Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad)) of the Qur'an (and that which was revealed before you) of scriptures given to all the prophets, (and are certain of the Hereafter), they believe in resurrection after death and in the bliss of Paradise, referring here specifically to 'Abdullah Ibn Salam and his followers.
And those who have faith in what has been sent down to thee and what was sent down before thee and who are certain of the next world.
This verse is also the attribute of the godwary and the affirmation of their faith in the Qur'an as well as in all the messages and marks that came down from heaven on the tongue of the prophets. The Lord of the Worlds praises them and approves of them because of that, and He accepts their faith.
Every eminence and nobility possessed by past communities He gave to them and added to it, and every burden and hardship they had He lifted away from them. Those had longer days of practice, but this community has more reward for obedience. Those had a moment for repentance, but then the punishment of the Hour, but this community's opportunity for repentance of sins extends to the moment of death, and punishment belongs to the Will.
Then too the Lord of the Worlds laid a favor on MuṣṬafā and said, “Thou wast not on the side of the Mount when We called out” [28:46]. O paragon, you were not present on that corner of the Mount when We were speaking of you to Moses and talking about your community.”
Moses said, “Lord God, in the Torah I read the mention of a community extremely adorned, refined, and approved. They have beautiful conduct and flourishing secret cores. Who are they?”
God said, “That is the community of MuḤammad.”
Moses began to yearn for this community and said, “Lord God, is there any way You can show them to me?”
He said, “No, for it is not the moment for them to come out. If you want, I will convey their voices to your ears.” Then God Himself let out a call in the world, “O community of MuḤammad!” Everyone who would be his community until the coming of the Hour said, “Here I am, obeying Thee!” Since He called them out, He did not send them back without a gift. He said, “I bestowed upon you before you asked from Me, and I forgave you before you asked Me to forgive you.” It is not surprising that God called out to Moses after he had come into existence and received the eminence of prophethood and messengership and whispered prayer at the edge of the Mount.
More surprising is that He called out to a handful of the tainted, who were not yet created and still in the concealment of nonexistence, though existent in God's knowledge, and He caressed them as servants.
And who are certain of the next world. And they have no more doubt concerning the resurrection and the unseen states than Ḥāritha when MuṣṬafā asked of him, “How did you wake up, O Ḥāritha?”
He said, “I woke up with true faith in God. It was as if I was visiting with the folk of the Garden, as if I was howling with the folk of the Fire, and as if I was gazing on the Throne of my Lord standing forth.”
MuṣṬafā said to him, “You have recognized. Cling to that!”
This is like ʿāmir ibn ʿAbd al-Qays saying, “Were the covering removed, I would not increase in certainty.”
and who believe in what has been revealed to you, namely, the Qur’ān; and what was revealed before you, that is, the Torah, the Gospel and other [scriptures]; and of the Hereafter, they are certain, that is, they know [it is real].
and who believe in what has been revealed to you; and what was revealed before you, that is to say, the faith of verification that comprehends the three divisions [of faith], required for the works of the heart which constitute the adornment (taḥliya) and that is when the heart acquires perspicacity through the wisdoms and gnostic sciences revealed in the divine scriptures and [through] knowledge concerning the states [of creatures] in the final return (maʿād) and the matters of the Hereafter and the realities of holy knowledge, which is why He says: and of the Hereafter, they are certain. The people of the Hereafter are the ones who have not traversed the limit of purification and have not arrived at the [stage of] adornment which is the legacy (mīrāth) of that [traverse], on the basis of his [the imam ʿAlī's] saying, peace be upon him: 'Whoso acts in accordance with what he has been taught, God grants (warratha) him the knowledge of what he knows not'. The people of God, those of certainty, who comprehend [that legacy], they are all upon guidance from their Lord, [being] either [guided] to Him, or to His abode, the abode of safety (salāma), merit, reward and gentleness (luṭf): these are none other than the people of prosperity (falāḥ), [prosperous] by [having escaped] punishment or veiling, which is why He says
(And who have faith in what is revealed to you and in what was revealed before you.) means, "They believe in what Allah sent you with, and in what the previous Messengers were sent with, they do not distinguish between (believing) them, nor do they reject what they brought from their Lord.''
وَبِالأْخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
(And in the Hereafter they are certain) that is the resurrection, the standing (on the Day of Resurrection), Paradise, the Fire, the reckoning and the the Scale that weighs the deeds (the Mizan). The Hereafter is so named because it comes after this earthly life.
Attributes of the Believers
The people described here (2:4) are those whom Allah described in the preceding Ayah,
(Those who have faith in the Ghayb and perform Salah, and spend out of what we have provided for them.)
Mujahid once stated, "Four Ayat at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah describe the believers, two describe the disbelievers, and thirteen describe the hypocrites.'' The four Ayat mentioned in this statement are general and include every believer, whether an Arab, non-Arab, or a person of a previous Scripture, whether they are Jinns or humans. All of these attributes complement each other and require the existence of the other attributes. For instance, it is not possible that one believes in the Unseen, performs the prayer and gives Zakah without believing in what the Messenger of Allah and the previous Messengers were sent with. The same with certainty in the Hereafter, this is not correct without that, for Allah has commanded the believers,
(And argue not with the People of the Book, unless it be in (a way) that is better, except with such of them as do wrong; and say (to them): "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilah (God) and your Ilah (God) is One (i.e. Allah)') (29:46),
(Say (O Muhammad ): "O People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! You have nothing until you act according to the Tawrah (Torah), the Injil (Gospel), and what has (now) been revealed to you from your Lord (the Qur'an).'') (5:68).
(The Messenger (Muhammad ) believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) "We make no distinction between any of His Messengers'') (2: 285), and,
(And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers)) (4:152),
This is a sample of the Ayat that indicate that the true believers all believe in Allah, His Messengers and His Books.
The faithful among the People of the Book, have a special significance here, since they believe in their Books and in all of the details related to that, so when such people embrace Islam and sincerely believe in the details of the religion, then they will get two rewards. As for the others, they can only believe in the previous religious teachings in a general way. For instance, the Prophet stated,
(When the People of the Book narrate to you, neither reject nor affirm what they say. Rather, say, 'We believe in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to you.')
However, the faith that many Arabs have in the religion of Islam as it was revealed to Muhammad might be more complete, encompassing and firmer than the faith of the People of the Book who embraced Islam. Therefore, if the believers in Islam among the People of the Book gain two rewards, other Muslims who have firmer Islamic faith might gain an equal reward that compares to the two the People of the Book gain (upon embracing Islam). And Allah knows best.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Letters of the Arabic alphabet like Alif, Lam, Mim, called the mugatta'at, which are pre-fixed to a number of the Surahs of the Qur'an, were in common use in the Arabic literature of the period when the Qur'an was. revealed. The poets and rhetoricians made use of this style, and instances of this can even be found in the pre-Islamic prose and poetry which has survived. As their significance was appreciated by all concerned, none objected to or questioned their use, because it was no enigma to them. Even the bitterest opponents of the Qur'an, who never missed an opportunity, did not raise any objection against their use. But as their use was abandoned with the passage of time" it became difficult for the commentators to determine their exact meaning and significance. An ordinary reader, however, need not worry about their meanings because they make no difference as tar as the Guidance of the Qur'an is concerned.
Its simple meaning is: "No doubt, this is the Book of Allah", but it may also imply that this is the Book which contains nothing doubtful. It is not like the common books on metaphysics and religion which are based on mere speculation and guess-work. Therefore even their authors cannot be free from doubts concerning their own theories, in spite of their assertion that they are convinced of them. In contrast to them, this Book is based on the Truth: its Author is He Who possesses full knowledge of the Reality. Therefore, there is indeed no room for doubt about its contents.
That is, though there is nothing but guidance in this Book, there are a few pre-requisites for benefiting from it. The first pre-requisite is that one should be inclined to avoid vice, and should seek and practise virtue. But there is no guidance in the Qur'an for the people who do not bother to consider whether what they are doing is right or wrong, who follow the ways of the world or their own whims and lusts or move aimlessly in the ways of life.
The second condition for obtaining guidance from the Qur'an is that one must believe in the "unseen" -- those realities which cannot be perceived by the senses and which do not come within human experience and observation, e.g. the essence and attributes of Allah, Angels, Revelation, Heaven, Hell, etc. These things must be taken on trust from the experts (Prophets) just as we do in many cases in the physical world. Therefore, only such a person, who believes in the "unseen", can benefit from the Guidance of the Qur'an. As for the one who believes only in those things which can be seen, tasted and smelt, or can be measured and weighed, cannot get any guidance from this Book.
The third condition to benefit from the Qur'an is that one should be willing and ready to put into practice the teachings of the Qur'an. As the Salat ( Prayer) is the first and foremost obligatory duty enjoined by the Qur'an, it is the practical proof and permanent test of the sincerity of one's Faith. Therefore, after a person's profession of Islam, the moment he hears the call to the Prayer (which sounds regularly five times a day from every mosque in the Muslim world), he should join the congregation for the Salat, because this determines whether he is sincere in his profession or not. If he does not attend to the call and join the congregation, it is an indication that he is not sincere in his profession. It must also be noted that "iqama-tus-Salat¦(the establishment of Prayer is the comprehensive term. It means that Salat should be performed in congregation and that permanent arrangements should be made for it in every habitation; otherwise Salat will not be considered to have been established, even if every inhabitant of a place offers the Salat individually.
The fourth condition to benefit from the Qur' an is that one should be willing to part with one's money according to the instructions of the Book in order to render the rights of Allah and Man and should make monetary sacrifices for the cause of Islam which he has accepted.
The fifth condition is that one should believe in the truth of all those Books which Allah sent down by Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be His peace and blessings) and the Prophets before him at different times in different countries. Those who do not believe in any kind of guidance from Allah, cannot at all benefit from the guidance of the Qur'an. Likewise those who profess to believe in the necessity of guidance from Allah but do not turn to Revelation and the Prophets for it, or who dub their' own theories as "divine light", cannot obtain any guidance from it. Moreover, guidance is also denied to those who believe only in that revealed Book or Books in which their forefathers believed and reject all other guidance received from the same Source. Apart from all such people, the Qur'an guides only those who believe that they stand in need of Divine Guidance as well as admit that it does not come to every man individually but reaches humanity only through the Prophets and revealed Books.Then those who want guidance should not be slaves to any racial or national prejudices but should be seekers after truth and should submit to it wherever and in whatever form they find it.
This is the sixth and last condition. "Hereafter" is a comprehensive word which applies to the collection of many beliefs, which are as follows: (a) Man has not been created irresponsible in the world but he is answerable to Allah for all his deeds here. (b) The present world order is not everlasting, but has to come to an end at a time only known to Allah. (c) After the present order has been brought to an end, Allah will create a new world, when He will bring back to life all human beings, born from the beginning of creation till Resurrection, simultaneously and will call them to account for their deeds, and then will reward them justly accordingly to what they had done in the world. (d) Those, who will be judged as good by Allah, will go to Paradise, and those who will be judged as bad will be cast into Hell. (e) The criterion of success or failure is not the prosperity or adversity of this worldly life, but successful in actual fact will be he who comes out successful in Allah's final judgement, and failure he who is a failure there. Those who do not believe in the life-after-death with the above implications, cannot benefit from the Qur'an because the one who entertains' even the slightest doubt about these; not to speak of rejecting them, can never follow the way of life which the Qur'an prescribes.
and who believe in what has been revealed to you; and what was revealed before you; and of the hereafter they are certain. Their belief in the unseen necessarily requires their belief in the QurÌān and in what God has revealed in the books before the QurÌān but He repeats the mention of belief here for the purposes of specification takhṣīṣ and corroboration taÌyīd. To affirm taṣdīq [Muḥammad's role as] the intermediary ﷺ in some of what he has communicated obligates the affirmation of him in all that he has communicated since the evidence of his sincerity bears witness generally without any restriction. They have certainty in the hereafter because they have witnessed the unseen: When the Messenger of God ﷺ asked ḥāritha “How is your stateḍ” He said “I have become one who submits to God in truth and it is as if I were with the people of the garden exchanging visits and as if I were with the people of the fire clamoring to one another and as if I were with the throne of my Lord in plain sight. The Messenger of God ﷺ said “You have it right so keep to it.” ʿāmir b. ʿAbd al-Qays said “If the veil were to be lifted it would not increase my certainty.” The real meaning of certainty is to rid oneself of indecisive guessing takhmīn and to avoid loose conjecturing ẓunūn.