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2:79

Fawailul lillazeena yaktuboonal kitaaba bi aydddhim summa yaqooloona haazaa min


'indil laahi liyashtaroo bihee samanan qaleelan fawilul lahum mimaa katabat
aydeehim wa wailul lahum mimmaa yaksiboon

So woe to those who write the Scripture with their own hands, and then say, "This
is from God," that they may exchange it for a little price. Woe to them for what
their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.

Then woe to those who write the book with their own hands and then say, "This is
from Allah, to purchase with it a
little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for
that they earn
thereby.

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ASBAB AL NUZUL

(Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands and then say,
“This is from Allah”…) [2:79].

This was revealed about those who had changed the description of the Prophet, Allah
bless him and give him peace, and altered his traits.

Al-Kalbi mentioned, through the above-mentioned chain of transmission: “They had


changed the description of Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace,
in their Scripture. They made him white and tall while the Prophet, Allah bless him
and give him peace, was brown and of medium height. They had said to their
followers and companions: ‘Look at the description of the prophet who will be sent
at the end of time; his description does not match that of this [man]’. The Jewish
rabbis and doctors used to gain some worldly benefits from the Jewish people and so
they were afraid of losing this gain if they were ever to show the real
description. It is for this reason that they had changed it”.
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- Woe unto Those Criminals among the Jews

Allah said,

"Then Waylun (woe) to those who write the book with their own hands and then say,
"This is
from Allah, to purchase with it a little price

This is another category of people among the Jews who called to misguidance with
falsehood
and lies about Allah, thriving on unjustly amassing people's property.

- Waylun (woe)' carries meanings of destruction and perishing, and it is a well-


known word in the Arabic language.

- Az-Zuhri said that Ubadydullah bin Abdullah narrated that Ibn Abbas said, "O
Muslims! How
could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah
(Qur'an) that He
revealed to His Prophet is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it
fresh and young
Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it
and wrote
another book with their own hands. They then said, This book is from Allah, 'so
that they
acquired a small profit by it . Hasn't the knowledge that came to you prohibited
you from asking
them By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to
you. This
Hadith was also collected by Al-Bukhari. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The little amount
here means
this life and all that it contains.

- Allah's statement ,

"Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn
thereby"

means, "Woe to them because of what they have written with their own hands, the
lies,
falsehood and alterations. Woe to them because of the property that they unjustly
acquired.

- Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas commented,

(Woe to them) "Means the torment will be theirs because of the lies that they wrote
with their
own hands

"And woe to them for that they earn thereby" which they unjustly acquired from
people, be
they commoners or otherwise.

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TAFSIR AL TUSTARI

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Decoding the Quran

So woe to those who write the knowledge with their own hands (driven by their
illusory selves), then say, “This is from Allah,” in exchange for a small price!
Woe to what they write with their hands and woe to what they earn in this way!

...
[2:79] So woe, a severe chastisement, to those who write the Scripture with their
hands, that is, fabricating it themselves, then say, ‘This is from God’ that they
may sell it for a small price, of this world: these are the Jews, the ones that
altered the description of the Prophet in the Torah, as well as the ‘stoning’
verse, and other details, and rewrote them in a way different from that in which
they were revealed. So woe to them for what their hands have written, of
fabrications, and woe to them for their earnings, by way of bribery (rishan, plural
of rishwa).