Surah 4:51


Dr. Zohurul Hoque & Husain Nuri


4:51 Have you not considered those who have been given a portion of the Scripture, they believe in sorcery and in Tâghût, and they say about those who disbelieved: "These are better guided in the way than those who believed"'

4:51 The phrase a portion of the scripture does not mean a part of the scripture, rather to time specific share of divine revelations suitable for that period of time. In this context it alludes to the scriptures of the Jews and the Christians, since these scriptures were not designed to address the needs of entire mankind in all periods of time. The term jibt primarily mean something that is worthless (Baydâwi, Qâmûs), enchantment (Mujâhid, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Qâmûs), idols (al-Jawhari, Zamaksharî), or all forms of soothsaying and divination. The word tâghût means devil and the devilish diviners (cf. 2:256; 16:36; 36:60; 39:17). The word is derived from tâghâ meaning 'tyrannical', 'despotic', 'cruel' etc. is variously explained and freely used to mean the evil or ungodly principles rather than a person. This term begins to occur in later Makkan Surah and used in many Madînian sûrahs. Interestingly, Iblis is used only once in a Madînian sûrah (2:34), whereas Shaitân in singular or plural forms are used more frequently in Makkan sûrahs. There appears to be a gradual shift from a personified Shâitan in Makkan sûrahs to tâghût in Madînian sûrahs to emphasize the ungodly principle or forces that caused ungodliness.








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