The Quran

Commentaries for 2.146

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.146 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Then Allah mentions the believers of the people of the Book, saying: (Those unto whom We gave the Scripture) gave the knowledge of the Torah, 'Abdullah ibn Salam and his followers (recognise) know Muhammad (pbuh) with his description and traits (as they recognise their children) in the midst of other children. (But lo! A party of them) of the people of the Book (knowingly) knowing it to exist in their Book (conceal the Truth) conceal the description and traits of Muhammad (pbuh).
2.146 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Those to whom We have given the Scripture, they recognise him, Muhammad (s), as they recognise their sons, because of the descriptions of him in their Scripture: [‘Abd Allāh] Ibn Salām said, ‘I recognised him the moment I saw him, as I would my own son; but my recognition of Muhammad (s) was more intense’; even though there is a party of them that conceal the truth, that is, his description, while they know, this [truth] which you [Muhammad (s)] follow.
2.146 Kashani - Kashani
Those to whom We have given the Scripture, a giving [accompanied] with understanding and awareness, they recognise him, as they recognise their own sons, that is, [they recognise him as they would] an object of sensory perception that is witnessed and is near and is ever-sensed because of their proximity to him in reality and their knowing him by clear proofs.
[even though there is a party of them that conceal the truth, while they know.
2.146-147 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Jews know that the Prophet is True, but they hide the Truth
Allah states that the scholars of the People of the Scripture know the truth of what Allah's Messenger was sent with, just as one of them knows his own child, which is a parable that the Arabs use to describe what is very apparent. Similarly, in a Hadith, Allah's Messenger said to a man who had a youngster with him:
«ابْنُكَ هَذَا»
؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أَشْهَدُ بِهِ
(Is this your son) He said, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah! I testify to this fact.'' Allah's Messenger said:
«أَمَا إِنَّهُ لَا يَجْنِي عَلَيْكَ وَلَا تَجْنِي عَلَيْه»
(Well, you would not transgress against him nor would he transgress against you.)
According to Al-Qurtubi, it was narrated that `Umar said to `Abdullah bin Salam (an Israelite scholar who became a Muslim), "Do you recognize Muhammad as you recognize your own son'' He replied, "Yes, and even more. The Honest One descended from heaven on the Honest One on the earth with his (i.e., Muhammad's) description and I recognized him, although I do not know anything about his mother's story.''
Allah states next that although they had knowledge and certainty in the Prophet, they still:
لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ
(conceal the truth.)
The Ayah indicates that they hide the truth from the people, about the Prophet, that they find in their Books,
وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
(while they know it. ) Allah then strengthens the resolve of His Prophet and the believers and affirms that what the Prophet came with is the truth without doubt, saying:
الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ
((This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt.)
2.145-147 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "You cannot convince by argument those who are disputing with you about the wisdom of the change of the giblah because they are not disposed to listen to any reasoning on account of their deep prejudices and obduracy: nor can you end this dispute by adopting the giblah of anyone of them; for all of them have different qiblahs, and, as a Prophet of Allah, you cannot make compromises on the principle of "give and take". Therefore the only thing you have to do is to stick to Our Commandments strictly and firmly. If you turn away from these, you will be transgressing the limits of Prophethood and showing ingratitude towards the favour of leadership with which We have blessed you."
This Arabic idiom is employed when one knows something with certainty and has absolutely no doubt about its identity. The metaphor has been derived from the fact that none can make any mistake in recognizing one's own children. Here it has been used to show that the learned people of the Jews and Christians knew it as a fact that the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham, just as they knew their own children. They also knew that the Holy Temple at Jerusalem was built by the Prophet Solomon some 1,300 years after the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham. The Ka'bah, therefore, had priority and superiority over the "Temple" and the Jews and the Christians should have no difficulty in recognizing and acknowledging it as the qiblah in the light of the above historical facts.
2.146 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Those to whom We have given the Scripture they recognize him as they recognize their sons; even though there is a party of them that conceal the truth while they know. Their hidden envy causes haughtiness in them concerning what they necessarily know. Similarly whoever has been defeated in the darknesses of his lower self throws off the cloak of bashfulness. There is no use censuring him; words will not rein in his abandon.
2.146 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(Those unto whom We gave the Scripture recognise (this revelation) as they recognise their sons…) [2:146]. This was revealed about the believers of the people of the Book: 'Abd Allah ibn Salam and his companions. They knew Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, by his description, traits and mission from their Scripture as did any one of them know his son upon seeing him with other boys. Said 'Abd Allah ibn Salam: “I knew Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, better than I knew my son”. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab asked him: “How is that, O son of Salam?” He said: “Because I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah truly and out of certainty, but I cannot bear witness truly and out of certainty that my son is mine, for I have no knowledge of what women do [behind their husbands' backs]”. 'Umar then said: “May Allah give you success, O son of Salam!”