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The prompt came also from the Qur’an (“5:82-83”) as presented this way: “You will surely find those closest in friendship to the believers to be those who say, “We are Christians.”  That is because among them are priests and monks who are not arrogant.”

Response —

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people”. – https://quran.com/5/51-61

Apparently, if one is not close to a monk or priest (or perhaps a recluse with a library), one may be in danger of trusting an untrustworthy friend.

Note: one might ask whether caliphs, kings, and emperors are not inherently arrogant in their assumptions of power over all others, and therefore particularly sensitive to arrogance in those whom they would subjugate.

Compact between shaman and chief and cleric and king spans the ages but may not be a permanent feature in humanity’s intellectual and political evolution. That may be something to think about in the experience of language, both in political rhetoric and in scripture (no matter to whom the words belong), and that of power as dominion over others.

The region of the Qur’an cited, 5:82 and 5:83 presents in English through several well-remarked translations — and of a standard four — Asad, Malik, Pickthall, and Yusuf Ali — the conveyances of none would seem as sweet as the statement quoted as the prompt.

Here is the presentation of the verse as translated by Yusuf Ali:

“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: “We are Christians:” because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant.”

Source: http://www.alim.org/library/quran/ayah/compare/5/82/disbelievers-among-the-children-of-israel-were-cursed-by-the-tongues-of-david-and-jesus-and-christians-are-closer-to-muslims-than-the-jews-and-pagans

One thought attending the description of “men devoted to learning” and “who have renounced the world and are not arrogant” is that such men would seem less than challenging to martial or political power and therefore dismissible by any speaker intent on monopolizing and wielding such power.

Qur’an 5:83 although cited in the prompt appears not present in the statement at the top of this post.  Here is that verse in the Yusuf Ali translation from the Alim library URL noted:

“And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears for they recognize the truth: they pray: “Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.”

If thou woulds’t be apostle, caliph, king, or emperor would though not note the sweetness of the complete and grateful surrender of thine greatest potential resistance?

Given that question and thought, one might appreciate attempts at transitional revisionism.