An-Nisa · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 150 – 152

Believing in Some Prophets and Rejecting Others is Kufr

Allah threatens those who disbelieve in Him and in His Messengers, such as the Jews and Christians, who differentiate between Allah and His Messengers regarding faith. They believe in some Prophets and reject others, following their desires, lusts and the practices of their forefathers. They do not follow any proof for such distinction, because there is no such proof. Rather, they follow their lusts and prejudices.

The Jews believe in the Prophets, except `Isa and Muhammad, peace be upon them. The Christians believe in the Prophets but reject their Final and Seal, and the most honored among the prophets, Muhammad, sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. In addition, the Samirah (Samaritans) do not believe in any Prophet after Yuwsha` (Joshua), the successor of Musa bin `Imran. The Majus (Zoroastrians) are said to believe only in a Prophet called Zoroaster, although they do not believe in the law he brought them casting it behind them, and Allah knows best. Therefore, whoever rejects only one of Allah’s Prophets, he will have disbelieved in all of them, because it is required from mankind to believe in every prophet whom Allah sent to the people of the earth. And whoever rejects one Prophet, out of envy, bias and personal whim, he only demonstrates that his faith in other Prophets is not valid, but an act of following desire and whim. This is why Allah said,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ

“Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers…”

Thus, Allah describes these people as disbelievers in Allah and His Messengers. How does one deny Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Emaan in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala means that one believes in His ruboobiyah, asma was sifaat and ulooheyah. Believing in ulooheyah is basically tawheed in ibadaah; believing that Allah alone is worthy of worship. How does one worship Allah? By the method taught by His Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam.  

وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً

“and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers saying, ‘We believe in some but reject others,’ and wish to adopt a way in between.”

Differentiating between Allah and His Messengers means believing in Allah but rejecting His Messenger, believing in some and reject others or accepting the Qur’an but rejecting the ahadeeth or Sunnah.

LESSONS:

– Emaan is not complete if one disbelieves in any one of the aspects of tawheed; ruboobiyah, asma was sifaat and ulooheyah.

– Emaan is not complete if one believes in Allah but rejects His Messengers, some Messengers or their Message.

– This ayah points towards adopting the policy of “pick and choose” in religion. Inventing things which are not present in the deen and rejecting those which are there. This should not be the attitude of a believer; accept the deen as it was brought to us by Rasoolullah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. 

In Ayah 151, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then describes the state of such people who reject His Messengers some or all;

أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ حَقّاً

“They are in truth disbelievers.”

Their disbelief in the Prophet they claim to believe in is clear. This is because their claimed faith in a certain Messenger is not true, for had they truly believed in him, they would have believed in other Messengers, especially if the other Messenger has a stronger proof for his truthfulness. Or at least, they would have strived hard to acquire knowledge of the truth of the other Messenger. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah saying,

وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً

“And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.”

This is just punishment for belittling the Prophets whom they disbelieved in, by ignoring what the Prophet brought to them from Allah, and because they are interested in the insignificant possessions of this world. Or, their behavior could be the result of their disbelief in the Prophet after they were aware of his truth, just as the Jewish rabbis did during the time of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah . The Jews envied the Messenger because of the great Prophethood that Allah gave him, and as a consequence, they denied the Messenger, defied him, became his enemies and fought against him. Allah sent humiliation upon them in this life, that shall be followed by disgrace in the Hereafter.

LESSONS:

– If a person alters the deen i.e. innovates things that were not originally there or denies some aspect of the deen is not on the right path because he has invented his own religion. He is clearly committing kufr.

– Such a person will have humiliating punishment because he is insulting the deen, he is denying the Messengers. For example, a child says to his father, “You’re not my father.” This is extremely disrespectful and insulting. So what about Allah and His Messengers?

– This humiliating punishment is there in the Hereafter, but they will also get some share here in the dunya. Such people will be covered in punishment.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then said in ayah 152,

وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ

“And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them”

This refers to the Ummah of Muhammad who believe in every Book that Allah has revealed and in every Prophet whom Allah has sent. Allah said in Surah al-Baqarah ayah 285,

ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ

“The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. All of them believe in Allah.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that for such people He has prepared great rewards for them, tremendous favor and a handsome bounty,

أُوْلَـئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً

“We shall give them their rewards; and Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

They will be rewarded for their faith in Allah and His Messengers and forgiven for their sin, if they have any. Here’s an emphasis on appreciating the efforts of a believer

LESSONS:

– We learn about the obligation of believing in all of the Messengers of Allah. This includes those who have been mentioned in the Qur’an and those about whom we have no idea where they were sent or what message they brought. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah Ghafir ayah 78, “And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you.”

– When a person has the correct belief or emaan then if a person lives with the correct emaan even if he commits mistakes he will be forgiven because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Ghafoor and Raheem.

– This ayah signifies the importance of having correct aqeedah.

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