Allah censures the Jews and Christians for their dispute with Muslims over Ibrahim Al-Khalil and the claim each group made that he was one of them. Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Christians of Najran and Jewish rabbis gathered before the Messenger of Allah and disputed in front of him. The rabbis said, `Ibrahim was certainly Jewish.' The Christians said, `Certainly, Ibrahim was Christian.' So Allah sent down,
(O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim,) meaning, `How is it that you, Jews, claim that Ibrahim was Jew, although he lived before Allah sent down the Tawrah to Musa How is it that you, Christians, claim that Ibrahim was Christian, although Christianity came after his time'' This is why Allah said,
(Have you then no sense)
Allah then said,
(Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge)
This Ayah criticizes those who argue and dispute without knowledge, just as the Jews and Christians did concerning Ibrahim. Had they disputed about their religions, which they had knowledge of, and about the Law that was legislated for them until Muhammad was sent, it would have been better for them. Rather, they disputed about what they had no knowledge of, so Allah criticized them for this behavior. Allah commanded them to refer what they have no knowledge of to He Who knows the seen and unseen matters and Who knows the true reality of all things. This is why Allah said,
(It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.)
(Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa), shunning Shirk and living in Iman,
(and he was not of the Mushrikin.)
This Ayah is similar to the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah,
(And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided...'') (2:135).
Allah said next,
(Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who have believed. And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.)
This Ayah means, "The people who have the most right to be followers of Ibrahim are those who followed his religion and this Prophet, Muhammad , and his Companions from the Muhajirin, Ansar and those who followed their lead.'' Sa`id bin Mansur recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Every Prophet had a Wali (supporter, best friend) from among the Prophets. My Wali among them is my father Ibrahim, the Khalil (intimate friend) of my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored)
The Prophet then recited,
(Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him...)
(And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.) means, Allah is the Protector of all those who believe in His Messengers.
(69. A party of the People of the Scripture wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves, and they perceive not.) (70. "O People of the Scripture! Why do you disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, while you bear witness.'') (71. "O People of the Scripture! Why do you mix truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know'') (72. And a party of the People of the Scripture say: "Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the believers, and reject it at the end of the day, so that they may turn back.) (73. And believe no one except the one who follows your religion.'' Say (O Prophet): "Verily, right guidance is the guidance of Allah.'' (And they say:) "Do not believe that anyone can receive like that which you have received, otherwise they would engage you in argument before your Lord.'' Say: "All the bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He grants to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.'') (74. He selects for His Mercy whom He wills and Allah is the Owner of great bounty.)
Allah states that the Jews envy the faithful and wish they could misguide them. Allah states that the punishment of this behavior will fall back upon them, while they are unaware. Allah criticizes them,
(O People of the Scripture! Why do you disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, while you bear witness.)
You know for certain that Allah's Ayat are true and authentic,
(O People of the Scripture: Why do you mix truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know) by hiding what is in your Books about the description of Muhammad, while you know what you do.
(And a party of the People of the Scripture say: "Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the believers, and reject it at the end of the day,)
This is a wicked plan from the People of the Book to deceive Muslims who are weak in the religion. They decided that they would pretend to be believers in the beginning of the day, by attending the dawn prayer with the Muslims. However, when the day ended, they would revert to their old religion so that the ignorant people would say, "They reverted to their old religion because they uncovered some shortcomings in the Islamic religion.'' This is why they said next.
(so that they may turn back.) Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid commented about this Ayah, which refers to the Jews, "They attended the dawn prayer with the Prophet and disbelieved in the end of the day in order to misguide the people. This way, people would think that they have uncovered shortcomings in the religion that they briefly followed.''
("And believe no one except the one who follows your religion.'')
They said, do not trust anyone with your secret knowledge, except those who follow your religion. Therefore, they say, do not expose your knowledge to Muslims in order to prevent them from believing in it and, thus, use it as proof against you. Allah replied,
(Say: (O Prophet) "Verily, right guidance is the guidance of Allah.'')
Allah guides the hearts of the faithful to the perfect faith through the clear Ayat, plain proofs and unequivocal evidence that He has sent down to His servant and Messenger Muhammad. This occurs, O you Jews, even though you hide the description of Muhammad. The unlettered Prophet whom you find in your Books that you received from the earlier Prophets. Allah's statement;
((And they say:) "Do not believe that anyone can receive like that which you have received, otherwise they would engage you in argument before your Lord.'')
They say, "Do not disclose the knowledge that you have to the Muslims, to prevent them from learning it and thus becoming your equals. They will be even better because they will believe in it or will use it against you as evidence with your Lord, and thus establish Allah's proof against you in this life and the Hereafter.'' Allah said,
(Say: "All the bounty is in the Hand of Allah; He grants to whom He wills.) meaning, all affairs are under His control, and He gives and takes. Verily, Allah gives faith, knowledge and sound comprehension to whomever He wills. He also misguides whomever He wills by blinding his sight, mind, sealing his heart, hearing and stamping his eyes closed. Allah has the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proofs.
(And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower.'' He selects for His mercy whom He wills and Allah is the Owner of great bounty.) meaning, He has endowed you, O believers, with tremendous virtue, in that He honored your Prophet Muhammad over all other prophets, and by directing you to the best Shari`ah there is.
(75. Among the People of the Scripture is he who, if entrusted with a Qintar (a great amount of wealth), will readily pay it back; and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding, because they say: "There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).'' But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it.) (76. Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin (the pious).)
Allah states that there are deceitful people among the Jews. He also warns the faithful against being deceived by them, because some of them,
(if entrusted with a Qintar (a great amount)) of money,
(will readily pay it back;) This Ayah indicates that this type would likewise give what is less than a Qintar, as is obvious. However,
(and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding,) and insisting on acquiring your rightful property. If this is what he would do with one Dinar, then what about what is more than a Dinar We mentioned the meaning of Qintar in the beginning of this Surah, while the value of Dinar is well known. Allah's statement,
(because they say: "There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).'') means, what made them reject the truth (or what they owed) is that they said, "There is no harm in our religion if we eat up the property of the unlettered ones, the Arabs, for Allah has allowed it for us.'' Allah replied,
(But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it.) for they invented this lie and word of misguidance. Rather, Allah would not allow this money for them unless they had a right to it.
`Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`sa`ah bin Yazid said that a man asked Ibn `Abbas, "During battle, we capture some property belonging to Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, such as chickens and sheep.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "What do you do in this case'' The man said, "We say that there is no sin (if we confiscate them) in this case.'' He said, "That is what the People of the Book said,
(There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).)
Verily, if they pay the Jizyah, then you are not allowed their property, except when they willingly give it up.''
Allah then said,
(Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much,) fulfills his promise and fears Allah among you, O People of the Book, regarding the covenant Allah took from you to believe in Muhammad when he is sent, just as He took the same covenant from all Prophets and their nations. Whoever avoids Allah's prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shari`ah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind.
(verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin.)
(77. Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment.)