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3:78-80 That is from Allah, but it is not from Allah

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There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!

It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the prophetic office, should say to people: “Be ye my worshippers rather than Allah’s”: on the contrary (He would say) “Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly.”

Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What! would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (To Allah in Islam)?

It was during the presence of the deputation from Niijran that some Jews and Christians had said: ‘0 Muhammad, do you want us to worship you the way Christians worship Jesus, son of Mary?’ He said:
seek refuge with Allah that we worship someone other than Allah or call on others to do so. Allah Almighty has not sent us to do that.’ Thereupon, this verse was revealed.

The Infallibility of the Prophets

The verse implies that a person whom Allah invests with the Book,
the Wisdom and the power of making decisions, and places him on the
great station of prophethood is always faithful to his mission when he
communicates the Divine message to people and calls on them to become His faithful servants. That he starts moving people away from the worship of only one God and starts asking them to become his own
worshippers or the worshippers of some other creatures is something
he can never do. If so, this would mean that the one whom Allah had
sent as his messenger did not, in fact, deserve this designation. Any government of this world, when appointing someone to an office of responsibility, always takes two factors into consideration:

  1. Does the incumbent have the ability to comprehend and execute
    government policy?
  2. How far can he be expected to execute government directives,
    and to hold its subjects in a stable stance of loyalty? No king or parliament would ever appoint someone as its representative or ambassador about whom there exists the least doubt of indulging in anti government activity, or deviation from its policy or directives. However, it is possible that the government may have failed to make a correct assessment of a person’s ability or loyalty. But with Allah even that element of doubt does not exist. If He knows about a man that he would not over-step the bounds of loyalty and obedience to Him, even in the slightest degree, then it is impossible that he could, later on, prove to be contrary to that assessment. Otherwise, it would mean
    that Divine knowledge is defective (we seek refuge with Allah!) Right from here, the question of the ‘ismah ‘ (infallibility) of the prophets (peace be upon them) becomes clear. Now that the blessed prophets are free of minor sins, how can the probability of doing shirk (the major sin of associating others with Allah) or making revolt against Allah remain valid?

In this, there is the necessary refutation of the Christians who
claimed that it was Masih (pbuh), who asked them to have belief in his
sonship and godhead. Also chastised were the Muslims who had gone
to the Holy Prophet (S) trying to find out if it was all right for
them to prostrate before him rather than greet him with the usual
salam. Also admonished were the people of the Book who had invested
their rabbis and monks with the station of God. Refuge with Allah!
(Tafsir ‘Usmani)


Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .2 surah 3 pg. 100-102). English-MaarifulQuran-MuftiShafiUsmaniRA-Vol-2.pdf (

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