8لِيَسأَلَ الصّادِقينَ عَن صِدقِهِم ۚ وَأَعَدَّ لِلكافِرينَ عَذابًا أَليمًاAli UnalSo that He may question the truthful concerning their truthfulness (and all that which was entrusted to them);1 and He has prepared a painful punishment for the unbelievers.The covenant which God took from the Prophets, except the Messengers, was that which is in the verse: And when God took compact with the Prophets: “That I have given you a Book and Wisdom; then there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you – you shall certainly believe in him and you shall certainly help him” (3: 81). But this verse mentions another covenant which was taken in particular from the five greatest of all the Prophets and Messengers, namely the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and the Prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, upon them be peace. When it is considered that these five Messengers were also those to whom God granted the Sharī’ah – the collection of the Divine laws to govern human life in the world – which enabled God’s Religion to be applied in full and allowed it to be observed without giving way to any deviations (42: 13), this covenant must be understood as their conveying and establishing God’s Message fully and realizing the eternal unity of all the believers, as declared in the verse: So, this community of yours (which all the Messengers and their followers have formed) is one single community of the same faith, and I am your Lord (Who creates, sustains, and protects you); so worship Me alone (21: 92). As for questioning the truthful concerning (that which was entrusted to) their truthfulness, there are two aspects, as in the verses: And (remember) when God will say: “Jesus, son of Mary, is it you who said to people: ‘Take me and my mother for deities besides God?” and he will answer: “All-Glorified You are (in that You are absolutely above having a partner, as from any need or deficiency whatever)! It is not for me to say what I had no right to! Had I said it, You would already have known it. You know all that is within myself, whereas I do not know what is within Yourself. Surely You and You alone have knowledge of the Unseen (of all that lies beyond the reach of any created being’s perception)” (5: 116); and, So We will surely question those to whom Messengers were sent (as to how they responded to them), and We will surely question those sent with Our Message (concerning their duty of conveying it and how their peoples reacted to it) (7: 6). So “the truthful” here refers both to the Prophets and to the believers who gave allegiance to them and remained true to their allegiance.