3 - Al Imran (The family of Imran)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 3.100


The following was revealed when the Jews passed by the Aws and the Khazraj and were infuriated by their comradeship, and set about reminding them of their mutual hostility in the days before Islam, such that they caused them to quarrel and the two [tribes] were on the verge of fighting one another: O you who believe, if you obey a party of those who have been given the Scripture, they will turn you, after you have believed, into disbelievers.


O you who believe if you obey a party of those who have been given the scripture they will turn you after you have believed into disbelievers. Estrangement is not restricted to just the estranged but also extends to anyone who becomes part of their circle. Whoever follows the enemy of God into this ruinous companionship will be cast down to the same level.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(O ye who believe! If ye obey a party of those who have received the Scripture…) [3:100]. Abu ‘Amr al-Qantari informed me, among other things he gave me authorisation to relate from him> Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Haddadi> Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Khalid> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> al-Mu’ammil ibn Isma‘il> Hammad ibn Yazid> Ayyub> ‘Ikrimah who said: “The two tribes of the Aws and Khazraj had fought each other in the pre-Islamic period and upon the advent of Islam, Allah, exalted is He, united their hearts and had peace with each other. One day, a Jew sat in an assembly of mixed people which belonged to the Aws and Khazraj. He recited some poetry which was composed by one of the tribes during their war against each other. Something stirred within the people of the other tribe, and so they said: ‘Our poet has said this and that about such-and-such a battle’. The others replied by saying: ‘And our poet has said this and that about such-and-such a battle’. Suddenly some of them said: ‘Let us start war all over again!’ Those who belonged to the tribe of Aws cried: ‘O people of Aws!’ and those who belonged to the tribe of Khazraj cried: ‘O people of Khazraj!’ They all gathered up, took up arms and aligned themselves ready for to engage in battle. At this point, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, went and stood between the two armies, read this verse and raised his voice in the process. When they heard his voice, they stopped talking and listened to him. When he finished his recitation, they all dropped their weapons and embraced one another, crying”. Said Zayd ibn Aslam: “Shas ibn Qays, the Jew, was an old man who grew up in the pre-Islamic period. He was a great disbeliever. His hate for the Muslims was extreme and his resentful envy toward them was intense. One day, he passed by a group of Companions of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, from the Aws and the Khazraj who were gathered in an assembly and talking, and was infuriated to see their unity, friendliness and reconciliation when they were enemies in the pre-Islamic period. He said: ‘The people of Banu Qaylah have united in this land. By Allah, we have no abode with them if they are united’. And so he instructed a youth who was with him, saying: ‘Go and sit with them and then remind them of the event of Bu‘ath and what happened before it and recite to them some of the poetry which they used to compose against each other’. Bu‘ath was the day when the Aws fought against the Khazraj and the former emerged triumphant against the latter. The young man did as he was told which caused people to dispute with and boast to each other to the extent that two men from the two tribes — Aws ibn Qaydhi of the Banu Harithah clan of Aws and Jabbar ibn Sakhr of the Banu Salamah clan of the Khazraj — exchanged words and one of them said to the other: ‘If you wish, by Allah, we will do it all over again’. Both camps got very angry and said: ‘It’s done! War is declared, and let us meet at al-Zahirah’, a volcanic area toward which they headed. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, heard of this and went straight to them accompanied by a group of Emigrants who were with him. When he got there, he said: ‘O Muslims! You fight because of the call of pagan ignorance, even though I am still in your midst, and Allah has honoured you with Islam by means of which he severed from you the whole matter of pagan ignorance and united your hearts. Will you then revert to that which you used to do when you were disbelievers? Allah! Allah!’ People realised straightaway that what they were about to do was of Satan’s incitement and of the plotting of their enemies. They dropped their weapons, wept and embraced each other, and then left the scene with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, submissive and compliant. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, then revealed (O ye who believe!) meaning the Aws and the Khazraj (If ye obey a party of those who have received the Scripture) i.e. Shas and his followers (they will make you disbelievers after your belief)”. Said Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah: “No one who had ever shown himself to us was more disliked than the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He gestured to us with his hand and we stopped and Allah, exalted is He, reconciled us. Then no one was more beloved to us than the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. Never have I seen a day whose start was so ugly and monstrous and whose end was as good as that particular day”.

Ibn Al Kathir

Warning Muslims Against Imitating People of the Scriptures

Allah warns His believing servants against obeying the People of the Book, who envy the believers for the favor that Allah gave them by sending His Messenger. Similarly, Allah said,

وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِن بَعْدِ إِيمَـنِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ

(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of their own envy) 2:109.

In this Ayah 3:100, Allah said,

إِن تُطِيعُواْ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَـنِكُمْ كَـفِرِينَ

(If you obey a group of those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would (indeed) render you disbelievers after you have believed!), then said,

وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتُ اللَّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ

(And how would you disbelieve, while unto you are recited the verses of Allah, and among you is His Messenger), meaning, disbelief is far from touching you, since the Ayat of Allah are being sent down on His Messenger day and night, and he recites and conveys them to you. Similarly, Allah said,

وَمَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمْ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَـقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِينَ

(And what is the matter with you that you believe not in Allah! While the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord; and He has indeed taken your covenant, if you are real believers) 57:8. A Hadith states that one day, the Prophet said to his Companions,

«أَيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعْجَبُ إِلَيْكُمْ إِيمَانًا؟»

قالوا: الملائكة. قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ وَهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِم»

؟ وذكروا الأنبياء، قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْوَحْيُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِمْ؟»

قالوا: فنحن. قال:

«وَكَيْفَ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَنَا بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ؟»

قالوا: فأي الناس أعجب إيمانًا؟ قال:

«قَوْمٌ يَجِيئُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِكُمْ يَجِدُونَ صُحُفًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا فِيهَا»

("Who among the faithful believers do you consider has the most amazing faith'' They said, "The angels.'' He said, "Why would they not believe, since they are with their Lord'' They mentioned the Prophets, and the Prophet said, "Why would they not believe while the revelation is sent down to them'' They said, "Then, we are.'' He said, "Why would not you believe when I am among you'' They asked, "Who has the most amazing faith'' The Prophet said, "A people who will come after you and who will find only books that they will believe in.'')

Allah said next,

وَمَن يَعْتَصِم بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِىَ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مّسْتَقِيمٍ

(And whoever depends upon Allah, then he is indeed guided to the right path) 3:101 for trusting and relying on Allah are the basis of achieving the right guidance and staying away from the path of wickedness. They also represent the tool to acquiring guidance and truth and achieving the righteous aims.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(O ye who believe! If ye obey a party of those who have received the Scripture) the Torah (they will make you disbelievers) in Allah and Muhammad (after your belief) in Allah and [the message of] Muhammad.