Say to (them O Muhammad): "If the home of the Hereafter with Allah is indeed for you especially and not for others, of mankind, then long for death if you are truthful.''

The Jews claimed that the good life of the hereafter exclusively was theirs on account of them holding a dear position in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. On account of this claim Allah Ta’ala challenged them and asked them to long for death if they were true in their claims for death is the bridge that links and connects the lovers with their beloved. The Jews declined this offer by the Messenger of Allah .for they knew all too well that this claim of theirs was untrue.


Then Allah Taala says:

But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent before them (i.e. what they have done). And Allah is Aware of the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).

The misdeed alluded to in the above verse is their disbelief and rejection of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam after they knew of his coming and furthermore were even knowledgeable of his physical attributes. Scholars have written that had they wished death that day, no Jew would have remained alive on the face of the earth.

"Then long for death if you are truthful,

Had the Jews invoked Allah for death, they would have perished. Hadrat Abdullaah Bin Abbaas Radiyallaahu anhu has said that had the Jews asked for death, one of them would have choked on his own saliva. In a hadeeth the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

"Had the Jews wished for death, they would have died and seen their seats in the Fire. And, those who invoked such curse against Allah's Messenger would have found no families or property had they returned to their homes.''

Similar to this Ayah is the Ayah in Suratul-Jumu`ah where Allah Taala says:

Say (O Muhammad ): "O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allah, to the exclusion of (all) other mankind, then long for death if you are truthful. ''But they will never long for it (death), because of what (deeds) their hands have sent before them! And Allah knows well the Zalimin. Say (to them): "Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allah) the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.'' (Verses:6-8).

So they claimed that they are Allah's sons and loved ones and said, "Only those who are Christian or Jews shall enter Paradise.'' Therefore, they were called to invoke Allah to destroy the lying group, be it them or the Muslims. When the Jews declined, people became more convinced of their wrongs, for had they been sure of their claims, then they would have accepted the proposal. Their lies were thus exposed after they declined the offer to invoke the curse. This is known as Mubaahalah in Arabic.

Similarly, the Messenger of Allah called a delegation of Najran's Christians to curse after he refuted them in a debate in which they demonstrated stubbornness and defiance. Referring to this, Allah Taala said:

Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (`Isa) after (all this) knowledge that has come to you (i.e. `Isa) being a servant of Allah, and having no share in divinity), say (O Muhammad ): "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves ـ then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the curse of Allah upon those who lie.'' (Surah 3:61).

When the Christians heard this challenge, some of them said to each other, "By Allah! If you do such with this Prophet, none of you will have an eye that blinks.'' This is when they resorted to peace and gave the Jizyah (tax) in disgrace. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam accepted the Jizyah from them and sent Abu `Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah with them as a trustee. Similar to this meaning is Allah Taalas command to His Prophet to announce to the polytheists:

Say (O Muhammad ) whoever is in error, the Most Gracious (Allah) will prolong him (in it).(Surah 19, verse:75)

The above verse means, Whoever among us has deviated, may Allah increase and prolong his deviation.'' We will mention this subject later, Allah willing.

The Mubaahalah (invocation to Allah to destroy the liars) was called a `wish' here, because every just person wishes that Allah Taala destroy the unjust opponent who is debating with him, especially when the just person has a clear, apparent proof for the truth he is calling to. Also, the Mubaahalah involves invoking Allah Taala for death of the unjust group, because to disbelievers, life is the biggest prize, especially when they know the evil destination they will meet after death.

Disbelievers wish They could live longer

This is why Allah Taala said next,

But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent before them (i.e. what they have done. And Allah is Aware of the Zalimeen.


And verily, you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life.

meaning, greedy to live longer, because they know their evil end, and the only reward they will have with Allah is total loss. This life is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever. Therefore, the People of the Book wish they could delay the Hereafter, as much as possible. However, they shall certainly meet what they are trying to avoid, even if they are more eager to delay the Hereafter than the polytheists who do not have a divine book.

But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from (due) punishment.

Long life shall not save them from torment. Certainly, the polytheists do not believe in resurrection after death, and they would love to enjoy a long life. The Jews know the humiliation they will suffer in the Hereafter for knowingly ignoring the truth. The Jews are most eager for this life. They wish they could live for a thousand years. However, living for a thousand years will not save them from torment, just as Iblis' – Satans - long life did not benefit him, due to being a disbeliever.

And Allah is All-Seeing of what they do.

This verse means that Allah Taala knows every detail of what His servants are doing, whether good or evil, and will compensate each of them accordingly and in full.


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