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wa-idh
وَإِذْ
And when
akhadha
أَخَذَ
took
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
mīthāqa
مِيثَٰقَ
a Covenant
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
(from) those who
ūtū
أُوتُوا۟
were given
l-kitāba
ٱلْكِتَٰبَ
the Book,
latubayyinunnahu
لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُۥ
"You certainly make it clear
lilnnāsi
لِلنَّاسِ
to the mankind
walā
وَلَا
and (do) not
taktumūnahu
تَكْتُمُونَهُۥ
conceal it.
fanabadhūhu
فَنَبَذُوهُ
Then they threw it
warāa
وَرَآءَ
behind
ẓuhūrihim
ظُهُورِهِمْ
their backs
wa-ish'taraw
وَٱشْتَرَوْا۟
and they exchanged
bihi
بِهِۦ
[with] it
thamanan
ثَمَنًا
(for) a price.
qalīlan
قَلِيلًاۖ
little.
fabi'sa
فَبِئْسَ
And wretched
مَا
(is) what
yashtarūna
يَشْتَرُونَ
they purchase.

Wa iz akhazal laahu meesaaqal lazeena ootul Kitaaba latubaiyinunnahoo linnaasi wa laa taktumoona hoo fanabazoohu waraaa'a zuhoorihim washtaraw bihee samanan qaleelan fabi'sa maa yashtaroon

Sahih International:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], "You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it." But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.

1 A. J. Arberry

And when God took compact with those who had been given the Book: 'You shall make it clear unto the people, and not conceal it.' But they rejected it behind their backs and sold it for a small price -- how evil was that their selling!

2 Abdul Haleem

God took a pledge from those who were given the Scripture- ‘Make it known to people; do not conceal it’- but they tossed the pledge over their shoulders, they bartered it for a small price: what a bad bargain they made!

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And recall what time Allah took a bond from those who were vouchsafed the Book: ye shall surely expound it to the people and ye shall hide it not; whereafter they cast it behind their backs, and bartered it for a small price. Vile is that wherewith they have bartered.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And recall when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Book: 'You shall explain it to men and not hide it. Then they cast the Book behind their backs, and sold it away for a trivial gain. Evil indeed is their bargain.

6 Ahmed Ali

And remember when God took a promise from the people of the Book to make its (truth) known to mankind, and not keep back any part of it, they set aside (the pledge), and sold it away for a little gain but how wretched the bargain that they made!

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And remember when Allah took a covenant from the People given the Book(s) that, “You shall definitely preach it to the people and not hide it”; so they flung it behind their backs and gained an abject price for it; so what a wretched bargain it is!

8 Ali Quli Qarai

When Allah made a covenant with those who were given the Book: ‘You shall explain it for the people, and you shall not conceal it,’ they cast it behind their backs and sold it for a paltry gain. How evil is what they buy!

9 Ali Ünal

(Remember) when God took a covenant from those who were given the Book: "You shall make clear to the people (the whole truth of all that is in) the Book (including mention of the Last, promised Prophet), and not conceal it." But they paid no heed to it, flinging it behind their backs, and sold it for a trifling price (such as worldly advantage and position, status and renown). How evil a bargain they made!

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Recall the time when Allâh took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture that, `You must explain (the teachings of) this (Scripture) to the people and not conceal it.´ But they threw it away behind their backs, and accepted a paltry price for it. How evil is that which they have chosen!

11 English Literal

And when God took/received those who were given The Book`s promise/covenant, to clarify/show/explain it (E) to the people, and do not hide/conceal it, so they discarded/rejected it behind/beyond their backs and bought/volunteered with it a small price, so how bad (is) what they buy/volunteer?

12 Faridul Haque

And remember when Allah took a covenant from the People given the Book(s) that, “You shall definitely preach it to the people and not hide it”; so they flung it behind their backs and gained an abject price for it; so what a wretched bargain it is!

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Think not that those who rejoice in what they have given, and love to be praised for what they have not done, - think not that they are in safety from woe - for them is painful woe!

14 Hilali & Khan

(And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad SAW and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

You will certainly be tried in your property and your persons. And you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And when Allah made a covenant with those who were given the Book: You shall certainly make it known to men and you shall not hide it; but they cast it behind their backs and took a small price for it; so evil is that which they buy.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And (remember) when Allah laid a charge on those who had received the Scripture (He said): Ye are to expound it to mankind and not to hide it. But they flung it behind their backs and bought thereby a little gain. Verily evil is that which they have gained thereby.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

When God made a covenant with the People of the Book saying, "Tell the people about it (Muhammad's prophesy) without hiding any part, therefrom, they threw it behind their backs and sold it for a very small price. What a miserable bargain!

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

When Allah took a covenant with those to whom the Book was given, (saying): 'You shall make it clear to the people, and not conceal it. 'But they threw it behind their backs and they bought with it a little price. Evil was what they bought.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

(And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the truth) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

God made a covenant with those who were given the Book to make it known to people and not conceal it. But they cast it behind their backs and bartered it for a paltry price: what an evil bargain they made!

22 Talal Itani

God received a pledge from those who were given the Scripture: “You shall proclaim it to the people, and not conceal it.” But they disregarded it behind their backs, and exchanged it for a small price. What a miserable exchange they made.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And, mention, when God made covenant with those who had been given the Scripture, that is, the pledge [taken] from them in the Torah, `You shall expound it (read tubayyinunnahu, or yubayyinunnahu, `they shall expound it') the Book, to people, and not conceal it' (read taktumnahu, `you shall not conceal it', or yaktumnahu, `they shall not conceal it'). But they rejected it, they discarded the covenant, behind their backs, and so they did not act in accordance with it, and bought with it, they took in its place, a small price, of this world from the debased among them, enjoying supremacy over them in knowledge, and they concealed it, lest it [the supremacy] escape them; how evil is what they have bought, [how evil is] this purchase of theirs!

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Chastising the People of the Scriptures for Breaking the Covenant and Hiding the Truth

Allah says;

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلً فَبِيْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ



(And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the truth) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.

In this Ayah, Allah chastises the People of the Scriptures, from whom Allah took the covenant by the words of their Prophets, that they would believe in Muhammad and describe him to the people, so that they would recognize and follow him when Allah sent him. However, they hid this truth and preferred the the small amounts and the material gains instead of the rewards of this life and the Hereafter that they were promised. This is a losing deal and a failing trade, indeed.

These Ayat also contain a warning for the scholars not to imitate their behavior, so that they do not suffer the same fate and become like them. Therefore, the scholars are required to spread the beneficial knowledge that they have, encouraging the various righteous good deeds. They are also warned against hiding any part of their knowledge.

A Hadith states that the Prophet said,

مَنْ سُيِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ فَكَتَمَهُ أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَار

Whoever was asked about knowledge that he knew but did not disclose it, will be tied with a bridle made of fire on the Day of Resurrection.
Chastising Those Who Love to be Praised for What They Have not Done

Allah's statement