How Trustworthy Are the Jews

Allah states that there are deceitful people among the Jews. He also warns the faithful against being deceived by them, because some of them,

مَنْ إِن تَأْمَنْهُ بِقِنْطَارٍ

(if entrusted with a Qintar (a great amount)) of money,

يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ

(will readily pay it back;) This Ayah indicates that this type would likewise give what is less than a Qintar, as is obvious. However,

وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ إِن تَأْمَنْهُ بِدِينَارٍ لاَّ يُؤَدِّهِ إِلَيْكَ إِلاَّ مَا دُمْتَ عَلَيْهِ قَآئِمًا

(and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding,) and insisting on acquiring your rightful property. If this is what he would do with one Dinar, then what about what is more than a Dinar We mentioned the meaning of Qintar in the beginning of this Surah, while the value of Dinar is well known. Allah’s statement,

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِى الأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ

(because they say: “There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).”) means, what made them reject the truth (or what they owed) is that they said, “There is no harm in our religion if we eat up the property of the unlettered ones, the Arabs, for Allah has allowed it for us.” Allah replied,

وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

(But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it.) for they invented this lie and word of misguidance. Rather, Allah would not allow this money for them unless they had a right to it.

`Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`sa`ah bin Yazid said that a man asked Ibn `Abbas, “During battle, we capture some property belonging to Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, such as chickens and sheep.” Ibn `Abbas said, “What do you do in this case” The man said, “We say that there is no sin (if we confiscate them) in this case.” He said, “That is what the People of the Book said,

لَيْسَ عَلَيْنَا فِى الأُمِّيِّينَ سَبِيلٌ

(There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).)

Verily, if they pay the Jizyah, then you are not allowed their property, except when they willingly give it up.”

Allah then said,

بَلَى مَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَى

(Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much,) fulfills his promise and fears Allah among you, O People of the Book, regarding the covenant Allah took from you to believe in Muhammad when he is sent, just as He took the same covenant from all Prophets and their nations. Whoever avoids Allah’s prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shari`ah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind.

فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ

(verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin.)

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