Al-Maidah · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 83

Previously, we learned the strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the idolators, while Christians show affection. In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us how do the Christians respond when His ayaat are recited. He says,

وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ

And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears…

The word tafidu تَفِيضُ is from the root letters fa-ya-dad and it means “to be copious, overflow, abound, or flow freely.”

They are so soft hearted that when Qur’an is recited their eyes fill up with tears. This is the reason for their affection towards the Muslims. Why do they cry?

مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّـهِدِينَ

because of the truth they have recognized…

The word arafu عَرَفُواْ is from the root letters ayn-ra-fa and it means “to recognize something.”

It is because they recognize the truth. They recognize that the words of Qur’an are not the words of a human being. When they realize this tears start flowing from their eyes.

When the Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam met angel Jibreel in the cave of Hira, he didn’t know why this incident took place. In order to make out what it was his wife Khadeeja radhiAllahu anha took him to her cousin Waraqah bin Nauphil. When the Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam uttered the words that Jibreel aalyhi salaam had taught him, Waraqah instantly recognized these are the words that Musa aalyhi salaam came with.

Later, when the Muslim delegation recited these words in front of Najashi, the King of Ethiopia he immediately recognized them and said this is what Eesa aalyhi salaam came with.

يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّـهِدِينَ

They say: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.”

When they recognize the truth they make du’a to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to write their name in the list of witnesses. This teaches us there are several lists with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For example, we learned earlier about the sa’f [row] of siddiqeen, shuhuda and sualeheen.

There is a list of people who are liars and there is a list of people who are truthful. There is a list of witnesses this is the Ummah of Muhammad salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam as they will be witnesses against those who disbelieve. As we learned in Surah al-Baqarah ayah 143.

Those who recognize the truth, testify the Oneness of Allah.

These ayaat were particularly revealed in reference to Najashi and his courtiers, but it generally applies to other Christians as well.


– People who generally accept Islam the most are the Christians. Rarely do we hear that a Jew or a Mushrik converted to Islam. It is because the Christians have knowledge and they have a culture of sacred worship. And they are not arrogant. Their knowledge and worship may be false regardless of that these qualities make a person humble and open up his heart for truth.

– When a person learns about the truth then he should accept it even if it goes against him i.e. you were wrong. This is why we see some scholars changing their opinion later on. Through their research and further knowledge they must have found something else hence they changed their opinion. No person is fault free. Therefore, we should admit our mistake and be open to the truth.

– Qur’an impacts the heart even if a person doesn’t believe in it. Mushrikeen in Prophet’s time would go out and hear Qur’an secretly. They’d call it magic because it affected their hearts. When we go out for da’wah we should use Qur’an, the recitation not translation. This means we need to improve our recitation. If we cannot recite it correctly how can we have an impact on other’s heart?

– Crying when listening to the Qur’an is beneficial. It is the sign of a believing and humble heart. BUT it refers to natural crying not pretending to cry. Showing off goes agaisnt a person. Sincere crying will be out of fear.

– The more yaqeen one will have in Qur’an then only he will benefit from it.

– Encouragement to announce emaan after accepting it. Encouragement to pray to be from those who will be witnesses in the Hereafter.


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