Aal-Imran · Juz 3 · Qur'an Tafseer

They Wish that They Could Mislead You

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 69-74

In the previous ayaat, we studied some dialogues between people of different beliefs. First, a Christian delegation from Najran (Yemen) visited the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to argue about Prophet ‘Eesa [Jesus] ‘alayhi salaam and then the Jews of Madina came over to claim that Prophet Ibraheem [Abraham] was a Jew. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed ayaat to defend His prophets and refute the false claims of the people.

In the ayaat under study, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala explains the reasons why some people adopt such tactics.

 

“A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not. O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the ayaat of Allah while you witness [to their truth]? O People of the Scripture, why do you confuse the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know [it]?

And a faction of the People of the Scripture say [to each other], ‘Believe in that which was revealed to the believers at the beginning of the day and reject it at its end that perhaps they will abandon their religion. And do not trust except those who follow your religion.’

Say, ‘Indeed, the [true] guidance is the guidance of Allah. [Do you fear] lest someone be given [knowledge] like you were given or that they would [thereby] argue with you before your Lord?’

Say, ‘Indeed, [all] bounty is in the Hand of Allah – He grants it to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Wise.’ He selects for His mercy whom He wills. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” [Aal-Imran 3: 69-74]

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that the Jews envy the faithful and wish they could misguide them. He states the punishment of this behavior will fall back upon them while they are unaware. He criticizes them, “O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the ayaat of Allah while you witness [to their truth]?” It means that you know for certain that Allah’s ayaat are true and authentic.

“O People of the Scripture, why do you confuse the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know [it]?” They are being criticized for hiding the description of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that was mentioned in their Books. Since they were the People of the Scripture, the learned people, the Mushrikeen would come to them to verify the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. These people would twist the truth and give false information to confuse the people.

[The Prohibition of Hiding the Truth and distorting it with Falsehood]

“And a faction of the People of the Scripture say [to each other], ‘Believe in that which was revealed to the believers at the beginning of the day and reject it at its end that perhaps they will abandon their religion.’” This is a wicked plan from the People of the Book to deceive Muslims who are weak in the religion. They decided that they would pretend to be believers in the beginning of the day, by attending the dawn prayer with the Muslims. However, when the day ended, they would revert to their old religion so that the ignorant people would say, “They reverted to their old religion because they uncovered some shortcomings in the Islamic religion.” It was the plan of the People of the Book who confuse the new Muslims. It teaches us how important is gaining correct knowledge about the Deen.

Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid commented about this ayah, which refers to the Jews, “They attended the dawn prayer with the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and disbelieved in the end of the day in order to misguide the people. This way, people would think that they have uncovered shortcomings in the religion that they briefly followed.”

They said, “…do not trust except those who follow your religion,” it means do not share your secret knowledge with anyone (particularly the Muslims) except those who follow your religion. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala responded, “Indeed, the [true] guidance is the guidance of Allah.” Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guides the hearts of the faithful to the perfect faith through the clear ayaat and proofs that He has sent down to His servant and messenger Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He says, “[Do you fear] lest someone be given [knowledge] like you were given or that they would [thereby] argue with you before your Lord?”  

They say do not disclose the knowledge that Allah has given you to the Muslims, lest they learn it and become your equals. They will be better than you because they will believe in it or will use it against you as evidence with your Lord, and thus establish Allah’s proofs against you in this life and the Hereafter.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Indeed [all] bounty is in the Hand of Allah – He grants it to whom He wills.” All the affairs are under His control, and He gives and takes. Verily, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives faith, knowledge and sound comprehension to whomever He wills. He also misguides whomever He wills by blinding his sight, mind, sealing his heart, hearing and stamping his eyes closed. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has the perfect wisdom.

“‘And Allah is all-Encompassing and Wise.’ He selects for His mercy whom He wills. And Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” Ibn Katheer comments that mercy here means the sending of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the guide and mercy for all the worlds. He was rahmatulil-alameen. The Muslims are blessed and this is a great favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon us and He chose us to be the followers of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Lessons:

-These tactics were employed in the early days of Islam to dissuade weak or new Muslims from Allah’s Deen. We see them in our times too, when someone who is distanced from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wants us to turn away too. They instill doubts in our hearts, ask questions about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that would impel us to question our Deen. It is easy for a person with low emaan to fall for these traps. We must continuously seek knowledge of our Deen (from the authentic sources), ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for strength and steadfastness and adopt the company of the righteous people. Don’t let people discourage you or make you doubt your Deen.

-This is a human error that all of us consider ourselves to be on the right path because we were born on it or because our parents are on it or our teacher/scholar is on it. Is this a valid argument? No! Authentic is whatever is in the Qur’an and authentic Ahadith. We should verify our sources and follow the path of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The first Dua that appears in the Qur’an is, “Guide us to the right path.”

-Because finding the right path has so much virtue, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala instantly forgives major and minor sins of a new Muslim the moment s/he recites the Shahadah. SubhanAllah! It is not easy to give up what we have believed in all our lives, therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala rewards new Muslims immensely.

-Sometimes as Muslims we do this as well. We stop one another from attending our study circles because we believe it is only our right. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala chose us. Sometimes, we do not attend circles of other scholars because they are not from our sect. As mentioned earlier, we have to follow the truth and the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and not blindly follow any one particular scholar. Take knowledge from wherever you can, do not create divisions in Deen, as long as you know that they are teaching from authentic sources.

-These ayaat teach us that we cannot leave our Deen or our practices to please the creation. We have to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and not the people. Don’t compromise on your Deen for someone else because people will never be pleased with you.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 69-74

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم                
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]
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