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3:21 Announce to them a grievous penalty

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As to those who deny the Signs of Allah and in defiance of right, slay the prophets, and slay those who teach just dealing with mankind, announce to them a grievous penalty.

According to Asad,

This passage obviously refers to a later phase of Jewish history. That the Jews actually
did kill some of their prophets is evidenced, for instance, in the story of John the Baptist,
as well as in the more general accusation uttered, according to the Gospel, by Jesus:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent
unto thee” (Matthew xxiii, 37). See also Matthew xxiii, 34-35, Luke xi, 51 – both of which,
refer to the murder of Zachariah – and I Thessalonians ii, 15. The implication of continuity
in, or persistent repetition of, their wrongdoing transpires from the use of the auxiliary
verb kanu in this context. (Surah 2 note 48)

Yahiya Emerick writes,

“II Chronicles 24:20-22 is the immediate reference here.  The Christian New Testament echoes a similar sentiment where Jesus is quoted (referencing the incident in II Chronicles) as saying, “Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces…You who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…”  (See Matthew 23:15, 25-31, 35, 37.)  Also see Jeremiah 7:9-11, 1 Kings 18:13, 19:10, I Thessalonians 2:15 and Lamentations 2:20 for other similar charges.


Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran.

Emerick, Yahiya. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English (p. 827). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

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