Al-Maidah · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 117

Eesa [aalyhi salaam] Rejects Shirk and Affirms Tawheed

Continuing his conversation with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, Eesa aalyhi salaam says,

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَآ أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِى كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

“‘Never did I say to them ought except what You (Allah) did command me to say: Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them while I dwelled amongst them, but when You took me (up), You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.’”

Meaning I did exactly what You told me to do. I didn’t add anything to it or left out something from it. I witnessed their actions, their behavior, their response as long as I was with them. I saw what they were doing when they did something wrong I stopped them. I heard what they were saying when they said something wrong I stopped them. I have no idea what they said when I was not between them. You were Ar-Raqeeb.

Raqeeb is from the root letters ra-qaf-ba that means to guard, observe or watch. Raqeeb is someone who watches very closely such as watching every single move where one is going, who they are talking to, what they are talking about, etc.


– Eesa aalyhi salaam was a messenger like other messengers of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

– Every messenger is charged with the responsibility of conveying the truth. They are instructed or obligated to convey the message of Allah. No one can say they didn’t convey the message. It would be incorrect to say so.

– Messengers only know about their people while they are between them. Once a messenger has been called back by his Rabb, he has no knowledge regarding what his people are saying or doing, or what innovations have they introduced in Deen. Therefore, if anyone says that Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam is watching over us then that would be wrong.

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