Allah states that the good news brought to Maryam about `Isa was even better because Allah would teach him,
(the Book and Al-Hikmah). It appears that the `Book' the Ayah mentioned here refers to writing. We explained the meaning of Al-Hikmah in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah.
(the Tawrah and the Injil). The Tawrah is the Book that Allah sent down to Musa, son of `Imran, while the Injil is what Allah sent down to `Isa, son of Maryam, peace be upon them, and `Isa memorized both Books. Allah's statement,
(And will make him a Messenger to the Children of Israel) means, that Allah will send `Isa as a Messenger to the Children of Israel, proclaiming to them,
(I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave). These are the miracles that `Isa performed; he used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow into it, and it became a bird by Allah's leave. Allah made this a miracle for `Isa to testify that He had sent him.
(And I heal him who is Akmah) meaning, `a person who was born blind,' which perfects this miracle and makes the challenge more daring.
(And the leper) which is a known disease,
(And I bring the dead to life by Allah's leave).
Many scholars stated that Allah sent every Prophet with a miracle suitable to his time. For instance, in the time of Musa, magic was the trade of the time, and magicians held a high position. So Allah sent Musa with a miracle that captured the eyes and bewildered every magician. When the magicians realized that Musa's miracle came from the Almighty, Most Great, they embraced Islam and became pious believers. As for `Isa, he was sent during a time when medicine and knowledge in physics were advancing. `Isa brought them the types of miracles that could not be performed, except by one sent by Allah. How can any physician bring life to clay, cure blindness and leprosy and bring back to life those entrapped in the grave Muhammad was sent during the time of eloquent people and proficient poets. He brought them a Book from Allah; if mankind and the Jinn tried to imitate ten chapters, or even one chapter of it, they will utterly fail in this task, even if they tried to do it by collective cooperation. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah and is nothing like that of the creatures.
(And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses) means, I tell you about what one of you has just eaten and what he is keeping in his house for tomorrow.
(Surely, therein), all these miracles,
(is a sign for you) testifying to the truth of what I was sent to you with,
(If you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawrah,) affirming the Tawrah and upholding it,
(and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you.)
This part of the Ayah indicates that `Isa abrogated some of the Laws of the Tawrah and informed the Jews of the truth regarding some issues that they used to dispute about. In another Ayah;
(And in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ) (43:63).
`Isa said next,
(And I have come to you with a proof from your Lord.) "Containing affirmation and evidence to the truth of what I am conveying to you.''
(So have Taqwa of Allah and obey me. Truly, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone).) for I and you are equal in our servitude, submission and humbleness to Him,
(This is the straight path.)
(52. Then when `Isa came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah's cause'' Al-Hawariyyun said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims.'') (53. "Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger (`Isa); so write us down among those who bear witness.'') (54. And they (disbelievers) plotted and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of those who plot)
(Then when `Isa came to know), meaning, `Isa felt that they were adamant in disbelief and continuing in misguidance. He said to them,
(Who will be my helper in Allah's cause) Mujahid commented, "Meaning, who would follow me to Allah'' However, it appears that `Isa was asking, "Who would help me convey the Message of Allah''
The Prophet said during the Hajj season, before the Hijrah,
(Who will give me asylum so that I can convey the Speech of my Lord, for the Quraysh have prevented me from conveying the Speech of my Lord.) until he found the Ansar. The Ansar helped the Prophet and gave him refuge. He later migrated to them, they comforted the Prophet and protected him from all his enemies, may Allah be pleased with them all. This is similar to what happened with `Isa, for some of the Children of Israel believed in him, gave him their aid and support and followed the light that was sent with him. This is why Allah said about them;
(Al-Hawariyyun said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger; so write us down among those who bear witness.'') Hawari in Arabic - means `support'. The Two Sahihs recorded that when the Prophet encouraged the people to fight during the battle of Al-Ahzab, Az-Zubayr came forward, and again, when the Prophet asked for fighters a second time. The Prophet said,
(Every Prophet has a Hawari, and Az-Zubayr is my Hawari)
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about,
(so write us down among those who bear witness) "Meaning among the Ummah of Muhammad.'' This Hadith has a good chain of narration.
Allah states that the Children of Israel tried to kill `Isa by conspiring to defame him and crucify him. They complained about him to the king who was a disbeliever. They claimed that `Isa was a man who misguided people, discouraged them from obeying the king, caused division, and separated between man and his own son. They also said other lies about `Isa, which they will carry on their necks, including accusing him of being an illegitimate son. The king became furious and sent his men to capture `Isa to torture and crucify him. When they surrounded `Isa's home and he thought that they would surely capture him, Allah saved him from them, raising him up from the house to heaven. Allah put the image of `Isa on a man who was in the house; when the unjust people went in the house while it was still dark, they thought that he was `Isa. They captured that man, humiliated and crucified him. They also placed thorns on his head. However, Allah deceived these people. He saved and raised His Prophet from them, leaving them in disarray in the darkness of their transgression, thinking that they had successfully achieved their goal. Allah made their hearts hard, and defiant of the truth, disgracing them in such disgrace that it will remain with them until the Day of Resurrection. This is why Allah said,
(And they plotted, and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of those who plot.)
(55. And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify (save) you from those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute.'' (56. "As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.'') (57. And as for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full. And Allah does not like the wrongdoers.) (58. This is what We recite to you of the verses and the Wise Reminder.)
(I will take you and raise you to Myself) while you are asleep. Allah said in a similar Ayat,
(It is He Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep).) (6:60), and,
(It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep.) (39:42).
The Messenger of Allah used to recite the following words when he would awaken;
(All the thanks are due to Allah Who brought us back to life after He had caused us to die (sleep), and the Return is to Him).
(And because of their disbelief and allegations against Maryam and because of their saying "We killed Al-Masih `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah, ـ but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared that way to them) until,
(For surely; they killed him not But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) but must believe in him before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection, he (`Isa) will be a witness against them.) (4:156-159)
`His death' refers to `Isa, and the Ayah means that the People of the Book will believe in `Isa, before `Isa dies. This will occur when `Isa comes back to this world before the Day of Resurrection, as we will explain. By that time, all the People of the Book will believe in `Isa, for he will annul the Jizyah and he will only accept Islam from people. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Hasan said that Allah's statement,
(I will take you) is in reference to sleep, for Allah raised `Isa while he was asleep.
(And purify (save) you from those who disbelieve) by raising you to heaven,
(And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection)
This is what happened. When Allah raised `Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent `Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant.
However, some of them went to the extreme over `Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah. Some of them said that `Isa was Allah Himself, while others said that he was one of a Trinity. Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur'an and refuted them. The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity. Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant. Constantine changed the religion of `Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust, which is in fact the Great Treachery. He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine, changed the direction of the prayer that `Isa established to the east, built churches for `Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed. So the religion of `Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more then twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul). Throughout this time, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. Allah aided them against the Jews because they used to be closer to the truth than the Jews, even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah's curse descend on them.
When Allah sent Muhammad, those who believed in him also believed in Allah, His Angels, Books and Messengers in the correct manner. So they were the true followers of every Prophet who came to earth. They believed in the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, who called them to believe in the truth in its entirety. This is why they had more right to every Prophet than his own nation, especially those who claim to follow their Prophet's way and religion, yet change and alter his religion. Furthermore, Allah abrogated all the laws that were sent down to the Prophets with the Law He sent Muhammad with, which consists of the true religion that shall never change or be altered until the commencement of the Last Hour. Muhammad's religion shall always be dominant and victorious over all other religions. This is why Allah allowed Muslims to conquer the eastern and western parts of the world and the kingdoms of the earth. Furthermore, all countries submitted to them; they demolished Kisra (king of Persia) and destroyed the Czar, ridding them of their treasures and spending these treasures for Allah's sake. All this occurred just as their Prophet told them it would, when he conveyed Allah's statement,
(Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them. And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they worship Me and do not associate anything with Me.) (24:55).
Therefore, Muslims are the true believers in `Isa. The Muslims then acquired Ash-Sham from the Christians, causing them to evacuate to Asia Minor, to their fortified city in Constantinople. The Muslims will be above them until the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, he, Muhammad, who is truthful and who received the true news, has conveyed to Muslims that they will conquer Constantinople in the future, and seize its treasures.
(And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute. As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.)
This is what Allah did to the Jews who disbelieved in `Isa and the Christians who went to the extreme over him. Allah tormented them in this life; they were killed, captured, and lost their wealth and kingdoms. Their torment in the Hereafter is even worse and more severe,
(And they have no Waq (defender or protector) against Allah) (13:34).
(And as for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full) in this life, with victory and domination, and in the Hereafter, with Paradise and high grades,
(And Allah does not like the wrongdoers.)
Allah then said,
(This is what We recite to you of the verses and the Wise Reminder.) meaning, "What We narrated to you, O Muhammad, regarding `Isa, his birth and his life, is what Allah conveyed and revealed to you, sent down from the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet). So there is no doubt in it. Similarly, Allah said in Surah Maryam;
(Such is `Isa, son of Maryam. (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute). It befits not Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: "Be!'' and it is.)
(59. Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be!'' and he was.) (60. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.) (61. Then whoever disputes with you concerning him after the knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then we pray and we invoke Allah's curse upon the liars.'') (62. Verily, this is the true narrative, and there is no god except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (63. And if they turn away, then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.)