The Quran

Commentaries for 5.57

Al Maida (The food) - المائدة

5.57 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe! Choose not for friends) seeking their assistance and help (such of those who received the Scripture before you) the Jews and Christians, (and of the disbelievers) the rest of the disbelievers, (as make a jest) a pleasantry (and sport) a joke and falsehood (of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah) fear Allah if you were to take them for friends (if ye are true believers).
5.57 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O you who believe, do not take as patrons those who take your religion in mockery, [as something] to be mocked, and as a game, from among (min is explicative) those who were given the Scripture before you and [from among] the disbelievers (read al-kuffāri or al-kuffāra), the idolaters — and fear God, by refraining from affiliating with them, if you are believers, [if you are] truthful in your faith.
5.57-58 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Prohibition of Being Loyal Friends with Disbelievers
This Ayah discourages and forbids taking the enemies of Islam and its people, such as the People of the Book and the polytheists, as friends. These disbelievers mock the most important acts that any person could ever perform, the honorable, pure acts of Islam which include all types of good for this life and the Hereafter. They mock such acts and make them the subject of jest and play, because this is what these acts represent in their misguided minds and cold hearts. Allah said;
مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ
(from those who received the Scriptures before you and (nor) the disbelievers...) This is to clarify the particular category (of disbelievers). As Allah said,
فَاجْتَنِبُواْ الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الاٌّوْثَـنِ
(So shun the evil of the idols...) 22:30 So some recited it "Kuffari'', making it an object of the preposition, and others recited it "Kuffara'', making it a predicate noun;
لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
(Take not as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you...) with the meaning of "nor'',
وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ
(nor the disbelievers as friends) That is, do not take these people nor those people as friends. The meaning here of "Kuffar'' disbelievers is idolators. Similarly, Ibn Jarir recorded that in the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud in place of "Kuffar'' he recited it: "and those who commit Shirk. Allah's statement,
وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
(And have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.) means, fear Allah and do not take the enemies of you and your religion as friends, if you believe in Allah's Law and religion that these people mocked and jested about. Allah said in another Ayah,
لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
(Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.)
The Disbelievers Mock the Prayer and the Adhan
Allah said,
وَإِذَا نَـدَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً
(And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun;) When you proclaim the Adhan for the prayer, which is the best action there is, for those who have sound minds and good comprehension,
اتَّخَذُوهَا
(they take it...) also,
هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ
(as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.) the acts of worship and Allah's Law. These are the characteristics of the followers of Shaytan who,
«إِذَا سَمِعَ الْأَذَانَ أَدْبَرَ وَلَهُ حُصَاصٌ، أَيْ ضُرَاطٌ، حَتَّى لَا يَسْمَعَ التَّأْذِينَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّأْذِينُ، أَقْبَلَ فَإِذَا ثُوِّبَ لِلصَّلَاةِ أَدْبَرَ، فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّثْوِيبُ أَقْبَلَ حَتَّى يَخْطُرَ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: اذْكُرْ كَذَا اذْكُرْ كَذَا، لِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ يَذْكُرُ حَتَّى يَظَلَّ الرَّجُلُ لَا يَدْرِي كَمْ صَلَّى، فَإِذَا وَجَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ ذلِكَ، فَلْيَسْجُدْ سَجْدَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ السَّلَام»
(When the call for prayer is made, Shaytan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan. When the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqamah is pronounced, Shaytan again takes to his heels. When the Iqamah is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and to say, `Remember this and that,' which he has not thought of before the prayer, until the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember, then he should perform two prostrations before pronouncing the Salam.) This Hadith is agreed upon. Az-Zuhri said, "Allah mentioned the Adhan in His Book,
وَإِذَا نَـدَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ
(And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.)'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.
اتَّخَذُوهَا
(they take it...) also,
... هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ ٥٨
as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not. the acts of worship and Allah's Law. These are the characteristics of the followers of Shaytan who,
إِذَا سَمِعَ الْأَذَانَ أَدْبَرَ وَلَهُ حُصَاصٌ، أَيْ ضُرَاطٌ، حَتَّى لَا يَسْمَعَ التَّأْذِينَ فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّأْذِينُ، أَقْبَلَ فَإِذَا ثُوِّبَ لِلصَّلَاةِ أَدْبَرَ، فَإِذَا قُضِيَ التَّثْوِيبُ أَقْبَلَ حَتَّى يَخْطُرَ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ، فَيَقُولُ: اذْكُرْ كَذَا اذْكُرْ كَذَا، لِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ يَذْكُرُ حَتَّى يَظَلَّ الرَّجُلُ لَا يَدْرِي كَمْ صَلَّى، فَإِذَا وَجَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ ذلِكَ، فَلْيَسْجُدْ سَجْدَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ السَّلَام
When the call for prayer is made, Shaytan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adhan. When the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqamah is pronounced, Shaytan again takes to his heels. When the Iqamah is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and to say, `Remember this and that,' which he has not thought of before the prayer, until the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember, then he should perform two prostrations before pronouncing the Salam. This Hadith is agreed upon. Az-Zuhri said, "Allah mentioned the Adhan in His Book,
وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ اتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُوًا وَلَعِبًا ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ
And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.
5.57-60 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
They make the call to the Prayer an object of ridicule by mimicking and deriding it and by perverting its words.
'This very fact of their making the call to the Prayer an object of ridicule is a clear proof of their lack of understanding. Had they not been involved in folly and ignorance, they would never have indulged in such frivolous things in spite of their religious difference with the Muslims, because no sensible person would ever think of ridiculing the call to the worship of Allah made by any people whatsoever
Verse 60 contains a subtle reference to the shamefaced impudence of the Jews in opposing the Muslims in spite of the fact that they had often been under the curse and wrath of Allah for their evil deeds. According to their own history they broke the Sabbath and many of them were turned into apes and swine. They had become so degraded that they began to worship taghut. Therefore they were warned to desist from their opposition to the Muslims who sincerely believed in Allah and followed the Right Way, whereas they themselves were involved in disobedience and indecency and other moral sins of the worst type.
5.57 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(O Ye who believe! Choose not for guardians such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion) [5:57]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “Rifa‘ah ibn Zayd and Suwayd ibn al-Harith were among those who displayed their faith in Islam but were hypocrites. Some Muslim men used to show affection to them, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.