|The Believers among the People of the Book|
Allah tells us that the pious scholars among the People of the Book believe in the Qur'an, as He says:
﴿الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ﴾
(Those to whom We gave the Book recite it as it should be recited, they are the ones who believe therein) (2:121).
﴿وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَـشِعِينَ للَّهِ﴾
(And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah) (3:199).
﴿قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا - وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً ﴾
(Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'') (17:107-108)
﴿وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى﴾
(And you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians. '') until:
﴿فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّـهِدِينَ﴾
(so write us down among the witnesses) (5:82-83). Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "This was revealed concerning seventy priests who were sent by An-Najashi (ruler of Ethiopia). When they came to the Prophet , he recited to them:
﴿يس - وَالْقُرْءَانِ الْحَكِيمِ ﴾
(Ya Sin. By the Qur'an, full of wisdom.) (36:1-2) until he completed the Surah. They began to weep, and they embraced Islam. These other Ayat were revealed concerning them:
﴿الَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ - وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ ﴾
(Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it. And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from Muslims.'') meaning, `even befor e the Qur'an came we were Muslims, i.e., we believed in One God and were sincerely responding to Allah's commands.'
﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْتُونَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ﴾
(These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient,) means, those who have this characteristic -- that they believed in the first Book and then in the second. Allah says:
(because they are patient,) meaning, in their adherence to the truth, for taking such thing upon oneself is not easy for people. It was reported in the Sahih from the Hadith of `Amir Ash-Sha`bi from Abu Burdah that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
«ثَلَاثَةٌ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُمْ مَرَّتَيْنِ: رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ آمَنَ بِنَبِيِّهِ ثُمَّ آمَنَ بِي، وَعَبْدٌ مَمْلُوكٌ أَدَّى حَقَّ اللهِ وَحَقَّ مَوَالِيهِ،وَرَجُلٌ كَانَتْ لَهُ أَمَةٌ، فَأَدَّبَهَا فَأَحْسَنَ تَأْدِيبَهَا، ثُمَّ أَعْتَقَهَا فَتَزَوَّجَهَا»
(There are three who will be given their reward twice: a man among the People of the Book who believed in his Prophet then believed in me; a slave who fulfills his duty towards Allah and towards his master; and a man who has a slave woman and educates her and teaches her good manners, then he frees her and marries her.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said: "On the day of the Conquest ﴿of Makkah﴾ I was walking alongside the Messenger of Allah as he was riding, and he said some very beautiful words, including the following:
«مَنْ أَسْلَمَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابَيْنِ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَهُ مَا لَنَا وَعَلَيْهِ مَا عَلَيْنَا وَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ وَلَهُ مَا لَنَا وَعَلَيْهِ مَا عَلَيْنَا»
(Whoever among the people of the two Books becomes Muslim, he will have his reward twice, and he has the same rights and duties as we do. Whoever among the idolators becomes Muslim will have one reward, and he has the same rights and duties as we do.)'' Allah's saying:
﴿وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ﴾
(and repel evil with good,) means, they do not respond to evil in kind, rather they forgive and overlook.
﴿وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ﴾
(and spend out of what We have provided for them.) meaning, `from the lawful provision that We have given them, they spend on their families and relatives as they are required to do, and they pay Zakah and give voluntary charity.'
﴿وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُواْ عَنْهُ﴾
(And when they hear evil vain talk, they withdraw from it) meaning, they do not mix with the people who indulge in such talk, rather they do as Allah says:
﴿وَإِذَا مَرُّواْ بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّواْ كِراماً﴾
(and if they pass by some evil vain talk, they pass by it with dignity) (25:72).
﴿وَقَالُواْ لَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لاَ نَبْتَغِى الْجَـهِلِينَ﴾
(and they say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.'') means, if some foolish person speaks to them in a foolish manner and says something to which it does not befit them to respond, they turn away from him and do not respond in kind with ugly speech. They never say anything but good words. Allah says of them that they say:
﴿لَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لاَ نَبْتَغِى الْجَـهِلِينَ﴾
(To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.) meaning, `we do not seek the way of the ignorant and we do not like it.'
﴿إِنَّكَ لاَ تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ - وَقَالُواْ إِن نَّتَّبِعِ الْهُدَى مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَآ أَوَلَمْ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمْ حَرَماً ءَامِناً يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَاتُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ رِّزْقاً مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴾
(56. Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.) (57. And they say: "If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.'' Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary, to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.)
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