Al-Anaam · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayaat 53 and 54

Believing in Allah is the Real Honor

In the previous ayah we learnt the instruction of not shunning away someone because of their worldly status. A person’s status is not ascertained by the clothes he wears or the house that he lives in. What makes one honorable in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is their emaan [faith] and not money.

In ayah 53, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala explains the wisdom behind creating differences between people. He says,


Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala tests people through other people. The disbelieving chiefs of Makkah were tested by the poor believing slaves. They became a fitnah for them. When they saw the attendees to Prophet’s sermons to be the poor downtrodden slaves, they refused to join in because they considered themselves too honorable to sit next to underprivileged people. This was a test for them to help them see how those whom they considered lowly attained honor and recognition just because of their belief in Allah and His Messenger sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam. The chiefs of Quraysh failed the test.

When Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked Abu Sufyan, “Do the noblemen or the weak among people follow him [Muhammad]?” Abu Sufyan replied, “Rather the weak among them.” Heraclius commented, “Such is the case with followers of the Messengers.”

The idolators of Quryash used to mock and torture believing slaves. They used to say, “Are these the ones whom Allah favored upon us?” Meaning, Allah would not guide these people, instead of us, to all that is good, if indeed what they embraced is good.

Other similar statements of the disbelievers have been recorded in Qur’an. In Surah al-Ahqaf Ayah 11 it has been recorded that the disbelievers say,


Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in Surah Mariam Ayah 73,


Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says in reply to their disbelief over Allah’s justice, “Is Allah not more knowledgeable of those who are grateful?” Who are the grateful ones? They are those who thank and appreciate Him by their words, deeds and hearts. As a reward for their gratitude, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala brings them out of darkness and guides them to the straight path.

In another ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala said,


An authentic hadeeth states,

إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَلَا إِلَى أَلْوَانِكُمْ، وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُم

Allah does not look at your shapes or colors, but He looks at your heart and actions.

Therefore, Allah knows who deserves what. It is extreme arrogance to object to Allah’s decisions.

Ayah 54
Mercy is for All the Believers

In Ayah 54, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is teaching us the manners of greeting the believers regardless of their worldly status. He says,


Why has a command for “Salaam” being given here? It may be that the Quraysh’s demand to remove the downtrodden people from Prophet’s gathering scared the poor believers. Therefore by saying, “Peace be upon you,” the poor believers are being comforted that they are safe, protected and welcomed. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has taken upon himself that mercy shall be shown to them. Therefore, they should not be frightened or nervous.

By using the word, “Rabb” the assertion has been provided that Allah is your Nurturer, Nourisher and Sustainer.

Why is mercy being mentioned upon here? It is because being guided to Islam is a rahmah from Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Had the believers not being guided then what else would have made them honorable in the Sight of Allah?

Any person who disobeys Allah does so in ignorance. If he repents for the sins, commits not to repeat them and does righteous deeds, he will find Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.


– People are fitnah for one another. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala puts us in trial through people in our lives and He puts others in trial through us. Man becomes a test for another man. It could be our family, friends, teachers, boss, co-worker or anyone. Everyone is a trial for another.

– Majority of the people who respond to the call of emaan are poor and weak people. As we learnt in Heraclius’s story. It is because the poor people know how to sacrifice while the rich people have made this dunya their Paradise. Since all the teachings are going against what the rich do, why would they sacrifice?

– We should greet all the believers whether they are known to us or not, rich or poor, famous or unknown, we like them or not, whenever we see them we should say Salaam to them. Generally, we greet only those who we know, like or are rich; we don’t even look at others as if they don’t exist. If Allah is so Merciful that He has guided them to Islam, shouldn’t we at least say Salaam? If Allah is giving them rizq who are we to hold a grudge?

– Good news should be communicated along with warnings. Positive words should be said to struggling Muslims.

– Every disobedient person is ignorant no matter how educated he is. If one does not know how to obey Allah, his knowledge is not going to help him. Therefore, our focus should not be on how much knowledge we have acquired but rather how much we have reformed ourselves.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayaat 53 and 54

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