وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَأَدْخَلْنَاهُمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ
And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and feared Allah, We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to Gardens of Pleasure.
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(Thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews) up to Hiswords (But those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are owners of hell-fire) [5:82-86]. Theseverses were revealed about the Negus and his followers. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “When he was in Mecca, theMessenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to fear the idolaters’ persecution of hisCompanions. He therefore sent Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib and ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, at the head of a group of hisCompanions, to the Negus. He said: ‘The Negus is a righteous man; he is not an oppressor and none isoppressed in his dominion. So head toward him and remain there until Allah creates relief for the Muslims’.When they went to him, the Negus honoured them and then asked them: ‘Do you memorise anything ofthat which was revealed to you?’ They answered in the affirmative and then recited to him [some Qur’an,]with monks and priests surrounding him. Whenever they read a verse, the tears rolled down their cheeksdue to the truth which they recognized. Allah, exalted is He, says: (That is because there are among thempriests and monks, and because they are not proud)”. Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Farisi informed us>Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamdun ibn al-Fadl> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan> Muhammad ibnYahya> Abu Salih, the scribe of al-Layth> al-Layth> Yunus> Ibn Shihab> Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab and ‘Urwahibn al-Zubayr as well as others who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sent‘Amr ibn Umayyah al-Damri with a message to the Negus. The latter read the message of the Messenger ofAllah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and then called Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib and all the Emigrants with himand he also invited priests and monks to the assembly. He ordered Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib to recite to them fromthe Qur’an, and he read Surah Maryam, peace be upon her. They believed in the Qur’an and tears flowedfrom their eyes. It is about them that Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And thou wilt find the nearest of themin affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Lo! We are Christians) up to His words (Inscribe usas among the witnesses)”. Other commentators said: “Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib and his companions came fromAbyssinia accompanied by a delegation from the Negus to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and givehim peace. The delegation included seventy men, all wearing wool. There were sixty-two from Abyssinia andeight from Syria: Bahirah the monk, Abrahah, Idris, Ashraf, Tammam, Quthaym, Durayd and Ayman. Whenthe Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, recited to them Surah Yasin, they wept andbelieved. They commented: ‘How similar is this to what used to be revealed to Jesus’. And so Allah, exaltedis He, revealed about them these verses”. Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-‘Adl informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad>Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghawi> ‘Ali ibn al-Ja‘d> Sharik> Salim> Sa‘id ibn Jubayr who, commenting on Allah’swords (That is because there are among them priests and monks), said: “The Negus sent thirty men amonghis best subjects to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. When the Messenger ofAllah, Allah bless him and give him peace, recited to them Surah Yasin, they wept, and so this verse wasrevealed”.
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَآءُ وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم مَّآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ كُلَّمَآ أَوْقَدُواْ نَاراً لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ - وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَـتِهِمْ وَلاٌّدْخَلْنَـهُمْ جَنَّـتِ النَّعِيمِ - وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِمْ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ لاّكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَآءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ
(64. The Jews say: "Allah's Hand is tied up.'' Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends as He wills. Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief. We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.)
(65. And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa, We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).)
(66. And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur'an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet. And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.)
Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continuous curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection, describe Him as a miser. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. The Jews also claim that Allah is poor, while they are rich. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ
(The Jews say, "Allah's Hand is tied up.") "They do not mean that Allah's Hand is literally tied up. Rather, they mean that He is a miser and does not spend from what He has. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُوراً
(And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.) In this Ayah, Allah prohibits stinginess and extravagance, which includes unnecessary and improper expenditures. Allah describes stinginess by saying,
وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ
(And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck. ) Therefore, this is the meaning that the Jews meant, may Allah's curses be on them. `Ikrimah said that this Ayah was revealed about Finhas, one of the Jews, may Allah curse him. We mentioned before that Finhas said,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَقِيرٌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَآءُ
("Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!'') and that Abu Bakr smacked him. Allah has refuted what the Jews attribute to Him and cursed them in retaliation for their lies and fabrications about Him. Allah said,
غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُواْ بِمَا قَالُواْ
(Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered.) What Allah said occurred, for the Jews are indeed miserly, envious, cowards and tremendously humiliated. Allah said in other Ayat,
أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً - أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً
(Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and the Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.) and, n
ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ
(Indignity is put over them.)
Allah said next,
بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَآءُ
(Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His bounty) as He wills.) Allah's favors are ample, His bounty unlimited, as He owns the treasures of everything. Any good that reaches His servants is from Him alone, without partners. He has created everything that we need by night or by day, while traveling or at home and in all situations and conditions. Allah said,
وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
(And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, an extreme ingrate.) There are many other Ayat on this subject. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said that `Abdur-Razzaq narrated to him that Ma`mar said that Hammam bin Munabbih said, "This is what Abu Hurayrah narrated to us that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ يَمِينَ اللهِ مَلْأَى، لَا يَغِيضُهَا نَفَقَةٌ، سَحَّاءُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ، أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا أَنْفَقَ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ السَّموَات وَالْأَرْضَ، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَغِضْ مَا فِي يَمِينِهِ قال : وَعَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ، وَفِي يَدِهِ الْأَخُرى الْقَبْضُ يَرْفَعُ وَيَخْفِض»
(Allah's Right Hand is perfectly full, and no amount of spending can decrease what He has, even though He spends by night and by day. Do you see how much Allah has spent since He created the heavens and earth Yet surely it has not decreased what He has in His Right Hand. His Throne is over the water and in His Other Hand is the hold by which He raises and lowers.) He also said, قُولُ اللهُ تَعَالى:
«أَنْفِقْ، أُنْفِقْ عَلَيْك»
(Allah said, `Spend and I will spend on you.')'' This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.
وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُم مَّآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً
(Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief.) meaning, the bounty that comes to you, O Muhammad, is a calamity for your enemies, the Jews and their kind. The more the revelation increases the believers in faith, good works, and beneficial knowledge, the more the disbelievers increase in envy for you and your Ummah, the more they increase in Tughyan -- which is to exceed the ordained limits for things -- and in disbelief -- meaning denial of you. Allah said in other Ayat,
قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى أُوْلَـئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ
(Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away.'') and,
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّـلِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا
(And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases wrongdoers in nothing but loss. ) Allah said next,
وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَآءَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ
(We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection.) Therefore, their hearts are never united. Rather, their various groups and sects will always have enmity and hatred for each other, because they do not agree on the truth, and because they opposed you and denied you. Allah's statement,
كُلَّمَآ أَوْقَدُواْ نَاراً لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّهُ
(Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it;) means, every time they try to plot against you and kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it and makes their plots turn against them. Therefore, their evil plots will return to harm them.
وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
(and they (ever) strive to make mischief on earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.) It is their habit to always strive to cause mischief on the earth, and Allah does not like those with such behavior.
Allah said next,
وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ
(And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa...) Consequently, had the People of the Book believed in Allah and His Messenger and avoided the sins and prohibitions that they committed;
لَكَفَّرْنَا عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَـتِهِمْ وَلاٌّدْخَلْنَـهُمْ جَنَّـتِ النَّعِيمِ
(We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).) meaning We would have removed the dangers from them and granted them their objectives.
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِمْ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ
(And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord,) meaning, the Qur'an, as Ibn `Abbas and others said.
لاّكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم
(they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.) Had they adhered to the Books that they have with them which they inherited from the Prophets, without altering or changing these Books, these would have directed them to follow the truth and implement the revelation that Allah sent Muhammad with. These Books testify to the Prophet's truth and command that he must be followed. Allah's statement,
لاّكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم
(they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.) refers to the tremendous provision that would have descended to them from the sky and grown for them on the earth. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَـتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(And if the people of the towns had believed and had Taqwa, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth.) Allah's statement,
مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَآءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ
(And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.) is similar to Allah's statement,
وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ
(And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith.)7:159 and His statement about the followers of `Isa, peace be upon him,
فَـَاتَيْنَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنْهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ
(So We gave those among them who believed, their (due) reward.) Therefore, Allah gave them the highest grade of Iqtisad, which is the middle course, given to this Ummah. Above them there is the grade of Sabiqun, as Allah described in His statement;
ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَـبَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَـلِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَتِ بِإِذُنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ - جَنَّـتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ
(Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who, by Allah's permission, are Sabiq (foremost) in good deeds. That itself is indeed a great grace. `Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens) will they enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk.)35:32-33