Sura Al-Maidah (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-58



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To sum up, it can be said that the explanation given above also makes it clear that there is no dichotomy in Shari'ah and Tari'qah and no distance between 'Ulama and Masha'ikh. They all converge into the basic unity. As far as the difference in their method of work and the predominant area of occupation is concerned, it becomes equally evident that the 'Ulama (religious scholars) and Sufis (religious mystics) are not two sects or factions. Far from it, they are, rather, one in the sense that they both work for the same purpose in life, that of submission and obedience to Allah and His Messenger. But, their comparative methods employed to achieve this purpose do seem to be formally divergent.

After that, it was said: بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِن كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ (because they were entrusted with the protection of the Book of Allah and they stood guard over it). It means that these prophets and their two kinds of deputies, the 'Ulama and the Masha'ikh (Men of Knowledge and Men of  Allah) were responsible for enforcing the laws of the Torah because Almighty Allah had entrusted them with the protection of the Torah and they had given the pledge that they would guard it.

upto this point, the text was referring to the Torah as Divine scripture and guidance and light which was enforced and guarded by prophets and their deputies among guides and scholars. Then, the focus turns on to the contemporary Jews who have been censured for not having guarded the Torah as their elders did. They acted crookedly when they started changing its injunctions, for example, the glad tidings of the coming of the Last among Prophets, Muhammad al-Mustafa, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, was mentioned clearly in the Torah and the Jews were asked to believe in him. But, rather than believe in him as required, they became hostile to him. Also given here is the reason as to what prompted them to do so. It was love for power and love for money. They knew that the Holy Prophet (SM) was a true prophet of Allah but they balked at the thought of following him because they were taken as leaders among their people, common Jews who followed them. Now if they were to embrace Islam, they will turn into common Muslim individuals. Gone will be their pivotal position for power play. Other than this, they had almost made it a profession that they would bend and alter the provisions of the Torah to provide officially endorsed conveniences for influential people against payment of bribes. The contemporary Jews were warned about this practice in the following words : فَلَا تَخْشَوُا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا (So, do not fear people, fear Me. And do not take a paltry price for My verses).

It means that they should not fear that their people will stop following them or will turn against them and that they should not alter Divine commands for the sake of insignificant worldly gains for it would ruin them both materially and spiritually because: وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has sent down, then, they are the disbelievers.

In the second verse after that (45), there is a description of the injunctions of Qisas (Even Retaliation) with a particular reference stressing that 'We had revealed these injunctions in the Torah.' The words of the text are: وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالْأَنفَ بِالْأَنفِ وَالْأُذُنَ بِالْأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ

'We had revealed in the Torah this injunction of Qisas for the Jews that there will be life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth; and for wounds an equal retaliation.'

It will be recalled that the case of Banu Qurayzah and Banu Nadir was brought before the Holy Prophet (SM). Counting on their power, Banu Nadir had compelled the weaker Banu Qurayzah to agree to their oppressive conditions which stipulated that should a man from Banu Qurayzah kill a man from Banu Nadir, they will have to pay two penalties. The Qisas of life for life will be taken as well as the blood money will have to be paid. If the case was the reverse, that is a man from Banu Nadir kills a man from Banu Qurayzah, then, there will be no Qisas; only blood money will be paid but that too will be half of what Banu Nadir were entitled to.

In this verse, Allah Almighty has exposed the lie of these people by pointing out that the injunctions of equality in Qisas (retaliation) and Diyat (blood money) exist in the Torah too. What these people are doing is considered avoidance and that they bring their case to the Holy Prophet (SM) for a decision as alleged is no more than a ruse to find ail excuse.

At the end of the verse it was said: وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ (And whoever does not judge by what Allah has sent down, then, they are the unjust.) It means that people who do not take the injunctions of Allah binding and who do not decide matters in accordance with them, are dissenters to the Divine commandment, its rejectors and rebels. They are unjust. The third verse (46) begins with the mention of the coming of Sayyidna 'Isa ,عليه السلام who was sent to confirm the previous Scripture, that is, the Torah. Mentioned after that is the Injil because that too, like the Torah, is guidance and light.

In the fourth verse (47) it was said that the people of the Injil should enforce injunctions in accordance with the Law revealed by Almighty Allah in the Injil, and those who enforce what is against the injunctions sent down by Almighty Allah are disobedient, sinners.

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