The Quran

Commentaries for 3.78

Al Imran (The family of Imran) - آل عمران

3.78 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And Lo! there is) of the Jews (a party of them) Ka'b and his fellow men (who distort the Scripture with their tongues) by reading the traits of the anti-Christ in their Scripture, (that ye may think) that the lowly may think (that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture. And they say: It is from Allah) in the Torah, (when it is not from Allah) in the Torah; (and they speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly) fully aware that this is not in their Scripture.
3.78 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And there is a group, a party, of them, the People of the Scripture, like Ka‘b b. al-Ashraf, who twist their tongues with the Book, altering it by reciting it not according to the way in which it was revealed, but according to the way in which they have distorted it, as in the case of the descriptions of the Prophet (s) and other similar matters; so that you may suppose it, such distortion, as part of the Book, that God revealed; yet it is not part of the Book; and they say, ‘It is from God’, yet it is not from God, and they speak falsehood against God, while they know, that they are liars.
3.78 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Jews Alter Allah's Words
Allah states that some Jews, may Allah's curses descend on them, distort Allah's Words with their tongues, change them from their appropriate places, and alter their intended meanings. They do this to deceive the ignorant people by making it appear that their words are in the Book of Allah. They attribute their own lies to Allah, even though they know that they have lied and invented falsehood. Therefore, Allah said,
وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
(and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it.)
Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that,
يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَـبِ
(who distort the Book with their tongues,) means, "They alter them (Allah's Words).''
Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah means they alter and add although none among Allah's creation can remove the Words of Allah from His Books, they alter and distort their apparent meanings. Wahb bin Munabbih said, "The Tawrah and the Injil remain as Allah revealed them, and no letter in them was removed. However, the people misguide others by addition and false interpretation, relying on books that they wrote themselves. Then,
وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ
(they say: "This is from Allah,'' but it is not from Allah;)
As for Allah's Books, they are still preserved and cannot be changed.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement. However, if Wahb meant the books that are currently in the hands of the People of the Book, then we should state that there is no doubt that they altered, distorted, added to and deleted from them. For instance, the Arabic versions of these books contain tremendous error, many additions and deletions and enormous misinterpretation. Those who rendered these translations have incorrect comprehension in most, rather, all of these translations. If Wahb meant the Books of Allah that He has with Him, then indeed, these Books are preserved and were never changed.
3.78 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Taken figuratively the Arabic Text may also imply that they turn away from the right meaning of the Book or twist the words out of Context and pervert the meaning. But the real meaning of the Text is this: while reading the Book, they twist with their tongues certain words or sentences that are against their self interest or self-invented religious beliefs or theories. Thus they change the meanings so as to mislead people into mental errors or false judgments or wrong religious beliefs. It is an irony that some people sometimes treat the Qur'an itself in the same way. For instance, those people who believe in the Holy Prophet to be superhuman twist verse 110 of chapter XVIII with their tongues and read it The first and correct reading means, "Say, (O Prophet), I also am a man like yourselves," while the second reading perverts the meaning thus: "Say, (O prophet), indeed' 1 am not a man like yourselves. "
3.78 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And there is a group of them who twist their tongues with the Book so that you may suppose it as part of the Book; yet it is not part of the Book; and they say “It is from God” yet it is not from God and they speak falsehood against God while they know. This verse alludes to those who are false in their claims on this path Ṭarīqa. They embellish what they say and let loose their tongues concerning what their hearts have no information or verification about. In this they deceive the foolish ordinary people and novices. They imagine that they have attained realization of what they say. In describing them God most high said so that you might suppose it is as part of the Book; yet it is not part of the Book. In a similar manner the lords of deception and fraud direct their talk to the weak so that the secrets of the people of realities ahl al-ḥaqāÌiq are exposed before them. God most high said and they speak falsehood against God while they know that is they know that they are speaking falsely. Thus the people of falsehood and deception on this way Ṭarīqa speak from hearts qulūb that are ruined and innermost selves asrār that are veiled. We seek refuge in God from deserving wrath.