- Mawdudi comments: “These words clearly establish that the Messenger’s verdict is the same as God’s and the Messenger’s command is the same as God’s. Likewise, when someone is called to the Messenger (peace be upon him), this call is not merely to the Messenger. In fact, it amounts to calling him to both God and the Messenger.”
- It is reported that the revelation of this passage was occasioned by a dispute between a hypocrite (Bishr or Bashir) and a Jew. The Jew invited him to the Prophet for judgment. The hypocrite suggested that they rather go to Ka`b b. al-Ashraf.
Finally, they decided on presenting the case to the Prophet who judged in favor of the Jew. But the hypocrite was not satisfied. He said, “Let us go to `Umar.” When they went to `Umar and explained their case, the Jew added, “We have been to the Prophet and were judged in this manner.” `Umar said, “Is that so? OK then, wait until I am back.” He came out of his house with a sword and struck the hypocrite dead. Then he said, “That’s what we do to those who are not satisfied with the judgment of Allah and His Prophet.” It seems Jibril remarked that `Umar had distinguished between falsehood and truth, and since then he came to be known as Farooq (Alusi, under verse 47).
Ibn Hajr adds in Fut-h: Although the (above) story comes through a weak chain, it gathers strength from other sources. It is said that it was the Prophet who first referred to `Umar as Farooq (Kitab al-Musaqat).
Mawdudi adds: “Here people are urged to willingly accept the judgments made in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is quite obvious that this requirement is not restricted to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) alone. Instead, this is something that will always be required of Muslims, whether they lived in the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) or in any subsequent period.”
Hasan al-Busri has, in fact, said, “He who is summoned by a Muslim ruler, but fails to turn up, is a wrong-doer devoid of all rights.” (Ibn Kathir and others)