Some people being transformed into monkeys and pigs are mentioned in verse 60 of the chapter of al-Maida. Will you explain it?

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Some people being transformed into monkeys and pigs are mentioned in verse 60 of the chapter of al-Maida. Will you explain it?

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(editor) on Mon, 26/03/2018 - 10:43

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"Say: ‘Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!’" (al-Maida, 5/60)

The deed of people being transformed into animals is called "mash". It can be in appearance and spiritually. If it is spiritual, it is a transformation that causes ethical degeneration. If it is both in appearance and spiritual, degeneration of life is also added. In that case, their generation does not continue. Allah does whatever He wishes. 

"Naba'" means important news. Evil is mentioned about what is indicated by the demonstrative noun here. According to a narration, some Jews asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about his religion. He answered them as follows:

"…We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma´il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)." (al-Baqara, 2/136)

When they heard Hz. Isa (Jesus), they said, "We do not know a religion worse than yours." Thereupon, the verse in question was sent down. They were addressed like as follows because they called the religion evil: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than what you call evil? It is your state, which you call religion." We do not oppose this reason of the revelation of the verse but we regard the following meaning more appropriate: O Muhammad! Address the People of the Book as follows: Shall I point out to you something much worse than what you call evil in an important way? They are the people whom Allah damned (see al-Maida, 5/13) incurred His curse, transformed into apes and swine and who worshipped evil. These are worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path.

It is said that those who were transformed into "qirada" (apes) and "hanazir" (pigs), that is, those who were transformed into an ugly state were "ashab as-sabt" (people of Saturday) and that the young ones were transformed into apes and the old ones into pigs; it is known that such transformations occurred in the previous nations, especially in Sons of Israel. Such transformation is narrated about the friends of Hz Isa at the table in Christianity. Therefore, some tafsir scholars say qirada (apes) are people of Saturday and that hanazir (pigs) are Hz. Isa’s friends at the table. Since only "Be ye apes, despised and rejected" (al-Baqara, 2/65) is said in the chapter of al-Baqara for the people of Saturday, this view is more appropriate. 

Reproduction does not occur in those who undergo transformation. In that case, "they became apes and pigs" does not mean "they became an animal species that reproduced apes and pigs"; it means they were condemned to elimination in misery and sterility.  

Those who claim that humans evolved from apes through birth should think that humans could be transformed into apes through birth as a law. This verse includes an answer and threat to them. The chain of expressions from curse to wrath, from wrath to transformation and from transformation to worshipping evil (Satan) shows that not their sum but each of them is an evil. The lowest of them is curse and the highest one is worshipping Satan.

Thus, worshipping evil is an evil beginning that necessitate all of them. They first become cursed and are driven away from Allah's mercy. Secondly, Allah's wrath hits them and they writhe in pain and trouble apart from being driven away from Allah’s mercy. Thirdly, they become imitators of humans like apes that are hesitant, variable, fraudulent, intelligent in a way, imitate whatever humans do but do not know what they are doing, plunge into all troubles due to imitation, are ugly and sullen; or they are monstrous like pigs, stubborn and evil; they eat all kinds of dirt; their skins cannot be tanned; they are ugly, hated and damned examples of crime and villainy.

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