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5:49 And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed

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And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah’s purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious.

The participle muhaymin is derived from the quadriliteral verb haymana, “he watched
[over a thing]” or “controlled [it]”, and is used here to describe the Qur’an as the
determinant factor in deciding what is genuine and what is false in the earlier scriptures
(see Manar VI, 410 ff.).

Lit., “judge, then, between them…”, etc. This apparently applies not merely to judicial
cases but also to opinions as to what is right or wrong in the ethical sense (see note 55
above). As is evident from the mention of the “followers of the Gospel” in the preceding
verse, and of the Torah in the earlier passages, the people spoken of here are both the Jews
and the Christians

The implication is that a conscious disregard of God’s commandments brings with it
its own punishment: namely, a gradual corruption of the community’s moral values and,
thus, growing social disruption and internecine conflict.


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

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