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Sura 11
Aya 17
أَفَمَن كانَ عَلىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِن رَبِّهِ وَيَتلوهُ شاهِدٌ مِنهُ وَمِن قَبلِهِ كِتابُ موسىٰ إِمامًا وَرَحمَةً ۚ أُولٰئِكَ يُؤمِنونَ بِهِ ۚ وَمَن يَكفُر بِهِ مِنَ الأَحزابِ فَالنّارُ مَوعِدُهُ ۚ فَلا تَكُ في مِريَةٍ مِنهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ الحَقُّ مِن رَبِّكَ وَلٰكِنَّ أَكثَرَ النّاسِ لا يُؤمِنونَ

Muhammad Asad

Can, then, [he who cares for no more than the life of this world be compared with1] one who takes his stand on a clear evidence from his Sustamer, conveyed through [this] testimony from Him,2 as was the revelation vouchsafed to Moses aforetime - [a divine writ ordained by Him] to be a guidance and grace [unto man]? They [who understand this message - it is they alone who truly] believe in it;3 whereas for any of those who, leagued together [in common hostility],4 deny its truth - the fire shall be their appointed state [in the life to come]. And so,5 be not in doubt about this [revelation]: behold, it is the truth from thy Sustainer, even though6 most people will not believe in it.
  • This interpolation is based on the interpretation given by Baghawi, Zamakhshari and Razi.
  • Lit., "which a witness from Him recites", or "announces". According to Zamakhshari, Razi and other classical commentators, this phrase refers to the Qur'an; hence my rendering of shahid as "testimony". If, as some commentators believe, this term refers to the Prophet or, alternatively, to the Angel Gabriel who transmitted the revelation to him. shahid should be translated as "witness". Whichever interpretation one adopts, the meaning remains the same, for - as Ibn Kathir points out in his commentary on this verse - "the Qur'an was revealed through Gabriel to Muhammad, and was conveyed by the latter to the world".
  • Sc., "and shall, therefore, attain to happiness in the hereafter". The ijaz (elliptic mode of expression) employed in this passage is comparable in its subtlety to that in 10:103.
  • I.e., in hostile, a-priori opposition to the message of the Qur'an, without really understanding its purport. The "historical" identification, by some of the commentators, of the ahzab with the pagan Arabs who leagued together in their hostility to the Prophet is definitely too narrow in this context.
  • Razi suggests that the conjunction fa ("And so") preceding this sentence (which is obviously addressed to man in general) connects with verses 12-14 above: a suggestion which is most convincing in view of the sequence.
  • Lit., "but" or "nevertheless".