Ayah

Word by Word
وَكَذَٰلِكَ
And thus
جَعَلۡنَٰكُمۡ
We made you
أُمَّةٗ
a community
وَسَطٗا
(of the) middle way
لِّتَكُونُواْ
so that you will be
شُهَدَآءَ
witnesses
عَلَى
over
ٱلنَّاسِ
the mankind
وَيَكُونَ
and will be
ٱلرَّسُولُ
the Messenger
عَلَيۡكُمۡ
on you
شَهِيدٗاۗ
a witness
وَمَا
And not
جَعَلۡنَا
We made
ٱلۡقِبۡلَةَ
the direction of prayer
ٱلَّتِي
which
كُنتَ
you were used to
عَلَيۡهَآ
[on it]
إِلَّا
except
لِنَعۡلَمَ
that We make evident
مَن
(he) who
يَتَّبِعُ
follows
ٱلرَّسُولَ
the Messenger
مِمَّن
from (he) who
يَنقَلِبُ
turns back
عَلَىٰ
on
عَقِبَيۡهِۚ
his heels
وَإِن
And indeed
كَانَتۡ
it was
لَكَبِيرَةً
certainly a great (test)
إِلَّا
except
عَلَى
for
ٱلَّذِينَ
those whom
هَدَى
guided
ٱللَّهُۗ
(by) Allah
وَمَا
And not
كَانَ
will
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
لِيُضِيعَ
let go waste
إِيمَٰنَكُمۡۚ
your faith
إِنَّ
Indeed
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
بِٱلنَّاسِ
(is) to [the] mankind
لَرَءُوفٞ
Full of Kindness
رَّحِيمٞ
Most Merciful
وَكَذَٰلِكَ
And thus
جَعَلۡنَٰكُمۡ
We made you
أُمَّةٗ
a community
وَسَطٗا
(of the) middle way
لِّتَكُونُواْ
so that you will be
شُهَدَآءَ
witnesses
عَلَى
over
ٱلنَّاسِ
the mankind
وَيَكُونَ
and will be
ٱلرَّسُولُ
the Messenger
عَلَيۡكُمۡ
on you
شَهِيدٗاۗ
a witness
وَمَا
And not
جَعَلۡنَا
We made
ٱلۡقِبۡلَةَ
the direction of prayer
ٱلَّتِي
which
كُنتَ
you were used to
عَلَيۡهَآ
[on it]
إِلَّا
except
لِنَعۡلَمَ
that We make evident
مَن
(he) who
يَتَّبِعُ
follows
ٱلرَّسُولَ
the Messenger
مِمَّن
from (he) who
يَنقَلِبُ
turns back
عَلَىٰ
on
عَقِبَيۡهِۚ
his heels
وَإِن
And indeed
كَانَتۡ
it was
لَكَبِيرَةً
certainly a great (test)
إِلَّا
except
عَلَى
for
ٱلَّذِينَ
those whom
هَدَى
guided
ٱللَّهُۗ
(by) Allah
وَمَا
And not
كَانَ
will
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
لِيُضِيعَ
let go waste
إِيمَٰنَكُمۡۚ
your faith
إِنَّ
Indeed
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
بِٱلنَّاسِ
(is) to [the] mankind
لَرَءُوفٞ
Full of Kindness
رَّحِيمٞ
Most Merciful

Translation

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

Tafsir

Thus, in the same way that We guided you to it, We appointed you, O community of Muhammad may peace and salutation be upon him, a midmost community, excellent and upright, that you might be witnesses to the people, on the Day of Resurrection, that their messengers delivered [the Message] to them; and that the Messenger might be a witness to you, that he delivered [the Message] to you, and We did not appoint, make, the direction, for you now, the direction, you were facing, that is the Ka'ba: the Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him used to face it in prayer, but when he emigrated he was commanded to face the Holy House [of Jerusalem], in order to win the hearts of the Jews. He prayed in this direction for sixteen or seventeen months before he changed direction; except that We might know, [that it become] manifest knowledge, who followed the Messenger, and believed in him, from him who turned on his heels, and returned to unbelief doubting the religion and thinking that the Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him was confused about this issue; and a number of them apostatised as a result of this- though it, the change of direction, were (wa-in, 'though', is softened, and its noun apocopated, originally being: wa-innahaa) a grave thing, troublesome for people, save for those, of them, whom God has guided; but God would never cause your faith, that is, your prayers towards the Holy House [of Jerusalem], to be wasted, but He will reward you for them (the reason that this [verse] was revealed was that some had asked about the status of those that had died before the change of direction [of prayer]); truly, God is Gentle with, believing, people, Merciful, when He does not let their deeds go to waste (al-ra'fa means 'intensity of mercy', and is mentioned first to allow for the end rhyme of the verse [with the preceding one]).

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