مَا الۡمَسِیۡحُ ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ ۚ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِ الرُّسُلُ ؕ وَ اُمُّہٗ صِدِّیۡقَۃٌ ؕ کَانَا یَاۡکُلٰنِ الطَّعَامَ ؕ اُنۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ نُبَیِّنُ لَہُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ ثُمَّ انۡظُرۡ اَنّٰی یُؤۡفَکُوۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾
مَّا ٱلۡمَسِيحُ ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٞ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهِ ٱلرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُۥ صِدِّيقَةٞۖ كَانَا يَأۡكُلَانِ ٱلطَّعَامَۗ ٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ ٱلۡأٓيَٰتِ ثُمَّ ٱنظُرۡ أَنَّىٰ يُؤۡفَكُونَ
a. 21:9. (close)
780. The verse advances a number of arguments against the alleged divinity of Jesus; (a) Jesus was no better than other Messengers of God in any way; (b) he was born of a woman; (c) like other human beings he was subject to the natural laws of hunger and thirst and was subject also to the natural ensuing phenomena. (close)
a. 21:9. (close)
706. Important Words:
یؤفکون (they are turned away) is derived from افك (afaka). They say افکه i.e. he changed his or its state or condition or manner of being; he turned him or it away or back from a thing; he turned him away or back by lying; he changed or perverted his judgement or opinion; or he deceived or beguiled him. They say افك الرجل عن الخیر i.e. the man was turned away or turned back from good by deceit or guile. افك (afaka) or افك (affaka) also means, he told a lie or uttered a falsehood which, in essence, is the same as changing the state of a thing (Lane).
The verse advances a number of arguments against the alleged divinity of Jesus. Firstly, it points out that Jesus was no better than other Messengers of God in any way. He enjoyed no higher status. He showed no miracles the like of which were not shown by other Prophets. In fact, the greatest miracle ascribed to him by his followers is that of the alleged raising of the dead. But the Bible ascribes similar miracles to other Prophets also (see 2 Kings 4:16-35; 13:21).
The second argument mentioned by the verse against his alleged divinity is that he was born of a woman. Being born of a human being, he could not be divine. Moreover, a child is known to inherit some of the prominent traits of the physical and moral make-up of its parent. Jesus, being born of a woman must have inherited her nature and her qualities and so he could not be God.
Again, being human, he was, like other human beings, subject to the natural laws of hunger and of satisfying it by taking food and he was subject also to the natural phenomena that ensue.
By describing the mother of Jesus as "a truthful woman", the Quran has incidentally refuted the Jewish allegations concerning the birth of Jesus. (close)
قُلۡ اَتَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَمۡلِکُ لَکُمۡ ضَرًّا وَّ لَا نَفۡعًا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۷۷﴾
قُلۡ أَتَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمۡلِكُ لَكُمۡ ضَرّٗا وَلَا نَفۡعٗاۚ وَٱللَّهُ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
b. 6:72; 10:107; 21:67; 22:13. (close)
781. Jesus possessed no power to do good or harm to any person. He could not hear prayer, nor was he conversant with the needs of men that he could satisfy them. These are all Divine prerogatives. (close)
a. 6:72; 10:107; 21:67; 22:13. (close)
Jesus, who is looked upon as God, had no power to do either harm or good to any person. He could not, rather cannot, hear prayers nor does he know the needs of men that he may satisfy them; for it is Allah alone Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (close)
قُلۡ یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُوۡا فِیۡ دِیۡنِکُمۡ غَیۡرَ الۡحَقِّ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعُوۡۤا اَہۡوَآءَ قَوۡمٍ قَدۡ ضَلُّوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ اَضَلُّوۡا کَثِیۡرًا وَّ ضَلُّوۡا عَنۡ سَوَآءِ السَّبِیۡلِ ﴿٪۷۸﴾
قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمۡ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوٓاْ أَهۡوَآءَ قَوۡمٖ قَدۡ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبۡلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ كَثِيرٗا وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَآءِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ
a. 4:172. (close)
b. 4:172. (close)
The words ولاتقولوا (and say not or speak not) may be taken to be understood before the words غیرالحق (which have been translated in the text as "unjustly" but which also mean an untruth), for it is the false doctrines of Christians that, more than their actions, have contributed to the corruption of their faith and their spiritual degradation. In this case, the verse would read thus: "Say, O People of the Book, exceed not the limits in the matter of your religion and speak not an untruth."
The words, nor follow the evil inclinations of a people who went astray before, indicate that the doctrines of Trinity, Atonement and Sonship are really borrowed doctrines. Having borrowed them from the nations that "went astray before", early Christian religious leaders made such alterations in their own doctrines as made them acceptable to the heathen nations with whom they came in contact. Modern research into the sources of Christianity goes to establish the truth of this Quranic statement made more than thirteen hundred years ago (Enc. Bib., col. 4695 Enc. R. Eth., vol. ii, p. 143; vol. vii, p. 436). (close)
لُعِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ عَلٰی لِسَانِ دَاوٗدَ وَ عِیۡسَی ابۡنِ مَرۡیَمَ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِمَا عَصَوۡا وَّ کَانُوۡا یَعۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۷۹﴾
لُعِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۢ بَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُۥدَ وَعِيسَى ٱبۡنِ مَرۡيَمَۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعۡتَدُونَ
b. 3:88; 4:48. (close)
782. Of all the Israelite Prophets, David and Jesus suffered most at the hands of the Jews. Jewish persecution of Jesus culminated in his being hung on the cross, and the hardships and privations to which David was subjected by these ungrateful people are reflected in the deep pathos of his Psalms. From the agony of their hearts did David and Jesus curse them. The curse of David resulted in the Israelites being punished by Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed Jerusalem and carried the Israelites into captivity in 556 B.C.; and as a result of the curse of Jesus, they were visited by terrible afflictions by Titus, who captured Jerusalem in about 70 A.D., devastated the city and profaned the Temple by causing swine—an animal most hated and abhorred by Jews—to be slaughtered therein. (close)
a. 3:87, 88; 4:48. (close)
Of all the Israelite Prophets, David and Jesus suffered most at the hands of the Jews. Jewish persecution of Jesus culminated in his being hung on the cross, and the hardships and privations to which David was subjected by these ungrateful people are reflected in the deep pathos of his Psalms. From the agony of their hearts did David and Jesus both curse them. The curse of David resulted in the Israelites being smitten by Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed Jerusalem and carried the Israelites into captivity in 586 B.C.; while, as a result of the curse of Jesus, they were visited by terrible afflictions by Titus, who captured Jerusalem in about 70 A.D., devastated the city and profaned the Temple by causing swine to be slaughtered there—an animal hated and abhorred by Jews. (close)
کَانُوۡا لَا یَتَنَاہَوۡنَ عَنۡ مُّنۡکَرٍ فَعَلُوۡہُ ؕ لَبِئۡسَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۸۰﴾
كَانُواْ لَا يَتَنَاهَوۡنَ عَن مُّنكَرٖ فَعَلُوهُۚ لَبِئۡسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ
c. 5:64. (close)
783. One of the great sins which drew the wrath of God upon the Jewish people was that they did not prohibit one another from the evil practices which were so rife among them. (close)
a. 5:64. (close)
One of the great sins which drew the wrath of God upon the Jewish people was that they did not prohibit one another from the evil practices which were so rife among them. While some simply connived at these evil practices, others actually encouraged them. Unfortunately, Muslim scholars and priests of the present day are also guilty of this deadly sin. They will not preach against the evils to which the wealthier and the more powerful Muslims are addicted. (close)
تَرٰی کَثِیۡرًا مِّنۡہُمۡ یَتَوَلَّوۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ؕ لَبِئۡسَ مَا قَدَّمَتۡ لَہُمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ اَنۡ سَخِطَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ فِی الۡعَذَابِ ہُمۡ خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾
تَرَىٰ كَثِيرٗا مِّنۡهُمۡ يَتَوَلَّوۡنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْۚ لَبِئۡسَ مَا قَدَّمَتۡ لَهُمۡ أَنفُسُهُمۡ أَن سَخِطَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَفِي ٱلۡعَذَابِ هُمۡ خَٰلِدُونَ
b. 3:163. (close)
711. Important Words:
سخط (is displeased). The word سخط means, he was or became displeased or discontented; he was or became angry. They say سخط علیه i.e. he was or became displeased or discontented or angry with him. سخط الشیء means, he disliked or became discontented with the thing (Lane & Aqrab).
In this verse the word "disbelievers" stands for "idolaters". See note on 5:58. The clause بئس ماقدمت لھم انفسھم (evil is that which they themselves have sent on before for themselves) may also be rendered as "evil is that which their souls have brought forward, or brought to the forefront, for them", i.e. that which their souls have made to appear fair in their sight is really evil and foul. (close)
وَ لَوۡ کَانُوۡا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ النَّبِیِّ وَ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡہِ مَا اتَّخَذُوۡہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ وَ لٰکِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنۡہُمۡ فٰسِقُوۡنَ ﴿۸۲﴾
وَلَوۡ كَانُواْ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مَا ٱتَّخَذُوهُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءَ وَلَٰكِنَّ كَثِيرٗا مِّنۡهُمۡ فَٰسِقُونَ
784. The Prophet referred to in this verse is the Holy Prophet, for wherever in the Qur’an the word an-Nabi (the Prophet) is used, it invariably refers to the Holy Prophet. Even the Gospels referred to him as "that Prophet" (John, 1:21-25), i.e. the Prophet whose advent was foretold in Deut. 18:18. (close)
The Prophet referred to in this verse is the Holy Prophet of Islam and not Moses; for wherever the Quran used the word النبی (the Prophet), it invariably refers to the Holy Prophet. Even the Jews referred to him as "that Prophet" (see John 1:21, 25), i.e. the Prophet whose advent had been foretold in Deut. 18:18.
The verse means to say that if Jews had accepted the Holy Prophet and acted upon the Quranic principle that when making friends with others those who are nearer in faith should be given preference over those who are not, they would never have preferred idolaters to Muslims as friends; for, while the latter have most things in common with them and believe in all their Prophets, the former do not. In contravention of this great principle, however, Jews, to their own detriment, not only chose to make friends with idolaters in preference to Muslims, but even declared the former to be better guided than the latter (4:52). (close)
لَتَجِدَنَّ اَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَۃً لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا الۡیَہُوۡدَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَشۡرَکُوۡا ۚ وَ لَتَجِدَنَّ اَقۡرَبَہُمۡ مَّوَدَّۃً لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا الَّذِیۡنَ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا نَصٰرٰی ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ مِنۡہُمۡ قِسِّیۡسِیۡنَ وَ رُہۡبَانًا وَّ اَنَّہُمۡ لَا یَسۡتَکۡبِرُوۡنَ ﴿۸۳﴾
۞لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ ٱلنَّاسِ عَدَٰوَةٗ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱلۡيَهُودَ وَٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُواْۖ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقۡرَبَهُم مَّوَدَّةٗ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا نَصَٰرَىٰۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهۡبَانٗا وَأَنَّهُمۡ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ
785. Qissis means, the head or chief of the Christians in knowledge or science; a learned man of the Christians who has sought after and acquired great knowledge; an intelligent and learned man (Lane). (close)
786. Ruhban is the plural of Rahib which means an ascetic, a Christian monk; a religious recluse; one who devotes himself to religious services or exercises in a cell or monastery (Lane). (close)
787. This state of affairs, however, was not to last for ever. The Qur’an elsewhere warns Muslims that they were destined to suffer most grievously at the hands of Christians who would attack them from all sides (21:97). In the Hadith also there are prophecies to this effect. The verse applies only to the Christians of the Holy Prophet’s time. History bears out this inference. Najashi, the Christian King of Abyssinia, gave shelter to Muslim refugees; and Muqauqas, the Christian ruler of Egypt, sent presents to the Holy Prophet. Humility seemed to be one of the chief characteristics of the early Christians. This is evident from the different ways in which the epistles of the Holy Prophet were treated by the King of Persia, who was a heathen, and by Heraclius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, who was a Christian. The former tore the letter to pieces, while the latter received it with respect and even evinced some inclination towards Islam. (close)
713. Important Words:
قسیسین (savants) is the plural of قسیس which is formed from قس. They say قسه i.e. he sought after or pursued it; or he sought after or pursued it leisurely or repeatedly or by degrees. The word also means, he became a قسیس which means, the head or chief of the Christians in knowledge or science, or one of their heads or chiefs; a learned man of the Christians who has sought after and acquired great knowledge; an intelligent and learned man (Lane).
رھبانا (monks) is the plural of راھب which is derived from رھب which means, he feared, or he feared with caution. راھبmeans, a fearer or a cautious fearer; a fearer of God; an ascetic, because he fears God much; a Christian devotee or monk; a religious recluse; one who devotes himself to religious services or exercises in a cell or monastery. رھبانیة means the state of a (monk), and راھب signifies excess in religious exercises and discipline and detaching oneself from mankind; monkery; asceticism (Lane).
As a rule, the followers of a new Prophet meet with greater opposition from the followers of the Prophet immediately preceding him than from the followers of those Prophets who had appeared in the remote past. But, contrary to this general practice, Jews, who should have been less inimically disposed towards the Muslims than Christians, proved at least in the Holy Prophet’s time to be bitterer enemies of Islam than Christians, who were comparatively less inimical. This state of affairs, however, was not to last forever. The Quran elsewhere warns Muslims that they were destined to suffer most grievously at the hands of Christians, who would attack them from all directions, (21:97). In the Hadith also there are prophecies to this effect. So the verse under comment may not be taken to apply to Christians of all times but only to those of the Holy Prophet’s time who lived round about him; and history bears out this inference. Najjashi, the Christian King of Abyssinia, gave shelter to Muslim refugees; and Muqauqas the Christian ruler of Egypt, sent presents to the Holy Prophet.
It appears that humility formed one of the chief characteristics of early Christians, and the teachings of Jesus about turning the other cheek to the striker seems to have exercised its influence on their lives for some centuries. This is evident from the different ways in which the epistles of the Holy Prophet were treated by the King of Persia, who was a heathen, and by Heraclius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, who was a Christian. The former tore the letter to pieces, while the latter received it respectfully and even evinced some inclination towards Islam.
So long as the above qualities formed distinctive features of the Christian character, Muslims generally met with fairer treatment at their hands. But as time passed, these qualities gradually took leave of them and now there are very few among Christian divines and religious leaders who are engaged in real and honest religious research, withdrawing from the cares of the world and taking an active and living interest in spiritual matters. Christian scholars began to meddle in politics in the 13th or 14th century, with the result that they became hostile to Islam. (close)
وَ اِذَا سَمِعُوۡا مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَی الرَّسُوۡلِ تَرٰۤی اَعۡیُنَہُمۡ تَفِیۡضُ مِنَ الدَّمۡعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوۡا مِنَ الۡحَقِّ ۚ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اٰمَنَّا فَاکۡتُبۡنَا مَعَ الشّٰہِدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۴﴾
وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ تَرَىٰٓ أَعۡيُنَهُمۡ تَفِيضُ مِنَ ٱلدَّمۡعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّۖ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَٱكۡتُبۡنَا مَعَ ٱلشَّـٰهِدِينَ
788. The verse has also been applied to the Najashi in particular. When Ja‘far, a cousin of the Holy Prophet and spokesman of Muslim refugees in Abyssinia read to him the opening verses of the Surah Maryam, the Najashi was visibly moved and tears rolled down his cheeks and he said in a voice full of pathos that that exactly was his belief about Jesus, and that he did not look upon him by even a twig more than that (Hisham). (close)
a. 3:54, 194. (close)
The description given in this verse of some of the Christians of the time of the Holy Prophet applies to all those who have a real hankering after truth and are ready to accept it wherever they find it. The verse has also been applied to Najjashi in particular. When Ja‘far, a cousin of the Holy Prophet and the spokesman of Muslim refugees to Abyssinia, tried to make clear their attitude towards Jesus and to dispel the suspicion caused by the Meccan emissaries about the alleged derogatory language used by the Quran concerning Jesus and read to Najjashithe opening verses of the chapter Maryam, the latter, along with such of his companions as feared God, was visibly moved, and tears rolled down his cheeks and he said in a voice full of pathos that that exactly was his belief about Jesus, and that he did not look upon him by even a twig more than that (Hisham, i. 305, 306). (close)
وَ مَا لَنَا لَا نُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰہِ وَ مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الۡحَقِّ ۙ وَ نَطۡمَعُ اَنۡ یُّدۡخِلَنَا رَبُّنَا مَعَ الۡقَوۡمِ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۸۵﴾
وَمَا لَنَا لَا نُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَنَطۡمَعُ أَن يُدۡخِلَنَا رَبُّنَا مَعَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
b. 26:52. (close)
The verse may be regarded as constituting the substance of the words, referred to in the preceding verse, which Najjashi spoke to those of his courtiers who remonstrated with him, saying that Jesus was God, and not a human being as represented in the Quran, and urged him to deliver the Muslim refugees to the Meccans. At this Najjashi is reported to have said that nothing could prevent him from accepting truth. (close)