The Jews say: ‘The Hand of Allah is fettered.’ It is their own hands which are fettered, and they stand cursed for the evil they have uttered. No! His Hands are outspread; He spends as He wills.
(Al-Qur’an – 5:64)
To say that someone’s hands are tied, in Arabic usage, is to say that he is niggardly, that something prevents him from being generous and bountiful. Thus the Jewish observation does not mean that God’s Hand is literally tied but that He is niggardly and miserly. For centuries the Jews had lived in humiliation and misery. Their past greatness had become legend, seemingly too remote ever to be restored, and so they would blasphemously lament that God had become a miser and that as the door to His treasury was now permanently locked, that He had nothing to offer them except suffering and calamity. This attitude, however, is not confined to the Jews. When confronted with trials and tribulations, foolish people of other nations, too, are prone to utter such blasphemies rather than turn to God with humble prayer and supplication.
They accused God of the miserliness from which they themselves had suffered and had become notorious for. If they entertained the hope that by such insolent and taunting expressions they might evoke God’s munificence, and that His bounties would begin to shower upon them, they were dreaming of the impossible. Indeed, such insolence was bound to have the opposite effect – to alienate them further from God’s bounty, to cast them even further from His mercy.
Instead of learning any lessons from the Book of God, instead of recognising their own mistakes and wrongs and then trying to make amends for them, instead of probing their miserable situation and then turning to reform, they reacted by launching a violent campaign of opposition to truth and righteousness. Rather than take to the right way as a result of being reminded of the forgotten lesson of righteousness, they attempted to suppress the voice which sought to remind them and others of such things.