Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 205 (2:205)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 205 in Arabic Text

وَإِذَا تَوَلَّىٰ سَعَىٰ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ ٱلْحَرْثَ وَٱلنَّسْلَ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْفَسَادَ
Wa izaa tawallaa sa’aa fil ardi liyufsida feeha wa yuhlikal harsa wannasl; wallaahu laa yuhibbul fasaad

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 205

Sahih International
And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption.

Yusuf Ali
“When he turns his back, His aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But Allah loveth not mischief.

Abul Ala Maududi
When he gets power he directs all his efforts towards spreading mischief in the land, destroying harvests and killing the human race whereas Allah (Whom he makes his witness) does not like mischief.

Muhsin Khan
And when he turns away (from you “O Muhammad SAW “), his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief.

Pickthall
And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief.

Dr. Ghali
And when he turns away, he (diligently) endeavors about the earth to corrupt in it and cause the tillage and stock to perish; and Allah does not love corruption.

Abdel Haleem
When he leaves, he sets out to spread corruption in the land, destroying crops and live-stock- God does not like corruption.

Quran 2 Verse 205 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 205, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:205) Whenever he attains authority,[225] he goes about the earth spreading mischief and laying to waste crops and human life, even though Allah (whose testimony he invokes) does not love mischief.


225. The expression idha tawalla can be translated in two ways. First, in the manner of our translation of the text. It can also be translated to make the verse mean that when such people return from sweet and apparently genuine talk, they engage in arrogant and destructive action.

Ibn-Kathir

204. And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad ), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart, yet he is the most quarrelsome of the opponents. 205. And when he turns away (from you O Muhammad ), his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief. 206. And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest! 207. And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is full of kindness to (His) servants.


The Characteristics of the Hypocrites

The Characteristics of the Hypocrites

As-Suddi said that these Ayat were revealed about Al-Akhnas bin Shariq Ath-Thaqafi who came to Allah’s Messenger and announced his Islam although his heart concealed otherwise.

Ibn `Abbas narrated that these Ayat were revealed about some of the hypocrites who criticized Khubayb and his companions who were killed during the Raji` incident. Thereafter, Allah sent down His condemnation of the hypocrites and His praise for Khubayb and his companions:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ﴾

(And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.)

It was also said that they refer to the hypocrites and the believers in general. This is the opinion of Qatadah, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several others, and it is correct.

Ibn Jarir related that Al-Qurazi said that Nawf Al-Bikali, who used to read (previous Divine) Books said, “I find the description of some members of this Ummah in the previously revealed Books of Allah: they (hypocrites) are people who use the religion to gain material benefit. Their tongues are sweeter than honey, but their hearts are more bitter than Sabir (a bitter plant, aloe). They show the people the appearance of sheep while their hearts hide the viciousness of wolves. Allah said, `They dare challenge Me, but they are deceived by Me. I swear by Myself that I will send a Fitnah (trial, calamity) on them that will make the wise man bewildered.’ I contemplated about these statements and found them in the Qur’an describing the hypocrites:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا فِى قَلْبِهِ﴾

(And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad ), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart,)

This statement by Al-Qurazi is Hasan Sahih. Allah said:

﴿وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا فِى قَلْبِهِ﴾

(…and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart,)

This Ayah indicates that such people pretend to be Muslims, but defy Allah by the disbelief and hypocrisy that their hearts conceal. Similarly Allah said:

﴿يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ﴾

(They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah.) (4:108)

This Tafsir was reported from Ibn `Abbas by Ibn Ishaq. It was also said that the Ayah means that when such people announce their Islam, they swear by Allah that what is in their hearts is the same of what their tongues are pronouncing. This is also a correct meaning for the Ayah that was chosen by `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. It is also the choice of Ibn Jarir who related it to Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid. Allah knows best.

Allah said:

﴿وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ﴾

(Yet he is the most Aladd of the opponents.) (2:204) lThe Ayah used the word Aladd here, which literally means `wicked’ (here it means `quarrelsome’). A variation of the word Ludda was also used in another Ayah:

﴿وَتُنْذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً﴾

(So that you (Muhammad) warn with it (the Qur’an) a Ludda people.) (19:97)

Hence, a hypocrite lies, alters the truth when he quarrels and does not care for the truth. Rather, he deviates from the truth, deceives and becomes most quarrelsome. It is reported in Sahih that Allah’s Messenger said:

«آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإذَا عَاهَدَ غَدَرَ، وَإِذَا خَاصَمَ فَجَر»

(The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise). If you have a dispute with him, he is most quarrelsome.)

Imam Bukhari reported that `A’ishah narrated that the Prophet said:

«إِنَّ أَبْغَضَ الرِّجَالِ إلَى اللهِ الْألَدُّ الْخَصِم»

(The most hated person to Allah is he who is Aladd and Khasim (meaning most quarrelsome).)

Allah then said:

﴿وَإِذَا تَوَلَّى سَعَى فِى الاٌّرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ ﴾

(And when he turns away (from you O Muhammad), he struggles in the land to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief.)

This Ayah indicates that such persons are deviant in the tongue, evil in the deeds, their words are fabricated, their belief is wicked and their works are immoral. The Ayah used the (Arabic word) Sa`a (literally, `tries’ or `intends’). This word was also used to describe Pharaoh:

﴿ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ يَسْعَى – فَحَشَرَ فَنَادَى – فَقَالَ أَنَاْ رَبُّكُمُ الاٌّعْلَى – فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الاٌّخِرَةِ وَالاٍّوْلَى – إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى ﴾

(Then he turned his back, Yas`a (striving hard against Allah). Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud saying, `I am your lord, most high.’ So Allah, seized him with a punishing example for his last and first transgression. Verily, in this is an instructive admonition for whosoever fears Allah.) (79:22-26)

﴿Sa`a was also used in the Ayah﴾:

﴿يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْاْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ﴾

(O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah (prayer) on the day of Friday (Jumu`ah prayer), As`aw come to the remembrance of Allah.) (62:9)

This Ayah means, `(when the call to the Friday prayer is announced) intend and then proceed to attend the Friday prayer.’ We should mention that hastening to the mosque is condemed by the Sunnah (as this is another meaning for the word Sa`a):

«إذَا أَتَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلَا تَأْتُوهَا وَأَنْتُمْ تَسْعَوْنَ، وَأْتُوهَا وَعَلَيْكُمُ السَّكِينَةُ والْوَقَار»

(When you come to attend the prayer, do not come in a Sa`i (haste). Rather, come to it while walking at ease and in peace (or grace). )

The hypocrite has no motive in this life but to cause mischief and to destroy the crops and the offspring, including what the animals produce and what the people depend on for their livelihood. Mujahid said, “If the hypocrite strives for mischief in the land, Allah prevents the rain from falling and thus the crops and the offspring perish.” The Ayah continues:

﴿وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ﴾

(…and Allah likes not mischief.) that is, Allah does not like those who possess these characteristics, or those who act like this.

Rejecting Advice is Characteristic of the Hypocrites

Allah said:

﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ أَخَذَتْهُ الْعِزَّةُ بِالإِثْمِ﴾

(And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime.)

This Ayah indicates that when the hypocrite, who deviates in his speech and deeds, is advised and commanded to fear Allah, refrain from his evil deeds and adhere to the truth, he refuses and becomes angry and outraged, as he is used to doing evil. This Ayah is similar to what Allah said:

﴿وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُنَا بَيِّنَـتٍ تَعْرِفُ فِى وُجُوهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الْمُنْكَرَ يَكَـدُونَ يَسْطُونَ بِالَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُنَا قُلْ أَفَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذلِكُمُ النَّارُ وَعَدَهَا اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴾

(And when Our clear verses are recited to them, you will notice a denial on the faces of the disbelievers! They are nearly ready to attack with violence those who recite Our verses to them. Say: “Shall I tell you of something worse than that The Fire (of Hell) which Allah has promised to those who disbelieved, and worst indeed is that destination!) (22:72)

This is why in this Ayah, Allah said:

﴿فَحَسْبُهُ جَهَنَّمُ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ﴾

(So enough for him is Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest) meaning, the Fire is enough punishment for the hypocrite.

The Sincere Believer prefers pleasing Allah

Allah said:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ﴾

(And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.)

After Allah described the evil characteristics of the hypocrites, He mentioned the good qualities of the believers. Allah said:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ﴾

(And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.)

Ibn `Abbas, Anas, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Abu `Uthman An-Nahdi, `Ikrimah and several other scholars said that this Ayah was revealed about Suhayb bin Sinan Ar-Rumi. When Suhayb became a Muslim in Makkah and intended to migrate (to Al-Madinah), the people (Quraysh) prevented him from migrating with his money. They said that if he forfeits his property, he is free to migrate. He abandoned his money and preferred to migrate, and Allah revealed this Ayah about him. `Umar bin Khattab and several other Companions met Suhayb close to the outskirts of Al-Madinah at Al-Harrah (flat lands with black stones). They said to him, “The trade has indeed been successful.” He answered them, “You too, may Allah never allow your trade to fail. What is the matter” `Umar told him that Allah has revealed this Ayah (2:207) about him. It was also reported that Allah’s Messenger said, “The trade has been successful, O Suhayb!”

The meaning of the Ayah (2:207) includes every Mujahid in the way of Allah. Allah said in another Ayah:

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَلَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الّجَنَّةَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْءانِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُواْ بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِى بَايَعْتُمْ بِهِ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴾

(Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Tawrah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.) (9:111)

When Hisham bin `Amr penetrated the lines of the enemy, some people criticized him. `Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Hurayrah refuted them and recited this Ayah:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ ﴾

(And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is full of kindness to (His) servants.)

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