Religion of All Prophets: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:135-137) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:135-137)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Religion of All Prophets
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى تَهْتَدُوا قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿١٣٥﴾ قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿١٣٦﴾ فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿١٣٧﴾

Translation:
2:135 They say, “Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided.” Say, “Rather, [we follow] the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists.”
2:136 Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Ibrahim and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”
2:137 So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

Commentary: The Jews of Medina called on Muslims to embrace Judaism. Similarly, the Christian of Njran (a city in Yemen) called on Muslims to follow Christianity so that they might receive eternal salvation” [Al-Mizan, Vol.1, P. 469]:
وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى تَهْتَدُوا ……﴿١٣٥﴾
2:135 They say, “Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided.” ….
Without getting engaged in a theological debate, the verse advises Muslims to tell [(قُلْ)] that they follow the upright religion of Ibrahim [(مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا)] and that Ibrahim was not a polytheist [(وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ)]:
….قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿١٣٥﴾

2:135 ……Say, “Rather, [we follow] the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists.”

Allah (SWT) throughout history, has sent numerous prophets to invite people to His religion which is called “Islam”; literally, Islam means “submission to God”. Amongst the divine messengers, the verse 2:136 mentioned the names of Prophet Ibrahim, Ismael, Ishaq, Ya’quab, Al-Asbat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya`qub), Musa and Isa. They all came to invite mankind to God’s religion; from this perspective, no one should make any distinction between divine messengers, [(لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ)].
A true believer and follower of the religion of Islam believes first and foremost in Allah (SWT) [(قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ)], the Quran [(وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا)] and also whatever was revealed to other divine messengers [(…. وَمَا أُنزِلَ ….وَمَا أُوتِيَ ….)]. This is the doctrine of an individual who has truly submitted to Allah (SWT) [(وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ)]:
قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿١٣٦﴾

2:136 Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Ibrahim and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

At the end, the verse 2:137 avows if the Jews and Christians believe as Muslims do, then they are rightly guided [(فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا)]. Otherwise, they are in opposition [(فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ)].
فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ …..﴿١٣٧﴾

2:137 So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension….

In the end, the Quran encourages Muslims to be steadfast in their belief and firm in their decisions, since Allah is sufficient for believers against their adversaries.
…..فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿١٣٧﴾

2:137 …… and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

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

Appendix
The Arabic word of “haneef” [(حَنِيفً)] means a person who does not deviate from the truth in the least.

Word-for-Word Translation:

2:135 [وَقَالُوا] and they say [كُونُوا] be [هُودًا] Jews [أَوْ] or [نَصَارَى] Christians [تَهْتَدُوا] you would be guided [قُلْ] say [بَلْ] nay [مِلَّةَ] the religion of [إِبْرَاهِيمَ] Ibrahim [حَنِيفًا] the upright [وَ] and [مَا] not [كَانَ] he was [مِنَ] of [الْمُشْرِكِينَ] the Polytheists.
2:136 [قُولُوا] say [آمَنَّا] we believe [بِاللَّـهِ] n Allah [وَمَا] and what [أُنزِلَ] has been sent down [إِلَيْنَا] to us [وَمَا] and what [أُنزِلَ] has been sent down [إِلَى] to [إِبْرَاهِيمَ] Ibrahim [وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ] and Ismaeel, and Ishaq and Yaqoub [وَالْأَسْبَاطِ] and their descendants [وَمَا] and what [أُوتِيَ] was given [مُوسَى وَعِيسَى] to Musa and Isa [وَمَا] and what [أُوتِيَ] was given [النَّبِيُّونَ] to the prophets [مِن] from [رَّبِّهِمْ] their Lord [لَا] no [نُفَرِّقُ] distinction we make [بَيْنَ] between [أَحَدٍ] any [مِّنْهُمْ] of them [وَنَحْنُ] and we [لَهُ] to Him [مُسْلِمُونَ] are submissive
2:137 [فَإِنْ] so if [آمَنُوا] they believed [بِمِثْلِ] in the like of [مَا] what [آمَنتُم] you believed [بِهِ] in it [فَقَدِ] then [اهْتَدَوا] they have received guidance [وَّإِن] but if [تَوَلَّوْا] they turn away [فَإِنَّمَا] then only [هُمْ] they are [فِي] in [شِقَاقٍ] opposition [فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ] so will suffice you against them [اللَّـهُ] Allah [وَهُوَ] and He is [السَّمِيعُ] the All-Hearer [الْعَلِيمُ] All-knower

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