لَمْ یَکُنِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنْ اَہۡلِ الْکِتٰبِ وَ الْمُشْرِکِیۡنَ مُنۡفَکِّیۡنَ حَتّٰی تَاۡتِیَہُمُ الْبَیِّنَۃُ ۙ﴿۱﴾

The disbelieving People of the Book(s) and the polytheists would not have left their religion until the clear proof came to them.

Tafsir al-Tabari                                                             تفسیر الطبری                                

لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُفْتَرِقِينَ فِي أَمْرِ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ، وَهِيَ إِرْسَالُ اللَّهِ إِيَّاهُ رَسُولًا إِلَى خَلْقِهِ، رَسُولٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ.

The disbelieving people of the book and the polytheists who were divided in their opinion regarding the Prophet Muhammad – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – would not have left their religion until the clear proof came to them, which is the appointment of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – by Allah as a Messenger to the creation as the Apostle of Allah.

Tafsir Al-Tabari (Tafsir Ibn Jareer / Jame’ al-Bayaan fi Taweel al-Quraan) of Imam Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabri t D. 310 A.H.

Tafsir al-Matureedi                                            تفسیر الماتریدی                                

لأن أهل الكتاب كانوا فرقا: منهم من كان آمن برسول اللَّه – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ – من قبل أن يبعث، فلما بعث كفروا به، ومنهم من كان كافرًا به، فلما بعث آمن به، فلزم الإيمان به، ومنهم من كان كافرا به، فلما بعث، وأرسل، لزم الكفر به، ولم يؤمن، فلما كانوا أصنافا وفرقا؛ لذلك قال: (لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ)

وأما المشركون: فإنهم كانوا صنفا واحدا، ثم لم يبين: أنهم إذا أتاهم البينة ينفكون أو لا.

It is due to the reason that people of the book were divided in their opinion; there were those amongst them who believed in the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – prior to his arrival and when he was appointed as a Prophet, they did not believe in him, while there were those amongst them who initially did not believe in him but brought Iman on him only after his appointment as a Prophet, hence their Iman is established.  There were also those who did not believe in him even after he was appointed so their disbelief is established.  It is because they were divided in groups therefore Allah Almighty mentioned them categorically.

And as for the polytheists, they were of one unified opinion therefore he did not categorize them as to whether their opinions differed when he arrived among them.

Tafsir al-Matureedi (Taweel Ahl al-Sunnah) of Imam Abu Mansoor Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Matureedi t D. 333 A.H.

Tafsir al-Baghawi                                                        تفسیر البغوی                            

{لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ} وَهْمُ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى، {وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ} وَهُمْ عَبَدَةُ الْأَوْثَانِ، {مُنْفَكِّينَ حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ}الْحُجَّةُ الْوَاضِحَةُ، يَعْنِي: مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَتَاهُمْ بِالْقُرْآنِ فَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ [ضَلَالَاتِهِمْ] وَجَهَالَتَهُمْ وَدَعَاهُمْ إِلَى الْإِيمَانِ. فَهَذِهِ الْآيَةُ فِيمَنْ آمَنَ مِنَ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ، أَخْبَرَ أَنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَنْتَهُوا عَنِ الْكُفْرِ حَتَّى أَتَاهُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَدَعَاهُمْ إِلَى الْإِيمَانِ فَآمَنُوا فَأَنْقَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْجَهْلِ وَالضَّلَالَةِ.

The disbelieving People of the Book(s), they were the jews and the Christians, and the polytheists, who were idol-worshippers, would not have left their religion until the clear proof came to them i.e. the clear evidence who is Sayyiduna Muhammad – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – who came with the Quran and cleared their ignorance and misguidance and called them towards Islam.  This verse denotes whoever between the two groups embraced Islamic faith and informed them that their end is not on disbelief till the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – came to them and invited them to Islam, and hence they brought Iman, Allah Almighty rescued them from ignorance and misguidance.

Tafsir al-Baghawi (Ma’aalim al-Tanzeel) of Muhiyy al-Sunnah Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Husain ibn Mas’ood al-Baghwi al-Shafe’I t D. 510 A.H.

Tafsir al-Qurtubi                                                                                                                         تفسیر القرطبی                                                    

(لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوامِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتابِ) يَعْنِي الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى. (وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ) فِي. قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ أَهْلِ الْكِتابِ: الْيَهُودُ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا بِيَثْرِبَ، وَهُمْ قُرَيْظَةُ وَالنَّضِيرُ وَبَنُو قَيْنُقَاعَ. وَالْمُشْرِكُونَ: الَّذِينَ كَانُوا بِمَكَّةَ وَحَوْلَهَا، وَالْمَدِينَةِ وَالَّذِينَ حَوْلَهَا، وَهُمْ مُشْرِكُو قُرَيْشٍ. (مُنْفَكِّينَ) أَيْ مُنْتَهِينَ عَنْ كُفْرِهِمْ، مَائِلِينَ عَنْهُ. (حَتَّى تَأْتِيَهُمُ) أَيْ أَتَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ، أَيْ مُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.

The disbelieving People of the Book(s) i.e. the jews and Christians, and the polytheists.  Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – said:  People of the book are the jews that lived in Yathrib (Madinah Shareef);  the tribes of Quraizah, Nudhair and Qainuqa’, and the polytheists were the ones in Makkah Mukarramah and its surroundings and Madinah Shareef and its surroundings, and they were polytheists of Quraish, would not have left their religion i.e. their disbelief and withdrawal from it, until the clear proof came to them i.e. the Holy Prophet Muhammad – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him.

Tafsir Qurtubi (Al-Jame’ Li Ahkaam al-Quran) Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi t D. 671 A.H.

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