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47
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ ءَامِنُوا۟ بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهًا فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَىٰٓ أَدْبَارِهَآ أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّآ أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلسَّبْتِ ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا
48
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱفْتَرَىٰٓ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّآ أَصْحَـبَ السَّبْتِ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولاً - إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْماً عَظِيماً

47. O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath. And the commandment of Allah is always executed. 48. Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.

Calling the People of the Book to Embrace the Faith, Warning them Against Doing Otherwise

Allah commands the People of the Scriptures to believe in what He has sent down to His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , the Glorious Book that conforms to the good news that they already have about Muhammad . He also warns them,

﴿مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ﴾

(before We efface faces and turn them backwards) Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that `effacing' here refers to blindness,

﴿فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ﴾

(and turn them backwards) meaning, We put their faces on their backs, and make them walk backwards, since their eyes will be in their backs. Similar was said by Qatadah and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi. This makes the punishment even more severe, and it is a parable that Allah set for ignoring the truth, preferring the wrong way and turning away from the plain path for the paths of misguidance. Therefore, such people walk backwards. Similarly, some said that Allah's statement,

﴿إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا فِى أَعْنـقِهِمْ أَغْلَـلاً فَهِىَ إِلَى الاٌّذْقَـنِ فَهُم مُّقْمَحُونَ وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدّاً﴾

(Verily, We have put on their necks iron collars reaching to the chins, so that their heads are raised up. And We have put a barrier before them) that is a parable that Allah gave for their deviation and hindrance from guidance.

 

Ka`b Al-Ahbar Embraces Islam Upon Hearing this Ayah [4:47]

It was reported that Ka`b Al-Ahbar became Muslim when he heard this Ayah ﴿4:47﴾. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Isa bin Al-Mughirah said: We were with Ibrahim when we talked about the time when Ka`b became Muslim. He said, `Ka`b became Muslim during the reign of `Umar, for he passed by Al-Madinah intending to visit Jerusalem, and `Umar said to him, "Embrace Islam, O Ka`b.' Ka`b said, `Do you not read in your Book,

﴿مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ﴾

(The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah...) ﴿62:5﴾ until,

﴿أَسْفَاراً﴾

(Books) I am among those who were entrusted with the Tawrah.' `Umar left him alone and Ka`b went on to Hims (in Syria) and heard one of its inhabitants recite this Ayah while feeling sad,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ﴾

(O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards). Ka`b said, `I believe, O Lord! I embraced Islam, O Lord!' for He feared that this might be struck by this threat. He then went back to his family in Yemen and returned with them all as Muslims.'' Allah's statement,

﴿أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّآ أَصْحَـبَ السَّبْتِ﴾

(or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath.) refers to those who breached the sanctity of the Sabbath, using deceit, for the purpose of doing more work. Allah changed these people into apes and swine, as we will come to know in the explanation of Surat Al-A`raf (7). Allah's statement,

﴿وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولاً﴾

(And the commandment of Allah is always executed.) means, when He commands something, then no one can dispute or resist His command.

 


Allah Does not Forgive Shirk, Except After Repenting From it

Allah said that He,

﴿لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ﴾

(forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship),) meaning, He does not forgive a servant if he meets Him while he is associating partners with Him,

﴿وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ﴾

(but He forgives except that) of sins,

﴿لِمَن يَشَآءُ﴾

(to whom He wills) of His servants. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ يَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدِي مَا عَبَدْتَنِي وَرَجَوْتَنِي، فَإِنِّي غَافِرٌ لَكَ عَلى مَا كَانَ فِيكَ، يَا عَبْدِي إِنَّكَ إِنْ لَقِيتَنِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ خَطِيئَةً مَا لَمْ تُشْرِكْ بِي، لَقِيتُكَ بِقُرَابِهَا مَغْفِرَة»

(Allah said, "O My servant! As long as you worship and beg Me, I will forgive you, no matter your shortcomings. O My servant! If you meet Me with the earth's fill of sin, yet you do not associate any partners with Me, I will meet you with its fill of forgiveness.'') Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said,

«مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ قَالَ: لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ ثُمَّ مَاتَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، إِلَّا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّة»

قلت:وإن زنى وإن سرق؟ قال:

«وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَق»

. قلت: وإن زنى وإن سرق؟ قال:

«وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ ثَلَاثًا»

، ثم قال في الرابعة:

«عَلَى رَغْمِ أَنْفِ أَبِي ذَر»

("No servant proclaims,`There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,' and dies on that belief, but will enter Paradise.'' I said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' I asked again, "Even if he committed adultery and theft'' He said, "Even if he committed adultery and theft.'' The fourth time, he said, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'') Abu Dharr departed while pulling his Izar and saying, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in the dust.'' Ever since that happened, Abu Dharr used to narrate the Hadith and then comment, "Even if Abu Dharr's nose was put in dust.'' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "We used to refrain from begging (Allah) for forgiveness for those who commit major sins until we heard our Prophet reciting,

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ﴾

(Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills;), and his saying,

«أَخَّرْتُ شَفَاعَتِي لِأَهْلِ الْكَبَائِرِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»

(I have reserved my intercession on the Day of Resurrection for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.)'' Allah's statement,

﴿وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْماً عَظِيماً﴾

(and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.) is similar to His statement,

﴿إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ﴾

(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which is the greatest sin' He said,

«أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك»

(To make a rival with Allah, while He Alone created you.)''