Surah Bayyinah Ayat 1 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 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 –
Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence,-
Those who disbelieved – be they from the People of the Book or from those who associated others with Allah in His Divinity – will not desist from unbelief until the Clear Proof should come to them;
Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikun, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.
Those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters could not have left off (erring) till the clear proof came unto them,
(The ones) who have disbelieved among the population of the Book (Or: family of the Book; i.e., the Jews and Christians) and the associators (Those who associate others with Allah) could not have left off (erring) until the Supreme Evidence came up to them
Those who disbelieve among the People of the Book and the idolaters were not about to change their ways until they were sent clear evidence,
Quran 98 Verse 1 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Bayyinah ayat 1, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(98:1) Those who disbelieved – be they from the People of the Book or from those who associated others with Allah in His Divinity – will not desist from unbelief until the Clear Proof should come to them;
1. Here the word kufr (unbelief) has been used in its widestsense, which includes different forms of the unbelievingattitude. For example, some were unbelievers in the sensethat they did not acknowledge Allah at all; some didacknowledge Allah but did not regard Him as the One andonly God, but worshipped others as well, thinking theywere associates in divine Being or divine attributes andpowers in one way or the other; some acknowledgedoneness of God but committed some kind of shirk as well;some acknowledged God but did not acknowledge HisProphets and the guidance brought by them; someacknowledged one particular Prophet and did notacknowledge another; others rejected the Hereafter. Inshort, there were different kinds of kufr in which the peoplewere involved. And the statement: The disbelievers fromamong the people of the Book and those who associate, doesnot mean that some of them were not involved in kufr, butthat those who were involved in kufr were of two kinds: thefollowers of the Book and the mushriks. Here, min (among)has not been used for division but for explanation, as forexample, in ( Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 30), where it has been saidFajtanib-ur rijsa min al-authan, which means: Therefore,guard yourselves against the filth of idols, and not, guardyourselves against the filth which is in the idols. Likewise,alladhina kafaru min ahl-il-Kitabi wal-mushrikin means: thedisbelievers from among the followers of the Book and themushriks, and not, those who have disbelieved from thesetwo groups.
2. Despite the common factor of kufr between them the twogroups have been mentioned by separate names. Thefollowers of the Book imply the people who possessed anyof the revealed Books, even if in corrupted form, sent to theformer Prophets, and they believed in it. And the mushriks(idolaters) imply the people who did not follow any Prophetnor believed in any Book. Although in the Quran the shirk,(polytheism, idolatry) of the people of the Book has beenmentioned at many places, e.g. about the Christians it hasbeen said: They say: God is one of the three (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 73);The Messiah is son of God (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 30);The Messiah, son of Mary, is God (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 17). And about the Jews it hasbeen said: They say: Ezra is son of God (Surah At-Taubah,Ayat 30), yet nowhere in the Quran has the term mushrikbeen used for them, but they have been mentioned asalladhina ul-ul-Kitaba (those who were given the Book), orby the words Jews and Christians. For they believed in theprinciple of Tauhid (Oneness of God) as the true religion,and then committed shirk. Contrary to this, for others thanthe followers of the Book, the word mushrik has been usedas a term, for they acknowledged shirk (idolatry) as truereligion and dis-acknowledged Tauhid. This distinctionbetween the two groups holds good not only in the use ofthe term but also in the Shariah injunctions. Animal fleshduly slaughtered by the followers of the Book has beendeclared lawful for the Muslims if they slaughter a lawfulanimal in the name of Allah in the prescribed way, andpermission to marry their women has also been given. Onthe contrary, neither the animal slaughtered by themushriks is lawful for the Muslims nor is marriage withtheir women.
3. That is, there was no means of their being freed fromthis state of unbelief except that a clear evidence (of thetruth) should come and make them understand the falsityof every form of kufr and its being untrue, and shouldpresent the right way before them in a clear and rationalway. This does not mean that after the coming of the clearevidence they would give up kufr but that in the absence ofthe clear evidence it was not at all possible that they wouldbe delivered from that state. However, if even after itscoming, some of them still persisted in their kufr, then theythemselves would be responsible for it; they could notcomplain that Allah had made no arrangement for theirguidance. This same thing bas been expressed in the Quranat different places in different ways, e.g. in (Surah An-Nahl,Ayat 9), it is said: Allah has taken upon Himself to show theright way; in (Surah Al-Lail, Ayat 12), it is said: It is for Usto show the way; in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 163-165): O!Prophet, We have sent revelation to you just as We hadsent it to Noah and other Prophets after him (peace beupon them all)… All these Messengers were sent as bearersof good news and warners so that, after their coming, thepeople should have no excuse left to plead before Allah; andin (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 19): O people of the Book, thisMessenger of Ours has come to you and is making clear toyou the teachings of the right way after a long intervalduring which there had come no Messengers, lest youshould say: No bearer of good news nor warner came to us.Lo, now the bearer of good news and warner has come.
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.
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.”
(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.)
(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.
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