In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 21 – 22
Background of the Ayaat
In Ruh al-Ma’ani, Iraqi Islamic scholar, Mahmoud Al-Alusi writes: the Children of Israel slew 43 prophets in one go because they used to call the people to what differed from the desires and opinions of the Jewish leaders. Later, when 170 pious people stood up from among them to condemn these unjust killings, they were slain as well.
Ayah 21 chastises the People of the Book for the transgression and prohibitions they committed by their denials of Allah’s Ayaat and the messengers ‘alayhi salaam. They did this because of their defiance and rejection of the messengers, denial of the truth and refusal to follow it. They also killed many prophets ‘alayhi salaam when they conveyed to them what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala legislated for them, without cause or criminal behavior committed by these prophets, for they only called them to the truth.
“and kill those who order justice from among the people,” Ibn Katheer commented that they demonstrated the worst type of arrogance. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
الْكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الْحَقِّ وَغَمْطُ النَّاس
“Kibr [arrogance] is refusing the truth and degrading the people.”
This is why when they rejected the truth and acted arrogantly towards the creation, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala punished them with humiliation and disgrace in this life, and humiliating torment in the Hereafter. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “give them tidings of a painful punishment,” it means both painful and humiliating. All of their work will be wasted in this world and in the Hereafter, and there would be no one to help them.
We seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from such an end, ameen.
-Despite once being a chosen nation because of their wrongdoings, their good deeds have been wasted. We learned that killing the prophets is one of the worst crimes. Killing any innocent person is a crime that nullifies one’s good deeds. Some other sins that wipe out one’s good deeds are associating partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala [Shirk], showing off [riya], ill-intention, gossiping [gheeba], seeking fame, and when the evil deeds exceed the good deeds.
-Why does this happen? Why do people kill other people and especially prophets or scholars? It is because we “claim” to be religious people but it is only our outward appearance that conveys we are religious, religion has not really entered our hearts. It is for this reason that verbal declaration of faith is not enough, the conviction must come from the heart and we must show it by our limbs (by servitude to Allah).
-If we study the Seerah, we will notice that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never declared a hypocrite a Kafir or disbeliever even when their hypocrisy was visible. We are so quick to label people that we don’t use our intellect and fall into Fasad [corruption on earth].
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