Surah Nur Ayat 55 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 55
Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.
Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do righteous deeds, that He will make them successors in the land just as He made those who passed away before them, and that He will establish their religion, which He has approved for them, on strong foundations and will change their (present) state of fear into peace and security. Let them worship Me and associate none with Me; and the one who disbelieves after this,” shall be of those who are perverse transgressors.
Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants.
Allah has promised the ones of you who have believed and done deeds of righteous- ness that indeed He will definitely make them successors in the earth, (even) as He made the ones who were before them successors, and that indeed He will definitely establish for them their religion that He is Divinely satisfied with (i.e., that He approves of) for them, and that indeed He will definitely give them in exchange, even after their fear, security. “They shall worship Me, not associating with Me anything.” And whoever disbelieves after that, then those are they (who are) the immoral.
God has made a promise to those among you who believe and do good deeds: He will make them successors to the land, as He did those who came before them; He will empower the religion He has chosen for them; He will grant them security to replace their fear. ‘They will worship Me and not join anything with Me.’ Those who are defiant after that will be the rebels.-
Quran 24 Verse 55 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nur ayat 55, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(24:55) Allah has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds that He will surely bestow power on them in the land even as He bestowed power on those that preceded them, and that He will firmly establish their religion which He has been pleased to choose for them, and He will replace with security the state of fear that they are in. Let them serve Me and associate none with Me in My Divinity. Whoso thereafter engages in unbelief, such indeed are the ungodly.
83. As has been hinted in the beginning of this discourse, this means to warn the hypocrites that the promise of Allah to bestow successorship in the land is not meant for those people who are Muslims only in name, but for those who are true in faith, pious in character, sincere in devotion and who follow Allah’s religion in letter and spirit eschewing every tinge of shirk. Those who lack these qualities and pay mere lip service to Islam are neither worthy of this promise nor its addressees. Therefore they should entertain no hope of having any share in it.
Some people interpret Khilafat (successorship in the land) to mean political power and authority, and conversely conclude that whosoever possesses power and authority in the land is necessarily a true believer and a follower of Allah’s approved religion and His devotee, free from all traces of shirk. Then in order to get support for their wrong conclusion, they even change the very meanings of faith, virtue, divine creed, Allah’s worship, idolatry, etc. to suit their interpretation. This is the worst distortion of the meaning of the Quran, even worse than what the Jews and Christians did with their Scriptures. This interpretation of the verse tends to destroy the very message of the Quran. If successorship in the land were to mean mere power and authority in the land; then all those people who wielded power and authority in the world, or wield it today, would fit in with the description contained in the verse, even if they denied Allah, revelations, Prophethood, life in the Hereafter, and were involved in all kinds of major sins like usury, adultery, drinking and gambling. Now if all such people are regarded as pious believers and considered worthy of holding the high offices because of their qualities as such, then faith would imply simple obedience to physical laws and virtue would mean making use of those laws effectively and successfully. Allah’s approved religion would mean making maximum progress in the fields of industry and trade, commerce and politics by achieving excellence in the physical sciences; devotion to Allah would mean abiding by the rules and procedures which are naturally useful and essential for success in individual and collective enterprises; and shirk would mean adopting a few harmful methods also along with the useful procedures and rules. But the question is: Would a person who has studied the Quran with an open heart and mind ever believe that the terms faith, righteous deeds, true religion, devotion to Allah, tauhid and shirk as used in the Quran really mean this? As a matter of fact, such a meaning can be understood either by the one who has never made an intelligent study of the Quran as a whole, but has picked up verses from here and there and given them his own biased meaning according to preconceived notions and theories, or by the one who has read the Quran through but has all along been holding all those verses as wrong and absurd, which invite people to accept Allah as the One and only Lord, His revelations as the only source of guidance, His Messengers as the only true guides worthy of absolute obedience, and which demand not only belief in the lifeafter- death, but also state that the people who would consider success in the worldly life as their sole and ultimate objective, without any idea of their accountability in the Hereafter, would be deprived of real success. The Quran has repeated these themes so frequently in diverse ways and in such clear and plain language that it is difficult to believe that anybody who studies it honestly can ever be involved in those misunderstandings in which the modern interpreters of this verse have been involved. The fact is that they have misconstrued Khilafat and Istikhlaf (successorship) after their own notions, which cannot be held as correct by anybody who has some knowledge of the Quran.
The Quran has used Khilafat and Istikhlaf in the following three meanings and the context determines in which particular meaning it has been used in a particular place:
(a) To bear the authority delegated by Allah. The whole human race is Allah’s Khalifah (successor) on the earth in this sense.
(b) To acknowledge Allah as the Supreme Sovereign and to use His delegated powers and authority in accordance with His law. In this sense only a pious and righteous believer can be a Khalifah, because he alone can discharge the responsibilities of Khilafat truly. On the other hand, a disbeliever and sinner cannot be Khalifah: he is rather a rebel against Allah, because he abuses the power and authority delegated by Allah in disobedience to Him in the land bestowed by Him.
(c) The succession of one ruling nation in the land after the fall of another nation. The meanings (a) and (b) imply vicegerency while (c) implies successorship. Both these meanings of Khilafat are well known and recognized in the Arabic lexicon.
Now anybody who reads this verse in this context cannot have any doubt that the word Khilafat has been used here for the government which discharges the responsibilities of Allah’s vicegerency strictly in accordance with Allah’s law, and not in accordance with mere physical laws of the world. That is why, not to speak of the disbelievers, even the hypocrites, who professed faith in Islam, are being excluded from the purview of Allah’s promise. That is why it is being stated that true and righteous believers only are worthy of this promise. That is why it is being averred that the establishment of Khilafat will result in the establishment of Islam, Allah’s approved religion, on strong foundations; and that is why the condition being put forward for earning this favor is that the believers should remain steadfast in their faith and devotion to Allah avoiding every tinge of shirk. To remove this promise from its right context and apply it on the international scene to any power is sheer absurdity and nonsense. (For further details, see (E. N. 99 of Surah Al-Anbiya )also.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned here is that the direct addressees of this promise were the Muslims living in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) though indirectly it applies to the future generations of Muslims as well. When in the beginning this promise was held out by Allah, the Muslims were living in a state of fear and Islam had not yet taken firm roots even in Hejaz. A few years later this state of fear not only gave way to peace and equanimity but Islam also spread outside Arabia to large parts of Africa and Asia, and it became firmly established not only in its own land of birth but outside it as well. This is a historical proof of the fact that Allah fulfilled His promise in the times of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (may Allah he pleased with them all). No right thinking person, therefore, can have any doubt that the Khilafat of the first three Caliphs has been authenticated by the Quran itself and Allah Himself has testified to their being pious believers. If anybody still has a doubt, he should read the address of AIi in Nahjal Balaghah, which was meant to dissuade Umar from going personally to fight against the Iranians. He said:
Our success in this work is not dependent on numerical strength; it is the religion of Allah for which He Himself has opened ways. We are grateful to Him for His help and succor which has enabled us to serve its cause till it has been raised to its present glory. Allah Himself has said: Allah has promised to those among you, who believe and do righteous deeds that He will make them successors in the land. Allah will certainly fulfill this promise and will help the armies of Islam. The position of the Caliph in Islam is like that of the string in a necklace of pearls. If the string breaks, the pearls scatter away and the order is destroyed. Once scattered and dispersed, it becomes difficult to collect them again. No doubt the Arabs are small in number, but they have been increased by Islam and strengthened by unity. You should therefore stick to Madinah like the pivot and make the grindstone of Arabia rotate about you and guide the war-machi
55. Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion which He has chosen for them. And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear if they worship Me and do not associate anything with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the rebellious.
This is a promise from Allah to His Messenger that He would cause his Ummah to become successors on earth, i.e., they would become the leaders and rulers of mankind, through whom He would reform the world and to whom people would submit, so that they would have in exchange a safe security after their fear. This is what Allah did indeed do, may He be glorified and exalted, and to Him be praise and blessings. For He did not cause His Messenger to die until He had given him victory over Makkah, Khaybar, Bahrayn, all of the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen; and he took Jizyah from the Zoroastrians of Hajar and from some of the border lands of Syria; and he exchanged gifts with Heraclius the ruler of Byzantium, the ruler of Egypt and Alexandria, the Muqawqis, the kings of Oman and An-Najashi of Abyssinia, who had become king after Ashamah, may Allah have mercy on him and grant him honor. Then when the Messenger died, his successor (Khalifah) Abu Bakr As-Siddiq took over the reins of power and united the Ummah, preventing its disintegration. He took control of the entire Arabian Peninsula, and he sent the Islamic armies to the land of Persia, under the leadership of Khalid bin Al-Walid, may Allah be pleased with him, who conquered a part of it and killed some of its people. He sent another army under the leadership of Abu `Ubaydah, may Allah be pleased with him, and the other commanders who came after him in the lands of Syria. He sent a third army under the leadership of `Amr bin Al-`As, may Allah be pleased with him, to Egypt. Allah enabled the army sent to Syria to conquer Busra and Damascus and their provinces the land of Hawran and its environs. Then Allah chose for Abu Bakr to honor him with Him and he died. The people of Islam were blessed that As-Siddiq was inspired to appoint `Umar Al-Faruq as his successor, so he took the reins of power after him and did a perfect job. After the Prophets, the world never saw anyone like `Umar in excellence of conduct and perfect justice. During his time, the rest of Syria and Egypt, and most of Persia, was conquered. Kisra was defeated and utterly humiliated, and he retreated to the furthest point of his kingdom. Mighty Caesar was brought low, his rule over Syria was overthrown, and he retreated to Constantinople. Their wealth was spent for the sake of Allah, as the Messenger of Allah had foretold and promised. May Allah’s perfect peace and purest blessing be upon him. During the rule of `Uthman, the Islamic domains spread to the furthest points of the earth, east and west. The lands of the west were conquered as far as Cyprus and Andalusia, Kairouan and Sebta which adjoins the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the east, the conquests extended as far as China. Kisra was killed, his kingdom was utterly destroyed and the cities of Iraq, Khurasan and Al-Ahwaz were conquered. The Muslims killed a great number of Turks and Allah humiliated their great king Khaqan. Taxes were collected from the east and the west, and brought to the Commander of the faithful `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him. This was a blessing brought by his recitation and study of the Qur’an, and his bringing the Ummah together to preserve and protect it. In the Sahih it was recorded that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah showed me the earth and I looked at the east and the west. The dominion of my Ummah will reach everywhere I was shown.) And now we are enjoying that which Allah and His Messenger promised us, for Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth. We ask Allah to give us faith in Him and His Messenger, and to help us to give thanks to Him in a manner that will earn us His pleasure.
(Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion which He has chosen for them. And He will surely, give them in exchange a safe security after their fear…) Ar-Rabi` bin Anas narrated that Abu Al-`Aliyah said, “The Prophet and his Companions were in Makkah for nearly ten years, calling people in secret to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate. They were in a state of fear and were not instructed to fight until after they were commanded to migrate to Al-Madinah. When they came to Al-Madinah, then Allah instructed them to fight. In Al-Madinah they were afraid and they carried their weapons morning and evening. This is how they remained for as long as Allah willed…” Then Allah revealed this Ayah. He caused His Prophet to prevail over the Arabian Peninsula, and then they felt safe and put down their weapons. Then Allah took His Prophet and they remained safe throughout the time of Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman, until what happened happened, and fear again prevailed over them, so they instituted a police force and guards. They changed, so their situation changed. One of the Salaf said, “The Khilafah of Abu Bakr and `Umar was true and adhered to the Book of Allah. Then he recited this Ayah.” Al-Bara’ bin `Azib said, “This Ayah was revealed when we were in a state of extreme fear.” This Ayah is like the Ayah:
(And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land) Until His statement:
(so that you might be grateful) ﴿8:26﴾.
(as He granted succession to those before them,) This is like the Ayah where Allah tells us that Musa said to his people:
(“It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth…”) ﴿7:129﴾ And Allah says:
(And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak in the land,) until the two Ayat there after. ﴿28: 5-6﴾
(and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion which He has chosen for them…) vAs the Messenger of Allah said to `Adiyy bin Hatim when he came to him in a delegation:
(Do you know Al-Hirah) He said, “I do not know it, but I have heard of it.” The Messenger of Allah said:
(By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, Allah will make this matter ﴿i.e., Islam﴾ prevail until a woman riding a camel will come from Al-Hirah and perform Tawaf around the House without needing the protection of anybody, and the treasures of Kisra the son of Hurmuz will be opened.) He said, “Kisra the son of Hurmuz” He said,
(Yes, Kisra the son of Hurmuz, and wealth will be given until there will be no one who will accept it.) `Adiyy bin Hatim said: “Now it is happening that a woman riding a camel comes from Al-Hirah and performs Tawaf around the House without needing the protection of anybody, and I was among those who opened the treasure of Kisra the son of Hurmuz. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the third thing will also come to pass, because the Messenger of Allah said it.”
(if they worship Me and do not associate anything with Me.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas that Mu`adh bin Jabal told him, “While I was riding behind the Prophet on a donkey, with nothing between me and him but the back of his saddle, he said,
(O Mu`adh bin Jabal.) I said, `Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah.’ Then a while passed, then he said,
(O Mu`adh bin Jabal.) I said, `Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah.’ Then a while passed, then he said,
(O Mu`adh bin Jabal.) I said, `Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said,
(Do you know the rights that Allah has over His servants) I said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said,
(The rights that Allah has over His servants are that they should worship Him and not associate anything with Him.) Then a while passed, then he said,
(O Mu`adh bin Jabal.) I said, `Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said,
(Do you know the rights that people have over Allah if they do that) I said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said,
(The rights that people have over Allah is that He will not punish them.)” This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs.
(But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the rebellious.) means, `whoever then stops obeying Me after that, has stopped obeying the command of his Lord, and that is a great sin.’ The Companions — may Allah be pleased with them — were the most committed of people after the Prophet to the commands of Allah and the most obedient to Allah. Their victories were in accordance with their level of commitment. They caused the Word of Allah to prevail in the east and the west, and Allah supported them so much that they governed all the people and all the lands. When the people subsequently fell short in their commitment to some of the commandments, their strength and victory fell short accordingly, but it is confirmed through more than one route in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:
(There will remain a group of my Ummah adhering to the truth, and those who forsake them or oppose them will not harm them until the Day of Resurrection. ) According to another report:
(.. until the command of Allah comes to pass and they are like that.) According to another report:
(… until they fight the Dajjal.) According to another report:
(… until `Isa bin Maryam comes down and they are prevailing.) All of these reports are Sahih, and there is no contradiction between them.
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