The Quran

Commentaries for 2.38

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.38 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(We said) to Adam, Eve, the serpent, the peacock and Satan: (Go down) from heaven, (all of you). Then Allah, Exalted is He, mentioned Adam's progeny, (from hence; but verily there cometh unto you), when and whenever it comes to you, (from Me a guidance), a scripture and an emissary; (whoso followeth My guidance) the scripture and the emissary, (there shall no fear come upon them) regarding any torment in the future, (neither shall they grieve) about what they have left behind them. It is also said that this means that no fear will come upon them perpetually and nor will they grieve perpetually; no fear will come upon them when death is slain and they will not grieve when hell is closed.
2.38 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
We said, ‘Go down from it, from the Garden, all together (He has repeated this [phrase qulnā ihbitū] in order to supplement it with), yet (fa-immā: the nūn of the conditional particle in [‘if’] has been assimilated with the extra mā) there shall come to you from Me guidance, a Book and a prophet, and whoever follows My guidance, believing in me and performing deeds in obedience of Me, no fear shall befall them, neither shall they grieve, in the Hereafter, since they will be admitted into Paradise.
2.38 Kashani - Kashani
We said, 'Go down from it all together: He repeats [mention of] this matter of the descent to demonstrate that it was He who wanted that, for were it not for His will Iblīs would not have been able to lead them astray. That is why He attributes the sending down to Himself unattached to the cause after having attributed their being brought out [of the Garden] to Satan. This [instance] is similar to where He says to His Prophet: And you threw not when you threw but God threw [Q. 8:17]. Thus he [Adam] comprehended the mystery of His decree and destiny, and He made clear the wisdom inherent in the sending down [of Adam and Eve] by following it up with His words: yet there shall come to you from Me guidance, and whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall befall them, neither shall they grieve. The use of the [coordinating particle] fāÌ is that were it not for the 'going down', they would not have been able to pursue the guidance, nor would the fortunate be distinguished from the damned, nor would reward and punishment have been forthcoming and the abode of recompense, in the way of the Garden and the Fire, would have become invalid, nay would not have come into existence. 'Guidance' is the Law, and whoever follows it will be secure from evil consequence and will not fear any punishment or annihilation and would have found solace in things other than the passions and the [carnal] pleasure, grieving not for what he will have missed of the ephemeral things of this world or its bliss, as the eye of his heart will have been adorned by the light of the pursuit [of guidance] and his being guided to what cannot be measured in terms of the pleasures of this world in the way of spiritual tastings and the mysterious openings and the witnessings of the heart and the rational sciences and the excitements of the soul.
2.38-39 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah stated that when He sent Adam, Hawwa', and Shaytan to earth from Paradise, He warned them that He will reveal Books and send Prophets and Messengers to them, i.e., to their offspring. Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "Al-Huda, refers to the Prophets, Messengers, the clear signs and plain explanation.''
فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ
(And whoever follows My guidance) meaning, whoever accepts what is contained in My Books and what I send the Messengers with,
فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ
(There shall be no fear on them) regarding the Hereafter,
وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
(nor shall they grieve) regarding the life of this world. Similarly, in Surat Ta Ha, Allah said,
قَالَ اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّى هُدًى فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَاىَ فَلاَ يَضِلُّ وَلاَ يَشْقَى
(He (Allah) said: "Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, he shall neither go astray, nor shall he be distressed.) (20:123)
Ibn `Abbas commented, "He will not be misguided in this life or miserable in the Hereafter.'' The Ayah,
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِى فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكاً وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيـمَةِ أَعْمَى
(But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur'an nor acts on its teachings) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.) (20:124) is similar to what Allah stated here,
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَـتِنَآ أُولَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ
(But those who disbelieve and belie Our Ayat ـ such are the dwellers of the Fire. They shall abide therein forever), meaning, they will remain in Hell for eternity and will not find a way out of it.
2.38-39 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The repetition of this command after forgiveness is very significant. In the preceding verse, it has been said that Adam repented and Allah accepted his repentance. Thus Adam was not only absolved from the sin of disobedience, but his future descendants also were made immune from its effect. There was, therefore, no need for Allah to crucify "His only son" for the atonement of the sin of Adam and of his offspring.' On the contrary, Allah not only accepted his repentance but also appointed him as His Messenger to show Guidance to his children. The repetition of the command, "Go down from here", shows that the real purpose of Adam's creation was to make him vicegerent on tire Earth. He was kept in the Garden merely for trial and training, (please see E.N. 48). That is why he was not kept in the Garden after the acceptance of his repentance. He was sent to the Earth not by way of punishment but as a matter of course.
Ayat is plural of ayat, which literally means a "sign" or "symbol" that points to something. The Qur'an has used this word in four different senses. At some places, it means merely a sign or symbol. At other places, the different phenomena of Nature have been termed as ayat of Allah, because each phenomenon points to the Reality which is hidden behind such curtains. Then the miracles which were given to the Messengers have also been called ayat (signs) hecause these showed that they were the representatives of the Ruler of the universe. At some places the verses of the Book have been called "ayat" because they point not only to the Truth and the Right but also to the Great Author of the book It is not only the subject matter of the Book but also its words and mode of expression and its style that point to its Author. The meaning of the word ayat in a particular place becomes clear from the context in which it occurs.
The law of Allah, contained in vv. 38-39 about the Guidance, has been in force ever since the creation of man and will remain so up to the Last Day. It has been called Allah's "covenant" in verse 27. It is meant to warn man not to invent a way of life for himself but to follow the Guidance of his Lord, for he is His servant as well as vicegerent. And there are only two means of knowing this: either a man should receive direct revelation from Allah, or follow the one who has received Revelation from Him. There is no third way of knowing Allah's Will. Therefore, every other way than these two is not only wrong but also rebellion which will lead ultimately to Hell. The story of the creation of man and the advent of mankind has been described in six other places in the Qur' an: Al-A'raf, VII: 11-25; Al-Hijr, XV: 2648; Bani Isra'il, XVII :60-65; AI-Kahf, XVIII 50 : Ta Ha, XX :116-123, Sad, XXXVIII 71 - 85. It will be useful to read the same story in the Old Testament (Genesis, Chapters 1 to 3). The comparison of the Qur' anic version with the Biblical one, will conclusively show that the Qur' an has remained intact in its pure, original and unadulterated form just as it was revealed by Allah, while the Bible has been tampered with. It will also be interesting to contrast the conversation between Allah and the angels as has been given here in the Qur'an with that cited in the Talmud. The latter is not only void of spiritual values but is also ridiculous. According to it when the angels asked Allah why He was going to create Man, He answered that He was doing that so that good people should be born on the Earth. He did not mention the birth of bad people lest the angels should withhold their permission for the creation of Man.
2.38 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
We said “Go down from it all together yet there shall come to you from Me guidance and whoever follows My guidance no fear shall befall them neither shall they grieve.” When one displays bad manners on the carpet one is shown the door. When Adam عليه السلام behaved badly at the fountain of nearness God most high said “Go down some of you an enemy to the other; and in the earth a dwelling shall be yours [2:36]-after you had a place of nearness for dwelling and enjoyment for a while.” They were enjoying ease but in the end they returned to want. They have recited: When they became poor they clung to poverty hoping for a reward. Even when things were easy for them they hastened to return to that state. At the same time that [God] expelled [Adam] from the garden and caused him to descend to the earth He gave him the glad tidings that He would return him to his [former] condition if his heart were inclined to return. He said “Yet there shall come to you from Me guidance and whoever follows My guidance no fear shall befall them neither shall they grieve.”