|Refuting the People of the Book's Claim that they are Allah's Children|
Allah then refutes the Christians' and Jews' false claims and lies,
﴿وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَـرَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ﴾
(And the Jews and the Christians say, "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.") They claim: "We are the followers of Allah's Prophets, who are His children, whom He takes care of. He also loves us.'' The People of the Book claim in their Book that Allah said to His servant Isra'il, "You are my firstborn.'' But they explained this statement in an improper manner and altered its meaning. Some of the People of the Book who later became Muslims refuted this false statement saying, "This statement only indicates honor and respect, as is common in their speech at that time.'' The Christians claim that `Isa said to them, "I will go back to my father and your father,'' meaning, my Lord and your Lord. It is a fact that the Christians did not claim that they too are Allah's sons as they claimed about `Isa. Rather this statement by `Isa only meant to indicate a closeness with Allah. This is why when they said that they are Allah's children and loved ones, Allah refuted their claim,
﴿قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم﴾
(Say, "Why then does He punish you for your sins") meaning, if you were truly as you claim, Allah's children and loved ones, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims
﴿بَلْ أَنتُمْ بَشَرٌ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ﴾
(Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created,) Allah states: you are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and Allah is the Lord of all His creation,
﴿يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ﴾
(He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills.) Allah does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgement, and He is swift in reckoning.
﴿وَللَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا﴾
(And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them;) Therefore, everything is Allah's property and under His power and control,
(and to Him is the return.) In the end, the return will be to Allah and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment.
﴿يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ عَلَى فَتْرَةٍ مَّنَ الرُّسُلِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَآءَنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴾
(19. O People of the Scripture! Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers, lest you say: "There came to us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.'' But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allah is able to do all things. ) Allah is addressing the People of the Book -- the Jews and the Christians, saying that He has sent His Messenger Muhammad to them, the Final Prophet, after whom there will be no Prophet or Messenger. Rather, He is the Final Messenger who came after a long time passed between him and `Isa, son of Maryam peace be upon them. There is a difference of opinion about the length of time between `Isa and Muhammad . Abu `Uthman An-Nahdi and Qatadah were reported to have said that this period was six hundred years. Al-Bukhari also recorded this opinion from Salman Al-Farisi. Qatadah said that this period was five hundred and sixty years, while Ma`mar said that it is five hundred and forty years. Some said that this period is six hundred and twenty years. There is no contradiction here if we consider the fact that those who said that this period was six hundred years were talking about solar years, while the second refers to lunar years, since there is a difference of about three years between every one hundred lunar and solar years. As in Allah's statement,
﴿وَلَبِثُواْ فِى كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلاثَ مِئَةٍ سِنِينَ وَازْدَادُواْ تِسْعًا ﴾
(And they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, adding nine.) meaning, nine more lunar years to substitute for the difference between lunar and solar years, thus agreeing with the three hundred years that the People of the Book knew about. We should assert again that the time period we mentioned here was between `Isa, the last Prophet to the Children of Israel, and Muhammad , the Last Prophet and Messenger among the children of Adam. In the Sahih collected by Al-Bukhari, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِابْنِ مَرْيَمَ لَأَنَا، لَيْسَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ نَبِي»
(I, among all people, have the most right to the son of Maryam, for there was no Prophet between Him and I.) This Hadith refutes the opinion of Al-Quda`i and others, that there was a Prophet after `Isa called Khalid bin Sinan. Allah sent Muhammad after a period of time during which there was no Prophet, clear path, or unchanged religions. Idol worshipping, fire worshipping and cross worshipping flourished during this time. Therefore, the bounty of sending Muhammad was the perfect bounty at a time when he was needed the most. Evil had filled the earth by then, and tyranny and ignorance had touched all the servants, except a few of those who remained loyal to the true teachings of previous Prophets, such as some Jewish rabbis, Christian priests and Sabian monks. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Iyad bin Himar Al-Mujash`i said that the Prophet gave a speech one day and said,
«وَإِنَّ رَبِّي أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أُعَلِّمَكُمْ مَا جَهِلْتُمْ مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي فِي يَوْمِي هَذَا، كُلُّ مَالٍ نَحَلْتُهُ عِبَادِي حَلَالٌ، وَإِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ كُلَّهُمْ، وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ أَتَتْهُمْ فَأَضَلَّتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ، وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُمْ، وَأَمَرَتْهُمْ أَنْ يُشْرِكُوا بِي مَا لَمْ أُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا، ثُمَّ إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ نَظَرَ إِلى أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ فَمقَتَهُمْ عَرَبَهُمْ وعَجَمَهُمْ، إِلَّا بَقَايَا مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ، وقَالَ: إِنَّمَا بَعَثْتُكَ لِأَبْتَلِيَكَ وَأَبْتَلِيَ بِكَ، وَأَنْزَلْتُ عَلَيْكَ كِتَابًا لَا يَغْسِلُهُ الْمَاءُ،تَقْرَأُهُ نَائِمًا وَيَقْظَانَ، ثُمَّ إِنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أُحَرِّقَ قُرَيْشًا فَقُلْتُ: يَارَبِّ إِذَنْ يَثْلَغُوا رَأْسِي، فَيَدَعُوهُ خُبْزَةً، فَقَالَ: اسْتَخْرِجْهُمْ كَمَا اسْتَخْرَجُوكَ، واغْزُهُمْ نُغْزِكَ، وَأَنْفِقْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَسَنُنْفِقَ عَلَيْكَ، وَابْعَثْ جَيْشًا نَبْعَثْ خَمْسًا أَمْثَالَهُ، وَقَاتِلْ بِمَنْ أَطَاعَكَ مَنْ عَصَاكَ، وَأَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ ثَلَاثَةٌ: ذوُ سُلْطانٍ مُقْسِطٌ مُوَفَّقٌ مُتَصَدِّقٌ، وَرَجُلٌ رَحِيمٌ رَقِيقُ الْقَلْبِ بِكُلِّ ذِي قُرْبَى وَمُسْلِمٍ، وَرَجُلٌ عَفِيفٌ فَقِيرٌ ذُو عِيَالٍ (مُتَصَدِّقٌ). وَأَهْلُ النَّارِ خَمْسَةٌ: الضَّعِيفُ الَّذي لَا دِينَ لَهُ، وَالَّذِين هُمْ فِيكُمْ تَبَعٌ أَوْ تَبَعًا شَكَّ يَحْيى لَا يَبْتَغُون أَهْلًا وَلَا مَالًا، وَالْخَائِنُ الَّذِي لَا يَخْفَى لَهُ طَمَعٌ وَإِنْ دَقَّ إِلَّا خَانَهُ، وَرَجُلٌ لَا يُصْبِحُ وَلَا يُمْسِي إِلَّا وَهُوَ يُخَادِعُكَ عَنْ أَهْلِكَ وَمَالِكَ وَذَكَرَ الْبَخِيلَ أَوِ الْكَذَّابَ وَالشِّنْظِيرَ: الفَاحِش»
(My Lord has commanded me to teach you what you have no knowledge of and of which He taught me this day, `All the wealth that I gave to My servants is permissible. I created all My servants Hunafa (monotheists). But, the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibited for them what I allowed and commanded them to associate others with Me ﴿in worship﴾, which I gave no permission for.' Then Allah looked at the people of the earth and disliked them all, the Arabs and non-Arabs among them, except a few from among the Children of Israel. Allah said (to me), `I only sent you to test you and to test with you. I sent to you a Book that cannot be washed by water (it is eternal), and you will read it while asleep and while awake.' Allah has also Commanded me to burn (destroy) Quraysh. So I said, `O Lord! They will smash my head and leave it like a piece of bread.' He said, `I will drive them out as they drove you out, and when you invade them We will help you. Spend on them (your companions) and We will spend on you, send an army and We will send five armies like it (in its support). Fight with those who obey you, against those who disobey you. And the inhabitants of Paradise are three: a just, prosperous, and charitable ruler; A merciful man who has a kind heart toward every relative and every Muslim; a forgiving, poor man with dependants ﴿who is charitable﴾. And the inhabitants of the Fire are five: the weak one with no religion; those who follow after you not for family reasons nor wealth; and the treacherous who does not hide his treachery, acting treacherous in even the most insignificant matters; and a person who comes every morning and every evening, is cheating your family or your wealth.') And he mentioned the stingy, or the liar, and the foulmouthed person.'' Therefore, the Hadith states that Allah looked at the people of the earth and disliked them all, both the Arabs and non-Arabs among them, except a few among the Children of Israel, or a few among the People of the Book as Muslim recorded. The religion was distorted and changed for the people of the earth until Allah sent Muhammad , and Allah, thus, guided the creatures and took them away from the darkness to the light and placed them on a clear path and a glorious Law. Allah said,
﴿أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَآءَنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ﴾
(lest you say, "There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.") meaning, so that you, who changed the true religion, do not make it an excuse and say, "No Messenger came to us bringing glad tidings and warning against evil.'' There has come to you a bringer of good news and a warner, Muhammad .
﴿وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ﴾
(And Allah is able to do all things. ) Ibn Jarir said this part of the Ayah means, "I am able to punish those who disobey Me and to reward those who obey Me.''
﴿وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ - يَاقَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الاٌّرْضَ المُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِى كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَـسِرِينَ - قَالُوا يَامُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْماً جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّى يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَخِلُونَ - قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَـلِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ - قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ - قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ - قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ ﴾
(20. And (remember) when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Remember the favor of Allah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Al-`Alamin).'') (21. "O my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back; for then you will be returned as losers.'') (22. They said: "O Musa! In it are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter.'') (23. Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His grace said: "Assault them through the gate; for when you are in, victory will be yours. And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.'') (24. They said: "O Musa! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.'') (25. He ﴿Musa﴾ said: "O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so Ifruq us from the rebellious people!'') (26. (Allah) said: "Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land. So do not greive for the rebellious people.'')
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