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Al-Mizan Tafseer

In The Name of Allah, the Beneficent and the Most Merciful


Volume 1: Surah Baqarah, Verses 8-20

And there are some people who say: "We believe in Allah and in the last day"; while they are not at all believers (8). They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe and they do not deceive except themselves and they do not perceive (9). There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and for them is a painful chastisement because of the lie they were saying (10). And when it is said to them, "Do not make mischief in the land", they say: "We are but peace-makers" (11). Now surely they themselves are the mischief-makers, but they do not perceive (12). And when it is said to them: "Believe as the people have believed", they say: "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Now surely they themselves are the fools, but  they do not know (13). And when they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe"; and when they are alone with their Satans, they say: "Surely we are with you, we were only mocking" (14). Allah pays them back their mockery, and leaves them alone in their rebellion blindly wandering on (15). These are they who buy error for the guidance, so their bargain brings (them) no gain, nor are they guided aright (16). Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled afire, but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness - they do not see (17). Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they will not turn back (18). Or like an abundant rain from the heaven in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peals, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers (19). The lightning almost takes away their sight; whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still; and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have taken away their hearing and their sight; surely Allah has power over all things (20).

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These thirteen verses are about the hypocrites. We shall discuss this subject in detail in Chapter 63 (The Hypocrites) and in some other places.

QUR’AN: They desire to deceive:

"al-Khad'ah" is deceit, duplicity.

QUR'AN: When they are alone with their Satans:

"ash-Shaytan" means evil, wicked; that is why the lblis is called the Satan.

QUR'AN: Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire . . . they will not return:

The hypocrites are like a man who is surrounded by a blinding darkness in which he cannot distinguish good from bad, beneficial from harmful; to remove it he kindles a fire, and in its light is able to see to some distance around it; then as soon as it has illumined all around, Allah, extinguishes it by wind, rain or some other thing like it and he is left as he was before - in utter darkness. And now he is pressed between two darkness - that of the night and that of bewilderment and nullity of his endeavor. This parable fits exactly on hypocrites. A hypocrite declares himself to be a Muslim, and through it gains some benefits, as he is treated as a Muslim in matters of marriage and inheritance etc. But as soon as death approaches - the time when the real and complete benefits of Islam should have appeared - Allah takes away the light, nullifies his deeds and leaves him in utter darkness in which he cannot see at all. Thus he falls between two darkness - his original one and the one he added with his dark deeds.

QUR'AN: Or like an abundant rain . . . Allah has power over all things:

"as-Sayyib" (abundant rain); "al-barq" (lightning; flesh of lightning); "al-ra'd" (thunder that is heard after lightning) ; "as - sa 'iqah" (thunderbolt, to strike with lightning).

This is another example for the hypocrites. A man is caught in a rain pour; darkness surrounds him, he is unable to see around and loses his bearings. The rain tells him to run away; to find shelter somewhere, but darkness prevents him from it; frightening thunder and lightning-bolts have overwhelmed him, yet when lightning appears he tries to take its advantage by walking ahead in its light - but it appears only for a fleeting moment and then disappears; whenever it shines he walks ahead and when darkness engulfs him again he stops.

A hypocrite is exactly in the same position. He does not like Islam, but has to profess to be a Muslim. His words do no reach his heart what he says is different from what he believes in his heart. Because of this discrepancy his path is not illuminated as it should have been. The result is that he gropes about aimlessly and stumbles every now and then; he walks a little and then stops Thus Allah punishes him with disgrace; and had He wished so, He would have taken away his sight and hearing, thereby disgracing him on the very first day.

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