Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 54

Threatening to Replace the Believers with Another People if They Revert from Islam

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala emphasizes His mighty ability and states that whoever reverts from supporting His religion and establishing His Law, then He will replace them with whomever is better, mightier and more righteous in Allah’s religion and Law. He says,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِى اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

“O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him…”

If Muslims choose to leave Islam it does not affect Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He is Independent of them. He will make another set of people rise to take their place. He then gives us the virtues of those people. Those people can be clearly marked out by their distinguishable qualities. As Muslims we should keep these qualities in our minds because this ayah tells us that people who have such quality and character are welcome and dear in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Their first quality identified by the Qur’an is that Allah will love them and they will love Allah. How can one attain the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? He says in Surah ale-Imran ayah 31, “Say [O Prophet], ‘If you do love Allah, follow me; Allah shall love you…”

This tells us that one who wishes to attain Allah’s love should make the Sunnah of Rasoolullah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam the very pivot of life and develop a committed habit of following Sunnah in every aspect of life.

أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ

“…..humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers….”

The second quality of those people has been identified as “humble towards the believers; stern towards the disbelievers”

The word adhillah is the plural of both dhaleel and dhalul. Dhaleel means low or despicable while dhalul means soft and tractable i.e. easily controlled, docile. According to the majority of the commentators, this is the meaning of adhillah at this place. Even in matters of dispute, they can be controlled and mollified easily. They would set the dispute aside, even if they are right as the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “I am the guarantor of a home in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons dispute despite being in the right.”

The second word is aizzah which is the plural of Aziz which means dominant, strong and hard. So, the sense is that these people are hard and strong against the enemies of Allah and His deen who would be unable to control or manipulate them. This means that these people will love and hate, hold friendship and enmity not for personal reasons but for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

يُجَـهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ يَخَـفُونَ لَوْمَةَ لائِمٍ

“….fighting in the way of Allah, and never fearing the blame of the blamers.”

Fighting against forces of disbelief and apostasy is no easy task. In this confrontation, being in love with Allah or being soft towards believers and sterns towards disbelievers is not enough. Fighting the enemy required much stronger feeling and fervor.

To ensure that this feeling and fervor achieve its desired perfection, the fourth quality of these people will be that they will not care for any blame, censure or derogatory criticism directed against them while they were engaged in their efforts to upraise the true word of Allah and establish His deen.

ذلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ وَسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”

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