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The Prohibition of following the Ways of the People of the Book Print E-mail

Allah warned His believing servants against following the ways of the People of Book, who publicly and secretly harbor emnity and hatred for the believers, and who envy the believers, while they recognize the virtue of the believers and their Prophet . Allah also commanded His believing servants to forgive them and to be patient with them, until Allah delivers His aid and victory to them. Allah commanded the believers to perform the prayer perfectly, to pay the Zakah and He encouraged them to preserve the practice of these righteous deeds.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Ka`b bin Malik said that Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf, who was a Jew and a poet, used to criticize the Prophet in his poems, so Allah revealed,

﴿وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم﴾

(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away..) regarding his matter.

Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, "An unlettered Messenger came to the People of the Scriptures confirming what they have in their own Books about the Messengers and the Ayat of Allah. He also believes in all of this, just as they believe in it. Yet, they rejected the Prophet out of disbelief, envy and transgression. This is why Allah said,

﴿كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ﴾

(out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them).

Allah said that after He illuminated the truth for them, such that they were not ignorant of any of it, yet their envy made them deny the Prophet . Thus Allah criticized, chastised and denounced them.'' Allah legislated the characteristics that His Prophet and the believers should adhere to: belief, faith and accepting what Allah revealed to them and to those before them out of His generosity and tremendous kindness.

Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that,

﴿مِّنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِهِمْ﴾

(from their own selves) means, "of their making.'' Also, Abu Al-`Aliyah said that,

﴿مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ﴾

(even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them) means, "After it became clear that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah whom they find written of in the Torah and the Injil. They denied him in disbelief and transgression because he was not one of them.'' Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said similarly. Allah said,

﴿فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ﴾

(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command.) this is similar to His saying;

﴿وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَذًى كَثِيراً﴾

(And you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah) (3: 186).

`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement,

﴿فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ﴾

(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command.) was abrogated by the Ayah,

﴿فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ﴾

(Then kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them) (9:5), and,

﴿قَـتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ﴾

(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day) (9:29) until,

﴿وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ﴾

(And feel themselves subdued) (9:29).

Allah's pardon for the disbelievers was repealed.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said similarly: It was abrogated by the Ayah of the sword." (Mentioned above). The Ayah,

﴿حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ﴾

(till Allah brings His command.) gives further support for this view.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded Usamah bin Zayd saying that the Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to forgive the disbelievers and the People of the Book, just as Allah commanded in His statement,

﴿فَاعْفُواْ وَاصْفَحُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ﴾

(But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command. Verily, Allah is able to do all things).

The Messenger of Allah used to forgive them and was patient with them as Allah ordered him, until Allah allowed fighting them. Then Allah destroyed those who He decreed to be killed among the strong men of Quraysh, by the Prophet's forces. The chain of narration for this text is Sahih, but I did not see its wordings in the six collections of Hadith, although the basis of it is in the Two Sahihs, narrated from Usamah bin Zayd.


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