Surah Baqarah Ayat 131 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 131
When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.”
“Behold! his Lord said to him: “Bow (thy will to Me):” He said: “I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe.”
When his Lord said to him, “Surrender,” he promptly responded, “I have surrendered to the Lord of the Universe (and become a Muslim).”
When his Lord said to him, “Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”
When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds.
As his Lord said to him, “Surrender, ” (i.e., be muslim) he said, “I have surrendered to The Lord of the worlds.”
His Lord said to him, ‘Devote yourself to Me.’ Abraham replied, ‘I devote myself to the Lord of the Universe,’
Quran 2 Verse 131 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 131, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:131) Such was Abraham that when his Lord said to him: “Submit,” he said: “I have submitted to the Lord of the Universe.”
130. ‘Muslim’ signifies he who bows in obedience to God, who acknowledges God alone as his Sovereign, Lord and Master, and the only object of worship, devotion and service, who unreservedly surrenders himself to God and undertakes to live his life in accordance with the guidance that has come down from Him. Islam is the appellation which characterizes the above -mentioned belief and outlook which constitutes the core and kernel of the religion of all the Prophets who have appeared from time to time among different peoples and in different countries since the very beginning of human life.
130. And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who fools himself Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous. 131. When his Lord said to him, “Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).” 132. And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya`qub (Jacob) (saying), “O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.”
Allah refuted the disbelievers’ innovations of associating others with Allah in defiance of the religion of Ibrahim, the leader of the upright. Ibrahim always singled out Allah in worship, with sincerity, and he did not call upon others besides Allah. He did not commit Shirk, even for an instant. He disowned every other deity that was being worshipped instead of Allah and defied all his people in this regard. Prophet Ibrahim said,
(O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners (in worship with Allah). Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism), and I am not of Al-Mushrikin.) (6:78-79). Also, Allah said,
(And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship. “Except Him (i.e. I worship none but Allah alone) Who did create me; and verily, He will guide me”) (43:26-27),
(And Ibrahim’s invoking (of Allah) for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he (Ibrahim) had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to him (Ibrahim) that he (his father) was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah (one who invokes Allah with humility, glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing) (9:114), and,
(Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah (a leader having all the good qualities, or a nation), obedient to Allah, Hanif (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikin. (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) favors. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.) (16:120-122).
This is why Allah said here,
(And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim), meaning, abandons his path, way and method
(except him who fools himself) meaning, who commits injustice against himself by deviating from the truth, to wickedness. Such a person will be defying the path of he who was chosen in this life to be a true Imam, from the time he was young, until Allah chose him to be His Khalil, and who shall be among the successful in the Last Life. Is there anything more insane than deviating from this path and following the path of misguidance and deviation instead Is there more injustice than this Allah said,
(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed) (31:13).
Abu Al-`Aliyah and Qatadah said, “This Ayah (2:130) was revealed about the Jews who invented a practice that did not come from Allah and that defied the religion of Ibrahim.” Allah’s statement,
(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin. Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.) (3:67-68), testifies to this fact.
Allah said next,
(When his Lord said to him, “Submit (i. e. be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).”)
This Ayah indicates that Allah commanded Ibrahim to be sincere with Him and to abide and submit to Him; Ibrahim perfectly adhered to Allah’s command. Allah’s statement,
(And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Ya`qub) means, Ibrahim commanded his offspring to follow this religion, that is, Islam, for Allah. Or, the Ayah might be referring to Ibrahim’s words,
(I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists)).
This means that these Prophets loved these words so much that they preserved them until the time of death and advised their children to adhere to them after them. Similarly, Allah said,
(And he (Ibrahim) made it ﴿i.e. La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone)﴾ a Word lasting among his offspring, (true Monotheism)) (43:28).
It might be that Ibrahim advised his children, including Jacob, Isaac’s son, who were present. It appears, and Allah knows best, that Isaac was endowed with Jacob, during the lifetime of Ibrahim and Sarah, for the good news includes both of them in Allah’s statement,
(But We gave her (Sarah) glad tidings of Ishaq (Isaac), and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub (Jacob)) (11:71).
Also, if Jacob was not alive then, there would be no use here in mentioning him specifically among Isaac’s children. Also, Allah said in Surat Al-`Ankabut,
(And We bestowed on him (Ibrahim), Ishaq and Ya`qub, and We ordained among his offspring prophethood and the Book.) (29:27), and,
(And We bestowed upon him Ishaq, and (a grandson) Ya`qub) (21:72), thus, indicating that this occurred during Ibrahim’s lifetime. Also, Jacob built Bayt Al-Maqdis, as earlier books testified. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Dharr said, “I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which Masjid was built first’ He said, (Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Al-Ka`bah).) I said, `Then’ He said, (Bayt Al- Maqdis.) I said, `How many years later’ He said, (Forty years. )” Further, the advice that Jacob gave to his children, which we will soon mention, testifies that Jacob was among those who received the advice mentioned in Ayat above (2:130-132).
((Saying), “O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except as Muslims.”) meaning, perform righteous deeds during your lifetime and remain on this path, so that Allah will endow you with the favor of dying upon it. Usually, one dies upon the path that he lived on and is resurrected according to what he died on. Allah, the Most Generous, helps those who seek to do good deeds to remain on the righteous path.
This by no means contradicts the authentic Hadith that says,
(Man might perform the works of the people of Paradise until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from it, then the Book (destiny) takes precedence, and he performs the works of the people of the Fire and thus enters it. Also, man might perform the works of the people of the Fire until only a span of outstretched arms or a cubit separates him from the Fire, but the Book takes precedence and he performs the works of the people of Paradise and thus enters it.) Allah said, (92:5-10),
(As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him. And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And belies Al-Husna (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah). We will make smooth for him the path for evil),
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