Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:165-167)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
The Outcome of Taking Equals to Allah (SWT)
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ ﴿١٦٥﴾ إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ ﴿١٦٦﴾ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّـهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ ﴿١٦٧﴾
2:165 And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals to Him. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe have greater love for Allah. And if only the wrongdoers could see the torment that they will behold (on the Day of Resurrection), they would realize that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.
2:166 When (on that day of Judgment) those who were followed will disown the followers, and they will sight the punishment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.
2:167 Those who followed will say, ” If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us.” Thus, will Allah show them their deeds as regrets upon them. And they are never to emerge from the Fire.
The trait of the oneness of Allah (SWT) asserts that His essence is one, indivisible, and that His names and attributes are unique to Him [Al-Ikhas, 112:4]. For instance, He is the Lord of the universe and no one else can claim such a status.
Nevertheless, some people out of ignorance worship objects and consider them in equal status with the names and attributes of Allah (SWT). For instance, the polytheists of Mecca, during the rise of Islam, maintained the status of lordship for idols. Christians hold a similar status for Prophet Isa (AS) whereas Allah (SWT) alone is the Lord of the universes and no one else shares that status.
In a few instances, some religious scholars declare God’s forbidden acts as permissible, though Allah (SWT) is the only authority that can declare as to whether an act is lawful. Even though these scholars do not declare a divine status, the Quran states that they act like it, when they alter a divine law. Specifically, the Quran states: “Do not take one another (such scholars) as lords instead of Allah” [Al-Imran 3:64, At-Tawba 9:31]:
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ …… وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۚ ….﴿٦٤﴾
3:64 Say, “O People of the Scripture, …. and not take one another as lords instead of Allah…”
In a commentary of the above verse, Imam Baqir (AS) who said:
«وَاللَّهِ، مَا صَامُوا لَهُمْ وَلَا صَلَّوْا لَهُمْ، وَلكِنْ أَحَلُّوا لَهُمْ حَرَاماً، وَحَرَّمُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَلَالًا، فَاتَّبَعُوهُمْ».
By Allah, the people of the Book did not fast and pray for their religious scholars, but the religious scholars declared permissible what Allah (SWT) made forbidden and forbade what Allah (SWT) made permissible, and the people of the Book followed them [Tafseer–e–Namoona, Vol. 7, P. 365].
The aforementioned verses have two warnings for people who set equals to Allah (SWT):
1st Warning: There are people who set up equals and rivals with Allah (SWT) [(وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا)] and they love (glorify and worship) them as they should love Allah (SWT) [(يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ)]. But the love and affection of believers for Allah (SWT) is strong and deep compared to the love of polytheists for their deity [وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ))].
If only the wrongdoers could see [(وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا)] the torment that they would behold on the Day of Resurrection [(إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ)], then they would admit that all power belongs to Allah [(أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّـهِ جَمِيعًا)] and that Allah is severe in administering His punishment [(وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ)].
2nd Warnings: On the Day of Judgment, leaders of disbelief would disown (declare themselves innocent of) [(إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا)] those who followed them [(مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا)]. They will see the punishment [(وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ)] and then all relations that existed between them in this world will be cut off [(وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ)].
The disbelievers will say, if only we had one more chance to return to the worldly life, we would disown them as they have disowned us on this day [وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا))]. Thus, Allah will show them (the fruits of) their deeds as (nothing but) regrets [(كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّـهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ)]. These disbelievers are never to emerge from the fire [(وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ)]
اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة
“Andadan” (أَندَادًا) plural of “nad” (ندَ) is translated to rival, a person or thing that equals another in quality.
The phrase “believer have greater love for Allah” indicates that the love and affection of believers for Allah (SWT) is stronger and deeper compared to the love of polytheists for their deity [Tafseer–e–Namoona, Vol. 1, P. 365]. This has been reflected in Dua Kumail, where it states:
فَهَبْنِى صَبَرْتُ عَلى عَذابِکَ فَکَیْفَ أَصْبِرُ عَلى فِراقِکَ!