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Section 11: Christian nearness to Islam

The Israelites cursed by David and Jesus for their disobedience and exceeding the limits - Jews' enmity and the Christian friendship of the Muslims -The pious ones among the Christian priests and monks

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 78

لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ

78. "Those who disbelieved from among the Children of Israel were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary, that was because they disobeyed and used to transgress."

Hadrat David (as) cursed the Israelites for their offence and violation regarding to holiday on Saturday.

And Hadrat Jesus (as) cursed them, too, for the reason that the Children of Israel, in order to assure their hearts, asked for heavenly food, which was descended by Allah as a result of Jesus' supplication. They ate it but they disbelieved again. Therefore, they incurred the wrath and punishment of Allah. The holy verse says:

"Those who disbelieved from among the Children of Israel were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary, that was because they disobeyed and used to transgress."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 79

كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ

79. "They used not to restrain each other from any dishonour they committed. Certainly evil was that which they were doing! "

The curses of David (as) and Jesus (as) unto the Children of Israel were for the reason that they disobeyed and transgressed. It was also because:

"They used not to restrain each other from any dishonour they committed. Certainly evil was that which they were doing!"

It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said: "They (the good people of the Children of Israel) did not take part in the (sinful) activities and meetings, but when they saw them (the sinners) they met them with smile to their faces, and association."1

So, the person who is careless toward corruption is cursed by the prophets.

The deed of 'forbidding from doing evil' is not allocated to the religion of Islam, but it had existed in all divine religions.

In the community of the Israelites, mischief had commonly been committed. Then, they were cursed by Allah (s.w.t.) and the Messenger of Allah (S).

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 80

تَرَى كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ أَن سَخِطَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِي الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ

80. "You see many of them making friends with those who disbelieve. Surely evil is that which their selves send before for them (as their storage in the Hereafter), and Allah's wrath is on them, and in the chastisement shall they abide."

In this verse, another evidence upon the behaviour of the Israelites is suggested as a cause that they were cursed for. The Children of Israel make friends and master ship with the disbelievers.

So, the acceptance of the master ship of infidels is a cause for bringing forth the wrath of Allah (s.w.t.).

The verse says:

"You see many of them making friends with those who disbelieve. Surely evil is that which their selves send before for them (as their storage in the Hereafter), and Allah's wrath is on them, and in the chastisement shall they abide."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 81

وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالله والنَّبِيِّ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء وَلَـكِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

81. "And if they had believed in Allah and the Prophet and what was sent down to him, they would not have taken them for friends, but, most of them are evil-doers."

There may be several extensions for the content of this verse. Among them are the followings:

A. If the Jews had really believed in Moses (as) and his Torah, they would never have appointed pagans as their masters. (Tafsir 'Alusi)

B. If infidels and polytheists became Muslims; the Jews would not cooperate with them. (Tafsir-i-Al-Mizan)

C. If the People of the Book, or the hypocrites, or the Muslims believed truly in Allah and the Messenger, they would not appoint pagans as their masters. The reason of it is that Faith does not adapt to infidelity. It is corruption and disbelief that cause them to accept the domination of pagans.

And, generally, whoever violates the bounds of Allah will be a prey of Taghuts (deities) and disbelievers.

The verse says:

"And if they had believed in Allah and the Prophet and what was sent down to him, they would not have taken them for friends, but most of them are evil-doers."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 82

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

82. "Certainly you will find the most hostile of people to those who believe are the Jews and pagans; and you will certainly find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe are those who say: 'We are Christians.' That is because there are among them priests and monks and because they do not behave proudly."

The good treatment of Najashi, the king of Abyssinia, and the Christians of that country unto the emigrated Muslims has been cited upon the occasion of revelation of this verse.

In the fifth year after the appointment of the Prophet (S) to his mission, a group of Muslims under the management of Ja'far-ibn-'Abi-talib emigrated from Mecca to Abyssinia and became secured from the harm and hurt of the pagans of Mecca with the support of Najashi.

They were secured from the harm of the agents of the pagans there, too. The Jews, even with seeing those abundant miracles and also the good temper of the Prophet (S), did not believe in Islam. They participated in plots against Muslims.

They did breach promises and made mischief, while some Christian bishops in Abyssinia shed tears when they heard the verses of Surah Maryam and adhered those Muslims who were there.

Thus, the Jews are the most obstinate enemies of Islam, and their hostility against Muslims has an ancient and deep root.

But, the Christians, although wrongly believe in trinity, a deviated creed, are more receptive to accept the truth because of the sounder mind they have. They are not of the people of plotting, especially the intellectualities and the preachers among them.

The verse says:

"Certainly you will find the most hostile of people to those who believe are, the Jews and pagans; and you will certainly find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe are those who say: 'We are Christians.' That is because there are among them priests and monk and because they do not behave proudly."

The End of Part Six

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 83

وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ

83. "And when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they recognize of the Truth. They say: 'Our Lord! we believe, so write us down with the witnesses (of Truth)."

One of the examples of the Christians' shedding tears is when Ja'far-ibn-'Abi-Talib recited the verses of Surah Maryam for Najashi in Abyssinia. Another example is also when a group of the Christians, accompanying with Ja'far, came into Medina and heard the holy verses of Surah yasin.

"And when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they recognize of the Truth. They say: ' Our Lord! we believe, so write us down with the witnesses (of Truth)."

Therefore, as soon as the heartily receptive persons hear the Truth, they will be touched at heart, but the blockhead ones do not move even by seeing it.

The spirit and nature of man is charmed by the Truth. Then, when he reaches his beloved, he sheds the tears of joy.

However, believers should offer a petition for the continuation of their belief and having a good end.

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verses 84 - 86

وَمَا لَنَا لاَ نُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَمَا جَاءنَا مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَنَطْمَعُ أَن يُدْخِلَنَا رَبَّنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الصَّالِحِينَ

فَأَثَابَهُمُ اللّهُ بِمَا قَالُواْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الْمُحْسِنِينَ

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ

84. "And what (reason) have we that we should not believe in Allah and in the Truth that has come to us, while we long for our Lord should cause us to enter (the Heaven) with the righteous ones."

85. "Therefore Allah has rewarded them for what they said -Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein shall they abide forever, and that is the reward of the doers of good."

86. "And (as for) those who disbelieve and deny Our Signs, these are the inhabitants of the Hell."

Those who, after recognizing the right, bravely and explicitly confess it with truthfulness in action, and do not fear of the atmosphere and co-religionists, are among the best righteous ones. The reason of it is that they have done good t themselves and have saved themselves from the chastisement of Hell Fire, and, by their confession, they have paved the path for others both.

Thus, the reward of Faith is Heaven, and the retribution of disbelief and rejection is Hell.

In the meantime, the objective meaning of the Arabic word /al-haqq/ (the Truth), mentioned in the verse, is: the Qur'an, Islam, and the holy personality of the Prophet (S).

  • 1. At-Tafsir-ul-Burhan, vol. 1, p. 492

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