Surah Baqara; Ayahs 40-43 (Part 20)

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In Ayah 40 of Surah al-Baqara we read:


يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

"O Children of Israel, remember My blessing which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill My covenant that I may fulfill your covenant, and be in awe of Me [alone]." (2:40)

Following Adam's forgetting of the covenant with God and his eating of the forbidden tree that led to his expulsion from paradise, in this Ayah God narrates the account of a group of Adam's progeny, namely the Israelites, who suffered because of their repeated violation of Divine commandments.

"Israel" was an epithet of Prophet Jacob (PBUH) and the term 'Bani Israel' originally meant Jacob's children and grandchildren and his progeny. The history of the Israelites is full of ups and downs because of their repeated ingratitude towards God's favours; so, in the holy Qur'an no other nation is mentioned as much as they are narrated, in order to make their fate an example and a warning to all mankind.

This Ayah has three essential commands which are the origin of all divine programmes. The first is the remembrance of divine bounties which revives gratitude in human beings leading them to obey Allah and be constantly conscious of Him. The second point is paying attention to these bounties and blessings that are not unconditional and for God has taken a covenant from mankind, which means mankind has a responsibility and accountability for these favours. The third command is that one must not be afraid of any power concerning fulfillment of duties and shouldn't be affected by the enemies' propaganda and menace.


In Ayah 41 of this Surah God says:


وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ

"And believe in that which I have sent down confirming that which is with you, and do not be the first ones to defy it, and do not sell My signs for a paltry gain, and be wary of Me [alone]." (2:41)

Addressing Jewish clergymen these Ayahs mean to remind them that in accordance with the good tidings in the Torah of the coming of the Last and Greatest Messenger, they had been waiting for the advent of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). Thus with the emergence of Islam it is incumbent upon them to believe in the Qur'an which actually completes the Torah and all other previously revealed heavenly scriptures. The Qur'an tells the Jewish clergymen, that in pursuit of narrow selfish interests they shouldn't hide the passages of the Torah about the Last Prophet, or at least do not be the first to deny this reality since your denial of the truth of Islam will lead your followers, that is, the Jewish people, to turn away from manifest truth.

Muslims believe in all divine scriptures and messengers but since all other scriptures have been interpolated and distorted by the enemies of God and enemies of divine prophets, we only obey the Seal of Prophets, Hazrat Mohammad (blessings of Allah upon him and his progeny). The Holy Qur'an, unlike the fate suffered by the previously revealed books had been guaranteed divine protection by God Himself and is hence safe and intact from any error and distortion. That's why the holy Qur'an invites the followers of all previous religions to believe in Qur'an as the only intact and authentic scripture which confirms the previous books without any addition or omission. The holy Qur'an tells them to consider Allah only and do not serve anyone else.


Ayahs 42 and 43 of this Surah read:

وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ

"And do not mix the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know.

"And maintain the prayer, and give the zakat, and bow along with those who bow (in prayer)" (2:42-43)


One of the hazards threatening any nation or faith is that the truth is often concealed from the people, or even if it is mentioned it is misinterpreted in order to serve the vested interests of the so-called elites. As a result people will fall into ignorance and are submerged in uncertainty and dubiousness. This is a very big injustice that might be committed by the elite of any nation.

Imam Ali (Blessings of God upon him) in Sermon 49 of Nahj al-Balagha says in this regard: 'If false is mentioned clearly there will be no concern (because people would discern its falsehood and they will give it up). And if truth is mentioned clearly the people will accept it. The hazard is when truth and false are mixed so that the ground is paved for the Satan to dominate the people through evil scheme..

Translated by: R. Mansouri

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