Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
When the last verse was revealed, the believers found its content disconcerting. So when the Prophet (pbuh) ascended to heaven he prostrated to his Lord, and Allah said in praise of His Prophet: (The Messenger believeth) the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) believes (in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord) i.e. the Qur'an and its content, and then the Prophet (pbuh) said on behalf of his Lord (and (so do) the believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers-We make no distinction between any of His messengers-) they say: we do not disbelieve in any of his messengers (and they say: We hear) the saying of our Lord, (and we obey) the command of our Lord, i.e. we hear and obey our Lord. The Prophet (pbuh) then said: ((Grant us) Thy forgiveness) forgive us for the discourse of our souls, (our Lord) O our Lord! (Unto Thee is the journeying) unto you is the return after death.
The Messenger has faith in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the faithful. Each one has faith in God, His angels, His books, and His messengers: “We make no distinction among any of His messengers.” They say, “We hear and we obey! Thy forgiveness, our Lord! And to Thee is the homecoming.” God takes no soul to task beyond its capacity. It shall have what it has earned, and against it shall be what it has acquired. “Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, put not upon us a burden such as that Thou hast put on those before us. Our Lord, and do not burden us with what we do not have the strength to bear. And pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. Thou art our Patron, so help us against the people of the unbelievers.”
This is a declaration of the greatness and eminence of the Messenger at the moment of contemplation. He said, “The Messenger has faith.” He did not say, “Thou hast faith.” This is how masters and kings are addressed in the manner of declaring their greatness. It is exactly like what He said about Himself at the beginning of the Surah of Opening: “Praise belongs to God.” He did not say, “Praise belongs to Me.” This was to declare His own greatness and to make manifest His exaltedness and majesty.
The Messenger has faith. Now that He has mentioned faith, the Uprising, the Garden, the Fire, the prayer, the alms tax, retaliation, fasting, hajj, struggle, marriage, divorce, menstruation, the waiting period, expenditure, foster relationship, forswearal, divorce initiated by the wife, inheritance, charity, vows, buying, selling, usury, debts, and ransom; and He has mentioned the stories of the prophets and the signs of His power, God completes the surah by mentioning that His prophet and the faithful assent to the truthfulness of all of it. Hence He says, The Messenger has faith in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the faithful. This is praise and laudation of the Prophet, who explained these rulings and delivered the message, and of the faithful, for we have recognized, accepted, and held firm to all the rulings, boundaries, stories of the prophets, and marks of God's power and tremendousness that were mentioned.
What is even greater and more majestic is that God Himself gives witness to MuṣṬafā and his faith, and He gives witness to the faithful and their faith. This is a witnessing by their God. It
is a witnessing that faith comes by bestowal. Where are water and dust? What are the universe and Adam? In beginningless solicitude the unitary majesty gave witness to the servant's faith and placed the crown of friendship on his head.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O Lord, it is You who made an oath of allegiance between Yourself and the servant without the servant. You gave witness to the servant's faith without the servant. You wrote mercy for the servant against Yourself without the servant. You made a pact of friendship between Yourself and the servant without the servant. It is fitting for the faithful servant to be delighted that You have made a pact of friendship with him, for the basis of friendship's treasure is all light, and the fruit of friendship's tree is all joy. The field of friendship is a vast heart, and the kingdom of paradise is one branch of friendship's tree.”
The Messenger has faith in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the faithful. Both the Messenger and the faithful have faith, but how far apart they are! The faith of the faithful is by way of inference, and the faith of the Messenger is by way of union. Their faith is by means of proofs, and the Messenger's faith is through contemplation and face-to-face vision. The following has been narrated from him:
“I saw my Lord with my eyes on the night of the miʿrāj. My Lord said to me, 'O MuḤammad!
The Messenger has faith in what was sent down to him from his Lord.' “I said, 'Yes.'
“He said, 'Who else?'
“I said, 'And the faithful. Each one has faith in God, His angels, His books, and His messengers; we make no distinction among any of His Messengers, unlike the Jews and the Christians.'
“He said, 'And what do they say?'
“I said, 'They say “We hear Your words and we obey Your command.”' “He said, 'You have spoken the truth. Ask, and it will be given to you.' “I said, 'Thy forgiveness, our Lord! And to Thee is the homecoming.
“He said, 'I have forgiven you and your community. Ask, and it will be given to you.' “I said, 'Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget or make mistakes.'
“He said, 'I have removed mistakes and forgetfulness from you and your community. And what is it that you dislike?'
“I said, 'Our Lord, put not upon us a burden such as that Thou hast put on those before us.' “He said, 'That belongs to you and your community.'
“I said, 'Our Lord, and do not burden us with what we do not have the strength to bear.' “He said, 'I have done that for you and your community. Ask, and it will be given to you.'
“I said, 'Our Lord, and pardon us against engulfing, and forgive us against casting, and have mercy upon us against deforming.26 Thou art our Patron, so help us against the people of the unbelievers.'
“He said, 'I have done that for you and your community.'”
The Prophet was asked, “What was your recompense on the night that you were taken up?” He said, “I was given the Opening of the Book and the concluding verses of the Surah of the
Cow, and these are among the treasuries of the All-Merciful's Throne that were given to no prophet before me.”
The Messenger, Muhammad (s) believes in, affirms the truth of, what was revealed to him from his Lord, namely, the Qur’ān, and the believers (wa’l-mu’minūna is a supplement to al-rasūlu, ‘the Messenger’); each one (the tanwīn of kullun stands in place of the second noun in an annexation [sc. kullu wāhidin]) believes in God and His angels, and in His Books, all of them and each of them, and His messengers, and they say, ‘we make no distinction between any of His messengers’, believing in some and disbelieving in others, in the manner of the Jews and the Christians. And they say, ‘We hear, what we have been enjoined to hear and accept, and obey; we ask you: Your forgiveness, our Lord; to You is the homecoming’, that is, the return at the Resurrection. When the previous verse was revealed, the believers complained of evil whisperings and it grieved them that they should be taken to account according to [the principle expressed in] it, and so the following was revealed:
The Messenger believes in what was revealed to him from his Lord: he has confirmed it by receiving it and assuming the character traits mentioned in it - as ʿĀÌisha said: 'His [the Prophet's] character was that of the QurÌān' - and his [spiritual] elevation and realisation by means of its significations; and the believers; each one believes in God, each one alone in totality, and in His angels, and in His Books, and His messengers, each one along in differentiation upon becoming upright, witnessing His Oneness in the form of that multiplicity, ascribing a wisdom to each one of His self-disclosures in one of His loci; 'we make no distinction: in other words, they say, 'we do not distinguish between any of them [either] by rejecting some or accepting others. Nor do we doubt that they are upon the truth and [sent] with the truth on account of [their] witnessing of the Oneness and [our] witnessing of the truth in them through the truth. And they say, 'We hear: that is, we have responded to our Lord with respect to His books, messengers and the sending down of His angels and we are upright in our behaviour; Your forgiveness, our Lord: that is, forgive us our existences and attributes and efface them through Your existence and the existence of Your attributes, to You is the homecoming', through the annihilation in You.
(Whoever recites the last two Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice for him.)
The rest of the six also recorded similar wording for this Hadith. The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith using various chains of narration, and Imam Ahmad also recorded it.
Muslim recorded that `Abdullah said, "When the Messenger of Allah went on the Isra journey, he ascended to the Sidrat Al-Muntaha in the sixth heaven, where whatever ascends from the earth ends at, and whatever descends from above it ends at.
إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى
(When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!) 53:16 meaning, a mat made of gold.
The Messenger of Allah was then given three things: the five prayers, the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah and forgiveness for whoever did not associate anything or anyone with Allah from his Ummah.''
Earlier we mentioned the Hadith regarding the virtues of Surat Al-Fatihah from Ibn `Abbas which stated, "While the Messenger of Allah was with Jibil, he heard a noise from above. Jibil lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door that was opened just now in heaven, and it was never opened before.' An angel came down through the door to the Prophet and said, `Receive the good news of two lights that you have been given and which no Prophet before you was given: the Opener of the Book (Al-Fatihah) and the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but you will be granted its benefit.''' This Hadith was collected by Muslim and An-Nasa'i, and this is the wording collected by An-Nasa'i.
The Tafsir of the Last Two Ayat of Surat Al-Baqarah
(Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) "We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.'')
Therefore, each of the believers believes that Allah is the One and Only and the Sustainer, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and there is no Lord except Him. The believers also believe in all Allah's Prophets and Messengers, in the Books that were revealed from heaven to the Messengers and Prophets, who are indeed the servants of Allah. Further, the believers do not differentiate between any of the Prophets, such as, believing in some of them and rejecting others. Rather, all of Allah's Prophets and Messengers are, to the believers, truthful, righteous, and they were each guided to the path of righteousness, even when some of them bring what abrogates the Law of some others by Allah's leave. Later on, the Law of Muhammad, the Final Prophet and Messenger from Allah, abrogated all the laws of the Prophets before him. So the Last Hour will commence while Muhammad's Law remains the only valid Law, and all the while a group of his Ummah will always be on the path of truth, apparent and dominant. Allah's statement,
وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا
(And they say, "We hear, and we obey'') means, we heard Your statement, O our Lord, comprehended and implemented it, and adhered to its implications.
((We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord) contains a plea and supplication for Allah's forgiveness, mercy and kindness.
لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا
(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope) means, Allah does not ask a soul what is beyond its ability. This only demonstrates Allah's kindness, compassion and generosity towards His creation. This Ayah is the Ayah that abrogated the Ayah that worried the Companions, that is, Allah's statement,
(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it.)
This indicates that although Allah will question His servants and judge them, He will only punish for what one is able to protect himself from. As for what one cannot protect himself from, such as what one says to himself - or passing thoughts - they will not be punished for that. We should state here that to dislike the evil thoughts that cross one's mind is a part of faith. Allah said next,
لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ
(He gets reward for that which he has earned) of good,
وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ
(And he is punished for that which he has earned) of evil, that is, concerning the acts that one is responsible for.
Allah then said, mentioning what the believers said while directing His servants to supplicate to Him, all the while promising them that He will answer their supplication:
("Our Lord! Push us not if we forget or fall into error,'') meaning, "If we forgot an obligation or fell into a prohibition, or made an error while ignorant of its ruling.'' We mentioned the Hadith by Abu Hurayrah, that Muslim collected, wherein Allah said, "I shall (accept your supplication).'' There is also the Hadith by Ibn `Abbas that Allah said, "I did (accept your supplication).''
(Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians),) means, "Even if we were able to perform them, do not require us to perform the difficult deeds as You required the previous nations before us, such as the burdens that were placed on them. You sent Your Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy, to abrogate these burdens through the Law that You revealed to him, the Hanifi (Islamic Monotheism), easy religion.'' Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, "I shall (accept your supplication).'' Ibn `Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, "I did (accept your supplication).'' There is the Hadith recorded through various chains of narration that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.)
We mentioned that Allah said, "I shall (accept your supplication)'' in one narration, and, "I did (accept your supplication),'' in another narration.
(Pardon us) meaning, between us and You regarding what You know of our shortcomings and errors.
(And grant us forgiveness) concerning what is between us and Your servants. So do not expose our errors and evil deeds to them.
(Have mercy on us) in what will come thereafter. Therefore, do not allow us to fall into another error. They say that those who commit error need three things: Allah's forgiveness for what is between Him and them, that He conceals these errors from His other servants, and thus does not expose them before the servants, and that He grants them immunity from further error.'' We mentioned before that Allah answered these pleas, "I shall,'' in one narration and, "I did,'' in another narration.
(You are our Mawla) meaning, You are our supporter and helper, our trust is in You, You are sought for each and every type of help and our total reliance is on You. There is no power or strength except from You.
فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ
(And give us victory over the disbelieving people) those who rejected Your religion, denied Your Oneness, refused the Message of Your Prophet, worshipped other than You and associated others in Your worship. Give us victory and make us prevail above them in this and the Hereafter. Allah said, "I shall,'' in one narration, and, "I did,'' in the Hadith that Muslim collected from Ibn `Abbas.
Further, Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Ishaq said that whenever Mu`adh would finish reciting this Surah,
فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ
(And give us victory over the disbelieving people), he would say "Amin.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
In this verse, the basic articles of Faith have been restated briefly. Belief in Allah, His Angels, His Books and in all of His Messengers without exception and discrimination against any and in the accountability to Him at the end of this life are the five basic articles of Faith. After the acceptance of these, the attitude for a Muslim is to submit obediently to each and every commandment of Allah. At the same time, he should not become vain on account of his good acts but should pray to Allah to forgive and show forbearance to him.
The Messenger believes in what was revealed to him from his Lord and the believers; each one believes in God and His angels and in His Books and His messengers “we make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say “We hear and obey; Your forgiveness our Lord; to You is the homecoming.” This is the testimony of faith shahāda of the Real سبحانه on behalf of His Prophet ﷺ and that is more perfect for him than his speaking for himself. It is said that all created beings believe through demonstrative proof burhān while the Messenger عليه السلام believes through eyewitnessing ʿiyān. It is said that created beings believe through intermediaries while Muḥammad ﷺ believes without any intermediary. It is said that this was the address of the Real with him on the night of the ascension miʿrāj and indicates respect for [his] rank: He said “The Messenger believes” not “You [Muḥammad] believe” just as one says to an important person “the Shaykh said...” rather than “you said....” It is said that both the Messenger and the believers believe in God His angels His books and His messengers but what a difference between one faith and another! All [believers] believe by being shown the way but you O Muḥammad believe through arrival.
(The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord…) [2:285]. The Imam Abu Mansur ‘Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn Ziyad> Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Bushanji> Umayyah ibn Bistam> Yazid ibn Zuray‘> Rawh ibn al-Qasim> al-‘Ala’> his father> Abu Hurayrah who said: “When Allah, exalted is He, revealed to His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, the verse (… and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it…) [2:284], the prophetic Companions found this hard to cope with. They went to the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘We have been entrusted with works that we can not bear: the prayer, fasting, Jihad, almsgiving; and now Allah has revealed to you this verse which we are not able to bear’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to them: ‘Do you want to say as the people of the two Scriptures said before you? — the narrator said: I think he quoted the verse (We hear and we rebel!) [2:93] — Say, rather, (We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying)’. When they heard this, they did not answer. Allah revealed after this (The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord…) the whole verse, and Allah abrogated it by His revelation (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…) [2:286] to the end of the verse”. This report was narrated by Muslim from Umayyah ibn Bistam. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya informed us> his father> Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Thaqafi> ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar and Yusuf ibn Musa> Waki‘> Sufyan> Adam ibn Sulayman who said: “I heard Sa‘id ibn Jubayr relating from Ibn ‘Abbas who said: ‘When the verse (… and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it…) was revealed, objection crept into the hearts of the prophetic Companions as it never did before. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to them: Say, ‘we hear and we obey’. Allah then revealed (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope), up to His saying (or miss the mark) upon which he said: You did. He repeated this with each sentence of this verse until the end of it’ ”. This was narrated Muslim from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah from Waki‘. The commentators of the Qur’an said: “When the verse (and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it) was revealed, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Mu‘adh ibn Jabal and a group from the Helpers all went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. They kneeled down and then said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! By Allah no other revealed verse of the Qur’an is harder on us than this one. One of us speaks to himself with things that he does not like to remain in his heart even in exchange for the world and all that it contains. And now we are taken to task for the things that we speak to our own selves. By Allah, we are doomed’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘This is how it was revealed!’ They said: ‘We are ruined; we have been bound by that which we cannot possibly bear’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Are you going to say as the Children of Israel said to Moses (We hear and we rebel!); say rather: We hear and we obey’. They said: ‘We hear and we obey’. This was extremely hard on them, and they remained in this situation for a year upon which Allah, exalted is He, sent down relief and repose with His saying (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…) which abrogated the verse before it. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Allah has pardoned my community for the things with which they speak to themselves as long as they do not act upon them or speak about them to others’ ”.