Surah 33. Al-Ahzab(35-73)
 
 

Surah 33. Al-Ahzab(35-73)

إِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْقَانِتَاتِ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالصَّادِقَاتِ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّابِرَاتِ وَالْخَاشِعِينَ وَالْخَاشِعَاتِ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَاتِ وَالصَّائِمِينَ وَالصَّائِمَاتِ وَالْحَافِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَالْحَافِظَاتِ وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا﴿33:35﴾ 
(33:35) Most surely *53 the men and the women who have surrendered themselves to Allah; *54 who are believing, *55 obedient, *56 truthful, *57 and patient; *58 who bow down before Allah, *59 practise charity, *60 observe the fasts, *61 guard their private parts *62 and remember Allah much: *63 Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. *64
*53 Presentation of this theme immediately after the foregoing paragraph contains a subtle allusion to the faet that the -instructions given above to the Holy Prophet's wives are not exclusively meant for them but the Muslim society as a whole should reform itself in accordance with them.
*54 "Who have surrendered themselves to Allah : Who have accepted Islam as a code of life for themselves, and have decided to follow it in their lives, and who have no wish to resist the Islamic way of life and thought, but have adopted the way of obedience and submission to it.
*55 "Who are believing": Whose obedience is not merely outward nor unwilling but who sincerely regard the guidance given by Islam as based on the truth whose faith is that the way shown by the Qur'an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is the only right and straight way in following which alone lies their true success. That which has been declared as wrong by Allah and His Prophet is certainly wrong even according to their judgement and that which has been declared as right by AIlah and His Prophet is certainly right even according to their thinking and sense. Psychologically and intellectually also they do not regard as improper any injunction that has been enjoined by the Qur'an and Sunnah, and do not remain on the lookout to change it somehow to suit their own desire or mould it according to the current trends of the world, avoiding at the same time the blame that they have effected a change in the Command given by AIlah and His Prophet. The Holy Prophet has described the true state of faith in a Hadith in these words: "He who reconciled himself to Allah as his Lord and to Islam as his Way of Life and to Muhammad as his Messenger, has the true taste of Faith." (Muslim) In another Hadith, he has explained it thus: "None of you becomes a believer until the desires of his self become subordinate to what I have brought." (Sharh as-Sunnah)
*56 That is, "They do not rest content with mere belief but are obedient practically also. They are not the sort of the people who would honestly believe that what Allah and His Messenger have commanded was true but would violate it in practice: that they would sincerely regard what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden as bad but would go on following the same in practical life."
*57 That is, "They are truthful in their speech and honest in thou dealings. They do not deal in lies, deceptions, frauds and forgeries. They utter with their tongues only what their conscience approves as true. They practise and perfom only what they honestly find to be in accordance with righteousness and truth, and they arc honest in all their dealings with others."
*58 That is, "They patiently and steadfastly bear and face all the obstacles, dangers, difficulties and losses that they might have to encounter in following the right way taught by Allah and His Messenger and in establishing Allah's Religion in the world; no fear and no temptation and no lust of the self can succeed in diverting them from the right way."
*59 That is, "They arc free from pride, vanity and haughtiness: they havc full understanding of the reality that they arc servants and they havc no other position than that of servitude. Therefore, their hearts as well as their bodies remain bowed before Allah, dominated by fear of Him. They never display the attitude which is the hall-mark of the lives of those who are fearless of God and arc involved in arrogance. " From the sequence it appears that the mention of Khushu' (expression of humility) in particular along with the general attitude of the fear of God implies the Prayer, for the mention of the practice of charity and fast has been made just after it.
*60 This does not only imply payment of the obligatory Zakat, but it also includes general charity. It means to say that they spend their wealth freely in the way of Allah and they are not at aII niggardly in the matter of helping the servants of Allah as much as they can. No orphan and no sick or afflicted person, no weak or disabled person, no poor and needy one remains deprived of their support in their dwelling; and if there arises the need for monetary help for promoting the cause of Allah's Religion, they arc never miserly in expending their wealth for that purpose.
*61 This includes both the obligarory and the voluntary fasts.
*62 This has two meanings: (1) They refrain from adultery; and (2) they avoid nudity. One should also note that nudity dces not only mean being naked but it is also nudity to put on a thin dress which shows the body, or is so tight-fitting that it reveals aII the outlines of the body.
*63 "Remember Allah much" means that one should mention Allah's name in one way or other at aII times in every business of life. Man cannot develop such a state of the mind unless the thought of God becomes deeply embedded in his heart. When this idea has passed beyond his conscious mind and settled deep in his subconscious and unconscious mind, then only he will remember and mention God's name in whatever he does and in whatever he says. He will begin with bismillah when he eats and say al-hamdu lillah when he finishes; he will remember Allah when he goes to bed, and mention Allah's name when he gets up. In his conversation also he will again and again pronounce bismillah, al-hamdu-lillalh, insha-Allah, ma sha Allah, etc. and ask for Allah's help in every matter, and thank Him for every blessing. He will seek His mercy in every affliction, and turn to Him in every trouble. He will fear Him on encountering every evil, and ask for His forgiveness when he happens to havc committed an error and will pray to Him for fulfilment of every need. In short, in every state and in every business of life his function will be to remember Allah.
This. In fact, is the essence of the Islamic life. For all other acts of worship there is a prescribed time when they are performed, and one is free when one has performed them. But this is the worship which has no special time; it has to be performed constantly so that it links up the man's life with Allah and His service permanently. The other worships and religious acts themselves also become meaningful only when the heart of man remains inclined to Allah not only at the time when the act is actually being carried out but at aII times when the tongue is uttering Allah's name constantly. In such a state as this worship and religious acts develop and flourish in a man's life precisely in the same manner as a plant grows in a congenial climate and environment. Contrary to this, the example of the religious services and worships which are carried out only on special times and occasions in the life which is devoid of this constant remembrance of Allah is of the plant which has been planted in an un-congenial climate, and which is growing only due to the special attention and care of the gardener. This very thing has been explained by the Holy Prophet in a Hadith, thus:
"Mu'adh bin Anas Juhani relates that a person asked the Holy Prophet of Allah. who among those who fight in the way of AIlah will get the highest reward? He replied: The one who remembers Allah the most. The man asked: Who among the observers of the fast will get the highest reward? He replied: The one who remembers Allah the most. The man then asked the same question about the offerer of the Prayer, the payer of the Zakat and charities and the performer of Hajj and the Holy Prophet in every case gave the same answer, saying: He who remembers Allah the most." (Musnad Ahmad)
*64 This verse plainly tells what qualities and characteristics are of real worth in the sight of AIlah. These are the basic values of Islam which have been compressed into one sentence. As regards these, there is no difference between the man and woman. However, as for their life-activity, the two sexes have separate spheres to function. The males have to function in some particular spheres and the females in some others. But if they possess these qualities and characteristics equally, Allah will raise them to equal ranks and bless them with equal rewards. It will in no way affect their rank and reward if one carried out household chores and the other performed the duties of caliphate and enforced the Shari'ah injunctions; one reared children in the house and the other went to the battlefield and fought for the sake of Allah and His religion.
 
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا﴿33:36﴾ 
(33:36) It *65 does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Prophet, has indeed strayed into manifest error. *66
*65 From here begin the verses which were sent down in connection with the Holy Prophet's marriage with Hadrat Zainab.
*66 Ibn 'Abbas, Qatadah, 'Ikrimah and Muqatil bin Hayyan say that this verse was sent down at the time when the Holy Prophet proposed Hadrat Zainab for Hadrat Zaid, and Zainab and her relatives did not agree. According to Ibn 'Abbas, when the Holy Prophet made the proposal, Hadrat Zainab said, "I am better than him in lineage." Ibn Sa'd says that she also said, "I do not approve him for myself. I am a Quraishite by birth. " The same sort of disapproval was expressed by her brother, 'Abdullah bin Jahsh, because Hadrat Zaid was a freed slave of the Holy Prophet and Hadrat Zainab was the daughter of his paternal aunt, Umaimah bint 'Abdul Muttalib. They did not like the Holy Prophet to propose a girl of a noble Quraishite family, who was none other than his own first cousin, for his freed slave. At this, this verse was sent down and on hearing it Hadrat Zainab and all her relatives yielded to the proposal at once. Then the Holy Prophet married them, paid ten diners and 60 dirhams from his own pocket as dower on behalf of Zaid, provided the bridal dress and sent some articles of food for domestic use.
Though this verse was sent down on g special occasion, the injunction given in it is the cardinal principle of the constitutional law of Islam, and it applies to the entire Islamic system of life. According to it no Muslim individual or nation, or institution, or court or parliament or state, is entitled to use its own freedom of opinion in a matter in which Allah and His Prophet have already given a dceision. To be a Muslim means to surrender one's freedom of opinion and action before Allah and His Messenger. It would be a contradiction in terms if a person or a nation claimed to be Muslim and then reserved for itself the freedom of choice and action. No sensible person can think of combining the two contradictory attitudes together. The one who desires to remain a Muslim will inevitably have to bow down to the Command of Allah and His Prophet, and the one who is not inclined to bow will have to admit that he is not a Muslim. If he does not admit he will be regarded as a hypocrite both by God and by the people even though he might proclaim to be a Muslim at the top of his voice.
 
وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِي أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ فَلَمَّا قَضَى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِي أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَائِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا﴿33:37﴾ 
(33:37) O Prophet, *67 remember the time when you were saying to the man, *68 whom Allah as well as you had favoured, "Keep your wife and fear Allah. " *69 You were at that time keeping hidden in your heart that which Allah intended to reveal: you were fearing the people, whereas Allah has a greater right that you should fear Him. *70 So, when Zaid had fulfilled his desire of her, *71 We married (the divorced woman) to you *72 so that there remains no hindrance for the believers in regard to the wives of their adopted sons when they have fulfilled their desire of them. *73 And Allah's Command had to be carried out.
*67 The discourse from here to verse 48 was sent down after the Holy Prophet had married Hadrat Zainab, and the hypocrites, the Jews and the mushriks had started a relentless propaganda campaign against him. While studying these verses one should bear in mind the fact that this Divine discourse was not meant for the instruction of the enemies who were engaged. in a wilful campaign of vilification and slander and falsehood to defame the Holy Prophet intentionally and to satisfy their rancour. But its real object was to protect the Muslims against the influence of their campaign and to safeguard them against doubts and suspicions. Evidently, the Word of Allah could not satisfy the unbelievers. It could give peace of mind only to those who knew and believed it to be Allah's Word. There was a danger that those righteous people also might be confused and influenced by the objections that were being raised by their enemies. Therefore, on the one hand, Allah removed all possible doubts from their minds, and on the other, taught the Muslims as well as the Holy Prophet himself how they should conduct themselves under the circrunstances.
*68 It refers to Hadrat Zaid as has been mentioned clearly below. In order to understand how Allah had favoured him and how the Holy Prophet, it is necessary here to relate his story briefly. He was the son of Harithah bin Shurahbil, a person of the Kalb tribe, and his mother, Su'da bint Tha'labah, was from the Bani Ma'n, a branch of the Tay tribe. When he was eight years old, she took him along to her parents. There the people of Bani Qain bin Jasr raided their camp, plundered their good: and took some men prisoners, Hadrat Zaid included. Then they sold Zaid at the fair of 'Ukiiz near Ta'if. His buyer was Hakim bin Hizam, a nephew of Hadrat Khadijah. Hakim brought him to Makkah and presented him to his paternal aunt. When the Holy Prophet married Hadrat Khadijah he found Zaid in her service and was so impressed by his good manners and conduct that he asked him of her. Thus, this fortunate boy entered the service of the best of men, whom Allah, after a few years, was going to appoint a Prophet. Hadrat Zaid at that time was 15 years old. Afterwards when his father and uncle came to know that their child was at Makkah, they came to the Holy Prophet and requested him to return him in exchange for ransom. The Holy Prophet said, "I shall call the boy and leave it to him whether he would like to go with you or stay with me. If he chose to go, I would take no ransom but would Iet Trim go with you. However, if he chose to stay back, I am not the one who would turn out a person who would like to stay with me." They said, "This is perfectly right and just. Please ask the boy." The Holy Prophet called Zaid and asked him, Do you know these two gentlemen?" He said, "Yes sir, this is my father and this my uncle." The Holy Prophet then said, "Well, you know them as well as me. You have the choice to go with them, or stay with me if you so desire. " He said, "I have no wish to leave you and go with anyone else. " His father and uncle said, I 'Zaid, will you prefer slavery to freedom, and choose to stay with others in preference to your parents and family?" He replied, "After what I have seen of this person I cannot now prefer anything else of the world to him." Hearing the reply the father and uncle of Zaid were reconciled to his remaining with the Holy I Prophet. The Holy Prophet set Zaid fret immediately and proclaimed before a gathering of the Quraish in the Ka'bah, "Bear witness that hence-forth Zaid is my son: he will receive inheritance from me and I from him." Thereafter, he began to be called Zaid bin Muhammad by the people. All this happened before the Holy Prophet's advent as a Prophet. Then, when he was blessed with Prophethood by Allah, there were four persons who accepted his claim to it without a moment's hesitation as soon as they heard of it from him. They were Hadrat Khadijah, Hadrat Zaid, Hadrat 'AIi and Hadrat Abu Bakr. Hadrat Zaid was 30 years old then, and had already spent 15 years in the Holy Prophet's service. In the fourth year after Hijrah, the Holy Prophet marred him to his first cousin Hadrat Zainab, paid her dower on his behalf and provided them with necessary articles for setting up the house. This is to what Allah has alluded in the verse, saying: "Whom Allah as well as you had favoured. "
*69 These words were said when the relations between Hadrat Zaid and Hadrat Zainab had become very strained, and after making repeated complaints Hadrat Zaid had finally told the Holy Prophet that he intended to divorce her. Although Hadrat Zainab had accepted to be married to him in obedience to Allah and His Messenger's command, she could not overcome her feeling that Zaid was a freed slave, who had been brought up by her own family, and she in spite of being the daughter of a noble Arab family, had been wedded to him. Due to this feeling she could never regard Hadrat Zaid as her equal in matrimonial lift, and this caused more and more bitterness between them. Thus after a little more than a year the marriage ended in divorce.
*70 Some people have misconstrued this sentence to mean this: The Holy Prophet desired to marry Hadrat Zainab and wanted that Zaid should divorce her. But when Zaid came to the Holy Prophet and said that he wanted to divorce his wife, the Holy Prophet stopped him from this only half-heartedly. At this Allaln said: 'You were keeping hidden in your heart that which Allah intended to reveal. The real meaning, however, is contrary to this. If this the sentence is read with verses 1, 2, 3 and 7 of this Surah, one can clearly see that in the very days when bitterness was increasing between Hadrat Zaid and his wife, Allah had hinted to His Prophet that when Zaid had divorced his wife, he would Inave to marry the divorced lady. But since the Holy Prophet knew what it meant to marry the divorced wife of the adopted son in the contemporary Arab society, and that too at a time when apart from a handful of the Muslims the entire country had become jealous of him, he was hesitant to take any step in that direction. That is why when Hadrat Zaid expressed his intention to divorce his wife, the Holy Prophet said to him, `Fear Allah and do not divorce your wife." What he meant by this was that Zaid should not divorce his wife so that he was saved from facing the trial, otherwise in case the divorce was pronounced he would have to comply with the command, and thus provoke a severe storm of criticism and vilification against himself. But when the Holy Prophet deliberately forbade Zaid to divorce his wife so that he himself might be saved from what he feared would cause him defamatian, Allah found this below the high position that He wanted His Prophet to enjoy, whereas Allah intended to effect a great reform through this marriage of the Prophet. The words 'You were fearing the people, whereas Allah has a greater right that you should fear Him," clearly point to the same theme.
The same explanation of this verse has been given by Imam Zain-ul-'Abedin Hadrat 'AIi bin Husain (may Allah be pleased with him). He says, Allah had indicated to His Prophet that Zainab would be included among his wives. But when Zaid complained about her to him, the Holy Prophet admonished him to fear Allah and keep his wife. At this Allah said to His Prophet, 'I had informed you that I would marry you to Zainab. But when you were forbidding Zaid to divorce his wife, you were hiding that which Allah was going to reveal'." (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir on the authority of Ibn Abi Hatim).
'Allama Alusi also in his Ruh al-Ma ani has given the same meaning of it. He says, 'This is an expression of displeasure on abandoning the better course, which was that the Holy Prophet should have kept quiet, or should have told Zaid to do as he liked. The displeasure amounted to this: 'Why did you tell Zaid to keep his wife, whereas I had informed you beforehand that Zainab would be included among your wives?"
*71 That is, Zaid divorced his wife and her waiting-period came to an end. The words "fulfilled his desire of her" by themselves give the meaning that Zaid was left with no desire attached to her. And this state of affairs does not appear on mere pronouncement of the divorce, because even during the waitingperiod the husband can take his wife back if he has any interest in her; and the husband also has this desire left with the divorced wife that it should become known whether she is pregnant or not. Therefore, the desire of her former husband with the divorced wife comes to an end only on the expiry of the waitingperiod.
*72 These words are explicit that the Holy Prophet had married Hadrat Zainab not because of any personal desire but under the Command of Allah.
*73 These words clearly indicate that Allah accomplished this social reform through the Holy Prophet to effect a great change which could not be enforced" by any other means. There was no way to put an end to the wrong customs that had become prevalent in Arabia in respect of the adopted relations but that Allah's Messenger himself should take initiative to abolish them. Therefore, AIlah arranged this marriage not for the sake of adding a wife to the Holy Prophet's household but for enforcing an important social change.
 
مَّا كَانَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَهُ سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَّقْدُورًا﴿33:38﴾ 
(33:38)There is no harm for the Prophet to do a thing which Allah has " ordained for him. *74 The same has been the Way of Allah with regard to all the Prophets who have gone before, and Allah's Command is an absolutely settled decree. *75
*74 These words show that for the other Muslims such a marriage is just permissible but for the Holy Prophet it was a duty which Allah had imposed on him.
*75 That is, "For the Prophets it has always been a law that whatever Command they receive from Allah, they have to act on it as a duty which they cannot in any case avoid. When Allah enjoins something on His Prophet, he has to accomplish it even if the whole world is deadly opposed to it."
 
الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا﴿33:39﴾ 
(33:39) (This is the Way of Allah for those) who convey His messages, who fear Him alone and fear none but One God: Allah is enough to take account. *76
*76 The words in the Text havc two meanings: (1) That Allah is enough to counter every fear and danger; and (2) that Allah is enough to take account: none else but Allah should be feared for accountability.
 
مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا﴿33:40﴾ 
(33:40) (O people) Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets and Allah is the Knower of everything. *77
*77 This one sentence arts at the root of aII those objections which the opponents were raising in connection with this marriage of the Holy Prophet. Their first objection was that he had married his own daughter-in-law, whereas according to his own law the son's wife is forbidden for the father. This was answered by saying: "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men." That is, Zaid was not his real son, and so it was not unlawful to marry his divorced wife. Their second objection was that even if his adopted son was not his real son, it was not necessary that he should have marred his divorced wife. This was answered by saying: '' . . . but he is the Messenger of AIlah." That is, it was his duty as the Messenger of Allah to put an end to all kinds of prejudices about a lawful thing which custom and tradition had made unlawful without good reason and declare it to be lawful once again.
The point was stressed by saying: " ... and (he is) the last of the Prophets." That is, not to speak of a Messenger, no other Prophet would be raised after him, who could make up for a possible deficiency in the enforcement of a reform in the law and society that might have been left un-enforced in his time. Therefore, it had become all the more necessary that he should himself root out the custom of ignorance.
Again, to further emphasize this point, it was said: "Allah has knowledge of everything. " that is, Allah knows best why it was imperative to get the custom of ignorance rooted out at that juncture through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) rather than let it remain as it was. He knows that no other prophet would be coming after him in the future; therefore, if He did not abolish this custom through His Last Prophet, no other person after him would be able to abolish it for alI the Muslims of the world for ever. Even if the later refomers would abolish it, no action of any one of them will havc the permanent and universal authority behind it so that the people of every country and every age might -start following it, and none of them would have a personality endowed with that holiness and sanctity that an action's being merely his way (Sunnah) might root out every feeling of aversion and abhorrence from the mind of the people.
It is a pity that a section of the people in our age have given wrong interpretations of this verse and opened the way to a great mischief. We have therefore added a comprehensive appendix at the end of the commentary of this Surah for the explanation of the question of the Finality of Prophethood and the eradication of the misunderstanding spread by these people.
 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا﴿33:41﴾ 
(33:41) O you who have believed, remember Allah much

 
وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا﴿33:42﴾ 
(33:42) and glorify Him morning and evening. *78
*78 This is meant to instruct the Muslims to the effect: When the Messenger of Allah is being showered with taunts and abuses by the enemies and his person being made the target of a propaganda campaign to frustrate his mission, the believers should neither listen to these absurd things unconcerned nor should become themselves also involved in the doubts and suspicions spread by the enemies nor should resort to abusive language in retaliation, but they should turn to Allah and remember Him more than usual as a special measure, The meaning of "remembering AIlah much" has been explained in E.N. 63 above. 'To glorify Allah morning and evening" means to glorify Him constantly, to express His holiness and purity by word of mouth and not merely by counting beads on the rosary.
 
هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا﴿33:43﴾ 
(33:43) He it is Who blesses you, and His angels pray for His blessings for you, so that He may bring you out of darkness into light: He is very Kind to the believers. *79
*79 This is meant to make the Muslims realize this: 'The jealousy and malice of the disbelievers and hypocrites towards you is only due to the mercy that Allah has shown you through His Messenger. It is through him that you have been blessed with the faith, that you have come out from the darkness of unbelief and ignorance into the light of Islam, that you have developed the high moral and social qualities by virtue of which you stand distinguished above others. It is this which has filled the jealous people with malice and rage against the Messenger of Allah. However, in this state you should not adopt any unbecoming attitude which might alienate you from the mercy of Allah." The word Salat when used with the preposition 'ala by Allah in respect of the servants, it means mercy and kindness and compassion and when used by the angels in respect of the human beings, it means the prayer for mercy. That is, the angels pray to Allah to bless the human beings with His bounty and favours. Another meaning of yusalli 'alaikum is: "Allah biasses you with renown among the people and exalts you to a high rank so that the people begin to praise you and the angels begin to eulogize you."
 
تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَامٌ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَرِيمًا﴿33:44﴾ 
(33:44) Their salutation on the day they meet Him will be "Peace", *80 and Allah has prepared for them an honourable reward.
*80 This can have three meanings: (1) That Allah will Himself receive them with: Peace be upon you," as has been stated in Surah Ya Sin :58: "...they have been greeted with 'peace' from the Merciful Lord." (2) That the angels will greet them, as stated in Surah An-Nahl: 32: "This is the reward for those pious people whose souls are received in a pure state, by the angels, who welcome them, saying: 'Peace be upon you: enter into Paradise as the reward of your good deeds." (3) That they will greet one another among themselves, as stated in Surah Yunus:10 thus: `Therein their prayer will be `Glory to Thee, O Lord,' and their greeting: 'Peace be to you,' and the burden of their hymn: `Praise is for AIlah alone, Lord of the universe."
 
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا﴿33:45﴾ 
(33:45) O Prophet, *81 We have sent you as a witness, *82 a bearer of good news and a warner, *83
*81 After admonishing the Muslims, Allah now addresses a few words of consolation to His Prophet, as if to say: `We have blessed you with such and such a high rank and raised you to an exalted place of honour. Your opponents will not be able to harm you in any way by their propaganda campaign of slander and calumny. Therefore, you should not take their mischief to heart, nor give any weight to their propaganda. You should continue doing the duties of your mission, and Iet them utter whatever nonsense they like. " Along with this, incidentally, the other people, both the believers and the unbelievers, also have been told that the person they have to deal with is not an ordinary man but a great personality, whom Allah has raised to the highest ranks of honour and glory.
82 The meaning of the Prophet's being a "witness" is very vast. It includes three kinds of evidence:
(1) Verbal evidence, i.e. the Prophet should bear out the truth of the realities and principles on which Allah's Religion is based and tell the world plainly that they are the truth and all that is opposed to them is falsehood. He should rise to proclaim without hesitation and fear the Being of Allah and His Unity, the existence of the angels, the corning down of Revelation, the occurrence of life-after-death, the Hell and Heaven, all arc realities, even if they appear strange to the world, and the people mock the one presenting them, or call him a madman. Likewise, the Prophet should openly present before the people the concepts, values, principles and rules pertaining to morality and civilization and social life that God has revealed to him, and reject as wrong all the concepts and ways which are prevalent and are opposed to them, even if the whole world rejects them as wrong and violates them in practice. Similarly, the Prophet should proclaim as lawful what is lawful in Allah's Law even if the whole world regards it as unlawful, and should proclaim as unlawful whatever is unlawful in Allah's Law even if the world regards it as lawful and pure.
(2) Practical evidence: That is, the Prophet in his own life should practically demonstrate all that he has been commissioned to present before the world. His life should be free from every shade of that which he calls evil, and his own character should clearly reflect that which he calls good; he should be the foremost in carrying out what he regards as obligatory, and most cautious in refraining from what he calls sinful. He should exert his utmost to enforce the code of life which he calls Divine. His own character and conduct should bear out how sincere and truthful he is in his invitation; and his own self should be such a model of his teaching that anyone who sees him should know what kind of a man he wants to produce by the Faith to which he invites the world, what kind of a character he wants to instil in him and what system of life he wants to be established through him in the world.
(3) Evidence in the Hereafter That is, when the Court of Allah is established in the Hereafter, the Prophet should give evidence to prove that he had conveyed to the people the whole message, without making any alteration or change in it, that had been entrusted to him, and that he had shown no slackness in making the truth manifest before them, by word and by deed. On the basis of this evidence it will be determined what reward the believers deserve and what punishment the disbelievers deserve From this one can havc an idea of how great a responsibility had Allah placed upon the Holy Prophet by raising him to the position of a "witness", and how great should be the personality worthy of that high position. Evidently, there has been no slackness whatever on the part of the Holy Prophet in the matter of giving evidence with regard to the Faith, verbally as well as practically. That is why in the Hereafter he will be able to testify that he had made the Truth plain to the people, and that is how Allah's argument will be established against them; otherwise, if, God forbid, there had been any slackness on the pan of the Prophet in providing evidence, he could neither be a witness against them in the Hereafter nor could any case be established against the deniers of the truth. Some people havc tried to give a different interpretation to the word witness". They say that the Holy Prophet in the Hereafter will bear witness to the acts and deeds of the people. From this they conclude that the Holy Prophet is watching and witnessing the acts of all the people; otherwise he could not bear the witness. But according to the Qur'an this interpretation is absolutely wrong. The Qur'an tells us that Allah has arranged a different system for recording the acts of the people. For this purpose His angels are preparing the conduct-book of every person. (See in this connection Surah Qaf: 17-18, and Al-Kahf: 49). After this He will make the people's own limbs also to bear witness against them. (Ya Sin: 65, Ha Mim As-Sajdah: 20-21). As for the Prophets, they are not to testify to the acts of the people, but to give evidence to prove that they had conveyed the Truth to the people. The Qur'an clearly says:
"On the Day when Allah will assemble aII the Messengers, He will ask: 'What was the response you received?' They will answer, `We have no knowledge: You alone havc the full knowledge of all that is hidden'." (AI-Ma`idah: 109)
In the same connection, the Quran says about the Prophet Jesus that when he will be questioned about the deviation of the Christians, he will say: "I was a witness to their conduct as long as I remained among them, but after You recalled me. You watched over them." (AI-Ma'idah: 117)
These verses clearly show that the Prophets will not be witnesses in regard to the acts of the people. As to what they will bear witness to the Qur'an gives an equally clear answer:
"O Muslims, We have made you a community of the 'Golden Mean' so that you may be witnesses in regard to mankind and the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you." (AI-Baqarah: 143)
"(O Muhammad, warn them of) the Day when We shall call a witness from among every community to testify against it. And We shall call you to testify against these people." (An-Nahl: 89)
This shows that on the Day of Resurrection the Holy Prophet's evident in its nature will not be any different from the evidence for bearing which the Holy Prophet's community and the witnesses in regard to every other community will be summoned. Evidently, if it be an evidence in regard to the acts, then the omnipresence of all of them also becomes necessary. And if these witnesses will be called to give evidence to confirm that the Creator's message had reached His creation, inevitably the Holy Prophet also will be called upon to give a similar evidence.
The same is supported by the Hadith which Bukhari. Muslim, Tirmidhi. Ibn Majah, lmam Ahmad and others have related on the authority of 'Abdullah bin 'Mas'ud, 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas, Abu ad-Darda', Anas bin Malik and many other Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), whose common theme is this: 'The Holy Prophet on the Day of Resurrection will sec some of his Companions bing brought, but instead of caning to him they will either be going or being pushed to the other side. Thereupon the Holy Prophet will say: 'O Allah, they are my Companions!' Allah will say: 'You do not know what misdeeds they committed after you'." This theme has been reported by numerous Companions and with so many chains of authorities that there remains no doubt about its authenticity. This proves that the Holy Prophet is not at aII a witness to each individual of his community acid to each of his acts. As for the hadith which says that the acts of the people of his Ummah are presented before him, it does not in any way contradict this, because its purport is that Allah keeps him informed of the affairs of his Ummah, which does not mean that the Holy Prophet is actually witnessing the acts of every person.
*83 One should note that a person's giving the good news of a good end for belief and righteous acts and the warning of an evil end for disbelief and evil acts, in his personal capacity, is a different thing, and another's being appointed by Allah as a bearer of the good news and a warner is quite another thing. The one who is appointed to this office by Allah necessarily possesses an authority to give the good news and administer the warnings due to which his good news and his warnings are invested with legality. His giving a good news for an act has the meaning that the Greatest of alI Judges, Who has sent him, approves of the act and holds it worthy of a reward; so, it is certainly imperative or obligatory or commendable in nature, and its doer will surely get a reward. On the other hand, his giving a warning of an evil end for an act has the meaning that the Sovereign forbids that act; so, it is certainly sinful and unlawful, and its doer will surely be punished. The good news and warnings of the one who is not divinely appointed cannot ever be invested with such an authority.
 
وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا﴿33:46﴾ 
(33:46) an inviter to Allah by His leave *84 and a luminous lamp.
*84 Here also the same difference as pointed out above exists between the preaching of a common man and of a Prophet. As for the invitation to Allah, it is given, and can be given, by every preacher, but he is not appointed by Allah to do so. Contrary to this, a Prophet rises to call the people towards AIlah by the leave of Allah. His call is not mere preaching but has also the support of the authority of the Lord of the Universe, Who sent him. That is why resistance and opposition to the inviter to Allah amounts to rebellion against Allah Himself precisely as resistance to a government official when he is performing official duty is regarded as hostile to the government itself.
 
وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرًا﴿33:47﴾ 
(33:47) Give good news to those who have believed (in you) that there are great bounties in store for them from Allah,

 
وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا﴿33:48﴾ 
(33:48) so do not yield to the disbelievers and the hypocrites, disregard their persecution and put your trust in Allah: for Allah is sufficient for being entrusted with all one's affairs.

 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا﴿33:49﴾ 
(33:49) O you who have believed, when you marry the believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, *85 they do not have to fulfil a waiting term, whose completion you may demand of them; so provide them with something and send them off gracefully. *86
*85 This sentence is explicit that the word nikah here has been used for the contract of marriage only. The lexicographers have greatly disputed over the real meaning of the Arabic word nikah. One section of them says that as a word it is common both for intercourse and for the contract of marriage. The second section says that in its meaning it is common for both. The third section opines that its real meaning is the contract of marriage and for intercourse it is used only figuratively. And the fourth section expresses the opinion that its real meaning is intercourse and for the contract of marriage it is used only figuratively. Each section has cited Arabic poetry in support of its view. But Raghib Isfahani has emphatically asserted this: "The real meaning of the word nikah is contract of marriage; it has been used for intercourse metaphorically. It is impossible that its real meaning be intercourse and may have been used for the contract of marriage only metaphorically." The argument he gives is that alI the words that have been actually coined for intercourse in Arabic, or in other languages of the world, arc obscene and vulgar. No gentleman would like to utter them in a civilized gathering. Therefore, it is not possible that a society should use the word which has actually been coined for this act for marriage as a metaphor. For conveying this meaning only chaste words have been used in every language of the world and not obscene words.
As far as the Qur'an and Sunnah arc concerned, nikah is a term, which either implies only contract of marriage, or intercourse after the contract of marriage; but it has nowhere been used for intercourse outside marriage. This kind of intercourse has been called zina (adultery) by the Qur'an and Sunnah and not nikah.
*86 This is a unique verse which was sent down probably in the same period respecting some case of divorce, and so inserted in this context. This shows that it was sent down after the preceding and before the following discourse. Below is given a summary of the legal injunctions that have been derived from this verse:'
(1) Although the word "believing women" has been used, which apparently may give the impression that the law enunciated in this verse is not applicable to the women of the people of the Book, yet all scholars are agreed that this very injunction is applicable to them also. That is, in case a Muslim has married such a woman, all the injunctions relating to her divorce, dower, waiting-period ('iddat) and provision at divorce are the same as of marriage with 'a believing woman. The scholars arc also agreed that Allah's mentioning the believing women here in particular is actually meant to tell the Muslims that only the believing women are suitable for them. That is, although it is permissible for them to marry Jewish and Christian women, it is not proper and commendable. In other words, the Qur'an seems to impress that Allah expects that the believers would marry only the believing women.
(2) The word mas (to touch) here has been used for intercourse by implication. Thus, the verse apparently implies that if the husband has not had intercourse with the woman, even though he has had seclusion with her and has even touched her with the hand, she will riot have to observe the waiting-term ( iddat) in case of divorce. But the jurists, for the sake of precaution, have decreed that if they have had seclusion proper (i.e. seclusion during which intercourse could be possible), waiting-period will have to be observed if divorce is pronounced after it, and the waiting-period would be annulled only in case divorce was pronounced before they have had the seclusion.
(3) The annulment of the waiting-period in case of divorce before the event of seclusion means that in this case the man forfeits his right to take the woman back as his wife, and the woman becomes entitled to marry anyone she likes immediately after the divorce. But it should be borne in mind that this applies only to the divorce which is pronounced' before the event of the seclusion. If a woman's husband dies before having had seclusion, the waiting-period that has to be observed after death will not be annulled, but she will have to pass the same waiting-period of four months and ten days as is obligatory for a married woman in normal conditions. ( 'Iddat is the waiting-period before the expiry of which a divorced woman or a widow is forbidden to remarry).
(4) The words "they do not have to fulfil a waiting-period for you", show that the waiting-period is a right of the tnan on the woman. But it dces not mean that this is only the man's right. It, in fact, includes two other rights as well: the right of the children, and the right of AIlah or of the Law. The man's right is on the ground that he has the right to take the woman back as his wife during the period, and also on the ground that the proof of the parentage of his children, which depends on the woman's being pregnant or otherwise, becomes established in the waiting-period. The reason for including the right of the children is that the proof of a child's parentage is necessary for the establishment of his legal rights and his moral status also depends on this that his parentage should not be doubtful. The reason for including the right of Allah (or the right of the Law) is that even if the people and their children become heedless of their rights, the Divine Law requires that their rights should be protected. That is why even if a man gives a warrant to a woman that after his death or after obtaining divorce from him, there will be no waiting-period binding on her from him, the Divine Law will in no case annul it.
(5) "Provide them with something and send them away with kindness"; The intention of this injunction would be fulfilled by acting in either of the two ways: If the dower had been fixed at the time of marriage, and then divorce pronounced before the event of seclusion proper, payment of half of the dower will be obligatory, as enjoined in AI-Baqarah: 237. To give more than what is obligatory is not binding but certainly commendable. For instance, it is commendable that besides paying half of the dower the man should Iet the woman retain the bridal garments, or any other articles that he had sent her for the occasion of marriage. But if no dower had been fixed at the time of marriage, it is obligatory to pay her something before scnding her away, and this "something" should be according to the status and financial means of the man, as has been enjoined in AlBaqarah: 236. One section of the scholars hold that something in any case has to be paid in case of divorce as an obligation whether dower has been fixed or not.
(6) "scnding off gracefullly" does not only mean that the woman should be provided with something on divorce but this also that separation should be adopted in a gentlemanly way, without any kind of vilification. If a man does not happen to like a woman, or there has been some other cause of complaint due to which he dces not want to keep the woman, he should divorcc her like a gentleman and send her away. He should not start mentioning her faults and relating his complaints against her before the people so as to also prejudice them against her. This instruction of the Qur'an clearly shows that annexing the enforcement of divorce to the permission of a local council or court is wholly against the wisdom and spirit of the Divine Law, for in that case there remains no chance of `sending her away gracefully", but defamation, revilement and vilification do inevitably result even if the man dces not so will. Moreover, the words of the verse also do not admit that the power of the man to divorce should be bound up with the permission of a local council or court. The verse is clearly giving the married man the power of divorce and placing on him alone the responsibility that if he wants to release the woman before touching her he must pay her half the dower as an obligation, or something else according to his means. From this the object of the verse clearly seems to be that in order to prevent divorce from being taken lightly the man should be placed under the burden of a financial responsibility so that he himself uses his power of divorce with sense, and there is no chance of an external interference in the internal affairs of the two families.
(7) Ibn 'Abbas, Said bin al-Musayyib, Hasan Basri, 'AIi bin al-Husain (Zain al-'Abidin), Imam Shafe'i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal have deduced from the words, 'when you marry...and then divorce ..." that divorce takes effect only when marriage has been contracted. Divorce before the contract of marriage ' is without effect. Therefore if a person says, "If I marry such and such a woman, or a woman of such and such a tribe or nation, or any other woman, she is divorced," it will be an absurd and meaningless thing; no divorce can take effect from this. The following Ahadith are presented in support of this view: "The son of Adam is not entitled to use his power of divorcc in respect of that which he dces not possess." (Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah). And: "There is no divorcc before marriage." (Ibn Majah). But a great number of the jurists hold that this verse and these Ahadith apply in the case when a man says to a woman, who is not his wife, "You have divorce on you," or "I divorce you." Saying such a thing is no doubt absurd, and is of no legal consequence, but if he says, "If I marry you, you are divorced," this is not divorcing before the marriage, but the person is in fact declaring his intent that when the woman is married to him, she will stand divorced. Such a declaration cannot be absurd and without effect, but, as a matter of fact, whenever the woman is married to him, divorce will fall on her. The jurists who hold the view have further differed as to rite extent this kind of divorce will have effect.
Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zufar hold that divorce will take place in any case whether a person specifics a woman or a tribe or a nation, or talks generally so as to say. 'Any woman whom I marry is divorced." Abu Bakr al-Jassas has cited the same opinion also from Hadrat 'Umar, 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Ibrahim Nakha'i, Mujahid and 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz (may Allah show mercy to them aII). Sufyan Thauri and 'Uthman al-Batti say that divorce will take place only in case the person says, "If I marry such and such a woman, she is divorced." Hasan bin Salih, Laith bin Sa'd and 'Amir ash-Sha'bi, say that such a divorce will take place even if something is said in general terms provided that a particular class of the people has been mentioned; for instance, if the person has said. "If I marry a woman of such and such a family, or such and such a tribe, or such and such city or country or nation, she is divorced."
Ibn Abi Laila and Imam Malik, disputing the above opinion, have added a condition that the time limit also should be determined. For example, if the man Said. " If I marry within this year or the ncxt ten years such and such a woman or a woman from such and such a class, she is divorced," divorce will take place, otherwise not. Imam Malik also adds that if the time limit is so long that the man is not expected to outlive it, Iris declaration will have no effect.
 
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَحْلَلْنَا لَكَ أَزْوَاجَكَ اللَّاتِي آتَيْتَ أُجُورَهُنَّ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ مِمَّا أَفَاء اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمِّكَ وَبَنَاتِ عَمَّاتِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالِكَ وَبَنَاتِ خَالَاتِكَ اللَّاتِي هَاجَرْنَ مَعَكَ وَامْرَأَةً مُّؤْمِنَةً إِن وَهَبَتْ نَفْسَهَا لِلنَّبِيِّ إِنْ أَرَادَ النَّبِيُّ أَن يَسْتَنكِحَهَا خَالِصَةً لَّكَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا فَرَضْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِي أَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ لِكَيْلَا يَكُونَ عَلَيْكَ حَرَجٌ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴿33:50﴾ 
(33:50) O Prophet, We have made lawful to you those of your wives, whose dowers you have paid, *87 and those women who come into your possession out of the slavegirls granted by Allah, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and of your maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with you, and the believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet if the Prophet may desire to marry her. *88 This privilege is for you only, not for the other believers. *89 We know what restrictions We have imposed on the other believers concerning their wives and slavegirls. (You have been made an exception) so that there may be no hindrance to you; *90 and Allah is AllForgiving, All Merciful.
*87 This, in fact, is an answer to the objection of the people who said that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) forbade others to keep more than four wives at a time but had himself taken a fifth wife. This objection was raised because at the time the Holy Prophet married Hadrat Zainab, he already had four wives with him: 11) Hadrat Saudah whom he had married in the 3rd year before the Hijrah, (2) Hadrat 'A'ishah whom he married in the 3rd year before the Hijrah but who came to live with him in Shawwal, A.H. I, (3) Hadrat Hafsah whom he married in Sha'ban, A.H. 3, and (4) Hadrat Umm Salamah whom he married in Shawwal. A.H. 4. Thus, Hadrat Zainab was his fifth wife. Here Allah has answered the objection of the disbelievers and the hypocrites, as if to say, °O Prophet, We have made lawful for you aII these five wives whom you have married by giving them their dowers." In other words, the answer means this: "It is We Who have imposed the restriction of four wives on others, and it is also We Ourselves Who have made Our Prophet an exception to the restriction. When We could impose the restriction, We could also make the exception."
About this answer also one should note that it was not meant to satisfy the disbelievers and the hypocrites but those Muslims to whom the opponents of Islam were trying to impart evil suggestions. Since they believed that the Qur'an is Allah's speech and has been sent down in Allah's own words, Allah declared through a clear and decisive verse that the Prophet had not made himself an exception from the general law about four wives of his own accord, but the exception in regard to him had been decreed by Allah.
*88 Besides making the fifth wife lawful for the Prophet, Allah in this verse also granted him the permission to marry a few other kinds of the women:
(1) The woman who came into his possession from among the slave-girls granted by Allah. According to this the Holy Prophet selected for himself Hadrat Raihanah from among the prisoners of war taken at the raid against the Bani Quraizah, Hadrat Juwairiyah from among the prisoners of war taken at the raid against the Bani al-Mustaliq, Hadrat Safiyyah out of the prisoners of war captured at Khaiber, and Hadrat Mariah the Copt, who was presented by Maqauqis of Egypt. Out of these he set three of them free and married them, but had conjugal relations with Mariah on the ground of her being his slave-girl. In her case there is no proof that the Holy Prophet set her free and married her.
(2) The ladies from among his first cousins, who emigrated along with him. The words "who emigrated with you"do not mean that they accompanied the Holy Prophet in his migration journey but this that they also had migrated in the way of Allah for the sake of Islam. The Holy Prophet was given the choice to marry any one of them he liked. Accordingly, in A.H. 7 he married Hadrat Umm Habibah. (Incidentally, in this verse it has been elucidated that the daughters of one's paternal and maternal uncles and aunts are lawful for a Muslim. In this regard the Islamic Law is different both from the Christian Law and from the Jewish Law. Among the Christians one cannot marry a woman whose line of descent joins one's own anywhere in the last seven generations, and among the Jews it is permissible even to marry one's real niece, i.e. daughter of one's brother or sister).
(3) The believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, i.e. who is prepared to give herself in marriage to the Prophet without a dower, and he may like to marry her. On account of this permission the Holy Prophet took Hadrat Maimunah as his wife in Shawwal, A.H. 7, but he did not think he should have conjugal relations with her without paying her the dower. Therefore, he paid her the dower even though she did not demand or desire it. Some commentators say that the Holy Prophet did not have any wife who had offend herself to him; but this in fact means that he did not keep any wife without paying her the dower although she offered herself to him.
*89 If this sentence is taken to be related with the preceding sentence, it will mean that it is not permissible for any Muslim to take in marriage a woman who gives herself to him, without paying her the dower; and if it is taken to be related with the whole preceding passage, it will imply that the concession to marry more than four wives is only reserved for the Holy Prophet, not for the other Muslims. This verse also shows that certain commandments are specifically meant for the Holy Prophet to follow and are not applicable to the other Muslims. A study of the Qur'an and Sunnah reveals several such commandments. For example, the Tahajjud prayer was obligatory for the Holy Prophet but is voluntary for the Ummah. It is unlawful for him and his family to receive charities though it is not so for others. The inheritance left by hlm cannot be divided; as for the inheritance left by others relevant commandments have been given in Surah An-Nisa'. Keeping of more than four wives was made lawful for him though he was not enjoined to do equal treatment with them. He was permitted to marry a woman who gave herself to him without any dower, and after his death his wives wen forbidden for the Ummah. None of these privileges could be enjoyed by any other Muslim. Another special thing that the commentators have mentioned in this regard is that it was forbidden for the Holy Prophet to marry a woman from among the people of the Book though it is lawful for the Muslims to do so.
*90 This is the reason why Allah made the Holy Prophet an exception to the general rule. "So that there may be no restraint on you" does not mean that he was, God forbid, a very lustful person, and therefore, he was permitted to marry several wives so that he might not feel any hindrance due to the restriction to four wives. This meaning will be understood only by the person who, blinded by prejudice, forgets that the Holy Prophet at the age of 25 married a lady who was 40 years old, and lived a happy, contented married life with her for full 25 years. Then, when she died, he marred another old lady Hadrat Saudah, who remained his only wife for the next four years. Now, no sensible and honest person can imagine that when he became over fifty-three he was suddenly filled with lust and needed to have more and more wives. In fact, in order to understand the meaning of "no restraint", one should, on the one hand, keep in view the great task whose responsibility AIlah had placed on the Holy Prophct, and on the other, understand the conditions and circumstances under which he had been appointed to accomplish the great task. Anyone who understands these two things with an unbiased mind, will certainly realize why it was necessary to grant him freedom in respect of the wives and what 'hindrance" was there for him in the restriction to tour wives. The task entruststed to the Holy Prophet was that he should mould and chisel by aII-round education and training an uncouth, uncultured nation which was not uncivilized only from the Islamic point of view but from a general viewpoint as well, into a highly civilized, refined and virtuous nation. For this purpose it was unbiased mind, will certainly realize why it was necessary to grant him freedom in respect of the wives and what "hindrance" was there for him in the restriction to four wives.
The task entrusted to the Holy Prophet was that he should mould and chisel by all-round education and training an uncouth, uncultured nation which was not uncivilized only from the Islamic point of view but from a general viewpoint as well, into a highly civilized, refined and virtuous nation. For this purpose it was not enough only to train men but the training of the women also was equally necessary. However, the principles of social life and civilization which he had been appointed to teach forbade free mixing of the sexes together, and it was not possible for him to impart direct training to the womenfolk himself without violating this rule. Therefore, for imparting education to the women the only alternative left for him was that he should marry several women of different ages and mental capabilities and should prepare them by education and training to become his helpers, and then employ them to give religious instructions to the young, middle-aged and old women of the city and desert and teach them the new principles of morality and civilization.
Moreover, the Holy Prophet had also been appointed to abolish the system of life of the pre-Islamic days of ignorance and replace it with the Islamic system of life practically. For the accomplishment of this task a conflict was inevitable with those who upheld the system of ignorance, and this conflict was being encountered in a country where the tribal system of life was prevalent with aII its peculiar customs and traditions. Under these conditions, besides other devices, it was also necessary that the Holy Prophet should marry in different families and clans in order to cement many ties of friendship and put an end to enmities. Thus, the selection of the ladies whom he marred was to some extent determined by this object besides their personal qualities. By taking Hadrat 'A'ishah and Hadrat Hafsah to wife he further strengthened and deepened the relations with Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat 'Umar. Hadrat Umm Salamah was the daughter of the family to which Abu Jahl and Khalid bin Walid belonged, and Umm Habibah was the daughter of Abu Sufyan. These marriages neutralized the enmity of these families to a large extent; so much so that after Umm Habibah's marriage Abu Sufyan never confronted the Holy Prophet on the battefield. Hadrat Safiyyah, Hadrat Juwairiah and Raihanah belonged to Jewish families. When the Holy Prophet married them, after setting them free, the hostile Jewish activities against him subsided. For according to the Arab traditions when the daughter of a clan or tribe was married to a person, he was regarded as the son-in-law of not only the girl's family but of the entire tribe, and it was disgraceful to fight the son-in-law.
Practical reformation of the society and abolition of its customs of ignorance was also included among the duties of his office. Therefore, he had to undertake one marriage for this purpose also, as has been related in detail in this surah Ahzab itself.
For these reasons it was essential that there should be no restriction for the Prophet in respect of marriage so that in view of the requirements of the great mission entrusted to him he could marry as many women as he wanted.
This also brings out the error of the view of those people who think that polygamy is permissible only under special personal requirements and apart from these there can be no other object for which it may be permissible. Evidently, the reason for the Holy Prophet to marry more wives than one was not that the wife was sick, or barren, or that he had no male child. or that there was the question of the bringing up of some orphans. Without these restrictions he married all his wives either in view of the educational requirements, or for the reformation of society, or for political and social objectives. The question is, when Allah Himself has not kept polygamy restricted to a few particular needs, which arc being mentioned these days and the Messenger of Allah took several wives for many purposes other than these, how is another person entitled to propose some restrictions in the law and then claim that he is imposing these in accordance with the Shari'ah? As a matter of fact, the root cause for the imposition of these restrictions is the Western concept that polygamy is an evil in itself. That very concept has given rise to the idea that this unlawful thing can become lawful only in case of extreme circumstances. Now, however hard one may try to label this imported concept with Islam artificially. it is entirely alien to the Qur'an and ,Sunnah and the whole Muslim literature.
 
تُرْجِي مَن تَشَاء مِنْهُنَّ وَتُؤْوِي إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَمَنِ ابْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن تَقَرَّ أَعْيُنُهُنَّ وَلَا يَحْزَنَّ وَيَرْضَيْنَ بِمَا آتَيْتَهُنَّ كُلُّهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمًا﴿33:51﴾ 
(33:51) You are granted the option that you may keep aside any of your wives you please, and keep to yourself any of them you please, and call back any of them you had set aside: there is no blame on you in this regard. Thus, it is expected that their eyes will be cooled and they will not grieve, and they will all remain well satisfied with whatever you give them. *91 Allah knows whatever is in your hearts, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Forbearing. *92
*91 This verse was meant to relieve the Holy Prophet of the domestic worries and anxieties so that he could carry out his duties with full peace of mind. When Allah clearly gave hire the power and the authority to treat any of his wives as he liked, there remained no chance that those believing ladies would trouble him in any way, or would create complications for him by their mutual rivalries and domestic squabbles. But in spite of having this authority from Allah the Holy Prophet meted out full justice to his wives. He did not prefer one to the other and would visit each of them regularly by turns. Only Abu Razin from among the traditionists has said that the Holy Prophet visited only four of his wives (Hadrat 'A'ishah, Hadrat Hafsah, Hadrat Zainab and Hadrat Umm Salamah) by turns and no turn had been fixed for the other wives. But all other traditionists and commentators contradict this and prove by authentic traditions that even after having this authority the Holy Prophet visited aII his wives in turn and treated there alike. Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa'i, Abu Da'ud and others have reported on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah that even after the revelation of this verse the Holy Prophet's practice was that whenever he wanted to visit any of us, his wives, on the turn of another wife, he would first ask her permission for it. Abu Bakr al-Jassas relates from 'Urwah bin Zubair that Hadrat 'A'ishah told him, "As to our rants the Holy Prophet never preferred any of us to the other, although it seldom happened that he did not visit all his wives on the same day, but he never touched a wife unless it was her day by turn." And this also is a tradition from Hadrat 'A'ishah that during his last illness when it became difficult for him to move about he asked for his other wives' permission to stay with her, and only on their approval he passed his last days in her apartment. Ibn Abi Hatim has cited this from Imam Zuhri that the Holy Prophet is not known to have deprived any of his wives of her turn. To this Hadrat Saudah only was an exception, who on account of her advanced age had willingly surrendered her turn in favour of Hadrat 'A'ishah
Here, nobody should entertain the doubt that Allah had, God forbid, shown an undue privilege to His Prophet and deprived his wives of their rights. As a matter of fact, the great objectives for the sake of which the Holy Prophet had been made an exception to the general rule in respect of the number of wives, also demanded that he should be afforded full peace in domestic life and anything that could cause him distraction and embarrassment should be eradicated. It was a unique honour for the holy wives that they were privileged to be the life-partners of the greatest of all men like the Holy Prophet, and by virtue of this they got the opportunity to become his Companions and helpers in the great task of reform and invitation that was to become the means of true success for mankind till the end of time. Just as the Holy Prophet was offering every kind of sacrifice for the sake of this objective and the Companions also were following his example according to their capabilities, so it was the duty of his wives also to display selflessness in every way. Therefore, all the wives accepted Allah's decision with regard to themselves happily and willingly.
*92 This is a warning for the Holy Prophet's wives as well as for aII other people. For the wives it is a warning in the sense that if after the coming down of this Divine Command they did not feel reconciled to it in their hearts, they would not escape Allah's punishment. And for others the warning is that if they entertained any kind of suspicion in their hearts in regard to the Holy Prophet's matrimonial life, or harboured any misgiving in any recess of their minds, this would not remain hidden from Allah. Along with this Allah's attribute of forbearance also has been mentioned so that one thay know that although even a thought of insolence in regard to the Prophet is also punishable, yet if a person got rid of such a suspicion he might have the hope of His forgiveness.
 
لَا يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَاء مِن بَعْدُ وَلَا أَن تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ رَّقِيبًا﴿33:52﴾ 
(33:52) No other women are lawful to you after this, nor are you allowed to have other wives instead of them, even if their beauty may be very pleasing to you. *93 You may, however, have slave-girls. *94 Allah is Watchful over everything.
*93 This has two meanings: (1) `No other woman except those made lawful to you in verse 50 above, is any more lawful to you"; and (2) 'when your wives have become pleased and ready to stay with you through every kind of hardship and have rejected the world in preference to the Hereafter, and are satisfied that you may treat them as you please, it is no longer lawful for you that you should divorce any of them and take another wife instead."
*94 This verse explains why one is pemitted to have conjugal relations with one's slave-girls besides the wedded wives, and there is no restriction on their number. The same thing has also been stated in Surah An-Nisa': 3, AI-Mu'minun: b, and AI-Ma'arij: 30. In all these verses the slave-girls have been mentioned as a separate class from the wedded wives, and conjugal relations with them have been permitted. Moreover, verse 3 of Surah An-Nisa' lays down the number of the wives as four, but neither has Allah fixed the number of the slave-girls, in that verse nor made any allusion to their number in the other relevant verses. Here, of course, the Holy Prophet is being addressed and told: "It is no more lawful for you to take other women in marriage, or divorce any of the present wives and take another wife in her stead; slave-girls, however, are lawful." This shows that no restriction has been imposed in respect of the slavegirls.
This, however, does not mean that the Divine Law has provided the rich an opportunity to purchase as many slave-girls as they tike for their carnal indulgence. This is in fact how the self-seeking people have exploited and abused tire Law. The Law had been made for the convenience of the people; it had not been made to be abused. One could, for instance, similarly abuse the Law concerning marriage. The Shari'ah permits a man to marry up to four wives and also gives him the right to divorce his wife and take another one. This law had been made in view of man's requirements and needs. Now, if a person, merely for the sake of sensual enjoyment, were to adopt the practice of keeping four wives for a time and then divorcing them to be replaced by another company of them, it would be abusing the provisions of the law, for which the person himself would be responsible and not the Shari`ah. Likewise the Shari'ah has allowed that the women who are captured in war and whose people do not exchange them for Muslim prisoners of war nor ransom them, may be kept as slave-girls, and gave the persons to whom they are assigned by the government the right to have conjugal relations with them so that they do not become a moral hazard for the society. Then, as it was not possible to determine the number of the prisoners of war, legally also it could nor be determined how many slave girls a person could keep at a time. The sale of the slaves and slave-girls was also allowed for the reason that if a slave or a slave-girl could not pull on well with a master, he or she could be transferred to another person so that the same person's permanent ownership did not become a cause of unending torture for both the master and the captive. The Shari`ah made aII these laws keeping in view human conditions and requirements for the convenience of men. If these have been made a means of sexual enjoyment and luxury by the rich, it is they who are to blame for this and not the Shari'ah .
 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ النَّبِيِّ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ إِلَى طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَاظِرِينَ إِنَاهُ وَلَكِنْ إِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَادْخُلُوا فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَانتَشِرُوا وَلَا مُسْتَأْنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ إِنَّ ذَلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِي النَّبِيَّ فَيَسْتَحْيِي مِنكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَاعًا فَاسْأَلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَاء حِجَابٍ ذَلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَن تَنكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا إِنَّ ذَلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمًا﴿33:53﴾ 
(33:53) O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet without permission, *95 nor stay watching for the meal time; but if you are invited to meals, do come, *96 and when you have taken food, disperse. Do not engage in talk and discussion, *97 for such behaviour causes trouble to the Prophet but he is shy of saying anything, and Allah does not feel shy in telling the truth. If you have to ask the wives of the Prophet for something, ask for it from behind a curtain. This is a better way for the purity of your as well as their hearts. *98 It is not at all permissible that you should trouble the Messenger of Allah, *99 nor is it permissible that you should marry his wives after him. *100 This is a grave offence in the sight of Allah.
*95 This is an introduction to the general Command that was given in Surah An-Nur: 27 about a year later. In the ancient times the Arabs would enter one another's house unceremoniously. If a person had to see another person he did not drink it was necessary to call at the door or take permission for entry, but would enter the house and ask the womenfolk and children whether the master was at home or not, This custom of ignorance was the cause of many evils and would often give rise to some serious evils. Therefore, in the beginning a rule was made in respect of the houses of the Holy Prophet that no person, whether a close friend or a distant relative, could enter them without permission. Then in Surah An-Nur a general command was given to enforce this rule for the houses of aII the Muslims.
*96 This is the second command in this connection. An uncivilized practice prevalent among the Arabs was that the visitors would call on a friend or acquaintance right at the time of the meals, or would come and prolong their stay till the meals time approached. This would often cause the master of the house great embarrassment. He could neither be so discourteous as to tell the visitors to leave because it was his meals time, nor could feed so many unexpected guests together. For it is not always possible for a person to arrange meals inunediately for as many visitors as happened to call on him at a time. Allah disapproved of this practice and commanded that the visitors should go for meals to a house only when invited. This Command did not in particular apply to the Holy Prophet's house only but the rules were in the beginning enforced in that model household so that they become general rules of etiquette in the houses of the other Muslims as well.
*97 This was to reform yet another foolish practice. The guests at a feast, after they had finished eating, would sit down to endless gossip and discussions much to the inconvenience of the people of the house. They would often embarrass the Holy Prophet also by this practice, but he would forbear and forget. At last on the day of the marriage feast of Hadrat Zainab the embarrassment thus caused crossed all limits. According to the Holy Prophet's special attendant, Hadrat Anas bin Malik, the feast was held at night. Most of the people left after taking food but a couple or two of them got engaged jn gossip. Disconcerted the Holy Prophet rose and went round to his wives. When he returned he found the gentlemen still sitting. He turned back and sat in Hadrat 'A'ishah's apartment. When a good deal of the night had passed he came to know that the gentlemen had left. Then he returned and went to the apartment of Hadrat Zainab. After this it became inevitable that Allah Himself should warn. the people of these evil practices. According to Hadrat Anas these verses were sent down on this occasion. (Muslim, Nasa'i Ibn Jarir).
*98 This is the verse which is called "the verse of the veil". Bukhari has related on the authority of Hadrat Anas that before the coming down of this verse, Hadrat 'Umar had made a suggestion several times to the Holy Prophet to the effect: "O Messenger of Allah, alI sorts of the people, good and bad, come to visit you. Would that you commanded your wives to observe hijab. According to another tradition, once Hadrat 'Umar said to the holy wives, "If what I say concerning you is accepted, my eyes should never see you. " But since the Holy Prophet was not independent in making law, he awaited Divine Revelation. At last, this Command came down that except for the mahram males (as being stated in v. SS below) no other man should enter the Holy Prophet's houses, and whoever had to ask some thing from the ladies, should ask for it from behind a curtain. After this Command curtains were hung at the doors of the apartments of the wives, and since the Holy Prophet's house was a model for the Muslims to follow, they too hung curtains at their doors. The last sentence of the verse itself points out that whoever desire that the hearts of the men and women should remain pure, should adopt this way.
Now whosoever has been blessed with understanding by Allah can himself see that the Book which forbids the men and women to talk to each other face to face and commands them to speak from behind a curtain because `this is a better way for the purity of your as well as their hearts," could not possibly permit that the men and women should freely meet in mixed gatherings, educational and democratic institutions and offices, because it did not affect the purity of the hearts in any way. For him who does not want to follow the Qur'an, the best way would be that he should disregard its Commands and should frankly say that he has no desire to follow it. But this would be the height of meanness that he should violate the clear Commandments of the Qur'an and then stubbornly say that he is following the °spirit" of Islam which he has extracted. After all, what is that spirit of Islam which these people extract from sources outside the Qur'an and the sunnah?
*99 The allusion is to the false allegations that were being made in those days against the Holy Prophet, and some weak-minded Muslims also were joining the disbelievers and the hypocrites in doing this.
*100 This is the explanation of what has been said in verse 6:"...the Prophet's wives are mothers of the believers."
 
إِن تُبْدُوا شَيْئًا أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا﴿33:54﴾ 
(33:54) Whether you reveal something or conceal it, Allah has full knowledge of everything. *101
*101 That is, "If a person entertains an evil thought in his heart against the Holy Prophet, or harbours an evil intention about his wives, it will not remain hidden from Allah, and he will be punished for it. "
 
لَّا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِنَّ فِي آبَائِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَائِهِنَّ وَلَا إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَاء إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَاء أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ وَلَا نِسَائِهِنَّ وَلَا مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ وَاتَّقِينَ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدًا﴿33:55﴾ 
(33:55) There is no blame on the wives of the Prophet that they are visited in their houses by their fathers, their sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, *102 their familiar women *103 and their slaves. *104 (O women,) you should avoid the disobedience of Allah, for Allah observes everything. *105
*102 For explanation, see E.N.'s 38 to 42 of Surah An-Nur. 'Allama Alusi's commentary in this connection is also noteworthy. He says, "Brothers and sons of brothers and sisters include aII those relatives who are unlawful for a woman, whether they are blood relations or foster relations. This list does not mention the paternal and maternal uncles because they are like the parents to the woman, or perhaps they have been left out because there was no need to mention them after mentioning their sons, For the reason for not observing purdah from the brother's son and sister's son is the same as of not observing it from the paternal and maternal uncles." (Ruh al-Ma ani.)
*103 For explanation, see E. N. 43 of An-Nur.
*104 For explanation, see E. N. 44 of An-Nur.
*105 It means this: After the coming down of this absolute Command no person outside the circle of the relatives, who have been made an exception, should be allowed to enter the houses without purdah being observed from them, " Another meaning is: "The woman should never adopt the attitude that they should observe purdah when the husband is present, but should appear without purdah before the other men, when he is away. Such a conduct may remain hidden from the husband but not from Allah.
 
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا﴿33:56﴾ 
(33:56) Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. *106 O you who have believed, you also should ask and send blessings and peace on him. *107
*106 "Allah's sending His blessings on His Prophet" means this: Allah is very kind to His Prophet: He praises him, blesses his work, exalts his name, and showers His mercies on him. " `Blessings of the angels" means: "They love the Prophet most dearly and pray to Allah to bless him with the highest ranks, cause his religion and Shari'ah to flourish and exalt him to the laudable position. " One can clearly see from the context. why this thing has been said here. This was the rime when the enemies of Islam were making alI sorts of false allegations against the Holy Prophet in order to satisfy their jealousy on the success of Faith, By sullying him they thought they would destroy his moralinfluence through which Islam and the Muslims were gaining more and more ground every day. Such were the conditions when Allah sent down this verse, as if warn the people: "However Bard the disbelievers and the hypocrites and the polytheists might try to vilify and slander My Prophet with a view to frustrating his mission, they are bound to suffer disgrace and humiliation in the end, for I am kind to him, and the angels, who are administering the entire universe, are his supporters and admirers. His enemies Cannot gain anything by their condemnation of him because I am exalting his name and My angels are adoring him constantly. They cannot harm him by their mean machinations when My mercies and blessings are with him, and My angels pray for hlm day and night to the effect: "O Lord of the worlds, raise Muhammad to even higher ranks and make his Religion flourish and prosper."
*107 In other words, it means this: "O people, who have found the right path through Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, you should recognize his the worth and be grateful to him for his great favours to you. You were lost in the darkness of ignorance: He afforded you the light of knowledge: you had become morally bankrupt: he raised you high on the moral level so that the people now feel envious of you; you had sunk to barbarism and savagery: he adorned you with the most refined haman civilization. The disbelievers everywhere have turned his enemies only because he has done you these favours; otherwise personally he has not done any harm to anyone. Therefore, the inevitable demand of your gratitude to him is that you should regard him with an equal, or even greater love than the malice and grudge these people display against him; that you should show a greater attachment to him than the hatred these people show towards him; that you should praise and adore him even more fervently than they condemn him; that you should wish him well even more heartily than they wish him iII, and pray for him just as the angels do day and night, saying: "O Lord of the worlds: Just as Your Prophet has done us countless and endless favours, so do You also show him endless and limitless mercy: raise him to the highest ranks in the world and bless him with the greatest nearness to Yourself in the hereafter.'
In this verse, Muslims have been commanded two things: (1) Sallu alaihi; and (2) sallimu taslima. The word Salat when used with the associating panicle 'ala gives three meanings: (1) To be inclined to some body, to attend to him with love, and to bend over him; (2) to praise somebody; and (3) to pray for somebody. Obviously, when the word is used in regard to Allah, it cannot be in the third meaning, for it is absolutely inconceivable that Allah should pray to someone else; it can only be used in the first two meanings. But when this word is used for the servants, whether angels or men, it will be in alI the three meanings. It will contain the sense of love as well as praise and prayer for mercy. Therefore, the meaning of giving the Command of sallu'alaihi to the believers for the Holy Prophet is: 'Be attached to him, praise and adore him and pray for him."
The word salam also ' as two meanings: (1) To be secure from every kind of affliction and fault and d efect; and (2) to be at peace and refrain from opposing the other person. Therefore, one meaning of sallimu taslima in regard to the Holy Prophet is: "You should pray for his well-being and security," and another meaning is: "Cooperate with him with aII your heart and mind; refrain from opposing him and obey him most faithfully and sincerely."
When this Command was sent down, several of the Companions said to the Holy Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, you have taught us the method of pronouncing salam (i.e.. of saying as-salamu 'alaika ayyuhannabiyyu wa rahmatullahi wa barakat-u-hu in the Prayer, and as-salamu alaika ya Rasul-Allah as a greeting, but what is the method of sending Salat on you ?" In response to this, the methods of pronouncing Salat and darud that the Holy Prophet taught to many people on different occasions are as follows: Ka'b bin'Ujrah: Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama sallaita ala Ibrahima wa ala al-i Ibrahima irmaka Hamidum-Majid, wa barik 'ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama barakta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala al-i Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid. This darud with a little difference in wording has been reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Imam Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shaibah, 'Abdur Razzaq, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir on the authority of Hadrat Ka'b bin 'Ujrah.
Ibn 'Abbas: From him also the same darud as given above has been reported with a slight difference. (Ibn Jarir).
Abu Humaid Sa'idi:Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa azwaji-hi wa dhurriyati-hi kama sallaita ala Ibrahima wa 'ala al-i Ibrhima wa barik ala Muhammad-in wa azwaji-hi wa dhurriyat-hi kama barakta 'ala al-i Ibrahima irmaka Hamid-um-Majid. (Malik, Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa'i, Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah).
Abu Mas'ud Badri: Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama sallaita 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala al-i Ibrahima wa barik ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama barakta 'ala Ibrahima fil- alamin innaka Hamid-um-Majid (Malik, Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i Ahmad, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Habban, Hakim).
Abu Sa' id Khudri: Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in abdika wa rasuli-ka kama sallaita 'ala Ibrahima wa barik 'ala Mahammad-in wa 'ala al-i Muhammad-in kama ba rakta ala Ibrahim. (Ahmad, Bukhari, Nasa'i Ibn Majah).
Buraidah al-Khuza'i: Allahumm-aj'al Salataka wa rahmataka wa barakati-ka ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama Ja 'altaha ala Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid. (Ahmad, 'Abd bin Humaid, Ibn Marduyah).
Abu Hurairah: Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in wa barik ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama sallaita wa barakta 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala al-i Ibrahim fil- `alamin innaka Hammid-um-Majid. (Nasai).
Talhah: Allahumma salli ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i Muhammad-in kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid wa barik ala Muhammad-in wa ala al-i
Muhammad-in kama barakta ala Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid. (Ibn Jarir).
All these daruds agree in meaning despite the difference in wording. A few points concerning them should be understood clearly:
First, in aII these the Holy Prophet tells the Muslims that the best way of sending darud and Salat on him is that they should pray to Allah, saying, "O God: send darud on Muhanunad. " Ignorant people who do not possess full understanding of the meaning inunediately raise the objection: 'How strange that AIlah commands us to send darud on His Prophet, but we, in return, implore AIlah that He should send it." The fact, however, is that the Holy Prophet has instructed the people, as if to say, 'You cannot do full justice to sending of darud and Salat on me even if you want to. Therefore, pray only to Allah to bless me with Salat. " Evidently, the Muslims cannot raise the ranks of the Holy Prophet, AIlah only can raise them; the Muslims cannot repay the Holy Prophet for his favours and kindness, Allah only can adequately reward him for this; the Muslims cannot attain any success in exalting the Holy Prophet's name and promoting the cause of religion unless Allah favours them with His help and succour. So much so that the Holy Prophet's love can be impressed in our hearts only by Allah's help; otherwise Satan can turn us away from him by every kind of evil suggestion sand suspicions. May AIlah protect us from this! Therefore, there is no other way of doing full justice to sending of darud and salat on the Holy Prophet than that we should supplicate Allah to send salat on him. The person who says: Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad-in, in fact, admits his helplessness before Allah, and says: "O God: it is not in my power to send salat on Your Prophet as it should be sent. I. therefore, implore You to send it on my behalf and take from me whatever service You will in this regard." Secondly, the Holy Prophet did not want to have this prayer reserved for onlv himself bat included his followers and his wives and offsprings also. The meaning of the wives and offspring is obvious. As for the word al it dces not merely denote the people of the Holy Prophet's household, but it applies to aII those people who follow him and adopt his way. Lexically, there is a difference between the words al and ahl. By the al of a person arc understood aII those people who are his companions, helpers and followers, whether they are related to him or not, and his ahl are those who are related to him, whether or not they are his companions and followers. The Qur'an has used the word al Fir aun at fourteen places but nowhere has it been used to mean the people of Pharaoh's household only; everywhere it implies alI those who sided with him in the conflict against the Prophet Moses. (For example, see Al-Baqarah: 49-50, AI-i-'Imran: 11, AI-A'raf; 130, Al-Mu'min: 46). Thus, from al-Muhammad is excluded every such person who is not on the way of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), whether he be a member of his household, and in it is included every such person, who is following in his footsteps, whether he is not even distantly related to him by blood. However, those members of the Prophet's household who arc related to him by blood and are also his followers are most worthy to be regarded as al-Muhammad.
Thirdly, the same thing found in aII the daruds taught by the Holy Prophet is that he may be blessed with the same kindness with which Abraham and the followers of Abraham have been blessed. The people have found it difficult to understand this. The scholars have given different interpretations of it but none of them is appealing. In my opinion the correct interpretation is this (though the real knowledge is with Allah): Allah blessed the Prophet Abraham in particular with something with which He has blessed no one else in the world, and it is this: AlI those human beings who regard the Prophethood and the Revelation and the Book as the source of guidance are agreed on the leadership of the Prophet Abraham, whether they are Muslims or Christians or Jews. Therefore, what the Holy Prophet means to say is this: "O Allah, just as You have made the Prophet Abraham the refuge of the followers of aII the Prophets, so You make me also the refuge, so that no one who is a believer in Prophethood, may remain deprived of the grace of believing in my Prophethood."
That it is an Islamic practice to send darud on the Holy Prophet, that it is commendable to pronounce it when the Holy Prophet's name is mentioned, that it is a Sunnah of the Prophet to recite it in the Prayer in particular, is agreed upon by aII the scholars. There is also a consensus that it is obligatory to pronounce the darud on the Holy Prophet at least once in a lifetime, because Allah has clearly commanded it, but apart from this there are differences among the scholars regarding it. Imam Shafe' i holds the view that it is obligatory to recite salat on the Prophet during tashahhud in the final sitting of the Prayer, for without it the Prayer would be void. Hadrat Ibn Mas'ud, Abu-Mas'ud Ansari, Ibn 'Umar and Jabir bin 'Abdullah from among the Companions, Sha'bi, Imam Muhammad bin Baqir, Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Qurzi and Muqatil bin Hayyan from among the immediate followers of the Companions, and Ishaq bin Rahwayah from among the jurists also held the same opinion, and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal also had adopted the same in the end.
Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and the majority of the scholars hold that the pronouncing of the Salat is obligatory only once in a life time. It is just like the Kalimah: whoever affirmed the divinity of Allah and the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah once in a lifetime carried out his duty. Likewise, the one who pronounced the darud and salat once in his lifetime would be deemed to have done his duty of pronouncing the darud on the Holy Prophet. After it, it is neither obligatory ( fend) to recite the Kalimah nor the darud.
Another group holds that it is absolutely wajib to recite it in the Prayer but not necessarily in the tashahhud. Still another group holds the view that it is wajib to pronounce the darrid in every supplication. Some others say that it is wajib to pronounce it whenever the Holy Prophet's name is mentioned, and according to another group recitation of the darrid is wajib only once in an assembly or sitting no matter how often the name of the Holy Prophet is mentioned during it. ,
These differences only pertain to the darud's being obligatory in status or otherwise. As for its merit and excellence, its being conducive to high spiritual rewards and its being a great righteous act, there is complete unanimity among the Ummah. No one who is a believer in any degree can have any different opinion about it. The darud is the natural supplication of the heart of every Muslim, who realizes that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon Whom be Allah's peace) is the Ummah's greatest benefactor after Allah. The greater one's appreciation of Islam and the Faith, the greater will one be appreciative of the favours of the Holy Prophet himself; and the greater one's appreciation of the favours of the Holy Prophet, the more often will he pronounce the darud and salat on him. Thus, in fact, the frequency with which a person pronounces the darud is the measure which shows the depth of his relationship with the Holy Prophet's Religion and the extent of his appreciation of the blessing of the Faith. On this very basis the Holy Prophet has said: "The angels send darud on him who sends darud on me, as long as he does so." (Ahmad, Ibn Majah). "He who sends darud on me once, Allah sends darud on him ten times over." (Muslim) "The one who sends darud on me most often will deserve to remain close to me on the Day of Resurrection" (Tirmidhi). °Niggardly is the person who dces not send darud on me when I am mentioned before him." (Tirmidhi)
As to whether it is permissible to use the words Allahumma salli ala soand so, or sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, or similar other words for others than the Holy Prophet, it is disputed. One group of the scholars of whom Qadi `Iyad is most prominent holds it as absolutely permissible. Their argument is this: Allah Himself has used the word salat in respect of those who were not prophets at several places in the Qur'an, e.g. in AI-Baqarah; 157, At-Taubah: 103, Al-Ahzab:43. Similarly, the Holy Prophet also prayed for those who were not' prophets using the word sale) on several occasions. For example, he prayed for a Companion, thus: Allahumma salli 'ala al Abi Aufa; on the request of Hadrat Jabir bin 'Abdullah's wife, he said: Sallallahu alaihi wa 'ala zaujiki. Then concerning those who came with the Zakat money, he would say: Allahumma salli 'alaihim. Praying for Hadrat Sa'd bin 'Ubadah he said: Allahumma aj'al salataka wa rahmataka ala al-i Sa'd bin 'Ubadah. And about the soul of the believer the Holy Prophet gave the news that the angels prayed for him, thus: Sallallahu 'alaika wa ala jasadika. However, the majority of the Muslim scholars opine that it was correct for Allah and His Messenger but not so for the Ummah. They say that it has become a convention with the Muslims to use salat-o-salam exclusively for the Prophets. Therefore, it should not be used for those who are not prophets. On this very basis Hadrat 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz once wrote to one of his governors, saying: "I hear that some preachers have started using the word salat in respect of their patrons and supporters in the manner of salat 'alas-Nabi. As soon as you receive this letter, stop them from this practice and command them to use Salat exclusively for the Prophets and remain content with the prayer for the other Muslims." (Ruh al-Ma'eni). Most scholars also hold that using the words sallallahu alaihi wa sallam for any other Prophet than the Holy Prophet is not correct.
 
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا﴿33:57﴾ 
(33:57) Allah has cursed in this world and in the Hereafter those who cause trouble to Allah and His Messenger, and has prepared for them a disgraceful punishment. *108
*108 "To trouble Allah" implies two things: That Allah should be disobeyed, that an attitude of disbelief and shirk and atheism be adopted with regard to Him, and that things made unlawful by Him be made lawful; and (2) that His Messenger be troubled, for just as obedience to the Messenger is obedience to Allah, so is opposition and disobedience of the Messenger opposition and disobedience of Allah.
 
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا﴿33:58﴾ 
(33:58) And those who cause trouble to the believing men and women for no fault of theirs, have indeed born on their head the burden of a grave slander *109 and a manifest sin.
*109 This verse determines the definition of slander. It is to ascribe a fault to a person which he does not have, or an error which he has not committed. The Holy Prophet also has explained it. According to Abu Da'ud and Tirmidhi, when he was asked as to what is ghibat (backbiting), he replied: 'It is to make mention of your brother in a manner derogatory to him. " The questioner said, "And if the fault is there in my brother?" . The Holy Prophet replied: `If the fault that you mentioned is there in him, you backbite him; if it is not there, you slandered him." Such an act is not only a moral sin, which will entail punishment in the Hereafter, but this verse also requires that in the law of an Islamic State also false allegation should be held as a culpable offence.
 
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴿33:59﴾ 
(33:59) O Prophet, enjoin your wives and daughters and the women of the believers that they should let down over their faces a part of their outer-garments; *110 it is expected that they will thus be recognized and not molested. *111 Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. *112
*110 Jilbab is a large sheet and idna' is to draw close and wrap up, but when this word is used with the associating particle ala, it gives the meaning of letting something down from above. Some modern translators, under the influence of the West, have translated this word "to wrap up" so as to avoid somehow the Command about covering of the face. But if Allah had meant what these gentlemen want to consture, He would have said: yudnina ilai-hinna and not yudnina alai-hinna. Anyone who knows Arabic knows that yudnina 'alai-hinna cannot merely mean "wrapping up. " Moreover, the words min jalabib-i hinna also do not permit of this meaning. It is obvious that the preposition min here signifies a part of the sheet, and also that wrapping up is done by means of a whole sheet and not merely by a part of it. The verse, therefore, clearly means : The women should wrap themselves up well in their sheets, and should draw and let down a part of the sheet in front of the face.
This same meaning was understood by the major commentators who lived close to the time of the Holy Prophet. Ibn Jarir and Ibn al-Mundhir have related that Muhammad bin Sirin asked Hadrat `Ubaidah as-Salmani the meaning of this verse. (This Hadrat `Ubaidah had become a Muslim in the time of the Holy Prophet but had not been able to visit him. He came to Madinah in the time of Hadrat 'Umar and settled down there. He was recognized as equal in rank with Qadi Shuraih in jurisprudence and judicial matters). Instead of giving a verbal reply Hadrat 'Ubaidah put on his sheet and gave a practical demonstration by covering his head and forehead and face and an eye, leaving only the other eye uncovered. Ibn 'Abbas also has made almost the same commentary. In his statements which have been reported by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Marduyah, he says: "Allah has commanded the women that when they move .out of their houses for an outdoor duty, they should conceal their faces by drawing and letting down aver themselves a part of their sheets, keeping only the eyes uncovered. " The same explanation of this verse has been given by Qatadah and Suddi.
All the great commentators who have passed after the period of the Companions and their immediate followers have given the same meaning of this verse. Imam Ibn Jarir Tabari, in his commentary of this verse, says: "The respectable women should not look like the slave-girls from their dress when they move out of their houses, with uncovered faces and loose hair; they should rather draw and Iet down over them a part of their sheets or outer-garments so that no evil person may dare molest them." (Jami'al Bayan, vol. XXII, p. 33).
'Allama Abu Bakr al-Jassas says: "This verse points out that the young woman has been commanded to conceal her face from the other men; when moving out of the house she should cover herself up well to express chastity and purity of character so that people of doubtful character do not cherish any false hope when they see her. " (Ahkam al-Qur'an, vol. III, p. 458).
'Allama Zamakhshari says: "It means that they should Iet down a part of their sheet over themselves, and should cover their faces and wrap up their sides well." (AI-Kashshaf, vol. II, p. 221). 'Allama Nizamuddin Nishapuri says: "That is, they should Iet down a part of the sheet over them: in this verse, the women have been commanded to cover the head and face. " (Ghara'ib al-Qur an, vol. XXII, p. 32).
Imam Razi says: "What is mean is that the people may know that they are not promiscuous women. For the woman who covers her face, though the face is not included in the satar, cannot be expected to uncover her satar, which is obligatory to cover before the other man. Thus, everyone will know that they are modest and virtuous women who cannot be expected to do anything indecent." (Tafsir Kabir. vol. VI, p 591)
Incidentally, another thing that is proved by this verse is that the Holy Prophet had several daughters, for Allah Himself says: "O Prophet, enjoin your wives and daughters." These words absolutely refute the assertion of those people who without any fear of God make the claim that the Holy Prophet had only one daughter, Hadrat Fatimah, and the other daughters were not froth his own loins but by the former husbands. These people are so blinded by prejudice that they do not even bother to consider what crime they arc committing by denying the parentage of the children of the Holy Prophet, and what severe punishment will await them in the Hereafter. AII authentic traditions concur that from Hadrat Khadijah the Holy Prophet had not one daughter, Hadrat Fatimah, but three other daughters as well. The Holy Prophet's earliest biographer, Muhammad bin Ishaq, after mentioning his marriage with Hadrat Khadijah, says; "She was the mother of aII the Holy Prophet's children except Ibrahim, namely Qasim and Tahir and Tayyib and Zainab and Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum and Fatimah." (Ibn Hisham, vol. I, p. 202).
The famous genealogist, Hashim bin Muhammad bin as-Sa'ib al-Kalbi, states: 'The first born child to the, Messenger. of Allah before his call to Prophethood was Qasim; then Zainab was born to him, then Ruqayyah, then Umm Kulthum." (Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, vol. I, p. 133). Ibn Hazam writes in Jawami' asSirah that from Hadrat Khadijah the Holy Prophet had four daughters, the eldest being Zainab, then Ruqayyah, then Fatimah and then Umm Kulthum (pp. 38-39). Tabari, Ibn Sa'd, Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Habib (author of Kitab al-Muhabbar) and Ibn 'Abd al-Bart (author of Kitab al-lsti'ab) state on the strength of authentic sources that before her marriage with the Holy Prophet Hadrat Khadijah had two husbands, Abu Halah Tamimi by whom she had a son named Hind bin Abu Halah, and 'Atiq bin 'A'idh Makhzumi, by whom she had a daughter named Hind. Then she was married to the Holy Prophet and aII the genealogists agree that from his loins she had the four daughters as stated above. (See Tabari, vol. ll, p. 411: tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, vol. VIII, pp. 14-16; Kitab al-Muhabbar, pp. 78, 79, 452; .9l-Isti'ab, vol. II, p. 718). AII these statements are authenticated by the Qur'anic declaration that the Holy Prophet had not one but several daughters.
*111 "... will thus be recognized": will be recognized to be noble and chaste women from their simple and modest dress, and not w omen of iII repute from whom some wicked person could cherish evil hopes. ''.. are not molested": will not be teased but Iet alone.
Let us pause here for a while and try to understand what spirit of the social law of Islam is being expressed by this Qur'anic Command and what is its object which Allah Himself has stated. Before this in Surah An-Nur: 31, the women have been forbidden to display their adornments before others except such and such men and women, and "also that they should not stamp their feet on the ground lest their hidden decoration (ornaments) should be known." If that Command is read with this verse of AI-Ahzab it becomes obvious that the intention of the Command for the woman to cover herself well with the sheet here is to conceal her adornments from others. And, evidently, this purpose can be fulfilled only if the sheet or the outer-garment itself is simple; otherwise wrapping up oneself with a decorated and attractive sheet will defeat the purpose itself. Besides, Allah does not onlv command the woman to conceal her adornment by covering herself with the sheet, but also enjoins that she should Iet down a pan of the sheet over herself. No sensible person can take any other meaning of this Command than that it requires to conceal the face along with the concealment of the adonunents of the body and dress. Then, Allah Himself states the reason for enjoining the Command, saying: "This is an appropriate way by adopting which the Muslim women will be recognized and will remain safe from trouble." Evidently, this instruction is being given to those women who regard flirtation and stares and evil advances by men as annoying and troublesome and not as enjoyable, who do not want to be counted among ill-reputed, immodest societygirls, but wish to be known as chaste and modest domestic women. To such noble and pious women Allah says: 'If you really wish to be known as good women, and the men's lustful attention is not pleasurable but embarrassing for you, then you should not come out of your houses in full make-up like the newly-wed brides so as to display your beauty and physical charms before the greedy eyes of the people, but the best way for this would be that you should come out in a simple sheet fully concealing your adormments and covering your face and walking in a manner that even the jingle of your ornaments does not attract attention. The woman who applies herself to make-up and does not step out of the house until she has fully embellished and decorated herself with every adornment cannot have any other intention that to become the center of attention of aII the men, whom she herself allures. After this if she complains that the greedy looks of the people cause embarrassment to her, and she dces not wish to be known as a "society woman" and a "popular lady", but wants to live as a chaste house-wife, it will be nothing but a fraud. It is not the word of the mouth of a person that determines his intention, but his real intention is manifested in his act and mode of behavior. Therefore, the act of the woman who appears before the other then attractively itself shows what motivates her behaviour. That is why the mischievous people cherish the same hopes from her as can be cherished from such a woman. The Qur'an tells the women: "You cannot be chaste women and society women at one and the same time. If you want to live as modest, chaste women, you will have to give up the ways that are conducive to becoming society women only, and adopt the way of life that can be helpful in becoming chaste women. "
Whether a man's personal opinion is according to the Qur'an or opposed to it, and whether he wants to accept the Qur'anic guidance as a practical guide for himself or not, in any case if he does not wish to be intellectually dishonest in interpreting the Qur'an, he cannot fail to understand its real intention. If he is not a hypocrite he will frankly admit that the Qur'an's intention is what has been stated above. After this if he violates any Command, he will do so with the realization that he is violating the Qur'anic Command, or regards the Qur'anic guidance as wrong.
*112 That is, "Allah will forgive the errors and mistakes that were committed in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance, provided that you reform yourselves now when you have received clear guidance, and do not violate it intentionally. "
 
لَئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا﴿33:60﴾ 
(33:60) If the hypocrites and those whose hearts are diseased *113 and the scandal-mongers in Madinah *114 do not desist, We shall stir you up to take action against them; then they will hardly be able to live in this city as your neighbors.
*113 "Having diseased hearts" points to two kinds of evils: (1) That a person should be an iII-wisher of Islam and the Muslims although he gets himself counted among the Muslims; and (2) that he should be cherishing evil intentions and having criminal mentality and his evil tendencies be manifesting themselves in everything he thinks and does.
*114 This unplies the people who, in order to cause panic among the Muslims and to lower their morale, used to spread rumours in Madinah to the effect that the Muslims had suffered such and such serious setback, that a huge army was gathering together against them at such and such a place, that Madinah was under threat of a sudden attack, etc. Besides this, they had another pastime. they would concoct and spread imaginary stories about the domestic life of the Holy Prophet's household and of other Muslims so as to produce suspicions among the common people and destroy the moral influence of the Muslims.
 
مَلْعُونِينَ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا أُخِذُوا وَقُتِّلُوا تَقْتِيلًا﴿33:61﴾ 
(33:61) They will be cursed from every side and will be seized wherever they are found and killed mercilessly.

 
سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا﴿33:62﴾ 
(33:62) This has been the Way of Allah with regard to such people before, and you will never find any change in the Way of Allah. *115
*115 That is, "This is a permanent law of Allah's Shari'ah that in an Islamic society and state such mischief-mongers are never given an opportunity to flourish and prosper. Whenever the system of society and state is established on Divine Law, such people will be warned to mend their ways and if they still persisted in their evil ways they would be severely dealt with and exterminated."
 
يَسْأَلُكَ النَّاسُ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ اللَّهِ وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَةَ تَكُونُ قَرِيبًا﴿33:63﴾ 
(33:63) The people ask you as to when will Resurrection take place. *116 Say, "The knowledge of it is with Allah alone: you may not know that it may well be near at hand.
*116 The Holy Prophet was generally asked this question by the disbelievers and the hypocrites. By this they did not mean to obtain any knowledge but they did so out of fun and jest. As a matter of fact, they did not believe in the coming of the Hereafter at aII; they regarded its concept as an empty threat only. They did not ask about the time of its coming so that they could set their affairs right, but what they really meant was : "O Muhammad, we have been doing everything to frustrate your mission, and you have not been able to do any harm to us so far; now Iet us know as to when will Resurrection take place when we will be taken to task by Allah."
 
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَنَ الْكَافِرِينَ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ سَعِيرًا﴿33:64﴾ 
(33:64) In any case, it is certain that Allah has laid curse on the disbelievers and has prepared for them a blazing Fire,

 
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا لَّا يَجِدُونَ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا﴿33:65﴾ 
(33:65) in which they will live for ever and will have no protector and helper.

 
يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يَا لَيْتَنَا أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُولَا﴿33:66﴾ 
(33:66) On the Day their faces are rolled about on the Fire, they will say, "Would that we had obeyed Allah and His Messenger!"

 
وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا﴿33:67﴾ 
(33:67) And (they) will say, "Our Lord, we obeyed our chiefs and our great men, and they led us astray from the right path.

 
رَبَّنَا آتِهِمْ ضِعْفَيْنِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ وَالْعَنْهُمْ لَعْنًا كَبِيرًا﴿33:68﴾ 
(33:68) Lord, give them a double chastisement and curse them severely." *117
*117 This thing has been stated at several places in the Qur'an. For instance, sec AI-A'raf: 187; An-Naziyat: 42-46: Saba: 3-5; AI-Mulk: 24-27; AIMutaffifin: 10-17; AI-Hijr: 2-3; Al-Furqan: 27-29; Ha Mim As-Sajdah: 26-29.
 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ آذَوْا مُوسَى فَبَرَّأَهُ اللَّهُ مِمَّا قَالُوا وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهًا﴿33:69﴾ 
(33:69) O you who have believed, *118 do not be like those who had realigned Moses; then Allah cleared him of what they said of him, and he was honourable in the sight of Allah *119 .
*118 One should note that the Holy Qur'an has at some places addressed the true Muslims with: 'O you who have believed," and at others the Muslim community as a whole, which includes the believers as well as the hypocrites and the Muslims of the weak faith, and at still others only the hypocrites. When the hypocrites and the Muslims of the weak faith are addressed with: "O you who have believed," it is meant to put them to shame, as if to say, "You claim to have affirmed faith, but your acts and deeds do not support your claim." A little study of the context can easily show which class of the people has been addressed at a particular place. Here, obviously, the common Muslims are being addressed.
*119 In other words, it means: "O Muslims, do not behave like the Jews. You should not behave towards your Prophet as the children of Israel behaved towards the Prophet Moses. " The Israelites themselves admit that the Prophet Moses was their greatest benefactor. Whatever they achieved as a nation was only due to him: otherwise in Egypt they would have been doomed to a worse fate than that of the Shudras in India. But how the Israelites treated the greatest benefactor of theirs can be judged by a cursory glance at the following places of the Bible: Exodus, 5: 20-21, 14: 12, 16: 2-3, 17: 3-4. Numbers, 11:1-15,14:1-10, 16 (the whole chapter), 20: 1-5. The Qur'an by referring to this ingratitude of the children of Israel, warns the Muslims, so as to say: "Refrain from adopting this same attitude towards Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace); otherwise you should be ready to face the same fate as the Jews. "
This same thing was said by Holy Prophet himself on several occasions. Once he was dividing some goods among the Muslims. When the people dispersed, a man said; "Muhammad in this division has shown no regard for Allah and the Hereafter. " Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud heard this remark and told the Holy Prophet what had been said concerning him that day. He replied, "May Allah show mercy to Moses: he was maligned even more severely, but he showed patience." (Musnad Ahmad, TIrmidhi, Abu Da'ud).
 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا﴿33:70﴾ 
(33:70) O believers fear Allah and say the right thing:

 
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا﴿33:71﴾ 
(33:71) Allah will adorn your deeds and will overlook your errors Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed attained a great success.

 
إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا﴿33:72﴾ 
(33:72) We offered this trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains but they refused to bear it and were afraid of it, the but man undertook to bear it. Indeed, he is unjust and ignorant. *120
*120 In the end, Allah wants man to realize his real position in the world; if in that position he regarded the life of the world as mere fun and sport and adopted a wrong attitude carelessly, he would only be working for his own doom. Here, the word 'amanat" (trust) implies khilafat (caliphate) which, according to the Qur'an, tnan has been granted in the earth. The inevitable result of the freedom given to man to choose between obedience and disobedience, and the powers and authority granted him over countless creations for using that freedom, is that he himself be held responsible for his voluntary acts and should deserve rewards for his righteous conduct and suffer punishment for his evil conduct. Since man has not attained these powers by his own efforts but has been granted these by Allah, and he is answerable before Allah for their right or wrong use, these have been described by the word khilafat at other places in the Qur'an, and by amanat here. In order to give an idea of how important and heavy this "trust" (amanat) is, Allah says that the heavens and the earth, in spite of their glory and greatness, and the mountains, in spite of their size and firmness, could not have the power and courage to bear it. But man, the weak and frail man, has borne this heavy burden on his tiny self. The presentation of the trust before the eanh and the heavens and their refusal to bear it and their being afraid of it may be taste literally, or it may have been said so metaphorically. We can neither know nor can comprehend Allah's relationship with His creations. The eanh and the sun and the moon and the mountains are dumb, deaf and lifeless for us but they may not be so also for Allah. Allah can speak to each of His creations and it can respond to Him, though its nature is incomprehensible for us. Therefore, it is just possible that Allah, in fact, might have presented this heavy trust before them, and they might have shuddered to see it, and they might have made this submission before their Master and Creator. "Lord, we find our good and our convenience only in remaining as Your powerless servants: we do not find courage to ask for the freedom to disobey and do justice to it, and then suffer Your punishment in case we cannot do justice to it." Likewise, it is also quite possible that before this present life Allah might have given another kind of existence to mankind and summoned it before Himself, and it migln have willingly undertaken to accept the delegated powers and authority. We have no rational argument to regard this as impossible. Only such a person, who might have made a wrong estimate of his mental and intellectual powers and capabilities, can think of regarding it as impossible. However, this also is equally possible that Allah may have said so allegorically. In order to give an idea of the extraordinary importance of the matter, He may have depicted the scene as if the earth and the heavens and the mountains like the Himalayas were present before Him on one side and a 5 to Gfoot man, on the other. Then Allah might have asked: "I want to invest someone of My creation with the power that being a subject of My Kingdom, it may acknowledge My Supremacy and obey My Commands of its own free will; otherwise it will also have the power to deny Me, even rebel against Me. After giving him this freedom I shall so conceal Myself from him as if I did not exist at aII. And to exercise this freedom I shall invest him with vast powers, great capabilities, and shall give him dominion over countless of My creations so that he may raise any storm that he may in the universe. Then I shall call him to account at an appointed time. The one who will have misused the freedom granted by Me, will be made to suffer a most terrible punishment; and the one who will have adopted My obedience in spite of aII chances and opportunities for disobedience, will be raised to such high ranks as no creation of Mine has ever been able to attain. Now tell, which of you is ready to undergo this test?" Hearing this discourse a hush might have prevailed for a while all through the universe. Then one huge creation after the other might have bowed down and submitted that it should be excused from the severe test. Then, at last, this frail creation might have risen and submitted: "O my Lord, I am ready to undergo this test. I shall brave aII the dangers inherent in the freedom and independence only in the hope that I shall be blessed with the highest office in Your Kingdom if I pass the test. " By imagining this scene through his mind's eye only can man judge exactly what delicate position he holds in the universe. Allah in this verse has called the person °unjust and ignorant", who lives a carefree life in the place of test, and has no feeling at all of how great a responsibility he is shouldering, and what consequences he will encounter of the right or wrong decisions that he makes in choosing and adopting an attitude for himself in the life of the world. He is ignorant because the fool holds himself as responsible to no one; he is unjust because he is himself preparing for his doom and is also preparing the doom of many others along with him.
 
لِيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴿33:73﴾ 
(33:73) (The inevitable result of bearing the burden of the trust is) that Allah should Punish the hypocritical men and women and mushrik men and women, and accept the repentance of the believing men and women: Allah is indeed Forgiving and Merciful.