The Quran

Commentaries for 2.13

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.13 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when it is said unto them) i.e. to Jews, (believe) in Muhammad (pbuh) (as the people believe), i.e. 'Abdullah Ibn Salam and his companions, (they say: Shall we believe) in Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an, (as the foolish believe?), i.e. as the stupid and ignorant do, (Surely they are the fools) the stupid and ignorant. (But they know not) that they are so.
2.13 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
And when it is said to them, “Have faith as the people have faith,” they say, “Shall we have faith as fools have faith?” Surely it is they who are the fools, but they do not know.
O generous Lord, O renowned, wise Enactor! O You who are true in promise, pure in justice, complete in bounty, and eternal in love! Whatever You want You show, and as You want, You adorn. Each has a name, and in the heart of each is Your mark. The stamp of worthiness is upon some people, and the brand of unworthiness on others. The worthy are brought by the road of bounty on the steed of approval with the escort of gentleness in the time of generous bestowal at the turn of proximity. The unworthy are driven into the street of justice on the steed of wrath with the escort
of abandonment at the turn of deprivation. This deprivation and that proximity did not come from water or dust, for on the day when the two were written out, there was neither water nor dust. There was beginningless bounty and gentleness and everlasting severity and justice. That was the portion of the self-purifiers and this the portion of the hypocrites.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “Alas for the apportioning that has gone before me! Alack for the words spoken by the Self-Seer! What profit if I am happy or distraught? I fear what the Powerful said in the Beginningless.”
The hypocrites, who had fallen under the garment of justice, approved of themselves and deemed themselves to have a good name. The purifiers, the truthful, and the Messenger's Companions they called “fools.” The Lord of the Worlds in His generosity acted as their deputy in this and answered them: “Those are not the fools, the fools are those who call them fools.” Indeed, when someone does not belong to himself, God belongs to him. When someone tightens his belt in obeying God's commands, God joins with him. “When someone belongs to God, God belongs to him.”
The unbelievers said to MuṣṬafā, “You are possessed: O thou unto whom the Remembrance has been sent down, surely thou art possessed [15:6].” God said to MuḤammad, “They call you mad, but you are not mad: Thou art not, by the blessing of thy Lord, possessed [68:2]. You are My friend, approved of by Me. What harm will come to you if they do not approve of you? What you must have is that I approve of you. The friend must be approved of by a friend, not by the city.”
2.13 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
When it is said to them, ‘Believe as the people believe’, that is, as the Companions of the Prophet (s), They say, ‘Shall we believe as fools believe?’, that is, as the ignorant do? No we do not follow their way. The exalted One refutes them, saying: Truly, they are the foolish ones, but they know, this, not.
2.13 Kashani - Kashani
When it is said to them, 'Believe as the people believe', they say, 'Shall we believe as fools believeḍ' Truly, they are the foolish ones, but they know not.
And when they are warned against working corruption on earth, that is, towards the nether aspect, which is that of the souls and their relevant welfare, [corruption] in the way of the sullying of the souls, the incitement of evil, wars, enmity and hatred between people, they deny [all of this] and go to the utmost extreme to prove that they are putting things right for what concerns their souls. For they see that the welfare [of the souls] lies in the acquisition of livelihood and the means to make such [a livelihood] forthcoming, as well as in the organisation of [one's] this-worldly affairs specifically for the sake of their souls, absorbed as they are by the love of this world and ensconced as they are in the pleasures of the flesh, veiling themselves with what is [only] partially beneficial and finding in the senses sanctuary from comprehensive and all-encompassing benefits and [from] the pleasures of the intellect. It is in this way that their wants are facilitated and their demands are made forthcoming, all the while unaware of their acts of corruption that can be perceived through the senses. When they are summoned to true faith, such as that of the poor among the Muslims and the destitute who are stripped of everything, they deem them fools [cf. Q. 2:13] for their abandoning of the vanities of this world and their rejection of its enjoyments, pleasures and good things given the sincerity of their renunciation [of such things]. Their ultimate concerns and the utmost sought by their intellects, [intellects that are] captive in the shackles of desire and tarnished by delusions, it is these very pleasures that lead to their demise: They know [merely] an outward aspect of the life of this world, but they, of the Hereafter, they are oblivious [Q. 30:7]. They are unaware that the ultimate in folly is to choose what is transient and despicable over the remainder that is more noble. The reason for one verse ending with [reference to] perception, while the other with [lack of] knowledge, is that the effect of their deception on their souls and of their working of corruption on earth is as clear as something that is perceptible to the senses. As for the preponderance given to the bliss of the Hereafter over the bliss of this world, which is required to distinguish between folly and wisdom, that is something that can be deduced purely by reason.
2.13 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah said that if the hypocrites are told,
ءَامِنُواْ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ النَّاسُ
("Believe as the people believe,''), meaning, `Believe just as the believers believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, Resurrection after death, Paradise and Hellfire, etc. And obey Allah and His Messenger by heeding the commandments and avoiding the prohibitions.' Yet the hypocrites answer by saying,
قَالُواْ أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَآ آمَنَ السُّفَهَآءُ
("Shall we believe as the fools have believed'') they meant (may Allah curse the hypocrites) the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. This is the same Tafsir given by Abu Al-`Aliyah and As-Suddi in his Tafsir, with a chain of narration to Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and other Companions. This is also the Tafsir of Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. The hypocrites said, "Us and them having the same status, following the same path, while they are fools!'' `The fool' is the ignorant, simple-minded person who has little knowledge in areas of benefit and harm. This is why, according to the majority of the scholars, Allah used the term foolish to include children, when He said,
وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَآءَ أَمْوَلَكُمُ الَّتِى جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَـماً
(And do not give your property, which Allah has made a means of support for you, to the foolish) (4:5).
Allah answered the hypocrites in all of these instances. For instance, Allah said here,
أَلاَ إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَآءُ
(Verily, they are the fools). Allah thus affirmed that the hypocrites are indeed the fools, yet,
وَلَـكِن لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ
(But they know not). Since they are so thoroughly ignorant, the hypocrites are unaware of their degree of deviation and ignorance, and such situation is more dangerous, a severer case of blindness, and further from the truth than one who is aware.
2.8-16 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
They deceive themselves by imagining that their duplicity will safeguard their interests but obviously their policy will prove harmful in this world as well as in the next. A hypocrite might succeed in deceiving some people for some time but he cannot deceive all people for all times. When such a person is exposed, he loses all honour once and for all. As to the Hereafter, mere lip-service will carry no weight there because it is deeds alone that matter there.
"A disease": the disease of hypocrisy; and "Allah is increasing their disease all the more" means that He does not punish the hypocrites for their hypocrisy immediately, but gives them respite so that when their duplicity appears to succeed apparently they become more and more convinced of its efficiency and they go on becoming more and more hypocritical in their attitude and conduct.
That is,"Just as the other people of your nation have accepted Islam truly and sincerely, so should you also accept it truly and honestly, if you profess to accept it".
They regarded as tools the people who had accepted Islam sincerely and exposed themselves to troubles, hardships and dangers. In their opinion it was nothing but folly to earn the hostility of the whole country merely for the sake of truth and righteousness. They considered it wisdom not to bother about the right and the wrong at all but to look only after one's own interests.
Shayatin plural of Shaitan, is an insurgent, haughty and devilish person, or an evil genius. This word is used both for the men and the jinn. Though it has mostly been used in the Qur'an for the jinn devils, in some places it has also been applied to human devils, and from the context it can easily be judged where it refers to human and where to jinn devils. Here it refers to the Arab chiefs who were in the fore-front in their opposition to Islam.
2.13 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
When it is said to them “Believe as the people believe” they say “Shall we believe as fools believeḍ” Truly they are the foolish ones but they know not. Here the allusion is to the hypocrites who when they were called to the Real described the Muslims as foolish. Similarly when the wealthy are commanded to renounce this world they describe the people of right conduct as lazy and weak. They say the poor fuqarāÌ have nothing because they have no wealth no status no comfort and no livelihood. In truth they [the wealthy] are the poor and they are those who are tested. They fall into ignominy out of fear of ignominy and struggle with abasement out of fear of abasement. They construct castles quṣūr but live in tombs qubūr. They adorn the cradle mahd but are wrapped in the grave lahd. They gallop in the fields of heedlessness ghafla but stumble in the wadis of grief ḥasra. Soon they will come to know but then their knowledge will not benefit them. Nothing will be of use to them. When the dust clears you will see whether a horse or a donkey is beneath you.