Concealing the Torah is mentioned in verse 77 of the chapter of al-Baqara; will you explain it?

The Details of the Question

- Will you explain the issue of the believers using this knowledge as evidence within the context of verses 75-77 of the chapter of al-Baqara?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Al-Baqara, verses 75-77:

75.  Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.

76.  Behold! When they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe": But when they meet each other in private, they say: "Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?"- Do ye not understand (their aim)?

77.  Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal?

The explanation of the verses:

The reason why the verse was revealed: When the Prophet (pbuh) migrated to Madinah, he invited the Jews living there to Islam and the divine book. The Jews had already had some knowledge about the last religion and the last prophet. The Torah had been distorted but there were some verses regarding the issue in it. However, due to their racial and religious bigotry, most of them – especially rabbis – preferred denial. The Prophet (pbuh) became very sorrowful due to their negative attitude. Thereupon, verse 75 was sent down. The verse both revealed the real face of the Jews and consoled the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

While interpreting the verse «When they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe"...», Ibn Abbas summarizes the reason as follows:  

When a group of hypocrites among the Jews met the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), they said to them, «We believe in what you believe. We witness that your friend Muhammad is the true and real prophet. Everything he says is true; we have found his attributes in our book.» When they were together with their leaders, their leaders warned them as follows: «Why do you tell the Muslims about the attributes of Muhammad mentioned in the Torah? They will use it as evidence and put you in a difficult position.» Thereupon, the verses above were sent down.

The hadiths regarding the issue:

The coming of the Jews to Madinah in the morning and their returning in the afternoon was based on the realization of a sly plan. They wanted to demolish Islam from the inside. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

«Do not let anyone except the believers enter into our presence in Madinah.» (see Ibn Wahb - Ibn Kathir)

«Wayl is a valley in Hell. The unbeliever rolls forty years in it but cannot reach the bottom.» (Tirmidhi; Hadithun, gharibun, Tafsir: 21- Ahmad : 3/75)

Historical Aspect:

The attitudes of Children of Israel toward God Almighty were mentioned one by one under the light of history and the most important points were explained by examples. They are a monopolistic nation that is very cunning and deceitful due to their race; they love material things a lot; they plan mischief and chaos; they are enemies of all religions; they regard themselves as masters and special slaves of God in bigotry and regard others as slaves created for them.

Although Muslims had good thoughts about them and acted generously toward them throughout history, they never received positive answers from them; they could not save them from the treachery and monopolism present in the heart of this nation with a dirty spirit. God Almighty asked all believers to be alert about them by describing this characteristic of theirs. Their attitude toward the Prophet, their thoughts and beliefs in the past have not changed today and will not change tomorrow. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and his Companions hoped that the Jews would believe fourteen centuries ago. It was a good hope. However, Allah states the following about them:

«Can ye (O Prophet and ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they (Jews) will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.»

Then, what do you expect of this nation, who dare to rebel against God Almighty so much?

The history of Jews repeats itself like that.

Ethical and Social Aspect:

When the social and cultural states of communities and nations are analyzed, it is seen that every tribe or nation is divided into three classes:

1. Scholars and notables.
2. Half intellectuals that cause confusion and that put those who dominate the nation to power.

3. Ordinary people who cannot read and write.

The first group prepare the environment that is necessary by dealing with issues. The second group put the issues into practice and use the third group to realize their own ideals in this environment.   

«And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.»

The Quran states that the Jewish congregation was like that in verse 75. The scholars and rabbis who read the Torah removed some of the phrases about the attributes of Hz. Muhammad and distorted some of them in order to eliminate the effect of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and to continue the validity of their religion. Then, they prepared an environment according to it and activated the half intellectuals, putting all of their evil deeds and enmity into practice. Then, they gathered the ordinary people and opposed the call of Hz. Muhammad. Although many centuries passed and everything changed, the enmity of Jews toward the true religion did not change much.


They distorted the glad tidings about the last religion, the phrases about the attributes of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and the orders about stoning to death in the Torah; or they tried to change the Torah when the seventy representatives who went to Mount Sinai with Hz. Musa returned and said, «We listened to the speech of Allah and heard His orders. Our Lord said in the end that you were free to fulfill these orders or not.»   They realized this on every occasion they found; that is, they distorted the Torah as they wished.

The Connection among Verses:

With His pre-eternal and post-eternal knowledge, God Almighty gives all nations, especially Muslims, the most correct information about the previous and future attitudes of Jews, their belief and their end on the Day of Judgement and corrects the Torah; after that, He refuses the baseless claims of rabbis and the decrees that are not in compliance with divine principles, stating that the truth is explained in the Quran. (see Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, Anadolu Yayınları: 1/231-234)

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