Surah Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 137 (2:137)

Surah Baqarah Ayah 137 in Arabic:

 فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنْتُمْ بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ ۖ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Transliteration: Fa-in amanoo bimithli ma amantumbihi faqadi ihtadaw wa-in tawallaw fa-innama hum fee shiqaqinfasayakfeekahumu Allahu wahuwa assameeAAualAAaleem


English Translation:

DR. GHALI So, in case they believe in the like of whatever you have believed in, then they are readily guided; and in case they turn away, then surely they are only in opposition; so Allah will soon suffice you for them; and He is The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Knowing.

MUHSIN KHAN So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

PICKTHALL And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.

SAHIH INTERNATIONAL So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

YUSUF ALI So if they believe as ye believe, they are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are in schism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

MUFTI TAQI USMANI So, if they believe in the same way as you believe, they will have certainly found the right path, and if they turn away, then the fact is that they are in antagonism. Then Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

ABDUL HALEEM So if they believe like you do, they will be rightly guided. But if they turn their backs, then they will be entrenched in opposition. God will protect you from them: He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. And say [believers],

ABUL ALA MAUDUDI And then if they come to believe as you believe, they are on right guidance; and if they turn away, then quite obviously they have merely fallen into opposition to the Truth. Allah will suffice you for protection against them. He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

DR. MUSTAFA KHATTAB So if they believe in what you believe, then they will indeed be ˹rightly˺ guided. But if they turn away, they are simply opposed ˹to the truth˺. But Allah will spare you their evil. For He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Surah Baqarah Ayat 137 Tafseer

Here you can expand your knowledge by reading a detailed explanation of this ayah of Surah baqarah from various tafseer and Qur’an commentators.

Allah said, if they, the disbelievers among the People of the Book and other disbelievers, believe in all of Allah’s Books and Messengers and do not differentiate between any of them,

﴿فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ﴾


(then they are rightly guided) meaning, they would acquire the truth and be directed to it.

﴿وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ﴾


(but if they turn away) from truth to falsehood after proof had been presented to them,

﴿فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِى شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ﴾


(then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them) meaning, Allah will aid the believers against them,

﴿وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ﴾


(And He is the Hearer, the Knower). Allah said,

﴿صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ﴾


(The Sibghah of Allah). Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, “The religion of Allah.” This Tafsir was also reported of Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah, Ibrahim, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdullah bin Kathir, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and other scholars. The Ayah,

﴿فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ﴾


(Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism)) (30:30) directs Muslims to, “Hold to it.”

Tafseer Ayats 135-137

The Argument Is Finally Settled

Against this historical background of God’s covenant with Abraham, the building of the Ka`bah and the entitlement to the religious heritage of Abraham, the sūrah takes a closer look at some Jewish and Christian arguments and claims. It exposes the weakness in those arguments and the insidious ulterior motives behind them. The passage is rounded off by presenting Islam as man’s comprehensive and universal religion, opposed and rejected only by those who are stubborn and ungrateful:

They say, ‘Follow the Jewish faith — or, follow the Christian faith — and you shall be rightly guided.’ Say, ‘No. We follow the faith of Abraham, who was truly devoted to God, and was not of those who associated partners with God.’ Say [all of you], ‘We believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and in what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and in what all prophets have been given by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to God we have surrendered ourselves. ‘ If they come to believe in the way you believe, they will be rightly guided; but if they turn away, they will be in schism, but God will protect you from them; He hears all and knows all.’ (Verses 135-137)

The Prophet is instructed here to confront the Jews and the Christians together with the same challenge, and call upon them equally to revert, together with the Muslims, to the original religion of Abraham, the founding father of the faith of Islam on earth. He was the one to make a covenant with God and he was true to his covenant.

Then the Muslims are called upon to acknowledge and declare an overall unity of faith, from that of Abraham right up to that of Jesus and Muhammad.

The principle of the unity and universality of faith, and the unity of all prophets and messengers all through the ages, is the cornerstone of Islamic faith. It lends legitimacy to the Muslim community’s claim to the legacy of Abraham and to the right of trusteeship for God’s religion in this world. It is this principle as a fundamental backbone of Islam that gives it its universal characteristic, which brings people together under the same banner, free of all prejudice or discrimination. It makes the Muslim community open to all people in a spirit of genuine love and peace.

This leads to the conclusion that Islam, in its broad, universal sense, is the true guidance. Its followers shall succeed and prosper while its opponents will never find a firm basis to stand upon. On the contrary, they will live in constant turmoil and confusion.

This testimony from none other than God Almighty will give Muslims reassurance and make them proud of their faith and confident that they will overcome setbacks and tribulations and prevail over their enemies. God is on their side and “will protect you from them; He hears all and knows all.” (Verse 137)

The duty of believers is to uphold the faith and take pride in it and wear the distinctive mark of the true servants of God which makes them stand out and surpass all others in the world: “[This message takes its] hue from God; who can give a better hue than God? Him alone do we worship.” (Verse 138) He has given a very distinctive colour to the message He has chosen to be the last to mankind. It serves as a basis on which to establish an all-embracing human unity, free of all prejudices and fanaticism, giving no special status to any race or colour.

We need to reflect a little here about a unique and highly significant aspect of the Qur’anic mode of expression. The beginning of this verse is a statement made by God: “This message takes its hue from God; who can give a better hue than God?” (Verse 138) The rest of the verse is a statement by the believers. The Qur’an joins both statements without anything to separate or distinguish one from the other. This is a great honour to the believers when their statement is joined to that of God, indicating their very close link with their Lord. Examples of such highly significant type of expression are numerous in the Qur’an.

The argument is then brought to its climax by posing the ultimate question: “Say, ‘Would you dispute with us about God? He is our Lord and your Lord. To us our deeds shall be credited and to you, your deeds. To Him alone we are devoted.’“ (Verse 139)

There can be no room for doubt about God’s oneness and sovereignty over all creation. He is the Lord of all of us, and He shall judge everyone by their own deeds. As Muslims, we devote our life and existence totally to God alone. We seek no other beings with or beside Him; and to us, these are incontrovertible and indisputable facts on which the faith of Islam rests.

In terse and forceful language, the surah poses other rhetorical questions regarding the faith of earlier prophets, well known to the Jews and the Christians: “Do you claim that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes were Jews or Christians?” (Verse 140) These lived long before Moses, and their faith preceded both Christianity and Judaism. God states the truth about their faith: “Say: ‘Do you know better than God?’“ (Verse 140) No answer could be offered to such a rhetorical question. Besides, both Jews and Christians knew very well that these Prophets lived long before their faiths. They further have, in their own Scriptures, clear statements speaking of the Prophet who would be sent with a message of the pure monotheistic faith of Abraham, but they suppressed that. Hence, the warning that God is fully aware of what they suppress: “Who is more wicked than one who suppresses a testimony he has received from God? God is not unmindful of what you do.” (Verse 140)

As the surah makes its final, irrefutable argument, showing the great gulf separating Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and his sons from the Jews who were the Prophet’s contemporaries, it repeats the verse with which it concluded its discourse about Abraham and his descendants who submitted themselves to God: “That community has passed away. Theirs is what they earned and yours is what you have earned. You shall not be questioned about what they did.” (Verse 141) With this powerful statement, all arguments are brought to their decisive conclusion.

Tafseer Verse 137-138

So if they believe in the like of what you believe in, they have certainly found the right path. And if they turn away, they are nothing but in antagonism. Then Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-knowing. The Colouring of Allah! And who is better in colouring than Allah? And we are to worship none but Him. (2:137-138)

The definition of Iman

From the beginning of the Surah Al Baqarah upto this place. Different verses have been explaining the nature and essence ‘Iman (faith), sometimes succinctly and sometimes in detail. Verse 137 define Iman in a simple and short phrase which is at the same time so comprehensive that all possible details and explanations are inherent in it. The earlier verses having established that the only religion which is valid at present is Islam, the verse assures the Muslims that the Jews and the Christians can find the guidance only “if they believe just as you believe”, or in other words, “if they believe in what you believe in.” The immediate addresses of the phrase “you believe” are the Holy Prophet (saws) and his blessed companions. Thus, in doctrinal matters above all, their ‘Iman has been placed before us as a model, and the verse is essentially a divine commandment, laying down the fundamental principle that the only Iman acceptable to Allah is the one which was adopted by the Holy Prophet (saw) and his blessed companions, and that any doctrines or beliefs that deviate from it in the least are neither valid nor acceptable to Allah. That is to say, one should believe in Allah and his attributes, in the angel, in the Books of Allah, in the messengers and Prophets of Allah and in their teachings exactly in the same manner as the Holy Prophet (saw) and the blessed companions did, without adding or subtracting anything on one’s own part and without advancing one’s own interpretations or distorting the authentic meaning of the doctrines. Nor is one allowed to assign to the angels or the Prophets a station higher or lower than the one assigned to them by the word or deed of the Holy Prophet (saw), Moreover, one is also required to be sincere and pure in one’s faith, for the contrary would amount to hypocrisy (nifaq).

This explanation helps us to  see in it’s true proportions the situation of the heterodox sects among the Muslims – of those who make tall claims as the genuiness of their Iman, but do not posses Iman in the full sense of the term. As for that, even the idolator of Arabia used to proclaim the authenticity of their Iman as do the Jew s and the Christian even today, and as do even the heretics in every age, but since their faith in Allah, in the Prophets and the angels, and in the day of Judgement etc. did not conform to the Iman of the Holy Prophet (saw) it was not acceptable to Allah and was summarily rejected.

To give a few examples, some of the associators of Arabia used to deny the very existence of angels, while others considered them to be the daughter of God. Some groups among the Jews refused to obey the Prophets and were so hostile to them that they came to assassinate a number of them, while other groups among the Jews and the Christian began to revere the Prophets so extravagantly as to identify them with God Himself, or to place them on the level of God or to consider them the sons of God. These two attributes are the two extremes of deviate, and are clearly seen, in the light of this verse to be only two forms of misguidance.

According to the Shari’ah it is, of course, obligatory for every muslim to respect and to love the Holy Prophet (saws), and if one lacks in this respect and love, one cannot be said to posses Iman in the true sense of the term; all the same, let it be clearly understood that it is misguidance and associate (shirk) to make him the equal of Allah with respect to an attribute like knowledge or power. For, according to the Holy Qur’an, the essence of shirk lies in making someone other than Allah the equal of Allah with respect to divine attribute as is indicated by this verse:  إِذْ نُسَوِّيكُمْ بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ “and when we used to make you equal of the lord of the worlds.” (26:98) There are some Muslims who consider the Holy Prophet (saws) to be omniscient and omnipresent like Allah Himself, and, in doing so, congratulate themselves upon showing the respect and love which is required of a Muslim, while they are only disobeying the Holy Prophet (saw) and going against his teachings. They should learn from this verse that the respect and love for the Holy Prophet which Allah demands from a Muslim is only that kind of respect and love which his blessed companions had for him – neither more nor less than this, for either would be a deviation and a sin.

The terms Zilli and Buruzi are not valid

On the other hand, there are people [ like the group called the Qadianis قادیانی or the Ahmadis احمدی of Lahore ] who have been defying the unambiguous and clear declaration of the Holy Qur’an that Sayyidna Muhammad (saws) is the last of all the prophets, and (Qadianis قادیانی) trying to make room for a new prophet. In order to serve this evil purpose, they have out of their own fantasy manufactured exotic forms of prophethood and given to them equally fanciful names like Buruz (incarnation) or Zill (manifestation). The present verse exposes this fraud as well, for the ‘Iman ایمان of the Holy Prophet (saws) and of his blessed Companions (رض) does not show any trace of a belief in prophets of this genre, and anyone who pretends to such a belief is an avowed heretic.

Similarly, there are people whose minds and hearts are so befogged in modern materialism and the so-called “rationalism” that they find it difficult to accept the idea of the other world and the things that pertain to it, and then try to subject them to crooked interpretations, which they suppose to be an effort to make Islam more acceptable to the modern mind, and hence a great service to Islam. But, insofar as these interpretations transgress the commandment indicated in this verse – that is to say, they do not conform to the ‘Iman ایمان of the Holy Prophet (saws) and of his Companions (رض) ، they are totally false, and must be rejected. It is obligatory for a Muslim to believe without demur in what the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith tell us with regard to the other world and all that pertains to it. For example, it is quite inadmissible to maintain that on the Day of Judgment men will be resurrected only “spiritually” and not bodily, or that the reward and the punishment in the other world will be “spiritual” and not physical, or that the “weighing of the deeds” is only a metaphorical expression. Let us insist once again that all such interpretations are doctrinally false and unacceptable to Allah – as the present verse has established.

Having defined the ‘Iman which is acceptable to Allah, Verse 137 also points out that the enemies of Islam may yet remain unconvinced out of sheer obstinacy and malice. Allah asks the Holy Prophet not to worry about them, for Allah will deal with them Himself, and protect His prophet. This promise has been made more explicitly in another verse: وَاللَّـهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ: “And Allah will protect you against these people.” (5:67) Subsequent events showed the fulfillment of this promise.

(2:137) And then if they come to believe as you believe, they are on right guidance; and if they turn away, then quite obviously they have merely fallen into opposition to the Truth. Allah will suffice you for protection against them. He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
Ayat 137
Ayat 138