Tafsir Ibn Kathir
The Messenger (Muhammad ) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say,
“We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”(Al-Baqarah 2:285)
Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.
“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”(Al-Baqarah 2:286)
The Virtue of These Ayah
From Ibn ‘Abbas ” who said:
“While Jibra’eel (Gibrael) ” `May Peace be upon him’ was sitting with the Prophet !, he heard the opening of a gate above him. So he raised his head and said: `This is a gate from the shies that has opened today, which has never opened before this day.’ So an angel descended from it (the gate). So he Jibra’eel ” said: “This is an angel that has descended to the earth, which has never descended except today. He gave Salam and said: ‘Receive glad tidings [Oh Muhammad ! with two lights which have been given to you, that have never been given to a Prophet before you: The Opening of the Book (i.e. Surat Al- Fatihah) and the end of Surat Al-Baqarah. Never do you read a letter from either of the two (Surahs) except that you are given it.( Which means that you are given its reward (i.e. the reward of recitation))(Reported by Muslim) (Taken from Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim with Shaykh AI-Albani's editing, p.553, Hadith no. 2094.)
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
(Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) "We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.'')
Therefore, each of the believers believes that Allah is the One and Only and the Sustainer, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and there is no Lord except Him. The believers also believe in all Allah's Prophets and Messengers, in the Books that were revealed from heaven to the Messengers and Prophets, who are indeed the servants of Allah. Further, the believers do not differentiate between any of the Prophets, such as, believing in some of them and rejecting others. Rather, all of Allah's Prophets and Messengers are, to the believers, truthful, righteous, and they were each guided to the path of righteousness, even when some of them bring what abrogates the Law of some others by Allah's leave. Later on, the Law of Muhammad, the Final Prophet and Messenger from Allah, abrogated all the laws of the Prophets before him. So the Last Hour will commence while Muhammad's Law remains the only valid Law, and all the while a group of his Ummah will always be on the path of truth, apparent and dominant. Allah's statement,
(And they say, "We hear, and we obey'') means, we heard Your statement, O our Lord, comprehended and implemented it, and adhered to its implications.
((We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord) contains a plea and supplication for Allah's forgiveness, mercy and kindness.
Allah's statement, (Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope) means, Allah does not ask a soul what is beyond its ability. This only demonstrates Allah's kindness, compassion and generosity towards His creation. This Ayah is the Ayah that abrogated the Ayah that worried the Companions, that is, Allah's statement,
(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it.)
This indicates that although Allah will question His servants and judge them, He will only punish for what one is able to protect himself from. As for what one cannot protect himself from, such as what one says to himself - or passing thoughts - they will not be punished for that. We should state here that to dislike the evil thoughts that cross one's mind is a part of faith. Allah said next,
(He gets reward for that which he has earned) of good,
(And he is punished for that which he has earned) of evil, that is, concerning the acts that one is responsible for.
Allah then said, [mentioning what the believers said] while directing His servants to supplicate to Him, all the while promising them that He will answer their supplication:
(“Our Lord! Push us not if we forget or fall into error,”) meaning, “If we forgot an obligation or fell into a prohibition, or made an error while ignorant of its ruling.” We mentioned the Hadith by Abu Hurayrah, that Muslim collected, wherein Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication).” There is also the Hadith by Ibn `Abbas that Allah said, “I did (accept your supplication).”
(Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians),) means, “Even if we were able to perform them, do not require us to perform the difficult deeds as You required the previous nations before us, such as the burdens that were placed on them. You sent Your Prophet Muhammad , the Prophet of mercy, to abrogate these burdens through the Law that You revealed to him, the Hanifi (Islamic Monotheism), easy religion.” Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication).” Ibn `Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said, “I did (accept your supplication).”
There is the Hadith recorded through various chains of narration that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I was sent with the easy Hanifiyyah way.)
(Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear) of obligations, hardships and afflictions, do not make us bear what we cannot bear of this.
(Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.)
We mentioned that Allah said, “I shall (accept your supplication)’‘ in one narration, and, “I did (accept your supplication),” in another narration.
(Pardon us) meaning, between us and You regarding what You know of our shortcomings and errors.
(And grant us forgiveness) concerning what is between us and Your servants. So do not expose our errors and evil deeds to them.
(Have mercy on us) in what will come thereafter. Therefore, do not allow us to fall into another error. They say that those who commit error need three things: Allah’s forgiveness for what is between Him and them, that He conceals these errors from His other servants, and thus does not expose them before the servants, and that He grants them immunity from further error.” We mentioned before that Allah answered these pleas, “I shall,” in one narration and, “I did,” in another narration.
(You are our Mawla) meaning, You are our supporter and helper, our trust is in You, You are sought for each and every type of help and our total reliance is on You. There is no power or strength except from You.
(And give us victory over the disbelieving people) those who rejected Your religion, denied Your Oneness, refused the Message of Your Prophet , worshipped other than You and associated others in Your worship. Give us victory and make us prevail above them in this and the Hereafter. Allah said, “I shall,” in one narration, and, “I did,” in the Hadith that Muslim collected from Ibn `Abbas.
Further, Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Ishaq said that whenever Mu`adh would finish reciting this Surah,
(And give us victory over the disbelieving people), he would say “Amin.”