Monopoly of Paradise: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:111-112) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Shafaqna – Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:111-112)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Monopoly of Paradise
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَقَالُوا لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ ۗ تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ ۗ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿١١١﴾ بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّـهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿١١٢﴾

Translation:
2:111 And they say, “None will enter Heaven unless he is a Jew or a Christian.” These are their wishes. Say, “Produce your proof, if you are truthful.”
2:112 In fact, whoever submits himself to God, and is a doer of good, will have his reward with his Lord—they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.

Commentary: The People of the Book held false presumptions that eternal Paradise would be exclusively theirs to enjoy. This implied that Allah (SWT) would discriminate amongst his human creation on the Day of Judgment and bestow unconditional salvation only to people of a particular race or affiliates of a specific religion. This was a wishful conjecture [(تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ)] on their behalf, and the aforementioned verses challenged the People of Scripture to substantiate their claim if they were indeed truthful.

وَقَالُوا لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ ۗ تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ ۗ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿١١١﴾
2:111 And they say, “None will enter Heaven unless he is a Jew or a Christian.” These are their wishes. Say, “Produce your proof, if you are truthful.”

The next verse asserts that only an earnest submission to Allah (SWT) along with virtuous deeds are the sole criteria for eternal salvation. The rewards of righteous people are with their Lord and they would face neither fear nor grievances on the Day of Judgment.

بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّـهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿١١٢﴾

2:112 In fact, whoever submits himself to God, and is a doer of good, will have his reward with his Lord—they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.

The aforesaid criteria are also echoed in verses 2:62, 2:81 and 5:68. In particular, the verse 5:68 dismisses the claims of the People of the Book; it says: “O People of the Book! You have no ground to stand unless you uphold the Taurat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), and what is revealed to you from your Lord “. The key criterion is to uphold whatever the Lord reveals and commands, which includes the noble Quran.

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ تُقِيمُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ …… ﴿٦٨﴾

5:68 Say, “O People of the Book! You have no ground to stand unless you uphold the Taurat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), and what is revealed to you from your Lord (the Quran).” …
Appendix:
The pronoun “They” in the verses 2:11 refers to Christians and Jews, and it reads:
«قالت اليهود لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا » و «قالت النصارى لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ نَصَارَىٰ»،
The Jews stated that no one could enter Paradise unless he is Jewish. And the Christians said no one could enter in Paradise unless he is Christian.

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة
Word-for-Word Translation:
2:111 [وَقَالُوا] and they say [لَن يَدْخُلَ] non shall enter [الْجَنَّةَ] Paradise [إِلَّا] except [مَن] who [كَانَ] be [هُودًا] a Jew [أَوْ] or [نَصَارَىٰ] Christian, [تِلْكَ] these are [أَمَانِيُّهُمْ] their own desire [قُلْ] say [هَاتُوا] bring [بُرْهَانَكُمْ] your proof [إِن] if [كُنتُمْ] you are [صَادِقِينَ] truthful
2:112 [بَلَىٰ] yes [مَنْ] whoever [أَسْلَمَ] submitted [وَجْهَهُ] his face [لِلَّـهِ] to Allah [وَهُوَ] and he [مُحْسِنٌ] does good deeds [فَلَهُ] then for him [أَجْرُهُ] is his reward [عِندَ] with [رَبِّهِ] his Lord [وَلَا] and there is no [خَوْفٌ] fear [عَلَيْهِمْ] on them [وَلَا] nor [هُمْ] they [يَحْزَنُونَ] shall grieve

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