Comment, Featured, Tafseer

Boris Burka Comments: “Hatred has appeared out of their mouths, but what their breasts hide is far worse.”

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, like many other failed politicians, saw an opportunity to boost his credibility this week, by attacking Muslim women and comparing them to ‘bank robbers’ simply because they wear Islamic dress.

This attack by some of the Jews and Christians (People of the book) is not new, and Allah warns us to remain vigilant against their plans and to remain steadfast on Islam. If we do this then their plots cannot harm us and in fact they will bring Muslims closer to Islam.

Allah (Most High) says,

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا لا تَتَّخِذوا بِطانَةً مِن دونِكُم لا يَألونَكُم خَبالًا وَدّوا ما عَنِتُّم قَد بَدَتِ البَغضاءُ مِن أَفواهِهِم وَما تُخفي صُدورُهُم أَكبَرُ ۚ قَد بَيَّنّا لَكُمُ الآياتِ ۖ إِن كُنتُم تَعقِلونَ

ها أَنتُم أُولاءِ تُحِبّونَهُم وَلا يُحِبّونَكُم وَتُؤمِنونَ بِالكِتابِ كُلِّهِ وَإِذا لَقوكُم قالوا آمَنّا وَإِذا خَلَوا عَضّوا عَلَيكُمُ الأَنامِلَ مِنَ الغَيظِ ۚ قُل موتوا بِغَيظِكُم ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ بِذاتِ الصُّدورِ

إِن تَمسَسكُم حَسَنَةٌ تَسُؤهُم وَإِن تُصِبكُم سَيِّئَةٌ يَفرَحوا بِها ۖ وَإِن تَصبِروا وَتَتَّقوا لا يَضُرُّكُم كَيدُهُم شَيئًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِما يَعمَلونَ مُحيطٌ

You who have iman! Do not take any outside yourselves as intimates. They will do anything to harm you. They love what causes you distress. Hatred has appeared out of their mouths, but what their breasts hide is far worse. We have made the Signs clear to you if you use your intellect.

There you are, loving them when they do not love you, even though you have iman in all the Books. When they meet you, they say, ‘We have iman.’ But when they leave they bite their fingers out of rage against you. Say, ‘Die in your rage.’ Allah knows what your hearts contain.

If something good happens to you, it galls them. If something bad strikes you, they rejoice at it. But if you are steadfast and have taqwa, their scheming will not harm you in any way. Allah encompasses what they do.

(Aal-Imran, 3:118-120)

Amin Ahsan Islahi in Tadabbur-e-Qur’an gives an explanation of these verses:

لا تَتَّخِذوا بِطانَةً Do not take as intimates…’

Biṭānah بِطانَةً

Biṭānah means the inner linings of a quilt or a coverlet. Thus biṭānatu-r rajul would mean members of one’s family, intimate or special friends, confidants of one’s secrets to whom one is open, or unreserved in conversation, and who know the inward state or circumstances of one’s case or business.

Khabālā خَبالًا

The word khabāl means corruption and disorder. So the phrase لا يَألونَكُم خَبالًا  would mean they would spare no effort to cause confusion and disruption within your ranks.

‘Anat عَنِتُّم

The word ‘anat means hard work, difficulty and trouble. وَدّوا ما عَنِتُّم, that is, they wish you trouble and hardship so that you are enmeshed and bogged down in them. The words قَد بَدَتِ البَغضاءُ مِن أَفواهِهِم (rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths) refer to their provocations and anti-Islam utterances that clearly show that the People of the Book are ready to put up with anything except Islam and Muslims. In this regard, the Qur’ān refers to their saying that the polytheists are better than and preferable to the Muslims:

أَلَم تَرَ إِلَى الَّذينَ أوتوا نَصيبًا مِنَ الكِتابِ يُؤمِنونَ بِالجِبتِ وَالطّاغوتِ وَيَقولونَ لِلَّذينَ كَفَروا هٰؤُلاءِ أَهدىٰ مِنَ الَّذينَ آمَنوا سَبيلًا

Do you not see those who were given a portion of the Book having iman in idols and false gods and saying to those who are kafir, ‘These people are better guided on their path than the believers’?

(Sūrah An-Nisā’, 4:51)

In the phrase ها أَنتُم أُولاءِ تُحِبّونَهُم (You are ones who love them), the second person pronoun – أَنتُم – is placed between ها and أُولاءِ where the particle ها signifies caution and is used for emphasis. Similar is the phrase hā anā dhā (here I am)!

The Qur’ān is the only perfect revealed Book

وَتُؤمِنونَ بِالكِتابِ كُلِّهِ  (you believe in the Book, in the whole of it)

The relationship between the Qur’ān and the earlier scriptures is like the parts to the whole. The people of the Book were given only a portion of the Divine Scripture and the revelation of the whole was deferred, and was completed and bestowed upon the final Prophet. That is why we repeatedly read about the People of the Book words such as:

 أَلَم تَرَ إِلَى الَّذينَ أوتوا نَصيبًا مِنَ الكِتابِ

Just consider the case of those who have been given a portion of the Divine Scripture

(Aal-Imran, 3:23)

The complete Divine Scripture is the Qur’ān, just as the complete Divine religion is only Islam. Thus when a Muslim believes in the Qur’ān, he automatically believes in what was revealed before it; he believes in the whole of the Divine Scripture. All that was genuine and true in the previous scriptures is preserved in the Qur’ān.

وَإِذا خَلَوا, that is, when they are alone with their own people. In its context, this is identical to verse 14 of Sūrah al-Baqarah that says, وَإِذا خَلَوا إِلىٰ شَياطينِهِم قالوا إِنّا مَعَكُم إِنَّما نَحنُ مُستَهزِئونَ (when they are alone in the company of their devils − devilish allies, they say…) Both these verses are used in a similar context and their message is also identical.

Warning the Muslims to be vigilant of the People of the Book

These verses admonish the Muslims just as they are admonished in verse 28: لا يَتَّخِذِ المُؤمِنونَ الكافِرينَ أَولِياءَ مِن دونِ المُؤمِنينَThe believers should not take disbelievers as friends rather than believers’. Although couched in general terms, these verses are specifically addressed to those among the Muslims who were then too simple to fully grasp the scheming designs of the People of the Book. Alternatively, due to their weakness they were reluctant to break off their old ties with them, even though at this stage any links maintained by the People of the Book with Muslims were no longer inspired by any sincere consideration. They maintained their links with Muslims for using them to hatch conspiracies, for exploitation and in order to advance their selfish designs against them. That is why the Qur’ān categorically and most emphatically warns Muslims not to take those from outside as their close and intimate friends and protectors or share their secrets with them. They will spare no effort and miss no opportunity to cause Muslims damage and make them suffer hardships. They do not like the Muslims to succeed in their objectives. All they desire for them is troubles, worries and affliction. Their enmity was quite apparent from their utterances but what they conceal in their hearts against Muslims is far more sinister. This warning is concluded with the words that now that the Muslims are warned in clear terms against their enemies and their conspiracies, if they ignore this warning, they will do so at their own peril and with dire consequences.

Furthermore, appealing to the sense of self-respect of the Muslims, the Qur’ān draws their attention to the fact that while they were eager to befriend the People of the Book, the latter had no soft corner for them in their hearts. Indeed, they were hostile to them, although the Muslims believed in the Scripture in its entirety and believed in all the prophets of Allah. Yet the people of the Book refused to believe in the Qur’ān. When they met the Muslims, however, they proclaimed to be believers like them only to deceive them. And when they were alone with their own people, عَضّوا عَلَيكُمُ الأَنامِلَ مِنَ الغَيظِ  ‘they bite their fingertips with rage’ at the Muslims. These enemies of Islam are told through the Prophet that they might perish in their own hate and rage against Islam but they will not be able to arrest the onward march of Islam.

With this parenthetical comment, the discourse turns again to the Muslims. They are told that their enemies are distressed and uncomfortable when any success comes their way but are overjoyed when they find Muslims in difficulties and afflicted with any misfortune. If, however, the Muslims stand firm and avoid the mistakes against which they are clearly warned, their enemies will not be able to do them any harm. Allah is fully aware of the conspiracies and machinations of their enemies.

It is worth remembering what Ibn Jarīr has noted while commenting on the verse in وَإِن تَصبِروا وَتَتَّقوا (if you are patient and remain conscious of Allah). Ibn Jarīr says, the foremost commandment while encouraging taqwā here is enshrined in the words يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا لا تَتَّخِذوا بِطانَةً مِن دونِكُم Do not take any outside yourselves as intimates’ In other words, if you truly fear Allah, restrain yourselves from taking disbelievers as your intimate friends and sharing your secrets with them.


Western values have crumbled in the face of the mighty Islamic thoughts. Their attack on Islam is reduced to insults and abuse with no intellectual basis. When they are faced with the extraordinary success of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and how he transformed Arabia from darkness in to light, they respond with insulting cartoons. When they see Muslim women wearing Islamic dress they introduce misogynist laws to ban clothes. When they see Muslims standing strong in the face of tyranny and oppression they label them terrorists and ban their groups and call.

These are acts of desperation and it is only a matter of time before victory returns to this ummah in the form of the Caliphate which will protect, implement and propagate Islam, and offer Muslims a safe haven to practise their religion in peace.

Our relationship with the wider non-Muslim society in the west should be based on interaction showing the high values of Islam, and not integration and assimilation in to their values.

Samuel Huntington says, “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other civilizations converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.” [The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p.51]