Saturday 29 May 2021

Severe Chastisement awaits for those who conceal what is revealed by Allah

History of religions is replete with incidents of scholars manipulating or even concealing the Divine Revelations for their worldly gains or even for a trifling gains. This was true even at the time of the advent of Islam when the Jews hid many revelations related to the coming of a final prophet, and is also true as of today wherein even Muslim scholars twist words of Qur'an so as to suit their own kind of Islam and create hatred and sow seeds of dissentions among the Muslim ranks. Even a section of Muslim scholars forbid believers not to even read the translation of Qur'an, what to talk of its tafsir/exegesis, and ask them to only heed to what part or verse of Qur'an they feel appropriate to be known to them.

The chosen verse from Qur'an, verse 174 of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow) contains a stern warning from Allah for all those who are engaged in this nefarious activity. Please read it carefully and look around for those who are misleading many believers who cannot read or understand Qur'an or cannot interpret it and fall prey to scholars indulged in this heinous crime:

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡتُمُوۡنَ مَآ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ يَشۡتَرُوۡنَ بِهٖ ثَمَنًا قَلِيۡلًا ۙ اُولٰٓـئِكَ مَا يَاۡكُلُوۡنَ فِىۡ بُطُوۡنِهِمۡ اِلَّا النَّارَ وَلَا يُکَلِّمُهُمُ اللّٰهُ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَکِّيۡهِمۡ ۖۚ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَ لِيۡمٌ‏ 
(2:174) Those who conceal anything of the Book revealed by Allah and sell it away for a trifling gain are merely filling their bellies with Fire. Allah will neither address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor shall He pronounce them “pure”. A painful chastisement lies in store for them.

Tafsir Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi:
" Those who conceal anything of the Book revealed by Allah and sell it away for a trifling gain are merely filling their bellies with Fire. " . This means that the blame for the growth of whole new codes consisting of superstitions, perverted customs, and unjustifiable taboos lay squarely on the shoulders of those religious scholars who had knowledge of the Scriptures but failed to transmit their knowledge to the common people. Moreover, later, when erroneous practices began to spread among them they remained mute spectators of this drama. Indeed, some of them kept willfully silent about these matters thinking that their interests would be better served if the Scripture remained a sealed book and its injunctions were kept beyond the access of the common people.

" Allah will neither address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor shall He pronounce them “pure "  This is a refutation of the false claims made by their religious leaders and a clarification of the misconceptions regarding their positions and privileges which these leaders had been spreading among the common people. They spared no efforts to give the impression that they were sacred beings and that anyone who attached himself to them would necessarily earn God's forgiveness through their intercession. Here God is telling them that He takes no notice of people who are unworthy to intercede for themselves, let alone able to intercede for others.

Allah also says:
(2:159) Those who conceal anything of the clear teachings and true guidance which We have sent down even though We have made them clear in Our Book, Allah curses such people and so do all the cursers.

The biggest failure of the Jews was that they kept the teachings contained in the Book of God confined to a limited class of people, the rabbis and professional theologians, instead of spreading them. They did not allow this knowledge to filter through even to the Jewish masses let alone the non-Jewish peoples of the world. Later, when errors and corruptions spread among them owing to widespread ignorance the Jewish theologians made no serious effort to root them out. Moreover, in order to maintain their hold on the Jewish masses they lent their tacit approval to every corrupting deviation from the true faith that gained currency.

The Muslims are being admonished to refrain from this kind of behaviour. The nation which has been charged with the guidance of the entire world is duty-bound to do its utmost to radiate true guidance, rather than keep it under lock and key as a miser hoards his money. 

The concealing of Divine commandments and revelation is negation of the covenant Allah has taken from Jews:

(3:187) And recall when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Book: 'You shall explain it to men and not hide it.132 Then they cast the Book behind their backs, and sold it away for a trivial gain. Evil indeed is their bargain.

And this holds good even for Muslims scholars of today who are misleading believers by concealing what should be know.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
Meaning the Jews who concealed their Book's descriptions of Muhammad , all of which testify to his truth as a Messenger and a Prophet. They concealed this information so that they would not lose authority and the position that they had with the Arabs, where they would bring them gifts, and honor them. The cursed Jews feared that if they announced what they know about Muhammad , then the people would abandon them and follow him. So they hid the truth so that they may retain the little that they were getting, and they sold their souls for this little profit. They preferred the little that they gained over guidance and following the truth, believing in the Messenger and having faith in what Allah was sent him with. Therefore, they have profited failure and loss in this life and the Hereafter.

As for this world, Allah made the truth about His Messenger known anyway, by the clear signs and the unequivocal proofs. Thereafter, those whom the Jews feared would follow the Prophet , believed in him and followed him anyway, and so they became his supporters against them. Thus, the Jews earned anger on top of the wrath that they already had earned before, and Allah criticized them again many times in His Book. For instance, Allah said in this Ayah (2:174 above):

(Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith (of worldly things).) meaning, the joys and delights of this earthly life. Allah said: (...they eat into their bellies nothing but fire,) meaning, whatever they eat in return for hiding the truth, will turn into a raging fire in their stomachs on the Day of Resurrection.
Similarly, Allah said: (Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!) (4:10)
Also, reported in an authentic Hadith is that Allah's Messenger said:(Those who eat or drink in golden or silver plates are filling their stomachs with the fire of Jahannam (Hell).)

Allah said: (Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment.)

This is because Allah is furious with them for concealing the truth. They thus deserve Allah's anger, so Allah will not look at them or purify them, meaning that He will not praise them but will cause them to taste a severe torment. Then, Allah said about them:

(Those are they who have purchased error for guidance.)

Hence, they opposed the guidance, that is, not announcing the Prophet's description they find in their Books, the news about his prophecy and the good news of his coming which the previous Prophets proclaimed, as well as following and believing in him. Instead, they preferred misguidance by denying him, rejecting him and concealing his descriptions that were mentioned in their Books.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
"They eat nothing but fire into their bellies" is a literal translation that produces an effect of rude inelegance which is not in the Arabic words. Even in the matter of food and drinks, the mission of Islam is to avoid the extremes of lawlessness on the one hand and extreme formalism on the other. It has laid down a few simple and very reasonable rules. Their infraction causes loss of health or physical powers in any case. But if there is further a spirit of subjective rebellion or fraud - passing off in the name of religion something which is far from the purpose - the consequences become also moral and spiritual. Then it becomes a sin against Faith and Spirit. Continuing the physical simile, we actually swallow fire into ourselves. Imagine the torments which we should have if we swallowed fire into our physical body! They would be infinitely worse in our spiritual state, and they would go on to the Day of Resurrection, when we shall be deprived even of the words which the Judge speaks to a reasonable culprit, and we shall certainly not win His Grace and Mercy.

Those entitled to curse: i.e., angels and mankind: the cursed ones will deprive themselves of the protection of God and of the angels, who are the Powers of God, and of the good wishes of mankind, because by contumaciously rejecting Faith, they not only sin against God but are false to their own manhood, which God created in the "best of moulds" (Q xcv. 4). The terrible curses denounced in the Old Testament are set out in Deut. xxviii. 15-68. There is one difference. Here it is for the deliberate rejection of Faith, a theological term for the denying of our higher nature. There it is for a breach of the lease part of the ceremonial Law. (Explanation of verse 159 quoted above)

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
If a person is able to gain all the wealth of this world by selling his faith, then even this is in fact meager wealth that he has gained.

The fact that the Almighty will not speak to them means that He will not speak to them with fondness and affection. For centuries, the Jews were honoured by God by conversing to Him through their prophets. This entailed that they should have treasured the word of God and should have spread it far and wide. However, the attitude they adopted entails that they should be deprived of the privilege to converse with God on the Day of Judgement.

Qur'an Wiki:
The Jews created considerable controversy around the Qur’ānic pronouncements on permissible and forbidden food and drink. Elsewhere, the Qur’ān informs us of other types of meat that had been forbidden to the Jews but which Muslims were allowed to eat: “To those who followed the Jewish faith did We forbid all animals that have claws; and We forbade them the fat of both oxen and sheep, except that which is in their backs and entrails or what is mixed with their bones.” (6: 146) All these are lawful to Muslims.

The verses may be directed at people of earlier Scriptures, Jews and Christians, but the condemnation applies in the widest possible sense. All those who deliberately and systematically suppress the truth, especially religious truth, or manipulate it for power or worldly gains of any kind, stand condemned by God, and are doomed to incur His wrath and a stern punishment in the hereafter. Even if they were to gain this whole world for such suppression, it remains a paltry price when compared with what they lose of God’s pleasure and His reward in the life to come.
They “eat nothing but fire in their bellies.” Here we have a description that is in perfect harmony with the scene being portrayed. Their gain for suppressing the truth is nothing but fire in their bellies. Indeed they are portrayed eating fire. Yet the description is factual. When they are in hell, the fire makes their clothes and their food. As an additional disgrace and humiliation, they are totally ignored in the life to come. Their isolation is given a very graphic description in the text: “God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. A grievous suffering awaits them.”

When someone hides the truth and knowledge. Abdullah ibn Mubarak said, إذا كتم العالم علمه ابتلي : إما بموت القلب أو ينسى أو يتبع السلطان "When a scholar hides his knowledge, he will be tested - either with the death of his heart, or he will forget [his knowledge] or he will follow the Rulers [i.e. he will become amongst the scholars of the government."
"...and Allah will not speak to them..." Ibn Kathir writes, "This is because Allah is furious with them for concealing the truth. They thus deserve Allah's anger, so Allah will not look at them or purify them, meaning that He will not praise them but will cause them to taste a severe torment."

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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