Intellectually Dishonest Scholars: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:80-82) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:80-82)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Intellectually Dishonest Scholars
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَقَالُوا لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً ۚ قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ عَهْدًا فَلَن يُخْلِفَ اللَّـهُ عَهْدَهُ ۖ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨٠﴾ بَلَىٰ مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٨١﴾ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾
Translation:
2:80 And they say, ‘The Fire shall not touch us except for a number of days.’ Say, ‘Have you taken a promise from Allah? If so, Allah will never break His promise. Do you ascribe to Allah what you do not know?’
2:81 Certainly whoever commits misdeeds and is besieged by his iniquity—such shall be the inmates of the Fire, and they will remain in it [forever].
2:82 And those who have faith and do righteous deeds—they shall be the inhabitants of Paradise; they will remain in it [forever].

Commentary: Unfaithful Israelite scholars altered the meanings of the scriptures and disseminated fabricated narratives in the name of God. For instance, they asserted that the Israelites are immune from eternal punishment, and in the worst-case scenario, hell fire would only touch them for only a few days. Afterwards, Paradise would be exclusively theirs to enjoy:
وَقَالُوا لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلَّا أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً ….. ﴿٨٠﴾
2:80 And they say, ‘The Fire shall not touch us except for a number of days.

This verse refutes the presumption of an unconditional immunity in favor of the Israelites, by asking them a rhetorical question: had they really taken such a promise from Allah (SWT)? Since they had no evidence to support the authenticity of this claim, they therefore had imputed an unsubstantiated narrative to God [Arabic: (مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ)].

…..قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ عَهْدًا فَلَن يُخْلِفَ اللَّـهُ عَهْدَهُ ۖ أَمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨٠﴾
2:80 Say, ‘Have you taken a promise from Allah? If so, Allah will never break His promise. Do you ascribe to Allah what you do not know?’

The next two verses state that Divine Justice would not discriminate between the Children of Israel and others. The verse 2:81 asserts that whoever goes to earn sin [Arabic: (كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً)] and is engulfed by resulting evil consequences of sin [Arabic: (وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ)], such an individual would be doomed to Hell forever [Arabic: (هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ)].
بَلَىٰ مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٨١﴾
2:81 Certainly whoever commits misdeeds and is besieged by his iniquity—such shall be the inmates of the Fire, and they will remain in it [forever].

The phrase “to earn sin” [Arabic: (كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً)] is far worse than falling in sin. Such a perverse attitude means the moral and intellectual safeguards that surround us by the Grace of Allah (SWT) are being demolished and human beings are instead surrounded by their evil consequences of sins [Arabic: (وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيئَتُهُ)].
The Quran states that infidels and those who deny the signs of Allah (SWT) will abide in hell fire for eternity. Hence, one could argue that perpetual sinners who are besieged by their iniquity will share the same eternal fate as infidels:
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾
2:39 But those who are faithless and deny Our signs, they shall be the inmates of the Fire and they shall remain in it [forever].
Conversely, those who have faith and perform righteous deeds would be the inhabitants of Paradise and remain in it eternally:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾
2:82 And those who have faith and do righteous deeds—they shall be the inhabitants of Paradise; they will remain in it [forever].
Word-for-Word Translation:
2:80 [وَقَالُوا] and they say [لَن] shall never [تَمَسَّنَا] touch us [النَّار] the fire [إِلَّا] but [أَيَّامًا] for days [مَّعْدُودَةً] a few numbered. [قُلْ] say [أَتَّخَذْتُمْ] have you taken [عِندَ] from [اللَّـهِ] Allah [عَهْدًا] a covenant [فَلَن] so will never [يُخْلِفَ] oppose (break) [اللَّـهُ] Allah [عَهْدَهُ] His covenant. [أَمْ] or [ تَقُولُونَ] you say [عَلَى] on [ اللَّـهِ] Allah [ مَا] what [ لَا] not [تَعْلَمُونَ] you know.
2:81 [بَلَىٰ] yes [مَن] whoever [كَسَبَ] earned [سَيِّئَةً] evil [وَأَحَاطَتْ] and surrounded [بِهِ] him [خَطِيئَتُهُ] consequences of his sin [فَأُولَـٰئِكَ] they [أَصْحَابُ] are dwellers (inmates) [النَّارِ] of the Fire [ هُمْ] they [ فِيهَا]in it [ خَالِدُونَ] shall abide forever.
2:82 [وَالَّذِينَ] and those who [آمَنُوا] believe [وَعَمِلُوا] and do [الصَّالِحَاتِ] good deeds [أُولَـٰئِكَ] they [أَصْحَابُ] are dweller (inmate) [الْجَنَّةِ] of paradise [هُمْ] they [فِيهَا] in it [خَالِدُونَ] shall abide forever

Tafseer e Namoona Vol.26 Page 262

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