Surah Baqarah Ayat 75 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 75
Do you covet [the hope, O believers], that they would believe for you while a party of them used to hear the words of Allah and then distort the Torah after they had understood it while they were knowing?
“Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.
O Muslims, do you then expect that these people will accept your invitation and become believers? whereas there have always been among them some who have been hearing the Word of God, understanding it well and then perverting and tampering with it knowingly.
Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah [the Taurat (Torah)], then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it?
Have ye any hope that they will be true to you when a party of them used to listen to the word of Allah, then used to change it, after they had understood it, knowingly?
Do you then long for (the fact) that they should believe you, and a group of them already were hearing the Speech of Allah; thereafter they perverted it even after they had considered it, while they knew (the Truth).
So can you [believers] hope that such people will believe you, when some of them used to hear the words of God and then deliberately twist them, even when they understood them?
Quran 2 Verse 75 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 75, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:75) Do you hope that these people will believe in the Message you are preaching, even though a party of them has been wont to listen to the Word of Allah and after they had fully grasped it, knowingly distorted it?
86. This is addressed to the converts of Madina, who had then lately embraced the faith of the Arabian Prophet. These people had some vague notions about Prophethood, Heavenly Scriptures, Angels, the After-life, Divine Law and so on, and for this they were indebted to their Jewish neighbours. It was from these same Jewish neighbours that they had heard that another Prophet was about to appear, and that his followers would prevail over the rest of the world.
It was partly because of this background that when the people of Madina heard about the Prophet, they readily turned towards him and embraced Islam in large numbers. They naturally expected that those who already followed Prophets and Divine Scriptures, and who, by introducing them to these ideas had contributed to their embracing the true faith, would not only join the ranks of the true believers, but would even be amongst their vanguard. As a result of these expectations the enthusiastic Muslim converts approached their Jewish friends and neighbours and invited them to embrace Islam. When the Jews flatly declined to do so, this negative reply was exploited by the hypocrites and other enemies of Islam as an argument for creating doubts about the truth of Islam.
If Muhammad was the true Prophet, they argued, how was it conceivable that the Jewish scholars and divines would deliberately turn away from him since, if he was a true Prophet, such a behaviour would be tantamount to ruining their After-life? Here the simple-hearted Muslims learn of the historical record of the Jews, a record which is replete with perversion and corruption. This was designed to make them realize that they ought not to expect too much of a people with so dark a past, for if they were not realistic in their expectations about them they would be utterly disappointed when their call failed to penetrate their hardened and stony hearts. Their chronic decadence had a history of several centuries. For a long time they had treated those verses of the Scriptures which made sincere believers tremble in awe as objects of jest and play. They had tailored religion to suit their base desires and it was around such a perverted view of religion that all their hopes of salvation were centred. It was futile to hope that such people would flock to the call of Truth the moment it was proclaimed.
87. ‘A party of them’ refers to the scholars and religious doctors of the Jewish community. The’ Word of God’ here signifies the Torah, the Psalms (Zabur) and other Scriptures which the Jews had received through the Prophets. ‘Distortion’ denotes the attempt to twist a text in such a manner as to make it signify something different from its real meaning, and may also denote tampering with the text of the Scriptures. The Israelite scholars had subjected the Scriptures to distortions of both kinds.
75. Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah (the Tawrah), then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it 76. And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe,” but when they meet one another in private, they say, “Shall you (Jews) tell them (Muslims) what Allah has revealed to you that they (Muslims) may argue with you (Jews) about it before your Lord” Have you (Jews) then no understanding 77. Know they (Jews) not that Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal
(Do you covet) O believers,
(That they will believe in your religion) meaning, that these people would obey you They are the deviant sect of Jews whose fathers witnessed the clear signs but their hearts became hard afterwards. Allah said next,
(Inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah (the Tawrah), then they used to change it) meaning, distort its meaning,
(after they understood it). They understood well, yet they used to defy the truth,
(knowingly), being fully aware of their erroneous interpretations and corruption. This statement is similar to Allah’s statement,
(So, because of their violation of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places) (5:13).
Qatadah commented that Allah’s statement;
(Then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it) “They are the Jews who used to hear Allah’s Words and then alter them after they understood and comprehended them.” Also, Mujahid said, “Those who used to alter it and conceal its truths; they were their scholars.” Also, Ibn Wahb said that Ibn Zayd commented,
(used to hear the Word of Allah (the Tawrah), then they used to change it) “They altered the Tawrah that Allah revealed to them, making it say that the lawful is unlawful and the prohibited is allowed, and that what is right is false and that what is false is right. So when a person seeking the truth comes to them with a bribe, they judge his case by the Book of Allah, but when a person comes to them seeking to do evil with a bribe, they take out the other (distorted) book, in which it is stated that he is in the right. When someone comes to them who is not seeking what is right, nor offering them bribe, then they enjoin righteousness on him. This is why Allah said to them,
(Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture (the Tawrah)! Have you then no sense) (2:44)”
Allah said next,
(And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe”, but when they meet one another in private..). Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas commented,
(And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe”) “They believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, `But he was only sent for you (Arabs)”’ However, when they meet each other they say, “Do not convey the news about this Prophet to the Arabs, because you used to ask Allah to grant you victory over them when he came, but he was sent to them (not to you).” Allah then revealed,
(And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe,” but when they meet one another in private, they say, “Shall you (Jews) tell them (Muslims) what Allah has revealed to you, that they (Muslims) may argue with you (Jews) about it before your Lord”) meaning, “If you admit to them that he is a Prophet, knowing that Allah took the covenant from you to follow him, they will know that Muhammad is the Prophet that we were waiting for and whose coming we find foretold of in our Book. Therefore, do not believe in him and deny him.” Allah said,
(Know they (Jews) not that Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal).
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “When the Jews met the believers they used to say, `We believe.’ When they met each other, some of them would say, `Do not talk to the companions of Muhammad about what Allah has foretold in your Book, so that the news (that Muhammad is the Final Messenger) does not become a proof for them against you with your Lord, and, thus, you will win the dispute.”’ Further, Abu Al-`Aliyah said about Allah’s statement,
(Know they (Jews) not that Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal), “Meaning their secret denial and rejection of Muhammad, although they find his coming recorded in their Book.” This is also the Tafsir of Qatadah. Al-Hasan commented on,
(That Allah knows what they conceal), “What they concealed refers to when they were alone with each other away from the Companions of Muhammad . Then they would forbid each other from conveying the news that Allah revealed to them in their Book to the Companions of Muhammad , fearing that the Companions would use this news (about the truth of Muhammad ) against them before their Lord.”
(And what they reveal) meaning, when they said to the Companions of Muhammad ,
(We believe), as Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` and Qatadah stated.
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