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Friday, 20 October 2017
 

Surat Al-Maida -5- Medinian –Ayats 120 – Section – Five – Verses 44-53

Hadeeth Sharif:
(1)- Verse 45: Narrated Abdullah bin Omar: Allah’s Messenger [PPBUH] said: “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that {La Ilaha Illallah= none has the right to be worshipped but Allah} and that I am the Messenger of Allah, cannot be shed except in three cases:-
(1)    Life for Life in case of intentional murder without right (i.e. in Qisas= requital/reprisal -Law of equality in punishment).
(2)    A married person who commits illegal adultery/fornication.
(3)    The one who reverts from Islam (apostates) and leaves the group of Muslims (by innovating heresy, odd new ideas, odd new things in the Islamic religion).
(2)- Verse 46: Narrated Abu Hurairah: I heard Allah’s Messenger [PPBUH] saying: “I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Maryam (Mary), and all the Prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no Prophet between me and him (I.e. Isa – Jesus). Saheeh Al-Bukhary.
(2) – Verse 50: Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet [PPBNUH] said: “The most hated persons to Allah are three: (1) A person who deviates from the right conduct, i.e. an evildoer in the Haram (the Sanctuaries of Mecca and Al-Medina; (2) a person who wants that the traditions of the Pagan pre-Islamic period of Ignorance should remain in Islam; and (3) a person who seeks to shed somebody’s blood without any right” (Saheeh Al-Bukhary).    
Illustration to verses 44-86: True justice accord with God’s Law. Do not follow men’s selfish desires, but follow God’s Will, which was revealed to Moses and Jesus, and now to Muhammad [PPBUH]. Do not take for friends and protectors those in whose hearts is a disease; to whom religion is a mockery or a plaything, who worship evil. Proclaim the Truth of God, and do not be afraid. Eschew their iniquities, which were denounced by David and Jesus. But recognize with justice those who are sincere and humble, though they may be themselves not of your flock, if they witness to Truth.
COMMENTARY:
(Verse 44) A/-Guidance: with reference to conduct; light: with reference to insight into the higher realms of the spirit. B/- Rabbani = رباني: may be rightly translated by the Jewish title of Rabbi for their learned men. Jewish learning is identified with rabbinical literature. Ahbar=أحبار: is the plural of Hibr/Habr=حبر; by which we may understand Jewish Doctors of Law. Later the terms was applied to those of other religions. Query: is the word connected with the same root as “Hebrew”, or “Eber” {Gen. x-21 – Shem was Japheth’s older brother. One of Shem’s descendants was Eber, the father of the Hebrew People}; the ancestor of the Hebrew race. C/- They were living witness to the truth of Scripture, and could testify that they had made it known to the people; see Surat Al-Bagara 2 – verse 143 and Surat Al-Nisa’ 4 verse 135. D/- Two charges are made against the Jews: (1) that even the books which they had, they twisted in meaning, to suit their own purposes, because they feared men rather than God: (2) that what they had was but fragments of the original Law given to Moses, mixed up with a lot of semi-historical and legendary matter, and some fine poetry. The Taurat mentioned in the Qur’an is not the Old Testament as we have it; nor is it even Pentateuch (The first five books of the Old Testament, containing the Law embedded in a great deal of semi-historical and legendary narrative)[a separate supplement on the Taurat will be published separately later).
(Verse 45)-A/ The retaliation is prescribed in three places in the Pentateuch, e.g. Exod. xxi 23-25, Leviticus xxiv 18-21, and Deut. xix 21. The wordings in the three quotations are different, but in none of them are found the additional rider for mercy, as here. Note that in Matt. v 38, Jesus quotes the Old Law “eye for eye” etc. and modifies it in the direction of forgiveness, but the Qur’anic injunction is more practical. This appeal for mercy is as between man and man in the spiritual world. Even where the injured one forgives, the State or Ruler is competent to take such action as is necessary for the preservation of law and order in the Society, for crime has a bearing that goes beyond the interests of the person injured. (See verse 35). B/- This is not part of the Mosaic Law, but the teaching of Jesus and of Muhammad Al-Mustafa [PPBUH]. Notice how the teaching of Jesus is gradually introduced as leading up to the Qur’an. C/- The seeming repetition at the end of verses 44, 45, and 47 are not real repetitions. The significant words in the three cases are: Unbelievers, Wrongdoers, and Rebellious; and each fit the context. If the Jews tamper with their books they are Unbelievers; if they give false judgment they are Wrongdoers. If the Christians do not follow their light, they are Rebellious.
(Verses 46-47) – {Guidance and light} see v 45 and commentary above. For the meaning of the Gospel a study will be published separately.
(Verse 48)- A/- After the corruption of the older revelations, the Qur’an comes with a twofold purpose: (1) to confirm the true and original Message, and (2) to guard it, or act as a check to its interpretation. For example, if people seek retaliation in a spirit of revenge, it holds forth mercy. If they glibly mask their cowardice or sentimentalism by empty talk of “Turning other cheek”, it tests them by the practical test of forgiveness and mercy. B/- Law- Shir’at=شرعة - rules of practical conduct. Open/clear Way= منهاجا- the finer thing which are above the law, but which are yet available to everyone, like a sort of open highway. The light in verses 44 and 46 above, I understand to be something in the still higher regions of the spirit, which is common to mankind though laws and rules may take different forms among different peoples. C/- By origin mankind were a single people or nation (Surat Al-Nisa’ 4 verse 1, Surat Al-Bagara 2 verse 213). That being so, God could have kept us alike, with one language, one kind of disposition, and one set of physical conditions (including climate) to live in. But it is His Wisdom; He gives us diversity in these things, not only at any given time, but in different periods and ages. This tests our capacity for Unity (Wihda) still more. and accentuates the need of Unity and Islam. D/- As our true goal is God, the things that seem different to us from different point of view, will ultimately be reconciled in Him. Einstein is right in plumbing the depths of Relativity in the world of physical science. It points more and more to the need of Unity in God in the spiritual world.
(Verses 49-50)- The Days of Ignorance were the days of tribalism, feuds, and selfish accentuations of differences in man. Those days are really not yet over.   It is the mission of Islam to take us away from that false mental attitude, towards the true attitude of Unity. If our Faith is certain-and not merely a matter of words- God will guide us to the Unity.
(Verse 52)- That is to mean; do not look to them for help and comfort. They are more likely to combine against you than to help you. And this has happened more than once in the lifetime of the Apostle [PPBUH], and in after-ages again and again. He who associates with them and shares their counsels must be counted as of them. The trimmer loses whichever the wheel of fortune turns.
(Verse 52)- See Surat Al-Bagara 2 – verse 10.
(Verse 53)- The hypocrites –while matters were doubtful- pretended to be with the Muslims, but were in league with their enemies. When matters came to a decision and God granted victory to Islam, their position was awkward. They were not only disowned by the Muslims, but the Muslims could well say in reproach to their enemies: “Are these the men who swore friendship for you? What was their friendship worth to you? Where are they now?”.