(113) وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ لَيْسَتِ النَّصَارَى عَلَىَ شَيْءٍ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى لَيْسَتِ الْيَهُودُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ وَهُمْ يَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ كَذَلِكَ قَالَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ مِثْلَ قَوْلِهِمْ فَاللّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
113. " The Jews said: ' The Christians rest on naught ', and the Christians said: ' The Jews rest on naught '; yet they (both) recite the (same) Book. Even so, similar to their sayings, spoke those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgement in what they differ."
Occasion of Revelation :
Some of the commentators have narrated from Ibn Abbas that when a group of Christians who were from Najran were attending a gathering of the Prophet's (p.b.u.h.) , some of the Jewish scholars were there, too. These two groups began disputing with each other before the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) . Rafi'-ibn-Harmalah, one of the Jews, turned to the Christians and said that their religion was based on naught. Thus, he was rejecting the prophethood of Jesus (a.s.) and his Divine Book. Then, a man from among the Christians from Najran, too, replied to him with a similar expression and said that the religion of the Jews was based on naught. Thus, he also rejected both the prophethood of Moses (a.s.) and the Turah. It was at that time that the above verse was revealed and reproached both groups for their fabricated statements. (1)
Exclusivity, the Fruit of Ignorance
In the previous verse, we became acquainted with a portion of the proofless claims of a group of the Jews and the Christians. The verse
(1) Majma'-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 188, Tafsir Ghartabi and Tafsir Almanar
under discussion indicates that when a proofless claim comes forth, it results in exclusivity and then leads to contradiction.
" The Jews said: ' The Christians rest on naught ' , and Christians said: ' The Jews rest on naught '; ..."
The phrase: ' rest on naught ' may mean that they have no rank and honour with Allah; or their belief is not a thing worthwhile. Then, to complete the above idea, it adds:
"...yet they (both) recite the (same) Book. ..."
That is, with the Divine Book that they have in their hands which can guide them toward the right path concerning these problems, it is surprising that they say such words which originate from nowhere except prejudice and enmity. Then the Qur'an continues saying:
"...Even so, similar to their sayings, spoke those who know not."
(Although these are the People of the Book and those are pagans or idolaters.)
This verse introduces ignorance as the origin of bigotry and prejudice, because ignorant people are always shut in their own worlds and do not accept other than that which they know. They seriously believe only in the Faith that they have been acquainted with from their early childhood, even if it is false or superstitious. Therefore, they put aside everything other than that which they believe.
At the end of the verse, it says:
"...Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgement in what they differ."
It is in the Hereafter where the facts will be entirely evident and the proof and references of all things will become perfectly manifest. None will be able to deny what is right and, thus, there will remain no dispute. Yes, one of the special characteristics of the Resurrection Day is that all disagreements will come to an end.
By the way, the above verse reminds Muslims that although the followers of these religions have stood against them and rejected Islam, therefore, they need not be worried because the Jews and Christians do not verify even themselves. Each of them nullifies the other and, in principle, ignorance is the origin of bigotry and bigotry is the source of exclusivity.