The Jews Say That Allah’s Hand is Tied up! : Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) – Al-Ma’idah surah 5© Darussalam 2000

(64. The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends as He wills. Verily, the revelation that has come to you from your Lord makes many of them increase in rebellion and disbelief. We have put enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And Allah does not like the mischief-makers.)

(65. And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and had Taqwa, We would indeed have expiated for them their sins and admitted them to Gardens of pleasure (in Paradise).)

(66. And if only they had acted according to the Tawrah, the Injil, and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet. And among them is a Muqtasid Ummah, but for most of them; evil is their work.)

Allah states that the Jews, may Allah’s continuous curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection, describe Him as a miser. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. The Jews also claim that Allah is poor, while they are rich. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement,

(The Jews say, “Allah’s Hand is tied up.”) “They do not mean that Allah’s Hand is literally tied up. Rather, they mean that He is a miser and does not spend from what He has. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him.” Similar was reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. Allah said in another Ayah,

(And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.) In this Ayah, Allah prohibits stinginess and extravagance, which includes unnecessary and improper expenditures. Allah describes stinginess by saying,

(And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck. ) Therefore, this is the meaning that the Jews meant, may Allah’s curses be on them. `Ikrimah said that this Ayah was revealed about Finhas, one of the Jews, may Allah curse him. We mentioned before that Finhas said,

(“Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!”) and that Abu Bakr smacked him. Allah has refuted what the Jews attribute to Him and cursed them in retaliation for their lies and fabrications about Him. Allah said,

(Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered.) What Allah said occurred, for the Jews are indeed miserly, envious, cowards and tremendously humiliated. Allah said in other Ayat,

(Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and the Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.) and, n

(Indignity is put over them.)

Allah’s Hands are Widely Outstretched

Allah said next,

(Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His bounty) as He wills.) Allah’s favors are ample, His bounty unlimited, as He owns the treasures of everything. Any good that reaches His servants is from Him alone, without partners. He has created everything that we need by night or by day, while traveling or at home and in all situations and conditions. Allah said,

(And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, an extreme ingrate.) There are many other Ayat on this subject. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said that `Abdur-Razzaq narrated to him that Ma`mar said that Hammam bin Munabbih said, “This is what Abu Hurayrah narrated to us that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Allah’s Right Hand is perfectly full, and no amount of spending can decrease what He has, even though He spends by night and by day. Do you see how much Allah has spent since He created the heavens and earth Yet surely it has not decreased what He has in His Right Hand. His Throne is over the water and in His Other Hand is the hold by which He raises and lowers.) He also said, قُولُ اللهُ تَعَالى:

(Allah said, `Spend and I will spend on you.’)” This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs.