Sura Al-Maidah (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-65

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In other words, it is said here that those who obey the commands of Allah are the People of Allah. Given to them is the good news that they will be the ones to finally overcome. The events which unfolded later on confirmed the veracity of this statement when everyone saw that the noble Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, overcame all powers which threatened them. When internal rebellions challenged Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Allah Almighty helped him prevail over all of them. When the towering powers of Ceaser and Cyrus marshalled their menacing might against Sayyidna 'Umar al-Faruq, Allah Almighty effaced them from the face of the earth. Then, as long as these injunctions were dutifully observed by the Khulafa and Muslims at large who came after them by abstaining from establishing close bonds of friendship with non-Muslims they had always remained winners in the struggle of life.

The Prohibition of Friendship with those
who make fun of Islam
In the sixth verse (57), Allah Almighty has again stressed upon the injunction mentioned in verse 51 at the beginning of the Section, the sense of which is that the Muslims should not seek close friendship with people who make fun of their religion. They can be divided in two groups: The People of the Book, that is, the Jews and the Christians; and the disbelievers and non-Muslims in general. In al-Bahr al-Muhit, Imam Abu Hayyan says that the People of the Book were already included under the word, Kuffar or disbelievers, still, the People of the Book have been mentioned here particularly perhaps, because the People of the Book were, though, closer to Islam as compared with other disbelievers, yet, experience bears that very few from among them embraced Islam. This is the reason why a look into the statistics of those who embraced Islam after the age of prophethood and during the period later to it, will reveal that the majority of them were from among the common disbelievers. The number of those who became Muslims from among the People of the Book will be much lower.

Why would that be so? The reason is simple. The People of the Book take pride in being adherents to Divine Faith and Divine Scripture. This proud partisanship made them opt for not accepting the Truth. The attitude of mockery against Muslims was something that they displayed most. When mockery becomes wickedness, things much lower can happen, as would be illustrated by an episode mentioned in the eighth (58) verse in the following words: وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا (And when you call for Salah, they take it in Jest and fun). Tafsir Mazhari, with reference to Ibn Abi Hatim, reports the event itself by saying that there was a Christian in Madinah al-tayyibah. When he heard the words : اشهد ان محمد رسول الله (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) in the Adhan (call for prayer), he used to say: احرق الله الكاذب (May Allah burn the liar). At last, this very remark made by him became the cause of his entire family burn to How this happened was commonplace. When he was sleeping, his servant entered the house with a little fire for some purpose. A speck from it flew out and fell down on some piece of cloth. When everybody was fast asleep, the speck had turned into a blaze and everybody was burnt to death.

The Tragedy of People who do not Understand
At the end of the verse (58),it was said: ذَ‌ٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْقِلُونَ (That is because they are a people who do not understand). It means that the reason for their jest and fun being directed against what is True Faith could be no other but that they do not understand.

Qadi Thanaullah of Pani Pat has said in Tafsir Mazhari that Allah Almighty calls them devoid of understanding although their reason and intelligence in worldly matters is well known. From here we learn that it is possible that one could be very smart and quick-witted in certain kinds of jobs, but when it comes to doing some other things, he either does not use his mind or his mind does not work in that direction. Therefore, he turns out to be dumb in it, like one who does not understand. The Holy Qur'an has referred to this subject in another verse as follows:

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ
These people do know outward matters of the present life while they are heedless to the Hereafter. (30:7)

Verses 59 - 61
[٥٩]قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ هَلْ تَنقِمُونَ مِنَّا إِلَّا أَنْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَأَنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

[٦٠]قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذَ‌ٰلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ وَعَبَدَ الطَّاغُوتَ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا وَأَضَلُّ عَن سَوَاءِ السَّبِيلِ

[٦١]وَإِذَا جَاءُوكُمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَقَد دَّخَلُوا بِالْكُفْرِ وَهُمْ قَدْ خَرَجُوا بِهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْتُمُونَ

Say, "O People of the Book, do you accuse us only because we have believed in Allah and in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down earlier, and because most of you are sinners?" [59]

Say, "Should I (not) tell you what is worse than that in its recompense with Allah? (The way of) the one whom Allah has subjected to His curse and to His wrath, and made some of them apes and swines, and who has worshipped the Taghut (Satan, the Rebel). Those are worse situated and far more astray from the straight path." [60]

And when they come to you they say, "We have entered Faith" while they entered with disbelief and with it they went out. And Allah knows best what they used to conceal. [61]

Commentary
Referring to the Jews and Christians in: أَكْثَرَكُمْ فَاسِقُونَ (most of you are sinners) at the end of the first verse, 'most' - not 'all'- of them have been declared to be outside the fold of Faith. The reason for this is that they did have people among them who remained believers under all conditions. Before the coming of the Holy Prophet (SM), they followed the injunctions of the Torah and Injil and believed in them. When the Holy Prophet (SM) came and the Qur'an was revealed, they believed in him too and started following the injunctions of the Qur'an.

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