When We are Ungrateful Allah Snatches Away Blessings
We have previously mentioned several wrongdoings of the Jews and the punishment they faced, these ayaat talk about some more vices of theirs and mentions yet another kind of punishment as well. This punishment will visit them on the Day of Judgment. But, right here in this present world, the outcome will be that they will find many things already lawful for them made unlawful as a measure of punishment.
فَبِظُلْمٍ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ طَيِّبَـتٍ أُحِلَّتْ لَهُمْ
“For the wrongdoing of the Jews, We made unlawful for them certain good foods which had been lawful for them…”
Allah states that because of the injustice and transgression of the Jews, demonstrated by committing major sins, He prohibited some of the lawful, pure things which were previously allowed for them. This prohibition could be only that of decree, meaning that Allah allowed the Jews to falsely interpret their Book and change and alter the information about what was allowed for them. They thus, out of exaggeration and extremism in the religion, prohibited some things for themselves. It could also mean that in the Torah, Allah prohibited things that were allowed for them before. All types of food were allowed for the Children of Israel before the Torah was revealed, except the camel’s meat and milk that Israel prohibited for himself. Later, Allah prohibited many things in the Torah.
In Surah al-Anam ayah 146, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states, “And unto those who are Jews, We forbade every (animal) with undivided hoof, and We forbade them the fat of the ox and the sheep except what adheres to their backs or their entrails, or is mixed up with a bone.”
These things were prohibited for them because they deserved it due to their transgression, injustice, defying their Messenger and disputing with him. They hindered themselves and others from following the truth, and this is the behavior that they brought from the past to the present. This is why they were and still are the enemies of the Messengers, killing many of the Prophets. They also denied Muhammad and Eesa, peace be upon them.
وَبِصَدِّهِمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَثِيراً
“….and for their hindering many from Allah’s way.”
The Jews used to stop people from the way of Allah. They used to do this a lot. They were extremely active in stopping people through their tongues, actions or creating confusion.
The ayah tells us two reasons for which one may be deprived of Allah’s blessings:
- Injustice, zulm, continuing to live a sinful life
- Stopping people from the way of Allah
In ayah 161 Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
وَأَخْذِهِمُ الرِّبَا وَقَدْ نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَكْلِهِمْ أَمْوَلَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَـطِلِ
” And their consuming Riba though they were forbidden from taking it, and their devouring men’s substance wrongfully.”
Allah prohibited them from taking riba, yet they did so using various kinds of tricks, ploys and cons, thus devouring people’s property unjustly. Any manner that is forbidden in Shari’ah is consuming wealth of other people with batil. This could be stealing or cheating.
Why do people take riba? To increase their wealth whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made it unlawful. When a person goes against Allah’s laws intentionally, Allah subhanahu deprives such a person from His blessings. We may not realize our deprivations on the front, but these can be both tangible and intangible.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah by saying,
وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ مِنْهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً
“And We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment.”