The Quran

Commentaries for 4.51

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.51 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Hast thou not seen) have you not been informed, O Muhammad, about (those unto whom a portion of the Scripture has been given) those who have been given knowledge of the Torah in relation to your trait and attribute, the verse of stoning [married people who commit fornication], and similar other issue, namely. Malik Ibn al-Sayf and his friends who were about seventy people, (how they believe in idols) this is Huyayy Ibn Akhtab (and false deities) Ka'b Ibn Ashraf, (and bow they say of those (idolaters) who disbelieve) the unbelievers of Mecca: (“These are more rightly guided) they have a better religion (than those who believe?”) in the Qur'an and in Muhammad and his Religion.
4.51 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
The following was revealed regarding Ka‘b b. al-Ashraf and other such scholars from among the Jews, when they came to Mecca and saw those killed at Badr, and began to incite the idolaters to avenge them [their dead] by waging war against the Prophet (s): Have you not seen those who were given a share of the Book, how they believe in al-Jibt and al-Tāghūt, two idols belonging to Quraysh, and say to the disbelievers, to Abū Sufyān and his companions, when they [the latter] said to them: ‘Are we, who are the guardians of the House, who give drink to the pilgrim, offer hospitality to the guest, set free the captive, and do such and such … not more rightly guided than Muhammad, he who has contravened the religion of his forefathers, severed the ties of kinship, and abandoned the Sanctuary?’, ‘These, in other words, you, are more rightly guided, upon a more upright way, than the believers’?
4.51 Kashani - Kashani
Have you not seen, to the end [of the verse where it says]: they believe in al-Jibt and al-Ṭāghūt, by their affirmation of the existence of other [than God], and that is the way in which they lead [others] astray from religion, which is the path of the affirmation of [His] Oneness, and say, to those who have been veiled from the Truth, 'These are more rightly guided, than the affirmers of the Oneness, in their way'ḍ, since they are like them in associating [others with God], in contrast to the believers who are opposed to them in both way and goal. For when those who affirm the Oneness go astray in their way, they do not arrive at the goal which they affirmed. They are thus guilty of a subtle association (shirk) that approximates the state of those who are veiled from the Truth, those who have committed a manifest association, and thus they correspond to them and are directed towards them, claiming to be the most rightly-guided of the affirmers of Oneness, as we see is the case with certain exoterics [today] who belong to the Muslim community.
4.49-52 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Chastising and Cursing the Jews for Claiming Purity for Themselves and Believing in Jibt and Taghut
Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, "This Ayah,
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ
(Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves) was revealed about the Jews and Christians when they said, `We are Allah's children and His loved ones.''' Ibn Zayd also said, "This Ayah was revealed concerning their statement,
نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ
(We are the children of Allah and His loved ones) and their statement,
لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى
(None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian).'' This is why Allah said,
بَلِ اللَّهُ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ
(Nay, but Allah sanctifies whom He wills,) meaning, the decision in this matter is with Allah Alone, because He has perfect knowledge of the true reality and secrets of all things. Allah then said,
وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً
(And they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatil, ) meaning, He does no injustice with anyone's compensation in any part of his reward, even if it was the weight of a Fatil. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others among the Salaf said that Fatil means, "The scalish thread in the long slit of the date-stone.'' Allah said,
انظُرْ كَيفَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الكَذِبَ
(Look, how they invent a lie against Allah,) claiming purity for themselves, their claim that they are Allah's children and His loved ones, their statement;
لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى
(None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian) their statement;
لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَتٍ
(The Fire shall not touch us but for a number of days) and their reliance on the righteous deeds of their forefathers. Allah has decreed that the good actions of the fathers do not help the children, when He said,
تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم
(That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn). Allah then said,
وَكَفَى بِهِ إِثْماً مُّبِيناً
(and enough is that as a manifest sin. ) meaning, these lies and fabrications of theirs are sufficent. Allah's statement,
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيباً مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّـغُوتِ
(Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture They believe in Jibt and Taghut). Muhammad bin Ishaq said from Hassan bin Fa'id that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Jibt is sorcery and Taghut is the Shaytan.'' Abu Nasr Isma`il bin Hammad Al-Jawhari, the renowned scholar, said in his book As-Sihah, "Al-Jibt means idol, soothsayer and sorcerer.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah was asked about Taghut, and he said, "They are soothsayers upon whom the devils descend.'' Mujahid said "Taghut is a devil in the shape of man, and they refer to him for judgment.'' Imam Malik said, "Taghut is every object that is worshipped instead of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.''
Disbelievers Are not Better Guided Than Believers
Allah said,
وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَـؤُلاءِ أَهْدَى مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ سَبِيلاً
(and say to those who disbelieve, "These people are better guided on the way," than the believers.) preferring the disbelievers over Muslims, because of their ignorance, un-religious nature and disbelief in Allah's Book which is before them. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Ikrimah said, "Huyay bin Akhtab and Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf (two Jewish leaders) came to the people of Makkah, who said to them, `You (Jews) are people of the Book and knowledge, so judge us and Muhammad.' They said, `Describe yourselves and describe Muhammad.' They said, `We keep relation with kith and kin, slaughter camels (for the poor), release the indebted and provide water for the pilgrims. As for Muhammad he is without male children, he severed our relations, and the thieves who rob pilgrims (the tribe of) Ghifar follow him. So who is better, we or him' They said, `You are more righteous and better guided.' Thereafter, Allah sent down,
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيبًا
(Have you not seen those who were given a portion).'' This story was also reported from Ibn `Abbas and several others among the Salaf. Allah's Curse on the Jews This Ayah 4:52 contains a curse for the Jews and informs them that they have no supporter in this life or the Hereafter, because they sought the help of the idolators. They uttered this statement in Ayah 4:51 to lure the disbelievers into supporting them, and they ultimately gathered their forces for the battle of Al-Ahzab, forcing the Prophet and his Companions to dig a defensive tunnel around Al-Madinah. But, Allah saved the Muslims from their evil,
وَرَدَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِغَيْظِهِمْ لَمْ يَنَالُواْ خَيْراً وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الْقِتَالَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيّاً عَزِيزاً
(And Allah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage, they gained no advantage (booty). Allah sufficed for the believers in the fighting. And Allah is Ever All-Strong, All-Mighty).
4.51-57 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Literally, jibt means an unreal, baseless and useless thing. In the Islamic terminology, sorcery, magic, divination, omen-taking and the like superstitious practices are called jibt. A Tradition of the Holy Prophet says, "Taking omens from the sounds of the birds and the footmarks of the animals and all other methods of divination are jibt." Thus jibt is the equivalent of superstition.
Please refer to E.N.'s 286 and 288, Al-Baqarah.
The Jewish Rabbis had gone so low in their opposition to Islam that' they regarded the followers of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as more misguided than even the Arab Mushriks, and declared the latter to be more rightly guided though it was quite obvious to them that on one side there was the worship of One God without any tinge of shirk, and on the other, idolatry white had been. thoroughly condemned in the Bible.
That is, "Do they possess any portion of Divine Authority that they are sitting in judgment on the case to decide who is rightly guided and who is not?" "Had they any part in it, they would never have given a farthing to anyone else because they are so narrow minded that they are not even ready to acknowledge the Truth"
It may also imply: Do they possess the kingdom of a country from which others are demanding a share, and they are finding it hard to part with it? What is being demanded of them is merely the acknowledgment of the Truth, and this they are refusing on account of jealousy.
Here they are being rebuked for showing jealousy against the Holy Prophet and his followers because they were blessed with Allah's Bounty (Prophethood) for which they themselves were looking forward in spite of being unworthy of it. Instead of showing regret for their own unworthiness which caused the loss of the Bounty, they were showing resentment against the Holy Prophet who had by His Bounty brought about the greatest spiritual, moral and intellectual revolution in Arabia with its resulting leadership and greatness. It was their jealousy that was urging them to side with the mushrik, and to Criticize the Muslims.
"Mulk-i-azim " refers to the leadership and guidance of the world and to the superiority over other nations that is gained by putting into practice the knowledge and wisdom of the Divine Book.
It must be kept in mind that this is the answer to the jealous talk of the children of Israel. It implies this: "Why do you feel jealous of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) and his followers? You are the descendants of the Prophet Abraham (upon whom be peace) and so are the children of Ishmael his descendants. We promised the Prophet Abraham that We would bestow leadership of the world upon those of his descendants who would follow the Book and the Wisdom sent dawn by Us. At first We sent down the Book and the Wisdom to you, who belong to one line of his descendants, but you proved incapable of this. Now We have sent down the same to the children of Ishmael the second line of.Abraham's descendants. They have accepted it, believed in it and followed it practically. Now answer for yourselves whether you have any ground of jealousy and resentment against the children of Ishmael.
4.51-52 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Have you not seen those who were given a share of the Book how they believe in al-Jibt and al-Ṭāghūt and say to the disbelievers “These are more rightly guided than the believers”ḍ Those are the ones whom God has cursed; and he whom God has cursed you will never find for him any helper. The Ṭāghūt of each person is his lower self and his whim-the idol he seeks among that which is other than [God]. When someone pays heed to a person or looks to a reason or turns to a cause or obeys a whim that thing is his jibt and his Ṭāghūt.61 The companions of al-Jibt and al-Ṭāghūt deserve the curse which is being expelled from the carpet of service ʿubūdiyya and veiled from witnessing lordship rubūbiyya.
4.51 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities…) [4:51]. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya informed us> his father> Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Thaqafi> 'Abd al-Jabbar ibn al-'Ala'> Sufyan> 'Amr>> 'Ikrimah who said: “When Huyayy ibn Akhtab and Ka'b al-Ashraf went to the people of Mecca they were asked: 'You are people of Scripture and ancient knowledge, so tell us about us and Muhammad?' 'What do you have to do with Muhammad?' he said. They said: 'We slaughter high-humped camels, give milk on top of water for others to drink, we assist those who are wronged, we do not severe ties of kinship and give water to the pilgrims and our religion is ancient while Muhammad's religion is new'. The Jews said: 'Rather, you are better than him and more guided in your way'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities) up to His words, exalted is He, (… and he whom Allah hath cursed, thou (O Muhammad) wilt find for him no helper) [4:52]”. The commentators of the Qur'an said: “After the Battle of Uhud, Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf went to Mecca, accompanied by seventy riders, in order to ally themselves with Quraysh against the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and break the covenant which they had with Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. Ka'b was the guest of Abu Sufyan while the other Jews were accommodated in the houses of Quraysh. The people of Mecca said: 'Your are people of Scripture and Muhammad has a Scripture and we are not completely sure that this is a scheme that you devised. So if you want us to go along with you, you have to prostrate to these two idols and believe in them', hence Allah's saying (they believe in idols and false deities). Ka'b then said to the people of Mecca: 'Let there be thirty of us and thirty of you; we shall all go to the Ka'bah and cling to it and promise the Lord of the House that we will do our best to fight Muhammad'. When they finished doing that, Abu Sufyan asked Ka'b: 'You are a man who reads the Scripture and has knowledge while we are unlettered people who have no knowledge. Tell me: who is more guided in his way and closer to the truth, is it us or Muhammad?' Ka'b said: 'Tell me about your religion'. Abu Sufyan said: 'We slaughter high-humped camels for the benefit of pilgrims, we give them water to drink, we welcome the guest, assist the wronged, keep our ties of kinship un-severed, populate the House of our Lord, circumambulate around it, and we are the inhabitants of the Sacred Precinct. Muhammad, on the other hand, is someone who has left the religion of his forefathers, severed his ties of kinship and went away from the Sacred Precinct. Moreover, our religion is ancient while his is new'. Ka'b said: 'By Allah, you are more guided in your way than he is'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities), meaning Ka'b an his companions”.