The Quran

Commentaries for 3.200

Al Imran (The family of Imran) - آل عمران

3.199-200 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
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.
لاَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً
(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,
الَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِيُؤْتُونَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ
(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,
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ
(Those to whom We gave the Book, recite it (follow it) as it should be recited (i.e. followed), they are the ones who believe therein.) 2:121,
وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ
(And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead with truth and establish justice therewith.) 7:159,
لَيْسُواْ سَوَآءً مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ أُمَّةٌ قَآئِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ءَانَآءَ الَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ
(Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer.) 3:113, and,
قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا - وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً - وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا
(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,
لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى
(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,
فَأَثَابَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِمَا قَالُواْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا
(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,
Allah said,
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,
«إِنَّ أَخًا لَكُمْ بِالْحَبَشَةِ قَدْ مَاتَ، فَصَلُّوا عَلَيْه»
(A brother of yours from Ethiopia has passed, come to offer the funeral prayer.) He went out with the Companions to the Musalla lined them up in rows, and after that led the prayer.
Ibn Abi Najih narrated that Mujahid said that,
وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ
(And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture), refers to those among them who embraced Islam. `Abbad bin Mansur said that he asked Al-Hasan Al-Basri about Allah's statement,
وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ
(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,
«ثَلَاثَةٌ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُمْ مَرَّتَيْن»
(Three persons will acquire a double reward. )
He mentioned among them,
«وَرَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ آمَنَ بِنَبِيِّهِ وَآمَنَ بِي»
(A person from among the People of the Book who believed in his Prophet and in me.)
Allah's statement,
لاَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً
(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,
أُوْلـئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
(for them is a reward with their Lord. surely, Allah is Swift in account.)
Mujahid commented on the verse,
سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
((Surely, Allah is) swift in account), "He is swift in reckoning,'' as Ibn Abi Hatim and others have recorded from him.
The Command for Patience and Ribat
Allah said,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ
(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,
«أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَا يَمْحُو اللهُ بِهِ الْخَطَايَا، وَيَرْفَعُ بِهِ الدَّرَجَاتِ؟ إِسْباغُ الوُضُوءِ عَلَى الْمَكَارِهِ، وَكَثْرَةُ الْخُطَا إِلَى الْمَسَاجِدِ، وَانْتِظَارُ الصَّلَاةِ بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاطُ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاطُ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاط»
(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,
«رِبَاطُ يَوْمٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عَلَيْهَا»
(A Day of Ribat in the cause of Allah is better than this life and all that is in it.)
Muslim recorded that Salman Al-Farisi said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«رِبَاطُ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ صِيَامِ شَهْرٍ وَقِيامِهِ، وَإِنْ مَاتَ جَرَى عَلَيْهِ عَمَلُهُ الَّذِي كَانَ يَعْمَـــــــلُهُ، وَأُجْرِيَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُــــهُ، وَأَمِنَ الْفَتَّان»
(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,
«كُلُّ مَيِّتٍ يُخْتَمُ عَلى عَمَلِهِ إِلَّا الَّذِي مَاتَ مُرَابِطًا فِي سَبِيل اللهِ،فَإِنَّهُ يَنْمِي لَهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَيَأْمَنُ فِتْنَةَ الْقَبْر»
(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,
«عَيْنَانِ لَا تَمَسُّهُمَا النَّارُ: عَيْنٌ بَكَتْ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ بَاتَتْ تَحْرُسُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله»
(Two eyes shall not be touched by the Fire: an eye that cried for fear from Allah and an eye that spent the night guarding in Allah's cause.)
Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«تَعِسَ عَبْدُالدِّينَارِ وَعَبْدُالدِّرْهَمِ وَعَبْدُالْخَمِيصَةِ، إِنْ أُعْطِيَ رَضِيَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَ سَخِطَ، تَعِسَ وَانْتَكَسَ، وَإِذَا شِيكَ فَلَا انْتَقَشَ، طُوبَى لِعَبْدٍ آخِذٍ بِعِنَانِ فَرَسِهِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، أَشْعَثَ رَأْسُهُ، مُغْبَرَّةٍ قَدَمَاهُ، إِنْ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ، إِنِ اسْتَأْذَنَ لَمْ يُؤْذَنْ لَهُ، وَإِنْ شَفَعَ لَمْ يُشَفَّع»
(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,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
(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,
«هَلْ تَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ فَلَا تَفْتُرَ،وَتَصُومَ فَلَا تُفْطِرَ؟»
(Are you able to pray continuously and fast without breaking the fast) The man said, `O Messenger of Allah! I cannot bear it.' The Prophet said,
«فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ طُوِّقْتَ ذلِكَ مَا بَلَغْتَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، أَوَ مَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ فَرَسَ الْمُجَاهِدِ لَيَسْتَنُّ فِي طِوَلِهِ، فَيُكْتَبُ لَهُ بِذلِكَ الْحَسَنَات»
(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,
وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ
(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,
«اتَّقِ اللهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ، وَأَتْبِعِ السَّيِّـئَــةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقِ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَن»
(Have Taqwa of Allah wherever you may be, follow the evil deed with a good deed and it will erase it, and deal with people in a good manner.)
Allah said next,
لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
(so that you may be successful.), in this life and the Hereafter. Ibn Jarir recorded that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that, Allah's statement,
وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
(and have Taqwa of Allah, so that you may be successful.) means, "Fear Me concerning what is between you and Me, so that you may acquire success when you meet Me tomorrow.''
The Tafsir of Surah Al `Imran ends here, all praise is due to Allah, and we ask Him that we die while on the path of the Qur'an and Sunnah, Amin.
3.200 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The word sabiru in the original Arabic Text implies two things: Show more valour in fighting for the right cause than that which the disbelievers are showing for a wrong cause." and "Vie with one another in showing valour in your fight with the disbelievers."