بسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

الم {1}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:1]

See the commentary of verse 1 of al Baqarah.

 

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ {2}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:2]

Refer to the commentary of verse 255 of al Baqarah for “Allah! There is no god save He, the ever-living, the self-subsisting.” Hayy, the ever-living, and qayyum, the self-subsisting, are the two attributes of Allah which break up and blot out the absurd doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He, who did not have an existence before his creation, like any other mortal, was brought into being by Allah, therefore, cannot be hayy, the everliving; and also he cannot be qayyum, the self-subsisting, because, according to the Christians, he was crucified.

Ibna Ishaq says that verses 3 to 80 of this surah were revealed about the Christians of Najran whom the Holy Prophet with his Ahl ul Bayt confronted in a spiritual contest known as the event of mubahilah (see commentary of verse 61 of this surah).

A great deal of metaphysical nonsense, based on conjecture and speculation, is put forward by the Christians in support of their claim, yet they themselves do not understand the doctrine of divinity of Jesus, which they take as true without examination or proof. Moreover, there is no consensus among their theologians. The most popular belief is triune, three in one, or a trinity in unity-God is a spiritual organism, having living components which can be called organs only so long as they remain united and interrelated to each other in the whole, therefore, God is one but has components which perform separate functions. Jesus has a mysterious double nature which makes him a member of the trinity. The idea of trinity or the doctrine of divinity of Jesus was not given by prophet Isa. Please refer to the quotations of the Old and the New Testaments given in the commentary of verse 255 of al Baqarah.

All organisms are finite. To function in a harmonious whole the components must be interdependent. There must be an omnipotent will or a primal cause to keep the diverse components together, without being disunited, in order to let them work in harmony. The primal cause is God. None of the components or their whole can be God because they obey and follow the will of the primal cause.

Hayy, the everliving, is He who knows and acts freely without any limitations. Any organism whose components are finite and dependent cannot be an everliving infinite.

Qayyum, the self-subsisting, (a magnified form of the adjective qayam-standing and enduring) is He who stands (subsists) by Himself and all other stand (are subsisted) by His eternal endurance.

Anything, composed of components with separate functions, is governed by the law of cause and effect; and that which needs reason or cause to be effective or sufficient cannot be self-subsisting, “Allah is the self-subsisting” means that to be effective or sufficient He does not need a reason or cause because He Himself is the prime cause. Now it becomes clear that the hypothesis of the scholars and the theologians of the Christian church not only fail to convince the seekers of truth but also create chaos and confusion.

 

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنْزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ {3}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:3]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Tawrat, Injil and the books, mentioned here and in other verses of the Quran, refer to that which was revealed to Musa, Isa and other prophets. Tawrat (the revealed will of Allah) was revealed to Musa. In Hebrew it means light. But the Old Testament is a collection of several other books in addition to the Pentateuch. The four gospels of the New Testament are not the Injil revealed to prophet Isa. These gospels contain only some extracts of the sayings of Isa, and narrate his activities in Galilee, Jerusalem and other habitations of the Jews. The Christian Bible is a book of traditions like the books of traditions written by Muslim, Bukhari and other writers of traditions. These four gospels were written by the followers of Jesus, whom the Christian church proclaims as the apostles. In fact the teaching of Jesus is the gospel, which means glad tidings or good news, because the advent of the last prophet of Allah,

the Holy Prophet, was foretold by him, as mentioned in John 14: 16, 17; and 15: 26; and 16: 7 to 13 (see commentary of verse 40 of al Baqarah). The Old and the New Testaments, known as the Bible, is an edited edition of the corrupted and distorted Jewish scripts, prepared to give currency to the doctrine of trinity.

It is mentioned in Mark 1: 15 that Jesus asked his disciples to believe in the gospel and preach it to the children of Israel. The gospel referred to by Isa was the Injil, original text of which is not available. On account of theological considerations adhered to by the first council of Venice, the four gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; are said to be authentic, otherwise there is no historical evidence to support this claim. There were other gospels written by some other disciples but they are treated as apocryphal (spurious) and non-canonic.

The Quran is the only uncorrupted book of Allah, containing the true word of Allah in its original purity, revealed to the Holy Prophet, who pronounced it as it was revealed to him, recorded then and there, preserved, never tampered with, and transferred to generation after generation.

Falsehood cannot come near it from before it nor from behind it. (It is) a revelation from the all-wise, the most praised. (Ha Mim: 42)

For kitab see commentary of verse 2 of al Baqarah.

Bil haqq means (with) truth, certainty, reason, justice and proof, in contrast to the false notions and fabricated dogmas of the other corrupted religions and creeds.

Musaddiqan means the Quran verifies and confirms the preachings of the earlier prophets about the unity of Allah and His demand from man to do good and adopt righteousness.

Furqan means that which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood. It also means salvation. It is another name of the Quran.

 

مِنْ قَبْلُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَأَنْزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ ۗ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انْتِقَامٍ {4}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:4]

Those who disbelieve in Allah’s signs shall be severely punished. The verses of the Quran are His signs. Signs also refer to the miracles the messengers of Allah and His chosen representatives (the Ahlul Bayt) put into operation under His command and guidance, for which readers are requested to refer to the commentary of verses 50, 56, 60, 65 and 243 of al Baqarah.

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَخْفَىٰ عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ {5}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:5]

Allah knows the hidden, the manifest, the seen and the unseen. He is aware of everything and every event in the universe, because He is the creator of all things. Prophet Isa has made it clear in his following statement that he was only a mortal, created by Allah, and not god as the Christian church wrongly claims:

But about the day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not even the son; only the Father. (Mark 13: 32).

In surah al Nazi-at Allah informs the Holy Prophet that he does not have to explain to the people when the hour will be, because He (Allah) alone knows its term or termination.

 

هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ {6}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:6]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

“As He likes” implies the omnipotence of the divine will. He does what He wills.

A thorough study of the formation and development of the embryo in any specie, brought into being by the particular protoplasm of its member, proves that it is a carefully designed operation. The way in which the parts of an individual, the members of a specie, and all the species are connected with each other, as the components of the universe, provides sufficient proof that the creator, designer and architect of the whole as well as the components is He, the almighty, the all wise, the one self-subsisting(qayyum), besides whom there is no god.

Someone asked Tolstoy:

“Do you see the hand of God (a miracle) in the birth of Christ?”

He replied:

“I see the hand of God in the birth of every child.”

The hand of God is visible in the working of the whole universe. He is the first, the everlasting, the apparent, the hidden.

Although ordinarily the laws enforced by the will of Allah keep the creation in operation, yet He is not unable to manifest the extraordinary, which the ignorant or the pseudo intellectuals deny, because He has power over all things and He does what He wills. Reproduction by means of an unfertilised ovum is common in insects and bees. If the author of the nature so wills, He can make use of this process in a human being also. So He created Isa without a father. This verse is an introduction to the birth of Isa, narrated in the subsequent verses.

 

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ {7}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:7]

As explained in the commentary of verse 2 of al Baqarah the Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet. He knew the true meaning of every verse, or after him, it was Ali who claimed that he knew when, why and for whom every verse of the Quran was revealed.

Most of the verses of the Quran are clear and decisive. There is no ambiguity in them. They are known as the muhkamat. They relate to the fundamentals of the faith, such as the oneness of Allah, the directions pertaining to the practice of the faith and the laws governing the day to day life of the faithful. They can neither be changed nor modified. Any man of average intelligence can understand and follow them.

The mutashabihat are the verses which have been composed in subtle and profound diction and style. They carry implications other than the literal meanings, and therefore, are capable of giving different significations, like “The hand of Allah is on their hands” in verse 10 of al Fat-h. Verse 1 of al Hud says that the Quran is a book of clear and decisive verses. Verse 23 of al Zumar says that Allah has sent down the very best discourse as a book conformable in its repetition and consimilarity. Only the men of understanding who possess a higher level of intelligence contemplate and find out the meaningful implications of such verses. Average and ordinary minds cannot figure out or have knowledge of the real purport of such verses, and if they try this on their own, they are bewildered and go astray. As mentioned in the commentary of verse 1 of al Baqarah, the huruf muqatta-at are also meaningful but their subtle and profound meanings are known to Allah and His chosen representatives (Muhammad and ali Muhammad) only. Therefore, those who know the true purport of these symbolic letters occupy the highest position in the domain of knowledge and wisdom. In the well-known tradition of thaqalayn the Holy Prophet has clearly made known the fact that whoso remains attached with the Quran and his Ahl ul Bayt, after his departure from this world, will never go astray, because these two weighty authorities will never be separated from each other, and joined together, they shall meet the Holy Prophet at the spring of Kawthar; and “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”, said the Holy Prophet in order to guide the faithfuls so that, to have knowledge of the Quran, they must refer to Ali and his Ahl ul Bayt, who alone know the true meanings of the mutashabihat.

Zaygh means disease, perversity, evil, and wicked intention, the inclination to go against the truth and to blunder, revolt and go astray. Fitna means to create mischief, or to create difference of opinion and to mislead.

“None knows its interpretation except Allah and those (who are) firmly rooted in knowledge”, renders null and void all attempts made by scholars to discover the true meanings of themutashabihat. The firmly rooted in knowledge are those whom Allah Himself gives the knowledge, as verse 49 of al Ankabut says: But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge. Therefore, the observation of the Ahmadi commentator that reading various passages in the light of each discover the true significance of ambiguous passages, is based upon his inclination to go out of the right course. The Christians also try in vain to assign divinity to Isa by calculating the numerical value of the haruf muqatta-at, and misinterpret the complex verses to suit their dubious theories.

How the complex verses can be interpreted is not mentioned in this verse, nor anywhere in the Quran, but it is clearly disclosed that besides Allah only those, endowed with divine knowledge, know the true meanings of the mutashabihat. The firmly rooted in knowledge are the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, the thoroughly purified ones (Ahzab: 33), who possess the desired purity of heart and soul, essential for receiving and holding the truth in order to use it (Waqi-ah: 77 to 79) to do good to themselves and to others. It is obvious that there is no conceivable necessity of revealing complex verses or letter symbols if even the Holy Prophet, to whom the Quran was revealed, did not know their meanings. It is only a hypothetical inquiry, otherwise there is the clear mention of rasikhuna fil ilm (the firmly rooted in knowledge) in this verse, the first among whom is the Holy Prophet, and after him, as said earlier, his Ahlul Bayt are the custodians of his knowledge and wisdom, who alone are entitled to interpret every word of the Quran.

In reply to Anas bin Malik’s query about rasikhuna fil ilm the Holy Prophet said:

“They are those whose hands do not do aught but that which is just, righteous and good; whose tongues do not utter aught but that which is true; whose hearts and minds are enlightened and rational; whose stomachs are free from that which is forbidden.”

The ayah al tat-hir (Ahzab: 33) confirms that only the thoroughly purified Muhammad and ali Muhammad are the rasikhuna fil ilm. Verse 13 of Luqman says that polytheism (shirk) is the most grievous inequity, the worst type of impurity. It is a historical fact that all the companions of the Holy Prophet, before embracing Islam, for a long time in their lives, were idolworshippers. The Holy Prophet, Bibi Fatimah and Ali ibna abi Talib and their children were the only ones who were free from the impurity of polytheism right from the day they were born. All Muslims, in every age, add karamallahu wajhu (Allah graced and honoured his face above others) after the name of Ali, because he never worshipped any ghayrallah (other than Allah). The Holy Prophet pointed out the essential purity of body and soul in Ali, equal to his own purity, when he said:

“O Ali! Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood. You and I are from one and the same divine light”

Verses 18 of Ali Imran, 162 of al Nisa, 49 of Ankabut, and 11 of al Mujadalah refer to those who have been divinely endowed with knowledge.

As ordinary human beings are unable to know the meanings of the mutashabihat, the divine mercy guides the sincere seekers of the truth to turn to the ahladh dhikr, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt (see commentary of verse 43 of al Nahl and verse 7 of al Anbiya):

“So ask the people of dhikr (the reminder or the Quran) if you do not know.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Nothing in the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah, the self-subsisting, because He is the author of the book of creation (the development of the embryo has been mentioned in the previous verse as an example). In this verse He says that the author of the book of creation is also the author of the book of legislation (the Quran).

The book of creation (the universe) contains miscellaneous signs. Some are clear. Some are intricate and perplexing. For example (in the book of creation) the function and the significance of every part of the human structure has been studied and defined except the “appendix”. Now a rational student of the book of creation will say:

“As no part is without some significance, this also must have some meaning, though I have not yet understood it.”

On the contrary a mischief-maker will mix up that which is known with that which is not known and deny both by saying:

“As no reason or significance is found in this part, therefore, there is no reason or significance in the whole.”

Likewise in the book of legislation, some signs (verses) are clear and decisive (muhkam), and some have several possible meanings (mutashabih), therefore, the rational mind will try to understand the mutashabih (unclear) verses in the light of the muhkam (clear and decisive) verses, by proceeding from the known to the unknown or from the concrete to the abstract; but the perverse mind will judge that which is certainly precise and definite in the light of the complex so as to mislead people by dubious misinterpretations.

Verse 1 of al Hud says that all the verses of the book are well arranged and firmly established. The arrangement of the words in the verses and the verses in the surahs is so accurate and proper that they all form a consistent unity, though they were separately revealed. It implies that the Quran was already arranged and established before its revelation, which is confirmed by verse 105 of Bani Israil. In verse 23 of al Zumar, the book is presented as consistent, consimilar and conformable in its parts(mutashabihan). But in this verse mutashabihat refers to the meanings, the implications, the connotations and the denotations of the complex passages.

Muhtam (clear) and mutashabih (complex) are relative terms. What is unclear to some may be apparent and definite to others. There may be quite a few features and viewpoints inherent in certain ideas, or commands, or narrations. Studying them from a particular angle will make their meaning and purpose crystal clear but their clarity may turn into obscurity when they are viewed from another standpoint. At all events, the complex should be examined and interpreted in the light of that which is clear and decisive, or as explained by the Holy Prophet, or by those whose authority has been established by the Holy Prophet and the Quran (see pages 1 to 7, commentary of verses 6 and 7 of al Fatihah, and verses 2, 30 to 37 and 124 of al Baqarah). In the light of verses 16 to 19 of al Qiyamah, the divine agency collects, recites and interprets the Quran. As the book is a guidance for mankind, there should be no unintelligible or incomprehensible passage in it. There is none. As asserted by the Ahlul Bayt,rasikhuna fil ilm is conjuncted with Allah and yaquluna is an adverbial clause qualifying the state of knowledge, referring to rasikhun. In the Nahj al Balagha, Ali ibna abi Talib says that the rasikhuna fil ilm believe in the unknown in the light of the known. As explained in the commentary of verse 3 of al Baqarah the knowledge of theghayb (unknown) is with the infinite, therefore, the awareness of the finite created beings, even if they are endowed with the divine insight, cannot be at par with the absolute wisdom of the ghayb ul mutlaq, the hayyul qayyum creator. All that which becomes (in obedience) effective, as soon as He wills, is knowable to man. A finite being can know as much as the infinite all-wise likes him to know and grow in knowledge, which implies that basically his knowledge was insufficient but he rises towards the level of perfection, with the help of divine endowment, on his own merits, to become aware of the meanings of all that which has been revealed in the book, because, if it is not so, such revelations (mutashabihat) would be unprofitable and frustrating. So what Imam Ali ibna abi Talib and Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir have said in this connection is true.

 

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ {8}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:8]

This is a prayer of the rasikhuna fil ilm, a precaution to avoid possible perversion of the mind and the heart, even after receiving the guidance. They pray for Allah’s mercy on the day of judgement. The aim and purpose of their lives in the world, a temporary and transient stay, is to make preparation for the eternal life of the hereafter.

 

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ جَامِعُ النَّاسِ لِيَوْمٍ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ {9}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:9] (see commentary for verse 8)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَنْ تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمْ وَقُودُ النَّارِ {10}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:10]

This verse and the next two verses, 11 and 12, contain a clear prophecy of the defeat of the Holy Prophet’s enemies. After their defeat in the battle of Badr, the Quraysh of Makka began to make highly organised preparations to exterminate the unarmed Muslims, who were not only very few in number but also were surrounded by potential enemies from all sides, and were also exposed to the subversive activities of the hypocrites right in their midst. It was the plan of the pagans to put an end to the new religion of Islam which was uprooting their ignorant and idolatrous life. The Muslims were living under a state of siege, therefore, they were asked to retain their arms while praying (Nisa: 102). Under such adverse circumstances, the almighty Lord inspired the Holy Prophet to make a bold and definite prophecy of the victory of a poorly equipped and helpless few over the vast financial resourcefulness and proven military skill of the allied multitude.

 

كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ {11}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:11]

Dab means “like the case of” or “wont”, but in this verse it points out the resolute efforts the Quraysh were making to take revenge from the Holy Prophet and his few followers. Abu Sufyan, the father of Mu-awiyah and grandfather of Yazid, the chief of the branch of Ummiyah, a zealous votary of the idols, a mortal foe of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt, the leader of all the pagan clans of Makka, induced the Jewish and the Christian tribes to take up arms against the small group of Muslims.

 

قُلْ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَتُغْلَبُونَ وَتُحْشَرُونَ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ {12}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:12]

The decisive victory at Badr gave notice of danger to the Jews of Bani Qaniqa who lived in the suburbs of Madina. They wanted to throttle the growing power of the Muslims. They sent a delegation, headed by Kab ibna Ashraf, to Makka to add fuel to the fire of revenge burning in the hearts of the Quraysh and to assure them with their out and out support for the total annihilation of the Muslims. Abu Sufyan went to Madina to enlist the support of the hypocrites who could play a very important role in the overall scheme, hatched against the Muslims, because they were in close contact with the Jews. They had embraced Islam to enjoy the privileges given to the early converts, otherwise at heart they were infidels. They readily joined hands with the intriguer-in-chief, Abu Sufyan, in the house of Salam ibna Mishkan. To revive the old hostilities between the Aus and the Khazraj tribes of Ansars, who had agreed to live in peace after coming into the fold of Islam, was the first objective of the unholy alliance. They took the first step but the Holy Prophet immediately nipped the mischief in the bud. When verse 149 of Ali Imran was revealed the two tribes listened to the Holy Prophet’s counsel and remained united.

According to the plan, the Jews began to intimidate the unarmed Muslim men and Muslim women. A typical incident is narrated in the books of history that at a Jew’s shop, when a bystander Jew cut off the garment of a Muslim woman, all the Jew spectators laughed at her nakedness. The Holy Prophet came and warned the Jews by reciting this verse. The Jews lost their temper, announced annulment of the treaty they had made with the Holy Prophet, and avowed to prove their strength in the battlefield. At once their forts were besieged. Neither the pagans of Makka, nor their allies (Bani Nadhir and Bani Qurayza), nor the hypocrites could rescue them. Abdullah ibna Obay tried to negotiate a settlement on their behalf. Ultimately the Holy Prophet agreed to set them free on the condition that they should migrate to some far away place. They were allowed to take all their possessions with them. The Holy Prophet had to take such steps to forestall hostile actions against the believers.

 

قَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ آيَةٌ فِي فِئَتَيْنِ الْتَقَتَا ۖ فِئَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَأُخْرَىٰ كَافِرَةٌ يَرَوْنَهُمْ مِثْلَيْهِمْ رَأْيَ الْعَيْنِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُؤَيِّدُ بِنَصْرِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِأُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ {13}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:13]

In the battle of Badr 313 Muslims were set to fight 1000 pagans, more than threefold their number, but by Allah’s will, the army of the believers, fighting in the way of Allah saw the disbelieving host as twice their number, as has been made known to them in verses 44 and 66 of al Anfal.

The battle of Badr was indeed a turning point in the mission of the Holy Prophet. It was a decisive victory. The slain on the enemy’s side included many of his most influential opponents. Who made this promised victory possible? Ibna Kathir has written that on the day of the battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet gave the standard to his twenty years old brother, Ali ibna abi Talib. Tabari and other historians have said that Ali and Hamza were the only two warriors who not only killed the well-known warriors of the enemy in single combats but also destroyed the enemy’s fighting force beyond recovery. For details, study the books of history, in which are also mentioned the names of those who conveniently kept themselves aloof from the fighting on this critical day, described as a sign of Allah, but, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, became rulers to deflect and depart from the true purpose of the religion of Allah.

 

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ {14}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:14]

To understand this verse in its true perspective, the meaning of the phrase “love or desire of the lust of earthly pleasures” should be grasped in the light of the teachings of Islam. As Islam does not subscribe to asceticism, lawful use of essential things has not been referred to here. Hubbush shahawati means extreme, reckless and infatuated appetite or passion to own and enjoy things for the sake of possession and enjoyment. Islam teaches man not to get irrationally involved even with lawful possessions. A true believer receives good things lawfully as due return for his labour or services but keeps them in trust with himself, to be distributed as and when commanded by Allah. He is always ready to part with them because he does not attach himself to them in the sense of hubbush shahawati. Being a man he is allowed to desire happiness and satisfaction but is required to keep his feelings and emotions in check to attain moral and spiritual refinement which, in return, enables him to make an offering of his means of satisfaction to the service of the Lord. It is more trying and demanding to control passions than not to have them at all. Total suppression of feelings and desires and mortification of the flesh betrays an escapist tendency to avoid test and trial.

You shall not attain to righteousness until you spend (in the way of Allah) of what you love. (Ali Imran: 92)

The best example of having good things (property, wives, children, relatives, friends, honour and fame) yet staying detached so as to sacrifice all of them in the way of Allah is found in Karbala. Imam Husayn willingly made an offering of all that which he had to his Lord.

He has created life and death that He may try you (to prove) which of you is best in conduct; (Mulk: 2)

Man has been endowed with life to be tried. In like manner he is tried and tested with family, wealth and other possessions.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

There is an unchanging conflict between the empty and perishable sensuous pleasures and the lasting intellectual and spiritual delight and bliss.

 

قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْ ذَٰلِكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُطَهَّرَةٌ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ {15}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:15]

The life of the hereafter, after death, is a continuation of the life of the world. It is a state of spiritual bliss for those who have made, here, sincere efforts to safeguard themselves with full awareness Allah’s laws-guarding against the evil of transgressing the boundaries of shari-ah known as piety, which earns as due recompense, corresponding blessings, to its actual degree of application in the life of this world. The life of the pious in the spiritual realm either ascends or stays stationary, but never droops. Piety trains the soul to ascend towards perfection in the hereafter.

The gardens, the rivers and the purified spouses, promised in this verse, are the minimum recompense that will be made available to the pious, but Allah’s pleasure, the most supreme bliss conceivable, is the ultimate destination of the ascension of the human soul for spiritual perfection.

 

الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ {16}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:16]

It is a prayer to prepare for the life of the hereafter. It is essential to make sincere efforts to purify and refine the soul, and in addition one must feel the pain of conscience for not attaching oneself to those who have earned Allah’s pleasure- the blessed and beloved friends of Allah.

 

الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنْفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ {17}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:17]

The patient, the truthful, the devout and those who spend in the way of Allah are entitled to receive the grace of Allah. Also the effectiveness of prayer at early dawn to seek forgiveness has been emphasised in this verse.

 

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ {18}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:18]

Allah himself bears witness to His own unity. It is His infinite mercy that He makes known His self-subsisting and everliving existence (wajib ul wujud) to His created beings who, otherwise, could never know anything about Him. See commentary of verse 255 of al Baqarah. The finite created beings can only say that there is no god save Allah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In this verse shahadat (bearing witness) has been restricted to Allah, the angels and those endowed with (divine) knowledge, although in many other verses it is stated that every being in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah and bears witness to His unity (tawhid). The restriction is justified because, in this verse, shahadat has been used in the sense of a particular knowledge which contains perceptual insight to realise the truth of His tawhid Allah directly knows that “there is no god save He”, because He is the known, the knowing and the knower. Those who have attained the perceptual insight of the realisation of truth, by complete mental absorption of the absolute, possess the same quality of knowledge. Whoever reaches this stage naturally becomes entitled to bear witness over His creation. In the Quran such witnesses have been described as shuhada. In verses 41 of al-Nisa and 89 of al Nahl, Allah says that He will call the Holy Prophet as witness over other witnesses.

For ulul ilm (those endowed with divine knowledge) see commentary of rasikhuna fil ilm in verse 7 of this surah.

Qa-iman bil qist means that Allah is the vigilant, enduring and (ever) lasting upholder and maintainer of justice.

Any unjust being, or any being with an iota of iniquity, can never be God, because if arbitrariness had been applied as a primary force to effect and control the universe, no law, physical as well as social, devoid of reason and equity, would be valid and operative. In that case, God could not have an essential existence to be proved by reason, but a contingency that might or might not exist. So it is an imperative fact that absolute justice is ingrained and implanted in the activity of the active factor. Absolute justice, by itself, is one of the aspects of the infinite mercy of the almighty Lord, which regulates and manages His kingdom, the whole universe. It is essentially evident in His every will and act.

He has prescribed for Himself mercy, (An-am: 12)

Justice is one of the 5 fundamental doctrines of Islam-Original, Shi-aism. It distinguishes Shi-a faith from other schools of thought. The 5 roots of the faith (usul al din) are given below:

(1)Tawhid: There is no god save Allah.

(2)Adl: Allah is all-just.

(3)Risalat: The prophets or messengers of Allah, appointed by Him, were truthful, holy and infallible. The last messenger of Allah, the seal of prophethood, is Muhammad al Mustafa.

(4) Imamat: After the Holy Prophet, the office of the prophethood was terminated, but the divine guidance continued, for which Allah appointed the twelve Imams in the progeny of the Holy Prophet.

(5) Qiyamat: The day of final judgement.

Faith in Allah’s justice is essential. The laws made by Him to operate the universe are precise and decisive. These are bound by rules based upon justice, and are not arbitrarily changed. That is why there is complete harmony in the working of the whole creation, otherwise there would have been chaos and confusion. All Allah’s acts are just and right.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

If qa-iman bil qist is treated as the adverbial clause qualifying the state of ulul ilm (those endowed with knowledge), then grammatically it should have been in plural, therefore, it is true that it qualifies the state of the divine unity. It lays stress on the interrelation between the unity of His essence and His justice, which, as His all embracing attribute, defines and determines His action, and reflects itself in all His attributes. The source of all the attributes manifesting in His justice is the unity of His essence. According to the Holy Prophet the structure of the whole universe stands on the foundation of His justice. So none can perceive Him and His unity unless one upholds and maintains justice. Justice is with unity and unity is with justice. They are correlative and inseparable. Islam teaches us that all excellences flow from the sublime source of justice and all vices proceed from the base root of injustice-see Nisa: 135; Ma-idah: 8; and Hadid :25.

In verse 7 of this surah the Quran refers to the decisive verses (muhkamat) as the essence of the book, in the light of which all the other complex verses (mutashabihat)should be interpreted. In view of the interrelation between the unity of His essence and His justice, all the verses in His book of creation and in His book of legislation should be interpreted in a manner which must always be in harmony with the unity of His essence and His justice. The logical method, prescribed by the Quran, is to proceed from the known to the unknown. As the whole universe stands on the basis of the unity and justice of the absolute, it is essential to prescribe justice (adl) as the second article of faith, immediately after tawhid, the first article of faith.

 

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ {19}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:19]

Islam means submission or surrender to the will of Allah. The act of submitting his self by the believer to the will of Allah has been mentioned in verse 112 of al Baqarah and verse 22 of Luqman. The Quran also makes it known that the religion of Islam (submission to the will of Allah) was preached by all the messengers of Allah in the language of the people amongst whom they were sent by Him. Islam is also the natural religion of every human being.

The nature (caused by) Allah, in which He has created man. (Rum: 30)

The Holy Prophet has said:

Every child is born in the mould of nature (Islam). It is the parents who make him (or her) a Jew or a Christian.

Right from the beginning, every messenger of Allah preached Islam, but misunderstanding, bias and hatred among the followers of the prophets corrupted the original message.

Ayat means signs. Every prophet and every imam through whom the unity of His essence is proved and made known is His sign. Whoever denies His signs (including the prophets and theimams) is a disbeliever.

This verse is also applicable to those who differed after coming into the fold of Islam.

See verses 85 to 87 of this surah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Islam is the only religion of Allah. The differences among the various religions and their sects are due to the tendency of revolt against the truth after it has been made known.

 

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ {20}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:20] Allah reveals His will through reason, therefore, when every evidence, based upon reason, has been established to prove the truth of Islam, every rational human being should discard pride and prejudice and surrender his self (wholly) to Allah. All members of the human society, the Jews and the Christians who have been given the book and those who do not follow any heavenly scripture, will be joined together in one brotherhood, if they see the light of reason and submit to the will of Allah (in other words) by accepting the universal religion of Islam.

“If this be Islam”, asks Goethe, “do we not all live in Islam?”

“Yes”, answers Carlyle,” all of us that have any moral life, we all live so.”

As the Holy Prophet has observed, Islam is the natural religion that a child, left to itself, would develop.

Islam is the religion of common-sense. The Holy Prophet delivered the message and preached it, but he is not responsible if the people, even after being rightly guided, go astray.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَيَقْتُلُونَ الَّذِينَ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْقِسْطِ مِنَ النَّاسِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ {21}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:21]

The consistent rebellious attitude of the Jews towards the prophets of Allah and the righteous who enjoin justice (verse 18 of this surah) is referred to in this verse. Please refer to Matthew 23: 30, 34, 35 in the commentary of verse 61 of al Baqarah. The Jewish plan to kill the Holy Prophet is also inferred through this verse.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The three categories of the rebels, mentioned in this verse, are given below:

(1) Those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah.

(2) Those who slay and persecute the advocates and enjoiners of justice, the holy Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt, the successors of the Holy Prophet.

 

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ نَاصِرِينَ {22}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:22]

It is a prophetic declaration as well as an admonition that the schemes of the rebels, described in verse 21 of this surah, will come to naught in this world, and on the day of requital no one will save them from the eternal punishment.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Good deeds done by a believer will be rewarded in full, but the good deeds of the above noted rebels, if there be any, shall go to waste. The crimes, listed in the preceding verse as 1, 2 and 3, are so interrelated that one leads to the other, as pointed out in verse 10 of al Rum, which was appropriately quoted by Bibi Zaynab binta Ali in her reply to Yazid when he said, after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, that Muhammad played a game to establish a Hashemite kingdom, otherwise neither any revelation was revealed, nor any angel came to him.

The evil was the consequence (end) to those who wrought (dealt in) evil, because they denied the signs (revelations) of Allah and made fun of them. (Rum: 10)

 

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا نَصِيبًا مِنَ الْكِتَابِ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَىٰ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّىٰ فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ وَهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ{23}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:23]

The Tawrat and the Injil are only a portion of revelation, a glimpse of the glory of the truth. A portion of the book, Allah’s revealed books in general, was sent down, in all ages, to prepare and train the human soul for the highest level of intelligence and spirituality, at which stage the completed and perfect revelation, the Quran, was revealed to the Holy Prophet, referred to as the book of Allah in this verse.

Prophet Isa had also informed the people that there was still much that he could say to the people, but the burden would be too great for them then. He also added: “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.” See John 16: 12 and 13.

It is reported that in the early days of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, a married man of large means was caught while committing adultery with a woman. The Jewish priests did not want to punish them by stoning to death as prescribed in the law of Musa. Presuming that the Holy Prophet did not know their scripture, they referred the case to him so that the culprits could avoid the punishment by his misjudgement. The Holy Prophet announced the correct judgement in the light of the Tawrat but the Jews persisted that it was not in their book. The Holy Prophet asked them to bring their own distorted edition of the Tawrat. Even in their corrupted version Leviticus 20: 10 to 21 confirmed the decree pronounced by the Holy Prophet. Yet they did not agree and arrogantly persisted in their point of view.

In John 8: 4 to 7 it is stated that an adulteress should be stoned according to the law of Moses but Jesus had said: Let he who has not sinned stone her. This is a clear example of unauthorised addition because Isa himself announced: Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to complete. I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the law until all that must happen has happened. (Matthew 5: 17, 18).

And Musa has said: You shall keep all my rules and my laws and carry them out. (Leviticus 20 : 22).

According to their books Isa could not amend the law of Musa. Holy Quran says that Isa had the authority to amend the law of Musa (see verses 50 and 51 of this surah), but he did not change this law because verse 2 of al Nur confirms it.

The adulterer and the adulteress-scourge you each of them (with) a hundred stripes.

It is related in Safi that once the Holy Prophet went to a school of the Jews. In reply to their question he said that he followed the religion of Ibrahim. “But Ibrahim was a Jew”, said the Jews. Then the Holy Prophet asked them to refer to their book, which though profusely tampered with, yet contains various passages about the faith of Ibrahim and other prophets and also information about the advent of the Holy Prophet.

 

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا لَنْ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَاتٍ ۖ وَغَرَّهُمْ فِي دِينِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ {24}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:24]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The arrogant persistence to follow their own opinion, based upon conjecture, in the application of divine laws, created a rebellious tendency in the people of the book, which encouraged them to presume that ultimate salvation is obtainable only by mere (what is said and nothing else) declaration of the faith, and if there is punishment for misdeeds and wrongdoing, it would be only for a certain number of days. As mentioned in verse 22 of this surah, there shall be no helper for them on the day of reckoning.

 

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جَمَعْنَاهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ {25}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:25]

Every soul shall be paid in full that which it has earned in the life of this world, therefore, the true believers cannot be condemned to hell for ever, because the reward of true belief is not eternal punishment. As mentioned in verse 21 of this surah, a true believer does not slay the prophets, nor persecutes and murders those who enjoin justice (the Ahl ul Bayt). Those who believe and follow the 5 roots of religion (usul al din) are the true believers. A true believer may be punished for his sins, before he receives the reward owing to his true belief, which is promised in this verse. It is reasonable to conclude that punishment precedes reward. Only the disbelievers, murderers and persecutors of the prophets and of those who enjoin justice (the Ahl ul Bayt) will be condemned to hell for ever.

 

قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ ۖ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {26}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:26]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Sovereignty belongs to Allah; He is the sole and the ultimate authority in the domains of creation and legislation. Every thing submits to the authority of the master of the universe, the absolute sovereign, because all things in the universe have been created by Him, and therefore, Islam, the only religion of Allah and the only means of salvation, stands for total submission to Allah’s will-a truism candidly summed up in these verses in the form of a prayer. The Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt have rightly advised the faithfuls to recite this prayer at all occasions, so that the conviction in the omnipotence of the almighty permeates their hearts and minds to guide them in all their mental and physical activities. A complete resignation to Allah’s will is possible only when man believes that it is Allah who alone can do and undo things, conceivable and inconceivable, easy and difficult. Then the grace of the merciful Lord abounds, because in His hand is all good. He is the absolute sovereign. None has any right or claim upon Allah. He bestows His bounties on whomsoever He likes. There should be no complaint, nor grudge, nor frustration. With total resignation to His will, man must pray and invoke His mercy to obtain fulfilment of his legitimate wants and needs. Ibna Abbas says that these verses contain the ism al azam, the greatest name of Allah, therefore, its recitation for obtaining fulfilment of desires brings positive results, provided that in thoughts and deeds the supplicant wholeheartedly relies upon Allah’s omnipotence and judgement, and remains thankful in all events and under all circumstances. Nothing is impossible for Him.

An usurper or a tyrant, by actual control of the machinery of government, may become a defacto ruler. The Nimruds and the Fir-awns were defacto rulers. They also claimed divinity. A large number of people accepted them as gods, but none of them was a de jure God. The theoreticians, in the employment of the usurpers and tyrants, try to misguide the people by arguing that a de facto wielder of power is also a de jure ruler. It is a fact that there are some chosen representatives of Allah who, by right, are entitled to exercise the authority, given to them by Allah Himself, which they do as the de jure authorities (Baqarah: 247; Nisa: 54, Munafiqun: 8), although the defacto kingdom may be in the hands of others who are rightly described as usurpers in the political thought of true and original Islam.

Yazid bin Mu-awiyah, the de facto ruler, argued with the Ahl ul Bayt by quoting this verse that he was also the de jure authority. Bibi Zaynab binta Ali proved his deceitful claim false by showing the inherent weakness in the theory of fatalism. In her analytical, objective, and rational discourse she quoted verse 178 of Ali Imran and verse 10 of al Rum to establish the fact that those who disbelieve, imagine that the rein Allah gives them does good to them, whereas, truly Allah gives them rein that they may grow in sinfulness, for which there is a disgraceful punishment for them, because evil is the consequence to those who deal in evil by denying the signs of Allah and making a mockery of them.

The chosen representatives of Allah, His signs, are the real authorities to administer God’s kingdom, because of their total submission to Allah’s will (Baqarah: 247; Nisa: 54 and Munafiqun: 8). To enable the true faithfuls to identify the rightful inheritors of God’s kingdom, an extract from the prayer of Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zaynal Abidin is given below:

O my Allah, this office (administration of the God’s kingdom) belongs to the leaders appointed by Thee, Thy chosen friends, because it was founded and preserved for Thy fearless trustees, who have been particularly elected to execute this highest function, but Thy representatives have been wronged by the usurpers, every trick is used to harass them and to snatch from them their rights, again and again intimidated and exposed to dangers. Thy book has been thrown to the winds, commandments made obligatory by Thee have been falsified and put out of context, and Thy prophet’s way of life has been discontinued and discarded. Why? Thou knows best.

(Du-a al Jumu-ah-Sahifa al Kamilah)

If the theory of might is right is accepted then usurpation will have no meaning at all.

 

تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ ۖ وَتُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ۖ وَتَرْزُقُ مَنْ تَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ {27}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:27] (see commentary for verse 26)

لَا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِنْ دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَنْ تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ {28}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:28]

The polytheists who worship false deities stand opposite to those who believe in one true God. There cannot be any friendship between them because friendship is built upon the foundation of mutual love. Love is a very active force. Love between two individuals, more often than not, exercises impending influence upon each other’s habits, thoughts and feelings. Due to this active phenomenon in human nature, tawallah, love of the Ahl ul Bayt (Shura: 23), has been prescribed as one of the fundamentals of original Islam- Shi-aism, because he who loves the Ahl ul Bayt will accept their teachings, follow their guidance, and reflect their qualities in his character. In the case of friendship between a monotheist and a polytheist, the strict monotheist, under a state of attachment and love, may lose his sense of reasoning and begin to like idolatry, and in the end become a practising idol-worshipper. Therefore the believers have been warned not to take the unbelievers as friends.

Awliya is the plural of wali which implies nearness, proximity, contiguity, therefore, it can be used for any of the following: friend, beloved, helper, protector, patron, administrator and master.

In a multilateral political and economic structure the believers are allowed to deal with them as human beings and live in harmony with them in day to day life. Only love or attachment has been prohibited. The provision of “except when, fearing a danger from them, you (have to) guard yourselves against them” is a very important guideline in this verse. If there is a genuine danger to life, permission is given to make a show of friendship with the adversary, remaining faithful to the true faith at heart. To guard oneself against an unprovoked danger to life in a helpless situation, or to avoid dishonour and ostracism, is known as taqiyah in the Shi-a school of thought, prescribed strictly in the light of this verse, because Allah does not want to make less the number of His true believers if there is no occasion or need of their lives to be sacrificed to further His cause and mission. They are allowed to live and serve Him in secret.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq (according to a Sunni tradition) is reported to have said that “Allah warns you to beware of Him” implies “Allah knows all that which is in the heart, and He wants to see only His love in the hearts, therefore, He warns the people not to allow anything except His love to take possession of their hearts.”

Heart is given to man to fill it with the love of God. If love of anything or any person, except love of those enjoined by Allah (Shura: 23), is lodged therein it would be judged as a misappropriation on the day of reckoning.

See Aqa Mahdi Puya’s note in verse 31 of this surah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to the doctrine of taqiyah under certain circumstances a faithful can make friends with his adversary to save his life and property, otherwise friendship between a believer and an unbeliever is prohibited because it would make the believer drift in the direction of unbelief.

Taqiyah means to hide one’s faith to protect one’s life and property in the interest of the faith, permissible according to this verse (see books of fiqh). Nifaq means to pretend to believe what one actually does not believe for worldly gains (Nahl: 106), condemned in the Holy Quran again and again.

Allah’s pleasure should be the object of hiding or making known that which is in one’s heart.

 

قُلْ إِنْ تُخْفُوا مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ أَوْ تُبْدُوهُ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ{29}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:29]

After giving permission of taqiyah in the previous verse it is stated in this verse that nothing is hidden from the all-knowing Lord. He knows that which is in the heavens and in the earth, therefore, He is aware of what we hide and what we disclose.

 

يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ سُوءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ {30}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:30]

On the day of judgement every soul will be paid back in full what it has earned in this world. Those who safeguard themselves with full awareness of Allah’s laws and do good will get back what they have invested here in full on the day of reckoning. Allah is affectionate towards His faithful servants, but those, who are evil doers, will on that day, be in a state of terror. They will wish that there should be an immense distance between them and that evil.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says.

Allah warns man to beware of His retribution. The best and the surest way of becoming His faithful servant so as to deserve His affection is to keep Him in mind and His pleasure (supreme) as the ultimate purpose of all actions.

 

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {31}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:31]

Love of Allah is the basis and essence of Islam. Fear is not the motivating factor, because one who worships Him and obeys His commands out of fear, devoid of love for His grace, comes in the category of idolworshippers who worship the false deities to appease their anger. See the commentary of rahman and rahim in surah al Fatihah and know that the heathen syndrome has been destroyed and replaced with love, kindness and compassion by the religion of Allah, Islam. The phrase “God-fearing” actually means guarding oneself against evil with awareness of the boundaries laid down by Allah. Man must refrain from thinking or acting in a way which may hurt the feelings of the beloved whom he intensely loves, reveres and worships.

It is made clear in this verse that he who loves Allah must follow the Holy Prophet. Sincere following of the Holy Prophet in the day to day life is the only proof of the love of Allah, otherwise it is an empty claim. Allah loves the true followers of the Holy Prophet and forgives their sins.

One who loves his beloved also loves those whom his beloved loves, therefore, every sincere follower of Islam (Allah’s lover) must love the Holy Prophet and those whom he loves. There are several authentic traditions reported in the books of history written by Muslim scholars, referred to in the commentary of many verses in this book, according to which the Holy Prophet had openly declared his exclusive love for Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and their children; and in verse 23 of al Shura love of the Ahl ul Bayt has been enjoined on all the true believers. In fact those who do not love the Ahl ul Bayt are not the believers, therefore, the doctrine of tawalla is one of the fundamentals of the true faith, Islam original or Shi-aism.

Likewise, in the light of verse 28 of this surah, it is the duty of every Muslim to avoid and dislike the enemies and the allies and friends of the enemies of the Holy Prophet, because a believer cannot be a friend of those who hated and opposed the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt. Therefore, the doctrine of tabarra is also one of the fundamentals of the true faith, Shi-aism.

The love of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt makes man follow in their footsteps, which, in fact, is the love of Allah. Those who oppose them and follow their enemies go against Allah and His commandments.

A true lover of Allah becomes a devotee of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, and mindful of the life after death, his true love activates him to always do that which pleases Allah, the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, and refrain from acts of wickedness which certainly displease them; moreover, he remains attached with the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt and refrains from going near their ungodly enemies, be they his own kith and kin.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to An-am: 50;Araf: 203;Yunus: 15; Ahqaf: 9 and Najm: 3 and 4, since the Holy Prophet only followed the divine will, therefore, following in his footsteps is the only proof of the love of Allah, which alone entitles man to receive Allah’s love. Any deviation from his word or deed means the deviator not only loses Allah’s love but also earns His displeasure.

Ali ibna abi Talib has said:

The words and deeds of the Holy Prophet, from the beginning to the end of his stay in this world, were the truest demonstration of the divine revelations (nothing but a revelation revealed), and I did not follow any save him.

Therefore, Ali was the beloved of Allah and His prophet because he loved Allah and His prophet.

 

قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ ۖ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْكَافِرِينَ {32}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:32]

The Muslims have been warned in this verse that to disobey or even to show reluctance to obey the Holy Prophet is infidelity.

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَىٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَآلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَآلَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ {33}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:33]

In this verse Adam and Nuh are mentioned by their names, whereas Ibrahim and Imran are mentioned with reference to their posterity. Al (the posterity) of Adam and Nuh have not been included in the category of the chosen ones, because there were several ungodly and wicked persons in their lineage, but in the al (immediate issues) of Ibrahim (Ismail and Is-haq) and Imran (Musa and Harun), holy men of God, were chosen as messengers of Allah.

The mention of Ibrahim and Imran, undisputedly amongst the holiest prophets of Allah, has been made in this verse with reference to their posterity, because according to the religious annotation, in the word al the spiritual quality of a posterity automatically includes the immediate ancestor or the founder of a family. Al or Ahl ul Bayt, commonly used to address the members of a family, is exclusively reserved, in the religious and spiritual act of referring, for the holiest members of the family of the Holy Prophet who are identical with each other in their personal purity and spiritual sanctity (Ahzab: 33).

The Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt are in the posterity of Ibrahim, therefore, in the light of this verse, they are chosen in preference to all the created beings. They are superior to every human being. (Tafsir Durr al Manthur; and Mawahib al Ladunniya).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

It has been proved beyond doubt that he who submits to Allah’s will (becomes a Muslim) has to love Allah, His Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, then only he will be able to follow the sunnah (way of life) of the Holy Prophet, without which he cannot be a Muslim.

What is prophethood? How is a prophet selected or chosen? To know that prophethood is bestowed by a proper course of divine selection in which heredity plays a great part, the following observations should be carefully studied and understood.

(1) In strict compliance with the divine plan, every created being finds itself in the place it deserves in the arc of descent (downward journey from the absolute to the rudimentary matter) as well as in the arc of ascent (return upward journey from the rudimentary matter to the absolute).

(2) Therefore, selection means putting each particle of the universe in the proper place it deserves in the management of existence.

(3) The rudimentary matter, through the process of qualitative change, can take the form of a being, but each of the diverse forms it takes differs from the other in the combined effect of the aptitude and competency it bears. The solar system is a complex and intricate form of matter, yet all its parts or portions do not have the same ability as the earth does, nor do all the parts or portions of the earth carry the capacity to take the form of a living thing, nor do the parts or portions which carry the capacity to take the form of a living thing can become a human being; and likewise, the parts or portions which have the potential of becoming human beings do not necessarily produce men of superior quality. The part or portion of the matter which has the potential to take the form of a superior human being was selected for Adam. The process of creation is the same but, as education is a process of selection by means of which the latent mental capacities are awakened and used for higher purposes, the men of superior quality and character are made to emerge from that part or portion of the matter which has the potential to become a human being.

(4) It is necessary that the part or portion which has the potential of producing the superior-most human beings should not be contaminated in the course of its development whilst passing through the parental channels. Therefore, vigilant care by the divine agency has to carry the purity and refinement of this superiority through the selected lineage at all stages, till it reaches the desired destination. The Holy Quran refers here to this process of selection and choice of a particular lineage for risalat andimamat. It starts from Adam and passes through Nuh to Ibrahim. After Ibrahim it was bifurcated in his two sons, Ismail and Is-haq. The descendants of Ismail are known as ali Ibrahim, and the descendants of Is-haq are called ali Imran. The selection of the line of ali Imran for prophethood was terminated after Isa whose birth, disappearance (Allah raised him alive to the heaven) and promised re-appearance (at the end of this world before the day of resurrection) are the signs (miracles) of Allah; but the line of ali Ibrahim, through Ismail, remained chosen till Abd al Muttalib, and then again bifurcated through Abdullah and Abu Talib. Muhammad al Mustafa was the son of Abdullah and Ali al Murtada was the son of Abu Talib. When Ali and Bibi Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, were joined in the holy matrimony, the line of Ibrahim continued in their progeny:

Imam Hasan bin Ali al Mujtaba

Imam Husayn bin Ali al Shahid al Shuhada

Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zayn al Abidin

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq

Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim

Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Taqi

Imam Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi

Imam Hasan bin Ali al Askari

Imam Muhammad bin Hasan al Mahdi

The disappearance and the promised re-appearance of the living Iman al Mahdi resembles the disappearance and the promised re-appearance of Isa; both are examples for the house of Ismail and the house of Israil respectively (Zukhruf: 59). When both of them will re-appear at the end of the world, before the day of resurrection, prophet Isa will follow Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, and the whole mankind will follow them.

Allah chose Adam, Nuh, ali Ibrahim and ali Imran in preference to others for appointing His messengers and guides. It is a selection from the descendants of Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim and Imran, because all their children did not have the superior quality to represent Allah.

The Holy Prophet has said:

Allah selected Adam in preference to all other creatures; from among the descendants of Adam, He selected Nuh; from among the descendants of Nuh, He selected Ibrahim; from among the descendants of Ibrahim, He selected Ismail; from among the Quraysh, He selected Hashim. All of them carried my nur (the first light which came forth from the absolute and goes on till the day of resurrection to manifest ultimately in the arc of ascent). It passed through Abd al Muttalib to Abdullah and Abu Talib. I am from Abdullah and Ali is from Abu Talib. Ali and I are one and the same nur.

Dhurriyatan ba-duha min ba-din, in the next verse, excludes any possibility of including the followers in al, as some commentators try to do by comparing the word alused here with al used in ali Fir-awn, the followers of Fir-awn. Here, heredity is the essential basis of choosing a person for risalat, therefore, no follower can be included in the ali Muhammad (Ahl ul Bayt) for conferring the office of imamat. To acknowledge the excellence of Salman the Holy Prophet bestowed on him the highest honour of belonging to the select group of the Ahl ul Bayt but as he was not an offspring of the Holy Prophet, he could not be appointed as an Imam. In spite of her piety and righteousness Ummi Salimah was not considered one of the Ahl ul Bayt though suitable appreciation by the Holy Prophet consoled her. Some of his other wives also coveted for the inclusion but were refused without even a consolation.

The Holy Prophet, his ancestors and his descendants (ali Muhammad) are ali Ibrahim (Baqarah: 124, 128, 129; Ibrahim: 37). They were the descendants of Ismail. The descendants of Is-haq are also ali Ibrahim. Ali Imran may refer to Imran, the father of Musa and Harun, or to Imran, the father of Maryam, mother of Isa. Here aliIbrahim also includes Ibrahim, as Musa and Harun are included in ali Musa and ali Harun in verse 248 of al Baqarah.

 

ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِنْ بَعْضٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {34}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:34]

“One from the other” suggests continuation of the divine choice, without any break or cessation. It is for Ibrahim and ali Ibrahim, Imran and ali Imran. The posterity of Adam and Nuh has not been mentioned because some of the sons of Adam and Nuh were unbelievers, sinners and murderers.

As mentioned in the previous verse, the posterity of Ibrahim through Is-haq was not chosen after Isa, who had no offspring, but the descendants of Ibrahim through Ismail remained the chosen representatives of Allah, as His prophets and imams, in fulfilment of Ibrahim’s prayer (see the commentary of Baqarah: 124, 125). The Holy Prophet and his posterity through Ali and Fatimah (also see the commentary of al Kawthar) are the descendants of Ibrahim. With all the additions and omissions effected in the Tawrat, the Old Testament yet contains the divine prophecies which confirm the above noted facts. See commentary of Baqarah: 124 and 125 wherein the text of Genesis 12: 2 and 3; Genesis 16: 9 to 11;and Genesis 17: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 20 has been quoted.

The Holy Prophet has said:

(1) I and Ali are of one and the same light.

(2) Ali is a part of me and I am a part of Ali.

(3) The root of Ali and me is the same, but all other people come from various other origins.

(Zaynul Fata; Ibna Maghazali; Shafa-i; Kanzul Ummal, Ahmad ibna Hanbal).

The statement in these two verses, referring to the past, is a declaration of what has already taken place as a partial realisation of the divine will, and is a promised prophecy of its perfection when it refers to the future. Islam was the religion of Ibrahim, but it was completed and perfected through the Holy Prophet (Ma-idah: 3), and was continued in its pristine purity through Ali and his posterity which is the posterity of the Holy Prophet. In Genesis 17: 20 it is mentioned that Allah promised Ibrahim: He will multiply Ismail’s descendants and he (Ismail) shall be father of twelve princes)-twelve Imams in the posterity of Ibrahim, Ismail and the Holy Prophet, from Ali ibna abi Talib to Muhammad bin Hasan al Mahdi, offsprings, one from the other.

Also see commentary of the previous verse for “offspring, one from the other”.

 

إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ عِمْرَانَ رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ {35}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:35]

An extract from Burckhardt’s lectures on Syrian church is quoted below:

Devotees to the temple in the Jewish creed remained as recluses, cut off from worldly life, and practised celibacy. Imran the father of Mary (the mother of Jesus) seems evidently to be of priestly descent. This factor is borne out from the vow which his wife makes about her issue in her womb to dedicate it to the service of God. It is reasonably considered that it is possible that because of the vowful will of his grandmother that her issue be dedicated to God’s service, i.e., as a devotee to the temple, Jesus adopted the ascetic mode of life. Otherwise he had great respect for married life.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The word imra-at means wife when related to a personal noun, but alone it means a woman. In this verse it is related to Imran, therefore, means wife of Imran. As usual, to create confusion and deny miracles associated with the prophets of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator has translated imra-at as “woman” in order to twist and obscure the meanings of the words of this verse.

There are three persons named Imran:

(1) The father of Musa and Harun.

(2) The father of Maryam (grandfather of Isa).

(3) The father of Ali, the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet, known as Abu Talib.

Imran, the father of Maryam, is referred to in this verse, not Imran, the father of Musa and Harun. There is a long period of time between Musa and Isa, therefore, some of the Christian scholars wrongly conclude that the Quran and the Holy Prophet (God forbid) made a mistake by stating that the mother of Maryam is the sister of Musa. The Holy Prophet knew well that between Musa and Isa there were several prophets of Allah- Dawud, Sulayman, Yunus, Zakariyya, Yahya. Isa was the last prophet of the children of Israil, after whom none was sent as a prophet of Allah save Ahmad, the Holy Prophet himself, a fact recorded in Deuteronomy 18: 18, 19;John 4: 16; 15: 26; 16: 7, 8, 12, 13.

Muharraran means freed or liberated. Here it means freed from worldly attachments, and therefore devoted to Allah’s service.

 

فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنْثَىٰ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالْأُنْثَىٰ ۖ وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ {36}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:36]

When a female was born, Hanna, wife of Imran, was disappointed, because she had vowed to dedicate her son to the service of Allah, as it was a custom in those days to give one of the sons over to the temple in Jerusalem. Yet she named her daughter Maryam which, in Hebrew, means “maid-servant of God”; and brought her to the sanctuary. The priests unwillingly accepted Maryam on Hanna’s plea that her daughter was assigned by her to God’s service before her birth. She entrusted her daughter and her offspring (Isa) to Allah and invoked Him to keep both of them safe from satanic influence. Zakariyya, husband of Hanna’s sister, and Maryam’s maternal uncle, was chosen by casting lots to take charge of Maryam. As soon as she reached the age of puberty, he erected a high balcony where she used to stay the whole day, praying; and in the evening, he used to take her with him to her abode. The room in which she slept and lived during the night was always locked and its key was kept with him.

Ibna Hajjar and Abu Dawud relate that once the Holy Prophet visited Bibi Fatimah, took some water in his hand from a wooden cup, sprinkled it over her head and shoulders, and repeated the exact words of Hanna’s prayer, revealed in this verse.

In fulfilment of the Holy Prophet’s prayer, Bibi Fatimah was chosen by Allah as the superior most woman of the worlds, and eleven divinely commissioned guides (Imams) were born in her posterity.

 

فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنْبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا ۖ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا رِزْقًا ۖ قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ {37}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:37]

The desire of Hanna was fulfilled in Isa. The miraculous birth of Isa was a clear sign of the omnipotent will of Allah. As the creator of the laws of nature, He does not depend on their operation because whatever takes place in nature is an immediate effect of His will (see commentary of verse 6 of this surah).

Whenever Zakariyya came to see Maryam in the sanctuary, he found her provided with fresh fruits and eatables from heaven. This naturally excited wonder in him, since none could enter her locked chamber except himself. He used to ask, “Where has this come from?” And always she replied, “From Allah who gives food in abundance to whomsoever He likes”.

It is clear from this verse that she received food from Allah direct, miraculously, without the intervention of any physical agency (yarzuqu man yasha), therefore, the misinterpretation of the Ahmadi commentator that the food might be the offerings of the worshippers is ridiculously mischievous, because, in reality, the worshippers could not meet Maryam without Zakariyya’s knowledge who was the only person who could open the locked door to let them in. The Ahmadi commentator not only slanders Maryam but also tries to present Zakariyya, a prophet of Allah, as a fool who wonders every time (kullama) he sees the food near Maryam. It is an attempt to bring the prophets and the chosen friends of Allah to the (low) level of the false prophet of Qadiyan.

Shaykh Sadi says:

The beauty of Yusuf, the breath of Isa (whereby he resuscitated the dead), the white hand of Musa, those excellences they had separately, you (O Muhammad) alone have all of them.

Miracles, similar to those that took place in the lives of the prophets separately, were repeated by the Holy Prophet.

It is written in “Anwar al Tanzil”, “Kashshaf” and “Malim al Tanzil” (the books accepted as the most authentic by Sunni scholars) that sometimes the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt had to go without food. On such a day the Holy Prophet went to his daughter and asked for some food. She had no food to give to her father. For the last three days she, her husband and her children had nothing in the house to eat. Fatimah stood on her prayer-mat and invoked Allah to help her so that she could serve food to her father. Suddenly steam began to come out from the vessels lying empty in the kitchen. After removing the lids, she found the best kinds of food in them. She brought the food and told her father:

“It is from Allah, who gives food in abundance to whomsoever He likes.”

“Glory be to Allah. He has given you food as He had given to Maryam” said the Holy Prophet.

Not only the whole family ate the food but it was also distributed amongst the neighbours.

 

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ {38}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:38]

The clear evidence of Allah’s extraordinary benevolence prompted Zakariyya to pray for a son he longed all his life. Tayyab means virtuous, blessed, pure and good.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Prophet Zakariyya’s prayer makes it clear that Maryam received her sustenance direct from Allah, the miraculous nature of which made Zakariyya turn to Allah to beseech Him for a son he could not have since his wife was barren; and as a prophet he knew that only a miracle willed by Allah could give him a son. So, what the Ahmadi commentator says is a wilful distortion.

 

فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ {39}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:39]

In Luke 1: 5 and 13, it is stated that an angel appeared to Zakariyya on the right of the altar of incense (mihrab-the private chamber of a prayer house, partitioned and kept hidden from the eyes of the people) and said to him: “Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard, your wife will bear a son, and you shall name him John (Yahya).”

Kalimah means a word. In verse 171 of al Nisa also, Isa has been described as a word of Allah, which refers to his birth from a virgin mother, a unique distinction, because he was born at the command of Allah, when He said: “Be”. Allah does what He wills. He can create a being by making amendments in the laws of nature, created by Himself, which always obey His will.

A single word may have a meaningful implication. Isa is the kalimah of Allah. The Holy Prophet is referred to as dhikr (reminder) in verse 10 of al Talaq.

The Ahmadi commentator quotes An-am: 34; Yunus: 64; Kahf: 27, 109; Luqman: 27 and Tahrim: 12 to interpret kalimah as prophecy, but he intentionally avoids to mention Ali Imran: 44 and Nisa: 171 where kalimah has been used to describe Isa as the “word of Allah”.

Yahya (John) was the cousin of Isa, six months older than Isa, who was the first person to believe in Isa as a true prophet of Allah, sent to revive the faithful practice of the law of Musa. Yahya was killed before Isa’s ascension to the heavens.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The phrase bi-kalimatin used here as a common noun (nakirah-indefinite) shows that Isa is not the only kalimah (or the only “word”, in this sense, from Allah) but there are more and he is one of them.

 

قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِيَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَأَتِي عَاقِرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ اللَّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ {40}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:40]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In view of Zakariyya’s observation that old age has overtaken him and his wife was barren, it becomes clear that the meaning of anna is “how”, because till then they did not have any child at all; therefore, anna cannot be translated as “when” in this verse unless the translator is an Ahmadi (Qadiyani) who has done so on account of his determined policy to oppose miracles tooth and nail. In verse 47 of this surah he translates anna as “how”. Although in both these verses anna (how) signifies the sense of surprise and indicates the events of the births of Isa and Yahya as miracles effected by the will of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator, in this verse, inserts a wrong word, and in verse 47, after translating anna as “how” puts forward lame arguments to deny Maryam’s virginity (see commentary of verse 47 of this surah). The statement that “Allah does whatsoever He wills” settles irrevocably the birth of Yahya as a definite miracle.

“But they had no children, for Elizabeth (Zakariyya’s wife) was barren, and both were well on in years. Zachariah said to the angel: How can I be sure of this? I am old and my wife is well on in years. (Luke 1: 7 and 18)

Qad balaghaniyal kibaru (when indeed old age has overtaken me) is not a conjunctive clause. It is an adverbial subordinate to the principal clause. The word wa, used on two occasions in this verse, means “while”, not “and”, otherwise the answer would not correspond to the question, clearly suggesting surprise. If it was to mean what the Ahmadi commentator thinks, the answer should have been mahma yasha instead of ma yasha, because in answer to a question about time “whatsoever” (the way in which) cannot be used.

 

قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ لِي آيَةً ۖ قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلَّا تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلَّا رَمْزًا ۗ وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ {41}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:41]

Owing to his curiosity to know as to when a son will be born in spite of their natural disability, Zakariyya had asked the Lord to appoint a sign for him.

“You will not speak to men for three days” was the sign given to him.

“You will lose your power of speech, and remain silent until the day when these things happen to you.” (Luke 1: 20) The verb tukallima is in a tense which is used for the present and the future. It is wrong to translate la tukallima as “you should not speak.” “You will not speak” is the true translation as explained by Aqa Mahdi Puya in the following note.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In reply to Zakariyya’s request for a sign which could let him know that his wife was blessed with a child, the almighty Lord gave him the sign that he would not be able to talk to the people whilst being fully occupied with remembrance and praise and glorification of Allah, day and night. The command was to remember Allah and glorify Him all the time. So it was obvious that a prophet of Allah, while carrying out his Lord’s command, would not find time to speak to the people at all, otherwise there was no restriction on uttering words from the mouth. Praise and glorification of Allah takes man into the pure domain of spiritualism through which he overcomes physical disabilities and obstacles, and obtains grace and blessings of Allah. The laws of nature, known to man, can be controlled, modified or altered by the spiritual and divine agency.

It is said that through the science of hypnosis the will of the living being can be controlled, then how can one deny the superior power of the spirit which can effect any change in any natural phenomenon?

 

وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَىٰ نِسَاءِ الْعَالَمِينَ {42}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:42]

The position of Bibi Fatimah as the superior-most woman in the universe has been acknowledged by all the Muslim scholars (please refer to Mishkat al Masabih bab al manaqib), therefore, the following note of Aqa Mahdi Puya should be carefully studied.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The first istafaki (selection of Maryam) refers to her apostolical lineage (in the seed of Ibrahim) and her purification. The second istafaki refers to the fact that she was chosen to become the mother of a prophet without a father, remaining a virgin therefore, up to her time and till the advent of the Holy Prophet, she was the best of the women in the worlds. The Holy Prophet has declared that Bibi Fatimah is the chief of the women in the universe; (because) Bibi Fatimah was the daughter of the superior most prophet of Allah, the seal of prophethood; and the wife of an Imam who alone has the unique distinction of, “Ali’s flesh is my flesh, Ali’s blood in my blood, and I and he are from the same divine light” (saying of the Holy Prophet), and the mother of eleven holy Imams and through her last son the divine will and justice shall prevail on the earth, and the son of Maryam, Isa, shall follow him. Through verse 33 of Al Ahzab, she, Ali and their sons have been thoroughly purified. Therefore, (as the Holy Prophet has declared) Maryam was chosen and her status remained so till his daughter Fatimah was born and thereafter Fatimah is the most blessed, thoroughly purified, and the choicest woman, the best of all the women in the universe from beginning to the end, in all ages, among whom are included Asiyah, Maryam, and Khadijah al Kubrah.

On account of the charges levelled against Maryam by the Jews, her status has been made clear in this verse, but in view of her thorough purification in verse 33 of al Ahzab and the declaration of the Holy Prophet, whose spoken words are as absolute and true as the word of Allah in the light of verses 2 and 3 of al Najm, no one could, and did not, question the character and the status of Bibi Fatimah; therefore, there was no need to mention her, as no ambiguity or slander ever existed concerning her sublime character. The Holy Prophet’s words are enough to establish her as the superior most woman among all the women in the universe for all times.

Muhammad Iqbal, known as the philosopher- poet of the east, accepted as a scholar of great depth and vision by all the Muslims, has given his opinion about Fatimah Zahra in the light of the historical facts mentioned in the books of Islamic history. He says:

Maryam, of one connection with Isa, is venerable; (but) for three relationships Fatimah is revered, respected and glorified; she is the light of the eyes (dearest darling daughter) of the “mercy unto the worlds”, the leader of those who have gone by and of those who will come; she is the wife of he who wears the crown of Hal-Ata (Surah al Dahr), the chosen, the divine helper, the fearless overpowering strength of Allah; she is the mother of the axis of the circle of love and devotion, the leader-in-chief of the caravan of lovers and devotees (Hasan and Husayn).

 

يَا مَرْيَمُ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ {43}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:43]

Maryam is neither a goddess nor a mother-God. She is a created being and as such she has been asked to pray like all true and devout servants of Allah.

 

ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۚ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُونَ أَقْلَامَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ {44}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:44]

Ghayb means unseen, mystic, spiritual, unknown, or unknowable through the corrupted extracts of the books in the hands of the Jews and the Christians. The knowledge of all things and events the Holy Prophet had was revealed to him by Allah alone as has been said in al Najm: Nor he speaks of (his own) desire; it is naught save a revelation revealed (to him). There was no means of knowing the dispute among the priests of the sanctuary as to who should have Maryam in his charge (because the accurate records of these events have been obliterated altogether) except by revelation. The Holy Prophet knew about the casting of lots to select Zakariyya to take charge of Maryam, as if he was there when this event took place.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir has related that Abd al Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet, had nine sons, and he had vowed that if a (tenth) son was born he would sacrifice him in the name of Allah. Then Abdullah, the father of the Holy Prophet, was born, and to fulfil his vow he made preparations to sacrifice him in the name of Allah, but his friends and relatives requested him to ascertain if camels could be sacrificed in Abdullah’s place, by casting lots, as was done to select Zakariyya to take charge of Maryam. In the first casting of lots (ten camels against the life of Abdullah) the name of Abdullah appeared. The casting of lots was repeated eight times by adding 10 more camels every time, and on all occasions it was Abdullah who was selected, but at the tenth time, with 100 camels, the casting of lots chose the sacrifice of 100 camels in place of Abdullah. Abd al Muttalib repeated the casting of lots with 100 camels thrice and received the same answer. Then he was satisfied that Allah wanted to spare the life of Abdullah (the father of the Holy Prophet). The Holy Prophet used to say: “I am the sons of two sacrifices-Ismail and Abdullah.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The prophets of Allah did not know the unseen, the unknown, or the unknowable through ordinary means, unless the knowledge of the ghayb (the knowledge of the past, right from the beginning of creation and the events of the future which would take place in this world and in the hereafter) was revealed to them as much as Allah wills; therefore it is stated in this verse that Allah informs the Holy Prophet about the ghayb through revelation to know not only that which was unknowable through ordinary means but also that which was knowable through regular media.

 

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ {45}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:45]

For kalimah see commentary of verse 39 of this surah. Masih literally means the “anointed”.

Allah refers to Isa as the son of Maryam, because she gave birth to him without a male partner by keeping her virginity intact.

The Ahmadi commentator interprets al masih as he who travels much, just because in his opinion Isa, after escaping crucifixion, came to Kashmir. Further, to deny the miraculous birth of Isa, he finds a father for him, totally ignoring the clear mention of “Isa son of Maryam” as mentioned in this verse and the miraculous birth of Adam and Hawwa without parents, since he wants to bring down the chosen prophets of Allah to the ordinary level of the man whom he (the Ahmadi translator) proclaims as the Messiah. It seems that the deniers of miracles and supernatural powers, one day, will find a father for God also, in order to reject the wajib al wujud

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Minal muqarrabin (to be brought nearest to Allah) in the light of verses 10 to 14 of al Waqi-ah, are those who are foremost in faith, virtue and receiving rewards-they are numerous among the followers of the prophets prior to the Holy Prophet, but a few among his followers. The few righteous among the followers of the Holy Prophet are only his awsiya, the Ahl ul Bayt.

 

وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا وَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ {46}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:46]

This verse makes it clear that Isa shall speak to people from the cradle in the same style and manner, containing the same substance and content, which he will convey to them in his mature age. If it is wrongly presumed that as a child in the cradle he will speak to people like an ordinary child, not conveying the message of Allah, the information Allah gives to Maryam becomes unnecessary, because there is no sense in recording this fact, if it means nothing more than the “ordinary experience of every child who is not dumb”. “And in maturity” confirms that what he will speak to people in maturity, which undoubtedly was the revealed message of Allah to be conveyed to mankind as a messenger of Allah, he will speak and make known even as a child in the cradle. It is a miracle. The Ahmadi commentator, avoiding deliberately with malafide the miraculous life of Isa, says that it was an ordinary child’s talk, having no sense or meaning. It is clear that either the commentator had no literary education or he deliberately wanted to ridicule the Quran.

 

قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ اللَّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {47}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:47]

Anna means “how”, used by Maryam to express her surprise or curiosity as Zakariyya did in verse 40 of this surah. There is no room for translating anna as “when” in both the events. Lam yamsasni basharun (when no man has touched me) clearly shows that the news of the forthcoming birth of Isa was given to Maryam in her state of virginity, which was going to take place without the agency of a male partner, suspending the natural process necessary for a woman to conceive a child.

As stated in the preceding verse the Ahmadi commentator overlooks and takes no notice of the clear words of this verse and makes desperate attempts to put forward his outlandish theory that though the Quran does not mention the name of Isa’s father but as Maryam had other children (the four gospels in which this is stated are inauthentic and come in the category of folklore, therefore, should be rejected in view of the verses of the Quran) there should have been a man who had begotten Isa. By stating that Maryam was not a virgin he belies verses 42, 45, 46 and 47 Of this surah and verses 17 to 22 of Maryam wherein it is clearly mentioned that Isa was a gift from Allah given to Maryam when she, surprised, asks the angel: “How can there be a son (born) to me when no man has touched me?” In between the lines the Ahmadi commentator has tried to tell the Muslims that the reporting of the Quran is incredible, therefore, false, and Maryam’s statement (lam yamsasni basharun) is a lie, which has not been exposed in the Quran because Allah does not know what she had been doing secretly. The reasons for this mischief-making has been given in the commentary of the preceding verses 45 and 46.

One of the reasons for revealing these verses was to counter and squash doubts and misgivings that people may have and express so as not to believe in the possibility of the birth of a child (Isa) to a virgin female (Maryam) without a male partner, otherwise if Isa was to be born in the ordinary course of nature, there should have been no necessity to mention these events at all.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The religion of Allah, Islam, emphatically states that Maryam, the mother of Isa, was a virgin. She did not have any kind of sexual relation with any man before or after the birth of Isa and remained a virgin in the strict sense of the word till she departed from this world, as has been mentioned in verse 12 of al Tahrim that Maryam, the daughter of Imran, guarded her chastity, and Allah breathed into her His spirit (Isa), and she was an obedient servant of Allah, and she testified the truth of the words of her Lord-she neither lied nor kept anything hidden, because, as Allah says, she was truthful.

Kadhalikallahu yakhlaqu ma yasha (even so Allah creates whatsoever He wills) refers to the process of creation in which the principal active factor is His will or command-Ali ibna abi Talib has said that kun (be) is not a sound or voice which the ear receives and hears, but Allah’s word is His work which takes effect at once whenever He wills.

In this sense every creature is the result of His creative word or the manifestation of the imperative word kun (be); therefore, every creature is the word of Allah. The obvious inequality in the creatures is due to the variance in presentation of His notion and attributes by each creature.

 

وَيُعَلِّمُهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ {48}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:48]

“Allah taught Isa the book and wisdom, and the Tawrat and the Injil” brings up the question as to when Isa received the education promised in this verse. In the light of verse 46 of this surah, he was sent into this world with the knowledge of the book and wisdom, the Tawrat and the Injil. All the Muslims know and acknowledge that the Holy Prophet, the seal of prophethood, is the superior-most prophet of Allah, the chief of all the prophets, whose advent has been continuously promised by Allah long before the birth of Isa-see Deuteronomy 18: 5, 15, 18 and 19 text of which has been mentioned in the commentary of al Baqarah: 253, wherein is also mentioned that which Isa said about the advent of the Holy Prophet (the comforter, the spirit of truth) John: 14: 16, 17; 15: 26; 16: 7 to 13.

Is there any sense in saying that the Holy Prophet was an illiterate who acquired whatever learning he had from ordinary mortals, when Isa came into this world endowed with divine knowledge? Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 78. All Muslims should feel ashamed to believe in the lie that the Holy Prophet took fright at the sight of angel Jibrail on the mountain of Hira; he returned home scared stiff; his wife, Khadija al Kubra, consoled him and took him to Warqa bin Nawfil, a Christian, who informed him that prophethood had been bestowed on him, because it was not a devil that he saw on the mountain of Hira but an angel. May Allah forgive them for believing in such nonsense which the devil must have invented to lead the so-called Muslims astray. Please refer to verses 1 to 4 of al Rahman wherein it is said that Allah, the beneficent, Himself taught the Quran to the Holy Prophet, described as the MAN, the divinely perfected ideal man, to be followed by every man who desires to be a real human being.

The Holy Prophet has said:

I was a prophet when Adam was yet amidst water and clay.

The birth of Isa was a miracle. He lived a godly life, exposed the hypocrisy and corruption of the Jews, and gave the glad tidings of the advent of the Holy Prophet.

Please also refer to verses 27 to 34 of Maryam which confirm that which has been stated in verses 46 and 48 of this surah.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Isa, a muta-allim (student), was taught the book and wisdom, the Tawrat and the Injil and sent to the children of Israil as a prophet, whereas the Holy Prophet, endowed with the divine wisdom, and knowledge of all creation, with the Quran, was sent as the last prophet to all those who are born to women (ummi), all the human beings including the Jews, the Christians and those who do not follow any heavenly scripture, to rehearse to them the divine signs, to purify them and to teach them.

 

وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنْفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ {49}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:49]

Isa was sent as “a messenger to the children of Bani Israil”. Please refer to Matthew 15: 22 to 26 wherein it is also stated that Isa had declared: “I was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israil, and to them alone”. As per Matthew 10: 5 and 6, Isa commanded his twelve disciples:

“Do not take the road to gentile lands, and do not enter a Samaritan town; but go to the lost sheep of the house of Israil (to proclaim the message)”.

Modern Christian scholars have to acknowledge the advice of Isa, and his earliest disciples, not to treat his message as universal.

“The earlier group of disciples, it is true, did not appreciate the universality of the teaching of Jesus, nor did Jesus seek converts outside Israil”.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica 29 volumes 11th edition-London)

A miracle (a credential of prophethood) is an extraordinary occurrence which cannot be produced by any natural agency but only by the direct will of Allah. It may be either above natural law or contrary to it or else independent of it. Once the existence of a “wajib ul wujud” (Allah) is proved as a fact (see commentary of al Baqarah: 255) there is no a priori impediment in believing that He can perform whatever He wills in any manner that He deems fit and necessary. The possibility of miracles can never be questioned by a theist, because a miracle is only an exercise of free-will on the part of the creator and author of the creation with all its laws-a fulfilment of His purpose in a way that appears novel to the onlookers (who can never know that which He knows and controls). It does sometimes happen that the public mind is led to the acceptance of the divine truths not by any rational arguments or moral and spiritual evidence but only by the miraculous manifestations of the divine power at the hands of His approved and appointed representatives to generate conviction in men of average intelligence. So Isa, by Allah’s permission, formed, of clay, a thing like a bird and breathed in to it (and Allah made the thing alive), cured blindness and leprosy, put life into the dead and told the people their most secret affairs. Matthew 8: 3, 9 : 18, 19, 23 to 25, 27 to 30; and Mark 8: 22 to 25; and Luke 7 :12 to 15; Luke 17: 12 to 14; and John 9: 1 to 7, 11:11 to 44 refer to the miracles mentioned in this verse. As has been said in the commentary of verse 3 of this surah, the four gospels of the New Testament are not the Injil revealed to Isa but a collection of traditions pertaining to Isa, referring to his activities in Galilee, Jerusalem and other habitations of the Jews; therefore, it is not free from the bias, pride and prejudice of the writers of the four gospels. The Jews and the Christians were always in a state of hostility. Blasphemies have been invented and false reporting made by both of them to glorify their heroes and discredit other’s leaders. So whatever is mentioned in their books of traditions cannot be true, and that which has been omitted cannot be rejected as false. For example, the turning of water into wine for a marriage party by Isa, mentioned as the first miracle of Isa, is, by all standards, a fabricated story; or the way in which Isa is reported to have rebuked his mother: “Woman ! what have I to do with you”. How can a prophet of Allah say such words to his mother whom Allah had chosen and purified? The Old and the New Testaments are a mixture of truth and falsehood. The Quran, the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahlul Bayt have correctly presented Isa as the holy spirit of Allah and as an infallible prophet of Allah. (See notes “The Tawrat” and “The Injil” at the end of al Ma-idah).

In the days of Isa the people to whom he was particularly sent (the Jews) could not be effectively convinced with the help of arguments based on reason because of their ready inclination to believe in anything which confounded their raw and undeveloped intelligence. For example, magic and witchcraft excited their imagination. More often than not, they responded to suggestions made through either of them, therefore, the purpose of the miraculous manifestation of the divine powers at his hands was to make them believe in him and in that which he preached, as the prophet of Allah. The Holy Prophet, in theory and practice, was endowed with the extraordinary power to perform all or any of the miracles manifested by all the prophets, from Adam to Isa. The Holy Prophet did not have to resort to miracles on account of the following reasons:

(1) His matchless and ideal character before announcing his ministry-His life in Makka convinced the people, among whom he was sent, that he was trustworthy and truthful; therefore, they used to address him as al-amin and al-sadiq.

(2) His noble lineage-he was a direct descendant of prophet Ibrahim.

(3) He had an everlasting miracle with him-the Quran.

And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a surah like it; and call on your witnesses besides Allah, if you are truthful.

But if you do not do it and you will never do it, then, safeguard yourselves with full awareness of divine laws from the fire whose fuel is men and stones-prepared for the unbelievers. (Al Baqarah: 23 and 24)

(4) The Holy Prophet, the last messenger of Allah was commissioned to convey the final divine message and to invite the people to worship one Allah, at a time when the human mind was on the threshold of the era of finding out truth through reason and contemplation. The human mind was ready to listen to rational arguments and reflect, think and judge. Awesome and wondrous manifestations, to bring home to people the truth, were a thing of the past. So the Holy Prophet, in spite of having all the powers to manifest miracles, called mankind unto the way of the Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation (words of good advice), and reasoned with the people in the best way, as has been asked by the Lord in verse 125 of al Nahl.

As stated in al Baqarah: 118 (Please refer to its commentary) not only the Holy Prophet, but also the divinely chosen Imams had performed miracles, whenever they deemed it necessary and thought that it would serve a useful purpose, but refused to put them to use as an answer to the challenge of any antagonistic individual or group, who even after witnessing the same would not accept the truth.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

It is logical to conclude (after rejecting the concocted insinuation of motivated reporters of the traditions, that the Holy Prophet was illiterate, an unimaginable defamation of a prophet of Allah, but held as true by the majority of his followers, except shias) that when Isa, a follower of the Holy Prophet, sent only to the children of Bani Israil, was taught the book and the wisdom by Allah Himself, the Holy Prophet, who came to guide and warn the whole mankind, in all ages, must have been and, in fact, was thoroughly purified from the dirt of ignorance, and was endowed with divine wisdom, and knew not only to read and write but had total and complete knowledge of the book of creation, the book of legislation and all the holy scriptures revealed to other prophets before him. The Holy Quran, in verses 1 to 4 of al Rahman, says that therahman Himself not only taught the rahmatun lil alamin the entire process of creation but also blessed him with the faculties of appropriating knowledge and giving expression to that which he was taught, with complete and perfect control. Although the ultimate agent for giving shape or character to a thing, in the domains of creation and legislation, is the will of Allah, yet His approved intermediaries are also allowed to take action. Therefore it was neither blasphemy nor transgressing the limits when Isa said: “I will create a bird, out of clay, for you”, or “I will heal the blind and the leper”, or “I will raise the dead”, because he did all that he said by Allah’s permission. On the other hand, it is a blasphemy to belie the person on whom Allah has bestowed such powers, or to whom He has delegated His authority to act on His behalf. According to verse 69 of al Nahl there is healing for mankind in that which comes out from the abdomen of the bee (honey). So, there is no wonder, if the soil of Karbala, the resting place of His devotee, Imam Husayn, is used to cure and heal many a disease (known as khaki shifa). What has been given to whom by Him can be found out by referring to authentic sources.

 

وَمُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَجِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ{50}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:50]

Isa had no new message. He confirmed that which had been conveyed by Musa. He preached the unity of Allah, not trinity. See James 2: 19; John 20: 17;Timothy (1) 2: 5; Jude 25.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to verse 50, Isa had the authority to repeal or amend the laws of Musa, therefore, he cancelled some of the laws of Tawrat, but, in the New Testament, a saying of Isa is reported that: mountains may move but not a word from the Tawrat will be removed. The Quran presents Isa as a law-giver prophet. He asks people to obey him and follow his orders in addition to the testament that they already had. He also asks them to adhere to the right path which implies that adherence is not following a particular legislation but strict compliance with all the laws issued by Allah.

Whoever obeys the laws laid down by the succeeding prophets, in fact, carries out the orders of the preceding prophets, but if one only gives allegiance to the previous prophets and rejects the orders of those prophets who came after, in reality, renounces all the prophets. This applies also to the commandments of Allah. If one obeys Him throughout his life but revolts in the last moments of his life, he will be cursed, as Iblis (Shaytan) was condemned for ever. On the other hand, if one surrenders to Him in obedience and sincerely in the dying hours of his life, his past sins may be forgiven.

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۗ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُسْتَقِيمٌ {51}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:51] (see commentary for verse 50)

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنْصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ {52}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:52]

The Jews disbelieved that which Isa had said and planned to kill him. Hawariyyun refers to the disciples of Isa, who were usually dressed in white garments, or to those who were deputed by Isa to preach the unity of Allah, the true gospel. In both cases it may also refer to the purity of their hearts.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Man ansari (who will be my helpers unto Allah?) corresponds to an identical event known as dawat al ashirah. When the verse “And warn your tribe of near relatives” was revealed, the Holy Prophet asked Ali to invite the tribe of his near relatives at the house of Abu Talib. Before the leaders of the Quraysh, like Isa, he said:

“O kinsmen! By Allah, I and I alone can offer you the most precious of gifts, the good of this world and of the hereafter. Allah has commanded me to call you to that which is the best-His worship.

I, therefore, call upon you to come forward and testify to my prophethood. Who among you will help me and join me in my task, and be my brother, my lieutenant, my vicegerent and my successor?”

Ali was the only person who came forward in response to the call of the Holy Prophet. Then and there the Holy Prophet declared:

“Verily Ali is my brother, my vicegerent and my successor. From this day it has been made obligatory upon every one to obey the superior authority of Ali.”

(See page 4).

The above event and address have been recorded by a large number of notable scholars and prominent traditionists in their books, for example, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatam, Ibn Marduwayh and Abu Na’im, and Bayhaqi, who has recorded it in both of his books, Sunan and Dala’il, and Tha’labi and Tabari in their great commentaries of surah al-Shu’ara’. Tabari has recorded this also in his Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk (i.e. the history of the various people and their rulers), Vol. 2, p. 217, in somewhat different words, and Ibn Athir has recorded this among the traditions universally accepted to be genuine in his Tarikh al Kamil Vol 2, p. 22, under the caption “Allah ordered His messenger to declare his messengership.” Abd al-Fida has recorded this event in Vol. 1, p. 116 of his book on history in connection with the account of the person who was the first to embrace Islam, and Abu Jafar al-Iskafi Mu’tazali has recorded it in his book Naqd al-Uthmaniyyah and fully explained its authenticity, as mentioned in Sharh al-Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 263, by Ibn Abi Hadid, printed in Egypt. As regards the book Naqd al-Uthmaniyya it is really matchless. The author has thoroughly discussed everything connected with the Prophet’s invitation in vol. 3, pp. 257-281, in his comments on the concluding portion of Khutbah al-Qasiah.

Halabi has recorded it in his famous Sirah al-Halabiyah where he has described it in the chapter on the hiding of the Holy Prophet and his companions in the house of Araqam. Please refer to vol. 1, p. 381. The reckless narration of the event and indiscriminate comments thereon by Ibn Taymiyah deserve no attention because of his well-known party spirit, for this event has been recorded even by the socialist writer Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal of Egypt, who has described the event at length in his magazine Al-Siyasah no. 2751, p. 5, col. 2, published on 12 Dhil-Qadah. 1350 A.H. If you refer to no. 2785 of the said magazine, p. 6, col. 4, you will find that he (Mr. Haykal) has recorded this tradition (i.e., the address) on the authority of Muslim’s Sahih, Ahmad’s Musnad, Abdullah ibn Ahmad’s Ziyadat al-Musnad, Ibn Hajar Makki’s Jami’al-Fawaid, Ibn Qutaybah’s Ayun al-Akhbar, Ahmad ibn Abd Rabbuh’s Aqd al-Farid, Umar ibn Bahr al-Hajiz’s pamphlet Banu Hashim and Abu Ishaq al-Tha’labi’s commentary of the Quran.

In view of the importance and universal fame of this tradition, many European writers (the French, the English and the German, etc.) have mentioned this tradition in their books, and Thomas Carlyle has also mentioned this briefly in his Heroes and Hero Worship.

Besides the above, many notable scholars and traditionists have recorded this tradition in their books with some difference in words but no difference in implication, e.g., Tahawi, Diya Maqdasi in his Mukhtarah, Said ibn Mansur in his Sunan, etc. However, sufficient for our purpose is the tradition recorded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who has related the tradition from Ali in his Musnad, vol. 1, pp 111 and 159. He has recorded in Musnad, Vol. 1, beginning of p. 331, another important tradition from Ibn Abbas that enumerates ten such characteristics of Ali which distinguish him from all others; Nasai has also quoted this from Ibn Abbas in his Khasais al Alawiyah (distinguishing qualities of Ali), p. 6; Hakam has recorded it in his Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 132, and al-Dhahabi in his Talkhis (abridged edition) of Mustadrak. He has also admitted the genuineness of the tradition. In Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, the event has been related at length.

If you will refer to Muntakhabi (selections from) Kanz al-Ummal, which has been printed on the margin of Musnad of Ahmad and peruse the contents of the margins of vol. 5, pp. 41-43, you will find the tradition in its details. This one event of warning to the kinsfolk and the address by the Holy Prophet alone, which has been recorded by almost all the scholars, historians or traditionists, amply prove that the imamat and khilafat were the right of Ali.

What Ali undertook that day, successfully and truly, was carried out through out his life.

In verse 52, the devoted disciples of Isa bear witness that they have surrendered themselves to His will. In verse 53 they pray for attaining the quality of the witness referred to in verse 17 of al Hud, which refers to the Holy Prophet as a clear sign of Allah and to Ali as a witness, a guide and a mercy, from Allah. The Holy Prophet’s declarations (“I and Ali are from one and the same divine light” and “Ali is from me and I am from Ali”) are based upon this verse and verse 61 of this surah, through which Ali has been established as the sole “self” (nafs) of the Holy Prophet. See Sahih Bukhari, chapter “manaqib”.

 

رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {53}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:53] (see commentary for verse 52)

وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ {54}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:54]

Makr means to employ a plan, not known to the opponent, to outwit and have an upper hand over him. It is condemnable if employed for an evil purpose. It is commendable if employed for a good purpose. The Jews plotted to put Isa to death, but Allah saved him by frustrating his enemies’ plot.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

A similar but unsuccessful attempt was made by the hypocrites to kill the Holy Prophet, while he was returning from Tabuk, and also when he was coming back to Madina from Makka, after performing the last Hajj. Hudhayfa, the trusted companion of the Holy Prophet, knew the names of the plotters. Every well-known companion of the Holy Prophet used to ask him if his name was also in the list of plotters.

 

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ {55}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:55]

As stated in verses 45 to 47 of this surah (please refer to their commentary) the birth of Isa was a miracle. His departure from this world to the heaven, alive, was also a miracle. It is stated in Minhaj al Sadiqin that Isa was kept in custody in a room during the night following which he was to be crucified in the morning. At daybreak, Judas the hypocrite companion of Isa, who had betrayed him to the Roman soldiers, went into the room to escort Isa to the place of crucifixion. As soon as he entered the room, he was miraculously transformed into a person who resembled Isa. When he came out of the room the Roman soldiers took him to the cross and crucified him, in spite of his loud and desperate protestations.

In Badshah Husain’s English translation of the Holy Quran, Sale is quoted on page 14 of Vol. 11. as under:

“It is supposed by several that this story was an original of Mohammad’s but they are certainly mistaken, for several sectarians held the same opinion, long before his time. The Basilidians (Irrenus I.I.C 23 and C. Epiphan Haeres 24 num III) in the very beginning of Christianity, denied that Christ himself suffered, but that Simon the Cyraracean was crucified in his place. The Corinthians before them and the Carpocratians next (to name no more of those who affirmed Jesus to have been a mere man) did believe the same thing; it was not himself, but one of his followers very like him that was crucified. Photius tells us that he read a book entitled “The Journeys of the Apostles”, relating the acts of Peter, John, Andrew, Thomas and Paul, and among other things contained therein, this was one, that Christ was not crucified, but another in his stead, and that therefore he laughed at his crucifiers (Photius Bible Cod 114, col. 291) or those who thought they had crucified him (Tolands’ Nazrenus p. 17 and c.)”

The Jewish plot to kill Isa was prevented by the best of planners, the almighty Allah.

Tawaffa is to fulfil a promise. Inni mutawaffika means “I will complete your term”. The word may mean death or to take away. It has been used in both its meanings in the Quran. The Ahmadi commentator, to deny the miraculous escape of Isa from being crucified, misinterprets the word tawaffa as Isa’s physical death. The Holy Prophet and the holy Imams have said that Isa will come down again from the heaven before the day of resurrection and offer prayers behind Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, the last Imam in the progeny of the Holy Prophet.

“And set those who follow you (victorious) above those who disbelieve”, refers to those Christians who accepted Isa as a true prophet of Allah, followed his teachings, and believed in his prophecy about the advent of the Holy Prophet. See Genesis 17: 7, 8, 20; Acts 3: 22 to 25; John 1: 19 to 21; 14: 16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7 to 13. The true believers in Isa, were Muslims. Those who believe in Isa as a son of God or God are infidels.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The incoherent recording of the events of Isa’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection in the New Testament, proves that the whole story had been fabricated to suit the doctrines of the Christian church. Paul had distorted the true faith of Isa to accommodate Roman paganism. Their story should be judged in the light of the following analysis:

(1) Those who came to arrest Isa, in the darkness of night, had never seen his face.

(2) It was Judas who, standing beside Isa, identified him.

(3) Judas’ features were very much like Isa’s.

(4) As the light was very dim, their faces could not be seen clearly.

(5) The soldiers were afraid of the people, who certainly would have started a struggle at any moment and made their task difficult, so they were in a great hurry.

(6) It was Judas who was crucified.

(7) The crucified body was brought down from the cross in the early hours of dawn.

(8) The disciples ran away from the scene and did not witness the burial.

(9) The grave, in which the crucified body was buried, was found empty.

(10) The only witness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene whose versions, given in the four gospels, differ from each other. In some, she was there when Isa rose from the grave; and in some, when she approached the grave, she was told by another unknown witness that her Lord was raised to heaven.

(11) Isa was seen by the disciples after the resurrection

It is a fact that it was not Isa who was crucified. He was saved. His disciples gave currency to the idea of his crucifixion so that the Jews remained assured of his death, else they would have gone in his pursuit. The Roman soldiers also kept quiet in order to avoid the blame of killing a wrong person and also the certain punishment for not executing Isa. As Sale has observed in his above noted explanation, the early Christians did not believe in Isa’s crucifixion.

All the Muslims, in the light of this and other verses of the Quran, do not give any credence to the false story of Isa’s crucifixion and resurrection, fabricated by the Christian church.

Tawaffa (to take away), tahar (to purify), raf-a (to raise) and nuzul (to descend) are the four effects of the divine will in connection with Isa, out of which the first three have already taken place and the fourth is expected to happen, before the final resurrection. The religion of Allah shall triumph over all other religions and creeds. The light of truth shall enlighten the world, and a perfect human society shall be established before the world comes to an end. This is His promise. If tawaffa means death, then also there should be no doubt in the mind of a believer about Isa’s nuzul because, as said in verses 258 to 260 of al Baqarah, Allah can give life to the dead or raise up any dead living being to life. In the opinion of Shaykh Saduq, this explanation is more credible.

If tawaffa means departure from this world without dying, then his nuzul will be re-appearance after his temporary disappearance, similar to Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, who is living on the earth as a necessary link between man and God, while Isa has been raised up unto Allah. So Isa has no jurisdiction in the matters of this world, whereas Imam Mahdi is the sole deputy of Allah to look after and take care of the terrestrial affairs. When both of them shall re-appear Isa shall follow the leadership of Imam al Mahdi.

 

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَأُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ نَاصِرِينَ {56}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:56]

Those who disbelieved in Isa and those who disbelieved in the Holy Prophet shall be severely punished and there will be no helpers to save them from the hell-fire. It implies that there are some approved intercessors (Muhammad and ali Muhammad) who will help and save those believers who remain attached with them.

 

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ {57}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:57]

Allah does not love the unjust which includes usurpers, tyrants, and those who associate partners with Allah. Those who persecuted and killed the children of the Holy Prophet are also in the category of unjust usurpers and tyrants.

 

ذَٰلِكَ نَتْلُوهُ عَلَيْكَ مِنَ الْآيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الْحَكِيمِ {58}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:58]

The miracles manifested through Isa and other prophets are the signs of Allah.

Dhikr (reminder) is a name given to the Quran. Also refer to Nahl: 43 and Anbiya: 7.

Hakim means wise. The book of all-wise Allah is free from imperfection, incredibility and conjecture. It is wrapped up in wisdom.

 

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {59}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:59]

The Christians of Najran came to the Holy Prophet and asked him as to why he had been abusing Jesus (Isa) by saying that he was a man created by God, when he was born without a father. The Holy prophet told them that he could not abuse Isa as he was the “word of Allah” communicated through a purified virgin, Maryam, but the reason (birth of a man without a father) put forward by them to accept him as a son of God or God was untenable because Allah created Adam without a father and a mother.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The process of creation has been discussed in verses 6 and 37 of this surah according to which Allah’s will is the principal factor in the process of creation. The birth of Isa to a virgin mother, without a male partner, was an immediate effect of His will, manifested to the world as a miracle, just as the birth of Adam took place without the agency of a father and a mother. When He wills a thing to “be”, it becomes. Even in the theory of evolution there comes a stage, while backtracking, when one has to accept the fact that a living being must have come into being without the agency of a sexual procedure. Whatever once happened in the process of creation can take place any time, may be once in a great while but not altogether impossible. There are several examples in nature, which are inexplicable through any law known to man. The only explanation, as the Quran points out, is the imperative word of Allah. As has been stated in the commentary of verse 6 of this surah, the hand of Allah is visible in the working of the whole universe.

The likeness of Isa with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. Therefore, as the Christian church argues, if Isa was a son of God because he was born without a father, Adam deserved more to be God or son of God as he came into being without a father and a mother .

The creation of Isa has been compared to the creation of Adam, the first human being. There would be no point in comparing Isa to a (universal) man as the Ahmadi commentator conveys has been done in this verse.

 

الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُنْ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ {60}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:60]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In this verse the people (the whole mankind) is addressed through the Holy Prophet.

That which has been said in the preceding verse is the truth. A general principle has been laid down that Allah is the absolute truth. The material aspects of nature, known to us, are unable to explain every thing. The truth which proceeds from the absolute truth should be accepted as true, otherwise the unusual events in the working of creation will lead to confusion and doubt.

 

فَمَنْ حَاجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَلْ لَعْنَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ {61}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:61]

This verse refers to the well-known event of mubahilah mentioned in every book of history, traditions and tafsir written by Muslim scholars.

The Holy Prophet was sending invitations to all to accept the true religion of Allah. Tribe after tribe, region after region, were coming into the fold of Islam. One such invitation was sent to the Christians of Najran, a town in Yemen, in the 9th year of Hijra. A deputation of 60 scholars came to discuss the matter with the Holy Prophet. Abdul Masih, the chief monk, asked him as to who was the father of Isa, thinking that the Holy Prophet would accept (God as the father of Isa. Verse 59 of this surah was revealed and presented to the Christians as a reply but they did not listen to reason. Then this verse was revealed to call them to a spiritual contest by invoking the curse of Allah on the liars mubahilah. The Christians agreed to this contest.

Early next morning, the 24th of the month of Dhilhijjah, the Holy Prophet sent Salman to the selected site, outside the city area, to set up a shelter for those whom he would take with him, as his sons, women and selves.

A large number of companions assembled in the masjid, making themselves available for the selection. On the opposite side of the field, selected for the contest, the Christians, with their selected men, women and children appeared on the scene.

At the appointed hour, a huge crowd, standing in wait, saw the Holy Prophet coming in, Imam Husayn in his arms, Imam Hasan holding his index finger, walking beside him, Bibi Fatimah Zahra, close to his heels and Imam Ali just behind her-as his sons, women, and selves. It should be noted that although there was provision for “women” and “selves” the Holy Prophet selected one “woman” and one “self”-Fatimah and Ali, because there was no woman and no man among his followers at that time who could be brought into the contest of invoking the curse of Allah on the liars. They alone were the truthful ones. (see commentary of al Tawbah: 119).

The Holy Prophet raised his hands to the heaven and said:

“O my Lord! These are the people of my house”.

The chief monk looked up and down at the faces of the Pure Five (Panjatan Pak), from whom emanated a radiant and brilliant glow; and this sight filled him with awe and anguish. He cried out aloud:

“By Jesus! I see the faces that if they turn upward to the heavens and pray, the mountains shall move. Believers in Jesus of Nazareth, I tell you the truth. Should you fail to come to some agreement with Muhammad, he, along with the godly souls with him, shall wipe out your existence for ever, should they invoke the curse of God on you.”

The Christians saw the wisdom of their chief and readily agreed to arrive at a settlement. As there is no compulsion in religion (Baqarah 256), the Holy Prophet gave them complete freedom to practise their faith. He also agreed to protect their lives and possessions; and for this service the Christians consented to pay a nominal fee (Jizya). It was an extraordinary manifestation of the glory of Islam; therefore, the followers of Muhammad and ali Muhammad celebrate this unique blessings of Allah (bestowed on the Ahl ul Bayt) as a “thanksgiving” occasion of great joy and comfort.

Many Muslim scholars, commentators and traditionists whom the ummah acclaim with one voice, have given the details of this event with following conclusions:

(1) The seriousness of the occasion demanded absolute purity, physical as well as spiritual, to take part in the fateful event.

(2) Only the best of Allah’s creations (the Ahl ul Bayt) were selected by the Holy Prophet under Allah’s guidance.

(3) It, beyond all doubts, established the purity, the truthfulness and the sublime holiness of the Ahl ul Bayt.

(4) It also unquestionably confirmed as to who were the members of the family of the Holy Prophet.

(References:- Mahmud bin Umar Zamakhshari in al Khashshaf; Fakhr al Din al Razi in Tafsir Kabir; Jalal al Din al Suyuti in Tafsir Durr al Manthur; Tafsir Baydawi; Tafsir Nafsi; Tafsir Ibna Kathir; Sahih al Muslim and Sahih al Tirmidhi.)

A very large number of Muslims (and also nonmuslims) witnessed the contest and came to know that Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn were the “Ahlul Bayt” addressed in verse 33 of al Ahzab, known as ayah al tat-hir or the verse of purification.

In this verse, the divine command allows the Holy prophet to take with him “sons”, “women” and “selves”; therefore, had there been “women” and “selves” worthy to be selected for this symbolic contest, among his companions, he would certainly have selected them, but as it was seen by one and all, only Fatimah and Ali (and their two sons) were chosen, because none of the anxiously waiting companions (among whom were the three caliphs and the wives of the Holy Prophet) was truthful or so thoroughly purified as to deserve selection for an event which was divinely decreed in order to also make known the true successors of the Holy Prophet.

The word anfus is the plural of nafs which means soul or self. When used in relation to an individual, it implies another being of the same identity with complete unity in equality; therefore, one is the true reflection of the other in thought, action and status, to the extent that at any occasion or for any purpose, any one of them can represent the other. Even if the word nafs is interpreted as “the people”, it is clear that Ali alone is “the people” of the Holy Prophet.

After the departure of the Holy Prophet, within a year, the symbolic event of mubahilah was ignored by his followers. The house of Fatimah was set on fire. A well-known companion kicked the door of her house which fell on her. The injury caused by the falling door finally killed her. In view of the following saying (Sahih Bukhari-Vol. 2, page 206) of the Holy Prophet her killer stands condemned for ever:

“Fatimah is my flesh and blood, whoso 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”, said the Holy Prophet in the light of verse 57 of al Ahzab.

It happened when a large crowd under the leadership of the above said companion came to arrest Ali ibna abi Talib, the nafs of the Holy Prophet, his brother, his vicegerent and his successor, who was deprived of his rightful mission to administer the affairs of the ummah, after the Holy Prophet, so as to enable some to distort and corrupt the true religion of Allah and utilise its name to enforce tyranny, injustice and ignorance of the pagan days. Finally Ali was killed in the masjid of Kufa when he was praying the fajr salat. Imam Hasan was killed by a deadly poison administered by a woman hired by Mu-awiyah bin Abu Sufyan. Imam Husayn, along with his friends and relatives, was killed in the desert of Karbala, by the army of Yazid bin Mu-awiyah, and the ladies and the children of the house of the Holy Prophet were held captive, taken from town to town, tortured and harassed. The body of the martyred Imam was left unburied for several days. The perpetrators of this tyranny and injustice were those who had seen with their own eyes Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn going to the contest with the Holy Prophet as his sons on the day of mabahilah.

The followers of the Ahlul Bayt are on the path of truth, and their enemies are the upholders of falsehood, but strangely so, those who follow the true path are described as dissenters, and on this basis have been harassed, persecuted and killed by those who denied, belied and ignored not only the ayah al mabahilah and ayah al tat-hir but also many such verses of the Quran and clear traditions of the Holy Prophet. The followers of the Ahl ul Bayt have been suffering death and destruction on account of their adherence to the true path, at the hands of the enemies of the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt, yet they never give up their faith because neither they longed for worldly possessions nor they feared death and destruction, in the true tradition of their Imams.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

(1) When reason and facts failed to convince the opponents, the medium of mubahilah (prayer to curse the liars) had to be used. It was a test of the truthfulness of the persons chosen to establish the truth and carry out the divine mission.

(2) The nearest and the dearest have to be exposed to danger.

(3) The nearest and the dearest of a prophet (who has devoted himself and whatever belonged to him to Allah and has been purified from all likes and dislikes based upon self interest, mundane desires and carnal passions) must naturally be of his class and quality in devotion and purification.

(4) According to verse 46 of al Ahzab the Holy Prophet was a summoner unto Allah by His permission; therefore, it was not his choice but Allah’s will to summon a certain class of people to invoke the curse of Allah on the liars.

(5) Right from the commencement of his mission to the last moment of his departure from this world, the Holy Prophet called only Ali on all important occasions.

(a) He called the ten year old Ali at the time of making known his mission.

(b) At the time of inviting his tribe to the worship of one Allah, it was the thirteen year old Ali who gave answer to the call of the last prophet of Allah.

(c) At the time of migration from Makka to Madina, he called Ali and asked him to lie down on his bed to face his enemies, who had planned to kill him during that night, and Ali wholeheartedly agreed to give his life to save the messenger of Allah.

(d) It was Ali, who was designated, as his executor of wil1, to return the deposits entrusted by the residents of Makka to the al-amin prophet after the Holy Prophet migrated to Madina.

(e) In the battle of Badr, Ali was asked by him to fight and repulse the hordes of enemy soldiers when many of his companions were quietly watching the fighting from a safe distance.

(f) In the battle of Uhad, when the enemy had an upper hand and the danger to the Holy Prophet’s life was imminent, because all his companions had run away from the battlefield and disappeared, it was Ali who stood by the Holy Prophet and brought to naught all the plans of the enemy.

(g) In the battle of Khundaq, Ali was called, as the embodiment of faith to fight against the incarnation of disbelief, Amr bin Abdwud, to win victory for the disheartened Muslims.

(h) In Khaybar, when all the companions of the Holy Prophet tried and failed to subdue the enemy, Ali was called to come to the rescue of the deficient and depressed Muslims and conquer the fort of Khaybar single-handedly.

(i) At the time of going to Tabuk, the Holy Prophet designated Ali, as his vicegerent, to take charge of the affairs in Madina, saying that Ali was to him as Harun was to Musa.

(j) Ali was called to preach the verses of al Barat which contain complete disassociation from idolatry, because only he or the Holy Prophet, according to the command of Allah, were competent to convey them to the people (on account of exact similarity or equality between the two). So Ali went to Makka and relieved Abu Bakr who had earlier been sent to do this job.

Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, the four thoroughly purified members of the chosen group, were the “selves” of the Holy Prophet, but Hasan and Husayn, the two sons of Ali, as abna-ana (sons), and Fatimah, the wife of Ali, as nisa-ana (women) and Ali himself as anfusana (selves) came out to represent the party of Allah. In Sahih Muslim it is mentioned that at the time of coming out from the canopy, the Holy Prophet looked skyward and said:

“O my Lord, these are my Ahl ul Bayt.”

Even Ibna Hazm, a staunch advocate of the Umayyid point of view, has stated that at the time of mubahilah, only Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn came out with the Holy Prophet to take part in the contest.

The enemies of the Ahlul Bayt, true to their policy of ignoring the matchless symbolic glory of the Ahlul Bayt, either have not referred to this event at all, or, in order to play down its fundamental role in determining the true faith, have made evasive attempts to give misleading meanings to some of the words of this verse, such as saying that in Arabic literature nisa has not been used for daughters. It is obvious that their knowledge about the Quran is very limited. In verses 7 to 11 of al Nisa, nisa has been used to refer to daughters. Moreover, Fatimah, in addition to her relationship to the Holy Prophet as his daughter, was also chosen as the wife of Ali, who is the self or soul of the Holy Prophet, in which case the significance of anfusana becomes more subtle, because no wife of the other constituent of anfusana (the Holy Prophet) was found competent to take part in the spiritual contest. In verse 5 of al Tahrim, the almighty Allah says that if the Holy Prophet divorces his wives, the Lord will give him in their stead, wives better than them, which implies that there were women better than his wives, but there was none better than the “pure five”, or even equal to them, who could be chosen to become one of the glorious group selected for the mubahilah in spite of the latitude accorded by the plurality permitted by the all-wise Allah. Please refer to the commentary of verse 33 of al Ahzab to ascertain that Ummi Salimah and A-isha so much desired to be taken under the blanket but were refused by the Holy Prophet.

If the bat (a flying mammal) does not like the sunlight, never shall the beauty of the sunshine become dim. Likewise, if the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt try to distort the facts of history, they shall never be able to tarnish the ever bright source of enlightenment and glory which shall radiate its divinely endowed splendour till eternity.

In spite of the fact that one woman, one man and two boys were chosen, the plural number is used here, because in this holy house, males and females of the class of this divinely chosen group were born to face the challenge of falsehood in the same manner and style. In Karbala, when falsehood incarnate, in its utmost wickedness, challenged the truth from Allah, Imam Husayn, the surviving member of this group, along with the souls, sons, wives and daughters of this holy house, brought down the curse of Allah upon the liars and their followers, and thus truth won an everlasting victory over falsehood.

In the light of Ahzab: 33, Ali Imran: 61 and Tawbah: 119, Ali ibna abi Talib has said:

I am the sidiq al akbar (the greatest truthful). I am the faruq al azam (the greatest distinguisher between truth and falsehood). He who claims any of these titles (other than me) is the greatest liar.

There was no genuine sidiq al akbar among the Holy Prophet’s companions (save Ali), otherwise he would have been selected to accompany him at the time ofmubahilah.

Ali was ten years old at the commencement of the Holy Prophet’s mission and thirteen at the time of dawat al ashira, and on the occasion of mubahilah, Imam Hasan was six and Imam Husayn was five years old, yet the Lord commanded his messenger to select them for His cause and purpose as He had found in these particular children that which He had noticed in Isa, because of which He bestowed prophethood on him and gave him the book and the wisdom when he was but a baby in the cradle. Although, ordinarily, intellectual maturity, which does not develop fully in children, is essential to shoulder any kind of responsibility, the

إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْقَصَصُ الْحَقُّ ۚ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ {62}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:62]

Isa was like Adam, a prophet of Allah created by Him. He was neither God nor a son of God. There is no god save Allah. Whoso turns away, even after these exhortations and arguments, is a mischief-maker. Rejection of the evidences and repudiation of the doctrine of monotheism (there is no god save Allah) constitute corruption of religion and faith.

 

فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِالْمُفْسِدِينَ {63}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:63] (see commentary for verse 62)

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ {64}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:64]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The Holy Prophet, while preaching the truth, adhered to the policy of peace and rational adjustment with the non-Muslims. The original scriptures of the Jews and the Christians also preached monotheism. See commentary of al Baqarah: 255. Even the corrupted editions of the Old and the New Testaments contain the truth in Exodus 20: l to 4; Deut 6: 4; Isaiah 42: 8, 44: 6-45: 5, 18, 21, 22-48: 12; (1) Corinthians 8: 4, 6; Ephesians 4: 5, 6. The worship of human-gods crept into their religion when they began to consider their rabbis and monks and Isa to be as gods, apart from Allah (see Tawbah: 30 and 31). Therefore, in this verse, the Jews and the Christians are invited to agree to worship none save Allah and not to associate anything with Him, which is a common doctrine between them and the Muslims. If they do not agree, the Muslims have been asked not to accommodate them in any way, since their false faith could contaminate the pure monotheism that the Muslims believe in and hold dear to their hearts.

From the beginning of this chapter the Quran refers to the unity of God (tawhid), not only as the creator but also as the absolute sovereign of all that has been created by Him (and everything has been created by Him), unto whose legislative will all have to submit. Every one must obey Him, revere Him, and worship Him.

All the created beings, on the earth and in the heavens and in between them (may be some of them are superior to others) are His slaves, servants and subordinates. To associate any thing, in any way, as a separate authority, with Him is polytheism (shirk). “There is no god save Allah” is the divine declaration. All the followers of the heavenly scriptures have been commanded, after giving undeniable proofs that all the prophets including Musa and Isa were the created beings, to base their views and doctrines on this fundamental principle. The views and the theories laid down by any individual or by a group of individuals, concerning the truth, have no value at all. Adherence to such views and doctrines, replacing the divine declarations, means choosing others as an authority besides Allah. “The religion with Allah is Islam” (see verse 19 of this surah) is the final divine announcement, after which there is no room for the controversies which have created many schools of thought, contradictory and hostile to each other, among the followers of the prophets. If all the followers of the prophets had kept intact the revealed books, and held fast to the true teachings of the messengers of Allah, instead of lending ear to the conjectural theorising of the rabbis and the priests, there would have not been so many dissenting divisions.

Some followers of the Holy Prophet also ignored the teachings of the Quran and the declaration of the Holy Prophet regarding his Ahl ul Bayt and have gone astray, because they have turned to others, instead of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, for the truth, although the truth had been made clear by the Holy Prophet (see commentary of Ma-idah: 67). To rely on others and ignore the messenger of Allah is to obey a ghayrallah (other than Allah), which is shirk. Here it must be kept in mind that to pay respect, love, or adore those who, in obedience and submission to Allah, are acclaimed as models or ideals, is in itself obedience and submission to Allah. Remembrance or commemoration of such godly servants of Allah serves the purpose of service and devotion to Allah, as has been stated in verses 48 and 49 of al Sad. The surest way to worship and obey Allah is to follow the teachings and directions given by His prophets, messengers, and their appointed successors (please refer to verses 69 and 80 of al Nisa). But if they are held in esteem more or less than that which Allah has determined for them, or some other individuals are given the same status without any divine declaration, then it is like taking others to be gods apart from Allah (Tawbah: 3)

 

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تُحَاجُّونَ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَتِ التَّوْرَاةُ وَالْإِنْجِيلُ إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ {65}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:65]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Judaism and Christianity were instituted after the revelation of the Tawrah and the Injil to Musa and Isa respectively, whereas, according to the Quran, the religion of Allah, Islam, was preached and practised by all His prophets from Adam to Muhammad. From the beginning of the world to its end, Islam (total submission to the will of Allah) remains to be the only religion of Allah. Therefore to argue whether Ibrahim was a Jew or a Christian is a meaningless dispute between the two religions conjured out after centuries and centuries of Ibrahim’s time. According to Baqarah: 128 and Hajj: 78. Ibrahim and his descendants were Muslims. Islam is the universal religion. All His prophets and their true followers were Muslims.

Badshah Husain, in his English translation of the Quran, writes as under;

The Jewish belief is also difficult to define. Time was when it was grossly anthropomorphic and ‘monolatros’ (as Charles expressively calls it). The Yahweh was only the tribal God of Israel, the gods of other nations were not false, but it was the duty of Israelites to reject them. As culture extended, the other gods began to be denied and Yahweh remained the sole Lord and anthropomorphism also decreased and explanations were devised to interpret passages in the Pentateuch that spoke of God as walking in the gardens, fighting duels with men and the like. (Vol. II p. 53)

The Jews and the Christians dispute about the identity of the Holy Prophet whose advent has been clearly mentioned in the Tawrat and the Injil, of which they are fully aware. They do not know anything about the religion of Ibrahim, yet they, out of ignorance, say that he was a Jew or a Christian, whereas only Allah knows that he was a Muslim, neither a Jew nor a Christian. Whoso has submitted to the will of Allah, at any time and in any age, is a Muslim. To every people a prophet had been sent to preach Islam (submission to Allah) but each successive dispensation had been abused by its votaries, who in the course of time had turned aside from the true religion of Allah. It was the mission of the Holy Prophet to re-affirm, complete and perfect the religion of Allah in its minutest details, and make arrangements to let it prevail in all ages for all times to come, through the final book of Allah (the Quran), his Ahl ul Bayt and his way of life (sunnah).

 

هَا أَنْتُمْ هَٰؤُلَاءِ حَاجَجْتُمْ فِيمَا لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلِمَ تُحَاجُّونَ فِيمَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ {66}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:66] (see commentary for verse 65)

مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَٰكِنْ كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {67}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:67] (see commentary for verse 65)

إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَٰذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {68}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:68]

The nearest of men to Ibrahim were surely those who followed him and his religion. Nearness takes effect through faithful following, not because of relationship, and that is why the son of Nuh has been condemned (Hud: 45, 46). Ali ibna abi Talib has also said that the nearest to the Holy Prophet is he who obeys Allah, though he may not be related to him, and the enemy of the Holy Prophet is he who disobeys Allah, though he may be related to him. Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zayn al Abidin has said: “Paradise is for the pious, be he a slave; and hell is for the wicked, be he a Quraysh (relative of the Holy Prophet).” And that which was applicable to Ibrahim is applicable to the Holy Prophet and those who believe as the Holy Prophet believes. It must be noted that obedience to Allah is not possible unless one obeys the Holy Prophet, and those whom the Holy Prophet has designated to be obeyed, his beloved Ahl ul Bayt. Those who watched the Holy Prophet, fighting his enemies in the battles, from a safe distance, as if having no interest in the outcome of the war, so as to change sides at will and join the winners, or at least run away from the scene of conflict to save their lives and properties, can never be included among the “men nearest to the Holy Prophet”; as also those who opposed and killed his Ahlul Bayt. They are the worst hypocrites, his hidden enemies.

 

وَدَّتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يُضِلُّونَكُمْ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ {69}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:69]

Not content with their own corruption, some of the Jews had the ambition of seducing the Muslims, but their tricks had redounded upon themselves. It is reported that the Jews had approached Ammar Yasir and other faithful followers of the Holy Prophet to become Jews; however they not only turned down their offer but also kept them at arm’s length.

 

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَأَنْتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ {70}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:70]

Islam awakens conscience and invites man to use reason for believing in the signs of Allah so that he finds out the truth.

 

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ {71}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:71]

The Jews and the Christians knew the truth about the unity of God (Exodus: 20: 1 to 4; Deut 6: 4; Isaiah 42: 8; 44: 6; 45: 5, 18, 21, 22; 48:12; (1) Corinthians 8: 4, 6; Esphesians 4: 5, 6) and the promised advent of the Holy Prophet (Acts 3: 22 to 24; Deut 18: 18,19; John 14: 16, 17, 26; 16: 7 to 14) mentioned in their own books, yet they deliberately confounded the truth with falsehood.

Also refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 40,41, 42.

 

وَقَالَتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ آمِنُوا بِالَّذِي أُنْزِلَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَجْهَ النَّهَارِ وَاكْفُرُوا آخِرَهُ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ {72}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:72]

It was the policy of the Jews to make a show of belief for a short space of time and then in no time renounce their belief in it, so as to confuse the simple-minded people. Instances of such mendacious conduct are not unknown to Jewish history, but their intrigues to hoodwink the believers never succeeded.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The books of traditions and theology written under the patronage of the Muslim rulers (usurpers of the rights of the Ahlul Bayt) also follow the above noted strategy to lower the glorious merits of the Ahl ul Bayt in the sight of unwary people. They narrate some sayings of the Holy Prophet praising the Ahl ul Bayt to first establish their impartiality, then immediately add spurious traditions to belittle the merit they had reported. Many a so-called impartial orientalist also praises Islam to conceal the venom which is injected shrewdly within the lines.

 

وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا إِلَّا لِمَنْ تَبِعَ دِينَكُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ الْهُدَىٰ هُدَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُؤْتَىٰ أَحَدٌ مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيتُمْ أَوْ يُحَاجُّوكُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّكُمْ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ {73}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:73] Fadl implies knowledge and wisdom or prophethood. Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 269.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The true grammatical construction is to take the sentence “Do not believe in any but those who follow your religion” as the supplementary to the sentence of the preceding verse 72 (from “believe in” to “may return.)” The supplementary clause makes known that the doctrine followed by the Jews is false, therefore, such tricks would not avail anything. They who receive guidance, receive it from Allah; none is able to mislead them. He guides whom He wills to the right faith (as He has given guidance to the people of the book) and also establishes His rightly guided chosen representatives therein so that they can argue against the people of the book before the Lord.

 

يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ {74}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:74]

In this verse “mercy” implies prophethood, Islam or revelations (of the Quran)..

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Man yasha-Some commentators infer that Allah’s blessings are bestowed without taking merits into consideration, but, although His will is not at all restricted by any condition, it cannot be denied that His wisdom and justice, which permeate His will, do not let arbitrariness prevail.

 

وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مَنْ إِنْ تَأْمَنْهُ بِقِنْطَارٍ يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ إِنْ تَأْمَنْهُ بِدِينَارٍ لَا يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ إِلَّا مَا دُمْتَ عَلَيْهِ قَائِمًا ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ {75}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:75]

Even among the Jews were some whose honesty and integrity has been acknowledged. Such Jews eventually embraced Islam. The discharge of a trust, as has also been underlined in Nisa: 58, Muminun: 8 and Ahzab: 72, is so emphasised in Islam that it is admired even in the enemies of the faith. Whatever faculties man possesses is an endowment entrusted to him by Allah, therefore, he must use them to fulfil His will and command. All contracts, pacts and treaties, made between men, whether political, economic or social, should be treated as a sacred trust and discharged according to the terms of the agreed covenant. Whoever keeps his pledge and fulfils his engagement to his fellow-creatures is exactly like he who keeps his covenant with Allah. Due to this quality the Holy Prophet was known as al amin, the trustworthy, even before he publicly made known his divine mission. His worst enemies used to deposit their valuables with him. At the time of leaving Makka, he handed over the deposits to Ali who returned them to the depositors on his behalf.

After the fall of Makka, he entered the city and took the keys of the Ka-bah from its custodian, and after removing the idols, returned the keys to him, saying that all the customs and regulations of the pagan days had been cancelled by Islam save the fulfilment of trusts. According to the Holy Prophet, a man who prays, fasts and behaves like a believer, but lies when he talks, breaks his promises and cheats if trusted, is in fact a hypocrite.

“There is no reproach attaching to us in the matter of those who are not of our race and faith; we owe no duty to them”, sums up the attitude of the Jews towards other nations. As has been rightly observed by Hastings’ “Dictionary of the Bible”, the Jews were enemies of the human race, and the tendency of the Christians was no better. It is Islam, as explained above, which does not discriminate among people on account of religion, creed or faith but declares that telling the truth, fulfilling the promise and discharging the trust (whoever may be concerned) are the principal requisites of piety. Qintar is much property heaped up or maximum measurement of gold.

Dinar is the minimum measurement (unit) of gold.

 

بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ {76}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:76]

As stated in the preceding verse fulfilment of a covenant is a quality of the pious whom Allah loves .

It also refers to the covenant the Holy Prophet obtained from his followers at Ghadir Khum-“Of whomsoever I am the mawla (lord master) Ali is his mawla.” (See commentary of al Ma-idah: 67).

Bayat, or allegiance to the Holy Prophet, or acceptance of his order is a covenant with Allah. Those who turned on their heels, or deserted him in the hour of need, or wilfully ignored his declaration, have actually broken the covenant made with Allah. The books of Islamic history clearly mention the names of such persons.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا أُولَٰئِكَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ {77}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:77]

Those who break the covenant made with Allah and His Holy Prophet will have no share in the rewards to be given on the day of judgement; nor will Allah speak to them or look at them (pay attention to their repentance), nor will He purify them-a grievous punishment awaits them which will torment them for ever. Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 174.

 

وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُمْ بِالْكِتَابِ لِتَحْسَبُوهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ {78}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:78] Yalwuna alsinatahum-corrupting the correct recital of the book by tongue twisting (with an evil motive to distort the true meanings of the words) was resorted to by the Jews and the Christians to pervert and mutilate the Tawrat and the Injil.

When the half-hearted believers and the hypocrites began to write the Quran, they relied upon the seven different types of recitations which were in vogue in those days, but only Ali and the Ahl ul Bayt knew the correct pronunciation of each word of the book of Allah. It was Ali who was with the Holy Prophet from the beginning of the revelation of the book, and therefore rightly claimed that he alone knew why, when and for whom every verse of the book was revealed. In view of the sayings of the Holy Prophet, mentioned on pages 5 and 6, Ali’s claim has never been challenged by any companion of the Holy Prophet, or any of the scholars who follow them as their leaders. Ali and the Ahlul Bayt made it certain that none should distort the true meaning of any verse of the Quran, since the people of the book had bartered Allah’s covenant and their oaths at a small price for limited interests, and, after making additions and omissions of their own, falsely claimed that they were from Allah.

 

مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُؤْتِيَهُ اللَّهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُوا عِبَادًا لِي مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَٰكِنْ كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ {79}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:79]

Isa, as a prophet, did not teach people to worship him or to make him as co-equal with Allah in any sense of the word. Every prophet of Allah invited people to follow him to obey Allah, and surely not to worship his self. It is a false accusation and slander to say that any of the prophets had asked people to deify them. Rabbaniyyina (root is rabb) means those highly learned holy men who are wholly devoted to the Lord, and possess the wisdom of the Lord. Abu Rafi, one of the elders of the Jews of Najran, asked the Holy Prophet:

“Do you invite us to worship you?”

The Holy Prophet answered, “I take refuge with Allah, neither I worship any god save Allah, nor I ask any one to worship any god save Allah”.

According to Minhaj al Sadiqin and Umdatul Bayan when the Holy Prophet completed his reply this verse was revealed.

Not only the pagans but also the early Christian church indulged in angel-worship.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Allah had made some of the prophets to excel others (Baqarah: 253), but all of them were the obedient servants of Allah because they were created beings, subordinate to His will and command. People are advised to put into practice the divine commands mentioned in the book which the prophets of Allah used to preach, and reflect the lessons they taught, in letter and spirit, in their deeds.

That which has been said in these two verses is fully incorporated in Islam, submission to the will of Allah, so it is a warning to the followers of the Holy Prophet also.

 

وَلَا يَأْمُرَكُمْ أَنْ تَتَّخِذُوا الْمَلَائِكَةَ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ أَرْبَابًا ۗ أَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالْكُفْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ {80}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:80] (see commentary for verse 79)

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {81}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:81]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Mithaq (covenant) in this verse refers to an individual’s accountability for his actions. It is argued by some commentators that wherever mithaq is used in the Quran reference is made to the era prior to the existence of man in general and the prophets in particular. As there is no possibility of retaining any kind of conscious state prior to the physical birth of man, this assumption will be discussed when ruh (soul) and nafs (self) are dealt with.

Whatever is the grammatical implication (whether the phrase lima or lama is relative or conditional) the meaning remains as under:

Allah had made a covenant with each of His prophets, as an individual and as the leader of his respective followers (saying)-that which I have given you of the book and wisdom, (and) when a prophet will come to you confirming that which is with you, you shall surely believe in him and help him. All the prophets accepted the conditions of the covenant and promised and witnessed that their followers will carry out the terms of the covenant. This promise was fulfilled by every prophet concerning his succeeding prophet (and every succeeding prophet confirmed his predecessor), so all the prophets and their followers have to believe in the last prophet and help him. A true follower of Musa should fulfil the covenant Musa made with his Lord by believing in Isa; likewise a true follower of Isa should fulfil the covenant Isa made with his Lord by believing in Muhammad. If the Jews and the Christians do not believe in the last prophet of Allah, they render the covenant, Musa and Isa made with the Lord of worlds, null and void. They will be punished for breaking the covenant, not Musa and Isa, who fulfilled their promise in letter and spirit. Please refer to the commentary of al Ma-idah: 67 for the last covenant Allah took from the Muslims through the Holy Prophet about the wilayah (authority) of Ali ibna abi Talib at Ghadir Khum. It was the last divine guidance made available to man through the grace of the merciful Lord, so that an Imam after Imam, in the progeny of Ali, should guide mankind in every age till the day of resurrection.

Every human being perceives his coming into the conscious state from an insensitive condition through the agency of an active will, dominating him and his environment, which stimulates natural submission. In these verses (preceding and succeeding) the Quran introduces the universal religion (based upon reason and facts) prescribed for mankind which not only awakens positive response but also demolishes the myths fabricated by the Jews, the Christians and the pagans.

The old and the New Testaments, though not the original Tawrat and Injil (see “The Tawrat” and “The Injil” at the end of al Ma-idah), yet contain enough material to establish the fact that Musa and Isa fulfilled their covenant made with Allah. See Deuteronomy 18: 15, 18, 19; Acts 3: 22 to 24, 7: 37; John 1: 19 to 21; 14: 16, 17; 15: 26; 16: 7 to 14. (Text of these have been mentioned in the commentary of al Baqarah: 40). The advent of the Holy Prophet had been made known in clear words by Musa and Isa. In John 1: 19 to 21, it is stated that when Levites asked John the Baptist who he was, he confessed that he was not the Messiah nor Elijah. “Are you the prophet we await?” “No”, he said. It shows that the people remembered the prophecies about the last prophet made by the previous prophets, and eagerly awaited his advent.

In John 14: 16, 17; 15: 26 and 16: 7 to 14, Isa refers to the Holy Prophet as comforter and spirit of truth, who will guide mankind into all truth. And “who will be with you for ever” implies that there shall always be a representative of him (his flesh and blood) on the earth, identical to him in purity (Ahzab: 33), who will carry out his mission.

The Holy Prophet has said:

The first of us is Muhammad,

the middle of us is Muhammad,

the last of us is Muhammad,

everyone of us is Muhammad.

In every age, one of his sons (his descendant), in the progeny of Ali and Fatimah, will guide mankind as an Imam of the time till the day of resurrection. The Holy Prophet, Ali, Fatimah and the eleven holy Imams are of the one and the same divine light, manifesting the glory of the Lord of the worlds.

A sincere seeker of truth, in his quest, comes to the conclusion that the divine source of guidance is Muhammad al Mustafa, the last prophet of Allah, and the Imams among his Ahl ul Bayt, whom the merciful Allah has particularly chosen to show the path of love, harmony and salvation to mankind.

 

فَمَنْ تَوَلَّىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ {82}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:82]

After the covenant, so solemnly made and witnessed, whoever does not believe in the Holy Prophet (whose advent had been foretold by all the prophets of Allah) is an infidel.

 

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ {83}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:83]

All things in nature, whether celestial or terrestrial, bow down to His decrees and submit to His (physical) laws-so exalted is He ! His religion alone is worthy of acceptance.

According to the Holy Prophet, those who willingly submit to Allah are the angels and his sincere companions.

Those who, in thoughts and deeds, do not consciously submit to Him, have (of necessity) to submit to the laws of nature (enforced by Him) which operate the whole creation in total submission to His will.

Islam is Allah’s own religion.

As man is making rapid progress in the field of inquiry and discovery about the laws (made by Allah), governing the universe, the truthfulness of Islam is becoming clearer each day to the man in the street as well as to the intellectual scholar in the cloister. The religions, historically based upon polytheism, are making adjustments to give up idolworship, and introducing the idea of “One God” in theory at least. In social life, caste system has been abolished, women’s rights are being incorporated in the constitutions of the countries where they were not allowed to remarry after the death of their husbands, or where there was no way of separation from the tyrannical husbands through divorce, now laws have been enacted to give right of divorce to women. Prohibition (the forbidding of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic drinks), in theory, has been accepted by all the civilised societies. The idea of universal brotherhood, preached by Islam, is being experimented through the United Nations Organisation.

The world is moving towards Islam.

Only if the majority of Muslims review and revise their confused and irrational tendency of glorifying the usurpers and tyrants, who, from the time of the departure of the Holy Prophet till now, have been terrorising the ruled communities all over the world, in the name of the glory of an ideology (common among all the ruling despots from the beginning of the human society) wrongly proclaimed as Islam, the people belonging to other religions and creeds would not feel uncomfortable or hesitate to come near the true principles of Islam as preached by the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Islam is a universal religion approved by Allah. The celestial as well as the terrestrial beings (all beings) are submissive to Allah. There is no one in the heavens and the earth but comes before Him

in all obedience (Maryam: 93). No event in the universe can take place without His creative will. Every living being, in order to please the absolute authority, consciously or subconsciously, follow His legislative will. “Willingly or unwillingly” refers to the conscious or subconscious submission to the will of Allah. The Holy Prophet developed this inherent and natural tendency to mindful awareness. Any religion other than Islam (complete submission to the absolute sovereignty of Allah) shall not be accepted by Him.

 

قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ {84}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:84]

Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 136, 177, 253, 285 and al Nisa: 136, 152. Islam is a universal religion.

 

وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ {85}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:85]

Islam, the religion preached by the Holy Prophet is the religion of resignation-submission to the will, the service, and the command of Allah. It has been the religion of all prophets in all climes. Other so-called religions are deviations from it. No religion is acceptable with Allah save Islam, which consists in believing the unity of Allah (tawhid) and His justice (adl), and accepting the Holy Prophet as the last messenger of Allah and following his teachings, and, after him, following the guidance of his successors from among his Ahl ul Bayt, and believing in the final day of judgement. This path of Islam is the only path of salvation. The idea of individual choice in view of likes and dislikes of certain persons or their deeds and ideologies certainly leads to the path of deviation. Such people will be among the losers on the day of judgement.

 

كَيْفَ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ قَوْمًا كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ وَشَهِدُوا أَنَّ الرَّسُولَ حَقٌّ وَجَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ{86}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:86]

Those who, having come to faith (and had borne witness that the messenger, the Holy Prophet, was true), turned away, shall be deprived of inner guidance with which Allah blesses His creatures. In view of the commentary of verse 81 of this surah all the prophets believed in the Holy Prophet, therefore, their followers also must believe in him. Denial of the prophets (succeeding the prophet in whom one believes) is a subversive act tantamount to disbelief (Kufr).

 

أُولَٰئِكَ جَزَاؤُهُمْ أَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةَ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ {87}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:87]

For such disbelievers (mentioned in the preceding verse) the requital is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men. They shall live under it for ever, and their agony shall not decrease, nor there will be respite for them. Please note that la-nat (cursing the wicked) is an “act of God” therefore, tabarra, prescribed by Islam-original (Shiaism) is in full agreement with the divine will and command.

 

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْظَرُونَ {88}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:88] (see commentary for verse 87)

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {89}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:89]

Sincere repentance followed by efficient improvement is the key to open the doors of forgiveness beyond which a new life, full of promised blessings, awaits the deviators.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Tawba means “return penitently to God” with reference to the creature, and “admit the penitent to God’s mercy” with reference to the creator Lord; just as salat (with reference to the creature) means bending before the creator Lord to express wants and needs for obtaining fulfilment, and (with reference to the creator Lord) turning towards the supplicant creature to give that which he deserves.

He who does not carry out Allah’s command, disobeys Him. It is a sin which earns punishment. Although there are various degrees of disobedience, minor sins lead to major sins. Infidelity (denial of Allah’s absolute sovereignty) is the worst sin. Punishment of each sin differs according to its degree. “Verily Allah forgives all sins” (Zumar: 53). Of whatever degree the sin is, if the sinner turns repentantly to Allah, sincerely seeking to amend his ways in future, Allah will admit him to His mercy. Tawba is a cleansing procedure to remove ignorance and obstinacy from the heart and the mind and to wipe out the dirt of theoretical and practical “deviation from the right path”.

Allah may admit the sinner to His mercy at any time before the punishment comes upon him when no one will come for his help (Zumar: 54); or He may admit the sinner to His mercy if he does evil in ignorance (and) then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah (Nisa: 17). But repentance is not (profitable) for those who do ill deeds until, when death comes to one of them (Nisa: 18), and shall not benefit them their faith when they see His punishment (Mu-min: 85). The doors of repentance are open till the agony of death overcomes the body.

In Yunus: 98, the removal of punishment at the last moment shows that sincere repentance is effective, but Mu-min: 85 makes it clear that repentance to avoid punishment brings no result. Imam Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi had quoted this verse to give his decision when Mutawakkil referred the case of a Jew who committed adultery with a Muslim woman and recited kalimah as soon as he was brought in the court of the ruler. The jurists of the court had wrongly advised him to acquit the Jew on the basis of a tradition which states that when a man becomes a Muslim his past is separated from him. But as, in this case, the Jew accepted Islam to avoid punishment, therefore the holy Imam judged him guilty.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَنْ تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الضَّالُّونَ {90}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:90]

Unacceptable is the repentance of those who, having once come to faith, disbelieve and persist in their apostasy, like the Jews who believed in Musa and the Tawrat but disbelieved in Isa and the Injil, and then continued and aggravated their disbelief by denying the Holy Prophet, or also like those who believed in the Holy Prophet, but after his departure, turned on their heels, went astray and persisted in their deviations. They shall remain unredeemed in spite of their repentance. Also refer to Nisa: 137.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْ أَحَدِهِمْ مِلْءُ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا وَلَوِ افْتَدَىٰ بِهِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ نَاصِرِينَ {91}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:91]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The rebellious heart and the indifferent attitude toward Allah’s laws and commandments, of a disbeliever, render him liable for an everlasting painful punishment, and from him shall not be accepted an earthful of gold if he were to give it in alms in this world to ransom himself from punishment in the hereafter. The decree of punishment for him is final and definite. No amount of charity will be of any use to alleviate the deserved punishment from Allah.

 

لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنْفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ وَمَا تُنْفِقُوا مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ {92}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:92]

Please refer to al Baqarah: 3, 195, 215, 254. “That which you love” means all that you hold dear and near to your heart. The term covers the spending of one’s wealth and possessions and the sacrificing of one’s personal significance and pride as well as the shedding of one’s blood in the service of Allah. At a time when the religion of Allah and the overall welfare of the human society are in danger of mutilation, a true Muslim (one who has surrendered himself to Allah) acts without any regard to his own interests (selflessness), a hallmark of the truly righteous. The best, the greatest and the most perfect example of “spending that which you love” in the service of Allah was set in Karbala, where Imam Husayn sacrificed his social status, wealth, children, and life in the service of Allah to establish the supremacy of the highest human values without which no human society can survive and progress. In fact it was the Holy Prophet who manifested himself through his grandson, Imam Husayn, to prove his declaration that: “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn”.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Some passages of the Bible give the impression that the doors of the heavenly kingdom are closed for the rich. It is not true. If a man, be he poor or rich, willingly submits to Allah and spends “that which he loves” in the service of Allah, he becomes entitled to the everlasting bliss of the life of the hereafter.

The Holy Prophet has said:

The wealthy who does not wait to spend in the way of Allah until a needy comes to his door but goes to the abode of the poor to mitigate his suffering is the true God-fearing pious.

There is no restriction or fixation so as to what and how much should be spent in the way of Allah. That which is to be given has to be determined according to the degree of attachment with the commodity. A rich man may not care for the money, he has in abundance, but will not part with some of his belongings he holds near and dear to him, in which case no amount of money, spent in lieu of the things he loves most, can earn for him the righteousness or virtue referred to in this verse. For how much is to be given (the limit), the example has been set in Karbala by Imam Husayn. It should be noted that zakat and khums, the minimum prescribed amounts to be given by every Muslim, have not been referred to here. The spending of “that which you love” is optional. The demand made in this verse can be taken up and fulfilled by only a true believer in Allah who alone can selflessly put aside his own interests to give preference to the overall welfare of his fellow beings, which alone brings harmony and social justice in the human society.

 

كُلُّ الطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلًّا لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسْرَائِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تُنَزَّلَ التَّوْرَاةُ ۗ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِالتَّوْرَاةِ فَاتْلُوهَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ {93}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:93]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The Jews in the Holy Prophet’s time were accusing the Muslims of taking certain foods which, they said, had been unlawful since the days of Ibrahim. The Quran denies the charge, and puts the Jews to silence by a reference to their own scripture, the Tawrat. The original law of Musa contained the same prohibitions and permissions, concerning eatables, prescribed by Islam, but the Jews had corrupted the book revealed to Musa and replaced it with fanciful customs, acquired paganish points of view and introduced them in their faith over the years.

Bahimatul an-am (four-footed animals such as goats, sheep, oxen and camels and those like them who eat grass and vegetation) are allowed (Ma-idah: 1) except a few of them (the clawed flesh-eating animals like tigers, lions, cats, dogs- known as Siba’), eating of which is not allowed. See books of fiqh. According to An-am: 142 to 146 certain parts of the lawful animals were prohibited as a punishment because of the perverse and rebellious attitude of the Jews, otherwise none of the animals which eat grass or vegetation were forbidden even in the law of Musa, but due to the introduction of folklore in their religion, the Jews wrongly presumed that camel and its milk were the forbidden items since the days of Ibrahim. This verse exposes their ignorance.

Islam (submission to Allah’s will and command) was the religion of Ibrahim. The Tawrat and the Injil also contained the fundamentals of the true religion of Allah which purify the mind and the body in a practical and harmonious way. The harshness of Judaism and leniency of Christianity are far from the universal truth with reference to actuality.

 

فَمَنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ {94}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:94]

In the preceding verse the ignorance of the Jews in connection with the eating of the lawful animals was pointed out and their point of view was refuted, and in this verse the habit of their criticism, based upon conjecture and heathen influence, is described as fabrication of falsehood by corrupting the words of Allah and His messengers. Whoso follows this tendency of the Jews, be he a Christian or a Muslim, is included among the unjust. Also refer to Saf: 7.

 

قُلْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ ۗ فَاتَّبِعُوا مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {95}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:95]

Through the Holy Prophet, Allah has made known the truth. The faith of Ibrahim was no other than Islam. He was the fountainhead of the true faith, the indivisible absolute unity (of Allah) without any separation between (His) entity and (His) attributes (any other belief contrary to this is shirk-polytheism). Also refer to Baqarah: 130, 135.

 

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ {96}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:96]

See commentary of al Ahzab: 33 for the first house (awwala baytin). Also refer to Baqrah: 125, 127 and al Hajj: 29, 33.

Bakka is a variant for Makka, either derived from tabakk i.e. press one another in a crowd, or bakk i.e. break one’s neck, because whenever it was attacked by an invader his neck had been broken-defeated and crushed. Another version is that Bakka means the holy house of Kabah, a guidance unto the worlds.

Mubarakan means rich in blessings; abounding in good.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The great antiquity of this house is undisputed. It had been throughout the ages, even before Ibrahim, the object of the greatest veneration

It is reported on the authority of the Ahl ul Bayt that the valley of Makka was the first part of the earth which emerged above the surface of the water and cooled down when the heavens and the earth (an integrated mass) were split by Allah’s command (Anbiya: 30, 31), in support of which there are a number of geological evidences. Many a non-Muslim scholar agrees that this holy place, dedicated to the worship of the Lord of the lords, was not only known to the people of Semitic origin but also to the ancient inhabitants of India according to the references available in pre-Sanskrit literature. Ibrahim’s prayer in Ibrahim : 37 confirms its antiquity. In Baqarah: 125 and 129, it is implied that Allah commanded Ibrahim to renew its foundations, purify it and establish it as a place of worship of the almighty Lord, and settle down there along with his family. The family of Ismail was chosen as the first human family to inhabit this land with the sole purpose of dedicating themselves wholly to the worship and the service of the Lord of the worlds. The family of Ismail was the first to be called “the people of the house” (Ahl ul Bayt), then Is-haq and his mother (Hud: 73) and after that Musa and his mother (Qasas: 12) were referred to as Ahl ul Bayt. The term Ahl ul Bayt has been used for the descendants of Ibrahim (the lineage of Ibrahim through Is-haq was cut off after Isa). Actually al-bayt (the house) refers to the house of Allah, and the descendants of Isma-il have been referred to as Ahl ul Bayt because they had devoted themselves, without any deviation, gap or drift, to the service of Allah and His house. They were the founders and the protectors of the house of Allah, and it is to their lineage references have been made in verses 36 and 37 of al Nur.

The place they founded and established for the remembrance of Allah has been described as a blessed, sacred sanctuary, and a guidance unto the worlds, because they devoted their lives to its service and attracted mankind to its ultimate purpose through their ideal virtues and righteousness. The house and the people of the house are inseparable. Their house, wherever it may be, is the house of Allah. As they cannot be separated from the Quran (hadith al thaqalayn) the house of Allah can never be without their presence. The house is a guidance if the people of the house are identified and kept in view. The house is a sanctuary and a blessing if one enters it by the permission and pleasure of the Ahl ul Bayt, described as safinatul Nuh.

 

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ {97}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:97]

The station or the standing place of Ibrahim, the model believer in the unity of Allah, has the following points of significance (clear signs).

(1) The standing place of Ibrahim has been made the permanent religious centre of all monotheists, because his faith (belief in the unity of Allah) was perfect, an ideal for every believer.

(2) It is a sacred sanctuary. Whoso enters it is safe from the clutches of the disbelievers. It is a historic fact that all invaders who attacked this holy precinct were destroyed.

(The grandson of the Holy Prophet, Imam Husayn, was deprived of the security in Kabah in 60 Hijra by the order of Yazid bin Mu-awiyah).

(3) Pilgrimage to the Kabah to seek spiritual guidance has been made obligatory on mankind for ever. The believers shall go to Kabah to carry out the command of Allah till the day of resurrection. It should be noted that this prophecy was made at a time when the Muslims were in danger of being exterminated by their enemies.

See the commentary of al Baqarah: 196.

This institution of pilgrimage (hajj) has taken root in the lives of the Muslims. Every year a great many pilgrims come to Kabah to translate their faith into action. There is no sponsor, no convenor, no invitation, no compulsion. At Kabah, during the pilgrimage, they forget their social status, ideology, race, colour, and nationality and become a single party of the servants of Allah, dressed in a simple identical garment, standing in rows, shoulder to shoulder, before their Lord, in front of His holy house, praying to one God, in the language of the Quran, which, truly, is the everlasting miracle of the prophet of Islam, a clear sign of the victory of truth.

In the end it is made clear that one who has sufficient means must perform the hajj. Wilful neglect of this commandment of Allah amounts to the abandonment of His faith (infidelity). So he who wilfully neglects the pilgrimage does so at his own peril, and not to any hurt to his Lord, because He is independent of the worlds. He is self-sufficient. Whether the whole mankind serve Him or none observe His commandments, it makes no difference to Him whatsoever. The hajj has been prescribed for man’s own good. There is no profit or gain for Him. It is an escape from the sins a man commits (and its consequences) to take refuge under the shelter of Allah’s mercy.

The Holy Prophet has said:

He who wilfully does not perform the hajj shall rise on the day of resurrection in the state of infidelity, having no vision.

Hajj wipes out the sins as fire removes corrosion from the iron.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

(1) “Who can afford” means ability with ease concerning wealth, health and security. In the case of any adverse condition this ordinance is not applicable.

(2) Man kafara (whosoever denies) shows the importance of the pilgrimage. As the Holy Prophet has said “the able but wilful non-performer” becomes an infidel. It is a positive test of the submission to Allah’s will and a sure remedy to cure the evil disease of egotism.

 

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَىٰ مَا تَعْمَلُونَ {98}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:98]

The address is to the Jews and the Christians who, in spite of their knowledge about the truthfulness of the mission of the Holy Prophet, foretold in their books (see Baqarah: 40) disbelieved in the signs of Allah. Allah is the everliving and ever-present witness of all human actions, passions and motives. If not His love, then the consciousness of His omniscience should prompt man to believe in the truth of His signs.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Whenever the Quran addresses the people of the book to reproach them for their mischievous deviation from the right path, shown by all the scriptures, it should not be confined to those Jews and Christians who opposed Islam and the Holy Prophet in his time, but as Imam Jafar al Sadiq has pointed out, it includes all the people of the book in post-Islamic era and also all those who claim their religions to be divinely revealed, in all ages, till the day of resurrection. The holy Ahl ul Bayt have said that the pagans of Arabia and the trans-caspian sea are excluded from the “people of the book”, as their doctrines were not based upon the revealed word of Allah.

At all events the Muslims are not kept out from the application of the censure wherever notified in the Quran. There are instances of mischievous deviation from the right path, denial of the divine signs, creation of obstacles in the path of Allah, and attempts to twist the words of Allah and His Holy Prophet to serve selfish ends, which gave rise to sectarianism in the early stages.

The Holy Prophet has said:

You will go back to infidelity after me when discord and strife, among you, will divide you.

 

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ تَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَأَنْتُمْ شُهَدَاءُ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ {99}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:99]

By guile and deceit the people of the book used to plot to seduce the believers so as to create doubts in the verity of Islam, while they were aware of the truthfulness of the religion of Allah preached by the Holy Prophet.

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تُطِيعُوا فَرِيقًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ {100}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:100]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

What has been said in the note of verse 98 of this surah is made clear in this verse that for the Muslims, to fall to fighting among themselves, in effect, is to go back to paganism and infidelity. Dissension among the people of the book surfaced because of the deviation from the right path on account of rebellious tendency (Ali Imran: 19).

(VERSES 101 TO 115 ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO EACH OTHER)

 

وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ ۗ وَمَنْ يَعْتَصِمْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِيَ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ {101}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:101]

No rational and intelligent person can remain a disbeliever after the arrival of the Holy Prophet in this world with the Quran. So long as the people hold fast to the Quran and his Ahl ul Bayt, the two weighty things (see hadith al thaqalayn on page 6) they will not go back to paganism.

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ {102}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:102]

Ittaqullah means to safeguard oneself with awareness of the boundaries (physical, moral and spiritual laws) laid down by Allah so as to keep clear of sins and transgressions. There is no room for “fear” in Islam. Please refer to the commentary of Fatihah: 1 to 4; Baqarah: 2; Ali Imran 31. Taqwa means piety or to ward off evil and take refuge with Allah, not out of fear, but because of the awareness and insight of the consequences if one breaks or tampers with the laws made and enforced by Allah for the benefit and welfare of mankind.

Haqqa tuqatihi means it is the duty of the creature to be aware of the creator’s will and command. It is His prerogative that His creatures should, willingly or unwillingly, obey Him and carry out His commands.

Wa antum muslimun means full of faith, perfect in conduct, and strict in the observance of the law, which is possible when one surrenders and submits oneself unconditionally to Allah.

 

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ {103}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:103]

“Hold fast, all of you together, to the cord of Allah”-gives a mental impression that a rope is hanging from the heaven so that those who are lying down on the ground (earth) may climb up, by holding it, in the presence of the Lord to seek His nearness.

Abu Sa-id Khudri reports that he heard the Holy Prophet saying:

I leave behind me, among you, two ropes. If my people hold fast to these two ropes, after me, they shall not go astray. They are the book of Allah, hung from the heaven unto the earth, and my Ahl ul Bayt. One of them is greater than the other. Be it known that these two shall never be separated from each other; and joined together, they shall meet me at the spring of Kawthar.

(Tafsir Kabir and Durr al Manthur) The other similar declaration of the Holy Prophet, known as hadith al thaqalayn, has been mentioned on page 6.

The Holy Prophet has also said:

My Ahl ul Bayt, among you, are like the ark of Nuh. He who sails on it will be safe, but he who holds back shall perish.

There are several traditions of the Holy Prophet, mentioned on page 5 and 6, which confirm, beyond doubt, that Muhammad and ali Muhammad were the natiq Quran and the revealed book of Allah is the samit Quran (see commentary of al Baqarah: 2).

The Holy Prophet has said:

Verily the Quran has been revealed in seven letters. There is no letter which has not an evident and a latent meaning; and verily Ali knows the evident as well as the latent.

(Itiqan-Sahih Bukhari)

Also refer to urwatil wuthqa in al Baqarah: 256.

The holding fast to the book of Allah and “Muhammad and ali Muhammad” means total attachment with and devotion to them because all good generates from this act which enables man to rise upward and reach nearness to Allah. The life of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt is the best example of the teachings of the Quran.

“Do not become disunited”-Those who rely on and make use of theories and methods formulated and put in practice by mortal men, by avoiding or neglecting the commandments of Allah and the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, are bound to go astray and create discord and disagreement among the united community of the believers.

This sentence warns the Muslims not to misinterpret the verses of the Quran or have doubts about the authority of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt to explain the true meanings of the word of Allah, because these two are the inseparably interwoven cord of Allah; else they will be divided into several sects. So to remain on the right path shown by the Holy Prophet follow him and his Ahl ul Bayt in letter and spirit.

In Minhaj al Sadiqin it is written that once, Jalut, the chief rabbi, along with some of his very learned disciples, came to Ali ibna abi Talib to prove that Islam was not a true religion of God.

The first question Ali asked was:

“Do you know the number of sects the followers of Musa were divided into after his departure?”

“I will have to refer to the book”, he replied.

“You are a rabbi, yet do not know what is written in your book. What will you do if your book is lost?” Ali asked.

Jalut referred to his book and said that there were 45 sects.

“You are wrong. I know the Tawrat and the Injil. The followers of Musa were divided into 71 sects, out of which only one is on the right path. Also the followers of Isa were divided into 71 sects, out of which only one is on the right path. The followers of our prophet will be divided into 73 sects, out of which only one will be on the right path and the rest will be among the losers.”

Earlier the Holy Prophet had also said the same about his and Musa’s followers. When asked as-to which sect of his followers is on the right path, he put his hand on the shoulder of Ali and said:

“This man and his descendants and their followers.” Then he recited this verse:

“You became brothers by His grace”-Deadly warfare in pre-islamic Arabia has been proverbial, and pagan Arabia, divided into hostile clans and tribes, presented the sight of a veritable armed camp. In the time of ignorance, hostility was embittered with the rancour of civil faction. The recital of an obsolete feud, in prose or verse, was sufficient to rekindle the same passion among the descendants of the hostile tribes. In private life, every man, at best every family, was the judge and avenger of its own cause. A petty affront or unpremeditated blow involved whole tribes and tracts of country in protracted and bloody strife. It was the Holy Prophet who introduced and implanted into the anarchical society of his time sentiments of brotherhood, sense of meaningful life and consciousness of rights and duties towards one another. In this way the Holy Prophet united together classes and tribes that hitherto had been continually at feud with one another. Within a brief span of time, he called forth out of uncompromising material a nation never united before, bound in common faith, suppressing every distinction of race and kindred, and regarding each other as brothers, by active efforts and the immaculate pattern of his personal way of life, which mere preaching could never accomplish. It was the genius of the Holy Prophet which not only united wild enemies to create a universal brotherhood composed of all men of every race, who would obey and worship one God and follow the teachings and guidance of His prophet, but also made them vie with each other in generous emulation of courage and fidelity.

“Haply or so that” indicate that the creation of brotherhood was not an end in itself, but it was a pre-requisite to follow the true guidance kept alive through the holy Ahl ul Bayt, in every age, till the day of resurrection.

Only the mischievous mind of the Ahmadi scholar can translate habl as covenant and nar as strife, otherwise not even a far-fetched implication gives any room for such misinterpretation.

 

وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {104}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:104]

Since the duty of enjoining the right (amr bil ma-ruf) and forbidding the wrong (nahya anil munkar) entails conditions which every Muslim cannot fulfil, the Quran while addressing the entire Muslim people, points out a select group from among the community, each member of which has been thoroughly purified by the creator Himself (Ahzab: 33). for this divine mission- Muhammad and ali Muhammad. “My Ahlul Bayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whoso sails on it is saved, and he who stays back is drowned and lost”, said the Holy Prophet.

The Muslims are warned not to split into sects, hostile to each other, like the Jews and the Christians, who, moved by self-interest and other ignoble motives, made amendments and corrupted the words of Allah and His messengers, Musa and Isa, but the Muslims paid no attention, and, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, instead of following the Quran and his Ahlul Bayt, relied upon the guidance and leadership of those who neither were chosen by Allah and His Prophet, nor deserved to lead the ummah on the strength of their learning and character, otherwise they would have been selected in the party of Allah which represented Him in mabahilah (Ali Imran: 61), or would have been included in ayah al tat-hir (Ahzab: 33). It is a historical fact that such self-proclaimed leaders enacted laws and made judgements, in the name of ijtihad, against the teachings of the Holy Prophet and the book of Allah, because of which the Muslim ummah was divided into many sects. There is a great punishment for such mujtahids and their followers on the day of judgement.

 

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ {105}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:105] (see commentary for verse 104)

يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْوَدَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ أَكَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ{106}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:106]

On the day of judgement the face of the believers (who followed the teachings of the Holy Prophet in letter and spirit) will shine bright with the radiance of joy. And (as Hasan al Basari has also said) the faces of those turncoats who went back to infidelity after their profession of faith (by rejecting the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt and introducing their own theories) shall turn black with gloom of fear, because they had disobeyed the instructions of the Holy Prophet to obey his Ahl ul Bayt and follow their guidance. They did so in order to fulfil their ambition to rule over vast lands and multitude of people, as they desired. They shall be thrown into the fire with contempt. Also refer to Yunus: 27 and Zumar: 60. The believers (mentioned above) shall be in Allah’s mercy, therein (in its eternal bliss) they shall abide for ever.

 

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ابْيَضَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فَفِي رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ {107}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:107] (see commentary for verse 106)

تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْمًا لِلْعَالَمِينَ {108}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:108]

His judgement shall be, in every instance, absolutely just and equitable. Each shall get the recompense earned in this life.

 

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ {109}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:109]

To Allah all matters shall return because He is the sole judge and arbiter, the Lord of the worlds, the omnipotent almighty; none is His co-partner; none is comparable to Him.

 

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ ۚ مِنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ {110}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:110]

Khayra ummatin means the best group of people. As has been said in verse 104 of this surah that there is a select group of people who call others to virtue and enjoin that which is good (amr bil ma-ruf) and forbid evil (nahya anil munkar), in this verse also the entire Muslim people are addressed through the best group of people who enjoin good and forbid evil because enjoining good and forbidding evil entails conditions in which the whole community cannot share. The torturers of the Holy Prophet’s daughter, Bibi Fatimah Zahra, and the persecutors and the murderers of the holy Imams (from Imam Ali Murtada to Imam Hasan Askari) were Muslims. Mu-awiyah bin abu Sufyan persecuted Imam Hasan and poisoned him through a woman. Yazid bin Mu-awiyah bin Abu Sufyan killed Imam Husayn, his sons and relatives and friends, including his 6 months old son, Ali Asghar, in Karbala; and thereafter imprisoned and tortured the ladies and the children of the house of the Holy Prophet for several months. Almost all the Umayyid and Abbaside caliphs were drunkards and libertines. They killed all the holy Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt, from Imam Ali bin Husayn to Imam Hasan bin Ali, and some of them desecrated the holy Kabah and the holy masjid nabawwi.

The torturers, persecutors and murderers, mentioned above, are not only considered Muslims but respected as the khalifatul muslimin or khalifatur rasul by the majority of the Muslims except the followers of Muhammad and ali Muhammad (Shi-as) who acknowledge the Ahl ul Bayt only as the best group of people because of their learning, knowledge and wisdom and because of their highmindedness, generosity, bravery, justice and refinement of character-a true reflection of the way of life of the Holy Prophet.

The abominable features of the “heroes of the Muslims”, described in “Stanley’s lectures on Eastern Church” and “Albiruni’s India”, have been driving away the seekers of truth, among nonmuslims, from the religion of Islam. But when some of them happen to come across the life accounts of the khayra ummatin (the best group of people), the Ahl ul Bayt, they willingly come into the fold of Islam. Even the worst enemies of Islam have greatly praised the irresistible glory of the godly members of the family of the Holy Prophet. In the light of the Quranic verses and traditions of the Holy Prophet, mentioned in the commentary of various relevant verses in this book, the Ahl ul Bayt are the “best group of people” thoroughly purified by Allah Himself (Ahzab: 33), inseparably attached with the Quran, flesh and blood of the Holy Prophet, who are from him and he is from them (reflecting one and the same light of Allah). Therefore, to harass them is to harass Allah and the Prophet of Allah, for which Allah curses such people in this world and the hereafter (Ahzab: 57); and to make less their status or to bring others to their position earns the wrath of Allah (Fatihah: 7).

 

لَنْ يَضُرُّوكُمْ إِلَّا أَذًى ۖ وَإِنْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ يُوَلُّوكُمُ الْأَدْبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يُنْصَرُونَ {111}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:111]

The Jews, rich and powerful, in league with the pagan tribes of Makka, tried their best to destroy the small and unarmed community of the Muslims, but not only failed to overcome them at all occasions, but also (as in the case of the tribes of Qurayza and Nadhir, the Bani Qaynuqa and the Jews of Khaybar) faced crushing defeats at the hand of Ali ibn abi Talib, as has been foretold in this verse. In the commentaries written by the Muslim scholars no reference is made to Ali ibn abi Talib, in spite of the historic truth that each time the Muslims were on the brink of total annihilation, Ali came forward, in all the battles fought against the Jews and the pagans of Makka, and changed sure defeats into victories. Ali was the hand of Allah, His aid and support, His promise and His blessing. Most probably his name is not mentioned because, in that event, they also have to take the names of those companions who either watched the battle from a safe distance or, when the going was rough, ran away from the scene of fighting to save their lives, but surprisingly took control of the destiny of the Muslims as soon as the Holy Prophet left this world, although he emphatically told the ummah that he was leaving behind, for their guidance, the book of Allah and his Ahl ul Bayt (hadith thaqalayn- see page 6), and irrevocably established the authority of Ali at Ghadir Khum (see commentary of al Ma-idah: 67).

 

ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ أَيْنَ مَا ثُقِفُوا إِلَّا بِحَبْلٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَحَبْلٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَسْكَنَةُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوْا وَكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ {112}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:112]

Please refer to al Baqarah : 61 and Ali Imran: 21 to know the trend and tendency of the Jews-disbelieving in the signs of Allah and slaying His prophets. Humiliation is their requital. To the Muslims and the Christians and other monotheists they are more detestable than the disbelieving polytheists. Although they dominate the realm of international finance and may even dictate in the realm of international politics, yet they seem still to exist on sufferance, as aliens, more or less, undesirable .

For illa bihablin see commentary of verse 103 of this surah.

The frequent reference to the treacherous character of the Jews in the Quran warns the Muslims that if they also discard the Ahlul Bayt and the book of Allah or separate them from one another(hadith thaqalayn), and kill the children of the Holy Prophet, abasement and disgrace would also stick to them (because according to many reliable traditions the Ahl ul Bayt are from the Holy Prophet and the Holy Prophet is from the Ahlul Bayt, and all of them are from one divine light).

 

لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ {113}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:113]

Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 62. Those Jews and Christians, who believe in the original books sent to their prophets and follow their true teachings, have to believe in the Quran and the prophethood of the last prophet of Allah, therefore, in all fairness, the Quran recognises the goodness and righteousness found in the true followers of Musa and Isa for rewarding them with proper recompense.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Verses 101 to 115 contain the fundamental directions essential for a peaceful, just and pious human society. In addition to man-God relationship, the religion of Allah, Islam, also lays down the principles which direct, develop and sustain interrelations between the human beings as well as their true position in the universe. Islam not only establishes peace, unity and harmony between man and man but also effects co-ordination between mankind, as a part, and the universe, as a whole, viewed in a perspective beyond the limitation of time and space. Many attempts had been made, and the quest continues, to unite mankind to usher in an era of peace and harmony, but each venture has created new divisions. Unless man agrees not to exercise his will and choice in preference to the common good of the society universal brotherhood cannot be established. He must sacrifice his will and choice by curtailing his independence in the interest of the common good, which means submission of his will. The social, economic and political sciences deal with the question as to in whose interest (family, community, race or country) man should sacrifice his independence, and to whose authority he should submit!? Islam puts the universal interest above the individual interest, and makes it clear that there is no authority save the authority of the almighty Allah to which every individual must submit. Keeping this in view the Quran refers to the establishment of an institution which not only would call people to Allah (the absolute goodness) but also exercise authority over mankind to guide them to that which is approved by the human conscience as well as by the divine sanction; and would prevent them from doing that which is unprofitable and harmful, an evil rejected by the human conscience as well as forbidden by the divine decree Verse 104 says that the authority to enjoin the right (amr bil ma-ruf) and forbid the wrong (nahya anil munkar) entails conditions in which all the members of the society cannot share. They can assist the divinely established authority in the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil, because only those who know the ultimate and the absolute good have been found competent and qualified to be chosen for this assignment. The most essential prerequisite to shoulder this responsibility is to be in a state of perfect awareness for doing good and avoiding evil so that there is no need to be guided by any one to do ma-ruf and abstain from munkar.

In verse 104 ummat means a-imma, because ummat is derived from amm (meaning) to intend, to lead, to give an example to others, or to command. In the sense of tending or intending it becomes the “way” intended to or to move on (tariq), or imam, the person intended to be followed, or mamun, the person who intends to follow-to follow certain persons or principles. The word ummat has been used in all these senses in the verses of the Quran. In verses 104 and 113 of Ali Imran and verses 128 and 143 of al Baqarah the context shows that ummat stands for an imam, who exercises authority, not for mamun.

Verses 101 to 103 make it clear that once a man becomes a Muslim (submits to the absolute sovereignty of Allah) he shall not follow any other path except the guidance revealed through the Quran and made known by the Holy Prophet, which, in fact, is the substance of the surah Ali Imran. Even a slightest deviation from this path, by relying on personal discretion in order to make amendment in the guidance provided by Allah and His Prophet, has been declared as going back to the days of ignorance (partisanship and sectarianism) or falling into the abyss of eternal damnation.

He who holds fast to the rope of Allah (adheres to His book, His prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt) is described as orthodox (sound and upright in belief and doctrine, not dogmatic or irrational), and he who relies on his own judgement or on the conjectural or arbitrary discretion of those who have not been endowed by the divine wisdom, nor ever declared by the Holy Prophet as the inheritors of his wisdom, is described as heterodox. In verse 153 of al An-am Allah says that only His path is right, follow it, and do not follow other ways, because that will deviate you from His path and lead to heresy and heterodoxy. Some early commentators wrongly presumed that verse 16 of al Taghabun abrogates the contents of verse 103 of Ali Imran. A proper study of these verses shows that one supports the other. Please refer to the commentary of Taghabun: 16. It is said that the occasion for the revelation of verse 103 was a dispute, took place between the two groups of ansars, on the instigation of a Jew. Whatever be the cause “the enjoining good and forbidding evil” by a select group, as said in verse 104 is the basis of the social structure of the human society.

The establishment of an institution to save mankind from dissension and discord, which would lead to total perdition, has been justified in verses 104 to 108. The purpose in view is to promote universal justice and harmony and safeguard the interests of all creation, on the earth, in the heavens and in between them. To control and operate this institution suitable persons are chosen by Allah Himself on merit. Human choice or discretion has no place.

And your Lord creates what He wills, and (also) chooses. They (the created beings) have never any choice.

(Qasas: 68)

The inseparable second person masculine gender pronoun in verse 104, refers to a particular group of men, purposefully brought forth from the fold of His providence, to guide mankind. Please refer to the commentary of verses 104 and 110 for identifying those who have the competency, efficiency and authority to enjoin good and forbid evil.

Once Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq asked a scholar whether he thought the pronoun tum in kuntum (in verse 110 of Ali Imran) referred to the Muslims in general? “Yes” was his reply.

“It means you, who killed the grandson of the Holy Prophet and tortured his family in captivity, are the best people brought forth by Allah to guide and benefit the mankind”. the Imam said.

“No. It cannot be!” The scholar exclaimed. “Behold! It refers only to those who are competent to lead mankind to truth”, the Imam advised him.

Therefore if it is inferred that waltakun min kum gives permission to the Muslims to elect, appoint or nominate a person or a group of persons to guide or lead people, the implication would be a far-fetched heretical innovation, because the verse only points out to the necessity of such an institution, just as the necessity of the prophets of Allah to convey His message of guidance to the people, but does not give permission to the people (in either case) to elect, nominate or appoint the prophets or those who enjoin good and forbid evil. Verse 110 asserts that such a group (from the descendants of Ibrahim) has been brought forth for the guidance of mankind. Al Baqarah: 124, 128, 143 and al Hajj: 77 and 78 refer to those descendants of Ibrahim who have been chosen to inherit the book, the wisdom and the great kingdom, and whose obedience has been enjoined on mankind. Only these are they who are authorised to exercise amr bil ma-ruf and nahya anil munkar. Those who follow them in letter and spirit and are thoroughly well-versed in their knowledge and wisdom can work as their subordinates. Verse 113 and 114 contain the qualities the above noted select group of man possess to the point of highest perfection. Verse 165 of al-An-am says that it is Allah who has made the believers successors in the earth but has raised some of them over others in degrees, therefore all the believers are not equal. Those who are lower in degree should function as the subordinates of those who occupy the higher grade, otherwise there will be no harmony and order in the system. Having failed to understand the true meanings of these verses many Muslim scholars have suggested a chaotic and inconsistent form of Islamic government because of which the Muslim society has been, so far, administered by despots, tyrants and usurpers.

 

يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ{114}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:114] (see commentary for verse 113)

وَمَا يَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلَنْ يُكْفَرُوهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالْمُتَّقِينَ {115}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:115] (see commentary for verse 113)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَنْ تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۚ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ {116}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:116]

Neither the riches nor the children of the enemies of Islam shall be able (either by way of compensation or by way of offering sacrifices on behalf of their disbelieving ancestors) to save them from the fire. The disbelievers spend to gain fame, or out of vanity, or from fear. No amount of charity without the true belief can be of any use to any one. By spending their riches in a way disapproved by Allah they bring to nothing what they spend. It is like a frosty wind which smites and destroys the herbage and the seed produce of the tilth.

That which has been said in these verses is comparable to verses 17 to 35 of al Qalam.

 

مَثَلُ مَا يُنْفِقُونَ فِي هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَثَلِ رِيحٍ فِيهَا صِرٌّ أَصَابَتْ حَرْثَ قَوْمٍ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ فَأَهْلَكَتْهُ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ {117}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:117] (see commentary for verse 116)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا بِطَانَةً مِنْ دُونِكُمْ لَا يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالًا وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ ۖ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {118}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:118]

Please refer to verse 28 of Ali Imran.

The believers are warned not to make friends with the enemies of Islam, their associates and relatives. Tolerance is desirable only when it is known that there is no joining of hands to launch an offensive against the true faith. It is a wise maxim to preserve the faith from the contaminating influence of impiety and infidelity. The disbelievers will not fall short in corrupting or vitiating the true belief of the believers, because they cannot control their hatred. The believers are bound to believe in all revealed books, but their enemies do not believe in the final book of Allah. To make mischief they pose as believers and plot to harm the faithfuls, but the end they seek shall never be achieved. The glory of the true believers shall continue and increase and shall never perish. Allah knows the spite that is rankling in the breasts of the enemies of the true faithfuls, and has laid it bare.

 

هَا أَنْتُمْ أُولَاءِ تُحِبُّونَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِبُّونَكُمْ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْكِتَابِ كُلِّهِ وَإِذَا لَقُوكُمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا عَضُّوا عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَنَامِلَ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ ۚ قُلْ مُوتُوا بِغَيْظِكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ {119}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:119] (see commentary for verse 118)

إِنْ تَمْسَسْكُمْ حَسَنَةٌ تَسُؤْهُمْ وَإِنْ تُصِبْكُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَفْرَحُوا بِهَا ۖ وَإِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ {120}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:120]

They are spiteful . They are malicious. They are deceitful. But their mischief-making and intrigues shall not harm the believers who safeguard themselves with full awareness of Allah’s commands and patiently wait for Allah’s help.

 

وَإِذْ غَدَوْتَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ تُبَوِّئُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مَقَاعِدَ لِلْقِتَالِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {121}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:121]

Twelve months after the battle of Badr, when the third year of the Holy Prophet’s stay at Madina was drawing to a close, there burst out a storm of unprecedented violence. Abu Sufyan, a zealous votary of the idols, a mortal foe of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, the chief of the pagan Makkan tribes and head of the brand of Umayyah, had mobilised an army of 3000 warriors to avenge the defeat at Badr. He secretly negotiated an alliance with the Jews of Madina who agreed to attack the small band of Muslims when the major offensive would begin. After exceedingly elaborate preparations, the Quraysh commenced their march, 3000 strong; 700 were mailed warriors, and 200 well-mounted cavalry; the remainder rode on camels. Women were allowed to accompany them. Taking timbrels in their hands, they sang to their wild cadence songs of vengeance for kinsmen slain at Badr.

The Muslims, able to fight, all told, were one thousand. To confront the enemy in an open field, the Holy Prophet reached Uhad. At the last moment on the pretext that his advice to wait and offer defence in Madina was not accepted Abdullah bin Ubay along with his 300 followers suddenly turned round and, deserting the Muslims, took the road back to Madina. Thus the Holy Prophet was left with 700 followers, facing a well-equipped army four times their number.

There was a pass in the hills of Uhad through which the enemy soldiers could come and attack, so, the Holy Prophet stationed 50 archers under the command of Abdullah bin Jubayr at the mouth of the pass with strict instructions not to leave the post at any event.

All the authentic books of history record that as soon as the fight began Ali and Hamza slashed the rows after rows of the enemy soldiers and sooner than expected the enemy took to their heels. Fascinated by the abrupt flight of the Makkan pagans, the unscrupulous companions of the Holy Prophet went in for loot and plunder. The archers also yielded to temptation and left their post by disobeying the orders of their commander. Khalid bin Walid, who was yet an unbeliever, with his men, attacked the unwary Muslims busy in collecting the booty from this opening and caught them off their guard. There was confusion and disorder. The pagans availed the opportunity and surrounded the Holy Prophet. He was wounded and fell into a pit. At this time some one or Shaytan raised the cry “Muhammad has been killed.” On hearing this cry even some of the closest companions of the Holy Prophet (who later became the leaders of the Muslims ) also took to flight. The whereabouts of some of them became known after three days. One deserter suggested to send a messenger to Abdullah bin Obay so that he might obtain amnesty from Abu Sufyan. Tabari, Ibn Hisham and Tarikh al Khamis report that the second caliph was also among the deserters. Shibli says desperate despondency had seized the companions. All deserted the messenger of Allah except Ali, Abu Dajjana and Sahl ibn Hunayf. The hand of Allah (yadullah), Ali, unsheathed his sword; the fearless, unconquerable and ever-overpowering strength of Allah (asdadullah), Ali, demonstrated his singular prowess as the executor of wonders {mazhar al aja-ib). Ali put so memorable a fight that Jibrail gloried Ali’s action with the celebrated sentence: “la fata illa Ali” (there is no man save Ali) and “la sayf illa dhulfiqar” (there is no sword save dhulfiqar). The scene again changed and the three thousand proud warriors of Arabia ran from the battlefield like frightened rats, with Abu Sufyan in the front, and stopped at Hamra ul Asad, 8 miles away from Uhad. There he reviewed his misadventure to know the reason which changed certain victory into humiliating defeat. He was planning to launch another attack, but, before he could regroup the disheartened soldiers, the news of a possible pursuit by Ali ibn abi Talib broke his spirit and he at once took the road to Makka.

Hamza, a valiant warrior, the uncle of the Holy Prophet, was martyred in this battle. Hinda, the wife of Abu Sufyan, the mother of Mu-awiyah, had hired an Abyssinian slave to kill the Holy Prophet, Hamza and Ali. He took out the liver of Hamza and gave it to Hinda. She chewed it and tried to eat it but could not. Then she washed the pieces, made a garland and wore it around her neck.

In view of verses 2 to 4 of al Ankabut it can be stated that the battle of Uhad was a trial and a test for those who professed to believe in Allah and His messenger.

 

إِذْ هَمَّتْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ تَفْشَلَا وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّهُمَا ۗ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ {122}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:122] (see commentary for verse 121)

وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ وَأَنْتُمْ أَذِلَّةٌ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ {123}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:123]

For the battle of Badr see commentary of Ali Imran: 10 to 13.

Badr was a camping ground and market, about twenty miles south-west of Madina. Hamza and Ali were the heros of the battle of Badr, which was of the greatest importance for the spread of Islam. On the hands of Hamza and Ali, under the command of the Holy Prophet, Islam had won its first and decisive military victory.

Allah had reinforced the Muslims with three thousand angels, a heavenly aid given to the Holy Prophet, not actually to fight the enemy but to increase the very small group of men he had with him so that the Muslims could muster courage; and the enemy might be frightened at the sight of a large assemblage. It was Allah alone, not the angels, who really caused victory through the valour of Ali and Hamza which brought the enemy to their knees.

The Muslim were poor in numbers, mounts and armour. The spirit of discipline and contempt of death manifested by the heroes of Badr (mentioned above), evident in all the battles the Holy Prophet fought, was due to their total reliance on Allah with whom they always took refuge and unto whom they always turned thankful.

Verse 127 infers the facts that seventy of the chosen chiefs of the Quraysh were slain and seventy others were taken captive, a complete rout, through Ali (yadullah-hand of Allah) after which, broken, in utter despair they went back to their homes.

 

إِذْ تَقُولُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَلَنْ يَكْفِيَكُمْ أَنْ يُمِدَّكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ بِثَلَاثَةِ آلَافٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُنْزَلِينَ {124}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:124] (see commentary for verse 123)

بَلَىٰ ۚ إِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَيَأْتُوكُمْ مِنْ فَوْرِهِمْ هَٰذَا يُمْدِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ بِخَمْسَةِ آلَافٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُسَوِّمِينَ {125}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:125] (see commentary for verse 123)

وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشْرَىٰ لَكُمْ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُكُمْ بِهِ ۗ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلَّا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ {126}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:126] (see commentary for verse 123)

لِيَقْطَعَ طَرَفًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْ يَكْبِتَهُمْ فَيَنْقَلِبُوا خَائِبِينَ {127}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:127] (see commentary for verse 123)

لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ أَوْ يُعَذِّبَهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ {128}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:128]

With this verse is resumed the account of Uhad. The Holy Prophet, as he sat wounded in his face and as the blood was being wiped off him, reflected on the conduct of his close companions who deserted him in the hour of need, as their conduct exposed their uncertain faith and hypocrite tendency, and so he wondered as to how such people would behave after his departure from this world. It showed how much he was concerned with the future of his people. Thereupon this verse was revealed. Allah knew that as the “mercy unto the worlds” the Holy Prophet was very much interested in the welfare of the people, so He put him at ease by saying that it was He who might open their hearts to true faith or inflict immediate punishment.

 

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ يَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {129}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:129]

Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah : 255.

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُضَاعَفَةً ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {130}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:130]

Neither lend nor borrow money on interest, simple or compound. Islam has forbidden usury for all ages and in all circumstances, regardless of any “commercial” consideration. “Multiplied manifold” implies an unjust economic system by making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The basis of prosperity and success, both in this world and the hereafter, is love of Allah and awareness of His laws, not greed of gold.

Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 275 to 280.

 

وَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ {131}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:131]

Allah invites mankind to obey Him and His messenger, the Holy Prophet (without making adjustments in what he has said and done by making use of one’s own discretion) if forgiveness from the Lord is to be obtained so as to deserve an abode in the land of eternal bliss and happiness of unimaginable depth and dimensions, otherwise the hell, prepared for the disbelievers, shall also welcome the deviators who amended and changed the commands of the Holy Prophet.

 

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ {132}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:132] (see commentary for verse 131)

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {133}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:133] (see commentary for verse 131)

الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {134}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:134]

See commentary of verses 3, 195, 215, 245, 254, 261 to 273 of al Baqarah for spending in the way of Allah.

The Holy Prophet has said:

A generous spender in the way of Allah is very near to Allah, paradise and men; but the gap between a miser and Allah, on one side, and paradise and men on the other, can never be bridged.

Allah loves an illiterate generous spender more than a miserly scholar.

Repressors of rage are those who refrain from giving vent to their wrath while they have the power to inflict harm, and pardoners of men are those who refrain from punishing when they have a right as well as capability to punish.

Imam Hasan, the Holy Prophet’s eldest grandson, was once being served his meal by his slave servant, who accidentally threw on him a dish boiling hot, and fearing a severe punishment, immediately recited the words “the repressors of rage”. Hasan said, “I am not angry.” “And the forgivers of men”, proceeded the servant. “I forgive”, replied the Imam. “And Allah loves the doers of good”, concluded the servant. “Since it is so, I give you liberty and four hundred pieces of silver;” replied the Imam.

The Holy Prophet is the “mercy unto the worlds” (Ambiya: 107), and Ali is a guide and mercy (Hud: 17). Therefore, there are several events in their lives, mentioned in the authentic books of history, which establish Muhammad and Ali as the perfect models, divinely set up for the guidance of mankind.

 

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ {135}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:135]

Those who do ill-deeds, in fact, wrong themselves. Every sinner corrupts his own soul and deserves punishment. If by remorse and making amends in the way prescribed by the divine law he turns repentant to Allah, his sins may be forgiven. It is Allah who alone can forgive those sinners who do not persist in that which they have done.

 

أُولَٰئِكَ جَزَاؤُهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَجَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ {136}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:136]

In Islam mere ideological or theoretical belief is of no use. Islam lays stress on action.

 

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ {137}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:137]

Ruin and perdition in the world was the fate of those who belied the messengers of Allah. The vestiges of their destruction are visible everywhere.

 

هَٰذَا بَيَانٌ لِلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةٌ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {138}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:138]

Those who are aware of the boundaries laid down by Allah, guard themselves against evil and take refuge with Allah, alone can understand and teach the Quran. See commentary of muttaqinin verses 2 and 177 of al Baqarah.

Shirk (polytheism) is the greatest evil. The Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, historically, were the only persons who never worshipped any one other than Allah, therefore, it is the will of Allah that mankind should learn the meaning and purport of the Quran from the Ahl ul Bayt, confirmed by the Holy Prophet in his farewell address to the nation (hadith al thaqalayn).

 

وَلَا تَهِنُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنْتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ {139}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:139]

After the battle of Uhad this verse was revealed to create confidence in the Muslims so that they might not grieve excessively for the loss of relatives and lose heart because of a partial set back in the battlefield (due to their own greed and lack of discipline).

 

إِنْ يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِثْلُهُ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ {140}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:140]

As stated in the commentary of verses 121 and 122 of this surah due to the fearless overpowering valour of Ali the enemy suffered heavy losses in men and material and finally ran away from the scene of combat, inflicted with a humiliating defeat. The setback the Muslims encountered (due to their greed and lack of discipline) can be described as the vicissitudes of success and failure. Allah intended, by this reverse, to sift the true from the false among those who professed Islam. He wanted to test those who came into the fold of Islam for material gain, pride and glory of victories. They failed miserably. Running away from the battlefield by deserting the Holy Prophet was a shameful deed, as stated in verse 135 of this surah, exposing their inherent falsehood. The early converts, more often than not, due to weakness in their faith, availed every opportunity to save their skin in the time of trouble. They were infidels at heart in the garb of hypocrisy. They were the hidden enemies of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt. On the other hand there was Ali, the representative of the Ahl ul Bayt in the battle of Uhad, who not only stood by the Holy Prophet and protected him from the assassins but also turned the sure defeat into victory by dispersing the enemy through his steadfastness.

This verse guides mankind, in all ages, to identify the sincere supporter of the Holy Prophet and his mission, and to distinctly name those deserters and hypocrites who have been described as the unjust (zalimin), whose names have been written in all the authentic books of history compiled by the well-known authors. Allah does not love the unjust.

Mere companionship of the Holy Prophet is not enough to be blessed. Those who claim “striving hard” must undergo hard test.

 

وَلِيُمَحِّصَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَمْحَقَ الْكَافِرِينَ {141}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:141] (see commentary for verse 140)

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا مِنْكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ الصَّابِرِينَ {142}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:142] (see commentary for verse 140)

وَلَقَدْ كُنْتُمْ تَمَنَّوْنَ الْمَوْتَ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَلْقَوْهُ فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْظُرُونَ {143}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:143]

Persons who were not at Badr desired to be present with the Holy Prophet at another battle in order to gain the distinction (of being known as victors or martyrs) obtained by the heros of Badr. When they had seen the battle of Uhad and brought back their slain and wounded relatives, they indulged in lamentation and felt miserable.

 

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ۚ أَفَإِنْ مَاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ ۚ وَمَنْ يَنْقَلِبْ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا ۗ وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ {144}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:144]

Muhammad (literally means a man praised much, or repeatedly, or time and again; endowed with divine wisdom) to the end of his life claimed for himself the title of “the prophet of Allah” only. “Your comrade neither errs, nor is deceived, nor does he speaks of his own desire, it is but a revelation revealed”, says the Quran in al Najm: 2 to 5.

Those who had run away from the battlefield returned to Madina after three days and told the Holy Prophet that they took to flight because they heard a cry announcing his death. In reply this verse was revealed. Truth, at all events, remains positive and reliable. Therefore, if the messenger of Allah departs from this world there is no excuse to turn on one’s heels and forsake his teachings. He who does so hurts himself. Those who ran away from the battle of Uhad have been referred to in this verse. See commentary of verses 121 and 122 of this surah. Some of the companions said, “Had he been a prophet, he would not have been killed, return therefore to your brethren and your ancestral religion”. Anas bin Nadar exhorted the fleeing deserters not to give up the fight because the God of Muhammad is ever-living and eternal, even if the Holy Prophet was no more among them.

 

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تَمُوتَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ كِتَابًا مُؤَجَّلًا ۗ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَنْ يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الْآخِرَةِ نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا ۚ وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِينَ {145}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:145]

No one can die unless Allah dispenses, or his appointed term expires. Death shall come neither before nor after that time. It is not possible to delay death by keeping away from battle. Verse 8 of al Jumu-ah also confirms this fact.

Those who desire benefits of this world shall be deprived of their portion in the hereafter, because they do not sacrifice their lives, property and that which they hold dear, in the cause of Allah. Those who are thankful for Allah’s bounties and never hesitate to put at Allah’s disposal everything they receive from Him, shall be rewarded.

 

وَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُوا لِمَا أَصَابَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُوا وَمَا اسْتَكَانُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ {146}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:146]

Many a prophet has fought, with a number of godly men beside him, against the infidels, in the cause of Allah, and disasters befell them but their zeal did not diminish in the least, nor did they humble themselves before the enemy. Therefore, He helped them and exalted their position.

 

وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلَّا أَنْ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ {147}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:147]

Verse 147 is the prayer of every prophet. Pure and sincere, far from any faltering in act and deed, the godly and pious, in the fervour of their prayers and purity of their hearts, in order to humble themselves before Allah, ascribe excesses to themselves. By reason of their steadfastness and their asking forgiveness and seeking refuge with Allah, Allah grants them victory against infidels, glorifies their mission and enhances their reputation in this world, and gives an excellent reward in the hereafter, which alone is of consequence with Allah.

 

فَآتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَحُسْنَ ثَوَابِ الْآخِرَةِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {148}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:148] (see commentary for verse 147)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تُطِيعُوا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ {149}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:149]

When the Jews of Bani Qaynqa were plotting to create hostility between the two Muslim tribes (Aus and Khazraj) this verse was revealed. It is a warning to the Muslims “not to pay attention to the disbelievers because they will make you turn on your heels; and you will be the losers. Allah is your guardian and He is the best of helpers (if you are sincere and stead fast in your faith and have implicit confidence in His guardianship and in His help)”.

 

بَلِ اللَّهُ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ النَّاصِرِينَ {150}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:150] (see commentary for verse 149)

سَنُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ بِمَا أَشْرَكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا ۖ وَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ ۚ وَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الظَّالِمِينَ{151}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:151]

The events of the battle of Uhad described in the commentary of verses 121 and 122 should be carefully studied to understand the meaning of the “terror” Allah had cast into the hearts of the disbelievers. It was through Ali (yadullah-the hand of Allah) that the Almighty turned the Makkans, after their show of a victory, into a terror-stricken bunch of rats, hastily fleeing to Hamra ul Asad-a curious sight indeed of a “victorious” army in humiliating retreat instead of advancing to Madina to lay it in ruins.

 

وَلَقَدْ صَدَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ إِذْ تَحُسُّونَهُمْ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَشِلْتُمْ وَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَعَصَيْتُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا أَرَاكُمْ مَا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ مِنْكُمْ مَنْ يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا وَمِنْكُمْ مَنْ يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ ۚ ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ لِيَبْتَلِيَكُمْ ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا عَنْكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {152}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:152]

Refer to the commentary of verses 121 and 122 of this surah to know how Ali and Hamza were extirpating the enemy but, when the victory was in sight, the Muslims fell to plundering the enemy’s camp, by casting the Holy Prophet’s strict injunction to the winds. This “worldliness” put them in an awkward position. Fearing total destruction they ran away to save their lives, and failed in the test Allah planned for them. There were they who desired this world. There were some who desired the hereafter, so, on account of their steadfastness and readiness to die in the cause of Allah, He forgave all of them and through Ali, as asadullah, created terror in the hearts of the enemy soldiers who made a hasty retreat in spite of having an upper hand.

 

إِذْ تُصْعِدُونَ وَلَا تَلْوُونَ عَلَىٰ أَحَدٍ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ فِي أُخْرَاكُمْ فَأَثَابَكُمْ غَمًّا بِغَمٍّ لِكَيْلَا تَحْزَنُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا مَا أَصَابَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ {153}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:153]

The names of those who ran off and did not turn back to look, though the Holy Prophet was calling them from the rear, have been given in Tarikh Tabari, Tarikh Khamis by Husayn Dayarbakri, Tarikh Kamil by Ibn Athir, Izalatul Khifa by Shah Waliullah, and Al-Faruq by Shibli. Please refer to the commentary of verses 121 and 122 of this surah.

 

ثُمَّ أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَائِفَةً مِنْكُمْ ۖ وَطَائِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ هَلْ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ ۗ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ مَا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ ۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا ۗ قُلْ لَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ {154}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:154]

Those who had fought hard to create panic in the enemy’s camp had an agreeable and refreshing sleep, because their faith in Allah and His prophet was certain and they knew what would ultimately happen. It was a divine blessing the true faithfuls enjoyed on that day as a recompense for their selfless and devotional service in the cause of Allah. There was another group which questioned and doubted the Holy Prophet’s promise of divine interposition. They harboured inwardly disapproval and unbelief, and spoke into their (like-minded) comrades’ ears about the sure defeat against a formidable enemy; and also grumbled regarding their advice to remain in Madina instead of coming to Uhad where their friends and relatives had been killed. Disbelief in Allah and His prophet, in the end, incited them to abandon the Holy Prophet in the time of trouble. Even if they stayed at home, those of them, who were destined to die, would have gone to their place of death.

Allah has made known that which was in their hearts (hypocrisy) to the people who will come in this world till the day of resurrection.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا مِنْكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُوا ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ {155}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:155]

Because of their long association with idolatry, the deserters, who either had embraced Islam under unavoidable circumstances or with ulterior motives, fell an easy prey to the satanic promptings.

As Allah is oft-forgiving and forbearing, He pardons those who repent and ask forgiveness, but it should be noted that such pardoned sinners cannot and should not be chosen as the leaders of the faithfuls. Moreover, about those who avoid fighting against an aggressor, the Quran says in verses 15 and 16 of Anfal:

When you meet unbelievers on the field of battle, do not turn backs to them.

For any one who turns his back on that day, except to manoeuvre or rally to his side, will bring the wrath of Allah on himself, and have hell as abode-an evil destination.

As per verse 11 of al Tawbah Islam means “selling of self” to Allah. Once a thing is sold it must be handed over to the purchaser. If one does not do so, it means, one is deceiving Allah.

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَقَالُوا لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُوا غُزًّى لَوْ كَانُوا عِنْدَنَا مَا مَاتُوا وَمَا قُتِلُوا لِيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ {156}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:156]

“Their brethren” means the Muslim relatives and friends of the infidels and the hypocrites who had to journey in the cause of Islam and face hardship or fight the enemies of Islam and die in the battlefield.

The infidels ridiculed the deserters when they reached Madina for having lost their friends and relatives in the battle of Uhad and assured them that if they had been with them (the infidels) they would not have suffered the misfortune. The ignorant infidels and “their brethren” did not know that Allah is the giver of life and death and that ultimately the infidels themselves had to regret for not becoming Muslims, because finally Islam was to emerge victorious.

 

وَلَئِنْ قُتِلْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَوْ مُتُّمْ لَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَحْمَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ {157}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:157]

If campaigning in the cause of Allah brings about death, it obtains His mercy and forgiveness which is immensely better than what the others amass of this world and its comforts. The teachings of the Holy Prophet, within a few years, had produced a group of faithfuls who were always ready to sacrifice their lives and possessions in the path of Allah to earn His mercy and blessings.

 

وَلَئِنْ مُتُّمْ أَوْ قُتِلْتُمْ لَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُحْشَرُونَ {158}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:158] (see commentary for verse 157)

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ {159}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:159]

The deserters who had caused a disaster at Uhad deserved to be punished but the leniency shown to them did not wipe out their evil deed of desertion. If the Holy Prophet had been stern and hard of heart they would surely have broken away from him. So he was asked to pardon them in order to prevent them from making mischief and let the divine mission of guidance and salvation progress unhampered.

As an individual the Holy Prophet was always inclined to mildness. He never first withdrew his hand out of another man’s palm. He never struck any one in his life. He was the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him. He was generous and considerate even to his enemies, both open and hidden. He was sent by Allah as the “mercy unto the worlds”. His kind and generous attitude towards his erring companions does not mean that their actual low station in the spiritual realm can be raised to the level of the true faithfuls, because they remain in the category of those described in verse 16 of al Anfal, particularly when time and again they showed the same tendency of defection and renunciation demonstrated at Uhad.

The Holy Prophet received the book and wisdom directly from Allah. He was the city of knowledge (and Ali its gate). He needed no advice from any body.

“Take their counsel in the affairs” has been mentioned in this verse to educate the companions to reflect and use their intelligence, to understand the issues which confronted them in their lives so that by consulting each other they might arrive at a rational conclusion and follow the reasonable advice. Whatever be the counsel of the companions but the Holy Prophet has been asked to put his trust in Allah and act according to his own judgement.

 

إِنْ يَنْصُرْكُمُ اللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَنْصُرُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ ۗ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ {160}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:160]

The believers should rely on Allah. If He helps them none will overcome them, and if He forsakes them none can help them.

 

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَغُلَّ ۚ وَمَنْ يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ {161}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:161]

On the division of booty at Badr a garment was found missing. Some companions remarked that it might have been taken away privately by the Holy Prophet himself. The Holy Prophet has been exalted by Allah to the highest pinnacles of honour and glory, therefore those who wrongly try to blacken the fair name of the Holy Prophet shall be punished on the day of reckoning

162) He who follows the please of Allah has been described in verse 207 of al Baqarah:

And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah (see commentary of al Baqarah: 207).

It was Ali who stood by the Holy Prophet in the battle of Uhad to the end (see commentary of verses 121 and 122 of this surah).

Those who ran away from the battlefield had incurred the wrath of Allah. Verse 16 of Al Anfal also confirms that he who turns his back (in the battlefield) brings the wrath of Allah on himself. It is a warning to those who manipulate to elevate and exalt the men of ordinary character (deserters) to the higher status of the thoroughly purified spiritual leaders, the holy Imams of the house of the Holy Prophet-Ahl ul Bayt.

 

أَفَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَ اللَّهِ كَمَنْ بَاءَ بِسَخَطٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَأْوَاهُ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ {162}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:162]

هُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ {163}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:163]

There are different ranks with Allah for those who follow the pleasure of Allah as well as for those who earn His wrath.

 

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ {164}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:164]

The Holy Prophet was a teacher, interpreter and expounder of the religion of Allah. Before him the people, all over the world, were steeped in evil, idolatry and slavery. It was a great favour of Allah that He sent the Holy Prophet to show them the right path. As has been made clear in verse 17 of al Hujurat those who became Muslims (submitted to Allah) should not deem it a favour to the Holy Prophet. It is Allah who conferred a favour on them, inasmuch as He has led them to the faith. Also see verses 129 and 151 of al Baqarah. “To purify them” does not refer to the Ahl ul Bayt, because they have been thoroughly purified by Allah Himself (Ahzab: 33).

 

أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُمْ مِثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّىٰ هَٰذَا ۖ قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {165}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:165]

“What!” is a reproach. Those converts who accepted Islam with half a heart showed their dissatisfaction at the slightest reverse or disadvantage. They began to waver after the battle of Uhad on the pretext as to how that reverse came about when they were believers. It is pointed out to them that it was due to their disobeying the Holy Prophet’s command and yielding to satanic promptings. Verse 14 of al Hujurat says that those who had become Muslims were not sincere believers.

 

وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ فَبِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {166}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:166]

The events which took place in the battle of Uhad have been described and discussed from verse 121 of this surah onwards. That which befell the Muslims was by Allah’s will so that the believers and the hypocrites could be identified openly, and the faith of the one group and the hypocrisy of the other made clear. Allah knew best that which the hypocrites concealed. When they were asked to come and fight in the way of Allah, they thought that it was not a fair fight (because the enemy was killing them, therefore, they took to flight). Nearer were the hypocrite deserters on that day to infidelity. They also assumed that had those who were slain in the battle stayed at home they would have remained alive. Those who do not believe in Allah are ignorant of the fact that the hour of death is certain whether they go to the field of battle or stay at home.

It shows that the Holy Prophet had carried out his mission in the presence of open and hidden hostile forces of antagonism. Please refer to the commentary of al Baqrah: 8 to 20 to know about the hypocrites. Also refer to al Munafiqun.

 

وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ نَافَقُوا ۚ وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا قَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَوِ ادْفَعُوا ۖ قَالُوا لَوْ نَعْلَمُ قِتَالًا لَاتَّبَعْنَاكُمْ ۗ هُمْ لِلْكُفْرِ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَقْرَبُ مِنْهُمْ لِلْإِيمَانِ ۚ يَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ مَا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَكْتُمُونَ {167}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:167] (see commentary for verse 166)

الَّذِينَ قَالُوا لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ وَقَعَدُوا لَوْ أَطَاعُونَا مَا قُتِلُوا ۗ قُلْ فَادْرَءُوا عَنْ أَنْفُسِكُمُ الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ {168}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:168] (see commentary for verse 166)

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ {169}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:169]

Those slain in the way of Allah are not dead. They are alive, getting sustenance from their Lord. The unending life or continuous existence of the martyrs has been fully discussed in the commentary of al Baqarah: 154 and 155.

Death is not the destruction of the ruh (spirit). It applies to all human beings, but as said in verse 163 of this surah “of diverse ranks they shall be with Allah”, therefore, the martyrs who are nearest to Him and occupy highest positions are in direct communion with their Lord. Their active consciousness perceives that which is happening in this world even after their departure from here. They can reach us and we can have access to them. Through the grace of Allah, on account of their direct relationship with Him, they can carry into effect that which they desire by His permission. As mentioned in al Baqarah: 154 and 155, they are the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt.

 

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِهِمْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ {170}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:170] (see commentary for verse 169)

يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {171}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:171] (see commentary for verse 169)

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ {172}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:172]

Study these verses with reference to verses 140 to 142, 144 and 153 of this surah.

In spite of having an upper hand at Uhad the Makkan army (on account of Ali’s valour) retreated and camped at Hamra ul Asad where Abu Sufyan made it known that next year he would attack again and destroy the Muslims. The allies of Abu Sufyan in Madina gave forth an exaggerated account of the preparations at Makka in the hope that, with the battle of Uhad yet fresh in memory, the Muslims might be deterred from setting out for another fight. When it was reported to the Holy Prophet, Ali ibn abi Talib said: “Sufficient unto us is Allah.” At the appointed time the Holy Prophet went to encounter the Makkan army but they did not come.

 

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ {173}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:173] (see commentary for verse 172)

فَانْقَلَبُوا بِنِعْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ لَمْ يَمْسَسْهُمْ سُوءٌ وَاتَّبَعُوا رِضْوَانَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَظِيمٍ {174}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:174] (see commentary for verse 172)

إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ {175}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:175] (see commentary for verse 172)

وَلَا يَحْزُنْكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ لَنْ يَضُرُّوا اللَّهَ شَيْئًا ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَلَّا يَجْعَلَ لَهُمْ حَظًّا فِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ {176}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:176]

The hypocrites, who at the slightest turn of scales against the Holy Prophet began to avow their unbelief openly, could not harm or retard the mission of the Holy Prophet at all, because, at all times, “the hand of Allah” (Ali) was there to frustrate their designs.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ لَنْ يَضُرُّوا اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ {177}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:177] (see commentary for verse 176)

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّمَا نُمْلِي لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا نُمْلِي لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِثْمًا ۚ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ {178}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:178]

The worldly possessions the unbelievers had was a respite, a temporary well-being, which pulled them deeper and deeper into the abyss of infidelity from where they could never come out.

 

مَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَذَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَىٰ مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّىٰ يَمِيزَ الْخَبِيثَ مِنَ الطَّيِّبِ ۗ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْتَبِي مِنْ رُسُلِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۚ وَإِنْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَلَكُمْ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ {179}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:179]

Allah did not want to keep the believers mixed with the hypocrites, therefore, by means of repeated trials and tribulations He separated the impure from the pure, the wicked from the good.

The hypocrites had said:

“If Muhammad is a true prophet of Allah, let him tell us who of us believes and who does not.”

In reply the Holy Prophet recited this verse. He was the chosen messenger whom Allah had acquainted with the unseen. A man, who did not know his parentage, asked him to tell the name of his father, which no one knew. When the Holy Prophet announced the name of his father, Umar bin Khattab, the second caliph, said:

“O Messenger of Allah! We accept Allah as our God, Islam as our religion, you as our prophet. So forgive us.”

The Holy Prophet said:

“Will you (then) desist?”

According to Badshah Husain’s English translation of the Quran, Vol. II, the above noted event has been mentioned by a Sunni scholar.

 

وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ ۖ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَهُمْ ۖ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُوا بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ {180}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:180]

Whatever a man possesses, he receives it from Allah, therefore, it is incumbent upon him to spend His bounties in His way. See al Baqrah: 3, 177, 215, 219 and 245.

Niggardliness is a curse which will cleave to the neck of every miser on the day of judgement, like a neck-ring (in the form of a biting serpent twisting about).

 

لَقَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاءُ ۘ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَالُوا وَقَتْلَهُمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَنَقُولُ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ {181}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:181]

Banu Qaynqa, a Jewish tribe, were money-lenders and goldsmiths. They were invited to embrace Islam, and the Holy Prophet wrote to them exhorting, among other things, to “lend unto Allah a goodly loan” (refer to commentary of al Baqarah: 245). Phineas bin Azura, a leading Jew, thought it fit to make fun of the expression, and mockingly remarked: “Surely God is poor, since they seek to borrow for Him”. The Jews who had the hardihood to slay their own prophets wantonly (al Baqarah: 61) were not unlikely persons to utter words like these. They mocked at the messengers of Allah, killed them, despised Allah’s words and belied His prophets. They shall, surely, taste the torment of the burning.

And the Jews say: “Allah’s hand is tied-up”. Tied be their own hands, and damned be they for saying what they say! Nay, both His hands are open wide: He expends as He pleases. That which has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly increase many of them in rebellion and infidelity. So We have caused enmity and hatred among them (which will last) till the day of resurrection. As often as they ignite a fire for war, Allah extinguishes it. Yet they strive to spread corruption in the land, and Allah does not love corrupters. (Ma-idah: 64)

Those who attach importance to temporal power and possessions, like the Jews, fail to assess the true potential and force of the spiritual and godly ability and authority.

 

ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ {182}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:182]

Allah is not unjust to any of His creatures. Punishment is only an outcome of the culprit’s own doings. In this connection refer to Ha Mim Sajdah: 46; Jathiyah: 15 and Zilzal: 7 and 8.

(183)

“And the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the whole-offering.” (Leviticus 9: 23 and 24).

Also refer to John 13: 20 to 23; the First book of King 18: 38; The first book of the Chronicles 21: 26; The second book of the Chronicles 7: 1.

Fire was regarded by the Jews “as one of the agents of divine will”, and divine fire was expected to consume the acceptable offering. In the ancient Jewish religion and many others fire is the means whereby offerings are transmitted to the deity. And it was also perhaps this deep-rooted superstition that led the Jews of later times to offer their children as sacrifice to Molch, the god of fire.

So, the Jews said to the Holy Prophet that God had charged them to believe in no prophet until he works this miracle. Firstly Allah’s power may not always manifest through one and the same miracle, because the intellect and the temperament of the people have been undergoing a constant change in upward direction. The appearance of fire to consume sacrifices offered was only suitable to the intellect of the Jews of the ancient times. In Islam, the final, perfected and completed religion of Allah, God is beneficent and merciful, and so in all accounts where a manifestation of Allah is spoken of allegorically, He is represented as light (nur), never as fire. It is stated in verse 35 of al Nur that the glow is without fire-no fire has touched it (light upon light). It is not the meat or blood of the sacrificed animals that reaches Allah. It is the fealty of your heart that reaches Him (Hajj: 37). Secondly, if it was the working of this particular miracle that could generate belief in the Jews, and their hesitating and refusing to believe in the Holy Prophet was on account of it, why then did they refuse to believe in those prophets who had wrought it (among other miracles), and even impetuously murdered them!

 

الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَهِدَ إِلَيْنَا أَلَّا نُؤْمِنَ لِرَسُولٍ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَنَا بِقُرْبَانٍ تَأْكُلُهُ النَّارُ ۗ قُلْ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْ قَبْلِي بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالَّذِي قُلْتُمْ فَلِمَ قَتَلْتُمُوهُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ {183}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:183]

فَإِنْ كَذَّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كُذِّبَ رُسُلٌ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ جَاءُوا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ {184}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:184]

Those who belied the Holy Prophet had already belied other prophets, before him, although they had come with clear evidences (miracles), scriptures (zubur-laws and ordinances revealed to prophets) and the enlightening books (Tawrat and Injil). All the heavenly scriptures have been accommodated in the universal book (Hijr: 1).

 

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَنْ زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ {185}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:185]

Everything, beside Allah, will know the taste of death. Nothing, save Allah, is permanent in its existence. Also refer to verse 8 of al Jumu-ah and verses 9 to 11 of al Munafiqun.

This awareness of certain death makes man do good and avoid evil, so as to prepare himself for the inevitable day of reckoning, because the life of this world is a merchandise of vanity-deceptive, unreal, insubstantial, as compared with the everlasting hereafter.

 

لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنْفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَذًى كَثِيرًا ۚ وَإِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ {186}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:186]

The believers will, nonetheless, be tried in their possessions and in their persons. The people of the book, the Jews and the Christians, and the polytheists will say many hurtful sayings in the way of ridicule of the prophet and other things provocative to the believers. So they ought to accustom themselves to patience and piety because it is Allah’s resolve about human affairs.

 

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ {187}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:187]

Please refer to al Baqarah: 40. The Jews and the Christians knew fully well that the Holy Prophet was the promised prophet clearly mentioned in their books, but not only did they suppress the information but also made changes in the revealed books so as to keep the people in darkness. They did not fulfil the covenant they made with Allah for the sake of the worldly gains. They bartered it for a small price.

The followers of the Holy Prophet also failed to fulfil the covenant they made with Allah through the Holy Prophet at Ghadeer Khum. See commentary of al Ma-idah: 67.

Imam Ali says that Allah takes a promise from the ignorant to learn from those who know the truth; and the knowing scholars undertake to teach those who know very little or do not know anything at all. Vile is the scholar who does not make known the truth, and lets the unknowing remain ignorant.

 

لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْرَحُونَ بِمَا أَتَوْا وَيُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يُحْمَدُوا بِمَا لَمْ يَفْعَلُوا فَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّهُمْ بِمَفَازَةٍ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ{188}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:188]

Refer to the commentary of verse 178 of this surah.

 

وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {189}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:189]

Refer to the last part of verse 180 of this surah.

“Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things”

is repeatedly mentioned in several verses so that this fundamental fact takes root, and man, ever mindful, must always worship Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

 

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ {190}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:190]

The Holy Prophet said:

“Woe to him who reads this verse and does not ponder thereon”.

The men of understanding, who study the working of the universe and the laws governing the operation of creation, know the significance of drawing the attention of mankind to the factors mentioned in this verse.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:

Observe and examine the creation of Allah.

( 191)

The Holy Prophet said:

“There is no form of devotion like meditation.”

Those who know that Allah has not created the universe in vain and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (to gain guidance and admonition), remember Allah in thought and in words constantly, and in all attitudes and actions. The glory of Allah occupies an “abiding place” in the minds of such devout high ranking servants of Allah. They know that the whole universe, created by Allah, is not an illusion. The phenomena, we perceive by senses, are real (creation of Allah), not a phantasm of imagination because far is He from creating anything aimlessly. (Refer to Ali’s sayings on page 20 and 33 of this book, and his sermons in the Nahj al Balagha dealing with the creation of the heavens and the earth).

 

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ {191}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:191]

رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ مَنْ تُدْخِلِ النَّارَ فَقَدْ أَخْزَيْتَهُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنْصَارٍ {192}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:192]

These verses contain the words of the prayer of those mentioned in the preceding verse, which is an outcome of their intense belief in Him and His perfection.

 

رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِيًا يُنَادِي لِلْإِيمَانِ أَنْ آمِنُوا بِرَبِّكُمْ فَآمَنَّا ۚ رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الْأَبْرَارِ{193}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:193] (see commentary for verse 192)

رَبَّنَا وَآتِنَا مَا وَعَدْتَنَا عَلَىٰ رُسُلِكَ وَلَا تُخْزِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ إِنَّكَ لَا تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ {194}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:194] (see commentary for verse 192)

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لَا أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَىٰ ۖ بَعْضُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْضٍ ۖ فَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَأُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأُوذُوا فِي سَبِيلِي وَقَاتَلُوا وَقُتِلُوا لَأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ثَوَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الثَّوَابِ {195}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:195]

A sub-human status was allotted to women in almost all philosophies and religions, before Islam. In this verse it is stated that man and woman are counter parts to each other (“one of you from the other”) and of the same human status. This truth was proclaimed to mankind not in the twentieth but in the sixth century of the Christian era. Islam recognises perfect equality of both sexes (in their responsibility to be good), according to their natural assignments and native endowments.

 

لَا يَغُرَّنَّكَ تَقَلُّبُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي الْبِلَادِ {196}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:196]

Do not think that Allah approves the acts of those who seek enjoyment and pleasures of this world by displaying ostentatiously glamour and pride. Their enjoyment is very brief and short-lived. Hell shall be their everlasting abode.

 

مَتَاعٌ قَلِيلٌ ثُمَّ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ {197}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:197] (see commentary for verse 196)

لَٰكِنِ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا نُزُلًا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِلْأَبْرَارِ{198}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:198]

Those who safeguard themselves with full awareness of divine laws and take refuge with Allah shall earn His eternal bliss, in quantity and quality as well as in permanence which is better than the ephemeral worldly prosperity.

 

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَمَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَاشِعِينَ لِلَّهِ لَا يَشْتَرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ {199}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:199]

There are some among the people of the book who are not like the people mentioned in verses 187, 196 and 197 of this surah. They believe in Allah and the Holy Prophet as the promised prophet mentioned in their book (see al Baqrah: 40).

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {200}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 3:200]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Rabita means to participate in the garrisoning of the frontiers. This was a duty imposed by the Holy Prophet. It could be performed by turns-the minimum period is 3 days, and the maximum is 40 days.

To persevere (have endurance in suffering) and excel in perseverance, be ever ready to defend, and safeguard oneself with full awareness of Allah’s laws are the ruling principles for the human soul to journey through this world to salvation and eternal bliss.
Source:quran.al-islam.org


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