Assalamualaikum, we begin with a short introduction of Surah Al-Bayyina. The English meaning of this surah is “The Clear Proof, Evidence” and is the 98th surah of the Quran. It is a short Medinan surah consisting of 8 ayats.
This surah address why it was necessary for Allah to send down His messenger with The Quran. The surah opens by addressing the polytheists of Arabia, as well as those amongst the People of the Book who had fallen into disbelief. They needed a ‘clear proof’ or ‘evidence’ which is what Allah had sent them.
Read Surah Al-Bayyina With Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
Lam ya kunil lazeena kafaru min ahlil kitaabi wal mushri keena mun fak keena hattaa ta-tiya humul bayyinah
1. Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted [from misbelief] until there came to them clear evidence
Rasoolun mina Allahi yatloo suhufanmutahhara
2. A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures
Feeha kutubun qayyima
3. Within which are correct writings.
Wa maa tafarraqal lazeena ootul kitaaba il-la mim b’adi ma jaa-at humul baiyyinah
4. Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence.
Wa maa umiroo il-la liy’abu dul laaha mukhliseena lahud-deena huna faa-a wa yuqeemus salaahta wa yu-tuz zakaata; wa zaalika deenul qaiyimah
5. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.
Innal lazeena kafaru min ahlil kitaabi wal mushri keena fee nari jahan nama khaali deena feeha; ulaa-ika hum shar rul ba reeyah
6. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.
Inna allatheena amanoowaAAamiloo assalihati ola-ika humkhayru albariyya
7. Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds – those are the best of creatures.
Jazaohum AAinda rabbihim jannatuAAadnin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideenafeeha abadan radiya Allahu AAanhum waradooAAanhu thalika liman khashiya rabbah
8. Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever has feared his Lord.
Tafseer and Benefits of Surah Al-Bayyina
It’s important we learn from scholars that are reputable and intelligent. This Tafsir is by Ibn Kathir, a famous Mufassir (commentator of Quran). He is well known and respected for his keen memory and a highly regarded scholar of tafsir. The Tafsir of Ibn Kathir is known by many Muslims as a complete thorough explanation of The Quran and is often cited by many scholars in their research.
His books became popular during his lifetime, and since his death have benefited many people (Read Ibn Kathir Wikipedia for more background information).
The Messenger of Allah recited this Surah to Ubayy
Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah said to Ubayy bin Ka`b,
(Verily, Allah has commanded me to recite to you (Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture) Ubayy said, “He (Allah) mentioned me by name to you”
The Prophet replied, (Yes.) So he (Ubayy) cried. Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i all recorded this Hadith from Shu`bah.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture and the idolators, were not going to leave until there came to them the Bayyinah)
(2. A Messenger from Allah reciting purified pages)
(3. Wherein are upright Books)
(4. And the People of the Scripture differed not until after there came to them the Bayyinah)
(5. And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, making religion purely for Him alone, Hunafa’, and that they perform Salah and give Zakah, and that is the right religion)
Mentioning the Situation of the Disbelievers among the People of the Scripture and the Idolators
As for the People of the Scripture, they are the Jews and the Christians, and the idolators are the worshippers of idols and fire among the Arabs and the non-Arabs. Mujahid said, they are not going (to leave) “Meaning, they will not be finished until the truth becomes clear to them.”
Qatadah also said the same thing. (until there came to them the Bayyinah.) meaning, this Qur’an. This is why Allah says, (Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture and idolators, were not going to leave until there came to them the Bayyinah.)
Then He explains what the Bayyinah is by His saying, (A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified pages.) meaning, Muhammad and the Magnificent Qur’an he recites, which is written down among the most high gathering in purified pages.
This is similar to Allah’s statement, (In Records held in honor. Exalted, purified, in the hands of scribes (angels). Honorable and obedient.) (80:13-16) Then Allah says, (Wherein are upright Books.) Ibn Jarir said, “Meaning in the purified pages are Books from Allah that are upright, just and straight. They have no mistakes in them because they are from Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.”
The Differing only occurred after the Knowledge came
Allah says, (And the People of the Scripture differed not until after there came to them the Bayyinah.) This is similar to Allah’s statement, (And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the Bayyinat came to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.) (3:105)
This refers to the people of those divinely revealed Scriptures that were sent down to the nations that were before us. After Allah established the proofs and evidences against them, they divided and differed concerning that which Allah had intended in their Scriptures, and they had many differences.
This is like what has been reported in a Hadith that has many routes of transmission, (Verily, the Jews differed until they became seventy-one sects. And verily, the Christians differed until they became seventy-two sects. And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, and all of them will be in the Fire except one.) They said, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah” He replied, (Those who are upon) what I and my Companions are upon.)
The Command of Allah was merely that They make their Religion solely for Him
Allah says, (And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, making religion purely for Him alone,) This is similar to Allah’s statement, (And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him: La ilaha illa Ana.) (21:25)
Thus, Allah says, (Hunafa’) meaning, avoiding Shirk and being truly devout to Tawhid. This is like Allah’s statement, (And Verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah, and avoid the Taghut (false deities).”) (16:36)
A discussion of the word Hanif has already been mentioned previously and in Surat Al-An`am, so there is no need to repeat it here. (and perform Salah) And this is the best of the physical forms of worship. (and give Zakah,) This is doing good to the poor and the needy. (and that is the right religion.) meaning, the upright and just religion, or the nation that is straight and balanced.
(6. Verily, those who disbelieve from among the People of the Scripture and idolators, will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.) (7. Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.) (8. Their reward with their Lord is Eternal Gardens, underneath which rivers flow. They will abide therein forever, Allah will be pleased with them, and they well-pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.)
Mentioning the Worse and Best of Creation and Their Recompense
Allah informs of what will happen to the wicked disbelievers among the People of the Scripture and the idolators who oppose the Allah’s divinely revealed Books and the Prophets whom He sent. He says that they will be in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement and they will abide therein forever. This means that they will remain in it and they will have no way out of it and they will not cease being in it.
(They are the worst of creatures.) meaning, they are the worst creation that Allah has fashioned and created. Then Allah informs about the situation of the righteous people who believed in their hearts and performed righteous deeds with their bodies. He says that they are the best of creation.
Abu Hurayrah and a group of the scholars have used this Ayah as a proof that the believers have a status among the creatures that is better than the angels. This is because Allah says, (They are the best of creatures.)
Then Allah says, (Their reward with their Lord) meaning, on the Day of Judgement. (is Eternal Gardens underneath which rivers flow. They will abide therein forever,) meaning, having no end, no break and no conclusion. (Allah will be pleased with them, and they well-pleased with Him.)
The condition of Him being pleased with them is more illustri- ous than all of the everlasting delights that they will be given. (and they well-pleased with Him.) Due to the comprehensive favors He has given them. Then Allah says, (That is for him who fears his Lord.) meaning, this is the reward that will be attained by those who revere Allah and fear Him as He deserves to be feared.
This is the person who worships Allah as if he sees Him, and he knows that even though he does not see Him, indeed Allah sees him. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said, (Shall I not inform you of the best of creation) They said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, (A man who takes the reins of his horse in the way of Allah, and whenever there is a fearful cry from the enemy, he climbs upon it.
Shall I not inform you of the best of creation) They said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, (A man who has a flock of sheep and he establishes the prayer and gives the obligatory charity. Shall I not inform you of the worst of creation) They said, “Of course.” He said, (The person who is asked by Allah and he does not give by Him.)
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Lam Yakun (Al-Bayyinah), and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.