“And the Jews say ‘Uzair is the son of Allah” – Ibn Taymiyah

In Majmoo’ al-Fataawa of Sheikh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah, under the section of tafsir, under the section of the tafsir of surah al-Tawbah, it is recorded:

سئل رحمه الله عن قوله تعالى { وقالت اليهود عزير ابن الله } كلهم قالوا ذلك أم بعضهم ؟ { وقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يؤتى باليهود يوم القيامة فيقال لهم ما كنتم تعبدون ؟ فيقولون العزير } الحديث . هل الخطاب عام أم لا ؟ . ـ

He was asked – may Allah have mercy on him – about the statement of Allah:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ‌ ابْنُ اللَّـهِ

And the Jews say, “‘Uzair is the son of Allah” [9:30]

Do all of them say this, or only some of them?

And the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ), “The Jews will be brought on the Yawm al-Qiyaamah and it will be said to them, ‘what did you used to worship?’ So they will say, ‘al-‘Uzair’.” – Is this a general address [i.e. to all Jews] or not?

فأجاب : الحمد لله . المراد باليهود جنس اليهود كقوله تعالى : { الذين قال لهم الناس إن الناس قد جمعوا لكم } لم يقل جميع الناس ولا قال : إن جميع الناس قد جمعوا لكم ; بل المراد به الجنس . ـ

So he replied: alhamdulillah. The intended meaning of ‘the Jews’ is one category of Jews, like His statement:

الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوا لَكُمْ

Those unto whom the people said, “Verily, the people have gathered against you” [3:173].

He did not say ‘all the people’ nor did He say, ‘verily all of the people have gathered against you’ – rather, the intended meaning of this is one category [of them].

 وهذا كما يقال الطائفة الفلانية تفعل كذا وأهل الفلاني يفعلون كذا وإذا قال بعضهم فسكت الباقون ولم ينكروا ذلك فيشتركون في إثم القول . والله أعلم  . ـ

And this is like saying ‘such-and-such group did such-and-such and such-and-such people did such-and-such’. And if some of them spoke and then the rest of them were willfully silent and they did not disapprove of it then they share in the sin of the statement – and Allah knows best.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa 15/48]

Imam al-Sa’di offers some brief background on this statement in his tafsir by writing:

لما أمر تعالى بقتال أهل الكتاب، ذكر من أقوالهم الخبيثة، ما يهيج المؤمنين الذين يغارون لربهم ولدينه على قتالهم، والاجتهاد وبذل الوسع فيه فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ‏}‏ وهذه المقالة وإن لم تكن مقالة لعامتهم فقد قالها فرقة منهم، فيدل ذلك على أن في اليهود من الخبث والشر ما أوصلهم إلى أن قالوا هذه المقالة التي تجرأوا فيها على اللّه، وتنقصوا عظمته وجلاله‏.‏

When Allah commanded the fighting of the Ahl al-Kitaab, He mentioned some of their reprehensible statements which arouse the believers who feel protective jealousy for their Lord and for His deen towards fighting them and striving and exerting themselves therein. So He said, “The Jews say, ”Uzair is the son of Allah'” [9:30], and this is the statement – even though it was not a statement of their general people – which a group from among them had said. So that indicates that amongst the Jews there is wickedness and evil which leads them to saying this statement in which they transgress against Allah and undervalue His greatness and majesty.

وقد قيل‏:‏ إن سبب ادعائهم في ‏{‏عزير‏}‏ أنه ابن اللّه، أنه لما سلط الله الملوك على بني إسرائيل، ومزقوهم كل ممزق، وقتلوا حَمَلَةَ التوراة، وجدوا عزيرا بعد ذلك حافظا لها أو لأكثرها، فأملاها عليهم من حفظه، واستنسخوها، فادعوا فيه هذه الدعوى الشنيعة‏.‏

And it is said that the reason for their claim concerning ‘Uzair being the son of Allah is that when Allah granted authority over the Banu Israa’eel to the kingdoms and they decimated them and fragmented them in every way and they killed the carriers of the Tawrah, they later found ‘Uzair who had memorized it or most of it. So he dictated it to them from his memory and they produced copies of it. So they therefore made this heinous claim regarding him.

[Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 381]

See also: The Prophet clarified much of what the Ahl al-Kitaab used to conceal: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: “A Word They Say with Their Mouths”: Tafsir al-Shawkani

See also: “Had Allah willed to take a son…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di and Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: Does the term “al-Mushrikoon” include the Ahl al-Kitaab? – Imam al-Shinqitee

2 thoughts on ““And the Jews say ‘Uzair is the son of Allah” – Ibn Taymiyah

  1. Pingback: Does the term “al-Mushrikoon” include the Ahl al-Kitaab? – Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “A Word They Say with Their Mouths”: Tafsir al-Shawkani | Tulayhah

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