Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 15

Explaining the Truth Through the Messenger and the Qur’an

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that He sent His Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam with the guidance and the religion of truth to all the people of the earth, the Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered. Allah also states that He sent Muhammad sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam with clear evidences and the distinction between truth and falsehood.

In this ayah Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ

“O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and passing over much.”

So the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam explained where they altered, distorted, changed and lied about Allah. He also ignored much of what they changed, since it would not bring about any benefit if it was explained.

The scholars of Bani Israel had access to the Book and the common people were kept away from the Book. They were hiding the Book of Allah by not making it accessible to masses, by altering its words or the meanings and by not implementing the commands.

Now the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was exposing what they hid. He was throwing light on them as we read in the later part of this ayah,

قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَـبٌ مُّبِينٌ

 “Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light and a plain Book.”

The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was exposing the truth through Qur’an. The Torah and Injeel were not relevant anymore so it was not revised; only the parts which were relevant were exposed. Since the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was showing the truth, the Jews felt humiliation.

The Prophet took the people out of darkness into light. His teachings, his actions, his life was a guidance for the people. Why is Qur’an called “mubeen” [مُّبِينٌ]? It is beause it is clear and it also clarifies.


– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala addresses the Bani Israel as People of the Book. This is an honor because it is implied they are knowledgeable people. However, over here it has not been used for honor. It is rather used as criticism that you have the Book, you’re the knowledgeable people yet you deny the Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. Today, Muslims possess the Book and they follow “a pick and choose” policy in deen.

– The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was sent to the Bani Israel as well. The ayah begins with, يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا meaning O People of the Book, the Prophet has been sent to you. This indicates that they too have to follow him, he was not just the messenger for the Muslims but for the Jews and Christians as well.

– The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was mubaiyin meaning he clarified whatever people needed to know. If there was something the scholars of the Jews were hiding and it was significant, the Prophet revealed that.

– The Ahlul-Kitab are Ahlul-Ilm meaning knowledgeable people, but they concealed knowledge. Now we have to check ourselves, are we acquiring the true knowledge and understanding of the Qur’an? If we are learning the Qur’an are we conveying its message to others? What are we conveying through our actions? If we learn the Qur’an and not convey its message then we too are hiding the commands. What is our behavior towards the Book of Allah?

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam for the entire world.

– When someone needs to be corrected, it’s not necessary that each and every error be mentioned because otherwise we will be insulting them. There’s no need to highlight every mistake, one or two are sufficient to make them realize what they are doing. Don’t humiliate the other person. The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam exposed much of what was important and also ignored what was irrelevant.

– Qur’an is light, it enlightens people but what is our attitude towards Qur’an today? We say that those who study Qur’an are backward people. They have no other responsibility in the world therefore they are studying Qur’an. However, the truth is that when a person studies Qur’an it becomes enlightened provided he accepts its teachings.

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