Intellectual Bigotry / Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:91-93, Part-1) – By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:91-93, Part-1)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Intellectual Bigotry
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا نُؤْمِنُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَيَكْفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَاءَهُ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ فَلِمَ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنبِيَاءَ اللَّـهِ مِن قَبْلُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٩١﴾ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَنتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ ﴿٩٢﴾ 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 ﴿٩٣﴾
Translation:
2:91 And when they are told, ‘Believe in what Allah has sent down,’ they say, ‘We believe in what was sent down to us(Torah),’ and they disbelieve what is besides it (the Quran), though it (the Quran) is the truth confirming what is with them (Torah). Say, ‘Then why would you kill the prophets of Allah formerly, should you be faithful?’
2:92 Certainly Moses brought you manifest proofs (miracles), but then you took up the calf in his absence and you were wrongdoers.
2:93 And when We took covenant with you and raised the Mount (Sinai) above you, [declaring], ‘Hold on firmly to what We have given you, and do listen!’ They said, ‘We hear, and disobey,’ and their hearts had been imbued with [the love of] the Calf, due to their unfaith. Say, ‘Evil is that to which your faith prompts you, should you be faithful!’

Commentary: The sacred book of the Israelites had prophesied the advent of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in the Arabian Peninsula, in a region situated between the two mountains of “Ayr” and “Uhud”, [Arabic: (عیر) & (احد)]. The offspring of the ancient Israelites began a journey to find these two mountains; after enduring many difficulties and hardships, they finally reached Mount Uhud. They settled there and generations waited for centuries until the arrival of Prophet Mohammad (SAW).

The offspring of the ancient Israelites had a false presumption that the foretold prophet in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) would be from the lineage of Prophet Yaqub (Jacob). However, Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was not from the Israelites’ lineage; for this reason, they turned away from him.

The offspring declared that they would only believe in the Israelite prophets and scriptures and would disregard any scripture or individual beyond that (i.e. the holy Prophet Mohammad (SAW).
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا نُؤْمِنُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَيَكْفُرُونَ بِمَا وَرَاءَهُ….﴿٩٢﴾
2:91 And when they are told, ‘Believe in what Allah has sent down,’ they say, ‘We believe in what was sent down to us (the Taurat),’ and they disbelieve what is besides it (the Quran),

While the Quran is the Book of Allah (SWT) that was revealed to the heart of the Prophet [وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ]. In addition, the traits and characteristics of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) matched the traits and characteristics of the foretold prophet in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) [مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ].
….. وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ ۗ….﴿٩٢﴾
2:91 ….though it (the Quran) is the truth confirming what is with them (Torah).

The Quran challenged the sincerity of the aforementioned argument by asking: if the Israelite offspring would believe only in the Israelite prophets and scriptures, why didn’t they denounce their ancestors:
for the killing of the prophets of Israel in former times [فَلِمَ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنبِيَاءَ اللَّـهِ مِن قَبْلُ] if they were truly believers in the Israelite prophets [إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ]? (See commentary 2:87-88)
for the worshiping of Samiri’s golden calf, despite Prophet Harun’s (Aaron’s) objection? (See commentary 2:51-54)
for the breach of the divine covenant despite their pledges? (See commentary 2:63-64)
Point-I will be explained in the next commentary. Further explanations of point II and III are as follows:

Point-II: The Children of Israel, along with Prophet Musa (AS), miraculously crossed the Nile River and encamped at the foothills of Mount Sinai. Afterwards, Prophet Musa (AS) was summoned to Mount Sinai to receive the Taurat (Torah). He left Prophet Harun (Aaron) as his deputy amongst the Children of Israel and departed to the appointed place on the Mount Sinai [the Quran: (مِيقَاتُ)].

In the absence of Prophet Musa (AS), Samiri deceived the Israelites. He built a golden calf and called upon them to worship it. Despite the objections from Prophet Harun, the Israelites fell into the deceptive trap of Samiri and worshipped the golden calf:
وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَنتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ ﴿٩٢﴾
2:92 Certainly Moses brought you manifest proofs (miracles), but then you took up the Calf in his absence and you were wrongdoers.
The phrase [the Quran: (وَأَنتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ)], implies that they were habitual wrongdoers [Jawami al-Jami, Tabarsi, commentary of verse 2:92].

Point-III: After revelation of the Torah, Allah (SWT) took a covenant from the Israelites for them to abide by [وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ]. Shortly thereafter, the Israelites forsook their covenant and disregarded the teachings of the Torah. Allah (SWT) in His grace warned them with the punishment that awaited them.

Allah (SWT) plucked the Mountain (Sinai) and held it above their head as if it was a canopy about to fall [وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ]. He called the Israelites to “take [their] religion firmly and put into practice [خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاسْمَعُوا]. They gave their pledge [قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا] but in practice, they disobeyed [وَعَصَيْنَا].
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُوا مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاسْمَعُوا ۖ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا ….. ﴿٩٣﴾
2:93 And when We took covenant with you and raised the Mount above you, [declaring], ‘Hold on with power to what We have given you, and do listen!’ They said, ‘We hear, and disobey,’

Worshipping the golden calf epitomized ultimate disobedience to Allah (SWT). The verse states that the Israelites’ hearts had been imbued with the love of this golden calf [وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ]. Their perpetual denial of divine commands provided the ground for the imbuement of their hearts with the love of the calf instead of God [بِكُفْرِهِمْ].
….وَأُشْرِبُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْعِجْلَ بِكُفْرِهِمْ ۚ …. ﴿٩٣﴾
2:…and their hearts had been imbued with [the love of] the Calf, due to their unfaith.

The verse then concludes with this phrase; the faith that allegedly persuaded the Israelites in killing of prophets, worship the calf and turning away from the divine covenant, that faith prompts them to what evil things!

…..قُلْ بِئْسَمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِهِ إِيمَانُكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٩٣﴾
2:… Say, ‘Evil is that to which your faith prompts you, should you be faithful!’

Word-for-Word Translation:

2:91 [وَإِذَا] and when [قِيلَ] it is said [لَهُمْ] to them [آمِنُوا] believe [بِمَا] in what [أَنزَلَ] sent down [اللَّـهُ] Allah [قَالُوا] they say [نُؤْمِنُ] we believe [بِمَا] in what [أُنزِلَ] was sent down [عَلَيْنَا] to us [وَيَكْفُرُونَ] and they disbelieve [بِمَا] in what came [وَرَاءَهُ] after it [وَهُوَ] while it is [الْحَقُّ] the truth [مُصَدِّقًا] confirming [لِّمَا] what is [مَعَهُمْ] with them [قُلْ] say [فَلِمَ] then why did [تَقْتُلُونَ] you kill [أَنبِيَاءَ اللَّـهِ] Prophets of Allah [مِن قَبْلُ] aforetime [إِن] if [كُنتُم] you were [مُّؤْمِنِينَ] true believers
2:92 [وَلَقَدْ]and indeed [جَاءَكُم] came to you [مُّوسَىٰ] Moses [بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ] with clear proofs [ثُمَّ] yet [اتَّخَذْتُمُ] you took for worship [الْعِجْلَ] the calf [مِن] after [بَعْدِهِ] him [وَأَنتُمْ] and you were [ظَالِمُونَ] wrongdoers.
2:93 [وَإِذْ] and remember when [أَخَذْنَا] we took [مِيثَاقَكُمْ] your covenant [وَرَفَعْنَا] and we raised [فَوْقَكُمُ] above you [الطُّورَ] the Tur (mount Sinai) [خُذُوا] hold [مَا] what [آتَيْنَاكُم] we gave you [بِقُوَّةٍ] firmly [وَاسْمَعُوا] and hear. [قَالُوا] They said [سَمِعْنَا] we heard [وَعَصَيْنَا] and we disobeyed [وَأُشْرِبُوا] and had been imbued [فِي] in [قُلُوبِهِمُ] their heard [الْعِجْلَ] the calf [بِكُفْرِهِمْ] because of their disbelief. [قُلْ]O Prophet say [بِئْسَمَا] evil is what [يَأْمُرُكُم] command you [بِهِ] to it [إِيمَانُكُمْ] your faith [إِن] if [كُنتُم] you are [مُّؤْمِنِينَ] believer

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