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Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verses 204-206

204. " And among people is he whose speech in the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries."

205. " And when he turns back, he strives to cause mischief on the earth, and to destroy the tilth and the stock. But Allah does not love mischief."

206. " And when it is said to him, ' Fear Allah ', pride drives him towards sin. So Hell shall be sufficient for him and it is an evil abode indeed."

Occasion of Revelation

These verses were revealed about a man by the name of 'Ukhnos-ibn-Shariq. He was a handsome man and of attractive speech. He pretended to the friendship of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and showed himself a Muslim. Whenever he went to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , he expressed his Faith to him and, though he was a hypocrite, he took an oath that he loved the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and had believed in God. The Messenger of Allah spoke with him warmly and treated him with his kindness and affection.

When there came a conflict between the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the members of the Thaqif Tribe, that man took Muslims by surprise and killed their beasts. He burnt their farming crops.

some other commentators have said that he passed by a farm belonging to Muslims and set its agricultural crops on fire. He hamstringed their beasts, too, and, thereby, made his hidden hypocrisy manifest. Then, the above verses were revealed.

Commentary

As mentioned in the occasion of revelation, the verse points to the hypocrisy of some mischief-makers and warns the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) against them. It says:

" And among people is he whose speech in the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries." There are some people who, with their smooth tongue, express Faith and indulge in plausible talk with many oaths. But, the same persons are the most harmful enemies and hostile ones against Islam; and, hiddenly they stir up quarrels and cause all sorts of mischief: they spoil the crops of the farms, strive to waste and defame the believing men and the religion of the Truth.

Allah uncovers their tricks and makes their interiors manifest for His Messenger that they try in the path of making mischief. If they were true in their statements, they would not cast mischief and destruction, because everybody knows that Allah does not love mischief. " And when he turns back, he strives to cause mischief on the earth, and to destroy the tilth and the stock. But Allah does not love mischief." There may come forth this question that why the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) treated such people kindly. The reason was for that he was commissioned to accept the statements of all people as long as they did not show the contrary status. And such should be that, of course. Some commentators have said that the purpose of the phrase /wa'i¶a tawalla/ " And when he turns back " at the beginning of the second verse may have been in the sense of ' government ', since the term /tawalla/ derived from the root /wilayat/ means government. Taking this consideration, the commentary of this verse is such: ' when the hypocrites take the government in their control, they begin making mischief and destruction and stretching oppression and transgression amongst people. Then as the result of the spread of oppression and cruelty, the cities and societies turn to ruin and the lives and properties of people will be in danger. These wicked people are so that when they are prohibited from doing disgrace, their fanaticism and obstinacy will be excited, then, they not only do not hearken to the advices of the benevolent advisers but, with their own specific pride, increase their wickedness and evil actions. Such people cannot be controlled save with the Fire of Hell.

" And when it is said to him, ' Fear Allah ', pride drives him towards sin. So Hell shall be sufficient for him and it is an evil abode indeed." In fact, this verse is a hint to one of other characteristics of hypocrites which is a stable zeal and a harsh pride and obstinacy that drive them to the limits of the greatest evil:

"...pride drives him towards sin. ..."

In contrast to this group, there are the believing people who, under the government of Faith, are apart from this hideous and dangerous quality.

Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"

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