Surah Hajj >> Currently viewing Surah Hajj Ayat 11 (22:11)

Surah Hajj Ayat 11 in Arabic Text

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرْفٍۢ ۖ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُۥ خَيْرٌ ٱطْمَأَنَّ بِهِۦ ۖ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ ٱنقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِۦ خَسِرَ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْـَٔاخِرَةَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلْخُسْرَانُ ٱلْمُبِينُ
Wa minan naasi mai ya’budul laaha ‘alaa harfin fa in asaabahoo khairunit maanna bihee wa in asaabat hu fitnatunin qalaba ‘alaa wajhihee khasirad dunyaa wal aakhirah; zaalika huwal khusraanul mubeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 11

Sahih International
And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.

Yusuf Ali
There are among men some who serve Allah, as it were, on the verge: if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces: they lose both this world and the Hereafter: that is loss for all to see!

Abul Ala Maududi
And among people is he who worships Allah on the borderline; if any good befalls him, he is satisfied; but if a trial afflicts him, he utterly turns away. He will incur the loss of this world and the Hereafter. That indeed is a clear loss.

Muhsin Khan
And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.

Pickthall
And among mankind is he who worshippeth Allah upon a narrow marge so that if good befalleth him he is content therewith, but if a trial befalleth him, he falleth away utterly. He loseth both the world and the Hereafter. That is the sheer loss.

Dr. Ghali
And among mankind is he who worships Allah upon the (very) edge; (Literally: as a child) so in case a charitable gain alights upon (i.e., dies) him he is composed therewith, and in case a temptation afflicts him he turns over his face; he loses the present (life) and the Hereafter; that evidently is the greatest loss.

Abdel Haleem
There are also some who serve God with unsteady faith: if something good comes their way, they are satisfied, but if they are tested, they revert to their old ways, losing both this world and the next- that is the clearest loss.

Quran 22 Verse 11 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Hajj ayat 11, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(22:11) And among people is he who worships Allah on the borderline; if any good befalls him,[15] he is satisfied; but if a trial afflicts him, he utterly turns away.[16] He will incur the loss of this world and the Hereafter. That indeed is a clear loss.[17]


15. This type of man is a time server, who stands on the boundary line between Islam and kufr so that he may join the winning side whether it be Islam or kufr.

16. As this type of man has a weak character and wavers between kufr and Islam he becomes the slave of his self. He accepts Islam for the sake of self interest. He is faithful to it if all his wishes are fulfilled and he has a life of ease and comfort, he is well-pleased with his Allah and is firm in his faith. On the contrary, if his faith demands some sacrifice from him, or he is visited by some affliction, or encounters some hardship and loss in the way of Allah, or he does not have his way, he begins to waver about the Godhead of Allah and the Prophethood of the Messenger and becomes skeptical about everything of the faith. Then he is ready to bow down before any power from which he expects some benefit and security from loss.

17. This is a great moral proposition that has been stated concisely. The fact is that the wavering man remains a loser in this world as well as in the next world, and fares worse even than an unbeliever. The unbeliever applies himself exclusively to the benefits of this world and becomes more or less successful in his object because he is not handicapped by the fear of Allah, accountability of the Hereafter and restrictions of divine law. Likewise, a true believer follows the way of Allah with fortitude and perseverance and may as well become successful in this world, but even if he loses it altogether, he is assured of success in the next world. But the wavering Muslim becomes a loser both in this world and in the next world because he is handicapped by doubt and indecision and cannot make his choice between the two worlds. As he cannot decide whether there is Allah and the Hereafter, he cannot apply himself exclusively to the worldly affairs with that single-mindedness which the unbeliever enjoys. And when he thinks of Allah and the Hereafter, the allurements of this world and the fear of the disadvantages here and the abhorrence of observing the divine restrictions do not let him apply himself exclusively to the demands of the Hereafter. This conflict between God worship and world worship makes him a loser in this world as well as in the next.

Ibn-Kathir

11. And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge: if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a Fitnah strikes him, he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss. 12. He calls besides Allah unto that which can neither harm him nor profit him. That is a straying far away. 13. He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit; certainly an evil Mawla and certainly an evil `Ashir!


The meaning of worshipping Allah as it were upon the edge

Mujahid, Qatadah and others said:

﴿عَلَى حَرْفٍ﴾

(upon the edge) means, in doubt. Others said that it meant on the edge, such as on the edge or side of a mountain, i.e., (this person) enters Islam on the edge, and if he finds what he likes he will continue, otherwise he will leave. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ﴾

(And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge.) “People would come to Al-Madinah ﴿to declare their Islam﴾ and if their wives gave birth to sons and their mares gave birth to foals, they would say, `This is a good religion,’ but if their wives and their mares did not give birth, they would say, `This is a bad religion.”’ Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “One of them would come to Al-Madinah, which was a land that was infected with a contagious disease. If he remained healthy there, and his mare foaled and his wife gave birth to a boy, he would be content, and would say, `I have not experienced anything but good since I started to follow this religion.”

﴿وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ﴾

(but if a Fitnah strikes him), Fitnah here means affliction, i.e., if the disease of Al-Madinah befalls him, and his wife gives birth to a babe girl and charity is delayed in coming to him, the Shaytan comes to him and says: `By Allah, since you started to follow this religion of yours, you have experienced nothing but bad things,’ and this is the Fitnah.” This was also mentioned by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jurayj and others among the Salaf when explaining this Ayah. Mujahid said, concerning the Ayah:

﴿انْقَلَبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ﴾

(he turns back on his face.) “(This means), he becomes an apostate and a disbeliever.”

﴿خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةَ﴾

(He loses both this world and the Hereafter.) means, he does not gain anything in this world. As for the Hereafter, he has disbelieved in Allah the Almighty, so he will be utterly doomed and humiliated. So Allah says:

﴿ذلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَنُ الْمُبِينُ﴾

(That is the evident loss.), i.e., the greatest loss and the losing deal.

﴿يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَضُرُّهُ وَمَا لاَ يَنفَعُهُ﴾

(He calls besides Allah unto that which can neither harm him nor profit him.) means, the idols, rivals, and false gods which he calls upon for help, support and provision — they can neither benefit him nor harm him.

﴿ذلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلاَلُ الْبَعِيدُ﴾

(That is a straying far away.)

﴿يَدْعُو لَمَنْ ضَرُّهُ أَقْرَبُ مِن نَّفْعِهِ﴾

(He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit;) means, he is more likely to harm him than benefit him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will most certainly cause him harm.

﴿لَبِئْسَ الْمَوْلَى وَلَبِئْسَ الْعَشِيرُ﴾

(certainly an evil Mawla and certainly an evil `Ashir!) Mujahid said, “This means the idols.” The meaning is: “How evil a friend is this one upon whom he calls instead of Allah as a helper and supporter.”

﴿وَلَبِئْسَ الْعَشِيرُ﴾

(and certainly an evil `Ashir!) means the one with whom one mixes and spends one’s time.

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