Date :Thursday, March 1st, 2018 | Time : 02:57 |ID: 59727 | Print

Race to All That Is Good: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:146-148) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:146-148)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Race to All That Is Good

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٤٦﴾ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ﴿١٤٧﴾ وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّـهُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٤٨

2:146 Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize him (Prophet) as they recognize their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it ـ [i.e., the qualities of the Prophet which are written in the Tawrah and the Injil].

2:147 This is the truth from your Lord. So, do not be among the skeptics.

2:148 For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So, hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is able to do all things.

Commentary: The aforementioned verses reveal that the characteristics of the Holy Prophet were vividly depicted in the preceding divine books so that the Christian and Jewish scholars could recognize the Prophet (SAWA), like one who recognizes his children:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ …. ﴿١٤٧

2:146 Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize him (the Prophet) as they recognize their sons. ….

Some scholars such as Abdullah ibn Salam [(عبدالله بن سلام‎)], who was a rabbi before reverting to Islam, recognized the Prophet (SAWA) and believed in him. Others knowingly concealed the truth and denied the Prophet’s mission:

… وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٤٦

2:146 …But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it ـ [i.e., the qualities of the Prophet  which are written in the Tawrah and the Injil].

An important historical fact worth pondering is that no scholars from the People of the Book came forward to challenge the Prophet, even though they had the opportunity to present their scripture to the Prophet (SAWA) and ask him to point out the prophetic signs and characteristics that were contained in the scriptures.

Verse 2:147 emphasizes that this is the truth from the Lord and advises believers that they should not be skeptical. The truth in the verses [الْحَقُّ] refers to the Qur’an and its content:

الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ ﴿١٤٧

2:147 This is the truth from your Lord. So, do not be among the skeptics.

As expected, many arguments were exchanged between the People of the Book and Muslims regarding the change in the direction of prayer. These fruitless arguments and endless quarrels created, at minimum, social anxiety and pessimism. Hence the Quran, in these circumstances, asks its followers to stop harmful arguments and focus on doing good. In this instance, verse 2:148 puts an end to these arguments and says:

وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا ….. ﴿١٤٨

2:148 For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). ….

So, let’s stop in arguing further about the direction of Qiblah and focus all efforts in performing good deeds [(فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ)]. And be sure, “Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is able to do all things.”

… فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّـهُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١٤٨

2:148 …So hasten towards all that is good. Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is able to do all things.

On that Day, the Companions of Imam Mahdi [(امام مهدی)] Will Gather: The pronoun “you” in the phrase “Wherever you may be” refers to companions of Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his appearance) in narrations reported by the Ahlul-Bayte of the Prophet (SAWA). This phrase inspires men and women to be resilient, work hard, and race to prepare the ground for the arrival of Imam Mahdi (AS) [(فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ)]. Soon, Allah (SWT) will unite the honest companions of Imam with him, regardless of where they are [(أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّـهُ جَمِيعًا)]. On that day, not too far from today, the world will see the demise of evil and the rise of peace, and that day the skeptics will see that surely “Allah is able to do all things”.

Imam Baqar (AS) [(امام باقر)] said:

یَعْنِی أَصْحابَ الْقائِمِ الثَّلاثَ مِائَة وَ الْبِضْعَةَ عَشَرَ رَجُلاً قالَ وَ هُمْ وَ اللّهِ الْأُمَّةُ الْمَعْدُودَةُ قالَ یَجْتَمِعُونَ وَ اللّهِ فِی ساعَة واحِدَة قَزَعٌ کَقَزَعِ الْخَرِیفِ

You” in the above phrase refers to the 313 followers of Imam Mahdi (AS). By Allah, these few people will gather together in an hour, like scattered clouds gathered in the autumn season by the wind.

Imam Reza (AS) [(امام رضا)] said:

وَ ذلِکَ وَ اللّهِ أَنْ لَوْ قَدْ قامَ قائِمُنا یَجْمَعُ اللّهُ إِلَیْهِ شِیعَتَنا مِنْ جَمِیعِ الْبُلْدانِ

“By Allah (SWT), our followers from all the cities will gather around Imam Mahdi (AS) upon his appearance form the occultation.”

The above interpretation is based on an inner meaning of the verse, which is known only to Prophet (SAWA) and those who are gifted with the divine knowledge such as the Ahlul-Bayte of Prophet (AS) [TafseereNamoona, Vol.1, P. 503].

 

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