Day Fifty Seven (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 11–20

All you who believe! Remember the favor of Allah that He bestowed upon you when certain people made plans to move their hands against you, but He restrained their hands from ever reaching you. Therefore, be mindful of Allah, and the believers should trust in Allah. [11]

And so it was that Allah made a covenant with the Children of Israel. We appointed twelve scouts from among them (to go into the land of Canaan to gather intelligence in preparation for their entry). Allah had already told (the Children of Israel), “I’ll be with you as long as you establish regular prayer, give in charity, believe in My messengers, respect them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. Indeed, I‘ll erase your shortcomings and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow. If any of you cover over (your ability to have faith) after this, then he’s truly wandered far from the even path.” [12]

However, because (the Children of Israel) broke their agreement, We cursed them and allowed their hearts to grow hard. (They manipulated the words of revelation) by rearranging them from their (proper) places, and they forgot a good part of the message that was sent to them. Even still you’ll find many of them engaged in new trickery, but forgive them and try to overlook (their shortcomings), for Allah loves those who are good. [13]

We also took a covenant from those who call themselves Christians, but they forgot most of the message that was sent to them. That’s why We’ve let them become disunited in mutual envy and hatred of each other, even until the Day of Assembly. Allah will soon inform them (of the true meaning) of that in which they were engaged. [14]

Followers of Earlier Revelation! Our Messenger has come to you revealing many things that you used to hide in (your religious) scriptures and passing over many (practices of the past that are now unnecessary). A (new) light and a clear scripture have come to you from Allah. [15]

With these Allah will guide any who seek His good pleasure towards the pathways of peace and safety. Furthermore, He’ll lead them out of darkness and into a light, by His will, and lead them to a straight path. [16]

Those who say that God is Jesus, the Messiah, the son of Mary, are covering over (the real truth). Say to them, “Who has the power to hold back Allah if He wanted to destroy the Messiah, the son of Mary, his mother and everyone else on earth? To Allah belongs the control of the heavens and the earth and everything in between. He creates whatever He wants, for Allah has power over all things.” [17]

The Jews and the Christians say, “We’re the sons of God, and He loves us (above all others).” Then ask them, “So, why will He punish you for your sins (if you don’t repent of them)? By no means! You’re only mortals from among the (many peoples) that He’s created. He forgives whomever He wants, and He punishes whomever He wants. The control of the heavens and the earth and all that’s in between them belongs to Allah, and back to Him is the final destination.” [18]

Followers of Earlier Revelation! Now Our Messenger has come to you making (things) clear for you after a pause in (the chain of) Our messengers. That way you won’t be able to say, “No bearer (of good news) or warner ever came to us!” Now a bearer (of good news) and a warner has come to you, and Allah has power over all things. [19]

Recall when Moses said to his people, “My people! Remember Allah’s favor towards you when He placed prophets within your midst, and when He placed you in charge (of your own destiny after you were enslaved in Egypt) and how He gave you what He hadn’t given to any other nation. [20]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background on verse 11: A man named Ghawrath met with the leaders of the hostile tribes of the desert, namely the Muhareb and Ghatafan tribes, and asked if they wanted him to kill Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him). They agreed and asked him how he could possibly accomplish that. He replied that he would take him by surprise. Ghawrath bided his time and kept an eye out for an opportunity to approach his prey. One day, he saw the Prophet sitting alone under the shade of a tree with his sword on his lap. He approached him and casually asked if he could have a look at the blade. The Prophet handed it to him, and Ghawrath drew it and immediately pointed it at the Prophet menacingly, though he couldn’t bring himself to thrust it in for the kill. Finally, he asked him, “Muhammad, aren’t you afraid?” He replied that he was not. Then Ghawrath said two or three times, “Who will protect you from me now?” The Prophet answered, “Allah will.” Ghawrath hesitated and then suddenly dropped the sword. The Prophet picked it up and called to his nearby companions. While the assailant was still sitting there, he narrated the incident and then Ghawrath was allowed to go free.

Some time later, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was visiting the Jewish neighborhood of the Banu Nadir, seeking their assistance in settling a blood-money suit brought by a desert tribe against one of the companions who had killed two of their men. Ka’b ibn Ashraf, the Jewish leader, invited the Prophet into his courtyard and bade him and his companions to sit under the shade of a wall while he ostensibly went to order food to be made. Ka’b then retreated into another room and told a man named ‘Amr ibn Jahsh ibn Ka’b to drop a heavy stone from the roof down upon Muhammad (Peace be upon him)to kill him. Just before the man could do the deed, however, Angel Gabriel came and warned the Prophet, who promptly got up and left. This verse was revealed soon afterwards, referencing both incidents, and was meant to emphasize that Allah would protect this prophet until the end of his mission. (Asbab ul-Nuzul, Ibn Kathir)

Footnote:

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once said that in the intervening years between Jesus, and himself there were no prophets sent by God. (Bukhari, Muslim)

He said on another occasion that there would be no more prophets after me. Therefore any religions founded between the time of Jesus, and Muhammad, and then after the time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are not accepted as authentic expressions of divine revelation by Muslims.

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