The Crimes of the Jews
This ayah talks about the many sins that the Jews committed which resulted in their being cursed and removed far away from the right guidance. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِمْ مَّيثَـقَهُمْ وَكُفْرِهِم بَـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَقَتْلِهِمُ الاٌّنْبِيَآءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَقَوْلِهِمْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ بَلْ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً
“Because of their breaking the covenant, and their rejecting the ayaat of Allah, and their killing the Prophets unjustly, and their saying: ‘Our hearts are Ghulf,’’ nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.”
The Jews broke the promises and vows that Allah took from them, and also rejected Allah’s Ayat, meaning His signs and proofs in Torah as well as the miracles that they witnessed at the hands of their Prophets. They had no evidence against the Prophets to kill them, yet they killed them.
They would say, “Our hearts are wrapped.” Meaning what you say doesn’t affect us or our hearts are already full. We have enough knowledge, we are the People of the Book, we don’t need your Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is correcting them that no it is He Who has put a seal on their hearts due to their ingratitude and disobedience. And because their hearts have become accustomed to kufr, transgression and weak faith only a few people believe.
– Any sin a person commits whether it’s breaking a promise or statements of pride, there are always consequences. No sin is ignored. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has mentioned the crimes of the Jews which lead to their misguidance.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not unjust. The crimes have been mentioned to show that the punishment that they were given was justified. When they deviated, then Allah caused their heart to deviate.
Ayah 156 continues the topic of 155, in it Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says
وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَى مَرْيَمَ بُهْتَـناً عَظِيماً
“And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam a grave slander.”
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 Eesa was an illegitimate son. Some of them even claimed that she was menstruating while fornicating.
The beauty of the Qur’an is that at several places Maryam aalyhi salaam’s chastity has been defended.
– When a person does something solely for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then it is Him Who will reward.
– It’s a crime to slander or defect someone’s chastity.
– When people break Allah’s covenant, He puts a seal on their hearts and then they commit one crime after another. A person who does not respect Allah cannot respect anyone else.