اِذۡ قَالَ اللّٰہُ یٰعِیۡسٰۤی اِنِّیۡ مُتَوَفِّیۡکَ وَ رَافِعُکَ اِلَیَّ وَ مُطَہِّرُکَ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ جَاعِلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡکَ فَوۡقَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۚ ثُمَّ اِلَیَّ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَاَحۡکُمُ بَیۡنَکُمۡ فِیۡمَا کُنۡتُمۡ فِیۡہِ تَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾
إِذۡ قَالَ ٱللَّهُ يَٰعِيسَىٰٓ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَجَاعِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوكَ فَوۡقَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡ فَأَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَكُمۡ فِيمَا كُنتُمۡ فِيهِ تَخۡتَلِفُونَ
b. 3:194; 4:16; 7:127; 8:51; 10:47, 105; 12:102; 13:141; 16:29, 33; 22:6; 39:43; 40:68, 78; 47:28 (close)
424. Mutawaffi is derived from Tawaffa. They say Tawaffallahu Zaidan, i.e. God took away the soul of Zaid, namely He caused him to die. When God is the subject and a human being the object, Tawaffa has no other meaning than that of taking away the soul, whether in sleep or death. Ibn-e-‘Abbas has translated Mutawaffi-ka as Mumitu-ka, i.e. I will cause thee to die (Bukhari). Similarly, Zamakhshari, an Arab linguist of great repute, says: "Mutawaffi-ka means, I will protect thee from being killed by the people and will grant thee full lease of life ordained for thee, and will cause thee to die a natural death, not being killed" (Kashshaf). In fact, all Arabic lexicographers are agreed on the point that the word Tawaffa as used in the aforesaid manner, can bear no other interpretation and not a single instance from the whole Arabic literature can be cited of this word having been used in any other sense. Outstanding scholars and Commentators like (I) Ibn-e-‘Abbas, (2) Imam Malik, (3) Imam Bukhari, (4) Imam Ibn-e-Hazm, (5) Imam Ibn-e-Qayyim, (6) Qatadah, (7) Wahhab and others are of the same view (Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir; Bukhari, ch. on Bad’ul Khalq; Bihar; Al-Muhalla, Ma‘ad, p. 19; Manthur ii; Kathir). The word has been used in no less than 25 different places in the Qur’an and in no less than 23 of them the meaning is to take away the soul at the time of death. Only in two places the meaning is to take away the soul at the time of sleep; but here the qualifying word "sleep" or "night" has been added (6:61; 39:43). The fact cannot be denied that Jesus is dead. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, "Had Moses and Jesus now been alive, they would have found themselves forced to follow me" (Kathir). He even fixed the age of Jesus at 120 years (‘Ummal). The Qur’an, in as many as 30 verses, has completely demolished the absurd belief of the physical ascension of Jesus to, and his supposed life in, heaven. (close)
a. 4:159; 7:177; 19:58. (close)
424A. Raf‘ signifies raising the status and rank of a person and honouring him. When the Raf‘ of a man is spoken of as being towards God, the meaning is invariably his spiritual ascension, because God not being material or confined to any place, no physical ascension to Him is possible. The word has been used in the Qur’an in this sense (24:37 & 35:11). The raising of Jesus is mentioned in the verse under comment in reply to the false claim of the Jews that he died an accursed death on the Cross. (close)
424B. Ja‘ala means, he made; he prepared or made; he appointed; he pronounced; he exalted (2:144); he held, etc. (Lane). (close)
c. 5:49; 6:165; 11:24; 31:16; 39:8. (close)
a. 3:194; 4:16; 7:127; 8:51; 10:47, 105; 12:102; 13:41; 16:29, 33; 22:6; 39:43; 40:68, 78; 47:28. (close)
b. 4:159; 7:177; 19:57. (close)
345. Important Words:
متوفیك (cause thee to die) is derived from وفی i.e. he fulfilled or performed; or he was faithful, etc. توفی الله زیدا means, قبض روحه i.e. God took away the soul of Zaid, namely, He caused him to die. When God is the subject and a human being the object, توفی has no other meaning than that of taking away the soul, whether in sleep or death (see note on 2:235). So متوفیك means, I will cause thee to die. Ibn ‘Abbas, a cousin of the Holy Prophet and a scholar of great eminence, has tran-slated متوفیك as ممیتك i.e. I will cause thee to die (Bukhari). Similarly, Zamakhshari, an Arab linguist of great repute, says: "The expression متوفیك means, I protect thee from being killed by the people and will grant thee full lease of life ordained for thee, and will cause thee to die a natural death, not by being killed" (Kashshaf). In fact, all Arabic lexicographers are agreed on the point that the word توفی as used in the aforesaid manner, can bear no other interpretation. Not a single instance from the whole of Arabic literature can be shown of this expression having been used in any other sense. Outstanding scholars and commentators like (1) Ibn ‘Abbas, (2) Imam Malik, (3) Imam Bukhari, (4) Imam ibn Hazm, (5) Imam Ibn Qayyim, (6) Qatadah, (7) Wahab, and others are of the same view (see 1. Bukhari, ch. on Tafsir; 2. Bukhari, ch. on Bad‘ul-Khalq; 3. Bihar; 4. Al-Muhalla, Cairo, i. 23; 5. Ma‘ad, p. 19; 6. Manthur ii.7. Kathir). According to Fathul-Bayan, those commentators who have tried to put other meanings into the word توفی as used in the aforesaid manner, have done so on account of their belief that Jesus has been taken up to heaven alive; otherwise, the word possesses no other meaning but that of taking away the soul or causing to die. The expression has been used at no less than 25 different places in the Quran and in no less than 23 of them the meaning is to take away the soul at the time of death. Only at two places the meaning is to take the soul away at the time of sleep; but here the qualifying word "sleep" or "night" has been added (6:61; 39:43).
رافعك (will exalt thee). رافع is the active participle from رفع. They say رفعه i.e. he raised him or it; he elevated him or it; he lifted it; he uplifted it; he exalted or honoured him; he took it up, etc. Thus رفع is the antonym of وضع i.e. he put it down; he debased it. The Holy Prophet says:
ان الله یرفع بھذا القرآن اقوا ما و یضع اقواما
i.e. Allah will, by means of this Quran, exalt some peoples and humble others (Majah).
Again he says:
من تواضع لله رفعه الله الی السماء السابعة
i.e. he who truly humbles himself for the sake of God, God would lift him to the seventh heaven, i.e. would exalt him to the highest spiritual station (‘Ummal, ii. 25). The Quran has described the Day of Resurrection as خافضة رافعة meaning, it shall debase some and exalt others (56:4). In the Quran we also have فی بیوت اذن الله ان ترفع i.e. in houses with regard to which Allah has commanded that they be exalted (24:37). Again: العمل صالح یرفعه i.e. the righteous work of a man exalts him (35:11). Even in our daily Prayers we pray: اللھم ارفعنی i.e. O God, exalt me. In fact, when the رفع of a man is spoken of as being to or towards God, the meaning is invariably his spiritual elevation, because God being not material or confined to a place, no physical elevation to Him is possible. Jesus himself has denied the possibility of his rising physically to heaven. Says he: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13).
This verse has been linked up with the preceding one with the word اذ (when), thus indicating that it provides what is known as ظرف for the concluding clause of that verse, i.e. Allah is the Best of planners. The present verse thus relates to the occasion when Jesus was being made a victim of the evil machinations of his enemies who were plotting to have him crucified and thereby prove him to have come to an accursed end (Deut. 21:22, 23). "Nay", says God to Jesus as stated in the verse under comment, "thine enemy shall not be permitted to kill thee on the cross and thereby prove thee to be low and debased spiritually. On the contrary, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will exalt thee in My presence…" This is the only possible meaning of the verse in conformity with the context. Unfor-tunately, however, the verse is one of those which have heavily suffered from misinterpretation. Meanings have been sought to be put upon its words which they are simply incapable of bearing. It is now an admitted fact that, through the free intermixture of Muslims and Christians and the conversion en masse of hundreds of thousands of Christians to Islam, the belief that Jesus had risen up to heaven alive found widespread credence among Muslims, the misunder-standing of the prophecy about the second advent of Jesus lending support to it.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Jesus is dead, and not alive in heaven. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, "Had Moses and Jesus been now living, they would have found themselves bound to follow me" (Kathir). He even fixed the age of Jesus as 120 (‘Ummal). The Quran, in as many as 30 verses, has completely demolished the absurd belief of the physical ascension of Jesus and his supposed life in heaven. The arrangement of words in the verse under comment also leaves no doubt about the death of Jesus. Four distinct promises have been made to Jesus in the verse: (1) his being saved from death on the cross and dying thereafter a natural death; (2) his exaltation in God’s presence; (3) his exoneration from the false charges of his enemies, and (4) the domination of his followers over his rejecters. The last three promises have already been fulfilled; but what of the first? It is idle to speak of تقدیم and تاخیر (i.e. the first-mentioned promise to be read after the others) without any justifying reason. It is idle also to claim that متوفیك here means, "I will cause thee to sleep". The Quranic idiom spurns the idea. Indeed such a meaning makes the verse almost ridiculous.
The verse beautifully describes in four brief words the frustration of the plans of the Jews referred to in the preceding verse. They had planned (1) to bring about the death of Jesus by crucifixion; and (2) to be thus able to say that because he was a false prophet, he died an accursed death on the cross (Deut. 21:22, 23). They also sought (3) to bring false charges against him, especially the heinous charge of an illegitimate birth; and (4) to be thus able to compass the destruction of his entire movement. They were completely foiled in all these designs. Jesus died, not on the cross, but a natural death, respected and revered by devoted followers. He was cleared of the false charges imputed to him and has ever been regarded as one of the sacred band of God’s great Prophets. Last of all, his followers have for centuries held his rejecters, the Jews, under their heels.
The words, those who follow thee, originally referred to the Christians and the words, those who disbelieve, to the Jews. Later, however, when Islam made its appearance, the words those who follow thee, naturally came to include Muslims, who believe in the divine mission of Jesus; and history tells us that Muslims and Christians have both dominated the Jews whenever and wherever they have come in contact with them.
The prophecy about giving dominance to the believers in Jesus over his rejecters was, however, to be fulfilled in its completest form at the time of his second advent which has now taken place in the person of Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, whose message is for all the nations of the world. The clause, those who disbelieve, would, therefore, now apply to all those from among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others who reject the Second Messiah who has come in fulfilment of the prophecies of both Jesus and the Holy Prophetof Islam. No wonder then that the words: "O Jesus, I will cause thee to die (a natural death)…and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve" also formed part of the revelation vouchsafed to Ahmad (Izalah’-i-Auham, p. 192). (close)
فَاَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَاُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابًا شَدِیۡدًا فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۫ وَ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ نّٰصِرِیۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَأُعَذِّبُهُمۡ عَذَابٗا شَدِيدٗا فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّـٰصِرِينَ
The words, those who disbelieve, here refer to Jews, who have suffered great hardships throughout the ages. The tale of their woes and afflictions at the hands of Titus about 70 years after the crucifixion of Jesus pales into insignificance before the sufferings to which they have been subjected in some parts of Europe in our own time. (close)
وَ اَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ فَیُوَفِّیۡہِمۡ اُجُوۡرَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یُحِبُّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۵۸﴾
وَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمۡ أُجُورَهُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
a. 4:174; 35:31; 39:11, 70. (close)
a. 4:174; 35:31; 39:11, 70. (close)
ذٰلِکَ نَتۡلُوۡہُ عَلَیۡکَ مِنَ الۡاٰیٰتِ وَ الذِّکۡرِ الۡحَکِیۡمِ ﴿۵۹﴾
ذَٰلِكَ نَتۡلُوهُ عَلَيۡكَ مِنَ ٱلۡأٓيَٰتِ وَٱلذِّكۡرِ ٱلۡحَكِيمِ
The story of Jesus, as narrated in the verse, is not a mere thing of the past. It is meant to shed new light on events that form the basis of the doctrines of a large section of humanity as well as to provide a lesson for the future. (close)
اِنَّ مَثَلَ عِیۡسٰی عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ کَمَثَلِ اٰدَمَ ؕ خَلَقَہٗ مِنۡ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَہٗ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ﴿۶۰﴾
إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَۖ خَلَقَهُۥ مِن تُرَابٖ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ
425. Adam primarily stands for man, i.e. the sons of Adam generally. Jesus is thus declared to be like other mortals who have all been created from dust (40:68), and so there can be no Divinity about him. If, however, the word "Adam" be taken to refer to the progenitor of the human race, then the verse would be taken to point to the resemblance between Jesus and Adam in being born without the agency of a male parent. In this case, the fact that Jesus had a mother would not affect the likeness which, as stated above, need not be complete in all respects. (close)
425A. Elsewhere, man is stated to have been born out of clay (6:3). The difference sought to be indicated by the use of 'dust' and 'clay' is that when the word 'dust' is used, the idea of revelation (heavenly water) is not implied, but where 'clay' is used the idea of revelation is also indicated. (close)
The word مثل (case) is used to express resemblance, which may be of different kind and different degrees. Sometimes, the thing likened is equal to that to which it is likened, sometimes the former is superior to the latter, and sometimes the latter is superior to the former. So it is not necessary that the thing likened to another should be equal, or ever similar, to the latter in all respects. The likeness between Adam and Jesus referred to in this verse, may, therefore, not be stretched too far.
In the verse the word 'Adam' primarily stands for man, i.e. the sons of Adam generally. Jesus is thus declared to be like other mortals who have all been created from dust (40:68), and so there can be no divinity about him. If, however, the word 'Adam' be taken to refer to the progenitor of the human race, then the verse would be taken to point to the resemblance between Jesus and Adam in being born without the agency of a male parent. In this case, the fact that Jesus had a mother would not affect the likeness which, as stated above, need not be complete in all respects.
The words, then He said to him, "Be" and he was, show that the command refers not to the birth of Jesus (for the fact of his creation has already been mentioned in the words خلقه i.e. He created him, occurring in the preceding part of the verse), but to his death. The use of the word کن (Be) in relation to death should not sound odd, for, according to the teaching of Islam, death is not the end of life but simply a change, the beginning of a new life. The meaning in this case would be that after having created Jesus and having allowed him the prescribed lease of life in this world, God caused him to die and took his soul away to the next world. The expression, "Be" and he was, may also refer to the creation or birth of Jesus in the sense that, after giving him the human form in the womb of his mother, God said to him "Be", i.e. become quickened with life, whereupon he became alive. Again, the reference may also be to the spiritual life, i.e. after creating Jesus in the form of a man, God called upon him to become a Prophet, which was the ultimate end of his creation, and consequently he became a Prophet. Whatever the interpretation, the verse constitutes a clear refutation of the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus on the plea of his unusual birth.
As for the creation of man from تراب (dust), we shall give a suitable note when we come to the verses directly dealing with the subject. (close)
اَلۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ فَلَا تَکُنۡ مِّنَ الۡمُمۡتَرِیۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾
ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ
b. 2:148; 6:115; 10:95. (close)
a. 2:148; 6:115; 10:95. (close)
349. Important Words:
مـمترین (those who doubt) means: (1) those who doubt; (2) those who contest and raise objections (see also 2:148). Both meanings are applicable here.
As حق (truth) also signifies an established fact or an established truth (2:148 & 3:4), the verse hints that as now the fact has been established beyond doubt or controversy that there was nothing in Jesus above an ordinary mortal, so there is truly no possibility of doubt or difference of opinion in the matter. (close)
فَمَنۡ حَآجَّکَ فِیۡہِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَکَ مِنَ الۡعِلۡمِ فَقُلۡ تَعَالَوۡا نَدۡعُ اَبۡنَآءَنَا وَ اَبۡنَآءَکُمۡ وَ نِسَآءَنَا وَ نِسَآءَکُمۡ وَ اَنۡفُسَنَا وَ اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ ۟ ثُمَّ نَبۡتَہِلۡ فَنَجۡعَلۡ لَّعۡنَتَ اللّٰہِ عَلَی الۡکٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾
فَمَنۡ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ فَقُلۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ نَدۡعُ أَبۡنَآءَنَا وَأَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ وَنِسَآءَنَا وَنِسَآءَكُمۡ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمۡ ثُمَّ نَبۡتَهِلۡ فَنَجۡعَل لَّعۡنَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَٰذِبِينَ
426. The discussion on Christian doctrines with which this Surah deals has been brought to a close in this verse. The reference, as mentioned above, is to the Christian deputation from Najran which consisted of sixty persons and was headed by their chief, ‘Abdul-Masih, known as Al-‘Aqib. They met the Holy Prophet in his Mosque and the discussion on the doctrine of the so- called divinity of Jesus continued at some length. When the question had been fully discussed and the members of the deputation were found to be still insisting on their false doctrine, the Holy Prophet, in obedience to Divine command contained in the present verse, invited them, as a last resort, to join him in a sort of prayer-contest technically known as Mubahalah, i.e. invoking the curse of God on the holders of false beliefs. As, however, the Christians did not appear to be sure of their ground, they declined to accept the challenge, thus indirectly admitting the falsity of their doctrine (Zurqani). Incidentally, it may be mentioned that during the discussion with the Christian deputation from Najran the Holy Prophet allowed them to pray in his Mosque in their own way, which they did facing the East—an act of religious toleration unparalleled in the history of all religions (Zurqani). (close)
a. 62:7, 8. (close)
350. Important Words:
نبتھل (let us pray fervently) is derived from بھل. They say بھله i.e. he left him to his own will; or he left him to himself; he cursed him. ابتھل means, he prayed or supplicated humbly and earnestly and fervently, with energy and effort. باھلهmeans, he cursed him, being also cursed by the latter. مباھلة means, the act of invoking God’s curse on each other, i.e. on whichever party is the wrongdoer (Aqrab & Lane).
انفسنا و انفسکم (our people and your people). The words are the plural of نفس and mean: (1) our souls and your souls; (2) ourselves and yourselves; (3) our people and your people; (4) our co-religionists and your co-religionists (Lane). See also 2:55 and 3:29. Here, as the context shows, the words give the last-mentioned meaning.
The present discussion on Christian doctrines with which this Surah began has been brought to a close in this verse. The reference, as mentioned above, is to the Christian deputation from Najran which consisted of sixty persons and was headed by their chief, ‘Abdul-Masih, known as Al-‘Aqib. They met the Holy Prophet in his Mosque and the discussion on the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus continued at some length. When the question had been fully discussed and the members of the deputation were found to be still insisting on their false doctrine, the Holy Prophet, in obedience to the Divine command contained in the present verse, invited them as a last resort to join him in a sort of prayer contest technically known as مباھلة i.e. invoking the curse of God on the holders of false beliefs. As, however, the Christians did not appear to be sure of their ground, they declined to accept the challenge, thus indirectly admitting the falsity of their doctrine (Zurqani, Khamis & Bayan under 3:3). On this occasion, the Holy Prophet brought out ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husain (Khamis & Zurqani) as well as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and others (‘Asakir) in the field and is reported to have said: "If the Christians had accepted the challenge of مباھلة and agreed to pray to God to send His punishment on the lying party, God would have surely destroyed the liars before a year had passed" (Bukhari, Muslim & Tirmidhi).
It may be noted that the prayer contest known as مباھلة is in the nature of seeking God’s arbitration in fundamental religious differences. When other methods of settlement fail, the parties approach Almighty God to decide between them according to His eternal scheme of helping the righteous and destroying the wicked. The act of cursing is thus not in the form of abusing but an earnest supplication to God to uphold the truth and destroy falsehood—to amputate the diseased limb in order to save the healthy one. Thus مباھلةis a very serious affair and should be resorted to in very rare cases, subject to the following conditions, which are deducible from the present verse as well as from the relevant sayings of the Holy Prophet; (1) the point in dispute should be a matter of supreme and fundamental religious importance and should be based on clear scriptural authority; (2) the matter should first be fully argued and discussed between the parties; (3) the مباھلة should take place only if and when after the aforesaid discussion each party still continues to adhere to its views, definitely holding the other party to be in the wrong; (4) for the actual contest the parties should assemble in a suitable place together with the members of their families and a suitable number of others holding similar views, and there solemnly invoke the curse of God on the party sticking to falsehood.
As to the form or time of punishment which, as a result of مباھلة must overtake the offending party, the verse sheds no light. The matter rests entirely with God. From the above-quoted tradition, however, it may be deduced that if any period at all is to be fixed, it should be not less than a year. But the form of punishment must still rest on Divine will. The Judge in heaven reserves the right of deciding each individual case as He thinks fit. The result is left to speak for itself.
It may be noted here incidentally that during the discussions with the Christian deputation from Najran, the Holy Prophet allowed them to pray in his Mosque in their own way, which they did facing the east—an act of religious toleration unparalleled in the history of all religion (Zurqani). (close)
اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَہُوَ الۡقَصَصُ الۡحَقُّ ۚ وَ مَا مِنۡ اِلٰہٍ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۶۳﴾
إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ ٱلۡقَصَصُ ٱلۡحَقُّۚ وَمَا مِنۡ إِلَٰهٍ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
351. Important Words:
القصص (account) is the noun-infinitive from قص. They say قص الشعر i.e. he cut or clipped the hair. قص علیه الخبر means, he related or narrated the news to him. قص اثرہ means, he followed after his track, or he followed him step by step. قصص (qisas) means, the act of narrating; narration or account; track or footsteps. قصص (qisas) with different vowel point, is the plural of قصةmeaning, a story, a narrative, etc. (Aqrab & Lane).
This verse partially repeats the sense of verse 3:61 above in order to impress upon the reader that the discomfiture of the Christian deputation in the challenge of مباھلة mentioned in 3:62 sets the seal upon the conclusion that Islam has truly triumphed over Christianity, and that there is no god but Allah Who, being "Mighty and Wise", needs no son or helper.
As stated in the verse, the facts narrated in the above verses constitute "the true account" about Jesus and not impossible things which his followers out of excessive love, or his enemies out of inveterate hatred, have attributed to him. (close)
فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِالۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿٪۶۴﴾
فَإِن تَوَلَّوۡاْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمُۢ بِٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
The clause, then remember that Allah knows the mischief-makers well, embodies a solemn warning. God being All-Knowing, each and every act of the wrongdoers is known to Him and He will judge them accordingly. (close)
قُلۡ یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰی کَلِمَۃٍ سَوَآءٍۢ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَکُمۡ اَلَّا نَعۡبُدَ اِلَّا اللّٰہَ وَ لَا نُشۡرِکَ بِہٖ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا اَرۡبَابًا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُوۡلُوا اشۡہَدُوۡا بِاَنَّا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۵﴾
قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٖ سَوَآءِۭ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَكُمۡ أَلَّا نَعۡبُدَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَلَا نُشۡرِكَ بِهِۦ شَيۡـٔٗا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا أَرۡبَابٗا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوۡاْ فَقُولُواْ ٱشۡهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسۡلِمُونَ
a. 9:31. (close)
426A. This verse is wrongly considered by some to provide a basis for a compromise between Islam on the one hand and Christianity and Judaism on the other. It is argued that if these religions also teach and inculcate the doctrine of Divine Unity, then other Islamic teachings supposed to be of comparatively little importance could safely be left alone. It is unthinkable that the idea of compromise in matters of faith could ever have been encouraged, with a people who, in the immediately preceding verses, have been severely condemned for their false beliefs and who are so forcefully challenged to a prayer-contest to invoke the curse of God upon the holders of false beliefs. The Holy Prophet, while writing his missionary epistle to Heraclius, used this very verse, yet he forcefully invited the latter to accept Islam and threatened him with Divine punishment if he refused to do so (Bukhari). This shows beyond doubt that the mere fact of his believing in Divine Unity could not, according to the Holy Prophet, save Heraclius from God’s punishment. In fact, the verse is intended to suggest an easy and simple method by which Jews and Christians can arrive at a right decision regarding the truth of Islam. The Christians, in spite of professing belief in the Unity of Godhead, believed in the divinity of Jesus; and the Jews, notwithstanding their claim to be strict monotheists, gave blind allegiance to their priests and divines, practically placing them in the position of God Himself. The verse exhorts both of them to come back to their original belief in the Oneness of God and give up the worship of false deities who stand in the way of their accepting Islam. Thus, instead of seeking a compromise with these Faiths, the verse virtually invites their followers to accept Islam by drawing their attention to the doctrine of the Oneness of God which being, at least in its outer form, the common fundamental doctrine of all, could serve as a meeting ground for further approach. Incidentally, it may be noted here that the letter, mentioned by Bukhari and other Muslim Traditionists as having been addressed by the Holy Prophet to Heraclius and some other rulers—Muqauqis, the King of Egypt being one of them—couched in the words of this verse and inviting them to accept Islam, has recently been discovered and found to contain the exact words quoted by Bukhari (R. Rel. vol. v. no. 8). This furnishes a strong proof of the essential authenticity of Bukhari and, for that matter, of other accepted works of Hadith. (close)
353. Important Words:
اربابا (Lords) is the plural of رب (Lord) for which see 1:2. رب means, lord, master or owner; a chief or ruler to whom obedience is rendered; one who fosters, brings up, or nourishes (Lane & Aqrab).
This verse is wrongly considered by some to provide a basis for a compromise between Islam on the one hand and Christianity and Judaism on the other. It is argued that if these faiths become united in the doctrine of the Oneness of God, the verse permits the sacrifice of other Islamic teachings as being of comparatively little importance. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The Quran, the Hadith and the facts of history are all united in belying this ridiculous assumption. It is simply unthinkable that compromise in matters of faith could be allowed by any religion worth the name, particularly with a people who, in the immediately preceding verses, have been severely condemned for their beliefs and who are so forcefully challenged to a prayer contest to invoke the curse of God upon those who lie in their beliefs. The Holy Prophet, while writing his missionary epistle to Heraclius, used this very verse, yet he forcefully invited the latter to accept Islam and threatened him with Divine punishment if he refused to do so (Bukhari). This shows beyond doubt that the mere fact of his believing in the Oneness of God could not, according to the Holy Prophet, save Heraclius from God’s punishment. Elsewhere the Quran emphatically declares that, Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam, (i.e. complete submission); and whoso seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the losers (3:20 & 86). Can anything be clearer?
The truth is that this verse is intended to suggest an easy and simple method by which Jews and Christians can arrive at a right decision regarding the truth of Islam. Christians, in spite of claiming belief in the Unity of Godhead, felt satisfied in believing in the divinity of Jesus; and Jews, notwithstanding their claim to be monotheists, gave blind allegiance to their priests and divines, practically placing them in the position of God Himself. The verse exhorts both these communities to come back to their original belief in the Oneness of God and give up the worship of false deities who stand in the way of their accepting Islam. Thus, instead of seeking a compromise with these faiths, the verse virtually invites Christians and Jews to the faith of Islam, by drawing their attention to the doctrine of the Oneness of God which being, at least in its outer form, the common fundamental doctrine of all, could serve as a meeting ground for further approach.
It was exactly on these lines that Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, in his "Message of Peace", made an offer to the Hindus of India to enter into an agreement with the Muslims of his way of thinking to the effect that they (Hindus) would respect and honour the Holy Prophet of Islam and would look upon him as a true Messenger of God, even as he and his followers believed in Rama and Krishna as God’s Elect.
Special emphasis has been laid in the verse under comment on the Oneness of God—a doctrine on which in theory all revealed religions seem to agree, but regarding the details, of which no two Faiths are found to concur. Most religions claim to be monotheistic; but under the outer veneer of monotheism, polytheism very often lies hidden in most hideous forms. It is the simple faith of Islam alone which is really and truly monotheistic in all its aspects and which strongly condemns the association with God of anything or any being in His person, attributes, worship or works. It is most unfortunate, however, that in spite of Islam being such a strictly monotheistic faith, a section of present-day Muslims has drifted away into the quagmire of what cannot but be termed idol-worship in the wider sense of the word.
Incidentally, it may be noted that the letter mentioned by Bukhari and other Muslim traditionists as having been addressed by the Holy Prophet to Heraclius in the words of this verse inviting him to accept Islam has recently been discovered and found to contain the exact words quoted by Bukhari (R. Rel. vol. V. No. 8). This furnishes a strong proof of the essential authenticity of Bukhari and, for that matter, of other accepted works of Hadith. (close)