The Quran

Commentaries for 5.51

Al Maida (The food) - المائدة

5.51 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe!) in Muhammad and the Qur'an. (Take not the Jews and Christians for friends) seeking their assistance and help. (They are friends one to another) He says: some are followers of the religion of others in secret and in the open, just as they are friends of each other. (He among you) O group of believers (who taketh them for friends) seeking their assistance and help (is (one) of them) in alliance and is not included in Allah's protection and safety. (Lo! Allah guideth not) to His religion and proof (wrong-doing folk) the Jews and Christians.
5.51 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
O you who have faith, take not the Jews and Christians as friends. They are friends of each other. Whoso of you takes them as a friend is one of them. Surely God does not guide the wrongdoers.
The majestic compeller, the great Lord, the knower to perfection, the exalted Possessor of Majesty, calls to His servants with a call of generosity. By way of gentleness He caresses them and in the attribute of clemency and mercy He turns the faces of their hearts away from others toward Himself. He is saying, “Do not take the stranger as friend, and do not approve of the enemy for your companionship. When you take a friend and take a companion, approve of him for the sake of God. Take the friend in God's work and approve of the companion in God's religion. When you seek the realities of faith, seek them from friendship with God's friends and enmity with the enemies of the religion.”
MuṣṬafā said, “The firmest handle of faith is love in God and hate in God.”
The enemies of the religion whose enmity is obligatory are first Satan, and second the commanding soul. The soul is harder than Satan, for Satan does not go after the faith of the faithful, but rather their disobedience. The soul, however, pulls him to unbelief and wants his unbelief. Satan flees from [the formula] “There is no power and no strength but in God,” but the soul does not flee. Joseph the sincerely truthful suffered many trials-he was thrown into the well, sold into slav-
ery, and remained in prison for years-but he never lamented the way he did at the commanding soul: “Surely the soul commands to ugliness” [12:53]. MuṣṬafā said, “Your worst enemy is the soul between your two sides.”
5.51 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O you who believe, do not take Jews and Christians as patrons, affiliating with them or showing them affection; they are patrons of each other, being united in disbelief. Whoever amongst you affiliates with them, he is one of them, counted with them. God does not guide the folk who do wrong, by affiliating with disbelievers.
5.51-53 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends
Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this,
وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ
(And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Umar ordered Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari to send him on one sheet of balance the count of what he took in and what he spent. Abu Musa then had a Christian scribe, and he was able to comply with `Umar's demand. `Umar liked what he saw and exclaimed, "This scribe is proficient. Would you read in the Masjid a letter that came to us from Ash-Sham'' Abu Musa said, `He cannot.'' `Umar said, "Is he not pure'' Abu Musa said, "No, but he is Christian.'' Abu Musa said, "So `Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, `Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).' He then recited,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends...)'' Then he reported that `Abdullah bin `Utbah said, "Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware.'' The narrator of this statement said, "We thought that he was referring to the Ayah,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, )'' Allah said,
فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ
(And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease...) A disease of doubt, hesitation and hypocrisy.
يُسَـرِعُونَ فِيهِمْ
(they hurry to their friendship,) meaning, they rush to offer them their friendship and allegiances in secret and in public,
يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌ
(saying: "We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.") They thus offer this excuse for their friendship and allegiances to the disbelievers, saying that they fear that the disbelievers might defeat the Muslims, so they want to be in favor with the Jews and Christians, to use this favor for their benefit in that eventuality! Allah replied,
فَعَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِىَ بِالْفَتْحِ
(Perhaps Allah may bring a victory...) referring to the conquering of Makkah, according to As-Suddi.
أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ
(or a decision according to His will) requiring the Jews and Christians to pay the Jizyah, as As-Suddi stated,
(Then they will become) meaning, the hypocrites who gave their friendship to the Jews and Christians, will become,
عَلَى مَآ أَسَرُّواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ
(for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves) of allegiances,
(regretful,) for their friendship with the Jews and Christians which did not benefit them or protect them from any harm. Rather, it was nothing but harm, as Allah exposed their true reality to His faithful servants in this life, although they tried to conceal it. When the signs that exposed their hypocrisy were compiled against them, their matter became clear to Allah's faithful servants. So the believers were amazed at these hypocrites who pretended to be believers, swearing to their faithfulness, yet their claims were all lies and deceit. This is why Allah said, s
وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَهُـؤُلاءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ إِنَّهُمْ لَمَعَكُمْ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ فَأَصْبَحُواْ خَـسِرِينَ
(And those who believe will say, "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you'' All that they did has been in vain, and they have become the losers.)
5.51 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends…) [5:51]. Said ‘Atiyyah al-‘Awfi: “‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit went to see the Prophet and asked him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I have numerous clients from amongst the Jews, who are ever ready to support me. However, I stand before Allah and His Messenger to absolve myself from the guardianship of the Jews. And I turn, instead, to Allah and His Messenger’. Hearing this, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy said: ‘I am a man who fears the turn of events and will not absolve myself from the guardianship of the Jews’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, then said: ‘O Abu’l-Hubab, that which you reserve to yourself of the guardianship of the Jews apart from ‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit is all yours and none of it is his’. He said: ‘I accept’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed about the two of them: (O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another) up to His saying (And thou seest those in whose heart is a disease) [5:52], i.e. ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy (race toward them) for support (saying: We fear lest a change of fortune befall us)”.