The Quran

Commentaries for 2.138

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.138 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
((We take our) colour from Allah) i.e. follow the Religion of Allah, (and who is better than Allah at colouring) better than the Religion of Allah. (And We are His worshippers) say: we are monotheists and acknowledge that we worship Him and declare that there is only one true God.
2.138 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
God's color-and who is more beautiful in color than God?
“Then We will bring a people who have come out in the color of tawḤīd and who are adorned with the attribute of love and clothed in God's color, which is colorlessness. Whoever is pure of the color of the color-mixers is colored by God's color.”
He who has painted a thousand worlds with color-
why would He buy my color and yours, O bankrupt man!
So, when someone reaches God's color and falls back on Him, He colors him in His own color. In the same way, the elixir makes copper and iron the same color as itself and they become precious. If the estranged fall back on Him, they become His familiars, and if the disobedient fall back, they become obedient.
On this topic many stories are told about the shaykhs. One of them is narrated from Ibrāhīm Khawāṣṣ. He said, “Once I went into the desert and saw a Christian, who had his sash around his waist. He asked if he could accompany me, so we walked for seven days. He said, 'O monk of the unswerving folk! Bring forth what you have of expansiveness, for we are hungry.'
“I said, 'O God, do not disgrace me before this unbeliever.' Then I saw a tray, upon which were bread, roast meat, dates, and a pitcher of water. We ate and drank, and we walked for seven days. Then I became hasty and I said, 'O monk of the Christians, bring what you have, for my turn is finished.' He leaned on his staff and supplicated, and lo there were two trays with double what there had been on my tray.
“I was bewildered and upset, and I refused to eat. He insisted, but I did not respond to him. He said, 'Eat, for I have two pieces of good news to give to you. One is that I bear witness that there is no god but God, and I bear witness that MuḤammad is God's messenger,' and he took off the sash. 'The other is that I say, “O God, if there is any danger here, then I will begin with this.”' So he began.
“We ate and we walked, and then we made the hajj and took up residence in Mecca for a year.
Then he died, and was buried in al-BaṬḤāÌ-God have mercy on him.”
2.138 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
The mark of God (sibghata’Llāhi: a verbal noun reaffirming the earlier āmannā, and it is in the accusative, because of the verbal construction implied, that is to say, sabaghanā’Llāhu, ‘God has marked us’): this denotes His religion, the one towards which He made human beings naturally inclined, as it leaves its mark on a person, in the same way that a dye leaves its mark on a garment; and who has, that is, none [has], a better mark (sibghatan, ‘marking’, is for specification) than God? And Him we worship: the Jews said to the Muslims, ‘We are the people of the first Book and our direction of prayer (qibla) is more ancient, and prophets were never sent from among the Arabs; if Muhammad were a prophet, he would have been one of us’. Thus, the following was revealed:
2.138 Kashani - Kashani
The mark of God, that is, we believe in God and He has marked us with a [particular] mark. Every adherent of a belief or a creed is marked inwardly by the mark of his belief, religion or creed. The adherents of the different creeds are all marked by the mark of their intentions; the adherents of schools of thought [are marked] by the mark of their imam and leader; the philosophers by the mark of their intellects; the various heretics and the innovators [are marked] by the mark of their heresies and souls, while the affirmers of God's Oneness [are marked] specifically by the mark of God, better than which there is no mark and beyond which there can be no other mark, as the Messenger of God said: 'Verily God created [His] creatures in darkness, then sprinkled upon them of His light and whoever was touched by that light was guided and whoever it missed went astray: that light then is His mark; [and who has a better mark than Godḍ And Him we worship.]
2.137-138 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah said, if they, the disbelievers among the People of the Book and other disbelievers, believe in all of Allah's Books and Messengers and do not differentiate between any of them,
فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ
(then they are rightly guided) meaning, they would acquire the truth and be directed to it.
وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ
(but if they turn away) from truth to falsehood after proof had been presented to them,
فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِى شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ
(then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them) meaning, Allah will aid the believers against them,
وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
(And He is the Hearer, the Knower). Allah said,
صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ
(The Sibghah of Allah). Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "The religion of Allah.'' This Tafsir was also reported of Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah, Ibrahim, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdullah bin Kathir, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and other scholars. The Ayah,
فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ
(Allah's Fitrah (i.e. Allah's Islamic Monotheism)) (30:30) directs Muslims to, "Hold to it.''
2.138 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
It may also mean, "We took Allah's colour." Before the advent of Christianity, it was a custom among the Jews to give a bath to those who accepted Judaism. It meant to imply that all the sins of the baptised person were washed away and he had received a new colour of life. This same custom was later on adopted by the Christians and it was termed "Baptism", which is a ceremonial immersion in water or an application of water as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian Church. It is applied not only to the new converts but also to all newly-born babies. The Qur'an says that there is nothing substantial in this ceremonial "colouring," since it is not necessary for salvation. For this purpose one should take colour from Allah by adopting His Way and submitting to His Law.
2.138 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
The mark of God; and who has a better mark than Godḍ And Him we worship. Its meaning is “They have been attached to the mark ṣibgha of God.” [The word “mark”] is in the accusative because of the implied verb. The allusion [in the verse] is that the lesson [about the true religion] is written by the Real not the servant [such as those who say “Be Jews or Christians and you shall be guided”]. What humankind pretends will pass away in the end while what the Real has firmly established is the primordial nature al-fiṬra [and] His establishment of it is the lesson. The hearts have a mark the spirits have a mark the innermost selves have a mark and the outward selves have a mark. The mark of corporeal and outward selves is in the traces of [God-granted] success ṣibghatu al-ashbāḥi wa-l-ẓawāhiri bi-āthāri al-tawfīq and the mark of the spirits and innermost secrets is in the lights of realization wa-ṣibghatu al-arwāḥi wa-l-sarāÌiri bi-anwāri al-taḥqīq.
2.138 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
((We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring…) [2:138]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “When a child was born into the Christians, they used to baptize him on the seventh day by dipping him in holy water in order to purify him. They claimed that this baptism takes the place of circumcision. Upon doing this, they used to say: ‘Now the child has become a true Christian’, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.