O you who believe [in Musa (Moses) (i.e. Jews) and ‘Iesa (Jesus) (i.e. Christians)]! Fear Allah, and believe too in His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), He will give you a double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight), and He will forgive you. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
So that the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) may know that they have no power whatsoever over the Grace of Allah, and that (His) Grace is (entirely) in His Hand to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.
Chapter 57 Al-Hadīd : Verses 28-29
The Believers of the People of the Scriptures will earn Double their Rewards
Earlier we mentioned a Hadith that An-Nasa’i collected from Ibn `Abbas that this Ayah is about the People of the Scriptures who believe in Islam, and that they will earn double their reward if they do so. There is an Ayah in Surat Al-Qasas to support this meaning. Also, there is a Hadith from Ash-Sha`bi from Abu Burdah from his father from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari that the Messenger of Allah said
(Three will get their reward twice. A believer from the People of the Scriptures who has been a true believer in his Prophet and then believes in me, will get a double reward. A slave who fulfills Allah’s rights and obligations as well as the duties of his master, will get a double reward. A person who has a slave-girl and he educates her properly and teaches her good manners properly (without violence) and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward.) This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Ad-Dahhak, `Utbah bin Abi Hakim and others agreed with Ibn `Abbas in this, and Ibn Jarir preferred it. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(O you who believe! If you have Taqwa of Allah, He will grant you a criterion, and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you; and Allah is Owner of the great bounty.)(8:29) Sa`id bin `Abdul-`Aziz said, `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked a Jewish rabbi, `What is the maximum a reward would be increased for you’ He replied, `A Kifl (portion) which is about three hundred and fifty good merits.’ So `Umar said, `Praise be to Allah who gave us two Kifls.’ Then Sa`id mentioned Allah’s saying:
(He will give you a double portion of His mercy,) Sa`id said, “And the two Kifls on Friday are similar to that.” This was recorded by Ibn Jarir. This view has support from the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The parable of you and the Jews and Christians is that of a person who employed some laborers and asked them, “Who will work for me from the Dawn prayer until midday for one Qirat (a special weight of gold) each” So, the Jews worked. The person asked, “Who will do the work for me from the Zuhr prayer to the time of the `Asr prayer for one Qirat each” So, the Christians worked. Then the person asked, “Who will do the work for me from `Asr prayer until sunset for two Qirat each” You are those who did this work. The Jews and the Christians got angry and said, “We did more work, but got less wages.” Allah said, “Have I been unjust to you with your reward” They said, “No.” So, Allah said, “Then it is My grace which I bestow on whomever I will.”) Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Musa said that the Prophet said,
(The parable of the Muslims, Jews and Christians is that of a man who employed laborers to work for him from morning until night for a known wage. So, they worked until midday and said, `We are not in need of the wages that you promised and our work was in vain.’ So, the man said, `Do not quit now, complete the rest of the work and yours will be the full wage I have fixed for it.’ However, they refused and quit, and he had to hire another batch of workers. He said (to the second batch), `Complete the work for the rest of the day and I will give you the same wage I promised the first batch.’ So, they worked until the time of the `Asr prayer and said, `Whatever we have done is in vain and we forfeit the wages you promised us.’ He said to them, `Complete your day’s work, for only a small part of the day remains.’ However, they refused, and he employed another batch to work for the rest of the day, and they worked until sunset and received the wages of the two former batches. This is an example of them (i.e., the Jews and Christians) and of those who accepted this light (i.e., Islam).) Al-Bukhari was alone in recording it. Allah the Exalted said;
(So that the People of the Scriptures may know that they have no power whatsoever over the grace of Allah,) meaning, so that they become sure that they cannot prevent what Allah gives, or give what Allah prevents,
(and that (His) grace is (entirely) in His Hand to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.)