Pleasing Adversary: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:120-121) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:120-121)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Pleasing Adversary
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَلَن تَرْضَىٰ عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّـهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۗ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿١٢٠﴾ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿١٢١﴾
Translation:

2:121 Never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you followed their form of religion creed. Say, ‘Indeed it is the guidance of Allah which is [true] guidance.’ And should you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you will not have against Allah any guardian or helper.

2:122 Those to whom We have given the Book read (follow) it as it ought to be read (followed): they have faith in it. As for those who deny it—it is they who are the losers.

Commentary: The Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) foretold the coming of the Prophet of Islam. When the Prophet came to the Jews and Christians of Medina, they found that his traits and characteristics matched with the prophesied prophet in the scriptures. A group amongst them such as “Abdullah bin Salam” accepted Islam [Al-Ahqaf 46:10], but others rejected the Prophet [Al-Baqara 2:101] with resentment and hatred [Al-Baqara 2:105&109]. The aforementioned verse asserts that people with that kind of mindset and outlook would never be pleased with the Prophet unless the Prophet followed the form of their religion [(حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ)].
وَلَن تَرْضَىٰ عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ ……﴿١٢٠﴾
2:121 Never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor the Christians, unless you followed their form of religion creed………….

The verse continues to say, [(قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّـهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ)], “Allah’s guidance is the only true guidance”. Then Allah (SWT) cautioned the Prophet and says, “should you follow their carnal thoughts and desires after the knowledge (the Quran) that has come to you, you will not have against Allah any guardian or helper.”

…… وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿١٢٠﴾
2:121 ….. And should you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you will not have against Allah any guardian or helper.
In conclusion, the people of the Book [(الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ)] who read the Scriptures and rightfully practice their teachings [(يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ)] are considered as true believers of the Scriptures [(أُولَـٰئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ)]. Those who reject its Divine teachings [(وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ)] are indeed losers [(فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ)].

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ أُولَـٰئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿١٢١﴾
2:122 Those to whom We have given the Scripture follow it, as it ought to be followed—these believe in it. But as for those who reject it—these are the losers.

Note that a similar message is echoed in Al-Ma’ida 5:68:
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَسْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ تُقِيمُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۗ ….. ﴿٦٨﴾
5:68 Say, “O People of the Scripture! You have no basis until you uphold the Torah, and the Gospel, and what is revealed to you from your Lord.”

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة

Word-for-Word Translation:
2:120 [وَلَن] and never [تَرْضَىٰ] will be pleased [عَنكَ] with you [الْيَهُودُ] the Jews [وَلَا] nor [النَّصَارَىٰ] the Christian [حَتَّىٰ] till [تَتَّبِعَ] you follow [مِلَّتَهُمْ] their religion.
[قُلْ] Say [إِنَّ] verily [هُدَى] the guidance [اللَّـهِ] of Allah [هُوَ] that is the only [الْهُدَىٰ] guidance,
[وَلَئِنِ] and if [اتَّبَعْتَ] you followed [أَهْوَاءَهُم] their desire [بَعْدَ] after [الَّذِي] what [جَاءَكَ] came to you [مِنَ] of [الْعِلْمِ] the knowledge [مَا] not [لَكَ] for you [مِنَ] from (wrath of) [اللَّـهِ] Allah [مِن] any [وَلِيٍّ] protector [وَلَا] nor help [نَصِيرٍ]
2:121 [الَّذِينَ] Those [آتَيْنَاهُمُ] who gave them [الْكِتَابَ] the Book [يَتْلُونَهُ] recite it [حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ] the way ought to be recited (practiced) [أُولَـٰئِكَ] then those are [يُؤْمِنُونَ] believe [بِهِ] in it
[وَمَن] and who ever [يَكْفُرْ] disbelieves [بِهِ] in it [فَأُولَـٰئِكَ] then those are [هُمُ] whom [الْخَاسِرُونَ] are the loser.

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