Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "We set out with Allah's Messenger on one of his journeys until we reached Al-Bayda' or Dhat-ul-Jaysh, where a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah's Messenger stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water source or any water with them at that place, so the people went to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and said, `Don't you see what `A'ishah has done! She has made Allah's Messenger and the people stay where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.' Abu Bakr came while Allah's Messenger was sleeping with his head on my thigh. He said to me, `You have detained Allah's Messenger and the people where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.' So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah's Messenger on my thigh. Allah's Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the verses of Tayammum, and they all performed Tayammum. Usayd bin Hudayr said, `O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.' Then the camel on which I was riding was moved from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.'' Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith.
(44. Have you not seen those (the Jews) who were given a portion of the Book, purchasing the wrong path, and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.) (45. Allah has full knowledge of your enemies, and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is sufficient as a Helper.) (46. Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: "We hear your word and disobey,'' and "Hear and let you hear nothing.'' And Ra`ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion. And if only they had said: "We hear and obey'', and "Do make us understand,'' it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.)
Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad . They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad , so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life.
(and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.) for they would like that you disbelieve in what was sent down to you, O believers, and that you abandon the guidance and beneficial knowledge that you have.
(Allah has full knowledge of your enemies) meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them.
(and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper) He is a Sufficient Protector for those who seek refuge with Him and a Sufficient Supporter for those who seek His help. Allah then said,
(there are some who displace words from (their) right places) meaning, they intentionally and falsely alter the meanings of the Words of Allah and explain them in a different manner than what Allah meant,
(And say: "We hear your word and disobey) saying, "We hear what you say, O Muhammad, but we do not obey you in it,'' as Mujahid and Ibn Zayd explained. This is the implied meaning of the Ayah, and it demonstrates the Jews' disbelief, stubbornness and disregard for Allah's Book after they understood it, all the while aware of the sin and punishment that this behavior will earn for them. Allah's statement,
(And "Hear and let you hear nothing.'') means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the Jews' way of mocking and jesting, may Allah's curse descend on them.
(And Ra`ina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.) meaning, they pretend to say, `Hear us,' when they say, Ra`ina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means `Listen to us.').' Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet . We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah's statement,
(O you who believe! Say not Ra`ina but say Undhurna (make us understand)). Therefore, Allah said about them, while they pretend to say other than what they truly mean,
(With a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion) because of their cursing the Prophet . Allah then said,
(And if only they had said: "We hear and obey'', and "Do make us understand,'' it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.) meaning, their hearts are cast away from the path of righteousness and therefore, no beneficial part of faith enters it. Earlier, when we explained,
(so little is that which they believe) which means they do not have beneficial faith.
(47. O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath. And the commandment of Allah is always executed.) (48. Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.)
Allah commands the People of the Scriptures to believe in what He has sent down to His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , the Glorious Book that conforms to the good news that they already have about Muhammad . He also warns them,
(before We efface faces and turn them backwards) Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that `effacing' here refers to blindness,
(and turn them backwards) meaning, We put their faces on their backs, and make them walk backwards, since their eyes will be in their backs. Similar was said by Qatadah and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi. This makes the punishment even more severe, and it is a parable that Allah set for ignoring the truth, preferring the wrong way and turning away from the plain path for the paths of misguidance. Therefore, such people walk backwards. Similarly, some said that Allah's statement,
(Verily, We have put on their necks iron collars reaching to the chins, so that their heads are raised up. And We have put a barrier before them) that is a parable that Allah gave for their deviation and hindrance from guidance.
It was reported that Ka`b Al-Ahbar became Muslim when he heard this Ayah (4:47). Ibn Jarir recorded that `Isa bin Al-Mughirah said: We were with Ibrahim when we talked about the time when Ka`b became Muslim. He said, `Ka`b became Muslim during the reign of `Umar, for he passed by Al-Madinah intending to visit Jerusalem, and `Umar said to him, "Embrace Islam, O Ka`b.' Ka`b said, `Do you not read in your Book,
(The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah...) (62:5) until,
(Books) I am among those who were entrusted with the Tawrah.' `Umar left him alone and Ka`b went on to Him (in Syria) and heard one of its inhabitants recite this Ayah while feeling sad,
(O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards). Ka`b said, `I believe, O Lord! I embraced Islam, O Lord!' for He feared that this might be struck by this threat. He then went back to his family in Yemen and returned with them all as Muslims.'' Allah's statement,
(or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath.) refers to those who breached the sanctity of the Sabbath, using deceit, for the purpose of doing more work. Allah changed these people into apes and swine, as we will come to know in the explanation of Surat Al-A`raf (7). Allah's statement,
(And the commandment of Allah is always executed.) means, when He commands something, then no one can dispute or resist His command.
Allah said that He,
(forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship),) meaning, He does not forgive a servant if he meets Him while he is associating partners with Him,
(but He forgives except that) of sins,
(to whom He wills) of His servants. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Allah said, "O My servant! As long as you worship and beg Me, I will forgive you, no matter your shortcomings. O My servant! If you meet Me with the earth's fill of sin, yet you do not associate any partners with Me, I will meet you with its fill of forgiveness.'') Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said,
("No servant proclaims, There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,' and dies on that belief, but will enter Paradise.'' I said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' I asked again, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' The fourth time, he said, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'') Abu Dharr departed while pulling his Izar and saying, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'' Ever since that happened, Abu Dharr used to narrate the Hadith and then comment, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in dust.'' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "We used to refrain from begging (Allah) for forgiveness for those who commit major sins until we heard our Prophet reciting,
(Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills;), and his saying,
(I have reserved my intercession on the Day of Resurrection for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.)'' Allah's statement,
(and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.) is similar to His statement,
(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which is the greatest sin' He said,
(To make a rival with Allah, while He Alone created you.)''
(49. Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves Nay, but Allah sanctifies whom He wills, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatil.) (50. Look, how they invent a lie against Allah, and enough is that as a manifest sin.) (51. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture They believe in Jibt and Taghut and say to those who disbelieve, "These people are better guided on the way, '' than the believers.) (52. They are those whom Allah has cursed, and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him (any) helper.)