وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي قَالُواْ أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُواْ وَأَنَاْ مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
81. "And (remember) when Allah took the pledge of the prophets (saying): 'Since I have given you of Book and wisdom -then there comes to you a Messenger, confirming that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must help him'. He said: 'Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? ' They said: ' We affirm', He said: 'Then bear witness and I am also with you among the witnesses '."
Following the previous verses, that denoted to the existence of the clear tokens of the Prophet of Islam (S) in the Books of the former prophets, this verse points to a general principal concerning the subject. It says:
In the verses of the Qur'an the unity of the Messengers of Allah repeatedly have been pointed out; and this verse is one of its clear examples.
Then, for an emphasis, the Quran says:
فَمَن تَوَلَّى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
82. "Then whoever turns back after that, -these are they that are the transgressors"
In this verse, the Qur'an threateningly reproaches the breachers of promise and says that, after these firm pledges and emphasized promises, if anyone disobeys and turns one's back to a godly prophet, like the Prophet of Islam (S), the glad tidings of whose advent accompanied with his specialities have been mentioned in the former Divine Books, and does not believe, the one is a transgressor, i.e. out of the circle of the obedience of Allah (s.w.t.).
And, we know that Allah (s.w.t) does not guide such fanatic and pertinacious transgressors, as the Qur'an in Surah at- Taubah, No.9, verse 80 remarks. 1
So, those who are not guided by the Lord will have a painful fate with the divine punishment of the Fire of Hell.
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ
83. "Is it then other than the religion of Allah that they seek (to follow)? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him they shall be returned. "
All the creatures existing in the skies and the earth submit to Allah. All people should submit to Him, too. If some people hide this submission in the ordinary conditions, when they confront with a serious danger, they helplessly turn their hearts to Him.
Some people willingly submit to Him in the ordinary situations, while the totality of people have to submit at the case they feel danger.
Every particle in the world, any atom or sell that exist, as well as created things, all in all, follow the same rule that Allah has assigned upon them, and He is able to change it at any moment.
1. The existing world submits to Him, then why do we not submit? When all the creatures of the world bow before Him, why do we not surrender?
2. The Final fate of ours is going unto Him, then why do we not turn to Him from the beginning?
قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
84. " Say: ' We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham and, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between any of them. And to Him do we submit'."
Similar to Surah Al-Baqarah, No.2, verse 136, that Allah took pledge from the former prophets to believe in their following prophet, and to introduce him and help him, this verse denotes that the following prophet, too, believes in all the former Divine Books recidivously. It says:
The purpose of the Qur'anic term /asbat/, mentioned in the verse, is those seven tribes from the Children of Israel among whom there were some prophets.
1. We should not ignore the services of others.
2. All prophets had the same aim.
3. Religion and the guidance of Allah have been accompanied with the life of man all the times. Prophets are like the teachers of different classes who, as links of a chain, have been commissioned to guide human beings.
4. The preference of some prophets to some others of them is never a barrier for our general belief in them.
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
85. "And whoever follows any religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and, in the Hereafter he will be among the losers."
In the previous verses, the feature of leadership and the theology of Islam was illustrated. Its general principles are as follows:
1. All the former prophets have been taken pledge to believe in their following prophet.
2. The whole existing world submits to Allah, and no religion can be accepted except the religion of Allah.
3. The followers of Islam believe in all prophets of Allah and the Divine Books.
This is the feature of the religion of Islam and its convictions. Now, the Qur'an explicitly announces that whoever accepts besides than that it will not be accepted from him.
كَيْفَ يَهْدِي اللّهُ قَوْمًا كَفَرُواْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ وَشَهِدُواْ أَنَّ الرَّسُولَ حَقٌّ وَجَاءهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
86. "How shall Allah guide a people who have disbelieved after their belief and (after) bearing witness that the Messenger is true, and clear proofs had come unto them? And Allah guides not the unjust people."
At the advent of Islam, one of the Helpers (the Muslims in Medina) murdered a sinless person. Being afraid of the punishment, he apostatized and escaped to Mecca, while eleven persons of his companions, who had embraced Islam, apostatized, too.
When he arrived in Mecca, he repented of his action seriously. Then, he sent one of his relatives to Medina to ask the Prophet (S) whether there was any way for him to return.
The verse was revealed and announced the acceptance of his repentance under some special conditions.
In the former verses, the speech was about the religion of Islam as a godly acceptable religion. Here, the verse speaks about the persons who have accepted Islam and, afterward they have returned from it. These persons are called 'apostates'.
Why does Allah not guide such people? The reason of it is evident. They have known the Prophet (S) through many clear signs and tokens and, thereafter, they have testified to his prophet hood.
Therefore, by returning from Islam to infidelity, they are, indeed, unjust and transgress. So, the one who intentionally transgresses is not eligible for the guidance of Allah. Such a person has spoilt the aspects of guidance in his self.
أُوْلَـئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمْ أَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةَ اللّهِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
87. "(As for) those, their recompense is that upon them is the curse of Allah, the angels and mankind altogether."
In this verse, the retribution of such people, who after knowing the Truth return from it, is stated. Now, it indicates that this retribution is the curse of Allah and of the angels and of the people altogether.
The Arabic term /la'n/ (curse) means to reject and to desert because of wrath or hatred. Thus, the curse of the Lord is the very deserting someone from His grace. And, the curse of angels and people is either their spiritual wrath and abhorrence, or a calling on God to deprive a person from His Mercy.
These people, in fact, have sunk in corruption and sin, so that they are abhorred by all intelligent figures of the world, irrespective of human beings and angels.
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
88. "They will abide therein. Their chastisement will not be lightened, nor will they be respited."
In this verse, it is added that: not only they are involved in the general curse of all but also they will remain in it forever. In fact, they are similar to Satan who was involved in eternal curse.
Surely, the result of it is that such group of infidels will abide in a painful irreducible chastisement forever, while they will not be respited, either.
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُواْ فَإِنَّ الله غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
89. "Except those who repent after that and amend, then verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
This verse opens the way of returning to such people to pave it if they wish. It lets them repent, because the aim of the Qur'an, thoroughly, is improvement and training. It says:
It is understood from this meaning that corruption creates loss in one's Faith so that the one, after repenting, should renew his Faith in a manner that this defect be wiped out.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْرًا لَّن تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الضَّآلُّونَ
90. "Verily those who disbelieve after their belief, then increase in infidelity; their repentance will never be accepted; and these are they who are astray."
Some commentators have said that this verse was revealed about a group of the People of the Book who had believed in the Prophet of Islam (S) before his advent, but when he was appointed to prophet hood they disbelieved in him.
In the previous verse, the statement was about those who regretted from their deviated path sincerely and repented truly and, consequently, their repentance was accepted. But, in this verse, the speech is about those whose repentance is not accepted. It says:
The repentance of these people is extrinsic; because when they see the triumph of the advocators of Truth, helplessly express their apparent regretful ness and repentance. Thus, it is natural that such repentance can not be accepted.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْ أَحَدِهِم مِّلْءُ الأرْضِ ذَهَبًا وَلَوِ افْتَدَى بِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ
91. "Verily those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, there will never be accepted from anyone of them the whole earth full of gold, if he should offer it in ransom. These are they who will have a painful punishment and they will have no helpers."
Following to the statement of the invalid repentances hinted out in the previous verse, here, in this verse, the words are about the invalidity of some ransoms, where it says:
It is clear that infidelity wastes all the good deeds that a person does. If the one could fill the earth with gold and gave all of them as charity in the way of Allah, it would not be accepted from him. And, the case, of course, will certainly be the same in the Hereafter.
At the end of the verse, the Holy Qur'an refers to another point, saying:
That is, on the Day of Judgement, not only ransom or charity will have no advantage for them, but also the intercession of the intercessors does not extend over them. It is because intercession has some conditions among which is having belief in Allah. Besides that, in principal, intercession is done by the leave of Allah.