Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 18

Refuting the False Claims of the Jews and the Christians

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refutes the false claims of the Jews and the Christians by saying,

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَـرَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ

“And the Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.’”

It is said that when the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam invited the People of the Book to accept Islam, this is how they responded. Their claim was that we are the children of Allah and His loved ones therefore we don’t need you. We are already His beloved.

They claim: “We are the followers of Allah’s Prophets, who are His children, whom He takes care of. He also loves us.” The People of the Book claim in their Book that Allah said to His servant Israel, “You are my firstborn.” But they explained this statement in an improper manner and altered its meaning.

Some of the People of the Book who later became Muslims refuted this false statement saying, “This statement only indicates honor and respect, as was common in their speech at that time.” The Christians claim that Eesa said to them, “I will go back to my father and your father,” meaning, my Lord and your Lord. It is a fact that the Christians did not claim that they too are Allah’s sons as they claimed about Eesa. Rather this statement by Eesa only meant to indicate closeness with Allah.

This is why when they said that they are Allah’s children and loved ones, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala refuted their claim,

قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم

“Say, ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’”

meaning, if you were truly as you claim, Allah’s children and loved ones, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims. How come Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has been punishing for your sins in this dunya?

بَلْ أَنتُمْ بَشَرٌ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ

“Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,”

This statement means that you are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Lord of all His creation,

يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ

“He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning.

وَللَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

“And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the return.”

Everything is Allah’s property and under His power and control. In the end, the return will be to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment.


– When some people are called to increase in their emaan or study deen, and they say they are fine, they don’t need to learn then they are similar to the People of the Book. A person is merely assuming that he is the beloved of Allah and he doesn’t need to work on himself.

– Every single person needs to increase in his servitude towards Allah and never assume for even a moment that he is the favorite of Allah. The Bani Israel were blessed with many favors and with each favor there was additional responsibility. The moment a person assumes I don’t need to do anything more, then this is when his downfall begins.

When the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam used to pray and his feet would swell, he would say, “Should I not be grateful to the one who has blessed me so much?”

– No nation is superior to another. What raises the ranks of one person is his taqwa. No race, no nation is the beloved of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So we cannot enter Jannah merely on the basis of our lineage. We have to actually work for it and seek the pleasure of Allah.

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has power over all matters.


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