English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah — The Cow (Revealed at Madinah: 40 sections, 286 verses)

Section 14 (Verses 2:113–2:121): Perfect Guidance is only in Islam



وَ قَالَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ لَیۡسَتِ النَّصٰرٰی عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ ۪ وَّ قَالَتِ النَّصٰرٰی لَیۡسَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ عَلٰی شَیۡءٍ ۙ وَّ ہُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡنَ الۡکِتٰبَ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ مِثۡلَ قَوۡلِہِمۡ ۚ فَاللّٰہُ یَحۡکُمُ بَیۡنَہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ فِیۡمَا کَانُوۡا فِیۡہِ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۳﴾

2:113 And the Jews say, The Christians follow nothing (good), and the Christians say, The Jews follow nothing (good), while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like what they say.1 So Allah will judge between them on the day of Resurrection in that in which they differ.

وَ مَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنۡ مَّنَعَ مَسٰجِدَ اللّٰہِ اَنۡ یُّذۡکَرَ فِیۡہَا اسۡمُہٗ وَ سَعٰی فِیۡ خَرَابِہَا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ مَا کَانَ لَہُمۡ اَنۡ یَّدۡخُلُوۡہَاۤ اِلَّا خَآئِفِیۡنَ ۬ؕ لَہُمۡ فِی الدُّنۡیَا خِزۡیٌ وَّ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ عَذَابٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۴﴾

2:114 And who is more unjust than he who prevents (people) from the mosques of Allah, from His name being remembered in them, and strives to ruin them? (As for) these, it was not proper for them to enter them except in fear. For them is disgrace in this world, and theirs is a grievous punishment in the Hereafter.2

وَ لِلّٰہِ الۡمَشۡرِقُ وَ الۡمَغۡرِبُ ٭ فَاَیۡنَمَا تُوَلُّوۡا فَثَمَّ وَجۡہُ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۵﴾

2:115 And Allah’s is the East and the West, so whichever way you turn, there is Allah’s purpose.3 Surely Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

وَ قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللّٰہُ وَلَدًا ۙ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ ؕ بَلۡ لَّہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ کُلٌّ لَّہٗ قٰنِتُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۶﴾

2:116 And they say: Allah has taken to Himself a son — glory be to Him! Rather, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are obedient to Him.4

بَدِیۡعُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ اِذَا قَضٰۤی اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا یَقُوۡلُ لَہٗ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ﴿۱۱۷﴾

2:117 Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth! And when He decrees an affair, He only says to it, Be, and it is.5

وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ لَوۡ لَا یُکَلِّمُنَا اللّٰہُ اَوۡ تَاۡتِیۡنَاۤ اٰیَۃٌ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ مِّثۡلَ قَوۡلِہِمۡ ؕ تَشَابَہَتۡ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ ؕ قَدۡ بَیَّنَّا الۡاٰیٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ یُّوۡقِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾

2:118 And those who have no knowledge say: Why does not Allah speak to us or a sign come to us?6 Even thus said those before them, like what they say. Their hearts are all alike. Indeed We have made the messages clear for a people who are sure.

اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ بِالۡحَقِّ بَشِیۡرًا وَّ نَذِیۡرًا ۙ وَّ لَا تُسۡئَلُ عَنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۱۱۹﴾

2:119 Surely We have sent you with the Truth as a bearer of good news and as a warner, and you will not be called upon to answer for the companions of the flaming Fire.

وَ لَنۡ تَرۡضٰی عَنۡکَ الۡیَہُوۡدُ وَ لَا النَّصٰرٰی حَتّٰی تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَہُمۡ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ ہُدَی اللّٰہِ ہُوَ الۡہُدٰی ؕ وَ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعۡتَ اَہۡوَآءَہُمۡ بَعۡدَ الَّذِیۡ جَآءَکَ مِنَ الۡعِلۡمِ ۙ مَا لَکَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۱۲۰﴾ؔ

2:120 And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah’s guidance — that is the (perfect) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have from Allah no friend, nor helper.

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ یَتۡلُوۡنَہٗ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِہٖ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِہٖ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکۡفُرۡ بِہٖ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۱﴾٪

2:121 Those to whom We have given the Book follow it as it ought to be followed.7 These believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it, these it is that are the losers.



  1. The Jews and the Christians are here blamed for denying all good in each other like ignorant people, despite both being followers of one Book, by which is here meant the Old Testament, which both accepted. As against this, the Quran accepts that there is partial truth in all religions.
  2. The idolatrous Quraish had turned the Muslims out of the Sacred Mosque at Makkah and the Jews and the Christians were now helping them to annihilate the small Muslim community in Madinah, which practically meant the laying waste of the Sacred Mosque itself. The word mosques is used here because the Sacred Mosque was to be the centre of all the mosques of the world. This generalization further shows that the fate of all those who prevented Muslims from worshipping Allah in mosques is predicted here, and the fate of the oppo­nents of the Holy Prophet bears ample testimony to the truth of this prediction.
  3. These words point clearly to the Divine promise that all obstacles in the path of the Muslims will be removed and victory will follow their footsteps.
  4. The phrase “glory be to Him” (subḥāna-hū) is always used to dec­lare the freedom of the Divine Being from all imperfections, and is always mentioned in connection with the Christian doctrine that God has a son to show that to attribute a son to the Divine Being is to attribute an imperfection to Him, which is met with in human beings. The doctrine of sonship is mentioned here as being opposed to the religion which requires entire submission to Divine command­ments from every person and thus dispenses with the necessity of a conciliator.
  5. This is the oft-recurring phrase in which Allah’s act of the creation and annihilation of things is spoken of in the Holy Quran. It is not meant by this that there is no gradual process in the creation of things. It is, in fact, an answer to those who think that the creation of things by God is dependent on the previous existence of matter and soul and the adaptability of their attributes. The argument given here in the word “Originator” (badī‘) is that man, who stands in need of matter to make things, also stands in need of a pattern after which to make them, but God stands in need of neither.
  6. The answer to both these demands is contained in v. 119, for as a bearer of good news the Holy Prophet told them that if they purified themselves by walking in his footsteps, Allah would speak to them, and as a warner he informed them of the coming wrath (the sign which they often demanded) if they persisted in their evil ways.
  7. The Muslims are meant, while the Book is the Quran.