Allah [may He be Glorified] said: "You [true believers in Islâmic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden), and you believe in Allâh. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fâsiqûn (disobedient to Allâh - and rebellious against His Command). " (3:110)
A. In the first part of this verse Allah praises the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Ummah which answered the call of Allah. He describes it as the best Ummah ever raised for mankind. They are beneficial to all people in giving advice, in their sincere love for goodness, in their efforts for calling, teaching, and guiding people, and in enjoining good and forbidding evil.
They deserve this description in return for the good deeds they performed and their holding of the following qualities:
1. The perfection of their faith, which requires the performance of all that which Allah commands.
2. Trying to perfect and complete the faith of others by enjoining them to do good and forbidding them from doing evil. They also invite people to the way of Allah and strive hard to keep them on the proper way and keep them away from deviation.
Second: The last portion of the verse stated that only a few among the People of the Book adopted Islam, while the majority of them were evil persons who disobeyed Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and fought against the believers. Had they believed, it would have been better for them.
See Tafsir Ibn Sa'di, p. 112 (Al-Luwaihiq Edition).