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49:14 True Faith

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The desert Arabs say, “We believe.” Say, “Ye have no faith; but ye (only)say, ‘We have submitted our wills to Allah,’ For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

This verse indicates that belief is of a higher rank than submission (IK),
that faith has degrees, and that tribal affiliations are superseded by those of faith.
It was reportedly revealed with regard to members of the tribe of Banū Asad
who had moved to Madinah after a drought and sought charity, claiming that
they were true believers and had a right to the same considerations as those who
had followed the Prophet for many years. Some say that they were hypocrites
(W), while others say they simply had not yet attained faith (IK), though they
had made a formal submission. In this sense, this verse admonishes all forms of
religious pretension, as in 53:32: Do not deem yourselves purified. He knows
best the reverent. Modesty and humility are thus exalted as among the highest of
virtues, as in a ḥadīth, “Modesty produces naught but good.” The injunction to
obey God and His Messenger (e.g., 3:32, 132; 4:59; 5:92; 8:1, 20, 46; see 3:32c;
4:59c) here indicates that, as long as Muslims remain obedient, they will be
rewarded for the best of their deeds. It also implies that their bad deeds may be
forgiven, as stated in a ḥadīth, “If a servant submits and perfects his submission
(islām), God will record for him every good deed that he performed before
[submitting], and every evil deed that he performed before [submitting] will be
erased. After that the requiting for the good deed will be tenfold up to seven
hundred fold, and for the evil deed one like it, unless God absolves him of it.”


Nasr, Hossein (2015). Study Quran.

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