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The Jews tried to kill the Prophet

Az-Zamakhshari commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ فَفَرِيقً۬ا كَذَّبۡتُمۡ وَفَرِيقً۬ا تَقۡتُلُونَ

(Some you disbelieved and some you kill), "Allah did not say `killed' here, because the Jews would still try to kill the Prophet in the future, using poison and magic.'' During the illness that preceded his death, the Prophet said,

« مَا زَالَتْ أَكْلَةُ خَيْبَرَ تُعَاوِدُنِي، فَهذَا أَوَانُ انْقِطَاعِ أَبْهَرِي »

(I kept feeling the effect of what I ate (from the poisoned sheep) during the day of Khaybar, until now, when it is the time that the aorta will be cut off (meaning when death is near).)

This Hadith was collected by Al-Bukhari and others

﴿ وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلۡفُۢ‌ۚ بَل لَّعَنَہُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُفۡرِهِمۡ فَقَلِيلاً۬ مَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(88. And they say, "Our hearts are Ghulf.'' Nay, Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is that which they believe.)

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said that,

﴿ وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلۡفُۢ‌ۚ

(And they say, "Our hearts are Ghulf.''), means, "Our hearts are screened.'' Mujahid also said that,

﴿ وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلۡفُۢ‌ۚ

(And they say, "Our hearts are Ghulf.''), means, "They are covered. ''`Ikrimah said, "There is a stamp on them.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "They do not comprehend.'' Mujahid and Qatadah said that Ibn `Abbas read the Ayah in a way that means, "Our hearts contain every type of knowledge and do not need the knowledge that you (O Muhammad) have.'' This is the opinion of `Ata' and Ibn `Abbas.

﴿ بَل لَّعَنَہُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُفۡرِهِمۡ

(Nay, Allah has cursed them for their disbelief) meaning, "Allah expelled them and deprived them of every type of righteousness.'' Qatadah said that the Ayah,

﴿ فَقَلِيلاً۬ مَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(So little is that which they believe.) means, "Only a few of them believe.'' Allah's statement,

﴿ وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلۡفُۢ‌ۚ

(And they say, "Our hearts are Ghulf.'') is similar to His statement,

﴿ وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا فِىٓ أَڪِنَّةٍ۬ مِّمَّا تَدۡعُونَآ إِلَيۡهِ

(And they say: "Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us) (41:5).

This is why Allah said here,

﴿ بَل لَّعَنَہُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُفۡرِهِمۡ فَقَلِيلاً۬ مَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(Nay, Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so little is that which they believe.) meaning, "It is not as they claim. Rather, their hearts are cursed and stamped,'' just as Allah said in Surat An-Nisa' (4:155),

﴿ وَقَوۡلِهِمۡ قُلُوبُنَا غُلۡفُۢ‌ۚ بَلۡ طَبَعَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہَا بِكُفۡرِهِمۡ فَلَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

(And of their saying: "Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say) ـ nay, Allah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.)

There is a difference of opinion regarding the meaning of Allah's statement,

﴿ فَقَلِيلاً۬ مَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(So little is that which they believe.) and His statement,

﴿ فَلَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

(So they believe not except a few). Some scholars said that the Ayat indicate that a few of them would believe, or that their faith is minute, because they believe in Resurrection and in Allah's reward and punishment that Musa foretold. Yet, this faith will not benefit them since it is overshadowed by their disbelief in what Muhammad brought them. Some scholars said that the Jews did not actually believe in anything and that Allah said,

﴿ فَقَلِيلاً۬ مَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(So little is that which they believe), meaning, they do not believe. This meaning is similar to the Arabic expression, "Hardly have I seen anything like this,'' meaning, "I have never seen anything like this.''

﴿ وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمۡ كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ۬ لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ وَكَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ يَسۡتَفۡتِحُونَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُواْ ڪَفَرُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۚ فَلَعۡنَةُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ

(89. And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur'an) from Allah confirming what is with them (the Tawrah) and the Injil (Gospel), although aforetime they had invoked Allah (for the coming of Muhammad) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it. So let the curse of Allah be on the disbelievers.)

The Jews were awaiting the Prophet's coming, but They disbelieved in Him when He was sent

Allah said,

﴿ وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمُ

(And when there came to them) meaning, the Jews,

﴿ كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ

(a Book from Allah) meaning, the Qur'an that Allah sent down to Muhammad,

﴿ مُصَدِّقٌ۬ لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ

(confirming what is with them) meaning, the Tawrah. Further, Allah said,

﴿ وَكَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ يَسۡتَفۡتِحُونَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

(although aforetime they had invoked Allah (for coming of Muhammad ) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved) meaning, before this Messenger came to them, they used to ask Allah to aid them by his arrival, against their polytheistic enemies in war. They used to say to the polytheists, "A Prophet shall be sent just before the end of this world and we, along with him, shall exterminate you, just as the nations of `Ad and Iram were exterminated.'' Also, Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Jews used to invoke Allah (for the coming of Muhammad) in order to gain victory over the Aws and Khazraj, before the Prophet was sent. When Allah sent him to the Arabs, they rejected him and denied what they used to say about him. Hence, Mu`adh bin Jabal and Bishr bin Al-Bara' bin Ma`rur, from Bani Salamah, said to them, `O Jews! Fear Allah and embrace Islam. You used to invoke Allah for the coming of Muhammad when we were still disbelievers and you used to tell us that he would come and describe him to us,' Salam bin Mushkim from Bani An-Nadir replied, `He did not bring anything that we recognize. He is not the Prophet we told you about.' Allah then revealed this Ayah about their statement,

﴿ وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمۡ كِتَـٰبٌ۬ مِّنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ۬ لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ

(And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur'an) from Allah confirming what is with them (the Tawrah) and the Injil (Gospel)).'''

Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "The Jews used to ask Allah to send Muhammad so that they would gain victory over the Arab disbelievers. They used to say, `O Allah! Send the Prophet that we read about - in the Tawrah - so that we can torment and kill the disbelievers alongside him.' When Allah sent Muhammad and they saw that he was not one of them, they rejected him and envied the Arabs, even though they knew that he was the Messenger of Allah. Hence, Allah said,

﴿ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُواْ ڪَفَرُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۚ فَلَعۡنَةُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ

(Then when there came to them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it. So let the curse of Allah be on the disbelievers). ''

﴿ بِئۡسَمَا ٱشۡتَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦۤ أَنفُسَهُمۡ أَن يَڪۡفُرُواْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ بَغۡيًا أَن يُنَزِّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦ‌ۖ فَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ۬‌ۚ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬

(90. How bad is that for which they have sold their own selves, that they should disbelieve in that which Allah has revealed (the Qur'an), grudging that Allah should reveal of His grace unto whom He wills of His servants. So they have drawn on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the disbelievers, there is disgracing torment.)

Mujahid said,

﴿ بِئۡسَمَا ٱشۡتَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦۤ أَنفُسَهُمۡ

(How bad is that for which they have sold their own selves), "The Jews sold the truth for falsehood and hid the truth about Muhammad.'' As-Suddi said that the Ayah,

﴿ بِئۡسَمَا ٱشۡتَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦۤ أَنفُسَهُمۡ

(How bad is that for which they have sold their own selves) means, "The Jews sold themselves.'' meaning, what is worse is what they chose for themselves by disbelieving in what Allah revealed to Muhammad instead of believing, aiding and supporting him. This behavior of theirs is the result of their injustice, envy and hatred,

﴿ أَن يُنَزِّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦ‌ۖ

(grudging that Allah should reveal of His grace unto whom He wills of His servants). '' There is no envy worse than this. Therefore,

﴿ فَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ۬‌ۚ

(So they have drawn on themselves wrath upon wrath). Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, "Allah became angry with them because they ignored some of the Tawrah and disbelieved in the Prophet that He sent to them.'' I (Ibn Kathir) say that the meaning of,

﴿ َبَآءُو

(And they drew on themselves) is that they deserved and acquired multiplied anger. Also, Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "Allah became angry with them, because of their disbelief in the Injil and `Isa and He became angry with them again, because they disbelieved in Muhammad and the Qur'an.'' Similar was said by `Ikrimah and Qatadah. Allah said,

﴿ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬

(And for the disbelievers, there is disgracing torment). Since their disbelief was a result of their transgression and envy, which was caused by arrogance, they were punished with disgrace and humiliation in this world and the Hereafter. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدۡخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

(Verily, those who scorn My worship (i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness) they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!'') (40:60) meaning, "Disgraced, degraded and humiliated.'' Imam Ahmad narrated that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his father said that his grandfather said that the Prophet said,

« يُحْشَرُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَمْثَالَ الذَّرِّ فِي صُوَرِ النَّاسِ، يَعْلُوهُمْ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ مِنَ الصِّغَارِ حَتَّى يَدْخُلُوا سِجْنًا فِي جَهَنَّمَ يُقَالُ لَهُ. بَوْلَسُ تَعْلُوهُمْ نَارُ الْأَنْيَارِ يُسْقَونَ مِنْ طِينَةِ الْخَبَالِ عُصَارَةِ أَهْلِ النَّار »

(The arrogant people will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection in the size of ants, but in the shape of men. Everything shall be above them, because of the humiliation placed on them, until they enter a prison in Jahannam called `Bawlas' where the fire will surround them from above. They shall drink from the puss of the people of the Fire.)

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ قَالُواْ نُؤۡمِنُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا وَيَكۡفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَآءَهُ ۥ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ‌ۗ قُلۡ فَلِمَ تَقۡتُلُونَ أَنۢبِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ مِن قَبۡلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُم مُّوسَىٰ بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ ثُمَّ ٱتَّخَذۡتُمُ ٱلۡعِجۡلَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦ وَأَنتُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ

(91. And when it is said to them (the Jews), "Believe in what Allah has sent down,'' they say, "We believe in what was sent down to us.'' And they disbelieve in that which came after it, while it is the truth confirming what is with them. Say (O Muhammad to them): "Why then have you killed the Prophets of Allah aforetime, if you indeed have been believers'') (92. And indeed Musa came to you with clear proofs, yet you worshipped the calf after he left, and you were Zalimun.)

Although The Jews denied the Truth, They claimed to be Believers!

Allah said,

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ

(And when it is said to them), meaning, the Jews and the People of the Book,

﴿ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ

(Believe in what Allah has sent down) to Muhammad, believe in and follow him,

﴿ قَالُواْ نُؤۡمِنُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا

(They say, "We believe in what was sent down to us.'') meaning, it is enough for us to believe in what was revealed to us in the Tawrah and the Injil, and this is the path that we choose,

﴿ وَيَكۡفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَآءَهُ ۥ

(And they disbelieve in that which came after it).

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ‌ۗ

(while it is the truth confirming what is with them) meaning, while knowing that what was revealed to Muhammad ,

﴿ ٱلۡحَقُّ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا مَعَهُمۡ‌ۗ

(it is the truth confirming what is with them). This means that since what was sent to Muhammad conforms to what was revealed to the People of the Book, then this fact constitutes a proof against them. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ يَعۡرِفُونَهُ ۥ كَمَا يَعۡرِفُونَ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ‌ۖ

(Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognize him (Muhammad) as they recognize their sons) (2:146). Allah said next,

﴿ فَلِمَ تَقۡتُلُونَ أَنۢبِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ مِن قَبۡلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ

("Why then have you killed the Prophets of Allah aforetime, if you indeed have been believers'').

This means, "If your claim that you believe in what was revealed to you is true, then why did you kill the Prophets who came to you affirming the Tawrah's Law, although you knew they were true Prophets You killed them simply out of transgression, stubbornness and injustice with Allah's Messengers. Therefore, you only follow your lusts, opinions and desires.'' Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَآءَكُمۡ رَسُولُۢ بِمَا لَا تَہۡوَىٰٓ أَنفُسُكُمُ ٱسۡتَكۡبَرۡتُمۡ فَفَرِيقً۬ا كَذَّبۡتُمۡ وَفَرِيقً۬ا تَقۡتُلُونَ

(Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant Some you disbelieved and some you killed.)

Also, As-Suddi said, "In this Ayah, Allah chastised the People of the Book,

﴿ قُلۡ فَلِمَ تَقۡتُلُونَ أَنۢبِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ مِن قَبۡلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ

(Say (O Muhammad to them): "Why then have you killed the Prophets of Allah aforetime, if you indeed have been believers'').''

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُم مُّوسَىٰ بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ

(And indeed Musa came to you with clear proofs) meaning, with clear signs and clear proofs that he was the Messenger of Allah and that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. The clear signs -or miracles- mentioned here are the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, the blood, the staff and the hand. Musa's miracles also include parting the sea, shading the Jews with clouds, the manna and quails, the gushing stone, etc.

﴿ ثُمَّ ٱتَّخَذۡتُمُ ٱلۡعِجۡلَ

(yet you worshipped the calf) meaning, as a deity instead of Allah, during the time of Musa. Allah's statement,

﴿ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦ

(after he left) after Musa went to Mount Tur to speak to Allah. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ وَٱتَّخَذَ قَوۡمُ مُوسَىٰ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦ مِنۡ حُلِيِّهِمۡ عِجۡلاً۬ جَسَدً۬ا لَّهُ ۥ خُوَارٌ‌ۚ

(And the people of Musa made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound (as if it was mooing)) (7:148).

﴿ وَأَنتُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ

(and you were Zalimun) meaning, you were unjust in this behavior of worshipping the calf, although you knew that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فِىٓ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَرَأَوۡاْ أَنَّهُمۡ قَدۡ ضَلُّواْ قَالُواْ لَٮِٕن لَّمۡ يَرۡحَمۡنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا لَنَڪُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ

(And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they (repented and) said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers'') (7:149).

﴿ وَإِذۡ أَخَذۡنَا مِيثَـٰقَكُمۡ وَرَفَعۡنَا فَوۡقَڪُمُ ٱلطُّورَ خُذُواْ مَآ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰڪُم بِقُوَّةٍ۬ وَٱسۡمَعُواْ‌ۖ قَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا وَعَصَيۡنَا وَأُشۡرِبُواْ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ ٱلۡعِجۡلَ بِڪُفۡرِهِمۡ‌ۚ قُلۡ بِئۡسَمَا يَأۡمُرُڪُم بِهِۦۤ إِيمَـٰنُكُمۡ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ

(93. And (remember) when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying), "Hold firmly to what We have given you and hear (Our Word).'' They said, "We have heard and disobeyed.'' And their hearts absorbed (the worship of) the calf because of their disbelief. Say: "Worst indeed is that which your faith enjoins on you if you are believers.'')