Friday, 7 October 2011

Surah al Baqarah 2: 65-96 - Nouman Ali Khan

Surah al Baqarah 2: 65-96 - Nouman Ali Khan

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Ayah 65:

DOWNLOAD MP3 - (Surah al Baqarah 2:63-66)

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَوْا مِنكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُوا قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ

"And for sure [La] - you all already know the ones who transgressed in the matters of the Sabbath. Then We said to them become rejected cursed Apes."

So Allah is telling them of stories of those before them who they already knew of from their own history - people who had broken the covenant.

Some people might say that Islam teaches Anti-Semitism. But Allah tells us that - for sure [La] - it is something they have already been Taught (by their own elders/teachers). So it is not a fake story made by Islam for anti-semitism purposes, but rather - it is in their own Jewish books of history.

The details of how they broke the covenant and the details of this story are mentioned in surah al A'raf (7:163-166).

Them turning into Apes and Monkeys is interpreted in 2 ways (both views are valid and won't effect our 'Aqeedah);

1 - They were transformed from their inside. So they were like Animals who did not care about wrong (haraam) and right (halaal) etc.
2 - Allah even transformed them physically into Apes.

And We made that a Nakaal (warning by which you are deterred/put off) for all infront of them, and what will come after them. And it would become a serious lesson/sermon for the people of Taqwa (those who guard against; evil, Allah's anger etc.)"

It is said that these people indirectly did fishing on the Sabbath day, when they were not allowed to work. So Allah transformed them people into Monkeys and Apes.
So when people would pass by the river where this fishing took place - they saw that the humans there had become monkeys. The good Muslim Israelites who had forbade them from fishing on the Sabbath also gained a strong lesson and warning from this. So Allah said; it is a lesson for those who Guard (against evil, and Allah's anger.)


Baqarah 2:67

DOWNLOAD MP3 - Surah al Baqarah 2:67-68

Ayah 67:

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تَذْبَحُوا بَقَرَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُوًا ۖ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ

"And remember when Moses said to his people; Surely Allah commands you to slaughter/sacrifice a cow.."

Allah mentioned that He took a firm covenant from the Israelites (in ayah 63-64)
The first example of the Israelites given in the ayah above is about them violating the Sabbath (Saturday - when they were not allowed to work, but they did.)

Another example of the Israelites going against the covenant will now be mentioned.

"And when Moses said to his nation/people (Qawm).."

There is a subtelty in the text because Allah is telling us that Moses said to HIS nation [li qawmiHEE]. Which implies that the Jews who killed Prophets' and rejected some others are not part of the nation of Moses, even though they may claim to be part of his nation/followers. Especially due to the fact that Moses at one time completely disassociated himself from his people. (He said; ana baree'un min kum - I have totally disassociated myself from you).

So the Jews/Israelites present at the time of Prophet Muhammad did claim to be followers of Moses, but they were in a state where Moses has disassociated himself from them. Meaning - they weren't his true followers.

'Inna Allaha ya'muru-kum an tadhbahoo baqarah..'
Surely Allah, He commands you to sacrifice/slaughter a cow.

The word;
Inna = Surely (it is used to remove doubts.)

He had to say 'inna' / surely' because the Israelites would think that he is making these commands up himself, they would doubt that he is really a Messenger, or they did not want to submit to him.

This is the essence of hypocrisy. These people accept that Moses/Musa is a Messenger, but they feel that this Messenger sometimes tells them to do things for his own personal benefit.
This is why they would say; We will not submit to you until we see Allah face to face (Surah al Baqarah 2:55) - because they doubted the commands which Moses gave.

[Even the hypocrites at the time of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) did the same. So that when the Battle of Badr was commanded, they doubted the Sunnah/example of the Messenger of Allah and asked; 'where does it say it in the Quran?' They again said this in the battle of Uhud, so Allah said;

It is not for a Prophet to have Ghulla (worldly aspirations).. (surah aal Imran 3:161).

This is why surah Muhammad was revealed - to focus on and refute this type of evil hypocrisy.]

Due to this attitude of the Israelites, Moses had to say to his people;
'Inna = Surely / for sure / no doubt - Allah commands you to slaughter a cow..'

Background of this Story

Among the Israelites, there was a dispute - and someone was killed and nobody was sure who the murderer was. There was going to be a big war between the different tribes. So they needed to know who the murderer was.
So when they took the problem to Moses, Allah commanded Moses to tell them to slaughter a cow.

So when they heard that response, they said;

'A-Tatakhadhoona huzuwa' -
"Do you take us for a joke/mockery?"

1 - Do you think we are a bunch of jokers?
2 - Are you making fun of us?

We know that Prophets'/Messengers' of Allah never take the commands of Allah as jokes, especially when it comes to big issues like Murder.

There is a very covert technique going on in the media today:
- They will try to insult the Messengers' (like Adam, Jesus,Moses etc.) of Allah and aspects of religion, so that when Muslims see it - they become angry. But over time, these cartoons and insults continue. They plan that the Muslims over time become desensitized to these insults and hardly respond back.

Ustadh Nouman says that we should respond back to them in ways which hit them worst. And that is through Lawsuits (sueing). So that if anyone ever insults Islamic beliefs or Muslims (i.e. 'you terrorist' etc., the Muslims should file a Lawsuit (sue them) immediately.

This will harm them more, and will bring more income money for supporting Islamic dawah (inviting to Islam) projects.

The more Lawsuits - the better (it hurts them more and profits us more.)

Qaaloo - A-Tatakhadhoona huzuwa' -
"They said - Do you take us for a joke/mockery?"

"Qaala a'oodhu billahi an akoona min al-jaahileen" -
He (Moses) said; I enter the protection of Allah from being of the ignorant, who have no control over themselves (jaahileen).

Ustadh Nouman continues:
Messengers might make truthful jokes, but they do not make jokes in matters of commandments of Allah. And if you do joke about Allah's religion, then you better stop and seek the protection of Allah.

Jaahil = someone who has no control over what they; do, say, feel emotionally etc.

Opposite word:
'Aaqil = someone who has control of themselves. (he Ties/Restrains himself to what is correct and right.)

['iqaal = the rope the arabs used to Tie and Restrain their camels from running away.]

Ustadh Nouman further explains
The words we use in language as jokes and non-hurtful insults - especially in the west - (i.e. you're gay, 'stop being so gay' etc.) all these are major accusations in Islam. Because when we use them as jokes - we become desensitized to them.
So that someone might call you 'gay' as a joke, you might not find it shocking, but that is actually
a major insult and a major accusation in the sight of Allah.]

Ayah 68:

قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَّا فَارِضٌ وَلَا بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَافْعَلُوا مَا تُؤْمَرُونَ

They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is." [Moses] said, "[ Allah ] says, 'It is a cow which is neither old nor virgin, but median between that,' so do what you are commanded."

"Go and call on your Master for us especially,  and clarify - what type of cow is it?'

It is the Israelites who are making a joke out of Moses by being sarcastic with him.
They are simply being told; slaughter a cow. Yet they want to persist in asking more unnecessary questions.

1 - They're trying to make a joke out of Moses. (i.e. you can imagine themselves elbowing each other and laughing with each other about what type of cow Moses needs.)
2 - They asked alot of questions because they don't want to do it. (i.e. if you ask someone so much, the person becomes too annoyed and says 'forget it, i'll do it myself.)

But everytime they would ask; Moses would reply;

"Inna-Hu yaQool.." -
Surely He (Allah) says.. (description)

And he would always emphasise to them that indeed Allah said it, not himself.

Furthermore, the Scholars have said that each time the people would ask for details, Moses would go upto Mount Toor (where he spoke to Allah) and ask Allah, and then come back to tell them (this showed that the people put their Messenger to alot of hardship and annoyance.)

"Innahaa baqaratun laa FaariD, wa laa bakr, 'awaanun bayna dhaalik" -
Surely she is a cow which is not old nor too young, but between the two conditions.'

This is the age where the meat of the cow is at its best. It is neither too young (where it has less meat), neither too old (where it's meat is old). It's right in between.

"Fa-af'aloo maa tu'maroon" -
So do what you're commanded!

aF'al - Fi'l = Do (an action without thought.)

Similar word
'Aml = Do an action with thought (intent).

Moses is telling the Israelites to immediately just slaughter a cow which suits that description, without even thinking anymore about it. But they are stubborn and unwilling to do even that.

Baqarah 68-72


Ayah 69

قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا لَوْنُهَا ۚ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ صَفْرَاءُ فَاقِعٌ لَّوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ النَّاظِرِينَ

They said, "Call upon your Lord to show us what is her color." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in color - pleasing to the observers.' "

Call upon your Master (and ask); what colour is it (the cow that needs to be sacrificed).
He (Moses) said; surely He (Allah) says - it is a yellowish colour.

These people still never obeyed the command of Moses and continued in ridiculing Moses to ask what colour the cow should be.

Yellow was one of the most rarest and exotic colours for cows. So we learn that the more unnecessary questions you ask - the more you put yourself in trouble and complications. Since the Shari'ah (Islamic law) was simple and clear, and by asking for more unneeded details - you will find more hardship in its implementation.

There is a difference between Asking the Messenger and Questioning the Messenger.

By Asking, you will humbly ask the needed details to fulfill the duty. But by Questioning the Messenger, you're already showing that you don't really believe you have to follow the command.

So here - they are questioning the integrity of the Messenger and the command itself. So you see their sarcasm of; 'if you're getting so much information from your God - then tell us - what colour did your God say it should be too?' There is a hint of sarcasm, and this is why they repeated more questions - even though Moses had told them to just follow the command.

Safraa' - yellow (saffron colour)

Faaqi' - texture which is; Deep, Brilliant and startling (eye-catching.)

This was not said;
-Lawnuhaa faaqi'un - its colour is brilliant
-Faaqi'un lawnuhaa = [especially] brilliant, is its colour.

So their is a strong emphasis on its brilliance (by Allah putting the word faaqi'/brilliant earlier in the ayah.)

Then a further emphasis is added;

taSurru-ul-NaaDhireen -

it would please those who stare it.

Ayah 70:

قَالُوا ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ إِنَّ الْبَقَرَ تَشَابَهَ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنَّا إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَمُهْتَدُونَ

They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is. Indeed, [all] cows look alike to us. And indeed we, if Allah wills, will be guided."

They said, ask your Master - to make it clear to us; What cow is it?

This cow issue is becoming unclear for us. And for sure - if Allah wills - we will be guided (to the right answer.)

Al Islaahi and other scholars explained
: They (the Israelites) started to realise they are going to get in real trouble from Allah if they don't find the cow. So they really start searching for it. And this is why they ask this question (it has a feel of sincerety in it.)

'And for sure - if Allah wills - we will be guided (to the right answer.)'
Due to this statement of theirs (with sincerety) - Allah guided them to the right cow.

Ayah 71:

قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لَّا ذَلُولٌ تُثِيرُ الْأَرْضَ وَلَا تَسْقِي الْحَرْثَ مُسَلَّمَةٌ لَّا شِيَةَ فِيهَا ۚ قَالُوا الْآنَ جِئْتَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

He said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to plow the earth nor to irrigate the field, one free from fault with no spot upon her.' " They said, "Now you have come with the truth." So they slaughtered her, but they could hardly do it.

He (Moses) said; Surely He (Allah) says; it is a cow which - has not been milked, has not been put to work, has not tilled the soil.

When cows are too young or too old - they can't work due to weakness. They would work in their middle age. But Allah is telling us that this cow didn't even work in its middle/strong/young age.

Now they have to find a cow which;
- Is middle aged/strong
- Has never been milked
- Has never been used in farm work (for tilling the fields or any other work)
- Is beautiful to stare at.


"Musallamatun laa shiyatan feehaa" -
Is fully (100% yellow) without any blemishes (i.e. other marks/spots/colours etc.)

Finding such a cow is almost impossible except if Allah guides you to it.

The authenticity of the following reports are disputed, but it is stated; they found the cow with a young orphan boy. And he did not give it to them until they gave him its weight in gold. So when they had brought it, they were regretful about their questioning the Messenger (Moses) unnecessarily.

Qaaloo, al Aana ji'ta bi-il haqqi. Fa dhabahoohaa Wa maa kaadoo yaf'aloon -

They said 'now you have brought the truth'. So they slaughtered it, and they were almost not going to do it.

This shows that they weren't still willing to obey the command (maybe because they had payed so much for it), and they only did so due to pressures they faced as a whole. (i.e. peer pressure, or pressure from different tribes to find out who the murderer is etc.)

After all this, Allah tells the story behind it.

Ayah 72:

وَإِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْسًا فَادَّارَأْتُمْ فِيهَا ۖ وَاللَّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

And [recall] when you slew a man and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing.

"Wa idh qatalTUM nafsan -
And when You ALL killed a person."

Only one person did the murder, but there were witnesses who did not tell who the murderer was. So Allah is exposing this - that whoever is involved is also to blame.

Fa - then

daara' [it's really tadaara'a] = to throw something at each other.

Fa ad-daara'tum fee haa - then you Threw (i.e. Accusations) at each other - in [regards to] it (the murder)
You are throwing Accusations against each other. i.e. 'you did it.' 'No, you did it'. This fighting and arguing attitude would enter them into killing each other too.

"Wa Allahu muKhrijun maa taKtumoon" -

And Allah is the One who takes out what you Hide/conceal.'

This is amazing. Allah does not even tell us the details of who the murderer was. Because that isn't the lesson of the narrative/story. Rather - Allah is telling us that He will expose the things you try to hide. And He says this in Present-future tense form to show us that He will continuously expose what we try to hide.

The audience whose secrets Allah will expose are;.
1 - The Jews who hide alot of what was in their books about the final Messenger.
2 - The Hypocrites who try to secretly plot against the believers.
3 - The Believing Muslims who may hide somethings, Allah will continue to expose them.

In future events, people will try to hide things (i.e. secrets in books, or secret conversations) and Allah says that He will expose them, and this will occur in future aayaat of the Qur'an (i.e. What the hypocrites say in secret, or what the Jews hide of information in their books about the final Messenger etc.)

Baqarah 73-74

[Download MP3]

Ayah 73:

فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُحْيِي اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

So, We said, "Strike the slain man with part of it." Thus does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason.

Allah just spoke about the cow which had to be slaughtered

Strike some part of the (cow) flesh with the (killed human) corpse, and Allah will bring that corpse back to life and point to the killer.

Then Allah said;

'It is like that - Allah gives life to the dead.'

It is by Allah's command that life is given after death i.e. through;
- slaughtering a cow
- kun fa yaKoon (Allah saying; Be! and it is.)
- rain coming down from the sky and giving life.

Implying that Allah gives life to the dead in ways you can't even imagine.

'And He shows you His miraculous signs so that you may become of those who Understand.'

Ayah 74:

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah . And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Then (after some time), your hearts became hard.

The mind matures and grows in knowledge and understanding, but the heart is always changing and fluctuating (sometimes your connection with Allah is strong, and sometimes extremely weak.)

The Israelites had alot of knowledge about the religion, but they did not have the spirituality in their hearts to be strong enough to do alot of sincere acts of obedience.

What controls the body more? Is it the mind or is it the heart? According to the Quran perspective, the heart is in the 'driving seat' (i.e. has control) because your mind might tell you to do good or avoid bad, but your heart (spiritual-emotional drive) might not be strong to push you forward in doing that good or avoiding the evil (you might be too; lazy, or too fearful, scared, to do any of the good actions or avoid the bad ones.)

So the knowledge which was supposed to protect you did not benefit you. And it was the heart/emotions which affected your decisions. If you had strengthened your heart with the knowledge - it would incline towards good decisions, but that did not happen.

Example #1
[Ustadh Nouman gives an example of a intelligent boy who knew smoking drugs was harmful, but he smoked them in his bedroom anyway. If you asked him why he smokes, he would give an emotional answer i.e. 'I just like it.'  But when he saw his dad come home - he quickly threw the cigarette away in the toilet. = the Fear in his heart for his Dad stopped him immediately. But if he never feared his dad, then nothing could stop him, not even the knowledge he has.

Example #2: A person might love playing sports and being with friends etc. But when Exams come, the person really wants to get high grades. So he will give up his entertainment and force himself to study to get good marks. And he has done this just because he really WANTS to get good marks and make his parents happy etc (an act of the heart).]

Religious Example:
The Israelites at the time of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) had read and heard about the miracles of their Prophets' and they recognized that Muhammad was really the final Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam).
They had the knowledge, but it had not entered their hearts. So they did not benefit from it.

[It is like when our Emaan is low, so we might have heard a Hadeeth before and say 'we already know it', but it has not really entered our hearts because we have really followed it.]

'Then your hearts became hard after that, So it was like Stone/Boulder (Hijaarah), or even more intense in stiffness.

1st type of Rock; And even out of stones, there are those from which (water) rivers/springs gush out.
Even those stones sometimes compromise.

2nd type; even out of stones there are those that crack/break open and water comes out. (this might be a hint to cause us to cry out of fear/awe of Allah)

3rd type: and even out of stones which collapse and fall from the fear of Allah. (this might be a hint to cause us to fall into sajdah/prostration out of awe/fear of Allah).

..and Allah is not unaware - at all - in regard to what you are doing.

Baqarah 2: 76 - 80

[Download MP3]

Ayah 76:

وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَا بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ قَالُوا أَتُحَدِّثُونَهُم بِمَا فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لِيُحَاجُّوكُم بِهِ عِندَ رَبِّكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

"And when they meet those who believe, they will say we believe aswell. But when they were in solitude - one group with another - they said; are you telling them news of what Allah has opened up for you, so that they (the Muslims) can make a case against you (the Jews) with your Lord (on Judgment Day)? Do you not then understand?

So the leaders of the Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) told the Jews not to tell what was in their scripture (the Torah - about the true Prophecies of Prophet Muhammad etc.) since the Muslims could then expose their disbelief/hypocrisy on Judgment Day infront of Allah.

So they are saying; Don't share this religious knowledge which Allah gave you (O Jews!) with the Muslims.

Their desperation and anger is shown the way they say;

"A fa laa ta'qiloon" -

Do you not then understand?'

Then Allah responds to them;

Ayah 77:

أَوَلَا يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

Don't they already know that Allah knows what they are hiding and exposing?

These people who are supposed to be knowledgable about Allah are acting as if Allah is unaware of what goes on in their minds. They know they are wrong, but they live in false security from Allah's anger due to their evil lifestyles.

This kind of attitude comes in someones personality when their hearts harden after having faith, so first they try to hope that Allah is forgiving and He will ignore their sins, but with time - this attitude becomes as if Allah hopefully is unaware of their actions, so they can do what they want of evil. Until this person forgets Allah and becomes of an atheist like nature.

Ayah 78:

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming.

Even out of them (min hum) their are those who are Unlettered people (Ummiy)

Ummiy - someone incapable of 2 things, reading and writing.

[its root is Umm = mother. I.e. They are as illiterate as when the first day they were born (came out of their mother.)]

'They don't know the book except for their own wishful thoughts (Amaaniyy).'

[Umniyah (singular), Amaaniyy (Plural) = wishful thoughts.]

I.e. You think you know what it is, and you wishfully think that it is like that. But you are not certain what your Book (of Guidance) tells you of Guidance.

This is the Crime of Bani Isra'eel (the Israelites) against their Book. And amazingly this is the case with the majority of Muslims today.

[i.e. Ustadh Nouman gives the example of forwarded emails which might say false Islamic information (with a good intent by the author).
I.e. The famous chain email about praying Fajr and having light on your face, and praying Dhuhr and getting good money etc. And then at the bottom it says; 'Wisdom from the Holy Quran'. When in reality - it is nowhere mentioned in the Qur'an.
This is a crime in the religion.

'Wa in hum il-laa yaDhunoon' -
And they only guess/assume.

So Allah is telling us that we should not make assumptions about Allah's Book, about what makes Allah angry and happy, what Allah has allowed and what He has not. None of this can be said based on mere assumption, but it has to be based on what Allah, His Messenger and the People of Knowledge have said.

The Sahabah (companions of Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) interpreted this ayah as;

- Ibn Abbas explained this ayah; the Central word in this Ayah is "Amaaniyy" (wishful thinkings), and he explained that this meant;

"Amaaniyy" ayy - Tilaawah - ya'lamoona hu hifDhan wa qiraa'atan bi laa fahm. Laa yadroona maa feehaa'

Tilaawah (recitation/following the text in reading) - they know it (the Torah) by memorizing it, reciting it - without understanding it. They have no clue what is in it.'

Isn't this the same with majority of Muslims today? Just reciting, memorizing and have no clue what is in it (of the message).

They only make assumptions;
- that what they are doing is okay.
- that it doesn't matter if they don't understand their Book of Guidance.
- that they think they know the basic message of it (i.e. 5 pillars of Islam and no pork and alcohol) - so they don't need to bother to learn anymore.

The vast majority of us even in rich countries might understand the most complicated of education courses, sometimes even speaking computer languages [C++], yet we don't bother to understand the speech of Allah.

The Qur'an is a Mercy from Allah and a Guidance for mankind - yet those who believe it is from Allah, the majority of them have no time in wanting to understand it.

O Allah, our Guide, please do not make us of these people, ameen.

Ayah 79:

فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَّهُم مِّمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ

So destruction to those who write the "scripture" with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah ," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

Then the worst form of destruction/curse for those who write the Book [Book/Law] with their own hands..

The Jews
: Allah spoke about some of the Jews who did this - they altered the Book to suit their own desires.

The Muslims
: the Qur'an - Allah did not give us the power to alter the Qur'an. So we cannot change Allah's Book, but there are people who will try to change it's Law and interpretation to suit their desires (because they might feel its too strict.)

"Thumma yaQooloona haadhaa min 'ind-illah -
Then they say - this is especially/definitely from Allah."

So some of the corrupt people will sell a fake book (pretending it is from God), or a false interpretation of the Quran - all having a certain agenda and promoting their false ideas (i.e. saying - 'only this interpretation is the true version of Islam.')

Li yaShtaruw bi-hee thamanan qaleela -

So they can sell it for a pathetic/miniscule price.

So they will pass a Fatwa (Law verdict) which is false, just to please someone who will give them money for that.

Fa waylun la hum bi maa katabat aYdeehim -

So the worst destruction/curse [waylun] for them with what they writ with their hands.

"Wa waylun la hum min maa yaKsiboon" -

And the worst destruction for them from what they earned.'

So these people may have earned;
- Money for selling their forged book.
- A following of people who believed in their book/Law.

In the Muslim community - this also occurs in modern times;

Ustadh Nouman gives an example:
I.e. A qualified scholar/imam may say that something is banned in the Mosque because it is unIslamic.

And after some time, a group of people privately tell the Imam that you should not say this because it upsets the people of the Mosque Committee/boardroom, and we will not be able to raise funds/money for the Mosque.

Now if this person retracts what he said or stays silent - out of fear, he is falling into this error of 'Selling the Kitaab [Law/Book] for a small/worthless price.'

Some Imams may quit their job instead of selling their religion under pressure. While others may fall into the trap due to the pressures of the people - so they allow which Allah has forbade, or forbid what which Allah allowed.

Allah threatens them with 2 major curses/destructions - one for what they change of the Law, and another for what they earn as a result.

O Allah, protect and prevent us from selling Your verses and signs for a worthless price. Ameen ya Rabb.

Ayah 80:

وَقَالُوا لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً ۚ قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَهْدًا فَلَن يُخْلِفَ اللَّهُ عَهْدَهُ ۖ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

And they say, "Never will the Fire touch us, except for a few days." Say, "Have you taken a covenant with Allah ? For Allah will never break His covenant. Or do you say about Allah that which you do not know?"

Now Allah tells us the worst type of 'Amaaniyy' (wishful thinking) there is.

These wishful thoughts are extremely bad because you start to get thoughts which make you think things which are in direct opposition to what the Guidance teaches. I.e. thinking you are guaranteed Paradise, or you feel that if you did go to hell - you feel you'll just go for a few days etc.

These people might disobey Allah continuously, thinking they are from the blessed nation, and they might give in charity - wishfully thinking that Allah will forgive them.

[Ustadh Nouman gives the example of someone who owns a liquor/alcohol store, and has a copy of Ayat-ul-Kursi (Quran 2:255) behind his shop desk, and gives some money from it to charity - wishfully thinking Allah will forgive his sins or only keep him in hell for a few days.

He then mentions that people who have not read the Book of Guidance with understanding - assume this, when they ignore the fact that they have to repent and stop their sins for their repentance to be acceptable.]

"wa Qaaloo lan taMassaNaa naaran il-laa ayyaaman ma'doodaah.." -

and they said that the fire will not touch us except for a few days.'

The mentality/psyche of a person who thinks that they can survive and bear/handle/face the severe punishment of Allah is the problem.

How do you know? What if a Day in Hell is equal to 1000years of this life? And the people of Hell are told to enter into a fire without recieving help from Allah.

A split second spent outside Hellfire - NafHa (= a cold breeze), if that barely touched them, they would scream - O destruction on us, we were of the wrongdoers.  (Surah Anbiya 21:46)

[Related word: LafHa (hot breeze)]

So what then of being immersed in Hell for day, after day, after day...

"Say (O Muhammad) Did you (people) take a special contract/promise with Allah, so that Allah won't change His contract/promise? Or do you say about Allah what you don't know?"

Allah is telling His Messenger to speak to these people now (by saying; Qul - Say) because He is angry with the people who wishfully think they will only be in the fire for a few days - so He doesn't even want to talk to them directly.

Through His Messenger - He is asking them - 'have you taken a contract with Allah by which you are sure that you will only be in the fire for a few days?' And the answer is no, none of us humans are sure where we will end up in the Afterlife, and how long we will be there.

Then a further emphasis is added;

" fa lan yuKhlifa Allahu 'ahdah" -

then Allah will not change His contract?'

So even if these people were to get a contract with Allah for just a few days of hell (which doesn't happen) - then how can you be certain that Allah has not changed His contract?

"Am taQooloona 'ala Allahi maa laa ta'lamoon?"
'Or are you saying upon Allah of that which you have no knowledge?'

As we said earlier, these people had their own wishful thinking of what Guidance was - so they were saying about Allah of that which they did not know. Their wishful thinkings were not accurate.

We have to ask ourselves - how do I view salvation? Is it based on what the Quran and Sunnah says? Do I think I'll be forgiven for sure, or do I think that I need to continue doing more good deeds sincerely and continuously with effort so that hopefully, Allah will be happy with me on Judgment Day and put me into Paradise by His Mercy.

O Allah, make us of those who follow your Guidance whole-heartedly, sincerely and fully, always. Based on a balance of Fear and Hope, and that you are pleased with us when we meet you on Judgment Day. Ameen ya Rabb.

Baqarah 81-83:

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Ayah 81:

بَلَىٰ مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

"Rather, whoever earned a single sin [sayyi'ah ], and his single enormous mistake encircled him - then those are the people of fire - in which they will remain."

Sayyi'ah - big sin.

Similar word
Dhanb = small or big sin.

wa aHaaTat bi-hee khaTee'atuh -

"Then it encircled him" -
this person is addicted to a big sin, (i.e. Drugs/alcoholism, interest/usury (riba), eating haraam, shamelessness etc.) although he might do alot of good deeds.

So this person does alot of good deeds, and he feels that his persistent bad deed will be covered
by these good deeds. So he continues in the sin.

'His huge mistake has encircled him'

That one mistake has encircled the person's life, so he is addicted to it, and due to that - he falls into other sins too (i.e. he might lie continuously bigger lies to cover his sin etc.)

"Ulaa'ika aS-haab-ul-Naar" -
'Those are the companions of the fire'

The One mistake the Bani Isra'eel (the Israelites), and the polytheists of Quraysh had - was their Arrogance.
They had alot of other good qualities but their main mistake made them become the worst of people (opposing the Messengers' of Allah).

I.e. Abu Jahl - a man at the time of Prophet Muhammad was a Philanthropist before Islam. He would give alot to the needy, and make good decisions for his people. But when the Messenger was chosen by Allah to be from another tribe, Abu Jahl's arrogance surrounded him from all arround him, and prevented him from following the Messenger, Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

Allah said;
MAN kasaba (the one who earns) [singular]..

Ulaa'ika - Those [plural] are the companions of the fire.

So Allah is telling us that this person who fits that description can be from any group of people (the past nations, or Bani Isra'eel, or the Polytheists, or even the Hypocrites), and that all these people will be forced together as Companions of the fire.

"..Hum fee haa Khaalidoon" -

They will be in it, forever.

Ayah 82:

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

But they who believe and do righteous deeds - those are the companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally.

"Those who believe and do good actions (saalihAAT)   "

Allah makes a beautiful contrast by just saying a common phrase which we are so used to, but the way it is placed in this part after ayah 81 amazes you.

SaalihAAT = a handful of Good actions [it is in the 'lesser plural (jam'u qillah) form' = a plural less than 10].

So Allah amazingly says that they believe and do a few good deeds which He asked of us (i.e. The 5 pillars of Islam, being good to those around us, and avoiding the sins etc.) So Allah is telling us that He isn't really asking us for alot, and that this religion is easy.

Maa ja'ala 'alaykum fee al-deeni min haraj
  - He (Allah) did not put on you any difficulty in the religion. (Hajj 22:78)

YureeduAllahu an yuKhaffifa 'ankum - Allah intends to make your burden light for you. (Nisa 4:28)

"Ulaa'ika aS-haab ul Jannah, hum fee haa khaalidoon" -
They are the Companions of the Gardens, especially they will live there forever.

These 3 things link together - and if one link is missing, you cannot reach to step 3;
1) Emaan (Belief) and 2) Righteous deeds = Gardens of Paradise.

Ayah 83:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], "Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.

Allah will remind us of the serious Covenant again, and this time He will tell us the 'good deeds' (Saalihaat) which are part of the Covenant to get to Allah's Paradise.

1 - You will enslave yourselves to other than Allah.
2 - To be best in excellence (Ihsaan) to your parents, and to close relatives, and the orphans and the poor.
This is easy to say, but really hard to do. Most of the times our parents and close brothers/sisters and cousins/relatives aren't happy with us. If we see the Muslim Ummah today, we are the worst of people to our relatives and have loads of feuds and arguments.

Most of us don't even know the orphans and poor (masaakeen - those who can't support themselves i.e. lookafter their families etc.) of our societies.

"Wa qooloo li al-naas husnan -"

'And to speak to the people beautifully (husnan).'

Most of us Muslims hardly smile, and if someone smiles from us, we think that person is odd. When smiling is from the Sunnah!

'And establish the prayer and give the zakah (purification charity)'

'After all of these instructions, all of you turned away- except a few of you, while you were deliberately ignoring the instructions.'

We see how most of these commands are between us and Allah, and us and our close community.
The reason why Allah wants us to be good to those near us is because if all the people in the world did this good to their community - the whole world would be peaceful. And there would be no in-fighting amongst the Muslim Ummah (nation.)

Baqarah 83-85

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Ayah 84:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

And [recall] when We took your covenant, [saying], "Do not shed each other's blood or evict one another from your homes." Then you acknowledged [this] while you were witnessing.

And when We took the strong covenant from you - that you should not shed your own blood (dimaa'a-kum).

Now Allah tells us what happens when people don't follow the commands of Allah mentioned in the ayah above (i.e. a good relationship with Allah, and a good relationship with your people [relatives, poor etc].)

So what happens when all these people don't get their rights? Hatred arises, and then small fights start, and these fights escalate, and there is war amongst the Muslims.

Allah said,
Don't shed your Own blood (dimaa'a-kum) = don't fight and kill each other (believers shouldn't fight each other out of hatred) because it is like you are killing your ownselves.
[Since the believers are all one and have the same purpose (of serving Allah alone.)]

"Waa laa tuKhrijoona aNfusakum min diyaari-kum" -

And you will not expel your ownselves from your own homes.'

No-one would kick themselves out of their own home and not allow their self back into it.

Rather, what Allah is saying is - Don't expel other believers;
- You're not going to force other believers out of their homes.
- You're not going to Deport other Muslims out of their own homes.
[Ustadh Nouman mentions that some Muslims do deport other Muslims out of their countries for Nationalistic reasons and due to fear of non Muslim governments] which is a crime of the Bani Isra'eel which Allah criticizes.

Thumma aQrar-tum -
Then you all agreed

Wa antum taSh-hadoon -
And you all bore witness

Ayah 85:

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَارِهِمْ تَظَاهَرُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِالْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَإِن يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَارَىٰ تُفَادُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ ۚ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ ۚ فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَٰلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلَّا خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Thumma antum haa'ulaa! -
Then you all are these same people..!

[seeghatu al-ta'Ajjub - Amazement/Astonishment is used. 'I am Shocked that you are these same people..' ]

"taQtuloona aNfusakum" -
You are the ones killing yourselves

"wa tuKhrijoona FareeqAn min-kum min diyaari-him" -
'and you expel a particular Targetted group - from among you - from their homes.'

Fareeq - Farq (to separate to show difference) would be a particular group which separated from the main group.

But Allah said; FareeqAn min-kum - a group you Targetted from your own.

So even though these people might not consider them their own, Allah tells us that they are still killing their own.

taDhaaharoon 'alayhim bi-al ithmi wa-al 'udwaan -
You would intend upon them sin (ithm) and enmity (being an enemy - 'udwaan)

Wa in ya'tuoo-kum usaara tuFaadoo hum -
And if they are given to you as prisoners, you ransom them

Ustadh Nouman says that these people - who were believers at that time - would fight each other as worst enemies. But when the disbelievers fought the Muslims, the Muslims would raise money to free/ransom them.

So Allah is hinting at the hypocrisy of these people, which isn't too different to how us Muslims have been with each other in our history.

You become one Ummah - when the disbelievers fight you.
Then you become each others enemies after that?

أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ

"Do you believe in part of the Book, and deny another part?"

The principle in Islam is one: our brotherhood in Islam is one, and we need to protect each other.

The fact that these people chose some parts of the religion to follow, and never followed other parts - Allah criticized them as denying/disbelieving in part of the Book.

Ustadh Nouman continues

When people get more knowledgable about the religion, they might become lazy, and when someone asks them why they are not doing something from it, they will find some intellectual excuses to justify the reasons why they are not.

This makes the religion look ugly to others who don't know too much about it.

And Allah tells us about such people;

"Then what is the recompense for such people who do that from you - except humiliation in this life, and on the Day of Ressurection - We will return him to the intense Punishment [aShaddu al-Adhaab], and Allah is not forgetful of what you are doing."

When you only select part of the Book and ignore other parts - Allah will give humiliation to such a people (Ummah).

And Allah will punish them an intense punishment on Judgment Day.
Allah in other parts of the Quran uses the words;

- 'adhaabun Aleem - Painful punishment.
- 'adhaabun 'ADheem - Great/firm punishment.
- 'adhaabun Shadeed - Intense punishment.

But now Allah said;
AShaddu-ul 'adhaab = the MOST intense punishment.

Allah is describes this of someone who knows the religion, but chooses to only follow some parts and ignore its other parts.

'And Allah is not forgetful (Ghaafilan) of what you continue to do'.

When us humans sin and disobey Allah - we forget that Allah is watching us. If we had remembered Allah and truly had certainty of His punishment, we would not be doing sins. But even if do forget - Allah does not forget what we continue to do.

O Allah, do not make us of those who fall into mistakes similar to those failed nations before us.
Make us of those who follow your Book fully.

Ustadh Nouman continues explaining that;
Perfecting some parts of the Religion and ignoring other parts is also being criticized. We have to try to perfect ourselves in all aspects of the religion.
I.e. Some people might focus on one aspect of the religion and ignore another part, thinking that their strong focus on what they are doing will be sufficient. But that is not true.

This is;
'You believe in some part of the Book, and disbelieve in other parts?'

Baqarah 86-87

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Ayah 86:

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ فَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ

Those are the ones who have bought the life of this world [in exchange] for the Hereafter, so the punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be aided.

It is those who have purchased the life of this world over the hereafter.

This ayah tells us the core reason why they take some parts of the Book/Law/Religion seriously and ignore other parts.

We know that the main reason Allah sent this Guidance/Book/Law was for us to serve Allah.
But we know that some people don't whole-heartedly follow the Guidance. Yet when they do follow some parts of it - they might follow the aspects which they find easy. And they only do so - so they can feel 'good about themselves'.

So these type of people use the Guidance to serve them, not for them to use Serve Allah (with the Guidance.)

Ishtaraw = purchase.

These people have purchased/bought this life over the next life (in preference.)

The shocking thing is that Allah uses this kind of phrase usually for the disbelievers - choosing this life over the next life.
So Allah is telling that people who don't fully submit to all the Guidance are like the disbelievers in preferring this life more than the next.

"Fa laa yuKhaffafu 'anhum ul 'adhaab" -
Then the punishment/torture will not be lightened for them.'

O Allah, please do not make us of them.

Allah wants your life to be easy/light (khafeef) for you by giving you this Guidance.

YureeduAllahu an yuKhaffifa 'ankum
- Allah intends to make your burden light for you.
(Nisa 4:28)

But because these people did not want to follow the Guidance which would lighten their burden, Allah will make their burden heavy in this life and the next.

"wa laa hum yuNSuroon" -
And they are not going to be helped.'

Allah is already warning us that if we should not think we will be saved by following just some part of the religion. And if anyone thinks that this partial choosing of the religion will be enough for them - then know that 'you will not be helped.'

Ayah 87:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ

And We have for sure given Moses the Book, and We have fortified it (Qaf-fa) / continued it through several Messengers', and We gave Eesa son of Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) clear signs, and aided him with the Holy Spirit (Angel Jibreel/Gabriel).

Qaf-fa - have something continue.
(i.e. a necklace which has beads come after the other.)

This ayah is amazing in the fact that Allah is addressing the Israelites. The first main Messenger sent to them as a whole (the 12 tribes) was Moses (who is at the beginning of the necklace), and the last bead on the necklace of the Bani Isra'eel (Israelite) Prophets' is Prophet Jesus son of Mary.

"A fa kulla maa jaa'a kum Rasoolan bi maa laa taHwaa aNfusa-kum fa-astaKbar-tum" -

So why then, everytime a Messenger came to you all with what you did not Desire (taHwaa), you all sought your own greatness.

taHwaa - Hawaa - empty desires.

So Allah is telling us that whenever a Messenger came to them who they didn't like, whose commands didn't fit in with their desires - you seeked greatness for yourselves.

Yoy felt your desire, personality was better than what the Messenger had came with.

It's reported that Allah's Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) said [meaning];
"You won't fully believe until your desires suit what the Messenger came with."

"Fa fareeqan kadh-dhab-tum wa fareeqan taQtuloon" -
So a group of you repeatedly and intensely lied against him (the Messenger), and a group of you kill.'

The Israelites did claim belief in the Messengers' of Allah, apart from two - Jesus son of Mary and Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhim wasalam.)

But Allah says that they lied against them (including the other Messengers.) How is this?

They lied against their Messenger by not obeying, and questioning their Messenger arrogantly - like they did in their early history with Moses.

"wa Fareeqan taQtuloon" -
and a group of you kill (the Messengers').

Because some of these people couldn't trust their Messengers', accusing some of them as being liars. So they thought that killing them would be a good idea.

Allah said; taQtuloon (you all kill) in present-future tense, showing that this attitude of theirs will continue.

Allah brings this reminder many times in the Qur'an to show the seriousness of their crime, and how much He hates it.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) told us that we would follow the ways of the Bani Isra'eel (Israelites) like a shoe matches the other shoe.

The Prophets' of Bani Isra'eel would update the Shari'ah (Laws) of Moses for the times the Israelites lived in.
This is a similar role the Scholars ('Ulama) perform in this Ummah (nation.)

We know that the Prophets' of Bani Isra'eel were caught, humiliated and tortured and insulted by their people.
Many of our 'Ulama go through a similar fate. Even today.

We need to respect the 'Ulama because if we don't, Allah might get angry at us like He got angry at the Israelites for disrespecting the Messengers.

Baqarah 91-93:

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Ayah 91:

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا نُؤْمِنُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَيَكْفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَاءَهُ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ فَلِمَ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنبِيَاءَ اللَّهِ مِن قَبْلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And when it is said to them, "Believe in what Allah has revealed," they say, "We believe [only] in what was revealed to us." And they disbelieve in what came after it, while it is the truth confirming that which is with them. Say, "Then why did you kill the prophets of Allah before, if you are [indeed] believers?"

When it is said to them; Come to believe in what Allah has sent down, they say - 'We believe what was sent down on to us ('alayNaa)'

The discussion with Bani Isra'eel (the Israelites/Jews) is approaching it's end. Now Allah is answering the most obnoxious claims of theirs for not following the Messenger.

When the Jews say, we believe in what was sent on us ('alayNaa) - it has 2 implications;

1 - the obvious meaning;
'we believe in what was sent on us' - they do not want to change their belief that they only have to follow a Jewish book.

2 - we believe in what was sent ON us ('Alay-naa) - the word "'alay" (on) signifies that they feel it is a Responsibility which they have to hold onto, which they cannot change from.
So they are saying; 'we believe and fulfill our Jewish law, and that is enough for us, so no thankyou.'

"wa yaKfuroona bi maa waraa'ah" -
and they deny with what is behind them.'

These people might claim they are believers, but they really are not. As they reject other important parts of the 'Israelite revealed' Guidance too:

1 - they deny Jesus son of Mary as a Messenger, and the Scripture (the Injeel) which he came with.
2 - the Book they were given - they did make changes to it (see ayah 90). So if that is not disbelief, then what is?

"Wa huwwa al haqqu muSaddiqan li maa ma'a-hum" -
And it is the truth, confirming what is with them.'

So if they really are sincere in wanting to follow their book, they should follow this (Qur'an). Because their own books are telling them of the future Messenger, and this Messenger (Muhammad [saws]) matches what is written in your own books.

Then Allah exposes their hypocrisy of wanting to follow their book;

"Qul, fa li-ma taQtuloona anbiyaa'Allahi min qablu in kun tum mu'mineen" -
Say (O Muhammad) - then why do you kill the Prophets' of Allah from before if you truly are Believers?'

What part of your faith told you to kill your Prophets'?

The Israelites had many Prophets' they harmed, but Allah will interrogate and expose them more in the next ayah.

Ayah 92:

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَنتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ

Even Moses already came to you with clear signs, and you held tightly onto the Calf after him, and you were wrongdoers.

This is the Prophet who the Israelites respect most and take pride in. Yet they took the Calf/baby cow as an idol for worship whilst Moses was amongst them!

Is this what your book tells you? So if you never followed it sincerely then, and they were the best of your nation - then how can you be so sure that you are following it sincerely now?

Ayah 93:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاسْمَعُوا ۖ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِمْ ۚ قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And [recall] when We took your covenant and raised over you the mount, [saying], "Take what We have given you with determination and listen." They said [instead], "We hear and disobey." And their hearts absorbed [the worship of] the calf because of their disbelief. Say, "How wretched is that which your faith enjoins upon you, if you should be believers."

"And when We took the strong covenant from you, We raised the mountain of Toor above you, (saying); Hold onto what We have given you with great strength, and remember what is in it so you can guard (against evil, Allah's anger, punishment etc.) They (Qaaloo) said; We heard and we disobeyed. Then inside their hearts the love for worshipping the calf was poured into it."

Allah enhances this interrogation a level even higher. We know they did not even follow Moses properly, now Allah tells us that they even made jokes of Allah's covenant which He took with them - when the mountain was placed above them and about to fall on them (see surah al A'raf 7:171).

Allah speaks to them in 2nd person ('kum' - You lot) first when He is taking the covenant with them. But their arrogance and disobedience makes Allah disgusted, so He talks about them in 3rd person ('Qaaloo - They said..'). This is called Tab'eed - Distancing intensely from someone because of dislike for them.

Allah is telling us that because of their not wanting to accept Allah's covenant, Allah punished them by making them love idol worship intensely. So wanting to break the contract with Allah is one of the worst punishments Allah can give to someone.

O Allah, love us and make us of those who love you, always. Ameen.

Then Allah tells His Messenger to say;

Qul bi'sa maa ya'muru-kum eemaanu-kum in kun-tum mu'mineen -
Say (O Muhammad) - evil/disgusting is what your Belief (Emaan) commands you to do if you truly are believers.

Allah tells His Messenger to talk, since He does not even want to directly talk to them (after He has quoted their evil bad habits.)

And now He tells them that if this is what their Belief calls them to (disobeying Messengers', making jokes about Allah, love for calf worship etc.), then their (false) beliefs call them to extremely disgusting (bi's) things indeed.

Now that He has spoken to them and they still don't believe, Allah will stop talking directly to them in 2nd person (i.e. You) etc. If anyone is going to talk to them now, it is the Messenger.

The new transision from now will be that; Allah will tell His Messenger about the Israelites'; Commenting about them, their attitudes and how he (the Messenger) should deal with them.

Baqarah 94-96

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Ayah 94:

قُلْ إِن كَانَتْ لَكُمُ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ عِندَ اللَّهِ خَالِصَةً مِّن دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُا الْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Say (O Muhammad) - if the final home (Daar) belongs exclusively to you with Allah, then wish for death if infact you are truthful..

Daar - home / residence.

The Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe that only their religion is the saved group in the Next life.

Muslims believe: "Surely the religion with Allah is Islam" (aal Imran 3:19)

Christians believe you can only get to the 'Kingdom of Heaven' through Jesus Christ.

The Jews especially - at the time of Prophet Muhammad - believed they were the only saved people who would enter heaven/paradise. [Although over centuries some Jewish sects began to reject an Afterlife. (I.e. Some jewish sects today believe; there is no hell.)]

But Allah is telling the Jews to wish for death if they are so certain it is only for them.

If the Jews asked the Muslims to wish for death - the Muslims did not claim that individually they are guaranteed Paradise. Rather, they wish to Allah and do good acts and ask for forgiveness - hoping Allah will accept them into His Paradise/Jannah. Muslims are in a balance between hope and fear.

Whereas the Jews at that time thought they were guaranteed Paradise. And if that life is better, and you're sure you're going there - then why don't you wish for death?

Ayah 95:

وَلَن يَتَمَنَّوْهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ

But they will never wish for it, ever, because of what their hands have put forth. And Allah is Knowing of the wrongdoers.

And they will never wish for it, because of what their hands have sent forward (invested).

When you do bad or good deeds - you send them forward to Allah.

So the Jews know;

1 - They have not done alot of good things. So they find it hard to want to return to Allah.
2 - They have spent alot of their worldly efforts and money for this worldly life, and they have not put much effort and money (charity) for the next life. So they are more attracted to this life, and this is why they don't want to die.

'And Allah is fully knowledgable of the wrongdoers.'

Ayah 96:

وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ حَيَاةٍ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا ۚ يَوَدُّ أَحَدُهُمْ لَوْ يُعَمَّرُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ أَن يُعَمَّرَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ

And you will find them the most greedy/zealous/energetic in pursuit of preserving their worldly life intact (they do not want to lose this life), and even more than the polytheists.

The polytheists would be willing to die in battle, so that they would earn honour for themselves in poetry and tribal history.

The Israelites however would not fight, and if they did come out to fight, they would say;

'Wait till our awaited Messenger comes, with him we will defeat you like the people of 'Aad were destroyed.'

(yastaftihoona 'ala al-aladheena kafaroo - they sought a way out from those who disbelieved.)

"Everyone of them wishes he could live for 1000years. And even then - he will not be escaping at all from the punishment. And Allah is in full view of what they are doing."

Ustadh Nouman mentions a story which might benefit

He went to a Muslim families house who had alot of money, and he gave them a talk about surah 'ASr (which talks about how our time in life is ending each moment.)

Then after the talk, the mother of the house said to Ustadh Nouman; 'I love this house, I don't ever want to leave it.' (she was hinting that she does not want to move onto the next life and would prefer this house instead.)

Ustadh Nouman replied that we will all have to leave this life sometime soon.

The moral of the story was; Don't be attached too much to this life, like the Israelites and those before us were. Otherwise, we will also fit the description of;

AHraSa al-naasa 'ala al-hayaat  - 'the most zealous/greedy/attached -of people- upon life.'

We as Muslims should always be preparing for death and meeting Allah. Because the true home is the home of Paradise/Jannah.

O Allah, make us the people of your Jannah al Firdaws (the Highest Paradise), soon, with ease, ameen ya Rabb.

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