Exposition of the Holy Quran – 03 Surah Aal-e-Imran (G A Parwez)
Surah 03: Aal-e-Imran
(The House of Imran)
(1-2) Allah, the wise and the knowing, has said, “Allah is the sole authority in the universe and is ever-living and self-subsisting (2:255).”
(3) “O Rasool! He has sent you this Revelation based upon truth, which will validate the claims made in previous scriptures. Allah previously sent the Torah and the Bible, which contained guidance for mankind. Now, He has sent down this book which distinguishes between right and wrong.”
(4) Those who reject this divine code will suffer grievously according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat. None can escape its grip.
(5) There is nothing in the universe that is hidden from Allah.
(6) With regards to creation, it is Allah who fashions you in your mothers’ wombs according to His Law of Mashiyya (plan). He is Almighty but His might is blended with wisdom.
(7) Allah has sent down this book to you, O Rasool, which includes verses of two kinds. The first kind consists of those verses, which have definite meaning and constitute the foundation of Allah’s laws.(1) Those of the second kind are figurative and explain abstract realities metaphorically. Those who tend to deviate from Allah’s path, take the figurative verses in their literal sense thereby causing discord by interpreting these verses in their own way. Allah only knows the essence of the realities, which these verses represent. Those who make the right approach to knowledge believe in the realities but can also form an idea of what they are and can perceive their significance.
These are the people who are gifted with insight (74:31).
(8-10) Their prayer is:
“O Allah! Having found the right path, may our hearts not swerve from it! Grant us means of development. You alone are our bestower. We know that at this time there are differences amongst mankind but are sure that one day all humanity will become united by following Your immutable laws. Surely, Allah never fails to fulfil His promise. Nothing shall avail those who reject Your laws, neither their wealth nor their offspring. Their end will be disastrous.”
(11) (For example) the followers of the Pharaoh and the people before them who rejected these laws suffered grievously – Allah is severe in retribution.
(12) O Rasool! Say to those who oppose your system that they will be subdued eventually and driven to jahannam which is a wretched abode.
(13) You have seen a glimpse of it (in the battle of Badar) during confrontation between two forces – one fighting for the cause of Allah and the other opposing it. The opposing force was much larger but since the Jamat-ul-Momineen were strengthened by eiman, they felt that the enemy was only twice their number. They were confident of their success which they achieved (8:44-66). In this way all those who want to have divine help, get it by following His laws.
For persons with insight, this instance illustrates that truth ultimately prevails.
(14-15) The reason for this is obvious. To those whose objective is only secular, fair-seeming is the pleasure derived from women and children, treasures of gold and silver, horses, cattle and harvest. For the believers also, these things are attractive but they have a higher goal for which, if needed, they are willing to sacrifice them. They will receive blessings from Allah in the form of evergreen gardens overflowing with streams, comfortable dwellings and companions of unstained purity. These are the rewards for conformity with the laws of Allah. And He sees all that is in (the hearts of) His people.
(16) The believers pray:
“O our Rabb! We have complete faith in Your laws which we obey. If at any time we falter, we seek protection from the ill-effects of our shortcomings (2:286, 53:32), and keep us safe from the suffering of the fire.”
(17) These are the people who are steadfast during trials, who validate their beliefs in action, who obey Allah’s laws with meekness and who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah. Before they initiate any programme they ensure that they have sufficient resources and means of protection (from the enemy and also to feel safe and comfortable in their hearts).
(18) As mentioned earlier (3:2), there is no authority in the universe except His and the first evidence is the correct concept about Allah Himself (that if there had been more than one authority, there would have been chaos in the universe 21:22), thereafter the evidence is provided by all the heavenly forces, whose working testifies to the fact that the entire universe is one and it is controlled by One supreme law: then all those who are endowed with knowledge, and establish an order based on justice and equity; the result of such an order is the living proof of His authority. All these testimonies would lead one to the inescapable reality that it is Allah alone who wields the ultimate and supreme authority, and the entire system is functioning in a most orderly manner also because of His unique might and wisdom.
(19) This is Islam i.e., the only deen prescribed by Allah for all humanity. This was given also to the earlier anbiya but their followers created differences through mutual jealously. Allah’s Law of Mukafat is that whoever rejects divine guidance, Allah is swift in calling him to account. (2)
(20) If, O Rasool, your opponents dispute with you concerning Islam, tell them, “I have surrendered to it completely, and so have those who follow me.” And ask the Ahl-ul-Kitab as well as those who have not received any book before, “Do you also surrender to it?” If they do so, they will be regarded as rightly-guided. If they reject it, you will not be responsible for them. You have delivered the message to them. The rest lies with Allah Who is cognizant of what people do.
(21-22) There is grievous punishment for those who rejected Allah’s laws and slew their anbiya against all that is right, and also murdered those who asked them to act justly. All their deeds in this world and the hereafter will bear no fruit and there will be no one to help them.
(23) Have you noticed these Ahl-ul-Kitab who were given a part of the divine code of law? Now they are summoned to the Qur’an which is the complete code of law, to resolve their differences by reference to it. However, a group amongst them, refuses to do so and wants to remain indifferent to it.
(24) This is because decisions made in the light of the Qur’an are in accordance with the Law of Mukafat and they do not believe in this law. These people say that the fire of hell will not touch them except for a few days. It is their wishful thinking as a result of their false belief which has led them to deviate from the true concept of deen.
(25) But their self-deception cannot save them from the grip of the Law of Mukafat according to which everyone will get in full what he has worked for and no one will be wronged.
(26) O Rasool! Tell them that no nation is Allah’s favourite. Everyone is treated according to His laws which lay down that everyone will get the reward for what he has striven for (53:39). Status and position is also determined according to one’s deeds (46:19). So, whoever violates the laws deprives himself of authority and honour. He has laid down these measures to regulate everything and all this is for the good of humanity.
(27) The external universe provides evidence regarding the operation of Allah’s laws which are inexorable. For example, see how day and night succeed each other; how life emerges from inanimate matter; how living beings die; how everything in the universe receives sustenance beyond measure.
(28) People would obviously get divided into two groups: those who want to live in accordance with the Qur’anic system would be called momineen and those who reject or oppose this system would be called kafireen. Both the groups differ from each other in principle. Obviously, it is not proper for momineen to take kafireen into confidence. They will only have momineen as their friends and allies. And whoever takes the opposite group as their friends, will have nothing to do with the divine order (3:117-119, 58:22, 60:4). So, you should be very careful and remain on guard against them. You must protect the divine laws and keep them in mind – and that is your ultimate sanctuary and destination.
(29) We have made this thing very clear. So, even if after this, one of you cannot or does not break his contacts, it is better for him to join them openly. It is wrong and unfair that you have something hidden in your heart but outwardly, you express different things; and, what is the use of such an attitude when nothing remains hidden from Allah? Knowing the secrets of the heart is a minor thing when He knows all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and Allah possesses absolute control over everything.
(30) On the day of reckoning, each person will be confronted with all his actions – good and bad. He will wish at that time to be taken far away from the consequences of his ill-deeds. This is why Allah warns you to be mindful of His Law of Mukafat. This warning reflects the kindness of Allah.
(31-32) Say to the momineen, “If you ardently desire the establishment of the divine system, you should follow me. You will be protected from the ill-effects of the insinuations made about you and also receive means of protection and development. This is the practical way of establishing the divine system – complete obedience to the laws of Allah, not individually but collectively; the central authority of this system is the Rasool whose decisions, in accordance with the laws of Allah, are to be obeyed. If you turn away from this path, you will be counted amongst the kafireen.”
(33) All mankind was called upon to establish the divine system and in certain periods, this system did take shape e.g., during the early period of mankind, which has been narrated allegorically in the story of Adam (man) and Iblees (Satan) (2:30-36) and then the era of Noah and the house of Abraham and the progeny of Imran. Because of this, their status was raised above the rest of mankind.
(34) All of them were descendants of one another. Nothing of all this happened casually but in accordance with the plan of Allah who hears and knows all.
(35) The last in the series of anbiya belonging to the Aal-e-Imran (Family of Imran) was Jesus. The Jews levelled all kinds of allegations against him and his mother. To disprove these allegations the Qur’an has narrated what actually happened. This story begins when a woman from the Aal-e-Imran took a vow to dedicate her expected offspring for the exclusive service of Allah. She prayed, “O my Rabb! Accept my offering (because you know with what honest and sincere feelings I have made this offering). Surely, You alone are all-hearing, all-knowing.”
(36) She gave birth to a baby girl and thought inwardly that in order to fulfil her vow it would have been better if she had had a boy. But Allah knew that this girl was to do what a boy could not do. She named her daughter Mary (Maryam) and prayed to Allah to protect her progeny from Satan the accursed.
(37) Allah accepted the offering graciously. Mary was committed to the care of Zachariah and grew up to be a person of elegance and grace; because of her piety she began to receive various kinds of offerings. Whenever Zachariah visited Mary at the temple, he found these offerings beside her. He would ask her “O Mary! Whence come these to you?” She replied, “They are not from any person connected to the temple. These offerings have been brought by people in the name of Allah who gives sustenance without measure.”
(38) Until that time, Zachariah had no children. Raising Mary evoked in him the desire to have a child of his own. Therefore, he prayed, “O my Rabb! Bestow on me, out of Your Grace the gift of a virtuous offspring – You, indeed hear all prayers.”
(39) Whilst he was still praying in the temple, the malaika said to him, “Allah has sent you the glad tidings of the birth of (a son) John, who will testify to Allah’s laws. He will be a great leader maintaining discipline amongst his followers and (a person with outstanding capabilities) a nabi from among the saliheen.”
(40) Zachariah said, “How can I have a child when old age has already overtaken me and my wife is barren?” (Will the child be an adopted one like Mary or will it be my own?) The answer was, “No, the child will be your own son.” (The physical defect due to which Zachariah’s wife could not conceive was cured, and she gave birth to John in due course of time – 21:90). Allah said it would happen just like that because Allah does what He wills.
(41) Zachariah said, “O Allah! Let me know if there are any particular instructions in this regard.” Allah said, “The only directive is that for three days you shall not converse with people except by means of signs(3) and keep the divine laws before you unceasingly. Otherwise, go about your daily business in your routine manner.”
(42-43) Seeing the inner life of the temple, Mary (Maryam) began to have all kinds of apprehensions regarding her own future. To set her mind at rest, Zachariah sent her a message saying, “Do not be apprehensive. Allah has chosen you for a noble purpose. You will lead a life of purity and shall have eminence over all women. Be devoted to Allah and keep on obeying Allah’s laws just as other people do.”
(44) Mary’s apprehensions were not baseless. A number of priests wanted to take her in their charge. Their dispute became so serious that they had to resort to drawing lots to resolve the matter.
Allah said, “O Rasool! Allah is telling you all this through Revelation otherwise you were neither present at the time when the lots were drawn, nor when they contended about it with each other.”
(45-46) Mary had also been told that Allah had sent her the good tidings about the birth of a son, according to His laws. The son’s name would be the Messiah, Jesus – son of Mary. He would be illustrious in this world and in the hereafter. He would be most devoted to Allah. He would preach to people from an early age to an advanced age (5:100) and would be from amongst those who possess exalted qualities.
(47) Mary was surprised to hear this tiding about the birth of a son and said, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me?” The answer was the same that had been given to Zachariah (3:39), namely that the child would be born in accordance with Allah’s law of creation. Moreover, when He takes a decision about something, the initiation of the process starts forthwith.
(48-49) Mary was also told that her son would not be like ordinary children. Allah would give him the book based on wisdom and reveal to him knowledge of the Torah and the Bible, sending him as a nabi to the Bani-Israel to whom he would say, “I bring to you a life-giving message from your Rabb. Through this revelation I will give you new life so that you can rise above the depths to which you have sunk and be able to soar high in the sky” (5:110). In all this is indeed a message for you, but only if you have faith in it.
At present you are sightless; this revelation will give you sight so that you can walk on the right path.
At present, the fields of your activities are purposeless and lifeless; through Revelation, they will become constructive and fruitful. Your mean disposition, due to which others shun you, will be removed.
In short, your present death-like state of disgrace and degradation will be changed into a new life.
I will establish a system (replacing your present economic system) which would keep an eye on you to see how much of life’s necessities you utilize and how much you hoard in order to earn unlawful profit from it.
The changes which I bring about will serve as a proof of my being a nabi.”
(50) Jesus will say to the Bani-Israel, “(The law which I have received through Revelation is not a new one.) It will validate what has been said before in the Torah (and liberate you from your self-made Shariah – 4:160, 6:147, 16:118), and it will make lawful unto you some of the things which had been forbidden to you (earlier). And I have come with a message from your sustainer so always abide by the laws of Allah and follow me.”
(51) “And most certainly, Allah is my Sustainer as well as yours – He alone must be obeyed. This is the right path which will lead you to your destination.”
(52) This was said to Mary. Then Jesus was born and in due course of time received nabuwwa from Allah. He conveyed his revolutionary message to Bani-Israel. He was opposed by the priests. Perceiving their intentions to be dangerous, Jesus summoned his followers and asked them, “Who will be my helper in the cause of Allah?” They spontaneously answered: “We will be your helpers. We believe Allah, and you will be our witness to see how we submit to the divine laws.”
(53) This they said to Jesus. Thereafter they addressed Allah saying, “O our Sustainer! We believe in what you have revealed and will follow Your Rasool. Count us amongst those whose lives are a living proof of the truth of the divine order.”
(54) Those who opposed Jesus, plotted in secret against him. Allah on the other hand, devised the means to protect him. And surely His means are the best of all.
(55) Jesus’ enemies conspired to crucify him but Allah said to him, “Be assured that their conspiracy will not succeed. You will fulfil your mission and die a natural death (5:177). You will be exalted. I will absolve you of the allegations levelled against you and take you far away from the grip of these conspirators. At present your followers appear to be weak, but eventually they will overcome their enemies and remain victorious for a long time.”
“Keep this in mind that such disputes and confrontation are ultimately settled according to My Law of Mukafat.”
(56-57) According to that law those who reject the truth, face torment in this world and the hereafter and none can rescue them from it. On the other hand, those who accept the truth and work for its establishment are fully rewarded. And Allah does not like zalimeen (usurpers).
(58) These are the historical annals and laws which have been revealed to you by Allah, O Rasool.
(59-60) Moving from the Jews to the Christians, take up their claim that Jesus was the son of Allah. Tell them, “The birth of Jesus is like the birth of any other human being. Life emerged from inanimate objects and passing through evolutionary stages culminated in human form. This is the truth from Allah and there is no room for doubt or dispute in this matter.”
(61) If after such clear arguments, the Christians are not willing to accept the truth, you can tell them, “It is not our way to prolong futile disputes. We separate ourselves from you and you should do likewise. We should not interfere in each other’s affairs and the result will show who is deprived of Allah’s blessings (5:13, 6:136, 15:85, and 73:10).”
(62-63) O Rasool! You should give this challenge with full confidence because what you have been told is based on truth and is from Allah who is the supreme authority and whose power is blended with wisdom. If, despite your warning, they dispute with you, then Allah’s Law of Mukafat will deal with them.
(64) O Rasool! Say to these Ahl-ul-Kitab, “Leave aside these subsidiary matters and reflect upon fundamentals in which you pose also to believe, though superficially. These fundamentals which we present to you are that (1) the authority of none other than Allah should be accepted, (2) no creation should be set up as a partner to Allah, and (3) no human being should be considered as a possessor of divine powers.” If they accept these fundamentals, it is good, if they turn away, tell them, “You follow whichever way you like but bear witness that we obey only Allah’s laws.”
(65-67) Ask these Ahl-ul-Kitab, “Why do you dispute whether Abraham followed the Torah or the Bible? You do not even know that these books were revealed after his time. You used to argue in matters of which you had some knowledge, but how strange that now you argue about matters of which you have no knowledge! It is only Allah who knows and you do not know! Take note that Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian. He was a true Muslim. He obeyed Allah exclusively and did not associate anyone with Him.”
(68) Neither Jews nor Christians are close to Abraham. Those who followed him in his time were the ones close to him, and now this Nabi and Jamat-ul-Momineen are close to him because they follow the same path. And Allah is the protecting friend of the momineen.
(69-71) A section of the Ahl-ul-Kitab desire compromise with you so that you would deviate from the right path. They are deceiving themselves and do not understand that those who accept the truth cannot compromise. Ask them, “Why do you continue to deny Allah’s laws after you have seen so much evidence which testifies to them? Why do you mix up truth and falsehood and conceal the truth knowingly?”
(72-74) Another section of the Ahl-ul-Kitab resort to another subversive technique. They ask their people, “Join the Muslims at daybreak, pretending to be believers and leave them at the close of the day. During this period engage in discussions, designed to create doubts in their minds. In this way it is possible that some of them retract, from their eiman.” They exhort their people, “Talk to the momineen but only accept what is said by those who follow your religion. Do not admit that the like of what has been imparted to you has been imparted to others, and also do not admit that any plea advanced by your opponents will prevail against you before Allah.”
O Nabi! Say to these people that the right path is the one revealed by Allah. Revelation is a blessing from Allah which He bestows on whosoever He chooses. Allah is all-embracing. And, on the basis of His infinite knowledge, He chooses someone who is most suitable to receive the revelation and Allah is limitless in His blessings.
(75-76) Amongst the Ahl-ul-Kitab, religion is the private affair of individuals and has impact on persons differently by resulting in the formation of various types of character. Amongst them you will see some who will restore a treasure to you if you entrust them with it, and also some who will not return a dinar to you if you entrust them with it, unless you are pressing in your demand. The justification given in defence of their attitude by the latter is that whatever is done to non-Ahl-ul-Kitab is permissible. This is a lie which they foist upon Allah knowingly. Allah’s law is that trust should always be honoured. Promises made amongst you are in fact, made with Allah and He likes those who keep in view his laws.
(77) Promises made with Allah should not be bartered for a paltry price. Those who violate trusts may thereby derive some worldly benefit but they will have no portion of Allah’s blessings in the hereafter. Allah is so disdainful of this sort of behaviour that on the day of reckoning, He will not look at them nor speak to them, much less absolve them and they will suffer grievous torment.
(78) The technique followed by these people is to mix their self-created injunctions with Allah’s laws narrated in His book in such a way that the two are indistinguishable. They say to the people, “These laws are from Allah,” whereas they are not from Allah. They foist a lie upon Allah knowingly.
(79-80) The fundamental principle of deen (religion; way of life) is that no human being – even though Allah may have given him a code of laws or the power to enforce it or even nabuwwa (prophethood) – has the right to say to the others, “You should obey me rather than Allah.” What he should say is, “You should be amongst those who belong to Allah by following His book which you study and teach to others.” He should also not tell the others to worship malaika (celestial forces) or their anbiya (prophets). A momin (the convinced Muslim) will never do so. Do you think that after he has himself believed he would bid others to resort to kufr (denial of the truth)?
(81-82) The guidance which is being given to you now is nothing new. It has been given to earlier peoples through their anbiya, with whom Allah had made a covenant. This covenant was that when the last nabi who will validate the claims and promises made in their scriptures comes, they would accept him and also aid him.
Allah had asked them, “Are you aware that you are accepting the covenant on these terms?” They had answered, “We are.” Thereupon Allah said, “Be witnesses to this and I will also be a witness along with you.” Allah had made it clear that those who would backslide would be those who had abandoned the right path.
(83) This is that deen which is ordained by Allah. Do they desire to follow a deen other than this, when they can see that everything in the universe submits to Allah’s laws by choice or by constraint and follows the way which leads to the goal set for them by Allah?
(84) Therefore, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, say, “We believe in Allah and in that which He has revealed to us; and in that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants; and that which was given to Moses, Jesus and the other anbiya by their Rabb. No distinction do we make amongst them and we surrender to the laws of Allah.”
(85) This is Islam. Anyone who adopts a way other than this will not be accepted and at the end he would be the loser.
(86) If a people have professed eiman and their nabi has established the divine system which testifies to its truth, and thereafter they turn away towards kufr, who is there who can guide them? And Allah’s law is that the zalimeen (wrongdoers, usurpers) cannot be the recipients of His guidance.
(87-89) These people will be deprived of Allah’s blessings as well as the support of malaika and righteous persons. They will remain in this state without respite unless they give up the wrong path and amend their actions. And if they do so then certainly Allah will protect them and provide them with the sources of nourishment.
(90) If they continue to follow the wrong path and their repentance is merely verbal, they will not reach the right goal.
(91) Those that have never accepted the truth and die in the state of kufr will not be saved from their torment even if they offer the treasure of the earth to redeem themselves. None will be able to help them.
(92) You cannot attain true freedom of the self unless you keep open that which you cherish the most to meet the needs of others. Allah surely knows of whatever you give away.
(93-94) We return now to Bani-Israel who object as to why the Qur’an has made permissible certain articles of food which were prohibited in their Shariah (civil law). Tell them that the Qur’an has made permissible that which was so before the Torah was revealed. There were certain things which Jacob denied to himself. The Jews included these as prohibitions in their dietary laws although this was not divinely ordained. Ask them to bring the Torah and read out if they speak the truth, and if they fail to do this and still continue to fabricate a lie and attribute it to Allah, they shall stand among the evil-doers in the divine court.
(95) Say, “Allah has revealed the truth, so follow the path adopted by Abraham the haneef. He was not one of the mushrikeen (who could have added something of his own to the divine law).”
(96) Another objection they raise is as to why the Qur’an made Makkah as the centre (qibla) instead of Jerusalem (2:142). Tell them that the first house ever selected for the entire mankind was at Makkah. It was from this place that humanity was destined to get the guideline and the fundamental law which would ensure stability and nourishment for all.
(97) This guideline is very clear. Moreover, this was the very centre from where Abraham achieved the illustrious position as leader of mankind (2:124-125). The greatest quality of this centre is that whoever enters it, would get all-round peace and security. And all those who can afford to assemble there must do so; they would see with their own eyes how very beneficial is that system of which this is the centre (22:28), provided the objective is not selfishness, but to establish the divine order. These are some of the objectives of this centre and he who rejects the divinely-ordained order only harms himself, because Allah does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds.
(98) Ask the Ahl-ul-Kitab, “Why do you reject such a beneficial code of law? And remember that Allah is witness of what you do.”
(99) Not only do you reject it yourselves but you also place obstacles before those who desire to follow it and try to make the straight path of deen appear crooked when you yourselves bear witness to its being the straight path. Allah is not unaware of what you do.
(100-101) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, if you follow some of these Ahl-ul-Kitab, they will turn you into unbelievers. How can you renege your eiman and return to kufr? To remain steadfast in eiman, two things are indispensable: the book of Allah in its unadulterated form and a living authority to implement it. You have both – the Qur’an and the Rasool. Whoever holds fast to this order (based upon the book of Allah implemented by the Rasool and, thereafter, his successors) enters upon the right path (3:143).
(102-103) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, follow this code of law as it deserves to be followed throughout your life. This code should be held fast by all of you together and do not be divided into sects and parties. Remember Allah’s blessings to you in that when you were each other’s enemy and He brought your hearts together and thus you became brothers. This strong brotherhood formed on the basis of an ideology was a great blessing, although before that you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He drew you back from it. In this way Allah makes His directives clear so that you may take the right path.
(104) For the establishment of this system it is necessary that you should be such a jama (ummah) that calls all humanity to the Qur’an (3:109, 2:143, 22:78), enjoining what it recognizes as right, and forbidding what it declares wrong. If you do this, you will lead a life of progress and prosperity (23:1).
(105) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, you should not be like those who fell into factions and differed amongst themselves after clear guidance had come to them. For them there is grievous torment (6:160, 30:32, and 42:13).
(106) There will be two groups on the day of reckoning: one whose faces will be bright and the others whose faces will be dark. The latter will be told that they had renounced what they had believed in and should taste the fruits of their deeds.
(107) Those with bright faces will enjoy Allah’s blessings and lead a happy life.
(108) This guidance which is sent to you O Nabi, is based on truth. If it had not been given to mankind it would have been a zulm which is not intended by Allah towards His creatures.
(109) And Allah has not devised this system for mankind alone. His law also governs whatever there is in the heavens and the earth and it is because of this universal law that everything is busy in the fulfilment of its destined goal.
(110) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, your responsibility is not only to follow Allah’s guidance yourselves. You are an ummah (the Muslim fraternity) raised for the good of all humanity. Your responsibility is to enjoin what has been recognized to be right, and to forbid what is considered wrong by the Qur’an.
If these Ahl-ul-Kitab had believed in this way, it would surely have been better for them. Some of them have believed but most of them are deviant.
(111) Those who deviate cannot inflict on you anything but a trifling harm. If they engage in war with you they will turn their backs upon you in flight and none would be there to help them.
(112) Don’t you see what a life of misery and ignominy they are living? They have no abode in this world and no shelter, except when someone considering them Ahl-ul-Kitab, gave them shelter or they had some pact with some people – otherwise they have incurred the wrath of Allah and continue to remain overshadowed by humiliation. This is because they have persistently denied the truth of Allah’s message and transgressed to the extent that they even killed the anbiya unjustly. All this: because they rebelled and went beyond all limits!
(113-115) This does not mean that the Jewish people as a whole have lost the capability of adopting the right path. There are some amongst them who have accepted Islam and then rehearse Allah’s message during the night. They believe in Allah and the hereafter and enjoin what the Qur’an recognizes to be right and forbid what it considers to be wrong. They strive eagerly for the good of humanity. These are the ones who will be called the saliheen (good doers); whatever good they do shall by no means go unacknowledged. Allah is well-aware of the muttaqeen.
(116) As for those who have not believed, neither their possessions nor their children shall be of any avail against Allah’s system and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide!
(117) Whatever these people spend for worldly life is like that freezing wind which smites and destroys the entire harvest because they did not make proper arrangements for its protection. Allah did not perpetrate any zulm (transgression) upon them, they did it to themselves and thus brought about their destruction.
(118-119) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, do not repose confidence in those outside your own circle. They will not miss any opportunity to harm you. They gloat over your suffering. Some of their hatred is articulated and what they conceal in their hearts is even more pernicious. We have told you all this very clearly if only you would reflect.
You befriend them but they do not befriend you although you believe in all the scriptures. When they meet you, they say, “We also believe,” but when they are by themselves they go wild with rage. Say to them, “Perish in your rage; Allah knows fully well what is going on in your minds (3:27, 9:23, 58:22, 60:4).”
(120) They are aggrieved when something good happens to you and rejoice if anything untoward happens. If you remain steadfast and hold fast to Allah’s laws, their conspiracies will do you no harm. Allah’s Law of Mukafat envelops them.
(121) Moving from the conspirators to those who confronted you openly, call to mind the battle of Uhud when you, O Nabi, left home early in the morning to set your forces in position. Surely, Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing.
(122-123) The confrontation was so severe that two groups from amongst you were on the verge of losing heart even though they knew that they had the support of Allah’s system. They were told that they had been given success by Allah in the battle of Badr although they were in a miserable condition. Therefore, you should continue to adhere to Allah’s laws so that your efforts become abundantly fruitful.
(124-125) On that occasion, O Rasool, you said to the momineen, “Is it not enough that Allah should help you with three thousand malaika who would come down to strengthen your hearts (3:125, 8:10, 8:12, 41:30) and if the confrontation becomes even more severe, the number would be increased to five thousand who would come swooping down, provided you remain steadfast and adhere to Allah’s laws.”
(126) According to the Qur’an (8:53, 13:11) change in the outward condition of a people depends upon inward change. This inward change is a result of unswerving confidence and trust in the validity of Allah’s laws and is called the help of malaika in Qur’anic terminology.
(127) This help will disable a section of your opponents and they will withdraw from the battle defeated.
(128-129) O Rasool! They are, no doubt, aggressors, but it will be none of your concerns to decide about their fate personally. It will be decided according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat which operates in the entire universe and determines who would be protected and who would be annihilated.
Success in war is a defence against oppressive forces.
(130) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Do not accept an economic system based on riba. You think it increases wealth manifold, whereas it decreases it. You should always remain conscious of Allah’s laws and follow them as this is the way to prosperity and success.
(131) And beware of the fire which awaits those who deny the truth.
(132) And adhere to the divine order established by the Rasool so that you continue to receive the means of nurture.
(133) And hasten towards protection from your sustainer leading to the jannah which encompasses the entire universe and has been prepared for the muttaqeen.
(134) These muttaqeen help the needy whether they are themselves affluent or in straitened circumstances. They sublimate their violent passions towards some constructive end and do not care how others behave towards them. (And thus maintain the balance both in themselves and the society.) Allah likes the mohsineen.
(135) The muttaqeen are those who, if they commit an indecency or a wrong against their own-selves perchance, immediately bring Allah’s laws to mind and make amends for what they have done (by performing good deeds 11:114, 13:22). And what else but Allah’s laws can protect them from the adverse effects of their wrong actions? They do not persist wilfully on a course of wrong actions.
(136) For them the recompense is protection from their Sustainer and a life of bliss, therein to abide. How excellent a reward for those who labour!
(137) There were many man-made systems in force before you. Go into the world and see what has been the end of those systems and the people who upheld them.
(138) This is a manifesto for mankind and a guidance and counsel for the muttaqeen.
(139) So, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, do not lose heart or be depressed for you shall surely gain ascendancy, provided you are true believers (4:141).
(140-141) If you have suffered a defeat (i.e., in the battle of Uhud) your enemies had suffered likewise (in the battle of Badr). History will tell you that success and failure alternate in the life of nations. These trials bring out the worth of those who truly believe, and also bear witness to the truth. Those who fail the test are not fit to survive.
(142) In the light of these hard facts, do you think that you will gain jannah while you have yet to prove which of you have struggled hard and have endured steadfastly? (9:16, 29:2).
(143) You had yearned for death before you came face to face with it and now that you have faced it you appear to be undecided.
(144) Take note that the system based on eternal principles is not shaken by the death of an individual, no matter how important his position may be. This principle applies even to as great a personality as Muhammad(4) (peace be upon him). He is no more than a Rasool from Allah. Rusul before him have passed away. If he dies or is slain, will you then turn on your heels thinking that the system is finished? Whosoever does so will not harm Allah in any way. Allah will reward those who remain steadfast out of their conviction that the system does not depend upon personalities and will continue as long as the book of Allah is followed.
(145) Death is a natural phenomenon and the duration of life is determined by Allah’s physical laws. What matters is not how long a person lives but what he does. One who works only for this world receives his reward accordingly (17:18- 20), and one who works both for this world and the hereafter is also rewarded accordingly (3:147) and therefore whoever remains attached with this system, would very soon, himself see the result of his efforts (24:55).
(146-147) Many were the anbiya on whose side fought a number of their companions. They did not lose heart because of what befell them in the cause of Allah. They did not weaken nor did they give in. They stood steadfast. Their only prayer was, “O Our Sustainer! Grant us protection against our shortcomings or anything excessive in our doings; make us stand firmly and help us against our opponents.”
(148) Allah bestowed upon them the blessings of this life as well as an excellent return in the life hereafter because they had led a balanced life.
(149) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, if you follow the kafireen, they will cause you to relapse into your old ways and you will turn losers.
(150) Nay! Allah alone is your protector and He is the best of helpers.
(151) If you follow Allah’s laws exclusively, you will be unafraid and courageous, but if you also obey anyone other than Allah, it will weaken your heart. Allah has not issued any authority for such obedience. Jahannam (Hell) shall be your abode! (12:39, 18:26, 18:110, 39:29, 42:21). How vile is the dwelling place of zalimeen (wrongdoers, usurpers).
(152) Just one instance (in the battle of Uhud) explains how much loss you suffer collectively, when you have only worldly gains before you. While you were annihilating the enemy and gaining superiority over them, and thereby the divine promise was being fulfilled and victory was in sight exactly at that moment you faltered and started quarrelling among yourselves about the order. You ignored the orders of your commander. Some of you were tempted to get immediate worldly gains while others, whose eyes were set on the future, remained steadfast. Consequently, your attention was diverted from the enemy towards the booty and (you were defeated and) your own worth became visible.
However, (when later on you realized your mistake, and came back to the original position) you were once again victorious. This is the law of Allah! If someone falters or commits a mistake, Allah does not deprive him of bounties for the rest of his life. Whenever he realizes his mistake and comes back to the straight path, he is entitled to all the divine bounties.
(153) During this defeat, you were so flabbergasted that you did not even look back (to see in what condition your companions were), although your Rasool was calling you from the rear. You were suffering one casualty after another. The lesson of the story is that you should never, on your own, leave your assigned duty and run after something, apparently getting out of hand. Never leave your position, even in extreme adversity; remain steadfast, and Allah is aware of all that you do.
(154) Recovery from the setback restored calm to those who had a firm eiman. As for the munafiqeen, they indulged in pagan ignorance and untenable suspicion against Allah. They went so far as to say, “What is this? Why should the decision to wage a war be made by one person? If we had a say in the matter we would not have come here to be slain.” Tell them, O Rasool, “These decisions are made according to Allah’s laws. Even if you had not fought in this war, the Jamat-ul-Momineen would have come here and fought by itself.” The good that came out of the behaviour of the munafiqeen was that it gave overt expression to what was hidden within them for Allah is quite aware of what is in the hearts.
(155) It was not the case that those who faltered had lost their eiman: rather, they misjudged priorities. Once they regretted their actions and made good the loss, Allah pardoned them. Allah is forbearing.
(156-158) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, be not like those who say about their brethren who had gone on a journey or engaged in battle, “Had they stayed with us they would not have died or been slain.” Such a mentality makes one oblivious of the laws of life and death. Those who fight for the truth and are slain or die in the struggle will receive a reward greater than all the treasures of the world. Humanity’s caravan is proceeding step by step towards its destination.
(159) O Rasool, one of the reasons for the progress of the Jamat-ul-Momineen is that you are soft-hearted. Had you been hard of heart, they would have broken away from you. Hence overlook their minor shortcomings and give them your protection.
But soft-heartedness does not mean weak-heartedness. The Jamat-ul-Momineen are your companions. Consult them in matters relating to your system and when you have resolved on any course, trusting in Allah’s laws, you should go ahead and certainly Allah loves those who place their trust in His laws.
(160) This is the manner in which matters should be resolved. As long as it is followed none can overpower you; when you cease to follow it none will be able to help you. Therefore, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, always have confidence in Allah’s laws.
(161) This confidence in Allah’s laws can only come out of a firm conviction that these laws have been communicated truthfully. And there cannot be any sort of doubt in a law, which is communicated through a nabi it is just not conceivable that a nabi would deceive or play false (it was after him that his followers made interpolations in the revelation) but when the Qur’anic order is established, the true revelations would become apparent – and everyone shall be paid in full for whatever he has done and none shall be wronged! (And if someone escapes in this world, he will get it in the life hereafter, because life is a continuous process.)
(162-163) Those who conform to Allah’s plans cannot be placed on the same footing as those who do not. The latter’s abode shall be hell. How vile a journey’s end! The former shall have a very high rank in the estimation of Allah who is aware of what they do (6:133, 84:19).
(164) Allah has been gracious indeed to the momineen when He raised from amongst their own people a Rasool who communicates His laws to them, purifies and develops their character and teaches them the book and its objectives. Hitherto, they were in a state of rank ignorance.
(165) By such instruction and training, the Rasool prepares you, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, for the establishment of the divine order. In attaining this objective you will confront opposition. In this opposition sometimes you will face defeat and sometimes you will have success. O Rasool they ask you, “Whence was that defeat?” Tell them, “It was brought on by your own selves. Allah has devised laws. Whoever adheres to them gains success; whoever disregards them suffers a loss. The loss you suffered at Uhud was in accordance with Allah’s laws.”
(166) One good that came out of the defeat was that the momineen and the munafiqeen were identified.
(167) When the munafiqeen were asked, “Come with us and fight in the way of Allah and defend yourselves,” they stole away. Now they say that they had not been sure whether there would actually be a war and that if they had been sure they would certainly have accompanied them. The munafiqeen are liars. They are closer to kufr than to Eiman. What they say is not what is in their hearts. Allah knows well what they conceal.
(168-170) They stayed away from the battlefield and said about those who fought, “Had they accepted our counsel, they would never have been slain.” Tell them, “If you are telling the truth, show me how you can evade death for ever.” Do not ever think that those who have been slain in the cause of Allah are dead. Say, “Alive are they with Allah, well-provided with sustenance, rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them, and glad that because of their sacrifice those who have been left behind are free of fear and anxiety.”
(171-172) They are filled with joy at the blessings bestowed upon them by Allah. They have seen that Allah’s promise to reward the momineen has indeed been fulfilled. These momineen are the ones who responded to the call of divine order even after reverses had befallen them. Whoever adheres to Allah’s laws, receives an excellent reward.
(173) When these momineen were told that they should be wary of their enemy who had mustered great strength against them, it only strengthened their eiman and they said, “Sufficient unto us is Allah Who is the most dependable.”
(174) They returned with the bounties and blessings of Allah untouched by any harm. This was because they abided by Allah’s laws whose munificence is great.
(175) Satan causes others to be afraid of his party. O Jamat-ul-Momineen, you believe in Allah, therefore, you need not be afraid of his party.
(176) O Rasool, let those people who hasten towards kufr aggrieve you not. They can do no harm to Allah. By their tactics they may secure some paltry gains but they will have no share in the hereafter. For them shall be great torment.
(177-178) Surely, those who purchase kufr at the cost of eiman shall not hurt Allah in any way and for them tremendous suffering awaits. They should not think that the respite they have is profitable for them. If they do not mend their ways during this time, the respite will simply add to their torment and consequently their potentialities of development would get weak, and for them is humiliating chastisement.
(179) During the initial phase of a movement, different types of people, including hypocrites, join the movement and cause disruption. This state of affairs will not continue forever. Allah will surely sift the tayyab (good) from the khabees (bad). He will not disclose to you who is a hypocrite and who is not. He sometimes discloses to His Rasool what is kept in secret but He will not do so with regards to the hypocrites (47:29- 30). Hence, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, you should have complete trust in your order and adhere to Allah’s laws. You will thus have a great reward.
(180) The fundamental purpose of this order is to provide nurture to all humanity. Those who confine the means of nurture to themselves should not imagine that this is good for them. Those who covetously withhold what Allah has given them shall find that when the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya is established, these very things would become a halter around their necks. They should know that everything in the universe belongs to Allah and no one has the right to claim its ownership.
(181-182) The system sometimes calls for contributions. Your opponents tauntingly say, “Your Allah is indigent and we are rich.” We have heard and recorded what they say. We have also recorded that they have murdered some of their anbiya against all that is right. For all this, they will face great torment and they will be told that this is what they had prepared for themselves. Allah never does any zulm on His devotees.
(183) The Jews also say, “Allah has charged us not to believe in any claim to nabuwwa until he brings us an offering which is consumed by fire.” O Rasool, tell them, “Many rusul came before me with clear signs. According to you, they also did what you now ask me to do but instead of believing in them you tried to kill them. If your demand is made in earnest, why did you treat your anbiya thus?”
(184) Anyhow, they will continue discrediting you, O Rasool. You should not lose heart, for rusul who came before you were equally discredited although they came with clear arguments, scriptures and an illuminating code of life.
(185) Tell them that worldly life is not eternal. Everyone shall taste death and in the hereafter will be fully recompensed for his/her deeds. To be saved from jahannam and led into janna will be a great achievement. To make worldly gains the sole objective of life is to cherish an illusion.
(186) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, you will continue to have confrontations with your opponents resulting in the loss of your possessions and your lives (2:155). In addition you will also have to hear much from those who were granted Revelation before your time and also from mushrikeen (pagans), which will be very painful to you. If you remain steadfast and adhere to Allah’s laws it will reflect your high resolve.
(187) The Ahl-ul-Kitab say that Allah had charged them with such and such. This is not so. What Allah had charged them with was to expound what was given to them through Revelation and not to conceal it. But they cast it behind their backs and fabricated their own Shariah, bartering their Revelation for a paltry price. What a bad transaction that was!
(188-189) Their religious leaders and priests rejoice over what they do. They love to be applauded for what they preach but do not practice. Here they will secure some paltry gains and the applause they seek, but in the hereafter they will face great torment. This proclamation is from Allah who is supreme over the whole universe and who has devised measures for all things.
(190-191) In the creation of the earth and the heavens and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for those gifted with understanding. These people keep Allah’s laws in mind whilst standing, sitting or reclining. After reflecting upon the creation of the heavens and the earth, they cry out, “O our Sustainer! You have not created this universe in vain or for destructive purposes. Your schemes of things are much above flaw. Grant us the insight to understand the functioning of these things, so that we benefit from them and remain safe from suffering.”
(192-193) They also pray, “O our Sustainer! Grant that our efforts in this world are not wasted, for those whose efforts are rendered waste lead an ignoble life and these zalimeen have no helpers. Grant also that the forces of nature which we subdue are utilized for the benefit of humanity according to Your laws (13:17). We had heard the voice of a caller calling us to believe in You and we have believed. So, our Sustainer! If we falter, grant us protection and remove the ill-effects of our deeds. Grant us the companionship of those who have secured real freedom as a result of adhering to Your laws. O our Sustainer! Grant us all that You have promised us through Your Rasool and put us not to shame on the day of reckoning. We have a firm belief that You do not go back on Your promises.”
(194-195) They, thus, supplicated their Sustainer and their Sustainer hearkened to their prayers spontaneously, saying, “Certainly I will not suffer the labour of anyone amongst you, man or woman, to be lost. The one of you is as the other. Those of you who have migrated or were driven out of their homes, those who have suffered in My cause and those who have fought and have fallen, will be protected from the ill-effects of their shortcomings and led into gardens through which streams flow. This is recompense from Allah with whom lies the best recompense.”
(196-197) Let not the prosperity of your opponents deceive you. It is only illusory and for a brief period. Then jahannam shall be their abode and what a wretched abode that shall be!
(198) But as to those who adhere to Allah’s laws, for them are gardens through which streams flow – therein to abide: a ready welcome from Allah. This reception will be the best for the truly virtuous ones.
(199) The Ahl-ul-Kitab say that janna is reserved for them but Allah’s Law of Mukafat is that if they believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to you and in what had been sent down to them, and obey Allah’s laws, and do not barter Allah’s commandments for a paltry price, they shall be recompensed adequately for their deeds. Allah is quick in measuring out recompense.
(200) O Jamat-ul-Momineen, Allah’s laws have reached you. Now be steadfast yourself and cause others also to be steadfast, stand united and adhere to Allah’s laws so that you may prosper.
(1) Verse 3:6 Muhkamaat means the ‘established’ regulations given in clear-cut terms (as compared to the ‘similes’ and ‘examples’ to give universal truths). These ‘established’ (Muhkamaat) facts are to be referred to as ‘mother of the book’ i.e., the foundation and basis of law.
(2) Ilah – It denotes that the Being, in Whom is vested ultimate authority and the right to prescribe and legislate, Whose words or commands are considered binding and Who is worthy of obedience. See 43:84
(3) The Jews observed some fasts during which they did not speak (19:26).
(4) When Muslims mention the name of the Messenger Muhammad they add the salutation PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him). This salutation is not used in the Qur’an. It should be implicitly understood that, as mentioned in Surah As-Saffaat (The Ranks), we do convey Peace upon all the Messengers of Allah, Sustainer of the Universe.
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