Yahood (Al Baqarah) Versus Nasaara(Aali Imran)

At the end of Juz 1, in Surah Al Baqarah, there is a long ayah that is very similar to an ayah at the end of Juz 3 in Surah Aali Imraan. They’re very similar, that I have trouble remembering certain details that differentiate them from each other when revising. I don’t remember when I actually wrote in the margin of my mushaf “Why   إلى here and على in Aali Imran 84? ” I was trying to remember if I had written that after I knew I was going to attend Bayyinah or I wrote that in future hopes of having the opportunity of asking someone. It seems more plausible that I wrote that after I knew I was going to do Dream. I had a lot of Quran questions of that nature, all because I was having trouble with the mutashaabihaat ayaat while memorizing. I had asked other huffaadh about these but I had never gotten answers that reveal the Quran’s gems in this way. Lo and behold, subhaanallah, I wanted to find the answers to these questions and Allah led me to Ustaadh Nouman, and while I am capable and have access to him, I will attempt to ask him with these Quran questions; one question per day, in sha Allah. That just makes my Dream experience much more meaningful in terms of my personal relationship with the Quran.

There are 3 differences between these 2 ayaat.

First, compare the two ayaat:

Al Baqarah 2:136

2:136
 
Sahih International

Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

Aali Imran 3:84
3:84
 
Sahih International

Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.”

The differences between these two ayaat:-

Difference 1

Al Baqarah 136 begins with the command قولوا ([You all] Say) while Aali Imran 84 begins with the command  قُلْ ([You] Say)

In Surah Al Baqarah, the address was predominantly for the Jews in Madinah. Their problem was that of arrogance in thinking that they’re the chosen and best nation, such that they refused to accept Rasulullah (saw) as their long-awaited messenger (whom their scholars knew to be the one) just because Rasulullah (saw) was from the Arabs and not from them. So, Allah commands the whole Muslim ummah to tell the Jews “Say, [O believers],We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.

In Surah Aali Imraan, the address was predominantly for the Christians. Their problem was their obsession with Isa a.s. being the son of God. They didn’t have an arrogance problem like the Jews. So here, Allah commanded Rasulullah (saw) to tell them, “Say,We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.

Difference 2

Al Baqarah 136 :  وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ

Aali Imran 84 : وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ

Al Baqarah 136: Because the Jews had an arrogance problem, thinking themselves to be the best and chosen nation, thus refusing to accept the awaited messenger just because he (saw) was from the Arabs and not from them, Allah uses the word إلى (to). The emphasis here is to show that this messenger (saw) was sent TO them too.

Aali Imran 84: Because the Christians were so obsessed with the son-of-God/Godship of Isa a.s. and that Isa a.s. was crucified and that atoned for all their sins, thus rendering any shariah (religious laws) irrelevant to them, Allah uses the word على (upon). This word is also used in the ayah of fasting in Al Baqarah 183:

2:183
 
Sahih International

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting [كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ] as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous –

The use of the word على  here denotes the laying down of the law/rules upon you. It also in a figurative and maybe literal way, hints at where the law came from; from above, divine decree from the one and only God, Allah.

Difference 3

Al Baqarah 136: وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ
Aali Imran 84: وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ
In Al Baqarah, there is a separation of the 3 words: Musa a.s., Isa a.s. and prophets(النَّبِيُّونَ). Their golden age was from the time of Musa a.s. (Exodus onwards) to Isa a.s. (the last prophet sent specifically for them). So, the separation of the word ‘prophets’ is kind of highlighting that their time of glory of the ‘chosen nation’ is now over.
In Aali Imraan, all 3 words are together. Since the Christians are obsessed with Isa a.s., Allah joins the word ‘prophets’ to the word ‘Isa’ to show that “Hey, there are other prophets too and Isa a.s. is also one of them.”
 In the English translations, you won’t see much difference. As they say, “Lost in translation.”

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