لَا تُجَادِلُوا : Do not argue/ debate
قوله تعالى:" وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَـٰهُنَا وَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ"
(سورة العنكبوت :٤٦)
TAFSIR IBN KATHIR:
This verse is a reminder from Allah not to argue with the people of the Book, except with a good manner. Which means, whoever wants to engage in a conversation to find out about the religion of the people of the book, they have no choice but to use a better manner to have a dialogue with them, instead of just arguing in a negative manner.
Also in the Quran, in Surah An- Nahl, verse 125, Allah mentioned; “Invite to the way your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching”. The lesson from this verse is that we are encouraged to have a well-mannered dialogue or conversation with the non- Muslims, especially if they never meant any harm towards us. Therefore, we should treat them with respect, by avoiding any argument that can lead to any conflict. This is in the case where the non- Muslims are not seen as a threat to us. However, if they meant any harm, it is acceptable for the Muslims to wage a war against them in order to defend ourselves.
According to at-Thabari, there is clash of opinions between the scholars in defining the verse وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَاب َ as this brings discussion into two matters. The first view said that what is mean by the verse is the resident of Makkah. So, it is permissible to have debate with the Ahl al-Kitab at Makkah using good ways which means praying for them and hearing upon the opinions and speeches given by them but still, all the things that they delivered should be properly analyse and Muslims must stay firm to their faith. It is later explains that the one whom Muslims should be dabate with is Ahl al-Kitab who are injustice as they are already given the reminder but refused to accept it. The second view said that no one should having debate and discussion with ahl al-Kitab except with the most beautiful manner. This verse is talking about how we should behave nicely to the non-Muslims in any situation and always shows to them our good manners so that we can respect each other.
TAFSIR FI ZILAL AL-QURAN
The verse portrays about the commandments for Muslims to argue in the best way with the People of the Scripture. In Tafsir Fi Zilal Al-Quran, Syed Qutb has explained the importance of having good manner towards them because the message given by God to all prophets was and will be forever the same. It was planned by God to let those who have gone astray coming back to the right path following the prophet’s messages and to re-educate them to the way of life which God has laid down.
Syed Qutb also has illustrated the division of mankind which is divided into two groups that are the believers who are God’s party and the rejecters, who are Satan’s party. This division transcends time and place. Every generation of believers is merely one ring in a long chain stretching over many centuries. Thus, the strongest tie that was being mentioned by Syed Qutb is actually the faith.
Thus, Muslims are instructed not to argue with the people of earlier revelations except in accordance with what is best: which means explaining the purpose behind the new message and outlining the links between it and all earlier divine messages.
In a nutshell, the verse actually stresses on the importance of accepting the final form of the divine message which is in full agreement with all previous messages, and also complementing them in accordance with God’s knowledge of what suits people and their needs. There is, however, one exception to be singled out which being portrayed in the verse “those of them who are intent on wrongdoing.”
I did this three terms analysis with my close friends, Aishah Azlan and Masitah Shaiful Anuar. They both referred to the tafasir of Ibn Kathir and Al-Tabari respectively while me myself used Fi Zilalil Quran from Syed Qutb.