The Quran

Commentaries for 3.81

Al Imran (The family of Imran) - آل عمران

3.81 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Allah then explained His covenant with the prophets on the day of “Yes, indeed!” regarding Muhammad's traits and description, saying: (When Allah made (His) covenant with the Prophets) He says: Allah made a covenant with the prophets that they will show to one another the traits, description and merit of Muhammad, ((He said): Behold that which I have given ye) when I did give you (of the Scripture and knowledge) containing details of the lawful and the unlawful. (And) you also made a covenant with your nation that (afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming) by calling to Allah's divine Oneness (that which ye possess) of Scripture. (Ye shall believe in him) He says: you shall acknowledge him and his virtue (and ye shall help him) with the sword against his enemies and also by expositing his trait. (He said: Do ye agree?) Allah asked them whether they accepted (and will you take My burden) My covenant (in this) what I said? (They) the prophets (answered: We agree) we accept. (He) Allah (said: Then bear ye witness) of this. (I will be a witness with you) of this also. Allah thus made them witnesses of one another and He Himself is a witness. And so each prophet explained this to his nation, and each prophet made the members of his nation witnesses for each other, just as each prophet bore witness to it.
3.81 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
And when God took the compact of the prophets, “I have given you of the Book and wisdom. Then a messenger will come to you confirming what is with you. You shall surely have faith in him and you shall surely help him.”
In the whole Qur'an, there is no verse more complete in explaining the excellence of MuṣṬafā, to whom this verse is devoted without the association of anyone else. The Lord of the Worlds made two covenants with His creatures and took two compacts from them. One was the compact He took from the creatures concerning His Godhood and Enactorship, as He said: “When your Lord took from the children of Adam, from their loins, their offspring and made them bear witness concerning themselves. 'Am I not your Lord?' They said, 'Yes indeed'” [7:172]. The other is the compact He took with the angels and the prophets concerning MuḤammad's prophethood and helping him, as He says, “And when God took the compact of the prophets.” This is an utmost bestowal of eminence and a perfect acknowledgment of excellence, for He made his name great with His own name and lifted up his measure with His measure.
Several thousand years before the existence of MuḤammad, a command came, “O Gabriel! I will have a friend whose name is MuḤammad. He will be praised and caressed by Me, his name will be placed next to My name, his measure will be lifted up by My bounty, his being obeyed will be obedience to Me, his words will be My revelation, and following him will be friendship with Me. O Gabriel! You make a covenant with Me to have faith in him and help him.” This was when He said, “You shall surely have faith in him and you shall surely help him.”
Gabriel said, “O Lord, I make a covenant that my hand will be one with his hand, I will help, and I will have faith in him.”
God said, “O Gabriel! Keep to this covenant and do not oppose it.” He said, “O Lord, who would have the gall to oppose You?!”
Then He said, “O Michael! You be a witness to Gabriel's covenant.” Then in the same way He made a covenant with Michael, and He told Gabriel to be witness to Michael's covenant.
He made the same covenant with Seraphiel and Azrael. After He created Adam, He made the same covenant with Adam, and Adam accepted it. After Adam, He spoke to Seth, and Seth acceptedand so on and so forth, generation after generation. Here you have nobility and excellence! Here you have level and rank! Who else has bounty so complete? Who else has his work so well arranged? This is heavenly exaltedness and divine lustrousness!
In both darkness and limpidness unbelief and faith have
no capital city save the face and tresses of MuṣṬafā! [DS 34]
3.81 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And, mention, when God made a covenant with the prophets, ‘What (if read lamā, it would be introducing a subject clause, and emphasising the aspect of the oath in this ‘making of the covenant’; if it is read limā, it would then be connected to the verb akhadha, ‘He took’; the mā, ‘what’, is a relative particle in both cases, meaning la’lladhī [or li’lladhī respectively]) I have given you (ātaytukum, or in a variant reading, ātaynākum, ‘We have given you’) of the Book and wisdom; then there shall come to you a messenger confirming what is with you, of the Book and wisdom, and that is Muhammad (s) — you shall believe in him and you shall help him’ (this constitutes the response to the oath), if you reach his time and perceive him, and their communities [of descendants] follow them [in what is incumbent upon them]. He, God, exalted be He, said to them, ‘Do you affirm, this? And do you take, [do you] accept, My load, My covenant, on you on that condition?’ They said, ‘We affirm’. He said, ‘Then bear witness, to this before your own souls and [those of] your followers, and I shall be with you among the witnesses’, before you and them.
3.81 Kashani - Kashani
And when God made a covenant with the prophets, to the end [of the verse]: there is between prophets a pre-eternal mutual familiarity due to the fact that they are the people of the first row, knowers of God. Every [spiritual] knower knows the station of all other knowers. Their pledge from God on the basis of the covenant of His Oneness is includes all the children of Adam, as mentioned, whereas the pledge for the prophets is specific to them and to those who know them through sincere adherence [to them]. God has then made two covenants with the prophets, one of which is the one mentioned in His statement And when your Lord took from the Children of Adam … to the end of that verse [Q. 7:172]. The other is the one mentioned in His statement And when We took a pledge from the prophets, and from you, and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary. And We took from them a solemn pledge [Q. 33:7], namely, the covenant of mutual familiarity between them, the establishing of religion and not to be divided with regard to it, each one of them confirming the other, and to call [people] truthfully to the proclamation of God's Oneness and to specify that worship be to God alone and to obedience of the Prophet and that they should make each other known to their respective communities. The specificity of that [pledge for the prophets] is because to know God, exalted be He, in the form of differentiations, the veiling of attributes and the multiplicity of loci of manifestations is more intricate and more subtle than to know Him at the source of union. Those who have been provided [the capacity] to follow [prophets] sincerely know this and [know] specifically to the exclusion of others the regulations of the self-disclosures of the attributes which are the [divine] laws.
3.81-82 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Taking a Pledge From the Prophets to Believe in Our Prophet, Muhammad
Allah states that He took a pledge from every Prophet whom He sent from Adam until `Isa, that when Allah gives them the Book and the Hikmah, thus acquiring whatever high grades they deserve, then a Messenger came afterwards, they would believe in and support him. Even though Allah has given the Prophets the knowledge and the prophethood, this fact should not make them refrain from following and supporting the Prophet who comes after them. This is why Allah, the Most High, Most Honored, said
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَـقَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ لَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَـبٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ
(And (remember) when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: "Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah.'') meaning, if I give you the Book and the Hikmah,
ثُمَّ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ ءَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذلِكُمْ إِصْرِى
("and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.'' Allah said, "Do you agree (to it) and will you take up Isri'')
Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi`, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that `Isri' means, "My covenant.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq said that,
إِصْرِى
(Isri) means, "The responsibility of My covenant that you took,'' meaning, the ratified pledge that you gave Me.
قَالُواْ أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُواْ وَأَنَاْ مَعَكُمْ مِّنَ الشَّـهِدِينَفَمَنْ تَوَلَّى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ
(They said: "We agree.'' He said: "Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses.'' then whoever turns away after this,'') from fulfilling this pledge and covenant, c
فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْفَـسِقُونَ
(they are the rebellious.) `Ali bin Abi Talib and his cousin `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, "Allah never sent a Prophet but after taking his pledge that if Muhammad were sent in his lifetime, he would believe in and support him.'' Allah commanded each Prophet to take a pledge from his nation that if Muhammad were sent in their time, they would believe in and support him. Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said, "Allah took the pledge from the Prophets that they would believe in each other'', and this statement does not contradict what `Ali and Ibn `Abbas stated.
Therefore, Muhammad is the Final Prophet until the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest Imam, who if he existed in any time period, deserves to be obeyed, rather than all other Prophets. This is why Muhammad led the Prophets in prayer during the night of Isra' when they gathered in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). He is the intercessor on the Day of Gathering, when the Lord comes to judge between His servants. This is Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud (the praised station) refer to 17:79 that only Muhammad deserves, a responsibility which the mighty Prophets and Messengers will decline to assume. However, Muhammad will carry the task of intercession, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.
3.81-82 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
It implies this: "You people of the Book are bound by the Covenant of your own Prophets to believe in and help Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) for we entered into a compact with every Prophet to the effect that they (and their followers by implication) must help every Prophet sent by Us for the preaching and the establishment of the way of life for which they had been appointed. Therefore you should not have any prejudice against him, nor consider religion as your own monopoly; you should not oppose the Truth but come under the banner of anyone who raises it for this purpose.
It is interesting to note that according to Palmer (The Koran), "the Talmudic sources confirm that God assembled all past, present, and future Prophets on Mount Sinai and entered into the compact mentioned in the text."
In this connection it should also be clearly understood that this compact was taken from every Prophet before the advent of Hadrat Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him); therefore every Prophet informed his followers about the Prophet coming after him and told them to follow him. But there is no mention in the Qur'an or in the Traditions that any such compact was taken from the Holy Prophet: nor did he inform his followers about the coming of any Prophet after him and believing in him. On the contrary, he categorically declared that he was the last in the line of Prophets.
This implies that the people of the Book were breaking their covenant with Allah by rejecting Prophet Muhammad (God's peace be upon him) and opposing his mission; they were disregarding that covenant which their Prophets had made with Allah. Hence they were perverted transgressors who had gone beyond the limits imposed by Allah.
3.81 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And when God made a covenant with the prophets: “What I have given you of the Book and wisdom; then there shall come to you a messenger confirming what is with you-you shall believe in him and you shall help him.” He said to them “do you affirmḍ And do you take My load on you on that conditionḍ” They said “We affirm.” He said “Then bear witness and I shall be with you among the witnesses.” God made a covenant regarding Muḥammad ﷺ [that was] binding on all the [other] prophets عليه السلام just as He made a covenant with them to agree to His سبحانه lordship. This is the utmost honoring of the Messenger ﷺ since He connected [Muḥammad's] name with His own and affirmed his worth just as He affirmed His own. So [Muḥammad] is singular in rank among all people and [God] has eased the way for all to know His majesty through the miracle that appeared to [Muḥammad].