Al-Baqarah · Juz 3 · Qur'an Tafseer

Evil Deeds Nullify Good Deeds


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


Al-Baqarah Ayah 265 – It is Forbidden to Remind about Charity


The word ibtigha [ابْتِغَاءَ] is from the root letters ba-ghayn-ya and it means ‘sought after or desired’.

One person is spending so that people can see his good deed; another person is spending so that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will be pleased with him. Pleasing people brings no goodness, but when a person strives for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala his rewards are preserved.

[The Reward of Good Deeds depends on Intention]

The word tuthbeetan [َتَثْبِيتًا] from the root letters tha-ba-ta means ‘to stabilize something’. We have learned that emaan keeps increasing and decreasing. Spending in the Way of Allah or doing good deeds is mean to stabilize one’s heart. It makes people firm on the Straight Path. It can also be used to denote conviction meaning that a person does good deeds not because someone else forces them (such as parents, spouse or friends) but due to the conviction in their hearts. They know for sure that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will reward them for their righteous deeds with the best rewards. The best example is that of fasting person. No one knows who is fasting except the fasting person. A person fasts not to be seen by people but for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and he has conviction in his heart that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will reward him for his good deed.

[Rewards for Spending in the Way of Allah]

“…is like a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour – so it yields its fruits in double.”

The word Rabwah [ِرَبْوَة] from the root letters ra-ba-wau means ‘a height above the ground’. We know that the air in lands above sea-level is purer than that in the lowlands. The soil is fertile and produces quality fruits.

The word ukulaha [أُكُلَهَا] from the root letters hamza-kaf-lam means ‘fruit’.

The meaning of the ayah is that the garden on the Rabwah (or the highland) is always fertile, for if heavy rain does not fall on it, light rain will suffice for it. Such is the case regarding the believer’s good deeds, for they never become barren. Rather, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accepts the righteous deeds and increases them, each according to his deeds. This is why He said next, “And Allah is All-Seer of what you do.”

Compare the two ayaat (264 and 265). In ayah 264, the sowing ground was a huge rock. In ayah 265, the ground is a garden in the highlands. In ayah 264, there is heavy downpour that washes the harvest away. In ayah 265, it has been said that even if the rain is light, the ground will still produce good fruits because the soil is fertile. Why is there a disparity here? The disparity is due to the difference in intention. Corrupt intention will produce negative results. Sincere intention can bring many rewards.

Al-Baqarah Ayah 266 – Evil Deeds Nullify Good Deeds


Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said: This is an example set for a deed. For a wealthy man who works in Allah’s pleasure and then Allah sends Shaytan to him, and he works in disobedience, until he annuls his good works.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala save us from such an end, ameen.

Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu further explained a person plants date palms and vines and has all kinds of fruits therein. But he lost all this in his old age while his offspring and children are weak just before the end of his life. Then a lightning storm came and destroyed his garden. He did not have the strength to grow another garden, nor did his offspring offer enough help. This is the condition of the disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection when he returns to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For he will not have any good deeds to provide an excuse – or refuge – for him, just as the man in the parable had no strength to replant the garden. The disbeliever will not find anything to resort to for help, just as the offspring of the man in the parable did not provide him with help. So he will be deprived of his reward when he most needs it, just as the man in the parable was deprived of Allah’s garden when he most needed it, when he became old and his offspring weak.

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to say in his supplication,

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ أَوْسَعَ رِزْقِكَ عَلَيَ عِنْدَ كِبَرِ سِنِّي وَانْقِضَاءِ عُمُرِي

“O Allah! Make Your biggest provision for me when I am old in age and at the time my life ends.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the ayah by saying, “Thus does Allah make clear to you [His] ayaat that you might give thought.”

This ayah reminds us of the condition of those who were given a chance and then they wasted their deeds due to their negligence. How can people lose their deeds? By hurting or harming others. Therefore, we need to be careful about the statements that come out of our mouths and our actions.

[Watch Your Tongue]

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us from having regrets in the Hereafter, ameen.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 265 – 266

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

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