Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said,
(And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way) meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him. Similarly, Allah said,
(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them), until,
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.) ﴿60:1﴾. Allah said,
(O you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves) (4:144), and,
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.) (5:51).
Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins,
(And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.) (8:73).
Allah said next,
(unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'' Allah said,
(And Allah warns you against Himself.) meaning, He warns you against His anger and the severe torment He prepared for those who give their support to His enemies, and those who have enmity with His friends,
(And to Allah is the final return) meaning, the return is to Him and He will reward or punish each person according to their deeds.
(29. Say: "Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is able to do all things.'') (30. On the Day when every person will be confronted with the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself and Allah is full of kindness with the servants.)
Allah tells His servants that He knows the secrets and apparent matters and that nothing concerning them escapes His observation. Rather, His knowledge encompasses them in all conditions, time frames, days and instances. His knowledge encompasses all that is in heaven and earth, and nothing not even the weight of an atom, or what is smaller than that in the earth, seas and mountains, escapes His observation. Indeed,
(And Allah is able to do all things.) and His ability encompasses everything. This Ayah alerts Allah's servants that they should fear Him enough to not commit what He prohibits and dislikes, for He has perfect knowledge in all they do and is able to punish them promptly. And He gives respite to some of them, then He punishes them, and He is Swift and Mighty in taking account. This is why Allah said afterwards,
(On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done,) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah brings the good and evil deeds before the servant, just as He said,
(On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind.) ﴿75:13﴾.
When the servant sees his good deeds, he becomes happy and delighted. When he sees the evil deeds he committed, he becomes sad and angry. Then he will wish that he could disown his evil work and that a long distance separated it from him. He will also say to the devil who used to accompany him in this life, and who used to encourage him to do evil;
("Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts ـ a horrible companion (indeed)!) (43:38).
Allah then said, while threatening and warning,
(And Allah warns you against Himself) meaning, He warns you against His punishment. Allah then said, while bringing hope to His servants, so that they do not despair from His mercy or feel hopeless of His kindness,
(And Allah is full of kindness with the servants)
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Allah is so kind with them that He warns them against Himself.'' Others commented, "He is merciful with His creation and likes for them to remain on His straight path and chosen religion, and to follow His honorable Messenger.''
(31. Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. Muhammad), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (32. Say: "Obey Allah and the Messenger.'' But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers.)
This honorable Ayah judges against those who claim to love Allah, yet do not follow the way of Muhammad. Such people are not true in their claim until they follow the Shari`ah (Law) of Muhammad and his religion in all his statements, actions and conditions. It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever commits an act that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected of him.)
This is why Allah said here,
(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...'') meaning, what you will earn is much more than what you sought in loving Him, for Allah will love you. Al-Hasan Al-Basri and several scholars among the Salaf commented, "Some people claimed that they love Allah. So Allah tested them with this Ayah;
(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...''). ''
Allah then said,
("And forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') meaning, by your following the Messenger , you will earn all this with the blessing of his mission. Allah next commands everyone,
(Say: "Obey Allah and the Messenger.'' But if they turn away) by defying the Prophet)
(then Allah does not like the disbelievers.) thus, testifying that defiance of the Messenger's way constitutes Kufr. Indeed, Allah does not like whoever does this, even if he claims that he loves Allah and seeks a means of approach to Him, unless, and until, he follows the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger from Allah to the two creations: mankind and the Jinn. This is the Prophet who, if the previous Prophets and mighty Messengers were to have been alive during his time, they would have no choice but to follow, obey him, and to abide by his Law. We will mention this fact when we explain the Ayah,
(And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets) (3:81), Allah willing.
(33. Allah chose Adam, Nuh (Noah), the family of Ibrahim and the family of `Imran above the nations.) (34. Offspring, one of the other, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)
Allah states that He has chosen these households over the people of the earth. For instance, Allah chose Adam, created him with His Hand and blew life into him. Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, taught him the names of everything and allowed him to dwell in Paradise, but then sent him down from it out of His wisdom. Allah chose Nuh and made him the first Messenger to the people of the earth, when the people worshipped idols and associated others with Allah in worship. Allah avenged the way Nuh was treated, for he kept calling his people day and night, in public and in secret, for a very long time. However, his calling them only made them shun him more, and this is when Nuh supplicated against them. So Allah caused them to drown, and none among them was saved, except those who followed the religion that Allah sent to Nuh. Allah also chose the household of Ibrahim, including the master of all mankind, and the Final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him. Allah also chose the household of `Imran, the father of Marym bint `Imran, the mother of `Isa, peace be upon them. So `Isa is from the offspring of Ibrahim, as we will mention in the Tafsir of Surat Al-An`am, Allah willing, and our trust is in Him.
(35. (Remember) when the wife of `Imran said: "O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.'') (36. Then when she gave birth to her, she said: "O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child, ـ and Allah knew better what she bore, ـ "And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam, and I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.'')
The wife of `Imran mentioned here is the mother of Maryam, and her name is Hannah bint Faqudh. Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Hannah could not have children and that one day, she saw a bird feeding its chick. She wished she could have children and supplicated to Allah to grant her offspring. Allah accepted her supplication, and when her husband slept with her, she became pregnant. She vowed to make her child concentrate on worship and serving Bayt Al-Maqdis (the Masjid in Jerusalem), when she became aware that she was pregnant. She said,
(O my Lord! I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services, so accept this from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.) meaning, You hear my supplication and You know my intention. She did not know then what she would give birth to, a male or a female.
(Then when she gave birth to her, she said: "O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child, ـ and Allah knew better what she bore.)
(And the male is not like the female,) in strength and the commitment to worship Allah and serve the Masjid in Jerusalem.
(And I have named her Maryam,) thus, testifying to the fact that it is allowed to give a name to the newly born the day it is born, as is apparent from the Ayah, which is also a part of the law of those who were before us. Further, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah mentioned that the Prophet said,
(This night, a son was born for me and I called him by my father's name, Ibrahim.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.
They also recorded that Anas bin Malik brought his newborn brother to the Messenger of Allah who chewed a piece of date and put it in the child's mouth and called him `Abdullah. Other new born infants were also given names on the day they were born.
Qatadah narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Every new born boy held in security by his `Aqiqah, until his seventh day, a sacrifice is offered on his behalf, he is given a name, and the hair on his head is shaved.)
This Hadith was collected by Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan, and was graded Sahih by At-Tirmidhi. We should mention that another narration for this Hadith contained the wording, "and blood is offered on his behalf,'' which is more famous and established than the former narration, and Allah knows best.
Allah's statement that Maryam's mother said,
("...And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast.'') means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication, for `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.)
Abu Hurayrah then said, "Read if you will,
(And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast).'' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
(37. So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariyya. Every time he entered the Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Maryam! From where have you gotten this'' She said, "This is from Allah.'' Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.)