1) Those who have disbelieved of the people of the book and the pagans they were
not ones to desist (break away) until the clear proof came to them.
2) A messenger from Allah recites to them purified Scrolls.
3) Therein (in this recital) are upright scriptures
4) those who were given the book didn't differ until clear proof (the prophet ﷺ) was given to them
5) even though they were not instructed or commanded except that they believe in Allah, making pure for him the religion, as upright monotheists and to establish Salaah
and zakat. This is the religion of the upright tradition.
6) indeed those who have disbelieved from the people of the book and pagans will dwell in hell forever, they are the worst of all creatures.
7) indeed those who believe and have done good deeds are the best of the creation.
8) their reward from their lord will be gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow.
Therein they will reside forever. Allah is pleased with them and they are
pleased with Allah. This reward is for one who fears his lord.
Theses verses were revealed to the prophet (PBUH) in Madina. This surah reflected the
condition of the Muslims and their relationship with others at that time.
The surah speaks of the divisions between the believers and non
believers at the time of the prophet (PBUH) . Also the history of various groups on
Arabia who were awaiting a messenger from Allah. All indications were that they
should have believed however when the prophet (PBUH) came they didn't believe. The surah ends with the salvation of Those who believe.
Verse 1: Many of the Arabs were pagans and polytheists. In this verse Allah addresses the pagans & the people of the book (Jews and Christians) The pagans
themselves weren't awaiting a messenger. However the Jews and Christians were
awaiting a final messenger. The state of Arabia at that time was so pitiful and
there seemed no way they would change their way unless their was a coming of a
messenger. These pagans and people of the book were not ones to desist or break
away unless a clear proof came to them.
Verse 2: The clear proof that would come to save and redeem Arabia and the rest of the world was the messenger of Allah. He would come reciting to them purified scrolls.
Verse 3: In these recitals are upright scriptures. The Quran contained the same
wisdom as other scriptures. It reflects the same core teaching as the other
Verse 4: When the clear proof came the people of the book
didn't believe. They didn't differ to the pagans. This is because the
pagans weren't awaiting a messenger. Whereas the Jews and Christians were
awaiting a messenger. They knew his description and his reality but out of spite
and envy they rejected the prophet ﷺ. This so because he was from the Arabs.
Even though the truth was clear and manifest to them they still rejected him.
Verse 5: There was no reason for those who were expecting the
arrival of the prophet ﷺ to reject him as he didn't come with anything new or
innovative. He fulfilled all their requirements and their descriptions so and
none of his teaching were contrary to the previous messengers.
Verse 6: Man has the ability to rise and fall. When he rises he has angelic
qualities. Allah boast to the angels about him. But when man misbehaves man is
described as animals. If man behaves he can rise to heights of angels. If man
misbehaves he can fall to the sunken depths of the animals and beasts.
Verse 7: Those who believe and do good deeds are the best of the
creation. The elite of the humans are better than the elite of the
angels. But the elite of the angels are better than the other human beings.
Those who believe and do good deeds are the best of the creation
Verse 8: This reward is for those who fear Allah.
Notes taken from tafsir
of surat ul Bayyinah by shaykh Riyadh ul Haq
The Islamic Ummah