In the verse which Allah addressed Jews as, “He gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples” (al-Maida 20), what are the things that Allah did not give to any people and why did he give them to Jews?

Details of the Question
In the verse which Allah addressed Jews as, “He gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples” (al-Maida 20), what are the things that Allah did not give to any people and why did he give them to Jews?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

In the verse, “Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you when He produced prophets among you made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples”(al-Maida, 5/20), what is meant by “ahadan minal alamin= any other among the peoples” is the people living in the period when Jews lived. What are meant by the bounties are the prophets and kings mentioned in the verse. Most of the interpreters hold this view. (cf Tabari; the interpretation of the relevant verse)

According to some scholars, what is meant by that phrase are really the bounties that were not given to anybody but to Jews. They are the bounties of quails, manna and the shade of clouds given to them for 40 years in the Tih Desert. (see Samarqandi, Bahru’l-Ulum, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

According to some other scholars, what are meant by people are not those living in that period but all people. The bounties mentioned there are the following three bounties:

First: Prophets. No other nation was sent as many prophets as Jews were. The prophets sent to Jews were more than those sent to other nations. Besides, Jews are descendants of prophets. According to the view of the most of the scholars, those who came from the descendants of Hazrat Yaqub (Jacob) called Asbat were also prophets; Jews were their children.

Second: The prophets of the Children of Israel were also their kings. Thus, they held the spiritual power of the prophethood and the material power of the sultanate.

Third: The divine favors granted to them but not to other people. They are favors like the following: Being saved from the oppression of the Pharaoh, the sea being divided into two, quails, manna and the shade of clouds given to them in the Tih Desert, fresh water coming out of the stone. It is also a great privilege that they had prophets who were also kings and the greatest scholars and religious people of that time. (see Razi, the interpretation of the relevant verse).

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