Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verse 212
212. " The life of this world has been made to seem fair to those who disbeleive, and they mock those who beleive, but those who guard (against evil) shall be above them on the Day of Judgement and Allah provides with sustenance for whomever He wills without measure. "
Occasion of Revelation
Ibn-Abbas, the famous commentator, says that this holy verse was revealed about the chief leaders of Quraysh, a minority of wealthy people in their disbelieving tribe, who were living in easy circumstances. They used to mock a group of steadfast Muslim believers, who were poor from the point of finances. These disbelievers said: if the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) had really been appointed from the side of God and was a noble prophet, the rich and authoritative ones would have followed him. Then, this verse was revealed and answered their vain statements.
The occasion of revelation of the verse does not hinder us from taking the verse as a general and common rule, or consider it as the perfecter of the previous verse about the Jews. The verse says:
" The life of this world has been made to seem fair to those who disbelieve, ... " Thus, they were so proud that they ridiculed those believers who were rather poor: " ... and they mock those who believe, ... "
Yet, in the meantime, the attention should also be paid to this condition that: " ... but those who guard (against evil) shall be above them on the Day of Judgement ... " The reason for that condition lies in the coming world where the spiritual ranks will be illustrated in their objective forms and believers will be positioned in such elevated high ranks that these miserable people, comparing them to as if the believers are in high sky of honour, feel themselves in the lowest and deepest earthly abode of disgrace. This is not surprising, of course, because the foregoing detailed condition is the fruit of their own deeds:
" ... and Allah provides with sustenance for whomever He wills without measure. " These facts are, indeed, some gladtidings for the poor believers and also a severe warning to the rich who are proud and faithless unto the Truth. And the phrase stating that 'Allah provides with sustenance for whomever (here, the believers) He wills without measure' may point to this idea that Divine rewards, from the view of quantity and quality, are never equivalent to our good deeds. They are bestowed according to His Grace and Generosity, and, also, we know that there is no limit to the Grace and Generosity of Allah.
Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"
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