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Section 9: Mockers

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 57

The Mockers and their fault-finding -Hypocrisy and the mischief of the Jews - The Jews and the Christians enjoined to act up to their own Holy Books.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

57. "O' you who have Faith! do not take those who take your religion in mockery and play, from among those who were given the Book before you and the infidels as guardians; and be in awe of Allah if you are believers."

The worldly retribution of the act of mockery and sacrilege unto the religion of Allah and profanity is rupture of relations. Mocking the religion is a job of disbelievers. So, the condition of having Faith is having the religious zeal and dissociating from the vicious.

Never be afraid of the rupture of relation with pagans, the profaners of the religion. If you have Faith, be in awe of Allah.

"O' you who have Faith! do not take those who take your religion in mockery and play, from among those who were given the Book before you and the infidels as guardians; and be in awe of Allah if you are believers."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 58

وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ

58. "And when you call to prayer they take it in mockery and play. That is because they are a people who do not apply reason."

Following the previous discussion upon the prohibition of friendship with the hypocrites and a party of the People of the Book who mock the commandments of Islam, this verse points to one of their deeds as an evidence. It implies that when the prayer call is recited and the Muslims are called to prayer, the hypocrites and some of the People of the Book mock it. Here is the verse:

"And when you call to prayer they take it in mockery and play....."

This Fact should be noted that 'prayer' is the feature and the sample of the religion. Thus, here, taking prayer in mockery means taking the feature of the religion in mockery. Hence, the prayer call should be recited so that the crowd of Muslims gather and prayer be established quite openly.

In Islamic society, prayer call must be recited loudly and be preached, but it should not be troublesome; of course.

In conclusion, this point is clear that the style of the wise is that they face the affairs logically while the imprudent, those who have not reason, are the makers of mockery. The verse says:

"...That is because they are a people who do not apply reason."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 59

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ هَلْ تَنقِمُونَ مِنَّا إِلاَّ أَنْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

59. "Say: 'O' People of the Book! Do you find faults with us (for any reason) except that we have believed in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and in what was sent down before (the Quran), and that, certainly, most of you are evil-doers'."

Occasion of Revelation

Upon the Occasion of Revelation of the above verse and the verse after that, it has been narrated from Ibn-Abbas that a group of the Jewish people came to the Prophet (S) and asked him to describe his creeds for them.

Then, the holy Prophet (S) said: "I believe in Allah and in what have been revealed to Abraham, Ismael, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and all Divine Prophets, and I separate none of them from the others."

They said: "We do not know Jesus and do not accept him as a prophet." Then they added that they knew no religion worse than their religion (the Prophet's religion). It was at that time that this holy verse was revealed and answered them.

In this verse, Allah (s.w.t.) orders Prophet Muhammad (S) to ask the People of the Book why they found faults with them and criticized them for any reason, save that they had believed in Allah (s.w.t.) and submitted to what was sent down to them and to the prophets before them.

The verse says:

"Say: ' O' People of the Book! Do you find faults with us (for any reason) except that we have believed in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and in what was sent down before (the Quran) ..."

At the end of the verse, there finds a sentence which in fact, is the clarification of the previous sentence. It, from the tongue of Muslims and addressing the People of the Book, denotes that if you object us upon the pure theism and sincere submission we have unto all the heavenly Books, it is because most of you are evil-doers and have polluted with sins.

Thus, since you yourselves are polluted and deluded, then whoever are purified and pave the right path, in your point of view, their manner is blemish.

"...and that certainly, most of you are evil-doers"

Note:

1. Denial of the right and annoying the followers of the right is ungodliness.

2. When encountering the severities of the enemies do not forfeit justice and fairness. Yet, do not consider all of those hostile enemies as equally evil-doers.

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 60

قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذَلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ اللّهِ مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ وَعَبَدَ الطَّاغُوتَ أُوْلَـئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَأَضَلُّ عَن سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ

60. "Say: 'Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than that in retribution with Allah?(Worse are those) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and He turned some of whom into apes and swine, and worshippers of Taghut (false deity). They are worse in place (with Allah) and far more astray from the (right) path."

In this holy verse, some perverted creeds and some wrong deeds of the People of the Book, resulted to the inflictions they were faced with, are compared with the situation of the true Muslim believers, in order to make ( clear which of these two groups deserve to be blamed and criticized.

This is, indeed, a logical answer which is used for the stubborn and fanatic persons to become mindful. In this comparison, it addresses the Prophet (S) to tell them whether the person who believes in Allah and the heavenly Books deserves to be criticized and blamed, or the wrong actions of those whose retribution of their deed is worse than that with Allah. The verse says:

"Say: 'Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than that in retribution with Allah?.."

Then, it explains this subject when it says:

"…(Worse are those) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and He turned some of whom into apes a swine, and worshippers of Taghut (false deity). They are worse in place (with Allah) and far more astray from the (right) path."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 61

وَإِذَا جَآؤُوكُمْ قَالُوَاْ آمَنَّا وَقَد دَّخَلُواْ بِالْكُفْرِ وَهُمْ قَدْ خَرَجُواْ بِهِ وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْتُمُونَ

61. "And when they come to you, they say: 'We believe '; while certainly they have entered in with infidelity, and certainly they have gone out with it; and Allah knows best what they were hiding."

In order to complete the discussion about the hypocrites among the People of the Book, in this verse it makes their inner hypocrisy manifest and announces it to the Muslims as such:

"And when they come to you, they say: 'We believe '; while certainly they have entered in with infidelity, and certainly they have gone out with it....."

And, at the end of the verse, it warns them that in spite of all these concealments, Allah is aware of what they hide. It says:

"....and Allah knows best what they were hiding."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 62

وَتَرَى كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

62. "And you will see many of them striving with one another to hasten in sin and transgression and their devouring the unlawful. Verily, evil is what they have been doing."

In the previous verse, the words were about their infidel spirit; and, here, the statement is about their ethical, social, and economical corruptions.

In this verse, the Qur'an refers to some other signs of their hypocrisy. As a part of the signs, it says:

"And you will see many of them striving with one another to hasten in sin and transgression and their devouring the unlawful. ..."

That is, they so act in the way of sin and cruelty that as if they go forward unto some honourable goals, and without any shame or modesty, they try to precede one another.

Therefore, preceding in corruption is found in the feature of the society of infidelity and hypocrisy. But, the feature o-f the Islamic society is precedence in good deeds.

Similarly, the main goals and ideal of the hypocrites is: lust, wealth, might, usury, bribery, enmity, and sinfulness.

Worse than that manner is that, they openly show their committing sin and being involved in it.

And, at the end of the verse, in order to emphasize on the indecency condition of their deeds and that they continue to perform them, the holy Qur'an says:

"...Verily, evil is what they have been doing."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 63

لَوْلاَ يَنْهَاهُمُ الرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ عَن قَوْلِهِمُ الإِثْمَ وَأَكْلِهِمُ السُّحْتَ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ

63. "Why do not the learned men and the doctors of law prohibit them (the people) from uttering sinful words and devouring the unlawful? Verily evil is what they have been working."

Then, in this holy verse, the attack is targeted at the learned men of such societies who, by their own silence, encourage them to committing sin; It says:

"Why do not the learned men and the doctors of law prohibit them (the people) from uttering sinful words and devouring the unlawful? ..."

That is, in order to improve an immoral society, the knowledgeable men among them must change their incorrect thoughts and creeds. Thus, the verse shows the style of improving an immoral society to the learned people that they must begin with mental revolution.

And, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an has blamed the indifferent scholars who remain silent and those who abandon 'enjoining right' and 'forbidding wrong' in the same level that it has blamed the evil-doers, where it says:

" ...Verily evil is what they have been working."

Thus, it becomes clear that the fate of those who do not perform the great duty of 'enjoining right and forbidding wrong', especially when they are among scholars and learned ones, is equivalent with the fate of the sinners. They have indeed, a share of their crime.

Ibn-Abbas, the famous commentator, has been narrated from that he used to say: "This verse is the most intensive verse which scorns and blames the undutiful and indifferent scholars."

It is evident that this command does not pertain exclusively to the silent scholars of the Jews and the Christians. It encompasses all the mental leaders and scholars who sit silent at the time that people become polluted with committing sin and go forward in the path of injustice and corruption, because the law of Allah is the same for all human beings.

In a tradition from Imam Ali (as), mentioned in Sermon No.192, we recite that he has said:

" ...because Allah, the Glorified, did not curse the past age except for that they had left off enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. In fact, Allah cursed the foolish for committing sins and the wise because they gave up refraining others from evils. ..."

In other words, this part of the sermon means that former nations were destroyed for their committing sins and that their wise men did not forbid people from evils. At this time the misfortunes and divine retributions came down over them.

Then, O' people! Beware to do 'enjoining right and forbidding wrong' so that you may not have a similar fate of theirs, either.

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 64

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاء وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم مَّا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ كُلَّمَا أَوْقَدُواْ نَارًا لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللّهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا وَاللّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

64. "And the Jews have said: The hand of Allah is tied up! and cursed be they for what they have said. Nay, both His hands (of Power) are (always) spread out. He bestows as He pleases. And what has been sent down to you from your Lord will certainly increase many of them in insolence and infidelity; and We have cast enmity and hatred between them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allah extinguishes it. They strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief makers.

One of the clear examples of the vain statements and sinful words of the Jews, which were generally referred to in the previous verse, has been pointed out in this verse.

Its explanation is that history shows that once the Jews were living in a very powerful state. They were ruling over a vast part of the inhabited world of that era, of which the time of David and Solomon, son of David, can be mentioned as an example. In the time after that, too, their authority continued to be exposed with some changes, of course.

But, with the advent of Islam, the light of the star of their power declined especially in Mecca and Medina.

The Prophet's fights against the Jewish tribes known as Bani-Nadir, Bani-Ghurah, and the Jews of Kheybar caused them to become very weak. At this time, considering their past glory, authority and power, some of them mockingly said that Allah's hand was tied up with chains and would not give them anything.

Since the rest of them (those Jewish people) were content with, them, too; the Qur'an has attributed this qualification to all of them, by saying:

"And the Jews have said: (The hand of Allah is tied up! ..."

In answer to them, and in order to blame and reproach such a wrong belief, at first, Allah says:

"...Be their hands tied up! and cursed be they for what they have said....."

Then, to nullify this unjust opinion, the Qur'an says:

"....Nay, both His hands (of Power) are (always) spread out. He bestows as He pleases. ..."

Allah is neither forced in His affairs, nor is He obliged to the natural phenomena or the momentum of time; but His Will is above everything and effective in all affairs.

Then, it implies that even these verses, that make the secret of their statements and opinions manifest, instead of having a positive effect on them and turning them back from the wrong path, cause many of them to become rather stubborn and also to increase their rebelliousness and faithlessness. The verse says:

"...And what has been sent down to you from your Lord will certainly increase many of them in insolence and infidelity....."

But, for these unjust statements and opinions, that they utter and the obstinacy that they have in the way of disobedience and disbelief, Allah has assigned a heavy chastisement for them in this world. He (s.w.t.) in this verse says:

"...and We have cast enmity and hatred between them till the Day of Resurrection. ..."

And, by the last part of the verse, the Qur'an points to the struggles and efforts of the Jews for kindling the flames of war. It also points to the struggles and efforts of the Jews for kindling the flames of war. It also points to the grace of Allah in protecting and rescuing the Muslims from these annihilating flames, where it says:

"….Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allah extinguishes it…"

And, in fact, this divine incident is one of miraculous aspects of the life of the Prophet (S).

Then, the Qur'an continues saying:

"...They strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief makers."

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 65

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلأدْخَلْنَاهُمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ

65. "And if the People of the Book had believed and kept from evil, We would certainly have remitted their sins and We would certainly have made them enter Gardens of Bless."

The Qur'an follows, here, the former criticisms upon the manner and style of the People of the Book. In this verse and the verse next to it as the training principles require, and in order to bring back the mischievous People of the Book to the straight path and admiring that minority of them who did not cooperate with them in their evil deeds, the Qur'an, at first, says:

"And if the People of the Book had believed and kept from evil, We would certainly have remitted their sins ..."

They not only will be forgiven of their sins but also will be admitted into gardens of Paradise which are the centre of kinds of blessings. The Holy Qur'an says:

"...and We would certainly have made them enter Gardens of Bless."!

This meaning refers to the spiritual bounties found in the Hereafter.

Surah Al-Ma'idah, Verse 66

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِم مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ لأكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَاء مَا يَعْمَلُونَ

66. "And if they had kept Up the Torah and the Evangel and what was sent down to them from their Lord, they would certainly have had (of the bounties) from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but (as for) many of them, evil is what they do."

If the followers of heavenly Books other than the Holy Qur'an had submitted to the Qur'an, and had not imagined that surrendering to the Qur'an is the submission of the Children of Israel to Arabs, and had realized that the prophets' principles of teachings are all alike, and that having faith in what was revealed after the Torah and Evangel is a promotion to the higher class of belief not negating the former instructions, then, besides enjoying of the concerning merits in Hereafter, they would have received varieties of bounties in this very world, too.

In the preceding holy verse, the function of Faith in the spiritual felicity of the other life was referred to, but here, in the verse under discussion, its function in the worldly prosperity and economic welfare has been stated. The verse says:

"And if they had kept up the Torah and the Evangel and what was sent down to them from their Lord, they would certainly have had (of the bounties) from above them and from beneath their feet. ..."

In the previous verse, the words were about the belief of the Jews saying that: "The hand of Allah is tied up", while, here, the verse points out that they should refer to the heavenly Books and then judge whether the hand of Allah is tied up or not.

The reason that their glory and might changed into disgrace and degradation as retribution, was for that they turned their backs to the heavenly instructions, not for the restraint of Allah (s.w.t.).

"....Among them there are people who are moderate, but (as for) many of them, evil is what they do."

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