“O Mankind, a Proof Has Come to You From Your Lord”: Tafsir al-Tabari

In the last part of surah al-Nisaa’, Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَكُم بُرْهَانٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ نُورًا مُّبِينًا

O mankind, a proof has come to you from your Lord and We have sent down a clear light to you. [4:174]

Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari began his tafsir of this ayah by summarizing the meaning as follows:

قال أبو جعفر : يعني جل ثناؤه بقوله : ” يا أيها الناس قد جاءكم برهان من ربكم ” ، يا أيها الناس من جميع أصناف الملل ، يهودها ونصاراها ومشركيها ، الذين قص الله جل ثناؤه قصصهم في هذه السورة” قد جاءكم برهان من ربكم ” ، يقول : قد جاءتكم حجة من الله تبرهن لكم بطول ما أنتم عليه مقيمون من أديانكم ومللكم ، وهو محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، الذي جعله الله عليكم حجة قطع بها [ ص: 428 ] عذركم ، وأبلغ إليكم في المعذرة بإرساله إليكم ، مع تعريفه إياكم صحة نبوته ، وتحقيق رسالته” وأنزلنا إليكم نورا مبينا ” ، يقول : وأنزلنا إليكم معه”نورا مبينا” ، يعني : يبين لكم المحجة الواضحة ، والسبل الهادية إلى ما فيه لكم النجاة من عذاب الله وأليم عقابه ، إن سلكتموها واستنرتم بضوئه . وذلك”النور المبين” ، هو القرآن الذي أنزله الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم .ـ

I, Abu Ja’far, say: What Allah means by:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَكُم بُرْهَانٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

O mankind, a proof has come to you from your Lord

is: O people of every different kind of religion – Jewish, Christian, polytheist – whose stories Allah has mentioned in this surah

قَدْ جَاءَكُم بُرْهَانٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

… a proof has come to you from your Lord …

Here, Allah is saying: a clear proof from your Lord has come to you to demonstrate the falsehoods that you are following and which make up your religions and ways of life. And that clear proof is Muhammad whom Allah made as a proof for you through which He would cut off all of your excuses and through whom, out of His mercy, He would convey His messages to you while making the truthfulness of his prophethood and reality of his message known to you.

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ نُورًا مُّبِينًا

… and We have sent down a clear light to you.

Here, Allah is saying: And We have sent along with Him “a clear light” – i.e. it makes the the goal clear to you and also shows you the pathway of guidance to salvation from Allah’s punishment – salvation that is waiting for you if you follow this and are guided by its light. And that “clear light” is the Qur’an which Allah revealed to Muhammad.

[Tafsir al-Tabari 9/428]

See also: A Mercy to All Creation: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Qur’an is a healing and mercy for the believers, but a source of loss for the wrong-doers: Tafsir al-Sa’di

One thought on ““O Mankind, a Proof Has Come to You From Your Lord”: Tafsir al-Tabari

  1. Pingback: The Prophet Muhammad was Sent to All Mankind: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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