بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Ayah 62 – Faith and doing Righteous Deeds equal Salvation
After Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala described the condition – and punishment – of those who defy His commands, fall into His prohibitions and transgress set limits by committing prohibited acts, He stated that the earlier nations who were righteous and obedient received the rewards for their good deeds. This shall be the case, until the Day of Judgment. Therefore, whoever follows the unlettered Messenger and Prophet ﷺ shall acquire eternal happiness and shall neither fear from what will happen in the future nor become sad for what has been lost in the past.
The reason behind the disobedience of the Children of Israel was that their belief about the Hereafter had gone corrupt. They believed because they are the People of the Book – the Chosen people they are certainly going to Paradise. They called themselves the Children of Allah and considered themselves extra special, as today some Muslims falsely believe as well.
By revealing this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala clarifies the misconception. No person will enter Jannah solely based on their belief or actions. The correct belief (believe in the Oneness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala) followed with the righteous actions (done as per the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ) will lead us to Jannah. We cannot claim to be entering Jannah because we are Muslims. We must perform righteous deeds as taught by the Prophet ﷺ; we cannot invent our own forms of worship. Our deeds must conform to the Sunnah. Similarly, for one’s righteous deeds to be accepted their belief has to be right as well. A person who does not believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but actively participates in charity drives, all his deeds will be rejected.
LESSONS: Our salvation in the Hereafter does not depend on our association with a particular group. We must correct our belief and stick to the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ. We should also stop labeling each other Kafir and rather work on spreading the word of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, helping ourselves and others become well-pleasing to Him.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu that after this ayah 2:62, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed ayah 85 of Surah Aal-Imran and
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers,” (3: 85).
This statement by Ibn ‘Abbas indicates that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not accept any deed or work from anyone unless it conforms to the Law of Muhammad ﷺ that is after he was sent. Before that, every person who followed the guidance of his own prophet was on the correct path, following the correct guidance and was saved. When Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent Muhammad ﷺ as the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger to all of the Children of Adam, mankind was required to believe in him, obey him and refrain from what he prohibited them; those who do this are true believers. The Ummah of Muhammad was called Mumineen (believers), because of the depth of their faith and certainty, and because they believe in all of the previous Prophets and matters of the Unseen.
Why the Jews were called Yahud?
The Jews were the followers of Prophet Musa who used to refer to the Torah for judgment. Yahud is a word that means ‘repenting.’
Why the Christians were called Nasara?
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا أَنصَارَ اللَّهِ كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّينَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ ۖ
“O you who believe! Be you helpers (in the Cause) of Allah as said ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), to Al-Hawariun (the disciples): ‘Who are my helpers (in the Cause) of Allah?’ Al-Hawarieen (the disciples) said: ‘We are Allah’s helpers’ (i.e. we will strive in His Cause!)…” (61: 14)
It was said that they were called Nasara because they inhabited a land called An-Nasirah (Nazareth), as Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn ‘Abbas were reported to have said. Nasara is certainly plural of Nasran.
There is a difference of opinion over the identity of the Sabians. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Layth bin Abu Sulaym said that Mujahid said that, “The Sabians are between the Majus, the Jews and the Christians. They do not have a specific religion.” Similar is reported from Ibn Abi Najih. Similar statements were attributed to `Ata’ and Sa`id bin Jubayr. They (others) say that the Sabians are a sect among the People of the Book who used to read the Zabur (Psalms), others say that they are a people who worshipped the angels or the stars. It appears that the closest opinion to the truth, and Allah knows best, is Mujahid’s statement and those who agree with him like Wahb bin Munabbih, that the Sabians are neither Jews nor Christians nor Majus nor polytheists. Rather, they did not have a specific religion that they followed and enforced, because they remained living according to their Fitrah (instinctual nature). This is why the idolators used to call whoever embraced Islam a `Sabi’, meaning, that he abandoned all religions that existed on the earth. Some scholars stated that the Sabians are those who never received a message by any Prophet. And Allah knows best.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 62
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing,” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]