Refuting Jews’ False Claims
According to al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd this ayah was revealed when the Jews and Christians called themselves to be Allah’s children and His loved ones [refer Surah al-Maida : 18] Since the Jews claimed sanctity for themselves, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala censures them in this ayah as a strange lot attributing sanctity to themselves and then ha ving the audacity to tell others that this is so.
He begins this ayah by saying,
“Do you not see those who claim purity for themselves?”
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ بَلِ اللَّهُ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ
“Nay, Allah purifies whom He wills…”
وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً
“…. and they will not be wronged (even as much as) a hair on a date seed.”