The Quran

Commentaries for 2.87

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.87 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And surely, We gave unto Moses the Scripture) the Torah (and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him) to come after him in succession, (and We gave unto Jesus son of Mary clear proofs) commands, prohibitions, wondrous things and signs, (and We supported him) strengthened and helped him (with the holy Spirit) with Gabriel, the purified. (Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you) O group of Jews (a messenger with that which ye yourselves desire not) which does not agree with your hearts and religion, (ye grow arrogant) you disdain believing in him. (And some ye disbelieve) you disbelieve in a group of them, namely Muhammad and Jesus, Allah bless them and give them peace (and some ye slay?) and some you killed, namely, John the Baptist and Zachariah.
2.87 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And We gave Moses the Scripture, the Torah, and after him We sent successive messengers, that is, We sent them one after another, and We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear proofs, that is, the miracles of bringing the dead back to life and healing the blind and the leper, and We confirmed him, We strengthened him, with the Holy Spirit (the expression rūh al-qudus is an example of annexing [in a genitive construction] the noun described to the adjective [qualifying it], in other words, al-rūh al-muqaddasa), that is, Gabriel, [so described] on account of his [Jesus’s] sanctity; he would accompany him [Jesus] wherever he went; still you refuse to be upright, and whenever there came to you a messenger, with what your souls did not desire, [did not] like, in the way of truth, you became arrogant, you disdained to follow him (istakbartum, ‘you became arrogant’, is the response to the particle kullamā, ‘whenever’, and constitutes the interrogative, and is meant as a rebuke); and some, of them, you called liars, such as Jesus, and some you slay?, such as Zachariah and John (the present tenses [of these verbs] are used to narrate the past events [as though they were events in the present], in other words, ‘[and some] you slew’).
2.87 Kashani - Kashani
And verily We gave Moses the Scripture, to where He says as though they did not know [Q. 2:101] …
[and after him We sent successive messengers, and We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear proofs, and We confirmed him with the Holy Spirit, and whenever there came to you a messenger, with what your souls did not desire, you became arrogant; and some, you called liars, and some you slayḍ
2.87 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Arrogance of the Jews who denied and killed Their Prophets
Allah described the insolence of Children of Israel, their rebelliousness, defiance and arrogance towards the Prophets, following their lusts and desires. Allah mentioned that He gave Musa the Book, the Tawrah, and that the Jews changed, distorted, and defied its commands, as well as altered its meanings.
Allah sent Messengers and Prophets after Musa who followed his law, as Allah stated,
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ
الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالاٌّحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَآءَ
(Verily, We did reveal the Tawrah (to Musa), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged for the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests (too judged for the Jews by the Tawrah after those Prophets), for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto) (5:44). This is why Allah said here,
وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ
(And Qaffayna him with Messengers).
As-Suddi said that Abu Malik said that Qaffayna means, "Succeeded'', while others said, "Followed". Both meanings are plausible, since Allah said,
ثُمَّ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا تَتْرَى
(Then We sent Our Messengers in succession) (23:44).
Thereafter, Allah sent the last Prophet among the Children of Israel, `Isa the son of Mary, who was sent with some laws that differed with some in the Tawrah. This is why Allah also sent miracles to support `Isa. These included bringing the dead back to life, forming the shape of birds from clay and blowing into them, afterwhich they became living birds by Allah's leave, healing the sick and foretelling the Unseen, as Ibn `Abbas stated. Allah also aided him with Ruh Al-Qudus, and that refers to Jibril. All of these signs testified to the truthfulness of `Isa and what he was sent with. Yet, the Children of Israel became more defiant and envious of him and did not want to differ with even one part of the Tawrah, as Allah said about `Isa,
وَلاٌّحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُمْ بِأَيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ
(And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord) (3:50).
Hence, the Children of Israel treated the Prophets in the worst manner, rejecting some of them and killing some of them. All of this occurred because the Prophets used to command the Jews with what differed from their desires and opinions. The Prophets also upheld the rulings of the Tawrah that the Jews had changed, and this is why it was difficult for them to believe in these Prophets. Therefore, they rejected the Prophets and killed some of them. Allah said,
أَفَكُلَّمَا جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنفُسُكُم اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ
(Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not,you grew arrogant Some you disbelieved and some you kill).
Jibril is Ruh Al-Qudus
The proof that Jibril is the Ruh Al-Qudus is the statement of Ibn Mas`ud in explanation of this Ayah. This is also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Isma`il bin Khalid, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and Qatadah. Additionally, Allah said,
نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الاٌّمِينُ - عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ
(Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad ) that you may be (one) of the warners) (26:193-194).
Al-Bukhari recorded `A'ishah saying that the Messenger of Allah erected a Minbar in the Masjid on which Hassan bin Thabit (the renowned poet) used to defend the Messenger of Allah (with his poems). The Messenger of Allah said,
«اللَّهُمَّ أَيِّدْ حَسَّانَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ كَمَا نَافَحَ عَنْ نَبِيِّك»
(O Allah! Aid Hassan with Ruh Al-Qudus, for he defended Your Prophet.)
Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith in his Sunan as did At-Tirmidhi who graded it Hasan Sahih. Further, Ibn Hibban recorded in his Sahih that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,
«إِنَّ رُوحَ الْقُدُسِ نَفَثَ فِي رُوعِي أَنَّهُ لَنْ تَمُوتَ نَفْسٌ حَتَّى تَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهَا وَأَجَلَهَا، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَب»
(Ruh Al-Qudus informed me that no soul shall die until it finishes its set provisions and term limit. Therefore, have Taqwa of Allah and seek your sustenance in the most suitable way.)
The Jews tried to kill the Prophet
Az-Zamakhshari commented on Allah's statement,
فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ
(Some you disbelieved and some you kill), "Allah did not say `killed' here, because the Jews would still try to kill the Prophet in the future, using poison and magic.'' During the illness that preceded his death, the Prophet said,
«مَا زَالَتْ أَكْلَةُ خَيْبَرَ تُعَاوِدُنِي، فَهذَا أَوَانُ انْقِطَاعِ أَبْهَرِي»
(I kept feeling the effect of what I ate (from the poisoned sheep) during the day of Khaybar, until now, when it is the time that the aorta will be cut off (meaning when death is near).)
This Hadith was collected by Al-Bukhari and others
2.87-90 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
''Ruh-ul-Qudus" (Holy Spirit) May refer to Revelation or to angel Gabriel who brought it to the Prophets or to the Holy Soul of Jesus Christ which Allah had created pure. "Clear Signs" refer to his miracles and to his wonderful personal qualities and his miraculous birth, which were to every lover of truth a clear proof of the fact that he was a true Prophet of Allah.
By this they meant to say, "We are so staunch in our Faith that we are not going to be influenced by anything that you might say to the contrary." All those are slaves of irrational prejudices, delude themselves like this. They regard such an obstinate attitude as a sign of their firm Faith and, therefore, a virtue. In tact, there can be no greater vice than to stick to one's own traditional creeds and beliefs even though there are strong arguments against them.
Before the advent of the Holy Prophet, the Jews were looking forward with great longings to the Prophet about whom there were many prophecies in their own Scriptures. They used to pray: "May he come soon so that we should triumph over the disbelievers and regain our lost glory! ". The people of Madinah themselves bore witness that the Jews lived in this expectation. It had become a bye-word with them to proclaim: "Let the pagans tyrannise over us as much as they like. When that Prophet comes, we will settle accounts with them." Accordingly, when the people of Madinah learnt that Muhammad (Allah's peace he upon him) had declared himself to be a Prophet, they recalled these things and thought that he might be the very Prophet about whom they had heard so much from the Jews. So they said to one another, "Let us go and accept him lest the Jews should forestall us." That was the reason why the Muslims of Madinah could not understand the attitude of the Jews who, instead of accepting him as the Prophet for whom they had been so anxiously waiting, had become his greatest opponents. As to the fact that "they did recognize the Holy Prophet," many proofs were furnished at that very time. The most authentic evidence is that of Hadrat Safiyyah (one of the wives of the Holy Prophet), who was the daughter of one learned Jew and the niece of another. She says, "When the Holy Prophet migrated to Madinah, my father and uncle went to see him. When they returned home, I myself heard the following conversation between them: Uncle: Is he really the same Prophet about whom there occur prophecies in our books? Father: By God, he is the same. U Are you quite sure of it? F. Yes. U. Then what is your intention? F. I will oppose him as long as I live and will not let his mission succeed. ( lbn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 165, Cairo Edition, 1936).
The verse may also mean: "What a miserable thing it is for which they have sold off their future life and salvation in the Hereafter!"
They wished that the Prophet should have been one of their own race; therefore, they refused to accept him when he was raised among a race which they considered to be inferior to theirs. This meant that Allah ought to have consulted them before appointing His Messenger, and when Allah did not do so, and in His bounty appointed one He chose by Himself, they were offended.
2.87 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And We gave Moses the scripture and after him We sent successive messengers and We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear proofs and We confirmed him with the holy spirit and whenever there came to you a messenger with what your souls did not desire you became arrogant; and some you called liars and some you slayḍ The allusion is that “We [God] delivered the address to them and made one messenger follow after another all calling to the same thing. But they listened to the call of the callers with the ear of whim hawā; they accepted what their lower selves found pleasurable and rejected what their whims ahwāÌ found troublesome. They were characterized by this self-serving desire and moreover became servants ʿabadū to it. The [human] attributes of the worshiper ʿābid became the object of worship maʿbūd.” What a terrible affliction is upon them!
2.87 Tustari - Al-Tustari
…and confirmed him with the Holy Spirit… He replied:The Holy (al-Quddūs) refers to God, that is, the One who is sanctified above having children, partners or a spouse.