Meaning of the word rajaa in the Quraan

Q: One interpretation of the meaning of Surah 18, Verse 110 reads:

“Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One. Anyone who fears to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord.”

Another interpretation of the meaning reads: “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I am only a man like you, ˹but˺ it has been revealed to me that your God is only One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with their Lord, let them do good deeds and associate none in the worship of their Lord.”

When I shared the first interpretation, I later read it and saw the word “fears” used, so I told the group to focus on the Arabic as I thought the translation was wrong.

Then at one point I read: ‎قد يكون الرَجْوُ والرَجاءُ بمعنى الخوف

I had a fear of falling into Kufr

A: The mufassireen have explained that the word rajaa can mean fear or hope, but the meaning of hope in regard to this aayat is more preferred i.e. " the one who hopes to meet his Lord, then he should do good deeds and he should not ascribe partners with Allah Ta’ala in anything."

You did not commit an act of kufr. However, to understand the translation or explanation of any verse, we advise you to refer to an Aalim who has studied the tafseer of the Quraan Majeed.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

{قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يوحى إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَا إلهكم إله وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبّهِ} فمن كان يأمل حسن لقاء ربه وأن يلقاه لقاء رضاً وقبول أو فمن كان يخاف سوء لقاء ربه (تفسير النسفي 2/323)

فمن كان يرجو لقاء ربه أي ثوابه وجزاءه الصالح (تفسير ابن كثير 5/205)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)