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Tafsir at-Tabari
  Tafsir of Surah Baqarah (2) Verse 213
Author: Ibn Jarir at-Tabari
Source: Tafsir at-Tabari
Article ID : TFS030001  [19485]  
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The discussion of the interpretation (ta'wil) of Allaah's words Then, by His leave, Allaah guided those who believed to the truth concerning the matters about which the people disagreed; and Allaah guides whomever He wills to a straight path. Allaah's words Then ... Allaah guided those who believed to the truth mean that Allaah has granted success to those who are believing, that is, those who support belief in (the one) Allaah and his Messenger, Muhammad, and who  put their trust in the latter and are convinced that his message, concerning which those to whom the Book had been given previously disagreed, comes from Allaah. The disunity in which Allaah left these people alone, while rightly guiding and helping to the truth those who believe in Muhammad, concerns (Friday as) the 'day of gathering' (for worship). Although this day had been enjoined upon them as a duty just as it has been upon us, they deviated from it and changed (their day of worship) to the Sabbath. The Prophet has said: Although we are the last, we surpass (the others in following Allaah's commands), even though the Book was given to them before it was given to us and we thus possessed it after they did. Allaah has rightly guided us to this day, concerning which they have disagreed. The Jews have taken the following day and the Christians have taken the day after that (as the day of worship). ...

Concerning the matters about which the people disagreed, Ibn Zaid is reported to have said, according to Yunus ibn 'Abd al-A'la, that Allaah's words 'then Allaah guided those who believed to the truth' mean (that he led the believers) to Islam. The people disagreed concerning prayer. Some prayed facing towards the East while others faced towards Jerusalem (bait al-muqaddas). Then Allaah led us to the (right) direction of prayer (qibla) towards Mecca.(Also) the people disagreed concerning fasting. Some fasted at certain times of the day while others fasted at certain times of the night. Then Allaah led us to the (right) times of fasting. (Also) the people disagreed concerning the 'day of gathering' (for worship). While the Jews chose the Sabbath, the Christians took Sunday; then Allaah led us to the (right) 'day of gathering' (on Friday). (Also) the people disagreed concerning Abraham. The Jews considered him to be a Jew and the Christians considered him to be a Christian. Then Allaah freed him from such a suspicion and showed him to be a hanif was surrendered to Allaah (hanifan musliman), who also was not to be classed among the heathen as some maintained, who claimed that he had been one of the unbelievers. (Finally) the people (also) disagreed concerning Jesus. The Jews considered him to be the victim of a falsehood while the Christians considered him to be a Allaah (rabb). Thereupon Allaah led us to the truth concerning him. Allaah says all of this (with his words):

Then . .. Allaah guided those who believed to the truth concerning the matters about which the people disagreed.

(At-Tabari concludes that) when Allaah by his goodness leads to the truth those who believe in Muhammad and his message, concerning which these groups of the Children of Israel who had possessed the Book previously disagreed, then this guidance lies in his assisting them to (return to) the truth, according to which the people lived before the disunity that Allaah depicts in this verse existed. For those people were a single umma, namely the religion (din) of Abraham, the hanif who was surrendered to Allaah and the friend of the compassionate. Those who believe have been made an umma standing in the middle' so that they may be 'witnesses among the nations' - so your Lord describes them (in Sura 2 :143/l37).


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