In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 52-54
‘Eesa ‘alayhi salaam had been doing Da’wah to the Children of Israel but when they changed their ways, denied him and killed Prophet Zakariyya (AS) and Yahya (AS), he asked his people for help. This is similar to Prophet Muhammad’s incident that when the Makkans denied him and persecuted new Muslims, he asked help from the Ansar of Madina. The word Ansar means helpers.
When ‘Eesa ‘alayhi salaam noticed that the deniers of the truth were adamant in their disbelief and continuing in misguidance, he asked his people, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?” Ibn Katheer commented that it means: Who would help me convey the Message of Allah?
During the Hajj season, before the Hijrah, Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Who will give me asylum so that I can convey the Speech of my Lord, for the Quraysh have prevented me from conveying the Speech of my Lord.” The Ansar helped him and gave him refuge. He later migrated to them, they comforted the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and protected him from all his enemies, may Allah be pleased with them all. This is similar to what happened with ‘Eesa (AS), for some of the Children of Israel believed in him, gave him their aid and support and followed the light that was sent with him. They said, “We are supporters for Allah. We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].”
Hawari in Arabic means “support.” This word is from ha-wa-ra, hawr is used for whiteness. It is said that the disciples of ‘Eesa (AS) were called hawari because of the purity of their hearts or intention. We learn from hadith that when a person commits a sin, a black mark is placed on the heart. If the person repents the mark is removed but if he keeps sinning the heart becomes black. May Allah (SWT) protect our heart from disobedience, ameen.
Scholars have also said that the profession of these disciples was bleaching clothes, therefore they are hawari (from white). One day ‘Eesa (AS) passed by them and said: You are purifying the clothes come with me I will teach you to purify people’s hearts.
It means let us focus on that which is meaningful. A lot of us spend too much time cleaning and dusting our house if people live there it is going to get dirty. It does not mean one should not clean their place but that shouldn’t be the goal of our life: cleaning, dusting, and cooking. Educating people, studying Deen and inviting people to Deen is the most important thing.
We also learn that the word “Hawari” is used for the supporters of every prophet, for example we learn:
The two Saheehs recorded that when the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam encouraged the people to fight during the battle of Al-Ahzab, Az-Zubayr (RA) came forward, and again, when the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked for fighters a second time. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Every prophet has a Hawari, and Az-Zubayr is my Hawari.”
They then supplicated to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, “Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger ‘Eesa [Jesus], so register us among the witnesses [to truth].”
This is the kind of belief that we are required to have as well meaning believing in everything that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has sent down, obeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the messenger. Such is the trait of Ansarullah [Supporters of Allah].
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas said about, “so register us among the witnesses [to truth],” that it means the Ummah of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This Hadith has a good chain of narration. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
The Jews Plot to Kill ‘Eesa [Jesus]
When 12 people from the entire Children of Israel stood up to offer their support to ‘Eesa (AS), the opposition grew. This is similar to what happened to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. After the pledge of ‘Uqbah, when the Ansar agreed to provide refuge to the new Muslims, the Mushrikeen of Makkah increased their persecution.
The Children of Israel tried to kill ‘Eesa ‘alayhi salaam by conspiring to defame him and crucify him. They complained about him to the king who was a disbeliever. They claimed that ‘Eesa (AS) was a man who misguided people, discouraged them from obeying the king, caused division, and separated between man and his own son.
They also said other lies about ‘Eesa (AS). The king became furious and sent his men to capture ‘Eesa to torture and crucify him. When they surrounded ‘Eesa’s home and he thought that they would surely capture him, Allah
When they surrounded ‘Eesa’s home and he thought that they would surely capture him, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala saved him from them, raising him up from the house to heaven. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala put the image of ‘Eesa (AS) on a man who was in the house; when the unjust people went in the house while it was still dark, they thought that he was ‘Eesa. They captured that man, humiliated and crucified him. They also placed thorns on his head. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala deceived these people. He saved and raised His prophet from them, leaving them in disarray in the darkness of their transgression, thinking that they had successfully achieved their goal.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala hardened their hearts and disgraced them in such disgrace that it will remain with them until the Day of Resurrection. This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the address by saying, “And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.”
-‘Eesa (AS) asks for people “for the cause of Allah,” this is something that we all must remember especially those working in Da’wah or Islamic institutes. We’re not employed by a human being or an organization but by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We need to be sincere to Allah and our sole goal should be earning the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. No other reward can be greater than that. Therefore, we shouldn’t complain about the work that we get such as cleaning a mosque. Don’t say I deserve a better job. Being employed for Allah’s work in itself is an honor.
In Surah As-Saf it appears,
“O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah, as when ‘Eesa [Jesus], the son of Mariam [Mary], said to the disciples, ‘Who are my supporters for Allah?’ The disciples said, ‘We are supporters of Allah.’” [Qur’an 61:14]
-Become Ansarullah in whatever way you can. Use your skills and resources. Write, speak, illustrate, draw, create videos, give money, give your time, whatever you have and can give. Give it in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. All of us want to support Allah’s Deen, but do we have a plan? Plan now.
-From the incident of ‘Eesa (AS) and Hawaris we learn that cleaning the heart is more important than cleaning our homes. We pay more attention to the apparent and temporary than what is hidden and can either take us to or take us away from Jannah.
-These ayaat also teach us the importance of teamwork. One person cannot do all the work. S/he may have many ideas but they can’t implement them when there is no help available. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
-We learn that a person needs three things to be successful in this life and the next: belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, following the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and righteous companions.
-Anyone who supports Allah’s Deen will not be abandoned by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It does not mean that there will be no challenges – the challenges will always be there, remember the condition of Prophet Muhammd. Was his life free of challenges? One after the other he was tested. The challenges are there to make us strong and sincere on the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. When things become easy, we become relaxed and our intention is corrupted.
-There are many narrations about ‘Eesa/Jesus’s (AS) crucifixion, we learn that he was not crucified. He was safely raised by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala even before they could reach him. And that’s all that we need to know.
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