Surah Al-Ma’idah Part 6 Ayat 45-67

{57. O you who believe! Do not take as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you, and (nor) the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.

58. And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.}

 

The Prohibition of Being Loyal Friends with Disbelievers

This Ayah discourages and forbids taking the enemies of Islam and its people, such as the People of the Book and the polytheists, as friends. These disbelievers mock the most important acts that any person could ever perform, the honorable, pure acts of Islam which include all types of good for this life and the Hereafter. They mock such acts and make them the subject of jest and play, because this is what these acts represent in their misguided minds and cold hearts. Allah said, “from those who received the Scriptures before you and (nor) the disbelievers…” This is to clarify the particular category (of disbelievers). As Allah said, “So shun the evil of the idols…” (22:30)

So some recited it “Kuffari”, making it an object of the preposition, and others recited it “Kuffara”, making it a predicate noun, “Take not as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you…” with the meaning of “nor”, “nor the disbelievers as friends” That is, do not take these people nor those people as friends. The meaning here of “Kuffar”  [disbelievers] is idolators. Similarly, Ibn Jarir recorded that in the recitationof Ibn Masud in place of “Kuffar” here cited it: “and those who commit Shirk. (At-Tabari 10:430)

Allah’s statement, “And have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.” means, fear Allah and do not take the enemies of you and your religion as friends, if you believe in Allah’s Law and religion that these people mocked and jested about. Allah said in another Ayah, “Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.”

The Disbelievers Mock the Prayer and the Adhan

Allah said, “And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun” When you proclaim the Adhan for the prayer, which is the best action there is, for those who have sound minds and good comprehension, “they take it…” also, “as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.” the acts of worship and Allah’s Law. These are the characteristics of the followers of Shaytan who,

“When the call for prayer is made, Shaytan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan. When the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqamah is pronounced, Shaytan again takes to his heels. When the Iqamah is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and to say, ‘Remember this and that,’ which he has not thought of before the prayer, until the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember, then he should perform two prostrations before pronouncing the Salam.” (Al-Bukhari nos 608, 1222, and 1231)

This Hadith is agreed upon. Az-Zuhri said, “Allah mentioned the Adhan in His Book, “And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement. (Ibn Abi Hatim 4:1164)

{59. Say: “O People of the Scripture! 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), and that most of you are rebellious?”

60. Say: “Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah: those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, and those of whom He transformed into monkeys and swine, and those who worshipped Taghut; such are worse in rank, and far more astray from the straight path.”

61. When they come to you, they say: “We believe.” But in fact they enter with disbelief and they go out with the same. And Allah knows all that they were hiding.

62. And you see many of them hurrying for sin and transgression, and eating illegal things. Evil indeed is that which they have been doing.

63. Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things. Evil indeed is that which they have been performing.}

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, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“What caused Ibn Jamil to Yanqim (refuse to give Zakah), although he was poor and Allah made him rich?” (Fath Al-Bari 3:388)

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.

The People of the Scriptures Deserve the Worst Torment on the Day of Resurrection

Allah said next, “Say: “Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah?” The Ayah commands the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to say: Shall I inform you about a worse people with Allah on the Day of Resurrection than what you think of us? They are you, with these characteristics, “those who incurred the curse of Allah” were expelled from His mercy, “and who incurred His wrath” and anger, after which He will never be pleased with them, “those of whom He transformed into monkeys and swine” as we mentioned in Surat Al-Baqarah (2) and as we will mention in Surat Al-Araf (7). Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Masud said, “Allah’s Messenger was asked if the current monkeys and swine were those whom Allah transformed. He said,

 “Allah never destroyed a people by transforming them and making offspring or descendants for them. The monkeys and swine existed before that.” (Mushkil Al-Athar 4:275)

Allah said, “Those who worshipped Taghut…” and served them, becoming their servants. The meaning of this Ayah is: you, O People of the Scriptures, who mock our religion, which consists of Allah’s Tawhid, and singling Him out in worship without others, how can you mock us while these are your characteristics This is why Allah said, “such are worse in rank…” than what you – People of the Scriptures – think of us Muslims, “and far more astray from the straight path.” ‘More’ in the Ayah does not mean that the other party is ‘less’ astray, but it means that the People of the Scriptures are far astray. In another Ayah, Allah said, “The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.”

The Hypocrites Pretend to be Believers but Hide their Kufr

“When they come to you, they say, “We believe.” But in fact they enter with (an intention of) disbelief and they go out with the same.” This is the description of the hypocrites, for they pretend to be believers while their hearts hide Kufr. So Allah said, “But in fact they enter” on you, O Muhammad, “with disbelief” in their hearts and they depart with Kufr, and this is why they do not benefit from the knowledge they hear from you, nor does the advice and reminder move them. So, “and Allah knows all that they were hiding.” Allah knows their secrets and what their hearts conceal, even if they pretend otherwise with His creatures, thus pretending to be what they are not. Allah, Who has perfect knowledge of the seen and unseen, has more knowledge about the hypocrites than any of His creatures do and He will recompense them accordingly. Allah’s statement, “and they go out with the same” meaning, they alone, “And you see many of them (Jews) hurrying for sin and transgression, and eating illegal things.” They hurry to devour prohibited and illegal things, all the while transgressing against people, unjustly consuming their property through bribes and Riba, “Evil indeed is that which they have been doing.” Indeed, horrible is that which they used to do and the transgression that they committed.

Criticizing Rabbis and Learned Religious Men for Giving up on Forbidding Evil

Allah said, “Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things. Evil indeed is that which they have been performing?” meaning why don’t the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from this evil? The Rabbaniyyun are the scholars who are in positions of authority, while the Ahbar are the regular scholars.

 “Evil indeed is that which they have been performing.” referring to the Rabbaniyyun, as Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, because they abandoned forbidding evil. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “There is no Ayah in the Qur’an that has more severe admonition than this Ayah, “Why do not the Rabbaniyyun and the Ahbar forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things. Evil indeed is that which they have been performing?” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Yahya bin Yamar said, “Ali bin Abi Talib once gave a speech, which he started by praising Allah and thanking Him. He then said, ‘O people! Those who were before you were destroyed because they committed sins and the Rabbaniyyun and Ahbar did not forbid them from evil. When they persisted in sin, they were overcome by punishment. Therefore, enjoin righteousness and forbid evil before what they suffered also strikes you. Know that enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil does not reduce the provision or shorten the term of life.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“There is no people among whom there are those who commit sins, while the rest are more powerful and mightier than the sinners, yet they do not stop them, but Allah will send a punishment upon them.” Ahmad was alone with this wording. (Ahmad 4:363)

Abu Dawud recorded it, but in his narration Jarir said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

 “There is no one who resides among people committing evil among them, and they do not stop him though they are able to do so, but Allah will punish them [all] before they die.” (Abu Dawud 4:510)

 

{64. The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends as He wills. Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief. We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.

65. And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa, We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).

66. And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet. And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.}

The Jews Say That Allah’s Hand is Tied up!

Allah states that the Jews, may Allah’s continuous curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection, describe Him as a miser. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. The Jews also claim that Allah is poor, while they are rich. Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, “The Jews say, “Allah’s Hand is tied up.” “They do not mean that Allah’s Hand is literally tied up. Rather, they mean that He is a miser and does not spend from what He has. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him.” Similar was reported from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. (At-Tabari 10:453) Allah said in another Ayah, “And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.”

In this Ayah, Allah prohibits stinginess and extravagance, which includes unnecessary and improper expenditures. Allah describes stinginess by saying, “And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck.” Therefore, this is the meaning that the Jews meant, may Allah’s curses be on them. Ikrimah said that this Ayah was revealed about Finhas, one of the Jews, may Allah curse him. We mentioned before that Finhas said, “Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!” and that Abu Bakr smacked him. Allah has refuted what the Jews attribute to Him and cursed them in retaliation for their lies and fabrications about Him. Allah said, “Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered.” What Allah said occurred, for the Jews are indeed miserly, envious, cowards and tremendously humiliated. Allah said in other Ayat, “Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and the Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.” and, “Indignity is put over them.”

Allah’s Hands are Widely Outstretched

Allah said next, “Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His bounty) as He wills.” Allah’s favors are ample, His bounty unlimited, as He owns the treasures of everything. Any good that reaches His servants is from Him alone, without partners. He has created everything that we need by night or by day, while traveling or at home and in all situations and conditions. Allah said, “And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, an extreme ingrate.” There are many other Ayat on this subject. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said that Abdur-Razzaq narrated to him that Mamar said that Hammam bin Munabbih said, “This is what Abu Hurayrah narrated to us that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Allah’s Right Hand is perfectly full, and no amount of spending can decrease what He has, even though He spends by night and by day. Do you see how much Allah has spent since? He created the heavens and earth Yet surely it has not decreased what He has in His Right Hand. His Throne is over the water and in His Other Hand is the hold by which He raises and lowers.”

He also said,

“Allah said, ”Spend and I will spend on you.” (Ahmad 2:313)

This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

The Revelation to the Muslims only Adds to the Transgression and Disbelief of the Jews

Allah said, “Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief.” meaning, the bounty that comes to you, O Muhammad, is a calamity for your enemies, the Jews and their kind. The more the revelation increases the believers in faith, good works, and beneficial knowledge, the more the disbelievers increase in envy for you and your Ummah, the more they increase in Tughyan – which is to exceed the ordained limits for things – and in disbelief – meaning denial of you.

Allah said in other Ayat, “Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away.” and, “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases wrongdoers in nothing but loss.” Allah said next, “We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection.” Therefore, their hearts are never united. Rather, their various groups and sects will always have enmity and hatred for each other, because they do not agree on the truth, and because they opposed you and denied you.

Allah’s statement, “Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it” means, every time they try to plot against you and kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it and makes their plots turn against them. Therefore, their evil plots will return to harm them. “and they (ever) strive to make mischief on earth. And Allah does not like the mischief- makers.” It is their habit to always strive to cause mischief on the earth, and Allah does not like those with such behavior.

Had the People of the Book Adhered to their Book, they Would Have Acquired the Good of this Life and the Hereafter

Allah said next, “And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa…” Consequently, had the People of the Book believed in Allah and His Messenger and avoided the sins and prohibitions that they committed, “We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).” meaning We would have removed the dangers from them and granted them their objectives. “And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord” meaning, the Qur’an, as Ibn Abbas and others said. (At-Tabari 10:463) “they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.” Had they adhered to the Books that they have with them which they inherited from the Prophets, without altering or changing these Books, these would have directed them to follow the truth and implement the revelation that Allah sent Muhammad with. These Books testify to the Prophet’s truth and command that he must be followed. Allah’s statement, “they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.” refers to the tremendous provision that would have descended to them from the sky and grown for them on the earth. Allah said in another Ayah, “And if the people of the towns had believed and had Taqwa, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth.” Allah’s statement, “And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.” is similar to Allah’s statement, “And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith.” (7:159) and His statement about the followers of Isa, peace be upon him, “So We gave those among them who believed, their (due) reward.” Therefore, Allah gave them the highest grade of Iqtisad, which is the middle course, given to this Ummah. Above them there is the grade of Sabiqun, as Allah described in His statement, “Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who, by Allah’s permission, are Sabiq (foremost) in good deeds. That itself is indeed a great grace. Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens) will they enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk.” (35:32-33)

{67. O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. Verily, Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.}

Commanding the Prophet to Convey the Message; Promising Him Immunity and Protection

Allah addresses His servant and Messenger Muhammad by the title ‘Messenger’ and commands him to convey all that He has sent him, a command that the Prophet has fulfilled in the best manner. Al-Bukhari recorded that A’ishah said, “Whoever says to you that Muhammad hid any part of what Allah revealed to him, then he is uttering a lie. Allah said, “O Messenger! Convey what has been sent down to you from your Lord.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:124) Al-Bukhari collected the short form of this story here, but mentioned the full narration in another part of his book and Muslim in the Book of Iman (Muslim 1:159). It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that A’ishah said, “If Muhammad hid anything from the Qur’an, he would have hidden this Ayah, “But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people while Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.” Al-Bukhari recorded that Az-Zuhri said, “From Allah comes the Message, for the Messenger is its deliverance and for us is submission to it.” The Ummah of Muhammad has testified that he has delivered the Message and fulfilled the trust, when he asked them during the biggest gathering in his speech during the Farewell Hajj. At that time, there were over forty thousand of his Companions. Muslim recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said in his speech on that day,

“O people! You shall be asked about me, so what are you going to reply”

They said, “We bear witness that you have conveyed (the Message), fulfilled (the trust) and offered sincere advice.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, kept raising his finger towards the sky and then pointing at them, saying,

“O Allah! Did I convey? O Allah! Did I convey?”

Allah’s statement, “And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message.” meaning: If you do not convey to the people what I sent to you, then you have not conveyed My Message. Meaning, the Prophet knows the consequences of this failure. Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, “And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message.” “It means, if you hide only one Ayah that was revealed to you from your Lord, then you have not conveyed His Message.” Allah’s statement, “Allah will protect you from mankind.” means, you convey My Message and I will protect, aid and support you over your enemies and will grant you victory over them. Therefore, do not have any fear or sadness, for none of them will be able to touch you with harm. Before this Ayah was revealed, the Prophet was being guarded, as Imam Ahmad recorded that A’ishah said that the Prophet was vigilant one night when she was next to him; she asked him, “What is the matter, O Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “Would that a pious man from my companions guard me tonight!” She said, “Suddenly we heard the clatter of arms. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

 “Who is that?”

He (the new comer) replied, “I am Sad bin Malik (Sad bin Abi Waqqas).” The Prophet asked,

 “What brought you here?”

He said, “I have come to guard you, Allah’s O Messenger.” A’ishah said, “So, the Prophet slept (that night) and I heard the noise of sleep coming from him.” (Ahmad 6:141)  Another narration for this Hadith reads, “The Messenger of Allah was vigilant one night, after he came to Al-Madinah…”, meaning, after the Hijrah. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that A’ishah said, “The Prophet was being guarded until this Ayah, “Allah will protect you from mankind” was revealed.” She added: “The Prophet raised his head from the room and said

“O people! Go away, for Allah will protect me.”

At-Tirmidhi recorded it and said,”This Hadith is Gharib.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:410) It was also recorded by Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari 10:469) , and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, where he said, “Its chain is Sahih, but they did not record it.”

Allah’s statement, “Verily, Allah guides not those who disbelieve.” means, O Muhammad, you convey, and Allah guides whom He wills, and misguides whom He wills. In other Ayat, Allah said, “Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills” and, “Your duty is only to convey and on Us is the reckoning.”

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