Commentary on the Quran (Chapter 2:212)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Devotees of this World
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۘ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿٢١٢﴾
2:212 Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allah (SWT) are above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah (SWT) gives provision to whom God wills without account.
Commentary: An aristocratic minority among the Quraysh tribe mocked the poor and the impoverished believers such as Ammar, Bilal, etc. They asked sarcastically why the wealthy and affluent people were not following and believing in the Prophet.
In response to the criticism, the verse states that the devotees of this world value only wealth and power and have less regard for faith in God and the righteous deeds. Hence, they look down at poor and destitute believers, whereas the believers have a much better status than their critics.
In particular the verse asserts: “The life of this world is made to appear attractive for those who disbelieve” (زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا). Hence, “they mock those who believe” (وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا). They are oblivious that the righteous people will hold better positions than them on the Day of Resurrection (وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ). Indeed, “Allah (SWT) gives provision to whom God wills without reckoning” (وَاللَّـهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ).
The phrase “without reckoning” alludes that God’s rewards are not measured based on the virtue of our deeds, rather it is according to God’s unbounded grace and mercy.
2:112 [زُيِّنَ] Beautified [لِلَّذِينَ] for those who [كَفَرُوا] disbelieve [الْحَيَاةُ] is the life [الدُّنْيَا] of the world [وَيَسْخَرُونَ] and they ridicule [مِنَ] of [الَّذِينَ] those [آمَنُوا] who believed [ وَالَّذِينَ] And those who [اتَّقَوْا] fear Allah [فَوْقَهُمْ] they will be above them [يَوْمَ] on the Day [الْقِيَامَةِ] of Resurrection [وَاللَّـهُ] And Allah [يَرْزُقُ] provides [مَن] whom [ يَشَاءُ] He wills [بِغَيْرِ] without [حِسَابٍ] measure.