Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:114)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
The Great Injustice
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن مَّنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّـهِ أَن يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَىٰ فِي خَرَابِهَا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ أَن يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلَّا خَائِفِينَ ۚ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿١١٤﴾
2:114 Who is more unjust than those who forbids the remembrance of God’s name in places of worship, and strive to their ruin? These (unjust individuals) ought not to enter them (the places of worship) except in fear. For them is disgrace in this world, and for them is a terrible punishment in the Hereafter.
Commentary: Throughout the history of human civilization, most divine messengers, along with their companions, were persecuted for practicing their religious beliefs. The suffering that the Prophet (SAW) experienced during the 23 years of his mission, along with the tragedies experienced by his Ahl al-Bayt [اهل البیت] are strong evidences in support of this argument.
The mission of the Prophet of Islam lasted 23 years: 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina. The pagans of Mecca harassed and persecuted the Prophet, and tortured and killed his companions. They imposed economic sanctions and banned trading with the Prophet and his companions. Nevertheless, the Prophet stood resolute on his mission.
Once the Prophet learned that idolaters of Mecca planned to ambush his home and kill him on his bed, the Prophet migrated to Medina for his safety, with the command of Allah (SWT), However, the Prophet still was not immune from the malicious idolaters. They engaged in several major battles against the Prophet and continued aggression against the Prophet and his followers.
Six years passed, and the Prophet and his companions deeply missed making the pilgrimage of the sacred Masjid [المسجد الحرام]. Such a journey was impossible, since the city of Mecca was under the control of tribal leaders who opposed the Prophet.
One night, the Prophet had a vision that he had entered the sacred Mosque and performed the ritual of pilgrimage to the sacred Mosjid along with his companions. Elated by this experience, he enthusiastically shared his vision with the Muslims of Medina and asked them to join him for a pilgrimage to Mecca. Having been barred from Mecca for the previous six years, these early Muslims were eager to return to Mecca peacefully for the sole purpose of worship.
The Prophet and 1,400 of his companions donned themselves with the clothing of Ihram and set forth from Medina to Mecca. Among their possessions were livestock intended for sacrifice and light arms intended for personal protection. During this journey, the Prophet and his followers set camp at “Hudibyah”, located at a two miles distance from Mecca. The rulers of Mecca, aware of the Prophet’s arrival, blocked entrance to the city and prevented the Prophet and his companions from performing the pilgrimage of Hajj.
The following verse was revealed and asserts that it is a great injustice to forbid people from worshipping Allah (SWT) in righteous places of worship:
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن مَّنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّـهِ أَن يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَىٰ فِي خَرَابِهَا …….. ﴿١١٤﴾
2:114 Who is more unjust than those who forbids the remembrance of God’s name in places of worship, and strive to their ruin?
The verse declares that a divine disgrace in this world and a terrible punishment in the Hereafter is waiting for unjust people.
….. لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿١١٤﴾
2:114 For them is disgrace in this world, and for them is a terrible punishment in the Hereafter.
The verse inspired the Prophet and his companions to gain control of the places of worship so that unjust people “could not enter the places of worship except in fear”.
……أُولَـٰئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ أَن يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلَّا خَائِفِينَ …..﴿١١٤﴾
2:114 …These (unjust individuals) ought not to enter them (the places of worship) except in fear.
The aforementioned verse indirectly warns believers against abandoning their houses of worship, which results in their ruin and destruction over time.
«اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة»
(O Allah! Make our end better in all affairs, and save us from disgrace in this life and the torment of the Hereafter.)
The Hijri year is the Islamic lunar calendar, which begin its count from the migration of the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) from Mecca to Medina in the year of 622 CE.
2:114 [وَمَنْ] and who is [أَظْلَمُ] greater unjust [مِمَّن] than those who [مَّنَعَ] forbid [مَسَاجِدَ] masjeds [اللَّـهِ] of Allah (SWT) [أَن] to [يُذْكَرَ] be remembered [فِيهَا] in them [اسْمُهُ] His name [وَسَعَىٰ] and strive [فِي] in [خَرَابِهَا] their ruin [أُولَـٰئِكَ] these people [مَا] not [كَانَ] was [لَهُمْ] for them [أَن] to [يَدْخُلُوهَا] enter them [إِلَّا] except [خَائِفِينَ] in fear [لَهُمْ] for them [فِي] in [الدُّنْيَا] this word [خِزْيٌ] is disgrace [وَلَهُمْ] and for them [فِي] in [الْآخِرَةِ] the Hereafter [عَذَابٌ] torment [عَظِيمٌ] is great