یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لِمَ تَلۡبِسُوۡنَ الۡحَقَّ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَ تَکۡتُمُوۡنَ الۡحَقَّ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۷۲﴾
يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لِمَ تَلۡبِسُونَ ٱلۡحَقَّ بِٱلۡبَٰطِلِ وَتَكۡتُمُونَ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَأَنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
b. 2:43. (close)
c. See 2:43. (close)
427C. By means of the Signs, mentioned in their Scriptures about the Holy Prophet, the People of the Book could easily know that Muhammad (peace and the blessings of God be on him) was indeed the Promised Prophet, yet because of enmity and jealousy they would not recognize him and would insist on mixing up truth with falsehood rather than accept the truth in its unalloyed purity. (close)
c. 2:43. (close)
d. See 2:43. (close)
By means of the signs mentioned in their scriptures about the Holy Prophet, the People of the Book could easily know that Muhammad was indeed the Promised Prophet, yet because of enmity and jealousy they would not recognize him and insisted on mixing up truth with falsehood rather than accept the truth in its unalloyed purity. (close)
وَ قَالَتۡ طَّآئِفَۃٌ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ اٰمِنُوۡا بِالَّذِیۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَجۡہَ النَّہَارِ وَ اکۡفُرُوۡۤا اٰخِرَہٗ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۷۳﴾
وَقَالَت طَّآئِفَةٞ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱلَّذِيٓ أُنزِلَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَجۡهَ ٱلنَّهَارِ وَٱكۡفُرُوٓاْ ءَاخِرَهُۥ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ
428. The Jews were held in high esteem by the pagan Arabs for their religious learning. They took undue advantage of this and thought of a device to turn Muslims away from their Faith by outwardly embracing Islam in the early part of the day and giving it up in the latter part, seeking in this way to make the unlettered Arabs believe that something must have been seriously wrong with Islam, otherwise these learned men would not have so hurriedly given it up. But these foolish people made a completely wrong estimate of the invincible faith of the Companions of the Holy Prophet. (close)
This verse refers to one of the attempts of the Jews to lead Muslims astray. This attempt pertained to a clever ruse on their part to strike a blow at the growing power of Islam. The Jews were held in esteem by the pagan Arabs for their religious learning. They took undue advantage of this and thought of a device to turn Muslims away from their faith by outwardly embracing Islam in the early part of a day and recanting it in its latter part, seeking in this way to make the unlettered Arabs believe that something must have been seriously wrong with Islam, otherwise these learned men would not have so hurriedly given it up. Devices like these have been employed by the enemies of truth in all ages, but they have never succeeded. (close)
وَ لَا تُؤۡمِنُوۡۤا اِلَّا لِمَنۡ تَبِعَ دِیۡنَکُمۡ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡہُدٰی ہُدَی اللّٰہِ ۙ اَنۡ یُّؤۡتٰۤی اَحَدٌ مِّثۡلَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِیۡتُمۡ اَوۡ یُحَآجُّوۡکُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّکُمۡ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡفَضۡلَ بِیَدِ اللّٰہِ ۚ یُؤۡتِیۡہِ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿ۚۙ۷۴﴾
وَلَا تُؤۡمِنُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِمَن تَبِعَ دِينَكُمۡ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ أَن يُؤۡتَىٰٓ أَحَدٞ مِّثۡلَ مَآ أُوتِيتُمۡ أَوۡ يُحَآجُّوكُمۡ عِندَ رَبِّكُمۡۗ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلۡفَضۡلَ بِيَدِ ٱللَّهِ يُؤۡتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُۗ وَٱللَّهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٞ
a. 2:121. (close)
b. 2:77. (close)
428A. If we are wrong in holding this view, then they should remove this misunderstanding by some Divine argument. (close)
428B. 'Grace' here may signify Prophethood. (close)
c. 57:30. (close)
428C. (1) The clause, And obey none but him who follows your religion, constitutes a continuation of the concluding clause of the preceding verse. Thereafter comes the parenthetical clause beginning with the words, Say, surely true guidance—the guidance of Allah—is that one may be given the like of that which has been given to you. Then comes again the speech of the Jews in the words, or they would argue with you before your Lord, the verse finally ending with the Divine commandment: Say, 'All bounty, etc.' This style is peculiar to the Qur’an and is intended to produce a good psychological effect.
(2) According to another interpretation, only the words which in this case would be translated as "Say, the true guidance is the guidance of Allah," would be considered as being parenthetical and the following words, i.e. that one be given the like of that which has been given to you, ...before your Lord, would be taken to form part of the speech of the Jews. (3) Yet according to a third interpretation the speech of the Jews is taken to end with the words, obey none but him who follows your religion, the succeeding clauses being considered to be all Divine speech. See also 'The Larger Edition of this Commentary.' (close)
The construction of this verse, though seemingly rather complicated, is designed to make it capable of different interpretations. We will give here those most apparent:
(1) The clause, And obey none but him who follows your religion, is a continuation of the concluding clause of the preceding verse. Thereafter comes a parenthetical clause beginning with the words, Say, surely the true guidance, and ending with the words, the like of that which has been given to you. Then comes again the speech of the Jews in the words, Or they would dispute with you before your Lord, the verse finally ending with the Divine commandment, Say, All bounty, etc. The style is peculiar to the Quran and is intended to produce a good psychological effect.
The words, that one be given the like of that which has been given to you, which Muslims are bidden to say are in fitting contrast to the words of the Jews quoted in the beginning of the verse, i.e. obey none but him who follows your religion. Jews make God a national deity, debarring all others from His favours, whereas Muslims believe in Him as the Lord of all, basing His right to greatness on the bestowal of His favours in whatever form and to whatever people they may come. Moreover, they believe that the fold of Islam, which is Allah’s universal guidance, is open to all peoples. The words of the Jews, Or they would dispute with you before your Lord, mean that if the Jews follow any dispensation other than their own, they would thereby prove their own guilt in the sight of God, for in that case they would be tacitly admitting that the door of God’s favours is open to others as well, and thus they would make themselves liable to punishment for rejecting Islam. The words, All bounty is in the hand of Allah, mean that the bestowing of the gift of prophethood upon a people is in the hand of God alone and He confers it on those who are deserving of it.
(2) According to another interpretation, only the words قل ان الھدی ھدی الله which in this case would be translated as "Say, the true guidance is the guidance of Allah," would be considered as being parenthetical and the following words, i.e. that one be given the like of that which has been given to you, etc. would be taken to form part of the speech of the Jews. In this case the clause would signify that the Jews say to one another that the guidance that has come to the House of Israel, or the favours that have been bestowed on them, can never be vouchsafed to any other people. They are the exclusive privilege of Israel.
(3) Yet another interpretation is obtained, if the speech of the Jews is taken to end with the words, obey none but him who follows your religion, the succeeding clauses being considered to be all Divine speech put in the mouth of believers. In this case the words فتقبلوه would be considered to be understood before the clause او یحاجوکم عند ربکم and the entire expression would mean, "so they should accept it, or they should dispute with you before your Lord", signifying that, as true guidance is the guidance contained in the Quran, so either the Jews should accept it or they and Muslims should place their case before God for decision, i.e. they should have a مباھله (Mubahalah), i.e. a prayer contest with them and pray to God to help the righteous and destroy the wicked as already explained in 3:62. (close)
یَّخۡتَصُّ بِرَحۡمَتِہٖ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۷۵﴾
يَخۡتَصُّ بِرَحۡمَتِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُۗ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلۡفَضۡلِ ٱلۡعَظِيمِ
a. 2:106. (close)
The word "bounty" here refers to the gift of revelation. The People of the Book are told that if God is pleased to grant prophethood to a people other than themselves, they can have no cause to grumble nor any ground for complaint. The word "exceeding" (lit. great) hints that since God is "Lord of exceeding bounty," it is in the fitness of things that His gifts and favours should descend on all peoples, at one time on this people and at another on that. The word also hints that God being "Lord of exceeding bounty", the time has now come for one universal dispensation for all mankind. (close)
وَ مِنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ مَنۡ اِنۡ تَاۡمَنۡہُ بِقِنۡطَارٍ یُّؤَدِّہٖۤ اِلَیۡکَ ۚ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اِنۡ تَاۡمَنۡہُ بِدِیۡنَارٍ لَّا یُؤَدِّہٖۤ اِلَیۡکَ اِلَّا مَادُمۡتَ عَلَیۡہِ قَآئِمًا ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ قَالُوۡا لَیۡسَ عَلَیۡنَا فِی الۡاُمِّیّٖنَ سَبِیۡلٌ ۚ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ وَ ہُمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾
۞وَمِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ مَنۡ إِن تَأۡمَنۡهُ بِقِنطَارٖ يُؤَدِّهِۦٓ إِلَيۡكَ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ إِن تَأۡمَنۡهُ بِدِينَارٖ لَّا يُؤَدِّهِۦٓ إِلَيۡكَ إِلَّا مَا دُمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ قَآئِمٗاۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ قَالُواْ لَيۡسَ عَلَيۡنَا فِي ٱلۡأُمِّيِّـۧنَ سَبِيلٞ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
429. In the time of the Holy Prophet the idea had gained ground among the Jews that it was no sin to rob a Gentile (non-Jew) Arab of his possession and property because the latter followed a false religion. Possibly, the idea had its origin in the Jewish law of usury, which makes an invidious distinction between a Jew and a non-Jew regarding the giving and taking of interest (Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36, 37; Deut. 23:20). (close)
The words, We are not liable to blame in the matter of the unlearned, refer to a notion prevalent among Jews in the time of the Holy Prophet that it was no sin to rob the gentile Arabs of their possessions, because the latter followed a false religion. The Jews believed that they were at liberty to do as they liked concerning Muslims and would not be called to account for it. Possibly, they deduced this queer doctrine from the Jewish law of usury, which makes an invidious distinction between a Jew and a non-Jew regarding the giving and taking of interest (Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36, 37; Deut. 23:20, 21).
Another meaning of this verse is obtained if we take the words "trust", "treasure", "dinar", etc., in a figurative sense. The Bible contains not only prophecies about the Holy Prophet of Islam, but also clear injunctions to the People of the Book to accept him when he made his appearance. This was in the nature of a "trust" with them. But when the Promised Prophet appeared, they refused to surrender that trust, except a few of them who accepted Islam. These it is that are spoken of as returning the treasure they are trusted with, whereas those who not only rejected the Holy Prophet but even refused to admit that their scriptures contained any prophecies about him are likened to such as would not even return a "dinar" entrusted to them unless you keep standing over them, i.e. unless you force them in argument to admit the truth. (close)
بَلٰی مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِعَہۡدِہٖ وَ اتَّقٰی فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾
بَلَىٰۚ مَنۡ أَوۡفَىٰ بِعَهۡدِهِۦ وَٱتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ
b. 5:2; 6:153; 13:21; 16:92; 17:35. (close)
a. 5:2; 6:153; 13:21; 16:92; 17:35. (close)
In this verse believers are exhorted not to follow the bad example of Jews but to deal equitably with all peoples alike. All treaties and covenants and all obligations should be loyally fulfilled and all pledges properly redeemed.
The verse also refutes the Jewish notion that they are superior to other nations and lays down the golden rule that all human beings as such are equal and it is only personal qualities that make a difference. In fact, all rivalry between different nations and the consequent tension and war are the result of the pernicious notion that some nations are superior to others by virtue of their descent.
Figuratively, the verse also hints that the People of the Book can no longer enjoy God’s pleasure unless they faithfully tender the evidence that is with them regarding the Holy Prophet and accept the new Faith. See also the preceding verse. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یَشۡتَرُوۡنَ بِعَہۡدِ اللّٰہِ وَ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ ثَمَنًا قَلِیۡلًا اُولٰٓئِکَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ وَ لَا یُکَلِّمُہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ لَا یَنۡظُرُ اِلَیۡہِمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ وَ لَا یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ ۪ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۷۸﴾
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَشۡتَرُونَ بِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَيۡمَٰنِهِمۡ ثَمَنٗا قَلِيلًا أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ لَا خَلَٰقَ لَهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ إِلَيۡهِمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ
c. See 2:42. (close)
d. 2:175; 23:109. (close)
430. God will not speak to them words of kindness nor will look upon them with mercy and compassion, nor will adjudge them as pure. (close)
a. See 2:42. (close)
b. 2:175; 23:109. (close)
Those who break God’s covenant and withhold true evidence really do so only to earn worldly benefits, which are indeed a paltry price.
The word خلاق literally meaning an abundant portion of what is good (see 2:201), has been used here to show that disbelievers will not have a portion of good works large enough to secure salvation for them; otherwise the Quran makes it clear that no work of man, whether good or bad, is truly lost (e.g. 99:8, 9).
The words, Allah will neither speak to them nor look upon them on the Day of Resurrection, mean that God will not speak to them words of kindness and will not look upon them with mercy and compassion. In fact, the looking of God upon a person cannot but mean the bestowing of His grace and favour upon him. The breakers of God’s covenants and the withholders of true evidence will not receive such a look from Him. The words, nor will He purify them, mean that He will not adjudge them as pure. (close)
وَ اِنَّ مِنۡہُمۡ لَفَرِیۡقًا یَّلۡوٗنَ اَلۡسِنَتَہُمۡ بِالۡکِتٰبِ لِتَحۡسَبُوۡہُ مِنَ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ مَا ہُوَ مِنَ الۡکِتٰبِ ۚ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ہُوَ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰہِ وَ مَا ہُوَ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰہِ ۚ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ وَ ہُمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۷۹﴾
وَإِنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ لَفَرِيقٗا يَلۡوُۥنَ أَلۡسِنَتَهُم بِٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لِتَحۡسَبُوهُ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۖ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
a. 2:76; 4:47; 5:42. (close)
431. It is an allusion to an evil practice of some Jews in the time of the Holy Prophet. They would recite a passage in Hebrew in such a manner as would deceive the hearers into believing that it was the Torah that was being recited. The word "Book" used thrice in this verse means "a passage in Hebrew" in the first place and "the Torah" in the last two. The passage is spoken of as "the Book" because the Jews tried to make it appear as such. (close)
a. 2:76; 4:47; 5:42. (close)
The clause, who twist their tongues while reciting the Book, alludes to an evil practice of some Jews in the time of the Holy Prophet. They would recite a passage in Hebrew in such a manner as would deceive the hearers into believing that it was the Torah that was being recited. The word "Book" used thrice in this verse means "a passage in Hebrew" in the first place and "the Torah" in the last two. The passage is spoken of as "the Book" because the Jews tried to make it appear as such. (close)
مَا کَانَ لِبَشَرٍ اَنۡ یُّؤۡتِیَہُ اللّٰہُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحُکۡمَ وَ النُّبُوَّۃَ ثُمَّ یَقُوۡلَ لِلنَّاسِ کُوۡنُوۡا عِبَادًا لِّیۡ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَ لٰکِنۡ کُوۡنُوۡا رَبّٰنِیّٖنَ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تُعَلِّمُوۡنَ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَدۡرُسُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۰﴾
مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤۡتِيَهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ وَٱلۡحُكۡمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُواْ عِبَادٗا لِّي مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَٰكِن كُونُواْ رَبَّـٰنِيِّـۧنَ بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَدۡرُسُونَ
432. The expression ma Kana la-hu is used in three senses: (a) It does not become him to do so. (b) It is not possible for him to do so; or, it does not stand to reason that he should have done so; (c) he cannot possibly do so, i.e. it is physically impossible for him to do so. (close)
b. 5:117, 118. (close)
432A. Rabbaniyyin is the plural of Rabbaniy which means, (1) one who devotes himself to religious service or applies himself to acts of devotion; (2) one who possesses knowledge of God; (3) one who is learned in religious lore, or a good or righteous man; (4) a teacher who begins to nourish people with the small matters of knowledge or science before taking the great ones; (5) a lord or master or a leader; (6) a reformer (Lane, Sibawaih & Mubarrad). (close)
432B. The words, because you teach the Book and because you study it, show that it is the duty of all those who themselves have acquired spiritual knowledge that they should impart it to others and should not let men grope in the darkness of ignorance. (close)
a. 5:117, 118. (close)
368. Important Words:
ربانیین (solely devoted to the Lord) is the plural of ربانی which is a relative noun derived from رب (Lord) just as لحیانی (long-bearded) and شعرانی (having long hair) are derived from لحیة (beard) and شعر (hair) respectively. Keeping in view the different meanings of رب (see 1:2 and 3:65) the word ربانی would mean, one who devotes himself to religious service, or applies himself to acts of devotion; one who possesses knowledge of God; one who is learned in religious matters; a good or righteous man; a worshipper of the Lord; a teacher of others who begins to nourish people with the small matters of knowledge or science before taking the great ones; a learned man who not only practises what he knows but also instructs others; one of high rank in knowledge; a lord or master; a leader; a reformer (Lane, Sibawaih & Mubarrad).
The expression ماکان له (it is not possible for him) is, according to Arabic idiom, used in three senses: (1) it does not become him; as in the hadith ماکان لا بن ابی قحافة ان یصلی بین یدی رسول الله صلعم i.e. it does not become the son of Abu Quhafah, (i.e. AbuBakr) to lead the Faithful in Prayers in the presence of the Prophet of God (Bukhari); (2) it is rationally impossible for him to do so; or, it does not stand to reason that he should have done so; (3) he cannot possibly do so, i.e. it is physically impossible for him to do so. It is in the second sense that the expression has been used in this verse. See also 2:35.
It is quite inconceivable that a man whom God has raised as a Prophet and to whom He has given a revealed Book for the guidance of men should teach them to take him as God beside Allah. Such a supposition would imply a serious reflection on God Himself Who chose for His Messenger a man who undid the very work which he had been commissioned to do, and who, instead of calling upon men to worship God, set himself up as God and called upon them to adore him. Such a thing can never occur. A Prophet would always exhort men to become the devotees of God only.
The words, because you teach the Book and because you study it, show that it is the duty of all those who succeed in acquiring spiritual knowledge to impart it to others and not to let men grope in the darkness of ignorance. (close)
وَ لَا یَاۡمُرَکُمۡ اَنۡ تَتَّخِذُوا الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃَ وَ النَّبِیّٖنَ اَرۡبَابًا ؕ اَیَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِالۡکُفۡرِ بَعۡدَ اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۸۱﴾
وَلَا يَأۡمُرَكُمۡ أَن تَتَّخِذُواْ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةَ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ أَرۡبَابًاۚ أَيَأۡمُرُكُم بِٱلۡكُفۡرِ بَعۡدَ إِذۡ أَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ
It is an act of great infidelity to regard angels and Prophets as Lords, and to put them in the place of Almighty God. A true Prophet can never be guilty of such an offence. It is the height of unreason to believe that a person whose very mission is to turn infidels into believers and who does not hesitate to defy the whole world for the achievement of this noble end should first make men the devotees of God and then seek to turn them into his own adorers. (close)