Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 116 – 117

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August 29, 2015 by Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Refuting the Claim that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has begotten a Son

These ayaat refute the Christians, the Jews and the Arab idolaters who claimed that the angels are Allah’s daughters.

UntitledThe Jews claimed that Prophet Uzayr [Ezra] ‘alayhi salaam was the son of God. They called themselves the Children of God. The Christians took Prophet ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam as the son of God and God himself [see At-Tawbah 9: 30]. The polytheists of Makkah considered the angels to be the daughters of God  [see An-Nahl 16: 57].

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refutes the claim by saying, “Glory is to Him,” meaning He is holier and more perfect than what they attribute to Him. He then presents His Attributes that are peculiar only to Him:

“…to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth,” no one else has a share in the heavens and the earth.

“All are devoutly obedient to Him,” meaning everything is subservient to Him. No one can interfere with His omnipotence.

“Originator of the heavens and the earth,” He is the Creator and the Inventor of the skies and the earth.

“When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is,” meaning His power of creation is so mighty that when He wishes to do something (such as creating something), He does not need any instruments or helpers — all that He does is to say, “Be,” and the thing comes into being.

These four qualities are not to be found in anyone other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. In fact, even those who attributed offspring to Him, believed in this truth. Thus, their claims to the contrary stand finally refuted.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not like the humans that He will be in need of a son or children. He is above all such needs. Were it at all possible, the situation would necessarily involve either of the two alternative characteristics – the offspring would belong either to the same species as the father does, or to a different species. If it belongs to a different kind, that obviously is a defect, while God in order to be God, has to be free from all the defects. If the offspring belongs to the same kind, that too is a contradiction, for God has no equal and no existent can belong to the same species as He does.

[Tafseer Surah Al-Ikhlas]

His is the kingdom of the heavens and earth and whatever and whoever is in, on and between them. Allah is the Supreme Authority in the heavens and earth, and He is the Creator, Provider and Sustainer Who decides all the affairs of the creation as He wills. All creatures are Allah’s servants and are owned by Him. Therefore, how could one of them be His son? The son of any being is born out of two comparable beings. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has no equal or rival sharing His grace and greatness.

In Surah Al-Anaam Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

بَدِيعُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُنْ لَّهُ صَـحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ وهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the Knower of everything.” (6:101)

[Tafseer Al-Anaam Ayah 101]

In Surah Mariam, it appears:

وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً – لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً – تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً – أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً – وَمَا يَنبَغِى لِلرَّحْمَـنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً – إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ آتِى الرَّحْمَـنِ عَبْداً – لَّقَدْ أَحْصَـهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً – وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً

“And they say: ‘The Most Gracious (Allah) has begotten a son (offspring or children).’ Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Gracious (Allah). But it is not suitable for (the majesty of) the Most Gracious (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children). There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious (Allah) as a servant. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And every one of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender).” (19: 88-95)

In these ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala stated that He is the Supreme Master for Whom there is no equal or rival. Everything and everyone was created by Him.  In the tafseer of this ayah (2: 116), Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

كَذّبَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذلِكَ، وَشَتَمَنِي وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذلِكَ، فَأَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ إِيَّايَ فَيَزْعُمُ أَنِّي لَا أَقْدِرُ أَنْ أُعِيدَهُ كَمَا كَانَ، وَأَمَّا شَتْمُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ لِي وَلَدًا فَسُبْحَانِي أَنْ أَتَّخِذَ صَاحِبَةً أَوْ وَلَدًا

“The son of Adam has denied Me, and that is not his right. He has insulted Me, and that is not his right. As for the denial of Me, he claimed that I am unable to bring him back as he used to be (i.e. resurrect him). As for his insulting Me, he claimed that I have a son. All praise is due to Me, it is unbefitting that I should have a wife or a son.”

It is recorded in the Two Saheehs that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ: إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم

“No one is more patient when hearing an insult than Allah. They attribute a son to Him, yet He still gives them sustenance and health.”

The Meaning of Badi [بَدِيعُ]

The word Badi means to create something from scratch. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala created the heavens and the earth when nothing resembling them existed. Mujahid and As-Suddi said that this is the linguistic meaning, for all new matters are called Bid’ah [innovations].

Ibn Jarir said, “Thus the meaning of the ayaat (2:116-117) becomes, ‘Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is far more glorious than to have had a son, for He is the Owner of everything that is in the heavens and earth. All testify to His Oneness and to their submissiveness to Him. He is their Creator and Maker. Without created precedence, He shaped the creatures in their current shapes. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala also bears witness to His servants that ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam, who some claimed to be Allah’s son, is among those who testify to His Oneness. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala stated that He created the heavens and earth out of nothing and without precedent. Likewise, He created Jesus, the Messiah, with His power and without a father.”

[‘Eesa (Jesus) will reject Shirk and Affirm Tawheed]

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “When He decrees a matter, He only says to it : ‘Be!’ ـ and it is.” This demonstrates His perfectly complete ability and tremendous authority. If He decides a matter, He merely orders it to, ‘Be’ and it comes into existence. Similarly, in other places in the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

“Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ – and it is.” [Ya-Seen 36:82]

And,

وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ

“And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.” [Al-Qamar 54:50]

Similarly, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informs us that He created ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam by merely saying, “Be!” and he was, as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala willed:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

“Verily, the likeness of ‘Eesa [Jesus] before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ – and he was.” [Aal-Imran 3: 59]

LESSONS:

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says that everything that He created is devoutly obedient to Him. Look at the sun and moon. Have they ever switched their timings or refused to come out? Every day, they appear at their appointed time. They have been doing so for thousands of years; ever since they were created. Yet, human beings – the ‘best’ creation – are disobedient and work according to their own moods. We lack discipline and commitment in our lives. We devoutly worship Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala one day or in the month of Ramadan, and never return to the mosque unless it’s a Friday or another Ramadan or someone dies in the family. We make long du’as when we are struck by a calamity, but when things are okay we return to our average worship. We follow our desires more than we follow the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

We need to correct our creed [aqeedah] because it is the distortion in creed that leads to sects. Not only does that deviate us from the right path but also causes differences and enmity between the Muslims.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al-Baqarah Ayaat 116 – 117

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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