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Towards Understanding the Quran
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 Surah Al-i'Imran 3:72-80 [8/20]
  
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وَقَالَتAnd said
طَّآئِفَةٌa group
مِّنْof
أَهْلِ(the) People
ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ(of) the Book,
ءَامِنُواْ`Believe
بِٱلَّذِىٓin what
أُنزِلَwas revealed
عَلَىon
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
ءَامَنُواْbelieve[d]
وَجْهَ(at the) beginning
ٱلنَّهَارِ(of) the day,
وَٱكْفُرُوٓاْand reject
ءَاخِرَهُۥat its end,
لَعَلَّهُمْperhaps they may
يَرْجِعُونَreturn.
﴿٧٢﴾
وَلَاAnd (do) not
تُؤْمِنُوٓاْbelieve
إِلَّاexcept
لِمَن(the one) who
تَبِعَfollows
دِينَكُمْyour religion.`
قُلْSay,
إِنَّ`Indeed
ٱلْهُدَىٰthe (true) guidance
هُدَى ٱللَّهِ(is the) Guidance of Allah -
أَنlest
يُؤْتَىٰٓis given
أَحَدٌ(to) one -
مِّثْلَ(the) like
مَآ(of) what
أُوتِيتُمْwas given to you
أَوْor
يُحَآجُّوكُمْthey may argue with you
عِندَnear
رَبِّكُمْ‌ۗyour Lord.`
قُلْSay,
إِنَّ`Indeed,
ٱلْفَضْلَthe Bounty
بِيَدِ ٱللَّهِ(is) in the Hand of Allah.
يُؤْتِيهِHe gives it
مَن(to) whom
يَشَآءُ‌ۗHe wills,
وَٱللَّهُand Allah
وَٲسِعٌ(is) All-Encompassing,
عَلِيمٌAll-Knowing.`
﴿٧٣﴾
يَخْتَصُّHe chooses
بِرَحْمَتِهِۦfor His Mercy
مَنwhom
يَشَآءُ‌ۗHe wills.
وَٱللَّهُAnd Allah
ذُو ٱلْفَضْلِ(is) the Possessor of Bounty -
ٱلْعَظِيمِ[the] great.
﴿٧٤﴾
۞ وَمِنْAnd from
أَهْلِ(the) People
ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ(of) the Book
مَنْ(is he) who,
إِنif
تَأْمَنْهُyou entrust him
بِقِنطَارٍwith a great amount of wealth
يُؤَدِّهِۦٓhe will return it
إِلَيْكَto you.
وَمِنْهُمAnd from them
مَّنْ(is he) who,
إِنif
تَأْمَنْهُyou entrust him
بِدِينَارٍwith a single coin
لَّاnot
يُؤَدِّهِۦٓhe will return it
إِلَيْكَto you
إِلَّاexcept
مَا دُمْتَyou keep constantly
عَلَيْهِover him
قَآئِمًا‌ۗstanding.
ذَٲلِكَThat
بِأَنَّهُمْ(is) because they
قَالُواْsaid,
لَيْسَ`Not
عَلَيْنَاon us
فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّــۧنَconcerning the unlettered people
سَبِيلٌany [way] (accountability).`
وَيَقُولُونَAnd they say
عَلَىabout
ٱللَّهِAllah
ٱلْكَذِبَthe lie
وَهُمْwhile they
يَعْلَمُونَknow.
﴿٧٥﴾
بَلَىٰNay,
مَنْwhoever
أَوْفَىٰfulfills
بِعَهْدِهِۦhis covenant
وَٱتَّقَىٰand fears (Allah) ,
فَإِنَّthen indeed,
ٱللَّهَAllah
يُحِبُّloves
ٱلْمُتَّقِينَthose who fear (Him).
﴿٧٦﴾
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
يَشْتَرُونَexchange
بِعَهْدِ(the) Covenant
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah
وَأَيْمَـٰنِهِمْand their oaths
ثَمَنًا(for) a price
قَلِيلاًlittle,
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَthose -
لَاno
خَلَـٰقَshare
لَهُمْfor them
فِىin
ٱلْأَخِرَةِthe Hereafter
وَلَاand not
يُكَلِّمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُwill Allah speak to them,
وَلَاand not
يَنظُرُlook
إِلَيْهِمْat them
يَوْمَ(on the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ(of) the Resurrection
وَلَاand not
يُزَكِّيهِمْpurify them,
وَلَهُمْand for them
عَذَابٌ(is) a punishment
أَلِيمٌpainful.
﴿٧٧﴾
وَإِنَّAnd indeed,
مِنْهُمْamong them
لَفَرِيقًاsurely (is) a group -
يَلْوُۥنَthey distort
أَلْسِنَتَهُمtheir tongues
بِٱلْكِتَـٰبِin (reciting) the Book
لِتَحْسَبُوهُso that you may think it
مِنَ(is) from
ٱلْكِتَـٰبِthe Book
وَمَاand not
هُوَit
مِنَ(is) from
ٱلْكِتَـٰبِthe Book.
وَيَقُولُونَAnd they say,
هُوَ`It
مِنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ(is) from Allah.`
وَمَاBut not
هُوَit
مِنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ(is) from Allah.
وَيَقُولُونَAnd they say
عَلَىabout
ٱللَّهِAllah
ٱلْكَذِبَthe lie
وَهُمْwhile they
يَعْلَمُونَknow.
﴿٧٨﴾
مَاNot
كَانَis
لِبَشَرٍfor a human
أَنthat
يُؤْتِيَهُ ٱللَّهُAllah gives him
ٱلْكِتَـٰبَthe Book,
وَٱلْحُكْمَand the wisdom,
وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَand the Prophethood,
ثُمَّthen
يَقُولَhe says
لِلنَّاسِto the people,
كُونُواْ`Be
عِبَادًاworshippers
لِّىof me
مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِbesides Allah,
وَلَـٰكِنbut (would say)
كُونُواْ`Be
رَبَّـٰنِيِّــۧنَworshippers of the Lord
بِمَاbecause
كُنتُمْyou have been
تُعَلِّمُونَteaching
ٱلْكِتَـٰبَthe Book
وَبِمَاand because
كُنتُمْyou have been
تَدْرُسُونَstudying (it).`
﴿٧٩﴾
وَلَاAnd not
يَأْمُرَكُمْhe will order you
أَنthat
تَتَّخِذُواْyou take
ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةَthe Angels,
وَٱلنَّبِيِّــۧنَand the Prophets
أَرْبَابًا‌ۗ(as) lords.
أَيَأْمُرُكُمWould he order you
بِٱلْكُفْرِto [the] disbelief
بَعْدَafter
إِذْ[when]
أَنتُمyou (have become)
مُّسْلِمُونَMuslims?
﴿٨٠﴾


وَقَالَتۡ طَّآٮِٕفَةٌ مِّنۡ اَهۡلِ الۡكِتٰبِ اٰمِنُوۡا بِالَّذِىۡۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَجۡهَ النَّهَارِ وَاكۡفُرُوۡۤا اٰخِرَهٗ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ​​ۚ​ ۖ‏  وَلَا تُؤۡمِنُوۡۤا اِلَّا لِمَنۡ تَبِعَ دِيۡنَكُمۡؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡهُدٰى هُدَى اللّٰهِۙ اَنۡ يُّؤۡتٰٓى اَحَدٌ مِّثۡلَ مَاۤ اُوۡتِيۡتُمۡ اَوۡ يُحَآجُّوۡكُمۡ عِنۡدَ رَبِّكُمۡ​ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡفَضۡلَ بِيَدِ اللّٰهِۚ يُؤۡتِيۡهِ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيۡمٌ ۚۙ‏  يَّخۡتَصُّ بِرَحۡمَتِهٖ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِيۡمِ‏   وَمِنۡ اَهۡلِ الۡكِتٰبِ مَنۡ اِنۡ تَاۡمَنۡهُ بِقِنۡطَارٍ يُّؤَدِّهٖۤ اِلَيۡكَ​ۚ وَمِنۡهُمۡ مَّنۡ اِنۡ تَاۡمَنۡهُ بِدِيۡنَارٍ لَّا يُؤَدِّهٖۤ اِلَيۡكَ اِلَّا مَا دُمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ قَآٮِٕمًا ​ؕ ذٰ لِكَ بِاَنَّهُمۡ قَالُوۡا لَيۡسَ عَلَيۡنَا فِىۡ الۡاُمِّيّٖنَ سَبِيۡلٌۚ وَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ عَلَى اللّٰهِ الۡكَذِبَ وَ هُمۡ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏   بَلٰى مَنۡ اَوۡفٰى بِعَهۡدِهٖ وَاتَّقٰى فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ‏   اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَشۡتَرُوۡنَ بِعَهۡدِ اللّٰهِ وَاَيۡمَانِهِمۡ ثَمَنًا قَلِيۡلًا اُولٰٓٮِٕكَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَهُمۡ فِى الۡاٰخِرَةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللّٰهُ وَلَا يَنۡظُرُ اِلَيۡهِمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيۡهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَ لِيۡمٌ‏  وَاِنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ لَـفَرِيۡقًا يَّلۡوٗنَ اَلۡسِنَتَهُمۡ بِالۡكِتٰبِ لِتَحۡسَبُوۡهُ مِنَ الۡكِتٰبِ​ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الۡكِتٰبِۚ وَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ هُوَ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰهِ​ۚ وَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ عَلَى اللّٰهِ الۡكَذِبَ وَ هُمۡ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏  مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ اَنۡ يُّؤۡتِيَهُ اللّٰهُ الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡحُكۡمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُوۡلَ لِلنَّاسِ كُوۡنُوۡا عِبَادًا لِّىۡ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ وَلٰـكِنۡ كُوۡنُوۡا رَبَّانِيّٖنَ بِمَا كُنۡتُمۡ تُعَلِّمُوۡنَ الۡكِتٰبَ وَبِمَا كُنۡتُمۡ تَدۡرُسُوۡنَۙ‏  وَلَا يَاۡمُرَكُمۡ اَنۡ تَتَّخِذُوا الۡمَلٰٓٮِٕكَةَ وَالنَّبِيّٖنَ اَرۡبَابًا​ ؕ اَيَاۡمُرُكُمۡ بِالۡكُفۡرِ بَعۡدَ اِذۡ اَنۡـتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ‏ 
(3:72) A party of the People of the Book said: 'Believe in the morning what has been revealed to those who believe, and then deny it in the evening that they may thus retract (from their faith).'61 (3:73) They also say among themselves: 'Do not follow anyone except him who follows your faith.' Say: 'Surely true guidance is Allah's. It is His favour that anyone should be given the like of what you have been given in the past, and that others should have been given firm evidence to proffer against you before your Lord.' Say: 'Surely bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He gives it to whom He wills. Allah is All-Embracing,62 All-Knowing.63 (3:74) He singles out for His mercy whomever He wills, Allah is possessed of abounding bounty.' (3:75) And among the People of the Book there are some who would restore you even if you were to entrust a treasure of gold, and of them there are some whom were you to entrust with one gold piece, will not restore it unless you stand over them. That is because they say: 'We will not be taken to task for whatever we may do to non-Jews (ummls).64 Thus they falsely fix a lie upon Allah, and do so wittingly. (3:76) But Allah loves only those who fulfil their covenant and fear Allah. Truly Allah loves the God-fearing. (3:77) There shall be no share in the Life to Come for those who sell away the covenant of Allah and their oaths for a trivial gain. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will neither address them, look at them, nor will He purify them.65 A painful chastisement lies ahead of them. (3:78) And there is a party among them who twist their tongues while reciting the Book to make you think that it is part of the Book when in fact it is not.66 They say: 'It is from Allah', when in fact it is not from Allah. They falsely fix a lie upon Allah, and do so wittingly. (3:79) It does not befit a man that Allah should grant him His Book and sound judgement and prophet-hood, and thereafter he should say to men: 'Become servants to me apart from Allah.' He would rather say: 'Become dedicated men of Allah,67 in accord with the dictates of the Book you have been teaching and studying.' (3:80) He will never enjoin you to take the angels or Prophets for your lords. Will he enjoin upon you unbelief when you have submitted yourselves to Allah?68

61. This was one of the devices adopted by the leaders and rabbis of the Jews who lived on the outskirts of Madina in order to damage the mission of Islam. To demoralize the Muslims and create misgivings about the Prophet (peace be on him), they sent their agents to embrace Islam publicly, then to renounce it, and subsequently to go about telling people they had done so because of the faults they had found in Islam, the Muslims and their Prophet.

62. The word wasi' which is used here occurs in the Qur'an in three contexts. The first context is the narrow-mindedness and mean outlook of certain people, in contrast to which God is not 'narrow'. The second context is the denunciation of miserliness, meanness and niggardliness, in contrast to which God is Generous and Munificent. The third context is the ascription of finite, limited concepts to God as a result of their limitedimagination, whereas the truth is that God is infinite see (Surah 2, n. 116 above)

63. That is, God knows who deserves to be honoured and exalted.

64. This was not merely the misconception of the ignorant mass of Jews. Their religious teaching was the same and the legal doctrines of their accepted religious authorities and jurists reflected this idea. With regard to injunctions on loans and interest the Bible makes a clear distinction between an Israelite and a non-Israelite (Deuteronomy 15: 1-3; 23: 20).

It is stated in the Talmud that if the bullock of an Israelite injures the bullock of a non-Israelite the former is not liable to any penalty, but not vice versa. Similarly, it is laid down that if anyone finds an unclaimed article he should enquire amongst the people who live nearby. If they are Israelites he should announce his find; if not he may keep it without saying anything further.

Rabbi Samuel Ishmael says that if a dispute between a Jew and a Gentile is brought before a judge, he should base his verdict on Jewish law if it is favourable; if the law of the Gentiles goes in favour of the Jew he should justify his judgement by saying that the Gentile has no valid ground for complaint since judgement was given according to his own law. Even if both laws are unfavourable towards the Jew the judge should still find some pretext for deciding in his favour. Rabbi Samuel says that benefit should be derived from every mistake the non-Israelite may make. (See Paul Isaac Hershon, Talmudic Miscellany, London, 1880, pp. 37 and 210-21.)

65. The reason is that, despite their worst crimes, they still thought that on the Day of Judgement they alone would be honoured with God's favour, and that towards them alone He would turn His gracious attention. They also entertained the belief that if they had been stained by any trace of sin, it would be washed away by the grace of their pious elders. Such people are warned here that the treatment meted out to them in the Next Life will be altogether contrary to their expectations.

66. This could mean that they either distort the meaning of the Scriptures or twist the words of the text in order to misinterpret it. Its real meaning, however, seems to be that when, during their reading of the Scriptures, they encounter any word or sentence which goes against their interests, and the beliefs and notions which they cherish, they distort the meaning of it by deliberately twisting their tongues. Instances of such tongue-twisting are not altogether wanting among those who, despite their belief in the Qur'an, share some of these people's characteristics. For instance, some people who stress the superhuman character of the Prophet (peace be on him) misread the following verse: innama ana basharun mithlukum (Qur'an 18: 110) (I am nothing but a human being like you), replacing innama by inna ma ana and translate it: '(O Prophet), say to them: "I am not a human being like you."

67. The term rabbani is used here to denote Jewish religious scholars and functionaries who were supposed to provide true religious guidance to establish their rites of worship, implement religious laws, and so on. The same word occurs in( Surah 5: 44 and 63). In the Christian tradition the word 'divine' is used as an equivalent to the word rabbani.

68. This refutation is directed at all the false concepts which were attributed to the Messengers of God by various nations, and then made an integral part of the religious scriptures. These concepts were false in that they elevated either the Prophets or the angels to the level of deities