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3:183 why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?

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They (also) said: “Allah took our promise not to believe in an messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven).” Say: “There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?”

Worth noticing at this point fs the fact that those being addressed
by the Holy Prophet (S) and the Qur’an are the Jews of
Madinah while the incident of the killing of prophets belongs to a time
much earlier than theirs, that is, to the time of Sayyidni Yahya and
Sayyidna Zakariya, may peace be on them. Now, the question is: How
is it that the crime of the killing of the prophets referred to in this
verse was attributed to these addressees? The reason is: The Jews of
Madinah were quite satisfied with this act committed by their Jewish
predecessors, therefore, they too were counted as those who fall under
the injunction governing killers of prophets.

Imam al-Qurtubi has said in his Tafsir that ‘remaining satisfied
with disbelief (kufr) is also included under disbelief and disobedience’
which is a major juristic ruling in Islam. A saying of the Holy Prophet
(S) explains it further.

He said:
‘When a sin is committed on God’s earth; following which? the
person who is present on the spot opposes that sin and
considers it ‘to be bad, then, such a person shall be deemed as
not present there, that is, he is no accomplice in their sin.
And, a person who, though not present physically yet is quite
satisfied with this act of sinners, then, this person shall be
considered, despite his absence (from the scene of sin), an
accomplice in their sin.’


Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .2 surah 3 pg. 264). English-MaarifulQuran-MuftiShafiUsmaniRA-Vol-2.pdf (

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