SURA 98. Baiyina, or The Clear Evidence
1. Those who reject [Truth], among the People of the Book and among the
Polytheists, were not going to depart [from their ways] until there should come
to them Clear Evidence,-
2. An messenger from Allah, rehearsing scriptures kept pure and holy:
3. Wherein are laws [or decrees] right and straight.
4. Nor did the People of the Book make schisms, until after there came to them
5. And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering
Him sincere devotion, being true [in faith]; to establish regular prayer; and to
practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.
6. Those who reject [Truth], among the People of the Book and among the
Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein [for aye]. They are the
worst of creatures.
7. Those who have faith and do righteous deeds,- they are the best of creatures.
8. Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of Eternity, beneath which rivers flow;
they will dwell therein for ever; Allah well pleased with them, and they with
Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and Cherisher.
1. This sūrah deals in a positive manner with a number of facts relating to history and faith. The first fact is that the sending of God’s Messenger, Muĥammad (peace be upon him), was essential to the transformation of people of earlier revelations and idolaters, who had found their way into disbelief. They could not leave their erring ways behind without the Prophet’s mission
2.Secondly, religious discord and conflict among the people of earlier revelations did not arise out of ignorance of their own religion, or from any obscurity or ambiguity in it. On the contrary, they ran into discord after they had received true knowledge and clear proof
3. thirdly, with regard to its origin, divine faith is one. Its fundamentals are simple and clear and do not, by themselves and by their plain and easy nature, make for division or conflict
4. Fourthly, those who disbelieved after receiving clear proof are the worst creatures of all, while those who believe and do good deeds are the best. Hence the two receive totally different rewards
5. The world was desperately in need of a new message. Corruption was so widespread that reform could not come about except by means of a new message, a new method of orientation and a new movement. Disbelief had become the characteristic of the followers of all creeds and doctrines, whether pagan or earlier divine revelations.
6. Hence the message delivered by the Prophet came at a most suitable time. The new revelations, with all that they included of themes and decrees, were vouchsafed so that they could bring about a far-reaching reform of this world. As to how badly the world needed this message.
7. therefore, the divine grace extended to mankind required that a messenger be sent by God to recite purified scriptures containing valuable and important themes. There was no other way of putting an end to such widespread corruption except by sending a messenger, who would deliver mankind from their misery and provide them with divine guidance.
8. Muĥammad (peace be upon him) was the last messenger, and Islam, which he preached, the final message. Messengers from God came successively every time corruption spread in human life. Their objective was to make mankind return to righteousness. Those who deviated from the right path had one chance after another to correct their behaviour. But now that God had willed to close His messages to earth by this final, comprehensive, perfect and accomplished message, then the last chance was also given. This entailed either the adoption of faith leading to salvation, or the denial of faith ending in destruction. For disbelief now is an established evidence of unlimited evil, while accepting the faith is proof of goodness which goes to its absolute end.
source: Sayyid Qutb – In the shade of the Quran