14. The bedouins say: "We believe.'' Say: "You do not believe. But say, `We have submitted,' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' 15. Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful. 16. Say: "Will you inform Allah of your religion while Allah knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and Allah is All-Aware of everything.'' 17. They regard as a favor to you that they have embraced Islam. Say: "Do not count your Islam as a favor to me. Nay, but Allah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if you indeed are true. '' 18. "Verily, Allah knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.''
Allah chastises the bedouins who, when they embraced Islam, claimed for themselves the grade of faithful believers. However, Faith had not yet firmly entered their hearts,
(The bedouins say: "We believe.'' Say: "You do not believe, but say, `We have submitted,' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts...'') This honorable Ayah provides proof that Faith is a higher grade than Islam, according to the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. This is also demostrated in the Hadith of Jibril, peace be upon him, when he questioned the Prophet about Islam, then Iman then Ihsan. Thus moving the general matter to one more specific, then even more specific. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amir bin Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said, "The Messenger of Allah gave (something to) some men and did not give one of them. Sa`d said, `O Allah's Messenger, you gave to so-and-so and so-and-so. However, you gave nothing to so-and-so, even though he is a believer.' The Prophet said,
(Or say, a Muslim.) Sa`d repeated his statement thrice each time the Prophet answered,
(Or say, a Muslim.) The Prophet then said,
(I might give some men and give nothing to others, even though the latter are dearer to me than the former. I do not give them things for fear that they might be thrown on their faces in the Fire.)'' This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Therefore, the Prophet made a distinction between the grade of believer and the grade of Muslim, indicating that Iman is a more exclusive grade than Islam. I mentioned this subject in detail supported by evidence, in the beginning of the explanation of the chapter on Iman in Sahih Al-Bukhari, all praise is due to Allah and all the favors are from Him. So this proves that the bedouins whom the Ayah mentioned were not hypocrites, rather they were Muslims in whose hearts Faith was not yet firmly established. They claimed a higher grade for themselves than the grade that they earned, and they were taught a lesson as a consequence. This meaning agrees with the meaning given by Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Qatadah and that preferred by Ibn Jarir. These bedouins were taught a lesson,
(Say: "You do not believe, but say `We are Muslims,' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts...'') meaning, `you have not yet achieved the reality of Faith.' Allah the Exalted said,
(But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds...) `He will not decrease any of your rewards,' as Allah said;
(We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything.) (52:21) Allah said:
(Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) for those who repent and return to Him. Allah's statement,
(Only those are the believers), who have perfect Faith,
(who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not) They do not have doubts and their Faith was not shaken. Rather, their Faith remained on conviction,
(but strive for the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives) meaning, they gladly gave away their life and the most precious of their wealth in obedience to Allah as a means of seeking His pleasure,
(Those! They are the truthful. ) `in their statement if they say that they are believers, unlike some bedouins who are faithful only by words outwardly!' Allah said,
(Say: "Will you inform Allah of your religion...'') `will you inform Allah of what is in your hearts,'
(while Allah knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,) Nothing in the heavens and earth, even the weight of a speck of dust, all that is bigger or smaller, ever escapes His observation,
(and Allah is All-Aware of everything.) Allah said,
(They regard as a favor to you that they have embraced Islam. Say: "Do not count your Islam as a favor to me...'') meaning the bedouins who considered embracing Islam, following and supporting the Messenger as a favor to him. Allah the Exalted refuted their false statement,
(Say: "Do not count your Islam as a favor to me...'') `for the benefit of your Islam will only be yours, and this is a favor from Allah to you,'
(Nay, but Allah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if you indeed are true.) `in your claim that you are believers.' The Prophet said to the Ansar on the day of the battle of Hunayn,
(O Ansar! Have I not found you astray and Allah guided you through me Were you not divided and Allah united you around me Were you not poor and Allah gave you riches through me) Whenever the Prophet asked them any of these questions, they would reply, "Allah and His Messenger have most favored us.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Banu Asad came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Allah's Messenger! We embraced Islam, and before that, the Arabs fought against you, yet we did not fight against you.' The Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, they understand but little and the Shaytan speaks through their words.) This Ayah was later revealed,
(They regard as a favor to you that they have embraced Islam. Say: "Do not count your Islam as a favor to me.'' Nay, but Allah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if you indeed are true.'')''' Then Allah reminds that He has complete knowledge of all creations and that He sees them all;
(Verily, Allah knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Hujurat. Verily, all praise is due to Allah, all the favors are from Him, and from Him comes the success and protection from error.