Does the verse of Muwaddat (42:23) not refer to the Ahlulbait?

Does the verse of Muwaddat (42:23) not refer to the Ahlulbait?

Ibn Kathir:

Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.â€Â

Means, ‘Say, O Muhammad, to these idolators among the disbeliever of Quraysh: I do not ask you for anything in return for this message and sincere advice which I bring to you. All I ask of you is that you withhold your evil from me and let me convey the Messages of my Lord.. If you will not help me, then do not disturb me, for the sake of the ties of kinship that exist between you and I.

Comment: This explanation has been construed in the sense that the Quraysh used to reject the Messenger and considered him as an enemy. Some traditions tell us that the Messenger objected to the many gods that the Quraysh worshipped so Allah asked him to tell these people that even if they did not believe, at least they should not be his enemy. This was because the Messenger had relatives among them and that they should not be envious of him.

The meaning of the word “Ajrâ€Â is complete when the questioner has done some work beneficial to mankind and society. He can then ask for a wage that is equal to the effort he has put in. In the verse being discussed recompense will make sense when the Messenger has guided the Quraysh and they have believed but since they remained adamant on their disbelief not believing anything that the Messenger told them, the meaning of “Ajrâ€Â remains incomplete.

Further, this explanation goes against the Qur'an because Allah does not approve the love of those who do not believe in Allah. In verse 60:4, Ibrahim (a.s.) is praised for his pattern when he said to the disbelievers: "we will always hate each other until you believe in One God". How could Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) say, "If you don't love me because I am a Prophet then love me for being your relative?"

In short, if those who were asked about the recompense are supposed to be disbelievers or their relatives, then the recompense has no meaning and such an idea goes against the Qur'an. Hence the explanation by Ibn Kathir is objected


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