And for their disbelief, a second time, in Jesus (the bā’ [of bi-kufrihim, ‘for their disbelief’] is repeated in order to separate it [‘their disbelief’ in Jesus] from what is supplemented to it [‘their utterance against Mary’]) and their uttering against Mary a tremendous calumny, when they accused her of fornication.
The sins mentioned here are among the many sins that the Jews committed, which caused them to be cursed and removed far away from right guidance. The Jews broke the promises and vows that Allah took from them, and also rejected Allah's Ayat, meaning His signs and proofs, and the miracles that they witnessed at the hands of their Prophets. Allah said,
وَقَتْلِهِمُ الاٌّنْبِيَآءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ
(and their killing the Prophets unjustly,) because their many crimes and offenses against the Prophets of Allah, for they killed many Prophets, may Allah's peace be upon them Their saying:
("Our hearts are Ghulf,'') meaning, wrapped with covering, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi and Qatadah. This is similar to the what the idolators said,
(And they say: "Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us.'') Allah said,
بَلْ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا بِكُفْرِهِمْ
(nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief,) It is as if they had given an excuse that their hearts do not understand what the Prophet says since their hearts are wrapped with coverings, so they claim. Allah said that their hearts are sealed because of their disbelief, as we mentioned before in the explanation of Surat Al-Baqarah. Allah then said,
فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً
(so they believe not but a little.) for their hearts became accustomed to Kufr, transgression and weak faith.
The Evil Accusation the Jews Uttered Against Maryam and Their Claim that They Killed `Isa
(And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam a grave false charge.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas stated that the Jews accused Maryam of fornication.This is also the saying of As-Suddi, Juwaybir, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others. This meaning is also apparent in the Ayah, as the Jews accused Maryam and her son of grave accusations: They accused her of fornication and claimed that `Isa was an illegitimate son. Some of them even claimed that she was menstruating while fornicating. May Allah's continued curse be upon them until the Day of Resurrection. The Jews also said,
("We killed Al-Masih, `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,'') meaning, we killed the person who claimed to be the Messenger of Allah. The Jews only uttered these words in jest and mockery, just as the polytheists said,
(O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur'an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah's curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah's leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and bellied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah's Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king's subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king's deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, "Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise'' A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, "Well then, you will be that man.'' Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep. Allah said,
(And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.'') When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur'an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said,
(and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.) referring to the Jews who claimed to kill `Isa and the ignorant Christians who believed them. Indeed they are all in confusion, misguidance and bewilderment. This is why Allah said,
وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِيناً
(For surely; they killed him not.) meaning they are not sure that `Isa was the one whom they killed. Rather, they are in doubt and confusion over this matter.
(But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful,) meaning, He is the Almighty, and He is never weak, nor will those who seek refuge in Him ever be subjected to disgrace,
(All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah's is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.' He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)' One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,' and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa's followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.' Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.' The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad.'' This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa'i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise.
All Christians Will Believe in `Isa Before He Dies
(And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.) Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented,
(And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death.) before the death of `Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon him. Al-`Awfi reported similar from Ibn `Abbas. Abu Malik commented;
إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ
(but must believe in him, before his death.) "This occurs after `Isa returns and before he dies, as then, all of the People of the Scriptures will believe in him.''
The Hadiths Regarding the Descent of `Isa Just Before the Day of Judgement, and his Mission
In the chapter about the Prophets in his Sahih, under, "The Descent of `Isa, Son of Maryam,'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah. Then there will be an abundance of wealth and nobody will accept charitable gifts any more. At that time, one prostration will be better for them than this life and all that is in it.) Abu Hurayrah then said, "Read if you will,
(And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.)'' Muslim recorded this Hadith. So, Allah's statement,
(before his death) refers to the death of `Isa, son of Maryam.
Another Hadith by Abu Hurayrah
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(`Isa, son of Maryam, will descend and will kill the pig, break the cross, lead the prayer in congregation and give away wealth until it is no longer accepted by anyone. He will also abolish the Jizyah and go to Ar-Rawha' from where he will go to perform Hajj, `Umrah or both.) Abu Hurayrah then recited,
(And there is none of the People of the Scripture, but must believe in him, before his death.) Hanzalah said, "Abu Hurayrah added, `Will believe in `Isa before `Isa dies,' but I do not know if this was a part of the Prophet's Hadith or if it was something that Abu Hurayrah said on his own. '' Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this Hadith.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one. I, more than any of mankind, have more right to `Isa, son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between him and I. He will descend, and if you see him, know him. He is a well-built man, (the color of his skin) between red and white. He will descend while wearing two long, light yellow garments. His head appears to be dripping water, even though no moisture touched it. He will break the cross, kill the pig, and banish the Jizyah and will call the people to Islam. During his time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam and Allah will destroy Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah). Safety will then fill the earth, so much so that the lions will mingle with camels, tigers with cattle and wolves with sheep. Children will play with snakes, and they will not harm them. `Isa will remain for forty years and then will die, and Muslims will offer the funeral prayer for him.) Abu Dawud also recorded it.
n his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah related to the Messenger of Allah that he said,
(The (Last) Hour will not start until the Romans occupy Al-A`maq or Dabiq. An army, comprised of the best of the people of the earth then, will come from Al-Madinah and challenge them. When they camp face to face, the Romans will say, `Let us fight those who captured some of us.' The Muslims will say, `Nay! By Allah, we will never let you get to our brothers.' They will fight them. A third of the (Muslim) army will flee in defeat, and those are the ones whom Allah will never forgive. Another third will be killed, and those are the best martyrs before Allah. The last third will be victorious, and this third will never be stricken with Fitnah, and they will capture Constantinople (Istanbul). While they are dividing war booty, after hanging their swords on olive trees, Shaytan will shout among them, saying, `Al-Masih (Ad-Dajjal) has cornered your people'. They will leave to meet Ad-Dajjal in Ash-Sham. This will be a false warning, and when they reach Ash-Sham, Ad-Dajjal will then appear. When the Muslims are arranging their lines for battle and the prayer is called for, `Isa, son of Maryam, will descend and lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah (the False Messiah) sees him, he will dissolve just as salt dissolves in water, and if any of him were left, he would continue dissolving until he died. Allah will kill him with the hand of `Isa and will show the Muslims his blood on his spear.) Muslim recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The Hour will not start, until after the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them. The Jew will hide behind a stone or tree, and the tree will say, `O Muslim! O servant of Allah! This is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Except Al-Gharqad, for it is a tree of the Jews.) Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj recorded in his Sahih that An-Nawwas bin Sam`an said, "The Messenger of Allah, mentioned Ad-Dajjal one day and kept belittling him (because being blind, yet claiming to be Allah) and speaking in grave terms about him until we thought that he was hiding in gardens of date-trees (in Al-Madinah). When we went by the Messenger, he sensed this anxiety in us and said,
(What is the matter with you) We said, `O Messenger of Allah! Earlier, you mentioned Ad-Dajjal and while belittling him you spoke gravely about him until we thought that he was hiding in gardens of date-trees (of Al-Madinah).' He said,
(I fear other than Ad-Dajjal for you! If he appears while I am still among you, I will be his adversary on your behalf. If he appears while I am not among you, each one will depend on himself and Allah will be the Helper of every Muslim after me. He is young, with very curly hair and his eye is smashed. I thought that he looked like `Abdul-`Uzza bin Qatan. Whoever lives long and meets Ad-Dajjal, then let him recite the beginnings of Surat Al-Kahf. He will appear on a pass between Ash-Sham (Syria) and Al-`Iraq. He will wreak havoc to the right and left. O Servants of Allah! Hold fast.) We said, `O Messenger of Allah! How long will he stay on earth' He said,
(Forty days: One day as long as a year, one day as long as a month and one day as long as a week. The rest of his days will be as long as one of your ordinary days.) We said, `O Messenger of Allah! As for the day that is like a year, will the prayers of one day suffice for it' He said,
«لَا، اقْدُرُوا لَهُ قَدْرَه»
(No. Count for its due measure.) We said, `O Messenger of Allah, how will his speed be on earth' He said,
(Like the storm when driven by the wind. He will come to a people and will call them (to his worship), and they will believe in him and accept his call. He will order the sky and it will rain, the land and it will grow (vegetation). Their cattle will return to them with their hair the longest, their udders the fullest (with milk) and their stomachs the fattest. He will come to a different people and will call them (to his worship), and they will reject his call. He will then leave them. They will wake up in the morning destitute, missing all of their possessions. He will pass by a deserted land and will say to it, `Bring out your treasures', and its treasures will follow him just like swarms of bees. He will summon a man full of youth and will strike him with the sword once and will cut him into two pieces (and will separate between them like) the distance (between the hunter and) the game. He will call the dead man and he will come, and his face will radiant with pleasure and laughter. Afterwards (while all this is happening with Ad-Dajjal), Allah will send Al-Masih (`Isa), son of Maryam down. He will descend close to the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will be wearing garments lightly colored with saffron and his hands will be placed on the wings of two angels. Whenever he lowers his head droplets fall. Whenever he raises his head, precious stones that look like pearls fall. No disbeliever can survive `Isa's breath, which reaches the distance of his sight. He will pursue Ad-Dajjal and will follow him to the doors of (the Palestinian city of) Ludd where he will kill him. A group of people who, by Allah's help, resisted and survived Ad-Dajjal, will pass by `Isa and he will anoint their faces and inform them about their grades in Paradise. Shortly afterwards, while this is happening with `Isa, Allah will reveal to him, `I raised a people of My creation that no one can fight. Therefore, gather My servants to At-Tur (the mountain of Musa in Sinai).' Then, Allah will raise Gog and Magog and they will swiftly swarm from every mound. Their front forces will reach Lake Tabariah (Sea of Galilee) and will drink all its water. The last of their forces will say as they pass by the lake, `This lake once had water!'
Meanwhile, `Isa, Allah's Prophet, will be cornered along with his companions until the head of a bull will be more precious to them than a hundred Dinars to you today. `Isa, Allah's Prophet, and his companions will invoke Allah for help and Allah will send An-Naghaf (a worm) into the necks of Gog and Magog! The morning will come, and they will all be dead as if it was the death of one soul. Afterwards, `Isa, the Prophet of Allah, will come down with his companions to the low grounds (from Mount At-Tur). They will find that no space of a hand-span on the earth was free of their fat and rot (rotten corpses). `Isa, the Prophet of Allah, and his companions will seek Allah in supplication. Allah will send birds as large as the necks of camels. They will carry them (the corpses of Gog and Magog) and will throw them wherever Allah wills. Afterwards, Allah will send rain that no house made of mud or animal hair will be saved from, and it will cleanse the earth until it is as clean as a mirror. The earth will be commanded (by Allah), `Produce your fruits and regain your blessing.' Then, the group will eat from a pomegranate and will take shelter under the shade of its skin. Milk will be blessed, so much so that the milk-producing camel will yield large amounts that suffice for a large group of people. Meanwhile, Allah will send a pure wind that will overcome Muslims from under their arms and will take the soul of every believer and Muslim. Only the evildoers among people will remain. They will indulge in shameless public sex like that of donkeys. On them, the Hour will begin.)
Imam Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan also recorded this Hadith. We will mention this Hadith again using the chain of narration collected by Ahmad explaining Allah's statement in Surat Al-Anbiya' (chapter 21),
حَتَّى إِذَا فُتِحَتْ يَأْجُوجُ وَمَأْجُوجُ
(Until, when Ya`juj and Ma`juj (Gog and Magog people) are let loose (from their barrier).) In our time, in the year seven hundred and forty-one, a white minaret was built in the Umayyad Masjid (in Damascus) made of stone, in place of the minaret that was destroyed by a fire which the Christians were suspected to have started. May Allah's continued curses descend on the Christians until the Day of Resurrection. There is a strong feeling that this minaret is the one that `Isa will descend on, according to this Hadith.
Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Ya`qub bin `Asim bin `Urwah bin Mas`ud Ath-Thaqafi said, "I heard `Abdullah bin `Amr saying to a man who asked him, `What is this Hadith that you are narrating You claim that the Hour will start on such and such date.' He said, `Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah),' or he said, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' I almost decided to never narrate anything to anyone. I only said, "Soon, you will witness tremendous incidents, the House (the Ka`bah) will be destroyed by fire, and such and such things will occur.'' He then said, `The Messenger of Allah said,
(Ad-Dajjal will appear in my nation and will remain for forty. (The narrator doubts whether it is forty days, months, or years).Then, Allah will send down `Isa, son of Maryam, looking just like `Urwah bin Mas`ud and he will seek Ad-Dajjal and will kill him. People will remain for seven years with no enmity between any two. Allah will send a cool wind from As-Sham that will leave no man on the face of the earth who has even the weight of an atom of good or faith, but will capture (his soul). Even if one of you takes refuge in the middle of a mountain, it will find him and capture (his soul). Afterwards, only the most evil people will remain. They will be as light as birds, with the comprehension of beasts. They will not know or enjoin righteousness or forbid or know evil. Shaytan will appear to them and will say to them, `Would you follow me.' They will say, `What do you command us' He will command them to worship the idols. Meanwhile, their provision will come to them in abundance and their life will be good. Then the Trumpet will be blown and every person who hears it, will lower one side of his head and raise the other side (trying to hear that distant sound). The first man who will hear the Trumpet is someone who is preparing the water pool for his camels, and he and the people will swoon away. Allah will send down heavy rain and the bodies of people will grow with it. The Trumpet will be blown in again and the people will be resurrected and looking all about, staring. It will be said to them, `O people! Come to your Lord,'
وَقِفُوهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ مَّسْئُولُونَ
(But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned.)
«ثم يقال: أخرجوا بعث النار، فيقال: من كم؟ فيقال: من كل ألف تسعمائة وتسعة وتسعين، قال: فذلك يوم»
(It will then be said, `Bring forth the share of the Fire.' It will be asked, `How many' It will be said, `From every one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.' That Day is when,)
يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَنَ شِيباً
(the children will turn grey-headed,) and,
يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ
(The Day when the Shin shall be laid bare).)''
The Description of `Isa, upon him be Peace
As mentioned earlier, `Abdur-Rahman bin Adam narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
(If you see `Isa, know him. He is a well-built man, (the color of his skin) between red and white. He will descend while wearing light yellow garments. His head looks like it is dripping water, even though no moisture touched it.) In the Hadith that An-Nawwas bin Sam`an narrated,
(He will descend close to the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will be wearing two garments lightly colored with saffron, having his hands on the wings of two angels. Whenever he lowers his head, drops will fall off of it. Whenever he raises his head, precious jewels like pearls will fall off of it. No disbeliever can survive `Isa's breath, and his breath reaches the distance of his sight.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي لَقِيتُ مُوسَى»
(I met Musa on the night of my Ascension to heaven.) The Prophet then described him saying, as I think,
(`I met `Isa.' The Prophet described him saying, `He was of moderate height and was red-faced as if he had just come out of a bathroom. I saw Ibrahim whom I resembled more than any of his children did.') Al-Bukhari recorded that Mujahid said that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I saw Musa, `Isa and Ibrahim. `Isa was of red complexion and had curly hair and a broad chest. Musa was of brown complexion and had straight hair and a tall stature, as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Ibrahim said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "The Prophet once mentioned the False Messiah (Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal) to people, saying,
(In a dream, I was at the Ka`bah and Allah made me see a light - colored man, a color that is as beautiful as a light - colored man could be, with combed hair that reached his shoulders. His hair was dripping water, and he was leaning on the shoulders of two men while circling the Ka`bah. I asked, `Who is this man' I was told, `This is the Al-Masih, son of Maryam.' Behind him, I saw a man with very curly hair who was blind in his right eye. He looked exactly as Ibn Qatan, and he was leaning on the shoulder of a man while circling the House. I asked, `Who is this man' I was told, `He is Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal.') Al-Bukhari recorded that Salim said that his father said, "No, By Allah! The Prophet did not say that `Isa was of red complexion but said,
(While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka`bah (in my dream), I suddenly saw a man of brown complexion and ample hair walking between two men with water dripping from his head. I asked, `Who is this' The people said, `He is the son of Maryam.' Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye, which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, `Who is this' They replied, `He is Ad-Dajjal.' The person he most resembled is Ibn Qatan.)'' Az-Zuhri commented that Ibn Qatan was a man from the tribe of Khuza`ah who died during the time of Jahiliyyah. This is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Allah's statement,
وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً
(And on the Day of Resurrection, he (`Isa) will be a witness against them) Qatadah said, "He will bear witness before them that he has delivered the Message from Allah and that he is but a servant of His.'' In a similar statement in the end of Surat Al-Ma'idah,
(And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men...'') until,
(Almighty, the All-Wise.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is in continuation of the theme under discussion.
The calumny against Mary concerning the birth of Jesus has been declared here as "disbelief" because it was not directed against the person of innocent Mary or her son but against Jesus Christ, the Messenger of God. The Jews had absolutely no ground for suspicion about his miraculous birth without father, because God had caused the whole Community to stand as witness to the miracle. When Virgin Mary, who belonged to the noble and well-known religious family of the Israelites, came home with the new-born child, a large crowd gathered there and demanded an explanation from her. But she simply pointed to the child. The crowd could not understand how a child in the cradle could speak, but to their utter astonishment, the child began to speak clearly and fluently and addressing the crowd, he declared, "I am Allah's servant: Allah has given me the Book and made me a Prophet." (Maryam, XIX : 30) Thus Allah cut at the very root of the slander about his birth. That is why none ever accused Mary of fornication nor taunted Jesus with being an illegitimate son until he stained his maturity. But when at the age of thirty, he started his mission to invite the people to the way of God and rebuked the Jews for their evil deeds and exposed the hypocrisies of their scholars and jurists and warned the whole community of the consequences of moral degradation, they turned against him. Instead of accepting his message and making sacrifices for the cause of God, and reforming their evil ways, these impudent and unscrupulous criminals resorted to all sorts of dirty tricks and devilish designs to suppress the voice of Truth. It was then that they made that monstrous calumny which they had never uttered before during the previous thirty years of his life, because they knew it for certain that Mary and her son were absolutely free from this taint. Thus their calumny, in fact, was not due to any real suspicion, which they might be harboring in their hearts, but it was a pure calumny, which they deliberately invented for opposing the Truth. That is why Allah declared it to be disbelief instead of wickedness and falsehood, for their real aim by this accusation was to hinder the people from the Way of God and not merely to slander an innocent lady.
The fact that they bragged of slaying Jesus, knowing him to be a Messenger of God, shows how bold they had become in their crimes. We have shown in the previous Note that the miracle of his speech in the cradle had let no doubt whatsoever to remain in the minds of the Jews about his Prophethood. Then the clear signs that they witnessed from him (III : 49) were a conclusive proof that he was really a Prophet of God. Therefore their wicked behavior towards him was not the result of any misunderstanding about his Prophethood, but was an intentional crime against the one who had been appointed by Allah as Messenger.
Though it appears very strange that a community should slay a person whom they know to be and acknowledge a Prophet of Allah, yet it is so, for the ways of wicked communities are strange. They cannot and do not tolerate a person who criticizes them for their evil ways and prohibits unlawful things. Such people, even though they be the Prophets of Allah, have always been persecuted, imprisoned and slain by their own wicked people.
As a proof thereof, the following is quoted from the Talmud: "When the city (Jerusalem) had been captured, Nebuchadnezzar marched with the princes and officers of the Temple...... On one of the walls he found the mark of an arrow's head as though somebody had been killed or hit nearby, and he asked who was killed there.
"Zachariah, the son of Yehoyadah, the high priest", answered the people. "He rebuked us incessantly on account of our transgressions and we were tired of his words and put him to death."
Even according to the Bible, when the Prophet Jeremiah rebuked the Jews on account of their transgressions, they accused him of being in conspiracy with the Chaldeans and traitor against his people and sent him to prison. Likewise had the Jews treated John the Baptist a couple of years before the crucifixion of the Prophet Jesus. They counted John as a Prophet and acknowledged him as one of the most righteous men of their community, but when he criticized Herod (the ruler of Judea) for his evil ways, he was not tolerated. He was first sent to prison, then beheaded on the demand of Herod's beloved, the dancing girl.
It is, therefore, obvious from their record that when they presumed that they had crucified Jesus Christ, they bragged: "We have slain a Messenger of Allah. "
This is another parenthesis.
This verse is explicit on the point that the Prophet Jesus Christ was rescued from crucifixion and that the Christians and the Jews are both wrong in believing that he died on the cross. A comparative study of the Qur'an and the Bible shows that most probably it was Jesus himself who stood his trial in the court of Pilate, who sentenced him to death, but they could not kill or crucify him, for Allah raised him to Himself.
This is what happened, Pilate knew fully well that Christ was innocent and had been brought in his court out of jealousy. So he asked the crowd whether Jesus Christ should be released on the occasion of the Festival or Barabbas, a notorious robber. But the high priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas and for the crucifixion of Jesus. After this, God, Who can do any and everything He wills, raised Jesus to Himself and rescued him from crucifixion and the one who was crucified afterwards was somehow or other taken for Chris. Nevertheless, his miraculous escape does not lessen the wicked crime of the Jews, because they knew it well that the one, whom they crowned with a crown of thorns, and on whose face they spat and whom they crucified with disgrace was Christ, the son of Mary. As regards the matter how "it was made doubtful for them" that they had crucified Jesus, we have no means of ascertaining. Therefore it is not right to base on mere guess-work and rumors an answer to the question how the Jews were made to believe that they had crucified him, whereas in fact, Jesus, the son of Mary, had escaped from them.
"Those who have differed": the Christians. They do not agree in their versions of crucifixion. The very fact that they offer so many different accounts of the matter is by itself a proof that they possess no definite knowledge of it and are, therefore, in doubt about it. One version is that the person who was crucified was not Jesus but someone who bore his likeness, whom the Jews and the Romans had disgracefully put on the cross, while Jesus was standing nearby and laughing at their folly. Another version is that the one who was nailed to the cross was Jesus, but he did not die on the cross and was alive when he was taken down from it. Some others say that he died on the cross but came to life afterwards and met his disciples more than ten times and talked to them. Still others say that death due to crucifixion occurred on the physical body of Jesus and he was buried but the Divine Spirit within him was raised. There are still others who say that after his death Jesus came to life with his body and was raised with his body. Obviously, if the Christians had any knowledge of the truth, they would not have given so many different versions of it.
Here Allah has told the fact of the matter. The Qur'an explicitly states that the Jews did not succeed in putting Jesus to death and that Allah raised him to Himself, but it is silent about the nature and details of the matter and does neither say explicitly whether Allah raised him body and soul together from the earth to some place in heaven, nor that he died like other mortals and only his soul was raised to heaven. Therefore, on the basis of the Qur'an neither aspect can be definitely denied or affirmed. But a study of the style clearly shows that whatever be the nature of being raised in any case Allah certainly treated the Prophet Jesus in an extraordinary way. The following considerations lead to the conclusion that the incident was extraordinary:
First, the belief in the ascension of the Prophet Jesus, body and soul together, was already prevalent among the Christians, and was one of the causes which misled a large section of them to believe in his divinity. But, in spite of it, the Qur'an not only has not clearly refuted it but has used the same word "ascension" for the incident that the Christians use for it. Had it not been an extraordinary incident factually the Qur'an would not have used such ambiguous words as help support a doctrine of the divinity of Jesus.
Second, had Allah meant by the words used in verse 158 that "Allah caused his death", or that "Allah raised him in rank", more explicit words would have been used. In the first case, more appropriate words would be: "No doubt they did not slay him nor crucified him but Allah rescued him alive from them and then gave him natural death", and in the second: "The Jews intended to dishonor him by crucifixion, but Allah raised him very high in rank", as have been used in tire case of the Prophet Idris: "And We raised him to a high position". (Maryam, XlX : 57).
Third, if the incident related here meant merely the natural death of Christ, the words, "And Allah is All-Powerful and All-Wise", after it would be meaningless. These words can be appropriately used only in connection with some extraordinary manifestation of the power and wisdom of Allah.
The only argument that can be cited in support of the interpretation of verse 158 that Jesus died a natural death is the use of the word mutawaffika in verse 55 of Al-`Imran, in connection with the incident. But as we have explained in the corresponding E.N. 51, the word is not explicit in the meaning of natural death but can be applied both to take the soul and to take the body and soul together. As there is scope for both the interpretations in this word, its use cannot refute the above mentioned arguments against the meaning: "Allah caused his death". Those who insist on this interpretation argue that there is no other instance in which tawaffa might have been used for the seizure of both body and soul together. This is meaningless, for this is the only incident of its kind in the whole human history. The only thing to be considered is whether this word may lexically be used in this sense or not. If it can be used, we have to face the question: Why does the Qur'an not use a direct word for death instead of a word which is liable to support the doctrine of Ascension, which its turn, has given rise to the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus'? The use of this word is a clear proof that there was something extraordinary about the incident. Above all, the doctrine of Ascension is further strengthened by the Traditions according to which the Prophet Jesus, son of Mary, will come again to the earth before the Resurrection and fight the Dajjal. (These Traditions have been cited in the Appendix to the commentary of Surah Al Ahzab). These categorically prove the second coming of Jesus. Therefore, it would be snore rational to believe that he is living somewhere in the universe before this second coming than that he lies dead and buried somewhere before his advent.
This has been interpreted in two ways and both are likely. (Here by the people of the Book are meant the Jews and may also be the Christians). According to the first interpretation, as adopted in the Translation, it means: "All the people of the Book, alive at the time of the natural death of Christ, will have believed in him, that is, in his Prophethood." The second interpretation of "There shall be none among the people of the Book but will believe in him before his death" is that all the people of the Book before their death do realize and believe that Christ is really a Messenger of God, though that belief will be of no avail at the time. Both these interpretations have been put forward by several Companions and their followers and renowned commentators, but its real meaning is only known to Allah.
That is, "In the court of God, Christ will give testimony against the Jews and the Christians that they rejected, neglected and distorted the Message brought by him." Some details of this testimony are given in vv. 116-117 of AI Ma'idah.
The main theme that was broken by the parenthesis, which ends here, has been resumed
It is an irony that the Jews, who possessed a Divine Book and the heritage of the Prophets, should not only have themselves discarded the way of God but also frequently stood in the way of God. It is a fact that they have always been opposing and placing obstacles in the way of those movements that have ever been started for the promulgation of the Truth and have been starting or helping start movements against the way of God. Their latest crime in this connection is Communism which has for the first time in history based a system of life and a system of government on the deliberate and explicit denial of God in open opposition to His Law for the eradication God-worship as its declared aims. The author of another perverted doctrine of the modern age, Freudianism, which has helped mislead the people from the way of Allah, is also a Jew.
Here is the Biblical law that clearly prohibits interest: "If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury."
"If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that time the sun goeth down:
For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear: for I am gracious." (Exodus 22 : 25-27).
Besides this, interest has also been prohibited at several other places in the Torah, but in spite of these prohibitive decrees, the Jews, who profess to believe in the same Torah, are the biggest usurers in the world and have become proverbially notorious for their narrow-mindedness and hard-heartedness.
Probably this refers to the same thing that occurs in AI-An`am, V 1:146, that is, all animals with claws, and the fat of sheep and oxen were forbidden to the Jews. Besides this, possibly it may also refer to the restrictions and hardships which are contained in the law books composed by their own Jurists. Indeed, it is a great punishment that the bounds of life should be narrowed for any community. (For details please see E.N. 122, Al-An`am).
History bears witness to the exemplary punishment that Allah has prepared for those Jews who have discarded the Divine Faith and given up obedience to Allah and adopted the attitude of disbelief and rebellion. For the last two thousand years, they have never possessed a place where they could live with honor. They have been scattered all over the world and are treated like foreigners and disgracefully, cruelly and oppressively in one country or the other, and there is no place in the world, where they are sincerely respected, in spite of their great wealth. Above all, this community has remained a living object lesson for the other nations, for it has been kept in existence in spite of its degradation, whereas other nations are exterminated when they become worthless. Thus Allah is causing them to taste in this very world a bit of the torment of Hell where the evil-doers "will neither be in a state of death nor in a state of life." This is because they have been showing the audacity of rebelling against Allah while they were at the same time carrying the Book of Allah with them. As regards punishment in the Hereafter, it may safely be predicted that it shall be much more painful than this. In order to remove any misunderstanding that might arise regarding the existence of the State of Israel, it will be worthwhile to refer to v. 112 of Al-`Imran, and the corresponding E.N.90.
The reference is to those learned Jews who are fully acquainted with the real nature of the Divine Books, who are just, fair and free from every kind of prejudice, obduracy and self-worship, who do not blindly follow their fore-fathers but readily accept the Truth that they learn from the revealed Books. Therefore they are able to recognize easily that the teachings of the Qur'an are the same as were taught by the former Prophets, and then sincerely believe in both.
And for their disbelief and their uttering against Mary a tremendous calumny. To transgress the limit is error just as it is error to diminish or subtract from the truth. Some people slandered Mary and accused her of fornication. Others transgressed the limit in a terrible calumny saying her son was the son of God. Both of these groups fell into error. It is said that Mary [عليه السلام] was a friend waliyya of God through whom two groups become miserable: those who exceed all bounds ahl al-ifrāṬ and those who fall short ahl al-tafrīṬ. This is also how it is with His friends-those who reject [the friends] suffer from their lack of respect for them and those who believe things about [the friends] that cannot be said of them suffer from their excessive adulation of them. This is something that most of the great ones have had to endure.