The Quran

Commentaries for 2.132

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.132 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(The same did Abraham enjoin) enjoined that there is no god except Allah (upon his sons) when he was dying, (and also Jacob) he also enjoined his children with the same: (O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion) the Religion of Islam; (therefore die not save as men who have surrendered) hold fast to Islam until you die as Muslims, sincere to Him in your worship and in your declaration of divine Oneness.
2.132 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And Abraham enjoined (wassā; may also be read awsā) upon his sons this, creed, and [so did] Jacob, upon his sons, saying: ‘My sons, God has chosen for you the [true] religion, the religion of submission [to God] (islām), see that you die not save in submission: he forbade them from abandoning this submission [to God], and enjoined them to adhere firmly to it until death overtook them.
2.132 Kashani - Kashani
And Abraham enjoined upon his sons this, declaration of the Oneness, and [so did] Jacob, upon his sons in [his] grief, 'My sons, God has chosen for you the [true] religion, that is, His religion by which the one who believes in God's Oneness worships, having no other religion or essence besides it, so that his religion is God's religion and his essence is God's Essence: see that you die not [save in submission], except upon this religion, in other words, do not die a natural death, the death of ignorance, but be dead in your souls, alive in God forever, so that when the death of the body overcomes you, you will be in that state [of submission].
2.130-132 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Only the Fools deviate from Ibrahim's Religion
Allah refuted the disbelievers' innovations of associating others with Allah in defiance of the religion of Ibrahim, the leader of the upright. Ibrahim always singled out Allah in worship, with sincerity, and he did not call upon others besides Allah. He did not commit Shirk, even for an instant. He disowned every other deity that was being worshipped instead of Allah and defied all his people in this regard. Prophet Ibrahim said,
فَلَماَّ رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَةً قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّى هَـذَآ أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يقَوْمِ إِنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ - إِنِّى وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِىَ لِلَّذِى فَطَرَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ حَنِيفاً وَمَآ أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
(O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners (in worship with Allah). Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism), and I am not of Al-Mushrikin.) (6:78-79). Also, Allah said,
وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِى بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ - إِلاَّ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ
(And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people: "Verily, I am innocent of what you worship. "Except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allah alone) Who did create me; and verily, He will guide me'') (43:26-27),
وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ
(And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he (Ibrahim) had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him (Ibrahim) that he (his father) was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah (one who invokes Allah with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing) (9:114), and,
إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَـنِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ - شَاكِراً لانْعُمِهِ اجْتَبَـهُ وَهَدَاهُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ - وَءاتَيْنَـهُ فِى الْدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَإِنَّهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ
(Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah (a leader having all the good qualities, or a nation), obedient to Allah, Hanif (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikin. (He was) thankful for His (Allah's) favors. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.) (16:120-122).
This is why Allah said here,
وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَهِيمَ
(And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim), meaning, abandons his path, way and method
إِلاَّ مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ
(except him who fools himself) meaning, who commits injustice against himself by deviating from the truth, to wickedness. Such a person will be defying the path of he who was chosen in this life to be a true Imam, from the time he was young, until Allah chose him to be His Khalil, and who shall be among the successful in the Last Life. Is there anything more insane than deviating from this path and following the path of misguidance and deviation instead Is there more injustice than this Allah said,
إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed) (31:13).
Abu Al-`Aliyah and Qatadah said, "This Ayah (2:130) was revealed about the Jews who invented a practice that did not come from Allah and that defied the religion of Ibrahim.'' Allah's statement,
مَا كَانَ إِبْرَهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ - إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَـذَا النَّبِىُّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَاللَّهُ وَلِىُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin. Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.) (3:67-68), testifies to this fact.
Allah said next,
إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(When his Lord said to him, "Submit (i. e. be a Muslim)!'' He said, "I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).'')
This Ayah indicates that Allah commanded Ibrahim to be sincere with Him and to abide and submit to Him; Ibrahim perfectly adhered to Allah's command. Allah's statement,
وَوَصَّى بِهَآ إِبْرَهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ
(And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Ya`qub) means, Ibrahim commanded his offspring to follow this religion, that is, Islam, for Allah. Or, the Ayah might be referring to Ibrahim's words,
أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists)).
This means that these Prophets loved these words so much that they preserved them until the time of death and advised their children to adhere to them after them. Similarly, Allah said,
وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَـقِيَةً فِى عَقِبِهِ
(And he (Ibrahim) made it i.e. La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone) a Word lasting among his offspring, (true Monotheism)) (43:28).
It might be that Ibrahim advised his children, including Jacob, Isaac's son, who were present. It appears, and Allah knows best, that Isaac was endowed with Jacob, during the lifetime of Ibrahim and Sarah, for the good news includes both of them in Allah's statement,
فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ
(But We gave her (Sarah) glad tidings of Ishaq (Isaac), and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub (Jacob)) (11:71).
Also, if Jacob was not alive then, there would be no use here in mentioning him specifically among Isaac's children. Also, Allah said in Surat Al-`Ankabut,
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَـبَ
(And We bestowed on him (Ibrahim), Ishaq and Ya`qub, and We ordained among his offspring prophethood and the Book.) (29:27), and,
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً
(And We bestowed upon him Ishaq, and (a grandson) Ya`qub) (21:72), thus, indicating that this occurred during Ibrahim's lifetime. Also, Jacob built Bayt Al-Maqdis, as earlier books testified. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which Masjid was built first' He said, (Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Al-Ka`bah).) I said, `Then' He said, (Bayt Al- Maqdis.) I said, `How many years later' He said, (Forty years. )'' Further, the advice that Jacob gave to his children, which we will soon mention, testifies that Jacob was among those who received the advice mentioned in Ayat above (2:130-132).
Adhering to Tawhid until Death
Allah said,
يَـبَنِىَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
((Saying), "O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.'') meaning, perform righteous deeds during your lifetime and remain on this path, so that Allah will endow you with the favor of dying upon it. Usually, one dies upon the path that he lived on and is resurrected according to what he died on. Allah, the Most Generous, helps those who seek to do good deeds to remain on the righteous path.
This by no means contradicts the authentic Hadith that says,
«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتّـى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّار فَيَدْخُلُهَا. وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بعَمَلِ أَهلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَو ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا»
(Man might perform the works of the people of Paradise until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from it, then the Book (destiny) takes precedence, and he performs the works of the people of the Fire and thus enters it. Also, man might perform the works of the people of the Fire until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from the Fire, but the Book takes precedence and he performs the works of the people of Paradise and thus enters it.) Allah said, (92:5-10),
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَى وَاتَّقَى - وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَى - فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَى - وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَى - وَكَذَّبَ بِالْحُسْنَى - فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْعُسْرَى
(As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him. And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And belies Al-Husna (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah). We will make smooth for him the path for evil),
2.130-133 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The word used in the text is "aslim," that is, "become a Muslim," or "adopt the attitude of Islam" (surrender to the will of Allah). Thus a Muslim is one who surrenders himself completely to Allah and obeys Him; who acknowledges Allah alone as His Lord, Master, Sovereign, Ruler, Lawgiver and God of worship; and who adopts the way of life prescribed by Him. Islam is the religious system based on this creed and attitude. This was the religion of all the Prophets who came to different countries and different nations.
Special mention of Jacob has been made because the Israelites were his direct descendants.
The Arabic word "din" has a much wider scope than the English ward "religion".It covers life in its entirety, and no aspect of individual or community life is outside its realm.
Though Jacob's death has been described in detail in the Bible, no mention has been made of this last will of his. It, however, has been given in detail in the Talmud and its substance is more or less the same as that contained in the Qur'an: "At the time when Jacob quitted this world, he summoned his sans and said to them, 'Serve the Lord your God, and He will deliver ye from all trouble. even as He delivered your fathers..... Teach your children to love God, and observe His commandments, for God will guard those who do justly and walk in righteousness through all his ways.....' And the sons of Jacob responded, 'All that you have commanded us, our father!, we will do. May God he with us.' And Jacob answered: 'The Lord will be with ye if ye shall depart not from His ways to the right hand or the left'." The same thing about the Prophet Jacob's will has been cited by Rodwell front Midr. Rabbah, "Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Messed be He." They said, "Hear O Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so neither is there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is One."
2.132 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And Abraham enjoined upon his sons this and [so did] Jacob 'My sons God has chosen for you the [true] religion see that you die not save in submission.' He related that Abraham عليه السلام enjoined his sons as did Jacob عليه السلام who said “Do not let death come upon you except in the state of submission islām.” Their laws even if they differed in details were of one origin. The spring of unity tawḥīd is not divided into two. words of God most high “God has chosen for you the [true] religion” were good news. By [these words] their desire to meet the demands of submission islām became strong. For when they realized that God سبحانه had chosen them for that [islām] they knew with certainty that He would help them and make it easy for them to uphold the rightful due of submission islām.