The Quran

Commentaries for 2.89

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.89 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when there cometh unto them a Scripture from Allah, confirming that in their possession) which accords with that which is in their possession (though before that) before Muhammad (pbuh) (they were asking for a signal triumph) through Muhammad and the Qur'an (over those who disbelieved) of their enemies: the tribes of Asad, Ghatafan, Muzaynah, and Juhaynah (and when there cometh unto them that which they knew) of his traits and description in their Book (they disbelieved therein) they denied it was him. (The curse of Allah) His wrath and torment (is on disbelievers) the Jews.
2.89 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
When there came to them a Book from God, confirming what was with them, in the Torah, that is the Qur’ān — and they formerly, before it came, prayed for victory, for assistance, over the disbelievers, saying: ‘God, give us assistance against them through the Prophet that shall be sent at the end of time’; but when there came to them what they recognised, as the truth, that is, the mission of the Prophet, they disbelieved in it, out of envy and for fear of losing leadership (the response to the first lammā particle is indicated by the response to the second one); and the curse of God is on the disbelievers.
2.89 Kashani - Kashani
When there came to them a Book from God, confirming what was with them - and they formerly prayed for victory over the disbelievers; but when there came to them what they recognised, they disbelieved in it; and the curse of God is on the disbelievers.
2.89 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Jews were awaiting the Prophet's coming, but They disbelieved in Him when He was sent
Allah said,
وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمُ
(And when there came to them) meaning, the Jews,
كِتَـبٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ
(a Book from Allah) meaning, the Qur'an that Allah sent down to Muhammad,
مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ
(confirming what is with them) meaning, the Tawrah. Further, Allah said,
وَكَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ
(although aforetime they had invoked Allah (for coming of Muhammad ) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved) meaning, before this Messenger came to them, they used to ask Allah to aid them by his arrival, against their polytheistic enemies in war. They used to say to the polytheists, "A Prophet shall be sent just before the end of this world and we, along with him, shall exterminate you, just as the nations of `Ad and Iram were exterminated.'' Also, Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Jews used to invoke Allah (for the coming of Muhammad ) in order to gain victory over the Aws and Khazraj, before the Prophet was sent. When Allah sent him to the Arabs, they rejected him and denied what they used to say about him. Hence, Mu`adh bin Jabal and Bishr bin Al-Bara' bin Ma`rur, from Bani Salamah, said to them, `O Jews! Fear Allah and embrace Islam. You used to invoke Allah for the coming of Muhammad when we were still disbelievers and you used to tell us that he would come and describe him to us,' Salam bin Mushkim from Bani An-Nadir replied, `He did not bring anything that we recognize. He is not the Prophet we told you about.' Allah then revealed this Ayah about their statement,
وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ كِتَـبٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ
(And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur'an) from Allah confirming what is with them (the Tawrah) and the Injil (Gospel)).'''
Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "The Jews used to ask Allah to send Muhammad so that they would gain victory over the Arab disbelievers. They used to say, `O Allah! Send the Prophet that we read about - in the Tawrah - so that we can torment and kill the disbelievers alongside him.' When Allah sent Muhammad and they saw that he was not one of them, they rejected him and envied the Arabs, even though they knew that he was the Messenger of Allah. Hence, Allah said,
فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُواْ كَفَرُواْ بِهِ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ
(Then when there came to them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it. So let the curse of Allah be on the disbelievers). ''
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.
2.89 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
\ When there came to them a Book from God confirming what was with them-and they formerly prayed for victory over the disbelievers; but when there came to them what they recognized they disbelieved in it; and the curse of God is on the disbelievers. Here the allusion is to one who resolves upon purity and clarity ṣafāÌ and promises his complete loyalty wafāÌ. He raises the banners of his vigor to step out to combat but when the call comes to line up and advance boldly into battle he breaks down at the rallying of the ranks and cuts himself off from the group afraid of dangerous attacks. God most high said “Then when the matter has been resolved upon if they are loyal to God it will be better for them” [47:21].
2.89 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(…though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved…) [2:89]. Said Ibn 'Abbas: “The Jews of Khaybar were at war with Ghatafan, and whenever the two parties used to meet, Khaybar ended up in defeat. For this reason they devised the following supplication: 'O Allah! We beseech You by the truth of the unlettered Prophet whom You promised to send forth to us at the end of time to give us victory over them'. And so whenever they said this supplication, Ghatafan was defeated. But when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was sent forth, they disbelieved in him. It is due to this that Allah, exalted is He, revealed (…though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved) i.e. by means of you, O Muhammad, up to His saying (The curse of Allah is on disbelievers)”. And al-Suddi said: “The Arabs used to pass by the Jews and expose the latter to some harm. The Jews knew the description of Muhammad in the Torah and used to ask Allah to send him so that they could fight with him against the Arabs. When Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, came to them, they disbelieved in him out of resentful envy. They said: 'all the messengers were from the descendents of Jacob, how is it that this one is a descendent of Ishmael?' ”