Sunday 27 August 2023

Most of the People are indeed Iniquitous

The revelation of Divine Commandments commenced with the first of the prophets Adam علي السلام and continued till the last of the prophets, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The religious landscape saw choosing of a large number of prophets and messengers, some of whom were given written scriptures, while many others were directed to convey the Divine Commandments to their people verbally. The prophets and messengers included some of the revered chosen nobles like Noah, Jonah, Job, Jacob, Yusuf, Moosa, Christ and finally Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

The conveyance of Divine Commandments has been gradual and progressive, generally remaining restricted to small communities. But as the population increased, there was a need to gradually increase the commandments that finally culminated into Divine Scriptures that include Psalms, Torah, Bible and the Qur'an. Now instead of taking each Divine Scripture and prophet / messenger the act of God, the One True God, the religious animosity crept in, especially with the revelation of Torah on Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) and his followers, the present-day Jews, thought of them as superior of all others. That is why the Jews did not take the birth of Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) lightly and became anti Jesus. Their animosity against Jesus and the later alleged crucifixion of Jesus is largely attributed to Jews by many Christians and also to the Romans.

However, with the advent of Islam, the Christians found a new playmate in the form of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and whatever Jews did to Jesus, the same harsh treatment became the norm against Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Not only the Christians, the Jews too vehemently rejected the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The situation at the advent of Islam in the early 7th century is not different from what we have today. Rather with each passing day Islamophobia is on the increase. Cases of snatching hijab from Muslim women, burning Al Qur'an and even vandalizing masjid and Islamic centres have become part of daily life of Muslims around the world. And this is despite the fact that Islam places high pedestal to all earlier prophets and messengers, especially Abraham, Moses and Jeus including the Divine Books.

It is this animosity against Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that the 59th verse of Surah 5 Al Maidah was revealed, shared herein under:

قُلۡ يٰۤـاَهۡلَ الۡـكِتٰبِ هَلۡ تَـنۡقِمُوۡنَ مِنَّاۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰهِ وَمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَـيۡنَا وَمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ۙ وَاَنَّ اَكۡثَرَكُمۡ فٰسِقُوۡنَ‏ 
(5:59) Say to them: 'People of the Book! Do you hate us for anything else except that we believe in Allah, and in the teaching which has been revealed to us and in the teaching which was revealed before? Indeed, most of you are Iniquitous / transgressors.'

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (The People of the Book are Enraged at the Believers Because of their Faith in Allah.)
Allah commands: Say, O Muhammad, to those who mock and jest about your religion from among the People of the Scriptures, (Do you criticize us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and in what has been sent down to us and in that which has been sent down before (us)) Do you have any criticism or cause of blame for us, other than this This, by no means, is cause of blame or criticism. 
  • Allah said in other Ayat, (And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, the Almighty, Worthy of all praise!) and, 
  • (And they could not find any cause to do so except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty.) [9:74] 
In an agreed upon Hadith, the Prophet said, (What caused Ibn Jamil to Yanqim (refuse to give Zakah), although he was poor and Allah made him rich) Allah's statement, (and that most of you are rebellious. .) is connected to (that we believe in Allah, and in that which has been sent down to us and in that which has been sent down before (us).) Therefore, the meaning of this part of the Ayah is: we also believe that most of you are rebellious and deviated from the straight path.

And it is for these iniquitous people, the next verse is also addressed to:
(5:60) Then say to them: 'Shall I tell you about those whose retribution with Allah is even worse? They are the ones whom Allah has cursed, and who incurred His wrath and some of whom were changed into apes and swine, and who served the false deities. Such have an even worse rank and have strayed farther away from the right path.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
 There is the most biting irony in this and the next verse, You People of the Book! Do you hate us because we believe in Allah and not only our scripture, but yours also? Perhaps you hate us because we obey and you are in rebellion against Allah! Why hate us? There are worse things than our obedience and our Faith. Shall I tell you some of them? Our test will be: what treatment Allah meted out to the things I mention. Who were the people who incurred the curse of Allah? (See Deut. xi. 28, and xxviii. 15-68: and numerous passages like Hosea viii. 14, and ix- 1). Who provoked Allah's wrath? (See numerous passages like Deut. i. 34: Matt. iii. 7). Who forsook Allah, and worshipped evil? (See Jeremiah, xvi. 11-13). That is your record. Is that why you hate us?'

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., they are venting anger because most of them are disobedient and do not want anyone to adopt the attitude of obedience and thus earn the pleasure of God.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
When all these addresses to the believers have been completed, this verse instructs the Prophet to put a direct question to the people of the Scriptures: What fault do they find with the Muslim community? Do they take anything against it other than the fact that Muslims believe in God and in His past revelations, as well as His revelations to the Prophet of Islam? In other words, the only fault they find with the Muslims is that the Muslims are believers, while they, i.e, The people of earlier revelations are mostly transgressors. It is a confrontation that is embarrassing and decisive at the same time, because it points out the true cause of hostility.

God directs His Messenger to put this question to the people of earlier revelations in order to emphasize the actual fact about their motives which shape their attitude towards the Muslim community and its faith. It is at the same time a question which rebukes them for their attitudes and their motives. Moreover, it seeks to enlighten the Muslims so that the idea of binding themselves in an alliance with such people becomes repugnant to them.

God tells him that it is time to confront the people of earlier revelations with the truth which shapes their motives and provides the logic behind their attitude: “Say: People of earlier revelations! Do you find fault with us for any reason other than that we believe in God [alone], and in that which has been revealed to us as well as that which has been revealed previously, while most of you are transgressors?” This fact is stated by God in several places. Nevertheless, it is this act which many among the people of earlier revelations and among those who call themselves Muslims try to dilute or present in a confused way. By so doing, they seek to justify what they term as the cooperation of “religious” people against materialism and atheism.

We pray that an inter religion harmony prevails and followers of all Divine Religions start to regard each other with respect, which in fact is the essence of all religions, rather than intensifying the animosity against each other and spoiling the world peace. 
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For our previous posts about Most of the People, please visit our post: Let us be of the few who are grateful

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 

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 the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, 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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