Surah Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 165 (2:165)
Surah Baqarah Ayah 165 in Arabic:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ
Transliteration: Wa minan naasi mai yattakhizu min doonil laahi andaadai yuhibboonahum kahubbil laahi wallazeena aamanooo ashaddu hubbal lillah; wa law yaral lazeena zalamoo iz yarawnal ‘azaaba annal quwwata lillaahi jamee’anw wa annallaaha shadeedul ‘azaab
DR. GHALI And of mankind are (some) who take to themselves, apart from Allah, (false) compeers. They love them as with the love (due) to Allah; and (the ones) who have believed have stronger (fervor in the) love towards Allah. And if the ones who have done injustice might see, as they see the torment, that the power altogether (belongs) to Allah, and that Allah is strict in torment.
MUHSIN KHAN And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.
PICKTHALL Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah (only) – those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah – Oh, that those who do evil had but known, (on the day) when they behold the doom, that power belongeth wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment!
SAHIH INTERNATIONAL And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah . But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah . And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment, [they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.
MUFTI TAQI USMANI Among the people there are some who set up co-gods beside Allah whom they love like the love due to Allah. But those who believe are most firm in their love for Allah. Would that the unjust people could perceive – when they see the torment (i.e. any calamity in this world) – that all power belongs to Allah alone, and that Allah is severe in punishment!
ABDUL HALEEM Even so, there are some who choose to worship others besides God as rivals to Him, loving them with the love due to God, but the believers have greater love for God. If only the idolaters could see- as they will see when they face the torment- that all power belongs to God, and that God punishes severely.
ABUL ALA MAUDUDI Yet there are some who take others as equals to Allah and love them as Allah alone should be loved; but those who (truly) believe, they love Allah more than all else. If only the wrong-doers were to perceive now – as they will perceive when they will see the chastisement – that all power belongs to Allah alone, and that Allah is severe in chastisement!
DR. MUSTAFA KHATTAB Still there are some who take others as Allah’s equal—they love them as they should love Allah—but the ˹true˺ believers love Allah even more. If only the wrongdoers could see the ˹horrible˺ punishment ˹awaiting them˺, they would certainly realize that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is indeed severe in punishment.
Surah Baqarah Ayat 165 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.
Ayat 165 – 167
In these Ayat, Allah mentions the condition of the polytheists in this life and their destination in the Hereafter. They appointed equals and rivals with Allah, worshipping them along with Allah and loving them, just as they love Allah. However, Allah is the only deity worthy of worship, Who has neither rival nor opponent nor partner. It is reported in the Sahihayn that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: I said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the greatest sin” He said:
(To appoint a rival to Allah while He Alone has created you.)
(But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else))
Because these believers love Allah, know His greatness, revere Him, believe in His Oneness, then they do not associate anything or anyone with Him in the worship. Rather, they worship Him Alone, depend on Him and they seek help from Him for each and every need.
Then, Allah warns those who commit Shirk,
(If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah.) if these people knew what they will face and the terrible punishment they are to suffer because of their disbelief and Shirk (polytheism), then they would shun the deviation that they live by.
Allah mentions their false beliefs in their idols, and that those they followed will declare their innocence of them. Allah said:
(When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them).) the angels, whom they used to claim that they worshipped, declare their innocence of them in the Hereafter, saying:
(We declare our innocence (from them) before You. It was not us they worshipped.) (28:63), and:
(“Glorified be You! You are our Wali (Lord) instead of them. Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them.”) (34:4)
The Jinn will also disown the disbelievers who worshipped them, and they will reject that worship. Allah said:
(And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) (46:5, 6) Allah said:
(And they have taken (for worship) alihah (gods) besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory (and also protect them from Allah’ punishment). Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection).) (19:81, 82) Prophet Ibrahim said to his people:
(You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.) (29:25) Allah said:
(But if you could see when the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers) will be made to stand before their Lord,how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!” And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: “Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you Nay, but you were Mujrimin (polytheists, sinners, disbelievers, criminals).” Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!” And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets (for disobeying Allah during this worldly life), when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do) (34:31-33) Allah said:
(And Shaytan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).) (14:22)
Allah then said:
(…and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.) meaning, when they see Allah’s torment, their power and means of salvation are all cut off, and they will have no way of making amends, nor will they find a way of escape from the Fire. `Ata’ reported that Ibn `Abbas said about:
(then all their relations will be cut off from them.) “meaning the friendship.” Mujahid reported a similar statement in another narration by Ibn Abu Najih.
(And those who followed will say: “If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.”)
This Ayah means: `If we only had a chance to go back to the life so that we could disown them (their idols, leaders, etc.) shun their worship, ignore them and worship Allah Alone instead.’ But they utter a lie in this regard, because if they were given the chance to go back, they would only return to what they were prohibited from doing, just as Allah said. This is why Allah said:
(Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them.) meaning, their works will vanish and disappear. Similarly, Allah said:
(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) (25:23)
Allah also said:
(The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day.) (14:18), and:
(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water.) (24:39)
This is why Allah said ـ at the end of the Ayah 2:167 above
(And they will never get out of the Fire.)
Tafseer Verses 163 to Verse 167
Following that, there is a reiteration of the basic aspects of the concept of God’s oneness. To illustrate these, the surah cites a number of natural phenomena in the physical world that testify to God’s power and overall sovereignty. It then portrays a scene from the Day of Resurrection, showing the despair and confusion of those who reject God and deny His power and existence.
Your God is the One God: there is no deity but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful. In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the vessels that sail through the sea with what is useful for mankind; in the water God sends down from the sky giving life to the earth after it had been lifeless, causing all manner of living creatures to multiply on it; in the movement of the winds, and the clouds that run their courses between sky and earth: in all this there are signs for people who use their reason. Yet there are people who worship beings other than God, giving them a status equal to His, loving them as God alone should be loved; whereas the believers love God more than all else. If the unbelievers could but see, as see they will when they are made to suffer, that all might belongs to God alone, and that He is stern in retribution. [On that day] those who were followed will disown their followers and they all shall see their punishment, while all their ties are severed. The followers will say, ‘Would that we had another chance so that we can disown them as they have disowned us!” Thus will God show them their works [in a way which causes them] bitter regrets. They shall never come out of the fire. (Verses 163-167)
The oneness of God is the quintessence of faith. On the whole, the debate has never been about God’s existence, however differently his entity, attributes or role in the universe might be viewed or defined by different societies and religions. Man’s nature has always led him to the belief in God. But in recent human history, a new philosophy has emerged, never known in human thinking before, which totally denies the very notion of God. This intellectual monstrosity has very little chance of becoming universal, because it is self-defeating and is invalidated by the very nature and structure of the universe and our own existence in it.
The passage, therefore, affirms the principle of God’s oneness as an essential part of true faith and a solid foundation for man’s moral and social systems. The one God is the only deity to be adored and worshipped, and He is also the sole source of man’s moral codes and norms, and the origin of all the laws and regulations that govern and control man’s social, political and economic life and the life of the whole cosmos: “Your God is the One God: there is no deity but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Verse 163) We cannot fail to note how the truth of God’s oneness is emphatically stressed here in several ways. Thus, the Lord worshipped and obeyed by all creatures is the only God who legislates for all people making clear for them what moral values to uphold. It is from Him that they receive all their legislation.
This central concept of Islam is re-emphasized time after time in the Qur’ān, particularly in the parts revealed in Makkah. It is brought up here in the context of preparing the Muslim community for its crucial universal leadership role. The Qur’ān hammers home these concepts so as to leave people in no doubt that the principle of God’s oneness permeates all aspects of life and all parts of existence.
God’s sovereignty over this world and His active control of its affairs stem from His grace attributes. He is “the Merciful, the Compassionate.”
Those Using Their Reason
In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the vessels that sail through the sea with what is useful for mankind; in the water God sends down from the sky giving life to the earth after it had been lifeless, causing all manner of living creatures to multiply on it; in the movement of the winds, and the clouds that run their courses between sky and earth: in all this there are signs for people who use their reason. (Verse 164)
This unique Qur’ānic approach in addressing the human mind and heart tends to heighten man’s feelings and emotions and make him behold and contemplate the wonders of the Universe. Familiarity may have blunted man’s appreciation of these marvels, but the verses invite him to reflect on the world around, as if for the first time, with open eyes and eager senses and a conscious heart. The physical world is full of beautiful mysteries and awe-inspiring events that have captivated many an eye and fascinated many a heart.
The world is a boundless festival of mystery, splendour and beauty. The Heavens, the Earth, the planets, the stars, the galaxies, are all floating along their decreed orbits with incredible harmony, in a vast expanse of limitless space of dizzying dimensions. Man has been fascinated by this vast gallery of wonders long before he was able to get a glimpse, through study and science, of how it works and what lies behind it.
The cycle of day and night and the alternation of light and darkness, dawn and dusk, have sent a million shivers through the hearts and souls of men everywhere. For the believing heart, it is a daily marvel to behold, despite its familiarity; a constant reminder of God’s magnificence and glory.
As for “in the vessels that sail through the sea with what is useful for mankind,” I admit that I had not fully appreciated the import of this statement until the day I travelled on board a large ship, which seemed like a dot in the ocean. Waves were hitting us from all sides while we were engulfed in an almost surreal world of endless blue. Those who have experienced sea travel know that in the middle of the ocean one is entirely at God’s mercy and that it is only with God’s will and command that one is brought to the safety of the shore.
The surah highlights other natural phenomena: “the water Godsends down from the sky giving life to the earth after it had been lifeless, causing all manner of living creatures to multiply on it; in the movement of the winds, and the clouds that run their courses between sky and earth.” (Verse 164) All these phenomena deserve our attention, reflection and intelligent study. They are all manifestations of God’s awesome power and infinite mercy. Life is the greatest mystery of all. How does it spring out of the earth when water makes it fertile? How does it come about, starting gently at first before manifesting itself with full vigour? By what incredible process is it carried in a seed, an egg or a gene?
It is a question that has to be asked. It is no good brushing it aside or ignoring it, as some agnostics have tried to do. Some have even gone further and claimed that life can be created by man, without the need for God’s intervention! But even in the land where the ruling class prides itself on denying God altogether they have given up and were forced to admit that this is impossible without a Creator to give life. Leading Soviet scientists do now openly admit this as a fact beyond man’s ability.1 In the past Charles Darwin, the first to put forward the theory of evolution, tried hard to evade the question.
As for the wind and the clouds, and all other natural phenomena, it is not sufficient to advance a theory to explain or describe merely how winds blow, or how clouds form, or the process by which they function, or what their effects are. The central question, the real mystery, revolves around the origin of life itself: why has the world been created in the way it has, and by what methods? How did the universe come to exist in its present form which, in order to produce and sustain life, provides the right combination of elements such as wind, cloud, rain and soil, according to thousands upon thousands of perfectly balanced proportions and formulae? If any of these proportions were to change, life would not be possible. The secret lies in the intricate design and clear purpose of existence, and in the unity and compassion of the Creator.
“In all this there are signs for people who use their reason.” (Verse 164) Indeed, all man needs to do is to shake off familiarity and apathy and look afresh at the world around with a discerning eye and an enlightened heart. He should study every movement, scrutinize every phenomenon, and probe all secrets and mysteries, and let his ingenuity and imagination be fired so that he can grasp the splendour of the universe and the brilliance of its Maker.
Such refined awareness, such sensitivity, and such appreciation of the beauty, balance and perfection of the universe are derived from true faith. Faith gives the believer a new insight into the world around him and a new understanding of beauty, and turns life into one continuous celebration of the creation and glory of God.
Nevertheless, there are still those who neither look nor understand. That is the reason they go astray and lose direction in life.
“Yet there are people who worship beings other than God, giving them a status equal to His, loving them as God alone should be loved.” (Verse 165)
In those days these were idols carved out of stone or wood, or they were stars and planets, or angels and devils. In every age these deities take on different forms and 1 This was written in the early 1960s. — Editor’s note. Al-Baqarah (The Cow) |SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT181sizes. Their common feature is that they are all forms of associating partners with God, whether they are invoked together with God, or treated merely as objects of adoration or on a par with God. In the worst case, they replace God altogether.
But the case is different with true believers: “whereas the believers love God more than all else.” (Verse 165) Their love for God supersedes their love for everything else in the world. The use of the term “love” here is both touching and appropriate, because the relationship between God and true believers is one of love and spiritual affection. It is an intimate and private relationship, continuously renewed with an undying adoration.
Alliances Fall Apart
If the unbelievers could but see, as see they will when they are made to suffer, that all might belongs to God alone, and that He is stern in retribution. [On that day] those who were followed will disown their followers and they all shall see their punishment, while all their ties are severed. The followers will say, ‘Would that we had another chance so that we can disown them as they have disowned us!’ Thus will God show them their works [in a way which causes them] bitter regrets. They shall never come out of the fire. (Verses 165-167)
Were these transgressors to look ahead to the Day of Resurrection, they would realize their folly in worshipping anything or anybody other than God. All power belongs to Him. He has neither equals nor partners. They would also see the hopelessness of their actions and the severity of the punishment awaiting them. The leaders shall disassociate themselves from their followers, and shall be exposed as powerless to help them, or even help themselves. The truth of God’s oneness and His absolute power would be clearly manifest. The followers, on the other hand, would wish for a second chance of life in order to denounce and disown those false gods and leaders. The full extent of the fraud and the delusion under which they had been living would be exposed.
It is an awesome scene in which all the hypocrisy and the insincerity and futility of the relationship between the two groups is brought fully into the open. And then come the pain and the torment: “Thus will God show them their works [in a way which causes them] bitter regrets. They shall never come out of the fire.” (Verse 167)
Tafseer Ayah 165
Among the people there are some who set up, aside from Allah, parallels whom they love as if it be the love of Allah, yet those who believe are most firm in love for Allah. Only if those who have acted unjustly would see – when they see the punishment – that all power be-longs to Allah alone and Allah is severe in punishment. (Ayah 165)
In the verses that appeared earlier, there was a strong and positive view of Allah’s Oneness. Now the present verse points out to the error made by those who associate others in the divinity of Allah and think that they are caretakers of their needs. Their attachment to them reaches the proportions of love that is due for Allah alone.
In direct contrast to this profile of the polytheists, there are the true believers who love Allah alone, and very staunchly too, for a poly-theist may turn away from his self-made god in the event of an impending loss, but a true believer reposes his total confidence in Allah, in gain and loss alike, retaining His love and pleasure as his lasting possession, never leaving his Creator whatever the odds against him be.
Now, returning back to the ‘unjust’, the Holy Qur’an makes a subtle suggestion that the opportunity to correct their position was there; they could have recognized through their frustrations with their gods that they were helpless and that real power rested with Allah. But, they missed the opportunity and must now learn the hard way. So, the stern warning.
If only the wrong-doers were to perceive now – as they will perceive when they will see the chastisement – that all power belongs to Allah alone, and that Allah is severe in chastisement!
 There are certain attributes which belong exclusively to God. Moreover, there are certain duties that man owes to God by virtue of His being his Lord. The indictment of the Qur’an is that the people in question ascribe to others than God the attributes which are exclusively His and likewise consider others to be the rightful claimants of certain rights over man which belong only to God. To be Lord of the entire complex of causal relationships found in the universe, to dispense the needs and requirements of people, to deliver them from distress and affliction, to heed complaints and respond to lamentations and prayers, and having full knowledge of all that is apparent as well as all that is hidden, are the exclusive attributes of God.
Furthermore, there are certain rights which God alone may claim: that His creatures should recognize Him alone as their Sovereign, prostrate themselves before Him alone in recognition of their bondage to Him, turn to Him alone for the fulfilment of their prayers, call Him alone for help and succour, place their trust is none save Him, centre their hopes and expectations only in His Munificence, and fear Him alone both in public and in private.
In the same way, being the only Absolute Sovereign of the universe, it befits none save God to lay down what is permitted and what is prohibited for His subjects, to prescribe their rights and duties, to command them what to do and what not to do, to direct them as to how the energy and resources bestowed on them, by God, should be expended.
Again, it is God alone Who can ask His subjects to acknowledge His sovereignty, to accept His commands as the source of law, to consider Him alone to be the Lord entitled to command men, to consider His commands supreme, and to turn to Him alone for correct guidance. Whoever either ascribes to any being other than God any of the aforementioned attributes or recognizes the claim of anyone save God to be entitled to any of the above-mentioned rights over His creatures is in fact setting up that being as a rival to God, and placing him on the same plane as God. By the same token, any individual or institution claiming to possess any of the exclusive attributes and rights of God (as mentioned above), is in fact claiming a position parallel and equal to that of God even though the claim to godhead may not have been categorically spelled out.
 True faith requires that a man should give absolute priority to seeking God’s good pleasure and should hold nothing too dear to sacrifice for the sake of God.