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Saturday, 16 December 2017
 

Surat Al-Maida -5- Medinian –Ayats 120 – Section – Ten– Verses 101-120

 

O’ you who believe! Do not ask questions about things which if made plain to you may distress you/cause you trouble. But if you ask about them while the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, God has forgiven that, for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. (101)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِنْ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ وَإِنْ تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآَنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهَا وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ (101)

Some people before you did ask such questions, and then on that account they lost their Faith and became disbelievers. (102) 

قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُوا بِهَا كَافِرِينَ (102)

It is not God who instituted (superstitions like those of): Bahira – (slit-ear She-Camel), or Sa’iba- (a She-Camel let loose for free-pasture), or a Wasila- (idol sacrifices for Twin-Births in animals), or a Ham- (Stallion-Camels freed from work)-(all these animals were liberated in honor of idols as practiced by the Pagan Arabs pre-Islamic period). It is blasphemers who invent lies against God, but most of them lack wisdom, and have no understanding. (103)  

مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ بَحِيرَةٍ وَلَا سَائِبَةٍ وَلَا وَصِيلَةٍ وَلَا حَامٍ وَلَكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (103)

And when it is said to them: “come to what God has revealed, and to the Apostle [Muhammad PPBUH]{for the verdict of that which you have made unlawful}”. They say: “Enough for us are the ways which we have found our fathers following”; What! Even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance. (104) 

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُوا حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آَبَاءَنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آَبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ (104)

O’ you who believe! Guard your own souls. If you follow the (right) guidance (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden) no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The goal of all of you is the return to God; it is He that will show you the truth of all that you used to do. (105                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (105)

O’ you who believe! When death approaches any of you, and you make a bequest, (then take) the testimony of two just men of your own folk,(if you don’t find) or two others from outside; if you are travelling through the land and the calamity of death befalls you. Detain them both after prayer, (then –if you are in doubt about their truthfulness)  let them both swear by God (saying):” we wish not for any worldly gain in this, even though he (the beneficiary)be our near relative, we shall not hide the testimony of (i.e. ordained by) God, for then indeed we should be of the sinful. (106) 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا شَهَادَةُ بَيْنِكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ حِينَ الْوَصِيَّةِ اثْنَانِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِنْكُمْ أَوْ آَخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَأَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةُ الْمَوْتِ تَحْبِسُونَهُمَا مِنْ بَعْدِ الصَّلَاةِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللَّهِ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ لَا نَشْتَرِي بِهِ ثَمَنًا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَلَا نَكْتُمُ شَهَادَةَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا إِذًا لَمِنَ الْآَثِمِينَ (106)

If then it gets known that these two had been guilty of the sin (of perjury), let two others stand forth in their place –nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right. Let them swear by God (saying):”we affirm that our testimony is truer than that of both those two of them and that we have not trespassed (beyond the truth); behold! For then if we did, indeed we should be of the wrong-doers. (107)

فَإِنْ عُثِرَ عَلَى أَنَّهُمَا اسْتَحَقَّا إِثْمًا فَآَخَرَانِ يَقُومَانِ مَقَامَهُمَا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَوْلَيَانِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللَّهِ لَشَهَادَتُنَا أَحَقُّ مِنْ شَهَادَتِهِمَا وَمَا اعْتَدَيْنَا إِنَّا إِذًا لَمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (107)

That is most suitable and closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape (and thus accepted), or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted/taken after their oaths. But fear God, and listen (with obedience to His counsel); for God guides not the people who are rebellious and disobedient. (108)

ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يَأْتُوا بِالشَّهَادَةِ عَلَى وَجْهِهَا أَوْ يَخَافُوا أَنْ تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْمَعُوا وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ (108)

On the Day when God will gather the Messengers together and ask them saying: “What was the response you received (from men to your teachings)?” They will say: “We have no knowledge, verily, it is only You are the All-Knower of all that is hidden or unseen”. (109)

يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ قَالُوا لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ (109)

(Remember) when God will say (on the Day of Resurrection):”O’ Jesus, son of Mary recount My Favor to you and to your mother. Behold! When I supported and strengthened you with Holy Spirit (Jibrael-Gabriel) so that you spoke to the cradle (in childhood) and in the maturity; Behold! And when I taught the Book and the Wisdom, the Law-Taurat and the Gospel; and behold! and when you  made out of the clay –as it were- the figure of a bird -by My Permission- and you breathed into it, and it becomes a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you), since you came to them with clear Signs and Proofs, and the unbelievers/disbelievers among them said: “this is nothing but evident magic” 110   

إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ وَعَلى وَالِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدْتُكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي فَتَنْفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي وَتُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِي وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَنْكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ (110)

And behold! When I inspired the disciples to (have Faith)  believe in Me and My Apostle (Jesus, the son of Mary); they said: “We have faith and we believe, and you do bear witness that we -bow to God- for we are Muslims” (111)

وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ آَمِنُوا بِي وَبِرَسُولِي قَالُوا آَمَنَّا وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ (111)

Behold (remember)! When the disciples said: ”O’ Jesus, the son of Mary! Can your Lord send down to us a table set (with viands) from heaven?” Jesus said: “Fear God, if you are indeed believers” (112)

إِذْ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ هَلْ يَسْتَطِيعُ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ قَالَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (112)

They said: “We only wish to eat thereof and to satisfy our hearts {to be stronger in Faith}, and to know that you indeed have told us the Truth and that we ourselves may be witnesses to it” (the miracle). (113) 

قَالُوا نُرِيدُ أَنْ نَأْكُلَ مِنْهَا وَتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُنَا وَنَعْلَمَ أَنْ قَدْ صَدَقْتَنَا وَنَكُونَ عَلَيْهَا مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ (113)

Said Jesus, son of Mary: ”O’ God our Lord! Send to us from heaven a table set (with viands) that there may be for us –for the first and the last of us a solemn festival and a sign from You; and provide for our sustenance, for You are the best Sustainer (of our needs). (114)

قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيدًا لِأَوَّلِنَا وَآَخِرِنَا وَآَيَةً مِنْكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَيرُ الرَّازِقِينَ (114)

God Said: “I Will send it down to you, but if any of you after that resist faith and disbelief, I will punish him with a penalty and will have a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the peoples (mankind and Jinn). (115)

قَالَ اللَّهُ إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنِّي أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا لَا أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ (115)

And behold (remember)! When God will say: ”O’ Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say to men ‘worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God? ” He will say:” Glory is to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it, You know what is in my inner-self and heart, though I do not know what is in Yours; truly you –only You- are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. (116)    

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنْتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَهَيْنِ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِنْ كُنْتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ (116)

“Never said I to the aught except what You did command me to say: to wit, Worship my Lord and your Lord; and I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a witness to all things. (117)  

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلَّا مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنْتَ أَنْتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ (117)

“If You do punish them, they are your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You –only You- are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”. (118)

إِنْ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ (118)

God will say:” This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truthfulness, theirs are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, and they shall abide therein forever. God is well-pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great salvation/success (the fulfillment of all desires) 119  

قَالَ اللَّهُ هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنْفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (119)

To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, and He Who has the power over all things. (120)

لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا فِيهِنَّ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (120)

(Verses 117-118= Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet [PPBUH] said:” You will be gathered –on the Day of Resurrection- and some people will be driven by the angel to the left side, and taken to Hell; whereupon I will say as the pious slave [‘Isa –Jesus] said: ‘And I was witness over them while I dwelt amongst them’) –Saheeh Al-Bukhary.   
COMMENTARY:
(Verse 101)- Many secrets are wisely hidden from us. If the future were known to us, we need not necessarily be happy. In many cases we should be miserable. If the inner meaning of some of the things we see before our eyes were disclosed to us, it might cause a lot of mischief. God’s Message –in so far as it is necessary for shaping our conduct- is plain and open to us. But there are many things too deep for us to understand, either individually or collectively. It would be foolish to pry into them, as some foolish people tried to do in the time of the Apostle. Where a matter is mentioned in the Qur’an, we can reverently ask for its meaning. That is not forbidden. But we should never pass the bounds of: (1) our own capacity to understand. (2) The time and occasion when we ask questions and (3) the part of the Universal Plan which is God’s purpose to reveal to us. 
(Verse 102)- For example; the merely fractious questions asked of Moses by the Jews as in Surat Al-Bagara 2- verses 68-71. They showed that they had no faith. When foolish questions are asked, and there is no answer, it is also shakes the faith of the foolish ones.
(Verse 103)-(1) Bahira - ????? : A she-camel whose milk  was spared for the sake of idols and nobody was allowed to milk it. (2) Saiba - ????? : A she-camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods (idols), and nothing was allowed to be carried on it. (3) Wasilah – ????? : A she-camel set free for idols because it had given birth to a she-camel at its first delivery, and then again gave birth to a she-camel at its second delivery. (4) Ham - ??? : A stallion camel freed from work for the sake of their idols after it had finished a number of copulations assigned for it. These are a number of Arab Pagan superstitions. The Pagan mind –not understanding the hidden secrets of nature- attributed certain phenomena to divine and were assailed by superstitious fears which haunted their lives. If a she-camel or other female domestic animal had a large number of young weans, she (or one of her offspring) had her ear slit and she was dedicated to a god; such an animal was Bahira. On return –in safety- from a journey, or on recovery from a illness, a she-camel was similarly dedicated and let loose for free pasture: she was called a Saiba. Where an animal bore twins, certain sacrifices or dedications were made to idols; an animal so dedicated was a Wasilah. A stallion-camel dedicated to the gods by certain rites was Ham. The particular examples lead to the general truth: that superstition is due to ignorance, and is degrading to men and dishonoring to God.
(Verse 104)- Please see Surat A-Bagara 2 verse 170. Where an Apostle of Truth comes to teach us the better way, it is so it is a foolish to say:” What our ancestors did is good enough for us”.
(Verse 105)- There, the unity of God will reconcile different views. The unity of the one Judge will do perfect justice to each one’s conduct, however different in form, it may have appeared in this world. So take care of your own selves, and do righteous deeds, fear God much, by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds, which He has forbidden, and love God much; and perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained.
(Verse 106)- Ordinarily this oath should be decisive and the matter must rest here. But if it gets known that the oath was false, other evidence may be taken – as in the next verse.
(Verses 107-108) – Istahaqqa - ??????? = Deserved; having something –good or evil- attributed to one; hence the alternative meanings: (1) committed or was guilty (of a sin): (2) had or claimed a lawful right (to property). The procedure was followed in an actual case in the Apostle’s life-time. A man from Al-Medina died abroad, having made over his goods to two friends, to be delivered to his designated heirs in Al-Medina. They –however- kept back a valuable silver cup. When this was found out, oaths were taken from those who knew, and justice was done.
(Verse 109)- {Jesus did feed his disciples by miracle, but he claimed not divinity; he was a true servant of God –to Whom does belong the dominion of the heavens and earth- Glory and Power are His, and His alone}. A scene of the Day of Reckoning is put before us in graphic words, showing the responsibility and the limitations of the men of God, sent to preach God’s Message to men, with special reference to the Message of Jesus. The Messengers are sent to preach the Truth. What fantastic forms the Message takes in men’s reactions to it was beyond their knowledge at the time, and beyond their responsibility.
(Verse 110)- (a) In a solemn scene before the Court of Judgment, Jesus is asked to recount all mercies and favors shown to him, so that his followers should become ashamed of their ingratitude in corrupting that Message, when they could have done so much in profiting by its purity and spiritual truth. This argument continues to the end of the Surat. (b) See verse 87 in Surat Al-Bagara 2, and verses: 46, 48, 49, and 62 in Surat Al-Imran 3. (c) Note how the words “by My permission” are repeated with each miracle to emphasize the fact that they arose –not out of the power of Jesus- but by the leave, permission, will and power of God, who is supreme over Jesus, as He is over all other mortals. (d) The Jews were seeking to take the life of Jesus long before their final attempt to crucify him: (see Luke iv. 28-29). Their attempt to crucify him was also foiled according to the teaching we have received: (Q.iv.157). (e) According to (Luke xi. 15), when Christ performed the miracle of casting out devils, the Jews said he did it through the chief of the devils, i.e. they accused him of black magic. No such miracle of casting out devils is mentioned in the Qur’an, nor are we asked to believe in demoniacal possession of that kind. But Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad [PPBUH] were al accused of magic and sorcery, by those who could find no other explanation of God’s Power.
(Verse 111) – (a) “You” refers to Jesus, who is being addressed by his disciples – see verse 52 from Surat Al-Imran 3. (b) Before or after Muhammad’s [PPBUH] life on this earth, all who bowed to God’s Will were Muslims, and their religion is Islam – as mentioned in verse 52 above.
(Verses 112-113) – The request of the Disciples savours a little of: (1) want of faith, (2) too much attention to physical food, and (3) a childish desire for miracles or Signs. All these three can be proved from the Canonical Gospels. (1) Simon peter, quite early in the story, asked Jesus to depart from him, as he (Simon) was a sinful man (Luke v.8). The same Peter afterwards denied his Master three several times shamelessly when the Master was in the power of his enemies. And one of the Disciples (Judas) actually betrayed Jesus. (2) Even in the Canonical Gospels, so many of the miracles are concerned with food and drink; e.g. the turning of the water into wine (John ii, 1-11); the conversion of five loaves and two small fishes into food for 5,000 men (John vi. 5 13), this being the only miracle recorded in all the four Gospels; the miraculous number of fishes caught for food (Luke v. 4-11); the cursing of the fig tree because it had no fruit (Matt. Xxi- 18-19); the allegory of eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood (John vi. 53-57). (3) Because the Samaritan would not receive Jesus into their village, the Disciples James and John wanted a fire to come down from heaven and consume them (Luke ix. 54).
(Verse 114)- (a) The words of the Prayer seems to suggest the Last Supper. (see also verses 9-16 from Surat Yunus/Jonah 10). (b) As in Islam, so in Christ’s prayer, sustenance should be taken for both physical and spiritual strength, especially the latter: “Give us this day our daily bread” seems the rendering of a literalist whose attention was fixed too much on bread.
(Verse 115)- A forceful allegory. It is a wicked generation that asks for Signs and Miracles. Usually they are not vouchsafed. But where they are, the responsibility of those who ask for them is increased. If –after that- they reject faith, invent lies, and go after false ideals, their penalty will be worse than that of other people. How this works practically among those who call themselves Christians is exemplified in such books as the late Mr. W.T. Stead’s “IF CHRIST CAME TO CHICAGO?”.
(Verse 116)- Jesus disclaims here any knowledge of the sort of things that are attributed to him by those who take his name. The worship of Mary, though repudiated by the Protestants, was widely spread in the earlier Churches, both in the East and the West.
(Verse 117) – (a) see verse 72. (b) Jesus here acknowledges that he was mortal, and that his knowledge was limited like that of a mortal.
(Verse 118) – A Master an justly punish His servants for disobedience; no one can say to Him nay, for He is high above all. But if He chooses to forgive, He is His wisdom sees things that we mortals cannot see. This is the limit of intercession that men of God can make on behalf of sinners.
(Verses 119-120) – Al-Fauz - ????? = Felicity, happiness, achievement, salvation, the attainment of fulfillment of desires. What a beautiful definition of salvation or the end of life! – that we should win God’s good pleasure and that we should reach the stage at which His good pleasure is all-in-all to us.