Allah mentioned the Tawrah that He sent down to His Prophet Musa, the one whom He spoke directly to, praising it, commanding that it should be implemented, before it was abrogated. Allah then mentioned the Injil, praised it and commanded its people to adhere to it and follow it, as we stated. He next mentioned the Glorious Qur'an that He sent down to His honorable servant and Messenger. Allah said,
(And We have sent down to you the Book in truth...) meaning, with the truth that, no doubt, is coming from Allah,
(confirming the Scripture that came before it) meaning, the Divinely Revealed Books that praised the Qur'an and mentioned that it would be sent down from Allah to His servant and Messenger Muhammad . The Qur'an was revealed as was foretold in the previous Scriptures. This fact increased faith in the previous Scriptures for the sincere who have knowledge of these Scriptures, those who adhered to Allah's commands and Laws and believed in His Messengers. Allah said,
(Say: "Believe in it or do not believe (in it). 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.'') meaning that they say, the promise of our Lord, concerning the coming of Muhammad by the words of His previous Messengers, will certainly be fulfilled. Allah's statement,
(and Muhayminan over it) means entrusted over it, according to Sufyan Ath-Thawri who narrated it from Abu Ishaq from At-Tamimi from Ibn `Abbas. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Muhaymin is, `the Trustworthy'. Allah says that the Qur'an is trustworthy over every Divine Book that preceded it.'' This was reported from `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b, `Atiyyah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. Ibn Jarir said, "The Qur'an is trustworthy over the Books that preceded it. Therefore, whatever in these previous Books conforms to the Qur'an is true, and whatever disagrees with the Qur'an is false.'' Al-Walibi said that Ibn `Abbas said that Muhayminan means, `Witness'. Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi said the same. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that Muhayminan means, `dominant over the previous Scriptures'. These meanings are similar, as the word Muhaymin includes them all. Consequently, the Qur'an is trustworthy, a witness, and dominant over every Scripture that preceded it. This Glorious Book, which Allah revealed as the Last and Final Book, is the most encompassing, glorious and perfect Book of all times. The Qur'an includes all the good aspects of previous Scriptures and even more, which no previous Scripture ever contained. This is why Allah made it trustworthy, a witness and dominant over all Scriptures. Allah promised that He will protect the Qur'an and swore by His Most Honorable Self,
(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).) Allah said,
(So judge between them by what Allah has revealed.) The Ayah commands: O Muhammad! Rule between the people, Arabs and non-Arabs, lettered and unlettered, by what Allah has revealed to you in this Glorious Book and what it approves of for you from the Law of the previous Prophets, as Ibn Jarir said. Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Prophet had the choice to judge between them or to turn away from them and refer them to their own Law. Then this Ayah was revealed,
(So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires. ..) and he was commanded to judge between them by our Book.''. Allah's statement
(and follow not their vain desires...) This means the ideas they promote, because of which they turned away from what Allah revealed to His Messengers. This is why Allah said,
(And follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.) The Ayah commands: Do not diverge from the truth that Allah has ordained for you, to the vain desires of these miserable, ignorant people. Allah's statement,
(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way.)
(To each among you, We have prescribed a law) Shir`at meaning, a clear path, as Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn `Abbas.
(If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation.) This is a general proclamation to all nations informing them of Allah's mighty ability. If Allah wills, He would make all mankind follow one religion and one Law, that would never be abrogated. Allah decided that every Prophet would have his own distinct law that is later abrogated partially or totally with the law of a latter Prophet. Later on, all previous laws were abrogated by the Law that Allah sent with Muhammad , His servant and Messenger, whom Allah sent to the people of earth as the Final Prophet. Allah said,
(If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you.) This Ayah means, Allah has instituted different laws to test His servants' obedience to what He legislates for them, thus, He rewards or punishes them according to their actions and what they intend. `Abdullah bin Kathir said that the Ayah,
(In what He has given you.) means, of the Book. Next, Allah encouraged rushing to perform good deeds,
(so strive as in a race in good deeds.) which are obedience to Allah, following His Law that abrogated the laws that came before it, and believing in His Book, the Qur'an, which is the Final Book that He revealed. Allah said next,
(The return of you (all) is to Allah;) Therefore, O people, your return and final destination is to Allah on the Day of Resurrection,
(then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.) Allah will inform you about the truth in which you used to differ and will reward the sincere, as compensation for their sincerity, and will punish the disbelieving, rebellious people who rejected the truth and deviated from it to other paths, without proof or evidence to justify their actions. Rather, they have rejected the clear evidences, unequivocal proofs and established signs. Ad-Dahhak said that,
(So strive as in a race in good deeds.) is directed at the Ummah of Muhammad , but the first view is more apparent. Allah's statement,
(And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires,) emphasizes this command and forbids ignoring it. Allah said next,
(but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you. ) meaning; beware of the Jews, your enemies, lest they distort the truth for you in what they convey to you. Therefore, do not be deceived by them, for they are liars, treacherous and disbelievers.
(And if they turn away,) from the judgement that you pass in their disputes, and they defy Allah's Law,
(then know that Allah's will is to punish them for some sins of theirs.) meaning, know that this will occur according to the decree of Allah, and because out of His wisdom they have deviated from the truth, and because of their previous sins.
(And truly, most men are rebellious.) Therefore, the majority of humans are disobedient to their Lord, defiant of the truth and deviate away from it. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And most people will not believe even if you desire it eagerly,) and,
(And if you obey most of those on the earth they will mislead you far away from Allah's path.) Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Ka`b bin Asad, Ibn Saluba, `Abdullah bin Surya and Shas bin Qays said to each other, `Let us go to Muhammad to try and misguide him from his religion.' So they went to the Prophet and said, `O Muhammad! You know that we are the scholars, noblemen and chiefs of the Jews. If we follow you, the Jews will follow suit and will not contradict us. But, there is enmity between us and some of our people, so we will refer to you for judgement in this matter, and you should rule in our favor against them and we will believe in you.' The Messenger of Allah refused the offer and Allah sent down these Ayat about them,
(And so judge between them by what Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you far away from some of that which Allah has sent down to you.) until,
(for a people who have firm faith.)'' Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this Hadith. Allah continues,
(Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith) Allah criticizes those who ignore Allah's commandments, which include every type of righteous good thing and prohibit every type of evil, but they refer instead to opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allah's religion. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to abide by the misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts. The Tatar (Mongols) abided by the law that they inherited from their king Genghis Khan who wrote Al-Yasiq, for them. This book contains some rulings that were derived from various religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of these rulings were derived from his own opinion and desires. Later on, these rulings became the followed law among his children, preferring them to the Law of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger . Therefore, whoever does this, he is a disbeliever who deserves to be fought against, until he reverts to Allah's and His Messenger's decisions, so that no law, minor or major, is referred to except by His Law. Allah said,
(Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance) meaning, they desire and want this and ignore Allah's judgement,
(And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith) Who is more just in decision than Allah for those who comprehend Allah's Law, believe in Him, who are certain that Allah is the best among those who give decisions and that He is more merciful with His creation than the mother with her own child Allah has perfect knowledge of everything, is able to do all things, and He is just in all matters. Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The most hated person to Allah is the Muslim who seeks the ways of the days of ignorance and he who seeks to shed the blood of a person without justification.) Al-Bukhari recorded Abu Al-Yaman narrating a similar Hadith, with some addition.
(51. O you who believe! Do not take friends from the Jews and the Christians, as they are but friends of each other. And if any among you befriends them, then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.) (52. And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease, they hurry to their friendship, saying: "We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us. '' Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His will. Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves.) (53. And those who believe will say: "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you'' All that they did has been in vain, and they have become the losers.)
Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this,
(And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Umar ordered Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari to send him on one sheet of balance the count of what he took in and what he spent. Abu Musa then had a Christian scribe, and he was able to comply with `Umar's demand. `Umar liked what he saw and exclaimed, "This scribe is proficient. Would you read in the Masjid a letter that came to us from Ash-Sham'' Abu Musa said, `He cannot.'' `Umar said, "Is he not pure'' Abu Musa said, "No, but he is Christian.'' Abu Musa said, "So `Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, `Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).' He then recited,
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends...)'' Then he reported that `Abdullah bin `Utbah said, "Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware.'' The narrator of this statement said, "We thought that he was referring to the Ayah,
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, )'' Allah said,
(And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease...) A disease of doubt, hesitation and hypocrisy.
(they hurry to their friendship,) meaning, they rush to offer them their friendship and allegiances in secret and in public,
(saying: "We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.") They thus offer this excuse for their friendship and allegiances to the disbelievers, saying that they fear that the disbelievers might defeat the Muslims, so they want to be in favor with the Jews and Christians, to use this favor for their benefit in that eventuality! Allah replied,
(Perhaps Allah may bring a victory...) referring to the conquering of Makkah, according to As-Suddi.
(or a decision according to His will) requiring the Jews and Christians to pay the Jizyah, as As-Suddi stated,
(Then they will become) meaning, the hypocrites who gave their friendship to the Jews and Christians, will become,
(for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves) of allegiances,
(regretful,) for their friendship with the Jews and Christians which did not benefit them or protect them from any harm. Rather, it was nothing but harm, as Allah exposed their true reality to His faithful servants in this life, although they tried to conceal it. When the signs that exposed their hypocrisy were compiled against them, their matter became clear to Allah's faithful servants. So the believers were amazed at these hypocrites who pretended to be believers, swearing to their faithfulness, yet their claims were all lies and deceit. This is why Allah said,
(And those who believe will say, "Are these the men who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that they were with you'' All that they did has been in vain, and they have become the losers.)
(54. O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and never fearing the blame of the blamers. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.) (55. Verily, your Protector is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, those who perform the Salah, and give Zakah, and they bow down.) (56. And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious.)
Allah emphasizes His mighty ability and states that whoever reverts from supporting His religion and establishing His Law, then Allah will replace them with whomever is better, mightier and more righteous in Allah's religion and Law. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes.) and,
(Do you not see that Allah has created the heavens and the earth with truth If He will, He can remove you and bring (in your place) a new creation! And for Allah that is not hard or difficult.) (14:19-20). Verily this is not difficult or hard on Allah. Allah said here,
(O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion...) and turns back from the truth to falsehood, from now until the commencement of the Last Hour. Allah said next,
(humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers.) These are the qualities of perfect believers, as they are humble with their believing brothers and allies, stern with their enemies and adversaries. In another Ayah, Allah said,
(Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.) The Prophet is described as the smiling fighter, smiling to his allies and fighting his enemies. Allah's statement,
(Fighting in the way of Allah, and never fearing the blame of the blamers.) Nothing prevents them from obeying Allah, establishing His Law, fighting His enemies, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. Certainly, nothing prevents them from taking this path, neither someone who seeks to hinder them, nor one who blames or chastises them. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "My Khalil (intimate friend, the Messenger) has commanded me to do seven deeds. He commanded me to love the poor and to be close to them. He commanded me to look at those who are less than me and not those who are above me. He commanded me to keep the relations of the womb, even if they cut it. He commanded me not to ask anyone for anything, to say the truth even if it was bitter, and to not fear the blame of anyone for the sake of Allah. He commanded me to often repeat, `La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no strength or power except from Allah)', for these words are from a treasure under the Throne (of Allah).'' It is confirmed in the Sahih;
(The believer is not required to humiliate himself.) He was asked; "How does one humiliate himself, O Messenger of Allah'' So he replied;
(He takes on tests that he cannot bear.)
(That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills.) meaning, those who have these qualities, acquired it by Allah's bounty and favor and because He granted them these qualities.
(And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower,) His favor is ever extending, and He has perfect knowledge of those who deserve or do not deserve His favor and bounty. Allah's statement,
(Verily, your Protector is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers...) means, the Jews are not your friends. Rather, your allegiance is to Allah, His Messenger and the faithful believers.
(those who perform the Salah, and give the Zakah...) referring to the believers who have these qualities and establish the prayer, which is one of the most important pillars of Islam, for it includes worshipping Allah alone without partners. They pay Zakah, which is the right of the creation and a type of help extended to the needy and the poor. As for Allah's statement,
(and they bow down,) some people thought that they give the Zakah while bowing down. If this were the case, then paying the Zakah while bowing would be the best form of giving Zakah. No scholar from whom religious rulings are taken says this, as much as we know. Therefore,
(and they bow down,) means, they attend the prayer in congregation in Allah's Masjids and spend by way of charity on the various needs of Muslims. Allah said;
(And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious.) similarly Allah said;
(Allah has decreed: "Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.'' Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty. You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a Ruh (proof) from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the party of Allah. Verily, it is the party of Allah that will be the successful.) Therefore, those who accept the allegiance of Allah - His Messenger and the faithful believers - will gain success in this life and the Hereafter. Hence Allah's statement here,
(And whosoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as protectors, then the party of Allah will be the victorious.)
(57. O you who believe! Do not take as friends those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from those who received the Scriptures before you, and (nor) the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers. ) (58. And when you proclaim the call for the Salah, they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.)