إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلَّا النَّارَ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Indeed, they who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and exchange it for a small price - those consume not into their bellies except the Fire. And Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And they will have a painful punishment.
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(Lo! those who hide aught of the Scripture which Allah hath revealed…) [2:174]. Reporting from Abu Salihwho reported it from Ibn 'Abbas, al-Kalbi said: “This was revealed about the leaders and doctors of theJews. They used to get gifts and surpluses from ordinary Jews and hoped that the new prophet will be sentfrom amongst them. When he was sent from amongst others, they feared the loss of their gains and thewaning of their leadership. As a result, they changed the traits of Muhammad, Allah bless him and give himpeace, [as found in the Torah] and then said to people: 'These are the traits of the prophet who will be sentat the end of time. Look! He does not resemble the prophet who is in Mecca'. When ordinary people lookedat the changed traits, they found them different than those of Muhammad, and so they did not believe inhim”.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيًلا أُولَـئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلاَّ النَّارَ وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلَـلَةَ بِالْهُدَى وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ - ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ لَفِى شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ
(174. Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith (of worldly things), they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment). (175. Those are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of forgiveness. So how bold they are (for evil deeds which will push them) to the Fire). (176. That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. And verily, those who disputed as regards the Book are far away in opposition).
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ
(Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book.) Meaning the Jews who concealed their Book's descriptions of Muhammad , all of which testify to his truth as a Messenger and a Prophet. They concealed this information so that they would not lose authority and the position that they had with the Arabs, where they would bring them gifts, and honor them. The cursed Jews feared that if they announced what they know about Muhammad , then the people would abandon them and follow him. So they hid the truth so that they may retain the little that they were getting, and they sold their souls for this little profit. They preferred the little that they gained over guidance and following the truth, believing in the Messenger and having faith in what Allah was sent him with. Therefore, they have profited failure and loss in this life and the Hereafter. As for this world, Allah made the truth about His Messenger known anyway, by the clear signs and the unequivocal proofs. Thereafter, those whom the Jews feared would follow the Prophet , believed in him and followed him anyway, and so they became his supporters against them. Thus, the Jews earned anger on top of the wrath that they already had earned before, and Allah criticized them again many times in His Book. For instance, Allah said in this Ayah (2:174 above):
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَشْتَرُونَ بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيًلا
(Verily, those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book, and purchase a small gain therewith (of worldly things).) meaning, the joys and delights of this earthly life. Allah said:
أُولَـئِكَ مَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ إِلاَّ النَّارَ
(...they eat into their bellies nothing but fire,) meaning, whatever they eat in return for hiding the truth, will turn into a raging fire in their stomachs on the Day of Resurrection. Similarly, Allah said:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْيَتَـمَى ظُلْماً إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَاراً وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيراً
(Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!) (4:10) Also, reported in an authentic Hadith is that Allah's Messenger said:
«الَّذِي يَأْكُلُ أَوْ يَشْرَبُ فِي آنِيةِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ إنَّمَا يُجَرْجِرُ فِي بَطْنِهِ نَارَ جَهَنَّم»
(Those who eat or drink in golden or silver plates are filling their stomachs with the fire of Jahannam (Hell).) Allah said:
وَلاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
(Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment.) This is because Allah is furious with them for concealing the truth. They thus deserve Allah's anger, so Allah will not look at them or purify them, meaning that He will not praise them but will cause them to taste a severe torment. Then, Allah said about them:
أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلَـلَةَ بِالْهُدَى
(Those are they who have purchased error for guidance.) Hence, they opposed the guidance, that is, not announcing the Prophet's description they find in their Books, the news about his prophecy and the good news of his coming which the previous Prophets proclaimed, as well as following and believing in him. Instead, they preferred misguidance by denying him, rejecting him and concealing his descriptions that were mentioned in their Books. Allah said:
(...and torment at the price of forgiveness,) meaning, they preferred torment over forgiveness due to the sins they have committed. Allah then said:
فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ
(So how bold they are (for evil deeds which will push them) to the Fire.) Allah states that they will suffer such severe, painful torment that those who see them will be amazed at how they could bear the tremendous punishment, torture and pain that they will suffer. We seek refuge with Allah from this evil end. RAllah's Statement:
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ
(That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. ) means, they deserve this painful torment because Allah has revealed Books to His Messenger Muhammad , and the Prophets before him, and these revelations bring about truth and expose falsehood. Yet, they took Allah's signs for mockery. Their Books ordered them to announce the truth and to spread the knowledge, but instead, they defied the knowledge and rejected it. This Final Messenger ـ Muhammad ـ called them to Allah, commanded them to work righteousness and forbade them from committing evil. Yet, they rejected, denied and defied him and hid the truth that they knew about him. They, thus, mocked the Ayat that Allah revealed to His Messengers, and this is why they deserved the torment and the punishment. This is why Allah said here (2:176):
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ نَزَّلَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ لَفِى شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ
(That is because Allah has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) in truth. And verily, those who disputed about the Book are far away in opposition.)