As for those who have Iman and then return to disbelief, and then again have Iman and then return to kufr, and then increase in kufr, Allah will not forgive them or guide them on any path. [Surah An Nisa, Verse: 137]
What does the above Verse mean?
The Mufassirun have offered the following interpretations of the above Verse:
1) Those who believed [in Musa ‘alayhis salam], then disbelieved in him, then believed in [‘Isa ‘alayhi salam] then disbelieved in him, then increased in disbelief [by disbelieving in Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], Allah will not forgive them or guide them on any path.
This interpretation refers to the Jews and Christians who believed in the Tawrah and Injil and subsequently abandoned them and increased in disbelief by disbelieving in Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
2) Those [Jews] who believed in Musa (‘alayhis salam) and the Tawrah, then disbelieved in ‘Uzayr (‘alayhis salam), then believed in Dawud (‘alayhis salam) and disbelieved in ‘Isa (‘alayhis salam) and increased in disbelief by disbelieving in Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
3) Those [Hypocrites/Munafiqun] who [outwardly] believed, then disbelieved [since they are hypocrites], the believed again [every time they would meet the Muslims, they would proclaim to be Muslims] then disbelieve [when they go to their leaders, they reaffirm their hypocrisy and say ‘We are with you, we are just mocking the Muslims’]
Since they act like Muslims and proclaim Islam when with the Muslims, Allah Ta’ala used the word ‘Brought Iman/Believed’, although it was just a superficial Iman.
References for the above and for further interpretations:
Tafsir Tabari; Jami’ul Bayan, Tafsirul Baghawi; Ma’alimut Tanzil, Tafsir Razi; Mafatihul Ghayb, Tafsir Qurtubi; Al Jami’ Li Ahkamil Quran and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah An Nisa, Verse: 137.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar