Jews: Expecting Triumph, But Refusing the Source of Glory

Before the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina, there were frequent conflicts between the Jewish tribes of Madinah with the tribes of Aus and Khazraj. The Jews were originally superior to the Aus and Khazraj, but eventually the Jews were defeated, they submitted and became ally of Aus and Khazraj. Therefore, they always pleaded with Allah, expecting the imminent arrival of the Apostle to face their enemies from the polytheists (Musyrikin). The Aus and Khazraj tribes in the Jewish view were polytheists, while Jews were monotheists (one worshiper of the Lord).

Abul Aliyah said, previously the Jews always begged for victory by the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad upon the Arab polytheists. They said, “O God, send the prophet we met in our book so that we can punish and kill the polytheists (Tribes of Aus and Khazraj).” But after God sent the Prophet Muhammad, and came to them with the Al-Qur’an, they saw that the Prophet who had been sent was not among them, so they disbelieved to him because of envy against the Arabs, even though they knew that Mohammed is a messenger of God. So, Allah revealed Al-Qur’an Surat Al-Baqoroh [2]: 89 as follows:

وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ وَكَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم مَّا عَرَفُوا كَفَرُوا بِهِ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ

“And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allah will be upon the disbelievers (Al-Baqoroh [2]:89)

The Ansar society said, “We have power over them in a time in the of Jahiliah era, even though we are from idolaters, while they are the owner of scriptures (ahlul kitab). They always say, a prophet will emerge in the future whose message has arrived. After Allah sent His apostle from among the Quraysh, we followed him, while they themselves denied him.”

Affirming the Jewish hope, Muhammad ibn Ishaq narrated, had told him Muhammad ibn Abu Muhammad, had told me Ikrimah or Sa’id ibn Jubair, from Ibn Abbas, that Jews in the past always begged for victory over the Aus and Khazraj people by the arrival of the Prophet before he was appointed as the messenger of God. However, after Allah sent him from among the Arabs, they disbelieved and denied what they had always said previously about the Prophet. Then said to them Mu’ad ibn Jabal, Bisyr ibn Barra ibn Ma’rur, and Daud ibn Salamah, “O Jews, fear you by Allah and enter into Islam. Surely you always beg to win over us by the coming of Muhammad, while we are still in a state of polytheism. You tell us that he will be sent and you told his characteristics.”

By the case, Salam ibnu Misykum, the Jewish leader of the Banu Nadhir replied, “He did not tell us anything we knew, and he was not the person we used to say to you.” So, Allah revealed His word (Surat Al-Baqoroh [2]: 89) above.

The Jews rejected the message of Muhammad SAW due to the outrage and jealousy, because Allah had sent an Apostle from the Quraysh (Arab) group, not from the Jewish community itself. So they get back wrath from Allah SWT. In this case Allah sent Al-Baqoroh [2]: 90 as follows:

بِئْسَمَا اشْتَرَوْا بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بَغْيًا أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ فَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ ۚ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ

“How wretched is that for which they sold themselves – that they would disbelieve in what Allah has revealed through [their] outrage that Allah would send down His favor upon whom He wills from among His servants. So they returned having [earned] wrath upon wrath. And for the disbelievers is a humiliating punishment.”

It is described in Tafsir Ibnu Katsir, the Jews got the first wrath when worshiping the calf in the time of Musa alaihis salam, and the second wrath when rejecting (kafir) to the message of Muhammad SAW. Also mentioned, the first wrath when rejecting the minutes of Isha alaihis salam, and the second wrath when rejecting the treatise of the Prophet Muhammad. ***

Source: H. Salim Bahreisy dan H. Said Bahreisy, Short Translation of Tafsir Ibnu Katsir Vol. 1 p. 156-15.

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