Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Allah then described those from the people of the Book who had believed-'Abdullah Ibn Salam and his followers-saying: (And Lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto you) the Qur'an (and that which was revealed unto them) of Scripture: the Torah, (humbling themselves before Allah) humble and meek vis-à-vis Allah in worship. (They purchase not a trifling gain) a paltry recompense of means of living (at the price of the revelations of Allah) by hiding the traits and description of Muhammad in the Scripture. (Verily their reward) their recompense (is with their Lord) in Paradise, (and Lo! Allah is swift to take account) when He takes people into account, He is very swift.
Verily, there are some among the People of the Scripture who believe in God, like ‘Abd Allāh b. Salām and his companions and the Negus, and what has been revealed to you, that is, the Qur’ān, and what has been revealed to them, that is, the Torah and the Gospel, humble before God (khāshi‘īn is a circumstantial qualification of the person of [the verb] yu’min, ‘who believe’, and takes into account the [potentially plural] sense of man, ‘who’), not purchasing with the verses of God, which they have before them in the Torah and the Gospel pertaining to the descriptions of the Prophet (s), a small price, of this world, by concealing them for fear of losing their supremacy, as others, like the Jews, have done. Those — their wage, the reward for their deeds, is with their Lord, [a reward] which they will be given twice over, as [stated] in the sūrat al-Qasas [Q. 28:54]. God is swift at reckoning, reckoning with the whole of creation in about half a day of the days of this world.
Verily, there are some among the People of the Scripture, that is, the ones who are veiled from the affirmation of Oneness and the ones described with the attribute of fluctuation in states and stations, who believe in God, [who] verify the affirmation of the unity of the Essence, and what has been revealed to you, of the knowledge of the affirmation of the Oneness and uprightness, and what has been revealed to them, of the knowledge of the origin and the final return, humble before God, receptive to the self-disclosure of the Essence, not purchasing with the verses of God, which are the self-disclosures of His attributes with the price of the remnants (baqiyya), described here as a paltry one. Those - their wage, of the mentioned gardens, is with their Lord. God is swift at reckoning, reckoning with them and recompensing them such that He requites the remnants of those of whom something has remained, or He rewards these remnants in accordance with the degrees merited in the three abodes.
The Condition of Some of the People of the Scriptures and their Rewards
Allah states that some of the People of the Book truly believe in Him and in what was sent down to Muhammad, along with believing in the previously revealed Books, and they are obedient to Him and humble themselves before Allah.
(They do not sell the verses of Allah for a small price) 3:199, for they do not hide what they know of the glad tidings about the description of Muhammad, his Prophethood, and the description of his Ummah. Indeed, these are the best people among the People of the Book, whether they were Jews or Christians. Allah said in Surat Al-Qasas,
(Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it (the Qur'an). And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we were Muslims. These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient,) 28:52-54. Allah said,
(Say: "Believe in it (the Qur'an) or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.'' And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfillled.'' And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility.) 17:107- 109.
These qualities exist in some of the Jews, but only a few of them. For instance, less than ten Jewish rabbis embraced the Islamic faith, such as `Abdullah bin Salam. Many among the Christians, on the other hand, embraced the Islamic faith. Allah said,
(Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk, and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.'') 5:82, until,
(So because of what they said, Allah rewarded them Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever) 5:85. In this Ayah,
أُوْلـئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ
(for them is a reward with their Lord) 3:199.
When Ja`far bin Abi Talib recited Surah Maryam chapter 19 to An-Najashi, King of Ethiopia, in the presence of Christian priests and patriarchs, he and they cried until their beards became wet from crying. The Two Sahihs record that when An-Najashi died, the Prophet conveyed the news to his Companions and said,
(And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah).
Al-Hasan said, "They are the People of the Book, before Muhammad was sent, who believed in Muhammad and recognized Islam. Allah gave them a double reward, for the faith that they had before Muhammad, and for believing in Muhammad (after he was sent as Prophet).'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded both of these statements. The Two Sahihs record that Abu Musa said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(They do not sell the verses of Allah for a small price), means, they do not hide the knowledge that they have, as the cursed ones among them have done. Rather, they share the knowledge without a price, and this is why Allah said,
(O you who believe! Endure and be more patient, and Rabitu) 3:200.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The believers are commanded to be patient in the religion that Allah chose for them, Islam. They are not allowed to abandon it in times of comfort or hardship, ease or calamity, until they die as Muslims. They are also commanded to endure against their enemies, those who hid the truth about their religion.'' Similar explanation given by several other scholars among the Salaf.
As for Murabatah, it is to endure in acts of worship and perseverence. It also means to await prayer after prayer, as Ibn `Abbas, Sahl bin Hanif and Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi stated. Ibn Abi Hatim collected a Hadith that was also collected by Muslim and An-Nasa'i from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
(Should I tell you about actions with which Allah forgives sins and raises the grade Performing perfect ablution in unfavorable conditions, the many steps one takes to the Masajid, and awaiting prayer after the prayer, for this is the Ribat, this is the Ribat, this is the Ribat.)
They also say that the Murabatah in the above Ayah refers to battles against the enemy, and manning Muslim outposts to protect them from enemy incursions inside Muslim territory. There are several Hadiths that encourage Murabatah and mention its rewards. Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`idi said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Ribat for a day and a night is better than fasting the days of a month and its Qiyam (voluntary prayer at night). If one dies in Ribat, his regular righteous deeds that he used to perform will keep being added to his account, and he will receive his provision, and will be saved from the trials of the grave.)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Fadalah bin `Ubayd said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
(Every dead person will have his record of deeds sealed, except for whoever dies while in Ribat in the cause of Allah, for his work will keep increasing until the Day of Resurrection, and he will be safe from the trial of the grave.)
This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Sahih''. Ibn Hibban also collected this Hadith in his Sahih. fAt-Tirmidhi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
(Let the servant of the Dinar, the servant of the Dirham and the servant of the Khamisah (of clothes) perish, as he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not, he is displeased. Let such a person perish and be humiliated, and if he is pierced with a thorn, let him not find anyone to take it out for him. Paradise is for him who holds the reins of his horse, striving in Allah's cause, with his hair unkempt and feet covered with dust: if he is appointed to the vanguard, he is perfectly satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rearguard, he accepts his post with satisfaction; if he asks for permission he is not permitted, and if he intercedes, his intercession is not accepted.)
Ibn Jarir recorded that Zayd bin Aslam said, "Abu `Ubaydah wrote to `Umar bin Al-Khattab and mentioned to him that the Romans were mobilizing their forces. `Umar wrote back, `Allah will soon turn whatever hardship a believing servant suffers, to ease, and no hardship shall ever overcome two types of ease. Allah says in His Book,
(O you who believe! Endure and be more patient, and Rabitu, and have Taqwa of Allah, so that you may be successful)' 3:200."
Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir mentioned in the biography of `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, that Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Abi Sakinah said, "While in the area of Tarsus, `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak dictated this poem to me when I was greeting him goodbye. He sent the poem with me to Al-Fudayl bin `Iyad in the year one hundred and seventy, `O he who worships in the vicinity of the Two Holy Masjids! If you but see us, you will realize that you are only jesting in worship. He who brings wetness to his cheek with his tears, should know that our necks are being wet by our blood. He who tires his horses without purpose, know that our horses are getting tired in battle. Scent of perfume is yours, while our scent is the glimmer of spears and the stench of dust in battle. We were narrated about in the speech of our Prophet, an authentic statement that never lies. That the dust that erupts by Allah's horses and which fills the nostrils of a man shall never be combined with the smoke of a raging Fire. This, the Book of Allah speaks among us that the martyr is not dead, and the truth in Allah's Book cannot be denied.' I met Al-Fudayl Ibn `Iyad in the Sacred Masjid and gave him the letter. When he read it, his eyes became tearful and he said, `Abu `Abdur-Rahman (`Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak) has said the truth and offered sincere advice to me.' He then asked me, `Do you write the Hadith' I said, `Yes.' He said, `Write this Hadith as reward for delivering the letter of Abu `Abdur-Rahman to me. He then dictated, `Mansur bin Al-Mu`tamir narrated to us that Abu Salih narrated from Abu Hurayrah that a man asked, `O Messenger of Allah! Teach me a good deed that will earn me the reward of the Mujahidin in Allah's cause.' The Prophet said,
(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! Even if you were able to do it, you will not achieve the grade of the Mujahidin in Allah's cause. Did you not know that the horse of the Mujahid earns rewards for him as long as it lives.)
Allah said next,
(and have Taqwa of Allah), concerning all your affairs and situations. For instance, the Prophet said to Mu`adh when he sent him to Yemen,
Verily there are some among the people of the scripture who believe in God and what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed to them humble before God not purchasing with the verses of God a small price. Those-their wage is with their Lord. God is swift at reckoning. He means those who have been favored by a beautiful destiny-they are with the friends of God in being blessed fa-hum maʿa awliyāÌ Allāh niʿmatan just as they are with them in their destiny kamā kānū maʿahum qismatan.
(And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah…) [3:199]. Said Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah, Anas, Ibn ‘Abbas and Qatadah: “This was revealed about the Negus. When the latter died, Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, about his death on the same day he died. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions: ‘Go out and perform the prayer of the dead on one of your brothers who died in a different land’. They asked him: ‘Who is he?’ And he told them it was the Negus. Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went out to the Baqi‘ and all that was between Medina and the land of Abyssinia was revealed to him such that he saw the bed of the Negus. He performed the prayer of the dead, uttering the expression Allahu akbar [Allah is the greatest] four times, and requested forgiveness for him. He then told his Companions: ‘Request forgiveness for him!’ The hypocrites commented: ‘Look at this one, performing the prayer of the dead on a foreign Christian Abyssinian whom he has never seen and who does not even follow his religion’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ja‘far ibn Matar (by dictation)> Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn Sinan al-Wasiti> Abu Hani’ Muhammad ibn Bakkar al-Bahili> al-Mu‘tamir ibn Sulayman> Humayd> Anas who reported that the Prophet of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions: “Get up and perform the prayer of the dead on your brother the Negus”. Some of them said to others: “He is asking us to pray on a non-believer from Abyssinia!” And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah…). Mujahid, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd stated that this was revealed about all the believers of the people of the Book.