The Quran

Commentaries for 2.109

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.109 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Many of the people of the Scripture) Ka'b Ibn al-Ashraf and his companions and Finhas Ibn 'Azurah and his companions (long to make you disbelievers) make you abandon your Religion and become unbelievers, O 'Ammar [Ibn Yasir], Hudhayfah [Ibn al-Yaman] and Mu'adh Ibn Jabal! (after your belief) in Muhammad and the Qur'an, (through envy of their own account) through resentful envy, (after the Truth hath become manifest unto them) in their Book that Muhammad and his Book, his description and traits, are true, (So forgive) leave them (and be indulgent) shun them (until Allah giveth command) brings His chastisement upon Banu Qurayzah and Banu'l-Nadir, through killing, captivity and expulsion. (Lo! Allah is Able to do all things) to cause their death and expulsion.
2.109 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Many of the People of the Scripture long that (law, ‘[if only] that’, represents [the import of] the verbal noun) they might make you disbelievers, after you have believed, from the envy (hasadan is the object denoting reason), being, of their own souls, that is to say, their wicked souls have prompted them to this [attitude]; after the truth, with regard to the Prophet (s), has become clear to them, in the Torah; yet pardon, leave them be, and be forgiving, stay away, and make no encroachments against them, till God brings His command, concerning fighting them; truly God has power over all things.
2.109 Kashani - Kashani
[Many of the People of the Scripture long that they might make you disbelievers, after you have believed, from the envy of their own souls, after the truth has become clear to them; yet pardon and be forgiving till God brings His command; truly God has power over all things.
2.109-110 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Prohibition of following the Ways of the People of the Book
Allah warned His believing servants against following the ways of the People of Book, who publicly and secretly harbor emnity and hatred for the believers, and who envy the believers, while they recognize the virtue of the believers and their Prophet. Allah also commanded His believing servants to forgive them and to be patient with them, until Allah delivers His aid and victory to them. Allah commanded the believers to perform the prayer perfectly, to pay the Zakah and He encouraged them to preserve the practice of these righteous deeds.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Ka`b bin Malik said that Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf, who was a Jew and a poet, used to criticize the Prophet in his poems, so Allah revealed,
وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم
(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away..) regarding his matter.
Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, "An unlettered Messenger came to the People of the Scriptures confirming what they have in their own Books about the Messengers and the Ayat of Allah. He also believes in all of this, just as they believe in it. Yet, they rejected the Prophet out of disbelief, envy and transgression. This is why Allah said,
كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ
(out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them).
Allah said that after He illuminated the truth for them, such that they were not ignorant of any of it, yet their envy made them deny the Prophet. Thus Allah criticized, chastised and denounced them.'' Allah legislated the characteristics that His Prophet and the believers should adhere to: belief, faith and accepting what Allah revealed to them and to those before them out of His generosity and tremendous kindness.
Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that,
مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
(from their own selves) means, "of their making.'' Also, Abu Al-`Aliyah said that,
مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ
(even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them) means, "After it became clear that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah whom they find written of in the Torah and the Injil. They denied him in disbelief and transgression because he was not one of them.'' Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said similarly. Allah said,
فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ
(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command.) this is similar to His saying;
وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَذًى كَثِيراً
(And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah) (3: 186).
`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement,
فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ
(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command.) was abrogated by the Ayah,
فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ
(Then kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them) (9:5), and,
قَـتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ
(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day) (9:29) until,
وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ
(And feel themselves subdued) (9:29).
Allah's pardon for the disbelievers was repealed.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said similarly: It was abrogated by the Ayah of the sword." (Mentioned above). The Ayah,
حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ
(till Allah brings His command.) gives further support for this view.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded Usamah bin Zayd saying that the Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to forgive the disbelievers and the People of the Book, just as Allah commanded in His statement,
فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command. Verily, Allah is able to do all things).
The Messenger of Allah used to forgive them and was patient with them as Allah ordered him, until Allah allowed fighting them. Then Allah destroyed those who He decreed to be killed among the strong men of Quraysh, by the Prophet's forces. The chain of narration for this text is Sahih, but I did not see its wordings in the six collections of Hadith, although the basis of it is in the Two Sahihs, narrated from Usamah bin Zayd.
The Encouragement to perform Good Deeds
Allah said,
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنْفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ
(And perform the Salah and give the Zakah, and whatever of good you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allah).
Allah encouraged the believers to busy themselves in performing deeds that would bring them benefit and reward on the Day of Resurrection, such as prayer and paying Zakah. This way, they will gain Allah's aid in this life and on a Day when the witnesses testify,
يَوْمَ لاَ يَنفَعُ الظَّـلِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ الْلَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ
(The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to the Zalimin (wrongdoers). Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (i.e. painful torment in Hell-fire)) (40:52).
This is why Allah said,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
(Certainly, Allah sees what you do), meaning, that He is never unaware of the deeds of any person, nor will these deeds be lost by Him. Whether deeds are righteous or evil, Allah will award each according to what he or she deserves based on their deeds.
2.108-110 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Jews were addicted to hair-splitting. They put subtle and unnecessary questions to the Muslims and would incite them to inquire about the same from the Holy Prophet. As they intended merely to create mischief, Allah warned the Muslims not to follow their example. The Holy Prophet also advised the Believers not to indulge in the pastime of making fine distinctions and asking unnecessary questions because such things had ruined the communities that went before them. They should do what they were asked to do and refrain from what they were prohibited. They should not waste their powers and energies in useless pursuits but attend to important matters.
That is "their enmity and jealousy should not incite you to lose your balance of mind and involve you in arguments, discussions and disputes with them. You should not lose your dignity and waste your precious time in such useless pursuits but should go on doing the right and wait patiently for Allah's judgement. You should remember Allah and do good deeds because these are the things that will avail you before Allah and not those things and the like."
2.109 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Many of the people of the scripture long to make you disbelievers after you have believed from the envy of their own souls after the truth has become clear to them; yet pardon and be forgiving till God brings His command; truly God has power over all things. Those among the heedless who have lost understanding wish that not even a star would rise over those who are in peace and safety salāma and those who are possessed by envy would like the sun to stop shining over those whom they envy. These are the attributes of disbelievers so God abases and humbles them. The allusion in this is to the state of those who possess spiritual desire irāda in the beginning when they embark on their travels. If they do not find help and success in companionship and they live among people following externals these people will prevent them from traveling and will not stop giving advice to them. They will frighten them with weakness and threaten them with poverty until they divert them to the way of heedlessness and cut them off from the path of spiritual desire. These are truly the enemies of God those who have been overtaken by the enmity of the moment. Their punishment is being deprived of smelling any of the fragrances of sincerity ṣidq. Yet pardon and be forgiving... for the way of the aspirant is to protect his innermost self from anyone or anything other [than God]. He tries to employ his best nature with each individual and spares no effort in kindness for soon the Real will open the way for him on his path.
2.109 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief…) [2:109]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “This verse was revealed about a group of Jews who said to the Muslims after the Battle of Uhud: ‘Could you not see what has happened to you? If you were truly following the truth, you would not have been defeated. Revert, therefore, to our religion; it is far better for you’ ”. Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Farisi informed us>Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Fadl> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Abu’l-Yaman> Shu‘ayb> al-Zuhri> ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ka‘b ibn Malik> his father who reported that Ka‘b al-Ashraf the Jew was a poet who used his poetry to satirize the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and incite the disbelievers of Quraysh against him. The idolaters and Jews of Medina also used to seriously harm the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions upon their arrival to Medina. Allah, exalted is He, commanded his Prophet to endure all that and to forgive them. And it is about them that was revealed (Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief…) up to His saying (Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command…).