وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا اُنْزِلَ اِلَيْكَ وَمَا اُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبِاْلاٰخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
And who believe in that which is revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and have certain belief in the hereafter.
(Wa alladhīna yu’minūna bi-mā unzila ilayka wa mā unzila min qablika wa bi’l-ākhirati hum yūqinūn.)
Consider this: the Qur’an has not restrained or restricted its word-order. That is to say, in most verses similar to this one, it has not specified any aspect of the phrases and sentences by placing a sign in them. This is for a subtle reason, and this reason is the source of its conciseness [or ellipsis – al-ījāz], which in turn is the source of its miraculousness. The reason is this: eloquence consists of speaking in conformity with the demands of any situation. Those the Qur’an addresses belong to different classes in different centuries. So taking all these classes and centuries into consideration, in order that all the different types of people may receive their share, the Qur’an makes omissions in many places in order to make general what it says and apportion it out, and speaks in absolute terms in order to make it comprehensive and distribute it. Moreover it leaves the word-order free in many places to multiply its facets and to increase the possibilities agreeable to eloquence and acceptable to the sciences of Arabic. Thus all minds receive the Qur’an’s effusions to the extent they can appreciate them. Consider this carefully!
Now the positioning of this verse in relation to the previous one: here it is being specific after being general, to proclaim over the heads of witnesses the distinction of those People of the Book who believe, and to silence those of them who hold back from it, and to take those like ‘Abdullah ibn Salam1 by the hand so as to encourage others to follow his exam-
Abū Yūsuf ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Salām al-Ḥārith (d. 43/663). He was a learned Jew who accepted Islam and became one of the Prophet’s (UWBP) Companions.