Section 2: Chastisement for those who slay the Apostles
Those who slay Apostles of Allah shall be punished.
To Allah alone belongs the kingdom and He alone bestows the kingdom upon whoever He wills and takes away from whoever He wills.
فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ وَالأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
20. "So if they dispute with you, say: 'I have submitted myself (totally) to Allah, and whoever follows me'. And say to those who have been given the Book and the unlettered ones: 'Do you (also) submit yourselves?' So if they submit then indeed they are rightly guided, and if they turn back, then upon you is only the delivery of the message, and Allah is well-aware of the servants."
The Lord, addressing the Prophet (S), has commanded him that if the Jews and the Christians disputed with him upon the religion, he would tell them that he had surrendered his self wholly to Allah, the One, and had taken no partner for Him with himself and had not worshipped another god with Him.
The purpose is that the Prophet (S) tells them that his religion is theism, and this creed is the same principle that all the responsible persons are obliged to confess.
These people are the people of the Book, i.e. the Jews and the Christians.
These are those who had not Book, i.e. the pagan Arabs. "...' Do you (also) submit yourselves? '..."
With reference to the evidences and signs which are with you, have you embraced Islam, or you still resist on your own infidelity?
If they embrace Islam it is useful for themselves, because they have been delivered from aberration and guided to the right way.
If they refrain and do not accept Islam, there will be no harm on you, O' Muhammad! You are the Messenger of Allah and your duty is only to convey the Message and to attract their attention to the way of right and guidance.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَيَقْتُلُونَ الِّذِينَ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْقِسْطِ مِنَ النَّاسِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ
21. "Verily, those who disbelieve in the Signs of Allah and slay the prophets unjustly and slay those, of people, who enjoin equity, give tidings to them of a painful chastisement."
22. "They are those whose works come to nothing in this world and in the next, and they will have no helpers."
"Verily, those who disbelieve in the Signs of Allah ..."
These people are the Jews, the people of the Book, the formers of whom slew both the prophets and their followers, those who were among the worshippers of the Children of Israel.
The reason why, at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, Allah gave the Jews the glad tidings of punishment was that they were pleased and content with the deeds of their ancestors.
Besides that, they tried to slay and were in thought of killing the Prophet (S) as well as the believers. If there were not the support of Allah, they would accomplish their evil intention.
Here, the meaning of the term 'unjustly' is not that it is possible to kill prophets justly, but the purpose is that the slaying of prophets has always been done unjustly and oppressively."
The purpose of the nullification of deeds that the verse says: 'Their works come to nothing in this world ' is that, by following the Torah, their blood and wealth would not remain safe and, they could not succeed to be praised in this world.
And also their deeds will come to naught in the next world, since they will deserve no reward. Therefore, it seems that they have had no good deeds; and this is the very reality of the Qur’anic term /hubut/, 'unfruitfulness & destruction'.
"... and they will have no helpers."
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ نَصِيبًا مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى كِتَابِ اللّهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّى فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ
23. "Have you not seen those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the book of Allah that it may judge between them, then a group of them turn back, while they are opponent "
In the books of both schools of Shi'ite and Sunnite, it is cited that: it happened that a woman and a man from the Jews committed adultery while they had spouses.
As the Torah had ordained, they should be pelted with stone, but since those two were among the notables, they tried to flee from the execution of the Torah's instruction. So, they came to the Prophet of Islam (S) in order that he judged.
He (S) also commanded to stoning, and said that the law of Islam in this regard is similar to that of the Torah. But they denied the Torah's ordain. Ibn-Suriya, who was one the Jewish scholars, was summoned from Fadak to Medina in order to recite the Torah concerning the matter.
Since he was aware of the subject, when reciting the verses of the Torah, he put his hand on the phrases related to the subject of stoning so that the verse of stoning could not be seen. 'Abdillah-ibn-Salam, who was among the Jewish scholars at that time, was present in that meeting. He recognized the situation and made the matter manifest.
1. Heedlessness of the followers of a religion to their own religious Book, is the beginning of the calamity.
2. Allah's ordinances should be executed about all individuals for the same matter with no difference.
3. Mere claim is not an indication of Faith.
4. This meaning is a warning to the Muslims that they should not treat like the Jews when executing the laws of the Qur'an, and that they would be careful not to turn away from the commandments of the Lord.
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ وَغَرَّهُمْ فِي دِينِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ
The vain mottoes and wrong imaginations of the Jews have immensely been mentioned in the Qur'an that they used to say some things with the sense that: "We are the exalted and beloved nation with Allah, and we will not be punished except for those forty days that our ancestors worshipped the calf ". This very sort of imagination caused them their pride and deviation.
Even today, the Israelites believe in their racial superiority, and they refrain from no transgression to gain it.
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جَمَعْنَاهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ
25. "Then, how (will it be with them) when We shall gather them together for the Day (of judgement) about which there is no doubt, when everyone shall be paid in full what the one has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly? "
By rejecting the vain imaginations of the Jews, this verse threatens them and says that the divine court will be held up based upon justice and no one will be treated unjustly.
All people are equal before the Divine Justice, and rewards and recompenses will be given due to Faith, good deed and piety, not because of tribal relationships and, or, for a special group.
No action will be eliminated, for every deed will return to its performer, who is its owner, too.
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
26. "Say: ' O' Allah! Master of the Kingdom! You shower the kingdom upon whom You please and take away the kingdom from whom You please! and You honour whom You please and abase whom You please; all goodness is in your hand. Verily You are All-Powerful over all things."
In some books, such as Majma'-ul-Bayan and Tafsir-ul-Kabir by Fakhr-Razi, it is recorded that the Prophet of Islam (S), after conquering Mecca, prophesied for the Muslims to be victorious in the battles against Iran and Room. At that time some of the hypocrites looked at each other perhaps mockingly. Then this verse was revealed.
Some other commentators have reported that the revelation of the verse occurred at the time of digging a ditch, when the Prophet (S) sharply struck with a pick on a stone and a few sparks appeared.
Then, he (S) said:
"I received the conquest of the castles of Ctsiphon (an ancient city near Baghdad) and Yemen from Gabriel in these sparks."
Hearing this, the hypocrite smiled mockingly and then this verse was revealed.
It is necessary to mention that whatever from endowment, honour, and abasement have been referred to in this verse from the side of Allah, are according to the law and way of treatment of Allah.
Otherwise, Allah does not give a person honour or does not abase another one. For example, an Islamic narration says:
"Whosoever humbles himself for Allah, He will make him honourable; and whosoever be arrogant, He will despise him."1.
Therefore, both honour and abasement belong to Allah, but paving their way and preparing their causes depend to us.
This verse refers to the powers and governments which have been brought into existence because of the competency of persons and attachment of people. The verse does not mean those oppressive governments and powers which have come into being by the application of force and terror, furnished by making collusion with internal and external factors.
1. The real possessor of all governments is Allah. The ownership of other than Allah is temporary and limited.
2. Allah gives the government to the one who is eligible, as He gave it to Solomon, Joseph, Talul, and Zul-Qarnayn.
3. Unity in supplication and worship is a necessity. In Munajat-ush-Sha'baniyyah, from the Immaculate Imams, we recite: "O' Lord, my immensity and my deficiency are in Your hand (up to Your Will), not in that of other than you." 2
4. Now that He is the Possessor, then others are not any things but depositaries and should act according to the consent of the Essential Possessor.
5. What He determines (for giving and taking) are all good, though we may not know its philosophy and judge hurriedly.
6. Honour and abasement is up to the Lord, therefore, do not expect honour from others.
The Qur'an has criticized severely those who seek for honour from other than Allah and says:
7. When the mortals are not really the landlords of their properties, why are they proud of having them in their possession or become despair for losing them?
تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي الْنَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَتُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ الَمَيَّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
27. "You cause the night to pass into the day and You cause the day to pass into the night, and You bring forth the living from the dead and You bring forth the dead from the living, and You provide with sustenance for whom You will without measure."
In this verse and the previous one the Power of Allah is mentioned for twelve times to evoke the spirit of theism in man. At first, the verse speaks about the decrease and increase of the length of the night and the day in different seasons. (It may, of course, refer to the graduality of sunset and sunrise, too, but the first meaning is clearer).
Then, the verse points to the Power of the Providence, the Omnipotent, about bringing forth the living from the dead and vice versa. The example of this meaning is seen in the creation of living cells from lifeless foodstuff and making dead from the living creatures.
In another point of view, it is recognized that He causes the pious believing children to come into being from deadly-hearted unbelievers; and He brings the disbelieving deadly-hearted children into existence from the pious believing ones.
1. Besides creation, any modification and arrangement is due to His Wisdom.
2. The 'Power of Allah is not finite. He, the Almighty, brings the living out of the dead, and makes dead from the living.
3. The sustenance of all beings depends on His Will, the All-Wise.
4. The changes of the night and the day and, consequently, the appearance of seasons together with the arrangement in atmospheric conditions are among the blessings and favours of Allah.
5. The purpose of 'sustenance without measure' is 'bountiful sustenance' and, therefore, it does not mean that its account is out of His control.
لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُوْنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَإِلَى اللّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
28. "The believers should not take the infidels as their friends, rather than the believers, and whoever does that then nothing of Allah is his, except when you guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah warns you to be cautious of ( disobeying) Him; and toward Allah is the destination."
In this holy verse, the feature of the foreign policy, encountering with the unbelievers and that assuming the master ship of disbelievers is on a par with losing the master ship of Allah, the necessary conditions of concealing of faith /taqiyyah/ and prevention of abusing it, have been stated.
1. It is prohibited that the believers assume the master ship of disbelievers.
If the Muslims of the world had acted according to only this principle, the status of the Islamic countries would not be in such a condition that it is now.
2. Not only the acceptance of the master ship of disbelievers, but also being content with infidelity and approving it, is unlawful for the believers.
3. The apparent connexion with disbelievers for reaching some higher aims, in some circumstances, is permissible.
4. Political relationship should not result in accepting domination of, or heartily connexion with, the infidels.
5. Concealing of Faith is only for the sake of protection of religion. Beware not to be attracted by the infidels under the pretext of concealment of Faith, and not to misuse this concept!
6. In circumstances that the basis of religion is in danger, everything must be devoted, and everybody should only be in awe of Allah.
7. Connection or disconnection ought to be performed on the basis of contemplation and belief, not upon the basis of racial, tribal and family affections, or economical concerns, and so on.
8. In place of infidels, Muslims must make friends and communicate with each other among themselves.
قُلْ إِن تُخْفُواْ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ أَوْ تُبْدُوهُ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
29. "Say: ' Whether you hide what is in your hearts, or manifest it, Allah knows it, and (also) He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and Allah is All-Powerful over all things '."
Next to the verse of concealment of Faith, the above mentioned holy verse, maybe, refers to the idea that Muslims should never communicate with disbelievers under the shelter of concealment of Faith, where the Lord knows all decisions and intentions.
1. This verse is a warning to those who try to communicate with the disbelievers under the excuse of concealment of Faith.
2. Allah is aware of whatever deed we do.
3. The Lord is aware even of our intentions.
4. Allah's knowledge encompasses the things hidden and the things manifest similarly. He knows whatever is in the earth and whatever is in the heavens.
5. Allah is both knower of thoughts of human beings and is All-Powerful over all things. That is, in a moment, He is able to make infamous all those who do evil.
6. What can be concealed from the One Who is Omnipotent and knows all the secrets of heavens?
يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوَءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَاللّهُ رَؤُوفُ بِالْعِبَادِ
30. " On the Day (of Judgement) when everyone shall find present what he has done of good; but (as for) what he has done of evil, he will wish there were a far distance between it and himself; and Allah warns you to be cautious of ( disobeying) His Essence and Allah is full of pity to the servants."
This verse is similar to verse No.49 from Surah Al-Kahf, No.18, which says:
It is cited in Al-Burhan, the , that every Friday when Imam Sajjad, the fourth Imam (as), wanted to preach for people in Masjid-un-Nabi (S) he recited this verse.
1. In the Hereafter, our today deeds will be incarnated in front of us.
2. On the Day of Judgement, the evildoers will be ashamed of their own deeds that they have done in this world.
3. The warning of Allah is a sign of His kindness towards His servants in order that they do not commit sins.
4. Many of those actions that people like to do in this fleeting world will be hatred through them in the Hereafter.
5. On that Day, regret will be of no avail and wishes will not be doable.
6. The origin of warnings is also His love and His kindness.
7. The Lord loves all people.
8. The Pity of Allah towards people is direct.