Outlooks of Disbelievers: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:109-110) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:109-110)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Outlooks of Disbelievers
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّـهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٠٩﴾ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿١١٠﴾
Translation:
2:109 Many of the People of the Book wish to turn you back into unbelievers after you have believed, out of envy on their part, after the Truth (that the Prophet Mohammad is Allah’s Messenger) has become clear to them. But pardon and overlook, until God brings His command. God has power over all things.
2:110 And perform the prayer, and give alms. Whatever good you forward for yourselves, you will find it with God. God is Seeing of everything you do.

Commentary: The verses of 2:105 and 2:108 expose an outlook of individuals who understand and acknowledge the authenticity of the divine messengers and their missions. Nevertheless, they continue to deny and oppose them, since their carnal desires is not in harmony with the divine mission of God’s messengers.

For instance, Prophet Musa (AS) came to Firon with clear signs and miracles. The Quran states that Firon knew the truthfulness of the mission of Prophet Musa (AS). Nevertheless, he rejected Prophet Musa’s (AS) credentials and claimed that Musa’s signs and miracles were “plain magic”.
فَلَمَّا جَاءَتْهُمْ آيَاتُنَا مُبْصِرَةً قَالُوا هَـٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٣﴾ وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا ۚ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿١٤﴾
27:13-14 Yet when Our enlightening signs came to them, they said, “This is obvious witchcraft.” And they rejected them, although their souls were certain of them, out of wickedness and pride. So see how the outcome was for the mischief-makers.

A similar episode was repeated during the era of the Prophet (SAW). The idolaters of Mecca and a group from the People of the Book denied the Prophet’s holy mission, even after acknowledging in their soul the authenticity and legitimacy of his mission [مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ].

The Quran says that those who adamantly oppose the divine truth have two distinct outlooks towards believers. First, they cherish a heart of malice and wish that joy and happiness never reaches the believers [al-Baqara 2:105].
مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿١٠٥﴾
2:105 It is never the wish of the disbelievers from among the People of the Book, nor of the polytheists, that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But God chooses for His mercy whomever He wills.

Second, they envy the believers’ conviction in the truth and love to turn them back to a state of disbelief [al-Baqara 2:109]:
وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ ……﴿١٠٩﴾
2:109 Many of the People of the Book wish to turn you back into unbelievers after you have believed, out of envy on their part, after the Truth has become clear to them.

However, Allah (SWT) asked the Prophet to forgive the faults of these disbelievers and overlook their imprudent decisions until he received a new instruction. Some commentators [Al-Mizan] hold the opinion that the verses of Jahad refer to these new instructions.
…..فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّـهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٠٩﴾
2:109 ….. But pardon and overlook, until God brings His command. God has power over all things.

The next verse commands believers to establish daily prayers and give charity, since individuals and community earn strength through these actions [al-Baqra 2:45,153]. Allah (SWT) assures that the rewards of believers from their good deeds are with Him, and He isn’t oblivious of our deeds.
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿١١٠﴾
2:110 And perform the prayer, and give alms. Whatever good you forward for yourselves, you will find it with God. God is Seeing of everything you do.
Appendix:

The two words [(عَفو)] and [(صَفح)] mean to forgive, but with a subtle difference. The former means to forgive and forget; the latter means to overlook and treat a matter as if it did not affect one. There is also [(غَفر)], which is used for Allah (SWT) since He covers our faults with His grace.

وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ ﴿٤٥﴾
2:45 And seek help through patience and prayer. But it is difficult, except for the devout.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٣﴾
2:153 O you who believe! Seek help through patience and prayers. God is with the steadfast.

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة

Word-for-Word Translation:

2:109 [وَدَّ] wish [كَثِيرٌ] many [مِّنْ] of [أَهْلِ] the people [الْكِتَابِ] of the Book [لَوْ] if [يَرُدُّونَكُم] they could turn you back [مِّن بَعْدِ] after [إِيمَانِكُمْ] your belief (you have believed) [كُفَّارًا] as disbelievers. [حَسَدًا] out of envy [مِّنْ عِندِ] from [أَنفُسِهِم] their ownselves, [مِّن بَعْدِ] after [مَا] what [تَبَيَّنَ] had become manifested [لَهُمُ] unto them [الْحَقُّ] the truth. [فَاعْفُوا] So forgave [وَاصْفَحُوا] and overlook [حَتَّىٰ] till [يَأْتِيَ] brings [اللَّـهُ] Allah [بِأَمْرِهِ] His Command. [إِنَّ] Indeed [اللَّـهَ] Allah [عَلَىٰ] over [كُلِّ] every [شَيْءٍ] thing [قَدِيرٌ] is all powerful.
2:110 [وَأَقِيمُوا] And establish [الصَّلَاةَ] the prayer [وَآتُوا] and give [الزَّكَاةَ] Zakat [وَمَا] and whatever [تُقَدِّمُوا] you send forth [لِأَنفُسِكُم] for yourselves [مِّنْ] of [خَيْرٍ] good [تَجِدُوهُ] you shall find it [عِندَ] with Allah [اللَّـهِ] [إِنَّ] indeed [اللَّـهَ] Allah [بِمَا] of what [تَعْمَلُونَ] you do [بَصِيرٌ] is All-Seer

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