Surah Al-Baqara Verse 211

سَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَمْ آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ آيَةٍ بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَمَنْ يُبَدِّلْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Ask the Children of Israel how many a sign of evidence We have given them. And whoever exchanges the favor of Allah [for disbelief] after it has come to him - then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.

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سَلْ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ كَمْ آتَيْنَـهُم مِّنْ آيَةٍ بَيِّنَةٍ وَمَن يُبَدِّلْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ - زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

(211. Ask the Children of Israel how many clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) We gave them. And whoever changes Allah's favor after it has come to him, e.g., renounces the religion of Allah (Islam) and accepts Kufr (disbelief) then surely, Allah is severe in punishment.)

(212. Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they mock at those who believe. But those who have Taqwa, will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives (of His bounty, blessings, favors, and honors on the Day of Resurrection) to whom He wills without limit.)

The Punishment for changing Allah's Favor and mocking the Believers

Allah mentioned that the Children of Israel, were witnesses to many clear signs that attest to the truth of Moses regarding what he was sent with for them. They witnessed his hand (when it became lit with light), his parting the sea, his striking the rock (and water flowed from the rock), the clouds that shaded them during the intense heat, the manna and the quails, and so forth. These signs attested to the existence of the Creator and the truth of Moses by whose hand these signs appeared. Yet, so many among them changed Allah's favor, by preferring disbelief to faith and by ignoring Allah's favors,

وَمَن يُبَدِّلْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

(And whoever changes Allah's favor after it had come to him, then surely, Allah is severe in punishment.) Similarly, Allah said about the disbelievers of Quraysh:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ - جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَوْنَهَا وَبِئْسَ الْقَرَارُ

(Have you not seen those who have changed the blessings of Allah into disbelief, and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction Hell, in which they will burn, ـ and what an evil place to settle in!) (14:28, 29) Then Allah states that He has made the life of this world beautiful for the disbelievers who are satisfied with it, who collect wealth, but refrain from spending it on what they have been commanded, which could earn them Allah's pleasure. Instead, they ridicule the believers who ignore this life and who spend whatever they earn on what pleases their Lord. The believers spend seeking Allah's Face, and this is why they have gained the ultimate happiness and the best share on the Day of the Return. Therefore, they will be exalted above the disbelievers at the Gathering Place, when they are gathered, during the resurrection and in their final destination. The believers will reside in the highest grades in the utmost highs, while the disbelievers will reside in the lowest of lows (in the Fire). This is why Allah said:

وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

(And Allah gives to whom He wills without limit.) This Ayah indicates that Allah gives sustenance to whomever He wills of His servants without count or limit in this and the Hereafter. A Hadith has stated (that Allah said):

«ابْنَ آدَمَ أَنْفِقْ أُنْفِقْ عَلَيْك»

(O son of Adam! Spend (in Allah's cause) and I (Allah) will spend on you.) The Prophet said:

«أَنْفِقْ بِلَالُ وَلَا تَخْشَ مِنْ ذِي الْعَرْشِ إِقْلَالًا»

(O Bilal! Spend and do not fear deprivation from the Owner of the Throne.) Allah said:

وَمَآ أَنفَقْتُمْ مِّن شَىْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ

(...and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah's cause), He will replace it.) (34:39) In addition, it is reported in the Sahih (that the Prophet said):

«أَنَّ مَلَكَيْنِ يَنْزِلَانِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ صَبِيحَةَ كُلِّ يَوْمٍ فَيَقُولُ أحَدُهُمَا:اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ مُنْفِقًا خَلَفًا، وَيَقُولُ الآخَرُ: اللَّهُمَّ أعْطِ مُمْسِكًا تَلَفًا»

(Every day two angels come down from heavens and one of them says, `O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause,' and the other (angel) says, `O Allah! Destroy every miser.') Also in the Sahih:

«يَقُولُ ابْنُ آدَمَ: مَالِي مَالِي. وَهَلْ لَكَ مِنْ مَالِكَ إِلَّا مَا أَكَلْتَ فَأَفْنَيْتَ، وَمَا لَبِسْتَ فَأَبْلَيْتَ، وَمَا تَصَدَّقْتَ فَأَمْضَيْتَ، وَمَا سِوَى ذلِكَ فَذَاهِبٌ وَتَارِكُهُ لِلنَّاس»

(The son of Adam says, `My money, my money!' Yet, what is your money except that which you eat and use up, wear and tear, and spend in charity and thus keep (in your record). Other than that, it will go away and will be left for the people (the inheritors).) In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that the Prophet said:

«الدُّنْيَا دَارُ مَنْ لَا دَارَ لَهُ، وَمَالُ مَنْ لَا مَالَ لَهُ، وَلَهَا يَجْمَعُ مَنْ لَا عَقْلَ لَه»

(The Dunya (life of this world) is the residence of those who have no residence, the wealth of those who have no wealth, and it is harvested by those who have no sense of reason.)

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