Showing posts with label Al-Ma'ida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al-Ma'ida. Show all posts

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Surah Al Maidah - The Table Spread: The 5th Chapter of Holy Quran - Exegesis Part III

Surah Al Māʼidah is the fifth surah with 120 ayahs with 16 rukus, part of the 6th-7th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. The theme of this Surah indicates, and traditions support it, that it was revealed after the treaty of Hudaibiyah at the end of 6 A. H. or in the beginning of 7 A. H. That is why it deals with those problems that arose from this treaty.

This Sarah takes its' name from verse 112 in which the word "mai'dah" occurs. Like the names of many other surahs, this name has no special relation to the subject of the Surah but has been used merely as a symbol to distinguish it from other surahs.

Surah Al Māʼidah is one of the longest surahs of the Holy Qur'an with many a important subject discussed in this surah. Owing to its length, the exegesis / tafseer of the surah has been broken down in the following parts for better understanding:
  • The Overview of the surah (already published) gave an overall perspective of the surah, its back ground and the diverse and important subjects discussed therein. The central theme of the surah is the regulation of lawful and unlawful food, obedience to which is considered as part of the pledge between God and the believers.  It also talks about hunting for food during the pilgrimage.  God had also taken pledges from the Jews and Christians and the chapter deals with what they did to their pledges.  Some passages deal with the afterlife and the verdict of the messengers on the behavior of their communities.  Jesus is mentioned when his disciples asked him to pray to God and of his renouncing any claim to divinity.
Now we commence with the exegesis / tafseer of the surah divided into following four parts:
  • Part I    : Ruku / Section 1-6 [Verses 1-43]
  • Part II   : Ruku / Section 7-8 [Verses 44-56] 
  • Part III  : Ruku / Section 9-11 [Verses 57-86] This Part
  • Part IV  : Ruku / Section 12-16 [Verses 87-120]
We have already presented the Parts I and II of the surah. Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer of Part III of the surah in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Section 9 [57-66 ]
Verses 57-60 Do not befriend those people who make a mockery of your religion
( 57 )   O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies. And fear Allah, if you should [truly] be believers.
It is not right that we should be in intimate association with those to whom religion is either a subject of mockery or at best is nothing but a plaything. They may be amused, or they may have other motives for encouraging you. But your association with them will sap the earnestness of your Faith, and make you cynical and insincere.

In this verse (57) Allah Almighty has again stressed upon the injunction mentioned in verse 51 in Ruku 8 (Part II), the sense of which is that the Muslims should not seek close friendship with people who make fun of their religion. They can be divided in two groups: (1) The People of the Book, that is, the Jews and the Christians; (2) and the disbelievers and non-Muslims in general. In al-Bahr al-Muhit, Imam Abu Hayyan says that the People of the Book were already included under the word, Kuffar or disbelievers, still, the People of the Book have been mentioned here particularly perhaps, because the People of the Book were, though, closer to Islam as compared with other disbelievers, yet, experience shows that they still distanced from Islam.

Although the trends are changing and people of the earlier Books are finding the truth contained in the Qur'an as more and more access is available to understand Islam through internet. However, a vast majority from the People of the Book still take pride in being adherents to Divine Faith and Divine Scripture. This proud partisanship made them opt for not accepting the Truth. The attitude of mockery against Muslims was something that they displayed most. When mockery becomes wickedness, things much lower can happen, as would be illustrated by an episode
mentioned in the verse 58 below.
( 58 )   And when you call to prayer, they take it in ridicule and amusement. That is because they are a people who do not use reason.
 When they hear the call to Prayer the unbelievers make fun of it by mimicry, pervert its words to ridicule it, and utter disparaging and taunting remarks about it.

These are merely acts of stupidity on the part of unbelievers. Had they not been ignorant and foolish they would not have stooped to such base tactics, despite their significant differences with the Muslims on religious questions. After all, can any reasonable person be happy to see the people who call to the worship of God be ridiculed and mocked?

At the end of the verse (58), it was said: "That is because they are a people who do not understand or do not use reason." It means that the reason for their jest and fun being directed against what is True Faith could be no other but that they do not understand.

Allah Almighty calls them devoid of understanding although their reason and intelligence in worldly matters is well known. From here we learn that it is possible that one could be very smart and quick-witted in certain kinds of jobs, but when it comes to doing some other things, he either does not use his mind or his mind does not work in that direction. Therefore, he turns out to be dumb in it, like one who does not understand.

The Holy Qur'an has referred to this subject in another verse as follows [AL Quran Surah 30. Ar-Rum verse 7]:

"People simply know the outward aspect of the worldly life but are utterly heedless of the Hereafter."

That is, “Although there are plenty of signs and evidences which point to the Hereafter, and there is no reason why one should be heedless of it, yet the people are being heedless of it due to their own short sightedness. They only see the apparent and the outward aspect of the worldly life and are unaware of what is hidden behind it; otherwise there has been no slackness on the part of God to warn them of it.”

As for mockery, here it may be mentioned that there was a Christian in Madinah . When he heard the words : I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) in the Adhan (call for prayer), he used to say: May Allah burn the liar. At last, this very remark made by him became the cause of his entire family burnt to ashes. It so happened that when he was sleeping, his servant entered the house with a little fire for some purpose. A speck from it flew out and fell down on some piece of cloth. When everybody was fast asleep, the speck had turned into a blaze and everybody was burnt to death.
( 59 )   Say, "O People of the Scripture, do you resent us except [for the fact] that we have believed in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed before and because most of you are defiantly disobedient?"
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?'

Referring to the Jews and Christians  (most of you are sinners) at the end of the verse 59, 'most' - not 'all'- of them have been declared to be outside the fold of Faith. The reason for this is that they did have people among them who remained believers under all conditions. Before the coming of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), they followed the injunctions of the Torah and Injil and believed in them.  When the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) came and the Qur'an was revealed, they believed in him too and started following the injunctions of the Qur'an.
( 60 )   Say, "Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way."
The condition of a people who were under the curse and wrath of Allah has been introduced through a similitude in the next verse (60), which begins with :"Say, "Shall I inform you ..." In fact, this condition applied to these very addressees. The occasion demanded that they should have been the ones to be directly charged with the blame. But, the Qur'an has changed the mode of direct address into the form of a similitude (to show consideration). This shows us a distinctive method of Da'wah (Call to Faith) as used by prophets, that is, never say things in a manner which makes the addressees angry.

For explanation of vere 60, please refer to verse 65 of Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter 2:
(2:65) And you know the case of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said to them: “Become apes, despised and hated.”
Sabbath, i.e., Saturday . It was laid down that the Israelite should consecrate that day for rest and worship. They were required to from abstain from all worldly acts, including cooking (which they might neither do themselves, nor have their servants do for them). The injunctions, in this connection were so strict that violation of the Sabbath was to be punished with death. (See Exodus 31:12-17. ) When religious and moral decadence, however, spread among the Israelites they indulged in open desecration of the Sabbath, so much so that in Jewish towns trade and commerce were carried out in broad daylight.

The details of this incident are mentioned in (Surah 7, vv. 163):
"And ask the people of Moses concerning the town situated along the sea how its people profaned the Sabbath when fish came to them breaking the water's surface on Sabbath days, and would not come to them on other than Sabbath-days. Thus did We try them because of their disobedience." [Surah 7 Al-A'raf, Ayat 163] 
The exact manner in which their transformation into apes took place is disputed. Some scholars are of the opinion that the transformation was a physical one, while others hold that they were invested with the attributes characteristic of apes. But both the words and the manner in which this incident is recounted in the Qur'an seem to suggest that what took place was a physical transformation of certain persons into apes rather than just a moral metamorphosis. What seems plausible to me is that while their minds were allowed to remain intact, their bodies were changed into those of apes.

Most scholars identify this place with Eilat, Eilath or Eloth. (Cf. Encyclopaedia Britannica, XV edition, 'Macropaedia', vol. 3, art. 'Elat' -Ed.) The seaport called Elat which has been built by the present state of Israel (which is close to the Jordanian seaport, Aqaba), stands on the same site. It lies at the end of that long inlet of the Red Sea situated between the eastern part of the Sinai peninsula and the western part of Arabia. It was a major trading centre in the time of Israelite ascendancy. The Prophet Solomon took this city as the chief port for his fleet in the Red Sea.

The event referred to in the above verse is not reported in Jewish Scriptures. Nor do historical accounts shed any light on it. Nonetheless, it appears from the way it has been mentioned in the above verse and in al-Baqarah that the Jews of the early days of Islam were quite familiar with the event. This view is further corroborated by the fact that even the Madinan Jews who spared no opportunity to criticize the Prophet (peace be on him) did not raise any objection against this (Qur'anic account.

'Sabbath', which means Saturday, was declared for the Israelites as the holi day of the week. God declared the Sabbath as a sign of the perpetual covenant between God and Israel. (Exodus 31: 12-16.) The Israelites were required to strictly keep the Sabbath which meant that they may not engage in any worldly activity; they may not cook, nor make their slaves or cattle serve them. Those who violated these rules were to be put to death. The Israelites, however, publicly violated these rules. In the days of the Prophet Jeremiah (between 628 and 586 B.C.), the Israelites carried their merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day itself. Jeremiah, therefore, warned them that if they persisted in their flagrant violation of the Law, Jerusalem would be set on fire. (Jererniah 17: 21-7.) The same complaint is voiced in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (595-536 B.C.) who referred to their violation of the Sabbath rules as their major sin. (Ezekiel 20: 12-24.) In view of these Scriptural references it seems plausible that the event mentioned in the above Qur'anic verse is related to the same period.

Men are tested by God in a variety of ways. When a person or group of people begin to turn away from God and incline themselves towards disobedience, God provides abundant opportunities for them to disobey. This is done in order that the full potential for disobedience, which had remained hidden because of lack of such an opportunity, might come to the surface.

Verses 61-66 Jews deceiving behavior and Jews slander against Allah and If only the people of the Book had believed, They could have had the best of the both worlds
( 61 )   And when they come to you, they say, "We believe." But they have entered with disbelief [in their hearts], and they have certainly left with it. And Allah is most knowing of what they were concealing.
This alludes to the Jews whose history shows that they were subjected, over and over again, to the wrath and scourge of God. When they desecrated the law of the Sabbath the faces of many of them were distorted, and subsequently their degeneration reached such a low point that they took to worshipping Satan quite openly. The purpose of saying all this is to draw attention to their criminal boldness while they had sunk to the lowest level of evil, transgression and moral decadence, they vigorously opposed all those who, thanks to their faith, lived a truly pious and righteous life.
( 62 )   And you see many of them hastening into sin and aggression and the devouring of [what is] unlawful. How wretched is what they have been doing.
Eating of things forbidden: may be construed in a literal or a figurative sense. From its juxtaposition with sin and hatred, it is better to construe it in a figurative sense, as referring to their fraudulent misappropriations of other people's property or trust property. "Eating" is used in v. 66 below in the general sense of enjoyment and happiness. 
( 63 )   Why do the rabbis and religious scholars not forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been practicing.
To eat (akala) is a very comprehensive word, and denotes enjoyment generally, physical, social, mental and moral, and spiritual. "To eat what is forbidden" in verses 62 and 63 referred to taking unlawful profit, from usury or trust funds or in other ways. Here "eating" would seem to mean receiving satisfaction or happiness in this life as well as in the life to come. "From above them" may refer to heavenly or spiritual satisfaction, and "from below their feet" to earthly satisfaction. But it is better to take the words as a general idiom, and understand "satisfaction or happiness from every side."
( 64 )   And the Jews say, "The hand of Allah is chained." Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended; He spends however He wills. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. And We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters.
To say that someone's hands are tied, in Arabic usage, is to say that he is niggardly, that something prevents him from being generous and bountiful. Thus the Jewish observation does not mean that God's Hand is literally tied but that He is niggardly and miserly. For centuries the Jews had lived in humiliation and misery. Their past greatness had become legend, seemingly too remote ever to be restored, and so they would blasphemously lament that God had become a miser and that as the door to His treasury was now permanently locked, that He had nothing to offer them except suffering and calamity. This attitude, however, is not confined to the Jews. When confronted with trials and tribulations foolish people of other nations, too, are prone to utter such blasphemies rather than turn to God with humble prayer and supplication.

Reference verse 12. and Surah Al Baqarah Chapter ii. 245, for a "beautiful loan to Allah", and Surah 3. Al-i'Imran verse 181 ["Allah has heard the saying of those who said: 'Allah is poor, and we are rich.128 We shall record what they have said, and the fact of their slaying the Prophets unjustly, and we shall say to them: Taste now the torment of the Fire."], for the blasphemous taunt, "Then Allah is poor!" It is another form of the taunt to say, "Then Allah's hands are tied up. He is close-fisted. He does not give!" This blasphemy is repudiated. On the contrary, boundless is Allah's bounty, and He gives, as it were, with both hands outstretched,-a figure of speech for unbounded liberality.

They accused God of the miserliness from which they themselves had suffered and had become notorious for. If they entertained the hope that by such insolent and taunting expressions they might evoke God's munificence, and that His bounties would begin to shower upon them, they were dreaming of the impossible. Indeed, such insolence was bound to have the opposite effect - to alienate them further from God's bounty, to cast them even further from His mercy.

Instead of learning any lessons from the Book of God, instead of recognizing their own mistakes and wrongs and then trying to make amends for them, instead of probing their miserable situation and then turning to reform, they reacted by launching a violent campaign of opposition to truth and righteousness. Rather than take to the right way as a result of being reminded of the forgotten lesson of righteousness, they attempted to suppress the voice which sought to remind them and others of such things.
( 65 )   And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and feared Allah, We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to Gardens of Pleasure.
They recognized the Messenger of Allah as one recognizes their own sons yet they denied him. They had greed for status and worldly power in their hearts. Therefore, they ignored the teachings. If they have believed in the Torah and the Injeel, and feared Allah, He would have expiated their sins and admitted them to gardens full of bliss.

In this ayah, emaan/faith and taqwa have been mentioned together. This indicates that when a person’s emaan is correct or when he is a person of strong emaan only then his actions will correct as well. A person cannot have taqwa of Allah if his emaan is weak. Emaan is that which is hidden in the heart, but taqwa is evident through our actions. A person will stay away from the prohibited and remain steadfast in the good when he has taqwa.

The Arabic word "naeem" used at the end of the verse means content of the heart as well as physical comfort.
( 66 )   And if only they upheld [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are a moderate community, but many of them - evil is that which they do.
In ayah 66, Allah is commanding the Jews and Christians to uphold the Torah, the Injeel and the Qur’an revealed after them.

The word "iqamah" means to establish, and to make something stand upright and straight. Had the Jews adhered to the Books sent their way, without any alterations or changes, these Books would have directed them to follow the truth and implement the revelation that Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with. These Books testify to the Prophet’s truth and command that he must be followed.

Allah states that then they would have received tremendous provision from above them and below their feet; meaning from everywhere; pouring forth. This could be rain from the sky that provokes crops and animals to grow on the earth.

From among them are people who are balanced. They are moderate. They implement the Torah and Injeel. They neither increase the commands nor neglect them. They don’t go to extremes. They do what they are supposed to do. Allah says in Surah al-A’raf ayah 7-159: "And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith."

In the Old Testament, Leviticus (chapter 26) and Deuteronomy (chapter 28) record a sermon of Moses in which he impresses upon Israel, in great detail, the bounties and blessings of God with which they would be endowed if they obeyed His commandments, and the afflictions, scourges and devastation that would descend upon them if they disobeyed Him and rejected the Book of God. That sermon of Moses is the best explanation of this verse of the Qur'an.

From this verse we learn that:
  • Allah is not biased against anyone. No matter what crimes a person has committed if he believes and has taqwa, then Allah will accept his repentance. He will bless him with provisions here and in the Hereafter. It is we, however, who are too biased. We don’t let people forget their mistakes.
  • A person who repents from a sin, he is rewarded with double reward.
  • Upholding the law of Allah is obligatory upon everyone. We think if we follow the law of Allah we will face sufferings in this world. Allah says in this ayah that He will send us provisions from above and below. Some of His blessings are zahir [obvious] while some are not. We need to have tawaqqal / firm faith on Allah that if we are following the commands of Allah then He is the One Who will assist us in all matters.
Ruku / Section 10 [67-77]
Verses 67-69 Rasool's mission is to deliver Allah's Message
( 67 )   O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
Earlier in verse 26, Moses was told not to sorrow over a rebellious people. Here Muhammad is told not to sorrow over people without Faith. The second situation is even more trying than the first. Rebellion may be a passing phase. Want of faith is an attitude of mind that is well-nigh hopeless. Yet the Prophet patiently reasoned with them and bore their taunts and insults. If, the argument runs, you do not believe in anything, even in the things that you may be expected to believe in, how can you receive in Faith Allah's Message that has come in another form? In fact your jealousy adds to your obstinacy and unbelief.
( 68 )   Say, "O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord." And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.
It should be noted here that the Scriptures which comprise the Bible consist of two kinds of writings. One was composed by the Jewish and Christian authors themselves. The second consists of those portions which have been recorded as either the injunctions of God or as the utterances of Moses, Jesus and other Prophets. Such portions are those in which it has been categorically stated that God said so and so, or that a particular Prophet said so and so. If we were to exclude the portions belonging to the first category and carefully study those belonging to the second we would notice that their teachings are not perceptibly different from those of the Qur'an. It is true that the second category has not altogether escaped the tamperings of translators, scribes and exegetes, and the errors of oral transmitters. Nevertheless, one cannot help feeling that the teachings embodied in the second category call man to the same pure monotheism as the Qur'an, that they propound those very beliefs propounded by the Qur'an and that they direct man to the same way of life as that to which the Qur'an seeks to direct him. Hence, had the Jews and the Christians adhered to the teaching attributed in their Scriptures to God and the Prophets they would certainly have become a truth-loving and truth-oriented group of people and would have been able to see in the Qur'an that very light which illuminates the earlier divine Scriptures. There would then have been no question of their abandoning their religion in order to follow the Prophet (peace be on him). To follow him would have caused neither break nor discontinuity; they would simply have gone one stage further along the same road.

Instead of reflecting on this seriously and dispassionately, they were seized by a fit of intransigence which intensified their opposition.
( 69 )   Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
To explain this  verse, it would be appropriate to mention verse 62 of Chapter 2, Surah Al Baqarah (The Cow):
"Whether they are the ones who believe (in the Arabian Prophet), or whether they are Jews, Christians or Sabians – all who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and do righteous deeds – their reward is surely secure with their Lord; they need have no fear, nor shall they grieve."
The aim of the verse 62 quoted above is to repudiate the illusion cherished by the Jews that, by virtue of their being Jews, they have a monopoly of salvation. They had long entertained the notion that a special and exclusive relationship existed between them and God. They thought, therefore, that all who belonged to their group were predestined to salvation regardless of their beliefs and actions,. whereas all non-Jews were predestined to serve as fodder for hell-fire.

To clarify this misgiving the Jews are told that what really matters in the sight of God is true faith and good deeds rather than formal affiliation with a certain religious community. Whoever has true faith and good deeds to his credit is bound to receive his reward, since God will judge people on the basis of merit rather than on the grounds that a man's name happens to be listed in the world as a member of one religious community or the other.

Verses 70-71 Attitude of Jews towards Rasools:

Verse 70 gives an account of how the Bani Israel kept breaking the pledge taken from them. Whenever a Messenger brought a command which did not suit their fancy, they would break their pledge and go about betraying Allah to the limit that they would falsify His Messengers, even kill some of them.
( 70 )   We had already taken the covenant of the Children of Israel and had sent to them messengers. Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, a party [of messengers] they denied, and another party they killed.
Allah reminds that He took the covenant and pledges from the Children of Israel. It is mentioned in verse 12: “I am with you. If you establish prayer and give zakah and believe in My messengers and support them and loan Allah a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.”

They were commanded to believe in Allah, do righteous deeds, to hear and obey Him and His Messengers. However, the Bani Israel repeatedly broke their pledges and covenants and followed their lusts and desires instead of the law, and whichever part of the law they agreed with, they took it. Otherwise, they abandoned it, if it did not conform to their desires. They became so reckless and carefree, as if they would not have to pay for what they have done, that they killed some prophets and put some other behind bars.

From this verse we learn about:
  • Allah’s mercy over His people that He didn’t leave people to find their own way, after taking a covenant but also sent Messengers to guide them the right way.
  • The warning against breaking covenant of Allah. The incident has not been mentioned here so that we humiliate them rather the stories that Allah has mentioned are for us to take lessons from. We should not deny the messengers or oppose them. Whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us we must accept and follow it even if it’s against our desire.
When we find a command of Allah difficult we have two options either one abandons the command, ignores it or accept it and do sabr. The Bani Israel abandoned the command of Allah and were punished.

In this ayah, there’s also warning against following the desires of the nafs because when one keeps following the nafs he harms himself. When we follow our desires we do things which are unacceptable in deen as well as to those around us.
( 71 )   And they thought there would be no [resulting] punishment, so they became blind and deaf. Then Allah turned to them in forgiveness; then [again] many of them became blind and deaf. And Allah is Seeing of what they do.
Here a question arises why did the Bani Israel act the way they did? It is because they thought since they are the chosen people there will be no punishment on them if they caused oppression or killed the Messengers.

Allah made them blind and deaf, figuratively. They were unable to see or hear the truth. For example, when Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) came and showed his miracles, the Bani Israel denied him. Anyone who had intellect would have accepted him as a Messenger when he saw a dead person coming back to life or a blind man being able to see.. Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) asserted this is from Allah, yet they rejected him as a Messenger.

Then Allah guided them and forgave them. But, with the passage of time they returned to their old practices which made them so blind and deaf once again. How does one return to blindness and deafness? When one follows his nafs. They become blind but Allah is Al Baseer - He is seeing them. He knows exactly what people are doing, saying or what situation they are in.

Just as a reminder: In 586 B.C. Allah imposed on them Nebuchadnezzar [King of Babylonia]. He took the Bani Israel as slaves. He captured and exiled them. The Bani Israel realized they have done some serious mistake which is why Allah punished them. Then Allah enabled them to seek mercy and forgiveness. He sent a person towards them who freed them from oppression and slavery.

It must be understood that:
  • The people who have been given the Book, if they don’t read or implement the Book after having it with them then Allah is going to let their enemy overcome them. People become so blind and deaf that they can’t even see their own mistakes. They believe it’s a conspiracy against us. They don’t realize their forgetting the teachings of the Book. Why would Allah help you when you ignore His commands?
  • Allah turns in mercy to His slaves even after their reckless behavior. Allah gives His slave the tawfeeq to repent and He accepts their tawbah. This shows the mercy of Allah.
  • Sometimes a person after making tawbah is not grateful. We learned that the Bani Israel prayed for forgiveness and then returned to old behavior. If a person recognizes that his ability to repent has come from Allah he will never return to his old ways. But if he fails to recognize that he will become disobedient again.
We learn about the warning against returning to a sin after repentance. No matter how big or small a sin is. In Surah al-An’am ayah 43, Allah says, “Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan made attractive to them that which they were doing.”

So, what makes one return to sin after tawbah / forgiveness and repentance? It is the hardness of the heart. The sin became attractive to him. And he didn’t recognize that “repentance” in itself was a blessing from Allah.

Verses 72-74 Those who say Jesus is God are disbelievers
لَقَدۡ كَفَرَ الَّذِيۡنَ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ الۡمَسِيۡحُ ابۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ​ ؕ وَقَالَ الۡمَسِيۡحُ يٰبَنِىۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِيۡلَ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰهَ رَبِّىۡ وَرَبَّكُمۡ​ ؕ اِنَّهٗ مَنۡ يُّشۡرِكۡ بِاللّٰهِ فَقَدۡ حَرَّمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ الۡجَـنَّةَ وَمَاۡوٰٮهُ النَّارُ​ ؕ وَمَا لِلظّٰلِمِيۡنَ مِنۡ اَنۡصَارٍ‏ 
( 72 )   And surely they disbelieved when they said: 'Christ, the son of Mary, is indeed God'; whereas Christ had said: 'Children of Israel! Serve Allah, Who is your Lord and my Lord.' Allah has forbidden Paradise to those who associate anything with Him in His divinity and their refuge shall be the Fire. No one will be able to help such wrong-doers.
Allah begins this ayah by saying, “laqad kafara” meaning certainly they have disbelieved i.e. there’s no doubt they have committed kufr. Who are these people? These are the people who say that Allah is the Messiah or God is Messiah.

They made this claim in spite of the fact that Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) made it known that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger. The first words that Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) uttered when he was still a baby in the cradle were:

إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً
“Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.”  [Surah al-Mariam 19: ayah 30]
وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
“And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the straight path.” [Surah Ale-Imran 3: ayah 51]

Even Maryam (Mary, may Allah be pleased with her) never claimed that she was a mother of God, or that her son was God. She was a pious virtuous woman.

We see that Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) clearly conveyed the message that Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. He didn’t claim divinity. He didn’t demand the people to worship him, but Allah. In the ayah, the term “Rabb” has been used. Rabb denotes the Owner, Sustainer, Provider, Planner, and Creator. Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) was not a sustainer, provider, planner or creator. He was created himself. If he was the owner of the world, he would not have faced opposition when he came.

Whoever says Allah has a partner, He has a child or there’s someone else who should be worshipped along with Allah, such a person is not going to enter paradise. His entry into Jannah is forbidden. He will be sent to the Fire. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers. Shirk is the greatest injustice. Allah created us and we worship or obey someone else?

In this verse:
  • Allah clearly says that those people who believe in the divinity of Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) are not believers. The usage of “laqad” in the beginning of the ayah lays emphasis on the matter.
  • All the messengers of Allah brought the message of tawheed. They didn’t claim to worship themselves or someone other than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
  • Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) has no share in “uloowiya” of Allah meaning he doesn’t deserve worship. He called himself Abdullah, a slave of Allah. Slaves are not worshipped.
  • If Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) doesn’t have divinity then the same rule applies to other messengers and pious people. If a Prophet of Allah doesn’t deserve worship then what about those lesser than him? Why do people go to graves and pray for intercession? Why do people prostrate graves, scholars or pious people?
  • Anyone who commits shirk will not enter Jannah. He will become the fuel for HellFire. Allah says in Surah an-Nisa Ayah 116, “Indeed, Allah does not forgive that you associate partners with Him, but He forgives other than that for whom He wills. And whoever associates partners with Allah, then surely he has lost the way, straying far away.”
It is recorded in the saheeh that the Prophet Muhammad (peace peace be upon him) had someone proclaim to the people,
إِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَة
“Only a Muslim soul shall enter Paradise.” Does that mean someone who claims to be Muslim only he will enter Paradise? No. But:
Only a believing soul shall enter Jannah. This believing soul is a Muslim with the right faith and righteous deeds. This includes believers from the time of Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) and Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him). As long as anyone followed his messenger correctly he was on the right path. A Muslim is the one who submits to Allah and worships Him alone.

It is a mercy of Allah  that He is informing us beforehand that these actions will lead to the Hell Fire. It is our responsibility to go out to the people who take Eesa to be Allah, those who worship graves, or those who prostrate to scholars and inform them that this is shirk. These actions will make them fuel for fire. If we don’t tell them then we are concealing the truth.

To quote from the very books of Christians, here are References:
Matt. iv. 10, where Christ rebukes Satan for desiring the worship of other than Allah: John xx. 17, where Christ says to Mary Magdalene, "Go unto my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God." Cf. also Luke xviii. 19, where Christ rebukes a certain ruler for calling him Good Master: "Why callest thou me good? None is good, save One, that is, Allah." In Mark xii. 25 Jesus says: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord."

The verse 73 below strictly rejects the doctrine of Trinity:
( 73 )   They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.
People who say Allah is one of three gods are committing kufr [disbelieve]. According to one belief, the other two gods are Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) and his mother Lady Mariam. And according to another belief, the other two gods are Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) and the Holy Spirit i.e. angel Jibreel ‘alayhi salaam.

The concept of Trinity is a much later fabrication in the Christianity and is utter false fabrication. If they die upon this then nothing can save them from the painful torment in the Hereafter.

In Surah al-Anbiya 21: Ayah 22, Allah says, “Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.”

The system of the earth, in itself asserts that there is only One God. Surah al-Muminoon 23: Ayah 91 says, “Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity. (If there had been), then each deity would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe (concerning Him).” All these verses point towards one direction only: – Allah is the only God.

In ayah 74 below, Allah questions" "What is stopping people from seeking repentance. Why won’t they come to Allah to seek repentance?"
( 74 ) Will they not, then, turn to Allah in repentance, and ask for His forgiveness? Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
The Christian belief "that since man is created sinful, God sent His son to take man's sins upon himself, and if man doesn't believe in him they are going to be held accountable" is being refuted over here. The way out of sin is not that Allah will send His son to die for us, if this was the case He would have asked us to kill our sons.

Allah is so forgiving that we turn to Him, and He will forgive us. The process of repentance is not complicated. It is simple. Turn to Him, and He will forgive. How does a person seek forgiveness? One way is through words: Reciting those asthagfar that we have been taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The other way is through actions.

Allah is most worthy of being turned to in repentance because He is Ghafoor and Raheem. Allah tells us in Surah Anfal Chapter 8, Ayah 38: “Say to those who have disbelieved (that) if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them.” That is Allah despite having partners associated to Him, He is willing to forgive people.

Always remember that the door to repentance is open to everyone no matter what crime he has committed. Allah is Ever Merciful. If a person repents to Him, He will accept it.

Verses 75-77 Who was Jesus son of Mary?
( 75 )   The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.
In this ayah, there’s a refutation of two false beliefs.

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ

Allah refutes the claim that Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) is god. He is not god, but a Messenger of Allah like other messengers. His mother is a sadeeqah. Sadeeqah is the one who is truthful and righteous. This refutes the Jewish claim that she is unchaste. She was not unchaste, she was extremely truthful in her words and actions. She never uttered a lie. She testified to the truth.

She was raised by Prophet of Allah that emphasized that her tarbiyah (bringing up) was impeccable. She was a virtuous woman of exemplary conduct. In Surah at-Tahreem Chapter 66 ayah 12, Allah states, “She believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.”

كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الاٌّيَـتِ ثُمَّ انْظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

They both used to eat food. Look how We make the ayat clear to them; yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).

Why is the eating of the food mentioned here? It is because a God is not like the creation. He is independent of any need. He doesn’t need to eat food to stay alive. Allah Who is Al-Hai, He will die of starvation? This makes no sense. Moreover, eating leads to excretion. Animals and human beings both are designed this way. This attribute doesn’t seem fit for a God. Eating occupies a person with concerns of what to eat, and to toil around the earth in search of food. Does Allah need to toil around in search of food?

Eating show desires as we crave a certain type of food. Allah subhanahu is above such desires. Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) and his mother ate food and occupied themselves with cooking and acquiring provision. Therefore, Allah says “Look how We make the ayat clear to them yet look how they are deluded.” The signs are obvious to the people that Prophet Eesa and his mother were human beings just like them, yet they were lost in delusion.

This verse thus refutes the claims of both Jews and Christians and makes it very clear that:
  • Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) and Maryam aalyhi salaam were both slaves of Allah. They didn’t share divinity. In Surah az-Zukhruf ayah 59, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Eesa was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.”
  • Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) was a messenger of Allah like other messengers. As messengers must die, Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) too will die a natural death.
  • Messengers cannot have divine attributes. Today, there are people who attribute divinity to ordinary people. If a messenger of Allah is not entitled to this position then how can ordinary people be called divine?
  • Maryam aalyhi salaam was called Sadeeqah in the ayah. We have learned that people of paradise will be the sadeeqeen, sualeheen and shuhuda. Maryam aalyhi salaam has already reached that status. One must strive to reach that status.
  • Allah doesn’t require food like human beings. He is independent of any need.
  • Look around for the signs of Allah. Do not turn a blind eye to the truth or live your life like a herd of cattle.
In fact in these few words the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ is repudiated. The nature of the Messiah is clear from the indications given here; he was merely a human being. He was one born from the womb of a woman, who had a known genealogy, who possessed a physical body, who was subject to all the limitations of a human being and who had all the attributes characteristic of human beings. He slept, ate, felt the discomfort of heat and cold and was so human that he was even put to the test by Satan. How could any reasonable person believe that such a being was either God or a partner or associate of God in His godhead? But the Christians continue to insist on the divinity of the Messiah, whose life has been portrayed in their own Scriptures as that of a human. The fact of the matter is that they do not believe at all in the historical Messiah. They have woven a Messiah out of their imagination and have deified that imaginary being.

In the following verse, Allah admonishes those who take up rivals with Him and worship the idols, monuments and false deities. He states that such false deities do not deserve any degree of Divinity.
( 76 )   Say, "Do you worship besides Allah that which holds for you no [power of] harm or benefit while it is Allah who is the Hearing, the Knowing?"
Allah commands Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to say to those from among the Children of Adam, such as the Christians, who worship other than Allah, they are worshiping something that neither protects nor benefits them. If they could provide any benefit they would have benefited themselves first.

It should be remembered that Allah is the All-Hearer, All-Knower. He hears what His servants say and has knowledge of all things. You pray to Him, He hears you. He knows what situation you are in. Therefore, He asks how can people worship inanimate objects that do not hear, see or know anything – having no power to bring harm or benefit to themselves let alone others – instead of worshiping Allah?

In fact this verse apprises us of the error of those who are worshiping someone other than Allah. They are worshiping those that can bring them no good or harm. In Surah al-Ahqaf verses 5 – 6 Allah says, “And who is more astray than he who invokes besides Allah those who will not respond to him until the Day of Resurrection, and they, of their invocation, are unaware. And when the people are gathered [that Day], they [who were invoked] will be enemies to them, and they will be deniers of their worship.”

We have so far learnt that the Bani Israel became so intense in their transgression that they began killing the messengers of Allah. In this ayah, Allah talks about another extremism displayed by the People of Scripture.
( 77 )   Say, "O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth and do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way."
This refers to those misguided nations from whom the Christians derived their false beliefs and ways, particularly to the Hellenistic philosophers under the spell of whose ideas the Christians had veered from the straight way they had originally followed. The beliefs of the early followers of the Messiah were mainly in conformity with the reality they had witnessed, and conformed to the teachings they had received from their guide and mentor. But they later resorted to an exaggerated veneration of Jesus, and interpreted their own beliefs in the light of the philosophical doctrines and superstitious ideas of the neighbouring nations. Thus they invented an altogether new religion not even remotely related to the original teachings of the Messiah. In this connection the observations of a Christian theologian, the Reverend Charles Anderson Scott are significant. In a lengthy article entitled 'Jesus' Christ', published in the fourteenth edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, he writes:

. . . there is nothing in these three Gospels to suggest that their writers thought of Jesus as other than human, a human being specially endowed with the Spirit of God and standing in an unbroken relation to God which justified His being spoken of as the 'Son of God'. Even Matthew refers to Him as the carpenter's son and records that after Peter had acknowledged Him as Messiah he 'took Him aside and began to rebuke Him' (Matthew, xvi. 22). And in Luke the two disciples on the way to Emmaus can still speak of Him as 'a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people' (Luke, xxiv. 19). It is very singular that in spite of the fact that before Mark was composed 'the Lord' had become the description of Jesus common among Christians, He is never so described in the second Gospel (nor yet in the first, though the word is freely used to refer to God). All three relate the Passion of Jesus with a fullness and emphasis of its great significance; but except the 'ransom' passage (Mark, x. 45) and certain words at the Last Supper there is no indication of the meaning which was afterwards attached to it. It is not even suggested that the death of Jesus had any relation to sin or forgiveness.

A little further on he writes:

That He ranked Himself as a prophet appears from a few passages such as 'It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem'. He frequently referred to Himself as the Son of Man; but while this must be maintained in face of influential opinions to the contrary, the result for our purpose is less important than we might expect, for the possible meanings of the phrase are as numerous as the sources from which it may possibly have been derived. They range from simple 'man' through 'man in his human weakness' and the representative 'Man' to the supernatural man from heaven foreshadowed in Daniel. If we had to postulate one source and one meaning for the phrase as used by Jesus of Himself, it would probably be found in Psalm Ixxx., where the poignant appeal to God for the redemption of Israel runs out on the hope of a 'son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. The same author adds:

Certain words of Peter spoken at the time of Pentecost, 'A man approved of God', described Jesus as He was known and regarded by His contemporaries. He was 'found in fashion as a man', that is, in all particulars which presented themselves to outward observation He Appeared and behaved as one of the human race. He 'was made man'. The Gospels leave no room for doubt as to the completeness with which these statements are to be accepted. From them we learn that Jesus passed through the natural stages of development, physical and mental, that He hungered, thirsted, was weary and slept, that He could be surprised and require information, that He suffered pain and died. He not only made no claim to omniscience, He distinctly waived it. This is not to deny that He had insight such as no other ever had, into human nature, into the hearts of men and the purposes and methods of God. But there is no reason to suppose that He thought of the earth as other than the centre of the solar system, of any other than David as the author of the Psalms, or did not share the belief of His age that demons were the cause of disease. Indeed, any claim to omniscience would be not only inconsistent with the whole impression created by the Gospels, it could not be reconciled with the cardinal experiences of the Temptation, of Gethsemane and of Calvary. Unless such experiences were to be utterly unreal, Jesus must have entered into them and passed through them under the ordinary limitations of human knowledge, subject only to such modifications of human knowledge as might be due to prophetic insight or the sure vision of God.

There is still less reason to predicate omnipotence of Jesus. There is no indication that He ever acted independently of God, or as an independent God. Rather does He acknowledge dependence upon God, by His habit of prayer and in such words as 'this kind goeth not forth save by prayer'. He even repudiates the ascription to Himself of goodness in the absolute sense in which it belongs to God alone. It is a remarkable testimony to the truly historical character of these Gospels that though they were not finally set down until the Christian Church had begun to look up to the risen Christ as to a Divine Being, the records on the one hand preserve all the evidence of His true humanity and on the other nowhere suggest that He thought of Himself as God.

The same author also observes that:

He proclaimed that at and through the Resurrection Jesus had been publicly installed as Son of God with power; and if the phrase has not wholly lost its official Messianic connotation, it certainly includes a reference to the personal Sonship, which Paul elsewhere makes clear by speaking of Him as God's 'own Son' . . .

It may not be possible to decide whether it was the primitive community or Paul himself who first put full religious content into the title 'Lord' as used of Christ. Probably it was the former. But the Apostle undoubtedly adopted the title in its full meaning, and did much to make that meaning clear by transferring to 'the Lord Jesus Christ' many of the ideas and phrases which in the Old Testament had been specifically assigned to the Lord Jehovah. God 'gave unto Him that name that is above every name - the name of "Lord"'. At the same time by equating Christ with the Wisdom of God and with the Glory of God, as well as ascribing to Him Sonship in an absolute sense, Paul claimed for Jesus Christ a relation to God which was inherent and unique, ethical and personal, eternal. While, however, Paul in many ways and in many aspects, equated Christ with God, he definitely stopped short of speaking of him as 'God'.

In another article in Encyclopaedia Britannica (xiv edition), under the title 'Christianity', the Reverend George William Knox writes as follows about the fundamental beliefs of the Church:

Its moulds of thought are those of Greek philosophy, and into these were run the Jewish teachings. We have thus a peculiar combination - the religious doctrines of the Bible, as culminating in the person of Jesus, run through the forms of an alien philosophy.

The Doctrine of the Trinity. The Jewish sources furnished the terms Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus seldom employed the last term and Paul's use of it is not altogether clear. Already in Jewish literature it had been all but personified (Cf. the Wisdom of Solomon). Thus the material is Jewish, though already doubtless modified by Greek influence: but the problem is Greek; it is not primarily ethical nor even religious, but it is metaphysical. What is the ontological relationship between these three factors? The answer of the Church is given in the Nicene formula, which is characteristically Greek,

Also significant in this connection are the following passages of another article in Encyclopedia Britannica (xiv edition), entitled 'Church History': The recognition of Christ as the incarnation of the Logos was practically universal before the close of the 3rd century, but His deity was still widely denied, and the Arian controversy which distracted the Church of the 4th century concerned the latter question. At the Council of Nicaea in 325 the deity of Christ received official sanction and was given formulation in the original Nicene Creed. Controversy continued for some time, but finally the Nicene decision was recognized both in East and West as the only orthodox faith. The deity of the Son was believed to carry with it that of the Spirit, who was associated with Father and Son in the baptismal formula and in the current symbols, and so the victory of the Nicene Christology meant the recognition of the doctrine of Trinity as part of the orthodox faith. The assertion of the deity of the Son incarnate in Christ raised another problem which constituted the subject of dispute in the Christological controversies of the 4th and following centuries. What is the relation of the divine and human natures in Christ? At the Council of Chalcedon in 451 it was declared that in the person of Christ are united two complete natures, divine and human, which retain after the union all their properties unchanged. This was supplemented at the 3rd Council of Constantinople in 680 by the statement that each of the natures contains a will, so that Christ possesses two wills. The Western Church accepted the decisions of Nicaea, Chalcedon and Constantinople, and so the doctrines of the Trinity and of the two natures in Christ were handed down as orthodox dogma in West as well as East.

Meanwhile in the Western Church the subject of sin and grace, and the relation of divine and human activity in salvation, received special attention; and finally, at the 2nd Council of Orange in 529, after both Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism had been epudiated, a moderate form of Augustinianism was adopted, involving the theory that every man as a result of the Fall is in such a condition that he can take no steps in the direction of salvation until he has been renewed by the divine grace given in baptism, and that he cannot continue in the good thus begun except by the constant assistance of that grace, which is mediated only by the Catholic Church.

It is evident from these statements of Christian scholars that it was exaggerated love and veneration of Christ which led the early Christians astray. This exaggeration and the use of expressions such as 'Lord' and 'Son of God' led to Jesus being invested with divine attributes and to the peculiar Christian notion of redemption, even though these could not be accommodated into the body of the teachings of Christ. When the Christians came to be infected with philosophical doctrines, they did not abandon the original error into which they had fallen, but tried to accommodate the errors of their predecessors through apologetic and rational explanations. Thus, instead of returning to the true teachings of Christ, they used logic and philosophy to fabricate one false doctrine after another. It is to this error that the Qur'an calls the Christians' attention in these verses.

The reason behind why the People of the Book exaggerated in matters of religion or went astray was that they followed the desires of other misguided people. In fact This ayah is a warning against those people who are impressed by the misguided people. We are being warned against apologetic behavior towards the Deen because we are in awe with those who reject the Deen.

We learn about the prohibition of making human thought and logic the basis of Shariah. For example, if there’s something in the Qur’an and Science also confirms it, we say, “Look Science proves it.” However, it should be the other way around. We should say, “Qur’an proves Science.” We are to believe in Qur’an whether Science approves of it or not. Be confident about your deen.

Ruku / Section 11 [78-86]
Verses 78-82 Disbelievers among the Children of Israel were cursed by the tongues of David and Jesus and Christians are closer to Muslims than the Jews and Pagans
( 78 )   Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.
Verse 78 describes the sad ending of the Bani Israel. Due to their transgression and going to extremes in religion they were cursed by Prophet Dawud (David, peace be upon him) and Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him).

When Prophet Dawud (David, peace be upon him) prayed against them they were transformed into swines. Then Prophet Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him) cursed them and they were transformed into monkeys. Some commentators have pointed out that the reference to the curse mentioned here as coming through only two prophets is because the context so requires. But, the fact is that their cursing began from by Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) and ended at the Last Messenger, (peace be upon him).

Thus, the curse which overtook those who were hostile to prophets or were guilty of acting excessively by making prophets sharers in Divine attributes was wished verbally by four prophets one after the other.

Here it must be understood that:

  • Allah doesn’t punish for no reason.
  • Bani Israel were cursed by two noble messengers, Dawud aalyhi salaam and Eesa aalyhi salaam.
  • When a person habitually disobeys Allah or transgresses the limits then he faces severe punishment. 

Matt- xxiii, 33 ("Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?); also Matt. xii. 34.

There are bad men in every community, but if leaders connive at the misdeeds of the commonalty,-and even worse, if leaders themselves share in the misdeeds, as happened with the Pharisees and Scribes against whom Jesus spoke out, then that community is doomed.
( 79 )   They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.
The corruption of any nation begins with that of a few individuals. If the collective conscience of that nation is alive, the pressure of public opinion keeps those persons in check and prevents the nation as a whole from becoming corrupted. But if instead of censuring such individuals, the nation leaves them free to behave corruptly, the corruption originally confined to a few continues to spread till it engulfs the whole nation. It was this which ultimately caused the degeneration of Israel. (For the curse against Israel in the words of David and Jesus see Psalms 10, 50 and Matthew 23.)

When a person has firm faith / emaan, he becomes too sensitive and firm about the permissible things. He will neither do any wrong act himself nor allow others. He will speak up against injustice and transgression. If a person sees something evil and doesn’t stop then this shows there is a problem with his faith.

In verses 80-81, the cultivation of deep friendship with disbelievers has been prohibited as its outcome is disastrous. It may also be indicative of the possibility that the deviation of Bani Israel was a result of their close friendly collaboration with disbelievers which may have affected their ways adversely and finally became the cause of their fall into the abyss. 
( 80 )   You see many of them becoming allies of those who disbelieved. How wretched is that which they have put forth for themselves in that Allah has become angry with them, and in the punishment they will abide eternally.
These verses were particularly revealed about the Jews in Madina. The Ahlul Kitab / People of the Book are closer to the Muslims in their faith / emaan. They believe in Allah, they don’t worship idols. They believe in the prophets and their Scriptures. They have dietary restrictions, they don’t eat pork. There are differences but they are still closer to the Muslims in belief. Apparently, they should be standing with the Muslim against the mushrikeen / disbelievers and atheists, yet we saw in Madina and Makkah that they partnered with the mushrikeen and fought against the Muslims and not for them.

By giving their loyalty and support to the disbelievers, instead of the believers, they nurtured hypocrisy in their hearts and earned the wrath of Allah. The Arabic word used "sakhata" is from the root letters seen-kha-ta and it denotes displeasure or disapproval by someone who is older or greater. For example, a parent getting upset with his child or a boss being displeased with his employee.

This wrath will remain with them until the Day of Return. Two consequences of their evil actions has been mentioned: (1) Allah is angry with them, (2) This punishment will remain till the Day of Resurrection.

This verse is in fact about the prohibition of befriending disbelievers to the extent that we support them in their kufr that no matter what happens I’ll stand with you. For example, consuming haram income and food items has become so widespread in the Muslim world. Our friendships with the disbelievers have strengthened so much that we pushed the teachings of Qur’an behind our backs.
( 81 )   And if they had believed in Allah and the Prophet and in what was revealed to him, they would not have taken them as allies; but many of them are defiantly disobedient.
It seems natural that those who believe in God and the Prophets and the Scriptures, compared with the polytheists, would naturally be more sympathetic to those who at least share with them belief in God, in prophethood and in .revelation (whatever their disagreements on other religious issues). It was ironic, therefore, that the Jews should openly support the polytheists in the struggle between polytheism and monotheism, and that their sympathies in the conflict between those who rejected prophethood and those who believed in it should lie expressly with the former. Despite all this, they brazenly claimed to be true believers in God, in the Prophets and in the Scriptures.

If they had believed in Allah and what was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) they would not have gone astray. The ayah says if they believed in Allah? We have read already that the Jews believe in Allah then what does this mean? It means showing your belief in Allah through your actions. Giving the truth of belief in Allah. Believing in one messenger means that a person will believe in all the prophets of Allah.
( 82 )   You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, "We are Christians." That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.
This ayah pertains to a specific group among the Christians which did not have prejudice that the Jews were known for. To escape the prosecution in Makkah some Muslims had migrated to Ethiopia. They were heartily welcomed to take refuge and practice their religion. Upon hearing the ayaat of Qur’an, Najashi [Negus], the King of Ethiopia and his courtiers wept acknowledging that this is a Book of Allah.

Later, a deputation of thirty came from Ethiopia came to meet the Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. When they heard the recitation of Qur’an, they had tears in their eyes and took their Shahadah as Muslims.

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى

The word tajiddunna تَجِدَنَّ is from the root letters wau-jeem-dal. The word wajood means existence, to find what was lost, or perceive.

In this ayah, we learn that the people who are more intense in their animosity towards Muslims are the Jews and the mushrikeen. Why do they have hatred? It is because the Jews refuse to accept Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Messenger of Allah. The mushrikeen on the other hand had animosity because their form of worship [praying to the idols] was being rejected. The contradiction of belief led to animosity.

The word muwaddatan مَّوَدَّةً is from the root letters wau-dal-dal which means “to be fond of or affection”. Therefore, those who hold warm feelings for the Muslims are the Christians. This however does not mean that they love the Muslims or none of them hates Muslims, because the word used in the ayah is aqrabahum  أَقْرَبَهُمْ. The word aqraba is from the root letters qaf-ra-ba. Qurb means to be near or closer.

And why are they more affectionate towards the Muslims? We learn about it later in the ayah.

ذلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَاناً وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

Three reasons have been mentioned here. We will learn more in the following ayaat.

Qisiseen is the plural of the word qisis which is from the root letters qaf-seen-seen. Qasa means “to strive and search for something, to be inquisitive.” Generally, it means to search by night. Only such a person can work at night after striving throughout the day because they really want something. Qasoos from the same root letters denotes a shepherd who doesn’t separate from his camels. For example, children don’t leave their pets. Such a shepherd is a really good person. Similarly, the term qisees is used for a Christian priest. With knowledge comes the fear of Allah, regardless of the fact whether he believes in Allah or some other god.

Priesthood is encouraged in Christianity. People leave their families and dedicate their time to studying. They are neither greedy nor attached to the world. This is why they have fear of Allah; therefore they have compassion towards people.

We see this absent in the Jews. [Not all Jews are the same, but generally they are not afraid of God]. Therefore, they are not compassionate towards other people.

The word rahib is from the root letters ra-ha-ba, it means “fear”. Such as a fear that stays in the heart for a longtime. Rahib is so afraid of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that he is constantly engaged in dhikr, and he is pondering over His creation. Since, the Christians have scholars and devoted worshippers, and they aren’t arrogant either they hold affection for the Muslims.

Thus it may be said that:

  • The Jews and the mushrikeen are severe against the Muslims while the Christians are affectionate. We see in Makkah when the Prophet (peace be upon him) approached the Jews and the mushrikeen, they plotted schemes against him. But when he approached a Christian king, he was warmly welcomed.
  • The enmity that the Jews and the mushrikeen have towards Muslims is explicit. They show it through their actions and words. They don’t keep it in their heart.
  • Non-Muslims vary in their enmity towards Muslims. Just if a person is a non-Muslim, we cannot call him our enemy. We can’t generalize.
  • The reason behind nasara / Christians being affectionate towards believers is that they have scholars and devoted worshippers among them. This shows that knowledge and worship benefits a person, even if the knowledge is of an incorrect religion. Knowledge and worship make a person humble.
  • The reason behind acceptance of truth is humility. The Christians were not arrogant therefore they accepted Islam upon recitation of Qur’an. Humility leads to acceptance of truth.
  • Yahood / Jews and the mushrikeen are arrogant towards Muslims. We see the examples in Qur’an. In Surah al-Furqan ayah 41, we read how the Jews and the mushrikeen mocked at the Prophet (peace be upon him), “And when they see you, [O Muhammad], they take you not except in ridicule, [saying]: Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a messenger?” Moreover, we read in Surah az-Zukhruf ayah 31, we read, “And they said: Why was this Qur’an not sent down upon a great man from [one of] the two cities?”

This shows their arrogance towards the Prophet.

Verses 83-86 Good Christians recognize the truth and become Muslims

In the previous verses, there is mention of strong enmity of Jews and the disbelievers towards the Muslims, while Christians show affection. In verse 83, Allah tells us how do the Christians respond when His ayaat are recited. He says,

وَاِذَا سَمِعُوۡا مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَى الرَّسُوۡلِ تَرٰٓى اَعۡيُنَهُمۡ تَفِيۡضُ مِنَ الدَّمۡعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوۡا مِنَ الۡحَـقِّ​ۚ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اٰمَنَّا فَاكۡتُبۡنَا مَعَ الشّٰهِدِيۡنَ‏ 
( 83 )   And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, "Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses.
The word tafidu تَفِيضُ is from the root letters fa-ya-dad and it means “to be copious, overflow, abound, or flow freely.” That is they are so soft hearted that when Qur’an is recited their eyes fill up with tears. This is the reason for their affection towards the Muslims. Why do they cry?

The word arafu عَرَفُواْ is from the root letters ayn-ra-fa and it means “to recognize something.” That is they recognize the truth. They recognize that the words of Qur’an are not the words of a human being. When they realize this tears start flowing from their eyes.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) met angel Jibreel in the cave of Hira, he didn’t know why this incident took place. In order to make out what it was till his wife Khadeeja took him to her cousin Waraqah bin Nauphil. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) uttered the words that Angel Jibreel had taught him, Waraqah instantly recognized these are the words that Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) came with.

Later, when the Muslim delegation recited these words in front of Najashi, the King of Ethiopia he immediately recognized them and said this is what Prophet Eesa (peace be upon him) came with.

Later in the verse it is said:
يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّـهِدِينَ
They say: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.”

When they recognize the truth they make du’a / prayer to Allah to write their name in the list of witnesses. This teaches us there are several lists with Allah:

  • For example, we learned earlier about the sa’f [row] of siddiqeen, shuhuda and sualeheen.
  • There is a list of people who are liars and there is a list of people who are truthful. 
  • There is a list of witnesses this is the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him)  as they will be witnesses against those who disbelieve. As we learned in Surah al-Baqarah Chapter 2,ayat 143:
"Those who recognize the truth, testify the Oneness of Allah."

These ayaat were particularly revealed in reference to Najashi and his courtiers, but it generally applies to other Christians as well.

In view of the closeness of Christians to Islam, it is generally observed that people who generally accept Islam are mostly Christians. Rarely do we hear that a Jew or a mushrik / disbeliever converted to Islam. It is because the Christians have knowledge and they have a culture of sacred worship. And they are not arrogant. Their knowledge and worship may be false regardless of that these qualities make a person humble and open up his heart for truth.

When a person learns about the truth then he should accept it even if it goes against him i.e. you were wrong. This is why we see some scholars changing their opinion later on. Through their research and further knowledge they must have found something else hence they changed their opinion. No person is fault free. Therefore, we should admit our mistake and be open to the truth.

Qur’an impacts the heart even if a person doesn’t believe in it. Mushrikeen in Prophet’s time would go out and hear Qur’an secretly. They’d call it magic because it affected their hearts. When we go out for da’wah / calling non Muslims to Islam, we should use Qur’an, the recitation not translation. For there is a magic in the Arabic language that melts heart for this Arabic language is directly from Allah.

And it is generally seen that when non Muslims intently listen to the Qur'an, tears start rolling - for it is the sign of a believing and humble heart. And there have been many a instant that Christians took shahadah by mere listening to the recitation of the Qur'an for it moved their hearts and souls.

Continuing from the previous ayah, Allah shares in the following verse how the Christians justify their submission and humility towards the words of the Allah:

وَمَا لَنَا لاَ نُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَنَطْمَعُ أَن يُدْخِلَنَا رَبُّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّـلِحِينَ
( 84 )   And why should we not believe in Allah and what has come to us of the truth? And we aspire that our Lord will admit us [to Paradise] with the righteous people."
The Christians say why we should not accept when the Qur’an is so clear. It talks about the Last Messenger, the Day of Judgment, heaven and hell. It contains stories of the past prophets and events. What is there not to believe? They either say this to themselves in their hearts for example when a person has to reassure himself, or to those who criticize them for their emaan / faith. For example, when a Christian who is considering reverting he faces opposition from fellow Christians that why are you accepting Islam. So, he replies why not?

They not only accept Islam, but they are also hopeful that Allah will be pleased with their this act, and allow them to be with the righteous people. The Arabic word word "tamah - طْمَعُ" used in the verse is from the root letters tay-meem-ayn and it means “to covet, eagerly desire, long or hope for, yearn.” The Christians who have accepted Islam eagerly desire that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will enter them into Jannah in the company of the sualeheen.

When the truth is clear to a person then he should not hesitate or delay in accepting. And should hope and pray for entering Jannah. However, he should not assume he is definitely entering Jannah because this will make him negligent in his actions.

We learn about the importance of being with the righteous people. When a person is with the sualeheen / righteous people only then will he become one of those. Be in the company of those who have good characteristics.

The following verses mention some words and statements that are so precious to Allah that a person utters those words and Allah rewards them with Jannah.
( 85 )   So Allah rewarded them for what they said with gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. And that is the reward of doers of good.
When the Christians accepted Islam upon hearing the recitation they said what is there not to believe. They then made a du’a / prayer to Allah to accept them among the righteous people. Allah loved their declaration of emaan / faith  and du’a so much that He rewarded them with Jannah.

This ayah teaches us the importance of the words that we say. We should keep a check on every word that we utter. Our words can ruin relationships or mend hearts.

This ayah also teaches the reward of ehsaan / favour. Ehsaan includes speech. They were called muhsineen because of what they said. Ehsaan is not limited to being generous or giving money. It is about the excellence of our conduct. Whatever we do we should do it consciously reminding ourselves that Allah is watching.

In verse 86 below, Allah mentions another group of people:
( 86 )   But those who disbelieved and denied Our signs - they are the companions of Hellfire.
These people deny the favors of Allah, reject His commands and utter lies. Such are the people who will be the dwellers of Hell. Kufr / disbelief in Allah and the Day of Judgement can take a person to Hellfire. The disbelievers have been remanded and reminded time and again throughout the Qur'an to come to the truth and leave the ways of their ancestors. Yet they mock the prophets and Qur'an for who knows there would Resurrection when they are long dead or would there be a Day of Judgement. How naive and ill informed are they, for despite showing them signs of Allah's might, they remain ignorant and hesitantly stubborn to come to the truth - the path Allah has shown to them. Only time will tell, but then it would be too late !!

Here we come to the end of Part III of the exegesis of Surah Al Māʼidah. Look for the Part IV and the last part of exegesis of the surah in our upcoming posts.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Surah Al Māʼidah with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References| 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Repentance - Astaghfar | Bible and Quran - Trinity |
Reading the Holy Quran 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 Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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. [2] 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources:
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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