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Section 16: Jewish carping at the Apostle

Jewish carping at the Apostle's calling for subscriptions - the Jews rejecting every prophet who did not follow the Mosaic Law - Muslims to bear losses and hardships

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 181

لَّقَدْ سَمِعَ اللّهُ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاء سَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَالُواْ وَقَتْلَهُمُ الأَنبِيَاء بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَنَقُولُ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ

181. "Allah has certainly heard the statement of those who said: 'Verily Allah is poor and we are rich '. We shall record what they state and their slaying the prophets unjustly; and We will say: 'Taste the torment of burning'."

The Occasion of Revelation

This verse and the next one are revealed upon the reproach and blame of the Jews. The Prophet (S) had a letter written to Bani Qinqa', the Jew, in which he invited them to performing prayers; paying alms, and giving loan to the Lord. (The purpose of the last part of this sentence is spending out in the way of Allah that which is stated in this form in order to move the feelings of men).

The agent of the Prophet (S) entered a house which was the center of teaching the Jewish religious subjects and it was called 'Bayt-ul-Madaris'.

He handed the letter to Fanhas, a great Jewish learned man. After reading the letter, he mockingly said: "If your statements are true, it should be said that Allah is poor and we are rich, for if He were not poor, He would not ask us for loan."

"In addition to that, Muhammad (S) believes Allah has prohibited you (Muslims) from usury while he himself promises you interest and increase of wealth for giving charity."

But, when these two verses were revealed, Fanhas denied confessing he had said these words.

In this verse, it says:

"Allah has certainly heard the statement of those who said: 'Verily Allah is poor and we are rich '..."

Therefore, their denial was useless. Then, the Lord says not only We hear their words, but also.

"... We shall record what they state and their slaying the prophets unjustly; .."

Recording and accounting their deeds is for that their total accomplishments will be put before them on the Reckoning Day in order that they see the fruit of their actions.

".. and We will say: 'Taste the torment of burning'."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 182

ذَلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلاَّمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

182. "This is for what your hands have sent on ahead and, of course, Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants."

In this verse, it says that the painful torment you are tasting its bitterness now, is the fruit of your own deeds. It was you yourselves who did wrong to your own souls, for never is Allah unjust to anyone. It says:

"This is for what your hands have sent on ahead and, of course, Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants."

In principle, if criminals, such as you, do not receive the punishment of their evil deeds, and be counted in the row of good doers, it will be the utmost injustice; and if Allah did not do like that, He would be the most unjust.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 183

الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَهِدَ إِلَيْنَا أَلاَّ نُؤْمِنَ لِرَسُولٍ حَتَّىَ يَأْتِيَنَا بِقُرْبَانٍ تَأْكُلُهُ النَّارُ قُلْ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِي بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالَّذِي قُلْتُمْ فَلِمَ قَتَلْتُمُوهُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

183. "Those who said: ' Verily Allah has covenanted with us not to believe in any messenger until he brings us an offering which fire (from heaven) will consume '. Say: ' Indeed Messengers came unto you before me (all) with miracles, and with that (very miracle) which you spoke of; why then did you kill them, if you are so truthful?'"

To fly from accepting Islam, some disbelievers sought a pretext and said that Allah had covenanted with them that they would believe in only a prophet who brought them an animal to offer, and a lightning from heaven would burn that victim in front of the eyes of people. It was then that they might be assure of his prophet hood.

This verse was revealed in order that the Prophet (S) would tell those pertinacious seekers of pretext that: if they were right, why did they not believe in the prophets before the Prophet of Islam? Those prophets, in addition to different kinds of miracles, also brought them what they said, i.e. bringing an offering.

Explanations

1. The history of all groups and nations, as well as their background, is the best reference to their claims.

"... Say: 'Indeed Messengers came unto you before me (all) with miracles, and with that (very miracle) which you spoke of..."

2. Do not justify your escaping from Truth by religious subjects-

"Those who said: 'Verily Allah has covenanted with us..."

The subject of offering a ram is mentioned in the Torah, Leviticus, Chapter 9, No.2, such:

"And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord."

3. The opponents' seeking pretext, throughout the history of human beings, is alike.

"... and with that (very miracle) which you spoke of ..."

4. As soon as a person pertains with the spirit of arrogance, the one neither avoids denigrating Allah

"... Verily Allah has covenanted with us...",

nor submits to any prophet:

"... not to believe in any messenger..."

Such a person also expects that miracles adapt to his wishes and desires.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 184

فَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كُذِّبَ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ جَآؤُوا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ

184. "Then, if they reject you, messengers before you have already been rejected while they came even with clear arguments; and the Psalms and the Enlightening Book."

In this verse, Allah consoles the Prophet (S) and tells him that if these seekers of pretext reject you, it is not a new or an odd thing because the messengers before you were rejected, too. It says:

"Then, if they reject you, messengers before you have already been rejected..."

This is in a case that those messengers had both clear signs and clear miracles with them.

"... while they came even with clear arguments ..."

Those messengers had not only clear arguments and miracles but they brought also both firm, acceptable scriptures arid the Enlightening Book. It says:

"... and the Psalms and the Enlightening Book"

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 185

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَما الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

185. "Everyone tastes death. And verily you will be paid in full your reward on the Resurrection Day, Then whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted into Paradise, he indeed is prosperous; and the life of this world is not but a provision of deception."

Death, a General Destiny!

At first, this verse points to a law that involve of the world, it says:

"Everyone tastes death…"

In fact, most people are willing to forget their mortality but this is a reality that even if we forget it, it (the death) will never forget us.

Then, it says that after the life of this world, the stage of receiving the fruit of deeds (whether good reward or retribution) begins. It says:

"…And verily you will be paid in full your reward on the Resurrection Day,.."

Then, it adds that those who remove from the effect of the absorption of Hell Fire and enter Heaven, they are saved and have found their beloved and demanded ideal. It says:

"…Then whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted into Paradise, he indeed is prosperous…"

As if, Hell absorbs human beings with all its power towards itself. Yes, verily the factors which attract man towards it are some astonishing attractions. Do the fleeting desires, unlawful sexual pleasures, unlawful positions and properties not have attraction for every human being?

In the next sentence, it completes the former discussion by saying:

"….and the life of this world is not but a provision of deception."

The important thing is that the material world and its pleasures do not become the ideal and the final goal of Man; otherwise, using the material world and its merits, as a means for attaining the human development, not only is not blameworthy, but also is necessary and essential.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 186

لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَذًى كَثِيراً وَإِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الأُمُورِ

186. "Certainly you will be tried in your wealth and your own selves, and certainly you will bear much abuse from those who were given the Book before you, and from those who are idolaters. And if you preserve patiently, and act piously, then that is indeed of determining factor in affairs."

After emigrating Muslims from Mecca to Medina, pagans began to encroach and to plunder their wealth and properties in Mecca. Whomever they could find, they hurt and troubled. On the other hand, the Jews in Medina told them words of sarcasm.

They even sang odes for Muslim women and girls with full impudence, or they (the Jews) libelled them. The Jewish person who was leading these things was called 'Ka'b-ibn-'Ashraf.

The Prophet (S) issued order that the person be killed, and thus he was killed.

This verse, solacing the Muslims, recommends them to be patient and pious, because a decision made under its shade is trustable.

Explanations

1. Your trial is an earnest subject, so, make yourselves prepared for it.

2. Hearing abuse and annoyance, and suffering much harms from the foe is among the means of your trial.

"...and certainly you will bear much abuse from those who were given the Book before you, and from those who are idolaters. And if you preserve patiently, and act piously, then that is indeed of determining factor in affairs."

3. The most applied means of trial are wealth and soul.

"Certainly you will be tried in your wealth and your own selves..."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 187

وَإِذَ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ

187. "And (remember) when Allah took a pledge from those who were given the Book (saying): 'You shall certainly make it known to people and you shall not hide it '. But they cast it behind their backs and took a small price for it, then, how bad what they purchase."

The reason that there are many millions of the Christians, the Jews, and the Zoroastrians throughout the world is totally for the sake of inopportune silence of their learned people.

According to the of Atyab-ul-Bayan, there are more than sixty occurrences in the New Testament and Old Testament where the glad tidings of Islam and the Prophet (S) is referred to, but the learned persons of the People of the Book have left all of them away.

The sin of concealment is so important that Allah has used such a meaning for its retribution that He has applied for no other sin. The concerning verse says:

"... They are those that Allah does curse them and (also) curse them (all) those who curse (such ones)."1

Explanations

1. Whatever concealment that causes people to remain in paganism, infidelity, ignorance and corruption is a great sin, and the concealer has a share in the sin of people.

2. The motive of the annihilating silences are usually obtaining wealth or social rank and or protecting it.

"... and took a small price for it, then, how bad what they purchase."

3. The learned persons are responsible for their people.

4. The statement and exhibition of facts must be done in a way that nothing be concealed for people.

"And (remember) when Allah took a pledge from those who were given the Book (saying): 'You shall certainly make it known to people and you shall not hide it '. But they cast it behind their backs ..."

5. Mere knowledge is not enough for attaining prosperity and felicity. Piety and appropriate heedlessness to the worldly wealth and social rank is necessary, too.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 188

لاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْرَحُونَ بِمَا أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحْمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمْ يَفْعَلُواْ فَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّهُمْ بِمَفَازَةٍ مِّنَ الْعَذَابِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

188. "Do not think those who rejoice in what they have done and love to he praised for what they have not done, so do not think that they would be safe from the punishment and they will have a painful torment."

There are always some hypocrites in the society who like to be treated, in spite of their hypocrisy, as the believers. It is exactly similar to the cowards who wish to be entitled with bravery, and the ignorant and people with a little knowledge who are pleased to be called 'learned'.

Sometimes they appear in the society with a state to inspire people that they have the best titles and ranks. But these persons are some deceitful ones who never embrace prosperity.

Basically, people are divided into three groups:

1. Those who strive with effort and endeavour and intend that none know it but Allah. The example of this group is those who say:

"... no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks."2

2. Those who work with the motive that people know it and praise them.

3. Those who expect people to praise them without doing anything good. Such persons are referred to in this verse.

"Do not think those who rejoice in what they have done and love to he praised for what they have not done, so do not think that they would be safe from the punishment and they will have a painful torment."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 189

وَلِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاللّهُ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

189. "And to Allah belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is All-Powerful over all things."

In this verse, there are some glad tidings for the believers, and also there is a threat for the disbelievers. It says:

"And to Allah belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is All-Powerful over all things."

That is, it is not necessary that the believers pave the unusual ways for their development and progression. They can continue their way of progression under the light of the Power of Allah through the lawful and proper paths.

  • 1. Surah Al-Baqarah, No.2, verse 159
  • 2. Surah, Insan, No.76, verse 9

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