Sura Al-Imran (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-39

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The Qur'anic word, makr, is used exclusively for conspiracy, evil plan and strategy in the everyday idiom of the Urdu language (in which this commentary was originally written), therefore, it should not be equated with the Arabic usage. This is the reason why Allah has been called: خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ 'Khair al- Makirin' here.

The verse means that the Jews started making a series of conspiraties and secret schemes against Sayyidna 'Isa (A) going to the limit of convincing the ruler of the time that he was a heretic (God forbid) all bent upon changing the Torah and was going to make apostates of everybody. The ruler ordered the arrest of SayyidnE 'IsE. While this was the scene on one side, the subtle and secret move made by Allah Almighty was countering their evil plans more effectively, which has been mentioned in the verses coming next.

The word, 'Mutawaffi' in إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ takes 'tawaffi" as its verbal noun with its root being 'wafyun. ' Lexically, the word means 'to take in full'. This being its real meaning, its derivations wafa, ifa' and 'istifa' are used to convey that sense. In fact, the real meaning of tawaffiis 'to take in full' which is universalIy confirmed by all lexicons of the Arabic language. Since man completes his appointed time at the hour of death and the spirit or soul given by Allah is taken back fully and conclusively, it is in that context that this word is also used figuratively in the sense of death. A simple form of death is the daily sleep of human beings. For this too, the Holy Qur'an uses the same word when it says:

اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا

'Allah takes away lives of the living at the time of their death and of those that do not die, in their sleep'. (39:42)

Hafiz Ibn Taimiyyah says in al-Jawab al-sahih (v. 2, p. 83):
التوف في لغة العرب معناها القبض والا سيفاء وذلك ثلاثة انواع احدها التوفي في النوم ، والثاني توقي الموت ، والثالت توفي الروح والبدن جميعا

Al-tawaffi, in the Arabic language, means: to exact fully or take in full. It takes three forms; the first: to take in sleep; the second: to take in death; and the third: to take the soul and the body all together.

In Kulliyat Abu al-Baqa', it is said:
التوفي الاماتة وقبض الروح ، وعليه استعمال العامة او الاستيفاء واخذالحق وغليه استعمال البلغاء

Al-tawaffi is putting to death and exacting of the soul in common usage while, in the classical usage, it is taking in full and the exacting of the due right.

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