Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayaat 80 – 81

In these ayaat, the cultivation of deep friendship with disbelievers has been prohibited as its outcome is disastrous. It may also be indicative of the possibility that the deviation of Bani Israel was a result of their close friendly collaboration with disbelievers which may have affected their ways adversely and finally became the cause of their fall into the abyss.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

تَرَى كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَبِئْسَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لَهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ أَن سَخِطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِى الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَـلِدُونَ

You will see many among them becoming allies to those people who disbelieve. Evil indeed is that which they have sent forward before themselves; for that (reason) Allah is angry with them, and in torment they will abide.

These ayaat were particularly revealed about the Jews in Madina. The Ahlul Kitab are closer to the Muslims in their emaan. Apparently, they should be standing with the Muslim against the mushrikeen and atheists, yet we saw in Madina and Makkah that they partnered with the mushrikeen and fought against the Muslims and not for them.

They believe in Allah, they don’t worship idols. They believe in the prophets and their Scriptures. They have dietary restrictions, they don’t eat pork. There are differences but they are still closer to the Muslims in belief.

By giving their loyalty and support to the disbelievers, instead of the believers, they nurtured hypocrisy in their hearts and earned the wrath of Allah. The sakhata is from the root letters seen-kha-ta and it denotes displeasure or disapproval by someone who is older or greater. For example, a parent getting upset with his child or a boss being displeased with his employee.

This wrath will remain with them until the Day of Return.

Two consequences of their evil actions has been mentioned:

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is angry with them
  2. This punishment will remain till the Day of Resurrection


In this ayah, we learn about the prohibition of befriending disbelievers to the extent that we support them in their kufr that no matter what happens I’ll stand with you. For example, consuming haram income and food items has become so wide spread in the Muslim world. Our friendships with the disbelievers have strengthened so much that we pushed the teachings of Qur’an behind our backs.

Ayah 81

In ayah 81, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

وَلَوْ كَانُوا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْلهِ والنَّبِىِّ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَا اتَّخَذُوهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَلَـكِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ فَـسِقُونَ

And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them as friends; but many of them are rebellious.

If they had believed in Allah and Muhammad salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam they would not have gone astray. The ayah says if they believed in Allah? We have read already that the Jews believe in Allah then what does this mean? It means showing your belief in Allah through your actions. Giving the haq of belief in Allah. Believing in one messenger means that a person will believe in all the prophets of Allah.

If they were true believers they would not have taken disbelievers as their close friends. But many of them cross limits. They claim to believe in Allah, but they don’t submit to Him. They claim that they believe in prophets but they do not follow them. They claim that they believe in the Scripture but they don’t live according to it.


– Taking disbelievers as close friends contradicts with emaan.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive us, and teach us to keep the teachings of Islam above personal whims, aameen.

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