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ARBNDEENIDRUTRUR
kuntum
كُنتُمْ
You are
khayra
خَيْرَ
(the) best
ummatin
أُمَّةٍ
(of) people
ukh'rijat
أُخْرِجَتْ
raised
lilnnāsi
لِلنَّاسِ
for the mankind -
tamurūna
تَأْمُرُونَ
enjoining
bil-maʿrūfi
بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ
the right
watanhawna
وَتَنْهَوْنَ
and forbidding
ʿani
عَنِ
[from]
l-munkari
ٱلْمُنكَرِ
the wrong
watu'minūna
وَتُؤْمِنُونَ
and believing
bil-lahi
بِٱللَّهِۗ
in Allah.
walaw
وَلَوْ
And if
āmana
ءَامَنَ
believed
ahlu
أَهْلُ
(the) People
l-kitābi
ٱلْكِتَٰبِ
(of) the Book
lakāna
لَكَانَ
surely would have been
khayran
خَيْرًا
good
lahum
لَّهُمۚ
for them.
min'humu
مِّنْهُمُ
Among them
l-mu'minūna
ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ
(are) [the] believers,
wa-aktharuhumu
وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ
but most of them
l-fāsiqūna
ٱلْفَٰسِقُونَ
(are) defiantly disobedient.

Kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaasi taamuroona bilma'roofi wa tanhawna 'anil munkari wa tu'minoona billaah; wa law aamana Ahlul Kitaabi lakaana khairal lahum minhumul mu'minoona wa aksaruhumul faasiqoon

Sahih International:

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.

1 A. J. Arberry

You are the best nation ever brought forth to men, bidding to honour, and forbidding dishonour, and believing in God. Had the People of the Book believed, it were better for them; some of them are believers, but the most of them are ungodly.

2 Abdul Haleem

[Believers], you are the best community singled out for people: you order what is right, forbid what is wrong, and believe in God. If the People of the Book had also believed, it would have been better for them. For although some of them do believe, most of them are lawbreakers-

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

O Ye are the best community sent forth unto mankind; ye command that which is reputable and ye prevent that which is disreputable. and ye believe in Allah If the people of the Book believe, surely it were better for them. Of them are believers, and most of them are transgressors.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

You are now the best people brought forth for (the guidance and reform of) mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed it were better for them. Some of them are believers but most of them are transgressors.

6 Ahmed Ali

Of all the communities raised among men you are the best, enjoining the good, forbidding the wrong, and believing in God. If the people of the Book had come to believe it was best for them; but only some believe, and transgressors are many.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

You are the best among all the nations that were raised among mankind – you enjoin good deeds and forbid immorality and you believe in Allah; and if the People given the Book(s) believed it would be better for them; some of them are believers (Muslims) and most of them are disbelievers. (The best Ummah is that of Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him.)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

You are the best nation [ever] brought forth for mankind: you bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, and have faith in Allah. And if the People of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them [some] are faithful, but most of them are transgressors.

9 Ali Ünal

(O Community of Muhammad!) You are the best community ever brought forth for (the good of) humankind, enjoining and actively promoting what is right and good and forbidding and trying to prevent the evil, and (this you do because) you believe in God. If only the People of the Book believed (as you do), this would be sheer good for them. Among them there are believers, but most of them are transgressors.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

You are the noblest people raised up for the good of mankind. You enjoin equity and forbid evil, and you believe truly in Allâh. Had the people of the Scripture (also) believed, it would surely have been best for them. Some of them are believers, yet most of them are disobedient.

11 English Literal

You were (the) best nation , brought out to the people, you order/command with the kindness/known , and you forbid/prevent from the awfulness/obscenity , and you believe with God, and if The40Book`s people believed, (it) would have been/would be best for them, from them (are) the believing/believers, and most of them (are) the debauchers .

12 Faridul Haque

You are the best among all the nations that were raised among mankind - you enjoin good deeds and forbid immorality and you believe in Allah; and if the People given the Book(s) believed it would be better for them; some of them are believers (Muslims) and most of them are disbelievers. (The best Ummah is that of Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him.)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

They shall surely not harm you save a trifle; and if they fight you, they shall show you their backs (flee), then they shall not be helped.

14 Hilali & Khan

You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fasiqun (disobedient to Allah - and rebellious against Allah's Command).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And to Allah are all affairs returned.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

You are the best nation that ever existed among humanity. You command people to good and prohibit them from evil, and you believe in God. Had the People of the Book accepted the faith (Islam), it would certainly have been better for them. Some of them have faith, but most of them are evil doers.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

You are the best nation ever to be brought forth for people. You order honor and forbid dishonor, and you believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have surely been better for them. Some of them are believers, but most of them are evildoers.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious).

21 Wahiduddin Khan

You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind. You enjoin what is good, and forbid what is evil, and you believe in God. If the People of the Book had also believed, it would have surely been better for them. Some of them are true believers, but most of them are disobedient.

22 Talal Itani

You are the best community that ever emerged for humanity: you advocate what is moral, and forbid what is immoral, and believe in God. Had the People of the Scripture believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are the believers, but most of them are sinners.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

You, O community of Muhammad (s), are the best community brought forth, manifested, to men, according to God's knowledge, enjoining decency, and forbidding indecency, and believing in God. Had the People of the Scripture believed, it, their belief, would have been better for them; some of them are believers, such as `Abd Allh b. Salm, may God be pleased with him and his companions; but most of them, the disbelievers, are wicked.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Virtues of the Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, the Best Nation Ever

Allah states that the Ummah of Muhammad is the best nation ever,

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind,

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah commented on this Ayah,

"(You, Muslims, are) the best nation of people for the people, you bring them tied in chains on their necks (capture them in war) and they later embrace Islam."

Similar was said by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Atiyah Al-Awfi, Ikrimah, Ata and Ar-Rabi bin Anas that,
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ
(You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind),

means, the best of peoples for the people.

The meaning of the Ayah is that the Ummah of Muhammad is the most righteous and beneficial nation for mankind. Hence Allah's description of them,

تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُوْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf and forbid Al-Munkar and believe in Allah.

Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim recorded that Hakim bin Muawiyah bin Haydah narrated that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَنْتُمْ تُوَفُّون سَبْعِينَ أُمَّةً أَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا وَأَنْتُمْ أَكْرَمُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل

You are the final of seventy nations, you are the best and most honored among them to Allah.

This is a well-known Hadith about which At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan", and which is also narrated from Mu`adh bin Jabal and Abu Sa`id.

The Ummah of Muhammad achieved this virtue because of its Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, the most regarded of Allah's creation and the most honored Messenger with Allah. Allah sent Muhammad with the perfect and complete Law that was never given to any Prophet or Messenger before him. In Muhammad's Law, few deeds take the place of the many deeds that other nations performed. For instance, Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali bin Abi Talib said,

"The Messenger of Allah said,

أُعْطِيتُ مَا لَمْ يُعْطَ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الاَْنْبِيَاء

I was given what no other Prophet before me was given.

We said, `O Messenger of Allah! What is it?'

He said,

نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ

وَأُعْطِيتُ مَفَاتِيحَ الاْأَرْضِ

وَسُمِّيتُ أَحْمَدَ

وَجُعِلَ التُّرَابُ لِي طَهُورًا

وَجُعِلَتْ أُمَّتِي خَيْرَ الاُْمَم

I was given victory by fear,

I was given the keys of the earth,

I was called Ahmad,

the earth was made a clean place for me (to pray and perform Tayammum with it),

and my Ummah was made the best Ummah."

The chain of narration for this Hadith is Hasan.

There are several Hadiths that we should mention here.

The Two Sahihs recorded that Az-Zuhri said that, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Abu Hurayrah narrated to him,

"I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّــةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي زُمْرَةٌ وَهُمْ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا تُضِيءُ وُجُوهُهُمْ إِضَاءَةَ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْر

A group of seventy thousand from my Ummah will enter Paradise, while their faces are radiating, just like the moon when it is full.'

Ukkashah bin Mihsan Al-Asadi stood up, saying, `O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah that I am one of them.'

The Messenger of Allah said,

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهُ مِنْهُم

`O Allah! Make him one of them.'

A man from the Ansar also stood and said, `O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah that I am one of them.'

The Messenger said,

سَبقَكَ بِهَا عُكَّاشَة

Ukkashah has beaten you to it.'
Another Hadith that Establishes the Virtues of the Ummah of Muhammad in this Life and the Hereafter

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said,

"I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنِّي لَاَرْجُو أَنْ يَكُونَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُنِي مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ رُبُعَ الْجَنَّــة

`I hope that those who follow me will be one-fourth of the residents of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.'

We said, `Allahu Akbar'.

He then said,

أَرْجُو أَنْ يَكُونُوا ثُلُثَ النَّاس

`I hope that they will be one-third of the people.'

We said, `Allahu Akbar'.

He then said,

أَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا الشَّطْر

`I hope that you will be one-half."'

Imam Ahmad recorded the same Hadith with another chain of narration, and this Hadith meets the criteria of Muslim in his Sahih.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"The Messenger of Allah said to us,

أَمَا تَرْضَوْنَ أَنْ تَكُونُوا رُبُعَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّـةِ



Does it please you that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise?

We said, `Allahu Akbar!'

He added,

أَمَا تَرْضَوْنَ أَنْ تَكُونُوا ثُلُثَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّـةِ



Does it please you that you will be one-third of the people of Paradise?

We said, `Allahu Akbar!'

He said,

إِنِّي لَاَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا شَطْرَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّـةِ



I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise."

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Buraydah said that;

the Prophet said,

أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ عِشْرُونَ وَمِايَةُ صَفَ هذِهِ الاُْمَّةُ مِنْ ذلِكَ ثَمَانُونَ صَفًّا

The people of Paradise are one hundred and twenty rows, this Ummah takes up eighty of them.

Imam Ahmad also collected this Hadith through another chain of narration.

At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said, this Hadith is Hasan.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that,

the Prophet said,

نَحْنُ الاْخِرُونَ الاَْوَّلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ نَحْنُ أَوَّلُ النَّاسِ دُخُولاً الْجَنَّــةَ بَيْدَ أَنَّهُمْ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا وَأُوتِينَاهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ فَهَدَانَا اللهُ لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ

فَهَذَا الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ النَّاسُ لَنَا فِيهِ تَبَعٌ غَدًا لِلْيَهُودِ وَلِلنَّصَارَى بَعْدَ غَد

We (Muslims) are the last to come, but the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, and the first people to enter Paradise, although the former nations were given the Scriptures before us and we after them. Allah gave us the guidance of truth that they have been disputing about.

This (Friday) is the Day that they have been disputing about, and all the other people are behind us in this matter;the Jews' (day of congregation is) tomorrow (Saturday) and the Christians' is the day after tomorrow (Sunday).

Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.

Muslim recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

نَحْنُ الاْخِرُونَ الاَْوَّلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ نَحْنُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّــة

We (Muslims) are the last (to come), but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, and will be the first people to enter Paradise... until the end of the Hadith.

These and other Hadiths conform to the meaning of the Ayah,
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُوْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ
(You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah).

Therefore, whoever among this Ummah acquires these qualities, will have a share in this praise.

Qatadah said,

"We were told that Umar bin Al-Khattab recited this Ayah (3;110) during a Hajj that he performed, when he saw that the people were rushing. He then said, `Whoever likes to be among this (praised) Ummah, let him fulfill the condition that Allah set in this Ayah."'

Ibn Jarir recorded this.

Those from this Ummah who do not acquire these qualities will be just like the People of the Scriptures whom Allah criticized, when He said,
كَانُواْ لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ
(They did not forbid one another from the Munkar which they committed... (5;79).

This is the reason why, after Allah praised the Muslim Ummah with the qualities that He mentioned, He criticized the People of the Scriptures and chastised them, saying,

وَلَوْ امَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ

And had the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed,

in what was sent down to Muhammad.

لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُوْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ



it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious).

Therefore only a few of them believe in Allah and in what was sent down to you and to them. The majority of them follow deviation, disbelief, sin and rebellion.
The Good News that Muslims will Dominate the People of the Book

While delivering the good news to His believing servants that victory and dominance will be theirs against the disbelieving, atheistic People of the Scriptures, Allah then said,

لَن يَضُرُّوكُمْ إِلاَّ أَذًى وَإِن يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ يُوَلُّوكُمُ الَادُبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يُنصَرُونَ