[Yusufali 2:109] Quite a number of the People of the Book wish they could Turn you (people) back to infidelity after ye have believed, from selfish envy, after the Truth hath become Manifest unto them: But forgive and overlook, Till Allah accomplish His purpose; for Allah Hath power over all things.
[Pickthal 2:109] Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:109]

The Jews always looked for opportunities to create doubts in the minds of the people who had accepted Islam so as to bring them back to their idolatrous creeds. After the battle of Uhad they said to Ammar and Hudhayfa:

If your prophet had been on the right path he would not have lost this battle. It would be better for you to join us.

Ammar replied:

Victory or defeat in a battle can never be a proof of truth or falsehood. It can be a test of the believers. We shall not give up the true faith.

When the Holy Prophet heard of this incident and played for Allah's blessings upon Ammar, this verse was revealed.

The Jewish prejudice against Islam is also stated in verse 51 of al Nisa. "Until Allah brings about His command" means the victories the Holy Prophet won one after the other thereafter, and the complete triumph of Islam.


[Shakir 2:110] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and whatever good you send before for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah; surely Allah sees what you do.
[Yusufali 2:110] And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do.
[Pickthal 2:110] Establish worship, and pay the poor-due; and whatever of good ye send before (you) for your souls, ye will find it with Allah. Lo! Allah is Seer of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:110]

Our good as well as bad deeds run before us into the court of Allah for His judgement. The influence of our deeds begins to operate as soon as they are committed. It is an effective warning to remain alert and careful at every step of our life in this world.


[Shakir 2:111] And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
[Yusufali 2:111] And they say: "None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian." Those are their (vain) desires. Say: "Produce your proof if ye are truthful."
[Pickthal 2:111] And they say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:111]

The Holy Prophet was fully aware of the original text of every scripture revealed to the messengers of Allah before him, and he also knew the additions, omissions and alterations made in them by their followers in the course of time. It was, therefore, made clear by him that the idea of "no one shall enter paradise except a Jew or a Christian" was a false concoction, not mentioned in any original scripture. Also refer to the commentary of verse 80 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:112] Yes! whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others) he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him nor shall he grieve.
[Yusufali 2:112] Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:112] Nay, but whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:112]

Wajh means face, but it also implies the following meaning:


[Shakir 2:113] And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.
[Yusufali 2:113] The Jews say: "The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: "The Jews have naught (To stand) upon." Yet they (Profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment.
[Pickthal 2:113] And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing (true), and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing (true); yet both are readers of the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:113]

Ala shay-in means confirming anything worthy of consideration. Alladhina la ya-lamun (those who have no knowledge) means the heathens whose beliefs. are not based upon any heavenly scripture but upon their own personal conjectures. The Quran makes known the ignorance of the Jews and the Christians who accused each other for lack of goodness in their respective creeds in spite of the fact that both of them followed the Old Testament. Among the followers of the messengers of Allah there should have been no discord if the true text of the revealed books was kept intact and applied sincerely. On the day of judgement they will know that it was bias, pride and prejudice which prevented them from accepting the true faith, Islam.


[Shakir 2:114] And who is more unjust than he who prevents (men) from the masjids of Allah, that His name should be remembered in them, and strives to ruin them? (As for) these, it was not proper for them that they should have entered them except in fear; they shall meet with disgrace in this world, and they shall have great chastisement in the hereafter.
[Yusufali 2:114] And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah's name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment.
[Pickthal 2:114] And who doth greater wrong than he who forbiddeth the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest His name should be mentioned therein, and striveth for their ruin. As for such, it was never meant that they should enter them except in fear. Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:114]

The people of Quraysh did not even allow the Holy Prophet and his companions to visit Makka in 7 Hijra for the pilgrimage. This verse is a general prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam and the downfall of its opponents. It also refers to the complete annihilation of the enemies of Islam, the Quraysh, after the fall of Makka. It must be noted that there is no evidence of a plan to destroy the masjids of Allah by the Quraysh of Makka. Evidently this verse refers to the plan of the hypocrites who had hatched a conspiracy to kill the Holy Prophet, when he was returning from Tabuk, and then to demolish all the masjids in Madina and other places. In true meaning, a masjid is the place where Allah is remembered and adored, therefore, all the sacred shrines of the holy Ahl ul Bayt, where only Allah, and none else, is remembered, adored and invoked, are also the masjids of Allah in a wider sense. So whoever stops people from going into these shrines and destroys them shall be disgraced in this world and shall be severely punished in the hereafter.


[Shakir 2:115] And Allah's is the East and the West, therefore, whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose; surely Allah is Amplegiving, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:115] To Allah belong the east and the West: Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.
[Pickthal 2:115] Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's Countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:115]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Wajh means face - the manifesting aspect (side) of a thing. Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says:

Beyond this moon are many moons, beyond the sun are many suns".

(Bihar ul Anwar).

The east and the west mentioned here should not be confined to the directions we know in relation to the rising and setting of the sun. It also refers to the whole cosmos where there are several moons and suns, therefore, the hold of the omnipotence of Allah, the absolute, controls and directs (manifest) in all the easts and the wests of the universe. He is the all-pervading omniscient who is in everything and everything is in Him. His manifestation (wajh) serves the purpose of man. In whichever direction the mind turns there is His manifestation. (Araf: 137, Shu-ara: 28, Saffat: 5, Zukhruf: 38, Rahman: 17). The interpretation of wajh, as Allah's purpose, by the Ahmadi commentator, is a linguistic misappropriation to effect a motivated confusion.

The verb sharaqa means to beam or radiate with light. It may be physical or spiritual (Zumar: 69). The place or the direction from which the light beams is mashriq (the east), and the place or direction in which the light disappears is maghrib (the west). The terms mashriq and maghrib should be taken in a wider and more comprehensive sense to include all the lights, physical and spiritual, coming from the absolute to enlighten the various spheres of existence in the universe. In this sense Allah is the wasi-un alim.

The first creation in which the unity of the absolute is manifested is known as mashriqul wujud, and the matter in which the unity disappears and gives its place to multiplicity is known as maghribul wujud. On the other hand, as regards to the multiplicity of manifestation the matter can be taken as the mashriq of the multiplicity and the absolute as its maghrib wherein the multiplicity disappears. These are some examples of the various usages of the terms mashriq and maghrib in their singular, plural and dual forms. The particular incident of the revelation of this verse relating to the direction of qiblah (noted below) does not affect the universality which this verse signifies.

"This verse was revealed when the companions, who were sent to fight a battle, camped outside Madina. It was a dark night. The sky was full of clouds. The direction of qiblah could not be correctly ascertained, so they prayed the isha salat after making approximation, which was proved to be wrong in the morning. In Madina, they informed the Holy Prophet of that which had happened and, mindful of their mistake, prayed the said salat again. This verse was then revealed to console those faithful devotees."

(Tafsir Kabir).

Tawalla (to turn) means, in this verse, that in whichever direction the Muslims turn they will win victory, or whichever direction the infidels choose to flee, they will encounter the might of Allah.


[Shakir 2:116] And they say: Allah has taken to himself a son. Glory be to Him; rather, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His; all are obedient to Him.
[Yusufali 2:116] They say: "Allah hath begotten a son" :Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.
[Pickthal 2:116] And they say: Allah hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are subservient unto Him.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:116]

The Jews and the Christians metaphorically referred to the virtuous prophets of Allah, from Adam to Isa, as the sons of God, but this metaphorical usage gave opportunity to some theologians to corrupt the true religions and made the common people believe that Ezra or Jesus were sons of God. The pagans believed that the angels were the daughters of God. Therefore the use of the term "son" or "daughter" of Allah, as a doctrine or as a metaphor, has been condemned as the greatest sin (Luqman: 13).

When everything in the heavens and the earth and in between them is the creation of Allah, it becomes meaningless to believe that anything, in any sense, can be equal to Him. The basic and the main doctrine of Islam is "the absolute unity" of Allah.


[Shakir 2:117] Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees an affair, He only says to it, Be, so there it is.
[Yusufali 2:117] To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: "Be," and it is.
[Pickthal 2:117] The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:117]

Badi means the originator who designs, makes, begins and brings into existence for the first time, without any pre-existing similar example. Ali ibna abi Talib says:

"He (Allah) created the creation in the perfect sense of creating and began it in the perfect sense of beginning, under precisely regulating laws, and made their unlike, complex and diverse dispositions agree and fit well together, implanted and infused harmony, balance and co-ordination in their nature. (For all this) He did not have to check up on or try out their course, nor had to make use of trial and verification, nor was He enthusiastic or anxiously thoughtful that could make Him excited."

(Nahj al Balagha)

Kun fa-yakun (Be, and it is.) is a term to bring home to the human mind the omnipotent will which can never be translated into any verbal expression.

Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says:

"Not by sound uttered, nor by voice heard, His word, blessed be He, is "action", beginning and proceeding from Him."

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

To refute the Christian theory of "the son of God", here and in many other verses of the Quran, the word badi has been used.

The four principles of the causative factors responsible for the existence of the finite beings are material cause, formal cause, initial cause and final cause. Anything made, owes its existence to the material out of which it is made, and the particular shape or form it has been given. These are the structural causes. The agency through which a thing is made is called the agential cause:

(1) The person who brings the material into shape is called the agential cause.

(2) The motive or the purpose which moves the agent is the final cause.

Creation (badi ) means bringing a thing into being out of nothing through the agency of the will of the agential cause without the slightest change in the essence or the attributes of the agent.

According to the Quran this is the relation of the absolute creator to all finite created beings, therefore, only the creator is eternal and none else is co-existing with Him, and there is no one as a part of Him.]


[Shakir 2:118] And those who have no knowledge say: Why does not Allah speak to us or a sign come to us? Even thus said those before them, the like of what they say; their hearts are all alike. Indeed We have made the communications clear for a people who are sure.
[Yusufali 2:118] Say those without knowledge: "Why speaketh not Allah unto us? or why cometh not unto us a Sign?" So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike. We have indeed made clear the Signs unto any people who hold firmly to Faith (in their hearts).
[Pickthal 2:118] And those who have no knowledge say: Why doth not Allah speak unto us, or some sign come unto us? Even thus, as they now speak, spake those (who were) before them. Their hearts are all alike. We have made clear the revelations for people who are sure.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:118]

It is wrong to use this verse to prove that the Holy Prophet did not have the power to perform miracles. The Quran bears witness that he had rent asunder the moon, yet the infidels said:

"This is the same magic continuing".

(Qamar: 1 and 2).

Besides those mentioned in the Quran, a large number of miracles, performed by him, have been recorded in the books of history reported on the authentic and unbreakable evidence of the traditions. Not only the Holy Prophet, but also the divinely chosen holy Imams had performed miracles whenever they deemed it necessary and thought that it could serve a definite purpose but refused to put them to use as an answer to the challenge of any antagonistic individual or group, who even after witnessing a miracle would not accept the truth. It is also true that the belief, generated by a miracle, deprives the individual of the possibility of enjoying the real value of the faith acquired through reason and conviction. The demand for miracles (as stated in verses 90 to 93 of Bani Israil) was made to satisfy the lust for witnessing wonders. It was not the true mission of the last prophet of Allah to satisfy the vain desires of the people who merely wanted to watch and enjoy miracles, The signs of Allah are enough for those who are sure. Likewise when prophet Isa was brought before Herod to perform a miracle, he, who had already performed a large number of miracles and whose very birth was the greatest miracle ever witnessed, refused to comply with the request. At another place he said to the Pharisees:

"It is a wicked, godless generation that asks for a sign;"

(Matthew 12: 39)

Every messenger of Allah was put under pressure by the people either to persuade Allah to speak to them directly or make clear through some heavenly signs that whatever revealed was from Him.


[Shakir 2:119] Surely We have sent you with the truth as a bearer of good news and as a warner, and you shall not be called upon to answer for the companions of the flaming fire.
[Yusufali 2:119] Verily We have sent thee in truth as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner: But of thee no question shall be asked of the Companions of the Blazing Fire.
[Pickthal 2:119] Lo! We have sent thee (O Muhammad) with the truth, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And thou wilt not be asked about the owners of hell-fire.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:119]

The messenger of Allah was sent to preach the truth and create discipline by setting practical examples. He was not responsible for the reaction of the people. He was a warner. He will not be called upon to answer for the behaviour of the transgressors .


[Shakir 2:120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
[Yusufali 2:120] Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.
[Pickthal 2:120] And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah (Himself) is Guidance. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then wouldst thou have from Allah no protecting guardian nor helper.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:120]

In view of verse 33 of al Ahzab wherein the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt had been thoroughly purified, leaving no room for infiltration of any kind of ignorance or carelessness, and the divine command in verse 7 of al Hashr that "whatever the messenger gives you accept it and whatever he forbids, abstain from it", and his supreme position as the last law-giver and the chief of the prophets, it is the people who go astray that are warned in this verse, and not the Holy Prophet. He has been addressed in order to make the people seriously take precautions against the schemes of the Jews and the Christians. The Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt were thoroughly purified and infallible, therefore, their following the desires of the Jews and the Christians was an impossibility.

Had it been possible for him to err, it would mean a fault in the judgement of the all-wise Lord in selecting him as a final warner. But any fallible believer is liable, at some time or other, to be careless and to make mistakes, so extreme care and vigilance have to be applied in following the path shown by the Holy Prophet.



[Shakir 2:121] Those to whom We have given the Book read it as it ought to be read. These believe in it; and whoever disbelieves in it, these it is that are the losers.
[Yusufali 2:121] Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: They are the ones that believe therein: Those who reject faith therein,- the loss is their own.
[Pickthal 2:121] Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:121]

The Quran was given to the Holy Prophet and those who were his flesh and blood. Their spirit was one. They were created from one light.

They are his Ahl ul Bayt. See "the essentials for the readers of the Quran" on pages 1 to 7.

The Holy Prophet had said:

"Ali's flesh is my flesh. Ali's blood is my blood".

"I and Ali are of one and the same light".

According to the verse of Mubahilah (Ali Imran: 61) Ali was the nafs (self) of the Holy Prophet. It was Ali who stood by the Holy Prophet and protected him in the battle of Uhad when all his companions ran away. In all the battles which guided the course of Islamic history, it was Ali who won victories for the Muslims. It is evident from these and other incidents in history that only the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt (the Imams in his progeny) are those who studied and followed the book as it ought to be done, and it is only they who are referred to in this verse.


[Shakir 2:122] O children of Israel, call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.
[Yusufali 2:122] O Children of Israel! call to mind the special favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others (for My Message).
[Pickthal 2:122] O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:122]

Please refer to the commentary of verses 47 and 48 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:123] And be on your guard against a day when no soul shall avail another in the least neither shall any compensation be accepted from it, nor shall intercession profit it, nor shall they be helped.
[Yusufali 2:123] Then guard yourselves against a-Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her nor shall intercession profit her nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
[Pickthal 2:123] And guard (yourselves) against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it; nor will they be helped.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:123] (see commentary for verse 122)
[Shakir 2:124] And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.
[Yusufali 2:124] And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: "I will make thee an Imam to the Nations." He pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He answered: "But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers."
[Pickthal 2:124] And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said: My covenant includeth not wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:124]

This verse guides mankind to identify the genuine leaders of the true faith as well as the impostors. It also helps to understand risalat and imamat.

The covenant was made with Ibrahim, the father of Isma-il as well as Is-haq, long before either of the sons was born.

The Lord said to Abraham, "I will make you into a great nation, l will bless you and make your name so great that it shall be used in blessings:

Those that bless you I will bless,

those that curse you, I will execrate.

All the families on earth will pray to be blessed as you are blessed."

There the Lord appeared to Abraham and said", I give this land to your descendants." So Abraham built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12: 2,3, and 7)

Allah chose Hajirah to bear the first child of Ibrahim and named him Isma-il.

The angel of the Lord said to her (Hagar), "Go back to your mistress and submit to her ill-treatment ".

The angel also said:

"I will make your descendants too many to be counted."

And the angel of the Lord said to her:

"You are with child and will bear a son. You shall name him Ishmael, because the Lord has heard of your ill-treatment."

(Genesis 16: 9 to 11)

Immediately after the birth of Isma-il, Allah made a covenant with Ibrahim. Is-haq was not born at that time.

"Live always in my presence and be perfect, so that I may set my covenant between myself and you and multiply your descendants".

Abraham threw himself down on his face, and God spoke with him and said, "I make this covenant, and I make it with you: You shall be the father of a host of nations". "I will fulfil my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you, generation after generation, an everlasting covenant, to be your God, yours and your descendants' after you."

(Genesis 17: 2, 3, 4 and 7)

Allah further blessed Isma-il with twelve princes in his progeny.

"I have heard your prayer for Isma-il. I have blessed him and will make him fruitful. I will multiply his descendants; he shall be father of twelve princes, and I will raise a great nation from him." (Genesis 17: 20)

The covenant was made with Ibrahim and not with Is-haq, a fact which the Jews overlook when they claim that the promised prophet (Deut 18: 18) should be a Jew.

According to Genesis 17: 7 the covenant was between Allah and Ibrahim and his descendants, generation after generation, when Isma-il was born, so it is logical to say that it pertains to the children of Isma-il, not the children of Is-haq who was born much after this covenant. Again, after the prophecy of the birth of Is-haq when Ibrahim showed concern about Isma-il, this covenant was renewed (Genesis 17: 20), with added blessings - the Twelve Princes in the progeny of Isma-il. It differs with the covenant made with Ibrahim which includes both of his sons, Isma-il and Is-haq, and their descendants:

This is how you shall keep my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after

you: circumcise yourselves, every male among you. (Genesis 1 7: 1 0)

I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you now are aliens, all the land of Canaan, and I will be God to your descendants. (Genesis 17: 8)

Circumcision is obligatory for the Jews as well as the Muslims. The descendants of Ibrahim had the right to possess the land of Canaan but as the children of Is-haq, the Jews and the Christians, had corrupted the true faith of Ibrahim, the children of Isma-il thus became the rightful owners. In fact after the advent of the Holy Prophet, the true representative of the house of Isma-il, according to Deut: 18 : 18, all the Jews and the Christians should have embraced Islam, the religion of Allah, which Ibrahim had followed. Ibrahim was a prophet. In spite of his holding the office of the prophethood he was tested and tried by Allah before He made him an Imam. It means that a prophet is not necessarily an Imam and imamat is an office of a decidedly higher order which is granted only when one proves himself suitable and worthy after undergoing a test. "Verily, I make you an Imam for mankind" clearly indicates that like risalat, imamat is also bestowed upon the chosen representatives of Allah by Allah Himself. It is a position no one, however virtuous or godly he may be, not even Ibrahim, the prophet of Allah, could claim for himself, nor can it be conferred on any one by any individual, group or community. It is an exclusively divine action.

What was the nature of the test which Ibrahim passed to qualify himself for the imamat? To test a prophet of Allah of the calibre of Khalilullah in the elementary matters of personal cleanliness and ethics, as some commentators say, sounds meaningless. It was not an ordinary test, definitely not connected with daily habits, behavioural patterns and acts of personal cleanliness. The word kalimat has been used here in the same sense invested in verse 37 of this surah-Allah turned to Adam mercifully when he received the kalimat from his Lord. See commentary of verse 37 of this surah.

Ibrahim's trial was a test of the steadfastness of his faith in Allah. In his dream prophet Ibrahim received the command of Allah to slay his son, Isma-il. Awake, he at once carried out the command (Saffat: 105 to 108). His faith in Allah was on trial. He was certain that what he saw in his dream was the command of Allah. Allah made him an Imam of mankind, yet he had no right to hand over the office of imamat to his descendants, therefore, he requested Allah to let his descendants inherit it. He could only pray for it, which he did. And it is Allah who alone has the right to appoint an Imam. "My covenant does not include the zalim (unjust)" indicates that imamat is given only to those who have not sinned. Only an infallible can be an Imam. Like Ibrahim, Imam Husayn, his descendant, readily sacrificed his sons in the way of Allah.

Zalim (unjust) in the view of the Quran, is he who worships, or has worshipped a ghayrallah. Shirk (idolatry) in the words of the Quran is the greatest zulm or injustice. Therefore he who, at any time in his life, has been a mushrik (idolater) can never be an Imam. Besides the Holy Prophet there was no one, among his companions, who had not been an idol-worshipper, save his cousin, Ali ibna abi Talib, who alone could be rightfully chosen by providence "to receive the covenant of imamat". The Holy Prophet, therefore, under the command of Allah transferred the imamat to Ali, and after Ali to the eleven Imams in the progeny of Muhammad and Ali. In this way the covenant of Allah with Ibrahim was fulfilled, and in the progeny of Isma-il the twelve princes, the twelve holy Imams, were born.

Ismat (infallibility) required for imamat applies to purity from all kinds of sins, great or small, hidden or open, because the conduct of an individual is the outcome of his inherent character and in-built discipline. Therefore, it is downright hypocrisy to accept any man of questionable character as an Imam, arguing that hidden sinfulness should be left alone, and only outward justice should be taken into consideration. Those who have sinned but turned repentant to Allah and gave up sinning can not claim infallibility. Firstly, no one knows for sure that his sins have been forgiven by the Lord. Secondly, repentance may bring forgiveness but the term sinner can never be removed from the name of the person who has sinned. He will be called a forgiven or pardoned sinner. He cannot be equal to a man who has never sinned at all at any time in his life, like Ibrahim. The covenant made with an infallible prophet (Ibrahim) can only be fulfilled by giving imamat to those who are, inwardly and outwardly, as pure and infallible as the great prophet Ibrahim was.

The work of legislation was ended with the ministry of the Holy Prophet. Through the last messenger of Allah, the perfected and completed religion of Allah was conveyed to mankind for their material welfare and spiritual progress for all times till the end of the world; yet the mercy of the Lord must continue because an everlasting covenant was made with Ibrahim:

I will fulfil my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you, generation after generation, an everlasting covenant. (Genesis 17: 7)

Therefore there must be an infallible Imam, a divinely commissioned guide, with power and authority delegated to him by Allah, in every age, to keep the people on the right path and direct them unto the destination determined by the merciful Lord of the worlds.

The Holy Prophet said:

Whoever dies, not knowing the Imam of his age, dies in ignorance.

Allah made Ibrahim an Imam of mankind. He was neither a ruler nor a political force, yet it was made obligatory on mankind to obey him in all temporal as well as spiritual matters, and after him, to obey those of his descendants who have been chosen as Imams. Therefore it is the duty of all Muslims to obey and follow the Imam of the age in all matters, because, as in the case of Ibrahim, political or temporal power is not necessary for an Imam in order to demand obedience from the people.

The office of imamat is not hereditary. It is Allah's covenant, which is only bestowed upon an infallible devotee of Allah who comes out successful from the tests and trials specifically prescribed for him by Allah. A sinner or a forgiven sinner cannot be an Imam. The names of the twelve Imams, the descendants of Ibrahim in the progeny of Isma-il, divinely commissioned in fulfilment of the covenant made with Ibrahim, are given below:

(According to verse 33 of Ali Imran, Allah chose and preferred Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above all His creatures. The requisite merits were known to Allah only but whosoever was chosen had to undergo an evident test or trial. After Ibrahim the lineage was divided into two branches. The lineage Is-haq terminated in Isa who was raised to heavens. The descendants of Isma-il carried the light to Abdul Muttalib. Again it was bifurcated through his two sons - Abdullah, the father of Muhammad al Mustafa, and Abu Talib, the father of Ali al Murtada. Muhammad and Ali were identical with each other in spirit, character and wisdom. One reflected the other. This identity and unity was integrated in one entity through the marriage of Ali and Fatimah, the holy daughter the Holy Prophet.)

1 Ali al Murtada.

2 Hasan al Mujtaba-the elder son of Ali and Fatima.

3 Husayn al Shahid ul Shuhada-the younger son of Ali and Fatimah.

4 Ali bin Husayn al Zayn al Abidin.

5 Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir.

6 Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq.

7 Musa bin Jafar al Kazim.

8 Ali bin Musa al Riza.

9 Muhammad bin Ali al Taqi.

10 Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi.

11 Hasan bin Ali al Askari.

12 Muhammad bin Hasan al Mahdi.

(Imam Muhammad al Mahdi is alive like Khizr and Isa. He is the living Imam, for all times till the end of the world. He is the awaited saviour. At the appointed time he will appear in order to exercise the divine authority. Along with him Isa will also come back on the earth and follow the leadership of Imam al Mahdi, as Ali had followed the Holy Prophet. In this way the bifurcated descendants of Ibrahim will be reunited.)

All the above mentioned Imams were infallible from birth to their martyrdom and never received any formal education or training at the hands of any mortal, yet were the fountainheads of knowledge, wisdom and guidance.

The merit for selection to the divine office of nubuwwat, risalat, imamat, or khilafat is the degree of submission to the divine will and the ability to reflect (or to convey) the same to others, the measure of perfection which determines the state of nearness to the absolute. The test (ibtila) is the theoretical and functional knowledge of the kalimat (the most comprehensive names) on account of which Adam was given the khilafatullah (vicegerency of Allah). These kalimat are accommodated in the essence of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad. They are the manifestation of the light of the kalimat appeared before Adam for the first time.


[Shakir 2:125] And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.
[Yusufali 2:125] Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).
[Pickthal 2:125] And when We made the House (at Makka) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:125]

Mathabatan and amnan, with reference to bayt, means a place of refuge, rest and peace where one earns ample recompense from Allah.

Ahdina (We took a promise or We enjoined) refers to Allah's covenant that the eternally blessed descendants of Ibrahim should keep the holy Kabah pure, and should remove the false gods whenever installed in it. In 7 Hijra the Holy Prophet, the promised prophet, for whose advent Ibrahim prays in verses 128 and 129 of this surah, after the fall of Makka, visited the holy Kabah. There, Ali stood on the shoulders of the Holy Prophet and pulled down all the idols, firmly fixed in the walls, in order to purify the sacred house of Allah

Tahhira (to purify) implies that a house for the worship of Allah already existed there before Ibrahim, which like the Kabah in the times of the Holy Prophet, was despoiled with idols. It was in ruins. Ibrahim rebuilt it. As verse 127 of this surah suggests, after purification, the place was reserved for worship of Allah only. According to verse 96 of Ali Imran, the first house made for the worship of Allah was the Kabah in Makka, and in verse 29 of al Hajj it has been referred to as bayt ul atiq (the ancient house).

Muir, Burton, Rodwel and Fretyag have tried to mislead the Christians by stating that Ibrahim had never gone to Arabia to build the holy Kabah.

These are the names of the sons of Ishmael named in order of their birth; Nebaioth, Ishmael's eldest son, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam." (Genesis 25: 13)

It is a fact that Kedar has been connected with Arabia in the Old Testament.

"Hard is my lot, exiled in Meshech, dwelling by the tents of Kedar." (PSALMS 120: 5)

Also refer to Isaiah 42: 11 and 60: 7. In Genesis 21: 14 to 21 Hajirah's wandering in the wilderness of Beersheba with her son Ismail, the appearance of the well (Zamzam) and Allah's promise to make of Ismail a great nation have been clearly mentioned.

The events concerning Ibrahim, Hajirah and Ismail, which actually took place, are given below: Ibrahim's wife Sarah had borne him no children. She had a handmaid whose name was Hajirah. She gave her to Ibrahim as a wife. Hajirah bore Ibrahim a son. Ibrahim named the child Ismail. After his birth, the peace and harmony of the family was disturbed. Sarah ill-treated Hajirah. Ibrahim was vexed on Ismail's account. He sought Allah's help. Allah, in view of Sarah's past goodness, directed Ibrahim to send away Hajirah and Ismail to a place now called Makka. Ibrahim, with the help of Jibrail, took Hajirah and Ismail out of the native land and reached Arabia. They stopped at the place where hajar aswad or the black stone is stationed. Jibrail informed Ibrahim that it was a land full of Allah's blessings and bounties, and there used to be a house (known as baytul mamur) in that place, which was held sacred and venerated by mankind in ancient times, and that it was Allah's will that Ibrahim and Ismail should rebuild the ruined house again. A shelter was made for Hajirah and Ismail so that they could live there in Ibrahim's absence because Allah had commanded Ibrahim to go back to his native land. At the time of his departure Hajirah said:

"O Ibrahim, the devotee of Allah, in whose care are you leaving us here?"

Ibrahim said:

"I leave you in the care of Allah who saved me from the fire in which Namrud threw me, and gave me all that which I needed and desired."

Hajirah said:

"I rely upon Allah. He is sufficient for me and my child."

When Ibrahim reached the mount Zi-Tavi, he stopped and turned towards the place where he left Hajirah and Ismail and prayed:

"Our Lord! Verily I have settled a part of my progeny in a barren valley near to Thy holy house, our Lord. so that they may establish prayer; so incline some hearts of men that they yearn towards them, and provide them with fruits in order that they may be grateful." (IBRAHIM: 37)

When the water in the waterskin, Ibrahim left for them, was finished, there was no water any where near them to quench their thirst. There was no milk in her breasts. The heat in the desert had dried it. The scorching sun brought the situation from bad to worse. The child was restless. He cried, cried and cried. The mother ran hither and thither, between Safa and Marwa.

From Safa to Marwa and Marwa to Safa she ran seven times because when she was on the mount of Safa she heard a voice from the mount of Marwa, and when she reached Marwa she heard a voice from Safa. There was no one in sight. Unable to see her son dying, she left him where he was lying and stood alone on the mount of Marwa. Dejected, helpless, yet worried for her son she came back. There she saw a spring of fresh and sweet water gushing forth from the earth under the feet of Ismail. In her absence Jibrail, under the command of Allah, came and produced a well full of water (known as Zamzam) - also recorded in Genesis 21: 14 to 21. She heard a voice (saying):

"Fear not. The Lord has produced this well for you and your son, but it will also serve the pilgrims who will visit His holy house which your husband and son shall build."

The flow of water increased day by day and the surrounding land became fertile. People began to come and settle there. Soon it became a flourishing town. Trade and commerce developed. When Ibrahim returned he found the wasteland in the desert a busy trade centre.

The running of Hajirah between Safa and Marwa has been prescribed as one of the essential rites of hajj.


[Shakir 2:126] And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make it a secure town and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the last day. He said: And whoever disbelieves, I will grant him enjoyment for a short while, then I will drive him to the chastisement of the fire; and it is an evil destination.
[Yusufali 2:126] And remember Abraham said: "My Lord, make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits,-such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day." He said: "(Yea), and such as reject Faith,-for a while will I grant them their pleasure, but will soon drive them to the torment of Fire,- an evil destination (indeed)!"
[Pickthal 2:126] And when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, He answered: As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end!
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:126] (see commentary for verse 125)
[Shakir 2:127] And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing:
[Yusufali 2:127] And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.
[Pickthal 2:127] And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:127]

When Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the holy Kabah, they prayed to Allah to accept their service, make them both Muslims (submissive to Allah), and also make their descendants Muslims, and raise up in them a messenger who would recite to them Allah's revelation, teach them the book and the wisdom and purify them.

This prayer shows that there had always been some men and women in the progeny of Ibrahim who were true Muslims, through whom the divine light of Muhammad and Ali passed till it reached Abdul Muttalib. Then his two sons Abdullah and Abu Talib carried it separately. Abdullah transferred it to Muhammad. and Abu Talib transferred it to Ali, the vicegerent and the successor of the Holy Prophet the first of the twelve Imams the divinely commissioned rightly guided guides for mankind. "I and Ali are from one and the same light", said the Holy Prophet

The word ummat does not always means a community or a nation. In verse 120 of al Nahl it refers to a single individual.

This prayer also shows how difficult it is to be a true Muslim. Even a distinguished prophet of Allah like Ibrahim makes a request to Allah to let him remain a Muslim.


[Shakir 2:128] Our Lord! and make us both submissive to Thee and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:128] "Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:128] Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:128] (see commentary for verse 127)
[Shakir 2:129] Our Lord! and raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.
[Yusufali 2:129] "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
[Pickthal 2:129] Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:129] (see commentary for verse 127)
[Shakir 2:130] And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool, and most certainly We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among the righteous.
[Yusufali 2:130] And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous.
[Pickthal 2:130] And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:130]

Only those men of understanding who know and apply reason become Muslims. Those who reject Islam are fools. They are damned and disgraced for ever. Safiha nafsahu means he who makes a fool of himself, therefore, is liable to be condemned.


[Shakir 2:131] When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.
[Yusufali 2:131] Behold! his Lord said to him: "Bow (thy will to Me):" He said: "I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe."
[Pickthal 2:131] When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:131]

Aslim means to submit. The root of the word is islam (complete submission to Allah). Ibrahim submitted and surrendered to the will of Allah and became a true Muslim in the perfect sense of the word.


[Shakir 2:132] And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims.
[Yusufali 2:132] And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam."
[Pickthal 2:132] The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:132]

Having been blessed by accepting the religion of Allah, Islam, Ibrahim charged his offspring to acknowledge the purity of the path that has been chosen and asked them not to die except as Muslims. Prophet Yaqub also did the same. In Genesis I 8 : 19 this advice has been mentioned.


[Shakir 2:133] Nay! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve your god and the god of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one Allah only, and to Him do we submit.
[Yusufali 2:133] Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma'il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam)."
[Pickthal 2:133] Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy god, the god of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One Allah, and unto Him we have surrendered.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:133]

1t should be noted that Ismail, who was a paternal uncle of Yaqub, has been cited as the father of the descendants of Yaqub, and also in the following verses:

Ali Imran :84

Nisa: 163

An-am: 85 to 88

Sad : 45 to 48

It is evident that people used to address a paternal uncle as father. In the same way Ibrahim had addressed Azar, his uncle, as father.

The message of Allah, Islam,. is continuous, for all times.


[Shakir 2:134] This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
[Yusufali 2:134] That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case!
[Pickthal 2:134] Those are a people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:134]

The doctrine of personal responsibility is the most important principle of Islam. Please refer to the commentary of verse 48 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.
[Yusufali 2:135] They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To salvation)." Say thou: "Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with Allah."
[Pickthal 2:135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:135]

The religion of Ibrahim the hanif (hanafa means to turn, to bend, to incline - to righteousness) is the true path, not the path of the Jews or the Christians. Therefore the path of the faithful representatives and advocates of the Ibrahimic faith is the right path.


[Shakir 2:136] Say: We believe in Allah and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa and Isa, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.
[Yusufali 2:136] Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."
[Pickthal 2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:136]

The religion of Islam is universal, for all people, in every age. Therefore, it is necessary for every follower of Islam to believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah and in what was revealed to them. No other religion besides Islam demands from its followers to believe equally in the sinless purity of the conduct and character of other prophets of Allah, and in the truthfulness of other sacred scriptures as the revealed words of Allah.


[Shakir 2:137] If then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course, and if they turn back, then they are only in great opposition, so Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:137] So if they believe as ye believe, they are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are in schism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
[Pickthal 2:137] And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:137]

The Jews and the Christians would have become the followers of the true faith if they had accepted the teachings of the earlier prophets and acknowledged the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, but they opposed the Holy Prophet right from the beginning and on many occasions tried to kill him


[Shakir 2:138] (Receive) the baptism of Allah, and who is better than Allah in baptising? and Him do we serve.
[Yusufali 2:138] (Our religion is) the Baptism of Allah: And who can baptize better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.
[Pickthal 2:138] (We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. We are His worshippers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:138]

Sibgh means dye-colouring or immersion in water. The Christian church has adopted it as a religious ceremony of baptism. By immersion in or sprinkling water on every convert, he or she is admitted to their faith. The Christian baptism, this verse reminds, does not really introduce a man to the true faith. The true faith is universal. The Christian baptism rejects and denies all prophets and messengers of Allah. The divine baptism inspires love for goodness (tawalla) and dislike for evil (tabarra) which is the true nature of man. It colours or conditions the mind and behaviour of the believers so that he or she should adhere to godliness and reject godlessness.

The dye-colouring of Allah means to take on the colour of the attributes of Allah and involve the soul deeply in the divinity of the Lord. It inspires the believer with the conviction that the Lord of the universe is one. He loves every created being.

Those who love Allah must love every thing Allah loves.


[Shakir 2:139] Say: Do you dispute with us about Allah, and He is our Lord and your Lord, and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him.
[Yusufali 2:139] Say: Will ye dispute with us about Allah, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him?
[Pickthal 2:139] Say (unto the People of the Scripture): Dispute ye with us concerning Allah when He is our Lord and your Lord? Ours are our works and yours your works. We look to Him alone.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:139]

Allah is the Lord of all created beings. He is the Lord of the worlds - the universe. He is not biased against anyone, nor shows favouritism towards any. Those who sincerely devote themselves to Him receive, in return of their goodness, His special grace.

This is a warning to the Jews and the Christians and all those who believe that they alone are the "beloved children of God."

"Whosoever goes on the right path, verily he does so for himself; and he who goes astray does so to his own loss; and no one who carries a burden shall bear another's burden; and We never punish until We have sent a messenger (among them)." (Bani Israil: 15)

Verse 18 of al Fatir and verse 7 of al Zumar also refer to this truth.


[Shakir 2:140] Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from Allah? And Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:140] Or do ye say that Abraham, Isma'il Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know better than Allah? Ah! who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from Allah? but Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!
[Pickthal 2:140] Or say ye that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Do ye know best, or doth Allah? And who is more unjust than he who hideth a testimony which he hath received from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:140]

Please refer to the commentary of verses 20 and 135 of this surah. The question put in this verse is, in fact, a disapproval of the belief of the Jews and the Christians, as it has been used in verse 195 of al Araf to condemn the idolworshippers.


[Shakir 2:141] This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.
[Yusufali 2:141] That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case:
[Pickthal 2:141] Those are a people who have passed away; theirs is that which they earned and yours that which ye earn. And ye will not be asked of what they used to do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:141]

Please refer to the commentary of verses 23, and 134 to 139 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:142] The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.
[Yusufali 2:142] The fools among the people will say: "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say: To Allah belong both east and West: He guideth whom He will to a Way that is straight.
[Pickthal 2:142] The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:142]

For "the east and the west belong to Allah" see commentary of verses 107 and 115 of this surah.

Qiblah is the direction towards which the face is turned. In Makka, the Holy Prophet used to face Jerusalem at the time of praying salat, but the holy Kabah was always between him and the first qiblah Even in Madina, he continued to pray towards Jerusalem for seventeen months, after which Allah accepted the Holy Prophet's request to change the qiblah, because the Jews of Madina had been mocking the Muslims for not having their own qiblah.

In fulfilment of the divine promise to bless Ibrahim and Ismail, it was necessary to make the house built by them, the final qiblah for the worship of Allah, by the followers of the perfected and completed religion of Allah, for all times.

Reference to surah al Fil makes it clear that to keep safe the highly venerated house of Allah, Allah Himself destroyed the army of Abraha who came to demolish the holy Kabah. This change was also a prophecy that Makka would, one day, come into the hands of the Muslims, and that it would be cleared of the false gods, because a centre of idolatry could never have been the qiblah of a thoroughly monotheistic faith.


[Shakir 2:143] And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.
[Yusufali 2:143] Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:143] Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. But it was not Allah's purpose that your faith should be in vain, for Allah is Full of Pity, Merciful toward mankind.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:143]

To understand this verse it is necessary to know the meanings of some important words and phrases used in it.

(1) Ummat does not always mean a community or a nation. In verse 120 of al Nahl it refers to a single individual-Verily Ibrahim was a people (ummat) obedient to Allah.


[Shakir 2:144] Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qiblah which you shall like; turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all heedless of what they do.
[Yusufali 2:144] We see the turning of thy face (for guidance to the heavens: now Shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is Allah unmindful of what they do.
[Pickthal 2:144] We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:144]

Madina is located between Makka and Jerusalem. Facing Jerusalem, standing in Madina, meant turning the hinder parts of the body towards Makka. Since the Holy Prophet knew that the holy Kabah in Makka was going to be the ultimate qiblah, he did not like to turn his back towards it.

The Jews knew that the Holy Prophet was the final messenger of Allah (see verse 40 of this surah)

They also knew that the holy Kabah, with the "black stone" set in one of its corners, was destined to be the qiblah of the true believers.

"The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone."

(Psalms: 118 : 22 and Matthew 2 1 : 42).

Prophet Isa said: "He will bring those bad men to a bad end, and hand the vineyard over to other tenants, who will let him have his share of the crop when the season comes." It was a parable narrated to the Jews. It happened exactly as the Jews were warned. When the Jews failed to fulfil the covenant, the covenant of Allah was transferred to the descendants of Ismail.

Then Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the main corner-stone. This is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a nation that yields the proper fruit." When the chief priests and Pharisees heard his parables, they saw that he was referring to them. (Matthew 21 :42 to 45).

The kingdom of God, the spiritual leadership of mankind, transferred to the descendants of Ismail, remains with the family of the Holy Prophet, the divinely chosen holy Imams.

For it was he whom the Lord your God chose from all your tribes to attend on the Lord and to minister in the name of the Lord, both he and his sons for all time. (Deut: 18: 5)

Isa said:

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another to be your advocate, who will be with you for ever. (John 14: 16).

Isa referred to the Holy Prophet as the advocate or the comforter who would succeed him and be with the people for ever. Isa's prophecy is proved true in the Holy Prophet and his descendants, the last of whom is our living Imam.


[Shakir 2:145] And even if you bring to those who have been given the Book every sign they would not follow your qiblah, nor can you be a follower of their qiblah, neither are they the followers of each other's qiblah, and if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you shall most surely be among the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:145] Even if thou wert to bring to the people of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow Thy Qibla; nor art thou going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, Wert to follow their (vain) desires,-then wert thou Indeed (clearly) in the wrong.
[Pickthal 2:145] And even if thou broughtest unto those who have received the Scripture all kinds of portents, they would not follow thy qiblah, nor canst thou be a follower of their qiblah; nor are some of them followers of the qiblah of others. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then surely wert thou of the evil-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:145]

Allah informed the Holy Prophet that nothing, not even Allah's signs, would make the Jews and the Christians follow his qiblah, the true religion of Allah - Islam, because, out of their stupidity and arrogance, they did not like a descendant of Ismail to be the promised prophet. Also the Jews and the Christians did not follow each other's qiblah or religion.

Allah warns the Muslims (through the Holy Prophet) that if they try to make a compromise with the Jews and the Christians, after the knowledge (Islam) has come to them, then they will certainly be among the disbelievers.


[Shakir 2:146] Those whom We have given the Book recognize him as they recognize their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it).
[Yusufali 2:146] The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know.
[Pickthal 2:146] Those unto whom We gave the Scripture recognise (this revelation) as they recognise their sons. But lo! a party of them knowingly conceal the truth.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:146]

As explained in many verses of this surah (40,41,42,75,77,78,79,89,90,91,101,105, 109, 124) the Jews and the Christians knew that the Holy Prophet was the promised prophet as clearly mentioned in their books, but they deliberately concealed the truth.


[Shakir 2:147] The truth is from your Lord, therefore you should not be of the doubters.
[Yusufali 2:147] The Truth is from thy Lord; so be not at all in doubt.
[Pickthal 2:147] It is the Truth from thy Lord (O Muhammad), so be not thou of those who waver.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:147]

The Jews and the Christians concealed the truth because it threatened the continuity of their attachments, old habits and position, otherwise they knew the truth of the "prophetic message" clearly but withheld it and denied its exposure to others. It is a reiteration of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet to reassure those believers who were weak in faith, and a positive statement to exhort the disbelievers who refused to believe in him as a genuine messenger of Allah. It is a warning to the followers of the Holy Prophet (through him) not to be of doubters.


[Shakir 2:148] And every one has a direction to which he should turn, therefore hasten to (do) good works; wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.
[Yusufali 2:148] To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things.
[Pickthal 2:148] And each one hath a goal toward which he turneth; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever ye may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:148]

The unity of qiblah symbolises the unity of the purpose of the religion, and binds all the believers (who try to reach the ultimate goal by performing selfless good works as pure actions, remaining on the path of tawhid) into one brotherhood or a discipline. According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq "Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together" gives glad tidings to the true believers that wherever they may be, at the time of the zahur (reappearance) of the living Imam, they will be brought together under his banner. Many Muslim commentators say that this refers to the day of judgement. It is a meaningless interpretation because in this verse only the believers are addressed and not the whole of mankind, comprising believers and disbelievers, who will be summoned on the day of judgement for final examination and retribution.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

As has already been pointed out in the commentary of verse 115 of this surah, specific direction does not mean that manifestation of Allah is restricted to that direction only. He is manifest in all directions. The order to turn to a particular direction, while praying, was a test of obedience for the followers of the faith as mentioned in verse 143 of this surah, and also to create unity of purpose in the minds of the praying believers.

Every one has a direction in life, the ultimate object of which is Allah. As mentioned in verse 177 of this surah performing good deeds in the overall interest of the society (to possess the theoretical and functional virtues, the root of which is faith in Allah - Tawhid) minimises the importance of the turning towards the east or the west as a virtue.

Huwa (He) is generally translated to mean "everyone" (kul), but the Shia grammarians assert that it refers to Allah.

Muwalliha is also recited as muwallaha. Muwallaha, past participle, means He is the ultimate object of the direction of every one 's mind. Muwalliha, present participle, means He is directing everyone towards a particular direction, as has been said in verse 48 of al Ma-idah. The purpose of various precepts and methods of worship is to test competitive striving for owning virtues. Notwithstanding the different directions of striving, every man will reach the same destination. The absolute is all pervasive. The Holy Prophet said: "Do not abuse nature which some people take as the first cause of the whole phenomenon. Nature itself is God". But a person who perceives or identifies Him in the manifestations of nature can not be equal to the man who reaches the highest stage of monotheistic belief. Therefore, it is not proper to say that all religions are true because their aim is one and the same. The difference in realisation of the truth distinguishes which one is the best direction. The Quran refers to the different directions and makes clear the best direction.


[Shakir 2:149] And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and surely it is the very truth from your Lord, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:149] From whencesoever Thou startest forth, turn Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from the Lord. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:149] And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:149]

The importance and the sanctity of the holy Kabah has been established by binding all Muslims to turn their faces towards it, wherever and in whatever circumstances they may be.

Yazid destroyed the holy Kabah. Walid held a feast of debauchery on the roof of the house of Allah. Abdul Malik and Mansur constructed their own Kabahs in Damascus and Baghdad respectively for pilgrimage. Yet these rulers are respected by {non-Shia) Muslims as khalifatul muslimin and spiritual leaders (Tamaddun Islam-Tabari).

Alaykum hujjatun - so that people (the Jews and the Quraysh) will have no accusation against you. The Jews used to boast that Muhammad bowed towards their temple in Jerusalem. The Quraysh observed that instead of turning to the religious centre of the Jews, Muhammad should have preferred the house built by Ibrahim and Ismail.

Wa-li-utimma nia-mati alaykum refers to the perfection of religion and completion of Allah's favour (Ma-idah: 3). In 11 Hijra, on the 18th Dhil Hajj, at Ghadir Khum, the Holy Prophet chose Ali as his successor (refer to page 6 for details). After this event verse 3 of al Ma-idah was revealed. In other words the religion of Allah, Islam, was perfected when imamat was established to succeed risalat, which is the completion of Allah's favour. It also refers to the fulfilment of the promise Allah made with Ibrahim in connection with the descendants of Ismail (see commentary of verse 124 of this surah and Genesis 17:20).

La-allakum tahtadun also refers to the divinely established institution of imamat for the guidance of the faithful for all times, in fulfilment of the promise made by Allah in connection with the descendants of Ismail.

By making Kabah the qiblah Allah had fulfilled his covenant made with Ibrahim and Ismail. None but the unjust refuse to believe in the risalat of the Holy Prophet and imamat of his holy Ahl ul Bayt.


[Shakir 2:150] And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you are turn your faces towards it, so that people shall have no accusation against you, except such of them as are unjust; so do not fear them, and fear Me, that I may complete My favor on you and that you may walk on the right course.
[Yusufali 2:150] So from whencesoever Thou startest forth, turn Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; and wheresoever ye are, Turn your face thither: that there be no ground of dispute against you among the people, except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so fear them not, but fear Me; and that I may complete My favours on you, and ye May (consent to) be guided;
[Pickthal 2:150] Whencesoever thou comest forth turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship; and wheresoever ye may be (O Muslims) turn your faces toward it (when ye pray) so that men may have no argument against you, save such of them as do injustice - Fear them not, but fear Me! - and so that I may complete My grace upon you, and that ye may be guided.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:150] (see commentary for verse 149)
[Shakir 2:151] Even as We have sent among you a Messenger from among you who recites to you Our communications and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you that which you did not know.
[Yusufali 2:151] A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge.
[Pickthal 2:151] Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you, who reciteth unto you Our revelations and causeth you to grow, and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:151]

To fulfil the prayer of Ibrahim (Baqarah: 129), Allah sent the Holy Prophet as a messenger, to make known His commands and signs, to educate and refine the people, to teach them the book and the wisdom and that which they did not know, and establish the sacred house built by Ibrahim and Ismail (Baqarah: 125) as a sanctuary (duly purified by the Holy Prophet and Ali ibna abi Talib), and show the true qiblah towards which all the devotees must turn their faces.

The journey in this life is from darkness into light, from ignorance to knowledge. An open heart will receive that knowledge if it is directed to the message and the messenger.


[Shakir 2:152] Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.
[Yusufali 2:152] Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.
[Pickthal 2:152] Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:152]

If you remember Allah, avoiding other than He, you are in the midst of reality. Allah, reality, will reflect the remembrance - if the sincere seeker remembers Allah, Allah remembers him.

Forgetfulness can never be attributed to the all-perfect. His remembrance refers to His special favours and bounties bestowed on those who remember Him.

To be grateful {shukr) is the key to the fulfilment and application of remembrance which neutralises desires and generates joy of inner contentment - deep and peaceful.

The opposite of this condition is Kufr-the falling over hurdles on the road of disobedience.


[Shakir 2:153] O you who believe! seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.
[Yusufali 2:153] O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.
[Pickthal 2:153] O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:153]

Refer to the commentary of verse 45 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:154] And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead; nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive.
[Yusufali 2:154] And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: "They are dead." Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not.
[Pickthal 2:154] And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah "dead." Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:154]

Those, who die and give themselves fully for the sake and in the way of Allah, are not dead. They are alive, attached and closely connected with the ever-living Allah.

It is reported that verse 154 was revealed for the Muslims who were slain in the battle of Badr. In those days the new converts to Islam, like the disbelievers, thought that death means loss of life for ever.

Fisabilillah means "in the way of Allah" or "for the cause of truth". "The way of the devils" means "for the cause of falsehood" (Nisa: 76). Sale's interpretation of fisabilillah (wars fought against non-Muslims to propagate Islam) is a deliberate distortion. There is no compulsion in religion (Baqarah: 256), therefore, the Holy Prophet went to war only when it was forced upon him.

All the created beings are given the opportunity to prove their potential, therefore, everyone is tried with something of fear, hunger, and loss of possessions and children. Those who have attained the highest spiritual maturity through personal virtues, ability to exercise patience, with faith and reliance upon Allah, face the trials successfully and reach the highest stations nearest to Allah. Each individual occupies a different status according to the degree of faith and patience he employs to encounter the test and trial. Some souls are not considered fit to be tried. It is their misfortune. The exemption may be to let their infidelity or hypocrisy grow to its full scope for which there is a painful punishment. (Ali Imran: 178).

The Holy Prophet and the twelve holy Imams occupy the highest status near Allah with reference to the faith in and reliance upon Allah, personal virtues and ability to exercise patience. For the cause of truth, in the way of Allah, they gladly suffered every kind of misery, hardship and calamity of the utmost severity throughout their lives. Only once in the history of the world all kinds of trials, mentioned in this verse (155), to the maximum conceivable degree, have been happily and triumphantly endured and coped with by Imam Husayn and his family and friends in the desert of Karbala. No less was the situation of the other holy Imams under the tyrannical rule of the Ummawi and Abbasi rulers.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The soul of every conscious being will taste death (Ali Imran: 185), therefore, this verse does not refer to the departure of the soul from the body. It refers to a particular state of blissful life which the souls of the non-Muslims are deprived of.

The term "life" and "death" has also been used in the Quran to signify "knowledge" and "ignorance" (Ya Sin: 70), or "belief" and "disbelief" (An-am: 123) respectively.

The life the soul lives after its departure from the body can be termed as death if it is more painful and miserable than the life of this world when it was in the body, because it has been deprived of the bliss it enjoyed here. And if the life of the hereafter is more blissful than here, the life of this world should be described as death.

The Holy Prophet has rightly observed:

This world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.

A poor Jew once asked Imam Hasan to tell him how could his poverty be a paradise and Imam's plenty be a prison?

The Imam replied:

"If you would know the miseries awaiting the disbelievers, and the blessings in store for the believers in the life of hereafter, you will then agree that even your present plight is a paradise compared to those miseries, and my affluence here is a prison for me as compared to the blessings that will be bestowed on me there."

Life and death should be understood in the sense of gain and loss in the various stages man passes through, as described by the Quran in verse 154 of this surah. In verse 169 of Ali Imran it is advised not to think that those who are slain in the way of Allah are dead, because they are alive, getting sustenance from their Lord. It means that they are in direct communion with their cherisher and sustainer. The term shahid, in the Quran, refers to this state of existence.


[Shakir 2:155] And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,
[Yusufali 2:155] Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,
[Pickthal 2:155] And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast,
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:155] (see commentary for verse 154)
[Shakir 2:156] Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return.
[Yusufali 2:156] Who say, when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return":-
[Pickthal 2:156] Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:156]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This is the attitude of a faithful when a misfortune befalls him or he suffers a loss. It is the summary of all that which Islam teaches. We are His. We unconditionally submit to His will. We shall return to Him. He is our destination. Whoso makes his life a true expression of this description becomes His prime favourite for His grace, blessings and guidance. The Holy Prophet who stands first and foremost in submission to Allah is the ideal model of this expression which has further been elaborated in verse 163 of Ali-Imran.

It is reported that when Ali ibna abi Talib heard the news of the martyrdom of Hamza, his and the Holy Prophet's dearest uncle, in the battle of Uhad, he said:

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJI-UN

And afterwards Allah revealed these words to the Holy Prophet in this verse.


[Shakir 2:157] Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.
[Yusufali 2:157] They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.
[Pickthal 2:157] Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:157]

Those who face misfortunes with a smile, knowing that it is the Lord's way of teaching patience and understanding, are the followers of the right path. The Lord prays for and blesses them - salawat is the word for Allah's blessings. In view of the extraordinary merits, achievements and excellence, mentioned on pages I to 7, and in the commentary of verse 7 of al Fatihah, and verses 2 to 5 and 30 to 39 and 124 of al Baqarah, and other verses of the Quran, only the holy Ahl ul Bayt of Muhammad al Mustafa can be joined with him for receiving Allah's salawat (see verse 56 of al Ahzab). Therefore, every true faithful says: "ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALI MUHAMMAD".


[Shakir 2:158] Surely the Safa and the Marwa are among the signs appointed by Allah; so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House or pays a visit (to it), there is no blame on him if he goes round them both; and whoever does good spontaneously, then surely Allah is Grateful, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:158] Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth.
[Pickthal 2:158] Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is). And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:158]

Safa and Marwa are two clusters of rocks between which the pilgrims run back and forth during hajj. They are the scene of Hajirah's running to and fro in search of water, after being left alone with Ismail in the blistering heat and wilderness of Makka. Please see the commentary of verses 125 and 126 of this surah. Before the Holy Prophet had purified and perfected the rituals of hajj, Usaf, an idol, was kept on Safa, and Nu-allah, another idol, was kept on Marwah, therefore, people did not like to go to these rocks. Through this verse, the said stigma has been removed and running between the two rocks has been made an obligatory function of the hajj.

Sha-a-irillah means signs of Allah, which remind a person of Allah or a representative of Allah - a prophet or an imam, whose remembrance itself would be an act of virtue or devotion to Allah. It is in this sense that the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad give respect to alams, tazias, zarihs, associated with the holy Imams.

Allah is grateful {shakir) means appreciation of good deeds and liberal rewarding in return.


[Shakir 2:159] Surely those who conceal the clear proofs and the guidance that We revealed after We made it clear in the Book for men, these it is whom Allah shall curse, and those who curse shall curse them (too).
[Yusufali 2:159] Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book,-on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse,-
[Pickthal 2:159] Lo! Those who hide the proofs and the guidance which We revealed, after We had made it clear to mankind in the Scripture: such are accursed of Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:159]

Those who withhold what has been revealed to them of the book, be they Jews (who knew the truth about the Holy Prophet - refer to verse 40, 75 to 79, 89 to 91, 101, 105, 109 and 124 of this surah; and the holy Kabah - Psalms 118: 22 and Matthew 21: 42) or be they the Muslim hypocrites (who know the true interpretation and application of verses - Ahzab: 33; Shura: 23; Nisa: 54 and 59; Ali Imran: 61 and 103;

Tawbah: I 19; Rad: 43, Hud: 17; and Ma-idah: 3, 55, 67 in connection with the event of Ghadir Khum) are cursed by Allah and by the angels and by those who follow His right path. In verses 86 and 87 of al Nisa also the angels and the believers join Allah to curse the wicked. In verse 56 of al Ahzab, Allah and His angels bless the Holy Prophet; and Allah commands the believers to send blessings on him. Unless we join Allah and His angels to curse the enemies of the Holy Prophet, our asking Allah for sending blessings on him will be incomplete. Therefore, the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad bless the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt and curse their enemies. Justice demands that we identify the devil as a devil, and curse him even if he is disguised in the garb of a Muslim like Yazid and others. Cursing and expression of dislike and disgust for any evil or evildoer is essential to remain on guard against wickedness, as has been made clear in the above-noted verse and verse 7 of al Fatihah, therefore, tabarra has been prescribed as one of the fundamentals of the religion.

The Jews were most vehemently cursed by Musa for not observing all his commandments (Deut 28: 15-68).


[Shakir 2:160] Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth), these it is to whom I turn (mercifully); and I am the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:160] Except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the Truth): To them I turn; for I am Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:160] Except those who repent and amend and make manifest (the truth). These it is toward whom I relent. I am the Relenting, the Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:160]

Those who recognise falsehood and condemn it, undoubtedly revert to the path of reality through repentance and true submission. Allah is ever-available for those who turn away from their nafs. As a consequence of this real repentance, they will be mending their way of life, that is, unifying their intentions and actions along the path that will bring them the promised bliss and mercy.


[Shakir 2:161] Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, these it is on whom is the curse of Allah and the angels and men all;
[Yusufali 2:161] Those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- on them is Allah's curse, and the curse of angels, and of all mankind;
[Pickthal 2:161] Lo! Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:161]

Kufr is the rejection of truth, wilfully by perversity or indolence, or it is disbelief in that which is preached by the Holy Prophet. All disbelievers or non-Muslims are not included in this category. A clear exception is mentioned in verse 98 of al Nisa. Those mentioned in verse 106 of al Barat have to wait for the command of Allah to be punished or to be pardoned. Hell is only for those who wilfully and perversely reject the truth, or those who have the means to know the truth but do not care to do so.

( 162)

Those who will be punished will abide in hell according to the state they have reached in this life, without respite. The chastisement is eternal.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says:

Since the pious would have lived a virtuous life as long as they stayed in this world, they deserve eternal bliss. Similarly the wicked would have spent their days in depravity and immorality as long as they lived in this world, they deserve to be condemned for ever.


[Shakir 2:162] Abiding in it; their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be given respite.
[Yusufali 2:162] They will abide therein: Their penalty will not be lightened, nor will respite be their (lot).
[Pickthal 2:162] They ever dwell therein. The doom will not be lightened for them, neither will they be reprieved.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:162] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:163] And your Allah is one Allah! there is no god but He; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:163] And your Allah is One Allah: There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:163] Your Allah is One Allah; there is no Allah save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:163]

There is no god but Allah. There is only One God, and all attributes belong to Him. His main attribute is an all-encompassing beneficence and mercy. The "unity of God" is the main and single fundamental upon which the whole structure of the religion of Islam rests, through which all guidance and enlightenment emerge.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The word wahid (one) is not used in any numerical sense, nor in the sense of order (the first of any second), nor in the sense of the oneness of a genus or a specie, nor in any other general term, but it is used in the sense that He is indivisible, unanalysable organically, chemically, geometrically, logically, mentally or physically, or in any sense whatsoever. This unity, in essence, does not correspond to any limitation. Since He is unlimited, a second, an equal, or an opposite to Him is not conceivable.

Ibna Babwah writes in the book of Tawhid:

In the battle of Jamal a Bedouin asked Ali:

"Do you say that God is One?"

Some companions did not like the idea of asking such a question at a time when Ali was fighting a war, and they rebuked him.

But Ali ibna abi Talib said:

"Do not disapprove his question, because what he asks is the very object of this battle. We are demanding the true answer to this question (same faith in the unity of Allah) from our enemy." Then Ali gave the above-noted description of Tawhid.


[Shakir 2:164] Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.
[Yusufali 2:164] Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.
[Pickthal 2:164] Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:164]

Having said that there is only one God, the e creation and its duality is described. Nature's diversity is caused by one source and it will revert to the same source. There are heavens and earth, day and night, land and sea, dryness and wetness, life and death; and man, who is the highest form of creation, is given the consciousness to experience all of these, to explore the meaning behind them. Whoever contemplates on the nature of creation, will reach the conclusion that it is one divine power that activates and enlivens all the diverse manifestations.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The harmony in the working of the universe is referred to in the Quran as a sign of the unity of the maker. Man is asked to reflect over this creation and realise the divine unity in the midst of diversity and amongst the various forces of nature that work in perfect harmony. (See quotation from Nahj al Balagha on page 20).

As has been pointed out by Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim to his disciple, Hisham bin Hakam: Verily Allah perfected His arguments with reasoning, assisted His messengers with miracles, and proved His rububiyat with His signs.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has explained the part reasoning plays in determining the relationship between man and God and its limitations. Reasoning (the internal) and the prophet (the external) are the two proofs Allah puts forward to let the people, who understand, have unshakeable faith in Allah. There is no use of the external proof (the prophet) if the heart and mind are not convinced through the internal proof (the reasoning). There may be religious doctrines beyond the grasp of limited human intellect but there should be no religious assertion contradictory to rational thinking. This shows that the only medium for understanding the absolute and securing nearness to Allah is sound logical reasoning. After reaching the final stage of the realisation of His existence and unity, the medium between him and the absolute becomes the divine revelation.

( 165)

To love, adore and worship a ghayrallah (other-than-Allah) is bound to bring about punishment .

The Arabic phrase ka-hubbillah means the love of idol-worshippers for their idols and their leaders which should have been for Allah. This also refers to the followers of the false and self-appointed leaders among the Muslims who usurped authority to keep them away from the true divinely commissioned rightly guided religious leaders. Those believers who are stronger in love for Allah not only love everything that Allah loves but also love the true leaders of the religion of Allah because they love to love that which Allah loves in order to please Allah. Therefore the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad love or hate anything or anyone for the sake and in the cause of Allah


[Shakir 2:165] And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah, and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah and O, that those who are unjust had seen, when they see the chastisement, that the power is wholly Allah's and that Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
[Yusufali 2:165] Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to Allah belongs all power, and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty.
[Pickthal 2:165] Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah (only) - those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah - Oh, that those who do evil had but known, (on the day) when they behold the doom, that power belongeth wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment!
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:165] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:166] When those who were followed shall renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder.
[Yusufali 2:166] Then would those who are followed clear themselves of those who follow (them) : They would see the penalty, and all relations between them would be cut off.
[Pickthal 2:166] (On the day) when those who were followed disown those who followed (them), and they behold the doom, and all their aims collapse with them.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:166]

In the next life the followers of misguidance will recognise their false leaders, the usurpers, and will wish to be given another chance to experience this life with true light, "the genuine leaders," but there will be no escape from the fire. Allah will show them their actions, done pursuant to their judgements, to prove that as promised justice has been done to them.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse makes clear that every individual, in the next life, will be conscious of his deeds in this life. The continuity of the human memory and consciousness, after death, indicated in this verse, dismisses the idea of transmigration of soul.

The Ahmadi interpretation of fire as intense feelings of regret and deprivation, instead of physical suffering, is to belittle the gravity of the divine punishment from which the transgressors shall never come out.


[Shakir 2:167] And those who followed shall say: Had there been for us a return, then we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire.
[Yusufali 2:167] And those who followed would say: "If only We had one more chance, We would clear ourselves of them, as they have cleared themselves of us." Thus will Allah show them (The fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets. Nor will there be a way for them out of the Fire.
[Pickthal 2:167] And those who were but followers will say: If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us. Thus will Allah show them their own deeds as anguish for them, and they will not emerge from the Fire.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:167] (see commentary for verse 166)
[Shakir 2:168] O men! eat the lawful and good things out of what is in the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy.
[Yusufali 2:168] O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy.
[Pickthal 2:168] O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:168]

To determine what food is lawful or unlawful is a very intricate procedure. The injunction is to eat all that is suitable and good, and avoid causes of harm based on the satanic pattern. Unlawful are not only those things which Allah prohibits but even unforbidden things acquired unlawfully - by usurpation, by theft and cheating etcetera. Those who lay stress only on the apparent aspects of religion make a show of dislike to unlawful things but devour things unlawfully acquired (Ma-idah: 63).

"Follow not the footsteps of Shaytan" means follow the way of Allah which has been shown by

the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt.


[Shakir 2:169] He only enjoins you evil and indecency, and that you may speak against Allah what you do not know.
[Yusufali 2:169] For he commands you what is evil and shameful, and that ye should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge.
[Pickthal 2:169] He enjoineth upon you only the evil and the foul, and that ye should tell concerning Allah that which ye know not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:169]

To be far off the mainstream of divine order and mercy and to fall away from the ordered direction into disorder, cast off and cut away from the light of knowledge, is the fate of those who seek guidance from Shaytan, who misleads, misguides, transgresses, and makes people speak against Allah what they do not know.


[Shakir 2:170] And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way.
[Yusufali 2:170] When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void of wisdom and guidance?
[Pickthal 2:170] And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance?
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:170]

To blindly follow in the footsteps of one's forefathers or leaders, is to discard the sacred responsibility of seeking the truth. The fathers or those who came first before the true message was delivered through the Holy Prophet, were in senseless ignorance, and whoever follows their direction will be away from the guided path. The greatest barrier which the Holy Prophet broke was that of narrow-minded tribal despotism and nationalism. This verse strongly condemns blind following of those traditions of the ancestors which do not tally with sound reasoning and divine guidance.


[Shakir 2:171] And the parable of those who disbelieve is as the parable of one who calls out to that which hears no more than a call and a cry; deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not understand.
[Yusufali 2:171] The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout Like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom.
[Pickthal 2:171] The likeness of those who disbelieve (in relation to the messenger) is as the likeness of one who calleth unto that which heareth naught except a shout and cry. Deaf, dumb, blind, therefore they have no sense.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:171]

Those who cover themselves with the dark veil of ignorance (Kufr-infidelity) are deaf, dumb and blind, therefore, the impact of the call of the message of Allah is lost. There is no response. The kafir is devoid of understanding.


[Shakir 2:172] O you who believe! eat of the good things that We have provided you with, and give thanks to Allah if Him it is that you serve.
[Yusufali 2:172] O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship.
[Pickthal 2:172] O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:172]

The Holy Prophet and the holy Imams have enjoined to say bismillah before eating, and to say Alhamdulillah after eating. In this way eating, an act of unification at the physical level, becomes a function of devotion. The state of gratitude to Allah is bound to increase love for Allah, and thus increases the quality of worship and devotion.


[Shakir 2:173] He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:173] He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:173] He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:173]

There is a clear description of some of the forbidden edibles. These foods were also forbidden by the law of Musa, and by Isa. The Jews had forbidden some foods to themselves without any authority (Ali Imran: 93). In verse 147 of al An-am prohibitions, exclusively imposed upon the Jews due to their rebellion, have been mentioned. Also refer to al Ma-idah: 3, and al Nahl: 115.

Innama excludes everything besides that which has been mentioned.

"The animals over which any other name than Allah has been invoked" brings to light the fact that everything in the universe belongs to Allah whose name is invoked when we eat or drink anything lawful.

Ghayra baghin means "not for enjoyment" but to satisfy an unavoidable necessity.

La adin means "without any intention" to break the prescribed laws of Allah, or not exceeding the minimum to satisfy the actual want.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The divine mercy is such that when it is absolutely necessary for survival, or in circumstances beyond one's control, there is no blame if one transgresses temporarily. Allah's mercy will overcome the evil of the transgression. The spirit of the divine law must be observed in normal as well as extraordinary conditions. Under no circumstances any revolt against any divine law is allowed.


[Shakir 2:174] Surely those who conceal any part of the Book that Allah has revealed and take for it a small price, they eat nothing but fire into their bellies, and Allah will not speak to them on the day of resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement.
[Yusufali 2:174] Those who conceal Allah's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit,- they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty.
[Pickthal 2:174] Lo! those who hide aught of the Scripture which Allah hath revealed and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing else than fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make them grow. Theirs will be a painful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:174]

The Muslims are warned not to act like the Jews who conceal that which Allah has revealed and buy error for right direction and punishment for forgiveness.

Concealing of truth is compared to eating nothing but fire into their bellies or reducing the soul to ashes. On the day of reckoning, such persons will be isolated from communion with Allah. His mercy which purifies polluted souls will not include them. It indicates that on the day of judgement Allah will speak to some sinners, purify them of their sins, and grant them amnesty.


[Shakir 2:175] These are they who buy error for the right direction and chastisement for forgiveness; how bold they are to encounter fire.
[Yusufali 2:175] They are the ones who buy Error in place of Guidance and Torment in place of Forgiveness. Ah! what boldness (They show) for the Fire!
[Pickthal 2:175] Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. How constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire!
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:175] (see commentary for verse 174)
[Shakir 2:176] This is because Allah has revealed the Book with the truth; and surely those who go against the Book are in a great opposition.
[Yusufali 2:176] (Their doom is) because Allah sent down the Book in truth but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism Far (from the purpose).
[Pickthal 2:176] That is because Allah hath revealed the Scripture with the truth. Lo! those who find (a cause of) disagreement in the Scripture are in open schism.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:176]

Allah's book is true. It contains and encompasses the knowledge of the diversity of creation. Dispute and difference can only relate to the diversity of creation, not to the laws that govern it. Those who go against the book doubt the genuineness of the Quran as the revealed word of Allah. The opponents of the book among the Jews concealed or misinterpreted the prophecy about the advent of the Holy Prophet, clearly mentioned in their scripture. See al Baqarah: 40.


[Shakir 2:177] It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts-- these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:177] It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.
[Pickthal 2:177] It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the Allah-fearing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:177]

According to the Holy Prophet whoever puts this verse into practice attains perfection in faith. The theory and practice of piety have clearly been mentioned in this verse. Faith in Allah and welfare of the mankind have been founded as the essence of the religion of Allah, Islam.

Please refer to the "note" written by Aqa Mahdi Puya in verse 148 of this surah.

Righteousness is this that one should believe:

in the unity of Allah with all His attributes;
in the last day of judgement;
in the angels;
in the book of Allah;
in all the prophets and messengers of Allah;
and give away wealth out of love for Allah to the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the liberation of slaves;
and keep up the (obligatory) prayers,

[Shakir 2:178] O you who believe! retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain, the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female, but if any remission is made to any one by his (aggrieved) brother, then prosecution (for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this he shall have a painful chastisement.
[Yusufali 2:178] O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.
[Pickthal 2:178] O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:178]

In this verse the law of qisas (requital, settlement) is set forth in detail. It is enforceable strictly according to the demands of justice tempered with the spirit of mercy. Allah is the forgiving, and therefore man must be able to forgive. The heirs of the slain have the choice to pardon the murderer if someone on behalf of him pays them the blood-price, after which brotherhood is again restored among the parties concerned. Before the advent of Islam, more often than not, the scenario after a murder was a chain of brutal and bloodthirsty reactions. The families and the tribes of both the slayer and the slain used to engage themselves into a war of attrition, generation after generation, involving innocent men, women and children. Islam, through the Holy Prophet, put a stop to this barbaric collective human behaviour and gave a just and kind system of justice to the human race, which for the first time, without ignorance and superstition, applied compassion and understanding in order to live in peace and harmony. "Payment should be made according to recognised usage in a good manner" is called diyat (blood-money). In the end this verse says that moderation in punishment is an alleviation from the Lord. Verse 92 of al Nisa prescribes moderation when the murder is not premeditated and intentional. Verse 93 of al Nisa clearly declares that a great punishment awaits the murderer who kills a believer intentionally. In addition to the legal penalty, in the hereafter, he will abide in hell for ever.

Verse 9 of al Hujurat says that if two groups of believers fight one another, promote peace between them. Then if one of them turns aggressive against the other, fight against the aggressive party till it returns to Allah's authority. If it does so, make peace among them equitably and be impartial.

Compare these practical ways of ensuring peace and harmony among the conflicting forces, a regular and day-to-day phenomenon in the human society, with the imaginary, decorative and unreasonable slogans introduced by the Christian Church:

"When a man hits you on the cheek, offer him the other cheek too; when a man takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to every one who asks you; when a man takes what is yours; do not demand it back." (Luke 6: 29 and 30)

At no time in history the Christian or any other authority could put this principle into practice.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Ma-ruf means anything known, recognised, approved, and according to customary usage. Its opposite is munkar - rejected, disapproved and contrary to common sense and religious laws.

In matters pertaining to the relatives, charity and maintenance of widows or divorced wives, ma-ruf means moderation in the light of common sense. In the case of amr bil ma-ruf it means obligatory duties prescribed by Islam. In Nahya anil munkar, munkar means forbidden prohibitions.


[Shakir 2:179] And there is life for you in (the law of) retaliation, O men of understanding, that you may guard yourselves.
[Yusufali 2:179] In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, o ye men of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves.
[Pickthal 2:179] And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, that ye may ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:179]

Qassa, the root of qisas, means to cut, divide and differentiate. Life is balanced by discrimination between good and bad, light and darkness, life and death. The proper justice of retaliation is discrimination without which we become transgressors by not enforcing Allah's law of balance. Therefore, the guilty should be paid back in the same coin. The people against whom the crime is committed should know what punishment has been given and how it is carried out. This way the boundaries of transgression are clearly marked and made known.

La-allakam tattaqun points out that the purpose of ordaining penalty for the crime is to make people abstain from evildoing.


[Shakir 2:180] Bequest is prescribed for you when death approaches one of you, if he leaves behind wealth for parents and near relatives, according to usage, a duty (incumbent) upon those who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:180] It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the Allah-fearing.
[Pickthal 2:180] It is prescribed for you, when death approacheth one of you, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for all those who ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:180]

What one leaves behind should be clearly defined, according to the law of inheritance as well as one's own wishes. No vagueness is allowed in Islam, because the path is that of awareness, discrimination, and knowledge.

In verse 8 of al Adiyat also khayr refers to wealth, as in this verse. Khayr according to most commentators means abundant wealth or large property.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Although the Sunni school thinks that this verse has been abrogated by verse 11 of al Nisa, but its proper study makes it clear that the distribution of wealth among the heirs is to be effected after taking the will (bequest) of the deceased into consideration. The Holy Prophet and Imam Ali had clearly, in many instances, advised those, who sought their guidance, to bequeath or not to bequeath according to the merits and circumstances of the seekers of guidance. Here the word kutiba means "laid down". It can be compulsory or optional according to the merits and circumstances of the case.

To alter or to misinterpret the word of Allah is a major sin. Beware. He is hearing, knowing. The wishes of a departed being should not be altered. In case of disagreement, proper settlement, within shari-ah, should be made so as not to deprive the rightful heirs, nor let those, in whose favour the bequest has been made, suffer any undue loss.


[Shakir 2:181] Whoever then alters it after he has heard it, the sin of it then is only upon those who alter it; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:181] If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it, the guilt shall be on those who make the change. For Allah hears and knows (All things).
[Pickthal 2:181] And whoso changeth (the will) after he hath heard it - the sin thereof is only upon those who change it. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:181] (see commentary for verse 180)
[Shakir 2:182] But he who fears an inclination to a wrong course or an act of disobedience on the part of the testator, and effects an agreement between the parties, there is no blame on him. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:182] But if anyone fears partiality or wrong-doing on the part of the testator, and makes peace between (The parties concerned), there is no wrong in him: For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:182] But he who feareth from a testator some unjust or sinful clause, and maketh peace between the parties, (it shall be) no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:182] (see commentary for verse 180)
[Shakir 2:183] O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:183] O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-
[Pickthal 2:183] O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off (evil);
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:183]

Fasting is a means of restraining and controlling the nafs, so that contentment (rida), and all the other blessings of this great discipline may be experienced. The fasting of the ordinary man is to withhold only from food and drink. The fasting of the pious man is to curb sensory desires, to refrain from looking at the unlawful, hearing the harmful, and thinking about the distasteful, or about what stimulates the lower nature. The fasting of a true believer is to seal the heart from paying any attention to other-than-Allah (ghayrallah), and safeguard himself with thorough awareness of the divine laws. Fasting (sawm) is one of the obligatory functions of the faith, next only to the prescribed 5 times a day prayers (salat), in importance. It trains the Muslims to guard themselves against evil as well as conditions them to suffer physical affliction and exercise self control in the defence of faith and the faithful.

Fasting, although not as perfectly regulated and decisive as in Islam, was prescribed for the followers of the previous prophets also, and was also in vogue, in varying forms, in different parts of the world. Among the Jews it was done in times of sorrow and affliction. Among the Hindus in India, fasting is undertaken as a penance or to achieve spiritual power. The Sabians were also prescribed fasting for one full month and the object of fasting among them was almost identical to Islamic fasting.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse is wrongly stated to be abrogated by the next verse, which, in fact, deals with some of the details of the conditions to be observed during the fasting.


[Shakir 2:184] For a certain number of days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know.
[Yusufali 2:184] (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.
[Pickthal 2:184] (Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need - but whoso doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that ye fast is better for you if ye did but know -
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:184]

Fasting is prescribed "for a certain number of days" - and as per the next verse they are the days of the month of Ramadan. The deeper benefits of fasting are gained when one is in good health. However, both in sickness and travel, these benefits are unlikely to be realised, therefore, exemption from fasting is provided, but a number of other days should be selected to fast in lieu of the obligatory fasts that have not been observed due to sickness or travel, and also a redemption (fidyah) should be effected by feeding a poor man for every missed fast. Aged people, nursing mothers and other cases in which the health is sure to be harmed by fasting can forego fasting altogether, but feed the poor instead, giving away the equivalent of one man's food daily for each fast missed.

It is better to fast as well as feed the poor to obtain a greater return from Allah. The fidyah is a concession allowed to the sick and the old but if they know the deeper benefits of fasting they must fast instead of availing the concession. The Holy Prophet and the holy Imams used to give away whatever they had in the way of Allah but in the month of Ramadan, they were more liberal and open-handed, because the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Yutiquna means the ability to do something with great difficulty. The old and the sick come in this category. It is unreasonable to say that "so whoever witness this month (Ramadan) shall fast in it" (see next verse) cancels this passage. According to the holy Ahl ul Bayt this passage has not been abrogated. Tawaqa means ability with hardship, and tawa-a means ability with ease. This subtle difference was pointed out by Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq. This passage applies to those who are able to fast but due to some weakness it is very difficult for them to do so.


[Shakir 2:185] The month of Ramazan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks.
[Yusufali 2:185] Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
[Pickthal 2:185] The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:185]

The month of Ramadan is that in which the complete Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in the night of Qadr (Dukhan: 3; Qadr: I ). Thereafter he was intimated to deliver it gradually to the people as and when Allah deemed it suitable.

All schools of Islam agree that the whole Quran was sent to baytul ma-mur and thereafter it was revealed to the Holy Prophet on suitable occasions during a period of 23 years. Bayt ul ma-mur is said to be the celestial counterpart of the holy Kabah. It is an allegorical term used for the heart of the Holy Prophet. The book of Allah and its connection with the Holy Prophet has been explained in detail in the commentary of verse 2 of this surah. The readers are requested to please study it carefully to know that the divinely chosen Holy Prophet was commissioned to guide the whole mankind till eternity after he had received the whole guidance and wisdom (the Quran), and that he delivered it to the people gradually whenever he received the divine command.

The Quran is a guidance to mankind, and the Holy Prophet according to Nisa : 79; A-raf: 158, Anbiya: 107, had been sent as a messenger to all mankind; therefore, Islam is a universal religion.

According to Matthew 15: 24 prophet Isa had said:

"I was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and to them alone."


[Shakir 2:186] And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.
[Yusufali 2:186] When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.
[Pickthal 2:186] And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:186]

Allah is very near, nearer than the jugular vein. Awareness of this fact serves two purposes-it stops man from drifting towards evil, and secondly it gives him heart and confidence to rely upon Allah alone, independent of all created beings, making him understand the ever-living reality of Allah who alone controls the whole universe and that which takes place in it.

He answers the prayer of every sincere supplicant when he calls on Him. Allah hears every cry of help and gives to His devotee that which is best in his interest, known to His infinite wisdom alone. Acceptance of prayer does not mean immediate fulfilment of whatever is sought.

"So they should answer My call" means man should carry out Allah's will expressed through His commandments to regulate and discipline the life of this world.

"And believe in Me" means awareness of the ever-living presence of the almighty and all-knowing Lord creator, equal to or like unto whom is no one.

To get that which is desired man has to make efforts and employ all the means at his disposal, arranged and provided by Allah, and then invoke Him to let the labour bear fruit. To use the available means properly, to apply the native faculties, and to pay close attention he needs guidance for which he invokes the highest authorities from whom nothing is hidden and for whom nothing is impossible. Through prayers guidance is received as to how the efforts should be made to fulfil the desires. The merciful Lord who is also all-wise knows what is profitable (An-am: 41). Sometimes Allah puts His devoted servants to test and trial (Baqarah: 155). In this sense man's efforts and his prayers are inseparable.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The act of invocation has been recommended by Allah Himself, because it helps to make the efforts of man fruitful. This passage dismisses the fatalist view that man's destiny is predetermined, regardless of his actions; this verse not only recommends prayer but also promises a response, showing that prayer which is a human action, has its effect on determining the destiny. The prayer to which response is promised should be a sincere cry from the depth of the heart. If there is predestination as the fatalists say, then this verse and verse 5 of Al Fatihah become meaningless. Please refer to the commentary of al Fatihah: 5.

Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says:

Put faith in Allah. Seek His protection.

Direct your prayers, requests, solicitations and supplications to Him and Him alone.

To give as well as to withhold lies in His (only in His) power.

Ask as much of His favours as you can.

Know that Allah owns the treasures of the heavens and the earth. Not only He has given permission to ask for His mercy and favours, but also has promised to listen to your prayers. He has not appointed guards to prevent your prayers reaching Him. Invoke His help in difficulties and distress. Implore Him to grant you long life and sound health. Pray to Him for prosperity.

Think over it that by simply granting you the privilege of praying for His favours and mercy, He has handed over the keys of His treasures to you. Whenever you are in need, pray, and He gives His favours and blessings.

Sometimes you find requests are not immediately granted. Do not be disappointed. Fulfilment of desires rests with the true purpose or intention of the pray-er. More often fulfilment is delayed because the merciful Lord wants to bestow upon you suitable rewards. In the meantime bear patiently hardships, believing sincerely in His help. You will get better favours, because, unknowingly, you may ask for things which are really harmful to you. Many of your requests, if granted, may bring eternal damnation.

So, at times, withholding fulfilment is a blessing in disguise.


[Shakir 2:187] It is made lawful to you to go into your wives on the night of the fast; they are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them; Allah knew that you acted unfaithfully to yourselves, so He has turned to you (mercifully) and removed from you (this burden); so now be in contact with them and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till night, and have not contact with them while you keep to the mosques; these are the limits of Allah, so do not go near them. Thus does Allah make clear His communications for men that they may guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:187] Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.
[Pickthal 2:187] It is made lawful for you to go in unto your wives on the night of the fast. They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. Allah is Aware that ye were deceiving yourselves in this respect and He hath turned in mercy toward you and relieved you. So hold intercourse with them and seek that which Allah hath ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall and touch them not, but be at your devotions in the mosques. These are the limits imposed by Allah, so approach them not. Thus Allah expoundeth His revelation to mankind that they may ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:187]

During the fast eating and drinking, after the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night, is prohibited until night. (For other conditions see books of fiqh). In the beginning cohabitation between man and wife was not allowed for those who observed fast, whether night or day, but the future second caliph and some other companions confessed to the Holy Prophet that they had transgressed this prohibition (Tafsir Baydawi). Through this verse cohabitation between man and wife during the night was made lawful.

Man's actions must follow certain patterns, starting with the gross, and gradually ascending to the subtlest of the subtle. There were very few truly obedient devotees of Allah (the Ahl ul Bayt) who observed every command of Allah, but the merciful Lord also takes into consideration the wishes of the "not so careful Muslims."


[Shakir 2:188] And do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means, neither seek to gain access thereby to the judges, so that you may swallow up a part of the property of men wrongfully while you know.
[Yusufali 2:188] And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property.
[Pickthal 2:188] And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:188]

It is incumbent upon each one of the faithful to seek the roots of justice and right balance deeply. The purpose of sawm is to curb mean and lower tendencies such as wrongfully consuming even things lawfully possessed and letting greed dominate every aspect of life.


[Shakir 2:189] They ask you concerning the new moon. Say: They are times appointed for (the benefit of) men, and (for) the pilgrimage; and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their doors and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, that you may be successful.
[Yusufali 2:189] They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: And fear Allah: That ye may prosper.
[Pickthal 2:189] They ask thee, (O Muhammad), of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not righteousness that ye go to houses by the backs thereof (as do the idolaters at certain seasons), but the righteous man is he who wardeth off (evil). So go to houses by the gates thereof, and observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:189]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Swallowing up other people's rights and usurping unjustly the possessions of others have been declared unlawful (also see Nisa: 29).

In Islam religious duties and other prescribed actions like fasts, festivals and pilgrimage, are carried out according to the lunar calculation. The reasons are given below:

(1) Even an illiterate person can determine the day of the month and the month of the year according to the different shapes and forms of the moon, which cannot be calculated from the sun.

(2) Man can experience the joy and satisfaction of fulfilment in every type of season, which is not possible if solar calendar is followed.

(3) Acts of worship do not become seasonal rituals.

(4) The lunar year is shorter than the solar year. So the devotee gets more opportunities, in his lifetime, to turn to Allah, and obtain more benefits.

The inclination of some to adopt the solar calendar, with reference to acts of worship, under the influence of Christian propaganda, should be discouraged, because it was Paul, who, in order to please the pagan Romans, introduced the solar calendar.

On account of superstitious customs before Islam, the Arabs, after putting the 'Ihram' did not enter their houses through the regular doors, but made new back entrances to get into their abodes. This verse put an end to this false belief.

The true interpretation of this verse is that every occasion has its own door of approach. Every arena, physical, intellectual, or spiritual, has its natural point of entry. The intelligent man recognises the right door, unsuperstitiously, and in order to enter depends on knowledge. Entering from behind is a figurative expression for rejecting the right course, and entering through the (regular) door means following the right path. The house is the "house of guidance". Righteousness is this that one should approach the "house of guidance" through its door, the right path. "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate", said the Holy Prophet. To know the true guidance one has to turn to Ali as the Shia school (Islam original) rightly does. The Mutazali sect of Sunni school and the sufis also follow the teachings of Imam Ali ibna abi Talib.


[Shakir 2:190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
[Yusufali 2:190] Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
[Pickthal 2:190] Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:190]

The message of Islam is universal. From early times the Muslims were only permitted to fight in self defence. When there is no option, and in the face of persecution, however, the Muslims must fight. The strength of Islam lies in its certainty of ultimate victory over aggression, transgression, and ascribing falsehood to Allah and His last prophet. Fitna can mean oppression, persecution, seduction - all implying the "discord" that attachment with ghayrallah (other-than-Allah) brings about. It is used as in verse 217 of this surah - war is detestable but fitna is worse than slaughter. Islam promotes peace, order and harmony in the human society and keeps man on the right path. When the enemies of Islam found that the light of this message was sweeping darkness from every corner, the disbelievers vowed to annihilate it. It was only then that, no recourse being left for the believers, they had to resolutely take up the sword in defence. Verses 39 and 40 of al Hajj also give permission to fight when any people is wronged, oppressed and persecuted.

If Numbers 25: 1 to 3 and 31: 7 to 18 in the Old Testament are read carefully one comes to the conclusion that when the Israelites, in Shitim, began to worship the gods of Moab the Lord God asked Moses to "take all the leaders of the people and hurl them down to their death before the Lord."

And they made war on Midians as the Lord has commanded Moses, and slew all the men. The Israelites took captive the Madianite women and children, and carried off all their cattle, their flocks and their property. They burnt all their cities. Moses asked them to kill every male child and every women who has had intercourse with a man.

So in the way of Allah, the prophets were commanded to put an end to the activities of the disbelievers who wanted to destroy the true devotees of Allah in order to stop the advancement and progress of the religion of Allah. The Quran commands the Muslims not to exceed the limits but to fight evil until its power base is dislodged, and if the kafirs desist then to show mercy. Compared to what the other prophets did, as commanded by Allah, to destroy the unbelievers, the role assigned to the Holy Prophet as the "mercy unto the worlds" was the most benign of all the campaigns undertaken by His messengers to liberate mankind from the clutches of the enemies of Allah. He fought and killed the enemy whenever war was imposed on him.

Nobody who has any idea of the miserable conditions of the early Muslims, would for a moment imagine that this handful of people could have wantonly set themselves to provoke the active hostility of the whole world about them. They would quietly have borne any provocation rather than take the risk of fighting numberless hordes. If they did engage themselves in this way, one would presume that circumstances had forced them to it; unless their very existence was in peril, they could not possibly have thought to plunge themselves into a mortal struggle. This is so clear a priori that even if the initiative did appear to be taken by Muslims, no sane minded person would for a moment suppose that they were really offensive wars - they must have been offensive with a defensive import. The circumstances had forced them to take action, and if the Holy Prophet had not been quick to it and had waited for a formal assault from the other side, he would only have given the enemy time to collect their forces; and who can doubt that in that case, the world would soon have heard the last of this little band of Muslims.

Yet such is the perversity of prejudice that no such considerations, obvious as they are, are allowed to have any weight with writers like Muir, Sale, Neoldeke and others. All they can see is that in the battle of Badr and its prelude, the raid of Abdullah bin Jahsh, it was the Muslims that began the quarrel with the infidels. What the infidels had been doing all the time before is, as a matter of principle, ignored and forgotten.

How deep-rooted was the acrimony which drove the infidels on against the new converts, may be easily judged from their pursuing them down even to Abyssinia, to where the Muslims had fled to avoid the horrible tortures they were suffering at their hands. The infidels would not let them live in peace even in other lands. Could it be imagined that they could all complacently see them flourish and develop their mission from a centre only 70 miles away from themselves? What are the facts? Soon after the emigration of the Holy Prophet, they wrote to the chief of Madina, Abdullah ibna Obay, as follows:

You have given protection to our man. We have sworn by God that you either kill him or expel him, otherwise we will come upon you with all of us. and kill your fighting men and take hold of your women as lawful for us"

Obay bin Kab says, "When the Holy Prophet and his people came to Madina and the Ansars took them under their protection, all the Arabs were united to make an assault upon them. They never lay down to sleep except with their weapons with them."

This is not the place to give an account of the various wars and battles that were fought. They will be described under the various verses relating to them.

This is merely an introduction that may help us to understand the true state of things at the time. All this is quietly passed over by European critics of Islam.

Finally it should be noted that as without jihad correspondence of the Holy Prophet to the career of prophet Musa would fail to be perfect, Islam would also fail to be a complete and perfect religion for the world. Fighting has well been said to be the direct necessity of human nature, a religion that did not provide for it, did not regulate its principles and define its rightful limits, would not be a perfect religion, much less a final religion for the world.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In spite of all that has been said that Islam prefers peaceful methods of preaching the truth, and that it never took any initiative in waging wars against its opponents, the fact is that Islam recognises the right of taking the initiative in using force against those who persist in ungodly activities causing human degradation or social and moral deterioration. But this measure can only be adopted by the prophet of Allah or his vicegerents, authorised by Him, and none else. As Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir says: "A war may be termed as holy or godly (jihad) if the object is to make people give up submission to the ghayrallah and to submit only to Allah's authority and the divine will. But if the purpose is to make them give up submission to one creature in order to submit to any other, it is the usual war waged for selfish and worldly gain. Hence it is unholy and thus condemned by Islam." Taking this definition in view, it is obvious that no war is holy unless it is sanctioned and allowed by the person who is perfectly pure from every kind of ungodliness and is constantly in communion with the universal will of the absolute.

However, Islam enjoins on Muslims to be always ready, well prepared and well equipped to meet all exigencies, or an eventuality which may unexpectedly develop against them, then they should gather as much strength as they can, so that their opponents, the opponents of the divine cause, may refrain from any unprovoked aggression. (Anfal: 60).


[Shakir 2:191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
[Yusufali 2:191] And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
[Pickthal 2:191] And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:191]

The order is to kill the enemy (against whom fighting has been enjoined) wherever they are found, whilst the war goes on. It does not refer to unbelievers in general.

"And drive them out from where they drove you out" refers to Makka, wherein the holy Kabah, the centre of Islam, is located, because it belonged to the Muslims but was usurped by the infidels unlawfully.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Fitna means subversive activities to destroy peace and rule of law. With reference to other verses like this verse (Nisa: 135; Ma-idah: 2 and 8) it must be said that Islam advocates universal peace and harmony in the human society and teaches us to tolerate and accommodate other creeds so far as their followers do not hatch plots and generate ill-will to destroy the Muslims and ascribe falsehood to Allah and His religion. In verses 1, 8 and 9 of al Mumtahanah, the believers are advised to show kindness and do justice to the unbelievers who are not hostile to them, but at all events, friendship with the enemies of Allah has been discouraged. Islam avoids killing and destruction, but when public peace and safety is at stake, prompt and severe action is taken to bring order and eliminate lawlessness. Islam has no room for wilful aggressors and cunning mischief-makers. The sanctity of the holy Kabah and the sacred months is very important, but when attacked all considerations should be kept in abeyance till the aggressors are destroyed completely. Keeping this principle in view, the Holy Prophet fought against the infidels of Makka and their (Jewish) associates, in self defence, because they wanted to exterminate the religion of Allah and its followers. When the Syrian vassals of the Roman empire advised Hercules to help and support the Makkan pagans and liquidate the Muslims, the Holy Prophet had to go to war against the Christians. No peaceful person, tribe or community was ever attacked by him. He did not allow his followers, either in his lifetime or after, to needlessly attack any people. There are many traditions and verses of the Quran which enjoin peaceful preaching of the truth through argument and reason, with wisdom and kind exhortation in the best way possible. (Nahl: 125). The sword which was used to defend the cause of Islam right from the beginning was the dhulfiqar, and the man who devoted his life to the cause of Islam was Ali. A divine voice informed the Holy Prophet in the midst of the battle of Uhad.

LA FATA ILLA ALI, LA SAYF ILLA DHULFIQAR

(There is no hero save Ali, there is no sword save dhulfiqar)

Ali, the champion of Islam, and his God-sent sword fought against the pagans of Makka and their allies and the Jews and the Christians in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. After him, he never took part in the hostile campaigns directed against the non-Muslims of the world by the companions of the Holy Prophet. It is because of the policies carried out by those companions, that men like Gibbon declared that Islam was preached by the sword, as he (wrongly) concluded that what the followers did, must have been the policy of the preacher. He failed to identify the true followers of the prophet of Islam, Ali and his sons, who, after the Holy Prophet, took the sword in their hands, not to enslave the non-Muslims and appropriate their wealth, but to save Islam from the evil of hypocrisy which had emerged in full force to mutilate the beautiful face of Islam. "I shall not cease to fight against the hypocrites until the last of them is driven out from the fold of the true believers," said Imam Ali ibna abi Talib. In Kerbala Imam Husayn bin Ali used the dhulfiqar for the last time to distinguish between right and wrong or truth and falsehood. When this purpose was served the God-sent sword was sheathed for ever till the return of the last living Imam. The event of Kerbala clearly separated and identified the two camps the camp of Allah and the camp of Shaytan. The Imams in the progeny of Imam Husayn, through piety, reason and wisdom, preached the true religion of Allah. The hypocrisy of the usurpers, through ruthless intimidation and shameless treason, opposed them to crush and destroy the Islam original kept alive by the Ahl ul Bayt. Yet the Islam original flourished. The severest despots could not obliterate it.


[Shakir 2:192] But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:192] But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:192] But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:192]

Showing mercy when one has the upper hand is enjoined in this verse. On all occasions, the lover of Allah attempts to draw near Him by taking on the appropriate attribute of Allah. Mercy and forgiveness for the enemies if they desist from fighting has been recommended. No other creed or religion has this provision.


[Shakir 2:193] And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.
[Yusufali 2:193] And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
[Pickthal 2:193] And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:193]

Fighting evil should continue until its power base is dislodged, after which it should be stopped. Fitna has been explained in verse 191 of this surah.

"Din should be only for Allah" makes it clear that the purpose of fighting in the way of Allah is to remove persecution, corruption and mischief which suppress liberty and do not allow people to choose between truth and falsehood so that they may willingly believe in Allah and follow His commandments. The root of evil is in polytheism. It should be uprooted. When our living Imam returns, he will put an end to polytheism and make available true freedom for mankind. In verse 40 of al Hajj it is said that Allah repels some men by means of others to keep safe synagogues, churches and cloisters so that every man may have the freedom to remember God according to his own belief, because there is no compulsion in religion (Baqarah: 256). Only Islam, and no other religion, gives freedom to one and all to worship one true God - Allah.

"And if they desist" means when the polytheists renounce false gods and idol-worshipping and come into the fold of the true faith, Islam, and believe in the one and only true God.


[Shakir 2:194] The Sacred month for the sacred month and all sacred things are (under the law of) retaliation; whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and be careful (of your duty) to Allah and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:194] The prohibited month for the prohibited month,- and so for all things prohibited,- there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.
[Pickthal 2:194] The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:194]

Rajab, Dhilqad, Dhilhajj and Muharram are the sacred months. The men of Allah are allowed to inflict injury on those who violate the sanctity of the sacred months and attack the believers, because under the law of retaliation justice demands that the aggressors be punished, but when the enemy desist from continued confrontation, peace, bound by agreement, should prevail and be adhered to. The muttaqin have been described in verse 2 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:195] And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good.
[Yusufali 2:195] And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.
[Pickthal 2:195] Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:195]

Muhsin (derived from ihsan) is he who acts well, does good deeds and spends in the way of the most perfect, good and bountiful Allah. Allah, therefore, loves the Muhsin. When a man gets what he deserves, proportionate to his deeds, it is called justice (adl); but if one is given more in view of one's needs, more than what one deserves, it is called ihsan (to give for a present).

Islam views closefisted miserliness as ungodliness, which keeps the miser away from paradise and throws him into hell.

By not spending in the way of Allah, individuals cast themselves and their nation into perdition and both are destroyed.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Man's life and his possessions are not his own. They belong to Allah. Man only holds them as a trust. He should not use them to please himself. He must spend of his possessions and readily give his life in the way of Allah to promote His cause, as Imam Husayn did in Kerbala. But he must protect his life and property when there is no danger to the religion or to the mission of Allah, as the Holy Prophet did at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya, as Ali did in Siffin, and as Hasan did with Mu-awiya.


[Shakir 2:196] And accomplish the pilgrimage and the visit for Allah, but if, you are prevented, (send) whatever offering is easy to obtain, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination; but whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head, he (should effect) a compensation by fasting or alms or sacrificing, then when you are secure, whoever profits by combining the visit with the pilgrimage (should take) what offering is easy to obtain; but he who cannot find (any offering) should fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days when you return; these (make) ten (days) complete; this is for him whose family is not present in the Sacred Mosque, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
[Yusufali 2:196] And complete the Hajj or 'umra in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, (Necessitating shaving), (He should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the 'umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.
[Pickthal 2:196] Perform the pilgrimage and the visit (to Makka) for Allah. And if ye are prevented, then send such gifts as can be obtained with ease, and shave not your heads until the gifts have reached their destination. And whoever among you is sick or hath an ailment of the head must pay a ransom of fasting or almsgiving or offering. And if ye are in safety, then whosoever contenteth himself with the visit for the pilgrimage (shall give) such gifts as can be had with ease. And whosoever cannot find (such gifts), then a fast of three days while on the pilgrimage, and of seven when ye have returned; that is, ten in all. That is for him whoso folk are not present at the Inviolable Place of Worship. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is severe in punishment.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:196]

The date and the month for performing hajj is fixed, whereas umra, an abridged ritual, can be performed at any time.

To inculcate restraint, perseverance, sincerity and purity of intention, submission, and dedication to the service of Allah, a thorough discipline has been prescribed for performing hajj and umrah. [Please study "Hajj and Umrah guide" and "Supplications for Hajj and Umrah", published by the Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust, or any such publication published by the Shia publishing houses.

Hajj is a week of total loyalty. The body is denied all kinds of comforts. The mind and the heart are tuned to bask in the light of devotion. It enables man to rise to the glorious heights of spiritual bliss. The proud, rich and the egotistic celebrities are made to know and realise their true insignificance, otherwise, in any other situation, they would prefer to spend any amount to avoid association with the ordinary people and being brought to the level of the meek . No distinction of wealth, fame, birth, colour or nationality are of any use when the hajj begins. All are in the service of the Lord. It is a training ground to put the idea of the brotherhood of man into practice. Whoso fails to do in day-to-day life what he has experienced during the hajj, is not a true believer. There is no other religion which has such an institution to inspire effective voluntary control to curb brutality and pride, so easily acquired by the men of the world. Islam would have been labelled as an imperfect code of life if hajj has not been prescribed as an obligatory duty.

The criticism of the slaughter of animals by the opponents of Islam is unreasonable. Animals have been created by the creator to provide food for the human beings. There is "life" in everything man or animal eats or drinks. Therefore saving or sparing "life" is not possible. This is the law of nature. The very existence of life depends upon the proper consuming of life. Life in the lower stages of creation has been purposely created to be sacrificed to serve the survival of the species in the higher realm. Similarly, man has been created to sacrifice his self which is dearest to him, to reach the higher realms of divinity or spiritual bliss. It is true that purposeless slaughter of animals is a waste of Allah's bounty when it is carried out in contravention to the laws of the author of nature. Even for those who hold animals sacred, the surest way to show their concern is to slaughter them at the proper time, because one day they will be eliminated by death. So, if an animal is to die anyway, it is better to use it for sustenance of human life, rather than letting it go waste. The merciful creator, therefore, has allowed slaughter of animals for the sustenance of human life.

In the days of ignorance, man sacrificed man to please his man-made gods. Islam stopped this practice. Instead, to keep alive the spirit of the intended sacrifice of Ismail by Ibrahim, to show his obedience to his Lord, sacrifice of animals has been prescribed. On the other hand, Islam prohibits purposeless killing of animals. As long as a haji is in ihram he cannot kill even a mosquito. Hunting is not only forbidden during the hajj but also as a sport in ordinary life. Imam Ali, on his death bed, asked his children to take care of the birds he had domesticated, or else to set them free. Once a disciple of Imam Jafar al Sadiq killed some pigeons in exasperation. The Imam asked him to give one dinar in charity for every pigeon he had killed as an expiation.

The companions of Imam Hasan tried to make a dog run when the unclean animal came near them while they were having meals with the Imam. The Imam prevented them and began to eat one morsel himself and gave another to the dog. He said: "I should feel ashamed if a creature of Allah looks at my food and I turn it away."

At the call of duty a true believer must be ready to act as commanded, therefore, the impracticable and imaginary tenderness, which actually is not so, should not be allowed to take root. One must kill even a human being if proved guilty of murder and lawfully condemned to death. The misconceived feeling of tenderness is a moral weakness which can be removed by proper training.

If the holy Kabah is held in reverence, it is not idolatry. The spirit of holding in veneration things dedicated to Allah (or godliness) without any intention of worshipping them, even if it is the psyche of the idol-worshippers, is not idolatry. The holy edifice was built by Ibrahim and Ismail, the two distinguished friends of Allah, for the exclusive remembrance of the true Lord. The pagans appropriated it and used it as their temple. The two other friends of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali, cleared the sacred house of the idols and restored it to its original purpose. They destroyed the false gods but retained the really venerable black stone used by Ibrahim in construction of the holy house, because this stone was sent down by Allah. Likewise the respect paid to Safa and Marwa, on account of its association with Ibrahim and Ismail, has been preserved.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

"Whoever profits by combining umrah with hajj means that after performing umrah, the

pilgrim casts off ihram and puts it on again at the time of hajj, but by combining umrah with hajj he does not have to journey again for hajj after umrah, and also does not have to be in ihram all the time during the intervening period. The second caliph, nominated by the first caliph, who opposed this in the life time of the holy Prophet, issued orders to discontinue it and muta ul nisa, and hayya ala khayril amal from the azan. However, the later jurists did not follow his order for discontinuation of the muta ul hajj but the muta ul nisa and hayya ala khayril amal had been discontinued by the ignorant people in contravention of the divine commandments (Nisa: 24).


[Shakir 2:197] The pilgrimage is (performed in) the well-known months; so whoever determines the performance of the pilgrimage therein, there shall be no intercourse nor fornication nor quarrelling amongst one another; and whatever good you do, Allah knows it; and make provision, for surely the provision is the guarding of oneself, and be careful (of your duty) to Me, O men of understanding.
[Yusufali 2:197] For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise.
[Pickthal 2:197] The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O men of understanding.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:197]

Shawwal, Dhilqad and Dhilhajj are the well known months. One can start the pilgrimage in these months but the principal performance of hajj has been prescribed in the month of Dhilhajj. During these days the pilgrim enters the state of purity in which he is entirely absorbed with Allah. Taqwa is the best provision, because by resigning oneself to Allah and abstaining from all that which connects with worldly matters, devotion to Allah becomes total. Everything which pertains to rafas (sexual intercourse), fasaq (fornication), jidal (quarrelling with one another) are forbidden.

"Take provision" means to plan and carry sufficient provisions for the journey so as not to be a burden on others. Some people used to go for pilgrimage to Makka without sufficient provisions, on the pretence that they trust in Allah's help, thus becoming a burden on their fellow travellers. Making provision may also mean making provision for the journey of life with piety and righteousness. Surely the best provision is taqwa - guarding against evil or safeguarding with full awareness of divine laws. If the men of understanding desire increase in provision, here and in the hereafter, then they should know the boundaries and fortify them.


[Shakir 2:198] There is no blame on you in seeking bounty from your Lord, so when you hasten on from "Arafat", then remember Allah near the Holy Monument, and remember Him as He has guided you, though before that you were certainly of the erring ones.
[Yusufali 2:198] It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray.
[Pickthal 2:198] It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading). But, when ye press on in the multitude from 'Arafat, remember Allah by the sacred monument. Remember Him as He hath guided you, although before ye were of those astray.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:198]

Fazl means bounty, the sustenance one obtains by trade and commerce.

Mash-aril haram, the holy sign or monument, is the place known as muzdalifa, where the pilgrims halt for a night while returning from Arafat on the evening of the 9th Dhilhajj.


[Shakir 2:199] Then hasten on from the Place from which the people hasten on and ask the forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:199] Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah's forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:199] Then hasten onward from the place whence the multitude hasteneth onward, and ask forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:199]

Despite the dissimilarity of colour, age and gender, the pilgrims stand equal in the eyes of Allah, on the plain of Arafat. The Quraysh and the Kanana tribes imagined themselves superior to other people, therefore, they used to stay behind and did not join the multitude.


[Shakir 2:200] So when you have performed your devotions, then laud Allah as you lauded your fathers, rather a greater lauding. But there are some people who say, Our Lord! give us in the world, and they shall have no resting place.
[Yusufali 2:200] So when ye have accomplished your holy rites, celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul. There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.
[Pickthal 2:200] And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance. But of mankind is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world," and he hath no portion in the Hereafter.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:200]

Hajj is a meeting with the Lord . The ignorant Arabs used to boast about the achievements of their fathers. The father is merely a physical source, whereas the real source is Allah. The pilgrims are asked to remember and glorify only Allah.


[Shakir 2:201] And there are some among them who say: Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.
[Yusufali 2:201] And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!"
[Pickthal 2:201] And of them (also) is he who saith: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire."
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:201]

Most men seek only physical fulfilment, therefore, they shall have no share in the hereafter. Those who pray only for the present life indicate that they feel themselves secure in the other life (for which they do not pray) and do not need the help of Allah. The true seekers, with inner certainty, glorify Allah and invoke Him to grant them good in this world, and good in the hereafter. Islam guides man to achieve success in both the worlds. This prayer, for both the lives taught to the Muslims by the Quran, indicates that Islam wants man to adopt the middle course between materialism and asceticism.


[Shakir 2:202] They shall have (their) portion of what they have earned, and Allah is swift in reckoning.
[Yusufali 2:202] To these will be allotted what they have earned; and Allah is quick in account.
[Pickthal 2:202] For them there is in store a goodly portion out of that which they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:202]

The doers of good deeds must call upon Allah to accept their accomplishments.

As soon as the good or the bad deeds are done by an individual, the result at once comes before him. Allah is swift in reckoning.


[Shakir 2:203] And laud Allah during the numbered days; then whoever hastens off in two days, there is no blame on him, and whoever remains behind, there is no blame on him, (this is) for him who guards (against evil), and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you shall be gathered together to Him.
[Yusufali 2:203] Celebrate the praises of Allah during the Appointed Days. But if any one hastens to leave in two days, there is no blame on him, and if any one stays on, there is no blame on him, if his aim is to do right. Then fear Allah, and know that ye will surely be gathered unto Him.
[Pickthal 2:203] Remember Allah through the appointed days. Then whoso hasteneth (his departure) by two days, it is no sin for him, and whoso delayeth, it is no sin for him; that is for him who wardeth off (evil). Be careful of your duty to Allah, and know that unto Him ye will be gathered.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:203]

The specific reference here is to the three days after sacrifice-called the days of tashriq. The normal state of a true seeker is to be in perpetual remembrance of Allah, safeguarding himself with full awareness of His laws, knowing for certain that all shall be gathered before Him.


[Shakir 2:204] And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries.
[Yusufali 2:204] There is the type of man whose speech about this world's life May dazzle thee, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies.
[Pickthal 2:204] And of mankind there is he whoso conversation on the life of this world pleaseth thee (Muhammad), and he calleth Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart; yet he is the most rigid of opponents.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:204]

No particular person is referred to in these verses; the reference is to the miscreants in general. The enemy of truth and Islam is his own enemy. He is a shattered being, the breakdown between what is said and what is really meant, and, therefore, causes mischief and destruction of the natural order, and tries to break up the divine system. Such men assured the Holy Prophet to rely on their co-operation, but hatched plans, in secret, to make mischief both in his lifetime and after. They refused to adopt piety because pride and self-elevation led them astray. Hell is their resting-place.


[Shakir 2:205] And when he turn,s back, he runs along in the land that he may cause mischief in it and destroy the tilth and the stock, and Allah does not love mischief-making.
[Yusufali 2:205] When he turns his back, His aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But Allah loveth not mischief.
[Pickthal 2:205] And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:205] (see commentary for verse 204)
[Shakir 2:206] And when it is said to him, guard against (the punish ment of) Allah; pride carries him off to sin, therefore hell is sufficient for him; and certainly it is an evil resting place.
[Yusufali 2:206] When it is said to him, "Fear Allah", He is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell;-An evil bed indeed (To lie on)!
[Pickthal 2:206] And when it is said unto him: Be careful of thy duty to Allah, pride taketh him to sin. Hell will settle his account, an evil resting-place.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:206] (see commentary for verse 204)
[Shakir 2:207] And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.
[Yusufali 2:207] And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah: And Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees.
[Pickthal 2:207] And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah hath compassion on (His) bondmen.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:207]

Thalabi, Ghazali, the author of Ahya-ul Ulum, and all the Shia commentators say that this verse was revealed to praise Ali ibna abi Talib, when he slept in the bed of the Holy Prophet, during the night of hijrat.

Immediately after the death of Abu Talib, Abu Sufyan, the chief of the branch of Umayyah, succeeded to the principality of Makka. A zealous votary of the idols, a mortal foe of the line of Hashim, he convened an assembly of the Quraysh and their allies. All tribal heads held a conference on the instigation of Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahl. It was resolved that one man from every tribe should go to the Holy Prophet's house in the darkness of the night and kill him jointly, in order to divide the guilt, and baffle the vengeance of the Bani Hashim. In the stupidity of their ignorance, they forgot that Allah is seeing, hearing, and His hand (Ali) was alive, who, from his earliest days, had committed himself to save the Holy Prophet at all costs. In the dark night, the conspirators surrounded the house of the Holy Prophet. Meanwhile, Allah commanded the Holy Prophet to leave Makka at once and go to Madina. The Holy Prophet intimated Ali of the divine plan and asked him to lie down on his bed, in order to lead the enemies into thinking that it was the Holy Prophet himself who was sleeping, thus giving him enough time to go away from Makka (unnoticed). Ali asked the Holy Prophet if his lying down in his bed would save the Holy Prophet's life, to which he answered in the affirmative. So Ali lay down on the Holy Prophet's bed, covering himself with his blanket. Ali made a willing choice of certain death, as the blood-thirsty enemies were lurking around the house to kill the Holy Prophet in his bed at any time during the night.

Ali willingly agreed to die because:

(1) in his opinion the life of the Holy Prophet was more valuable than his own;

he was absolutely certain that it was the duty of a true believer to obtain the pleasure of Allah and His messenger, even if one's life has to be bartered;
he had the peace of mind which gave him courage to sleep, while the naked swords were flashing to
strike him - a singular example of willing surrender to Allah's will;


[Shakir 2:208] O you who believe! enter into submission one and all and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy.
[Yusufali 2:208] O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.
[Pickthal 2:208] O ye who believe! Come, all of you, into submission (unto Him); and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:208]

Silm means iman, the inner core or depth of the faith. The use of this word in this verse points out that "you who believe" are those who know and believe in the religion but are unaware of the scope and extent of the depth of iman, so they are invited to surrender and submit with perfect belief and thorough conviction; then alone they will not follow the footsteps of Shaytan, who is an open enemy.

As reported by Ayashi, Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir had also explained this verse as above and added that it also means that all Muslims are enjoined to believe in imamat and follow its divine guidance after the risalat, which ended with the Holy Prophet.

By not following the imamat of Ali, after the Holy Prophet, the Muslim ummah was easily deceived by the whims and fancies of incompetent and selfish leaders, and by not paying attention to the command of Allah to submit, as given in this verse, the ignorant Muslims were caught in the web of sects, sub-sects, and many schismatic schools of thought. The safest way to enter into submission is to follow the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams of his Ahl ul Bayt.


[Shakir 2:209] But if you slip after clear arguments have come to you, then know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Yusufali 2:209] If ye backslide after the clear (Signs) have come to you, then know that Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
[Pickthal 2:209] And if ye slide back after the clear proofs have come unto you, then know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:209]

Those who made a show of becoming Muslims to save their private interests will certainly backslide, but their defection shall not affect the cause of Allah in any way, nor cause any inconvenience to those who believe in Allah. Those who go astray shall be the losers.



[Shakir 2:210] They do not wait aught but that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds along with the angels, and the matter has (already) been decided; and (all) matters are returned to Allah.
[Yusufali 2:210] Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His train) and the question is (thus) settled? but to Allah do all questions go back (for decision).
[Pickthal 2:210] Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angels? Then the case would be already judged. All cases go back to Allah (for judgment).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:210]

"The coming of Allah" means the execution of Allah's will to punish the disbelievers through His laws which are absolute. Allah's decree encompasses all existence, seen or unseen. It operates in every situation and phenomenon. The total ecological balance, and the overall outcome of any system, are contained within the laws of reality, therefore, the result is already settled - all matters emanate from Allah and return to Allah. The disbelievers and those who backslide shall be punished in consequence of the inevitable execution of Allah's will. Verses 33 and 34 of al Nahl also state the same reality, using the same phrase. Similarly verse 2 of al Hashr refers to the arrogance of the Jews whose evil (persistent mischief-making to upset the peaceful life of the people of Madina) destroyed them, because the divine laws take their course without fail.

(21l)

Ni-mat means bounty or grace. In this verse it means the word of Allah, the Quran. Those who change its wording (or its meaning) after it has been revealed to the Holy Prophet (and duly explained by him) shall be severely punished.


[Shakir 2:211] Ask the Israelites how many a clear sign have We given them; and whoever changes the favor of Allah after it has come to him, then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil).
[Yusufali 2:211] Ask the Children of Israel how many clear (Signs) We have sent them. But if any one, after Allah's favour has come to him, substitutes (something else), Allah is strict in punishment.
[Pickthal 2:211] Ask of the Children of Israel how many a clear revelation We gave them! He who altereth the grace of Allah after it hath come unto him (for him), lo! Allah is severe in punishment.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:211] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:212] The life of this world is made to seem fair to those who disbelieve, and they mock those who believe, and those who guard (against evil) shall be above them on the day of resurrection; and Allah gives means of subsistence to whom he pleases without measure.
[Yusufali 2:212] The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for Allah bestows His abundance without measure on whom He will.
[Pickthal 2:212] Beautified is the life of the world for those who disbelieve; they make a jest of the believers. But those who keep their duty to Allah will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:212]

The rich Jews who, through usury, had multiplied their wealth, used to jest at those believers who had migrated into Madina with the intention of settling in it. Since they had to leave behind everything they possessed in Makka, they were reduced to a state of extreme poverty. According to this verse, the true worth of a man is determined by his piety, independent of his wealth. Material possessions shall be of no use on the day of resurrection. Piety {taqwa) will reign supreme.


[Shakir 2:213] (All) people are a single nation; so Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that in which they differed; and none but the very people who were given it differed about it after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves; so Allah has guided by His will those who believe to the truth about which they differed and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path.
[Yusufali 2:213] Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight.
[Pickthal 2:213] Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:213]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Mankind was ignorant, closely associated with each other in waywardness and lack of knowledge, before the revelation of divine wisdom. Therefore, prophets were sent to enable people to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. It agrees with verse 19 of Yunus. So the purpose of the divine mission was not to bring unity among the people who differed in their religious ideologies, but to develop their aptitude for choosing the right path by pinpointing evil and evildoers.

"And only those to whom the scriptures were given differed concerning it, after clear proofs

had come to them, through hatred of one another", refers to the Jews and the Christians who profusely corrupted their scriptures.

It also refers to the Muslims who misinterpret the verses of the Quran.


[Shakir 2:214] Or do you think that you would enter the garden while yet the state of those who have passed away before you has not come upon you; distress and affliction befell them and they were shaken violently, so that the Messenger and those who believed with him said: When will the help of Allah come? Now surely the help of Allah is nigh!
[Yusufali 2:214] Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!
[Pickthal 2:214] Or think ye that ye will enter paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When cometh Allah's help? Now surely Allah's help is nigh.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:214]

This verse is reported to have been revealed at the time of the battle of Khandaq, when the restless Muslims kept on asking:

"When comes Allah's help?"

Before them the famous Arab warrior, Amr bin Abdwud, astride on his horse, was proudly repeating his challenge for a man-to-man combat. The Muslims were on the brink of losing faith in Allah and His prophet as they had done in the battle of Uhad. Every one, among them, was hiding his head, lest the messenger of Allah might command him to accept the challenge. Some, among them, began to narrate the daring acts of the dare-devil in order to discourage their friends. Though they are held as great heroes of Islam by their ignorant followers, they refused to go to fight the challenger when asked by the Holy Prophet, because they relied more upon the advice of their comrades than on Allah's help. After that the Holy Prophet wanted to know who would go to meet the enemy? He repeatedly asked this question. Every time only Ali came forward. At last Ali, "the total faith," as aptly described by the Holy Prophet, went to fight against Amar bin Abdwud, "the total disbelief". Ali, in no time, killed the formidable champion of the invaders. When the total faith of Ali in Allah and His messenger, through his matchless bravery, was established, there came a violent storm which ruined the enemy camp and routed their fighting forces. They dispersed in chaos and disorder and ran all the way to Makka in utter disappointment and defeat.

"Now surely Allah's help is near" was revealed in praise of the faith, strength and bravery of Ali.

Then the Holy Prophet declared:

"The one strike of Ali on the day of Khandaq is superior to the prayers of both the worlds."

Also refer to verses 9, 10 and 25 of al Ahzab.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse confirms the saying of the Holy Prophet that his companions would follow in the footsteps of the Jews and the Christians in deviating from the right path and wavering in faith. Verse 213 and 214 of this surah also confirm that the prophets came to develop the aptitude of man for distinguishing between right and wrong and test his ability to choose the right path. Reaction to the prophetic mission varies according to the receptibility of an individual. Therefore, the followers of the last prophet are not an exception to this general rule. They cannot be said to be equal in faith. Some were certain. Some were doubtful. Some were sincere. Some were hypocrites.


[Shakir 2:215] They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.
[Yusufali 2:215] They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well.
[Pickthal 2:215] They ask thee, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:215]

Islam is the only religion which makes spending (in the way of Allah) obligatory. Every Muslim must follow the divine commandments as to how the bounties of Allah, given to him, should be shared with his less fortunate relatives and fellow-creatures. This verse tells us the order in which charity should be given. First, in the list, are the parents, then the near kindred, the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer. There is no reward if parents and the nearer kindred are overlooked in order to meet the demands of others. The needs of the parents should be cared for as a duty without the embarrassment of their having to ask for the same. The Holy Prophet advised his followers to take care of the parents, brothers and sisters, and the nearest relatives first, and then the others. It must also be noted that wars (in self-defence) require funds. To finance such wars is as important as spending for the helpless relatives, because it is in the interest of the whole community that the invaders should not be allowed to destroy the polity of the faithful.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

What should be spent in the way of Allah? Whatever good that may benefit others is the answer. As Zakat (the poor-tax) is compulsory, it cannot be made a part of "whatever good you do", which has no connection with Zakat. Also, Zakat cannot be spent on the members of the family. The word afwa in verse 219 of this surah makes it clear that only surplus should be given. The Holy Prophet has defined the surplus, and how much and to whom it should be given. In all events moderation is the guideline.


[Shakir 2:216] Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.
[Yusufali 2:216] Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
[Pickthal 2:216] Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:216]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

There cannot be peace without battle against evil. Islam dislikes war, and yet without war against corruption and injustice, the by-products of aggressive infidelity, peaceful existence and freedom of worship of One God cannot be preserved. Love of peace, harmony and freedom is rooted in the hatred of injustice, hypocrisy and chaos, which should be isolated and kept at bay by those who believe in Allah and submit to Him (Hajj: 40). Please refer to the commentary of 190 to 194 of this surah, and verse 39 of al Hajj. Permission to fight has been given to put an end to persecution and mischief-making, in order to establish freedom of worship. The mission of the Holy Prophet was based upon rational doctrines to establish the (divine) rule of law for the welfare of the whole human race. To stop this universal movement, the pagans, the Jews and the Christians left no stone unturned, because they wanted to maintain the status quo of the exploitation of man by man, to serve the interests of the wicked, devilish and brutal ruling classes. But the Holy Prophet could not give up his divinely commissioned mission, so he did not. He had to take steps to liquidate kufr in order to serve the cause of truth. Before him the other messengers of Allah did the same. Even the followers of Christ and Buddha could not do without pre-emptive strike to forestall hostile actions. Of course, this may give licence to the mischief-makers to guise their personal interests in the garb of "the larger interest of the humanity"; therefore, to cancel the misuse of this principle, the Quran has prescribed certain qualifications in a person, or group of persons, who alone are entitled to resort to the right of a pre-emptive strike.


[Shakir 2:217] They ask you concerning the sacred month about fighting in it. Say: Fighting in it is a grave matter, and hindering (men) from Allah's way and denying Him, and (hindering men from) the Sacred Mosque and turning its people out of it, are still graver with Allah, and persecution is graver than slaughter; and they will not cease fighting with you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can; and whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever-- these it is whose works shall go for nothing in this world and the hereafter, and they are the inmates of the fire; therein they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:217] They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.
[Pickthal 2:217] They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:217]

This verse should be read in continuation of the commentary of the above verse. Also refer to the commentary of verse 194 of this surah. For fitna see commentary of verse 190 and 191 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:218] Surely those who believed and those who fled (their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah these hope for the mercy of Allah and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:218] Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah,- they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:218] Lo! those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:218]

Jihad (from jahada) means to strive, take great pains, and to give away life, property and everything in the way of Allah (see commentary of verse 216 of this surah).


[Shakir 2:219] They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder
[Yusufali 2:219] They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus doth Allah Make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider-
[Pickthal 2:219] They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:219]

Actions such as taking intoxicants, or seeking quick and easy wealth through gambling, draw us away from reality and dull our sense of comprehending and distinguishing things. Man's reason for existence is to grasp reality. All intoxicating substances have been defined by the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams of his Ahl ul Bayt.

Abu Hanifah, the founder of the Hanafi school, says that any liquor, not prepared by grapes, is not prohibited.

Mawlvi Muhammad Ali, a Sunni scholar, in his translation of the Quran says:

"Those who think that the verse under discussion does not contain a prohibition have failed to understand the language of the Quran. When the harm of a thing is stated to be greater than its advantage, it is sufficient indication of its prohibition, for no sensible person would take a course which is sure to bring him a much greater loss than an advantage."

Even after the revelation of this verse some of the companions of the Holy Prophet used to drink non-grape wines and come to pray salat in the masjid, on account of which verse 43 of al Nisa and verses 90 and 91 of al Ma-idah were revealed to prohibit intoxicants and gambling.

The Holy Prophet said:

"Curse of Allah be on liquor, its maker and he who assists him, bearer, loader, distributor, seller, purchaser, consumer and whoever uses its sale proceeds and profit."

Imam Ali ibna abi Talib said:

If a drop of liquor falls into a well and a minaret is built on its nearby land I will not recite azan from it; and if it falls into a river and in its dry bed grows grass, I will not let my horse graze on it.

Liquor is ummul khaba-ith, the mother of all vices. An intoxicated person ceases to be a human being, becomes a brute and loses the ability to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong.

The effect of these verses worked wonders with the Arab Muslims. In the opinion of the social reformers who labour day and night to put an end to the drinking habits of non-Muslim communities it is a miracle. Drinking was second nature to the heathen Arabs. The Jews and the Christians were also sunk deep into this wicked addiction.

Yasara, the root of maysir, means to divide a thing into parts or portions. Maysir means a game of chance to seek quick and easy wealth, an unearned profit. Gain or loss is a matter of chance. This verse prohibits all games of chance and gambling.

For al afwa see commentary of verse 215 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:220] On this world and the hereafter. And they ask you concerning the orphans Say: To set right for them (their affairs) is good, and if you become co-partners with them, they are your brethren; and Allah knows the mischief-maker and the pacemaker, and if Allah had pleased, He would certainly have caused you to fall into a difficulty; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Yusufali 2:220] (Their bearings) on this life and the Hereafter. They ask thee concerning orphans. Say: "The best thing to do is what is for their good; if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren; but Allah knows the man who means mischief from the man who means good. And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties: He is indeed Exalted in Power, Wise."
[Pickthal 2:220] Upon the world and the Hereafter. And they question thee concerning orphans. Say: To improve their lot is best. And if ye mingle your affairs with theirs, then (they are) your brothers. Allah knoweth him who spoileth from him who improveth. Had Allah willed He could have overburdened you. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:220]

Acting rightly and generously towards the orphans and those without guardians will not only directly benefit the giver as well as the receiver, but also be reflected in an improved human society. Therefore there are several verses, such as Baqarah: 177 and al Balad: 11 to 16, revealed to the Holy Prophet to provide the basis for doing good to fellowmen

Islam allows partnership with an orphan, and guardianship and trusteeship of an orphan, with strict injunctions to maintain correct separate accounts in order to safeguard the orphans's interest at all events.


[Shakir 2:221] And do not marry the idolatresses until they believe, and certainly a believing maid is better than an idolatress woman, even though she should please you; and do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe, and certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you; these invite to the fire, and Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will, and makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful.
[Yusufali 2:221] Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.
[Pickthal 2:221] Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you. These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace, and expoundeth His revelations to mankind that haply they may remember.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:221]

Inter-marriage between the believers in God and the idolaters has also been prohibited by Tawrat and Injil.

You must not intermarry with them, neither giving your daughters to their sons nor taking their daughters for your sons; if you do, they will draw your sons away from the Lord and make them worship other gods. (Deut 7: 3 and 4)

Do not unite yourselves with unbelievers; they are no fit mates for you. What has righteousness to do with wickedness? Can light consort with darkness? ( 2 Corinthians 6: 14)

According to verse 21 of al Rum, Allah created for us from ourselves spouses that we may find repose in them, and caused between us love and compassion, therefore, spiritual affinity is essential between two life-partners, which is not possible if one believes in Allah and the other is an infidel who, spiritually and intellectually, is on the animal level, caught in the cobweb of falsehood, wickedness and mental retardness. It would be an unholy alliance. The infidel partner may draw the faithful away from the Lord and make him or her worship the imaginary deities and false gods. More often than not the children are affected by the conflicting beliefs of the parents. The risk is quite unnecessary, because any adverse response will lead directly to hell.

The school of Ahl ul Bayt, in view of verse 5 of al Ma-idah, allows temporary marriage with the women of those who received the scriptures. (See books of Fiqh for details about marriage between the various schools of thought.)


[Shakir 2:222] And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.
[Yusufali 2:222] They ask thee concerning women's courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah. For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.
[Pickthal 2:222] They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:222]

The natural cyclical discharge of woman is a purifying process - it removes discarded cells and purifies her body. So men have been commanded not to approach women, during the menstrual discharge, until they become clean.

"You shall not approach a woman to have intercourse with her during her period of menstruation. (Leviticus 17: 19)

The divine laws had been given to mankind through the Holy Prophet whose life is a perfect model for the followers of the religion of Allah. In Sahih Bukhari, under the chapter of menstruation, a false, baseless and disgraceful report has been narrated by one of the wives of the Holy Prophet to malign him, which, in fact, is a deliberate character assassination. Such kind of reporting makes clear that the followers of these schools of thought have failed to understand the true status of the Holy Prophet.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Yat-hurna means cessation of menstruation or the state after ghusl (bath) - for details refer to fiqh.

Min haythu amarakum means "as ordained"-see next verse.

Yuhibbul mutatahhirin refers to the purification of the body as well as the mind. Islamic instructions and restrictions bring forth mental and physical refinement, both equally important.


[Shakir 2:223] Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.
[Yusufali 2:223] Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.
[Pickthal 2:223] Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:223]

Sexual relations among the human beings is a very delicate matter. The Quran deals with it in a manner which not only takes into consideration the physical sensuality but also makes certain that man should rise above the animal level and temper his sensual urges with moral and spiritual discipline. Even the language used to provide the essential guidance in this connection has been very carefully worded so as not to let the issue be described in a lewd style - the literary way and technique of the then Arabic poets.

Woman is compared to tillage. The real object of conjugal union should be for the reproduction of human life for the service of the Lord.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

"Do with your tillage as you like" explains "Do with them as ordained" of the previous verse, but keep in mind that women are a tillage, therefore, dealing with it in a wasteful or unnatural way is foolish and detestable.

Qaddimu li-anfusikum means do good before-hand for your life after death, because ultimately you will meet Allah.


[Shakir 2:224] And make not Allah because of your swearing (by Him) an obstacle to your doing good and guarding (against evil) and making peace between men, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:224] And make not Allah's (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:224] And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:224]

Allah commands man to do good. Therefore, "not to do good" cannot be justified under any pretext, not even because of swearing by Allah. Allah cannot be made an urdah (obstacle) in the way of doing good, safeguarding against evil, and making peace between men. It is an injunction to abstain from making "swearing by Allah" a pretext for withholding oneself from doing good. Good must be done at all events. For example the "swearing by Allah" of a husband in anger, that he will not go to his wife, has been forbidden. (See also al Qalam: 10; al Ma-idah: 89).

Vain oath means unintentional swearing, which is a common habit with most people in their ordinary conversation. Allah will not hold any one accountable for vain oaths, but He will call His creatures to account for their real intentions and what they do. Verbal swearing has no value. However, swearing with full consciousness of the seriousness of the undertaking, binds the swearer to do as resolved provided the deed to be done is legal and good. Before Islam, it was a custom among the Arabs that when a husband avowed to discontinue conjugal relations with his wife, the wife was left in a lurch - neither a married woman nor a divorcee. The Quran ignores the swearing concerning disassociation with wives and gives four months for reconsideration and reconciliation; after which, if the husband still desires separation he should divorce his wife, otherwise the wife can refer the matter to the hakim shara (competent authority on Islamic laws) and obtain freedom from the bond of marriage to wed someone else.

Fa-in- fa-u means if they return to their wives within the prescribed four months Allah will forgive them.


[Shakir 2:225] Allah does not call you to account for what is vain in your oaths, but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.
[Yusufali 2:225] Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
[Pickthal 2:225] Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your hearts have garnered. Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:225] (see commentary for verse 224)
[Shakir 2:226] Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should wait four months; so if they go back, then Allah is surely Forgiving, Merciful.
[Yusufali 2:226] For those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if then they return, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[Pickthal 2:226] Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:226] (see commentary for verse 224)
[Shakir 2:227] And if they have resolved on a divorce, then Allah is surely Hearing, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:227] But if their intention is firm for divorce, Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:227] And if they decide upon divorce (let them remember that) Allah is Hearer, Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:227]

Talaq means letting a woman free from the bond of marriage or dissolution of the contract of marriage. Talaq should be put to use only when reconciliation is not possible in spite of best efforts. To warn the husbands who, unjustly and without reason, divorce their wives, the phrase "Allah is surely hearing, knowing" has been added. Only Islam safeguards the interests of women. According to the Holy Prophet, of all the permissible acts, divorce is the one most disliked by Allah, so as to keep in check any indiscriminate use of this pragmatic sanction. Therefore, in Islam, divorce is the most loathsome of the permitted acts. Marriage is an alliance of two individuals who love each other. Without love and understanding, it becomes a soulless body. In this situation, the sooner it is undone the better. If due to events and reasons, beyond control, day to day life of a married couple becomes a burden and a misery, separation is necessary and is an act of charity. Islam has the essential and elastic laws to deal with every type of case and circumstance and to control the harmony of the society as well as to safeguard the interest of every individual.

Divorce, though legalised by Islam, has been so controlled and restricted through the observations of the Holy Prophet that its indiscriminate use is not possible by those who sincerely believe in Allah and follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt. For them it is almost impossible to resort to divorce.


[Shakir 2:228] And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses; and it is not lawful for them that they should conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the last day; and their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation; and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and the men are a degree above them, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Yusufali 2:228] Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
[Pickthal 2:228] Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:228]

Quru means menstrual period. The divorced woman is required to keep herself in waiting for three menstrual periods, during which the husband has to support and care for her. In the course of these three months, if it is found out that she is pregnant, then the parental propriety of the offspring is established. Above all, the door of reconciliation remains open. If there is real love between them, the husband can take the wife back before the expiry of iddat (prescribed period of waiting). Such a practical arrangement is not available in any religion except Islam.

The legal rights given to women by Islam brought a revolutionary change in human society for the first time. So far woman was a wicked creature, the agent of the devil, and therefore was treated like a chattel, occupying the lowest position in the family and community. Islam gave women an honourable status, similar to men. It was a dynamic change, unknown to history, because it was never even considered, in pre-lslamic period, that women could have rights over men.

"But the men are a degree above women" refers to the natural differences which separate men from women. Allah is all-wise, therefore, particularly in the case of divorce, man can initiate the course of divorce, but a woman cannot. She, no doubt, can go to a qadi to obtain separation on the ground of unbearable maltreatment and demand dissolution of marriage by surrendering her right to mahar (dowry). This provision is reasonable because it prevents women from obtaining separation on flimsy grounds.

Islam gives women the right of choosing her life-partner. No one can compel her to accept any man as her husband. The matter lies entirely on her independent judgement. So she does not have the right to take the initiative for annulment of wedlock. Yet she has a recourse. She can go to a mujtahid or hakim sharah and obtain separation and then marry again whomsoever she likes.


[Shakir 2:229] Divorce may be (pronounced) twice, then keep (them) in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness; and it is not lawful for you to take any part of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah; then if you fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby. These are the limits of Allah, so do not exceed them and whoever exceeds the limits of Allah these it is that are the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:229] A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold Together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (Men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah; so do not transgress them if any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons wrong (Themselves as well as others).
[Pickthal 2:229] Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah's limits: such are wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:229]

"Divorce may be pronounced twice". These two pronouncements can be revoked. It is an effective check to prevent divorce on account of emotional outbursts and high-handedness of a husband who may recover his balance of mind and reconsider his unreasonable pronouncement. Before Islam, a man could divorce his wife as many times as he liked and take her back. To stop this absurd farce, only two revocable pronouncements of Talaq have been prescribed by Islam. After the third announcement, the Talaq is complete and becomes irrevocable. Even after Talaq the husband has to treat the divorced wife with kindness. It is not lawful for the husband to take back or withhold any part of what he has given to his wife or promised to give her as mahar (dowry).

"What she gives up to become free" refers to khula or mubarat, the recourse a wife can avail to obtain separation, explained above, by the arbitration of the hakim sharah or mujtahid, by returning the dowry if she has taken it in advance, or by foregoing it.

"If you fear" refers to the lawfully constituted religious authority - hakim sharah or mujtahid. If the husband revokes his decision he must keep his wife in good relationship and honour, and respect her.

The pronouncement of Talaq more than once at a time is meaningless in view of the "divorce may be pronounced twice" (the opening words of this verse) because it stipulates chances of reconciliation after the first, and if not, after the second pronouncement.

As mentioned in verse 97 of al Barat, "these are the limits of Allah", are the divine commandments.


[Shakir 2:230] So if he divorces her she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband; then if he divorces her there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think that they can keep within the limits of Allah, and these are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for a people who know.
[Yusufali 2:230] So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), He cannot, after that, re-marry her until after she has married another husband and He has divorced her. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they re-unite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. Such are the limits ordained by Allah, which He makes plain to those who understand.
[Pickthal 2:230] And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:230]

After the third, final and irrevocable pronouncement of divorce the husband cannot take his divorced wife back until she marries another man and the next husband agrees to divorce her. This is a sufficient reason to conclude that all the three pronouncements of Talaq cannot be said at one time. The consequences of the third pronouncement check indiscriminate pronouncement of Talaq.


[Shakir 2:231] And when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then either retain them in good fellowship or set them free with liberality, and do not retain them for injury, so that you exceed the limits, and whoever does this, he indeed is unjust to his own soul; and do not take Allah's communications for a mockery, and remember the favor of Allah upon you, and that which He has revealed to you of the Book and the Wisdom, admonishing you thereby; and be careful (of your duty to) Allah, and know that Allah is the Knower of all things.
[Yusufali 2:231] When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage; if any one does that; He wrongs his own soul. Do not treat Allah's Signs as a jest, but solemnly rehearse Allah's favours on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is well acquainted with all things.
[Pickthal 2:231] When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits). He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour), but remember Allah's grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:231]

A husband has the right to divorce his wife but he cannot abuse her or refuse to pay her dues. Whoever does this, exceeds the limits (disobeys Allah's commandments). He must set her free with kindness and give her all her entitlements. The laws of Allah should not be taken in mockery. It shows how serious is the matter of divorce. There are prescribed laws in Islam, yet people (men and women) have the freedom to act according to their conscience; and if they are mindful of the fact that Allah is the knower of all things, they shall not go astray and do injustice to their own souls.

The non-Shia schools do not observe the restrictions given in these verses in the matter of divorce.

"It may not even be properly expressed in words at all. This is admitted to be irregular but is not the less effective. One form of making a divorce irrevocable, the pronouncing of it thrice, one in each "tubr"(period of woman's purity) is allowed to be regular by Hanafis though condemned in the matter of intention. If a man pronounces a divorce whilst in a state of inebriety from drinking fermented liquor, such as wine, the divorce takes place. Repudiation by any husband who is sane and adult is effective, whether he be free or slave, willing or acting under compulsion; and even though it were uttered in sport or jest, or by mere slip of the tongue instead of some other word." (Fatwas Alamgiri - cited by Hughes)

No doubt the Islamic law of divorce has been criticised as contemptible and ridiculous.

The Shia school condemns all irregular forms of divorce. For Shias it is necessary that the man who pronounces a divorce be an adult, sane and free in his choice, will, design and intention. It does not take effect if given implicatively or ambiguously, even if there is intention. According to the teachings of the holy Imams, it is also absolutely necessary that the pronouncement must be made by the husband in the presence of two just witnesses; non-fulfilment of this condition renders the divorce null and void. If the husband pronounces the divorce, in an irregular manner, even a hundred times, the woman remains his wife. (For details see books of fiqh).


[Shakir 2:232] And when you have divorced women and they have ended-- their term (of waiting), then do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner; with this is admonished he among you who believes in Allah and the last day, this is more profitable and purer for you; and Allah knows while you do not know.
[Yusufali 2:232] When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is (the course Making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows, and ye know not.
[Pickthal 2:232] And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:232]

After the first or second Talaq, if both the husband and wife agree to be reunited, in a lawful manner, they are allowed to do so. The woman has a right to take her own decision. Her relatives or guardians are warned not to prevent her in any way from exercising her rights. Even though the period of waiting may elapse, the husband can marry the divorced wife, if the third irrevocable Talaq has not been pronounced.


[Shakir 2:233] And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be-- borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father's) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do.
[Yusufali 2:233] The mothers shall give such to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall be Treated unfairly on account of her child. Nor father on account of his child, an heir shall be chargeable in the same way. If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. If ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided ye pay (the mother) what ye offered, on equitable terms. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:233] Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, it is no sin for them; and if ye wish to give your children out to nurse, it is no sin for you, provide that ye pay what is due from you in kindness. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is Seer of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:233]

Though this verse was revealed for the divorced mothers, it applies to all mothers. See al Ahqaf: 15.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Darra (transitive) means to harm. Tadarrur (intransitive) means to suffer harm. In verse 12 of al Nisa mudarr has been used which means "either to harm or suffer harm.". In this verse it is said that on account of the child or the disagreement between the parents, none of the three (father, mother or the child) should be harmed by any of them. Please refer to fiqh for proper understanding of the issues pertaining to the rights and duties of the mother and the husband during the period of suckling of their babies, and the duties of the heir of the husband, and employment of a wet-nurse.


[Shakir 2:234] And (as for) those of you who die and leave wives behind, they should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days; then when they have fully attained their term, there is no blame on you for what they do for themselves in a lawful manner; and Allah is aware of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:234] If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days: When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and reasonable manner. And Allah is well acquainted with what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:234] Such of you as die and leave behind them wives, they (the wives) shall wait, keeping themselves apart, four months and ten days. And when they reach the term (prescribed for them) then there is no sin for you in aught that they may do with themselves in decency. Allah is informed of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:234]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The wife of a deceased man should keep herself in waiting for four months and ten days, even if she had no intercourse with her dead husband. If she is pregnant she should wait upto the prescribed period or the delivery, whichever is later.


[Shakir 2:235] And there is no blame on you respecting that which you speak indirectly in the asking of (such) women in marriage or keep (the proposal) concealed within your minds; Allah knows that you win mention them, but do not give them a promise in secret unless you speak in a lawful manner, and do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled, and know that Allah knows what is in your minds, therefore beware of Him, and know that Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.
[Yusufali 2:235] There is no blame on you if ye make an offer of betrothal or hold it in your hearts. Allah knows that ye cherish them in your hearts: But do not make a secret contract with them except in terms Honourable, nor resolve on the tie of marriage till the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah Knoweth what is in your hearts, and take heed of Him; and know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.
[Pickthal 2:235] There is no sin for you in that which ye proclaim or hide in your minds concerning your troth with women. Allah knoweth that ye will remember them. But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run. Know that Allah knoweth what is in your minds, so beware of Him; and know that Allah is Forgiving, Clement.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:235]

There is no harm if some one desires to marry a widow who is keeping herself in waiting for the prescribed period (iddat), and indirectly speaks his mind, but there should be no confirmation of the marriage tie until the period of waiting is completed.


[Shakir 2:236] There is no blame on you if you divorce women when you have not touched them or appointed for them a portion, and make provision for them, the wealthy according to his means and the straitened in circumstances according to his means, a provision according to usage; (this is) a duty on the doers of good (to others).
[Yusufali 2:236] There is no blame on you if ye divorce women before consummation or the fixation of their dower; but bestow on them (A suitable gift), the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means;- A gift of a reasonable amount is due from those who wish to do the right thing.
[Pickthal 2:236] It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them, nor appointed unto them a portion. Provide for them, the rich according to his means, and the straitened according to his means, a fair provision. (This is) a bounden duty for those who do good.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:236]

Faridah is the dowry known as mahar. Even if the marriage is not consummated the husband must make provision for the divorced woman, according to his means, whether he is rich or poor.


[Shakir 2:237] And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have appointed for them a portion, then (pay to them) ha!f of what you have appointed, unless they relinquish or he should relinquish in whose hand is the marriage tie; and it is nearer to righteousness that you should relinquish; and do not neglect the giving of free gifts between you; surely Allah sees what you do.
[Yusufali 2:237] And if ye divorce them before consummation, but after the fixation of a dower for them, then the half of the dower (Is due to them), unless they remit it or (the man's half) is remitted by him in whose hands is the marriage tie; and the remission (of the man's half) is the nearest to righteousness. And do not forget Liberality between yourselves. For Allah sees well all that ye do.
[Pickthal 2:237] If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:237]

"He in whose hand is the marriage tie", according to the holy Ahl ul Bayt, is the wali - father or grandfather of the wife, and if none of them is available, the legal authority - hakim sharah.

The wife is entitled to receive the amount of dowry directly; but if she is a minor her guardian (wali), on her behalf, shall receive the payment. It is unreasonable to say that the husband himself is the wali, because he is the person who must pay the dowry; and it is the wife or her guardian who is paid, or approached for half refund (if dowry has been paid in advance) or for foregoing the full amount. The husband cannot plead for the concessions due to himself. As far as shariah is concerned, the rules of breaking a marriage contract are clear. The seeker of spirituality is advised to go beyond the call of shariah, with generosity and good-naturedness, to help the divorced wife. Man, who has the upper hand over woman, must reflect the fadl of the bountiful beneficent. "Allah sees what you do", refers to the mutual kindness and charitable disposition with which the members of the brotherhood of the believers in Allah should deal with each other; and it is a warning to the husbands if they foolishly believe that they can hide any evil intention while dealing with their wives.


[Shakir 2:238] Attend constantly to prayers and to the middle prayer and stand up truly obedient to Allah.
[Yusufali 2:238] Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of mind).
[Pickthal 2:238] Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer, and stand up with devotion to Allah.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:238]

Wasta means middle. Many commentators say that the middle prayer is the afternoon (asr) prayer, coinciding with the peak of daily activity, most likely to be overlooked, although it is a duty of a devout believer to remember Allah in the midst of worldly pursuits. According to al Baqarah: 143 ummatan wasatan implies a group of people who are balanced, anchored, well-behaved, persevering, and away from the danger of extremes. If that which is the best is properly attended to, then generally speaking, the entire pattern of worship will be sound.

Qumu lillahi qanitin (stand up with devotion, truly obedient to Allah) prescribes qunut, recitation of any Quranic dua, while standing and raising both the hands, palms joined together, in front of the face. Concentration and presence of mind are essential for praying the salat, a regulated system of worship which gives man the opportunity to establish communion with his creator, five times a day. Salat prescribed by Islam, is not the ritualistic movements of the body. Its demand of employing all mental powers enables man to reflect divine attributes in his character, otherwise mere ritual has been condemned in the following verses.

Woe, therefore, to such performers of prayer, who are unmindful of their prayer, who would (pray) to be seen. (Ma-un: 4 to 6)

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Salat prayed in danger, is called salat ul khawf. According to this verse salat cannot be missed under any circumstances.


[Shakir 2:239] But if you are in danger, then (say your prayers) on foot or on horseback; and when you are secure, then remember Allah, as. He has taught you what you did not know.
[Yusufali 2:239] If ye fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding, (as may be most convenient), but when ye are in security, celebrate Allah's praises in the manner He has taught you, which ye knew not (before).
[Pickthal 2:239] And if ye go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback. And when ye are again in safety, remember Allah, as He hath taught you that which (heretofore) ye knew not.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:239] (no commentary available for this verse)
[Shakir 2:240] And those of you who die and leave wives behind, (make) a bequest in favor of their wives of maintenance for a year without turning (them) out, then if they themselves go away, there is no blame on you for what they do of lawful deeds by themselves, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Yusufali 2:240] Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence; but if they leave (The residence), there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
[Pickthal 2:240] (In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:240]

In verses 11 and 12 of al Nisa the law of inheritance has been clearly mentioned. The rights of women as wives have been dealt with in verses 227 to 237 of al Baqarah. In this verse it has been emphasised that a woman should be protected at all times. Man's authority over woman brings about the direct responsibility of her welfare upon him. She should not have to be worried about her protection, provision, and livelihood.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to Manhaj us Sadiqin and Majma-ul Bayan verse 235 of al Baqarah and verses 11 and 12 of al Nisa abrogate this verse. A close study of these verses does not bring out any contradiction. Verse 235 of al Baqarah only fixes the obligatory period of waiting for a widow, therefore, if the widow stays in her husband's house, she is entitled to receive the advantages of the bequest her husband makes for her according to this verse; and verses 11 and 12 of al Nisa grant the widow her share, in addition to the benefits mentioned in this verse. These two verses safeguard the rights and freedom of the widow, but do not reduce the utility of the bequest, therefore, there is no abrogation.


[Shakir 2:241] And for the divorced women (too) provision (must be made) according to usage; (this is) a duty on those who guard (against evil).
[Yusufali 2:241] For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous.
[Pickthal 2:241] For divorced women a provision in kindness: a duty for those who ward off (evil).
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:241]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

"Provision according to custom" is an extra grant to the widow in addition to the dowry which must be paid to her. This verse and verse 236 of this surah enjoin on men to employ piety, grace, love and clemency in dealing with women even when they are separated, in addition to the rights given to her.


[Shakir 2:242] Allah thus makes clear to you His communications that you may understand.
[Yusufali 2:242] Thus doth Allah Make clear His Signs to you: In order that ye may understand.
[Pickthal 2:242] Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations so that ye may understand.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:242]

In this verse the word signs {ayat) has been used for the divine laws which are the guiding signs for a disciplined life to achieve success in this world and salvation in the hereafter. These are clear and unambiguous. The Quran repeatedly invites man to think and apply reason for progress and advancement.


[Shakir 2:243] Have you not considered those who went forth from their homes, for fear of death, and they were thousands, then Allah said to them, Die; again He gave them life; most surely Allah is Gracious to people, but most people are not grateful.
[Yusufali 2:243] Didst thou not Turn by vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (In number), for fear of death? Allah said to them: "Die": Then He restored them to life. For Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but Most of them are ungrateful.
[Pickthal 2:243] Bethink thee (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:243]

The historical reference here is to the children of Israil, who ran away from their homes in thousands out of fear of the plague, thinking that their timely flight would save them from death. On account of their lack of faith in Allah, death caught up with them under His command. Their bodies turned into dust. Only their bones were lying scattered on the ground. Inspired by Allah, their prophet Ezikiel prayed for them by reciting a particular name, after which, Allah brought them to life again, showing that Allah does what He wills. There is no escape from the will of the Lord.

In the opinion of Ahmadi commentators, no miracle (bringing the dead out of the living and the living out of the dead) took place; it is only a metaphorical description. The materialistic tendency to deny any event beyond the natural course known to man can be justified only if man can claim knowledge of all the factors functioning in the working of the universe. It is a wise saying that the more a man knows, he realises how less he knows. There is no reason at all for any sensible and intelligent person to deny things which are decidedly beyond the acknowledged limitedness of human experience, observation and conceivability, yet the modern commentators deny the omnipotence of Allah and the supernatural forces functioning in the universe, on which all religions are based. Allah is the master of His will. He does what He wills. Every faithful believer must rely on Allah and should not fear death. Fear of bodily death in this life leads to moral and spiritual death. His life belongs to Allah. He should live it as desired by Him and surrender it to His command.


[Shakir 2:244] And fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:244] Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:244] Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:244]

See commentary of verses 190 to 193 of this surah.


[Shakir 2:245] Who is it that will offer of Allah a goodly gift, so He will multiply it to him manifold, and Allah straitens and amplifies, and you shall be returned to Him.
[Yusufali 2:245] Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan, which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that giveth (you) Want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return.
[Pickthal 2:245] Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:245]

Qardan hasanan, a goodly loan, is given without any consideration for its repayment, or time of repayment. In fact, it is completely forgotten as soon as it is given. The rewards of a goodly loan, offered to Allah to seek His pleasure only, are manifold. It brings about echoes of the goodness of the creator. The return from the merciful Lord corresponds to the purity and sincerity of the intention of the lender. This goodly loan, in this verse, refers to the spending in the way of Allah and striving in the cause of Allah.

To restrict or increase the means of subsistence is exclusively in the hands of Allah.


[Shakir 2:246] Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa, when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children. But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:246] Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? they said to a prophet (That was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah." He said: "Is it not possible, if ye were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?" but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But Allah Has full knowledge of those who do wrong.
[Pickthal 2:246] Bethink thee of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a prophet whom they had: Set up for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way. He said: Would ye then refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you? They said: Why should we not fight in Allah's way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children? Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, all save a few of them. Allah is aware of evil-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:246]

After Musa several prophets were sent to maintain his law (Tawrat), but as time passed, people started neglecting the law and took to idolatry. Ultimately a time came when the Jews had no prophet to guide them. In those days their enemies from the tribe of Jalut had captured all the land on the Mediterranean including Egypt and Palestine. They killed 440 princes and noblemen of Bani Israil and enslaved them. The Bani Israil prayed to Allah for a prophet. Allah appointed Samuel as their prophet. They asked Samuel to choose a king for them. Samuel warned them about what the kings would do, but they refused to listen to him. They said: "No, we will have a king over us; then we shall be like other nations, with a king to govern us, to lead us out to war and fight our battles." (1 Samuel 8: 19 and 20).

Samuel again warned them that they might not fight even if fighting was ordained for them. And when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except for a few of them. In this verse fighting for the emancipation of the people from the tyranny of the oppressors has been described as fighting in the way of Allah.


[Shakir 2:247] And their prophet said to them: Surely Allah has raised Talut to be a king over you. They said: How can he hold kingship over us while we have a greater right to kingship than he, and he has not been granted an abundance of wealth? He said: Surely Allah has chosen him in preference to you, and He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and physique, and Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases, and Allah is Amplegiving, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:247] Their Prophet said to them: "Allah hath appointed Talut as king over you." They said: "How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted, with wealth in abundance?" He said: "Allah hath Chosen him above you, and hath gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: Allah Granteth His authority to whom He pleaseth. Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things."
[Pickthal 2:247] Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough? He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:247]

(In continuation of verse 246).

Samuel said to the Jews that Allah had raised Talut (Saul) to be a king over them. According to 1 Samuel 10: 23 he was a head taller than anyone else. There was no one like him in the nation of Jews. He was called Talut on account of his height and strength. The people despised Talut's kingship because he did not have wealth, which they had in abundance.

The essential qualities required in a leader are clearly discernible if careful attention is paid to the reply given by Samuel:

Inallahas-tafahu alaykum-Allah has chosen him in preference to you. According to the divine law a
leader of the people (temporal or spiritual) is chosen by Allah, not by the people.

Wa zadahu bastatan fil ilmi wal jism-And He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and
physique. The chosen leader is given knowledge and physical strength by Allah Himself. The true

leader possesses divinely endowed knowledge and strength to guide and protect the people whom

Allah loves and cherishes.

Wallahu yuti mulkuhu man yasha - Allah grants His kingdom to whomever He pleases. The
sovereignty and the kingdom of the universe belong to Allah, therefore, on His behalf, the authority

to lead and guide the created beings, is with him whom Allah chooses. He chooses whomever He

likes, whether the people like it or not.

Wallahu wasi-un alim-Verily Allah is vast (giver of ample bounties), all-knowing. The bounties the
people receive and use for the satisfaction of their needs and wants are given to them by Allah. No

human being can claim credit for providing them to the people. What is good and what is bad for

the people is known only to Allah. This knowledge is given to those leaders whom He Himself elects

to lead and guide the people.

Man's hypocrisy, doubt, denial, bickering and disagreement about leadership, in spite of clear and specific prophetic directions, arise in all religions. The same thing occurred among the Muslims after the departure of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet, in compliance with Allah's command, had appointed Ali as his vicegerent and successor in the open assembly of ashira and in the large gathering at Ghadir Khum. Ali's superiority over others in knowledge and physical strength is unquestionable. It is acknowledged by all. Please refer to pages I to 7, and the commentary of verses 2 to 5, 30 to 39 and 124 of this surah, to know the divine decrees and clear prophetic directions, according to which Ali alone was the true divinely chosen successor of the Holy Prophet. But, while the Holy Prophet was on his deathbed, the Muslims began to lobby for and squabble over power, following their limited and imperfect logic, intending to build a Muslim empire based upon heathen theories and practices, instead of following the guidance given by Allah and His last messenger. As long as man continues to passively remain under the influence of his baser tendencies, this state of chaos and confusion in the affairs of his life will continue, as it did after the departure of the Holy Prophet, when the Muslim ummah refused to obey the command of Allah (Ma-idah: 67), conveyed to them by the Holy Prophet at Ghadir Khum, in spite of the fact that total submission to the decisions of the Holy Prophet has been prescribed as the first fundamental condition of the faith, by the Quran, in verse 65 of al Nisa.

To avoid chaos, discord and confusion which would lead to the destruction of the foundation of the Islamic society, the Holy Prophet took special precautions, which no other prophet before him had ever taken, to guide the people through clear actions, statements and signs that, after him, they should remain attached to his Ahl ul Bayt and follow their leadership. Unfortunately, the people chose to follow policies which led them astray into the hands of the devil.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The instructions inferred from this verse are as under:

Legislation, process of governing and administration of justice are the functions of a sovereign. And sovereignty belongs to Allah, He delegates all the functions to a single person as His vicegerent, or chooses different persons to carry out one or more of them separately. Samuel had been entrusted with the authority to convey legislation and administer justice. When the people requested for a king as an executor, Allah appointed Talut as their king. It means in the presence of a divine legislator and judge, an executor can also be appointed . It makes clear that Samuel (the prophet) had no right to appoint an executor. It also gives permission to allow the people to have a say in the formation of the executive authority. The voice of the people may also be heard in addition to the book and the sunnah of the Holy Prophet, if not contradictory to these two agencies, in legislative and judicial functions. But to claim sovereignty, which belongs only to Allah, is to return to the days of ignorance. It is not Islam.

Jihad (war in the way of Allah) was prescribed and carried out by the prophets also.

The reaction of the people to the divine appointment of the executor can be favourable or unfavourable. The Jews did not like the appointment of Talut as a king. Likewise, the Muslims also did not approve the appointment of Ali as the successor of the Holy Prophet. The unfavourable reaction of the people, based upon ignorance and short-sightedness, can be compared to the reaction of the angels when Allah appointed Adam as His vicegerent. The answer to this reaction is almost the same as given in verses 30 to 39 of this surah.

Whenever the question of succession to the Holy Prophet in the matters of legislation, execution and justice is dealt with, the implications of this verse should be taken into consideration. Verse 55 of al Nur gives strength to the point of view of the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad.


[Shakir 2:248] And the prophet said to them: Surely the sign of His kingdom is, that there shall come to you the chest in which there is tranquillity from your Lord and residue of the relics of what the children of Musa and the children of Haroun have left, the angels bearing it; most surely there is a sign in this for those who believe.
[Yusufali 2:248] And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith."
[Pickthal 2:248] And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come unto you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Moses and the house of Aaron left behind, the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) ye are believers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:248]

The tabut (3 yards X 2 yards) was a holy ark or chest which contained divine signs, understood by the prophets of Allah only. It was so divinely blessed that whenever carried by the Jews into the battlefield, the enemy invariably ran away. It was passed on from one prophet to another, and had miraculous properties. It is reported to contain the garments of Musa, the turban of Harun and some sacred relics. It was brought back from Shiloh to help the Jews in the war against the Philistines. The ark mentioned in verse 39 of al Taha (Exodus 2: 3) is not this ark.

According to the Ahmadi commentators tabut means heart, into which Allah sends down peace of reassurance (tranquillity). He quotes verse 4 of al Fat-h.

"Put him into the ark, and cast it into the river", (Taha: 39).

Can any sensible person put the word "heart" in the place of "ark"? It would mean that Allah commanded the mother of Musa to put him into her heart and cast her heart into the river. It is an absurd interpretation. The word baqiyyah is interpreted by them as "the best of a thing", whereas it means "that which is left behind". This kind of interpretations are put forward by the Ahmadi (also known as Qadiani) commentators because their prime motive is to deny miracles attributed to the prophets of Allah, as Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, the false prophet of Qadian could never ever produce a miracle. The list of their twisting of the verses of the Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet is very long which cannot be discussed here. They are always in search of some imaginary meaning of the word, other than the actual one, be it the most obscure and far-fetched, to serve their purpose. Such misinterpretations are presented with the full force of as many conjectures as possible. The Qadiani (Ahmadi) school is diametrically antagonistic to the faith of the Ahl ul Bayt who are the only divinely authorised custodians and teachers of the Quran according to the hadith al thaqalayn.

The Holy Prophet said:

My Ahl ul Bayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whoso gets into it is saved and whoso stays away is drowned and lost.

Verse 35 of Yunus and verse 22 of al Mulk make it clear that a true guide is he who is guided and appointed by Allah Himself. He does not receive any type of education and training from any one other than Allah.

So any one, who is not guided and appointed by Allah as a guide, is an impostor.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The executor appointed by Allah (see verse 247 of al Baqarah) should have the divine signs, the sacred heritage of the divinely chosen lineage which is endowed with the tranquillity (sakinah), on account of which no worldly or temporal force or consideration would frighten him from the way and cause of Allah. Such an appointed executor who slept in the bed of the Holy Prophet on the night of the migration is praised in verse 207 of al Baqarah (see commentary); and the sorry plight of the man who by himself claimed the executorship with the help of his comrades is exposed in verse 40 of al Tawbah. On every occasion it was Ali, the beloved of Allah and His messenger, who fearlessly strived in the cause of Allah and destroyed the enemies of Allah and His messenger, while the rest of the companions either watched the fighting from a safe distance or ran away from the battlefield; this was so because there was tranquillity in Ali's heart from the Lord, as has been confirmed by verse 26 of al Tawbah and verse 26 of al Fat-h. Besides this in-built tranquillity, the appointed executor must possess the divine heritage of the holy house, therefore, in view of the saying of the Holy Prophet that "Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa", the divine authority to guide and administer human society cannot be claimed by any one who does not belong to the holy Ahl ul Bayt (Nisa: 54).


[Shakir 2:249] So when Talut departed with the forces, he said: Surely Allah will try you with a river; whoever then drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste of it, he is surely of me, except he who takes with his hand as much of it as fills the hand; but with the exception of a few of them they drank from it. So when he had crossed it, he and those who believed with him, they said: We have today no power against Jalut and his forces. Those who were sure that they would meet their Lord said: How often has a small party vanquished a numerous host by Allah's permission, and Allah is with the patient.
[Yusufali 2:249] When Talut set forth with the armies, he said: "Allah will test you at the stream: if any drinks of its water, He goes not with my army: Only those who taste not of it go with me: A mere sip out of the hand is excused." but they all drank of it, except a few. When they crossed the river,- He and the faithful ones with him,- they said: "This day We cannot cope with Goliath and his forces." but those who were convinced that they must meet Allah, said: "How oft, by Allah's will, Hath a small force vanquished a big one? Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere."
[Pickthal 2:249] And when Saul set out with the army, he said: Lo! Allah will try you by (the ordeal of) a river. Whosoever therefore drinketh thereof he is not of me, and whosoever tasteth it not he is of me, save him who taketh (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. But they drank thereof, all save a few of them. And after he had crossed (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: We have no power this day against Goliath and his hosts. But those who knew that they would meet Allah exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah's leave! Allah is with the steadfast.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:249]

This verse depicts the differentiation between those who are the real followers of the path of submission and truth, and those who are not. He who leads the people must have the knowledge of what is good and what is evil for his followers, and also should be able to find out ways and means to correctly ascertain the sincerity of their faith. Talut tests his men by means of the river (saying: whoever then drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste of it, he is certainly of me, except he who takes as much of it as fills his hand), but only a few of them are found faithful.

It must be noted that although the men with Talut were aware of their weakness against Jalut, they did not desert him, but history is a witness to the fact that some of the companions of the Holy Prophet not only ran away from the battlefield (Uhad) but also advised their comrades to return to their former state of idolatry, because they loudly announced that the Holy Prophet had been killed. They did not realise that Ali (the hand of Allah) was there to defend the Holy Prophet and disperse the hordes of enemy soldiers single-handedly and turn the impending defeat into a glorious victory. Ali did the same in every battle that the Holy Prophet fought against the infidels (see the books of history written by well-known Muslim authors), but after the departure of the Holy Prophet, the deserters became the heroes of Islam and Ali was forced to withdraw himself from the public life, although he continued to guide the sincere followers who came to him to seek guidance and wisdom.


[Shakir 2:250] And when they went out against Jalut and his forces they said: Our Lord, pour down upon us patience, and make our steps firm and assist us against the unbelieving people.
[Yusufali 2:250] When they advanced to meet Goliath and his forces, they prayed: "Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith."
[Pickthal 2:250] And when they went into the field against Goliath and his hosts they said: Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the disbelieving folk.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:250]

The supplicants first ask the Lord to pour patience, and then make their footsteps firm, after which victory is besought.


[Shakir 2:251] So they put them to flight by Allah's permission. And Dawood slew Jalut, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He pleased. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men with others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder; but Allah is Gracious to the creatures.
[Yusufali 2:251] By Allah's will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds.
[Pickthal 2:251] So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:251]

An account of the formidable strength of the mighty forces of Jalut is given in 1 Samuel 17: 4 to 11. Dawud killed Jalut in single combat. The Philistines, when they saw that their hero was dead, turned and ran.

A similar event took place in the early days of Islam. The infidels of Makka with a mighty host of twelve thousand warriors encircled Madina to destroy a few hundred Muslims, including women and children. On the suggestion of Salman, a ditch was dug around the city in six days. This battle is known as the battle of khandaq (ditch) or ahzab. Amr bin Abdwad, a warrior who used to defeat one thousand soldiers single-handedly, jumped over the ditch and threw an open challenge to the Muslims. The Holy Prophet turned towards his companions, and invited each of them to go and fight Amr on behalf of Islam, but there was fear and panic in their hearts, as some of them had been close to him in the days of their infidelity and had witnessed his acts of bravery and strength. No one came out at the call of the Holy Prophet. Then Amr shouted aloud the names of the famous companions, one by one, but each looked aside. The Holy Prophet repeated his call three times. There was no response. Each time only Ali came forward and said:

"I am ready to fight him O the messenger of Allah."

After the third call the Holy Prophet put his turban on Ali's head and said:

"Verily, here goes total belief to fight against total disbelief."

"Allahu akbar' said Ali and hit Amr with his sword. It cut his sword, shield, iron head-gear in half, and Amr's head was lying on the ground.

"Here is the head of the enemy of Allah and Islam O messenger of Allah", Ali said and put Amr's severed head before the Holy Prophet.

The Holy Prophet said:

"One strike of Ali, on the day of khandaq, is superior to all worship of both the worlds put together."

Please also refer to the commentary of verse 214 of this surah.

In the battle fought between the Jews and the Philistines the enemy ran away when Dawud killed Jalut; in like manner the whole army of infidels of Makka left the battlefield in chaos and confusion when Ali killed Amr, completely routed and annihilated. These two events are meaningfully connected because perhaps there is no other battle where an army of a large number of fighting men left the battlefield when only one warrior was killed. And Allah gave him (the conquering warrior) kingdom and wisdom. Since kingdom belongs to Allah, He grants it to whom he likes, on merit after test and trial, to exercise divine authority on His behalf. It was given to Dawud. It was given to Ali (as imamat). The right to administer the human society was also given to Ali. It is another issue that the people did not allow him to do so, but the office of imamat given to him could not be usurped by any one, because the ability to guide and wisdom, particularly bestowed by Allah, cannot be stolen.

The last part of this verse says that the purpose of war is not to gain territorial expansion but to dispel mischief and establish peace on the earth.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Before Adam "survival of the fittest" was the driving force among all types of creatures. In the struggle for existence, every living being used all available means, good or bad, to obtain maximum resources, without giving any thing to other fellow beings. It was almost an animal society. It was evil. Islam stopped it. With the development of intellectual faculties and inspiration, natural tendencies gave place to moral values, and instead of fighting for food and material necessities, men began to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad. Verse 40 of al Hajj gives permission to fight against those who deprive people from the essential freedom to worship Allah and to make use of His bounties justly and equitably. Those who strive in the cause of Allah, to put an end to the survival of the fittest theory, receive help from Allah. Therefore the true servants of Allah vie with one another to fight against the evil in their own selves and in the society in order to be nearer to Allah. "And everyone has a direction to which he turns, so hasten to do good (Baqarah: 184)." "So vie one with another in good deeds (Ma-idah: 48)." To stop this striving in the cause of Allah means reversion to the animal way of life. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men by means of others the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder.


[Shakir 2:252] These are the communications of Allah: We recite them to you with truth; and most surely you are (one) of the messengers.
[Yusufali 2:252] These are the Signs of Allah: we rehearse them to thee in truth: verily Thou art one of the messengers.
[Pickthal 2:252] These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee (Muhammad) with truth, and lo! thou art of the number of (Our) messengers;
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:252]

The symbolic events that took place in ancient times have been reported, in the Quran, to condition the minds of the Muslims for coping with similar exigencies and occurrences, most likely to happen again and again.


[Shakir 2:253] We have made some of these messengers to excel the others among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank; and We gave clear miracles to Isa son of Marium, and strengthened him with the holy spirit. And if Allah had pleased, those after them would not have fought one with another after clear arguments had come to them, but they disagreed; so there were some of them who believed and others who denied; and if Allah had pleased they would not have fought one with another, but Allah brings about what He intends.
[Yusufali 2:253] Those messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah Fulfilleth His plan.
[Pickthal 2:253] Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so wiled it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:253]

Although all the prophets of Allah are equally truthful and holy, but in the same way that some signs are clearer and contain deeper messages than others, so Allah's messengers are of different ranks. The particular mention of Musa and Isa is to point out their distinguished positions as the reformers. Musa was directly addressed by Allah, and Isa was assisted by the ruhul qudus (the holy spirit). Both these prophets of Allah glorified the Holy Prophet and gave to the people the glad tidings of his arrival. Refer to the text of the Bible (Deut 18: 5, 18, 19; Acts 3: 22 to 25; John 14: 16, 17; John 16: 7 to 14) mentioned in the commentary of al Baqarah: 40.

It would be a false and contradictory statement if it was said that the above-noted verses of the Old and the New Testaments refer to Jesus, because Isa himself, like Musa, gave the news of the advent of the Holy Prophet in John 14: 16, 17 and John 16: 7 to 14.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In addition to the guiding statements of the two distinguished prophets of Allah - Musa to whom Allah spoke, and Isa to whom He gave clear miracles and strengthened with the holy spirit. there are several verses in the Quran, according to which the Holy Prophet occupies the highest place in the company of all the prophets of Allah. He is the superior-most messenger of Allah. The glory of the divinity of the Lord manifests, reflects and radiates in him to maximum perfection. Endowed with perfection, he was sent as a "mercy unto the worlds" (Ambia: 107). The other prophets were sent to guide a particular people in a particular place (Matthew 10: 5 and 6), therefore, in view of their limited mission, they are not on the level of the Holy Prophet who was sent to guide and discipline the whole mankind for all times (Saba: 28). As the Holy Prophet is the best of all the prophets of Allah, a distinguished group among his followers has been raised up by Allah as khayra ummatin, the best of all the people (see commentary of verse 110 of Ali Imran).

To understand kalamallaku (Allah spoke) it is necessary to refer to verse 51 of al Shura:

"It is not to any mortal (man) that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or through (from behind) a veil,"

Allah does not speak in the sense attributed to the created beings who use the mouth and the tongue to produce sound. The veil can be anything which can be caused to produce sound.

This verse implies that a large number of messengers were sent by Allah. He made some of these messengers to excel others, and some of them He exalted in rank. In the end He sent the best of them all, the Holy Prophet, to guide mankind on the right path and prevent the people of the world, in all times, from going astray in the direction of Shaytan, their avowed enemy. There is no compulsion in religion. It is not the plan of the almighty that guidance should be imposed upon any individual or community. There is complete freedom to any person who wants to go astray. Allah does not keep any one on the right path under duress if he himself, through reason and intelligence, does not make willing efforts to walk on the right path. The followers of the prophets, including the followers of the Holy Prophet, fought one another, went astray and followed the path of the devil as soon as the divinely commissioned guides, with clear signs and arguments, had left them. If Allah had willed, this straying could be stopped. He brings about what He wills. He could guide the people without the agency of the prophets, but He has given freedom to man to use reason and intelligence to distinguish between good and evil and make efforts to do good and earn reward, or make mischief and collect punishment. The door of guidance is kept open for those who sincerely seek the true direction.

As for those who strive in Us, We certainly show them our paths. (Ankabut: 69).

To fulfil this promise, the merciful Lord has established the divine institution of imamat as soon as the risalat came to an end-Ali ibna abi Talib is the first and Muhammad al Mahdi, the living Imam, is the last of the twelve divinely commissioned and infallible holy guide-leaders.

To keep himself on the right path, man has been asked to seek Allah's help by reciting al Fatihah in every salat. See the commentary of verses 5 to 7 of al Fatihah.

The guidance has been made known. Now whosoever goes right, it is only for the good of his own soul that he goes right, and whosoever errs, errs only to hurt himself. Each soul earns only on its own account. According to the following verses, man has been given an independent free will to act:

BAQARAH : 48

AN-AM : 165

HIJR : 42

BANI ISRAIL : 7 and 15

ANKABUT : 6

FATIR : 17

ZUMAR : 7

HA MIM : 46

DAHR : 2

The individual differences in the prophets of Allah are on account of the level of intelligence and the needs of the people amongst whom they were sent, to show them what was right and what was wrong. The manner of receiving the inspiration from Allah and the nature and limitation of every prophet's mission were determined in accordance with the ability of the people to understand and grasp the message. The last message of Allah was perfect, complete, final and conclusive. Therefore, the prophet who was chosen to deliver the final message was the most superior of all the prophets. He was not only the last prophet but also the foremost in total submission to the will of Allah.

Musa was honoured with the divine speech, Isa with the holy spirit, Ibrahim with shuhud (vision), but the Holy Prophet had the distinction of receiving the divine inspiration and revelation through all the mediums-see verse 43 of al Anfal and verse 60 of Bani Israil for vision in dreams, verse I of Bani Israil for vision in wakefulness; verses 192 to 195 of al Shu-ara, verse 52 of al Shura for the holy spirit; verses 1 to 16 of al Najm and verses 1 to 4 of al Rahman for direct instructions .

This verse clearly states that the discord and strife among the followers of the prophets is due to belief (iman) and disbelief (kufr), therefore, the apologetic attempt of some of the theologians to justify the dissension and conflict between the various religions or the sects of each religion as the outcome of ijtihad or discretion is based upon conjecture, and therefore, untenable.

According to Quran, such differences between the people of the scriptures is due to their rebellious attitude against the clearly manifested will and command of Allah. See verse 19 of Ali Imran and verses 13 of 14 of al Shura. The responsibility for wrongdoing rests with the man; and whatever good he does is from Allah.


[Shakir 2:254] O you who believe! spend out of what We have given you before the day comes in which there is no bargaining, neither any friendship nor intercession, and the unbelievers-- they are the unjust.
[Yusufali 2:254] O ye who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. Those who reject Faith they are the wrong-doers.
[Pickthal 2:254] O ye who believe! spend of that wherewith We have provided you ere a day come when there will be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:254]

Please refer to the commentary of verses 3, 195 and 215 of this surah for spending out of what Allah gives, and verses 48 and 123 of this surah for intercession. To provide or give help in cash and kind to the needy has been identified with the "spending in the way of Allah". It is an exhortation, not a compulsion. According to your conscience you have the liberty to spend in the way of Allah "out of what He has given to you", whether you have large means or a moderate income.

"Before the day comes" implies that one has to do good in this world. What you sow (in this life) you shall reap (in the life of the hereafter). "There will be no bargaining, nor any friendship nor intercession" means that wrongdoers will not be able to claim salvation in exchange of good deeds done by their ancestors or their posterity; or on account of the acts of their religious leaders as the Christians think that Jesus, by his blood, has redeemed the sins of his followers. This verse categorically denies this type of assertion and warns the people not to indulge in such a false belief. The wicked will be punished.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

To make the social life in this world egalitarian every individual should contribute to the welfare of the human society out of what Allah gives him. The overall effect of this system covers every person in the community.

"The unbelievers are the unjust" implies that injustice is the root of all other wrongs. According to verse 13 of Luqman ascribing partners unto Allah is the greatest injustice.


[Shakir 2:255] Allah is He besides Whom there is no god, the Everliving, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases, His knowledge extends over the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.
[Yusufali 2:255] Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).
[Pickthal 2:255] Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:255]

This verse is known as the ayat ul kursi-the verse of the seat or throne of the almighty, omnipotent and wise authority of Allah. This verse is an ayah of protection. In it is mentioned all that we the mortals can ever know about Allah.

"Allah is He beside whom there is no god" - please refer to the commentary of verse 1 of al Fatihah for the word "Allah".

Not only the denial of false gods, but also the belief in the absolute unity of Allah without any complexity of any kind, in any sense, in His ever-living and self-subsisting supreme being, is the first and the foremost doctrine of Islam. Complexity suggests an interdependence among the components which means the "whole" depends upon the performance of the components. All the prophets of Allah, before the Holy Prophet, also preached the unity of Allah, but the perfect unity made known through the Holy Prophet could not be presented to the people of earlier times because their intellect and perception had not developed enough to understand the ever-living and self-subsisting being of Allah. The following words, spoken by Isa, are quoted as an example:

There is still much that I could say to you, but the burden would be too great for you now. However, when he comes who is the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears; and he will make known to you the things that are coming. (John 16: 12 and 13).

Every prophet of Allah preached the unity of Allah. The idea of trinity was not given by Isa. It is an after-thought of the Christian church. Please read the following quotations from the Old and the New Testaments.

Old Testament:

God spoke, and these were His words:

"I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

You shall have no other god to set against me.

You shall not make a carved image for yourself nor the likeness of anything in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth". (Exodus 20: I to 4).

Hear O Israel, the Lord is our Lord, One Lord. (Deut 6: 4)

"I am the Lord, the Lord is my name; I will not give my glory to another god, nor my praise to any idol." (Isaiah 42: 8)

Thus says the Lord, Israel's king, the Lord of hosts, his ransomer:

"I am the first and I am the last, and there is no god but me." (Isaiah 44: 6)

"I am the Lord, there is no other; there is no god beside me."

"I am the Lord, there is no other."

"There is no god but Me; there is no god other than 1."

"I am God, there is no other." (Isaiah 45: 5, 18, 21, 22).

"I am God, there is no other." (Isaiah 46: 9)

"I am He; I am the first, I am the last also. (Isaiah 48: 12)

New Testament:

A false god has no existence in the real world.

There is no god but one.

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all beings comes. (1 Corinthians 8: 4 and 6)

One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. (Ephesians 4: 5 and 6).

Prophet after prophet came and awakened man step by step and degree by degree. Finally the Holy Prophet, the brightest light, was sent to expose and explain the ultimate truth, as promised by Allah, to enlighten the human mind and heart with the knowledge through which man can become aware of the Lord God, but comprehends only what his power of contemplation can bear.

It is reported that there are three kinds of existence;

(1) WAJIB UL WUJUD

The self-existing existence. The primal cause. There can never be any effect without a cause. The universe, therefore, was created by the self-existing creator, the primal cause.

(2) MUMKIN UL WUJUD

The creatures or created beings whose creation is possible only if the creator so wills.

(3) MUMTANI UL WUJUD

The impossible existence. The existence of another being like Allah is not possible because there cannot be two equals in the sense of oneness. If there are two equals in this sense, then there is no meaning in their being two, separated from each other. They must be one. If there are two such beings then there must be a dividing factor which makes the two as two and maintains their two separate entities, in which case the dividing factor will be the wajib ul wujud, therefore, such an existence is neither possible nor real.

Wajib ul wujud, therefore, means the self-existing existence of the ever-living and self-subsisting creator. To maintain His self-existing existence He must be an omnipotent authority who not only owns absolute knowledge of the existence but also the will that does what it wills. His control is absolute. His attributes are His self, inseparable from Him from any point of view or in any imaginable meaning or sense, as the meaning is inseparable from a word or as equiangularity is inseparable from an equilateral triangle. As the limited knowledge of the finite being cannot conceive of anything without referring to its attributes, we give names to the attributes of Allah, with the help of our visualisation, to have a suggestive idea of His absolute existence. Therefore, the Shia school holds it as a cardinal doctrine of faith not to think of any of His attributes as a separate entity from His existence. All the attributes of Allah are one absolute unity, because, if they are not, then it would mean complexity, which negates the absolute independence of the omnipotent authority. His existence means His authority, His authority means His knowledge, and likewise all His attributes are so linked together that they are one indivisible unity. Allah is a transcendental reality. He is unknowable. He is an infinite being, beyond the conceivability of our finite consciousness. He is inconceivable. He is hayyul qayyum, the ever-living, the self-subsisting (Ali Imran: 2; Ta Ha: 111, Mumin: 65).

Imam Ali says:

O He!

O He whom none knows what He is,

nor how He is,

nor where He is,

nor in what respect He is;

except He. (Dua al-Mashlul)

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Qayyum is a magnified form of the adjective qayam - standing, lasting, enduring. It implies He who stands by Himself, and all others stand because of His (eternal) endurance. His relation to His creatures is like the source of light to the rays of the light, or like the mind to the concepts, not like the relation of an architect or a builder to a construction he builds. It is exactly as Ali ibna abi Talib has said-"Every thing stands by means of Him". He is the self-subsisting everlasting, therefore, He is the first and the last, and the apparent and the hidden (Hadid: 2 and 3); and He is the knower of all things, and He is with everything but is not computed with anything (Mujadilah : 7; Ma-idah: 73).

While trying to visualise His attributes, it is necessary not to be misled by the finite inferences. His activity does not at all mean movement to perform an act by employing energy as we do. Awareness of His attributes, based upon reason and contemplation, may appear pure and perfect to us, but, in fact, it remains a shadow of the reality which transcends all faculties of comprehension.

"Slumber does not overtake Him", means that He is not influenced by any change whatsoever. He is beyond time and states, for He encompasses time and all states. He is the ever vigilant, or the true and perfect vigilance itself.

"Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His" means that He is the creator of matter. If the "matter" is not created by Allah, and is said to be eternally existing as He is, then He is only a fashioner of things out of matter, in which case nothing belongs to Him. There is no propriety in this conjecture. It is unreasonable to say that there are two independent eternal equals. If matter is accepted as an independent and uncreated eternal, then Allah, to prove His existence, will need the matter to carry out His creative plan, otherwise the matter will remain idle. There is no meaning in the idea of two eternal equals, separated from each other. They must be one. If there are two such beings, then there must be a dividing factor which makes the two as two and maintains their two separate entities, in which case the dividing factor, superior in will and authority will be the ever-existing supreme being.

"Who can intercede with Him, except by His permission?" implies that though Allah is the almighty and the absolute sovereign but as He is also the merciful, the compassionate, He has given permission to "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad", the thoroughly purified, to intercede on behalf of the sinners. The issue of intercession has been dealt with in detail in the commentary of verse 48 of this surah. Please refer to it.

"He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases", means Allah's omniscience. The finite beings cannot hide anything from Allah. They cannot comprehend anything except what He pleases, no matter whatever knowledge and intelligence they possess. The facts which are unknown or unknowable to the finite beings are known to the infinite. Allah's knowledge is infinite and absolute. He is the knowing who knows ahead and in advance (in term of time and space) the origin and causality of knowledge. Although the ordinary human beings do not perceive that which is known to Allah only, but those who have been endowed with the divine knowledge are aware of the secrets of the universe.

In "His kursi (seat of authority and knowledge) extends over the heavens and the earth", although kursi literally means "chair", like arsh (used in other verses of the Quran) means "throne", but both these words have been used metaphorically. They refer to the divine knowledge and authority of the supreme, almighty and sovereign Allah, in relation to all that which has been created by Him. His "relation" with His creation, in time and space, remains unconditionally unaffected. His control over everything, created by Him, is perfect, complete and absolute. There is no limitation to the infinity of His existence, because the ever-existing existence is only His and it is He who gives existence to whom He wills. When we say "He is here, there and everywhere", we only make use of our limited and inadequate ability to understand and express His absolute infinity. He is the creator of time and space, therefore, His infinite existence cannot be conceived by the help of the knowledge derived from the system based upon experience and induction.

According to the Ahl ul Bayt kursi or arsh, not connected with any kind of matter, is the manifestation of His knowledge and authority in relation to all that which has been created. It includes all the heavens and the earth. Arsh refers to Allah's hold and sway over all creation. In other words, the creation as a whole is the kursi or the throne of Allah from which all His divine attributes of knowledge, wisdom, might and glory manifest.

"And the preservation of them does not tire Him" means the creation, as a whole, is sustained by Him, and its continued existence is maintained by Him. The laws (created by Him), governing the operation of creation, produce fatigue, therefore, He is independent of such laws. His absolute existence is eternal and everlasting.

"He is the most high, the great", according to the Holy Prophet, is one of the most important verses of the Quran, which deals with the unity of Allah, His attributes, His relation to His creatures, the position of man in the order of creation, his instinctive desire to turn unto Him, his means of salvation and the ultimate reward and punishment.

In order to prevent the total seizure of mind and heart by the greatness of the kursi, mentioned in this verse, it is made clear in the end that Allah alone is the most high, the greatest.


[Shakir 2:256] There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:256] Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:256] There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:256]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse states a psychological fact that the submissive attitude of the mind and heart towards any sacred object cannot be obtained by force or compulsion, therefore, only a clear view of the sacred generates the spontaneous conviction to adopt the right and reject the wrong. It is not an imperative but an indicative statement. There is no room for considering this verse as having been abrogated by any other verse dealing with jihad. This verse also asserts that after the right way has become clearly distinct from error, man must reject the false gods and believe in Allah.

This verse confirms that which has been said, in detail, in the commentary of verses 190 to 193 of this surah, about the false accusation by the European historians that the Holy Prophet used the sword to preach Islam.

Sir Edward Dennison Ross says:

"For many centuries the acquaintance which the majority of Europeans possessed of Muhammadanism was based almost entirely on distorted reports of fanatical Christians which led to the dissemination of a multitude of gross calumnies. What was good in Muhammadanism was entirely ignored, and what was not good, in the eyes of Europe, was exaggerated or misinterpreted. It must not, however, be forgotten that the central doctrine preached by Muhammad to his contemporaries in Arabia, who worshipped the stars; to the Persians who acknowledged Ormuz and Ahriman; the lndians, who worshipped idols; and the Turks, who had no particular worship, was the unity of God, and that the simplicity of his creed was probably a more potent factor in the spread of Islam than the sword of the ghazis".

Even William Muir, the worst enemy of Islam, in the following passage, admits that:

It is strongly corroborative of Muhammad's sincerity that the earliest converts to Islam were not only of upright character, but his own bosom friends and people of his household; intimately acquainted with his private life, who could not fail otherwise to have detected those discrepancies which ever more or less exist between the professions of the hypocritical deceiver abroad and his actions at home."

Through this verse peace, love and mutual understanding have been prescribed for the Muslims. Also refer to verse 125 of Bani Israil. There is no need for compulsion in religion because verse 2 of al Dahr says: "Verily, we have shown him (man) the (right) way; (whether) he be grateful or disbelieving (ungrateful)!"

Taghut (the devil) means the inordinate, the rebel, the wrongdoer, the strayer, like Shaytan. The word taghut, in this verse, implies all the devilish tendencies and activities which mislead the people. The first step towards genuine belief in Allah is the rejection of the devil.

In other words hatred of the wicked (tabarra) takes precedence over the love of Allah and His chosen friends (tawalla). It is essential to clean the heart and the mind from the disturbing influence of falsehood and then expose them to the reflection of truth, otherwise conflicting impressions will create confusion and distort the beauty of the beloved. See verse 6 of al Ma-idah.

Urwatil wuthqa means a strong rope - the firmest handhold. According to Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir, a true faithful, in order to remain attached with Allah and enjoy genuine godliness, must seek attachment with the thoroughly purified Ahlul Bayt (Allah's chosen friends) and love them (as ordained in verse 23 of al Shura). Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has said that the firmest handhold means having complete faith (trust) in Allah. The Holy Prophet has declared that every faithful must hold fast the rope of Allah, Ali, because he, who remains attached with Ali, will never go astray. Ali is the ideal of the true faith in Allah. The true mode and manner of the faith is perfectly integrated in the divinely commissioned successors to the Holy Prophet - Ali and the holy Imams of the Ahlul Bayt, therefore, tawalla (love of Allah and Muhammad and Ali Muhammad) has been prescribed as one of the articles of the furu ud din.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

It is clearly indicated that faith consists of two fundamental factors:

(1) The negation of what is against the legislative will of Allah - tabarra.

(2) Belief in Allah and whatever He wills and commands - tawalla.

Be averse to the wicked and be good to the virtuous. Be with the flowers as a flower and be far away from the thorns.




[Shakir 2:257] Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light; and (as to) those who disbelieve, their guardians are Shaitans who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.
[Yusufali 2:257] Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (For ever).
[Pickthal 2:257] Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:257]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Wali literally means "be close to or stand immediately by" - a nearness or contact between two objects without any intermediary. It is used to refer to such closeness as exists between brothers, friends, neighbours and helpers. A master is also called wali because of his hold over his slaves - the hold brings the slave close to the master. Any one who exercises authority becomes a wali of those over whom the authority is exercised; therefore, a guardian, an administrator or a ruler is also called wali. Here, it means that Allah is the nearest authority over the faithful; and the false gods the authorities over those who disbelieve, and who push them into hell for ever.

Nur means the light of the faith or the true awareness about Allah and firm conviction in His authority.

Zulumat means the darkness of the disbelief in Allah or the ignorance and uncertainty about Allah.

See verses 35 and 36 of Ibrahim.


[Shakir 2:258] Have you not considered him (Namrud) who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim said: My Lord is He who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim said: So surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west; thus he who disbelieved was confounded; and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people.
[Yusufali 2:258] Hast thou not Turned thy vision to one who disputed with Abraham About his Lord, because Allah had granted him power? Abraham said: "My Lord is He Who Giveth life and death." He said: "I give life and death". Said Abraham: "But it is Allah that causeth the sun to rise from the east: Do thou then cause him to rise from the West." Thus was he confounded who (in arrogance) rejected faith. Nor doth Allah Give guidance to a people unjust.
[Pickthal 2:258] Bethink thee of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He Who giveth life and causeth death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causeth the sun to rise in the East, so do thou cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:258]

Idol-worshippers, in ancient times, revered their kings as the representatives of God. Nimrud, in the days of prophet Ibrahim, claimed divinity. Boastful of his temporal power, he disputed with Ibrahim about the authority of the prophethood bestowed upon him by Allah, since Ibrahim's authority clashed with his absolute sway over the people, whose lives, he argued, depended on his decision; he could kill them at any time or let them live. Ibrahim rendered his argument null and void by pointing out his helplessness against the divine forces working in nature. Although there was no reply, yet Nimrud, an obstinate disbeliever, could not draw advantage from this clear guidance. The Ahmadi commentator says that ata does not mean "gave"; it means "promised". It is about the grant of kingdom to Ibrahim, in this verse, as well as in verse 54 of al Nisa. Even if it is taken as "promised", then Allah is the best fulfiller of promise. All His promises are fulfilled. To say that Allah's promise made with Ibrahim was a bogus and false undertaking is certainly kufr (disbelief in Allah).

"I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land to occupy", says Genesis 15: 7; and the Quran repeats it in this verse.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The personal pronoun of the third person singular in the objective case hu may refer to Ibrahim, and the mulk means kingdom, the spiritual as well as rightful (see verse 54 of al Nisa); and if it refers to Nimrud then the mulk would mean temporal and actual though not rightful. However, the meaning and application of this verse remains the same as explained above.


[Shakir 2:259] Or the like of him (Uzair) who passed by a town, and it had fallen down upon its roofs; he said: When will Allah give it life after its death? So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him to life. He said: How long have you tarried? He said: I have tarried a day, or a part of a day. Said He: Nay! you have tarried a hundred years; then look at your food and drink-- years have not passed over it; and look at your ass; and that We may make you a sign to men, and look at the bones, how We set them together, then clothed them with flesh; so when it became clear to him, he said: I know that Allah has power over all things.
[Yusufali 2:259] Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" but Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: (Perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: And that We may make of thee a sign unto the people, Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things."
[Pickthal 2:259] Or (bethink thee of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death? And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life. He said: How long hast thou tarried? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but thou hast tarried for a hundred years. Just look at thy food and drink which have not rotted! Look at thine ass! And, that We may make thee a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is Able to do all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:259]

Wherever "giving life after death" is used in Quran, the Ahmadi commentator and his like say that it is a metaphorical reference to the revival of the stagnant nations, because the Ahmadis are averse to the fact that Allah and His chosen friends are able to cause miracles. To them the death and revivification of prophet Uzayr, referred to in this verse, was only a vision, not an actual happening. Since their self-made prophet was unable to work any miracle, the Ahmadis have decided not to accept the agency of miracles at all. To show their point of view as the only truth, the Ahmadi commentator says: "it appears that" and then quotes the events connected with Ezekiel from chapter 37 of Ezekiel and misinterprets them to serve his perverted ideas, although there is nothing in common in the event referred to in this verse and the events mentioned in the above noted chapter of the Old Testament. It is not Ezekiel but Ezra (Uzayr) who is referred to in this verse. It refers to the death and revivification of Uzayr and his donkey, whilst the events in chapter 37 of Ezekiel refer to the revival of a town. It was prophet Uzayr who, like Ibrahim in the next verse, prayed and asked Allah to show him how the dead are brought back to life again.

The true account of the events that took place is given below:

Nebuchadnezzar conquered and destroyed Jerusalem. The corpses of the inhabitants were left to be eaten by the wild beasts and birds of prey. When prophet Uzayr passed by the ruins of the city, he wondered if the people whose desiccated bones were lying on the ground could ever be brought to life again so as to rebuild the devastated town? So Allah caused him and his donkey to die. After seventy years, Cyrus gave permission to rebuild Jerusalem. Within thirty years Jerusalem was an active city again. When Uzayr died, it was morning. After hundred years he was brought to life again. The sun had not yet set. "How long have you tarried?" the angel, who was sent to meet Uzayr, asked him.

I have tarried a day, or part of a day," he replied.

No! You have tarried a hundred years," the angel informed him. He also asked him to look at his food and drink in his bag. It was as fresh as it was a hundred years ago. He looked at his donkey. There were only its bones lying beside him. As he was looking at his donkey, its scattered bones were joined together and it stood before him, alive and breathing. The purpose of this miracle was to make prophet Uzayr an instructive example to those who either do not know how the dead will be brought to life again on the day of resurrection, or who disbelieve in Allah's warning. So when it became clear to Uzayr, he said: "I know that Allah has power over all things."

At home he found his son, born after his departure, one hundred years old; his young maid one hundred and twenty years old, and all his grandchildren older than him. They looked at the fifty year old Uzayr and wondered. Uzayr became a living sign of Allah's omnipotence.


[Shakir 2:260] And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: What! and do you not believe? He said: Yes, but that my heart may be at ease. He said: Then take four of the birds, then train them to follow you, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them, they will come to you flying; and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Yusufali 2:260] When Abraham said: "Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead, " He replied: "Have you no faith?" He said "Yes, but just to reassure my heart." Allah said, "Take four birds, draw them to you, and cut their bodies to pieces. Scatter them over the mountain-tops, then call them back. They will come swiftly to you. Know that Allah is Mighty, Wise."
[Pickthal 2:260] And when Abraham said (unto his Lord): My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my heart may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste, and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:260]

The words of this verse are very clear. Ibrahim asked Allah to show him how Allah gives life to the dead, so that his heart may be at ease. It is narrated that as directed by Allah, Ibrahim took a pigeon, a peacock, a cock and a crow, cut them into very small pieces, mixed them together and put portions of the mixture on the top of four separate mountains, and then called out to them; they came flying to him as individual birds. It became clear to Ibrahim that Allah does what He wills because He is mighty, wise.

The Ahmadi commentator wrongly refers to ''Abraham said: O Lord God, how can I be sure that I shall occupy it?" (Genesis 15 : 8). He does it to lower the status of Ibrahim, a true prophet of Allah, by saying that Ibrahim had asked Allah about a factor which any ordinary man of common sense knows without receiving information from anyone. Genesis 15: 8 refers to Ibrahim's prayer about the kingdom Allah promised to give him, whereas this verse refers to Ibrahim's request to show him how the dead will be brought to life again. When his arguments lead him to a dead end, the Ahmadi commentator presumes that this verse has been tampered with, because he cannot prove that this verse refers to the promise that the land of Canaan will be given to Ibrahim, although he gives irrelevant references from the Bible.

Some spiritualists say that the slaying of the four kinds of birds is meaningful for those who aspire for a spiritual life.

(1) The pigeon stands for social life - the love for family, friends and associates, which must be sacrificed.

(2) The cock stands for animal passion which must be killed.

(3) The crow stands for greed which must be destroyed.

(4) The peacock stands for worldly adornment which must be smothered.

When all the above four desires are crushed, the soul merits the bliss of the eternal life.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says;

"Allah gives life and causes to die, and then He gives life to the dead", mentioned in verses 258, 259 and 260, makes clear the power and authority of almighty Allah, but to deny the miracles associated with the prophets of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator and others like him rely on conjecture to find out metaphorical parallels, as if they are aware of all that is possible or impossible, and the laws governing the operation of creation.

Of such a claim, verse 51 of al Kahf says:

"I made them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor at the creation of themselves, nor am I He who chooses those who lead (the people) astray, (as My) helpers."

In the following two Persian lyrics, life on earth in relation to heavenly existence has been meaningfully described.

(1) What does the mosquito know from where came the garden and how it grew. It is born in the spring and dies in the autumn.

(2) The heavenly existence addresses life on earth:

"For us, a century of years is only a breath,

an ocean of yours a moisture,

we only see and move on."

The terms life and death can be applied, in the physical sense, to a man or any other creature, a group of men or a nation. It can also be applied to a man's or a nation's spiritual rise and fall, with reference to knowledge or faith or any accomplishment. In both the meanings it may take place in its usual or natural course, known to us, or it may take place on account of an unusual course. not known to or unknowable to us. Whatever takes place is an effect of Allah's will.

Though many a commentator says that these verses refer to Ibrahim and the Israelite prophets. yet the Jews and the Christians of today may not accept their conclusions, based upon the references to the Old and the New Testaments, as likely and reliable. The Shia commentators rely on the reports and opinions of the Ahl ul Bayt whose source of information is the Holy Prophet whom Allah Himself gave the wisdom and knowledge of all creation directly. The ideas, theories and events presented by the scholars of the highest calibre, by referring to the Old or the New Testament or any other book, cannot be accepted if these do not agree with the Quran or the explanation or interpretation given by the holy Imams.


[Shakir 2:261] The parable of those who spend their property in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears (with) a hundred grains in every ear; and Allah multiplies for whom He pleases; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing
[Yusufali 2:261] The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear Hath a hundred grains. Allah giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:261] The likeness of those who spend their wealth in Allah's way is as the likeness of a grain which groweth seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah giveth increase manifold to whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:261]

"Giving out" is the means to collect more. In the habits of Arabic speech, the number seven often implies its multiples, or great numbers. Please refer to the commentary of verses 3, 195 215 and 254 of this surah. Whatever is spent in the way of Allah, out of that which Allah gives, will be returned repeatedly, added and amplified, in this world and in the hereafter, provided the conditions mentioned in the next two verses are fulfilled .


[Shakir 2:262] (As for) those who spend their property in the way of Allah, then do not follow up what they have spent with reproach or injury, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 2:262] Those who spend their substance in the cause of Allah, and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury,-for them their reward is with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:262] Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent; their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:262]

True spending or giving should have no strings attached - it should be done in the way of Allah. Spending in the way of Allah grows the means of the spender manifold, provided he does not make it known, or cause harm by following it up with reproach - mannan meaning to give expression to the good done or reminding one of the favours done to him as a reproach, and azan meaning harm or inflicting a slightest injury. Even a mention of any favour may put the concerned person to shame or humiliation in the eyes of others.

Imam Husayn bin Ali used to give alms from behind the door, so that the needy might not feel ashamed and humiliated. His son, Imam Ali bin Husayn, used to kiss the hand of the needy before giving anything in charity, because, according to verse 104 of al Tawbah, it is Allah who takes the alms.


[Shakir 2:263] Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury; and Allah is Self-sufficient, Forbearing.
[Yusufali 2:263] Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing.
[Pickthal 2:263] A kind word with forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. Allah is Absolute, Clement.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:263]

Qawlun ma-ruf - kind speech and forgiveness, refers to forbearance if the seeker of help makes unreasonable demands. Spending in the way of Allah is a means of purification. If it causes injury, it will add impurity. If you are a lover of the forbearing, you will imitate His attribute. On no account must you show any sign of anger or irritation at the poor man's importunity.

It is mentioned in the Minhajus Sadiqin that when Imam Ali ibna abi Talib asked Prophet Khizr to say something good, Khizr said:

"To give in the way of Allah to please Allah is the best charity."

"Do you know that which is better than this?" Ali asked him.

"No", Khizr replied.

Ali said: "The self-respect of the poor, who depends on Allah, is better than the charity the wealthy give to the needy."

Khizr observed that Ali's opinion should be written in gold. Spending in the way of Allah is a social commitment, which generates love among the people and promotes brotherhood.


[Shakir 2:264] O you who believe! do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury, like him who spends his property to be seen of men and does not believe in Allah and the last day; so his parable is as the parable of a smooth rock with earth upon it, then a heavy rain falls upon it, so it leaves it bare; they shall not be able to gain anything of what they have earned; and Allah does not guide the unbelieving people.
[Yusufali 2:264] O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject faith.
[Pickthal 2:264] O ye who believe! Render not vain your almsgiving by reproach and injury, like him who spendeth his wealth only to be seen of men and believeth not in Allah and the Last Day. His likeness is as the likeness of a rock whereon is dust of earth; a rainstorm smiteth it, leaving it smooth and bare. They have no control of aught of that which they have gained. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:264]

Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says that he who has wealth but does not show off, or he who has the power to avenge but forgives, or he who gives good counsel even to his enemy, or he who spends in the way of Allah with no strings attached, without making it known, is the true hero.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

To attach strings to charity, or to make it known, or to reproach the overly solicitous seeker of help, is an exercise in futility and renders the charity useless.

While giving Zakat and sadqa, one positively lays claim to the act of goodness done in obedience to Allah, but salat is an act of devotion which implies self-denial; the devotee is engrossed in the greatness of the absolute. Sublime was the devotee, Ali ibna abi Talib, who performed these two different acts at the same time - prayed as well as spent in the way of Allah, and, therefore, was declared to be the wali of the faithful along with Allah and His messenger, in verse 55 of al Ma-idah.

We are barren like rocks. To be fertile and of benefit to ourselves and to others, we must cover ourselves with the moist earth of ihsan (giving more than what one deserves). If we cause harm or injury, it is as if the fertile soil was washed off, leaving us once again barren.


[Shakir 2:265] And the parable of those who spend their property to seek the pleasure of Allah and for the certainty 'of their souls is as the parable of a garden on an elevated ground, upon which heavy rain falls so it brings forth its fruit twofold but if heavy rain does not fall upon it, then light rain (is sufficient); and Allah sees what you do.
[Yusufali 2:265] And the likeness of those who spend their substance, seeking to please Allah and to strengthen their souls, is as a garden, high and fertile: heavy rain falls on it but makes it yield a double increase of harvest, and if it receives not Heavy rain, light moisture sufficeth it. Allah seeth well whatever ye do.
[Pickthal 2:265] And the likeness of those who spend their wealth in search of Allah's pleasure, and for the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a height. The rainstorm smiteth it and it bringeth forth its fruit twofold. And if the rainstorm smite it not, then the shower. Allah is Seer of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:265]

Spending and giving of what one wants to keep, benefits man twice over; it speeds up the process of inner purification as well as promotes the welfare of the human society. Islam lays special stress on the spending in the way of Allah because it is a universal religion, perfected and completed by Allah who has prescribed mercy for Himself in verses 12 and 54 of al An-am. Islam, when translated into action, takes the form of salat, Zakat and sadqa. And faith, unless proved by actions, is a bogus claim. Neither Allah accepts it nor His servants give it any importance.

If the spirit or the intention behind the spending is to seek pleasure of Allah, then. if the means are large the corresponding spending will also be substantial and big-hearted and if the means are moderate, even then the spending will be sufficient. When heavy rain falls the tall trees of a garden bring forth their fruit twofold, but even light rain is sufficient, because rooted very deep, they draw adequate nutrition from the soil.

In the days of the Holy Prophet, the early Muslims lived in a hostile environment. It was a period of test and trial. The overwhelming forces of falsehood made their lives a bed of thorns, their relentless persecution hunted them, therefore, in the face of the preponderant danger to their lives and property, they had to sacrifice whatever they owned, lives as well as possessions, whenever either or both of them were needed. Under such circumstances the minimum sacrifice deserves maximum reward.

This verse assures the sincere believers in particular and other members of the human society in general that every act of virtue has its own energy to make both the lives (here and hereafter) meaningful and rewarding, even if there were no external agents to nourish them.


[Shakir 2:266] Does one of you like that he should have a garden of palms and vines with streams flowing beneath it; he has in it all kinds of fruits; and old age has overtaken him and he has weak offspring, when, (lo!) a whirlwind with fire in it smites it so it becomes blasted; thus Allah makes the communications clear to you, that you may reflect.
[Yusufali 2:266] Does any of you wish that he should have a garden with date-palms and vines and streams flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruit, while he is stricken with old age, and his children are not strong (enough to look after themselves)- that it should be caught in a whirlwind, with fire therein, and be burnt up? Thus doth Allah make clear to you (His) Signs; that ye may consider.
[Pickthal 2:266] Would any of you like to have a garden of palm-trees and vines, with rivers flowing underneath it, with all kinds of fruit for him therein; and old age hath stricken him and he hath feeble offspring; and a fiery whirlwind striketh it and it is (all) consumed by fire. Thus Allah maketh plain His revelations unto you, in order that ye may give thought.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:266]

Islam prescribes spending in the way of Allah, but does not treat it as a tax to be collected by the government. It is a moral responsibility to carry out the religious duty. It develops conscientiousness to observe the obligations prescribed by religion voluntarily to our utmost feasibility.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

It is a warning to those who do good, but render it null and void by doing bad deeds by and by. Man is always in need of quick recompense from Allah in the shape of His bounties, therefore, it is downright stupidity to let the good deeds go waste. If one does not guard one's good actions, they will be wiped out.


[Shakir 2:267] O you who believe! spend (benevolently) of the good things that you earn and or what We have brought forth for you out of the earth, and do not aim at what is bad that you may spend (in alms) of it, while you would not take it yourselves unless you have its price lowered, and know that Allah is Self-sufficient, Praiseworthy.
[Yusufali 2:267] O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honourably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of all wants, and worthy of all praise.
[Pickthal 2:267] O ye who believe! Spend of the good things which ye have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad (with intent) to spend thereof (in charity) when ye would not take it for yourselves save with disdain; and know that Allah is Absolute, Owner of Praise.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:267]

This verse is a summation of the preceding verses from 261 to 266. The priority in life is to spend in the way of Allah of the good things that we earn and possess, and of what Allah has given us out of the earth; and not to give that which we reject as bad, because we ourselves would not take it unless its price is lowered, therefore, in verse 92 of Ali Imran we are reminded:

You will not attain unto piety until you spend of that which you love.

The rich are warned not to give their rejected and unwanted things as charity to the poor.


[Shakir 2:268] Shaitan threatens you with poverty and enjoins you to be niggardly, and Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and abundance; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.
[Yusufali 2:268] The Evil one threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promiseth you His forgiveness and bounties. And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.
[Pickthal 2:268] The devil promiseth you destitution and enjoineth on you lewdness. But Allah promiseth you forgiveness from Himself with bounty. Allah is All-Embracing, All-knowing.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:268]

Fahsha literally means indecency. In this verse it means selfishness or close-fistedness which is, in fact, a worst type of indecency. Shaytan frightens us with loss. He rises in us at the time of giving. So those men of large or moderate means who spend freely to enjoy life but fear that they would be short of those things which they give to the needy, and so withhold them, play in the hands of Shaytan.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Miserliness due to the fear of poverty is an indecent tendency prompted by Shaytan who enjoins selfishness upon those who have devilish characteristics, whereas those who are godly in nature always expect grace and abundance from Allah, therefore, give what they receive from Him.


[Shakir 2:269] He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind.
[Yusufali 2:269] He granteth wisdom to whom He pleaseth; and he to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding.
[Pickthal 2:269] He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:269]

Hikmah, not only means intellectual power and ability to apply reason but also implies spiritual perception and command over divine guidance, particularly bestowed by the grace of Allah, to. make right use of knowledge on all occasions. Allah gives permission to fathom the depth of the ocean of wisdom to those who actively seek it from Him with devoted determination.

The highest form of hikmah is revelation revealed to the divinely chosen and the thoroughly purified by the almighty all-wise. Please read verse 33 of al Ahzab with verses 77 to 79 of al Waqi-ah The creator Lord created a group of His chosen representatives, thoroughly purified them, gave them His wisdom, and then commissioned them to guide mankind, in every age and every clime, till eternity. One after another the prophets of Allah came with divine guidance at every stage of development in the human society; and in the end the last messenger of Allah, the Holy Prophet, came with the final message, after which the office of prophethood was terminated. To protect and preserve the revealed truth in its original form, uncorrupted, the merciful Lord, after risalat, established the institution of imamat, and appointed Imams (guide-leaders). Through the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt, the thoroughly purified, the divine guidance will continue to guide the people to the end of this world. Allah has shown him (man) the right way (Dahr: 3), and given him the free choice to identify these rightly guided guides and obtain true guidance, or reject them and go astray.


[Shakir 2:270] And whatever alms you give or (whatever) vow you vow, surely Allah knows it; and the unjust shall have no helpers.
[Yusufali 2:270] And whatever ye spend in charity or devotion, be sure Allah knows it all. But the wrong-doers have no helpers.
[Pickthal 2:270] Whatever alms ye spend or vow ye vow, lo! Allah knoweth it. Wrong-doers have no helpers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:270]

For giving alms refer to the commentary of verses 261 to 268 of this surah.

A nadhr, vow, is a self-directed warning, a reminder of promised action, so that one may be sure of going in the right direction. It is a voluntary undertaking of an act of virtue, binding oneself in gratitude for some special favour prayed for. If one does not constantly give alms and make vows, then one will find his way to loss. The unjust, in this verse, are those who interfere and try to frustrate the undertaking to walk on the right path and block the course of spending in the way of Allah.

"Allah knows it" means He accepts both the good deeds and gives reward.


[Shakir 2:271] If you give alms openly, it is well, and if you hide it and give it to the poor, it is better for you; and this will do away with some of your evil deeds; and Allah is aware of what you do.
[Yusufali 2:271] If ye disclose (acts of) charity, even so it is well, but if ye conceal them, and make them reach those (really) in need, that is best for you: It will remove from you some of your (stains of) evil. And Allah is well acquainted with what ye do.
[Pickthal 2:271] If ye publish your almsgiving, it is well, but if ye hide it and give it to the poor, it will be better for you, and will atone for some of your ill-deeds. Allah is Informed of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:271]

It is well if one gives alms openly to set an example for others to follow suit. Extra and hidden giving in compliance with the Holy Prophet's advice "one hand knows not what the other gives", is more noble because it protects from the danger of vanity. This verse sanctions both the modes of spending in the way of Allah - open and secret, because Allah is aware of the intentions and the motives of the givers. He gives in return an appropriate recompense in both the cases. It is, therefore, presumptuous to say that "if one does some act of charity before men, no reward awaits him in his Father's house in heaven." (Matthew 6: 1).

"And this will do away with some of your evil deeds" indicates that there are some good deeds, like spending in the way of Allah, which earn forgiveness from the Lord for the sins so far committed.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says:

Hidden charity appeases the wrath of Allah, does away with the sins as the water puts out the fire, and keeps away several misfortunes.

The Holy Prophet has said:

Seven persons shall be allowed to take refuge with Allah when there will be no other refuge.

(1) He who rules justly and judges impartially.

(2) He who grows up in a virtuous family as an embodiment of virtue.

(3) He who remains attached with the place of worship of Allah, and loves and helps the worshippers.

(4) He who loves people, and hates the evildoers in order to promote the cause of Allah.

(5) He who says: "I fear the Lord" whenever a beautiful woman incites him to do that which is forbidden.

(6) He who gives charity in secret by one hand, not letting the other know it.

(7) He who prays in secret and sheds tears in fearful awareness of the Lord.


[Shakir 2:272] To make them walk in the right way is not incumbent on you, but Allah guides aright whom He pleases; and whatever good thing you spend, it is to your own good; and you do not spend but to seek Allah's pleasure; and whatever good things you spend shall be paid back to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
[Yusufali 2:272] It is not required of thee (O Messenger), to set them on the right path, but Allah sets on the right path whom He pleaseth. Whatever of good ye give benefits your own souls, and ye shall only do so seeking the "Face" of Allah. Whatever good ye give, shall be rendered back to you, and ye shall not Be dealt with unjustly.
[Pickthal 2:272] The guiding of them is not thy duty (O Muhammad), but Allah guideth whom He will. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, it is for yourselves, when ye spend not save in search of Allah's Countenance; and whatsoever good thing ye spend, it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:272]

The general policy of Islamic ideology is to give freedom of choice to the individual, therefore, Allah, through His messenger, makes it clear that no one should compel any one to walk on the right path. Whatever we spend, to seek the pleasure of Allah, works out our own good - the common welfare of the society. So, a portion of Zakat and khums has to be spent, under the directions of a mujtahid, for the general benefit of the community. It is recommended that to bring the infidels from the darkness of ignorance into the light of faith, charity may also be given to them.

We spend in the way of Allah to benefit ourselves, because whatever we spend is paid back to us in full.


[Shakir 2:273] (Alms are) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah-- they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging); you can recognise them by their mark; they do not beg from men importunately; and whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah knows it.
[Yusufali 2:273] (Charity is) for those in need, who, in Allah's cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work): the ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shalt know them by their (Unfailing) mark: They beg not importunately from all the sundry. And whatever of good ye give, be assured Allah knoweth it well.
[Pickthal 2:273] (Alms are) for the poor who are straitened for the cause of Allah, who cannot travel in the land (for trade). The unthinking man accounteth them wealthy because of their restraint. Thou shalt know them by their mark: They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatsoever good thing ye spend, lo! Allah knoweth it.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:273]

Alms should be given to those who are devotedly absorbed in the service of Allah. We can recognise them by the light of contentment and positive acceptance of their mission on their faces. They do not solicit charity, but live from hand to mouth. By stating that only those poor who abstain from begging deserve charity, this verse, indirectly, condemns professional beggary.

"Go about in the land" means seeking sustenance for the family.


[Shakir 2:274] (As for) those who spend their property by night and by day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 2:274] Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:274] Those who spend their wealth by night and day, by stealth and openly, verily their reward is with their Lord, and their shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:274]

Jalaluddin Suyuti writes in Durr ul Manthur (and all the Sunni scholars agree) that this verse was revealed in-praise of Ali to glorify his giving of four dirhams in the way of Allah - one by night, one by day, one secretly and one openly. Ibrahim bin Salih, Muhammad bin Salih, Yusuf bin Bilal, Muhammad bin Harun and Ibna Abbas report the Holy Prophet's saying that this verse was revealed to him in praise of Ali. Ali informed the Holy Prophet that he had only four dirhams with him and he gave all of them in the way of Allah to seek His pleasure, and he was fully satisfied to know that Allah had accepted his spending.


[Shakir 2:275] Those who swallow down usury cannot arise except as one whom Shaitan has prostrated by (his) touch does rise. That is because they say, trading is only like usury; and Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury. To whomsoever then the admonition has come from his Lord, then he desists, he shall have what has already passed, and his affair is in the hands of Allah; and whoever returns (to it)-- these arc the inmates of the fire; they shall abide in it.
[Yusufali 2:275] Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge); but those who repeat (The offence) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever).
[Pickthal 2:275] Those who swallow usury cannot rise up save as he ariseth whom the devil hath prostrated by (his) touch. That is because they say: Trade is just like usury; whereas Allah permitteth trading and forbiddeth usury. He unto whom an admonition from his Lord cometh, and (he) refraineth (in obedience thereto), he shall keep (the profits of) that which is past, and his affair (henceforth) is with Allah. As for him who returneth (to usury) - Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:275]

Riba literally means a growth or an addition. The additional amount, collected over and above the capital given as a loan, is interest or usury. It is an abuse or a misuse of the power one holds over the weak or the needy, and therefore, strictly forbidden. Spending in the way of Allah for the welfare of the human society has been prescribed in the preceding verses. With enough means at one's disposal, it is a sin not to part with some of it in order to help the needy. When giving in the way of Allah, as a free gift, under such circumstances, has been prescribed, then those whom Allah has given enough, must at least lend that which is needed by the needy, without charging any additional payment, because practising usury is akin to being confounded by Shaytan, and is tantamount to digging one's own grave. Inherent in a transaction of usury is the element of enslavement and abuse, because a person who is in need of material help cannot pay back more than what he had originally taken; therefore Islam has prohibited usury. In the transaction of usury, both the givers and the takers suffer. The lender, in love of more and more material gains, becomes heartless and selfish. Those who take loans become extravagant and ruin their families. This scenario is diametrically opposed to the very purpose of the religion of Islam - establishment of a fair, kind and welfare-oriented social order. If there is no temptation of usury, material help will be given to only those who are really in need of it.

Trade, on the other hand, is a mutual transaction in which both parties feel satisfied, in which both either hope to gain or run the risk of a loss. If financial help is required for business or trading, a different relationship can be structured between the two parties, such as a partnership or some form of sharing profit and loss.

Those who say usury is only like trading will rise on the day of resurrection in a state of insanity, as those rise whom Shaytan has prostrated by his touch.

The prohibition took effect from the day this verse was revealed. The usury collected by the lenders prior to the promulgation of this prohibition was allowed to be retained by them.

In banking transactions, the directions of the religious jurist {mujtahid-faqih) should be followed to determine bank charges, commission and profit as fixed or as agreed or as actual dividends.


[Shakir 2:276] Allah does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper, and Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner.
[Yusufali 2:276] Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.
[Pickthal 2:276] Allah hath blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful. Allah loveth not the impious and guilty.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:276]

Mahaq means to blot out, to render unfortunate, to withdraw one's blessings from Allah does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper. The act of usury itself lights the fuse of the ultimate destruction of the system that builds, supports and perpetrates it. According to the Holy Prophet, he who upholds usury as permissible is a kafir.

It is generally known among the Muslims that to use the gains obtained from usury is as wicked and as satanic as marrying one's own mother.


[Shakir 2:277] Surely they who believe and do good deeds and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 2:277] Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 2:277] Lo! those who believe and do good works and establish worship and pay the poor-due, their reward is with their Lord and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:277]

Those who believe in Allah, do good deeds, keep up the salat, and pay Zakat will have no fear nor will grieve on the day of judgement. Those who have strayed off this divine path will encounter fear and grief.


[Shakir 2:278] O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and relinquish what remains (due) from usury, if you are believers.
[Yusufali 2:278] O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.
[Pickthal 2:278] O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:278]

Historically, this verse instructs the faithful to stop taking usury on what they have already put into that system, once they have clearly seen its wickedness and satanic touch.


[Shakir 2:279] But if you do (it) not, then be apprised of war from Allah and His Messenger; and if you repent, then you shall have your capital; neither shall you make (the debtor) suffer loss, nor shall you be made to suffer loss.
[Yusufali 2:279] If ye do it not, Take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: But if ye turn back, ye shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly.
[Pickthal 2:279] And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principal (without interest). Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:279]

There is no neutral standing space between good and bad actions. If the faithful do not desist from usury, they will bear the consequences of making war against Allah and His messenger. Fadhanu means "be warned of" a war from Allah and His messenger.

Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says:

The Holy Prophet not only cursed the giver, the receiver, and the consumer of the usury but also condemned those who write and witness the transaction of usury.


[Shakir 2:280] And if (the debtor) is in straitness, then let there be postponement until (he is in) ease; and that you remit (it) as alms is better for you, if you knew.
[Yusufali 2:280] If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.
[Pickthal 2:280] And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (let there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that ye remit the debt as almsgiving would be better for you if ye did but know.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:280]

If the debtor is in crisis, the demand for repayment should be postponed till he is in a better situation. The helpless poor must not be prosecuted and harassed. It is better, in such cases, if one can, to postpone demanding payment forever, because one is only here for a short while.

The Holy Prophet said:

He who grants a respite to his debtor, or gives up a part or the whole of the principal (given to him in cash or kind), will be allowed to take refuge with Allah on the day when there will be no shelter.

During the period of postponement, the repayable debt will be treated as charity given by the lender to the debtor, till it is repaid.

Zarara came to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq and informed him that one of Zarara's debtors was selling his house to repay his debt. The Imam said: "O Zarara! In the name of merciful Lord I direct you not to render him shelterless."

Islam instructs the creditors to give respite and remission to the debtors and warns the debtors not to avoid repayment if they own sufficient means. It is reported that once a corpse was brought into the masjid for the final rites. The Holy Prophet refused to conduct the funeral prayer because the deceased had sufficient means at his disposal but did not repay his debt. Then and there Abu Qatadah paid the full amount on behalf of the deceased, after which the Holy Prophet prayed his funeral prayer. The Holy Prophet made it known that Allah dislikes those who neither repay their debts before death overcome them nor leave behind anything to meet their commitment of repayment on their behalf.


[Shakir 2:281] And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
[Yusufali 2:281] And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to Allah. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.
[Pickthal 2:281] And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:281]

This verse sums up the previous verses about spending in the way of Allah. "Every soul will be paid back in full what it has earned" implies that our life in this world is the sum total of our actions and intentions, therefore, our lives should echo the absolute charity and love of the compassionate merciful. Those who safeguard themselves with full awareness of divine laws and do good, will get back what they have invested here in full on the day of reckoning. Those who oppress, abuse and wrong others shall be punished proportionately to the hurt they have inflicted.


[Shakir 2:282] O you who believe! when you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; and the scribe should not refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so he should write; and let him who owes the debt dictate, and he should be careful of (his duty to) Allah, his Lord, and not diminish anything from it; but if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding, or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness; and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; and the witnesses should not refuse when they are summoned; and be not averse to writing it (whether it is) small or large, with the time of its falling due; this is more equitable in the sight of Allah and assures greater accuracy in testimony, and the nearest (way) that you may not entertain doubts (afterwards), except when it is ready merchandise which you give and take among yourselves from hand to hand, then there is no blame on you in not writing it down; and have witnesses when you barter with one another, and let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness; and if you do (it) then surely it will be a transgression in you, and be careful of (your duty) to Allah, Allah teaches you, and Allah knows all things.
[Yusufali 2:282] O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of Allah, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear Allah; For it is Good that teaches you. And Allah is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, - his heart is tainted with sin. And Allah knoweth all that ye do.
[Pickthal 2:282] O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be not averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no sin for you if ye write it not. And have witnesses when ye sell one to another, and let no harm be done to scribe or witness. If ye do (harm to them) lo! it is a sin in you. Observe your duty to Allah. Allah is teaching you. And Allah is knower of all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:282]

Everything in the religion of Islam points to clarity and certainty. Therefore, all contracts of debt should be recorded. It is incumbent upon a Muslim to act as mediator, witness, or scribe when called upon to do so. All the parties to a contract of debt should safeguard themselves with full awareness of Allah's laws, a reminder which has been repeated twice in this verse, because Allah knows all things and what He teaches us is for our own good in the larger interest of human society. If we do not follow His guidance then surely we transgress. The laws prescribed in this verse develop and maintain a progressive, welfare-oriented, civilised social order.

Every contract of debt should be written down by a scribe with fairness. He who owes the debt should dictate without diminishing anything. If he is unsound or weak in understanding then his guardian should dictate with fairness. Two witnesses should be chosen to witness the written contract. If there are not two men, then one man and two women must be called in to witness, so that if one woman errs, the second may remind the other.

If the transaction is for ready merchandise which is given and taken from hand to hand, then there is no blame on any party in not writing it down.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Refer to fiqh for the details pertaining to the contracts of debt. In this verse Allah teaches us to write down and record the fact so that there may be no dispute in future. The one very important consequence of learning the art of writing is literacy. According to the Quran knowledge or education is the most valuable virtue. According to Tabari, the Holy Prophet, in order to remove illiteracy, asked the literate pagan captives, after the battle of Badr, to teach reading and writing to the Muslims. In return, he set free one pagan if he had taught writing to ten Muslim boys. When the Quran has asked the faithful to record in writing the transactions between individuals to avoid disputes, then it become all the more imperative that the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet, one of the two main sources of Islamic ideology and jurisprudence, should have been faithfully recorded. However on account of political exigency, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, it was not done, lest the fighting spirit of the Arab soldiers be adversely affected if their attention was diverted to intellectual progress. Not only was the writing down of the Holy Prophet's sayings stopped but large libraries in the conquered lands of Egypt and Persia were burned and destroyed in the days of the second caliph on the plea that if those books were in agreement with the Quran, they did not need it, and if they were not, then they deserved destruction (Tabari, Yaquti and others).

As a result of not writing down the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet, a great many disputes surfaced among the Muslims, dividing them in several sects and schools of thought.

At a time when the Muslim ummah was conquering far away lands and bringing in camel-laden booties in the streets of Madina, according to the well-known Muslim historian, Amir Ali, in his book "the Spirit of Islam", Ali was giving lectures in the masjid to spread knowledge, wisdom and intellectual progress, which emerged in full force among the later Saracen race.

It must be noted that it was Ali who advised the second caliph not to destroy the famous library in Alexandria, which was founded by the Greek scholars. Ali and the men attached with the holy house of the Ahl ul Bayt continued to record the traditions of the Holy Prophet in writing. Bukhari refers to a sahifa maintained by Ali which contained the true dictations of the Holy Prophet. According to many historians, Abdullah bin Abu Rafi-i, the freed slave of Imam Ali, had produced a recorded document containing the sayings of the Holy Prophet, narrated by Ali ibna abi Talib.


[Shakir 2:283] And if you are upon a journey and you do not find a scribe, then (there may be) a security taken into possession; but if one of you trusts another, then he who is trusted should deliver his trust, and let him be careful (of his duty to) Allah, his Lord; and do not conceal testimony, and whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful; and Allah knows what you do.
[Yusufali 2:283] If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, Let the trustee (Faithfully) discharge His trust, and let him fear his Lord. Conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it,- His heart is tainted with sin. And Allah Knoweth all that ye do.
[Pickthal 2:283] If ye be on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a pledge in hand (shall suffice). And if one of you entrusteth to another let him who is trusted deliver up that which is entrusted to him (according to the pact between them) and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord. Hide not testimony. He who hideth it, verily his heart is sinful. Allah is Aware of what ye do.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:283]

This verse enjoins to take collateral if a proper document of agreement cannot be written down, and the parties do not trust each other.


[Shakir 2:284] Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's; and whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it; then He will forgive whom He pleases and chastise whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things.
[Yusufali 2:284] To Allah belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth. Whether ye show what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah Calleth you to account for it. He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and punisheth whom He pleaseth, for Allah hath power over all things.
[Pickthal 2:284] Unto Allah (belongeth) whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will bring you to account for it. He will forgive whom He will and He will punish whom He will. Allah is Able to do all things.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:284]

The heavens and the earth, and all that they contain, seen and unseen, material and spiritual, always belong to Allah. He, to whom everything belongs, will take you to account for your transaction with His belongings. Evil thoughts and intentions, even if not translated into actions, are liable to be examined for penalisation.

Say (O Muhammad): Whether you hide that which is in your hearts or manifest it, Allah knows it. He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and Allah has power over all things. (Ali Imran: 29)

Imam Ali says:

Allah requites His servants by that which is in their hearts.

He forgives whomever He wills and punishes whomever He wills. He alone knows who deserves forgiveness, as mentioned in verse 271 of this surah: "and this will do away with some of your evil deeds;" and what type of sins earn definite punishment. It is Allah's will that prevails but never without justice.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says;

"And whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it (intentions and motives), Allah will call you to account according to it"; makes it clear that there is no room for treating this verse as abrogated.

All actions of Allah, including reward and punishment, are the immediate effects of His will. It does not mean that His actions are arbitrary. His justice, wisdom, grace, love and mercy are reflected in His will. There is no contradiction in His attributes which play a very important role in shaping His will. His will follows His wisdom.


[Shakir 2:285] The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course.
[Yusufali 2:285] The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."
[Pickthal 2:285] The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:285]

Please study this verse with reference to the commentary of verse 253 of this surah and verse 55 of Bani Israil.

All the heavenly scriptures are from the creator Lord. There are differences between the prophets but no differentiation. The message is the same: worship Allah, and trust in His all encompassing mercy, as transmitted through His messengers. The true faithful believe in Allah, His messengers, His angels and His books. Please refer to verse 177 of this surah. Islam is a universal religion. (286)

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
Wusat means extent or ability with ease. It implies that Allah expects from you as much as you are able to give with ease, for which you have to go to the extent of your potential. It refutes the doctrine of determinism (jabr). Allah does not ask man to do that which is beyond his capacity, nor He does impose a duty to do that which is difficult for him. "He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship (Al Hajj: 78)" The Holy Prophet has also said:

"I have brought you a very easy religion with a great many facilities."

Kasb and its derivatives have been used in the Quran mostly in the meaning of consequences of action, and sometimes for taking into consideration the inclination to do an act. The determinist school wrongly differentiates between the act and what it earns, by saying that "the act" is done by Allah but man earns its recompense. This school of thought is unable to explain how the act can be separated from its consequences exactly as the Christians cannot make clear the theory of trinity. "Do not lay on us a burden (isr) such as You laid on those before us!" implies that the duties and injunctions for the believers, before the Holy Prophet, were very hard and difficult; and the word isr (burden) also used in verse 157 of al A-raf, carries the undertaking that it will be removed.

Through the prayer mentioned in this verse the supplicant prays for the triumph of truth over falsehood and victory of belief over disbelief, and the suppression of satanic tendencies by godliness. It is a prayer to Allah not to inflict on us situations that may result in us committing misdeeds, and to acknowledge our limitations as we expect it from our Lord, provided we work at our maximum capacity, as expected from us; and to rejuvenate us by wiping clean all traces of errors and mistakes; and have mercy on us through pardon (afwu).

Those who believe in the oneness (Tawhid) of Allah expect from their Lord protection, mercy, guardianship and the ultimate prevalence of true iman throughout the world. This supplication reflects Allah's own laws and promises.
[Shakir 2:286] Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability; for it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought: Our Lord! do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake; Our Lord! do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people.
[Yusufali 2:286] On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith."
[Pickthal 2:286] Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved. Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget, or miss the mark! Our Lord! Lay not on us such a burden as thou didst lay on those before us! Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear! Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, Thou, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:286] (no commentary available for this verse)

 

 
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