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Tafseer Al-Baqarah 92-96 From the book, Introduction to the Tafseer of the Quran by the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir, the eminent jurist and statesman, Sheikh Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah:  

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مُوسَى بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمْ الْعِجْلَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَنْتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ 92

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُمْ بِقُوَّةٍ وَاسْمَعُوا قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِمْ قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ93

قُلْ إِنْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ الدَّارُ الآخِرَةُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ خَالِصَةً مِنْ دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوْا الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ 94

وَلَنْ يَتَمَنَّوْهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ 95

وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَى حَيَاةٍ وَمِنْ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا يَوَدُّ أَحَدُهُمْ لَوْ يُعَمَّرُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ مِنْ الْعَذَابِ أَنْ يُعَمَّرَ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ 96

"Musa brought you the Clear Signs; then you worshipped the Calf, after he left, and were wrongdoers. (92) Remember when We made a covenant with you and lifted up the Mount above your heads: ‘Take hold vigorously of what We have given you and listen.' They said, ‘We hear and disobey.' They were made to absorb the Calf into their hearts because of their kufr. Say, ‘If you are Believers, what an evil thing your iman has made you do.' (93) Say, ‘If the abode of the akhira with Allah is for you alone, to the exclusion of all others, then long for death if you are telling the truth.' (94) But they will never ever long for it because of what they have done. Allah knows the wrongdoers. (95) Rather you will find them the people greediest for life, along with the idolaters. Any of them would love to be allowed to live a thousand years. But being allowed to live would not save him from the punishment. Allah sees what they do. (96)"

1. Allah (swt) sent down clear signs as definite proof and supporting miracles of his (Musa's) Prophethood. They are nine signs mentioned elsewhere, ((وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى تِسْعَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ)) "And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs." [Surah Al-Isra'a 17:101] Such as the stick turning into a snake, his hand coming out white for the onlookers, the locusts, frogs, blood, etc. In these is that which definitively proves Musa's Prophethood. Yet, they took the calf as a god after Musa went to Mount Tur to meet his Lord. Thus they were Dhalimeen (wrongdoers), as they put the matter out of its place, making the calf a god, when it is not so ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمْ الْعِجْلَ )) "then you worshipped the Calf" This means that there was a delay, i.e. that they spent some time considering the signs. So, the signs came, then they pondered them, yet after realizing their definitiveness as proof of Musa's truthfulness; they still took the calf as their god. So, this is a reprimand of them.


2. Then they came back, so Allah mentions a covenant and raising the mountain above their heads, and that they should take Allah's signs seriously and strive. This is similar to what was mentioned in a previous verse: ((وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُمْ بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُوا مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ)) "And (O Children of Isra'il, remember) when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying): ‘Hold fast to that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein so that you may acquire Taqwa.'" [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:63] Repetition of the verse is for emphasis, which is that - there is no value in listening to Allah's command, unless it is listening, with following the order as it is. i.e. obedience, with acceptance. Allah says in the verse((اسْمَعُوا)) "Listen." yet they replied ((سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا)) "We hear and disobey" So, the reply indicates that)) ((اسْمَعُوا "Listen" includes hearing and obeying, and accepting too, even though it is not mentioned. Often accepting is wanted from listening, as we say in prayer: Sami Allah li man Hamida "And Allah heard the one who praises." ((وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ)) The waw "and" is for haal "situation" i.e. they said ‘we hear and we disobey' whilst they were in love with their calf, i.e. deep in their hearts. They said)) : ((سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا "we hear an we is obey" ((بِكُفْرِهِمْ )) "because of their kufr" i.e. for the reason of their kufr. Then Allah ends the verse explaining that they are liars in their claims of iman, because iman is the opposite or nullifier of kufr, so, Iman does not ask you to take a calf as a god, or to love in your hearts the calf as a god, nor does it yield as a result the stopping of listening and obeying Allah the Creator and the Worshipped. Linking the issue to iman and connecting it to the pronoun kum in His saying: ((قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ)) "Say, ‘If you are Believers, what an evil thing your iman has made you do" is cynically scornful, as in His saying. ((أَصَلاَتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ )) "does your command" [Surah Hud 11:87]. ((قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِنْ كُنتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ)) "Say, ‘If you are Believers, what an evil thing your iman has made you do" i.e if you were truthful believers in taking the calf as your god and embedding its love in your hearts.


3. Then Allah exposes their lie claiming that Jannah is just for them. ((وَقَالُوا لَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَنْ كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى)) "And they say, "None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian" [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:111] He establishes the proof against them, that if they are truthful, then they should be longing for death, i.e. meeting with Allah. If they were the beloved of Allah, as they claimed: ((وَقَالَتْ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ)) "And the Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the ‘children of Allah and His loved ones.'" [Surah Al-Maida 5:18] then, they would be rushing to long for death to confirm their truthfulness, but if they do not do so, then they are liars. This is exactly what happened, so they did not desire death, because they know what they have done of kufr and evil, so they are afraid of their meeting with Allah: ((وَلَنْ يَتَمَنَّوْهُ أَبَدًا بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ)) "But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent before them (i.e. what they have done). And Allah is Aware of the oppressors" [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:95] This is among the definite sensory proofs that Allah established regarding the Jews and the Christians who were in the time of Rasool Allah (saw), that if they were true in what they said regarding jannah being just for them, then they would long for death, and this is in relation to the Jews. If the Christians were true in what they said of Isa (as), in that he was not a slave, but a god with Him, then they would have accepted the mubahalah: ((فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَلْ لَعْنَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ)) "Say: ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then we pray and we invoke Allah's curse upon the liars.'" [Aali Imran 3:61] But, both groups in the time of the Messenger (saw) did not do so. The Jews did not long for death, nor did the Christians of Najraan accept the mubahalah. So, it is a definite proof against them, if they were intelligent.


4. The result of the corruption of the Jews and their causing corruption is that they are afraid of dying due the darkness of their ways. Therefore, they are the staunchest of people in clinging on to life. Rather, the mushrikeen who do not believe except in this life, cling on to it with all their might, as they do not believe in another life, yet despite that the Jews cling to it even more than the mushrikeen. ((وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَى حَيَاةٍ)) "Rather you will find them the people greediest for life." i.e. life in general, any life, but it is succeeded by an understanding which completes the verse ((يَوَدُّ أَحَدُهُمْ لَوْ يُعَمَّرُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ)) "Any of them would love to be allowed to live a thousand years." i.e. a long life. ((أَحَدُهُمْ)) "Any of them" could refer to the mushrikeen, i.e. the Jews cling more than the mushrikeen, anyone of which might wish to live for a thousand years, as he does not believe in any life other than this life, so he wants to live in it the longest time possible. And maybe)) ((أَحَدُهُمْ "Any of them" refers to the Jews, i.e. that one of them might wish for a long life and this is preferred, due to the indication in: ((وَمَا هُوَ بِمُزَحْزِحِهِ مِنْ الْعَذَابِ أَنْ يُعَمَّرَ)) "But being allowed to live would not save him from the punishment." The mushrikeen do not believe that there is another life, so they do not believe in the punishment. The Jews, however, do believe in the next life and punishment, as the know what their hands have done of evil, so they do not like to die, so as to make the punishment as far from them as possible. Allah knows, that however long their lives, a thousand or more - here thousand is used to mean a lot -the punishment must come to them, because in the end they will die and then return to their Lord. Allah ends the verse that He sees their actions and will give them what they deserve ((وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ))"Allah sees what they do."

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