This Surah contains 73 verses, 1,280 sentences, 5,790 letters and 9 Ruku's
It takes its name Al-Ahzab from verse 20.
The Surah discusses three important events which are: the Battle of the Trench (or Al-Ahzab: the Clans), which took place in Shawwal, A.H. 5; the raid on Bani Quraizah, which was made in Dhil-Qa'dah, A.H. 5; and the Holy Prophet's marriage with Hadrat Zainab, which also was contracted in Dhil-Qa'dah, A.H. 5. These historical events accurately determine the period of the revelation of this Surah.
The Islamic army's setback in the Battle of Uhud (A.H. 3) that resulted from the error of the archers appointed by the Holy Prophet so boosted up the morale of the Arab pagans and the Jews and the hypocrites that they started entertaining the hope that they would soon be able to exterminate Islam and the Muslims completely. Their high state of morale can be judged from the events that occurred in the first year after Uhud. Hardly two months had passed then the tribe of Bani Asad of Najd began to make preparations for a raid on Madinah, and the Holy Prophet had to despatch an expedition under Abu Salamah to counteract them. In Safar A.H. 4 some people of the tribes of Adal and Qarah asked the Holy Prophet to send some men to instruct them in Islam. Accordingly six of the Companions were allowed to accompany them for the purpose. But when they reached Raji (a place between Rabigh and Jeddah), they summoned Hudhail against them, who killed four of the Companions, and took the other two (Hadrat Khubaib bin Adi and Hadrat Zaid bin ad-Dathinnah) to Makkah and sold them to the enemy. Then in the same month of Safar, on the request of a chief of Bani Amir, the Holy Prophet sent another deputation of 40 (according to others, 70) preachers, consisting of the Ansar young men, to Najd. But they were also betrayed. The people of Usayyah and Ri'l and Dhakwan, tribes of Bani Sulaim, surrounded them suddenly at Bir Maunah and slew all of them.
Meanwhile the Jewish tribe of Bani an-Nadir of Madinah, getting encouragement, continued to commit breaches of the treaties; so much so that in Rabi'ul Awwal, A.H. 4, they plotted against the life of the Holy Prophet himself. Then in Jamadi al-Ula, A.H. 4, Bani Thalbah and Bani Muharib, the two tribes of Bani Ghatafan, started making preparations to attack Madinah and the Holy Prophet had to go to punish them. Thus, after their setback at Uhud, the Muslims went on encountering repercussions continuously for seven to eight months.
However, it was the Holy Prophet's determination and wisdom and his great Companions' spirit of sacrifice that changed these adverse conditions completely within a short span of time. The economic boycott by the Arabs had made life hard for the people of Madinah. All the polytheistic tribes around Madinah were becoming rebellious. Inside Madinah itself the Jews and the hypocrites were beat upon mischief. But the successive steps taken by a handful of the sincere Muslims, under the leadership of the Holy Prophet, not only restored the image of strength of Islam in Arabia but also increased it manifold.
The first such step was taken immediately after the Battle of Uhud. The very next day when quite a large number of Muslims lay wounded and the martyrdom of the near and dear ones was being mourned in many houses, and the Holy Prophet himself was injured and sad at the martyrdom of his uncle, Hadrat Hamzah, he called out to the devoted servants of Islam to accompany him in pursuit of the pagans so as to deter them from returning and attacking Madinah again. The Holy Prophet's assessment was absolutely correct. He knew that, although the Quraish had retreated without taking any advantage of their almost complete victory, they would certainly regret their folly when they would halt and consider the whole matter coolly on the way, and would return to attack Madinah again. Therefore, he decided to go in pursuit of them, and 630 of of the Muslims at once volunteered to accompany him. When they reached Hamra al-Asad on the way to Makkah and camped there for three days, the Holy Prophet came to know through a sympathetic non-Muslim that Abu Sufyan had stayed at Ar-Rauha, 36 miles short of Madinah, with an army 2,978 strong: they were regretting their error and were, in fact, planning to return and attack Madinah once again. But when they heard that the Holy Prophet was coming in pursuit of them with an army, they lost heart and gave up their plan. Thus, not only were the Quraish deterred by this action but the other enemies living around Madinah also realized that the Muslims were being led by a person who was highly well informed, wise and resolute, and that the Muslims were ever ready to lay down their lives at his command. (For further details, see Introduction to Surah Al Imran.
Then as soon as the Bani Asad started making preparations for a raid on Madinah, the Holy Prophet's secret agents gave him timely information about their intention. Thus, before they could come in force to attack Madfnah, he sent an army 150 strong, under Hadrat Abu Salamah (the first husband of Hadrat Umm Salamah) to punish them. They took Bani Asad by surprise, who fled in panic leaving all their possessions behind, which fell into the Muslim hands.
After this came the turn of the Bani an-Nadir. The day they plotted against the life of the Holy Prophet, and the secret was disclosed, the Holy Prophet ordered them to leave Madinah within ten days and warned that anyone who remained behind after that would be put to death. Abdullah bin Ubayy, the chief of the hypocrites of Madinah, encouraged them to defy the order and refuse to leave Madinah. He even promised to help them with 2,000 men, and assured them that the Bani Ghatafan from Najd also would come to their aid. Accordingly, the Bani an-Nadir sent word that they would not leave no matter what the Holy Prophet might do.
As soon as the time limit of ten days come to an end, the Holy Prophet laid siege to their quarters, but none of their supporters had the courage to come to their rescue. At last, they surrendered on condition that every three of them would be allowed to load a camel with whatever they could carry and go away leaving the rest of their possessions behind. Thus, the whole suburbs of the city which were inhabited by the Bani an-Nadir, and their gardens and their fortresses and other properties fell to the Muslims, and the people of this treacherous tribe became scattered in Khaiber, Wad il Qura and Syria.
Then the Holy Prophet turned his attention to the Bani Ghatafan, who were preparing for a war against Madinah. He took 400 of the Muslims and overtook them at Dhat ar-Riqa. They were so taken by surprise that they fled their houses without a struggle and took refuge in the mountains.
After this in Shaban A.H. 4, the Holy Prophet went forth to Badr to fight Abu Sufyan. At the end of the Battle of Uhud, he had challenged the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, saying, "We shall again meet you in combat at Badr next year." In reply the Holy Prophet announced through a Companion: "All right: we accept your challenge." Accordingly, at the appointed time he reached Badr with 1,500 of the Muslims. From the other side, Abu Sufyan left Makkah with an army of 2,000 men, but could not have the courage to march beyond Marr-az-Zahran (modern, Wadi Fatimah). The Holy Prophet waited for him at Badr for eight days; the Muslims during these days did profitable business with a trading party. This incident helped more than restore the image of strength of the Muslims that had been tarnished at Uhud. It also made the whole of Arabia realize that the Quraish alone could no longer resist Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings).
This image and position of the Muslims was further strengthened by another event. Dumat al-Jandal (modern, Al-Jauf) was an important place at the border between Arabia and Syria. When the caravans of the Arabs, trading between Iraq in the south and Syria and Egypt in the north, passed that way, they were harassed and looted by the natives. In Rabi al-Awwal, A.H. 5, the Holy Prophet himself went to punish them with an army of 1,000 men. They could not muster up courage to come out and fight him and, therefore, fled the place. This caused the whole of northern Arabia to dread the power of Islam, and the tribes began to realize that the great power emerging from Al-Madinah was formidable and could no longer be resisted by one or a few of the tribes.
Such were the conditions when the Battle of the Trench took place. It was in fact a combined raid by many of the Arab tribes, who wanted to crush the power of Madinah. It had been instigated by the leaders of the Bani an-Nadir, who had settled in Khaiber after their banishment from Madinah. They went round to the Quraish and Ghatafan and Hudhail and many other tribes and induced them to gather all their forces together and attack Madinah jointly. Thus, in Shawwal, A.H. 5, an unprecedentedly large army of the Arab tribes marched against the small city of Madinah. From the north came Jews of Bani an-Nadir and Bani Qainuqa who after their banishment from Madinah, had settled in Khaiber and Wad il Qura. From the east advanced the tribes of Ghatafan, Bani Sulaim, Fazarah, Murrah, Ashja, Sad, Asad, etc. and from the south the Quraish, along with a large force of their allies. Together they numbered from ten to twelve thousand men.
Had it been a sudden attack, it would have been disastrous. But the Holy Prophet was not unaware of this in Madinah. His intelligence men and the sympathisers of the Islamic movement and the people influenced by it were present in every tribe, who kept him informed of the enemy's movements. Even before the enemy could reach his city, he got a trench dug out on the north-west of Madinah in six days, and having the Mount Salat their back, took up a defensive position with 3,000 men in the protection of the Trench. To the south of Madinah there were many gardens (even now there are) so that it could not be attacked from that side. To the east there are lava rocks which are impassable for a large army. The same is the case with the south western side. The attack, therefore, could be made only from the eastern and western sides of the Uhud, which the Holy Prophet had secured by digging a trench. The disbelievers were not at all aware that they would have to counter the trench outside Madinah. This kind of a defensive stratagem was unknown to the Arabs. Thus, they had to lay a long siege in winter for which they had not come prepared.
After this, only one alternative remained with the disbelievers: to incite the Jewish tribe of Bani Quraizah, who inhabited the southeastern part of the city, to rebellion. As the Mus]ims had entered a treaty with them that in case of an attack on Madinah they would defend the city along with them, the Muslims had made no defensive arrangement there and had even sent their families to take shelter in the forts situated on that side. The invaders perceived this weakness of the Islamic defenses. They sent Huyayy bin Akhtab, the Jewish leader of the Bani an-Nadir, to the Bani Quraizah so as to induce them to break the treaty and join the war. In the beginning, they refused to oblige and said that they had a treaty with Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) who had faithfully abided by it and given them no cause for complaint. But when Ibn Akhtab said to them, "Look, I have summoned the united force of entire Arabia against him: this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of him. If you lose it, you will never have another opportunity," the anti Islamic Jewish mind prevailed over every moral consideration and the Bani Quraizah were persuaded to break the treaty.
The Holy Prophet received news of this. He at once told Sad bin Ubadah, Sad bin Muadh, Abdullah bin Rawahah and Khawwat bin Jubair, chiefs of the Ansar, to go and find out the truth. He advised them that if they found Bani Quraizah still loyal to the treaty, they should return and say so openly before the Muslim army; however, if they found that they were bent upon treachery they should only inform him so that the common Muslims would not be disheartened. On reaching there the Companions found the Bani Quraizah fully bent on mischief. They told the Companions openly, "There is no agreement and no treaty between us and Muhammad." At this they returned to the Islamic army and submitted their report to the Holy Prophet, saying, "'Adal and Qarah." That is, "The Quraizah are bent upon doing what the Adal and Qarah had done with the preachers of Islam at Raji."
This news spread among the Muslims and caused great consternation among them, for they had been encircled and their city had been endangered on the side where there existed no defensive arrangement and where they had also sent their families to take shelter in the forts. This further increased the activities of the hypocrites and they started making psychological attacks to break the morale of the Muslims. One said, "How strange!We were being foretold that the lands of Caesar and Chosroes would fall to us, but here we are that not one of us can go out even to relieve himself." Another one asked for permission to leave his post at the Trench so that he could go and protect his own house which was in danger. Another one started making secret propaganda to the effect: "Settle your affair with the invaders yourselves and hand over Muhammad to them." This was a highly critical hour of trial, which exposed every person who harboured any hypocrisy in his heart. Only the true and sincere Muslims remained firm and steadfast in their resolve and devotion.
The Holy Prophet at that critical moment initiated peace negotiations with the Ban Ghatafan and tried to persuade them to accept one third of the fruit harvest of Madinah and withdraw. But when he asked Sad bin Ubadah and Sad bin Muadh, chief of the Ansar, for their opinion about the conditions of peace, they said, "O Messenger of Allah: Is it your personal wish that we should agree on these conditions, or is it Allah's Command that we have no option but to accept it?Or, are you giving this proposal only in order to save us from the enemy?" The Holy Prophet replied, "I am proposing this only to save you: I see that the whole of Arabia has formed a united front against you. I want to divide the enemy." At this the two chiefs protested; saying, "Sir, if you want to conclude this pact for our sake, kindly forget it. These tribes could not subdue us under tribute when we were polytheists. Now that we have the honour of believing in Allah and His Messenger, will they make us sink to this depth of ignominy? The sword now shall be the arbiter till Allah passes His judgement between them and us." With these words they tore up the draft for the treaty which had not yet been signed.
In the meantime Nuaim bin Masud, a member of the Ashja branch of the Ghatafan tribe, became a Muslim and came before the Holy Prophet and submitted: "No one as yet knows that I have embraced Islam: You can take from me whatever service you please." The Holy Prophet replied: "Go and sow the seeds of discord among the enemy."' So, first of all, Nu'aim went to the Quraizah with whom he was on friendly terms, and said to them, "The Quraish and the Ghatafan can become wearied of the siege and go back, and they will lose nothing, but you have to live here with the Muslims. Just consider what will be your position if the matter turns that way. Therefore, I would advise you not to join the enemy until the outsiders should send some of their prominent men as hostages to you." This had the desired effect upon the Bani Quraizah and they decided to demand hostages from the united front of the tribes. Then he went to the chiefs of the Quraish and the Ghatafan and said to them, "The Bani Quraizah seem to be slack and irresolute. May be they demand some men as hostage from you, and then hand them over to Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) to settle their affair with him. Therefore, be very firm and cautious in your dealing with them." This made the leaders of the united front suspicious of Bani Quraizah, and they sent them a message, saying, "We are tired of the long siege; let there be a decisive battle; let us, therefore, make a general assault simultaneously from both the sides." The Bani Quraizah sent back the word, saying, "We cannot afford to join the war unless you hand over some of your prominent men to us as hostages." The leaders of the united front became convinced that what Nuaim had said was true. They refused to send hostages. And the Bani Quraizah, on the other side, also felt that Nuaim had given them the correct counsel. Thus, the strategy worked: it divided the enemy against itself.
The siege was prolonged for more than 25 days. It was winter. The supply of food and water and forage was becoming more and more scarce everyday and division in the camp was also a great strain on the state of morale of the besiegers. Then, suddenly one night a severe windstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning hit the camp. It added to the cold and darkness. The wind overthrew the tents and put the enemy in disarray. They could not stand this severe blow of nature. They left the battleground even during the night and returned to their homes. When the Muslims awoke in the morning, there was not a single enemy soldier to be seen on the battlefield. The Holy Prophet, finding the battlefield completely empty, said: "The Quraish will never be able to attack you after this: now you will take the offensive." This was a correct assessment of the situation. Not only the Quraish but the united front of all the enemy tribes had made their final assault against Islam and had failed. Now they could no longer dare invade Madinah; now the Muslims were on the offensive.
When the Holy Prophet returned from the Trench, Gabriel came to him in the early afternoon with the Divine Command the the Muslims should not lay aside the arms yet but should deal with the Bani Quraizah as well. On receipt of this Command, the Holy Prophet announced: "Everyone who is steadfast in obedience should not offer his Asr Prayer till he reahes the locality of the Bani Quraizah." Immediately after this, he despatched Hadrat Ali with a contingent of soldiers as vanguard towards the Quraizah. When they reached there, the Jews climbed on to their roof tops and started hurling abuses on the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, but their invectives could not save them from the consequences of their treachery. They had committed breach of the treaty right at the most critical moment of the war, joined hands with the invaders and endangered the entire population of Madinah. When they saw the contingent of Hadrat Ali, they thought that they had come only to overawe them. But when the whole Islamic army arrived under the command of the Holy Prophet himself and laid siege to their quarters, they were very frightened. They could not stand the severity of the siege for more than two or three weeks. At last, they surrendered themselves to the Holy Prophet on the condition that they would accept whatever decision Hadrat Sad bin Muadh, the chief of the Aus, would give. They had accepted Hadrat Sad as their judge because in the pre-Islamic days the Aus and the Quraizah had been confederates and they hoped that in view of the past ties he would help them quit Madinah as had happened in the case of the Bani Qainuqa and the Bani an-Nadir before. The people of the Aus themselves wished that Hadrat Sad treat their previous allies leniently. But Hadrat Sad had just experienced and seen how the two Jewish tribes who had been allowed to leave Madinah previously had instigated the other tribes living around Madinah and summoned the united front of ten to twelve thousand men against the Muslims. He was also aware how treacherously this last Jewish tribe had behaved right on the occasion when the city was under attack from outside and threatened the safety of the whole of its population. Therefore, he decreed that all the male members of the Quraizah should be put to death, their women and children taken prisoners, and their properties distributed among the Muslims. The sentence was carried out duly. When the Muslims entered their strongholds they found that the treacherous people had collected 1,500 swords, 300 coats of mail, 2,000 spears and 1,500 shields in order to join the war. If Allah's succour had not reached the Muslims, all this military equipment would have been used to attack Madinah from the rear right at the time when the polytheists were making preparations for a general assault on the Muslims after crossing the Trench. After this disclosure there remained no doubt that the decision of Hadrat Sad concerning those people was absolutely correct.
Though the period of two years between the Battles of Uhud and the Trench was a period of disturbance and turmoil and the Holy Prophet and his Companions could hardly relax in peace and security even for a day, the work of reform as a whole and the reconstruction of the Muslim society continued uninterrupted. This was the time when the Islamic laws pertaining to marriage and divorce were complemented; the law of inheritance was introduced, drinking and gambling were prohibited, and the new laws and regulations concerning many other aspects of the economic and social life were enforced.
In this connection, an important thing that needed to be reformed was the question of the adoption of a son. Whoever was adopted by the Arabs as a son was regarded as one of their own offspring: he got share in inheritance; he was treated like a real son and real brother by the adopted mother and the adopted sister; he could not marry the daughter of his adopted father and his widow after his death. And the same was the case if the adopted son died or divorced a wife. The adopted father regarded the woman as his real daughter-in-law. This custom clashed in every detail with the laws of marriage and divorce and inheritance enjoined by Allah in Surahs Al-Baqarah and An-Nisa. It made a person who could get no share in inheritance entitled to it at the expense of those who were really entitled to it. It prohibited marriage between the men and the women who could contract marriage perfectly lawfully. And, above all, it helped spread the immoralities which the Islamic Law wanted to eradicate. For a real mother and a real sister and a real daughter cannot be like the adopted mother and the adopted sister and the adopted daughter, however one may try to sanctify the adopted relations as a custom. When the artificial relations endued with customary sanctity are allowed to mix freely like the real relations, it cannot but produce evil results. That is why the Islamic law of marriage and divorce, the law of inheritance and the law of the prohibition of adultery required that the concept and custom of regarding the adopted son as the real son should be eradicated completely.
This concept, however, could not be rooted out by merely passing a legal order, saying, The adopted son is not the real son. The centuries old prejudices and superstitions cannot be changed by mere word of mouth. Even if the people had accepted the command that these relations were not the real relations, they would still have looked upon marriage between the adopted mother and the adopted son, the adopted brother and the sister, the adopted father and the daughter, and the adopted father- in-law and the daughter-in-law odious and detestable. Moreover, there would still exist some freedom of mixing together freely. Therefore, it was inevitable that the custom should be eradicated practically, and through the Holy Prophet himself. For no Muslim could ever conceive that a thing done by the Holy Prophet himsell, and done by him under Allah's Command, could be detestable. Therefore, a little before the Battle of the Trench, the Holy Prophet was inspired by Allah that he should marry the divorced wife of his adopted son, Zaid bin Harithah (may Allah be pleased with him), and he acted on this Command during the siege of the Bani Quraizah. (The delay probably was caused for the reason that the prescribed waiting period had not yet ended, and in the meantime the Holy Prophet had to become busy in the preparation for war).
As soon as the marriage was contracted, there arose a storm of propaganda against the Holy Prophet. The polytheists, the hypocrites and the Jews, all were burning with jealousy at his triumphs which followed one after the other. The way they had been humbled within two years after Uhud, in the Battle of the Trench, and in the affair of the Quraizah, had made them sore at heart. They had also lost hope that they could ever subdue him on the battlefield. Therefore, they seized the question of this marriage as a godsend for themselves and thought they would put an end to his moral superiority, which was the real secret of his power and success. Therefore, stories were concocted that Muhammad, God forbid, had fallen in love with his daughter-in-law, and when the son had come to know of this, he divorced his wife, and the father married his daughter-in-law. The propaganda, however, was absurd on the face of it. Hadrat Zainab was the Holy Prophet's first cousin. He had known her from childhood to youth. So, there could be no question of his falling in love with her at first sight. Then he himself had arranged her marriage with Hadrat Zaid under his personal influence, although her whole family had opposed it. They did not like that a daughter of the noble Quraish should be given in marriage to a freed slave. Hadrat Zainab herself was not happy at this arrangement. But everyone had to submit to the Holy Prophet's command. The marriage was solemnized and a precedent was set in Arabia that Islam had raised a freed slave to the status of the Quraishite nobility. If the Holy Prophet had in reality any desire for Hadrat Zainab, there was no need of marrying her to Hadrat Zaid; he himself could have married her. But in spite of all this, the shameless opponents invented stories of love, spread them with great exaggeration and publicised them so vehemently that even some Muslims also began to accept them as true.
The fact that the tales invented by the enemies also became topics of conversation among the Muslims was a clear sign that the element of sensuality in society had crossed all limits. If this malady had not been there, it was not possible that minds would have paid any attention whatever to such absurd and disgusting stories about a righteous and pure person like the Holy Prophet. This was precisely the occasion when the reformative Commandments pertaining to the law of Hijab or Purdah were first enforced in the Islamic society. These reforms were introduced in this Surah and complemented a year later in Surah An-Nur, when a slander was made on the honour of Hadrat Aishah.(For further details, see Introduction to Surah An-Nur).
There were two other problems which needed attention at that time. Though apparently they pertained to the Holy Prophet's domestic life, it was necessary to resolve them for the domestic and mental peace of the person who was exerting every effort to promote the cause of Allah's Religion and was day and night absorbed in this great mission. Therefore, Allah took these two problems also officially in His own hand.
The first problem was that economically the Holy Prophet at that time was in straitened circumstances. During the first four years he had no source of income whatever. In 4 A.H. after the banishment of the Bani an-Nadir, a portion of their evacuated lands was reserved for his use by the Command of Allah, but it was not enough for his family requirements. On the other hand, the duties of the office of Prophethood were so onerous that they were absorbing all his energies of the mind and body and heart and every moment of his time, and he could not make any effort at all for earning his livelihood. In conditions such as these when his wives happened to disturb his mental peace because of economic hardships he would feel doubly strained and taxed.
The other problem was that before marrying Hadrat Zainab, he had four wives already in the houses: Hadrat Saudah, Hadrat Aishah, Hadrat Hafsah, and Hadrat Umm Salamah. Hadrat Zainab was his fifth wife. At this the opponents raised the objection, and the Muslims also started entertaining doubts, that as for others it had been forbidden to keep more than four wives at a time, but how the Holy Prophet himself had taken a fifth wife also.
These were the questions that were engaging the attention of the Holy Prophet and the Muslims at the time Surah Al-Ahzab was revealed, and replies to the same form the subject matter of this Surah.
A perusal of the theme and the background shows that the Surah is not a single discourse which was sent down in one piece but it consists of several injunctions and commandments and discourses, which were sent down, one after the other, in connection with the important events of the time, and then were put together in one Surah. Its following parts stand out clearly distinguished from one another:
1. Verses 1-8 seem to have been sent down before the Battle of the Trench. Their perusal, keeping the historical background in view, shows that at the time of their revelation Hadrat Zaid had already divorced Hadrat Zainab. The Holy Prophet was feeling the necessity that the concepts and customs and superstitions of ignorance concerning the adoption of the son should be eradicated, and he was also feeling that the delicate and deep sentimonts the people cherished about the adopted relations merely on emotional grounds would not be rooted out until he himelf took the initiative to eradicate the custom practically. But at the same time he was hesitant and considering seriously that if he married the divorced wife of Hadrat Zaid then, the hypocrites and the Jews and the mushriks who were already bent on mischief would get a fresh excuse to start a propaganda campaign against Islam. This was the occasion of the revelation of vv. 1-8.
2. In verses 9-27 an appraisal has been made of the Battle of the Trench and the raid against the Bani Quraizah. This is a clear proof that these verses were sent down after these events.
3. The discourse contained in vv. 28-35 consists of two parts. In the first part, Allah has given a notice to the wives of the Holy Prophet, who were being impatient of the straitened circumstances, to the effect:"Choose between the world and its adornments, and Allah, His Prophet and the Hereafter. If you seek the former, you should say so openly: you will not be kept back in hardship even for a day, but will be sent off gracefully. And if you seek the latter, you should cooperate with Allah and His messenger and bear patiently." In the second part, initial steps were taken towards the social reforms whose need was being felt by the minds moulded in the Islamic pattern themselves. In this regard, reform was started from the house of the Holy Prophet himself and his wives were commanded to avoid behaving and conducting themselves in the ways of the pre Islamic days of ignorance, to remain in their houses with dignity, and to exercise great caution in their conversation with the other men. This was the beginning of the Commandments of Purdah.
4. Verses 36-48 deal with the Holy Prophet's marriage with Hadrat Zainab. In this section the opponents' objection about this marriage have been answered; the doubts that were being created in the minds of the Muslims have been removed; the Muslims have been acquainted with the Holy Prophet's position and status; and the Holy Prophet himself has been counselled to exercise patience on the false propaganda of the disbelievers and the hypocrites.
5. In verse 49 a clause of the law of divorce has been laid down. This is a unique verse which was sent down on some occasion probably in connection with the same events.
6. In verses 50-52 a special regulation of marriage has been laid down for the Holy Prophet, which points out that he is an exception to the several restrictions that have been imposed on the other Muslims in regard to marital life.
7. In verses 53-55 the second step was taken towards social reform. It consists of the following injunctions: Restriction on the other men to visit the houses of the Holy Prophet's wives; Islamic etiquette concerning visits and invitations; the law that only the near relatives could visit the holy wives in their houses; as for the other men, they could speak to or ask them a thing from behind a curtain; the injunction that the Holy Prophet's wives were forbidden for the Muslims like their mothers; and none could marry any of them after him.
8. In verses 56-57 warning was given to stop criticizing the Holy Prophet's marriage and his domestic life, and the believers instructed not to indulge in fault finding like the enemies of Islam, but to invoke the blessings of Allah for their Prophet; moreover, they were instructed that they should avoid falsely accusing one another even among themselves, not to speak of the person of the Prophet.
9. In verse 59 the third step for social reform was taken. All the Muslim women were commanded that they should come out well covered with the outer garments and covering their faces whenever they came out of their houses for a genuine need.
After this till the end of the Surah the hypocrites and other foolish and mean people have been rebuked for the propaganda that they were carrying on at that time against Islam and the Muslims.
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Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
33 : 1
1. Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu ittaqi Allaha wala tutiAAi alkafireena waalmunafiqeena inna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeeman
O Prophet! Render your duty to Allah and succumb not to the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Verily Allah is Erudite and Wise!
33 : 2
2. WaittabiAA ma yooha ilayka min rabbika inna Allaha kana bima taAAmaloona khabeeran
And follow only that which has been inspired in you by your Lord! Allah is aware of all your deeds.
33 : 3
3. Watawakkal AAala Allahi wakafa biAllahi wakeelan
And put your trust in Allah alone, for Allah is sufficient for you as a Trustee.
33 : 4
4. Ma jaAAala Allahu lirajulin min qalbayni fee jawfihi wama jaAAala azwajakumu alla-ee tuthahiroona minhunna ommahatikum wama jaAAala adAAiyaakum abnaakum thalikum qawlukum bi-afwahikum waAllahu yaqoolu alhaqqa wahuwa yahdee alssabeela
not placed in the body of one man two hearts, nor has He made your wives whom
you say are like your mothers your real mothers, nor has He made those you say
are like your own sons your real sons! This is merely what you utter with your
mouths whereas Allah says the truth and shows the way!
(The above verse deals with several issues; it was customary amongst the Pagan Arabs that if they decided to sever conjugal relations with any one of their wives, they used to say to her : Ďyou are the same to me as my motherí instead of pronouncing a divorce and setting her free; secondly, they used to adopt sons born to other parents and treat them as their own by conferring on them the rights of inheritance and deeming their widows unlawful for them in the same way as they did in the case of widows their own sons left behind.
Qur'aan revoked both these practices by declaring that a wife does not
become a mother simply by making such a statement, nor does a son born to
other parents become the son of those who adopted him. Technically, this
revelation rules out the legality of adoption under Islamic Law and accentuates
that a wife is a wife no matter what we say with our mouths and an adopted son
is the son of his biological parents, no matter what we say with our mouths).
33 : 5
5. OdAAoohum li-aba-ihim huwa aqsatu AAinda Allahi fa-in lam taAAlamoo abaahum fa-ikhwanukum fee alddeeni wamawaleekum walaysa AAalaykum junahun feema akhta/tum bihi walakin ma taAAammadat quloobukum wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
them as sons of their real fathers which is more seemly in the sight of Allah.
But if their parentage is not traceable, then they are your brethren in faith or
your cousins. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that you commit
inadvertently, but it is a sin if you commit mistakes with the complicity of
your hearts. Allah indeed is Magnanimous and Merciful!
(The same issue is followed up in this verse exhorting the believers that they should refer to their adopted sons as sons of their biological fathers, and if their lineage could not be traced, refer to them as brethren in faith or as cousins).
33 : 6
6. Alnnabiyyu awla bialmu/mineena min anfusihim waazwajuhu ommahatuhum waoloo al-arhami baAAduhum awla bibaAAdin fee kitabi Allahi mina almu/mineena waalmuhajireena illa an tafAAaloo ila awliya-ikum maAAroofan kana thalika fee alkitabi mastooran
The Prophet is closer to the core of the believers than their own souls and his wives are like mothers to them. And kinsmen are closer to each other in the ordinances of Allah than your fellow believers and fugitives who fled from their homes. However, generosity to friends is ordained for you in the same Source.
(According to several accredited Ahadith, the reason why all Muslim men are
brethren in faith or cousins is because the Prophet is like a father
to his people and his wives are like their mothers. That said, the verse at the
same time accentuates that consanguines are more important than verbal
ties and the former must always take precedence over the latter)
33 : 7
7. Wa-ith akhathna mina alnnabiyyeena meethaqahum waminka wamin noohin wa-ibraheema wamoosa waAAeesa ibni maryama waakhathna minhum meethaqan ghaleethan
And (remember) We took from the Prophets their Covenant, as (We did) from you (O Mohammed), and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary, We made it irrevocable -
33 : 8
8. Liyas-ala alssadiqeena AAan sidqihim waaAAadda lilkafireena AAathaban aleeman
So that He may exact loyalty of those that are loyal and set aside a harsh doom for those that are disloyal. (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
1. O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Keep your duty to All‚h, and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites (i.e., do not follow their advices). Verily! All‚h is Ever All≠Knower, All≠Wise.
2. And follow that which is inspired in you from your Lord. Verily, All‚h is Well≠Acquainted with what you do.
3. And put your trust in All‚h, and Sufficient is All‚h as a WakÓl (Trustee, or Disposer of affairs).
4. All‚h has not put for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has He made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers' backs, your real mothers. [Az≠Zih‚r is the saying of a husband to his wife, "You are to me like the back of my mother" i.e. You are unlawful for me to approach.], nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But All‚h says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way.
5. Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with All‚h. But if you know not their father's (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Maw‚lÓkum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you if you make a mistake therein, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
6. The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves, and his wives are their (believers') mothers (as regards respect and marriage). And blood relations among each other have closer personal ties in the Decree of All‚h (regarding inheritance) than (the brotherhood of) the believers and the MuhajirŻn (emigrants from Makkah, etc.), except that you do kindness to those brothers (when the Prophet SAW joined them in brotherhood ties). This has been written in the (All‚h's Book of Divine) Decrees (Al≠Lauh Al≠MahfŻz)."
7. And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you (O Muhammad SAW), and from NŻh (Noah), Ibr‚him (Abraham), MŻsa (Moses), and 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). We took from them a strong covenant.
8. That He may ask the truthfuls (All‚h's Messengers and His Prophets) about their truth (i.e. the conveyance of All‚h's Message that which they were charged with). And He has prepared for the disbelievers a painful torment (Hell-fire).
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! Fear Allah, and hearken not to the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites: verily Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Keep thy duty to Allah and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and do not comply with (the wishes of) the unbelievers and the hypocrites; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise;
YUSUFALI: But follow that which comes to thee by inspiration from thy Lord: for Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do.
PICKTHAL: And follow that which is inspired in thee from thy Lord. Lo! Allah is Aware of what ye do.
SHAKIR: And follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; surely Allah is Aware of what you do;
YUSUFALI: And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.
PICKTHAL: And put thy trust in Allah, for Allah is sufficient as Trustee.
SHAKIR: And rely on Allah; and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
YUSUFALI: Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way.
PICKTHAL: Allah hath not assigned unto any man two hearts within his body, nor hath He made your wives whom ye declare (to be your mothers) your mothers, nor hath He made those whom ye claim (to be your sons) your sons. This is but a saying of your mouths. But Allah saith the truth and He showeth the way.
SHAKIR: Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him; nor has He made your wives whose backs you liken to the backs of your mothers as your mothers, nor has He made those whom you assert to be your sons your real sons; these are the words of your mouths; and Allah speaks the truth and He guides to the way.
YUSUFALI: Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if ye know not their father's (names, call them) your Brothers in faith, or your maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Proclaim their real parentage. That will be more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if ye know not their fathers, then (they are) your brethren in the faith, and your clients. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that ye make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: Assert their relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah; but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends; and there is no blame on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, but (concerning) that which your hearts do purposely (blame may rest on you), and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers. Blood-relations among each other have closer personal ties, in the Decree of Allah. Than (the Brotherhood of) Believers and Muhajirs: nevertheless do ye what is just to your closest friends: such is the writing in the Decree (of Allah).
PICKTHAL: The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers. And the owners of kinship are closer one to another in the ordinance of Allah than (other) believers and the fugitives (who fled from Mecca), except that ye should do kindness to your friends. This is written in the Book (of nature).
SHAKIR: The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves, and his wives are (as) their mothers; and the possessors of relationship have the better claim in the ordinance of Allah to inheritance, one with respect to another, than (other) believers, and (than) those who have fled (their homes), except that you do some good to your friends; this is written in the Book.
YUSUFALI: And remember We took from the prophets their covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant:
PICKTHAL: And when We exacted a covenant from the prophets, and from thee (O Muhammad) and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a solemn covenant;
SHAKIR: And when We made a covenant with the prophets and with you, and with Nuh and Ibrahim and Musa and Isa, son of Marium, and We made with them a strong covenant
YUSUFALI: That (Allah) may question the (custodians) of Truth concerning the Truth they (were charged with): And He has prepared for the Unbelievers a grievous Penalty.
PICKTHAL: That He may ask the loyal of their loyalty. And He hath prepared a painful doom for the unfaithful.
SHAKIR: That He may question the truthful of their truth, and He has prepared for the unbelievers a painful punishment.
33 : 9
9. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo othkuroo niAAmata Allahi AAalaykum ith jaatkum junoodun faarsalna AAalayhim reehan wajunoodan lam tarawha wakana Allahu bima taAAmaloona baseeran
O those of
you who believe! Remember Allah's favour to you when enemy columns lined up
against you and We lined up against them severe storms and columns that were not
visible to the human eye! And Allah is watchful of everything you do!
(The reference here is to the Battle of Ahzaab which took place in Madina one year after the Battle of Uhud, when the Prophet and the believers were surrounded from all sides by the enemy and trapped inside the township.
This Battle, also known as the Battle of Trench, resulted from the expulsion of the Jewish tribe of Banu al-Nadir from Madina when their hostility towards the Muslims reached an intolerable peak. But the Jews, angered by the expulsion, enlisted the support of several Arab clans around Madina as well as the Tribe of Quraish in Mecca who were always waiting to exploit every opportunity that presented itself to break the hold of the Prophet and of Islam on the residents of Madina and made preparations to lay siege to the town.
However, when the news of the proposed siege reached the Prophet, he resorted to
the unusual battle strategy of digging a trench around the township in
order to prevent the enemy from incursion and pillaging. That, together with a
bitingly cold gale force wind which blew and left behind it a trail of
devastation, not to mention the part played by the invisible army of angels
who further demolished the invaders by pelting them with missiles of pebbles,
ensured that, despite the overwhelming odds, the Muslim army scored yet another
victory over the combined forces of Jews, the clans and the Meccan agnostics.
33 : 10
10. Ith jaookum min fawqikum wamin asfala minkum wa-ith zaghati al-absaru wabalaghati alquloobu alhanajira watathunnoona biAllahi alththunoona
And when the enemy surged towards you from above and from below and your eyes froze and your hearts leapt into your throats, your minds did entertain negative thoughts regarding Allah!
33 : 11
11. Hunalika ibtuliya almu-minoona wazulziloo zilzalan shadeedan
That was the time when the believers were unsparingly tested and rocked by severe jolts -
33 : 12
12. Wa-ith yaqoolu almunafiqoona waallatheena fee quloobihim maradun ma waAAadana Allahu warasooluhu illa ghurooran
the hypocrites and the others in whose hearts there is a disease were saying :
'Allah and His Messenger have promised us nothing save delusions!'
the Battle of the Trench, the Muslims had already reached the Syrian border on
the North and there were clear possibilities of reaching Yemen in the South
because of which the Prophet made a guarded prediction that the Muslims were
poised on the brink of triumph in their extra-territorial expeditions as
promised by Allah. But when the hypocrites found themselves in the perilous
situation of being surrounded in Madina by a formidable army of disbelievers,
they lost no time in renouncing their faith in the promise of Allah and declared
that He and His messenger had given them nothing but false hopes)
33 : 13
13. Wa-ith qalat ta-ifatun minhum ya ahla yathriba la muqama lakum fairjiAAoo wayasta/thinu fareequn minhumu alnnabiyya yaqooloona inna buyootana AAawratun wama hiya biAAawratin in yureedoona illa firaran
And when a
group from the hypocrites said : 'O citizens of Yathrib! There is no stance for
you to take, so back off!' And some of them even sought the Prophet's consent to
leave saying : 'Our homes are exposed to danger!' though they were not really so
exposed except that they merely wanted to flee.
should be noted that the hypocrites referring to Madina as Yathrib was
deliberate. They knew the word ĎYathribí had a disparaging meaning in Arabic and
the Prophet despised Madina, the city of Radiance, being referred to as
33 : 14
14. Walaw dukhilat AAalayhim min aqtariha thumma su-iloo alfitnata laatawha wama talabbathoo biha illa yaseeran
If the enemy had sallied towards them from all sides and tempted them into treason, verily they would have succumbed to it with but little hesitation!
15. Walaqad kanoo AAahadoo Allaha min qablu la yuwalloona al-adbara wakana AAahdu Allahi mas-oolan
they had already sworn to Allah that they would never turn their backs on the
enemy! A pledge made to Allah is a pledge that must be answered for!
verse contains an eclectic reminder to all mankind that when we make a promise
to Allah, we are sure to be held accountable for its fulfilment on the Day of
33 : 16
16. Qul lan yanfaAAakumu alfiraru in farartum mina almawti awi alqatli wa-ithan la tumattaAAoona illa qaleelan
Say : 'Flight will not avail you if it is death or killing that you are fleeing from! Even if you do, it will be but short-lived!'
33 : 17
17. Qul man tha allathee yaAAsimukum mina Allahi in arada bikum soo-an aw arada bikum rahmatan wala yajidoona lahum min dooni Allahi waliyyan wala naseeran
them : 'Who can protect you from Allah whether He decides to harm you or
decides to be merciful towards you?' They will find no stalwarts nor cohorts to
succour them other than Allah!
contain yet another eclectic reminder to one and all that no one can escape
destiny, no matter how fast we run and how far we go. As explained before,
whether we hide ourselves in impenetrable garrisons or come face to face with
it, destiny would always prevail).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when the Jews persuaded the Hypocrites not to aid the believers by endangering themselves and their families, but return to the safety of the homes of their true friends - the Jews!
33 : 18
18. Qad yaAAlamu Allahu almuAAawwiqeena minkum waalqa-ileena li-ikhwanihim halumma ilayna wala ya/toona alba/sa illa qaleelan
Allah is already aware of those among you who obstruct the others and who say to their brethren : 'Come to us!' and they come not to the perils of warfare except a few -
33 : 19
19. Ashihhatan AAalaykum fa-itha jaa alkhawfu raaytahum yanthuroona ilayka tadooru aAAyunuhum kaallathee yughsha AAalayhi mina almawti fa-itha thahaba alkhawfu salaqookum bi-alsinatin hidadin ashihhatan AAala alkhayri ola-ika lam yu/minoo faahbata Allahu aAAmalahum wakana thalika AAala Allahi yaseeran
Being thrifty in their help to you. But when peril looms, you will notice them gaze at you (O Mohammed) with rolling eyes like one who is facing death; then when the peril passes away, they blame you with sharp tongues in their greed for a share of the spoils. They are not believers, so Allah has rendered their deeds futile, which is easy for Allah to do!
33 : 20
20. Yahsaboona al-ahzaba lam yathhaboo wa-in ya/ti al-ahzabu yawaddoo law annahum badoona fee al-aAArabi yas-aloona AAan anba-ikum walaw kanoo feekum ma qataloo illa qaleelan
They think that the clans have not yet retreated; and if the clans were to surge again, they would rather be out in the desert with the nomads, enquiring after you (from a distance)! And even if they were with you, they would not have taken part in the battle except a few. (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
9. O you who believe! Remember All‚h's Favour to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces that you saw not [i.e. troops of angels during the battle of Al≠Ahz‚b (the Confederates)]. And All‚h is Ever All≠Seer of what you do.
10. When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harbouring doubts about All‚h.
11. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.
12. And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: "All‚h and His Messenger (SAW) promised us nothing but delusions!"
13. And when a party of them said: "O people of Yathrib (Al≠Madinah)! There is no stand (possible) for you (against the enemy attack!) Therefore go back!" And a band of them ask for permission of the Prophet ( SAW) saying: "Truly, our homes lie open (to the enemy)." And they lay not open. They but wished to flee.
14. And if the enemy had entered from all sides (of the city), and they had been exhorted to Al≠Fitnah (i.e. to renegade from Isl‚m to polytheism) they would surely have committed it and would have hesitated thereupon but little.
15. And indeed they had already made a covenant with All‚h not to turn their backs, and a covenant with All‚h must be answered for.
16. Say (O Muhammad SAW to these hypocrites who ask your permission to run away from you): "Flight will not avail you if you flee from death or killing, and then you will enjoy no more than a little while!"
17. Say: "Who is he who can protect you from All‚h if He intends to harm you, or intends mercy on you?" And they will not find, besides All‚h, for themselves any WalÓ (protector, supporter, etc.) or any helper.
18. All‚h already knows those among you who keep back (men) from fighting in All‚h's Cause, and those who say to their brethren "Come here towards us," while they (themselves) come not to the battle except a little.
19. Being miserly towards you (as regards help and aid in All‚h's Cause). Then when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes revolving like (those of) one over whom hovers death, but when the fear departs, they will smite you with sharp tongues, miserly towards (spending anything in any) good (and only covetous of booty and wealth). Such have not believed. Therefore All‚h makes their deeds fruitless, and that is ever easy for All‚h.
20. They think that Al≠Ahz‚b (the Confederates) have not yet withdrawn, and if Al≠Ahz‚b (the Confederates) should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the bedouins, seeking news about you (from a far place); and if they (happen) to be among you, they would not fight but little.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Remember the Grace of Allah, (bestowed) on you, when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you): But We sent against them a hurricane and forces that ye saw not: but Allah sees (clearly) all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Remember Allah's favour unto you when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a great wind and hosts ye could not see. And Allah is ever Seer of what ye do.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! call to mind the favor of Allah to you when there came down upon you hosts, so We sent against them a strong wind and hosts, that you saw not, and Allah is Seeing what you do.
YUSUFALI: Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!
PICKTHAL: When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when eyes grew wild and hearts reached to the throats, and ye were imagining vain thoughts concerning Allah.
SHAKIR: When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes turned dull, and the hearts rose up to the throats, and you began to think diverse thoughts of Allah.
YUSUFALI: In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.
PICKTHAL: There were the believers sorely tried, and shaken with a mighty shock.
SHAKIR: There the believers were tried and they were shaken with severe shaking.
YUSUFALI: And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!"
PICKTHAL: And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion.
SHAKIR: And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was a disease began to say: Allah and His Messenger did not promise us (victory) but only to deceive.
YUSUFALI: Behold! A party among them said: "Ye men of Yathrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!" And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying, "Truly our houses are bare and exposed," though they were not exposed they intended nothing but to run away.
PICKTHAL: And when a party of them said: O folk of Yathrib! There is no stand (possible) for you, therefor turn back. And certain of them (even) sought permission of the Prophet, saying: Our homes lie open (to the enemy). And they lay not open. They but wished to flee.
SHAKIR: And when a party of them said: O people of Yasrib! there IS no place to stand for you (here), therefore go back; and a party of them asked permission of the prophet, saying. Surely our houses are exposed; and they were not exposed; they only desired to fly away.
YUSUFALI: And if an entry had been effected to them from the sides of the (city), and they had been incited to sedition, they would certainly have brought it to pass, with none but a brief delay!
PICKTHAL: If the enemy had entered from all sides and they had been exhorted to treachery, they would have committed it, and would have hesitated thereupon but little.
SHAKIR: And if an entry were made upon them from the outlying parts of it, then they were asked to wage war, they would certainly have done it, and they would not have stayed in it but a little while.
YUSUFALI: And yet they had already covenanted with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must (surely) be answered for.
PICKTHAL: And verily they had already sworn unto Allah that they would not turn their backs (to the foe). An oath to Allah must be answered for.
SHAKIR: And certainly they had made a covenant with Allah before, that) they would not turn (their) backs; and Allah's covenant shall be inquired of.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Running away will not profit you if ye are running away from death or slaughter; and even if (ye do escape), no more than a brief (respite) will ye be allowed to enjoy!"
PICKTHAL: Say: Flight will not avail you if ye flee from death or killing, and then ye dwell in comfort but a little while.
SHAKIR: Say: Flight shall not do you any good if you fly from death or slaughter, and in that case you will not be allowed to enjoy yourselves but a little.
YUSUFALI: Say: "Who is it that can screen you from Allah if it be His wish to give you punishment or to give you Mercy?" Nor will they find for themselves, besides Allah, any protector or helper.
PICKTHAL: Say: Who is he who can preserve you from Allah if He intendeth harm for you, or intendeth mercy for you. They will not find that they have any friend or helper other than Allah.
SHAKIR: Say: Who is it that can withhold you from Allah if He intends to do you evil, rather He intends to show you mercy? And they will not find for themselves besides Allah any guardian or a helper.
YUSUFALI: Verily Allah knows those among you who keep back (men) and those who say to their brethren, "Come along to us", but come not to the fight except for just a little while.
PICKTHAL: Allah already knoweth those of you who hinder, and those who say unto their brethren: "Come ye hither unto us!" and they come not to the stress of battle save a little,
SHAKIR: Allah knows indeed those among you who hinder others and those who say to their brethren: Come to us; and they come not to the fight but a little,
YUSUFALI: Covetous over you. Then when fear comes, thou wilt see them looking to thee, their eyes revolving, like (those of) one over whom hovers death: but when the fear is past, they will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous of goods. Such men have no faith, and so Allah has made their deeds of none effect: and that is easy for Allah.
PICKTHAL: Being sparing of their help to you (believers). But when the fear cometh, then thou (Muhammad) seest them regarding thee with rolling eyes like one who fainteth unto death. Then, when the fear departeth, they scald you with sharp tongues in their greed for wealth (from the spoil). Such have not believed. Therefor Allah maketh their deeds fruitless. And that is easy for Allah.
SHAKIR: Being niggardly with respect to you; but when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes rolling like one swooning because of death; but when the fear is gone they smite you with sharp tongues, being niggardly of the good things. These have not believed, therefore Allah has made their doing naught; and this is easy to Allah.
YUSUFALI: They think that the Confederates have not withdrawn; and if the Confederates should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the Bedouins, and seeking news about you (from a safe distance); and if they were in your midst, they would fight but little.
PICKTHAL: They hold that the clans have not retired (for good); and if the clans should advance (again), they would fain be in the desert with the wandering Arabs, asking for the news of you; and if they were among you, they would not give battle, save a little.
SHAKIR: They think the allies are not gone, and if the allies should come (again) they would fain be in the deserts with the desert Arabs asking for news about you, and if they were among you they would not fight save a little.
33 : 21
21. Laqad kana lakum fee rasooli Allahi oswatun hasanatun liman kana yarjoo Allaha waalyawma al-akhira wathakara Allaha katheeran
Verily in the messenger of Allah there is a sound example for one who cherishes Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.
33 : 22
22. Walamma raa almu/minoona al-ahzaba qaloo hatha ma waAAadana Allahu warasooluhu wasadaqa Allahu warasooluhu wama zadahum illa eemanan watasleeman
true believers noticed the clans, they said : 'This is but that of which Allah
and the messenger had already warned us about; Allah and the messenger are
true!' It did little else besides strengthening their faith and their
verse draws a sharp contrast between the ethos of the hypocrites and that of the
true believers who trust in Allah regardless of its outcome and foresee the
fulfilment of His promise even in the midst of adversity. They never lose track
of the fact that they had already been warned of trials and tribulations,
triumphs and defeats, happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain, in the same way
as others before were made to face)
33 : 23
23. Mina almu/mineena rijalun sadaqoo ma AAahadoo Allaha AAalayhi faminhum man qada nahbahu waminhum man yantathiru wama baddaloo tabdeelan
Of the believers are men who stood by the promise which they made to Allah; some have already fulfilled theirs through martyrdom and some are awaiting their turn, but none have weakened in their resolve -
33 : 24
24. Liyajziya Allahu alssadiqeena bisidqihim wayuAAaththiba almunafiqeena in shaa aw yatooba AAalayhim inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman
So that Allah may reward the loyal for their loyalty and punish the hypocrites if He will or relent towards them if He will. Verily Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
33 : 25
25. Waradda Allahu allatheena kafaroo bighaythihim lam yanaloo khayran wakafa Allahu almu/mineena alqitala wakana Allahu qawiyyan AAazeezan
And Allah forced on the disbelievers a crushing defeat without their accomplishing much, to the utter anguish of their hearts! Allah aborted their assault on the believers, for Allah is Mighty and Meritorious !
33 : 26
26. Waanzala allatheena thaharoohum min ahli alkitabi min sayaseehim waqathafa fee quloobihimu alrruAAba fareeqan taqtuloona wata/siroona fareeqan
of the peoples of the Scripture who took sides with them, He brought them out of
their garrisons and threw a panic into their hearts, - some of whom you slew and
some of whom you took captive!
reference is to the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraiza who were technically counted as
citizens of Madina and bound by a solemn pledge to defend the township in the
event of attack, yet they violated the pledge and helped the enemy instead)
33 : 27
27. Waawrathakum ardahum wadiyarahum waamwalahum waardan lam tataooha wakana Allahu AAala kulli shay-in qadeeran
enabled you to inherit their land and their dwellings and their possessions, as
well as land upon which you had not yet placed your feet! Allah has power over
(ĎLand on which you have not yet placed your feetí refers to any and all territories that were destined to be captured by the Muslims in the immediate and the distant future)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
21. Indeed in the Messenger of All‚h (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) All‚h and the Last Day and remembers All‚h much.
22. And when the believers saw Al≠Ahz‚b (the Confederates), they said: "This is what All‚h and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) had promised us, and All‚h and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) had spoken the truth, and it only added to their faith and to their submissiveness (to All‚h).
23. Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with All‚h [i.e. they have gone out for Jih‚d (holy fighting), and showed not their backs to the disbelievers], of them some have fulfilled their obligations (i.e. have been martyred), and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed [i.e.they never proved treacherous to their covenant which they concluded with All‚h] in the least.
24. That All‚h may reward the men of truth for their truth (i.e. for their patience at the accomplishment of that which they covenanted with All‚h), and punish the hypocrites if He will or accept their repentance by turning to them in Mercy. Verily, All‚h is Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
25. And All‚h drove back those who disbelieved in their rage, they gained no advantage (booty, etc.). All‚h sufficed for the believers in the fighting (by sending against the disbelievers a severe wind and troops of angels). And All‚h is Ever All≠Strong, All≠Mighty.
26. And those of the people of the Scripture who backed them (the disbelievers) All‚h brought them down from their forts and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) a group (of them) you killed, and a group (of them) you made captives.
27. And He caused you to inherit their lands, and their houses, and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden (before). And All‚h is Able to do all things.
YUSUFALI: Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.
PICKTHAL: Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much.
SHAKIR: Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.
YUSUFALI: When the Believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: "This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.
PICKTHAL: And when the true believers saw the clans, they said: This is that which Allah and His messenger promised us. Allah and His messenger are true. It did but confirm them in their faith and resignation.
SHAKIR: And when the believers saw the allies, they said: This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth; and it only increased them in faith and submission.
YUSUFALI: Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed (their determination) in the least:
PICKTHAL: Of the believers are men who are true to that which they covenanted with Allah. Some of them have paid their vow by death (in battle), and some of them still are waiting; and they have not altered in the least;
SHAKIR: Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least
YUSUFALI: That Allah may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: That Allah may reward the true men for their truth, and punish the hypocrites if He will, or relent toward them (if He will). Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: That Allah may reward the truthful for their truth, and punish the hypocrites if He please or turn to them (mercifully); surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will.
PICKTHAL: And Allah repulsed the disbelievers in their wrath; they gained no good. Allah averted their attack from the believers. Allah is ever Strong, Mighty.
SHAKIR: And Allah turned back the unbelievers in their rage; they did not obtain any advantage, and Allah sufficed the believers in fighting; and Allah is Strong, Mighty.
YUSUFALI: And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners.
PICKTHAL: And He brought those of the People of the Scripture who supported them down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some ye slew, and ye made captive some.
SHAKIR: And He drove down those of the followers of the Book who backed them from their fortresses and He cast awe into their hearts; some you killed and you took captive another part.
YUSUFALI: And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.
PICKTHAL: And He caused you to inherit their land and their houses and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden. Allah is ever Able to do all things.
SHAKIR: And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things.
33 : 28
28. Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu qul li-azwajika in kuntunna turidna alhayata alddunya wazeenataha fataAAalayna omattiAAkunna waosarrihkunna sarahan jameelan
O Prophet! Say to your wives : 'If you desire the life of this world and its glamour, come! Let me satiate you with worldly goods and then release you with fairness!
33 : 29
29. Wa-in kuntunna turidna Allaha warasoolahu waalddara al-akhirata fa-inna Allaha aAAadda lilmuhsinati minkunna ajran AAatheeman
'But if you prefer Allah and His messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, verily Allah has set aside a great reward for the righteous among you!'
above verses were revealed in response to those of the Prophet's wives who
raised their expectations of him that he should enhance their material well
being by increasing their Ďallowancesí which also prompted a series of
revelations laying down ground rules for the members of his household about
their etiquette, their conduct, their high status in the community, their
behaviour towards each other in the house and outside the house, punishment for
their wrongdoing and reward for their virtue, both twice the amount of what the
other women would get).
33 : 30
30. Ya nisaa alnnabiyyi man ya/ti minkunna bifahishatin mubayyinatin yudaAAaf laha alAAathabu diAAfayni wakana thalika AAala Allahi yaseeran
O you wives of the Prophet! For those of you who knowingly commit a deplorable act of indecency, her punishment will be twice that of other women, and that is easy for Allah to do!
33 : 31
31. Waman yaqnut minkunna lillahi warasoolihi wataAAmal salihan nu/tiha ajraha marratayni waaAAtadna laha rizqan kareeman
And for those of you who are obedient to Allah and the messenger and perform good deeds, their reward shall be twice that of other women. And We have set aside for them a seemly provision in return.
33 : 32
32. Ya nisaa alnnabiyyi lastunna kaahadin mina alnnisa-i ini ittaqaytunna fala takhdaAAna bialqawli fayatmaAAa allathee fee qalbihi maradun waqulna qawlan maAAroofan
O you wives of the Prophet! You are not the same as other women! If you keep your duty to Allah, then speak not with other men in too soft a voice lest he in whose heart is a disease is misled by it; but say only that which is appropriate to the occasion.
33 : 33
33. Waqarna fee buyootikunna wala tabarrajna tabarruja aljahiliyyati al-oola waaqimna alssalata waateena alzzakata waatiAAna Allaha warasoolahu innama yureedu Allahu liyuthhiba AAankumu alrrijsa ahla albayti wayutahhirakum tatheeran
And confine yourselves to your homes and expose not yourselves as you used to do during the times of ignorance and establish worship and give to the deserving their dues and obey Allah and the messenger! Allah's wish is only to purge you of blemish, O you members of the Prophet's household, and to cleanse you and to sanctify you!
33 : 34
34. Waothkurna ma yutla fee buyootikunna min ayati Allahi waalhikmati inna Allaha kana lateefan khabeeran
And memorize that which is recited in your houses from the revelations of Allah and words of wisdom. Verily Allah is Perspicacious and Vigilant! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
28. O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Say to your wives: If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, Then come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner (divorce).
29. But if you desire All‚h and His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter, then verily, All‚h has prepared for Al≠Muhsin‚t (good≠doers) amongst you an enormous reward.
30. O wives of the Prophet! Whoever of you commits an open illegal sexual intercourse, the torment for her will be doubled, and that is ever easy for All‚h.
31. And whosoever of you is obedient to All‚h and His Messenger SAW , and does righteous good deeds, We shall give her, her reward twice over, and We have prepared for her Rizqan Karima (a noble provision Paradise).
32. O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to All‚h), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.
33. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Sal‚t (Iqam‚t≠as≠Sal‚t), and give Zak‚t and obey All‚h and His Messenger. All‚h wishes only to remove Ar≠Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet SAW), and to purify you with a thorough purification.
34. And remember (O you the members of the Prophet's family, the Graces of your Lord), that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of All‚h and Al≠Hikmah (i.e. Prophet's Sunnah legal ways, etc. so give your thanks to All‚h and glorify His Praises for this Qur'an and the Sunnah). Verily, All‚h is Ever Most Courteous, Well≠Acquainted with all things.
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: "If it be that ye desire the life of this World, and its glitter,- then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner.
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Say unto thy wives: If ye desire the world's life and its adornment, come! I will content you and will release you with a fair release.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! say to your wives: If you desire this world's life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing
YUSUFALI: But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward.
PICKTHAL: But if ye desire Allah and His messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then lo! Allah hath prepared for the good among you an immense reward.
SHAKIR: And if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the latter abode, then surely Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a mighty reward.
YUSUFALI: O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah.
PICKTHAL: O ye wives of the Prophet! Whosoever of you committeth manifest lewdness, the punishment for her will be doubled, and that is easy for Allah.
SHAKIR: O wives of the prophet! whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this IS easy to Allah.
YUSUFALI: But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance.
PICKTHAL: And whosoever of you is submissive unto Allah and His messenger and doeth right, We shall give her her reward twice over, and We have prepared for her a rich provision.
SHAKIR: And whoever of you is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We will give to her her reward doubly, and We have prepared for her an honorable sustenance.
YUSUFALI: O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.
PICKTHAL: O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.
SHAKIR: O wives of the Prophet! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word.
YUSUFALI: And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.
PICKTHAL: And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.
SHAKIR: And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.
YUSUFALI: And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them).
PICKTHAL: And bear in mind that which is recited in your houses of the revelations of Allah and wisdom. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.
SHAKIR: And keep to mind what is recited in your houses of the communications of Allah and the wisdom; surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware.
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a believing woman of a high social standing complained to the Prophet that believing women were at a disadvantage as they were seldom mentioned in any of the revelations deeming them equal to men in their entitlement to Allah's benefactions. The verse lists no less than ten virtues which can earn them absolution and heavenly reward from Allah in par with believing men!
33 : 35
35. Inna almuslimeena waalmuslimati waalmu/mineena waalmu/minati waalqaniteena waalqanitati waalssadiqeena waalssadiqati waalssabireena waalssabirati waalkhashiAAeena waalkhashiAAati waalmutasaddiqeena waalmutasaddiqati waalssa-imeena waalssa-imati waalhafitheena furoojahum waalhafithati waalththakireena Allaha katheeran waalththakirati aAAadda Allahu lahum maghfiratan waajran AAatheeman
Men who surrender to Allah and women who surrender; and men who believe and women who believe; and men who obey and women who obey; and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth; and men who persevere and women who persevere; and men who are humble and women who are humble; and men who give alms and women who give alms; and men who fast and women who fast; and men who guard their rectitude and women who guard their rectitude; and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Allah much, Allah has set aside for them forgiveness and a great reward!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a matrimonial alliance was proposed by the Prophet between his adopted son Zaid and his cousin Zainab, but his cousin and her brother declined to accept it.
33 : 36
36. Wama kana limu/minin wala mu/minatin itha qada Allahu warasooluhu amran an yakoona lahumu alkhiyaratu min amrihim waman yaAAsi Allaha warasoolahu faqad dalla dalalan mubeenan
It does not befit a believing man or a believing woman that, once a decision has been made for them by Allah and the messenger on a matter affecting them, they should have any more say in it; and whoever obeys not Allah and the messenger, verily he is adrift in blatant error.
(Unaware of the fact that his cousin Zainab had a secret crush on him since childhood, he arranged a marriage between her and Zaid, a Negro slave who once belonged to his eldest wife and was a gift from her to him. Although he set him free, Zaid had refused to return to his parents out of dedication to him and carried on working for him, more as a son rather than a slave. When he sent a proposal of marriage between her and him, she and her brother declined to accept it, which resulted in the above verse, virtually taking the decision out of her hands and deeming it imperative upon her that she obeyed the decision made by Allah and the Messenger. Thus she was forced into an unlikely alliance that was doomed from the start and the marriage never took off the ground)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed addressing the issue of failed marriages and the legitimacy of wedlock between the Prophet and the divorced wife of his foster son. It was made clear that there was no place in the ordinances of Allah for a failed marriage and that it was not unlawful for a believer to marry the divorced wife of his foster son after the prerequisites of a divorce were complied with. The Prophet was thereby exhorted not to try to keep a failed marriage going under pressure once it became clear that there was no scope for reconciliation, and that he should not give precedence to the reaction of the community over the command of Allah
33 : 37
37. Wa-ith taqoolu lillathee anAAama Allahu AAalayhi waanAAamta AAalayhi amsik AAalayka zawjaka waittaqi Allaha watukhfee fee nafsika ma Allahu mubdeehi watakhsha alnnasa waAllahu ahaqqu an takhshahu falamma qada zaydun minha wataran zawwajnakaha likay la yakoona AAala almu/mineena harajun fee azwaji adAAiya-ihim itha qadaw minhunna wataran wakana amru Allahi mafAAoolan
When you said to him upon whom Allah has conferred favour and you too have conferred favour : 'Let your wife stay with you and fear Allah!' - and you did hide in your heart that which Allah has preferred to be brought out into the open and you feared the reaction of the community whereas it is Allah you should have feared! So when Zaid has complied with the requirements of his divorce, We have given her to you in marriage so that it is no longer a sin for believers to marry wives of adopted sons after the requirements of divorce have been complied with. It is imperative that the commandment of Allah is fulfilled!
(Even though it was a match made for her by the most prestigious match-maker of all, the element of incompatibility between the spouses proved too difficult to overcome, not to mention her own secret love for the Prophet which she was unable to erase in spite of being married to another man and turned to Allah for His Mercy towards her plight. No longer able to stand her impolite behaviour towards him and the affronts that she flung at him time and again, Zaid explained everything to the Prophet and sought his permission to put an end to the feuds between them by divorcing her. But since the failure of a marriage he had arranged with his own hands was likely to undermine his judgement and to cause much embarrassment to him, he kept evading the issue by somehow persuading Zaid not to be hasty in his decisions and try even harder to work out the marriage, despite the problems.
The above revelation brought matters to a head and the real truth emerged. As there is no place for a failed marriage in the Ordinances of Allah, the Prophet was admonished not to force the unhappy spouses to remain bound by a pact that was not going to work, especially since the Qur'aan makes a provision for such marriages to break and free the couples trapped in them.
At the same time, he was asked to marry her himself and not fear the opprobrium of the community for marrying the wife of his foster son, the issue having already been clarified that there was no blame on him for contracting such a marriage. It resulted in Zaid divorcing Zainab and the Prophet marrying her after the formalities were complied with by both sides without further complications)
* * *
33 : 38
38. Ma kana AAala alnnabiyyi min harajin feema farada Allahu lahu sunnata Allahi fee allatheena khalaw min qablu wakana amru Allahi qadaran maqdooran
The Prophet is beyond reproach for accepting that which Allah has assigned to him. Such is the protocol of Allah that has been prevalent over the past generations; and an act of Allah is a dictate of destiny -
33 : 39
39. Allatheena yuballighoona risalati Allahi wayakhshawnahu wala yakhshawna ahadan illa Allaha wakafa biAllahi haseeban
For those who delivered the messages of Allah and feared Him and feared none but Allah! Allah suffices for the rendition of their accounts.
33 : 40
40. Ma kana muhammadun aba ahadin min rijalikum walakin rasoola Allahi wakhatama alnnabiyyeena wakana Allahu bikulli shay-in AAaleeman
Mohammed is not the father of any man among you but He is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. And Allah is aware of all things. (R)
(Referring to the Prophet as the ĎSeal of the Prophetsí is a further confirmation that he is the Last Prophet and no other would be sent to follow him in the same way as, once a document is sealed, nothing else could be added on to it).
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
35. Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to All‚h in Isl‚m) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Isl‚mic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to All‚h), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which All‚h has ordered and in abstaining from all that All‚h has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord All‚h), the men and the women who give Sadaq‚t (i.e. Zak‚t, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramad‚n, and the optional Naw‚fil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember All‚h much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc. for more than 300 times extra over the remembrance of All‚h during the five compulsory congregational prayers) or praying extra additional Naw‚fil prayers of night in the last part of night, etc.) All‚h has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).
36. It is not for a believer, man or woman, when All‚h and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys All‚h and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.
37. And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin H‚rithah —÷ž <> <> the freed≠slave of the Prophet SAW) on whom All‚h has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Isl‚m) and you (O Muhammad SAW too) have done favour (by manumitting him) "Keep your wife to yourself, and fear All‚h." But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what All‚h has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which All‚h will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., Muhammad SAW married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas All‚h had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And All‚h's Command must be fulfilled.
38. There is no blame on the Prophet (SAW) in that which All‚h has made legal for him.That has been All‚h's Way with those who have passed away of (the Prophets of) old. And the Command of All‚h is a decree determined.
39. Those who convey the Message of All‚h and fear Him, and fear none save All‚h. And Sufficient is All‚h as a Reckoner.
40. Muhammad (SAW) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of All‚h and the last (end) of the Prophets. And All‚h is Ever All≠Aware of everything.
YUSUFALI: For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.
PICKTHAL: Lo! men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember - Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.
SHAKIR: Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember-- Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.
YUSUFALI: It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
PICKTHAL: And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say in their affair; and whoso is rebellious to Allah and His messenger, he verily goeth astray in error manifest.
SHAKIR: And it behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he surely strays off a manifest straying.
YUSUFALI: Behold! Thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favour: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife, and fear Allah." But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And Allah's command must be fulfilled.
PICKTHAL: And when thou saidst unto him on whom Allah hath conferred favour and thou hast conferred favour: Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear Allah. And thou didst hide in thy mind that which Allah was to bring to light, and thou didst fear mankind whereas Allah hath a better right that thou shouldst fear Him. So when Zeyd had performed that necessary formality (of divorce) from her, We gave her unto thee in marriage, so that (henceforth) there may be no sin for believers in respect of wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have performed the necessary formality (of release) from them. The commandment of Allah must be fulfilled.
SHAKIR: And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: Keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah's command shall be performed.
YUSUFALI: There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty. It was the practice (approved) of Allah amongst those of old that have passed away. And the command of Allah is a decree determined.
PICKTHAL: There is no reproach for the Prophet in that which Allah maketh his due. That was Allah's way with those who passed away of old - and the commandment of Allah is certain destiny -
SHAKIR: There is no harm in the Prophet doing that which Allah has ordained for him; such has been the course of Allah with respect to those who have gone before; and the command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute:
YUSUFALI: (It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And enough is Allah to call (men) to account.
PICKTHAL: Who delivered the messages of Allah and feared Him, and feared none save Allah. Allah keepeth good account.
SHAKIR: Those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him, and do not fear any one but Allah; and Allah is sufficient to take account.
YUSUFALI: Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.
PICKTHAL: Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things.
SHAKIR: 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 cognizant of all things.
33 : 41
41. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo othkuroo Allaha thikran katheeran
O those of you who believe! Remember Allah most of the time -
33 : 42
42. Wasabbihoohu bukratan waaseelan
And glorify Him during the day and at night
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a close associate of the Prophet expressed his ardent wish that, whenever Allah bestowed His grace upon his messenger, perhaps his adherents who were in attendance upon him at the time also get included in the same blessings.
33 : 43
43. Huwa allathee yusallee AAalaykum wamala-ikatuhu liyukhrijakum mina alththulumati ila alnnoori wakana bialmu/mineena raheeman
He it is who confers His blessings on you, as do His angels, so that He may bring you out of darkness and take you into light! And He is kindly disposed towards all the believers.
33 : 44
44. Tahiyyatuhum yawma yalqawnahu salamun waaAAadda lahum ajran kareeman
Their greetings on the Day when they come face to face with Him would be : 'Peace!' And for them is set aside a generous reward.
* * *
33 : 45
45. Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu inna arsalnaka shahidan wamubashshiran wanatheeran
O Prophet! Verily We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of good tidings as well as a warner -
33 : 46
46. WadaAAiyan ila Allahi bi-ithnihi wasirajan muneeran
And a summoner to Allah by His leave and as a lamp that emits light!
33 : 47
47. Wabashshiri almu/mineena bi-anna lahum mina Allahi fadlan kabeeran
And give the blithesome tidings to the believers that for them there is a great reward with Allah!
33 : 48
48. Wala tutiAAi alkafireena waalmunafiqeena wadaAA athahum watawakkal AAala Allahi wakafa biAllahi wakeelan
Do not flatter the disbelievers and the hypocrites but ignore their affronts and put your trust in Allah alone, for Allah suffices you as your Trustee.
33 : 49
49. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo itha nakahtumu almu/minati thumma tallaqtumoohunna min qabli an tamassoohunna fama lakum AAalayhinna min AAiddatin taAAtaddoonaha famattiAAoohunna wasarrihoohunna sarahan jameelan
O those of you who believe! If you wed believing women and divorce them before you touched them, then there is no obligation upon you to await the qualifying period. But redress them with fairness and release them with dignity.
43 : 50
50. Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu inna ahlalna laka azwajaka allatee atayta ojoorahunna wama malakat yameenuka mimma afaa Allahu AAalayka wabanati AAammika wabanati AAammatika wabanati khalika wabanati khalatika allatee hajarna maAAaka waimraatan mu/minatan in wahabat nafsaha lilnnabiyyi in arada alnnabiyyu an yastankihaha khalisatan laka min dooni almu/mineena qad AAalimna ma faradna AAalayhim fee azwajihim wama malakat aymanuhum likayla yakoona AAalayka harajun wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
O Prophet! We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have paid dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given you as spoils; and daughters of your uncles from father's side and daughters of your uncles from your mother's side; and daughters of your aunts from your mother's side and daughters of your aunts from your father's side who emigrated along with you; and believing women who wish to dedicate themselves to the Prophet and the Prophet wishes to seek her hand in marriage - a dispensation which is exclusively for you and not for the rest of the believers. We are aware of what We enjoined on them in the matter of their wives and maids whom their right hands possess, and this exception is merely to exonerate you of blame. Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
33 : 51
51. Turjee man tashao minhunna watu/wee ilayka man tashao wamani ibtaghayta mimman AAazalta fala junaha AAalayka thalika adna an taqarra aAAyunuhunna wala yahzanna wayardayna bima ataytahunna kulluhunna waAllahu yaAAlamu ma fee quloobikum wakana Allahu AAaleeman haleeman
Defer whom you will out of them and prefer whom you will out of them; and if you desire her whom you deferred for a short while, it is no sin for you to co-habit with her; it is better, so that they may be consoled rather than distressed and all are equally content with what you give them. And Allah knows whatever is in your hearts and Allah is Magnanimous and merciful!
33 : 52
52. La yahillu laka alnnisao min baAAdu wala an tabaddala bihinna min azwajin walaw aAAjabaka husnuhunna illa ma malakat yameenuka wakana Allahu AAala kulli shay-in raqeeban
It is not lawful for you to take other women besides these, nor that you should exchange them for other wives even if you are enamoured by their beauty, except those whom your right hands possess. And Allah is ever watchful of what you do! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
41. O you who believe! Remember All‚h with much remembrance.
42. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and 'Asr prayers].
43. He it is Who sends Sal‚t (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask All‚h to bless and forgive you), that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of Belief and Isl‚mic Monotheism). And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.
44. Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be "Sal‚m: Peace (i.e. the angels will say to them: Sal‚mu 'Alaikum)!" And He has prepared for them a generous reward (i.e. Paradise).
45. O Prophet (MuhammadSAW )! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner,
46. And as one who invites to All‚h [Isl‚mic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but All‚h (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur'‚n and the Sunnah the legal ways of the Prophet SAW  ).
47. And announce to the believers (in the Oneness of All‚h and in His Messenger Muhammad SAW) the glad tidings, that they will have from All‚h a Great Bounty.
48. And obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and harm them not (till you are ordered). And put your trust in All‚h, and Sufficient is All‚h as a WakÓl (Trustee, or Disposer of affairs).
49. O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no 'Iddah [divorce prescribed period, see (V.65:4)] have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free i.e. divorce, in a handsome manner.
50. O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses - whom All‚h has given to you, and the daughters of your 'Amm (paternal uncles) and the daughters of your 'Ammah (paternal aunts) and the daughters of your Kh‚l (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your Kh‚lah (maternal aunts) who migrated (from Makkah) with you, and a believing woman if she offers herself to the Prophet, and the Prophet wishes to marry her; a privilege for you only, not for the (rest of) the believers. Indeed We know what We have enjoined upon them about their wives and those (captives or slaves) whom their right hands possess, - in order that there should be no difficulty on you. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
51. You (O Muhammad SAW) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily), it is no sin on you (to receive her again), that is better; that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them. All‚h knows what is in your hearts. And All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, Most Forbearing.
52. It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, except those (captives or slaves) whom your right hand possesses. And All‚h is Ever a Watcher over all things.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often;
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! remember Allah, remembering frequently,
YUSUFALI: And glorify Him morning and evening.
PICKTHAL: And glorify Him early and late.
SHAKIR: And glorify Him morning and evening.
YUSUFALI: He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers.
PICKTHAL: He it is Who blesseth you, and His angels (bless you), that He may bring you forth from darkness unto light; and He is ever Merciful to the believers.
SHAKIR: He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that He may bring you forth out of utter darkness into the light; and He is Merciful to the believers.
YUSUFALI: Their salutation on the Day they meet Him will be "Peace!"; and He has prepared for them a generous Reward.
PICKTHAL: Their salutation on the day when they shall meet Him will be: Peace. And He hath prepared for them a goodly recompense.
SHAKIR: Their salutation on the day that they meet Him shall be, Peace, and He has prepared for them an honourable reward.
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and Warner,-
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Lo! We have sent thee as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner,
YUSUFALI: And as one who invites to Allah's (grace) by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.
PICKTHAL: And as a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and as a lamp that giveth light.
SHAKIR: And as one inviting to Allah by His permission, and as a light-giving torch.
YUSUFALI: Then give the Glad Tidings to the Believers, that they shall have from Allah a very great Bounty.
PICKTHAL: And announce unto the believers the good tidings that they will have great bounty from Allah.
SHAKIR: And give to the believers the good news that they shall have a great grace from Allah.
YUSUFALI: And obey not (the behests) of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and heed not their annoyances, but put thy Trust in Allah. For enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
PICKTHAL: And incline not to the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Disregard their noxious talk, and put thy trust in Allah. Allah is sufficient as Trustee.
SHAKIR: And be not compliant to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and leave unregarded their annoying talk, and rely on Allah; and Allah is sufficient as a Protector.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! When ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye have touched them, no period of 'Iddat have ye to count in respect of them: so give them a present. And set them free in a handsome manner.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! If ye wed believing women and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon. But content them and release them handsomely.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! when you marry the believing women, then divorce them before you touch them, you have in their case no term which you should reckon; so make some provision for them and send them forth a goodly sending forth.
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the father's side, and the daughters of thine uncle on the mother's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother's side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage - a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers - We are Aware of that which We enjoined upon them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess - that thou mayst be free from blame, for Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her-- specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Thou mayest defer (the turn of) any of them that thou pleasest, and thou mayest receive any thou pleasest: and there is no blame on thee if thou invite one whose (turn) thou hadst set aside. This were nigher to the cooling of their eyes, the prevention of their grief, and their satisfaction - that of all of them - with that which thou hast to give them: and Allah knows (all) that is in your hearts: and Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.
PICKTHAL: Thou canst defer whom thou wilt of them and receive unto thee whom thou wilt, and whomsoever thou desirest of those whom thou hast set aside (temporarily), it is no sin for thee (to receive her again); that is better; that they may be comforted and not grieve, and may all be pleased with what thou givest them. Allah knoweth what is in your hearts (O men), and Allah is ever Forgiving, Clement.
SHAKIR: You may put off whom you please of them, and you may take to you whom you please, and whom you desire of those whom you had separated provisionally; no blame attaches to you; this is most proper, so that their eyes may be cool and they may not grieve, and that they should be pleased, all of them with what you give them, and Allah knows what is in your hearts; and Allah is Knowing, Forbearing.
YUSUFALI: It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them for (other) wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and Allah doth watch over all things.
PICKTHAL: It is not allowed thee to take (other) women henceforth, nor that thou shouldst change them for other wives even though their beauty pleased thee, save those whom thy right hand possesseth. And Allah is ever Watcher over all things.
SHAKIR: It is not allowed to you to take women afterwards, nor that you should change them for other wives, though their beauty be pleasing to you, except what your right hand possesses and Allah is Watchful over all things.
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet held a feast in his house during his wedding ceremony, but some of the invitees became engrossed in prolonged conversation after the meal, holding up progress of the feast. It caused a great deal of inconvenience to the hosts and the other guests, but such was the etiquette of the Prophet that he did not interrupt their conversation in case he embarrassed them whilst they were still underneath his roof !
33 : 53
53. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tadkhuloo buyoota alnnabiyyi illa an yu/thana lakum ila taAAamin ghayra nathireena inahu walakin itha duAAeetum faodkhuloo fa-itha taAAimtum faintashiroo wala musta/niseena lihadeethin inna thalikum kana yu/thee alnnabiyya fayastahyee minkum waAllahu la yastahyee mina alhaqqi wa-itha saaltumoohunna mataAAan fais-aloohunna min wara-i hijabin thalikum atharu liquloobikum waquloobihinna wama kana lakum an tu/thoo rasoola Allahi wala an tankihoo azwajahu min baAAdihi abadan inna thalikum kana AAinda Allahi AAatheeman
O those of you who believe! Do mot enter the dwelling of the Prophet for a meal before it has been served, unless you are given permission to enter. If you are invited, enter and then quickly disperse when the meal has ended instead of getting engrossed in conversation. It would cause inconvenience to the Prophet, who is too shy to ask you to leave; whereas Allah is not shy of the truth! if you need to borrow anything from the ladies of his household, ask from behind a curtain; it is purer for your hearts and their hearts! And it becomes you not that you cause inconvenience to the messenger of Allah, nor does it become you that you marry his wives after him. Verily it would constitute a grossly inappropriate act in the eyes of Allah!
(More issues of Code of Conduct prescribed by the Qur'aan for the Muslims are dwelt upon in this verse concerning the formalities incumbent on the guests to observe if invited by, - first and foremost the Prophet, - and in general any other host, - so that the occasion is not used by people as a public forum to discuss politics or current events.
The guest should attend the feast on time and leave as soon as the meal is over and not linger behind to gossip.
The verse also prohibits marriage with the Prophet's widows after his demise in view of the fact that they are deemed mothers of the community during his lifetime).
* * *
33 : 54
54. In tubdoo shay-an aw tukhfoohu fa-inna Allaha kana bikulli shay-in AAaleeman
Whether you express a thing or you keep it hidden, verily Allah is aware of all things.
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when practices governing the segregation of men and women were tightened up because of which many believers asked the Prophet to clarify if it meant that they were to converse with ladies of their households from behind a curtain.
33 : 55
55. La junaha AAalayhinna fee aba-ihinna wala abna-ihinna wala ikhwanihinna wala abna-i ikhwanihinna wala abna-i akhawatihinna wala nisa-ihinna wala ma malakat aymanuhunna waittaqeena Allaha inna Allaha kana AAala kulli shay-in shaheedan
It is no sin (for the wives of the Prophet) to communicate with their fathers or their sons or their brothers or the sons of their brothers or sons of their sisters or other believing women or their slave girls. O women! Keep your duty to Allah, for Verily Allah is a witness over all things!
* * *
33 : 56
56. Inna Allaha wamala-ikatahu yusalloona AAala alnnabiyyi ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo salloo AAalayhi wasallimoo tasleeman
Verily Allah and His angels shower their blessings upon the Prophet! O those of you who believe! Seek blessings for him and salute him with due deference.
verse makes it incumbent upon all the believers that whenever they mention the
name of the Prophet or hear it mentioned, they too should shower their blessings
on him in the words, - as loosely translated in English : ĎMay peace be upon
him - often including his children, his wives and his close associates as
well in the blessings).
33 : 57
57. Inna allatheena yu/thoona Allaha warasoolahu laAAanahumu Allahu fee alddunya waal-akhirati waaAAadda lahum AAathaban muheenan
Verily those who disparage Allah and His messenger, Allah's loathing is upon them in this world and in the Hereafter and He has kept for them a disgraceful chastisement!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed as a reprimand towards the hypocrites who besieged the Prophet's close associate and cousin Ali with a merciless campaign of persecution.
53 : 58
58. Waallatheena yu/thoona almu/mineena waalmu/minati bighayri ma iktasaboo faqadi ihtamaloo buhtanan wa-ithman mubeenan
And those who disparage believing men and believing women without any substance, they carry upon their heads the burden of calumny and of committing a blatant sin! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
53. O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but All‚h is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy All‚h's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With All‚h that shall be an enormity.
54. Whether you reveal anything or conceal it, verily, All‚h is Ever All≠Knower of everything.
55. It is no sin on them (the Prophet's wives, if they appear unveiled) before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother's sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own (believing) women, or their (female) slaves, and keep your duty to All‚h. Verily, All‚h is Ever All≠Witness over everything.
56. All‚h sends His Sal‚t (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad SAW) and also His angels too (ask All‚h to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Sal‚t on (ask All‚h to bless) him (Muhammad SAW), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Isl‚mic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As≠Sal‚mu 'Alaikum).
57. Verily, those who annoy All‚h and His Messenger (SAW) All‚h has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.
58. And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy Allah's Messenger, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah's sight an enormity.
PICKTHAL: O Ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter, and, when your meal is ended, then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Lo! that would cause annoyance to the Prophet, and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of the truth. And when ye ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not for you to cause annoyance to the messenger of Allah, nor that ye should ever marry his wives after him. Lo! that in Allah's sight would be an enormity.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not enter the houses of the Prophet unless permission is given to you for a meal, not waiting for its cooking being finished-- but when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken the food, then disperse-- not seeking to listen to talk; surely this gives the Prophet trouble, but he forbears from you, and Allah does not forbear from the truth And when you ask of them any goods, ask of them from behind a curtain; this is purer for your hearts and (for) their hearts; and it does not behove you that you should give trouble to the Messenger of Allah, nor that you should marry his wives after him ever; surely this is grievous in the sight of Allah.
YUSUFALI: Whether ye reveal anything or conceal it, verily Allah has full knowledge of all things.
PICKTHAL: Whether ye divulge a thing or keep it hidden, lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things.
SHAKIR: If you do a thing openly or do it in secret, then surely Allah is Cognizant of all things.
YUSUFALI: There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And, (ladies), fear Allah; for Allah is Witness to all things.
PICKTHAL: It is no sin for them (thy wives) to converse freely) with their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or the sons of their sisters or of their own women, or their slaves. O women! Keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is ever Witness over all things.
SHAKIR: There is no blame on them in respect of their fathers, nor their brothers, nor their brothers' sons, nor their sisters' sons nor their own women, nor of what their right hands possess; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is a witness of all things.
YUSUFALI: Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.
YUSUFALI: Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the here after, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace.
YUSUFALI: And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.
PICKTHAL: And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin.
SHAKIR: And those who speak evil things of the believing men and the believing women without their having earned (it), they are guilty indeed of a false accusation and a manifest sin.
33 : 59
59. Ya ayyuha alnnabiyyu qul li-azwajika wabanatika wanisa-i almu/mineena yudneena AAalayhinna min jalabeebihinna thalika adna an yuAArafna fala yu/thayna wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
Instruct your wives and your daughters and ladies from the households of other
believers to cover their faces with a veil when they go out; it is better for
them so that they are recognized and spared annoyance. Allah is Magnanimous
used to be a common practice with the hypocrites to tease slave girls who were
not believers and therefore did not conform to the requirements of hijaab
and cover their faces with veils The verse admonishes believing women
to clad themselves with modest attire when they
are going out so that the hypocrites recognized them and refrained from any
33 : 60
60. La-in lam yantahi almunafiqoona waallatheena fee quloobihim maradun waalmurjifoona fee almadeenati lanughriyannaka bihim thumma la yujawiroonaka feeha illa qaleelan
If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the slander
mongers in Madina cease not in their persecution of you, then We will give you
an edge over them after which they will no longer be able to remain as your
neighbours save for a short while.
reference is especially to the hypocrites of Madina who used to deliberately
spread false rumours about reversals suffered by Muslim armies abroad only to
disappoint and disillusion the Muslim community with bad news).
33 : 61
61. MalAAooneena ayna ma thuqifoo okhithoo waquttiloo taqteelan
Once Ostracized, let them be seized wherever they are found and slain relentlessly!
element of inflexibility and ferocity contained in this verse was deliberate,
intended to deter the scandal-mongers from harassing Muslims, further cemented
in the following verse by asserting that it used to be the same in the case of
previous generations as well and that Allah's response to acts of sedition never
33 : 62
62. Sunnata Allahi fee allatheena khalaw min qablu walan tajida lisunnati Allahi tabdeelan
That was the way of Allah in the case of past generations too and you will find that the way of Allah varies not under any circumstances!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed in response to the relentless questions asked of the Prophet by the Hypocrites regarding the culmination of the Day of Judgement in order to pour scorn over him, and by the Jews in order to test his veracity.
33 : 63
63. Yas-aluka alnnasu AAani alssaAAati qul innama AAilmuha AAinda Allahi wama yudreeka laAAalla alssaAAata takoonu qareeban
They ask you about the Hour. Say to them : 'The knowledge about it is with Allah alone. But then, who knows! It might well be imminent right now!'
* * *
33 : 64
64. Inna Allaha laAAana alkafireena waaAAadda lahum saAAeeran
Verily the loathing of Allah is upon the disbelievers and He has kept in readiness for them a fierce blaze -
33 : 65
65. Khalideena feeha abadan la yajidoona waliyyan wala naseeran
In which they shall abide forever, - lost for a stalwart and lost for an acolyte!
33 : 66
66. Yawma tuqallabu wujoohuhum fee alnnari yaqooloona ya laytana ataAAna Allaha waataAAna alrrasoola
On the day when their faces singe from the ferocity of the scorching, they say : 'If only we had obeyed Allah's command and that of His Messenger!'
33 : 67
67. Waqaloo rabbana inna ataAAna sadatana wakubaraana faadalloona alssabeela
And they say : 'Our Lord! We followed the guidance of our leaders and our peers, but all they did was to send us astray!
33 : 68
68. Rabbana atihim diAAfayni mina alAAathabi wailAAanhum laAAnan kabeeran
'Our Lord! Inflict on them twice the punishment in the fire and put on their heads a curse most abominable! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
59. O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
60. If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease (evil desire for adultery, etc.), and those who spread false news among the people in Al≠Madinah, cease not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbours but a little while.
61. Accursed, wherever found, they shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.
62. That was the Way of All‚h in the case of those who passed away of old, and you will not find any change in the Way of All‚h.
63. People ask you concerning the Hour, say: "The knowledge of it is with All‚h only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!"
64. Verily, All‚h has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell).
65. Wherein they will abide for ever, and they will find neither a WalÓ (a protector) nor a helper.
66. On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Oh, would that we had obeyed All‚h and obeyed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)."
67. And they will say: "Our Lord! Verily, we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (Right) Way.
68. Our Lord! give them double torment and curse them with a mighty curse!"
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments; this will be more proper, that they may be known, and thus they will not be given trouble; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time:
PICKTHAL: If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbours in it but a little while.
SHAKIR: If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the city do not desist, We shall most certainly set you over them, then they shall not be your neighbors in it but for a little while;
YUSUFALI: They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy).
PICKTHAL: Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.
SHAKIR: Cursed: wherever they are found they shall be seized and murdered, a (horrible) murdering.
YUSUFALI: (Such was) the practice (approved) of Allah among those who lived aforetime: No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.
PICKTHAL: That was the way of Allah in the case of those who passed away of old; thou wilt not find for the way of Allah aught of power to change.
SHAKIR: (Such has been) the course of Allah with respect to those who have gone before; and you shall not find any change in the course of Allah.
YUSUFALI: Men ask thee concerning the Hour: Say, "The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone)": and what will make thee understand?- perchance the Hour is nigh!
PICKTHAL: Men ask thee of the Hour. Say: The knowledge of it is with Allah only. What can convey (the knowledge) unto thee? It may be that the Hour is nigh.
SHAKIR: Men ask you about the hour; say: The knowledge of it is only with Allah, and what will make you comprehend that the : hour may be nigh.
YUSUFALI: Verily Allah has cursed the Unbelievers and prepared for them a Blazing Fire,-
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah hath cursed the disbelievers, and hath prepared for them a flaming fire,
SHAKIR: Surely Allah has cursed the unbelievers and has prepared for them a burning fire,
YUSUFALI: To dwell therein for ever: no protector will they find, nor helper.
PICKTHAL: Wherein they will abide for ever. They will find (then) no protecting friend nor helper.
SHAKIR: To abide therein for a long time; they shall not find a protector or a helper.
YUSUFALI: The Day that their faces will be turned upside down in the Fire, they will say: "Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!"
PICKTHAL: On the day when their faces are turned over in the Fire, they say: Oh, would that we had obeyed Allah and had obeyed His messenger!
SHAKIR: On the day when their faces shall be turned back into the fire, they shall say: O would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!
YUSUFALI: And they would say: "Our Lord! We obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us as to the (right) Path.
PICKTHAL: And they say: Our Lord! Lo! we obeyed our princes and great men, and they misled us from the Way.
SHAKIR: And they shall say: O our Lord! surely we obeyed our leaders and our great men, so they led us astray from the path;
YUSUFALI: "Our Lord! Give them double Penalty and curse them with a very great Curse!"
PICKTHAL: Our Lord! Oh, give them double torment and curse them with a mighty curse.
SHAKIR: O our Lord! give them a double punishment and curse them with a great curse.
33 : 69
69. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la takoonoo kaallatheena athaw moosa fabarraahu Allahu mimma qaloo wakana AAinda Allahi wajeehan
O those of you who believe! Be not like those who traduced Moses. Allah absolved him of all insinuations which they alleged against him and he was held in high esteem by Allah!
reference here is to the Children of Israel who used to bathe or swim naked in
front of other men that Moses did not relish and refused to join them. As a
result of it, they spread a rumour that he suffered from leprosy and was hiding
it from others. In view of the high esteem in which Allah held him, such an
insinuation was unacceptable. Hence one day, as he bathed alone in a lake with
his clothes kept on a nearby boulder, Allah caused it to move away from there so
that, when he emerged from the lake and looked around for his clothes, his
people were able to see him in the nude and realize that his body was free of
affliction and completely flawless).
33 : 70
70. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan
O those of you who believe! Be mindful of your duty to Allah and be forthcoming in what you say!
33 : 71
71. Yuslih lakum aAAmalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu faqad faza fawzan AAatheeman
He will orchestrate your deeds in your favour and forgive you your sins. And he that obeys Allah and His Messenger is he that secures for himself the utmost triumph!
(Another eclectic admonition here is for us to keep our tongues in firm control
and open our mouths only to say what is necessary and say it in a candid and
33 : 72
72. Inna AAaradna al-amanata AAala alssamawati waal-ardi waaljibali faabayna an yahmilnaha waashfaqna minha wahamalaha al-insanu innahu kana thalooman jahoolan
We did offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they shrank away from bearing it out of sheer awe. Yet man bore it! Verily he has proved himself to be self immolating and vulnerable!
(There are several interpretations to the connotation of the term TRUST mentioned in this verse, some saying that it connotes worship and the obligations that go with it; some contending it means Salaat, Zakaat, fasting, performing pilgrimage, speaking the truth, being honest in weights and measures and imparting justice with fairness; some saying that it refers to all things unlawful and all things made lawful; some saying that it refers to all the organs of the body.
However, the consensus is that when Allah offered to the heavens and the earth and the mountains the prerogative of using their discretion in making choices between right and wrong and be held accountable for them, they declined and preferred to abide by His command without asking any question.
when the same question was asked of man, - by implication of Adam, - he offered
to accept the responsibility and to be held accountable for the way in which he
33 : 73
73. LiyuAAaththiba Allahu almunafiqeena waalmunafiqati waalmushrikeena waalmushrikati wayatooba Allahu AAala almu/mineena waalmu/minati wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
Allah will chastise hypocritical men and hypocritical women and idolatrous men and idolatrous women. But He will pardon believing men and believing women, for Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
69. O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed MŻsa (Moses), but All‚h cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honourable before All‚h.
70. O you who believe! Keep your duty to All‚h and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.
71. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys All‚h and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).
72. Truly, We did offer Al≠Am‚nah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which All‚h has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of All‚h's Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).
73. So that All‚h will punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the men and women who are Al≠MushrikŻn (the polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of All‚h, and in His Messenger Muhammad SAW ). And All‚h will pardon (accept the repentance of) the true believers of the Isl‚mic Monotheism, men and women. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Be ye not like those who vexed and insulted Moses, but Allah cleared him of the (calumnies) they had uttered: and he was honourable in Allah's sight.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Be not as those who slandered Moses, but Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, and he was well esteemed in Allah's sight.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! be not like those who spoke evil things of Musa, but Allah cleared him of what they said, and he was worthy of regard with Allah.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right:
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Guard your duty to Allah, and speak words straight to the point;
SHAKIR: O you who believe! be careful of(your duty to) Allah and speak the right word,
YUSUFALI: That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: He that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest achievement.
PICKTHAL: He will adjust your works for you and will forgive you your sins. Whosoever obeyeth Allah and His messenger, he verily hath gained a signal victory.
SHAKIR: He will put your deeds into a right state for you, and forgive you your faults; and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he indeed achieves a mighty success.
YUSUFALI: We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-
PICKTHAL: Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.
SHAKIR: Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant;
YUSUFALI: (With the result) that Allah has to punish the Hypocrites, men and women, and the Unbelievers, men and women, and Allah turns in Mercy to the Believers, men and women: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: So Allah punisheth hypocritical men and hypocritical women, and idolatrous men and idolatrous women. But Allah pardoneth believing men and believing women, and Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: So Allah will chastise the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the polytheistic men and the polytheistic women, and Allah will turn (mercifully) to the believing women, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.