Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 44

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala next praises the Torah that He sent down to His servant and Messenger Musa aalyhi salaam, 

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ

“Verily, We did send down the Tawrah, therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets who submitted themselves to Allah’s will, judged for the Jews.”

The Torah that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent had guidance and light for the people. The purpose of light is to show way. When it’s dark we can’t make out where to go and where to stop. Therefore, noor here refers to the explanation of the rulings given in the Torah.

The Prophets of Allah sent after Musa aalyhi salaam up till Eesa aalyhi salaam submitted to Allah’s command and judged matters according to the Torah. A person who does not submit to Allah finds it difficult to accept judgments according to the law of Allah. Submission means not verbal utterance but my hearts and limbs as well.

وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالاْحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَآء

“And the Rabbaniyyoon and the Ahbar, for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and they were witnesses thereto.”

Rabbaniyyoon, the plural of Rabbani, are those who worship Rab. He is the one who nourishes himself and others through the ilm [knowledge] that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given him. He is an alim who also has a lot of spirituality.

Ahbar, on the other hand, are people who are greatly learned. They simplify the technical or scientific matters into simple terms. They are the experts or specialists in a particular field.

The Prophets, the Rabbaniyyoon and the Ahbar would judge according to the Book of Allah because they were commanded to guard or preserve His Book. This does not mean wrapping the Book of Allah, placing it on the shelf and not letting anyone touch it.

Preserving the Book of Allah means practicing it because when we are practice it then only are the people going to be informed about the laws of Allah.

The Prophets, the learned worshipers and the scholars were guards over the Book of Allah. They were in-charged with keeping an eye on the practices in the society that people don’t deviate from the Divine teachings but practice what has been revealed.

Then the Prophets, the Rabbaniyyoon, the Ahbar as well as the Jews were told not to fear anyone but Allah in practicing the Book.

فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِـئَايَـتِى ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ

“Therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My ayaat for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.”

Many Jews could not accept the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam because they feared their rabbis and community people. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is telling them when you have read the description of the Prophet and witnessed that he really is the Messenger that you were informed about, then do not hesitate from accepting him.

They were warned against changing or altering the law of Allah to gain some fame, money or some other worldly benefit. No matter how much one earns in dunya it is lesser than what awaits him in the Hereafter. So one should worry about their akhirah and not their dunya.

People who do not judge according to the Book of Allah are from the disbelievers.


– All the Scriptures that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed were guidance and light for their people.

– It is the responsibility of the people who have been given the Scriptures and who have knowledge to guard and preserve the Book of Allah by practicing it commands; to make sure that the Book is read, understood and acted upon.

– There is no justification for the people who have the Scripture to abandon it and refer other sources for judgment.

– People who have ilm [knowledge] are the heirs of the Prophets. They are assigned the same job that the Prophets were tasked with i.e. teaching the Book, making people understand it and practicing it.

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala praises those who have ilm because they are the preservers of the Book.

– It is not just a judge or a political leader who passes judgments but the scholars or religious leaders too can pass a judgment.

– By mentioning the Prophets first, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has declared the sequence in which we should honor people. There are some people in our society who value their scholars more than the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. The status of a Prophet is higher than that of a scholar.

– A Rabbani is not just a person who possesses knowledge, but he uses that knowledge to improve his worship. For example, there are several people who memorize Qur’an but what’s the purpose? One can read the Qur’an from mushaf than why memorize it? But when a person memorizes Qur’an to improve his Salah or to seek pleasure in Salah then he is acquiring knowledge to improve his worship and not for show-off or to be known as a hafidh.

– A person should only fear Allah and no one else. Sometimes we fail to submit to the commands of Allah because we fear people. What are my friends going to say if I grow a beard? What is my husband going to say if I choose to do hijab? Is anyone going to marry him? Is anyone going to give me a job?

The worldly benefits of dunya are going to end with our life, but what’s in the akhirah is precious and forever. We should strive more for akhirah as much as we work for dunya. A person who does not surrender to the commands of Allah resembles a disbeliever.


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