The Quran about vainness

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

In the matter of discrediting the divine truth, according to opponents, all means are good. One of the countermeasures used was the method of erecting of vainness against the truth. In the Quran, the term “batalya” was used to denote this action – vainly, aimlessly, vainness, worthless, in vain, invalidate.

And do not mix the truth with vainness or conceal the truth while you know [it]. (2:42)

O holders of the Prescription! Why do you confuse the truth with vainness and conceal the truth while you know [it]? (3:71)

When God promised you one of the two groups – that it would be yours – and you wished that the unarmed one would be yours. But God intended to establish the truth by His words and to eliminate the struggle of closed people That He should establish the truth and abolish vainness, even if the criminals disliked it. (8:7-8)

He sends down from the sky, rain, and valleys flow according to their capacity, and the torrent carries a rising foam. And from that which they heat in the fire, desiring adornments and utensils, is a foam like it. Thus God presents truth and vainness. As for the foam, it vanishes, [being] cast off; but as for that which benefits the people, it remains on the earth. Thus does God present examples! (13:17)

And say, “Truth has come, and vainness has departed. Indeed is vainness, ever bound to depart!” (17:81)

And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warners! And those who closed themselves dispute by [using] vainness to invalidate thereby the truth and have taken My signs, and that of which they are warned, in ridicule! (18:56)

Rather, We dash the truth upon vainness! And He destroys it, and thereupon it departs! And for you is destruction from that which you prescribe! (21:18)

That is because God is the truth, and that which they call upon other than Him is vainness, and because God is the Most High, the Grand! (22:62)

The nation of Nuh (Noah) denied before them and the factions after them, and every headship intended for their messenger to seize him, and they disputed by vainness to invalidate thereby the truth. So I seized them, and how was My penalty! (40:5)

Vainness cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a Wise and Praiseworthy. (41:42)

Or do they say, “He has invented about God a lie”?

But if God willed, He could seal over your heart. And God eliminates vainness and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within thoughts! (42:24)

That is because those who closed themselves follow vainness, and those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does God present to the people their comparisons! (47:3)


Some of the deeds themselves can be judged by God as vainness:

O you who have believed! Do not consume one another’s wealth in vainness but if only it is a trade by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, God is to you ever Merciful! (4:29)

For wrongdoing on the part of the Jews, We made unlawful for them pleasant things which had been lawful to them, and for their averting from the way of God many, for their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth in vainness. And we have prepared for the closed among them a painful punishment. (4:161)

O you who have believed! Indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert from the way of God! And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God – give them tidings of a painful punishment! (9:34)

O you who have believed! Obey God and obey the messenger and do not invalidate your deeds! (47:33)


And what can invalidate people’s deeds before God?

And do not consume one another’s wealth in vainness! Do not send it to the rulers in order that you consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know. (2:188)

O you who have believed! Do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth to be seen by the people and does not believe God and in the last day. His example is like that of a smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable to keep anything of what they have earned. And God does not guide the closed people! (2:264)

So the truth was established, and in vain was what they were doing. (7:118)

Indeed, those – destroyed is that in which they are [engaged], and worthless is whatever they were doing.” (7:139)

And when they had thrown, Musa (Moses) said, “What you have brought is [only] magic. Indeed, God will expose its worthlessness. Indeed, God does not amend the work of corrupters. (10:81)

Those are the ones for whom there is not in the hereafter but the fire. And lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. (11:16)


Believers in their contemplation of the surrounding world see the divine meaning:

They give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the fire! (3:191)

Closed regarding the truth people see meaning in worthlessness:

And God has made for you from yourselves mates and has made for you from your mates sons and grandchildren and has provided for you from the good things. Then in vainness do they believe and from the favor of God they closed themselves? (16:72)

Say, “Sufficient is God between me and you as Witness. He knows what is in the heavens and earth. And they who have believed in vainness and closed themselves from God – it is those who are the losers.” (29:52)

Have they not seen that We made a safe sanctuary, while people are being taken away all around them? Then in vainness do they believe, and from the favor of God they closed themselves? (29:67)

And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who closed themselves, so woe to those who closed themselves from the fire! (38:27)