Chastising the Jews for Choosing Misguidance, Altering Allah's Words, and Mocking Islam
Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad. They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad, so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life.
وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّواْ السَّبِيلَ
(and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.) for they would like that you disbelieve in what was sent down to you, O believers, and that you abandon the guidance and beneficial knowledge that you have.
وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ
(Allah has full knowledge of your enemies) meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them.
وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ نَصِيراً
(and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper) He is a Sufficient Protector for those who seek refuge with Him and a Sufficient Supporter for those who seek His help. Allah then said,
يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ
(there are some who displace words from (their) right places) meaning, they intentionally and falsely alter the meanings of the Words of Allah and explain them in a different manner than what Allah meant,
وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا
(And say: "We hear your word and disobey) saying, "We hear what you say, O Muhammad, but we do not obey you in it,'' as Mujahid and Ibn Zayd explained. This is the implied meaning of the Ayah, and it demonstrates the Jews' disbelief, stubbornness and disregard for Allah's Book after they understood it, all the while aware of the sin and punishment that this behavior will earn for them. Allah's statement,
وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ
(And "Hear and let you hear nothing.'') means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the Jews' way of mocking and jesting, may Allah's curse descend on them.
وَرَعِنَا لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ
(And Ra`ina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.) meaning, they pretend to say, `Hear us,' when they say, Ra`ina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means `Listen to us.').' Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet. We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah's statement,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقُولُواْ رَعِنَا وَقُولُواْ انظُرْنَا
(O you who believe! Say not Ra`ina but say Unzurna (make us understand)). Therefore, Allah said about them, while they pretend to say other than what they truly mean,
لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ
(With a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion) because of their cursing the Prophet. Allah then said,
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانْظُرْنَا لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً
(And if only they had said: "We hear and obey'', and "Do make us understand,'' it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.) meaning, their hearts are cast away from the path of righteousness and therefore, no beneficial part of faith enters it. Earlier, when we explained,
فَقَلِيلاً مَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ
(so little is that which they believe) which means they do not have beneficial faith.