And those who believe and
do righteous good deeds,
Which means that their hearts and souls have believed, and their limbs and their
hidden and apparent acts have complied with Allah's Law.
... وَآمَنُوا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ ...
And believe in that which
has been sent down to Muhammad,
Adding this statement to the previous one is a method of adding a specific
meaning to a general one. This provides proof that after Muhammad's advent,
believing in him is a required condition for the true faith.
Allah then says,
...وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ...
For it is the truth from
which is a beautifully placed parenthetical clause.
That is because those who
disbelieve follow falsehood,
meaning, `We only invalidate the deeds of the disbelievers and overlook the sins
of the righteous, and amend their affairs, because those who disbelieve follow
false- hood.' Meaning, they choose falsehood over the truth.
tighten their bonds.
Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity or ransom,
`This is referring to the prisoners of war whom you have captured. Later on,
after the war ends and the conflict has ceased, you have a choice in regard to
the captives: You may either act graciously toward them by setting them free
without charge, or free them for a ransom that you require from them.'
It appears that this Ayah was revealed after the battle of
Badr. At that time, Allah reproached the believers for sparing
many of the enemy's soldiers, and holding too many captives in order to take
ransom from them. So He said then:
It is not for a Prophet
to have captives of war until he had made a great slaughter (among the enemies)
in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for
you) the Hereafter. Allah is Mighty and Wise. Were it not for a prior decree
from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took. (8:67-68)
... حَتَّى تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ...
until the war lays down its
Mujahid said: "Until `Isa bin Maryam (peace
be upon him) descends.''
It seems as if he derived this opinion from the Prophet's saying,
Now the time of fighting has come. There will always be a group
of my Ummah dominant over others. Allah will turn the hearts of some people away
(from the truth), so they (that group) will fight against them, and Allah will
bestow on them (war spoils) from them (the enemies) -- until Allah's command
comes to pass while they are in that state. Verily, the center of the believers'
abode is Ash-Sham. And goodness is tied around the horses' foreheads till the
Day of Resurrection.
Fight them; Allah will
then punishes them by your hands, disgrace them, grant you victory over them,
satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury of their (the
believers') hearts. Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; Allah is
Knowing and Wise. (9:14-15)
Merit of the Martyrs
Since it is customary during wars that many of the believers die, Allah says:
But those who are killed in
the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.
which means that He would not let their good deeds go to waste, but would rather
multiply and increase them. Some of them will continue being rewarded for their
good deeds for the entire length of their stay in
This has been mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad on the
authority of Kathir bin Murrah, who reported from Qays Al-Judhami, may Allah be
pleased with him, that Allah's Messenger said,
And (He will) admit them to
Paradise, which He has made known to them.
It means that He has acquainted them with Paradise and guided them to it.
"The people of Paradise will be guided to their houses and dwellings and
whatever sections Allah has ordained for them in it. They will not make mistakes
in this, nor will they ask anyone for directions to their dwellings -- as if
they had dwelt in it from the time they were first created.''
Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him,
that Allah's Messenger said,
After the believers securely pass the Fire (on the Day of
Judgement), they will be held back upon a bridge between Paradise and the Fire.
There, they will have any acts of injustice that they committed against one
another in the life of this world rectified. After they are completely purified
and cleansed (from injustice), they will be admitted into Paradise. By the One
in Whose Hand is my soul, each one of them will find his way to his dwelling in
Paradise better than he found his way to his dwelling in the worldly life.
Misery awaits the servant of the Dinar; misery awaits the servant
of the Dirham; misery awaits the servant of velvet. Misery awaits him, and
degeneracy; and if he is pricked by a thorn, may he not find anyone to pull it
This means may Allah not cure him.
Then Allah says,
... وَأَضَلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ
and (Allah) will make their
meaning, He will nullify them and make them fruitless.
That is because Allah is
the Protector of all those who believe, whereas the disbelievers have no
After the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan Sakhr
bin Harb, the commander of the idolators at that time, inquired about the
Prophet, Abu Bakr, and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. When he heard no
response, he announced: "Verily, those three have died!''
Umar then responded to him:
"You lie, O enemy of Allah! Allah has indeed saved those who will displease you.
Indeed, those whom you mentioned are all alive!''
Abu Sufyan then said: "Well, today makes up for (the defeat on) the day of
Badr, and the war has its ups and downs. And
indeed, you are going to find mutilation (in the bodies of your dead) that I did
not command, nor did I prohibit.''
Then he turned around chanting: "Glory to Hubal (their greatest idol), Glory to
Allah's Messenger said:
Aren't you going to respond to him?
The Companions said: "What should we say, O Messenger of Allah''
قُولُوا: اللهُ أَعْلَى وَأَجَل
Say: "Allah is Most High and Most Glorious.''
Then Abu Sufyan said: "We have Al-`Uzza (their second idol), and you have no
Allah's Messenger said: Aren't you all going to respond to him?
They said: "What should we say, O Messenger of Allah''
قُولُوا: اللهُ مَوْلَانَا وَلَا مَوْلَى لَكُم
Say: "Allah is our Protector, and you have no protector.''
Whereas those who
disbelieve enjoy their life and eat as cattle eat.
Which means that the disbelievers enjoy their worldly life and eat in it like
animals, munching and gnawing (with greed). They have no concern other than
that. Thus, it has been confirmed in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out, (meaning,
Makkah). We have destroyed, with none to help them!
This is a great threat and severe warning to the people of Makkah because they
rejected Allah's Messenger, who was the chief of the Messengers and the last of
the Prophets. If Allah had destroyed the previous nations because of their
denial of their Messengers, what then would those (people of Makkah) expect that
Allah would do to them in the worldly life and the Hereafter And if the torment
were to be lifted off some of them in this life by the blessing of the presence
of the Messenger, the Prophet of Mercy, the torment will be stored for them in
their next life,
Their torment will be doubled! They could not bear to hear (the preaching), and
they used not to see (the truth). (11:20)
Concerning Allah's saying,
مِّن قَرْيَتِكَ الَّتِي أَخْرَجَتْكَ
(than Your town that has driven you out), This means,
`its people who have driven you (Muhammad) out from amongst them (the people of
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that when
Allah's Messenger left Makkah (at the time of Hijrah -- migration), and he
reached the cave and hid inside it, he looked back toward Makkah and said,
You are the most beloved to Allah among Allah's lands, and you are also the most
beloved to me among Allah's lands. Were it not that the idolators have driven me
out from you, I would never have left you.
Ibn Abbas then said,
"The worst of enemies is he who transgresses against Allah in His own sacred
place, who kills a person who is not trying to kill him, or who kills because of
Jahiliyyah vengeance. Allah then revealed
this Ayah وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ
to His Prophet,
The description of Paradise which is promised to those who have
Taqwa, (is that) in it are rivers of water that are not Asin, rivers of
milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those
who drink it, and rivers of refined honey;
Can then he, who stands on
clear evidence from his Lord...
This means a person who is upon clear vision and certainty concerning Allah's
commands and His religion, because of the guidance and knowledge that Allah has
revealed in His Book, and because of the pure nature upon which Allah has
And among them are some who
listen to you till when they go out from you,
Allah describes the hypocrites' stupidity and limited understanding. They used
to sit before Allah's Messenger and listen to his words without understanding
anything. Then when they left from his presence,
... قَالُوا لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ ...
they say to those who have
received knowledge, (from the Companions).
... مَاذَا قَالَ آنِفًا ...
"What is it that he has
said just now?''
meaning, at this moment. They did not understand what he said, nor did they care
The people's Day of
Reckoning has approached while they turn away in heedlessness. (21:1)
Thus, the Messenger's advent is one of the signs of the Hour, because he is the
Finality of the Messengers. With him, Allah has completed the religion and
established the evidence against all people in a way that was never done by a
previous Prophet. Allah's Messenger has most clearly informed about the signs
and indications of the Hour, as we have discussed elsewhere.
Al-Bukhari recorded from Sahl bin Sa`d, may Allah be pleased with him, that he
saw Allah's Messenger bring his index and middle fingers together while he said,
بُعِثْتُ أَنَا وَالسَّاعَةَ كَهَاتَيْن
I have been sent before the Hour as these two (fingers).
forgive for me what I have previously done, what I may commit in
future, what I have committed secretly, what I have committed
openly, what I have done excessively, and all sins that You know
better than me. You are my God. There is no (true) God except You.
It is also recorded in the Sahih that he used to say,
"Restrain your hands
(from fighting), establish the Salah, and give Zakah.''
But then when fighting
was ordained for them, you find a party of them fearing the people as they fear
Allah or more. They said: "Our Lord! Why have You decreed fighting upon us If
only You have postponed us for a short period.''
Say: "The enjoyment of
this world is little. The Hereafter is far better for him who had Taqwa of
(Allah), and you will not be dealt with unjustly, even as much as a thin thread
(inside a date's pit).'' (4:77)
But now that a decisive
Surah is sent down mentioning fighting, you can see those in whose hearts is
disease looking at you with the look of one who is about to faint for fear of
death. But it was better for them.
meaning, due to their fear, terror, and cowardice concerning meeting the
Such are the ones whom
Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their vision.
This involves a general prohibition of spreading corruption on earth, and a
specific prohibition of severing the ties of kinship. In fact, Allah has
commanded the people to establish righteousness on earth, as well as to join the
ties of kinship by treating the relatives well in speech, actions, and spending
wealth in charity. Many authentic and sound Hadiths have been reported through
numerous routes of transmission from Allah's Messenger in this regard.
Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that
Allah's Messenger said,
No sin deserves that Allah hasten its punishment in the worldly
life, in addition to what He reserves in the Hereafter for those who commit it,
more than injustice and severance of the ties of kinship.
This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah.
At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Sahih.''
Imam Ahmad recorded from Thawban, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah's
The womb will be placed on the Day of Resurrection, curved like a spinning
wheel, speaking with an eloquent fluent tongue, calling to severing whoever had
severed it, and joining whoever had joined it.
Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that
Allah's Messenger said,
The merciful ones will be granted mercy from the Most Merciful.
Have mercy on those on earth -- the One above the heavens will then have mercy
on you. And Ar-Rahim (the womb) is from Ar-Rahman, so whoever joins it, it joins
him; and whoever severs it, it severs him.
Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi both recorded this Hadith and it has been reported
with continuous chains of transmission.
they not then reflect upon the Qur'an, or are there locks upon their hearts?
means, there indeed are locks upon some hearts, firmly closing them so that none
of its meanings can reach them.
Ibn Jarir recorded from Hisham bin Urwah, from his father, may Allah be pleased
with him, that;
Allah's Messenger once recited this Ayah,
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
(Will they not then reflect upon the Qur'an, or are there locks upon their
hearts), and a young man from Yemen said,
"Indeed, there are locks upon them -- until Allah opens them totally or
After that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, always liked that young man, and
kept that to himself until he became in charge, upon which he utilized him (as a
(saying): "Deliver your
souls! This day you will be recompensed with the torment of degradation because
of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth, and because you
used to arrogantly reject His signs.'' (6:93)
do those in whose hearts is disease think that Allah would never expose their
meaning, do the hypocrites think that Allah will not expose their affair to His
Yes indeed, He will expose their affair and manifest it so that those with
insight will be able to understand it.
In that regard, Allah revealed Surah Bara'ah
(or At-Tawbah), in which He clarified the
hypocrites' scandals, and pinpointed their practices that are indicative of
their hypocrisy. Because of that, this Surah (Surah
Bara'ah) is also called "The Exposer''.
is the plural of Dighn, which means what the
souls harbor of envy and hatred toward Islam and its people who support it.
We so willed, We could have shown them clearly to you, so that you would know
them by their marks.
Allah is telling His Messenger,
"Had We willed, O Muhammad, We would have shown you the specific individuals who
are hypocrites, so that you would plainly know them.''
However, Allah did not do that in regard to all of the hypocrites. He conceals
His creation, lets their affairs run according to apparent purity, and leaves
the inner secrets to the One Who is well aware of them.
Allah then adds,
... وَلَتَعْرِفَنَّهُمْ فِي لَحْنِ الْقَوْلِ ...
you will know them by the tone of their speech!
which means, `you will know them by their speech that reveals their intentions.'
A person declares his association through the context and meaning of his words
-- as the Commander of the faithful Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with
"Never would one conceal a secret but Allah will expose it by the look on his
face and the uncontrolled words of his tongue.''
Verily, those who disbelieve, and hinder from the path of Allah,
and oppose the Messenger, after the guidance has been clearly shown to
them, they will not harm Allah in the least, but He will make their
Verily, those who disbelieve, and hinder from the path of Allah, and oppose the
Messenger, after the guidance has been clearly shown to them, they will not harm
Allah in the least, but He will make their deeds fruitless,
Allah then informs about those who disbelieve, obstruct others from the path of
Allah, oppose the Messenger and contend with him, and revert from the faith
after guidance has become clear to them. He indicates that those people can
never harm Allah in the least, and rather they only harm themselves and become
losers on the Day of Resurrection. He will nullify their deeds. Allah will not
reward them even the weight of a mosquito (i.e., the smallest thing) for any
good that they did before their apostasy, but would instead totally invalidate
and destroy it. Their apostasy wipes away their good deeds entirely, just as the
good deeds would normally wipe away the evil deeds.
Imam Ahmad Ibn Nasr Al-Marwazi reported in Kitab As-Salah (the Book of Prayer)
that Abu Al-`Aliyah said,
"The Prophet's Companions used to think that no sin would harm a person who says
`La ilaha illallah,' just as no good deed
would benefit a person who joins partners with Allah. So Allah revealed,
you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your
deeds. This made them fear that some sins could nullify their deeds.''
It has also been reported from Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he
"We, the Companions of Allah's Messenger, used to think that good deeds would
all be accepted, until Allah revealed,
أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ
(Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds). So we
asked each other:
`What is it that can nullify our deeds'
So we said, `The major sins, great offenses that require admission into the Fire
and immoral sins.'
Verily, Allah does not forgive joining partners with Him in worship, but He
forgives except that to whom He wills. (4:48)
After this was revealed, we ceased saying that. We thereafter continued to fear
for those who committed great sins and immoral sins and to have hope for those
who did not.''
Then, Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger, which
would result in their happiness in this worldly life and the Hereafter. He also
prohibits them from apostasy, because that would result in the nullification of
Thus He says, وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ
(and do not invalidate your deeds.) meaning, by apostasy.
do not lose heart and beg for peace while you are superior.
meaning, in the condition of your superiority over your enemy.
If, on the other hand, the disbelievers are considered more powerful and
numerous than the Muslims, then the Imam (general commander) may decide to hold
a treaty if he judges that it entails a benefit for the Muslims. This is like
what Allah's Messenger did when the disbelievers obstructed him from entering
Makkah and offered him treaty in which all fighting would stop between them for
ten years. Consequently, he agreed to that.
Allah then says:
... وَاللَّهُ مَعَكُمْ ...
Allah is with you,
This contains the good news of victory and triumph over the enemies.
... وَلَن يَتِرَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ
He will never deprive you of (the reward of) your deeds.
meaning, Allah will never invalidate your deeds, nullify them, or deprive you of
them, but rather He will give you your rewards complete, without any reduction.
And Allah knows best.
if you believe and haveTaqwaof Allah, He
will grant you your rewards, and will not ask from you (to sacrifice all of)
meaning, He is in no need of you, and asks you for nothing. He only ordained
giving charity from your wealth so that you would help your needy brothers. The
benefit of that would then come back to you, as well as the rewards.
whoever acts stingily is but stingy toward himself.
meaning, he only reduces his own rewards, and the bad outcome of that will come
back to him.
... وَاللَّهُ الْغَنِيُّ ...
Allah is indeedAl-Ghani,
Allah is in need of nothing else, whereas everything is ever in need of Him.
Thus, Allah says,
... وَأَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء ...
while you are the needy.
meaning, specifically of Him.
The description of Allah as Al-Ghani (in no
need) is a necessary description of Allah; on the other hand, the description of
the creation as Faqr (needy) is a necessary
description for them that they cannot avoid.
Allah then says,
... وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْا ...
if you turn away,
which means, if you turn away from obeying Him and adhering to His Laws.