In the Name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful
- Those who disbelieved among the People of the Book and the mushrikoon would not leave (their disbelief) until clear evidence came to them:
- A Messenger from Allah reciting purified pages,
- Containing correct and straight laws;
- Those who were given the Book did not divide into sects until after clear evidence came to them;
- They were not ordered to do anything but to worship Allah, devoting themselves sincerely to Him alone, as straight and true believers, and to perform salah and give zakah; and that is the correct religion.
- Indeed, those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and the mushrikoon will be in the fire of Hell, remaining in it forever; they are the worst of all creatures.
- Indeed, those who believe and do righteous actions they are the best of all creatures;
- Their reward with Allah will be the gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow. They will abide there forever. Allah will be pleased with them and they with Him; that is for whoever fears his Lord!
Whereas some Quran scholars believe that this surah belongs to the Madinah period, many others regard it as a late Makkan revelation. The key word by which it is named is found at the end of the first verse.
This surah describes the difference between the true believers and the disbelievers. The ‘clear evidence’ is the Quran. The term ‘People of the Book’ is used in the Quran to denote the Christians and the Jews, who had been given holy books: The Tawrah which was given to the Jews and the Injeel which was given to the Christians. Many changes, additions and deletions have crept into these books. Only the Quran, the final revelation from Allah to His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), remains intact.
The mushrikoon are those who commit shirk, by associating others with Allah in worship. They include the idolaters and the fire worshippers among the Arabs and non-Arabs.
The surah mentions the reward of the true believers in the hereafter because of their belief in Almighty Allah and their good actions that are pleasing to Him. It also mentions the punishment of the disbelievers in Hellfire because of their disbelief and rejection of the truth.