|And indeed We settled the Children of Israel in an honorable (beautiful) dwelling place, and provided for them sustenance of the best; but it was after the knowledge had been granted to them, that they fell into schisms. Verily, your Lord will judge between them as to the schisms amongst them, on the Day of Resurrection/Judgment. (93)||وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ فَمَا اخْتَلَفُوا حَتَّى جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ (93)|
|So if you [O’ Muhammad PPBUH] were in doubt as to what We have revealed to you; then ask those who have been reading the Book before you. Verily, the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord. So –be wise- do not be of those who are in doubt. (94)||فَإِنْ كُنْتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ لَقَدْ جَاءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ (94)|
|And be not of those who reject/deny the Signs of God, for then you shall be of those who perish/the losers. (95)||وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآَيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَتَكُونَ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ (95)|
|Truly, those whom against the Word of your Lord, has been verified, they would not believe. (96)||إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ (96)|
|Even if every Sign was brought to them, until they see (for themselves) the Grievous Penalty/painful torment. (97)||وَلَوْ جَاءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ آَيَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُا الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ (97)|
|Then has there not been a single township (among those We warned), which believed,- so its Faith should have profited it/saved it from punishment; except the People of Jonah –when they believed- We removed from them the Penalty of Ignominy in the life of the Present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while/for the present world. (98)||فَلَوْلَا كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ آَمَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَا إِيمَانُهَا إِلَّا قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّا آَمَنُوا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الْخِزْيِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ (98)|
|And had your Lord Willed all those who are on earth, they would all have believed! So will you [O’ Muhammad PPBUH], will then compel mankind –against their will- to believe/be believers?! (99)||وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآَمَنَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا أَفَأَنْتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ (99)|
|It is not for any soul to believe except by the Will of God, and He will place Doubt (obscurity)/Wrath on those who will not understand/heedless. (100)||وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (100)|
|Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and on the earth”; but neither Signs, nor Warner’s profit/benefit those who do not believe”. (101)||قُلِ انْظُرُوا مَاذَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا تُغْنِي الْآَيَاتُ وَالنُّذُرُ عَنْ قَوْمٍ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ (101)|
|Do they then expect –anything- but (what happened in) the days of the men who passed away before them? Say:” Wait (you) then! For I –too- will wait with you, among those who wait”. (102)||فَهَلْ يَنْتَظِرُونَ إِلَّا مِثْلَ أَيَّامِ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ قُلْ فَانْتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الْمُنْتَظِرِينَ (102)|
|Then –in the end- We deliver/save Our Messengers/ Apostles and those who believe! Thus it is fitting on Our part that We should deliver/save those who believe/the believers. (103)||ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كَذَلِكَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نُنْجِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (103)|
|Say [O’ Muhammad PPBUH]:”O’ you mankind! If you are in doubt as to my religion (Islam), (behold- know that!), I will never worship those whom you worship besides God. But I worship God Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be –in the ranks- of the Believers. (104)||قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِنْ دِينِي فَلَا أَعْبُدُ الَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَكِنْ أَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (104)|
|“And further (thus revealed to me): set your face [O’ Muhammad PPBUH] towards Religion with true piety, and never –in any way- be of the Unbelievers! (105)||وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ (105)|
|“Nor call/invoke on any other than God; such will neither profit you, nor hurt you; but if (in case) you did so, behold! You shall certainly be of those who do wrong (wrong-doers/polytheists) (106)||وَلَا تَدْعُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُكَ وَلَا يَضُرُّكَ فَإِنْ فَعَلْتَ فَإِنَّكَ إِذًا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (106)|
|If God do touches you with hurt/harm, there is none can remove it but He: and if He do design some (good) benefit for you; there is none who can keep back-repel His Favor/Bounty to reach whomsoever of His servants He pleases. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (107)||وَإِنْ يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ وَإِنْ يُرِدْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَلَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِهِ يُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (107)|
|Say:”O’ you mankind! Now the Truth (the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad PPBUH) has reached you from your Lord! Those who receive guidance, do so for the good of their own souls; and whosoever goes astray, do so to their own loss, and I am not (set) over you to arrange your affairs” (disposer of affairs to oblige you for guidance). (108)||قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَكُمُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَى فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ بِوَكِيلٍ (108)|
|And (O’ Muhammad PPBUH) follow the revelation/ inspiration sent to you, and be patient and constant, till God Do Decide/Gives Judgment; for He is the Best of Judges/Best to Decide. (109)||وَاتَّبِعْ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَاصْبِرْ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ (109)|
(Introduction and summary verses 93-109:_ God’s purpose of Mercy and Forgiveness was shown in the mission of Jonah, when Nineveh was pardoned on repentance, and given a new lease of life. We must be patient and strive with constancy and perseverance, for all suffering and sorrow –as well as all bounties- proceed from God, Whose Plan is Righteous and for the good of His creatures).
(Verse 93)- After many wanderings the Israelites were settled in the land of Canaan, described as “ a land flowing with milk and honey” – (Exodus iii- 8 ‘Now I will go down and save my people from the Egyptians, I will take them from that land. And I will lead them to a good land where they can be free from troubles. It is a land filled with many good things. Many different people live in that land: the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites’). They had a prosperous land; and they were supplied with spiritual sustenance by men sent to deliver God’s Message. They should have known better than to fall into disputes and schisms, but they did so. This was all the more inexcusable considering what bounties they had received from God. The schisms arose from selfish arrogance, and God will judge between them on the Day of Judgment.
(Verses 94-95)- A/ God’s Truth is all one, and even in different forms men sincere in Religion recognize the oneness. So sincere Jews like “Abdullah bin Sallam”, and sincere Christians like Waraqa Ibn Nofel, or the Nestorian monk Babira, were ready to recognize the mission of Muhammad Al-Mustapha [PPBUH]. ‘The Book’ in this connection is the Revelations generally, including pre-Islamic revelations. B/ See Surat Al-Imran 3 verse 60 and the commentary,-( The truth doesn’t necessarily come from priests, or from the superstitions of whole peoples. It comes from God, and where there is a direct revelation, there is no room for doubt).
(Verses 96-97)- God has given frequent warnings against Evil and want of Faith in all ages, through Signs and through inspiration, the latter –The Word- being even more direct and personal than the former. Those who did not heed the warning found –to their cost- that it was true, and they perished. Such contumacy in the rejection of the Truth only yields when the actual penalty is in sight. Belief then is induced by irresistible facts; it is not efficacious as Faith, as was proved against Pharaoh. See verse 90 and the commentary.
(Verse 98)- A/ God in His infinite Mercy points out the contumacy of Sin as a warning, and the exceptional case of Nineveh and its Prophet Jonah is alluded to. The story of Jonah is told in Surat Al-Saffat 37 verses 139-148 which would be appropriate place for further comments :(So was it also with Jonah; he had his trials, but God had mercy on him, and his mission was successful. How can men ascribe to God qualities and relations derogatory to His nature? High is He above all creatures. The ranks of angels and apostles stand firm in His service. Evil is sure to be overcome. So Praise and Glory to God, the Lord of Honor and power, and peace to His apostle!). here it is sufficient to note that Nineveh was a very ancient town which is now no longer on the map. Its site is believed to be marked by the two mounds on the left bank of the Tigris, opposite the flourishing city of Mosul on the right bank, about 230 miles north-north-west of Baghdad. One of the mounds bears the name of “the Tomb of Nabi Yunus”. Archaeologists have not yet fully explored its antiquities. But it is clear that it was a very old Sumerian town, perhaps older than 3500 B.C. It became the capital of Assyria. The first Assyrian Empire under Shalmanesser 1, about 1300 B.C., because the supreme power in Western Asia. Babylon, whose tributary Assyria had formerly been, now became tributary to Assyria. The second Assyrian Empire arose about 745 B.C., and Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) beautified the town with many Public Works. It was destroyed by the Scythians (so-called Medes) in 612 B.C. if the date of Jonah were assumed to be about 800 B.C., it would be between the First and the Second Assyrian Empire; when the City was nearly destroyed for its sins, but on account of its repentance was given a new lease of glorious life in the Second Empire. B/The point of the allusion here may be thus explained. Nineveh was a great and glorious City. But it became –like Babylon- a city of sin. God sent the Prophet Yunus (Jonah) to warn it. Full of iniquities though it was, it listened to the warning perhaps in the person of a few just men. For their sakes, the All-Merciful God spared it, and gave a new lease would be for about two centuries, after which it perished completely for its sins and abominations. Note that its new lease of life was for its collective life as a City, the life of the Present, i.e., of this World. It does not mean that individual sinners escaped the consequences of their sins, unless they –individually- repented and obtained God’s Mercy and Forgiveness.
(Verse 99)- If it had been God’s Plan or Will not to grant the limited Free will that He has granted to man, His omnipotence could have made all mankind alike: all would then have had Faith, but that Faith would have reflected no merit on them. In the actual world as it is, man has been endowed with various faculties and capacities, so that he should strive and explore, and bring himself into harmony with God’s Will. Hence Faith becomes a moral achievement, and to resist Faith becomes a sin. As a complementary proposition, men of Faith must not be impatient or angry if they have to contend against Unfaithful –and most important of all- they must guard against the temptation of facing Faith, i.e., imposing it on others by physical compulsion, or any other forms of compulsion such as social pressure, or inducements held out by wealth or position, or other adventitious advantages. Forced faith is no faith. They should strive spiritually and let God’s Plan work as He Wills.
(Verse 100)- A/To creatures endued with Will; Faith comes out of an active use of the Will. But we must not be so arrogant as to suppose that that is enough. At best man is weak, and is in need of God’s grace and help. If we sincerely wish to understand, He will help our Faith: but if not, our doubts and difficulties will only be increased. This follows as a necessary consequence, and in Quranic language all consequences are ascribed to God, the Cause of Causes. B/ (Rijs- from Rijasa- Irjas, Rajasah) a)Rijs= Dirt/Filth- b)Rajasa=to be Dirty/Filthy/Squalor- c)Irjas= to commit shameful act/do something disgraceful/dirty/atrocity. Has various meanings: i.e., (1) filth impurity, uncleanness, abomination, as in Surat Al-Tawba 9 verse 95; (2) hence, filthy deeds, foul conduct, crime, abomination, thus shading off into (1), as in Surat Al-Ma’da 5 verse 93; (3) hence punishment for crime, penalty, as in Surat Al-An’am 6 verse 125; (4) a form of such punishment, e.g., doubt, obscurity, or unsettlement of mind, anger, indignation, as in Surat Al-Tawba 9 verse 125, and here –but perhaps the idea of punishment- is also implied here.
(Verse 101)- In Faith results from an active exertion of our spiritual faculties or understanding, it follows that if we let these die, God’s Signs in His Creation, or in the spoken Word which comes by inspiration through the mouths of His Messengers will not reach us any more than music reaches a deaf man.
(Verses 102-103)- As we saw in verse 20 and the commentary. The argument about God’s revelation of Himself to man was begun in those early sections of this Surat and is being now rounded off towards the end of this Sura with the same formula.
(Verses 104-105-106)- A/Other people may hesitate, or doubt, or wonder. But the righteous man has no doubt in his own mind, and he declares his Faith clearly and unambiguously to all, as did Muhammad Al-Mustapha PPBUH. B/ The worship of the One and True God is not a fancy worship, to be arrived at merely by reasoning and philosophy. It touches the vital issues of life and death,- which are in His hands and His Alone. C/ Nor is the worship of One God is an invention of the Prophet. It comes as a direct command through him and to all. D/ Individual Faith is good, but it is completed and strengthened by joining or forming a Righteous Society, in which the individual can develop and expand. Islam was never a religion of monks and anchorites. It laid great stress on social duties, which in many ways test and train the individual’s character.
(Verse 107)- God is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. Even when we suffer trials and tribulation, it is for our good, and no one can remove except He, when –in His Plan- sees it to be best for all concerned. On the other hand, there is no power that can intercept His blessings and favors, and His bounty flows freely when we are worthy, and often when we are not worthy of it.
(Verse 108)- The Furqan:- the Criterion between right and wrong, has been sent to us from God. If we accept guidance, it is not as if we confer favors on those who bring us guidance. They suffer unselfishly for us, in order that we may be guided for our own good. On the other hand, if we reject it, it is our own loss. We have a certain amount of free-will, and the responsibility is ours, and cannot be shifted to the Teachers sent by God.
(Verse 109)- When –in spite of all the efforts of the men of God- people do not accept Truth, and evil seems to flourish for a time, we must wait and be patient, but at the same time we must not give up hope or persevering effort. For thus is the only way, we can carry out our part in the Plan of God.