Tafsir Maududi- Surah 3. Al-i'Imran, Ayaat 50 To 51



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وَمُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَجِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ٥٠إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۗ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُسْتَقِيمٌ٥١


[50-51] (And when he came as a Messenger to the children of Israel, he said,) "I have come to you with a clear Sign from your Lord: in your very presence, I make the likeness of a bird out of clay and breathe into it and it becomes, by Allah's Command, a bird. I heal those born blind and the lepers and I bring to life the dead by Allah's Command: I inform you of what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Surely there is a great Sign for you in all this, if you have a mind to believe. 45 And I have come to confirm those teachings of the Guidance of the Torah which are intact in my time.46 Lo! I have come with a clear Sign from your Lord;47 so fear Allah and obey me. Indeed Allah is my Lord, and also your Lord; therefore worship Him alone: that is the straight way."48

45That is, "These Signs are clear enough to convince you that I have been sent by that Allah Who is the Creator and Absolute Ruler of this universe, provided that you are not obdurate but are willing to accept the Truth."

46That is, "This is yet another proof of the fact that I have been sent by Allah. If I had been a false prophet I would have invented my own religion and by virtue of these miracles striven to divert you from your previous Faith to the New creed. But I profess the same original religion to be true and confirm the same teachings which were brought by the Prophets before me."

The fact that Jesus taught the same religion that had been presented by Moses and the other Prophets is supported even by the existing Gospels. For example, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus declared in the Sermon on the Mount: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (5: 17).

One of the Pharisees, who was a lawyer, asked Jesus, "Which is the great commandment in the law?" He replied:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like. unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and Prophets." (Matthew 22: 37-40). On another occasion Jesus said to his disciples:

"The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." (Matthew 23: 2-3).

47That is, "I have come to efface and abolish the superstitions of your ignorant people, the hairsplitting of your jurists, the religious austerities of your ascetics and the restrictive additions made in the Law of Allah under the non-Muslim domination; I will make lawful or unlawful for you only those things which Allah has made lawful or unlawful."

48This shows that like all other Prophets, Jesus also based his teachings on the following three fundamentals:

(1) The Supreme Authority to which mankind should submit and surrender exclusively belongs to Allah and all the social and moral systems should be built entirely on it.

(2) Being a representative of the same Pararmount Power, a prophet must be obeyed unconditionally.

(3) Allah alone is entitled to prescribe laws and regulations for making things lawful or unlawful, pure and impure; consequently all laws imposed by others must be abolished.

Thus it is clear that Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and all other Prophets (Allah's peace be upon them all) had one and the same mission. Those people who aver that different Prophets were sent with different missions and to fulfil different aims, are gravely mistaken. Anyone, who is delegated by the Absolute Master of the Universe to His subjects, cannot have any other mission than to prevent the people, from becoming disobedient to and independent of Him, and to forbid them to set others to rank with Allah as partners in His Authority in any way. For, they are sent to invite the people to surrender and submit and be loyal to the Almighty God and worship Him alone.

It is a pity that the existing Gospels do not present the mission of Jesus so precisely and clearly as it has been presented above in the Holy Qur'an. Nevertheless all the three basic things mentioned above are found scattered over in these Books. For instance, the fact that Jesus believed exclusively in the worship of Allah is clear from the following:

(1) "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4: 10).

(2) Not only did he believe in this, but also made it the ultimate aim of all his activities and strove to make the people of the earth to submit to the revealed Law of Allah just as the whole universe submits to His physical Law.

"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6 :10).

Then the fact that Jesus always presented himself as a prophet and as a representative of the Kingdom of Heaven, and always invited the people to follow him in that capacity alone, is supported by a number of his sayings. When he started his mission in his native place, Nazareth, the people of his own town and his own kinsfolk rose against him and according to an agreed tradition of Matthew, Mark and Luke, he said: "No prophet is accepted in his own country". And when his enemies were conspiring at Jerusalem to kill him and the people advised him to go to somewhere else, he replied: "It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." (Luke 13: 33).

When he was entering Jerusalem for the last time, his disciples began to utter in a loud voice: "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord." At this the Pharisees felt offended and asked him to silence his disciples. He replied:

"I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would inunediately cry out." (Luke 19: 38-40).

On another occasion he said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart ..... my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30). Moreover the fact that Jesus wanted the people to obey the Divine Law rather than man-made laws becomes clear from that tradition of Matthew and Mark which says that when the Pharisees asked, why his disciples transgressed the tradition of the elders and took food without washing their hands,. he replied and said, "Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written. This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups, and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, iet him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest he profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." (Mark 7: 6-13).

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