دعونا نصحّح العقيدة الاسلامية





تفسيرِ اَسَدی






  الجزء ا ۔ الم 



سورة البقرة

The Cow

Al-Baqara | Sura # 2| 286 verses | Madinah


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ 

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful.




الم - ١   
(1)  Alif-Laam-Miim (الم).
Fourteen Arabic alphabets have been used, in varied combinations,  in  14 ‘Solemn Verses' (Ayat-e-Muqatta'at - آیاتِ مقطعات) in the form of initials  of  29 Chapters (سورة) of holy Quran.   Alif-Laam-Meem ( الم  )  is one of them.
Since Quran is 'Mubeen' (الْمُبِينِ);  its description is clear and manifest. Thus,  the meanings of all the verses of Quran, including  'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) are surely known to its principle addressee, ie., Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  It is also likely that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has informed the meanings of these Verses to some of his Sahabah and  Awliya Allah.
We believe  in whatever is meant by the 'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and His Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  
Since we have been commanded to read Quran carefully and try to understand the significance of every verse of Quran, we do ponder over these verses.  And when we think by focusing our attention towards Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) for guidance,  it comes to our mind that the 'Solemn Verses' (آیاتِ مقطعات) are actually the 'Solemn Titles of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) given by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) throughout Quran.  Our understanding is based on the fact that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has addressed Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in Quran by specific names, like Muzzammil (مزمل - O' beloved who covers self  in a coverlet), Muddassir (مدثر  -  O' beloved, who covers self in a bed sheet).  With this understanding, it is most likely that  Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) other names / titles  have been mentioned in Quran  by denoting certain initials/alphabets.

  ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ - ٢   

Thalika (ذَ‌ٰلِكَ) ‘this is’ ,  alkitabu, (الْكِتَابُ) ‘ ‘the book’,   la rayba feehi (لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ) ‘there is no doubt in it’,    Hudan lilmuttaqeena (هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ) ‘it is guidance for abstinent’ (who sincerely follow Islam in all walks of their  lives).
(2) This is the book (scripture) in which there is no doubt; it is guidance to those who are abstinents (Muttaqeen - مُتَّقِينَ).
Two things have been mentioned in this verse, (i) Trust in Quran as the word of God, and (ii) Quran is guidance for those who are abstinent (مُتَّقِينَ - pious people who follow Islamic teachings sincerely). 
(i) Trust in Quran -  It is part of the faith of Muslims to believe in Quran as the word of God (كلام الله).  The one who doubts in it, is not a Muslim.
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘having doubt in Quran is disbelieve. (Sunan Abu Dawood 4603)
It is a fact that the Quran is the word of God. It is the only book  that  has been kept in its original form for the past 1400 years.  It contains 6236 verses which have been memorized by hundreds of millions of people in the world throughout the history of Islam.  This book deals with all facets of human life. Quran challenges the entire human kind to bring a single verse like it and none could do it yet. It is our belief that no one will ever be able to do it in future as well as Quran is the word of God.     
(ii) Who are abstinents (Muttaqeen - مُتَّقِينَ)? They are the self restrained ascetics who follow Islam sincerely in all spheres of their lives.
What are the requirements of  ‘Abstinence’ (تقوه) ?  
The primary requirement of Abstinence  is Iman, the  proclamation of  Islamic testimony (شهاده).
There are two conditions of this proclamation; (a) knowing its true meanings and believing it in heart, and (b) confirming by mouth. 
Oral recitation/confirmation of Shahada is not sufficient for a person to be Muslim, unless he knows the true meanings of Islamic Testimony  and believes in it. 
People belonging to various religions in the world accept that there is one God or one reality and they all concede to the fact that Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Prophet of Islam. Does this acceptance make them Muslim?  No, for the simple reason that the perception and comprehension of belief in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and believe in Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is different from its generic understanding.  To understand it, and believe in it makes a person Muslims. 
Islamic Testimony (شهاده) - There are  two aspects of Islamic Shahadah, (a) belief in Allah - لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰهُ  [There is no god except Allah], and (b) belief in Prophet - مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللّٰهِ  [ Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the Apostle of Allah.]
BELIEF  IN  ALLAH  (سبحانه و تعالى)
The word god is used by different people in difference meanings.  A Muslim has to believe in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) as the creator of this Cosmos and no one but Him is the worshipable God.   Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is free from the considerations of body, form, shape, sitting, standing, etc.  Everything in this cosmos is His creation.  Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) creations are appearing in the cosmos in specific shapes/forms/characteristics as per their facts.
What are the beliefs that are contrary to Islamic monotheism?
(a) Some people associate divinity (اُلوہيت) with some human beings and call them Godmen or Avataar.  Some people believe different gods for different works in this cosmos and they make pictures and mud/metallic idols of these gods and worship them.  Some people believe that god has a son and angels are god’s daughters. All these beliefs are polytheism, contrary to the Islamic belief of Monotheism.
(b) Some Muslim sects (Wahhabis and their like minded groups) believe that their God has a huge human like body with human like physical features.  He is sitting over the skies separated from his creatures.  This  belief is polytheism (شرک).  They have created an idol of a sky God in their minds and worship this idol claiming it to be Allah.  Why they call it Allah?  Because god is translated in Arabic as Allah.
(c) Some Muslim sects (Devbandis and their like minded groups) believe that God can commit sinful acts. Like they believe that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) can lie, and to lie is within His powers.  They argue that when people can lie and it is in their power to lie, then to deny this power for Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is apostasy.  They claim that there is a difference between saying - ‘ Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) lies’  or  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) can lie -  and  they believe that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) can lie but He chooses not to lie.
The above belief is Kufr because it sows the seed of suspicion about Almighty’s perfection.  Allah’s omnipotence (قدرتِ اِلٰہی) is relevant to His knowledge.  Allah’s   (سبحانه و تعالى) ‘will’ is the result of His wisdom, which in turn is dependent upon His knowledge.  A thing which is contrary to his ‘Wisdom’ will not appear.  To believe Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) can perform unwise deeds is equal to not believing Him Wise.
The omnipotence (قدرت) of insane and mad is not subordinated to knowledge and wisdom.  The omnipotence of sensible, intelligent and wise  is subordinated to 'knowledge and wisdom'.
The irrelevance of 'omnipotence' of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) ' to Impossibilities (محالات), baseless things (مُستحیلات) and forbidden things (مُمتنعات) does not indicate Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) powerlessness.  The powerlessness is indicated when the thing was possible in the first place. 
Can Allah create a 'resemble alike'?  This question is meaningless as a look-alike God is impossible and has no relevance to omnipotence. Can Allah commit suicide the way a human beings do?  This question is also meaningless.  Divine non-existence is impossible.  Can Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) create deficiency in Himself?  No, never.  Can Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) lie?  No. Never.
The possibilities (creatures) are subordinated to His omnipotence. Allah’s unity (ذاتِ الٰہی),  and 'impossibilities'  are not subordinated to His omnipotence.  His being is so essential and so exalted that He is beyond His own omnipotence.
(d) There are some Muslim sects (Ammanis and their like minded groups) who consider that simple verbal recitation of Islamic testimony (كلمه طيبه) is sufficient for a person to be Muslim. And this way they treat all sects as true Muslims.
Some Ammanis  claim that  the  belief in Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)  is optional, not essential for a person to get salvation in Hereafter.  Only the belief in one God is sufficient. Needless to say that Ammani beliefs are contrary to Islamic beliefs.     
(e) Polytheism and Idol worship is contrary to Islamic monotheism. If a person recites Kalima Tayyiba orally/publicly and claims himself to be Muslim, but at the same time visits Hindu temples, Sikh Gurduwaras, Jew Synagogues, Christian Churches and participates in their functions and does not mind standing along with them in their worship in the name of Inter-faith,  is a political Muslim.  There is a difference between a political Muslim and real Muslim.  Since political Muslim is involved in, or participates/joins in worship other than Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), his Islamic faith is only his lip service that will neither benefit him in this world, nor will be helpful in Hereafter. 
When political Muslims is questioned about his actions, he claims that he is doing it for peace and harmony among different sections of society.  Indeed,  it is a deception on his part.  He is fooling people for the sake of some political/material benefits.  
It is in Quran -  لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ  [Make no excuse; you have done Kufr after your Iman.] (At-Tauba - 66). 
As far as working for peace and harmony in a multi-cultural society is concerned, this can be achieved without sacrificing your Iman.
We are discussing the essential requirement of Islamic faith.  It is important to note that we do not hate people on the basis of their sect, faith, or ethnicity.  Faith is a choice of every individual on this planet. He can have any faith. Also, it is a fact that we are all brothers in humanity and  we honor peoples’ right to have faith of their choice. This is Islamic teaching taught to us by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
It is in Hadith – Ibn Abbas (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) reported, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side is hungry’ ( Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra).
In the above Hadith there is no mention that your neighbor should be a true Muslim in order to help him in any manner needed.  He can be anyone, belonging to any sect, faith and ethnicity. 
BELIEF  IN  PROPHET  MOHAMMAD  (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
A Muslim has to believe in Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as the Servant and  Apostle of Allah and seal of Prophethood.  Meaning, he is the last and final Prophet to humanity. After him no one will come as a Prophet. Claim of Prophet-hood by anyone after Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is Apostasy. 
Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), respect in the Cosmos is next only Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). He has a special status awarded to him by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).  He cannot be equated or treated as a normal (sinful) human being. 
It is in Quran -  وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُوا [And obey Allah and obey the apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and be cautious (about his status and respect in this cosmos)]. (Al-Maaida – 92).
It is in Hadith – Narrated by Ibn Omer and Abu Huraira (رضئ الله تعالى عنهم), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) told his companions, “ I am not like you.  I live with my Sustainer (رب) who feeds and provides me with drink. (Bukhar and Muslim).
Disrespect of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his blasphemy in any form or shape, takes a person out of the fold of Islam. The entire Muslim Ummah has consensus in this regard.
The other requirements of Abstinence  are as follows.
(i) The person should refrain from what is forbidden in Islam. 
(ii) Then  avoid issues which are doubtful which may lead  to committing sins. 
(iii) Then avoid spending his time in wasteful avocations and evil considerations (thoughts). 
(iv) He should try to spend his time in remembering Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) to an extent that the thought of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) overtakes other irrelevant thoughts of the world. 
(v) Then he should try to give due right to everyone around him, including his own self, as per the commandments of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).
(vi) He should be alert in all his actions by realizing the presence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) around him. If this is not possible, he should always keep in mind that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is watching all his actions in this world, and this is the elevated state of abstinence described in the Hadith of Ihsan.
Hadith of Ihsan -  Abu Huraira (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) narrated -  One day while the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was sitting in the company of some people, (angel) Gabriel (عليه السلام) came and sat, folding his knees like a student sits in front of a teacher and asked, "What is faith?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), His angels, (the) meeting with Him (on the day of judgment), His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.’   Then he asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "To worship Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay the compulsory charity ‘Zakat’ and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." Then he asked, "What is Ihsan?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "To pray as if you see Him, and if you cannot see him then you must consider that He is looking at you." (Bukhari – part of the Hadith).
As per the above Hadith, there are three categories of people in Muslim Ummah.
(i) People of Iman - Those who are good at Iman, but not good at deeds.  People of  Sahih Iman will eventually get salvation in Hereafter, either after some punishment or after Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) intercession.
(ii) People of Islam -  People who are not good at Iman and their believes come under the purview of apostasy / polytheism. They are faithless Muslims even though they recite Kalima Tayyiba verbally, claim themselves to be Muslims, and act upon Islamic deeds.
It is in Hadith - Abu Said Al-Khudri narrated - Allah’s Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ‘there will appear some people among you whose prayer will make you look down upon yours, and whose fasting will make you look down upon yours, and they will recite Qur'an ( in melodious voices and memorize it) but Quran will not go down their throats ( they will misunderstand and misinterpret the meanings of Quran) and will go out of Islam as the arrow goes out of the bow. (Bukhari ).
Some people consider that people belonging to all Islamic Sect will get salvation on the day of Judgment.  Some will get instant salvation, the others will get salvation after they are punished for wrong Iman.   This is not a correct understanding because the first and foremost requirement is Sahih Iman.   A person who dies without the light of Iman in his heart, lived in darkness in this world, will remain in darkness in Hereafter as well. His Islamic deeds will not be useful for him in his salvation.   
(iii) People of Ihsan - Those who are good both in Iman  (Islamic faith) and Islamic deeds.  These are the people who are successful in both the worlds. They are the ones who will get innumerable bounties of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in Hereafter.
It is in Quran -  إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ [ Allah is with those who have abstinence (تقوه) and practice Ihsan. ] (An-Nahl - 128).
It is in Quran -  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ [ Allah loves those who practice Ihsan.]  (Al-Baqara - 195;  Aale-Imraan - 134, 148; Al-Maidah - 13, 93).
Who are the people of Ihsan?  They are the friends of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). 
It is in Quran -  أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ - لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ [Behold the friends of Allah.  On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.  These are they, who have believed in Allah and are mindful of Him and are abstinents (abstain from everything evil). To them tidings come This in itself is a great felicity.  (Younus 62-64). 
Followers of some Muslim Sects do not believe in Awliya Allah and consider their pious graves as places of polytheism.  They call them lying Idols and equate them with idols worshiped by idol worshipers. The Muslims who visit their graves for barakah are called by these sects as ‘Grave worshipers’  They do not realize that it is the practice of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and Sahabah who used to visit the graves of Muslims on regular basis.  There are many Ahadith in this context in almost all authentic Ahadith books.  By doing blasphemy of Awliya Allah, followers of these sects surely invite the wrath of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
It is in Hadith - Whoever takes a Wali of mine (ولي الله) an enemy, I will wage a war on him (Bukhari, part of the Hadith).
The emphasis on ‘Wali of mine’ in the above Hadith shows that Awliya Allah (the people of Ihsan) are the chosen ones among believers and their disrespect, blasphemy and equating them with polytheists’ Idols may lead to dire consequences for these people in Hereafter. 

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ  - ٣


Allatheena (الَّذِينَ) ‘Those’,  Yuminoona bialghaybi (يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ)  ‘who believe in the unseen’,   Wa-yuqeemoona alssalata (وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ) ‘And those who establish Salah, Wa-mimma razaqnahum yunfiqoona (وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ) ‘And spend (righteously) from what We have given them’.
(3) Those who believe in the Unseen, establish prayers, and spend (righteously) from what We have given them.
Three issues have been mentioned in this verse, (i) Belief in Unseen, (ii) Establishment of Salah, and (iii) Spending in Charity.
(i) What is ‘belief in unseen’ (غَيْبِ)? 
The knowledge of unseen is a simple issue.  Some Muslim sects (like Wahhabis/Deobandis and their like minded groups) have made it complicated.  Like, a Medical doctor knows many things about his profession which are not known to general people or people of other professions.  For a doctor, the knowledge of about human ailments, their causes and  cure will be treated as ‘Seen’.  And for others this knowledge will be treated as ‘Unseen’. The issue is as simple as that.
The above mentioned Muslim sects do not believe in the knowledge of  Unseen of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They say that knowledge of unseen is only related to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). They also claim that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is just like any other human being and to associate the knowledge of unseen with him is polytheism (شرك). 
We have discussed this issue briefly to clarify doubts of the people in this context. The fact is,  knowledge of unseen is only related to human beings. It is absolutely not related with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).  Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) knows about Himself and knows everything about His creations in this Cosmos.  There is nothing 'Unseen' for Allah  (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  Therefore, whenever we talk about 'Unseen', it will be with reference to creatures and not with reference to Allah  (سبحانہ و تعا لی).
It is in Quran -  عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ [ Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows everything that is hidden and visible (to the human beings). (Al-Hashr – 22).
The basic rule is Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) knowledge is absolute, His own.  The knowledge possessed by His creatures (humans, angels, Jins, etc.) is His bestowal to them.
It is in Quran - قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا  [ They (the angels) said, Exalted You are (O’ our Lord), we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. ]  (Al-Baqara – 32).  
The knowledge of unseen of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is definitely the bestowal of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
It is in Hadith - Amr Ibn Akhtab [Abu Zayd] al-Ansari (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)   said: "The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) prayed fajr with us then climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the time came for Zuhr, then he descended and prayed. Then he climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the time came for `Asr, whereupon he descended and prayed. Then he climbed the pulpit and addressed us until the sun set. He informed us about all that was to happen until the Day of Resurrection. The most knowledgeable of us is he who has memorized the most." (Muslim, Ahmed) 
It is in Hadith - Hudhayfa (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) narrated: "The Prophet stood among us [speaking] for a long time and did not leave out one thing from that time until the rising of the Final Hour except he told us about it. Whoever remembers it remembers it and whoever forgot it forgot it. All those who are present know this. Some of it I might have forgotten, then I see it [happen] and remember it just as someone would remember a man who had been away and then appears before him and he instantly recognizes him." (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
How it is possible that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) knows about everything in this cosmos?   It is simple. We will explain it by some examples.
Currently, we are living in 21st century.  During our time Internet has changed the way we lived earlier. We have a big source (search engine) of Knowledge available on line. It is known as Google.com.  Google is the biggest search engine in the world available in almost all countries of the world. In 2017 it is claimed that Google processed over 40,000 search queries every second  which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day or 1.2 trillion searches per year.  This means that billions of people are using Google to search information for various purposes.  Now, let anyone consider; is not the Head of Google aware of the individual and collective actions of its users?  Yes,he is.  Google has devised a mechanism with which if a single user is unable to get required data,  they attend to his/her request and within no time the problem is solved.  
Let us explain it with another example.  In our times (in early 21st Century), United States of America is a very large country and a Super power in the world.  Because of its status as undisputed super power, the data generated at Pentagon (Department of Defense), White House (Presidential Palace), Capitol Hill (US Parliament), various Federal/State offices, US Military Bases and Embassies  around the globe is enormous.  The single man in the world who has knowledge, access and control of this data is the US President.  Can anyone tell that the US President is unaware of the data generated at these places? Any literate person will say no.  It cannot be like that.  He is fully aware and in control of this data. 
How does a US President operate?  He overlooks US operations and knows which direction the US policies will go to keep its position intact, at home and abroad.  And if he wants to know what is happening at a remote area in the country or at a US Base  at a far off corner of the World, like the tiny island Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean, he does not need to ask anyone.  He looks at his palm size computer and with a few commands he comes to know about it.
The question is how much knowledge  Prophet Mohammad  (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) possess? 
Since Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is chief of prophets, who is sent as a mercy to all the worlds till the Day of Resurrection, his knowledge about Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and this cosmos,  and the things to happen in this cosmos,  will indeed be comprehensive and complete. 
Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) hidden machinery is in operation at at all time.  There are innumerable Angels, humans and other species working 24 hours of the day.  They do not get tired of their work.  And the single person who has access and command over this machinery (other than Allah)  is (بِاذن اللهِ - with Allah's permission) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
It is in Quran -  يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا  [ Certainly We (Allah) have sent you (Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as witness, deponent, the one who gives good tiding and as a fore-warner.] (Al-Ahzab - 45).
Who is a witness (as per the law)?  He is the one who sees things from his eyes.  Statement of a Deponent who has only heard about a thing is not acceptable in the Court of law. 
The above Quranic verse establishes the comprehensive knowledge of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) collectively and  individually in the Cosmos.
It is in Quran - إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا  [Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His angels send blessings (and salutations) on Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) : O’ you who believe! Send your salutations and reverence on him, and salute him with all respect.] (Al-Ahazab – 56).
The above Quranic verse is in present tense.  It is not that the Durood was sent on Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) during his life time only.  This is a continuous process.  This establishes the fact that the  life span of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is continuous within the framework of existence in different formats in this Cosmos.
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Hurayrah (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). When Allah's Apostle  was asked since how long he is the Prophet of Allah?, He replied, ‘When Adam (عليه السلام) had not yet had his spirit joined to his body. (Tirmidhi).
When we study the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), we realize that there are certain occasions when he said or acted as he was unaware of things.  Why it is so?
Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) represents humanity in all its formats. He shows happiness on certain things and displeasure on certain things. He shows fore knowledge of certain things and shows his unawareness of certain things.  He pleads with Almighty for His forgiveness. He walks in streets like normal human beings. He fights with infidels along with his companions and sometimes the results of the battles are inconclusive and sometimes he wins. He becomes concerned when something goes wrong with his family members or his companions and shares happiness with them on happy occasions.
It is in Quran - ‘Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is an exemplary model (for all of you) (Al-Ahzab – 21).
He is an icon of humanity.   In other words, he is a perfect human being. Like him there is none. He represents various facets of humanity at various stages of his life. Sometimes, he shows utmost humility of a desperate human being and on other occasions, pointing his finger towards the moon splits it into two, which was witnessed by many from their naked eyes.
It is in Quran - اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ - وَإِن يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ  [ 'The Hour (the Day of Resurrection) came near and the moon was split.  And if they see any sign, then turn their faces and say this is magic perpetual'.] (Al-Qamar -1-2).
One of the most important aspect of our Iman is utmost respect of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and deep rooted love for him in our hearts.
We should be careful while describing about prophets, Sahabah, prominent Imams and Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan and Awliya Allah. They are all virtuous and stand tall in Islamic Ummah.  They are provided with special knowledge by their Lord which is unseen for general people. We should not rebel against their authorities in religion. If we do not keep these things in mind, we are sure to be doomed on the Day of Judgment.
(ii) Establishment of Salah
What is the difference between ' performing (doing) prayer' and 'establishing prayer'?  Performance of prayer means doing a one time prayer or one day’s prayer or doing prayers occasionally; while establishment of prayer means,  one performs 5 times prayers every day on regular basis, at regular timings, taking care of all requirements scrupulously. Performance of prayer with all the attention, like one is seeing Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) or with utmost attention knowing well that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is seeing him.  This aspect has been referred in Hadith of Ihsan reported by Bukhari, Muslim and other Imams of Ahadith.  
(iii) Spending in Charity
What is the meaning of spending from the things Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has given.  This covers Zakat.  In addition, one should ensure that others are benefited from his knowledge, expertise, counseling, etc.  We will discuss these issues in detail at an appropriate place in the Tafseer.  
It is in Quran - وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ   [(Meaning - They ask you O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) "how much they are to spend (in Charity); Say: "What is beyond your needs."] (Al-Baqara - 219). 
This was the practice of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), most of his Sahabah and Awliya Allah.
 وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ - ٤
Wa-allatheena (وَالَّذِينَ) ‘And those’,  Yuminoona (يُؤْمِنُونَ) ‘who believe’, Bima onzila ilayka (بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ) What is sent down upon you, (Quran),  Wama onzila min qablika (وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ) ‘And that was sent down before you (on other prophets), Wabi Al-aakhirati hum yuqinoona (وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ) And they firmly believe in Hereafter.
(4) And those who believe in what is sent down upon you (O' Prophet- صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and what was sent down before you (on other prophets) and they firmly believe in Hereafter.
Three important aspects of faith have been mentioned in this verse.  (i) Believe in what is sent down upon Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), ie., Quran.  (ii) Believe in what was sent down on earlier prophets, and (iii) Belief in Hereafter.
(i) Belief in Quran
It is important that Muslims have absolute trust in Quran as the word of God.  Indeed Quran is the word of God beyond any iota of doubt.  The logical and scientific proofs in this context will be discussed at an appropriate place in the Tafseer.
(ii) Belief in earlier scriptures.
Belief in scriptures sent down on earlier prophets is  also an integral part of Islamic faith.  In this context, we believe in,  and respect the following scriptures that have been mentioned in Quran.
(a) The Gospel (الإنجيل) revealed to Prophet Isa (عليه السلام).
(b) The Torah (التوراة) revealed to Prophet Musa (عليه السلام).
(c) The Psalms (الزبور) revealed to Prophet Dawud (عليه السلام).
(d) The Scrolls (صحف) revealed to Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and other prophets.
It is a fact that all the above scriptures have not survived neither in their original languages they were revealed to their respective prophet, nor in their content.  Some translations are available which are not as per their original text.  Also these translated versions have been changed successively over a period of centuries.  This is the reason that no two translated editions of Bible match with each other. 
(iii) Believe in  Hereafter as taught to us by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is also part of Muslim belief.
اُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ - ٥ 
Olaika (أُولَـٰئِكَ) ‘These are the people’ , AAala hudan min rabbihim (عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ) ‘Who are on the guidance of their Lord’, Wa olaika humu almuflihoona (وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ)‘ ‘And these are the people who are successful.
(5) These are the people who are on Guidance of their Lord and these are the ones who are successful (in both the worlds).
Who are the guided and successful people as per the above verse?  Their details have been described in earlier verses.  First they should not have any doubt in Quran, which is guidance to sincere seekers of Islam. Then those who believe in the Unseen, those who establish prayers, and those who spend in charity.  In addition, those who believe in the earlier scripture sent down on earlier prophets and those who believe in resurrection and in the events of Hereafter as described in Quran and Sunnah.  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says these are the successful people in this life and in Hereafter.
After describing about the people who are on the right path of Islam and who are successful in both the world, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) now describes about the people who reject faith in the following verse.
 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ -  ٦  
Inna al-latheena (إِنَّ الَّذِينَ) ‘Indeed, those’  Kafaroo (كَفَرُوا)  ‘who rejected faith’ , Sawaon AAalayhim (سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ) ‘It is the same for them, it does not matter, Aanthartahum am lam tunthirhum (أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ) ‘ whether you warn them or not’, la yuminoona (لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ) ‘they will not believe’.
(6)   Indeed those who have rejected faith, it does not matter whether you (O'Prophet -  صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) warn them or not, they will not believe.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) provides sustenance to every human being.  Everyone is being explained about Sahih Iman in this world.   But, acceptance or rejection of faith depends upon the individual nature.  This is the reason Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that if it is not in a person’s nature to accept the faith, he will not do it.
When Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knew that there are some people who will not believe, then why they were preached in the first place? 
It is because, let the whole world know that, in view of their eternal nature and misfortune, they will not believe even if they are shown the miracles of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).  Abu Jahel is one of the example among these people.
 خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ -  ٧
Khatama Allahu (خَتَمَ اللَّهُ) ‘Allah’s seal’,  AAala quloobihim (عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ) ‘ is affixed on their hearts, wa-AAala samAAihim (وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ) ‘On their ears,  wa-AAala absarihim (وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ) ‘On their eyes’,  ghishawatun (غِشَاوَةٌ) ‘The seal has covered these senses,  walahum (وَلَهُمْ) ‘for them,   AAathabun AAatheemun (عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ) ‘there is severe torment’.
(7)  Their hearts and their ears are fastened by Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) seal (because of their rejection of faith) and their eyes are veiled (in view of their insistence on disbelief) and for them there is a severe torment. 
There is a series of cause and effect in the  Cosmos.  If you deny and reject faith, you will be left to freeze in the darkness. When you are frozen, your senses won’t function.  This is the reason it is said that their ears, eyes and the faculty of senses are sealed in view of their rejection of faith. If you accept the faith and act upon the commandments of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), you will get the light and warmth of Iman in your heart with which you can walk on the right path and you will be rewarded with Allah’s bounties in this world and in Hereafter both.
 وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ -  ٨
Wa min al-Nasi (وَمِنَ النَّاسِ) ‘There are people among the deniers of faith’,   Man yaqoolu (مَن يَقُولُ)  ‘who say’  Amanna biAllahi (آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ)  ‘they believe in Allah’, Wa bi al Yawmil  Aakhiri (وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ) ‘and on the Day of Judgment,  Wama hum bi mumineena (وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ) ‘But they are not believers’.
(8)  Among them, there are people who say that they believe in their Lord and on the Last Day (of Judgment) even though they are not believers.
First Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) described the characteristics of the people who are believers, then he described the characteristics of the people who reject faith and now in this verse Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is describing the characteristics of the people who are hypocrites,  who claim they are Muslims, but in fact are not Muslims. 
It is important to note that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) treats hypocrites as a group among the rejectors of faith.
There were hypocrites in the times of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who used to say they were believers just like Muslims and they used to perform prayers along with Muslims, but in their heart they did not believe. Some of them worked as spies of Makkan pagans. They attempted to create doubts in the minds of Muslims by their manipulative talk.
 يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّـهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ -  ٩
YukhadiAAoona Allaha (يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ) ‘(these hypocrites) want to deceive Allah’   wa-allatheena amanoo (وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا) ‘And to deceive the believers (Muslims)’,  wama yakhdaAAoona illa anfusahum (وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ) ‘ they are in fact deceiving themselves’,  wama yashAAuroona (وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ) ‘ they do not realize it, they are not conscious of this fact’.
(9)  (These hypocrites) who like to deceive Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and  the believers; in fact are deceiving their own selves but they are not conscious about it.
The problem with hypocrites was they still believed in the deities who they worshiped before the advent of Islam.  Most of them also held respectable places in their pre-Islamic society.  After becoming Muslims, they were treated on par with other Muslims. In Islam the respect and importance of the person is on the basis of Taqwa.  The down-to-earth Islamic equality in treating human beings could not be swallowed by the hypocrites even though they recited Islamic testimony in front of everyone and started acting like Muslims.  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that these hypocrites consider that they are deceiving Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and Muslims by their diplomacy.  But they do not understand that they are actually deceiving themselves.
There were hypocrites among Muslims all through the history of Islam.  So is the case in our times. There are some so called Muslims in our times who work for money and power and collude with political parties / politicians and mislead innocent Muslims.  They should know that their manipulative diplomacy surely  will bring  disrespect and ignominy for them  in this life and in Hereafter.
There are some modern Muslims who visit Hindu temples to perform Puja, and then go to mosque and perform Salah and then go to church and perform the religious service there.  They also marry people belonging to different faiths.  They claim that they are doing it for the sake of inter-religious harmony. There are some so called Muslim religious scholars who encourage their followers to visit religious places of other religions and participate in services their in the name of Inter faith.  These people should know that they what they are doing is hypocrisy.  They can as well create harmony  and love among different people without compromising their Iman and getting involved in open polytheism / apostasy.
 فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ  - ١٠
Fee quloobihim maradun (فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ) ‘There is a disease in their (hypocrites) hearts’,  fazadahumu Allahu maradan (فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا) ‘Allah increases their disease’,  walahum (وَلَهُمْ) ‘for them’,  AAathabun aleemun (عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ) ‘is harsh torment’,  bima kanoo yakthiboona (بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ) for their falsehood’.
(10) There is a severe disease in the hearts (of these hypocrites).  And Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) increases their disease; for them is harsh torment in view of their false assertions.
What was the disease in the hearts of the hypocrites?  It was Jealously towards Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and His companions.  When Islam established its foothold in Madina and nearby areas, many people, including the leaders of Jews and non believers declared themselves Muslims halfheartedly.  In the process, they lost  leadership of their community.  This was one of  the reasons for their jealousy towards Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). They used to conspire against him and his companions secretly by joining hands with the enemies of Islam. 
An important thing to be understood here is, if you sincerely love Allah  (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and are honest in your Islamic deeds; guidance comes to you from Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  If you are not sincere, this guidance gets stopped.  This is the reason in verse no. 2 above, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says Quran is guidance for those who are sincere believers. Once the guidance is stopped in view of your insincerity and hypocrisy, all types of ailments of hearts, like jealously, desire for leadership, greed for wealth and lust for women starts increasing in the heart. 
In our times, there are some sects among Muslims who compete with each other for the leadership of Muslim community.  In their attempt for leadership and power, they have devised  new religions for themselves in the name of Islam. They have changed Ahadith books of all important Imams of Ahadith, including books like Adab Al-Mufrad written by Imam Bukhari.  They regard the pious graves of Sahabah and Awliya Allah as places of polytheism.  They have destroyed all important traces of Islam in Hijaz and other places in the Middle east. They destroyed the house of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in Makka near al-Haram and converted it into a Public toilet.  Indeed, all these people have a disease in their hearts and there is no cure for it until they turn back to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and seek is forgiveness.
 وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ  - ١١ 
Wa-itha qeela lahum (وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ) When it is said to them,  La tufsidoo fee alardi (لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ) do not spread disorder on Earth,  Qaloo innama nahnu muslihoona (قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ) They say ‘we are reformers’.
(11)  When it is said to them (the hypocrites),  do not spread disorder on Earth, they say they are the reformers.
The hypocrites in the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to be secretly in touch  with the enemies of Islam and they  thought that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) was unaware of their intentions and secret deals. The hypocrites were not interested in religion. They wanted to play around and wait for an opportune time to take over the leadership of the community.  Meaning, they were the  perpetrators of disorder in Muslim community.  When their attention was drawn towards this behavior, they used to claim they were reformers.   
In our times also we find many people in Muslim community who are following the same policy.  Muslim politicians are at the forefront of this lot.  For them Muslim vote bank is only motivation.  They play politics in the name of religion and claim that they are reformers of Muslim community. 
 أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ  - ١٢
Ala innahum (أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ) ‘ Yes, they are the people‘    humu almufsidoona ‘who spread disorder’,   walakin la yashAAuroona ‘But they don’t realize it’.
(12) Yes (indeed), they are the people who spread disorder but they do not (have common sense) to realize it’.
Playing a double game with the intention to destroy a society in collusion with its enemies is indeed dangerous.  These are the acts of disorder and  destruction in the world.  They are trouble makers in the world.  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that while they claim they are reformers, they are the real trouble makers and these are the people who destroy human societies.  But they do not realize it.
 وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ ۗأَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ  - ١٣
Wa-itha qeela lahum (وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ) ‘ When it is told to them’, aminoo (آمِنُوا) ‘to believe’,   kama amana alnnasu (كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ) ‘as other people (Muslims) have believed’,  qaloo anuminu kama amana alssufahao (الُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ) ‘Shall we believe as the fools (Muslims) believe’,  ala innahum humu alssufahao (أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ) ‘Indeed they themselves are fools,  walakin la yaAAlamoona (وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ) ‘But they don’t realize it (are unaware of it)’.
(13 ) When it is said (to these hypocrites) to believe  as (real) believers (do), they say that,  shall we believe as the fools (Muslims) believe? Yes, Indeed, they themselves are fools but they are unaware of it.
The hypocrites during Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time used to say that Muslims are emotional fools. They do not know how to safeguard personal interest by cunningness and  diplomacy. 
Muslims used follow Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and would gather on his call to sacrifice their lives in the cause of Islam.  They would not  care about themselves or  their families and their welfare in this world.  This type of behavior of Muslims was strange for hypocrites, not in line with their living during pre-Islamic life. This kind of sincerity was not possible for them. This is the reason they used to call Muslims as fools. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that in fact they themselves are fools and they do not know about it.  
In our times also hypocrites behave the same way.  They do not care about religion or welfare of Muslim society as a whole.  These wolves in the guise of goats have  damaged Islam and Muslims more than anyone else in the world throughout the history of Islam.
 وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ  - ١٤
Wa-itha laqoo (وَإِذَا لَقُوا)  ‘When they meet’, allatheena amanoo (الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا) ‘the people who believe (Muslims),   qaloo amanna (قَالُوا آمَنَّا) ‘They say we are believers’  wa-itha khalaw ila shayateenihim (وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ) ‘ When they meet with leaders of disbelievers in seclusion’,  qaloo inna maAAakum (الُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ) ‘They say ‘we are with you’,  innama nahnu mustahzioona (إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ) ‘We were making fun of Muslims by claiming our believe in Islam.’
(14) When they meet believers, they say that we are (also) believers and when they meet with the leaders of disbelievers in seclusion, they say that indeed 'we are with you and we were just mocking the Muslims (by fooling them)'.
This is how the hypocrites used to behave during the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Their  characteristics have remained the same throughout the history of Islam. 
 اللَّـهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ  - ١٥
Allahu yastahzio bihim (اللَّهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ) ‘Allah also makes fun of them (meaning He will punish them’, Wa-yamudduhum fee tughyanihim (وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ) ‘ by leaving them to increase in their rebellion’   yaAAmahoona (يَعْمَهُونَ) ‘ They will wander in their folly’.
(15)  Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) will surely throw back at them their mockery (they will be severely punished) as they will  increase in their rebellion (never ever to realize their folly) and they will remain wandering in their folly.
A very important issue is cleared in this verse.  Some people wonder why these hypocrites look  successful and prosperous in this world.  When they play around in the hands of the enemies of Islam and try to undermine their own community, they seem to acquire some worldly benefits, wealth and positions in Governments.  The reason is Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has left them in the hands of the enemies of Islam and they get devoid of Guidance in this life.  This, perhaps, is the biggest punishment of all for a person in this life as doors of salvation have been shut upon him.
 أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَارَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ  - ١٦
Olaika allatheena ishtarawoo alddalalata (أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ) ‘These are the people who bought misguidance’,  bi-alhuda (بِالْهُدَىٰ) ‘at the cost of guidance’,   fama rabihat tijaratuhum (فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَارَتُهُمْ) ‘and their deal neither resulted in any (kind of) gain’,  wama kanoo muhtadeena (وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ) ‘nor it could lead them to the right path (of Islam).
(16) These are the people who bought misguidance at the cost of guidance, and their deal neither resulted in any (kind of) gain nor it could lead them to the right path (of Islam).
People should read history of humanity and see what happened to the rejectors  and how the believers  were rewarded.  Look at the history of Prophets Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and Musa (عليه السلام) and see what happened to their enemies Nimrood and Ramses (فرعون).  Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that these are the people who have bought the darkness of their hearts at the cost of light of Iman which is the only source for success in both the world. 
 مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّـهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ  -  ١٧
Mathaluhum (مَثَلُهُمْ) ‘Their example is’,  kamathali allathee istawqada naran (كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا) ‘ that of a person who kindled a fire’, falamma adaat ma hawlahu (فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ)  ‘and when it lighted the atmosphere’,  thahaba Allahu binoorihim (ذَهَبَ اللَّـهُ بِنُورِهِمْ) ‘Allah  took away the light’  watarakahum fee thulumatin (وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ) ‘ and left them in darkness’,  la yubsiroona (لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ) ‘ They cannot see anything in this darkness’.
(17) Their example is that of a person who kindled a fire and when it lighted the atmosphere around them, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) took away the light and left them in darkness again with which they cannot see anything. 
The above verse depicts the condition of hypocrites.  When they declare themselves Muslims, the light of Iman comes to their heart and they become capable of benefiting from it.  This aspect is referred in this verse as  ‘kindle of fire’.  However, when they look at apostates and polytheists and meet with their earlier leaders, they get afraid of their worldly might and start supporting them.  In this situation the Iman (Islamic faith) which had come to their hearts  gets seized and they again start wandering in darkness of apostasy and they get subdued to all kinds of doubts about Islam.
 صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ  - ١٨
Summun ( صُمٌّ) ‘They are deaf’,  bukmun (بُكْمٌ) ‘dumb’,   AAumyun (عُمْيٌ) ‘blind’’,  fahum la yarjiAAoona (فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ) ‘they cannot come back to the right path (of Islam)’.
(18) They are deaf, dumb and blind and (as such) they cannot come back to the right path (of Islam).
As we have explained in the Tafseer of verse # (7) of this Surah, there is a sequence of cause and effect in the  Cosmos.  If you deny and reject faith, you will be left to freeze in darkness.  If you accept the faith and act upon the commandments of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), you will get rewarded in this world and in Hereafter.  In this verse Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that in view of their dubious double face, the hypocrites have become deaf, dumb and blind.  Meaning,  using these senses, they cannot come back to the right path of Islam.  They have lost the path and have moved too far away in darkness. And it is not possible for them to come back to the right path.
 أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّـهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ  - ١٩
Aw kasayyibin mina alssamai (أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ) ‘Or their (hypocrites') example is that of the rain storm which is coming from the skies’, feehi thulumatun waraAAdun wabarqun (فِيهِ ظُلُمَاتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ) ‘In which there is darkness, thunder and  lightening’,  yajAAaloona asabiAAahum fee athanihim (يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم) They thrust their fingers into their ears’,  mina alssawaAAiqi hathara almawti (مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ) ‘For fear of death’,   waAllahu muheetun bialkafireena (وَاللَّـهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ) ‘Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی )  encircles disbelievers’.
(19) Or their (hypocrites') example is that of the rain storm which is coming from the skies which has darkness, thunder and  lightening.  They thrust their fingers into their ears  for fear of death; Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی )  encircles disbelievers.
Hypocrites condition is explained in this verse by another example. For them, it is like a thunder storm coming from the skies which has darkness, the sound of which is sharp and loud. During the storm, often the lightening struck  with a big noise and human ears cannot sustain that kind of a big noise.  Therefore, they  keep their fingers in the ears to reduce that sound for fear of their lives.   Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says that the hypocrites cannot go anywhere as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has  encircled the disbelievers from all direction. 
An important issue to be understood in this verse is,  hypocrites have been addressed as disbelievers and rejectors of faith.
It is in Quran -  إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا  [Indeed, Hypocrites (will be) in the lowest depth of Hellfire and (O’Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) you will not find any helper for them. (An-Nisa - 145).
يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ -  ٢٠
Yakadu albarqu (يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ) ‘It is likely that the lightening’,  yakhtafu absarahum (يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ) ‘Takes away their vision’, kullama (كُلَّمَا)‘ Whenver’, adaa lahum (أَضَاءَ لَهُم) ‘it gets lighted for them’,  mashaw feehi (مَّشَوْا فِيهِ) ‘ they walk in it’,  waitha athlama AAalayhim (وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ) ‘ And when the darkness falls upon them’,  qamoo (قَامُوا) ‘they stop’,  walaw shaa Allahu (وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ) ‘if Allah willed’,  lathahaba bisamAAihim (لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ) ‘He would have taken their hearing’,  wa-absarihim (وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ) ‘and their sight’,  inna Allaha AAala kulli shayin qadeerun (إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ) ‘Indeed Allah has power over everything.’
20 - It is very likely that the lightning takes away their vision.  Whenever there is lightening, they walk in this light and when they get darkness upon them, they hold back.  If Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) willed, He would have deprived them of their hearing and sight.  Indeed, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has power over everything.
The storm bring darkness.  When there is lightening during the storm, the atmosphere gets lighted in which a person can walk a few steps.  When the lightening is over, darkness overtakes again, and it is difficult to move forward. This happens when the lightening  strikes at a far off place.  But if the lightening strikes nearby, it may cause damage to eyes and ears.  And if it strikes at the place where the human is walking, he will be burned to death within seconds.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) gives this simile to describes the state of hypocrites.  They are walking a little when the lightening strikes at a far off place which helps them move a little in the light.  This happens when the lightening strikes away.  But if the lightening strikes nearby their place, their vision and hearing could get paralyzed. 
An interpretation of the above parable could be that there are some verses of Quran that are understood by these hypocrites and they accept them.  This is described in this verse as ‘they move a little in this light’.  However, when they cannot understand certain other verses, they create wrongful interpretations of these verses, creates doubts in their minds and go astray. This is referred as ‘darkness befalls opon them after the lightening’.   Alas, they did not make use of their hearing and vision in understanding the straight path of Islam.  Human faculties are gift of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) for them and it important that they use them in knowing the facts of this cosmos. If Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) willed, he would have taken away their physical vision and hearing as well because of their rejection.  But He is Merciful and Compassionate, does not take away his bounties even when they reject His clear signs.
It is in Quran -  هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ  [ He is who has sent down to you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) the Book (Quran).  Some verses of it are definite in meaning (آیاتِ مُتشابہات).  These form the mother of the Book (the basic there in) and the rest are figurative (metaphorical) (آیاتِ مُتشابہات).  But  they,  in whose minds there is a tendency to deviate from truth, take the metaphorical (verses in their literal / textual sense) craving discord, and craving to give them their own interpretation, although none knows the reality about them except Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).  And those who make it right approach to knowledge could only say  'we believe therein all that is from our Lord'.  None can catch their significance except those gifted with insight.]  (Aal-e-Imran - 7).
 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ  - ٢١
Ya ayyuha alnnasu (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ) ‘ O’People’, OAAbudoo rabbakumu (اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ) ‘be steadfast in your prayers to your Lord’, allathee khalaqakum (الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ) ‘who created you’,  waallatheena min qablikum (وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ) ‘ and created those before you’,  laAAallakum tattaqoona (لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ) ‘so that you become pious’.
(21)  O'people, be steadfast in your prayers to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) who created you  and (created) those before you so that you become pious. 
After describing the characteristics of  the believers, and the people who rejected faith and those who are hypocrites, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى),  commands people to be stead fast in their prayers.  He reminds them that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has created them, and created the people before them.  Their lives are a gift of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) which He gave them not as a reward of any good deed, but as His gift to them.  Therefore, they should be grateful to Him for His bestowals. The best way to express gratitude is to pray earnestly.  Their sincerity in prayers will help them become pious and in turn they will get more bounties from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).

 الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ -  ٢٢   
Allathee jaAAala lakumu alarda firashan (الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا) ‘ He is the one who spread the Earth’, wa-alssamaa binaan (وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً) ‘And skies as covering,  wa-anzala mina alssamai ma’an (وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً) ‘And sends down rain from the skies’,  fa-akhraja bihi mina al-ththamarati rizqan lakum (فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ) ‘ with this rain fruits are cultivated as food for the people’,  fala tajAAaloo lillahi andadan (فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا) ‘do not concede peers for Allah’  Wa-antum taAAlamoona (وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ)  ‘when you know all these’.
(22)  It is Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) who spread the Earth for your living and skies as covering and sends down rain from the skies which produces fruits for you as your food.  (After observing all these) do not concede peers for Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) as you are well aware of it.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is inviting peoples’ attention towards His signs in the cosmos.  The Earth is spread for them and over their heads is the cover of Sky.  They get rain from up which cultivates the land.  From this cultivated land they get all kinds of grains and fruits as their food.  Allah ( سبحانه و تعالى) says that when these signs are manifest in front of you, then do not associate anyone as peer of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and do not get involved in Idol worship.
It is in Quran - وَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ  [ And your God is one.  There is no one worthy of worship except Him, He is most compassionate and Merciful.]  (Al-Baqara -163).  
It is in Quran -  لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا ۚ فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ  [ If there had been (more) Gods  other than Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the world would have been subjected to disorder. Glory be to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the lord of the dominion, He is above from all that they ascribe for Him. ]  (Al-Anbiya- 22)



السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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