The Quran

Commentaries for 2.37

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.37 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Then Adam received from his Lord) Adam learnt from his Lord, and it is said that he was taught and inspired with (words) so that they became a way for him and his progeny to repentance, (and He relented towards him), He forgave him. (Indeed! He is the Relenting), the One Who overlooks misdeeds, (the Merciful) towards any that dies repentant.
2.37 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Then Adam received from his Lord some words.
Then He spoke with the lid on, not letting out the details, lest the secrets of love fall into the open and so that love's story would stay concealed.
I said to her, “Halt [qifī].” She said, “Qāf.”
She did not say, “I have halted,” thereby keeping the secret from the watchers. Nor did she say, “I will not halt,” thereby showing consideration for the lover's heart.3
Although the tongue of commentary does not speak of it, the folk of allusion say that it is likely that at the moment of farewell lovers say, “'When you depart from me, do not forget my covenant. Even if awareness of me dwindles one day, do not prefer another over me.'4 O Adam! Do not forget Our compact and do not choose anyone over Me.” The tongue of his state replied,
“My heart is Your fellow-traveler and companionhow could it attach its love anywhere else?
A heart for whom You are both spirit and awarenesshow could it forget Your remembrance?”
2.37 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, with which He inspired him (a variant reading [of Ādamu] has accusative Ādama and nominative kalimātu), meaning they [the words] came to him, and these were [those of] the verse Lord, we have wronged ourselves [Q. 7:23], with which he supplicated, and He relented to him, that is, He accepted his repentance; truly He is the Relenting, to His servants, the Merciful, to them.
2.37 Kashani - Kashani
Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, that is, he received from the direction of his Lord lights and states (aṭwār), that is, degrees (marātib) from the angelic realm and the realm of the divine attributes, and disengaged spirits, since every disengaged thing is a word as it is comes from the world of the command, in the same way that Jesus was called a Word. Or [it means] that he received from Him spiritual knowledge, sciences and realities, and He relented to him, He accepted his return to Him through his disengagement from the natural garments and his entry into the community of the lights of the spiritual world (malakūt) and his assumption of the descriptions of the holy perfections and the self-disclosure through real sciences. The basic sense of tāba ʿalayhi ('He relented to him') is He cast upon him the repentance and made him repentant. Upon my life! That is the repentance that is accepted [by God] and not the return that issues from his part; truly He is the Relenting, the One who is ever-accepting of the repentance of His servants, the Merciful, whose mercy has preceded His wrath so that He is merciful to His servant in the midst of His wrath, just as He turned His wrath against Adam the cause of his perfection and return to Him, distancing him so that he might draw closer to Him.
2.37 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Adam repents and supplicates to Allah
It was reported that the above Ayah is explained by Allah's statement,
قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ
(They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.'') (7:23) as Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Khaلlid bin Ma`dan, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam have stated. As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas commented on,
فَتَلَقَّى ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ
(Then Adam received from his Lord Words) "Adam said, `O Lord! Did You not created me with Your Own Hands' He said, `Yes.' He said, `And blow life into me' He said, `Yes.' He said, `And when I sneezed, You said, `May Allah grant you His mercy.' Does not Your mercy precede Your anger' He was told, `Yes.' Adam said, `And You destined me to commit this evil act' He was told, `Yes.' He said, `If I repent, will You send me back to Paradise' Allah said, `Yes.''' Similar is reported from Al-`Awfi, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Sa`id bin Ma`bad, and Ibn `Abbas. Al-Hakim recorded this Hadith in his Mustadrak from Ibn Jubayr, who narrated it from Ibn `Abbas. Al-Hakim said, "Its chain is Sahih and they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.''
Allah's statement,
إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
(Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful) (2:37) means that Allah forgives whoever regrets his error and returns to Him in repentance. This meaning is similar to Allah's statements,
أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ
(Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants) (9:104),
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself) (4:110) and
وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً
(And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds) (25:71).
The Ayat mentioned above, testify to the fact that Allah forgives the sins of whoever repents, demonstrating His kindness and mercy towards His creation and servants. There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
2.35-37 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The tree has not been named or pointedd out specifically in the Quran because there was nothing intrinsically evil in the tree itself. It was merely chosen for the purpose of trial.
The Arabic word zalim is very comprehensive in its meaning. Zulm is "violation of a right or duty" and zalim is one who violates a right or duty. Anyone who disobeys Allah really violates three basic rights. First, he violates the rights of Allah Who is worthy of obedience. Second, he violates the rights of all those things and beings whom he employs in this disobedience, e.g., his own limbs and faculties, his fellow beings and those angels who contribute to the fulfilment of his will and all those things which he uses for the performance of the work of iniquity, for they have a right to be used only in accordance with the will of the real Master but it is an act of iniquity, if he abuses the powers he has over them. Lastly, he violates his own rights on himself, for his own self has a right that he should do his best to save it from destruction. He is also guilty of iniquity against himself when he brings the wrath of Allah on himself by his disobedience. That is why the Qur'an, in many places has used the term zulm for sin and zalim for the sinner.
That is, "Satan shall be the adversary of man and man the adversary of Satan". The fact, that Satan tries his utmost to beguile man from the path of Allah to the path of destruction, is a clear proof that he is the arch-enemy of man. On the other side, man's humanity demands that he should fight Satan as his enemy. But it is a pity that man is so beguiled by the temptations of Satan that he begins to take him as his friend. This, however, does not mean that their mutual enmity has really been changed into friendship. It only means that man has been beguiled by his opponent and caught in the snare which has been laid for him.
When Adam felt sorry for his guilt and wanted to repent and return to Allah, he could not find appropriate words for asking Allah's pardon. Then Allah took pity upon him on account of his grief and helplessness and taught him the appropriate words. The Arabic word "taubah" means both "to turn back" and "to turn to". When applied to man, it means that he has turned back from rebellion to submission, and, when it is ascribed to Allah, it means that He has again turned with compassion to the penitent person.
Here the Qur' an rejects the theory that the consequences of sin are inevitable and every man shall bear these anyhow. This is one of those selfinvented, nusleading theories which have done great harm to humanity. As a result of this, one loses for ever all hope of reform, when once one is involved in sin. Even if he feels sorry for a past sin and wants to make amends for it and changes his life for the better, this theory confronts him with despair: there is no hope for you because you are doomed for ever: you must bear the consequences of what you have done in the past. In contrast to this, the Qur'an says, "It lies absolutely fn Allah's power to reward a virtue or to punish a sin. If you are rewarded for a virtue, it is not on account of the natural result of your virtue, but it is through Allah's grace. He has full power to reward it or not. In the same way, if you are punished for a sin, it is not because of the inevitable consequences of the sin but because Allah has full power to punish or pardon it. Of course, being All-Wise, He does not use these powers indiscriminately, but takes into consideration the intention of the doer. If He rewards a virtue, He does so when He sees that His servant performed the good deeds to please Him. And if He rejects an apparent virtue, He does so because He knows that it lacked sincerity. In the same way, He punishes the crime which is committed in a spirit of rebellion and is not followed by self-reproach but by an evil desire to commit more crimes. He, however, exercises His grace, and forgives the sins for which His servant feels sorry and makes up his mind to change for the better. It is thus clear that the rejection of the theory of the inevitability of punishment for sin holds out new hopes of reform for sinners. Even the worst criminals and the staunchest unbelievers need not despair of forgiveness from Allah, provided that they confess their sins (of course, before their Lord and not before a priest), feel ashamed of their disobedience, give up their attitude of rebellion and adopt the attitude of submission instead.
2.37 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord and He relented to him; truly He is the Relenting the Merciful. Words flowed from the tongue of Adam in the company of the Real سبحانه and words came from the Real سبحانه to the ears of Adam. They have recited: When we are afraid of the eyes of observers the secrets in the hearts speak. The Real سبحانه spoke in general terms about that [conversation] in order to keep the story veiled or to leave open the possibility of equivocal meaning iḥtimāl different opinions ẓunūn and a place for interpretation taÌwīl regarding what it might mean. It is possible that the words of Adam عليه السلام may have been an excuse and justification and the words of the Real سبحانه were by way of acceptance and favor. According to the tafsīr traditions the words of God most high to him were “Are you in flight from Us O Adamḍ” Likewise Adam's words عليه السلام to Him were Our Lord we have wronged ourselves [7:23] and he said “Are You the one evicting me from the gardenḍ” He said “Yes.” Adam said “Will You return me to itḍ” and He said “Yes.” It is said that when He commanded his expulsion from the garden He made a provision zād for him as He told him he would in His exalted speech so that it would be a remembrance and preparation [for his journey] ʿatād: I remember the days of protection then my liver goes weak from fear of being cut off. The conversations of lovers cannot be explained and outsiders will not fully understand them. The decree for the unseen was thus by way of allusion ishāra and not by the meaning provided by commentary tafsīr or interpretation taÌwīl. The Real سبحانه wanted this to suggest the state of lovers at the time of separation. In times of farewell it is said “When you leave me do not forget me idhā kharajta min ʿindī fa-lā tansa ʿahdī. If some day you hear little news of me khabarī do not choose another in place of me ghayrī!” And it is also possible to say “If your coming wuṣūluka must elude me at least do not let your emissary rusūluka be delayed.”
2.37 Tustari - Al-Tustari
Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, and He relented towards him...Sahl was asked, ‘What were the words that Adam learnt from his Lord?’ He replied:Muḥammad b. Sawwār informed me, [in a narration] from his father, from al-Thawrī, from ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Rafīʿ, on the authority of ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmar y, that he [the latter] said: ‘When Adam recalled his error he said: “O Lord, do you see the act of disobedience by which I disobeyed You as something that You preordained for me before You created me, or somethingthat I initiated?” He replied: “Indeed, it is something that I preordained for you, that you would do as a consequence of My lifting My protection from you, fifty thousand years before creating you.” Then Adam asked, “As you preordained it for me, then forgive me, for indeed We have wronged our own souls [7:23], through carrying out the lower self’s desire and relying on its devising, and we have repented from ever going back to that. If You do not forgive us — that is, in this life, and have mercy upon us, during what remains of our lives we shall surely be among the lost [7:23] — that is, among the damned and tormented in the Hereafter.”’So these were the words which God, Exalted is He, was speaking about when He said: Thereafter Adam received certain words from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him, truly He is the Relenting, the Merciful.It was related from the Prophet that he said: ‘Adam asked Moses, (peace be upon them both), “How many years before my creation do you find that my sin was destined for me?” He replied, “Forty thousand years.”’ The Prophet then said, ‘Thus did Adam confute Moses (peace be upon them both).’ Sahl was asked about God’s words:
[2:30]…Whilst we glorify You with praise and sanctify You…It means ‘We purify ourselves for Your sake by saying what You inspired us to say through the favour that You bestowed upon us. Blessed are You, O our Lord!’