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17.7. If you do good (aware that God is seeing you), you do good to your own selves; and if you do evil, it is likewise to your own selves. And so, when the time (for the fulfillment) of the second decree comes, (We rouse new enemies against you) to disgrace you utterly and to enter the Temple as the others entered it before, and to destroy entirely all that they conquer. Print E-mail

إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا فَإِذَا جَاء وَعْدُ الآخِرَةِ لِيَسُوؤُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَلِيُتَبِّرُواْ مَا عَلَوْاْ تَتْبِيراً

7. If you do good (aware that God is seeing you), you do good to your own selves; and if you do evil, it is likewise to your own selves. And so, when the time (for the fulfillment) of the second decree comes, (We rouse new enemies against you) to disgrace you utterly and to enter the Temple as the others entered it before, and to destroy entirely all that they conquer.6

6. The warnings mentioned with their reasons occur in several places in the Bible (Leviticus, 26: 14–39; Deuteronomy, 28: 15–68; Psalms, 106: 34–38, 40–41; Isaiah, 1: 4-5, 21-24; 2: 6, 8; 8: 7; 30: 9–10, 12–13; Jeremiah, 2: 5, 7, 20; 3: 6, 8–9; Ezekiel, 22: 3, 6-12, 14-16; Matthew, 23: 37; 24: 2; Luke, 23: 28–30).

For example, Isaiah 1: 4–5 writes about corruption and its consequences:

Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints.

Jeremiah 5: 1, 7–9 reads:

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks truth, and I will I pardon her…. "How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken Me, and sworn by those that are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife. Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the Lord. "And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?"

Jeremiah 5: 15–17 and 7: 33–34 tell about the people God would send against Israel, and the extent of the destruction:

"Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel," says the Lord. "It is a mighty nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say. Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty men. And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; they shall destroy your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.

The corpses of these people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beast of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.

During the time of the Prophet Samuel, upon him be peace, around 1020 bc, the Children of Israel were able to establish a unified state, under King Saul (Tālūt) (The Qur'ān, 2: 247–51); and during the time of the Prophets David and Solomon, upon them be peace, they reached the zenith of their power and magnificence. This lasted nearly one century, but after Solomon, upon him be God's peace, dissension and feuding broke out with the result that the state divided into two kingdoms: one, Israel, with Samaria as its capital, comprising the northern part of Palestine and Transjordan; and the other, Judah, comprising the southern part of Palestine and Edom, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Polytheistic beliefs and moral corruption affected the kingdom of Israel more than Judah, and, despite the warnings of the Prophets and their great efforts at reformation, the people did not mend their ways. Eventually, the Assyrians launched a series of attacks, and the ruthless Assyrian king Sargon put an end to the kingdom of Israel in 721 bc.

The kingdom of Judah was able to survive as an Assyrian tributary. However, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, carried out a devastating attack on the kingdom in 586 bc and razed all the towns of the kingdom, sending the Jews into exile. Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon were totally destroyed.

Some people in Judah continued to adhere to righteousness and did not cease to call others to it. Eventually, out of compassion and mercy, God came to their rescue and the Babylonian Empire collapsed. In 539 bc, the Persian Emperor Cyrus conquered Babylonia, and the following year, he allowed the Children of Israel to return and settle once again in their homeland. This resulted in the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon after great effort and the re-compilation and publication of the five books of the Old Testament by Ezra. While these occurred in the south and Jerusalem was restored, becoming once again the focal point of Judaic religion and culture, the Children of Israel of northern Palestine and Samaria did not benefit from Ezra's reform efforts. As a whole, the Children of Israel were not able to recover the magnificence of the reigns of David and Solomon, upon them be peace. They suffered serious setbacks through a succession of events, and endured numerous invasions by Alexander the Great during the rise of the Greeks. But, deeply imbibed with the religious spirit inspired by Ezra, they were not daunted by the oppressive measures of these conquerors. Instead, their suffering led to the rise of the great resistance movement known as the Maccabean Revolt. They were able to set up their own independent, religious state, which lasted until 67 bc. The frontiers of the state gradually expanded, so that over the course of time, it came to embrace the entire territory that had once been under the control of the two Israelite kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

Eventually, however, the moral and religious fervor that marked the Maccabean Revolt declined and was replaced by worldliness and a mechanical, superficial adherence to a mere show of religious rites. Serious divisions appeared among the Children of Israel, and some of them invited the Roman general, Pompey, to attack Palestine. Pompey returned to Palestine in 63 bc and put an end to the independence of the Children of Israel.

The Jewish religious leadership betrayed the Prophets Zechariah, John, and Jesus, upon them all be peace, who appeared at around the same time and tried to reform them. The Prophet John, upon him be peace, was actually decapitated, and his head was placed at the feet of the dancing maiden at whose behest this heinous crime had been committed. Some Jews fiercely opposed the Prophet Jesus, upon him be peace, and pressed the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, to have him put to death. However, God saved him.

Not long after, a fierce conflict ensued between the Children of Israel and the Romans, culminating in an open rebellion by the Jews against the Romans, in 64 ad. When the Roman governor failed to crush the rebellion, a large-scale military operation was carried out by the Roman Empire. The rebellion was suppressed, and in 70 ad, Titus forcibly seized Jerusalem. A massacre followed in which 133,000 people lost their lives, and a further 67,000 were made captive and enslaved. Additionally, thousands were conscripted to work in the mines in Egypt, and thousands of others were dispatched to amphitheaters and coliseums in different parts of the Roman Empire, to face either gladiators or wild beasts, who tore their bodies to pieces. All the beautiful girls were offered up to the lust of the conquerors. Jerusalem, along with the Temple of Solomon, was razed to the ground. All this put an end to Jewish power in Palestine for about 1,800 years (Summarized from al-Mawdūdī, 5: 9–26).

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