The Quran

Commentaries for 2.160

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.160 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Except such of them as repent) from Judaism (and amend) worship Allah alone without ascribing to Him any partners (and make manifest) the traits and description of Muhammad. (These it is towards whom I relent) overlook their past transgressions. (I am the Relenting) towards those who repent, (the Merciful) towards him who dies in a state of repentance.
2.160 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Except those that repent, turning back from such [deeds], and make amends, in their actions, and show clearly, what they were concealing — them I shall turn [relenting], accepting their repentance; I am the Relenting, the Merciful, to believers.
2.160 Kashani - Kashani
Except those that repent, that is, those who have repented from the sins of their states and realised that it had been a trial from God, and make amends, in their states by returning [to God] and [engaging in] spiritual discipline, and show clearly, that is, [those who], as a result of their truthful conduct towards God and their sincere devotion [to Him], have unveiled and manifested what had been veiled to them - them I shall turn [relenting], I shall accept their repentance and cast upon them [My] relenting; I am the Relenting, the Merciful.
2.159-162 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Eternal Curse for Those Who hide Religious Commandments
These Ayat sternly warn against those who hide the clear signs that the Messengers were sent with which guide to the correct path and beneficial guidance for the hearts, after Allah has made such aspects clear for His servants through the Books that He revealed to His Messengers. Abu Al-`Aliyah said that these Ayat, "were revealed about the People of the Scripture who hid the description of Muhammad.'' Allah then states that everything curses such people for this evil act. Certainly, just as everything asks for forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea and the bird in the air, then those who hide knowledge are cursed by Allah and by the cursers. A Hadith in the Musnad, narrated through several chains of narrators, that strengthens the overall judgment of the Hadith, states that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said:
«مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ فَكَتَمَهُ، أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَار»
(Whoever was asked about knowledge that one has, but he hid it, then a bridle made of fire will be tied around his mouth on the Day of Resurrection.)
It is also recorded by Al-Bukhari that Abu Hurayrah said, "If it was not for an Ayah in Allah's Book, I would not have narrated a Hadith for anyone:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالْهُدَى
(Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down,)''
Mujahid said, "When the earth is struck by drought, the animals say, `This is because of the sinners among the Children of Adam. May Allah curse the sinners among the Children of Adam.'''
Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said that
وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّـعِنُونَ
(and cursed by the cursers) means that the angels and the believers will curse them. Moreover, a Hadith states that everything, including the fish in the sea, asks for forgiveness for the scholars. The Ayah (2:159 above) states that those who hide the knowledge will be cursed, (in this life and) on the Day of Resurrection, by Allah, the angels, all humanity, and those who curse (including the animals) each in its own distinct way. Allah knows best.
From this punishment, Allah excluded all who repent to Him:
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ
(Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed).)
This Ayah refers to those who regret what they have been doing and correct their behavior and, thus, explain to the people what they have been hiding.
فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
(These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.)
This Ayah also indicates that those who used to call to innovation, or even disbelief, and repent to Allah, then Allah will forgive them. Allah afterwards states that those who disbelieve in Him and remain in this state until they die, then:
أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلـئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ
(it is they on whom is the curse of Allah and of the angels and of mankind, combined. They will abide therein (under the curse in Hell).)
Therefore, they will suffer the eternal curse until the Day of Resurrection and after that in the fire of Jahannam, where,
لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ
(their punishment will neither be lightened)
Hence, the torment will not be decreased for them,
وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
(nor will they be reprieved.)
The torment will not be changed or tempered for even an hour. Rather, it is continuous and eternal. We seek refuge with Allah from this evil end.
Cursing the Disbelievers is allowed
There is no disagreement that it is lawful to curse the disbelievers. `Umar bin Al-Khattab and the Imams after him used to curse the disbelievers in their Qunut (a type of supplication) during the prayer and otherwise. As for cursing a specific disbeliever, some scholars stated that it is not allowed to curse him, because we do not know how Allah will make his end. Others said that it is allowed to curse individual disbelievers. For proof, they mention the story about the man who was brought to be punished repeatedly for drinking (alcohol), a man said, "May Allah curse him! He is being brought repeatedly (to be flogged for drinking).'' Allah's Messenger said:
«لَا تَلْعَنْهُ فَإِنَّه يُحِبُّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَه»
(Do not curse him, for he loves Allah and His Messenger).
This Hadith indicates that it is allowed to curse those who do not love Allah and His Messenger. Allah knows best.
2.159-160 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The greatest crime of the Jewish scholars was that they had made the teachings of their Scriptures the monopoly of their rabbis and professional scribes. Not to speak of imparting these to the Gentiles, they did not teach them even to the common Jews. As a result, the Jews began to practise irreligious things because of their ignorance. Even then their rabbis did not do anything to reform and educate them. Instead of this, they went on, directly or indirectly, certifying every irreligious practice as legal merely for the sake of winning and retaining popularity. The Muslims are being forewarned that as leaders of the world they should propagate and spread the Guidance given to them and should not keep it back from the common people as the Jewish rabbis and scribes did.
2.160 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Except those that repent and make amends and show clearly-them I shall turn [relenting]; I am the Relenting the Merciful. [Except those who] compensate for their past negligence by graciously turning back taking on the task of giving advice to the aspirants. They show clearly to [the aspirants] the goodness in upholding certain modes of behavior explaining and demonstrating this to them in a beautiful way. Surely the clearest proof of the clarity of your actions and the truest testimony of that by which you call people to God is that your behavior does not contradict what you have alluded to in your speech. God most high said “And I do not desire to be inconsistent in what I forbid you” [11:88].