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مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْحُكْمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُواْ عِبَاداً لِّي مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَـٰكِن كُونُواْ رَبَّـٰنِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَبِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ
-Âl ‘Imrân ( آل عمران )

Asbab Al-Nuzul

(It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture…) [3:79]. Al-Dahhak and Muqatil said: “This was revealed about the Christians of Najran due to their worship of Jesus. His saying (…for any human being…) refers to Jesus and (…had given the Scripture…) refers to the Gospel”. And according to the narration of al-Kalbi and ‘Ata’, Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Abu Rafi‘ the Jew and the head of the Christians of Najran said: ‘O Muhammad! Do you want us to worship you and take you as our Lord?’ The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Allah forbid that other than Allah Himself be worshipped or that we be commanded to worship other than Allah. This is not what Allah has sent me for nor did He command me with this’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said al-Hasan: “I heard that a man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! [Is it enough that] we greet you as we greet each other? Should we not prostrate to you?’ He said: ‘One ought not to prostrate to anyone besides Allah. Rather, do honour your Prophet, and give people their due’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou